Thursday, November 29

Whew, bazaar items delivered!

All the items I made for the Pet Refuge bazaar have been tagged, bagged, and delivered this morning. Here's a run down of what I finished. A lot of the patterns I used are my own and are available in my Ravelry store. The few online ones I used I've added links. Krysten and Silja were kind enough to give me permission to use their patterns to make items for the bazaar. Thanks so much!

9 Scarves (curly, eyelash, braided, and garter stitch)
16 Bracelet or hairband
6 Cotton baby bibs - Simple Baby Bib
1 Tote bag
1 Heart coaster (set of 3) Silja's Christmas Hearts
6 Kids crown
1 Round coasters (set of 3)
8 Bunny with fillable egg
11 Soap sacks with soap
9 Dish scrubbie sponge - Krysten's Cotton Dish sponges
3 Dino keychain
1 Round dish scrubbie - There are several patterns online for these. I loved the idea of these but found them to be a pain to make.

I asked Pet Refuge to let me know what sells well. I plan to make items throughout the year and put them aside for next year's bazaar. I still have a lot more ideas for small things I could make. I've run out of time for now. There are a lot of other things I need to get busy making.

I goofed up on my stole pattern so I ripped it back and started again. Since I'll be taking picture of it for the pattern, I want it to be correct. I hadn't chosen an edging pattern when I started knitting it before. So this time I knit the edging and picked up the stitches for the body of the stole. It looks great! It's slow progress though as lately I haven't had the free time and/or concentration to work on lace. I do have a friend busy test knitting it as well.

The stole will be called Promenade. After looking through every lace edging pattern in all the books I have plus everything online I could find, I ended up designing my own edging from scratch.

Saturday, November 24

Knit U list mom and a teaser

I don't know how many of you ever read the Knit U list on XRX's site (Knitter's Magazine). I heard this week that List Mom, Gail McHugh died on Friday, November 16 at the age of 60. I am saddened to hear about this. There is an obit in the Boston Globe and an online place where you can leave condolences. Here's the link. Another place you can leave your condolences online (and read the many already there) is at the Keefe Funeral Home website. Click on online condolences to find her name and where you can read or leave your condolences.

KnitU was the first knitting list I ever signed up for and my favorite for many years. In the past few years, they have had software and computer disasters that have made the group a shadow of its former self. Plus my Yahoo email address won't allow Knit U digests to get through. I've maintained an old email address I don't use anymore just to get them. Even that isn't working anymore. I wish they'd migrate Knit U to a Yahoo group so I can get my digests again.

Our weather finally reflects the calendar. Thanksgiving Day it started snowing on us as we drove the 45 minutes south to my brother's house for dinner. It snowed the entire time we were there and also all the way home. In fact, the closer we got to home, the harder it snowed. It was the fluffy, big flakes that can mount up quickly. I was glad to get home. Come Friday morning, everything was white outside. I wish I'd gotten a picture. Once the sun came out, puffs of snow came down in little plops from the trees. Speaking of which, we still have leaves on some of our trees. I can't remember ever having leaves on the trees this late in the year. Last night the temperature got down to 21 degrees. Brr! We turned on our wood pellet stove to keep our house cozy warm and I put a thick quilt on the bed.

I've filled my basket for the Pet Refuge bazaar. I have to tag everything and turn it in sometime this week. I won't be able to attend the bazaar as my fiber art group's Christmas party is the same day (December 8). I hope Pet Refuge makes lots of money to pay their bills from the items I'm dropping off.

The siren call of lace has sung my name for several weeks now. I finally surrendered. LOL! I'll tease you by telling you I'm working on a rectangular stole with a wide lace border on each end. It's charted and I'm in the process of knitting a prototype. Once all the details are worked out, I'll post it for sale. With all the work that goes into designing one of these, I have to charge something for the time and work I put into them.

Anyone have any recommendations for lace charting software, costs, recommendations, etc.? I'm looking for something that will handle more than my word processor can. Thanks!

Friday, November 16

Soap Sacks to crochet

My basket of bazaar items is getting fuller by the day. Here's what was on my crochet hook last night--soap sacks. I thought this would be another nice bazaar item. After looking at the free patterns on the web, I decided to create my own. Four of them flew off my hook very quickly. I certainly couldn't knit them that fast! Have fun!

