Category Archives: Knitting Patterns

There is Always Time for a Quickie….


Post! Your dirty minds should have seen that coming a mile away! 😉

I cannot believe I have somehow managed to neglect my blog for a week and a half – it this blog was a child the state would be involved. There was drama but frankly I am just not in the mood to dissect all of it at the moment (or ever). Not to mention the fact that whenever I go near my computer I am bombarded with all the things that need to be done of the silly machine like:

  • Making new business cards.
  • Making care instructions for all the new knits.
  • Updating my Ravelry page.
  • Updating my Etsy page.
  • Replying to a million emails I would rather avoid (the ones I want to respond to I try to do in a more timely fashion).
  • and of course…Updating my blog.

It’s been a bit of a struggle since I’ve been on a ruffle scarf binge again. I wanted to be able to buy a pair of needles for the Katniss Cowl. I got the needles but managed to much up the pattern so badly that I am seriously considering just doing it all over again – I owe it to my niece  and more importantly I owe it to Lolly over at Lolly Knits. Silly genius made me a perfect pattern and I’ve mucked it up.

Let’s talk about what the hell I’ve been up to – if you’d like to, of course.

** BOOKS **

  • I read Delirium to see if it would be something Gloria would be interested in, since I have heard such wonderful things about Before I Fall. The whole romance thing is something she wouldn’t be interested in and I found it a bit lacking, especially since reading quite a bit of really good YA fiction. If this can count as a review here it is – this book is the first in a trilogy and I haven’t bought any of the other books yet. Enough said.
  • The End of Your Life Book Club was…Amazing. It is one of those that after you finish reading you almost cannot start a new book, it feels too close to cheating. I love this book, and if you are a lover of books, reading, family and life then seriously go find a copy.
  • I am so glad I am almost done with The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club – it’s bloody awful! Set outside of London the completely formulaic story may not have sucked that bad if the author would capitalize ever-single-solitary word she wants to emphasize. Every time I saw something Capitalized it took me right out of the story.

** MUSIC **

I could try to explain why I love this music but eh, I just wanna share what I’ve been listening to. Here is Imagine Dragons Radioactive though, the music video is painfully stupid but if you just listen to the song it’s all good!

** KNITTING AWARDS **

The lovely bloggers who’ve nominated me for these wonderful awards deserve a proper “Thank You” shout out, which I will put in the Award section on the upper part of my blog. But if I blog it here their blogs might get read twice!

Go check out some amazing blogs and keep posted for their long overdue tributes on the Awards section of the blog.

** KNITTING **

  • The Reversible Cabled Scarf was a stash-buster which made me so utterly happy that I made two. I found it on Ravelry originally, but when I went to find the link it’s gone. I remember it was free though so if you have an interest lemme know.
  • The Herringbone Stitch cowl is made with the same roving yarn was the cabled scarves, in honor of Lolly and her Katniss Cowl pattern. Plus, I wanted the yarn out of my stash.
  • The cowl was a purchased pattern from my LYS and it turned out amazing! And yes, I did find another WIP in the bottom of my bag – it’s like Mary Poppins’ freaking knitting bag!
  • The baby hat was from Itty-Bitty Knits with a few alterations on my part, when the I-cord is place I will get a proper picture. I am pretty sure it is going to be adorable.

** THE END CREDITS **

If you’ve made it through my ramblings good for you because I don’t think I could! I can’t wait to get down and dirty with the Knit Along details, get some more knitting under my belt and do Lolly some justice with that cowl. You know, if I didn’t have a full-time job I could get a lot more done! 😉 Well Friends and Neighbors, hope all is well, cannot wait to catch up with all of you and hope to hear from you soon!

9713274884_55e3788988_z

This is the scolding look I get from Max when I don’t blog enough. Scary, isn’t it?

Come Knit Along with Stacy and I!


So I have finally decided to go ahead and start with posting this Knit Along! I am so excited and cannot wait to see how many people we can get on board!

So here’s the details! Stacy from Musing and Motion, who has been kind enough to help co-host (really I am following her awesomeness here)  this with me have decided to go with the Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks by Meghan Jones.

** The Pattern Details **

  1. For the man body of the sweater is a DK weight yarn (Knit Picks suggests Gloss DK Yarn – between 8 and 16 balls based on measurements)
  2. For the collar is a fingering weight yarn ( Knit Picks suggests Palette Yarn – 1 ball)
  3. The finished bust measurements can be sized from 34″ to 62″ so it can be accessible to any size and is meant to be worn with a 2″ positive ease.
  4. The needles are size 5 US 32″ Circulars – size 6 US 32″ – size 6 US DPNS

** The Knit Along Details **

Stacy and I are hoping to get this thing started on SEPTEMBER 16th – which gives us all three whole weeks to get our yarn and get ready! If you are interested please leave a comment and if you can think to on how to improve this whole process please let me know. I cannot wait to knit along with you – it’ll be my first!

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?

I Want to KAL….Can You Help?


This feels horrible to do so close to 100 posts – although I think I will wait till 102 since my brother was responsible for 2 posts – but I am chomping at the bit.

I want to do a KAL!!!! I don’t know how or when to get in on this action and I am desperate to know how! You have all made so many beautiful things and I like nothing more than to try new things. I just have no idea where all this awesomeness comes from!

So, being the dimwit that I am, I am begging for any information on how to get into this. Anything would help, just point and I will follow!

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…..

********************* **********  *********** *********************
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….

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

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?

Last Night I Dreamt of Ruffled Scarves Again…


So with – nope not gonna tell you how many of these things I have made – ruffle scarves under my belt I can finally say that all the ruffle yarn has been stash busted! Of course, I think there is actually more hiding in the bowels of my stash somewhere, a gift from someone who didn’t know what a pain it is to work with. The scarves are fun, frilly, ruffley goodness though.

Friends and neighbors, let’s go look at some pictures courtesy of Flickr, Instagram, Phototoaster Photoshop and of course my trusty Canon!!

** Monotone Ruffles **

9366397153_4fd24698f0_zThis is, of course, the ruffle that started it all. A gift from a friend that turned into something that reminds me of The Great Gatsby a bit. I do love how this stupid  scarf looks.

It is so airy and flow-y, feminine and girly, delicate and gentle. Basically, it is a bad ass scarf.

If it sells, I will gladly make as many of these as needed – but I just doesn’t feel the same way I do when I am knitting. Time will tell!

** OSU Buckeye Ruffle Scarf – Shades of Gray, Red, Black and White **

9369215040_5941a2ab7e_cAfter the first ruffle scarf in monotone colors were made, I received a lot of questions from fellow Buckeyes about whether or not this could be done in our football teams colors. We bleed scarlet and gray here in the Buckeye State and everyone want to wear the colors with pride – at home, tailgating or at the game. It’s like a state law.

So after visiting a few more yarn shops I found this beauty waiting to come home with me. I can’t say I was super excited about working with this yarn again (it doesn’t really feel like knitting – more like unraveling a ball an errant yarn) but the idea is to bring people into the shop right?

After a few curse words mumbled under my breath I gathered some momentum and pumped out a few of these bad boys. Football season is not all that far away – gnarled fingers crossed!

Up For a Quickie?


A quickie post you dirty, dirty minded bloggers! I had wanted to wait to share this with you when it was fully completed, but the flood carried away my progress and I am dying to show you what I have recently (kinda) crossed off my Knitting Bucket List (or my KBL if you wish:)). So here it is friends and neighbors, my new knitting obsession!

9129430635_3a40828959_zFirst things first, I casted on and held my breath.

