Due to the horrible weather the Community College I work at was closed Wednesday and Thursday, SNOW DAYS! This was fortunate since I was feeling under the weather and would not have been able to accomplish much, there was also a staff meeting that was rescheduled. Because of this I not only finished the first quarter of the shawl pattern I completed as much as I can at this point. Let me clarify, this shawl is supposed to be knit over a period of three months, with each month’s kit building on the last. There are two more repeats of the white portion and another type of stitch that are supposed to be a part of this month’s construction. Many of the (very fast) knitters on Ravelry have commented that they have run out of white before finishing the portion of the shawl that I am on and have been unable to start the final portion (bobble stitches). Jimmy Beans has apologized and sent out extra yarn to those that have let them know, they are also including extra yarn for everyone in the next installment. Since I know that I do not have enough yarn to complete this portion, do not want to halt the pattern in the middle of a section, and have plenty to do, I have decided to wait until the next installment arrives before I continue. That being said, this kit is amazing! I am having so much fun as well as learning that I am capable of knitting much better than I believed.
The bottom of my crocheted ottoman. This is the first installment of the Jimmy Beans Crochet kit, there were four skeins of yarn left over (tiny skeins) but the next portion is supposed to take a lot of yarn so these bits will be used there. From what I understand the next portion is building up the sides of the ottoman. The way things look I think I will have plenty of pillows for stuffing this thing, even if it is much taller than anticipated. Much like the knitting kit, this spinning kit has brought me hours of enjoyment for very little investment. While I honestly haven’t learned as much I did begin this journey with a wider base of knowledge, and I will have a neat ottoman when I am done.
Since there is going to be an installment of each of these clubs every month I am going to try and keep up with the stitching as well as reporting how they are going. I have a couple more projects going on this week and will be writing posts about them shortly!
In the Fall of 2018 Jimmy Beans Wool had the option to buy a three month set of their knitting subscription for $30 so that you could knit up some little cacti. I don’t need any more junk in my house, but I wanted to know if I was capable of knitting a cactus. Now I have a pair of cacti sitting on my shelf in front of my mother’s religious statues, and I have the parts of the third waiting to be stuffed and added to the collection. It might be a bit of a wait since I purchased a year subscription to the knitting and crochet clubs that Jimmy Beans offers.
TIP: If you want to order more than one of their subscription boxes, make each one into a separate order. They don’t say that anywhere that I can find on their website but it really does save a bit of hassle. That being said, though I have contacted their help about 3 times so far this year, they are quite quick to respond to my concerns.
My knitting skills are a bit rudimentary, to be kind, and so I was not sure if I would be able to follow the instructions to create the shawl that is the first project for this quarter. Fortunately the instructions are very clear allowing me to expand my skills very quickly and obtain beautiful results. I am only on the first third of the first set of instructions but the pattern is time consuming and fascinating. It takes me about 90 minutes to complete the 4 rows that go into one repeat of the pattern. As of the writing of this I have completed 3 repeats and have 2.5 left to go (the piece leading into the next pattern is only 1/2 of the pattern, the hard half.). I believe that learning the stitches took me longer than the 90 minutes mentioned above, however, even if it did not I have already accumulated 4.5 hours of enjoyment out of this $20 and I have not even finished the first section. This club also came with a little knit notebook, which I do not know what I am going to do with it, and a beautiful bag with snaps called the Oh Snap bag. When I get the first third of the shawl completed I will attempt to post a picture.
I decided to try the crochet kit of the month club simply because Mom loved to crochet and I didn’t want my skills in that area to get rusty. The first project is an ottoman, crocheted and stuffed with whatever blankets etc you would like. I love the concept and mildly resent having to purchase the extra equipment to stuff the sucker with. I contemplated getting a storage ottoman and trying to find a way to create a slit of some sort in the cover, however Wal-Mart had fuzzy pillows on sale so hopefully the four I purchased will be enough to stuff this thing. If not I am certain I will think of something. Right now the pattern is a simple single crochet starting in the magic loop and gaining stitches every row. There is a little hitch where you reach down a row for one of the single crochets to form a cute spike. We are also working with doubled up yarn, two strands at a time, which I have never done before.
Really, if you enjoy crafting and need some external motivation (which I am realizing is my problem) then these are a great way to expand your skill set and get neat projects to boot.
I am working on the Beekeeper’s Quilt, the pattern is by Tiny Owl Knits and can be found on Ravelry. Each little Hexipuff is knit as an individual project, stuffed, and put in a basket until you have a sufficient amount to piece together for a completed quilt. I can knit about one hexipuff a day, due to time constraints and my very slow knitting. It will take about 580 Hexipuffs to make a quilt 5.5 Feet X 6 Feet. Since I like my quilts to be able to actually cover me this is the size I am aiming for. A 3 foot by 4 foot quilt would be 384 hexipuffs but I would consider that a very small quilt.
If I were able to knit a hexie every single day it would take me about 2 years to create the hexie’s and probably another year to piece it together. This would certainly qualify as a big project. Well, I cannot make a three year project easy on myself now can I? No! I decided that I was going to create two different hexipuff quilts. One will be made up of hexie’s that I knit from my own handspun yarn.
The second quilt that I plan on working on will consist of scraps of yarn, usually some fancy yarns that I will not purchase an entire skein of. For example JimmyBeansWool.com allows 20 yard samples of some of their yarns to be purchased. While I find myself reluctant to purchase a skein of Madeline Tosh (MadTosh) yarn for $25-$35 a skein, I can justify spending about $1.25 for enough yarn to create a hexipuff and a half. It really is still quite expensive, but it allows me to fool myself into thinking that I am being thrifty. I have also discovered that the MadTosh yarn is really exquisite to work with and creates a very pretty, silky puff. If I were really into clothing knitting I would certainly consider some of this. The yarn to the left is a thin sock yarn, that I might need to use a smaller needle if I want to knit the rest of my sample skein into hexie’s, and the right is the MadTosh yarn in Swimming Pool colorway.
I really enjoy knitting up these tiny hexies on my size 8 Dpns out of wood. I love how the needles work with the yarn, and I really enjoy working with my handspun so I get an idea of what works and what does not with my yarn.
For Christmas, and at just $10 each they are a steal, I was given a 3 month subscription to Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags. I have since then received my December and January Bags, both of which were an absolute delight. While there are instructions for a suggested project included, I have been using my Schacht Zoom Loom, purchased from Woolery, to create amazing squares. Those squares will eventually become a piece of either clothing or a scarf, I’m still working on figuring them out. Each bag, and it really is a woven cotton bag with a zipper, also comes with Soak samples to wash your projects and an accessory. In the December bag we were given a pom-pom maker and in January a wooden shawl closure.