Soap Sacks

This soap sack makes a great skin scrubber. When you’re done with it, hang it up by the cord to dry. All you need is 18 yards of worsted weight cotton yarn, a crochet hook, and less than 30 minutes. Slip in your favorite bar of soap and enjoy!

Finished size: 3" x 5" (It should fit a standard size bar of soap.)

Size H (5 mm) crochet hook
Large eye tapestry needle
Worsted weight cotton yarn (I used Sugar & Cream.)
16 yards for sack
2 yards for cord

This pattern is now available as a free download through my Ravelry pattern store.

Sunday, November 11

Round Coasters & Braided Scarf

My friend Chris stopped by yesterday to pick up some knitting needles I got for her at Sheep's Clothing. She also brought me 4 balls of Noro Silk Garden in trade for some of my handspun yarn. I'm very happy with the trade. :-) No plans for what I'll use it for. For now, it will go into my stash to age.

I still have bazaar on the brain. My plan is to fill a laundry basket with items (knit, crochet, sewn, etc.) before I quit. I don't know if I will reach that goal or not. Next year, I will make items all year for the bazaar so I have a stock ready to go.

Here are two more quick-and-easy patterns I came up with. I am equally at home with crochet or knitting. Sometimes crochet is faster and speed is what I need to get things knocked out.

The first pattern is a braided scarf knit from 3 colors of Caron Glimmer chenille yarn (or use any bulky weight yarn). Knit 3 garter stitch strips and braid them together, fastening them at the ends. If your strips aren't all exactly the same length, don't worry about it. You can ease the difference in as you braid. For variety, you could knit the strips all the same color or use only 2 colors. To make the scarf longer, use more yarn. I'm using up the yarn I have on hand.

The second pattern is a round crocheted coaster. It's a 3 rounds, fast-to-crochet coaster in any worsted weight cotton such as Sugar & Cream. One ball of yarn should make a lot of coasters. My starting instructions may be a bit unfamiliar to some. I don't start by making a circle. To save time and have a tighter center, I start by crocheting a chain the height of the first stitch. Then I work the first row in the first chain (the one farthest from your hook), and slip stitch to the top of the chain to join it into a circle. If your first stitch is too tight to accommodate all of the stitches you need, try making it a little looser the next time.

Please feel free to make as many of these items for gifts as you like or to donate finished items to a charity or charity fundraiser. Have fun!

Braided Scarf (makes 2)

3 balls Caron Glimmer
(49 yards each)
or a bulky weight yarn
US 10.5 (6.5 mm)
Yarn needle

Round Coasters

about 12 yards of cotton worsted weight yarn
Size H (5 mm) crochet hook
Yarn needle

Both patterns are now available as free downloads in my Ravelry pattern store.

Saturday, November 10

Another busy week

This week I've felt like a mouse running on a wheel and getting nowhere. :-)

I spent the first 3 days of the week charting and trouble shooting a pattern for a friend. This favor turned into way more work than I had expected.

I continue to work on items for the Pet Refuge bazaar. My goal is at least one item a day. Completed crowns, baby bibs, and scarves are all slowly piling up in my donation basket.

Thursday, I went to Valparaiso with my friend, Elizabeth, to visit Sheep's Clothing. Our normal just over an hour trip turned into a 2 hour tour fraught with inching and stalled traffic on the Toll Road. We decided to get off at the LaPorte exit (along with lots of other people), choosing to take other roads west to Michigan City where we got back on the Toll Road for the last leg of the trip since traffic was moving again. We hadn't a clue what the traffic delay was about but both us were unwilling to sit in stalled traffic when we could be moving. Arriving in Valparaiso, we found the main intersection torn up and redirected while they are installing a roundabout in it's place. What a mess! It took us some time to figure out where our road was detoured. Down that road we found more construction and had to detour yet again! We were beginning to suspect that we should have postponed our trip to another day. LOL! We finally arrived at the yarn shop and had to complete our shopping quickly to get home in time. I was wearing my Cascading Leaves shawl. I had hardly stepped foot in the shop before I was deluged with questions about my beautiful shawl. "Isn't it an Evelyn Clark Leaf Lace shawl?" they asked. "No," I replied, "it's my own design." (Though I'm sincerely flattered for my design to be mistaken for an Evelyn Clark!) I have learned to be prepared, so I whipped out a copy of my shawl pattern. Paula liked the pattern and asked for several copies to sell at the shop which I gladly supplied.