9129815831_674080f6b0_zWhen the cuff was complete – I did a happy dance. I may have had to start a few times and frog a few rows, but it was so worth it to see something on those DPNs.

9171638462_7987ae80d5_zThen it was time to knit for eight inches. Oh the sheer delight in seeing the pattern emerge!

9172710988_c74d372870_zI was nervous about making the heel because I had never done it. It was soo much easier than I expected!

9171420475_38b11d6837_zNow was the time to shape the heel. Oh, the feeling of seeing something that looked a bit like a sock. Glorious!

9172814660_8cdeaae0fa_zAfter shaping the heel it was time to shape the instep. Guys….it kinda looks like a sock! As you all know after you shape and knit the instep, the only thing left to do is shape the toe.

And then…

AND then….

AND THEN…….

AND THEN!!!!!!!!!

9208301396_8e34490d16_zFriends and neighbors we have a sock! A real sock! Now all that is left is to make its mate!

I’ve got to tell you friends and neighbors, it is a bit like a fairy tale. I’ve (almost) crossed something off my knitting bucket list. It feels so good. Have a great weekend!

 

 

Two for One Special! Stitch Patterns for Week’s 16 & 17


Hello friends and neighbors. Before I get started I just want to apologize for just now getting back to all your wonderful comments – I fear I am being a bit neglectful of my blog lately. With the unplanned vacation, even more unplanned flood and my Mom and Dad’s 30th anniversary party I am being pulled in a million directions. This being said, as soon as I get this post up I am going to spend some quality time with you and your posts. Just please don’t lose hope, the party is over on the 16th and things should be back to normal by then.

Okay, enough begging for your patience (by the way, pretty please?!). It is time to see what GG has been doing to me these past two weeks. So, with no further adieu we have stitch patterns for week 16 and 17! Enjoy!

♥ Week 16 – Let’s Call it the Picnic Blanket Stitch 

Full Size at an Angle.

Full Size at an Angle.

Something I have noticed about my great-grandmother is that she dealt almost entirely with knit and purl stitches. There are the occasional cables, but not many. I have to say this is giving me a new appreciation of the basics. Now, let’s see about this pattern shall we?

Needles: Size 5 US (3.75mm)
Yarn: Bernat 100% Cotton in Coral
Stitches: (I think, this is guess-work here) Multiple of 5+4 stitches. I also do 2 stitches on each             edge so it’ll lay straight.

  • 1k – Row 1: Knit (Gotcha, good good!)
  • 2p4and kp4 – Row 2: P4, *K1, P4* rep. till end of row (Not sure I’ve seen the “and” before, so this ended up getting frogged once before I got it).
  • 4p4k1p4 : Row 4: *P4, K1, P4* rep till end (Um…guys? What happened to the rest of the rows?)
  • Okay, so this is also where some guess-work and frogging occurred. I figured if she didn’t write it then it had to be knit. If there was a change on row 4 then there would have to be two rows knit after it for symmetry (I tried 5 rows but it looked wonky). So this is the actual pattern down yonder ↓ in a pretty blue color.
  • Row 1, 3, 5 and 6: Knit
  • Row 2: P4, *K1, P4* rep. till end of row.
  • Row 4: *P4, K1, P4* rep till end of row.

 

This pattern was a bit like playing a knitting detective, which makes me feel (goofily) like a knitting super hero. Goofy? Oh, yes. Definitely. I just wondered if she only knitted it once or she just knew that it had to be a repeat of 6 rows. So many unanswered questions. Anyway, ONWARD!

 ♥♥ Stitch Pattern Week 17 – The…Morse Code Stitch? 

Full On

Full On

– Needles – Size 5US (3.75mm)
– Yarn – Bernat 100% Cotton in Coral
– Stitches – Multiple of 10 + 4 stitches  (Totally sure about this one :)) 8 row repeat.

  • 1k – Row 1: Knit
  • p – Row 2: Purl (Okay, no more numbers – she has a way doesn’t she?)
  • 1 – Row 3: Knit (Really? Somewhere this old bag is laughing at me, I just know it!)
  • 4p4 and k6p4 – Row 4: P4, *K6, P4*. Rep. *to* till end of row. (Well, at least the numbers showed up again. How kind!)
  • k – Row 5: Knit (AND there gone again….curious).
  • p – Row 6: Purl
  • k – Row  7: Knit ( I should add here that at least this pattern was written vertically, so at least there was some actual separation of the rows. It is rare in here writing, but it was also written on the back of a doctor’s business card – so maybe it was a space thing).
  • k3k1p4k4 – Row 8: K4, *K1, P4, K5*. Rep. till end of row (Did you notice that the K3 was wrong? Well I sure didn’t…frogged twice before simple math made me feel like a simpleton. As long as the pattern gets done who cares right?).

Well, that’s about all for me tonight folks. Now it is time to catch up with my blogging family – make sure you guys haven’t been up to any shenanigans! One more thing to leave on tonight though…Have you ever tried to get a good picture of you knitting only to be foiled by the light? Well, taking a pair of knitting needles, a hair tie and a pocket light stabbed into the couch might work! Think I am kidding? Well, at least the couch is old! 🙂

Knitting Needles, a Hair Tie and a Pocket Light stabbed into the Couch.

Knitting Needles, a Hair Tie and a Pocket Light stabbed into the Couch.

A Quick Call to Knitters, Crocheters and Designers!


I know I should be reading and not perseverating on this but here I am, at my computer ready to beg.

Gloria emailed me these pictures of the cowl? shawl? that Katniss is wearing in the new movie Catching Fire and she desperately wants to see if I can make us a matching pair. I don’t know if the matching pair statement was thrown in there to melt my heart, thus making it more likely that I would try to venture into this endeavor….but honestly, I don’t think so.

So here’s the deal. I have pictures of it underneath but I think this pattern is crocheted, and I cannot crochet. First problem there. Second problem, I have never tried to copy/write a pattern….ever. So ANY HELP IS SO, SO, SOOO APPRECIATED!!!!!

 

Profile

Profile

Movie Poster

Movie Poster

Close Up

Close Up

Another Profile

Another Profile

Movie Still of Neck Close Up

Movie Still of Neck Close Up

Side

Side

Stitch Week 15 & Finding a Blogging Rhythm & Nerdtastic Photos


Before I start, the Read-A-Thon Schedule is posted! Click →HERE← for info!!

Ahhh…It feels so good to be back at the computer with a clear head and something new to share! Thankfully this week I did not lost GG’s notes – not moving around a whole lot was quite helpful as it turns out. So, with no further adieu – here is Stitch Pattern Week 15!

Full Length of Footsteps Pattern.

Full Length of Footsteps Pattern.

Since I went through all of my stitch dictionaries and normal internet sites searching for a name, to no avail, I am naming this the Footsteps Pattern. It looks a bit to me like murky steps in crackled snow. That could be the lingering effects of pain killers but I like it and I am going to stick with it.

