Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 50

Holidays are coming.  What do you do to get ready?  Share your family traditions.

Here is a chart for your pleasure.  This can encompass the year if you choose or you can make them all be autumn/winter related.  Notes about this chart:  Each block shown by a dark grey line is really 10 small 10 small blocks.  I have enlarged it as far as possible.  The background of some charts are not white.  You can choose to change them as you desire.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 49

At this point we are headed into December with a vengeance.  For those who celebrate Advent before Christmas, you will find this year a very short 3 week Advent because of where Christmas falls in the week, Monday.  For those who celebrate other holidays in December, tell us about your traditions.  The days are getting shorter with a culmination on December 21 with winter solstice, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere.  Those of you down under let us know about your summer and holiday traditions.

For this week let's delve into some more complex charts

Here is a flower that can be transformed into a doily, a scarf, a blanket, a poncho, a sweater, the sky is the limit.

ch 5, join with a sl st in first ch to form a ring.

Rd 1:  ch 3, dc in ring, ch 2, * 2 dc in ring, ch 2.  Rep from * 4 times more.  Join in top of ch 3.
Rd 2: sl st to ch 2 sp, ch 3, dc in ch 2 sp,* ch 7, sl st in 4th ch from hook, ch 3, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp.  Rep from * around 5 more times.  Join with sl st in top of beginning ch 3.
Rd 3: * 6 dc, ch 2, 6 dc in ch 4 loop.  Rep from * around.  Join with sl st.  Fasten off.

They can be joined by a sl st in the final round by working a ch 1, sl st in next flower, ch 1 before finishing petal.

The finer the yarn, the more delicate.  Use a slightly smaller hook than usual to keep this compact.  Work rd 1 in yellow and the rest in red to resemble a poinsettia.

For the knit stich let's try this Japanese lace stitch.  Make a note.  The chart only shows the right side stitches.  All return rows are purled and not shown.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US.

A Year of Stitches Week 48

As we move into even colder weather, hopefully snow too, it brings to mind election day and the eternal sea of signs proclaiming each candidate to be the best choice.  Some signs have been out since Labor Day. Some waited until October arrived.  The party supporters who were so eager for their candidates to win seem to be very slow with removal.  Other slow things recently in my world include growing babies (ok, we all know they outgrow their clothes overnight), the bear and the turkey flock that have taken up residence in the local park.  (it's closed once mid October arrives).  The bear is usually a newly out on his or her own looking for their own spot.  Game commission officers will tranquilize it and move it off to the local mountains where it will be hopefully able to find a corner of it's own.  The turkeys?  Well, they just keep doing whatever it is wild turkeys do, in this particular area, stopping traffic while they cross the road is one of their talents.

Here is are charted designs for you that tie into this theme....  I'm thinking of doing the bear in loop stitch.  Two blocks knit, two blocks crochet.  4 bears.  I might also do the rest of the blocks in colorwork and choose tree colors for the trees and maybe a nice gold for the scrolls.

For some reason since I've grown up, we have a rush to get to Halloween and then a rush to get to Christmas and jump right over Thanksgiving.   This is a cross stitch chart.  I suggest taking out the shading and working on it in a simpler fashion.  The solid black lines, can of course be done in back stitch, outline stitch, or similar.  Don't forget Thanksgiving.  It's a great holiday for family.

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 47

This past week was my husband's birthday.  I always try to cook a favorite of his for dinner.  Some years it's lasagna, others it is liver and onions.  When he was growing up his mom always made the kids' favorites for supper.  Hubby's was liver, onions, spinach and mashed potatoes.

It was also election day recently.  I wish the political signs were removed once it's over quickly.  The signs were put up over Labor Day in some cases.  Bears seem to move as slowly as the government does.  By now even if the signs are not down, the bears should be getting ready for their long winter's nap.  Worked in worsted weight yarn this makes a nice sized pillow or 1/4 of an afghan.

Will you choose pattern or color or both?  I'm thinking that doing the bear in loop stitch could be cute. Then give this as a baby present?

Review :: Crochet 1200

This app is interesting.  The headline in the play store is in English.  However, if you click on the read more button the description comes up in Spanish.  Although perhaps the author/owner of the app should have been a clue.  Uno2y3.

 has 9 sections that are then subdivided into patterns.  It is in Spanish.  However, the titles combined with the pictures allow us to know just what we can find in each section.  Each pattern is a YouTube video.  As long as you can follow the video it doesn’t matter that you can’t understand the words.  The video does start with an ad.

