Holiday Gift Making in June!

I just finished my first knitted gift for the holiday season!  Must I be an over achiever?  Well, of course, the answer is yes. I like giving hand-crafted items and love receiving them as gifts also.

I walk the hobby stores in May and June and see them getting ready for the holiday season and think, really, must they be such an over achiever. Please, I really do not want to start thinking about the holiday season yet. I am just now fully enjoying summer.  However, if making  hand-crafted gifts is part of my holiday, then I should have started in January!

Over the years there have been many nights past midnight that I am sitting in my favorite chair knitting. My eyes are so blurry and tired that I feel  like a blind person knitting. Through my sleep depraved thoughts I wonder why I feel the need to give hand-crafted items. Really, I should join the new generation and let my fingers do the walking, or scrolling, through Amazon.  I do try to start early, some years I am successful, some not. This year I am determined to be successful.

A couple of weeks ago, I picked out a couple of patterns for a couple of granddaughters. Off to my favorite yarn store and can you believe it, they are having a sale! It did not take long to find yarn that would work and I even saved some money, yeah.

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When I got home and started to review one of the patterns closer, I realize that I needed a dk weight instead of fingering.

No problem, I think I can make adjustments for that. (Yeah, right) But it is not working out the way I thought it would. So, back to the drawing board. And a consult with my BKB, best knitting bud.

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BKB, on the right!

After BKB leaves, I start my gauge and work several color combos from my stash. Later that night I am clicking away and realize that the original colors have become lost when mixed in with my stash yarn. I really like the original colors, so back to an almost sleepless night as I rethink.

The next morning, it is a quick walk for the dogs and then to my knitting chair with my new plan of action.

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Favorite Knitting Space!

The pattern is Shade of Summer Dress, by Elena Nodel. I am sticking with my original colors, and have enough to use 2 strands for a closer fit to dk weight. And will make it a tunic length instead of dress length, so I do not end up playing yarn chicken. I researched the internet for various sizing information.

My gauge is off from the original designer. Not unexpected, why should this be an easy fix? After a couple of trail and errors, I have the right needle, number of stitches and so forth.

Although, I like making changes to a pattern, so that it has my personal touch, totally remodifying a pattern, I am not so good at. I know the number of stitches I need to obtain the correct chest measurements. But, to knit from the top down, with the correct number of stitches and rows that are then increased and them separated into front, back, right and left shoulder, . . . well, I quickly became lost in a fog. (It looks like I will have to tackle another challenge in the near future, pattern designing.)

However, back to this project.  I can do a provisional cast-on for the base of the bodice, work backwards, or in this case, upward. Then separate right and left shoulder, bind-off the center stitches, then do a three-needle bind-off when the shoulders are the length they need to be.

39d5b013-97c7-493d-a4be-4bd483e05a48.jpegNot bad, so far, uh?

Next, I pick up the provisional cast-on stitches to work the skirt. My stitch count is off from the original pattern. I am not worried, as this is a very simple modification. All I need to do is a few increased stitches so that I can divide the skirt into six sections for the A-line increases.

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So now I am busily knitting in circles. Really, I am knitting circles as the skirt is knitted in the round. (Just some knitting humor) My left brain may be in control,

but my right brain, the creative side, is getting bored. Mz. Righty starts thinking way ahead to the ruffle finish. More specifically, how to finish the ruffle. The pattern has an insert of color A stripping before starting the ruffle. That’s nice, righty thinks, but a bit simple. Righty contemplates how much yarn I have left, do I want to do the ruffle as written or spice it up. Seed stitch, lace stitch, boring stitch. I start to think about a shawl that I am making. (Right brain is a touch AD.) The shawl is  Local Yarn Shawl, by Casapinka. And a couple of days ago I was just marveling about how much time Casapinka must spend thinking up new lace designs. (She must also have a very active righty-brain, like me.)

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The base of the skirt has some open work added. Thanks to Casapinka’s righty-brain and my overactive one, also.

Color A is then inserted, but with a twist of my own (of course!).  I do the ruffle according to directions, but finish it with a bit more color.

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I added a crochet edge around the neck and armhole per designer suggestion, but spice it up with contrast color and a bit of picot.

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It is being wet blocked now. The final dimensions are right on for a size 4. (Yippie!) I was able to double check those measurements this weekend with a quick visit to see the greyt daughter, son-in-law, and greyt granddaughters. Hopefully, Mz. Lydia does not have a giant growth spurt or weight gain before the holidays?!?!

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Tomorrow I am off to the hobby store to find some decorative buttons for the base of the bodice.  I must give credit to the original designer for this fun righty-brain idea. And then to meet with my knitting group for a bit of show-n-tell.

It was a quick knit, just six days, plus a few days of frogging, false starts and  thinking-gone-wild.

                                   I think the buttons add a fun touch

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By the way, this is Lydia.

 Time to start my next knitted project for the holidays.

I think I will always give hand-crafted items as long as I am able. However, I am slowly  learning the benefits of finger scrolling through Amazon

HAPPY BLOGGING!!!

the Ravelry challenge and more

Ravelry has a challenge for its’ enthusiastic members. How many projects can you complete during 2018?

At first, I was unsure of this challenge. Once, I understood how simple is was, my eyes dilated, like a druggie, as I thought of all the projects I could make this year. And, of course, me being a person who likes a challenge, jumped in head first as usual.

30, was my first guess. I like round, even numbers. So, I filled in the little box and I was set. And I had already completed 3 projects this year.

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A couple days later I dropped that number to 25. I decided that maybe the thought of a challenge had made me a bit high. But, doing more thinking, (knitting gives one a LOT of time to think) I decided that 30 may actually be a bit low. If I make my little floppy animals and get a second pattern designed, I can probably surpass that number as if I am an Olympic competitor.

February has just passed and March here. I cannot believe how quickly this year is passing. I have completed 5 projects this year, and am working feverishly to try and get a few more done, along with plans to start others.

Please give me my mate, mate!?

Then, I remember my numerous projects that are in hibernation. I get them out, closely examine them; do I want to finish this project or frog it for a different one.  I decide to keep all but one.  I then set an approximate completion date for these projects. That felt good. Projects that have been collecting dust and weakly calling my name, now have gained strength knowing that soon they will be completed.

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A DaVinci to decode

Wow, 6 projects in hibernation, 4 projects sitting by my knitting chair, 1 is hiding under my bed and 3 projects with yarn and a pattern, but not yet started.

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Oh, and I just remembered some specialty animal fibers I bought on sale last month that need to have a project assigned to them.

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Then a visit to my LYS for my weekly knitting group and I come home with more yarn and another project to start.

 

So the above numbers are quickly changing. I doubt that I will have trouble meeting this challenge. The nice thing about the Ravelry challenge is that you can change the number of projects to want to complete. Also, you can adjust the approximate finish date, so if it takes longer, no problem. If you are not sure of a finish date, just enter, December, 31,d 2018, and that should cover you!

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Oh my gosh,  so much to do and so little time.

Am I coming across a bit ADHD?  Time for my medication, which is knitting. Better yet, add a glass of wine!

As I calmly sit, knit and sip, I think about challenges. Ravelry may be challenging me to make as many projects this year as possible, but I am also challenging myself as a knitter. So far this year I have learned the Kitchener join, twisted cable and brioche stitch. Plans for this year also include 1×1 color changes, knitting more tops, incorporating more short rows into projects. I also plan to publish my second knitted pattern!

Do you have any challenges planned for this year? Wishing you luck with whatever challenge you chose and HAPPY BLOGGING!

BLOCKING

Blocking a finished knit item. I used to avoid it like the plague, or make projects that did not need blocking.

I don’t know what my aversion was to blocking. I think it matched with those people who do not like to work in those little bits of yarn from changing colors or adding a new skein.

I, however, like to get those bits of yarn worked in.  I do not like to wait until the end of a project to do so. I work them in as I go along. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see my project looking clean and neat as I knit along. It also can be a real ‘pain in the butt’ if I have to rip, which is a fairly frequent occurrence for me.

Oh yea, blocking! After joining my knit group and receiving some expert advice I no longer feel the fear of blocking, but look forward to it, knowing that it gives my FOs that final, expert finishing.

Today I am blocking my third tunic top for the year!

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Right now it just looks like a giant rectangle. I hope once it is blocked and I try it on, it will look better.  I knit it sideways, knitting the front and back at the same time. The pattern is appropriately called ‘Side to Side Pullover for Women’ from Patternfish. Instead of sewing the side seams closed as the pattern calls I did a three-needle bind-off, which means I did a provisional cast on.

