The Crafty Side of Kalilily

I started knitting as a kid, and since then I have probably thrown away more failed projects than I have kept successful ones. I am more a “process” knitter than a “product” one, although I do enjoy having a product every once in a while. I often have several products “in process,” just to keep life interesting.

I rarely use a pattern, although I might use my Sweater Wizard program to set out the dimensions and stitch requirements for the size sweater that I want. I prefer boxy sweaters to disguise my no-longer slim midsection. And I’m allergic to wool, so everything I make is machine washable and dryable acrylic or blend.

Back in 2002 I blogged about why I need to keep my hands busy and some of the things those hands produced.

More than a half-dozen years ago (before overhead shawls got to be so popular that you could buy them for $15 at Boscov’s), I developed a quick way to crochet a circular poncho, and I sold them at craft fairs for $25. These are four of them.


Here are some examples of what I have knitted up in the past three and a half years, the first three of which I spent living with my my brother and mother as I dedicated myself to caregiving our now 93 year old mother who has dementia.

empireThis is an empire-waist overhead, sleeveless sweater make with acrylic worsted weight yarn. The high waist is knit in small cables, and the bottom is trimmed with a large cable motif border.

I improvised this pattern. As a matter of fact, I had originally made it too long, so I cut off part of the bottom, picked up the stitches, and added the border. I also added a pocket so that I have somewhere to put my Kleenexes.

cardiganI started and ripped out this long-sleeved (improvised) cardigan twice before I went ahead and finished it. I ran out of the main color bulky (acrylic/polyester/nylon) yarn so I added the off-white half-sleeves and trim, and I added the striped pockets to use up the yarn and to have a place to put my Kleenexes. I thought that putting the stripes vertically added a little interest.

When it was all done, it was too big horizontally, so I took out my sewing machine and sewed up the sides. It fits fine now.

cap sleeveI made this ages ago out of a “simply soft” acrylic yarn, worsted weight. I wanted a cap sleeve, so I didn’t decrease for arm holes but rather just kept knitting straight up to the shoulder decreases. And then I crocheted edging around armhole openings. Again, no pattern; just improvisation.

cablevestNow, this is the sweater vest I make the most use of. I borrowed the idea of a cable up the front that splits into the edging of the V-neck from a photo I saw somewhere. And, yes, I improvised.

Because I wanted the bottom of the sweater to be loose, I used the same size needles for the ribbing as I did for the rest of the sweater.

squaresThis is my latest sweater vest effort because I wanted to have small pieces to work on when I go over to help take care of my 93 year old mother with dementia. I go for several days at a time, since it’s a three-hour drive each way. I’ve always wanted to try something made out of granny squares, and I didn’t want to make an afghan. I used sport weight acrylic yarn in two different colors: one a soft blue and the other a variegated soft blue and brown. It’s probably the easiest garment I even made — just stacking blocks one on top of the other and crocheting around the finished edges.

This is a quilted jacket I made several years ago and, at the time, posted about it here.


2 thoughts on “The Crafty Side of Kalilily

  1. Hi Elaine,
    I think it was you who wrote about sewing a panel inside a tee shirt so you could wear it without a bra, could you show me an example of how you did this?

  2. Help! I tried to leave a comment after your last post, but couldn’t find the link (or button). So I’ll leave it here, since I do want to connect with you, and keep reading your blog. I’ve subscribed. That part was easy! I do enjoy your writing.

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