Monday, December 28, 2009

Resolve, Resolution, Determination

It isn't January 1 yet but I am gearing up already.  While at Mother's for Christmas, I grabbed the opportunity to visit our long-time family friends, Joyce & John.  John has spent a little more than a year battling cancer and I had knit him a couple of caps to keep the chill at bay during treatments.  Joyce said that his hats had caused quite a stir of interest in the Chemo Treatment rooms.  It seems that no one else has hand knit caps to wear while there. 

Hence, I am resolved to knit hats for the Midland Allison Cancer Center to be distributed to the men and boys who are patients. 

There, I've put it in black and white.  I am not stating a goal amount but I hope to do lots.  I will challenge all knitters and crocheters to also knit for their local cancer centers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Water Bottle Cozies

Since we are staying in a very humid location, I was needing a cozy for my plastic water bottles to keep them from dripping condensation all over everything. After searching on the web for something I really liked & would fit the bottles I use, I decided that it was time to design one. The cozy I liked most was the Wine Bottle Cozy from taras-knits blogspot http://taras-knits.blogspot.com/2007/11/wine-bottle-cozy.html . I really like how the eyelets for a tie were put in and the decreases for the bottom were worked out. Tara generously gave permission to use her basics for these and off I went with some variations of patterns. I will post the basics and one variation for now and add more later as I have time to knit them up and post.


Water Bottle Cozies

Based on Wine Bottle Cozy by taras-knits

Supplies
US 8 double point needles
Worsted weight yarn – I find dishcloth cottons don’t have spring-back to hold the bottle shape and all acrylic doesn’t seem to absorb as much. I used Lion Brand Cotton-ease for the sample cozies. Wool would also be good.
Stitch Marker
Yarn Needle
Crochet Hook

Gauge
5 ½ stitches X 4 ¼ rows = 1”

Short cozy fits 16 oz water bottle. Tall cozy fits 23-24 oz water bottle.

Basic Directions
Cast on 36 stitches and divide onto 3 dpn’s. Place marker and join to work in the round.

Rows 1-3: K3, P3 ribbing around
Row 4: K3, *P1, yo, P2tog K1, yo, K2tog*, repeat between *’s around to last 6 stitches, K1, Yo, K2tog, P3

Short Cozy
Rows 5-36: K3, P3 ribbing around

Tall Cozy
Rows 5-42: K3, P3 ribbing around

Both Cozies
Purl 1 row
Knit 2 rows and begin decreases

Decrease rows
Row 1: *K2, K2tog *, repeat between *’s around
Row 2: Knit
Row 3:*K1, K2tog *, repeat between *’s around
Row 4 Knit
Row 5: *K2tog *, repeat between *’s around

Cut yarn and thread through stitches remaining on needles. Pull snug. Weave in ends.

Finishing
Using a crochet hook, make a chain 22 – 24 inches long. Cut yarn & weave in ends. Thread through eyelets in cozy and tie in a bow.

Diagonal Rib Cozies
Follow basic cozy instructions through Row 4.
Rows 5-7: K3, P3 ribbing around
Rows 8-10: K2, *P3, K3 *, repeat between *’s to last stitch, K1
Rows 11-13: K1, *P3, K3 *, repeat between *’s to last 2 stitches, K2
Rows 14-16: P3, K3 ribbing around
Rows 17-19: P2, *K3, P3 *, repeat between *’s to last stitch, P1
Rows 20-22: P1, *K3, P3 *, repeat between *’s to last 2 stitches, P2

Repeat these 18 rows for a total of 40 rows high for the short cozy and 46 rows high for the taller cozy.

Follow the basic directions for the purl row, K2 rows, decrease rows and tie.

I have not test knit after typing the instructions. Please let me know if there are any errors.


Monday, June 15, 2009

It's About Time

I posted some pictures of my completed socks! They were completed more than a month ago but I never got life in the right alignment to get photos taken, good internet connection for upload and the mental oomph to write a blog post. How's that for a sob story?

The yarn is the one I won from Patt's Creations Madness blog contest http://pattscreationsmadness.blogspot.com/ It is KnitPicks Felici in Aquarium colorway, just perfect for cheery summer socks.

