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

3/26/15

Blocking a Knit Hat

Frequently I receive emails from folks asking me how I block hats. Well, here's the answer.

First I put a towel on my ironing board. Then I put the hat over a form and steam the top.



Here's my form-a stainless steel mixing bowl.



Sweet Hubby and I were given a set of these as a wedding gift yea these many moons ago. There are three different sizes. The largest one just happens to have the perfect circumference for blocking adult size hats-22 inches. The medium sized one is great for children and baby hats.

After steaming, the top looks pretty good.



To block the bottom half, I lay it flat and steam it like this. I make sure I don't put creases on the sides, and rotate it around.



I typically push and pat here and there with my fingers to get what I want. In this case, I was working on straightening the Latvian braids and making sure the fairisle section was the same height all the way around. I don't usually steam the ribbing because it will destroy the elasticity, though I will do just about anything to stretch it out so I can get the middle of the hat blocked properly. Usually I put a piece of cardboard the proper width just inside the hat. But in this case I didn't need to do that because the ribbing was wide enough already. I steamed the corrugated ribbing to even it out a bit. It doesn't have the same elasticity that regular ribbing does, so I didn't worry about it.

One other thing I did on this hat is block the tassel. It was pretty kinked.



I laid it out on the towel and carefully steamed it straight. I used a metal tapestry needle to 'comb' it out as I steamed.



That's all there is to it. It's not difficult.



Live long and prosper. \\//

3/25/15

FO - Hat

My BFF mentioned on Facebook that she really liked a certain hat pattern. So I made her one. The hat, that is. Not the pattern.



Hat for Judy

Pattern: Polarized Hat by Tanis Gray

Yarn: Berroco Vintage
Content: 50% Acrylic/40% Wool/10% Nylon
Color: 5180 Dried Plum
Yarn: Plymouth Encor
Content: 75% Acrylic/25% Woo;
Color: White

Needles: Size 9

Cast on: March 16, 2015
Completed: March 19, 2015

Comments: This was a really fun knit! The pattern is well written. It would be perfect for teaching fairisle.







She loves it.



Mission accomplished.

Live long and prosper. \\//


3/24/15

Yarn Stash Enhancement

Some yarn I ordered arrived Saturday. Can you guess the colorway name?



Here's a hint. In memory of Leonard Nimoy.



It's self striping sock yarn. She packaged it so you can knit matching socks.




I love the colors. I got it from Turtlepurl Yarns on Etsy. Don't diddle around if you want some. It's limited edition.

Live long and prosper. \\//



3/23/15

Meet Joey

When my father died I gave some of his shirts to my sister, Liane, because she offered to make me a memory bear with them. She has a successful business making memory bears from peoples old fur coats and other clothing, and christening gowns from wedding dresses.

A few month ago this little guy showed up. I call him Joey, after my Dad. The pin on his chest is a pic of my Dad in his younger days.



Joey is fabulous. He looks so much like my dad. I cried when he arrived. He even smelled like Daddy. So why has it taken me so long to blog about him?

Well, tragedy struck shortly after Joey's arrival. He was put on top of the piano to keep him away from Cable because she thinks all stuffed toys are for her. When I was not in the room, one of the cats (we suspect Cashmere because we've witnessed him doing this before) knocked Joey off the piano so Cable could have him. Cable then took him outside and chewed on his head. She pulled the orange fluff off and broke the nose. He was also wet and a bit muddy because it was still snowy out at that time. You can't imagine how upset I was when I discovered him. There was no way I could blog about him in that condition. I set him aside in a safe place for awhile, kind of unable to face the situation. I didn't even tell my sister what happened.



About a month ago I finally found the heart to repair him. I surfaced washed him to get the mud and dried dog spit off. I found a source online from whom I bought a replacement nose and ordered it. It arrived last week. Today I opened one of his seams to remove the old nose, installed the new nose, and carefully hand sewed up the seam. Good as new! Turned out to be a whole lot easier then I expected.

The hair was a bit harder. I couldn't find that orange fluff anywhere around here, nor online. I did find some orange fur at Joann's, and even bought some. But it just isn't the same as the original hair. Fortunately I had saved all the bits Cable chewed off. So I carefully washed each bit of fluff, then brushed it out to fluff it back up. Today I glued the fluff back on to Joey. I really didn't think it was going to work, but it did. Joey is back to looking like his original self. No one could even tell he'd been damaged. I feel much better about it now.

