Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Red Scarf

Made this red scarf for the Orphan Foundation of America's Red Scarf Project. Managed to get it mailed in on time despite all the holiday craziness lately.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Baby Hats and Bright Colors

This week I made 2 baby hats for the Caps to Cape-Haitien project, which you can read about here.

As I was making these, I started thinking about color. Color is one of my favorite things about knitting. I love watching the way two colors come together as they grow away from the needle. And I love the way that colors in variegated yarn pool as the stitches accumulate.

But if you know me in person, you might not guess how much I love color. Oh sure, I wear lots of colors. But all of them are in the earth-tone family. My dress shirts are a little brighter. There are 6 of them hanging in my closet. Four are different shades of blue. The other two are the same shade of pink.

I think that's one reason why I like knitting for charity so much, and for kids in particular. I can use bright colors that I would never wear myself.

So if you see some yarn that calls to you but you can't think of how you would use it because it's not your usual taste, consider making something for one of the many charitable knitting or crocheting groups on Ravelry or anywhere else on the internet. 

Because we can all use a good excuse to buy more yarn.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Afghan Squares

Made these for the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. There's a lovely woman in my home state of Louisiana who assembles them into finished afghans, so this project couldn't be easier: just knit some 6x6 squares, don't even have to weave in the ends. 

If you're on Ravelry, check out the Afghans for Pine Ridge group. Great way to bust some stash while helping to keep people who live in a harsh climate warmer.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Dash Cloths

Can't stop making these little suckers. Here's a pic of a couple of them taken with my iPhone. I've said it before and I'll say it again: this pattern is perfect for Mason-Dixon fans, because it's like the love child of the Baby Genius Burp Cloth and the Ballband Dishcloth.

It's a good thing I have a place to donate all these, because seriously. Can't. Stop. Making. Them.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dash Cloth

This is my new favorite washcloth pattern. Found the pattern on Ravelry. If you're not on Ravelry (Why aren't you? Seriously. Check it out.), you can find it here.

I'm making 4 of these right now, knitting them like a chain smoker smokes: starting another color combo on another pair of needles before I've even finished the previous one. Every pair of #7 needles that I own have one of these puppies on 'em.

Good thing I make washcloths for charity. I'm not nuts for this pattern, I'm helping my fellow man. A lot. 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Extra Post: My Proudest FO

This is my buddy Chrissy. 

I helped her learn to knit.

She's finished lots of projects already, become a rockin' Raveler, and generally caught the knitting AND crochet bug.

Read all about her crafty accomplishments, which range far and wide beyond fiber, here.

If you love to knit, there's only one thing that I can promise you is even better: teaching someone to knit.

It's not hard. Mostly they will figure it out on their own. You just need to be there to encourage them, show them what to do one more time, and fix their knitting uh-ohs. All you need is patience and that special evangelical zeal to spread the craft that most knitters have anyway.

So teach somebody that you know how to knit, won't you?

Spread the love.

You won't be sorry you did.

Because before you know it, you'll have the very best FO of all:

A brand new knitter.

And a knitting buddy for life. 

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mini Stockings

This week I started knitting for Christmas. 

The mini stockings above were made to be sent to troops serving in Iraq. 

Read the original post asking for stockings/socks here. You may have to scroll down to find it.

I'm using this free pattern for mine, but posts on Ravelry say that any pattern or yarn is fine as long as the resulting sock is about 4 inches high.

These are a lot of fun to make, and they're really helping me get in the Christmas spirit.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Soda or Juice Sleeves

This week's off-screen unpleasantry: mouth surgery. (And no, it wasn't a bigmouthectomy, although many have diagnosed me with that condition.) Doctor's orders were to drink as many cold beverages as I could hold to keep the swelling down.

Problem is, it's a little cold these days in Beantown. Wrapping my sensitive typing hand around a cold can or bottle all day long for days on end wasn't the most appealing thought, so I did what any self-respecting crocheter would do.

I whipped up a cozy. Or two. Possibly six.

Couldn't be simpler. Just a few rows of single crochet with a couple of loop closures on the last row, and two beads to pull the loops over. Interestingly, the size, with a little stretching, seems to fit any size or shape of bottle.

I used beads to close mine, but buttons would work. It would be easy to work in stripes, and the gauge isn't that important because you can easily check the size as you go by holding it up to a bottle of your favorite beverage and adjust the size with a few more or less chains or rows.


Hook: Size H
Yarn: I used leftover worsted weight dishcloth cotton
Other: Large beads or small buttons, tapestry needle

  1. Ch 16.
  2. Sc in each chain across (15 sc), ch 1, turn.
  3. Repeat this row 32 more times (33 rows sc).
  4. On row 34, sc in first 3 stitches, chain 4, sc in next 9 stitches, chain 4, sc in last 3 stitches. This will create 2 loops evenly spaced across the edge.

Break off yarn and pull through last loop.

Attach a bead or buttons on the other edge (beginning of piece) in the 3rd stitch from each side.

Weave in all ends.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Casey's Cat Toys

I've been a slacker on the knitting blog. I know. It's been mentioned.

But rest assured, just because I haven't been here doesn't mean that I haven't been finishing any objects. Like these cat toys.

One of the life events that's been happening off-screen was the death of my cat, Casey. "Casey" was just a nickname. Her full given name was Killer Cat, shortened to K.C., then lengthened again to Casey to obscure her ill-behaved past in the shelter.

