400 Stitches in 60 Days (Take Two)

Okay, let me try this again.

I recently got the book 400 Knitting Stitches as a resource for my knitting. As I started looking through all the different stitch patterns, I saw many cool patterns I wanted to try. With way too many random piles of leftover acrylic yarns I don’t want to use for any other projects, I decided to turn this book into a project.

I’m casting on somewhere around 21 stitches for each (depending on the number of stitches needed for the pattern), including 4 edge stitches (2 on each side). Obviously there is going to be some variation in the sizes. Once I’m done I’ll stitch them together into blankets for Project Linus.

As the title implies, I’m going to attempt to do this in just 2 months. I started on March 29, so I hope to be done making the squares by May 28. Then I will start the blanket-making process, hopefully getting done within a week or so. Because I don’t want to be making blankets in the middle of summer, even kid-sized blankets.

When I first came up with the idea for this, I thought I’d post the pictures of the ones I’d done every day. Not going to happen. But the photos of all the squares can be found in this album, updated frequently.

Round And Round It Goes

Hypnotic…

Remember how I said I may be crazy? Well, I think I just proved it. This is a lap blanket I made for my grandfather for Father’s Day a couple weeks ago. In near 90-degree weather. If that’s not proof of insanity, I don’t know what is. 🙂

I modified the Pinwheel Baby Blanket pattern by not stopping where it suggested and continuing until it was a good lap-size instead.

It’s a fairly simple pattern. Every other row you add a yarn over to each group, creating the nice lines in the pinwheel. I also chose to do stripes with gray between the black and white in the middle and getting smaller with just the black and white on the outside. On the edge I just finished with a row of single crochet stitches and then a row of double crochets.

I’m considering doing an actual baby-sized one plus a toddler-sized one with a few embellishments in a month or so when the family I work for grows. It’s always a good idea to get the big brother something when the little brother comes so he doesn’t feel left out, and what better way than somewhat matching gifts.

Keeping It Clean – Washcloth Pattern

I LOVE cotton knit washcloths. I love making them, and I love using them. To me, they get dishes cleaner than regular washcloths, plus they can pick up more messes around the kitchen. And I make plenty of messes around the kitchen.

I’ve made washcloths many different ways, but I think I like this straight knit version the best. It knits up quickly and works really well with self-striping yarns. Plus, you can create whatever pattern in the center you want, like this heart:

Want to make one? You’ll need a pair of size 8 knitting needles and worsted weight 100% cotton yarn.

*These instructions are for the plain cloth, but you can create your own chart for the inner pattern in whatever design. The inner part is about 38 stitches by 54 rows.*

Cast on 46 stitches. Knit 3 rows.

Row 4: Knit 3, yarn over, slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over,* yarn over, knit 2 together* repeat to last 6 stitches, yarn over, slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over, yarn over, knit 3

Row 5: Knit 3, purl 19 stitches, increase 1, purl to last 3 stitches, knit 3

Row 6: Knit 3, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to last 5 stitches, slip 2 stitches knit wise and knit together, yarn over, knit 3

Row 7: Knit 3, purl to last 3 stitches, knit 3

Repeat rows 6&7 until piece measures 1 inch less than desired length (for mine, I ended at 9 inches).

Repeat row 4.

Knit 3 rows, increasing 1 in the middle of the first row only. Bind off. Weave in ends.

If you just like using these washcloths but don’t want to make one yourself, I offer them in many colors on my Etsy site.

If you make one and post pictures, let me know! I would love to see other versions.

What kind of household items do you prefer to make yourself instead of using store-bought? What colors or patterns would you like to see in a washcloth?

Moving Home

I have never felt homeless; I always hate when my mom tells people that we have been for the past year. We have always had a place to stay and haven’t had to sleep in the car or on the streets like typical homeless people. But we haven’t had a home since last December.

I had just graduated from college and my mom had just moved out to live with me because she liked it better out here than back with my grandparents she had been helping. Neither one of us had been able to find jobs. We were answering questions for ChaCha, trying to make a little money to get by, while paying rent with what little savings we had and trying to borrow from family without borrowing too much. We were buying only the food we could get at Kmart because we had to use the Sears card instead of cash.

We each applied to every job in every grocery store and retail store in the area we could find, but never got called for any interviews. We lived like this for 4 months, and finally had to leave our apartment because we couldn’t afford it anymore. We lived in relatively cheap motels in the area (We were in the San Fernando Valley, there is no such thing as a cheap motel.) for about a week before a friend at church found someone we could stay with for a while.

She ended up letting us stay so we could get back on our feet. I started working for a friend with a quilt shop a few hours a week so we could buy food. I also found a MOPS group to work childcare for which lead me to the nanny job I currently have once a week. My mom got a job at a non-profit home for pregnant women in the area and we were able to trade in her old car that pretty much broke down in the parking lot of the car dealership and get her a new(er) car. I was able to get my own car so I could get to and from work more easily, too.

We had so many bills to pay down that most of our money was gone as soon as it came in at the beginning. As we paid things down, we were able to have a little extra money and quit using the credit cards (as much, I still have to buy gas on mine, but pay it mostly off each time).

Then the lady we were living with kicked us out of the house. She went psycho one day about splitting the bills (which we had offered many times to help pay before this). We didn’t have the full amount to give her immediately as we had just paid all of our bills for the month and didn’t get paid again for about a week or so. She assumed we were trying to get out of paying and flew off the handle. So we moved in with a very loving friend of ours who had an extra room for the month.

We already knew we were going to be moving into a house at the first of October, and tried explaining that to the lady we had been living with but she was completely irrational by that point. We have been staying with our friend for the past three weeks, and it has been a good time.

We are finally getting to move into our own place tomorrow. It’s such a relief to know we have a place of our own and we don’t have to worry about psycho roommates anymore. It’s good to know that we are finally going to be settled for a while.

It’s good to finally move home.

Have you ever experienced a crazy roommate who would not think rationally? Have you ever had to live on friends’ couches while not having your own place? Got any ideas on what color I should paint my new room?