Joey is awesome! Thank you so much to my sister, Liane Wagner, for making him for me.



Please take a moment and visit my sisters web site, Fairy Godmother Creations. Maybe you could honor a loved one you've lost by having her make you a memory bear?

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/20/15

Cross Stitch WIPs

The replacement pattern for Hummingbirds and Dogwood by Sue Coleman finally arrived this week. Before that, though, I decided to start something new to keep up the enthusiasm so I wouldn't abandon it all while waiting. I'm not going to say what the pattern is. Just watch it develop over the next several months and see if you'll be able to guess.



 I found this on someones blog completely by accident and fell in love with it. I admit I've made some modifications. I've actually combined two of this persons patterns together. I'm looking forward to when it's finished.

I've made some new progress on HumDog.


The background is all one color, one strand, half stitches, and there's a LOT of it. I also need to do the outline back stitching. Waiting until the background is done will motivate me. I love doing the back stitching.

We've had a rainy week. We needed it though. The crocuses in the yard are blooming. There are even some blooming in places I never planted them! The seeds on the plants from last year must have blown around.

I've been having computer frustrations this week. The problem I had last January that I got fixed on my birthday has come back. I'm getting "Windows is not Genuine" messages. In frustration I contacted Microsoft via their web chat service. I was told my verification key has been disabled and blocked. When I asked why, the answer was because certain hardware numbers didn't match my registration. I explained that Sweet Hubby put in a bigger hard drive and upgraded the memory, but the computer is still the same one I've been using for five years.

They told me there is nothing they can do. I have to buy Windows 8.1 to get everything 'genuine' again. Here's the problem. First, my laptop is not Windows 8 compatible. So that ends that right there. But even if it were compatible, Microsoft's web site won't let me buy it. I have to have a genuine copy of Windows 7 (or lower) on my machine and since they've rendered mine blocked, it won't let me buy anything. I am very PISSED, to say the least. We spent a LOT of money on that hard drive and ram. If I'd known this was gonna happen, we wouldn't have done it.

I'm debating whether to call them up and escalate up to a supervisor, if possible, until I get satisfaction. I would think if they can un-validate my Windows key, they should be able to re-validate it, shouldn't they? Or I might just go ahead and use it as is. It's annoying to deal with the pop-ups that keep popping up telling me my Windows is not genuine (AAAAAAARRRGGHH!!!!). I've turned off as many as I can, but I can't get rid of all of them. I also miss having pictures on my desktop. All I get now is a solid black background. Sigh. I also can't download any MS updates. But my office program is so old it probably doesn't matter any more.

I feel like I've been royally ripped off. I have a genuine copy of Windows 7 running on the original machine it was installed on and they've screwed me over because we upgraded some hardware. Sigh.

There's a new doll in my future. Tonner Dolls released a pic of their new male doll for the Ellowyne Wilde line that is coming out later this year. His name is Penn.



I adore him! He's cute as a button. I love the inset blue eyes and the brown hair. So much nicer than Rufus. I am so excited! I am saving up my class money so I can purchase him. I am thinking of making him a Star Trek uniform. Perhaps the Red Shirt one. I need to find out what body style he has. I'm hoping it's the same one Rufus has.

I've been feeling domestic today. I actually made, from scratch, a Banana Cream pie with Meringue topping. I haven't done that in ages. Years, actually. It's a lot of work making a cream pie from scratch. It came out beautiful and if it tastes half as good as it looks, it will be awesome.



I attribute the perfection of this pie to a very happy cook. I discovered Pandora is on our Roku so I was able to listen to my Star Trek Movie Soundtrack channel while working. It's AWESOME!

Live long and prosper. \\//

Something To Really Celebrate

Happy Spring! YAAAAAAAAAY!







Nuff said.

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/17/15

3/16/15

The Mojo Is Back!

Something I ordered awhile ago came in the mail. YAY!



I got these from the Etsy store Sheepy Fibers Etc.



The Black one is named Glow Worm Rainbow Stripe Sock and the Gray one is named Beyond the Clouds Rainbow Stripe Sock. It's a very nice yarn with a good hand, and so soft. I'm looking forward to working with it.

Between that and finishing the Pug my knitting mojo is back! I'm back to feeling enthusiastic and excited about it. So I've got some wips for today.

I made some progress on the first of the pair of mens mittens.



