Friday, 12 June 2015

No Loose Ends

In 2011 my sister Kirsten and I went to Mexico to attend Abraham's sister's wedding. Abraham was in the middle of getting his Canadian residency, so he sadly couldn't come. I crocheted a green frog for his nephew. Four years later it is holding up really well, although it is a bit matted, but that just means that it is well loved :)

My mom taught me that it is important to sew in the loose ends of projects. I have found this to be true. Don't be tempted to just tie a really tight knot and trim off the ends. It is worth it to take the extra time to get out your darning needle, and finish your project properly. This way it will withstand all the love your loved ones will give it.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Pneumonia Vests

Pneumonia vests keep children in hot climates warm at night when the temperature drops, reducing their risk of illness.
They are usually knitted, but I wanted to do a service project with the Young Women in my ward, using the new skill I taught them, crochet. I eventually found a crochet pattern online. This is a prototype. I think that I will use a larger sized crochet hook next time so that it won't be so tight. It is super easy, and only uses single crochet stitch. Perfect project for beginners.
The lady who owns "The Knitting Room" (the yarn store I frequent), has a basket for people who want to donate pneumonia vests, and she mails them off to the organization that distributes them to where they need to go. 

This was the first time I made something for someone I didn't know. It was interesting, because I usually picture the person I am making the project for while I am making it. I ended up picturing a little girl (because my vest is pink) sleeping all snug and warm. It was a fun service project.

This is the pattern I used:
4.50 mm hook / worsted weight yarn.
I also used 72 SC's for the body36 SC's for each the front and back pieces and 12 SC's for each shoulder as well as for the neck opening. This is just a guide and actual numbers of stitches required may change depending on the yarn and hook you choose to use. This pattern is for a small vest and the finished size is: Length: 10 1/2 inches and Width: 9 inches.

  • Chain 10, SC in 2nd chain from hook, SC across rest of chain. (8 SC)
  • Working in FRONT LOOPS ONLY SC across, chain 1, turn (8 SC)
  • Repeat last row till piece measures 18 inches long.
  • Fold in half and place edges together, slip stitch together.


Body:(worked in rounds till arm openings and the seam will be on the side)
  • Turn, chain 1 and then working along side edge make an even number of SC's, join with slip stitch in the chain 1 stitch at beginning of row. Chain 1.
  • SC around, chain 1, join with slip stitch in chain 1 of previous round.
  • Repeat previous row till piece measures 6 inches (including RIBBING). The rest of the vest is worked in rows from this point to shape the arm and neck openings.
  • SC to the midpoint, chain 1 and turn, leaving the other half unworked.
  • SC back to beginning, chain 1 , turn.
  • SC to end of row, chain 1, turn.
  • Repeat last row till FRONT piece measures 9 inches (including RIBBING).

  • Divide stitches into thirds for the two shoulders and for the neck opening. Place markers if desired.
  • Working only in the first third of the last row, SC across, chain 1 turn.
  • SC across, chain 1, turn.
  • Repeat last row till shoulder piece measures 1 1/2 inches, end on the neck side. 
  • (vest measures 10 1/2 inches including RIBBING)
  • Slip stitch loosely down neck side of shoulder piece and along the neck edge to the beginning of the second shoulder side, chain 1 and SC across, chain 1, turn. Continue making the second shoulder piece to match the first. End on the arm opening side. BREAK YARN.
  • Return to last round of the BODY and join yarn in first stitch of the unworked half. SC across, chain 1, turn. Work as for FRONT. 
  • Sew shoulder seams.

Monday, 25 May 2015

My Etsy Shop is Now Official!

Okay so I am officially selling my creations. Check out my Etsy Shop Something's Galore. I don't have a ton of things for sale yet, but there will be more to come. Any suggestions for things I should make and sell? I can crochet or knit anything, it's just a matter of making things that people will want to buy.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Felting - it's easier than you think

After the surgery I couldn't do much, so knitting and crocheting became my main occupation. Because knitting was new to me, I decided that I would learn a new knitting technique with each project, so that my brain might not turn into mush.

I made this purse for my mother-in-law. I wanted to learn how to felt. It was surprisingly easy. All you do is wash your real wool knitted project in the washing machine in the hottest water possible, throw in a towel, or jeans, or tennis balls (for friction). Let it do its thing, while occasionally lifting it out of the machine and rubbing it together if you feel it needs it. Mine did.

The heat and the friction cause the wool fibers to fuse together, which makes Felt. If done properly, the felt should act like a fabric which can be cut without unraveling. So cool!

Before it was washed, it could have been nice sized sack. It shrunk more then half the original size!

For this project, I also learned how to attach grommets/eyelets. This was the unforeseen trickiest part of the project. And scariest. I was super nervous about cutting the holes into my newly made felt. After carful measuring, and hammer strength from my husband, the grommets were completed.

Felting Facts:
  • Felting makes a knit or crochet piece SHRINK
  • How much it will shrink depends on many factors (how hot the water is, how hard the water is, how much it is agitated, the amount & kind of soap used, the colour of yarn, etc.
  • The longer you leave it in the machines cycle the more it will be felted, which means that the stitch definition decreases.
Felting Basic Steps:
1) Wash in hot water with a bit of soap
  • throw in a towel, an old pair of jeans, and/or some tenis balls. This increases the friction which helps the fibers fuse
2) Rinse in cool water
  • rinsing in cool water causes the fibers to lock in place

3) Air dry
  • adjust the piece to the desired shape and place on a dry towel in a sunny place or near a heat vent.

If you have any questions let me know.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Busy Busy

Wow, it has almost been a year. I guess I have been too busy making things ;)

I've been making little animals for my 20 nieces and nephews. It is lots of fun. I mostly got the patterns from library books. I did convert a few crochet patterns to knitted ones, so that they would be more uniform.

I'm thinking about opening up an Etsy shop and selling these little guys. My nieces and Nephews love them, maybe the Etsy world will love them too.

Monday, 28 July 2014

My Fat Little Gnome

This is a link to where I found the pattern.

I made this for my sister Jenny. She had pinned it with the exclamation "If only I knew how to knit." This was just after I learned how, so I thought, "I know how, I know how." and began making it in secret. I think I'm going to have to make one for myself one day.

I used black beans as filler, and a bit of stuffing for the hat, but I think that the beans made it look a bit fat. My original plan was to stuff the whole thing, then shove in some rocks in the middle/bottom, but we ended up having a surprise late snow fall the day I planned on finishing it. I think it still looks cute.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Fine Art of Yarn Bombing

Peggy's Cove
Wow! Nova Scotia is absolutely gorgeous. My trip to visit my sister in Halifax enhanced my belief that we live in an outstandingly diverse and stunning country.

As I frolicked about Nova Scotia, I came upon some interesting crochet.

My sister gave me a tour of downtown Halifax on my first day, and I saw my first Yarn Bombing! I think that this is an adorably fun way of getting together to personalize your community. For those of you have not heard of Yarn Bombing this is a link of examples. Keep your eye open for Yarn Bombing in your city. I would like to hear about them.

In Lunenburg we came across a store selling hand crocheted cacti. I saw patterns for these awhile ago, and thought that they were cute, but couldn't think of a practical use for them. I love that these ladies were making money from them. I guess they could be practical after all. Here is a free pattern for crocheted cacti I found. Saweet!