Knit or Crochet or Cross Stitch or... ~ FSU's Crafting Circle

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by AragornElessar, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I never understood what blocking was until this year. I thought it was like when you washed a sweater and put it on a towel to dry, pushing and pulling a little to put it back into shape.

    Little did I know about blocking wires, blocking boards, and T-pins until I was drooling over a lace sample in a local knitting store, and the owner told me it was easy. I say I didn't have problems with lace patterns, but that they looked all out of shape and gnarly and that my gauge was a little wonky, and she told me everyone's looked gnarly until blocking, and that blocking hid a multitude of sins. I took an hour's lesson, and haven't looked back since, even though I find it tedious. (Not as tedious as weaving in the 46 ends of a 12-color entrelac pattern, but still tedious.)

    I just finished blocking the fourth and last of a set of blankets I made for a baby cousin. It should be dry by tomorrow, and then they'll be in the mail in a couple of weeks when I'm back in the US.

    I'm sure your wedding bolero will be gorgeous when you're finished blocking!
     
  2. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Uh oh, I thought it was just that as well. :lol:

    I've seen the pins and blocking boards sold on Knitpicks' website, but do you really have to go through like, all the rows and adjust them with pins? Is that what proper lace blocking entails?
     
  3. Jojo

    Jojo Active Member

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    Bless all those who make preemie clothes. When my son was born, he had the most tiny hats and blankets made by volunteers. And when he was ready to start wearing clothes, he was still too small for regular baby clothes. My mom made him hats and sweaters using Cabbage Patch clothes patterns.
     
  4. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    Oooh...Very nice. :)

    Those are lovely. The second one looks like such a tough pattern though.

    It's also been a Godsend for me, as thanks to various battles w/doctors to get obvious things looked after (Don't ask) I've been unable to work. Went to College, had a dream Internship and graduated only to actually spend the close to fifteen years since doing anything but work. A friend of ours suggested getting involved w/our local Project Preemie and Linus chapters back in 2000 and there have been days when making the various things I crochet and now also knit have been the only things keeping my head above the depression waters.

    As I posted earlier in the thread, I just finished knitting a Preemie sized sweater and hat a couple of weeks ago. When I showed it off to a friend who popped in, she mentioned how tiny it was for a "Going Home" outfit. As I reminded her, and as you just shared, when most Preemies do get to go home they're still playing "catch up" development wise, so for a Preemie going home it's actually more than likely the perfect size.

    I wish it wasn't in yellow yarn, but that's the only colour I've got in that weight of yarn that isn't either one skien of yarn or a ball of this or that left over from another project. So what are you going to do?

    It's not just Preemie Going Home sets I make. I asked one time when I got a chance to drop off the latest bunch of stuff I'd made and the nurse told me they badly needed Full Term layettes too. When she saw the confused look on my face, she sadly told me...

    She went on to say that for many of those women, they only had the clothes on their back when they came to the shelter and have nothing for the baby. So now I try to make one Full Term layette for every Preemie one I make too.

    I also make little Burial Gowns and Buntings as well. Sadly, they're needed too. First few times I made them, I was choked up the entire time I worked on it. Now, after talking to a cousin of mine who has worked Labour and Delivery and to another one who owns a Funeral Home in the area and for whom I also make them for, hearing just how those little outfits and/or buntings have helped the parents by giving their little Angels dignity and that someone cared enoughto do that much to help them during the most horrible moment of their lives...Well, that helps to make those particular items a little bit easier.
     
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  5. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    The shapes that I come up with for baby blankets, scarfs, and shawls aren't found in nature until I block them, so it's worth it for me. The blocking I've done is for flat items. I'm not sure how to do that kind of blocking on a three-dimensional piece of lace like the bolero jacket.

    You don't need a blocking board to block, although they are convenient for big projects, but T-pins, which you can get at crafts stores like Michael's and probably any store that sells sewing and/or yarn supplies, are useful with a couple of layers of towels piled together. Blocking is done after soaking the piece in either plain cold water or water plus a little bit of conditioner (sold in crafts and yarn shops) to loosen the fibers, and then rolling the piece in a towel to squish out the excess water without wringing or stretching it unduly. (Soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.) You might be able to spread out the jacket on towels, and if you have the pins, you can use them to tack the edges down as the piece dries.

    FSUer's who've done this, how do you block a three-dimensional lace piece?
     
  6. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info!

    I actually imagine that you'd sew it up AFTER blocking it? Otherwise finding the matching stitches at the seam would be more difficult?
     
  7. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I've never seen instructions to block until the piece was finished. I don't have much experience with clothes apart from socks, because I hate sleeves, and I tend to knit in the round, with shoulder joins on like number of stitches, so matching isn't an issue.

    The instructions I've seen most often for lace jackets is "block lightly", which means manipulating it manually and gently. (The wires with pins isn't blocking lightly, but sporadic pins can be used to keep edges from curling and to keep the shape as it dries.)