For those who read the blog the following content needs no explanation, but there is hope that there will be new readers out there! So here is the low down: My explanation is bolded and it’s italicized – it may also be a bit snarky if the mood suits me! 😉

** The Pattern as GG Wrote It vs. The Pattern That Makes Sense…To Me. **

  • r1k2p2 – Row 1: K2, P2 across entire row. (Very kind of you GG- my thanks go out to where ever you are).
  • r2k2p1addp1over – Row 2: *K2, P1, YO, P1; Rep * across the entire row (I thought about taking back my thank you – what does add mean? Well….I went with YO).
  • nrk3p2 – Row 3: K3, P2 across entire row. (It appears that numbers were becoming a hassle, so nr is taken as “next row” in my book. It feels a bit like a guessing game doesn’t it?).
  • nrk2p2 – Row 4: K2, P3 across entire row. (Alright, simple enough….feel like I am getting my footing back…haha….footing….get it?….bad foot?…Never mind)
  • nrk1k2-p2 – Row 5: *K1, K2tog, P2; Rep *across entire row (now the “2-” I am again left guessing that it is “k2tog”. In reality, I may be messing this whole thing up).
  • k1addk1p2 – Row 6: *K1, YO, K1, P2; Rep * across entire row. (Good grief, not even a “nr” – just a space from here on out).
  • k2p3 – Row 7: K2, P3 across entire row
  • k3p3 – Row 8: K2, P2 across entire row (Again, I am guessing that the “p3” was written wrong – not enough stitches to cover it and it doesn’t really work with the rest of the pattern).
  • k2p1p2- – Row 9: *K2, P1, P2tog; Rep * across entire row (Whew, it’s over!!)

Fun with photoshop and loads of apps up above today, I am getting more and more intrigued about messing around with hues and saturation to make the stitches pop. I think I may be finding a nice rhythm with it, or perhaps I just really like playing with photo editors. Either way works for me.

There is a part of me that thinks I cannot find this pattern because I have translated it incorrectly. Honestly, the stitches are a little wonky but I still think it is fun – not to mention it is just a dishcloth. Hopefully I have done the old girl some justice!

** Blogging Rhythms **

So the question I want to pose to you today is how much should one publish in a post? I tend to get overly excited about all the things that are jumping around in my mind and end up with very long posts. I wonder if I could reach more people (or just keep them interested) if I posted more often with less content. So, friends and neighbors, what do you think?

** Some Goofy Pictures for Surviving My Diatribe!! **

Flowers in the Park - Before the Foot Injury.

Flowers in the Park – Before the Foot Injury.

Niece with a Magnifying Glass.

Niece with a Magnifying Glass.

Hubby Magnified!

Hubby Magnified!

All Formal for a Wedding. Not Really Goofy but Fun!

All Formal for a Wedding. Not Really Goofy but Fun!

Oh SO Many Goodies


Sitting here with my Sweet Tea and contemplating how to go about all this information, I have come to conclusions that I will do it in quick bursts. Otherwise I am going to be here all night and bore you to tears with a post resembling an epic tome.

So let’s get to the goodies!

˜ The Sweet As Honey Hat ˜

Frannie in the Bar

Frannie in the Bar

This is where the Sweet As Honey Hat got placed today to my utter amusement, there is nothing quite like seeing a Styrofoam head in your liquor cabinet. Also, Gloria and I have named her Frannie – in case you are curious the male head is Stu and the dressmaker dummy is Beverly. That’s just how we roll in the Folk Household.

The slouchy beehive hat was so much fun to work up with super shiny aqua yarn, this hat is begging me to wear it, although I know I can not. It should be posted on the Etsy store within the week, as soon as I get the okay from the designer on Ravelry.

˜ I Am Making Socks…..No Really….I AM TOO!! ˜

This is a very condensed version of the conversations T and I had this morning as I pulled out size 2 needles and very, very fine yarn. I know it was out of concern that he questioned my choice of knitting but I will sooner eat my fingers off than deem them worthless.

Before the accident I was one of those super scary-fast knitters, and I could handle any size or any type of needle with ease. I took it for granted of course, now with a hand that is absolutely stubborn I have to go much slower and it still turns purple when overused. I remind myself to laugh at this, as if I had consumed forbidden candy from Willy Wonka’s Factory instead of intense swelling – otherwise I would pull my hair out.

The process is slow but I will keep all of you updated on the progress. I am really quite excited!

Cast On - CHECK!

Cast On – CHECK!

Finish Cuff Ribbing - CHECK!

Finish Cuff Ribbing – CHECK!

Sidebar: I may be sending out desperate requests at some point. So far I have frogged one row, and dropped….oh dear me….14 stitches. This is something I haven’t done in years, I actually had to go on Knitting Help’s website to figure out how to use a crochet hook to fix my goofs. I remain undeterred.

˜ Knitting Bucket List & Facing Reality ˜

A long time ago (this morning) I thought I was a pretty advanced knitter, until I sat down and thought about it. I have mastered the basics and even some of the higher skills, but there are so many things I have not done that keep me from claiming what is rightfully mine…damn it.

There are only so many times I can complain about my hand before it gets annoying, so I will just skip it. Anyway, a lack of confidence has kept me from trying the more advanced techniques and skills that I am now currently lusting after, thus starting a pair of socks that scare me more than a centipede in my shower. So here is my “by the end of 2013” to-learn/try bucket list:

  • Socks.
  • Double Knitting.
  • Lace Work.
  • A Garment – probably a cardigan – and assembling the pieces.
  • A Shawl.
  • Looming – My uncle wants to make me one he saw on a retreat, God love him!
  • Weaving.
  • Spinning.
  • Dying yarn.
  • DUH DUH DUH….Try to learn how to crochet…again.

Okay, HUMONGOUS list of things to learn knitting wise but I am ready to branch out from my comfort zone. I am going to need to return to those things occasionally to retain my sanity anyway. I just feel like life is too short to say I haven’t tried all I can try.

RECOMMENDATIONS ARE LOVELY IF YOU CARE TO SHARE!

˜ My Mom and Dad’s 30th Wedding Anniversary ˜

Here is the a few pics of the progress thus far. There is way more going on but this is what I have stopped and taken pics of – more to come!

First Trail Vase...Needs Work.

First Trail Vase…Needs Work.

I currently have around 60 stems done and the pom-poms are very easy to make. Another 40 and I should be done.

** Thank You for Hanging In There…How About Some Pictures? **

Truthfully I should have spread this out a bit but I wanted to share it all so badly, plus my mind is busting with all sorts of new things I want to write about. Thanks for hanging in there friends and neighbors, until tomorrow!

Max and Knitting 9080917256_f74afe64ce_z 8743224879_130919f9e3_z 8721635015_3bc96a02b2_z 8749406529_ea206e6011_z 8814364371_ac0867f725_z

Stitch Pattern Week 14 & Oops…


This is going to be very quick friends and neighbors because I LOST GG’s copy of this pattern! I cannot believe I actually did this, I took it to work to rewrite it so I could post this morning and I think I may have ended up in the trash before I left. 

Well, live and learn I guess….still a HUGE bummer.

So, with no introductions to make on GG’s behalf, here is the Basket Weave Stitch Pattern!

Even the Photos are Bad This Week...

Even the Photos are Bad This Week…

** Pattern **

  • Rows 1 and 3: P2 *K2, P4*. Rep till last 4 stitches, K2, P2
  • Rows 2 and 4: K2, P2 *K4, P2*. Rep till last 2 stitches; K2
  • Rows 5 and 7: K1, P1 *K4, P2*. Rep till last 4 stitches; P3, K1
  • Rows 6 and 8: P1, K3 *K1, P2, K3*. Rep till last 2 stitches; K1, P1

This has been a cruddy past couple of days, I don’t really want to get into it because I am still processing but this is not the quality of work that I want to be putting out. My blog is important to me – not just for myself but also for anyone who is reading it. The standards have been set very high in this blogging community and I hate thinking that I am dropping the ball.

If I am able to find the pattern I will most certainly update this post. Plus, I am working on putting all the weeks of stitch patterns in a drop-down menu at the top of my blog. More than anything, I am just embarrassed with what I have to post today.

