Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mexican Food

Thank you for joining me.  This blog will be pretty busy over the next couple of months.  I will be adding a new one each week.  Today I will be focusing on three foods a cheese enchilada, a green burrito, and nachos.  All of these are made with polymer clay.  If there is a great interest perhaps I will do tutorial blogs, or you tube videos.  as for now I will just share my photos. 

The cheese enchilada plate is quite cute, if you look closely, you will notice the cheese inside the sides of the enchilada.  I also put a great deal of time into making the rice and beans.  The enchilada is topped with a red sauce, and and olive slice.

The green burrito is smothered with a suiza sauce, then topped with cheese, sour cream, and an olive slice.

The nachos are my favorite of the three.  They have tomatoes, green peppers, and some sour cream.  Please feel free to take a look at all the photos.  You can enlarge them a great deal by clicking on the image. I welcome your comments, and ideas.  I am making several of these at a time, so they will be offered in limited quantity at my etsy shop...  Thanks everyone!!!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Chocolate Truffles...Yum!

Welcome Back
While enjoying a wonderfully delicious marzipan truffle from See's the other day, I decided to make some chocolate truffle beads.  As always I wanted to share.   So here are some photos and info about the beads including materials and such.  They are very easy to make.  So if you like this, and would like me to make a tutorial on You Tube, please reply to this Blog post.  If I get 10 replies, I will put up a tutorial by Thanksgiving at the latest.
The wonderful thing about these beads, are that there are NO polymer clay tools needed.  I used four colors of  Premo polymer clay.
Dark chocolate Recipe- Chocolate 
Milk chocolate recipe- Chocolate, white, ecru
White chocolate recipe- White, a pinch of ecru, a pinch of chocolate
Raspberry recipe- Fuschia, tiny bit of white
 The only tools required for the bracelet are crimping or flat nosed pliers, and wire cutters
Three family members are already wearing them...They couldn't wait for the holidays ; )
These can be easily be made into charms and stitch markers for knitting too!!!

Each tiny bead costs about 5 cents in clay.  Each bracelet costs me about $4.25 to make. It can be more or less depending on the clasp you choose, and whether or not you use crystal beads.  My clasp was $2.00, and the crystal beads were $1.30 
 All the supplies can be found at most local craft stores.  I hope that this has given you some inspiration. I enjoyed making them.  If you want a tutorial please request one in the reply section of this post.  

Thank You for reading 
Happy Crafting


Monday, August 23, 2010

Little Bo Peep Layette

My brother is going to have a cute baby boy.  I crocheted a blanket from a pattern called Little Bo Peep Layette. The designer is Michele Thompson.  The cover of my leaflet fell off, and was lost long ago... But it was published by Coats and Clark in 2000.  Today I will review the pattern, and share some photos.

 I used denim blue, light blue, and white yarn.  I chose Lion Brand, Pound of Love.  I purchased one Skein of each color, and I have enough left over to make a baby sweater and hat.   I used sizes U.S. F, and U.S. G hooks.

I did make this blanket years ago, and made a mental note to never make it again.  I remember that it just seemed to take forever to make.  This was before I learned to knit though....  and acquired a much greater degree of patience.

This afghan starts with a checkered section.  The directions were well written, and easy to follow.  I started this while my boyfriend and I were driving to Vegas.  I forgot to repeat the rows 3-8 that the pattern had clearly written out for me to repeat, and completed a light blue section before realizing I made the mistake.   What a rookie thing to do!!!  I refused to rip out the 30 rows of sc that I just completed.  I would normally rip it down to the repeat, but I find doing rows of nothing but sc extremely tedious. I ultimately decided that I would leave the 3-8 repeat of rows off the last section of the afghan.       
Everything in the pattern (of the body of the afghan) is correct. It was fun to complete the checkered sections, but I found myself having to bribe myself with various treats to finish the sc sections.  

The sheep were fun to make.  it involves making a loop stitch.  Very interesting doing it over the first row, but you will get the hang of it by row three if you haven't come across it before.  The pattern directions for the sheep are written correctly. The original pattern uses tiny buttons for eyes, and ribbons around the necks of the sheep.  For safety reasons I made french knots for the eyes, and omitted the ribbon bows around their necks.   I also made eleven sheep instead of twelve, and placed three sheep (instead of four)  in the middle section.   A quick note... being left handed, my sheep face left instead of right.

