Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Energizer Bunny Phase

Only two weeks left until our K4 Xmas sale, so I've been knitting as fast as I can.

So far, I've finished five more sets of the combination knit/crochet hats & scarves. The dark blue, red & rust color sets use the box stitch, the lighter blue set uses a 5 dc shell stitch & the green set on the lower left is done in a basket-weave stitch using front & back post double crochet stitches.

These two sets use the slip stitch "window pane" design (you'll find directions under "Free Patterns" on the sidebar) with plain double crochet scarves. There wasn't a lot of yarn left of the autumn variegated for the scarf on the right so I tried to add some interest by making pointy ends on it.

These cowls have been fun to design. They're basically a ribbed tube with lace on the bottom edge. The two on the left & one on the bottom right have lace edging that's knit on sideways. The cream one on the right has a crocheted shell edging & the grey tweed at the very top has crocheted box stitch edging.

These seven cowls are made of different yarns & different patterns. For the two longer ones, the hot pink is knit from one strand of mohair & one strand of ribbon yarn in garter stitch while the turquoise one is one strand of mohair worked in a feather & fan pattern. The others are combinations of yarn in linen stitch, feather & fan, yo cables & slanted stitches.

And finally, this is what happens when I attempt to take photos - Boomer is quite the camera hog plus if there's anything soft on the floor, he's going to try to make it into a cat bed. {g}

Two weeks to go and lots more knitting to do!

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Stars Finally Aligned...

...and the camera batteries were charged at the same time that the vacuum was run. With three cats in the house, if the camera batteries were discharged, by the time the little red light on the charger went out & the batteries cooled, the carpet would need sweeping again. At least that's my story & I'm sticking to it! {g}

Besides, until late last month I was knitting the same old things - hat & scarf sets for the homeless veterans' shelter in Detroit. Below is the last batch & I think the total since January is 70 or 71 sets.

Someone from the Oxford American Legion Post will be picking these up soon and delivering them to the shelter. Unfortunately, that someone will not be our K4 member Gloria who originally delivered the first hats two years ago. Gloria passed away this summer. We miss her.

Once I finished with the hat & scarf sets, I joined others in our group knitting sweaters for Knits For Kids. All together, we finished 15 sweaters that will be shipped soon. I reworked the pattern last year to knit the sweater in the round up to the armholes, cast on for the sleeves working one yoke & then the other with a 3-needles bind-off at the shoulders. Both of these sweaters are made that way so there are only a few yarn ends that need to be run in when finished.

And after that, the FUN began! For the past two years, our group has held a Xmas sale in early December to raise money for our charity projects. There are often "fancy" yarns (the hand wash, dry flat types) that are donated along with the acrylics that we use for charity and this time of year is when I can go a little bit wild making items for the sale.

These two are in WoolEase worsted weight. The hat starts off with knit ribbing and then switches to crochet & then back to knitting for the top. The scarves are crocheted in the same box stitch as used on the hat.

In September, we received a large box of fancy yarn from a wonderful person in Indianapolis, IN. {thank you!!} Included were two skeins of this wild yarn made up of lengths tied together in overhand knots intended to dangle from the finished item along with the pattern to make a shawl. You can see the results of one skein above & the other below. I think they'd make wonderful Xmas gifts & hope those coming to our sale agree.

And now to the projects I have the most fun designing & making: cowls:

For some yarns the yarn itself "makes" the pattern. This orange eyelash combined with a variegated bulky makes me think about a caterpillar. It's knit in the round on size 13 needles in garter stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row in the round).

These three are also knit from two strands but because the yarn is at least a little quieter, I used moss, double moss & a basket weave variation to add texture.

The feather & fan is my favorite pattern for yarn that will display it well. This is a 12 stitch pattern repeat I normally use for socks instead of the usual 18 stitch repeat.

These last three are variations on the linen stitch. The center one is a wrap-around that still needs it's button - it's a free pattern from Ravelry (I think) "Cashmere Neckwarmer" by Kim. Suffice it to say that I fell in love with the linen stitch & used it on the other two cowls that were knit in the round.

That's it for a while - I have a few more projects either finished or on the needles and I'm really hoping that the stars will once again align between cat fur, vacuum & camera batteries sometime very soon.

Acrylics Anon/a