Norma's Needle Adventures

This is a journal of my adventures with knitting, crocheting, needlework and fibers. It may also record bits of information about other aspects of my life.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pet Peeve
I have recently discovered a pet peeve. It is tightly wound balls of yarn. Now mind you, I like the yarn....It's the tightly wound part that is unpleasant, to say the least. In the past week I have discovered numerous of these yarn balls in my stash. True enough, they should have been dealt with before, but alas!!!...They got lost in the shuffle. The poor yarn in some cases has been wound so tightly that it looks like string when an attempt is made to use it. Most of them arrived like that, poor things. These days I am on a rescue mission to revive them. It takes a while, but it is worth it to restore them to a better condition. My solution is to unwind it and set it on the kitchen table to relax for a while. Sometimes it stays there all day or overnight until I decide it looks as if it has regained its elasticity. When I decide to rewind it, I do so very loosely so as not to undo the good that has been done.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Here are the pictures I promised. The squares don't look as unique as I was hoping. Loose ends reamin to be woven in as you can tell. They will wait for another day.
This one is done in scraps of blues and white. My son says it looks like a target.
This one is done in Red Heart Hot Pink andSunshine Print. The scanned picture does not do it justice.

This one is supposed to be Pink, Green and white even though it doesn't look like it. It is a very busy looking and cheerful square.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hooks vs. Needles or Needles vs. Hooks
I have had to make some dificult choices in the past two days....What gets my attention: My needles or my hooks. The answer was...Drumroll..............Hooks. Alas, my most recent Mason Dixon Big Dotty dishcloth is abandoned in its place in the kitchen. It has been banned from its place on the table. In its place is a huge plastic type bowl full of odd pieces of yarn surrounded by more yarn, some patterns, a small open notions bag, scissors and worst of all: the dreaded crochet hooks. The reason is complex, but simple. An online group to which I belong is having a contest to see who can make the most 8 inch squares from now until the end of the month. That is simple enough. The complex part is that I also want to use some of the many bits and pieces of yarn that live here. You know the ones I mean. They are the leftovers from that skein of yarn used to make that beautiful scarf you made you mother. They are the scraps from the afghan you made several years ago. That particular yarn has been discontinued. The list goes on, but you get my point. When I began making the squares I felt overwhelmed. My stash is so big. Where do I begin to choose yarns to use? I had to think about this one for a bit....Aha!!! The light bulb went on in my brain. It is time to use the odd balls that are taking up space in my yarn bins and recycled ice cream containers on one of the desks in this rooom. I pulled out a fairly large bowl but discovered it is not nearly large enough to hold the amount of yarn it needs to hold. I then chose the largest bowl in the house to become the Bowl of Honor. I also made the rule that squares for this project are supposed to made from the contents of this bowl as much as possible. I am allowed to supplement my yarn supply with co-ordinating colors if neccesary. In a mad frenzy I attacked the ice cream containers first. Their contents were raided. They were placed in this bowl. This morning I started tackling the Bowl of Honor. As it stands now the contents of the bowl have yielded ten 8 inch squares of assorted colors. The bowl is still full. The pattern being used is the one I posted a couple of days ago. You might not recognize the squares as having come from this pattern when you see them. Color changes are made based on the amount of the scrap color being used. The corners are changed depending on my choice at the moment. I have looked at and considered using other patterns, but this one is so much fun. :) Pictures of my efforts will be taken another day. Now it's time to say "Good night to all my friends and family."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I forgot to say a few things about the pattern I posted yesterday.
  1. You can change the way it looks by making the corners : (2 DC, ch 1, 2 DC ) instead of (2 DC, c2, 2 DC ).
  2. It also works well as a one color square.
  3. Another option is to make a round or two using a variegated or ombre yarn.
  4. Another idea is to make a round of SCs with your choice of corners. ( see #1 above. )

