What a week!

I think this has been the busiest week of my entire life! And I was loving just about every minute of it!
I feed off of energy and excitement. I didn’t realize that until a few days ago. But I was actually becoming depressed when the excitement of the Project Afghan class died down for a day or two, there. We ended the class for March with a bang, though, didn’t we? It was so much fun! I think that teaching crafters is probably one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. Crafters are a different group of people from the rest. We care a bit more and therefore enjoy being around eachother more. I don’t think I could ever tire of being around all of my crafty friends. πŸ˜€
Besides teaching the class and being glued to my computer….well, I didn’t get much done. I test loomed Jenny’s block on the Kiss and am halfway done looming it on the KK (for the second time on the KK). I crocheted one preemie hat (these are all really cute…I need to get a pic!) and tried out a preemie bootie pattern…that ended up probably big enough to fit a 3 month old, not a preemie! So, I will just have to put on the puppy dog eyes and tell Chris that I need some smaller hooks because that size D he bought me last weekend just wasn’t small enough! I will be trying out another preemie bootie pattern in the meantime. LOL! I also started knitting a puppy blanket for Gandolph, since he has stolen my blanket. What is with my pets and that darn throw that I knitted up?! First, my fat cat-Garfield, seized it and got pretty mad when I took it back. Acting all indignant and crap. Then the puppy took it over and he won’t settle down throughout the day unless it is on the floor so he can lay on it! Good thing I had one more skein of the yarn left over. Probably just enough to make him a little snuggle blankie. LOL!
So, that means that I have been looming, crocheting, and knitting all in one week….while teaching the Project Afghan Class (and neglecting housework! Haha!)
Next weekend I will be in Arkansas, celebrating my mom’s 50th birthday. She will probably croak that I just put that on here! LOL! But, really my Mama doesn’t look 50. And you can definitely tell that I am my Mama’s daughter. I am gonna try to get a pic or two of her with me and the kids, of course. I was gonna make the visit a total surprise, but after my sis and my hubby started getting nervous that we should let her know, I finally started getting nervous and I just up and called her the other morning to give her a heads up. 😦 I had planned out the perfect way to surprise her and everything, but oh well. We will be leaving for Arkansas early Friday and coming back later on Sunday, so if you e-mail me and don’t get a reply…I am outta town, folks!
Ok, well…I think Lady Tru should be awake by now, so off I go to get her.

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Signs of Spring and some Baby Items

Well, ya’ll….I got to thinking about Isela’s post about ‘Signs of Spring’ and figured that it wouldn’t hurt to take a walk through the yard with Sir Thade and see what all we could spot. There are various plants popping out of the ground and a tree or two full of blooms.

This is an Iris’ leaves popping out of the ground.

In this bed, around the dogwood (one of my favorite flowering trees, but no flowers from it yet), are some day lilies.

Here are my wilted daffodils…along with some more daylily plants.

These will be tulips and daffodils..I think. I am sure about the tulips, but can’t recall if my mom had put some daffodil bulbs or daylily bulbs there.

This is the plum blooming.

You see, I have this grave condition called ‘BLACK THUMB’. It causes anything that I try to take care of, plant-wise, to die. I can’t even water the darn things. If I try to do anything besides look at it….it will wilt and die! I have a miniature rose that is sitting in one of my kitchen windows. Had it for about a month. When it was bought for me, it had two buds on it and looked healthy. But those buds never bloomed after I waterd it and stuck it in the best window in the house for sunlight. I pruned it to remove the dead buds watered it whenever it was dry and it actually seemed to be thriving. It was green and healthy and adding new leaves everyday. I was getting excited! Then it just started shriveling up. I watered it, I pleaded with it not to die b/c I LOVE roses, I whined, I got angry and bossed it around, I moved it to another window, I tried everything I could think of…..but it looks beyond my ability. Or is it that I did my best to kill it?! AAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!

