Thursday, February 26, 2015


When I was making my coffee this morning, I saw another paper on the fridge with "2 square dishcloths" and "8 cotton pads" and their  weights written down.  Then I thought--did I blog those yet?  No.  Yesterday's comment about "another" two dishcloths would have made much more impact if I had already shown these dishcloths and pads, LOL!

So far, I've done 5 dishcloths and 8 cotton pads from this cotton yarn.  Years ago, when my 9 year old was a baby and I had just gotten into babywearing, I saw a pattern for a knit pouch.  Having gotten into machine knitting, I knew I could do it on the machine--though it was very difficult to figure out how much the fabric would stretch until it was sewn up and a baby put in.  To sew it up meant grafting 95 stitches, because of course I wasn't going to have a seam show!  Luckily, I hadn't woven the ends in, so I knew where the graft was and could unpick it (ugh.  Anything to save a few yards of yarn LOL).  I must have used those giant balls of Bernat Handicrafter, cause I have yet to find a yarn end.  I still have a fair bit left of this sling, and one more in the bin to unravel.

 I experimented with the  puff stitch pads.  The original pattern called for 11 loop puffs.  I found that really pouffy, and I wondered how well they would dry.  I tried both 7 and 9 loop puffs, and liked them both, though the 7 loop puff one was a slightly smaller diameter.  I will say, I think the puff stitch ones feel more like cotton pads though--not exactly fluffy, but the ones done in single, hdc, and dc have a much firmer, textured feel.  I really should try these out myself.
I tried two different patterns to get a solid square.  Well, I also tried a third idea before these two, but it wasn't quite right.  The top one, it started out having two chains in the corners, but I found that still pretty open, so I tried one chain.  Not a whole lot of difference.  The idea I had tried had no chains in the corners, but I was using hdc and perhaps the stitches were just not high enough.  The bottom one starts off with making a circle, then building out the corners.  It's a little wonky as I wasn't sure exactly where to start each side.  Funny how the colours made vertical stripes on the lower section!

While on the topic of crocheted/sewn baby slings, I just want to point out two pictures circulating.
 This one is probably not too bad, it's most like a real sling, though a little narrow at  the shoulder.  The pattern is no loner available on etsy though, so I'm assuming there was some flack about it by the bigger sling makers.  I also saw pictures of crocheted slings using an open mesh stitch (like what I've used for bottle holders).  What does it feel like after laying in a hammock for awhile?  I can't imagine it's all that comfy for baby to be pressing against the crocheted knots.
This one makes my blood boil.  If you click on it, you should be able to see it larger.  It actually says you can have your hands free!  Tell me, what will happen if she lowers her right arm? Whomp, there's baby on the floor.  This is a horrible design.  Narrow strap, NO head support.  Please don't make it.

Crocheted and knit fabric stretches.  Sometimes, that is a good thing.  A stretch wrap, made in a knit cotton, is awesome for a newborn, but we're talking knit at like 20stitches per inch.  T-shirt fabric.  In thicker yarn, the stitches are bigger, so there is more stretch over the length of the item.  Knit/crochet it tighter to reduce stretch, and you've made fabric cardboard.  As well, crochet stitches are knots.  It's never a smooth surface, like knit stitches.  I hate crocheted slippers because of this.  A sling would feel the same.  If you want to make a sling for a new mom, make a sewn one.  There are also decent no-sew ones you can create.  Or, support a WAHM and buy one.

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out:  55gr (dishcloths) + 42gr (pads) + 1827 = 1924gr
Balance: 1424gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/57days = $0.37/day

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Another One!

No, not another hooded cowl in mushroom :)  Another dishcloth in the white and spring pastels.  I'm not going to bother with a picture, it's not the greatest design and I have no interest in replicating it.  But it did use up 18gr of cotton yarn!

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out:  18gr + 1809gr = 1827gr
Balance: 1327gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/56days = $0.38/day

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Forgot!

I was looking at my list of projects, and their weights, and I noticed "hooded cowl, 2-4 Years, 230gr".  This is a fairly current list, mainly February.  It took a moment, and then I remembered that I had indeed recently made a size 2-4 hooded cowl, in mushroom, without ears.  A look through the blog confirms that I did not post it yet!  I suppose it's cause it looked a lot like the previous earless one, just smaller.

We really don't have blue snow here.  I rarely make  colour corrections to my photos.  The mushroom is approximately correct, so I can't be bothered to do anything else LOL.

