Sunday, April 29, 2007

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Stitch Marker Swap (Part 2)
I finally got around to taking pictures of the stitch markers I received from Keely in the Get Stitchy! stitch marker swap (see previous post). They're cute and delicate. I like the butterfly beads on them. I received five jump ring type markers, three markers that I can use on my crochet work, and one row counter. I'm sorry that these pictures are crappy. I just couldn't get them to not look fuzzy.

I immediately used the five jump ring markers on my evolving clapotis. I also used the row counter when I finished section two (increase rows) of the clapotis. Perfect timing on the stitch marker arrival.

This picture shows three of the markers on the clapotis-in-progress.
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This pic shows the row counter and the other three stitch markers.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

D, The Crochet Fanatic in Room 243

In December I taught my students to knit and crochet. Some have since abandoned the needlecrafts, but others have continued. D is one of those who continued. While I have a handful of girls who have gone on to make scarves and scrunchies, none of the boys have kept up the stitching. Save for one - D. D is one of those kids that has trouble when routines change. It is my understanding that in the past, if routines changed too much, D would vomit. Poor kid.

After mastering the chain and single crochet, D was in business. Literally. One of the first things he made was a purse originally intended for his mother. Another boy offered to buy it and promptly gave it to his girlfriend. Cha-ching! D just racked up his first sale.

One day on the busride to school, D dropped his ball of yarn. Of course, being on a moving vehicle, the yarn rolled around. Some other kids on the bus began kicking it around. D eventually got the yarn back, but not before the bus driver scolded HIM for causing a disruption! Never mind that the other kids chose to cause trouble instead of picking up the yarn and letting D be. The bus driver told D he couldn't bring yarn on the bus anymore. Ms. Sh and I decided that if D wants to take yarn on the bus, D can take yarn on the bus. I don't need to go into great detail here. Long story short...I ordered two yarntainers from and had them delivered to D at school. Yarn-rolling-around-the-floor-of-bus problem solved. He ALWAYS has a yarntainer and a project with him. It's kinda cool.

During bathroom break about three weeks ago, D walks up to me in the hallway, hook attached to ball of yarn, and asks, "Do you know how to make a shell stitch?"

Soon after that, during another bathroom break, he walks up to me carrying a yarntainer of yarn and a binder open to a print out of a Lion brand free pattern for fingerless mittens. He declares that this is his next project. Never mind that spring it trying desperately to free us from the jaws of winter. D wants fingerless mittens. He walks up to me and says, "Can you help me get started with the ch 19 at the beginning of the pattern?" Here's a pic from that moment in crochet history.

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Tuesdays and Thursdays D has speech class. On Tuesday, we go to the computer lab right after D finishes speech. This week he walks over to his computer and starts opening the email I sent. As I scanned the class to see if everyone was on task, I look at D's hand. There it is. It's not quite the original pattern. Sitting on his right hand was one white wool fingerless mitten. So what if it's April! D wants fingerless mittens NOW! Here is a picture of Tuesday afternoon in the lab.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

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Another Washcloth and a Purse
I already posted a pic of this cloth in progress. Here's the final version. It has a red glow to it because I took the pic with my phone while in my car when I picked up my mom for our Friday dinner date. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I gave it to my mom because she likes all my stuff. Maybe I'll make some more for the sisters for Mothers' Day. Now that I think about it, I need to find some patterns for Mothers' Day. Unoffficially, I'd like to make all my gifts for every giftgiving occasion this year.

This is a purse I made with some Karaoke yarn (Dipity 300) I got at Loopy Yarns.
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Somebody (Ruth?) at Get Stitchy! used Karaoke for a scarf and some of the colors ran together. My yarn was fine. I felted the purse and gave it to Glor before she went back to New Orleans.

Soon I'll be posting a pic of the cable footies from the book One Skein. I was going to make them for me but decided to give them to Lisa instead. I have one done and I'm on the heel of the other. I used some self-striping Universal brand yarn (color 9612) that I got at Loopy Yarns back in January for 70% off. I love a yarn bargain.

