Category Archives: Free

April’s Month of Knitting


Holy cow. If ever there was a reason  to blog more (and there are so many reasons) it is that this month in review post takes forever to do! The strangest thing about my lack of blogging is that I find myself thinking about what I would write about quite often, it just seems my follow through is lacking. So friends and neighbors, here is to a new month and a new shot at getting more written. Until we see how that goes I would love to share with you what I’ve been up to this past month.

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  • Pattern: Alano Dakos’ Oak Grove Mitts
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in Escorias
  • Verdict: Everything about this pattern is amazing. and the yarn…..oh the yarn!

Cafe Au Lait Mitts

Cafe Au Lait Mitts

  • Pattern: Cafe Au Lait Mitts by Paula McKeever
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in Escorias
  • Verdict: I will make these mitts over and over and over again. There was enough yarn in the one skein of Malabrigo Arroyo to both sets of mitts – which makes me so happy. If you have a chance I give this pattern the MUST BUY seal of approval.

We. Must. FREE RAPUNZEL!

We. Must. FREE RAPUNZEL!

  • Pattern: Free Rapunzel by Tiny Owl Knits
  • Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA in New York White
  • Verdict: Obviously the hat is adorable, but working with this thick yarn and size 13US needles about did my little arthritic hand in. I love the pattern – it was easy to follow and so much fun to do – but I just don’t see myself doing it again. Plus, the hat is for a very niche audience. I gave it to Gloria who loved it but can’t think of anyone else who would be worth the pain. 😉

I LOOOVE these socks!

I LOOOVE these socks!

  • Pattern: Afterthought heel by Laura Linneman
  • Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Neon Now in 3 Blue Yellow Green
  • Verdict: I LOVE THESE SOCKS. I LOVE THIS YARN. I WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE IT IS MANDATORY TO HAVE A PAIR OF SOCKS LIKE THESE FOR EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK!! 🙂

Prince Charming Needs More Socks!

Prince Charming Needs More Socks!

  • Pattern: Knitmore Girls Vanilla Socks – at least a variation on the basic pattern.
  • Yarn: Berraco Comfort Sock in Blue Grey
  • Verdict: I’ve made loads of Vanilla Socks so obviously the pattern is a go to. The yarn, well….it’s acrylic and I didn’t like working with it as well as wool. I felt like it was sliding all over my needles and the shaping on the instep didn’t feel as solid. This being said the socks turned out great and the hubby likes them better than wool – so there you go.

Diamonds

Diamonds

Dripping in Diamonds

Dripping in Diamonds

  • Pattern: Diamond NeckLace by Susan Ashcroft
  • Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Soft Pink
  • Verdict: I love Susan Ashcroft and everything she does – this is no exception. This is going to be a perfect present for my Grandmother for Christmas. If you’re looking to try something in the round with some texture – this is an amazing pattern to try. The chart is very intuitive and easy to read and it knit up very quickly.

Sparkle!

Sparkle!

  • Pattern: #21 Cable-Accent Fingerless Mitts by Lori Steinberg
  • Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Sequins in Amaretto
  • Verdict: I received the 60 More Quick Knits Sport Weight for a friend and realized, to my dismay, that the only sport weight I had was this Vanna’s Sequins that my Mom got for $0.97 at a Micheals sale. The yarn is actually not bad to work with if not for the sequins, but they grew on me. I also changed the pattern quite a bit to fit my needs (and common sense) and can’t wait to try this with a really crunchy wool.

Chemo Cap

Chemo Cap

  • Pattern: Just a sock yarn beanie with a basic decrease.
  • Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock Jacquards in Aqua Jacquard
  • Verdict: Chemo caps take about 5 hours from start to finish, and a printed yarn makes that work look like it took four times as much effort. Patons has a sock yarn beanie pattern that is a good place to start if your interested and it is very easy to change pretty much everything once you get a feel for how it should be constructed.

Holy Cowl!

Holy Cowl!

  • Pattern: Basket Weave and Ribs Cowl by My Noggin’ (that would be my brain)
  • Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Wedgewood
  • Verdict: Well, it came from my brain so I hope I’m happy with it! I have three skeins of this variegated yarn and needed something to break it up. The ribbing changes the texture enough so that the colors seem to pop – so for all three skeins I am going to try different variations on ribbing to see what I can get. The pattern used the entire 210 yards and it super warm.

YOU MADE IT TO THE END! THANK YOU!!!!

I have a lot of ongoing projects that I really, really want to talk about and I have a new passion that needs discussion. SPINNING! Here is to another month of trying to forget that I have too much to do and making time for the things I love. Cannot wait to catch up with all of you! And also, thanks for hanging in there 🙂

A Month of Knitting: Part 2


For someone who complains about having no time to knit, I sure get a lot of it done! There is this space of time, usually when I am at my mother and father-in-law’s house that things just seem to get done. Most of the Instagram  pics I take are there, although my blanket tends to go where I go. If you are interested in seeing what I am doing in real time, I suggest Instagram – that seems the easiest way to keep up with knitting. Plus, there is always awesome eye candy there. 😉

Okay, so here we go.

Opal Socks.

Opal Socks.

Patons Socks

Patons Socks

Trevor and I's Matching Socks.

Trevor and I’s Matching Socks.

  • Pattern: All variations on The Knitmore Girl’s Vanilla Socks. (#sockswithsarah)
  • Yarn: Opal Bicolor in 5503 (being discontinued), Patons Kroy FX in Cameo Colors, Patons Kroy Stripes in Blue Gray Marl.
  • Verdict? : I love making socks, I just love it. These are my brainless knitting socks – I just cast on and go with it. Trevor finally got his first pair of socks and it chomping at the bit for a another pair – I am so happy to oblige!

Afterthought Heel

Afterthought Heel

  • Pattern: AfterThought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman
  • Yarn: Patons Kroy Stripes in Bramble Stripes
  • Verdict? : I love how the afterthought heel looks, but making it was a little unnerving. I didn’t do a true afterthought heel (where you…shiver….cut your knitting) but rather where you place waste yarn and join. The second sock went much smoother that the first, by then I had figured out that I needed to pick up more stitches to avoid any unsightly holes. I am going to wear these socks as much as possible before I do another pair – they just don’t seem a sturdy as a gusset. But the pattern itself was written very well and it was fun to try something new.

I like filters…teehee

I like filters…teehee

16 Cable Hat

16 Cable Hat

  • Pattern: 16 Sixteen Cable Hat by Circé Belles Boucles
  • Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Plum Heather
  • Verdict? : I LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern. There are really only four cable rows (five if you do the slouchy, which I did) and the effect is so dramatic. I had purchased this pattern forever ago and *slouching with disgust* forgot about it. I was surfing patterns one night and was like “Why can’t I have money to buy this beautiful pattern! Blast!” – before I realized that I already owned the pattern. The hat took two days to make and as soon as I bound off I wanted to cast on again, and again, and again. Five stars to this pattern!

