Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tipless Mittens

As I'm sure it has been for most people, the last month or two have been busy here in our neck of the woods. I had a lot of knitting drama with some pink socks I was working on. But! I finished them on time (barely). I knit these tipless things for a friend who tried one of the aforementioned pink socks on her hand and commented that she'd like them that way. Well. The socks were a gift for her mother but as soon as they came off my needles, these little bad boys went on. It's amazing how much faster something knits up on 7's over 2's.

There wasn't really a pattern, I just did what worked. I knit a 1x1 rib for about an inch and a half or so (I kept measurements between knuckles, never with a ruler. It seemed easier) using size 5 dpns. After that I switched to 7's and did this: k3, p2, k3, p2 (10 per needle over 4 needles) adding mini braid cable thing on one of the k3's (I made them opposite each other so they would match when worn on the right and left hands). After knitting that for a while I ended with the same rib I began with. The thumb was super easy. I just left a hole (instead of knitting in the round I knit back and forth for a while) then later picked up 4 stitches at the base adding one on each side until it went all of the way around. These were fun and easy! I'd like to knit them again in acrylic (not 100% wool, like these) so I can wear them. Wool is too itchy for me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

short temper with the short row

First of all, thanks for all of the input on sock yarn! I looked up several different yarns and though I had wanted to try something new, I ended up purchasing Trekking yarn for both pairs. I started the first sock right away. The first pair will be Tech Guy Socks. I like this pattern for a man. I still haven't decided what pattern to use for the pink socks.

I'm having a problem though. I've never done a short row heel, but I've tried before. I thought I'd try again. It's causing me stress because I don't like the hole at the top. I looked for a video tutorial but was unable to find one. I may end up just going back to the heel flap, defeated and sad. *sigh* Can you see? They don't even look like they are in a pretty line. Bleh. Perhaps I'll give it one more try (but I hate to keep pulling it out, I think that probably isn't very good for the yarn). I haven't touched it in a few days. It's in time-out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

a sock yarn question...

So I am going to knit some socks for a Christmas gift. I haven't knit many pairs of socks, especially lately. I don't have much experience with sock yarns, though I've used Trekking and liked it a lot. So I ask, what's your favorite sock yarn? Why? Pretty please leave me a comment and tell me. I'd like them to be soft, hopefully washable, warm, and - you know - yummy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

a gift basket

This is the first gift basket I've ever put together. It is small and simple, containing a couple of really cool travel coffee cups that passed the car accident test. A few weeks ago my husband had left his Contigo Autoseal cup at work over the weekend. On Monday he had to use an older one with just a hole in the lid (the contigo one has a push button that opens the drinking hole, easy to use while driving!). On the way home from work he was rear-ended and both cups, both with some coffee left in them, went flying. But only the older one spilled. The Contigo cup didn't even lose a drop!

Also in the basket is a package of Starbucks coffee beans - Colombian, and homemade anise biscotti. I was scared to make the cookies and put it off for two days, but it really wasn't hard. The recipe called for anise extract and brandy, both of which I did not have. Instead of the anise extract I used extra vanilla and I used pineapple juice in place of the brandy. I'm told they turned out well, but I can't eat wheat or sugar so I'll just have to take my husband and children's word for it. I lined the basket with the black and white dishcloths, wrapped it in cellophane and voila! A gift basket!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Black & White

The line-up:

white blackberry stitch (#242) from Vogue's Stitchionary Vol. 1

slightly modified b&w garterlac dishcloth with a black crochet border

four corners in black

grandmother's favorite using salt and pepper cotton

black outlining salt and pepper on textured slip-stitch

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Little Things

I'm borrowing the idea for this post (and the title too) from Wool Winder, who has graced the knitting blog world with pictures of some of the lovely things in her home.

Here are a few things that make me happy:

This plate was one of many that my grandfather collected. He passed away over ten years ago. Since his death, my grandma has given a lot of the plates away to Grandpa's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Five such plates reside in my home, one for each of my daughters and one for me.

I was given this angel figurine about six years ago by a good friend. Shortly after having received her, she was accidentally knocked off of the table and broken just under her arms by my oldest daughter, who was four-years-old. At that time we only had three children (we now have four). The accident made me sad, but I went on with my day. When I came up from doing laundry I found that my baby, then only two-years-old, had taken the angel and scotch-taped her back together. I scratched my plans to super glue the angel and she remains taped around the middle to this day.

Finally, this apple shaped teapot was a gift from my second daughter a Christmas or two ago. Her face while I opened such an obvious treasure was priceless. She's a very thoughtful little girl who knows how much her mama likes both tea and apples.

