Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tatting and other stuff

First, the disclaimer:  Today's photos are not very good.  It's dreary outside - dreary and cold.  I had to take the pictures indoors and I always have a harder time getting good shots indoors than outdoors.  

 And my photographer's assistant was having an off day - not sure why.

So, one thing I tatted recently was this lanyard.  I've seen lots of tails on bookmarks done this way and never saw instructions for how to do it anywhere.  I decided I wanted something to hold my little crochet hook around my neck so I didn't have to hold it in my mouth when I'm tatting.  Yes, I know I don't HAVE to hold it in my mouth, but that's where it usually ends up and it's just not nice.  Besides, I hate it when I can't talk.  And yes, I know there are shuttles with hooks on the end, but I don't seem to be able to use them comfortably.  So I decided I wanted a hold my little hook - I had already added a lobster claw clasp to it.  So I played around with this in the hotel when I took Girl Far From Home back to Far From Home.  I discovered that doing this is something like spinning - twist the stitches too much around the core and it winds back on itself one way, and don't add enough twist and it winds back on itself the other way.  This one isn't quite just right, but it's not too bad and it works nicely because it's just the right length to leave the hook near my hands when I'm tatting.  

And this is the finished hankie.  It's a dreadful picture and I took quite a few to get one this good.  I might try again tomorrow for a better picture if the weather is decent.  The tatting on this isn't perfect, but with the bad photography, you can't see the mistakes.  It was fun to do so I think I will do the others I came home with, but I will probably look at the Mary Konior books because she's got tons of edgings and I do enjoy tatting her patterns.

The blue yarn that was supposed to be extra has come home.  That means it's time to cut the arm off my sweater and reknit it.  I think I will take pictures because cutting knitting is so traumatic to so many people.  I wish the sweater was done today because it was cold here and I would have enjoyed wearing it.  I left my February Lady sweater Far From Home because someone didn't bring warm clothes.  That's probably because when she left Georgia it was almost 80 degrees and who knew it would snow that same night and she'd need winter woolies?.

This is the book and yarn I won on the Sheep Dreams blog - I have to say that I really love farm blogs these days.  I also love Susan B. Anderson patterns.  This book is not at what I thought it was!  I thought it was a story book with some knitting patterns for the characters.  It's not.  It has patterns for an entire farm in it.  They are really cute too!

First, we have Chloe (the girl) and Spud (the sheep) and in this picture you also see the back of the farm dog and the farm cat.  The prize included enough yarn to knit both Spud and Chloe and I really love the yarn.  It's a wool/cotton blend so it's the best of both worlds and I think it will make really great toys.

And then there are all the farm animals, baby sheep, mice, hen and chicks, pigs and even a cow!  They are all sooo cute!  (See the front of the farm dog behind the hay bales.)

And, of course, if you are going to have a farm, you have to have the farm accessories.  There is a knit barn and fence for penning your animals.  And there are hay bales and buckets for feeding the animals.

I think the knitted items in this book would make really great gifts for little kids - how nice to have your own soft farm?  And how nice to have toys that stimulate the imagination rather than overwhelming the senses?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Catchup Ketchup

While Teresa is away doing Juror Duty (and it is a LOT more fun than she is making it out to be), I will catchup on my posts.

Yes I finished my tatted bracelet, the Wandering Blooms Bracelet but I still haven't woven

in those pesky ends so I hadn't posted a picture. Since I am not sure when or if those ends are going to get woven in, here is my bracelet.

I have been knitting a variety of baby items for a new grandbaby who is coming just before Easter. Which is right around the corner. Way, Way too soon. So instead of working on those items I worked on some Easter gifts.

Mom and I had been planning on making a rug for Girl Far From Home when we heard about the flood in her room. We decided that we needed to get it done for Easter. I didn't want to post a picture of it and spoil the surprise but it was sent off last week and should have been in her mail box last Saturday. Since she can't pick up mail on Saturday and was fencing anyway, she should be picking up her package today. It contains some other Easter gifts also and maybe she will post pictures of them on her blog. Just wanted everyone to know how much fuzzy white things like the rug. Just in case anyone was interested.