Overall I enjoy the pattern..  It is well written, yardage requirements are accurate, and the finished afghan looks the way it should.   After spending many years knitting, it wasn't nearly as tedious as I remember it being from years back.   I love the way it turned out, and hope that Eric and Amber like it as well.    I would suggest this pattern to anyone, advanced beginner and up, this pattern uses sc, and dc.  Then loop stitch is introduced in making the sheep, which are sewn in place after completing them.  Although a bit of patience is required. 
Note:  if you sew through the top half of the sc you wont have any of the sewing yarn showing on the back side at all.  

I know that this pattern was also published in a thicker book by leisure arts.  I would have mentioned it before, but it was a book have given away, and forgotten the name of.   I would be happy to answer any questions about this pattern, if any of you decide to make it and need help or want to complain through sc sections :).


Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Slipped Cable Hat

During the 2010 winter Ravelympics, I decided to make baby hats for charity.  It was also another way for me to use up some stash.  Here is a cute hat that I created.  The hat is based off of a cable that I found in "A Second Treasury of Knitting  Patterns" from Barbara G. Walker. As a friendly reminder, if you want to share this pattern please print it from this blog.

1 skein of Sport weight yarn: Examples: Patons Beehive Baby Sport
U.S. 5/ 3.75 mm needles
Gauge: 10 Stitches, and 9 rows per inch (Without stretching)

Sizes: 0-3 mos (3-6 mos, 6-12 mos, toddler)

Note: You can also use size 3 or 4 U.S. needles, if you wanted to make any of these a bit smaller.  For the crown shaping to turn out nicely, you must have a multiple of 20.

Slip St Cable: Drop slipped st off needle, and leave in front of work, slip next 3 stitches to the right needle, drop next slipped st.  place the first slipped stitch on left hand needle, slip 3 stitches from right needle back to the left needle place remaining slipped stitch back on left needle then knit these five stitches.

Pattern dec:  Slip next stitch to right needle, place next stitch on a holder, slip next stitch on right needle, place stitch from holder onto left needle, slip two stitches from right needle back to left needle.  Knit these three stitches tog.

Cast on 120 (140, 160, 180) and evenly divide on dpns, be careful not to twist, join in the round

Rnds 1-5:  *P2, K5, P2, K1.  Repeat from *around.
Rnds 6-7:  *P2, Wyib Sl1, K3, Wyib Sl1, P2, K1. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 8: *P2, Work slip st cable, P2, K1. Repeat from * around.

Repeat these 8 Rnds, until piece measures  3.5"( 4", 4.5", 5") 

Shape Crown

Rnd 1:  *P2, K5, P1, work pattern dec, P1, K5, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 2:  *P2, K5, P1, K1, P1, K5, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 3:  *P2, K5, work pattern dec, K5, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 4:  *P2, K11, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 5:  *P2, K4, work pattern dec, K4, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 6:  *P2, K9, P2, K1. Repeat from * around
Rnd 7:  *P2, K3, work pattern dec, K3, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 8:  *P2, K7, P2, K1.  Repeat from *around
Rnd 9:  *P2, K2, work pattern dec, K2, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 10: *P2, K5, P2, K1. Repeat from * around
Rnd 11: *P2,   K1, work pattern dec, K1, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 12:  *P2, K3, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 13:  *P2, work pattern dec, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 14:  *P2, K1, P2, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 15:  *P1, work pattern dec, P1, K1.  Repeat from * around
Rnd 16:  *P1, K1. Repeat from * around
Rnd 17:  K2tog around

Cut string and pull through remaining stitches.  Weave in ends. 
Hoped you liked this hat pattern!!   

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello everyone,  : )
Thank you all for participating in the blog contest!

I the bunny pattern in the photo, is from The Knitted Teddy Bear, from Sandra Polley.  It is the bear on the cover of the book, I will discuss what changes I made below.

The winner of the yardage contest was lil bean,   She guessed 2100 yards.  The actual yardage was 1,993 yards.   I hope that you can make something nice with the yarn!

This bunny's pattern name is Thomas.  I made 300 yards of yarn by using 1 yard increments from the left over yarn from the blanket.  I think that this is another fun way to use up stash yarn. I used a size U.S. 2 needle to knit him up.  I followed the bear pattern exactly.  I decided to knit up bunny ears instead, tommorow  I will be updating this blog, to add the ear pattern, and tell you about a type-o in the pattern itself.



