Schnapps

Schnapps
My Very Best Friend!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gratitude & New Year's Resolutions

First of all, I have to thank all of you who have come to see the Carolyn Rose Cap and who have contacted me.  It is amazing that so many of you have found the pattern already.  I am truly grateful for those of you who are paying it forward in Carolyn's name.  Please feel free to post comments or email me at any time.


One thing that keeps running through my mind is that I should have knit something for Carolyn - the fact that I can not now is upsetting.  I have learned that I should knit and give - whenever someone is special to me.  I won't just wait for a special occasion or a particular reason.............give to those you love and care about always.  I won't stop knitting presents - I love to see someone's face light up when they get a handmade gift, but I'll hopefully manage to give more "just because" presents, not just birthday and Christmas gifts.


With New Year's Eve creeping around the corner and the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind me, I have been thinking about what to set as goals for 2012.  My resolution is to knit more!  Who's with me on that?? I should probably resolve to get rid of some of my yarn stash too, but I know that I will still buy yarn............even if I have several tubs full of yarn already...........especially if it is on sale!


So, I think I should set a goal for myself - to knit at least 2 hats a week for Delaware Head Huggers.  I am pretty sure that I can manage that even on really busy weeks.  Knifty Knitter Looms are wonderful things - I love to hand knit too, but when pressed for time, a loom knit hat can be completed in less than an hour.  I'll have to keep track of how many hats I knit on needles and how many I loom knit in 2012............but either way, at least 2 a week should be making their way to patients.  And hats made for friends or family, if not chemo caps, will not count!


I would also like to make more blankets for Kozy Kovers for Kids.  I find that I focus on hats and do not make nearly as many blankets as I should.  Maybe a realistic goal is to make at least 2 blankets in 2012..............that sounds possible.


 Right now I am working on this afghan - it's a Lion Brand pattern - Winter Lace Afghan, pattern number 80115AD.  I just started it, so I have quite a ways to go, but it's a beautiful pattern.  This is a gift for someone, so it doesn't count as one of my 2 blankets for Kozy Kovers. 




I've got an embroidered baby blanket that I started years ago that I really should finish too.  I see many goals for myself in 2012!  I wonder how many I will manage to meet!


I also want to get more people involved with Delaware Head Huggers and Kozy Kovers for Kids.  I'll have to spend some time on marketing - the local papers are wonderful about running articles about the need for hats and blankets - I'll have to expand my reach a bit.  The more who know about us, the more we can help.  Tell people about us please - send them to our websites and our Facebook pages. And most of all, have them contact me if we can help them in some way.

Happy New Year Everyone.  I'm very grateful that I will be able to spend the holiday with my family and I hope each of you has a beautiful time as well.

Happy Knitting!  Make beautiful things and pass them on!!!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Introducing the Carolyn Rose cap!


 Carolyn Rose

This week I received the heartbreaking news that a very special woman in my life passed away on December 15, 2011. 

I first met Carolyn Rose in September of 1976, when I was one of the very fortunate students to have her as my second grade teacher.  As I moved through grammar school, Carolyn moved grades as well and she taught me in 5th, 7th and 8th grades as well.  While I remember many things about being in her class, one that strikes me first is how much she encouraged us all to do our absolute best, in everything.  She was such a creative person and so very giving.  She always had time for each and every one of her students. I'll never forget that she gave up her lunch hours to teach students the needlework art of Bargello.  She inspired us all to make beautiful (at least to our own young minds) things on a regular basis.

After I graduated, Carolyn and I remained in touch. While we would only speak (or email most lately) a few times a year, creativity was always a main topic.  When I completed a large embroidered tablecloth as a gift, I sent Carolyn pictures and she frequently sent me patterns and magazines to help inspire my crafting as well.

Last time I saw Carolyn was a bit more than 2 years ago, when she came to Delaware and we met for the afternoon.  I was just struggling to learn to knit and of course, she was encouraging.  She could crochet, which I am hopeless at but someday hope to master.  When I started Delaware Head Huggers and Kozy Kovers for Kids, she was very supportive.  See, Carolyn, after years of teaching went on to work in Community Relations and charitable fundraising and made such a HUGE difference in the world.  She knew that this was a way I could nurture my creative side while giving back to many.

I did not know how sick was recently…..she was a very strong, independent person.  I wish I would have been able to speak to her again and I will miss her terribly.

I found myself crying and thinking about her and all the wonderful memories that I have of her and I decided that to honor her memory, I would design a “Carolyn Rose” hat using the Rose Stitch pattern.  Hopefully using my creativity to honor her is something she is smiling about in heaven. 

