Monday, December 31, 2007

Felting Party DISASTER

We had the felting party Saturday night...the food was delicious (stuffed shells, salad and homemade rolls) but the felting went terribly wrong! I must say I have learned from my mistakes. The first thing that I did wrong was to put all four pairs of clogs in one zippered pillow case. The second thing that was very bad was adding my son's comforter to the mix. Usually I felt with sheets in the washer and everything so far has turned out well, except this time...when it counted the most :( I now know the items to be felted need lots of room to move around in the washer. Sorry no photos of the felting process as I was very disgusted!! After the first ten minutes I checked on the clogs. Some were felted. Some were not at all! One of J's was felted and the top of the slipper was felted to the bottom. I had to pull them apart. Same thing happened with one of N's slippers. I then tried 10 more minutes. Still not right. Finally, I removed the comforter and things went better. Only two pairs to the bag though. In the end they are ok, but I'm not at all happy with the finished results, not perfect...but they should be wearable. Lesson learned: Only felt one pair at a time and make sure the item has lots of room to move around. Now I'm waiting for them to dry so I can sew on the non-skid soles.

Here's another DW dishcloth...I love this pattern; I don't think I'll ever tire knitting these!
Then, I finished another corner to corner cloth using leftovers of two color ways that I had previously made DW cloths with.
Now this in my latest project:
A DW dishtowel!....which is actually six DW cloths knitted together. I really think I'm going to love this towel. The yarn is 100% cotton millend (one pound) from AC Moore. It looks like the striped yarn (Sugar 'n Cream stripes) that I've been dying to try.

Next on my list...I need to wind my beautiful sock yarn from Jeanne into a ball...then I going start knitting my socks. Can't wait!

I certainly hope everyone will have a very happy New Year!
Lots of happy knitting in 2008 :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Was Santa good to you? Santa was very good to me this year :) I'm very happy...I am now posting from my very own notebook computer...a Dell Vostros notebook with XP. It is amazing!! An unbelievable difference from our old dinosaur computer, it's so easy to use. I still have to move over my old files...but that can wait. Plug in my photo card reader and I'm good to go!

In addition to my computer I got a mouse, pen drive, chocolate and a Joann's gift card from my boys - I really made out like a bandit :) Guess giving my husband all the money I saved up for the laptop I didn't end up getting (remember by failed shopping trip to Best Buy this past fall?) worked to my advantage!

Here are a few cloths that I recently finished...since finishing the infamous slippers:
The first one is another DW cloth and the next two are "Corner to Corner" cloths. The pattern is found in this booklet Lily Sugar 'n Cream Kitchen Kolors!. (#570821). Basically it's grandmother's favorite with out the yarn overs! I had a little bit of Christmas colored yarn left, but not enough for a whole cloth so I striped it with the solid red. I like the result. The same thing with the DW cloth...not enough left for a whole cloth so I striped it with yellow ombre. I bet you can't even tell the it's striped?

Last, but not least...I think this is what really made our Christmas morning special:
Christmas Eve Shortcut Buns

I thought I would try this recipe this year. Who wants regular breakfast food for Christmas morning? The night before you prepare the recipe and let it rise overnight. Then when the presents are being opened you bake the rolls. The aroma was incredible! Just a little is so tempting to put more rolls in the bundt pan than what the recipe calls for...don't. It really looks sparse, but by morning the pan is filled to the brim with the risen dough.More rolls would have made it over flow and you can imagine the mess. This is definitely a keeper and new tradition in my home :)

Merry Christmas everyone!! Happy Knitting :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy X 4

I'm so happy ....I finally finished all four pairs of felted clogs with time to spare. Don't think I'll be knitting any more of these slipper for a long, long time. They still need to be felted, but that will take place after Christmas. Once felted (felting party) and dried then I'll add some non-skid soles.
Then at T's ( my youngest son) basketball game today I finished a Christmas Nubbins. I've always wanted to try this super easy pattern.

