I enjoy going to thrift shops and looking for vintage collectibles and china, and since I’ve been knitting have found some good bargains in yarn. Since 90% of my knitting is for charity, I appreciate finding some nice yarn at a good price. I was thrilled to find a large plastic bag filled with 17 unopened skeins of Caron Premium yarn in off-white for only $10.00.
I envisioned soft, fluffy baby blankets for my Lakota Indian group and was disappointed when I made a trial swatch to find that the yarn was thick and rather stiff when knitted. So much for fluffy baby blankets and I made a dishcloth, a table mat and a floor mat. The yarn worked OK for these projects but I had a lot of yarn and didn’t want to make any more cloths or mats. Then, I thought it might make a good, strong market bag to carry all the fresh corn and melons I buy at the farmer’s market every summer. My daughter had a nice pattern for a seamless tote bag that is knit in one piece from the bottom up. The pattern called for 4mm (#6 US) needles and cotton or DK (baby/sport) yarn. I used #6 needles with my thick, sturdy yarn and following the pattern for the bag portion exactly, made a very thick, sturdy market bag. I changed the pattern a bit for the handle which my daughter had made and found to be stretchy. I made two long I-cords, doubled them and stitched to the center front and center back of the bag to form a shopping bag shape.
Using the thinner yarn would have produced a bag 13 inches wide x 14 inches deep. My bag turned out to be 18 inches wide x 17 inches long.
Here is the link for the tote bag:
…and here is a You Tube tutorial on how to make an I-cord. This is another project that is mindless and good for knitting when there might be distractions. I used the same needle and yarn size to make the I-cord as I used for the bag.
This is another pattern from designer Marianna Mel on Ravelry.com. The pattern was written to fit a baby of around 3 months, but I used #7 needles and Premier acrylic yarn (color – Cake) to make a dress to fit a baby 6-9 months old.
The dress buttons in the back.
This is a good pattern for an advanced beginner and turns out so cute. It should do well going into the spring months for the South Dakota Pine Ridge baby who receives it.
See Ravelry.com for information on the Lakota group, The Children of Pine Ridge.
On December 6th, our family celebrates St.Nicholas with the exchange of small gifts, candy and homemade cookies. This year, my two daughters will receive dorm boots/slippers instead of stockings. I found a wonderful pattern on Needle Beetle called Aunt Alm’s Dorm Boots.
Instructions are given for various sizes and I started out making children’s slippers for the Pine Ridge Lakota children in South Dakota. Their Sacred Shawl project which helps young mothers and children in abusive situations, particularly asked for warm slippers for their very cold winters.
I consider them suitable knitting for an advanced beginner and made two more sets for my daughters. I made these with Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool) which makes them easy to wash and dry. I tried one on to be sure they were close to the size I wanted.
The ssk stitch (slip, slip, knit) forms the “V” shape on the front of the sock, which I like a lot. See the YouTube link below for a tutorial on this stitch. The pattern is written for double-pointed needles but I work better with circular needles and I found the pattern easy to adapt and the slippers easy to knit.
Several of my blogging friends have kindly asked if I am OK since my blog posts have been few and far between this year. I’m happy to report that I’m doing pretty well but moving very slowly and not getting too much done. I have spinal stenosis issues which have forced me to give up quilting (except for very small items) and experimental cooking (which I’ve always loved) but I’m doing fine for an octogenarian, I think.
One thing I’ve been able to do comfortably is to continue my newfound hobby of knitting. About 95% of the knitting is for charities and one of my newer ones is the Pine Ridge Children’s group in South Dakota. I found them through Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge They need and appreciate everything that is warm and comforting which gives me an opportunity to make a variety of clothing. I especially enjoy knitting for babies and preschoolers. These are some of the items I finished in the past couple of weeks which will soon be on their way to a home for mothers and children who have escaped abusive situations.
This vest is the largest size piece of clothing I’ve made so far – will fit a boy age 6-7.
This poncho is for a little girl about 4 or 5 and I hope she likes the doggy buttons.
I have some more projects ready to launder and, of course, a couple of things “on the needles”. I’m grateful that I can be doing something useful that I enjoy.
This summer, my younger daughter and I discovered a charity which accepts all kinds of cold weather items for their children on a Lakota Indian reservation in South Dakota. They have very severe winters and say they are under-served at this location, grateful for anything hand-knit or crocheted that will help keep the children warm. Unlike most of the charities we support, they accept not only acrylic but also wool and wool blend items and are currently trying to get enough scarves and mittens to supply each of their children in grades K-12. In August, we mailed some items I had made…four hats, four pr. mittens and two scarves.
As of this date, they have collected enough hats but still need lots of scarves and mittens. Today, I’ll be mailing 5 beautiful pairs of mittens from my daughter …
…two neck warmers ….
This is the link through Ravelry: