What is in your knitting notion toolkit?

Knitting notions

What is in your knitting notions kit? I keep all of my notions in a big tin, because I love them and it is easier to access whatever you need compared to a zippered case.  I have a needle book where I keep most of the needles I use for weaving in the ends, I also have a set of three larger ones I use with bulky and super bulky yarn, they’re the ones in the tin.  Stitch markers, needle threaders, a thimble, a pair of scissors, two measuring tapes and my stitch counter.  There is also a few magnetic bookmarks that I use to mark printed patterns or my place in my stitch pattern books.  I like having everything I need in the same place.

 

Reviewing 2014

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Last year I did a review on my year.  One of the nice things about blogging is that you can go back and see what it was like a specific point in time.  I had no resolutions last year, but I had two personal goals, I wanted to read at least one book a week and to knit myself a sweater.  I used Goodreads to track my books and I actually managed to read more than 52 books this year, true, many of them are children’s  books, but hey they are still books.  I stopped thinking about how important the books were and just read for fun.  A lot of the books I read were bedtime books I read to my daughter. 

And I know myself a Hitofude, then I knit another one for my sister.  If you had told me last year that I would knit not one but two fingering weight cardigans I would have laughed.  I still want more pretty cardigans, but I will take my time and order the good yarn first. 

I like reviewing my year, I like looking back and realizing that the year was not a total waste even though that is how I felt most of the time.  It is also satisfying to look at all the things I made

 2014Projects

There is over 30 projects in that picture.  The ones I enjoyed the most were definitely the dolls.  They were personal and had character.  The cardigans were awesome too.  Two completed large blankets and two baby blankets isn’t bad either.  Not to mention another two large ones still being worked on.

I might have less projects that previous years, but 13 of them were made out of fingering weight.  And of those 13, 8 of them were large projects.  I used to want to knit something fast so I could have it ticked off my mental to – knit list and don’t get me wrong I still can’t wait to finish a WIP so I can enjoy it or cast on something else, I am teaching myself to stop worrying about time.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 12.07.17 PMAnd some of the books. Yes they are for kids, yes they are not serious books. But in my defense, some of these were super fantastic.  For example the Fairyland series are super so was the Mr Benedicit’s Mystery Society.  And I loved the Hundred year old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared.  As for Girl Gone, that book gave me the creeps, I still feel creeped out just thinking about it.

It hasn’t been an easy year, that is for sure, but I like to think that I took it all quite well and responded appropriately.  I read somewhere that you should not react to things, instead you should respond.

Not a WIP anymore {Wednesday’s WIP}

This started last week as a bunch of cotton skeins of yarn.

And then they became a bunch if squares.

Which became a blanket.

Of course there were leftovers. And I have a problem with leftover yarn. So a baby beanie was made too.

As for WIPs I still have the ripple blanket and the viajante but I think I want to cast on a smaller project.

Ghalya Doll pattern release

It has been ages since I have released a pattern.  This one is dear to my heart and has been in the making since February.  The doll itself is a simple one.  If you can crochet, increase and decrease in the round you can definitely make one.  I can make one in an afternoon.  The hair is a little bit time consuming but so worth it.  And the clothes are fun to make and customize.

Please welcome the Ghalya doll.

Ghalya Doll

 The pattern includes a crochet and a knit dress pattern, a photo tutorial for the hair and some accessory suggestions.  She stands at 22 cm (8.6inches) tall, the perfect height for a little girl’s doll.

 

The pattern is available on ravelry

 

The curious case of the forgetful blogger

I keep forgetting to blog.
It has been a while. I am a bad blogger.

Sorry, can I make it up to you with some pretty pictures?

After the crazy week of rainbow knitting and crocheting I wanted to knit socks so I cast on Jaywalkers.
I think I am the last sock knitter to knit jaywalkers. #knitting

The week before last the 6 year old was home for spring break so we made some Sharpie mugs.  If you have never made them or made them and they failed check out Craftaholics Anonymous, they have some great tips.

#sharpiemugs are fun.

And then I caught a bug called “makedollitis”, but it is ok, I am better now
Sweet instant gratification. #crochet

I find peace in making. #crochet #amigurumi

Now to add some hair. #crochet #amigurumi

Jumpsuit attempt number 1. Needs some work. #crochet #knitting

Before spring break ended someone got out the ruffled fabric and asked for a skirt, so I made a skirt. This is the second time I use this fabric, the first time it was a nightmare, so this time I researched some more, found this tutorial from Make it & Love it.  She also asked for a bag so I made this teeny tiny cute bag.

Today's #sewing. A ruffles fabric skirt and a mini bag for her dolls.

Then I decided if I could knit a doll. Isn’t she cute?

There was a time when there wasn't anything in the world that would make me knit 6 stitch tubes using DPNs. #knitting  #chocolatemintsinajardolls

A knit version of the #chocolatemintsinajardolls #knitting

And the Jaywalkers got frogged and cast on as plain vanilla socks.  Then it got tedious so I got out my fancy sock yarn hanks, wound them into balls as motivation (bribery)
I have been having sock #knitting trouble lately. So I am motivating myself with pretty #yarn

But of course I got lost somewhere and started Eva’s Shawl, which has probably been in my revelry favorites since I first joined.  I am trying to use up as much of my stashed yarn as I can because the yarn is getting out of control.

