Saturday, December 08, 2007


Yes, it started innocently enough as a plan to briefly scan some of my favorite bloggers and see what they've been up! Just couldn't resist the open invitation from Ari to PAY IT FORWARD. Yes, I know I'm busy. Knitting Christmas sweater for Mike. Maybe something small for Shaun. Knitting for my Church a pair of baby booties for The Giving Tree and a baby hat for the Giving Tree at Shaun's school. Finishing a commissioned hat for another. No time to take on another project? Of course there's time!
So here' the deal:

The guidelines:"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise!

The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

"Want to participate? Be one of the first 3 people to leave a comment on this post and make the same promise on your own blog.

Not So Random Acts of Kindness. And 365 days to do it in!!! I like this idea a lot!

So, here goes! Gentle Knitter, if you're interested in participating, just be one of the first three lovely knitters to post that you would like to PIF!

I'm already thinking of some great STASH BUSTING gifts to send ya!!!

P.S. That's Kringle, snug as a bug in his basket when the Yarn Room was undergoing it's much needed transformation!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've mentioned in previous posts that I have promised my husband, Mike, a sweater for, oh, let me see...about 5 years! Considering the dear man has been more or less supportive of my knitting obsession, yarn accumulation, the not too hostile take-over of our spare bedroom to house massive yarn acquisitions, and for simply being just a nice guy about my love affair with yarn, he truly does deserve to have his very own hand knit sweater under the tree THIS Christmas. If it kills me. I envision being up all night Christmas Eve, not wrapping presents, as last year, BUT seaming the sweater together. From my lips to God's ear. Progress at this date? The photo above shows ribbing for the right front of sweater. Left to do after right front completed? (yes, I plead temporary insanity for not knitting the two fronts simultaneously!) Knit 2 sleeves at same time, button band, attach all parts, and sew on buttons. Can she do it?
Completing this sweater in time is THE MAIN EVENT in my knitting life right now! I'll keep you posted!

Meanwhile, with Secret pal 11 wrapping up, I sent out my final package to my Pal Lori who lives in Oregon. I'm envious of her ability to knit for herself, especially socks! Lots of socks! Knit with the most extraordinary yarn in the most gorgeous colors! Pay her a visit and see for yourself. Tell her I said "hello"! She'll learn my identity soon anyway.....

Speaking of identities, I've learned the identity of my dear SP11 Pal, Carol, who is from Colorado! Mike and I flew over the Rockies once, on our way to San Francisco, pre-child years ago. Memories.
Carol always sent the most beautifully wrapped boxes containing the sweetest presents! Understanding completely that I DIDN'T NEED anymore yarn after taking a gander of my yarn stash in earlier posts,

she, nonetheless, always managed to send my favorite things.

How sweet and thoughtful you are, Carol! You've been a great Pal!
Thank-you so very much for giving me a wonderful SP11 experience!

I forgot that I had been Tagged several weeks ago and am just now getting to it! I totally forgot WHO TAGGED ME!!! Please contact me if you did.
I copied/pasted/saved the following questions.

Not remembering what this was originally named, I'm calling this "Useless Info About Me" Tag and I will only Tag one person! See ya at the end of my droning on and on BLAHBLAHBLAH!