And so, like Wool Winder, I ask: What are some of your favorite things?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Blackberry Stitch

After knitting the Garterlac Dishcloth I decided to give a few other new dishcloth patterns a try. A bobble cloth caught my eye but after looking the pattern over, I decided I'd rather look through my stitchionary for a bobble, or something similar, that I could knit into a square. #242 was the winning pattern. I like the idea of bobbles for scrubbing purposes, but because I knit this for a gift (it will be part of a black & white dishcloth set) I won't be able to test out my theory until I make time to knit one for myself. Though this isn't a true bobble (I don't think so anyway), it is bumpy and I love the texture. It was a fun pattern and I'm thinking I'd also really like it for a sweater, maybe a cardigan or something. Of course that means I'd then have to knit a sweater (terrifying thought that it is).

For my black & white dishcloth set, I picked up Sugar 'n Cream cotton in three colors: white, black & salt and pepper. Now, I have some white still on a cone. There isn't much left, but plenty for several dishcloths. Why did I go buy more when I still had enough? Oh, because the mostly-gone cone would not have looked so cute in this picture.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


click on picture to view larger

We had our first snow of the year yesterday! It looks like it caught this seagull off guard (the gray dots are snowflakes). Brrrr... but at least it didn't stick here in the valley. My husband asked, "What happened to fall?" Hm, I think that was last Tuesday. Furnace is up and running. Knitting is on full throttle now! It is just such a warm and cozy pass-time. I should have some knitting content soon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

farewell summer

I took this picture in my front yard about a month ago.

I always find it a little sad to say goodbye to the summer. This year it is bittersweet. It was a hard summer, but also a good one. I put down my needles for a few months but I picked up a trowel instead. Well, I picked up the trowel for a while until it mysteriously disappeared (I had a few suspects, one with four legs and a couple with two) at that point my trowel became a large kitchen spoon (or rather my big kitchen spoon became a trowel). I planted many new perennials and some annuals for color. A good friend built me window boxes (she claims it was her own therapy). I happily watered my hanging baskets, boxes, flower beds and lawn each morning while I waited for my tea to cool. After all of my plants had been given a drink, I would take my tea in the backyard while I spent fifteen or twenty minutes having some Bible time.

But now it is cold. Mornings have become a bit crazy around here. I need to find a new routine. I look forward to next summer with more flowers and more tea on the patio.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I mentioned before that my sister just had a baby. What I didn't say was that she called me while in labor and asked me to come and be with her and her husband for the birth of their child. I was so excited! It was all I could do to wait until a little later in the afternoon when I had child care for my own little darlings & head down to the hospital. Her son is the first birth I've attended where I wasn't the one in the bed begging for drugs, or for someone to shave my head (I was hot! And I totally would have done it too, but for some reason nobody took me seriously - huh, go figure).

Anyhow Monday my sis and I were talking about how sometimes people don't have the same personal space boundaries we are used to or they think the boundaries do not apply to newborns. I mentioned how I had always wanted a sling but never had one. I didn't know much about them, like where to get one or even that they could be made but I had noticed that people tend to stay further back from an infant in a sling. Of course my "baby" is four years old. Since my daughter's birth I learned to crochet (a little). About 9 months ago a woman at church briefly showed me a sling she had crocheted using a free pattern online. So I thought I should try to make one of those for my sister and her little babe. I found a few interesting looking slings online, but I had one problem - I don't know how to read crochet patterns. Oh well. I thought I'd try to make one anyway, without a pattern.

A couple of weeks ago my craft store had cotton on special 30% off, so I bought two cones of a very natural looking cotton with dull flecks of color. I think it's called potpourri. I had in mind to crochet an afghan with it, but that didn't exactly work out like I planned. I decided that would be good yarn to use and gave it a go on my new bamboo hook (I think it's a G, or an H, or an I - can you tell I'm not a real crocheter?). Pictured above is what I came up with. I don't really know how I did it but I think I am going to attempt to recreate it (or something similar) for my sister in law.

Monday, September 17, 2007

copy cat

Ok so I'm a total copy cat. I saw this dishcloth over on Sandi's blog and knew I had to make it. I have seen this type of knitting before but was never really interested in giving it a try ... of course until I saw it in dishcloth form. I'm a sucker for dishcloths ( Jen, you should try this one! It's lots of fun!).