There are baby projects, adult projects, things for the home, accessories, toys, embellishments, basic shapes.  All things considered, the Spanish speech isn’t anything that would deter me from downloading this. I really enjoy this app.  It does require access to your location, photos/media/files, wi-fi connection, device id and call info to be downloaded.  It is 21MB. 

Friday, November 17, 2017


Since I first mentioned more than a year ago that I was putting classes online, I have had a roller coaster learning experience.

I've been learning editing of video.  I've been learning set design and making my set.  I've been learning about lighting.   I've been learning more about timing and scripting.

This almost makes me think I should have been in the AV club oh so many years ago in high school.  Although I don't think many of the technologies I'm using today actually existed in those days.   The "word processor" I learned to use then was 10 times larger than the laptop I use today in size while holding a millionth of the data.  It operated on the 5.25 inch floppy disks.

I'm getting closer to putting up video content both on my site and YouTube.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Review:: Love Knitting for Baby

Ok.  This app appears to be baby patterns on the surface.  What it actually is is an app for purchasing magazines by the name of love knitting for baby.  If I understand the whole thing,  these are digital downloads.  Once subscribed,  there is a free 14 day trial.  Each magazine is $6.49 US.  There is a tab for other magazines by the same publisher. 

I'm not saying one way or the other if it should be downloaded.  I would be interested in this if I didn't have hundreds of baby patterns and a new grand child on the way.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Weeks 17 to 33 of A Year in Stitches

I am going to offer a bunch of different charts and stitches in  this post to finish the catch up from the spring to mid summer weeks when I was working on a wedding and a carnival.
The charts will be for both knit and crochet.   There will be color work charts, cable charts, and lace charts. 
There will be written stitch patterns.   These are harder to use universally without a lot of creativity and thought behind them.  However, I'm sure everyone will have fun with at least some of these.

Week 17

For knitting, work in stockinette/reverse stockinette or colorwork.  For crochet, work in fair isle or tapestry.  If you choose color work, you can do bands of colors or keep it 2 colors throughout.

 Week 18

As for week 17, the same applies here.  Have fun with this.  Can you make it a lace?

Week 19

Enjoy the weather with some fun spring/summer motifs.  Color work is the way to go for these.  The brighter the better.

Week 20

This would be great as a pillow, purse, or in an afghan as panels.

Week 21
Lots of fun motifs here for gearing up for the colder weather that is sure to come or simpler items.  All these can be done in texture or color.  Use fingering weight yarns or lace weight and make these into bookmarks or book covers for those books that you read over and over.
 Week 22

Play with tapestry crochet and make change purses, make up bags, pencil pouches.  Play with texture and have even more fun now that you know the charts better.
 Week 23

Week 24

I can see the potential for coasters, mug rugs, cup cozies and napkin/flatware holders in these.  Who wouldn't love a picnic when these beauties are on the table with yummy food.  Don't forget to put the picnic table's feet in bowls of water to deter ants from joining you and hang a red ball covered in sweet smelling sticky in a tree away from you to deter flies and bees.  The bowls of water can be pie tins for wider feet and the balls can be washed off.

Week 25

This could be an early gift made up when we don't even want to dream of hot cocoa or fireplaces.  The markings on the side look like yarn color names.  However, I don't know which company this came from to give credit.  Anyone know?

Week 26

Here is a lovely little block from Japan.  It's Crochet, done in one of the join as you go methods.  For Knitting here's a lovely Russian lace stitch.

Week 27

Here is a granny type square.  Imagine this in the colors of the summer!  That would be one smart tote bag.  This knit stitch pattern on the other hand reminds me of roses in summer.  This could be a beautiful baby blanket or a made into a sweet dress for your little girl.

Week 28

Here are a bunch more square and hexagon motifs.  Mix and Match them unifying them by color choice or pick one or two and go crazy with the patterns.

Week 29

Here's a fun little crown for the prince or princess in your life.    It's crochet.  Try in worsted weight yarn and you can do fewer repeats.  Glue "gems" around the band for a really regal look.

The Knitting stitch reminds me more of a flower I see growing along roadsides, Queen Anne's Lace.  But this isn't the name of the stitch.

