Saturday, April 26, 2008

Starting Tank Top

I chose the Tank Top from Leigh Radford's One Skein book as my next project. It's two panels sewn together at the center front and back. One panel is the knit side & the other panel is the purl side. I'm using Alpaca with A Twist's Fino in Seaglass from my stash. Here's today's progress:

I'd probably be bored with all stockinette stitches, but this yarn is so soft, it's a pleasure to knit! Ran into Stitch DC after work trying to find the Addi Turbo Lace needles - but no luck (& no patience to order them). But all was not lost cause look what I got instead:

OMG!!!! It's Lorna's Laces - Helen's Lace in blackberry. I am in no way a yarn snob (had never even heard of Helen's Lace) but I swear my heart started racing & forehead sweating when I spotted it (lol). There are no words to describe how it feels. What will I make? Who knows - but dang it's gonna be beautiful.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy Dance!

Cynthia Rowley's Basketweave Tunic/Dress
Vogue Knitting - Spring/Summer 2005
Crystal Palace Cotton Flamme (11 skeins)

This elongated tank is sweet! The change in basketweave pattern halfway thru makes it interesting and the Cotton Flamme gave it more texture than the model. The scooped neck was a little too deep for me so I shortened the armholes. Shout outs to Deb & Jeannette - love our new knitting group! Special thanks to Mary for sharing her stash so I could complete this tunic.

Friday, April 18, 2008

April Progress

The Basketweave Tunic will be ready for spring unveiling (Can you believe I started & finished something in the same season?) Somehow I ran short on yarn and was saved by a wonderfully kind knitter & fellow Raveler (marykz) who had the same dye lot in her stash (WHEW!). Headed to a knitting meetup tomorrow where I should get close to the finish line.

Progress on Basketweave

This tunic is working up quickly - finished the front. Had to undo/redo some rows cause my attention was diverted watching Top Chef (lovin' this season!). Hope to finish it up within the next week.

Patterns & Yarns & Groups.......Oh My!

I am addicted to Ravelry...... there - I said it. Since receiving my invitation to join this knitting and crocheting community a month ago, I have become obsessed with all things yarn. All my high hopes of finishing Peace Angel in a few months have vanished but in it's place are a slew of spring/summer knits that I'm aching to produce. I just wish someone would take the huge leap to create something similar for the cross stitch community (There's a Ravelry group for knitters who also cross stitch - SWEET). So here's what I have to show for the last month. You may remember Beachcomber Tunic. Finished the front & back & decided to ditch the sleeves & just edge it with a row of single crochet. Here's how it's looking right now - before blocking & edging.

Really loved working with the Cotton Flamme yarn so I grabbed the Dusty Blue from my stash and started the Basketweave Tunic from Vogue Knitting's Spring/Summer 2005 issue. It's working up quickly & should be a great addition to the summer wardrobe.

Not to fear - on last week's trip to the LYS, I picked up a few cross stitch charts too. I'll be back!

Mar 08: THE SPOT!

Although I can cross stitch, knit, & crochet almost anywhere - it's a dream to have a dedicated space in my house. When the youngest moved out, I quickly converted her room in hopes of having my spot. Alas, the computers, printers, scanner and overall storage for stash, books & magazines quickly filled the space.

But I'm finally in heaven. Here's my newly created stitching-spot in the corner of my bedroom. I can now stitch in a comfy BIG chair w/ottoman, next to the window, facing the TV & DVD player. Got my cross stitch & Ott light on my left and a decent yarn stash on my right (Someone gave me a great tip about the mirror behind the chair - it reflects light for great late-night stitching). Should I ever get tired, it's just a hop & skip to the comfort of my bed........ Someone send out a search party if I haven't been heard of in a few weeks (lol)!

BTW, Big Lots has a yarn clearance sale. Here's the Lion Brand Chenille I picked up for $1.50 per skein - I bought all 13 skeins in the bin. I better go back to work soon......

Mar 08: Progress

I've managed to make progress on a couple of projects. Finished a crocheted beanie to compliment the neckwarmer I made a couple months ago. Also the "sistah" finally has lips & some filling to her church hat. Haven't picked up Peace Angel lately but she's next in line.

Just when I was basking in the glow of not heading out to work everyday, my co-workers reminded me that I work with a great group of folks. I received 2 flower arrangements, cards, and giftcards that I put to good use at Michaels for all this:

Jan 08: Can Knitters Build A House?

I was browsing thru my knitting blogs and hit upon this awesome site: The House That Yarn Built.

Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans on August 29, 2005 and devastated not only Louisiana, but also Mississippi. Over two years later, New Orleans and what happened there has largely been relegated to the back pages of newspapers, or only mentioned when politicians are trying to get elected. One of the hardest hit areas in New Orleans was the Lower 9th Ward. Brad Pitt's foundation - Make It Right - is raising funds to build homes in the 9th Ward. Each home costs $150,000.

