Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Wednesday

Not much knitting to report over the last couple of days. It seems that I've been distracted by anything and everything. I did manage to make a batch of cookies. DS requested blond brownies... and I delivered. They won't last long! I had to buy a new pan (I threw away the old one after using it for a paint tray) and I even baked them in the convection oven, something that I am getting used to after ::gasp:: reading the manual!!

He laughed at me when I took the picture. Ha! So then I made him go shopping for school uniforms. That hurt my pocketbook, and the kids feel humiliated. I think they look cute/handsome, though. I have to hem DS' pants. Oh yea, and buy a new belt and shoes... it seems never ending, even with uniforms. They will get used to them.

My mind has been wandering on to what my next project might be. I have a bunch of white Cotton Classic... Is it too late in the summer to start a cotton garment? Thinking ahead, I could be influenced by Kay's projects (gorgeous aren't they), or for something quick, I have a niece that would love these

I hope your knitting has been more productive than mine over the last couple of days, and if not, I hope you're having fun with whatever your distractions might be!

On my needles: cotton table runner

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Weekend

It's Monday again, following a whirlwind weekend of activity.

First, an FO to report - the gloves are done (never mind the fact that it's 100 degrees outside). This is my first pair of whole gloves ever - I've done lots of mittens and fingerless gloves. I was always intimidated by the thought of gloves (kind of like a fear of knitting socks), but they weren't hard at all. I think I will make more, maybe in finer yarn. I can't be too crazy because I know there is a standing room only Fiddlehead Mittens class going on at the LYS, and those mittens will be even warmer than my gloves. Maybe it's a Christmas in July thing. 

On to the next project: I started (and even frogged and restarted) a lacy table scarf. True to my nature, I am knitting this at a relatively tight gauge for true lace (sorry Kay). When I finish the body, I will pull out the provisional cast on and knit a point on the end, maybe with some beads, that part is still in the thought stages. I really like the zig-zag edge on the sides. I hope this will dress up my dining room table without being too formal, if that makes sense. 

One note about the blip of lamp in the picture. That lamp has survived 26 years of hard living in my house. It was a weird color and all scratched up. When I was unpacking last month, I found a can of faux stone paint that I had never used. Lamp + paint + new shade = new life for old lamp. It was a quick and satisfying project and highly recommended if you have something that faux paint would work on. The lady that gave us that lamp for our wedding was tickled that we (a) still had it and (b) that it responded so well to a facelift! So, the lamp gets its own picture. =)

Add in 3 soccer games, a trip to the lake, an evening with neighbors, church, and a little house cleaning... no wonder Mondays always seem to drag. I hope to sit and knit a while today. But what will sidetrack me? I do need to make some cookies. 

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. What's on your needles?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Twist

Last night was the regular Thursday night SNB at Twist, and also the first anniversary of the shop. I managed a few stitches between bites of cake and lots of conversation. Happy Birthday Twist! And way to go Shelley! I ripped this photo off -- you need to add 50 knitters/crocheters/spinners to get the right effect.

I have to learn to take more mindless knitting to SNB because I get too distracted to do complicated or intricate stuff. Gloves are not good for public knitting - lesson learned! 

I hope to finish the gloves today, and then I am thinking of something lacy (air conditioned knitting?)... Perhaps I've been influenced by my friend, Kay, the queen of lace. I am thinking in terms of a table scarf for a bedside table, something to hide scratches without refinishing the table. 

Again, Happy Birthday to Twist, and welcome to the dog days of summer. I hope you all have something small or lightweight to knit.

Have a good weekend!

On my needles: The second glove of a pair - yea! Almost an FO!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Freebie Fun

I promised a freebie... and it's time to deliver. Do you have any little girls in your life, or maybe a little dog that you like to dress up? It's really easy to custom cover pony tail holders with an i-cord using scrap yarn and a few buttons or beads. And best of all it's quick and easy, and it uses scraps of yarn and whatever buttons or beads you might have lying around.