Live and learn and then do better next time right? Have a wonderful weekend friends and neighbors!

Stitch Week 13 & The Infamous Manly Man Beanie


Alright, let’s jump right on in and get to the good stuff!

♥ Stitch Pattern Week 13 – The Triangle Stitch ♥

Dark Orange

Dark Orange

As you can see, I got a little over ambitious with the whole photo editing aspect of this pattern. Even though I knitted it with the orange yarn you see above, I was still a bit desperate for contrast – something that would make the pattern pop out at you. I hope I did it, but if not…well…playing with photos is always fun!

I did the above pattern with Sugar and Cream yarn and size 6 needles, and I will be the first to admit that I am a little in love with it. It is so simple, just knitting and purling and you get this fun pattern that just comes out of nowhere. The pattern however – well – GG had it in for me this week. After last week’s breeze of a pattern the last thing I should do is complain, but boy howdy she made me work for it.

≈ The GG Pattern and The Actual Readable Pattern  

  • k5p5 – Row 1: K5, P5 (Excellent way to start off friends and neighbors!)
  • k4p1k1p4 – Row 2: K4, P1, K1, P4 ( My oh my, am I flushed and heady with happiness…YES!)
  • k3p2k2p3 – Row 3: K3, P2, K2, P2 ( I am swooning, yup – a totally readable pattern!)
  • k2p3k3p2 – Row 4: K2, P3, K3, P2 ( …*this is where I stopped and did a happy dance*…)
  • k1p4k4p1 – Row 5: K1, P4, K4, P1 (Two weeks in a row, things are looking so delecitably simple… I should have figured out that after there was a scribble of a phone number and cost for diabetes medication that things were about to take a turn for the confusing).

Okay, so here is where it gets real weird…just a warning.

  • wrong1 – Row 6: P5, K5 (Okay, not to shabby. Not “wrong” exactly, just the opposite. I will not be deterred).
  • from out work backwards (From here I was on my own. Working backwards makes sense – you are creating triangles that are going in opposite directions, that much I figured out from row 6. I still wonder why she stopped though…odd).
  • Row 7: K1, P4, K4, P1
  • Row 8: K2, P3,K3, P2
  • Marcy should’ve used common sense, I mean how stupid does a woman need to be for me to have to rewrite a pattern, she’s been knitting since God was a baby. Row 9: K3, P2, K2, P3 (The rant was written where row 9 would have been and I wanted to share. As it turns out, Mary and I have something in common…my GG’s patterns are not always the easiest to read!)
  • Row 10: K4, P1, K1, P4

Below this pattern was a note that, luckily, Marcy never received (this is also copied exactly, so please excuse spelling errors):

Dear Marcy,

I have gone through and see nothin wrong with my pattern. A woman as old as you should have the wits in her brain to figure out how to knit, you’ve been doin it longer than I have. If you really need it writen step by step go buy a book cause I’ve another great grand on the way and your wastin my time.

Jessie Sovine

Gesh GG, reign in that temper old girl. 🙂

♥ The Manly Man Hat That Turned Out Better Than Okay! ♥

A Beanie for a Manly Man.

A Beanie for a Manly Man.

So this picture is a little sharp, but the point was to show that there is no decipherable difference from the size 3 needles to the size 4. Success! So for all of you that were so comforting and helpful during my crazy tirade, I want to thank you. The knitting/bloggine community has once again shown its kindness in all it’s splendiferous glory!

The beanie was a blast to knit up by they way, I cannot get enough of cable work. Even when the cables are hard on my hand, that instant twist in my knitting makes me near giddy, and this baby had 2 sets of cables so it was my lucky day. The yarn is from my stash – which is currently getting busted – and very easy to work with. If I hadn’t broken the needles yesterday it would have taken no time at all to finish, as it was I had to worry about twisted stitches and changes in gauge. The last repeat round and all the finishing was done at a snail’s pace to prevent another mishap, and thus another total nervous breakdown.

The Panic Monster has been defeat and my house is spotless! The hat is all done and currently drying on my mat. The best part of this project? T let me take a picture of him in the hat!

My Manly Man in a Manly Beanie.

My Manly Man in a Manly Beanie.

This is a good start to my Friday and tomorrow…OH TOMORROW…there are so many wonderful pictures that I want to share from our recent nature hike. I dare say that I am pleased with every single one of them, even before editing!

So I will end this long post in preparation of another long post tomorrow, just with far fewer words. I will leave this with you as I end this post: So, friends and neighbors, what has been the most disastrous thing to happen to you mid-project? It doesn’t need to just be knitting either, and my ears are wide open.

HAPPY FRIDAY Y’ALL!!!!

Knitting Emergency and Attack of the Panic Monster!


Beware friends and neighbors, there is about the be a full on attack from the Panic Monster….

This is Why You Don't Buy Cheap Needles

This is Why You Don’t Buy Cheap Needles

Now, I know this may have happened to many of you out there, but this has never happened to me. I am sitting, drinking my coffee and working a round of particularly demanding cables when BOOM! there goes my needle off the cord. Stitches are flying, cables are unraveling and my mind has just jumped into OCD Panic Monster mode.

Serves you right for buying cheap needles Rachel. This wouldn’t have happened with nicer needles. How are you planning on fixing your epic failure here? Hmm…you probably don’t know how to. Best to just frog the whole hat and start over, you’ll never figure it out.

– Panic Monster

So, sitting here I am faced with a dilemma, do I try to figure out how to get the stitches back on the needled or do I frog? Well, first I needed to pace the house a bit to calm down…then do the dishes…then clean the bath tub… After doing so I managed to save all the stitches in the goofiest fashion ever.

Needles and Cords Held Together...sans Harmony.

Needles and Cords Held Together…sans Harmony.

After saving the stitches and ensuring they were back on the needles/cord correctly I felt pretty good about myself.

Then came my next problem.

The needles I was using were a size 3, and I don’t have another pair of size 3 needles. Usually the idea – even in this situation – of going out to buy new needles would have been delightful, but there has been a stop put on:

  • Buying new yarn.
  • Buying new tools.
  • Buying new books.
  • Buying anything that isn’t absolutely necessary!

So…cannot afford to buy new needles, big deal right? Well, yes. It is a big deal. It makes me feel so small knowing that I cannot afford to buy something so simple as a new pair of needles to fix my project. I was so enjoying doing this hat and now the only way to finish it is to put it on a pair of size 4 needles and pray that you cannot tell the difference in the gauge. I am crestfallen, 28 years old and I cannot afford to buy a new pair of needles.

Back on the Needles. Just on the Wrong Size.

Back on the Needles. Just on the Wrong Size.

I keep reminding myself that this is bullshit (pardon my language), and temporary. I don’t have cancer, no one has died, and money isn’t everything. I’ve never even really considered it a big thing – but then we’ve always both had jobs. I just wish the store would sell something or I could get a part-time job where I could bring in some extra money. I feel like I am letting my husband down, and it is a wicked bad feeling. I just never expected to be financially responsible for so many people (my niece (kinda), my mother and father in law, my husband and myself…and Max).

GET A GRIP RACHEL!

Okay…I’m back. So the hat is on bigger needles, the world will continue to turn and I am strung so tightly that gauge shouldn’t be an issue ;). So, I will hopefully finish this hat today so I can post about it tomorrow with the new stitch pattern. Until then, please enjoy the newest bird that has come to visit our feeder.

Footloose and Fancy Free Bird. Lucky Bastard! (Again, sorry about the language).

