The Right Tools

Using the right tools for the job is always a good idea. Sometimes I forget that even though I can knit washcloths/dishrags/handtowels or whatever you want to call them=those cotton things, on straight needles, perhaps using my trusty old Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles are the best tool for the job. Lightweight, bendy, easy on the hands, wrists and elbows, low to no drag on cotton yarn; just all around good, better, best tools for pretty much any job. I could put the little stoppers on and make them into bendy straights but I am forever dropping one, so circular used as straights really works the best too.

So, back to the dishcloth/washrag/hand towel thing. They are this year’s christmas theme. Inexpensive, colorful, quick and easy to knit or crochet and heck, who doesn’t need a nice cotton cloth to do a nice regular job around the house?

I figure I need at least 12 sets are needed for family members and a few friends, and by a set I mean:

  • two dishcloths
  • one longer hand/dishtowel (hanging or straight)
  • one sponge type dishthingie like a Tribble or one of the many tawashi patterns there are out there on the internet, either knit and crochet or a combination of both.

I haven’t decided on who gets what set or if colors really matter. Except that I do want Jessica and Joe’s set to be red and white because they are a newish couple and I know that when you are just starting out you tend to want things to match your decor. Those of us that have been around for a while (keeping up a home) know that color doesn’t matter if you are talking about mopping up a spill or whatnot. Oh and then there are the more masculine colors for the male relatives because I don’t think they would take kindly to a lot of girlie colors, or maybe I only think it matters? Most of it really depends on the mood I am in and just how sick of green and yellow I am going to be by the end of this particular large maygs2008-1ny itemed project.

Onto photos, details and links!

Set number 1:
eLoomanator’s Diagonal Knit Dishcloth (.pdf pattern)

I still have a few items to do, but in order to do those I need to find a matching pale green, pink or brown cotton to use for the hanging towel and the tawashi.

The following set is complete except for finding a button for the hanging towel:
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The small green/blue/yellow cloth on the upper right is a Ballband Dishcloth
The cloth on the lower right is a combination of the Ballband dishcloth on both ends, and a basketweave pattern in the middle, same set-up for the hanging towel. The round variegated cotton sponge is a Tribble.

 

This following set ygs2008-3is complete!
The long dishtowel is from a free pattern called Vignes, the square light green cloth is called Baby Fern Stitch Dishcloth. There is another Tribble, this time using alternating variegated and solid green.
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This is the finished dark green square from the previous photo. Another free pattern called Little Shells.

 

 

 

 

On this one I finished the two dishrags:

Both variations on the Little Starbursts Dishcloth.  And I have started on the handtowel tonight – is a Christmas Lace Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel.  Once that is done, probably tomorrow I will also need to do a tawashi.


And finally, the start on set 5, just one dishrag done:
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The Squidge Cloth.

It still seems like a lot to go but I have plenty of time. If I get all the sets done I may just keep adding to them, or do extra sets for myself, who knows?

Peace!

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Backing up a bit

Okay, so in the last entry I was counting all the afghans (donation) that I had started. The real details are that I still have a few that are in process.

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Tonight I photoed the almost conclusion of the latest cotton-ease blanket that I had shared earlier:I used a free pattern from Lionbrand website called, Crochet Shell Stitch Baby Blanket. I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in 3 of the discontinued colors with a chain of 110 stitches to create a 30 inch width. Pretty, huh?

 

 

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And here’s a detail shot of the borders:

Good work, yes? Now do you want to see the WHOLE truth? It’s a bit graphic, so those with a delicate constitution might want to peek through fingers or such.

