Thursday, September 27, 2007


Many times it is necessary to use a cast on in your knitting that can be removed. Here is my favorite. There are many others but I particularly like this one. It can also be used without a waste yarn as your regular cast on. It has a nice chain edge. Please excuse my lack of photo skills. Working on getting a better camer and new computer so all of you in blog land please be patient. #1. Place a slip not on a crochet hook using a smooth cotton yarn.
# 2. hold the crochet hook above your knitting needle.
# 3 wrap yarn around the knitting needle and slip stitch through the loop on the crochet hook. #4 repeat this for the number of stitches called for.
#5 when you have all the stitches on your needle required remove the loop from the crochet hook and place a coiless pin in this loop and fasten it to the chain edge you have created.
# 6 begin with the main yarn and knit away.

I did not invent this but was shown how and later told this is something that machine knitters use, but does it ever work well for hand knitters. # 7 when you wish to remove the waste yarn, take out the pin, give a little tug on the waste yarn and there are your loops to finsish off or pick up stitches from what ever you choose. Happy Thursday knitting. I have a baby sweater to finish today to get in the mail tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall Dishcloth exchange question

This week the question is whay do you love fall. I think the pictures from yesterday tell it all. It is just sooooo beautiful and I know serious knitting time is coming up. All warm and cozy with yarn and needles in frot of the fire. I think that says it all.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


You know what time it is by these photos. I love the way it looks and know there will be lots of time to knit later. I just need to enjoy all the beauty outside. Both pictures are taken in our yard. The lovely flower garden that bings me these last blooms from summer and the trees on the side yard. The air is cool but the sun warm. It is one of my favorite times of the year.

Now I shall return to knitting and will send some tips your way later today.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm Sinking!

My sweet friend Joan emailed me to say, LORD! Where are you? You see, she had a Cosmo, my favorite and thought of me. I'm absolutely covered in work. I thought after I turned 50 I would be able to slow down and do the things I wanted to do all of the time. Not so. I work full time in a diagnostic center in a Vascular Lab and take call for a vascular lab in a hospital. Between the two of them I am whipped right now. It's time to start the big time fall and winter sewing. Mallory has decided to be Belle for Halloween. Not a big deal but involves 5 yards of satin. Yikes. Need to start on that. She will have to have a new Birthday outfit in November. A cute Halloween outfit and a Christmas dress. So much to do, so little time. I need a twin.

Two years ago I made her a Christmas dress that will forever be my Daughter in Law's favorite.

Chocolate velveteen, blue silk dupioni, silk embroidery flowers. It was so pretty if I do say so myself. Now every year I will have to try to top that. Last year was a disaster and had to be chucked! This year will be blue velveteen with a smocked collar similar to the Easter design of two years ago. Maybe long sleeves, the Swiss trim has blue embroidery on the edge.
No plan yet for the Birthday or Halloween outfit. It will probably come to me during the middle of a sleepless night. We shall see!
I've considered quitting my jobs and risk homelessness but with that comes "NO STASH". Who could face that?????
So I trudge on. Meanwhile today, that yellow satin is calling my name from down the hall. NANA! Mallory wants you to work on me today!

Monday, September 17, 2007

More Dish Cloths?

OK you got me I am now involved in more dishcloth stuff. This one is a secret pal exchange and every Monday there are questions I need to post here and answer. I think it will be interesting for anyone to read as it tells you preferences I have or yarns and knitting items. Later I will get to the full report on the trip. Promise.
Today's questions.
When you knit or crochet dishclothes, washclothes or face clothes, what do you use?

I just use what ever cotton yarn is around in the stash. Sometimes yarns made for this purpose and other times some interesting all cotton yarn from the stash...

What size needle or hook?
I use a 7 or and 8 it sort of depends what I pick up first but usually a 7.

Wood? what type? Metal? Plastic? A specific Brand? Why do you love that needle or hook so much?

