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March 30, 2012

Dialysis Sleeves

I've knitted and crocheted my fair share of mittens and wrist warmers, with and without patterns.  My hands get cold, so I insulate them with wool, easy right?  Now, my mom's on dialysis 5 days a week, and she says she gets cold, but I didn't really process how cold until I saw her hands shivering when it was in the high 70's/low 80's in the house.

So I put two and two together, and knit-crocheted (half knit, half crocheted=knitcheted?) her some wrist warmers.  "I love them," she told her Dialysis Nurse, and friend, when we went into the center today.  "They help so much."

Here's the sleeves in action

But if you have a local dialysis center, maybe look into making some fingerless gloves to donate.

March 28, 2012

How to: weave in ends with a crochet hook

When I was learning how to crochet, I was too cheap to buy a yarn needle, so I just weaved in my ends with a crochet hook.

I use a size E crochet hook, and all you do is insert the hook where you would the yarn needle (only you go in small sections instead of all at once).

Here's what it looks like on crochet:

Set up (WS facing you)
1) insert hook through back loop
(closest to you) and pull yarn through
step 1 finished
2) insert hook through st
and pull yarn through
step 2, finished
3) repeat step 2 till heart's content
finished, RS
finished, WS

March 26, 2012

Granny Square Dog Sweater

So, I apologize for not posting on Friday--I was in the Emergency Room from 7 am to 1 am because of my mom's toe.  She's a-okay, though, and we'll be going back down to Sac for an appointment next month.

Now, on with the post!
Winter hit us this week, hard, and my little Maltese Poodle (maltipoo?) has been FREEZING.  Back in December I bought an issue of Crochet Today and when I saw my little Terra shivering outside yesterday, I remembered a dog sweater pattern.  I have over 90 granny squares I've made for an afghan that has been shelved (that probably won't ever get done 'cause I despise motifs), so I decided to use them for my pooch's sweater.

The pattern called for 12 motifs, but my doggy's so tiny that I could only use 6.  So, to size it down, I sewed a 3 by 2 rectangle together for the top/back, then crocheted along the bottom/underside for the belly (she was even too small to use a full granny square).   To make sure it was sized right, I'd put it on her periodically, and the end result was so cute:

March 21, 2012

Change of Plans

As the title states, there's been a change of plans.

Last year I moved back in with my parents to help out with my mom, who had been in a wheelchair for almost two years from a broken ankle that wouldn't heal.  Well, after many many visits to Sacramento, and four surgeries later, my mom's ankle is healed and she's walking again.


...a wound on her big toe showed up right after her last surgery and she was walking again.  It hasn't healed, and yesterday she went to the doctor to see what was up, and he said that it was gangrene.

So, no post today, I've been cleaning her foot, as instructed, and making sure she's been off her foot as much as possible.

I plan on having a post on Friday, though.

March 19, 2012

Baby Business

So, today I have a meeting with my local SCORE rep to get help in starting up my own business.

I'd like to open a business on Etsy to sell knitting and crochet patterns, and possibly little original yarn monster type characters (which is why I've been working on my cello yarn monster).

So far, here's a sample of the patterns:
Pac-Man Ghost
Koopa Troopa Shell
Mario Mushroom

March 14, 2012

Lamp Shade

In my old apartment, in Monmouth, Oregon, There was a lamp that was on the wall but set VERY high so I would be blinded whenever the light was on.  I didn't really enjoy being blinded every night.  Like before with my desk chair, I didn't have a sewing machine, so I crocheted a make shift lamp shade, making sure that there was an overhang so that the bulb was covered, yet light would still be able to shine through.

It was extremely effective, used scrap yarn, and the yarn colors matched all of my decor.  I think it'd be pretty with some sort of lacy shell stitch on the bottom.

If I ever run into that blinding problem again, I am definitely going to do this again.

Side note: you don't have to be constrained to crochet the cover, you could knit it too.

March 12, 2012

Terrible Tribble

I am in the process of creating some sort of crocheted monster thing, inspired by Fizzgig from the movie Dark Crystal.

I'd been working on it all weekend, while watching my dad play Mass Effect 3 (because he killed all but 3 of the characters from ME2, and I saved all of them, so I wanted to see how this changed ME3).  Anyway, while I was crocheting away, dad just looked at the giant blob I was making (the body) and said, "It's a tribble!"

So, here's my monster in progress, aka, a tribble.

So far, my favorite Trek series is Enterprise, or DS9.  I've been watching the shows from beginning to end on Netflix, since I've never seen ANY of the shows consecutively, and I haven't seen Voyager at all...I finished Enterprise, The Original Series, and now I'm in Season 3 of Next Gen, and Season 2 of DS9.

