Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow and the End of Christmas Stealth Knitting

We have SNOW! LOTS of it! I swept 10" off my car yesterday afternoon, and there's still a light dusting of snow falling now.

And, since my Christmas stealth knitting is all finished, I can actually spend some time in my recliner, watching it snow, and getting back on knitting my socks! They've been neglected so long, and I'm happy to say that I'm nearly finished with the heel flap. I love it when I get to that point!

Now that the stealth knitting has all been completed, I'll tell you what I did:

  • One "mistake rib" scarf
  • One pair of plait cable mittens
  • Four holiday dishcloths
  • One pair of fingerless mittens
  • Two pairs of "feeties"
  • (Not knitting, but knitting-related) Two handmade row counters....a new project that turned out really well!

They all turned out really well, and I'm pleased with them. I should start next year's holiday knitting soon so I won't be so rushed next year....but not just yet. :-) The socks I'm working on today are my diagonal lace socks. I've always loved the look of them and will be very happy when I can actually put them on my feet!

Well, off to the recliner to get sip some hot cocoa, watch the snow, and knit a bit. Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm baaaaaaaack.....

Sorry I've been away so long. I had spinal surgery on November 17th and am just now getting caught up on home e-mail and blogging and such!!

The good news is that because I've been spending a lot of time in my recliner during recovery, I've finished my Christmas "stealth" knitting! I'll post more about that later in case anyone who might be receiving any of my knitted items is reading this blog. *LOL*

I guess I'm not officially finished with my Christmas knitting, since I realized I needed to knit two more holiday dishcloths. I got those started last night, though, and should get them finished in the next evening or two. I knit them two at a time, so they go really quickly.

Speaking of which, I guess I'd better hit the recliner and get back at them. :-) Happy holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Busy, Busy Month

I feel like I've been knitting a lot, but I'm not getting many things finished!! I was off work last week but was tied up in a lot of medical appointments. Of course, waiting room time is knitting time, so I always had a pair of socks with me, which was good.

The only thing I actually finished last week is a pair of mittens. I've not photographed them yet, but will post a photo here as soon as I do. I found a skein of yarn in my stash that looked like it would make a nice scarf to go with them, so now I've started a Mistake Rib Stitch Scarf, too.

I really must stop starting new projects until I've finished the ones I've started.

Yeah. Right. I'll cut back on buying yarn, too. *ROTF*

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Knit Purl Gurl and a WEBS Giveaway

One of the blogs I follow is one written by Knit Purl Gurl. I learned about her in a Ravelry group called Moving Beyond Rectangles that I joined immediately upon becoming a Ravelry member. She's the group administrator and gave me a warm welcome when I joined. When I learned about her blog I put her on my blog list and have always enjoyed reading it.

Currently she's hosting a wonderful WEBS giveaway on her blog. It's a beautiful Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Set. All my interchangeables are nickel plated and I enjoy using them, but would love the opportunity to try a set of bamboo. I currently have only one set of DPNs in bamboo, but enjoy the way they warm in my hands so quickly.

To enter the giveaway, go to Knit Purl Gurl's blog by clicking HERE and following her wonderfully clear and simple instructions. Hurry, though, because the entry period ends Tuesday, October 13th at 11:59 pm EST. And good luck!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Finally Finished Objects!!

Last Saturday I finished my very first pair of two-at-a-time, toe-up Magic Loop socks. And I LOVE them. I was still working on a pair of top-down socks on DPNs and had to nudge myself a bit to put the Magic Loop down to work on them. :-) I have to say that I actually do enjoy working on double point needles, though. There's something a bit nostalgic about it. However there are several reasons for me to use Magic Loop instead:
  1. I do a lot of knitting in doctors' waiting rooms these days. It's nice to know that if I drop something, a double point needle isn't going to roll under a chair and get lost. With Magic Loop that issue is completely eliminated. The only thing I might drop is a stitch. *L*
  2. It's really easy to stop and start....handy if you get called from the waiting room to the examining room in the middle of a round.
  3. It's a real conversation starter. I always get comments like "I used to knit, but I've never seen that kind of knitting before. What is it?" Really fun, and I've met a lot of wonderful people this way.

Last night I finished up my latest pair of top-down socks on DPNs. They're truly truly WILD. I need to make myself some sock blockers. I don't block my socks, but I'd like to have a set of blockers to make my socks easy to photograph. So far I've been taking pictures of them on my feet, but I'd really rather have blockers. I found a tutorial online on a way to make a set from an old placemat. I guess that should be my next "project".

Ah well, back to work. I wish the work day disappeared as quickly as lunch breaks. *L*

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Socks Are Addictive

Here's what I just finished for my friend's grandson:
Baby Hat

The hat, not the Raggedy Andy. *LOL* It's the "Simple Baby Hat" by Alison Williams, available for FREE at Ravelry. *here comes a shameless Ravelry plug* If you're a knitter and you've not joined Ravelry, you should. They have lots of wonderful helpful folks in groups who share just about any interest you might have. Not only that, but there are TONS of patterns. Back to the hat. My friend's grandson is growing so quickly that I wanted to find something I could knit up in a hurry. Since he'll outgrow it in no time at all, I didn't want to spend weeks on it, y'know? So, using Ravelry's helpful pattern search engine, I found this nifty little pattern and knitted it up last night.

