Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Couple o' FOs and a WIP

I bought a new purple coat at Lane Bryant recently. Being a knitter/crocheter, I had to accessorize this new purchase with yarn goodies. I made myself some fingerless gloves (my variation on another's pattern, see this blog entry for details) with some Vanna's Choice yarn in a purple print. 100_0962 Yep, people, Vanna White from Wheel of Fortune has her own yarn. She's quite the crocheter. The yarn is very reasonably priced. The gloves cost me $2.99 to make. Here they are. 100_0939 Kinda spiffy, no? Note to self: Get a manicure!

I've never been one to wear hats. Having short, short hair and a big, big face, I tend to look odd when wearing hats. Headtoppers of any sort have never been a good look for me. However, now that I'm getting old (42 years, 8 months, and 25 days old to be exact), cold weather is affecting me more negatively than before. So what's a middle-aged knitter supposed to do? Stalk the profiles of the hat knitters on Ravelry. I found one I liked. It's Kody May's Lace Elegance Hat. It's purple, of course. I used Jo-Ann's Sensations Bellezza Collection Cosetta yarn. Can you believe I actually wear it out in public? I haven't worn a hat in public junior high/high school, way back in the late seventies/early eighties. Here she be.


Finally, I needed a scarf. So after stalking the Ravelry scarf knitters, I found the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf pattern. Talk about mindless and pretty (the scarf, not me). One row repeated over and over until the scarf is as long as I want or until the yarn runs out. So two skeins (maybe three?) of Vanna's Choice are now in the process of becoming my scarf. I'm using the same colorway as my gloves. Here's the progress shot so far.

Seraphina's Shawl

I just started this shawl a few days ago. I'd been all over Ravelry searching for shawl patterns when I ran across a few examples of Seraphina's shawl. The ones made with Jo-Ann Sensations Rainbow Boucle are just gorgeous. Naturally, I couldn't resist the urge to crochet one. I ordered some yarn online since my local Jo-Ann didn't carry the colors I wanted. I really, really wanted the shades of reds/oranges but couldn't find it online. I ordered some orangy yarn instead. I'm sure the shawl will be pretty anyhow. I also got some berry shades yarn and green shades yarn. My plan is to make this shawl again in the spring in green for my secret pal at work. I sure hope she's a shawl wearer.

The first one I decided to make is the berry colored one. Just look at it so far.
It looks nice in my opinion. I'm going to love this shawl when it's done.

I've never been a huge fan of boucle yarns. I like my yarn on the smooth side without little things hanging from it, but I bowed to the Ravelry peer pressure and bought the boucle (6 big-ass skeins of boucle, as a matter of fact). It's not so bad once you get working with it. Plus, this boucle isn't that loopy. It's more like boucle-lite. My only complaint is that it's a bitch to untangle as I crochet. I found the end in the center of the skein. I like to use center pull skeins. But every few yards the yarn gets all tangled. Just take a peek here. You can see the tangled guts of the skein getting puked out as I crochet. This is definitely not pretty yarn porn.
I would be making so much faster progress if I didn't have to untangle so often. I swear I probably would've finished this within 3-4 days if my yarn was smooth and tangle-free. As it is, I'm gonna have to work for the FO this will be.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Have You Seen This Show??

i knit with pushing daisies

Have you? I'm so hooked on Pushing Daisies. The best part is that Emerson Cod knits. He knits!! He knits gun cosies and money holders. It's awesome. I hope this show goes on forever and ever.

Thanks to Knitting Lemonade for the Pushing Daisies button.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recorder Flute Case

My class has music the last period on Wednesdays. They are dismissed by the music teacher at the end of the day. Since they do not return to my class or their lockers, they must take their recorder flutes with them. Sometimes the recorders get jostled around or pulled apart when the kids jam them into their backpacks. Here is my solution below. I decided to make a class set of these (20, in this case) for my students. They only take 45 minutes to complete so I'll be done in no time at all. Well, fifteen hours of crocheting overall, but really, who's counting? They are being modeled in the pictures by the lovely Sarah.

recorder case 1 recorder case 2

Materials and Equipment

About 2 ½ oz of worsted weight yarn
Crochet hook size J

Form loop with end or thread.
Round 1: Ch 1, 6 sc in loop. Close this round and all rounds with sl st in top of first st.
Round 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st. 12 sc
Round 3: Ch 1 , sc in 1st st, 2 sc in next st, (sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) around. 18 st
Round 4: Working back loops, Ch 2, 5 dc in 1st st (one shell made), sk 2 sc, sc in next st, sk 2 st, 5 dc in next st, sk 2 sc, sc in next st, sk 2 st, 5 dc in next st, sk 2 st, sc in next st. Close this round with sl st in top of first stitch.
Round 5: Ch 1, sl st to 3rd dc of shell, ch 1, sc in same st, (shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell) 3 times. Close with sl st in top of 1st sc.
Round 6: Ch 2, shell st in same stitch as ch 2, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell, shell in next sc, sc in 3rd dc of next shell. Close with sl st in 1st dc of beginning shell.

