"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Leftover Yarn Reduction Afghan

In my SITM Contest #2 post I mentioned my favorite way to get rid of all of those leftover balls of yarn that we all have accumulated over the years when we finish a project.

I have two Rubbermaid 18 gallon storage bins that I keep empty for travel that are perfect for sorting the balls. I make one for solids and the other for variegated. This is where it gets fun. Do not sort down any further.

I like to make a very lacy and open work with this on size 8 (US) circular needles. I pick a number of stitches that is divisible by three (pattern stitch) plus 15 on each side for a strong border. I like to use a garter stitch border because it is a great contrast to the lace-like look of the body.

How do I start? I reach into the variegated bin (because I like the look of it in the border) and cast on the number of needed stitches. I also like to use a long-tail cast on too, but you can certainly use what ever cast on method is your favorite. I work the border in at least ten rows. I keep using the selected ball until it is almost gone and then I reach into the solids and select another ball and connect and keep going. NO PEEKING! The fun part about making this is the total element of surprise with each selection. I will concede that if you choose a two or three ply yarn after you have been using a four ply or thicker that you might want to peek and get another ball of matching ply so that the two are worked as one to "match" the last ply. This is the only time that I peek.

The pattern is a four row repeat.

Rows 1 and 3 - Purl all stitches (except borders)
Row 2 - Knit 1, Slip 1 as if to Knit, Knit 2, Pass Slipped Stitch Over the 2 knitted stitches and repeat until the last two and Knit 2 (work borders)
Row 4 - Knit 2, Slip 1 as if to Knit, Knit 2, Pass Slipped Stitch Over the 2 knitted stitches and repeat until the last stitch, Knit 1 (work borders)

You will end up with an afghan that tells an amazing story. I made one for a very dear friend that was recovering from breast cancer. She would not tell me her favorite color and I so wanted to make her something that she could use during her recovery. As I worked, each ball reminded me of the project that was created from it and I had great joy in making something with so many memories of my own wrapped up into a gift for someone else to make new memories with. No, it is not glamorous nor is it something that a designer would be apt to want to put his or her name on, but it is a quite unique way to use those leftovers for something very special.

I'll poke around on my digital camera files and see if I have a picture to post and perhaps you will see what I mean. I will also find the Hot Damn Afghan picture and post them together.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesday Temptations

Okay, now that Wifey is back to work I have the "fun" task of dinner while she has volleyball season. What does that have to do with Tuesday Temptations? I need your help more than ever.

Why? Because I need healthy recipes for dinner. This is where CKG and Ms. Troll can help out, but I need Mafia's input too. And Less I forget, Tangled Up In Knots is a dietician....

So, send me you favorites healthy dinner recipes. I mean stuff like fish, chicken, veggies, soups, and salads. Get help from your friends, your mom, your partner. I don't care where they come from just send 'em all my way. Who knows, I might even build a link for all of them on my side bar if I get enough of 'em.

I need ya'll now!

Monday, August 27, 2007

SITM Contest #2

Okay, so the second contest is about our favorite yarn.

I had a hard time with this one. I have started this post several times and put it in the draft bucket each time. Why? Because I could not get the wording right.

There are so many yarns available and while I myself am never one to be a yarn snob, I know that some yarns are frowned upon by "superior" knitters. This would be the reason that I have had such a hard time with the post.

My favorite yarn is humble and affordable. I love to use Lion Brand Yarn - Homespun. A few years ago I was laid off and while in the process of job hunting, I was trying to help Wifey plan out Christmas. I told her that I would make afghans and lap throws for our family and friends. She thought that is was a wonderful idea.

I have a pattern that I found called Hot Damn Afghan. I already had some 19 Addi circulars, so I decided to go for it. I cast on 150 sts and used three yarns. I chose Baroque, Gothic, and Lavender Sachet. The blanket was worked with the length in place (150 sts) and I worked across until it was 4 feet. I think that the first one took nine skeins of each color. The second was done with three strands of Arcadia (now discontinued) which was various shades of green with a slight touch of caramel. I made four afghans that year for gifts and the three that were done in the Homespun are still the most discussed.

My Parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on December 25, 2008, and my siblings have asked me to make one of these blankets for them in Cream, Deco, and Rococo. I will be making the swatch in the next few weeks so that it can be mailed to each of them (Sister in NJ, Brother in MD/VA, and Brother in Amarillo) for approval and comments. I'll post the swatch but you will have to go to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Wal-Mart, Hancock Fabrics, or Jo-Ann's to feel how soft this yarn is.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Harlot Update!

She’s coming -- the event we’ve all been waiting for! The Yarn Harlot is coming to Houston!

Twisted Yarns is hosting Stephanie Pearl-McPhee on September 18, 2007

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Tuesday - September 18, 2007 7:00 p.m.
Carl Wunsche Sr. High School
900 Wunsche Loop, Spring, Texas (just west of the shop)
Please do not call the school for information

Tuesday Temptations

Okay, we all know that I have been obsessing with wrap style sweaters. Well, guess what? I found a site with free patterns......wanna have the link? Okay! Knitting Pattern Central

I have found this, this, this, and this.......

And as if I needed more addictions, look what else I found in the directory of patterns.....SOCKS, Dishcloths, Ponchos, and Shawls and Stoles.

Now that I've shared this (for those of you that have never seen the site either) what sites do you like to haunt for free patterns? Please share with me. I will put them all together in a single post next week so that everyone can get them.


Monday, August 20, 2007

SITM Swap Package Goodness - Part Two

Thank you SITM Swap Pal!

Perfect way to start a week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday Temptations

Yes, I realize that today is actually Wednesday. It appears that I saved this as a draft instead of publishing it. I'm going to blame it on the heat. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

As I was trolling the Internet I stumbled across this article. I wonder why it doesn't have anything about pickup truck drivers or mini-van drivers? I also came across this article. I wonder what my hair says about me.....

This article really cracked me up too much. As if we could actually do such a thing....

And who knew fashion was headed here? And while I'm on fashion, I love the way that these all sound. And this one sounds like the first one I'll try.... Of course, I kept looking and found this site, which is cheaper. That allows me to get more stuff....I am hopelessly addicted to this stuff....and this is one of my favorite perfumes, but I will wear this too, or this.

I have been making a list and checking it twice in an effort to get our bar stocked for the holidays and such. We converted Trouble's room into a retro room. I still have to install the wood floor. It has original curtains from the kitchen of Wifey's parents (1950's), and original English bar, and numerous glasses and such from the period. I'll try to get some pictures of the room up later.

The list has stuff like this, this, this, and this, for basics.

That's about all for now...before it seems like I'm rambling....

I've been Simpsonized

The Munchkin says that it looks like me except my hair should be shoulder length and just a little lighter. Who knew.....

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pay It Forward

Remember that movie with Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey?

This is from Tangled up in Knots (who got it from Pony Knits, who got it from Alaina, who got it from Jodie, etc. etc. etc.)

Here is how it works! I'll send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange! I don't know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week...LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that's a promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog...

So for those of you who want to join this good yarn karma exchange, leave me a comment.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

What a day!

The game today was wonderful; however, I must confess that I did not knit at all. The game was also fan appreciation day for Craig Biggio and his record setting 3,000 hits.

See these:

The Astros won 6 to 4 and Biggio got another hit. It was a solo home run.

For Ms. Troll, the roof was closed and we had air conditioning. Houston is great like that.....

Go 'Stros!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Have you Attended Stitch 'N Pitch?

Well, I have my tickets in hand. FedEx just delivered them. Trouble and I will be attending the Astros versus the Brewers at 1:05 PM tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

This is my kind of outfit

The mail man brought me the latest Coldwater Creek catalog. Normally I read this at lunch before I knit; however, it slipped on to the floor and opened up to this.

The picture in the catalog was only from the waist up and immediately grabbed my attention. This is my typical style in the fall. I love the camisole and the jeans and the sweater is just enough to stay warm if needed.

This is the kind of wrap sweater that I can see making right away in a bamboo tape or any tape style yarn that will give the necessary drape.

Now that you've seen it...what yarn suggestions do you imagine? Mafia, I can feel one in your mind.....what about you Ms. Troll?

Please let me know what pops into your heads no matter how random. I want to start a design for this and I know that the swatch will help....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tuesday Temptations

Yes, I realize that today is Tuesday.

Before I lead into the temptations, first I want to thank my Wifey for all that she did for me this weekend. I took the first Boniva and had some adverse reactions that included a high fever and flu-like symptoms. She made sure that I stayed in bed, kept me hydrated and made sure that I rested. No work for me on Monday. Borrowing from CKG, I am most thankful for having her in my life!

Now, on with the temptations.....

I am always looking to add new jewelry to my jewelry box, so when I saw this and this, and you know both went to the need list.

I'm still shopping, and I've moved on to shoes......I love these, these, these, these, and these.

No knitter would be sane if she/he didn't want sweaters; however, I want to knit my own version of this, this, and this to start.

Of course, I will need new jeans when I loose weight....., so how about these or these?

I will also get something from this just because it is the right thing to do.

Okay, enough for now. It is past my bed time and Wifey will be mad if I don't get my rest....

Until next post.....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

SITM Swap Package Goodness

OMG - I have been having such a crappy week that when Wifey said I had a package I was almost afraid to see what it could be.

Well, guess what? It was this box of goodness:

I love the box top. It reminds me of a Picasso painting. The book is simply divine. I will have it with me when I start on some of the Nora Gaughan patterns.....(thanks Mafia for recommending that). The tootsie rolls claim to be low fat and one is a serving...I guess that they will be my treat at the end of each week that I can keep weight off. Who ever has enough Eucalan? The stitch markers were nestled in the wonderful box with ice cream treats on it. Aren't they beautiful? And how about that TOFUtsies? If you are a blue fanatic, then you understand how this yarn makes me want to drop everything and see if transform into something decadent.

What a way to make hump day even better. Thank you Secret Swap Buddy! If I could hug you it would be a big Southern kind of hug!