Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Secret Santa Fun

The Campground Crafters Yahoo Group had a Secret Santa Exchange this year for the first time. We knew there would be some tricks to sending & receiving mail for many who are and have been mobile. One member, Stephanie, agreed to organize the project and sent out names to participants in early October. The rules stated that we would mail at least one card before Christmas and mail a handcrafted gift for Christmas. It was also suggested that we set up an annonymous email account, if possible, to send messages to your recipient. My SS Pal sent me wonderful emails with upbeat messages that made me feel so good. I won't reveal her email name, she may want to use it again for someone else. Just let me say that it describes her to a T! On October 16th I received a big, fat envelope in the mail. This was way more than a card.
Lovely card, crocheted bookmarks and pin, beaded angel and tea. I received another big envelope from her later but forgot to take pictures. More goodies included in it.

The group decided to wait until Dec 24th to open our presents so when my package arrived with 2 wrapped gifts in it, I had a hard time waiting to open. When I opened at about noon, I found a treasure trove of croched and knit gifts. My family has a saying "useful gifts" and everyone of these is not only useful, but beautiful. There are crocheted and knit cloths, scrubbies for small spaces, potholders, a microwave potholder and 2 bags! Her enclosed note gave me more information about the gifts and shared some about herself. Included an invitation to go to Idaho to visit her and we just may take her up on that when the weather is warm. Thank you very much, Louise.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Unique Shopping Experience!

Black Friday malls and big box store shopping? Not for me! I headed for the ultimate bargain stores on the Texas border - the Ropa Usadas. These warehouses carry used clothing sales to the extreme by selling at 30-35 cents a pound any and all clothes. Coats sell at 75 cents a pound. The clothes were surprisingly clean and unsmelly but they were piled and jumbled in a mountain of clothes. Any and all sizes of clothes in all conditions, usually showing lots of wear.

Another shopper there said she dug out certain types of items and resold them on Ebay, others buy for their flea market shops. I had heard that you could discover designer labels and name brand clothes. I found a colorful sequined evening jacket in perfect condition, just 4 sizes too small for me! There was a little girl's skirt with store tags still on it.

I didn't find anything that I wanted to wear but began looking at it as a yarn, fabric and button shop. There were hundreds of pairs of jeans of all sizes and condition. If I were sewing denim patchwork it would be some of the cheapest fabric around.
My treasures were three sweaters.
One - Man's pullover-100% Shetland wool tweed in tans and gold, small hole in one cuff
Two - Red cardigan-52% Mohair, 48% acrylic, white mother of pearl buttons, no holes found
Three - Dark teal cardigan-70% Lambswool, 20 % Angora Rabbit hair, 10% Nylon, .5" buttons, small hole on back of one sleeve
Total cost - $1.40

It was such a fun experience that I want to do it again, maybe on a chilly day. It got very hot inside on the top of the pile. Pictures at: http://picasaweb.google.com/patjreece/2008_11_28RopaUsada##

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Last Word

Here is the final post (I hope) on my famous knitting bag. The Craftstylish Gifts to Make Volume II came out with a page featuring the on-line Craftstylish.com site. It has photos of the four winning bags in the Tote-ally Crafty Bag Challenge. There are also some great gift patterns and ideas.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Class Act

Lately have you told someone how special they are? A family member? A friend? Someone you have never met? A few weeks ago someone I have never met, only corresponded with online, told me I was a class act. If only you could have seen the smile that brought to my face and the smiles the memory has generated since then. The subject was unrelated to knitting but when I am knitting seems to be a good time for that memory to come to the surface. When I read the words, my heart was lifted up on wings and it happens when I remember them.

One day I am going to meet that person and give her such a bear hug! Then we'll sit & knit and talk and enjoy being together.

The point being, you never know what little words can live in someone to encourage them and ease some pain. So, send a hug in an email, a comment on a blog or in person.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Celebrity Knitting Bag

I haven't been blogging because I've been kicking back enjoying life in some places we had not gone in a long time or have never been before. Along with that I've been knitting scarves for the Special Olympics and some test knitting for a designer friend. Now, about the bag....You remember the nice bag I had knit, the Knitting Needle Knitting Bag, that won those prizes? I got an email request that was completely unrelated to the contest & prizes. Here is what I got.

