Friday, March 30, 2012 2 comments

Knitting: Red Striped Toddler Sweater for India

This is the last of the sweaters for India, at least for now. I'm moving on to sweaters for Lesotho, since they have a deadline that's closer than the group for India. I'm sure I'll be making more for this group in the future, though.

I really like this sweater, although I do wish I had made the stripe wider. Other than that, I'm very happy with it. Since the children's school uniforms are red, I hope this works well with their outfits.

Again, I used the Basic Seamless Raglan Pullover pattern. (I told you I like it!)
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1 comments

Knitting: Green Tweed Toddler Sweater for India

Here's another acrylic sweater for the children of India.

I like this one a little better than the brown one, but I'm still not sure if the all-black sleeves look exactly right. I had to do it that way, though, because I ran out of the green tweed yarn. That sometimes happens when you're working with yarn that someone else gave to you. The skein looks full, but it's not. Oh well, lesson learned: weigh the skeins first! :)

This is also made from the Basic Seamless Raglan Pullover pattern in a size 4.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1 comments

Knitting: Brown Tweed Toddler Sweater for India

I've been knitting a bunch of sweaters lately for charity, getting ready for the winter season in other countries as we head into summer here.

This particular sweater is made from acrylic yarn, so I'm sending it to an organization that helps children in India. They don't mind acrylic.

This was one of my first attempts at stripes, and it probably looks like it. I should have added the second stripe on the sleeve. Oh well, at least it's done neatly and should keep a child warm. :)

This is my favorite sweater pattern to date, the Basic Seamless Raglan Pullover. It's very basic (and seamless), but you can do all kinds of things to fancy it up a bit. It also works up pretty fast. I can make one in about three days' worth of free time.
Friday, March 23, 2012 3 comments

Knitting: Mittens for Maine

How do you like my little girl mittens? I made these from the leftovers of a superwash wool I had previously used for a sweater. When they were done, they looked awfully plain, so I learned how to do duplicate stitch by adding these little hearts.

These mittens are going to an organization in Maine that gives hats and mittens to very poor children at Christmastime, and I wanted them to be as pretty/cute as possible. (They get loads of hats, so the request was specifically for mittens.)

With that in mind, here are the boy mittens I made:

They are also very plain, and I want to add a design to them, too. Do you have any ideas for a basic boyish design that doesn't use a lot of different colors? I'd like this to be as painless as possible while still looking nice. :)

In case you're interested, I used the Basic Pattern for Children's Mittens by Elizabeth Durand.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2 comments

Knitting: Hat Transformed with Kool-Aid

I have another Kool-Aid project to share with you today! This hat started out looking like this:

Remember my "skunk socks"? This is the same yarn. Oh, how I wish I had known about this before I sent off that last box!

I dyed this hat with one packet of Lemon Lime Kool-Aid, and I love the transformation!

This particular hat has an attached scarf, perfect for little ones who tend to pull them off. It's also perfect for the children of Lesotho, who live in a very cold climate.

And here's a picture of the dyed hat next to a small sample of the original yarn. (Please excuse the bluish tint of the photo.)

If you're interested, I used the free Toasty Topper pattern by Alexis Riggs.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 2 comments

Knitting: Wool Socks Transformed with Kool-Aid

How do you like my bright red kid's socks? I love red, so I'm especially fond of them. I made them for the children of Lesotho who love bright colors, but they didn't start out this way. No, they started out like this:

Now, if I were making these for military men (in a much larger size), this color would be fine. But not for children who love bright colors, at least not when I have other options.

These were transformed with two packets of Blastin' Berry Cherry Kool-Aid:

They sell for about $0.20 each at my local Wal-Mart, but I got these a few years ago for free with a coupon promotion.

Since Kool-Aid packets contain citric acid, all you have to do is add the packet to water, add your project, heat it to the right temperature, and let it sit until the project has absorbed all (or at least most) of the color.

Here's what my bowl of Kool-Aid looked like right before I added a sock:

And here's what it looked like after it had absorbed most of the color:

I could have probably gotten away with one packet of Kool-Aid for both socks, but the tutorial I used recommended one packet for each ounce the project weighs. You can be sure I'll be doing more dyeing and experimenting!

Here are the dyed socks sitting next to a small ball of the original-colored yarn:

That's quite a transformation! It has revolutionized the way I look at neutral-colored thrift store sweaters.

A few quick notes about dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid:
  • Only animal fibers (wool, alpaca, cashmere, etc.) will dye like this. Acrylic won't, unfortunately. If your yarn contains nylon for strength (like mine did), you're in luck. Nylon is apparently the only man-made fiber that will dye with Kool-Aid.
  • If you have a large project to dye, I would definitely recommend dyeing the yarn before you knit the project. I would also recommend looking into either acid dyes or food coloring options, since Kool-Aid can get a bit expensive on large projects (1 packet per ounce of yarn).
Stay tuned for more knitting, and even a few other projects thrown in. I've been busy! :)
Monday, March 5, 2012 0 comments

Blog break for a week

I'm taking a break from blogging this week. Our church is in revival, and since my husband is the pastor, we house and feed the evangelist. Needless to say, I rarely have much free time during revival week.

I'll see you again next week!
Friday, March 2, 2012 1 comments

Knitting: Toddler Panda Hat

We have a set of 2-year-old twins that come to our church, and I wanted to make them something for their 2nd birthday recently. This panda hat jumped out at me as I was browsing project ideas, and so I decided to do it.

I made this one using stranded knitting in-the-round, but there's a lot of yarn wasted on the inside, so I'm going to try it in a few other techniques, too. See?

It's neat, but there's a lot of yarn waste.

I'll keep you posted on any additional panda hats I make and which method seems to work better.

In the meantime, if you'd like to make one, it's a free pattern on Ravelry called Knitted Panda Hat. I don't recommend using anything from the pattern except the chart, though, since most of the comments mention how utterly huge the hat ends up being. I just made a basic hat and added the panda face chart to it.