Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I am going to have to work out a better agreement with my husband about sharing the computer.  Yesterday I didn't get it for a long enough time to post.

I have a love of woven rag rugs for which  I no longer have a source for them.  Our church use to do rags and hire someone to weave them for us.  The weaver person passed on and the elderly women of the church who did the cutting and rolling of the rags, have gone to their reward as well.  Since I don't want to invest in a loam and yet want rag rugs, the desire is forcing me to learn to make my own.  I found that there are many ways to make rugs.  The one I am going to show today is a Toothbrush Rug.  There are many You Tube videos on Toothbrush rugs and how to make the Toothbrush Tool from an old toothbrush that has a hole in the end.  You break off the brush part and file the end smooth and to a blunt point.  The hole on the other end of the brush is where you thread your rags through like thread through a needle.

This is the first rug I had made, using the instructions from an Aunt Philly's.rug pattern.  For this rug I used the method of joining the fabric strips, by slitting both ends and looping through each other.  That left some pokey ends that looks kind of folksy to me.  I like it but don't think that I want all my rugs to be like this.
  On this rug, I did a bit of both, the looping for joining as well as sewing the fabric strips on a 45 degree angle and then snipping off the excess beyond the stitching.  I find that I like this method better, gives a neater appearance.  The color on this is actually pink, don't know why it comes out red. 
 To get these two small rugs, I used a queen sheet set, plus the pillowcases.  Here are  two hints when making these.

 1. be sure to lay the rug on a table or other flat surface when you are making the rug.  The rug will stay flat much better if you do.  I held my first rug on my lap and was seeing that it was beginning to cup instead of laying flat.  Plus, with the table holding the weight of the rug, you aren't fighting the weight of the rug as you make it.

2. When you wash the rug, don't run it through a dryer, but lay the rug flat to dry.  When I first washed my rug, I put it through the dryer and it cupped in the center.  I was told to wash it again and lay it flat to dry and since I have been doing that, I have had no problems with cupping.

I am looking forward to making more of these rugs.  They are fun and easy on the hands.  The stitch is a buttonhole stitch, which is very easy to do.  Try making a rug.  It costs nothing to make.  Just get an old toothbrush and make your tool, or anything flat and pointed with a hole in one end will work as well.  Go to your closet and find some old clothing and you are all set.  Here is a set of instructions to help you get started.  Do a web search and you will find more instructions as well as You Tube videos to help you along.



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another hot and humid day in my neck of the woods.  Spring, summer and fall are my favorite times of the year and I am very unhappy with all the humidity we are getting, which means the air-conditioning must be on and the house closed up with me inside instead of outside. 

Today I thought I would show you my very first pair of socks that I knit using sock yarn.  The boot socks I  knit, were made from knitting worsted weight yarn and large needles.  This pair of socks was made using thin needles and actual sock yarn.  What a difference in knitting between the two.  An online friend decided to knit these socks with me as a knit-a-long in case I got stuck.  I got the pattern and yarn from http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Stroll_Sock_Yarn__D5420133.html   The pattern is called: The Girlfriend Socks.
I was so enthused about these socks and they felt so good on my feet, that I started buying sock books and closeout yarns from KnitPicks.  I also bought a computer sock program where I can put in my own measurements and it will generate a pattern for me, as well as give me options for the cuff designs.  I have an 18 quart tub of sock yarn just waiting for me to dive in and start knitting.  The Stroll  yarn that I am using, washes up nice. The above socks have been washed countless times and they still look good.  They have felted a bit, but that makes them warmer and actually makes the sock fit better.

When doing socks, I am one of those who fall into the second sock syndrome.  When I get done with a sock, I want to wear it, not have to wait another week or two before I can.  In order to not have to wait, I am going to have to learn to knit two at a time on one cable, or, I am going to have to get another set of cable needles and start both at the same time and then switch back and forth on the two socks to keep the work even so that they will be finished at the same time.  I like the one sock on a needle because for me, it is easier to take along with me, where as, knitting two at a time on one needle, means I have to pay attention to switching the balls around so that the yarn won't tangle.   I have only played around with knitting two at a time on one needle, but have never actually done a pair of socks on one needle.

