Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 1, 2017

Week 1 is always a short week in my 40 in 40 challenge, as it starts on Wednesday and therefore only 4 projects need to be made.  This year I am attempting to only use stash yarn for my projects. While I have a large stash, this still makes choosing patterns a bit difficult for me.

I tend to bookmark patterns all year that I come across for baby hats.  Then, every week I select my patterns for the week, and lastly I check to see if I have the right yarn.....In the past, if I didn't then I got had to make a trip to purchase some new yarn.  This year I will have to select a different pattern.....sigh.....

But that wasn't a problem this week.  All 4 hats use worsted weight yarn.  So let me show you what I chose.

My first two hats come from the same pattern, the 2 Hearts Newborn Hat designed by Kelly Forster.  You can find the pattern free on Ravelry.  The first is made using knit and purl stitches to cause the heart to "pop out" of the hat.  The pattern calls for an i-cord at the top of the hat that I chose to leave off.  I worked this in Hobby Lobby's Crafter's Secret yarn in Nosegay. 

The second is my first ever attempt at fair isle knitting.  I have to admit that my go around I left LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG threads between the heart patterns (floats) without tacking them which looked really sloppy and messy on the inside.  So I frogged (rip-it,  rip-it, rip-it  go ahead and say it out loud and you will understand why I call it that!)  it and started over.  In hind sight, I might have done better to simply do this in intarsia (which I have never done before either!).  Still I really like the finished project.  This was worked in the Crafter's Secret yarn in Nosegay and in Red Heart Super Savers in Amythest.

I changed the decreases on the second hat from the written instructions.  The hat I worked in Nosegay had a k2tog at the beginning and end of each dpn.  On my second hat I worked a k2tog at the beginning of each dpn and a ssk at the end of each needle.  You can see the difference below:

k2tog at the begiining and end
k2tog at the beginning and ssk at the end

Ella Bonnet

My third hat for the week was the preemie size Ella bonnet designed by Allison Booker, also available on Ravelry as a free download.  Unfortunately, I misread the materials needed and mine came out a bit different than the designer intended.  The pattern calls for 8 mm needles, which I mistakenly read as size 8 needles, which yielded a much different fabric!  Still I like the outcome, even if it is a bit more open.  And in my defense, I had spent the day shopping and setting up for an American Heritage Girls lock in and was actually working on this hat in the dark while the girls were watching a movie!  I used Simply Soft yarn in off white for this project.  I then worked a 2 stitch i-cord for about 10 inches, attached it to one side of the bonnet and used a G hook to sc around to the other side.  I worked a 2nd 2 stitch i-cord, attached it to this side and the sc around the remaining portion of the hat.

My final hat for week 1 I wanted something quick with a simple, repeating pattern to follow since I hadn't slept much the night before.  Myshelle Cole's pattern, Noah, to the rescue!
Also worked with Simply Soft, this pattern uses a technique I had never done before.  The 2nd hdc is worked around the post of the previous hdc - not the hdc of the previous row, but the one one just worked on the same row.  It gives a unique open weave design.  The entire hat is worked in sc and hdc.  And if you decide to give the pattern a try, be sure to look around her website as she has many other preemie patterns available as well.

So that is what was on my hook and needles this week.  What was on yours?

Until next time,

Thursday, February 23, 2017

40 in 40 2017

 There is less than a week until this year's 40 hats in 40 days challenge!  I can't believe that this is my 5th year doing this challenge.  My first post was WAAAYYYYY back in 2012.  For those of you who are new to this, I'll give you the run down.

During the season of Lent I make an extra effort to give back to others by creating a hat a day (except Sundays) for babies.  These hats are then donated to God's Tiny Angels, a local charity that collects hand crafted items for preemies and newborns and distributes them to hospitals all over the country. 

I try to use only free patterns available on the internet and I share them every week with you, here on my blog.  And I invite you to participate with me.  If you are already a member of Ravelry you can join the challenge board here.  If you aren't a member yet, I encourage you to join.  It is free and is a great source for patterns (free and for sale) advice, camaraderie, and assistance.  I have never found a group like it any where else.  And if you have been with me through the years you know that a LOT of my hat patterns come from the wonderful designers on Ravelry.

So dust off your hooks and needles and shop for your yarn....

Until next time,

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Off the hook....and needles

It has been so long since I have posted that I think my fingers are a bit rusty!  LOL  My first grandchild came to live with us about a year ago, which made me realize that I am not as young as I used to be!  We had to do some adjusting to our home school schedule and I had to do some adjusting to my sleep schedule and crafting fell to the wayside for quite some time.

