Gettings things done

I have finally joined HPKCHC (HP Knitting and Crochet House Cup with HP being Harry Potter) on Ravelry. I found this group several years ago, joined and then left. The rules seemed complicated, the requirements strict, and I wasn’t interested in that. Last Spring, I searched for HP related groups on Ravelry again and found several that were interesting, this one included. I joined two and started playing along in the game that had less stringent guidelines. After playing for 9 months I began to see the beauty in the complicated, strict requirements of the first game I found and left the small one for the larger one. I have not been sorted into the game yet, that will happen in March I believe and I’ll play officially in April.

The game is a fun way to motivate myself to start and finished every month, though there are ways to turn in works-in-progress for partial credit. I started playing in the middle of January and am planning to post at least once a month with my finished projects and badges to accompany them.

Socks for Granny


house unity yarn

monster chunk

HP Duel

Christmas 2011 socks for Linda

Breakfast foods

Badge earned for posting to classes in January and then posting in the NQFY Waiting Room (Not Quite First Year):

Badge earned for finding a partner and dueling in Care of Magical Creatures (duel-both make the same pattern, at the same while racing to completion):

Badge for completing 5 classes during the month of Jan:

Badge earned for crafting something that makes me happy and turning it in to Gryff Tower before required date (I made ribbit):

Piggy problems

ACK!! I finished Boo’s piggy last night only to discover this morning that I know why he looks silly. The pig looks silly, not Boo. When I looked through the gallery of pigs some were round like a sphere and some were more elongated. I wondered why they looked so different. Then I crocheted my first one, I think it was round, completely round but it was my first real crochet project that wasn’t a nylon scrubbie thing. This time I made the elongated one by following the pattern exactly and was so frustrated. I diligently sewed all the appendages on very tightly so Boo couldn’t rip them off, ever, until he knows how to use scissors. I put it in his collection of amigurimies and left it. This morning I picked it up and figured out why some of us have elongated pigs and some are spheres while we all crochet it properly. Piggies are longer on the sides and rounder on the front/back. I sewed everything on wrong. His ears are on his back, his tail is in the middle of his belly and he has feet on his butt. Oops.


Have you ever tried to wrangle

10 yards nylon netting by cutting it in to 30 strips 2 inches wide with the help of kitties? If you are unsure of what the fabric looks like picture the white tulle that a bride has as a part of her veil or the pink tutu of a ballerina, only a bit more coarse. Tulle as I think of it is fine, soft-ish and elegant. Netting is rougher, the holes in the fabric are larger. I’ve seen crocheted scrubbies made from nylon netting, usually availabe for purchase at craft shows but I’m one of those people. You know the type, the craft vendors dread me, but I keep the thoughts to myself. I see a crafted item and think to myself, I can make that, I can make that for less than the selling price. I used to say it to myself more often, but time had taught me that some things I do not wish to invest time in and purchasing it is better for me. The scrubbies were over priced in my opinion. That is until I attempted to cut my 2 inch strips. I searched online and found several patterns and a few videos on how to make the simple round scribbies. I’ve meant to learn to crochet for a while now and this seemed like the project. After all, it’s going to scrub dishes until it wears out and then it will be no more, so if it’s not very pretty, so what.

The patterns suggested approximately 10 yards for each part, then crochet two parts together and commence scrubbing. I decided to purchase 10 yards then cut it into 2 inch strips. I figured that I could fold it in a fan style or some such and then cut through several layers at a time, making short work of it. After attempting to cut strips and basically wasting 10 yards over a 6 inch wide section, a few choice words were uttered and something was mentioned about just paying for someone else to deal with it. I sent the boys outside and tried again. Using a freshly swept floor and two kitties, I managed to cut enough to make 3 complete scrubbies.

I loaded a video that corresponded to a written pattern and went to town. They were addictive little suckers. It was easy and quick to crochet these little gems. I decided to tackle the rest of the fabric, in my estimation I had about 40 inches by 10 yards or 20 strips left to cut. I arrived at the place mentally where it wasn’t important if the strips were exactly 2 inches wide. I managed to cut the rest of the fabric and put the short pieces in a bag of leftovers to be used in rhe event I need more. I’ve cut enough strips from my 10 yards to make the craft show prices trick me into thinking I’ve made out like a bandit.

