12.27.2012

Post Christmas Knitting and Painting

My husband is retired now, and in the middle of painting the walls of the bedroom. He says he is going to remodel the whole inside of the house. *yay*  So far at only days into retirement he is working at a breakneck pace like he is at work. I told him he will have to slow down and enjoy himself.

I picked out and bought the paint for the bedroom so long ago, (about 3 years minimum) I had forgotten what color it was. I called from work and he said he had started painting. So it was a pleasant surprise when I got home and discovered I still liked the paint color we had picked out.

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Now I think I will make curtains for the bed room. Paint is called silver grey and it is actually a warm grey, looks like it has a purple undertone to it in real life. Our bedroom had been lavender, maybe you can see the color at the far end of the photo past the bottom of his legs, back wall. Ugh, it was a paint color that I thought I would like but when it got on the walls, ick, I never liked it.

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Tree about 2/3 of the way done. I also found silver button snow flakes to sew on it also, not sure what I’ll put on the top.

I’m in the middle of a marathon of crocheting Christmas trees from the Emfy’s pattern, the first green tree I made was gifted, so I had to make another, I found some pink yarn (Simply soft I believe) in my yarn stash and decided I’ve always wanted a pink tree. I also bought a skein of white simple soft yarn to make a small white one. I love the way the first tree turned out, it was so cute, looking at the Ravelry done projects, I thought the white ones were very pretty. It is a fast crochet and gives me a break from knitting.

In the middle of knitting the Zuma Tunic from Wendy Bernard’s book Custom Knits 2. A top down knit in the round sweater pattern.  I had stalled out, I was about 3 skeins into using my hand dyed yarn and thought I needed to dye up more yarn to finish, but I found the bag with the rest of the skeins in it. *Yay* So I’m ready to start the arms. (more on that soon)

Part of the retirement deal, I’m going to have more time to knit and enjoy myself, I’m still working full time, and Steve will take care of things around the house. I still have many more years before my retirement. Hopefully this will be like coming home to a wife (I didn’t really say that) *grin*

RetirementLane

12.24.2012

Seasons Greetings

Wishing you Joy and Peace
at the Holidays and
throughout the New Year

May your knitting be out of this world this year! 

Got excited with my new camera. *grin* Happy Knitting!

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Taken in my backyard Christmas Eve, clear beautiful (and cold) night! Happy Holidays from Evansville Indiana.

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Pattern from Emfy's crochet (Helen Free), she has a selection of free crochet patterns.

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The tree, and the bling….I enjoyed making it so much I’m making a pink one now and bought some yarn for a white one.

Check out these Ravelry people that have created one.

12.22.2012

Have A Yarn Emergency? (Knitting On The Road)

car travel

This season many of us will be on the road traveling. If you are like me, when packing I always have to have my knitting, and plan out what project(s) I’m taking with me. I always seem to forget something! My most forgotten item is a yarn needle, I have made one from many items and even just a piece of scotch tape on the end of the yarn, (shoe string like) to get me though.

I love this site and use it often, no matter what area you are traveling though, plug in some cities and it will bring up the yarn shops, and reviews of them!  Lets you see the hours, and even has a “open right now” option, in case your confused about local time.
Truly a life saver!

Knitmap.com – Fun to use, even if you don’t have a yarn emergency, sometimes you just need to go squish some yarn while visiting family.

My travel (must have) items for knitting, I like everything to fit in a zip lock bag

  • I like to make a copy of the pattern and put it in a sleeve protector, also have a pencil to make notes on it with.
  • Take a small note book to write down any modifications, etc…
  • Yarn needle
  • Small scissors
  • Some yarn scraps to use as a stitch holder, I like bright colored cotton, it really stands out
  • A few yarn markers
  • tape measure
  • crochet hook
  • I do pack a small knitting how to book, the one I use is Knitting answer Book by Margaret Radcliffe, I hate to be somewhere and can’t remember how to graft something or do an invisible cast on etc..This book was a gift from my DH and I love the little size of it!