Now, I can focus on some last minute knitting, mostly dishcloths I think because they work up so fast. Then I can finally knit what ever I want :)

I wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas, along with peace, joy and love :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lasagna Soup

For those of you who were wondering....really how did that Lasagna Soup turn out??? It was fabulous. We all loved it. It's a keeper in my house! My photo isn't as pretty as Janice's, but keep in mind this is what was leftover after we had eaten. Yum! A loaf of fresh french bread and you've got yourself an exceptional winter night's supper :) More details here.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Plugging away...

Christmas is just a mere 10 days away and I am making some progress with my Christmas knitting. Not done, but getting there slowly. I have 2 pairs completed with the exception of the sewing and felting. The third pair is almost done; it just needs it's second sole. Then once that's finished I just have the fourth pair to complete. I am not looking forward to the sewing of all the pairs. This will get done all at the same time before the wrapping. I am getting so tired of this pattern. Now don't get me wrong...I LOVE this pattern, but I've just knit too many of them in a row! Part of the problem I think is the colors. There is nothing to get excited about. Since the clogs will never dry in time I am going to wait and felt them all at the same time. That means they will be wrapped and given in their un-felted state. I expect it will be quite humorous when the packages are opened Christmas. I am planning on having a "felting party" sometime after Christmas, before my son and Kate go back to school. I think this is wise because then we'll be sure of achieving slippers that fit :)
For those of you who might be interested in my non-matching pocketbook slippers...I decided to make another pair for Mrs. Z. I knit her a pretty pink pair, but in my haste to get her package in the mail before our big snowstorm last week, I sent them off without photographing them! I doubt that you are disappointed as they were nothing special. I do hope she likes them though. I'm keeping the funky unmatched pair for myself. I'll keep them in my purse for when I visit someone and I take off my boots. Now I'll have something to keep my feet warm!

While I was at my son's basketball game today I finished a dishcloth...the DW cloth:

This is really a quick and super easy pattern. I don't think I'll ever get tired of this pattern. I love using variegated yarn as you never quite know what you'll end up with.

Finally last but not least I was very happy to find out that Melanie has bestowed upon me a Friendship Award. Thank you so much Melanie for thinking of me. I am so very honored!!! Melanie is one of my faithful knitting blogging friends of which I have been blessed to have so many.

Now, in turn I'd very much like to give this award to all my faithful knitting friends. (If I have left anyone out...I'm sorry it was not intentional. Sure hope I got everyone covered :) )

I here by nominate the following for this Friendship Award:
Ang - Angelarae Knits
Ann - Auntie Ann Knits
Nora - Black Dog Knits
Amy - Bumpy Doink
Deborah - Deborah's Daily Dilemmas
Becky - Episode 1: In which she knits and plays harmonica
Toni - Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains
Marie - Homestead Lutheran Academy
Jeanne - Jeanne Knits
Jennifer - Knit Wit Girly
Deb - Knottykitty Knits
Rhoda - Left-handed Knitting in the World of Right-Handers
Lindy - Made By Lindy
Missy - Missy's Knitting/Crafting Mess
Monica - Monica Knits ...A LOT!!
Ren -Ren Knits ^^
Allison - Res Ipsa Knit With Her
Marie - smariek knits
Monika - Smoking Hot Needles
Christina - The Wonderful World of Teenuh
Melody - Knitphomaniacs
Rohanknitter-Weathertop Farm
Janice -Willow Way Knitting
Rachel -Yarn Over
Sophia - Yarn over Manhattan

Well, now that I've finished my update, I'll leave you for today. I've got to get busy...I'm making Janice's Lasagna Soup for supper. Can't wait to try it...I think it will be very yummy.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Reporting from the Slipper Factory