All it takes is one of these:

And a little bit of this
And of course some scraps of this
And the instructions for this quick and easy project, found here.

And there you have it! I hope you have fun with this, and I'd love to see pictures of what you come up with!

Enjoy!  Joan

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Queen of Bins

I call this organization, or at least I am trying to fool myself into thinking that I'm organized if I can "window shop" for some elusive skein of yarn. Truthfully, there is everything from old design FO's to scrap yarn to sewing notions to crafts notions in these bins. My favorite bin is the one that has the newest yarn in enough quantity to actually make something. And the bin I seem to go to the most has notions I use with knitting in it. Do you see the bin with crochet thread in it? I am thinking hard about knitted edgings... If you could see a picture of the other side of this room, you might tell me that I need to forget about knitting and clean the place up. 

Nah, you're knitters so you understand that it will all fall in place, even while knitting goes on. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Busy as a Bee

This little beehive hat was a road trip project last month and will go into my Knitting for Noggins box to donate later this year. Hats are quick and easy and can give you a sense of accomplishment when you're stuck in the middle of something big, or (worse) if you can't decide what to do next and you need to knit. I found the bee buttons on clearance at a "big box store" a long time ago, and I knew what I wanted to do, but it took a while for the idea to make it to the top of my priority pile. Thanks to my mixing bowl for being such a patient model. 

Last night was a fun time at Twist, one of the LYS' - at the regular Thurs night SNB. Next time, I won't sit on the couch -- I'm too short for it, and I couldn't get comfortable enough to knit, and isn't that what it's supposed to be about? So, good conversation, but not a lot of knitting. I'd have been better off on the floor! I'm really enjoying meeting the local knitters.

I'm working on a freebie pattern for next week, so check back. One little hint: it's a super quick scrap project.

On the needles: A hat! 

HaPPy FRidaY and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mission Accomplished

DD and I went on a button and bead expedition yesterday. We headed out with a list of addresses and our trusty GPS. Success! Neither one of us came home empty handed. I settled on beads to use as buttons and she found some cool new beads for her jewelry making hobby. I had some button shanks left over from a past project, and I even knew where to find them (minor woo-hoo). A little glue, and voila! I turned my beads into the buttons I needed to finish my project. These particular beads are made from seashells. The beading holes are so small that no one will ever see them.
You have to practice a little patience (that virtue that I'm lacking) and wait 24+ hours for the glue to totally dry before you sew them on. I like to finish one thing before I start another, so this is aggravating. I have to remind myself that I liked these beads more than any buttons I saw, so the wait will be worth it. They look like mini air hockey paddles!
It's worth adding that I found the "acrylic button shanks" here. I'd love to hear what others have adapted as buttons. I love notions - the right ones can really enhance a project.

Another great thing about using beads in knit projects is that you can make jewelry to match your knitted item. And if you can find beads that have bigger holes (intended for beading onto leather strands rather than beading string or wire), you could slip them right onto your yarn or over your stitches. I found some Cat's Eyes with bigger holes... I might have to go back and get some. 

Happy knitting and stay cool!

On the needles: Nothing!!!! But that will change.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Rainy Saturday mornings are meant for one of two things: either stay in bed and sleep, or go meet fellow knitters for breakfast and knitting. I didn't sleep in - rather, I had a mission. This was my first chance to meet the Saturday morning breakfast/knit-in-public club, and I really enjoyed the company. I will sure try to be back next week. This morning is one of those we'd like to have every day...

Through all my years of sewing, I would never start a project until I had everything I needed to complete it - even down to the very last hook and eye. I wouldn't even cut out a pattern if I didn't have everything I needed to finish it. I am not that way with knitting, but I feel a little of my old way creeping up on me. I've been wondering where I am going to get buttons to finish my current project... of course there's nothing in my button box that will do... this might drive me crazy until I find just the right buttons. 

