Saturday, December 30, 2006

One Down and Two to Go

Pregnancy is running rampant on one branch of my family tree. Three brothers and a sister got married in the last two years. Now, two of them are pregnant with three babies! Yes, that means that one of the identical twins is having twins! Should be interesting. Imagine all the pranks pulled by identical twin boys. Now imagine his children doing the same to him! He should know many of the tricks, but with the creativity of kids I'm betting they will still give him a run for his money.
Anyway, I have only been able to find out one of the due dates, May. The twins, who will surely show up early, have an unknown arrival date which I am praying is not imminent. No matter how fast crochet works up, I simply cannot crank out another blanket in two days. I am proud to have generated one in a week! Wish me luck. =-D

  1. Yarn: 3 Skeins of Bernat Baby Softee Sparkle
  2. Pattern: None...I just made it up as I went.
  3. Diameter: 37 inches including the ruffled edge
  4. Time: One week! My fastest ever.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Alliteration Run Rampant

Cozy Crocheted Caps to Cuddle Kids Craniums and Combat the Cold. Yea, Caps for the Capital!

Preparing for the Future

I saw this on Kat's blog and thought it was an interesting way of looking back at the year that had passed before stepping into the new one.

Take the first line of the first blog entry for each month of the year and list it out. I haven't be bloging for a year yet so seven months will have to do. :-D

JUNE: My first blog!
JULY: Version 2 of the Pi Shawl was born yesterday and has grown to a whopping 10 and 1/2 inches in diameter.
AUGUST: Come to the Boston Common for the Knit and Crochet Out!
SEPTEMBER: Meet my new crochet basket.
OCTOBER: Thank you to the twenty or so people who offered an opinion on which stitch would make a better scarf.
NOVEMBER: A fine time was had by all at the Grand View!
DECEMBER: A string - wool, cotton, soy, silk, acrylic

Interesting, no? Wishing all a happy and healthy new year!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Tagged x2

I was double tagged for this one by Jackie and Stitch Witch! So, here goes.

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blogSix "weird" things about myself:

  1. I have a four footed fuzzy alarm clock of the feline variety. In fact it is my second one! I don’t know what it is about the black cats I’ve owned, however, if I stay in bed too long after my alarm goes off they nudge and walk on me until I get up…
  2. I was part of a show choir when in high school (sing, dance, perform). It was a real blast and I sometimes wish there was something like this for adults.
  3. Twelves run in my family. There are twelve years between my sister’s birth and mine. There were also twelve years between my mother and her sister. Then there is the twelve years between my cousins and myself...
  4. I am a morning person. I LIKE to be up early and I miss the sun’s glow in the morning sky during the winter months.
  5. I like to mix applesauce into my cottage cheese. It looks gross but tastes delicious!
  6. I like to color mandalas for relaxation and fun. Would you believe high school students enjoy it as well? Research shows that it is a form of meditation because you are doing only one thing at a time and focusing on it completely. Also, if you color from the outside edges into the center it will help you focus. However, if you color from the center out it will help expand your thinking. I don’t know if it is true but the idea is fascinating.

As to tagging others for this list of "weird" things I don't think there is anyone left in my immediate circle who has not yet been tagged so...I'll try some of the blogs I visit and see what happens! Tag, you're it: Brenda, Erin, Dorene, Faery Crafty, Loribird, and Lesley.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

She's Baaaack!

Hey there blog fans. Contrary to popular belief, I did not fall off the edge of the crochet universe. Rather the holidays landed with a thud leaving little time for anything else. So, to catch up a bit, here is my favorite recent project. I have wanted a blue and white "santa" hat for YEARS. Not that I crochet it occurred to me I could MAKE one. The character modeling the hat is my beloved sister who was so thrilled with the idea that she bought the jingle bells and wanted to know right then and there how soon it would be ready! The pattern is a mix of several I found on the internet and my own ingenuity. The blue is Caron Simply soft which turned out to work best for its soft flexibility and sheen. The "fur" is Bernat Softee Baby Sparkle held together with Patons Cha Cha. It makes one fun hat!

I have also been a lucky girl. Gina's wonderful adorable son Ben chose my name from the "hat" in her latest podcast contest. If you haven't heard this podcast yet go check it out!

