Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mary Ann's Scarf

This is Mary Ann (without her face) and the scarf she is making. She started it Wednesday night and was almost finished with it at tonight's Thursday night knitting. She's hiding the size 50 needle under her forearm. The scarf is going to a woman she knows who has survived breast cancer. She'd like to make it long enough to do the chain loop around the neck... NYC Style?

Here is the recipe, below:

size 50 needles
three kinds of yarn, worsted weight or so

Cast on 10 stitches using three strands of yarn (any kind, not too thick or thin).
Knit in garter (knitting on both sides) till scarf measures 44" or desired length. Bind off. Fringe optional.

Denise's Blanket

This is a picture of Denise and the log cabin blanket she made for her grandaughter. It's beautiful! So is she!

We had a nice time at knitting tonight.

I'm back!

It's been sooooooooooooo long since I posted to my blog. Needless to say, I've been very busy with ART (check out my website: and worrying about my almost 17 year old son, a senior in high school. Will he get to school on time? Will they kick him out for being late? Oh, the perils of being a parent.

I have been knitting and crocheting, and can't wait to get those pictures off my camera and onto my mac, and uploaded. But, alas, I do have a full time job, a three hour commute (1.5 each direction), a teenager, six cats, and two turtles. So not much down time...

And to make matters worse, I developed an arm pain in late July. It was pretty bad in August. I was hoping it was just stress and might go away when I took vacation mid month. But it just got worse. My doctor, aka my PCP, was too busy to see me. I asked my knitting buddies to recommend someone that was good and actually would have time to see a patient when the patient is sick, and I still need to do that. In the meantime, I had a WONDERFUL reiki treatment, and can recommend Paula to anyone who is interested. And my PCP approved a referral, and I had xrays taken at the chiropractor Wednesday. I go back Friday for some real work.

You guessed it, the pain is in my right arm, my crocheting arm. Could it be all that crocheting? I switched my mouse at work to my left hand two months ago. And my knitting bag now goes on my left shoulder. And I'm really trying hard not to carry too much yarn, because I don't want the same thing happening to my left arm. And I don't think I could really learn to crochet left-handed, not after all these years.

I do hope I can come home Friday night and blog some good news about the treatment!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

RagShop is closing... woe is me

My beloved RagShop is closing their doors, going out of business. My son rejoiced and said he never thought he'd see the day! Here is their announcement:

I dragged him off to our local store last night. The yarn was 20% off (for now), and what's left of it will probably be gone before the discount goes higher. There was some perfectly lovely blue yarn for only $1.99, which would have had an additional 20% off of that, if only I could buy it! I almost, almost, almost had my son ready to buy me some for my birthday in September, when I realized it was too much like 2006, when I gave him money to buy yarn early in the year and thereby broke my resolution. I haven't come as far as JUNE to break it now! So, the confessed yarn-a-holic walked away with some large size crochet hooks and buttons for baby sweaters...

Oh, to join my colleagues in a massive buying binge.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dorothy's Granny Squares

These aren't mine, but I couldn't resist showing you how beautiful these granny squares are that Dorothy is making. I met her at the Prayer Shawl knitting today, and they are just gorgeous.

Monyca had said this morning that she wanted to learn how to crochet so she could make a granny square baby afghan. Well, check this one out!!! All from one basic square...


Now, I know this doesn't belong in a knitting blog, but it's cute.

Maggie, Babara, Lois and I were leaving the church this morning and I was going to give them all a ride. We crossed the street and I noticed something green by my passenger side rear tire. As I got closer, I saw it was a tiny stuffed animal, leaning up against my car, almost like a dog using it, but not. We all got a good laugh over how cute he is, and why someone might have left him there.

Sombeody CLEARLY placed him. He is a little dirty and run over, but I will wash him Sunday afternoon when I'm done using the car. For now he is hanging out watching me drive...

Benjamin's blanket

I'm done!!!

I finished the baby blanket for Tom's baby, Benjamin. And, I tied in all the loose ends, immediately after finishing the last row. It's not so hard to tie them all in when you can't wait to see what it looks like finished!

