Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recent projects

As you know, I've been away from my computer for some time now.  But that doesn't mean that my knitting needles have been still!  I've got lots of new things to show you.

First is the baby blanket that I made for Don's cousin.  If you'll notice, there is a big hole in the center, which could really confuse you.  This is a car seat blanket.  If you've ever tried to keep a baby blanket in place, while still being able to buckle a car seat safely, you'll appreciate how quickly I cast this project on to my needles when I found this pattern!
I also made a wash cloth and wash mitt for the baby shower basket we are sending to his cousin.  Also in the basket was a Blanket Buddy in blue and a pair of Converse Booties.  From my Mom's stash, I took the bunny cloth to the left, a bib, and 2 burp cloths.  I rounded it out with an outfit, and some baby toiletries.  No picture of the finished basket, though!
The next pictures I SHOULD have for you are the pictures of the purse set I made for my mother in law.  BUT, I realized this morning that I forgot to take pictures of them.  I'll have to settle for describing them for you.  I used red and yellow 100% wool yarn, and knit a wallet, a cell phone case, 2 eyeglass cases, and a key finder.  I'm really annoyed that I can't show them to you, because I really liked how they came out.  However, I will be able to show you something similar in the not too distant future!

When my mother in law was here in May, she asked me to make a basket for a fundraising auction for a group she belongs to.  The theme of the basket is "Semi Homemade:  Pamper Yourself"  She chose a journal set that I had made, then we went shopping for yarns for it.  So far, I've finished:

A four piece 100% cotton spa set, which consists of a wash mitt, soap bag, face cloth, and head band,
and 3/4 of a tea cozy, which should be finished today.

We also bought this yarn.  The pink is destined to be a pair of cozy slippers, and the two blues are going to become a 4 piece purse accessory set.  The basket will be rounded out with handmade soaps and bath products, tea bags, candles, a manicure set, and a tranquil music CD.  I'm quite excited to see how it will turn out, and WILL take pictures!
Back in February, I mentioned that I had knit some cotton and net dish scrubbies.  I really enjoyed them, as they are a quick project and really useful.  Needless to say, in my world, things need scrubbing frequently!  I stocked up on rolls of netting, but was putting off the project, as cutting the netting is really a challenge.  I recently figured out a brilliant way of dealing with it, though!  Here is the process:

Step One:  Pop the end caps off the roll of net.  Carefully slide out the cardboard tube from the center.

Step Two:  Line up the roll with the lines on your rotary mat.  Get out your electric kitchen knife.  Be careful that your husband doesn't find out.

Step Three:  Make one inch slices of net, keeping the cellophane intact to help keep it all together.

Step Four:  Remove cellophane and wrap a strip of paper around one side of the circle.  Pile your netting in a box and wait to have time to cast on.

Now that all my netting was cut, I did sit down and do a few dish scrubbies.  Then I started thinking:  what would happen if I used the same technique to make an exfoliating wash mitt?  This had to be tried!

This is the first side of the wash mitt.  I wanted one side to be stockinette, so that it would be a little more gentle.
The other side is done in garter stitch, with one strand of yarn and one strand of netting held together.  There is a difference in gauge between stockinette and garter stitch, so I did have to do a few short rows to make the sides line up.
All in all, I was quite pleased with the result.  But wait!  This can really only be used on the RIGHT hand.  How about a reversible one?  One without a thumb??  THIS had to be tried, and this is the result:

A smooth stockinette side with slight lace pattern, and a scrubby garter stitch side.  I have also written a pattern for a left handed mitt, but haven't done one yet!

I also did a little more baby knitting, to have on hand.  Another wash mitt, this one in pink.  These really made bathing my own babies SO much easier.  That is why every baby shower I go to, I give one of these.
And I made 4 more Blanket Buddies, the pink one shown, and one each in the colors of yarn pictured, but they've all been given away already!
I've also been dabbling with Tunisian croceht.  I'm not a confuses me, but I have been curious about this.  Turns out, it's pretty simple, really.  The problem is that the motions of foreign, so I'm really slow at it.  Plus, there are more pressing things to do, so it takes a back seat.
It produces a really neat looking fabric.  I'm using 100% wool, and will be felting it, so I think I will lose a lot of stitch definition, but hopefully some will stay.  I think the destiny of this piece is to become a travel notions wallet, similar to the one I made for my Mom.
Last week, I made a knitted remote control holder for my stepdad.  It is the kind that goes over the arm of the couch, and has 2 pockets to hold remote controls, or whatever you need to keep handy.  It was a Father's Day present, and in my hurry to get it to him, I didn't take a picture.  Kind of a theme this month, wasn't it?  I will try to get down to there house, so I can show you what it looks like!

Finally, I received an email saying that my church wants to start a Prayer Shawl Ministry, and would I be interested.  It hasn't started yet, but coincidentally, I had had the same thought myself, and purchased some yarn to have on hand for when I had time to start one.  The email prompted me to find time.  Here is a picture of the first 10 inches of the first shawl.  I have enough yarn to make a total of four of them.  Coincidence?  I don't believe in them any more.... I think it was fate!

The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun, which is a little tricky to work with, and I'm doing a simple garter stitch.  I will keep you posted!

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