Love Train

Love Train

  • Pattern: Love train by Susan Ashcroft
  • Yarn: Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight Solids in Charcoal
  • Verdict? : Since this is the third Susan Ashcroft pattern I’ve made in a month there is obviously not enough good things to say about her stuff. I got this ebook from a friend who wanted two of the four shawls made for her. (I promised I would not take photos of her finished objects as she is claiming she made them herself 😉 ). The yarn wasn’t great, but it was far from bad. All in all this shawl, which is going to be a very merry Christmas present for ______ cost about $5.00. It is nice and stretchy and the yarn is very soft, not to shabby!

Mikado Cowl

Mikado Cowl

  • Pattern: Mikado Cowl by Susan Ashcroft (I am sensing a pattern here)(HA! PUN!)
  • Yarn: Red Heart Super Soft in Seafoam
  • Verdict?: LOVE! Just another Stitchnerd design that made me fingers sing. I actually made this in one day, I just kept thinking that I had to see it finished as soon as possible! I have already given this one to a friend and my Mom wants two more to give as Christmas presents. It’s a great deal – she buys the yarn and I get to knit the pattern and throw a card into her package.

25 Hexipuffs

25 Hexipuffs

  • Pattern: Beekeeper’s Quilt by Stephanie Dosen
  • Yarn: Oh so many….
  • Verdict? : Needs its own blog post.

So there is March’s finished objects. There are always other things chilling on my needles that I haven’t shown yet, but hopefully I will be back soon. The most important thing about blogging/knitting/spinning is that you can’t allow it to make you feel guilty – it’s here to be enjoyed. Friends and neighbors, I am going to try to remember that blogging is fun again and I hope to see you again soon.

A Month of Knitting: Part 1


It’s been over a month since I last posted, hard to believe given that I used to be so devoted to keeping up with it. The thing is, when time is precious you begin to…covet it. When I’m not working, with family or friends I want  to be knitting or spinning. It’s even stranger because as I am knitting I am actually thinking about writing about it. What to say, questions to ask, things to share – these things bubble in my mind and quickly as my needles navigate the fiber.

So in the interest of keeping up with the blog I am no longer going to pressure myself into doing it, I am going to let it be something that is enjoyable and not just another obligation. That being said, I cannot wait to share all the shenanigans that I’ve gotten into this past month. Hope your still reading friends and neighbors – and I hope it was worth the wait.

The Bend Hat

The Bend Hat

  • Project: The Bend Hat – Event Charity/Single Skein in Ravellenic Games
  • Yarn: Red Heart Super Soft – about 175 yards worth.
  • Verdict?: I really like the pattern, but the ribbing was a bit big for my taste. I will definitely make this again – just shorten the brim by half.

Cross Timbers

Cross Timbers

  • Pattern: Cross Timbers by Alexis Winslow
  • Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Plum Heather and Dark Gray
  • Verdict? : I really loved this for my first colorwork pattern. I did, however, block it till it screamed and it was still too tight. I used the largest amount of stitches called for, but if it doesn’t block for me (oh please let it block for me!) the I will know to add pattern repeats to make the circumference bigger. It still came out to 11” length wise so I don’t know if this is what’s suppose to happen or if I knitted too tightly – even though after watching I went up a needle size.

Gloria's Doctor Who Mitts

Gloria’s Doctor Who Mitts

  • Pattern: Rose Tyler’s Fingerless Mittens by Dana Berry
  • Yarn: Zitron Trekking 6 fach 6 ply in 1806 Blue Grey
  • Verdict? : I really enjoyed this pattern. The chart was well written and the mitts look just like the ones from Doctor Who (except not pink – Gloria would hate pink). When I make them again for myself, I am going to knit the back section instead of purling. I don’t think that it will change the integrity of the pattern and I hate purling in the round on such small needles.

Leaves on the Line

Leaves on the Line

  • 13462098875_dc07730342_z
  • Pattern: Leave on the Line by Susan Ashcroft
  • Yarn: Casscade Yarns Heritage Silk Paints in Fall (9801)
  • Verdict? : I LOVE Susan Ashcroft! If I had the funds I would buy every pattern she has ever written and make them all at least four times. The idea of measuring your yarn for a pattern is freaking ingenious. You get the most out of your expensive skein of yarn. I cannot wait to give this to my Aunt Kathy!!

Purl Ridge Cowl

Purl Ridge Cowl

  • Purl Ridge Cowl by Stephen West
  • Yarn: Red Heart Boutique Midnight in Misty
  • Verdict? : Great pattern – totally brainless and ends up looking far more intricate that it actually is. It is also a great stash-busting project and I will be making loads of these for the holidays.

So here is part one. There was a lot more knitting going on than I thought, so breaking it up seemed the best idea. I hope your still there friends and neighbors – I know I’ve been a crummy blogger but I am at least going to try to get caught up with your blogs. Missing your blogs is like missing a friend, it hurts and it’s super annoying!

 

The Joy of Socks


This is something new, trying to post a blog from my iPhone.

I would like to add a great big thank you to this post to my parents. They bought me a cell phone (a ridiculously nice cell phone)  and put me on their because they wanted me to be able to call them from the hospital – where my father-in-law is currently residing. I never really got the whole cell phone thing, I can take it or leave it – but their generosity is unremitting.

So, I finished another pair of socks! Once again I’ve gone with Patons Kroy Sock Stripes , this time in Blue Striped Ragg. I love these socks, I mean I always love socks but these were just so much fun to watch knit up. Stripes are amazing, you think “one more color, one more color” and before you know it you have a sock! Same pattern (Knitmore Girls Vanilla Socks) same technique (magic loop) same amazing outcome (socks). 🙂

Oh Sarah, the things you have helped me accomplish! Sarah, and her #sockswithsarah KAL has made me a sock making monster – it’s amazing!

Next up, a pair for the hubby. I am going to to a little more shaping in the calf section, but other than that I am keeping to the formula I have fallen in love with. After his pair is finished though, I think it is time to jump into the unknown waters of toe-up socks, two at a time socks or Spiceman Socks. Who knows!

Okay, this feels a little too weird as a writing platform. Till next time friends and neighbors!

WIP Wednesday


So far the B.A.D.D doesn’t seem so bad….hardy-har-har. However this is going to be very short, as I hate discussing things I haven’t finished yet. It seems a little redundant, but I am trying to recover my blogging ability – I miss you guys when I’m not on the site.

1. Fiori Autunalli – It has been successfully frogged and is not sitting in time out until I can look at it without breaking a sweat.

Bad Lace… or Bad Knitter...

Bad Lace…
or Bad Knitter…

2. Jayashiri Pullover – I have actually pulled this out of hibernation! I am slowly putting the mileage on it and all I need is another two inches to do the bust increases. Who knows? This very large (oh goodness it is soooo large) pullover may actually happen.

Look! Progress!

Look! Progress!

And finally…

3. The Rose Tyler Doctor Who Fingerless Mittens – A FREE pattern on Ravelry, I thought that these would be perfect for my Doctor Who loving niece Gloria. I love this pattern, I love the mitts… I HATE purling in the round on size 1US needles! I am hoping to get them done before March. By the way, the picture is courtesy of ©Dana Berry because I want to do a blog post when they’re all finished!

