Wednesday, December 31, 2008

finishing up 2008 just before the stroke of Midnight

A couple of days ago, the Baker's helper was over to the house and watched me crochet on a blue and white afghan. (He doesn't know it, but someday it'll be his when it's finished.) He asked what I was working on and I said I was practicing my crocheting because I'm not as good at it as knitting. He asked if he could have it when I was finished practicing. I told him I thought we could figure something out.


A moment later he asked if I could knit him a square, then wait...a rectangle. With a Star and my name. And a little one like 'this' like a credit card.

Out came the paper and pens and his 'designs' were on paper. The next day we hit the yarn store where he picked out his yarn. And some pink yarn as a surprise for his big sister. He wanted me to knit her a heart.

12 minutes before Midnight tonight, I downloaded the pictures of the 3 important items that had just been finished.

Here's hoping the end of your 2008 is filled with as much love as this little guy shows his big brothers and sisters!

Monday, December 29, 2008

December Things Revealed

So, have you gotten finished finding all the little things lost amongst the wrapping paper yet? 'Tis the season! I remember those days...tons of little things that were opened by little fingers as paper threw through the air...and when you THOUGHT it was all picked up, and you went to put parts together, off to the bags of trashed wrapping paper you went to find that package of little parts that jumped in when you weren't looking.

I miss those days. Not how tired I was, but I miss those excited grins and giggles of the kids when they were little. However, this year, with adult kids that don't live at home anymore, we're learning to develop new memories. And it's time to share a few.

OK, this was the 'stealth' knitting, but it wasn't holiday related. Rather, a birthday of sorts. The big kind of birthday. As in the big 5-0. And it went over well. Totally undetected, but asked for for quite some time.

details:

Lisa Knits 'Office Vest', www.lisaknits.com, size large, Ella Rae Amity wool/acrylic blend, 7 skeins, (US) 6 (4.0mm), (US) 7 (4.5mm) needles. Loved the yarn, and the pattern, but I did change the ribbing to a 2x2 twisted rib (again). If I were to make this in the future, I'd drop the ribbing on the bottom and the armholes to a (US) 5 (3.75 mm) and I'd drop the armhole sizes down to 140 stitches. I re-knit the armholes 3 times and I'm still not too excited about how 'floppy' they were for me. Don't know, might be my knitting...but I think it would turn out better with a smaller needle and a fewer amount of stitches. Then again, when I slipped a shirt under the vest to see how it would fit, the armholes seemed to settle right down.

I've also picked up a few others of Lisa's patterns for little kiddos, and I'm looking forward to knitting them up. One of the little sweaters, TOUCHDOWN! is really burning a hole in my knitting list-it comes with a knitted up football pattern! Can't wait to see how it turns out.

Alright, onto other knitting...the scarf and hat for my niece (you know those purple and yellow items in colors for an Aunt to really demonstrate true love since hers is the 'rival' high school from way back in my 'youth'...you know, when the dinosaurs roamed...) ya..that set... According to my Mom..the first words out of her mouth were-"Oh! This must have been hard for Aunt Cathy to knit with these colors!" But, she loved 'em.


As were these...

Holiday dinner had green beans and bacon to feed a lonely daughter's soul after not exactly enjoying her take out Thanksgiving Dinner that didn't include the bacon and fresh green beans. Then, with the help of a certain baker's helper...I've learned a few things that had apparently escaped my notice over the past gazillion years we've been making and enjoying fruit salad. One-we use two kinds of grapes, not because it's the recipe, but rather, because the red and green are Christmas colors! Which then also means 2- the same goes for the red and green apples in the fruit salad as well. He still isn't a fan of the Swedish Sausage we have for our Christmas dinner, but then again, that just means more left for those of us who do. Then it leads to 3- if you can't be with big sister #3 and big brother #1- speaker phone is a fun way to tease each other and find out what Santa brought. And learn that your big sister is psychic about your thinking about eating candy! 4- if you don't like Swedish sausage, then Coco Wheats is a great alternative when you're not at home with your own parents. Which means 5- spoiling 6 year olds that aren't yours, can be fun.

When you have adult children, you can make them wine charms. And once your son learns that they're not earrings, he figures out that the baseball glove and baseball one in UCLA colors was made just for him. (should have taken pictures of the other two sets before I sent them off via Fed-ex. nuts!)

This is another 'stealth' project,but I'm certain that the baker's helper isn't a regular reader here, so I can share it now. He's been telling me for quite sometime that blue and white are his favorite colors. This will be his afghan if and when it's ever finished. I'm making it in Hobby Lobby's Yarn Bee....I Love this Yarn! in Royal and White using Lion Brand website's pattern for Crayon Ripple Throw @ http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/cja-cray.html .While working on it the baker's helper asked what I was doing. I said I was crocheting to practice since I'm not as good at it as I am at knitting. He said if I was just practicing, could it have it when I'm finished? I said..well, let me practice some more and see what I can do. (This could be fun.)