The proud grandma isn't sure the hat is big enough, so I told her that's no problem. I'll just knit up another one in a slightly larger size tonight.

Now, let's see....what do I have on the needles currently?
  1. Mom's cushion cover. The boucle she chose makes me knit a few rows on the cover, then I grab up a sock or something else I'm knitting from more comforting yarn. The fabric formed from the boucle looks lovely....all soft and plushy. But it's devilish to work with. If we're choosing yarn for another project in the future, I'm going to steer her away from boucle, for sure!
  2. Socks 101 - fourth pair. I've had this pair of socks on DPNs forever! I'm not sure when I started them. I keep them at the office to work on during lunch breaks, so it's taking a loooong time to finish them. I'm fairly sick of looking at them, so I might take them home this weekend and finish them just so I can move onto something else. I'm about 3 inches down the leg of the second sock, so it shouldn't take long to polish them off and get them out of my hair.
  3. My first pair of two-at-a-time, toe-up Magic Loop socks. There's nothing fancy about these....just vanilla colored k3p1 ribbed socks. But, OH, how I've enjoyed working on them. These socks gave me not only my first experience with Magic Loop, but my first experience with toe-up socks and knitting socks two at a time as well. Such fun! I call these my "waiting room" socks. I've been spending a lot of time in doctors' waiting rooms lately, and these socks are so simple that I can work on them without having to watch a pattern. Perfect for the waiting room!
  4. Wendy D. Johnson's Diagonal Lace Socks. I found these in her wonderful book, Socks from the Toe Up, but just learned that you can find the pattern online free. Just click HERE. You're welcome. I have a small error in them, just as I was finishing the first set of the lace pattern. I keep debating over whether or not to go back and fix it. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm going to have to. It'll bug me if I don't. I'm knitting them from Knit Picks' yummy Stroll Tweed sock yarn in Ash. These are my "I'm tired...I need something to help me relax" socks. It's a simple pattern, and it makes me happy to watch the diagonal lace form in my hands. I'm a person of simple pleasures.

I think that's it. I guess that's enough, don't you? *LOL* Okay, lunch break's over, so I'd better get back to it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vacations Zip Right Along

I've been on vacation this week, but have hardly been able to knit at all, dang it! I managed to get some knitting done while waiting to have some medical tests run Tuesday, and while waiting to have my car serviced Wednesday. But not much. *sigh* I've deliberately planned to do NOTHING Saturday and hope to spend all day with my audiobook and my knitting!

I have to tell you , though, that between diagnostic tests Tuesday I had time to run into the only local yarn shop in my hometown and found it to be just delightful. I've had wonderful luck so far buying yarn on the internet, but it's a wonderful treat to be able to FEEL the yarn before buying it. I didn't have much time to shop, but assured the owner (a very nice lady) that I'd certainly be back!

Okay, I'm off now to fix myself a bite of breakfast and knit just a few rows on my newest pair of socks before heading out to enjoy my last weekday of vacation. *sniffle, sob*

Friday, September 11, 2009

Oh Goodie, Goodie, Goodie!!

Yesterday I received a shipment from KnitPicks that included Wendy D. Johnson's wonderful book Socks from the Toe Up. I can hardly wait to start knitting from it! I need to finish up the simple ribbed socks I'm working on, but I'll probably go ahead and cast on a pair from the book. After all, it's September and I'll need socks soon. (Okay, that's my excuse...*LOL*)

I also ordered some sock yarn....addicted, you know. My excuse here is that they had their Stroll Tweed Sock Yarn ON SALE. And I need some new gray socks to go with a beautiful gray sweater that Mom and Dad gave me. And one of the colors ON SALE was "Ash". So I needed it, right? RIGHT?

I also ordered a couple of balls of their Stroll Multi Sock Yarn in "Turtle"....ON SALE...LAST CHANCE...and I have a new pair of green slacks that they will look just great with. And it was only $2.99 a ball. So I needed it, too. Really. I did.

I also ordered some natural bare marino wool because I want to try something I've never tried before.....KoolAid dyeing!! This will either be a lot of fun or one huge mess. *LOL*

Fun, fun, fun! And as I say often, knitting is cheaper than therapy.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday afternoon. My appointment was at 1:55, but the doctor was delayed by an emergency surgery. When I arrived, folks who had 11:45 appointments hadn't been seen yet. Did I panic? Nope. I just whipped out my little knitting bag with my Magic Loop socks and entertained myself and various other patients for the next couple of hours. *LOL* I didn't get to see the doctor until about 4:30, but I told myself, "Hey, more knitting time." I was tired when I finally left the doctor's office, but not upset at all. Therapy, I'm tellin' ya.

