Today I'm taking a few minutes to catch up on what's been going on with crochet and loom knitting. I don't have photos of hats that I'm working on. I just have a little project bag that I keep ready to go with yarn and hook to make chemo hats and they are coming along just fine.
My big finish is this blanket that I will donate to be a wheelchair blanket. It's about 29 x 38 and could also be a baby blanket but I decided to make this one a lap blanket for a nursing home or assisted living. It's a self striping yarn but I had an extra cake of the matching solid turquoise and I added it in the turquoise sections to give it more length. The annoying dark spots where the pink and turquoise meet are just the way that the yarn came off the cake. You don't really notice it or the awkward striping when it's in your lap.
The yarn is Caron Baby Cakes that I got on clearance in the Spring. I used 2 of the stripe cakes and about half of the solid turquoise. This is a very soft yarn and really nice to crochet with. I used an I (5.5 mm) hook and the Sedge Stitch. It's perfect for TV watching.
Since my hand has gotten better I haven't been loom knitting as much but I found out that the donation place wanted sleeves for dialysis patients. Well, a sleeve is a lot easier than a hat that required decrease. I started with 28 pegs and did 8 rows of 2x2 rib and then did the body in the Beehive Waffle Stitch and finished off with more ribbing. It's a fun stitch to do and very easy to keep up with. I've got a lot fo 5 and 6 weight yarn specifically for the loom so I'll get another sleeve started soon.
I have 2 projects that I'm started to crochet. One is a blanket made with this beautiful yarn. This is Cascade Cartwheel and it's the same yarn that I used in another wheelchair blanket earlier this year. I liked working with it so much that I bought a bunch of it on sale. I'm going to make a big blanket with this and it will likely be for Chris or gifted.
I had two patterns in mind so I did a messy swatch with one pattern on the bottom and a lacier pattern on the top. Chris preferred the bottom one. He doesn't like holes in his blankets. It's this blanket from BagODay.
I think I cast on 171 stitches and am using a J hook. It does go really fast. I really wanted to get this started because I think there's a possibility that I will need more yarn and I want to find that out soon before I can't get it anymore!
I'm also going to start this duster jacket. When the lighting is good I can work on this and when the lighting isn't so good I can work on the blanket.
I'm also considering starting another wheelchair shawl so that I can feel completely overwhelmed (normal) and feed my daily whims about what to work on.
In between big crochet projects I've been slowly working on loom knitting and crochet hats. I've been saving them all up but it's time to put the stack of hats away and that means a hat centric post for today.
First up are these 2 loom knitted hats. I am still at the early learning stage on the loom. Nothing that I make turns out like the pattern yet but I think I'm getting a little better each time. Both of these hats were knitted with the exact same pattern. The blue one is a 5 weight yarn and the brown one is a 6 weight yarn. That's all the difference. One fits me and one fits Chris, although both will be donated.
Both of these were made on the Chunky Flexee loom. I like that loom a lot because it allows you to do crown decreases like this and I like the look of this a lot better than the gathered crown.
But.....I'm still a long way from getting the tension on my stitches right. My hat should look like the one in the pattern picture but obviously it doesn't. I have yarn to make another but I'm going to do a little swatching of different knit stitch styles before I cast on the next one.
There's also another chemo cap. I finished this one before I went on vacation. The yarn is Flecks from Michaels. The yarn feels really nice but it's pretty splitty to crochet with. I tried different hooks. The Clover Armour work the best with it but it still splits a lot. I'll be happy to make one more hat and see the end of this yarn. I do like this pattern a lot. The hat looks kind of elegant on the head.
I also sewed on the tops of the Sesame Street hats. I sure hope the hats fin the boys.
Also in the chemo hat category are these 2 Diving hats. I have been seeing a lot of these hats on YouTube and then Fiber Spider posted a tutorial and I wanted to give it a try. The gray multi one is a Cloudborn yarn. I bought 1 hank to swatch up for Mom's shawl but didn't like it for that. The yarn was expensive so I didn't want it to go to waste. It worked up great for this hat and it's super soft. The ecru one was made Tuesday during quilt club and I printed the original pattern for this one. The only difference is the number of rows. The ecru yarn is Impeccable which I think came from Michael's. It was great to crochet with but isn't as soft as I want for a chemo hat. I think I'll stick with Lion Brand Feels Like Butta for the chemo hats. It's affordable and very soft.
Here's a close up of the patterning on the Divine hat. I really love it. But after the blankets and hats I had scraps and I hate yarn scraps!