The yarn I used is Fibra Natura, a bulky cotton/linen blend knitted on US#10.5 needles. This left the neck edge a bit rough, so I did a single crochet around the neck opening. I am okay with the bottom looking a bit rough.

I did some internet search to check out how to block this type of fiber. There are a lot of opinions out there!

I found a site by Vogue Knitting with an easy chart to follow. I would include the pic I snapped, but not sure if that would be a copyright infringement.

Basically the chart states that for a cotton or linen fiber you can either wet block or steam block.  After some thought, I decided to try a steam block for a couple of reasons. One being, that I have not tried this technique before and second, I have a very good iron that has a steam feature.

I placed a towel over my blocking board, then proceeded to carefully pin my garment down. I used the steam setting on my iron and very careful held the iron above the garment and slowly steamed small sections at a time.

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I also used the handy-dandy steam button to help infuse steam through both layers. I patiently went over the garment several times.

I am hoping that the zillion little extra steam shots will be sufficient to infuse both top and bottom pieces. Now I patiently wait for it to dry, maybe a bit of fan action will help.

Blocking done, I try it on and have a very awesome dress! Damn, I need to get better at figuring out gauge. I think part of the problem may be the fiber content of this garment along with being knitted sideways changes the stretchiness. Since this was knitted sideways, there will be no ripping out.

However, a quick hem will do the trick.

Completed just in time for a trip to Phoenix in a couple of weeks.

HAPPY BLOGGING!

KNITTING CHALLENGE 2018, cont.

I will not keep you in further suspense. This is the final installment of the Ujo challenge. Most of the challenges  involved was my own making. I should have listened to my gut and paid closer attention to measurements. However, it was my lack of attention that led to some creative thinking and new challenges that ended up boosting confidence in my knitting skills.

When I first imaged this top, I wanted to try and have the colors more blended so that it would be hard to tell where one yarn color ends and another begins.

I think this time around I am a bit closer to achieving that goal.

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I also decided to vary my striping pattern so that it would be a bit more random.

The only problem with that idea is that I did not remember the exact measurement of the previous top, so I added a few more stripes just to be on the safe side. (Can you see a possible problem?)

FINALLY, after what felt like months but was only a long two weeks Iam ready to join the top to the bottom. I am not looking forward to this challenge. I discuss this with my knitting group. One of the ladies mentions that she found a video on You Tube about knitting a Kitchener graft instead of sewing it. That does sound intriguing to me.

Actually, I would almost pay someone to do this for me. But then I start thinking. I am not a quitter. How many times have I ripped something out until I finally got it right. How many different crafts have I done over the years because of the challenge of learning something new.

The video on You Tube was very easy to find. It is called, ‘How to Knit (not sew!) the Kitchener, aka Grafting, by ‘wipinsanity’.

My BKB (best knitting buddy) suggests that I knit up some extra yarn and practice the Kitchener before starting the real thing. I have never learned my lessons nor taken the easy way and history is about to repeat itself.  I watch the video a couple of times am ready to jump in. Why waste time on practice, I say to myself.  My BKB has started calling me the ‘fearless knitter’  because of that attitude along with ripping (or cutting)  a FO apart in the middle, not knowing whether it will have a good outcome.

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Wow! Not looking to bad for a beginner. I am actually impressed how easy it is coming together. I even became faster and was able to complete the join in one afternoon.

OMG! Such a relief. I DID IT! The join looks fabulous, even if I say so myself. I absolutely love how all the colors blend together. I think I should try it on before I block it.

AND,  . . . remember I said I added a few extra stripes  to the top? Well, I also added length to the overall garment. I like my tops long so that I can wear leggings, be comfortable and not look like a ridiculous old lady who should not be wearing that outfit.

I look in the mirror, . . . not bad, I like, except that it extends to the middle of my knee. I know that after blocking I will probably have me a ‘middy dress’.

Okay, I am not ready to give up yet, and this can be an easy fix. Four inches. I ripped out four inches from the bottom. Again, an easy fix. Picked up stitches, bind off, shorten the pockets and sew down again.

That’s it! I am not doing anything else to this project. If it does not block out well and fit, . . . I’ll just burn it!

Are to ready to see how my faded/blended striped Ujo top turned out?

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Sorry, lol, I couldn’t resist a bit more teasing.

Here it is.

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What do you think?

