1.29.2007

UFOs and WIP

Ahhh!!! Yarn from outer-space....wh-what's WIP have to do with outer-space? Unfortunately I cannot report that I have had any Unidentified Flying Objects near any of my knitting and WIP doesn't mean Wayfaring Intergalactic Probe (also that doesn't really make sense). Instead try, UnFinished Objects and Works In Progress. These two acronyms also correlate with the mysterious lack of posting to this blog. So, to fill you in, here are my WIPs and UFOs.

WIP Sheldon:

I have completed the body, limbs, and top of Sheldon's shell. I am working on the other 2 parts of the shell so I can stuff the shell and limbs then attach the limbs. Oh, also, Sheldon doesn't have any eyes at this moment...still working on that.




UFO Baby Afghan WUA! style:

Over Christmas, I learned that Brad and I can expect the joyous arrival of another cousin in June! This baby will receive an Afghan made of 7 x 9 in. rectangles all stitched together. Sound familiar? This is just a Warm Up America! Afghan made with baby yarn. So far, I haven't had any problems except that the afghan requires quite a bit of time.

Completed Rectangles: Incomplete Rectangle:



Remaining Yarn:

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1.11.2007

Strength in Numbers

Tonight I went to my very first knitting/crocheting group. Since the group meets in a very small town (pop. 800) we didn't think that we could get away with calling the group "Stitch N Bitch" without problems. So, for lack of a better term, right now we are just the knitting/crocheting group. Anyway, the groupies range in age from 10 years old to about 50 (no need to get specific here). With the exception of myself and a friend Diane everyone else is a "just learning" or beginning knitter. One of the "just learning" knitters took off knitting like a pro and is know knitting in the front and back of a stitch! So, in conclusion, find a group to knit/crochet with, you will find strength in numbers!

Here are some groups for you to join...
Virtual Stitch N Bitch Group
Stitch N Bitch Directory

Another way to find a group, go to your favorite coffee shop and ask if their shop is taken over once a week by some men/ladies with sticks, hooks, and string! Also, ask around at your place of worship, work, neighborhood, etc., if there isn't a group near you then start one! Groups like this are a great way to foster community, which we all need.

Happy Knitting,
Alison

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1.07.2007

Brrr....make a cozy



My husband and I received a Nintendo DS for Christmas and absolutely love our new toy. However, we realized the need for a case of some sort and really didn't like the options in the stores. They are all too big, too small, pink argyle, or have a cartoon of some flavor embroidered/printed on the outside. My sister-in-law recognized the same need for her DS and immediately thought of knitting a cozy! She used the pattern in the Stitch N' Bitch Handbook as her guide and reported that the pattern works very well. So, I flipped my copy of the book open to the pattern and began casting on. Unfortunately, I stick to a knitting pattern about as well as my mom sticks to a recipe, in other words, I digressed rapidly from the printed page. In the end I have a DS cozy that I really like so I guess there is no harm in switching things up a bit for a custom made cozy.

Alison


Nintendo DS Knitted Cozy

Materials:
Size 6 straight needles
Worsted Weight Acrylic Yarn
Button (2 MM or 3/4 inch)
Sewing Needle and Thread to match the yarn
Yarn Needle
Size H Crochet Hook

Pattern:
(Front)
CO 22 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: K 1, *P 2, K 2, repeat from * until 1 stitch remains on the needle, K the last stitch
Row 6: P 1, *K 2, P 2, repeat from * until 1 stitch remains on the needle P the last stitch
Repeat rows 5 and 6 until the piece measures 5 1/2 inches.
(Back)
Bind off 3 sts at the beginning of the next two rows continue in pattern stitch (rows 5 and 6).
Continue in pattern stitch (rows 5 and 6) until the piece measures 10 1/2 inches (end on WS)
Knit in stockinette stitch for 8 rows (Knit one row, purl the next)
(Flap)
After 8 rows of stockinette stitch return to the pattern stitch from rows 5 and 6 for 2 3/4 inches (end on WS).
Knit in stockinette stitch for 6 rows
Bind off all sts.

Finishing:
With RS facing out, and matching the first 4 rows with the stockinette stitch on the back sew the side seams together using the mattress stitch. Sew on the button to the lower center of the flap. With your crochet hook, chain 12 sts. Make these 12 chain sts into a loop to sew onto the front of the cozy to act as the button closure. Now just weave in the stray yarn ends and your finished!