And now I have the next week off from work. Ahhhhhhhhhh. Nothing special planned, only a few things to take care of. I'm hoping for a couple of cozy afternoons in the recliner with MeggieDog and a lap full of knitting. :-)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Progress, Finally

This week I've made more progress, thank goodness. I've worked more on my 2-at-a-time socks, and absolutely LOVE working in Magic Loop. As you can see in this photo, I've worked the heel (which was much, much easier than I'd feared it might be) and am now working my way up the leg. From time to time I stop working on the socks and knit a few more rows on Mom's cushion cover. This is a holiday weekend (hooray!) so I hope to put in some serious knitting time. I also have checked a new audiobook out of the library and have it my Zune, ready and waiting!

I also made time this week to knit a pair of socks for my friend's new grandson from the leftovers I had after knitting a pair of socks for myself. They actually turned out really cute! The neat thing about knitting baby socks is that it doesn't take long. I think people who are knitting socks for the first time might want to consider knitting baby socks first to learn the basics. Less time and yarn involved in the learning process this way. Of course, unless you know someone with a baby, it might be a little pointless. Who am I kidding? Knitting socks is NEVER pointless. Addicted, you see. *LOL*
Well, household drudgery awaits me, so I'll close for now. Have to get the vacuuming done so I can knit without guilt. *LOL* Have a safe holiday weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Progress, or Lack Thereof

It's been a really busy week, so I've not managed to get much knitting time, dang it. I knit on Mom's cushion cover until I can't bear one more moment of handling that acrylic yarn. Then I switch to my 2-at-a-time, toe-up Magic Loop socks. That calms me enough for another few rows of the cushion cover. *LOL*

I'm anxious to get up to the heel on the socks. I've never knit a pair toe-up before, so this will be a whole new experience!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Magic Loop Progress

I'm now past the toe increases on my toe-up, 2-at-a-time Magic Loop socks and am knitting my way to the heel. I've already become more comfortable with the Magic Loop process and I just love the idea that when I finish a sock, I'll have finished BOTH of them. I'm sure I'll still knit some on DPNs when I get the nerve to branch out beyond my simple sock "recipe" just because so many patterns are written for DPNs. I still have a pair of socks at the office that I knit on during lunch breaks (unless I'm updating my blog...*LOL*) that are on DPNs, so I won't get out of practice, at least.

I need to get back to work on Mom's cushion cover. I have trouble making myself go back to work on the acrylic boucle after knitting with lovely soft sock yarn. *sigh*

Monday, August 17, 2009

Okay, I'm a Dunce....

I did something really dumb on my first pair of toe-up, 2-at-a-time Magic Loop socks....I misread the instructions (and they were SIMPLE instructions) for the M1R and M1L increases. This resulted in a rather decorative but impractical double row of cute little holes on both sides of the socks. Yuck.

So, I reread the instructions, kicked myself for a few minutes, frogged both socks and started again this morning. Dolt. Of course, I guess I could say that the good news is that it gave me another opportunity to practice "Judy's Magic Cast-On" and I was able to do it without watching the YouTube video this time! *pats self on back*

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baby Blankie

This is the small blanket I knitted for my friend's's an oversized version of the "Idiot Dishcloth" pattern. I like it because it has a nice little border and I can practically knit it in my sleep. *LOL* I made it small enough to be very portable and knit tightly enough to be good and warm. Have to keep the little guy comfy!

I'm teaching myself Magic Loop knitting with the help of YouTube and various websites. You gotta love the internet! I'm trying to learn how to knit socks toe-up, two at a time. Knitting socks two at a time is the only reason I'm trying to learn Magic Loop to tell the truth. I'm actually quite comfortable working with DPNs. Right now Magic Loop feels awkward to me, but so did DPNs at first. So, I'm hopeful. :-)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cute Teensy Little Socks

These are the baby socks I knitted for my friend's grandchild, which is due very soon.

They are teensy and cute and knitted up quickly. Now that I've done my first set of baby socks, I wish I'd done several sets of those before knitting my first pair of grown-up socks. That way I could have learned the techniques involved without a huge time commitment.

But.....I also wouldn't have already finished as many pairs of socks for myself as I have. *LOL*

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Baby Socks

A friend of mine is anticipating the arrival of her first grandchild in the next couple of weeks, and I'm working on a baby blanket as a shower gift. It suddenly occurred to me the other night that a pair of booties might be a nice item to enclose as well. I went to Ravelry (my home away from home) to look for a quick-and-easy bootie pattern and found a wonderful baby sock pattern. I finished one that very evening and have nearly finished the second one. Photos to come, I promise. *LOL*

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and another doctor appointment on Monday, so I'm hoping to finish up the baby blanket during waiting room time.

As soon as I've finished those, I want to work on the cushion cover I promised Mom. She'd chosen an acrylic boucle which just isn't working up as well as I'd hoped it would. Maybe I'm just spoiled by all the lovely sweater and sock yarn I've been working in lately. (Am I becoming a yarn snob???) Anyway, I thought I'd try double-stranding it with another less lumpy yarn to see what effect I get from that.

I also need to decide what holiday knitting I need to do and get started on that. Now there's a scary thought....I NEED TO START MY HOLIDAY KNITTING.


Monday, August 3, 2009


I finished my sweater yesterday and couldn't be more pleased. I washed it and was happy to find that it still fit after washing. I'm so happy with it that I'm going to wear it to work today. I'll try to post a photo in the next few days.