Well, besides my trying as hard as humanly possible to not do anything to care for plants, I have been busy making the baby items in Class. The sweater didn’t turn out as small as I needed it, but it will make a nice jacket for my Cabbage Patch Kid. My mom used to sew clothes for my CPK when I was little and I want to loom and crochet clothes for Lady Tru’s CPKs. πŸ˜€
I love the baby items though. I plan on adding some embellishments in the color of the tie that I made for the booties. I am thinking about putting a K for the recepient baby’s name on the blanket and the hat. But I am still a little undecided. My brain keeps saying, ‘Maybe, maybe not.’ IDK. Maybe……LOL!
The kids went and spent the night with my MIL on Saturday, so you would think that I got to sleep in on Sunday. Nope. I awoke from a dream about making a poncho that has sleeves (I had just stitched together my baby sweater and that was my first experience with sleeves) that had the cables like the sides of the Cion Earflap Hat running up the sides of them. It was 6am…on Sunday with no children in the house and no obligation to get up. So, I should just roll over and go back to sleep. I rolled over, after removing Yang (my grey cat), and closed my eyes. “Attention! ATTENTION!!!!! New poncho idea coming through! You should do a poncho in the same color as your Baby Items, long enough to reach down past your elbows, fitting around your shoulders and coming in around your neck, but then flaring back out for a cowl style collar! End of bulletin.” Needless to say, I couldn’t get back to sleep. I layed in bed contemplating what these two ponchos would look like and special things to do with them until 7, when I rolled out of bed, grabbed some clothes and headed to the shower. Then I drank some Bigelow English Breakfast Tea for the first time and that wasn’t too bad, folks. I could get used to drinking tea for breakfast to change up the coffee. I usually just get different flavored creamers to switch up the monotany. LOL!
Today, I am test looming Jenny’s block pattern. I only got to row 3 last night before I wanted to just rest. My neck was hurting and I was starting to get tired. But hopefully today I will get it finished and then test loom it on the Kiss Loom to make sure it will all work out fine. πŸ˜€
I hope that everyone has a wonderful week!!!!

And here I thought that I wouldn’t get to use my hat!

Isela posted signs of spring in her neck of the woods and that she wanted to see other bloggers’ signs which I thought would be really simple stuff here in Mississippi. With the weather being so warm throughout the week last week, I thought I wasn’t going to get to wear my Cion Earflap Hat when it was actually cold. Well, not until next winter, that is. Then on Friday night and early Saturday morning we got our very first snow….in like 3 years. Sir Thade and Lady Tru got to see their first snow and it was so exciting for them. We didn’t go outside b/c it was getting dark as it started coming down. Sir Thade said he wanted hot cocoa anyway. πŸ˜€
Here are the pics of the extent of what accumulated after 14 hours of snowing:

And here are the pics taken only 6 hours after the first set. That’s Mississippi for ya!

Isela, I guess the fact that there were no signs it had even snowed only 6 hours later could be seen as a sign of Spring, right? The snow made my daffodils shrivel or I would post a pic of them. I don’t like showing people sad flowers. And they are REALLY sad. Weaping, actually.

While it was snowing outside my hands were busy making my very first amigurumi. The Baby Octopus from ‘Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet’. This was my second ever crochet project and I have to say that I did a great job. I didn’t add a face b/c it was for my 4 1/2 month old nephew who got here with his parents at 11:30pm on Friday night. They traveled through the belly of the storm all the way from their house to ours. πŸ™‚ Took my sister an extra 3 hours to get here.
But this octopus turned out much better than the ‘OctoBear’ accident that I had with my first crocheted project. And Dylan loved to chew on all the little legs. πŸ˜€ He really likes my octopi, but fishies are his favorite toys. He loves all the ‘Ocean Wonders’ stuff by Fisher Price. πŸ™‚