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out: 230gr + 1579gr = 1809gr
Balance: 1309gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/55days = $0.38/day

Monday, February 23, 2015

I made a Mitten

Yes, I made a mitten.  I wrote about it briefly, and thought I'd finish it that weekend while away, so I could drop it off at my cousin's house on the way home.  Didn't happen.  It sat around until Friday when I finally finished it up, and Saturday morning after skating I sewed a pink little tag on it.  We were heading back up to Bancroft on Saturday afternoon, but were a bit behind schedule and the weather was HORRIBLE, so we didn't stop in on the way up.  It was late on the way back and still the weather was bad, so I didn't think we'd stop in, but we did.  It was dark.  She wasn't home.  I didn't get a picture.  It looks a lot like this one on the left:
But had the pink colour at the top, and the top decreases were a little off center.  It weighed 32grams.  At least I did weigh it, LOL.

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out: 32gr + 1547gr = 1579gr
Balance: 1079gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/54days = $0.39/day

Friday, February 20, 2015


In early December, I got a message from Andrea at Crazy Corn asking if I'd like to be part of a 12 Days of Christmas give away contest!  Of course!  I couldn't think of anything in my ready-made bin that would be of interest for a general give away, so I made up a digital gift certificate.  The winner contacted me on December 10 wanting to get a romper in 6-12month size and a Pocket Bear, for her daughter who is a photographer.  The gift certificate was a little more than what I had the bear listed as, so the extra carried over to the romper.  It's always nice when you get an order from doing a give away.  It doesn't always happen though, but still, I don't mind giving away a little prize now and then.

Because it was my Christmas rush, I had let her know I was having quite a bit of wait for orders.  I JUST got it finished on Feb 12!  Of course, it doesn't take 2 months to make these two little items (and I did do a few small things like the dishcloths and the ruffled scarves), but I'm not happy with a 2 month wait!  I'm trying to get that down, but then I spent all of this morning on the internet, doing things like registering my business name and messaging an accountant.  Ugh.

I searched through most of my vintage books, but could not find a pattern that I liked, in the right size, that had enough information to make sure it'd fit.  I was perplexed.  I looked at my diaper cover pattern, but what I had trouble with before when I made the romper was the bib height and strap length.  Then, through Ravelry, I found two patterns.  I ended up using "Lesley Sunsuit" .  It was close to the gauge I was using, and had both a six month size, and a twelve month size, so I figured I could wing the sizing a little.  I mean, I had three babies.  Two weighed 20lbs at six months, the third wasn't quite 20lbs when she turned one!  Height is probably a bigger deal.  I cast on 12 sts for the crotch because my gauge was a little off and that gave me (mathematically) the size I needed.  I think I ended up with the stitch count for the larger size after doing the decreases.

I made the bear first, using one strand of a fuzzy mohair blend from the stash.

I took the pictures quickly because it was very cold, the light was dimming quickly, and I thought it was going to be picked up the next day.  This is the only picture of the bear.  I made him a bunch more scarves in assorted random colours.  Him and his scarves weighed 16gr.

The romper was made with two strands of the same yarn, for a few reasons.  I figure the photographer would probably prefer that  the babies keep a diaper on, so the thicker fabric will hide that.  And, at 6 months, 9 months, etc, you don't usually go for that delicate, lacey look.  Babies are looking more robust and hardy.  And...because the larger gauge fit the pattern and went faster!

 I started the crotch with waste yarn so there'd be no seam.  I was going to do short rows for the bum, but got up to the ribbing and realized I hadn't.  So I did a couple rows in the ribbing.  The buttons are old, from my brother's girlfriend's mother's collection that she gave me a few years ago.  Nice and subtle, they won't steal the show.  There is no metal name tag on this because I found it too distracting.  Got to come up with a fabric label for inside baby items!  The romper weighed in at 55gr.  Hope to see it in a photo soon!

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out: 71gr + 1476gr = 1547gr
Balance: 1047gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/51days = $0.42/day

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Productive Weekend

We had an extra long weekend here--well, for the kids, who had Friday off school, and then Monday was "Family Day".  We almost always go up to my parents for Family Day, and despite the -30C (and even colder) weather, we trotted on up there again.  I got an entire Pocket Bunny knitted, however, after starting the second leg, I realized that I was to do the feet in white.  But, I have more Pocket Bunnies to do, so the legs will go to those ones, and I'll do new legs for this one.  I also made a couple dishcloths, and knit up a matching mitten for the cupholder mitten set I made for a Christmas gift game.  Some issues with that--I thought the picture would tell me everything I needed to make the mate, but really...this one doesn't totally match.  Close enough, I hope.  It's not finished yet though.  It's interesting.  On Friday, I had a migraine.  I could not sit and knit on the couch.  After I finally felt a little better, I headed down to the knitting machine.  I was able to work okay down there, with frequent breaks to come upstairs and look at the original photos.

