Saturday, December 15, 2012

Go-To Garter Stitch Rib Scarf Pattern

Still cranking out those Christmas Gifts? Me, too. Here's my Go-To Scarf pattern. This one is for Jimmy the Squid.

Worsted Weight Yarn - 400-600 yds
Size 8US Needle

Cast On 38 stitches and work 6 rows of garter stitch for a total of 3 ridges.

Row 1: K across
Row 2: K4, *(P2, K2); repeat from * till 6 stitches remain; P2, K4

Repeat these 2 rows until scarf is as long as you like, finish with 6 rows (3 ridges) of garter stitch (K every row). Bind Off. Smile.

Bible verse for this morning: 

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, 
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."  Psalm 23:4

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Is Deer Season Over, Yet?

I think there are two more days.  The Old Man has gone out.... but not as fully dedicated to it, as in his younger days.  He took time off from work, contacted the landowner each night before he was to go out, ended up with the less than desirable spots to sit - thanks to Scruffy Fred who seems to think HE owns the place.  No deer by his gun.  Hunters share... maybe not their hunting spot... but they do share the meat.  Thanks to the landowner and $50 we do have venison in the freezer.  We'll share, too.  Some to Number One, some to Jimmy the Squid.  Not sure that Nonnie and Flyboy want any.  Doubtful.  Two more days. The Old Man is supposed to go back to work, tomorrow...but...he might just wind his way through the woods again.  We'll see if more gets added to the stores.

House is dutifully decorated for Christmas.  Some homemade cookies were managed today.  I've hit a wall with knitting.  Pretty tired of working on gifts and want to work on, I don't know... just something else.  One more hat.... one more hat..... one more hat.......   Stay strong!

Bible verse for tonight: 

"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."  Hebrews 10:36

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hey.. Christmas is Coming

Are you getting ready for the big day?  Christmas is flying in, fast....  don't forget.....  the less fortunate, the lonely, the poor, the grouchy, the hungry, the hurried, the hated, the eldery, the children, the prisoner, the weak.
Always, but, especially, at this time of year...... Reach Out.

Alone at Christmas Time... written by my YouTube friend in Seattle... performed by me.

Bible Verse for Reaching Out - 
 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Scarf Pattern to Make You Feel Better

How neglected you have been.  Yep.  I'm terrible about getting fresh things put on this here blog.  Here's something to hold you over (I hope).    Nonnie moved to the Bronx.  He said "since I'm living in The City... I need a City Scarf."   Roger that, number 3 son.

Colin In The City:
Here’s the Pattern - Easy as Pie

This is a basket weave pattern making it truly reverseable.
Cast on 28 stitches
Part A 
Right Side - K4, P4 across, ending in K4 
Wrong Side - P4, K4 across, ending in P4 
Repeat these two rows 2 more times for a total of 6 rows complete.
Part B 
Right Side - P4, K4 across ending in P4 
Wrong side - K4, P4 across, ending in K4 
Repeat these two rows 2 more times for a total of 6 rows.
Repeat Parts A and B until your scarf is as long as you like. Bind off.
I should add that you can use any yarn at any gauge for this pattern.  Just make sure you have enough to get a good length of scarf -  at least  48 inches - longer is better.

Bible verse for today -
" I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings." Psalm 61:4

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Crows Are VERY Loud!

Blackbird calls out the warning,
A hunter flies high in the sky.
Brothers, wake up!
Sisters, look out!
Hawk-eyes watch you
And wait.

Crow and raven loudly cry,
Stay clear of this near forest.
Face to the clouds!
Danger comes down!
Hawk-eyes watch you
And wait.  

Today's Bible Verse:
"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!" Luke 12:24

Sunday, July 15, 2012

'Tis a Mystery

Look and see
What can it be? 

A Bible verse for this evening: 
 "And God made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ..."  Ephesians 1:9

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Potholder Loops Knitted Bucket

It is beyond me why those lovely people who make the little loopy loops, that can be woven on looms into potholders by children of all ages, make them too SMALL to reach across the looms?!  Confronted with a bag (three quarters full) of just such useless loops I was about to just throw the bunch away when enlightenment hit me and they were saved..... You know that saying... when life gives you inadequate loops, make loom-enade!

I  looped them into each other until I had quite a nice little ball o'stringy stuff.

Actually, at first I thought to crochet them, but this 'yarn' is quite bulky and a bit unruly (very stretchy - too bad it wouldn't stretch to the loom) and decided for the knitting needles, instead.  So after looping up just the white loops, I cast on a few stitches (size US17 needles) and garter stitched till it ran out - of course, saving enough at the end for a bind off.

