Category Archives: Knitting

Pink Blankie

A family member (not the cat you see in this photo, but one of my cousins) asked me to make a baby blanket for another family member. She chose the yarn and gave me some information on the desired look, and I found an appropriate pattern and got to work.

For quite a few years I made no baby blankets at all, after dozens of them done in the past decades (I am not exaggerating) and then in the last year or so this is the third one, the other two being made for my little granddaughter.

I love the color of the yarn and the basketweave pattern made such a nice fabric – thick but not stiff or heavy. The finished blanket is about 30″ x 34″, I believe.

I am hoping it will bring sweet dreams!

(Forgive the photos’ quality – of course the blanket did not change colors, but the photo lighting did. The real color is more the pale pink you see in the finished item.)

Knitted Bunny

I learned to knit when I was about 8 years old and that was 54 years ago so – I have done a whole lotta knitting, you might say. And I have made everything: sweaters, afghans, dishcloths, mitten, hats, scarves. Purses, bags, and socks and slippers. You might remember this sheep from a little while ago:

A whole lotta knitting over those years!

When I started out in my art career I was making quilts and other crafts. Since I could knit, I added some knitted items to my booth. One of them was a small bunny. I made about a million of them. OK, maybe not a million, but many many knitted bunnies. They sold well and I just kept on going until I turned more to making appliqued fabric wall hangings and gave up selling knitted items.

Recently I made one more knitted bunny, for my little granddaughter. It arrived at her house last night in the mail. I didn’t intend it to be an Easter bunny, as I have to admit I didn’t even know Easter was this weekend until maybe about last Thursday. It’s just a bunny from Granny.

It’s a bit larger than the ones I made in the past, since I used bulky weight yarn rather than worsted weight as the pattern calls for. A nice huggable size, I think this bunny is.

Here he is:

And here he is with some friends, before he left to go to my granddaughter’s house.

Gray Sheep

I made this knitted sheep for my little baby granddaughter for Christmas. She is only 5 months old and it is almost as big as she is, I see, in the photos my son sent. Well, not quite as big as she is, but I’m not exaggerating by much. I forget how small a new baby is!

I really wanted to make her a sheep toy, and I don’t really know why…It sort of makes sense, doesn’t it – sheep toy? Wool? Yarn? Knitting? Sheep! They go together, don’t they?

Merry First Christmas to Leona!

Materials note, if you are interested. I made the sheep with Plymouth Encore yarn, which is a blend of acrylic and wool, and it is washable. I recommend this yarn for softness and durability – I’ve made lots of items with it over the years and it never fails me.

I bought a pattern and then proceeded to make a lot of adaptations to fit my own needs. It was knitted flat and then seamed – I don’t like working in the round very much, because I learned to knit flat (back in about 1966 or so), and I don’t mind sewing seams, but there are lots of sheep patterns out there done in the round, too.

Baby Blankets

I recently made a couple of baby blankets. Here’s the first one, done in a slip stitch pattern, using a combination acrylic/wool blend. It’s pretty small as blankets go, maybe 26″ x 26″ or so, good for a stroller.

And here is the other one. It’s done in the same kind of yarn, but here I have done large stripes formed of small stripes, which gives an interesting color blend effect, I think, using garter stitch.

It’s larger, 36″ x 30″, I think, suitable for a crib or playpen sleep session.

Why did I make these and why am I showing them to you now? Because they are for my little granddaughter, my first grandchild, born yesterday, July 27, 2020.

Hello and welcome to Leona Lora!

How About Some Pink?

Artist trading cards, from February-March 2018.

Scarves, Friends, New Things Every Day

You know I like to knit if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, but I’ll repeat it – I like to knit. I learned the skill as a little girl and I have made many, many items in the almost 50 years since then. Sweaters, afghans, hats, gloves, mittens, toys, dishcloths, and — scarves. Lots of scarves.

I like making scarves. They are useful and allow for experimentation in patterns and colors. They go quickly and so I can try lots of ideas without making a big commitment of time and materials. And if I don’t want something complicated to work on but just need something to keep my hands occupied, a scarf is the answer.

Scarves. I like to try different color combinations and I love using yarn dyed in a sequence of colors.

Scarves. I like to try different color combinations and I love using yarn dyed in a sequence of colors.

I’ve been making even more scarves since I met Susan Huxley, a fiber artist, designer, editor, and teacher living in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. How I met Susan, I don’t remember now, but it was a lucky day for me. Susan can do anything with needles – sewing, crochet, or knitting – and she is a well of creativity. She is generous with her time and her knowledge, and a lot of fun to know.