And now I am participating in the Baby Items Class on the Kiss Looms on the Loom Class Yahoo Group. I took some ‘no more procrastination’ time and typed up the patterns and charts for the two afghan blocks that I have designed so far. I guess after I loom up a second block for my second pattern and then do Jenny’s block, then I can get to designing my next block. A little more advanced.
And I am trying to talk my SIL into participating in the class. She is a newbie loomer and I think she will learn a lot from the classes as I hope that everyone walks away with something they didn’t know before. πŸ˜€
Well, I am off to have some more coffee (coffee, tea, and chocolate…..those are my vices!) Then I need to see if I can get finished with the baby blanket (52 rows down, 28 to go) for the Class and then I will be attempting to adjust the size of the rest of the items so that they will fit a 4 pound preemie that was born on Friday. His mother is one of my hubby’s employees and I felt a need to make him something special to help him fight his way to strong and healthy! To me, any baby that weighs less than 7 pounds is just so small and fragile. Lady Tru was the smallest baby in my immediate family at 7lb 11oz. Sir Thade is our largest at 9lb 6oz. I was the smallest out of three kids at 8lb 7oz, so to me. an 8 1/2 pound baby is a normal sized baby. I consider my Lady Tru to have been small, but wouldn’t you when your first born was nearly 9 1/2 pounds?! LOL!
Ok, I did say that coffee was on my list. πŸ™‚
Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Cables Crazy!

I have recently recieved a copy of the ‘Learn to Knit Cables on Looms’ pattern booklet by Isela Phelps and I have to say that at first I was a little scared. Terrified, actually. But I don’t know why! Look at the beautiful items I created in the pic above. and that was just in the past week!
I had done 2 stitch cables on a hat at Christmas last year and a headband right after that, but I didn’t do anymore cables until last week. It wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to do them, just sorta moved on to other things. I was participating in the Ravelry Group Loom-Along and we were doing Cabled Mitts for the month of February and they were just so much fun. I think they turned out so beautifully and am very proud of them.
So, with the confidence that I gained from that project I sat down to flip through my pattern booklet and see what other cabled projects I could do. The beginning section of the book has tutorials on how to do the preferred cast on, common stitches used, bind off, decreases, increases, and most importantly of all, the various cables. Yes, I said ‘various’. There aren’t just one kind of cable b/c you have 2 stitch cables, 3 stitch cables, 4 stitch cables, and 6 stitch cables. All of these have a right cross method and a left cross method.
Yes, my head was swimming when I skimmed through all of this, but since ‘Finding Nemo’ is one of our favorite movies around my house, ‘just keep swimming’ always pops in my head when I reach a challenge. After all, I am one of the most stubborn people you will meet. LOL!
I glanced at the selection of patterns on the outside of the book and skimmed through them throughout the book. They are all gorgeous and tempting! It includes a throw, backpack, purse, hat, scarf, mitts, socks, a baby sweater, and a shawl. I want to do them all, but so far have only completed two of them.
I sat down on Monday afternoon and picked the Cabled Purse. It has 6 stitch right cross and 6 stitch left cross cables. At first it was a little tricky, but I finally worked out a process. I have found that if you keep your knitting loose on all rows, not just the row before the cables, that it is much easier to make your cables. I am very proud of the finished product b/c not only was it my first project with 6 stitch cables, it was my very first handbag! It is so gorgeous that I plan on making them as Christmas gifts for my MIL and three SILs this year…but don’t tell them and spoil the surprise. πŸ˜€
On Tuesday morning I was stitching my handbag together and choosing another project. These cables were so addictive! I picked the Cion Earflap Hat. I had lots of left over yarn from the Cabled Mitts and wanted a hat to go with them, so this was perfect. Too bad that it is getting too warm here in NE Mississippi to wear my mittens and my new hat, but at least I am prepared for next winter!!! I love how the cables appear to be braided. It is so unique and sophisticated.
I really suggest this pattern book to all. Even if you are a beginner, Isela has included the tutorials and instructions you need for every step. There are plenty of pictures to help you out. And the pics of the projects themselves are just inticing.
If I wasn’t already interested in Isela and all the work she does for the loom knitting community, this booklet certainly gave me the courage to jump up and talk to her. I am sorry to say that I couldn’t have a sit down chat with her personally b/c of the whole living half way across the country from eachother obstacle. But, I was privileged enough to get a few precious moments of her time to get some ‘cables’ questions answered via the internet. πŸ˜€ So, let’s all sit down with Isela for a moment and see what she had to say. Grab your cup of tea (TAZO green tea with herbal infusions for me) or coffee and a little snack, sit back, and pretend you are with us. πŸ˜€

1. What colorways do you think are best for doing a cabled knit?

Cables show up better with light color yarns. The cables kind of disappear
when worked up with dark color yarns. However, cables on a dark colored sweater are a great way to add some subtle appeals
.