Rounds 7-28 Repeat Rounds 5 and 6.

Round 29: Ch 1, hdc in same st as joining, ch 1, skip one st, (hdc in next st, ch 1) around. Sl st to top of beg hdc to close.

Drawstring: Working with yarn doubled, ch 30. Run chain through ch 1 spaces of last round. Tie ends together.

Strap: With yarn doubled, connect yarn to center dc of one shell in last shell round made. Ch 80, sl st to 3rd dc of corresponding shell in round 4, turn, sc in each chain.

Weave in loose ends.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I finished the Lacy V Scarf I was working on for mi primita Nora. I referred to the scarf in the "Sometimes I Feel Like a Genius" post below. It came out cute. Check out the picture below. I just have to admit this: Ahem, <clears throat> I hate blocking my work. I wish it would come off the needles ready-to-wear. That said, the picture shows the scarf blocking on some light blue foam board I picked up at Lowe's. I paid about $7 for this big-ass sheet of foam that the kindly store employee scored down the middle so it could fold easy for storage. I had such a Lucy-and-Ethel moment trying to put this in my car. Even if there was no Ethel to my Lucy, the sight of me wrestling with a big piece of sky blue foam was filled with enough comedy for two bumbling, block-hating knitters. Well, enough reminiscing. Here's the scarf.

Nora's b-day scaraf

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sometimes I feel like a genius

I decided to make this scarf for my cousin for her birthday. Now, when I knit lace, I can't see the pattern forming before my eyes and I must always read the directions or the chart. I love knitting lace, but it takes a lot of effort on my part. This scarf is a 14-row repeat. So far it's knitting up quickly. Here's why.

I copied and pasted the directions for the 14 rows into a table, one row's worth of directions per cell, on Microsoft Word and made the font bigger to accomodate my middle-aged eyes. Then I printed the directions off on cardstock and cut apart the cells into cards. I stapled them together at the bottom in order from first row to 14th row.
pattern on  cards
Now as I knit, I just see one row at a time and fold down the card to reveal the next row. I use a binder clip to keep the cards from folding back up. Seems to be working for me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Halloween Things

pumpkin hat
Thanks to Nan Dodge and her help with this pattern. I found a pattern on the Internet that was 110 stitches on size 6 DPNs, but that hat turned out way too big. Nan suggested less stitches and a pattern for me. Click here to find a video for the The Two-handed Fair Isle Technique used to knit the green and orange rounds. Here's the pattern I used:

Nan’s Pumpkin Hat

Orange worsted-weight yarn
Green worsted-weight yarn
Size 6 DPN
Locking stitch marker

GAUGE: 5 stitches = 1 inch

With orange CO 80 stitches
Join and knit for 7-8 inches. Mark first stitch with stitch marker.
Join green and knit (7 orange stitches, 1 green stitch) around.
Next round knit (5 orange, 3 green) around
Next round knit (3 orange, 5 green) around
Next round knit (1 orange, 7 green) around
Next round drop orange and continue with green. Knit this round.

(K6, k2tog) around 70 stitches
Knit one round
(K5, k2tog) around 60 stitches
Knit one round
(K4, k2tog) around 50 stitches
Knit one round
(K3, k2tog) around 40 stitches
Knit one round
(K2, k2tog) around 30 stitches
Knit one round
(K1, k2tog) around 20 stitches
Knit one round
(k2tog) around 10 stitches
Knit one round
(k2tog) around 5 stitches
Knit one round
Continue on these 5 stitches making an i-cord stem to the desired length.


