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Darn Good Yarn–A Journey in Yarn Subscriptions

On Monday, I got my first box from Darn Good Yarn. This is a new thing for me–I mean getting yarn that is a total mystery. I like yarn shopping. No…I LOVE yarn shopping. I love the smell, the look, and the feel of yarn. If I could taste yarn, I probably would. So, to receive a box of yarn that I know nothing about caused me a little bit of anxiety. My motivation for doing such a crazy thing was because I might want to start a yarn of the month program later on when I am independently wealthy and have my own yarn line.

So here are my “unboxing” photos. Maybe next month, I will make a video instead. I have to say that, at this point in my blogging career, I am not being sponsored by this company. (Who knows? Maybe in the future I will be!)

My delightful new yarn came in a pretty purple box…

This is what the inside of the box looked like when I opened it…  the yarn smelled absolutely magnificent.  Exotic and rich.  I can’t adequately describe it!  I hope all of their yarn smells this nice!

My mystery yarn was a very pretty variegated yarn in bright rainbow colors. The name of it is Watercolors.  It is hand-spun and hand-dyed.  It is a worsted weight silk yarn made from bamboo.  

I also got a crochet hook and a pair of knitting needles made from wood with a purple coating on the tips.

I also got a free gift…more silk yarn.  It is red and gray.  This yarn is also hand-spun and hand-dyed.

Since Monday, I have started a cowl.  The project was in the book that is not pictured.  The project booklet  contains a knit and a crochet pattern.  There is enough yarn to complete either project.   SO of course, I opted for the knit project

So if I learned nothing else from this experiment, I learned that I want to learn to spin my own yarn. I had toyed with the idea, but after knitting with this yarn I am hooked. I think I will definitely start spinning my own yarn in the near future.

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Fabulous Febuary Finishes

This month has been busy! I started this blog, for one. Then I had the granny challenge–48 complete in all.

Next, were the red hats for newborns. I personally completed 6. I have 20 in total, and still am gathering up the stragglers. I plan to get them in the mail next week.

Finally, I completed a three month project. It is a wedding gift for someone…so I can’t give too many details on that one!

So many, many more projects to come. I got my video camera set up, and I am almost ready to start making videos. Stay tuned!

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When life gives you a pointy hat….

Last time I left you with the dilemma of the pointy hat. What to do with a pointy hat?

My clever husband had the answer. Put a pom-pom on the top.

So, here’s my photo tutorial on making a pom-poms.

So, I found pom-pom makers in some of mom’s stuff. I think the brand is Clover, but I am not sure because it was a set that I found in a storage bowl.

So start wrapping yarn….

And wrapping…until it is full all the way around.

Then cut the yarn all the way around.

Cut a piece of yarn and wrap it around the middle. Then tie 2 or 3 tight knots to secure all of the yarn.

Viola! One cute little pom-pom. To attach, take a crochet hook and draw the tails from the pom-poms to the inside of the hat. Then tie the tails, cut the extra, and tuck in the ends.

As always, I try to provide an Amazon affiliate link to the products that I use. These pom-pom makers are very similar to the ones in the storage bowl. By purchasing items from the link, you are helping to fund the upkeep for this blog.

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Baby Heart–a heart hat for babies

As a follow-up to my last post, I have been feverishly working on the new pattern that I promised. DO I have any volunteers to be test knitters to see if my instructions make sense? Please contact me if you are interested. I will e-mail the PDF to you.

I started with my favorite size 7 (US) bamboo knitting needles. I used Red Heart “With Love” Metallic yarn in red because we are still in February and I am still making red hats for newborns. One skein will make 3-4 hats, just depending on your tension.

Next, I casted on 52 stitches. (For a bigger hat, cast on in multiples of 13).

Rows 1-8: Knit 1, Purl 1 across (This will make a nice rib stitch). Row 9: Knit across. Row 10: Purl across. Row 11: Knit across. Row 12: Purl across.


This is what the first 12 rows should look like….

Making the Heart

Row 13: knit 25, make a bobble, knit 26. There are a million different ways to make a bobble. I have provided a YouTube video to help you figure out which you like best. (NOTE: This is not my video…)


From here forward, all even rows are purled across.

