Monday, July 30, 2007


Summer is slowly slipping by for me and sometimes I can't help but wonder what on earth I am doing with my days! I hadn't posted for 2 weeks, so, Gentle Knitter, I must have been terribly busy, right?
Well, here is a pictorial diary of what I've been up to....

A very hot and humid day had been spent as the VERY FIRST mother and son waiting on line at our local B&N for our bracelets for the last HP book. I'm not what you could call a fan, but Shaun is, so this is what a mother subjects herself to for her child!
As you can see, I arrived prepared to wait it out! I started knitting the Magic Loop Toe Up baby sock, which will be adapted to a 2 Toe Up method. Cascade Fixation. For a proposed class. Focusing on working the heels became difficult as the afternoon wore on due to the encouraging comments and friendly conversation that passerbyers directed at me, but I did meet a new knitter named Sheila, who was nice to chat with! Channel 69 news came and interviewed us, along with others on line. Mission accomplished and we were on our way home, planning to return to the main event later that night!

Arriving around 10 pm we found the HP party well underway, wall to wall people, young and old. I even ran into my friend Debbie, who graciously invited me to share her little table, which were very scarce.

Meet Deb. Now, SHE'S A FAN! Definitely.

The joint was rockin' as we approached midnight, screaming girls, sugared up kids, tired moms and dads, cranky me. But, Shaun was treated like a celebrity (B Lister) as he was escorted to the front of the line amid the huge crowd inside. Leaving the store after he bought his book we had to go through a mob of people, and I was actually worried that some nut would dart out of the crowd and run off with his book! It was really that nuts!Once home, I reflected, with gratitude, that I'll never have to do this again! If Harry is indeed dead, as my son believes, he just better stay dead! Please, no flaming! I'm kidding!
Shaun of the Dead!

I had absolutely zero energy the next day, having spent it all on the previous days festivities. My reward for being a good martyr, um, I mean Mother, was to spend some quality time with my knitting.I gathered all my various shades of blue SNC cottons and started knitting my latest ballband with a brown background. I call it "Birth of the Blue's Cocoa with a Dash of Uncle Sam"
I've been admiring Yarnstorm's crocheted flower squares so I am re-learning how to crochet after many years.
I have an idea(see drawing)for a summer top made with these ribbon yarns bought, oh, I dunno, 3 or 4 years ago from Kraemer's Yarn Shop's $ 2 sale bin. As you can see, I need to practice a bit more to perfect my square, as I messed up a bit between the yellow and orange rounds. Anyone care to offer some help?

The 3 Amigas went to the theater also. A night out with the girls, me, Jeanie, Nan and my latest Sockotta WIP.

Having friends that put up with one's eccentricities are truly a blessing, don't you think?

Yesterday the weather was dreary and rainy, so I spent a good portion of the day wrapped up in an afghan, watching the Forsyte Saga and knitting here and there on several different projects. The set has 7 DVDs and we watched 2 in all, but now I am totally enmeshed in this drama about this upper middle class British family! My family is biting the bullet with this because this is pay back for subjecting me to all those Horatio Hornblower DVDs they took out of our local library this summer.

I was able to complete some of the "Blue" themed Ballbands I've been working on, as well as correct the mistakes I had made on the baby socks heels.

I'm joining SOCKS FOR SOLDIERS, a Yahoo Group, because they also collect washcloths for our soldiers. Amazing to think that something so simple could fill a need so basic for someone who is giving up so much. For me.

I started a Baby Surprise Jacket, having possessed several EZ books that have the pattern. It's a strange, strange pattern, but, I 'm taking it on faith and knitting merrily along. I received several email responses to my group posting about my fear of BSS, and they were full of great tips. I think for my first I'll just go basic with some Sirdar donated to our Knitting Ministry. Naturally, the finished BSS will go to my local Charity.

In the meantime, there ain't no cure for the summertime blues when it comes to knitting socks in this lovely shade of teal and brown. There's just something about those blues and browns together that just GETS ME!

Meanwhile, Lacey so kindly thought of me for her latest TAG ALONG...

Sit back and ponder this...
Did you know that significant things occurred on my birthday throughout history? Neither did I. I found this out by typing my birth date into the search line on Wikipedia. The list was very long, so I reduced it for your reading pleasure.
February 23 in recent years


1455 - Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.

