Friday, December 30, 2011

Clapotis Finally

Clapotis (A French word...pronounced clap-oh-tee) is an insanely popular free knitting pattern on

As of this moment, there are 18,720 Clapotis projects listed on Ravelry. I have had this project in mind for quite some time and tried to make it with some beautiful, colorful Noro yarn I have in my stash. After a false start with the Noro, I have decided the Noro yarn would be better suited for a different pattern. But I remembered some beautiful Cascade Heritage Hand Painted Sock Yarn I bought awhile back and I decided the pattern and yarn were destined for one another.  I cast on yesterday and here is my progress so far.

The project is a large parallelogram shaped shawl of sorts.  It features rows dropped stitches.  I have just completed the increase portion of the project.  It starts with 2 stitches and then slowly increases to 107 stitches.  Now I am at the straight section of the project where I am staying with 107 stitches and dropping rows of stitches once in awhile.  I can now see why this project is so popular; it is a VERY FUN KNIT. It's complicated enough to keep you from getting bored, but not so difficult that you easily lose your place.  If you are interested in this project, or have been toying with the idea of making a Clapotis yourself, I highly recommend it.   I also recommend joining a Ravelry group called How Do You Pronounce "Clapotis?"
In this group, I found some great tips for this project. I even reached out to a few of the experts in the group (who have made numberous Clapotis) and they've been very responsive and helpful!)
The Knitting pattern link can be found HERE.
The Ravelry pattern link can be found HERE.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ravelry Group: "12 in 2012"

A gal on Ravelry who goes by the name "MommyLovesYarn" started a new group on Ravelry a few weeks back.  This is how she introduced the group:

"I want to work down the stash and the queue and figured why not get some my my best knitting buds in on the action. Heck, why not everyone.  Lets complete 12 full projects in 2012. Not a feat for some but a big challenge for me. We can post pics, ask each other questions, chat or just cheer each other on.
SO who’s with me?"

So of course... I joined. 

In case you are not familiar with these Ravelry groups, there are a ton... a group for every interest you could possibly have.  And, if you can't find what you are looking for, you can start and moderatie your OWN group.  I've talked about my favorite group called "12 months=24 hats" but on Ravelry you'll find...Knit 11 Shawls in 2011, fans of Lucy on the "Attic 24" blog, fans of Harry Potter books and movies, cable lovers, fans of Knit Picks Interchangeable needles, Berroco Lovers, a group where people post what they put in their Crock Pot for the day, fans of designs by Susanna IC, people who are devoted to knitting from their stashes only, people who are all knitting the Multnomah Shawl, fans of Mike Row and the show called "Dirty Jobs"... I could go on and on.  New groups are being created all the time. Why, I think I belong to 46 groups but am active in only a few.

Since I joined the "12 in 2012" group a few weeks back, more and more folks are joining in on the fun and there is a lot of discussion about what 12 things folks intend to knit. This has got me to pondering my goals or knitting resolutions for 2012 and this is what I have so far.  I am not just planning 12 specific projects, but I am establishing 12 goals for myself to use yarn I already have in my stash. 

NOTE: If you have a Ravelry account, you can click on the highlighted portions below to look at both the pattern link and a photo of the yarn I have in mind for each project listed.
(1)  An afghan called "Nature in Natural" (a pattern from Lion Brand) using up my Berroco Weekend yarn/color: natural, oatmeal.  I may re-purpose this yarn to make a pattern called "Girasole" by Jared Flood.  I just can't decide!
(2)  A sweater called "Pismo" for me using my Cascade 220 Superwash Wool yarn in a lovely lavender/periwinkle color.
(3)  Make something out of my gorgeous two (2) skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock. This yarn is too beautiful to waste!  I just can't decide!
(4)  Make an "Annis Shawl" with beads instead of nupps with yarn from the Sock Summit 2011).
(5)  Make one (1) shawl (for "Wrapped in Care" group on Ravelry).
(6)  Make a "Swallowtail Shawl" in teal Lion Brand Sock Ease yarn. 
(7)   Make an "Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi Shawl"-Inspired Christmas Tree skirt out of Mom's Stash Yarn:  Schaffhauser Wolle 'Nancy' in an antique/off-white shade.
(8)   Use remaining stashed Berroco Comfort DK yarn for chemo caps.
(9)   Find a good use for Mom's Stash Yarn: 'Lil Grins' (cotton/acrylic blend).  May make a little sweater.
(10)  Make 12 Christmas Stockings for "Operation Holiday Stockings" (at LEAST 12 stockings in 2012).   (11)   Make 12 of pairs of SOCKS *** OR *** make 12 of projects from book "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders" (or any combination of the two that adds up to 12).
(12)  Try, try, TRY to not buy new yarn for 12 entire months!