Sent at 8:03 AM September 2, 2008
Hi Pat, I’m a segment producer for Knitting Daily TV, a new 30-minute how-to television show on public television (PBS). During our second season of taping the week of Sept 15-18, we’re doing a segment called “You Made It” featuring versions of the Knitting Needle Knitting Bag made by people in the knitting community.
I noticed that you have recently completed the bag and I’d love to invite you to send us your version to appear on the show. This will be a fun segment – no criticism of knitting :-) – as we look at the different colors and yarns knitters used for the pattern, and any other interesting changes people made. I love that you changed the pattern.
Here’s a YouTube.com clip of this type of segment from Season 1, where Eunny Jang looks at different versions of the Modern Quilt Wrap:
Are you interested? I’d need to receive your bag no later than September 12. Interweave will pay all shipping expenses and once I know you can do it, I will reply with our FedEx shipping account number. And I will personally handle the return shipment immediately after our taping September 18. And of course, you’d get credit on the show. The host will mention your first name and city during the segment as we introduce your version. The show will air in our second season, beginning sometime in January 2009.Please let me know if you’re willing to participate. Thanks. Cheers, Jaime Guthals, Segment Producer, Knitting Daily TV

Of course I said yes! So, I shipped off my bag and had it returned today. I think now it has traveled more miles this year that I have. I do not yet know when the show it will be on will air but I am hoping their schedule will be online.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Goodies!

Friday, 8/15, we arrived at Mother's in mid-afternoon. After visiting a little bit, I wanted to start the piles of laundry we had accumulated. I raised the garage door to go out to the rv parked in the driveway and saw a Fedex truck parked across the end of the drive. I went dancing & skipping down the drive and met the drived as he started around his truck. I said, "It's for me! It's for me!" He made a production of reading the label. Then I snatched the box from his hands as he laughed and headed back to his truck. The laundry was forgotton as I dashed back in the house and ripped open the box. There was a note inside that said,

"Congratulations, Pat!

We are so happy to award you this prize and want to thank you for making our first challenge a success. We are looking forward to see what you will craft in the future!

The CraftStylish Team"

Now on to the goodies: Lantern Moon Ebony 10" needles size 6; Lantern Moon Destiny 26" circulars size 8; Lantern Moon silk needle case in Jade & Chocolate with 9 sleeves for straight needles, eight pockets for circulars and a zipper pocket for 'stuff''; 6 nifty-doodle Taunton Press crafting books and a magazine: $50 gift certificate from Fabric.com; Craftstylish.com canvas type fabric tote bag about 15"x15"x3.5" deep.




Thursday, August 7, 2008

I Won!!!

Last evening, Thurs 8/7, I received the following email:

You won the Craftstylish Tote Bag Challenge!!!
Hi Pat,
My name is Michaela Murphy and I am the managing editor of CraftStylish.com. Congratulations! I am thrilled to inform you that you won our Tote Bag Challenge in the Play Ball category! The competion was pretty intense so you should feel very proud. Your bag is fabulous and we are all so happy that you took the time and energy to participate in the challenge--you really helped to make it great! Please shoot me an email so that I'll know that you know:) There is an annoucement post scheduled to publish at 12:00am tonight, but I
wanted to let the winners know first. I also need for you to please send me your address so that we may ship your prizes to you. Thanks again and a very warm congratulations to you! I am looking forward to seeing more of your work via CraftStylish! Best Regards,
Michaela

This is a new crafting site for many different crafts and there were several catagories of the Tote Bag Challenge with four winners in all. The website is: http://www.craftstylish.com/ and sign up is free. You can explore & read without signing up.

I entered the handy knitting bag I had made earlier this year and lined it with drapery fabric sample fabric, sewing in pockets closed with hook and loop tape. I used some wooden dowel handles that had been in Mother's supply stash for many years. It was a fun knit and assembly and an extremely useful knitting bag. Holds a lot without being heavy. These are the photos I submitted for the competition.

The write-up had really nice things to say about the bag and I am so thrilled, words cannot express my feelings.