Solids or multis/ombres?

Solids usually allow the cable to β€œpop” more. The variegated yarns tend to
hide some of the cable qualities. I do want to mention that it is best to use a
yarn that is smooth to allow your cables to show, some yarns such as boucle
would hide the beauty of the twists created by the cables.

2. Do you think that shades matter? Lighter shades versus darker ones?

Lighter shades usually work best for having a cable that shows up best.

3. Is there a weight of yarn that works best or do they all perform well as long as you are using the appropriate gauged loom?

All the different weights of yarn perform fairly well with cables as long as
they are used with the appropriate size gauge loom.


This is great to know, so that I can make cables for socks using an EFG loom and the appropriate yarn, just as pretty as I would if I were using a super bulky yarn and a KK loom. πŸ˜€

4. What is your personal preference of yarn weight, color, and looms that perform best when creating a cabled knit?

If my goal is to make the cables noticeable, I would most likely use a cream
color yarn, bulky weight, and the appropriate loom gauge that works for the yarn
thickness.


5. If you had to choose your most favorite pattern from the booklet, which would it be and why?

My favorite pattern from the booklet is the Fairamay Shawl. My grandma who
taught me how to knit when I was little always wore a Reboso (shawl) and when I was knitting it, I was thinking of her and imagining her wearing it in the
mornings while she sipped her morning coffee. In a sense, I knitted the shawl
for her. My dream is to deliver it to her this year when I go back to Mexico to
visit her. We haven’t seen each other for about 15 years and the shawl is a
token of my love and a way to say thank you for everything she did for me,
especially for sharing her love of knitting and crochet with me
.


This is my favorite pattern as well (followed by the throw) so now it is even higher on my list b/c of the sentiment that you put into it. πŸ˜€

Thank you Robin, it was a pleasure being with you on your blog and answering
the questions. I hope you find some of the items in the book inspiring.
Isela
Phelps


Oh, no! Thank you! I have enjoyed our time together and got some good tips on how to continue my cables addiction! I hope to incorporate cables in some of my own designs in the future. It was great visiting with you, Isela.

You can purchase the ‘Learn To Knit Cables on Looms’ pattern booklet and Isela’s ‘Loom Knitting Primer’ at Decor Accents Inc. And don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Isela’s second book in the ‘Loom Knitting Primer’ series that will be coming out in mid-May on Amazon.com!

This was fun and I encourage everyone to copy and paste it into their own blogs and do it. πŸ˜€ Go check out Karen’s as well.

