How To Double Knit On A Long Loom – Casting On, Casting Off & Adding Fringe

Over the years, I’ve tried lots of different types of crafty endeavors. From woodburning to beading, if you can name the craft, I’ve probably tried it. As I’ve gotten older and time has gotten more precious, crafting just for the sake of it has lost most of its lustre, though. Intellectually, I understand that the stress relief of having a creative outlet is just as important as that outlet being “useful” in the conventional sense, but the combination of wasting time and also just not being that talented has made crafting lose much of its appeal for me in my adult years. 

Every now and then, I still feel the need to make something, though, and when I caught sight of the colorful plastic looms a week or two ago in the knitting section at JoAnn’s, I just couldn’t help but buy one. What the hell, I thought. There’s always Ebay if this thing sits, untouched, in the closet for the next year. I started knitting that night, and to my surprise, it wasn’t just fun – it was pretty easy, too. It was also pretty relaxing, especially after I figured out how to stop getting the yarn so tangled up when I pulled it off of the skein.

Yesterday I finished my first project, a long, soft scarf with fringe. It’s not perfect – far from it, in fact – but it’s a pretty nice result for a first attempt, I think. If it ever gets cold here, I’ll try it out and see how it stands up to some wear and tear. Better than having a scarf, I also feel compelled to learn more patterns and make something else. I’m scared to say it out loud and jinx it, but I think I might have finally found my craft calling!

In the mean time, if you’re interested in learning to loom knit, here are three essential videos that came in handy for me, including a guide to casting on (which is how you start a project), a guide to casting off (how you finish the project), and a guide to adding fringe. All three explain the process for people who are double knitting on the loom, so if you’re single knitting, keep that in mind. Enjoy!

How to cast on for double loom knitting (via Martha Stewart Crafts & Lion Brand Yarn):

How to cast off of for double loom knitting (via Martha Stewart Crafts & Lion Brand Yarn):

How to add fringe to a knitted scarf (via VeryPink Knits):

My New Scarf

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been teaching myself to knit on a long loom. I started out the project thinking that it sounded fun, but would probably end just like every other craft project I’ve started in the last few years – half-finished, in the closet. However, with the help of a couple of great videos and a little trial and error, I ended up loving the process. And here’s the finished project!

Anna's Scarf

 

Day 40: More Tests

I’m getting more blood drawn tomorrow, in order to get my TSH tested once again, as well as my T-3, T-4 and antibodies. After the results are in, I’ll be hitting up the low-income health clinic to see if I can get a doctor to take a look and prescribe the correct medication.

Click through to see more thyroid stuff on my Pinterest page.

Click through to see this chart in a larger format on Pinterest.

Other than that, today I’m very tired, and have a sinus headache for the sixth day in a row. I didn’t work out at all today, and I don’t plan to. Yeah, I know it’s lame, but I really just want to go home, untangle my skein of yarn, and go back to making the scarf I’ve been working on since Saturday. Even though this isn’t going to help me lose weight, learning a new and relaxing hobby is going to help me reduce my stress levels, which is every bit as important as fitting in daily exercise. Possibly more so, since every dose of added stress hurts my thyroid even more.

Race, Cold, Origami No

Just a tiny update, since it’s late and I’m dying to get a little sleep.

Once again, I’m behind on origami. Yesterday I slept in until almost 2pm, then got up and got ready and went out to do a 4 mile run across the Crescent City Connection (which spans the Mississippi River between Downtown New Orleans and the West Bank) with about a thousand other insane people. Read more about the race here. Don’t believe the bullshit about it being a beautiful sunset run – maybe if you’re at the very tail end of the race, but if you’re with the younger-than-70 crowd, you’ll be blistering in the sun.

The race was a terrible mistake. I was already feeling sick, but I’m also not good with being in the sun too much, and I overheated pretty quickly. I stayed hydrated, but was just plodding along. At first I was running almost a full minute slower than my norm, but then as we started running up the bridge, my sunscreen started to melt and run into my eyes. I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and they burned more with each passing moment. Since I couldn’t see, I slowed to a walk, but as much as I tried to mop my face to keep more sunscreen from going in my eyes, nothing was helping. It came to a point where I had to decide whether to turn around to find the EMTs or keep going (they had told us that there would be no water stations on the bridge).