Sunday, April 4, 2010

Completing The Afghan

Today the contest begins.  At the bottom of this blog there will be a photo of my left over yarn.  If you would like it, post a comment stating how much yarn you think there is.  You can guess in yards or meters.  The person who guesses closest wins!  I will announce the yardage, and winner in my next blog.  April 15.

Yarn 29:Smooth
Second Treasury of knitting patterns.

Yarn 30: Ribbon                                      Yarn 31: Slightly textured
Anny Blatt Victoria                                   Seed Stitch
2 rows Reverse stockinette

Yarn 32: Smooth                                        Yarn 33: Smooth
2 rows Garter                                             Baby Alpaca
                                                                   Second treasury of Knitting

Yarn 34: Ribbon                                  Yarn 35: Trendsetter
Linen Stitch                                           a ruffle yarn, 1 row stockinette

Yarn 36: Arabesque (Trendsetter)         Yarn 37: Smooth
Stockinette                                            Stockinette
Yarn 38: 1 strand arabesque, 1 strand eyelash
2 rows reverse Stockinette

Yarn 39: Smooth                                      Yarn 40: Baby Alpaca
Knit 3 Purl 5 rib                                        Stockinette

Yarn 41: Smooth                                      Yarn 42: Eyelash
2 rows reverse stockinette                         2 rows reverse stockinette

Yarn 43: Slightly textured
Stockinette, then bind off!!!

All done yea!!

Now here are the photos of the yarn that will be given away.  To enter the contest, post much much yardage you think there is in the photos.  I will announce the winner on the 15th of April.  Good luck to you all.  

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yarn Give Away

Thank you all for continuing to read my blog.  I hoped you liked this project.  Sadly this blanket will be completed in the next post.  If you liked the color combination Please read my next post titled Completing The Afghan.  At the close of my next post, I will run a contest.  The winner will receive the rest of  the afghan yarn.  There will be a large amount.  Here is how it will work.

 300 yards will be reserved.. divided evenly among the yarns I used (for a matching teddy).  This is a blanket for my little guy.  Then I will hank all partial skeins (so yardage can be determined).  At the end of the next post there will be a couple photos of all the yarn someone will win.  To enter the contest simply post a response to the blog guessing how much yardage (you can guess in yards or meters)  there is in the photos.  The person that guesses the amount of yardage closest, gets all the yarn.  I will take responses while the teddy is being knit (should be about 10 days)  When the teddy is finished, I will post a photo of him, and announce the winner.  

Note:  Additionally a few full skeins will be sent to the winner.  These skeins were intended to go into the blanket but I ultimately decided against them.. The full skeins will also be included in the photos so you can calculate that yardage into your guesses.

Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Yarns 15 Thru 28

I wanted to start today's blog with a quick notes.

First I want to mention something you might have noticed already.  I tend to have thick and thin sections.  This is an intentional decision I make as I go along.  I do this because I think is makes the afghan more appealing, and more textured to look at.  I often decide this as I go, if I have a couple of wide bands I will add a small band or two.  The only exception is furry or flagged yarns, when I only do 2-4 rows at most.  The reason for this is that a little fur adds a nice texture, a lot will often be too much.  The nice thing about doing this is that you can use the same furry yarn a few times in the afghan.  

The other thing I wanted to mention is choosing the next stitch.  The placement of my yarns have already been decided.  I will start with the simplest..Furry or flagged are always reverse stockinette.  Slightly textured yarns are very simple (non-detailed) patterns such as stockinette, garter, seed, or ribs.  Smooth yarns are the only yarns I give much thought to for stitches.  When my next yarn is smooth I look at my entire piece.  I pay attention to the last several stitches that have been completed, if they have a vertical feel like cables, ribbing, or stockinette.. I usually look for patterns that have a horizontal, squared  or diagonal feel.  I like changing the textures often, to keep your eyes moving along the peice, rather than getting drawn in to any particular area. 

