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 :)


  1. You have been busy knitting away. Love those scrappy cloths. The mosaic cloth is gorgeous! Did you know if you move the page up and down while looking at the's a little optical illusiony. :P
    Good luck with that mohair...that is definitely a job.

  2. Wow! That cactus is gorgeous and your cloths seem to coordinate with it. :)

  3. Wow, lots to comment on in this post.. Both cacti look very healthy and beautiful, but the fushia flowers are my favorite, and those are just gorgeous! I really like your cacti better than my white orchid one.

    My bonnet is off to you for knitting all those cloths for a good cause!

    Your sister's mohair yarn is such a treasure! I can just imagine how soft it must be. I love the red color, and oh, I can just see it making the most beautiful shawl, but alas, it must be socks. :) I really want to hijack a few of those skeins. Chuckles

    Lindy's cloth pattern is very pretty! Good choice. :)

  4. Oh how wonderful your christmas cactus blooms! It's gorgeous! I like your squares as always. It's a pity about the handspun yarn. The socks will not last long knit with single ply and mohair at that. But I will be happy to hear otherwise! :o)

  5. The cactus is gorgeous! I have a plant that really needs to be moved to a new home - you have inspired me to do it this weekend.

    Love all the clothes - especially the mosaic one. Gorgeous!

    What a drag about the yarn. Can you send it back to your sister so she can un-ply it on her wheel? It would be a lot faster. Or do you know any local spinners? I'm trying to imagine how it would work in my head - I think you can do it on a wheel! Good luck with it though...

    Have a good weekend!

  6. Beautiful Cactus - my DH has a few and I love when they bloom. Every time I see your clothes, I want to knit some - they are so nice looking. Good luck with the un-plying!

  7. The Cactus is so pretty. It reminds of growing up - my mom always had Christmas Cactus around. I never heard of Thanksgiving cactus so that is new for me.

    You have been very busy knitting - the cloths are very nice.

    I cannot even imagine "un-plying" a cake of yarn :o) - that I think may require some patience.

  8. This plant is beautiful. My aunt in Atlanta just gave me clippings from 2 of her Christmas Cactus. One will bloom white, the other red. I love the peach cactus !!! Also, yours are blooming pretty early aren’t they?
    I love your striped dishcloths. Lindy’s Hearts Quilt square is very nice too. I love the mosiac.
    Along with knitting baby clothes, I’m going to take making dish/wash cloths more seriously.
    The mohair is beautiful. Your having to separate it will be a project to relax you. A mindless project.
    Very nice post !

  9. That Christmas Cactus is gorgeous. And I love the colors of the two different plants combined together. I don't have much luck with plants.

    All of your squared are wonderful and I love the mosiac cloth you made.

    Have you tried swatching with the yarn first to see what gauge you would get with it as is, you might be surprised. The mohair may just be making it look fluffier than the reg sock wt yarn.

  10. that is such a cool cactus! I don't think I've ever seen one of those before. It's very pretty. nice cloths! congrats on winning the contest. love the mosaic cloth too. :) Wow, you have patience!

  11. Your plant is so pretty! I don't have much of a green thumb. Love all those garter squares, and the pattern you picked out is very cute with the hearts. That's a job you've got there with the mohair but I'm sure it will be lovely to knit with!

  12. Ugh, that's quite a project, un-plying yarn! The mosaic stripe cloth is so pretty! Those squares will make a lovely blanket. Good for you!

  13. What a gorgeous cactus! I have a couple small Christmas cactus plants, but they each only put out about three blooms a year. I don't think I have much of a green thumb for cactus.

    Your dishcloths are lovely, as usual. But wow, what patience you must have to un-ply that yarn! I'm sure it's super soft, though. :)

  14. ooh, maybe i'll have to knit squares like your 'purls for a purpose' ones next time i knit for charity. i like how they turned out.

    i can't believe you have to separate the gorgeous yarn your sister sent! hindsight is sure 20/20... if only you clarified the yarn weight beforehand!

  15. Your Christmas Cactus is thriving compared to mine. I've had mine since I could remember, when I was a little kid. It hasn't been doing well ever since we moved into our new house a year ago.

  16. The mohair softness shows in the photos. I love the shade of the red too!

    If you can spare the time to tell the details of how you care for your Christmas cactus I'd be all ears (or eyes, I guess). A friend gave me one about 8 years ago. It was blooming when I brought it home and has not bloomed again since.

  17. gorgeous cacti!

    love the cloths too... send me some of your knitting mojo please.. I can't seem to get stitchin!

    good luck splitting the plies. TOo bad it isn't on a bobbin.... you could pull it off easier that way.

  18. The plant is absolutely gorgeous!! I have a very black thumb, and admire someone who can keep a plant alive for that long!! I LOVE all of the cloths!! Good luck with the yarn separating!!!

  19. Cool yarn! What fun you'll have knitting with it.

    Love the striped squares. Do you carry your yarn? I mean are you leaving it attached and just picking up the different color at the end of each row?

    I crochet more than knit, but would like to make some squares be warmer. Can you tell me with reg. worsted weight yarn and appropiate size needles (9-10?) how many to cast on to make a 6 in square?

    Thanks for all the encouragement regarding mom's situation and all the going's on here of late. Prayers etc. so much appreciated.


  20. Hi Sandy,
    Yes, I do carry the yarn along the side. Change the colors as I go to make the stripes.

    I used worsted weight yarn with size 6 needles. I cast on 38 stitches for a 9 inch square. If you want to make a smaller square
    I would do a swatch and find out how many stitches per inch. Then multiply it by the size square you want. You should end up with the size you want. (For example if you end up with 5 stitches per inch and you want a 6 inch square you would cast on 30 stitches.) You might have to play with it a little to get the right dimensions. Hope this helps!

    happy knitting :)

  21. Your Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus is beautiful. Love the blossoms on it. Your quilt squares are great. I love the hearts quilt dishcloth very pretty, and the mosaic stripe dishcloth is as well.

  22. What a pretty Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus! mine has a few tiny buds
    coming on it! Your cactus is full of blooms!You have done a great job
    of taking care of your cactus !


Thank you all for your comments! I really appreciate them. I usually don't follow up with an email, but if you do have a question please make sure you include a way to reach you within your comment so I may answer your question. Thanks and happy knitting :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.