For once, we don’t talk about yarn.

Hello everyone.

This post is a little different than my usual ones. I hope you lovely people won’t mind, but I thought my blog was the perfect space where I could share this.

A few weeks ago I decided to cut off my natural hair mane and donate it for charity.

For many cutting their hair off is a terrifying thought, and I understand that after many years of looking more or less the same, the idea of not recognising yourself at the mirror may be distressing.

However, this was not my case. I first started thinking about having a bold haircut back in September 2015. I wanted to make a change, and I wanted that change to be noticeable and big.

At the same time I also started caressing the idea of making my decision a little more poignant, I wanted it to be something that would do some good also for someone else.

I did some research and I discovered that the Little Princess Trust collects hair donation and uses them to make wigs for children suffering from hair loss due to cancer treatment.

I also collected some first hand accounts from other people who had donated their hair to the Trust to understand a little be better the whole process. Many people also shared the story of the children who received a wig from the Trust. Their stories were extremely touching.

So, armed with determination and feeling light at heart as I knew my hair was going to be donated for a good cause, I marched to the hair salon.

First of all, many of you have no idea of who I am and how I look like. Well, this blog is not about myself, I usually prefer to be hidden behind the camera and take pictures of my wolly-works, but for this specific occasion I decided to make an exception.

To understand the full extent of the cut, I guess we will have to begin from this picture. It was taken at Halloween when I tried to dress up as a cat (lot of effort from my part, I know LOL).

As you can see, my hair was not only long, but it was thick and full ! (please forgive the watermarking, love the internet… but.. yes you all know).

When I went to have my hair cut I could not use my styling products as the hair need to be clean and untreated, ready for the wig making. If any of you have curls / wavy hair, you probably learned the hard way never to brush them when they are dry.

Well in this case I had to make and exception… and this was the result.

The lovely Stephanie (at the salon) now had the daunting task to plait it and secure it properly ready for the cut.

As you can imagine, we were expecting the plait to be rather big and thick. We were not disappointed.

We measured it up and from top to bottom it was 13 inches (33 cm) long! The Trust, in the hair donation guidelines, asks for a minimum length of 7 inches (17.7 cm) so I was more than sure I met the requirements. Yay!

Once the plait was cut my curls decided to spring back in all their glory, free from the weight that my previous length entailed. Since I posted the hair at the post office, I am happy to tell you that the plait weighed 200 grams (shocking, I know).

After the deed was done I also decided to promote the amazing work of the Trust, so I started a fundraising page to also collect some money to go along my hair donation.

If you are able to give a small contribution to the cause as well you can do it in two ways:

1.  if you have hair to spare, you can find all the information you need to learn how to donate here ;

2. if you don’t have hair to spare, you can still make a small money donation through my fundraising page here .

The Trust is also active on Facebook, where they started a challenge community page, you can see it here.

This is it. I hope spreading the word about the Trust amazing work will make more people help, one way or another. 🙂

As for me, I really have no regrets about my decision. I would do it all over again.

Thanks for reading, from next post we go back to our yarn talks!

Drawers or Wardrobe fresheners – Stash buster mini project. Free pattern

Today I decided to present you an easy project to get rid of the yarn leftovers that lay at the bottom of our yarn containers.

It is a fact that we find it difficult to depart from the yarn that is left behind after our bigger projects have been finished, mainly because in our eyes it really feels like a true crime to throw away perfect good yarn (even if in little amount). At least this is how I feel.

I am always happy to work on quick knits because they also allow me to experiment with new free hand designs and they are perfect to donate for small charity sales. I am preparing some items to donate for my local charity so I went scouting in the depth of my yarn stash for the little forgotten yarn balls.

I found some really nice cotton in two shades (prewinkle and pale rose) which was gifted to me from my mom called TRIFOGLIO ritorto; the maker is Coat Cucirini but on their website this variety is not even mentioned anymore (I believe it was discontinued – my mourning session about it will be expressed in another post).

I also exhumed some Rico Design Essential (white – Weiss) and some Stylecraft Classique Cotton (saville).

I decided to create some drawer or wardrobe freshener as they are quite a versatile project when the perfume of the filling is dissipated (if you like the pouch it can also be used as a jewelry bag or a phone cozy).

So I set to work and these are the designs I came up with.

I filled them with some green apple pot-pourri I had in the house, lodged safely into a small (and cheap) organza bag to prevent any spillage.

This is a knitted pouch.

This is a crochet pouch.

It occurred to me that this would be also a perfect occasion to try and write down a pattern to share with you. I am aware it is a really simply design, and many of you would be able to replicate it with no instructions, but I also know there are many beginners out there looking for inspiration, and a small project like this might be temtping for them.

Materials:

Set of 4 DPN needles 3.0 mm

Crochet hook  3.0 mm

Scraps of yarn ( I used about 20-25 g cotton per pouch)

Darning needle

Organza pouches

Lavander / Pot-pourri for the filling

 

Perwinkle pouch, diamond eyelet.

CO 40 sts, join in round

Divide the stitches in the following way

needle 1:            20 sts,

needle 2:            10 sts,

needle 3:            10sts.

