Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dear All the Mamas

Last winter, several ladies from our Mittens for Akkol knitting group got the brilliant idea of writing an ebook. This book would contain patterns that we've created and used to make woolies for "our" kids in Kazakhstan and would be a fundraiser for buying other items for the kids. When Nanci goes and delivers our handknit goodies, she also buys lots of items for the kids. Things that we might consider basic, like their own blanket and shampoo, to things like oranges and nuts for their party, to shoes for the babies. This will help her with all those items.

Well, time has passed,the ladies have put in countless hours of work and it's now ready for purchase!

Dear All the Mamas; Knitting for the Orphans of Kazakhstan is available for a donation of $15.95 to the Motherless Child Foundation through Ravelry. ALL proceeds flow directly to this 501(C)(3) nonprofit public charity to help fund our work for the children in orphanages in Kazakhstan.

Not only does this 70-page eBook feature a collection of 21 PATTERNS, but the knitters of the Mittens For Akkol Yahoo group also have shared our knowledge and experience about knitting for extremely cold weather. We have included several stories about the children and experiences in Kazakhstan, sizing charts, and information for all knitters who enjoy working in wool and providing warm items for others.

To purchase, you can click on the title above, or you can click on this "buy it now" button.

I actually have 2 patterns in the ebook. The first is called "Pick-a-pattern" where you can pick from several 4 st patterns to make socks. Different designers contributed the stitch patterns and I included the coffee bean st.

The other pattern is "Diana socks" that I wrote when knitting socks for Diana, one of the grads from a year or two ago. It's been on my blog for awhile, but I've taken it out and now it will be available only in the ebook.

This is the first time that my patterns have been anything other than self-published and it's all for a good cause.

 Don't you want a copy???

Now back to knitting some socks....

Stitch Surfer

A finished object! These are the Stitch Surfer from Knitty.  They would look much better modelled on some feet, but they're too small for any at my house.  Check out the pattern for a better idea of how they look.

They're made by knitting half a row in each color and then doing a wrap and turn and then purling back that row.  Increases and decreases are made in each knit row to get the pattern surfing to the left, and then surfing to the right.

The hardest part is really doing the purling on the way back, and that's just time consuming and not really hard.

They were really quite fun and will be going to M4A on their way to Kazakhstan for their fall sock challenge.  I have time to do one or two more pairs, but this time I think I'll make them plain vanilla.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Here are a couple of quick pictures of tonight's Homecoming.

This is DS#2 and his date. First time going to homecoming, and first time with a pink tie!  It matches the sparkles on his date's dress.

This is DD#2's senior year and her last Homecoming. (Her dress is really navy blue, even though it doesn't show up that way.)

Her corsage was on her left arm and deserved to be shown, so here it is:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Parade of Socks

Since February, I've knitted several kinds of things, but almost the entire time I've had a pair of socks on the needles.  Mostly they've been plain vanilla socks, but I did a couple pairs of fair isle.  Here's the ones that I've taken pictures of.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What I'm working on...

Note to Lynn:  I'm not sure how old the vintage Red Heart Fingering is, but it has a price of 39 cents.  That HAS to be pretty old.  Plus, the heart says "Start knitting here" and is attached to the inner end of the skein.  Boy, do I wish they still made them that way!

School started last week, and with that came the need to start a sweater.  Yes, it's for me.  Yes, I know it's a man's sweater.  Too bad.  It's still for me.  I tried finding a woman's sweater to make using this yarn, but I kept coming back to this one.  It has a collar with a short zipper, so I'll have a new-to-me challenge to face at the end.

I've also been knitting socks.  As always.  These are worsted weight socks using Patons Classic wool and a broken rib pattern.  All that's left is to Kitchener the toes.

And last, here's a pair of plain socks that go with me where ever I go.  This is the first sock that's just past the heel.

The socks are both for the M4A sock drive that will be taken over to Kazakhstan by Nanci at the end of the year.

So, that's what I have on the needles right now.  (Well, that I'm actively working on.  I do have a couple of other projects that I really should finish up.  Sometime.   Maybe tomorrow.  But not today.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fake Cross Stitch Sox

(I decided to blog like I haven't actually been missing for months....  I'm trying out a new browser and it's working better with Blogger and I might be less frustrated with the whole thing.  If it works, I might even try to catch up a bit.  Not with everything, of course, since some things have no record of being made.  But even though I've been missing from this blog, and I might not be able to find many photos to prove it, I have actually been knitting.)

The current pattern from Six_Sox_KAL is called Fake Cross Stitch Sox.  It's a fun pattern to do because it has 10 rows of pattern work and then 10 rows of straight knitting.  I used some vintage Red Heart fingering sock yarn in a pleasing blue.  It was part of a big lot of yarn I bought from an online friend selling yarn to member of M4A at a great deal.  (This will be one of those missing pics since I've already used several skeins.)

I used 2.5mm dpns and 60 sts and they came out on the small size;  the foot measures 7.5" in length.  That's okay, though, since M4A needs socks of almost any size.

Here's a closeup on the cross stitches.   I should've rotated this picture so you could see the pattern better, but if you turn your head you could get the same effect.

Well, that's the end of this post.  Blogger has changed some since I last posted, but I still can't come up with a good finishing sentence.  I guess some things just stay the same.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I've been plugging along, working on the Kaz grad items for Mereke.  This year I'm making all the knitted items for one grad rather than doing random items for different grads.  His colors are white, black, and bright blue.  I made his hoodie last spring, so now I'm doing all the other things.

You saw his hat a couple of days ago, right before it got frogged and started over.  I think it's done this time, but am waiting until I block it to know for sure.

Here's his scarf, being made out of Patons Classic wool.  The pattern is Diagonal Mistake Rib Scarf, which is going very nicely, although I can't seem to memorize the pattern.  The edge stitches, I mean.  The middle is all K2, P2, which I can do...  :)

However, it's kinda boring, being mostly k2, p2 the whole way, plus it's in black.  Uggh.  Lovely to wear, horrible to knit.

It's also not a knit that I can take to the Bball games and such, so I cast on for Mereke's socks.  These are plain vanilla with 72 sts on size 1s using Lang Jawoll Aktion sock yarn.  The yarn fits into the color scheme pretty well (and was picked out by my DS as being something he would wear.  Manly and all.)  However, it's also boring.  And... I'm not sure there will be enough yarn.  Mereke has 11.5" feet so these have to be really long and I did a really long cuff as well.  They're in a mini-timeout while I hunt for contrasting yarn for the toes, just in case.

I needed something different to work on, so I started this hat.  It's not any more colorful, but at least it has interesting texture, being skeins of wool that I spun from a mystery bag of roving.   This has no purpose, other than to give me something interesting to make.  When done, I'll save it for when I need it, as a gift or something...

However, it's not very colorful.


Yesterday I cast on for this:

Yep, this is colorful enough.

I had 1/2 hour at a car service center and 2 basketball games to sit through yesterday so I got a lot accomplished.   At the service center, I had a nice talk with a couple of ladies, one of whom does lots of knitting and crocheting and had a daughter who spins.  I'm not sure if I've ever randomly run into another knitter before.  She was eyeing my yarn quite enviously, too, as she had forgotten hers and was stuck there an hour longer than she thought.

At the end of yesterday, I had the bright beginning of sock and a new key for my car (I had only one before, which would periodically set off waves of anxiety that I would lose it.  Or that DD#2, aka the new driver, would lose it.  But mostly me...)  Also, both basketball games were won.  (DS#2's season is done, but DD#2 still has playoffs.) 

Today, I don't have anywhere to go.  (Imagine that!)  Plenty of time for knitting, both dull and COLORFUL!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Keeper

My Husband.

He's a keeper.

Spin, spin, spun

Remember how much I loved January?  Well, it's continuing into February.  These days of not doing very much have been a lot of fun.  Not only have I been knitting, but I've also been spinning.

I've had singles on my bobbins since June, waiting to be plied.  Finally, I got around to it and plied it together.  Purty, huh?  The Roving was from Pucker Brush farm that I got from MDSW. 

Since I had the spinning wheel out and everything (and what a hard job that was.   Moving the wheel from the corner of the room to the middle.  AND putting a sheet underneath.  PHEW!  I'm exhausted.), I decide to spin up some more.

This is again from MDSW, but from 2010. 

I spun this tighter, and plied it looser, with the idea that it would give me a balanced yarn.  It worked for the blue roving, but this one turned out not-so-good for some reason.    Anyway, it was fun and I'm sure I can make a funky looking hat out of it.

Playing with the collage feature on Picasa.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Did you ever?

Did you ever start supper, realize you needed sofrito from the downstairs freezer, stay downstairs to blog for the next 20 minutes, go back upstairs to continue with supper, only to go back downstairs to get the sofrito that you needed in the first place?  And then think that you can continue to blog by setting your timer for every 5 minutes, just so that you would remember to go stir the rice and not let it burn into a solid black mass?

Me neither.

(Excuse me, I hear the timer.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Basketball season

Some of you might just call this season, "winter", but around here it's basketball season.  Our youngest two are both playing, and when they play, one is away and one is home.  So, we took the easy way out and are just going to the home games. 

Here I am, in my usual "school colors" sweater, knitting on a sock.  (This was also supposed to show off my new haircut, but since one side is sticking out for some odd reason, I'll try to get a better picture later and won't mention it now.)

This is my view.  I'd draw an arrow pointing out my daughter, but since I'm photo-challenged, let's just say that she's the one closest to the ref.

I wore my new socks to the game.  In my hurry, I forgot to take a good pic, so here they are on my feet.  (You can believe me that I did Kitchner the toes and hide the ends before I wore them.  I'm not in that much of a hurry.)

Basketball season is drawing to an end, with the last regular season games scheduled for Friday.  DS#2 will then be done, but DD#2 will still have playoffs.

But never fear, track/baseball season is just around the corner.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

First yarn purchase of 2012

Here's my first yarn purchase of 2012. Considering we're a month into the new year, I've restrained myself pretty well, don't you think?

Simply Sock Yarn Company had a sale and....well....I had to take a little look.
I added a couple of skeins into my cart.... cotton blends for summer socks....

plus some wool, 'cause it was such a good deal...

Then I went to checkout, and it needed the payment info before it calculated the shipping... and I like to get as much yarn as possible for a shipping charge, but since the shipping was only $4.95, I just hit the ORDER button, and before I knew it, the yarn was all on it's way.

Not really a planned event, but still...

I got some good yarn and it makes me smile...

What can be better than that?

Friday, February 03, 2012

Progress: Forward and Back

Since there have been a gazillion basketball games to attend, I've been working on plain vanilla socks.  They're the most portable and the easiest to knit while watching the action.

These socks are for me.  The yarn is from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm that I bought a couple of years ago at MDSW.  Bright and cheerful and getting close to done!

For stay-at-home knitting, I've been working on couple of other things.  One is this hat:

It looks done, but alas!  It has been frogged, ready to start again.  See the stitches below?  They are so uneven and BIG and little and BIG and little!  I did the whole hat, and even stretched and washed and blocked it, but the stitches were not even-ing up.  Not no way, not no how.

I was trying to knit with one yarn in my left hand and one in my right, and trapping the floats rather than twisting. I know I've used two handed knitting before, with a finished product at the end, but I guess that plus the long floats was too difficult for me to master. Plus, I never got comfortable doing it. Blech.

Now it's been ripped out and ready to do following my regular method of drop-this-yarn-and-pick-up-that-one. It might actually be more work, but not when I consider having to do it over again.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Roundup

Two baby blankets (which are quite addicting and I could've made more)
One pair of slippers ( for ittybitty adult feet)
One infinity scarf (for my SIL who made me the best cheesecake)
One pair of socks (for a new pattern)
One Koala bear (that hangs out with the other knitted animals in DD#2's room)

I Love January.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I love January

What? More Finished Objects?  Will wonders never cease???

I've loved January this year.  Not much to do (other than sports, of course.  Basketball and FUTSAL have been going full force.  Oh, and baseball open gym has started at 6am twice a week, 'cause that's what the kids really want to do is get up 90 minutes earlier twice a week and get a full workout before school.)

Now where was I?  That's right.  I wasn't complaining, but rather telling you how much I've enjoyed January.  The Christmas decorations have been put away, the rooms have been straightened up, piles of papers have been sorted, I've cooked here and there, work happens at a slower pace, and I've even had a couple of days off.

There's also been plenty of time to knit and I've taken that opportunity to just knit whatever I felt like.

In this case, it's been a couple of baby blankets.  I'm working on another pattern for M4A, and couldn't do just one.

You've seen them in progress before, but now they are completed.  Here's a two-colored version:

And a three-colored version:

If it wasn't for the fact that the baby house doesn't need any more afghans I'd just keep on making them. As it is, though, I guess I'll stop and work on something else.