First Project: Garter Stitch Scarf Complete

Whew! done.

This scarf probably needs another 10 inches or so to really be a good length. But I was tired of the yarn, bored with lack of pattern and frankly ready to move on. I’m glad I found my scarf groove. I’m moving onto a couple of other projects. Both are scarves, but I’m playing with yarn and needle sizes. Which honestly, is my favorite part of knitting so far.

I used size 10 Laurel Hill forest palm needles and Vanna’s Choice Baby yarn in Sweet Pea.

A Visit to Silk Creek Alpacas

September 27 & 28th are National Alpaca Farm Days. Luckily, my friend Bil and his wife, Julia, just opened their Alpaca farm in Cottage Grove, Oregon – Silk Creek Alpacas. They hosted an open house today. They had kettle corn (yum!), trivia for the kids, coloring pages, bushels of fiber (very soft!) and, of course, two very friendly Alpaca farmers to answer questions.

I met my best friend and her husband and with our combined three adorable kids in tow, we made the drive to Cottage Grove to check out the farm.We had a great time. The kids loved the “llamas” (yes, I know they aren’t the same thing, but you try to get a 2 year old to say Alpaca!). Bil and Julia have a beautiful home and great property. I’m thrilled for them.

Another friend, Kim, was there, too, giving a spinning demonstration. Kim is a master knitter. I bow to her knitting greatness.

Found My Scarf Groove

It took a while. I’ve started, unraveled, started, unraveled, started, unraveled… started, had my toddler unravel, etc. etc. etc. When at my folks’ house for a short vacation, I picked up some clearance yarn at Michael’s craft store just to play around with. I might have been the ability to focus a little more clearly, but I think I just finally found my groove. No extra stitches, no split yarn. Yay!

The yarn is Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in a bright lime green. It was on clearance for a buck-fifty.

An early photo of the scarf-in-progress

My biggest challenge now is that the end of the skein is a big knotted mess. There’s gotta be a better way. I think I’m (literally) going to cut my losses and start with the second skein.

Will post more progress soon.

Knitted Acts of Kindness: Junie Moon’s Bandage Brigade

The knitting and crocheting community is compromised of men and women with the biggest hearts I’ve seen. And Junie Moon is at the head of the class. In a previous post, I featured her knitted washcloths and touched on a few of her other projects. The response has been terrific and I asked June to share more about the Bandage Brigade with us, including a pattern for knitters and crocheters.

Junie hosts a knit (and crochet) along and the finished bandages are sent to hospitals in Vietnam and Africa. You can read more about Junie’s project here. Or the Touching Others with Leprosy Bandages blog.

The Bandage Brigade really kicks of the first of the year (so be prepared for a reminder then, too!). In the meantime, if you’re interested in joining, leave a comment (I’ll make sure Junie gets your email) and take a peek at the patterns below.

Thank you so much for your interest in joining me to knit bandages for leprosy patients. I truly believe that the love and care we send out into the world does indeed make a difference.

Knitting Instructions

Materials

  • Use size 2 knitting needles if you knit average or loosely, size 3 needles if you knit tightly. You may also use size 8 needles.
  • 3–4 oz “kitchen type” 4 ply cotton yarn: Peaches and Cream, Sugar and Cream or similar quality. Please use only 100% mercerized cotton yarn in white and ecru only (no colors as they contain heavy dyes).
  • Large safety pin
  • Zip-loc baggie for each bandage.

Pattern (2 options):

Option 1: Size 2 or 3 needles
Cast on 24 to 28 stitches so the bandage measures 3”-4″ across. Slip the first stitch of every row (as to purl, with yarn in back), which gives a very nice edge to them. Knit every row until bandage is desired length of about 4 feet long. Bind off and secure thread end by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot, and weaving end back through stitches.

Option 2: Size 8 needles
Cast on 14 or 18 stitches. Slip the first stitch of every row (as to purl, with yarn in back), which gives a very nice edge to them. Knit every row until bandage is desired length of about 4 feet long. Bind off and secure thread end by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot, and weaving end back through stitches.

