Twins bound by a love of knitting talk about knitting and more.

Archive for the ‘Charity’

Can Internet Connections Drop Stitches?

Dear Ellen,

dsc00611.JPGIn answer to the title question, evidently so.  We had a power outage on 4th of July that certainly messed up our connection.  By the time I got it figured out on Monday, it was already past my bedtime and I was pretty tired, so no post from me.  I have a hunch that with the kitten-induced ecstasy going down at your place, you probably didn’t miss it.  The highlight of our 4th was a nice visit from our favorite daughter and daughter-in-law.  We enjoyed a nice block party with our neighbors, made a trip to Costco and decided to forgo the fireworks in lieu of what may have to become an annual tradition…the “screwing-with-the-security-alarm-because-the-power-loss-signal-(a mild beep every 5 minutes or so)-is-bugging-you-too-much-to-leave-it-alone-with-the-result-of-disrupting-the-whole-neighborhood-when-you-set-off-the-alarm-and-can’t-get-it-shut-off-for-almost-a-half-hour” extravaganza.  I will let you guess who came up with this event…but it wasn’t me.  Oh, and we did play Hand and Foot.  The excitement never stops.

dsc00577.JPGI finally found someone to take some pictures of me in Not So Naive.  I love this sweater!  It fits so very confidently.  You know — the kind of garment that makes you feel like you are looking good and that doesn’t have any “fidget” associated with it. And it is nice and warm too!  Of course, this is a far more attractive feature when the temperature is NOT 102 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be very welcome the next time we get over two feet of snow though.

dsc00620.JPGdsc00622.JPGKniestrümpfe are now finished.  At least the knitting is finished.  I still have to test wash the swatch to see how this mystery yarn handles shrinkage so I know whether or not I need to add elasticizing.  If I do, it will be brain dead hand work for some night when I don’t feel up to even thinking about garter stitch.  I doubt I’m going to want to wear these till the fall Oktoberfest season rolls around so I think I have some time.

dsc00615.JPGdsc00625.JPGI whipped out a quick little hat made out of leftover fleece (as in micro-fleece, not sheep fleece) that somehow landed in my basket one time when I was at an LYS in Colorado Springs.  (Six small balls of micro-fleece for $2…how could I resist such an inexpensive opportunity to try this chunky yarn?)  I love the result.  I just played with making up dsc00627.JPGslip-stitch color work patterns as I went.  Were I to do it over again, I’d probably go up a needle size or two.  The fabric is very dense.  These pictures are pre-blocking.  I’m confident the stitches will even out a bit when I do that — though I’m seriously thinking about just sticking with the fun, bumpy, lumpy results that I have right now.  If I decide to keep it for a barn hat, I’ll not block it.  If it goes to charity, I will — I don’t think bumps have the same charm for everyone.  It is a snug one!  Oh, and I did like using the micro-fleece yarn…quick knit and very cooshy.  You know how I feel about cooshy.

dsc00562.JPGI’m up to the armscye on the back of TGIF, but haven’t taken any new pictures.  I’ll probably wait till it’s off the needles and blocked.  I need a double check on the gauge after blocking before I proceed to the fronts and sleeves, so plan on doing that pretty soon.  I’ve also cast on some new socks out of a cotton fingering weight, the name of which escapes me at the moment, but it’s of the ilk of Trekking.  I’m finally doing the Monkey Socks pattern by Cookie A, but I’ve modified to add an extra repeat of the lace pattern to bring the cuff stitch count up to 80.  If I’d stuck with the 64 stitches she says to cast on, I’d have socks for a skinny 12 year old.  Some shenanigans were required in the heel turn and instep to accommodate the change in the stitch count, but nothing too fancy.  I’m well into the foot of sock number one.  I’m calling them Tropical Gorillas based on the colorway (which looks like pale rainbow sherbet), their “enlarged” status in comparison to normal Monkey Socks and the fact that I cast on during a trip to Tampa Florida.  Extra bonus on the trip was that I got to join Chris, Jim and Tom for dinner…and got to spend some quality Aunt-nephew knitting time!  (Yay, Tom!!)

dsc00559.JPGdsc00512.JPGdsc00525.JPGThe weekend before the 4th we made a quick run up to the property.  Dale had great fun whacking weeds and cutting up downed trees.  The doggies and I hiked in the woods and basked in the grass.  dsc00523.JPGdsc00518.JPGdsc00542.JPGRuby loves running through the ferns.  Max thinks the farm is pretty much Nirvana.  dsc00536.JPGdsc00526.JPGdsc00527.JPGI was amused by a funny bug that crawled around on my knee and less amused by some stuff that I am moderately concerned might be poison oak. I am thrown off by the 5 leaves though.  If you can help i.d., I’d greatly appreciate it so I can try to avoid last summer’s itch-fest.  The two panoramas are the view of the house from the curve in the driveway and then the view from the front porch looking out over the farm.  (Use your imagination here — strain your eyes to see if you can make out the re-bar stakes in the ground marking the house outline — there, right there…to the right of the shed in front of that dried brush.)

dsc00574.JPGIn the coming days we will entertain Patty and Ken (yippee!) from Friday to Sunday, Chris, Jim and Tom from Sunday to Monday, and sometime thereafter I will start a page to track Rebecca’s and my progress towards the Level I Master Knitter certification.  (Anyone else want to join in?)  I’m tired (but happy) already.

