Saturday, December 31, 2011

Knitted Dish cloth with no purls

How many of you knitters like purling? Not me! :-) I've been told that the Portuguese style of knitting makes purling so easy! In fact, it makes the knitting part seem hard. That is something I will have to check into sometime as the local knitting store sells the pin and DVD. Andrea Wong teaches how. You can google it on YouTube.

I was thinking today about knitting dish cloths that didn't require any purling and there are so many ways to do this and still have a nice dish cloth.

There is the "Grandma's Favorite" of course.

Then, there is the way where you just knit every row. I like the way it looks especially when I use a variegated yarn. It's kind of hard to see, but the two cloths in the back are just plain knitted.

While purling isn't my favorite thing to do, I don't mind it too much. My favorite knit dish cloth to make is found here. The nice waffle weave texture scrubs dishes nice.

Only, when I make it I like to cast on 36 instead. I don't like overly large dish cloths since they stretch so much when they get wet. I like the size that my casting on of 36 makes. Seven to nine inches square based on the size needle. I use anywhere between a 6 through an 8.

Some pictures of the ones I've made. Here plain white and here shown with stripes, and here with variegated colors.

happy knitting!
until next time!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to sew a crochet towel topper

Today I ripped out a crochet hat that I started a couple days ago. Instead of looking like a hat, it looked more like a triangle! It still fit like a hat but I wasn't happy with it.

Feeling very frustrated with myself since I also had to rip out the prayer shawl I started, (twice) I decided to work on a project that I knew I could do. I finished crocheting two granny squares today and took out the sewing machine to make these:

This way does require a sewing machine but it eliminates having to make a double flap to cover your stitches and uses a whole towel rather than one cut in half.

It took less than 30 minutes to sew both of them up. Almost twelve years ago, a dear friend of mine taught me how to crochet a granny square and sew these fun, fast and easy towel toppers. I've seen some made with just a crochet hook and no sewing machine required, but I always come back to making these.

To make them, you need some basic sewing skills, a kitchen towel and a granny square. If you don't know how to make a granny square, try this link.

I found when I made my granny square that each time I finished a round, I would chain 3 and then turn before making the double crochets.

You can make the granny square any size you want. I used a crochet hook "H" and made mine about 7 rounds. You can either pin and make pleats (I don't have any pins yet) or fold in half and put a basting stitch across the middle. It helps if you make two lines, but I usually just do one. Then pull the strings until it makes the folds like this:

You just want it to match the the length of the square, so adjust as necessary. The picture shows the back of the towel, but you want to be sure to sew the granny square to the top of the towel.

Then, with the basting stitch still in place, (to be sure it is right where you want it to be- believe me, it's easier to remove the stitches when you can see them!)

Sew down one time. Check to see if it's where you want it to be. Pin if necessary. Then, switch the stitching to regular stitches and sew down again. Back stitch the ends to secure:

Now all you have to do is sew the button on the inside as pictured. I usually have one side of the towel longer than the other so that becomes the front.

The buttonhole is on the opposite side. (the granny square hole is the buttonhole)

That's it! Wasn't that fun!?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Soap Saver and Soap Giveaway

This contest is open to U.S. only.

Simply Cleansing recently had a giveaway for 8 free bars of soap! The contest was here.

I said that if I won, that I would have a giveaway for a free soap saver and bar of soap, and guess what! I won!! Yay!!!

If you win, you will have a choice to pick between:
1. crocheted hemp soap saver
2. crocheted organic cotton (naturally pigmented) soap saver

For those of you that don't know what my soap savers look like, scroll down to see my Etsy store to see pictures and colors. Yours will be similar to them.

Also, you will be able to choose one of the following scents:
1. lemon
2. spearmint
3. patchouli

Leave a comment below and tell me which one you'd like to win and also be sure to leave me a way to contact you. I will have the drawing sometime on January 1st and ship item out shortly after. The exact date depends on when I go into town for that week. I will contact the winner and let them know when package ships.

