Monday, November 23, 2009

Finished Projects for Special Children!

The first two items have already been gifted, and the girls' shrugs are Christmas presents -- WHAT? It's not even Thanksgiving yet and two Christmas gifts are DONE? It's a miracle!

I'm hoping I'll get pictures of the items in use!

Project: Sirdar's Design F Boys Slipover, or as I like to call it, "Little Professor Vest."
Yarn: Spud and Chloe worsted, cotton/wool
Size: 5 years old
Made for: Miles

Project: Blu from Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Rowan Denim, cotton
Size made: 18 months
Made for: Kamran

The little patch is made out of felt and I embroidered his initials.

I love this pattern. And I bet they're the most comfortable pair of jeans a person could wear!

Project: Little Jive Shrug by Sublime
Yarn: Queensland Pima Fresca, 100% cotton
Size: 7 years old
Made for: Sophie

(I want one of these for me!)

Project: Pippa by Martin Storey
Yarn: Kudo by Plymouth, cotton/rayon/silk
Size: 8 years
Made for: Anna

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bella's Mittens

For the Twilight fans!!!

Pattern: Bella's Mittens by Marielle Henault
Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, 2 skeins
Made for: Ellen

Used smaller needles than yarn ball-band calls for to get gauge for the pattern. It made the mittens a great weight.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cardi Time

It's a happy (and rare) day when I actually finish a project I plan to wear myself!

Project: "Lemongrass Bolero" pattern by Stephanie Japel (Glampyre)
Yarn: Madil Giamaica

Project: Louisa Harding "Tide," from Beachcomber Bay
Yarn: Saucy by Reynolds

Now, when it comes to baby things, I'm much better at finishing those! Debbie's granddaughter was born this spring, and this little cardi was fun to make!

Project: "Little Daisy Cardigan" pattern by Sublime Yarns
Yarn: Baby Cotsoy (Queensland Collection)

Aw, look how adorable she is! And her name, Peyton, is so cute, too!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hats it is!

Let's bring back 1979!

Alice and Anna model the quickand easy to crochet "Skull Cap" (pattern by Janelle Scholossman).

Another skull cap is below, made with Bebe Cotsoy, very soft. Given to Cate for her one-year birthday.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cast is on Sock: A Knitting Recipe for You

There are many terms used to refer to my part of the country, among them "Tornado Alley," "Green Country," and the "Ice Belt." The latter moniker refers to the storms that hit us in November, December and January -- when it's too warm for the precipitation to be snow, but too cold for it to be rain. What we get is ice, and lots of it.

Now I prefer my ice crushed and in a cold glass with a bubbly drink, because when it is layered on the ground, it can cause a lot of damage, as you can only imagine. The good things about an ice storm, as I see it, are that the auto collision repair centers are booming with business (good for local economy), the orthopedic surgeons have more business than they can handle (and they get to treat non-athletic related broken bones), and those of us with the dreaded SSS can find release from the terrible stress caused by our syndrome, that of the "Second Sock." Come on, you know who you are. I am here to help you embrace this problem and let you enjoy your sock making skills with very little if no stress involved. And here's how you do it.

You start making sock slippers for the cast that is on your broken ankle bone! You use big fat yarn (makes it go very fast), you start at the toe so you can adjust as need be for diameter of the cast, and you whip up a comfy cast-cover in a couple of hours! If you are one of the lucky ones who does not suffer from the broken bone, make it your holiday charity knitting project!

Version 1 is knit with 1 skein + about a quarter of another skein of Eskimo (Garnstudio.) The cuff is a 2x2 rib with the two knit stitches knitted as a twist. Very easy!

Version 2 is a fun striped version knit with 1 skein of Como (Debbie Bliss) in blue/gray, and 1 skein in cream. The yarn is knit at a tighter gauge than recommended, so it is a thick, warm cast cover. The two yarns are carried up the side (twist when changing colors), and just continue using the blue for the heel wedge. The cuff has one row of white worked purl, and then BO in knit with Blue. This is a great sock to wear with jeans.

Version 3 is knit with Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky in black, and takes less than one skein. The yarn is held doubled to get gauge (use the end from inside the ball, and the end on the outside) and is finished with a garter stitch cuff (alternate rounds of knit and purl for approximately 1-2 inches as desired. ) This basic black sock goes with a lot of things, particularly with the black knit pants which have become my "wheel-chair and crutches uniform!"