Today was a great crocheting day! First off, St. Matthews church with my buddies Maggie and Monyca: 10:00-1:00 pm. Then off to Trinity Church for Jane's prayer shawl knitting: 1:00-3:00 pm. And when I got home, my son had already bought something to eat, so I was able to crochet from about 4:00 till 6:00 pm uninterrupted, then spent another half hour tieing in the ends, and then photographing it. And of course, someone, well, someones, tried to sneak into the picture. A loud, "Scram" and they both did run.

Can't wait to ship it. But I'll have to wait till after Thursday night so I can show it to the ladies I knit with at Chez Marie. On to the next project...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Kindem's Blanket

It's tax time, and I need to finish my NJ taxes. And I'm crocheting. But I also did jury duty today. And I called ahead and found out they wouldn't allow plastic or wooden knitting needles in to the Court House (no sharp objects), and I didn't want to chance it with my circular needles. So I'm comforting myself by doing something I really enjoy, after a long day of uncertainty.

So I started something new, but not really. Technically I can call it a WIP (work in progress), because even though it was only six rows of double crochet (Homespun Roccoco) and a quarter row of white, it still was started. And started I don't know how many years ago, but less than six.

And this one is for Tom's baby boy. All he told me is the room is off white. No hint about any other color whatsoever. I've added some brown mohair as an accent row (Patons Divine, Deep Earth - hope it washes well!), and I'm using a dark dye lot of Denim, and am going to do the middle in Blue Sky. Here are some photographs of the progress. Note how each new row takes on a world of difference in terms of color.

(My computer is still having computer work arounds, and I can't connect the photos to download and use the mouse at the same time.)

And after I switched to the Roccoco again, I looked at all the photos I took today, and behold! Looks like this is what gave me my inspiration! But I picked these colors out last night. Perhaps the yarn inspired my photography...

One more row (or two) and I will get to the NJ taxes. Blog first.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Debbie Bliss sweater

I started this project two years ago, and put it aside. I picked it up again after finishing Liz' hat. Liz' hat was the only thing I did in March, and I felt bad about that, particularly as I'd made some decent progress in January. Do you realize just exactly HOW difficult it is to pick a pattern up after two years? That should teach me not to put something aside again.

Well, I tried every week at knitting to study the pattern to figure out what row I was on. Then I put it away. The next week I would try again, then I put it away.

And I fretted about my New Year's Resolution, and I craved buying more Homespun. But I only have a limited supply, and what if I need a particular color later this year? So many babies, so little yarn! One morning I actually woke up thinking about different colors of yarn. I told my boyfriend. He was thinking about different colors of paint...

Finally after about two to three weeks of not getting anywhere, the knitter's block lifted. Here is a picture of the thing started. I'm up to the point where I have to start working the neck on the right front, and the sleeves will be all that's left after the collar.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Liz' Hat / Alyssa's Yarn

Here it is March 25, 2007.

My whole goal of using up all the yarn in my house this year before I buy more yarn is being turned upside down. First, the practicalness of it. I got off to a good start in January, with some bulky yarns quickly working up into scarves, etc. And not so bad in February, by seaming together some projects I'd done months earlier ... pumping the numbers. But March has really disappointed me, yarnwise, as it took me a whole two weeks to make one hat. And then another two weeks to photograph said hat. (A few minutes of writing and editing to get it on the web.)

Granted, March has been a thought provoking month. My little Mac mini just up and died on me one Sunday night. I took it to a well-known mac repair shop, and though they tried, they pronounced it dead, with a price tag of $600 for data recovery. Data would have to be transferred to a new external hard drive, starting at $109. Needless to say they were pretty surprised that I chose not to go that $600 + 109 route. (The computer only cost $700!!!!) But it did have my photos, and my personal stuff on it, and just like most of you, I hadn't completely backed that up.

But thank God, Disk Warrior, Newer Technology, Apple's disk utility software, and a lot of perserverance, for $240 I somehow managed to fix it myself, or rather, without the repair shop. I certainly didn't do it on my own.

