Thursday, July 30, 2015

Updates and Classes

Hi all,

So much has happened in life.  Here is the brief run down of things not pertaining to knitting and crocheting.  

  • In mid-June, my new day job boss arrived as the old one left. 
  • In mid-May, one of my sisters in law was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of breast cancer.  
  • In mid-July, our church had its festival.  I co chair the whole thing.   My co chair and I work to be the face of the festival as needed, solve problems and hand out prizes.
  • In mid-July, I went to 2 baby showers.  Each one got a hand made gift.  Pictures will be below.
  • Two days after the festival my sister in law passed away.  I would like to think she waited for the family that is involved in this venture to be free, but I know better.
  • Yesterday we had a new addition to the family a few weeks early.  Miss Emma Catherine was born.
The only thing I can think of in those 10 weeks of time that had anything to do with knitting and crocheting were the times I sat in waiting rooms and meetings and worked on class samples.

Now onto class information.  Here is the schedule as I see it.

For crochet classes here is what is left of the schedule I posted in April:


Beginner Crochet 1                         August 3
Crochet Ornament Class                 August 4
Beginner Crochet 2                         August 17
Crochet Sweater (Back)                 August 18
Beginner Crochet 1                         August 31
Crochet Sweater [Front(s)]        September 1
Granny Square 2                       September 14
Crochet Sweater (Sleeves)         September 15
Solomon’s Knot                          September 28
Crochet Sweater Joining/finishing      September 29

For knit classes here is what is left of the schedule I posted in April:
Beginner Knit 1                                 August 6
Knit Ornaments                                August 7
Knit Beginner 2                                 August 20
Knit Sweater (Back)                         August 21
Beginner Knit 1                            September 3
Knit Sweater (Fronts)                 September 4
Cables 1                                      September 17
Knit Sweater (Sleeves)              September 18
Entrelac 1 (Basic)                             October 1
Knit Sweater (Joining/finishing)    October 2
For kids classes here is what I had planned:  
Kid Weaving                                                   August 8
Kid Knit 2                                                      August 22
Kid Crochet 3                                        September 19

Remember the kids classes will be held at the Lebanon Library on Saturday mornings.  Adult classes will be either in my home or your home (one student or a group that knows each other) or the Lebanon Library.  Email me and I will send a syllabus that has directions to the class location unless something else is arranged.  Payment is made at class.

Warm Up America will be starting every other Sunday afternoon on August 30.  I think there are still afghan blocks at Michaels to be joined.  However, with everything that has been going on, I have not kept up with that as I had wanted.  I need more hours in my day sometimes or less things to do.  I keep hoping for more hours personally.  If there are no blocks at Michaels to join, feel free to drop more off either at Michaels or my home.  I will have a collection box that is water proof on my porch.  I will check and make a post about Michaels.

Please note that for the sweater classes, you can use a pattern you want to learn or I will have an easy one that is fairly quick to complete and in a basic style.  I know that we all have busy schedules.  We will be discussing different types of sweaters and how things are shaped and why as well as getting started with each part at the classes.

And now for the promised pictures.

Baby shower 1 was the Saturday before the festival.  Mother to be received a sweater.  Yes you can faintly see blue bunnies in the yoke.  Yes I added black beads for the eyes and brown beads for the noses.  No I don't think this is an issue.  Newborns don't typically eat their clothes.  This is sized for a newborn to 3 month size, depending on the baby of course.  


Baby shower 2 was the day after the festival ended due to the hostess' work schedule being changed.  Yes I made it.  Yes the gift was finished.  The finishing took place as I waited for one of the last people to take things from the festival, our flea market clean up guy.  Mother to be received a dress.  Yes I hung it from the rear view mirror for the photo.  It is sized 3 - 6 month again depending on the baby.  There was also a blanket but in all the commotion, it was misplaced.  My daughter in law found it over the weekend.  Thanks honey.  Now all I have to do is wrap it and deliver it.

Baby shower 3 I won't make.  It will be this weekend and I have nothing started, nothing planned, no enthusiasm to go.  This is a happy time and I don't want to be a downer.  I will think of something unique and give it when the baby is born.  Yes I will post a picture.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Knitting and crocheting, aka Getting Ready for the Holidays

Summer knitting and crocheting

Once the flip flops and beach apparel have been created, it’s still too hot to knit or crochet large items.   It's also probably too hot to think too hard for patterns.  Quick and simple to complete projects are great.  Now is the time to think of what you might want to gift to co workers for the upcoming holidays.  Now is the time to think of what you might want to craft for your decorations.