Friday, April 13, 2007

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Stitch Marker Swap (Part 1)

At first I wasn't interested in joining the Get Stitchy! stitch marker swap. But then I reread all the postings about stitch markers different members had made. They were all very pretty. And, let's face it, the small plastic rings are a wee bit boring. Simply Knitting Magazine then had to go and give away four free stitch markers with last month's issue. I was hooked. I joined the swap. Shortly thereafter, I received my partner's name. We exchanged addresses and whatnot for the swap.

I went to this bead shop in Highland around the corner from the Town Theater. I'd never been there and hoped that I could find cute beads for my markers. I was a little bit scared since the only time I work with wire and beads is for art class at school. I usually start the class on something and I don't have to finish it. This time I would need to start and finish a wire project.

The owner of the shop had no clue what I was talking about when I told her I wanted to make stitch markers. I told her that I, too, was clueless as to how to make them. At any rate, I scoured the drawers and bowls full of beads. I settled on about five different beads and some earring wires. The owner then helped me pick out some wire, pliers, and cutters. I was ALMOST ready to start.

The earring wires I chose would work for crochet stitch markers, but not for knitting markers that have to stay on the needles. I still needed some sort of rings. I found them at Walmart - toggles! I tossed out the sticks and kept the rings. While at the store I also purchased a small package of green and pink beads. My swap partner likes the colors pink and lime green. I couldn't find lime green, but I did find green. Sweet!

Well, I was still apprehensive about making stitch markers so I let the tools and materials sit for almost a week before I even took them out of the bags, which I did today. I started by cutting wire and twisting it on the toggle ring. Then I added beads and twisted the ends to secure. So far, so good. I got one marker in the done pile. It wasn't so bad. As a matter of fact, I kinda liked making the marker. Each one I made was just a bit easier to get done. Long story short. Twenty-four stitch markers later, my swap partner, Sandra, and I all have brand new, handmade stitch markers. I would have made more, but I ran out of beads. I'm feeling an itch to buy more beads. Soon.

Part 2 of this stitch marker swap posting will include pictures of the stitch markers. I don't want to spoil the surprise for my swap partner by posting pics before she receives the real thing.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

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Spring Felted Bag Exchange

1. How long have you been knitting or crochetting? How did you learn?
I taught myself to crochet when I was ten-years-old. I checked out a book from the local library, stopped by Newberry's and bought a plastic crochet hook and one skein of red worsted weight yarn. I took it home and learned. Alas, I couldn't teach myself to knit. My sister Irma taught me to knit shortly after I learned to crochet. I must have been eleven- or twelve-years-old then. The first pattern I ever had was a photocopy Irm made for me for some slippers with little rosettes on top. I made those slippers in navy blue.

2. What are your favorite yarns to knit\crochet felted bags with?
That's a toughie. I guess I really like using Paton's Classic Merino. It felts beautifully. I like the way the colors meld with the Noro Kureyon, but it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r for that to felt. Knit Picks Wool of the Andes yarn felts nicely, too. Overall, I choose Paton's as my favorite.

3. What are your favorite needles to knit\crochet with?
For knitting, it's a toss-up between my new Denise interchangeables and the Addis I just bought. For crochet, I like my good ol' aluminum hooks. I'd like to try some rosewood hooks I saw at the Hobby Lobby. I can say with certainty, however, that I do not like plastic crochet hooks.

4. What are the last 3 bags you knitted\crochetted (include URL for Yahoo! or flickr album or your blog if you have them!)? You can also link to patterns if you don't have pictures of your finished objects!
The last three bags I stitched were the Karaoke purse I just knit, Irm's felted drawstring bag, and my button purse. All three are my own patterns.

5. Do you carry the bags that you make, give them as gifts, or both?
I promised the women in my family I would make them felted purses for their birthdays this year. I also like to use them personally.

6. What is your favorite felted bag that you have made for yourself?
My favorite felted bag is hmmm........ Let me think....... I'm not really sure I have a favorite exactly. The first bag I felted is a sentimental favorite because it was my first felted project so I suppose that one is my favorite.

7. What are your favorite colors? Do you like bags in these colors or choose other colors?
I like just about any color, but lately I've been partial to reds.

8. Chocolate: White, Milk, Dark, or not so much?
I don't eat chocolate very often since I'm diabetic. When I do, I eat Hershey's Special Dark sugarless version.

9. Coffee, Tea, or Milk?
I'm not big fan of coffee, but I do occasionally drink it. My favorite of the three is iced tea.

