Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 11 - a couple days late

Quick post update, more for the principle of the thing.

Baby beanie? check!
afghan square? afraid not.

So, once more with mixed feelings. I'm not sure what it is about march that's made me less. It could be the crappy weather, making me lethargic, it could be the multiple events at work that tire me out, or it could just be the fact that I've been wanting to do other crafts. ...maybe all 3. Still, I'm sticking with the baby beanies, so I'm glad of that.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week 10 and a bit of disappointment

Hellohello! Here we are at the end of week 10, and I post with mixed feelings of achievement. I did finish my required beanie, but I did not finish optional afghan square. Perhaps later in the year I will make up for it, perhaps not. Life often surprises us. However, I did finish the beanie, so I am pleased that I haven't been knocked completely off course.

Better luck for me next week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

week 9 - MARCHing right along!

Alright, Hello!

This week is a success as well! Finished my quota and I'm currently updating while working on this coming week's hat. I almost didn't finish the afghan square simply because I forgot about it until the last minute!

I spent last night rounding up a stash of random yarn that was scattered across the apartment. I found the rest of my awful 29cent yarn that I dislike working wtih, but that I can use toward the cause. I've got a nice big bagful so I'm not letting myself buy any more yarn until it's all used up. ..let's hope I can keep that resolution! I've used up 2 of my skeins so far, but because I keep alternating using the others, they've been lasting longer and hanging around, and that's why my apartment is messy~

See you all next week!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week 8 - all done!

Hellohello!  I'm a bit late posting, which is funny because I actually was finished a few days early this week!  Well I got a bit caught up watching Megamind with my boyfriend tonight and forgot about posting.  It's such a funny movie!

Well here's this month's lot!

I didn't show the doubles this month, so there are actually 2 green squares, two blue squares and 2 blue hats, a total of 4 & 4!

a close up of the ribbed hat in pink, I really like how this one works up.  I did it a couple times last month too, but this time I felt fun and decided to add some pompoms!

here's a close-up of the pompom, it was pretty easy to make and I think it really adds to the cute!

Has anyone tried the new patterns I posted last week?  I did, they turned out kinda cute, but I did it as a present so I'm not counting it as part of the challenge.

TWO MONTHS DOWN! only 10 more to go! it's awesome...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Week 7, all done!

It's the end of week 7, and I'm pretty proud to still be on top of everything.  V-day has come and gone, with nothing too special happening since both my boyfriend and I were working.  Also, this week's beanie AND square are complete.  Go me. 

Today I've decided to share a couple cute beanie patterns, one crochet and one knit.  These patterns seem easy and they sure do look cute!

Baby's Apple Beanie:

This cute beanie can be worked for numerous fruits.  I used to have a strawberry and a grape beanie as a kid, I loved them!  Show me the ones you make!

Square Knit Beanie:

An adorable fun beanie that's good for those who like to knit on two needles and aren't quite sure about how to decrease their stitches.  This pattern is a simple square, sewn up two sides.

Try these out!  They look like fun!  See you all at the end of Week 8!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week 6, still going strong!

Hello everyone!  It's the end of week 6 and I'm posting just under the wire (again).  This week was full of many things.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading, which also gave me something to do while my boyfriend played his video games.  I ran a couple events at work, started my new position, and promised to bake cupcakes for the V-day potluck.  I used my slow cooker, had awful bouts of insomnia and made some doctor's appointments.  I also had some naps, both delightful and unsatisfying.

My challenge week finished smoothly, with a knit cap in blue, a twin to last weeks', complete, and my 3rd square in bright green almost finished.  I'm going to have a lot of identical squares, but I really want this yarn gone.  Plus, I've been getting good mileage from my yarns.

Today after work I discovered that the 14" Susan Bates metal knitting needles were on clearance for only $2.99 each!  That better than my discount so I snapped up 3 pairs on the spot!  Honestly, I dislike the long needles, they get in my way and always seem to whack my elbows, but for baby blankets and wide shawls, they're easier in the long run that the shorter ones I use constantly.  Plus, as we know, I hate working in the round, so long needles it is!

On we go to week 7, best of luck with the knitting/crocheting and and early Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week 5!

Hello again!  I tell you, the time is FLYING.  This week has been pretty busy for me, I got a new position at work, and while it doesn't give me a lot of hours, it's a lot of days.  I also am currently fighting off a cold, and the congestion is killing me, so this week's installment will be short.

Here's another easy easy baby cap pattern I found on :

They have a whole separate section for baby hats with different skill levels, so it's fun to go look through!  Best of luck with this next week, and I hope I get better soon!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

1/12 of the way there!

 Hello everyone!  How are you all doing?  For anyone following along with this challenge, how was the first month?  That's right, the first month is over, can you believe it?

