Monday, January 25, 2010

Scarf city

On Friday I finished the scarf from the previous post and gave it to my coworker, who was delighted with it. It looked just right on him. Another coworker who was in the room was taken with the scarf as soon as he saw it. He ordered one from me just like it on the spot! Pretty neat. Then as I was walking out of the building that day I was telling someone else about how I made scarves and he ordered one too! This is so cool! I expect ot have them all ready by the end of the week, if not by Monday.

When I went to the craft store to purchase the yarn on Saturday, a woman asked my opinion regarding the color of a scarf she was making for her son. I told her how I had made the one I was wearing and the projects I was buying my yarn for. We had a nice little chat. She put the yarn that I suggested in her basket, and we both went our separate ways.

Today I revised a list of knitting projects that will keep me busy throughout the rest of this year. I look forward to posting them here and sharing them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scarf almost done

I'm nearly done with the scarf someone asked me to make for them. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease thick & quick navy and black yarn. They don't call it thick & quick for nothing! I got this far in just 7 hours using the pink loom! It's neat when you can see progress that quickly. For some reason, when people see my personal scarf which I made extra long, they want theirs long too. This scarf will be about 6 feet long when I'm done. I love long scarves.

At first I wasn't sure the combination of navy and black would contrast enough, but it looks fine. From across the room you probably can't see the different right away. Anyway, those are the colors he wanted.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New scarf order

I just received an order today for a scarf! I'm pretty excited about it because scarves are fun to make and it's nice to know that something you made is helping keep someone warm. In the meantime, I am continuing to make yarn roses and hope to make some neat things using them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Scarf update

The person I sold the scarf I knitted a few days ago got back to me and said their son was delighted with his new scarf! He kept raving about it. That makes me feel good, to know that I was a part of making a special gift for someone, and knowing that they are wearing it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Rosy Pillow

The rose pillow is done but I kept looking at it, thinking it still needed a little SOMETHING... but I decided to leave it alone and live with it for awhile. I didn't want to overdo it. If it still bothered me later or told me it needed something more, I'd add it.

But later on today when I showed it to a friend, he asked me instictively if I was going to add something in the space where I thought it needed something more. To me that was confirmation. I needed to add something, but what? He suggested grass, which I immediately pictured in my head, but that didn't seem like the "it" I was looking for. I had originally thought of adding an extra rose petal, as if it had fallen from the rose, but that seemed to add a bittersweet aspect to it that I wasn't looking to add.

Then I thought, "How about a rosebud?" That would seem easy enough. I just made a long I-cord (on 2 pegs of the pink loom) for the green stem, made a short green I-cord and sewed it together so it looked somewhat like a leaf just coming in. For the rosebud I made a red I-cord, folded and pinched it into a shape that looked rosebud-like, and sewed it together. I had made a short green I-cord before, in case I needed to add more leaves, so I sewed it onto the rosebud and then sewed the rosebud onto the green stem.

By this time I had already stuffed and sewn the pillow closed, so I had to carefully sew the stem and rosebud onto the pillow. I really like the results:

The rosebud was just what that empty area needed.

Here is the back:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My heart, my heart

I was playing around trying to figure out how to knit a heart on the pink loom. There's probably an easier way, but I used two skeins of the Red Heart red yarn. I did two separate drawstring COs, knit a few rows and increased one peg, knit a few rows then joined the yarn and knit the rest of the body, decreasing slowly as I went down until I was finished. I stuffed it when it was nearly done. To make the i-cord, I knit a few rows of the Red Heart white yarn as a flat panel on both sides of the loom, using an extra peg in the hole at one end. Then I started at the upper end of th eloom to knit an I-cord, which I bound off by placing the yarn loop from the left peg onto the next peg on the right and knitted it off, starting the process over again until I got all the way to the end. Then I sewed the I-cord onto the edge of the heart, and voila!

It took me about 6-7 hours from start to finish, the creating of the I-cord taking the longest. Plus I used a 1 over 1 stitch for the heart, and found that after I stuffed it I needed to knit some extra yarn over some of the "bare" spots. It isn't the usual "perfect" shaped heart, and I like it for that reason.

A rose in progress

I wasn't satisfied with how my flower had come out. I felt it needed SOMETHING... So I knitted a couple of flat panels using the Red Heart red on 6 pegs of the pink loom, and it made the flower turn into a rose!

I am still sewing the rose onto the pillow I knitted using Red Heart white yarn on the yellow loom. It took about 8-10 hours to knit the pillow, 1 over 2. I haven't decided how I want to finish it after I stuff it. Should I put lace around it? Should I just make red and white tassels for the corners? Should I attach an I-cord around the whole thing? Decisions, decisions... I should be done with it tomorrow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A rose by any other name....

Here is my first loom flower!