Footloose and Fancy Free Bird. Lucky Bastard! (Again, sorry about the language).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stitch Pattern Week 12 & Heartfelt Shout-outs to Amazing Bloggers!! Seriously, My Faith in Humanity Has Been Restored!


I sincerely hope that my good mood is infectious, I want to spread the love! Something rather amazing happened during this week stitch pattern, I am still left dumbfounded by it. The pattern…hold on, let me catch my breath, was totally readable! That’s right friends and neighbors, even my great-grandmother seemed to want my week to go as smoothly as possible. So, with bated breath I present Stitch Pattern Week 12 for your viewing pleasure!

˜ The Knotted Rib Stitch˜

Oh GG, you have made this heavenly stitch so simple. Wish you were here to share the glory that is this pattern!

  • cor p2ktwice p4 end by two – Row 1: (RS) p2, *K front and back, p4*; end K front and back, p2. ( I don’t know if it is the fact that I have spent 12 weeks reading your work GG, but this was by far the most informative you’ve ever been!)
  • k2 pjoin k4 end by two – Row 2: (WS) K2, *p2tog, k4: rep rom* ending P2tog, K2 (Okay, the pjoin was new, but it made since that if I increased in the first row, I had to decrease in the second. Thank you GG, The perfect topper to this week!)

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

→ Shout It From the Rooftops!! ←

First shout out goes to Yarnycakes for supplying me with incredible sock yarn to start working on my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I could stare at this yarn all day long, I am actually afraid to work with it, it’s so perfect just the way it is! This was my last purchase coming from Etsy and boy-howdy did it end on a good note! Seriously, check out her store – I don’t think I could be more satisfied with the purchases I’ve made from Etsy if they had come with chocolate and a masseuse!

My second shout out is more of a sincere thank you to someone. My grandfather used to say that there was still magic in this world – but the magic came from either 1) Nature or 2) The inherent kindness that still lives within people. This magic came from the latter.

Lollyknits has done something incredibly kind, incredibly gracious and incredibly unexpected. When I posted that my husband was losing his job and I was losing my mind, she immediately contacted me with her surefire ways to keep your head on your shoulders. The message, all on it’s own, was incredibly reassuring and quite comforting. Lolly decided to take it a step further though. She sent me, for free, my first spindle and fiber to spin. She said that it helped her relax, and that might be just what I need right now.

Can you believe this? Someone I have been talking to through our blogs for only 12 weeks sent me a package of fiber/spindle goodness out of the kindness of her own heart. I am taken aback, still not sure how to fully understand that there is still magic in this world. I don’t know how to say thank you enough for her kindness – but also in helping to remind me that there are people in the world that can reignite your belief in magic, thus restoring your faith in humanity.

I want to end on that note, the best note to start a weekend on I believe. Just remember friends and neighbors – life is full of magic.

Me in Fiber Love Heaven

Me in Fiber Love Heaven

Finally! So Much GOOD Stuff to Report!


My oh my dear friends and neighbors, my cup runneth over! A shopping spree on Etsy is starting to arrive, projects are getting finished and life is recovering its equilibrium. Where to begin, how to begin? Well, how about the beginning!

 ♥ Finished Projects ♥

I know it is Wednesday and I should be showing pictures of the copious amounts of WIPs currently taking over my living room, but I cannot resist sharing good news today. I finished two projects in the last two days; sitting outside and getting that much-needed vitamin D, I watched projects just keep growing and eventually flowing off my needles.

The first is the Graham Hat. I found it hunting down knitting projects for my dear Hannah Rose (hmm….hope I got that right) over at A World Created who was starting her first knitting project. I fell in love with its simplicity – and the fact that it isn’t copy written so I can try to sell it – and casted on. Wanna see how it went? Well, Hells Bells, I am giddy to show you!

I am very pleased with how it turned out, and the berry colored yarn is so ridiculously soft, I cannot get over it. I found it my stash (since T is out of work I am going on a stash-busting mission) and had forgotten it was there. Well, turns out that worked out just lovely.

The second project is one I have shared before, the Entrelac Knitted Cowl from the Craftsy Classroom. Once I got a handle on how it all works, it was the most mindless knitting I have done in a long time, which is fantastic! How could something that looks that complex be so easy to do? Practice, patience and lots of knitting love!

Oh, so much good stuff…and there’s more to come!

♥ Etsy Love ♥

In a rare show of support from my Mom, I was recently given a prepaid credit card to do some shopping on Etsy. The idea behind it was to be able to see how the shops worked, how things were packaged and how well the shops operated. It would have been perfect if she hadn’t said “Oh, you know. In case you ever actually sell anything” but today I just don’t care that it was said. I got online, searched my shops and my blogs and made some purchases.

I didn’t realize Hannah Rose was going to get two shout-outs today but here it goes. Hers was the first shop I went to, I had remembered a post showcasing earrings that made me drool and I thought this was the best place for me to start. A World Created is her store on Etsy and I am just head over heels for it, so many diverse things and such incredible prices. I bought the pair of earrings that I’d fallen in love with and to my surprise, there was a free ring in with my purchase! It felt like Christmas getting the mail this morning!

My New Earrings!

My New Earrings!

My new - and unexpected - Ring!!

My new – and unexpected – Ring!!

 

MY. NEW. EARRINGS!

MY. NEW. EARRINGS!

Even as I am writing this post I have the earrings and the ring on, I feel a bit like the girl in the picture. Just so soft, so feminine and oh so happy. The best part about the ring is that it is adjustable, so when my silly hand swells I can keep wearing it!

My second (of three) purchases was not from a blogger but from one of the best sellers on Etsy. I received a skein of Shimmer Silk Yarn (200 yards/.5oz) of lace weight yarn from WCMercantile. I am going to start working on my Beekeeper’s Quilt here shortly, and I thought this would be great for either embroidery or knitting. The packaging was sparse and to the point, but the yarn is really quite lovely!

Summer Silk Lace Yarn.

Shimmer Silk Lace Yarn.

My last package should arrive tomorrow from another blogger with talent to spare. Oh, this post has just been so much fun to write. The nagging Panic Monster cannot be bothered to pester me when I am in such a good mood. I have put off – at least for today – the fears and trepidations of facing life with an unemployed husband, an offending appendage, and facing the loss of health insurance. I am all about sitting in my garden, smelling the sweet herbs just waiting to be made into something mouth-watering. I am going to knit with abandon, love like there’s no tomorrow and cannot wait to post again.

Thank you again friends and neighbors! Your support, kind words and talent push me a little further each day to being the person I know that I can be. Have a freaking awesome day!

Stitch Pattern Week 11 & The Goofy Hat That Lead to Entrelac Knitting


It’s that time again friends and neighbors! GG has left me with yet another cryptic knitting pattern to decipher for your viewing pleasure. So with no further adieu, Stitch Pattern Week 11 – The Diagonal Rib Stitch!

Diagonal Rib-Darkened.

Diagonal Rib-Darkened.

The past few weeks I have knitted with white yarn, which has been hard to translate on film – hard for me at least – so this week I went back to my Sea Glass colors and rocked out a very pretty dishcloth. Unfortunately, this is also hard to see as well, but it gave me the opportunity to play with some filters to see if I could improve it. Now you get to be the judge.

So GG – What pain is in store for me this week? Be gentle, it’s already been pretty rough!

* * The Diagonal Rib Stitch * *

. . . . – The Diagonal Rib Stitch (Once again no pattern name, but I found it on Stitchopedia on my  iPad of all places).

-k2p2 – Row 1: *K2, P2; rep from * till end (Okay, not to shabby so far, feeling a bit cocky!).