I offer the following ideas.  All are small and won’t make you much hotter.
1.       Decorations for a specific holiday or year round appeal.
          a.      Crochet wreaths
          b.      Snowflakes
          c.      Holly leaves, knit or crochet
          d.      Nativity figures
          e.      Mini mittens, hats, sweaters, socks
          f.       Ice skates
               g.      Easter Eggs
          h.      Butterflies
          I.       Acorns
          j.        Pinecones
          k.       Autumn leaves
          l.        flowers
2.       Amigurumi Christmas animals and people
3.       Hats mittens, cowls, mitts, socks
4.       mug rugs, mug hugs (keeps a  hot cup hot longer or cold drinks cold longer, depending.  The rug will also keep the sweat from running down to stain the tables or the heat from leaving a mark.)

All of the above ideas are available in knit or crochet ideas.  Patterns are available all over the internet.  Search for the item, either knit or crochet and free pattern.  You will be amazed at what you find.

I wrote this before the summer was much of a thought.  Summer was a hope at the end of the winter that never seemed to want to end.  At I type this update, today's high temperature was 80.  Yesterday it didn't make it above 74.  This is the end of June.  For the past 30 years or so, it gets HOT, as in 90+, and is very dry at this time of year.  So far we have had a very wet late spring and early summer.  I'm not minding the larger projects yet.  But be assured, these ideas will be needed soon.  I think.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Babies Part 2

After realizing that I had issues following the directions for the baby surprise jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann, I ripped it out. The directions have a resting row every other row.  I didn't see that part and did all the action every row.  Had I continued with the way I was going, I would have ended up with a very short wide sweater that would fit no one or some poor baby who had a really oddly shaped body.  So into the frog pond I jumped.  Rip it, Rip it, Rip it.

Over the years I have learned to not be precious about my work.  It is only sticks and string or a stick and string, depending.  When I create clothing or household items, I fully expect them to be destroyed over time.  Well, the household items at least.  I try to take care of the clothes so they last, but I don't go overboard.  I still go barefoot, or sock foot in winter.  This tends to wear out the soles but at my age (I'm old enough to not want to change) I can decide to wear shoes in the house or not.  I can decide whether or not to let my dog and cat sleep on an afghan I created.  But back to the baby conundrum.

I found a baby sweater 20 years ago called the 5 hour baby sweater on the fiber gypsy website.  See 5 hour baby sweater here.  This has been my go to when brain cells fail to find something else or I run short on time.  I have done it very plain for boys, very lacy for girls, as written for both genders in a variety of colors both solids and variegateds and even a couple of tonals.  Right now, I'm working it without the eyelets at the neckline in an acrylic (I do short stints with cotton gloves as I have a sensitivity to synthetic fibers) in the color carousel print with blue bunnies at the neck and the waist.  Carousel print is a rainbow with white that is barely there colors.  It's the kind of pastel that makes you wonder at times if there is actually color there.  My mother would have loved it.  The blue is a sky blue color.  The bunnies are being done fair isle and are my own design.  

The baby sweater has matching bonnet, booties, and a hood variant.  Links to these are on the page for the sweater directions.  

For my nephew's baby girl, I'm not really sure what I will do.  Possibly she will get a bsj now that I know what I did wrong.  I have highlighted the book to show that this resting row is there.  

What do you do for new babies of your acquaintance?  Do you have favorites or go to patterns that fit the bill most of the time?  Share the name of the pattern and book or website.  


Monday, June 22, 2015

Babies, Babies and more Babies

It seems like everyone is having babies or just had a baby.  I love to knit and crochet for babies.  Why??  Simple.  Babies don't complain if you dress them up in silly hats or outfits.  Babies don't hold definite opinions about colors.  They are small people therefore their clothes are small and quick to finish.  Everyone OOOhs and AAAhs over anything made for a baby.  

How do I know babies don't complain?  I have not ever seen a baby fuss (unless it's the 15th outfit you put on him or her in the span of 2 hours) about what they are wearing.  People usually smile and talk in pleasant voices when dressing a baby in something made especially for them.  This makes the baby feel loved and secure and they are happy.  Now I won't speak for the kid at age 17 when you whip out the baby pictures at a family gathering and play the remember when game.  

So all this to say a friend is going to become a grandma soon and a nephew will be having his first child with his wife right after.  Another friend recently had her first grandson arrive.  We have had a rash of first birthdays in the family also.  So I guess you could say babies have been on my mind recently.  

