Friday, December 31, 2010

Closing Out 2010

As the last few hours of 2010 tick off the clock I contemplate what a wonderful year I have had. This year there has been minimum health issues, new friends and new techniques, the love of a fantastic family and turning that wonderful age of 50. I'm ready to enter the new year with the same fervor that I embraced this one.

This final week of December has been an interesting one. We had snow on Sunday. This the first time that I can recall having snow in Columbia in December that accumulated. Two little boys had spent Christmas night with us and had a treat waiting for them the next morning. They hung out with their Aunt Stephanie.

I'm finishing the last hat of the year. This one in particular has been languishing since March when the weather suddenly turned warm and stayed that way. Later this evening I'll block 3 to add to the house hat basket.

I spent 3 of my days off straightening the craft room and can now walk in there without flinching. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with that in the new year.

I requested and received the most recent update of the TKGA Master Knitting Level II instructions. If things get quiet around here it will be because I'm finally going to take the time to complete and submit my Level II package in 2011.

I'm not making any resolutions but I plan to knit exclusively from stash. I can no longer justify buying more yarn given the quantity and quality that I already have on hand. This will be one of the hardest task for me.

Two Sundays ago I signed up for a church sponsored 12 week health and fitness program. I have to work extra hard this year at losing weight and getting in better shape. What I've been doing is not working and my weight has steadily climbed. I no longer feel comfortable and at times I struggle to do things so it is my responsibility to remedy the situation.

It's nearing that time when we welcome the new year so to all of you may you have ...

A blessed, healthy, happy and prosperous NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brambles Beret

Love, love, love this hat! It has totally lived up to my expectations and I can see why it is so popular on Ravelry. This is the last Christmas hat.


Pattern: Brambles Beret from Knitty Deep Fall 2010
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool Deep Periwinkle
Needles: 4 & 6 addi Turbo circulars
Size: Small
For: Tammy
Started: December 18, 2010 Finished: December 19, 2010

I cast on another this evening using Cascade 220.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


It became apparent that the weather was not going to cooperate so I got my friend and co-worker Tammy to model the shawl for me at work. Volna is a lovely pattern and will appear again in one of the long repeat yarns.

Pattern: Volna by Grumperina aka Kathy
Yarn: Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock
Needles: 6 US addi Lace
For: Mom
Size: Medium
Started: November 22, 2010 Finished: November 30, 2010

Nothing to change. Pattern is wonderful written and though it appears intimidating at first it becomes very intuitive after a few repeats. The patterns comes in three sizes: small carf, medium scarf and shawl. It is perfect for yarns with long repeats.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Change in Plans

I've snuck in a few Christmas gifts of the knitted hat form this month. Yesterday I finished the Caramel Cable Hat for my hairdresser Judy. Here it is modeled my my friend and co-worker Tammy.


Pattern: Caramel Cable Hat
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Pitch Black (leftover from the Mars Hat & Scarf)
Needles: 4 US & 6 US addi Turbo 16-inch needles.
Size: Medium
Started: December 16, 2010 Finished: December 17, 2010

Modifications: I deleted a full 18-stitch repeat to make the smaller size. This is one of the worst patterns I've ever used. It is supposed to be translated to English from German but it is actually a mash up of both languages. If you read charts this will solve most of the problems as this is what I used. I'm glad it was a free pattern. The hat is lovely but I would no recommend this pattern for beginners.

Christmas hat #2 is the Brambles Beret from the Deep Fall 2010 issue of Knitty. My co-worker Tammy admires most of the hats I wear, particularly the beret style, so I'm making one for her. This is another hat that I liked as soon as I saw it and made plans to knit. I'm knitting from the large stash of Cascade 220 so it is more than likely that this pattern will make another appearance.

I've cast on the body of my Brigitte cardigan. I can't wait to be finished with the first bit of colorwor so that I can sail through the stockinette portion. I've completed both sleeves so chances are good that this will be finished for the new year.

