The Secret to Finishing Your Knits

And by finishing, I don’t mean knitting it. That’s the easy, fun part. No, I mean weaving in those inevitable ends sticking out all over the place. That isn’t fun. You know what is even less fun? Having over 800 ends to weave in (because each square has two ends to weave.

I tried handing off the squares for weaving, but that only got so many of them done. And I’m not about to put literally every other project on hold while I constantly weave in tiny ends. Not going to happen. So instead I’ve taken my project bag and filled it with squares, my needle tin, and a pair of scissors to toss in my bag on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I babysit at a house other than the one I live in, so I don’t have anything but what I bring in my bag to do while the little guy sleeps for an hour or so after the park.

This has forced me to finish these for two reasons: 1)I have nothing else to do while I’m there, and 2)My project bag is already full of squares which makes it less likely I will empty it to put a more interesting project in there. Hopefully all this means I will be finished with these squares by next week to get a final tally on how many squares I really created. Plus, then I get to move on to making them into blankets and giving the blankets aways so this project is no longer sitting around everywhere taunting me to get it finished.

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Wrapping Up Warming Up For Christmas

Warming up for Christmas

Last July-ish I gave myself a goal of making hats for the women at Elizabeth House. I did end up making enough for the women living in both houses, though I had hoped to make more and have extras. That didn’t work because I got distracted, possibly a little bored, and tied up in some other projects. But, like I said, at least I made nine sets (adult, child, and infant).

Here’s the end result of this project:

Adult Hats

Adult Hats

Child Hats

Child Hats

Infant Hats

Infant Hats

They got distributed in Christmas bags to the residents.

I didn’t keep up with the project as well as I had hoped, and I didn’t work at the pace I originally expected. I don’t think I’m going to do something like that again. Too much stress to put on myself when I was also trying to make Christmas presents, working extra hours with a new baby, and just generally busy with the holidays. From now on, I think I’ll stick to donating to projects headed by others so it’s not all resting on me.

Warming Up For Christmas: A Hat Project

It may seem a little early for a Christmas-related post, seeing how December is still about five-and-a-half months away, but really there are only about 23 weeks. I know, I just said the same thing twice. When you are knitting or crocheting for the holidays, 23-ish weeks isn’t much time.

About a week or two ago I came across the Miranda Hat by Evelyn of Project: Stash. She even started a charity knit-along to go with her new free pattern. The idea of her knit-along is that everyone knit as many Mirandas as they can between June 25 and September 30 and either donate them to a local shelter or program or send them to her to give to the group her family volunteers with. For more information on the Project:Stash knit-along, click here.

I thought this was a wonderful idea. But I’ve modified it a bit.

I love the Miranda and have knit a few of those (which you will see toward the end of the week), but I wanted to branch out. I’m going to donate all the hats I knit to Elizabeth House in Pasadena to distribute at their annual Christmas party in December. It’s a pregnancy shelter for homeless or in-crisis women. My goal is to knit 75 hats (in a variety of adult, child, and toddler/baby sizes) by December 1.

One problem with that is there are over 200 women in the program (residents and alumni), a sizable number of whom come back every year for the Christmas party. Most of these women have at least one child with them, making that a bit over 200 children involved. 25 hats in each size isn’t going to cut it.

That’s why I’m asking fellow knitters and crocheters to help me. The details of the project are found on the project page (click here), but the summary of the process is:

1. Make a hat (or 2, or 12)

2. Include on a piece of paper the fiber content, special washing instructions, your name (optional) and your preferred public online profile (Twitter, a blog, Ravelry, Pinterest, etc.) (optional)

3. Drop off or mail in your finished hat(s) by December 2, 2012. (Drop-off location, hours, and mailing address can be found on the project page here) (LA-area, or otherwise located and willing to ship, business who would like to be a designated drop-off location? Contact me through the form here.)

It’s that simple. If this works out well, I will make this a year-round project next year.

The contributed hats will be displayed and linked to the original knitter (when possible) in a gallery here.

If you are a knitter or crocheter looking to brighten someone else’s holiday season this year, please join me in the Warming Up for Christmas Project.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I will get back to you with an answer usually within the day.

My First Quilt: Project Linus Blanket 1

I worked at a quilt shop for a few months this spring, and one of the first things my boss had me do was take a simple Friday night class. Using Eleanor Burns’ “Whirligig” pattern from her Quilt-in-a-Day series, the three-hour class gave each participant the pieces to make the large quilt and the smallest quilt in the pattern. I chose to make the smaller blanket for my first quilt because it would give me some practice.

I hand-dyed the fabric for the background, binding, and backing and assembled the blanket top using my Kenmore sewing machine. I quilted all three layers in a simple checkerboard pattern, keeping it simple for my first project.

This blanket will go to Project Linus, a non-profit organization that gives blankets to children in crisis. Recipients range in age from newborn to 17-years-old. They are delivered locally to ill or traumatized children.

To find out more about Project Linus or find your local chapter, visit their website at projectlinus.org.