Tag Archive | gifts

Chemo Caps

Well, this sucks. Once again, someone I love got a crappy diagnosis. We’re doing our best to stay optimistic, and for me, dealing with something stressful involves yarn in one way or another. Not only is it stress relief, but it’s a way for me to show I care, and it can be useful in times like this: I’m making a few chemo caps. (I’ve heard bare heads can get cold!) Here’s the first one already done:

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The pattern is Diamond Cap and I love it. Simple without being boring, interesting without being too flashy. I used smaller needles but think I’ll do it again using the next size down to make it even more snug. And I’ll definitely do it again, but first I want to make the Shelbi hat.

It’s my favorite pattern for chemo caps because it’s quick to make, easy enough for an advanced beginner, it fits snugly, and it’s beautiful, with a pretty almost-lace pattern that’s not too open. Here’s one I made a while back, for a friend of a friend.

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It’s really well-written, and she’s got it available for five different sizes, from baby to adult. It fits well too. It’s just a great hat. It is a paid pattern, but for the quality of the writing and the number of sizes, it’s totally worth it. You can find it on The Country Willow’s website here. I used the teen/small adult size. I hope you don’t need it for chemo caps, but if you’re looking for a quick, pretty beanie, check it out!

These owls are ready to leave the nest

It’s a cool, gray, drizzly day, and I’ve spent the morning with my fancy crochet hook, finishing up an order. That makes two that are ready to ship out tomorrow! IMG_5046 IMG_5052 IMG_2942IMG_2951Now the dog is impatient, so I’ll step away from the yarn and take him for a walk. When I return, I’ll be switching back to knitting to give my wrists a break!

Doctor Who Tote Bag

Several days ago, my SIL and I made a pilgrimage to Nerd Girl Yarns to check out her studio and hopefully score some Doctor Who-inspired yarns. There were several to choose from but not the one we both wanted the most: Blue Box Exploding. It’s a gorgeous blend of TARDIS blue and golds. See, look at it here. Go ahead, order some. You know you want to. It’s okay. I’ll wait. … Happy now? Okay. So I bought a couple of other skeins and figured I’d order some myself in the near future. Then I went to Knitcraft and found two separate skeins of mercerized cotton that spoke to me.IMG_2857

They said, “Hey! This blue looks like TARDIS blue! And look, here’s a fiery blend that could be explosion colors!” And I said, “Hey! You’re right! I’ll buy you then.” And I did. And it was good.

I knew they needed to become a market bag so I had to find a good pattern. Fortunately, I had several in my Ravelry library. (Of course.) My favorite is the Ilene Bag. It’s pretty, it’s knitted, I love the short and wide handle. So I cast on and within a day I had a new market bag! And I love it!IMG_2883

The only part I’m not crazy about is the way the handle attaches. It’s a 3-needle bind off, which I normally like, and it’s definitely sturdy, but it’s not seamless and the seam jumps out at me.IMG_4840

Overall though, I think it’s pretty darn cool. I’m not a Whovian but I play one at home, so I was sorely tempted to keep this little baby for myself. Instead, it will be a gift to the Gifted program teacher who helped my daughter make it to DC in National History Day, a teacher who is unfailingly kind and encouraging and fun and wacky and wild. She has been my daughter’s favorite teacher for the last three years and is now my son’s favorite teacher, and the one teacher I truly look forward to seeing at every school function. She’s a Whovian too, and I think she’ll enjoy this little tote. And I like knowing it’s going to a good home.IMG_2884

Felting for Father’s Day

Before Mother’s Day, I told my husband I didn’t want him or the kids to go out and buy me presents. Instead I wanted gifts of their time: something handmade and thoughtful. He went above and beyond, gifting me with gorgeous knitting needles and a yarn swift. In return, he mentioned that for Father’s Day, he’d like a new pencil case to replace the crocheted one eaten by the dog. Since I’ve been on a felting kick lately, I decided he needed a felted case.

The design itself would be simple, but I wasn’t brave enough to try to wing it without a pattern, mostly because I don’t have a good sense of how much things shrink when felted. There weren’t a lot of free options on Ravelry but I did find one I liked the look of: the Felted Acorn Pencil Case. Shortly after that, I was at Joann and found some variegated gray Patons wool that looked nicely masculine. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy enough, and sitting there waiting to cast on, I was too lazy to drive out to Joann. Instead I drove the two minutes to my LYS and bought a solid black Galway to mix with the Patons.

The knitting went quickly, as did my realization that this case would be much bigger than I expected. I finished it, though, and felted it. The Patons didn’t seem to want to felt, and I did have to do some handfelting after two rounds in the washer. But it finally felted enough and I added a nice button and called it done. It was about 5″x8″.

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So I had a case that was too big, and plenty of yarn left over. I went back to Ravelry and did more pattern hunting until I found this Felted Pen Case. I decided to just do one strand of the Patons variegated, cast on 30 and knit until I thought it looked long enough, which was tricky since I didn’t know how much it would shrink. And, well, it didn’t shrink as much as I anticipated. It’s a good width but a bit longer than I wanted. It will work well for newer (i.e. longer) pencils but it’s too long for his pens. Plus the Patons really didn’t want to felt this time; I had to fight with it in the kitchen sink for quite a while. I do like the pattern, and I’m pleased with how it came out.

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Here’s a better shot of the button. Buttons are one of my favorite things to add to my knits.

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Overall, I think he was pleased with his gifts. I enjoyed making them, but I won’t choose Patons for felting in the future. I think I’ll use the rest of the black Galway to knit up another pen case, in a pen-appropriate length this time.