Monday, October 31, 2005

Mittens and funny hat

I got the pink and blue mittens from the last entry done and felted. I think they came out really nice. Image hosted by I like how they're all warm and fuzzy. Now to see if they're the right size for Megan.
Closeup of mitten. The thumb looks huge here, but it must be the camera angle, 'cause it's not that big.

I've put the ski mask aside for the time being. I was getting way too frustrated with it. I'll pick it up again in the next couple of days and the whole thing will probably come together much easier.

I also crocheted a silly cap for one of the girls tonight (don't know for sure which one is going to get it). Image hosted by Photobucket.comDoesn't this doll just look positively evil? She makes a good model for kidswear though because she's so big.

Here is my mitten pattern:

Lynn’s Feltable Mittens

B/4 feltingOne mitten finished, one with just the cuff done. After feltingBoth mittens after felting. Felting instructions are at the end of the pattern.

2 - 50g balls of 4 ply knitting worsted.

I used Lion wool. If you plan to felt the mittens, you will need to buy 100% wool yarn. Check the label to make sure it isn’t superwash wool, as this type won’t felt. Crocheting this pattern as printed will yield mittens the right size for an 8-12 year-old child. Adjust as instructed for larger or smaller sizes.
Hook – G if you crochet loose, H if you crochet tight.
My notes, such as where to make adjustments for other sizes, are in blue.

NOTE: This pattern is designed so the mitten will fit both left and right hands.

CUFF - All stitches on the cuff
are through the back loop of stitch only.

Ch. 14 to begin.

ROW 1 - 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 sc in next 11 chains, ch 1, turn. (12 sc)

ROW 2 - 1 sc in next 12 sc (remember, through the back loops of stitches only), ch 1, turn. (12 sc) (If you are making larger mittens, add a couple more rows here - for smaller mittens, subtract a couple rows.)

ROWS 3 to 26 - Same as Row 2.

ROW 27 - Joining row, ss to corresponding chs in Row 1, turn inside out (this is the right side).

CONTINUE AS FOLLOWS FOR THE REST OF THE MITTEN (all sts through both loops):

ROW 1 - With right side of work towards you, ch 1, 1 sc in the end of each row of ribbing. Join with ch 1. (27 sc, - this st count will be different on all rows if you are making smaller or larger mittens, example: if you added 2 more rows on the cuff for larger mittens, you will have more sc here - less if you are making smaller mittens.)

ROW 2 - *Sc around (mark beginning of rows with a safety pin, do not turn. The rest of the mitten is worked in a spiral). (30 sc)

ROW 3-8 - Sc around, ss to join.

ROW 9 - 1 sc in next st, ch 5, skip next 5 sts (this is for the thumb opening), 1 sc in the next 24 sts, ss to join. (make a smaller thumb opening for smaller mittens, larger thumb opening for larger mittens. For mittens that are going to be felted, I used 7 sts for the thumb for an 8-10 year old girl)

ROW 10-20 - Repeat Row 2 (work the 5 chains for thumb opening as if they were regular sts. Add a few more rows for larger mittens, subtract rows for smaller mittens.)

ROW 21 - 1 sc in first st, decrease over the next 4 sts by crocheting 2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in next 11 sts, dec over next 4 sts by crocheting 2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in next 10 sts, ss to join. (26 sc)

ROW 22 – Sc around.

ROW 23 - 1 sc in the first st, dec over next 4 sts by crocheting 2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in next 9 sts, dec over next 4 sts by crocheting 2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in next 8 sts, ss to join. (22 sc)

ROW 24 – Sc around, ss to join.

ROW 25 - 1 sc in first st, dec over next 4 sts by crocheting 2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in next 7 sts, dec over next 4 sts by crocheting 2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in next 6 sts, ss to join. (18 sc)

ROW 26 – Sc around, ss to join.

ROW 27 - 1 sc in first st, dec over next 4 sts by crocheting 2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in next 5 sts, dec over next 4 sts by crocheting 2 sc tog twice, 1 sc in next 4 sts, ss to join. (14 sc)

ROW 28 - 2 sc, * 2 sc tog, 1 sc in next st *, Repeat from * to * 3 more times, ss to join.

Cut yarn leaving about an 8 to 10 inch tail, pull yarn through the last ch1. Using a darning needle, weave yarn through the 14 sts of last Row, pull tight to close up the end of the mitten, weave in yarn to secure closing and fasten off.

ROW 1 - Join yarn, ch 1 and 1 sc in the first st of thumb opening, 1 sc in the next 4 sts, pick up 7 sts around the remaining thumb opening, ss to join to first sc. (12 sc - more or less if you are making smaller or larger mittens.)

ROW 2-6 – Sc around, ss to join. (Add a few more rows for larger thumb, subtract rows for smaller thumb.)

ROW 7 - 1 sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc tog, 1 sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc tog, ss to join. (10 sc)

ROW 8 – Sc around, ss to join.

Cut yarn leaving about an 8 to 10 inch tail, pull yarn through the last ch1. Using a darning needle, weave yarn through the 10 sts of the last row, pull tight to close up the end of the thumb, weave in yarn to secure closing and fasten off. Weave in the tail end at the beginning of the cuff.

Felting Instructions

Set washer at lowest water level on hot wash, cold rinse cycle. Add small amount of laundry soap, place mittens in washer along with a couple of T-shirts or pairs of jeans to aid in agitation. Don’t use towels, as they shed lint and your mittens will end up looking old and dull. Run washer through cycle, checking mittens after five minutes. Continue to check them every five minutes until they are the size you want. Stop wash cycle if it hasn’t come to the end to avoid further shrinkage. Run through rinse and spin. Remove mittens from washer, gently reshape and let dry on
a folded towel. These mittens will be the warmest you will ever wear!

