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Knitty Gritty

19 Jul

Knit Stitch

Look at my little piece of work!

I created this slightly uneven cluster of knots and loops with my own two hands (and two needles)! Yes, I’m actually knitting!! This pic was my 2nd attempt. ūüôā

Having crocheted for so many years now, I felt a bit uncoordinated as I tried to keep the yarn on my right as I knitted and learned to grasp the yarn to yarn-over the needle (unlike crocheting where the yarn is on my left and there is no yarning-over). Equally foreign was depending on needles, rather than my fingers, to hold my work. Initially, I would relate it to the feeling of writing with your left when you’re right-handed….yet, not quite that awkward. Some concentration and a bit of patience are required at the beginning and despite the learning curve of how to hold two needles and work the yarn without losing the constant tension or dropping a stitch, I am enjoying this newfound challenge.¬† I read instructional blogs, watched YouTube videos and then cast-on, knit or purled a few rows, and pull it all out only to begin again. Sure, some would find this frustrating but I am happier with my progress each time I start over, proving practice is productive! (say that 5 times fast! haha!)

Although I just started I can already see that, like crocheting, knitting is relaxing because there’s a repetitive rhythm to it once you get going. I also love the portability factor of knitting and crocheting which makes these hobbies a great fit for keeping fidgety hands busy while riding the train, carpooling, or watching TV. In general, if there is a lot of sitting still and down time, chances are it’s a fine place to knit!

Recently at my son’s baseball game I saw two moms huddled together under the shade of a tree, knitting! One was giving instructions and the other did the work. It was fun listening to the student’s excitement and hear her satisfaction when she saw what she’d created! The teacher sounded equally thrilled to share her talent with her friend!

Despite what you may think, talent is not a requirement to knit (or crochet for that matter), you simply need to have an interest in learning. It helps to remember that just because something looks complicated, doesn’t mean it is. As with most skills, all it takes is an interest in learning, following instructions, and some practice – and before you know it, you’ve learned a new hobby! So be encouraged my friends and try something new!

Reasons you should knit:

  1. Knitting is a stress reliever
  2. It’s a healthy pastime
  3. Productive use of downtime
  4. It’s a cheap hobby (2 needles, yarn & free patterns online OR create your own!)
  5. Yarncrafted gifts are personal and unique (not to mention, affordable!)

Cast On

By the way, since starting this blog I’ve found it doesn’t hurt to mention to your friends/family that you’re interested in learning a new skill, such as knitting, because you may just find your next teacher is your affable aunt, your fabulous friend, or your nice neighbor who have been knitting for years and never talked about it! So don’t keep it a secret! You may be fortunate enough to get free, expert, hands-on training and can forego the online videos all together!

It’s time to get down to the Knitty Gritty and make something!

And Just for Fun…click here for Random Facts about Knitting!

Here are some helpful links to get you started:

 

Whimsical Button Heart on Burlap

11 Feb

As I mentioned in my last post, I LOVE HEARTS, and this Whimsical Heart, filled with an array of buttons, is my latest project! Perfect for decorating this Valentine’s Day! A pretty cute gift idea too, don’t you think?!

This quick creation has personality and is popping with color and texture! I used buttons of all shapes and sizes, layered and hot glued onto a stretched burlap canvas. Everything was conveniently purchased on Amazon.com and delivered to my doorstep! What’s easier than that!?

These little eye-pleasers are great for Valentines Day (or any day really) and the canvas can be hung on a wall or propped on a shelf or mantle! Not a burlap fan??…you could use¬† white canvas, or hot glue the buttons to a patterned fabric and frame it!

I think buttons are fun and are great for decorating up just about any space, and for any occasion! Click here for more Button Projects on Pinterest! The ideas are endless!

Have you made a project using buttons? I would LOVE to see your creations!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone and THANKS for stopping by!

 

UPDATE March 2016:

Just a quick update to show you that this Button project is open to other ideas too! Here are a couple of my other projects; one is on stretched burlap canvas, the other on stretched white canvas.

