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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thinking, Planning, Designing Orange Fall

afghan designFelt like throwing squares and rectangles on the floor to get those creative juices going. I remembered I had a fair number of orange-ish squares in my mish mosh bags. Drug those out and added some recent rectangles with that same fall orange flare to them. Lots of sizes here as you can see. Some pieces are knitted, some are crocheted, some are sampler type squares/rectangles and others granny style made in the round. Several of these large knitted squares are from my Darling Daughter, some have been donated through Bridge and Beyond by Alexis, RoseMarie, and some are left overs from previous defunct groups. Some I've had a while; but a squares doesn't get old you know. It's like wine, I use no square before it's time. lol
fall afghan designIt's time. I like to photograph what I think the lay out should be, to get idea how much I need to change the squares/rectangles to make them fit. Once I pick them up and start that work, I often have to look at the picture. I really can't remember how I put them together size wise. Sometimes though the give and go of squares with different yarns and stitches changes and they do get moved from the original template.

However, this is step 1 for me. Next is step 2, what color to edge and join with. Debating with myself now between black and brown. I'll have to check the amount I have of each in my stash and go from there. It's a work in progress and will be donated to Faith Mission, the latest beneficiary I've added to our The Mission of Bridge and Beyond.

I also like to take pictures from the both the length and width views, as it helps with sizing issues.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Troubled Blanket on it's way, FINALLY

knitted baby blanketGees, what started out as an easy project really took a turn to taking too much time and I had to solve a problem. The pink yarn was given to me and and I thought it was such a soft pink would make a nice small blanket. I started was to be a plain pink blanket, and when I was at what I thought was the 1/4 th point by counting the stitches on the needle I weighted the yarn I had left and thought I was good to go. No clue how I was sooooooo off. I don't know if I didn't weigh the yarn correctly, forgot what I came up with, or changed the count I was going for on the blanket. But, clearly I was way off. The pink yarn was old, wasn't a brand I'd ever heard of before and so I knew it wasn't possible to try and match. Two choice, rip out back to the half way point and do a 2 tone blanket or keep going until I ran out and then switch. I hate, hate, hate to rip out and had so many projects going and deadline looming that I choice to keep going and add a new color when the time came. My thought was then to make a hoody type blanket so whatever color I added for the 2nd color on one corner would be matched with a hood of the same color on the opposite corner.
knitted corner to corner baby blanketThe 2nd color ended up being about 1/3rd of the blanket which measures 32 x 32 inches. Susie snuggled up in the traditional wrap method showing the hood which has a small ruffle. I didn't want it to lay totally flat against the blanket feeling it might be too tight.

This is on it's way to Angela for her Blankets for All Babies request on Crochetville. She's been busy making baby items for her local pregnancy center where your mothers with low income are much in need. Give a baby a head-start and make something warm. I have a couple of hats and green pair of booties going with this donation as well, but forgot to take pictures.

The blanket is knitted in straight garter stitch on size 6 needles (yarn was lighter weight so smaller needles were necessary which made the process slower than I like, even without the added problem of running out of pink), using the traditionally dishcloth pattern. The hood is made the same. I just knitted what looked like a new start until the corner seemed large enough, edge it, as I had the blanket; and crocheted the two together.

Angela's charity is in NE, Ohio.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ticker Tape for Women

Moda Dea Ticker Tape, 100% nylon a fun yarn to work with. Very soft and light weight and is like working with ribbon. I think this might make a nice chemo cap due to the feel. It's also quite stretchy. I'm using 2 different sized needles 13 and 17. Have gotten so for quick projects, I really like the different texture using 2 sizes of needles gives when just knitting straight (garter stitch). When you use this method is called Condo Stitch. It's amazing how different it looks based on the sizes you choose to use. How close the needles sizes are or aren't makes a big difference. This is a little open and airy. Think if I were to do this again I would go for a bigger difference in needle sizes to open it up a bit more. This will be sent to NC and is, I think a nice weight for year round wear in that southern state. It's intended more as a decorative scarf and could be used to ward off cool air conditioning on the neck in the warmer months and then again for warmth later as it cools down.

The colorway is called Monet and while I'm not one to use lots of pastels it's really quite pretty. I''ve had these 2 skeins in my stash for quite a while and had forgotten I had it. It's classified as a bulky weight yarn and suggests size 13 as the optimal needle size. Generally when I'm using 2 different sized needles I use the suggested size as the smallest of the two, or go one smaller. There's only 67 yards in a skein, so will probably use about half the 2nd skein to complete this project. Since it's more of a decorative scarf I don't want it to be doubled up and will go for about 5.5 to 6 ft in length. As I was looking up the information this morning about the yarn I was surprised to see on RAV, that's it's since been discontinued. That's a shame. I saw hats, scarves, walker totes, ponchos, sweaters, and summer tops all made beautifully from this yarn. Not sure when it got discontinued; but if it wasn't too long ago you might get some really good buys from the stores that still have it in stock. Always nice to look for a bargain.

When finished (and by the time you read this it should be, as this is a scheduled post), it's heading to Jackie someone I meant on The Hive as a give away for Mother's and More Raleigh Durham Chapter 331 convention. This is a non-profit 20 year charity focused on promoting women and their needs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Homemade Applesauce, Tis the Season

apple on corerA Granny Smith Apple here. I make homemade applesauce quite a bit for dinner; but usually in small amounts and so just peel and cut the apples. Needed to make a huge batch the other day for a large gathering and luckily hubby remember I had a peeler-slicer-corer from the days when I canned.
slicing and peeling applesCenter the apple as best you can on the prongs on the right (see above), turn the crank and you slice, core, and peel all at one time. It's fabulous. I did a bag of Granny Smith's, bag of Macintosh, bag of Gala's, and several large Braeburns. I like my applesauce to be a mix. I also like it chunky, so I start it cooking while I'm still working on some of the apples; that way they all don't cook at the same rate. Some will be soft and mushy, while some of it will have pieces of apple which is my preference. I use lots of Cinnamon, little bit of water, and some sugar. I don't measure so I can't tell you how much of anything. I do things by site and smell. I can tell you I use one of the shakers for sugar and only go through 1 maybe 2 a year---so you see it's not sweet sweet.
sliced applesApple slices in the pan. Some I left this size, others I broke up; again so the cooking would be different. I made a huge amount and everyone loved it. Had enough to give Daddy a container to take home after the family gathering, plus left some for my younger brother and his wife who always enjoy it.

While I'm still not happy about summer going bye bye, fall is a good time for good applesauce.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Remodel with Tile

Tiles are used in so many different ways in the house and out. Think about all the projects and possible remodeling you could do with the use of pretty subway tiles. Think about mosaic and decorative tiles you could around the fireplace in the living room. They're easy to clean and add lots of personal detail to your room. Or perhaps you need tiles for around your pool.

Think about the amount of time one spends in the kitchen, either cooking the family meal, eating it, cleaning up afterwards; or just hanging out. Kitchens get lots of use by every family member. Make your kitchen attractive with the use of tiles in the backsplash. The tiles are not only attractive but very useful in protecting your walls from food splaters behind the stove, to water splatters around the sink areas.

You could do a whole bathroom remodel with bathroom tiles. Tiles for flooring, the shower area, even the wall. The skies the limit truly with color and design. Durable scratch resistent tile in imagination shape, size, and color.

Would you like to shop with the ease of clicking your mouse? Would you like to take advantage of free shipping, sign up for email allerts for specials, use coupons, and be guaranteed the best price as well as returns and exchanges? Get free help over the phone, order a sample to determine what style or color tile you want for your project? Then click HERE and order tile that's been featured on HGTV, tile used by Bob Villa from the ease of your computer chair on a secure website. The website is easy to navigate with searches capable by color, room/project and or collection. AND that's not all, the supplies and tools you need to complete the project are also available; along with what you need for maintenance of your new remodel.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Troublesome Knitting, are you trying to tell me something?

beginning of pink corner to cornerNothing fancy here, your very basic corner to corner ghan with a little detail on the edge created by doing the yo (yarn overs). I'm not sure what happened, or why. Did I count wrong, did I measure wrong, did I weigh the yarn wrong? Did I just forget? Arghhhhhhh

The pink yarn was donated to me HERE, 3 ply knitted worsted. As I debated about whether or not to strip the blanket I weighed the yarn on my scale and figured I had more then enough when I was at what I thought was the 1/4th point.

pink corner to cornerbuzzing along with the yarn in my project bag I wasn't paying any attention to how much yarn I had left, when....at about 2/3rd's done had a snag and pulled the yarn out of my bag to untangle. Yikes...no way did I have enough to finish the blanket. I could frog (which I detest) back to the half way point and make the blanket 2 tone; provided I had the right weight of something on hand. I really didn't want to frog so came up with plan B.

Plan B, switch color, enter pretty minty green and finish blanket. Ok 2/3 and 1/3...little weird, so how about then starting a 2nd piece using the minty green and making just a corner to attach to the opposite corner of the 1/3 minty green. Like a hood? So, for now that's my plan.