    In general, you pin the piece together to match patterns, and stretch what you have to match. Especially with lace, you should have lots of give. I think the danger in blocking sleeves separately would be matching the size of the sleeves to the armholes.

    I hope someone here with experience making clothes chimes in.
     
  8. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    I forgot I had pictures of the stuff I've made for Project Preemie over at Photobucket in a folder I'd created over there for just that purpose. I made one for pictures of Parker and when I was adding one to it this afternoon, what do I see on the Folders listing?

    Anyway...Here's links to some of the things I was talking about last night. The model for them is the Princess Beanie Baby that was put out when Princess Diana died and is the perfect size for something like this.

    Preemie Burial/Christening Gown and Cap

    Close up of the Cap and the Yoke of the Gown

    Burial Bunting

    How it looks when a little Angel is inside of one of them

    And...The very first Preemie hat and booties set I'd ever knitted. It's called the Honeycomb pattern and I got it from over at Bev's Country Cottage.

    Honeycomb Hat and Booties

    This shows off what the patten looks like

    Up close of the booties

    For the fellow knitters here, it's about four or five rows of k1, sl1 across the row, then purl across, then k1, sl1, then purl, then... Really easy and such a really pretty look too IMO. :)
     
  9. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Haiti by Hand needs homemade, elastic waist skirts for little girls. I'm sure some of the crafty people here can whip up a skirt or two. :)
    Info here:

    http://haitibyhand.typepad.com/
     
  10. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Those are super-cute and look like a great way to use up some leftover yarn!
     
  11. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

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    That is adorable! I would love to make that and use it as a makeup bag. Do you have a pattern? And where did you find the yarn? This would be a nice little challenge for me. I am not a novice but definitely not a pro and want to improve my skills.
     
  12. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, myhoneyhoney, what kind of yarn is that? I could crochet a bag like that. And will it have some sort of closure?
     
  13. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    Will tell Mom to give the heads up about this at Church on Sunday. I'm sure there are some ladies who would love to help out w/this and use up some of their fabric stashes.

    Well, w/the Gowns and Caps it depends on the size. That's the smallest size and you only need one skein to make them w/. The other two sizes OTOH, it's safe to have two on hand I've discovered.

    As for the Bunting, you can make them as large or as small as you'd like, but the instructions I have says not to make them any smaller than a 10 row granny square. I've never thought to make them out of scraps, but as they're basically just one granny square w/a half granny square to make up the "pocket" of the bunting and then the border is whatever border you'd like to put on it. I prefer the shells, as it just gives it a nice looks when gathered up, but it's up to whatever is the choice of the crocheter, so you could change up the colour too, as long as it looked nice w/the colour/colours used.

    I'll have to keep that in mind for the next time I have a bit of a cache of heavier weighted baby yarn left over from various stuff and I have no idea what to do w/. Thanks!! :)
     
  14. myhoneyhoney

    myhoneyhoney Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone! Let's see, I made up the pattern using the Diamond Eyelet pattern in Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Knitting. I used Vanna's Glamour yarn doubled to make it sturdier.

    It's pretty simple, knitting a rectangle bottom, picked up stitches along the rectangle sides and started knitting the pattern in the round. I'm thinking of putting in simple plastic canvas for shaping, lining the outside that will show through the eyelets. I also need to sew a lining for it. As for the closing, I'm thinking a plain snap magnet and then maybe a nice BIG antique silver button or a pretty brooch I can pin on as an accent. I'd like a zipper but I don't want it to be seen and I'm just not experienced with sewing zippers so the magnetic snap might have to suffice.

    BTW, I used knit for preemies and give them to Lucille Packard in Stanford and UCSF nicu. If you're planning on doing this most hospitals prefer thin yarns (think no thicker than sport weight) and it must be machine washable in hot water. I'm not sure if this is with all hospitals but both L.P. and UCSF have advised me to use cotton or acrylic and NO wool/animal fiber of any kind.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  15. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever worked with purse frames? I want to, peyote stitch, bead a bag, like this: http://www.suzannecooper.com/then-again/newbook.html
     
  16. myhoneyhoney

    myhoneyhoney Well-Known Member

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    I've been looking at purse frames, it would work with the purse but for some reason, purse frames intimidate me, lol. I should buy a small cheap one just to try it out. The youtube tutorials make it seem easy enough but remember, I'm the one who refused to learn to knit for years because the thought of using two needles scared me.
     
  17. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    They intimidate me, too. I was hoping you would tell me that they were a piece of cake :lol:.