Yarn 15
Slightly textured (175 stitches)
after completing the color change row (knit if RS is facing, purl if WS is facing) 
3 rows of garter stitch

Yarn 16 and 18  (it frames yarn 17 nicely)
Muget (Anny Blatt)-doubled
Stockinette stitch  4 rows

Yarn 17
Super Angora (Anny Blatt)- doubled 
175 stitches
Stockinette this time I went till I ran out of this yarn - 14 rows

  Yarn 19
Wool Ease (Lion Brand) doubled
I used one strand each of two different heathered brown colors
Pie Crust Basketweave (Vogue Knitting Stichtionary)  Multiple of 8+10  (178 stitches)
Yarn 20
1 Strand muget, 1 strand papi, 1 stand scarce eyelash
two rows garter stitch

Yarn 21
smooth  (Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns)
Slip-Cross Open Cable  180 stitches

Yarn 22
Muget doubled 180 stitches
3 rows reverse stiockinettes

Yarn 23
Seduce doubled 180 stitches
stockinette stitch

Yarn 24
textured with spares eyelash 180
2 rows one is color change row, the othe reverse stockinette

Yarn 25
Fine Kid (Anny Blatt)
180 stitches  stockinette

Yarn 26
Smooth 170
Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns (corded stitch)

Yarn 27
Ribbon, 175 linen stitch 2 rows

Yarn 28
Victoria (Anny Blatt) doubled
175 2 rows reverse stockinette

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yarns 5 thru 13

Hello every one!  Hope you are all doing well.  Today I will focus on the next few yarns, stitches, and the method of increasing and decreasing for your next stitches.

The Math!
I mentioned before that I have 175 running stitches.  What I meant by that is, generally speaking the afghan will have 175 stitches on it.  Sometimes increasing or decreasing is needed in order to make an upcoming stitch work out.  So I will try to explain how to do it now.  If you are already familiar with how to do this, feel free to skip past this part. 
Often times when choosing a new pattern you will see something like this  (multiple of 10 + 3)  the multiple is referring the amount of stitches you will be repeating in order to knit the pattern.  The number after + usually centers the pattern, or acts as a natural border. 
Say I have 175 stitches, and I need to increase or decrease in order work a stitch that is a (multiple of 10 + 3).  To work this out I start by dividing 175 by 10 the answer is 17.  I then multiply 17 by 10 which equals 170 then I add 3 to this total giving me 173.  Since I have 175 stitches on the needle.. I would dec 2 stitches in the first round of the next color.
A special note:  There are other factors you may consider when deciding whether to round the stitches up or down.  If you are using a thicker yarn for the stitch you should decrease instead of increasing.. If you are using a thinner yarn try increasing.  if you are making a rib, or working cables increase you stitches, because ribbing and make cables will naturally pull your work in.  If you have any problems, just email me.  I can help you with the math.

Yarn 5  Smooth texture
Diagonal purl (multiple of 6 + 1)  Top yarn in above photo
I had 175 stitches   174 is a multiple of 6... I add 1 so I needed 175
I will tell you how many stitches I used for each stitch here on out.
Row 1: *Purl 1, Knit 5.  Repeat from * across. End with a Purl 1 (RS)
Row 2: *Purl 5, Knit 1.  Repeat from * across. End with a P1
Row 3: Knit 2, *Purl 1, Knit 5.  Repeat from * across ending with Purl 1, Knit 4.
Row 4: Purl 3, *Knit 1, Purl 5. Repeat from * across ending with Knit 1, Purl 3.
Row 5:  Knit 4, *Purl 1, Knit 5. Repeat from * across ending with Purl 1, Knit 2.
Row 6:  Purl 1, *Knit 1, Purl 5. Repeat from * across.
Repeat rows 1 through 6 for desired length.

Yarn 6 
1 fun fur strand (Lion Brand), and 1 strand of arabesque (Trendsetter) held together
I stayed at 175 stitches.
I ended with my RS facing me, so I knit my first row.. then I did another knit row (Reverse Stockinette).
Reverse Stockinette really give textured yarns a nice pop in this project.  Typically I only do a couple of rows when doing anything furry.

Yarn 7:
Selene (Anny Blatt)
175 stitches
Stockinette stitch

Yarn 8:
Seduce doubled
175 stitches
Stockinette Stitch

Yarn 9:
Intermezzo (Trendsetter Yarns)
175 stitches
This is a very interesting yarn that can create a fun ruffle.  It has holes on one side.  I stuck the needle straight through the hole, while knitting the last row of seduce.  I skipped two holes for every single stitch, otaining this fun ruffle.