© Dana Berry

© Dana Berry

So those are the big to-do’s on my knitting list. Of course there are also leg warmers, but for the life of me I cannot post another picture of leg warmers. So until next time, which I hope is soon, have a great hump day!

The Ravellenic Games Main Event Project!


I joined the Ravellenic Games for the first time this year and I went all out for Team Sasquatch! My main event was Event Shawl, but I also signed up for Event Charity, Event Single Skein and Event Modular (which was a huge mistake but more on that another day).

My main event was to knit a shawl. Since my disgrace with the Fiori Autunalli by Rosemary Hill I have been downright scared of knitting lace. Did I mention the disgrace came from 1. Reading the wrong chart 2. knitting the wrong chart 3. switching rows while knitting the wrong chart and 4. frogging about 1,000 sts in tears at my LYS? Word to the wise friends and neighbors, don’t knit when you’re too tired to remember your middle name!

Anyway, here I am rambling again! I choose for my Games piece a shawl knitted in worsted, I felt like it was my knitting equivalent of a nightlight. So The Lonely Tree Shawl by Silvia Bolvia (which is not only amazing fun to knit but FREE on Ravelry) seemed like the perfect choice. I gathered up some Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage from my yarn stash and was off!

Humble Little Beginnings

Humble Little Beginnings

I was going really slow until the leaves started to emerge, trying to remember that lace knitting is only as hard as I let it be in my head. Once I got to this point I felt kinda confident.

(Disclaimer: Some lace knitting really is freakishly difficult, my problem lies in my lack of confidence after mucking up the same pattern so many times.)

and it kept growing….

and it kept growing….

and growing...

and growing…

Before I knew it, it was time to bind the bad boy off. I felt bad for not picking a harder, more involved project at this point though. I know that point of the games is/was to challenge yourself, and I stand by my reasoning that I had to conquer my fear of lace – otherwise the Fiori is never going to get done.

But my shawl is done!

Blocking

Blocking

High Def filter - I love the leaves!

High Def filter – I love the leaves!

Leaves! Done correctly!

Leaves! Done correctly!

It's about 350 yards - much bigger than it looks.

It’s about 350 yards – much bigger than it looks.

Aww….Happy Place!

Aww….Happy Place!

So there you have it friends and neighbors, the first leg of my Ravellenic journey came to an end. I’ve already given the shawl to a friend. I forgot to take a picture on the mannequin but I gotta tell you – giving away something that gave me a little confidence was pretty epic!

Happy Tuesday!

The Incredibly Heartbreaking Story of How I Came By My First Skein of Malabrigo


Has there every been a time in your life that you really, truly wished there were hidden cameras recording the moment for posterity? Well on January 29th such a day happened to me at my new Local Yarn Store. I want to share with you the story as close to verbatim as I can, because the incredible oddness of it was blessedly unique.

~Setting the Stage~

I was sitting at a long table at the front of the shop. I had come in for a bar of Lo-lo to Go (which was 75% off) but remained lingering – throughly content to fondle the yarn and work on my pattern.

A woman comes in through the back entrance with a cake of (yummy) yarn in her hand. The weather is crummy, we are actually just a few hours from getting 10.5″ of more snow and she was obviously in a hurry. Here is the conversations that ensued. 

  • Woman: I would like to return this please. I don’t have the tags but I remember what it is and I should be in your system.
  • Clerk: I am so sorry but we cannot accept returns on yarn that has been caked.
  • Woman: ….
  • Clerk:  I wish that there was something I could do but there is no way to inventory it.
  • Woman: ….
  • Clerk: If you’d like I can suggest a pattern for you to…
  • Woman: I only buy one project worth of yarn at a time and I decided not to do a project with sock yarn. I am going to use worsted yarn, so I cannot use this.
  • Clerk: (makes desperate eye contact with yours truly) I am sure that we can modify the pattern you are doing so you can use sock yarn. Let me have a look, Rachel – what do you think.
  • Me: I love modifying things!

I walk over to the checkout counter and the strap on my purse breaks, spilling the contents of my purse all over the floor. I laugh but the woman is looking at me strangely, strangely enough that it actually makes  me nervous. The clerk is pulling up the pattern on Ravelry when the woman turns her full attention to me….

  • Woman: What’s your name?
  • Me: Rachel, what’s yo….(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you have a stash?
  • Me: Um, yes I d…(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you knit with sock yarn?
  • Me: Yes. (I have temporarily given up on more than one word answers)
  • Woman: Do you like this yarn?
  • Me: Yes, it’s lovel….(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you have a project that could use this yarn to the best of it’s abilities?
  • Me: Um…
  • Woman: A pattern. Do you have one planned?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Woman: What is it?
  • Me: The Hogwarts Express Shawl
  • Woman: And who is it by?
  • Me: Susan Ashcroft.
  • Woman: When did you buy the pattern?
  • Me: I didn’t. It was a gift for my birthday from a very dear f….(cut off).
  • Woman: When was your birthday?
  • Me: December 27th…? (at this point I wasn’t sure)
  • Woman: Let me see your queue.

At this point the store clerk is staring at me with open mouth amazement. She hands me her iPad and I pull up my queue. There was the message from my gifter and the pattern.

  • Woman: Here you are. (She’s handing me the freaking cake)
  • Me: I cannot just take this, at least let me buy your worsted yarn (I didn’t have the money for this, but I was flummoxed and I did owe her one).
  • Woman: Do I look poor to you?
  • Me: Uhhh…No. (she didn’t – but then neither do I)
  • Woman: I can afford my own yarn thank you. Here are the specifications on the yarn (she pulls a scrap of paper out of her purse). Just do me a favor.
  • Me: Uhh….anything!
  • Woman: Let this be your next finished project. Go home and cast it on, and use it. I hate languishing yarn.
  • Me: Okay…

At this point she turns back to the befuddled store clerk and lists, which such precise clarity the yarn brand/weight/name/quantity that she needs. The clerk all but runs away to go get the items the woman asked for, leaving me alone with the woman. I was planning on thanking her again and giving her my Ravelry name so she could see the FO when she said….

  • Woman: My daughter was on Xanax.

I am confused, then I realize that when my purse spilled open my own anti-anxiety medication bottle fell out of my purse – she must have seen it.

  • Woman: She committed suicide several years ago when she quit taking her medicine. She lost her job and lost interest in everything she did – I didn’t notice.
  • Me: I am so sorry….
  • Woman: Can you do me one more favor?
  • Me: Anything.
  • Woman: Tell the people you love to pay attention if you cannot list, on the spot, something you are passionate about. To pay attention if you quit doing something you so obviously love. Tell them to pay attention.
  • Me: I promise.

Friends and neighbors, thank you for letting me share this story.

I’ve Knit 2.53 MILES this Year?


This is ridiculous, right? I mean I do actually have a life, two jobs, friends and family – but I double checked the numbers and they are correct. Thanks to Knitmeter.com I have mathematical proof that I have knit 2.53 miles/ 4451 yards/ 4070 meters. Yowzer boss.

Here is the most recent collection of things I have knit since 2014 began.