I am still in love with my Addi Turbo's but am really devoted to the original Balene. Not the ones you can now buy but the original. I still have quite a few but they are not as durable as the Addi and some have broken and I can not replace them. I do however like the silver Options from Knit Picks. I just prefer metal needles as I feel they knit faster for me.

Is there one you are dying to try? No not really I think I have tried every needle out there, rose wood, ebony, plastic, aluminum , bamboo you name it and I have tried them. I presently have quite a needle stash but the ones mentioned above are what I love and use the most.

Is there a particular yarn you love and use all the time for clothes?
What is so special about it?

I do lots of knitting for my grandchildren and my all time favorite is Cascade 220 Superwash. I think it has body which some super wash yarns do not have, it washes like a dream and has the warmth of wool. It is just a practical yarn to use when you need washability. For machine wash and dry this is my absolute favorite. Great yardage as well.

I am never shy about telling what I love the most. If you are talking socks I dearly love Opal. I think the yardage is better and it seems to really wear well with a bit more loft than other sock yarns.

Next monday there will be more questions for me to answer.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

1st place dish rag tag

I still am in shock about winning first place in dishrag tag. Now I can show all of you the button. Tomorrow should bring some news about my knitting life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fall into Autum Swap

Soon I wil be home where I can post the cute picture but at least I can answer Mondays question. I am not much of a cotton knitter. Sooo summer is for lace. Also where I live it is not very hot so I knit with wool and wool blends all year long. I am always knitting socks. My traveling companions whether it is to the grocery store and I get stuck at a railway crossing or on a long journey. The sock knitting kit lives at the back door and always leaves with me. I have a retired husband and we do errands and I take socks you have no idea how much knitting time I get while he chats with his old buddies. Vacation should end tomorrow and then 3 days drive and I should be home.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Knitting Vacation

This shows our travel mode as we left for the North Woods. We did have a sign that fell off at some point that saind"WARNING KNITTING IN PROGRESS". Lots of strange looks as we went down the road. After 13 hours driving we arrived in Madision, Wisconsin. Do not get out of the car as the mosquito population was something to behold. We had a wonderful dinner with my knitting camp friend Ann and her husband Fritz. Then onward to the North. Second night was near Duluth, MN. We stayed at a casino motel. I knit and did not gamble. I am not lucky that way. They give you tokens to use for your visit. $5.00 worth. I ended up loosing all of those and decided it was a sign from the Gods. Go back to your room and KNIT!
On Wednesday we fifnally reached our destination. The Gunflit Lodge. It is peaceful and great knitting. I have nearly finished a Wallaby size large, worked on socks, some lace and done a lot of reading. Truly a vacation. We have had very cool weather and rain. Much needed here after the big fire in May. We had 6 1/2" on Monday and more drizzle each day. Today it is lovely but cool. Our evening meal is most interesting each evening. We make a reservation in the dining room and then sit and look at the lake and enjoy!

There are escorted hikes and educational talks and walks. I am knitting knitting knitting. I was not able to post for several days as cloud cover made it impossible to upload pictures. Hope you enjoy reading and seeing where I am.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Little scissors & cases for the gift bags

Ready to travel

This is the last blog from home the knitting vacation starts tomorrow. Our driver (aka husband) says 6 a.m. is the time we are leaving. That is in the middle of the blooming night for me. He has a phrase. "Joan we got a lot of miles to haul" I hat that phrase more than I can tell you. Now here is the scoop on a KNITTING VACATION...

For over 20 years I have attended the knitting camp in Wisconsin held by Elizabeth Zimmermann and later by her daughter Meg Swansen. There I met my special friends Ann and Sally. So it has always been a knitting vacation. Our husbands have become friends and started their own summer event. They go to the Boundry Waters in Minnesota, to canoe, camp and fish while we do the knitting. We call them “The Adventure Boys” . This year the "boys" wanted a later trip for cooler weather, and have told us how wonderful this lodge called the Gunflint is so we have decided on spending our time here and not going to camp. Now I heard lodge in the woods with great fear and apprehension. Well let me tell you we have a cabin the word makes me shudder. However this cabin has it all, washer, dryer, whirlpool bath, 2 bathrooms and lots lots more. This is not a cabin to me it is a glorious home on the lake. I also should add the Gunflint has a reputation for glorious food and this is our destination.