 Yarn 10:
Big Baby  it is Alpaca can remember the manufacturer
A wide rib  (multiple of 16 + 10)   I decrease 5 leaving me with 170
Row 1: *Purl 10, Knit 6. Repeat from * ending with Purl 10 (RS)
Row 2:  *Knit 10, Purl 6. Repeat from * ending with Knit 10
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for desired length.

Yarn 11:
Slightly Textured
Increase to 175
Seed Stitch

Yarn 12
Two rows Reverse Stockinette

Yarn 13
Handspun?  (Ozark)

Yarn 14
Mohair ruffle
Okay, this one took a very long time!   I made a ruffle seperately on o size 5 needle then attached it by knitting it on to the afghan.  It was 700 stitches.. after knitting an 1 1/2" on the size five I decreased across then after a couple more rows I decreased again.  Then I took a very thin yarn called Muget(Anny Blatt)
and Knit it to the blanket with the muget.

We will get to the next several yarns in the coming week!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Scrap Busting, Stash Busting

This will be a long post, I will try not to be long winded, but there is a lot I would like to share as we go along. You may wish to print this blog for future resource. I will discuss choosing the yarns, arranging the order, and then give you some helpful information that you should think about when making the blanket. I will end this blog by sharing my needle size, stitch information etc... I want to add one more thing here just in case you need any help at all. You can ask any questions about this project at all I will be happy to answer any question!! You can post them as comments below the blog or email me.

Choosing the Yarn

I did mention in the last blog that I choose a couple of colors that I like together. I then start pulling skeins of all the different shades of those colors that I own(including partial skeins). After that I start grabbing some skeins of neutral colors that I think will look nice with the main colors I have chosen. I try to smoosh all the yarn together in a big pile end up to keep the labels from distracting your eyes from seeing the what all the colors look like together. When you do this you will usually see some yarns that just don't seem to belong, go ahead and remove those now.

An Alternative
You can also do this with different shades, or just different textures of one color. For example, an afghan in all whites in different textured yarns is extremely striking.

Every Yarn in it's Place
There are a couple methods in which you can place your yarns. First I will mention the daring way. You can put all of your yarn in a bag, close your eyes, pull out a skein, and use it next. This is personally a little to daring for me, so now I will share my method of organization.

My Method of Madness
I work from the edges in. The way I do this is by scanning my yarn. I try to locate two yarns of the same color, they can be the same type of yarn as each other, or very similar shades but different yarns. I place these yarns far apart from one another. I scan my yarn again looking for a color that looks good next to the yarn I just put down. I try to find another yarn of the similar color of the new yarn and place these just inside of the two you have already put down. Now repeat the last step, placing the two new yarns on the inside of the last two you placed. If there is a yarn that you find very striking and want it to be in the center, place it there now. You can continue by working in towards the center, or if you have chosen your center, back out towards the edges. Once you are finished, working across the skeins from the end you want to start on, take a sharpie and write numbers on you labels, 1-? I also like to get several large ziplocks and number them. I usually have 5-7 skeins in each ziplock. This way you can travel easier with this project taking only the next few skeins that you will be using. The purpose of placing them this way is to give the afghan a feeling of balance. So your eye travels rather than being sucked in to one area of the afghan.

Things to Consider When Placing your yarn
*If you don't have two different yarns of the same color, feel free to split a skein in half by rolling it into two balls.
*Use all weights of yarn if they are lighter than worsted you can double them, or run them with another yarn of your choice. I commonly triple fine mohair, or double light weight cottons. I use a U.S.10.5 size needle on all of mine, but if *you have heavier yarns feel free to use an U.S.11.
*You can use up partial skeins very easily in this project.
*Don't be afraid to add textured yarns like eyelash, boucle, or flagged yarns they add a great deal of depth!

