New challenge

It’s time to admit what I’ve already known for a long time – I’m a lousy blogger. I often have a great idea of what I want to write, and just can’t find the time to sit down and do it. :/ My apologies. I’d like to say “I’ll write more from now on” but considering how it’s been, that probably won’t happen. But I keep trying.

Well, it’s almost September, and fall is right behind the corner. It’s my favourite season for many reasons, and I always feel energized in the fall. I’m looking forward to that; the summer has been long and hot, and I’m feeling weary.

I’m taking on a new challenge from the beginning of September. I’ve been reading more and more about the garment industry, and how they operate. I’ve known some of the stuff for a long time – most cheap t-shirts are products of slave labour. They’re also made to break down soon so that we’d have to buy more sooner rather than later. All very clever for the bottom line, and completely unethical.

Here’s an article I saw recently, and it was the last straw. I need to get out of this hamster wheel of buying cheap stuff. So I’m making a one-year-long pledge NOT to buy any clothing for myself or for J, with the exception of undergarments, socks and swimwear if needed. I’ll continue to accept hand-me-downs for J, and I’ll make the rest. It shouldn’t be too hard, I won’t need much new stuff, and he gets lots of hand-me-downs. I know my pair of cheap Old Navy jeans will wear out, then I’ll just learn to make my own or wear skirts. Whatever, I’ll manage.

I’m leaving hubby out of the pledge. He wears dress shirts and pants to work, and those would be a bit much to make… Then again, his stuff doesn’t wear out so quickly either. I might make him some t-shirts when his old ones are done.

So that’s what I’m planning to do, and I’d like to say I’m going to write about it weekly but how realistic is that? Oh, well, I’ll update every once in a while.

Heart Attack, part 2

I’ve completely forgotten to tell you the story behind the little hearts from the previous post! Well, here it is, finally…

My friend V. was getting married in February. She lives in the States, and like me, is part of the most amazing online mama group ever. There are about 50 of us, talking daily, supporting each other through what life may bring. We met online when we were all pregnant, over 3 years ago, and have been through a lot since. And have become friends.

So V. was getting married, and none of us could go to her wedding. We decided to suprise her with hearts instead! Many of us knitted or crocheted colourful hearts of all sizes. Then we packed them up and mailed them to V! Not all the packages made it there before the wedding but she has lots and lots of hearts now… I believe she’s going to sew them into a blanket.

This is just one of those amazing things our group has done.

Heart Attack!

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and while I’ve never been a big fan of the holiday, this year I’ve been doing something… The whole project is a surprise to someone who may or may not be reading my blog so I can’t reveal the details until in a couple of weeks. But I’ve been knitting hearts!

It’s really easy to find crochet heart patterns but I had a hard time finding a nice knitted heart pattern. And then, when I started knitting one night, hubby was using the computer so I couldn’t get on Ravelry… So I made up a pattern, and it turned out nice. I have both garter stitch and stockinette stitch variations. I wanted to share it with you, so here goes:

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Heart Attack Hearts 

Gauge is not important here. I made hearts with worsted and DK yarns, using 5mm needles with worsted (18 sts / 4″) and 4mm needles with DK (24 sts / 4″). With that gauge, the small DK hearts measure 3.5″ across, and the large worsted hearts measure 4.5″ across.

Small garter stitch heart:

CO 25 sts
Row 1 (wrong side) and all odd rows: Knit
Row 2: k1, m1, k 10, sk2togp, k 10, m1, k1
Row 4: like row 2
Row 6: k11, sk2togp, k 11
Row 8: ssk, k 8, sk2togp, k8, k2tog
Row 10:  ssk, k 6, sk2togp, k6, k2tog
Row 12: Bind off while continuing to work the decreases. Ssk, BO 4 leaving the last st on the right needle, work the centre decrease (sk2togp), continue BO until last 2 sts, k2tog, BO to end.

Large garter stitch heart: 

CO 29 sts
Row 1 (wrong side) and all odd rows: Knit
Row 2: k1, m1, k 12, sk2togp, k 12, m1, k1
Rows 4 and 6: like row 2
Row 8: k13, sk2togp, k 13
Row 10: ssk, k 10, sk2togp, k 10, k2tog
Row 12: ssk, k 8, sk2togp, k8, k2tog
Row 14:  ssk, k 6, sk2togp, k6, k2tog

Row 16: Bind off while continuing to work the decreases as in the small heart pattern.

For stockinette stitch hearts, knit as above, replacing all the wrong side rows EXCEPT the first and the last one with the following:

K 3, p until the last 3 sts, k 3.

The first and the last wrong side row are knitted.

I hope this makes sense… If it doesn’t, please let me know. 🙂 And I’ll reveal the actual project in a couple of weeks…

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Knitting needle cases

A few months ago I made myself a knitting needle case. I’ve wanted one for a long time, especially since last year when I lost one of my best circular needles. So I got some nice cotton and made this:

I’m not particularly happy with it – there’s a lot of wasted space on the top left corner, the bottom pocket is too low, and everything falls out when the case is rolled up… (The outside is made of the green, wavy fabric, by the way.)

So then one of my knitting friends was having a birthday. I decided to make her a case and test a new design in the process. Here’s what I did:

And the outside;

OK, this is much better. The lower pocket is deeper, I included a flap that will keep the needles in when the case is rolled up, and the strap on top of the case will hold long needles in place.

And then, a couple of weeks after that, another knitting friend had a birthday. So another case was made… The inside:

And the outside:

I know that this friend doesn’t use long needles very much. So I made the strap on top shorter and included couple of small pockets for stitch markers and things:

And then I thought, these are not that hard to make. Maybe I should make a few more and put them up on Etsy. I mean, who knows… And there’s nothing to lose, really. So I’ve made a couple of more, and I have a few more cut up and waiting to be sewn. (That’s the hard part – I can only sew when J. is asleep, so often that means late nights. And like my sister says, the universal bed time for sewing machines is at 10pm, after that they get too tired to do a good job…)

So here’s what I’ve added into my shop today:

              

And another one (this is what mine looks like on the outside too);

           

What do you think? I have different prints coming as well, as soon as I get them done… 🙂