1778 - American Revolution: Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army.

1836 - The Siege of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.

1847 - Mexican-American War: Battle of Buena Vista - In Mexico, American troops defeat Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

1861 - President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after an assassination attempt in Baltimore, Maryland.

1866 - Lebanon Valley College is founded in Annville, Pennsylvania.

1874 - Major Walter Clopton Wingfield patents a game called "sphairistike," now more commonly called lawn tennis.

1893 - Rudolf Diesel receives a patent for the diesel engine.

1898 - Émile Zola is imprisoned in France after writing "J'accuse", a letter accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully placing Captain Alfred Dreyfus in jail.

1905 - Chicago, Illinois attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world's first service club.
1927 - The Federal Radio Commission (later renamed the Federal Communications Commission) begins to regulate the use of radio frequencies.

1945 - World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a commonly forgotten US Navy Corpsman, reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag. The photo would later win a Pulitzer Prize. .

1954 - The first mass vaccination of children against polio begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Minister of Frace.
1974 - The Symbionese Liberation Army demands $4 million more to release kidnap victim Patty Hearst.

1987 - A supernova is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud (see Supernova 1987a).

1995 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 30.28 to close at 4,003.33, closing above 4,000 for the first time.

1997 - A large fire occurs in the Russian Space station, Mir.


1685 - Georg Friedrich Handel, German/British Baroque composer (d. 1759)
1743 - Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German-born banker (d. 1812)
1868 - W.E.B. DuBois, American civil rights leader (d. 1963)
1940 - Peter Fonda, American actor
1952 - Brad Whitford, American musician (Aerosmith)
1960 - Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan
1962 - Michael Wilton , American musician (Queensrÿche)
1965 - Michael Dell, American computer manufacturer

1781 - George Taylor, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (bc. 1716)
1821 - John Keats, English poet (b. 1795)
1848 - John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (b. 1767)
1965 - Stan Laurel, British born actor and comedian (b. 1890)
1995 - Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (b. 1942)
1995 - James Herriot, English writer (b. 1916)
2003 - Howie Epstein, American bass guitarist (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) (b. 1955)

Holidays and observances
Roman Empire - Terminalia held in honor of Terminus.
Guyana - Mashramani-Republic Day.
Italy - Feast of the Incappucciati.
Russia - Defender of the Fatherland Day (formerly Red Army Day or Day of Soviet Army and Navy).
Brunei - National Day.

Liturgical feasts
February 23 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
Catholicism - Feast day of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (died 155)
Saint Lazarus (d. 867)

Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.,
Exciting stuff!
I'm tagging......
CeElle of Coming Unravelled fame, who has a terrific eye for dishcloth color and design!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


One of the best things about summertime is sitting on my back porch, and knitting away on one of the many UFOs while my son and his friends THWACK each other in the pool with those foam noodles! Sword fight! Marco. Polo.
Right now the garden is coming alive with green tomatos and I saw a few tiny peppers and eggplant the other day newly sprouted! We've already enjoyed a few dishes with our Swiss chard and Collard/Mustard Greens. managed to grab a few raspberries from the bushes before the birds knew they were ripe! So many things about the summer that are worth looking forward to! Feel free to send me your recipes for Swiss Chard and Collards! That's definitely something to look forward to!

Knitting every day is something I look forward to and has kept me very busy over the years.
Reflecting about my knitting projects and the people to which I am knitting committed.....Finished the Turtle Check Square for the Knitting Ministry's Afghan Raffle and enjoyed the rhythem of the cable pattern. Once started it was very easy to knit without constantly referring to the pattern. I thought to myself "so this is what comes to you after many years of knitting! A "oneness" with the Cable Stitch"!

The final square is called Hourglass Cable and Bobbles. Upon casting on and knitting the first row I learned that this is going to be a not so easy and mindless knit as every row seems to be very different! I am taking a little break from this for a few days...All those Bobbles again!
I am sooooo looking forward to havng this final square completed so we can see all 20 squares side by side and begin the joining process.

I'm looking forward to completing this latest Ballband, and perhaps sending it to my Exchange Pal, whoever she may be, for this quarter's Monthly Dishcloth Exchange. Is it worthy? Will the colors be right for her? I also signed up for Secret Pal 11 and am eagerly waiting to learn the identity of who I will spoil over the next 3 months!
Looking forward to starting this Ballband for the Dog Days Of Summer Discloth TODAY because I adore the combination of blues and browns and since the Pal I was assigned doesn't seem picky about colors, will knit one for us both. Hope she likes it! Getting that goody box ready to ship!

