Monday, May 30, 2011

Operation Holiday Stockings

I keep this box under my bed.  I finish a stocking and put it in the box.  I've been making stockings on and off since Christmastime 2010... my goal is to make one stocking a week. Let's see how I am doing...

That's 17 stockings for American Soldiers... yay! 
I noticed as I was laying them out that no two are alike;
 they all have their own personality.
I love the stockings with the variegated yarn;
 I was sad when I used up the last of that skein.

I am trying to refine my pattern and my heels. 
This stocking has a traditional heel with heel flap, gusset, and so on...

This stocking has a short row heel. I am on a mission to figure out this type of heel. I've worked through at least three different tutorials I've found on-line (full of written instructions as well as photos and videos) and I still struggle with some pesky unwanted "eyelet" sort of holes here and there as I am turning the heel using this method.  

If ANYONE can steer me in the direction of a great, fantastic, fool-proof method for a short row heel... I'd love to hear all about it! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pink Camouflage Socks are Complete!

A little knitting for me!  I bought this yarn last week at my new yarn shop... Grandma's Beads and Yarn in Canon City, Colorado.   The yarn is Bernat brand camouflage in shades of dark and pale pink as well as dark and pale sage green.

Again, what in nature does this camouflage?  Hmmm... bubble gum in the lawn?  Ha, ha.  I don't know. Whatever the case may be, I am finding that Bernat yarns are a treat with which to knit.  Very plump and squishy... which I find to be good qualities in yarn.  The randomness in the color changes makes for some interesting and unexpected squiggles and designs in the fabric.

The pattern is by my knitting gal pal Marilyn.  The pattern is called Simple Socks. I've been having problems with sloppy looking heels, so I followed Marilyn's pattern nearly to a "t" and I am very happy my tidy looking heel.  I might have JUST enough of this yarn left to make another pair of short socks.  I have just the recipient in mind... some one who has feet a little bit smaller than mine! 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meet Rowan

Rowan Chickens

Picture from this website called "Colorful Stitches".  Click HERE.

Today I was on a bit of a mission:
  • Do laundry (Ugh!)
  • Clean bathrooms (Ick!)
  • Cook like mad for the upcoming week (NOT in the mood today!)
  • Make a chicken that looks just like the chickens above (FUN!)

So of course, first thing this morning, after cooking breakfast and making coffee, I set out to make the chicken. A girl's got to have priorities, right!?

I've been admiring the chickens above for quite awhile.  The pattern is from Rowan which is a really nice line of yarn... gorgeous patterns (some for free and some to buy).  The Rowan website can be found HERE.  The chicken pattern can be found in a few different books but I just couldn't justify spending $20.00 for one pattern. So I set out to figure it out on my own.

I started with a provisional cast on and then knit from the edge of the bottom of the body to the top of the head, of course tapering as I went.  I started with 30 stitches and ended with stitches. Then I picked up the live stitches from the provisional cast on and tapered to close up the bottom. When I had just a few stitches left, I inverted the body upside down in side a plastic tumbler (drinking cup) and then filled the body with rice.  Then I continued my decreases until 3 stitches remained and then closed up the body. The body is made with organic cotton yarn in pink.

I set about figuring out how to make the comb on top of the head, the tail feathers, and the legs... they are all crochet (I used natural colored cotton kitchen twine).  I struggled the most with the beak (also made out of cotton in yellow). The black eyes are beads.  
Meet Rowan!

Rowan looking about the window... nice weather today!

Rowan and I had a busy day today.  While I cleaned the bathrooms, he supervised my son mowing the lawn in the back yard.  In fact, Rowan spent most of the day lounging around while I cooked and cleaned.  I thought it was a good idea for Rowan to hang out in the living room while I made... ummm, (Shhhhh!)... egg salad for my husband's lunches; I also made rosemary and garlic chicken with brown and wild rice for my lunches this week. (Sorry Rowan!).  The Wisconsin Beer Cheese soup is done.  Two pans of baked ziti are complete (one is in the freezer and my husband polished off the better half of one 8" x 8" pan for dinner).   The laundry is done and put away.  I have meals prepped and planned for a few more days. 

I kept asking my husband, "Do you like my CHICKEN?"
To which he replied, "That's not a CHICKEN, that's a POTATO!"
He just doesn't get it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Calais Shawl

Calais Shawl for a friend...

Pattern: Calais Shawl (Click HERE)
Yarn:  KnitPicks Essential Sock Yarn
Color: Mermaid

There's a long story to this shawl which I may add later.  I was just so anxious to post these photos!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Camouflage Star Afghan is Complete

Camouflage Star Afghan

Close up to show stripe and edge detail.
I saw a little star pattern on Lion Brand's website.  Click HERE to see it.  The end result was an afghan which looks much like my Pink Star afghan which I completed earlier this year (click HERE to the Pink Star).  The patterns I used for both afghans are very similar, if not identical.  If I make this pattern again, I will start adding contrasting stripes nearer to the center of the afghan.  Having lots of strips really brings out the awesome star design.  In this blanket I used Bernat "Camouflage" yarn, some Lion Brand "Fun" yarn, and also some Plymouth DK "Dreambaby" yarn.  I was happy to find two different blue yarns which went so well with the bright blue in the camouflage yarn.  I call this shade of blue "Cookie Monster" blue... do you agree?

