Friday, November 30, 2007

My December Challenge and How You Can Help

I've decided to challenge myself to make twenty five baby blankets for Project Linus. I was going to make it ten but thought "Why Not?" on the larger number. I don't think it's impossible and will work on it as much as possible this month. I still have some family presents to finish but they are almost done.

I have a good start with all the squares in the picture that just need to be joined, some of them are donated by a woman in one of my Yahoo groups. Which brings us to the how you can help part. If you would like to make squares for me I would be happy to join them for Project Linus blankets. They need to be made out of machine washable yarns and be kid friendly colors. Other than that anything goes, I can find a way to work with anything thats sent. If your interested send me your email address through the comment link. Everything is moderated so I won't publish anything with an email address or other personal info. I will be the only one to see it.

I also have quite a bit of baby yarn and Red Heart Baby Clouds yarn that I can use to make baby blankets. Since the challenge for one of my Yahoo groups Angels Touch Crochet is baby blankets for the month of December it fits right in. So I need to get to work, I'm sort of stranded today because my cars in the shop so it's going to be a great day for crocheting!!

I also need to get my "new" sewing machine fixed again. (sigh) a few pieced blankets would be nice, too.

The pattern for my granny squares can be found here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Recycling Old Sweaters for Yarn

In the picture above is what remains of two sweaters I've been unraveling (aka frogging) for yarn. The hat is one I made out of the yarn from the dark sweater. It's hard to see the colors but that sweater had large blocks of 4 different colors, using three of these help together I made the hat on a knitting loom.
I am a devotee of recycling and thrift shops and am always looking to save money. It takes some time to unravel a sweater but it takes time to earn the money for yarn too. Where I live we have a thrift shop where you can buy a brown shopping bag full for $3. I can fit 6 or more sweaters in the bag and I get a lot of yarn from these sweaters.
This link will take you to a site that explains how to do it better than I could. Read it before you go out to buy because not all sweaters are suitable. Then go looking, you can find some awesome yarns if you keep an eye out for the right sweaters!!

Just Rambling 11/29/07

I've been away for work the last three days. I almost finished a hat and scarf set for my son-in-law. Other than that I didn't get a whole lot done. I actually read a book and I feel so guilty for not working on my charity projects. LOL. I did get enough never ending blanket squares done in pastel to start putting them together. I just haven't decided what color to join them with.

I stopped at a thrift store on my way home from work today and bought two small shopping bags full of yarn. One bag was all greens so I'm starting to plan a blanket with them. I can put that on the long list of planned projects. I also have a box of squares that someone sent me to put together. I really need to get work on joining squares for blankets I'm starting to collect quite a few! I guess that will be my next goal!!

Speaking of goals, I belong to a Yahoo group called Bevs-Charity-Challange and what we do is set a goal for the year and then encourage and support one another as we try to reach those goals. I set my goal at 400 for the year and I am now at 385!! Almost there!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ready to go!!

These hats and booties are heading for an NICU in Kansas. The hats are loomed and all the booties are variations of the same bootie pattern. There are many NICUs that can use our hand made items. You can call your local hospital to see what they need or check with Care Wear Volunteers for a hospital near you to donate to.

The pattern for the hats can be found on Bev's Country Cottage , I used the rolled brim pattern and a premee loom, and one variation of the bootie pattern can be found here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Quilting Again!!

After seven years of not having a sewing machine I finally bought another one. It's pre-70's and only cost me $25 but it works like a dream! I used to do a lot of quilting. Mainly baby quilts that I would sell in the local craft shop. Now I'm going to put my Talents (as small as they are) to work making even more things for Project Linus. As I said before Things 1 and 2 won't let me crochet at home and I can't exactly haul my sewing machine to a clients home (I do in-home care for the elderly and often have down time where I can crochet) so I'll be sewing at home and crocheting at work.
I got this fabric in a bag of scraps I got through our county's freecycle. Although I have a few boxes of saved fabric from before I thought I'd start with this. I really thought the stars would be good for the kids. I'm going to use a "pattern" I used years ago. I used to do a lot of paper foundation piecing and this one was a great way to use up scraps. I don't know if you can see in the picture but I start with 6 1/2" square paper. I cut the main fabric (the stars) into four sided figures. I place them in a diamond on the squares and then sew other fabrics on until I fill up the square. I call it Dancing Diamonds and will post a picture when I'm done.

