Converting Knitting Patterns - Color Outside the Lines and Creative Freedom in my knitting.

Coloring outside the lines gives me freedom I didn't have as a kid.

When I was in elementary school I actually won an Art Scholarship (based on a painting that everyone in the class had to paint - a still of fruit on a table). The classes were at John Herron in Indianapolis. I was in 6th grade, took the city bus downtown by myself on Saturdays during summer vacation. But, I had to do every step by the book, their book. Even had a live nude model. I don't remember fighting the program, I was a very compliant kid, but I also don't remember being very creative as a result. The last several years I have allowed myself the freedom to make mistakes, do a search on this blog for "Fear of Failure" posts...blogging has actually help me document my progress tackling this fear!

Click on the Picture.

I simply cannot follow a pattern like a person is supposed to do. Take for instance a really cute purse pattern I got for Christmas from my d-i-l. It ends up being a round bag, 10 pie shape panels per side with a strap that also serves as a base and sides all around the bag. It is very cute, but the pattern calls for a very specific yarn, and tells you the size the finished project will be, etc., etc.

I decided to use much bigger needles, hold a strand of wool blend and a strand of 100% wool yarn together to make the bag, much larger than the pattern calls for and felt it. What is it with felting? It's like no project is finished without going that step. The bag calls for a lining, but with felting, it really isn't necessary.

Oh, yeah, I also have a great idea for "lining" but that is another post. (It includes a pocket.)

So in saying all that, I found a pretty helpful web page, about conversions of knitting patterns. More CREATIVE FREEDOM coming my way.


Pretty interesting site.


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I finally tried a new technique today and it worked perfect.

I actually knit a sample swatch with some stash wool yarn.

Felted the piece (nothing new).

Tied 4 rubber bands onto the piece of fabric.

While the piece was still wet from felting I opened 3 packs of Kool Aid (unsweetened kind of course). Sprinkled colors all around the piece, set the piece into a plastic microwave bowl with a dab of water covering the bottom of the bowl. Turned on microwave about 1 minute, to set the color, rinsed in cold water, cut off the rubber bands and ...

This is Cherry, Grape and Fruit Punch

Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool Yarn in Natural SEE HERE


A Free Form Knit Felted Purse


Try This

Knit holding two strands of yarn together, two 100% wool, or at least one 100% wool, same color or contrasting colors.

On size 13 or larger (29") circular needles cast on 28 stitches, to start the base, knit the first row, purl the next but slip the first stitch on every row. You will knit in circular motion when you finish the base.

Now the Free Form Style. Making the base knit then purl as many rows as you like. (Remember to slip the first stitch on every row!!

When you are done have the base as wide as you like (even if it's square) begin picking up stitches all around the base, the 28 already on the needle (plus the number of slipped stitches on each end) and the 28 stitches on the cast on row.

If you want a square base, and want to end up with a rectangular bag, add a few rows to the base, making it a little wider than your original 28 cast on side, because when you go to felt the bag, the vertical will felt more than the horizontal - do not ask me why!!

Exaggerate everything step, because felting will shrink and mesh all these fibers into a tight boxy shape. You can even do this whole project in bulky yarn and make it a market bag.

Cast off, Make an i-cord handle, felt both pieces, in the same pillowcase (wash in hot for at least 10-15 minutes), and shape to dry.

EXPERIMENT!! And please report back.

Check out my you-tube videos HERE


Knitting or Weaving Studio. Mp3 player full of choice music.

I read a quote today in a fiber magazine, "The studio is where my loom sits." I'm so ready to have a studio, with my yarns on display, my knitting baskets and projects out in the open, and my loom center stage. I will have my mp3 player set up with my "sound box."

What type of music is on my MP3 player? Hm-m-m!!

OK, first, I have Don Potter, big in the 80's and 90's with Morning Star ministries. My favorite hit of his "Prepare the Way," and "Who do they say I AM?" John Michael Talbott, put a lot of liturgy to guitar and incredible vocals, I downloaded (WalMart Mp3's) several of his songs. David Crowder Band, "Never Let Go." Took me through a storm, good memories. Alright, I admit, I have Allman Brothers on there, their songs play while I'm riding my motorcycle, after I've spent a great deal of time listening to worship and praise. I just love the rhythm and blues sound. I'm looking for the mp3 of "I want a heart that forgives," by Kevin Levar.

I listen to XM, make note of artists with that certain sound and download the music when I get the time.


The floor loom is dressed. A break from knitting.

Before we rode our motorcycles to the California line for some meetings this weekend, I set up the warping board and brought out some tweed gray sock yarn. I'm trying a new pattern, about half-way through the "dressing" the loom process, I had to stop and pack my motorcycle for a 3 day trip. So, last night I was back at it, all the yarn, through the holes in the heddles, and through the reed. I'm trying to weave a loose, soft capelet about 18" wide and as long as the yarn lasts.

I've tried two patterns so far and taken them out, which makes the hubby nervous - I really don't mind taking them out over and over till I see the pleasing pattern I'm looking for, but it makes him nervous - he doesn't like "wasting" time, but I see it as learning time.

Anyway the experiment is moving along.


What? My YouTube video went over 16,000 in one day, well 88 views in one day, anyway. see yesterday's post.

I had 15, 922 hits on my "step-by-step knitting ..." video yesterday, and now it's over 16,000. Who are these people viewing my video?


My YouTube Video is about to hit 16,000 hits!

Wow, I hadn't looked in on my YouTube videos for a few weeks. My last check I had over 14,000 hits on my "Step-by-Step Felting Knit Bags"

I had no idea it was that popular to knit and felt!! Yesterday it was top in it's category!!