I used Red Heart red and green yarn and the pink straight loom to make it, and it took me about 3-4 hours after trial and error. Next time I think I will make the "rose" part bigger.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New scarf

I'm knitting a scarf for a paying customer; boy, it feels good to say that! I expect to have it done tomorrow and give it to her tomorrow. Scarves are probably the easiest thing to make, and this one is no exception. I love seeing how quickly they progress. She already saw the part I knitted so far and is anxious to have it completed. Do you need a scarf too? Let me know!

Mom's hat

I forgot to mention that I made a hat for my Mom for Christmas, using Lion Brand Homespun Saffron and Wild Fire, on the round green loom. It came out nice and she liked it too! At first I wasn't sure about the combination of the two colors, since they were so similar, but it worked.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Loom Dude !!

Now one of my friends is also loom knitting too, and he completed his first scarf in just two days! I was so proud of him!

It was neat to see him sitting there with me, loom knitting, and chatting with the other fellas about sports. He was also thinking about other projects to do before he even finished his first one! Knitting is contagious, and it's easy and fun for everyone.

My First Sweater...

And now, the undertaking of my most ambitious project yet: a sweater for my daughter. I thought I was going to make one for my wife first, but I figured it would be "easier" to make one for my daughter instead. I did a little research online to see if I could find a pattern using the loom. I wasn't too excited by what I saw. Either it wasn't the style I was looking for, or they used a knitting board instead of a loom, or I had trouble with the directions. I also had a book that had a pattern in it, but to me the instructions weren't worded very well and I couldn't quite follow what they were. The picture in the book focused more on the cute girl wearing the sweater more than what the sweater actually looked like.

So I decided to go out on a limb and just MAKE UP my own sweater pattern! I figured, how hard could it be? (Famous last words.) I wound up trying to make the sweater three times, due to trial and error.

Trial # 1: My daughter and I went to the store and I let her pick out the yarn. Mistake. She picked it for the color (blue) and not the kind of yarn it was, but I bought it anyway and tried it out. I decided to add white to it for contrast. Both are Red Heart brand. I planned to add a zipper to the front. I used the Knifty Knitter Yellow straight loom to make this panel:

I figured this was going to be my "Wow" piece, so I made it with as many kinds of stitches that I knew: flat panels for the bottom and alternating ribbed stitches for the blue. Though I liked the results, it didn’t quite fit her, and it was terribly thick. I had knitted it two over four and it was not flexible at all (not to mention it took forever to knit). When I put it against her to check the size, I knew I would be better off starting over, so I unraveled it all and started again.

Trial # 2: I decided to use the green round loom to make the sweater this time, using the same yarn. I made quick progress, leaving the front part open to add the zipper. I knitted as far as where the arms should be in just one day! But when I got to that part, it was a puzzlement. How do I cut the yarn and continue three separate sections on the loom? I entertained the idea of using three separate balls of yarn and knitting each, but that soon became a wearisome idea. I decided to quit for the day, and try it on my daughter for size. What I hadn’t counted on was that the knitted panel would not be the same size as the loom once I knitted it off; it would be tighter. I had tested it beforehand, pulling the loom up over her body and it fit. But it didn’t fit her. I unraveled it and started again. All this unraveling didn’t bother me too much, since it was all an experiment. But this next time I decided to try a different, thicker, softer yarn.

Trial #3: I bought Lion Brand Hometown USA Charlotte Blue and Los Angeles Tan yarn and used them to knit the sweater on the round yellow loom. I had taken all the necessary measurements, so I had high hopes for success this time. As I knitted it I could see it would be just about an inch or two too small, so I decided to knit some extra panels to accommodate for that. And I figured out a good way to knit the arm holes. I measured where the arm should be from the front of the sweater, and took the yarn off that peg. I tied a bit of white yarn through the loop so it wouldn’t unravel. Then I knitted what would be the front right hand side of the sweater, counting the rows until I had knitted what I needed. I continued in this way for the other two sections until all the sections were done. Then I just knit across the whole loom again until I was finished with the top. Voila! Arm holes! And best of all, IT FIT HER! This is the inside of the sweater:

And the outside:

Trial # 4: I knit the arms separately on the pink straight loom. Unfortunately the blue and tan yarn together were so tight that I would up breaking one of the pegs! After I was able to get the broken piece out of the loom and replace the peg, I continued. I made sure to decrease at intervals by two pegs to account for the shape of the sleeve.

Trial #5: I had already purchased a zipper for the sweater. But during the process I had decided that the zipper was not the way I wanted to go anymore; I wanted her to have buttons. So we went to the store and I let her pick out buttons, guiding her as to which ones would probably work best. Now: how to attach them? And since I didn’t put button holes, now what? I decided to make “latches” instead. Using the LA tan yarn, the round blue loom, and using a drawstring cast on, I knit about 8 rows, pulled the drawstring and bound off. Then I braided some yarn that was big enough for the button to go through, but it would be snug. Then I sewed the two pieces together and sewed them onto the sweater. Almost done!