The pattern here is free – I will remember Carolyn and her wonderful kindness and giving nature always and I want those of you who didn’t know her to be aware of her and remember her as well.  I do ask if you use this pattern that you please do something for someone less fortunate.  If you are making this hat for Delaware Head Huggers (www.delawareheadhuggers.org) or some other organization, that’s wonderful.  If not, and you are making it for yourself or as a gift, that is wonderful too, but please then, do something………put some money in the collection box at church, volunteer some time at a hospital, just give a can of food to a local food bank or a hug to someone who needs one, but please, keep the kindness and love that inspired this hat – Carolyn’s spirit -  alive.

If anyone has trouble printing this pattern, try accessing the PDF here:  Carolyn Rose Cap, highlighting and copying it into a Word document.

For anyone who doesn't know how to knit a stitch in the row below, feel free to check out this video I made to explain it:   How to Knit a Stitch in the Row Below



The Carolyn Rose Cap pattern is now available for knitting in the round as well.  It can be found here.

 Carolyn Rose Cap


 
You will need:

Size 10.5 knitting needles
Bulky, or 5 weight yarn – about 100 yards – I used Deborah Norville’s Serenity Chunky and one skein was more than enough. This hat is toasty warm, but has a pretty lace-like pattern to it - a perfect chemo cap I think.  A solid color yarn will most likely showcase the lace more clearly.  I will post more pictures as I make different variations of this cap.

Pattern:

Cast on 55 stitches

Work in K3, P2 ribbing for 1 to 1.5 inches.  K3, P2 across for every row.

Knit in Rose Stitch, ending on a Row 4 until the piece measures about 8 inches in length.  This should be about 8 repeats.

Rose Stitch
Row 1:  K2, *P1, K1; repeat from * to next to last stitch.  End with another K1. (this row ends with 2 knit stitches)

Row 2:   K1, *K1 in stitch in row below, K1; repeat from * to end of row.

Row 3:  K1, *P1, K1; Repeat from * to end of row.

Row 4:  K2, *K1 in stitch in row below, K1; Repeat from * to next to last stitch and end with another K1.  (This row ends with 2 knit stitches)

Decrease crown as follows:

                        Row 1: K3, K2tog across row. This row will end with 44 stitches left.

                        Row 2:  Purl

                        Row 3: K2, K2tog across row. This row will end with 33 stitches left.

Row 4:  Purl

Row 5:  K1, K2tog across row.  This row will end with 22 stitches left.

Row 6:  Purl

Row 7: K2tog across row.  This row will end with 11 stitches left.

Cut working yarn, leaving a long tail.  Draw the yarn through the remaining live stitches
on your left hand needle and cinch closed.  Seam up the back and you are finished.

This pattern is easily adapted for other sizes or types of yarn.
Be sure to cast on in multiples of 5 and everything will stay the same. 

Use smaller needles and add more stitches.  Use lighter weight yarn and add more stitches.

Use heavier yarn and/or bigger needles and decrease the number of cast on stitches.

Adjust this for a child’s hat by beginning with 40 stitches if using the same yarn and needles.
Otherwise, adjust accordingly. 

Make beautiful hats and share them!

Merry Christmas and Happy Knitting!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas is Coming!

My goodness - Christmas is just around the corner and I can't believe it.  If you can this season, please tell people about Delaware Head Huggers, where we give handmade hats to chemo patients of all ages and Kozy Kovers for Kids, where we give handmade blankets to foster care children and those children suffering from abuse or neglect.  Encourage all your friends to visit our websites or 'like' us on Facebook.

Delaware Head Huggers:  www.delawareheadhuggers.org  
Email:  robin@delawareheadhuggers.org


We need support in all ways - hats, blankets, monetary donations and moral support!  EVERYONE can help in some way - just by spreading the word about us.  And if anyone wants to donate hats or blankets closer to home and needs help getting started, just let me know!!  It doesn't matter where you are, you can make a difference too!

And please let people know that we happily ship chemo caps to any individuals who could use them.......just send me an email at robin@delawareheadhuggers.org or contact me through Facebook and we'll ship some right out.

I've got some gifts made........not as many as I had hoped, but there's always next year, right??  Hats for jars filled with candy, key chains, felted bags, bookmarks, 2 shawls, several washcloths and a few other little projects are complete......the rest will have to be finished after the holidays.








Like everyone else, I've been wrapping, shopping, cleaning and decorating.  And, MAKING HATS!  Delaware Head Huggers is in need of more and more hats every week.  Hopefully we see a big increase after the holidays, but I'm trying to get at least a few hats every week finished. Loom hats are super fast and I find I can stop to do whatever else needs to be done and pick right back up without losing my place in my pattern.

I've got an afghan started too - not sure when that will actually be finished, but it's started at least.

This time I year I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, baking and making chocolates, so I don't have as much time to knit and when I am knitting, I'm working with tried and true patterns, not experimenting.  Once all the hustle and bustle of the holidays has died down a bit, I hope to try out some other hat patterns that are floating around in my imagination.

