Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Loom Knitted Hat

Sorry forgot to remove the marker tag when I took these pictures. The blue strand is not part of the hat, it only holds a number tag.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Funky Hat

Back in November 2005 I was playing around on a loom and came up with a hat with a different kind of stitch but have never gotten around to writing up the pattern. I made the first in this same type of yarn but a different color. The yarn is called Fashion Four by Phentex. My former co-workers wife saw the hat just as I finished it and declared that it was really neat (her words not mine).

This one has been on my mind for so very long, thinking that I should get this written up, but you know how that goes. It didn't take so long and this is a very fast easy to do pattern.

It is a furry type of yarn, with the fur being very short. It is so soft and feels wonderful. My daughter says the hat looks funky, so I named it that.

Anyway, here are pictures of it for you to see.


Sunday, May 20, 2007


Some wanted to see the stands I am building. Well the first is the hand held piece. This one will have notches around the different edges to lock the threads into. The hole has been cut and a slight bit of sanding done to the center hole but beyond that not much has been done to it.

As you can see from these next ones this will be a small table top Marudia stand. Just a little bitty thing. It will sit on a TV tray so that it is at a nice level to sit and braid with.

You can see where the sanding has been started but I haven't worked much on it. The holes you see around the top will have a plug put into them. The top was the bottom of this little stand. When you look at the picture where you can see the bottom of the stand you can see it had a huge hole in it. So I had to take the bottom off and turn it around to make it the top of the piece. Then there was solid piece that the hole for the braid could be drilled out. Good thing the hubby has nice equipment for drilling those holes. It only took him a few seconds to drill out that center hole.

I haven't yet found the right thing to plug the holes with but I will do that when I can. I am always keeping my eye out for the right pieces in anything that I do. Once this has been sanded to smooth then I plan to varnish it again.
As you can see it will be some time yet before these are finished.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Kumihimo tama's or rather replacemets

I found this Donut Corner Insulators for use as tama's. I think these will work much better then the clothes pins I had planned to use. They were cheap also, just over $3 for a bag of ten. They are insulators used on electric fencing and I found them at the local grange store.

These look like they will hold the yarn better for the Marudia stands and I think I will use the clothes pins for the hand held mirror that I am making, although I am still considering notches for holding the threads on the hand held.

In my considering of what to use I took into thinking the watching I did of three videos on this process. I think these donut corners will be much easier to pick up and move then trying with the clothes pins. I think they will also help keep down any possible tangling that could possibly happen with the clothes pins, but I will try both just to see.

I still have a ways to go before the Marudia is ready to use, but I have at least gotten a start.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I have seen this mentioned on a knitting loom group and got interested in checking it out. I watched a U-tube video on the process and have checked out some different sites for this type of work. I think it is so neat, but wow the prices for these braiding looms. You'd think they were covered in gold plating for the amounts I have found them for.

So when you want something, just to give it a try, then do it yourself. I now have one small loom built. It has been made from an old plant stand. The stand has a top and bottom and legs. I turned bottom around to be the top, and the hubby drilled the center hole that is necessary for the braid to go through. Now I just have to sand the thing so it is smooth and won't catch at the thread and snag it and I will have a simple little marudai stand to work with. I will be working at that sanding over this next weekend. It is a small little thing but I am only wanting to give this a try.

For the tama, I will just use some of the old fashioned clothes pins that look like this Clothes Pins . I certainly have enough of them in my crafting box to use them for this with plenty left over. I have them for those little crocheted angels that fit over the clothes pins and are so darn cute.

I haven't figured out the weights yet but that is simple enough, a bag and something to match the weight of the tama (clothes pins) (not the exact weight but the half weight). Then I will be able to play. That is as soon as I have the extra time to do so. I figure I will start with some of that massive amount of threads I have built up over the years. I have some really neat threads in all types of material.

Then I am also working at putting together a little hand held loom. I have the center hole drilled and the hubby is going to notch the edges for me. That too will need some sanding to make it smooth. So I have a lot of sanding to look forward too. Gee it has been a while since I worked any wood projects.

So if I decide that I like this, I have the material for a larger sized loom. I found the top and bottom and have some wood pieces I have been hanging on to that would make really neat legs, but before I put in the extra work on that one I want to give this a little try. Need those looms finished first.

My hubby also showed me yesterday that he got me some MDF material to make some knitting looms. They are not really long but wide and deep enough to make an adjustable loom. Some time we will have to get around to working on those.

