Sunday, December 07, 2008

Still alive and kicking!

Yes, I am still alive and kicking, (That's what my soon to be 92 year old father (on Dec. 16th) always says when asked how he is) but blogging has taken a big back seat in my life. I will catch up eventually once things settle down around here.

Just before Thanksgiving my Dad had an infected toe which required an ER visit on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Subsequently diarrhea followed and after several doctors visits, it was finally starting to get better when the bottom fell out. Early this past Friday morning his lifeline was activated by him. Luckily I was still home because I had a migraine, which I was thankful for....pretty bad when you are thankful for a migraine. He was flat on the floor fully dressed. He was in pain...mainly his back. Called 911 and he was brought to the hospital. It wasn't until later that I realized he had been laying on the floor all night. He fell when he unplugged his TV at bedtime. Luckily no broken bones, but lying on the board that the paramedics put him on was excruciating. He was like that until almost 1 pm. He has muscle damage due to being on the floor so long. I was just so horrified and upset when I found out. He didn't press the lifeline button because he didn't want to bother me. It just about killed me knowing he was lying on the floor all night in pain. He still needs some more evaluating so that's why they have kept him in the hospital, but he may either go to short term rehab or come home with a visiting nurse and PT. Needless to say...I've been running and having quite a time with keeping up with things at home as well as email, etc. I have to forget the blogging for right now. Hope you all will understand. As soon as I have some free time I will try to catch up, I promise :)

One good thing I did finish the mate to the mohair socks last week before all the upheaval and got them in the mail. Have not heard from my sister as to how they fit. Hopefully I'll hear from her soon.
While he was in the ER I was so upset I couldn't even knit, plus I still had my migraine. Not much knitting to show you, but I do have to get going as Christmas is right around the corner.

Well, now you know why I've been missing. Hopefully things will settle down soon so I can get ready for Christmas and get caught up with everything.

Happy Knitting every one :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mohair Sock Saga

I finished the first mohair sock...a very fuzzy sock!
Separating the mohair plys was a challenge. I'd be lying if I said it was anything else. It's a real shame I couldn't use the yarn as my sister sent it to me. It was way too thick. As is, single ply still makes a thick sock. I can't even imagine it full strength :) Speaking of strength - the yarn breaks so easily in it's reduced state. Not fun to knit with. In fact I had to resort to using some regular sock yarn for the toes and heels. Trying to start the toe was very frustrating. If I had trouble and needed to rip back - the yarn would break. I should have taken a picture of the pile of all my broken pieces of yarn. I tried starting the toe about five times before I came up with using a different yarn. It's ok, but not what I envisioned. I emailed the picture to my sister and she likes it. I just hope that the companion to this sock comes out equally well and when she receives it, it fits and feels good on. The yarn is very unpredictable. I doubt that I have it in me to make another pair of mohair socks. I was planning on making another pair for a Christmas gift for someone special who loves fuzzy things. Now I'm leaning toward using the mohair full strenght as mittens. Maybe she would like fuzzy mittens? Now I'll be on the lookout for a nice mitten pattern :)

I am having a lot of trouble believing that Thanksgiving is a week away. Where has all the time gone? I have so much to do that my head spins. Must get organized and get a ton of things done before next Thursday. In case I'm not back again until after the holiday, I wish each and every one a very happy Thanksgiving :)

happy knitting :)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Purls for a Purpose and a few other things....

Lots to show and tell you about this time. I probably should post more frequently, but I'm afraid that will probably never happen!

First check out my Christmas cactus this year:
Actually part of the plant is a Thanksgiving cactus...the fushia colored. My husband gave the plant to me when my youngest son was born (almost 14 years ago on the 24th of November. He was born on Thanksgiving Day.) The other part of the plant, the peach part, is a cutting from one of my mother's Christmas cacti. The beginning of September I transplanted the two hanging plants into one huge pot with a tray that has wheels. It is one very heavy pot now. The hanging plants were in a bad way (root bound, no soil left and the pots were disintegrating) and they needed to be transplanted desperately. I wasn't sure that the plant would bloom this year, but it did! I guess it likes it's new home :) I just looked back two years ago when I last posted photos of the plants. Looks like there were some white flowers mixed in. I think perhaps I must have lost that part of the plant. I'm just happy that most of it did survive and bloomed this year :)

Next up my knitted squares for Purls for a Purpose for the Pine Street Inn Knit-a-thon:
I decided to knit the same type of squares as I did last year...garter stitch stripe squares ...with all sorts of leftover yarn. I find knitting these squares are lots of fun. I ended up with fourteen squares.

