Making hats for the homeless and for the people of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is something I do year-round, though this year I’ve crocheted more baby blankets and made fewer hats. Last year all of my hats were crocheted the old fashioned way, with a crochet hook and yarn. This year I’ve taken up loom knitting and have really enjoyed making hats on the loom. I find loom knitting very relaxing, easy to learn, and a nice lap-sized project for TV time.
Nothing goes to waste in my sewing studio and both the cats and I are happy about that.
When I first heard about making cat beds out of scraps of fabric and batting I wondered how they would launder. I’m happy to report that mine launder very well.
You might notice a new model in a lot of the pictures of projects coming up. For a long time Patch (the one-eyed, flame point kitty in some of the pictures on the blog) was the predominant kitty model around here. He still models with a lot of projects as he loves fabric of any type and it is hard to take a picture of a quilt or other project without him being in it. But recently Callie Kitten and Ozzie have been giving him a run for his money. There’s a lot of competition for kitty modeling gigs these days. In any case, this is Ozzie. He’s “helping” me add the fringe to this blanket.
I actually finished this little top a couple of weeks ago but have been scrambling and hadn’t had a chance to blog about it. It’s made from the same See & Sew (Butterick) pattern (B5442) that I used to make the first little girl’s top that I made with this pattern. The part I found most difficult (and it isn’t that difficult) about this pattern was gathering the ruffle at the bottom. But then I bumped into a video on YouTube (one of my favorite places on the web for learning new things). The video showed a nifty new (to me anyway) product that you can use to quickly create ruffles and gathers.
One of the online charity crafting groups that I belong to, Sew For Kids Volunteers, has projects that they work on throughout the year. Members of the group are free to participate in the group projects or to make other things. I tend to skip around and do a lot of my own thing because for the most part I consider myself more of a quilter than seamstress, crocheter, or loom knitter…though since joining Sew For Kids Volunteers I’ve branched out from quilting into all of these other areas and am beginning to see myself more as an all around maker of things.
Anyway, the current project at Sew For Kids Volunteers is to make summer clothes for the children at Pine Ridge. I’m not much of a seamstress, but a while back I did sew some doll clothes that turned out pretty well. I figured if I could make doll clothes, then surely I could make people clothes too….
Back in March I posted the first two loom knitted hats I made. Since then I’ve made three more…and have a fourth (sixth total) on the loom. I might have had another one or two to show, except that I stitched through my finger with the sewing machine last Saturday night and took a couple of days away from loom knitting while my finger healed up a bit.
I still don’t have it down to where I can make a hat in an hour…but I do have it down to where I can make a loom knitted hat in about the same time it would take me to crochet one and I find I like working with the loom.
It’s been a challenge (and I’ll bet you can guess why) but I did finally get the fringes added to the Sweet’n Sunny crocheted baby blanket.
I enjoy making these simple, single crochet, one color, variegated yarn blankets. I think they turn out pretty. They are easy because there’s no counting involved – which is good because I’m not good at counting when I’m fully focused, let alone while I’m watching my favorite episode of NCIS, Big Bang, or Elementary. I’ve made several of these single crochet, variegated yarn blankets since I first learned to crochet.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting one of my favorite charity donation groups, Sew For Kids Volunteers and was inspired!
Being inspired wasn’t what was unusual. I’m usually inspired by this group of caring people who band together to help provide formula, blankets, quilts, winter coats, shoes, boots, firewood, school clothes, school supplies, diapers, and other items for the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Usually I am inspired to make more quilts, scarves, baby blankets, crocheted hats — things I already make. The poverty there is so extreme that the need is never fully met…so those of us in the group keep making, buying, sending.
However, one of the ladies in the group had posted a picture of four hats and a scarf that she’d made on one of the looms like the one pictured above. Another lady posted that she could loom a hat in an hour or so. The idea of being able to make a hat in an hour appealed to me so I purchased the set of looms above and jumped right into a whole new craft.
110 Quilted Potholders is a 63 page book which offers up the patterns for 110 pretty potholders. The photo to the left shows the first five that I made using this book. The top pink/purple block is the Coxey’s Army block from page 19 in the book. The top orange block is the Double Pinwheel block from page 47 of the book. The pink and green block is July Fourth from page 20. The pink and yellow block is Sunlight and Shadow from page 33. Last but not least is the Single Irish Chain block from page 45.
Now that I’ve given away most of the gifts I have for this year I am feeling at once a sense of calm and peace, but also an eagerness to dive into next year. I think one of the things we will be doing more of this year are the family gatherings with a crafting focus. It’s fun to see the younger generation picking up that tradition and it’s fun for the older generation to pick it up again too. Crafting makes a nice focus to form a gathering around.
It has been a busy weekend, finishing things up for Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. With the weather getting cold and Christmas fast approaching it seemed like the perfect time to buckle down and finish things up.
Something shifted a few weeks ago when I made my first pieced backing for the bright swirls quilt. Buying fabric for backings and making the backings suddenly became as much fun as making the tops…and since then I’ve been making fairly swift progress through the big bin in the storage room that holds all the projects that are waiting to be quilted. The bright scrappy stars quilt which I blogged about when I was piecing it and layering it several months ago has finally been completed!
One of the things I’ve wanted to make for a while are some of the crayon rolls that I’ve seen around the internet–especially on Pinterest. I’ve thought that they would be great to send to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Since I’ve been browsing the internet looking for patterns for crayon rolls, and trying to figure out what I need to buy to make some of them, I thought I’d share some links to some of the patterns that are out there. I’m sure this is something I’ll refer back to again, as there are quite a few different ways to make these crayon rolls…and well…I like variety. 🙂 I get bored if I do too many things that are too much the same…even if I do like the security of knowing what I’m doing and knowing what I need to have on hand to do it.