-again – Row 2: Rep. row 1 (Still feeling pretty good about myself).

k1p2k2 then p2k1 – Row 3: K1, *P2, K2; rep. from * till last 3 stitches, end P2, K1 (Come on now, I frogged this twice before I figured out my stitches should be leaning. Give a great-granddaughter a break here!).

-p1k2p2 then k2p1 – Row 4: P1, *K2, P2; rep. from * till last 3 stitches, end K2, P1 (At least with row 3 figured out this didn’t hurt that much).

-p2k2 – Row 5: *P2, K2; rep. from * till end (Smooth sailing, maybe I deserve a cookie!).

-again – Row 6: Rep. Row 5 (Alright damn it, I am going to go get that cookie!).

-43over (I shouldn’t have gotten my cookie so soon….so sad. This is where the stitch dictionary came in handy. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Thank Heavens for the Internet!)

Row 7: Rep. row 4.

Row 8: Rep. row 3.

A simple repeat of these 8 rows really did created a fun, visually interesting dishcloth. The sea glass colors really helped it pop and I recommend this pattern to anyone of any skill level just for something new to try.

 ♥ * * * * * * * * * * * *  ♥

  – The Hat That Turned To A New Skill –

So last week I went on a bit of a hat spree, first with the OSU Buckeye Hats and then with another, less successful attempt. The pattern came from Holiday Knits, a book I have rather enjoyed up to this point, which made the disappointment all the more acute. I will take full responsibility for NOT swatching this project, the yarn I was using was the same weight, but a very different (much cheaper) fiber. So the soft, fluffy goodness that this hat was supposed to encompass turned into an ultra long, ultra heavy, super goofy looking disappointment.

As you can plainly see, this thing is HEAVY! I took pictures of both my husband and I wearing it, but I am just a little shy of showing off that embarrassment. Either way, I know come winter I will wear this hat – I cannot stand to think of it going to waste – but I’ve learned to embrace my goofiness.

Anywho, this lead to another problem – what to do with the leftover yarn? There wasn’t enough to make a scarf but too much for just one normal size hat (e.g. a hat not made for giants) so I had to find something else productive to use it for. This is when I logged on to my Craftsy account and realized that I still hadn’t taken the Entrelac Knitting Class. Common sense would say that if there was yarn to spare that had already turned out poorly, why not try to make something constructive out of this experience.

I am almost done with the class and it has been awesome! The teacher is fun and easy to follow, the directions are clear and simple, and there is the added benefit of getting to see how to knit without turning your work. This really appeals to me because you don’t just use your right hand, you used your left as well. If I could learn how to do this it would take a phenomenal amount of strain of my bad hand (in theory) and if not I get to gloat that I learned how to do something new. Gloat may be the wrong word, but you get the point. I’m not done yet but I will leave you with a picture collage (oh how I love collages) just so you can see where I am so far.

Entrelac Process So Far

Entrelac Process So Far

I think that’s it for me tonight, but as always I would like to end with a question. So, friends and neighbors, is there a new skill you wish to acquire or are currently learning? I didn’t even know you could knit with both needles till yesterday so I am intrigued!

Stitch Pattern Week 10 – A Misbehaving Hand & WIPs & Photos for Fun…Oh My!


I feel as if I have been quite neglectful of my blog here recently. Since the little setback with my hand I’ve lost a bit of my knitting confidence, afraid that I’ll make a mistake on something simple and feel utterly lost on how to proceed. Luckily I did this weeks stitch pattern on the 12th, so here it is friends and neighbors – The Chevron Stitch!

The Chevron Stitch

The Chevron Stitch

I’ve gotta tell you, GG really gave it to me when I found this pattern. She called it the Triangles Stitch (no help there) and the instructions….I thought I would rather curl up and die than try to figure this out. Once I figured it out, which admittedly took way to much time, I was on a roll. It is a simple, dimensional and textural stitch, and now that I know what is going on I think I want to try to work with it in another way.

*Please forgive me in advance if there are any errors in my typing, I am going at this using the hunt and peck method to avoid straining my hand. I am normally a decent editor, but after a while I get tired of finding all these stupid mistakes caused by my misbehaving appendage.

 * * So GG, What Torture Awaits Us This Week? * * 

My notebook on how to discern crazy.

My notebook on how to discern crazy.

r1 k1 p7k1 – Row 1: K1; *P7, K1; rep. from * till end (okay, not to bad so far, she even gave me a space between row and pattern. I doesn’t last but hey!, I will take what I can get)

r2 p1 k7p1 way – Row 2: P1; *K7, P1; rep from * till end of row (what does way mean? all they way? way to go? I am way laughing at you? I think it’s the latter.)

3 k2 p5k3 –  Row 3: K2; *P5, K3; rep. from * till last rep., P5, K2. (We’ve given up the niceties of putting “r” in front of the row, I am sensing a deterioration! Not to mention that the last repeats of the rows are not as written, I am filling in the gaps here.) 

4 p2k5p3 – Row 4: P2; *K5, P3; rep from * till last rep.. K5, P2. (Okay, now we’ve almost given up on spaces. Luckily the pattern was obviously starting to take shape, so an intuitive leap wasn’t that far)

5 k3p3x5 – Row 5: K3; *P3, K5; rep from * till last rep., P3, K3 (I am sure the “x” was a “k” at some point or another, or maybe she just got tired of writing down the letter “k”? Your guess is as good as mine.

6p3k3p5 – Row 6: P3; *K3, P5; rep. from * till last rep., K3, P3 (All right, GG is getting really, really tired of writing this pattern. Even her handwriting is starting to take a nosedive, she just wants to knit people!)

7k4p1k7 – Row 7: K4; *P1, K7; rep. from * till last rep., P1, K4 (Almost there, hang strong!)

8p417 – Row 8: P4 *K1, P7; rep. from *till last rep., K1, P4 (While I am sure she understood this jumble of numbers (and if you think about it, it does follow a pattern) but how on earth could she share this with anyone?)

* * THIS IS ABOUT TO GET REALLY FUNNY, PREPARE YOURSELVES * *

R9 to16. work beg sets backwards. (Umm…SERIOUSLY! This was how that pattern ended, with a cryptic instruction so insane the CIA couldn’t crack it. Thank goodness for the internet.)

  • Row 9: Rep. Row 2.
  • Row 10: Rep. Row 1.
  • Row 11: Rep Row 4.
  • Row 12: Rep. Row 3.
  • Row 13: Rep. Row 6
  • Row 14: Rep. Row 5
  • Row 15: Rep. Row 8
  • Row 16: Rep. Row 7

* * WIP it Baby, WIP it All Night…ALL NIGHT! * * 

There was no WIP Wednesday this week due to my hand, but here is a run down of what’s currently on my needles.

  1. The Fault in Our Stars Scarf
  2. Baby Blanket
  3. A Duo of OSU Buckeye Hats (I cannot wait to finish these!)
  4. Knitted Necklace (certain to be a disaster but I can handle 3 stitches at a time.)
  5. Magical Thinking Scarf (I really need to think about where I put it, I can’t find it!)

* * Photos For Fun * * 

I may not be knitting all that I would like to, but that hasn’t kept me away from taking photos and playing with filters. These are some truly bad photos I admit, my hands are shaky and my positioning is for crap. This will not deter me however, I love taking a walk and just snapping away. Enjoy!

So here we are friends and neighbors, at the end of a labor of love post. I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve seen and read. As always insight in welcome and I hope to hear from you soon!

