Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I would like to say a BIG Thank You to all of you that commented on the Crossword Puzzle blanket shown on my YouTube channel.  They were all so kind and encouraging.

After a coupon code was shared by Amy, Green_Feather7 on Instagram, I decided to place my order for some gadgets I found on Knit Picks.    I had been wanting a ball winder for some time, but all I could find was an electric one for way more money than I wanted to spend.   After seeing the crank ones on YouTube, I went searching for the cheaper option.  Of course, I found other items I had been craving like Wonder Clips and a yarn stranding guide.  The coupon was for a free ball of Lindy Chain, which I got in Whisper, a shade of lavender.  I actually got the free yarn, free shipping and tax.

The Wonder Clips are great for holding two fabrics together before sewing.  I use them for sewing and for crochet and knit projects.  I searched high and low for the stranding guide in stores with no success.  I wanted it for protecting my fingers when working with holiday yarn that has the strand of metallic thread.  While making my Christmas tree, I had to place bandaids on the fingers that the yarn was wrapped around.  That strand was making my fingers raw.  I'm hoping this will solve the issue.

I also bought a Try It Needle Set.  It contains one set of size 6 Caspian Wood tips and one set of size 7 Nickel Plated tips, with a 24" cable and 40" cable.  Since I am so new to knitting, I thought this may help me decide what type of needles I like best.

Block 3
Block 4
The Brownie Knits Blanket Along blocks are coming along nicely.  I've learned so much and I'm getting plenty of practice.  I finished block 3 and block 4.  I'm about halfway through with block 5.  I am some what behind.  I am slow compared to a lot of knitters, not just because it's a new skill, but that's how I roll with all crafts.

I finished the Bakery Bears Handbrake Cowl last week.  It was a fun and easy knit.  Thank you YarnieLadyBug for gifting me the pattern.  In return, I will also gift the pattern to three Ravelry members who would like the pattern.  All the proceeds for the sale of this pattern will go to cancer research.  The first three that ask in a comment posted on my YouTube video and who give me their Ravelry name, will receive a pattern download email.  I would love to see your finished projects.

Since I don't like guessing and wasting yarn, I have been a bit frustrated with the long tail cast on.  I haven't done much research on the subject, but what I have seen and heard is that it's a best guess as to how much yarn you leave to accommodate the cast on.  When you're casting on a great many stitches, it's a pain to redo it until you've got it right.  I tried to take the mathematical approach.

I casted on 5 stitches and removed the needle.  Grasping the tail at the first and last stitch, I unraveled them to see how much tail yarn was used.  I measure this bit and came up with about 3 inches.  Dividing the total number of cast on stitches, (120) by the 5 that I used to gage my tail length gave me 24.   That is 24 three inch sections.  24 times 3 is 72 inches of yarn for a tail.  I added another six for sewing in, just it case it worked exactly.  To my surprise the cast on was a success and I had only a couple of more inches left to my original addition of six.  I tried the same method when I casted on the Brownie Knits Block 5.  Again, a success.  Was this a fluke?  Has anyone else tried it this way?

I won a set of three stitch markers made by Hooked in Yarn.  She does fabulous work in polymer clay.  Crochet and knit stitch markers, buttons and crochet hook handles, all beautifully decorated. Check her out on Facebook.

Several months ago I made a notions pouch that wrapped around the shoulder belt of the truck. Twice I lost my crochet hook in the door frame because I laid it down and it slid off my lap.  It was the perfect size to roll right into the door frame with no way to retrieve it until you opened the door. I designed this pouch based on the shoulder protectors normally found in automotive aisles.  So the pouch has two pockets that hold my crochet hook or knitting needles or scissors or anything else I don't want to fall off my lap when we round a corner.  The back side has a full pocket with a flap.  This serves a notions pouch when not on the seat belt.

Because the normal belt protector used velcro, I used it too on the prototype.  It worked great on the first trip.  Forgetting that yarn and velcro do not get along, I dropped it in my bag open.  It didn't take me twice to remember to close off the velcro before it comes into contact with my yarn.

My aunt gave me a tote bag she had stashed away in a drawer.  I found it to be the perfect size for carrying my yarn projects with me as we travel.  But since it had a giant poinsettia blossom on it, I wanted something a little more everyday.  So I decided to make my own.  I added a pocket to the inside large enough to house my phone and keys.

I decided to use magnetic snaps, most often used on purses today.  Adding them to the tote bag and to the shoulder harness pouch eliminated the velcro nightmare.  That also made it much easier to attach and remove from the seat belt.  I arranged the snaps in such a way that the notions pouch could be attached to the inside of the tote bag when I'm not using it in the truck.  I think it came out great!  As with any prototype, I'll use it and see if there are any improvements to be made.

If you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to comment.  I welcome your input.  Enjoy your weekend, but don't forget the real reason for the holiday: Remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces.  Thank you to all who are and have served to defend our country and our freedom.