Week 30

Architecture has given us some beaurtiful knit and crochet patterns.    This arches pattern is crochet.  I can see it as a pillow cover, afghan, baby gift.... What can you see it as?  Meanwhile the seersucker knit stitch pattern just sounds like summer.  Done in a light weight cotton, linen, hemp or silk yarn it could be a beautiful shell.

Week 31

Interlocking crochet has fascinated me for quite a while.  It shows a different stitch to each side.

Meanwhile the knit stitch below it is a fake Entrelac stitch pattern.  This is done with a trick of the eye and is in a fair isle type of knitting.

Week 32

Mitered, Ribbed, handy as can be for dish cloths, hot pads, potholders.  Do them in cotton for good heat protection.  Chain an odd number of stitches plus 1 for turning or cast on an odd number of stitches.  Mark the center stitch.  Using Garter stitch or single crochet, work to the stitch before the marked one.  Dec3tog or k3tog.  Continue to the end.  Turn.  If you are crocheting, crochet in the back loop only. Work even to the stitch before the marked one.  dec3tog or k3tog.  Continue to 1 stitch.  Bind off.  Weave ends.  Can be done in 1 row stripes, 2 row stripes with unused color carried up the side or almost anything.
Week 33

One of my other loves is quilting.  I happen to live on the outskirts of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, which has a rich history in quilting and frugality.  This is the Trip Around the World Quilt Pattern Or Sunshine and Shadow Quilt Pattern.  It depends on what you do with it.  Trip Around the World uses a variety of colors, where the Sunshine and Shadow uses shades of one color similar to what is shown.  The trip around the world is symbolic of travel. something most Amish don't do.   However, the Colonials, way back when, would trade fabrics or sometimes piece a quilt top for a friend who was leaving to pioneer either in the New World or out West.  One ring of fabric or even just a quarter of a ring symbolized that friend.  

In Sunshine and Shadow, the colors are kept to 3-5, going from a very pale to very dark (black or as close to as you can get) and starting over or fading back to very pale.  It symbolized that we can't appreciate the sunshine without the shadows, just as we can't appreciate life without death or separation.

Choose to do these in granny squares, mitered squares, or something completely different.  Start at a corner and work one block. Working in the join as you go, continue adding blocks in the colors your choose.

If you don't like the color choice given below, get your own 4 squares to the inch graph paper and a box of crayons or colored pencils and draw out what you want yours to look like.  Just remember, the colors need to be in concentric rings for this pattern.

Friday, November 10, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 46

In my locale, the temps much cooler than they were in summer.  There might be snow, if a miracle happens.  The days are shorter.  Candy has been distributed and probably inhaled before it was gotten home and checked by diligent parents.  What's it like where you live?

As a small child, I liked Halloween up until the actual day.  There was usually a Halloween party in my classroom.  But because it was very cold in my hometown, my costume was always hidden when we went out trick or treating under my coat.  Some years we just wore a half mask similar to those worn during Carnival in Latin America and New Orleans for Mardi Gras except without the glitz and glitter.  Unlike little Zuzu from It's a Wonderful Life, I didn't have the option of leaving my coat open or even home.  If I tried putting the costume over the coat, I looked like a miniature hockey player who was a bit crazy in wardrobe. 

I did like Thanksgiving and Christmas much better.  There was the cooking and baking.  My sister and I weren't allowed to do much other than watch.  But we did get to lick the bowls.  This was decades before you would get sick from raw eggs and other new things to worry about. 

So Here is a fabulous chart for color work sharing one of my childhood memories.  The Peanuts was always the first show to air during the month with a holiday.

Work the knit version in stockinette and the crochet version in single crochet.  It appears the designer intends for each large square to be 4 smaller ones.  OOPs.  I'm wrong.  Each large square is 8 or 10 small ones.  This done in worsted weight would make a great wall hanging or afghan if you decorate for the holidays.  I suggest blowing it up and taping it together. 

Review:: circular knitting tutorial

Don't bother with downloading this.   I've tried to use this numerous times.   It tells me I need to update the app.  I have the option of now or later.   Update now takes me to the Google play store and install a beginner crochet app.  Later takes me to a new screen where I assume there is supposed to be a list of videos.  There's nothing except a banner ad for games.