Do you have any knitting must haves that you pack? Let me know.

12.20.2012

Knitted Ornaments

I’ve been knitting ornaments. Here are a few I’ve gotten done. I had planned on knitting one for everyone I work with, but that would be around 20+ ornaments, after knitting around 6 I decided I was not up to that!  Maybe some baking, of course it is already the 20th of Dec. Oops!

Below are two stocking ornaments from the same pattern. Lion Brand Christmas Stocking, I knitted several in the first version with the green tree, and then decided to try a white tree.

Free Pattern from Lion Brand Yarns: PDF pattern here

Pattern is fairly easy, knitted flat and shaped then sewn together. and tree sewn in duplicate stitch.

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Below pattern knitted flat and then ready for duplicate stitch and sewing up.

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I also knitted some mitten patterns. Pattern also knitted flat and then sewn up on the sides.

Pattern from Lion brand yarns PDF file here: Turn out cute and fast, I’m knitting more of these, but don’t have photos yet. Happy Knitting!!

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Happy Knitting, do you have a favorite knitted Christmas ornament? I’d love to see it!

12.17.2012

Christmas Ornament Knitting

I saw this little stocking ornament on the front of a Joann's ad and fell in love with it. After finding the pattern online I decided to knit it. Stocking ornament pattern here.

I had a hard time finding some red and green yarn, everyone had sold out, I finally located some. Whew….

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This pattern would be good for a beginning knitter also. the pattern is knitted flat, and the tree is done in duplicate stitch.

I added the little bell on the top.

Yarn used: White is Yarn Bee Boucle Traditions Brushed, The green yarn has a little tinsel like thread running  through it, I thought it would be perfect for the tree, Green Yarn is I Love This Yarn in Jelly Bean Sparkle, the Red is Lion Brand Jiffy which is a slightly fuzzy yarn color is True Red. I located all of these yarns at my local Hobby Lobby store. I had not used any of these before and am really pleased with the results.

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First photo is sock cuff and body, after dividing the foot into 3rds, and knitting for several rows on the middle area, all you have to do is add 6 stitches up the sides of the middle area and then resume knitting flat, with some decrease shaping. Then all you have to do is the duplicate stitch, and sew the sock up. Fairly quick and I think it turned out cute. After making several I got itching to do another pattern.

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I know better than to knit after midnight, had to tear out the tree and do it over.

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12.15.2012

Knit a Nativity Set

I saw this wee Nativity Set on a great blog RunningJackKnits, it is amazing.
wee navity set
All of the patterns for the characters are on her blog, knit a wee Nativity set, Mary, Joseph, a donkey, dove and of course baby Jesus in a manger. Even if you are not going to knit it, go take a look at the patterns, the dove is thirty stitches.
nativity scene
Here is another Nativity scene to knit, this one with the full set of characters! Love it! Wow!
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Very nice knitted Nativity scene pattern, entire  here, from women’s weekly. Includes the 3 wise men and their gifts. Love the little sheep also, I would have to make several of those!
Get crazy, if it looks like too much, try one character a year! This set of Holy character will go down in history of your family!!
The Crèche of the Poor
The paper crèche has a special place in the Nativity tradition. It was, at one time, the crèche of the poor. When, in 1782, Joseph II, Austrian emperor, placed a ban on crèches, the nativity set moved from churches, palaces and public places to families and their homes. Crèches, crafted from paper, became the Nativity representation for the poor, for the common people. This is not to say that there were no paper nativities before the Austrian emperor’s ban. Influenced by Baroque theater tradition, nobility and wealthy townspeople in Italy and Austria commissioned artists to paint Bible figures on paper, wood and tin as early as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Famous names of this early history of the “paper nativity” were Martin Engelbrecht (1684-1756) and Albrecht Schmidt (1667-1744). Paper nativities of that period were produced as cut-out figures, based on woodcuts and engravings, and the coloring was done by women and children.

