Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Sewing... Market Bags

I have the sewing bug.  This week, I've been working on some market bags.  I found a pattern on line and the link is here:   

My sewing is not stellar but I am learning bits and pieces as I go.  This pattern challenged me in a few spots.  What I found very clever about this project is that you use a plastic bag from the store as a pattern!  I never noticed or paid much attention to the construction of plastic market bags but the handles are doubled up (two layers of plastic) and the sides of the plastic bags have a pleat or gusset so the bags expand a bit to hold more.  These aspects of plastic market bag construction are worked into the fabric version.  I like that the bag is lined which seems to make for a sturdier bag.  The seams are all enclosed so the bags will be easy to launder too. 
I used fabric I have on hand, both cotton. The bright blue pattern has a mottled appearance in person and the lining is tan in color with a cream-coled paisley design.  Now if I can just remember to bring these into the store and use them on a regular basis...  I think I would like to make more market bags; I might search on the internet to see if I can find another pattern to try.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Baker's Dozen

Thirteen chemo caps packaged and ready to go.  It's a good thing my husband and son have such big feet... nice big shoe boxes.

Each cap is in a gallon-sized zip close bag.  I include a personal note which includes the pattern name, type of yarn, fiber content, as well as care instructions.

I think when I talked to my acquaintenance at work, Dan, this time last year (he does volunteer work for Orchard of Hope) and I promised to make some caps for annual Walk of Hope, he suggested I make about 8 or 10 caps.  I said I'd shoot for 12. When I counted them today, I have 13.  Yay!  I made the final cap this weekend.

Lace Trimmed Chemo Cap by Mary Keenan
Berroco Comfort DK in "Rosebud"
I especially love the top of this cap.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Little... SEWING?

I went to visit my parents in their home near Portland, Oregon, last weekend.  It was good to see them.  The weather was gorgeous during my visit and I enjoyed sitting outside on their back deck, looking at their beautiful yard... noticing what has changed and what has stayted the same since our family moved into the house in the late 1970's.  While there, my mom "gifted" me a Pfaff 7570 Sewing and Embroidery Machine.  While the machine has been around for awhile, it is amazing technology and so much better than the machine I've been using (a Singer machine I used to sew on when I was in high school). 

My new Pfaff is amazing. (Thanks, Mom!)  I have nearly 30 feet for the machine... I had to count them.  I have dozens of memory cards, and each card contains programs for multiple embroidery designs.  I could go on and on about this new toy fine piece of highly tuned German engineering and I am sure I will be revealing to you the amazing features of this beast of a machine as I continue to experiment and find more time to sew.  For now, I am using fabric in my craft closet and, with what I have on hand, I have lots of fun projects lined up.  These are a few pot holders I whipped up using pockets from old blue jeans (of course!) and pre-quilted, heat-resistant fabric (from my local quilt store).  I just stitched them together, right sides together, left a space un-stitched for turning, and then turned them inside out and hand-sewed the opening shut.  Ta-dah!

While in Oregon, we drove to Portland to the Rhododendron Gardens near Reed College.  I was so fortunate to visit during this time... the flowers were in full bloom.  Understandably I got a horrible case of Kodak Fever so here are some lovely photos to share...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Camp Happy Times

Some of my best childhood memories were made at Summer Camp.  I went to Bible Camp with my good friend, Rene', a few times.  I went to MADD (music, art, drama, and dance) Camp a few times with my friend, Susan (Camp Magruder was on the Oregon Coast... awesome!).  In sixth grade, we had Outdoor School, and we learned about various ecosystems in nature (in the woods in Oregon... so VERY cool).  When I was in middle or high school, I found a Summer Camp in Newport, Washington (on the Idaho border outside of Spokane, Washington)... it was advertised in Sunset Magazine.  I was lucky enough to go there two times... it was right on the Pend Oreille River.  Awesome!  Thanks, Mom and Dad... it was great. Camp fires, camp fire songs, mosquito bites, paddling a canoe, white water rafting, swimming, arts and crafts, target shooting, skits around the camp fire, cold mornings with dew on the ground and the smell of wood smoke in the air, scavenger hunts... why on EARTH do they not have Summer Camp for adults!?  Sign me up, I want to go...

I heard about Camp Happy Times on Ravelry last Summer.  Camp Happy Times is a Summer Camp in Pennsylvania (U.S.A.) for young cancer survivors (age 5 to 21).  This time last year, an organization called Halos of Hope was collecting knit caps for the kids attending the camp.  Unfortunately, I learned about the need for caps too late last year, but this year... I did not miss out. 

On Ravelry, I saw the theme for the caps this year is cupcakes and cake!  You see, Camp Happy Times is 30 years old this year so they are asking for cupcake-theme and cake-theme caps.  How fun is that?  I've always wanted to make a cupcake hat (there are lots of adorable patterns out there).  I've decided on this pattern (click HERE for the link to the pattern I found) since I have the perfect yarn in my stash to whip up a few. Unfortunately, this pattern is not free, but I think I can justify $2.99 this month for a fun cap!

Tonight I whipped up this cap.  Actually, it's a rolled brim hat I made awhile back but I added a knit applique that looks like a cupcake.  I like the cupcake; it was fast and easy to knit up... but my sewing... oh, how I ruin nice knitting with poor hand sewing. Some day I'll figure out how to sew nicely.  In case you are wondering, that IS a Devil's Food cupcake with vanilla frosting and pink sprinkles! Yum, I am making myself hungry...

