Monday, August 29, 2011

No Knitting Needles

So, what if you want to fly somewhere and you aren't allowed to carry knitting needles onto the plane? Or you have to visit a courtroom for some reason - same thing - nothing pointy. Whatever will you do with your empty fingers?

Be smart and carry a couple of skeins of yarn in your tote bag. Finger knitting to the rescue!!

When I was young, I learned how to finger knit using a figure 8 wrap around the four fingers of my left hand. After two rounds, you lift the lower loop over the upper loop and over the fingertip. The strip of knitting flows down the back side of your hand.

Today when I was looking up information on finger knitting, I found at least two other ways to wrap the yarn. One is an e-wrap. You wind the yarn clockwise around each finger making sure the yarn going between the fingers is in back of the hand.

A third way is to do the figure 8 wrap for the first round. Then carry the yarn in front of the fingers above the lower loop. Without twisting it around the finger again, simply lift the lower loop over the yarn. The lifted loop will stretch the yarn to the sides of your fingers. Keep the yarn slack so you don't cut off circulation.

So what do you do with the lengths of loosely woven yarn? If you make one, you get a scarf, headband or belt. If you make several, you can twist them together, braid them or sew strips into almost any size. You can coil them into circles or ovals to make rugs, placemats, and hot pot mats. Your imagination is the limit.

If these instructions aren't as clear as you need, or if you want a visual example, put "finger knitting" into a search engine and you'll find a number of excellent helps.

Evergreen Indiana has two books on finger knitting by Katsuno Suzuki. You'll have to put them on hold, but they should arrive inside of a week or two.

Happy crafting,


More Mosaic Crochet

Some time back, I wrote a post about mosaic crochet.  The informatio I had available to me came mostly from Lily Chin's book Mosaic Magic: Afghans Made Easy.  Lily Chin's book had a fairly simple technique to make a rick textured pattern by attaching long stitches to lower rows.  They could simply drop down for a more suare pattern or angle to the sides for another look.

After doing a little more research, I found another type of mosaic crochet.  It probably takes more concentration and a lot of counting.  You work with two colors of yarn at once.  When the pattern calls for one of the colors, that is the one on the hook.  You hold the unused yarn along the upper edge of the row below and work over it so it does not show.

When the pattern calls for the color to change, you switch the yarn you are hooking and lay the previous color on the row below, trading off as the pattern requires.  The patterns are beautiful and can be quite intricate.

To look at this type of crochet, look for patterns more like the ones Annie's Attic puts out.  There is a distinct difference.  To each her own.

Happy crafting,


Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Comment on Plarn

Sometime back, I was cutting plastic bags into loops and making things with the resulting yarn.  I crocheted a small rug, loom knit a purse, and made a few other things.  The biggest project I worked on and the one I still am adding to, is a plarn braid.  I'm braiding three strands together, making three braided strands, and braiding those three braids. 

I had thought to construct a clothes line out of plastic bags.  It makes sense.  Easy to keep clean, strong enough to carry a good load, and weatherproof.  I have about 30 yards of triple braid finished.  I had a plan to go up to 50 yards.

We had a garage sale and I decided to use my clothes line for hanging up shirts.  I stretched the braid between three of the posts on our porch and hung up the shirts.  For the next day and a half, almost every time I went out, I needed to tighten that line.  It stretched more than I would have thought.

So here's my conclusion.  I may not need to do any more braiding.  It will get to fifty feet without any more help from me.  Also, plarn may not be the best material for a clothes line after all.  I will figure out something useful to do with it, and eventually it will hit its maximum stretch.  Then we'll see how good a clothes line it makes.

Happy crafting.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

8th Annual 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge

I looked for the official rules for the "60 Scarves in 60 Days" 2011 challenge, but could not find it on the web.  Someone somewhere knows the official timing of this event, but I can only go by what has gone before.

Usually, the 60 days in question cover September and October.  You can knit or crochet using any pattern or color you wish.  The point of this great heap of scarves is to donate it to a local charity - or two or three.  Maybe you do work so beautiful that the local hospital can sell them from its gift shop. Or a homeless shelter/community clothing closet/soup kitchen/mission would certainly be happy to hand them out. If your local schools have children who haven't enough warm clothes for winter, perhaps someone there could be found to distribute the scarves judiciously. 

If you want to foot the bill for postage, has a list of possible choices in various parts of the world.  If you can scroll down to "Scarves" past all the other places that need knitted and crocheted items, you're a stronger person than I am.  I might be tempted to sew a few of those scarves together and send out a blanket to Pine Ridge Reservation or Afghans for Afghans.

If you enjoy working with the color red, you might want to contribute to the Red Scarf Project which gives scarves to foster children going to college.  Once they are eighteen and leave their foster home, they no longer have an official family.  The Red Scarf Project reminds them that someone cares about them and their future. Here's a good link for that project:

There are only 8 days left to scrape up some soft yarn and a couple of fast patterns.  Big hooks, everyone.  On your mark, get set......

Happy crafting,


A Couple of My Projects

A spool knit baby blanket for my nephew's second baby

A crocheted cell phone for a toddler

I thought I would post a couple of my own projects for chuckles or inspiration. 

If the ladies in our local knit or crochet groups would like to have pictures of their work posted on the blog, please feel free to submit a picture or we can take photos on Knit Night or Crochet Clatch night.

Happy crafting,


Monday, August 22, 2011

Pictures This Thursday

To our ladies who won ribbons at the County Fair:

Please bring your prize winners with you to the Thursday evening Knit Night meeting.  We want to put your picture in the Browse. 



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Granny Stripes

Lately, I have noticed that granny squares are changing their shape.  I'm finding granny circles, granny triangles, granny circles inside a square, and straight-line grannies.  I found two examples of elongated granny triangles made into shawls.

The premise is pretty much the same - use your stash yarn, if you wish, or organize your colors into a set pattern. 

You can find patterns for these designs at the usual places ( Ravelry, crochetpatterncentral, etc.), but I've also found that, if I put "granny stripes" into Google images, I can click on a picture I like and find the pattern on someone's blog.  Many times, the patterns at or are linked to those same blogs.

What I like about granny patterns is that you can use any sized hook and any kind of yarn you want.  Once you establish a set pattern, the work falls off of the hook without hardly a thought.  You can do them anywhere, anytime.

Maybe one of these new styles will catch your fancy.  I have a couple of projects in mind now that the end of summer is in sight.

Happy crafting,


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wrap for Upcoming Fall Weather

Becky found an interesting knitted wrap that is made using two different sized needles at once.  It looks like short rows are included every few rows to give a scalloped look to the lower edge.

If you'd like to try it or even just to see what happens when using different needles, check out the pattern at

Happy crafting,