If I don't post again before, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!  and HAPPY KNITTING!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Well, I've been busy knitting, but wanted to take a few minutes out to stop and say THANK YOU to everyone who has helped Delaware Head Huggers and Kozy Kovers for Kids get off the ground.  It's been absolutely amazing working with everyone and seeing all the beautiful items all these talented people are willing to donate! I never imagined when I started this that there would be so many people wanting to help.  People have donated money for postage, materials to be used to create hats and blankets and moral support - all of which is needed, wanted and appreciated!

Every week, I am completely in awe at some of the beautiful items that come in......each made with so much love that you can see it in every stitch.  I've met so many inspiring people through these organizations........people suffering losses, grieving, injured and ill themselves, who somehow reach inside themselves to create gorgeous things for others.  AMAZING!!

Delaware Head Huggers is in need of hats - and I couldn't be happier.  I've been contacted by several hospitals and chemo centers that received hats last year asking for more.  We're managing to supply individuals who hear about us with hats as well!  Hats are constantly coming in and I am shipping them out as fast as they come in. As of 11/20, we have received 5.359 hats!  More are in at the library as I type this and even more are on their way. 

I've heard from patients, family members and health care providers telling how much a handmade hat means to a patient undergoing treatment.  It's a wonderful feeling to hear that our work is making a difference to people.

Kozy Kovers for Kids is also booming right now!  Our latest total was 577 blankets with more on the way.  We were able to donate many blankets to the State Police and local hospital for children suffering from abuse or neglect.  We have also sent many to foster care agencies to be given to children placed in foster homes, so that they at least have one item that is truly their own.

We will be working with Kind to Kids and their "My Blue Duffel" program.  The program supplies duffel bags so foster children do not have to use trash bags to transport their belongings. Kozy Kovers is going to try to donate as many blankets as needed so that each duffel bag comes with a blanket too!

I am truly thankful and grateful to everyone who has helped. We are a success because of each individual who contributes an item, a penny or a positive thought to us.

Please spread the word about us! 

Delaware Head Huggers is on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Head-Huggers/250229674280

and on the web at www.delawareheadhuggers.org

Kozy Kovers for Kids is also on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kozy-Kovers-for-Kids/253991638070

and online at www.kozykoversforkids.org

Visit, support us or just see what we're doing.  I bet you'll be inspired too!  I know I am!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Cowl for My Puppy (or yours…)




Schnapps loves to have a cowl on in the cold weather……he started with scarves (he was the only one willing to wear my first knitting attempt!)...... but the ends would unravel and drag on the ground, so I decided to try out a cowl.  He loves them and I can switch them out for different occasions without spending a ton of money on holiday collars.  This one takes about 30 – 45 minutes to make and can be adjusted for dogs of any size.  You MUST knit this loosely!!!  Especially when binding off……..you want it to have enough stretch to go comfortably over the dog’s head.

To be sure you are making the correct size, take your dog’s collar and hold it to a circle loom.  The collar should be the same size or slightly smaller than the inside of the loom.  I use the blue “preemie hat” loom for Schnapps. Larger dogs would need larger looms. But I think, using the Knifty Knitter set you could make a cowl even for a Saint Bernard!




Use two strands of worsted weight or bulky yarn held together as one.  You could also just use one strand of super bulky yarn. I like to use colors that are seasonal......this one is in fall shades, but he has an orange and black one for Halloween, a Christmas one, a red and white one for Valentine's Day, a green one for St. Patrick's Day and a blue one for 'everyday' use. 

Make a slipknot and attach it to your anchor peg.

E-wrap the entire loom.  Start with Peg 1 by bringing the yarn towards the inside of the loom and wrapping it around the peg in a counterclockwise direction.  Repeat for each peg.  There should be one loop on each peg when you are finished.

E-wrap the entire loom again, being sure that there are 2 loops on every peg when you are finished. 

Knit off each stitch by bringing the bottom loop up and over the top loop, taking the bottom loop off the loom.  When finished, there will be one loop on each peg again.

Repeat the above two rows, e-wrapping and knitting off until your piece is about 5 inches long.  Make this longer for larger dogs.

Bind off very loosely, using the basic bond off, as follows:

1.  Knit the first 2 stitches.

2.  Move the loop from peg 2 over to peg 1.  Knit off. 

3.  Move the loop from peg 1 over to the now empty peg 2. 

4. Knit the next peg

Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you have only one stitch left on the last peg. 

Cut your working yarn, leaving about 6 inches and e-wrap the last peg.  Knit off and pull the tail through the stitch.

Your cowl is complete!  



And yes, you could use the same pattern to make a cowl for a person - but I have not done so yet.