I have a few other projects that I MUST finish up (not the least of which is a cushion cover for Mom), but hope to start a winter-weight sweater soon. What fun!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweater Progress

I got in a little knitting time last night before bedtime and was able to work my sweater up to the point of doing the neck ribbing! If all goes well, I should actually finish it this weekend!! *happy knitting dance*

All I have left is to do the neck ribbing, the underarm grafting and hiding the ends. It's looking pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

Yesterday I finished one of the socks that I keep at the office to work on during lunch breaks. It always surprises me that it takes as long as it does to finish one, but it shouldn't be a surprise since I only get to knit on it about a half hour a week. I have two doctor's appointments in the next week and a half, so I expect to get lots of sock knitting done while in waiting rooms. I had my driver's license renewed last Friday and was able to knit about a half a sock while waiting there. Sure helps keep your blood pressure level to have something to occupy yourself while waiting in a room full of unhappy people!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Sweater and a Referral

I managed to knit some more on my Basic Sweater Saturday and Sunday. I'm up to the decreases at the raglan seams! I didn't feel well enough to knit any last night. After sitting at my desk at the office all day it's hard for me to sit in the recliner, so I'm probably going to have to finish my sweater with weekend knitting.

I finally got a referral late yesterday afternoon; I thought they were going to refer me to a neurologist, but I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon. My appointment is on August 10, so I'm going to have to put up with the pain longer than I'd like. But at least I know when I'm going to SEE someone now.

Better close now and eat my lunch so I can get back to work! :-)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's All Relative

If I've learned anything in the past few weeks, it's that it's all relative. On a scale of 0 to 10, my pain level right now is at about 4. But Wednesday and Thursday were both 9's; yesterday was about a 7. So, relatively speaking, today is a good day. :-)

I've learned something else, though. If my day starts out as a 4, I'd better do anything that involves sitting at my home computer early in case my pain level goes up later in the day. I really MUST get myself a good computer chair for home. I'm thinking very seriously about getting one of those balance ball chairs. I think it would be good for my back; it would certainly be better than my dining room chair I'm current using!

Now for the latest health update: I finally got my MRI results Wednesday. I have a cyst in my back that's apparently pressing on my sciatic nerve. No WONDER I'm getting worse instead of better! So I'm now waiting for a referral to a neurologist. I called the doctor's office Thursday ("They're still working on your referral, but you should hear something soon.") and yesterday ("They're still working on your referral, but you should hear something today or Monday."). Yuck. Nothing quite like waiting.

So, today will be spent in the recliner with my phone, remote, knitting, and MeggieDog. I've already done what few household chores I have to do today other than feeding myself. Mom has taken care of that, as well, supplying me with yummy fresh green beans, cooked potatoes, squash casserole, fried squash, tomatoes, corn, and corn muffins. All I have to do today is heat and eat!

And so, I'm off to slide carefully into the recliner. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Making Progress

I'm still having pain and still waiting for a call from the doctor with results from last week's MRI. I did manage to go to Mom and Dad's for a visit on the Fourth, though, so that was a nice change.

Yesterday I was pretty uncomfortable, but managed to spend most of the day in my recliner with my heating pad, MeggieDog, the remote control, and my knitting. Finally, a day that I could make some knitting progress!!

I finished both sleeves for my Basic Sweater and attached them to the body. Then I knit about another 1/2 inch of the body. After another inch, I'll be ready to begin the decreases for the yoke! Hooray! The great news is that so far IT FITS!!! I'm very pleased with the way it's going. If I could have a couple of days to do nothing but knit, I think I could finish it up. At the rate I've been able to work on it, though, it might take another couple of weeks. Still, it's great to finally feel like I'm on the home stretch!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Still Hanging In

Still not much knitting going on at my house. :-( I have managed to get in enough knitting time to get my sweater up to the point that I've started one of the sleeves and have about a third of that sleeve finished.

I went for an MRI yesterday (not a fun experience for someone as claustrophobic as I am!), so hopefully they'll find out soon what needs to be done to relieve my pain.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hanging In

I was so tired after work last night that I didn't even pick up my knitting. I just had my dinner, watched a little TV, took a relaxing bath, and went to bed. Now I'm behind closed doors at the office, having a turkey sandwich and knitting a few rows on a sock I keep here to work on during lunch breaks.

How I'd love to have a nap, followed by a long afternoon of knitting and sipping cups of green tea! The good news is that tomorrow is my last scheduled day of work this week, so maybe I can get in some relaxing knitting time Thursday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back at Work

I'm back to work today....still having some discomfort, but not the dreadful pain I had last week. I've made it halfway through the work day now. I'm very tired, but otherwise seem to be holding up okay. I will be very glad to see quitting time today, though.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hopefully On the Right Track

After going steadily downhill with the leg pain, I made a trip to another doctor Tuesday. He thought I had a pulled hamstring and prescribed pain pills and pain patches and waiting for it to heal. Two days later I was unable to walk. A third doctor FINALLY gave me what I felt to be a good examination, range of motion tests, reflex tests, x-rays. It's not tendonitis. It's not a pulled hamstring. It's sciatica. *sigh* The good news is that after two days on pain meds, muscle relaxers and Prednisone, I'm MUCH improved. I have to keep an eye on my glucose (because othe Prednisone), but I can't believe how much I've already improved. FINALLY. I even feel well enough to knit a bit tonight. *happy sigh*

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good News & Not-As-Good News

The good news is that I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, and the pain in my leg really IS tendonitis and nothing more serious. The not-as-good news is that I've been doing everything right in my home treatment of it....but it's just going to take a little more time. *sigh* I'm so bored with leg pain. But at least there's some light at the end of the tunnel!