See that? It is my first ever skein of Socks That Rock! That was my prize! The picture doesn't quite capture the subtlety of color present in this colorway. I have no idea what it will become but this I do know: it will be cuddled and appreciated until it whispers what in my ear what it wants to be. :-D

Lastly, meet Gertrude. Yes, the squirrel has a name. This is the squirrel who has adopted my parents. It runs up to the sliding glass door on a regular basis and stands up on its hind legs with front paws tucked up in a "begging" posture! Right on cue someone in the house will break open a few peanuts and toss them to her. It is wonderful fun to watch Gert munch up close. This picture was taken from the safety of the house just two feet from where she was eating! Just adorable.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fingerless Mitts - Crochet Pattern

It's here! My first ever crochet pattern! If you try the pattern please send me pictures, corrections, and feedback. I hope you enjoy making them.


Hook: Size G

Yarn: DK Weight

ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
fpdc = front post double crochet

shell = sk 2, [*dc, ch1* three times, dc] all in next stitch, sk 2, sc in next stitch
Double foundation chain = Ch 2, sc in second chain from hook. Insert hook under the left hand
thread of the sc just made and complete next sc. Continue in this manner until chain is desired length.


- Adjust base chain length as needed in multiples of two (i.e. Even # of stitches)
- Try mitt on after completing the first few rows of ribbing to make sure it will slide on easily.

Ribbed Cuff
ROW 1: Double Foundation Chain 30 stitches, join into a ring being careful not to twist, ch3 DO NOT TURN

ROW 2: Work dc into the bottom loops of each stitch around, join with a sl st into first dc (30 dc)

ROW 3: Ch 1, turn so right side is facing you. *Sc into join, fpdc around next st* repeat around then join with a sl st into first sc. DO NOT TURN

ROW 4: Ch 1, *Sc into join, fpdc around fpdc of previous row* repeat around then join with a sl st into first sc. DO NOT TURN

ROW 5 - 12 Repeat row 4 (cuff can be made shorter or longer as desired by subtracting or adding rows of ribbing)

Begin Lower Body:
ROW 1: Ch 2, hdc in join, 2hdc in next stitch (this will be in the "valley" of a rib), hdc in each stitch around to last two, 2hdc in next to last stitch, hdc in last stitch. Join with a sl st to first hdc. DO NOT TURN

ROW 2: Ch 2, hdc in join, 2hdc in next stitch, hdc in each stitch around to last two, 2hdc in next to last stitch, hdc in last stitch. Join with a sl st to first hdc. DO NOT TURN

Repeat row 2 until body is long enough when tried on for the fabric to meet when gently pinched together at the base of the thumb where it meets the rest of the hand. For my hands this was 11 or 12 rows.

Insert a stitch marker in this location through both layers to determine a comfortable location for joining the thumb.

(click picture for larger image)

ROW 1: Ch 2, hdc in each stitch around to where you placed the stitch marker, hdc through both layers then continue around. Join with sl st to first hdc. DO NOT TURN

ROW 2: Ch 2, hdc to within two stitches of the where the hdc was worked through both layers, hdc 2tog, hdc in next stitch, hdc 2 tog, hdc in each stitch around to beginning. Join with a sl st into the first hdc.

ROW 3: Ch 2, hdc in each stitch around, join to first hdc.

Repeat row three until thumb is desired length.

FINISH - work a loose slip stitch into each stitch around. Join and end off. Weave in end.

Upper Body
ROW 1: Join yarn with a sl st at the base of the thumb. Sl st through both layers for the next two stitches. Ch 2, work hdc in each stitch around. Join with sl st to first hdc. DO NOT TURN

ROW 2: ch 2, work hdc in each stitch around, join with a sl st to first hdc. DO NOT TURN

Repeat row 2 until within a row of the desired length. Count stitches. Adjust by increasing or decreasing to yield a multiple of five stitches.

Ch 1, sc in join, shell around, join with sl st to first sc and fasten off.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Too Cute!!

Is this not the cutest? Heather of Senerknity made this cutie and then put it on the end of a wooden crochet hook for me! I just love it. It was part of my prize for naming her adorable angora bunny. Heather makes the most beautiful stuff including yarn, decorated knitting needles, dyed roving, stitch markers, and orifice hooks! Need a gift? Get shopping!

I LOL when I turned rotated the hook to discover the tail sticking out in back!