I could easily make a goal to make 12 shawls in 2012, as there are so many shawl projects I love.  Gail, Haruni, Holden, Clapotis, Bitterroot, Ginkgo, Larch, Multnomah.... just give me a minute... I know I can come up with at LEAST 12 shawl-like patterns I want to make!

Of course, before I start in on these NEW goals, I should probably set a goal for myself to complete some works in progress (WIP's) before now and the end of 2011.  Off the top of my head, I would say I would like to complete my "Chasing Rainbows Blanket" by the end of 2011.  Now that I have put it in writing, I better get busy!  Of course the fact that I have cast on two pairs of socks, a scarf/wrap called "Chinook", and two pairs of fingerless mitts in just the past week or so is not helping me finish my blanket... oh, what's a knitter to do?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hemlock Ring Blanket... a gift

Hemlock Ring Blanket for my Mom and Dad for Christmas. The pattern link is HERE.  For this gift, I used three skeins of Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool, which is natural Peruvian wool.   I used nearly all the yarn I had except for about 1/2 of an ounce. That's cutting it close.  The Hemlock Ring Blanket is based on a vintage doily pattern.  The pattern was adapted to be a throw or blanket by Jared Flood.

As you might expect, this project was a big deal to block.  I soaked it in the sink in the kitchen and attempted to let it drain.  I put it on a kitchen towel on the island in the kitchen and the water oozed and oozed.  With a river of water on the floor behind me, I raced to the clothes washer, which was just several steps away, and set the blanket and towel on "spin" to use the centrifugal force to remove a good deal of the moisture. I used the futon in the spare room for blocking.  The futon mattress was covered with towels and a fitted sheets.  Hundred and hundreds of pins did the job! 

A few more photos... a photogenic piece of knitting...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Skein Wonder: Calabaza Calypso Complete

Calabaza Calypso Scarf

I started knitting this project in September, when fall colors were in their full glory here in Colorado. The colors in this yarn had me thinking of autumn leaves and pumpkin patches.  I had to take breaks from knitting to go to the kitchen and bake pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread. Yes, I had pumpkin on my brain!  I noticed on the can of pumpkin puree that "calabaza" is the Spanish word for pumpkin.  The pattern for this scarf is called "Calypso" and it's from the great book "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders"... so there you have it... Calabaza Calypso.
This is made from one ball of Berroco Sox Metallic (do you see the little flecks of silver metallic thread?). It knit up beautifully... very nice yarn. I wish I had more in my stash!  The pattern called for making this project into a much wider stoll.  I reduced the number of stitches to 36 for a narrower scarf and I am happy with the results.  It's a simple pattern and I like the look of the drop stitches.  If you've not made a drop stitch scarf, you should.  I think it looks nice in colorful yarn but I think it would also look nice in a solid color.  The patter called for beads but I thought the metallic thread was enough bling for me.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas is coming....

Every year, when I decorate my six foot tall Christmas tree, I think to myself... someday I would like to decorate my tree  with homemade ornaments only. 

That will take a lot of work. 

This year, I have a small table top tree with some ornaments I've been working on and I wanted to share.

This little sock is my favorite.  I am using up leftover bits of sock yarn. 
This is from mittens made earlier in the year.

This is my favorite sweater.  It was from a little sample of yarn from the Sock Summit
(sock yarn from Hazel Knit's booth). 
The sweater was knit from the top down and the yarn was a dream with which to knit.

The sock on the left is more yarn from Hazel Knits
and the sock on the right is Crazy Zauberball yarn
(leftover from socks I made for my dad).

A little cardigan (needs buttons!)

A pullover...

And another pullover. 
I am sure a few more ornaments will find there way on my tree between now and Christmas.  I like how making each ornament reminds me of the projects I made with the yarn originally.  Little memories... little keepsakes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sockhead Hat

"Sockhead Hat:" a free pattern from Ravelry (click HERE for link)

Super slouchy,
Super stripey,
Super simple...

