Sunday, September 27, 2009

Honest Scrap

I've just been surprised and honored with a blog award from Margaret of the blog, "Facts From Fact Woman". Thank you so much, Margaret! :-)

Here are the rules of the award:

1. Choose a minimum of seven blogs to give this award to that you find to be brilliant in content and design.

2. Show the 7 winners' names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they have been given the "Honest Scrap."

3. List 10 honest things about yourself that people may not know.

Although I'm honored and thrilled to recieve this award, I have to admit, the rules are tough! There are a LOT of wonderful blogs out there! I follow many and I'm always adding more. I'm constantly impressed and inspired by other bloggers with the things they share, the things they do and create, their photography, and so much more. That makes it hard to choose only seven...just like it's hard to narrow the many that I follow down to just a few to list on the front of my blog. If I follow your blog but don't list it in this seven, please don't feel left out. I would list so many more if I could. Some of the things that helped me choose the top seven are one or more of the following: they post often; comment often (that means a lot to me); inspire me....etc. So, here they are:

1. Sel & Poivre - We've been reading each other's blogs for quite a while now and consistently post comments on each other's blogs. I love that! I also love seeing all the great things that Marie knits and does. And, I like seeing and reading about her summer adventures at her cottage. Fun!

2. Elderberry Street - Karen posts a lot and I can tell she puts a lot of time and love into doing so. Her blog is always filled with beautiful pictures and inspiration. Karen loves life and it shows.

3. Syrendell - Jennifer and the whole Tan family are so inspiring and amazing. I love reading their posts and being whisked away into a peaceful and wonderful place where they do so many fun things as they home school their children and enjoy life and the world around them.

4. Mocha Me - I just recently found this blog when I was searching for inspiring cooking blogs. This one definitely inspires! Every post has a recipe that looks and sounds so good that it makes my mouth water and makes me hungry! I want to try so many of them...if not all!

5. Smatterings - I've been reading this one for a few years now and I love it as much now as I did when I first found it. My favorite thing about it is "Walk With Me Wednesdays" where she posts beautiful pictures and stories about walks she goes on that whisk me away to a different different than the desert I live in. I love it! She knits beautiful things too!

6. Claudia's Blog - This is another blog that I've been reading for several years and I still love it and read it regularly. Initially, what caught my attention is that she and her husband ride a tandem bike. My husband and I ride a tandem too! The picture in the corner of her blog with sock knitting in a tropical place caught my eye too. But, what keeps me coming back is her regular posts...usually on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays...,the interesting variety, knitting, biking, adventure, photography, her kitties, and fun surprises.

7. Basically Benita - I just recently found this one. She spins, weaves, dyes, knits...and seems to have a love for life and sharing it with others. Her blog is filled with great pictures, stories and inspiration that keep drawing me in to read more.

I can't give an award to Margaret because she already has one. But, be sure to check out her blog. Her energy and zest for life are contagious and she's always posting new and interesting facts...after all, she is "fact woman"! :-), on to the next hard part...10 things about me. That's even tougher than the first part of this award. Hmmmm?

1. I love my husband and daughter more than anything!

2. I'm a stay-at-home mom and wife...which is the best job in the world!!!

3. I love to find and do new things. Sometimes that involves things with a bit of a thrill...hiking slot canyons, rock climbing, wind surfing, mountain biking, skiing, travel....But...I'm also a big chicken sometimes!

4. I find it hard to sit still and have to always be doing something. Even when I'm sitting and knitting I have to have the radio on to listen to NPR, the news, or music.

5. I use to be a sign language interpreter.

6. I went to school for interior design and have my own design business (residential and commercial) that was doing well but I've been more interested in being mom and living life the past few years and have let my business slip away to almost nothing.

7. Even though I went to school for interior design, English, and art, and have done many other types of jobs...I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up!

8. I love kitties and llamas and Airedales soooooo much!

9. Even though I think it would be great to read fiction, I just can't get into it. Give me a book about real life anyday...biographies, knitting, self improvement, decorating, gardening, cooking, etc... I am so curious about so many things and love to learn!

