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Quick and Easy Snake Scarf

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JennyKnits Snake Scarf

Love, love, love working on scarf projects.  First off, they typically knit up fairly fast and gives me that thrill of finishing a project.  I’ll often have at least one scarf project going on the side at all times.  When I’m working on a project that will take a while to complete, I’ll work in a scarf project for a detraction and to get a small accomplishment on my way to completing the long project.

I found this yarn on sale and wanted to give it a try.  I always buy 2 skeins of any yarn I just happen to run across, unless I have a certain project already in mind.  I only used 1 skein on this project because I wanted a shorter scarf that I could tuck into a jacket and not wrap around and around my neck. So I had this beautiful variegated yarn and needed a project that would showcase the color changes in an interesting way.

The yarn is Paton’s SWS Soy yarn.  It had about 110 yards per skein.  I don’t see this yarn listed on the Paton’s website any longer, but it can still be found on Ebay.

The pattern is on Ravelry and called Kureopatora’s Snake and it’s FREE.  The yarn is soft and has a bit of a halo, meaning it has bit of a “fuzz” around the thread  itself.  I really loved the way it turned out.  I actually used this scarf this past winter when visiting North Carolina.  Very comfortable and warm.

 

 

Snake Scarf

What kind of projects do you work on while working on bigger projects?  Do you like having that sense of accomplishment that completing smaller projects give?

 
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Rock painting

And now for something totally different!

I’ve never really been very good at drawing or painting, but we decided one day while visiting my parents in North Carolina to paint some rocks.  We had gone tubing down one of the rivers near my parents house, and we picked up some smooth river rocks.  Now what do you do with a  back pack full of rocks?  Bust out the paints!

We sat around the picnic table with all the kids painted our rocks and transformed them into beautiful creations.

We had the book “The Art of Painting Animals on Rocks” as our guide and we painted penguins, foxes, mice and a squirrels.

I painted a squirrel and a mouse.  It was a lot of fun and we so enjoyed each others company and laughed as we saw our paintings come to life.

These kind of paintings would look great sitting on your porch, or placed around steps or in the garden.

My mom still has the rocks sitting on her porch and every time I go home for a visit I see these rocks and remember the fun we had that summer.

 
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Beautiful Scarf named SoHo

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I found some great sock yarn, but I just didn’t want to make socks.  I just can never seem to make 2 socks. So instead, I found a great pattern called SoHo.  It has an easy to remember pattern and you switch between 2 colors every other row.  I had one skein of purple and 1 skein of green/black Zauberball that changes color throughout.

I just love this scarf.  It is lightweight and the color changes are amazing.  This scarf can be worn with the “point” in the front or the back and the side wings are long enough to wrap several times around your neck and be tied.

I loved it so much I made another one, or it’s almost made.  Still on my needles, but nearly finished.  It’s a ball of brown variegated yarn and another ball that goes from blues/teals/greens.  Just think the color changes fit together so well.   This may find it’s way as a Christmas gift this year for somebody special.

 

 
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Can you capture the sun or moon? Yes!

Decided I’d try my hand at a different craft, so I put down my knitting needles and started collecting the mats to make this fun project.  I’m going to give these away for Christmas gifts this year.

I’ve seen these jars advertised for $35 at places like ThinkGeek and I wanted one just cause they look so cool.  What would be better is making my own and not spending more than $10 for each jar!

I looked up a couple of tutorials and found this one to be the best.  Took me a couple of days to pull together the bits and pieces.

  1. Jars
  2. Solar Cells
  3. Frost Spray Paint
  4. Glue
  5. Color Cellophane

Jars – I looked at several local stores for small jars with a rubber seal and a clear lid.  Yeah, thought that would be easy, but couldn’t find a thing.  So I found that the Ikea jars were perfect and we have an Ikea in town, so I took a trip to the mall!  Found them for $2.99 each.  Ikea also has several sizes of these jars that all have the same size lid, so if you wanted taller jars, you have options.

Solar Cells – I found great solar cells at Target.  You can buy them individually in the garden section and they are $3 each.  Easily unscrew the top solar cell from the base and it fits PERFECTLY into the Ikea jar lid.  Target sells a $2 yard torch as well, and I bought one just for fun.  It’s smaller and won’t fit snug into the jar, but could still be used and glued into the lid.

Frost Glass Spray Paint – found a can at local craft store.  It was a small can for $9 so I bought it and a few days later when I was at the same store just a different location I saw a much bigger can for $5.  Dang it!