 Now, however, I think I have found a "groove" for us and my fingers had been itching to pick up a hook or set of needles so before Christmas I managed to make a hat for 2 of my kids and one for my grandchild as well as a mermaid tail blanket.  I had forgotten what a great feeling it is when I complete those final stitches on a project!  So here is a peak at what I accomplished.

It isn't a great picture, but I hadn't really been thinking about sharing online when I was taking Christmas photos, so this is the best I got.  I was able to work it up in about a day.  I made it a few rounds longer since my son enjoys "slouchy" hats.  You can find the pattern, Bankhead, as a free Ravelry download here.

This was a fun knit project.It is called the Etta, also a free download from Ravelry.  Another horrible picture, I know.  It is knit on size 6 needles, and I used a Simply Soft yarn in brown.  I thought the finished fabric wasn't as fluid as I would have liked, but she loved it, and considering she has several brown outfits and hadn't a single brown hat, I think this worked out quite well for her!

I have to admit that this was my favorite hat this year.  I saw it on Pinterest and fell in love.  It isn't a free pattern so I spent several days searching for something similar that was free with no success.  So I broke down and purchased it.  It is called the Chouette and is also available on Ravelry.  The pattern calls for a chunky weight yarn, but I just held two strands of  Red Heart yarn together throughout.  I didn't get around to adding the button eyes before Christmas though.  This is definitely a warm hat!

This was my big project this Christmas season.  My oldest saw these all over social media and requested it for Christmas.  This one is crocheted and used 6 skeins of yarn (2 of each color).  If you can work a dc you can make this.  The designer even did a YouTube video for those who struggle with written directions!  It is a freebie also and can be found here.

My current projects include adding crochet edgings to fleece blankets that will be donated to a local foster care group and a knit shawl.  Oh how I have missed crafting!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Project OCC 2016

I am sure some of you are familiar with my yearly 40 Hats in 40 days project during Lent in which I make a hat a day to donate to God's Tiny Angels for newborn and preemies.   And while my hook and needle are in use frequently for the rest of the year, I also have a special Fall project that I work on as well for Samaritan's Purse - Operation Christmas Child.

For those of you unfamiliar with Operation Christmas Child, it is a yearly outreach from Samaritan's Purse in which you and I can pack a shoebox full of supplies and gifts for children around the world.  Samaritan's Purse collects the packed shoeboxes and then arranges the distribution.  Long before we even think about packing a shoebox, though, they have gone to the distribution areas and worked with the local pastors to prepare.  You see, the children who receive these shoeboxes not only get what may be the ONLY gift they ever receive, but they are told about the most awesome gift the world EVER received, Jesus.  Many are given the opportunity to participate in 12 week Bible study, free of charge, so that they can learn more.  These shoeboxes open the door to let children feel loved and valued so that they can understand just how much the King loves and values them as well.  It is a ministry that is close to my heart.

Every year I try to ensure that each shoebox my family packs contains at least 1 hand-made item.  As I make each item I pray for the child that will be receiving to to have an open heart to the message they will hear, to feel the love of our Creator, and to know that they are cared for.  In years past I have made hats, dolls, and scarfs.  This year my 8 year old made plastic canvas crosses and hearts to put in each shoebox.
Plastic Canvas crosses and heart
This year I chose to make a wash cloth for each shoebox and wanted to share a few of the patterns that I used.  Wash cloths are a great project for beginner knitter and crocheters since they are small and you get to that satisfying completion much quicker.  And I am currently eyeing an entrelac pattern since I have never done entrelac before and feel a little less intimidated by the smaller project size.  With wash cloths it is important to remember to use a cotton or other absorbent yarn.  Acrylic is definitely not your friend on projects like this!

The first was a neat corner to corner pattern, which I had never done when knitting before.  It is called the Diagonal Knit Dishcloth, which is only available as a Ravelry free PDF download.  (Don't worry, membership is free too!)  It was a neat little project which admittedly would have looked better in a solid color yarn, but this is what Mr. Sunflowers bought for me when he found a cone of it on sale.  The pattern was easy to follow and once I got the hang of it it worked up really quickly.  I like the contrast between the middle section and the rest of the cloth.

Tomorrow I will share with you my own design born from the need for a washcloth made from a limited supply of yarn....

Until next time,

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