Monday, December 06, 2004

Knitting Withdrawal

I think I wrote about the sunroom being finished sometime last week. The electrician is supposed to come back today and begin to finish installing the wall outlets, hang the ceiling fan and finish some other electrical things in the house.

The room looks beautiful. And that's just with the paint on the wall, white trim on the windows and no kind of window treatments on the windows. I'm almost tempted to leave it as it is, but my need for privacy at night prevails in this case. I really want to put some valances on the windows to add color and warmth to the room, and some shades for privacy at night. Yesterday we asked 4 different people to come and give us their ideas for the room because we needed help. Another unexpected person came by and we asked her opinion too. We got some great input and ideas for window treatments and furniture arrangement. Almost too much information. I think I had a glazed look on my face when everyone left.

Over the weekend we went to Hancock Fabrics and found some fabric on sale, which we bought for the windows. But, we also found another source for some fabric that I might also might buy. I decided that I could have two different fabrics for the valances and maybe switch them out by season. This has been really hard to find something we both can agree on. Eddie is getting the shades cut today.

I really want to knit. But I can't. I need to, have to, make these valances before I wear out and just don't do it. I'm really having some knitting withdrawal right now. Eddie and I have a goal to have everything finished and furniture in the room, by the weekend. That means that when I leave work today I'm going to the second place to look at fabric, if I find anything I like I will buy it, then go home and start measuring and cutting the fabric out for the valances. If I have time I'm going to sew some. I hope I can get them finished by this weekend. I have to make 8 valances. I can always take some time later to make the second set. That is if I find more fabric that I like.

I think we are both feeling glazed right now. We are ready to finish this up.

And Eddie, bless his heart, is doing all of the Christmas present wrapping so I can sew. That's how badly he wants to get this room finished.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Dressup Finished!

I finally finished the dressup scarf, hat and gloves for my 2 and 1/2 year old great niece. I think she will really have fun with these. They came out really well, except I noticed that the color lot seems to be different between the scarf and the hat and gloves. The hat and gloves are the same color, but the scarf seems to be from a different dye lot. I hope this doesn't matter and that maybe it will not be noticed. I also made an identical Fun Fur scarf for my niece (the great nieces' mother). I guess she saw the one that I had that her daughter was playing with and decided she wanted one too. I'm glad they like them well enough to both want one. I thought it would be fun if they had the same color scarves.

Hat and Gloves Posted by Hello

Fun Fur Scarf Posted by Hello

Monday, November 22, 2004

Special Little Corner

Today I was reading in Willa's book Fallen Angel. I just love the description in the book of the main character's special corner in her home.

"She had her special little corner built there: the chair had a needlepoint footstool, a small round table beside the chair with a lamp, a stack of books on a shelf underneath, and an afghan flung over the back of the chair for the nights when it seemed like too much trouble to get up and go to bed."

I hope to make my special corner in our sunroom when it's finished. I would love to have a special corner like that. Eddie and I have bought identical chairs and lamps, and will probably have identical tables too. But, I would love to have a place like that where I can go to read, knit, or write in my journal, especially in the mornings on the weekends. A place to relax and unwind at the end of a stressful day. I'm thinking that this area in our new sunroom will be the ideal spot to establish that place.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Knitting Dressup

Monday night I went to my knitting guild meeting. During the first few minutes of every meeting, we go around the room and have show and tell. I took my sock monkey stocking for my show and tell. Some of the women had some of the cutest things. One lady in particular had something that I'm going to make for my 2 1/2 year old niece. My niece likes to play dressup, and I think she would like these things. The lady had some small children's gloves that she had bought at Walmart for $1.24 for two pair. They are little knitted girls gloves and they come in different colors. She had crocheted a cuff onto the gloves with some Lion Brand Fun Fur and they were so cute. She had some pink gloves and had crocheted a cuff with white Fun Fur. She had knitted a hat in the light pink yarn to match the gloves and, holding two strands together (one of her knitting yarn and one of Fun Fur), she made a really cute white brim with that, and then dropped the Fun Fur and just knitted the rest of the hat in white. She also had some white gloves that she had added a crocheted brim in a light green Fun Fur. They were so cute. She said she was making them for her grandchildren. I thought about my niece and how she loves playing dress up and decided to make some things for her, too, for Christmas.

The lady was really nice and told me all about how she made everything. So, last night after work, I went to Walmart and bought a set that had two pair of girls gloves (one white pair and one red pair), and another set with a pair of pink gloves and then a pair of pink gloves with white stripes. They are really cute and I can't get over the fact that they were only $1.24 for a set of two pair. So, I basically got 4 pair of gloves for approximately $2.50. Then I went to the yarn department in Walmart and bought some purple Fun Fur and two skeins of a pretty coral looking Pink (not the hot pink) to make another scarf for myself, and one skein of white Caron Simply Soft yarn to knit a hat with. I already have a purple Fun Fur scarf that I made awhile back for myself, but my niece enjoyed it so much when she was at our house that I decided to give it to her for Christmas. I'm also knitting a white hat with the purple Fun Fur brim, and I'm going to crochet a cuff onto the white gloves with the purple Fun Fur. I think it's going to be really cute and I'll post pictures later. I debated on whether to make her another scarf, but time is running out to get these things finished before Christmas, so I decided to give her my purple Fun Fur scarf to save time and be sure I get the other things finished. I can always make myself another Fun Fur scarf.

One of my coworkers came in this morning wearing her blue Fun Fur scarf that she had made and it was really neat looking. It was kind of a denim blue and very pretty. The pattern for the scarf is on the Lion Brand web site, but what you do is using size 11 knitting needles, cast on 22 stitches. Slip the first stitch as to knit at the beginning of each row. Work even in garter stitch (knit every row) until piece measures 60" or you have 1 1/2 yards of yarn left. Bind off, then weave in loose ends. It takes 2 skeins of the Fun Fur. I get tickled at Eddie because he calls my Fun Fur scarf my "hussy" scarf. He's something else.

I almost forgot to mention something that another lady had that I'm going to make. She was wearing a pretty greenish turquoise color turtle neck sweater. Then she had on a triangle shaped scarf. She had knitted it in garter stitch (knit every row) using one strand of Trendsetters Flora yarn and one strand of Trendsetters Eyelash yarn held together. You start out by casting on about 3 stitches, and then increase a stitch on each end of every row. Keep doing this until the scarf is a big as you want it and then bind off loosely. She said that she does her increases in the second stitch and the next to the last stitch of every row because the yarn is bad about slipping off the needles. The scarf was just so elegant and classy looking. She said the pattern was on the inside of the label of the Trendsetters Flora. Yesterday at lunch I went to my local yarn shop and bought the yarn to make one of those with. I tried to find a color that would go with lots of different things. They were limited in their selection of both, but I bought a multicolored (almost a rainbow color) of the Flora and I bought a skein of the red Eyelash yarn. I forgot to check the label to see if the pattern was there, but I found some directions on the Internet that sounds very similar, so I think I know how to make it. When I finish these gift for my niece, I'm planning to start on the scarf for myself. It will have some red in it so, hopefully, can get it finished to wear for Christmas. Pictures to come later.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sock Monkey Stocking Finished!

I finally finished my sock monkey stocking. It took awhile, but it came out really well. It's really HUGE, and it's really pretty. I think I might take it to work and put it up in my office, or I might just put it up on my mantle at Christmas. It was really fun to make and I enjoyed making it. To be honest, I was surprised that I made it so easily. I have not had too much experience knitting socks. I have knit a couple of pair, but this stocking looked fairly easy, and it was for the most part. I knitted the top of the sock and the leg on circular needles, then switched to dpns when I got to the toe part. The only really tricky part for me was when I got to the heel and the directions said to knit some waste yarn in. That was no problem, but after I finished the stocking I went back to the heel. I had to put the stitches above and below the waste yarn on needles, and then very carefully take out the waste yarn. I thought I was going to have to take it to my yarn store for help, but I figured it out myself. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Sock Monkey Stocking Posted by Hello

Now, I'm working on my sweater that my knitting guild is knitting. I'm still not sure how it's going to look, but at any rate I will be learning something, so I'm going to go on with it. I'm also still working on my Kitty Pi for my kitty, Heckle. He will probably sniff it a few times and then leave it. Oh well, it will be fun to make anyway, and I will have learned something new, like felting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


The night before last I was looking at some old church directories that had belonged to my aunt who recently passed away. I found something odd in one of them. Her picture was in the directory, but the church or someone had made a mistake and put someone else's name under the picture. It kind of freaked me out at first because I thought maybe I was losing my mind. I decided to show it to Eddie to see what he thought. I went into the living room and proceeded to sit down beside him on the sofa so I could show him the picture. Prior to this I had been doing some embroidering on the pillowcases I have been working on. I use embroidery needles which are sharp kind of like sewing needles. You know where I'm going with this, don't you? Anyway, as I sat down I knew right away what had happened and I yelled "Ouch!! What the heck?" when I knew just exactly what the heck it was. I was so mad at myself. I had laid the embroidery aside on the sofa to get up and go do something, forgotten about it, and apparently the needle slipped out of the thread and got wedged into the sofa seat cushion sharp side up.

In light of all this stress we have been going through with the sunroom and various other stressful things, this was the last straw. I had a total and complete hormonal episode. I was just so mad at myself for doing such a dumb thing as sitting down on a needle, and then realizing the potential for an infection, etc., that I just went kind of nuts. Thinking the worst (that my butt might get infected and rot off, or I might have to go to the hospital and get a tetanus shot) I thought to myself "This is all I need right now." I really didn't want to have to go to the hospital or doctor when there is so much other stuff going on right now. Eddie was very good and kind to me. I cried like a baby and he treated me like a child who needs comforting. He doctored my place for me and put a bandaid on it. I know this is too much information, but he was wonderful. I cried the whole time like a child. I couldn't seem to stop crying. Later on I began to laugh and cry and the same time and decided that one day I would laugh about this. He assured me that my butt was not going to rot off, that the worst thing that would happen would be that I might have to get a tetanus shot. But, he said it was probably unlikely since the needle was not rusted. We have been watching it and treating it and so far, so good.

Today I have been laughing about it, but it just made me feel so dumb. I'm hoping that it will continue to heal. Needless to say, this has dimmed my enthusiasm for embroidery right now. I really have enough pillowcases to give as gifts anyway, but I thought I might embroider one more set just so I would have more choices. I wanted some mindless knitting, so now I'm back to knitting my sock monkey stocking. I figured if I want to use it at Christmas time, I better get it finished. I'll eventually get back to my embroidery, but probably not for another week. Shesh!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Knitting Guru

I took Marnie's knitting quiz to find out what kind of knitter I am and here are the results of the quiz. Interesting and fun.

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by

Friday, October 15, 2004

Still Embroidering Pillowcases

I have let almost everything else fall by the wayside because I have been embroidering pillowcases. I'm still doing it. They are turning out really pretty, but I'm getting tired of doing it. I'm ready to start knitting again. And I am doing some knitting when I just can't do the pillowcases anymore. I need to be working on the sweater that my knitting guild is working on, but I don't seem to have much interest in that either. I think that all started when my gauge didn't work out right to begin with. I finally found a gauge that I could live with, but I had to go up a sweater size, and my stitches still look alot looser than everyone else's. I don't know that the sweater would be a see through, which I don't want, but I'm just not sure I would be satisfied with it once it's knitted. So, I'm kind of avoiding it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Embroidered Pillowcases

I have been thinking about our sunroom about to be built. We had to take out a loan to pay for it, so that means that I will be curtailing my spending alot. What that means is that I won't spend any money for anything unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm not complaining, though, because my sewing room is full of projects. I have enough yarn and other projects to keep me busy for the next 5 years, probably.

Then I started to think about Christmas and how much we usually spend. We don't spend a huge amount, but with the number of people in Eddie's family it could get expensive, and has in the past. So, I make alot of things to give as gifts. In fact, over the past few months, I have already bought several pair of pillowcases that I plan to embroider and give as gifts to his sisters, and his mom. I would be thrilled to receive a gift that had been hand embroidered by someone, so I hope they will feel the same way and not feel slighted because I didn't buy them a store bought gift. I think most people appreciate hand made things, but everyone is different.

Right now I'm trying to finish as many pillowcases as I can before I start knitting the sweater that my knitting guild is going to knit this fall. Actually, I'm kind of discouraged about that. The yarn I bought for the sweater is Cotton Twist by Berroco. I love the yarn and the color I chose. The gauge is very close to the gauge the pattern calls for. I knitted a swatch for the gauge with 3 different sizes of needles, and the largest size is the correct gauge, but I don't like the texture of the swatch knitted with that needle. It seems too loose to me and is not closely knit. I like the next smallest needle. So, I have decided that maybe I will use the smaller needle and use the next largest size in the sweater in order to make it large enough. I can't believe that the thought actually went through my mind that I wouldn't even make the sweater at all because of being discouraged about the gauge. I have already bought the yarn for the sweater and I can't go buy more different yarn, so I will have to make do with what I have.

I'm at work now, but when I get home I will try to post pictures of the embroidered pillowcases and also the swatches that I knit for the sweater.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Sock Monkey Pictures

I have been a little out of pocket the last few days. My aunt passed away yesterday afternoon and the funeral is tomorrow. But, today I decided to take a picture of the progress, so far, of my sock monkey stocking. I think it's coming along pretty well, even though I thought it looked pretty big. When I took the picture it didn't look too big. I used the size needles the pattern calls for. I couldn't find the yarn the pattern calls for at my yarn shop and I didn't want to have to order off the Internet and pay shipping, so I bought Plymouth Encore in a Red, a sort of offwhite (not bright white), and a heathered beige that seemed close to the sock monkey body. It was the closest the yarn store had, anyway. The color numbers are 1886, 148, and 1415 and I bought one skein of each. I can't tell you which numbers go with which colors because I have already taken the labels off and gotten them mixed up.

Sock Monkey2 Posted by Hello

The picture below is from the Christmas Stockings book and is what the stocking is supposed to look like when I finish. I hope it resembles it in some small way. Knitting it right now is really helping me to get through this funeral business.

Sock Monkey Stocking Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Sock Monkey Ornament

I was in the Cracker Barrel the other day looking at their Christmas ornaments, and I found this cute Sock Monkey ornament for $2.99. I'm almost positive I saw the exact same ornament on eBay for $12.99. Cracker Barrel has some really cute ornaments and the prices are very reasonable.

Sock Monkey Ornament Posted by Hello

I started thinking about other sock monkey things I might be able to find. Then I remembered awhile back that Willa from Knitting Zen had knitted a Sock Monkey Stocking from the Christmas Stocking book. I thought maybe I would try to knit one too, so I went to my local yarn store and bought the yarn. I couldn't find any wool in the colors that I needed, but I did find some great colors in Plymouth Encore, which is a wool/acrylic blend. I'll post some pictures really soon.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Sweatshirt jacket

Last week I tried to post two pictures and a post, but somehow when I posted I lost everything except this picture. This is a picture of a jacket made from a ready made sweatshirt. I found the pattern at the quilt show last weekend.

Flower Jacket Posted by Hello

Right now I'm working on a short sleeve shirt that I'm going to wear as a light jacket until the weather gets colder. Then I will make the sweatshirt jacket. I'm going to get started really soon on some knitting. My knitting guild is going to start a sweater in September and I have some other projects in mind that I want to work on this winter. I would also like to work on some socks that I started last year. I actually should probably get those made so I can wear them this winter.

I'm at work right now and some coworkers and I just got back from lunch at the Cracker Barrel. They have some really cute Christmas ornaments there right now. Some pretty blue and white mittens, and snowmen and other things. I also bought a sock monkey ornament. It's really cute. I remember awhile back that Willa from the Knitting Zen web site was working on a sock monkey stocking, I think it was. I think I'm going to go to her site and look it up. Oh dear, I feel a sock monkey obsession coming on...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Quilt Show and Lace Tales

I'm recuperating this weekend from the quilt show that I went to in Nashville this past Thursday and Friday. It was a wonderful show and I got lots of great pictures of the quilts that were in the show. It took me two days to get through all of the vendors, and I bought some great stuff. Spent way too much money.

I found something unique that I'm really excited about. There was a booth there from a company called Lace Tales, and they had some beautiful embroidery things. It is all embroidery done with the stem stitch that is used in Redwork embroidery. They had pillow shams, shirts, baby pillowcases and more. It was almost overwhelming and I'm sure I didn't see everything they had. I bought a nice cotton shirt that I want to embroidery some lilies, and birds on and I will probably wear it as a jacket. I'm really enjoying this stitch. It's really easy and goes pretty fast. I'll post pictures when I finish it. I started the embroidery on the shirt last night and I'm anxious to get back to it. I'm also having to stop every now and then and work on the baby hat that I'm knitting to go with the green baby sweater. Both hat and sweater will be going to the new baby sometime this month or next.

I also bought a neat applique pattern to put on a sweatshirt and make a jacket out of it. The one on display was really pretty. I might start that next when I finish the embroidering on the shirt. I really would like to have the sweatshirt jacket to wear this winter and fall. I bought many more things too, but I haven't even gone through it all yet.