I cast on a new project for KIP knitting too.


It will be a hat. It starts with corrugated ribbing, which I usually do not like cuz I'm so bad at it, but this one is working out okay. It will be a hat with simple fairisle diamonds and some Latvian braid.

Over the weekend it rained and rained. We got well over 2 inches of it. On Saturday I talked Sweet Hubby into going to Costco and the grocery store with me. In exchange, I'd go with him to Home Depot. It took most of the day.

3 large stores all in one day turned out to be too much walking for me. I way overdid it. So on Sunday I didn't do a whole lot. I worked on this blog. In one of Blogger updates they broke a couple things. I've been working for several weeks trying to fix the problems but couldn't figure it out. Finally, in frustration I called my daughter Sarah. She kindly spent her afternoon with me via Google Video Chat and helped me fix the problems AND add a couple things to my comments section. Yay for awesome daughters! I learned quite a bit too.

Isn't life amazing now? My daughter lives all the way over in Rhode Island but we were able to work together on a problem via the internet. It was a cool experience.

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/12/15

Pug

This knitting project turned out to be rather complicated. I finished it yesterday, except the collar. I've decided I don't want to knit a collar. I'm going to bead one. I'll probably post photos when I get around to doing it, but for now, here's Pug. She needs a name.



Pug for Ellie

Pattern: Pug from Knit Your Own Dog by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne.

Yarn: Lace weight Acrylic (Brand unknown)
Content: 100% Acrylic
Colors: Fawn and Black

Needles: Inox size 0000 double points

Cast on: June 11, 2014
Completed: March 9, 2015

Comments: Oh my gosh, I love this little girl! The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn and size 2 needles, giving a finished size around 4 to 5 inches. I made this to go with my Ellowyne dolls, so I needed it to be much smaller. I decided to use lace weight yarn and size 0000 needles. I knit it exactly as written, just with smaller yarn and needles. The finished size is 2.25 inches tall from floor to top of head, and 2.75 inches from nose to tail. Perfect!

The pattern is not an easy one. It's not written as clearly as it could be, and fiddly. It almost took longer for me to sew the pieces together than it did to knit her. It was worth it though. I'm madly in love with her.

She's a very proud little lady.



Look at that adorable face!



And that sweet little tail. Those stitches are tiny!



So cute from behind!



Getting those ears right was a challenge. I sewed them on, took them off, sewed them on, ... several times before I got it right.



She loves attention and will bug you for it.



Can't you just see that little tail wagging with joy?



She loves to sit in Ellie's lap.



Live long and prosper. \\//










3/8/15

The Winner!

Oh my goodness! I was busy and completely forgot about posting the winner of my contest. I am SO sorry. I will do so now.

We had 7 entries. I used a random number generator, and it came up with 7. So the winner is


Kate/Massachusetts


Congratulations! Please email your snail mail address in the next 3 days to me via thebeadknitter AT yahoo.com.

Thank you to all who entered.

Live long and prosper. \\//

Spring is Early

Yesterday my daughter brought to my attention this crocus that is blooming in our lawn in the front yard. I am gobsmacked!



The two of us sat out on the deck in the warm sunshine knitting for a couple hours in the afternoon. It was wonderful!

I had a beginning knitting class scheduled for the morning. I dutifully drove to the shop prepared. I waited an hour but no one showed up for the class nor did they call to let us know they weren't coming. I'm a bit pissed about that. People are so rude these days. Not to mention wasting my time and gas. Urg.

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/6/15

WIP Update

I have been knitting a little this week. Here's what I worked on.

I never blogged about it, but last June I started knitting a Pug dog. I'm making it for my dolls. I got a couple legs done, and then it got put aside. I decided to finish it. All I've got left to make now is the ears.



I put my wedding ring in the pic so you can see the size of the pieces. I'm using lace weight yarn and size 0000 needles. I took it with me to work on when I went to the Knitwits meeting Wednesday and got quite a bit of ribbing about it. I'm the only one in the group that likes to work with itty bitty materials and tools I guess.

For brainless knitting, I started a pair of mens mittens for Knitwits. I'm using a good quality acrylic worsted weight in a dark brown.



I also have worked a bit on the fairisle mittens. They look quite a bit better done on the size 0 needles.