I like it, a lot.  And the ladies of my knit group did the appropriate amounts of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahhhs’. I think I got a pretty good blending of colors. Can you guess how many different colors I used?

You can find the answer on Ravelry with my notes from Frazzldknitter. (I really need to learn how to insert the link, so all you have to do is click it. Maybe that should be my next challenge!)

Hope you enjoyed the suspense.

THANKS FOR FOLLOWING MY BLOG.

P.S.  the answer is 6. 

Animal contributions from a visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

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At last, time for belly rubs, says Toby, our little Furby!

KNITTING CHALLANGE 2018, cont., . . .

Today is a perfect day to curl up in my favorite knitting chair and spend the day doing my favorite activity, knitting and a bit of blogging.

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Not sure how much snow we will get, but the temperature has dropped from 17 degrees two hours ago to 11. Hot cocoa, anyone?

I think today I will be working on two WIPs,

The first is  ‘Drijfhout’ by Isabell Kraemer. My BKB (best knitting budding) made this and I was very envious, just had to have my own. The yarn is Berroco Cosma, alpaca/wool/silk blend. It is so soft and yummy to knit with and will be perfect to wear on a day like today. Knitted top down sleeves are knitted using a contiguous set-in-sleeve method developed by Susie Myers. So far it is fitting perfectly.

The second WIP is a sleeveless pullover top knitted sideways and is appropriately called ‘Side to Side Pullover for Women’ by Knitting Pure & Simple. Pattern was purchased from Patternfish. Yarn is Good Earth Adorn, a cotton/linen blend from Fibra Natura. Hopefully, I will have this finished in a couple of weeks as the Greyt Spouse and I will be visiting in Phoenix. Pattern notes for both can be found on Ravelry and I am Frazzldknitter.

I left you in a bit of suspense last time and promised to not make you wait too long to find out what happens with the ‘Ujo’ top.

I listened to what my friends were saying about the fuchsia color and continued knitting. Most of the time my knitting friends are helpful. I knew in my gut that to continue knitting was probably a mistake, but when do I ever listen to my gut instinct!

I finished the top and tried it on. I am a person who does not shy away from bright or bold colors. However, one look in the mirror I told myself, ‘shoulda listened to your gut!’

I did not take a pic of me wearing the top. I was just too frustrated. I had spent about two weeks of hardly knitting anything else and now I have something that I doubted I would wear much.

Thinking about my options:

  1. Keep it and maybe wear it once  a year.

  2. Give it away.

  3. Frog the WHOLE thing.

  4. Or take on a challenge! I am gaining a new confidence about my knitting.

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Warning, you are about to get yourself into a very prickly situation!

I am not one to back down from a challenge, or should I say certain challenges. So, . . I picked up my left-handed scissors and checked to see how sharp they are.  ‘Gingher’s and still sharp after being used for 40 plus years.

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As I am contemplating what I am about to do, I take a very close look at my scissors and realize that although they were made for a left-handed person, they were obviously made by a right-handed person!

I cannot read the engraved brand name unless I hold the scissors in my right hand!

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LOL, I can’t believe I never notice this before. Silly right-handed people just do not understand the world of a lefty.

Okay, back to the Ujo. I make my first cut. My heart is racing, I start to perspire, and no it is not a hot flash this time! There is no going back now, so I continue to cut. A very surreal experience. I don’t believe that I am really doing this, it must be a dream. (I did not take pics of the destruction, just too emotional.)

I rip out the top section with the offending color. I want to reuse the beautiful sprinkled gray Western Sky Yarn. I make sure I have about one-half inch extra on the bottom half.

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I pick up the stitches on the bottom half where I want to rejoin. I found it easier to do this on the wrong side where the purl bumps were. This I set aside after carefully removing the extra rows.

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That done, I now start reknitting the top.

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I am liking this much better and feel as though I may wear it this time. I think all my colors will blend perfectly now.

I am happily knitting along and start thinking about how to join the top to the bottom. I could do a three-needle join and would prefer this technique, although it will be a bit bulky. But talking to my fellow knitting friends, they suggest the Kitchener join would be more appropriate. My stomach twists into knots. I have only attempted this technique once before. To the untrained knitting eye it looked okay, but to my higher standards, not happy at all. And I did listen to these friends once before, right?

Oh well, I still have plenty of time to think!

TO BE CONTINUED! . . . . . . . . .

‘What! What is she doing? She is not going to tell us the end again!’

