Summer Knitting and Crochet

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Do you knit or crochet during the summer? Here in the northern hemisphere it is summer and I thought I would share some thoughts and tips on summer knitting and crochet. I have heard that a lot of people stop knitting during the summer and then take it up again in the fall. Even thought summers where I live can be pretty hot, my knitting and crocheting doesn’t stop during the summer months. For fun I did a survey on Twitter asking if people knitted or crocheted in the summer. I only got 4 responses and all of them knit in the summer. That is a very small sampling but it tells me that at least some people knit and crochet in the summer.

I found this article with advice on summer knitting useful. During summer, I usually end up knitting inside under air conditioning in front of a fan at my desk. Summer is a good time to knit smaller, portable projects. I see people I follow on Instagram take a portable projects to the beach. One summer I made cotton sun hats that I wear when I work in the yard. It is also a good time to use lighter yarns such as cotton and linen. One thing I have found is that my local craft store will often put yarn on clearance in the summer. That is something to keep in mind when you are at the craft store. I have gotten some good deals that way.  Do you knit or crochet in the summer? Let me know in the comments.

My Adventures in Bead Crochet

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I recently finished a bead crochet rope and started a new one. I also started some new beading projects. I was going to write about my progress in one post. However,  I have 5 different projects to write about and I felt like it was a lot to write in one post . I decided divide the information into 2 parts. In this post,  I will be writing about my bead crochet ropes. Next week, I will write about my non crochet beading projects.

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I just finished the pastel rope pictured above and I tried a new technique to join it together. I thought that the tutorial I used was confusing and the technique was harder than I thought. I hope that on the next rope, it will make more sense. I also started a new bead crochet rope using a red black and white color scheme. I was going to use a red white and gold color scheme but I ran out of gold beads and had to figure out something else. From doing these bead crochet ropes, I have realized that I am not nearly as confident about choosing color schemes as I used to be. It takes me a long time to decide what colors to use. I may have to brush up on color theory.  Except for those concerns, I am having fun working on the ropes. I find it relaxing and it is easy to pick up and do a few rows when I need to relax.

 

Help Save Net Neutrality.

This post is a departure from what I typically write. I don’t want this to be a political blog. I am making an exception and am writing about net neutrality today. Since I make online content I am very much in favor of net neutrality. I have not been blogging that long; however, if the FCC disbands net neutrality,this blog could be done before it has had a chance to gain any momentum. Today is a national day of action to help save net neutrality. The following text is from the organization who organized this day of action.  It explains net neutrality and provides links that give information on how to take action.

On July 12, 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/.

Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.

If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.

But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!

Learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12

Useful Knitting Links

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Did you know that if you missed a a yarn over you can fix it on the next row? I didn’t either until I watched Kate Atherley’s video on Knitty. Today, I am posting knitting links I have found useful.

 The first link is Kate Atherley’s column in knitty about lace knitting. This is the video I mentioned in my opening paragraph; it also has advice on lifelines and blocking.

I recently found this blog series on designing patterns that is also written by Kate Atherley. I have read her book on pattern writing and found it useful so I am very excited to find this blog series and read more of the blog posts.

The site I use the most often is Knitting Help.com. Anytime I need to learn a new technique or don’t remember how to do something this is the first place I look.

I ran across this post on how to weave in ends when I had been knitting for at least a few years. Once I read it, I wished I had found this tutorial when I first learned to knit.

I found out about Knitting Fool from a knit design challenge I did. This site has an extensive listing of stitches, a sweater pattern generator and an extensive listing of knitting terms and abbreviations.

Do you have any knitting or crochet links that you find useful that I didn’t post?  Post a link to it in the comments. 

           

My Finished Lace Scarf

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On Monday July 3, I finished knitting this lace scarf; I just need to block it. I started it when I was participating in the Initiate Knit Design Challenge hosted by Aroha Knits.  The challenge walks people through the process of designing a knitting pattern. I didn’t finish it in time for the challenge but I continued to work on it once the challenge ended. I wanted to to use up some yarn I had leftover from a sweater I had knitted earlier. I had a little less than 100 grams of yarn to work with.

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I wanted to design a narrow lace scarf and I really struggled to find a stitch pattern that would work for a narrow scarf. I looked at several stitches but I ended up using a stitch I found in Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Once I found a stitch I liked I really enjoyed working on it. In retrospect, it was not an ideal project for the challenge because I didn’t have much of the yarn. I struggled to find enough yarn to do a swatches. I ended up swatching in another yarn. I ended up finishing it with less than a foot of yarn to spare.  I was pretty nervous near the end of the project but I am very happy with how it turned out.

More Stash Busting Resources

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While researching this post, I found a couple of resources for using up scrap yarn that I didn’t include in that blog post because I was worried that it was too long. I decided to share those links along with a few other resources on found on using up scrap yarn.

 This is a book of patterns that use scrap yarn. I like this sweater from that book.

 I found another book about stash busting

 Clara Parkes did a whole Craftsy Class on stash busting. 

This is A blog post by I love knitting with 5 patterns that are good for using up scrap yarn.