For this hat, I used Knit Picks Yarn:  Felici Sport Self-Striping in the colorway "Alexandrite".  A fun use for pretty sock yarn!  This would be a good for males or females, depending of course upon which yarn you choose.  I have to admit the four inches of knit 2, purl 2 ribbing was a bit tedious... I took lots of breaks... but once I got to the stockinette, it was much faster.  This hat calls for nine inches of stockinette, after the four inches of ribbing, before the decreases begin... on tiny US 2 needles.  There are 144 stitches per round. That's a lot of little stitches.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Big Boy Socks for my baby boy (Slipper Sock Pattern)

I really am trying to NOT buy new yarn.  I made that goal a year ago (knit from my stash!) and I have really not done well.  For some reason, however, I feel a little less guilty about buying new yarn if (1) I have something in mind for the yarn and (2) I cast on right away.  That was the case with the yarn I bought in late November 2011.  My local yarn shop is one year old now and they were having a sale.  I bought two skeins of Bernat Jacquard worsted weight yarn in a colorway called "Jet".  I decided the shades of grey and off-white were good colors for a boy.

I love the way my yarn shop organizes things. It works with the way my brain works.  From left to right, the yarns are displayed from thinnest to thickest.... on the far left... lace weight, sock and fingering weight yarns... in the center, DK and sportweight, worsted and aran weight yarns... followed by chunky and bulky yarns on the far right. Brilliant!

But for some reason (most likely because it is a "self striping" yarn), the worsted weight Bernat Jacquard yarn was WITH the sock yarn.  So it got me to thinking of making socks with heavier, worsted weight yarn.  I looked on Ravelry, and I found that lots of folks make socks, mittens, fingerless mitts, and hats with this yarn.  I initially was going to use a pattern called "Just Perfectly" which I found on Ravelry.  I ended up improvising my own pattern and this is what I came up with.  My project notes are far from refined but here they are.  The socks are very thick so I cannot picture my son wearing these with shoes, but he loves to wear them around the house.  In fact, when I finished the first sock, he insisted on wearing it... just the one.  He said he was, "... like Michael Jackson but with his feet!"  You know, how Michael Jackson used to wear just ONE white glove!?  Hilarious!

This weekend, when I would see my son shuffling around the house with just the one sock on his foot, I would hold up my knitting and say, "Look, I am working on your sock.  I am knitting JUST as FAST as I CAN!"  Sock #2 finished last night! What a relief!

Big Boy Socks (Slipper Socks)
Size US 5 needles (double pointed needles)
Two (2) skeins of Bernat Jacquards (worsted weight) yarn

  • Knit the Cuff:  Cast on 48 st on size US 5 dpns.  Join to knit in the round.  Knit in k2,p2 rib for 40 rounds on three needles (you can knit more or fewer rounds depending upon how long or short you want your socks to be).
  • Knit 1 stitch.  Move this one stitch to needle #3. Over the next 24 stitches, knit the heel flap.  The remaining 24 stitches (which will become the instep) should be held on another needle (or two), a scrap piece of yarn, or a stitch holder.  Knitting the 1 stitch and moving it to needle #3 centers the stitches. That way, when you knit the instep, it is symmetrical. K1,p2,k2,p2... continue in k2,p2, end with a k1.  I am a LIBRA... I am all about symmetry!
For the heel flap, I followed instructions I found in a pattern called "Just Perfectly" by Bitta Mikkelborg.  The Raverly pattern link can be found HERE.  These are socks I definitely plan to make some day in the future.... a very interesting looking sock pattern for worsted weight yarn!

Heel flap:
Working on 24 first stitches only, leaving remaining instep stitches on hold.
Row 1: *With yarn in back Sl 1 knitwise, k1* repeat from * across row.
Row 2: With yarn in front Sl 1 purlwise, purl across row.
Repeat these two rows until you have worked 31 rows, ending with row 1.