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? Mike.
2.What were you doing at 0800? Thinking about what to make for dinner tonight.
3.What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Updating blog.
4. What happened to you in 2006? Living a contented life.
5.What was the last thing you said out loud?OMIGOD! Forgot to post this Tag list weeks ago!
6. How many beverages did you have today? Two cups of java.
7.What color is your hairbrush? Red.
8. What was the last thing you paid for? Broccoli and Cheddar soup at Barnsie's.
9. Where were you last night? Home with family.
10. What color is your front door? Red.
11. Where do you keep your change? In a Precious Moments piggy bank that I've had for years. It helps fund my Big Knitting Events through out the year.
12. What’s the weather like today? 50 degrees and nice-for now.
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Hershey's Moose Tracks.
14. What excites you? The words "yarn sale".
15. Cut your hair? Cut, color and easy care is my motto!
16. Are you over the age of 25? And then some!
17. Do you talk a lot? Yes, if it's related to knitting! Otherwise, I seem to be more content to be more silent as I grow older. Some may disagree. so what.
18. Do you watch the OC? Not my thing.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Only Steven Wright, the comedian. And not personally.
20. Do you make up your own words? HHHHHMMMMMMMM?
21. Are you a jealous person? I covet my neighbor's yarn stash. Kidding!22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "A". My alter ego-Annie Gora.
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kringle, my cat.
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Mike.
25. What does the last text message you received say? Texting is hard on my knitting fingers! Refuse to do it.
26. Do you chew on your straw? Nope.
27. Do you have curly hair? How I wish!
28. Where’s the next place you're going to? Chair to knit.
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? Drivers on local highways, my pet peeve these days.
30. What was the last thing you ate? Oatmeal and grapefruit.31.
Will you get married in the future? Only if Reincarnation is real, and then I'll marry Mike again!
32. What’s the best movie you've seen in the past two weeks? I 've been checking out Helen Mirren's "Prime Suspect" series from the library. I'm kinda into British miniseries and telly right now-been since Labor Day. Don't know why.
33. Is there anyone you like right now? I like that the Dalai Lama is coming to Bethlehem in 2008.
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Just a few minutes ago.
35. Are you currently depressed? Too many things to be grateful for and to look forward to!
36. Did you cry today? Haven't watched Animal Planet yet today!
37. Why did you answer and post this? I'm a sucker for Tagging!
38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey. I'm only TAGGING ONE!

Finally, Jan e-mailed me to let me know she knit and posted her version of La Petite Sweet Sweater pattern. Go have a looki-loo. She did a great job! I'd love to see more photos if anyone else decides to knit my pattern!

Now, back to my sweater knitting!
Have a great knitting week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


from the needles of The Knitorious Mrs. B.. AKA Linda Ball

Several of my Gentle Readers have commented on my WIP miniature sweater ornament displayed in a previous post. Many thanks for the kind words of encouragement! It is a very simple concept: Knit up , across and down.
I'm posting my pattern for free, with the understanding that it is yours to do with it whatever you wish. You have my permission to knit this ornament and sell them for personal profit, or offer them for sale at Fund Raisers to benefit not-for-profit organizations. Put your own creative stamp on it and embellish however your sense of whimsy guides you.

All I ask is that you credit me as the author of this pattern. I 'm not aware of any other ornament patterns written as such, so I feel at ease in posting this pattern.

Seriously, that's all, folks! So, go ahead and enjoy my early Christmas/whatever Holiday-you-observe gift to you!

I'd love it if you'd send me photos of your La Petite Sweet Sweaters knit up so I could post them!
Please let me know if you find any errors in my pattern directions.

Make someone happy by knitting them a La Petite Sweet Sweater!
La Petite Sweet Sweater Ornament
Small amount of yarn ( fingering, sock weight, dk, sport weight, worsted weight) I used a small amount of sportweight, superwash that had been hand dyed with Wilton's Cake Icing Coloring from Fall 2006 yarn dying adventure with Amiga Jeanie.
2 DP Needles-Size 2
Using DP needle, and leaving about a 6 inch yarn tail, Cast On 16 itches. Work pattern with DPs as if knitting with straight needles.
Sweater front:

(RS) Row 1. K1, P1 across.

(WS) Row 2: P1, K1 across.
Repeat 1:1 ribbing as above until you have 6 rows of ribbing, ending having worked the (WS) Row 2.
Now, knit in Stockinette Stitch for 20 rows ( OR until you feel your sweater body is long enough/ You are bored!) The Knitted side is the (RS) facing you.
Beginning the front sleeves:
Ending on a Purl side row, Cast On 10 stitches, and then begin Knitting across to end of row-26 stitches. Before you turn your work to begin the next row, Cast On 10 stitches, turn, and Purl back across the entire row. Total stitches are now 36. 10 (sleeve) 16 (body) 10 (sleeve).
Knit the first 2 stitches AND the last 2 stitches at each end of EVERY sleeve row, working the 32 stitches in between in Stockinette Stitch. (Very important when you are working the PURL side rows, as this makes a little ribbed cuff at each end of the sleeves!) Just remember to knit straight across on all (RS) facing rows and knit the fist and last 2 stitches on all the PURL side (WS) rows!
Continue working the sleeves this way across all 36 stitches for 10 rows, ending on a purl side row.
(RS) facing you. knit 13, BO 10 stitches, knit remaining 13 stitches.
(WS) facing you, knit 2,p 11 stitches, CAST ON 10 stitches, purl next 11 stitches, knit last 2 stitches
((RS) facing you, knit across all 36 stitches.
Continue working the back sleeves as previously done in the front sleeve section for next 9 rows, ending having worked purl side row.
Decreasing for sleeves:
At beginning of (RS) row, BO 10 stitches, knit next 26 stitches.
At beginning of purl row, BO 10 stitches, purl remaining stitches. 16 stitches remaining.
Return to working the sweater body in Stockinette Stitch pattern for 20 rows/ OR equal to the number of rows worked for the front of the sweater.
Remember to repeat 6 rows of 1:1 ribbing near the bottom of your sweater and BO in K1, P1 pattern. Leave about 6 inches yarn tail before cutting yarn.
To finish, you need only to sew up your sides up to the end of your sleeves with your 6 inch yarn tails! Embellish as you wish and enjoy!

Friday, November 09, 2007


In case you, Gentle Reader, think I spend every waking moment with knitting needles in motion, I do actually have a life outside of knitting, but one in which I make every attempt to squeeze in other things from time to time, other than a row or two! While attending this most excellent seminar in NYC this past Wednesday, from my carefully concealed position in the back of the room I was able to fully attend to the lecture, jot down pertinent data, and knit my beloved ball band in the Garnet and Grey colors of P-burg high school, from which my favorite Step MIL, Becky, graduated years ago. Nurses are great at multitasking!

Another great goodie package from my SP 11 arrived a few days ago! She's so thoughtful and knows me so well! So much fun to open gifts from her-definitely a big pick-me-up from a tiring day to receive her packages!

Click on the photo for a close-up of the goodies. Kringle kind of just plops anywhere, but, he can, you know! He gets away with a lot since his stroke!
Thanks SP!!!

A few weeks ago I entered a contest sponsored by Knotty Kitty Knits ( see sidebar link) and won! Her generous goodie package arrived also this week and how nice it was to receive a lovely card from her with the yarn and the the book that I am glad to add to my collection of Knitting On The Go series!


Since I've always believed that it is more blessed to give...
coupled with being the recipient of the generosity of knitters that are no longer strangers, I was inspired to sponsor my own contest, in which Shelly? Kadezmom came closest to guessing the amount in the Rhinebeck Yarn Fund Bowl last week. I'm glad that I can now post the prizes I sent her, since she safely received her package! I know, it's not a ball band, but did you know that I am also smitten by all things mitered square? I just finished it in a simple single crochet all around. Reminded me of Kool Aid colors! The yarns were one's I thought she might like in variegated colors, per her request.
Enjoy, Shelly!

October, being Breast Cancer Awareness month, has a particular meaning to me, as my very dear friend, and former co-worker, Lee, is a survivor.
I always try to send her a little something hand knit in pink to celebrate her victory. Thinking of you, Sissy!! Sorry I was a bit late!

It's been a while since the Knitting Amigas and I have hit the road for our One-Friday-A-Month Yarn Shop field trip, Nan and I headed for South Philly to explore Loop and Sophie's Yarns. Unfortunately, Amiga Jeanie had to work that day, but she was with us in spirit! Nan is a pro at finding her way to yarn shops, I think, because this gal CAN SMELL YARN!
When I wasn't doing my part as trip navigator, I passed the time knitting teeny sweater ornaments: up the front, and down the back. Quick and easy! If anyone is interested in making one, leave a message in comments, and I'll post the pattern next week!

In almost no time we arrived!

And, we shopped....
These were my purchases

Missing from this photo was "Not Just Socks". At 40 % off I was willing to chance it that i might already have it in my bookcase at home! Yes, it's pretty bad when you can't remember if you've already bought the book!
And, guess what! I did have a copy! It's "Not Just Socks II that I don't have! FOOL!
At 40 % off each one will make a lovely something for somebody! Yak-Yak, Baby!
40 % off Claudia. There's nothing else needs to be said, is there?
This was a good buy already at $26, so a real bargain at 40 % off

I dare not speak of Nan's purchases as she has invoked her confidentially clause!
With a little bit of time and yarn budget left, we decided to visit Sophie's Yarns. Many blocks later, I thought we'd never arrive at our destination in time to shop!


Like I said, she SMELLS yarn!

I bought these cool buttons!

If you're wondering, both shops were very nice places to visit and shop. They each had their yarn personalities, price ranges were reasonable and the owners were very personable toward us. We'd definitely go back again to spend, ogle and caress the yarn! I was very impressed with what I was able to buy discounted at Loop.

Last stop before we exited Philly was a quick, and I do mean a quick pit stop curbside at the U of PA Library long enough for Nan to hug and kiss her darling daughter, Shally!

What an angel she is! Too bad she's too old for Shaun!

Hope you, Gentle Reader enjoyed this very long post. Unfortunately, time doesn't allow me to post daily, and sometimes I go through one or two weeks that seem really knitting-related intensive that I feel compelled to share with you!

What you didn't see: Me knitting Michael's Christmas sweater-which, by the way, I really am!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


In my previous post I sponsored a contest in which, you, Gentle Knitter, were invited to guess the dollar amount of the coins in the Rhinebeck Yarn Fund bowl.

Entries were accepted until midnight, October 31st. The person who came the closest to the amount without going over is the winner. The prize is 4 balls of dish cloth knitting cotton and a ready-to-use cotton dishcloth, hand knit by yours truly!
Thanks to all who participated!

The amount of coins in the bowl came to $53.57.

The winner is SHELLY (!) aka
who came the closest to the amount by guessing $50 even.

Congratulations and smart thinking there, Shelly! I posted on your blog and sent a private email, so as soon as I hear from you I'll send out your package!

I'll be posting the photo of the prize package AFTER the Shelly notifies me that she has received her goodies.

It was fun to read all the entries, and hear from knitters, some old blogger friends, others new to me. I've been dropping in on every one's blog, seeing what everyone is knitting throughout the country, and getting lots of inspiration. What great knitters there are out there!
We have lots in common!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Not having posted in almost 3 weeks, I've lots to show and tell.

Spent time at Stitches, Rhinebeck, on the Nursing job, teaching my knitting classes, organizing (yep-again!) my yarn room, cleaning out closets at home and scrambling to finish that afghan for our Church project! In between knitting that occasional Ballband cloth, and Granny's favorite just to keep my sanity! I need to feel a balance among home, work and creative play. Not feeling it yet! SIGH. Next immediate project is to knit about a dozen little sock ornaments for the Church Christmas tree-due by Saturday morning! Oh, how I love a deadline not at all!!!

So, lets start with our Baltimore trip.

The 3 Amigas, turned loose on all that unsuspecting yarn.....

Home again, in the sanctity of my yarn room, I survey the damage done, and contemplate where to store it all! Notice a trend here...sock yarn and lace yarn. Main attractions for me were Blue Yarn, Claudia Hand painted and Brooks Farm Yarn. Most of the patterns were half off at Yarn's Forever. Books came from Mannings and Yarn Barn.

What I plan to be knitting this year! Serious! I've decreed that if I haven't knit my purchases by November 2008, I'm a staying home!
Purses were from the samples sale bin at Two Old Bags, cost $20 each! Who could resist? Not me, Gentle Knitter!

Budget constraints gave rise to serious thoughts regarding what to spend at Rhinebeck the following week. Piggy bank offerings were taken to the bank, and that lovely coin machine set some spending guidelines.


