Easy Peasy Baby Blanket

Yikes!  My first real pattern that I came up with myself.  It’s a simple pattern that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the skill level of the knitter.  I am aiming this pattern towards a beginner knitter who has a friend or family member who just had a baby and they want to give a simple gift.  I call this pattern the Easy Peasy Baby Blanket.  I made this blanket for my cousin who just had a baby.  Here’s how I did it.
US 6 straight or circular needles.  I recommend circular because the weight of the blanket will be supported by the cable connecting the needles.
Two skeins of Bernat Baby Jacquards in Rosebud
5 stitches in stockinette stitch to one inch on US6 needles.  Gauge is not really important for this pattern.
My finished dimensions:  Width:  25 ½ inches.  Length:  25 inches.

Cast on stitches in multiples of eight.  You can make this blanket as big or a small as you’d like.
Knit 10 rows.
Starting on wrong side:
    1.  K4, *P* to last four stitches, K4
    2.  K
Repeat rows one and two.  Continue until the blanket is the size you want or until you are almost out of yarn.
Knit 10 rows
Bind off loosely.  Weave in ends.
This will curl a little bit due to the stockinette stitch, but the border will help keep it from curling a lot.  You can make the top and bottom border bigger if you’d like, just increase the amount knit in multiples of four.
Other ideas for this blanket:  A more advanced knitter would be able to do an intarsia pattern in the body of the blanket using any sport or DK weight yarn.  You do not have to use a jacquard yarn, but rather a solid color if you’d prefer. 
I hope you enjoy knitting this blanket and if you have any questions, please leave me a comment.
Oh, the monkey in the photo is one of the first stuffed animals I ever received as a baby.  He’s a special monkey.

Sewing Semi-Fail

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For the first time in a while, I got my sewing machine out over the weekend.  I made a dog bandana for the family dog, Patrick.  His Royal Furriness is a black and white field Springer spaniel, ten years old, and very active.  And he loves to wear bandanas.  Seriously!  Only the one I made him was WAY too big.  Hence the fail of this project.
I got the fabric at Wal-Mart and had a nice conversation with the lady working in the fabric and sewing section.  She apparently has three little dogs that she sews for, too.  I like the blue and black cotton fabric that resembles the bottom of a pool.  It looked nice on Patrick, and I have some left, so I will try again using this fabric.

Click here for a link to the site I got my directions from.  I believe I should follow them more carefully next time.  Still, I’m counting this only as a partial fail because I did manage to sew something that resembled what it should be.  Also, I was able to follow the directions, more or less.  So, I did have some success.  And my seams weren’t horrible, either. 
Next time, I need to pay more attention to the size I need to make.  Patrick wears a 19 inch collar, so I need to adjust for that next time.   I also have some other ideas for geeky dog bandanas once I get the pattern down.  Until next time, I will try again, and keep on trying until I get it right.
Anyone have a really big dog that would like a dog bandana?  First one to respond gets it.  Just leave me a comment, and we’ll work out the details.

Super Summer Backpack

I knit a backpack!  Since a lot of kids in my area are back in school today, I thought it would be a nice time to feature this project, even though the pattern is called the Super Summer Backpack from Lion Brand Yarn.  It’s still technically summer, anyway.
You can see my project details on Ravelry, if you’d like.  I had fun knitting this project.  I messed up the lace pattern a few times, but managed to recover.  Otherwise, I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  I always forget how to knit an i-cord, but, after some reminders and trial and error, I got it.   The strap is one big i-cord, if you are wondering why I had to make one.

I plan on filling the bag up with goodies for someone for Christmas, and I might knit one up for myself.  It would make a great little tote for the beach next summer. 

New Doctor Who Tonight!

Who’s ready for more fun with The Doctor in “Let’s Kill Hitler.”?!  I know have been looking forward to this since “A Good Man Goes to War.”  9PM EST on BBC America, people. 

I don’t crochet, but I have friends who do.  A friend from Ravelry, Kalecos, made me this awesome crocheted Dalek for the Doctor Who Swap on Ravelry.  It’s adorable!  I love it!  I figured it would make a great feature to celebrate the return of  The Doctor, Amy, Rory, and River Song in tonight’s episode.  Popcorn will be made and eaten.  And enjoyed.

Join the Revolution! The Red Tie one, that is.

Knit Purl Gurl posted a great idea on her blog.  What if knitters and crocheters who made a mistake in their work put a tie of red yarn on that spot and wore it with pride?  We all make mistakes in our work, and we should love ourselves no matter what. KPG’s idea?  What if the first Saturday in October was designated Red Tie Revolution Day and we wore our red tie mistaked work with pride?   I think it’s a great idea, and support it here publicly here on Ludicraft.  Check out her post for more details and her thoughts on the concept.  I also encourage you to participate and tell your other knitterly or crocheterly friends about Red Tie Revolution Day. 

Read more:  Red Tie Revolution!

Cancer Awareness Bracelet

One thing you are going to see very quickly is that I am very big into cancer awareness.  I knit chemo caps for my local cancer center, for example.  I’ve participated in Relay for Life.  Another thing I have made are beaded cancer awareness bracelets, which is my focus here today. 
I make these bracelets as my own personal fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  I donate a portion of the cost.  I also have made them for a Chinese auction for a fundraiser for a friend who had cancer, too. 
Here’s a little about as to how I make them.  I use Swarovski crystal beads, sterling silver beads, and sterling silver findings.  The wire is also sterling silver.  The crystals I use are 4mm and the sterling silver beads are about 1mm.  You can use a clasp of your choice.  The finished product is about eight inches long.
I use two of each color, which represents a different type of cancer.  The colors that I used are:
  •  Brain Cancer: Gray
  • Breast Cancer: Pink
  • Childhood Cancer: Amber
  • Colon Cancer: Royal Blue
  • Colorectal Cancer: Brown
  • Leukemia: Orange
  • Lung Cancer: Clear
  • Melanoma: Black
  • Ovarian, Cervical, and Uterine Cancers: Teal
  • Pancreatic Cancer: Purple
  • Prostate Cancer: Light Blue
  • Other Cancers: Lavender
I recommend going through Fire Mountain Gems’ selection of Swarovski crystals and select the colors you see fit.  If you don’t want to use Swarovski crystals, Czech fire polished glass beads are also an excellent choice.
Arrange your beads in the order you would like.  I space them out with the sterling silver beads.  Cut your wire, attached your clasp and crimp beads, and start stringing.  Finish up with your last crimp bead and clasp.  You have your bracelet. 
Other ideas to make it your own:  Make one is a single color representing a single type of cancer awareness.  Add ribbon charms or other charms that may relate, such as ones that represent a person in your life that has suffered with cancer. 
What do with the bracelets:  Sell them as fundraisers for the American Cancer Society or a specific cancer organization.  Make them as a fundraiser for your Relay for Life team.  Give them as gifts to patients and survivors. 
I hope this tutorial-of-sorts gave you some beading ideas.  I’m wearing my bracelet right now and remembering those who fought this disease.  Some have survived, others lost their battle.  They are all in my heart.