I like to use scrubbies on my dishes that will not scratch the finish. Being that I cook from scratch a lot, I’m washing pots and pans almost every day. I’ve always kept a few of the plastic scrubbies on hand, but I hate how they come apart and unravel, plus you can’t just throw them in the washing machine and reuse them. When I saw the Red Heart Cotton Scrubby yarn at my local craft store, I decided to give it a try. No, it’s not organic but it is machine washable.
Cancer is a mean, rotten, ugly bastard. For the most part, words escape me when I think of cancer and what it has done to people I love. My mom defeated it more than 20 years ago and is still alive and well. Her husband, my stepdad, didn't win that battle and he has been gone 10 years now. My mom and I were his caregivers to the very last minute. One of the hardest things I've ever done, but I am so glad I was there.
Now, my husband's daughter has breast cancer-stage 4. She is just way too young to have to deal with all that. Her kids are way too young, her husband is way too young. She is beautiful and brave and fights like hell to defeat this cancer monster. Our hearts, prayers, thoughts...are all with her every day.
It is so hard to see your children suffer and feel helpless to do anything about it. So I did what little bit I could to add a little warm fuzziness to her battle. I knitted chemo caps. I wish it was more. I'm putting the patterns here for anyone else who might want to use them. For Kelly, bravely battling to slay the cancer dragon. We love you.
Multicolored Chemo Cap, 1.3 MB, PDF
Twisted Rib Chemo Cap, 1.3 MB, PDF
Multi-color Tri-tipped Toddler Hat
Skill level: Beginner
The gauge was approximately 3.25 stitches per inch. However, you should check your gauge simply because I tend to knit loose. I forgot to get an accurate measure of gauge before I popped it in the mail, so this is an estimate.
Cast on 58 stitches using two different colored strands. I started with green and blue. Join, being careful not to twist, and place a marker at the beginning of the round. Continue knitting in the round (this is stockinette stitch) for about 2" from starting row, then change one color. In this picture, I dropped the blue and picked up yellow. I did not cut and fasten off the blue, but just left it to carry up later when I picked it back up.
Continue knitting with the two strands, green and yellow, for another 2 inches (4 inches total from beginning round). Change colors again at the marker, in this case I dropped the green, picked up the blue and continued with blue and yellow. Knit until the total length of your hat is 7 inches, then bind off.
Divide the 'top' of the hat into three equal parts to create a Y-shaped crown, with each leg of the Y of equal length. Using a double strand of one color (in this case yellow), single crochet through each stitch to join the sides of each leg of the Y. I crocheted across two legs and fastened off. I then started at the outside tip of the third leg and when I reached the middle, pulled a loop through the crocheted edging at the center of the other two legs so they were all three attached in the middle. Fasten off and weave in ends.
You can leave the brim of the hat without an edging if you choose, in which case it will naturally roll up (stockinette stitch always rolls on the edges). However, I chose to add a crocheted edging using two strands of the yellow. I crocheted one round of single crochet in each stitch of the brim, then added a second round of half-double crochet. Fasten off and weave in ends.
The hat is basically a knitted tube, sized to fit your favorite head, with the tri-lobed finish on the crown and a rolled or crocheted edge at the brim, combining two strands of yarn in varying colors to get a variegated effect. You could use any yarn or combination simply by checking your gauge and adjusting accordingly.
To get the size of the hat, measure your head of choice, then make the hat about 1inch smaller to allow for stretching. For example, if the head measures 18 inches around (which is about average toddler size), check your gauge by knitting a swatch (say three stitches per inch as an example), then multiply 3 stitches/inch times 17 inches (18 inches head measurement minus 1) to get the number of stitches needed for cast on (3 x 17 = 51). Then knit away.
If you have not tried circular knitting, then knit it on a straight needle, remembering to knit the right side row and purl the wrong side row for a stockinette stitch. Then bind off and seam up the hat when it reaches 7 inches in length and finish as above.
