Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Felted Bags

Image hosted by
When going through the yarn stash that I inherited from my mother-in-law, I came across a bag full of tapestry wool. I think she used it to hook rugs. Some of it was cut in lengths, but some was still in the skein. I thought it might be good for felting since it is 100% wool. So, I knit up a little bag and threw it in the wash. It came out beautifully. I used the jewelry bag pattern from Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas. Since the first bag turned out so well, I tried a smaller gift bag from the same book.
Image hosted by
Oh, the fun I will have with this yarn! I think I might even try dyeing the pale skeins into something more colorful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Image hosted by
Believe it or not I actually worked on the Flower Meadows Shawl yesterday. Only two more pattern repeats to go and then the border. One day it will be finished, but not today. Today I'll be doing this...
Image hosted by
...only this time it will be bread and butter pickles.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Image hosted by
As you can see, it was a good weekend for knitting hats for The Preemie Project. We traveled to Brownwood, Texas to attend my son's band/drum major camp performance. And, since that's six hours from here, I was able to knit quite a bit while my husband drove. These hats bring the total number to fourteen. I haven't set a goal yet. I'm just planning to knit as many as possible. It's fun to try new patterns for these little hats. So if you want to try them too, read on. I made some modifications to match my yarn and the size I wanted, but I won't go into all those details...just some general notes. The square Jester Type Hat (the blue one and the yellow one in the middle) has become one of my favorites. The square blue and white striped hat is a little different and is loosely based on this pattern (click to see the cute baby even if you don't want to knit the hat). The solid pink hat is a spiral rib design (nice pattern but I think I will make a few changes in the way the decreases are knit next time). The small green one can be found here (I'll use a different ribbing next time-- this one was too much work). And of course, the tried and true rolled brim will always be a favorite.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Quick Knitting

Image hosted by
I really like the way these booties/socks turned out. (Knit from Bernat cotton tots yarn, using size 5 dpns.) The pattern is from the book Knits From The Heart by Kristin Spurkland. The sub-title is Quick Projects for Generous Giving. Quick knitting is what I'm all about so far this summer. I'll get back to bigger, more involved projects later (like my Meadow Flowers Shawl). But for now, there are several other projects in this book that I would like to try...a couple of hats, baby blankets, mittens and more. The author had in mind knitting for charity when she came up with these patterns. Some of the hats are even written in preemie sizes! And, she included tips on sizing the patterns up or down. In the back of the book is a list of national charitable organizations that accept donations of hand-knit items. This is the first book I've seen that encourages knitting for charity. Definitely a good addition to my knitting library.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Teddy Bear

Image hosted by
You can find the free pattern for this teddy bear here. I knit mine from Red Heart Casual Cot'n. This is a heavy worsted/bulky weight yarn with a lot of texture. I like the way this yarn gives the bear a homespun look. I used size 6 dpns and knit in stockinette stitch instead of the recommended garter stitch. And, when the pattern said to knit for 1?"(3 1/2 cm), I just knit until the proportion looked right. For me that was about 2 inches. This bear turned out to be 11 inches tall, but you could make it just about any size you want by adjusting the yarn and needles. It was fun to knit, but just know that you might have to play around with the pattern a little to get the look you want. The arms turned out a little long, but I was able to fix that when I did the seaming. Next time I will probably cast on fewer stitches for the arms. I originally thought I would give this to one of the new babies at church, but would it be wrong to keep it for myself? He's sitting on my desk now--sort of a knitting mascot.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Happy Anniversary

Image hosted by
Today my daughter and her husband have been married for two years. Time goes by so fast. I remember the summer of 2002 when I stitched this sampler. I would wait until my daughter left for work, then drop everything and embroider on it until she came home. I made sure she didn't catch me working on it. It was easier to stitch once she returned to college in the Fall. I had never done hardanger before, so I was a little nervous when it came to the cut work. It wasn't as hard as it looked and I was happy with the way it turned out. It was a little difficult to photograph, but maybe you can get the idea of how it looks. Happy Anniversary to two of the greatest people I know!
Image hosted by

Friday, June 17, 2005

More To Come

Image hosted by
This is hat #7 for The Preemie Project...with more to come. It's about all the knitting I can manage when I'm in the kitchen all day chopping up this...
Image hosted by
To make this...
Image hosted by
I made two batches today and one earlier in the week. That's about 15 pints of salsa in the freezer...with more to come.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

You Can Take It With You

Image hosted by
It's hard to get any knitting done if you're never home. That's the way it's been for me lately. I did start this hat for The Preemie Project yesterday while I was waiting to meet my husband for lunch. Today will be another day of the running the roads, so the hat will be coming with me...just in case.
Image hosted by
When I was buying groceries the other day at Wal-mart, I stopped by the craft department like I usually do and found several skeins of yarn on clearance. Just perfect for all the preemie hats I want to knit. I'm all stocked up now...and organized too. I thought these muslin lined grass baskets were a great deal at just under $5.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sheepy Flame Thrower

Image hosted by
Hey all you sheep collectors, look what my husband found at Walgreens. Funny, it only has two legs. Thanks John. You know how to make me laugh.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A Little Lace

Image hosted by
I liked the way this hat turned out so much that I knit another as soon as I finished the first! This pattern is not complicated and would be good for those who are ready to try lace knitting, but not ready for a big project. The finished hat is really only a little bigger than a swatch you might knit for a shawl or scarf. These two hats are going to The Preemie Project. I hope you will read about this charity project and join me in knitting for such a good cause. You might notice in the picture from my last post that the yellow hat originally did not have a ribbed band. As I was knitting I began to wonder about that and checked the pattern to find out that somehow I completely overlooked the line that said "Work 7(7,5) rows 2x2 rib"! But, I was able to fix the situation by picking up stitches later and knitting the rib. I used a 1x1 rib instead. And since I used a different weight yarn than the pattern called for, I made a few other modifications. Below is my version of Sandra Huffines Lacy Hat. Please note that the pattern is Sandra's and she deserves all the credit.

