Showing posts with label knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knitting. Show all posts

WIP Resolution Mission 2015 Part 2

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Work in Progress Inspiration Post Part 2
(there's more parts to come, it's bound to get scary)

When I left you last, I had shared 5 blankets that I had been working on and now are sitting in stasis in bins that are cluttering up my closet.  Now I'm moving along to wearable crochet in my quest to share with you the ridiculous amount of UFO's I have laying around my house and to clear them out.

WIP #7 and WIP #8

Curly Scarves

These two each get their own number, because they are individual scarves, though I'll talk about them together because they are in essence, the same type of item.  I made the blue one and ran out of yarn before I finished and never went back with more yarn or a second color.  

the purple one, I wanted it to have a black core so it peeked out through the purple, but I got scared after I did a row of purples because I didn't think that the black would still show through.  So I said, I'm calling it done.  Then I didn't like it.  I need to either go back with purple or do another row of black and then a row of purple. 

WIP #9

Gator Scoodie

This is another woeful story of running out of yarn.  I was making this gator scoodie for my daughter (probably about a year or two ago) because her school mascot is a gator.  I got the hood part complete and went to work on the scarf part only to run out of yarn.  When I pulled this out, she remembered it, and I told her I was going to finish it and she was blunt and told me she didn't really want it anymore.  Kids.  I will still finish it because I want to see the idea carried out, but might sell it in my shop or gift it this year.

WIP #10

Katniss Cowl

So I love the Hunger Games.  I also Love Love Love the cowl that Katniss wears in the second movie.  I've seen several renditions of it - such as this one:

or this one:

But am not a fan of either one of them completely.  I like the body of the first one (though I would make it a little longer so it would swing lower) and I like the cowl off of the second one.  So I set forth to try and make one, combining the factors that I liked from each of them.

When I finished the cowl:

I tried it on and I was disappointed.  I don't think I made it thick enough, and I also think I made it too wide because it tries to come down over my shoulders when I put it on.  I had barely cast on the body part:

when I discovered this and by then it was too late.  It went in a box and got shoved in my closet.   I want to try to make this again, but I'm going to have to frog the cowl (hopefully I can just knit from it) and will have to make the body piece.

WIP #11

Spiderweb shawl

I am not sure at all what pattern this is, if I messed it up, nor can I remember what I was making it for.  It's this random half finished shawl that I found at the bottom of one of the bins.  When I put it over my shoulders, it's kind of a cute little caplet.  I think it needs an sc trim on the flat edge, and some buttons.  I also may try to dye it to give it some life.  Then, on to gifting or selling.  :)

So there you have 6 more WIP's that I have to work on this year, and that brings me up to 11 UFO's.  There's much more to come!  Have you tried any of these patterns?  Are you working on UFO's this year?  Leave a comment below!

WIP Resolution: Some UFO Blankets

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One of my New Year's Resolutions this year is to clear out my stash of WIP's.  Let me tell you a horrible secret.  Truly, Truly Horrible.  Work in Progress projects take up three tubs in my closet.  


I've resolved that I am going to try and finish as many as I can - either for myself or to gift - or barring that, I'm going to frog some pieces and repurpose their yarn for my scrapghan (which takes up a whole separate tub, so I guess I have four tubs)  I decided to chronicle my journey through the past to projects unfinished.  I hope that I'm not the only person this insane to have these many projects, but also that I maybe inspire my readers to finish some of their projects!!!

WIP  #1

The Bernat Waverly Mystery Crochet Along

Let me start by saying, these are all finished motifs.  I did FINISH the crochet along.  In fact, I did motifs enough for TWO different blankets. But when they posted pictures of how they were supposed to go together, I tried every possible combination and I HATED them all.  I thought it looked slapped together and didn't like any configuration that anyone had posted.  I decided to box it up and come back later to see if I could make a few more motifs in different colors to make it look like something I liked better. 

