Tuesday, January 27, 2009


My son, Shaun and his 7 Th grade religion class have been working on a charitable group project since before the holidays. I've been helping his teacher and the class with knitting and crocheting 7 inch by 9 inch squares in preparation for their BIG BLANKET BONANZA on February 21st. There will be lots of sewing squares together that day. Hot dogs, too, for sale. I already volunteered my husband. Others in the class are making the ingenious tied flannel blankets. The kids really are into it and surprisingly very quick to improve upon their beginner knitting and crocheting skills! But, it's slow going sometimes and they've almost completed enough squares to make up TWO WHOLE BLANKETS!
Here's where YOU, Gentle Knitter, come in!

I know you must be thinking of a way to lower the fiber footprint within your home.
Knit or crochet a 7 x 9 square of any Acrylic yarn weight for my kid's class! Any design your little heart desires, just as long as it measures 7 inches by 9 inches. You can fudge an almost-there square by crocheting around the outside, if you want. Go Here for free worsted weight patterns, Here , Here , Here and Here for some more in heavier weights.

I, also, have scads of oddballs and leftovers taking up the very limited room available to store my yarn stash. Please note above the beginnings of a, yes, BALLBAND 7 x 9 inch square!

In red and purple, be- still- my- heart all you Red Hat Lady wanna-bees!!

Knit with leftover LionBrand Homespun on size 11's ( I knit a loose Continental method) I cast on 17 stitches (multi of 6 plus 5) so I would have an even 5 stitch count on both ends starting with the first pattern sequence. Scroll down for the pattern of my modified ballband at the end of this post. It's a real quick knit project. I can usually churn one out as I sit waiting for my slooooooow PC to load, so don't feel like I'm wasting my time waiting...... I've completed 4 squares so far to donate. And, I'm just so gosh-darn happy to be rid of that yarn!

Anyway... You can click on below and read the class project details:

I think the letter set home to the parents was so charming...

So, what's in it for YOU?

Well, besides doing something toasty good to warm up someone in need-

And, at the same time lowering YOUR fiber footprint of unloved, unwanted and forgotten yarn...

You get a chance to have your name placed in a drawing for the chance to win THIS TERRIFIC BOOK, (which was an extra copy because it's just impossible anymore to try to buy My Knitting Amiga, Nan, a book for a Christmas present because she already has them all!)

For every square you send me I will enter your name that many times in the random drawing. More squares, more chances to win a free book! The shipping is on me.

The DEADLINE for mailing your squares to me is Friday, February 13th, postmarked. I will hold the drawing on Sunday, February 22, at 12 noon and post the name of the winner here.

Leave a comment on my blog of your commitment to donate and a contact email address and I will email you my home address. Or, you can contact me at knitoriousmissusb@yahoo.com

Include "BLANKET BONANZA" in the subject line.

Kringle *heart* Ballband


by Linda Ball

size 11 or 13 needle or whatever size will make a 7 x 9 in. square.

Leftover Homespun yarn in any color-knit this square in one, two or more colors!

With MAIN COLOR CO 17 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: With Contrast Color: Knit 5, Slip One, Knit 5, Slip One, end Knit 5. ( wow! what a quick row!)

Row 4: Knit 5, *yarn forward, slip 1, yarn back, k5** repeat from * to ** once.

Row 5: Purl 5, *YB, sl 1, YF, purl 5** Repeat from * to ** once.

Row 6: Repeat row 4.

Row 7: Main Color: Knit

Row 8: Purl

Row 9: Contrast Color: K 2, Sl 1, knit 5, Sl 1, knit 5, Sl 1, end knit 2.

Row 10: K 2, * YF, sl 1, YB, k5** Repeat from * to ** once, end YF, Sl1, YB, K2.

Row 11: Purl 2, *YB, Sl 1, YF, Purl 5**, Repeat from * to ** once, end YB, Sl1, YF, Purl 2.

Row 12: Repeat Row 10.

Repeat these 12 rows until approaching 9 inches in length, end by working rows 1 and 2 in Main Color and then binding of on right side. Tidy up along your edges if you'd like by single crocheting a round.

That's it, folks! Hope I hear from you, many thanks and good luck with the drawing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Sometime ago I had a burning desire to knit my husband a sweater-I believe it may have been around 2003. There were many false starts: the stitch pattern was all wrong for the wool, the needle size didn't give nice stitch definition, and Ye Gads! The gauge was all wrong, turning the sweater into a wrap around bathrobe!

Finally, the kinks had been all worked out. Knitting for a size 54 was daunting at times, and the merino/alpaca blend purchased from Webs long ago was heavy on the hands and needles. I knitted on, sometimes taking (ahem!) extended breaks to knit smaller, kinder and more manageable projects, like baby hats and bibs, socks and my beloved cotton dishcloth. Returning to the sweater was not always easy, as progress seemed slow, the color, although my husband's choosing, seemed cruelly bland to my eyes. And, still, I knitted. Dragging it along with me to Wednesday night knit -ins with Eileen, Jeanie, Roberta, and Nancy at Kraemer's Yarn Shop. I'm sure they whispered about my lack of commitment "to the project". It was the color, not marital discord that slowed my hand!!!

Seaming and easing were challenging. Cardigans, I learned, could be tricky when it came to attaching the button band. Button holes had to line up precisely with their button mates. Thank God I had sweater support from my knitting gal-pals!

Drop shoulders aligned with the sleeves...

Heirloom Lehigh Valley Railroad brass buttons belonging to his Pop Stem securely sewn on...you never suspected I had raided your treasure drawer, did ya, Mike?

Careful attention to easing in the bands to the sweater......

The V-neck portion needed several attempts before it, well, looked like a real v-neck.....

Will it stay together? Son, Shaun, my constant reminder that I had an outstanding UFO to complete ( uh, Mom, shouldn't you be knitting THE SWEATER instead of those socks?) models the finished sweater.
It is done.

Now, I feel a sense of loss since I no longer have the weight of an unfinished sweater dragging down my spirit.

So I remedied that by knitting a few cloths. I accidentally forgot the pattern rhythm of my favorite ballband dishcloth, and instead knit the bands in straight rows, resulting in a pleasing pattern on the reverse side. Dishcloths are forgiving, aren't they?

Grandma's favorite restored my knitting karma...

As did finishing my Feather and Fan 2 Toe Up At The Same Time Magic Loop socks!
Happy New Year and happy knitting!