I don't even know where to look for buttons in this city, but I will find them! Sounds like a new mission.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tracking Progress

Yea! I've been knitting! I'm to a thinking point on this thing now, so I am going to head out for a morning walk in the wind and let some ideas blow into my head. 

Last night I ventured over to Twist, the LYS. I had read quite a bit of good stuff about this shop on Ravelry, and it absolutely lived up to its billing!  There is a 2 hr SNB every Thursday night, and there were about 20 people there, chattering away while working on knit, crochet, and cross stitch patterns. I can't remember everybody's name -- it was just a fun time. Shelly, the owner, flitted around and accommodated everyone. I think there was even a class going on in the back. The shop is stocked with lots and lots of wonderful yarns, many of which I had read about, but finally got to 'pet'. There are locally made specialty buttons and bags of fleece from a local farm. I could be in serious trouble if I go in there too often. Temptation abounds!  There is another SNB on Saturday night, and also a group that meets at Panera Bread for coffee, bagels, and stitching on Saturday mornings. Wheeeee!!!

As I write this, I can hear the garbage truck in front of the house. I am sure they groaned when they saw the stack of boxes again this week. We are one step closer to parking in the garage!

Have a great weekend and I hope you find time to knit.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Back on Track

I think we are finally getting settled into life here to the point that the traffic jam in my brain has cleared and, after frogging 2 or 3 more times, I had a "Eureka!" moment and my knitting is actually ready for forward progress. (Yea, right, but this time I promise!) I finally figured out how to adjust the scalloped edging on this piece to give me the flair I wanted without becoming a ruffle. Now, for forward progress...

Yesterday was a rainy day, so I took advantage of the cooler temps to do a little baking. I used to make all of our bread, but haven't had the time to keep up with it lately. This is one of my favorites, rye bread made with a touch of molasses. The smell of it baking brought the kids to the kitchen.

The neighbors were baking, too. We were treated to mini blackberry tarts, courtesy of the budding chef across the street (a 10 yr old boy). The neighborhood kids pick the wild blackberries from under these trees. Once upon a long time ago I would have tromped out there, too, but the thought of itchy bug bites makes me quite content to let the kids pick the blackberries out there! No pictures of the tarts... they didn't last long enough to even think of getting the camera out.

OK, so food and knitting... especially all those carbs... I best not get too lethargic! And I promised DD that I would make Calzones for dinner tonight. What was I thinking!

How can we make knitting an aerobic exercise?

Saturday, July 5, 2008


DD managed to snap this pic as we entered KS from OK. You don't see any prairie dogs, do you? I think they are out toward Colorado. =)
I'm here, but haven't knit a single stitch in over a week. Yep, I think I am going through withdrawal! I have managed to break every fingernail and my cuticles are raw from working with all those *&^% boxes and the wrapping they used. Moving is hard on the hands, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to knit or thinking about it. 

Unpacking is mostly done. I'm kind of in a state of "I've unpacked everything, but I don't know where anything is!" Here's a shot from a few days ago. It's improved since then. Maybe I should post an FO of this room since I don't have any knitting to show.

We had a fun 4th - LOTS of fireworks and a neighborhood parade where all the young kids decorated their bikes and rode through the neighborhood. It ended at the community gazebo where everyone had lemonade and star-shaped cookies with red, white, and blue frosting. There were dogs in all shapes and sizes, also dressed for the occasion, and lots of temp tattoos to put on little faces.

Today we are going to try out a KS lake. We have been told over and over that the lakes here aren't too nice compared to what we are used to. We just want to get wet and hopefully ski a little if it's not too windy. 

KS wind!!! It's breezy most of the time. Paper plates should be banned here, unless people like mustard on their clothes. 

I trust that you all have done more knitting than I have... I hope to rejoin the ranks of active knitters real soon! Happy rest of the holiday weekend to all!