Here's what the original design by Bernat looked like:

I just don't like the clusters of color in the middle of the blanket.  

Here are my motifs from the CAL:

Like I said, I was doing two blankets.  One was blues and white, and the other was black, grey, white and gold.  After this blanket had sat in a box forever, I had a request for a custom baby blanket.  I found the white motifs and stole a bunch of them for this new blanket (The Midorie Blanket)
I have yet to remake those motifs, and I don't know if I will, either.  

My plan for finishing this blanket is to first try a bunch of different combinations, to decide how I like them to be arranged, and then to make what I need to fill in on the blanket.

WIP #2

Basketweave Crochet Blanket

I hate this blanket.  If I could start it over, I'd use a gigantic crochet hook.  It's crocheted too tightly to be a comfy blanky, imho, and I am not sure what I plan on doing with this one.  I might attach the squares that I have and donate it to my children for their baby dolls.

WIP #3

Double Sided Tardis Blanket

What the finished product will look like:

So I love the look and feel of this two inches of blanket.  It is going to take me forever, especially since I'm going to need to practice the double knitting again before I begin work again, plus I think I'm going to have to go buy more yarn, as I stole all of the black while I was working on Christmas projects.  This is part of why I'm doing this though, to make sure I have what I need.

WIP #4

The Groovyghan

I've been working on this one for so long that the website has actually shut down.  I had to use the internet wayback machine in order to find the pattern again to save it for this purpose.  I gave up on this one when I worked this part:

I stopped because I was not doing it evenly and gave up.  I packed up what I had made into a box and left it for years.

I plan on trying to finish the groovyghan, and I will probably gift this come Christmas time this year!!

WIP #5

Hexi-puff Scrapghan

I have a scrapghan in crochet and one in knit.  The knit one has far less completed on it than the crochet one, but I still love these little hexipuffs.  I have designed for a bunch of them, and love that each one can be so personalized.  I also plan on letting the kids each design some. :)

So there you have it, the first 5 WIP's that I will discuss from my ridiculous stash.  Have any of you made these?  Do you have any New Years Finishing Resolutions?  Leave a comment below!!

Guest Post: How To Teach Someone To Knit!

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Knitting has become very trendy recently, and if you are a dedicated knitter than you’ve probably been asked to teach a friend or family member to knit too. If like me you’ve been knitting since childhood, it can be hard to remember how you were taught to knit, purl, cast on and cast off, and therefore it can be even harder to work out how to pass these skills on to someone else. My daughter, who is almost eight, is desperate to learn the basics and we’ve been spending some wet afternoons in the school holidays trying to knit a scarf. There have been tears and tantrums along the way but we have picked up some hints and tips which will help anyone else tasked with teaching a beginner knitter.

Sit Behind Them!

It’s hard to explain what you do when you are knitting. If like me you get muddled between left and right sometimes, sitting facing someone and trying to explain what to do with yarn and needles is almost impossible. If you’re teaching a child, sit them on your lap and then you can put your hands over theirs on the needles and control exactly what is going on. For an adult, stand behind them and look over their shoulder and this will help you explain what they should be doing next.

Avoid the Kits

There are a huge range of kits on the market designed to help kids learn to knit and in my experience these are worse than useless. Most of the kits have needles which are like fence posts, and little fingers find it impossible to manipulate such thick needles. Many of the very cheap kits contain poor quality yarn which is not fun to work with and once the kit is made you are left with something you would never be seen dead wearing.


When teaching someone to knit, opt for slightly thicker needles such as 5.5mm or 6mm needles. I have found that using plastic or wooden needles is better than metal as they don’t seem to be so “slippy” and there are fewer dropped stitches. Standard straight needles are better for learners than circular needles; learners don’t need the added complication of trying to keep circular needles untangled. Don’t use needles which are too short or too long, stick to the average as these are most easily controlled.


