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Suggestions for 'meditative' knitting/crochet anyone?


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#1 Tomate1910

Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:25 PM

Hi all,

I love to knit but over the many many years I have been doing it found out that I just can't knit or finish anything with elaborate patterns. I can read and knit them but the finished products are never really good enough to actually wear.

So because of that I am after some suggestions for easy and usable knitting ideas. I like the meditative nature of knitting but get frustrated if it kind if leads nowhere. I hope m explaining myself alright...

I would like to knit something straightforward like a scarf or crochet granny squares but one person only needs so many scarfs... Any other ideas? I also wouldn't mind donating for charity. It is mostly about the process for me..

Sorry if that sounds to complicated but I don't know how to explain it better...

Thanks

#2 spottyladybug

Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:41 PM

What about making toys? There are heaps of free patterns on the net for super cute ones in both knit and crochet. Local library may even have books with patterns in them. Toys are my go to when I get over a huge a project and I love looking at the cute finished pattern. Jean Greenhowe patterns are a great place to start.
Hats and tea cosies/potholders might be another option for you. You can use different stitch patterns but on a  smaller area.

With your items that look unwearable have you blocked them? I only become aware of the benefits of blocking a year or so ago and it can make a huge difference.

If you know how to knit/purl and increase/decrease than there are lots of little projects around original.gif

#3 ~SES~

Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:48 PM

I'm only a crocheter, but like to make little wash cloths and amigurumi (which are essentially small toys) as meditative projects. I made a chevron patterned cot blanket about two years ago which was great to pick up and work on in front of the tv in the evening

#4 Helena Handbasket

Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:55 PM

Have you thought of doing little beanies for prem babies or even knitted bears for kids in the children's hospitals? When DD1 was in hospital they gave her a hand knitted teddy for being brave. I am sure any local hospitals would appreciate them if that is something you'd enjoy making.

#5 Tomate1910

Posted 22 January 2012 - 06:25 PM

Thanks for your suggestions so far ladies! If anyone has more to add I am always keen!

QUOTE (spottyladybug @ 22/01/2012, 05:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What about making toys? There are heaps of free patterns on the net for super cute ones in both knit and crochet. Local library may even have books with patterns in them. Toys are my go to when I get over a huge a project and I love looking at the cute finished pattern. Jean Greenhowe patterns are a great place to start.
Hats and tea cosies/potholders might be another option for you. You can use different stitch patterns but on a  smaller area.

With your items that look unwearable have you blocked them? I only become aware of the benefits of blocking a year or so ago and it can make a huge difference.

If you know how to knit/purl and increase/decrease than there are lots of little projects around original.gif


wow the toys are neat! I had a look at my library online catalogue and will be getting some of Jean Greenhowe patterns until then I might try the free octopus she has on her website original.gif I just hope it doesnt get to complicated with reading the patterns... and I think I need to go an buy some small needles...

and what is blocking??? excuse my ignorance...


QUOTE (~SES~ @ 22/01/2012, 05:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm only a crocheter, but like to make little wash cloths and amigurumi (which are essentially small toys) as meditative projects. I made a chevron patterned cot blanket about two years ago which was great to pick up and work on in front of the tv in the evening


I have checked at my library and they have some amigurumi books too.... again hopefully the patterns arent too timeconsuming... I love doing stuff at night while watching TV but I dont want to miss the show or movie because i have to concentrate to much on the pattern...
The cot blanket sounds great... Just because I dont have a cot or a baby yet, could you give me some approximate measurements that would fit a standard cot ? I think doing a blankie would work a treat!

QUOTE (Space_kitty @ 22/01/2012, 05:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you thought of doing little beanies for prem babies or even knitted bears for kids in the children's hospitals? When DD1 was in hospital they gave her a hand knitted teddy for being brave. I am sure any local hospitals would appreciate them if that is something you'd enjoy making.


I will have a little google and see if I can find some more information on the kind of beanies etc... thanks for the tip!



#6 spottyladybug

Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:37 PM

Blocking is where you take the thing you made and basically wet it and pin/stretch it to the shape it should be to dry. If you google blocking knitwear or something along those line and there are some pretty easy to follow tutorials for how to do it.
Check out raverly.com for heaps of free patterns for toys/hats etc as well and knittingpatterncentral.com and crochetpattern central. original.gif

Happy crafting!