The House That Yarn Built is a Team on the Make it Right site with a unique perspective: If 7,800 knitters would donate the equivalent of one skein of sock yarn ($20), a family in New Orleans might be able to get their lives back on track. Of course, you don't have to donate $20 - every increment helps. Many of us have yarn stashes that can keep us in yarn for years without ever having to darken the door of the local LYS or point and click on our favorite online shop. What do ya’ll think? Can knitters build a house? For more info, visit the link to The House That Yarn Built or The Make It Right Foundation .

I've started Peace Angel and will post a pic this weekend when there's more than just the tip of a wing to show.......

Jan 08: Starting Great in 2008

Here's my cable knit scarf. Completed it on Monday while watching all the King holiday tributes (all these years later I still cry when watching his speeches). Definitely have knitting fever & itching to do more cable work. Maybe a knitted afghan to keep me warm these next few months?

Quick Knit Reversible Rib Scarf
2 skeins Khaki Uruguay DK; size 6 needles

Jan 08: Keepin' Warm

Wide Rib Pattern (k4,p1)
Plum Uruguay DK: 150 grams total
(Sorry for the dirty lens!)

Jan 08: New Year, New Stash

I LOVE my local needlework shop but I try to limit my trips there. Too much temptation! Last weekend, I ran in to pick up floss for a new project and I came out with everything but the floss. I swear I walk through the door & go into a trance - ooh new charts, old charts, do I have that chart? To make matters worse, I turn around & staring me in the face is this:

It is Chocolate Bulky Rayon Chenille from Blue Heron Yarns. No picture could do it justice. I'm turning in my "Sale Queens of America" membership cause I didn't even look at the price tag (lol), just headed for the register.

Dec 07: Happy New Year

I reached so many milestones in 2007, I kinda hate to see it end. I celebrated my 50th birthday; achieved my goal weight; reached Lifetime status with WeightWatchers; walked 39 miles in my 5th Avon Walk for Breast Cancer; was promoted at work and increased my charities; saw the youngest grandbaby start kindergarten (better stop calling him a baby); got my Mom settled in a senior community where she has lots of companionship; displayed my crafts in a "real" shop; and cheered as both daughters became very independent young ladies. Of course with all this good came some sad like losing my Uncle Ed to kidney disease.

With all that under my belt, I have high hopes for 2008. My only resolution is to continue my quest to fulfill God's purpose and live my best life. I am thankful for all those I have met here and the talent that's been displayed and shared. I'm anxious to see what y'all have in store for next year (lol). I'll close the year with a pic of my current project - a knitted scarf & glove set using Uruguay DK - a marino, alpaca, silk blend yarn in a wonderful shade of grape.

O.k. - the mimosas are waiting along with the Greys Anatomy 3rd season DVD, so I'll wish everyone a safe & HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Jul 07: Tunic Progress

It's been ages since I've completed a sweater and can't remember making one for me. Consistently made sweaters for my girls as they were growing up, but you know the story...... by their teen years they preferred sweaters, caps & scarves from Gap, Old Navy & Guess to handcrafted "Mommy Gear". Now that they're grown, I have a long list of requests. But they'll just have to wait in line!

Jul07: Beachcomber Tunic

I have my own little min-rotation going. Splitting my time between knitting the Beachcomber Tunic from Interweave Crochet's spring issue and cross stitching M Designs Rejoice Tree ornament. Here's my progress pic of the tunic back. Excited to finish the knitted part so I can see how the crochet edging will complement it. I'm substituting the recommended yarn with Crystal Palace's Cotton Flamme. Loving the texture!

Y'all know I love a sale & what could be better than something knitted on sale. I picked up this Cable Knit Hobo Bag from Old Navy today. On clearance - it was $8.99! I couldn't knit one for that price. We're talking fully lined with wallet & cell phone compartments. The strap is short but perfect to carry around my projects. They carry it online (it's on sale there too) & it's made from a combination of paper straw & cotton - whatever....... it's sturdy.

I finally have a couple of days off, so I'll be back with pics of Rejoice ornament as soon as I finish a couple more letters.

Jun 07: Worldwide Knit In Public (WWKIP) Day

June 9th is WWKIP Day. You can go here WWKIPDAY to get all the details but hey - who needs details????? Just do your thing!

I plan to spend most of the day manning my friend's giftshop so what better way to spend the downtime than working on the tunic that I've been neglecting.

In other stitching news, last week I actually picked up a needle & linen and started a quick stitch project. It felt so good to get back to something I love so much. Hope to have pics real soon.

May 07: Knit & Crochet Happiness

This is one of those times I'm happy I learned to both knit and crochet. The spring issue of Interweave Crochet has this beautiful summer tunic that is a combination of knit with crochet edging.