If you have trouble commenting below (sometimes that happens) you can also email me at Just be sure to put "soap saver giveaway" in the subject line.

Be sure to leave me a way to contact you, if you're the winner!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sewmor and Brother Machines

Well, thanks to a friend's tip I found a manual to order for the Sewmor machine. However, my aunt emailed me to today to tell me that the friend that had it before me ordered herself the manual and now I have to give the machine back. :-(  It's such a beautiful machine.

So, I went and bought myself a Brother LX2500 from Walmart. I put it all together today and did some test sewing on it. And it sews wonderfully. No tension troubles at all! Just straight out of the box and I'm ready to sew!

I'm so excited!! For the next two weeks, I've got a lot of neat ideas to sew. I'll post up some pictures tomorrow of my machine, but if you can't wait, here's one to see now from the Walmart site.

Now, I'll be able to post up finished projects of my sewing as well as knitting.

I'm off to go knit some baby booties now. I've been promising the lady from the quilt store some Mary Jane booties with matching hats for a long time now and thought it would be nice to actually have some made up by the time school starts again. I've got so many things I want to knit. I just need to go do it now!

On a side note, one of my friends gave me a nice sized basket of yarn today. Now, to decide what to make with all of it.

It seems my yarn keeps multiplying. Not that I'm complaining. I've got so many things to make next I can't keep up with all of it!

until next time!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I found a picture of the Singer I used to have.

And good news, is that I found a thread guide for the SewMor. I'm not sure yet if it's for the exact model that I have but I think it will give me a good guideline to go by!

The link for that is here. I can't wait now to see if I can't get this one running. Maybe I won't need to buy a new one if this one works.

Picture taking and sewing machines

I always seem to forget to take a picture of something before I give the item away. My "aunt" came over yesterday and I gave her the baby bootie/hat set I made for her friend. I meant to take a picture of it, but completely forgot!

Well, the pattern I used was the same as the ones I made for the bazaar this year, but still, I meant to snap a photo. When and if this camera ever goes bad, I think I want one of those tiny cameras that I can keep in my pocket or at least on a belt strap, and then I never have to worry about being without my camera!

I did not get the socks done this weekend. But I plan to work on it every day until it's done and then give it to my friend for a late present. I'm beginning to already make my "New Year's Resolutions" which I joked to myself that number 1 on the list is to actually follow them. (since I always make them but never ever ever follow them!) ha! ha! I'm quite the list maker though. Always having to make a list before I do anything. I wonder though how much of that is due to me avoiding what I don't want to do, so I first make a list. ha!

Remember the sewing machine I acquired earlier this year from my Aunt. The one that I probably forgot to take a picture of?  Well, for some reason I can't think of what model it is. I have the image of the machine clearly in my head. Well, I sewed off and on with it but had more trouble with it than I care to ever have with a machine. For the most part, it sat in storage. Then, Nick found me a Brother machine at a garage sale for $5. I was so hoping it would do its job but sadly no. It sits too in storage. I can't get it to work right. I even took it into the local quilt store and while it worked perfectly for her, (go figure!) as soon as I got it home, I had problems with it again.

I was convinced I needed to save up my money for the next 10 years to buy a new decent one. -Still doing that, but in the meantime, I've been wanting to sew N-O-W! lol

Well, the one that my aunt gave me, since I had so much trouble with it, I didn't want to keep it anymore. Even though I do love the old metal sewing machines versus the plastic ones. Well, yesterday my aunt came over with a sewing machine and hoped I could get it working for her. I had never seen one quite like it before.

It is a SewMor Precision DeLuxe 202 model. Made in Japan. I tried to find a manual on the Internet about it just so I'd know how to thread the thing, but no luck. This machine was for my aunt's friend who couldn't get it to work. Then, I remember the Singer I had that she had given me. So, I dug it out of storage and got it threaded up and guess what! It worked perfectly! What!?