Looking forward to teaching a sock knitting class at Kraemers Yarn Shoppe once if I can ever adjust my schedule. These are the samples that I am working on, actually 3 hours worth of knitting. I 'm so in love with the Magic Loop method of knitting socks and have no intention of every going back to knitting just one sock at a time! Does this make me a Sock Snob?
Looking forward to teaching a knitting class on Monday nights starting this fall at my local community college. I enjoyed developing the course outline and really want this to be a fun experience for the students. I also teach at Michael's, AND work perdium as an RN at a hospital, so I struggle at times to keep it all in balance!

This just arrived and I've been looking forward to knitting this hat pattern for some time now. I'm not really a hat person but I love the idea of knitting a One Hour Hat! Size 35 needles. Thanks Pretending Sanity for this great pattern! Thinking it will look nice with my black pea coat.

Looking forward to a terrific week and wishing the same for YOU!

Monday, July 09, 2007


IT'S HOT!!! I'm taking it slow and easy today and hope you are too, Gentle Knitter, where ever you are.

I can't help but wonder just what everyone IS knitting these days......

I started another pair of 2 toes/1 circ with this adorable Opal something. Can't find the ballband to the yarn, but isn't it summery? Cotton, of course!

Speaking of Ballband.....

Naturally I'm in full Ballband mode right now. These are knit with Fiesta Ombre and Faded Denim. I usually knit the cloths like this in reverse after the first one is done. Leftovers, which is a scoosh, are perfect for scrappy cloths, like the Log Cabin.

Knitting for a good cause....

This is the next to last afghan block I've committed to for my Church knitting group's Bazaar project. Consists of an easily memorized cable sequence and I'm really pleased with how it is turning out. No need to ever be intimidated by cables! The tiny book I rediscovered today and had forgotten all about it! It was bought quite a long time ago and has some lovely photos and comments from knitters we are probably all familiar with. I don't think I ever really took the time to sit and really focus on the contents before. Which is a shame, because there is much knitting wisdom between it's tiny little cover.

This morning while walking around my backyard I started thinking how similar knitting and gardening are in that we excitedly wait and wait for the end product of our efforts! Patience provides us with something beautiful which also nourishes us.
We can decide to keep the fruits of our labor ....

Or give it away as a gift....

How does my garden grow?

Very slowly.

The side of our house is fenced off as a small garden where I try to cram as many plants as possible. Every year I tell myself I will put more distance between my crop rows, but, then I forget and over plant again!

Broccoli, collards, eggplant, Swiss chard, carrots, celery, cucumbers, summer squash, peppers and tomatoes.....

Our pole beans are finally starting to sprout! I love how they eventually will climb up along the bamboo tee pee!

Dinner's in the crock pot and ready to go! I'm trying Pot Licker Collards and corn bread tonight with a side of beans and rice!

This Yankee girl is hoping this crock pot dish is a pleasing way to use up those collard greens out back! Leaves more time for knitting, right?

Have a wonderful knitting week!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Last week I learned the identity of my Secret Pal 10 sweetie, who not only sent me fabulous cards and packages, but also hooked me up with another dishcloth exchange! Yes, I know, Gentle Knitter, Mrs B. has no time to take on yet another knitting project, but I AM POWERLESS OVER THE DISHCLOTH! With that said, let us commence with the Questionnaire!

1.Do you knit, or crochet, or do both?
I knit more than I crochet. However, I am enamored with the Smooth Waves pattern from 200 Ripple Patterns by Jan Eaton.
2.How long have you been knitting\crocheting?
Since the 80's.

3.Have you knit dishcloths or dishtowels before?
Belong to Monthly Dishcloth group on Yahoo. Enough said.

4.What are your favorite cotton yarns?
5.Is there a cotton or linen you’ve been dying to try but have not?
I have some Classic Tahki Cotton I usually knit baby hats with, but I'm tempted to try that for cloths. I have a very nice red and white Ballband cloth gifted from a past exchange knit with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, so I'd like to try that.

6.Are there any cotton yarns you don’t enjoy knitting with?
Not at the moment.