My knee is doing much better. It's still swollen, but it's about half the size it was 2 weeks ago. I can walk with relatively little pain too. I'm still using the cane when I go out because I'm not quite confident about my balance yet. I think I'll keep using it until the swelling is completely gone, which may be a couple weeks yet.

Our weather has been wonderful. I feel so sorry for the rest of the country. They're getting pounded with snow and ice and frigid temps, and here we have NO snow and we've been in the 40's and low 50's with sunshine and blue skies. This morning the weatherman said we're having 60's next week. 

DECK KNITTING WEATHER! WOO HOO!



He also said this weather is a month earlier than the norm. Hey! I'll take an early Spring any day!

I am still waiting for the pattern for Dogwood and Hummingbirds to arrive. Apparently it was shipped to me, or rather, she took it to her local post office, but she sent it light weight air, or something like that, and it's not allowed for the type of package she shipped. So the Post Office people set it aside until they could get around to sending it back to her house via her postman. It just got sent the right way today. Urg! I am frustrated because it was supposed to be here by the 4th. Now I've got another week to wait. By then I'll probably lose my enthusiasm for doing cross stitch. Maybe I'll start something new.

Tomorrow morning I've got a new Beginning Knitting class to teach. I just found that out, so I will spend this evening preparing for it. I'm changing the project and need to print out the class pattern for it and what not.

Sunday is the month Inland Northwest Freethought Society meeting, so I've got a busy weekend. Hopefully I can squeeze in some time for DECK KNITTING!

Live long and prosper. \\//

3/2/15

Finally, Official Lammily Clothing

Just before Christmas last year, I pre-ordered a couple of the official outfits coming out for my Lammily doll, aka Josephine. They arrived over a week ago, but I didn't get a chance to blog about it until now.



I got two of them and this is my opinion on them. I don't know what I was expecting, but it's definitely cheap made in China stuff.

New York, New York ($27.00) is my favorite of the two I purchased.



The jacket fits very well. But the quality is lacking, severely. There was a mysterious rather large thread knot on the front that I removed.



The lining is nice though.



The little white shirt underneath does NOT fit properly. This is the best I could do. The velcro closings need to be adjusted and the waist is a bit too tight and too low.



The shoes are warped, therefore preventing me from being able to pose her feet straight.



I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the ankle joints on this doll suck. I can probably fix the warping with a bit of hot water since they're plastic shoes.

The jeans fit fine if she's posed straight up and down, but pull way down on her little butt if you bend the legs. Also, they have a hokey velcro closure done with a lousy sewing job



and the pocket is lame. Not really a pocket.



They used 2 pieces of fabric to make it. Why didn't they sew the bottom seam? How hard would it have been to make that right?

I'm disappointed.

The other outfit I got is Celebrating Denmark ($24.00). Ugh. Of course, the shoes are warped.



The jacket fits kind of weird. It doesn't come together in the front, and it's rather large around her shoulders. In addition, mine came with a pre-torn lining.



I didn't like the trimming job on the silver trim either (which is actually very thin wire). Sharp for little hands. But it was easy to trim off myself.



The dress fits fine, but I hate the velcro they used for the closure. Cheap and plastic, not to mention how it's sewn on. This is the way all the velcro closures are done on these outfits. No pride in workmanship. It won't take much playing for these to come off.



Both purses also have this kind of velcro closure.

So, this isn't the quality that I get with my collection dolls (Ellowyne) for sure, nor is it as good a quality as doll clothes were when I was a young girl, but I guess since it's made in China and costs a lot less than the collectible doll clothes, I shouldn't complain. I won't be buying anymore of the Lammily outfits. I'll make my own clothes for her.

I wonder how they compare to the current Barbie clothing? I haven't looked at them in quite awhile. I should check it out.

Over the weekend we watched a Star Trek TOS marathon, both tv and movies, in memory of Leonard Nimoy. I bawled like a baby at the end of The Wrath of Khan. Too real right now.

Knee update. Quite a bit of the bruising is healing nicely, but the swelling hasn't gone down much. I don't think it can until most of the bruising heals. It still hurts quite a bit, but I'm getting around without a cane at home now. If I go out, I take the cane just to give my balance more stability. My doctor says I probably won't need physical therapy, but it's gonna take several months for it to heal completely. Urg. In the meantime, Tylenol and ice packs. I've been taking little walks outdoors too, on days when I don't go anywhere. I am so tired of this. Heal already!!!

Live long and prosper.\\//