Later on, he asked if I could knit him a square in blue and white squares so he could play with them. After thinking some more and we sat down and designed a few ideas, we have a plan. And the day after Christmas we took off for the yarn store so he could pick out his color choices. Here he is with his new friend Nancy where she was impressed with his behavior in the store and let him 'ring me up' with our new purchases. Boy did he get a kick out of that! Now he wants to run the cash register at every store! (I had to sit down and explain that it was one time only deal. Hated breaking his heart.)

Later that day come learning thing #7-since he's on a kick to make everything into a surprise for Syracuse sister, making her favorite Rice Krispy treats meant trying to make them into cookie cutter shapes. Another thing I've done mindlessly time and time again without thinking of another variety. I covered the cookie sheet in plastic wrap, sprayed the wrap and the cookie cutters with pam and we pressed in the warm rice krispy mix (recipe over <----- there) and let them sit for a few moments to firm up before taking the cookie cutters off. Delicious both for the recipe and the ideas and the love from the baker's helper towards his sister. (Now to get the rest of the big brother and sisters to come home to let him spoil them, too!)

Yesterday morning I pulled out my copy of "Folk Mittens" while looking for some 'inspiration' of knitted charts and found the pattern for Miniature Mittens in the back. I thought I'd knit up a pair after all the mini knitting I've been viewing lately. Since I've made up a couple of larger projects, or last minute hurry up knits, these are perfect. Unless you're having a horrible allergy attack and only had an hour's worth of sleep the night before. I had to rip this one mitten out 3 times and I THINK I have it right. I'll make the 2nd one up later once I feel better. I'm now battling a mother of a cold and my ability to focus my eyes is rather nil. I'm using Plymouth Encore DK in #133 Royal and #146 Soft White. However, I think future mitts will be out of Baby Ull. I think 100% wool would lay better than a blend. (does that make me a snob on the rise?)

In other news, I have located the pattern for Mom's vest that I was looking for. Note to self, when all else fails, check the bookcase for the "Knitter's" Magazine rack when you've 'misplaced' the pattern to find all you did was put it away in it's proper place. ULG. After all I've searched. It's in Knitter's 76, Fall, 2004 called Patchwork Vest. So, when I'm ready to pick it up, I'm all set, especially since I have it written down here and in Ravelry now to be able to find it the next time I lose track of it.

The best quote of the last bit of a while came the other night. Baker's helper looked at me and said, "You really love yarn!"

Yep, I have to agree.

And with that, I'm heading to nap-land. I hate being sick.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Scarf



Christmas Eve Scarf
Cathy Waldie, August, 2004


1 Skein Lion Brand Homespun Yarn
(US) 11 (8.00mm) needles
crochet hook (for fringe)

finished size: 72" x 6" wide (excluding fringe)

Gauge: 12 sts/17 rows = 4"/10 cm in garter stitch

Cut 36-15" lengths, knot each end and set aside.

Cast on 18 stitches, and garter stitch until you reach the last yard/meter of yarn.
Bind off.

Attach fringe in 6 groups of 3 at each end, or singly across the ends of the scarf. Enjoy!




Here's hoping your travels over the holidays, don't look like this!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ribbon Scarf

Need another fast knit scarf for the holidays? Try a ribbon scarf!

Ribbon Scarf
Cathy Waldie, November, 2004
2 balls, Lion Brand Incredible ribbon nylon 'yarn'
(US) 13 needles
Cut 40- 15" lengths and put aside for fringe
Cast on 20 stitches, knit in garter stitch until ~1 yard from the end, bind off in Knit.
Add 20 lengths for fringe at each end of scarf...wear and enjoy!
(sorry for the photo quality...it was 3:13am when I finished this and got it ready for gifting.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Skinny HS Scarf



Need a scarf for a pre-teen in a hurry? This one knits up very fast.

Skinny HS (Homespun) Scarf
Cathy Waldie, August, 2004

finished size (62" x 4")

1 Skein of Lion Brand Homespun yarn. (actually about 3/4 ths of a skein)
(US) 11 needles (I like wood or bamboo with this yarn)

Cut and knot the ends of 14" lengths before knitting. Set aside. ~ 24 lengths.
Cast On 12 stitches and knit 222 rows.
Bind off. Attach fringe.

And in other knitterly news...