A very nice little trivet ... see.....   (I think it too hole-y to, actually, hand-hold a pot, leaving me with the possibility of burn't fingers)  but it will make a nice mug rug!  And I left a little loop on the corner for my hanging convenience.

Moving on... I then looped up all the colored loops (so pretty in pastels).

  I looped the colors, randomly, see how pretty that ball is?

Following the pattern below, I made this little bucket.  Working with this was a bit daunting as it does have all those little knotty bits where the loops are joined, so keep it loose but even so, this is not for the weak of hand.  I was working up a sweat making it!

Bottom's Up!  I did do a Disappearing Loop Cast On (or watch a video) using a worsted weight acrylic waste yarn for the loop, itself, as I thought the knots would interfere with pulling the center closed.  

Whatcha think???

Potholder Loops Knitted Bucket

A ball of prepared Potholder Loops
Needles – US11 DPNs

Cast on 6 and distribute evenly over 3 of the needles and joining to form a round….(mark the beginning of the round)
Knit into the front and back of each stitch (12 stitches total)
Next rnd:  (K1, K into front and back of next stitch) 6X  (18 stitches total)
Next rnd:  (K2, K into front and back of next stitch) 6X  (24 stitches total)
Next rnd:  (K3, K into front and back of next stitch) 6X  (30 stitches total)
Next rnd:  (K4, K into front and back of next stitch) 6X  (36 stitches total)
Next rnd:  (K5, K into front and back of next stitch) 6X  (42 stitches total)
Continue knitting around for 3 or 4 rnds. 
Next rnd:  Decrease over this round by 3 stitches evenly spaced across the round (39 stitches total)
Continue knitting around for 3 or 4 rnds.  At this time, if you wish (I did), decrease 3 stitches evenly spaced over the next round, otherwise/and/or just continue to knit until you only have enough loop yarn to bind off. 
Bind off and weave in the ends.  TaDa!

Bible Verse for Tonight:
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."  2 Corinthians 4:7

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Olympics, Ravellenic Games 2012 Event: Mitten Medley

 I have signed up to participate in the Ravellenic Games 2012 (July 27 - Aug 12 at in which I shall start and finish a knitted project during the course of the upcoming Summer Olympics in London. Unfortunately, I shall only be participating 'unofficially' as I was late to the sign ups, so no chance for a medal to me (sigh)... I shall be aiming for a personal best. UN-officially I am entered in the Event: Mitten Medley as a non-team member of Team Downton Abbey. Global Cast On- the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies. My project? Fishtail Wristwarmers.... any one of those Crawley Girls would love a pair like those! All manner of cheering on greatly encouraged and appreciated!  Stay tuned!

This morning's Bible verse:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."  Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Pie-Taker Basket Class

Last Saturday, Momma S and I made our way to The White Barn Farm for our second basket class!  Wow... it was so much easier, this time!  You silly bean, of course!  The pie-taker was so much larger than I imagined but worked up pretty smoothly (although, mine is a bit mis-shapen on the ends...).  Room for two pies (or lots O'Yarn).   I, whole heartedly, recommend you take a Basket Weaving Class.  Very satisfying, indeed!

A Bible verse for This Afternoon:
"A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out, till He leads justice to victory."  Matthew 12:20

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Be Encouraged, New Knitter!

My Old Time fiddling friend, Jeremy, over at the Myerstown Farm, left a comment on one of my long, past blogs in a galaxy far, far away wondering, "How long does it (knitting) take to learn and does she (his bride, Brandy) have any hope of learning without someone to show her?" I decided to answer his question as a regular post since there may be others struggling with the same question.

Learning anything new requires firstly, the determination to learn it. Any kind of skill that is a "hand" worked skill, like knitting (or fiddling! - right, Jeremy!?) requires enough patience on one's part to get through the teaching your fingers to the point of muscle memory. It's how we learn to write and to type, play the piano or the guitar. So until you have achieved "finger memory" you will think that you will never learn and what you do manage to knit up took so long, that it hardly seems worth it. But I say, keep on going. To help you, especially if you don't have anyone to be a live body teaching you... Lookie over there in the sidebar and you'll see the button for "Knitting Help". This is a wonderful website that teaches knitting and you can watch their free videos, right online. It's almost as good as a live body. There are also lots of demonstrations on YouTube, too.... search "knitting" and "yarn" or any technique you might need to know in the search box.

