Sunday, April 15, 2012

Crochet Grafting

Is this technique heard of?? Cuz I couldnt find hide nor hair of anything about it on the net.

Pipe in "Crochet Grafting" in any ol search engine and see what you come up with. Go ahead........I'll wait.

You get a whole gooooooooogle full of knitting stuff. Which is great, but thats not what I was looking for.

So what did I do? I made one up. Yep, Yep.

Wikipedia says the definition of Grafting in knitting is: (because I couldnt find it in crochet)
In knitting, grafting is the joining of two knitted fabrics using yarn and a needle.
Lets replace the word "knitting" in that sentence with the word "crochet" and thats what we're talking about today.

Heres a shot of it on my latest doily. Wanna guess where it is?

You have to know your gonna graft when you start the project tho. Well, maybe. Depends on which one you want to do.
These are the swatches I made during the video(below) I didnt do any sewing in, sorry. They are both grafted pieces, one is just 2 colors to see where the graft is, and to see what it would look like on a granny or something. The other is grafted in one color to see that you umm....cant see it.

Theres this one.

It starts out with a chain, and then you work into the backs of the chain. When your done grafting, you will have this row of chains on the back along the graft line.

And then theres this one.

You start this one out, working your first row on the yarn tail. Which is very much in my opinion, a provisional start. This is the one I prefer......its virtually invisible. On both sides even! I like invisible in my crochet and knitting.

But both have their place! I can see using the first one on my granny squares. I always sew as I go anyway. And the other one I will use for applications like the first picture of my doily up there.

Heres more details on how its done, what do you think? (I cant get the video to upload here so here is the link on youtube:

It really isnt all that hard. I hope I didnt make it seem so. Please let me know what you think? 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Baby Knitting and a Homemade Rattle

So hubbs comes home and says one of his co workers' wife just had a baby. Yep, baby knitting instantly welled up inside me and I couldn't contain myself. Ya'll know what im talking about.

So I pulled out the ol' stand bys that I give every child born within my earshot. Cuz I absolutely love these two things and think they are the cutest things on the planet. So naturally every baby needs them to complement their cuteness. Also, they are both super easy, and quick knits. And both are free patterns!
So perfect for the "Oh crap I need a present for the baby shower tomorrow!!" emergencies.

I speak, of course, of the ever famous Christine's Stay-On Baby Booties, and Lion Brands Bunny Blanket Buddy. (you have to sign in to get the blanket buddy pattern)

I love history. I had no choice but to knit Christine's booties. And not to mention I know all too well the problems with keeping shoes on a baby. Perfect match.

From Fuzzy Galore: “This pattern was published in Threads no 22 (April 89) in a letter to the editor from Christine Bourquin. She was at the time 95 and living in Redwood City CA, still knitting, and expressed the desire to have her pattern live on. As Christine would be 108 today, we can only hope that she’s still around, but perhaps she’s not able to see well enough to still make them. …Christine’s legacy is this pattern for booties that stay on because of the clever side ribbing, and as we all know keeping booties on babies is not a straightforward task…”
“Christine used Red Heart acrylic baby yarn or a 3-ply Wintuck but recommended trying one of the new Superwash wools as well….the many colorful sock yarns for adult which are usually superwash wool and reinforced with a bit of nylon.”
The folks whom I've knit these for say its true! They do stay on! Well, the ones that have talked to me about it.
Fair warning tho, while the pattern is super easy, it leaves MUCH up to the knitter. I was thinking about writing a blog just about these with directions on how I make them, filling in the gaps so to speak. If anyone wants me to do this, let me know. But if 2,456 people can knit not thinking that's needed.

Here's a shot of my 7th, 9th, crap I cant remember how many I've knit, pair.

I've done some mods to it(is anyone surprised?) which you can find on my rav page here.

And then there's the ever adorable, also super easy, Bunny Blanket Buddy by Lion Brand. Yanno? These guys can really pull off the cute every once in a while. Let me just say, the picture does not do it justice.

Same thing as the booties, I cant remember how many of these I've knit either.

My mods for this one are on my rav page here.

But for this blanket buddy, I put a rattle in his head. (man, how many times have I thought that about people? That they have a rattle in their heads?) And I wanted to share this with you guys in case you wanted to do this too.
First off, lets give credit where credit is due. I always like to see what everyone else is doing and so I look thro the other projects when I start one. Its a good practice, you can avert many problems just by looking at what everyone else is done. Not to mention get great ideas for your project.
So when I started a project for this one, I looked thro and found Swirlee9's blanket buddy and she tipped me off on putting a rattle in the bunnies head! BRILLIANT I said. So I did it. This will work with all your stuffed knitting and it's super simple. Thank you Swirlee9!

You will need this stuff.

Run to your local quarter machine and get you a toy of some sort that comes in a small container. After your done playing with the toy, get you some rice and fill the container about halfway up. Run you a bead of superglue around the top of the container and put the lid on.