Since in the past some people have had trouble printing things from here, you can always email me at robin@delawareheadhuggers.org and I will send you the pattern.  You might want to try copying it and pasting it into a Word document also - that works for some people.

Visit www.delawareheadhuggers.org and www.kozykoversforkids.org to learn about the 2 charities I run from my home.  

Find us on Facebook too - 
Delaware Head Huggers:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Head-Huggers/250229674280   

Kozy Kovers for Kids  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kozy-Kovers-for-Kids/253991638070

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Mistake - AKA The Design Element!

I've been busy making lots of hats for Delaware Head Huggers the past few weeks.  My supply was getting low and some centers requested more hats and I've been focused on hats and not much else.  But, this weekend, in between hats I stumbled upon:

heartbreak, disappointment, frustration!!!!  I finally got around to blocking my shawl...............and found THIS:
Apparently, about 8 inches in from the start, I reversed the entire pattern......I'm guessing by repeating a row or skipping one.  Either way, I'm so aggravated with myself.  This was supposed to be a gift, but now it will be my very own shawl...............since I will be able to hide the mistake when wearing it! Or as Jess at Lion Brand said on Facebook - "not a mistake - a design element!"  Either way, I can't give it as a gift now. 

There is perhaps a way to rip things out and work backwards to fix it, but it's beyond my abilities.  So, thankfully, I started Christmas knitting early and have time to make another one.  Of course, I'm out of that color yarn and I really don't feel like redoing that pattern again right now, so I'll be trying a different pattern and hopefully my results will be better......or at least all facing the same way! 

Oh well, since I was so frustrated I took my Schnapps to the park today for a nice long nature walk and he had a ball!  Maybe we'll go back tomorrow.  For now, I'm searching patterns to decide which shawl to knit next.

Happy Knitting!!! 


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Star Stitch Football Game Hat!

Well, I was sitting watching football with my husband and son and I needed to knit something, so I came up with this hat.  I wanted something with quick results and this is certainly quick.  The fourth quarter is still going on and I'm finished.   This pattern should be knit loosely (which is sometimes a problem for me!) and the hat is big enough for a large adult.  There's a decent amount of stretch to it, but it fits nicely on smaller adult heads too. 

This pattern used well less than a skein of yarn.  I'd say probably about 60 yards would be fine, but I always make sure I have more - just in case.........

I recently came across the star stitch online and liked the way it looked.  So, I used that as inspiration and experimented.  I kind of like the finished result of this hat............



I knit the same pattern again - Sunday Night Football and was finished before halftime.........I did the 4 x 4 ribbing for about 4 inches on this one.  This time I used a variegated, boucle type yarn......Patons Melody, which I love, but I'm not sure it's right for this hat.................you just can't see the stitches as well as with the solid color yarn.  But, it's still a cozy and soft hat.



I used:

Blue Hat:  Lion Brand Hometown super bulky yarn  - one skein (81 yards) is more than enough (any super bulky or 6-weight yarn will do.)

Multi Color Hat:  Patons Melody super bulky yarn - one skein (72 yards) is more than enough. 

Size 13 straight needles

Stitch Explanations:

Make Star - Knit 3 stitches together, but don't take them off your left hand needle. Yarn Over and knit the same 3 stitches together again, this time completing the knit stitch and allowing the stitches to fall off the left hand needle.

4 x 4 Rib - *Knit 4, Purl 4, repeat from *



Star Stitch Hat Pattern

UPDATE TO PATTERN:  Someone pointed out that the first row could be viewed as needing 49 stitches.  Please just repeat K1, MS across the row!  Sorry for any confusion!!! 


Cast on 48 stitches

Work 4 by 4 rib for about 2 inches  (Make the ribbing longer or shorter if you like)

Begin Pattern:

Row 1:  Knit 1, Make Star, *Knit 1, Make Star repeat from *  (K1, MS, *K1, MS repeat from *)

Row 2:  Knit across

Continue alternating Rows 1 and 2 until the hat is about 7 inches long.  Make it longer if you prefer.

Decrease as follows:

Row 1:  Knit 2 together (K2tog) across the row - 24 stitches

Row 2:  *Knit 1, Make Star, repeat from *

Row 3:  Knit 2 together (K2tog) across the row - 12 stitches

Row 4:  Knit across

Row 5:  Knit 2 together (K2tog) across the row

Cut your working yarn and draw it through the remaining stitches on your needle.  Cinch the top of the hat.

Seam the side and enjoy!  Or in my case, tag it with a Delaware Head Huggers tag and ship off to a chemo center.  :)

PDF Version


Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stash busting key chains!

I've got lots of little bits of yarn around the house, so I was trying to decide what to do with some of it and this is what I came up with:

A keychain that is quick and easy to make.  I don't have any metal fasteners right now, but I think one would be helpful to hold the i-cord together so the ends can't catch on keys or other items in your purse.