Taking A Break From Social Media

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As much as I like social media, there are times when it gets to be too much for me and I periodically will take breaks. On social media, I sometimes feel like I get an avalanche of other people’s opinions on people’s actions, words or appearance. Or something happens in the news and I get post after post after post about telling me how awful everything is right now. Also, if you have the apps on your phone, I have found it is too easy to constantly check your phone. I don’t want to be that person who is constantly checking my phone. Here is what I have found out about taking a break from social media. 

 You can temporarily deactivate from Instagram. You have to log in from a computer to do it. There is no way to deactivate from your phone. Here is a link on how to do that.

 You can also temporarily deactivate Facebook. The last time I deactivated my account , I got at least 4 pop ups asking me, “Do you really want to do this?” For some reason it was much easier to deactivate Instagram. This link will run you through how to deactivate Facebook.

 Twitter doesn’t have an option to temporarily deactivate. You can only permanently delete your account.You can put in a request to delete your account and it takes 30 days for it to happen. What I have done is set my account to private and log off the app on my phone so I can only check on a computer. Here are instructions from Twitter support that goes over the process of deleting your account.

 If you have downloaded social media apps onto your phone, you can either log off and leave the app or uninstall the app. One thing I will often do even when I am not taking a break from social media is put my phone across the room so I can’t easily check it.

My Handmade Wardrobe Goals

DSC_0011 (1)-1Right now, I am making a lace scarf, a shawl, a tank top and a blanket. After I finish some of these projects, I want to make more garments. I have  recently realized that I make a lot of accessories but not that many garments. The tank top I am experimenting with is the first garment I have made in 2 years. I feel like that is a long time to go without making garments. I also want to make sure I am making pieces I could use in my wardrobe. Here is a list of some of the items I want to make to round out my wardrobe. 

First up, I want to make some summer tops. Once I finish one of my knitting projects. I want to make this top. It uses yarn I bought for another project that didn’t work out. I really like how this top looks and I am looking forward to making this. The style of this top and the color should work well with other pieces in my wardrobe. I have had this yarn for years and I am happy that I found a use for it. I already did gauge swatches and made gauge. The above photo shows the yarn I am going to use and a picture o f the pattern. 

I also want to make this top by Andi Satterlund. I love the lace paneling on the top and I have some cotton/linen yarn that should work well with this pattern. 

After summer tops, I want to make a cardigan to wear over skirts. and dresses. I don’t really have a cardigan that looks nice with my skirts and dresses. I think it would be nice to have a sweater I can wear over my dresses and skirts for when it gets colder at night. I am eyeing 2 more of Andi Satturlund’s patterns, either the Miette or Mary Mead. She makes a lot of cardigans that would look nice to wear with skirts and dresses.

I also really want a cardigan to wear with jeans and pants in colder weather. My favorite cardigan is wearing out and I am thinking I want to make a sweater instead buying one. I am eyeing this pattern from Knitty  if I can find yarn that works. It calls for a heavy worsted and the yarns I looked at were either too light or too heavy. I am also eyeing this cardigan by Lion Brand. I am not sure I like the recommended yarn. I may have to substitute yarn if I decide to make it. 

A History of Hand Knitting

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I recently read the book, A History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt, the former, Bishop of Leicester. He also knitted since the age of seven. I love to knit and I am interested in history so I thought it would be interesting to read. I am also interested in textile history. If you are interested in knitting history it is worth reading but others may lose interest. The book was well researched, but very dry. The author clearly did extensive research. The book is organized in chronological order. The book covers the following time frames: before the 1500, the Restoration, the Victorian age, World War 1 up to the 1980s. The book also covers the history of kitting traditions in parts of the British isles, North and South America, Slavic countries, Greece, then India, Africa and Asia.

 One interesting fact from the book is that knitting stockings was a way for people from England to make extra money starting in Elizabethan times. You can tell the author extensively researched the book. He constantly mentioned books he read and people he talked to for the book. If you are interested in vintage pattern books, you will find several names of books and authors to read and collect. At several points in the book he point out assumptions from history and debunks them. However, I felt like he got too bogged down in detail. He would mention a piece of knitting then describe it in exhaustive detail. I did learn a lot from the book and I think it is worth reading if you care about textiles and history.

 

 

My Vintage Pattern Books

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A few weeks ago, I went to a library book sale with my mom and found some great vintage books. I found 2 needlework guides from 1973 called Make it Yourself and a McCall’s Needlework Treasury from 1964. I also found a book on making rugs from scrap yarn and a book on freeform crochet. I enjoy looking for vintage knitting books at thrift stores and library book sales. I don’t have the space to constantly collect books but I like occasionally seeing what I can find. I have always liked history and I also like reading vintage patterns.

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 Just last week or so, I happened to find The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont at a local thrift store. When I first saw it, I didn’t buy it. However, I thought it looked familiar so I went back home and googled the book. Once I googled the title, I realized it is a piece of textile history. I nervously drove back to the thrift store the next day hoping it was still there. Luckily, it was still on the shelf and I bought it. It is a very thorough guide to needlework and people use it as a reference even today. I am excited to have a copy. You can read this book on Gutenburg.com but it is nice to have a printed copy. I just read the book A History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt. From that book, I got a list of other authors and books to look for when I am out looking for other vintage books.