All of my knitting at the moment involves slippers in one form or another. I quickly knit up a couple of pairs of one of my favorite patterns...the pocketbook slippers. I am still diligently knitting the felted clogs. Kate's pair is finished, but still needs sewing. I have one-half a pair finished (except for sewing) of my boys slippers. I have two and a half pairs to go. Hopefully tonight I'll cast on for another slipper, but first I have to dig up some yarn and a pattern (not slippers) to work on during our two and a half hour car ride to our family's Christmas celebration in the Berkshires tomorrow.Here are the slippers for my mother-in-law knit with Bernat Soft Boucle. A much different yarn than I'm used to for this pattern, but oh my they are they sooo soft. I hope she'll like them. I'm going to tuck some money inside...after all it's a pocketbook slipper!The other pair I made using the left-over partial skein from my Sakura Cherry Blossom shawl that I made last spring. This pair I knit for an elderly neighbor friend who is now in a nursing home. I'm not so sure about this yarn knitted up. Each slipper is very different, color wise. They are definitely not a matching pair. In your honest opinion (you won't hurt my feelings if you think they wouldn't make such a good gift for an older lady)....should I keep them for myself and start over with a different yarn, more suitable yarn?Well, guess I had better get going and finish up. I'm getting really tired after a day Christmas shopping. Too much to do...too little time!

Hoep there is lots of happy knitting for you all this weekend :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Sock yarn, a finished item and a half done project

I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I wanted to post, but my camera batteries were dead, even though they were in the charger which was plugged in. Weird. Next day it was gloomy so I figured one more day, then I can't remember what happened yesterday, but I'm here now :)

I received my gorgeous yarn from Yarn Chef:
The colorway is called "polyester suit". I had a difficult time picking out the yarn. Katy has so many beautiful colorways, but I settled for a more subdued color. Perfect for jeans...if it goes with jeans I'm good to go! The yarn came beautifully wrapped with a recipe and a stitch marker. My very first of this type of stitch marker and it's even color coordinated tp match my new yarn. I'll be so happy to knit with this yarn. It feels heavenly. Many thanks to Jeanne. Remember the contest I won by being her 2001st commenter? Such a nice gift from such my wonderful and generous knitting friend :)

Sunday I finished the baby blanket with time to spare.
The photo is horrible. Today it's pretty gloomy, but I had to get my post done. Here is a picture of it folded's a tiny bit better.
Currently I'm working on Kate's (my eldest, special girl) Christmas present. Gee, I sure hope she doesn't read my blog. I know my son does briefly. I'm sure she's too busy with school to be curious about my knitting. I have the first slipper (Fiber Trends Felted Clog pattern) almost done.
Now all it need is to be sewn up. Then felted, but first I have to make it's mate. She LOVES fuzzy things, so we thought she would like the fun fur trim. After I finish the mate I swear I'll never knit with fun fur again!! I detest knitting with it. In the past I've made scarves, which was ok, but I have never had so much grief putting a little bit of a cuff on before. Never again! Good thing I love Kate or I would have aborted this idea :)

I have my yarn all bought and ready to knit three more pairs of slippers...all before Christmas...I think I can do it...I think I can :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Knitting as fast as I can!

Here are the last two pairs of pocketbook slippers that I finished, before I started the knitted ripple baby blanket that I need to finish before December 8th. (Not a very good photo, but I hope to get a better once when I'm finished. I don't know why, but I always have trouble photographing blankets.)
I think I've made very good progress so far. Yesterday I knit right through my youngest son's first basketball game of the season and got quite a bit accomplished. Good thing he doesn't object to me knitting at his games :) I really don't think it will be a problem getting this completed on time. Once done then I have to get cracking and get going on my Christmas knitting!

Just in case you were afraid to knit up one of my plastic shopping bags because you didn't have enough bags, there is a solution. Check out this beautiful plastic shopping bag knitted with my pattern by Melissa.
Melissa got tired of waiting to save up enough Target bags to make one of my big knitted bags and improvised by using "Ruffies Color Scents" bags. She said, "they come on a roll and it only takes a fraction of a roll for the bag." They come is several colors and they are scented as well. Oh, the possibilities! I'm going to check out these bags when I shop this week. Very interesting. Bags made from new colored scented bags would make great gifts :)

Off and running because there is just too much to do. Hope you all have a good week and are very happily knitting away :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Rude Awakening