#7 spottyladybug

Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

I should add metal needles all the way for toy making - it can be a bit strenuous on wooden or plastic needles and I find stitches slide better on metal. Op shops are great places to try and get hold of decent needles - I find modern metal ones are not as good as older ones. My preference is for aero branded one for toy making.

#8 treefalls

Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:49 PM

QUOTE (superfruity @ 22/01/2012, 07:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for your suggestions so far ladies! If anyone has more to add I am always keen!

wow the toys are neat! I had a look at my library online catalogue and will be getting some of Jean Greenhowe patterns until then I might try the free octopus she has on her website original.gif I just hope it doesnt get to complicated with reading the patterns... and I think I need to go an buy some small needles...

and what is blocking??? excuse my ignorance...


OMG!! Blocking has changed my world too!! Especially with crocheted things... they look a million times better and they become more 'as one' especially if you've joined shapes or added a decorative edge.

I know what you're saying though OP. Since having my son, I really can't finish anything much. I made him an heirloom shawl (which nearly killed me) before he was born and that was the most ambitious thing I'd ever made and will probably EVER make!

Things I have managed to complete since having him? - Hats! I just made a fun one out of crocheted granny squares where you join 4 to make the outside of the hat and then make the top of the hat with another, rounder motif. I made up the pattern and it worked out fine. Did it one evening and finished the sewing together etc the next day.

I also made a chevron baby blanket for a friend, determined to use up whatever was in my stash. I gathered all the 4 ply and went at it - can suggest a size around 60cm square which is ideal for every day use (in a pram rather than a cot - cot sized blankets and shawls are often too big to use regularly, I find). They also take longer to finish!!! But this was a great meditative project that took a bit longer, but didn't really matter how long. Looked AMAZING after blocking.

I've experimented with freestyle crochet a bit more recently, using something as a template. I grabbed a size 000 jumpsuit and made a little bolero for the new baby we're expecting, just copying the general size and shape of the jumpsuit top as I went.

Another goodie, for gifts especially, is a funky phone holder or something else small. You can also cover the cord of your hands-free earphones with dc all the way along and it stops it from getting tangled up in your bag!

Have fun with it original.gif

#9 ~SES~

Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:06 PM

OP, The amigurumi projects can take as little as an hour from start to finish, which is why I like them so much. I started off by teaching myself to crochet by making a few from online patterns like this one Cupcake then bought this book Creepy Cute Crochet

OP, this is the pattern that I used to make the cot blanket that I made for my newborn cousin. I started off by following the pattern and then just finished it off when it was slightly longer than it was wide (approx 100cm x 120cm). Looked great as a lap blanket and I just picked some yarn that I liked, rather than using what they recommended in the pattern.

#10 Tomate1910

Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:03 AM

QUOTE (spottyladybug @ 22/01/2012, 08:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Blocking is where you take the thing you made and basically wet it and pin/stretch it to the shape it should be to dry. If you google blocking knitwear or something along those line and there are some pretty easy to follow tutorials for how to do it.
Check out raverly.com for heaps of free patterns for toys/hats etc as well and knittingpatterncentral.com and crochetpattern central. original.gif

Happy crafting!


Thanks I just signed up for Ravelry! Wow that site is amazing cant believe I never heard about it before...

And thanks for the tip with the needles... my mom and gran are oldfashioned knitters and wouldnt touch plastic in a million years, I inherited their preferences for metal needles as well as my knitting style (ie. continental) and people always freak out when they see how I knit biggrin.gif

QUOTE (MelbChick @ 22/01/2012, 08:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OMG!! Blocking has changed my world too!! Especially with crocheted things... they look a million times better and they become more 'as one' especially if you've joined shapes or added a decorative edge.

I also made a chevron baby blanket for a friend, determined to use up whatever was in my stash. I gathered all the 4 ply and went at it - can suggest a size around 60cm square which is ideal for every day use (in a pram rather than a cot - cot sized blankets and shawls are often too big to use regularly, I find). They also take longer to finish!!! But this was a great meditative project that took a bit longer, but didn't really matter how long. Looked AMAZING after blocking.

