Knit Even, Learning a New Crafting Language!

Blogged under Projects in Progress, learning2knit 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 Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting 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 Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting 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 Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting 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 Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting 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!

Decorating a Stocking with Fabric Paint

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Monday 23 December 2013 at 3:59 pm

It has been a tradition in my family that each furry child has his or her own Christmas stocking. I usually pick the small stockings up at my local Michael’s for a dollar each, and then I use fabric paint to paint their names on each one. Here are a few photos of one I just made today for our latest addition to the family.

Make sure when you purchase your stocking that there is some place (I prefer the top) where you can write the name. Also, be careful of any stockings that are extra flurry. That can be difficult to add fabric paint to.

I haven’t had to make one in a while, but we had a recent addition to the clan this past October. His name is “Little” because, to us at least, he is little. I was calling him “Little Dude” and my husband was calling him “Little Guy” when we first found him. Our other dogs are around 80 pounds, so at 50 pounds, Little seems like a small dog to us. I’m just waiting for the paint to dry before adding his stocking to the others on our tree. Luckily, it will be ready in plenty of time for Santa.

Ah, Alpaca Scarf

Blogged under Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Sunday 17 November 2013 at 3:03 pm

Here is one of my latest projects. It’s just a simple crochet scarf using open stitch and some super soft baby alpaca. I have only been able to find this specific baby alpaca yarn at the Knit and Stitch Boutique in Cocoa Village, so I had to have my sister pick this up for me since I didn’t have time to go by the last time I was in town.

This is a special gift that I plan to give to my veterinarian. On one of my last visits as we were discussing safe cat toys (this is after she found a pony tail holder in my cat’s carrier and warned me nicely about how dangerous these are because animals will eat them and get them caught around their intestines), and I mentioned how I had made some mouse toys from alpaca yarn. She was surprised to learn that there was such a thing as alpaca yarn and told me how she was allergic to wool.

This vet and her entire office have gone above and beyond countless times for my animals and me as well. I could write a 5,000 word blog post about just that, so I made a mental note that I had to make her something out of alpaca, and of course, it had to be this specific kind from the Cocoa Village shop since it is ubber buttery soft! I know she does go up north now and then, but just in case she ever wants to wear it down here in Florida on the few cold days we have, I decided to make it using a very open style stitch because alpaca yarn is very warm. She is very petite, and I am going to make it long enough for her to double around her neck in case she ever wants to use it where it really gets cold.

Oh, and that adorable cupcake zipper pouch? I got that during the last Thirty-One outlet sale, which I have heard rumors may be popping up again in the next few months. I will definitely post about it on here when I get any details.

I haven’t decided if I am going to do a single crochet around the entire scarf or not. Some of that may depend on how much yarn I have left once I get the length that I want.

City Tweed Hat

Blogged under Projects in Progress, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Monday 17 June 2013 at 8:24 am

I’m almost finished with a hat I am making for my husband. He used to never ask me to make anything for him because he gets hot so easily. However, after I made him some fingerless gloves he used camping during a particularly cold period, he is slowly coming around.

Recently he asked for a hat when I told him I had some leftover yarn from a pair of fingerless gloves I had made for myself. He really liked the color of the yarn. Unfortunately, I had to explain to him that there was not enough of this yarn to make him a hat, and even if there was, it is sock yarn, so it’s kind of thin to use for a hat. Plus, this yarn was hand-dyed by a woman who did not have an active shop any more, and even back when she did, she usually just had sock yarn available. So we went on the hunt for some yarn that he would like and he picked out this City Tweed in Cobalt. I have never used this yarn from Knit Picks before, but this yarn is luscious to work with. It’s 55% Merino wool, 25% superfine alpaca, and 20% Donegal tweed. I got 2 skeins in an Aran/heavy weight.

I’m making him a beanie style hat. The pattern is free and called Soldier Beanie. It’s available through and is used to make hats for soldiers to wear under their helmets. I was just about finished when I had my husband try it on, and he thinks it needs to be longer because he wants it to cover the top part of his neck. I have tried to explain to him that a longer hat will not cover his neck; it will just start to roll at some point, but he won’t be convinced until I try to do it. Maybe I will be proven wrong, but I’m now working on trying to get him to let me make him a matching cowl or scarf.

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