Monday, March 29, 2010

Decrease odds of memory loss

Another huge benefit of knitting!

I was told once by a friend that also is an avid knitter that she read a study that Nun's have much lower risk of Alzheimer's. The study showed that the Nun's all had one thing in common, they were knitters. After she told me about that I thought it may be interesting to see what info I could find on the subject.

According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, knitter have decreased memory loss. This decrease is quite large, between 30-50%. So if you ever get the feeling that you are wasting time knitting, think again!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Joining Squares

Sorry for the hideous picture quality. I took this on my phone. This is how i originally planned on joining my squares for the baby blanket. However, I hated it. As I had said before I ripped out all the seaming on Thursday night when the shower was Saturday. I didn't want to give someone something that I hated so I had to think of something new. I came across an idea called Loop n Lace. Wonderful, love it, but takes a long time.

This is a simple slip stitch. Which is quick and easy and allows for two colors to be shown in joining squares. Useful just not what I was looking for.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ultimate Sweater Machine

This is what my wonderful boyfriend got me for my birthday. I am obviously a hand knitter (or there would be no blog) but I am wanting to expand into other areas that I don't know a ton about. One of them was machine knitting. I decided this may be the way for me to go right now due to 1) budget 2) possibly hating the whole machine deal.

I ended up somewhat liking this. It definitely frustrated me at first. I like the idea of how it works and I have an understanding of how it works but I definitely no expert on this yet. I have been so busy (read Crazy Weekend) lately that I haven't really had much time to pick this up in awhile.

So I just wanted to post some pictures about it and thoughts on my first impression of the machine. Overall, I like it, but it (or any other machine) will never replace my needles. I will most likely use this for squares for baby blankets and other projects like that. I love creating things with my hands too much to replace my needles.

As another side note, with all the knitting/crocheting I did over the weekend, I think I should have either used this or went right to a yarn store and gotten some of those stress relief gloves! My hands, forearms and fingers were sore for days!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am now on Twitter

Let it be known.... I think Twitter is stupid. I don't understand what it's purpose is and I think it's just a bunch of Facebook status updates. I opened a Twitter account for one of my courses in college and I never once used it. Recently I have been getting emails about people following me on Twitter. I thought to myself, "Well, that's completely ridiculous. I have never even posted a single tweet." So I logged into my account to find that it was spammers or people that I definitely didn't want following me. So I blocked them.

After logging into the site and looking around, I thought I could maybe start using Twitter. So I updated my horribly outdated profile and decided I am going to give it a go. So hopefully I can learn to like Twitter and I probably will end up becoming obsessed with it.

You can follow me here: KraftyKatie2 is the username.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Update on the Sweater Project

Got a ton done on my very first sweater. I am really fairly happy at this point with the progress I have made. However, I have a few things I am not too crazy about at this point. First I made the slit slightly too big, but that's an easy fix as I haven't done any finishing on either piece. I am planning on sewing up a little on the slit when I do my finishing. Secondly and more importantly, I somehow misplaced a bag with one of the balls of yarn needed for this sweater. This may put a big hold on my ability to finish this piece. I am somewhat frustrated with my ability to lose things right now. Hopefully it will show up and I will end up being able to finish this sweater. Or I could end up looking around for another skien of yarn with the same dye lot. It will all work out. For now I may end up working on some other projects!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Crazy Weekend!

Here are pictures of the baby blanket I am currently working on. It was unfortunately for a shower that was this past Saturday. I severely underestimated how long the crocheted edging would take. When Friday night came up, I knew I wasn't even going to come close to finish so I called in reinforcements. Luckily my best friend, Jessi, was home from med school that weekend. She is the one that taught me how to knit, so I knew we would get some serious work done. At 3am we decided it was time to call it quits. I ended up staying up till 5 because I thought that I could still get it done. I am sure we have all been at that point where you are just desperate for a project to just be finished.

Sadly, I went to the shower with the half finished blanket. The proud parents still loved it. I was just disappointed in myself for having poor time management skills with this project.

Current status on the blanket: unfinished.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My First Sweater Project

I have been knitting for years but never came around to making a sweater. I always thought of how long it would take and how potentially expensive it could be. I was in my favorite knitting store of the moment City Knits and I grabbed an old magazine that they had on clearance because I saw a gorgeous sweater I knew I wanted to make. I bought my yarn there (for a great price of $24 for the whole sweater) and went home to start my new project.

I took these pictures soon after I bought all my supplies I am currently much further along that I am in these pictures. I chose to do the sweater in a charcoal colored wool blend to have warmth to my sweater as well as the nuetral color. Stay tuned for pictures of my progress.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Instead of yoga... try knitting

I have been reading lately about the benefits of knitting. I really became interested in it when someone made a comment to me about knitting making me less stressed. I thought about it and realized it truly does make me feel better. It's almost like I get lost in the "knitting zone" and just don't think about the other things that are going on in life.

So I thought to myself, I doubt it's just me that feels like this. I did a little bit of research online and found multiple articles that talked about knitting having the same benefits as yoga. It causes you to slow down and relax. It forces you to sit and focus on a goal that you are trying to accomplish. Learning something new in knitting and taking time to develop your talent also coincides with yoga. You are developing mental and physical skills and it is beneficial for your health.

Most importantly (for me anyways), it makes you take a break. So me getting into my "knitting zone" is really taking a break from all of the stressful things in my life.

I thought some of this information was interesting and thought I would pass some of the info onto you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Knitting Graffiti

Check out this article.

Many knitters now used donated yarn to knit cozies to fit over trees and local signs. I found it interesting.