The Grand Prize Packages consist of a fabulous and official CraftStylish tote bag filled to the brim with crafty delights worth over $250 including:
$50 Gift Card from Fabric.com
Lantern Moon Jade/Chocolate Silk Needle Case
Lantern Moon Knitting needles - 1 pair size 6, 10" straight needles in ebony AND 1 pair Destiny circulars, size 8 26"length, in rich rosewood.
Rotary Cutter from Martelli Enterprises
Library of crafty books including:
The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life
When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters
Get Your Crochet On! Hip Hats and Cool Caps
Sew Subversive
Bead Simple
I Heart Felt
CraftStylish Quick Stuff to Make

Monday, August 4, 2008

Curl Up With A Good Book

I love to read, especially mysteries. Since I have been knitting more I haven't read as much or been as interested in involved, complicated plots. The easy to follow, entertaining "cosy" books are more my speed right now. I have been reading some of the knitting mysteries and enjoying them. The plots are just convuluted enough to be entertaining but they aren't dark and depressing.

There is a new book to be released tomorrow that sounds interesting. Here is the press release:

KC-area author launches knitting mystery series

Sally Goldenbaum of Prairie Village, who has written three Kansas-set Queen Bees quilting mysteries, has moved into knitting as a theme for her latest book.
"Death by Cashmere," which comes out Tuesday, is the first of the "Seaside Knitters" mystery series.
As the name implies, it has a coastal setting and a group of knitters who work to solve a murder. The book also includes a knitting pattern.

I've listed a few books on the sidebar. Let me know your favorite needlework novels.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Little Eye Candy

A friend in Abilene knit the Pretty As A Peacock Shawl this spring to wear to her grandparents wedding anniversary. She used Jojoland Harmony and beautiful beads. I think it is fantastic and was a delight to feel this beautiful cobweb lace. As a sidelight, this was her first lace project!




Sunday, July 27, 2008

100 Years of Women's Fashions

In Nov and Dec of 2007 The Ellen Noel Art Museum, Odessa TX presented a display of 100 Year of Women's Fashions with clothes and accessories from the collection of Steven Porterfield, owner of The Cat's Meow, an antique store in Midland TX. Steven is an excellent repair artist who maintains all the articles in supurb condition. The display was organized with several outfits from each decade beginning in the 1860's. There was one handknitted item that caught my eye, a child's sock was pinned to the hem of a girl's dress.


Steven has been asked to be an appraiser on a PBS Antiques Roadshow this summer. If the items he appraises are interesting enough his segment will show sometime in the fall.

After viewing the exhibit of old clothing, Mother and I pulled some of Grandmother's clothes out of the cedar chest. Two of her party dresses from the 1915-1930 times are shown below. Yes there are two tiny fox heads (fake) on the brown dress.


The real jewel of our keepsakes was Grandmother's wedding dress from Oct 1914.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Has It Been THAT Long?

I truly didn't mean to ignore my blog, just had more commitments and involvements than I had intended. Here are a few finished objects that I have completed since blogging last. The Two Measures of Joy purse is finally out of my hand's and into Mother's.


I am waiting for cooler weather to give my wool and nylon socks a test walk. They fit well and feel comfortable.
The Kindness of a Stranger Sunhat is an easy knit out of Sugar'n Creme cotton worsted. I made it for protection at the Clyde City Picnic.
I have been steadily knitting kids hats with the acrylic yarn given to me and also knitting a couple of shopping bags with it. Think of the ecology; saving trees from being cut down and saving plastic and acrylic from the landfill. I do believe acrylic will be in landfills for the next million or so years.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hats Off To My Friend

A friend in Abilene gave me the above yarn. It is mostly acrylic, some is vintage, with many great colors. There are also some crocheted pieces that she didn't want any more. The yarn is in the process of being made into kids hats for charity. In Texas the winters are so mild that a wool hat is not usually necessary, just something to cover the head & ears from the wind is fine. The hats below are knit from the yarn stash.