I get one row done when my needles come apart and a huge number of stitches are no longer on my needles. You've got to be kidding me. I'm terrible at putting the stitches back on the needle, plus I wasn't at this point real awake. Let it be til I had my coffee. Hooked my needles back together. I've only had that happen once in several years and it was right after I got my Denise Set when I probably didn't put them together well enough to begin with. I really can't believe it. Knit half the next row AND it happens again. Seriously, not as many stitches this time. What's going on. Was that a hint I was suppose to frog? I sure hope not, cause I didn't. I've knit one row since, so far so good.

Got my toes and fingers crossed I can finish this before I have another issue. I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

**pink in first picture seems more on target, not sure why the 2 pictures look so different
This is slated for a charity right here in Ohio, Blankets for all Babies

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Toot Your Horn Tuesday, Sandy Style

Ok that worked, the badge is here; but where's the linky stuff. I need to be more techy. Today I learned that we have filters here on our blogs. So, I'm tooting my horn cause I learned something new. We can use those filters like we do in our email, and that coupled with approving comments over 14 days old should take care of the spam. So there. To all you would be spammers. Go Away!
Toot Toot!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Silly Sunday

Julie and I at Port ClintonJulie and I after a fun full day of wine drinking at Lake Erie (Port Clinton) during our "girls time". Anyone who knows me, knows I do NOT take decent pictures; but once in a blue moon. Truly. So, this is actually a not bad picture. Julie on the other hand is much more photogenic. This was the weekend we had such fun visiting the yarn shop you might have already read about HERE.

Jan the HostessJan, is always photogenic even when acting a fool. lol ! She's setting a new style here with stripes and animal skin as she plays "hostess with the mostest". Was getting late and this was right before we knew we were super close to the terrible tornado.

Julie playingOne title seems to sum this up...."Girls just want to have Fun!" The fun prairie bonnet I purchased for my daughter as a remembrance of years gone past. When she was young she lived in one as she read "Little House on the Prairie".

Friday, September 03, 2010

Flowers, a thing of Beauty!

orange lillyI love flowers. I love the beauty they add to one's yard, the wonder scents, the butterflies and bees they bring. However, with each year I get older and planting, digging, weeding, and dividing the beauties has become harder and harder. Let's face it, as you age it's just plain hard work. The arthritis in the knees, back, and or hands makes doing these things painful and certainly less pleasant. I think a wonderful alternative is a window box. I can stand to plant, and water. I would have less weeding to do, but still be able to enjoy the beauty the flowers bring.
pruple flowersWindow Boxes come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. You can even select what type of construction/material you prefer. The selection available even includes your choice of types of metal. Maybe you like ornate, while I prefer a more basic design. Windows come in a variety of sizes and so you'll want to select a style, color, size, and design that coordinates with your windows. You can enjoy your flowers inside and out without the extra work of digging up the hard ground after winter, or crawling around mulching. I'm also thinking how much more environment this could be. Seems to me I would need to water a smaller area which is not only more "green", but also should save some on the water bill.

Planters are available to match or coordinate with your window boxes too. That's a great idea. I could use one on the front step area which would also be easier to maintain then my current large flower beds.

Make your selection, then order the accessories you need to hang the window flower boxes all at the same time. It's easy, secure and help is available either by way of an 800 number or use of on line chat. There's a no hassle 30 day return policy, and FREE shipping. You can even track your order once you place it. I'm planning ahead for next year, how about you?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Stash Alert! Wear Safety Goggles

jojoland purple and greenCan you feel it? Stash alert seriously....I don't need more yarn; but this jumped right into my hand. 220 yards, only $6.00. Look at those colors..........green and purple, do you know what that means? Bet you do, if you've been here and read some of my other posts that talk about those colors. This is Melody Super Wash 100% wool by Jojoland. They recommend size 1-3 knitting needles for this. When I last tried my hand with some lace I was using super fine sock yarn and just really had trouble. I think, I hope....fingers crossed this will work better for me; as a newbie when it comes to lace knitting.
orange melody super washLuscious, lovely and I just couldn't resists this! I've shown tremendous restraint not starting on either of this skeins right after they adopted me. It's been several days, and really I'm trying to finish one or two more WIP before starting on these but.........it's getting really hard. The orangey reddish, bright here is for mawah. The purple and green of course is for the one and only Darling Daughter since purple and green are her signature colors.

Not reporting on WIP here, maybe next post.