Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bert's in Love

Before we get to Bert, last post I mentioned some secret knitting. I still can't show it to you but here's a little sneak peak. Part way done and in B&W because I can't show the colors. I'm having fun with this. Hope you can see it soon.
WAIT - that's not the project picture. Guess the Boys decided I shouldn't show you any pictures of the project, sorry. They know best.....
This weekend was a weekend with many plans, what did I do? Nothing. I slept, I blew my nose, I coughed and I dealt with another health issue that knocked me out for the full weekend. Maybe I'll be better for the 4th - please.
So - Bert is in love. I've showed you other pictures of him at the TV. Sleeping in front of it watching it. But for some reason he is absolutely entranced with Craig Ferguson. He spends most of the show carefully watching Craig's every move and often reaches out to him. Well - at least he has good taste in late in TV hosts.

Well - between coughing fits, this is all I can handle. Have a great week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Little this, little that

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Parents: Dad is still in Memory care. That won't change but Mom is getting closer to needing it every day. Her phone conversations with me are terribly hard to follow and she's starting to see she isn't coping. I just want to keep her as independent as possible for as long as I can but ..... I'm hoping she'll be okay until September when I can get some family help to move her. Visiting her becomes more and more of a challenge because she just can't follow conversations and has such odd thought process. It's so great that there's staff at both Mom and Dad's places to keep both of them as safe and well as possible.

The Boys: Okay something is going on here. I came home tonight to find a ball of Opal sock yarn had decided to make the living room floor it's home. Normally, not so strange. Things get knocked tables onto the floor all the time around here. But - and here's the kicker - this yarn was originally on a table in the den. That's - all the way across the den, down the hall past a bathroom and 2 bedrooms and into the living room, then halfway across the living room. AND it shows no pulled strands or other signs of wear. Somebody was very careful with my yarn and just wanted to give it a tour of the house. Well, it IS very nice yarn. Maybe they want a new blanket out of it.

Road work: It continues and continues... So far we've lived with a dirt road for a couple months. It's been a very pot hole filled dirt road most of the time with any rain we get hanging out in the pot holes until it evaporates because the drainage system has been dug up to be replaced. We've also been living for the past month with rows of giant cement pipes waiting to be put in the ground. This is getting real old! All this inconvenience and we get to pay massively huge special assessment for all this. Whoopee!

Knitting: I'm working on a few secret projects- sorry it makes blogging boring but it can't be helped. I finished one of my Opal socks (different ball from the one that toured the house). It's my usual garter stitch rib toe-up sock. I like the ease of this sock and can make it without thinking. The Opal is Rendez-vous color 2062. I'll get pics this weekend and post. The 2nd sock will have to wait a bit until the secret stuff is done.

Crocheting: Guess with all the activity on my biog from crocheters finding the Rust Goes Green bag I should be sure to mention crocheting. First off - thanks everyone for all the comments I've received on ravelry and emails about the pattern. I haven't written up a pattern for other people for 10 years and it's nice to get back into the swing of things. I've got a few other ideas roaming around my head and we'll see where they end up. Crochet has never been my prime craft but I've always enjoyed it and have things I prefer in knit and things I prefer in crochet. You've let me know I need to wake up the crocheter in me even more.

Stitches Midwest: FYI it's 56 days till Stitches Midwest. Will you be there?

Back to secret knitting. Next post will have pictures of knitting or something good - promise.
One last thing - I know I said I was going to hit the Yarn shops in our area I haven't been to and the ones I shop at with "fresh eyes" this summer but so far I just haven't had time. Maybe I make it to a few July 4th weekend. If I do , I'll report back and take pictures.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lacy Diamond Purse

The past week has been filled with surprises - the biggest one being how popular Rust Goes Green (my reusable market bag pattern) has become. One of the crochet "free pattern" websites linked to it and my blog has been hopping! Today so far there has already been over 550 visitors. I'm used to 10-30 a day. This high volume has been going on for a few days and absolutely tickles me.

As I promised on Ravelry to the She Knits podcast forum group I have been writing up the directions for the little lace purse I knit for the wedding I just attended.

UPDATE (6/21/08): Here's a link to get the pattern as a PDF

Update (11/7/08) - I've taken the pattern off this post but you can click on the link above and get a PDF to download. The link takes you to Ravelry but you do not need to be a member to be able to download - although you REALLY should join!

Lacy Diamond Purse
By Jill Chatelain - all rights reserved

Berroco Denim Silk 1 skein Faded (more if you make the bag longer) – see Notes concerning yarn choice
Size 7 needles – circular needles of your choice: DPN, 2 circs, or long circ for magic loop
Size 7 straight needles for flap if using DPNs.
Size G crochet hook for crocheted button.
Tapestry needle
Material for lining

5 sts/in
6 rows/in

Finished measurements
Purse with flap closed
Width: 9.5”
Length: 7.5” from garter stitch to bottom.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Floods and Wedding Knitting

This weekend was family time. My cousin's daughter was married in Chicago and many of us went down there to celebrate with her. We had quite an adventure getting there because the freeway was closed because of the flooding in Wisconsin. One cousin started 2 hours sooner than our car and took over 10 hours to get there - should have been 7 hours! He stayed on I-90 till he got to the cut off. Our car hit the dead stop on the freeway area and after a bit (which included my Uncle deciding to get out and walk around the freeway - twice) we decided to turn around on the highway emergency area and head out a different way. We were not the only vehicle to do this and we didn't even decide to until many cars went ahead of us. But - it was the right move. We headed north a bit then headed east and back down to Chicago adding many miles of driving but we got there in 9 hours saving more than an hour of sitting around wasting gas.