    I'm also thinking that if I make a bag, I might do it on a bead loom. Peyote takes much longer and it's harder to hold, but you do have more stitch control. Also thinking that I might just bead one side, and leave the back fabric. Knowing myself, if I bead the whole thing i'll be 80 by the time I finish it :lol:
     
  18. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    That's true for the clothing and including the Burial Gowns and Caps. For the blankets and Buntings though, the heavier weight of baby yarn is fine. So long as it is Baby Yarn and super soft, they want the heavier weight of yarn for that stuff.

    At least my local hospital/NICU and our Project Preemie and Linus chapters have no problems w/that when it comes to the Blankets and Buntings. :)
     
  19. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    I've been lurking on this thread with nothing to add as I only wish I could knit/crochet :D

    But I do craft jewelry, and today I opened my Etsy shop. Right now it's just modern painted wood earrings, but I'm planning on some necklaces and bracelets soon. Thanks for looking!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/paragraphloop

    (yes, I named my shop after the compulsory figure :lol:)
     
  20. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Very cool earrings!
     
  21. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    I love them, vesperholly! And the name too ;)

    You might just have a sale soon...
     
  22. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Thank you!! :cheer2:
     
  23. Jodi

    Jodi Caulkhead forever

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    I'm working on this shawl, I'm halfway through the lower lace section at the moment and it's super quick and easy so far! A very fun knit. I had a skein of yarn that I couldn't face making into socks because it's so beautiful, dusky muted purples with the merest breath of silver sparkle, so this seemed perfect :)

    I haaate blocking. I keep putting off washing another shawl that could probably do with it by now because I'm dreading blocking it :eek: My flat is so tiny it's very difficult just to find enough space to do it! I really want to invest in some blocking wires sometime in the hope that will at least make it a little bit less labour-intensive.

    I mostly knit socks. I really have a *lot* for myself now so have moved on to mostly knitting ones for my boyfriend. And it's cute how much he appreciates them :) I'm stuck in the middle of a pair at the moment as I made a mistake and haven't had the brain to sort it out yet. I'm on the second of a pair, just turned the heel, and have realised that on the first one of the pair I went into automatic mode and knitted the heel flap to the length for my foot, which is 4 rows longer than for his :wall: I wondered why I had to pick up an extra stitch on each side as I just couldn't make the normal number stretch out far enough! :wall: :wall: I'm *hoping* it will be fine and not affect the fit too much - well, really, rationally I think it will, but I'm a worrier - but I've got to take back this second heel, done to the pattern, and knit those extra four rows to make it match. Sigh. Not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, but I daren't make a start until I've got enough concentration available to be sure I'm not going to make matters worse! And until I can get it sorted I don't have any mindless knitting on the go for when I'm reading stuff on the computer, which irritates me and my aching-to-be-occupied hands greatly :p
     
  24. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    It's lovely!

    I've saved the pattern.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  25. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Very cool, Jodi! The color sounds divine. I love purple.

    I got my first sale from a total stranger on Etsy today!! :cheer2:
     
  26. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations!!!!!!! I'm so happy for you!
     
  27. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    I tried posting in here last night, but for some reason wasn't able to do so. Anyway...

    Those are lovely vesperholly and I love the name you picked for your Jewelry line. Congratulations on your first sale!!

    Well, I had to go into town for both refills of prescriptions and to get some groceries. While in town, I bopped into what's our little bit of everything store in a small town because I needed more baby yarn and...

    I swear I was fine until I turned the corner and....They started screaming "Buy me...Buy me...I'll make a gorgeous baby hat...I'll make a lovely scarf....Take me!!!"

    Sadly, I had as much will power as I do around Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake and...

    Three skiens of the Red Heart Sashsay. Two in the blue variagated and one in the beigey browns. One of the Ribbon yarn. Then two skiens each of three different patterned yarn of the Bernat Baby Jacquard baby yarn.

    Also needed to pick up some new needles, so got those too.

    Sigh...Thankfully, Mom's not home this week, so I have plenty of time to get all of that mixed in w/the rest of the stash. :D
     
  28. Anemone

    Anemone Active Member

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    That shawl looks gorgeous Jodi - please post a pic of your purple one when it is done.
     
  29. Andrushka

    Andrushka Well-Known Member

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    Yay! A crafting thread! I just finished crocheting a baby blanket and now I'm doing a Mr.Tumnus scarf on a knitting loom..I'll be donating that to be sold through Common Thread for charity.I also have some soap holder rags to finish for my kiddos then I need to get to work on some charity stuff. Then I have a blanket i need to finish that I've worked on for a looooooong time(it's huge) and I'd like to attempt to knit a shrug on the knitting loom. Mainly I am just determined to knit/crochet/loom through my yarn stash so I can get to all the fabric I have stored.
     
  30. Andrushka

    Andrushka Well-Known Member

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    My best friend found $6.99 yarn for $1.99 at Hobby Lobby last week...i just about died.*sigh*

    Congrats!

    Cool!
    I have an etsy but I haven't posted anything in eons.Been too busy with kids and charity knitting/crocheting.