Several weeks ago I won a contest on Lindy's blog! Lucky me (I've been so lucky this year in winning's been a very good year.) I was able to choose one of her lovely patterns that she sells on her blog. It was hard to choose, but I ended up picking her "Hearts Quilt 2":
I was very happy with the results. I think it will make a lovely washcloth. Thank you so much Lindy for giving me such a wonderful pattern!

As I was still in the cloth knitting mood I decided to try another mosaic stripe cloth.
This time I used the fushia yarn combined with a varigated. Last time I used two solid colors. This is a cool cloth pattern( Lily Sugar 'n Cream Kitchen Kolors!. (#570821)), but one has to stay focused while knitting as it is not a mindless pattern. Sometime you need to stay on your toes...guess it was a good change after letting my mind go to mush while I knitting all those garter stitch squares :)

Yesterday the mailman brought me a box of mohair yarn from my sister in Oregon:
She sent me five skeins of beautiful soft mohair that she hand spun. Four skeins are natural white and one skein is red for accenting the socks I will be knitting for her. The yarn is so soft I could just sit and pet it all day. She did a beautiful job spinning it.

I have one BIG problem though. The yarn, as is, is very heavy(more worsted weight) and not really sock knitting weight. I emailed her right away to see what kind of socks she wanted, slipper socks to use without shoes or socks to wear with shoes and boots? She replied that she'd like them for wearing in shoes and boots. Now what was I going to do?

Looking closely at the yarn you can see that it is made up of two plys:
I have taken a photo of the yarn in contrast with some of my sock yarn. You can see on the far left the yarn she sent me. In the middle I have pulled apart the two plys and on the right is my sock yarn. Unfortunately I think I'm going to have to separate the plys.

I started today with the can see I didn't get very far:
Good thing she's not in a hurry for her socks, because I think this will take me a while and definitely will cut into my knitting time. Must have patience...good lesson for me :) Wish I knew an easy way to do it... Such a shame I have to undo all her hard work and beautifully wound yarn cakes.

Guess that's about it for now. Happy Knitting everyone and wish me luck with my project :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ribs and Ripples

I think that the hardest part of writing this blog is coming up with catchy blog titles. Sure wish there was a blog title generator out there. Wouldn't that be cool?

First I'll show you some ribs. Hat ribs that is :)Here is my youngest who has kindly consented to model the hat I made for my oldest, who is away at graduate school. He bought a new jacket last weekend and needed a new hat. I made this one up really easily using odds and ends of yarn and Fig and Plum's Cashmere Ribbed Hat pattern. This is not a cashmere hat, but I really love how it worked up. I love the way the crown was designed.Would you believe I used seven double pointed needles?
I can really see myself making more of these knit in the round hats.
Next up, the ripple...a knitted ripple baby afghan:
I love this pattern, Knitted Ripple by Meredith Montross, and I love the yarn I used. The Bernat Softee Baby couldn't be any softer. It is a light weight blanket, but it's still quite cozy. This is not the first one I have made. Actually it's my fourth, if you consider the one I finished that my mother had started before she passed away. I have put that one away for my first grandchild, not in any hurry by the way. I think my mother would have liked that :)
I have a few other things on the needles. A prayer shawl to carry around with me as a waiting room project that's made with a new( to me) yarn. More on that later. I'm also knitting up more squares for this years Pine Street Inn's Knit-a-thon, which is called Purls for a Purpose. Once again our church is knitting them as a group. You may remember me knitting them last year. Sure seems like yesterday.