Crochet Instructions

I do not know how to crochet but here are the instructions for working up bandages with this technique.

Materials

  • Use size D or E crochet hook (loose tension desirable).
  • No. 10 knit Cro-sheen, 100% mercerized cotton in white, cream or ecru. It’s bedspread cotton. (1 ball/skein will make two 4-foot long bandages.) Please no dyes. South Maid D54 is the suggested brand, although other brand names like JP Coats, knit Cro Sheen, etc. are welcome if they meet these specifications.
  • Large safety pin.
  • Zip-loc baggie for each bandage.

Pattern

Chain enough stitches to measure about 3″–4″ in width. (23 chains and an E hook take about 6 rows to equal one inch.)
Row 1: Single crochet into each chain. Chain 1 and turn.
Rows 2: Single crochet into each sc across row. Chain 1 and turn. Continue to single crochet to end, chain 1 and turn. Repeat row 2 until bandage measures about 4 feet long.
Finish off by pulling thread through last loop and secure with a knot. Weave end back through stitches.

Preparing for Mailing

When completed, please hand wash in Ivory soap and dry, roll the bandage and secure with a large safety pin. Put in plastic bag, remove air, and seal. Please include a piece of paper with your name, email address (optional), and blog URL (optional).

Mailing Address

Although I’ve very happy to collect the bandages and send them on to the coordinator, you can mail your bandages directly to Linda (Touching Others with Leprosy http://www.leprosybandages.blogspot.com/) at the following address:

Linda Stocker
Bandage Brigade
171 Mulkey Lane
Ariel, WA  98603

My mailing address:
Junie Moon’s Bandage Brigade
624 S. Rincon Rising Road
Tucson, AZ  85748

Sometimes People Make Strange Things From Yarn

I’m fascinated by the odd things that people make from yarn – whether it’s knitted or crocheted. I’ve found some interesting ones from the last week or so to share.

Henry VIII from Caffaknitted

Crocheted Bike in a Wooden Box

Ernie Eyeglass Holder (forum info and pattern)

Dissected Lab Rat (pattern or completed work)

Crochet BLT from NeedleNoodles

Around the Yarniverse: Links of Interest for Knitting and Crocheting Fanatics

It’s officially the end of summer, which means that it’s time to start those holiday projects, right? Well, if you need some inspiration, these posts tickled my fancy this week and thought you’d enjoy them, too.

K2TOG, A Knitting Blog (The Oregonian): Color Me Blue: This is a fun post about the fear of color that parents seem to instill in young boys and can be vexxing for the knitter who wants to create something colorful. What to do?

I have friends whose young son lives in an olive-green nursery with black furniture, spurring me to grudgingly knit a black layette and deal with well-meaning-but-horrified questions from fellow knitters and inquisitive fellow TriMet riders. (“Yes, it’s a black baby blanket. No, they’re not satanists — they’re hipsters.”) And I have a friend who doesn’t let her school-age son wear any shade not seen on a black-and-white TV.

The Lumpy Sweater: How Knitters Will Save the World: You may have seen the recent Time article that Google is making us dumber? Well, according to The Lumpy Sweater, because knitting (and crocheting and many of the fiber arts) take so much concentration and focus, it has the potential to create (or recreate) the ability to think deeply and thoughtfully. This quote, actually from the Cast On podcast sums it up:

“Knitters, when you bring them into knitting, there is something that rises through the knitting that is…it’s like a deep hum or a deep rhythm, something primal and simple and peaceful…*”

Knit or Crochet a Scarf for Special Olympians: For the 2009 Winter Olympics, Coats and Clark and its Red Heart Super Saver yarns are sponsoring a project to provide each Olympian with a handmade scarf. You can read more about the project here. Want to participate? Here are some patterns for your Special Olympics scarf:

CocoKnits.com: How to Cut Rags for Knitting: I’ve not knitted on anything larger than a #13, but I might have to try this. I love the bath mat!

Crochet from CraftGossip: Holding Your Crochet Hooks in Style: Some creative ways to corral your crochet hooks.