Finished...aren't they cute? ~ 50 yards of leftover wool, is all it took, and they're winging their way to Michigan right now. The pattern is at: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=194286.10 and the ravelry page on them is here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/knit-coffee-sleeve . Oh, I do so love me some cables. You can see the 'shhhhhhhhhhhh' project over on my ravelry page, too...But I can't show it until after Christmas. *wink wink* if you know what I mean...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Irish Hiking Scarf, Revisited

Need a last minute scarf idea? If you're like me, you know you need one more gift to knit up. While I like the Irish Hiking Scarf that was so popular a few years back, I just didn't like the way the ends flared out. So, with that idea in mine, and wanting one that would fold under a coat, I came up with this idea, to make it in the 'seaman's scarf' manner.


Irish Hiking Scarf, Revisited
Cathy Waldie, September 8, 2008

Pattern for the Original Irish Hiking Scarf: http://www.helloyarn.com/irishhikingscarfpf.htm
(US)6 (4.0mm) needles (short straights are fine)
(US) 8 (5.0mm) needles (short straights are fine)
360 yards, worsted weight yarn (2 skeins of I Love this Cotton! used in sample)
stitch holder
chibi needle, for grafting and weaving in ends
53" x 8" finished size


C/O = Cast On
K = Knit
P = Purl
Kfb = Knit into the front and back of stitch
Pfb = Purl into the front and back of stitch
sts = stitches
IHS = Irish hiking Pattern
tog = together
B/O= Bind Off

(make 2)
With smaller needles (US) 6 (4.0mm), C/O 36 sts.
Rows 1, 3, 5: K3, (P2, K2) x7, P2, K3
Rows 2, 4, 6: P3, (K2, P2) x7, K2, P3
Row 7 (inc row): K3, P1, Kfb, K2, P2, Kfb, K1, P2, K1, Kfb, P2, K2, P1, Pfb, K2, P2, Kfb, K1, P2, K1, Kfb, P2, K3 (42 sts)


Change to larger needles (US)8 (5.omm) and follow original pattern as follows:
Knit Rows (5-8) in IHS pattern 1 time

Knit Rows (1-8) in IHS pattern 8 times

Knit Rows (1-4) in IHS Pattern 1 time, end with row 4.

Dec row for ribbed neck :

K2, P2, K2 tog, P4, P2 tog, K2, P2, K2 tog, P5, K2 tog, K1, P2, K1, P2 tog, P4, P2 tog, K1, P2, K2 (36 sts)
Scarf pieces now measures 14" in length.


Rib Knit Section:
Row 1: K3, (P2, K2) x7, P2, K3

Row 2: P3, (K2, P2) x7, K2, P3
Repeat rib Knit rows (1 and 2) 22 times, End with row #45-row 1 in pattern) for 9" of rib knit, hold first section on a stitch holder, and knit the second section to match the first section.

Return section one on larger needle and kitchener stitch (graft) both sections together.


Cut yarn, weave in ends.

(I'm still working on my grafting...)
Wrap and gift or wear and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

need some help please


Here are two pictures of a vest that I started at some point for my Mom. But I can't find the magazine that it is in to finish it. Anyone got a clue here? I'm guessing it's probably a Knitters or Interweave Knits issue from a couple of years back. The original is done in a light pink color and then felted pockets were added onto it. This is driving me nuts. I've been going through all my stuff and can't figure it out. I can't even find it online to re-order it so I can finish it. Driving me nuts.


I finished my niece's hat for Christmas to go with her scarf that I left in Michigan. This is a much better look at the colors. It's the School Colors Hat with Lion Brand Wool-ease yarn.


Thanks to Ravelry I found these coffee cup sleeves there. I'm using leftovers from Mom and Dad's sweaters/vest for them. While mall walking back there, they love to get a cup of coffee down at Target. However, even with the cardboard sleeves on the cups they're too warm for them to hold at first. Hopefully, these little puppies will sold the problem. Now, on to practicing cables without a cable needle some more!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cautiously...

The doctors are saying that Mom is now....
'Cautiously' CANCER FREE!

Sayin' AMEN from here!



Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma...you've been kicked to the curb!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

finished!

Here's the finished sweater, both the front and the back views.

The details are:
Nellwyn Cardigan, size small, from the Cable Confidence book,
"Too Teal" colorway from Paton's Classic Wool 7skeins to allow for the redo of the neck/button band.

Bottom, button band, sleeve rib in 2x2 twisted rib rather than garter stitch modification, 5 larger buttons rather than 7 smaller per Mom's request.
(US) 6 (4.00mm) needles for bottom and sleeve rib
(US)8 (5.00mm) needles for remainder of sweater

Here is what is left of the first neck/button band. Well, part of it anyway. I pulled it off while Mom watched apologizing for me having to redo it. I tried to get her to understand that I was happy to re-knit it because I wasn't really all that happy with the first one. With her request for fewer and larger buttons, it would make us both happy to pull that first one off. However, with my deep fear of yarn ends pulling out, trying to get the ends out that I'd put in, showed me that they wouldn't easily pull out! *Note to self, next time I have a question about keeping a part in a sweater, don't weave in the ends before making the final decision.

