12.29.2008

Knitting, Pets and a give away, enter right here by commenting

It is the new years, almost, and in an Oprah like way, I am looking for my bliss.

I had a big blowout on my baby quilts on Etsy, and have been looking for a new direction to take my shop. Same name, now just the things I am passionate about. Dog/cat beds, bed cover, mats and pads. As my husband tells me we have just about any "critter" a person could name. Messy or neat any pet needs a cozy spot, and many years ago, I got my sewing machine out and have been custom making what we needed.

My other love, of course is knitting. Duh....got that one figured out....

So in celebration of this new direction, I will be giving away.....drumroll.....This item...http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8378384

Just leave a comment here. And the drawing will be Jan 7th.

Good luck..

May your knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies...

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12.27.2008

Knitting pattern for Neck Gator, Hat, Cap

At my house we are always walking dogs. We developed a rule, if you walk anywhere, you take the dogs. Yes I am known as the "Dog Lady" in our neighborhood, I like to think my neighbors don't think of me as the "crazy dog lady" Smiles.....

It's amazing what you learn when walking several routes, numerous times a day. Remember it is always that person out with their dog that is testifying to a crime of some type. We have reported two attempted burglaries, of course we poop and scoop, so I always think I am fairly safe due to the fact that I have several large dogs with me and am usually carrying at least 12 pounds of heavy duty poo.

All of these adventures result in the never ending quest for appropriate outer wear of all kinds of weather. Too hot, too cold, icy, wet, and windy.

We walk multiple dogs, so our hands are not free. My latest pattern is a multi-tasking one. A Hat, Neck Gator and I have even pulled it up over my face in extreme windy/cold conditions. If you don't need it this long, make it shorter, and woo hoo, you will be done even faster! Then it turns into a cap.

This pattern has the flexibility of being:

1-A turtle neck like neck gator, make yours shorter if you don't want it to roll over.

2-Pull this up over your nose, while around  your neck

3-Just scrunchie it around your neck, and pull it down lower into your coat.

4-Use the draw string and tighten that up, then pull on for a hat, I made mine long enough that the hat edge can fold over, if you want, or let it stick up like a ski hat. Make yours shorter if you want a simple cap.

Neck Gator/Hat pattern

This is heavy duty, suitable for some of the worst weather, and quick to knit, easy also.

yarn: I used two types held together, a worsted weight 100% wool, and a textural hand spun wool. I estimate each ball was 3 oz or approx. 158 yards each.

 

needles: size 11 US or 8mm circular, or the needle size you need to make gauge.

stitch: standard rib, knit 2, purl 2 stitch, and a crochet chain stitch for the drawstring (optional, you can use a cord that you can buy)

gauge: 8 stitches, 11 rows, 4 inch square

Fits an average adult size head, approx. 19-23 inches.

bead: I used a bead for the draw string, you need one with a large hole, I usually find wooden beads have the largest holes.

Crochet hook: If you are going to chain a draw string, use a crochet hook size that is recommended for your yarn, use the most smooth yarn, you will be using just one strand.

Pattern:

Using two yarns held together throughout the pattern

Cast on 48 stitches, if you need a smaller or larger pattern, just make sure your total number of stitches are a multiple of 4.

Take care not to twist cast on, join

Now: knit 2, purl 2, since we are knitting in the round, keep this up! You will be surprised how good this looks and how fast you are going!

I made my Hat/gator about 12 inches long, you make yours the length you need.

I wanted mine to be able to fold down like a turtle neck, or keep long and pull it up around my face. I also wanted to be able to gather the top with a draw string, next step, so I could wear it as a hat, with a fold over edge, if you want more of a cap, make it shorter.

When you have your hat/neck gator as long as you desire, cast off, you can use all knit to cast off,  not too tight, you may want to use a size larger needles to cast off, if you are a tight knitter. Here is a tutorial on a stretchy cast off you might want to try from Knitting Daily.

Now if you want a cord to use as a draw string to gather the top of your gator up for a hat, then.....

Using one strand of yarn, the most simple yarn, or less fuzzy, get your crochet needle out, use the size, or close to it, that your yarn label recommends. Here is a detailed tutorial on how to make a crochet chain, from Sandi Marshall, thanks Sandi!, Give it a try.

OK, I made my chain about 32 inches long, I actually like to thread of end onto a needle as I am making it and start threading it back and forth in the end of the tube that will be the top of my hat, if one of the ends looks not as neat as the other use this one.

Make your chain as long as you need, remember you can always knot it and cut some off, if it is too long. It needs to be big enough to go over your head.

After weaving this in and out on your edge, then thread your button on. Now knot your ends together.

And now take a look at your finished product and go for a walk....

