Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yarn and sewing machines and knitting machines

Yesterday I set about to clear some room in my sewing/craft room in the basement.  That sentence alone gives a hint of things to come.  The reason I needed to do this was a I have a big sewing project to do for my day job and wanted room by my machine.  I did actually get there.  I did not get the job done to my satisfaction but that is for another time.

I'm convinced that yarn balls, skeins, hanks, even fleece multiplies while left alone in a darkened room.  Silly you say?  Hear me out.  I found yarn that I do remember buying, yarn I have never seen before, yarn I have seen but don't know where it came from nor what I used it for.

Yarn I do remember buying I accept.  It was close out cottons for dish cloths and such.  It might have been part of a leftover ball from a Christmas present or worse whole skeins.  I try to keep fibers together and weights  in those broad categories, kind of like yarn departments.  I'm not lucky enough to have the nice bins.  But then I also don't have to worry about my pets nesting in them or having yarn get dusty before it gets used.

Yarns I have never seen before or don't remember where it came from or where I used it but do know I have are more perplexing.  I found the bit of sweater that needs frogging still that had been son #2's.  He has his finished sweater so all is fine.  I have found things that completely bewilder me.  Why would I buy that????  Where did I buy it?  What did I use it for?  What was I planning for this yarn?

I also clustered together the UFOs found.  I have all in their own bags, a shawl, a pair of worsted weight socks for a son, a baptism shawl that is no longer needed, 5 skeins of worsted alpaca for a Miss Lambert's scarf started on a guild retreat, 3 pairs of vanilla socks for me, cotton yarn and tulle kitted up for dish cloth and scrubby creation, pumpkin hats for a guild fundraiser started but not finished, mittens also for the guild but in mismatched sizes, a feather and fan prayer shawl, granny squares for an afghan, 3 unfinished quilts of varying sizes, a kit of yarn and pattern for pocket pals also for a guild fundraiser, lavender alpaca for a scarf for my soon to be daughter in law before discovering she hates lavender, an adult surprise jacket for me, 1/4 of a hippo (?????), and an unfinished dog sweater.

Some of these things are for classes.  Most are clearly guild related and should be finished.  Other things should just be finished so they are done and can be utilized.  The quilts are going to take time and lots of it.  

Once all the yarn is away.  Once all the Christmas decorations are also in their appropriate spaces.  Once I sort the summer clothes and get them where they need to go and the winter stuff has a place to go.  Once all this is done, I might actually be able to work in that room as I intended and get Christmas done early.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Patterns abroad

I subscribe to some blogs from other countries.  I don't speak any language well with the exception of English.  I can get my point across in Spanish given enough time and possibly a dictionary.  I don't read any language sadly.  However....

I have found that non English patterns have one of two things going for them.  They are either charts with a finished picture.  Or they are easily copy and pasted into Google translator.  With a translate program, you might not always get the whole thing in an understandable instruction but you can usually figure it out.  European languages are easiest it appears.  Asian and Middle Eastern are a bit harder for this program.

Thankfully, Asian and Middle Eastern patterns that I have found are usually charted.  If you can read charts, this is a great resource for you.  I'm sure there are patterns that are written but I have not seen them, nor have I searched for them.

Why am I telling you about these?  Other countries do such interesting things with their crafting.  Things I have not seen in American patterns before.

Three of my favorites are!/pages/Crendo-Giocndo/194797540599902

The top one is in Portuguese and comes from Brazil.  The middle one is a facebook page and I think you have to join facebook in order to access the page.  This is an Italian page but everything is laid out like pinterest pins or is charted.  Sadly, I'm too old for some of the ideas I saw but I have a soon to be daughter in law who isn't.  The bottom one is in Russian.  Google translate will be a great help here.  This woman has a lot of great patterns and ideas.

I have seen a lot of Japanese patterns scattered all over but I don't have a site I frequent.  Do you have an international blog that you follow for patterns?  Are you an international reader who posts patterns?  Please share.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Schedules and some time off

In an effort to have sufficient time for everything coming up, one son with his fiance is coming for a visit around Easter.  The same son is graduating and getting married in the month for weddings.  I also wanted to make sure I had enough classes scheduled for everyone to be happy and get what they need.

Here are my classes thru the end of July.  I don't want to think of August or the last third of the year just yet.

Beginner Knit Classes which are held Thursday nights unless otherwise noted are first.

Discover Knit Stitch Class    All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

February 28
April 4
April 6 (Saturday 9 – 11:30 am)
May 2
May 30
July 25

Discover Purl Stitch Class   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

March 7
April 11
April 13 (Saturday 9 – 11:30 am)
May 9
June 6
July 5

Discover Pattern Stitches Class   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

February 14
March 14
April 18
April 20 (Saturday 9 – 11:30 am)
May 16
June 27
July 6 (Saturday 9 – 11:30am)

Discover Cables Class All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

February 21
March 21
April 25
April 27 (Saturday 9 – 11:30 am)
May 23
June 7

Beginner Crochet classes are next up.  These are held every Monday night unless otherwise noted.