Think I'll use the Crystal Palace Cotton Flamme yarn I bought awhile ago. It's a beautiful coral color that will look great for spring. Of course that means I have to finish it in time to wear for spring............

Tonight was the Stitch-N-Pitch baseball game sponsored by the Washington Nationals MLB team. I bought my ticket months ago with high hopes but wasn't able to leave work in time to attend. What a great concept: bring you needlework project (cross stitch, embroidery, knit, crochet, etc) and stitch the night away during the game. If anyone is familiar (they supposedly have them scheduled all across the country), please let me know how it went. Maybe I can travel up the road for Stitch-n-Pitch with the Orioles.

Apr 07: Been Such A Long Time

Wow - have not posted progress pics in soooooo long. Seem to have lost my cross stitch mojo - lots of charts I want to start or finish but no motivation to just do it. Between a new job, training for the walkathon, relocating my mom, & all the stuff inbetween I can't seem to concentrate on detailed work. But I haven't abandoned needlework completely. Every night I manage to stitch at least 2 rows on the "plain Jane" afghan while I catch the late night news. It's now looking like this:

Really big & heavy.......... I'm on the last skein of cream yarn before starting the edging. Since the cold & wet just won't quit here in VA - I may get some use out of it yet this season.

A few weeks ago my brother gifted me with some great shelving units. With help of some vibrant cubes from Target & lots of file boxes & book/magazine organizers from ABC Distributing, my office & craft space looks really cool. check it out - even my yarn stash has a place.
Keeping the faith that life will slow down soon & my mojo will return with a vengence. Happy stitching to all!!!

Mar 07: Stash Delivery

Finally, finally, finally......... the rest of my reward stash arrived yesterday from Little Knits. It's Crystal Palace Cotton Flamme. The Cornflower Blue is what I plan to use for the remake of the Sampler Afghan and the Key West Coral will make beautiful spring sweaters. Must not get distracted - I already have so many stitching (cross stitch & knitting) projects in heavy rotation but life keeps getting in the way. I made a resolution this year to do some type of stitching every day - even if it's only one row at bedtime. That's how the blogs have spoiled me - I so admire the ladies that manage to do it everyday..........
But the weather has finally broken (I hope) and I must pump up my training for the next Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. May 5 and 6 will be my 6th walkathon & I'll be following it up in October with the Avon Walk in New York.

Mar 07: WIP & Stash

Here's progress on the second block of the Sampler Afghan. It's the Little Shell Stitch. Haven't received my new yarn so continue to chug away at the blah-blue. Saw a post asking for local donations of afghans for the homeless, so when I finish this one, it's headed that way. BTW, isn't the basket beautiful? Found it on clearance at Marshall's for $7.00. Great way to carry my projects upstairs & downstairs. Also treated myself to a trip to my LNS/LYS - In Stitches Needlework. Stopped in for silk floss for M Design's "Cherish" Tree Ornament chart. They had a few more of the designs, so I got the "Rejoice" and "Peace" charts. To really torture me, there was a 50% off yarn sale so I got this beautiful 100% wool - Andes (made in Chile). It's shades of gold & olive that should look great as a felted purse or tote. Have never tried felting but have collected some wonderful patterns online. As if that wasn't enough, picked up Lizzie Kate's Santa '04 chart. Have loved it since Sharon displayed hers on her blog. You're probably wondering when I'm getting back to cross stitch........ soon, very soon.

March 07: The Sampler

Nope - It's not a cross stitch sampler, but the Leisure Arts knitted Sampler Afghan. I bought the book ages ago with the intention of learning some really great patterns. It contains 60 stitch patterns that you can mix and match to create your own afghan design. Each block is 12 inches and the final piece takes 20 blocks. I finished my first block on the return flight from Houston - the Double Parallelogram. Now I'm on to a pretty Shell Stitch block. If you look closely at the pic below, there are some really great patterns in the booklet. My downfall is that I started using stash yarn. Yes - it's acrylic ; OMG it's baby blue; and there's soooooo much of it! In my own defense: (1) I didn't buy the yarn, it came by way of the yarn fairy; and (2) I didn't expect to like the finished pieces, just wanted something to do to soak up all the excess travel time. So to remedy the situation, I jumped online to the Little Knits site and ordered the Crystal Palace Cotton Flamme in Cornflower Blue (really soft & beautiful).
My first time using the site (saw it on another blog). The 10-skein bundles are a nice option. While I wait for my new (better) stash to arrive, I'll go ahead & use up the baby blue skin-irritant as practice pattern pieces. In the end, maybe I can give it away on my local FreeCycle.