Oh all these projects and so little time to play getting them finished.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007








Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Rebel Strikes Again

Sometimes people try to communicate things but do not word those ideas in ways that can be read without violent reactions. This causes a problem. The "fight" starts. Then that fight goes on and on with little to no moderation on the parts of the people in charge. I am going to be the rebel and address this right now.

There is a fight going on over, of all things, spelling and grammar. I say of all things because that is what some others say. Why of all things should spelling or grammar matter, but I am sorry to say it does matter.

Recently, well a few months ago, I did some translating of stitches from one language to another. I do not speak, read, or write the language I was translating from. I did use an online translator and wow do you get a suprise when you do so. Try going to one and typing in what you want to say, translate it to the other language then copy and paste that translation back to your original language that you typed in. Very often the re-translated block of text does not say what you started with. In some cases it translates to a totally different meaning. So you try again and again, till the translation does resemble what you want to say. Not an easy task, and very time consuming. Ask me, I know.

Now imagine a group with many people on it from different countries trying to communicate in languages not their own. Those people may be trying to use online translators to understand what is being said. A direct translation in good grammar with proper spelling is hard, but what about one that has improper spelling and the grammar is not good. Well, now you have an almost impossible task in doing the translation.

Ok now take that same wording with bad spelling and grammar but you both speak, write, and read the same language but a country across from each other. Well, your language is the same so it shouldn't matter, or should it? The answer to that is simple, it does matter if you are planning to use things that are local to your own personal area, or abbreviations that are not common. I can say taters at home but someone from an area that has no idea what a tater is will be lost. Maybe spuds would be better, but then maybe just plain old potato would be the perfect word to use.

How many times do you hear, I don't want to sound stupid but what does LOL, mean, or MIL, BIL, SIL, DS, DD, or very commonly, Frog or Frogging in the context of crafting with yarn. We do see the questions about these things asked. It is because these maybe wonderful to use in instant messaging but on groups or forums where there are a lot of people these meanings get lost because of lack of knowledge of them. Many people struggle along till someone else asks the question, What does this mean, then others come along to say, I was wondering....

It is hard enough trying to communicate to others from different backgrounds, different areas of the country or world without throwing in a mixture of local language, and those ever confusing abbreviations. Yes, I know that I am guilty of this also. It is hard, but we do try. It is when we don't that starts the larger problems, miscomminication. Did you know that in some postings the final outcome can be a direct insulting remark made to the person you are trying to help or just converse with, been there done that, in English to English. That was quite a shocker, insulting a friend and not ever knowing how or why because she was to shocked and upset to tell me. It must have been bad, but I never figured that one out. In that kind of case you just have to pass on that you never meant to insult, and continue with life hoping that it never happens again, but it could, since you don't know the cause.

Now let's take a look at a different area of translation. I started, like many, to get into the abbreviations, the shortcuts in language that keep many of us from typing the day away. Then I learned something. I have members on at least one group, and I have seen some of them on other groups, who are blind. Yep, you read that right. They are blind and they loom knit, some also crochet and needle knit. These people use a reader program for messages to groups. The problem is that those readers are only as good as the person typing the messages. They can only translate what they know. So a message with bad grammar and bad spelling will not translate so a blind person can understand. In this they miss a lot that might otherwise be beneficial to them.

As for me, call me guilty. Guilty of abbreviations, of bad grammar, of not spelling right, and of not checking over the messages properly to make sure that even if a word is spelled right but also that is it the right word to be using. Yep, I am guilty but I am trying to be better. Not for me but for those to whom it may matter. They are my online friends and that counts for more then my need to be fast in typing and getting on to the next thing.

So you say the groups posting do not have spell checkers. Yes this is so but there are other methods by which you can do the proper thing. In the beginning, I would use a word processor to check my spelling. Then I discovered a little thing that my son downloaded and added to my browser functions. It is a little program called ieSpell: Now I use this all the time.

Why he downloaded and installed it I have never asked. Certainly it wasn't for himself, this young man is the best speller I have ever met. His first and favorite book when he was just a little tiny guy was the dictionary. I had to purchase him a large one to satisfy his needs. Gee that book was almost as big as him. He didn't just learn the little words but learned some so big that I cannot even pronounce them. So I have a spell checker available wherever on the web that I travel at the click of a button, and I am learning to use it more and more where checkers are not available.

So think about it. Are you being understood by the majority of people, or are they passing your messages up because they are not understandable because of grammar and spelling? I certainly hope that the majority of people who read my postings do so with the understanding that I want them to have. It is something interesting to consider.