10. I love and am addicted to blogging, Ravelry, yarn, knitting, weaving...all things fibery, antiques, bargains, trying and learning new things, quilts, cooking, flowers,!

First Feather and Fan

Feather and fan is something I've been wanting to try. It's so pretty and lacy and I've seen it knit up in scarves and throws. I never imagined it on socks. But, last week, I ran across a pattern for it on Ravelry called, "Waterloose". I loved how it looked and instantly decided to try it. I couldn't believe how easy it is! So easy it made me laugh. The look of feather and fan is decieving with it's lacy, curvy, open look. I had heard it wasn't hard but never imagined it being this easy! Here's sock number one of this pair...

I'm really happy with how it turned out. I like the extra long ribbed cuff and the lacy look of the sock. I even love this yarn. It looked fine in the ball but when I started knitting the sock it looked different and so much prettier! It's Lane Cervinia Calzetteria sock yarn from Italy. I used size two dpns and knitted the heel the way I usually do, rather than how this pattern suggested.

I really don't like doing the kitchner stitch. So, I decided to knit a star toe to avoid it. I'm glad I did because I think it looks really nice on this sock and the fit is great!

A little side note...when I met with my knit friends last week for coffee and stitching, I was surprised to see that several of us are now working on feather and fan projects. One is a scarf, one a round blanket/shawl, and my socks. Fun! What a versatile pattern!

Well, I'm off to eat some fresh baked bannana bread that I made this morning and then start my second sock. Have a terrific day! Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sick One, Knit Two

I hate being sick. But, I always try to look on the bright side of things. So, sick means lots of knitting time. Here's the second knit project I've started and completed this week...

I really wanted to make a new hat for a friend of mine that's going through chemo. And, I really wanted to use a ball of the Knitpicks Comfy yarn that I recently purchased. I had trouble finding a pattern that only needs 110 yards or less of yarn. So, the last project became a cowl...which I love and you can see in the previous post. I kept searching and found the "Button-Tab Hat" pattern on Ravelry. I wasn't sure if I had enough yarn but I decided to go for it. I really like it's simple, clean lines, wide band/brim, the button(s), and lack of holes (important when you have a lack of hair). I wasn't crazy about the tab though. So, I made my own version. I used just under one ball of Comfy yarn in Sea Foam, 16" circular needles in size 7, size 7 dpns, and one stitch marker. Here's how I did it...

CO 84, place marker and join in the round, knit one row, do 12 rows (or about 2”) of k2/p2 ribbing for the brim, purl one row, knit 25 rows or until it measures about 6” from co edge and then decrease…
Round 1: k2tog, k3, rep from (70 sts)
Rounds 2,4,6,8: Knit
Round 3: k2tog, k2, rep from (56 sts)
Round 5: k2tog, k1, rep from (42 sts)
Round 7: k2tog rep from (28 sts)
Round 9: k2tog rep from (14 sts)
Round 10: k2tog seven times (7 sts)

Cut yarn and weave tail through the remaining seven stitches, fasten off, weave in the ends and attach button(s).

I think it worked out pretty well. And, I had enough yarn! Yay! It's super soft. I hope she likes it.

This seems to be a stubborn flu/cold...whatever it is. So...hmmmmm?...what will I knit next??

Monday, September 14, 2009

Georgian Lace Cowl

I want to make a new hat for a friend that is going through chemo. So, in a recent Knitpicks order, I purchased a ball of "Comfy" yarn to make the "Georgian Lace Cap". However, before I started making it, I decided that I wasn't crazy about the vertical stripes and I was thinking that it was a bit too holey for a chemo cap. I searched and searched for another hat pattern but most of them require more yarn than the 109 yards I had in that one ball. So, I decided to just go with this one...but...someone on Ravelry made it and alternated the lace pattern. It was much prettier. I tried several times to do that and I almost had it but still had some problems I couldn't figure out. So, I decided to go with the pattern the way it was. Soon after I got started, I had an idea...make it into a cowl...the perfect gift for another special friend. And, that's what I did!...

