Thursday, March 20, 2014

60 for 60

I've been knitting. Quite a bit. But not on needles. Nope, knitting needles and I don't get along. I start out okay, but then I just get tighter and tighter and pretty soon, I can't get the stitches off or the needle in. But loom knitting works for me.

I bought this Nifty Knitter ring at a thrift store (Value Village), along with the three larger sizes that come in the set. I paid less than $5 for the set, but if you buy a new set, expect to pay $15-$20. This is the only size I've used so far, but that's because I have a goal in mind. I am making 60 scarves to donate by my 60th birthday. I've made 41 so far, so only 19 to go before July 24th.

Loom knitting's been around for a long time- as far back as the 16th Century. It may have begun as finger knitting. (I always wonder how people figure out things like this!)

I remember making a "corking" spool when I was in grade school. It was a red wooden spool with four nails pounded in the top. The knitted cord was created in the center hole of the spool, making a long rope that could then be sewn together in a spiral to make a trivet or other such item. I liked the calm process even then.

Each scarf if double thick with the tube sewn closed on each end. They vary a bit in length, but they all are about 64 inches long and about 5 inches wide.  I use Lion Brand Homespun yarn, available at craft stores. (It's the 6 oz. size, 185 yards.) It's a very soft yarn, easy to work with, and comes in a variety of colors, as you can see. I fold up the finished scarves, tying them with a bit of the same yarn to keep them neat and organized.

My grand girls all have made scarves and hats knitting with these rings- the youngest is 6, so that gives you an idea of my knitting skills. :D

Maybe I'll see if they'd like to make scarves to donate too, in honor of their birthdays. They wouldn't have to make as many as I am, that's for sure!! But it's fun to have a goal to work toward that helps others at the same time. These scarves will be given to homeless men and women- a touch of love along with the warmth they'll provide.

Make it a wonderful day!  (And Happy Birthday to our son Ryan, serving in Afghanistan. We love you and miss you and can't wait for you to come home to us.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Quick Moss Wreath

We've had a plain twig wreath on our front porch for a while, so I thought I'd give it an update for St. Patrick's Day and Spring. I may add some flowers to it for Easter too.

 The moss was used in a beautiful "woodland themed" wedding reception designed by my daughter-in law Dea, and I've been saving it for a couple of years. She was going to throw it away, but she asked me if I wanted it…of course I said yes! The rusty wire is from I don't know where. (I love that when anyone is getting rid of some artsy/crafty supplies, they ask me if I want them. Usually, I say yes. So thank you to whoever gave me the wire.) You can purchase wire and moss at craft or floral shops if you don't have leftovers like I did.

I set clumps of the moss on the front of the wreath, wrapping the wire around. Cover small areas at a time and secure with wire as you go. (I didn't cut the wire, just left in on the paddle. It made it very easy to manage.) The wire  disappeared into the moss.

Some of the moss is brighter green than the rest, so if you make a moss wreath, mix up the clumps so you have an even distribution of color.  I'll remember to do that…next time.

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So this last photo is of our front lawn, if you can call it that.  We live in the Pacific Northwest, with lots of evergreen trees. Over the years, we've taken out the lawn in our backyard and in the most of the front yard. But I wanted some open area to play on with the grands. We're not into using chemicals to fight the moss, so this is the result. Any ideas? I think the best option is to love the moss… and the dandelions that will join the moss in a few weeks.

Have a Wonderful Day!