’How can she just walk away!’

’She just made my day! I’ll be in a grizzly all day now. Let me at her!’

’You! Look at me! I am so angry my eyes are turning red. You know how hard it is to get red-eye out!’

A Senior Moment and KNITTING CHALLENGE 2018!

I am sitting here reviewing last blog and getting ready to type a new one.  Actually, I did that a several weeks ago! Now, I am revising and rewriting.

Not sure what I did. I thought I had finished the last blog.  Must have been a senior moment. Hoping that I do not have too many of them this coming year. I think it is best to just leave it unfinished and move on to more current stuff.

Almost two years ago, I started knitting with a group of ladies on Wednesdays at my favorite yarn shop. I am very glad I did this. I made new friends and have increased my knitting skills tremendously.  I have learned a greyt deal about different yarns and how to use them. I have  become better at mixing colors and trying new techniques and projects that without this group of ladies I would never imagined that I would be able to do. I credit this group, along with my BKB (best knitting buddy) for the success of most of my projects. (Notice, I said ‘most’)

My last blog and shared a scarf and  a knitted top that I completed after just a couple of weeks into the new year.

883072d2-7f3d-4a2d-8da1-31fd89a647a4.jpegThe green Twisted Tunic was a combination of a couple different patterns, along with my own creativity.  It turned out so well and boosted my confidence to knit more tops.  I now have three tops on my needles, yarn for another along with a brioche shawl, and other assorted WIPs.

Earlier this year I jumped on the ‘Find Your Fade’ bandwagon. Hours were spent finding the right colors and yarns, and conversing with my BKB and other knitting buddies.

This was as far as I got. It then was put into hibernation, along with all WIPs, as I became lost in the forest with my bunny obsession.

While knitting the Twisted Tunic, I started rethinking the Fade and  came to the conclusion that I was not real lying into finding my fade in the context of a shawl. I thought it might be fun to make a top using the fade colors.

So, my search on Ravelry began.  I decided on an Anke Strick pattern called, Ujo. It met my requirements for tunic length, simple lines, easy to knit and using fingering yarns.  I think it would be fun to play with different colors and striping to create a fade or blending of colors.

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I frogged the ‘Fade’ shawl and started thinking how I wanted to put my colors together. Some colors were removed and others added.

I had an idea of what I wanted, but also decided to make it up as I went along. After all,  I had  gained a new confidence with my knitting skills. I think, ‘I’m good, I can do this.’

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Okay, not looking bad so far. The color in this photo is a bit off, the the pink really brings out the pink in the grey Western Sky Yarn.

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Okaaay, I have knitted a lot now. I even finished the sleeves, something that is usually not done until the garment is almost finished. (And if I was smart, I would have waited and not finished the sleeves so early!)

I’m not sure that I am liking the bright pink and share my doubts with my friends on Wednesday Knit Group. (Remember how I praised these ladies earlier?) No one shared my doubts, they ALL thought it was looking greyt and the colors blended well.

So, I continued knittting, . . .

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The following week I go back to the Wednesday Knit Group, and again express doubts about a bright fuchsia color across my chest. I event try it on. I am still the only one with doubts. So, I think, ‘okay, it is just me and I continue to complete the top, including the inner pockets. I do like the color contrast to the inside of the pockets, and I how the other colors blended.

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It is finally complete, I try it on and, . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . TO BE CONTINUED!

Find out what happens next! I promise to not keep you in suspense too long.

“Oh for Emu’s sake! Can you believe she just left us in suspense?I want to know what happened next!”
OH, FOR EMU’S SAKE! Can you believe she left us in suspense, just like that!”

On MyNeedles 

What’s on my needles? Not a lot lately, lol. On second thought, let me rephrase. I have several projects started; one sock with no mate, 1 summer top, 2 winter tops (one of which will probably be frogged), a hitchhiker, another scarf, a temperature blanket, a Find Your Fade (which may just fade completely away). All these projects are sitting  in a recently reorganized knitting niche. 

But not all my needles are sitting idol,..


Recently  I talked about these cute floppy bunnies I have been making. Yes, this is where my needles have been clicking away this whole summer. I have been very busy knitting these floppy bunnies. Not sure how many I have made, but it is a lot.

So after many late nights, early mornings and totally sleepless nights, I am close to the finish line. I have written and rewritten the pattern at least a dozen times, 

and this is the final result!


Even before my final version, I managed to sell a few. That has been  very encouraging! The owner of my LYS has agreed to sell some of the bunnies on consignment and will work with me to sell the pattern. Wow!

Okay, speaking of pattern, I had no idea how much work is involved in creating a pattern that is easy to read, makes sense to others and hopefully spark the interest of the public. I think I am very close to a printable version! My BKB (best knitting buddy) is helping me proof the pattern. Not only is she helping proof, but she has these fabulous ideas for design and layout that will create a knockout pattern.

Once ERIN’s BUNNY is launched, I hope to create a series of floppies called ERIN’s FLOPPIES. In fact, there is a new one coming soon.   I named the series after my daughter, Erin.  Erin has special needs and I spoke about her in a previous blog called, ERIN’s FLOPPIES.  

Making  these bunnies have made me think about launching a small shop. I could sell some of my stitch markers, . . 


Maybe a few earrings and zipper pulls, . . .

Did I mention that I used to make homemade lotions and lip balms? !

Huh! What should  I call  a shop of this nature? I do like greyhounds. How can I fit my love of greyhounds into a small craft shop.

STAY TUNED,  and happy blogging, knitting and just enjoying what is left of summer.

ERIN’S FLOPPY

I have been very busy lately. Travel, weeding flower beds, gardening. It seems that I have not been knitting or posting, but have actually done a lot of knitting. But my knitting is all the same project. 

I discovered an adoreable pattern for a softie and have made several for my grandkids. Friends have started to ask if I would make one for them. The pattern I have been using is copyrighted and has a disclaimer that the designer does not want the pattern used to make profit on knitted items. That is somewhat limiting. Yes, I have made several, gifted them and they have been happily received. 

So this started me thinking about copyrights. What I have discovered is that it may or may not be legal to make a profit from knitted items with this disclaimer. I’m thinking that if the designer feels so strongly about her patterns, maybe it is time for me to design my own pattern.


Part of June and most of July I have been busy writing this pattern and revising it.

With each revision it becomes cuter. 

While busy clicking away on my needles, the gears of my mind turned with all these greyt ideas. Maybe I can publish this pattern. What about a copyright. What if I make different sizes.


How about a mini bunny!

How about adding a hook to this mini. It can now be attached to a backpack or used for a zipper pull. Or maybe attached to a belt loop on jeans or shorts.

I am almost done with my revisions. I still have a few kinks to work out, but I could not resist sharing with you and getting your thoughts and ideas.

I am still checking out copyrights and thinking about publishing. I am also thinking about designing other animals.

Oh, by the way, I have named it ‘ERIN’S FLOPPY’, in honor of my youngest daughter.  Erin was born with a severe learning disability, mild cerebral palsy and autism. As a toddler and child she loved anything floppy, socks, sleeves on a shirt, you name it. She would spend hours shaking these items and it was hard to find toys that were floppy. As she has grown up, she has never lost her interest in floppies. 

Here’s to you sweet Erin. 

REDISCOVERING MY STASH OF BEADS! ! 

If you have been reading my blogs you know that I have fallen behind for a couple of months  and have been contemplating how best to get caught up.  Do I bore you with a chronological order of all that I have been doing. Or do I just jump in and do it in a hodge-podge kind of way.

 I have decided to not go into detail, but just jump in and hit some of the highlights. The little details will just go away until another time, if at all. 

Beading is back! ! My first stitch markers!
 
BEADING is what has been consuming my interest the past few months. I got together with my BKB (best knitting buddy) and revived this old hobby.  BKB and I have tossed around an idea of making beaded stitch markers and possibly selling them, maybe on an Etsy shop of just locally. 

For those who do not know me, I never begin a new hobby without immersing myself in it to the point of almost drowning and becoming financially broke. To the relief of the greyt spouse and my credit card,  I dragged a humongous suitcase from the basement filled with my old stash of beads from several years ago. 

BKB and I drooled over these glistening gems. It was almost overload for me, I did not know where to start. 

These beauties are hand crafted glass! With onyx beads, Swarovski crystal beads and sterling silver flex wire are too precious to sell. They now belong to me.(This will have to go on the lost side of inventory. lol)

It wasn’t long before I was back in the groove and thinking of nothing but the next bead project. My knitting needles were calling to me, but I could not hear them. So sadly, many WIPs have been neglected. The sparkle of the beads are hard for me to resist. 