And then of course, there's Jamie. My sweet 24 year old nephew. Who was in a car accident 10 days ago. Hydroplaned on a wet road in the wee hours of the morning, lost control, and hit a tree. Actually, the tree took a nice tour of his SUV. Entered from one side, moved the engine, into the driver's seat, and then decided to plant itself in the back seat. Miracle one: he ended up on the passenger seat. Miracle two: His earth angel girlfriend, by chance, was following behind and saw it all happen. Miracle three: twelve broken ribs, a punctured spleen, a punctured lung, refusal for routine epidural, and seven days later he's well enough to go home (that includes three days in ICU). You do the math.

So what's a little yarn worth compared to a miracle?

But here's the hat, with a close up and a cameo from one of the cats.

Yarn compliments of Alyssa. Pattern compliments of Sande. Recipient Liz. Thank you everyone!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February's projects

I woke up this morning and thought, "Wow, I got all three sweaters seamed that I started to seam on Sunday. But can I blog about them in time?"

I'll call this "Blogger's Vanity", as I can't really call it knitter's vanity. And thankfully the sun was shining this morning, because I like to take pictures of my work in natural light, as opposed to incandescent or flourescent light, which I usually must resort to. But photographers cannot always be choosers. And the pictures don't really do the sweaters justice, but for the sake of honesty, I am posting them here and now while I am still in February.

The three sweaters, starting off with the pink and navy striped one:

Followed quickly by the pink one, navy edging, and why not an intarsia heart?

Oh, that was too much fun. Why not reverse the colors and add some ruffles?

And of course, the blue / yellow sweater delivered to Aaron on Feb 25:

Which was to accompany the blue Williamsburg afghan (Homespun, of course), delievered Feb 18. I won't repeat the photo as you can see it a few posts below.

I also was able to deliver a Williamsburg afghan to Bintou and her son, Max, on Feb 4th? Funny how I can't remember these dates, once they pass. Which is one of the major reasons I wanted to get back into blogging, to keep an electronic diary of these projects that is both easily accessible, and neat. Since we all know yarn stashes and yarn related items can tend be m e s s y. And who can find that knitting journal when you really want it?

So, that's it for February. A lot of hopes, some achieved! Very pleased that I got these three sweaters seamed in three days, as they've been waiting since last Spring. (Or was it early Summer?) See how useful a blog is?

Now what unfinished projects can I start to complete for March?


I knitted a pink and blue striped sweater in 2005. Then I tried to recreate it in 2006, which I did:

It was the inspiration for three more sweaters in late Spring / early Summer 2006. I quickly knitted the pieces, and just as quickly decided I didn't feel like seaming them together.

Here, as much as I hate to admit it, is my miserable, unfinished, miscellaneous yarn stash pile in my bedroom. I'm sure we all have something like it:

So, at the end of January, realizing I had a month of so much productivity, I decided I would "cheat" for February and finish things that were nearly done, rather than start from scratch!

The result: three solid days of seaming from Sunday to Tuesday!

Blue and yellow baby sweater: finished!

I finished the blue and yellow baby sweater for Patricia and Aaron's baby Saturday, Feb 24. It was adorable. All I needed to do was to tighten up that first buttonhole on the bottom. I saved that for Sunday morning, in the car, on the way to church. (Aren't you glad you don't live near me?) As far as I can tell, there is no law against knitting or sewing while driving. Though I sure do try to get a lot of things done at red lights, and NO I don't really drive while knitting!

Here are a couple of pictures of it:

If I were to make a second one, I think I'd make the sleeves symmetrical (in coloring), though these are cute:

And the back is seven stripes, 5 rows of garter ridges:

I do hope it fits little David in season!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Oops!!! Did I mention gauge?

I really didn't use any gauge on this sweater, just eye-balled it. The back is a square, the two fronts half the width of the square plus 4 stitches overlap (for buttonholes), and the sleeves start out at half the width of the back plus one for the seam. Taper at the rate you'd like.

