Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hitchhiker going to Relay for Life silent auction

The Purl Gurl’s Relay for Life group has been putting together a silent auction on Valentine’s Day for the several years. She lives and works in a small town so the hubbies have a difficult time coming up with unusual gifts for their sweethearts. These Gals have put together the best baskets over the last few years - ones that would make any wife happy! I’ve contributed felted mittens in the past but this year thought that a hitchhiker in pinks and reds might be fun - if it doesn’t bring in the bucks it will be back to the mittens next year!
 I am so proud of The PurlGurl's dedication to this event! 

Pattern: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm
Yarn: Lorna's Hand-dyed Yarns Sheperd Sock
Colorway: Lincoln Park Zoo
Needle Size: US 4

Another pair of socks

Monday and Tuesday were spent in town at a conference. I spent hours knitting on these socks while listening to the speaker. When I'd pause to look around the room I was surprised to see so many people fiddling with their phones/ipods. I just can't see how they could possibly be paying attention!
Oops, perhaps THEY are thinking the same thing about ME!
Pattern: "No Pattern" Socks, Lala
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX
Colorway: Cadet Colors
Amount: 2 skeins
Needle Size: US 2

Friday, January 27, 2012

Keepin' the baby's noggin warm

These little hats look adorable on the little ones! Without a noggin’ to use as a model they are a little strange!
The hat uses such a little bit of yarn that I think they would be GREAT as stash busters and charity hats.
I would like to knit one more in a 12 month size in wool for the baby to use next winter.


Pattern: Aviatrix baby hat by Justine Turner
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pacific, Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted Tweed
Colorway: Dark Teal, Ruby
Needle Size: US 7 and 9

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Late Christmas Gift

The Tiger fell in love with my rolls this holiday season. They are my standard dinner roll recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook but the Tiger just couldn't get enough. Over Christmas I made two batches just to keep his tummy happy.

Golden Crescents
2 packages of yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening (part soft butter)
4 cups flour
Soft butter or margarine

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour until smooth. Mix in remaining flour until smooth. Scrape dough from side of bowl. Cover, let rise in warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours.

Divide dough in half; roll each half into 12-inch circle. Spread with butter; cut into 16 wedges. Roll up each wedge, beginning at rounded edge. Place rolls, with point under, on greased baking sheet. Cover; let stand until double, about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Brush rolls with butter.

I was visiting with the NorDak Purl Gurl a couple of nights ago and she told me that she was sick of hearing about those rolls, its all The Tiger has talked about since they got home...

"I'm hungry for some of Grandma's rolls."
"I wish I'd asked for rolls for Christmas instead of my Legos."
"This dinner would be good if we had some of Grandma rolls."
Don't worry Tiger there's something coming in the mail - just for you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The sign of true knitter who just happens to be a teacher

New knitter, Carol, showing off her Miss Sadie's Scarfette
At this week's knitting class, the primary teachers arrived with some upsetting news. During their grade level meeting they had been told:

"We are establishing a strict no knit policy for this district."

The gals said there were upset looks shared among the grade level (and within our own little knitting group as we were being told).

Then the original bearer of bad news continued: "Yes, from now on, not only will students with lice be sent home but children with nits in their hair as well."

Audible sighs were heard in both rooms!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Valentine Scarf

Tuesday we honored Linda, a member of the staff that is once again renewing her battle with cancer. The school was a sea of pink.
I knit this up in one evening with leftover yarn. I received many compliments on the result!

No pattern scarf
Yarn: Leftover yarn - Knitting Fever Indulgence 6-Ply and JojoLand Tonic
Colorway: partie, and rose
Needles: US 5

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Duty Mitts

Even if there is no snow on the ground, the wind is biting and the winter's cold, so we need to bundle up for recess duties! These mitts were a birthday gift to my good friend Johanna. They are intended to go with the Hitchhiker I knit her for Christmas.

I was attracted to these mittens when Knitty.com-deep fall came out but just couldn’t drop everything and knit them - to much Christmas going on!

When knitting the second mitt it became clear that the mittens just weren’t going to be long enough so I made the second pair into fingerless mitts and ripped a little on the first pair…
 l love that they have the zig-zag reminiscent of the Hitchhiker!

Pattern: Ambroso Mittens by Carol Feller
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted
Colorway: Mallard
Amount: 1skein
Needle Size: US 4

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chloe "A Little bit"

Chloe has always had an interest in knitting. At the age of 4 she would sit on my lap and “knit” while I held the bottom of the needles “steering”. Chloe could sit and do this for 30 to 40 minutes at a stretch before hopping down and declaring, “I think I can do it myself now.” 

A few years have passed since then but Chloe continues to have the knitting bug. When I was visiting her last month she became interested in my circular needles. Surprisingly, we couldn’t find any of the needles within walking distance so I promised some would be sent soon.
With a little conversing on the phone, and emails shooting back and forth we have been able to get her going on knitting a hat in the round!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My knitting stash policy

There is a buzz many knitters are talking about this first week of the new year and it's how they are going to knit down their yarn stashes. Buying yarn because it's beautiful, or soft, or a "great deal" is like choosing to line up behind me, a big mistake!