Discover Single Crochet  All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm   

March 11
April 1
April 29
June 24
July 23

Discover the Tall Stitches of Crochet   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

February 11
March 11
April 8
May 6
June 3
July 29

Discover Granny Squares   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

February 18
March 18
April 22
May 13
June 10
July 31

Discover Textured Stitches   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

February 25
April 22
May 20
June 5

Advanced Knit classes are held Friday nights unless otherwise noted.

Discover Baby Knits Class   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

Kimono March 1
Blanket & Booties April 5
Kimono May 3
Blanket & Booties May 31
Kimono July 26

Discover Mitered Knitting Class   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

March 8
April 12
May 10

Discover Fair Isle Class/Learn to Fair Isle   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

February 15
March 15
April 19
May 17
June 28

Discover Time To Knit Classes    All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

March 22 Socks Toe Up
April 26 Double Knitting
May 24 Socks Top Down

Advanced Crochet classes are the final classes scheduled.

Discover Baby Crochet Class      All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

Rattle March 6
Hooded Blanket April 3
Rattle May 1
Hooded Blanket May 29
Rattle July 24

Discover Throws and Wraps in Crochet Class  All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

Lace Openwork Wrap February 13
One Piece Granny Throw March 13
Lace Openwork Wrap April 10
One Piece Granny Afghan May 8
Lace Openwork Wrap June 26

Discover Crochet Gifts Class      All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm

February 20
March 20
April 17
May 15

Discover Time to Crochet Classes   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm 

February 27 Tapestry Crochet
March 2 Knook
April 24 Broomstick Lace
May 22 Afghan Patterns

The last thing to note are yarn nights.  
Yarn Nights are times for you to get a question answered about a stitch, yarn or pattern question that doesn’t require a full class.  You can also sit and stitch with me at this time.  Times are 6 – 8:30 pm unless otherwise noted.

February 26
March 19
April 23
May 21
June 1 (Saturday, 1 – 4 pm)
July 30

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Needle and Hook Storage Issue

I'm working my way through a small dilemma.  I have needles and hooks for my knitting and crocheting.  I have collected them through my years of stitching.  I have a lot, not as many as some people, but more than most I suspect.

I have multitudes of knitting needles in 14 inch length.  I have at least 2 pairs in 10 inch length.  I have way more circulars than I know what to do with in my house.  (I may use them to teach at a local school, but that is another time.)  I have at least 2 sets of each size double points in 7 inch lengths.  I have several oddball lengths of double points.  I have 4 cases (if you have ever seen a yarn catalog, you know the thing I mean.  If not, click here.) of crochet hooks.  They all have aluminum and plastic yarn hooks filled to overflowing.  Only 2 have the smaller steel hooks.

This list doesn't even begin to cover the needles and hooks that are in projects that are being worked on, taking a break, hibernating or waiting for frogging.  This list also doesn't take into account the needles that have been loaned out to someone who needed something while I was out and about.  I also have some in my purse and vehicles for "emergencies".  You never know when these might come in handy.

Currently they live in a their assorted cases or not in a cardboard box under my bed.  It's a sad thing.  In talking with another woman at my knitting guild, I learned that she kept her needles and hooks and notions in a vanity or train case that she found while visiting antique shops and thrift stores.  (See her blog here)  This is just right for the long 14 inchers and all the rest.  Thinking this is a great idea and a good way to utilize something I might already have, I checked my luggage.  No such luck.  

I then began my hunt through local thrift stores and Michaels for an alternative.  Michaels has some really nice paper boxes (see these as an example of some scrap booking paper storage boxes) but they are not large enough for my intention.  I have been to every thrift store in my town and the antique market (think indoor flea market with antique prices) looking for something.  I could kick myself to bypassing a nice wicker picnic basket a few days before this conversation.  I even carried it around with me for a while, put it down and repeated several times before a final lay down.  This would have been perfect for my loom knitting stuff to be kept together.

I will keep an eye out.  I will try to go to yard sales and the flea market a little more often to see what I can find.  If you have any ideas how to solve this quickly, let me know.  I'm open to options.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Warm Up America

I have delivered our first installment of afghans to our local homeless shelter, Lebanon Hopes.  This is a new endeavor for our county.  Five full sized afghans and a baby afghan were delivered.  Pictures will be posted.  A great many thanks to all who donate to this worthy cause, whether it's joining or the actual squares.  

While there, I asked for more information about Lebanon Hopes than was in our local newspaper.  See the article here.  The Resource Center has hours 8 - 4 each day with a case manager on duty.  There is also a kitchenette, a playroom, a quiet room (for those who don't feel well), shower facilities and a computer to aid with job searching.  The nights are spent in local church social halls.   

Sadly I think this service is going to become more and more needed in the near future.  For those able to donate time or resources to creating afghans, please continue to do so.  It is appreciated by everyone involved.

Links here are for Warm Up America and the requirements for blocks or whole afghans.  

Block Patterns 

Warm Up America History

Afghan Joining requirements  There are three ways I like to join.  The first is the mattress stitch as promoted by the Craft Yarn Council.  The second is by slip stitching in crochet on the right or wrong side of the blocks.  The third is by single crocheting over the edges of both blocks.

Here in Lebanon we accept any orphans or swatches that you no longer want as well as blocks made from the basic patterns for blocks.  Gauge should be kept at 5 stitches to the inch.  This helps keep the user warm.