March 9, 2012

Care Instructions

Just as a curiosity, I purposefully didn't follow the care instructions for a hand crocheted hat, and just stuck it in the washer and dryer.

I did this because one time, years ago, I was at a knitting social and a woman there said, "I never follow the care instructions, I just put them in the washer anyway."

Well, I tried that as a test, and this is what happened:

A lovely giganto hole showed up, and the seams where the hole appeared are no longer existent, disappearing into the washer.

March 7, 2012

Make It to Fit!

So, Monday I posted my Mass Effect wristband pattern and I'd like to give a little how to, to make it custom fit.

Step 1)
take your gauge (it's usually x sts/4 in) and divide it to turn it into 1 inch.  Going with the wristband from Monday, the gauge was 21sts/4in.  21 divided by 4 = 5.25 <--meaning, there's 5.25 sts per in.

Step 2)
Multiply this number, 5.25, by the circumference of your wrist.  This will equal the amount of sts you need to cast on.  If the number ends with a fraction, then round up to the nearest st.  Using my wrist, it ended up being 31.5, so I rounded it up to 32.
here's the formula
formula in action
You could end it at that, and stitch away to your heart's desire, but if you want to center a design in the middle of the piece, then continue on to...

Step 3)
create a design using graph paper.

Step 4)
divide the number of sts in the design by half and divide the cast on number of sts (aka total sts in the piece) in half.

Step 5)
subtract these two numbers to find out how many sts are before and after the chart.
Now that we know there should be 8 sts before and after the chart, the pattern should be:
k8, chart, k8
p8, chart, p8
or change it up and do a seed stitch, rib...whatever you want.

March 5, 2012

Mass Effect Wristband

Believe it or not, I do knit too, and in honor of Mass Effect 3's release tomorrow, I knitted a wristband with the N7 logo on it.

My dad and I have a total of 7 Mass Effect characters which have completed both ME1 and ME2, all making different decisions.  Now, we are biting at the bit anxious to see what happens!  Will the Reapers take over the galaxy?  How will my saving the Collector base affect ME3?  Will the Rachni Queen join our cause to destroy the Reapers and save the galaxy?  I must know...I must know!!!

So, if you are as amped as I am about the fate of humanity against the Reapers, here's the pattern:

Gauge: 21 sts/4"

Needles: size 6, or size needed to obtain gauge.
Yarn needle
Elastic (optional)
Light worsted weight yarn in

  • black (main color)
  • red (the triangle)
  • white ( the N and the 7)
The amount of yarn is incredibly small for the red and white, I used scrap balls of yarn that were the size of a quarter and even then I still have a lot left.  I can't give you yardage because I used three balls of yarn that have been sitting in my stash for about 4 years, but I know they aren't even full skeins.

Finished size:
6  (6.5, 7)"

Loosely cast on 32 (35, 37) sts

Rows 1-3) k in each st until end
Row 4) p in each st until end
Row 5) k in each st until end
Rows 6, 8, 10) p 8 (9, 10), work the 16 sts of the chart purlwise (so, left to right), p the last 8 (10, 11) sts of the row.
Rows 7 & 9) k 8 (10, 11), work the 16 sts of the chart knitwise (so, right to left), k the last 8 (9, 10) sts of the row
Row 11) k in each st until end
Row 12) p in each st until end
Rows 13 & 14) k in each st until end
purl bind off

Weave in ends, sew the side seems together.

If you want some more stability, you can sew on a piece of elastic that's cut 6 (6.5, 7)" long to the inside.

Happy knitting!

March 2, 2012

Back Loop Invdec Tutorial

Okay, so I posted on Monday a blurb about converting the invisible decrease for the wrong side, and it's been bugging me that I didn't post pictures!  Most people (myself included) are visual people, and since June's tutorial didn't show inserting the hook in the back loops, or what it looked like compared to the original, I decided to post how to do this decrease for the back loops.

1)  Insert the hook on the back loops of the two stitches you want to decrease.  (You insert the hook as you normally would, away from you/top down.)  Do not yarn over after the first loop is on the hook, just insert the hook into the next loop.

2) Now yarn over, then pull through the first two loops on the hook.

3) Yarn over again and finish the stitch, pulling the yarn through the last two loops.

Now, to compare a front loop invdec with a back loop invdec:

Front Loop invdec:

RS (I'm a lefty, so this isn't a backwards picture)

WS (again, not an inverted picture)

Back Loop invdec:
RS (not inverted pic)

WS (not inverted pic)

*Note: I inverted the pics for the tutorial, since there are more righties than lefties out there.