Next up is Sarah Lou's candy corn hat.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

You can find me on your Borders bookshelves

crochet calendar

My pages in the calendar:
my calendar pages
The 2008 Crochet Pattern-a-Day calendar is out and my patterns are featured on September 13/14 and on November 5. It's such a thrill to see my name and patterns in print. I've now been published in two different places, for my crocheting and my teaching. The Mailbox Magazine for teachers has published one of my ideas. It was published last year in the August/September intermediate issue. The magazine has already paid me for a second idea to publish at a later date. I'll post more about that on my education blog later.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I Feel Like I've Been Called Up to the Majors

I got the email from Ravelry. I'm in just before summer vacation ends. I was trolling around there trying to figure out where to start. I friended a few people from get Stitchy! and joined 13 groups so far. I've yet to load my stash or projects. Little by little I'll get all this done. But for now, I must focus on getting back to work. First day back to to school is Monday and the students come back Tuesday. Looks like I gotta budget my time now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Any Day Now...

You signed up on June 14, 2007
You are #9115 on the list.
370 people are ahead of you in line.
16247 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It's All in How You Look at It

I sent my friend Ms. N an email linking to this post. I love her reply which I've copied and pasted here for all to read.

I think we could look at this two different ways.
1. There are people worse off...
2. While colorful and aesthetically pleasing, do we want to aspire to be this?


I can only connect this to my addiction to school supplies. During a recent visit to Target, clutching 18 packs of crayons, 40 folders, 40 spiral-bound notebooks, and 10 double glue stick packs, I broke down to my mother that I believe I have a serious problem. Her enabled response was, "I know."

I pride myself on the acknowledgement of my addiction, and while I followed through with my purchase, I felt justified as it was less than $20. I said to myself (as many addicted individuals do), "I am not hurting anyone...AND I got a good deal."

How long until I too am just like the yarn lady?
Will I one day walk into my house and find book cases of crayola 24 pack double pocket, pronged folders, and spiral bound notebooks hanging from the ceiling?

Maybe there will need to be interventions all around!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ravelry Update

You signed up on June 14, 2007
You are #9115 on the list.
1457 people are ahead of you in line.
13542 people are behind you in line.
33% of the list has been invited so far

Well, I guess I'm in a better place than 13,542 other people. Wouldn't you agree?
The Lake County Fair

family arts & crafts bldg

I took my ten items in to the fair on Saturday the 28th. These are the items, their categories, and ribbons won (if applicable):

1. Handicrafts I - Crochet - Holiday --->> angel ornament

crochet angel ornament 2007


2. Handicrafts I - Door Piece not over 24" - Decoration --->> crocheted chenille stocking (1st place)

crochet stocking


3. Needlecrafts I - Crochet - Potholder (decorative) --->> skull and bones potholder (3rd place)

skull potholders 2007


4. Needlecrafts I - Crochet - Purse --->> felted button purse (3rd place)

button purse 2


5. Needlecrafts I - Crochet - Shawl --->> multicolored stole

cross stitch crochet shawl


6. Needlecrafts I - Crochet - Scarves --->> Hop on the Bus, Gus scarf (2nd place)

school bus scarf 2007


7. Needlecrafts I - Crochet - not specified above --->> bouquet of flowers (I realized as I am blogging this that I goofed and submitted knit flowers here instead of crocheted)

knit flowers


8. Needlecrafts I - Knit - Purse --->> Noro purse (1st place)

Noro handbag


9. Needlecrafts I - Knit - Scarves --->> lace leaves scarf

lace leaves scarf 2007


10. Needlecrafts I - Knit - not specified above --->> trellis shawl

*****didn't take a picture of this yet, but it's this pattern*****


I was looking at the ribbons I already won from past Lake County Fairs and realized that I started entering stuff eighteen (yipes!!) years ago. Including this year's ribbons, I have won seventeen ribbons since 1989. This year's win of five ribbons is my best showing in any year. I want to display the ribbons somehow in my craftroom/office. Don't know how yet, but I'll figure something out.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Summer of Cris

Over at get Stitchy!, MsFish asked if I'd been counting my FOs thi summer. Until she asked, I hadn't. So I sat down and counted. Here's the tally so far. I believe most of these have been documented here.
1. Noro handbag
2. crocheted angel ornament
3. knit bouquet of flowers
4. hard drive sweater (sweater knit when hard drive crashed)
5. cross stitch stole
6. Christmas stocking
7. Lily Ruby’s sweater and booties
8. Ma’s purse
9. Missy’s purse
10. cherry bag
11. school bus scarf
12. lace leaves scarf
13. SNB Short ‘n Sweet
14. Missy’s dishcloth
15. Lyd’s dishcloth
16. Mary’s dishcloth
17. Lisa’s dishcloth
18. Rosie’s dishcloth
19. Jason’s rabbit
20. Ethan’s gloves
21. Irma’s dishcloth
22. The Co-worker scarf made from yarn from Sheilah

Whew! I'm enjoying my summer.