I'm not sure that she ever actually killed anything in her life, but she was so fierce at the shelter that the vet refused to administer her shots before she left. She wasn't immunized until a week later, when she was knocked out to be spayed. Soon after, she bit my ex so hard that a doctor visit was required (for the ex, not Casey). The shelter workers told us that her behavior problems likely stemmed from the fact that she had been born the runt of her litter and picked on by her siblings. (Casey, not my ex. Although...)

Casey mellowed after a few years in our otherwise pet-free and child-free home. She lived another 14 long and happy years.

I found these cat toys on Ravelry and decided to make some for a shelter like the one that Casey came from.  (There were supposed to be four of them, but SOMEONE distracted me and caused me to fubar the last one. You know who you are. And thanks again.)

I stuffed each one with a crinkly paper ball, one of Casey's favorite toys, and a couple of cotton balls each. Casey loved stuffed toys like this, things that she could bite into and strut around with like prey. The paper toy in the stuffing gives it a cat-pleasing crinkly sound, and hopefully it will mean that when the knitted part is quickly destroyed, there will be another toy inside to play with.

The cotton is also a tribute to Casey. In addition to those commercially available stuffed mouse toys that she favored, she also occasionally stalked whole herds of cotton long-tailed mice that she found hiding cleverly in a box under the bathroom sink. They may have tried to disguise themselves as something called "Tampax," but she was never fooled by this obvious ruse. 

She was a killer, after all.

Take a look at the picture of Casey taken shortly after she came home from the shelter. Despite her runty kitten body, she had giant bat ears and a tail longer than she was tall. I thought she looked more like a lemur than a kitten.

Rest in peace, Casey. You were a credit to your species. And to lemurs everywhere.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I started out the week planning to make several beanies for various groups that collect hats for kids and teenagers. A crocheted beanie might not be the warmest hat in the world, but in my experience, the warmest hat for a kid is the one that the little scamp will actually wear.

But then, as often happens, my ambitions met my reality, and I only managed to get one made.

In this case, reality intruded in the form of my rusty crochet skills. Once I managed to get going with the hook, I was in to it. Having fun. Hooking along. Hooking along so fast, in fact, that soon I was done, and only then did I notice that the hat I had just whipped out was sized for a baby doll.


So I started over and tried the next hook up the size chart. This time, the resulting beanie (pictured above) appeared human sized.

But I tried it on, and it's way too tight. Plus, it's too short.

Is it possible I need to use a hook 2 sizes larger than the teen-to-adult sized pattern calls for? 

I do tend to work tight, in both knitting and especially crochet. I suffer under the delusion that tight stitches are neat stitches. As far as I'm concerned, drape is expendable in the grim battle for a consistent and uniform fabric.

But...2 sizes?

I'll still send the resulting hat along--maybe it will fit some little tweener's bean.

And then I guess I'll be getting better acquainted with my size K hook.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tribble, Tawashi, Susemi

This week in my quest to outfit the kitchen with colorful bits of yarn, I discovered susemi (thanks to Raveler nikkislipp, read her post on the subject here), the Korean version of a Japanese tawashi, which is in turn the equivalent of an American dish scrubbie (represented above by the spiral-patterned "tribble").

Knitting sure does give a girl an international flair.

I'm not sure what this urge to knit for the kitchen is all about. The kitchen is not a room that I spend a lot of time in. In my small studio apartment, it's not even a room at all. It's a hallway between the bathroom and my living room/bedroom/office. I pass through a few times a day, occasionally stopping to grab a Diet Coke/Pepsi/Dr. Pepper, and/or (almost always "and," very rarely "or") a snack. Repeat this ritual several times and you have what passes for meals in my humble little home.

I think all this knitting for the kitchen comes from the realization that I want to do more in the kitchen.

Cooking isn't just about assembling ingredients and sticking them in the pot/oven/microwave for the correct amount of time. Cooking requires planning, shopping, preparing. And cooking creates dishes.

Dishes that have to be washed.

Hence the yarny bits. I'm hoping that they will motivate me to do more in the kitchen than just pass through.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I discovered tawashi while searching for washcloth patterns on Ravelry. I had never even heard of these things before, but I'm already hooked on making them. I love making washcloths, but I never use them. I prefer scrubbies and sponges. So tawashi (tawashis?) are perfect for me. I might actually use them instead of donating or gifting them, which is what I usually wind up doing with washcloths.

They also make great stashbusters, especially for that acrylic orange I keep finding more of in the back of the drawer... 

When it comes to knitting and crochet, I thought I knew it all. Then I got on Ravelry.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Ravelry?

Thursday, September 04, 2008


This week, I finished 3 washcloths for A Fresh Start, a volunteer knitting initiative started by Beth123b of the Peace Work group on Ravelry. Beth is collecting travel-size toiletries and handmade washcloths to be donated to a women's shelter in her area.

These were fun and easy to make. The hardest part was settling on a pattern. I discovered that I'm really fussy about the back of my work. I guess because I'm used to knitting in the round, where the wrong side of the work never shows. 

So, after starting several patterns that I didn't like, I settled on the Genius Baby Burp Cloth pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting. It makes a nice sensible garter stitch washcloth on one side and a fancier fabric on the other side. Perfect.

If you have some cotton in your stash that you need to bust, consider making a few washcloths for Beth's effort or call the women's shelter in your area and see if they could use some washcloths of their own.