The weekend definitely got better after that. I got some socks knitting in during the 3 hours I didn't drive so that helped. We partied Friday night and the wedding was Saturday night. Between those I ditched the family (sent them to the city with my car to see Navy Pier and take one of the boat tours - been there, done that). I got to meet Sharon of She-Knits podcast. We've been email, Skype, Ravelry buddies for a while and couldn't believe our luck when it turned out the hotel was 10 minutes from her house. We had a great lunch at Panera (one of my favorite places) and returned to the hotel to hang out in the lobby to talk and knit.

On the knitting front -

I wore the knit lace top and shrug at the wedding and discovered I'm not a shrug person. Long story - I won't bother you with it! A few days before the wedding I figured I had a ball of yarn still and a bit of time so I made a purse.

It was a quick and easy knit using part of the lace design from the lace top. I'll be writing up this cut little purse shortly and it will be available for all of you to try.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ready, Set, meet new friends

It's amazing what you can get done when work doesn't get in the way of what you want to do. I'm on vacation this week and have no where to go until Friday when I head out to Chicago for a family wedding.

Today I woke up when my body wanted to, cuddled with the boys while eating a bagel for breakfast. Sauntered into the den to knit a bit where I finished one of the sleeves on the grey lace shrug. I've got less than half the other sleeve to finish. Then I headed out to my traditional pig out at Famous Dave's for lunch. Once a year for vacation I treat myself to brisket at Dave's- YUM.

Then in the next couple hours I got a pair of dressy pant to go with the grey lace top and shrug; a wedding present for my cousin's daughter, my favorite imported candy (Aero from England) and gt home before I would have if I was working working. I love days like this and -
I'm Ready to Go for the Wedding!

In other news I got in contact with several Ravelry friends today. I spoke to MarciaViola from Germany via Skype. She just signed up so I had to give her a first time call. I found out Meghan (StitchIt! podcast) is available to get together with a few of us Thursday night. She's in the Twin Cities on work this week. I spoke to SageRiver from New York tonight via Skype. What an incredible world we live in where knitters all over the world can get together without having to leave their living rooms.

I also plan to get together with Sharon (She-Knits podcast) this weekend in Chicago. The wedding is very close to where she lives and we hope to find a little time to get together.

I have to thank everyone for their interest in my market bag - Rust Goes Green. There has been incredible interest on Ravelry, several people have downloaded it, my stats for the blog were through the roof the last couple days. It makes me very happy! I'll be working on more patterns very shortly. I may have found the design mojo again thanks to this little bag.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Welcome my Cheeky Little Monkey

The blue blob is revealed. First there needed to be some surgery.

The surgery was a success after careful placements of all parts.

When all was complete, Craig - the Cheeky Little Monkey looked over his new home.

I don't think I'm going to like it here - I hear there's cats.- Craig

Bert, This is Craig. He's going to be staying with us for a while. - Mom

Excuse me, I know I'm not a cat but do you really have to ignore me? - Craig

Oh! You want to play!? I like to play! Come on out and we can play. - Bert

Come on! Play, play , play. Let's have some fun - Bert

Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. - Craig

This is fun! Wanna play all day? Yeah, someone new to play with - Bert

Help! - Craig

You new here? Looks like you already met Bert. - Chief

So - does he play like that all the time? - Craig

Yeah, he's still a kid at heart and loves to play a little rough. You'll get used to it. But, stay close to me. I'm twice his size and I can protect you. - Chief

Oh, bother. - Craig

No monkeys were harmed in the making of this post.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rust Goes Green directions

I've finished writing up the directions for Rust Goes Green. Please feel free to download them and give it a try. If you find any errors in the directions, please let me know.

UPDATE (7/15/08): Since the PDF download works so well, I'm removing the pattern from this post. Please use the link to download the PDF version of this pattern

Rust Goes Green
Reusable Cotton Market Bag

By Jill Chatelain

Size: 14” wide – 15” tall

Sugar ‘n Cream worsted weight cotton – 3 balls (375 yds total)
H (5.0mm) Crochet Hook
Tapestry Needle
Large Button

Directions are on the PDF download.

NOTE: Please send any comments to or Jillsknit on Ravelry.

THANKS for trying it out and ENJOY

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's Growing

It seems the blob is becoming something.

Chief is excited.

What's This?

Something's growing but it's hard to tell what. Maybe tomorrow or the next day this pile will make sense.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rust Goes Green

Every once in a while I dig into the 20 year stash and pull out a half knit items or some yarn and figure out how to get this thing out of my life! This last week I dug into it and found 3 balls of rust colored Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn. I thought it would make a fairly nice reusable market bag. I wanted a bag with a solid bottom for strength and somewhat open sides (to save on yarn). It should have handles that are sturdy and comfortable to carry. Finally, knowing that the top would like to stretch open, I decided it should have a closure that wouldn't be in the way when not needed.

Here's what I came up with -

I made a couple solid bands on the top for extra strength. It still needs a button for the loop closure on the top but, I'm pleased with it.

I also kept crocheting rounds until I was done with 2 balls then stopped to make the handles. After that I just kept going on the bag until I was out of yarn. I ended up with about 8 inches when all was done. That should be about enough to sew in a button.

I'll be working on writing up the pattern over the next couple weeks. I have a few people testing the basic pattern before I rewrite a final version.

So, now I have a reusable market bag that used up 20 year old yarn and in the process I found out that Rust can indeed go green.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Look familiar?

I want you to look at the kid mohair I won again - Here's the close up picture from the last post.

Look familiar? I was sitting around petting the yarn when someone got a little jealous and climbed up in my lap to be pet. That's when I noticed something -
How could I have missed the colorway before this!?! Guess I was sicker than I realized. Whatever I make of this beautiful yarn will be called Chief.