Abbreviations used in this pattern

sc = single crochet st = stitch ss = slip stitch

sc tog = single crochet together ch = chain

dec = decrease by crocheting two stitches together

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Lazy Sunday

Rod and I have both just been laying around today. He's fine...I'm having a heck of a lot of back and leg pain. Guess I shouldn't have tried lifting so much when we moved the sectional yesterday. I have rheumatoid arthritis and when I overdo it one day, it can take a few days to get over it. I should know by now to pace myself. I have to work tomorrow and can't afford to take a day off.

I finished the mittens today and got them felted up. They look like they will fit Megan or Izzy just fine. They're still drying so we'll see what size they end up being in the morning. I'm in the middle of creating my very first pattern ever! I wanted to crochet ski masks for the boys and found one pattern that sounded good but worked up very dorky-looking. So I made my own pattern. I'll post it here when I get it finished.

Time for bed to rest my weary bones. Nite!

My aching back...

Today Rod found an ad in the newspaper for a sectional sofa for sale. We have been looking for new living room furniture forever it seems, but we just can't afford to buy new at this point. So we have been watching the classifieds and today finally found a sectional that we wanted. We went and looked at it, bought it, and then proceeded to try and fit the whole thing in the back of the pickup. It's a monster sectional! Right now it's 1:30 a.m. and I just went to the living room and took a picture of the sofa. Of course there are two boys on it who pleaded to be allowed to sleep on it the first night. You know how it is...anything new is heaven to a kid! So here are my boys zonked out on the sectional.Monster sofa!.com

It's really big, isn't it? And heavy! After carrying it from the lady's house and loading it in the pickup and then carrying it in our house and setting it up, we were all walking around like chimps.

Son Tim is getting to be quite the entrepreneur. He was feeling quite broke, so today he began listing all his outgrown toys and Yugioh cards on Ebay. Once I showed him what to do the first time, he went ahead and did the rest all by himself. He's 11 years old. Here is one of the things he's selling, night vision lighted goggles. Tim with the glowing eyes!
And his Bow Lingual. That's our dog, Riley modeling the part that the dog wears. The idea behind Bow Lingual is you put the transmitter on the dog and hold the wireless monitor. It picks up your dog's barks and translates them. It can tell you if your dog is happy, sad, lonely, angry, etc. It never worked very well for Tim, mostly because Riley very seldom barks. Riley the talking wonder dog!

I had some hand-painted wool yarn that a friend had sent me, so I decided to crochet some things out of it. I made a hat and tried to felt it but it wouldn't felt. So I made a drawstring bag and felted that in the washing machine and it woked great. Here is a picture of the bag before felting. Looks like a basket
and here is the finished bag after felting. The soda can was used for scale. Shrinky-dinky

I'm back to working on mittens for the kids for Christmas. As I wrote before, these are the 100% merino wool mittens. I am felting them in the washer and this yarn felts beautifully. The yarn is Lion Wool Prints in flower garden. Here's what I've gotten done so far. I love the colors and textures of this yarn
I've got one mitten and the cuff for the other one done. The mitten is rather large and also oddly shaped. That is because the item shrinks when felted but it doesn't shrink all ways the same. This yarn shrinks width-wise much more than it does height-wise. So it is made just a little bit longer than normal but more wider than normal, with a wider thumb because the thumb, as I discovered on a trial pair, also shrinks in width. So hopefully it will come out just the right size for a 10-year-old girl.

Nitey-nite! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Felting Soap

Today was not very productive in the crochet/crafting department. I had bought some Lion Wool yarn yesterday with the intention of crocheting more mittens and felting them. I just love watching them shrink down and get all thick, fuzzy, and warm. Anyway, this yarn is really hard to work with. It kinks, knots, and splits. I might as well have used the cheap Bernat wool. The Bernat at least worked up easily and felted nicely. Live and learn, I guess.

I also ordered a felting needle and block plus some wool roving for felting. I stumbled across a website that sells all that good stuff, plus had instructions for felting over a bar of soap. Yeah, I went "huh?" too. You basically take a bar of soap and wrap it in wool roving, wet it, rub it with your hands and/or a net bag until the wool shrinks down into a tight felt covering over the soap. People sell these for $5 to $10 a bar. I ordered the wool to give it a try. I can alway sell them on Ebay, especially when it gets closer to Christmas. I ordered a pound of wool, so that should make a lot of soap covers! The soap stays in its cover and you use it like a washcloth. The felt shrinks down as the soap gets smaller too. I'm finding felting totally fascinating and have added some books about the craft to my Christmas wish list. I sure hope Santa appreciates his nice warm wool FELT suit this year and brings me some books! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

It's all good, baby!

Wow, my first entry! I'm so excited about this crochet blog. I'm hoping to find other crocheters out there who share the same interests. Hello....anybody out there? :)

I've been crocheting for years and can always find something new to try. It's never boring and always challenging. I used to knit when I was younger and knit all my Barbie Doll clothes. But now I find I just don't have the patience for knitting. It goes so slow and makes me want to throw it on the floor and stomp on it.

As I write this, there is a pair of adult wool mittens in the washer getting felted. I hope this pair shrinks some more, as I checked them after one run through the washer and they were still too long. They seem to shrink more width-wise than they do lengthwise. Here are before and after pics.
B/4 feltingafter felting

Quite a difference in size, isn't there? I've only made one other pair of mittens and they were in a childs small to medium size but they turned out pretty good. Next thing I'm going to learn is needle felting so I can add different colors and shapes to the finished mittens. It's so much fun experimenting!
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