Well, that's it for today. Nothing much, just a dishcloth. I think I'll give this one to my sister who just had a baby. It's quite big (10x10) as I knit it on size 8 needles. It may be more of a washcloth.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Over the past several months the bottom kind of fell out of my life. And I stopped knitting. I think things could be getting back on track now. I've picked up my needles again! Pictured above is the project I've been working on. It is a Christmas gift.

Every year my girls take photographs for the state fair. This year they entered a couple in the macro category. Since then I've been thinking how very much I like super close pictures, so that is what you are getting here. A macro of my knitting.

A small update on me: My mom is still hanging in there. This fall we left the ranks of the home schoolers and enrolled the three big girls in our local elementary. They love school and it's been very quiet around here. My small daughter (4 y/o) is starting to feel lonely though. She's becoming good friends with the dog.

Anyway, I'm happy to be knitting again.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's Birthday Season

a few future gifts...

These three head wraps are a modified version of the one on Knit and Tonic's blog. I keep thinking that I'll make one for myself but then I keep not doing it. Perhaps soon.

I had hopes of knitting other birthday gifts for this month but time has run away from me. I suppose I'll just head over to the Gap (I got my own birthday coupon in the mail and it's burning a hole in the cute new tote I bought last weekend while out doing some retail therapy) or Hobby Lobby for the rest of the required gifts.

PS, Kim if you happen over here, I apologize for the scary head in the first picture. I know you dislike that thing.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

baby sets

About a week ago I called the hospital where my daughter spent the first week of her life in the NICU (not long in retrospect, but it sure felt like it at the time). A nurse said they would like to have some hat/bootie sets and got really excited when I mentioned bereavement sets. The nurse I was speaking to felt bad for her excitement and responded, "It isn't good that we need them, but we do." I knew what she meant.

I do have a bereavement gown on needles, but I ran out of yarn and couldn't find it at the one store I've been to. I'm fairly certain I can find it locally, but may need to order online. I attempted another, but it just didn't work out well at all, so I don't have any photos of those to share just now. What I do have are pictures of some little hat sets that I will be donating for baby Marlowe.

For the yellow set I tried two new patterns and I really enjoyed both of them! I will be knitting them again in the future. The hat pattern is called Spiral Preemie Cap. Beth's Easy Knit Baby Booties really were easy to knit! I was also able to follow the instructions for the crochet tie! That's a first for me. I thought about knitting the whole bootie yellow but liked the idea of the white top looking like a little sock. The pink hat and the green striped hat on the right were both knit using a rolled brim pattern. The light green hat is a non-pattern and the striped hat on the left was using the little striped hat pattern of mine. All of the other booties are from the pattern called Michelle's Booties.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mystery Photo Revealed

Remember my mystery project that I posted about last month? Well, I finally got the finished item in the mail and since it has been received I can post the FO picture!

My friend Michelle taught me how to make a rag quilt! It's the first quilt I've ever made. I cut the squares and sewed them together, then snipped and washed and voila! It was easy and fun. I had enough scraps to make a similar small one that I'll donate to the hospital. Also I mistakenly bought more then twice the flannel needed so I figure I can make some simple blankets to donate as well.

I made it for my friend Jenni who had a baby boy last week! Congratulations Jenni and family on the birth of baby G!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

And the winner is...

Rachel! Congratulations! Rachel has won our contest for Aaron's Afghan. Now you may wonder why there are three names in the bowl - well the reason for that is the girls and I were having so much fun drawing names that we decided to create a second and third prize (my 8 and 10 year old daughters did make sure to tell me that most contests have first, second and third places anyway LOL!). For the second and third place winners we have a pair of Clover bamboo knitting needles and a set of stitch markers.

Rachel, Pearly Pink & Vikki please email us at aarons_afghan at yahoo dot com. :)

Thank you to everyone who has sent in squares for Aaron's Afghan so far.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

For Emma

Last month I had in mind to knit a bereavement set in honor of the memory of Emma Grace. The skirt of the gown was knit in the diagonal slip stitch pattern found in the Vogue Stitchionary Vol. 1 with a crochet ruffle across the bottom (as well as on the sleeves). The bodice is based on the Little Sunshine Burial Gown (PDF). I had trouble finding ribbon of a matching color so for the waist I knit an I-cord. The booties were made using Michelle's Preemie-Newborn Booties pattern which is very simple, cute and easy to personalize. The hat is just a basic hat with a modified version of the diagonal slip stitch. All items were knit using Caron Simply Soft yarn.

I haven't yet made it to the post office and tonight I read on Candy's blog about a woman in Idaho who is looking for items to be donated to her hospital. Because Candy is sending her current donations up there, I decided to send this gown up as well. It will go in the mail tomorrow morning.