The pattern is Twists and Ribs Socks by Lisa Rosen which is a free Ravelry pattern. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/twists-and-ribs-socks

Now, if I'm lucky, I'll be able to get my act together to show some of the other knitting I've been doing.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Hasn't Sprung

I checked my pulse, yep, I am still alive. My friend, Becky, emailed to ask if I wasn't traveling anymore, wasn't knitting anymore or just not blogging. Answer: not blogging which is evident by the date of the last entry, don't go look at my travel blogs' last date. We traveled around in Southeast Texas to see the delicate dogwood blossoms and wisteria blooms among the dark pine trees, the beautiful azaleas in yards along the streets and highways and the bluebonnets in fields everywhere. Then we meandered north to lakes in Northeast Texas to enjoy more of the same blooms.

All this time I was continuing to knit at times on socks, a bag and some gift projects. I was having too much fun seeing the sights to knit a lot.

While in SE TX I met with an online friend, Wendy, from Lone Star State Knitters. Now she isn't just an online friend! She and her husband met us at a restaurant where we enjoyed long conversations getting to know each other. Wendy surprised me with a gift of lovely stitch markers she made. They are so cute.
There are two teapots, a cup and saucer and a teabag. They make me smile and add so much to my knitting fun.
We are now near Branson MO where we'll be workcamping for almost 6 months. If I don't get around to blogging, give me a shout.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Riddle For You

What do these yarn have in common?
9 skeins of KnitPicks Shine Sport, color Sand
4 skeins of King Cole Luxury Mohair, color Barcellona
1 skein of Euroflax Wet Spun Linen, color Lilac
1 smaller skein of Euroflax Wet Spun Linen, color Violet

These are the yarns I won in the destashing contest on BJ's blog http://killearnan.blogspot.com/ . Sorry, no pictures yet. Now comes the big question of which of the patterns I've been wanting to knit will be the perfect match for each of the yarns? Ah, the fun of agonizing over this! LOL

We have relocated further east in Texas and we just happen to be near some very nice local yarn shops. I will be visiting for some yarn petting & checking out the needles. Reports to follow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cables and Twists

Subtitle: Convolutions of a twisted mind. I really, really like cable knitting, twisted stitch knitting, plot twists, vortices, swirls, undulations and cinnamon twists. Therefore, I knit cables and twisted stitches often, such as in the socks that are in progress. I finished the sock I showed in progress in my last blog post several weeks ago, and cast on the second sock. This is a nice ribbed sock with a cable on each side of the leg.In the meantime, I received the KnitPicks Felici yarn I had won from Patt's blog contest. The Aquarium color leans a little more toward the lime greens & bright yellows than my monitor showed but it is fun, light and summery so I don't mind at all. I am using a simple rib & twist pattern so the stripes will be shown at their finest. This yarn is super soft and feels wonderful. The catch is that it can be a little splitty. Thanks, Patt, hopefully I can get a better photo soon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Knitting Bag & Blogs to Read

I have a super-duper new sock knitting bag, custom made by my mother! I am so happy with it. She had emailed last week that she was getting bored with the winter weather. I told her that if she was in the mood to sew I could use a lightweight bag about the size of a paper lunch sack. So, she went stash-diving in her beautiful fabrics and came up with a bag in a couple of hours or less. She mailed it with the latest batch of our mail. (She is our personal post master and handles our mail as another loving chore for us.) Here is the photo with my latest sock project where I am ready to knit the heel. The bag is the perfect size and weight for a carry-along bag.Another handy medium-size bag I found at the dollar store is made of water-resistant nylon with several zipper pockets and a little zipper bag inside. It holds lots of knitting tools and a small to medium project. I think they labeled it a sport bag. HAH, it just screamed knitting bag to me!

Now, about those blogs to read. I feel like I have friends out there whom I've never met but have visited with & knit with when I read their blogs. I've been lucky lately by reading some blogs & entering the contests. There are two blogs I read regularly that are having contests.

Aunt Kathy's Place is running a comment contest the whole month of February. She is keeping the prizes a mystery but I am positive that she will have a fantastic prize to two to share. Her blog is http://gimpykatk.blogspot.com/ . If you want to tell her you got to her blog through this one, she will give me extra credit.

I just won a sock yarn prize from Patt's Creations Madness so I won't be actually entering her contest. To enter, just leave a comment on her contest blog entry. She is giving a great-looking project bag as the prize. You'll find her blog at http://pattscreationsmadness.blogspot.com/2009/02/happy-february-month-of-love.html .