Exciting. Now to make it work for me, hmmmm!


Knitting Terms

This is the crafty yarn council's list of knitting terms.


I've spent a great deal of time looking for a way to convert a 100 gram ball of fingering weight yarn into yards. It is Lana Grossa Sock Yarn called Solo and no one has the yardage posted. OK I give up for now. Gotta knit!! I think I'm dealing with about 450 yards. Anyone know?

Felted another bag today, it's a deep green with a linen colored wool held side by side, then I switched to lime and deep green for some blended stripes. It's pretty awesome, gotta make a purse strap now.


Following a knitting pattern.

I don't know what it is about me and knitting patterns. I can read them, I know how to follow them, I enjoy reading them, knitting them and the finished project, but most of the time, I stray.

Like for instance, I'm almost finished with a circular purse, made in panels of short rows. Awesome pattern. I had one side of the purse finished, and decided that if I finished it according to the pattern I was going to have to line the purse, so-o-o-0 I pulled it out, wound the yarn back into a ball, and went yarn shopping.

The yarn (wool blend) is now held together with 100% wool. doing the same pattern, but with both yarns together, I won't have to line it because I'll felt it - making a nice tight dense fabric - no lining needed - am I lazy?

Am I creative?

Am I rebellious?

Am I still a non-conformist?

Or am I FREE to be me?

That's what I love about knitting, I can quit, I can start over, I can go a different direction, I can put the piece in a bag and forget it for ages, pull it out and start again, and I've even been known to pull it all out and donate the yarn to someone else, because the yarn and I simply don't get along. I am either weird or normal, but weird enough to admit it.

I had a brain storm today, and I'm hoping to have a finished project by summer. A trademark design for my knit/felt creativity!! I'm pretty excited about it. Now for the drawing, planning, testing stage... I must video what I'm doing (this is my son's best advice) for future publication!!


The secret of the skate key was revealed.

See that ring on the top of that key? Well a cord fits through that nicely. It enables one to hang it around the neck, hidden behind clothing. This was one of my best kept secrets from about ages 7 to 10.

The one key to the one pair of skates that my sisters and I shared, could not be adjusted from large (my shoes) to a little smaller (my big sister's shoes), to tiny (my baby sister's size), so in order to have these to myself, I hid the ever illusive key. It really wasn't as much selfish as it was a personal protection kind of thing.

Personal protection for those around me that is. When I would slap those things on my shoes and ride till I had no energy left, the freedom helped me clear my head after school, and kept me from smacking someone - enter two sisters. The elder (by 15 months) would make a half-hearted effort to find the skates, as soon as we ran in from school. I knew her motives, she would try to find the key and go out for a cute, flirty little skate, just to socially connect with the neighbors, be it boy or girl, then ditch the skates for more interesting activities. My younger sister, seeing how she's only 1 year and 2 weeks younger, she was one half my size, could never quite adjust them for her miniature feet, and if she was successful, she would loose the key EVERY TIME. (She wasn't able to skate until the latter years of this episode I'm describing as she was recuperating from Rheumatic Fever for a long time when we were all very young.)

So, when people ask me why I ride a motorcycle - at this age, I think the best way to describe it is to compare it to my roller skating days.

The wind in my face. The total freedom, the view from wheels, my own key!!
I had literally memorized every crack in the sidewalks in our neighborhood, as some of them had taken me all the way down to skinned knees and elbows, and others stopped me in my tracks.

I would skate and imagine that in every house there was a neighbor watching me, wishing they were as free as me. Skating allowed me to go right past the kids playing on their porch or in their yard, I was so stinking shy that it made me physically ill to stop and talk, never knew what to say other than, "Hi, how are you?" Such a dumb question, they wouldn't be out playing if they weren't fine, everyone knew that.

I had several amazing brainstorms on my skating ventures.

One such event, I could almost tell you which square of the sidewalk I was passing when the reality occurred to me. I'm most certain I was 8 because I kept a diary that year. I became aware that every human is born with some defect, something that would eventually take their life, if they weren't in an accident first. I was so impressed with this thought I tried starting conversations about the topic, but was shut down by shallow thinking, competing for king of the hill, playmates.

So, I wrote it down in my diary along with my own imaginary recipe for Turtle Soup, after a distant cousin brought a turtle for my Mom to cook, and a very detailed schedule of our school's Home Room Messenger Assignments.

If you were in the classroom closest to the school office you were on a rotating basis responsible to carry notes to another classroom when the Principles secretary brought these notes to the room. The desk by the door was always occupied by the next "messenger" and my diary reflected every time I was called upon, what room I carried it to, sometimes it was up to the 2nd floor where the 6th and 7th graders had classes. Frightful, especially if they were changing classes.

I even wrote in my diary what the message was about, if I happened to overhear the teacher telling the class what the note said. It was an important task.

At lunch time one day I was about 3 people away from being messenger, I walked home for lunch, heated up a pan of tomato soup, poured it into a glass bowl I was holding in my left hand, and the bowl broke in half, burning my hand. We had to call my mom at work, go to the doctors for gauze and medicine, and I missed the only 1/2 day of school ever, and my messenger assignment. (Well till I was a Senior and skipped school one day, but that's another story, blew my perfect attendance.)

What does any of this have to do with knitting? Absolutely nothing.

I saw a pair of roller skates on etsy and couldn't hold back the flood of memories.

The end of the story - I confessed to my older sister recently that I was always aware of the location of the skate key ... she was shocked, but after some deep soul searching found it in her heart to forgive me, free at last.

Now I can knit again.

You can buy this poster.