How do you block something that is relatively big like that? I dont even know what to pin it to  unsure.gif


QUOTE (~SES~ @ 22/01/2012, 09:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP, The amigurumi projects can take as little as an hour from start to finish, which is why I like them so much. I started off by teaching myself to crochet by making a few from online patterns like this one Cupcake then bought this book Creepy Cute Crochet

OP, this is the pattern that I used to make the cot blanket that I made for my newborn cousin. I started off by following the pattern and then just finished it off when it was slightly longer than it was wide (approx 100cm x 120cm). Looked great as a lap blanket and I just picked some yarn that I liked, rather than using what they recommended in the pattern.


wow the creepy book is ultra cute... thanks for that! I will need to get some nice colorful yarn for the crocheting... I only have 6 ply knitting yarn at home at the moment. I think I might try some blanket knitting pattern from the site you recommended ...

cant wait to research for more patterns and get started yay!... back to work!

#11 JJ

Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:52 PM

Continental knitter here too. biggrin.gif

My current "meditative" knitting project is a blanket for DD. I've made her a fairly big one in the past and she loves it and recently requested another one. I just cast on 200-odd stitches on an 80cm circular needle and it's all just knit, knit, knit, and change colours every 3 rows (that way it's reversible). It's a great way of using up acrylic yarn, of which I bought way too much before I discovered the joys of wool.

It's pretty slow because one row takes a while to complete, but I'm having a lot of fun and it's definitely soothing (I normally more into knitting socks, patterned scarves etc.) and looks pretty nice even if I do say so myself. wink.gif

Or if you have a lot of leftover yarns, this looks like a fun scarf: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sc...engthwise-scarf

Edited by JJ, 23 January 2012 - 02:58 PM.


#12 ComradeBob

Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:56 PM

The other thing you can knit is cushion covers - you can go a bit fancy with stitches and colour, but because you don't really have to worry about increasing and decreasing, it's that bit easier.

#13 Tomate1910

Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:14 PM

Thanks for the cushion cover idea, bob catter (now here's a sentence that Bob Katter will never hear wink.gif )!!! I will tackle that next...

JJ what is your excuse for knitting continentally??? your left-over blanket sounds great... I need to get some large circular needles...

Thanks for all the ideas I will have enough to do for the next few years I think... And maybe any future bub wont need new toys ever!


I have now started on a very easy chevron blankie for a cot...

Thanks again and I might even update with a photos once I'm done!

Edited by superfruity, 24 January 2012 - 12:15 PM.


#14 71Cath

Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:21 PM

I was much the same as you OP, I found it hard to finish anything.

I have discovered though that if I am knitting for someone else, I am really focused and finish much more quickly.  So I asked my best friend what she wanted and now I am knitting a cotton bolero for her.  I started on New Year's Day and I have finished the back, both fronts and one sleeve.

I must try the blocking too, I have never done it before and I really want the bolero to look fabulous after all this hard work.

#15 JJ

Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:40 PM

QUOTE (superfruity @ 24/01/2012, 12:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
JJ what is your excuse for knitting continentally???


I grew up in Europe and was taught to knit this way. original.gif I've tried the other way but I just can't make it work! tongue.gif

#16 Tomate1910

Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:56 AM

QUOTE (JJ @ 24/01/2012, 11:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I grew up in Europe and was taught to knit this way. original.gif I've tried the other way but I just can't make it work! tongue.gif


haha this is exactly me biggrin.gif

I need some more advice if anyone could maybe help me???


I had to unwind(?) well a whole row of my wavy blankie yesterday because I just cant seem to get the end wave right... can someone explain to me what they mean when they say

2dc on top of turning ch?

The wave pattern is relatively simple http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/80787AD....Images=&r=1

Ch 3, turn, dc in first dc, *dc in next 3 dc, dc3tog, dc in next 3 dc, 3 dc in next dc; rep from * 10 more times, dc in next 3 dc, dc3tog, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in top of turning ch.

and I always end up short after the last dc3tog I only have like 2 ch left...  unsure.gif

#17 culture nerd

Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:23 AM

For crochet have a look at the blog Attic24 (http://attic24.typepad.com/) she has lots of fantastic ideas for little projects and things that take next to no time at all, as well as some great tutorials for her work.  

Otherwise the knitters guild of NSW (http://www.knittersg....org.au/charity) have a good page on what is useful to different charities in the way of knitted or crocheted items.  

I'm currently making lots of baby blankets for nieces, nephews and our soon to arrive.  Lots of chevrons, granny squares and star blankets.  Beanies and booties are next!