Even though I like the old metal machines, at this point, I'm ready for a new plastic one. One that works every time I plug it in. So, I told my Aunt she could have the Singer one and give it to her friend. She seemed pleased with the idea and told me that she didn't need the SewMor so she left it with me.

So, now I've got this pretty blue sewing machine and still trying to find a way to get it to work. Once I do figure it out, I'll probably sell or give it away. I still have my eye on a new one. From Walmart. Yes, I know! I hate buying it from Walmart too, but at this point in time, I don't want to fork over $400 for a machine that I will use seasonally. I still imagine that I will knit and crochet way more than I sew.

I talked to a friend of mine when I was convinced that the Walmart model wouldn't be suitable enough for my needs and she reassured me that it would be fine. She's been using hers for several years now and uses her expensive Janome as backup. She likes its portability- which is one reason I wanted a non-metal one. I'd like to take it on trips and to sewing classes.

I'll post up some pictures of the SewMor later this week and also of the one I'm planning on getting with some Christmas/birthday money. I've got so many sewing project ideas in my head that I can't wait to begin the actual process of sewing them!

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simply Cleansing Soap Giveaway

Who doesn't love a freebie! One of our friends here in Missouri is having a soap giveaway. Click here for more details. No purchase necessary!

I love to use their soap in my soap savers and to give as gifts. One of the reasons I love their soap is that they don't use any chemicals or fragrance oils in it. Only pure 100% essential oils. No dyes to irritate my skin.

They have 8 wonderful scents to choose from. Click here for their soap website.

If I win, I'll have a giveaway on my blog for one of my hemp or organic cotton soap savers and a bar of their soap.

until next time!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Knitted facial scrubber

I was thinking of face scrubbies the other day and realized I posted a pattern for a crochet one but not a knitted one. So, I grabbed some yarn and a pair of knitting needles and had some fun!

I wanted to make it square with a nubby texture, so I decided to do a seed stitch pattern. It took me several tries to get it right because it kept turning out like a rib stitch instead.

I used size 6 needles and casted on 23 stitches. Must be an odd number but can be any number.

The rows- Knit 1, Purl 1, (repeat across.)

**You'll end with a knit stitch (which is important for the seed stitch to look right. If you end with a P1 then it will be a ribbed stitch. Not what you want.

Then do it again. And keep repeating it until it's square or the size you want.

I'm not done with it yet, but will post up a picture when I'm done. I love the way it's turning out so far. And the nubby texture is just perfect! Soft, yet scrubby!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Knitted dish cloth with ridges

I was bored today and instead of working one of my projects that has to be completed this month, I decided to tackle a completely new project. (which is what I usually do, when I'm stressed out!)

So, I grabbed a ball of dish cloth yarn and some size 7 needles and just had fun. I casted on 30 stitches and after either knitting or purling, wrote down what I did. Once I found out it made a pattern, I just repeated it over and over again until it was the size I wanted.

The back looks like garter stitch.

Here's the pattern:

Size 7 needles
Cast on 30 stitches (or however many you want)
Used sugar and cream 100% cotton yarn.

For every first stitch, I slipped it. (if the row was knit, I slipped it knitwise. If the row was purl, I slipped it purlwise.)

1- Knit across
2- Purl across
3- Knit across
4- Purl across
5-7 Knit across
8-Purl across
9-Knit across
10-Purl across
11-13-Knit across
14-Purl across
15-Knit across
16-Purl across
17-19 Knit across
20-Purl across
21-Knit across
22-Purl across
23-25 Knit across
26- Purl across
27- Knit across
28-Purl across
29-31 Knit across
32- Purl across
33- Knit across
34- Purl across
35-37 Knit across
38- Purl across
39-Knit across
40- Purl across
41-43 Knit across
44- Purl across
45- Knit across
46-Purl across
47- Bind off in knit.

Finished dish cloth approximately 7 inches square.

Let me know if I made any errors. I wrote it down after I did each row, but may have mistyped something.

Cell phone zippered pouches

Last week a friend asked me to sew her a cell phone holder that she wanted to give to a friend. So I took out my supplies and started to d...