"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


Adding A Button Hole After The Fact

I love it when I learn something new in my knitting. Last week I did and I'm passing that knowledge on to you.

Every once in awhile the fearless leader of our KnitWits group will bring me an unfinished project someone donated for me to take care of. I can either finish them, or unravel them so the yarn can be used for something else. Most of the time I unravel because either there's no pattern to tell me how to finish the thing, there isn't enough yarn (if any), or there's just not enough of the project done to make it worth it finishing it. But once in awhile one comes along that I do finish.

The last project she gave me was a baby sweater. It was done except it needed buttons sewn on (which were donated with the sweater) and button holes. The knitter had forgotten to put the button holes in as she knitted the sweater. (I suspect that's why it was donated.) I did a bit of research and discovered it IS possible to add them in after the fact. I started out with the instructions I'd found on the web (my Google Fu is strong), but as I was working the first button hole, I came up with an even better way to do it. That is what this post is about.

I started working on this project at Rathdrum Knitalong on Tuesday. I did 4 of the 5 holes, then decided to take pics of the last hole so I could do this tutorial. You'll notice a change in background. That's cuz half way through the meeting ended and I went home and finished it. I used my phone to take the pics. I have not given the camera in my phone enough respect. It did much better than expected. Anyway, on to the tutorial.

1. The first thing you want to do is determine where you want the button holes to be. On this particular project, I wanted button holes along the front band so I put safety pins at each knitted row where I wanted the holes.

2. After determining the row for button hole placement, take a sharp pair of scissors and clip the yarn in the middle of that row. This band was 6 stitches wide, so I clipped the 3rd stitch.

You will have a hole like this with two little yarn ends.

3. Carefully and gently unravel the stitches in the row you just clipped until you have the number you need for the size buttons you're using. I had really big buttons, so I unraveled 5. I used a tapestry needle to coax the yarn strands out of the stitches. There will be stitch loops above and below.

4. Now you need 2 circular needles the same size that would probably give you the approximate gauge the garment was knit at for the next step. Double pointed ones would work just as good if you have them (I don't). I used two size 3's. Gently put the open stitches on the knitting needles. Put the ones above the hole on one needle, and the ones below the hole on another.

5. Push the two strands of yarn that are now on each side of the hole to the back. You can see mine here through the rather large hole.

6. Starting with the stitches on the needle at the bottom of the hole, you will bind the stitches off as follows:

Step 1-  Slip the first 2 stitches to the right needle.

Step 2-  Then, with the left needle, pick up the first of the two slipped stitches,

lift it up and over the second stitch and off the needle. The arrow in this photo is pointing at the stitch that is now off the needle and wrapped around the base of the second stitch.

Step 3-  Slip the next stitch from the left to the right needle and repeat step 2.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have one stitch left on the right hand needle, then turn your work around so the needle with the stitches at the top of the hole is now in front and on the bottom of the hole. Continue to bind off across until you have one stitch left.

7. Now we finish it off so it won't unravel. Pull the closest yarn strand on the back to your open stitch through to the front. I got lucky. It was the longest of the two.

Using a tapestry needle, thread the yarn end onto the needle

and draw it through the open stitch.

Pull the strand back through the button hole to the wrong side and weave in the two ends. Here is the finished button hole.

And another one, which I did a much better finishing job on.

And here's the finished front of the sweater with buttons sewed on. (I really need to steam this thing.)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.

Live long and prosper. \\//



I've got a couple wips to share today. Knitting for KnitWits, as usual. I started another pair of men's mittens using the new Little Brick Checks pattern.

I have also started a layette set. KnitWits needs 150 layette sets this year. We lost our biggest layette makers this past year so we're falling terribly short at this point. I decided to get into making some. I ran across a member notebook on Ravelry who makes a lot of them for her own personal charity knitting and I love her idea. She makes blankets by crocheting an edging around a piece of fleece and then knits a sweater, booties, hat, mitts, and a bunting (I think she calls them baby bags) in a matching color pulled from the fleece fabric used for the blanket. She uses worsted weight yarn so everything knits up really fast. She has the most awesome color combinations and whatnot. I love looking at her project notebook. I've been inspired! I went to Joann's and bought a couple pieces of fleece. I'm going to make layettes, but mine will have the blanket, a sweater, hat, mitts, and booties. I'm not making any buntings. I've been searching for easy, yet nice, patterns to use for these layettes. I've started with a top down raglan pullover in yellow. I want to make them gender neutral for starters.

I'll be adding teal stripes to liven it up a bit. The blanket fabric is yellow and teal.

This will be fun! To make the blanket I will need to punch holes every half inch around the edge to put the crochet hook through. (I've done this before.) I found a nifty tool to make that easier for me called an Edgerydoo. I'll let you know what I think of it after I've tried it.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Polarized Hat Again

The Fairisle/Stranded knitting class I taught this month went very very well. It has been permanently added to my teaching repertoire. I knit along with the students, so I have another one done for KnitWits.