Don't bother with this app.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 45

Charts rule!!  I know not everyone feels this way.  So here is something easy and non charted.  The butterfly stitch.  I hope I haven't used this before.

Knit version

Works over Multiples of 10 plus 9 Stitches.

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9: Knit 2. *Move yarn to front of work, slip 5 stitches, move yarn to back, knit 5 stitches. Repeat from *, end last repeat with knit 2.
Rows 2, 4, 6 and 8: Purl.
Row 10: Purl 4. *Pick up loose strands with ​the right-hand needle, slip strands onto left-hand needle and purl together with the next stitch, p 9. Repeat from *, end p 4.
Rows 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19: Knit 7. *Move yarn to front of work, slip 5 stitches, move yarn to back, knit 5. Repeat from *, end last repeat with knit 7.
Rows 12, 14, 16 and 18: Purl.
Row 20: Purl 3. *Pick up loose strands with​ the right-hand needle, slip strands onto left-hand needle and purl together with the next stitch, purl 9. Repeat from *, end last repeat with purl 3.
Repeat these rows for pattern.

Now for the crochet version.

Crochet: butterfly stitch chart (diagram or pattern)!

I couldn't resist.  Here are the written directions.  I really like Pinterest.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

Multiple of 22 sts.

Ch 44.

R1:  Sc in second ch and each ch across.
R2, 3, 4, 5:  Ch 3, dc in second st and next 3 sts, ch 11, sk 11 sc, dc in next 10, ch 11, sk 11 sc, dc to end, including top of ch 3
R6:  ch 3, dc in second st, and next 3 sts, * ch 5, sc around ch from r 2-5, ch 5, dc in dc to next ch section.  Rep from *.  End dc in each dc.

Rep r 1 - 6 for pattern.

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Year in Stitches Week 44

Rolling right along, our year of stitches may have gone astray for a bit, but we are making up time. 

Charts will again come to the rescue.  With imagination, a single chart can be utilized with astonishing results for both knit and crochet.   This chart is for crochet.  How would you interpret it to knit?
All these lovely post stitches in the lower chart, I can see them as ribbing with a garter stitch background.  Can you?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all who celebrate.  For those in the US, I hope your kids stay safe during trick or treat.

A Year of Stitches Week 43 Happy Halloween

Yes Halloween is immortalized in Fair Isle again.  Others are better at thinking Halloween than I yet again.  It's not really one of my favorites.

Let's see what you do with this.  Will you follow it blindly?  Will you incorporate texture with the color?

Will you use it twice over for a bag for your child to collect candy in?  Pillow cover?  Done in super bulky yarn and made into an afghan?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Year in Stitches Week 42 Happy Halloween!

Here's a chart for you to choose how to use.  It can be knit or crochet.  You can use color work or stitch work.  It's large enough to be done twice for a treat back or once for the treat bag (sewn to a canvas bag the same size) or used as a pillow for those who decorate for this holiday.  This is 2/3 of the whole chart.  You can see where the center is by the pumpkin and the two cats staring each other down.  This is a very nice chart.  Have fun with it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Year in Stitches Week 41

Now let's venture a little further afield in the chart world.  Here is a chart for a cable.  It's fairly easy to work it for knitting.  That's what it's designed for.  Try making it in color work?  How did you choose to do this?  Let's see your choices.  But how do you choose to use this chart in crochet?  Let's see your choices.  For the knit version, the blank boxes are purl.    For the crochet version, the boxes with the | are the single crochet on the back.

Here is the chart to work from. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 40

Zooming right along, we can still utilize the same charts from the last few weeks and do something different with them.........  Let's combine the colorwork with the changes from last week.  Hmmmm...  This could be fun. So for the knit swatch, choose to knit or purl the background stitches in color A.  Then use the opposite stitch and a contrast color for the accent color.  How do you like this?

For the crochet swatch, still using bobbles, use color A for the background doubles and color B for the bobbles. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 39

Let's switch things up this week.

Here's a make ahead for Christmas.  Do you hang stockings for gifts?  Do you hang them for ornaments?  For an ornament size, try fingering weight yarn (size 1 on the ball band) and a size 2mm needle or 1mm size hook (this dips down into the steel hooks).  Want it for gift giving?  See suggestions below.