If you are using thicker needles then it makes sense to use a slightly thicker yarn, something like a Robin, Wendy or King Cole chunky, an American “sportweight” yarn or even an aran weight yarn. Thin yarn can be used with thicker needles but this makes a very lacy type knitting and it also means the learner struggles to notice when they have dropped a stitch or made a mistake. Cast on around 25 stitches in your King Cole chunky or aran and get the learner knitting plain garter stitch backwards and forwards to make a scarf or something similar. Don’t be tempted to move on to more fancy things like stocking stitch or knitting two stitches together until they have completely mastered the basics.

Morag Peers is a keen knitter and the mother of three young children

Sneak Peek at a New Pattern...

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So every year I make sweaters for my kids.  I do it in March and have them ready in time for Easter.  This year, I chose pretty soft white yarn and wanted to do a knit.  Thus, this pattern was born.  I'm still putting the finishing touches on the pattern, doing some final testing on issues I had, but they'll be coming sometime in the next month as I finish up another pile of patterns!

Hope you like them!  I have patterns for 2T and 6T, though they are easily modified for those in between by using some simple measurements.   

Soft and Snuggly Cowl {Knitting Pattern}

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 Copyright 2010-2012 LiLu Studios: This Crafting Life, by Lori Steffens. {} Make it, Wear it, Love it, but above all, Share it, don't Sell it!

Soft and Snuggly Cowl
Light Weight yarn, I used Bamboo
5mm circular or dpns
Cast on 248, join in round
Place marker, remembering to slip marker at end of every round
R1: k around
R2-5: *k4, p4* around
R6: *YO, k2tog* around
R7: *k2tog, YO* around
R8-18: Repeat R6-7
R19-22: *k4, p4* around
R23: k around
Cast off, weave in ends.

I had never worked with bamboo yarn before, but I think it's one of my new favorite yarns!  It's super soft, cuddly and I wish I had made one of these for myself!  (now i might have to!!! lol)

Very special gloves for a very special lady

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If you can't tell, I'm all about gifts of the homemade variety.  I always try to make something special or unique that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere else and usually make it something that is unique to my gift receiver.  This year, I knit my very first pair of gloves.  I made them for my grandmother in-law who is one of the most wonderful women that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, let alone being able to call family.  Many years ago, she worked for a factory.  One day, she had the misfortune of the machine clamping down on her hand and cutting off the fingers of her right hand.  They went straight to the hospital, with her fingers, but were unable to reattach them.  Ever since, she has lived, and done quite well with just one good hand.  (She cross-stitches, and she's amazing at it- a true inspiration)  
On one of my visits to my husbands' hometown, I was testing out a knitting pattern, trying to see if I could get the hang of it.  I finished off one fingerless mitt (wasn't really happy with it, and to this day, this particular mitt is still sitting in the bottom of my "to-finish" stack).  Well she tried it on, and made an offhand comment that she hadn't ever had a properly made pair of gloves.  She couldn't wear gloves because they didn't fit her bad hand, and fingerless mitts left her cold.  
I took it upon myself to try and find a pretty pattern, and to work making a pair of gloves that would serve her needs.  I made the left hand just as the pattern described, which was hard enough itself, as this was the first time that I had ever made fingers.  It took weeks of putting it down, picking it up, getting frustrated, getting over it and putting it back down again before I was finally done.  
Then, I left it alone for about week, wondering if I would ever be finished with them.  Then in a sudden burst of inspiration, I started and finished the second glove, which turned out to be much easier because instead of fingers, all I had to do was keep knitting and then close off as if for a mitten.  It worked great. 
Overall, not my finest work, the fingers were a wee bit funky, and the cuffs did this weird thing, probably because I didn't do a garter stitch for long enough, but the reaction was all worth it.  She laughed and hugged me and tried them on many times for everyone to see.  It is this sort of gifting that makes all of my crazy labor over the year worth while.

Why don't you try finding one truly unique thing you can make for someone this year?  You might be surprised at how it makes you feel!