12.13.2012

Time to Make Cake

My husbands birthday is coming up and he loves German Chocolate Cake, I usually make the recipe from the German Chocolate Baking Chocolate bar, but decided this year to be adventurous. The below recipe is pretty much the same with a few changes. The cake turned out the best that I’ve made in over 30 years, so I will be making this recipe again.I don’t have any idea how many calories/fat is in this, and don’t want to know.

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Really in the mood to turn the oven on this morning, forgot we turned off the furnace several days ago during a warmer period, and woke up to 27 degree weather and couldn’t figure out why we were all cold. *grin*

Original recipe makes 1 - 3 layer 9 inch cake

Cake

1/2 cup water
4 (1 oz.) squares German Sweet chocolate
1 cup butter, softened to room temp
2 cups brown sugar
4 egg yolks
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups of cake flour or regular flour with 1 T cornstarch added for ea. cup
1/3 t baking soda
7 egg whites (use the whites from the frosting also, see below)

Frosting German Chocolate type

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
3 egg yolks (beaten)
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 t vanilla extract
in a small bowl add 1/4 cup milk and 1 T cornstarch, mix well and set aside

  • Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cut either wax paper parchment paper for the bottom of  3 - 9 inch round pans, place in bottom.. Sift together the flour,(cornstarch) baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat water and 4 ounces chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
    2. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.
    3. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
    4. Pour into 3 - 9 inch pans Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto wire rack. Place these into a freezer to cool and make cake super moist.
    5. To make the Frosting: In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup butter, and 3 egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, add your mixed cornstarch and milk and cook until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla. Cool until thick enough to spread.
    I’m trying this Chocolate whipped cream frosting to put around the sides of the cake! chocolate frosting recipe to frost the sides from Cooks.com. I only had time to let it sit in the fridge 4 hours instead of 24 and it appeared to whip up fine!

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Love, love, love the chocolate frosting made with the whipping cream and melted chocolate, it is not too sweet, but super yummy. OK I’m not the neatest cake maker, but it tasted wonderful. I will definitely be making this again!! I’ve been making German Chocolate Cakes for my DH for 34 years now, and this was the best. Thanks to my SIL for telling me to put the cake from the oven into the freezer, she says it makes it moist.

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Oh yeah, keep your man happy!

12.10.2012

Santa Hat Pattern, Knit and Crochet

If you don’t have one, well or someone you know may need one. Dad, Mom, kids, and even the dog. Knit or crochet I’ll include my favorite links to the patterns, (free). Fast to get off of your needles and onto their heads. I have to wear one at work if I’m working Christmas, which I am this year. It is fun and festive!

kctq-santahata

This free pattern includes sizes for everyone in your family, a knitted pattern with the fur like edging I think this is a total winner! Free Knitted Santa hat pattern for the whole family from Lion Brand Yarns here.

Knitted Santa Mitten pattern here for above photo, Knitted Santa Scarf here

If you crochet this one is my pick: available in adult through child, It is made from chenille yarn and fun fur for the trim, also available are the mitten and scarf patterns.  Free crochet Santa hat pattern link for the whole family here. Also from Lion Brand Yarns.

Mitten pattern here; and Santa scarf here

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If you missed my favorite knit and crochet ornaments I’ll include those links, for fast and cute gifts. Free Christmas ornament links; http://knittingdragonflies.blogspot.com/2012/12/free-ornament-patterns-knit-and-crochet.html; http://knittingdragonflies.blogspot.com/2012/12/yes-more-free-christmas-ornament.html'; http://knittingdragonflies.blogspot.com/2012/12/free-christmas-crochet-patterns.html; http://knittingdragonflies.blogspot.com/2012/12/more-christmas-ornament-patterns-free.html; http://knittingdragonflies.blogspot.com/2012/12/knitted-christmas-ornaments-free.html;http://knittingdragonflies.blogspot.com/2012/12/serious-knitting-to-follow.html#

Get Merry and start knitting!