Instead of color work, let's do knit and purl stitches for the knit swatch.  Instead of crochet Fair Isle, let's try bobbles.  What do these 2 changes do to your work?  What do you think of it?  Are you able to keep the front and back rows straight in your mind?  Did you use stitch markers?  Good for you if you did.  Tools are there for our benefit.  Didn't need to?  Great for you too.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Charts - Love them or hate them

Charts are here to stay.  For the advanced stitcher a simple chart is all that is needed to create a garment that is a work of art.  For publishers one picture is worth more than a thousand words, it can be worth extra advertising space on a page.  For a stitcher who speaks only one language,  charts are universally available.

Let's all agree that crochet charts come with a standardized set of symbols.  . Is a slip stitch,  x or + is a single crochet and so on.  However,  in following a wide variety of Pinterest boards and Picasa accounts from around the world, I have seen a wide variety of symbols in knit charts.  Most are reasonably self explanatory with knit and purl and in indicating if a left or right leaning decrease should be used. Yarn overs seem to be universal in their use of O.  Looks like a hole,  acts like a hole

Here's an easy crochet chart.  You'll see what I mean.

Now for the knitting charts.  These are the ones that can throw me for a loop if I'm not paying attention.  As I mentioned above, the yarnovers are a circle or o on charts.  Easy so far.  Knit and Purl are equally easy.  They are either a blank square or - for one and | for the other.  Depends on where and when the charting was done.  That is also fairly universal.

The ones that sometimes confuse me are the cables and the decreases or increases.  Cables are sometimes like the magenta swatch with a horizontal line and vertical line and another horizontal line.  By looking at the picture I can tell that the way it's drawn it needs to be a Back cross or a Left Cross.  However, there is also the green variant and the grey variant below which shows 2 other ways to diagram cables, with the cream colored cable at the bottom showing a 4th way.

The decreases also are different in each case.  Some draw a diagonal line in the box with a half diagonal going the other way (white lace just below).  This shows which direction the decrease needs to lean and you pick the one you know and like the best.  Another variation is a triangle following the 3/4 x just described, (the grey, blue and purple in the middle show this).  Again the goal is to show you which way the decrease needs to lean.  There is the odd symbol that looks like a bird foot in the magenta swatch that indicates a 3 to 1 decrease.  Some would k3tog or SSSK, but, to get the solid line of knit stitches, you need to work the decrease differently.  Here's one way thanks to TechKnitter.


  1. Inserting from left to right (knitwise), run right needle through TWO loops at tip of left needle and slip these two stitches onto the right needle. Note: You are to slip both stitches at the SAME TIME, therefore, insert the needle from L to R through the second stitch from the tip, then through the stitch at the tip, then slip both off the L needle, together, onto the R needle. 
  2. Knit the next stitch. 
  3. Next, insert the tip of the left needle under the 2 slipped stitches and lift them OVER the knitted stitch. (This is called "passing the slipped stitch(es) over" and is abbreviated "psso.")  
  4. If 3stdec looks like combination of k2tog and ssk, that's because it is. The stitch which originally lay two from the tip of the L needle comes to lay on top of the resulting stitch sandwich, and it is pointing straight up--the orange stitch in the above diagram, while the two stitches lower down in the sandwich (green and red) slant R and L, respectively, as shown.
  5. One stitch appears where 3 were before, so 3stdec is a two-stitch decrease.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 38

Charts dominate the Fair Isle world.  It's so easy to chart out the colors into a pleasing picture.  What isn't so easy is to write line by line directions for it.  The color changes alone can mess you up, in either writing or following the directions.  The color changes can add many pages to the directions for each picture. 

Have you noted that when patterns are changed, there are usually stripes to separate them?  I'm not sure but I think this is to balance the colors.  Sadly I haven't read anything about this.  There are also times when there is a border with a different background color or different accent color.  How about changing the center stitch of the flower with something else?  Maybe change not only the black center stitch but also the background color on this row.  Make sure to tie it into the swatch/garment by using that color elsewhere.

Here is a set of charts to get you through the next few days.  Yes, these are for Christmas.  We have to get a jumpstart on some of the knitting and crocheting for the holidays.   Can you see these as framed pictures?  Ornaments?  Afghan blocks?  Pillows?  Table runners?  Coasters?  Placemats?  Dish cloths and tea towels?  Hot pads?  If you choose to use any of these for hot items, use wool and cotton, never acrylic.  Acrylic can melt and cause terrible burns.