Here's what I recommend -

Use size US 7 or 8 needles and a light color worsted weight yarn. A light colored yarn is much easier to see the construction of the loops/stitches and rows. Using bulkier/big yarn and bigger needles can sometimes add to the awkwardness of learning. 

Don't worry about "making" something right away, just practice. Cast on and go. Knitting is only 2 stitches - knit and purl - and really, they are the same stitch, just opposite sides of the same coin. The important word here is "practice". Take your little practice piece with you everywhere you go. Use the opportunities in waiting rooms, when you are the passenger in a car, before the movie starts at the Cineplex, anyplace that affords you a moment, just knit a couple of rows, or even a couple of stitches. Keep it in the kitchen and while you're waiting for the pot to boil, knit. Remember, you're working on finger memory.

Don't worry about what it looks like, or if it gets all jumbled up. If you inadvertently added stitches, so what, and vice versa, if you subtracted stitches, keep on going. It's only yarn. Nobody is bleeding, nobody died. 

I like to see my progress. Knitting sometimes seems as if it is just going and going and never getting anywhere. When I sit down and pick up my work, again, I place a safety pin just below my needle and soon, it's easy to see how much progress I've made during that particular session. It satisfies my need for goal achieving. 

Don't worry that it may be slow. This is hand work. It harkens to a slower time. Breathe deep and keep it relaxed. I'm really not that fast of a knitter. That's okay. I knit to please myself. I knit to honor the Creator, by creating and enjoying the ability that He has given me. I am, still, amazed that string, manipulated on sticks, becomes fabric. I never get over that. That is SO cool!

Then, one day (and it will be sooner than you think), you will suddenly realize that you are not really thinking, anymore, about what your hands are doing. Surprise!

If you can, find a group of other knitters to hang out with (at least every now and then). Check your local Barnes and Noble or independent book store, check at your local library to see if there is a group meeting there - The B and N near me hosts one once a month. If there is a yarn shop, near you, check to see if they sponser a knit night or morning sit and knit. Check for Adult Education classes or if there is something going on at a college in or near your town. Start a group somewhere, at your job, or church or school. You might be surprised to find out who else knits and then you've created your own knitting buddies/friends!

When I learned to knit, I taught myself from books and magazines. I didn't have "videos". I did not know anyone who knew how to knit. But the most important things I did, I think, are A: not giving up; B: not being afraid to make mistakes (and, boy, were there goofy looking things and a lot of things that didn't fit the person they were intended for); and C: relishing the process, even if I didn't "get" it.

Be encouraged! 

Today's Bible Verse:
"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ..."  Colossians 2:2

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nails, Needles, Hooks - A Re-Purposed Double Point Needle Case

Sometime ago, Grannie Annie sent some goodies for the grandbabies... her great-grands.  Among the treats in the box was one nail apron from the Ace Hardware Store - probably a thank-you freebie stuffed in one of her purchases.  It was intended for Little R, but over the last two years, or so, he showed no interest in it and it languished at the bottom of the toy box.  But it occurred to me........

 Firstly, cut off the tie strings.

Then mark off how you wish to sew the little troughs for your DPN needles or crochet hooks.  I would have used tailor's chalk for this, if I had some.  Pencil had to do. 
I made each pocket 1 inch.

Sew the pockets, making sure to backstitch at each end for extra strength. 

Take one of the ties and sew it to the edge on the non-pockety side.  I sewed it a bit off center so that one side is longer than the other.  It seems to tie up better that way.

Presto, Change-o!  Fill it up!
 (It is a bit too long for the crochet hooks, if you want their 
little heads to peep above the edge.)

Fold the top flap over the needle tips, roll it up, tie it up and it's ready to go!

Bible verse for this afternoon:
 "The LORD will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life..."

Psalm 121:7

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Anchors and Dandy Lions

Ah... little dandelion.  So maligned as a troublesome weed - routed out by lawn keepers, prized by herbalists for its medicinal properties, as well as, its usefulness as a food.  This little flowery plant that lives within the grass is one of my favorite little flowers.  If, in spring, your yard is also home to tiny purple violets or johnny jump-ups mingling with the golden blossoms, joining their colors to shout Winter is over, embrace them, pick some leaves or flowers of the Ochre Lion and make some tea.  

Choose and pick a handful of small-ish dandelion leaves or blossoms  (do not choose from dandelions in yards or public parks or fields that may have been treated with lawn treatment/pesticide chemicals... do I have to say why?) and while the tea kettle boils, give them a good washing.  