Heel turn:
Row 1 (WS): With yarn in front sl 1 purlwise, p 12, p2tog, p1,turn.
Row 2 (RS): With yarn in back sl 1 knitwise, k 3, k2tog tbl, k1, turn.
Row 3 (WS): With yarn in front sl 1 purlwise, p to 1 stitch before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 4 (RS): With yarn in back sl 1 knitwise, k to 1 stitch before gap, k2tog tbl, k1, turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all heel stitches are worked.  You now have 14 stitches left on your needle.  End on a right side row.  Divide these stitches on to 2 needles (needle 1 and 4).

The round now begins under the foot (in the middle of the foot) with needle 1. The thread is now at the end of needle 1. With needle 1, pick up and knit 16 stitches along the heel flap on the right side. Work the stitches on the instep needles (needle 2 and 3), in pattern... k1,p2,k2,p2,k2... end with p2,k1. With a free needle, pick up and knit 16 stitches along the left side of the heel flap. Knit the 7 stitches on needle 4. At this point you should have 23 st on needle 1, 12 stitches on needle 2, 12 stitches on needle 3, and 23 stitches on needle 4.

Gusset Decreases:
  • Knit round: Knit 1 round, keeping instep stitches in pattern.
  • Decrease round: Knit stitches on needle 1 until last 3 st; then k2tog, k1. Work stitches on needle 2 and needle 3 (instep) in pattern.  On needle 4, k1, ssk, then knit all stitches to end of needle.
Work these two rounds, alternating between knit rounds and decrease rounds, until there are 12 st on eash of the 4 needles (48 stitches total).
Knit the Foot:
Needle 1: Knit
Needle 2 and 3: Work instep stitches in pattern.
Needle 4: Knit
For my son's size 11.5 feet (Holy Cow!), I completed 40 rounds.  You could knit more or less of course for shorter or longer socks.

Toe Decreases:  When you begin the toe decreases, you stop working the instep stitches in k2,p2 ribbing (For the toe, I did decreases each round until a total of 16 stitches remained).
Needle 1:  Knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.
Needle 2:  K1, ssk, knit to end of needle (no more ribbing)
Needle 3:  Knit to last 3 stitches (no more ribbing), k2tog, k1.
Needle 4:  K1, ssk, knit to end of needle.
When a total of 16 stitches remain, graft toe using Kitchner Stitch.

Done... except now you have to make the dreaded "Second Sock!" 

So there you have it!  Slipper Socks done in a jiffy. A great last minute Holiday gift perhaps. Hmmm, maybe I need a pair... my knit shop has just the right yarn...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grandma Fluck's Anise Molasses Cookies

Last weekend, I posted about my cookie baking adventures and included a photo of these lovely treats.
I've posted the recipe on my other blog.  Click HERE if you'd like to see more...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Finally... GAA on display!

Happy Christmas to me... I have been wanting to buy a quilt rack for a long time...

I did not have a rabbit motif in mind, but I kind of like it...

It's a shame that something that entailed so many hours of work... was sitting in a bag in a closet for so long...

Finally, my Great American Afghan is on display in my home.
This is not the spot where I planned to keep this quilt rack. Once Christmas is over, the rack and afghan will fill the space currently occupied by our Christmas tree.

Friday, November 25, 2011

No Time to Knit

No time to knit. The Thanksgiving Weekend has had me too busy.  This week, I am off of work Wednesday through Saturday and I am making the most of it.  Working like MAD to get things done so that I may relax and enjoy the holiday season.  My son drug out the Christmas Tree Box and erected the tree we've used for the past 19 Christmases.  After putting up the tree (just the tree!), my son lost interest.  He and his Pop went to go play tennis and I stayed home.  I strung up the lights and hung the ornaments while they were gone.  On the very top of the tree, my favorite ornament!  My mom made this (crochet) and it includes a photo of my chubby baby boy, who is now nearly 15 years old and a string bean now in comparison.
I love hanging ornaments. They all have memories for me. When did I get this ornament, what does it mean to me, where did I get it, or who gave this to me?  This lovely wooden ornament is a gem.  It's just a few inches across but the detail is amazing.  A coworker was showing me things he made with his scroll saw; he talked about how his hobby was his sanity... his respite from his crazy, stressful job.  I told him I thought a scroll saw would be a very fun hobby and that I could relate to the meaningfulness and importance of a good hobby.  He showed me some patterns he was considering and I admired this one in particular. Several weeks (maybe months) later, the coworker gave the ornament to my family for our tree. 