I did some math on 1 yard of netting 60 inches wide cut in a 2 in spiral vs. 10 yards 60 inches wide cut in 2 inch strips. One yard will yield 29.333… yards 2 inches wide in one strip while 10 yards will yield 300 yards 2 inches wide in 30 strips 10 yards each. I lose .666667 per yard or 6.7 yards over 300, which won’t make a whole scrubbie by itself. I will be wrangling 1 yard pieces from now on, it preserves my sanity, mostly.


Knitting and other yarn conversations

I’ve been working on the recreation of slipper socks for a friend of the family for a while now. Last February, Granny mentioned a friend who knew how to crochet, but not knit. He needed a new pair of slippers as the current ones were full of holes. The yarn was quite fine and the stitches quite small. In order to match those, I had to knit the first one on US size 1 (2.25mm thick). Between the first and second slipper sock, I must have relaxed a bit to the point of needing to use US size 000 (1.5mm thick). I have to say, I probably would not make another pair exactly like this. I used yarn a bit to thick for the size needles, hoping to add warmth to the finished product. I certainly accomplished that goal, at the expense to ease. It proved to be a bit difficult to join it all together. Usually, socks are knitting by turning a heel and decreasing the toe. The slippers I duplicated called for square toes and heels. I couldn’t in good conscience knit square toes, they aren’t comfortable. The square heel wasn’t much of a factor in the original pair because they were too short and the heel was pulled under the foot. To do again, I would turn the heel so that it was nice and round. In an effort to finish these up I have been knitting ’round the clock for the past week or so. If I were less tired, I would do some math and figure out how many stitches in the socks, I would conservatively say that there are tens of thousands of stitches in these slippers. I hold firmly to my assumption that the original pair was made on a sock knitting machine.

This weekend we went to a family friend’s farm for a potluck and apple cider pressing. Bring apples, go home with cider. I sat on the porch and happily knit away, plopping the yarn into my high tech knitting bag (my purse) and walking around when circumstances dictated. I had many, many conversations with people about knitting and crocheting. I chatted with an older woman who had a very thick German accent about yarn crafts. She thought she would never be able to do it after losing the tips of her left hand to frostbite. I told her about knitting belts, though I don’t think she will knit. I talked with another woman who crochets a lot, she taught herself to crochet when she was 13, she’s in her mid-twenties. I even talked with several men, a few of whom used the words patience and can’t/couldn’t. I stopped them mid-word and let them know that with the correct project, knitting teaches patience and that knitting does not require patience. I don’t know if there will be any new knitters but I had fun talking with and listening to others about knitting.

Just to round out the knitting stories, I’ll share one more. Yesterday, I went to down to pick up a few things and browse yarn for my Christmas Elf project. One of the stores in our area is discontinuing the sales of some of the yarns. I had a lovely conversation with a woman purchasing yarn for her daughter to crochet about yarn thickness, how to read the label to discover the weight (thickness) and fiber content. The yarn she chose was wool and I wanted to be sure that her daughter expected to knit with wool. I later found the yarn she chose set down in another are, so into my basket it went. Clearance wool is difficult for me to resist. I didn’t find yarn for my Christmas Elf project, but I found some in my stash when I returned home. I don’t have enough to complete the project, but I have enough to practice a few things.


Knitting Websites

Knitting Sites with patterns:

  • Knitting Daily – an Interweave site with patterns for free and purchase, as well as weekly informative emails, and resources to purchase.
  • Knitting Pattern Central – bookmark site of patterns, free
  • Knitty – online knitting zine with patterns, articles, etc., come outs quarterly

Knitting Helps

  • Knitting Help – full of instructional information and videos to aid your knitting endeavors
  • The Knitters Bag – this page is a list of instructional videos for may stitches

Other Random Knitting Sites: