Saturday, October 25, 2008

Knit Sponges

The past week at work was unbelievable. I don't want to repeat it again so to forget about the week I spend part of today knitting cotton sponges. A while back I found a crocheted sponge patterns and decided it would be easy to make a knit version. They work great. I made one at the beginning of the summer to test out and it has been through the washing machine many times. Still look great.

If you'd like to give it a try and use a few less paper towels - here's my simple little pattern.

Knit Sponge - 2 finishing versions

Worsted weight cotton such as Sugar N Cream.
size 8 needles (or whatever is around and close after all this doesn't have to be a specific size)
tapestry needle
crochet hook size F or G

Cast on 20 sts.
Work 24 ridges of garter st (48 rows).

Finish version 1
Bind off.
Fold in half along a garter ridge.
Work single crochet around all 4 sides.

Finish version 2
Fold in half around a garter ridge.
Work 3 needle bind off across cast on and last row.
Turn and pick up and work 3 needle bind off on the garter st edges.
Turn and work bind off on the folded edge.
Turn and repeat garter st edge bind off. End.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kitty Boxing & my Gloves

I've been trying to get fellow knitters to try gloves. The first reaction is always that they're too hard. In reality, they're as easy as socks without having to knit the heel. Just pretend you're knitting 5 toes instead of 1.

Here's the Knotty gloves in process. As you can see the thumb is knit up just like a mitten. When you get to the fingers put the 2 sides (front and back) on holders or extra yarn. Pick up the stitches for the first finger-cast on a couple stitches for between the first and middle finger and just knit in the round until you have your finger length. Knit a couple rounds of decreases and you're done.

Next finger- pick up the stitches from one of the holders for this finger, cast on a couple for between this finger and the ring finger, pick up from the other holder, pick up the stitched between the first finger and this finger. Knit around ,etc.

See- it's easy. Give gloves a try they're a great way to use all that sock yarn.
While I've been knitting gloves (and a few other things) the boys have been busy playing. Bert has this magical way of knowing the second I clear out a bookcase shelf and he loves it.

Bert, come play. - Chief
I'm comfy. Leave me alone - Bert

Time - to - play! - Chief

Okay, now I'm down and ready. Back off big guy! - Bert

Just cause you're twice my size doesn't mean I can't take you! Bring it on. - Bert

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Please remove this phone number

I've discovered something amazing this week. I started getting the phone calls again - you know the ones. "Hi, this is Suzie and I'm calling on behalf of the ABC foundation." Those "let me call you at your supper hour so I'm really a pain in the behind" calls. I'm on the no call list but so many companies have found what they believe are acceptable reasons to bother me.

I used to tell them to go away - get mad at them say I wasn't interested in anything via telemarketing (they'd argue they weren't a telemarketer), I would get really ticked at them, nothing worked without getting rude. I hate to get rude.

This week I started a new way of dealing with these people and it works! Soon as I know it's one of "those calls" I simply say "Please remove this phone number from your list". No explanation. No arguing. No I'm not interested. Just that simple statement. It's worked 3 out of 3 times. They phone calls have been pleasant and short. Let's hope this keeps working!

Bert Saves the Day

A couple days ago my radio alarm did not go off. I was up late the night before and would have been late for work except - Little Bert to the rescue! He figured out I wasn't getting up at the right time and while Chief slept at the foot of the bed Bert leaped into action. He started out simple. He pet my face. I brushed his paw aside so he upped the ante. He started licking me and purring very loud. This little boy was not going to leave me alone. I figured it was his usual bugging me in the middle of the night trick but I glanced over at the clock and saw it was 1/2 hour later then I get up. We ALL leaped out of the bed and got ready quickly. Bert made sure I got to the bathroom and got ready. Chief made sure I made it over to their food and fed them. I made sure I had proper clothes on. We all did our job and I made it to work with 5 minutes to spare!

There was a special treat for Bert that night! What a guy!!

I'm here for ya Mom! - Bert

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ya gotta love fall and it's food!

Today is Mom's birthday. It's the first of her birthday's that I haven't been able to celebrate with her. So - I went over to spend some time with Dad. He didn't know what day it was but what was important was we spent time together.

Mom's birthday always signals my need to get busy with Christmas/winter knitting. This past week I started working on gloves and some other items that will end up as presents. There's a free pattern out there for a fun pair of gloves that uses sock yarn. Knotty. Do a search on Ravelry or - if you're not a member of Ravelry, join and then do a search!

Anyway - they take 1 skein of Socks that Rock , I'm using a couple skeins of KnitPicks Memory(no longer available). The gloves are long and have a bit of cable knot work at the wrist.

They're wonderful and easy to knit.

The cuff is nice and long and will keep things warm during the cold Minnesota winters.

The next time I make these gloves, and there WILL be a next time, I will use a yarn colorway that is closer to a single color. Something like a kettle dye that has some depth to the color but not such a variation as this yarn. The cabling just doesn't show up as much as I'd like.

Mom's birthday also means time to make comfort food. I love fall and the foods that come with it. I love apples, squash, soups and stews, fresh made warm bread and all the goodies we think of with fall. Every Halloween when I was a kid we would have breaded pork steaks, baked potatoes, squash, fresh bread, and dessert would end up being the candy we got from trick or treating. Yup - Mom's birthday-fall-Halloween - ya gotta love the food this time of year.

My cardinal bag pattern is almost ready. I'm hoping within the next week to have it available for sale. This is a felted bag pattern I created in memory of Mom. She loved red and cardinals. We used to play a game of trying to count all the cardinal stuff around the house. (but I babble) The bag has been test knit. I received some excellent feed back and I'll be refining the pattern this week.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

You gotta know where to hold them

I have to start this post with a disclaimer. All the pictures you are about to see are of old things. Things that that been used for over 10-20 years and they show their wear. That said.....

I have seen people on other blogs and in ravelry talk about how to store your knitting supplies. Some people buy bags and cases, some people use a drawer or rubbermaid type item, some people make their own. I fall into the category of all 3.

Below are some of my handmade ones.

This first one is actually used for my hotel supplies. You know - the stuff that you need when you travel, shampoo, etc. But last time I pulled it out I got to thinking the basic idea would work well for a knitting supply case.

It's easy to make. I used material I had dyed and created the base shape but you could make this out of a cloth place mat.

Get 4-8 good zip lock storage bags. Very simply you over lap them across the center of the base.

One open to the left - next to the right - then left - etc. Stitch using a large stitch length about 1 inch either side of the center. Trim off the bottoms of the bags leaving about 1/2" "seam allowance. Sew on a couple ribbons for a closure and there you have it - a knitting supply case.

The next storage case was a pattern in an old woman's magazine. Back in the 70s Woman's Day, Family Circle and all those mags would have large craft sections with knitting, sewing, and other wonderful crafts to make. I miss that... Back to the case. This one was in one of those sections one time and I decided to give it a try. I found a patterned denim, zippers, some clear tablecloth material and went it it.
This case is about the size of a notebook. It has lots of pockets and slots for needles.
With it completely filled with supplies it's very heavy and I actually use it now a days for the supplies I don't use too often.
It has Grandma's old needles, my old crochet hooks, stitch holders, all sorts of goodies and I suddenly find my self in need of and - with this bag I know where to hunt it up.

During this time period I also had really bad taste in felt items. I made a crochet hook case out of yellow and orange. Oddly enough - It's so old the colors are back in style again. Guess I should have kept some of the old clothes and my cousin's kids would be right in style!

Not shown in these pictures are the other things that I store needles in - an old metal box that some candy came in from Target one Christmas, the coffee mug on the shelf, you know the spots you're knitting supplies end up
Of course, when it's all said and done, where do the needles and supplies always end up? On the table next to my chair. When in doubt, that's the first place I should look for something!

I tried formatting the post for picture to work into the text and - well - I'm not so happy with it. I'll go back to pictures on their own lines next time around. Have a great weekend!