I finished one sock in one of the two pairs I currently have on needles. It turned out really neat. I've got to get it photographed. I also bought myself a Zune to use to listen to audiobooks while I knit. I just LOVE it! But I needed something to carry it safely around the apartment while I'm doing household drudgery and to keep it handy while I'm knitting. So using scrap yarn from my stash I knitted a little pouch for it with an I-cord long enough to go around my neck. It actually turned out pretty cute. I need to photograph it, too.

Last night I picked up my sweater and knitted on it until I got sleepy, which didn't take long. I call it "zen knitting"......knit, knit, knit, around and around and counting, no thinking....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I also started listening to the second audiobook in the "Women's Murder Club" series. Now that's what i call a good evening....mindless knitting and a good murder mystery! Makes me want to play hooky from work and go home and hit the recliner. But I won't. *sigh*

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday is the Longest Day of the Week

I'm back at work (lunch break!) after a lovely weekend, wishing I had more than 30 minutes for lunch so I could knit long enough to unwind from the morning. I read a report on MSNBC about The Elkhart Project's coverage of the Yarn Overcomers program that was developed to help relieve stress in these tough economic times. I know that knitting is a wonderful stress reliever for me, personally, and highly recommend it. :-)

I knitted more on my Basic Sweater over the weekend. I have another couple of inches to go on the body before I start the sleeves. Progress is being made!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The End of a Lovely Weekend

Boy, I enjoy those long weekends! I unfortunately lost one day of it to a migraine (phooey), but otherwise it was a lovely relaxing few days.

I didn't get to do as much knitting as I'd hoped, but I did start a bear for the Mother Bear project. I'd printed some directions on knitting it in the round instead of having to seam it up, but couldn't find them....I'm sure I put them "someplace safe" and they'll never be seen again. So, for my first bear I decided to just knit it up by the regular directions. I'm about halfway through it; hopefully by the time I'm ready to knit Bear # 2 I'll have found my circular directions. *LOL*

I managed to knit several more rows on my Basic Sweater. I need to measure again before I go any further to be sure the fit is still what I expect. I just love the feel of the CotLin yarn as I knit. So soft! The contrast between it and the acrylic I'm using for the bear is just startling.

Off to do a few household chores now so that I can relax with my knitting for a bit before bedtime!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What I've Been Up To

So, once again I've fallen behind in my blogging....bad, BAD Cricket!! In my defense, though, I have been pretty busy.

I've been battling tendonitis in my leg which makes it painful to sit at my home computer for more than just a few minutes at a time. I finally realized that I don't HAVE to sit in the chair. I have a wireless mouse and keyboard and can actually use the computer from the bed, where I can prop up all comfy-cozy with pillows, blankies, knitting, and MeggieDog. I'm a bit better now, and hope to be out of pain soon.

A friend asked me to help him with a project for his father (Father's Day gift) which turned into more work than I'd anticipated, but that's coming along nicely. Just time consuming.

On top of that, I'm working four 10-hour days at the office this's great because I'm off every Friday, but BOY am I bushed when I get home. Between the extra-long workdays and the anti-inflammatory meds I've been taking for my leg, I've been fairly unproductive in the evenings after work. I'm adjusting, though, so hopefully I'll be back on schedule with knitting and blogging soon.

Knitting.....I'm knitting the "Basic Sweater" from Jacqueline Fee's wonderful The Sweater Workshop. It's my very first sweater, and I ADORE the yarn. It's Knit Picks' CotLin in a marvelous color called Pomegranate. I could just sit and cuddle this yarn. I hope it's as comfy after knitting it up! Because of all the stuff listed above, I've only knit about 7 inches or so from the bottom, but it's going well so far. We'll see if I panic as I approach sleeves for the first time. *LOL*

I have a couple of pairs of socks on needles that I've barely touched in the past month. They wait so patiently for me.....

A friend at work is knitting mittens. I hadn't knitted a pair in months and had, in fact, learned to knit on DPNs since knitting my mittens, which were knit on straight needles. I poked around on the internet a bit and found that Kate Atherley, who wrote the wonderful "Socks 101" on which is my sock bible, had also written "Mittens 101". JOY!!! The other night during a particularly bad bout with my leg (during which I didn't want to risk messing up my sweater-in-progress at 3:00 am), I knit the "Training Mitt Pattern" in Kate's wonderful instructions. What a joy it was to knit a mitten without sewing a single seam! So now I want to knit more mittens.

Of course, first I should finish my sweater.....and those two pairs of socks I started.....and a Mother Bear or two or three or four because I have the pattern and haven't started a single solitary bear.....and a baby blanket for a friend who's going to be a grandmother soon.....and a couple of birthday gifts....not to mention that I should start my Christmas knitting soon. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!

Okay, Cricket, one step at a time. So right now I'm going to throw a load of laundry in the washer, have a little dinner, take a nice relaxing bath, and crawl into my recliner with MeggieDog, my remote control, a glass of tea, and my knitting....the Basic Sweater, I think. Makes me feel more relaxed just to think of it. *happy contented sigh*

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Sampler's Finished!

I finished my Sampler yesterday....what a great learning experience! I've just cast on my very first sweater, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Catching Up

I've been slow about posting, I know. I've really been having a tough time with pain in my leg and even had to cancel some plans with friends yesterday because I just didn't feel well enough. I don't mind getting older, but I really resent FEELING it!!

Now, what knitting have a been up to since my last blog post? Let's see.....I have two pairs of socks on needles: one pair of "Spiral Socks" from Jackie Fee's wonderful "The Sweater Workshop" book and one pair of "Socks 101" (I just love that "recipe") in a denim jacquard. I've not made a lot of progress on either pair lately, because I'm working on the fun, fun, fun Sampler from "The Sweater Workshop".

I had to order some needles from Knit Picks to do the Sampler, so it took awhile for me to get started on it. But, oh, what I've learned so far! I felt so bad yesterday that I didn't work on it at all, and really resented losing the knitting time on it. I'm anxious to finish the Sampler so I can actually work on a real, honest-to-goodness SWEATER.

If any of my readers have already worked their way through the Sampler, I'm at the point of working the bar increases. I hit a little snag when I got to the cardigan border, through no fault except my own. I'd tried to work it while I was tired (rough day at the office), and that's never a good idea. However, with a little online reading I worked it out and now have a beautiful buttonhole.

My sock knitting is considerably slowed since I spend all my "at home" knitting time on the Sampler. I just do sock knitting during my lunch break at work, so it's a good thing it's a long time until Fall and I don't really need new socks right now. *LOL*

Monday, April 27, 2009

Socks are Addictive

My second set of socks
I finished another pair of socks Saturday....yummy "grey gentry" Paton sock yarn. I love knitting socks. I have a feeling of accomplishment from using the double pointed needles and even though they're simple to make I feel like I'm making something USEFUL. It's very relaxing to me. So much so that I have two different pair of socks cast on now.
One is another pair of the "Socks 101" recipe in a wonderful denim jacquard. I'm going to do a K3 P1 rib all the way down to the heel on these, just for a bit of variety without getting over my head. *LOL*
The other pair is a "spiral sock" pattern from "The Sweater Workshop" by Jacqueline Fee. I'd ordered the book and learned that I needed some needles I don't already own to knit the sweater "sampler" used to teach skills needed to knit a sweater. So, while I'm waiting for the needles to arrive (I LOVE wish sometimes that I could buy things locally at the prices Knit Picks has online!), I decided to try the sock pattern from the book. I'm doing this pair in a wild Paton jaquard....I can't remember what they named this colorway, but it has pink, black, white, orange and green in it. It's going to work up either spectacularly great or spectacularly ugly. *LOL*
I've seen two quotes in the past week that ring very true for me: "Knitting is cheaper than therapy" (author unknown) and "There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness'." (Dave Barry)
All I know is that I can be feeling really uptight, pick up my knitting, and it just makes me feel better. And it's not fattening. How many things can you say THAT about?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yorkie Sweaters

I finished the Yorkie sweaters the first of the week, but haven't felt well enough to photograph them for the blog until today. (Leg pain and a migraine, both of which are thankfully better now!) The sweaters actually turned out really cute....I hope they fit!

Here are close-ups of the buttons I found at Hobby Lobby for the bones and paw prints. How cute are those?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yorkie Sweaters

I've been a bad blogger....but I have an excuse! Some friends of mine own four adorable little Yorkies, and I've been knitting sweaters for each of them. They're the same pattern as the sweaters I've made for Meggie, just smaller. They actually turned out really cute.

I've finished two of them (except for washing and blocking them) and need to sew the buttons on the other two. When I get the buttons on all of them, I'll take a photo and post it here.

I've knitted most of a sock (I'm about an inch from starting the toe decrease), but I've only been working on that off and on during the time I've been knitting the Yorkie sweaters. I need to finish up that pair of socks and get to work on a practice sweater I've cast on.

I've bought some lovely CotLin yarn from Knit Picks to knit myself a summer-weight sweater. I want to knit the pattern up in some inexpensive acrylic first, though, to be sure I understand the pattern. I hope I'm not in over my head!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meggie's Second Sweater

I finished Meggie's second sweater this evening. As you can see, she's quite pleased. :-)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another Sweater for Meggie

I've started another sweater for Meggie. I wanted her to have at least two ready for camping season so that she can have a dry one to wear if she gets one wet. Actually three would be better; we'll see how quickly this one goes.
I have to admit that I'm really anxious to start another pair of socks. It was such fun learning to knit on double pointed needles that I want to get another pair underway before I forget what I learned!

Friday, April 3, 2009

They're Finished!