I have wanted to #crochet this shawl since 2009.

 

I hope you made it to the end and enjoyed yourself.  I will try to remember to blog more regularly.

A blanket called Endurance

#crochet I am starting to accept that it will never be as big as I want it to.

This is my Uncoordinated blanket.  I started it on July the 28th of 2012.  I was just stash busting, trying to use up old odds and ends of leftover Alize Diva that were the remains of projects.  I then called it the vulnerability blanket, but today I was talking to my mom about it and said it is your endurance blanket.  I thought about it and I guess she is right.  It is about my endurance and patience.  My perseverance to keep going even when I really didn’t want to.

To the average person it is an unremarkable blanket made up of colors that do not match and even in some places clash.  It is made up of the most basic crochet pattern there is.  The Granny Square.  It is not even made up of squares that are joined up, just one never ending square.

It started in Kuwait, it came with me to hospital when I had a near death experience, it came with me to the apartment in Cairo while I was getting it all fixed up, it came with me back to Kuwait again.  It has already been snuggled with by the 6 year old.  It has been exhausting, exhilarating and exasperating.  It tells a story of the many projects that were made with the yarn.  But most of all it tells the story of a woman.  A woman who chose to grow up, learn a lot of things and to always keep going.  A story that no one else might understand.  A story, of struggles, pain, happiness, sadness, elation, success and failure. A story that might not interest anyone else, because it is not amazing.  But a story that we all share.  A story of growing up.  Growing up is nothing but endurance.  Learning to keep your eyes on the ball while enjoying the game.  Of wanting to give up but deciding that you can give it another go.  You also learn that it is ok to stop and rest for a while, life isn’t going anywhere without you, and then you get up and try again.

I love finishing things, and having a work in progress for so long is a struggle for me. But this isn’t a quick project.  I have a King Size bed and this is fingering weight yarn.  I always knew it was going to be a feat.  But I am also starting to accept that it might never become a full King Size blanket, that maybe I have worked on it enough.  It has served its purpose.  It has shown me so many things and now I understand why.

It might be time to work on it for a little more time and stop.  To move onto other things and start using it on my bed so it can be a daily reminder of the amount of work we need in life and also that we are never really done.  We will always be works in progress.  We will always be an inch away from completion but that is ok.  We are perfect just the way we are. Because to me, this blanket with all of its imperfections and weirdness, it is just perfect to me.

Crochet Crown Headband {a tutorial}

Not for lack of WIPs, I just made something new. It is a problem I assure you. Here I was sitting knitting on my second color affection when I thought to myself. “Crowns!” I need to crochet a crown. I also need it to be a mini crown because EVERYTHING is cuter in miniature. Just think of anything and google it and add miniature to it.

What do you do with a miniature crown anyway? You glue it onto a headband and make a 5 (6 in two days) year old extremely happy.

They are very easy to make.
I made two variations one using DK yarn and a 3.5 mm hook and sports weight yarn and a 3 mm hook.
You can use any weight yarn and hook as long as it gives you a tight fabric because you don’t want a flimsy crown. I also tend to crochet and knit tight so make sure you test it out and see if it works.

Version 1: {greens and blues}

Make a 30 stitch chainless foundation. You could also just chain 30 but it is always a good idea to learn something new.
Slip stitch into the first SC to join the round.Make sure you don’t twist.
Round 1 – 3: SC into each stitch all around, slip stitch into first stitch to join in the round.
Round 4: Turn your work around so you will be working on the wrong side. SC in same stitch, *4DC in same stitch, SC* repeat until the end of the round, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. Turn around the work so you are back to working on the right side.
Round 5: SC into each stitch all around, slip stitch into first stitch to join in the round.
Round 6: DC into each stitch all around, slip stitch into first stitch to join in the round.
Round 7: *SC in same stitch, Skip two stitches, in the next stitch (4 DC, CH3, 4 DC ), skip 2 stitches*, SC in next stitch, slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round.

Finish off yarn and weave in all ends.

To attach to the headband, I cut a felt circle the size of the base of the crown,sewed it to the crown then glued that onto the headband.

Version 2: {purple}

Make a magic loop, chain 3 (counted as first stitch) and 11 DC.

Round 2: 2 DC in each stitch (24 stitches), slip stitch into first stitch and CH 1.

Round 3 – 5 : *2 SC in same stitch, SC* all around,  slip stitch into first stitch and CH 1.

Round 6:  Turn your work around so you will be working on the wrong side. SC in same stitch, *4DC in same stitch, SC, SC* repeat until the end of the round, then slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round. Turn around the work so you are back to working on the right side.
Round 7 – 8: SC into each stitch all around, slip stitch into first stitch to join in the round. CH 1.
Round 9: *SC in same stitch, Skip two stitches, in the next stitch (3 DC, CH3, 3 DC ), skip 2 stitches*, SC in next stitch, slip stitch into the first stitch to join the round.

Finish off yarn and weave in all ends.

Since this one has a circle for a base you can just glue it directly to the headband, that is what I did, but in retrospect I think a felt circle might have helped it keep its shape better.