Love, Jan

They Grow Up So Fast

Dear Ellen,

It’s hard to believe that it’s already bedtime.  The weekend went so quickly.  But it was a very good weekend…filled with sleep, knitting and some socially redeeming activity — that also involved knitting.

dscn2846.JPGdscn2852.JPGdscn2847.JPGdscn2845.JPGI finished knitting Casual Traveler.  Almost 62 inches wide, it has increases on every row so that it’s not as deep as a triangular shawl.  It’s the Traveling Woman pattern from Liz Abinante.  I finished it with less than one skein of Austermann Step in a colorway that would go well with jeans and a T-shirt.  You may get to see it in 5 days.

dscn2842.JPGdscn2840.JPGdscn2838.JPGdscn2839.JPGIdscn2841.JPG also finished a beret to be donated to someone suffering from cancer.  It joined a dozen other berets, all knit at an event hosted at Fibre Space.  We all cast on at the same time and knit away as quickly as we could.  The winner got gift certificates for the store and from a local restaurant.  Registration fees went to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  Fun and fulfilling.  Michelle is modeling my finished beret.  She’s doing the two day walk and helped put together the event today.

dscn2833.JPGdscn2834.JPGI also did a very quick little baby bib for the new baby of one of Dale’s co-workers.  Very simple — cast on 59 stitches, on right side rows knit to 1 stitch before center stitch, work 3-stitch centered decrease, knit to end.  On wrong side rows, purl to center stitch, slip center stitch, purl to end.   Knit 3 ridges of garter stitch when you’ve reduced total number of stitches to 17 or 19 as you wish (about 3 inches wide).  Bind off.  Working from bottom to top, work a 4 stitch applied i-cord adding about 12 inches of regular 4 stitch i-cord when you reach the top.  Draw up the last four stitches.  Weave in ends.  I used Brunswick Yarns Crafty Cotton, but Sugar and Spice, Peaches and Cream, or any of the 100% cotton yarns would work.

dscn2821.JPGdscn2843.JPGFinally, the baby doves are flying.  I’ve seen them return to the nest a few times…and Mom still  hangs out there, but she is also spending more time away.

Well, I’ve got to pack my lunch…and get to bed.  Later this week I’ll be packing my bag!

Love, Jan

Destashing to REALLY Feel Good About

Dear Ellen,

22045_257524264614_176391009614_3390808_5316169_s.jpgJessie X writes in her blog about her friend Sherri and Sherri’s efforts to bring smiles to the faces of kids suffering from cancer.  Sherri works through Hair Flair for Hope and the National Children’s Medical Center where she brings wigs of her creation (made of wild, fun-fun-fun yarn) and holds workshops to help others do the same and workshops directly with the kids.  (If you’re on Facebook you can check out Hair Flair for Hope here.)

hair-flair-for-hope-girl.jpgSherri is still committed to this effort and still needs yarn.  I have some in my stash that was just waiting for this opportunity to tell me what it wanted to be and I’ll be sending it to her directly!  If you want to help support this work Sherri would be very grateful.  Here are her guidelines…“I need yarns of all types and textures.  With the exception of a few colors (gray, white, cream, pastels and non-vibrant blues) I can use it!  Bold colors (purples, reds, greens, oranges, bright pinks), fun yarn (glittery, variegated colors, etc…) and natural colors (browns, tans, burgundies, rusts, purples) are most useful and in shorter supply.  Partial skeins or unmatched dye lots are welcome!  My only request is that the yarn be either bulky yarns, novelty yarns, or super fantastic other yarns.  I am fully stocked on acrylic worsted weight yarns.”

Yarn can be mailed directly to her at:

Sherri Sosslau
PO Box 7660
Washington, DC  20044-7660

Do note the bit where she already has plenty acrylic worsted weight yarn — what she really needs is the stuff we bought because it so amused us at the time — or that came as part of that yarn lot on eBay that had the couple of skeins you really were after — or that your friend gave you because, “You knit, right?  I bet you could use this!”  This is a great way to lighten the stash and feel really good about it.  And USPS flat rate boxes are good around the whole country!

Love, Jan