Friday, April 30, 2010

You know you're really sick when ...

you have to rip out all the knitting you did the day before in a congested haze.  I'm in the process of making a little ripple blanket.  I've crocheted lots of them, but I've never knit one.  I've been doing really well until yesterday.  I've gotten some kind of bad cold or nasty virus thingy, and I'm calling a sick day.  No more knitting until my head clears.

I'm really need to take some pictures, and yesterday was my day to catch up.  I'm a little insecure in my picture taking, and I've been procrastinating, but was it really necessary to make myself sick over it.  I'm sorry for such a downer of a post.  When I feel this way, even jokes come out snarky.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Quote of the Day

Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.

~Dorothy Day

Knitting helps me think better than almost anything else.  I've solved knitting problems, mysteries, household dilemmas, and calmed my anxiety.  My thoughts go from frenzied circles to ordered sentences.  It is so nice and feels as good as breathing.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let me ask you a question:

What is your favorite handmade gift to give or to receive?

I think my favorite is to make a dishcloth set for the kitchen in pretty colors that match either the decor or the season.  Sometimes I add a pretty bar of soap.  In this picture, I added a set of coasters.  I think this was a home welcoming gift to one of my good friends.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

Really I don't dislike to cook, but what you cook is eaten so quickly. When you sew, you have something that will last to show for your efforts.

~Elizabeth Travis Johnson

Even though I actually like to cook, I still agree with this quote.  In the management of a household, nothing seems to stay done.  Preparing meals, washing dishes and laundry have to be done over and over everyday.  Mowing the grass, at least, stays done for a few days, but the good news is that sewing and knitting stays done much, much longer, and you get to appreciate your efforts every time you see the item.  I love the process of knitting, but I also love the sense of accomplishment when I finish an item.  That is just so nice.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ruffled Baby Girl Hat


Oh my, I just don't know where the time has gone lately. 

This is a little baby hat I made out of the left over yarn from the basket weave blanket. I used this pattern, and then added the little I-cord piece at the top of the hat.

Adding a hat to a baby blanket makes a very nice and useful gift.  I love to knit booties, and I do give them as gifts, but I'm not really sure that they are used all that much.  I see babies wearing hats and using blankets all the time so I know my gift will be useful.  

Of course as I write this, I think of my own children.  My daughter loves yarn, and has always had a knitted or crocheted blanket.  When I wash her blanket, she goes and gets one of our living room throws.  She will tell me that she loves the smell of yarn.  My son, on the other hand, won't have anything to do with hand knitted and crocheted blankets.  He likes those really fine gauge machine knit cotton blankets.  His blankets have to be super smooth and soft while she likes the texture of a hand knitted blanket.  So I guess I try to give something functional and beautiful with the understanding that I can't always suit the tastes of the receiver, but no matter what I make, they know that my love and care (and sometimes my blood, sweat, and tears) went into the gift.  Perhaps that is all that is important.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mocha Dick

One of my favorite blogs is Kristen Nicholas's Getting Stitched on the Farm.  Recently she visited the Williams College Art Museum on a field trip with her daughter and found this:

It is made out of WOOL FELT!  You can learn more here.  I just love art like this.  This is so creative.  Who would have thought to make a life-size whale out of wool?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Basketweave Baby Blanket

I knit this cute blanket with Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in Fruit Smoothie. The yarn was very easy to work with and Superwash wool is great for baby projects. Superwash can be washed although I usually don't put it in the dryer. Also, wool is naturally flame retardant which is a great feature.

I looked at several basketweave patterns and then decided to make my own using the features that I preferred.

Any worsted weight, smooth yarn would work for this pattern.  I'm in the process of knitting this same  blanket using Caron Simply Soft. Size 7 needles produced the fabric that I wanted, but I didn't measure it before I gave it away so I'm not sure of the gauge or size of the end product.  In general, I go down a needle size or two as I tend to knit on the loose side.

Cast on 139 stitches using the long-tail method.

Row 1-6: Knit 1 TBL, Knit 1,Purl 1 across row until 2 st remain then K1, YF, Slip 1 Purlwise
These 6 rows are a seed stitch border.

Row 7: K1tbl, (K1,P1) 3 times; PM, (K5,P5) across row, ending with K5 followed by PM, then (P1,K1)3 times, YF, Sl1P
* The first and last 6 stitched are form the seed stitch border.*
Row 8: K1tbl, (K1,P1) 3 times; (P5,K5) across row, ending with P5 followed by (P1,K1)3 times, YF, Sl1P
Row 9: Repeat Row 7.
Row 10: Repeat Row 8.
Row 11: Repeat Row 7.

Repeat Rows 7-11 until blanket is about an inch shorter than you would like.

Repeat Rows 1-6 and bind off loosely.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Little Bloggy Break

I am having surgery this morning so I won't be blogging this week in order to recover.  It's nothing serious -- just more clean up after a bicycle accident I had a little over a year ago.  Who knew that flying over the handle bars while going less than 5 mph and wearing a helmet would cause so much damage!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Quote of the Day

The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary.  
~Mary Kurtz

If you saw my house, you'd know just how much this is true.  My goal in housekeeping tends to be more about relaxed chaos while still clean enough that no one gets sick.  I just find housework so boring and I seem to be only able to do it when there's nothing to wear or the sink is piled too high.  I can get a bit done if I have a good book on tape.  I think I gave up on housework when my son was born.  He just seems to undo everything I do about 5 minutes after I do it.  I figure that once he moves out (in 15 or so years), the house will just stay clean.  Needlework, on the other hand, stays done a lot longer.

P.S. - Happy Easter or Passover, everyone!