Emma's life has blessed me even though she and I never met. I look forward to the day when I will know her.

Monday, March 05, 2007

a candle - it isn't much

My daughters and I lit this candle today in memory of a friend's baby who spent only three days with his family here on earth before leaving for the arms of Jesus just yesterday. May the memory of that sweet little one forever burn in the hearts of his family and all of us whom he touched with his far too short life.

God be with Little Grady's family, now and always.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I learned something new

My friend Michelle
taught me how to
make something that
I think is pretty cool.
I'll have to stick with
the WIP photo for now
for a couple of reasons:
1) I don't have an FO
photo yet, and
2) it's a surprise!

Thanks Michelle!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Contest

A contest as a thank you for contributing to Aaron's Afghan - a project meant to comfort a family whose little two-year-old son and brother recently passed away.

Contest details

prizes include: one set of my favorite type knitting needles, clover bamboo, in size 10 (new - I removed them from the packaging just to take the picture); one set of five stitch markers (hearts - as this is a project of love); a pretty yellow pottery bowl made by a local potter - it is the perfect size for little candies, pocket change, or just about any other small item; finally four 50 gram hanks of a beautiful cranberry-colored Flureece yarn from Knit One Crochet Too's Gourmet Collection. This yarn is 75% merino wool, 25% nylon and very soft.

how to enter: simply send a 7x7 inch knit square to Jen (email her at njbush at netins dot net for the mailing address). The squares should be knit with a soft acrylic (I recommend Caron Simply Soft) in shades of green, blue and also cream. Then leave me a comment telling me how many squares you sent. For each square you knit and send you will receive one entry.

deadline: Squares need to be postmarked by March 13th (that's a Tuesday) to be eligible. The contest is retroactive for squares that have already been sent.

winner: I will post the winner within a few days of the contest and ask that they contact me by email (for some reason blogger does not include email addresses for comments on my blog, I could probably change that in my settings somehow but I don't know enough about computers to figure it out).

Please join us as we reach out to a hurting family.

*** a little addendum - I've heard that my silly blog won't let some people post comments. To remedy the situation, I decided to open an email account in case you'd like to email your name and # of squares: aarons_afghan at yahoo dot com ***

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Mom's needlepoint flowers are now framed and hanging in her newly remodeled kitchen. I think they look great! My mom and sisters were pleased as well.

It took me a while to get them to our friends who do framing but our friends were quick to get them in the frames and back to us. The flowers made it on the walls on time for Mom's Valentine's Day open house last Saturday.

Friday, February 09, 2007

knitting is a beautiful thing

As you may know my mom has a fatal illness. Today I learned that someone I am related to by
marriage was just diagnosed with a rare and terminal brain disease. The progression of my mom's illness has brought a lot of sadness with only more to come. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the "what's the point" mindset. This is not unique to me. People were writing about it thousands of years ago:

"Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless."

What does man
gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

Generations come
and generations go,

but the earth remains forever.

This was taken from the first chapter of Ecclesiastes so no, I am certainly not the first person to wonder, "What's the point?"

While pondering this thought I was reading through some of my rambling files on the computer and happened upon this bit I wrote about a year and a half ago. It was inspired by a simple grave marker not far from our little Lucy's own grave. This particular stone reads simply, "Sister". I thought of how the person in the earth below my feet was no less real than I am. No less passionate, no less alive. And yet what remained for most of the world to see was a
very plain stone marker that gives no more information than she was female, had parents and at least one sibling. Sister.

life and humanity are so much bigger than my little world.

I belong to the present. The little details of my life are here and now. I am not promised tomorrow and there is no certainty that tomorrow will even know my name. The only moment I can live is now.

My worth is in this very minute. If my life should end tomorrow, my worth would depend on whether or not someone else continued for me, remembering me. And after 100 years the truth is there will not likely be anyone to remember more than maybe my name. I would only hope that the impact of the moments that made up my life would have reached down through the time that left me behind and embrace the lives of those in the future. Whether or not they know the ins and outs of my life, I hope that the substance of who I am will be passed along through lives of people to come.

Time will leave me behind and continue on without me. The clock does not need me here to keep on ticking.

I was thinking about how knitting is such a beautiful thing that can be used to reach beyond not just our own little worlds (when we send preemie hats and booties to warm little heads and feet of babies born too soon, infant bereavement sets for someone we'll never know, or afghan squares to be made into a tangable form of comfort for a family in grief) but knitting can also span time. In our home we have an afghan that fits such a description. We have cross stitch and wall art and numerous other items. We have so many things left behind from people who remain on earth only in our memories of them.