Version 4 is a moccasin-themed sock knit with 1 skein of Puffin yarn (by Crystal Palace, in fudge brownie color). This yarn is a little finer, so the sock is lighter weight and stretchier. It will be good for the warmer days we are now having in March! Knit even until desired length, then begin purling in the round(this will be folded down to the outside). Cut remaining yarn in short lengths and make tassels around bound off edge.

Following is my recipe, which can be stirred up a bit, seasoned and garnished as your little heart desires. You are basically just knitting great big sock with bulky yarn, toe-up, fitting as you go.

Caution: My notes weren't very coherent (I was on pain medication when I made these!), but if you've made socks before, or have a basic toe up sock pattern, it really shouldn't be a problem for you!


Yarn: bulky weight, approximately 80 yards

Needles: US size 10.5, set of 4 double points

Gauge: 14 stitches per inch

Abbreviations: N = needle; Kf&b = Knit front and back of same stitch;
W&T = wrap and turn


Cast on 12 stitches using the figure eight method. The best tutorial for this is Knitty's own at

Knit across the 6 stitches on one needle, pivot the needles 180 degrees, and then with another needle, knit across the 6 stitches which are now on the top needle. Place a marker to designate the beginning of the round.

Round 1
With first needle, Kf&b, K2; with second needele K2, Kf&b; with a third needle, Kf&b, K4, Kf&b.
(There are now 4 stitches on N1, 4 stitches on N2, and 8 stitches on N3.)

Round 2
N1: Kf&b, K3 / N2: K3, Kf&b / N3: Kf&b, K6, Kf&b.
(There are now 5 stitches on N1, 5 stitches on N2, and 10 stitches on N3.)

Round 3
N1: Kf&b, Kt4 / N2: K4, Kf&b / N3: Kf&b, K18, Kf&b
(There are now 6 stitches on N1, 6 stitches on N2, and 12 stitches on N3.)

Round 4: Knit the round with no decreases.

Round 5
N1: Kf&b, knit remaining stitches on needle
N2: knit to last stitch, Kf&b
N3: Kf&b, knit to last stitch, Kf&b

Repeat rounds 4 and 5 three more times, until there are 9 stitches N1, 9 stitches N2,
and 18 stitches N3.

Knit even until sock reaches beginning of ankle joint (on me, size 8 foot with cast, it was about
6.75 inches).

Begin Heel shaping:
Knit across N1, Knit across N2, stopping 1 stitch before end, W&T.
Purl back across N2 and N1, stopping 1 stitch before end, W&T.

Continue knitting and purling back and forth, wrapping and turning one stitch before wrapped stitch of previous row, until 5 stitches are wrappen on each outside end of the needles 1 and 2.

Knit to first wrapped stitch , pick up wrap, and knit it with the stitch. Purl back to first wrapped stitch on that side, pick up wrap and purl it with the stitch.

Repeat this procedure until all wrapped stitches are picked up.

Knit back across N1 and N2 (these are the heel needles), pick up one stitch in gap with tip of last needle but do not knit it.

Work across N3 (instep stitches).

Pick up a stitch in the gap but don't knit it, then continue knitting across the remaining heel stitches.

Knit across first set of heel stitches, knitting the last stitch together with the picked up stitch.
Knit across instep stitches.
Knit across second set of heel stitches, knitting the picked up stitch together through back loop with the first stitch on the needle.

Resume knitting in the round until the sock is as tall as you want it. You can do the cuff anyway you want -- ribbed, lace, garter stitch, etc. Bind off, and you are done!

As I said, you will avoid SSS, but these will be so fun, you will want to keep making them!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LadyBird Socks for Bug

Great-niece Cate, also known as "Bug" by her parents, turned one back when I was broken-ankled, so her present didn't get finished until recently. These are the Ladybird Shoes from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit by Zoe Mellor.

So that they would fit a one-year old instead of a baby, I used worsted weight yarn (Berroco Comfort). I also added a cuff, as in some of the other bootee patterns in the book, and I made a double sole, so there are NO BUMPS to bother her feet! (The smooth face of the stockinette stitch is where her foot will be!

Other modification was not to do the spots fair aisle, but rather to embroider them on before I sewed up the back seam. Cute shoes, but lots of needlework after the knitting was done!

Pittlely Projects. . .

I'm all about "pittlely" -- those little projects that keep me busy so I can avoid the pressing responsibilities of life -- grading papers, cleaning house, balancing my checkbook.

Here are some little pittles that have occupied me lately. . .

1. The Spritely Elf's sister needed slipper socks. These are made with Berroco Comfort chunky, plain stockinette, 5-stitches per inch. I feel bad I didn't embellish them. . .