Blanket Info
*I use a U.S. 10.5
*My basic amount of stitches are 175 throughout
*When changing colors, if the public side is facing you knit 1 row. If the private side is facing you purl 1 row
*When changing stitches, if you need to increase or decrease before starting the stitch, do this on the first row of a color change (that row should always be knitted or purled across)
*You can consider this blanket a sampler of stitches, I typically change stitches each time I change yarn. Suggestions for stitches can be found below, and in the following blog updates. :)
*If you want to try a stitch but are afraid of putting in on your blanket without trying it do a small swatch of it in the yarn you are planning to use.
*I am using a few books to find stitches for some of my blanket (you do not need them) but if you like any stitch that I am doing at least you will find the name of the book for each stitch I do just in case you want to purchase it for yourself, though most are classic and can be found free on the internet.
Resources are as follows: A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker
Vogue Knitting Stitchionary
Vogue Knitting Stitchionary 2

Getting Started Yea!!!!

Finally :) Okay so now the meat and potatoes. You can make this afghan with just Garter,and stockinette.. but this is a perfect project for learning stitches or just playing that being said do what you are comfortable with. First lets take out yarn number one, is it smooth, slightly textured, or textured? Certain textures on yarn will show off some stitches better than others. For example Smooth works great with more textured stitches like cables, bobbles and cords. Slightly textured can look nice in simple patterns like garter, stockinette, seed, linen, and ribs, while I wouldn't bother doing anything other than garter, or stockinette with textures like eyelash. I will be recording my progress here on blogs as I go. I will state the kind of texture my yarn is, the stitch I used, the source of the stitch if I got it from a book, and the amount of stitches my blanket currently has. If any of you have a hard time with knowing how many to increase or decrease for a stitch let me know and I will be happy to help you till you get the hang of it. I will go through the math as we need to change stitches the those of you that haven't done this type of thing before.

Note: The following patterns are just what I decided to use. Please feel free to use which ever patterns you like. I happen to be starting with a pattern from a book, but around half of the time I am not using patterns from any book they are simple. I will list yarns that I still have the labels for.  My next post will be of the next few yarns.

Casting On
Yarn #1
Slightly Textured Cartridge-Belt Rib from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns By Barbara Walker
I chose this pattern because it does not contract like a rib, and starts the blanket out with some great texture. I casted on 223, and used up all of the the first yarn which was 2 1/2".

Yarn #2
Textured 2 Rows of Reverse Stockinette
I purposely make textured sections really thin, so they dont overwhelmed my stitch work in the rest of the blanket. Just food for thought for when you use a textured yarn.

Yarn #3
Smooth Texture,
I had 1 row reverse stockinette, 4 rows stockinette, 1 row reverse stockinette.

Yarn #4 Trendsetter Filosophy
Smooth ribbon Linen stitch 1"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Off Track... On Stash Busting

I have been a bad girl... I really meant to make some needle case holders, but decided that they take up a lot less space than my gigantic stash. I have to start eliminating some of it or I won't be able to close my closet. I don't have room for any more yarn or fiber (a major catastrophe). :) In the next several blogs I will be guiding you through how to make these types of afghans.

I don't like when my finished objects look like they are made from scrap,so these afghans are made in a way that gives you a very purposeful look. I welcome you to join in the stash busting, if you are on Ravelry and join in-try to post your photos in your project pages, I can put them on the blog here if you would like to share your progress, or they can be any of your own stash busting projects or ideas.

These projects are perfect if you tend to purchase the same colors over and over again.
This afghan can be as simple or difficult as you want to make it. I will be walking through everything from selecting the yarn to be used, to finishing the afghan. I will be giving many tips to help you along on yours should you make one. The photos above are examples of what you can do. I have made a few of these and LOVE them. Every one of them turns out pretty and they are an exciting knit. Below I am including photos of the yarn I will be using, with some tips of how to choose your yarn, and a little information to get ready for us to begin. I will begin knitting next week!

The first thing I do when choosing yarn for this afghan is look at my colors overall. I tend to have the best luck when I choose two colors, and neutrals. for example, in this case I have chosen aqua and blue. I will go through my stash grabbing a skein of each aqua and blue (choose different shades light and dark) that I have. I then grab one skein of each of the neutrals (whites, creams, taupe, brown, black) I set these on end and smoosh all the yarn together in a pile so I don't have the labels distracting my eyes from the colors. I now remove any yarns that don't look good in the pile. It is best to have between 15-25 skeins for this project. Partial skeins are perfect for this project too so don't forget about them!

Next week we will organize and start knitting!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Starting Out the New Year With Organization

This year I am going to write a lot of knitting patterns, at least that is the goal. I wanted to make sure that I am organized before starting my pattern writing adventures. I know that it will be another unorganized year if I don't push myself through organizing first.