Recently I took a detour to knit squares for the Pine Street Inn Knit-a-thon. Our church formed a team to knit squares, but I wasn't able to attend. You can read more about all that happend at this event on Major Knitter's Blog. Thank you Major Knitter for keeping us informed!
After I finished knitting the squares I immediately plunged into knitting pocketbook slippers...lots of pocketbook slippers. Last year I knit two pairs of these wonderful (and super easy pattern) for items to be sold in the "Kids Only Shopping" portion of our church's Holly Fair. They were hugely fact after the fair I had many people including adults asking me about the I thought I should make a bunch for this years fair, November 17th. I knew I waited too long to start, but it's not like my knitting needles have been idle at all at any time. Oh, well. Here I am knitting away and then I get an email from my sister-in-law the day before yesterday asking us to save the date for our family's holiday get-together December 8th which takes place in the western part of the state. Needless to say we don't visit them too often because it's a bit of a trip for us. At first it didn't register and then I got the horrors...the baby blanket for my husband's niece and godchild who's baby boy is due right after the holidays. I was supposed to have it ready to bring Christmas. Some how I have had it in my head that I still had plenty of time, but no not last night I cast on. Sure hope I can finish it by December 8th??? (I know there is always the mail as a last resort!)

I might not get too many more slippers done. I have one on the needles to take with me for a take-a-long project...maybe I can manage one more pair. Here are the slippers I have made so far:
How do you like my stripey ones? I took a chance and used two colors because I didn't think I'd have enough of the green yarn. My instincts were right and it was a wise decision. I don't think everyone will like them, but hopefully someone will!
Now I have to start taking deep breaths for I really know now that the holidays are soon upon us. Haven't even started my Christmas knitting (forget about Christmas shopping - what's that?). There might be a lot of IOU's this year :) Guess once the baby blanket is finished I'll have to make a list and prioritize. For now - I'm just going to try and not think about it...just keep my mind on happy knitting :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Garter Stitch Stripes are a Good Thing!

When I started knitted the 9 x 9 inch squares for the Pine Street Inn Knit-a-thon blanket project I was very excited to be using my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Calendar Book, trying out the various stitches. It was fun...but I started running into difficulties. I couldn't depend on the fact that if I cast on a given number of stitches I would end up with a 9 x 9 inch square. Finally I caved in and started knitting boring garter stitch stripes. Actually I didn't find them boring at all. They were rather fun and I was actually using up quite a bit of my little odd balls of yarn. You know what I mean. We all have those "too little to do much of anything with balls" of yarn or" too afraid to start anything balls". These garter stitch stripe squares really turned out to be my favorite. I just knew if I cast on 38 stitches (size 6 needle) the way I knit with worsted weight yarn I would end up with a 9 inch square in the end. How could that be simpler and in my case therapeutic as well. Lately that's the kind of knitting that suits me best :)

Here are the a few of the ones I fiddled with before coming to my senses:
A tri-color (until I ran out of blue and switched to white) Double Woven (a.k.a DW cloth) from Oct. 20 and
Garter Stitch Ridges ( Sept. 22 ) and Checkerboard (June 19).

Our church's fundraising website has been doing pretty well in addition to the knitting of the squares. It will be very interesting to find out the actual number of squares knitted by everyone. I knitted 15. I wish it could have been more, but I just have to move on to other things.

Now, to change the subject....drum roll please....I won my very first blog contest ( and I didn't do anything out of the ordinary either)! Thanks to Jeanne of Jeanne Knits, I being her 2001st commenter, she so generously gifted me with a wonderful gift certificate to Yarn Chef. There are so many beautiful yarns at Yarn Chef that I am really looking forward to picking out some pretty yarn for a new I just have to figure out what I want to make and then I'll be all set. I was really having a rough week and you really helped me through it. Thank you so much Jeanne :)

Well, here we go again...another week and can you believe it October is just about gone. Where is the time going? Don't know what I would do without my knitting, because I do think that's what keeps me sane. While I may not always have time to be blogging, I do make sure I can get some knitting in some way or another :)

happy knitting :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Small Clutch from Recycled Grocery Bags by Patti

I can't take credit for the knitting in this post, but none the less I had to share this with you. Patti (Knitting by Patti - Patti doesn't have a blog, but she has an awesome photo album filled to the brim with lots of wonderful handmade items - please go and check it out for'll be glad you did.) emailed me yesterday. Here's what she wrote:

I was very impressed by the idea of knitting with plastic grocery bags.
So, I thought I'd give it a try. I thought I'd start out small, and just use the garter stitch to see how it knits up.
I continued and it was easier to knit with than I thought!
So, I continued knitting and then was trying to think of something to make with this rectangle I had on my needles............
I came up with a clutch, and even put velcro on it for a closure and also made a chain stitch piece for a handle, which can be placed in or out, according to whether you want to use the handle or not.
Thanks so much, and I would like to try something larger in the future. Right now I have other projects in the works, but had to stop and try knitting with the plastic bags.
I've attached a link of couple pics of the clutch for you to see.
Once you are on this link, you can hit next to see the 2nd pic-
Thanks again,
Patti :-)"

To make a long story short - this is what she came up with:
A wonderful small clutch.... knitted from....well...yes...plastic bags! Isn't it cute and I think it's quite stylish! She says small...but it sure holds quite a bit: wallet, eyeglass case, lip gloss and a few other items. When I first saw it I thought to myself, now that would make a great coupon organizer... but according to Patti it probably would be a tad too big. I'm sure it could be scaled down. She uses velcro as a closure. Isn't Patti clever? Here is a photo of what this mighty clutch will hold:Patti very kindly gave me permission to post her pattern to make the clutch in case anyone is interested. This would be a great little project to see if you like knitting with plastic before you get too involved in one of the big bags. Patti was amazed at how easy it was :) Thank you Patti for sharing your pattern with us.

Small Clutch from Recycled Grocery Bags
Finsihed Size Approximately 7 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches tall
Materials Needed
#13 knitting needles (next time I will go a bit smaller)
Plastic bags prepared, cut in strips then looped together
Tapestry Needle
One Velcro hook & loop closure
Thread (embroidery)
Cast on 17 stitches
knitted in garter stitch for approx. 10 inches
Then start the decrease to make the flap or leave it and it will be straight across.
Decrease one stitch on each side of every other row (2 & 3rd stitch knit together, and next to last stitch and last stitch knit together) until there are approx. a 2 inches left.
Cast off.
Assemble Bag
Fold up the bottom to just before the decrease starts.
Stitch the sides up using a tapestry needle and the plastic yarn. I used the mattress stitch.
Use a velcro closure for the flap ( I used pressure sensitive back, then put a few stitches with thread).
Make a chain or I-cord with the plastic yarn for the handle.
Loop it thru on the upper corner of the clutch-

Copyright © 2007 Knitting by Patti, All Rights Reserved.

Questions or comments you can contact Patti via email at patsch819(at)verizon(dot)net

Friday, October 12, 2007

Squares for Pine Street Inn

Even though I should be starting another baby blanket I am taking a detour and knitting for a very worthy cause. Squares for Pine Street Inn (Boston, MA) to make blankets and raise funds for a housing program for the formerly homeless. A Knit-a-thon to knit 9" x 9" suares and assemble blankets will take place on November 4, 2007 at the Women's Inn at Pine Street in Boston. For more information you can check out the brochure which I found on Major Knitter's Blog. I am knitting my squares as a part of my church's team which is dedicated to this effort. The goal is for us to make as many squares as we can. Hopefully lots of beautiful blankets will be the result of this wonderful project. Here's what I've done so far: All of my square patterns were based on my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Calendar Book. I really have enjoyed figuring out and knitting the squares. Like dishcloths they are a pretty quick knit. My first one is "Garter Stitch Steps" - March 28 which is a bit wonky. I slipped the first stitch of every row but miscalculated and that's why the borders are off. I used Phentex Chunky Yarn - Fawn which has been in my stash forever and it feels very good to put it to good use.
This next square is "Eyelet Mock Cable Rib Stitch" - June 11.
This next one is knitted from some blue phentex yarn (label missing) with which I used the "Waffle Stitch" pattern - September 1. I think this one is my favorite so far. I really like how this worked out and it was so easy. I can really see this one as a dishcloth :)

Lastly, I think most of you will recognize this pattern. Yes, it is the "Baby Genius Burp Cloth" Pattern from the Mason Dixon Knitting Book. Interestingly though I found the stitch pattern which is called "Slip Stitch Stripe" - May 28 in the calendar! On this one I ran out of the blue yarn and had to finish the square with the fawn.