Luckily, I kept going, and there was a surprise water station. I was able to wash my eyes out and wash my face off, and after that everything was fine. I picked up my pace a bit, but by then I was two miles in and just kind of done with the whole affair. I’ve never felt like that in a road race before, but I wasn’t alone. I walked the whole third mile, and there were tons of people walking with me, even stopping to take photos of themselves and friends on the bridge. For many it seemed to be more of a fun run than a competitive thing, so I just congratulated myself for getting out of the house and tried to go with the flow.

At the finish line my friend Bill met me with a bottle of water, and I was so dizzy and out of it, even though I hadn’t put forth a lot of effort. It was a really weird day, but I got a cool t-shirt that says “I Ran The Span” (referring to the twin spans of the bridge). After the race, I was so pooped that I came back home, put on a movie, and fell asleep half way through. No origami.

Today I woke up early with an incredible craving for waffles. Spoiler: I never got them. I went to see Hangover III at the movie theater – not as bad as I expected, but honestly that’s not saying much. After that, I went to pick up some household stuff at Marshalls. I got these awesome weight lifting gloves, since I planned on going to the gym. But when I got to the gym, my key card didn’t work. So I came home and had a two hour phone call with my parents instead. Then I started coughing like crazy, and am still coughing right now as I write this incredibly long and even more incredibly boring (sorry!) blog post. When I finish here, I’ll go to bed. No origami again.

I’m two days behind on the 30 day challenge. This week is going to be crazy at work. CRAZY. I’m starting to worry about all of the things I’m not doing properly in my life, like staying healthy, having fun, making money, and organizing my time properly. Hence the no origami.

Ack.

Thirty Days Project: Day 7

Ugh. Coming down with yet another cold, so I thought I’d take it easy on myself today with a very simple project, the origami cube.

Unfortunately, the tutorial that I was following, which had lots of comments on how easy, fun, etc. it was to make these cubes, actually left out a HUGE step in the photos and writing. Not that that’s a huge surprise – origami tutorials are notoriously prone to leaving out important bits and expecting you to jump from point C to point Z with no problem. However, this time, since it was a blog entry with play-by-play photos that go over every painful step except for the most important one, I feel that I’m entitled to bitch a bit. Also, I’m a little miffed because I ended up folding not 6, but 18 modules, since the first try didn’t work at all, the second try worked but looked crappy, and I was proud enough to want a third try at perfection.

From left to right: Attempt #1, Attempt #2, Victory!

From left to right: Attempt #1, Attempt #2, Victory!

 

Here’s the fruit of my labor. A cube. Whoo.

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I’m going back to more intricate projects tomorrow. The simple ones always kick my butt.

Thirty Days Project: Day 6

Hallelujah, I’m finally caught up! I wanted to choose something moderately easy, since I’ve got a lot of tasks to accomplish tonight. So around two hours ago, I sat down to make a 12 module origami ball (using instructions from A Fine Tangle) that should have taken around 10 minutes to make.

Twenty minutes ago, I was laughing hysterically as I tried in vain to figure out how the last three flaps fit together. I had been trying to work out that same problem for another thirty minutes before that. It’s hard to explain the feeling of staring into the mouth of madness as you attempt to figure out a simple fold, but every now and then you just have those special “WTF?” moments. It’s all about meeting them with laughter instead of tears. It’s also helpful to take the model apart and do it over.

It took me three times of taking it apart completely to figure out what I was doing wrong, but as you can see, in the end it worked out perfectly. This model, by the way, is something little kids learn. I know that because I ended up reading a lot of blog posts and watching a few YouTube videos to see where I was going wrong. I felt a little like an idiot knowing that 10 year olds make these during recess, but then I remembered that I used to fold awesome notes to pass to my friends in class, so I’m not a complete dunce, just a little rusty. Onwards and upwards, folks!

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Thirty Days Project: Day 5

Lucky for me that I’m a freelancer, as otherwise I would have just spent an important hour of work hiding away at my desk, making a 16-pointed star. Only one more piece to make before I’m officially caught up and my life can resume its normal (ridiculous) pace…

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If you’re interested in making your own, head on over to Origami Instructions for detailed photos!