Row 15: k24, MB, k, MB, k25 (52 stitches) 

Row 17: k23, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k24 (52 stitches) 

Row 19: k22, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k23 (52 stitches) 

Row 21: k21, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k22 (52 stitches) 

Row 23: k20, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k, MB, k21 (52 stitches)

Row 25: k21, MB, k, MB, k3, MB, k, MB, k22 (52 stitches)

Row 27 and 29: k52 (52 stitches)


This is rows 1-30…

Shaping the top

Row 31: k11, k2tog, repeat across (48 stitches)

Row 33: k10, k2tog, repeat across (44 stitches) 

Row 35: k9, k2tog, repeat across (40 stitches) 

Row 37: k8, k2tog, repeat across (36 stitches) 

Row 39: k7, k2tog, repeat across (32 stitches) 

Row 41: k6, k2tog, repeat across (28 stitches) 

Row 43: k5, k2tog, repeat across (24 stitches) 

Row 45: k4, k2tog, repeat across (20 stitches) 

Row 47: k3, k2tog, repeat across (16 stitches) 

Row 49: k2, k2tog, repeat across (12 stitches) 

Now that the knitting is done, break yarn and leave a tail approx. 10 inches long.  Using blunt ended yarn needle, draw the yarn back through the remaining four stitches on the needle. Pull tight.  Turn the piece so that right sides are together and use the remaining yarn to sew the seam.  Tie off the yarn, cut, and tuck-in.
Finished.  I think it is too pointy at the top.  Please leave me a comment with your thoughts. 

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Technical difficulty….

This week is going to be a bit short. I am having to do everything with my phone. We are moving into our new living room, so my house and technology has been turned upside-down.

I am hoping to start posting videos on YouTube soon. So be on the lookout for that!

I have continued to work on itsy bitsy red hats for newborns. I have 4 in total now.

I am also working on a new knit pattern for a hat pattern that I will post here when I finish it.

Here is a preview:

I don’t have an Amazon affiliate link this time….

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Happy Heart Day!

Awhile back, I posted on Facebook about one of Mom’s favorite projects.

For those of you who haven’t read it:

It’s heart month. In loving memory, of my mama (who concidently had heart disease) I am undertaking one of her favorite projects–making red hats for newborns. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness for congenital heart defects. I know not everyone can crochet or knit, but you can help in other ways like donating yarn…I will be more than happy to share the free patterns I have found. Who’s with me?!?

I thought today was an appropriate day to share my progress, or lack there of…it takes me awhile to knit those little hats. I am only on the second one. I may have to switch to crochet because it goes faster, but I love making those darling little hats with the heart on them. I just can’t do that with crochet. Or can I?

As an aside, I had to deliver my granny squares to Melissa, my new crafting buddy. I was surprised when she gave me 13 red hats for my cause. She has made one each day since I made that post. I was so excited!

If you would like to participate in making hats for newborns, please visit:

https://www.heart.org/en/get-involved/little-hats-big-hearts

Red Heart Yarn has free patterns that can be used for making these hats at the following sites:

http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/crochet-newborn-hats

http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/babys-first-hat

This project is not limited to just February. Red hats are collected throughout the year!

Red Heart With Love Yarn, Holly Berry

RED HEART Soft Yarn, Really Red

The two links for RED yarn above are to my Amazon affiliate site.

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A job well done…

So to follow up on my last post about the grannies… I finished 2 days early!  It is always nice to finish a project, so I can hurry on the next. 

I have so many projects that I want to do! I have to keep a balance of charity-to-paid projects, so that I can finance my charity projects. 

My next paid project is a commissioned afghan that is wedding gift.  I will post pictures when I finish that…

I have to get serious for a sec.  Mom used to get frustrated when people just wanted her to give away her stuff. She didn’t mind giving donations, but when someone just wanted her to give them, say an afghan, that didn’t sit too well. I am starting to understand why. 

My last project with the granny squares didn’t cost me any thing. I used odd and ends of what I had left over.  The thing that is precious is the time that is involved.  I can make a granny square is 20-30 minutes,  if I am not multitasking.  So, you figure 2-3 squares an hour.  At 48 blocks, that took somewhere between 16-24 hours.  That’s almost as many hours as a part-time job takes in a week–and that was a simple project.

Please don’t misunderstand.  The main benefit of doing crocheting and knitting is because I  enjoy it.  I also like helping others.  So it is a win-win. But, sometimes, someone will scoff at the price of a handmade treasure.  Wow. Really? Even if I charged $5 per hour for the project I just completed that would be $80-120.  Crafters really do not get paid for their time.

If someone ever makes you something, consider the time they put into it.  Odds are, that they must really love you if they would spend the time to make you something.

I love Red Heart yarn! It was Mom’s favorite too. Click on my Amazon Affiliate Link to see all the wonderful variegated varieties that are hard to get in stores.