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:
ygs2008-2b
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.
ygs2008-3b

 

 

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:
ygs2008-5a
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!

Done, done, done! Now it is time to party – woo hoo!

My kind of party is a lot of just laying around until I feel so slug-like that I can’t stand myself any more.

I finished my goal of 10 blankets for Project Little Lambs. I am so tired that I don’t even want to put in a link for you. Really.

I don’t know why I am so tired, but I am. It feels good to be done, not that it was a big heavy weighing me down kind of thing. I guess it was all the making sure all the ends were woven in kind of stuff. I spent a good 3 hours finishing up last night, the last bits of crocheting to do on the final blanket, and then working on the blanket of a million ends, it’s slightly less daunting multiple ended brother.

I really finished this a.m. because I just couldn’t do any more last night. I kept myself amused by watching Hairspray. Such great music and the beautiful costumes, just so much fun.

cblanket11-2So here is the last blanket:

This was another larger sized. It was nice enough but the yarn for the dark brown blobs of it was so silky it was kind of hard to work with. The photo makes it look very uneven and that the closer brown portion is larger, but because I am short, whenever I take a photo of my blankets, they have a weird perspective —- those brown sections are really the same size.

Now I am going to do a whole heap of dish and hand towels for Christmas 2008.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Peace

Private

I don’t know about you, but I am always fascinated by the parts of knitting that we don’t usually share. The wrong side, the private side. But then again I search for patterns that don’t have a right or a wrong side – being totally reversible is cool, especially for objects that get used or you just know they are never going to be wrong side down all the time.

Right – wrong – public – private. We have so many back and white kind of words like, you know, black and white. I hate black and white. I love the colors, but I hate the concept of totally one or the other.

Yes, this is about life and knitting. Knitting and life, a life filled with knitting and thinking.

I joke with my students and clients that I would really like to be able to take a vacation from my own head/brain. If I could just turn it off for maybe a weekend. Sure, I can kick back and be different, but the thoughts are usually there in the background…

I wonder why my business isn’t so busy anymore – is that *good* or *bad*? Yes, it is nice to kick back and get a little down time, but having a bit of money doesn’t hurt. I wonder if I should get a *real* job? I wonder it that would be like giving up? What would happen if I took a vacation from my teaching? I wonder if I would be happy with a regular job

On and on, damn that monkey mind – Gah!

I know that when I start getting fussy about things aka life, then it is time for a project break. But to be a good girl, I made sure that most of the finished blankets were really done – all the ends tucked in and such. I have left the blanket of a million ends and the not so evil younger brother waiting till I get back in my groove.

Time for a little me time! Hand towels! Dish cloths! Here we go!!!

First, my cherry moss square hand towel – sized for a person who doesn’t have huge hands (that is what I am saying out loud but in my head=didn’t have enough yarn – dang!):
cherrytowel

Shown with the partial list of other stitches that would make nice towels, and the small bit of a ball band dish cloth.

My first ball band dish cloth. Amazing, I didn’t know what I was missing. I am in serious love with how these things feel. But back to the top of the post. I always wondered what the back side looked like. Why don’t most people show the side I want to see? I really want to see the side you aren’t showing to me. I think there are other people *out there* who want to see too. So here it is, the private side of a ball band dish cloth. (I can only imagine how many weird hits this post is going to get)

private

Meh. But the front side is pretty. I am set to make a gazillion of them, so be forewarned.

Back to life, if you care to follow. I am in the process of making some big changes in my life. Being unbalanced isn’t the best part of me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE change, but when the change has to do with how I see myself and what that means, it can get icky messy. A little bit too real. Having Buddhist leanings I know that I need to be okay with all parts of myself – public and private, not so icky and icky, good and whatever. I am usually okay with that but I realize other people aren’t quite okay with me being different. That part sucks. And sometimes I wish I wasn’t aware enough to notice.

But then a few heartbeats later I realize that it (whatever the it is) really doesn’t matter all that much. I have a very blessed life, full of friends and family, with an amazing heap of stuff all around me ;-).

Anyway. Enough of the rambling. I am hoping that you are feeling whatever it is that you need to feel this moment. Right now I am choosing happiness and

Peace

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.

cblanket10-2

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?

 

 

cblanket10-3

 

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.

cblanket10-4

 

 

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.

cblanket7-3

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

cblanket9-2

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:
cblanket9-3

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:

cblanket10-1

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:

cblanket8-2

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:

cblanket8-3

cblanket8-4

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:

cblanket9-1

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

The Game – My Mosaic

my mosaic

1. Black-eyed Susan
2. My Turkey Dinner
3. Frank B. Kellogg, U.S. Secretary of State
4. A Better Dayfaded blue
5. Dave Matthews
6. first day of summer – currently iced tea
7. Dalai Lama – DM and Dalai Lama=heaven, but I wasn’t there.
8. lemon bar cupcakelemon curd cake
9. Meetingloving
10. A special stillness of Japan…in NYstillness
11. We are choosing hope over fear.
12. squaresZenKnit
Created with fd’s Flickr Toys.

I saw this on The Purloined Letter.

Here are the rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search
b. Using only the first page of results, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

This was interesting. Searching using "tags only" brought up better results.
~ Peace