A Lesson in Frogging

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I wanted to make a bag out of my Bollicine Victor yarn, and I had trouble coming up with a design, so I decided to start from the bottom and work my way up. I chose the green loom, and stated with the woven technique from the Provo Craft backpack. Another KK loomer has done this and she's outlined the way she created the woven bottom here. This was hard. I used one strand of yarn and by the end of six hours, my fingers were aching and I had an elbow cramp. No matter, it was done. It looked like a green plate.

I then had the decision of what stitch to use on the sides of the bag. I liked the bottom because it was a tight weave, and I could imagine actually using this bag to carry my knitting projects to and from work. After a little bit of trial/error, I ended up using a flat stitch with two strands of yarn. This started out just great, but then, about ten rows into it all, something strange started happening. The sides of the bag were caving in, almost like the cuff of a sock. I switched to my blue (Sky) yarn, and kept on going with the flat stitch. After just another five rows, I realized I wasn't making a bag, or a backpack. I was making a bowl!

Bowls are fine, but one out of rather floppy yarn looks interesting but isn't strong enough to actually hold anything unless it was felted. My yarn is 70% wool/30% acrylic and I decided I wouldn't risk trying to felt it, so I taught myself how to "frog," or how to unravel the rows so I wouldn't loose them all. This is easy at first, but gets harder when you try putting the loops back onto the loom.

I frogged all the blue and then got down to the final two rows of green. I fished out my stitch holders and looped in all the loose stitches I could find, and then I put the whole thing back onto the loom. This was only truly difficult near the end, where I was pulling really hard on the yarn to get it over the final few pegs. I highly recommend a stitch holder for any newbie like me who's trying to frog. It lets you salvage your work without too much swearing.

So now I'm using an e-wrap and it's a looser stitch, not like with the flat stitch when it turned into a rolled cuff. I really have no idea how this will turn out, which is one of the reasons why I like knitting. I always learn something new.

I still need to make myself some slippers! It's actually cold out, and I'd love to make a felted pair but I'm a little stumped with how to size them. I'm guessing I'd use the red loom, but maybe the green. I'm also thinking about making a cowl, although minus the pom-poms. Saaski here on Vox made one, and it's pretty neat. Something else I've discovered is that people often salvage yarn from thrift-store sweaters. Not only is this frugal, it seems like fun. Ashley Martineau has created a tutorial that is very detailed and helpful. This may be a good (but also time-consuming) way to acquire wool if you don't mind the work.

A small success and a not-so-small failure

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First, the success. It's the little things in life that are important, so you can imagine how thrilled and excited I am to report that I actually… made… a… hair… scrunchie! And, this time, unlike a few days ago, it worked.

I used the pattern on Linda's blog (that I linked to below), and it worked just fine and dandy. Using the blue loom, I cast on and knitted ten rows, and even though my yarn was a regular worsted size (Yarn Bee, Cameo, Moss Green), I decided to use only one strand. I then used the super stretchy bind-off method (also linked below) and, voila! A hair scrunchie was born. It's green and furry, but I like it, and I wore it all day yesterday. It's not quite as big as it looks in the picture, though.

Now onto my failure. I've decided my very next project will be another pair of slippers–for me. It's hard to see something go downhill so quickly. It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I made these. Wait a minute–it was only a few weeks ago! What went wrong? My slippers are pretty much ruined. Worn about ten times, washed twice, I thought they would last forever. But then, last night, I attempted to put little dots of fabric glue on the bottom to see if it would help with slipping and yuck! I hate it. So, now my formerly useful slippers are floppy, have holes in the bottom (from what? I assume it's because I stitched them too loosely), and also have row after row of hardened yet tacky glue dots whose only purpose appears to be in gathering dirt and hair. It's time for a new pair.

Links, Blogs, and Groups

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I've been making a list of the online sites I visit. If you have a set of KKs, you've probably been to the Provo site to see the instructions and patterns, but have you visited one of these? I'll add to this list from time to time, and I plan on posting a list of sites with free patterns someday soon:

 Very Helpful Yahoo Groups

Cool Websites about Looming

 

Blogs (loom & needle) 

Dad’s Slippers–Done!

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I did manage to finish the slippers for my dad. (I may add a pic later but it will be yet another picture of brown slippers!) It only took 3 hours total, so I'm getting faster even if I'm not getting much better. I turned the heels and toes very quickly this time and I didn't even swear. I HOPE these ones fit and one doesn't start to grow like the other set I made. 😉

I ended up doing this: 1) knitted ten rows and brought up the first row to make a cuff and knitted off. 2) turned the heel. I used the flat stitch because I wanted the slipper to be a little more snug than the others I've made. However, it made it look a bit shrunken. 3) knitted 24 rows with the knit stitch. 4) turned the heel using the flat stitch.

Overall, they'll work. I just need to find a way to put some type of stitcky thingies on the bottom so they aren't so slippery. I don't know how to do this. I wonder if there's a fabric glue that would work. I'll have to look around tonight.

I also tried a hair scrunchie for the first time, but it's a bit skimpy so I'll do another tonight. I used the blue loom, knitted six rows (using two strands) with this angora-type yarn. I think I should have used one strand and knitted about ten rows, because this is too bulky. I put a hair elastic inside the loom and brought up the bottom row, just as you would if you're making a hat brim. This was a little tricky because you need to stretch the hair elastic to make it work. Now, here's where I made another mistake. When I cast off, I pulled the final strand of yarn too tight so I can't really stretch the scrunchie over my hair easily. (Since then, I've discovered this pattern, and this one, and this bind off method, appropriately called the Super Stretchy Bind Off Method. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.) This project only took a few minutes, though, and I can see how it would be fun to make as a gift.

Other projects I'd like to try soon: mittens, shrug or vest, rug (I read how a woman looms rugs out of hay bale twine and I'd like to try that), new slippers for me with a ribbed leg… I'm sure there are a few others I've forgotten!