COMING SOON: Fingerless Mitt Pattern (I hope to have it up tomorrow...)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Of Sticks and String

A string - wool, cotton, soy, silk, acrylic
An instrument - loom, needle, hook
and a Dream

It struck me yesterday that too often we humans don't state the obvious. We keep our wisdom hidden away because, of course, everyone knows that. However, there is an incredible power in stating what we Know. The words bring to light in others, many times, what was known but not fully acknowledged. So it is with sticks and string. Whether your tool be a loom, needle, or hook you are taking something simple, a piece of string, and creating beauty. Creating art. Creating warmth. But, most importantly, you are sharing love. Family, friends, animals, and those who are in need that you have never met, and probably never will, learn of love from the work of your hands. They wrap up in it knowing, someone cares. Yes, creating is about the joy of bringing something new into the world that never existed before. More importantly, it is about spreading love.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fingerless Mitt

Hi all! I need some feedback on my first ever fingerless mitt. I sort of made this up as I went along and have tried a number of stitches to finish off the top. In fact I've tried so many that I may not be a good judge anymore of how it looks. Therefore, take a look and let me know if you think this is a good match to the style of the mitt. THANKS TONS!!! :-D

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Warmth of Shawls

Not only was Thanksgiving filled with the warmth of family, it was also filled with shawls! I finished this shawl during our weekend at Grand View and prayed that my mother would like the natural white color. Otherwise, it was just what she had asked for: light, lacey, and wrapable over the shoulder. She LOVES it and it turned out to be the perfect length as well! This shawl will shortly be keeping her warm when the Florida evenings turn cool. :-D

Next, my sister surprised us by finishing her "shmatte" (pronounced sh-mah-tee). Now for those of you familiar with Yiddish you will recognize this word as meaning a rag. How could this beautiful shawl be called a "rag" by its knitter? Well, she explained that it is sometimes used as an affectionate term for a baby blanket that has been well loved. In fact, loved until it is little more than a rag. She expects this shawl get that much use and be as comforting!

My sister-in-law showed us an attractive and hands free way to wear the shawl. By running the front points of ths shawl through the belt loops it creates this nice criss-cross in front and keeps the shawl from opening while going about life. I'll be remembering this one!

Then there is this WIP. I spent much of Thanksgiving day working on this shawl. It is one of the patterns I learned from Melissa Leapman. This is stash yarn: laceweight alpaca. It is working up with nice drape and body. I'm hoping to leave this at school. They are trying to save money by keeping the heat at a moderate level (read that as cold). I've used 360 meters so far and figure it will need at least another 180 if not more.

Only one note of sadness. This beauty which was to be a stole for me turns out to be lacking in width. It is six inches wider than the length of my outstretched arms, however, it truly needs another foot. Unfortunately, when I thought it was the right size I cut the ends and wove them in. So, for the moment I'm setting this aside. I cannot bear to frog it. Perhaps it will be a prayer shawl donation... Any ideas?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Holiday Wishes

Warmest wishes to you and yours for a wonderful celebration of the blessings that enrich our lives! Happy Turkey Day!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hello Melissa!

Meet the lovely and talented Melissa Le apman! My first encounter with a published knitter or crocheter. :-DAbout a dozen of us squeezed into the Elegant Ewe to learn about crocheting shawls and hats. Two three hour classes held back to back followed by Melissa's mad dash for the airport to catch a flight back to NY.

It was hard not to dive across the table to gleefully explore this stack of samples that was dangled under our noses while things were being organized to begin class. Too enticing!

So it was a mostly day of making miniatures. Here are tiny versions of two hats and a stole. The smallest hat is worked flat then stitched together. The one to its right is made of granny squares which are stitched into a circle before stitches are picked up to make the crown. That one has got my little brain whirling with ideas about different ways to work the lower part. If any of my experiments are successful, I promise to share. The stole was very simple and has infinite possibilities as you pick a base color and place contrasting colors anywhere you wish as you work along. Also the fringe, which is not complete in this picture incorporates the ends weaving in! I LOVE patterns like that.

Then there were the shawls and a full size hat. I just adore the shawl all the way on the right. Soon it will be a full sized one worked, perhaps in the laceweight alpaca I've been hoarding. Best tip of the day? Work edging into the chaining stitches rather than around the end of the rows. It makes a neater finish.

