Monday, February 1, 2010

some fun projects to share

It has been so cold this winter and that means a freezing, cold mudroom for me. My scrapping area is in my mudroom and it's on a cement block. Can you say "Freezing Floor!"? lol Not to mention just freezing in there anyway. So, in order for me to not totally lose my mind (because I am one of those people who has to be creating something at all times or I go bonkers!) I've been crocheting up these way-cute wash cloths! I found the instructions at the design*sponge blog. I have made A LOT of them now and they are perfect because they are easy, fast and something that I can do while sitting on the floor while my little one plays. I even keep one in a small bag in my purse to work on while waiting in the parking lot for after-school pick-up or while GG is playing at the play area in the mall. Working on these little wash cloths have save my sanity this winter, because it's just been too cold to spend a lot of time in my scrap room working. And, these wash cloths are AWESOME to use! I absolutely LOVE mine! I have been using cotton dish cloths for awhile now that I bought from the store, but these are so much better. I switch them out every night, so that I have a clean one to use each day. My only suggestion would be to use a light-colored yarn. The first ones that I made were red and they bled in my dish water. These are made from 100% cotton so they do shrink a little and I have noticed the color fading a bit in the ones pictured here. Actually, the one on top is brand new and hasn't been washed. The rest have and you can tell that they are faded out some.
The other project that I did was this coffee cup cozy. This was my first, official knitting project! Oh my gosh. I can't tell you how hard it was for me to learn how to knit! I am totally left-handed and knitting and lefties just don't get a long. I tried and tried and tried, and just about pulled my hair out several times. I didn't have a problem understanding what I needed to do to make each stitch. My problem was getting my hands and fingers to do what they were supposed to do. It was awful! lol A friend suggested learning the "continental method" where you hold the yarn in your left hand. I found this book called "10-20-30 Minutes to Learn to Knit" by Leisure Arts at Joann Fabrics and got it because it shows how to do this method as well as the double-cast on, which I have read in several different places, is the best way to cast on your first stitches.
I found the pattern for this at Hobby Lobby in their yarn section. It was a free pamphlet from Bernat. You do have to be a member to view the pattern, but their membership is free and if you like to knit and/or crochet, they have a ton of wonderful (and free!) patterns there. This one uses their natural felting wool. It was really fun to work with. It's soft and fuzzy. lol After you finish the knitting, you have to wash it several times and let it dry to get the wool to felt. I did learn that it's a lot harder to felt wool in a high-efficiency washer because it doesn't get agitated enough to felt the wool well. So, mine isn't as felted as I would like, but I still LOVE my cozy. I keep it in my purse, so that I always have it with me. This was a great project for me to learn from, because it taught me how to knit, purl and increase.

If you make some wash cloths or a coffee cozy, please share! I'd love to see what you've created! Now I'm off to start a new cozy.....a surprise gift for a good friend and fellow coffee-lover! Happy Crafting!

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