Copyright

This is pattern is free for personal, non-commercial use. Further use requires permission from the designer (me). You may not sell or distribute the pattern in any form. You may not sell the any item or items made from this pattern without my permission. You may not use this pattern or items from the pattern for commercial use.

May your knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies....

Happy Holidays and keep warm.

 

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12.24.2008

Have you been naughty or nice?

I hope you have all been good this year! Tomorrow, may there be roving and yarn and other goodies under the tree for you!

Not this.....

santa-chimney

May your needles fly as fast as Dragonflies! May we get much knitting and spinning done this next year.

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12.21.2008

This and That....links to cool stuff, and lots of chocolate

It is 8 degrees outside now, and I just got back from walking the dogs.

slipper socksI like these slipper socks, there is a free pattern for knit or crochet (from LionBrand)

muklucks  These are called Cottage slipper socks and also available in a free download either knit or crochet (from LionBrand)

gman I fell in love with this little gingerbread man ornament. You could still make this a last minute stocking stuffer or wouldn't he look cute on a package? This is a free crochet pattern.

Check out this Knitters Review article on the new Addi Click Interchangeable Needles.

AllureFloppyHat I love this floppy hat, you get the pattern free with purchase of the yarn at Colorful Stitches, they have a list of totally free patterns here.

 

hannele_op I had to explain what a Muff was to someone at work yesterday. And here is a pattern for one if your feeling nostalgic.

I am lusting after some KnitPicks DPN wip tubes

and the Chart Keeper, my pattern instructions usually look like I slept with them, and sometimes I do, (especially when working an off shift).

I am done knitting all of my gifts, but my husbands fingerless gloves. Every year I am knitting on Christmas eve. (I've decided to think of this as a tradition)

I have all the gifts posted (all of our family lives at least 4 hours away), and I have all of my baking done! This year we made 35 dozen cookies, (no pics of this due to extreme messiness) and 12 lbs of German Chocolate Fudge. This fudge was so loved by everyone young and old, I am passing on the recipe to you.....my mother-in-law doesn't consider this "real" fudge due to the fact that it contains marshmallow creme, but this makes it fool proof. (even for me)

German Chocolate Fudge

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

6 1 oz squares of German sweet chocolate

6 1 oz squares of Semi sweet chocolate

1 jar marshmallow creme (7 oz)

4 1/2 cups white sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

1. Combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook at a slow boil for 6 min. (stir, stir, stir, this is the only hard step)

2. Dump all of the chocolate, and marshmallow creme into the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add nuts if you like them, I usually use pecans.

3. Spread into a buttered 10X15 inch pan. Let stand until firm, (about 2-3 hours)cut into squares.

I have poured it into cookie sheets and cooled it. The pan makes thick pieces of fudge.

Depending on how you cut it and how thick you make it, it makes anywhere from 5 to 7 dozen pieces.

Enjoy!!!

fudge

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies!!

Happy Holidays..

 

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12.20.2008

Do it yourself, custom calendars and some knitting

The next year is approaching quickly, I have found several nice links that enable you to custom make your own calendars, planners, etc... I'm always looking for that "perfect" calendar, to organize myself and my family.

Check these out!!

dayrunner_open_small

From DIY Planner a great place to go to get exactly what you need to make your planner work for you. Yes it's a little bit of work, but it's FREE. There are excellent instructions!!

FD9A9OJF8DOU3Z4_MEDIUM

From Instructables a mini 8 page pocket zine, I looked at this and made it for fun the first time. Then I used it, you are able to customize it, after folding the size is great. It holds an amazing amount of info. Also FREE, no spam.

I use this all of the time, a free calendar template. Lots of different styles, weekly, monthly, yearly, and booklet. FREE, but they also have a more advanced one you pay for. I use the free one!

The above is part of Calendars that work, sign up with them, and mark which calendar you like. It is sent to you, prior to that month in your email. FREE, and no spam.

89348187_nTMeZumg

Here is a quirky Dodecahedral Candy Calendar 2009. This calendar is quite functional and only requires one sheet of 8.5" x 11 (or A4) photo paper to create the smaller sized version (approximately tennis ball-sized), and two sheets of photo paper for the larger grapefruit-sized version. While this calendar is very cheap to make and a quite attractive conversation piece, it takes far more time to make than you may at first realize. Have fun with this.

calenders

This one is not free but, oh so cute....from A Little Hut designs by Patricia Zapata, these calendars are adorable. And for $4.99 affordable.

She has a blog by the same name and an Etsy store, ALittleHut, take a look.

I have been knitting like a house one fire, but all gifts or items that people want to buy. Here is the latest scarves....







Everyone loves the cables this year!!


May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies..


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12.13.2008

Winter Knitty is out! + Featured Esty Seller

 

Winter Knitty is out!!

Knitty always has something irresistible! What is it this time?