What are you doing that will live beyond yourself?

Aaron's Afghan
Emmazing Grace
Project Compassion
Heavenly Angels in Need
The Preemie Project
25 Things

(the photo to the right - some squares for Aaron's Afghan)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Stitch Markers Show & Tell

I have long admired homemade stitch markers like the ones found on the Good to be Girl or Purple Duckie blogs. The other night something struck in me, Hey! I could probably make those! (I tend to have those light bulb moments from time to time about something fairly easy that I should have already realized - like knitting cable braids - I should have been able to figure out how to do them. I remember watching Amy's video clip about knitting cables and how she mentioned that braids are just cables within cables. Huh? I didn't get it. However I knew at some point I would - and I did! It dawned on me one day so at that moment I sat and came up with the braided cable square for Aaron's Afghan.)

But back to the stitch markers... I picked up some of the circles today when I went into work to get my check. I came right home and promptly forgot all about everything I had planned to do today (mainly painting green stems for the flowers that will soon adorn the walls of my daughters' room) and went to work. I have a bunch of beads already from my brief infatuation with jewelry making and was able to make two nice sets of five before I was ready to quit and start taking pictures.

Now I notice that the light wasn't very good. I hope you can see them anyway. My nine-year-old daughter pulled out her own beads and made some stitch markers for her knitting projects. I should get a picture of those but that will have to wait as she was summoned by her younger sisters to go play Care Bears.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


A few days ago my husband came home with a curtain rod for the little girls' room. There had been a white shade in the window, but he doesn't like shades. At all. When he set the rod down on the kitchen table I knew what it was for. I asked, "Didn't you get curtains?" He replied no - figured I could go get some fabric and make some.

Hm. I would have never even thought about making curtains! Sure, I could give it a try. I remembered that I had bought a bunch of cute fabric last summer when it was $2 a yard thinking I'd make backpacks or something that I never got around to actually doing.

The stripes in this fabric match the little one's comforter almost perfectly. I was particularly excited about the pom-pom trim. I had seen it on clearance for almost nothing a yard (maybe a quarter?) so I bought what they had. I was so excited to be able to add that cute touch to the curtains.

Tiger, as you can see, likes to sit in the window. She enjoys hissing at Pepper when he's playing outside.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Headed for the Frog Pond

One of my little nephews is a frog maniac. Of course being his aunt I am entitled - nay - obligated to buy/make/find any and every frog item I possibly can for him. Last summer I made him a frog backpack that he loves and took to his first day of Kindergarten.

A month or so ago the newer version of the movie Cheaper by the Dozen (2003?) came on TV. We thought the movie was just ok. I noticed the character Sarah wore a knit frog hat for much of the movie. It occurred to me that I could make one for my nephew and decided his 6th birthday would be the perfect occasion to present him with such a gift.

It knit up quickly - in just one evening. I used up stash yarn and knit it on size 7 needles. I didn't really use a pattern, just started knitting and eventually I had a hat. The eyes were knit flat (the backs are green). I sewed the fronts and backs together then attached them to the
top of the hat. Not really a precise science.

I'm thinking about knitting some frog mittens. I'm not sure I have enough of the yarn though.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Adding to the Stack

Mama Bear posted an entry on her blog about an afghan project by our mutual friend Jen. The afghan is being made for a family who recently lost their little son, two-year-old Aaron, due to injuries sustained in a New Year's Eve car accident.

For my squares I used several different stitch patterns from Vogue's Stitchionary, including; #83 - pair of eyelets, #58 - dimples (in the blue to the right) and # 172 - alternating diagonals (below, dark green).

I also did a few generic garter or seed stitch squares as well as a braided square. I put the pattern for the braided square on my pattern page. My favorite square though is a pretty simple eyelet pattern.

My thoughts and prayers go out to little Aaron's family. I am often reminded of Job when he had lost all of his money and his children were killed. The first thing he did was tear his clothes and fall to the ground in worship saying, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

Job was never happy about what was happening, but he worshipped God anyway. Sometimes that choice to worship anyway is very painful.

Monday, January 15, 2007

what kind of yarn are you?

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Dishcloth Cotton.You are a very hard worker, most at home when you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly born to clean. You are considered to be a Plain Jane, but you are too practical to notice.

Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

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Umm... I'm not sure I really agree (hardworking? born to clean?), but that's ok. I like cotton anyway.