10. Do you prefer sweet or salty treats? What kinds?
Salty all the way. As I mentioned before, I'm diabetic so I don't really do sweets. Never have been much for sweets my whole life. My absolute favorite snack is popcorn.

11. If you went into Bath and Body Works and could only come out with one item, what would it be and what would it smell like?
ONLY ONE ITEM!! I'm not sure I could do that. I suppose it would be body spray in either Moonlight Path or their newest Honeysuckle.

12. Do you enjoy any other crafts or hobbies? Do you collect anything?
I'm participating in a stitch marker swap so I'll soon start doing some beadwork. Who knows? Maybe that will be my next obsession. Aside from knitting and crocheting, I don't do too much in the way of crafts.

13. Are there any bag patterns you have not yet knit, but hope to someday?
Where do I begin? There are lots of patterns I have yet to try. One that I'd like to try because I bought the pattern and yarn it, is this entrelac tote.

14. What is currently OTN (on the needles) for you?
Yikes! Let's see... a dresser scarf (crochet) for my sister, a blue vest (knit) for me, a washcloth (knit) for me, the cable footies from the One Skein book for my sister, umm... I think that's all for now.

15. What is your most recent finished object before that?
The hospice shawl found on my blog is my most recent FO. Technically speaking, that's the most recent completed object. The one cable footie (as opposed to a whole pair) doesn't count.

16. What's cutest: Puppies, Piggies or Pixies?
Not into any of these, but if I had to choose one, I'd choose pixies.

17. Do you enjoy reading? Books, Magazines, or both?
Yes, I enjoy reading both books and magazines. Sometimes I'll read the newspaper online.

18. Do you have any children? (kid-kind or pet-kind apply!)
I have no children except the 23 that I teach. If you're going to include the pet kind, then I have a son who is a corn snake named Cookie and a daughter who is an Australian bearded dragon named Pebbles.

19. What are some of your favorite yarns for other projects?
Lately, I've enjoyed the natural fibers more so than the acrylic ones; however, I don't have a problem with any yarn. Oh, and I'd really like to try Amaizing, a Southwest Trading Company yarn made from corn.

20. And for the final question, one I see debated all over: Novelty Yarn: Love it! Hate it! or It depends!
It depends on what I'm making and how much of a novelty it is. I loved the yarn I used for the hospice shawl. I don't, however, enjoy the fancy fur varieties. They have their place on some needles somewhere out there, but not on MY needes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

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Would you believe...

that until this past week, I'd never knit a washcloth/dishcloth? I've been knitting since Irm taught me when I was about 11-years-old. That's a lot of years ago. For the April Showers-along at Get Stitchy!, I decided to make this facecloth with my Tatiana yarn in midnight. I followed the directions and made seven wedges, but the pic on the pattern looks to have eight wedges. At any rate, here is my double diamond facecloth.

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Then I decided to make this cloth with the charcoal yarn I bought. This cloth is still a WIP.

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The Hospice Shawl

Stitch by Stitch in Highland is working in collaboration with Closely Knitters to collect 400 shawls for the Friends of Hospice (scroll towards bottom of article for explanation), the auxiliary for the not-for-profit Hospice of the Calumet Area. I decided to participate by donating at least one, maybe two, handknit shawls.

I remember the care my dad received from his hospice (a different hospice than the aforementioned) and the support we got from Barbara. Deciding to donate a shawl or two was a no-brainer for me. Even though Daddy needed hospice services for only a couple of weeks, it made a deep, deep impact on me. I never thought I had the strength to be a volunteer to speak to families considering hospice care, but I always felt like I wanted to do something for them. I just didn't know what. I suppose this is my chance.

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Here's the pattern.

You need:
size 17 needles (I used Addi Turbo circs)
1 skein of a novelty yarn called Dali and 1 skein of Cascade 220 in a matching color

Holding both yarns together, CO 36 stitches
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K1, (YO, K2tog) across until you have one stitch left, K1
Repeat Row 2 until you have 3 yards of yarn left.
Knit one row.
Weave in loose ends.