My time to knit is in the afternoon between phone calls and making supper and doing a bit of housework. The best time to sit and knit is in the evening. We turn on a bit of tv, sit in our chairs that we got for Christmas (Thanks mom) and I knit.

I usually have furry things in my lap but I was doing a complicated bit of something the other night (trying to finish up the Rug for Girl Far From Home) and the piece was filling my lap and I had no room at the inn. So hubby graciously took over lap duty for me. The only reason it looks like all four of them are sleeping it because the news is on and they sleep through all but the weather.

For the new grandbaby to be I am making a baby blanket based on Lucy's Baby Blanket by socalknitgirl on Ravelry. I tried it several ways and decided that the safest for wee fingers was to do it all double. I started out doing it as one huge piece and then went to strips. I am thinking that I should have done it as one huge piece so this is as far as I have gotten. Should I continue in strips and sew them together or should I start over as one HUG piece. Thoughts anyone????

I did take a break while I decided how to finish the baby afghan and make the sweater and hat for the baby. I used the pattern Hello Baby Cardigan and Hello Baby Hat. I had more trouble than Teresa learning how to do the i-cord edging. So while my sister is driving through 6 inches of snow, with snow falling and almost white out conditions, on curvey mountainous roads through the Blue Ridge Mountains, she is patiently talking me through how to knit. Isn't she amazing?

I want to find the strawberry buttons for the sweater, which someone used as a backdrop for tatting and then didn't take a picture without the tatting and the camera battery is dead. I would have used tan as per the pattern but I didn't use that in the baby afghan and that is the yarn that was at hand.

Enforced Tatting Time

but, oh so boring and uncomfortable . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2011


How's the weather?

The view from our hotel room this morning . . .

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sweet and Sour

First the Sweet!  

This is Susan B. Anderson's Hello Baby Cardigan - it's a free pattern on her Spud and Chloe blog.  I didn't have any Spud and Chloe yarn, so I just knit it in what I had on hand (Dark Horse - a soft, acrylic worsted weight yarn).  
As I was finishing up the Hello Baby sweater, Susan posted the free pattern for the matching Hello Baby Hat to go with the sweater.  So I cast it on and finished it as a part of the gift.  Aren't they just the sweetest things?  And they were so quick and easy to make.

Check out Susan's Spud and Chloe blog if you are a knitter - she's giving away yarn and a copy of Spud and Chloe on the Farm.  Too Cute!

And then there is this sweater.  I cast this on in November of 2009.  I knit the body as the pattern directed, which included many inches of cabled ribbing.  I decided that the cabled ribbing was too tight after I finished knitting about 10 inches of it on a smaller size needle.  So I ripped that out and reknit the entire 10 inches of cabled ribbing on a larger size needle.  Then I knit the sleeves and the button bands and finished the sweater up.  I took pictures and put it on Ravelry.  But I never did like it - the ribbing was still too tight and the sweater was very unflattering and not comfortable.

So, about a month ago I raveled the button bands and then the 10 inches of ribbing.  I reknit the sweater as a plain cardigan and put a plain ribbing on the bottom.  I already liked it better.  So I went ahead and picked up stitches up the front, around the neck and down the other side and knit a wide button band.  I finished it up and I really like this sweater now - Finally!

Since I used reknit yarn, it had a bit of kink in it and it showed in the knitting.  Simple enough to fix, right?  I washed the sweater and laid it out to dry in the only place available - the laundry room floor.  It was getting stepped on over and over, so I picked it up and put it on the shelf thingy in my dryer.  I've done this hundreds of times with sweaters - mostly handknit - and never had a problem . . .


. . . until this time, that is!  One arm fell off the shelf thingy (what are those things called?) and got slapped by the agitators on the drum each time they went by.  The right arm of the sweater felted - more in some spots than others, but pretty much up to the armhole.  I have to admit that some not for public words came out of my mouth when I took my poor sweater out of the dryer!  