12.08.2012

Yes, More Free Christmas Ornament patterns….Crochet Style

 

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This little ornament just makes me go Awwwww so cute! From Lion brand patterns, a crochet ginerbread man.

lightblubgarland

I love these little crochet light blub garlands, or you can make them individually and this would be a great stashbuster. Thanks to SugarNCream patterns

red light bulb ornament

I really like this crochet 3D light blub ornament!! Thank you Cute Crochet Chat for giving us the free pattern!!

 

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Want to make a pair of these to hang on the tree or a package, easy!! go here for easy crochet ornament mittens.

Get Merry and Get your hooks and yarn out!!

12.07.2012

Free Christmas Crochet Patterns

I have been in awe of all of the cute free little knitted ornament patterns I’ve found online, see previous posts. Free knitted Christmas ornament patterns: here, here, and here. Along with a link list of Free Knitted and Crochet Stocking patterns.

Not to ignore the crochet lovers among us! I’ve got some sweet little crochet patterns.

christmas-tree

Thank you EnfysMe for the “must have” tree pattern. So sweet I can’t pass it up! I’m off today to get some yarn, and little beads, or I’ve seen lots of mini ornaments to put on this!

sweaterornament

And thanks to  CrochetUncut, the crochet lovers are not left out of the mini sweater ornament craze. She also shows how to make the adorable little hanger.

My paperclip skate b

Thanks to Suzie’s Yarn Stuff, a pattern for a crochet ice skate ornament with paperclips

ice-and-crochet-pine-cone-12-08-025-small

From Planet M Files a super cute pine cone ornament pattern! I want to try this out of some sparkly yarn. Look around her blog, she has lots of other fab crochet patterns.

More soon…..get your yarn stash out and your needles!

12.05.2012

More Christmas Ornament Patterns, Free

I think a tree that is all knitted or crochet ornaments would be so cute!
See previous posts with more patterns here and here
balm stocking
A cute little knitted stocking pattern that holds a Christmas Balm for you. From  Natural Suburbia.  Simply Notable.com (sorry)
tree stocking
This little knitted tree sock ornament is the pattern that started my frenzy. From Lion Brand Yarn.
package ornaments
Also from Lion Brand Yarns, sweet little knitted package ornament pattern.
knitted ornament sweaters
Another version of little knitted sweater ornament patterns from Red Heart!

Yes I still have more to come….

12.04.2012

Knitted Christmas Ornaments, free patterns

We have gotten our tree out, and when I start decorating it, I love running across the handmade ornaments, especially the knitted and crocheted ones. I’ve been searching for some Christmas pattern ornaments online and have found so many cute ones!
Knit-Mitten-Ornament
These are so cute! They would be nice on packages also, Pattern from Red Heart Yarns, Knitted Mittens Christmas Ornaments.
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From Berroco, these lovely little sweater ornaments! I would love to have an entire tree of these, they would be great to use up little bits of yarn also. Little knitted sweater Christmas Tree ornament pattern here. It has the pattern marked as easy. (well I’m not sure about that?) I want to try one and see.
Snowman-Pattern
From Natural Suburbia a nice little knitted snowman ornament pattern!
More Christmas Ornaments on the way!!
See previous post for more patterns here
Happy Knitting…

12.03.2012

Serious Knitting To Follow….

i-quit

Yes, I quit my 2nd job, a full time and part time job was just too much. I found I was giving up the things that I love to do. All of my waking time consisted of eating and working. Ugh…So after a few breakdowns, I decided, well really, just had to quit.

So now, time for knitting and spinning, and I have a list of things I want to do. I feel like I have so much time with only one job. *snort*, a lesson is learned with everything. Maybe this was to make me appreciate the job I have, and my friends and family. (and knitting) so I have many knitting books, and yarn (bought with extra money) and I’m ready to get going.

Until later, fondle some yarn, spin some fiber or just hug a loved one, (yes pets count)

Take care, and knitting content to follow soon……

Until then Look at these cute, fast ornaments to make!

Love these cute little Christmas Stockings (free pattern)

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Pattern here, these are so freaking adorable! I love them! I would make them in red with white laces!

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More cute knit and crochet holiday ornaments to follow!

Happy Knitting