My Favorite Beanie

My Favorite Beanie

12218079056_39e5b974b6I decided to knit something I had already knitted once before, the Orchids and Fairy Lights beanie by Tiny Owl Knits. I bought this pattern ages ago (if you’ve read my blog before, this is the beanie that got me to quit complaining about my silly hand and start knitting again.) I know the pattern is for sale through Tiny Owl Knits, but I don’t think that it is in Stephanie Dosen’s book Woodland Knits – if I am wrong please correct me – although the book is equally amazing! I used Lions Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere (which I found at the infamous garage sale last year). I added another repeat this time to give it more stretch and frankly I am still in love with it.

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Another Design

Another Design

12139150515_34c595c149

Since I have been knitting leg warmers almost non-stop since the whole Polar Vortex shenanigans started, I thought my head was going to explode from looking at Red Heart Super Saver.  So when I got an order for legwarmers and fingerless mitts I was itching to turn the cowl I “designed” into fingerless mittens. I took a design I didn’t like from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats*20 Scarves*20 Mittens in Cascade 220™ (60 Quick Knits Collection) and reworked it till it suited my needs – as well as my fancy-shamancy design aesthetic. 😉

I’ve read over and over that you only have to modify an original pattern by 25% for it to be called your own – since all I took from the original pattern was the mock cable I am calling it mine. As soon as I get to it – or when my main job allows outside internet access again – I will be putting it up for free on Ravelry. Side note: I kinda love it.

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Sock Yarn Beanie for the Loving, Patient, Wonderful, Supportive, Handsome Hubby ;)

Sock Yarn Beanie for the Loving, Patient, Wonderful, Supportive, Handsome Hubby 😉

This is my first sock yarn beanie, and I am in love! I knitted this is a white heat during the Polar Vortex/Level Two Snow Emergency that left me trapped at work. I used, of course, Patons Kroy Sock Yarn in Gray, Brown, Red Marl as well as Patons pattern. Sock yarn, even on a larger needle, is becoming the thing that my arthritic hand is falling in love with. I am not sure if it is the weight or less motion involved in the actual knitting, but I can knit almost with pain – which is wicked awesome. I love this beanie, and lets face it – the hubby needed another hat!

**** **** **** **** **** ****

And legwarmers 🙂

30" of 1980's goodness! ;)

30″ of 1980’s goodness! 😉

So that catches me up on what I’ve been making since my last post. I have started several super awesome projects, things that I am really excited about and cannot wait to share. I actually finished three projects in one day, which meant the next day I casted on five more projects just to keep up – this makes sense right? Either way, I cannot wait to get far enough along in these that I can share them with a community of yarn lovers that I respect so much!

I will leave you with one question if you will allow me that friends and neighbors – if you had the money for the pattern, the yarn, the needles yada yada yada – what would it be?

Sarah & My Love of Socks


It is pretty amazing that I finished my first pair of socks in October of last year. Now, working on my seventh pair, I am a true sock knitting convert. This is my newest addition to my ever-growing sock drawer – and maybe my favorite.

Rusty Stripes Socks by Patons Kroy Socks

Rusty Stripes Socks by Patons Kroy Socks

There is something so utterly enjoyable about knitting a sock – since my first pair was officially finished I have never even remotely suffered from the dreaded “second sock syndrome”. There is this zen like state that is achieved by knitting socks, especially socks with stripes

When I am knitting a pair of socks with stripes I will often be heard muttering “just one more color!” and watching it grow is just mesmerizing in the best way possible. Knitting Sarah’s Socks with Sarah KAL (#sockswithsarah) has given me the perfect opportunity to indulge in selfishly knitting for myself and my loved ones. My Dad received his first pair and the hubby is already hinting – quite loudly – that he would love some socks. Before I move on, let’s enjoy a montage of sock-y goodness, just for giggles. 😉

Yea socks!!

Moving on. I have mainly been modifying the Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock Pattern for my own socks. Before Sarah came along, Operation Sock Drawer had me yearning to fill up my dresser with handmade socks. Other patterns I’ve tried were the Patons Simple Socks and the Men’s Basic Sock Pattern for my Dad.

Also, I’ve only used Patons Kroy Sock Yarn or Lions Brand Sock-Ease yarn so far. I really like the Patons yarn, but the Lions Brand just hasn’t grown on me. It’s gonna have to though, because after the pair of socks I casted on yesterday I am out of sock yarn except for two balls of the Sock-Ease. This isn’t really that scary, I don’t need to buy Malabrigo sock yarn and there is still Premier Sock Yarn (at a whopping $2.99 a ball) to try. I will keep my eyes out for sock yarn sales as well.

I am, at least as of right now, firm on my decision not to integrate patterns into my socks for two primary reasons: 1. I don’t have a cable needle that I can wield on sock yarn and 2. I like the brainless knitting. Socks are meditative, I think I might have mentioned that, but it is also fabulous for my hand. So what are my plans to not bore Sarah to death?

  1. Afterthought Heel.
  2. Fish Lip Heel
  3. Toe Up Socks
  4. Houdini Socks
  5. Spiceman Socks
  6. Two at a time socks

So there’s my plan friends and neighbors – now back to knitting!

Knitting and Kindness


After my last gloomy-gus post it is time to get back to track with the positive things in life. Also, this is far less annoying!

Let’s start with the kindness!

My birthday is two days after Christmas, and thus I rarely ever give a crap about it. We’re so burnt out after December – and the three family birthdays that come before mine – that by the time the 27th rolls around I just don’t care anymore. I’m not looking for sympathy, I just really don’t give a hoot about my birthday.

But this year I got two very unexpected presents from blogging/knitting/kindred-spirit buddies! I was gifted with patterns from my Ravelry Wishlist!!!! TEEHEE! I won’t mention names because I know one for sure wouldn’t want me to mention it, but it was the best birthday ever. You guys know who you are and I am so thankful that you thought of me – and I cannot wait to buy yarn to make your patterns come to life. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Now to the knitting!

Despite being silly busy with work and family I am actually getting quite a bit of knitting done. Let’s see….where to start…

First pair of finished socks for 2014!

First pair of finished socks for 2014!

Thanks to Socks with Sarah (#sockswithsarah) and the Knitmore Girls Operation Sock Drawer (#operationsockdrawer) I’ve finished the first pair of socks for 2014! These are Patons Kroy 4-Ply Jacquard in Fiesta Jacquard. I was so inspired but the finished pair – and the fact that sock-rockets make my hands happy – that I’ve already started another pair. Also, for whatever reason, socks seem to tame my OCD addled Panic Monster. All in all socks are a clear win.

The next is the Honey Cowl by Madelinetosh – which is also a free pattern on Ravelry. It was a knit-along that I found on Instagram, and since it was in my queue I took it as a sign. I made it with Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda. I made the largest version of this cowl and it took a whopping 630 yards, but the finished project is so soft and so warm that it was work every single stitch. Honestly, I think I will be making  a lot of these for Christmas next year.

So Long!

So Long!

So I like a good collage, so sue me!

So I like a good collage, so sue me!

The last is actually pretty boring. I made a generic pattern for leg warms meant specifically for being worn over your pants in this frigid weather. Well, word of mouth spread and now I have an order for five pairs. They’re made with Red Heart Supersaver and take about 260 yards a pair.