Guess how much coinage in the bowl, post your answer to my comments section and I'll send the lucky winner who is the closest to the correct amount without going over, 4 balls of stash dishcloth cotton and a hand knit dishcloth from my dish cloth stash.

Why am I doing this, Daaaarling? I've won a few things myself lately, and I've got a lot of stash. Paying it forward.

Deadline is Wednesday, October 31st, midnight. I'll announce the winner before noon Thursday, November 1st. Winner can even specify the cotton skein colors and if I've got them in my stash, well, they are yours, postage on me!

Hint: There's more money in coins than you might think in that bowl, but not enough for me to go merrily to Rhinebeck without adding some $$$ to the yarn shopping budget, as you might tell from my purchases. See below.

Next stop, Rhinebeck!

I found some interesting things, but as with Stitches, you can predict that I will come home with something from Blue Moon and Brooks Farm. Again, socks and shawl yarn. Some cool patterns, and a really funky black alpaca with some sort of feathers woven in. My new scarf this year! CAW! CAW!

Little projects were perfect take- alongs during our trips....

I'm favoring the Peaches N Cream brand over Sugar N Cream these days due to their vibrant colors! Hope they wash and wear well.

Playing around making some dishcloth care tags for my gift giving.

Found this bottle of wine during my monthly wine run and just had to buy it because of the label. Alas, the actual wine was swill, but nothing that couldn't be made tolerable with a bit of ginger ale added! I'm a fan of log cabin quilts, so knitting this cloth gave me immense satisfaction.

TA-DA! The church afghan finished! Those ladies I knit with are such talented knitters! I feel such peace now that it is all finished.

Next up....Mike's sweater!

Monday, October 08, 2007


It's October and I'm still picking crops from our vegetable garden. Peppers have been ardently popping up since July, with no end in site. Afew tomatoes here and there, but soon they will be done for good. Throwing some Swiss Chard leaves in to pastas and soups when I think of it,

and waiting for other good things, like this celery, to mature.

Several eggplants were noticed.
This is the lone surviving yellow squash plant, but it looks like it's still going strong.
These pole beans are the new kids on the block, having been planted by Shaun sometime in August. I like that there are a few surprises left to be had in our garden!

Speaking of surprises.....besides receiving my invitation to join Ravelry, the Postman made a delivery last week.

My Secret Pal 11, known to me as Pooch A, sent me another lovely gift box with a fall theme.
Angels and stitch markers-can't have too many of the both of them!

Yummy candy, which I must remember to take along to class tonight to share with my brilliant knitting students. The book is great, and I'll pass it around tonight also. It reads like a dictionary, but very clever.
Lovely kitchen accessories that welcome the pies and cookies I'll prepare for the holidays. I really must decorate my front door for Fall this week, even if it is eighty degrees! I love the colors this time of year!

Thanks, Pooch, for another beautiful gift package!

I love the colors that are in bloom in my tree planter.

I'm trying to knit those colors in my cloths to keep me mindful that it really is Autumn. Ballbands on hold for now while I rediscover Grandma's Favorite Dish Cloth. These were knit with one ball of Mar-Di-Gras. I started out knitting both at once on straight 7s but was running short due to my 45 stitch Cast Ons. Notice the orange tip to the smaller one. Came from the scrap basket. I had to finish them separately, frogging back to 41 on the second one.

Next time I'll knit them both with a 40 stitch Cast On in order to, hopefully, get 2 complete cloths out of one ball. Frugal in some things, am I.

I have sewn all 20 squares together into 4 panels for the church afghan and plan to sew the panels together today. Finish with a border of some sort.

Although it was a labor of love, I'll be relieved when it is all done. I dislike knitting deadlines.

A little diversion came my way...

in the form of a 60 inch shoulder warmer/scarf. Nan had knit a beautiful one in a chunky ivory alpaca. I dug into my Noro stash and am knitting day and night to finish it to wear at Stitches or Rhinebeck. "High Hopes", as the song goes...
Yes, dogs are capable of laughter.