As for grammar many of the word processors will help you in that area. They will give you options for changing what you have written and give you some reasons why. Oh I am a bad speller, or so I was, the Internet is doing what my teachers never could do, teach me the right way to spell words. I am not as bad in proper grammar but I am not excellent either. I have my own problems but I try to fix those as I go.

My whole point to this is let you know that it does matter if you cannot be understood. That most wonderful thing you are trying to pass along can be lost in the fact that someone looks at what you wrote and cannot understand it at all. Then that wonderful thing is lost to those with out understanding till someone comes along to explain it all over again.

Ok so now you are upset with me because I tell you that it matters. Well, that is a part of being the rebel. I have to tell you the truth, it is the truth that matters more then my being that totally likable person that spreads nothing but joy in the wake of total misunderstanding.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ebay and shipping

I was a little bored this morning so did some simple browsing through things on the Internet. I decided to search out some large tatsy shuttles (for tatting). That search lead me to eBay. From there I got lead to some different auctions for all types of shuttles. I have shuttles for weaving, use some of the large shuttles for huge macrame projects, so these are always of an interest to me.

I started noticing that there was some very large auctions for bobbin lace pins and decided to check them out. They are lots of older shuttles that look pretty neat, or would after a bit of cleanup.

Then I noticed the shipping and started to laugh. I know the eBay rules. There is not suppose to be any large amounts of increases in shipping/handling costs as this is kind of a way to cheat the buyer. I don't know how many of you look at eBay but the most recent trend is to up the shipping costs a lot.

OK there is handling, packing materials, and then the actual shipping costs. Well, recently I shipped off two dresses back to the place they were bought. Packing actually cost me nothing as they went back in the box from the company. Still I sent them priority mail (the fastest one), added in $200 for insurance (dress $100 each), then added delivery confirmations to the mix. All in all these cost me $11 total shipping.

So why in the world would it cost from $8 to $11 to ship a little amount of bobbins, regular mail, no shipping, no insurance. Boy that must be some packing material. I also recently shipped a large box of yarn to a friend and that was not the lightest box, not like these little bobbins would be, but it didn't cost me anywhere near the cost of those bobbins to be shipped.

At this point in time I have pretty much stopped buying on eBay. That is not to say I won't if there is something I really want at a good price, but it has, eBay, become the biggest scam of the day if you are not careful. The sellers raise those shipping cost way too high, they want a starting bid of way too much and very often a simple search of the Internet will find you the exact same thing at a lower cost, and less shipping. For example the tatsy shuttles I first started my search for, I could name several great dealers who's costs are less and the shipping is definitely a lot less then the eBay sellers wanted.

OK that is my gripe for the practice I see getting worse and worse. So if you do eBay, do be sure to watch for that over inflated shipping costs (not all sellers run that practice, but it can catch you unawares if you are not careful) and when you see that oh so wanted something, do a simple search to see if it is available someplace else first. You just might get a surprise and be money in the bank because you took the time for that little search. ROFLOL

Oh one last thing, be sure to check the "antique" listings, they are not always as "antique" as the seller wants you to think they are.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Working on knitting

I finally managed to get a longer span of time to work on the ripple piece on my loom. I think I have mentioned (if not here then in groups), that I have had a problem with a gap in a section of the ripple. The gap has to do with the hills sections of the ripple where the K1f&b or K1b&f is done. I had to work to solve this problem. Now as I am knitting I still see this gap but not that the piece is longer this gap no longer exists. The stitches are setting themselves and the gap closes. I am using a large gauged loom with two strands of worsted weight yarn, with six colors. Oh is it pretty. I am just doing a small piece and there is a lot of shrinkage to the piece but it will still be large enough for a small size of baby ghan.

I just need a few more days (but that tends to be up to the whims of my family and job, LOL) to get this piece done and figure out the best cast off for this ghan. I have a sample piece that I did and when I cast it off it lost the ripple effect for the cast off row. At first I thought I would keep it as an example but decided to frog several rows and get it back on the loom to play with the cast off. I want the ripple effect to show over both ends of the piece, not just one.

Then I have also played with two, no three ways to make this ghan. Each creates a slightly different type of look and texture to the piece and each is very nice. I just haven't decided which I like best. I still have another method of doing this to try before I move on to a couple of other afghan patterns I want to play with.