The blue hat is Basic Cabled Cap pattern by Judy Gibson and the green with stripes is Bev's "Josh" Beanie Cap by Beverly A. Qualheim. Quick & easy knits.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sock Progress

I decided to enter the summer contest the Ravelry - For Me - group has. The challenge is to knit a pair of socks or leggings between May 1 and Aug 31. They request some photos of the progress with a newspaper showing the date during that time frame. Yesterday while I waited at the dentist for R to get his teeth cleaned I grabbed the Abilene newspaper and took a picture of the first sock progress. The yarn is 75% wool, 25 % nylon but with the small size of the object I am not suffering from knitting in the heat! I can't imagine knitting on any afghan right now. Or even on a large sweater.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Here I Go Again

After frogging the unloved sock, I cast on a new one yesterday. I am calling it Mom's Birthday Socks since even though they are for me, I cast on the first one on Mother's birthday. I am using two circular needles and knitting them toe-up. There is a great on-line tutorial called Silver's Sock Class with step-by-step instructions and photos. The website is here: http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/2circsocks_start.htm

Once I am comfortable knitting on two circulars I think I will try the two-at-once version so I'll never have the dreaded Second Sock Syndrone. I like the 2-circs knitting but think that for hats I will probably stick with doublepoints.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

To Sock or Not To Sock

This sock looks sorta ok with the stripes & dots, you can see there is some sort of lace pattern to the leg & top of the foot. Then I put it on. Hubby took this picture that exagerates my long foot & toes, and shows the disappearing pattern of lace. Even up close, it is hard to see the lace.
So the final verdict is, off to the frog pond, rip-it, rip-it, rip-it. I am using it as a learning experience for this sock and plan to further my education with the next sock by knitting a toe-up on two circulars stockinette with plain ribbing sock.

On to other knitting, I am playing with different versions of my K1P1 Preemie hat. It is something to do while taking breaks and cooling off from laboring on our property.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mother's Day Fun

I had a great Mother's Day with a phone call the evening before from my daughter, a phone call early Sunday morning from my son, email cards from each of them and a visit with my mother. I gave Mother a package containing two knitted items. The first one was Bubbles the Fish dishcloth with a message of a little fish to help wash the dish. The pattern is found at http://http//knitalittlemore.blogspot.com/2008/03/introducing-bubbles_11.html

The second item was the Two Meausres of Joy bag which we then felted. It is an Elann.com pattern http://www.elann.com/ShowFreePattern.asp?Id=187024 . We made it smaller than a tote so it can be used as a purse. Now I have to embroider the notes of the first two measures of Ode to Joy on it.


















Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bag Lady in Progress

I really like to knit bags. Even more fun is felting bags. But this time I have two new knit bags for myself in process. One is a Joann's pattern with the wonderful name "Knit Purse with Shoulder Straps". Wonder how long it took someone to come up with that name?

http://http//www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat13856&PRODID=xprd130235

I have knit one side of the bag using Black Wool-ease yarn. Overall I would rate it as a fast but boring knit. I intend to slightly change the assembly and maybe knit a flap to close the top. I do intend to make some black suedecloth straps, no vinyl for this purse. Of course I will put in lots of pockets in the lining.

The other bag I've started is called Percy. http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall07/PATTpercy.html

I am using all cotton Sinfonia from Hobby Lobby in a chocolatey brown color. It is tight knit on US 3 needles so it will take me a while to finish.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Knit Market Bag

My poor neglected blog has been nagging me to post, yet somehow other things seem to get bumped up to more important status. In order to calm the blog nags I will share a design I created for a design contest last year. The design got 4th place so it made a decent showing.

Knit Market Bag
Inspired by a crocheted bag at http://www.modadea.com/patterns/LM0224.htm
Size – 13 ½” wide x 14” long

Moda Dea Ticker Tape Suede – 4 Skeins
Bag is knit with 2 strands held together throughout
Size 17 Needles
Pair (2) bamboo D handles – 6” wide
Size H or I crochet hook

Gauge is not important.

Mesh Stitch
Row 1: *K1, yo, rep from * to last st, K1
Row 2: K the knit sts, dropping yo’s

CO 27 stitches

Knit 8 rows (garter stitch)

Knit 10 repeats of Mesh Stitch Rows 1 & 2 (20 rows)

Knit 8 rows

Knit 10 repeats of Mesh Stitch Rows 1 & 2 (20 rows)

Knit 8 rows

Bind off

Fold CO end to BO end and sew side seams. I used 2 strands of yarn and laced it through like shoelaces. That keeps the more open mesh look and gives plenty of stretch & flexibility to the bag.

Center handle on one side top edge. Using 2 strands of yarn, wrap yarn around handle base & top row of stitches, using a crochet hook to pull through. Repeat for second side/handle.

Weave in ends.