In the meantime, I'm sitting here wishing for a white Christmas realizing that the chances are slim and none. It's been snowing in Charlotte which isn't all that far away but it would be great to have snow day. To all of you who are currently experiencing these snow storms, here's hoping that you stay safe and warm.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

I'm Hooked

When I learn something new I tend to jump in with both feet and so it has been with the jewelry making. I purchased a book from Joann's which exposes you to a lot of different jewelry making techniques. Yesterday I started a bracelet using jump rings. I couldn't start with the beginner's bracelet I had to jump to the next level. The pattern suggested using 3 different color jump rings to be able to better see what you are doing, but I knew I wouldn't get much use out of a multicolored bracelet so I opted to use silver only. After struggling a bit yesterday, I found my stride today and found a system that worked for me and finished it this afternoon.

I may need to remove one set of links but I'll leave it as is for now.

Earlier this year when Web's had their anniversary sale I bought enough Reynolds Lopi and Lite Lopi to make 3 sweaters. On Friday I cast on for the first of the three. The pattern is Brigitte from The Best of Lopi. I've had this book for several years and long ago picked out what I might like to make from it. This year I decided to try and knit at least one thing from most of the books I own instead of just buying them and putting them on the shelf.

I started out small and thus far I've finished the first sleeve.

If I manage to finish this before the end of the year this will be only my second completed adult sweater this year. I'm hoping that the fact that this is a bulky yarn means it will work up faster. It is super cold here for this time of year and the perfect weather for wearing this type of sweater.

We had the nephews this weekend. We went shopping Saturday and during our stop at Michael's I took Isaiah to the yarn section so that he could pick out his Carolina Gamecock colors. Since then he has worried me repeatedly about when am I going to start on his things. I finally got him to stop asking by measuring his head. The colors are garnet, black and white so I'm going with a basic striped hat and scarf with garnet and black mittens. It isn't a Christmas gift but based on what he wore to our house this weekend it is something that I need to get started on soon.

Time to get ready for another day and find something warm to brave these cold morning temps. Have a good one and holler at you later.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

A Whole Lot of Knitting Going On

Even though the blog has been quiet there has been a lot of knitting going on. I took inventory of the projects I've knitted so far this year and I'm at 25+. I wish I had knitted more than one adult sweater but I'm pleased with all of the other projects. I still may be able to get in one more.

I have several projects that need to be photographed. Daylight savings time is killing me because by the time I get home the good daylight is already gone. I'm hoping to get some good photos this weekend. I also have 3 items that need to be blocked but the den is taken over by Christmas decorations. Mom is creating a different color scheme this year, we already have 3, which means they (mom and sis)are going through everything to pick out the right colors.

I finished the Volna scarf in the medium size. More details to come when the scarf is blocked and better pictures are taken.

I participated in Woolly Wormhead's Mystery KAL on Ravelry. She is a fabulous knitted hat designer. I was a little late joining in but I did manage to finish hat A. She has released the pattern as Bellefleur. It is the first hat I've knitted using fingering weight yarn and I loved it. I still have hat B to knit which has been released as Limpetiole. It is done in dk weight and has some of the same Elements as Bellefleur.

I received a request last year from one of my mom's friends for a hat and coordinating scarf. It took a while for me to decide on the patterns. I've finished the scarf which is in need of blocking and am currently working on the hat. The color is deeper and more intense than this picture shows. The hat is the Cabled Chapeau from Stitch Nation.

We had our final beading session of the year. We were joined by my mom and knitting friends Calvin and Gail. I made lasagna, Calvin made a wonderful salad and Millie made a delicious orange pound cake. My mom said she understands why we have such a great time when we get together.

Our project was crystal bracelets. We both used Swarovski crystals and Delica beads. I finished the blue bracelet while at Millie's and did the black one later that evening at home. This is my favorite project so far and I love the fact that I was able to complete the entire bracelet. I forgot to order gold jump rings so I still have to get some to complete the black bracelet. The pattern is Dazzling Diamonds from Bead&Button magazine.