Yea for knitting and reading subtitles!

Yea for knitting and reading subtitles!

30" of 1980's goodness! ;)

30″ of 1980’s goodness! 😉

I have so many things I want to get my hands on that it is killing me. For now I am going to work through some orders and plan for all the things I can do to get in trouble. I am curious though, what are you dying to get your hands on? Friends and neighbors I am just DYING to hear!!

 

Everyone Needs Some Eye Candy


Max loves knitted socks.

Max loves knitted socks.

Guess who showed up to work two hours early by accident? This kid! I am going to try to cram in a post while I have some real downtime, it’s actually pretty darn exciting! Okay, let’s get on with the good stuff.

~ Socks with Sarah Progress #sockswithsarah ~

I currently have two pairs of socks on the needles, one for myself and one for my Dad. I am working on my socks everyday – even if it is just a row or two. I find that knitting socks is my knitting happy place at the moment. Is it bad I want to finish my Dad’s socks just so I can work on my socks exclusively? I’m gonna go with no, it’ll help me sleep better at night.

Both socks are a variation on the Knitmore Vanilla Sock pattern. My Dad’s socks are Patons Kroy in Flax and mine are Patons Kroy Jacquards in Fiesta Jacquard.

My Dad's First Sock.

My Dad’s First Sock.

 

~ A Very Berry Fascination ~

After my husband spied my newly organized stash, he asked me a simple question; “Why do you only make one thing in each color when you have multiple balls?”. After I quit giggling from the multiple balls comment I couldn’t come up with a good answer. Does “I am so sick of that color when I am finished that I just have to get another” work?

Well, no. It really doesn’t.

So I took on the challenge of taking two balls (teehee) of Red Heart Soft in Berry – which has a whopping 256 yards per ball – and decided I was going to knit through both. I started with the Twisted Toque from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens. I liked the pattern; the errata was small, the hat was easy to make and virtually brainless, which is a plus these days. I will say that the length measurements given were a bit long though, so long that I ended up folding the brim just to make the hat work.

Another 4am FO.

Another 4am FO.

 

The second project was from the same book, kinda. The pattern was Mock Cable Wristers and I hated this pattern. There is a vividly fierce hatred of how this pattern was written – so I changed it. I elongated the cuffs so they were 4″ and more of a gauntlet style, I changed the position of the thumb. I changed the purl increases, I added a thumb, I added length to create fingerless mitts, I did Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-On and Bind-Off. Basically, I stripped the pattern to the bare bolts and started over.

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This took a full ball and about 20 yards of the second – leaving me to figure out what to do with the remaining 236 yards. I decided I wanted a long cowl to go with the revamped mitts. I wrote the pattern (which I will be making available for FREE on Ravelry just as soon as I get it done). I took the basic concept of the faux cables and just fiddled with the stitches. I wanted them to pop out at you a bit, and I wanted the cowl to be nice and wide and a little less dense than the cable on the mitts.

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

That took care of both balls (teehee). Now I am just so ready to get my finger on a new color that it is eating me alive!

Oh yeah – I finished the mitts from last week. Side note: that horrible join blocked out really nicely. I would have taken a picture but they were out the door and into someone else’s home very quickly.

That blocked out … seriously!

That blocked out … seriously!

So that’s it for me today friends and neighbors. I have week 2 of my 52 weeks of new experiences all ready to go – I just need to find the time to write it. Who knows, maybe I can show up to work early again and get it hammered out. Happy Thursday blogger buddies!

 

 

 

A Little Sparkle to Kick Off December


Oh, it is good to have Dragon Speak back again! The plan is to try to write shorter posts – so as not to bore you into a coma – but the actual process of getting that post finished is back to being utterly fantastic!

So I am working through a rather large back catalog of things I was knitting before I almost blog faded, here’s to hoping I don’t repeat myself. The rather large production in knitting is in direct proportion to the change in weather – and the return of illness to the Buckeye State. My OCD and emetophobia  tend to top the charts from the end of October till May, which sucks on a whole lotta levels. I sleep less, consume copious amounts of anything with vitamin C in it and look forward to warmer weather – which is insane because truly, I love cold weather.

The only bonus to my emetophobia, and my Panic Monster, being far more active than normal is that I tend to get a lot more accomplished – like knitting! See? this is me looking at a silver lining.

 – It Sparkles and Shines –

My very loving mother found almost 20 balls of Red Heart Boutique Midnight at a smaller craft store where my grandmother lives a few months ago, and it being such a good deal she bought every last ball of it. This particular shade is called Shadow (how fetching!) and is a mix of pinks and grey’s, and to be honest it’s actually quite pretty. Now, Red Heart is not my favorite thing in the world to work with but this yarn doesn’t have the oggey feel to it that Red Heart Super Savor has, my goodness it even has a little wool in it!

Being presented with 20 balls (teehee) is intimidating, so I’ve slowly been working my way through the collection. With the Shadow I made two projects: 1. My very simple no-look cowl and 2. The Amanda Hat by Gina House with as many improvisations as I could dream up to make it my own. Let’s start with the cowl….

The cowl is a super quick, super simple rib/stockinette/rib combination, best of all I don’t have to look when I am knitting the stockinette section!

Now for the hat – the original pattern is The Amanda Hat by Gina House on Ravelry, but I had to try to make it a little more my own. I used Cast On, Bind Off to give me a little inspiration on how to get started, I only did one pattern repeat to simplify the top of the hat, then used a fantastic new decrease that I’ve been toying with. All in all, I am pretty satisfied with the outcome.

Why are collage photos so much fun? It's a mystery!

Why are collage photos so much fun? It’s a mystery!

That’s it for me today friends and neighbors! Just in case you would like to share, what are you doing this blustery December to add a little shine to your life?

The Scarf That Had Identity Issues – Free Pattern!


  • Written by: Rachel Folk (kinda)
  • Editing and Written Pattern by: Trevor Folk

So I showed progress on this scarf…um…last week? Anyway, the more I worked on it the bigger it got. I know, I know – it’s supposed to get bigger but this scarf seemed to get wider as well.

This is how it started:

So Far...

So Far…

And THIS is how it ended:

Chilling on my couch.

Chilling on my couch.

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Yowzer boss!

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Max’s Front Window Perch

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Yup. It’s THAT big!

By the time I bound off I didn’t know if it was 1) a scarf 2) a table runner or 3) a decorative couch cover. It was gorgeous by they way ( I used two strands of Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda) and I was really enjoying looking at it on the back of my couch.

Luckily my Mom fixed the situation by calling it a “drape” and took it quite literally off my hands. She had it in her car so fast I didn’t even get a picture of her wearing it. She has pure black hair (and since her hair color is real she has natural blue highlights) and it looked stunning on her – I should have gotten a picture dagnabbit!

I thought about seeing if I could actually sell a pattern, but since I can’t seem to work out the logistics of sizing I will share it for free. Knit at your will, sell the completed projects on Etsy – I don’t really care. I figure the pattern deserves to be out in the knitting universe.

