Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Project #3 ~ Back on track and Lovin' it

I have been on a roll the last few days, knitting squares like a crazy lady. I have been watching back to back seasons of the show 24 and knitting. Most knitters would have the blanket done by now, but because I am a slow knitter and learning new stitches with each square, getting 4 squares done in 2 days is a big deal for me. I would have had 5 done, but today I have UNknit my current square, Twist Stitch, 5 times. It is a blast knitting, but, I keep making tiny errors: splitting yarn, losing count, dropping a stitch, incorrect gauge, and last but not least, messing up the pattern. Before I go to bed tonight, I will have conquered this square.

I finished the second Stripey Loop square. MUCH easier than the first one. Funny, I am not sure which I like the best. Here I complained and whined about the first one, now I am attached to it. This second square was knit with Butterfly Mercerized Super 10 in Orange and Poolside.

I knit the 2 Textured Line squares with Butterfly Mercerized Super 10 in Celery. Easy stitches.

I knit the 2 Basketweave squares with Butterfly Mercerized Super 10 in Tigerlily. Fun pattern.

I knit the 2 Seed Stitch Border square with Butterfly Mercerized Super 10 in Poolside. I love the look and feel of the seed stitch, but I find it SO time consuming. Switching back and forth from knit to purl, knit to purl, I am so slow.

I just realized, I thought I had made 4 squares this past weekend. I made SEVEN !!!!!! Wow!

I know you are all fans or groupies, like me, of Susan B. Anderson. Have you seen the patterns she has been posting lately in her blog? FANTASTIC, especially for Easter. The link to her blog is <------over there on the left. Also, check out Spud and Chloe, more great patterns.
Last week I went on a shopping spree on Amazon.com. I haven't done that in about a year. You know it WAS this time last year. TAX REFUND. I had such fun. Look what I got:

1. Collateral DVD for $.53, thats right, FIFTY THREE CENTS. I don't know why, but I love this movie. I am not a Tom Cruise fan, but I like the part he plays in this movie.

2. The Lebanese Kitchen by Monique Bassila Zaarour. I LOVE Lebanese food and this cookbook is wonderful. There is the best Fattoush salad recipe. It is as good as my favorite authentic Lebanese restaurant.

3. Happy Gloves by Miyako Kanamori. It is a great book of glove toys. I have her first book, Sock and Glove. She makes the cutest, most basic toys, out of socks and gloves. This book uses simple gloves. Great for any glove that has lost it's mate.

4. Amigurumi Knits by Hansi Singh. These amigurumis are knit veggies, insects, sea creatures. Unbelievable. The praying mantis and hermit crab, beyond words.

Ok, 25 squares in the Baby's Texture Blanket. 14 squares completed. 11 squares still to be knit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A REALLY Fast Side Project

My neighbor is one of those amazing people that NEVER forgets an occasion. I am lucky to remember the major holidays, let alone the Hallmark ones. Anyway, Milli is Irish and of course loves St. Patrick's Day. I know this is an important holiday to alot of people, but this is one that has always gotten lost to me between Christmas and Easter.

Last week I decided to do something unexpected for St. Patty's Day for Milli. She loves crafts and really appreciates handmade items. She has alot of green bowls, candles, leprechaun dolls, four-leafed clovers, placemats, tablecloths, wreaths, but I don't remember seeing any coasters. So I "googled" Shamrock Coasters. I found a pattern on Crochet Central that I liked. However, when I started crocheting it, I didn't like the look of the last round. I unraveled the yarn and thought I would make some dessert instead.

This afternoon I decided, NO, to the dessert and I started to crochet a coaster. When I came to the 4th round, I did one little change and Voila! I love it. These 4 Shamrock Coasters were made in about 2 hours. That is GREAT for me. What fun.

Next holiday..........Easter! Hmmmmmm, what shall I make?

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm just sayin'.

I was SO busy last week. I had the granddaughters more hours, my daughter wasn't feeling very good, so I helped out in the evening, and Nolan is in a new stage. It is amazing to me how much babies change between week 15 and week 16. Nolan went from sleeping the day away to barely sleeping. This is not a bad thing, I LOVE playing with him, but, my knitting has been put on the back burner. I was able to work alittle bit on Project #4, The New Sock Monkey. Project #3, the Baby's Textured Blanket, still on hold.

Saturday, GREAT DAY!!!! I woke up early, watched Knitting and Crochet, Now! on PBS. Oooo, had coffee. Then, I did what I have been dying to do. READY ??????? I went to my LYS, "have you any wool?", and bought all the yarn to finish Project #3, the Baby's Textured Blanket. I picked 8 beautiful colors of Butterfly Mercerized Cotton. The girl who took care of my order asked if I would like to leave the yarn and they would wind it into balls. I told her, "Oh no. I am going to spend the day with Lisa and she HAS a swift and bobbin winder. We will be spending the day winding yarn". Not to mention, LEAVE MY EIGHT SKEINS BEHIND ??? I don't think so. I just want to look at them.