Polarized Hat in Navy and Maize

Pattern: Polarized Hat by Tanis Gray

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: Navy Blue
Yarn: Red Heart Classic
Content: 100% Acrylic, Worsted Weight
Color: Maize

Needles: Size 9

Cast on: June 8, 2015
Completed: June 22, 2015

We are in the middle of a heat wave. It's supposed to get into triple digits today. I am so glad we have the air conditioner. I am staying indoors. Besides the heat, the air is getting rather thick. I wonder if there is a wild fire nearby? I will have to check on that. Anyway, my lungs are feeling kind of icky so I'm protecting them for the day.

Live long and prosper. \\//



This is a GREAT day! Welcome to the 21st century United States of America!

Live long and prosper. \\//


New Pattern Posted

Don't have much to blog about today except that I've written up the pattern for my Little Brick Check Mens Mittens and posted it on the web for free.

You'll find it on my Beadknitter Patterns Blog.

Also, no one was able to figure out what was wrong with the pink Polarized hat. I'm surprised! Well, the answer is the Latvian braids are going opposite directions. They're supposed to be going the same direction.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Twisted Triangle 2

After how long? I finally got around to making a second Wavy Triangle. (The first one is here)

This is just a glorified peyote triangle. The twists are created by changing the sizes of the beads.

In this one I used lavender delicas, size 11 seed beads in a green lined blue, transparent blue size 15 seed beads, and lavender silver-lined size 8 seed beads.

You make two triangles, then zip them together on the sides. It's a fun project!

When daughter Sarah was here earlier this month we did some beading together. I taught her how to make one of these (She used yellow, orange, and red in hers). We had a good time together.

Now I'm wondering how to make it into a necklace. It takes some thinking because I want it to be special. I need to get busy though cuz I want to enter it in the North Idaho Fair this year.

If you want to try making this little thing, there is a pattern. It is in Russian but the pictures are very good. I managed to figure it out just on that. No words necessary:

This week I worked on a restoration project. My friend Sue F has a very very old beaded necklace that was her great grandmothers. It was starting to fall apart. She asked me to restore it, so I bravely took on the project. Here it is, all finished.

It is a knotted necklace. I had to relearn how to do knotting because it had been years since I'd done any. I started out trying to do it with an awl, but I just couldn't get it. I ended up doing the whole thing with just my fingers. It didn't take very long before I got pretty good at it. Still, it's a long necklace, with a LOT of knots and it took me a full 4 hours to get it done. I also redid the earrings. One had fallen completely apart and was missing beads. I took a repeat pattern out of the necklace to redo the earrings.

I gave the set back to Sue today. She is extremely happy with it, which makes it all worth the effort I put into it.

Live long and prosper. \\// 


Not More Dolls!

I've been earning some money teaching knitting classes, so I decided to purchase a couple more dolls for my collection. These are both Tonner dolls.

Taa-daa! Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory,

one of my all time favorite television shows. The Sheldon I got was a special edition given at one of the Tonner conventions. He sports the Green Lantern t-shirt. I love his little plaid pants. So Sheldon.

I'm also amazed at how true they are to how the characters actually look on the tv show.

Here's Amy without her glasses.

Tomorrow will be a beading post.

Live long and prosper. \\//



A new doll arrived at my house today.

Meet Penn - Business Day, Wilde Imagination's new male doll.

He has dark blue eyes, and actual hair (Not painted on like the Ken dolls of my youth). He's joined at the elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, as well as shoulders and hips. Here he is without his jacket. The shirt is pale blue with an embossed diamond pattern. The suit is dark charcoal grey and blue tweed. The pants are fully lined in white so as not to stain the doll. The jacket has a dark grey lining, so I'd be careful with it. His socks are grey. I like the whole outfit.

Here he is meeting Ellie. They look pretty good together.

I don't know what Ellie thinks, but I think he's adorable. Hmm, I need to knit Penn a sweater. I bought a pattern a couple months ago.

My Sweet Hubby is doing better. He went back to work Monday. He got home very tired and took a nap before dinner, but I'm happy he's working on getting life back to normal.

We were supposed to get the ducts cleaned in our house today, but the guy never showed up. I called to find out where he was and someone screwed up the schedule. We weren't even on it. It's been rescheduled for Wednesday of next week. It worked out okay for me, though, cuz I needed to go the knitalong at the library today.

The head librarian opened the meeting up to 'young people' for the summer, which I agreed to. I thought she meant teenagers. Nope. Young children. We've had 3 young girls come, none who knew how to knit (their parents seem to think our group is a class!). I've taught them how to cast on and do the knit stitch, and talked about needles and yarn and how to choose the proper size of one for the other, but I'm making it clear to the parents it's not a class. I am somewhat resentful of the situation because I teach knitting at the local yarn shop and get paid for doing so. I feel like I'm being forced to give my teaching away when I am usually paid. The summer will go quickly, though. It's my fault for not making the situation clearer to me.

Wednesday I have nowhere to go, and no one to see. I get to stay home. Yay! I shall putter around the house, and if it's not too hot, spend time on the deck. I'm looking forward to it.