Modified Lacy Hat (for sm-med preemie)
Yarn: Sport or Sport D.K.
Needles: US #3
CO 54 sts.
Work 1x1 rib for 1 inch (about 5 rows I think)
Row 1: *Sl1, k2, psso, k3*
Row 2: *P4, yo, p1*
Row 3: *K3, sl1, k2, psso*
Row 4: *Pl, yo, p4*
Rpt Rows 1-4 for a total of 6 times
BO and close top.
Sew seam.
Add small pom-pom to top.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Preemie Project

Found out I was just added to the Knitting Blogs webring. So, welcome to all of you who are stopping by to check out the new kid on the block.

Image hosted by
I'm back to knitting baby hats for charity. This time it's for The Preemie Project. This project was started by Laura at Knits for Sanity. It's a great project that is growing every day, but could still use your help. Laura is hoping to reach a 100 volunteers in a couple of months. Wouldn't it be nice to surprise her by reaching that goal sooner? I would like to encourage everyone to consider knitting a hat or two. As you can see from the picture, these hats are very small, so the time spent on knitting them is minimal. And, this is portable knitting at its best! Bring it to work and knit for a few minutes during your lunch break. Keep it in your purse and you'll have something to do when you find you have to wait for some reason. It's better than just sitting there with nothing to do, and you'll find you have a hat finished in no time. There are lots of preemie hat patterns out there. Many are simple enough for brand new knitters. (Click here for a basic pattern knit in the round, no seaming required.) And some patterns, like the lace hat I just started, will keep the interest of those who are easily bored by stockinette. Once you've knit a few hats, you'll even be able to come up with your own designs. All the information you need to get started is here. So, cast on a preemie hat today. It's a great way to help others!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Weekend Trip

Last Saturday we went to Austin, TX to bring my son to Boys State. He also had to take his SAT that morning. It's a long test, at least 4 hours. What did we do with that time? Shop for yarn of course. I know, my husband spoils me.

Our first stop was Fire Ant Ranch in Elgin, TX. Suzanne Correira has a small shop on her place that she will open by appointment. She has her homespun for sale at reasonable prices and fiber and supplies for spinners. Look what I bought...
Image hosted by
...three skeins of homespun and a handmade nostepinde. I'm hoping there is enough yarn for a scarf. The nostepinde is made from mulberry by Lloyd Stretton of Running Moon Farm in Louisiana. Suzanne says she remembers when that tree came down. Running Moon Farm is not too far from where my parents live. I think I'll be stopping by next time we go for a visit.

Next, we went to Hill Country Weavers in Austin. I had heard a lot of good things about this shop. And, I'm happy to report it's all true. I think this is probably my favorite so far. You wouldn't believe all the yarn they have. And because it's so well organized, everything is easy to find. I saw a lot of things I've been looking for that I haven't found anywhere else. But, I limited myself to this...
Image hosted by
I was glad to find some solid color sock yarn and even had several colors to choose from. You probably noticed the drop spindle in the picture. I haven't given up on that yet. The summer issue of Spin Off has step by step instuctions with pictures on drop spindle spinning. This will really help.

We are going back to Austin on Friday to get my son. Probably won't shop for yarn this time, but maybe we'll hit the fly fishing stores for my's his turn.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Too Cute

Image hosted by
Yesterday I brought along some knitting to work on while I waited for my husband to have an out-patient procedure. Before we left, I had finished this hat. The nurse asked who it was for. At the time I had no particular baby in mind. However, as luck would have it, we saw this cutie when we stopped for lunch at Woodie's Grill in Richmond, TX and knew she should have it. She's the brand new, 2 week old, daughter of the restaurant's owners. How fun to knit something and see it in action the very same day!

Friday, June 03, 2005

So Now You Tell Me

It pays to read all the directions before you start on something new. After testing out the drop spindle yesterday with less than stellar results, I started wondering, "What went wrong here?" So, I took my how-to book and turned the page to the next chapter entitled: Processing Your First Yarn. And then I saw this heading: Setting the Twist. "What? You have to set the twist? No wonder!" So, I respun my sad little bit of yarn, soaked it and let it dry.
Image hosted by
This is what I got...
Image hosted by
Now that's better, but I still have a lot to learn.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

First Attempt

Image hosted by
Today I tried spinning for the first time. No lessons, no video, no one to give me advice, just a how-to book, a spindle and some beautifully soft merino. The results...
Image hosted by
...some really bad yarn. Better read a little more, practice a little more, watch a video and find someone to give me lessons. I'll figure it out eventually.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Summer Stitch Markers

Image hosted by
The calender may say Spring, but school's out and temperatures are in the 90's. It's Summer to everyone here in Needville, Texas. Today I actually got to stay home, so I made these markers. I was able to knit on the shawl too. It is now 16 inches from tip to edge. Pretty good progress I think. I've knit nine pattern repeats, only nine to go and then the border. Of course, the stitch count continues to increase and each repeat takes a little more time to complete. If I can knit an average of 5 repeats a week, I can be finished in a couple of weeks. Hope so. It's hot outside, but air conditioning in public places is often set low. We went to the movies the other night and it was freezing in there. Maybe next time we go I'll have a new shawl to keep me warm.