Tag Archives: stitches from the heart

Worst. Idea. Ever.

I am going to try to keep this as quick as I can, if only to shorten my humiliation at retelling this story. I want to say first and foremost that yes, I’ve learned my lesson. So….here it goes.

Stitches_Pic1LOGO_KasMelloI have been making baby blankets for Stitches From The Heart ever since I learned how to knit the garter stitch. I have a very special place in my heart for this organization which supplies an assortment of baby items for preemies. Closer still is the bereavement sized items that are always needed and this is the size I spend most of my time knitting. I suppose they need more of these made because it is just a bit too depressing to knit something for a baby that will never take a breath, but I know first hand just how important it is to the grieving process and how much it means to the families.

The bereavement blankets are usually far more interesting pattern wise, I spend more time on them and try to make patterns that I feel are peaceful. Anyway – I try to send in two blankets a month (preemie and bereavement sized). Since my Etsy Store actually started bring in orders though I have been having some trouble keeping up with the preemie blankets. Oh hell, I haven’t made one preemie blanket in almost four months.

Then I thought I had a great idea…knitting machine! (SPOILER ALERT: Not a great idea)

NOT So Ultimate After All.

NOT So Ultimate After All.

My idea was that I would use the machine to run off flat, stockinette panels. Then I could embroider and edge the blankets by hand. I had all these wonderful notions of sending this charity tons of blankets. I would be busting my stash, be able to spend more time on the special touches and quit feeling to guilty about not sending in both blankets.

I went to Jo Anne’s with my 50% off coupon and bought the Ultimate Sweater Machine. Yes, I felt guilty about sending in only half handmade items, but I reasoned it was better than nothing at all. Oh the things we tell ourselves.

Gloria and I picked it up, brought it home, set it up and ….huzzah!…it didn’t work. Not even a little. This loud, piece of crap could never even knit a row. It jammed, it got stuck, it screeched, it howled, it begged for mercy. Between the three of us (Trevor, Gloria and myself) we tried everything we could think of for two days before I put it back in the box to return it. I HATE this stupid machine – if it wasn’t for the money I would set it on fire in my back yard.

I’ve learned my lesson – there are no shortcuts in life. I actually feel pretty guilty about trying it now, as if the protesting machine was trying to tell me that I was in fact cheating. So now I am going to try to schedule a time of day when I work on my blankets. If something is important you take the time to do it, and you take the time to do it right. There, now you know my incredibly embarrassing story. I would rather have been caught having sex in front of my neighbors that admit to trying to cut corners.

What about you friends and neighbors, have you ever tried to cut corner’s with good intentions? Or even better, how do you whip up a cute baby blanket and still keep up with all your other obligations?

Experiencing Knitting Lust!

I collect hobbies and hoard information, very much like a squirrel with nuts. Every day I seem to see or read about something new that I just HAVE to learn how to do. So, if you will allow me to make a list for the goofy things I am dying to try to learn or knit, read on friends and neighbors.

  1. Knit a shadow box art installation.
  2. Knit textured wall art.
  3. Knit little owl stuffed toys for Stitches from the Heart.
  4. Knit a terrarium full of flowers, birds, grass, and bugs as a art piece.
  5. Knit a crossword puzzle blanket.
  6. Knit a chessboard blanket with pieces in starting position.
  7. Knit with beads/sequins (this whole application boggles my mind a bit).
  8. Learn to write a pattern that is cohesive.
  9. Learn to read knitting charts (sadly, I still have to write out the chart before I cast on).
  10. Learn to dye yarn.
  11. Knit a Fisherman’s Sweater for the hubby (he loved the hat, why not a sweater? we’re already married after all 😉

The Inspirations

(If I am breaking some sort of copy write rule of thumb, please let me know and it will be fixed immediately)

There is also the every growing bucket list…just for knitting. I love lists and I love knitting, these things seem to go hand in hand.

The Ever Growing Knitting Bucket List

  1. Design as sell patterns.
  2. Be published! (holy crow, that would be amazing!)
  3. Be able to teach classes.
  4. Be able to teach classes to other arthritic knitter’s like myself. To show them you don’t have to give up what you love because your hands work against you.
  5. Learn to crochet more than just the basics (it is soooo hard on my hand, but that’s never stopped me).

There is time (oh God I hope there’s time!) to work my way through my lists and hope to keep you updated on their progress. Any projects, skills or abilities you are lusting after? Feel free to comment. Hope you slept well and have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing.

To Those Who Serve, All My Love

My cousin Daylon was sworn in to the United States Army yesterday and I am just bursting at the seams with pride! It got me thinking, as I tend to do in the month of April, of just all the family history surrounding the ones I love and the military.


My Grandmother in what I presume is NOT regulation uniform. She joined my Grandfather in Antigua in 1957, ten months later my aunt Kathy arrived!


This is my Grandfather (Papaw) before shipping out to Antigua. 1956.

This handsome fella is my Grandfather in 1956, just days before leaving for Antiugua where he would not only become a solider, but a father as well. He instilled in his grandchildren a love of country, he even created a Norman Rockwell-esque life for the ones he loved. He was the man who taught me to show respect to the American Flag, to never let the sun go down on it and how to properly fold it. He may have never seen battle but I have no doubt in my mind that he would have given anything to preserve the American Dream for his family, friends and country.


Uncle Phil Naval Officer’s Photo.

My Dad’s Father was a WWII vet who not only served in battle, but got a nifty steel plate in his head for his effort. I say nifty not out of disrespect, rather to quote him because as his 7 children, 21 grandchildren oh so many great grandchildren were growing up he always made us knock on his head for good luck! 

My Dad’ brother Phil (pictured above) has been a career Navy Officer and has traveled the world doing his duty for his county. He talks often about how the best part of any time away from the family was getting a letter or care package from home. Full of homemade items and pictures, he was always kept in the loop about the goings on from the ginormous Catholic family in Ohio. He is the only career in the family, but one of 14 immediate family members that committed themselves to protect the freedom we as American’s are gifted with every day.


Great Grandfather’s WWII Registration Card.


Great Uncle’s Registration Card. They Went into the service together.

There is a rich family history of men going into the service to protect their country, so why is a knitter so fascinated with military service? Well, I got it into my head that there had to be something I could do besides donate blood (which I do every 8 weeks like clockwork) to help the troops. We are not swimming in cash, but I AM swimming in yarn. So with just a few clickity clacks on my keyboard I found an abundance of sites that accept knitted or handmade items for our troops. I have always knitted for Stitches From the Heart but found a few sites that were asking for warm weather wear and LOADS of sites asking for handmade blankets for the injured recovering in hospitals.


My nostalgia bone started tickling when I discovered the Knit Your Bit campaign that was put on by the American Red Cross. There was a time not that long ago that the comfort, health and safety of those who give everything for their country needed knitter’s help to survive. So, feeling rather patriotic with a new charity to knit for and the warm and fuzzies for finding another way to knit for something bigger than myself it is time to cast on!