Live long and prosper. \\//


More Mittens

I've made 2 more pairs of mens sized mittens for Knitwits.

Little Garter Checks in Blue Tweed (for Knitwits #11)

Pattern: Little Garter Checks by me.
Size: Mens Medium

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Tweed
Content: 75% Acrylic/22% Wool/3% Rayon, worsted weight
Color: Navy

Needles: Circulars size 5.

Cast on: May 19, 2015
Completed: May 27, 2015

Plymouth Encore is a nice yarn to work with and, with the little bit of wool in it, the mittens should be warm.

When Sweet Hubby was in the hospital I worked on these.

Little Brick Checks Mens Mittens (for Knitwits #12)

Pattern: Little Brick Checks by me (not available yet).
Size: Mens Medium

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Tweed
Content: 75% Acrylic/22% Wool/3% Rayon, worsted weight
Color: Brick

Needles: Circulars size 5.

Cast on: May 27, 2015
Completed: June 9, 2015

 Initially when I started them I was going to do Little Garter Checks, but I was kind of bored by the idea and wanted to try something new, so I came up with this stitch pattern. It looks a little bit like basket weave, but it's a little bit different.

I think I'll enter this pair on the fair.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Polarized the Pink (Contest)

As promised some time ago, pics of the Polarized Hat I made for a class sample.

Polarized Hat in Pink

Pattern: Polarized Hat by Tanis Gray

Yarn: Berroco Vintage
Content: 50% Acrylic/40% Wool/10% Nylon, Worsted Weight
Color: Sakura, Fondant

Needles: Size 9

Cast on: March 27, 2015
Completed: May 6, 2015

Can you see the mistake?

I made a big mistake when I knitted this hat. It can be seen clearly in the above photos. If  you think you know what it is, put it in the comments. I will put all the correct guesses with accompanying names in a hat and draw one. The name drawn gets a little something nice from me. It will be a surprise as to what it is. So, a little contest, if you will. One guess per person. No anonymous comments will be accepted. So if you don't have a Blogger screen name, please put your name in the comment.

Comments will be open for guesses until June 20th, 5pm PDT. After I announce the winner, they will have 2 days to email their snail mail address to me. If I don't hear from them, I will draw again.

Have fun.

Live long and prosper. \\//


Resisting A Rest

My computer was down for a few days. That wretched "This Windows is not genuine" window came back. My sister-in-law, Sue, figured out what was wrong and how to fix it. Seems when Sweet Hubby installed the new hard drive and memory instead of going to the Dell web site and re-installing my genuine Windows 7 from there, he went and got a pirated copy. I had NO idea he'd done that! No wonder I was getting that message. So I've been working on fixing it. Rather than re-install the Dell software, we took an easier route. Sue gave me a brand new genuine Windows 7 disk she had that never got used. When we installed it, basically everything on the computer got erased and I have reinstalled all my programs and restored my important files and whatnot from my backup drive. Finished it up today. It all went so smoothly, which anyone who uses a Windows machine knows, is highly unusual. I'm waiting for it to explode or something. It's running much faster too, and things are working perfect that never worked quite right before (I'm talking to you, Paintshop Pro). So I am a happy happy happy camper right now.

Yesterday the prize I chose from the photo contest I won second place in arrived in the mail. This is a genuine Wilde Imagination outfit called Resisting A Rest. Amber is modeling it.

The picture doesn't do it justice. It is SO gorgeous in real life. It seems to fit Amber the best.

I just had to share a close up of the little purse. The roses are so adorable.

The girls are thrilled to have it in their wardrobe.

Sweet Hubby is doing better today. All symptoms of the stroke are gone. I'd say he's had a complete recovery. He was discharged from physical therapy and declared good on Tuesday.

I think the stress of it all has had an effect on him though. His gout flared up a few days ago and got very bad. He couldn't hardly walk let alone go back to work. I'd never seen it as bad as it was yesterday. I took him to the doctor. Doctor gave him a prescription which he dutifully took and he's already doing so much better. He should be right as rain by next Monday. I'm hoping he'll go back to work then. I'm sure the office is missing him. He needs to get back into the swing of things.

I have been teaching 2 knitting classes. One for an Entrelac scarf, and one for the Polarized hat (the fairisle class). They have been going very well. I am quite pleased.

Tomorrow I am going with a friend to our Inland Northwest Freethought Society meeting. It is being held up in Wallace, Idaho which is a cute little town up in the mountains. It was used in the filming of the Pierce Brosnan film Dante's Peak, one of my favorite movies. We are meeting with the Missoula Area Secular Society. Should be lots of fun.

The weather has been very hot and sunny of late. Up in the 90's! Way hotter than is normal for June. I am so thankful for our heat pump/air conditioner. It's been a joy during these hot days.

I have some finished knitting to show you, but that will be a later post. Right now I've got to take care of another load of laundry that is done in the dryer.

Until then, live long and prosper. \\//