I thought about what I wanted to do for each of these new people coming into the world.  Then I looked at my time lines.  Hmmmm....  The church festival is in 3 1/2 weeks.  Baby shower 1 is the weekend before.  Baby shower 2 is the weekend after.  There is set up for the festival.  There is a new boss at work to get settled in.  A layette is out of the question.  A blanket is also out.  I still have one that didn't get finished for one of the year olds.  What is quick???  So good old ravelry to the rescue.  I plugged in just what I had in my library to narrow my choices.  I looked through the pages upon pages of choices.  I disregarded things on really fine yarn.  My final choice?  A baby surprise jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann.  Worsted weight yarns on medium sized needles should go quickly.  I found some baby prints yarn in worsted weight acrylic.  New moms usually don't want to take time to hand wash wool these days.  I'm set.  I can do garter stitch in my sleep practically.  

I had thought I would like to do the new zoo ring stack toy from Crochet World was on my radar for my nephew.  But then I remembered how long the jungle one took that I did.  I'm better off with the BSJ from Elizabeth.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Dilemma for all of us with actual weather


At first glance of this post's title, it seems I'm picking on certain geographic areas.  I'm not really.  I fully acknowledge that there are some areas of the world where the weather doesn't make a huge change between seasons in temperature.  Other areas make great changes from high noon to midnight.  This is a  gentle nudge in my daughter's in law way as well as The Knitmore Girls, Gigi, Jasmin and Genevieve.  All these lovely ladies come from southern or south central CA  where the weather is a balmy 55 - 60 in the winter and 90 or so in the summer with cooling breezes from the Pacific Ocean or so I understand.

This is for the areas where there are definite cold and definite warm to hot times of the year.  Where I live, the temperatures fluctuate from lows in the winter at more or less 25*F to highs in recent years during summer at 100*F more or less.  I know there are areas where the hot temps routinely go into the 130*F range.  Death Valley in California comes to mind.  I know there are areas where the cold temps routinely go down to -80*F.  Central Alaska comes to mind in this instance as well as Siberia and some of the central Asian countries in the mountains among others.

Now for the dilemma I have.  I knit for myself mainly with wool for winter.  I do cottons and linen for myself for summer knits.  As we all know, when storing your knit or your crocheted items, they need to be clean.  Otherwise we run the risk of our fluttery "friends" coming to call and having a munch or worse some furry little beasties.  When we pull out our clothes in the autumn, we may find instead of winter woolies, Swiss cheese.  If you knit and crochet with synthetic fibers have no fears, the moths won't eat them, but you still need to make sure you store clean things.  The mice won't be as discerning.

Now the big question is to block or not to block.  When I sent in my swatches to be assessed for the Craft Yarn Council's Correspondence Certified Instructor's Program, I blocked all of my swatches.  Most were perfect but a few needed a bit of oomph to get to the correct finished size.  Those that needed a little help shrank back to the original size in shipping.  I'm not sure if it was the temperature changes or the jostling or what.  Either way, do I want to do blocking now or when I pull them out of storage?

What do you do???  Do you block before storing or not?  I'm leaning to not unless I can be persuaded otherwise.  So let me know your reasons either way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Joining Class prep work

I'm offering next week joining classes for both knitting and crocheting.  I've done a bunch of these over the years and some are completely different from anything I've seen.

To prepare for the crochet class, I have made 48 4inch blocks, so far.  These are a combination of granny squares and blocks made in rows.  Each pair will be a different join.  Some are variations on a theme.  I'm doing the joins now.  Some are sewn.  Many are crochet.  Quite a number are JAYGo, This means join as you go.

My next part is to do a similar number of knit blocks.  There are fewer methods for joining knitting.  Most will involve a crochet hook or yarn needle.  A couple will involve knitting needles.

A picture will show up soon of some of them.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's day

I realize that yesterday was Mother's day.  A belated Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there.

I was treated to supper out at one of our favorite restaurants and a car washing.  Mostly a really good day.  I spent my morning selling carnations at my church and that got me thinking about an article I saw recently.  I didn't get to read the whole thing but the idea of it was that a pair of teen girls crochet corsages each year.  I didn't get to the part that says what these are for.

I know there are a few flower books on the market.  I know lion brand has a bunch of flower patterns also.  Perhaps  next year I will knit or crochet a corsage.  Maybe for myself, maybe for my mother in law,and definitely in favorite flower s and colors.