What I’ve made on my knitting looms and what I have done knitting/fiber related:
Afghan – I would just call what I needle knit a throw, but Jenny and I are putting together an afghan class for looms.
I-cord – YEP
Garter stitch – Yes
Knitting with metal wire – no
Shawl – Not yet, my first throw was supposed to be a shawl and turned into a throw.
Stockinette stitch – All the time, baby
Socks: top-down – Only one paire so far
Socks: toe-up – Not yet
Knitting with camel yarn – I don’t think so.
Mittens: Cuff-up – yep
Mittens: Tip-down – No
Hat – Uh, yeah….they tend to just happen. LOL!
Knitting with silk a fine strand with wool for socks – Not yet
Moebius band knitting – In the future
Participating in a KAL – Not a KAL, but I am participating in a LAL and a CAL
Sweater – Some day, but I want it to be really nice and…dare I say it? SEXY! So I need to learn about shaping.
Drop stitch patterns – I think I have
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn – Yeah! I love any kind of yarn, old or new.
Slip stitch patterns – Yes
Knitting with banana fiber yarn – No, but if it smells like bananas count me IN!
Twisted stitch patterns – Took me a month or so after getting my looms, but I discovered that I was in fact using the twisted knit stitch!
Knitting with bamboo yarn – Not yet, but I wanna try it out
Charity knitting -I try my hardest to do it. But have only made a few preemie hats so far. Well, more like a dozen hats.
Knitting with soy yarn – No
Cardigan – Not really a cardigan person
Toy/doll clothing – I made a doll hat and a blankie. Plans for doll dresses for CPKs are in the works though.
Baby items – hats and booties and one blanket so far….taking Graciela’s Baby Items Class next week!
Knitting with your own handspun yarn – Hubby says NO!
Slippers – Hubby loves my slippers! Can’t blame him, I love them too. πŸ˜€
Designing knitted garments – Yes, some hats and a cloth diaper soaker.
Cable stitch patterns – Oh, just wait until tomorrow’s post and you will see I have gone cables crazy in the past week!!!!
Lace patterns – On my to-do list
Publishing a knitting book – Someday!
Scarf – Enough of them, but not too many
Teaching a child to knit – I try with my son. He sorta gets it. My one year old just thinks you need a loom and pick with no yarn. πŸ˜€
Knitting to make money – Just a little here and there…upon request.
Buttonholes – Nothing too fancy, but yes
Knitting with alpaca – Not yet, maybe soon.
Fair Isle knitting – No, but on my to-do list
Dying with plant colors – No
Knitting items for a wedding – no
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…) – So far, just towel toppers, but someday there will be wash cloths….and I need a tea pot so I can make a tea cozy!
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) – yes!
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn – No, maybe Karen will oblige me someday. πŸ˜€
Holiday related knitting – I will be doing a lot of that this year b/c I plan on making all of my own ornaments this year…maybe our stockings too.
Teaching a male how to loom knit – Hubby won’t listen….but I talk and show
Bobbles – I tried once, and will be doing them again soon.
Knitting for a living – I think that would take the fun out of what I do.
Knitting with cotton – Not that I know of.
Knitting smocking – no
Dying yarn – no
Knitting art – no
Fulling/felting – no, but sometime this year.
Knitting with wool – yes
Textured knitting – yes
Kitchener stitch – yes
Purses/bags – I just made my first one a couple days ago and am very proud!
Knitting with beads – No, but in the future.
Swatching – To tell you the truth (she looks down bashfully) I have never made a swatch to determine gauge of a project. I have only made a swatch to determine that I had set my Kiss Loom to the same gauge as a Knifty Knitter Loom. I am sooooooooo bad!
Long Tail CO – Both needle and loom knitting
Knitting and purling backwards – What? What is that?
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn – Variegated, yes. I want to do self patterning yarn, it sounds fun!
Stuffed toys – Yep!
Baby items – didn’t we ask this one already?
Knitting with cashmere (mmm, cashmere!) – sounds delicious, but haven’t done it yet.
Darning – no
Jewelry – no
Knitting with synthetic yarn – Basically all I can afford. 😦
Writing a pattern – yes
Gloves mittens are warmer! – half fingered gloves and mittens
Intarsia – If that just simply implies colorwork, yes
Knitting with linen – no
Knitting for preemies – yes, they are dear to my heart.
Short rows – yes
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers -You know, I did the fingerless mitts, but have been meaning to do armwarmers. πŸ˜€
Pillows – yes
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine – No, but I really need to do the Chevron Scarf from the Loom Knitter’s Circle magazine.
Rug – no
Knitting on a loom – It is my weapon of choice, but I do own needles and crochet hooks. πŸ™‚
Knitting a gift – Most of what I knit is given to someone else, so I guess they are gifts.
Knitting for a pet? – Nemi has two sweaters and I want to make one for the puppy, but will wait to see how big he gets. I also want to make some chew toys.
Shrug/bolero/poncho – no
Knitting with dog/cat hair accidentally or on purpose? – If you mean finding Nemi’s tiny short black hairs or the cat’s hair in my knitting even though they don’t touch the yarn….yeeeeeaaaaaah.
Hair accessories – yes
Knitting in public – yes
Knitting with buffalo yarn – They make that? I will have to ask the Tupelo Buffalo Park about that! πŸ˜€
Knitting with pygora – no
Dyeing with food dye/drink mixes – no
Dyeing with chemical dyes (acid, etc) – no

Tune in tomorrow (Friday, March 7th) for a very special post all about my adventures in cables this past week!