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1.06.2007

Need has no season

Ahh...so we are all coming down from our Christmas highs, gift exchanges have ended, we've eaten our holiday candy, and we are still wondering where Christmas went in the hustle and bustle of the last weeks in December. During the Christmas season, many people don't purchase gifts just for themselves or family and friends, many people give to other organizations like Heifer International, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Humane Societies, their church, synagogue, or temple, and to countless other organizations. On the sign for the Salvation Army Bell Ringers, the sign says, "Need Has No Season". So, let's make giving a year round effort. I will post each month about different things you can do to help others locally and internationally that will some how relate to knitting.

Warm Up America!

"Warm Up America! (WUA!) is an organization made up of volunteers who create handmade afghan blankets, clothing and accessories to help those in need. These items provide warmth and comfort to people who have lost their homes, fled abusive relations, or are being cared for in hospices, shelters, hospitals, and nursing homes." (WUA!)

Here is an easy project you can do if you are learning how to knit or you are teaching someone new to knitting. They will feel great about learning something that will benefit others. Knit (or crochet) 7 x 9 inch rectangles in various pattern stitches. Then you can make them into a blanket or you can send them on to WUA!.

Materials:
Worsted Weight Acrylic Yarn
Size 7 needles (or size necessary to obtain gauge)

Gauge: 5 sts = 1 inch

Finished Size: (helpful hint: cut a piece of cardboard to 7 x 9 inches to make measuring easier)
7 x 9 inches

Garter Stitch
Cast On 35 sts.
Knit every row until the piece measures 9 inches.
Bind off all sts.

Stockinette Stitch
Cast on 35 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until the piece measures 9 inches.
Bind off all sts.

Seed Stitch
Cast on 35 sts.
Row 1: K1, P1, K1, continue alternating sts across the row.
Row 2: P1, K1, P1, continue alternating sts across the row.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until the piece measures 9 inches.
Bind off all sts.

There are more stitch patterns here, or you can get creative and make up your own patterns, just make sure that the finished piece measures 7 x 9 inches.

Happy Knitting

Alison


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1.05.2007

My New Cousin: part 2

I received a very exciting phone call this morning. My Aunt and Uncle had a baby girl! Her name is Angela Faith (I hope I am spelling that right, sometimes parents take a very lovely name and spell it phoenetically so that the lovely sounding name looks awfully hard to pronounce) born around 8 a.m. (Central Time) and she weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz.. Hopefully in part 3 of My New Cousin I can show you some pictures of her in her sacque, hat, and booties.

Until then,
Alison

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1.02.2007

"Knit Your Bit"

I claimed my knitter's niche in 2005 when I took a class called "Women and World War II". At this time, my ears continuously listened for words like "knit", "purl", "garter", "stockinette", etc. so when I noticed the character Mrs. Miniver knitting in a bomb shelter and two sisters talking about k2 p2 ribbing, I knew that there was more to that than just a word on a page or camera shot in a movie. During this time, many people knitted; children, wounded soldiers, women young and old. So when did this begin? I would imagine that needles have always clicked whether or not a war rages. But, at some point women felt the call to "Knit Your Bit" and passed that on to younger generations. I could write a long and detailed history of Wartime Knitting here, but that might be a bit too much for the moment. So instead, if you would like to find out more on your own check out these interesting knitting resources.

Knitting for Victory - WWII
American Red Cross WWII Knitting
Posters, Photos, and Ads from the WWII Homefront
Knitting Images

Alison

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1.01.2007

Start off the New Year right...with a donut?










So, I felt kind of bad that my cats didn't get a Christmas present when I have extra tidbits of yarn all over the place. Instead they both start out the New Year right with a donut. I initially began to make them
Wontons or Eggrolls, but settled for a good ol' American donut. The donut is really easy to make and easily accommodates all yarn leftovers. Happy New Year everyone and Happy Knitting!

Alison

Without further ado, the Catnip Donut...

Materials:
  • Left over yarn (about 40-50 yards)
  • Cotton Balls, yarn or fabric scraps, etc. for stuffing
  • Catnip
  • Yarn needle
Gauge:
There isn't a set gauge, just make sure that when knit in stockinette stitch it is tightly knit so that the catnip and stuffing don't come out easily. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky on size 8 needles.

Directions:
CO 60 sts.
Work in St st for 4 inches, ending with a WS row.
BO all sts.

Finishing:
Fold the piece in half the long way and sew the seam. You should have a long tube open at both ends. Stuff the tube with stuffing and catnip. Sew the ends together so that the donut is still a tube.

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