Elizabeth keeps asking me when I will design another lace pattern. I have several projects in mind but no time to work on them at the moment. Hopefully soon, as I'm beginning to get designer's itch again.

I now have one more book ticked off my wish list. Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller arrived in the mail this week. Woo-hoo! I finally found a used copy at a price much lower than it's normal $55 price tag. It's a beauty!

The kids crown pattern has been fixed. I apologize. Evidently, when I wrote up my late night scribbles I transposed a few things. I've taken care of the problem and written it out more clearly. There shouldn't be any problems with it. I've knit 2 more crowns from the pattern since I corrected it.

Some sad news on the yarn shop front. Cass Street Depot in Fort Wayne, Indiana has closed. I found out this week that the shop closed in mid-June. It was a very nice yarn shop. I am sorry to hear that it has gone out of business.

Sitemeter tells me that my blog gets a lot of visitors from the Triangle Shawl lists and my free patterns. I hope some of you take the time to read my ramblings too. Please post a comment once in a while so I know I'm not talking to myself. Thanks! :-)

Friday, November 9

Eyelash yarn scraps and a curly scarf

What do a a few yards of eyelash yarn, a pony tail elastic, and a crochet hook make? It's either a fuzzy hair band or a kid's bracelet. Take your pick. Whichever it is, a child should love it. LOL!


4-5 yards of eyelash or novelty yarn
pony tail elastic bands (double click on pic for a closer look)
Size H crochet hook

I'm working on more items for the bazaar. I finished knitting a baby bib in cotton yarn last night. Once I sew on a button it will be ready to go.


Both patterns are now available as free downloads through my Ravelry pattern store.

Monday, November 5

Kids Crown - free pattern

While playing with some scrap bulky yarn last night, I came up with this quick-to-knit item. Instead of a cardboard crown that some fast food restaurants hand out, knit this one for your kids. (I tried to get one of my cats to model but they didn't care for the idea. I had to settle for a cone of yarn. LOL!)

This crown should stretch to 18" and fit most kids heads. Check that it will stretch enough before you bind off. You can easily make it bigger by knitting one extra point repeat. Try attaching a few beads at the points for a little extra bling.


Bulky yarn or doubled worsted weight
Size 10 (6 mm) or 10.5 (7 mm) needles

About 15-20 yards of yarn

Free pattern is available in my Ravelry pattern store.

Sunday, November 4

Two free coaster patterns

Our local Pet Refuge Holiday Bazaar is coming up on December 8. I do what I can to support this no-kill animal shelter that relies on volunteers and donations to keep running. I'm working on items to donate for their bazaar. Last year, I donated my cat toys and a bunch of pet beds I had sewn from polar fleece fabric. This year I thought I'd add some people gifts to the pet things I usually make. I went looking for small gift items that could be made quick and easy. I found a few likely candidates. Mostly I got a lot of ideas for things I could make.

Here are two coaster patterns I came up with last night. Both are quick and easy to knit and only take scrap amounts of cotton yarn (like Sugar & Creme). They could be put in a basket and sold individually or 3 or 4 tied up in a stack with a bit of ribbon (or colorful bits of yarn). The Basketweave is a very simple knit. There are only 2 patterns rows. One is repeated 4 times and then the other is repeated 4 times, alternating as you go. It's reversible. The Square in a Square is a little more complex. The right side is textured and it is not reversible.

Feel free to knit these coasters as gifts or to donate to fundraisers for charitable organizations.

Size 7 needles (4.5 mm)
cotton worsted weight yarn (like Sugar & Creme)
about 13 yards

Size 7 needles (4.5 mm)
cotton worsted weight yarn (like Sugar & Creme)
about 12 yards

Finished size: 3.75" x 3.75"

Free patterns are available through my Ravelry pattern store.