Coarsely chop them and add them to a tea ball or strainer.  If you use the blossoms, you do not need to chop them. When the water boils, well, you know what to do.

Let the leaves steep in the water for 12-15 minutes, stir in some honey, if you like, and enjoy.  I'm not an herbalist nor a doctor.  I'll leave it to you to investigate the health benefits of dandelions!  And what little child (or grown-up) does not delight in blowing the puffy seeds into the sky?!

Now that the tea is ready, here's a knitting update.  Geepa Mac put the word out on the street that he would like a dark blue sweater with anchor buttons.  Of course, I complied.  Pattern is Lion Brand's Father's Day Cardigan.  It's free.  I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky and changed it up just a bit (see my Ravelry notes)  and found the perfect buttons to meet Grandpa's request.... Anchor Buttons.  Shhhh, he doesn't know about it yet.... it's a surprise...If you start now, you might get one finished for Father's Day, yourself!

Bible verse for Grandpas: 

 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."  Exodus 20:12

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why is Good Friday Good?

Bible Verse for Tonight:

"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;"
 I Peter 3:18 (NASB)

Issac Watts, Lowell Mason

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride

 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

  See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

   Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Living is Changing

In these past 18 months, or so, we have seen our fair share of changes.  The break up of Big R's marriage, Momma S coming into our lives, Baby Sister being born, gaining 3 bonus grandchildren (total of 6, now),  moving two of the Old People from Florida to North Carolina, FlyBoy moving to Oklahoma to go to school, Nonnie, finally, getting his driver's license and buying a car, and the passing of Grandma Mac (mom-in-law). Thankfully, The Old Man and my jobs seem stable for the moment and Jimmy the Squid maintained a, relatively, consistent course.  And consistant with changes... the last couple of weeks I have not felt like knitting but I have felt like crocheting, so be it.

Firstly, a crocheted hat... specifically... a chemo cap.  Friends undergoing cancer treatment... yuck!  Praying and working the stitches is all I can do.  Here's the start.... pattern from Coats and Clark/RedHeart Yarns and I'm starting out with 2 strands of Koigu yarn (which I do not think is getting the gauge- too small).

It's pretty!  
This is just the 'trial' of the pattern as Koigu is wool and with summer coming, 
I really want to make the hat in cotton.   

Secondly... I've discovered Annaboo's House blog.  She has a tutorial for making these adorable Korkinisse (little gnomes made with wine corks) and the Toadstool House where they live.... Most fun and just the kind of thing that Grandmas should keep around their houses for the Grandchildren to play with.  Still a work in process but here's the project so far.  Worked with sport weight wool and a size US F crochet hook.

See the 5 little gnomes and one, flat, unstuffed toadstool?  
Second toadstool's stem is the green thing.
Wait till I get them embellished!

So we know that change is gonna come.  We learn to 'roll with the punches', accept the changes and realize that if you are stagnant, you are not living.... at the very least.... you are very boring!

This afternoon's Bible verse:
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."  Hebrews 13:8
I am thankful that God never changes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Friend and an Interview

One should always be open to making a new friend.  I discovered Pam on Ravelry, for she had said lovely things about "The Knitting Way," so naturally (wink,wink), I was happy to make a friend of her.  She, graciously, invited Linda and I to do an interview.  Of course, we obliged.  Pam has her own blog... In Stitches and you can read our interview there.  Pam, you are appreciated!  Thank you!

This mornings Bible verse:
"And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend." James 2:23

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Adams Hat - Knitted

You will need - 
3 oz worsted weight yarn - I used Cascade's Pacific
Size US4 and US6 - 16 inch circulars; Size US6 double point needles (or sizes you need to get the gauge)
Gauge:  5 st = 1 inch in stocking stitch

With smaller circular needle:
CO 108 stitches and mark the beginning of the round.
Knit around in a K2, P2 ribbing for 2 inches.

Change to larger circular needle:
P6, K6 around and continue until piece measures 7 inches from the cast on.

Begin Decreases for Crown:
Rnd 1:  *P6, K2, K2tog, K2* around
Rnd 2:  work evenly around
Rnd 3:  *P2, P2tog, P2, K5* around
Rnd 4:  work evenly around
Rnd 5:  *P5, K1, K3tog, K1* around
Rnd 6:  work evenly around
Change to DPN’s
Rnd 7:  *P1, P3tog,P1, K3* around
Rnd 8:  *P3tog, K3tog* around
Rnd 9:  K2tog around
Run yarn through these last 9 stitches on the needle; draw up tight and fasten off.  Weave in ends.  