Then, since I seemed to be in the groove, I made a circular dishcloth on the machine (LK150).  The green is brighter than the photo, and it wasn't a worsted weight cotton, so it came out a little wimpy feeling--only 7 grams!

The dishcloths--I have a large amount of this cotton to use up.  I made my mom another dishcloth, and one for myself, and now I'm making more of the reusable cotton pads.

This pretty little thing weighs in at 22 grams (I'm going with 45 grams for the two, to allow for the trimmed ends).  It's not quite as pale as the picture, I think the white snow background throws it off.  I also used a 4.5mm hook, instead of 5mm hook, and it's 7 3/4" across, instead of 8 1/4".  I like it better--tighter feel and just a bit smaller makes a difference!

We went to the store in town where I often pick up yarn, and they had some really nice, fuzzy, blingy, scarf yarns marked down...but I resisted :)

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out: 7 + 45gr + 1424gr = 1476gr
Balance: 976gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/48days = $0.44/day

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Few Little Things

My pile of dishcloths is getting pretty ratty looking, so I decided to crochet up a couple (and yeah, I was procrastinating because I had 10" of ribbing, over 5 stitches, times two, to do).

 The first one is very reminiscent of Forget-Me-Knots, usually the first flower in my garden.  Except that usually my husband decides to weed the garden in late summer and pulls out all the first year plants because they don't have flowers, so they "must" be weeds.  It's a little big for my tastes, worked on a 5mm hook, it's 8 1/4" across the wide parts.  Weighs a mighty 23gr.

Then I started this one, decided I didn't want to be a slave to the flower pattern and just did a circle.  I didn't have enough of the bright blue to do another round, so I went with yellow and a simple scallop.  It's 6 1/2" across ( a smidge small?) and took a whopping 18gr.  Never going to get through my stash like this!
Just after I started that second dishcloth, I got an "urgent" request for  a ruffly scarf.  Someone had posted on Facebook, in a group, that they were looking for a ruffly scarf, who makes them...and a ton of people answered.  I don't actually know if the woman who contacted me was the one that asked the question, LOL.  I only had 4 made up, the ones I had done on the knitting machine.  The request was for royal blue, and I had this one, and a darker blue/teal/brown mix.  She picked this one, rather than waiting for me to go to the store.  It reminds me of the beach, and is so very similar to the colours of this shawl (that languishes on my work table still).
I started out following knitting instructions (this is Starbella, and there aren't any instructions on the label.  Well, it fools you into thinking there's instructions, but it only tells you how to cast on).  It was turning out unruffly, just layers of the "yarn", rather flat.  Sort of like an ascot.  The video didn't look like that, so maybe I gave up too soon.  I looked at crochet videos, and found four different ways to do it.  I took the easiest one and gave it a try.  One thing that bothers me with long scarves is that wrapping them around your neck gets bulky.  So, I usually try to create a thinner section.  This also allows the yarn to go further.  I did this with the machine knit ruffle scarves, but couldn't really figure a way to do it with this one.  Picking up every loop instead of every other loop seems to make it less frilly, but it was hard to tell.  This sucker weighs in at 101gr.
Oh, what to do with the ends?  Well, I did notice that the ribbon does unravel!  There is a little connector thread between each line of the trellis.  I pulled them out a bit, and each line got tied to the next.  For the thicker edge, I took out the middle connector thread, and tied the two groups of two together.  Then a little Fray Check.
Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out: 23gr + 18gr + 101gr + 1282gr =1424gr 
Balance: 924gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/43days = $0.49/day

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


While I was in university, The Simpsons became very popular.  I couldn't understand why a big crowd of 19 year olds would gather in the main rec room at the university residence to watch a cartoon show.  Then my little brother started watching and I caught some episodes.  Some funny stuff for the adults too!  I was never a regular watcher, but can admit that I did enjoy the episodes I watched!  Then came "Futurama" by the same crew, and well, I never did get into that show.  There came a point where I just didn't watch much night time TV--just shows that I had recorded during the day because the kids had taken over our one TV, so I watched the recorded daytime shows in the evening.