Here are a couple of items I hope to finish before I go back to school.
1. beading and blocking the self-fringing shawl which is completely off the needles
2. adding some length and a little width to Ma's Shrug This from the One Skein Wonders book
3. Casey's Brea Bag
4. Rusted Root in red for ME!
5. Rosie's birthday purse
6. Glor's birthday purse

I'm an ambitious chickie, aren't I?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

And Ms. N (the teacher next door) thought I needed an intervention...

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Check out the stash this woman has accumulated. I feel like such an underachiever!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Exchange Experiences

I was part of get Stitchy!'s stitch marker swap a few months ago (blogged here and here). It was a great way to get my feet wet. I had lots of fun with it and a new hobby (designing stitch markers) was born. I'd never done any exchanging of anything on the Internet. After that positive experience, I felt I was ready for a bigger exchange. Baby steps, you know. I didn't want to do the whole Secret Pal thing. It intimidated me quite honestly.

A couple of months ago, I read somewhere about a stat counter for your blogs. I thought it would be cool to see from where my blog traffic comes. I had just submitted a couple of patterns to Knitting Pattern Central and Crochet Pattern Central. Those, plus a couple of others, were accepted. Most of my traffic was from KPC and CPC. From there, my patterns started showing up on all kinds of pattern resources on the Internet (including some Swedish one, I think.). One of the links to a pattern of mine was on a blog called The Spring Felted Bag Exchange. I emailed the blog author and thanked her for listing my pattern on her blog. She invited me to join. So I did.

I'm glad I did. This exchange only required two packages to be exchanged. I could handle that. I already blogged about the packages Sheilah sent (here and here). Here's a picture of the bag I sent my spoilee, Shawnee. She's a Mary Engelbreit collector. I had lots of fun making this bag. I might make more with other designs and appliques. I'm thinking a bag with an apple for the teacher would be cute. Opinions?

cherry bag finished

Well, now that I've gotten two exchanges under my belt, I've moved on to a third. It's a one-skein exchange over at Knit Knack on MySpace. I don't know what I'm going to make my spoilee there. When I do, of course, I'll post something here. So far, I have it possibly narrowed down to one of these yarns (purchased at Loopy Yarns at 70% off!!). Tell me what you think.

Loopy 70% off Sale Purchase

For the record, most of these yarns have been earmarked for winter gifts for my sisters and cousin.

You signed up on June 14, 2007
You are #9115 on the list.
2570 people are ahead of you in line.
11035 people are behind you in line.
31% of the list has been invited so far

This is worse than waiting in line for concert tickets.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Joined the Bandwagon

...and dyed some yarn with Kool-aid. Well, that and a couple of colors from some generic powdered drink mix I found at Dollar General. I tried to get fancy and dye two colors. I have some white spots in there. I suppose it adds character, a "design feature" as Sinnomen1977 over at get Stitchy! wrote. It wasn't difficult at all. I had fun. Sandra will have to come over so we can dye some more. Woo! Hoo! I think the next time I'll do some solid colors and maybe some handpainted with squeeze bottles and plastic wrap. We'll see. This is not the last time I'm gonna dye yarn.

Here are my dye jobs. The one on the left is the generic drink mix in cherry and lemonade. The one on the right is grape and pink lemonade Kool-aid.

Kool- Aid Dye Job 1

Of course, now I have to find something small to make with this. Both cakes of yarn are leftovers from one skein of Paton's Classic Merino. Suggestions, anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

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My Spoilee's Bag

My spoilee's name is Shawnee. She's a Mary Englelbreit collector so I decided to make her a tote bag inspired by Mary Engelbreit. I took the basic bag pattern for the skull tote minus the skull. I added a black and white alternating border over a thin yellow line at the top of the bag and crocheted the cherry elements. The cherries, stems, and leaf were all crocheted. All in all, I have to say that I really enjoyed making this bag. I'm thinking about making myself one with a big apple on it.

cherry bag finished
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My Cardigan

Actually, I modified the Anthropologie-inspired capelet from I added some more stitches to my cast on, knit until the arms fit, added length to the sweater, length to the sleeves, and chose to wear it knit-side out instead of purl-side out. i used just over 4 balls of Noro Kureyon in colorway 159. It's difficult to take pics of yourself so I did the best I could. Here's my sweater!
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I just love self-striping yarn.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

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Spring Felted Bag Exchange - part deux

Sheilah, you wonderful woman, you! Thanks for the loot. Sheilah is my spoiler. She sent me the most wonderful package this week. What a way to cap off my first big exchange project. To begin with, I had to wait an extra day for the package. It arrived on Thursday, but I missed the postal carrier. I think she just doesn't bother to knock on my door for me assuming I'm at work since I'm not here to receive packages during the school year. Grrr!