Gotta go ... I have to embroider!! But, I may need a nap first ....

Monday, August 16, 2004

Baby Sweater Finished!

The green baby sweater is finally finished! I really like the way it came out. It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but the sweater is a light green with specks of color throughout. Now I'm working on knitting a hat to match.

Baby Sweater Posted by Hello

I just got back from my knitting guild meeting. We are going to start knitting a sweater in September. The pattern is in the October 2004 issue of Knit 'n Style magazine. The sweater and pattern begin on page 16. There are choices for the neckline. I don't like anything close to my neck, so I think I'm going to choose the roll neck option. When I have more time I will scan the picture and post it. It's late and I'm going to be going to bed soon. I haven't posted in awhile because the baby sweater is all that I have been working on, and I have been really working on it to get it finished. When I finish this hat, I have a vest that I have to finish and then I'll be ready to start the sweater with the rest of my guild. Sigh .... So much I want to do, and so little time to do it.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


Last night we went to our Friday night Nightfall Concert Series in my city and heard Bernard Allison for the first time. I love the Blues and R&B music, Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, and I was not disappointed. This concern was, without a doubt, the best of the Nightfall series so far. Eddie said he had heard Bernard before at the annual Bessie Smith Strut that we have here every summer during our annual Riverbend Festival. Bernard really connects with his audience. He is a true blues, R&B guitarist, although he is much more than that. He jumped off the stage during his concert and down into the audience and "walked the crowd" all the while playing that bluesy guitar. Eddie and I were right up in front of the stage, so close we could have grabbed his ankle. It was so cool. I hope he comes to Chattanooga again really soon.

Well, now if I can come down, for a little bit, from my high of Bernard Allison, I'll tell you about my knitting. One day last week my mother-in-law called me at work and told me that one of Eddie's cousins is having a baby this month. She asked me if I could make one of the raglan baby sweaters. I told her I would be happy to, so I have been working on that for the past few days. I have the raglans finished and now I'm working on the first sleeve. I've had to frog a few rows on the sleeve, which has been a little frustrating, but I think I'm finally on my way to finishing it. I'll post a picture when I finish it because right now it looks really weird and out of whack because the front of the sweater is on a stitch holder and the other half is dangling on another holder. It's hard to imagine, from the way it looks now, that it will eventually be a baby sweater, but hopefully, somehow it will transform into one.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Yarn Shop Mystery

My local yarn shop has been closed for the past two weeks taking inventory. I have been having withdrawals, so I called again today to see if they had reopened. The lady who answered I recognized as one of the owners. She said they had not reopened and that there was another lady who was trying to buy their inventory. I said, "Oh, are you closing?" She never gave me a straight answer, she just said that this lady was trying to buy their inventory and she hedged and hemmed and hawed and said that until the bank told this lady something one way or the other, they could not reopen. She said she should know something today or tomorrow and that if for some reason the lady did not buy their inventory, they would reopen. ???? What's up with that? Very peculiar. I talked with a coworker of mine who said she thought that one of the owners had been sick and maybe they were trying to sell the shop. What I want to know is if the new person buys the inventory, are they going to open their own shop, perhaps bigger and better, or will it close for good? If they close it won't be for lack of business because every time I go in there, there are people everywhere and they have knitting classes that are always full and have a waiting list.

I really, really hope it doesn't close for good because we have no yarn/knitting shops at all in our city. You have to drive for at least 2 hours to get to another one. Another frustrating thing is that they are the only store in my city that has the Brittany double pointed knitting needles (for knitting socks and hats and other things) and a wide selection of Brittany and Addi-turbo circular needles. No one else has these, which means that we would be resigned to ordering them off the Internet and have to pay shipping, which costs almost as much as the item you are ordering.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Knitted Hats

Here are the promised pictures of the knitted hats that I finished this week. They came out really well.

Preemie Hat Posted by Hello

Knitted Chemo Hat Posted by Hello

Down Time

There has not been much going on with me for the past week. I have been taking a little down time because on Friday, my uncle (by marriage) passed away and we went to his military funeral on Monday afternoon. It was a very nice full military service, but it was sad at the same time. He was a veteran of World War II and I didn't realize that he had so many medals including a bronze star and a purple heart. The really sad part for me was when they folded up the American flag and presented it to my cousin (his son). It was very moving.

I haven't been doing very much this week with knitting or anything else really, except I did knit my very first Preemie Hat last week. It came out really cute. I had gone to my knitting guild meeting the previous Monday and saw several of these cute hats that one of the members had made. She gave me the pattern and I couldn't wait to try one. I'll be making some more later on. I also decided to try to finish a vest that I had started last year and had put aside because I was tired of working on it. I decided that I wanted to finish it in the next few weeks, because my knitting guild is going to start a sweater in September. I didn't want to have too many unfinished projects while knitting the sweater. The vest is knitted in 4 sections and I'm on the last section. One problem is that in the knitting directions it says to reverse the shaping that you did on another section. In other words, right now I'm working on the left front and for the pattern, it said to knit the same way I knitted the right front only reversing the shaping. It was very hard to figure out how to do that, but I finally figured it out. The problem now is that I have had to frog several rows and restart them about 5 times because for some reason I either wasn't paying attention (watching TV and knitting at the same time) or something because I would knit a few rows and it didn't look right and I knew I had done something wrong. I finally got a little frustrated with it and I've put it aside again for a short while, but I'm going back to it soon. I'm just going to have to pay better attention so I can get this thing finished. I really want to wear it this winter. I love the look of the vest, so I can't wait to finish it. Maybe that's part of my problem.

I also finished knitting a chemo hat. I'm at work right now, but when I get home tonight I'll post pictures.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Spinning Star

I took some pictures of the quilt blocks I worked on this weekend. I was able to do one sample block yesterday before my company came, and I made the other 3 blocks today. I was really pleased with the way they came out.

Block2 Posted by Hello

Block3 Posted by Hello

Block4 Posted by Hello

Block1 Posted by Hello

Our company has been here and left. They were planning to leave today to go back home to Virginia. They had already been here for 9 days, so I'm sure they were all ready to get back home to familiar surroundings. We had a great time. I enjoyed having them very much. I didn't realize how much we had done to prepare for their visit. I was very tired last night after they left, and I have been tired today too. And to beat it all, I guess there was just so much going on and so much commotion that I totally forgot to give my cousins their dishcloths that I had spent all week working on just so I could give them to them. I was really aggravated at myself for forgetting that. I guess I will have to mail them. Sigh... There were a couple of other things that I meant to do too that I forgot, but they weren't major things. Just some details that would have been nice to do. Such as lighting candles, etc.

Eddie is not feeling well. We slept with the ceiling fan turned on low a couple of nights ago and now he's all stopped up like he has a cold, or it might be recurrence of allergies. Since this has happened to him before when we slept under a ceiling fan, I guess we won't be doing that again. I'll probably just use it in the afternoons when I get home from work and need a nap. I'll turn it on and lie down on that nice, comfy bed and curl up with my cat, Heckle, and take a nice catnap. Speaking of which .... maybe I'll go take one now.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

More dishcloths

My cousins have been here for the past week visiting from Virginia, and this evening they are coming to my home for supper. I thought it would be nice to make some more dishcloths from the Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth pattern and give to them to take back home. I thought I would take a picture and post on my blog for you to see before I gift packaged them. They came out pretty well. I'll let you know how the dinner party goes.

More dishcloths Posted by Hello

When I first started this blog I had primarily knitting in mind, but I have so many other interests that I wanted to be able to post pictures and talk about them too. That's why I named my blog "Sharon's Knitting and Other Stuff." The things I spend the most time on are knitting, embroidery, quilting, and sometimes counted cross stitch when I'm in the mood. I really like instant gratification and counted cross stitch requires alot more attention and time than I'm willing to give it at times. I guess I get ADD (attention deficit disorder) with cross stitch sometimes and want to move on to something else.

I'm excited to tell you about a quilt top that I'm going to be starting this week. There is a quilt shop in Ringgold, Ga, called Sew-Bee-It, that is about 30 minutes from where I live. They are having a $5.00 quilt block a month program that started this morning. The way it works is, this morning I went and paid $5.00 and got enough fabric and the instructions and demonstration for making a star block. Then next month I take my completed block and they give me more fabric and instructions for the next block at no charge. The idea is that you must take your completed block at the designated time each month for 12 months, and when a year is up, you have 12 completed quilt blocks, which is enough for a quilt top. If, for some reason, you are not able to make it the following month, then you have to pay $5.00 again and you can get the next block. Ideally, at the end of a year, for only $5.00 you will have 12 quilt blocks pieced and ready to put together for a folk art patriotic quilt top. Each block is a star pattern of some kind. There was a quilt top on display this morning that someone had made from these blocks, and it was beautiful. The other thing about this is that if you make another block each month (or more than one) using this pattern from some of your own fabric, you get a chance to win a nice door prize. The more blocks you make, the more chances you have to win a door prize.