I just finished knitting my very first pair of socks! And they actually FIT! This has been a really fun project, and it certainly won't be the last pair of socks I knit. I have another project I need to finish up before I cast on another pair of socks, but I'll be knitting more soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

One Sock Completed!

And it even fits! I'd better cast on its partner before I go to bed before I get out of the notion. *LOL*


I woke up really early and wanted to work a bit on my sock before running errands, so I took this photo before starting work on it again. As you can see, I made quite a bit of progress yesterday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Socks 101 - Redux

Yesterday Mom and I went shopping (I'm off work this week....*YAY*), and I found some actual, honest-to-goodness sock yarn! I found only two skeins at Michaels (and bought 'em both). Our last stop of the day was at Hobby Lobby, where I found lots of yummy yarn ON SALE. Since I'm still a beginner, I didn't buy a ton of yarn, but bought enough to keep me out of mischief for awhile. *G*
So, since I now have real sock yarn to work with, I've frogged the infinitely unwearable purple sock I was knitting from baby yarn and have started one from the sock yarn. It's going very well, and I'm really happy with the way it looks and feels.
I've also found a new scarf pattern I want to make....but I CAN'T start anything new until I finish up a few things I've already started.....right?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Socks 101 Continued

I'm making progress! I took this photo just after I'd finished the ribbing.

I SHOULD be asleep...thank goodness I'm on leave this week and don't have to get up early. I was really enjoying seeing my sock take shape and just couldn't put it down. It now has a HEEL! *LOL* If I wasn't so tired I'm afraid of making a big mistake, I'd stay up until I at least finish one sock, but I really must get some sleep. I wonder if there's a 12-step program for sock-knitting addiction.

Now I'm anxious to get some actual sock yarn instead of trying to work with the acrylic (which is all I could find at Wal-Mart). Mom and I are going shopping for awhile tomorrow, so I'm hopeful I can find more suitable yarn. I've ordered some online, but that will take awhile to be delivered.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Socks 101

Last night, I'd finished knitting Meggie's sweater, but didn't want to sew on the buttons. (Yes, I hate to thread needles...*LOL*) Instead, I picked up my "Socks 101" instructions and began working on my very first pair of knitted socks.
I don't have any sock yarn, and they didn't have any at Wal-Mart when I stopped there on my way to work yesterday morning. The nice lady who worked in the sewing/yarn/crafts section said that they only non-acrylic yarn they carry is the cotton dishcloth yarn. *SIGH*
I ordered some sock yarn from, but that won't be here for 5 - 10 business days, and I'm too impatient to wait. So I decided to knit a practice pair from baby yarn. I love the color, but I'm sure the acrylic is going to be really uncomfortable to wear.
Oh, well....I'm LEARNING, so this will be fine to learn with. :-)

Meggie's Sweater

My 15-year-old miniature dachshund, Meggie, loves sweaters. Because her fur is fine and she's so close to the ground, she's always enjoyed wearing sweaters outside and t-shirts inside.

Because of her little short legs and her broad chest, it's always been difficult to find sweaters to fit her. And, as the years have progressed and arthritis has taken hold, it's becoming more difficult to pull sweaters over her head and get her little feet through the sleeves.

I went Google-ing for a pattern (a SIMPLE pattern, since I'm a beginner) for a knitted doggie sweater that I wouldn't have to pull over Meggie's head. Lo and behold, I found a perfect sweater for her at this site:

Since I'm still learning to knit, it took me a little while to get it finished, but I'm VERY pleased with the outcome! I have a few other projects to finish up before I can start another sweater, but am anxious to get another one cast onto my needles!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hat and Mittens

This is the hat and mittens set I knitted for myself from leftover yarn from my very first knitting project, the scarf I started in December 2007 and finished in January 2008. I knitted the hat and mittens in February 2009.
I'm making progress on Meggie's doggie sweater. I can hardly wait to see how it looks on her!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sue's Easy Knit Dishcloth

This cloth isn't quite as simple as the "idiot" cloth, but it works up pretty quickly and has a lovely texture. It's another free pattern you can find by searching for "Sue's Easy Knit Dishcloth".

I'm still amazed at how many talented people are designing patterns and giving them away for free! Bless their little hearts.

Okay, I'll try to find something other than dishcloths to post for awhile. *LOL*

Basic "Idiot" Dishcloth

I've seen patterns for this dishcloth all over the internet as "Granny's Favorite" or "Basic Dishcloth" or "Idiot Dishcloth". I just love knitting this one in front of the television, because you really only have to pay attention on the first few stitches of each row. Then it's just plain knit until the end of the row.

Perfect for those times when you need something fairly mindless to work on.

Hummingbird Dishcloth

This "hummingbird in flight" is the only dishcloth that didn't live up to my expectations. It was a lot of work and just isn't very pretty. I don't think I'll make another one of these.

Butterfly Dishcloth

One of the great things about knitting dishcloths is that it's almost instant gratification. This butterfly works up really quickly. I've now made two of them, and I can knit one in the time it takes to watch a movie.

I like knitting dishcloths, too, because they're very portable. It's easy to work on one in the dentist's waiting room.

