Taylor – Another Knit Shawl on the Needles

Blogged under Fiber Fun,learning2knit,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Thursday 7 January 2016 at 11:45 am

It’s not really a resolution for the new year but more of a continuation of learning to knit. I have to admit that I could happily make garter stitch shawls and scarves forever, but that would mean I would not learn to knit beyond the basics. So I’m taking a baby step and working on a shawl pattern that has lots of garter but a little bit more than that. The pattern is “Taylor,” from designer Jennifer Lysen. It’s a free pattern, so so far, I think I’m getting the hang of it. I like how it is a long shawl that could sort of work like a scarf too.

I’ve dipped into the “good stuff” as far as yarn goes, using a colorway called “Puppy,” from Expression Fiber Arts’ line of Resilient Superwash Merino Sock yarn. I have already made a number of mistakes but have managed to learn to pull out stitches and rework them. When I get frustrated, I keep reminding myself that it’s about the process, not the product!

Knitting Sadness and Doggie Madness

Blogged under crochet and knitting,learning2knit,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Sunday 12 July 2015 at 3:56 pm

If you have watched any recent episodes of my Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast on YouTube, then you may have seen this shawl popping up once or twice. It’s a very simple pattern, perfect for beginning level knitters like myself (and free on Ravelry) called Das Tuchle. I was using my beautiful Rainbow circulars from Knit Picks, size 8 (5mm) needles, and some of my favorite yarn from Cascade, Heritage Silk Paints in the Water Lily colorway.

Well….I guess I spaced out one night and forgot my project bag in the TV room where we sort of keep our dogs sequestered from other parts of the house and this is what happened! Yikes!

We don’t have any doggie evidence for sure on who of our three dogs did it, but this guy looks the most guilty.

And he already has a bad track record after eating a hole in my MIL’s cashmere sweater. Not that out other two guys wouldn’t have gone for it if given the chance. He was probably just faster than they were.

On the flip side, I’m very grateful that the needles and cable are fine. Most of the yarn made it through, though now in a lot of small balls. I’m not sure exactly what I will be doing with the yarn, but I’m preparing to start up the shawl again with some new yarn, hopefully one that won’t be as tasty.

Rainbow Yarn!

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Saturday 18 April 2015 at 9:48 am

I love the look and feel of this Souk Cascade yarn! It’s an almost equal mix of silk and wool, and it’s amazing. I will admit, though, it’s a tad challenging to work with, similar to Noro in some ways. You have to be gentle and patient.

It is so fun to watch the colors change, and it makes me want to keep knitting so I can get to the next color. I am attempting to make a simple tote with a long crossbody strap. The design is something in my head, which hopefully will successfully transfer into my hands as I keep knitting.

Knit Even, Learning a New Crafting Language!

Blogged under learning2knit,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Thursday 12 February 2015 at 2:24 pm

If you have watched any of my video podcasts, then you know what I’m working on, and you probably have seen bits and pieces of this little knitted baby kimono I’m making for my grandniece, Crystal Jewel. It is a free Lion Brand pattern called “Comfy Kimono,” and I am using Lion Brand’s Baby Soft yarn in the Circus Print colorway. I have one more sleeve to knit, and then it will be time to stitch it all together. I’m so happy with how it’s turning out!

Making this project has been a learning experience for sure! My latest lesson was on the knitting term “work even.” Yup. I was zipping along fairly well with the back and front pieces. Then when I was about half way through the sleeve, the instructions said “work 3 rows even.” Er, what? Was I working uneven before?

According to the Lion Brand web site, “work even” means to “continue in the established pattern without increasing or decreasing,” which in this particular case meant to keep doing stockinette. Why not just say that? Good question, but hey, it is one of the many little lessons I learn as I continue to learn to knit.

Scrap Cat in Progress

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Monday 26 January 2015 at 11:25 am

I have an accumulation of yarn scraps piling up, and I need to get on making some stuffed toys for the club’s boutique that will be held in a month or so. My thoughts were, then, to figure out a way to combine the scraps into at least one or two toys.

As I was browsing through my collection of amigurmi and toy patterns, I found an adorable cat on the Little Woollie blog that I had downloaded some time ago. As the blogger admits in her description of this project, her “pattern” is sketchy, but I am figuring out, attempting to re-engineer it as necessary, starting with the square, which I could never find the size it should be. I’m going with about 6 inches, and instead of doing a granny type square (because the stuffing would come out), I’m going with a simple single crochet square using an assortment of brightly colored yarn scraps. (And, yes, that is a Younique makeup bag in the background, which I have discovered hold small balls of yarn perfectly for a project like this.)

