Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baby Socks and Hats

The group Afghans for Afghans is having a campaign to gather hand knit baby socks and hats for distribution at the Malalai Women's Maternity Hospital in Kabul.  They would like to send one year's worth of items to the hospital, which delivers an average of 85 babies per day.  The deadline for the campaign is being extended into July so that more items can be collected.  If you'd like to contribute, you can read about their requirements on their website.  There is also an active friends of A4A group on Ravelry.

As my contribution, I've been clearing out small amounts of worsted weight stash by knitting Amber Ward's free pattern Ribbed Far-Away Baby Socks, a very quick project.  The variegated pair was knit using another pattern.

In between the socks, I'm knitting and crocheting a few hats using the following patterns: Jennifer Jackson's Basic Newborn Hat, and Little Monkeys Crochet's Super Simple Newborn Beanie.  I've lost track of the source for the ribbed hat pattern, but these were all free patterns available on Ravelry.

The thrift store buy of the week was this lidded basket for $3.

I've filled it with more odds and ends for baby socks and hats.  It's being supervised by the resident yarn guardian, so robbers beware.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Lucky me, I was in New York last week to do a poetry reading at Bryant Park, as part of the Word for Word series.  Lucky me, I stayed in midtown, near the Garment District.  There's an active zone of production and distribution in the area, which includes clusters of fabric stores for retail and wholesale, handbag shops, and costume jewelry stores.  I spent a pleasant afternoon scouting supplies for my next crazy quilt.  The trims above are from Daytona Trimmings on W 39th St.

I picked up these beads on clearance in a large shop that I happened upon.

These trims are from the large, well-lit and extraordinarily well-stocked M & J Trimming on 6th Ave.  I especially like the velvet trims.

Lucky me, once I got home (with a terrible cold--I seem to pay for my travels by getting sick lately) my daughter was here to celebrate her birthday.  Yes, that's a number 26 on her cake, where does the time go? 

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Butterfly Quilt Borders

I got the center of my butterfly quilt pieced.  Those big blocks are very forgiving, a good thing since my piecing skills have gotten a little rusty from disuse. 

I have lots of this bubblegum pink for the inner border, so that was an easy decision, but the outer border stumped me.  I tried a few different pieced blocks, and I struggled with the size these blocks should be.  

In the end I decided on a simple string of 4-patch blocks, which emphasizes the hominess of the quilt.  Also, I'm determined not to add any of the left-over fabric back into my stash.  Whatever doesn't get used up by the border, will go into one or more baby quilts I can set aside for gifts.  I'm shooting for an empty drawer where this project's supplies once lived.  I think I can do it.

I want to finish this quilt and get if off the design wall.  In the past, I'd have let it marinate in the closet before I tackled the borders, but I think I'm slowly changing my ways.

Monday, June 02, 2014

A Chevron Scarf from Self-Striping Sock Yarn

I  have a stash of self-striping sock yarn, in spite of the fact that knitting socks isn't that compelling for me.  I love to wear hand knit socks, but it takes me, on average, three years to crank out a pair.

Now, I like to knit scarves, and I love chevron stripes.  Wouldn't you know, that self-striping sock yarn makes a pretty nice scarf too.

The free pattern is Kary's Chevron Scarf.  It's a simple 4-row repeat, and 2/3 of a 100 gram ball of yarn gave me this 9.5 x 68" scarf.   I knit it until I reached 70", but when I blocked it, stretching out the width took up some of the length.  To make it lacier, instead of the "knit front and back" in row 1 of the pattern, I did a yarn-over knit one. 

Lovely stripes, with none of the effort of changing yarn colors. 

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...