TV and Pretend Knitting

I’m sitting on my couch in the living room along with the rest of my family, we are watching TV. We are all enjoying some wholesome family program and all of a sudden there is a scene in which someone is “knitting.” It is extremely obvious that the actor/actress has absolutely no idea how to even begin to knit and that the long scarf hanging from the knitting needles was put there by some prop manager. This bothers me a little more than it should. “Obviously that girl (or grandma or woman) doesn’t know how to knit.” and then someone replies with “Why would they need to know, it’s just a TV show?” Well, when someone pretends to play a guitar they at least know how to pretend to hold their fingers over the strings for a chord and strum. Or, when someone is pretending to drive they know they have to hold the steering wheel and move it at lease a little bit. And if someone is pretending to cook they know they should turn the knobs on the stove. Why wouldn’t the actor pretending to knit be instructed on how to at least hold the needles right and move them in the right way. It is a slap in the face to knitters, well maybe it’s not that dramatic. But it sure is annoying to see.

The picture is of Sophia Grace and Rosie on Sam and Cat, a popular show on Nickelodeon, and the knitting needle is being held like a pencil pointed to the wrong spot in the work. I know I know, they are just little girls, but surely someone on that set should have been able to show her how to hold it right. Ok, I’m of my soap box, for now.

Rosie McClelland, Sophia Grace Brownlee

 

(Gwen reading and Ruby Knitting from samandcat.wikia.com)

Procrastination

I am guilty of procrastination. It’s true. I find a pattern, go buy the yarn (because I never have the RIGHT yarn in my stash), start working on it, put it down, and then think about working on it, but I tend to leave it sitting there. I’m a horrible crocheter! One thing I try to make myself do every once in a while (maybe one a year if I’m lucky) is go through and finish up projects of whims past. Pick up that scarf I started last winter and knock it out. Finally finish that arm warmer’s partner. Frog the hat that I don’t like the color of anymore. It’s that time of year, Spring cleaning time. It’s time for me to visit the island of unfinished projects. Do you have any floating around that you can’t seem to get finished?

 

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Yes, this is knitted, and double pointed at that, but I started it in August but haven’t finished it, so it definitely counts.

I’ve been every where, man

This week I went on a small family trip that took about four driving hours to each our intended destination. The little town we went to was tiny and had next to nothing in the way of entertainment, food options, or lodging. We visited this little hole in the country because my husband had just completed a thirteen week training program and he is finally finished so we went to see the finishing ceremony.
So, while I was in the middle of Nowheresville trying to kill time I, as any crocheters or knitter worth their salt would, found a way to kill some time by working on my crochet. As I was sitting in our little hotel room crocheting away I started thinking about this new movement if tagging public areas with crochet or knitting called yarn bombing. I, being the law abiding citizen I am, have never been brave enough to do something so bold. But I have seen some work put up by others, and it always seems to brighten its surroundings. So since I am too chicken to doing my own yarn bombing (kudos for thinking about it though!) I want to tip my proverbial hat to those crocheters and knitters out there that have participated in such a beautiful and thrilling task. May your works of art forever brighten our world!

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My stash

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Every yarn artist (that’s what I like to call myself) has a dirty little, not so secret,  problem. Yarn addiction. It’s a real thing people. The picture up top is of my yarn stash. I can’t seem to control myself. Granted I so not put myself in debt over it, and I haven’t taken a second mortgage on the house, but every time I think of a new project I want to start I just don’t seem to have the right yarn for it. Even with the huge stash of random yarn bits, I never have the right one. I need the right color, oh and I never seem to have any bully yarn when I need it, and I can’t very we’ll make a baby hat with wool now can I? See what I mean? Any excuse to go out and buy yarn is good enough for me. My loving husband even picks up a skein every once in a while just to be sweet, kinda like flowers.

The stash you see is stored in a wooden quilt box my Daddy made sometime around the time I was born, and it is in my living room, and full of that sweet, sweet yarn.
So, my fellow crocheters and knitters out there, you are not alone. There are kindred spirits out there and you have found one in me. LONG LIVE THE YARN STASH! And may it never run low!

 

Brainstorming with T-shirt yarn!

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In my last post I talked about how to make t-shirt yarn. Make as much as you want and tie the ends together to make a big long strand.Also keep in mind that you can use any kind of scrap fabric including sheets and left over fabric from other projects. Get your moneys worth out of that old stuff you bought and wore out! There are lots of patterns that are great for t-shirt yarn. It tends to be more sturdy and most shirts are made mostly of cotton so what you make is going to be good with water. Lets take a look at just a few ideas as to what can be made with this awesome up-cycled and earth friendly yarn!