Kitty Dishcloth

I've been practicing my knitting lately by making cotton dishcloths as gifts for friends at work. One friend is a cat lover, so I found a pattern on the internet for this kitty dishcloth.

I wish I'd taken a picture after I blocked it, because it really looked much better after it was blocked. It turned out to be a cute gift, and was really easy to make. No tricky stitches, just knit and purl according to the pattern. It was fun to make something other than scarves. :-)

Crocheting With Grocery Bags

Dad's Aunt Orpha (98 years old and going strong) has been crocheting items using plastic grocery bags for some time now. I've seen hats she's crocheted, and last December she sent me some neat little coasters she'd made. Our local newspaper even wrote an article about her craftiness a year or so ago. She's really something.

When she sent me the coasters it prodded me to wonder how she prepared the bags in order to get a ball of plastic to crochet. So, a-Googling I went and found that there are actually two schools of thought on how to do it: 1) by cutting the bags spirally in a long continuous strip, and 2) by cutting the bags straight across, forming loops that you then connect together in a chain. Because it seemed quicker (and required less ability to cut in a continuous line while keeping the width of the strip pretty even....*LOL*) I chose the loop method.After I had a ball of "plarn" (plastic yarn) larger than a softball, but smaller than a volleyball (probably 40 bags or so), I started crocheting with a plastic "Q" hook, using a patttern I'd Googled for the tote bag pictured here. It's about 2 feet long and 1 foot wide. The handle is crocheted using a slightly smaller hook to make it nice and sturdy. The day after I finished it, I was talking with Mom on the phone and told her it was all done. She said, "What's it look like?" I answered, "It looks like a tote bag crocheted from grocery bags." *LOL*

Gorgeous? No, not particularly. Functional? Absolutely. It's sturdy, and I'm sure it's going to be a very handy item. I think I'll wind up crocheting several to use while camping. They're roomy, lightweight, and would be very easy to crush down into your purse to take along on shopping trips.

My next grocery bag project is a granny-square rug for the floor of my tent. It's nearly finished; I'll post a photo when it's done.

My Very First Knitted Project - December 2007

My daughter has lived in Australia for the past 5-1/2 years. In December 2007 she and her friend came home for a visit. During the visit, her friend learned that I have crocheted off and on for many years. She said that she didn't crochet, but has been a knitter for a long time.

So, I taught her to crochet a granny square, and she started me out on a knitted scarf. She taught me to cast on, knit, and bind off.

Unfortunately, by the time I'd finished the scarf in January and was ready to bind off, she and my daughter were already back in Australia and I'd forgotten her instructions!

So, I did what I usually do when I need an answer to a question....I GOOGLED! *L* I was amazed to find that there were TONS of instructions and lots of free patterns. And so, here is Meggie inspecting my finished scarf. I still wear this scarf every time the temperature gets cool enough to justify it. I recently knitted myself a hat and mitten set to match it. I'll post a picture of that later.

Meggie's Ottoman Cover

Meggie is my miniature dachshund; she'll be 15 years old on April 1, 2009. (Yes, she was an April Fool puppy! *LOL*) My bed (which she considers to be HER bed) is much too high for her to jump up onto without a little help. So, several years ago I placed an old ottoman next to my bed.

The ottoman had a leatherette cover; this didn't present a problem at first. However, as time took a toll on Meggie's mobility, she began to slip a little on the smooth leatherette. So, I crocheted a granny square large enough to cover the top of the ottoman and just crocheted an open weave to fit down over the sides to hold it in place.

It solves the problem of the slippery surface and is easily removed to throw into the washer as needed. Meg is pleased. :-)

My World, and Welcome To It

And so it begins....a blog devoted to my needlecraft. When you learn what a novice I am, you'll find it funny that I'm blogging about my knitting! *LOL*

I've been an "off and on" crocheter for 20 years, but only began knitting in December 2007. My daughter and her friend came to visit for Christmas. Her friend is a knitter and had never done any crochet. We agreed to swap a few skills; I taught her to crochet a granny square, and she taught me how to cast on, knit, and bind off. She then started me knitting a scarf.

By the time I was finished with the scarf and ready to bind off, my daughter and her friend had long since gone home and I'd completely forgotten what to do! I went to my first resource for most questions I face: Google. Luckily I found many, many online resources that taught me not only how to bind off, but how to purl!

Since that first scarf (which I still wear every time the temperature drops enough to justify it), I've knitted several scarves for friends, a hat and mitten set for myself (which matches that first scarf), and have lately been knitting dishcloths as gifts for friends.

I like doing the dishcloths because it's nearly instant gratification. I can finish one in the time it takes me to watch a movie on TV. Not only do I have a neat little gift for someone, but it gives me justification for sitting in the recliner for a couple of hours. "Well, yes, I DID lay in the recliner most of the afternoon, but look what I MADE." *LOL*

I'll get a few photos posted here of some things I've finished and keep tabs on things I've started and want to start. For instance, I've started a sweater for my mini-dachsie, but had to put it aside to finish up a few birthday gifts. I hope to get back to the sweater very soon.

So this is my world....not terribly exciting, but very comfortable. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and make yourself at home.