I think that January might be one of the harder months, just getting into the groove of the challenge, forming a new habit.  My January was full of ups and downs, and I know I didn't get to knit as much as I'd hoped, but I still managed to finish this month's goals.  As promised, I do have a picture of my completed pieces:

...4 beanies, 3 squares, and that green stuff on the needles at the top? Another square, just not quite finished.  I've used a few different yarns so far, my favorite is still Caron's Simply Soft.  I just love Simply Soft.  I find it easy to work with, truly soft (I don't have to bandage my fingers when I use it, unlike almost all other yarns), great colors, washes well, drapes well, is warm, and cost-effective.  Simply Soft has a lot of yards per skein so it goes a long way!  I also enjoyed working with Lily's Sugar 'n' Cream yarn.  I used it for a baby beanie and then the variegated pink square.  The drape and ease of the square pleasantly surprised me, so I'll probably find myself doing that again.  I also use this yarn for pattern dishcloths, so the difference a couple needle sizes makes in texture was rather interesting.  My unfinished green square is Impeccable.  I don't really like it, but it was 29cent clearance yarn, so I wanted to put it to good use.  I do have to bandage my fingers when working with it though, which is a pain.  My variegated preemie beanies are Bernats Baby Jaquards, which was alright to work with, although not as soft as I had initially thought.  Cute colors and lightweight though, which is a plus.  I may be buying more.

As we move into the month of February, I feel like I'm off to a good start, and hope to keep the momentum going.  I hope everyone else can too!  See you all next week!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week 3!

Hello!  It's the end of week three.  Barely, like I just made it under the wire!  Maybe I should start updating on Fridays instead of waiting for Saturday.  I always seem to cut it a touch close when I wait...which is silly since I'm always done early!

Yep, done early!  Once again I've got a beanie all done.  Unfortunately my arm was still acting up this week so my square isn't quite complete.  I'll take some time tomorrow to finish that off.  Still that puts me at 3/3 for beanies and 2/3 for squares.  Doing pretty well so far!  I hope everyone who's decided to join me is doing well too!

Next week I'm going to post a picture will all the caps/squares I've done this month.  Almost 1/12 of the way there!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week 2 - complete!

Alright, made it in the nick of time! 

Second week of the Challenge, how's everyone doing?  I've stayed on top of it again, with Week 2 going successfully~  It was a close thing though!

At the beginning of the week I lifted something in a funny way at work and tweaked something in my elbow, which meant I had to lay off the knitting for a few days.  It's feeling better now, but it does stress how important it is to rest occasionally when doing a repetitive motion, and to take care of yourself.  I didn't manage to get a picture this week, but I'll be sure to snap a pic next week! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Week One - PASS!


Week one's challenge is complete, with still a couple more days to go!  I actually got both a beanie and a square done for this week, due to my enthusiasm for this project!  It helped that the retail peak season is over so hours are on a bit of a drought and I had more time to spend knitting.

Today I spent a few hours with a friend teaching her to knit.  I really enjoy both learning and sharing my knowledge with others, especially when combined with freshly baked brownies and good movies!  I also gave her a cardboard template for the squares and she might be contributing to my final donations!

Here's a picture of this week's completed pieces:

The beanie was made from Lily's Sugar'n'Cream yarn and the square from Caron Simply Soft. I found that the Sugar'n'Cream wasn't my favorite to work with, although it has a great variety of cute variegated yarns.

I hope I can see what other people make!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Alright!  It's now 2011 and officially time for my challenge to start!  I thought a post with more information about the Warm Up America project and specifics of the donations would be a good place to start.
The Warm Up America Project:  This is a foundation that collects baby beanies and afghan squares.  The baby beanies are self explanatory, so here I'm going to expand on the afghan squares.  The requirements for an afghan square are simple, it simply has to be a 7"x9" piece done in a simple stitch and this is a great way for beginners to get comfortable with a stitch.  My squares are usually just the garter stitch (knit stitch only).  The squares are stitched together and then donated to battered women's Shelters, the homeless and to hospitals.  A full size afghan takes 49 squares.

Afghan Squares:

Simple stitch patterns for Knitting:

Garter stitch (knit stitch only)
Stockinnette Stitch (Row 1: knit all.  Row 2: purl all.  repeat rows 1&2)
Seed Stitch (K1, P1.  repeat for all rows.)

Using sz. 7 needles (US) cast on 35 stitches.  Choose your stitch.  knit until the square length is 9".  Cast off.  Done!

Simple stitch patterns for Crochet:

Single crochet stitch
Double crochet

Using hook size G, chain your foundation (30 for single crochet, 27 for double crochet).  crochet until piece length measures 9"  Fasten off.  Done!

 Baby Beanies.

I'm not an advanced knitter, and am still very much a beginner when it comes to crochet, so I hope that anyone just starting out who stumbles on this blog can feel comfortable with taking up this challenge themselves.  For this reason I've chosen a couple simple, super easy and (most importantly) cute baby beanie patterns to highlight.  These beanies work up fast and it's so easy to get that one-a-week done! Today I'll post two patterns, one crochet and one knit, these will get you started! 
Many thanks to Teresa Richardson for posting this pattern!  I'm looking forward to making it!
This hat is actually much cuter than the picture, and is just adorable!  Thanks to Beverly Qualheim for this one!

And that ends my post!  Hopefully this is enough to get you all started, and once you stop you'll find out just how easy it is to make a difference!  Happy 2011 everyone!