Copyright April 2007 by Patricia J Reece. You are welcome to knit this pattern for personal use and for items to sell but please do not sell the pattern.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blanket Squares

Greetings from Quitman, TX. This is a cloudy, 65 deg morning with birds singing, waiting for the rains. Altogether a beautiful spring morning in East Texas.

I have been knitting dishcloth patterns as blanket squares for baby blankets. I use Bernat CottonTots yarn and knit the squares about 8.5 - 9" square. These are gifted to mothers, grandmothers and aunts of new babies for them to assemble into a blanket. It is a fun way to knit different patterns. These square all have a baby theme or a Texas theme.
These two are the Baby Feet Cloth & the Star Cloth from KnittingKnonsense.



These are the Cowboy Boot Cloth & the Cowboy Hat Cloth from Vicki's Designs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pillow WOW Factor


Aren't these intarsia pillows gorgeous? Sweaterscapes has beautiful sweaters with all sorts of scenes on them. They offer the chart for the left one free and suggest that any of their sweater charts can be made into pillows. Since I like to knit pillows, this is going on my ever-expanding to-do list. Check out all the patterns at Sweaterscapes. http://www.sweaterscapes.com/pillow1.htm

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pat Myself On The Back!

I have been imortalized!

First by listing my pattern for the K1P1 Preemie Hat on Ravelry, I am now listed as a "designer". Whoo hoo. I am all set up to list more patterns I have designed. Better get busy doing some of that designing.

Second, I submitted a tip to KnitNet's weekly e-newsletter "Tips, Tricks and Trade Secrets". It was published today. The tip is: "When lining a knit bag, especially a knitting bag used to take projects on the road, sew pockets into the lining and add a piece of hook-and-eye tape at the top of the pocket to hold the contents. Stitch markers, measuring tape and crochet hooks will be handy and not tangled in your project."

You can sign up for the free newsletter at: http://www.knitnet.com/

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fair Isle Preemie Hat

Another fun knit was based on a design by my friend Jennifer. She is Charity Coordinator of Lone Star From the Heart. Since our group has been knitting for preemies, she has mailed more than 70 preemie hats and other preemie items to Stitches From the Heart organization to be distributed to hospital nurseries as they need them. This hat was knit from Caron Simply Soft yarn on size US 5 doublepoint needles. Jennifer's pattern can be found at



Saturday, March 22, 2008

Preemie Knitting

For the last few months I have been having fun knitting preemie hats for the Lone Star From the Heart charity project. I experimented with several yarns and decided that Caron Simply Soft is one of the best to use and it is easily available. The hats need to be washable and don't have to last forever since they are out grown quickly. I tried several patterns and played with adapting others but for a quick, easy no-thought one I used my own K1P1 hat pattern.



K1P1 Baby Hats

Yarn: Sport weight baby yarn or lightweight worsted

Needles: US 4-6 double points Whatever feels right for the yarn-not too stiff a fabric

Size: 1-3 lbs (3-5 lbs, 6-8 lbs)

Cast on 48 (56, 64) stitches

Divide stitches on three needles. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.

Knit 1, Purl 1 until hat measures 3 1/2" (4", 4 1/2") from the cast on edge.

Knit 2 together for one round.
Knit around.
Knit 2 together for one round.
Knit around.
Knit 2 together for one round.
Knit.

Cut yarn 6" long and pull through remaining stitches. Pull tail to the inside and weave in all ends.
Copyright – Patricia J Reece March 17, 2008 You are welcome to use this pattern for personal use, charity and for sale. It would be fun to see some of your creations using this pattern.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Intro To Me & My Blog

I have a passion for knitting and talking about knitting so blogging should come naturally to me. Combine that with my love of traveling in our motorhome so I get to knit in many different places, meet other knitters all over the US and visit interesting yarn shops, it is a totally win-win situation. I have explored the internet and saved so many patterns that I could knit for the rest of my life without duplicating anything. The really hard thing is to decide just which one to knit next. I spent most of 2007 knitting family gifts for Christmas presents so I am dedicating 2008 to knitting anything I want, especially for ME.

This pillow cover is an adaptation of a knitting chart from http://www.vickimeldrum.com/FreePatterns.html . The back of the pillow is in two pieces to make removal for laundry easy.