This is just a simple i-cord about seven inches long, placed around the key chain ring. I used size 6 dpns and did a four stitch i-cord using Berroco Lumina in Infinity and Beyond.


The flower is a super easy pattern from  "For the Love of Yarn" found here:  http://www.fortheloveofyarn.com/Issues/Spring06/patterns/spring06_stashbust_knit.shtml

I used size 8 straight needles and a combination of Lumina and leftovers of a superwash merino from a shawl project for the flower.  Stitch the flower to the cord and you've got a cute key chain. These would make great gifts.  You can make the flower and the i-cord any size or color - I'm planning on experimenting and trying out other combinations.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Christmas Hat for a Jar! and more!

I'm always looking for something different to make for Christmas gifts for co-workers, friends and family.  I've got some larger knitting items on my list of things to make before Santa arrives, but I've been thinking about putting a cute hat on a gift in a jar.  Hot cocoa mix is a terrific, simple thing to whip up and fill some Ball jars with.  Sure, you can decorate it by using Christmas ribbon or fabric, but I wanted something with yarn!

Since hats on dpns are not exactly something I have mastered, I decided to pull out my Knifty Knitter and try something.  This is what I ended up with, after about 20 minutes.  I think it works........



So, I couldn't stop at Christmas - I had to keep going.  Now I have this:






I used 2 strands of  Bernat Happy Holidays acrylic yarn held together as one and the blue Knifty Knitter loom for the Christmas hat.  I used various yarn remnants from my stash for the other hats, but all were made using the blue Knifty Knitter round loom and 2 strands of worsted weight yarn held together as one. I've got another set in progress with different colors, but the same basic idea.

Step 1:    Tie a slip knot and anchor yarn to the peg on the loom.

Step 2:    E-wrap every peg.

Step 3:    E-wrap every peg again, so that each peg has 2 loops on it.

Step 4:    Knit off each peg, lifting the bottom loop over the top loop, working around the loom.

Step 5:    Push the remaining loop down towards the bottom of the loom.

Step 6:    E-wrap every peg again.

Repeat Steps 4-6 until the hat is about 4 inches long. Do not e-wrap the loom again, leave just one loop on every peg.

Finishing:

Step 1:  Cut your working yarn leaving a 4-inch tail.

Step 2:  Cut another piece of yarn about 9 inches long and thread it onto a yarn needle. 

Step 3:  Working around the loom, run the yarn needle from the bottom of the loom, through the loops remaining and pull the loops off the loom onto the working yarn. Do this one peg at a time, taking care not to twist your working yarn. 

Step 4:  Turn the hat inside out and pull the two ends of the working yarn tight.  Tie to secure.

Step 5:  Turn right side out and add a tassel or a pom-pom if you'd like.

This could work for larger jars too - the hat is pretty stretchy.

Happy Knitting!   

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lacy Stole

I just realized how long it has been since I posted anything.  Been busy with www.delawareheadhuggers.org and www.kozykoversforkids.  We have collected and distributed more than 4,900 hats!  Last week I dropped about 100 off at the Helen Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Hospital and was so touched by the pianist playing inspirational music for everyone. I've decided that the person who donates hat number 5,000 will get a surprise gift too.

480 blankets and counting for Kozy Kovers and each week, more wonderful items come in.  Each and every hat and blanket gets a special tag stating that it is a gift. 

Tagging all those takes a while, but I LOVE getting to see all the beautiful creations that are coming in.  Check us out on Facebook or visit our websites to see what we're doing.


In between making hats.........  those are my latest 2, I've been working on a lacy shawl for a Christmas gift.  It's a Lion Brand free pattern and I am loving it.  I've got over 3 feet done so far and it's got about 3 more feet to go. 

I've also got a Christmas dishcloth going for those times when concentrating on the lace pattern is just too much......

I've got so many ideas for Christmas gifts and I know it's only August, but if I don't start now, they will never be finished!

Happy Knitting everyone!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Some more hats!

I've been busy and have not had enough time to knit!  But, I have managed to get a couple of hats finished and another bag to felt.  It's not felted yet, but it's finished......hopefully it will get into the washing machine today!

I have stopped into a Michael's and a Joann's lately and scored some great deals on wonderful yarn.  Now, if only I have enough time to use it all!

This toddler hat was made using Kashmir Baby yarn, which is so soft AND machine washable!  The pattern is a free one from Bernat, found here:  http://www.bernat.com/search.php?key=softee+baby+knit+baby+hat&searchResults=&PATTERNS=Search
You do have to be a member to get the pattern, but membership is free!

 



Finished this one too, using Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton.  First time I have used that yarn and it was very soft and wonderfully smooth and cool feeling. It's a free pattern from Lion Brand,  found here:  http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0451.html?noImages=0




Tons of hats and blankets have been pouring in.  I have much to tag today and many more to ship out! 