After reknitting the button band in a size (US) 8 (5.0mm) needle with 85 stitches on each side, rather than the (US) 6 (4.00mm) needle with size 73 stitches we went over to Joann's to get the new buttons. They were one button short of matching the original buttons in the larger size! Drats!!! So, we picked up these which are very close in the Celtic Knots design, but lay flatter than the first.


Mom is so much happier with the size of these buttons. She keeps telling me how much she just can't do the smaller, fiddly buttons anymore and they just really frustrate her now. How glad I am that I have the ability to fix that for her. It really didn't take long at all to make the sweater into something that she will be able to use now without frustration. All I had to do, was to knit up 4 rows in a 2 x 2 twisted rib, figure out where the top and bottom button would be and divide up the remainder of the stitches between the remaining 3 buttons, which gives you 4 sections.


Not long after The sweater was proclaimed finished, my Uncle came over to wish Mom and Happy Birthday. We loaded him up with extra birthday cake and other goodies to take back for them to share.


This was back in March, don't you agree, that Mom and Dad look so much healthier? My how a few months in a year can really change things! Both went through chemo and radiation, both on now on the 'healing' side of life. Dad and Mom both lost a lot of weight due to the side effects of all the surgeries, etc...they've been through. On Wednesday, we'll get the results of all the recent testing Mom's had. Here's hoping for an 'all cancer clear!' diagnosis!


Remember, too the huge pile of snow from last March that the residents were guessing when it would all be gone before summer? Well, guess what...


This may be the start of this year's pile.

Yesterday, before I left, the slushy stuff was all around. I just hope it all dries up before it freezes. However, today, Mom reports that they're expecting some single digit weather later this week. Good thing they both have something hand knit woolly to wear now!

It's always hard to leave 'home', has been since I got married back in 1980. Now, it's bitter sweet knowing that I can't wait to go back and help where I can, but knowing that I'm not bringing little kids to Grandma and Grandpa's house anymore. And that Mom and Dad have been through so much that partly comes with age, and partly from health issues. I did bring a lot of hugs, new baking knowledge, which I'll share shortly with you all! and ...

One of Dad's many books to start reading. He has books, like I have yarn! So you KNOW that there are going to be many books to be read yet! Since the DVD set of the HBO series is a 'bit' out of my reach, I'll start with the book that started the series.

And of course, another project on the needles. A hat to match my niece's scarf. Onto the next set of projects. But I'll bet I'll be pulling Too Teal snippets of yarn out of lots of nooks and crannies for awhile yet. I was hiding them all over the place left and right. And no, she didn't have a clue that the sweater was being knit.

And that's her story and I'm happy to stick to it!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It fits, but....

What's one more little section of 'redo'? We had cake (Duncan Hines Carmel with Carmel frosting - her favorite) with little ice cream before the big reveal.


The buttons picked were the first ones, the Celtic Knots. They went the best with the cables on the sweater. However, to quote Mom, "when you get to being this age (81) your fingers don't work as well with little, fiddly buttons." So, it was a good idea NOT to use the hearts. I'll keep those for Kitchen Towels or baby sweaters.


And here's another picture.


Here she is in the sweater, before I redo the neck/button band. I think we're going to add in a couple of more stitches, make it a wider band for her, and she wanted fewer and larger buttons. If I get the knitting done tonight (thank GOODNESS I don't have to wait until she goes to bed!) I'll take her with me tomorrow to pick out her own buttons. *sigh* all that stress. Oh, well, since it's a sweater for her, I'm much happier to have her input on it anyway. Nuts, I should have taken a picture of the back of the sweater while she had it on. It's a perfect fit in the back! Very nice to know I picked the right size when I wasn't here to measure her or her other sweaters when I had gotten started. Oh, yes, she loves the sweater. After she opened it her first words were, "I love cables!" Now, they both have sweaters/vests with matching cables.


Now, check out the earrings that Dad gave her tonight! See? This is why I couldn't have worked on it in front of her and told her it was for someone else. We all know it's her favorite color! The earrings match perfectly!


Oh, and it's started to snow outside and it should last for about 24 hours. Who is taking bets on my flight at dinner time? Right now, it's all slushy and the temps are dropping. Syracuse daughter is praying for a snow day. She's trying to finish up her papers. Snow-good for her? Not so good for flights.


I know it's blurry, but I was taking it through the screen and didn't want to go outside and use a flash...