Tuesday, January 30, 2007

 Busy, Busy

I have been working on trying needle stitches on the looms.  I have a couple figured out, but boy are they hard to do with some.  All the moving and moving of stitches to fill in gaps, or to make gaps is such a lot of work.  Still this is an excerise in learning and it is kind of fun.

I plan to come back in a few days to update my blog since I haven't done that for a while, but other things have to come first over the next few days.  First there is stuff for work, I have a couple of projects to work on, and I need some extra rest.  I have put in so many hours lately between groups, work, crafting, and general home stuff  (you know that cleaning thing we sometimes have to do), that I am going to need a huge break.

I will update when I have the time.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Hats and scarves can be made in many different ways. I am out to give some of the newbies some ideas on just how they can play to make different things. This is not to tell you exactly how to do it, but to give you ideas on how to play. This is for you to experiment only.

First thing is to say Don't be Afraid to play. Yarn is forgiving and if you make mistakes they can be frogged and you can use the yarn over. Try starting with some of the less expensive yarns while you play. Also try using yarns that allow you the ease of their use. There are many types of yarn and something simple is much easier to play with. If you think you might be going to frog bunches and thus eventually ruin the yarn, try looking at yard sales or second hand store for yarns that you can get really cheap and if it is ruined it isn't as big a loss.

So we have hats. Sometimes the hats are all by themselves. They can be in all one color, a variegated color, or you might want several different colors in the hat. You can form patterns by working up a graph of the pattern you want. Some simple graph paper can work for this. Did you know that you can find free graph pattern programs online. Some of these even have the ability to change the graph papers square sizes for you to use.

You can do a hat in colors by making horizontal stripes just by working with one color then changing to another in as wide or narrow a stripped pattern as you want. You can do vertical stripes by knitting a peg or two with one color and skipping a peg or two for additional colors. After wrapping the loom with the one color and skipped pegs, you add the new color to the pegs you skipped. This will form long strands across the inside, but if you do not skip too many pegs those strands lay close to the work and form a warmer barrier inside. You can make spirals by the use of purls or by the movement of the wrapped pegs. You can also form checks by doing a few rows in two colors then change the placements of those colors for the same amount of rows. You can also try mixing and matching different types of yarn for a varied look in your hat. For example work a portion of the hat with red heart worsted, then switch to holding a fun fur type of yarn with the red heart strand, or switch to another type of yarn, like homespun or what ever is your choice.

The hats can be short or long. The brim type can change from hat to hat. They can have a cuffed brim or a plain brim, or a rolled brim. Remember every hat has a brim, there are just different types of brims to make. You can do a hat with a cuffed brim and make that brim cuff really small or really big. The smallest I have done was knit three rows (including the cast on row), and pull up the bottom. The largest I have done was knit 30 rows before pulling up the bottom to cuff it.

If doing a plain brim you can use several types of different cast on's to stop that beginning curl. There are the long tail, crochet, cable, and lucet cast on's that will help there or after a regular cast on you can simply crochet an edging around to stop that roll. If you want the roll simply use a regular e-wrapped cast on and knit the hat. You will get plenty of roll to the edging.
Say you want a non-rolled brim edge but you want the brim to be a different color, well make it that way. Work in one of the special cast on's or leave it regular for the crocheted edging, then work the brim section in your first color, change to your second color to finish up the crown section. It's your hat do it your way.

You can make a doubled hat by just working it twice as long and bringing it up like a cuff and finishing it off. This can be done in a single or doubled strand of yarn. Even with a single strand on a large gauged loom you will get a warm hat.

Did you know you can make a hat on a double rake as well as on a round loom? Well you can. Sure it is done flat but you have a lot of options on how you do it. You can do increases and decreases better, you can shape the top to your liking or even make it one of those pointed elf like hats. Once off the loom you simply stitch it up the back (there are invisible stitches to use also).

So now you have your hat, but you want a scarf to go with it. Think a little about the type of scarf you want. Do you have some really cold weather and want a scarf that is really warm? Then you might consider doing it on a double rake. If the weather is not so warm then you might want to just use a single rake. Say you don't have a double rake and want that same type of doubled layer you get from the board rake. Well, try doing a tubed scarf. That tube will give you a doubled layer and it will be warm.

You now decide just how wide you want that scarf. It can be anything from a couple of inches wide to as many inches as you want it to be. Some people like the wide ones some do not, it is your choice though.

A hat is nice and keeps your head warm. Add a scarf and you have added additional warmth to make you comfortable in cold weather. Make that scarf long or short, wide or narrow it's really up to you, but say you want just a bit of extra warmth from the hat and scarf or you don't want the fuss and bother of two pieces to handle. Then make just one.

You can add flaps to a hat and those flaps can be simple short ones to cover just an additional portion along the sides of the head or you can add long flaps and turn them into an attached scarf. You can add the flaps for the scarf before or after. Just play with it. Do a narrow scarf on two sides of your hat loom, the when the two sides are as long as you want them to be then start in the round for your hat, or make your hat and do the scarf portions separately and sew them on the hat where you want them.

Say you just want to knit the scarf, don't want the bother of adding a hat but want a hat like scarf combo. Well, make your scarf, when it is finished fold it in half and sew up a portion of where fold meets fold. You now have a scarf with a built in head cover.

Say you want a hat, and you want a scarf and you want that additional portion where the hat meets the scarf but you really do not want them attached. Ok, make your scarf wide. Wide enough to fit over your head and long enough to wrap after it is laying over your head. Now make your hat to fit as you like, not too tight now. Place your wide scarf over your head and wrap it, place the hat over the scarf and the hat will hold the scarf in place on your head. Or place the hat on and put the scarf over the hat and wrap. Either way it works, and is just one more idea for you to think on. This way you can have the hat and scarf as a one goes straight from the other, or have one or the other or whatever you like best for the moment. It could be it is cold but not cold enough to have both. So you use them as needed.

So some ideas for you to think on. No way is this little talk put to you to teach you just exactly how to do something. It is just a little talk to give you ideas to play with. Playing with what you do is better then just doing something exactly as someone tells you to do it. Why? Because you learn more in the play. You are teaching yourself and who could ever be a better teacher for you then you.