I took the jars apart for the most part, meaning I removed the lids.  The tutorials call for removing the metal hardware from the jars before spray painting, but I didn’t have the muscle to remove the hardware completely.  So I got the lids detached and headed outside for the painting.

Turning each jar upside down and laying on small wooden skewers I gave each jar several light coats waiting about 5 minutes between coats.  The paint dried quickly and painting 5 jars took about 20 minutes total time. If you look closely, you’ll notice the hardware on the bottom of the jar has a nice frost tint to it, and the hardware on the lid is shiny.  Now if I hadn’t pointed it out, would you have noticed?  I didn’t think so, so I sprayed the metal along with the jar!  Frosting the jars does diffuse the light and makes the jars glow.

 

Glue – I had my trusty tube of E600 so I used that.  Any glue that works on glass will be fine.  I put a few drops around the lid and allowed the cells to dry for 24 hours.

I set the jars outside later in the afternoon when the sun was full.  Before it got dark I brought the jars inside and flipped the ON switch on the solar cells and each one lit up and stayed lit for several hours.  Over the next few days I’ve experimented to see how much sun versus how long they stay lit at night and I’ve found that, of course, the longer the jars are in direct sun light, the longer they stay lit at night.

The tutorial suggests leaving the jar in a window that catches the light, but I found it wasn’t getting enough light and would only stay on for less then an hour at night.

To get the color change to yellow or blue, I headed back to the craft store and bought several colors of cellophane. The cellophane was in the basket section and used to make gift baskets and cost $2.99 per pack.

I cut about a 2×2 inch square from the cellophane and folded it several times and using clear packing take, I tapped the cellophane over the blub in the solar cell.  Worked like a charm and gives the light a very colorful glow.

So I’m anxious for our gift exchange and pulling these beauties out fully lit up and glowing for the new owner!

 
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Chameleon Hat

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Chameleon Cap

Love, Love, Love this hat.  I’ve knit it in navy blue, gray and bright green.   I think green is my favorite.

What I love most about this cap is that it is reversible and the inside looks just like the outside, so when you fold up the flap for the brim it ends up looking just like the rest of cap.

I found the pattern in Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Knitting.  I’ve put a link to Amazon down below.

It’s been a wonderful reference book and I would recommend it for your knitting library.  The first half of the book is full of tips and tricks and is a great resource for beginners to advanced knitters.

There is also a really nice selection of over 160 stitches and stitch patterns.  I’ve used this in many projects from making my own designs to yarn bombing ideas.

The last half of the book contains patterns and the Chameleon Hat is one of the best.  It has instructions for making the hat in the round or flat.  I prefer the “in-the-round” version because there won’t be a seam showing.  So if you get the chance, get this book and try this pattern.

What books do you have in your library?  Do you collect reference books for knitting?  What projects have you made from your books?  Leave your comments below.

 
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Green Hoodie

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I found some yarn at a local craft store that was so cheap, I had to buy every skein they had!  Regularly $4.99 a ball was now just $.97 each.  So what do you do make when you have 11 balls of bright green yarn nd 2 balls of dark purple yarn?

A beautiful hoodie of course!  I’m a sucker for hoodies and love making them.

The yarn is Debbie Stoller’s Alpaca Love, which was great to work with.  I love the Bamboo Ewe yarn she makes and was anxious to try the Alpaca.  It’s a blend of wool and alpaca and super warm. The yarn knit up great and felt a little warmer and slightly thicker then the Bamboo yarn.

The pattern was fun to work and had techniques I had not tried before.  The sides of the piece have deep “slits” on each hip that allows for some breathing room.  I love this.  The neckline was also a fun challenge to create midway up the front panel.

Did I mention I live in Florida and will probably NEVER wear this here?  LOL. I will have this packed and ready for when I visit family in North Carolina for the holidays.

Have you attempted knitting a sweater yet?  If so, share your project, I’d love to see your creation.  If you’ve always wanted to knit a sweater, what things hold you back?  You can do it!  Start looking through pattern books and magazines and pick a simple design and plunge in.  You’ll be so happy when you finish and can grab that sweater on a cold morning!

 
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Beautiful Denim Sweater

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Can’t wait to wear this knitted Denim Sweater this fall!  I have had this project on my To-Do list for a long time.  Finally found the right jackets one day when I dropped into the Goodwill.  Couldn’t pass up 2 denim jackets for $4 each!  Find yourself either a jean jacket or a denim vest and you’re ready to rock it.

I keep both a file folder on my computer and a physical file folder where I keep patterns I might someday want to make, and I quickly found my pattern and got busy.