7.What type of needle do you prefer using? (Metal/Wood/Plastic)
I like them all, but lately I adore my Lantern Moon ebony straights #7. I'm planning to buy #6 some day soon because that's the size I usually knit my cloths with as I must confess I am a loose continental knitter.

8.What other projects do you enjoy knitting or crocheting?
Dish cloths, baby hats, sweaters, booties, blankets, shawls for my Knitting Ministry group at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, and adult knitwear for family, friends, socks for me! I knit it all! Want to start Lace shawl for myself soon with some of the lovely yarns in my stash.
9.Do you have other hobbies or enjoy other kinds of crafting?
making, needle felting, a little embroidery and small hand quilting. I have a very tall stack of summer reading that I've yet to get to! Also love to go to movies, garden, bake, and teach knitting to others.

10.What kind of treats do you like? Chocolate? Candies? Nuts?
Seriously committed to watching and reducing my weight at this point, so , or sunflower seeds would be the best snack for me, as well as fruits and veggies. How about Altoids and sugar free gum? Water?
11.What colors are your kitchen and bath decorated in, if any?
Kitchen is red, white and blue, bathroom is yellow, white, light green and cream. My ranch was built in the 50's, like me!

12.What are your favorite colors and what colors do you dislike?
Like all colors.
13.Do you drink coffee? Tea? Other beverages?
Decaf and half decaf coffees and teas. Diet sodas.
14.Do you have any kids (human or pet variety!)?
One 12 y/o son, husband , 10 y/o collie, 14 y/o and 15 y/o cats..
15.Do you have any allergies? Hay fever
16.Please share 3 tidbits about yourself that you think your pal and other swappers might find odd or interesting.
a. I'm a Registered Nurse employed in a hospital, working on a Med-Surg unit, who teaches knitting on the side.
b. I 'm obsessed with knitting the ballband Dishcloth pattern from the Mason Dixon Knitting book/ ballband Peaches and Cream cotton yarn!
c. I have a very messy Yarn Room due to an inability to JUST SAY NO TO YARN!-Obsessive Compulsive Knitting, yes, I know!

Now, time SP 10 Show and Tell...

My wonderful SP10 gal is named Katie J over at Maylee Beezir and she sent such lovely goodies again. I am sooo spoiled! Katie sent yarn and a pattern for a beautiful cable poncho. I am in dire need of a quick knit poncho-ie thingy to wear with jeans since I experimentally felted( read shrunk) my blue and ivory poncho last year. I looked like a tent in it with those lovely horizontal stripes so I thought if I could ever so carefully downsize it a bit....Nope! So this pattern is more suitable I believe and my past experience knitting with Plymouth Alpaca Grande tells me this is going to be a heavenly knitting experience!
The Succulent Wild Woman Book...well....Yeah! Right on Sisters! With two XY chromosomes guys in my household this book promises to be just the dose of estrogen this body needs! The soap is chock full of oatmeal and it has a delightful, clean scent, which I love. I'm drinking the tea as I am posting this and it smells like Big Red Gum, which is a favorite of mine, and it is just delicious. Spicy! To go with how Succulent and Wild I expect to become! The other pattern is for the terrific bag below....

Knit with Sunshine Sugar and Cream cotton yarn; just how did Katie know I've been wanting to knit this bag for some time now. Well, now I have one ready made and waiting to make the next trip to the grocery store or yarn shop with me! Great job, Katie! Many, many thanks for all the effort you put into making this exchange so much fun for me!

I nominated Katie for Best SP10 Pal and hope she wins!

Lest you think all my time has been spent answering lengthy questionnaires and opening SP10 Swag, I'll have you know I've been knitting my fingers to the bone too!
My friend Winnie from the St. Joe's Knitting Ministry motivated us to knit some slipper socks so I experimented with 2 stranded Red heart Camouflage I had on hand to knit this pair in baby size. That's my 2 toe up socks on one long circular needles OFF the needles FINALLY! No second sock syndrome! Ready to cast on for the next pair!h

Lastly, I completed my house warming gift long ago promised to my co-worker. I know such peace now, however temporary! Just need a bit of blocking and some ribbon and they're outta here!The alternative Log Cabin cloth was a nice change of pace for me, and it used up some scraps at the same time!

Have a terrific knitting week!