Well, I think I'm off to a good start. No more chunky yarn. Now off to find more patterns. I think I may be using some of the "tried and true" (dishcloth patterns) as well.

Happy Knitting :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Quick Fix!

After finishing the baby blanket I proceeded to get my quick fix...tried a couple of new dishcloth patterns and a new twist (thanks to CeElle for the inspiration) on a trusted old favorite - the ballband. When I saw the mosaic flower dishcloths on Ravelry I knew I had to give it a try. The pattern is part of a great little booklet called Lily Sugar 'n Cream Kitchen Kolors!. (#570821) For $3.95 (easy to find at Joann's and don't forget your 40% off coupons) you get a collection of 8 patterns 4 crocheted and 4 knitted. There is one crocheted one on the cover I am tempted to try. Ever since Monika has chronicled her mosaic blanket creation I have wanted to try my hand at mosaic squares, BUT hakucho and charts do not do very well together. I do not enjoy knitting with a chart. I don't know why. Maybe I need to concentrate too much. I get too when I realized that these instruction were written out I was very excited. For those of you like me who shy away from charts I'd recommend you give these a try. I can see these becoming very addictive with all the possible color combos.

Today, off I went to the post office early and mailed a package to my sister for her birthday. She's the one receiving these three cloths in addition to three more I had ready and waiting. All color coordinated. Hope she likes them.

Sure hope everyone has a lovely Columbus Day Weekend. Here in Massachusetts summer has returned. I've been a bad blogger lately, life really is busy at the moment. Sure hope things will slow down so I can visit all my friends and catch up with your news. Just know I wish you all well and you are all in my thoughts! Happy knitting :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ready and waiting...

...for Sam's new baby girl, when she arrives. Finished the ripple baby blanket yesterday. I have no luck photographing blankets. I do much better with smaller items. Here's a close up of the pattern:
It really feels good to have this one finished. Soon I'll have to start another one. The next one will be in blues. We known my husband's niece/godchild is having a boy in January.

I'm taking a little break from blanket knitting and trying a new dishcloth pattern. I will post more about that soon.

In the meantime I've been taking the plastic big bag (hakucho's big bag)project with me everywhere I have to wait. I get such a kick out of the reactions I get when people realize what I am knitting. Everyone thinks it fabulous and they all say I should sell them...yeah right...ha ha that will be the day! I had a accident today though. My circular needle broke, right at the joint as I was pushing the stitches down the needle. Can't remember where I bought it...guess I'll have to get out the trusty gorilla glue out and try to repair it. Sure hope it works as I really don't want to buy another pair. In the past I have been very successful using gorilla glue to repair my circular knitting needles.

I do have a little news. I finally figured out a way to host PDF pages. Check out my new design page that has all the links to my free patterns in PDF format.

Now, last but not least I want to thank everyone who responded to my plea for advice on buying a laptop. You guys (sorry should have said gals), my wonderful knitting friends, always are such a big help to me. I know I'm incredibly selfish in wanting my own computer. I do have access to a desk top, though quite antiquated (still uses Windows ME) and it does work most of the time. I do need to share it with my husband. My two youngest have their own computer, but they still use ours for homework and it's the only computer with a printer. I would love my own laptop just for me. I could easily find a place to use it I'm sure. There is no place for another desk top. I've just come to the realization that it going to cost much more than what I thought it was going to be. I can still get a notebooks with XP. They are available from various manufacturers including Dell, IBM (Lenovo thinkpad), and HP(compaq). I'm sure there are more. That's definitely an option. I think I'll just have to continue with my research and save up more money. That's the key factor...more money. Hey maybe I should sell my plastic shopping bags ;)

Well, I need to stop rambling. Just want to wish you all a wonderful weekend. Sure hope you can manage to get in lots of happy knitting :)