To take a break from beaded stitch markers, I started putting together earrings for myself and family members.

Zipper pulls for backpacks
I went shopping for some sunglasses and took time to knit a case for them from some stash yarn. My pattern, on Ravelry.  I used some ribbon yarn from my stash, along with an old button.  Hmm,… maybe this is an item I could whip up and sell in my little shop. 
Then back to more stitch  markers.

Hawaii is soon approaching and I think some special jewelry is required.

The three bigger ones are for myself, my daughter-in-law, and a friend. The small one is for the granddaughter.
 

I made these for my daughter-in-law, a friend and myself. The cute little ones are for the granddaughter, and she immediately put them in her cute little ears. 



Okay, the creative juices have really started flowing. MACRAME!  Macrame bracelets for the grandkids with some decorative beads. Once upon a time,  I also did macrame. In fact, I saved all my old books on macrame. 
 More jewelry for more granddaughters. 

So far I have been able t resist the temptation to buy more beads, for the most part. Only shopping for the findings needed to make stitch markers and earrings. 

I will end by saying that I have had some luck in selling some of my pieces already! To the ladies of my knit group! And, one of the ladies in my neighborhood commented on a pair of earrings I was wearing. Besides saying ‘thank you’ and I also added that she could also have a pair for a nominal fee! She took me up on my offer immediately! My daughter-in-law also liked a pair I had made. Due to her family connections, there will be no charge to her. (Hopefully she will do some free advertising for me!)

Maybe I should give some more serious thought to starting a small sho

Ladies Weekend Retreat and a Shawl

Hello, it has been awhile since I wrote something. I have been busy and and do have several things I can share, but for some reason I did not seem to have the words.

Last weekend my neighbor and friend, Nancy, invited me to the mountains for a girls retreat. Her S/O, Jim, has a beautiful log cabin up near Steamboat. Jim was out of town, so it was a perfect time for us to go, along with her dog, Missy. 

The snow is melting fast up in the high country. Elevation is about 8500 feet and there was only about 2 to 3 feet of snow left. The dirt roads were dry, so we were able to walk the area. We met some of the neighbors along the way and Nancy was able to catch up on the doings of the neighborhood.  Afterwards we came back and had happy hour on the deck. Missy was happy after her walk and was content to sit at our feet while we enjoyed the view of gently sloping hills and the sounds of birds. Besides the crows and magpies, we also saw a couple of mountain blue jays and a blue bird. 


We had a small fire in the fireplace, soup for dinner, girl talk, more wine and a couple of girlie movies.  And of course, I had my knitting, which I will show you in a minute.


This was the sunrise the first morning. I’m not usually an early riser, but felt like I really wanted to take advantage of the weekend and Nature was very accommodating. 

The next day we spent in Steamboat for lunch and some window shopping. Okay, it was a bit more then window shopping. I love to browse shops. Many are the  usual tourist stuff.  But there are always those that have unique gifts.  Some which are hand crafted. Unfortunately, many were beyond my pocket book. I just could not find a way to justify with the greyt spouse why we needed this extremely large geode made into a beautiful coffee table. But is was fun to look at and dream, and I did make a few finds to bring home.  We also visited the town of Kremmling, just a few miles from the cabin. There is a small motel that has been converted by a group of local artist. The main part of the motel  is the gift shop. The individual motel rooms are workshops for the artists. I was able to get a good start on some Christmas gifts. There were different types of painting, jewelry, wood crafts, hand-tooled leather, art glass. There was even a small corner with some yarns that were hand-dyed. If you make it to Kremmling, it is definitely worth your time to visit. Or you can check out there website at http://www.GoreRangeArtisans.com.

Here are a couple of trinkets that I could not resist!
Here are a couple of the trinkets I could not resist!

It was a greyt weekend and ended too soon. Thanks, Nancy, for bringing me along with you and Missy. And thanks to Jim for sharing his beautiful cabin. 

So,… my knitting for the weekend was a stash buster shawl. I started it a few weeks ago and was really ready to get it off my needles. It is made of worsted weight acrylic from my stash and is perfect when there is a bit of chill around the house.The idea came when I saw a scarf called ‘Suddenly, Gradient!’, by the Universal Yarn Team. 



Nancy had the greyt idea of adding the pocket. Now isn’t that a nice personal touch!

So long for now. HAPPY KNITTING TO YOU ALL.