I do plan to knit a few Christmas presents mainly hats. I'm adding some none-family to the list and I know they will appreciate them. I've made some beaded bracelets for the ladies in the family and still have to do the bags for the girls. Once the shopping for the boys is finished I'll be good to go.

This weekend I'm entertaining two young men so there won't be much room for crafting and after that it's time for the Christmas parties. Let the holidays begin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

On October 1st I came across this post on Grumperina's knitblog. I was immediately captivated by the design and waited patiently for her to finish and release the pattern. I purchased it as soon as it became available. I tried hard to be good and not cast on but temptation got the best of me.

The pattern is Volna. It is for 3 different size scarves and is available as a Raverly download. She used 3 different types of Noro for each scarf. That was my original plan but when I went to get it out of the sock yarn basket I saw this skein of Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock and the deal was sealed.

The color is cruise and I love the rainbow effect. We bought two skeins of this brand during one of our beach trips. This is the skein mom picked out. I started yesterday and quickly learned that I need to regularly check my stitch count. Because of all of the short-rows and shaping it isn't a mindless knit but neither is it all that hard. I created a spreadsheet to help track where I am and to keep count of the repeats. I've already decided that this is a repeater and I will be making one of these for myself.

I've pretty much decided that I will not be doing any Christmas knitting. I'm going to make some jewelry items for the ladies, purchase gift cards for some of the nephews and try to figure out what to get for my brothers.

I'm ready for the Thanksgiving weekend. For the first time since I was a teenager we are not having dinner with family. Mother and I are joining my brother's friend and her family for dinner. It is such a relief not to have to worry about preparing the meal. The past few years we have had dinner at our house and the responsibility fell on me and my mother but mostly me. This year all I have to do is make a Turtle Cheesecake and relax.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. God has blessed me this year with so many things to be thankful for that it is a truly special Thanksgiving season.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Morlynn Shawl

I've been working on a special gift. A gift from the heart and soul.

When Mrs. Edmonds passed I wondered what I could do for Sesame in the days, months and years to come. I can't imagine how it is to loose one's mother. My mother is not only my mother she is my best friend, confident, cheerleader, inspiration and I could go on and on. I wanted to do something that would give her comfort so I knitted her a prayer shawl. We she wears this she will be covered in not just the prayers from me but also those of my mother.

Pattern: Morlynn Shawl / Tuch by Alexandra Wiedmayer
Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy Sock & Baby Handpainted Journey & Monochrome Roasted Pumpkin
Needles: 4 Addi Turbo
Started: November 6, 2010 Finished: November 16, 2010

There isn't a modification needed for this wonderful well-written pattern. The only decision is how to arrange your colors. The yarn is delicious and I can't wait to use it again.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Passing On

Life has been really busy and at times sad. My mom's good friend passed after a short illness. She was diagnosed with metastic gallblander cancer less than two weeks after my birthday party on the 18th of September and passed on the 24th of October. Mrs Edmonds was like a second mother to me and had let me know that she felt the same about me on my birthday. Our hearts have been heavy but we are so glad that she didn't surface for a long time. We were all blessed to have known and loved such a sweet and gentle soul.

Last week I got the pneumonia vaccine and after having a really bad reaction learned that at some point in time I actually had pneumonia instead of some generic respiratory infection. I felt like I had the flu and my arm is still sore around the injection site. I'm sure it is going to take several more days for the huge lump to go away. Benadryl and Motrin has helped to ease a lot of the swelling and irritation. The doctor said that reactions like this do occur but rarely and that I should never get the shot again. I was like yeah! You think so!

I've finally gotten around to taking pictures of some of my winning knits. This is the Heavenly Blue Cardigan which I knitted for myself but looks better on my mom so it is now hers. It won first place in the Women's Sweater category and the Sweepstakes in knitting at the South Carolina 2010 State Fair.