Monday, February 2, 2009

Show and Tell Monday

I promised pix of the felted slipper boot project after my daughter had them in hand. I'll quote her, "They are almost perfectly adorable. So close you can *see* it. The heel on each is boxy under the heel and the toe on top is a little triangle-y. Everything else is spot on. The fit around the foot is awesome, around the calf is perfect, it snugs on and you feel like you have something substantial on. But it's like they didn't take into account that your heel curves." It was good to know that they fit but she spotted the problems I saw with them. I was not happy with the overall shaping at all. Anyway, here are some pictures of pre-felting, both alone and with one of my socks to fit my long narrow foot.
Now, the pix of the felted boots, one with my sock again and one where I am sort of wearing the slippers. My feet are longer and narrower than my daughter's so I didn't try to force the boots to fit. Oh, the pattern is a Drops design http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/visoppskrift.php?d_nr=86&d_id=15&lang=us . I used Lion Brand Wool.
One more project picture to share. I knit & felted a small sissor pocket to hold small sissors. My daughter works beautiful counted cross stitch so she will get a lot of use from a sissor pocket to keep them sharp and handy. The pattern came from my friend, Dawn. She came up with the pattern for the Lonestar State Knitters Group Design Contest last year. It was a fun knit.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lightening Strikes Twice

It has happened again. I got an email this evening that I had won another blog contest! This time the blog is BJ's Musings & Meanderings http://killearnan.blogspot.com/ . She has been stash-cleaning and offered a contest to distribute some of her yarn or other goodies. She drew a total of 8 names to recieve prizes. She promised to try to match our color preferences & avoid anything that we might be allergic to. The only allergic reaction I have around yarn is a severe case of cast-ons.

It just so happens that right now i am itching to start several new projects. UFO's? Get back in the dark & leave me alone, I want to play with something different.

I am making progress on the latest sock but it was a beautiful day in the south Texas sun & I went out to play. We visited the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge where we saw some beautiful and interesting trees, grasses and flowers but no wildlife. bummer

We are not watching the Super Bowl so I think I'll put on some music & knit a while now.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sock Yarn In My Future!

I enjoy following some blogs and just occasionally dropping in on some. Well, one of the blogs that I started following in January 09 is Patt's Creations Madness http://pattscreationsmadness.blogspot.com/ . I joined as a follower before I even read that she was having a blog contest. I got the message today that I had won her contest for signup as a follower. The random number generator picked my number and I am going to get some KnitPicks Felici sock yarn! http://www.knitpicks.com/Felici%20Self%20Striping%20Sock%20Yarn_YD5420165.html

The hard part was selecting a color. Wow, they are so beautiful. I finally decided on Aquarium since I have not knit any socks in the greens colorway. That will mean my "prize" socks are unique and extra special. Thank you, Patt.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yes! Suna Knits!: Wednesday Wonders #4: Dawn O.

A knitting friend of mine wrote about a mutual friend. They are both great knitters and really wonderful people. While you are on site, feel free to explore some of Suna's great projects.

Yes! Suna Knits!: Wednesday Wonders #4: Dawn O.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Slippers Felted!

Late yesterday I sewed up the slipper boots & this morning I got them to the laundry. The water is very hot so that is a plus. I loaded them in the top-loading washer with a tiny bit of detergent, 2 bath sheets, a large denim bag, 2 large double-layer sheeting curtains I had made for the motorhome and a pair of rubber wedge-soled sandals. There is no way to control the water level in these commercial machines so I wanted there to be plenty of material to buffet and agitate to encourage felting. I thought the wash cycle was about 10-12 minutes & had my fingers crossed that it would be enough. No such luck, the wash cycle was 8-9 minutes & the slippers had just started to felt. I started another washer since I couldn't reset anything on the first one and loaded everything over into it while the first empty washer finished the cycles. I kept a close watch on the second washer & at about 4 minutes of agitation the proper sizing was achieved! The felted slippers went into the sink for a cold water rinse while the towels, etc finished the cycles.

I rolled the rinsed slippers in another bath sheet to squeeze & pat out some of the water, jumped into the Jeep and brought them to the motorhome. There, R and I stuffed them full of plastic bags and put rolled up washcoths & kitchen towels in the leg part to shape them while they dry. No pix yet but when they are dry I'll get them before mailing.

I do have a rather blurred photo I just snapped of the bag I am designing/knitting. I am using a varigated P&C cotton. My hands get tired & sore after a few rows so the knitting is going slowly. I made a few notes of stitch count and shaping ideas, found a stitch pattern in a book, grabbed my needles and took off. It is going well, if slowly.