The Tushy Cushy will make you go Awwww Cute!!

I like these fingerless gloves with a pattern.

Love this!!

And for you spinners Dye Another Day, in which we learn how to dye roving without turning our kitchen into a toxic waste zone.

 

Featured Esty seller is Spotted Cow Soaps. I have always wanted to make soap, but after checking out the process. I decided that buying soap was more enjoyable.

Here are some good last minute stocking stuffers

stocking stuffer soaps $3.50 These half bars of soap make great guest soaps, hostess gifts, and they are the perfect size for Stocking Stuffers. The soap comes dressed them up with an awesome black velveteen bag that has been hand stenciled.

gingerbread bath Here is a Gingerbread bath fizzie $3.00

soap Lemongrass sage soap $4.50

These are just a few examples.

Check her out!!

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May you knitting needles fly as fast as Dragonflies!!

12.12.2008

Wind me round and round, spiral cable scarf pattern, knitted

020 Wound twice around, also looks good if you double it and loop it through.

I made this scarf in two days, on breaks during work and at home while watching TV.

001

It was a joy to knit. I hope you enjoy it! If you make it I would love to see a pic of it.

I made the cable a tight one, I like the look of the spiral cable, and I usually do not like scarves this long but this one is great. Made for a special person.

Scarf is made with worsted wt. wool, I used a washable wool. (75% acrylic/25% Wool)

It took 2 skeins of Patons Shetland Chunky (rated 5 bulky, 100g or 3.5 oz has 110m or 121 yds. Mine is made in Medium Blue

With two skeins or about 240 yds it measures approx. 6 inches wide by 75 inches long.

Needle size UA13 or 9.0 mm

003

Spiral Twist Cable Knitted scarf pattern

CO 20 stitches

1 k6, p8, k6

2 k 20

3 k6, p8, k6

4 k 20

5 k6, p8, k6

6 k6, CB8 (knit), k6

7 k6, p8, k6

(CB8 (k)=Slip 4 sts to the cable needle and hold to the back, K 4, Now knit 4 from cable needle.

Continue until long enough to suit you, then cast off on row 5, using any cast off you like.

Apply fringe if you desire!

024

May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies!

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12.11.2008

Christmas Candy Recipe links....

 

300_170765

Just click on the name of the CANDY and bam the recipe appears!

2 Minute Microwave Fudge

5 Minute Fudge

7 Layer Bars

Aaron's Buttery Cashew Brittle

Almond Bark

Amanda's Peppermint Creams

Ann's Cream Nut Candy

Bavarian Inn Peanut Bars

Beth's Delicious Fudge

Brownie Fudge Dessert

Buckeyes

Buckeyes

Butter Toffee

Candied Yams

Candy Bar Brownies

Candy Cane Brittle

Candy Cane Fudge

Caramel Krispie Treats

Caramels

Carmel Corn

Carol's Christmas Treats

Chocolate Almond Bars

Chocolate Balls

Chocolate Billionaires

Chocolate Chow Mein Candy

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Chocolate Covered Nuts

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Chocolate Nut Caramels

Chocolate Popcorn

Chocolate Silk Bon Bon's

Chocolate Truffles

Christmas Candied Walnuts

Christmas Crackle Candy

Christmas Mice

Chunky Mallow Candy

Cinnamon Hard Candy

Cinnamon Popcorn

Cranberry Nut Fudge

Cream Cheese Candy

Creamy Chocolate Truffles

Creamy Microwave Pralines (Texas Stlye)