Trial #6: Since I haven’t learned how to decrease on the round loom yet, I knew the shoulder area was going to be a problem. So I decided to knit a collar to compensate for that. I knit the collar on the yellow round loom and attached it to the top, and that helped it. Then I sewed part of the shoulder on an angle so it would cover her shoulders better. I still have a little bit left to do, and I still have to finish cutting all the loose yarn, but for all purposes, the sweater is DONE! Yay!

All told, it took about 25-30 hours to complete, and I used 6 skeins of the charlotte blue yarn. I still could use another one to “touch up” a few areas, but wow! I made a sweater! And it fit! And my daughter loves it! And I just winged the pattern! Next time I will find a pattern I like and follow that instead, but it did give me a sense of creating something totally on my own.

Mini Christmas stockings

Last but not least, I made some mini Christmas stockings from the red and white yarn I had left.

I made them as giveaways, and to help me practice making the heel part of the stockings. They were fun and easy to make, and barely took an hour each (if that). They measure about 6" in height, but I forgot to measure them so it's just an educated guess.

A new scarf for my sweetie

I made another scarf for my wife this year for Christmas. This time I chose Lion Brand Hometown USA Cleveland Brown and Los Angeles Tan Super Bulky yarn. It took me about 8 hours to make the scarf, partly because I used 3 different kinds of stitches to make it. I used a regular stitch for the white part, then for the brown I used a ribbed stitch.

But once I got to the center of the scarf, I used an alternated ribbed stitch, just to add interest. It's hard to see it in the picture.

She loved it!

Christmas bulb ornaments!

For years I have had some clear glass bulb ornaments lying around, buried in a box, in hopes that one year I would get creative and make something out of them. Well I finally did it. I used the Knifty Knitter spool loom to create some wreaths, decorated them, and carefully inserted them inside the bulbs! For each one, I used Lion Brand Holiday Homespun green and red, and some wire ribbon I had at home.

For the first one, I inserted the wreath inside the bulb and then knit the ends together once it was inside.

But this was a little bit too tricky to repeat over and over, so for the next ones I just knit them together first, decorated them, and then inserted them inside the bulbs. I don't have a picture of the very first one because these bulbs are hard to photograph, and the picture I took really didn't come out that well.

This one has a small rose on it that I had lying around from some Valentine's project. I didn't make it.

Some of my coworkers saw me knitting and creating these bulbs, and even though they saw how I got them in there, they still marveled at them when they were completed. The people who received them as gifts were amazed and excited by them as well.

But below is my favorite one: the Christmas tree!

I made a poinsettia a while back, so I just used the same technique that I had learned to make the poinsettia leaves to make the Christmas tree. I already had some miniature Christmas presents among the Christmas decorations at home, so I just used them and glued them and the tree inside the bulb. The tree only took about an hour to make, including decorating both sides. I tied the red ribbons myself! No small feat. But voila! What results! I would still have it if someone hadn’t bought it! Not that I’m mad about THAT! And they loved it. The person's wife said it was too good to hang on the tree, that it was heirloom quality. What a compliment!

You're an angel!

Here's my little angel that I made based on the pattern I got from (her 11/6/09 post)

Here's the back of it:

It didn't take long to make at all! Just about 2-3 hours (once you make an assemble all the parts). I take my time knitting anyway. I used Bernat Baby Coordinates Natural White for the yarn. I didn't have any gold rings for the halo, so I just used a sparkly gold pipe cleaner instead. I think that sets it off nicely.
For the arms: I didn't like the way it looked with just one I-cord for the arms. To me it was just too thin-looking. So I sewed the one I-cord together side by side to make one arm, and did the same for the second arm. This made the arms more like arms in clothing to me.

Then once I assembled it with the wings, I felt it just needed a little SOMETHING. So I made a rose using lion brand homespun holly red. I knitted an I cord and curled it around until it looked rose-like to me, and then carefully sewed it together in that position. For the stem I simply took lion brang homespun holiday green and made a tight braid out of three strands of it. It came out nice, don't you think?

What's even nicer is that someone bought it, and asked me to make another one just like it! Here it is below:
As you can see I used a different green yarn for the stem on this rose, because I ran out of the holiday green that I had used for the first one.

Christmas stocking

After I finished my first Christmas stocking, I decided that it looked great, but it looked bland. It needed that extra SOMETHING. So I figured I'd use one of our Christmas decorations to jazz it up:

I took this picture before I sewed it onto the front of the stocking. It looked great, and made that Christmassy jingle bell sound once it was done! In all, the stocking took me about 4 hours to complete. Creating the heel was the challenging part. I was originally going to use white for the trim at the top but didn't have any; just the green. I think I like it with the green better anyway. It turns out that a friend had watched me knit the stocking and had felt the same way about it: it looked nice; but once I added the bells, that made it SING. He liked it so much that he bought it from me!

It's 2010!

Hi all! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!!! It has been a while since I last posted, and a LOT has happened since then, so I will catch you up in the following series of postings.