2) A charity sweater (T-top pattern) for my mom's church group that sends handknit sweaters to Africa. Yarn is Hobby Lobby "Love this yarn." It's probably a size 2 or 3.

3. Flower Hat from Mr. Funky's pattern book. Crocheted. Gauge with this yarn was less than called for in the pattern, so it will be for a baby. Where can I find a BABY?

There are more pittlely projects on my other camera. . . I'll have to try to find them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spritely Elf Necessities: The Set

I had made some hats for my 9-year old niece Anna, but 6-year old Sophie wasn't too keen on having one until she decided that maybe she would like me to make her an elf hat.

When I asked if she would rather have an elf hat or shoes, she twisted her lips to the side, and concentrated very hard. Her face brightened with a huge grin as she said, "The SET!"

How could I refuse?

Recipe for Felted Elf Slippers.


1 skein Lion Brand Wool in green elf color (or other 100% worsted weight wool)

1 skein DK weight Comfort yarn, in a matching color (will be used for cuff)

small bit of scrap acrylic yarn in a contrasting color

Beads and embroidery floss for embellishment

Suede slipper soles by Stonehenge Clothing, and matching acrylic yarn to sew them on.

size 10 double points
size 5 double points

CO 36 stitches with one strand of the Lion Brand Wool, size 10 needles. You will need a loose gauge, approximately 3.5 stitches per inch.

Begin your sock from the top in stockinette stitch, following any basic sock pattern . Continue until you reach the toe area.

Use "Elf toe" pattern by Storm in the Attic. Available free at:

Weave an acrylic yarn or some other non-feltable yarn through each stitch at top. You will later unpick these stitches and use the little holes left to pick up stitches for the cuff.

As you can see, before they were little, they were BIG! (They fit a size 8 woman's foot.)

Felt slippers in hot water in washing machine with a little bit of wool soap.

Note: This yarn felts very quickly!

When the slippers reach an appropriate elf-size, roll them in a towel to soak up extra water, shape and dry. Tug a little on the point of the slipper to get it to look nice and elfy.

When dry, sew on the suede slipper bottoms, available from Stonehenge Clothing Etsy shop. This is really much easier to do BEFORE you knit the cuff, as you can reach inside the slipper easier. (I tried it both before and after!)

Now make the cuff. Pick out the contrasting yarn one stitch at a time, and using a small crochet hook, pick up a stitch in each hole with the DK weight cotton yarn. Place stitches on size four size 5 double point needles (you should have 36 stitches at this point). Knit 2x2 rib for approximately 3 inches, BO loosely in pattern.

Add beads, bobbles and embroidery floss to adorn the Elf Slippers.

Disclaimer: If there are any mistakes in either the slipper or hat recipes, I'm sure it was the forest GOBLINS that tried to mess them up. Please let me know if you find anything that needs to be changed!

Recipe for a Spritely Elf Hat

Size: Small to Medium Elf Size (21" circumference)


2 skeins Berroco Comfort DK in leaf green

beads and embroidery floss for adornment


1 size 9 16" circular or dbl points, as you prefer

1 size 8 16" circular

Using size 9 circular, CO 72 stitches.

With size 8 circular work one row K1 P1 rib, and when you come to the end of the row, join to work in the round. (When you are done, close up the little gap with the yarn tail.)

Continue with the size 8 circular needle and knit approximately 6 rows, or 1 inch.

Switch back to size 9 circular needle, and working in stockinette, increase (knit front & back) every 8th stitch (you will be increasing in a purl stitch.)

Work the 81 stitches in the round for approximately 26 rows, or 4 inches.

Begin decreases as follows:
Place marker at the beginning.
Knit 7, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 4 rows even.
Knit 6, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 2 rows even.
Knit 5, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 4 rows even.
Knit 4, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 3 rows even.
Knit 3, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 2 rows even.
Knit 2, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 1, SSK, repeat around.
SSK around.
SSK around, knitting last single stitch together with the first SSK of the previous round.
You should now have 4 stitches left.

Work a 4 stitch I-cord for approximately 1/2 inch, BO, and then stick yarn tail through to back side and weave in end.

Embellish with beads and/or embroidery, however the elfly spirits move you!

Give THE SET to any deserving elf and watch her dance through the forest!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Baby, Another Bunny

If my friends keep having babies, I'll be able to make these bunnies in my sleep! Here is Max with his green bunny!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Uh, oh, Look What I did. . .

Uh, oh! There's no good story behind this. Just slipped on the ice in front of my house. It's been a month, kind of a blur actually, what with the break, the surgery to put pins, plates and screws into my ankle, and recovery. Three more weeks of the cast and I should be good to go!