So..... I will document here what I am making and how, just in case anyone else wants to organize as well.

Today I will start with a fabric covered journal. I make them for keeping track of my projects, and handspun yarn. Next time I will be making a circular needle case. I will apologize in advance for the lack of photos this time around.. My camaras batteries were dying... I will have much more detailed photos of the needle cases. This is a very easy project though so don't worry.

Three ring binder
Two types of fabric I bought 2 yards of each, so I have enough for matching needle cases.
Quilt Batting enough to cover the binder
Two Yards of trim
Spray on adhesive
Hot glue gun/glue sticks
Thin poster board or cardboard
Unopened trash bags
Pen or pencil

Preparing your fabric: Iron your fabric to remove any creases. Lay the fabric (for the outside of the binder) right side down on a flat surface, place your binder (open) on your fabric then cut your fabric 1 1/2" larger than the binder on each side. Lay your binder (open) on the quilt batting in the same manner, and cut batting 1" larger then binder on all sides. Measure the front cover of your 3 ring binder. Record these measurements, subtracting a 1/2" vertically and horizontally.

Covering your binder: Unfold, but don't open your trash bag. Lay it out flat in a well ventilated area. Lay your quilt batting on the center of your trash bag. Spray your spray adhesive on the surface of the quilt batting. Carefully lay your binder (closed) on the batting. Smooth the batting on your binder slowly removing any wrinkles that occur.
Fold the edges in, and smooth them on to the inside of the binder. Let your binder dry, then repeat this step for the fabric
Tip: For cleaner corners, after smoothing one side of the fabric to the inside of the binder, cut the fabric at an angle, and then smooth down the other side.

Preparing the inside fabric: Now take out your poster board, and the fabric for the inside of the binder. Lay the fabric right side down. Now lets prepare the poster board. Cut out two rectangles using the measurements you recorded earlier... Place one of them on your fabric and cut the fabric out leaving 3/4" of extra fabric on each side. Before cutting the other piece of fabric look at the inside of your binder. If the rings are connected to edge, without leaving much extra space, you can cut your other fabric to the same measurements of your other inside fabric.
Note: Some notebooks have a lot of space between where the rings attach to the folder, and the bend of the folder. In this case, I cut the fabric leaving 3/4" on three sides, and leave extra fabric on the remaining side, to accomidate this extra space.

Gluing the inside pieces: Glue the inside pieces around the poster board, turning in the edges as you did with the outside. Let them dry. Note: If you do have a binder with a lot of space between the bend and the rings, when you fold over the edges of the fabric, fold over three sides, the other side will adhere to the binder to cover the space left in that bend. The other piece will be covered normally with all four edges folded over the back of the poster board. Let these pieces dry.

Adhering the inner fabric: Spray the back side of the poster board with the spray adhesive, then center and stick them to the inside of the binder covers. Note if you have the binder with extra space, smooth the extra fabric in towards the center of the binder. trim the extra fabric and tuck the edge under the metal joining.

Finishing touches. Now hot glue on the trim :) Yea we are finished.
Further considerations may include page protectors, and business card sheets. Below are photos and a few notes on the records I keep.

I try to record my projects in detail.
For knitting, crochet, and tatting. I will include a photo of the finished project, the pattern source.. ex: the name of the book. If it was a downloaded pattern, I slide it in a page protector attached to the project photo. I include the yarn information, needle and hook sizes used, note any changes I made to the pattern, who I gave it to, and note how well I liked doing the project. As silly as this may sound, it is very useful. I often remember when someone asks me to make them something I have made before.. thinking I really didn't like doing it the first time.. but it couldn't have been that bad I finished it..... Then half way into the project I discover what I disliked about it in the first place. I know there are several "never again" items, I have been suckered into.

For Spinning: I record my fiber source, the colorway, fiber components, amount, whether it is a reproducable colorway, predrafting instuctions, ratio, plying info, and how much yardage I produced.. I also wrap a little fiber, a single, and my finished yarn around a cut up 3 x5 card and stick it to the page. I then slide this into a page protector. When I finish a project with it, I finish project page (like in the above section), and add a photo.

Ohh I like adding a page for business cards.. to be able to find my sources more easily:) Here is an example

I hope you can get some use out of this.
Enjoy :)