Pattern: Heavenly Blue Cardigan from Beyond Wool by Candace Eisner Strick
Yarn: St-Denis Nordique in Fjord
Needles: US 4 & 5
Started: August 20, 2010 Finished: October 5, 2010

Mods: One of the mods I made was in the number of buttons. The specs for this size required 4 buttons every third slot. This would have resulted in a sweater that gapped badly so I used one in each slot. I also made the cables mirror on the back. This was only done only on the front. I also made sure that the sleeves mirrored on each side.

This was almost the sweater that wasn't meant to be. First were the e-mails between me and Webs trying to find a color with enough yarn of the same dyelot to send. Then I got all the pieces made only to find that my fronts were 1 1/2 shorter than the back. I re-knitted both of them and I'm glad I perserved. I believe this sweater is my best work ever on a knitted garment.

Up next is the Tuscan Leaves Hat which won a first place in the Hat category.


Pattern: Tuscan Leaves Hat by Nina Machlin Dayton
Yarn: Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Gold Spice
Needles: US 6 & 7
Started: September 26, 2010 Finished: September 27, 2010

I'm steadily expanding my knowledge of beading and jewelry making. This past weekend I made magnetic hematite bracelets using beading wire for me and mom.

I'm not sure where this will lead but I do have plans to make some matching sets for us. It is so much fun learning something new. I hope my knitting doesn't suffer because of it.

***edited 11/2/2010 to correct modifications.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tiny Triangle Fingerless Gloves


Pattern: Tiny Triangle Fingerless Gloves by Lynne Vogel
Yarn: Mirasol Chirapa 707
Needles: 2 Inox dpn's
Size: Large
For: Stephanie
Started: 10/8/2010 Finished: 10/17/2010

Modifications: I added 8 additional stitches to make this a size large. The pattern is written for a medium. This meant that I had to increase one stitch on the first of the 4 knit rows before the bobbles to maintain the multiple of 3. After the bobbles were completed I decrease 1 stitch on the next knit row.

I have come to realize that I really enjoy making gloves fingerless or otherwise. They are an excellent way to use that skein(s) of sport or fingering weight yarn you don't quite know what to with.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getting Busy

I finished one project...

and immediately cast on another. I'm making a coordinating scarf for the Tiny Triangles Fingerless gloves. It is Pimpelliese, a free pattern I found through Ravelry while looking up Baktus.

I have well over 3 skeins so I figure why let it sit around when I can put it to use. I also have this yarn in two other colors, a lovely green variegated of which there are 3 skeins and a blue variegated of which I have five, so there will be at least one more glove and scarf set.

Isaiah was over this weekend and the first question he asked on Friday was if I had his gloves made. I told him I had to check and see if I had any yarn in garnet and black of course, and his questions was, "Where in the yarn room."

I searched the stash and realized that I don't have any garnet washable yarn so I'll have to make a yarn run just for this project.

Christmas projects are in the making but they aren't knitted. These are the makings for two Cosmo bags from Amy Butler's Style Stitches.

I don't sew often but soon as I saw these I knew I had to make them for my cheerleading nieces. These bags will be large enough to carry all of their gear. I've washed and pressed the fabric and cut out my pattern pieces.

There are 12 very cute handbag and bag patterns in this book. I plan to make some of the others and "stretch" my sewing muscles once again. I'm not sure if the others will be gifts but I know there are two or three that I plan to make for myself. I'm hoping these will jump start my quilting. I have so much that I want or need to do that I'm going to have reign myself in.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Today was the day to find out what won the sweepstakes award.

Heavenly Blue Cardigan

I personally think this is one of my finest pieces of knitting. I loved knitting with the sportweight and have several projects in line that will be done in sport or fingering weight.

We, the Palmetto Purlers, had our demo at he fair today. Lots of people stopped by to admire the knits we had on hand and to learn more about our guild.

