Rethinking My Pattern

I’m rethinking my easy mop head pattern after I read a comment from the one person who tried it on revelry. Since it is downloaded rather frequently, yet there are no comments or other projects about it there, I’m thinking that most people who have downloaded it either haven’t really tried it or haven’t felt strongly about it enough to post about it.

Fine. I understand that. But the one person who did post about it ended up frogging it and made a comment or two that made me think that I should get test knitters for all my patterns, not just the ones I want to sell. Of course, I posted this one a long time ago, having made several for my own mop  and they turned out ok. But I’m going to figure out gauge on it, and yardage so that people will have a better idea of what to expect when giving it a try.

I spent some time today googling Swiffer mop head patterns … mine is one of the more basic ones, but since it is based on Grandma’s Favorite Dish Cloth, it should be one that could be used a lot, if I just figure out what I need to change in the pattern.

Since I’ll be flying out to CA for a brief weekend visit in two weeks to see my mom and sister, I’ll have plenty of time to work up the three mop head trials that I think I’ll need to make myself feel better about this pattern.

I also want to start a Pi shawl on the way too. So I can see a lot of cotton yarn going to CA and back with me in my carry-on.

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A New Milestone

Check it out:

Knitted dish cloth with a hole in it

The Worn Out Dish Cloth

I DID IT!!!

I used my dishcloth, finished in March 2013, until it wore out!!!

The only thing I’ve ever knitted that was used enough to wear out is what I call my Eight-Year Sweater (it took me 8 years to finish it because I would knit on it for a while, toss it into a drawer and wait 6 months or more to get it out again), which reminds me I need to darn those elbows …

Anyway, it looks like time to make some new dishcloths.

 

 

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I FELTED!!!

I know. I know. There are a few things I said I’d never do when I started knitting again: a baby blanket, a Christmas stocking, felt anything, and Fair Isle.

Another one bites the dust.

I joined the Red Hat Society on May 1st of this year. According to the website (in March), they sent new members their “first red hat”. However, between March and May, they adjusted the membership kit and no longer send a hat. I can totally understand why, but I was left in a lurch – I don’t own a red hat, and having hit all the Goodwill stores in my area, could only find a purple hat (which Red Hatters wear on their birthday).

Fortunately, my good friend and co-knitter loves to felt. She felts pretty much everything she can.  During the month of April, as I prepared to become a Red Hatter, she felted a crocheted hat that was simply so cute I could hardly stand it. So, when I realized that I would have to make my own red hat, I did a google search, found a free pattern that looked like something that I would wear, and got the yarn.

I used Cascade 220 and Lion Brand Romance yarns, in red and purple, of course. I doubled the Cascade to try to get gauge, but couldn’t quite make it, so I adjusted the stitch count in the pattern to make sure I made the hat big enough. I was worried that it would felt too small and I’d end up making a red hat for my American Girl dolls!

Tuesday, I visited my friend and we felted my hat. It took about an hour in her top-loading washer, and we had a blast, laughing ourselves silly at our wet hair and water running down our backs as we both tried it on every few minutes to make sure it fit. I then took it home, put a cereal bowl over an upside-down vase and waited until it dried. And this morning, it was dry!

Felted Red Hat with purple eyelash band

My first Red Hat

(I’m so happy!)

P.S. I’m going to make another one for my friend, who is going to join the Red Hat Society with me.

P.P.S. All I have to do now is find some purple clothes.

P.P.P.S. Knitting with eyelash yarn is a pain in the neck, but it turns out so lovely.

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I made a Kitty!

A month has gone by since I posted about, well, anything. At the yarn tasting, I bought a ball of the softest, plushiest yarn by Cascade Yarns to make a baby toy for my grandson. Well, what with having the cold-from-you-know-where hit my family one at a time, myself being the last to catch it, and trying to declutter various parts of my house, I haven’t been posting. But I have been knitting.

I found a cute pattern on their website for a stuffed cat (see it here with all the other patterns for this yarn) and decided to make the yarn into that. And, here it is!

Pluscious cat 01

 

Cat 02

He’s not exactly like the pattern – I changed it to be knit in the round (I hate seaming!) and made the arms a little fatter to match the pudgy little legs. I love the little snap-in eyes. All in all, I’m pretty happy with him.

Now, all I have to do is pop him into an envelope and mail him to my grandson. Shhh! Don’t tell him! I want it to be a surprise!

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Yarn Tasting

Last Thursday, a new local yarn store in my area had a “yarn tasting”. It had been postponed until now because it was originally scheduled during the amazingly often snowstorms of the last few months. Cascade Yarns sent a representative, and had samples of their yarns for us to try out with sample items (small) knitted up so we could see what they would feel like all knitted up.

Here are some pictures of me and my friend at the event.

Beautiful table of Yarns to try

Beautiful table of Yarns to try

My friend and I "toasting" the yarns!

My friend and I “toasting” the yarns!