** The Pattern **

  • Needles: Size 15US (10mm) Straight Needles
  • Yarn: 2 Packages of Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda (2 strands necessary if you are hoping to achieve thickness) – (why does everything knitting related sound so dirty?- TF)

Cast On 36 Stitches

Set Up: Knit Four (4) Rows Seed Stitch.

  • Row 1: K1, P1, K1, P1. Knit to last Four (4) stitches. K1, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 2 and all Even/Wrong Side Rows: P1, K1, P1, K1. Purl to last Four (4) stitches. P1, K1, P1, K1
  • Row 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1; *K2, SSK, K2TOG, K4, (YO, K1)twice *;  repeat from * to last Seven (7) stitches. K4, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 13: REPEAT ROW ONE (1).
  • Row 15, 17, 19, 21, 23: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1; *K3, YO, K1, YO, K4, SSK, K2TOG *; repeat from * to last Seven (7) stitches; K4, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 24: REPEAT ROW TW0 (2)

Repeat rows 1-24 until desired length (Rachel went till she was almost out of yarn and cursing -TF). Do Four (4) rows of seed stitch and BO (bowl obstruction? -TF) loosely. 

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So there you have it friends and neighbors, from my noggin to yours. I want to give a big round of applause for my husband who is putting up with me. (You’re welcome -TF). I also wanted to add that I am reading all of your wonderful posts but not commenting as much as I would like. No worries, Dragon Speak will be back eventually. I hope you like the pattern, it is the very least I can do to share because all of your blogs are making me a better knitter, spinner, crocheter and person.

Man that was cheesy – I’m out. 🙂 (Do people still say “I’m out?”. -TF)

Kinda Ribbed, Kinda Basket Weave Reversible Scarf – FREE PATTERN!!


Trevor here: Rachel wrote this pattern, all by herself she’s asked me to add, for a friend of that knitting website. I am here copying and pasting it for her here.

Gloria Here!: The site is Raverly, and the scarf is officially named Kinda Ribbed, Kinda Basket Weave Reversible Scarf. Here are some pictures – which aren’t great but I might get to add some because she is going to let me play with her camera! And don’t forget to check out the Tags Section – it’s epic!

 

Okay. So I am doing this with the hunt-and-peck method so if there are errors just message me back. This is just how I did it – a change in gauge or yarn thickness will change things. Duh, huh? 😉

Needles: Size 11 US (8mm) Straight 8” Needles
Yarn: Two (2) Strands of Worsted Weight Combined for thickness (this was Red Heart Shimmer in Red).

CO 44sts (+/- 5sts for width change)

Pattern

Row 1: (RS) – P3, K3, P2 rep to till last 6sts; K3, P3
Row 2: (WS) – K3, P3, K2 rep to till last 6sts; P3, K3
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: Purl
Row 6: Repeat Row 2
Row 7: Repeat Row 1
Row 8: Repeat Row 2
Row 9: Purl
Row 10: Knit

** Repeat rows 1-10 till desired length **
** Repeat rows 1-3 once more **
** Bind off all stitches knit wise **

**** My Notes ****

-I put stitch marker on “wrong side” (it’s reversible, so there’s no wrong side) but it’ll help keep things moving

-I slipped the 1st (first) stitch of every row purl wise to keep the edges looking tidy.

Have fun! I can’t wait to see pics because this pattern is super quick and super easy. Yea! Stitch Pattern Books! 🙂

 

My First Custom Order!


First, here is are the pictures of that adorable baby hat I whipped up for my Dad’s friend.

Secondly, here is a the finished product of my Baby Sophisticate Sweater. I am super proud of this little guy – I cannot wait to gift it!

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Progress…

Finished!

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

You’ve heard it here first friends and neighbors, I have received my first custom order! Best part, it is not a “custom order” for ruffles! I have been presented with the opportunity to make five hats and two scarves in whatever fashion I want! It has been so exciting so far, I’ve been in every stitch dictionary and design book that I own – or my local library can provide.

There is never a downside to an order, but there is a way to self-sabatage your business. I quoted the lowest price that I could think of (thinking that they would say no! you are far to talented!). Seriously, what goes through my head, I’ll never know! Either way, this is the first opportunity to really knit my heart out and show off what I can do.

The hats are for three children: ages six, three and 5 months. The hat and scarves combinations are for two adult females. This is what I’ve done so far. I created a hat for a three year old from a circular needle stitch pattern book complete with the easiest hat closure possible.

By the way...it's actually purple.

By the way…it’s actually purple.

I am thinking of putting the pattern on my Ravelry page, but it just seems like that pattern would be a little to obvious. So I will see what you think! Here is the pattern:

** FREE PATTERN **

→ For worsted-weight yarn – going down to baby weight you will need to find the correct gauge (for me it was increasing by 32 stitches and going down a needle size).

→ CO 88 stitches (any multiple of 8 will work) on size 6US (4mm) needles – 16″ Circular
→ K1, P1 across for 8 rounds.
→ Switch to size 7US (4.5mm) 16″ circular needles.

Repeat the following 12 rounds three (3) times. (this was how long it took me to get my height)

  1. Knit
  2. Knit
  3. Knit
  4. Knit
  5. *4st. Left Cable, 4st. Right Cable* rep. till end of round. (front to back cable pattern)
  6. Knit
  7. Knit
  8. Knit
  9. Knit
  10. Knit
  11. *4st Right Cable, 4st. Left Cable* rep. till end of round. (back to front cable pattern)
  12. Knit
  • 4st. Left Cable – 2sts on cable needle, hold front, knit two stitches from left needle, knit 2sts off cable needle.
  • 4st. Right Cable – 2sts on cable needle, hold back, knit two stitches from left needle, knit 2sts off cable needle.

→ Switch to DPNs when needed.

  1. *K2, K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  2. Knit
  3. *K1, K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  4. Knit
  5. *K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  6. Cut 12″ tail and sew up remaining stitches tightly to avoid a hole.

Simple! Too simple to put on my page though? I dunno – child sizes with worsted weight yarn is almost always between 82-92 stitches and the cable is just following a book. Well, I am very pleased with how it turned out.

So along with the KAL, I have a custom order and tons of ruffles. I’ve gotta say, I am really in my happy place right now! What about you friends and neighbors? What gets you into your happy place?

Busy as a Bee….on Crack!


This post may be pretty photo heavy, there is no better way to show the progress I’ve been making. It’s been a bizarre (and OCD riddled) couple of days. Someone tried to break into the house on Thursday, I am going to write about that soon but I just don’t feel mentally up to it at the moment. On the plus side it has given me OCD focus on knitting and kept me from getting any real sleep. So, here we go!

** Questing for Finished WIPS **

Warm and Fuzzy Fingerless Mitts

Warm and Fuzzy Fingerless Mitts

I actually found these at the bottom of my WIP bag (oops) and finished these first. They are the Staghorn Mitts by Tera Johnson. I love this pattern and this cable! They were nice and easy to knit up and with Patons Classic Wool they’ll be wonderful for winter.