Last, but not least I have an update about the tiny socks that I knit for my sister's birthday. She loved them :) I was happy. She asked me if I would knit some adult sized socks for her. She heard from an "old timer" (her word) who told her that socks knitted from mohair never wear out. She will send me some 100% mohair , enough for a pair of socks for her and me :) She's proceesing the fiber now and getting it ready to spin. She said it takes many soakings and washings to get all the mud out. Sounds like yucky work. I'm feeling very lucky to get to knit the socks for her and get such a lovely bonus. I'll be sure and keep you updated :)

Well, this was a wordy post. See what happens when I've been quiet for a while ;)
Happy Knitting everyone :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Teeny Tiny Little Socks

I've been busy knitting these mini socklets as a birthday present for my sister. Several years ago there was a fire in her little outbuilding that she used for housing for her Angora bunnies and storage. Sadly she lost her bunnies and all of her Christmas ornaments. She has since replaced her bunnies and is slowly replacing her ornaments. I have given her gifts of ornaments in the past not handmade by me and it made her very happy. Not knowing what to send her for her birthday this year I thought since she's a knitter she might appreciate the tiny sock ornaments. I dressed them up with a little satin bow. I really like how they came out and they were so easy. I used Jennifer's mini sock recipe and I even found a website to learn how to tie an ornamental bow properly.
Though this is not related to my tiny is knitting related. This morning I saw a very interesting fact I had to do a double take! Today they had lots of new crossing guards out at places not normally having guards. As I made one turn I noticed this particular crossing guard standing on the corner very engrossed in her knitting...looked small, maybe a sock. In all my years I have never seen anyone knitting on a street corner really made my day :)

happy knitting everyone :)
P.S. Check out My Knitting Friend's Gallery. Lately it's been really growing. Many thanks to all my dear knitting friends for letting me show off your work :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Circle Cloth variation, on the square side

I've been knitting more cloths as you can see here:
Must give thanks to a fellow raveler, Jen or better known on ravelry as yarnhoardingmama, for giving me the idea to try knitting the circles in rows rather than staggering them. You can see her cloth here, knitted in one yarn, an ombre. I found you can do the variation two ways. Either start your cloth with the first part of the circle cloth pattern(K4, slip2) and continue this part of the pattern for the whole cloth:
or the second part (K1, slip2) and continue this part of the pattern for the whole cloth:See the difference? What you end up with is little rectangles instead of circles like these:

I still prefer the original, but if you are up for a little change thought I would pass the idea along :)

Now on to bigger and better things....AWARDS!!

Recently I've been given awards by a few of my blogging friends. Thank you Sandy, Aim and Allison!! Each award was receive on different days, which was nice because you all made my day times 3 :)

The first one is from Sandy and Aim:

Here are the instuctions for passing this award along to others:
Select 7 blogs ( I will do 14) and pass along the award.

Here are the rules:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (as shown above).
3) Nominate at least seven other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

I here by nominate:

The last award is from Allison:

Here are the instructions for this one:

1. Please put the award on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you

3. You must nominate at least 4 fellow bloggers for this award.

4. Add links to the recipients.

5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

...and for this one I shall nominate:

Hope everyone is having a good week!
Happy Knitting :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Circle Cloth Pattern

My Circle Cloth was inspired by Anne Campbell's Circle Socks. With a little adapting I converted the knitted in the round pattern to a flat knit and changed the stitch counts a bit to make it work with a heavier gauge cotton yarn as opposed to the thin weight sock yarn. (In my research I found that the original stitch pattern "Hexagon" can be found in Barbara Walker's ," A Treasury of Knitting Patterns", page 67.)

Click here to print pattern.
Download PDF file
Any problems or questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

9/2o/08 Errata: Thanks to a couple of knitters on ravelry...another problem with the pattern has been found. You should repeat the last 20 rows (3-22) instead of repeating the 22 rows. The pattern has been corrected. Once again I'm very sorry for any confusion or inconvenience.

9/18/08 Errata: Please note that on the knit rows slip with yarn in back and on the purl rows slip with the yarn in front. I have corrected the pattern. Sorry for any inconvenience or confusion.

Look at what came in the mail yesterday!

My prize winnings from Becky. I was so surprised to find out that I won another blog prize. I sure have been on a lucky streak lately. Check out "Far & Wide", the gorgeous handspun, handpainted sock yarn from Fat Cat Knits. It's so soft and I'm especially thrilled that I don't have to wind it, since I don't own one of those ball winders that makes the pretty yarn cakes. Becky also included some yummy dark chocolate and vanilla. I LOVE both dark chocolate and vanilla. Also include were these little note cards wrapped in a bow. Thank you so much Becky :) You really made my day!!

Happy Knitting :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Check out Tea's giveaway package!

