Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jewelry from trash

I am not as tired as last time I talked to you, and apparently in a creative mood. I love looking through Pinterest, searching for inspiration. Especially remaking clothes, both small changes and making something completely different. Today I tried a few things from one of my boards. I have made myself  a necklace and a pair of bracelets from old t-shirts. I have mountains of old clothes saved for creative days, and I love it! I love using something "useless" instead of buying new materials all the time.

I know I don't deliver neat pictures, I'm sorry. I don't find the energy to run around with my camera, looking for a clean background and the best light. I simply put it on a blanket or a cushion and snap a shot with my tablet. And it doesn't even have a flash... But it is better than no picture at all, right? :) At least I hope so.

I'll see if I can get you the links if you want to try these too....Here's the necklace, and here are the bracelets. Have some fun!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Broom stick for the tired

I have learned a new technique today, broom stick crochet. Not hard at all! I would like to use it for a pair of wrist warmers, but I would have to stitch it together, and I don't like to stitch things... So we'll see about that. Maybe there is a way to do it in the round?

Not that I needed a new project, I have a ton of unfinished ones by now! And others that I really should get started on. So this was completely for my own pleasure. I needed to activate myself and do something fun, after spending several days on the couch, to tired to do more than watch TV or play with the phone... 

I had to see the doctor last week, and among other things they checked my thyroid gland (sköldkörtel, in Swedish). I asked them to, since a doctor told me ages ago that we should keep it under supervision. Then we all kind of forgot about it. But this time I thought I would mention it, and it turned out to be a good decision. Because it almost didn't work at all anymore... The doctor said I must have been having problems with it for a long time, for it to get this poor.

The thyroid produces hormones that controls how quickly the cells burns energy,among other things. With my low levels of hormones, my body has been using the energy so slowly that the cells haven't been able to function normally. That is why I am always so tired, why my memory and speed of thought has decreased. It can also explain a lot of ache  in muscels and joints, cold feet and hands, stomach problems... 

Well, you get it. I haven't been well in many ways, and this is the explanation for a lot of it. And now I need to take hormone pills, and they are the reason for me beeing so tired. I have read that they might have the opposite effect to bwgin with, since the body is so used to low levels of hormone it stops producing when it suddenly gets higher levels of hormone in the blood. It will probably get better as the body gets used to the new levels, or as we increase the dosage of medicine. 

But this far, it has made me sooo tired... To tired to knit on my black shrug, that I haven't even showed you. I hope I will have energy enough to keep you updated, it has been a little crazy around here lately. And I really want to finish something soon! :)

Now, I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me because of all this, 'cause I don't. I am actually happy to finally have a diagnosis that can explain my problems, and that I can get help to feel better!

Wishing you all the best, until we get in touch again!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Glittering mitts?

I am thinking. Can you hear the wheels turning? I don't know about you, but I love to use what is already in my stack when I create. Mostly because I want to get started right away, I mean who has the patience to wait until you've had a chance to go shopping? Not me! And also, using scraps is both better for the economy and the environment, I think.

I know this charming little girl with a newly discovered syndrome, that makes her hands hurt (among other things). So I was asked to make her a pair of fingerless mitts for some warmth and hopefully some pain relief. And she would like the mitts to glisten, I was told. Of course! :)

Now, I have this yarn with the sequins, from the sparkling hat. The problem is really that it would be very uncomfortable to use it for the entire mitt. The sequins can be a little sharp, and to have them in the palm when you grip something... nah... So, I would love to use it forthe back of the hand only. How to do that when you knit in the round? I have no idea. So my current plan is to knit it in plain yarn, and then add the sequin yarn afterwards. Stitching it onto the mitt to make it look like it was knitted there from the beginning.

Does it sound like a good plan to you? Well, I guess I am about to find out. I was hoping to get started tonight, but it will have to wait. My hands are freezing cold for some reason, and that is not optimal when knitting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sparkling hat, pattern

Oh my, I really didn't plan to be quiet this long... Time flies, it seems. Well, now that I am here, I thought I would write down a little pattern of mine. It is nothing special, honestly, but this seems to be the best place to keep patterns I might want to use again. I never seem to find the right paper or notebook in my creative mess off-line. :)

This is the latest hat I've made for my sweet girl. A friend of hers had a pink hat with sequins, and she wanted me to buy her one too. But crocheting and knitting people don't like to buy hats, right? We like to make hats. So when we found this sparkling yarn with sequins in our fav yarn shop, the kid got to choose colors and mum got her needles and off we went.