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Crocheted Square
Here is a crocheted square I designed a while back. I am showing it and the pattern as an 8 inch square, but it can be made smaller or larger by the additon or subtraction of rows; by changing hook size and by changing yarn weight or type.
Materials: Small amounts of 2 colors of yarn Size I hook Size: Approx. 8 inches With Color A, form a loop around fingers to form a ring, draw a loop through to form a slip st. Rnd 1: Ch3 ( counts as first DC now and throughout ), 11 DC in ring, join with a sl. st. at top of Ch 3. ( There should be a total of 12 Dc's )
Rnd 2: Ch 3, DC in same st. as joining. 2 Dc in each st.around. Join with sl. top of beginning Ch3. ( 24 DC ) Rnd 3: Ch 3 in same st as joining, 2 DC in next st. Then ( 1 DC in next st; 2 DC in next st ) for 11 times. Join with a sl st at top of Ch 3. ( 36 DC ) Rnd 4: Ch 3 in same st as joining, DC in next st., 2 DC in next st, * ( DC in
next 2 sts, 2 DC in next st. ) Repeat from * around. Join with a sl st at top of Ch 3. Fasten off Color B ( 48 DC) Rnd 5: Attach Color B in any st. Ch 4 ( counts as first TR ) and 2 Tr in same st, then DC in next st, HDC in next 9 sts, DC in next st. *Then 3 TR in next st ( to form corner ); DC in next st, HDC in next 9 sts, DC in next st. * Repeat between *s 2 more times ( for a total of 3 times ). Join with a sl st to top of ch 3 and fasten off. Rnd 6: Attach Color A to center TR in any corner ( group of 3 TR stitches ) with sl st and ch 3 (counts as a DC ), then ( 1 DC, ch 2, 2 DC ) in same st.; DC in next 13 sts. Then *( 2 DC , ch 2, 2 DC ) in next st; DC in next 13 sts.* Repeat between *s 2 more times ( for a total of 3 times ) Join with a sl st to top of ch 3. Rnd 7: Slip stitch to center of the ch space and ch 3, then : ( DC, ch 2, 2 DC ) in same space. DC in next 13 sts. Then * ( 2 DC, ch 2, 2DC ) in corner space; DC in next 16 sts. * Repeat between *s 2 more times. ( for a total of 3 times). Join with a slip stitch at top of ch 3.
Rnd 8: Slip stitch to the center of the ch space and ch3, then: ( DC, ch 2, 2 DC) in same space. DC in next 19 sts. Then * ( 2 DC, ch 2, 2 DC ) in corner space; DC in next 19 sts. * Repeat between *s 2 more times ( for a total of 3 times ). Join with a slip st. at top of ch 3. Fasten off and weave in loose ends.
This basic pattern is very flexible. You can change colors any time you want for different effects. You can crochet in either the front or back loops for another effect. Please enjoy!!!
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Please be advised that this pattern is copyrighted to Norma R. WAMPLER and 2006-All Rights Reserved. You may [PRINT OUT A COPY] for personal and charitable use only.
Please be advised that this pattern is copyrighted to
NORMA R WAMPLER and 2006-All Rights Reserved].
You may [PRINT OUT A COPY] for personal and charitable
use only.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dish & Wash Cloths
Lately I have been on a dish and wash cloth make craze. At first I blamed it ( tongue in cheek ) on the Mason Dixon Knitting book. I have come to realize that there is more to it than that. There are lots more reasons than that ranging from them being a quick portable project to the simple fact that I enjoy making them. They can be knitted, crochete or cro-hooked....It just depends on my mood. I have been thinking about the ways they are used. In my house they are dish cloths, wash cloths, coasters, placemats and when worn out become rags. Last weekend at Stitch and Chat one of the ladies shared that her family uses them as cloth napkins. This sounds like a good idea. I wonder what other uses can be found for them.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Yesterday was fun. I wanted to write about it last evening was just too tired. Once a month our library has a Stitch n Chat in the afternoon, led by one of the library staff. It is a very informal time for people who do any kind of stitching to get together and just stitch and chat. It has been months since I have gone because life just got in the way. I went yesterday despite having lots of work to so around the house. DH, of course, encouraged me to go. His comments were that I needed to do something for myself; I needed to get be with people who share my interest and that sort of thing. He made sense...Not only that, but it has been a long time since I have attended any of the stitching meetings around the area. It was about time I came out of my hole and just go. So I did. Once I got there I wondered why I stopped going in the first place. There are large tables arranged in a rectangle or square, depending on how many are in the room. The idea is that they are arranged in a circle. There are plenty of chairs. The most formal aspect of the meeting is the presence of a sign in sheet and paper nam tags. Most of us no longer use the name tags since we know each other. The large tables are an invitation to spread out supplies, current projects and of course Show and Tell items. The atmsphere in the room is casual and friendly. I arrived a few minutes early and found others already stitching and chatting in the wonderfull informal fashion in which they do. Greetings were exchanged as I entered and unpacked my bags. As I looked around the room , there were some familiar faces and some new ones. The Library staff person, rightfully proudly, showed me the big afghan she was crocheting. It is being done in Double Crochet out of dark red/ burgundy color. She has learned to crochet since we started meeting and has done a fantastic job doing so. Next to here was a lady cross stitiching. She is truly amazing to me because she does the most comples projects with great ease. Her work is beautiful. Another lady, who is an expert knitter, was making socks on double pointed needles without a pattern. She has made so many of them over the years that she says they are easy and does not need a pattern. Sock making looks so easy when watching her. Next to her sat her sister. She was working on a baby blanket in filet crochet using a one punder skein of yarn. The design is lots of Teddy Bears in rows. I admire her patience to follow a chart. There are some 'new to me people' present. The first new person is making socks out of a self striping yarn. They are beautiful. Her work is meticulous. I had the privilege of looking at it closely. She says she is being taught by our expert knitter and sock maker. There is a lady at the end of the tables who is knitting a lapghan on circular needles. It is being done in the most beautifull shade of sage green. That is the best way I can describe it. She said it is getting to hot to work on it despite air conditioning. This makes good sense because the temperature was in the 90's yesterday. It is typical for this town in the summer. There were two ladies on the same side of the table as me. The one furthest down knits and crochets for charities in the area. She always has something beautiful on her hooks or needles. I did not see what she was making because shotly after I arrived she began teaching the person next to me to crochet. Her student came here for the first time and asked if someone would teach her to crochet. Since she is right handed, we agreed that the lady close to me, rather than me, teach her. The motivation was to make it easier on the new crocheter. This was a wise decision. By the end of our time together she had a couple of rows done on a good looking dishcloth. After talking with her, I think she is hooked. :) We were joined occasionally by others.....The Head Librarian came in requesting help locating a pattern. A retired library staff person came by to say "Hi." She stayed and chatted for a bit. A mother came in and asked if we would give lessons in knitting or crocheting to her young person. The collective response expressed in many ways was that we would be gald to do so. We answered her other questions about when we meet and what she needs to have when they come. Hopefully the next meeting will find us having another new person in our midst. As the meeting ended we tahnked our hostess and said Good Byes to each other. I stopped the main section of the Library to see if my family had books waiting on the Hold Shelf. There were none. As I left, I wondered why I stopped going in the first place.