Girl Far From Home said "Can't you just reknit that sleeve?"  My first reaction was no, but then when my head cleared, I realized this sweater was knit from the top down, so the sleeves were also knit from armhole to cuff.  It's no big thing to cut the felted part off, unravel anything salvageable and reknit the sleeve.  I used every bit of the yarn I had, except a small 1" in diameter ball.  The lovely thing is that when I bought the yarn for this sweater (almost two years ago now), I bought two extra hanks - cuz patterns are always short and I always make sweaters longer.  I used one of those hanks in the making, but I gave the other hank to Dena because it was definitely going to be extra and she thought it was pretty.  She hadn't used it yet, and it's now on it's way home and the sleeve surgery will happen when it arrives.

I wonder if I will ever really be done making this sweater?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tatting Catchup

 This little piece has been hanging out for a while, waiting patiently for me first to finish it and then to photograph it.  It's supposed to be Sandra's Heart, but Sandra's looked so much more like a heart than mine does.  I made it out of the last little bit of Yarnplayer's Garden Afternoon in size 10.  I love it even if it doesn't look like a heart - I gave it a little loop so it can be a Christmas Decoration next year.

This is the Wandering Blooms Bracelet by Dawn McLaughlin that I saw on a couple of blogs and fell in love with.  Then I showed it to Dena and we had such a hard time finding the pattern again.  Now I've linked it so I'll be able to get back to it.  Dena also made this bracelet - in fact, she finished hers first, so you tell me why we haven't seen it here!  Especially since I finished this one almost two weeks ago.

I've got more tatting going - I'm doing a hankie edging.  It's slow going, but it IS going.  Pictures of it later, when it's farther along.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


 The Mailman (actually, she's a mailwoman) must hate me lately!  She keeps having to deliver books!  This first one was a surprise gift from Mom!  Thanks Mom - I have tons of sock yarn and while I love knitting socks, I never wear them when they are done.  I have some really lovely sock yarn that I'd rather knit into something I will use and this book has tons of patterns that will do nicely!

And this is the last Anna Zilboorg book I was missing - well, the last one that contains only her patterns.  There are a couple that she has contributed to that I don't have (Favorite Socks from Around the World and The Natural Knitter), but I'm not sure that I NEED those if they only have one pattern in them.

This book has a sweater in it that I have wanted to make for a while.  It is a beautiful hardback with gorgeous photographs but, when new it was quite expensive.  I found a used copy for cheap and bought it.  Now I can make the sweater I want and not feel like I have to make everything else in the book to justify it's purchase.

And these are the beautiful Girl designed shoes.  They don't fit.  Her feet don't exactly go in them like they should.  Shoes of Prey has offered to start making a new pair as soon as we figure out exactly what size and I can mail these back whenever.  I have to say that they are incredibly nice to deal with.
Tomorrow - pictures of both knitting and tatting!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Backyard Flock

Hey!  Just like Dena, I have my very own backyard flock!  I don't even have to dye the wool because mine are already so colorful.

And I'm fortunate enough to have my very own sheepdog to keep the flock under control!

Oops!  I missed a day or two here and I have so much to post about!  It's just been so darn busy here lately.  Girl Far From Home is home for a week and what with just getting back from Idaho and then having to go get her and then the car breaking down and this that and the other, well, the blog just slipped between my fingers.  Here's a start on the catch up but there is more.  I haven't taken pics of the tatting yet . . . and it's harder to photograph than the knitting, so it will wait till I have more time.

The Silk Annis is complete and has been worn.  It turned out lovely and I'm happy that I went to so much work to get the second ball to finish it rather than ripping it out.  It's knit with Fiesta La Luz Multi in one variation of the Wild Oak colorway.  The original yarn was purchased at White House Yarn and Fiber Shop in Ontario, Oregon when I was out visiting Dena in Idaho the first time.  The pattern for the shawl is Annis from

I finished the Red Silk Azalea kit from Out Of Step Dyeworks.  That's the one that is supposed to be for me but I graciously offered to let Steve send it to his mother for her birthday (Thursday).  So then the multicolor one that I made from leftover muwata samples from quite a while ago was supposed to become mine.  Unfortunately for me, Girl Far From Home helped me finish these off and decided that she really liked them and wants one - so there goes the colorful one.  I still have two kits to make red and purple ones but those are going to Mom for herself and a friend.  Might have to find some more silk hankies!

The front yard camellias have been blooming for a while but the backyard ones have just begun.  These are all on (or from) the same bush.  I love these flowers!