 

Round 1 Knit

Round 2 Purl

Round 3 Knit

Round 4 (k2, k2tog, yo) all the way around

Round 5-10 Knit

Round 11 Needle 1: k7, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, skpo, k7; needle 2 & 3 Knit

Round 12-13 Knit

Round 14 Needle 1: k6, k2tog, yo, k4, yo, skpo, k6; needle 2 & 3 Knit

Round 15-16 Knit

Round 17 Needle 1: k5, k2tog, yo, k6, yo, skpo, k5; needle 2 & 3 Knit

Round 18-19 Knit

Round 20 Needle 1: k4, k2tog, yo, k8, yo, skpo, k4; needle 2 & 3 Knit

Round 21-22-23 Knit

Round 24 Needle 1: k4, skpo, yo, k8, yo, k2tog, k4* ; needle 2 & 3 Knit (*edited on 26/02/16 thank you Stargrace!) 

Round 25-26 Knit

Round 27 Needle 1: k5, skpo, yo, k6, yo, k2tog, k5; needle 2 & 3 Knit

Round 28-29 Knit

Round 30 Needle 1: k6, skpo, yo, k4, yo, k2tog, k6; needle 2 & 3 Knit

Round 31-32 Knit

Round 33 Needle 1: k7, skpo, yo, k2, yo, k2tog, k7; needle 2 & 3 Knit

Round 34-38 Knit

Rearrange the sts on needle 2 & 3 on the same needle, using the 3 needles method, bind off.

With the crochet hook make a chain of 90 sts (or your desired length) to create the cord for the pouch.

Weave all the ends in.

 

White pouch, fern eyelet. *indicates the new pattern instructions, after spotting a mistake in the original pattern 

CO 40 sts, join in round

Divide the stitches in the following way

needle 1:            9 sts,*

needle 2:            22 sts,*

needle 3:            9 sts.

Round 1 Knit

Round 2 Purl

Round 3 Knit

Round 4 (k1, k2tog, yo) k1 all the way around

Round 5-7 Knit

Round 8 Needle 1: k9; needle 2: k6 (k2tog, yo)twice, p2, (yo, skpo) twice, k6; needle 3: K9

Round 9 K19, p2, k19

Round 10 Needle 1: k9; needle 2: k5 (k2tog, yo)twice,k1, p2,k1, (yo, skpo) twice, k5; needle 3: K9

Round 11 K19, p2, k19

Round 12 Needle 1: k9; needle 2: k4 (k2tog, yo)twice, k2, p2, k2, (yo, skpo) twice, k4; needle 3: K9

Round 13 k19, p2, k19

Round 14 Needle 1: k9; needle 2: k3 (k2tog, yo)twice, k3, p2, k3, (yo, skpo) twice, k3; needle 3: K9

Round 15 k19, p2, k19

Repeat round 8- 15 5 times

Round 32-34 Knit

Rearrange the sts on needle 2 & 3 on the same needle adding a sts from needle 2 at the two sides, then using the 3 needles method, bind off.

With the crochet hook make a chain of 90 sts (or your desired length) to create the cord for the pouch.

Weave all the ends in.

 

Orange pouch

With the crochet hook chain 40 sts and join in round.

Round 1 ch 1,sc all around, join with a sl st

Round 2 ch 1,sc all around, join with a sl st

Round 3 ch 3 (counts as a 1dc+1ch), *skip next st, 1dc in the next st* repeat ** all the way around, join with a sl st

Round 4 ch1, *sc in ch of the space, sc in the next st* repeat ** all the way around, join with a sl st

Round 5-6 ch 1, sc all around, join with a sl st

Round 7 ch 2, hdc all the way around,join with a sl st

Round 8 ch 1, sc blo all the way around,join with a sl st

Round 9 ch 1, sc all the way around,join with a sl st

Repeat round 7-9 three times

Round 16 ch 1, sc blo all the way around,join with a sl st

Round 17 ch 1, sc all the way around,join with a sl st

Bring the two sides of the pouch together and sew them together working a sl st through the internal loop of each stitch.

Make a chain of 90 sts (or your desired length) to create the cord for the pouch.

Weave all the ends in.

 

That’s all folks, if you spot any error on my pattern or if you feel like commenting on it, please let me know. Constructive criticism makes my world go round 🙂

 

 

When knitting meets charity – Penguins!

Yarn lovers unite!
Today I am happy to share a beautiful initiative that I am sure will make my fellow knitters go “awwwwww”.

Today on my Facebook feed I read about a new charity project that really warmed my heart, so I decided to share it, in the hope to reach many other knitters and animal lovers.

It is sponsored by the Penguin Foundation an Australian association that is trying to preserve, study and reabilitate penguins.

They are collecting knitted little jumpers for the penguins that are undergoing recovery after being contaminated from oil spill.
Beside looking extremely cute and fashionable, on their website they explain how the knitted jumpers help the penguins:

resizedimage350261-Knitted-jumper-lores_2

“When oiled penguins are admitted to the Wildlife Clinic at Phillip Island Nature Parks, a knitted jumper is placed on the penguins to prevent them from preening and swallowing the toxic oil before they are washed and the oil removed by staff.”

They also provide the pattern as a free download on their webite (If you are lazy you can just click here).

I invite all of you to visit their website, and if you don’t know how to knit, you can always donate what you can.

If someone is interested to contrinute, but is put off by the idea to send a parcel to the other side of the world, I am more than willing to organize a collection point and send them all in one single parcel (email me at simply.yarn@gmail.com and we will come up with some ideas).

Now go, and cast one on!