Friday, July 12, 2019

Creative Ewe Addresses Creativity

I have been crafting for almost a half century now. (Man - that makes me sound so old!!) During that time - I've gone through the same things discussed in this video. From childhood creativity to having to think inside the box. Once I got there, I didn't didn't break free until this past year. I've started changing things, looking at things differently and just having fun.

I started with an online tutorial with no written pattern to follow. By not having the directions in front of me, I started to see things and how they were constructed. It's been a true eye-opener and the only thing I would change now would to have been able to have jumped outside the box sooner.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Disappointed with Ravelry

On June 23rd, I logged in to my Ravelry account and as usual, looked at the Ravelry main page to see what amazing patterns or designers were being featured. Instead, there was a posting saying that they would no longer allow support of our President and his administration. Those that supported them would be banned. Instead of a NO POLITICS, there was a NO TRUMP policy. Why? Because according to those that run Ravelry, those that support President Trump and his administration were white supremacists! Then, they stressed the importance of inclusiveness and how everyone should be included. My chin hit the floor.

If I voted for Trump or if I'm a Conservative is no one's business but mine. I have never posted anything political, racist or anything offensive about anyone. I went to Ravelry to gather with like minded fiber artists for education and encouragement - and that sharing ran both ways. I have been on the receiving end of help as well as giving it. Unfortunately, that feeling has gone by the wayside. I am no longer comfortable in what is called an inclusive environment when it is obviously not.

People became labeled as white supremacists because they didn't believe what those that ran Ravelry does. Tell me how this is any different than the bully on the playground telling you that you had to do whatever he said or think the way he thought, or you'd pay one way or another? I remember being a child that befriended someone that my friends didn't like. They told me I had to stop being friends with that girl or they'd stop being my friend. I thought it was absurd and didn't follow their rules. I was mocked, kicked, punched, shoved, etc. every time they went past me to let me know that I was going against their "rules". Yes, we made up and became friends again, even though I never unfriended the girl they wanted me to, but there was a level of distrust from then on. I always wondered what I'd do to make them angry again. Tell me how Ravelry's new policy is any different?

When we allow labels to be put on groups, then we notice a difference and hatred gets a foothold. Don't believe it? Watch a group of young children play together. They don't notice race, religion, IQ scores, or anything like that, until it is pointed out to them. They do see differences, but accepted it like hair and eye color. Discrimination and hatred is learned as soon as it is labeled.

Tell me, why can't we all just be a group of people who love the Fiber Arts? Why does politics, religion and sex have to be allowed when it should be excluded - they are hot topics and have no real place in a group that many of us use to escape from our daily lives. It WAS a safe haven for me. Obviously, it is no longer.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Test Knitting Dishcloth

Ravelry... a great place for inspiration and a lovely community of people who love the same hobbies you do. I spend way too much time there but it's much cheaper than therapy! LOL

While cruising the boards, I came across a nice quick test knit opportunity. It was for a beginner dish cloth. With my friend, Peggy, always wanting me to make her dish cloths, I could "kill two birds with one stone" by testing the pattern and at the same time, making Peggy another cloth.

The Checkered Blocks Dishcloth is designed by Angela Childress and is a teaching pattern for beginners. It is very detailed, included a practice swatch and even has a place for your notes. This is definitely perfect for teaching someone how to knit a useful item. This free pattern will be released on 7/1/2019.

I made my sample using Lily Sugar 'n Cream Scents in the Chamomile colorway. The pattern was not only easy, but made a nice size cloth of about 8" x 8". This is the first time I've used Lily Sugar 'n Cream Scents and honestly, for the price and yardage difference, it's not worth it. There was a slight scent but nothing really noticeable. When I picked up the yarn, I was getting different colors and never even noticed this was a "Scents" and not straight up Sugar 'n Cream.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Braids Crochet Scarf Cowl

My Christmas list has grown significantly over the past couple of years, and I have been searching for something useful and "different" to make for those on my list. I found a very interesting cowl on Ravelry, and knew I had to make it! It looked quite complicated although it was listed as being super easy to make. On Ravelry, the pattern is available for purchase as well as a link to a video. I viewed the video to see if it was something that I'd like to try and found that I really didn't need to purchase the pattern, as the designer, Karen Valladares, gives all the counts as well as very detailed instructions in her video!

After viewing the video, I just had to dig out a Lion Brand Mandala cake and start hooking right away. I chose the Unicorn colorway and found in no time, I had the beginnings of a most odd looking cowl developing. My husband took one look at it and asked exactly what was I making and who on earth was I making this odd thing for?!!