Dishrags: since the t-shirt yarn is durable and cotton is not ruined with water it would be great for this.

Rugs: this is a very common use for t-shirt yarn. There are many different styles and techniques that can be used to make rugs. I think these types of rugs are called “rag rugs” and they have a rich history and have been in homes for a couple hundred years. Oldie but a goodie.

Bowl: again, since t-shirt yarn is sturdy it helps the bowl hold its shape better.

Jewelry: yes, bracelets and necklaces can be very cute made form t-shirt yarn

Bags: this yarn makes great bags, especially for toting home groceries or to the pool or beach.

Scarf: there are many different ways to make scarves from t-shirt yarn.

 

This is a very short list of the many things that can be made from this versatile yarn. So clean out your closets, your linen cabinets, and your drawers to make some yarn!! This especially great for someone that doesn’t have the money to buy lots of yarn.

 

T-shirt Yarn

I have been wanting to work with t-shirt yarn for a while but I just haven’t seem to be able to get to it for whatever excuse of the day happens to be. Well, I will put it off no longer. Here are the instructions for making t-shirt yarn. Luckily I have a husband with a love of t-shirts and he wears the same color most of the time. He also likes to buy Hane’s black pocket t’s in packs of eight which unfortunately shrink over time. This means that they are eventually cast aside and they end up in my scrap pile for later projects.

Things you will need to make t-shirt yarn:

Scissors, fabric cutting wheel, X-Acto knife capable of cutting fabric, or something similar that will cut the t-shirt fabric.

T-shirts, enough to make whatever your project and preferably cotton or mostly cotton because it stretches easier.

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Here is the t-shirt laid out. Try to get it as flat as you can and not all folded and uneven. If it is not flat enough it will not cut as evenly.

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Fold the t-shirt in half. It doesn’t matter if it is folded with the front facing out or the back. Just fold it in half with the sleeves together.

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Next you will start by cutting off the hem of the shirt. Then start cutting it into strips that are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide leaving about two inches or so uncut in the middle. When you reach the arm pit of the shirt go ahead and cut all the way across to cut off the top completely.

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After cutting all the way up the shirt pull it apart and lay it over your arm or a piece of card board, just something that will allow you to cut the strips. Start by cutting at one end diagonally from the edge to the first cut. Then cut from the next bottom slit to the next top slit diagonally. Continue in this manner using the picture above as a guide; cut where the dotted lines are.

 

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Next you will flip the shirt over to the other side and cut straight lines from one slit to the next.

 

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This is what your t-shirt yarn will look like. Depending on what you are making you might want to leave it in this state but I am not going to leave it like this. Holding one end of the yarn, pull a section taught and allow it to curl in on itself. Move down to another section and pull it taught again. Keep going until you reach the end. You can actually go over it again to make sure it is even, I did.

 

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This is what the finished product will look like. See how it is thinner and there actually looks like there is more there because with it stretched out it is lengthened a little.

I’m not sure quite yet what I am going to make so I will cut up quite a few more t-shirts to make sure I have enough. I unfortunately don’t have a lot of color variety. A good way to get some variety is to hit up some thrift stores or garage sales and get some of those bright t-shirts with ugly designs printed on them that nobody wants. You don’t need the design, just the colors…oh the possibilities!

Finding patterns

As any crocheter knows, one can’t have too much yarn, too many hooks, or too many patterns. Books are great to find patterns and I have found many beautiful patterns in them, unfortunately what tends to happen is you buy a book for around $25 and only find one or two patterns inside that you like or will actually use. I have found a few books that I adore cover to cover, but they are few and far between. Thus the beauty of the internet; it is the biggest data base in the world after all. There are several sources that can be utilized on the world-wide web to find patterns for free or to pay the creator directly (and I like the idea that my money is going to the person that created the pattern and not their publisher).

Ravelry.com is my main source for patterns. It is basically the mecca of all knit, crochet, and now loom patterns. Most bloggers post their patterns on Ravelry and link to the blog post it originates from, so do yarn companies, professional designers, and there are patterns from books and magazines as well. One of the great things about this site is the way you can search for a pattern: select what your craft is, the size you are looking for, how much you want to pay (or free), what item you want, the size yarn and needle/hook, and much more specific info. Also you can see other member’s completed patterns when they post pictures and most of them will post comments along with the photos as to how well the pattern worked up and if they made any changes. I know there are many other sites out there like crochetme.com and even etsy.com but Ravelry takes the cake in my opinion. I can lose myself for hours. My queue, yes you can create a queue to save the patterns you plan to make, has reached triple digits I think.knitted hood hat