When Yarn Tails Attack

I hate yarn tails so much.  This is not a well kept secret.  Sewing them into my projects after I’m done is the absolute worst.  When I crochet, I like to crochet right over tails so that I don’t have to fiddle with them later.  But when I knit?  Sigh.  Weaving in yarn tails is pretty much the one thing I hate about knitting and I literally put it off until the last possible second.

I know that I should weave them in as I go along.  At the very least, I should sew them in as soon as I’m done knitting my project instead of letting the whole thing sit around, gathering dust with a bunch of tails flapping in the breeze.  That way, I wouldn’t have a bunch of potholders – each of which is made with two strands of yarn held together, meaning twice the number of tails – and dishrags to finish one day before I try to sell them in an art festival.

You’ve probably already guessed that what I just described was not a hypothetical situation.

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As if Speck has any room to mock someone for being lazy.

A few months ago, I had yarn tails in three pairs of potholders and one pair of dishrags to weave in before blocking.  All this on the day before an art festival where I planned to offer all of these for sale.

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Lazy Knitting Confession: Dum Dum Stitch Holder

Sometimes I’m too lazy to bind off before starting another knitting project.  I’ve been known to leave a nearly finished piece on its needles for months when all I need to do is bind off the final row.  If I happen to need those needles to begin a new project, things can get weird.

Oh, I could just bind off that last row.  Or, I could just use an improvised stitch holder.

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Behold: the height of my laziness induced ingenuity!

Yup… I used the stick of a dum dum sucker to hold four stitches instead of binding them off.  I know I should be ashamed, but I’m too impressed with the dum dum thing.

Are you an impressively lazy crafter?  Tell me your best lazy crafting stories in the comments below.  It would make my day.

Oh, Yarn. You Deceptive Devil.

I’m participating in a craft show in a few weeks and I’m doing a lot of crafting in preparation.  One of the things I’m doing is knitting dishrags and potholders to sell.  This requires plenty of cotton yarn.  That’s why I was insanely excited to find these four HUGE cones of Peaches & Creme yarn in the super cheap clearance yarn aisle a few weeks ago.

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Good thing cotton is absorbent, because I drooled a bit.

The only color I truly liked was the yellow, but I didn’t buy this yarn for me.  I bought it so that I could sell the stuff I made with it.  My preferences for yarn color aren’t universal.  Who knows?  Some customers at the craft show might love these colors.

I still thought this yarn was kind of ugly, though.

yarn, peaches & creme, cone, clearance, discount, wildblueyoshi, EXCITEMENT, cotton

The colors are darker and more vibrant in person. My photography skills have not improved since the last time I posted crappy pictures on my blog.

The weird purple and green mix just didn’t “do it” for me.  It looked like a really bland Mardi Gras parade in yarn form.  The color name is Pageantry (#1201).  I figured someone would like it, though, so I started knitting a hair kerchief with it.

I kept on knitting, and lo and behold!  It’s beautiful!  Now I like this yarn.  A lot.

yarn, knitting, crafting, peaches & creme, wildblueyoshi, EXCITEMENT, cotton, hair kerchief

I kinda pulled this pattern out of my butt. I need to post it sometime because it’s pretty nice.

Somehow, the yarn looked awesome once I started knitting with it.  Who’da thunk it!

So, yeah.  This yarn fooled me.  Has this ever happened to you?

Mr. Rogers’ Sweaters: Where Did They Come From?

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you all had a great time yesterday.  Did my fellow crafters make any Christmas gifts?  I made a few things, and hopefully I’ll get around to posting pictures of them and links to their patterns sometime soon.

I mention this because of Mr. Rogers.  Weird segue FTW!  The other day I watched a video, which I embedded below, of his appearance on The Tonight Show in 1983.  Joan Rivers asked him around 2:00 in the video “Why do you always take off your jacket and put on your sweater?”  He said that his mother made those sweaters.  It was so sweet that I almost cried.

For every Christmas, his mother knit twelve sweaters – one of which would apparently go to Mr. Rogers himself.  Those weren’t plain old sweaters, either.  They had cables and zippers and all that jazz.  I don’t remember seeing any that looked overly complicated, but a sweater still takes a lot of work.  Can you imagine the amount of work that went into these Christmas gifts?  It’s incredible for me to think about.

It’s sweet that Mr. Rogers’ mother knit all those sweaters for her loved ones.  In a weird say, knowing how much work must have gone into them makes me respect Fred Rogers even more than I already did.  I think it’s just wonderful that he would honor his mother’s love and hard work by wearing her sweaters on his show.   It’s such a simple yet profound way of thanking her.  Isn’t it great to know that something as iconic as Mr. Rogers’ sweaters were knit with love by his mother?

Stockinette Stitch: Knit or Purl First Row?

This Christmas, I’m knitting Zakka Life’s Knit Octopus Bath Mitt for a few people.  It’s cute, straightforward, practical, and quick, which pretty much makes it the ideal Christmas gift.  It’s like knitting a tiny hat with tentacles and a cutesy face.  It screams “kawaii!” if you ask me.  I like to make them extra quirky by using multicolor yarns instead of solid colors.

I started my second Christmas bath mitt the other night, but I did something different this time.

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Crafting Christmas Gifts? Beware The Injuries!

Repetitive stress injuries are fairly common among knitters and crocheters.  Personally, I hurt my elbow last year from knitting a lot with bad technique (which I have since corrected).  Unfortunately, the tennis elbow came back this year when I started spending hours a day crocheting a blanket (this one).  I’m pretty sure it was tennis elbow, but I was never officially diagnosed.  Probably because I don’t go to the doctor unless I’m dying or need a new contact lens prescription.  Actually, that isn’t a good way to maintain my health.  I drink a lot of green tea, though!  That helps, right?  Right?

Anyway!  Tennis elbow isn’t the only problem affecting crafters.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur from repetitive wrist movements, “especially if the wrist is bent down.”  For those who spend December frantically knitting and crocheting Christmas presents like I do,* Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other repetitive stress disorders are a very real concern.

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Knitting this purse was what kickstarted my struggle with tennis elbow. Well, technically, the problem occurred when I knit it with bad technique. Who knew that bad technique could cause such severe pain? At least my mom loves the purse.

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Katy Bug’s Rad Ribbed Scarf – Free Knitting Pattern!

Christmas is coming and all the sane crafters have already knit, crocheted, sewn, or taxidermied a little somethin somethin for each of their loved ones.  However, those of us who hover near “batshit crazy” in the Great Sanity Scale of Life still have some work left to do.

Last year, during my holiday rush to finish Christmas gifts, I decided to knit a ribbed scarf for my stepmom.  Who doesn’t like a nice ribbed scarf?  Crazy people, that’s who.  Unfortunately, the generic knit 2 purl 2 ribbed scarf pattern I’ve used before can take forever and a day when you knit it on needles that aren’t massive.  To speed up the process, I tweaked the pattern.  My tweaked pattern is below.  Scroll down to get right to the action.

The end result was a warm, sturdy scarf that didn’t take a lifetime to finish.  I liked it so much that I made myself one!  Here’s mine:

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I didn’t take a picture of my stepmom’s scarf before I gave it to her. I’m a dummy.

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