Just Rambling 11/22/07

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers. Wishing you plenty of turkey and family to fill your day. Remember those less fortunate while you enjoy your meal and start planning the next project!

I've been rather busy making Christmas presents for the family, money is going to be really tight this year and I told them all I was making gifts instead of buying them this year. I also told my sons that their college education is a four year long gift from me. Although they get financial aid it still costs me a lot to get them through. The end is in sight though, the older one's a senior and his brother is a junior.

I wish I could post pictures of the gifts but of course I can't. I'll have to wait till Christmas I guess and then take a pic of them all with their presents. My grandkids are getting cuddle blankets and the rest are all getting wearables and that's all I'm going to say. LOL

Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Stocking Baby Booties Free Crochet Pattern

This is a fairly simple pattern that can be used as a baby bootie or a Christmas ornament. In the picture, the one on the left has the cuff turned down. This pair is heading for an NICU in Kansas but it is 3 1/2" and should fit a newborn. I used an F hook and Lion Brand Microspun yarn which is a very soft sports weight yarn. So most people would probably get this size using a G or H hook, you may have to experiment.
Ch 3 at beginning of each rd counts as 1 dc
Ch 4 and sl st to form loop.
With white
Rd 1 ch 3 and 11 dc in loop. (12 sts)
With red
Rd 2: ch 3 *2 dc in next stitch dc in next repeat from * (18 sts)
Rds 3, 4 and 5: dc in each dc
Heel with white
Row 1: Attatch to any dc and ch 3, dc in all but 3 dc
Row 2 and 3: dc in each dc and end leaving 6 in tail of yarn
Sew back of heel together by using the back loops only
Join Red yarn at back where it was sewn together
Rd 1: ch3 9 dc evenly spaced down side, dc in each dc left open, 9 dc evenly spaced on other side and join
RD 2 and 3: dc in each dc end red yarn
With white
Rd 4 and 5: dc in each dc
If your making booties either ch 80 for tie or you can use ribbon. For ornament when you get to end of rd 5 ch 10 and join for hanging loop.

Just Rambling 11/17/07

A disaster has struck!! I lost my N hook. I thought I had it with me at work yesterday (I do live-in care for the elderly) but couldn't find it so I came home today and have looked everywhere for it. Even crawling around looking under stuff. I am, of course, blaming it on Things 1 and 2, but they're sitting here looking at me innocently and wondering why I'm acting so strangely.

Now that I have the packages to Pine Ridge sent off, it's time to concentrate on Christmas presents and Project Linus again. I worked on a red, white and blue never ending blanket yesterday and since I managed to collect some more pastels, I think I should be ready to finish the pastel one you can see in the picture.

I also worked on some Christmas booties for a NICU in a hospital in Kansas. One of the yahoo groups I belong to, All Crafts 4 Charity is doing this. I promised 6 hat and bootie sets. I already had the hats done and I thought I only needed 4 sets of booties but when I got home I could only find one other set. I can't even blame this one on the cats since they're not allowed in the craft room.

I went to Leftovers, I think I mentioned it before, and was able to buy a bag of pink and purple yarns. they had no wrappers so I have to figure out the content but I'm hoping to make a nice little girl blanket with it.

That's about it right now. I'll be posting a pattern for a Christmas Stocking Newborn Bootie sometime today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pine Ridge Reservation

Pine Ridge Reservation, in South Dakota, is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. It's needs are many. I just sent a box with sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves and more(including two teddy bears) to the Cangleska women's shelter. I also sent the results of my brown yarn challenge, the lapghan and slippers to another organization on the reservation. They are in need of warm clothing and space heaters right now. Many on the reservation live in homes with no or insufficient heat and it gets very cold in South Dakota.
They have many needs, right now they are taking cash donations for Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals and asking for gifts for the children (hence the teddy bears) for Christmas.
They even collect Labels and Boxtops for Education for the schools if you can collect some of those and send them.
There is too much for me to talk about here so if you would like to visit the website and see where you can help out click here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Your favorite free patterns?