 I like the Magic Loop method of knitting socks, much better than using double pointed needles.  I am forever dropping the double pointed needles out of the work in progress.  With  playing around, I finally figured out how to switch the first stitch to make a tight joining, when doing two on one cable.  More playing will have to wait till cooler weather for the yarn is hard to move through my fingers in this humidity.  For now, I will stick with using the kitchen cotton and making the dishcloths until cooler weather. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Like most parts of the United States, I am living in a section of the country that is affected by the drought.  Since it is hot and humid here, it is difficult for most varieties of yarn to flow smoothly through my hands.  Cotton seems to be the yarn of choice to work with this summer.  A friend gifted to me all her Sugar & Cream kitchen cotton, which I have been turning into kitchen hand towels, dishcloths and hot pads.

My kitchen hand towels were fast becoming rags and seeing the prices the stores were asking for well made ones, was more money than I could spare.  It was much cheaper to knit my own.  Doing a search of the internet brought forth tons of patterns for towels and dishcloths.  They make great pickup work and fast satisfaction of a project well done.

I will show you a few of what I have already produced.   Here are some towels. 

Here is the hot pad that I really like.  It is crocheted on both sides of the starting chain, which makes the hot pad double thickness and only one seam to sew when done.  The pattern was found when doing a search on the internet.  I have no idea as to what website it was where I found this particular pattern. Basically, you choose your yarn and crochet hook size, crochet a chain of the length that you want and then single crochet on both sides of the chain, round and round.  You keep crocheting around until two ends meet.  you are actually making the hot pad diagonal.  You only have the one seam to sew down the center.
Here are my latest dishcloths and some more hot pads.  I won't be putting up any more pictures of these, for I keep using the same patterns over and over, but be assured that I will be making a lot more until all the Sugar & Cream yarn is used up.  About every four years, I take time too knit up a goodly supply of dishcloths.  With daily use, they last about 4-5 years, or longer.  They are so cheap to make and I love watching the stack of completed dishcloths grow.  I also like to feel the completed stack, they are so squishy.
Knitting dishcloths and towels isn't all that I have been doing while away from my blog.  I have also been doing some embroidery work.  Here is a Jack Dempsey, stamped embroidery picture.  I don't know if I will frame it, or put a cloth frame around it and use it for a wall hanging, or if I will use it for a center for a baby quilt.  There are so many options, that I am going to just let it sit for a while before I decide which way I will go with this embroidered piece.  There are no babies in the family and none in the future, so I have plenty of time to decide.
My friend also gave to me some kitchen towels that needed to be embroidered.  I have three cats who share my abode, so these towels strike a cord with me.  Aren't they cute?  I have seen these  stamped towels still available in some needlework catalogs.
This is it for today.  I hope you enjoyed the show.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I am back

It has been some time since I have been on my blog.  It has been a very busy time since I was last here.  I had a sister-in-law pass away, and a brother-in-law had a stroke.  My brother-in-law never married, therefore it required a lot more running on my part.  I am the only one left in the family who could drive.  I couldn't do it all, so called upon my church family to help me out and found many people who were more than willing to do so.  My brother-in-law is now released to do his own driving, so our lives can go back to normal. I can now take a few hours each day to indulge in my passion of creating.

I am looking forward to sharing more of what I am doing in my needlework, both completed projects as well as short term and long term projects I am now working on.  I have found the importance of having kits of projects ready to go for when you run into times when you can only devote 5- 10 minutes a day to stitching.

Even though I have not written on the blog, I have been continually taking pictures of things I want to share.  It is so easy to take pictures now that I have an IPod, which is so handy to have along at all times.  No more running to find the big camera and finding the batteries need to be charged.  

I am sad to say that I didn't get the pictures of all of my yard flowers as they bloomed.  I was so hoping to have them all recorded in pictures.  The white hydrangeas were the ones that I wanted pictures of the most, and I missed them completely.  With the drought we are now having, everything doesn't last long when they bloom, so the window of time to get the pictures is much shorter than it should be.

It is time to go through the house and start de-cluttering and passing things on, for I am entering the winter season of my life and I don't want so much around for my children to go through.  The wonderful world of the Kindle allows me to read to my heart's content, and yet not have books around to dust.  Reading is a passion with me and my house is way to full of books.  It will be  hard for me to do, but I have decided that all my fiction books will go.  Well, not all, for I love the Lewis L'Amour westerns and I worked long and hard to find used copies so that I would have a complete set.  There are a few fiction books which are my favorites and I read them over and over again, but, many of the other fiction books can move on.

Speaking of the Kindle, you can find many free books on the internet to read.  One of my favorite places to go for free books is:  http://www.pixelofink.com/    They put out a new selection of free books each day. 

This is it for today.  Tomorrow I will start with pictures and sharing.  Have yourself a good day today and try to steal a few minutes to create.  You will be much happier if you do.