I have developed a sixth sense when things are about to turn ugly while waiting in the checkout line. It has always been, and will forever be, that ninety percent of the time the person in front of me has picked up an unpriced item or is about to argue with the clerk about the price wrung up. I feel that it's only fair I give those behind me in line a chance, so I'll turn around and suggest they go to the next line.

It never occurred to me to buy yarn for yarns sake. When I decide to begin a project the first thing I need to know is who the recipient will be. Next, I pick out a pattern and finally it's off to the yarn shop to buy yarn. It would never work for me to just buy blindly! What color would you buy? Are they careful with the finished project or are they sweater killers and need to have their sweater in acrylic? How much do you buy for an unknown project? No matter how much yarn I'd buy, I would buy one skein less than necessary or three skeins to many to complete the chosen item. This is just the way my luck runs.

I do have a stash but it is all leftover yarn. I love to knit from this pile of yarn. I consider it "Free Yarn" and the completed projects "Bonus Items." I have made many beautiful items from this pile, baby sweaters and booties, mittens, fingerless mitts, charity knitting, and just last month The Tiger's new stripes.

But last week I was sorely tempted to join the crowd, and just buy yarn.  I saw the most beautiful hand dyed alpaca yarn from Wolf Creek Wools, a company located in Montana. Oh, I wanted to break my stashing rule! But finally I left the yarn shop without my beautiful yarn because I just couldn't think of a project.
Then, just three days ago I was listening to a favorite podcaster, Paula, from the Knitting Pipeline. She was requesting test knitters for a shawl she had just designed and is soon to be published! I jumped on the internet and wrote that I'd love to be her test knitter and YEA, now I can't wait to show you the finished project, it's going to be beautiful!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's sock knitting season!

I declare January as honorary "Sock Knitting Month." Last year I thought I would knit myself a pair of socks and then proceeded to knit 10 pair! Now revealing the first pair of 2012....
"No Pattern" Socks by Emptyknitster
Yarn:Knitting Fever Indulgence 6-ply
Colorway: partie
Needles: Size 2 US

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keepin' the noggin' warm

A very quick knit for my Sister-in-law, Annie,  just wish there wasn't a need for it.
Pattern: Rolled Brim Chemo Cap
Yarn: Jojoland Melody Superwash
Colorway: Faded Rose
Needle Size: US size 5

Sunday, January 1, 2012

"No Pattern" Socks

Recently, the Purl Gurls had a discussion on sock knitting at our Friday Happy Hour Knitting. I sang  praises for the "No Pattern" Socks that I had recently knit. Several asked me to write the pattern for the "No Pattern" Socks - it was good for a chuckle!

"No Pattern" Socks
An off road sock lesson from Lala, Judy's magic cast on, The KnitGirllls after thought heel, Cat Bordhi's reinforcement of the heel, Jeny's Surprisingly stretchy bind off and Kitchner Stitch!

Needle Size: US size 1 (this makes a much more durable sock)
  1. Use Judy’s Magic Cast On starting with 8 total stitches and increase every other row until there are 64 stitches. (32 on each needle, I use 2 circulars)
  2. Knit until the sock is at the place where your leg attaches at a right angle to the foot and then knit a piece of waste yarn into 32 of the stitches, then slide them back and knit these stitches with the regular yarn you have been using. (The KnitGirllls after thought heel tutorial is available)
  3. Knit until the piece measures 6 inches above the waste yarn. (or length of sock leg comfortable for you) 
  4. Rib for 1 inch. Cast off using Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.
    po — pass stitch over
    YO, k1, po, *YO, k1, po, po, rep from * to end.
  5. Take the 32 stitches of waste yarn out. The top stitches will go on one needle and the other 32 will go on another circular needle. There will be a gap on either side so pickup 2 on each side. (I crossed them over each other to tighten them up)
  6. Knit 2 rows even. The heel will be done with an added bit of mohair - to reinforce the heel.
  7. Decrease stitches on each side every other row as follows:
    Row 1: K1, slip next 2 stitches as if to knit then ktog, knit to last three sts, ktog, k1
    Row 2: Knit one row
  8. Kitchener for the last 8 stitches!
These make great vanilla socks but a pattern can be added to the sock if you choose. I have added patterns to the top of the foot and legs on two pair of the socks I've knit.

Stitch Pattern One:
Row 1: (K3, p3) repeat to end of round
Row 2: (K1, sl1, k1: p1, sl1, p1) repeat to end of round

Stitch Pattern Two:
Row 1: (K6, p2) repeat to end of round
Row 2: (K2, Slip as if to purl, K1, yo, pass slipped st over last 2 sts, k2, p2) repeat to end of round