Blue and yellow baby sweater: in stages

Patricia had really liked the Cobalt and Sunshine State Homespun, but rather than make that afghan in stripes, I decided to make a baby sweater in similar colors using Caron's Simply Soft, worsted weight. I will try to write down the recipe, but for now here is the start of it:

A blue and yellow striped back, 40 stitches wide and 35 rows of garter high (roughly a square). The two fronts are 24 stitches wide (a four stitch overlap), and the button holes were supposed to be smack in the middle of every fifth ridge, but they ended up being five ridges of garter apart. No matter, six buttons on the front is plenty for any mother to button. Better than seven. And I only had six.

Then I seamed the shoulders, stitching together 8 on each side. For the sleeves, I picked up 20 stitches on the front, one for the shoulder seam, and 20 stitches on the back. Decreased to 39 shortly after, and then decreased one on each side (a stitch in) every six rows. For the last stripe, I didn't do the decrease but left it at 29 stitches, and then did six rows of K1, p1 ribbing.

At one point, I had tried decreasing at a rate of every eight rows, but thought it wouldn't be enough. So the sleeve you see above (front right) was later ripped out, as I preferred the steeper tapering, front left (below).

Rebecca and Felix took back-to-back turns helping me. Or were they trying to fool me with their similar markings?

Oh, and things I learned with this project: Never, ever, try to do both sleeves at the same time when working in stripes unless you use FOUR skeins of yarn. Inevitably it will tangle into an impossible mess which will result in much swearing (possibly) and ultimate ripping out, or worse yet, cutting the yarn.

And decide the size of your project by considering when the baby is due and what season the baby might be able to fit your handmade garment. Hopefully, Patricia has air conditioning as this might fit perfectly in August.

Patricia's Blue Afghan

Here is the blue afghan I made for Patricia and Aaron, for little David, who is due in March. I didn't get to bring it to the surprise baby shower (I was in Moorestown), but was able to give it to her, finished, the following Sunday, Feb 18:

Made of Lion Brand's Homespun: Williamsburg. The same denim "Ragnar" received.

WIPs: Works in Progress

I had high hopes for February. Hopes that I would finish a lot of works in progress, otherwise known in the knitting world as WIPs. After adding all the photos for January's finished projects, and with February being only 28 days (this year, as it is 75% of the time), I thought I'd tackle all the unseamed baby sweaters I made last spring and summer. Thought it would be e a s y .

Well, two funerals and a wake within seven days is a good reason to slow me down. But I'm not giving up...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"At Knit's End"

My sister in Miami sent me "At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, for President's Day. This is, of course, a delayed holiday package for Hannukah/Christmas.


I started reading it on the PATH train this morning and was chuckling. But on the bus tonight, I had to hold back the laughter and the grinning and the "Oh, my God, that's me!" My son was so surprised that I was in such a good mood when I got home.

I so relate, I so relate, I so relate...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January's projects

Here is a list of all the projects I completed in January, descending order...

Jan 31 - CancerCare Hat 1 and 2:

Jan 28 - Black, pink, orange scarf:

Jan 28 - Mailed the Red Scarf project, shown here with Kitten (he's actually 10 years old and 20 lbs):

Jan 27 - Gave Decio the green afghan for two year old Andre (finished earlier this month) pictured below, with Nic's

Jan 27 - Nic's tan afghan (edged with blue) was ready to go and at work, but the cold weather and/or client kept him out of the office. He picked it up Jan 29 and Christa loves it!!!

Here are pictures of both, again with Kitten helping:

Jan 16 - Fedexed Little Pete's afghan (no picture), for the man of the house while big Pete does a one year tour in Baghdad. This was really cool because he wanted Penn State colors. I ended up using Williamsburg, Slate Gray and Hepplewhite, Homespun, of course. It looked very similar to Avery's b&w afghan, but the white was in the middle and it, of course, had colors...

Jan 13 - Mailed Little Avery's afghan, shown here with Rebecca and Felix in camouflauge:

Jan 13 - Mailed Little Ragnar's afghan, since correctly named Ryan

Jan 7 - Delivered Dolly's afghan to her in person, completed in December. It really dwarfed her!