This is what the mailman brought me yesterday...Tea's giveaway package that I was gifted from her recent contest. Am I lucky or what? Inside the package was this awesome tote bag that Tea made, a bar of her homemade, vanilla scented, herbal antibacterial soap and a packet of lovely notecards. The soap has such a delightful scent...I just love the scent. I'd love to keep it in my pocket so I can smell it all day long. I have allergies so when I buy soap I usually go for the unscented ones, but this a very light scent which is not overpowering like some soaps can be.

Now to show you the tote. It's Tea's very own paper bag tote design:
It's the perfect size to use for taking a sock project with me on the go. I love it. Cute chicken patterned fabric...hard to see I know. Look inside...
She lined it. How awesome is that? I'm amazed at her seamstress abilities. word! I wish I could sew like that. Thank you Tea so much for everything!! You certainly are one very talented lady :)

Now back to my knitting . If you know me from reading my blog, you probably already know that I often get inspired by what others do. In this case look what the circle socks made me do:
I knit up a bunch of "circle" cloths, using the stitch pattern from the circle socks. It took a little adapting to convert the knitted in the round pattern to a flat knit in addition to changing the counts a bit to make it work with a heavier gauge cotton yarn, as opposed to the thinner sock weight yarn.

I'm really happy with the results. I always judge a "good" cloth by seeing if I can't stop with just one...I just have to try more and different color combos. Just can't help myself!! I love the texture of this cloth. I think it would be great as a dishcloth and as a washcloth. Doesn't look like exactly like a ballband, but I would say it might be somewhat of a close cousin because of the texture and the fact it is a slip stitch cloth!

Here's more photos of my new favorite cloth.

It even works with the Sugar 'n Cream self striping yarn:Oh...the possibilities....

Hope everyone is having a good week. Gee, this week sure flew by. Never ever is there enough time to do everything I want, especially the fun things. Must work on that ;)
Happy Knitting everyone :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A very frustrating weekend...

On Thursday things started going down hill rather fast. Our internet connection was getting slower and slower and then finally it came to a complete halt. We reset the cable modem and then we lost our phone. No internet, no phone. Yes, we did have cable TV. Thank goodness we have a cell phone. Called Comcast for help. To make a long story short we just got the internet and phone back today. There was a huge mix up at Comcast...poor communication within this communications giant. The whole thing was very frustrating. The good thing though our internet connection right now is working very, very well. I think perhaps things have been going bad for a long time now. Keep your fingers crossed for us. All is good now! (except fot the fact now I have to struggle to play blogging catch up again...and I didn't even get to go away this time!)Here is another pair of circle socks. Remember in my last post that I went in search of an extra skein of yarn(Paton's Kroy Socks Stripes) because I was afraid the two original skeins wouldn't be enough. Well, after all that.... I didn't end up using the third skein! They are a little shorter than my first pair of circle socks, but they seem perfectly fine. I'm going to take the extra skein back and exchange it for a different colorway and buy another skein. Now that I know I can make a decent pair of socks with only two skeins I think I would rather knit another pair later. Small yardage, but I think it makes a nice pair of socks for a reasonable cost, especially when you can buy the skeins with 40 or 50% off coupons from Joann's.
I know one sock looks bigger than the other. Trust me they are the same size. I have no idea why they photographed that way. The foot part matches perfectly, but the leg part not quite so good. I have no idea what happened there as I was very careful to start each sock in the same part of the colorway. Oh, well they are just socks :)

I also promised to show you all of my sock blockers. I have two pairs of the smaller adjustable womens sized blockers. One pair of longer womens sized and three pairs of the larger mens sized, one pair being adjustable. These will be nice once I start making socks for my boys. Not quite sure if they will appreciate them yet, but when and if they do...I'll be ready.
Hope everyone is enjoying this last weekend of summer. It certainly was a glorious day today. I will keep the residents of New Orleans and the surrounding area in my prayers. Hope and pray the area will be spared from damages from the approaching hurricane.

