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Chevron Baby Blanket and Chevron Throw

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My new pattern, Chevron Baby Blanket and Chevron Throw, is available now on Ravelry. Reminiscent of the “Ripple” crochet afghans that my grandmother used to make, this pattern calls for sport weight yarn to create a medium weight blanket.

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I used Knitpicks Brava Sport Yarn, a 100% Premium Acrylic yarn. A big plus for blankets – this yarn is machine washable and can be tumble dried.

Knitty Confessions – #1

I thought y’all might be amused by some knitting misadventures. Today, after casting on a new sock, I picked up the “tail” and knit with it until there was almost nothing left. The photo was taken once I started unknitting my mistake. :)

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I do this more often than I care to admit! Has this ever happened to you?

PS My new favorite cast on is the long tail method. :)

WIP Progress – Socks!

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I started these socks, or rather this sock as there is still only one, a while ago. I’m using my own hand dyed yarn for the first time and MadelineTosh sock yarn in Edison Bulb ( I really heart this colorway). Since my own yarn is OOAK and the skein is only about 400 yards, I decided to use the Edison Bulb as a contrast color for the toe and the afterthought heel which I’ll try once I knit the the second sock to this point. I’m knitting these socks for my son and I’ve had some dilemmas about leg length. Very nerve-wracking when using a one-of-a-kind yarn! First, I tried knitting this sock with a heel flap but got very nervous about the amount of yarn I had. And so I frogged the sock back and marked for an afterthought heel.

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Then, I became concerned about the leg length and again I frogged the sock back to make it a little shorter. Since I was away from home for most of my knitting time, I didn’t have access to a scale to determine how much yarn was left and the cake of yarn was looking mighty small! I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough for the 2nd sock since I’m now home and constantly weighing the remaining yarn.
And speaking of socks for my son, I was taking some of his laundry out of the dryer and look what I noticed on a store-bought (not HandKnit) sock:

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Yikes! So many loose-ends!!

DIY – Keep It Clean

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Yesterday, I attempted my first batch of homemade liquid laundry detergent for hand washables. Specifically, I wanted to make something to hand wash my HandKnit items and my handdyed yarns.

After reading many blogs and “recipes” on the web, I found out that most homemade liquid laundry detergents generally were made from the following:
* a gentle bar soap such as Ivory, Zote or Fels-Naptha
* Washing Soda
* Borax
* Water

I made a hybrid using the recipes from several blogs and websites including Wellness Mama, and In Honor of Design. I halved the recipes a bit too:

Here’s what I came up with:

1 bar of Ivory soap
1 cup Washing Soda

Based on some other “recipes”, I omitted the Borax from my mine because I want a super gentle “wash in the sink” detergent. Also, from what I read, Borax is more often used when washing items in hot water which I did not plan on with the detergent that I would make.

Directions

Grate the soap into a container (I used a handheld grater).

Add the soap to a pot containing about half a gallon of boiling water. Stir until dissolved.

Fill a large container with about 2 to 2.5 gallons of hot tap water and add 1 cup of Washing Soda. Stir until dissolved. Add hot soap mixture. Stir again.

Put lid on container and let sit overnight. (Honestly, at this point I was very skeptical about whether this mixture would thicken).

In the morning, take off the lid and stir. (The mixture was actually a bit gelatinous. I imagine stirring or shaking before using will be necessary).

Pour into clean, empty bottles. I used some mason jars and some plastic bottles from the craft store. It’s a good idea to use a funnel.

Use as you would other liquid laundry detergent for hand washables.

Disclaimer: I made this detergent to hand wash delicates. I do not intend to use it in a washing machine. It is not intended for any other purpose.

New Pattern – Sneak Peek

I’m just about finished with a new knitting pattern that includes instructions for both a throw and a baby blanket. I’m using Knitpicks Brava Sport Yarn. It’s great for blankets! Here’s a sneak peek:

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The pattern should be posted on Ravelry in a day or two. Check back here for details.

DIY – No-Sew Project Bag

I recently saw a great DIY clutch made from clear vinyl that I knew would make a perfect project bag.  However, as a knitter, a few changes were needed to keep yarn from snagging on the no-sew edges.  Here’s what I came up with:

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  • Supplies: a yard of  16 gauge clear vinyl from my local arts and crafts store, a magnetic closure, scissors (I used heavy duty to cut the vinyl and smaller scissors to install the closures), marker, ruler, pliers, and some paper large enough to make a pattern (I used wrapping paper which had a grid on the back).

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  • Make a pattern: I decided to make a rectangular shaped project bag.  My pattern was approximately 19 inches long and 11 inches wide with triangular wings.  I measured the width in the middle of the paper and drew 7 inch lines out at (approximately) the 10.5 inch mark.  I then drew lines back to the rectangle at the 7 inch and 14 inch spots. (see picture for shape).
  • I carefully cut the pattern from the paper and taped it onto the clear vinyl.  I then carefully cut the vinyl.

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  • Next, I folded up the bottom 7 inches of the rectangle and carefully folded in the triangles.  I folded the top 5 inches down to get an idea of the approximate shape of the bag.

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  • I then installed the magnetic closure by first marking all of the pieces of plastic and then carefully snipping an opening in the vinyl.  Remember to mark the 2 triangles and the bottom and top pieces.  I also cut an opening smaller than the prongs because I knew the vinyl would stretch a bit.  Lastly, using the pliers, fold the prongs in. (Note: the 2 triangles are on the outside of the bag).

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And, voila! a cute little project bag that can fit in a purse.  It can even be used as a clear bag when you go out.  But note, be careful with knitting needles and other small objects:  they could potentially slip out the corners.

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Next up, do I get my dusty sewing machine out and try a “sew” version?  There is definitely enough left over vinyl.  (I bought a yard and it is about 54 inches wide).  At a minimum, I will make a few no-sew cosmetic bags for my daughter and me.