Each year I have embroidered golf style shirts with a canoe or a tent or some such item. This year the “girls” choose the shirts. Can you tell?

Another tradition has been to take knitting theme gifts to each other. So this year here is what I have for each of them. I machine embroidered on felt little scissor holders, made fobs from cell phone leashes and charms, and the little paper gift bags. The gift bag pattern is from:

I really love having these little bags on the computer as they come in handy for so many little gifts.

It is my hope to be able to keep you all up to date on the travels but who knows what kind of internet service I will find. I am told there is a conference center with wireless. Hope we can access that. Until then packing yarn is on my schedule.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Lillie's Little Sweater

Put me in a car and give me some knitting with hubby driving and all deadlines can be met. I finished the baby sweater I was working on for tomorrow's Christening partylast night. This sweater has been part of my knitting life for many many years. I use an outline form of this sweater to teach beginning knitting. Amazing what they could do. It starts at the top of the hood, then down the back is the same as turning a sock heel. Downward it goes. Worsted weight yarn makes it easy and quick to knit. Several years ago my knitting camp friend Carol Anderson saw one and asked if I would work with her to publish it for others. Share sure I will, she took the directions and fine tuned them. Lots of pictures and helps. Carol named it "Lillie's Little Sweate" after my granddaughter and even used her in a "centerfold" picture. I always make this as a baby gift. If you are interested in a pattern contact your local yarn shop. If they don't have it or can not carry it write to Carol at: Cottage Creations Carpenter, Iowa 50426-0070. Yes indeed it is the same place there are lots of other fun patterns. Now I need to work on getting things ready for Monday's Blast OFF!

Fall Into Autum Dishcloth Exchange

Now who would have thought making dishcloths would have produced so many new friends and such fun. That being said I think I shall try a swap. Toooo Cool!!! First I will answer the question for the Fall Dish rag swap and then hopefully work on getting that button on my blog. We shall see. I am getting a lot of help from my blogging friends and will do my best. I don't have much time as I have to pack yarn to last 2 weeks of travel. My knitting vacation. YES YES YES.

1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been doing it?
I knit but I can crochet I just don't unless pushed for an edge on a sweater or something smilar. How long let us just say over 50 years.

2. Have you made dischloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both?
Yes I have made them but not given them much thought until after the Dish Rag Tag Contest proved so much fun. So now I knit them, give them and use them.

3. What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ?
I have no preference here.

4. If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles?
I use circular needles and I like the shiny silver ones. If it is a case of a cuff and double points are needed I am not particular bamboo or casin either one, but in the shortest length possible.

5. What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much? PINK is there any other color? Please no Orange or Brown.

6. What do you like best about Autumn? The colors out there to enjoy and the feel of the air.
Just wait until I post fall pictures about the first week or so of October.

7. Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks!

8. When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day?
I liked school but I still could over sleep, night person you know

9. Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the timeframe of the swap)

Oh yes Halloween is great fun. I love the faces on children who get so excited about this. They are already thinking about costumes. I think there may be some sewing coming my way. Grandchildren you know!

10. If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose?
Now really only 3, homemade bread, cookies my favorite is sugar, mostly I eat anything that does not eat me first.

11. Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;) Oh yes kids, just one who has 2 children who are the light of my life and pets yes my Sammy my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a husband who I think that even tho he is on social security is about 2 or 3 years old.

12. If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why?Cascade superwash. It is soft comes in beautiful shades of PINK and is practical. But still a lovely wool fiber.

13. Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths?
In the kitchen.

14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays)
Halloween where all the little goblins come to my door. Thanksgiving has lost its luster as I was the designated, cook, hostess, bed and breakfast owner and clean up the mess for inlaws for far to many years.

15. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about? No allergies but I am funny about scents, I like the florals, rose , jasmine and the like. Since soap is invoved guess I should mention this.