Today was probably a record admission day. It was the first time in 3 years that it didn't rain on opening day. Couple that with the $1.00 admission and you have all the makings of a record. I'll go again next week when mom gets back in town and look at the other exhibits.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Growing Up

This happy fella turned 6 on Friday.

He's changed so much in the last year. He's now a silly boy who's full of play and questions. I was working on the fingerless gloves below last night when he asked his usual question.

Isaiah: Whatcha making Aunt Beverly, socks?
Me: No, I'm making gloves.
Isaiah: Gloves?
Me: Yes, fingerless gloves. Want to try them?
Isaiah: Sure. (He tries them on.) I need a pair in red and black. You know I love the Gamecocks.

You have to admire the boy. He has great taste. He also wants the matching hat and scarf. Looks like a trip to the store is in order.

I had to break my vow and knit something for my sister. Out of the blue she started bring yarn home from Tuesday Morning. It is really nice yarn so I'm making her a pair of fingerless gloves and possibly a matching in color only scarf.

The pattern is the Tiny Triangle Fingerless Gloves by Lynne Vogel. The pattern has neat details like the triangle edging and some bobble detail. First one is done and I've started the second.

The fair results are out and once again I've won the sweepstakes award in knitting. I'll find out tomorrow what won. This is the first time I've received blue ribbons for all of my entries and my fourth time winning the sweepstakes. I'm seriously considering not entering anymore since I've won it three years in a row. We do our demo tomorrow and I'll have pics to post.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Hat Time

Thank you for the birthday wishes! I had a blast at the cookout. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the second half of my life has in store for me.

While reading the Rainey Sisters blog I came upon a post that featured the most marvelous hat. As soon as I saw it I purchased the pattern on Ravelry. It is the Tuscan Leaves hat seen here with about 15 rows of the pattern done.

The pattern is completely written out because each row is different. There are only 50 rows in the crown pattern making it a fairly quick knit as long as you pay attention to the pattern. Mine is finished and is blocking to bring out the classic beret shape. The yarn used is Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted and I have 3 more skeins in different colors so there will be at least one more of these.

I'm still trying to finish the Heavenly Blue Cardigan. I have one more sleeve remaining and I have misplaced my size 5 24-inch addi Turbo circular needle. I'm going to sub a Clover bamboo circular and hope that it doesn't mess with my gauge on the sleeve cuff. Tomorrow I'll start blocking the finished pieces and hope to finish this over the weekend.

I'm not going to have all of my fair entries finished but I'm very pleased with the ones that will be entered. The entry dates are next Tuesday and Wednesday and then the long wait until the next week when we host our demo and I get to see the results. I'm all ready getting excited.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Big One!

Oh man! Today I turned 50! 50 - the BIG 50.

I am blessed more than I could ever imagine. Even though I rarely talk about it I've been through many health issues the past several years, but this year has been different. I feel the best I've felt in years. Yes I'm very overweight but I feel great.

My network of family and friends have been supportive, loving and giving. I have the greatest mother in the world who has been my rock through some very difficuly storms and a sister who has been caring and sharing even when I couldn't see it.

I may not be where some people thought I would at this stage in my life but I'm happy! I love me, I love where I am and I love the people who are in my life.

I pray that may you all be blessed with such riches and goodness in your lives.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Slow Progress

This year has been a loser for me so far in the sweater department. While I have 3 cast on I've yet to finish anything other than two baby sweaters. I got a late start on the sleeves for my Circle and Butterflies sweater and in the meantime cast on a special sweater project, the Heavenly Blue Cardigan. The yarn is St-Denis Nordique and while it isn't that soft it gives great stitch definition. I've read on Ravelry that it does soften with washing.

The left front is almost finished and I'm hoping that I get at least the right front and one sleeve finished before next week. My 50th birthday is next Thursday and I'm having a cookout that weekend which means no knitting the end of next week.