If I have time, I'm going to make this shawl with this yarn:

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Wednesday Night Meet and Greet

Loopy Yarns in Chicago hosted a book signing, trunk show, and party for Amy Singer, author of the book No Sheep for You and editor of on April 4, 2007. I got on the 4:46 PM South Shore train and got to Chicago just past 5:30 PM. I got my copy of the book and chatted with Amy while she signed it. I asked if she'd ever heard of Get Stitchy! - an online stitching group to which I belong. She hadn't, but said she'd try to check it out later. A couple of threads in the forums are rife with references to patterns at Knitty like Branching Out, Calorimetry, and the ever-popular Clapotis.

As I walked up to the store, I wondered how many people would be there. Loopy Yarns is a small, cozy shop filled with an impressive array of yarns and fibers. Since I got there a little past 5:30 PM, the party was just getting started. I fondled some yarn. That Malabrigo stuff is nice. I then got in line and picked up a copy of No Sheep for You for Amy to sign. She sure is one friendly lady. Clutching my newly-autographed book, I made my way to the area behind the table Amy was sitting at to check out the snacks.

Nice spread! There was a table covered with cheeses, crackers, hummus, wedges of pita bread, mini spinach quiches, mini broccoli quiches, grapes, potato chips, chocolate cupcakes, muffins, and a couple of other items that I can't remember at this particular moment. I helped myself to one each of the mini quiches, a wedge of pita bread with hummus, and some potato chips. Next to the needles, hooks, stitch markers, etc. was a table set up with regular pop, diet pop, wine, cups, and bags of ice.

There was a photographer roaming around the premises capturing all the happenings. I imagine some of the pictures will end up on the Loopy blog. While I was checking out the yarn made from corn, Amaizing, the photographer walked up to me and pointed to my bag. It's the loteria messenger bag I bought from She told me that Amy Singer did the artwork for the bag and that her husband (the guy sitting on the couch by the snack table) was the hand model for it. I immediately went back to Amy and her husband (didn't catch his name) and asked them to autograph the bag. Here are the pictures.

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At the end of the whole visit, I ended up getting a set of 5" size 8 Brittany double pointed needles so I could finish the cable footies from the One Skein book and two balls of Tatiana cotton yarn in charcoal and midnight to make a washcloth for the Get Stitchy! April Showers -along. That was in addition to my book purchase. Here's the yarn, by the way.

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I ended my visit to Chicago with dinner in a restaurant called The Thai Spoon. I haven't figured out if it's a play on the word teaspoon or typhoon. At any rate, I had the shrimp with glass noodles. Yum! I liked this place. It's on the corner of Wabash and Harrison.

It was a fun day. I think I'm going to try and make it more often to Loopy Yarns Friday night stitching get-togethers. I was there for it a couple of weeks ago and got some really pretty yarns for my future clapotis (the Lorna's Laces sportweight in Bittersweet), my branching out scarf ( the blue stuff - I forgot the kind of yarn) a felted bag (the Karaoke yarn); some just-for-fun on clearance sparkly stuff; and a set of Denise interchangeables. See?

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Branching Out

I've never knit lace before and decided to give it a shot. I looked online and found the aptly titled "Branching Out" at One trip into Loopy Yarns was all it took to find the yarn I wanted. I settled on a royal blue wool in fingering weight. Threw out the label so I can't tell you what yarn I used exactly. I'll try and figure it out. I usually use worsted weight or chunky/bulky yarn because I want as much instant gratification in my stitching as possible. I started the scarf on the March Girls Night Out knitting get-together at Stitch by Stitch in Highland. It took about 13 hours in total of knitting time to complete. I used my brand-spanking-new Denise interchangeable needles. Let me just say, "LOVE THEM!" Before I digress, I've included a picture of my first piece of knit lacework. I still have to weave in some loose ends and block it. I forced it into shape on my quilt for the picture. As soon as I picked up the scarf, it went back to a misshapen piece of knitting with loose ends. All in all, I would have to say that my first experience with lace went pretty well. I think I may have to find some more lace projects.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Flash Your Stash Day

So it's my understanding from the Get Stitchy! forums that today is Flash Your Stash Day. Oy! I didn't realize how much yarn I had in my stash until I took pictures today. It took fifteen pictures to fit in almost all my yarn. I still have seven skeins of navy blue yarn in a bag set aside to make myself a sweater for spring. Actually the first three pictures are showing what's inside of the plastic tubs. I guess it's safe to say that I have a rather ample stash to flash.