About half the height of the bag is knit so maybe it won't be too much longer until FO time. Now, I am off to find something less stressful on my hands to knit. Ah, the fun of "What shall I cast on?"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Not Much Knitting Going On

I have been such a slacker on the knitting side. When it is dark and gloomy or I don't want to be out in the sunshine, I am more in the mood to wander around the www looking at what other people have knit or read blogs. I have one of DD's slippers sewn up and one partially sewn. Guess I am dreading the felting in a commercial washer experience. Anyway, been dragging my feet terribly. Hate to have winter over before she gets them.

What I have been having fun doing is exploring the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. We love getting out and seeing what this area is like in the winter. I've written about it and linked to some photos if you want to share our experience. http://yarningdowntheroad.blogspot.com/2009/01/enjoying-rio-grande-valley.html

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is This Me?

Several weeks ago I posted a card with my daughter's photo on it that had been edited to be in the style of painter Alphonse Mucha. She played around with a photo of me and sent several versions in the style of different artists and treatments. The ones in the style of Modigliani and a "masculine" version were scary. The Botticelli one and the "young" one I found funny. The best and kindest of the lot was another Mucha treatment.
If you have never seen me before, I am not sure you would recognize me from this photo. LOL

Friday, January 16, 2009

Reading Not Knitting

I haven't been reading much for the past several months but I am in the mood for it now. Today I finished Maggie Sefton's "Needled to Death" that I started more than a month ago. I enjoy this mystery series and it makes me want to get the next book. This one was the 2nd book in the series so there are more to read. Many of the scenes take place in a real yarnshop, Lambspun of Colorado, in Fort Collins CO. I am looking forward to a personal visit to see this wonderful shop.

The book was copyrighted in 2005 so the fun furs and supersoft fuzzy yarns that were new then are a bit dated now. There is a sleeveless shell knitting pattern included that should be a quick knit.

If you haven't been reading any of the cozy knitting mysteries, this series, beginning with "Knit One, Kill Two", would be a good one to start with.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Musings

I am trying to be a better blogger and have been reading other blogs for inspiration. Wow, are there some good writers and photographers on the internet! Some make me smile and some make me think, some inspire and some make me feel like I've had a good visit with a friend. What more could you ask for to go with your coffee in the mornings?

One blog I came across that matches my interest in knitting and in reading is called Elevenses. For January she is having a contest to name your favorite character from literature. She has a bunch of great prizes, too. Check it out at: http://timeforelevenses.blogspot.com/2009/01/competition.html

Knitting calls but housework calls louder. Blah!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beanstalk Preemie Hat Pattern

As soon as I saw this stitch pattern I thought of one of my favorite fairy tales, Jack & the Beanstalk. I could just see the beanstalk steps that Jack climbed. This was knit using US 6 needles and some old Carrousel Remember yarn, the color is Winter Aqua. Another preemie or little newborn hat for the Lone Star From the Heart project.

Beanstalk Preemie Hat

Yarn: Sport weight baby yarn or lightweight worstedNeedles: 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)

Bubble Stitch Pattern adapted for circular knitting from Gisela Klopper, Beautiful Knitting Patterns

Round 1: *K1, P2, Sl 1 p wise, K2, PSSO, P2 * Repeat * to * across round

Round 2: *K1, P2, K1, YO, K1, P2* Repeat * to * across round

Rounds 3 & 4: *K1, P2, K3, P2* Repeat * to * across round.

Cast on 48 (56, 64) stitchesDivide stitches on three needles. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker.
K1, P1 ribbing for .75” to 1”
Knit 1 round
Knit pattern 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 January 12, 2009
You are welcome to use this pattern to knit hats for personal use, gifting or for sale. Please do not sell the pattern.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Yarn and a Pattern

Do you remember those three sweaters I bought at the Ropa Usada? Well, I made yarn out of them! Disassembled, unraveled and rolled into balls of yarn. I still need to wind them into hanks, soak them in soapy water, rinse, hang to dry then roll into center-pull balls. With the winds blowing 20-40 mph that isn't going to happen any time soon! In the meantime the balls of yarn are living in my Secret Santa gift bags.

Just for fun I knit up an idea that had been bouncing around for another preemie/newborn hat. The stitch pattern reminded me of various tracks I saw in the sand of the beaches on South Padre Island. So, I named the hat Tracks. The model was knit with Caron Simply Soft light coral using US 6 needles. My photography model is stuffing the hat with a plastic bag and setting it on a drinking glass. LOL At least you can see the stitch.