On Friday, I went to the post office to pick up Sheilah's package plus a couple of books I'd ordered (and the postal carrier didn't bother knocking on my door for this one either), and to send off Shawnee's package. I was Shawnee's spoiler. Once she receives her felted bag, I'll post pics of what I made her.

Let me tell you. Sheilah is one fine fiber friend. Check it out! Here's the bag she made for me.

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And here are some bonus goodies from Sheilah.

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The yarn at the bottom of the picture is store-bought: Paton's Devine and Yarn Bee's Soft Delight. The bright pink/purple blend is some laceweight merino. The brown yarn just below the bright, bright pink is a brown mohair that Sheilah dyed with the remaining dye from my bag. The other three are random wool yarns.

I have to admit. This exchange was fun. I may have to do others.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

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Just Under the Wire

I finished the Cigar gloves for E for my second XY-along project. Here they are. I finished them on Monday, June 25.

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They were easier to make than I thought they would be. I used the magic loop method instead of wrestling with two circs or stabbing myself with DPNs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hop on the Bus, Gus

Click on the title of this post to see this pattern. It is my latest FO and my crocheted scarf entry in the Lake County Fair. Wouldn't you agree that it's an apropo design for a school teacher? I'm thinking about embroidering the name of our school corporation on the side of the bus just like our real ones. I will probably raffle it off as a class fundraiser once school starts. We'll see.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lace Leaves Scarf

I decided to make this as my entry in the knitted scarf division at the Lake County Fair. I finished blocking it this morning. I used the Yarn Harlot's suggestion. It saved me from spending an insane amount of money on steel blocking rods. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Watercolor. I loved how the yarn looked on the Yarn Grove's website so I bought it. They offer free shipping so what the heck! I really like how it turned out.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

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Well, It's about time the hostess got in on this!

I am hosting this month's -along at get Stitchy! I know I should have posted this a few weeks ago. Bad girl! Bad girl! It's been fun so far. We are creating items for those with the XY chromosomes. I've been slow to make something. I think I'll call E and ask if he'd like anything special this month. He is my godson, after all. In the meantime, I took this -along as a chance to make a rabbit for J, my four-year-old nephew. He has imaginary rabbits so Cleo asked if I'd make him a "real" one. Here's his "real" rabbit. I added eyes to it since I took the picture. Cleo gets weirded out by faceless creatures.

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Spring Felted Bag Exchange

I got my first package from my pal in the Spring Felted Bag Exchange. It's almost like the girl knew me! Here's a picture. The yarn is her own handspun wool/silk blend. It's 110 yards. I don't know what I'm going to make with it, but whatever it is, it will be for ME!

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Just look at this gorgeous yarn!!
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In addition, she sent some goodies for D, too. Here they are, yarn and stitch markers. He'll be so happy when I send them along.

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What I think is so funny about this package is the fact that I told Lisa that I wanted to Mex out my place. You know, give the decor a touch of my heritage. If you look closely at the lower left-hand corner, you'll see the ceramic jar that my pal used to hold the stitch markers she made me. It is so perfect for my decor plans. Check out the close-up.

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Secondly, the notecards and notepad she sent (bottom row of items in the next pic) match perfectly with the notebook and pen that the PTA gave me for Teacher Appreciation Week.

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Spring Felted Bag Exchange Pal,
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! The gifts were wonderful. I can't wait to start using them. You know, a knitter can't have too many stitch markers (especially if she's working on the clapotis). I love all the goodies. I used one of the notecards to explain to D why I'm sending this extra yarn to him along with the yarn he forgot at school on the last day. He'll be as thrilled as I am. Thanks again.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I almost forgot

I did make myself a fat-bottomed bag with the leftover cotton from the stained glass flower potholder. Here it is.

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Here's the lining I chose.
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I even made a cell phone holder from the leftovers.
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