Naturally, when I got home this morning I wanted to get started, but knowing I was having company and more things to do to prepare for them, I'm having to put off working on my block until tomorrow. I will post a picture of the first block when I finish it. Of course, the instructor said this first block was the easiest one, so we'll see how it goes, but I plan to complete the entire quilt top. I'm really excited about it because it will give me a great opportunity to learn new techniques for putting blocks together. I'm going to do continue knitting too, since hopefully it won't take all that long to piece one quilt block a month.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Memories From a Kitchen Window

Last night I was going through some things getting ready for our company this next weekend (my cousin, from Virginia, and his wife and sister are coming Saturday evening for supper at our house along with a few other family members), and I ran across a letter from a distant cousin that I met a few years back when I was working so much on the genealogy of my mom's side of the family. This lady is my mom's first or second cousin, I can't remember which. She has such a nice way of writing and such an eloquent flow of words. At the beginning of this particular letter, she had just moved from her home of 33 years in Cleveland, TN to Florence, SC. Eddie and I went to visit her last year on our way back home from Myrtle Beach. In the letter, she is talking about how she will miss her home in Cleveland. Without further ado, I'll just type it below. It says it all so much better than I ever could.

On 23 June 2001 a small caravan left Cleveland, Tennessee, bound for the Palmetto State! Although it was a sad departure, it holds fond memories especially the vistas from my kitchen sink: exotic birds feasting at the bird feeder; a golden eagle perched in a pine tree; squirrels scurrying with hickory nuts to store for winter; rabbits hopping to and fro; mockingbirds on the deck railing trilling their symphonic imitations; sweetgum balls glistening like diamonds at early dawn; and hoary frosts which changed my backyard into a winter wonderland!

I just love her writing and the flow of words that she uses to describe the wonderful scenery just outside her kitchen window. I would love to be able to write like that. I wrote a letter to her last night and told her that she should either write a fiction book (she's already written a nonfiction one) or some poetry because if I had her gift of words I would definitely try it.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Clumsy Lovers

In our city, area businesses sponsor a weekly series of free outdoor concerts every Friday night during the summer months called Nightfall. Last night Eddie and I saw a very wonderful group called Clumsy Lovers. They are from Canada and they play bluegrass music with a Celtic twist to it. They were very, very good. We enjoyed the concert very much. It's the best concert we've had so far this summer. They played for about an hour and 45 minutes. It was very hot and humid here last night, so I'm sure they were worn out when it was over. They definitely played their hearts out.

In knitting news, I finished the baby raglan cardigan sweater and hat that I was working on. I'm planning to give them as gifts to a coworker who is expecting her first grandchild in September. We thought it would be fun to give her a grandmother's shower.

Baby Cardigan Posted by Hello

This morning I was reading my latest Nora Roberts' book Finding the Dream, and happened to look down and saw this.

Heckle Posted by Hello

He was so cute that I had to grab my camera and take a picture, but once he figured out he was having his picture taken he was ready to bolt and run.

On Wednesday I went to the orthopedic doctor about my shoulder and arm. I wasn't really happy with the way things went. They took x-rays and saw there weren't any tumors (I hadn't even thought of that), then after examining me she decided that she thought the problem was in my neck. I have two discs near the bottom of my neck that are more compressed than the others. I think I heard the word "degenerative". She also mentioned that it could be the onset of arthritis in these discs, but since she couldn't see the discs clearly enough on the x-ray, she wants me to have an MRI so she could see the discs more clearly. Since I'm claustrophobic (among other things), I would definitely have a problem lying in a tube for 40 minutes. She said she preferred the enclosed MRI's because they are more accurate and she prescribed a Valium for me to take 30 minutes before getting the MRI. A Valium among other prescriptions. She wrote me four prescriptions. She wanted to put a cortizone injection in my hip???, but I said no. So, she wrote me a prescription for a steriod pack to take instead, another prescription for muscle relaxers, and one for pain medicine. Then she made appointments for me to come back and see her in about 3 weeks and to see the regular orthopedic doctor in about 6 weeks.