The cool thing is that we each won a door prize – she chose a fair isle hat kit and I got what turned out to be sock yarn and a sock pattern. I also bought some yarn to make my youngest’s anemone hat and some really nice plush yarn to make my grandson a little teddy bear thing. I probably won’t make the socks, but I might find a one-skein shawl pattern (or run back for some more in that color).

All in all, a fun idea. I wish more stores had these kind of promotions. It was nice to be able to sample yarns before buying them.

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Updating My Patterns Page

Just a quick note to announce that I changed my pattern page links. I added the two patterns that I have here to my ravelry account. I added the American Girl Doll slippers pattern that I have on my ravelry account to my patterns page here. So, now you can download all three of my patterns from ravelry.

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The Lines are Our Friends

Early morning musings on what I learned about myself yesterday.

After one day of working on the felted bag

After one day of working on the felted bag

Here is my first day’s work on the felted bag I’m doing as an informal KAL with a friend of mine. She’s almost through with the first half of hers, and since I didn’t have any new projects yet, I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone and start. It’s a Lion Brand free pattern, using their LB Collection Pure Wool. I’ve never worked with 100% regular wool before and the gauge is smaller than I usually work with. Also (here’s where you get a hint of why I’m writing this post), this is the second non-Greta pattern that I’ve used in years. (The first being the anemone hat, but I changed the pattern to include ear flaps.)

The first thing I did was to make a chart of the instructions. There are 32 rows in the pattern, but the instructions are rather convoluted as most of the rows copy the first few ones. My friend has had problems keeping track, and, since I have ADHD, I knew a visual chart would help me keep track of which row I was on and what to do next. Turns out when it is charted , the stitch pattern is very simple!

So, I started off. It’s got cables (which I’ve done before) and lots and lots of knitting and purling (which I’ve done before). I had a ton knitting time yesterday because not only did my daughter have her 2 1/2 hour acting class time, she had a 3 hour Valentine’s dance at church. Five hours for knitting?!?!? I figured I might get the first half of the bag done (maybe).

As you can tell from the above photo, I’ve not even finished with the first iteration of the pattern stitch. Why? Because it totally stresses me out. My shoulders started to cramp after a few rows. I stopped every 4 rows or so to read something, walk around, or generally wish I hadn’t started. Is it the cable pattern that was stressing me out? Was it the wool and how it slips more easily off my nickel-plated needles? Is it the smaller gauge? Could be.

Then, after the dance, my husband took me to see The Lego Movie for Valentine’s Day.

Lego Movie

Lego Movie

Not only did it make me want to run out and get enough Lego to make a huge, tiny metropolis in my basement, it made me realize why knitting was stressing me out when it should be the most relaxing, peaceful thing I do during the day (hence the name of my blog).

In the movie, the hero is someone who always follows the instructions. Then he finds a talisman that leads him to a group of characters who live outside structured environments and never follow instructions. Together they eventually thwart the villian (no spoilers for those who haven’t seen this charming movie). The way they succeed is to follow the instructions. Ah, ha! Light bulb moment!

Instructions! I’m used to making up my own or rearranging existing ones to be new and/or exciting. I haven’t tried to follow a pattern as written since I made my husband’s sweater the first (two) years we were married. I’ve always had a hard time matching gauge, and, with my ADHD, making up my own patterns, or adapting ones I like, help me keep the excitement in the project so I can stick with it enough to get it finished. That’s important with ADHD. (see any posts I’ve made about washing dishes!)

Also, it appears, I may have a little of the anxiety that plagues some members of my family. In the back of my mind, I’m worried that even if I do everything exactly right (never my strong suit), it won’t come out looking as good as the picture. I’ve never felted anything before in my life, and that is another big worry. What if I felt it and it sticks together so I have a nice wall hanging instead of a bag? What if it shrinks to a size that is useless for what I may want to put in it (most likely it will turn out to be a stunningly fancy knitting project bag … but I digress) What if the natural wool picks up some grime or dirt from my fingers and I end up with a spotted bag before I even use it? After all the time I spend making it, what if I toss it into my car and I accidentally get car grease on it from putting oil in my car, or some such activity. and forget to wash my hands afterwards? The list seems to go on and on.

I’ve come to a decision:

This is the ONLY felted thing I’ve ever been interested in enough to actually spend the money on the yarn and supplies to make. My KAL friend loves felting and I can’t wait to learn how to do it. Even if I never felt anything else again in my whole life. I actually like the feel of 100-% real wool and may convert to using more natural fibers (what I’ll do with all the acrylic and acrylic/wool blends in my stash I don’t know …. wait. Never mind). So, I will keep pushing the envelope and knit my way through my ADHD/anxiety barrier to finish this project, even though there’s a tiny, beginning knitter voice inside my head screaming that I can’t do this.

Also, I’m going downstairs, right now, and finding a chunky, acrylic/wool blend to make me a few more hats for this insanely cold winter. Maybe a garter stitch scarf, too. Then I can alternate a few rows of bag with a few rows of hat/scarf. That will make my ADHD happy.

 

And my head warmer.

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