Friday, December 29, 2017

Who enjoys KAL or CAL?

Do you enjoy knit alongs or crochet alongs?  Do you like the suspense of it?  Do you like knowing you are working alongside others doing the same thing but different?

I used to think I would like it.  I even tried some online over the years.  I could never keep up though.  It seemed that when my sons were younger they ate up time, either because they truly needed me to do things for them or during school years, they needed me there to taxi.  As they got older and left home, things never seemed to slow down.  I seem to do better with an in person KAL or CAL.

This says I can commit to those I have to face in person rather than put off and play catch up when I feel like it or when I have time as I see fit.

I have been considering running a KAL/CAL in 2018.  Perhaps on a semi-monthly or monthly basis with clues coming out on the first or last day of the month or the first and 15th.  I'm unsure what type of project to do.  I do know, I would offer a YouTube video of an unfamiliar technique.  Options being considered are an afghan, a cowl/scarf, a shawl, a sweater.

Whatever is chosen will be in worsted weight.  That seems to be universally available.  Color options would be totally up to you.  The only advice I would offer is when a variegated or dark color might be inappropriate.  It's very hard to see things like lace or cables in dark or variegated yarns.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!  Many celebrate some form of this holiday.

a Year of Stitches Week 52

Well, we made it to the end of the year.  Here is our last post in 2017 for a year of stitches.  Let's use these.  There should be something fabulous to meet your fancy here.  Enjoy these.  They offer a variety of looks.  The traditional winter and Christmas specific motifs and then things that can stand the test of time for the whole year.  Done in heavier yarns, there are afghans and pillows.  Done in finer yarns, sweaters or accessories.

This is only a quarter of the pattern.  Mirror image in each direction to form the whole.  This would be stunning worked in silver or gold thread in filet crochet or as a pillow.  For the pillow, sew the pocket for the stuffing in line with the points where the two scallops meet.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Review :: aprendercrochet

The top 4 choices on the front menu take you to the google play store to download more apps.  The rest of the menu choices are taking you to YouTube videos.  The videos are from all over YouTube, not just one specific teacher/designer.  The teachers and designers are good at their video.  However, it is inconsistent.  The same teacher throughout would have kept the same quality for all the videos.

Like the other directory type apps, I won't keep this.  I prefer to search YouTube for various crochet videos myself.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Year of Stitches Week 51

Let's try something easy this week.  You see the charts to make a vest.  Instead, let's use the deer to make a pillow.  Use knit or crochet.  Use color or texture.  As a joke, present this to a hunter who didn't get his deer during hunting season.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review :: Crochet Flowers

This app is for ideas only.  It is similar to Crochet Bags Ideas.  There are no links.  No photo tutorials.  No video tutorials.

There are many pictures of flowers that are swirls, overlays, Irish crochet, petal by petal construction.  There are ideas for layout, arrangements, and uses for embellishments.

If I needed ideas for flowers, I might check this out or more than likely I’d visit and search flowers as well as checking for flower patterns and embellishment ideas. 

Review :: AllFreeCrochet

This app is almost too small.  There are links to 10 patterns.  There is also a drop down menu that leads you to more patterns on the all free crochet website.  The drop down menu has a bunch of different topics.  It also has sections for tutorials, tips for crochet, reviews, product reviews, book reviews, and basics.  These are all on the all free crochet website.  It has ads, requires no permissions, and takes up 2.26MB.  It does require internet access or will use your data plan on your phone.

I might think twice before downloading this.  There are not enough ideas or actual patterns in the app.

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.