#18 indigo~

Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:43 AM

Another vote for Attic24's blog and tutorials! I made a huge granny stripe blanket based on lucy's tutorial and it was perfect for in front of the telly, no thinking required. The downside is that the sucker weighs a tonne. I call it my lead blanket.  biggrin.gif

#19 spottyladybug

Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:33 PM

QUOTE (superfruity @ 25/01/2012, 09:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
haha this is exactly me biggrin.gif

I need some more advice if anyone could maybe help me???


I had to unwind(?) well a whole row of my wavy blankie yesterday because I just cant seem to get the end wave right... can someone explain to me what they mean when they say

2dc on top of turning ch?

The wave pattern is relatively simple http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/80787AD....Images=&r=1

Ch 3, turn, dc in first dc, *dc in next 3 dc, dc3tog, dc in next 3 dc, 3 dc in next dc; rep from * 10 more times, dc in next 3 dc, dc3tog, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in top of turning ch.

and I always end up short after the last dc3tog I only have like 2 ch left...  unsure.gif



The ch 3 you have at the beginning of the row is your turning chain. So at the end of each row you are should be placing two dc into the top of the ch 3. I would guess that maybe you haven't been getting all the stitches each row and it has ended up a few stitches short each row. Until you get the hang of it you might need to check each row has the right amount of stitches.   For a chevron it should be relatively straight up the side (maybe a bit ugly but straight). if you are missing stitches it will start to angle. original.gif

#20 Tomate1910

Posted 27 January 2012 - 06:16 PM

QUOTE (spottyladybug @ 26/01/2012, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The ch 3 you have at the beginning of the row is your turning chain. So at the end of each row you are should be placing two dc into the top of the ch 3. I would guess that maybe you haven't been getting all the stitches each row and it has ended up a few stitches short each row. Until you get the hang of it you might need to check each row has the right amount of stitches.   For a chevron it should be relatively straight up the side (maybe a bit ugly but straight). if you are missing stitches it will start to angle. original.gif


Yay Thanks... I figured it out and now it is flowing nice and wavy original.gif thanks again and I'll make sure I post some of my finished products

#21 treefalls

Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE (superfruity @ 23/01/2012, 10:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How do you block something that is relatively big like that? I dont even know what to pin it to  unsure.gif

My method for blocking is to hand wash the piece as you would like to clean the garment (ie. lukewarm water, mild soap. Avoid rubbing. Rinse thoroughly.) Then I don't wring it, but fold it into an even shape and squeeze the excess water out. Then take a towel, or overlap two for a large piece - or use a beach towel) lay the piece out on the towel on the ground of flat surface. Arrange it in roughly the right size and shape (it can be folded back on itself for this part, too) and roll it up inside the towel to remove remaining excess water. Once it's rolled up inside the towel, you can walk your feet along it to squeeze out all the moisture. Takes less muscle!!

To block/dry - I used quilting pins and pinned it out on a doona. Or you can pin towels to a blanket, drape it over a table or on the floor and then pin the piece to that. A spare bed is easier though! You might need a tape measure to match the finished measurements suggested by the pattern (or body measurements) - or to maintain symmetry (blankets and shawls). Place a pin in the centre and pin out from the centre if you get confused. To make something square, measure both diagonals across and if the measurements are the same, you've got it right.


#22 little lion

Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:42 PM

I saw this in recent topics and thought it might be you, Superfruity. biggrin.gif I can't knit or crochet but there's a lot of inspiration in this thread.

#23 Scootaloo

Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:00 PM

I make these when I need something that i can not think about, plus they are cute and very popular amongst my girls and their friends

http://www.tangledhappy.com/2010/11/granny...utique-bag.html

Jen

#24 dessiesgirl

Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:40 PM

http://www.artsandcraftsnsw.com.au/Wrap.htm
Try these? You can make as many or as few as you like. I'm getting my kids and some of their friends involved in this over winter - we hope to have enough to make a full blanket by the endof the year.


For the PPs talking about blocking - I bought some blocking needles on an American ebay site - they are unreal. Have been unable to find them in Australia. There are dfferent lengths, and you slide them into the sides ofytour work - they give a much straighter edge with a lot less effort than pinning. There were even curvy ones for reounded edges. Can't remember how much theywere - about $20 I think, and well worth it.

#25 lakurumau

Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:33 PM

There's a book called Mindful Knitting by Tara Jon Manning, which focuses on the meditative aspects of the craft and has ten "meditative" projects to try. I like to dip into that every now and then.




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