Several years ago, she founded Chase the Chill, an organization that distributes free scarves in her city, on one day in November. They are hung all over town and anyone can take one or many of them – no charge. It’s a beautiful sight to see them on fences, trees, light poles, and even wrapping about the necks of the statues of several saints in front of a church. In no time they are all gone. People put them on right at the moment they select a scarf, or they choose several to give as gifts. The idea has spread and now there are Chase the Chill events in several cities.

I’ve made a lot of scarves for this event. It gives me a chance to try all kinds of new yarns and I like the idea that my knitting is useful to someone I don’t know and won’t meet.

The current group of scarves I have on hand.

The current group of scarves I have on hand.

Now, Susan has started a new project – the Year of Scarves. Long story short, it’s a scarf pattern a day, some for knitting, some for crochet. Each one is free for the first day it’s up, and after that, available at a small price. And today she has featured a pattern I made up! It’s called “Scarfghetti”. When you see it, you will understand the name.

Take a look at the blog and see what you think. I think that if you are interested in knitting or crocheting, you may want to sign up for notifications about the patterns. It’s the kind of thing that’s addictive.

Thank you, Susan. I appreciate your faith in my work.

Susan Huxley
Chase the Chill
Year of Scarves

It’s Just Beautiful

This past Friday, August 16, we visited our son in Pittsburgh. We had a variety of activities planned for the one day we would be in town, including taking him our old kitchen table and four chairs for his new apartment. But – I also had another purpose – I wanted to view the Knit the Bridge yarn installation on the Andy Warhol Bridge.

I won’t go into too much detail about the overall project – you can read about it on their blog here. It’s enough for this post to say that many, many people knitted or crocheted items to a specific size, and then they were attached to the bridge, along with special panels made for the towers. Panels were made by a single person, a couple of people, a larger group, or even by many anonymous people working on a stitch here and there at some more public projects. Small sections were pieced together. Knitters and crocheters are both represented.

A large volunteer force was the backbone of the event with professional help for installation as needed. It took a lot of planning and preparing for the sight that greeted our family. And a nice thing – the panels will live on – when the installation comes down (in early September) they will be washed and given to charity.

We spent quite a bit of time at the bridge. As a knitter myself, I wanted to pay tribute to each panel by viewing it individually where I could (the ones that were installed along the walkways) and see the ones from a distance I couldn’t get close to (the ones on the outside railings). I took pictures of the panels I liked most, but there wasn’t one that didn’t appeal to me.

Some pieces were obviously planned out in advance – others looked more impromptu or spontaneous. Every panel did not contain perfect work – knitters and crocheters of all skill levels were welcome. Some panels looked like abstract art and some were very traditional patterns. And don’t overlook the railings – they are all covered by knitted or crocheted black covers, once again in all kinds of patterns and styles.

We walked along slowly, enjoying the overall impressions we got from the works and also examining the work techniques. I saw several pieces I wish I had been able to ask the maker for a pattern or explanation – plenty of things I’d like to try myself!

It was a beautiful sunny day and the work showed itself off to its best advantage. The entire installation was just beautiful. I am very happy I was able to see it.

Here’s how I organized the pictures – they are in the order I took them as we walked across the bridge.

– Numbers 30-46 (the last digits of the photo number) are crossing the bridge from downtown Pittsburgh, going north. I took some pictures looking forward and some looking back at the city.

– Numbers 48-52 are of the towers and views of the outside panels, first on the east side and then the west.

– Numbers 55-67 are crossing the bridge going south, back to downtown. Some photos are looking toward the city and some looking back at the north shore.

More Dishcloths

Here are a few more entries from the Summer Dishcloth Extravaganza that’s been going on all season at my house.

I got some variegated yarns and have been trying them out in various color combinations, still using slip stitch patterns with a plain yarn. It makes interesting patterns as the colors travel through the pattern.

Then I have one here done in plain yarns, and another made up of leftover lengths plus some variegated. All kinds of effects – it adds a little zip to dishwashing to pull out a cloth that’s got some personality, I think.

Reporting for Duty

More knitted dishcloths. My summer knitting projects are going along just great!

I love these dishcloths. And, I can vouch for their usefulness and longevity – I got rid of all my store-bought ones about a year ago and switched to handmade. They have held up wonderfully, hold a boatload of suds, and go through the washer/dryer and come out as good as new.

So, who needs a dishcloth?

And, just to let you know, I have ordered some yarn for my fall/winter work – I make scarves for a charity giveaway a friend runs…