Anyway.  A little while before Christmas, I posted an online ad on kijiji (similar to Craig's List), offering my custom knitting services.  Most of the requests weren't interested anymore once they got a quote.  However, Mathew (not his real name) was persistant, even offering more than my original quote when I said  I couldn't fit it in before Christmas.  I recommended a couple other WAHM crafters, but he replied back that he could wait until January.  What did he want?  He sent me a link to an etsy shop selling a "Rude Robot" pattern.  Basically, it was Bender, from Futurama.  Apparently, there is a woman he is quite fond of, that loved Futurama.

I've written before about the challenges with custom orders.  He sent a link to the pattern--great, that saves me a lot of time.  Would have save me more time if the pattern had included a gauge.  More on that tomorrow.  He had some specific requirements though.  It had to be very soft, and look like the picture, and be thick and warm....and then he added he wanted a quote embroidered on the back.  Whoa.  I've never done that before.  I couldn't do it by hand, I don't have a machine, I'd have to outsource.  How much would that cost?  Who?  How long?  My first thought was to embroider it on ribbon, and sew the ribbon on.  He wasn't thrilled with that idea.  I thought perhaps I could knit a ribbon in finer yarn, nice and tight, to be embroidered on.  It wouldn't show too much.  I just didn't know how embroidering on crocheted fabric would work---there's holes!

The pattern called for Red Heart.  Well, that's certainly not soft, and really, not all that thick or warm.  I shopped around a bit, thinking I might use LionBrand "Woolspun" like I had used on the wolf hoods, but it was thicker than the gauge of Red Heart, and I didn't want to fuss too much since I had an actual pattern.  I picked up three balls of Red Heart "Soft", which was definitely soft, and works to the same gauge as the basic Red Heart.  Mathew wanted to see samples/swatch, so I worked up some yarns for comparisons.  This was really interesting!

From the bottom is Red Heart "Soft" using the hook recommended in the pattern (remember, there's no gauge given in the pattern), and then the hook recommended on the label.  Above that, in brown, is regular Red Heart.  It's brown because I just wanted a comparison.

From the bottom, is Paton's "Decor".  It is not soft.  "Canadiana" is softer, but I didn't think it was really any better than Red Heart "Soft" except that it's by Patons, not Red Heart LOL.  Above the Decor is 100% alpaca ("Baby Alpaca" by Indiecita), two strands, and then three strands.  It's soft (as soft as crochet can get, it's a very textured fabric), but a bit too wimpy.  And, I didn't really want to use up all my grey alpaca, LOL.  Then I tried one strand of the alpaca and one strand of the "Soft".  I really liked that combo--best of both worlds.  Then I tried "Woolspun" since I had a bit left in the grey.  Definitely thick.

Mathew came over, and examined the swatches.  He asked about having it lined with fleece.  I explained that it could be done, but I wasn't comfortable with that, and it would probably add to the time needed since I'd have to create my own sewing pattern.  He wasn't sold on the "Soft" + alpaca because he liked the shine of the "Soft".  So we came to a compromise that I would make an inner hat in the alpaca.  Interesting idea.  This also meant that I can make the outer shell, get it off to an embroider, and work on the inner and the "extras", and the inner hat would cover up the backside of the embroidery!

I had a hard time getting going.  It seemed that no matter what hook I used, it was going to be smaller than the pattern.  I had to consciously loosen up.  I mean, my swatch showed two different gauges, done with two different sized hooks!  
I found someone about 30 minutes away who was starting up an embroidery business, and could do it (and she even picked it up).  By the time she picked it up I was almost done the inside too.  She used an interfacing on the inside, and pointed out that it greatly reduced the stretch of the hat.  I hadn't thought of that!  She said I could snip in between the words, to get back a bit of the stretch.  I trimmed as much as I could around the words, and that did help.  But it's something to keep in mind.  There was still the rest of the hat that stretched, but on a small hat, that could be an issue.  

At first glance, it doesn't stand out too much, but when you back up and see the whole thing, it does show nicely.  But not too boldly.  

Once I had it back, I sewed on the antenna and the eyes, then crocheted the edging, joining both layers at the same time.  

I wasn't sure if it was long enough.  It's kind of an awkward hat.  It's long over the forehead, so when it's worn, the eyes kind of angle upwards, which does bring the back downwards.  Most earflap hats I've made are a bit lower at the back.