Bible verse for Tuesday:
"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."  2 Timothy 4:8

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Recipes for Fun and the Garden

NikkiP asked me for a recipe for cheese soup that I have. She and her step-mom are going to make it this weekend. Alas, the old recipe box was all a jumble which required me to remove all cards and search through them one by one for the cheese soup. I never found the cheese soup... but lurking in the recesses were these little lost gems.

Number 1 
Public Domain
Bubble Solution for Kids Who Play Outside on Summer Days 
1 quart of dish detergent
2 1/2 gallons of water
1 cup of glycerin
Gently combine these ingredients, store in gallon containers and dole out little containers to happy children. PS - be saving those little blowey rings from the store bought bubble bottles.

Number 2
Plant Tonic for Your Tired and Rundown Flora
Grannie's Bromeliad
5 gallons of water
1 box of Knox gelatin (use all 4 packets)
1 cup Epsom salts
1/4 cup of Ivory Liquid dish detergent
2 Tablespoons of liquid plant fertilizer
1/2 teaspoon of 20 Mule Team Borax
Mix all together then, using 1 quart for large plants or 1 pint for small plants, pour over the top of plants allowing this liquid to run over the leaves and into the soil.
Grannie's Jungle

The following one comes from Grannie Annie who lives in the jungle in Florida....

Number 3
Misty Spray for Pesky Mosquitoes and Flea Circuses in the Yard
1 cup of garlic juice (have no clue where you get this?)
3 Tablespoons of flea and tick shampoo
2 Tablespoons of laundry detergent. Grannie Annie uses Tide
Put this mixture into a 20 gallon hose end spayer and spray into and around the shrubs around your house and yard. Grannie says, "It WILL stink."

Bible Verse for a Saturday:
"Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants."  Deuteronomy 32:2

Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't Fear the Felting

     I love to felt.  It came to me that some friends, each, wanted another hat (I had previously made them hats, a couple of years ago) and they asked if that would be possible.  Sure.  Felting can be a crap shoot.  That's part of its charm.  So off to my stand-by pattern - Felted Hats by Bev Galeskas from Fiber Trends and acquiring the wool I like to use - WoolPak, 14 ply  (you can get it HERE, but it's not the only source).  I knitted 7 - that's SEVEN of them - and then began to plan my felting.
     One needs some sort of washing machine to felt.  I live in an apartment and do not have my own machine.  I've used the community machine here, in the laundry room, in the past but I can't control the water level... not the best way to felt.  I've used the machines at the local laundermat, too, again..... not much control.  What did we do before Google?  I searched for "felting without a washing machine" and this method popped up.....  I LOVE it and will, likely, only felt this way from now on......working the wool, like this provides a lot more control.  It took some upper arm effort - enlist the help of a little kid - and there was a bit of splishing and splashing but I'll not go back to the washing machine! I felted all seven in one day and I will admit... my arms ached all night long.  Thank You, God, for aspirin.

You will need a large bucket (mine is a 30 pound Feta bucket from where I work),
a toilet plunger, a package of tennis balls and some bits of old bluejeans
(or another abrasive type fabric) and some dish soap.
Fill the bucket about 1/3 the way with very hot, hot water, put the tennis balls and jean remnants into the bucket and add some dish soap.  Place the item to felt into the water.
 Using the plunger, begin the agitation.... keep it moving!
 About half way through the process.... still more processing to go. If the water
starts to cool, pour it out and replace with newly hot - add more soap, too..... 
keep checking as you go along to achieve the fabric you want.  
 It took me 30 minutes to get to the level of fabric and size that I wanted.  Rinse well with cold water, squeeze out the excess water and roll up in a towel to remove more water.
 Shape over a small bowl and wait for it to dry, completely...... Soooo pretty!

Bible Verse for This Morning:
"Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand." 
 Isaiah 64:8

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Aran is Done!

I finished it. Sort of in time for Christmas. I gave it to Momma S on Christmas Morning but had to take it back as it needed the 'tails' woven in and a good laundering and blocking. Whew! I enjoyed it and I'm glad it's done. That's how this kind of knitting is. Each row an effort. Sometimes it's a love/hate relationship
 that in the end we are happy with and we love.  

Bible Verse for Today:
 "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be 
mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:4