All in all it was a fun day. Melissa is personable and talented. Here's to a day of crochet and creativity!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I was surfing around and ended up on Spindarella's blog where I discovered this neat site counter. (see sidebar) It displays number of visitors by country so you can see how far reaching (or not) your blog is! Pretty neat. I'm up really early for a Sunday because I've got an all day crochet workshop with Melissa Leapman! Cannot wait. Deets to follow. :-D

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Knitter's Weekend!

A fine time was had by all at the Grand View! And what a view it is!

Welcome to a knitter's dream. An entire weekend with great friends, good food, unlimited time to stitch, and the resources of an entire shop!

We even ate breakfast in the shop!

Of course, get this many knitters together and some interesting things happen. We'll just let the pictures speak for themselves, shall we?

There were a few FO's and much experimentation. Here's the happy crew with our projects:

Jackie who finished an adorable hat for her son and made great progress on a sweater...

Lora who tried her first entrelac to produce a pillow cover with great results...

Armed with Pointy Sticks who made great progress on her current project despite a trip to the frog pond...

Laurin made progress on several projects including wristers and a knitted bag. Best of all she introduced her friend, who came along for the weekend to scrapbook, the ways of the yarn and sticks! What an amazing job she did on her first ever project, a scarf. Welcome to the club... hee hee hee another convert!

Gina of recent podcast fame (Sleepy Eyes Knits) worked diligently on a sweater in the round for her sweety making AMAZING progress!

Yarnophiliac stitched away on a beautiful Christmas gift and various smaller projects...

Others who are blogless stitched up socks, baby blankets, hats, and so many wonderful things I lost track!

What a wonderful way to spend a weekend. I cannot wait to do this again. I'm hooked!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Fun!

Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc. My high score so far is 395...

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Remember that beautiful tree whose picture I posted last Saturday. Well it is a week later and look:In an all day deluge of wind and rain, autumn has left so that winter may reign. Bye bye pretty fall foliage!

Friday, October 27, 2006


It's here! It's here! My very own special ISE scarf from the skilled hands of Erin! The post office was so impressed with the fancy box. What was it in? One of those lovely boxes you get at Christmas time with perfume and lotion in them. It was all red and gold foil with the mailing label taped on top (hence why no picture).

This is what I found inside. Two little tubes of Lavendertherapy body lotion from the healing garden and a wonderful smelling sachet all in one of my two favorite colors, purple. A lovely card with well wishes from my pal made it even sweeter. I then held my breath and unwrapped the scarf.

WOW! This picture sooooooo doesn't do the yarn justice. It softly fades from color to color starting with a bright blue that graduates into a purple that deepens to black where the white stripe shot through with purple serves as a striking surprise to show off the other colors. It then brightens in the reverse order. It is wonderfully soft and cuddly. Erin must be a magician because she found a single yarn that contained all of the colors I mentioned in my questionnaire! So far just about everyone I've shown the scarf to has tried to steal it, including one of my favorite students who just wrapped it around her neck and tried to walk away!

I spent quite a while in front of the mirror trying to figure out how best to wear it so that the color changes would be shown off. Here's the result! Erin, I cannot thank you enough for this soft, warm, cuddly and lovingly knit beauty. Here's hoping you love the scarf you receive as much as I love mine.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Traveling Around

How Clever! I saw this today in a little shop downtown. Knitting needles sticking out of a "drink cup" filled with yarn! Clever, but overpriced at $22.50 since the yarn is acrylic. There is also a version that is for making a hat - at the same price. Smaller item, requiring less yarn, same price? Those marketing types are creative and crafty (don't groan too loudly at the pun). I admire the concept though...very cool.

News from the ISE front: My pal e-mailed me saying that the scarf is going in the mail this weekend! Yipee! I am glad to know when it will hit the mail so I can, temporarily, stop checking the mailbox, main door, and my apartment door for a slip or package. There was a post today on the ISE website that I think just might be mine! Why? Well, my pal asked if I would like a "cowel type" scarf instead of a traditional one. My response? Knit what makes you happy - I'm sure I'll love it. Well, today's post featured a wimple in a color that would have been consistent with my questionnaire. I'd love to get this or just about any of the beautiful scarves I've seen posted. Patience, patience is a virtue...