Last count for Delaware Head Huggers was 4,697 hats!  Visit the website at www.delawareheadhuggers.org or friend us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Head-Huggers/250229674280. 

Kozy Kovers has collected 461 blankets too!  That website is www.kozykoversforkids.org and they are on Facebook too  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kozy-Kovers-for-Kids/253991638070. 

Some good news!  Kozy Kovers for Kids won the Bernat Yarn Charity Drawing for June and they are sending us $100 worth of Bernat yarn.  Can't wait for the delivery!  One group of ladies has made a ton of blankets for Kozy Kovers, so the yarn is going to go straight to them!

Well, I've got to get going and get some yarn on my needles.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Special Olympics Scarf


Special Olympics scarf finished and ready to go.  Check out http://www.redheart.com/blog/2012-special-olympics-usa-scarf-project  for more info and to learn how to donate to this great cause!
Knitting has been slow for me the past couple of weeks.  I'm back to my needles tonight though, I'm sure of it. 

I'm working on a hat for Delaware Head Huggers in the most cheerful yarn I have ever seen!  Right now, DE Head Huggers has collected 4,642 hats and Kozy Kovers for Kids has collected 452 blankets!  I am so overwhelmed by how many people are helping. It's amazing!

Off to get that hat finished!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another necklace and another felted bag!

I just absolutely had to knit this:

It's a free pattern from Knitty.com http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter05/PATTknecklace.html that I just had to try.  I used Berroco Lumina yarn, which is much thinner than the yarn in the photo for the pattern, but I love the look of this.  Now if I only had something to wear that went with it...............

I also managed to complete another felted bag.  This one has the handles knit right into it, so finishing was minimal - always a plus for me!

Now I have started on a Special Olympics scarf.........you should make one too!  Check out this link to learn more about this great cause:  

http://www.redheart.com/blog/2012-special-olympics-usa-scarf-project

Needles are calling me!  Happy Knitting!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Finally finished - a felted bag!

I started this bag weeks ago.......planning on making it a tote bag and then got distracted with other projects and it just sort of sat on the needles waiting for attention. Then, I realized that the next project I was planning on starting also needed the size 13, 24 inch circulars and I used that as inspiration to just get the bag finished.


This is a simple bag that I will try in other colors.........perhaps as gifts.........

Felted Bag

Worsted weight - 100% wool – about 250 yards.  I used Patons Classic Wool in Rosewood

Size 13 circular knitting needles

Handles of your choice

Gauge isn’t important for this pattern. A little shorter or longer bag will not make a noticeable difference.


Cast on 120 stitches.

Place marker and join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Knit every row until your piece measures about 16 inches long.

Bind off loosely.

Stitch the center 8 inches of the bottom seam together.

Stitch the sides of the bottom seam, perpendicular to the center seam, forming a T shape on either side. This will help the bag stay open.

I - - - - - - - - - - - - - I

To felt the bag, place it in a pillowcase and either zip the case closed or cinch it closed with a rubber band. Run it through your top loading washing machine using a hot wash, cold rinse cycle and a small amount of detergent. Throw a pair of jeans in with your pillowcase for increased agitation.

Check your bag once it is finished. If you want it felted more, just repeat the wash. If it’s felted enough, gently press it into shape and allow to completely dry.

Sew handles onto the bag. If you prefer, you can make an i-cord to use for handles or knit a garter stitch strap.  Any sort of handle will work.  You can also add a snap closure or a zipper if you like.



Now, I've got another felted bag started on those same size 13 needles and I just got a delivery of metallic yarn to make some necklaces with.  I'm looking forward to the weekend!!!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Knit Necklace!

Well, I have been very busy tagging hats and blankets - 4,507 hats so far and 448 blankets!  And I have noticed that work and life just get in the way of knitting sometimes. 

But, I have managed to get a couple more hats knit for Delaware Head Huggers in the past few weeks.....

And then I wanted to make some type of necklace for my niece's birthday gift...........a lot of patterns I found were too large and detailed........I wanted something kind of simple..............so I was playing around with ideas and came up with this:  I made a 4 stitch i-cord using Vanna's Glamour yarn that I had in my stash and made it about 17 inches or so........a little looser than choker length on me. I attached the owl button and crocheted a thin chain that I turned into a loop to finish the clasp. Hopefully she likes it. Now, I'm planning on trying other types of metallic yarn and I'm going to add some charms and different clasps to see what works best.

Well, I've got yarn calling my name from the other room.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finally - another hat finished!

I finally finished this hat, which is a Head Huggers pattern!  It was super easy, knit on straight needles, so I didn't even have to attempt to use dpns and has a cute texture that I think will look great in just about any yarn type.