I'm the type person that when it comes to my health I want as much complete information as I can get. When I asked her questions all I got were vague answers. Maybe I'm just beng stubborn, but I'm not taking all those drugs she gave me and I'm still not convinced that an MRI is necessary. So, I've decided to take another approach with treatment. I'm going to continue what I have been doing and start taking Glucosamine as a dietary supplement. Glucosamine helps to rebuild cartiledge between our bones. I have a cousin who used it and it really helped him. Plus, my cardiologist recommended it to me several years ago for a problem that I have with my ribs. I have something called costochrondritis, which is inflammation of the cartiledge between the ribs.

But, as long as I can keep knittng and sewing, I'm happy.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Chemo Hats

I have not been doing much knitting for the past few days. For one thing I have been taking it easy on my shoulder and arm, and for another I have been sewing chemo hats from fleece fabric. I donate them to the breast cancer center at my local hospital, who then distributes them to area breast cancer centers, which includes Tennessee and North Georgia.

Chemo Hat Posted by Hello

Chemo Hats Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Crochet Dishcloth

Crochet Dishcloth Posted by Hello

I don't usually crochet because I much prefer knitting, but I thought I would try to crochet a dishcloth using a pattern from Leisure Arts little book "Kitchen Decor". I crocheted this dishcloth using Sugar 'n Cream cotton and the color is Pretty Pastels. I used a size G crochet hook and I had lots of fun crocheting it, especially seeing how the multicolored yarn pattern was turning out. This color reminds me of Spring and Easter and cotton candy. It looks yummy. The dishcloth came out a little bigger than the pattern said it should be, so I don't know why that is. I followed the pattern exactly, so maybe I just knit either too tightly or too loosely, I don't know. But, it went really quick and maybe I'll just use it for a hot pad or a small placement, or a little pad for a vase with flowers or something instead of a dishcloth.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Purple Top Finished!

I finally finished my purple top last night. Yaay! It came out really well and fits well too. I attached some fringe to the front of it and it looks nice. I don't think I will make another one with the tape yarn unless it's out of the kind of tape yarn that doesn't fray when you handle it alot. I'm thinking about making another one sometime later out of another yarn. It was very easy to make, so I can see myself making some more sleeveless tops in similar patterns. When I make another one, I think I'll use a little bit different pattern, though. I have seen several, recently, that I like in some of the knitting magazines.

Purple Top Finished Posted by Hello

I also finished another Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth, this time in a variegated blue. The yarn I used was Sugar 'n Cream and the color was Denim. The color was not as bright as I had hoped it would be. The white in it was more of a dingy white instead of a bright white. I'm working on another one that is crocheted in a different colored variegated yarn. I can't wait to see how it turns out. I'll post a picture later.

It has occurred to me that maybe I should do a link on this blog for completed projects. As soon as I figure out how to do it, I might decide to do that.

Blue Dishcloth Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Knitted Scarf

Last night I finished a scarf that I had started a couple of months ago using Trendsetter Aquarius yarn. It's a tape type yarn and the scarf came out really well. The picture below this one shows the pattern a little better. I used size 17 knitting needles and cast on 14 stitches. Then I knit 3 rows in garter stitch. On the 4th row, I wrapped the yarn twice around the needle and then on the 5th row I dropped the wrapped yarn. It made a really pretty pattern. It knitted up really fast, so I don't know why I stopped in the middle of knitting it. It looks good on too and is really fun to wear. I love it.

Trendsetter Aquarius Posted by Hello

Trendsetter Aquarius Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Knitting Dishcloths

Seeing Chie's pretty dishcloth inspired me to make one from a pattern that I used awhile back. The picture below is the result.

Yellow Dishcloth Posted by Hello

The pattern is called Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth and I found it when someone gave one to me as a gift. I made this one with Sugar 'n Cream cotton and used size 10 knitting needles instead of the size needles the pattern calls for. I found when I knitted with the size 6 or 7 needles that the dishcloth was too small. They are really easy and fun to make, and they turn out really pretty.

I'm knitting another one in a blue and white variegated color, and I will post a picture of it when I finish it. These make great gifts. You just have to convince the people you are giving them to to actually use them instead of putting them in a drawer so they won't get messed up. When I gave one to my mother-in-law a couple of years ago, she said that it was too pretty to use and she put it in a drawer.