For my 4 weight scraps I started a scrappy afghan and I just add yarn to this as I finish a project. You can see the most recent yarn additions from the hat projects. I think that I'll make this a small pet blanket and donate it to Richmond Animal League. That will be a perfectly fine way to use up my scrap yarns. I don't need a scrap yarn collection to add to my scrap fabric collections and I don't need a big, ugly scrap afghan for my lap.
The little tag on the stitch marker tell me what hook size I'm using since this little project can go months without me touching it.
The yarn left from the baby blanket is a bulky weight so I used the little bit of leftover from that to make a premie hat. The subtle shading in the yarn made a really cute hat!
Any other bits of leftover yarn get chopped up and added to stuffing for the pet beds.
Now I'm on to the pocket shawl project and will also be swatching up some test blocks for the daisy hexagon afghan. I've got plenty to keep me busy this weekend.
Yesterday's post was written Sunday and I haven't had a chance to get to the internet spot again until this afternoon (Tuesday). We are still having a wonderful time. I haven't seen any more moose but we have been on a couple of really good hikes.
This is Moxie Falls, a really beautiful little place. Generally I don't take a ton of photos on vacation is this photo is the reason why. It's impossible to show scale. There's no way to really convey the vastness of the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone or the grand scale of the Grand Canyon. Chris and I laughed when we looked at this photo because it looks like a little waterfall. But like everything in nature, it's better in person!
Yesterday we hiked Mount Kineo at the West end of Moosehead Lake. You take a little water shuttle to the island and then hike 900 feet up. This view was near the top. There's no view at the top unless you climb an old fire tower. Chris did and said the view was spectacular but you couldn't pay me to walk up open stairs that sway.
I have been dong some crafty things every day, mostly in the evenings and not as much sewing but the next few days should have more sewing time. On the loom knitting front I finished the scarf and hat that I worked on in the car on the way up. I'm finally learning this gadget and am happier with my results. Both of these were made on KB Looms and theses are my favorite things so far.
The hat was made on the Flexee loom that allows you to decrease the crown instead of gathering it. It takes a little longer but I like it much better.
I've got my next 2 project started. The hat will be like the blue one above except that there's a little purl pattern going through it. The other project will be a scarf. I saw a scarf with rib ends and thought I'd give it a try. This one is flat knit in a pattern of knits and purls. I've got plenty of yarn for it!
Here are all of the hats and scarves I've made so far: 5 hats and 3 scarves. I brought all of them with me to Maine hoping to find a place to donate them. They are much more useful here than in Virginia. I did find a place here in Greenville so these will be donated before we leave town.
Then I finished this shawl. I've been looking for a pattern for a shawl that would be good for donation to senior organizations. The organization I donate through likes horseshoe shaped shawls because they stay on the wearer better. I do not like the pattern that they have and have been looking for another. One of the Youtubers that I follow posted this pattern recently (search for Carrie Penny shawl on YouTube) and I thought it would be perfect. I had a single ball of Mandala yarn to test it out with. This worked up really fast and I love how it looks. This is a short shawl that will just cover the shoulders and that makes it perfect for someone in a wheelchair. The color changes in this particular yarn (I think it's called Chimera) is so pretty. I'll take this one home to donate. I think this basic pattern would be easy to add in patterning for some variety but I do like the speed of straight double crochet. This is TV work so I like for it to be simple.
Next on the crochet front I'm going to get these hats done. I bought the kits months ago but we were heading into summer and I wasn't motivated to make them yet. These should be done pretty quickly.
At my little sewing station I'm working on a pair of veterans quilt tops. These are going together quickly so I may have a photo to share tomorrow or Thursday.
For the rest of this week I may just post photos from my phone. Text in a blog post is a total pain on the phone. I'm not sure how much internet time we will have because we have lots of things we want to do before we leave Moosehead Lake. It's possible that I won't post again until Saturday when we are on Mount Desert Island and have internet at our house there.
If you are reading this Friday or Saturday you can be pretty sure that I'm in a car. We will not have internet or TV at the cabin where we will be for 2 weeks. We will be able to go into town to get some level of public internet service. Sometimes the App works to let me post but sometimes it doesn't!
Fortunately I have a backlog of fabulous customer projects and I'll use next week to share those. Every day next week will be Customer Gems day and you are in for some real treats!
Today I thought I'd share the projects that I decided to take with me.
