Ball Winder and Swift Video

Today we decided to embark upon our very first video adventure on Mama Loves Knitting. I had a request way back in the day, when I showed off my new swift and ball winder, upon its much anticipated arrival in the mail, to make a video of how to use them. I make cakes quite frequently and am happy to be able to do it without having to make a trip to the yarn shop with two little boys. I think you'll see why it is much easier for my "assistants" to "assist" at home as opposed to in a cramped yarn shop when you watch our video.

Making Yarn Cake

I hope it doesn't make you vomit.

Stanwood Needlecraft YBW-B Hand-Operated Yarn Ball Winder, 4-Ounce Stanwood Needlecraft YBW-B Hand-Operated Yarn Ball Winder, 4-Ounce
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Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder, Medium Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder, Medium
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Sick Day Amigurumi Carrot

Amigurumi Carrot Pattern

What is Amigurumi? If you ask me it is a pretty pleasing way to fill an Easter basket or give your kiddos something to play with that is safe. I mean of course you could always shop at a store like this one to accomplish the same thing, but making something for someone you love is so gratifying. You might remember the chickens that filled the baskets last Easter or the Sock Monkey that I just finished up for my little Valentine's. Those are both examples of Amigurumi. Knit toys.

I happen to be spending the day on the couch, just as I have been for a week, one kid gets sick, then my husband, then the other kid and leaving their sides isn't really an option.

Mama and Gus Sick Baby

Instead of making yet another ribbed hat...oh wait I did start one last night...

Knitting and Holding Gus Papa's Hat Raven Ridge Yarn

It just seemed like the easiest thing to knit with a kid on my lap. This yarn is Raven Ridge handpainted worsted weight yarn made by the woman that taught me to knit. And, yet another ribbed hat...boring...so onto today's project.

To pass the time I'm attempting to knit a carrot from this book.

Amigurumi Knits: Patterns for 20 Cute Mini Knits Amigurumi Knits: Patterns for 20 Cute Mini Knits
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It was a gift and I haven't attempted to make a thing from it yet and of course I'm on the first row of the carrot and 'wrapping and turning' (w&t) is in the pattern. There is a pretty great description of how to wrap and turn right in the book, but I'm not sure if I wrap and turn this whole lot of stitches that is left or just wrap and turn one of them? I just need a little bit more explanation. So I turn to You Tube. You pretty much never need to take another knitting class in your life these days. Funny thing is I'm signed up for one that starts on Tuesday to make that god forsaken sweater I started a coon's age ago. I'm most likely going to be tearing apart everything I've accomplished so far, but it actually makes way more sense to me to knit on circular needles so I'm hoping that is what I will be instructed to do.

Back to that carrot. This w&t video seemed to be the most useful one I found. I'm hoping by the end of this sick day I'll have a carrot to show off. I figured out that I just do one wrap and turn, not the stretch of remaining stitches. At least based on how my carrot is coming together that seems to be the right solution.

I chose this leftover Shepard's Wool Yarn that I have, since I have a plethora of colors. Orange and Green (looks like a carrot to me).

Orange and Green Shepard's Wool

The carrot in progress didn't look anything like a carrot - and really when it was complete (sans the fronds) it looks more like Gwing (which is the name courtesy of my good friends Syd/Chris) that they named some mutant carrots a while back. We had carrots that looked like THIS and worse in our harvest 2010.

Gwing

Mutants

So I thought it fitting that the carrot I knit up looked really similar. The encouraging family surrounding me the night I grafted it together reassured me it looked like a *real* carrot. Indeed.

Reminder

Oh before I show you the finished product - well nearly finished product I thought this was pretty brilliant. I went to bed one evening and since I have plenty of things to remember I took a photo of the row # (#5) I left off on. Gwing won't be missing any rows, she's just got some tiny holes where we (me and Gwing) did the w&t. Still mastering that whole thing. That is Sloane's Blanket (still in progress) and Gwing sitting atop before I called it a night.

And TA DA! Here she is...Gwing sans her greens (I think those will really make her beauty shine).

Knit Gwing

Gus and Gwing

Gus thinks Gwing is good enough to eat - and he feels better - that's all that is important to this Mama.

Happy Knitting!

Crochet a Heart – Knit one too!

Valentines

I realize the title of my blog is Mama Loves Knitting...but she also can dig on some crocheting every now and again. For the pattern of the week I'll share a little love: both a knit heart and a sweet little crochet heart pattern. I've heard rumor there are videos on You Tube (approx. 4 minutes long) for you to learn how to do this in no time flat! I found this one that I'm trying the second I get home.

I'm pretty sure Sloaney Baloney's blanket will have some crochet hearts upon it...due to the knitting mishaps that occurred during Lexie's labor - I had 'work fall off needles' more than a handful of times so we have a couple of holes. Whoops. Nothing that can't be patched/covered right up though. Oh and that blanket is purt darn near complete.

Happy Valentine's Day! My little Simon loved his cozy sock monkey and homemade gifties at dawn. I'm one lucky loved Mama.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Knit a Tit Bit

If you happen to find yourself with some yarn to spare, and you are looking for a way to craft for someone in need....of course you can always knit up a hat to donate to your local homeless shelter. You can knit caps for your local hospital, it certainly isn't hard to find someone in need of warmth in the midst of an arctic winter.

Maybe you are like me and find it really hard to make enough hats for the people in your life as it is, but you love making things for people in need, and donating your time and energy (whatever you might have to spare). It feels good to make other people happy, make them feel good or make their lives just a little bit easier.

Here is an idea my lovely friend shared on her blog that I'd like to share with all of you. Why not knit a breast prosthesis for a breast cancer survivor in need? It is sadly/nearly impossible these days to live in a community/family and not know someone that has breast cancer, has a family member with breast cancer, has lost someone to breast cancer or is a breast cancer survivor. In my life alone I could share many stories. My Grandma is a breast cancer survivor, my aunt was just diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and a sweet friend just lost her Mom to breast cancer a little over a year ago, and the list goes on.

From what I've read it isn't easy to track down a good post mastectomy bra, and those breast prosthesis are heavy, floppy and horrid. I mean what do I know, maybe they are amazing for some women?, but wouldn't it be nice to have some soft cotton yarn to fill your bra instead? Some bamboo, or hemp, or chenille, something that feels good and soft against your skin surely would be much more appealing. So I am going to knit some tit bits - at least one. And, I would love to donate more than one or two knit tit bits with the help of you!

You can find the pattern on Knitty's blog if you'd like join the cause.  The project looks simple enough and February is cold, foggy, and dreary so motivation to knit should be rockin' yer wool socks off.

I'm going to be collecting knit breasts to donate at the beginning of March. If you are interested in sharing your yarn, your time, & your skills please leave a comment and/or contact me. If you live in Missoula you can just drop your finished products off at Walking Stick Toys - 829 S Higgins. Let's try and get these boobs made by March 1st friends.