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Sadly, this is one of the gory details of the ugly underbelly of multiple color crochet projects. I thought I could crochet over the ends when I was doing the borders, but that was a big no-go; too lumpy, so I just worked around them and now I am stuck with weaving them in. Last night I wove in some of the pink ends; I am doing them color by color so as to have a small sense of accomplishment, cause let’s face it, this is the not-so-pretty part of finishing a project, and anything to make it tolerable is something on the plus side.

cblanket5-3Tonight I decided to tackle another not totally finished blanket project. Another free pattern, this one the Baby Blocks Throw on the Lionbrand.com website too. I had finished crocheting all 16 squares (the pattern had just 12), but I hadn’t sewn or crocheted them together because I hadn’t decided which to do, sew or crochet. Sewing won out but here is a photo before said sewing.

 

Now I am working on some crocheted border(s) all around, even though the pattern didn’t direct any. Without borders the blanket feels unfinished. I am not sure how it will end up.

And last but not least there is another blanket that is still in process. This one is taking longer because it is both knit (and a knit blanket takes longer) and a shadow/illusion one at that, which means following a chart = slooooooooow.

This is from another free pattern but this one I found on Ravelry.

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It is the Star Illusion Blanket. I actually have more done rows, but the photo didn’t show much more than this earlier photo.

That’s all for now. Hope you USA folks have a great 4th and YEAH! to a long weekend!

~ Peace

On the 10th but

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I finished another blanket. The free pattern is a free one from the Project Linus website, it is called sideways shell baby afghan (aka newbie shell afghan). There are a lot of similar patterns out there in internet land, if you google box stitch you will see a bunch of them. This one is done with a fixed chain length and done as rows, most of the patterns are diagonal versions where you can decide when to start decreasing. I can see how that would be good if you have a limited amount of yarn.

Having said that – I did have a limited amount of yarn but decided that I wanted to plan it out as I go and take a chance. I had 6 balls of another bunch of discontinued baby yarn in my stash. I figured it would be enough for the main part of the blanket. Then I went and lost a ball of yarn – probably when I was out and about searching for a 2nd type to coordinate, or maybe when I was out having coffee with other knitters. Anyway, it all ended up okay, and the blanket is big enough, being 40 x 45 inches or so.

Here is a close-up too:
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I started up another, so this makes my 10th blanket for Project Little Lambs. Ten blankets was my goal. But even if I finish this 10th blanket I won’t be done because I am still knitting on the illusion star blanket, and I need to sew granny squares and do a border on the 6th(?) one too. But here is what I have done so far on the latest when I took the photo:

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Another eye-popping one, eh? I am trying to use up my stash of cotton-ease (discontinued colors). I will probably finish off the turquoise, but will have plenty left of the pink and purple and bits of other colors too. I might have enough to do another hexagon – who knows?

~ Peace

Almost there!

I finished crocheting another ripple. This one is 37 x 56 inches. Done in earth tones. Here it is:

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It is the same ripple stitch as the blue and greens I did a bit ago. This time instead of a somewhat random I did 2 repeating patterns.

Here are some close-ups of some of the repeats:

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Basically it is one skein of each color except for the variegated, and the greens are really 3 different. I ran out of one and had to sub in the 2nd green along the way, but it isn’t really that bad and is somewhat hidden because it is next to a variegated stripe, so the eye doesn’t land hard there. That is what I am telling myself anyway.

I started another today (9 out of my goal of 10) and I am finding not having enough yarn is getting to be a repeating issue. That is one of the problems of doing stash projects – you finally run out of stash! I guess that is a nice problem. All I need to do is go out and get some more yarn, which isn’t a sad thing at all. Here is what I have so far:

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It is called the Sideways Shell Baby Afghan, by Donna Laing. I started out with a longer starting chain because I am using sportweight yarn. It is an easy, quick pattern. I have already used up 2 of my 6 skeins of the yarn. Not enough yarn, so I am going to try to find some matching sportweight to put 2 or more sections of solid between each 2 skein stripe. There will also be a solid colored border. That is the plan, anyway.

More later!

~ Peace

Guess what this means:

Guess what this means:

This is the sign of an afghan in it’s last stages of completion. The weaving in of all the tails of yarn. The best way to do this is to get a whole bunch of DVDs to listen to (remember, your eyes aren’t on the screen) or CDs because it is less distracting. Have the remote handy because you will be jumping up and down to get iced tea refills, taking potty breaks and letting the dog and/or cats in or out. You need to have a pair of very sharp scissors (buried under the stack of ends in this photo), needles and such.