So simple! My tree is decorated with a number of these pine cone ornaments. One of our favorite places in Colorado is a little town with a little lake called San Isabel. 
We've gone there countless times in the past 19 years we've lived in Colorado. One year, I collected a bunch of pine cones.  At home, I sprayed them very lightly with metallic gold paint, affixed some brass wire at the top, and attached narrow red ribbon. 
I like these ornaments a lot.

A Thanksgiving Weekend Tradition!  I decorated the tree while my Christmas cookies baked (each tray has to be in the oven for about 17 minutes so it's a long process). These German cookies are a family tradition on my husband's side of the family.  My mother-in-law taught me how to make them several years ago. Believe it or not, this is just ONE batch of cookie dough (the recipe calls for five cups of flour, so it makes a lot of cookies!)  The dough has a million ingredients (some of which are quite unusual), they are very labor intensive, but they are worth the effort.  I love having a connection to the past like this.  These cookies are made at Thanksgiving time because they actually get better as they sit a few weeks. 
A little extra baking!  I made these muffins, too. They are super healthy and super good (despite the big mistake I made).  I will post about them soon on my other blog.  Click HERE for the link.

Oh yeah, it was Thanksgiving so I made a Turkey Dinner, too! 
Imagine that!  Our Turkey Dinner was a snap thankfully since no one here cares for many of the traditional side dishes. Pumpkin pies, however, are MANDATORY.  They are just a memory now...

Finally... on Thanksgiving night, I iced the cookies.  I think these cookies are quite photogenic, don't you?

Yay, today I addressed my Christmas cards, too!  The boys were up in Colorado Springs for a tennis tournament.  I got a lot done while they were gone.

Now... time to put up my feet and KNIT!

Monday, November 21, 2011

From January 14, 2011: Things to do... Update.

On January 14, 2011, I posted the following about my knitting goals for 2011.
I thought it would be fun to see how close I got to meeting my goals for the year.

Here's what I posted:
I have been pondering New Year's Resolutions since mid-December.  When I joined the Ravelry group called "12 months=24 hats" it got me to thinking about setting goals for my knitting.

With these goals in mind, I've been inventorying my stash of yarn.  I have yarn to complete all of my goals and then some!  The only exception is yarn suitable for the Wrapped in Care project. I have some yarn in my stash but it might not be suitable.  When I did an inventory of my yarn today, I gathered printed patterns and skeins of yarn and made up kits to make the following projects. Drum roll, please... here they are!
  1. Pismo sweater in Cascade 220 Superwash in a lavender color.
  2. Clapotis in Noro Silk Garden (sock weight).
  3. Modern Classics Christmas stockings in blue and white (a kit from Knit Picks)
  4. Point Gammon Pullover in Berroco Weekend in a tan color.
  5. Beaded Scarf in Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton (chocolate brown color with great beads).
  6. Hemlock Ring Throw in Cascade Eco Wool in an off white/natural color.
  7. Enough yarn to make 9 pairs of socks (various brands of sock yarn).
  8. Enough yarn to make 15 chemo caps with Berroco Comfort DK.
  9. A ton of Queensland Bamboo Cotton (am not sure what to do with it).
  10. A ton of Nancy (discontinued) cotton/rayon/acrylic/silk blend yarn (might make a shawl).
  11. A ton of acrylic and acrylic/wool blend yarns (not sure what to do with all of it but some is being knit into stockings for soldiers and some is being knit into hats for babies).
  12. Two kinds of lace yarn in different shades of pink to make a scarf and a shawl (maybe)
  13. Several skeins of Berroco Comfort Chunky in an off-white color (might make Rosamund's Cardigan but I am just not sure?).
  14. Some bright yarn to make these Christmas Ornaments (a crochet project).
Believe it or now, I have much, much more yarn.  We'll have to revisit this post in December (and throughout the year) to check on my progress.  I am feeling a tad overwhelmed. I better knit faster! 

What projects are you planning to make in 2011?
Update:  As of November 21, 2011....

How did I do? I did well on my charity knitting projects.  As for the other goals... it's a mixed bag.