Found my sharp seam ripper and I gently started taking the sleeves off the jacket.  I made a few mistakes a long the way and I had a small rip when my ripper went wild, but I doubt anybody but me could see it now.

One jacket has a darker wash to it and the other a more stone wash coloring.  So I bought brown yarn for the dark wash, and a denim mix color for the lighter jacket.

When I started the first sleeve I began it like most sleeves with a knit 1, purl 1 rib at the cuff.  Before I got too far, I got to thinking about the denim sleeve and thought, what the heck, why not use the cuff from the jacket as the cuff of the knitted sleeve.  So I got the seam ripper out again and removed the denim cuffs.  I started the knitted sleeve over without the ribbing and just worked the increases into the stockinette as the pattern recommended.  The Sleeves take no time to knit up and within a few days I had both sleeves for the first jacket ready to go.

I don’t have a sewing machine, and once these sleeves were finished I sure wish I had one.  Having a sewing machine would have made this next part a breeze!  But instead, I got out my needle and thread and did my best to hand sew the sleeves and cuffs.

I think the finished project looks great and while the jacket itself is slightly snug, the sleeves fit great.

I’ve got the sleeves just about finished for the 2nd jacket and once I get it complete, I’ll post it here.  This jacket fits me better, and I’m really looking forward to some cooler weather, especially as I sit here in Florida in the middle of August!

If you’d like to give this project a try, here is the Free Pattern.  It’s an easy and fun beginner project, and you’ll soon have a unique, one-of-a-kind knitted Denim Sweater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Furbaby!

kitty, knitting, yarn

What’s a knitting blog without a kitty cat?  I mean seriously, blogs, knitting and the internet are all about the kitties….right?

Meet Kiera, our new furbaby.  What a great personality this little one has. She came to us from KarmaCoons cattery in Chuluota, FL.

We are just getting to know her and learn her funny ways.  We just love the way she interacts with us.  As a Maine Coon, she communicates with us with meows and trills and we are learning her language.  And wow, this kitty is a talker!kitty, knitting, yarn

Oh, and she loves yarn.  I had no sooner pulled out my knitting and she was investigating everything in my knitting bag, pulling out yarn and batting the yarn ends on the sweater I’m working on.  She was giving me more help than I knew I needed!

 
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Christmas Knitting – What are you making?

Christmas Knitting - mitten ornament

Even though we are in the thick of summer and just breathing can make us break into a sweat, now is the time to start planning your Christmas knitting!  Oh yes, it’s time!

I typically start my Christmas knitting in September and so in July and August I plan my projects and make sure I have the yarn in my stash ready for September.

Make your Gift List

I keep a little note on my computer of what projects I’ve made each year and who received them.  One year my family received hats and matching mittens, another year was knitted Christmas ornaments, and last year was cute little Christmas Gnomes.

Give Yourself Extra Time to plan and knit

If you are like me, you need to figure out who you’re going to knit for and what you want to create.  I always want to make something for everybody but I have to remind myself that each project will take TIME and I need to allow myself more time than I think I need to complete each project.

Last Christmas, I decided to make my mom and sisters a Christmas Gnome.  I made my own Gnome a couple years back and decided to pull out the pattern and make several more.

I gave myself plenty of time, but you know, I was still working on seaming these little guys right up to the day we left for our Christmas vacation.

These were so fun to make!  I just love their beards and how real the beards look.  Funny story, when I gave one of my sisters her gnome, she says….why does he have such a hairy chest?  HAHA!

The year before, I just wanted some easy knitting and gave each family member a knitted Christmas ornament.

My plan for this year is to make Christmas Stockings.  I’m not sure if I can get 4 stockings made, but I’m going to give it a shot.  Got the socks done in record time and ready for Christmas!

Christmas Stockings

What projects do you want to work on for your Christmas knitting?  What have you given in the past and what were the reactions?

 

 
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M1 – what the heck is that?


Today I’m going to show you how to increase stitches in your knitting using 2 methods.  The first is called an M1 which stands for MAKE ONE. This increase is nearly invisible and is the increase I use most often in my knitting.

Also in this video I’m going to show you how to add stitches to the beginning of a row.  Most of the time increases happen within your knitting, but sometimes a pattern will call for additional stitches to be added at the beginning of a row.  Simply cast on additional stitches using a 2 needle cast-on.

In future videos I’ll go over two more increases, the Yarn Over and the Kfb (knitting into the front and back of the same stitch).

Leave your comments and let me know what kinds of videos you’d like to see.

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