I always like to have a my laminated photo of the Dalai Lama around or in my pocket wherever I go. Looking at it reminds me to be compassionate. Keeps the criticism down and helps me to peaceful and relax while I am doing something as mind numbing as finishing an afghan.

Cats and dogs usually like to help too!

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This one is using most of my stash of blues and greens. The pattern is from 200 Ripple Stitches, by Jan Eaton, using the pattern called warm waves. It is was fun to do and the ripple is very bendy. All increase and decreases – not too holey, but I like to think that it is holy seeing the Dalai Lama was involved. It is about 39 inches across and 52 inches long. I used a repeating pattern of 2 greens, 1 blue, 1 green, 2 blues. There is a spot up on the upper left where I ran out of the medium blue I was using so I had to sub in some darker bright blue. I like to think of it as a cute freckle on a serene face.

Peace!

Catching up.

I wanted to leave the Aguirre Avenue post on top for a while so that my family could find it. But it’s time to move on because I have finished projects to show you.

I finished the leafy vine blanket. I don’t think I mentioned that I ran into a dye lot problem with that blanket. I had just grabbed up all of the balls of green yarn at the last NU Outlet sale. I did notice that the bunch was several dye lots, but in eyeballing them, didn’t notice any great differences. Then I proceeded to knit the blanket up, checking under my faux Ott light and did notice something but rationalized it away because it was a “oh, this part is in the light, and that part looks darker but it is because it isn’t in the light” kind of thing. After knitting up 3 or 4 balls of yarn I decided to take a photo and this is what it looked like with flash.

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Ouch! I decided to knit on. Thankfully I had 2 more skeins of that lighter dye lot and decided to end with the same lighter dye lot, keeping the other ball in reserve in case I needed to add some sort of embellishing to help pretty up the color jump.

When I was done I checked in with others who have that kind of picky notice things behavior like I do, which comes in handy in times like this. We all decided that the color difference within the blanket wasn’t very noticeable in regular light. So here it is:

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This blanket was based on a free pattern for a dishcloth, leafy vines cloth by NightlyKnitter.

Next, I decided to do a crochet star blanket. Crocheted blankets go so quickly. I managed to crank this one out in five days. All old and newer stash too!

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I found the star pattern while browsing around in Ravelry. It is a free pattern, Chromium Star by Laura Lynn Hanks. She has some good tutorials that help with some techniques for making increases and decreases without creating the normal but largish holes in the fabric.

Now I am working on another blanket for Project Little Lambs. Another crochet so that I can be sure to make my personal goal of ten blankets by August 1st.

Again, stash yarn is used. Yeah! I am really enjoying this simple pattern (free) from Lion Brand Yarn, called Baby Blocks Throw. I am doing more squares, so basically the same pattern but 4 blocks of each color combination. Here is what I had done a few days ago:

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I should be able to finish it up today, but may hold off on crocheting or sewing it up because I want your help/opinions on what layout to use.

More on that later!

~ Peace

Really done now

I finished tucking in the ends. Whew! That was a lot of work. I think it looks so much better with those nasty bits tamed, and the half-hexagon motifs there and all.

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This child sized blanket is about 34 x 38 inches. It was made with some of the discontinued colors of cotton-ease. I used a bit of one skein of each of the colors: red, turquoise, navy, orange and yellow. I think I used about 3-4 skeins of white (can’t really remember). All of the colors where from my stash, but I ended up needing more white, so I picked up more white for another future project.

The right and left sides where the half-hexs are inserted kind of pooch out a bit, but I don’t think anyone but another crocheter would mind. I decided to go without borders too. Borders made it look odd.

I started on a knitted afghan using more stash yarn. I will post that once it looks like something other than a puny cast on and a few rows.

~ Peace