Since November 2010, I made and donated 50 chemo caps, five Snuggles (blankets for the Humane Society animals), two blankets and 18 caps for an NICU in Arkansas, one shawl for Wrapped in Care, 32 Christmas stockings for Operation Holiday Stockings, and three pairs of fingerless mitts for Mitts of Steal (and a partridge in a pear tree).  Oh, sorry... that's a different list!  Ha, ha.   I would have liked to have made more stockings for the soldiers (I certainly have the yarn!), but got distracted by some other knit-worthy causes.

As for goals labeled #1 through #14. Well, it seems like most of these things will be on my list for 2012.
  • No progress on goals #1 through #4. 
  • Goal met!  I did complete the beaded scarf #5.
  • I am just now working on Hemlock Ring Throw #6. 
  • I did not make much progress on #7 sock yarn but am more motivated to do so after perusing the book called "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders".  
  • I put a good dent in #8 Berroco Comfort DK yarn for chemo caps, but I still have some left (it will NOT go to waste!).  I bought more Berroco Comfort yarn throughout the year... doh!
  • Still contemplating what to do with yarn in #9 and #10.
  • #11 goal met!  I used up a TON of acrylic yarn on the Snuggles project.  Yarn goes quickly when you hold two or three strands together at one time.
  • #12... ugh! Lace.  I started and stopped two lacey stolls/scarves/shawls.  Another day...
  • #13... yay! Used up all this yarn on my Wrapped in Care Shawl.
  • #14... maybe next year.
As the year is coming to a close, I feel so incredibly blessed by a number of things... I have an amazing stash of yarn and so many projects I am excited to make.  Making  knitted things and giving them away gives me a sense of purpose and a sense of accomplishment.  Knitting has also introduced me to a lot of new friends... at my local knit shop and also on Ravelry.  My goal through this past year was to NOT buy new yarn.  I did not do very well... I fell off the sheep!  I acquired quite a bit of yarn this year.  For some reason, I felt less guilty about buying new yarn if I cast in on right away. At least I was using it, right?

I am working on my Knitting Goals for 2012.  I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Operation Holiday Stockings

Operation Holiday Stockings

My stockings for the year (a total of 32).  These are for U.S. Soldiers deployed overseas.  Last year I made about a dozen stockings. This year my goal was to make 52 stockings (one for each week of the year).  I fell short of my goal as I was distracted by so many other knit-worthy and crochet-worthy causes.

The stockings are filled with all sorts of goodies... toothpaste, candy, drink mixes, lip balm, and so on...

Yes, you can fit 32 stockings into a shoe box for a size 11 men's shoe.  My baby boy has some big feet!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Tale of Two Hats

Despite coming down with Startitis recently, I was able to finish up two caps on Sunday and here they are!  I don't know the actual name of this hat pattern.  I saw this hat pattern in a friend's magazine (the 2011 Holiday Edition of "Love of Knitting") and I quickly jotted the instructions down on a scrap of paper (I feel a bit guilty doing that... I should go out and buy the magazine!!!)  The gals at knit shop were Oooohhh and Aaahhhhing over ALL of the projects in the magazine, but I liked this one best.  In the magazine photo, the model had long hair and she actually had her hair spouting out of the top of the hat.  The hat is basically a tube of k3,p2 ribbing (for about 8 1/2 inches) and then there are some decreases (for the crown), followed by a row of eyelet (where you weave in some ribbon, I-cord, or, as in my project, some braided yarn).  After the eyelet, there are some increase rows and then of course you bind off. 

I made my version of the cap in Bernat Mosaic yarn in a colorway called Calypso.  The yarn is acrylic but very, very soft.  I was considering making this for myself, but decided to donate it as a chemo cap (since I recently started making chemo caps for teens and younger children).  A very cheerful cap indeed and I can picture a young lady liking the style and the vibrant colors.