It is just too bad that I have to stop to do things like housework, laundry, dinners (I don't do them all that is a shared family thing, with the hubby doing most of that, yummy meals, LOL he's an ex-cook). Then work tends to take up most of my time, during the day. That too is a bummer, but work keeps the funds coming in to purchase the crafting material. So I guess I cannot have everything. ROFLOL

We had some beautiful weather yesterday and I stayed out most of the day, besides the running to do dinner and some laundry. Oh there was the sweeping early and putting things away, like the just cleaned dishes (sis did the washing of them).

I did have the two grands that are brothers all afternoon, but one was watching a Harry Potter DVD, and the other went back and forth from house to outside with me. After the movie both boys came outside to help PaPa with his above the ground pond building. They took little rocks and place them at various places. A chore making for grandma and papa as they had to be removed after the boys left. Some, ah, accidentally fell in the water, yea, accidentally. LOL You know though it was so much fun watching them decorate with the rocks. Papa said the missed the pile of agates he had sitting to the side. They would have made much prettier addition (and easier to see on pick up time) then the plain old rocks they were using.

We did tell the boys not to put the rocks in the water as that changes the water level. The youngest did it several times again and his brother told him he was not suppose to put the rocks in the water. The youngest looked at his brother and calmly said, I am allowed. ROFLOL Where he got that idea we will never know but it was one of those laugh till you drop with the way he said it and the serious look on his face.

That youngest is usually quite the mover, yesterday was no different, but he display something new to us. I was drinking some water and swallowed wrong. That caused me to cough a little. Carter looked and me and said "What's wrong with you grandma". I couldn't figure out what he was talking about and told him nothing was wrong, but he insisted that I tell him what was wrong with me. So I asked him why he thought something was wrong. He said, "I heard you cough". I have never seen this child as serious as he was right then. He had such a worried little look on his face. I am thinking that we are beginning to see the result of the loss of his baby brother and we will have to watch him to make sure he does OK. Up to now he has had little reaction to the loss except that he tells us that Noah comes to play with him. He always goes to his room to show Noah his new things.

Well off to get ready for work. I hope you all have a wonderful day and that your just over weekend was as wonderful as mine was.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hat Gather Decrease

So you want less bulk at the top of the hat but moving stitches is hard. It also leaves strands along the backside of the hat and maybe you don't like those. I do a different kind of decrease for the tops of hats. It doesn't leave the strands, but I will say it doesn't decrease as much as some of the stranded methods, but is a nicer finish for the gathered top of the hat then the normal ones. Yes it is still a gather it just is a little less stitches to pull into that gathered portion.

Some of you may like it, some may not. Not everything works for everyone, at least some things that come out I like and some I don't. So I pick and choose what is best for me and my knitting and leave the rest for others who do like them. Hey, that's what makes this crafting thing so fun, we can pick and choose, we can decide what is best for us, and we can pass along all of it so others can do their own picking and choosing. Who knows, some of you may like this and that would make this post a good thing.

The following is how these other decreases work. They are done on one row, the last row, the removal row. The first method decreases by half the amount of stitches on the gather strand. The second method adds an additional decrease, so you are decreasing by two. This is easier for me to do then some of the other types of decreases as you are decreasing, knitting off the decrease and removing at the same time.

A decrease cast off for hats:

When the body of the hat is finished, cut the yarn leaving a long tail. Put the long tail in yarn needle. Starting with the stitch one peg over from where the
working yarn is and using your pick, move the stitch over one peg and knit off the bottom wrap. Insert needle from top to bottom of the stitch and lift off
the peg pulling yarn all the way though. Move stitch from the next peg over one peg and knit off bottom wrap. Again using needle and yarn remove the stitch from the peg. Continue around till all stitches have been decreased and removed from the

Second decrease cast off:

Put the long tail in yarn needle. Starting with the stitch one peg over from where the working yarn is and using your pick, move the stitch over one peg and knit
off the bottom wrap. Move this stitch over one more peg and knit off. Insert needle from top to bottom of the stitch and lift off the peg pulling yarn all the
way though. You can decrease by two stitches for each section, then use needle to remove the final stitch. This decreases the bulk of the hat at the top giving a
slightly more rounded effect.

Note: When I have been using a bulky yarn like boucle, I have found that moving the stitches on the strand for the final gather is quite difficult. Very often that strand can break.

To move this stitches DO NOT pull the yarn strand itself. Hold the strand and move the actual stitches across to meet the strand. You move the stitches closest to the base of the holding strand, then move the next in line, till all meet up. It is a bit more work but it is well worth putting in a little extra effort to prevent that possible breakage of your yarn. That messes up the whole thing.