The pattern can be found here:  http://www.headhuggers.org/patterns/kpatt25.htm

I have got to get busy!  So much yarn, so little time to knit!  Looking forward to a three day weekend when hopefully I can get some things finished.  I am trying to make some videos for www.allfreeknitting.com too! 

I recently spent some time getting Delaware Head Huggers to have more of a presence on facebook and hits to the website are way up! 

Well, got to go cast on another hat!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Donations of all kinds!

What a week!  Not only did I receive a wonderful box filled with brand new yarn just waiting to be made into hats but I also received a bunch of blankets and a couple of boxes of hats as well! 

I decided to give some blankets to the Delaware State Police Victims Services units - now troopers will be able to bring a blanket to any child involved in a domestic incident, or any incident. Hopefully, a blanket will give some comfort during a stressful time.  So about 70 blankets are packaged and ready to be delivered this weekend.

In the meantime, I've been keeping my fingers busy knitting also. I made a mesh dishcloth for my Mom, since regular dishcloths are too bulky for her liking.  It came out nicely and the colors yell "SPRING!"


I also managed to get a couple of hats knit - one on the loom, one on needles for Delaware Head Huggers.






I've started another kids hat using Louisa Harding Kashmir Baby yarn.  I've never knit with that before and I'm in love.  It is just a beautiful yarn - so soft, the colors are gorgeous AND it's machine washable! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Little Lacy Hat

I love when I hear from someone who has received a hat from Delaware Head Huggers.  I especially love it if I can send them a particular hat in a color they request.

Well, I was attempting to make this lacy hat for a special patient who requested a white hat...................but, even though I followed every step and thought I was doing fine..........the hat is too small for an adult.  Still, I think it's a pretty hat, so it will definitely be included in tthe next shipment to a children's hospital.






This was a fun pattern to work with; lots of yarn overs and knitting 2 stitches together.  Just enough to have to concentrate and not enough to be frustrating!  It's a free pattern from Coats & Clark - found here:  http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/Knitting/Projects/Accessories/LW1523+Lacy+Knit+Scarf+and+Hat.htm

Back to the needles to try a different hat, using more white yarn. Hope the next one comes out large enough for an adult!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not Quite What I Had Planned...........

Well, I was just playing around with some chunky weight yarn and size 11 needles last night and I came up with this -


Not quite what I was going for, but I guess it works for a child's hat.  Just in case anyone is interested, here is how I think I got to this point..............

Using chunky yarn and size 11 needles, cast on 44 stitches.

Knit 4 rows.

Knit seed stitch for 12 rows - odd number rows, K1, P1 across and even number rows, P1, K1 across. (total 16 rows)

Knit 4 rows (total 20 rows)

Knit seed stitch for 6 more rows - odd number rows, K1, P1 across and even number rows, P1, K1 across. (total 26 rows)

Decrease for crown:

Row 27 - K2tog across

Row 28 - Purl across

Row 29 - K2tog across

Row 30 - Purl across

Row 31 - K2tog across

Row 32 - Purl across

Cut an 8 inch tail and thread that through the live stitches still left on your right hand needle. Cinch together for the top and sew the seam up the back.

You could knit fewer or more decrease rows to minimize or maximize the "stem" look that I managed..........

Back to the knitting needles for me! Who knows what the next one will look like!?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hats Galore!

Well, I've been busy making hats and haven't even thought about updating this blog.  Found some great patterns online and made these hats and several others too..........

This is a super quick woven top hat that is made by loom knitting, using super bulky yarn.  In about an hour, you have a unique looking hat that can be made for children or adults -










I fell in love with the twisting and turning look of this hat and plan on making several more in various colors -


This hat was made on size 19 needles!  It's a simple seed stitch pattern that I found on Ravelry that makes an adorable hat -




This is another lacy pattern - the lace shows up better when it is actually on a person's head, but the chevron points together with the variegated yarn really work well together -


These two are for the children's hospitals - one is the same woven top, loom knit hat as seem above and the other is just a cutie with dangles added for fun -









Now I am working on a free wheeling hat that I am just attempting to make on my own - no pattern used.  We'll see how it comes out..................................

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Time Flies!

I'm not sure when I expect to have time to blog about knitting or anything really.............  busy week, but at least it's Saturday.

I finished slipper socks last weekend and I am now working on a triangle shawl that is knitting up quickly!  Have to get a hat going also.......