I also finished up an Odessa hat (I've made this hat so many times, I've lost track... it's a great pattern). This time, I left off the beads.  The yarn is Berroco Comfort DK in my favorite colorway Rosebud.  I love how the decreases make a nice swirly design at the top of the cap.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


It was just a matter of time I suppose before I came down with the all-too-common affliction:  Startitis.  Of course “-itis” is a Greek or Latin medical terminology suffix which means “inflammation or infection”… as in tonsillitis or bronchitis.  Perhaps you are less familiar with “Startitis”; however, my research on the subject reveals it a terribly common disease among crafty folks and it is highly contagious.  The symptoms include the uncontrollable urge to accumulate new yarn, new patterns, and “start” or cast-on new projects when you already have gobs and gobs of projects on the needles. 
I am 100 percent certain I contracted my recent case of Startitis at my local yarn shop.  Lately, each time I visit Grandma’s Beads and Yarn (in Canon City, Colorado), a group of knitters are gathered at the table in the center of the shop.  I may have contracted my case of Startis from one of these folks, but I have read conflicting research which speculates Startitis can also be contracted from handling yarn on the shelves at yarn shops.   A few weeks back, I think I was coming down with a case of Startitis, but I was successful in fighting it off when I took the time to organize the space where I keep my current works in progress (the space next to my chair where I knit in my living room).  I was determined to keep just a few projects there, but it’s all gone to hell in a hand basket (that’s an odd expression, isn’t it?) and I am currently working on the following projects:
·         A pony tail hat in Bernat Mosaic.
·         An Odessa Hat in Berroco Comfort  DK.
·         A Sockhead hat in Knit Picks Felici.
·         A Hemlock Ring Throw in Cascade Ecological Wool.
·         A drop stitch scarf in Berroco Metallic Sox.
·         A pair of baby pants in Lion Brand Sock-Ease.
·         A pair of socks for my son in Bernat Jacquards.
·         A pair of breasts (yes, you read that right…. more on this in another post).
Of course, there are more works in progress which are sort of hibernating in my closet out of view… a baby sweater, a small blanket, a crochet purse/bag which will be felted… someday.
So there you have it, a full blown case of Startitis.  I would say six of the projects listed above have been cast-on in the past 10 to 14 days.   I think I need to contact the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to alert them as to my condition, as I seem to have been afflicted with a highly virulent case.  Also, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may wish to investigate the possibility of putting warning labels on yarn to caution folks about the highly addictive quality of the product they are about  to consume.   
Hopefully I will recuperate from my condition soon so that I can finally COMPLETE something… ANYTHING… and I can share it with you here.   But in the meantime, be careful out there folks!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chemo Cap #50

I started making chemo caps in August 2010.  I did so at the urging of a friend, Kerri, who suggested we could make chemo caps as a sort of "Knit Along (KAL)" for an organization such as "Head Huggers".  At that time, I knew no one who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.   Sadly and suddenly, people I knew were diagnosed with breast cancer... the owner of my former local yarn shop, two gals at work, and a family member who is near and dear to me.  When folks you know are going through a tough time, sometimes if feels like there is nothing you can do to help, but when you are a knitter and you learn a lady may be going through chemotherapy and may lose her hair... well, you grab yarn and needles and you get busy making caps. 

I was excited to realize this week that I was very close to cap #50.  I've actually made a lot more than 50 caps since August 2010 (crazy, huh?!), but 50 have been made specifically as chemo caps.  The cap pictured above and the cap I posted earlier this week called "A Winter Solstice Hat" are specifically made for children undergoing chemotherapy.  Most of my caps have been adult sized, but lately I've been experimenting with new patterns and I had some caps which turned out much smaller than I had hoped.  I was frustrated and discouraged by this, but just the other day an e-mail arrived in my "in-box" and I learned about a group called "Kaps for Kendall"... SERENDIPITY... they need caps for children undergoing chemo therapy.  That's just how things work for me in my knitting world... I make what I want and then, as if almost by magic, a recipient reveals itself.  Small caps... great for children.

Of course, the thought of a child being diagnosed with a disease such as cancer makes me sad, but making these caps specifically for children this week has been very fun.  I can picture a girl maybe 10 or 12 years old seeing his cap and finding it special.  I tried so hard to make it one-of-kind, funky, cheerful, cool, and colorful.  When I was making this cap, I thought of the really fancy fondant decorated cakes you see on programs on the Food Network.  Wild, fun, wonky layered birthday cakes. 

I learned so much making the cap called "A Winter Solstice Hat"... my first real effort at stranded color work.  I used what I learned from that pattern and just went crazy from there, adding bobbles, and bold stripes.  I was also inspired by some of the caps I've seen by Susan B. Anderson... she makes great stuff for kids.  Everything she makes is adorable!

So I share with you today... Chemo Cap #50!  Yay, I just did a little cartwheel in my heart!