Voila...instant rattle.

I tried bb's because I knew after a while of this thing getting shaken, the rice would turn to dust. But I didn't like the sound as well. The rice gave it a nice soft rattle. And I made the decision to go with rice also because hubbs in all his infinite wisdom said: "If somehow this thing gets crushed and the contents come out of it, rice kernels wont hurt the baby, but bb's will."
The word "duh" automatically came out of my mouth. Sometimes I just need my hubbs, aka "captain obvious" to show me the light.

So rice it was. Besides, the baby wont be playing with it for more than a year or so anyway.

Anyway.....after your done knitting your stuffed toy, you would take your stuffing and put some in. Then nestle your home made rattle somewheres in the middle of your toy. Then stuff around the sides of the rattle and finally, stuff the rest of it.
Sew your toy together and play with it. And then show everyone in the house your coolness and make them play with it. Or am I the only one that does that?

If you have done this or something like it, please share your stories or mods to my method. I would enjoy hearing them!


Friday, April 6, 2012

"Seam As You Go" knitting Cubism

Im doing the coolest blanket for one of my nephews for Christmas this year.

Its called "Cubism" by Woolly Thoughts

Basically, you make all these blocks and seam them together,(eww) and add partial blocks to make the blanket. Excellent, very well written pattern. You should do it.
Here's a shot of my first block. It went off without a hitch really. This first one mind you.

Well, because I cant leave anything alone.....I decided I was gonna seam the rest of the blocks together as I went. This, like anything took some thought because things are going in different directions and you can just do the simple pick up and start knitting off of your picked up stitches. You have to join the two pieces together on each row.

So I looked through the other projects looking for others that have done this blankie and had the same thoughts as I did.

Sadly, there are only 11 projects!! Ok, everyone stop what your doing, and go and cue up this blanket. Everyone needs a blanket and a cool one like this one would be even better! Especially if you have a younger teenager your just itchin to give a blanket to! Not to mention the fact that its all done in garter stitch, which means some real good mindless knitting. Besides, now would be a good time to start those Christmas gifts...don't hit me.

Anyway, there was only one person that was in tuned with what I was thinking about doing and so I wasted no time bugging her in Ralvery to disscuss her methods. Thank you clmitaly!
She directed me to the Fall 2010 issue of Interweave Knits that had a pictorial of "Seam As You Go" by: Heather Oppetti. This was done to demonstrate how she puts her Tamarix Quilt together. (you should check that one out too) I went and pulled out my issue and it was a bit confusing to follow. So, I went to my buddy Gooooogle, and found a YouTube on the technique. YAY!!

Seam as you go - Part 1

MUCH easier to follow! And so I did....with some problems at first. But being the figuring out kind of person, I umm.....figured it out. 

To put this technique in use with the Cubism blanket, I would have to also do my increases in addition to the stuff she says to do. This didn't work. I couldn't get it tight enough. 
So, I decided to do my increases on the 3rd stitch in on the joining side. (clear as mud?) This worked. 
But then.......

When I laid it out and gazed at my work, it occurred to me that the direction of my rows were not the same direction of the original red block. 

rip rip rip. yes, im that anal. However, this was a blessing in disguise!

I decided I needed to do the first half of the block and then begin joining on the second half. As I was knitting the first half, I was thinking about this joining thing the whole time and realized: Not only would joining beginning on the second half put the direction of the rows going the same as the original, but it would also make things easier to join up due to already having stitches on the needle. AND....It wouldn't be as hard to make things tight because I was doing a decrease (tight anyway)and not an increase(the neighboring stitches tend to steal the increases' yarn when no one is looking and things are pulled a bit.) 

The skies opened up and I swear I heard angels singing when this came to me. After many false starts and much more ripping than I've told you about understand my excitement.

So I got done with the first half and was ready to begin joining. 

But first, I needed to figure out how many stitches I was gonna need and pick up and without giving the pattern away, this came out to pick up 3 [skip one, pick up 3] repeat to end. YAY! The math is over!! lol 

I also decided to try to do my decreases one stitch in, and that worked pretty well I think! 

So, I've done a few rows and wanted to show you what I have so far. It's really coming out to be pretty easy, and looks nice. The join is a bit wonky because of having to pull tightly, I hope things relax and are a lot nicer once its washed. And then theres that whole "after I've done almost all of them, I'll get the hang of it" thing. Maybe I dont have to pull as tightly as I am. I'll try it. 

Here's what it looks like from the front...notice the wonky stitches Im hoping, like so many things in life, "will come out in the wash" 

And here's a shot from the back. 

Well Im off to work on it some more. 

I hope this helps and I do encourage you to try this method of "Seam as you go" Its really not that hard after a while...just like so many things in life. And go and get this pattern and get on it!