Happy Knitting everyone :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mission Impossible

Finishing my last Olympic project, a pair of socks, for the Ravelympics seems quite impossible to me at this moment. With only one toe completed and about an inch into the foot, it would take non stop knitting to finish them from now until the deadline of 11:59 am Sunday, August 24th. School starts Tuesday and getting ready for the big day is more than enough for me to handle...non stop knitting is extremely unlikely for me. Actually just starting this pair of socks is an accomplishment because I knew I would be short on yarn. Paton's Kroy Stripes yarn comes in 166 yard skeins. Originally I had two skeins. As I progressed with my circle socks I knew two skeins would never be enough. I went back to Joann's but they were all out. I dug out the leftover yarn from my monkey socks and figured I could use it in a pinch. Not being overly crazy about the idea I headed back to the store yesterday for one last try and low and behold they had gotten more in (same lot number, too). I bought one more skein and now with three skeins there should be plenty to finish the socks. I'm happy :)

Looking on the bright side I have finished four more ravelympics projects since my last post. (Check out Ravelry for details).

Finders Keepers dishcloth:
Dot's within Stripes Dishcloth ( I love this one...can see myself making more of these):
another favorite, the DW dishcloth:and finally my modified toe-up Circle socks. I'm please with how they match up. Not thinking to make note of the striping section before starting, I think I did pretty well matching up the second sock. Check out my "new" sock blockers. I found my grandmother's vintage sock stretchers quite by accident. I was thrilled to find them. They are quite old and some of them have the marking "Lee-Rowan" on them. In another post I'll show you all of them, large and small and some are adjustable.
I love how I can easily hang them up for photographing and in the future when I wash my socks I can hang them to dry!

Summer's almost over. Where did the summer go? I had so many plans to do so many things and I feel I have very little to show for it. Now back to the rat race and the least I'll have a chauffeur this year ;) With his learner's permit in hand (in his duct tape wallet) and a driving school lesson under his belt, my middle guy is raring to go. I told him when I start pulling out my knitting while he's driving he'll have passed the test in my book :)

Have a wonderful weekend with lots of happy knitting. Enjoy the last few days of summer :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My first Olympic project and more

I finished my first Olympic project, Lattice Facecloth (free ravelry download) for the ravelympics and received this medal:

I used cottontots yarn. While the yarn is super soft and makes for a lovely facecloth, I am disappointed in how it turned out. For this pattern I think I should have used a solid color.

I also finished Olympic sock #1. This sock is knit toe up. I used the short row heels and toes from my toe-up totem pattern (I discovered a couple of minor typos, which I will fix hopefully soon. Sorry if anyone has had trouble with the pattern because of it) and the stitch pattern from the Circle Socks. I love the results!! I also did my first stretchy bind off. The directions can be found here. I love this bind off. Great for binding off the purl stitches. I can see myself using it again and again and not just for socks.
This sock fits great. The pattern itself is very stretchy and to top it off- it's a very easy knit. I have a regret though...I should have paid more attention to where in the striping pattern I started my cast on for the first sock. I sure hope I can try to match them up. I still have lots to learn in the sock knitting department :)

In my last post I was very negligent. I forgot to post the pictures of my very generous yarn prize from Bumpydoink. In addition to the yarn, she sent me a cute alligator scarf pattern. Thanks so much Aim. There are three beautiful and colorful yarn skeins. I have an idea of what I want to make with it, but still need to investigate a bit. Sure hope it works out!

The last two photos-I am posting for Tea. This is the Raggedy Anne my dear mother made for me when I was a little girl. Toni was interested in seeing her. Toni made a crocheted doll that reminded me of my doll a while back and had photos on her blog. At the time I had no idea where my Miss Rags was, so I promised her if she was ever located I would post photos.

This doll is very special to me. Not just because my dear mother (who passed away in 2000, and I still miss terribly) made it for me. It's special because my mother was not a sewer. In fact my father had to teach her how to use a sewing machine. She could mend by hand, but she never would sew on a sewing machine. This Raggedy Anne was a real feat for her. She did it on the sly and with the help of her friends who loved to sew. When I received it, it was a huge surprise for me. I was very proud of her and I think she was pretty pleased and proud of herself as well. Check out the lace pantaloons. If I remember correctly the lace is antique.
Now I have to put her in a safe place that I will remember!!

One more week and then school starts up again on the 26th. I'm dreading getting the boys up for school again and the general old run around. Should be different though the running around part this year as my middle guy will be learning to drive. He's been in driver's ed this week and will go and get his permit tomorrow if all goes well. No stopping him now. Wish me luck...I'm going to need it...I've already been warned not to use the brake on the passenger side. I just can't help all reflex ;)

Have a nice weekend everyone :)