A Note to Myself

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I need to write down inspiration and details as they come to me, so I love taking notes. I make them all the time. My family knows I will stop in the middle of a shopping expedition to jot down the finer points of something I've seen (I carry a special notebook in my purse for just this purpose). When I'm working at my desk I have note cubes for that quick reminder or "to do". These usually get tossed once the note is not longer needed or transfered to a notebook for more permanent remembrance.

The kinds of things that get written down are:
  • Titles of books that I'm not going to buy but I want borrow from the library
  • A drawing of a garment that I'd like to "knock off" for myself
  • Phone #'s and addresses
  • Bridge hands so I can retell a story or work out a problem I didn't get right at the table
  • Notes from an article found in a waiting room magazine
  • Crochet or knitting design inspirations
  • Questions I want to find the answers to, for example: Do you put periods at the end of lists items or does the list item notation function as a period?
  • Anything I'm afraid I'll forget

I didn't know until yesterday that when you're buying a box of note cubes you need to pay attention to the little cutout on the box. THAT is what tells you how many pieces of paper there are in the cube -- NOT the size of the box!! The arrows on photo show the bottom of the window where the paper ends, the rest of the box is filler. Both boxes are the the same size but the one on the right held less paper than the one on the left and neither box listed how many sheets of paper it contained.

I buy note cubes mostly based on the design rather than how many sheets there are and I think that's why I'm irritated -- I liked the note paper than came from the box on the right and it ran out faster than I was expecting.

What's the point of this entry concerning crochet, knitting or crafting? Mostly, to express how important to my creative process note taking is but it is also a note to myself to check the cut out of a note cube the next time I purchase one.

Garter Stitch Hat

Friday, September 21, 2007
Hats are a great project to try a new pattern or stitch and a wonderful way to get your feet wet with your own designs. Hats are very forgiving projects to knit or crochet -- Someone somewhere will be a fit for your hat!

This year I knit two hats using a pattern I give to my elementary school knitting class. The garter stitch hat is simple and easily adapted to any yarn or head size. The simple structure of the hat makes it easy to add your own design features.

Here's the pattern:

Simple Garter Hat

Size 9 needles, cast on 72 stitches loosely (multiples of 12).

Knit every round until piece measures 6” (8” if you want a 2” cuff)

Shape top of hat as follows
Round 1: (K10, k2 tog) around.
Round 2 (and all even rounds): Knit.
Round 3: (K9, k2tog) around.
Round 5: (K8, k2tog) around.
Round 7: (K7, k2tog) around.

Now, begin working the decreases every round as follows:
Round 8: (K6, k2tog) around.
Round 9: (K5, k2tog) around.
Round 10: (K4, k2tog) around.
Round 11: (K3, k2tog) around.
Round 12: (K2, k2tog) around.
Round 13: (K1, k2tog) around.
Round 14: k2tog around.

Finish by running the yarn through the remaining stitches and pulling tightly to close the opening at the top.

Sew seam with mattress stitch.

Leave as is, or top it with a tassel, pompom or other decoration.

Green hat specs:
Size 9 needles
Caron Dazzleaire (a stash busting hat because Dazzleaire was discontinued in 2004)
Circumference: 19"
Hat height: 7¾"

Brown hat specs:
Size 8 needles
Lion Brand Wool-Ease
Circumference: 16½"
Hat height: 7¼"

Dress Bookmark - revisited

Thursday, September 13, 2007
I've updated this post with a video for round 5. Thank you to my lovely daughter Laura for taking the video. -- I love my new camera!

This is a follow-up to a previous post about a very adorable crochet bookmark that sits on the corner of a page and looks like a dress. The previous blog entry and pattern link is here.

The pattern is pretty straight forward through round 4 but figuring out round 5 from the pattern can be a little difficult so I've put together a tutorial with pictures and a video to help out.

At the end of Round 4 everything should look like this:

The beginning of round 5 looks like this (I've worked round 5 in red thread to highlight the work):

Also, I don't end my rounds like this pattern has written for them to be finished. The pattern has you joining the end of one round right into the space that you'll be starting the new round from (effectively skipping a number of stitches that originally began the round)

I always join the end of one round with a slip stitch to the beginning chain of that same round, then I slip stitch into the next couple of stitches and into the space that it wants me to start working from on the new round. I have found this to be a clean/flatter finish to the round.

Continue working rounds 6 thru 10 and you'll have a very cute crochet bookmark!

Throw - Soft Boucle

Saturday, September 01, 2007
This throw is sooooooooo so soft and was very easy to crochet (the only stitches are chain and double crochet.) The Bernat site categorizes it as an intermediate pattern (I'd really like to know what they think is simpler than this!) --pattern ratings are arbitrary and no one should dissuade themselves from attempting a project because of one. The hardest part about crocheting this throw was frogging. It's very difficult to take out stitches with Boucle yarn. The stitches get caught, the yarn pulls and before you know it you have more ends to work in!

I didn't quite get gauge with an L hook and my finished size was 44 x 60 (however, the throw is very stretchy and I took this measurement without a lot of stretching.)

The pattern for the throw is here. However, you may need to have a membership with Bernat to see it. My advice -- MAKE IT UP. You do not have to give real information in any way, shape or form. I have an internet persona (with matching Yahoo mail box) made up just for this purpose and I hope if mucks up the demographics of every site I use it with.

Updates: I worked this pattern a second time and made a few changes which I like even more. The blog entry for the second afghan is here. Also, you can now download this pattern directly from the Ravelry project page without having to login to the Bernat site.