I am setting up another blog just for lists of pattern links. I want this list to consist of favorite patterns. Although there isn't much there yet, they are all someone's favorite pattern. So send me your favorites, doesn't matter what they're for or if they're knit, crochet, loomed or sewn or whatever. What does matter is if they can be used for charity crafting and they're free. Just use the comment button either here or at the other site to tell me about your favorite patterns.

Favorite Patterns

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Saga of the Brown Yarn Part 2

WOW!! I did it, I used all that yarn and it only took a little over a week!!

The final total is:
1 lapghan done with double strand of yarn for added warmth
4 pairs Manly Man Slippers done with 3 strands for warmth
4 7" squares
15 squares started

The lapghan and slippers are going to the Pine Ridge reservation, the squares are going to a joiner for The Ships Project and the unfinished ones will go into my waiting for yarn pile and will be finished as soon as I get more brown yarn and I'm sure that will be soon.

The pattern for my granny squares and also the squares I used for the lapghan can be found here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just Rambling 11/07/07

I did it!! I actually managed to go to WalMart and walk out without any yarn!! Then, I went to our local quilt shop and bought a sewing machine (used of course). Now I am not only going to have to resist the yarn but the fabric, too!!

I'm about halfway through all that brown yarn. I am so sick of looking at browns and tans I can't see straight. But I promised myself I wouldn't work on anything else until I'm finished with it. It got so bad yesterday I couldn't go on. I actually (gasp) watched TV. Today I've thought of a million things to do except work with the brown yarn. I have finished 4 pairs of Manly Man Slippers and am about halfway through a double strand lapghan. I'm kinda, sorta following my never-ending blanket non-pattern but I'm not continuing on to another blanket. Instead I'm using the smaller leftovers of yarn to make squares for point of contact afghans for The Ships Project.

Just a note, the main charity I do work for is Project Linus who provide security blankets to seriously ill and traumatized children. I also collect squares, either crocheted or knitted (and now that I have a sewing machine, quilt blocks) to put together for these kids. If you'd like to help leave a comment with your email address and I will contact you. I do moderate all comments and anything with personal info will not be published on the blog.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Manly Man Slippers Free Crochet Pattern

In my effort to use up all that brown yarn I decided to try to make some really warm slippers for the elders at Pine Ridge. This pattern uses three strands of worsted weight yarn and is very thick and warm. The pairs I made fit my volunteer model easily and he wears a size ten. I have a similar pattern for women here.

You will need:
N Hook
3 skeins worsted weight yarn in different colors I used 2 strand of brown or tan and a verigated strand in mine.

Toe and foot
With all three strands of yarn held together chain 4 and join
Rd 1 Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc) 7 dc in ring and join for 8 dc
Rd 2 ch 3, 2 dc in each stitch for 16 dc
Rd 3 ch 3, dc in each stitch
Repeat rd 3 -5 times (you could add or subtract a row here if you need to change the size)
Rd 1 Ch3, dc in 13 stitches leaving 3 stitches open
Rd 2 Ch 3 and turn, dc in each stitch
Rd 3 repeat rd 2
Turning the slipper inside out use a slip stitch to join the back of the heel. Slip stitch back up to top.
Rd 1 Ch 3 work 7 dc evenly along one side, dc in each of 3 stitches left open when making heel, 6 dc evenly spaced along other side and join (18 stitches) (make sure your working on right side, I seem to have the tendancy to start working on the wrong side)
Rd 2 Ch 3 and dc in each stitch
You can repeat rd 2 again for a longer cuff

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Saga of the Brown Yarn Part 1

I like color, lots and lots of color. So how did I end up with so much brown and tan yarn? I keep getting more and it keeps adding up. So this week I've challanged myself to use it all up. I've already made a couple pairs of slippers with it. I'm going to post the pattern I used tomorrow, it's late and I just got home from work. I was going to call them Tootsie Warmers but since they're all in browns and man size I figured the men would be more willing to wear them if I called them something else. Anyway the plan is to use the larger skiens to make men's slippers. Then the medium size ones to make a lapghan or two. These would be for the Pine ridge Reservation. Then I would use up the rest making squares to send to someone that will be joining them together for The Ships Project. That's the plan but plans were made to be changed, so we'll see what happens.