On the quilting front I have a lot of pre-cut projects. I've been slowly working on these all year. I like having the kits for my monthly sewing days with my quilt club and I like having them for travel. Cutting often takes more space than I have so kits are ideal for travel. On the left I have veterans quilt kits. Most of these are going to be really fast so I packed enough for 10 quilt tops. On the right are blocks for a big project that I'm going to call Flora's Stars. I'm go into detail about this project later but I'm planning on scrappy 9-patch blocks using as much of my vintage and feedsack collection as possible. There will be 8 quilts when this project is done. I've pre-cut 14 block patterns and 8 of each block. When I get tired of veterans quilts I can switch to these.
We don't have guests with us this year so I should have a lot of glorious sewing time.
On the crochet front I have 3 projects packed. In front is a shawl called the Half Circle Eyelet Shawl. I've been looking for a pattern for a "horseshoe" shawl that I can easily make for donation to assisting living and nursing home facilities. This shawl is very easy and the way she designed the increases makes this a perfect shawl that will stay on and not slip to the back. The yarn I'm using for this one is Lion Brand Mandala. My friend gave me a skein of this and I think it will be just about the perfect length for someone in a wheelchair. I'm also taking the blue yarn for a wavy baby blanket and 3 kits for Sesame Street hats. If I run out of projects I can always go to the nearest craft store or Walmart for more yarn. I make donation projects and the are all in acrylic yarn so if I buy yarn I will not feel bad about not bringing my stash. I can get yarn for any project for less than $30.
The loom knitting projects are primarily car projects. If anyone has any interest in loom knitting I have found the best video series on YouTube. GoodKnitKisses has a great beginner series. She also has knitting and crochet tutorials and patterns for all three crafts. I'm taking yarn for hats and scarves.
Today I'm going to post a bunch of notes on loom knitting so that I have a place to refer back to when I need this info. Learning new things is a lot of fun as long as you are along for the ride and have the proper expectations. In other words, don't expect to be thrilled with your first projects! At this point I've made 3 of the blue hats, the green hat and 2 scarves. For these I used either the Boye looms (hate them) or Loops and Threads Knit Quick Kit (not as bad as I thought it would be). That's the purple one below. For $5 clearance, it wasn't a bad deal. The Boye looms are at the local thrift store already.
This hat pattern is the basic starter hat. I don't love it but it's a perfect way to start. It's fast and very easy and virtually every beginner knitting YouTube video is this hat. The scarf on the right was done on the round loom in a flat knit stitch. Big mistake, of course, it curled and required lots of blocking. The scarf on the left is the e-wrap double knit done on the Loops & Threads flat loom (purple one below). It was also fast and easy but is quite a bit too loose as you will see in the next photo.
Then I got the new KB Looms. This light purple one is part of the Adjustable Multi-knit loom. It can knit standard gauge or bulky gauge. I set this up for bulky gauge by removing every other peg. You can see that the KB loom rails are closer together than the L&S loom and that affects the gauge too. These two knits are done exactly the same with the same yarn (Premier Serenity) and the fabric is soooooo much better on the KB Loom with a tighter gauge. But I will keep the L&S loom kit too. I can see using it for certain things since the gauge is bigger.
Here are 2 swatches that I knit on the KB loom. The swatch on the left is a double rib and I felt it was a little too tight for a scarf so, until I try new patterns, I'll do scarves with the e-wrap double knit. It's going to be a great car project for our trip.
The other new loom is the Flexee bulky, also from KB Looms. I'm working on their basic beanie pattern that teaches how to decrease the crown so that it isn't gathered like the green one above. This is a fun loom to work on and the flexibility will make it easier to work on in the car.
So these are my current projects for the looms and I think I'm mostly ready for the car ride.
In other news, I cut out 4 more sets of 8 blocks for my Flora's Star quilts. Here's the stack of block sets (8 of each one) ready to sew and these are going on vacation with me. After I get these made I'll take a little more time to give some background in what these blocks are really for.
For travel, I have each block set arranged on a piece of cardboard and wrapped in plastic wrap so that everything stays together. Yes, one is wrapped in foil. I worked on that set at the beach but didn't finish them. I only had foil to wrap them up to come home.
I have so much stuff packed to work on during vacation! I feel like I'm taking too much but we aren't going to have the normal number of visitors this time. We essentially will be on our own for 3 weeks so I think I'm going to have a lot of sewing time. For the 4th week we will have one of Chris' best friends so I'll still be left with lots of sewing time.
The last thing I worked on was finishing the quilting on the big green quilt. I'm trimming it up and am ready for binding this week! I should be able to deliver this to Cheryl this week.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.