I have to admit, it does look quite strange in the stitching process, but the beauty is in the piecing together. I continued until I reached about 35 inches, then finished it off. I did have someone in mind when I picked the colorway, but after finishing the length, I'm not sure if I'll still give it to her or someone else. The person I made it for loves the color pink, but there's not a lot of pink on it.
After braiding the loops together, the cowl had quite a different look. Hubby certainly liked it better than the wild loop look, but he dislikes the colorway. Personally, I think it's pretty, and even though it's called Unicorn, it makes me think more of Hello Kitty. That's why I thought about someone else - because she's a Hello Kitty nut and has things in her wardrobe that will match the color scheme of this cowl.  Oh the decisions!

The cowl is finished except for weaving in the 2 ends and adding buttons. I'm going to have to go to Michael's, JoAnn's and/or Walmart to see if I can find buttons the correct size and color to match. I hope the recipient will love it as much as I loved making it. It should be warm and easy to put on and take off without messing up one's hair. I love cowls, but the one thing I dislike is how easy it is to muss your hair when taking it off.

If you'd like to make your own Braids Crochet Scarf Cowl, I've included the video below. If you prefer to have a written pattern, you can find Karen's instructions for sale here.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Newborn Hats and a Great Weekend

The weekend was quite fun for us. My son gave hubby a HD video drone that he played with all weekend. Unfortunately, the drone will only fly for 10 minutes on a charge. It frustrates hubby that he can't get much flying in between charges, but he's still having a blast with it.

Our daughter lives on the other coast, so she mailed him a package that won't arrive until today, but also bought him a fun mug that says "I don't snore... I dream I'm a motorcycle". That girl nailed it! LOL

Since our son had to work over the weekend, he couldn't spend time with Dad, but it gave us an excuse to get out and go to a local Beer Festival. We had VIP tickets and got a glass and early entrance. Of course, hubby had a good time!

I've been going through more boxes. I've got a goal of one a day, but have been doing more. It's amazing the things I'm coming across, like baby clothes, stuffed animals, etc. and of course - yarn. I've pulled out the baby clothes to wash and will donate those that aren't stained and are in good condition. I had put them away in the attic in case we had another child, but that didn't happen. Unfortunately, they moved with us and ended up in storage. Well, time to go!

I so enjoy making baby and child size items, but with no grandchildren, I was starting to feel a bit sad that I didn't have anyone to make anything for. Well, the light bulb came on one day when I thought, "Why do I need grandchildren? So many children need warm clothes and I have all this yarn..." Talk about a DUH! moment. I don't know why I didn't think about that before. Shoot - I used to make things for charity years ago. I guess it didn't hit me then, since the kids were still young.

I made a few newborn size hats for charity using Bev's Easy Round Baby Hat pattern. The pattern is written for both preemie as well as newborn sizes. The charities I'm considering donating to both need newborn and larger, so I made 5 to add to the charity box.

I used 2 partial skeins and wasn't sure how many I would be able to get out of them. The striped had finished off the skeins. I ended up playing yarn chicken with the pink and had to change the bottom from the FPDC/BPDC ribbing to a single crochet round in blue, then a slip stitch round in pink. I had 19" of pink left.

That's two more (partial) skeins out of the stash!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Shell Beanie Makes Three

Honestly, I'm surprised how quickly these crocheted hats are working up. I guess I've been knitting for so long, that I forgot why I used to crochet instead of knit. Knitting takes a much longer amount of time to get the size hat and you won't get the distinctive look of a crocheted item. Crocheting, on the other hand, can replicate the look of knitting, however, it will be heavier.

This hat was made using Breann's Shell Beanie pattern from last year's CAL. I used a 5.5 mm (I) hook and Caron's Simply Soft in Sky Blue and obtained a gauge of 6.75 stitches and 4 rows to 2". I did find that I had a tendency to make the shell area a bit tighter, until it clicked in my brain that I'm working in the round and not flat. Once I figured that out, I was ok. I have no idea what the difference was - but hey - whatever works! My hat fits an adult woman (adult medium).

This makes hat #3 to donate.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Strawberry Patch Hat

Yesterday I told you about Breann's Crochet Along for A Cause 2019. I also mentioned that she had great patterns and that she also had tutorials. I went back to last year's crochet along and looked through her patterns and to see what she had done in the past to decide if I wanted to join in. The first pattern posted for last year is called Strawberry Patch Hat. It is an adorable hat!

Well, I had to try it out to see how the pattern was done. I was really pleased! The pattern was quick and easy as well as well written.

I used Caron Simply Soft in Sky Blue and a 5.5mm (I) hook.  My gauge was 6.75" and 4 rows to 2". The finished hat fits and adult woman (adult medium).