Thursday, October 10, 2013

What can I do with...?

I get questions from students and others about what can I do with my swatches etc.  To this end, I gathered from the internet a list of ideas for these.

Swatches aside (these should go into a journal of knit/crochet projects with the ball band pattern and a sheet of notes for the next time you want to make the project.  This is what the very organized knitter/crocheter does.  I'm not that organized.) granny squares and mitered squares can be used for many more things than just afghans.  Although this idea is a good one.

You can use a mid sized block for a dish cloth or hot pad, smaller ones make great coasters to protect furniture from drinks.  Fold one in half and you can use it for a cell phone cozy, tissue case, eye glass case and more.  Sachets from one or two  squares stuffed with either cotton balls dipped with a drop or two of essential oil or stuffed with dried flowers make nice gifts when you need a lot and are short on time.

Have 8 or 9 small to medium sized?  How about a "cushion" for the back of a wooden rocker or a seat cushion?  Double them with different colors on each side that coordinate and you have a reversible and possibly stuffed cushion.  Purses, totes, and backpacks are also good ideas.  Wallets can be fashioned from 6 squares.  Coin purses can be made from 2.

There are patterns for slippers from squares, You could join a few of smaller ones and make headbands, bookmarks or hat brims.  Have a bunch?  Ponchos are sort of still in style.  Baby cocoons are also popular rather than wrapping in blankets.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

An update and a review

I have finished the cardigan for my level 2 Knit certification.  I mailed off all my swatches and other assignments.  I have gotten them back.  Pictures will be posted once I get better ones taken.  A heavy wool sweater is not something to be styled with shorts and 90* temps.  This was the way the first set was taken.  I look terrible.  The sweater looks terrible.  I was hot and itchy and miserable.  Now that the temps have cooled to a reasonable October range, I will get my husband to do better pictures.

I am now working on my level 2 certification for Crochet.  The final project will be for the nieces of my daughter in law.  They will be identical except for color.  It seems the twins are the same size almost and I only need one for turning in.  The girls are also much smaller than I.  It should go quicker.

And now for a review.  Over the years, I have purchased many needles and hooks.  I can attest to the fact that the anodized aluminum hooks and needles from Boye even withstand a house fire.  Don't try that at home.  However, my newest purchase was the Clover Takumi interchangeable bamboo knitting needles set.  

I have tried them out on several projects.  I know some good things about them.  I did an acrylic baby sweater for a new family on the size 10.5 with a medium cable length.  I have a cotton dishcloth going on a size 7 short cable.  The needle tips range in size from 3 to 13.  There are 5 cable lengths to choose from.  You can also connect some or all of them for some huge knitting.  According to the packaging, you can create up to 60 configurations.  The tips are tapered and are nice to use.  The smaller needles are not quite tapered enough for me but I can make do if I need the needles.  The joins are fabulous between the cable and needle tips.  The whole thing stays tight with only hand tightening.  They are incredibly light weight.  Being bamboo, the needle tips are sticky; the cables are not.  I would use these for slippery yarns like silk and the new Paton's Metallic so they don't slide off the needles.   The set comes in a nice case but it seems a bit big to me.  Perhaps I'm just being picky though.  There is a place for all the cables to fit and a few extra small tools of your choosing.

I didn't pay the retail price for them.  I had a coupon for that purchase, which brought it down to affordable to me.  Would I buy them again?  Yes, the smooth joins and flexible cables make them a joy to use. 

If you like circular knitting needles, try some of the non interchangeable needles from their company.  If you like those, treat yourself to a set or ask Santa.  You won't be disappointed.