Katie's Knitting Pattern Tips

Here are a few tips and tricks I have picked up while knitting that I thought I might pass.

- Start a binder of all your favorite patterns! It is way easier to print them and store them now then trying to find them on the internet again later.

- Organize all your patterns by diverders. Once you start collecting mutiple patterns it will make your life a lot easier.

- The best thing I ever did with all of my patterns is put them in page protectors. It keeps them from getting crushed ripped or having something spilled on them.

- Now when I am working on a pattern I use wet erase marketing to mark my patterns and cross off rows or sections I have completed. Then when I am done with my project I simply wipe the market off the page protector and put it back in my binder in case I ever use it again. This way your patterns don't get all marked up but you still have the convenience of writing on your patterns!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stormtrooper Golf Club Cover

Here is the double stitch pattern for the Stormtrooper gold club cover. This is tweaked from the original one because I didn't really like how it turned out. I may tweak it more once I make more of these.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Star Wars Golf Club Covers

Here is the perfect gift for your favorite golfer this spring. With Mother's Day, Father's Day and Easter all coming up, this is the perfect solution to someone who is difficult to buy for.

These are hand knit with the different character double stitched onto the covers. These are knit out of acrylic yarn which is sturdy enough to be washed after getting dirty out on the golf course.

Check these out at my etsy store!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Make Your Own Stitch Patterns

One way to add different effects to an item is by double stitching. I love the effect of the double stitching but it can be somewhat time consuming. When I do the double stitching, I always do my own patterns. There are two ways that I usually make my patterns.

1) Image to pattern programs, namely KnitPro.

2) Printing my knit graph paper at Needlepointers.

3) Excel or Microsoft Office.

Knitpro comes in handy when you have a picture from which you want to create a pattern. This works best with simple pictures with only a few colors. Many times when I use this program I will print out the pattern and then by hand make adjustments. Still a very handy tool and a great free website for knitters to use!

I also like to print out my own graph paper because it gives you the freedom to adjust any aspect of your pattern and the ability to print out graph paper according to your gauge. This is one of the easier free websites I have found. You simply measure your gauge and then divide in order to get a ratio number. You click on the corresponding number and print out your custom graph paper.

When I am posting patterns on the blog I have found that the easiest way is to make them in either Microsoft Word or Excel. If you do this in Word you first need to insert a table. Then you check your gauge from your swatch and then adjust your column and row measurements accordingly. For example if your swatch measures out to 9 stitches by 12 rows per 2 sq in then you divide 2/9 and get .22in. You use this for your column width. Then you divide 2/12 and it comes out to .17 in. You use that for your row width. Then you go to format table and adjust the row and column measurements. After that is done you can adjust the size of the whole table but you ratio will still be correct.

Both of these websites and methods for making patterns are useful. Everyone has a personal preference of how they like doing things. I just wanted to pass along a few of my favorite websites!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Harry Potter Scarf

This was my first project that I knit on a loom. Sadly I didn't remember to take pictures of the project actually on the loom. I love the look of the double knit (that means that it has a knit look on both sides) and how thick the scarf is. Plus who doesn't love a good Harry Potter scarf :) Perfect to wear to the new Harry Potter exhibit at Universal Studios in Florida considering how cold Florida has been lately.

Check this project out in my etsy store: Katie's Krafty Knits.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Boba Fett Double Stitch Pattern

Here is the double stitch pattern for the Boba Fett Golf Club Cover. I will posting the patterns for both a stormtrooper and Darth Vader soon.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Boba Fett Golf Club Cover

This is a golf club cover that had duplicate stitching on it to resemble Boba Fett from the Star Wars Trilogy. This cover goes with a set of three I am making including Darth Vader and a stromtrooper. The pattern for the golf club cover.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oatmeal Colored Flowered Headband

Below are pictures of the Oatmeal Colored Headband in progress. This is the same headband that I have currently listed on Ebay. Here is the Pattern for the Flowered Headband. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Golf Club Cover Pattern

**UPDATE: Click here to print this pattern on google docs**

These are pictures of the process I went though to make the golf club covers. Eventually I will post pictures of the final outcome. Eventually I am going to make three of them. I will post the double stitch patterns in order to make these look like a stormtrooper, Boba Fett and Darth Vader. These are a perfect gift for anyone that happens to love Star Wars and golf! Plus they knit up easily. Enjoy!


Golf Club Cover Pattern

Sz 8 circular or double pointed needles (I used double pointed as I thought it was easier)

Cast on number of stitches that are divisible by twelve (I used 36)

Row 1: *K, K, P, P* repeat till end of round

Join round without twisting stitches

Continue with Row 1 until you have 5-6 inches in rib pattern

Row 2: K till end

Continue is Row 2 till you have 4-5 in. I tend to go closer to 5

Decrease Rows:

Row 1: *K 2, K2tg, K 2* repeat till end of round

Row 2: K till end. All even rows are same as Row 2

Row 3: *K 1, K2tg, K2* repeat till end of round

Row 5: *K 1, K2tg, K1* repeat till end of round

Row 7: *K2tg, K 1* repeat till end of round

Row 9: *K2tg* repeat till end of round

Use plastic tapestry needle to take remaining 6 stitches off double pointed needles and tie in ends.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baby Blanket #2

These are pictures of the second baby blanket I am making. This one is for a baby that we still don't know the gender. Everyone is hoping for a boy so I am making this in faith that the baby is going to be a boy!

I made this all from cotton yarn that can be easily laundered, since it is for a baby. I love how these colors go to together and I can't wait till it is finished so I can post the finished product.