What a busy week!

My head is spinning (and not just from the virus the kids so graciously passed on to the loving and doting parent that cares for them so!) This has been one helluva week! I mean, I taught my class on the Strawberry Sundae Delight hat and it turned out to be such a hit. That threw me for a loop b/c I figured that not that many people would be interested in making such a silly hat. I guess there are more silly people like me out there than I realized (apologies to any that don’t like to be called silly. I use that term affectionately for myself. Like calling myself cute! :D)
Well, not only did they enjoy the hat, but the started coming up with brilliant ideas that spin off of my hat! Wanda Sims made the cutest Strawberry Delight TP cover. LOVE IT! And she is now working on a tissue box cover. I would have never thought to make something cute like that from my hat. πŸ™‚
On top of the class, I have still been working on the not so secret project. Most of you have already found out that Jenny and I will be teaching an afghan block class every month starting with the last week of March. I have already designed two blocks and worked another after the first design on the Kiss Loom. I have to reconfigure things there. I think I got the wrong gauge or something and am waiting on Graciela to help me determine what I have done that isn’t quite right. πŸ˜›
BTW, I have seen Jenny’s block and it is absolutely ADORABLE!!!!!
Also, I got two crochet books in this week. I am very excited about this first one! Ana has a blog here where you can see more of her CUTE creations! And I think all knitters and loomers should have a book on crocheted trims and borders that you can use on blankets or to finish sweaters, pillows, dishcloths, ALL KINDS OF STUFF!!!

As well as that, I have made one (that’s right, I just took time for ‘me’ for only ONE) of Isela’s cabled mitts with the Ravelry LAL. I love it. It fits, not too big and not too little. The only thing that I am unhappy with is how I decreased for the tip of the fingers….I ended up with holes that I weaved yarn into to fill up. If I do it right next time, I am sure there should be no holes…or less noticeable ones. Hopefully, I can finish up my second one this weekend. Maybe take the day off tomorrow to do it. πŸ™‚

Oh, but the dishes that have piled up over this week! I can’t believe that I haven’t done dishes in 4 days! Yes, we were sick…but my son kept saying that he wanted this or that that he would normally eat on his meal schedule, then wouldn’t eat it! UGH! And my daughter didn’t lose much of her appetite and hubby didn’t catch it until today and you wouldn’t have noticed with the two tomato sandwiches and bowl of veggie soup he ate! So, Robin will be dishwasher first thing in the morning after a nice, hot, cleansing shower! My appetite has just come back in the past hour and is ravenous! Hahaha!
And just b/c this Mom-O is so proud of her big boy, I have to post this pic of the picture that Sir Thade drew for me and didn’t even show me. I happened to see it sitting on the table and had to get a pic of him holding it. BTW, it says Mom-O but since he is left handed and just turned three he writes from right to left! LOL! Doesn’t make it any less sweet, though!

Lady Tru feeling sickly (her hair is so unruly when she won’t leave a barrette in it):

And both kids having a good moment and paused while playing peek-a-boo with the other end of my quilt:


Almost forgot! Meet Gandolph, the newest member of our family that was added this week as well! He is a 7 week old long haired chihuahua…and chunky one! But he is a very good puppy. Only a handful of accidents but 95% of the time he goes potty outside like he is supposed to. I have already taught him to sit. πŸ˜€ I can’t wait until he gets a bit bigger so that I can make him sweaters…though with his thick fur right now, he might not need them. There will always be chew toys though. This puppy likes my yarn and the knobby ends on the KK loom pegs. Hmmmm, I will have to be much careful of where I leave my ‘toys’. Nemisis, my min/pin is very smart and you just tell her once to not touch something, it isn’t hers…and she just doesn’t look at it again. Gandolph doesn’t quite have the memory for that yet. 😦