The Vermonter Hat

The Vermonter Hat

I thought this hat was going to be my first original design, but it turns out that someone already came up with the same thing – and did it better. The Vermonter Hat is by Abi Gregorio  and is so similar to the Etta Hat I’ve made a million times – thus thinking it was an original. Made with Lion Brand Hometown USA it knitted up in about 2 hours. Way to go Abi for getting there first – wish I had beat you there! 🙂

I love this scarf and have made it a quite a few times! I call it my Year of Magical Thinking Scarf – thinking of Joan Didion’s novel of how things just keep changing over and over. It’s just one skein of Red Heart Magical done in seed stitch. I started this in (oh my) February for a Christmas present and now it’s done!

As for the rest – well – I added another 8″ to the Fault In Our Stars Scarf and casted on my socks.

**  The Hunger Games (Cowl) are Catching Fire **

Here is where I broke the WIP diet and started the Katniss Cowl!! Here is the progress thus far – at least until I get a new pair of needles! Can I just say real quick….Lolly of Lolly Knits, you are lovely and amazing!

So that’s it for me right now. I will just have to find a few things to work on until those needles get into my rather greedy hands 🙂 So friends and neighbors, what have you been up to lately?

Too Funny Not to Share


A little giggle is good for your health! 😉

Oh – and don’t forget to PARTICIPATE IN THE GIVEAWAY!!

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♥ 100th Post GIVEAWAY! ♥


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When I started this blog I wondered if I would last a week, now here I am several months later getting to share my 100th post! I am going to say thank you a million times over at the bottom of the post, but let’s get to the good stuff shall we? Time for the GIVEAWAY!

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The rules for this giveaway are pretty simple actually, as much as I would like to use this post to up my numbers, I decided to go a little bit of a different way. So, here we go:

  1. First of all, list YOUR passion (knitting, crocheting, writing, art, etc.).
  2. List YOUR Etsy Page -or- small business website (if applicable).
  3. List YOUR FAVORITE Etsy Store Page -or- any small business site (a link is preferable, but I can look it up).
  4. Tell me a bit about WHY you love this store.

That’s it friends and neighbors, easy as pie. I want to be able with my 100th post to highlight all the talent out there in the our community. I want to shed some light on all the small businesses out there that are just trying to make a go at something they love.

The drawing will be up for one week (thus ending next Wednesday the 21st) and on Thursday I am going to announce the winner AND an entire post with links to your stores and your favorite stores. If it kills me I am going to promote all the hard-working folks out there just trying to make a name for themselves.

And for all your hard work?

surprise-box

** A MYSTERY GOODIE BOX FULL OF THINGS SUITED TO YOUR CRAFT/PASSION**

Within my budget of course, but you would be amazed with what I can do on a shoestring budget. The winner’s tastes and treats will be centered around the information you provide me – you won’t be disappointed!!

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I guess I am not totally beyond shameless self-promotion, but I want to reiterate that doing the following WILL HAVE NO IMPACT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE DRAWING – THIS IS JUST OUT OF YOUR KINDNESS AND YOUR INTEREST IN….WELL…ME.

  • Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllNightKnits – All Night Knits
  • Follow me on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AllNightKnits – All Night Knits
  • Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelFolk4 – @RachelFolk4
  • Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/allnightknitter – allnightknitter
  • Follow me on WordPress: Below ↓↓

I know somewhere in my mind that I will never get the following I would get if this is mandatory, but I just to want to roll like that. I hope that I have proven myself worthy of your following – that is the best thing I can hope for! 🙂

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When I started this blog I was floundering. Trevor and I faced the tremendous weight that I may never be able to carry a child and the thoughts were all consuming. We both have parents that are ill (my Mom with COPD, Trevor’s Dad with alzheimer’s and Trevor’s Mom with Diabetes) and the weight and worry that we 1) couldn’t fix it and 2) couldn’t make them grandparents was crushing me alive. It was hard to even take a breath; all my close friends are pregnant or new parents and I had never felt so alone in the world.

Then came this blog, this blessing. I know it sounds like I am laying it on pretty damn thick, but I wonder if I’m doing it any justice. With you I have shared my family’s history, some of you know who my GG is just by name and through you she still lives on. I have shared hilarity (my neighbors bumping uglies) my fears (my Panic Monster) and my simple joy of knitting.

Every day I am inspired by all of you, your posts have pushed me to try new things, learn new things and I have become very close to some of you – as close as the internet will allow. I guess you can say that you, my very own version of the constant reader, reminded me how to breath again.

So thank you, thank you so much.

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One more quick thing. If you feel like this blog is serving a bigger purpose than just a giveaway then please re-blog this post. The more people who see it and respond to it means the more small businesses that will be highlighted. I am just one little person who really wants to make a difference – if you can, please help!

Stitch Patterns Weeks 18 & 19


It seems that since this month has begun I have been trying to play catchup, every single day. I cannot believe it is Sunday and I am JUST getting around to posting not one, but two weeks worth of my great-grandmother’s stitch patterns. Well better late than never I suppose.

So, friends and neighbors, with no further adieu I present the stitch patterns for weeks 18 and 19!

** Week 18 – The Tulle Stitch **

The Tulle Stitch

The Tulle Stitch

  • Needles: Size 5 US (3.75mm)
  • Yarn: Bernat 100% Cotton in Blue
  • Stitches: Multiple of 2 + 1 Stitch -or- ×2+1 ( I also alway do at least 1 stitch garter on either edge)

kythkek – Row 1: *K1, yarn forward, K1*. Repeat till last stitch, K1 (Okay. So “yth” for you non-veteran readers means “yarn towards heart” in my great-grandmothers scrawl. As for the “e” that popped up – after a little investigating it meant “end”).

pand p3-1 – Row 2: P1, *P3, slip 1st stitch of these 3 over other 2stitches*; repeat to end. ( I am going to beg mercy at giving up after 4 frogs trying to figure this out. I turned to a stitch pattern book from the library – which is also where I found the name of the stitch. I mean, come on! Who could figure out what “p3-1” meant!)

k1an kythkRow 3: K1, *K1, yarn forward, K1*; repeat to end. (I had already decoded this before turing to the stitch book – thank you very much ;))

p3-1ep – Row 4: *P3, slip 1st stitch over second 2 stitches*; repeat to last stitch, P1 (Again, the book reaffirmed what I (might) have figured out – but it was still nice to know that I would be giving you a readable pattern).

So for fun (more my fun than yours I suppose) here are the unedited photos….

and here are the fun, edited ones…..

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ONWARD!

** Stitch Pattern Week 19 – Horizontal Weaving / The Wave **

The Wave Stitch (or Horizontal Weaving).

The Wave Stitch (or Horizontal Weaving).

The real pattern is called horizontal weaving (thank you LYS!) but under her notations it was called the wave. She actually made a baby blanked out of this pattern – it was adorable!

  • Needles: Size 5US (3.75mm)
  • Yarn: Bernat 100% Cotton in Blue
  • Stitches: Multiples of 3’s + 1 stitch -or- ×3+1st.

k – Row 1: Knit all stitches (*JUMPING* *CLAPPING* *GIGGLING*! It is like Christmas morning to find a pattern that has a no-brainer row).

kskip2pythk – Row 2: K1 *Slip 2 stitches purl wise (with yarn in back), K1*; Repeat to the end of row (Okay, this was a head scratcher to be sure. If you are “skipping” then you must be slipping…right? RIGHT! Moving right alone to “yarn towards heart” and your home free!).

