Building Blocks Afghan #2

Building Blocks Afghan #2 photo

Block #2 of Building Blocks Afghan

Block #2 Close-up photo

Block #2 Close-up

Block #2 of the Building Blocks Afghan focused on reading a simple knitting pattern chart.

(Please understand that I take photos of my blocks immediately after I finish knitting them.  Therefore they have not been blocked yet, and are still a bit rough. After I  block them they will look much nicer and neater.)

The pattern makes what I think look like interlinking hearts. This block’s pattern alone would be great for a wedding afghan, anniversary gift, or even a baby blanket. I think if I made one of  those afghans, I would not make individual blocks, but rather, an overall pattern repeating the block pattern  for the entire afghan. But, back to Block #2.

The instructions for this block explain very clearly how to read a charted knitting pattern, something I didn’t learn to do until I had been knitting for well over twenty years. Had I begun my knitting adventures with this  afghan I would have had that skill in my back pocket for the rest of my knitting years. As an experienced knitter, the pattern-reading lesson was a great review. As in the first block, this new skill is clearly explained in the author’s video Charts.

On to Block #3…

Advertisements

Building Blocks Afghan #1

Building Block #1 photo

Block #1 of the Building Block afghan

I  just finished knitting the first block in my new afghan, Building Blocks, by Michelle Hunter of Knit Purl Hunter . Although designed for beginners, this twelve block afghan is full of great patterns and technique “refreshers” for  those of us who have been knitting for a while. The pattern booklet is available through Ravelry  and contains links to Knit Purl Hunter’s very informative videos for each step along the way.

I highly recommend this pattern for a beginning knitter who wants to learn new skills, or for seasoned knitters who want a review.

Creativity and Cooking

Apple turnover photo

My first attempt at an apple turnover

Okay, I’m the first to admit it. I am not a cook. Sure I can throw together a few things and make a decent dinner, but do I enjoy it? Is it a creative outlet for me? Well…no. I’ve always felt that if I am going to spend a great deal of time making something, I want it to last a while. Food? Around my house I’m lucky if dinner lasts half an hour, cookies or other desserts? Five minutes, tops.

Once in a while, I find a recipe that inspires me to actually cook it, instead of just throwing a few ingredients together at the last-minute (read…anything that takes more than half an hour to prepare). And now, I’ve found a whole website that teaches me how to cook, and even has videos showing how food should look while it is cooking!

Today I made Apple Turnovers. And when I say I made them, I mean from scratch! No store-bought pie crust or canned  apple pie filling for me. No sir! Thanks to Chef John, I made homemade butter crust pie dough and pie filling with real apples. It took me about 3 hours to get everything together, but the turnovers are cooling on the rack as I’m writing this, and they smell fabulous. I may not be able to wait for dessert tonight to taste one.

Thank you Chef John  and Foodwishes.com! Now I actually know when the butter is browned enough, or the dough is spongy enough, or the timing is right. If you haven’t already visited Foodwishes.com, be sure and do so. Each recipe is fully videotaped, and shows clear, step-by-step instructions and includes ingredient lists. Chef John is educational and entertaining, and I have learned a great deal from his website and YouTube channel:

http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/

http://youtu.be/II2gnuhe0NY

If you like to cook, or like me, are trying to learn to like to cook, Chef John is a good bet!

Stump Socks

Stump sock photo

This is NOT a hat!

This is a photo of a stump stock I just finished to donate to the military hospital for our veterans who are returning home as amputees. The knitting guild I belong to has chosen this as one of our charitable knitting projects. I’ve decided that between every project I knit for myself or my friends and family, I am going to knit at least one stump sock for the veterans. Here the website for the knitted stump sock, also known as a residual limb cover, pattern:

http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/stumpcovers.html

I’m sure any military hospital would be happy to receive any that you make. Just be sure to use 100 percent acrylic yarn so they can be easily laundered.

Double-Knit Scarf

Yellow double-knit scarf photo

The yellow side of my double-knit scarf.

Blue double-knit scarf photo

The navy blue side of my double-knit scarf.

This is my very first attempt at double-knitting. I began my adventure by watching four very good video tutorials by LoTekMa on YouTube. (http://youtu.be/Wy3pNhvSKp8) The tutorials gave me the confidence to begin my project and covered casting on, color changes, and binding off. I used the two-handed method for holding my yarn with one color in my left hand for knitting, and the other color in my right hand for purling. I quickly discovered that my tension for knits and purls were not very even, but with practice, I think I can improve that technique. I also had some problems at the edges with my color changes (all my own fault, those mistakes were gone by the time I finished–I guess practice makes perfect). Since this was my first double-knit project I was willing to forego perfection in pursuit of learning a new technique. I also decided to use Fibonacci numbers to help me get a pleasing stripe pattern.

When I finished the scarf I wasn’t really pleased with some of the mistakes I made at the color changes, so I decided to finish off the scarf with a single row of single crochet all the way around. I decided to work that border in navy blue. That finishing touch made the scarf look complete .

All in all, I’m pleased with the results of my very first try at double knitting.

Engagement Origami

I folded these cute little origami money hearts and inserted them into an engagement card for a very special couple yesterday.

Origami money hearts photo

Origami Money Hearts

Many thanks to justinsweek on YouTube for his great origami demo. I was able to make the hearts simply by following his video. If you’d like to try to make one, here’s the link to his video:  http://youtu.be/RptkpejCvyQ

The engagement party hostess did a great job decorating. I thought these party favors were really cute! Each one was filled with candy for folks to take home with them after the party.

Party favor photo

“Cake”Slice Party Favors

image