Last, but certainly not least is the latest stash acquisition from a local yarn sale. Thanks, Laurin, for the heads up! Six skeins of Devotion (51% angora, 49% nylon) for $6. That isn't $6 each but $6 for ALL SIX SKEINS! It is super soft. The Darby (52% wool, 48% acrylic) was an equally good deal at five skeins for $7.50. This picture is the best I could produce and it is terrible. The yarn is a lovely heathered colorway with a green base and flecks of blue, red, yellow, and other greens running subtly through. Just wonderful!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Well the baby afghan that I was so excited about has been put on the back burner. Why? Well, I tried the pattern and it was not coming out right. I am certain it is operator error so have put it aside for a while and will make another go at it some time soon. I am NOT giving up!

Remember that swatch? Well I am now three pattern repeats into the wrap. And happily I am loving it! Thanks to my knitting group's input on the color changes it is now smoothly developing. Thanks folks!

I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of my International Scarf Exchange scarf and to hear from my pal who should receive the one I sent her Friday or Monday. I know my scarf has until November 1 to arrive, however, I am so full of anticipation it is hard to wait!

On the completely unrelated to fiber front. Can you believe Jeffrey was the winner of Project Runway? I was not impressed by his collection because I felt it lacked cohesion. The ladies did a far better job. I console myself knowing that the show has likely launched all four finalists' careers. What's my objection to Jeffrey? In his desire to win he showed that he believes himself better than the others and could lack regard for the feelings of both his fellow designers and his models. Even given the opportunity to apologize he generally would not! In short, he acted like a jerk. I'd like to think it was the pressure of the situation... Despite his professional business, I felt his collection just wasn't as strong as well. Ah, well, reality TV, what are you going to do with such an addiction? Happy stitching!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Joyful Things

Finally! A decent picture of my other kitty Peneenah. She hardly ever stands still long enough. How did I get lucky enough to snap this? Fresh air. Yup! She was busy exploring the outside on my little balcony so couldn't run around.

In other news the International Scarf Exchange Scarf is on its way across the continent and headed for another country. I figured out it was approximately 9,000 stitches and 81 rows from start to finish. Three skeins of yarn, two trips to the LYS, and one to the post office have brought my first ever exchange to a close. Now I'm waiting (semi-patiently) for the scarf that has been made for me to arrive. I'm so EXCITED!

So, what's currently on the hook? This swatch which I think will turn into a rectangular wrap. It is inspired by an afghan pattern from the book Afghans for All Seasons. It will be two shades of blue and I think it will run vertically so that the arches will either face the floor or my shoulders instead of running right to left as the original pattern calls for... much swatching ahead!

And lastly, I love autumn. This is the view Peneenah, Harold, and I were enjoying from the balcony this afternoon.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Let's see, what's up?
1) Spent part of last night frogging an experiment I tried a while back. Couldn't bring myself to give up on it right away, however, I now have a use for the yarn so...ribbit. It was a tube shaped scarf that had a slow spiraling cable and was reversible. I decided it was just going to be too heavy when all was said and done. It does merit a revisit in the was beautiful.

2) Where is that yarn going? HERE!

I searched the net and finally found this book used on Amazon. It came all the way from California. What prompted this "gotta have it" behavior? A picture of the completed "Precious in Pink" baby blanket! I saw it on a yahoo talk group and begged for the source. Whalla, the search was on. :-D

3) Now I know. I KNOW. I said I'd never make things out of granny squares. So what am I doing with this? Well, you see when given free yarn to make snuggles in a god awful 70's avocado green, one must do something to make it more attractive.

My thought? Squares with interesting texture. I must admit I've admired this book for a while and until now resisted its charms. If you are into blocks it is very well written with a wonderful square directory in the front and examples of various color combinations. Also, there are suggestions for which squares will work well together. I experimented with some left over yellow and really like the right hand block. The left is likely to be frogged as I ran out of yarn! (Hey Magpi, you were right that the 70's afghans will find a way to appear!)

4) Many of you who voted on the stitch question for my scarf wanted to know what yarn I was using. It is called "127 Print" in color 30 by filatura di crosa and is 100% wool. Lovely stuff and a dream to work with! I just know it will be super warm on those days when New England begins to resemble the Arctic.

5) Two great movies I rented this weekend: V for Vendetta and The Lake House. Loved them both and would recommend renting them.

6) And just for good measure... Harold says hello.