Again…unedited….

and the far sharper (both literally and figuratively) edited ones….

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Since I took the photos with my Canon instead of just my iPod I thought it might be fun to see the difference in the unedited vs. the edited photos. It gives me a little more perspective on what I can accomplish with a little bit of touching up. It also lets me play with filters – which is always fun!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks installment and I wonder, friends and neighbors, which pattern do you like better?

THE PHOTO! Totally NSFW or Small Children :)


Well, there is a solution to the conundrum of the Naughty Picture!

Click at Your Own Risk!

Click at Your Own Risk!

→ Click Here or on the Photo Above To See For Yourselves! ←

Mouth Watering ♥ Free Recipes ♥


So with the party under my belt I am able to relax and bask in the glory of a job well done. Well, that and now I can knit without guilt!

I thought I would share some of the recipes with you – a first for this particular blogger. The pictures are not mine, just thought I would reiterate that for you. I think you can get a better picture (pun intended) of how the food would look if there is a nice visual aid.

I am going to set up the recipes so the ingredients are in Blue because, well because I feel like it.So friends and neighbors, ready get let me get your mouth watering? 🙂

Recipe List – Feel Free to Skip Around as You Please

  • Key Lime Cupcakes
  • Truffles
  • Artichoke Bruschetta
  • Italian Panzanella
  • Sausage- Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Very, Very Teriyaki Chicken

** Key Lime Cupcakes – Courtesy of Patty Folk (MY Mommy-in-Law **

Courtesy of Bon Appetite Magazine.

Courtesy of Bon Appetite Magazine.

→ Ingredients For Cupcakes ←

  • 1 cup of Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter – Softened
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Key Lime Juice

♥ In a medium bowl, combine Butter and Sugar. Whip with mixer until creamed. Add Egg and blend throughly.

♥ In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients: Flour, Baking Powder and Salt.  Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, then all the Key Lime Juice. Blend until throughly incorporated – then add the remaining dry mixture and blend till smooth.

♥ Spoon into mini cupcake liners.

♥ Bake at 350°F for 17 minutes. Cool in pans or (preferably) wire racks until cool.

→ Ingredients for Frosting ←

  • 2 cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter – Softened
  • Key Lime Juice to Taste

♥ Blend all ingredients until spreadable consistency – Only frost cupcakes when they are completely cool. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

♥ Makes about 24 Mini Cupcakes ♥

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** Super Simple Truffles – Courtesy of Patty Folk **

Courtesy of Bon Appetite Magazine.

Courtesy of Bon Appetite Magazine.

→ Ingredients for Truffles and Dips for Truffles ←

  • 2 and 1/2 pkg. (20 squares) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1 pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese – softened
  • Espresso Powder
  • Coco Powder

♥ Melt 8 Chocolate Squares in do double broiler. In mixer, beat softened Cream Cheese until creamy. Blend in completely melted chocolate and refrigerate until firm.

♥ Once firm, shape into 36 small balls. Place on waxed/parchment paper in a covered pan. Refrigerate until firm.

♥ Melt remaining 12 Chocolate Squares.  Taking the firm balls (haha, sorry, moving on) use a toothpick to swirl in chocolate. Garnish with Espresso Powder, Coco Powder, both or neither (you can add anything to this really, they’re that good).

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** Artichoke Bruschetta – Courtesy of Murfield Country Club **

→ Ingredients ←

  • 1 can of Artichoke Hearts – drained, patted dry and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese (I use both)
  • 1/3 cup Red Onion – finely chopped
  • 5-6 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 16″ French Bread Baguette – Cut into 1/3″ rounds ( I usually make my own bread because that’s how I roll, but if you get to the bakery the day of they are better quality than the night before).
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil

♥  Chop Red Onion and Artichoke Hearts. Combine in a bowl with Cheese. Mix in enough Mayonnaise to form a thick spread. ( I typically don’t use as much mayo as they suggest – I prefer olive oil myself).

♥ Preheat the broiler. Arrange sliced Bread on a baking sheet and brush with Olive Oil. Broil until toasted (this is about 2 minutes). Turn the bread to the other side and repeat.

♥ Top the toasted bread with artichoke spread on baking sheet and to with a bit more Cheese. Broil until the spread is heated throughly and begins to brown – again, about 2 minutes.

♥ Makes 16 ♥

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** Italian Panzanella – Courtesy of Mary Rose Sovine (my Grandmother) **

Courtesy of whatsgabycooking.com

Courtesy of whatsgabycooking.com

→ Ingredients ←

  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Coarse Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 can Cannellini Beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 loaf of Country Bread – cubed
  • 1 pound Cherry Tomatos – halved
  • 2 English Cucumbers – cut into bite size chunks
  • 1/4 Red Onion – very thinly sliced (mandolins work great for this)
  • 4 ounces Hard Aged Provolone Cheese – coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil – rough chop

♥ In a mixing bowl, whisk Vinegar and Oil, season with Salt and Pepper.

♥ Add Beans, Bread, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Onion and Cheese.  Add dressing and toss to combine (remember, this is a rustic Italian dish so don’t freak). Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (and up to 8 hours).  Just before serving top with Basil.

♥ Serves 8 ♥

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** Sausage- Stuffed Mushrooms – Courtesy of My Brother **

→ Ingredients ←

  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 40 Mushrooms – stems removed
  • 1/2 pound Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Sweet Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/2 cup Dry Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese – grated
  • 1/3 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley 

♥ Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease baking sheet.

♥ Melt Butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir Mushrooms in butter until soft (they will ben easily when pinched – 5 to 7 minutes). Transfer Mushrooms to plate, allow to cool and dry.

♥ In another skillet, heat to a medium high heat/ cook and stir Sausage, Onion and Garlic until meat is throughly cooked and crumbly. Drain grease.

♥ After mixture is drained, transfer to a large mixing blow and stir in Bread Crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, Italian Seasoning and Parsley.

♥ Arrange Mushrooms on a sheet pan / grill pan. Fill (to almost overflowing) with mixture inside the caps.

♥ Bake in oven until cheese is melted and super delicious. This takes about 30 minutes – just watch your oven.

♥ Serves 10 ♥

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** Very, Very Teriyaki Chicken  – Courtesy of My Genius Hubby**

Best. Marinade. Ever.

Best. Marinade. Ever.

→ Ingredients ←

  • Chicken
  • Very, Very Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce

♥ Going super simple for this recipe. Buy Chicken. Marinate chicken in Very, Very Teriyaki for at least 4 hours (up to 24 hours).

♥ My rule of thumb with this marinade is for every pound of chicken you need 1/2 of a jar of marinade – if you are grilling. When grilling, reserve the other half of the jar for basting and cook over a low heat. The marinades ginger and natural sugar will turn into this fantastic glaze.

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This is the majority of what we made for the party and most assuredly my favorites. I hope you enjoy this – since I have never tried recipes on this blog before we shall see how it goes. I do have one more thing to ask if you’ve managed to get to the bottom of this epic post –

What’s your favorite recipe friends and neighbors?