Tracks Baby Hat
Yarn: Sport weight baby yarn or lightweight worstedNeedles: 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)
Stitch pattern from “The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns”
Mock Braids adapted for knitting in the round
Rows 1 and 3: slip 1, K 1, yarn-over, pass the slip st over both K st and yarn-over; repeat from * to * to end of round
Rows 2, 4, 5 and 6: Knit
Repeat rows 1 – 6 for pattern

Cast on 48 (56, 64) stitchesDivide stitches on three needles. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker.

K 1, P 1 ribbing for .75" to 1"
Knit 1 to 3 rounds
Knit pattern until it 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 January 8, 2009
You are welcome to use this pattern to knit hats for personal use, gifting or for sale. Please do not sell the pattern.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kntting Presents & Other Goodies

My mother gave me a gift "to stir or spur" my creativity. She was checking out the Stitching Post and didn't know of any needles I needed or any yarn for a particular project so was just browsing. She spotted a selection of purse/bag handles that had WOW factor and picked out a set. She knows how much I like to knit bags. I do have a pattern for a cabled felted bag and some yarn that would be perfect with these handes but I am letting the whole idea gel. Something else may be the project that comes to mind.

My other knitting gift was the book Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines!!! Our daughter loves to give me knitting gifts and buy yarn for me so this was another example of her wonderful sense of the right gift.I've already selected at least 3 projects for my to-d0 list. And laughed insanely through some of the wonderful stories and comments. Love it!

That may have been all the knitting presents but not the last gifts. My daughter also shares my love of reading (as does my mother) and sent two other books that seem very enjoyable, especially the one that takes place in a small fictional town in West Texas. That one is by Dixie Cash's "Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash." The other is by Malinda M. Hall "Nowhere is Somewhere."

To cap off the whole package my daughter included a card. She has become quite the card-maker using photo editing, great fonts and other fun stuff on them. The only thing she hasn't quite mastered is the verse. While she is a great writer of prose, poetry is not her thing. The trick to the card is that it is a photo of her that I have never seen and treated to be in the style of Alponse Mucho. It is also blurred a bit. I will confess, I am a bad mother, I had to ask who the picture was. She used Mucho pictures on the back of the card and on the envelope lining. I saw a few elements that were her, but it wasn't a photo of my little red-haired darling! Here is the card front, back and envelope.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year, New Beginnings

At least I would like to think that this is a new beginning - posting more often. I've been having so much fun in the warmer temps of far south Texas. Really nice to sit outside to knit and visit with people walking by. We had a nice Christmas and New Year's Eve with a little bit of partying here in the RV Park. Nothing too wild, mind you.

I posted photos of the Secret Santa gifts I received but have not yet shown what I sent my pal. I found a beautiful cabled bag pattern on Drops website http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/visoppskrift.php?d_nr=98&d_id=54&lang=us. Since I like to knit cables this was a perfect pattern. I added a couple of Christmas cloths I had test knit for a friend. The patterns are Sleigh Ride and Sleigh Ride Reindeer and can be found on Knitwits Alley site http://knitwitsalley.tripod.com/. A notebook (giftee is a prolific writer), some herb teas and a handy towel made up the rest of the gift.


Other Christmas knitting is a pair of Penguin Housesocks for my son. My friend, Elaine, from Down Cloverlaine blogspot wrote darling penguin bib and cloth patterns. She sent me the chart for the penguin cloth for me use on the socks. Ther cloth pattern is on her blog http://downcloverlaine.blogspot.com/2008/04/penguin-washcloth.html along with many other really cute bib & cloth patterns. Son specified short top socks and really soft. He checked my stash and requested Lion Brand Cotton Ease as the yarn.


Another Christmas project was a Wavy Feathers Wimple. I had some soft rosey mauve fingering weight yarn and I've been wanting to knit a wimple, smoke ring or cowl for a while so I thought I would knit is for my Mother. I wasn't really sure that she would like it or wear it but since she was spending Christmas at my sister's house, I guessed that if Mother didn't like it, my sis would. Sure 'nuf, it was passed on and sis is wearing it in the cold blasting winds of El Paso. I promised Mother I would knit her something else of her choice when she decided what she wanted. The wimple pattern is on this site http://www.carylldesigns.com/wavy_feathers_wimple.htm
.