Anybody want to see my impression of Richard Saja?

If you aren’t familiar with Richard Saja, he is a fine artist who often works with textiles and embroidery.  He is often known for his altered toile scenes–French livery with mohawks and punk clothing, pastoral barns on fire, etc.  He’s actually quite a bit more interesting than that, so I recommend that you visit his blog and search the internet articles about him.

This bit of embroidery is a Father’s Day gift for my dad.  We don’t always see eye to eye, but that’s only because we are equally stubborn.  We have the same birthday, the same crappy skin, the same sense of humor, and the same horrible neck problems.  I decided to sew a neck pillow for him because I know how helpful mine is.  I hope he likes it. 

The fabric came from Hobby Lobby.  It’s nothing big, but the man is getting an Alexandra Walters embroidery piece for the low, low price of being my dad for 36 years. 

Before you start thinking that I’m a good daughter, let me tell you that I still haven’t mailed it.  I’ve been very sick for a few weeks and just found out that my thyroid quit working.  My doctor can’t see me to prescribe anything until after July 13, so I am functioning of 12-14 hours of sleep a day.  I manage to get nothing done except feed the kids and keep the house from becoming a health hazard.

Crochet Pattern: Stethoscope Cozy

Crochet Stethoscope Cozy

With the original author’s permission, I am posting a crochet version of her knitted stethoscope cozy.  Thanks, Kim!  You can find her on Ravelry hereEdit:  Kim has taken her pattern off the internet due to abuse.  People were making and selling them.  Not cool.  If it isn’t your pattern, you need permission to sell it, even if you made the item. 

I’m celebrating a new start to a new career and I want to share my happiness with all of you.  Stethoscopes are expensive and need protection from skin and hair oils or they break down.  Also, I find that the tubing pinches my neck and pulls my hair like crazy.  Plus, as a lifelong crafter, I was peeing my pants to think of some nursing-related projects to make.

This pattern would make a great gift for heathcare workers who have given great service to your family and/or pets.  (It’s hard to find a way to thank people when they aren’t allowed to accept gifts of monetary value.  When I worked in the laboratory, we weren’t even allowed to take popcorn buckets or boxes of candy at Christmas.  I’m pretty sure most hospital administrators would allow and handmade yarn present.)

Fraternal Twins

Use washable fingering weight yarn!  I used sock yarn.  I have many leftover balls around the house from knitting socks.  For vegans and wool allergies, there are some adorable cotton yarns for babies in fingering weight.   My gauge was 5 sc per inch.  I used a size D (3.25 mm) hook.  Gauge isn’t too critical, but I’d go bigger rather than smaller. 

This is the cheap stethoscope from my husband's old EMT kit.  It's the same size as a Littman, just with a slightly smaller bell.  This cozy should fit most scopes.

Anyway, here it is:

Chain 16 and join to form a ring.  Single crochet in each chain.  Don’t join rounds, just work in a spiral until you’ve reached the desired tubing length, approximately 18 – 20”.

To shape for Y-bifurcation in tubing:
Flatten crocheted tube and place open ring stitch markers on the two edge sc.  (Approximately stitch 1 and 8, but we didn’t keep track while working in a spiral.)  Increase 1 stitch before marker and once stitch after marker by sc twice in same stitch (4 stitches increased.)  Work one row of sc, moving up markers as you work.   Continue increasing in this manner on alternate rows until you have 32  stitches in total.
To finish with a snap: 
Work even until piece measures 2.75 inches from the first increases.  Work several slip stitches to even out your spiral work.  (You don’t want an abrupt end to the single crochet stitches.)  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Sew a snap halfway across the wide end of the tubing.  Since crochet isn’t as elastic as knit, you may need to pop off the bell of the scope to get the cozy in place.
To finish with a button:
Work even until piece measures 2 inches from first increases.  Midway between increases on one side, create a button hole by chaining 1 and skipping one sc.  Work even for another 0.75 inches.  Remove hook and flatten tube again.  Across from your button hole, count over 3 sc to the left as the work is facing you and place an open ring marker.  Work to marker  in sc.  Turn work and sc 6 .  Turn again and work 6 sc.  Work back and forth across these 6 stitches until tab measures 1 inch.  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Sew a button that fits your hole in the center of tab. 
Don’t forget to include washing instructions if this is a gift!  I’m off to play Barbie dress up with my stethoscopes. 
Snap placement

If you have any questions, I’m always here:  alexcateye@msn.com.  Let me know if the directions make sense.

New Sweater for Isabel

This was supposed to be a February Baby Sweater, from the old Knitter’s Almanac. However, I forgot to bring the book with me while I was working on it and improvised the lace. (I’ve knit gull wing lace so many times, I was sure I had it memorized.) I guess I was off by one stitch on each repeat and ended up with this lace pattern.

It doesn’t matter. She loves the sweater! Now I just need some buttons.

The yarn is Vintage Wool from Berocco. It washes well, but I thought it was slippery and splitty. The metal needles I was using weren’t working for me, so I switched to the acrylic needles from www.knitpicks.com and I had a much easier time.