More information about Camp Happy Times can be found at

Edited 05/28/2012 to add this:

I was trying to go to sleep last night and it occurred to me that there was so much I wanted to say about Camp Happy Times and clearly I got side tracked reminiscing about my own camp experiences.  The thought of a child being diagnosed with cancer is so overwhelming to me.  To think of a child and their family going through that makes me sad... the stress, the fear. Why did this happen to me, why did this happen to my family.  I can only imagine the feelings a family must go through.  The sense of loss... bad things CAN happen... you lose your innocence and your sense of feeling normal when something bad happens to you. You could feel alone and isolated if you did not know others who had experienced what you are going through.  Camp Happy Times has got to be a great place... where young people can go, have a good time, make friends, and be with others who understand.  Happy 30th Birthday Camp Happy Times!  I am sorry there is a reason for you to have been created 30 years ago, but can only imagine how many young folks you've helped in 30 years.

Eyelet Brim Cotton Caps

My new FAVORITE hat pattern... Eyelet Brim Cotton Cap
Pattern link HERE.

I was tempted to alter this pattern but am glad I followed the pattern as written. I considered using a provisional cast on to make it easier to add the brim at the end.  But, as it turns out, adding the brim after the cap is knit, makes the brim turn out away from the wearer's face.  I really love this cap and am especially happy with the striped version.  I am done with my caps for the Orchard of Hope's 12 Annual Walk of Hope on June 9, 2012.

Used more stash yarn from my Mom (Thank, Mom!)
Sierra Pacific Crafts Little Grins (acrylic / cotton blend)

With the left over bits, I am making face scrub cloths (crochet)... nothing goes to waste!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Asymmetrical Cloche

Asymmetrical Cloche
I had hoped to have more caps done by now since my goal was to knit for my favorite charities this month and next month, but so far this is the only adult sized cap I've completed . I've made this cap two other times and I never seem to get the stitch number correct after the decreases in the brim. This time, I am also concerned I may have made the cap too long. And... I seem to notice funny looking spots in my stockinette stitching when I use cotton and I just don't get it.  I would like to get better at knitting with cotton since I understand chemo patients do enjoy cotton caps, especially in the approaching warmer months.

I feel pressed to get more hats done because I promised to make a number of hats for Orchard of Hope, which is an organization which helps folks living in the Fremont County (Colorado) area who have been diagnosed with cancer as well as their family members. They are having their Annual Walk on June 9, 2012, and I would like to have about 10 or 12 hats available at the registration desk for any folks who would like a cap.  Just as soon as I took this photo, I cast on another cap.  I am using more similar cotton yarn but am trying out a new pattern.  The yarn is from my Mom's Stash (Thanks, Mom!) and is Sierra Pacific Crafts Little Grins.
Asymmetrical Cloche pattern link can be found HERE.
The flower was my addition and is not part of the pattern in the link above.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Christmas Stockings

I am making wild and wacky Christmas Stockings in May and June for Operation Holiday Stockings.  These stockings are a great way to use up worsted weight yarn left over from other projects.  The top photo looks like it is in black and white but they are grey and white stockings pictured on my greyish-blue carpet.  My goal for May/June is 12 stockings.

Pattern link is HERE if you are interested.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Crocheted Market Bag

Whoops!  This is a knitting blog but I just had to show you my cool Crocheted Market Bag.  This is yet another great, quick project from my book "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders."  The project calls for Noro Sock Kureyon Yarn so it got me to thinking about the left over Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn in my stash.  The Kureyon Yarn is a finer fingering weight yarn and the Silk Garden is more like DK or sport weight yarn.  Also the Kureyon Yarn comes with more yardage per skein as compared to the Silk Garden. Thankfully I had about 1 1/3 skeins of the Silk Garden in my stash and I made it work. The project does call for holding two strands of yarn together while you crochet. I was able to match up the colors for the bottom and body of the bag. For the top and the handles, the yarn appears to have a more "tweedy" effect since the colors are not matchy-matchy. 

Note:  I did alter the patten slightly.  The instructions call for one large handle but I opted for two smaller handles.  I marked the bag at four spots (with safety pins) where I wanted handles to exist.  I single crocheted to the first marker, chained 30 stitches and the slip stitched the chain to the stitch occupied by the second marker.  Then I singled crocheted to the third maker, chained 30 stitches, and then slip stitched the chain to the stitch occupied by the fourth marker.  I continued to single crochet around until I ran out of yarn.  I was tickled that the final row around the entire bag was hot pink.  Such luck!   I was thinking I did not like the way the bag turned out but when I put "stuff" in the bag, it looked great!  To model the bag, I put a gallon sized plastic zip-closed bag full of yarn inside the bag.  That gives you an idea of the storage capacity of the bag.  I am considering using this bag to bring lunch to work.  I am also considering adding a fabric liner (if I am not too lazy).  This would also make a nice knitting bag for small projects (mittens, socks, etc.). 

Friday, May 11, 2012

For Calvin's Hats...

Can you imagine a baby so small that this hat would fit?
The hats are modeled on eggs.
With the advances of medical technology, babies born too soon and so small are often surviving and thriving and it really is miraculous...
But some times, despite the most heroic efforts, some are born too soon and too small to live. 
That is why Calvin's Hats was created.  You can read more about Calvin's Hats by clicking HERE. 
When I first noticed this group on the Internet, it touched my heart and I made a goalfor myself to make a dozen hats... a dozen very tiny hats.

I just wanted to share them with you and encourage you to check out Calvin's Hats if you are interested in learning more.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tri-Corner Baby Hat

Tri-Corner Baby Hat from Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders

A fun little pattern knit up in a few evenings.  For this Tri-Corner Baby Hat, I used left over sock yarn from Knit Picks.  I love how the yarn made a cool pattern in the hat. The pattern is from my FAVORITE book called "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders."  The pattern called for tassles on each of the three points and a little I-cord in the center of the hat.  I added a little pom pom instead.