Crispy peanut butter balls

Dark Chocolate Fudge

Deborah's Holiday Chocolates

Disappearing Marshmallow Brownies

Dish of Dirt

Divinity

Dorothy's Peanut Butter/Butterscotch Noodle Cookie

Dreamcicle Fudge

Easy Candy

Easy Divinity

Easy Divinity Easy Divinity Candy

Easy Fudge

Easy Granola Candy

Easy Microwave Carmel

Easy Microwave Fudge

Easy Pecan Logs

English Toffee

English Toffee

English Toffee Bars

Fabulous Fudge

Fake Brittle

Fantasy Fudge

Festive Chocolate Truffles

Five Minute Fudge

Fool-Proof Fudge

Frosted Pecans

Fudge

Brownies

Fudge for One

Fudge Puddles

Georgia Nuggets

Grandma Donna's Nummies

Grandma F's Delicious Fudge

Grandmother' s Holiday Fudge

Hard Candy

Hard Tack Candy

Hazelnut Fantasy Fudge

Ho-Ho Hash

Holly Confection

Honey Comb

J & D's Peanut Butter Balls

Jeanne's Tiger Butter

Jens' Chocolate Meringues

J's Cream Fudge

Kim's Famous Cashew Brittle

Magic Marshmallow Fudge

Mama's Fudge

Maple Rum Balls

Marge's Best Candy

Martha Washington Candy

Martha Washington Mounds

Marzipan

Melting Moments

Melting Moments

Memaw's Reese's

Meme's Best Ever Peanut Butter Fudge

Meringues

Mickey's Mints

Microwave Peanutbutter fudge

Microwave Pralines

Milk Fudge

Milky Way Bars

Million Dollar Fudge

Mimi's Famous Fudge

Mocha Truffles

Mom's Mints

Mr. Monroe's Famous Fudge

Mrs. Eisenhower's Fudge

Never Fail Fudge

Never Fail Fudge

No Bake Rum Balls

No Cook Peanut Butter Fudge

No Fail Fudge

Nova Scotia Treats

Nut Mallow Goodies

Nutty North Pole Fudge

Orange Balls

Orange Glazed Pecans

Out Of This World Fudge

Oven Carmel Corn

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle (Microwave)

Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter Bars-An Elves' Favorite Treat

Peanut Butter Candy

Peanut Butter Candy

Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Fruit Squares

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Snowballs

Peanut Clusters (mircrowavable)

Peanut Krispies

Peanut Patties

I love candy at Christmas. This post is to share some of the sweetness!!!

Enjoy!

 

 

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12.09.2008

Knitters Tarot Tuesday Reading

Seven of pentacles or coins

Take a break from your hectic life and enjoy your knitting. Do some knitting for yourself, or something you really enjoy. If you are knitting frantically to complete some gifts take a break.

On the Seven of Pentacles we see a man who has labored long and hard in his garden. The foliage is full, the blossoms are out - it seems that his work has paid off. Now he's taking a break to admire his handiwork. How satisfying it is to see such fine results! How rewarding is sweet success!

The Seven of Pentacles is a time-out card. It represents those moments after a rush of activity when we stop to catch our breath and look around. The man in the picture has paused to contemplate the fruits of his own labors, but he could also pick that fruit. In readings, the Seven of Pentacles can indicate a reward that will come your way, particularly as a result of your own efforts. Take it and enjoy.

The Tarot is a deck of cards that originated over 500 years ago in northern Italy. Although the Tarot was first used in a game called Triumphs, it was quickly adopted as a tool for divination, and popularized by occult societies such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The early Tarot symbolism was deeply rooted in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Today, the Tarot is far and away the most popular tool for spiritual introspection in the West.

 

May your needles fly as fast as Dragonflies.

 

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12.05.2008

Crochet Elephant pattern to follow.....

I have had so many requests for the crochet elephant or Lord Ganesha, I am starting to work on him. I decided that I will just make another one and actually attempt a tutorial.  Soooooo more to follow...

blue ganesha

The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha has an elephantine countenance with a curved trunk and big ears, and a huge pot-bellied body of a human being. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. In fact, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga being the other four) whose idolatry is glorified as the panchayatana puja.

 

Significance of the Ganesha Form
Ganesha's head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.

ganeshamantra

ganesha

All beliefs aside, Ganesha can capture your heart and make you smile, his wisdom speaks to all. What small child doesn't need a "remover of obstacles" in their assorted stuffed animals?

 

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12.03.2008

Knitting Diet or going with my gut instinct and loosing it

No points, food scales, calorie counters needed

I have never been overweight much. Most of my life I heard comments like "your too thin". I Never thought too much about weight, and could loose 5 pounds in a couple of days mysteriously.

Enter the Now, post hysterectomy, and middle age. I'm not sure what happened. Well maybe that is not true. I have been eating my way through stressful times. Perhaps I always did this but the stress was not as much, and I had more time for activity.

I have heard from people that lost weight the "ah ha" moment. A picture, video, or glimpse of themselves in a mirror. Mine was at a yoga class. I have taken yoga off and on, for years. So the other night, there I am in class trying to do postures and my body is not the shape or size I am use to. How did this happen? There are parts getting in the way of what I'm doing and during some poses I knew that my center of gravity was working against me so much I began to worry that I would topple onto a yogic neighbor. Definitely disrespectful.

This is not where I wish to be. Enter the Knitting Diet. When lunching at work, if I knit, I hurry through what I have to eat, or toss some away so I will have time to knit.

Thus, my idea is to knit more, if needles are in my hands. Food cannot be. Also when knitting, it's not good to have any food items that may get onto your knitting.

So I begin my knitting diet trial. Hopefully this will accomplish two positive things at once.

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Come knit with me, and we will see how many pounds we can shrink.

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12.01.2008

Wouldn't you like to be knitting here....

Lavender farm; Did you know that lavender is the herb of devotion, joy and luck?



I thought this was so beautiful. The color is unbelievable. What would it feel like to sit under this tree with your knitting....

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May your needles fly as fast as dragonflies...