Your Mood & Your Gauge – A Psychological Study


– Not to sound desperate but Please Read This: I need input! –

The panic monster in my head started screaming at me one dreary morning this week, it was a litany of “you swatched this, why can’t you do anything right?” and “do you even know how to knit”. Well Panic Monster, I did a little study and proved that you are seriously messing up my knitting.

The back story to this diatribe is that a few weeks ago I designed a pattern for a baby blanket. I swatched, double checked, changed sizes to accommodate my misbehaving hand and put it aside knowing it would be ready when I went to cast on. So on Monday I did just that, I proceeded to cast on a whopping 244 stitches and went full speed ahead fully intending on pumping out this blanket. To my horror, the blanket felt stiff and tight. No longer was this the soft, airy, loose baby blanket I had envisioned, honestly the silly thing felt more like a rug than a blanket. I doubled checked all my notes and my swatch, I was doing exactly what I had planned. No deviation from the original swatch. So what happened?

The psychology major in me (one of my many degrees screams my OCD, type-A rattled mind) decided that my hand was not to blame for this one, my brain was the culprit. When I originally did my swatch I was relaxed; the weather was beautiful so the windows were open, I was as well rested as I get and Max was curled in my lap mesmerized by the yarn moving inches from his face. All was good in my brain the day of the swatch. On Monday, the day after Mother’s Day, I still felt emotionally hung over from once again not being a Mom. I was tense, upset, hadn’t slept well and had consumed copious amounts of caffeine. You can guess what comes next.

My Panic Monster was messing with my knitting.

I frogged the blanket and did another swatch, appalled by the fact I needed needles two sizes bigger to achieve the same effect. For all you non-knitters out there, two sizes is a huge difference – just picture needing shoes two sizes bigger. Two sizes…what are you supposed to do with that? and how much of this has affected my other knitted items? I have never noticed a finish product looking awkward or clunky, so how do you proceed?

Well, there are sedative….Just kidding. Kind of. You’ll see.

I spent the week doing the same swatch while experiencing the following emotions: Exhaustion (up for more than 19 hours), Happiness, Calmness, Sedation (a happy little pill to calm the Panic Monster that I rarely use, but after Mother’s Day I was a mess for several days) and Extreme Anxiety. I would come back to my needles during these emotions, knit the original swatch and then proceed to correct it with the appropriate needles. The results were a tad jarring.

Swatch: 10rows by 10rows should be 4″ by 4″ on size 7 needles.

  1. Exhaustion: Swatch was 5″ by 5.4″. Desired swatch size had to be changed to size 6 needles with increase in tension.
  2. Happiness: Swatch was 4″ by 4″. No changes necessary. Also no surprise.
  3. Calmness: Swatch was 4″ by 4.6″. Only slight correction in tension needed.
  4. Sedation: Swatch was 6.2″ by 8.7! Changed to size 5 needles rendered a product of 5″ by 5.4″. Changed to size 4 needles 4.1″ by 4.2″. Once tension was correct the product was 4″ by 4″.
  5. Extreme Anxiety: Swatch was 2.8″ by 3.1″. Change to size 9 needles resulted in 3.9″ by 3.8″. Consideration with tension and yet another swatch led me to size 10 needles which was 4.1″ by 4.1″.

I am rarely sedated so I’ve dismiss this as a duh! moment, if you are fuzzy and loopy of course your knitting isn’t going to be tight. That’s why it’s not a good idea to knit while drunk, one of the many good ideas :). It was the Extreme Anxiety swatch that scares me; as I move my knitting to sweaters, shrugs and socks my anxiety could produce a product that is never going to fit right. How can you correct for the Panic Monster?

What I have noticed is that my knitting relaxes me. So I asked a nurse at work to watch my vitals during a panic attack; everyone I work with already knows about my Panic Monster and I have never felt ashamed of it. Thank God for nurses, oh hell, hospital staff in general. Nothing surprises them. Anyway,  after about 20 minutes of straight knitting I am calmer, my heart rate slows and my blood pressure drops. So I have come to the conclusion that I need to be knitting something simple for about 20 minutes before moving on to the more complex, more complicated types of knitting to ensure that my gauge is correct. I am going to have to do the same thing before I swatch a pattern out so that I can avoid more frogging.

Yowzer. What a week.

So, friends and neighbors who manage to get through my ramblings I would like to ask a few questions. Have anything like this happened to you? Do you find that your swatches can vary from one day to the next? How do you work through the process of ensuring that what you are knitting will be the exact shape and size that it needs to be?

Stitch Pattern Week 9 & Expanding the Store


Drumroll please….Here comes Stitch Pattern Week 9! The Linen Stitch!

The Linen Stitch

The Linen Stitch

This week has seemed ridiculous, it just won’t slow down! I feel a tad bit guilty doing the Linen Stitch because I use this all the time. With a little Sugar and Cream yarn this makes the perfect face cloth! I probably have a dozen of these in my bathroom closet and use them everyday. I love the idea of being able to use something I make on a daily basis, I also love that the things that I make will always outlast anything that I can buy in a big box store. These are so simple to knit up and they never die! If they start to look a little grungy I just put them in with the cleaning rags and they get to live another life. They are also excellent for polishing silver, don’t ask me why…just one of the great things about knitted stitches!

Alright GG, it’ll be a quick on today won’t it?

co odd – Cast on any number of Odd Stitches (Aces!)

r1 cor k then  sl yth k, rep – Row 1: (RS) K1 *Sl1 wyif, K1; rep from * to end of row. (I think the yarn towards heart (yth) is really starting to grow on me.)

r2wrg k p  then slp away k rep til end k – Row 2: (WS) K1, P1 *Sl1 wyib, K1; rep from * to last stitch, K1 (The wrg caught me a little off guard but like I said, I know this stitch backward and forward. I wonder if other women she knitted with wrote patterns like this?)

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– Expanding the Store –

I have spent the majority of my day so far right here, in front of my computer feeling my shoulders slowly inch towards my ears. I have added more items to my Etsy store and although they are items I fully back on every front, they are…dull. Dish cloths friends and neighbors, I am selling  dish cloths. I want to say that I know that these little babies will last forever, they are so strong and resilient to anything. Anyone who has every knitted with Sugar and Cream knows that it won’t die. I even reenforced the edges to ensure that the corners were double knitted just so the chance of them unraveling will never…ever happen. But who will buy these? My Panic Monster keeps telling that this too boring to try sell, even if the product is incredibly well made. My great grandmother mades these more than 20 years ago and they are still around, I hold myself to the incredibly high standards she set. That nagging fear of failure is still tapping on my shoulder, insisting to be be heard.

So what do you do when you’re stressed out about knitting? Stress out about photos instead!

So what’s going on friends and neighbors? What do you think about the success/failure of selling/buying certain items of Etsy and do you think if you’re a knitter you’d look at it differently?

Stitch Pattern Week 8 – Dreams & Fears


Well friends and neighbors, it’s that time again! Let’s see what GG could work out for us this week. I humbly present to you Stitch Pattern Week 8- The Daisy Stitch.

Hello Daisy

Hello Daisy

If you follow this blog, you’ll recognize the daisy stitch from the Hinagiku Hat that was posted a few days ago. I liked the pattern so much – and found it in GG’s patterns – that I went out and bought some ridiculously (for me) expensive pure eco cotton and made bath mitts! The green was so fresh and vibrant that is screamed spring at me, and knitting it was like going back to an old friend. Knitted in the round, the daisy stitch twisted and turned as if on its on accord. It was made to be big enough to fit comfortably over your hand so you can scrub till your heart’s content. I’m kinda in love…. 😉

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Wanna see GG’s written Pattern? No worries, it will be anxiously waiting for you at the bottom of the page.

