Reviews: July 2011 Archives
I have seen the light and it is knitting for kids. I may have said it before but I will say it again, I Love Knitting for Kids! Why, you ask, because it is fast, fun and almost instant gratification. The time it takes to knit a project for a kid is about ¼ of the time (if that) to knit for myself. Plus, I love her so much and couple that with my love of knitting makes it twice as fun as knitting for me. The fit issues are greatly reduced (except for the unplanned growth spurt: see pictures for evidence of a very much unplanned growth spurt). I choose the Jonah Hoodie from Lion Brand because of its comfy, cozy characteristics. It looked like it would be agreeable for a toddler to wear: warm and very functional. It is all of the above. My daughter was very excited to try it on and wear it around the house. While I doubt she will be wearing this one come fall (again see pictures) but I will be making another in the next size up for the fall. I love that there are only 2 buttons but I don't agree with the placement. They are 1 row apart and butted up to the hood. Next time I will start them 4 in. down from the cast off edge and the next one 2 in. down since I will use big buttons (these are from my stash) again so she can button them herself. I will also cast on more stitches (just a few) for the sleeves so the opening for her hand is bigger. I also changed the Hoodie placement. The instructions call for the seamed edge to be the top of the hoodie but I placed the seam at the back of the hoodie because the cast on edge curved a bit and gave it more of a front-of-the hoodie look.
I also loved the yarn, Lion Brand Homespun in Parfait. It gives a Boucle like look and is SUPER SOFT to the touch and to wear. It was a bit of a challenge to work with because of the fuzzy factor but worth it since it was one hang-up every 5th or so row (not really that big of a deal but a change to one used to cotton and linen these last few weeks of summer knitting).
This is a great project to work on while cooped up with the summer heat and humidity, wishing for fall to coming all ready. It really put me in the fall mood but is not so daunting that I regret time spent. It is just the right amount to get you over the summer hump.
I have long been a fan of Chenille, so when I came across out Chenille-It Blooming Bias Tape, I got excited. It looked like a lot of fun. When it arrived I was even more excited, then I looked around and realized I had no idea what to put it on. I didn't have any quilt tops, yet, to add it to. I didn't have any pillows I could use the Chenille-It Tape to couch with.But wait! I had a jacket I purchased at a thrift store last year that just needed something. The Chenille-It Tape would be perfect. The jacket is a camo green in a military style, single breasted button up with lapels. I decided to embellish the button bands and lapels with the Chenille-It. It was so simple too! I used my walking foot and centered a medium length stitch with a size 14 sharp needle and stitched down the center of my Chenille-It Tape which was even with the edge of the jacket. I added the Chenille-It Tape to the right side of the button band, but added it to the wrongside of the lapels so the Chenille-It Tape would show all around. I didn't worry too much on the corners of the lapels. I just cut and overlapped on each point or corner (as shown above).
My Chenille-It Tape needed 2 washings to get good and fluffed. I haven't decided if I am done or if I will add more to the pockets and to the bottom of the jacket. I do recommend that you match your upper thread to your chenille-It Tape and your bobbin thread to the project you are adding your Chenille-It Tape to. I wish I had considered that before but I was blinded by excitement. I won't see my bobbin thread much since it is on the inside of my jacket and underneath the lapel but it is a detail I will consider next time.
So now that I am an official crocheter, I figured I should get some Granny Squares under my belt to seal the deal. For those who don't know, Granny Squares are to crocheters as dishcloths are to knitters. Granny Squares are small crocheted squares that feature different designs in each that you can sew up into different projects. Some of the most popular are blankets, scarves, and shawls. Collecting and finding new Granny Square patterns is just as fun as working them up. I set out to find some that I, as a beginner, could handle and I came up with 2 good patterns. The first is a beautiful granny square which is shown in 3 colors but can be worked up in just one or two, as I did. The second is an interesting take on the Granny Square style but reshaped for Christmas to make a Granny Tree. I worked my tree up based on the instructions that called for a treble stitch. Next time I will go with the double and use a smaller hook as with the hook called for by the ball band and the treble stitch I think the finished project is too floppy to make a good ornament but would be perfect with the DC.
I have to say I loved making these. I learned some new things, obtained some much needed practice and new ways to use the skills I already had. Completing something so cute, colorful and beautiful in a short amount of time is very satisfying. Unlike the Amigurumi animals I had made previously, there was no assembly, no stuffing. Once I was done crocheting, I was done! I did learn that: yes, my tension is still too tight. How do I know this, you ask, well... the thought occurred to me shortly after my crochet hook snapped in my hand. "Self", I thought, "you may need to relax a little with this crochet business". Stay tuned to see how this revelation works out. Until then, I will keep practicing and definitely keep cranking out Granny Squares.
My Green and Purple Granny Square was knit up in Berroco Weekend (75% Acrylic, 25% Cotton) in Tomatillo and Orchid. This was a great yarn to crochet with: no splits and it was neither too slick nor fluffy. My Granny Tree was knit with Tahki Tara Tweed (80% Wool/ 20% Nylon) in Brick. This was also a fantastic yarn to crochet with. It was fluffier than the Weekend but it was also had more stretch.
I have had "Pressing Ham" on my To Make List for many years but for some reason or another (usually it is that I am never in the mood to make one) I never got around to making it. I really wanted one so I knew if I scheduled it for the blog it would get done. And What-do-ya-know...It did. Kwik Sew 3571 was a piece-o-cake too and since I am over the hump, I will be getting to the sleeve roll faster than I would have previously guessed. Since this pattern is basically 2 pieces of fabric: 1 of wool and 1 of cotton (though you could use linen too. You want to stick to natural, high temp fabric that can take the wear and tear. Avoid fancy fabric, which may look good but won't press well. You can opt for Wool Felt but not craft felt, which is mostly poly (depending on the manufacturer) and will melt. I would not use fleece or any kind of thick knit either. You need your ham to keep its shape and hold firm while you press on it. You can go with cotton on both sides if you want. I used a gingham cotton and I lined it as well with some muslin. I wanted a smooth shape and didn't want any indentations from some of the larger saw dust pieces that I had in my mix. I cut 2 from my muslin and then 2 from my quilting cotton. When I sewed them up, I made the turning opening for my exterior a little bigger than the muslin so it would be easier to sew up later. I then placed my muslin in my quilting cotton shell and then stuffed the pressing ham with the saw dust. I also added some lavender in with the saw dust for a nice perfume when the ham is heated with the iron (this was a great suggestion from my Mom, Debbi Krisher. Thanks Mom!)
I also extended, curved and tapered the end of the ham a bit to help with some narrow bits of some of the patterns I have been sewing lately and it really came in handy. I saw this on another pattern and liked the idea so modified this pattern to mimic. It ended up looking like a crook-neck squash. It is a little silly looking but totally helpful in the smaller areas. My little one loves it too since it now has a toddler handle. I will be making another in a brighter color so it is easier to find since she likes to hide it. I am also considering make a small hanging loop on one end so I can hand it from the wall for easy storage, keep it from little hands and make it easier to find. It will probably look like a giant Christmas ornament but that will just get me ahead of the game!