The yarn wasn't great to work with, because of the sequins. It was meant to be knitted with 8 mm needles, and I used 3,5 mm... A bit tight sometimes, and many sequins are hidden inside the hat. But if you use the right size, I bet it is great to work with. Soft and with a luxurious feeling to it. I mostly knitted stripes, but also tried a little zig-zag. It didn't work at all... :) You can't even tell what it is supposed to look like, it just looks blurry. Well, well...

I wanted generous earflaps to keep soft cheeks warm, and she wanted a ballon top. Of course, since the frind's hat has a ball... :) I made braids on the earflaps, to weigh them down. Both the ball and the braids are partly made from a bulkier wool yarn. I decided at an early stage that I would line the hat. The original plan was to knit with two threads, the sequin yarn and this bulky wool. But the sequins and the sparkles got lost in the wool so I had to think again. And so I decided to go with only sparkles and then line. I simply used an old t-shirt for lining.

The lining was easy to make. I put the hat on a piece of paper, folded double in front and back, and drew around it. Cut it out and transferred it to the shirt. Sewed a zig-zag seam all around the two identical parts, and attached the parts with a straight seam over the head.

I actually made a staight seam around the remaining edges too, to make the mounting easier. As I would fold the edges of the t-shirt a little, to hide them inside the hat, there was a high risk that it would all turn out crooked. So I made a straight seam around the edge, right where I was meaning to fold it. This way I could keep a track of where I should be whipping it together with the hat, not folding too much or to little away. One of my brighter moments, if I may say so! ;)

Well then, it's about time I write down the actual pattern now...

I used a yarn called Paljett from Svarta Fåret ( I had two balls of 50 g (=132m), and I didn't even use half of it. I used 3,5 mm circular needles, and my gauge was approx. 17 st and 25 rows for 10 cm. The size I aimed at was to fit an 8 year-old with a big head, she is 56 cm around the head.

I started with the earflaps.

Right earflap:
Cast on 8 st. Start knitting, stockinette. Increase 1 st on each side, every second row until you have 22 st. Increase only on the right side (the side closest to the face) on every second row, 4 times. Now you have 26 st. Cut thread. You can leave it on the needles if you like.

Left earflap:
Like the right earflap, but keep increasing only on the left side when you reach 22 st. Cut thread when you have 26 st.

Cast on 20 st, knit the left earflap. Cut thread.

Cast on 24 st, knit the right earflap. Knit the neck and keep knitting in the round. Each round now begins after the right earflap, you could place a marker if you like. Each round now has 96 st. Keep knitting until the work is about 10 cm from neck and forehead. Now, start decreasing.

Dec 1: Decrease every 8th st (= knit 6, knit 2 together). You now have 84 st.
Knit 4 rounds.
Dec 2: Dec every 7th st (=knit 5, knit 2 together). 72 st.
Knit 4 rounds.
Dec 3: Dec every 6th st. 60 st.
Knit 4 rounds.
Dec 4: Dec every 5th st. 48 st.
Knit 4 rounds.
Dec 5: Dec every 4th st. 36 st.
Knit 4 rounds.
Dec 6: Dec every 3rd st. 24 st.
Knit 4 rounds.
Dec 7: Dec every 2nd st. 12 st.
Knit 4 rounds.
Cut yarn, and thread it through the remaining stitches. Fasten all ends.

Cut pieces of yarn and braid them around the lowest part of each earflap. Make the ball. I attached it after the lining, and secured the top of the lining to the hat as I fastened the ball. Finished!

I have no pictures of the knitting process, since I wasn't planning to make any kind of tutorial. As I said, this is mostly for me and my lousy nemory. :) But if you are giving it a try, feel free to ask. There are no stupid questions!

I did not make any kind of ribbing, since I thought the lining would keep the edges from rolling up. It seems to be working. You get a lot of ends to fasten, casting on each part separately as I did. If you know a better way, or a way to cast on nicely from right to left, please tell me!