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-Dreams-

This week I opened an Etsy store, made a Facebook Fan Page, and barely managed to keep my head on my shoulders. It has always been a dream of mine to open a little shop full of handmade goodies. I never had dreams of making loads of money, not that it wouldn’t be a good thing, but of having things I created put to use in other people’s homes. These items are near and dear to my heart, everything made with love and care but also with the memories of generations of knitters behind it. My GG’s dish cloths are still in use today and she passed on almost 20 years ago, but every time I pull one of her dish cloths out I think of her. The wonder of turning a strand of yarn into something purposeful and beautiful is still remarkable to me. I always wanted to share that with people.

-Fears-

The downside to trying to bring your dreams into the light is that there is that looming sense of dread that you will be a complete and utter failure. Take for example the expensive Etsy kit I bought. I loved it when I saw it, the designer did an amazing job and did exactly what I asked for. But I don’t like it. It doesn’t resonate as something I thought my store was about and now there is that shadow of doubt hanging over my head.

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The panic monster in my mind has been screaming at me the past two days, it has invaded every thought and every action with its annoying chatter.

Me: This is a good start.

Panic Monster: Not good enough.

Me: This is really well made, took a while but still something I would use or give as a present.

Panic Monster: Took too long, could be better. SHOULD be better.

Me: So the Blog following and Facebook pages will take a while to grow, that’s how it should be.

Panic Monster: Nobody is going to bother with your sill websites, they look like crap!

Me: So what if   I haven’t gotten a blogging award, it’s only been eight weeks! Time  and patience and keep working hard, it’s the way things are done when done correctly!

Panic Monster: Never gonna happen, duh! You suck, your writing since college has gone down the tube and nobody gives a crap for a sub-par arthritic knitter. Don’t quit your day job loser.

This is pretty much how it has been going in my overly anxious mind. My OCD and panic monster are chopping at the bit to remind me that, guess what? there are things you CANNOT DO! Oh well live and learn and then get a big bat to smash the panic monster to bits and pieces.

There are so many wonderful, award-winning blogs that have introduced me to the talent and creativity that is out there. How could I possibly compete with that? Some have views in the six digit category and some have hundreds (if not thousands) of followers. So yes, it is intimidating to put yourself out there. I am just going to have to remind myself (and my panic monster) that I love what I am doing. Worse comes to worst and I never sell a thing and no one ever reads my blog again, I will have gifts for the next ten years to give and I will always love writing.

GG, Papaw, my husband and Max would be proud.

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GG’s Stitch Pattern vs. The Real Deal

-The Daisy Stitch-

(No cast on number…hmm….good start GG. Good start!)

odd k – Rows 1 and 3 (RS): K (Good, Good.)

r2 k1,p3together,ya,p3together –Row 2: K1 *p3 tog and don’t drop them off the needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; rep from * (At first I really thought that I was going to end up with no stitches left on my needles until I visited my Hinagiku Hat pattern and figured this out. Thank goodness for the internet)

r4 kpk-p3together,ya,p3tog -Row 4: K1, p1, k1 *p3 tog and don’t drop them off the needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; rep from *, end p1, k1 (Again, thank you ol’ in-tra-net (my grandfather loved to say this just to bug the living he!! out of me) you’ve saved me loads of frogging. As for you GG, I wish you were her so I could take you to town for this!)

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Well my ramblings have gone on far too long, I hope you enjoyed what you’ve seen or read, and thank you for visiting. To pose a question; Where did you get the inspiration/ know-how to make all of your blogs look so lovely? so functional? so…inviting? You’re all inspirations to bloggers at any level!

 

Slouchy Hats & My Happy Places


Sometimes I search out comfort, things that resonate in my mind as safe and inviting. Tea with orange blossom honey, my grandmother’s lemon meringue pie or even better, a good book.

There are some books that just holding them brings back a flood of memories and a sensation of falling into a time when life was just less complicated. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss was the first romance book I ever read and it was enjoyed by the fireplace because we had lost power to the blizzard that took over the entire midwest that year. Perfect setting for romance I might add. When my grandfather was dying, I turned to The Stand by Stephen King. It may seem an odd choice, it’s content largely based around life and death, but the characters being so rich, so familiar brought ease to my troubled mind.

Certain things just bring us back to a place where we can be fearless, where we can handle anything. I am a lucky girl, because I can add knitting to the list of happy places.

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My Happy Place Hat

For the life of me, I have no idea where this pattern came from. I have looked through all my books, magazines and scoured knitting websites looking for its origin. All I have is a pattern my scrawl to go by – Bonus for you because I am going to put it at the bottom of the page though!

This was the first hat I made in the round, the first project that had cables in it and the knitted object I have made the most. I have made dozens of these hats, they fly off my needles and into my friends and families hands like hotcakes. Even my niece wanted her own, which made me giddy. So, when I am stressed or need to feel like a superhero, I do this pattern.

As an added bonus to saving time knitting, I spent more time with Photoshop than I think is healthy. I have all the books I can handle and have been playing around with it all night. So you get to see the fruits of my labor, misguided and goofy as they may be. This is the best way to learn I suppose, trying things over and over till you feel you got it down. I am most certainly not there yet, but hey….step in the right direction.

Sure, it’s amateur hour here at All Night Knits but who cares? It was fun to play around with the filters, concentrations, hues, saturation, blah blah blah…yada yada yada. I was working my way through an instructional book and it built up my confidence – a bit. Either way, it feel like a step in the right direction

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The Pattern

(If you find this pattern’s origin, please contact me and let me know. I want to acknowledge its creator and thank them for years of fantastic knitting!)

Needles: Sizes 9US and 11US

Yarn: Worsted

The Cables: C3 over 3 Left: Slip 3 Sts. onto cable needle, hold in back, K3, K3 from cable needle.        C3 over3 Right: Slip 3 Sts. onto cable needle, hold in front, K3, K3 from cable needle.

With size 9 Needles, Cast on 72 Stitches (long tail cast on). Join in the round and Place stitch marker.

Knit 5 rows in 1by 1 (K1,P1) .

Change to size 11 Needles and work cable pattern as follows:

-Rounds 1-4, 6-10 and 12: Knit

-Round 5: *C3 over 3 Left, K3. Repeat from * till end of round.

-Round 11: * K3, C3 over 3 Right. Repeat from * till end of round.

Work rounds 1-12 1(one) time as written above.

-Next round (increasing round): *K2, M1. Repeat from * to end of round.

-Work rows 2-12 of cable pattern one time, then work rows 1-6 one time.

-Next round Being Decreasing: *K7, K2tog, K7, SSK. Repeat from * to end of round.

-Next round: *K6, K2tog, K6, SSK. Repeat from * to end of round.

-Next round: *K5, K2tog, K5, SSK. Repeat from * to end of round.

– Next round: Work row 11 from Cable Pattern the work one round even.

-Next round: K10, K2tog till end of round.

-Next round: K9, K2tog till end of round.

-Next round: K8, K2tog till end of round

-Next round: K7, K2tog till end of round.

Continue in this manner decreasing your knit stitches by one until you K2tog across the round, Leaving you with 6 sts.

Cut a long tail and weave through live stitches twice. Pull tight and weave in the ends.

Block lightly over a plate or pie tin by lightly misting the hat.

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So there it is friends and neighbors, I hope you enjoy the pattern as much as I did. I wonder, is there anyone out there reading this that has a happy place? Found in either a place, food, book, pattern or the multitude of things I didn’t list? Please share if you would like to, I would love to listen!