I've mentioned in previous posts that I am not sure what in nature this yarn would camouflage.  Whatever the case may be, it's very nice acrylic yarn.  After looking at this yarn for so long while crocheting this project, I finally realized WHAT this yarn camouflages!  Scroll down and you will see!  I think Cookie Monster will approve.  

Do you see the similarity?

This blanket will go The Denver Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado.  I hope some boy will like it!

Will knit for chocolate... Pink Lace Socks are Complete!

As I was poking around on Ravelry one day, I noticed some really fun projects completed by a crafty gal called ColoradoMom.  I noticed her brown bee hive shaped hat called "Big Poop Hat" and another similar looking hat called "Dog Walking Hat."  Since I noticed she also lives in Colorado, I sent her message to say hello from fellow another Raveler in Colorado.  I told her I loved her projects and that I loved her sense of humor.  ColoradoMom is a very talented and prolific knitter and crocheter.  I made these socks for her (her yarn and her pattern) and she says she loves them.  When she sent the yarn and pattern to me, she included a packages of fine chocolates... "to give me energy to knit," she said!  See, I will knit for chocolate!  FYI:  I will also knit for a hot cup of coffee.

If you are on Ravelry, I encourage you to check out her 665 projects... see, I told you... prolific!  You'll find adorable and clever hats, things that look like garden gnomes, tea and cup cozies, granny squares, afghans/blankets, among many other very cool projects.  Two of my favorites are HERE and HERE.

To show you how talented a gal ColoradoMom is, check out her video (make sure your sound is turned on).

She also has a shop on Etsy. Click HERE to check it out!

Pattern:  Lace Socks by Debbie Bliss (Click HERE)

Monday, May 16, 2011

What's Knitting... What's Crocheting...

Camouflage Star Shaped Afghan for a boy...

Added some contrasting stripes... the outer border will also be in bright blue. I call this shade of blue "Cookie Monster Blue".

Chasing Rainbows... great project for TV watching/listening...
Loving my projects for The Children's Hospital in Denver, Colorado.  The top afghan is a crochet project in Bernat brand "Camouflage."  After looking at this yarn for so long, I've decided what it camouflages!  I'd love to hear what you think I have in mind.  ANY GUESSES?   I'll give you a hint:  It does NOT camouflage something naturally occurring in the great outdoors.  When I have it all done, I'll tell you what it reminds me of.  Hee, hee! 

I am knitting up the second blanket in a various skeins of Plymouth Encore Worsted yarn which is 80 percent acrylic and 20 percent wool.  It is very soft!  The pattern is called "Chasing Rainbows" and is knit from the center out. It's great for "Stash Busting" because you can just knit until you run out of yarn. I've run out of the pale green but still have quite a bit of the lavender blue; I have quite a lot of the white and the variegated yarn.  This pattern is really simple and it creates a very wonky looking square. 

Knitfitti, Yarn Bombing, Guerilla Knitting... whatever you call it, it sure is fun...

On Main Street in Canon City, Colorado... outside my local yarn shop.

Whoops... sideways.  Can't seem to get it right, but I wanted you to see the beads steaming down...errr, to the left...

My new yarn shop... Grandma's Beads and Yarn... located in the back of
 "Words of Life" (Christian Bookstore & Gift Shop)
in Canon City, Colorado.
Late last summer, I mentioned my local yarn shop was closing (Anne's Knits and Such).  It was sad to see the shop close, but sometimes those things happen.  All of the fans of the shop lucked out when one of the old shop's employees, Michelle, decided the shop would not go down without a fight.  She decided to open her own shop right next door in a space rented in the back of the existing Christian Bookstore and Gift Shop called "Words of Life".  The new yarn (and bead) shop has been open for at least six months now and it's really a great shop.  My Thursday knitting group now meets at this shop; sometimes we even have to get out more chairs since so many folks show up to knit from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  The inventory of available yarns and beads is every growing.  They are really selecting very nice quality things.  I am so incredibly fortunate to have such a fantastic shop especially considering Canon (pronounced Canyon) City is a relatively small town.

Marilyn (the lady who taught my Great American Afghan class) and Sue ("The Bead Lady") are nearly always in the shop and really help keep the place going. They are constantly making projects using the yarns and goods available in the shop to give customers an idea of what can be made from the items on the store's shelves.  Last week, Marilyn suggested we decorate the tree and the lamp post just outside the shop.  Some folks call it Yarn Bombing, while others call it Knitfitti or even Guerilla Knitting. Whatever the case may be, it's fun to contribute and it looks great!    I knitted and crocheted a few items on the tree.  I bet more will be added by next Thursday when I go to knit with the girls...