Lisa picked me up, we ran some errands, had lunch, and headed to her house. We no more than walked in the door, I set down my knitting bags, when who should appear but Murphy, Lisa's 18 pound kitty. He greeted me with a sweet little mew and a rub on my leg. I sat down to do a little knitting before the yarn winding started. Murphy had another idea. First he plunged his beautiful HUGE head into my bag. Then, he started nosing around. He found the catnip for the toys I am making for him, but, that wasn't what he wanted. He kept rooting around in the bag until he found it, something that he knew was going to be his. He found PROJECT #4, The New Sock Monkey. He pawed and slapped the Sock Monkey until he had it out of the bag. I am thinking, "now what"? This great big kitty has my half finished toy and it looks like he is trying to eat it. I kept thinking that he was going to snag the yarn or soak it. The more we watched Murphy, it was obvious he had no intention of hurting the sock monkey. He was pawing and snuggling until he had the sock monkey positioned under his chest, like he was holding a baby. That was it. Murphy was happy as can be. He went right to sleep. Before I left, I was able to get the sock monkey back into my bag. DON'T WORRY!!!!! When Project #4 if finished, it will go back to live with Murphy. I may even sneak some catnip into it.

We spent the rest of the day winding 10 skeins of my yarn and 7 skeins of Lisa's into balls. What fun. She has the greatest yarn swift. I keep calling it a swiffer. Different tool.

Last, but not least, dinner at Ping's Chinese Carry-out. They have the BEST vegetarian egg rolls, NOT spring rolls and wonderful Szechuan Veggies. YUM !!

Now it is time to get back to some serious knitting. I will now put The New Sock Monkey on hold and get back to Project #3, Baby's Textured Blanket. It wasn't really my fault for slowing down, there were some circumstances. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This afternoon I was sitting at the dining room table, knitting, while 3 babies were sleeping and I was waiting for 2 granddaughters to arrive home from kindergarten. All of a sudden, the chorus of 4 dogs barking, let me know the mail was here. I went to the door and found not only junk mail, but a package. Couldn't be for me. I haven't ordered anything in a year. BUT WAIT! My dear friend Lisa (aka Sasa 6 on ravelry) told me last week that something should be arriving in the mail. What could it be? Last month she surprised me with 2 skeins of beautiful yarn. I opened the package and couldn't believe my eyes. It was a copy of "itty bitty hats". "ITTY BITTY HATS" !!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT ????? I am beyond thrilled. Lisa, THANK YOU, Thank You, thank you.

I now have all 3 "itty bitty" books, by Susan B. Anderson. YIPPEE!!!!

Project #4, The New Sock Monkey, is so fun and easy. I am really enjoying making this little guy. I can't wait until I stitch his face. That will make all the difference for me. It is always in the expression.

Update on Project #3. Susan Anderson was kind enough to check out my photo of the Loopy Stitch square. She immediately noticed I had crocheted eleven loopy rows instead of the SIX that Susan crocheted. I have decided to leave my first Loopy Stitch square as is. However, the second one will be done correct, I hope.

Thank you Susan for all your input.
Thank you Lisa for my "itty bitty hats" book.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Taking a break from Project #3 and starting Project #4

Seven squares down, eighteen to go. Project #3 is going well, except for the Loopy Stitch square. As you know, this stitch is testing my patience. Not to mention, it is 3 times thicker than the other squares. I need to take a break before starting the second loopy stitch square. I decided instead of knitting a different patterned square, I would just start a new project. And get this, I AM NOT USING THE YARN IN THE PATTERN!!!!!! I am actually choosing yarn from my stash. This is unheard of for me. ANYWAY...... Project #3 is temporarily Zzzzzzz. I need to get my next color of yarn for the second loopy stitch square and then I will tackle it.

PROJECT #4 ~ A New Sock Monkey, page 70 in the "itty bitty toys" book, by Susan B. Anderson.
I am still shocked that I am using a different yarn than Susan used. Not only is it not the same brand, it isn't striped! This may drive me nuts, but I need to learn to get a little CRAZY! Changing the color of a project's yarn, that is as crazy as I can handle.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I am counting the days until Eastern Market looks like this again. There is nothing I love more than getting up early in the morning and going to the farmers market to see what wonderful things are filling the baskets and bins. Not to mention, there is a bakery that has the best cheese danishes, a middle eastern market that has unbelievable pickled garlic and, the real reason, spending time with family. I love going with my granddaughters, watching them pick the fruits and veggies. This year I am determined to make the trip to Eastern Market every Saturday morning a tradition.

Be honest, how does the Loopy Stitch square look? I started the loops on February 23 and I just finished them today, March 2nd. I can't tell you how many times I ripped the crocheting out and started over. This loopy stitch does not come natural to me. On top of it, I am not sure how Susan completed each row. The directions said to slip stitch the loopy row to the next purl row. That went right over my head. HELP SUSAN!!!!!!! I ended up sewing the row in place. And to think, I STILL HAVE TO MAKE ANOTHER LOOPY STITCH SQUARE. If you have any suggestions on how to do the next square, please leave a comment or feel free to email me at blyerke1@yahoo.com I think I need to take a break from that stitch. I am going to make the base for the next Loopy Stitch Square and then do the loops later. Not to mention, I have to get to my yarn shop, "have you any wool?", and purchase my next skeins of yarn. I want the perfect turquoise for the next loops. I think I will start the New Sock Monkey on page 70 of "itty bitty toys", just to give some variety to my knitting.