Mom and I hit the road again this past weekend. We went to Edgewood Maryland to check on family friends. While it was a quick trip it was a nice getaway. They are both doing fine and the Mr Rainey is recuperating well from his knee replacement. I met their daughter for the second time and it was amazing how much we have in common. I also met her husband and her daughter was down from college to check on her grandpa. Sometimes the short quick trips are the best.

True to my word I didn't visit any yarn shops. Mrs Rainey was quite surprised by that almost as surprised by the fact that I wasn't knitting Sunday night. After traveling all day Friday and being busy on Saturday and Sunday I fell asleep on the loveseat without even picking up the knitting.

Tonight I'm watching one of my favorite shows, Top Chef, and I am hoping that Angelo goes home. He probably won't since he's done well most of the show. There's always a chef that gets on my nerves and this time he is the one which means that he'll be the winner.

It's time to break from the computer and get something accomplished before bed. Have a good night.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back from Indy

I returned yesterday from Indianapolis Indiana where my mother and I attended the VFW and Ladies Auxillary of the VFW yearly convention. We had a great trip and found the people to be very friendly. We are used to people speaking on the street here in South Carolina and were pleasantly surprised that they are the same way. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency across from the Capitol and had a great 16th floor view.

I was also amazed at how flat Indianapolis is. After riding for hours through the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio you suddenly reach a place that is completely flat for as far as the eye can see. Even from our hotel room all you can see is flatness. Columbia is also situated on hills and hour house sits on a slope at the top of a hill.

This a picture of us at the Patriotic rally on Victory Field.

The doctor has been on me to lose weight and it has been a struggle for me. I weighed about 145 in 2005 and I'm up to over 235 having gained over 50 lbs of that last year. I rarely take pictues for that reason but I love this picture of me and mom.

Indianapolis has some of the most beautiful war memorials I have ever seen. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Monument Circle is beautiful and I was taken aback by the sculptures of war and peace. They both evoke the feeling of each one so well.



Underneath the mounument is the Colonel Eli Lilly Museum. It is a museum about Indiana's role in the Civil War. It was very informative although some of the displays saddened me with the discriptions of hardships, disease and injuries the soldiers endured. I heard one mother explaining to her child that war is a terrible thing and that these things do happen after the child expressed that she wanted to leave.

I made some great progress on my Heavenly Blue Cardigan.

The color is a deeper blue in person. I'm using St-Denis Nordique and though it doesn't feel very soft I have read on Ravelry that it doesn't soften when washed.

I got some much needed rest while I was there in between meetings and touring. We had a wonderful time and next year we'll be in San Antonio. I don't attend the conventions each year but I've been to one in San Antonio and even though my health was somewhat compromised at the time I still enjoyed the trip and I'm looking forward to next year.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Something New

Last month I met with knitting bud Millie to learn how to make a fringe beaded bracelet. We had such a good time that we met again this past Saturday and was joined by Nancy another knitting bud and very good friend of Millie. She's been beading for years and is a wealth of knowledge where beading is concerned.

I learned how to do flat peyote stitch by weaving a narrow band bracelet using size 8 seed beads in black, teal and silver. I finished it Saturday night and even though it's not perfect I love the colors and plan to make some wider bracelets in other colors.

Before I left Saturday we decided on our next project and I left with a list of supplies to order. I wasn't planning to start or invest in another hobby but beading is something I've been interested in for a long time. I really like the idea of creating pieces to go with my wardrobe so I'm sure beading will pop up more frequently on this blog.

Yesterday I finished the first Woolly Wormhead hat I've made in months. I love her patterns and innovative designs.


Pattern: Brownie from Twisted Woolly Toppers
Yarn: Cascade 220 Spring Granny Smith
Needles: 6 US
Size: Child's medium (17 inches)

I followed this pattern as written. No mods were needed.

I picked my Aeolian Shawl back up. I can't believe it's been almost a year since I last worked on it. I've already worked the first agave repeat so there's not a whole lot left to do. The slow part is adding the beads with the crochet hook. I need to reduce my wip list so this is a step in the right direction.