I used this picture as my business page and personal FB page profile, and several people recognized it right away as being Bender.  My SIL though asked me what it was...I had cropped it closer around the eyes and she said it looked like a pair of boobies :)

So, I had bought three balls of the "Soft"....and used slightly less than one ball, LOL.  I should have returned the other two, and that would have brought last year's totals under 10 000gr, but grey yarn is a great staple to have in the stash.

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out: 205gr + 1077gr = 1282gr
Balance: 782gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/41 days = $0.52/day

Friday, February 06, 2015

Mitten String!

Mitten strings are not just for four year olds!  My 14 year old son lost a favourite mitten this winter.  My nine year old daughter just lost one yesterday.  There's a period of time where childish things are childish and unacceptable.  And then we grow up and realize that some of these ideas were a good thing.  Like mitten strings.  You might not catch a 14 year old with mittens on a string, but a 30+ woman with a new pair of Canada Goose mittens?  She was all over it like a toddler and a sucker!

8grams of Patons "Astro", double stranded, crocheted with a 6mm hook.  I did it double stranded so that there would be two tails at each end, for tying through the size loop inside the mitten.  I added an extra knot to the slip knot end, so that the other end would be easier to notice, as it's the end that could be shortened if the string was too long or started to stretch too much.  And I didn't know exactly how long she would need it.  I hope they keep her mittens safe and secure!

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out: 8gr + 1069gr = 1077gr
Balance: 577gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/ days = $0.57/day

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Lucy Knits! Again!

After her complex cat, Lucy (my 12 year old), took it easy with her knitting.  I was making infinity scarves, and she wanted in on the action.  She picked through my yarn and chose a bulky purple (Shetland Chunky, or Beehive Chunky, etc), and a long purple eyelash.  She was  supposed to do the two edge stitches in garter stitch, and then the rest in stockinette stitch.  However, sometimes she got distracted and did garter stitch, or flipped which was the knit side and which was the purl side.  It doesn't really show in the furry yarn, but it does create a bit of texture and interest.
The purple one is a single loop.  For a young child, you could probably loop it twice.  It weighs 58gr, and was in last year's totals.

That one was fun, so she picked out a charcoal yarn and a silvery grey eyelash.
 This one is cool!  It's like a kitty or dog with dark under fur and lighter long hairs.  This one weighed 78gr and was in last year's totals.

 It wraps twice, and is quite warm!  She's selling both these scarves, if you're interested.

For Christmas she got a ball of soft grey chunky yarn--thicker than the ones in these scarves, and a ball of Bernat Boa, an eyelash yarn.  She tried knitting them together, but the chunky yarn is so thick that the eyelash yarn barely stands out, and looks choppy, not plush.  I suggested trying a thin grey yarn.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A week?

Really?  It's been just over a week since I wrote last?  What have I been doing?!  Working on the Rude Robot hat (for some reason, I just could not do a top down hat in single crochet!).  Working on another earless hooded cowl.  Ummm.   Working on a Pocket Bear--it's finished, and I'm working on a matching romper for it.  Just running around, living life.  Went to do something in my son's room (he's 14) and ended up spending an hour and a half cleaning it!  Things like that.

Here's a little project I worked on over the weekend.  I saw on Pinterest a pattern for reusable cotton pads--for removing makeup, etc.  We go through a lot due to the girls and their nail polish addiction.  So I thought I'd give it a try.

Not a great photo, taken with the iPad.  It was great for using up some small bits of cotton.  These 16 took a total of 53gr, or an average of 3.31gr per pad (I didn't weigh the tail ends that got cut off, but given that cotton is heavy, I'm going to round this up to 55gr).  The Pinterest one that got me started is the "puff" stitch the white pads, it's at 3:00 and 6:00 and at 4:00 in the beige.  Then I found the flower pattern one, and then just ad libbed from there, with circles in sc and dc and altering the flowers slightly.  The puff stitch ones are pretty thick feeling, and the single crochet ones are a bit flimsy feeling.  If you're using these for nail polish remover, you'd probably want to double up or be careful when apply the remover to the pads.  These two sets are for sale, and I'll probably do more sets.  Also, for those women that use a reusable menstrual cup, the larger ones can be used as cup coasters :)

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out: 55gr + 1014gr = 1069gr
Balance: 569gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/34 days = $0.62/day