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.

My Crochet Goals

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I recently wrote about my knitting goals. I want to give equal time to both knitting and crochet on this blog so I also wanted to write about my crochet goals. Lately, I have been more inspired by knitting than crochet. Until I started the blanket I am making right now, I have been knitting more than I crochet. However, when I thought abut it there are many things I want to crochet. Here are the crochet projects I want to do in the future. I look at this list I made and realize I could be busy for a long time.

Crochet more garments

In the past, I have struggled to find crochet garments I want to make. However, I have found a few  patterns I like. I really like this Convergence Top pattern. I found out about it when I asked for advice on crochet garment patterns on a Ravelry forum. I have been eyeing the Northern Dreams Pullover for a long time. When I first saw the pattern years ago, I thought it looked like a difficult pattern and never thought to attempt it. I recently looked at it again and realized it was a crochet version of a yoked sweater. Now I really want to make this sweater. However I am on a tight budget right now and would have to buy yarn to make both. I have also been eyeing this pullover by Dora Ohrenstein. 

Make a dress

A friend of mine designed this dress and I really want to make it at some point. I also love this dress by Lily Chin. Both would be a challenge for me and a big project I know I want to make these at some point but I am not sure when I will get around to it.

Make a ripple blanket

This past winter, I was reading about temperature blankets and came very close to making one. I decided to make the blanket I am working on now instead. A friend gave me some red heart yarn that should work well for a blanket. I like the way the rippled blanket looks and I like the idea of having a colorful blanket to use during the winter.

 Freeform crochet

I have been reading about freeform crochet for years and am intrigued by the idea. If you don’t know what freeform crochet is, this article describes freeform crochet pretty well. I really like the idea of being creative and freewheeling with crochet. I have read about the work of Prudence Mapstone, and Jenny Dowde and would love to explore freeform crochet further. I have thought that it would be a fun way to use some of my scrap yarn.

 Make some of the design ideas I have sketched

I keep a sketchbook and write ideas for projects that I could design.I want to get in the habit of working on some of these ideas on a regular basis.

The Good and Bad Sides of Social Media

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One topic I would like to write about on occasion is the good and bad sides of social media. I am fascinated by social media. I have used Twitter and Facebook since 2009 and Instagram since 2015. I have seen both good and bad sides to social media. In recent years I feel like I am seeing more and more online harassment and that really bothers me. Leslie Jones and Anne Wheaton have both faced horrible harassment on Twitter. After watching what Leslie Jones went through, I almost deleted my Twitter account. Anne Wheaton stayed away from Twitter for several months because of the harassment. Here is a blog post she wrote about that.  Here is an article that outlines the harassment Leslie Jones received. I have also seen other women on Twitter attacked viciously for posting an opinion. It is easy to get misinterpreted on social media because it is very hard to read intent. I have seen some terrible misunderstandings and fights from this issue.

On the positive side, I have also received good advice and met some lovely people on social media. I regularly chat with people I consider to be friends on Twitter and Instagram. On social media, it is much easier to see different points of view. I follow people from around the world on both Twitter and Instagram. Hearing other points of view has expanded my horizons and enabled me to hear viewpoints I wouldn’t hear in my everyday life. I learned most of what I know about knitting and crochet from Ravelry. I found most of my blogging advice from people I follow on Twitter or Ravelry Forums.

Social media hasn’t been around that long and I am fascinated by how much it has changed things. Before social media, the main way to keep up with people was phone calls, in person meetings and email. It was a lot easier to fall out of touch with someone. Now you can easily find old classmates from years ago and know what is going on in their everyday lives. It also fascinates me how quickly information moves these days. If you are on Twitter you can see a big news story unfold in real time. You can see responses in real time by people at the event. Thanks to the internet I can interact with people all over the world. On Ravelry, I have chatted with people in several countries and discussed how their customs are different than American customs. That type of conversation was much harder to come by before the advent of social media. On Instagram, I once watched a live video of a lamb being born in Iceland while I was in Washington State; that is incredible when you think about it.

Current Projects

DSC_0006 (1)-1I am still working on the blanket and I am about halfway done making squares. I have started to work on sewing the squares together. I decided to start sewing the squares together now so that I am not left with a huge amount of squares to sew up near the end. The blanket pattern is a series of diamond shapes with different color combinations and I want to see how they look as I go. I didn’t know what technique I wanted to use to sew them together so I did a little research. I found this blog post and decided to use the mattress stitch and I used this tutorial of the mattress stitch. 

DSC_0011-1I am also still working on this lace scarf. I am almost done and then it needs to be blocked. I have really enjoyed working on this project. I like the lace stitch and once I got going, it isn’t hat difficult to knit.

DSC_0004-1I am still plugging away at the Herbivore shawl. I have been working on the lace scarf more than this shawl so I don’t have much progress to report.

DSC_0004 (1)-1I decided to make a tank top. I saw this crocheted tank top on Instagram and really liked it. I decided to make a modified version for myself.  I am making it using Patons Grace. I decided on a white, lavender and pink color scheme. I am still in the swatching and planning stage. I haven’t found a motif I like. I like the lacy stitches but I am concerned that a lacy stitch would look busy since I am using 3 different colors.

My Knitting Goals

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I thought I would write a post about my knitting goals and what I want to make next. As we start a new month and go into a new season, it felt like a good time to think about how I want to build my skills and what I want to do differently with my craft projects. These are the knitting techniques and projects that have been on my mind lately.

Learn to knit socks

I have wanted to learn to knit socks for a long time. I even bought a couple of books on sock knitting and a few skeins of sock yarn. I am not sure when I will get around to it but I want to learn at some point.

 Knit a sweater using the percentage system

The percentage system is a way of making a sweater without a pattern that was devised by Elizabeth Zimmerman; it is described in her books. A couple of her books that describe it are Knitting Without Tears and Knitting Workshop. I have read couple of books by Elizabeth Zimmerman and I am a big fan. I love how she encourages her readers to be more creative and knit without a pattern. I am hoping to start this project this fall or winter.

 Make more garments

I have realized that I haven’t made a garment in 2 years and I really want to change that. I am thinking my next knitting pattern will be a summer top. I want to start it once I finish the scarf or shawl I am knitting right now.

 Make a cardigan

As I stated above, I want to make more garments.  I also want to make items for my wardrobe. I wear cardigans constantly and my favorite cardigan is wearing out. I am thinking I want to make a cardigan instead of buying one. I am eyeing a couple of patterns to make for this winter. 

 Use up some of my older yarn stash

I have had some of the yarn in my stash for years. Some of this yarn sits in my stash because I don’t know what to do with it. I started the lace scarf I am making to use up the yarn I had leftover from a sweater I made. I had a little over a skein left and I wanted to use up the yarn. I would like to do similar projects to use up odd bits of yarn in my stash.