I think this stitch pattern looks much prettier as a cowl than a hat. In fact, I love it! I think the lace pattern is really pretty, the size came out great (8'x9" unstretched), and it is soooo yummy soft! I plan to make more of these!

To make it, I knit the lace block/section six times and ended it with four rows of knit and then bound off. It took exactly one ball of Comfy with only 24" left over...a 12" and a 10" piece cut off after weaving in the ends. So, it's a perfect project for one ball of Comfy. I have one more ball of Comfy, in a different color...I know what I'll be making with that! :-)

I'm not sure why the color came out different in the pictures. I tried different lighting situations but the flat one always came out different. The actual color is in between what you see in the two pictures.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Think Pink!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a scarf that I had just finished weaving. It's pink color inspired me to post a challenge for Breast Cancer Awareness Month coming up in October. I've been thinking about the prize for the challenge and this last week I saw these beautiful knitting needles at my local yarn shop and knew that they had to be part of the prize. The iredescent glass beads on the ends are so beautiful!...

I'll be adding more fun things to the prize and posting them in the coming weeks.

I've been thinking about the challenge and have added some more details and more chances for winning. Here they are...

* Get a mammogram before the end of October...or if you've had one in the past year, let me know in the comments and you'll be entered into the drawing. Remember, early detection is the key to saving lives!

* Knit, crochet, weave, sew or craft something pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and email me a picture and info about it and I'll post it on my blog with a link to your blog. This will give you another chance to win. This is a chance to craft something pink and special just for you, someone you love, or...

* Donate your handmade item to a cancer support center or another charity for a third chance to win. Check with your local yarn shop...the one near me is taking such donations and each one is an entry for a $250 shopping spree at the yarn shop! If you're crafting for charity, be sure to check with your local charity for any guidelines as to what types of fibers are suitable and what kinds of items are needed.

This gives you opportunities to have your name in the drawing up to three times. Plus, a little nudge to get that mammorgram done that you don't want to do but know you need to. It always feels good to have it done and out of the way. And, especially good when you get the good news that everything looks normal. You can do what I like to do after my mammogram... reward yourself with a trip to the yarn shop and a little something just for you.

If you're thinking of participating, please do me a favor and leave a comment to let me know. I'm wondering how many people are thinking of joining in on the fun. And, when you enter, please be sure your comment allows me to reply back, or you can also send me an email with your contact info (email address) so I can contact you if you win! I'll be drawing the name of the winner at the end of October. I can't wait to hear from you and see your creations!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I just finished another weaving project...Hydrangea...

It's woven with Waikiki yarn from Crystal Palace. The color name is "Painted Iris" but the blues and pale purples remind me so much of one of my favorite flowers, the hydrangea. I found this yarn a couple of months ago and, even though I wasn't sure what I would do with it, I had to get some just because of the beautiful colors.

When I started weaving again a couple of weeks ago I knew this yarn needed to be woven. I only had two balls of it but thought it would be just enough. However, in the middle of the project, I thought it was going to turn out too short and called the yarn shop to see if they had more. Unfortunately, they were all out and said it has been discontinued. This was a little disappointing but I was so thrilled to have some and figured that if it didn't turn out long enough for a scarf I could incorporate it into a tote bag or something. I continued weaving and it ended up being long enough for a scarf. Yay!

One of the things I love about this yarn and how this scarf turned out is the little coils...they catch the light and look like little beads...

This was woven on a Leclerc Compact loom in a simple plain weave. I used a six DPI reed and 37 ends...36 plus one extra to make the sides the same. The finished scarf is 5 1/2" x 52", with fringe. I used just under 220 yards of the Waikiki yarn.

I'm so excited to wear it!

Friday, September 4, 2009


I received an email this week that was quite a surprise! It was from the America's Knitting website and they were asking if they could feature one of my projects (the magic ball shawl) on their site for the month of September. I wish it had been one of my projects with better pictures but I was thrilled to be asked and quickly said, "yes". And, now it's on their site, along with projects from other knitters that live in this beautiful state of California...the featured state for September. Check it out...HERE.