macgyver

Stocking knitting

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 | At the office, blocking, Design, Holiday, knitting, macgyver, socks | No Comments

While we are on the topic of what I did this Christmas…another good reason to pace myself is actually knitting jobs. They come around every once in awhile, and usually around the holidays.

This year I had a paid knitting job that was interesting and fun. A friend at work wanted a stocking in time for son’s first Christmas. The catch was to try to match it to her and her husbands existing stockings…which were machine knit, flat.

No problem.

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It made good Saturday Morning diner knitting.

I charted out the pattern and adjusted it to knit in the round from the toe up. The only thing that really had me stumped was the cuff, which was ribbed in stockinette. I found out later, thanks to Courtney, that this is something that is achieved in machine knitting with weights. I decided to try and recreate it by slipping stitches in stockinette and blocking it out with straws. It gave it an interesting texture and I liked it more than if I would have stuck with standard 1×1 ribbing.

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Blocking, with straws.

Thanksgivingtimes…

Wow, time sure does fly at the holidays!

Thanksgiving was small this year. Just me and my husband and our kids. I invited my friend Ashley over because her husband was out of town for work and I don’t think people should be alone during the holidays.

Luckily, my husband loves me a lot and knew I was way too busy to get any actual holiday planning done, so he ordered Thanksgiving dinner this year!

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Thumbs up!

Dinner was a success!

After dinner and dessert, Ashley brought out some of her knitting that needed a little TLC. Not too long ago she had a (gasp!)…moth problem, but she also had a shawl that had a burn. Of course, about the time I was going to Google “darning”, the internet took a dump. I had to wing it.

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Trying something without my internet safety net.

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I think I did a pretty good job.

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Darning a Celestarium.

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Trying something new…with a deadline…

Leave it to me to volunteer to take part in something and then rethink my project until it is nothing like anything I’ve ever tried. On the bright side, it means I’m never bored.

Here’s the thing…I was asked if I wanted to take part in an art show. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, because really, when do I ever say no?

Well, I spent weeks thinking and rethinking what I would do for my project. I thought to myself over and over again “Of course, everyone is going to think I should crochet a doll. That’s easy.” It was the first thing to get crossed off the list. I wasn’t even going to keep it as an option…because I am a pain in the ass like that.

Then there were the discussions with my knitting friends. Maybe some intarsia or something? I could easily chart out something cool… Nope.

Luckily, Courtney is someone who is big on ideas. We went back and forth about what would be good. There were a bunch of suggestions she threw out…and I somehow settled on weaving.

I did my research. I wanted to do something sort of mixed up and using different techniques. Really, folks, I am feeling my way through this. It’s not like I own a lap loom…

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No loom? No problem.

It’s a good thing I am all about the process. I started making a loom with some nails and a picture frame. I got 3/4 done when my husband took over so I could keep my thumbs.

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Getting started.

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I use whatever I like as a tool. I like dinner forks.

So far it is looking pretty good and I just got an email today saying when I need to have my piece turned in…and it’s more time than I thought I had. I dunno…I might actually pull this off.

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The last of the Christmas presents…?

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 | blah blah blah, crochet, FO's, Holiday, macgyver, stash busting, yarn | No Comments

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I had more Christmas items to share, but I haven’t heard back to see if everyone got them. I know, for sure, that two of them were opened and the folks that saw them really liked them! As a matter of fact, my cousin saw the one I sent my Goddaughter and she was super jealous!

I am taking a chance that folks WON’T see this particular blog just in case they haven’t opened their presents yet. Yes, I know it’s mid January…

I didn’t have a pattern for these, because really, who needs one? These are so easy, beginner crocheters can do it!

It’s basically a rectangle that will fit around a standard head, plus a little extra for overlap. Buttonholes? No problem! With yarn doubled on a larger hook, double crochet really makes it’s own buttonholes!

Quick and easy!

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Some tools are multi-purpose.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 | blah blah blah, crochet, macgyver, Miscellaneous | No Comments

 

My folks are in town for a few months. They’re what you might call “Snowbirds”.

This means I get to enjoy the awesomeness that is my mom’s cooking, but I don’t have to worry about an air mattress taking up valuable living room space because they are staying at the Holiday Inn. This means I won’t have to wait until March to block my knits! Woohoo!

Not that I could share them with you yet anyway. We’re still in Crafty Christmas mode and with the date of the gift exchange being pushed to February (at Stitches West), I am going to need the floor space at some point.

But I digress…

Now that my parents are here, we get to spend lots of quality time around the dining room table, which is something we don’t usually get to enjoy. Why is this, you ask? Because I am one busy mom! Unfortunately, most days I don’t have a lot of time to cook. I get off work, pick up the kids, take them to their various after school thingies…by the time we get home, it’s nearly bedtime. Everything feels rushed. Now that Grandma and Grandpa are here, we get home cooked meals that are done by the time I get home with the kids. We get to sit around the table and tell stories.

Recently we were having dinner and talking about crafting. While the kids were talking about their Rainbow/Crazy/Whateveryoucallthoserubberband Looms, I made a comment about how they seem to prefer using my crochet hooks over using the hooks that are included in the kits. My mom then mentioned that she she probably still has her crochet hooks somewhere, well, the ones my dad didn’t take. Huh? Why would my dad need crochet hooks?

My dad is a former employee of Michigan Bell/Ameritech/AT&T. Nearly all of his adult life he spent working as a Cable Splicing Technician. He was one of those guys who climbed poles and worked in manholes and made sure you had phone service despite the heavy rain or ice. He would tell us stories about working overtime when there was a bad storm, or about all the weird stuff that he would see when he had to venture into Detroit. He brought home his truck when we lost power at home so we could plug the fridge into the generator (and would become part of a story I consider infamous in our family).

He sat there and told us how he would ask to use my mom’s crochet hooks for work. He said he would use them for pulling wires in tight spaces. Hopefully he wasn’t pulling anything with an electrical current…’cause I suspect that most of the crocheters in my family have a preference for metal hooks. We are also a clumsy lot.

I am guessing he must be the person I get my MacGyvering skills from.

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Tavern knitting

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What do you do if folks suggest you don’t bring your knitting to a party at a bar because it isn’t socially acceptable and (for once) you actually take their advice?

You wing it!

My friend Jessie was having a birthday party at a local tavern and many of the folks in attendance were artists. In typical fashion, there was a lot of napkin doodles. As for me, I’ve never really considered myself someone who could draw well, so I did what I do best…I grabbed my Nintendo DS stylus, borrowed a stylus from a new friend, ripped up a napkin, and started knitting it.

I did rip a hole in it to start, but after a while, I started to get the hang of it.

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