Feb 07: Almost Instant Gratification

What a "quick knit"! Used 4 skeins of Lion Boucle Wild Berries (from the Dollar Tree) to knit up this hat & scarf combo. The subscription to Interweave Knits has my knitting mojo really coming out full force. A handknit sweater is definitely in my future.

But first, I just have to stitch this Waxing Moon Design. Definitely my motto for the grandboys. Headed out to Texas tomorrow on a biz trip so maybe between the airport layovers & hotel downtime I can have it completed before the weekend. Happy stitching to all .......

Feb 07: "Baby - It's Cold Outside"

Brrrrr .......... it's definitely winter which means I've been hibernating. Not much cross stitch going on but plenty of knitting. Here's my youngest daughter modeling the hat I made for her. Shes's the one who likes bright colors so I used Lion Boucle's Popsicle. Knitted on circulars using about 3 ounces of yarn. Super simple - straight knitting. She likes it so much I'll have to do a matching scarf. Still working on my "Plain Jane" afghan. It's getting big enough to serve double duty as a project & a lap robe.

Jan 07: Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl vs. Knitty Gritty - what's a girl to do?? O.k., I'll commit to the squares, but they can't expect me to miss the Super Bowl AND Prince at halftime(lol)!! Looks like a job for Tivo......

DIY Network is playing the field on Super Sunday with its first ever Knit In by encouraging needle arts enthusiasts to knit and crochet for charity. On Sunday, Feb. 4, when football fans are glued to the tube, DIY is challenging all knitsters and crocheters to pick up their sticks and grab some yarn to help kick off the network's commitment to create shawls and blankets for the less fortunate. DIY is partnering with Warm Up America!, a charitable organization dedicated to the creation of handmade blankets, clothing and accessories to help those in need. The 7"x9" squares knit and donated by DIY viewers will be sewn together into blankets, and distributed to women's shelters, nursing homes and daycare centers. For more information on how to participate in DIY's year-long initiative, including a pattern for the square, log on to

Jan 07: Arghhhh!

After a couple weeks of stitching, I am really not liking "The Baptism". The model on the chart looks so great but I was suspicious of many of the colors when I picked them out. Sure nuff, why are there green stitches for hair & grey stitches in the skin tones? In my opinion it throws off the design. I am so frustrated!! It will be a major effort to start over after substituting all the weird colors. I'm certainly not up to that right now, so it goes to the UFO pile. I've pulled out the Yoruban Women kit as my next project.

On a much better note, I'm proud to announce that after 4 years on WeightWatchers, I reached my goal weight on Tuesday. I've gone from being an overweight (40+ lbs), fast-food-eating couch potato with high blood pressure to a marathon-walking, soon-to-be-50, fit vegetarian (lol). Biggest lesson has been that it's truly a lifestyle change & not a diet so I look forward to the next 6 weeks of maintenance to officially become a Lifetime member. Oops, forgot to mention how my stitching has helped. Its really hard to snack when you have needle, scissors, crochet hook or knitting needles in your hand. Speaking of which - I'm calling this the "Plain Jane" Super Bowl afghan. No real design or color pallette means I can pay close attention to the game while getting rid of some stash..........

Dec 06: Happy New Year's Eve

My final project for 2006 is a scarf and glove set for ME! Just using up the yarn remnants from my Mom's afghan (it is so warm & cozy). Couldn't decide whether to knit or crochet so I knitted the scarf, added a crocheted edge & crocheted the gloves.

While at Michael's yesterday getting linen & floss for my first cross stitch project of 2007, I picked up these goodies. DD#2 wanted her gloves in red & black. That child loves bright colors - so I found a combo. The 50% off coupon from last week's paper was burning a hole in my pocket so I finally picked up the Weekend Knitting book that was on my Christmas list. Most importantly I have all the materials to start "The Baptism" tomorrow. I chose a 28 count creme linen as the background. With any luck, I'll have weekly progress pics to share.

Here's wishing everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous New (stitching) Year!!

Dec 06: Christmas Gifting

Hope your Christmas Day was a merry one. Mine was wonderful - full of fellowship and dining with family and friends. After trying unsuccessfully (over & over & over again) to make the "Fetching" fingerless gloves shown on the left for DD#1, I made a cute little crocheted pair. No matter how hard I tried, couldn't get my knitted stitches tight enough between the double points. The crocheted ones were quick & easy (thank goodness, it was Christmas eve). The yarn is Paton's Nuance - a mohair blend with a gold metallic thread running through it. The gold doesn't show up in the photo but it gave them a nice sparkle. Mirrored the double-crochet pattern in a matching scarf (sorry no pic & DD's gone back home). Was stressing about whether she'd like them but her sister has put in an order for a pair in something "bright & colorful" which is always a sure sign that I've hit on something. Committed to taking a class on how to make socks so one day I can make a pair of the Fetching gloves for myself (y'all know I'm stubborn - can't let it beat me!)