I have one side finished and have started side number two. I’m not sure how I’m feeling about the ears at this point. Again, the original instructions were kind of…um…not easy for me to follow, so I ended up just making a row of single crochet and then stitching two stitches together on each end of a section to help create a kind of triangular shape.

I will keep you posted on my progress, and of course, I will show my work as I go and hopefully finish soon through my video podcast.

601 Yards to Stash Dash

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Saturday 2 August 2014 at 4:04 pm

The Knit Girllls’ Stash Dash 2014 ends on August 7, and I am only 601 yards away from crocheting/knitting 5468 yards to make it to the end of the dash. I have a number of projects in the works, but I really want to meet this goal, so I’ve set those aside and started, what else, but a good old granny square baby afghan.

I still have baby yarn that I’d like to see out of the stash too, so I picked up some Bernat Baby Softee and started today. This skein is 395 yards, and I probably have a good half skein still after this left from a previous project. 601….I can do this!

New Floors & Reorganizing Craft Supplies

Blogged under My Crafty News,Projects in Progress,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Friday 18 July 2014 at 12:04 pm

My craft-room slash home-office is also the main room my cats like to hang out in, probably because I’m usually in there writing, grading papers, and making stuff. We have been planning to put in new flooring (as our 15 year old carpet was beyond…well…beyond!), and we finally got some major work completed this past weekend (forgive the spots on my dirty camera lens). It meant taking tons of furniture, books, craft supplies, and more out, and then my contractor (aka husband) painted the walls (a putty color) and installed engineered hardwood flooring.

What a long weekend, especially for him. To say he had zero energy left after all of this is putting it mildly! So, of course, we did not get everything done in one weekend. We did, however, get the cats settled in there while we wait until this weekend to finish the details like the trim. They have all given it the kitty paws up!

After the trim is finished and a few spots of missed paint added, we can put the furniture back in there. This gives me a chance to do some rearranging and reorganizing. I plan to move all my jewelry supplies that were on one desk into a different room (which I will then have to reorganize as well). Since adopting the cat crew a few years ago, it has become just about impossible for me to bead in this room because they all like to help me.

I had just about figured out how I wanted to arrange the furniture back in the room, removing some and adding an old Popasan chair that my cats love, when we came into a snag. This is the snag:

Doesn’t Chanel and Herbie look ubber comfortable? This is in the living room now. We crammed most of the furniture in there, and set up a desk with my computer so I could still do some work. One of the tables, we – for no reason other than it fit – set next to my desk, and I threw an old dog bed on top of it and a small afghan on top of that. Well, the LOVE IT! This spot is right next to me now as I type, and there is almost always someone there, near me, hanging out, enjoying the comfortable spot where they can sprawl and lounge together while still being near me.

This set up with the table and cushion on it next to me was not part of my plan! Ack! But, even my husband has realized we are going to have to figure out a way to get this set up configured in my room when we move all the furniture back.

I know it is crazy to arrange furniture to accommodate cats, but seriously, how cute are these two? How can I say now them?

Bright Star Baby Ghan

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Monday 23 June 2014 at 5:17 pm

Afghan number 2 for my niece is in the works. I’m using Knit Picks Brava worsted in cornflower, orange, and canary, three colors she likes. Again, I’m turning to one of my favorite baby afghan patterns, Rainbow Ripple. Hopefully, I’ll get this done in time to also make a matching stuffed toy by the time I see her.

Fan Afghan Begins

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Saturday 7 June 2014 at 2:02 pm

I’m starting another baby afghan. This one has a designated home for sure. My niece is expecting, and she likes bright colors, specifically yellow, turquoise, green, and orange. I had about 3 skeins of Vanna’s Choice Baby yarn in the Sweet Pea colorway in my baby yarn stash, and I ordered some additional Knit Picks Brava yarn in Canary. Because Knit Picks tends to be a little thinner than most yarns, I went with bulky for this, and it’s working.

See here I started adding the yellow yarn, super bright and cheerful! I found the stitch, called Fan Stitch, in a stitch dictionary, and I plan to make 10 rows of each color. I’m using a size J hook, and I started with about 120 chain stitches. The stitch is very addicting, and so I hope to whip this afghan out really fast.

Cupcake Fingerless Gloves Continued

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Tuesday 13 May 2014 at 3:25 pm

This is just a brief post show show off my progress so far on the fingerless gloves using some yummy “Happy Birthday Cupcake” yarn. As usual with this pattern, it’s stitch, stitch, frog, stitch, stitch, stitch, frog, stitch, but they are looking pretty good so far. I love how this yarn looks!

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