This shawl is made from the same pattern as the Nightwatch Shawl with one major difference--I repeated the yarn over (YO) at the end of each row (after the first three rows) as well as having it at the beginning. This means the shawl widened faster than the Nightwatch shawl. I've decided I like this pattern better because the point is not as long in the back. So my pattern stitch is as follows:
K 2, YO, K to end (repeat 2 times)
K2, YO, K until 2 stitches are left on needle, YO, K to end. Repeat until you have 150 stitches on needle
BO loosely. This can be the hardest part. You need a stretchy bind off. I am on a search to find the best one to use with these large needles and not so stretchy
I added three rows of a chain stitch edging on the two sides. Across the top (neck) side, I did one row of single crochet, turned and did 2 half-double crochet in each single crochet. It gives it a slightly ruffled edge.
Needle: 17 US
Yarn: 3 skeins Sugar N Cream 100% Cotton, Worsted, Country Sage Ombre (main), 2 oz (56.7 g), 95 yd (86 m); Trim: 2 skeins Peaches N Cream 100% Cotton, Worsted, Oasis, 2 oz (56.7 g), 95 yd (86 m)
Why did I use yarn that is typically used for things like washcloths and dishcloths? Because it is sturdy, washable, easy to work with, inexpensive, has lots of color choices, and I can buy it at my local Walmart. When you live in rural New Mexico, 90 miles from anything, that is a big plus.
When I learned to knit, my very first lesson was making a diagonally knitted square. I learned to increase, decrease and the knit stitch, all while making a relatively useful project, a wash cloth or dishcloth. After that, I did a multitude of scarves and hats before I struck out to learn more techniques. But I kept coming back to the square.
There are so many simple designs that are made from squares or triangles (half a square) and the pattern is so easy that it is perfect for beginners. So I have started designing patterns based on that simple diagonal square, just to see how many projects I can make.
The pattern stitch I learned, and still use, is very simple (below):
Close up view of Nightwatch Shawl (left) and full view of shawl (right).
This knitted shawl is made from 2 skeins of 'I Love This Yarn' Ombre Nightwatch, 251 yards (230 meters) per skein for a total of 502 yards (460 meters). Any size yarn could be used, but bulkier yarns with bigger needles will work up much faster, which I would recommend for a beginning knitter. Or you could use two light weight yarns. I used size 17 needles, but a smaller size would work. I knitted the increase row until the sides were about 52" when laid flat (be careful not to stretch the yarn), then I bound off the edge loosely. (That means no decrease rows; you are stopping with half a square-i.e. a triangle). I am tall, though, so you would want to adjust your number of rows to fit your need.
I wanted this shawl to be a light and airy, easy care summer accessory. The large needle made a very open stitch and was very quick to knit. I added a simple 5 inch fringe (10 inch strands doubled with a larks head knot), but you could also leave the edge with the knitted finish. I would caution you not to choose a yarn that has a lot of give, because with a stretchy yarn, this shawl would be dragging on the ground. If I make it again, I will probably use a cotton yarn or something similar that has very little stretch to it and is summery (cotton is just summery to me). As it is, the shawl is long enough that I can turn back a collar at the neck and still have a fairly long shawl.
I like to full and block my knitted pieces by rinsing them gently in warm water (this is entirely dependent on the yarn you are using--read the washing instructions on the skein), then rolling them up in a heavy towel and squeezing out the excess water. I then lay them out flat (or folded in half length wise in the case of a large shawl) on a moisture proof, fade proof surface and pin them down and let them dry.
My blocking board is a large piece of 1.5 inch compressed styrofoam left over from insulating our house. I covered it with a clean, white and very large towel and use quilting pins to block my projects. When I'm not using it, it stands behind the door of my craft room/office. Works great!
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1982 and have been gluten free ever since. I went dairy free two years ago. I share recipes, DIY projects and crafts, gardening tips, life philosophies and thoughts on this blog. This is just my story. In no way should it be taken as medical advice because every individual is different. There are also a few affiliate links for products I use and recommend. I make a tiny amount of money if you buy something and it in no way changes the price you pay.
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