Stay crafty my friends!

Braided Blizzard Crowl

26 Jan

I am happy to report that not only did I survive the Blizzard of 2016 here in the DC/Metro area of Maryland, but I have also completed some fun projects while at home with nowhere to go!

IMG_8490

One of my favorite projects was this Double Layered Braided Crowl! I found the free pattern here at the My Hobby Is Crochet blog after seeing a Tweet from @petalstopicots!

Thanks to this fun project, I even learned how to do some new stitches like the HDC in 3rd Loop, Front and Back Bar, simply by watching this video tutorial! So, while this crowl scarf was my first crochet project in at least 15 years, it was pretty much like riding a bike! My hands and fingers seemed to fall into place with the yarn and hook like I had never stopped crocheting, and the scarf was completed in what felt like no time at all. This project absolutely inspired me to pick up an old passion and play with yarn again!

What project have you picked up recently that rekindled your love for the craft?

Reversible Kitchen Aid Mixer Cover

19 Jan

mixercover2

A while back ago, I morphed together some ideas from various blogs and made a Mixer Cover for my Kitchen Aid using double faced quilted fabric and bias tape. I figured that since it was going to be living on my counter, I should decorate it with a pretty cover and keep the dust off of it between uses!

I’m a huge fan of the double face quilted fabric, and here’s why…The pattern choices are plentiful, the coordinating colors are beautiful, and the quilting adds character and saves a lot of time – so fun projects like this can be whipped up quickly! Another perk…it’s reversible!

My mother-in-law loved this one so much, I gave it to her! Time to create another one for my kitchen! My toaster might just need a cover too! ūüôā

What have YOU made with double faced quilted fabric? I’d love to see the projects you’re Sew Giddy about!

Creativity Rules!

11 Dec

My son and his girlfriend have an¬†agreement that¬†gift giving means including a personal, handmade gift. I absolutely LOVE¬†this idea! In my humble opinion, there is no better way to say, “you are worthy of my time” then by spending your precious¬†time making a gift¬†for that person!

Recently¬†my son¬†asked me to teach him how to use the sewing machine to sew a simple but comfy blanket. Last year he made a photo album with personal, hand written notes of shared memories! My son’s¬†girlfriend is a master brownie baker, and¬†also has made him a no-sew blanket and even painted a pretty¬†sunset on canvass for him! The idea here is that more of us should do¬†something creative when giving a gift,¬†for¬†that personal touch! It’s not about whether you think you have talent, it’s about finding creativity within yourself, and sharing it with others!

I know, most of us do¬†not have a whole heck of a lot of free time these days but that makes a handmade gift all the more special!¬†I have found that when I make time to read blogs about sewing, cooking or even cute and simple crafts, I am¬†motivated and inspired to create something and then….give it away! I sometimes¬†make multiples and keep one for myself too!

Look, I certainly would not classify myself as the¬†naturally creative type, (nope, that would be my sister actually!) but I am the curious type and I enjoy the challenge of learning new techniques and creating new things with my own two hands. I love¬†reading about other people’s creative concoctions and I always insert my spin on an¬†idea, whether I actually make something from it or not! I mean, what better way to kick-start a creative idea then by blending a bit¬†of other people’s¬†creativity¬†with your own – and then trying to physically build the idea into a thing!…like a blanket, a craft of some sort, or even a new dinner recipe!

Whatever you do, don’t let the project intimidate you! After all, YOU picked the project so you’re the boss! You call the shots and you get to decide if want to follow the instructions or if you want to meander off into unknown territory and try something new! You don’t even have to gift your creations if you don’t want to. ūüôā Keep it and display it, and be proud of your efforts!

Bottom line; there are techniques for sewing, photography, and cooking but there are NO RULES!

BE CREATIVE and release your inner talent! You just might be pleasantly surprised¬†at what you are capable of making and better yet, you may make someone’s day brighter by sharing your creation!

Here’s to being Sew Giddy about sharing our creativity with the ones we¬†love!!

 

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