Sometimes when I am knitting hats or shipping them to different sites, I wonder if we are really making a difference. I mean, can a hat really help someone?  Can it make a difference?  Well, I have heard back from several people who received hats through Delaware Head Huggers and I know that we are making a difference.  I was contacted this week by an Oncology Center - and I will be shipping a box to them this week. But perhaps the most touching thing that occurred this week was that I received this email from A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital here in Delaware:

Hi Robin,

I hope this note finds you well.  I want to thank you for the hats.  I received the box last week.  I want to share with you about a little girl, 3 years old, who died from a brain tumor on Tuesday.  I have been the social worker for the family since the day of diagnosis.  On Wednesday, the little girl's parents made funeral arrangements and shopped for a dress.  They found a beautiful, purple and off-white dress for their daughter for the funeral and to be buried in, however the mom was so upset because she didn't want her daughter's little bald head (from chemo) and many scars to show at the funeral.  I opened your box of hats from the Delaware Head Huggers and found a beautiful, off-white hat with purple, fluffy, fun trim.  The mom came to the hospital after the funeral home.  I showed her that hat and she said it was so perfect and her daughter would have loved it!!  So, not only do our kids on treatment love and appreciate your hats but they are very special after treatment as well.  Thank you so much for your kindness.  Your gift of hats to us is very, very meaningful in so many ways.

Many thoughts,
Lisa
 

This touching note made me realize that what might seem to be a small gesture might really impact someone along the way.  It also put things into perspective for me in general. 

I've got hats and blankets ready to be shipped and delivered and I will continue to do this as long as I can.  I've had so much help getting these charities up and running and I am constantly amazed by how generous people are and how easily they give of their talents and time.

So, I'm heading back to my yarn to put something together.  Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hats!

Well, I have three boxes of hats ready to ship.  The hats keep coming in and there is such a need for them!  Never a shortage of places to send them.

I'm slacking this weekend!  Made a hat for my husband, who lost the one I made him last year and tried a new pattern for a scarf. Not sure if I like the way it looks though, so I'm letting that sit and I just keep looking at it trying to decide if I want to have an entire scarf in that pattern.............

Now I'm working on a hat for Delaware Head Huggers!  I've got a few that need finishing touches on them and one of these days I will get them completed and tagged as well.  For today though, I'll finish the man's hat that I am working on and then maybe do a child's hat too.  I have to see how much yarn I use.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cowl for me too!

Well, I finished a cowl for me too.  Great pattern that knitted up really quickly and is toasty warm.  Easy enough for even me to do! 

Now I'm trying to figure out what my next project will be..........I can't decide between a dropped stitch scarf or a mistaken rib vest or a triangle shawl.  Something simple, but pretty.  Got to decide so I can go pick up some yarn and get started.

I've got a three day weekend and I'd really like to get a lot of knitting done.  Grocery shopping first tomorrow, but then, while football is on, I can get knitting. Time to make another hat for Delaware Head Huggers too.  I try to make sure I make one for them in between other projects for me.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Cowl for My Puppy!

Schnapps loves his scarves.  He always has one on in the cold weather and if you take it off him for some reason, he goes and finds it and brings it to you to put back on his neck.  But, I found that the scarf would stretch a little and gradually get longer and longer, until I had to tuck the ends through several times to keep them from dragging on the floor.  

Since cowls are such a big thing now, I thought, why not make one for him?  So I just took out my yarn stash, found some that would compliment his fur and set to work. I whipped up a quick one using a loom for his first one. In just about 30 minutes I had a nice, toasty warm cowl that fits him perfectly.



If you want to make one for your dog, just take his or her collar and measure it.  Add an inch or two (maybe 4 or 5 for large dogs) and make any cowl that you would make for a person. On a loom, just do a simple cast on, knit for as many rows as you think you need and do a stretchy bind off.  I'm going to make him some more soon.  

No more scarf ends trailing in the snow for Schnapps!

Hi there!

Hi!  I am a relatively new knitter and I'm really excited about all I'm learning along the way.  I love to snuggle with my miniature Schnauzer Schnapps while I'm knitting and he is always impressed with what I create......  :)  He loves to wear a scarf - he's got a regular one, a Christmas one and a Valentine's one and I just made him a cowl that he loves! 

When I first started, about a year ago, I contacted Head Huggers to inquire about donating some hats. I found out that there was not a splinter group in my state, so I started one.  We collect new, handmade hats for patients who are undergoing chemo, have had brain surgery or are recovering from burns. I'm happy to say that Delaware Head Huggers www.delawareheadhuggers.org collected and distributed 3,520 hats in 2010.  We've already got 191 for 2011 too!

I also started Kozy Kovers for Kids, www.kozykoversforkids.org around the same time.  We collect handmade blankets to give to children entering the foster care system in Delaware. We collected 365 blankets in 2010!  

I am really excited about being able to give back through knitting. I also am trying to make things for myself in the limited amount of time I have in between work, tagging hats and blankets and taking care of my family. I'm hoping that by starting this blog, I will actually inspire myself to get more knitting accomplished!

If anyone has some nice hat or blanket patterns that you are able to share, please send them to me to share on Delaware Head Huggers or Kozy Kovers for Kids.