December 22, 2014

Those long awaited gifts

Head on over to the Gift Knitting 2014 link to the left to see some of the gifts that were handed out yesterday.
Or just go here:
I am very proud of these buckets.
They came out a lot cuter than I thought. And they were a huge hit at the Christmas party.

December 16, 2014

Let's do the math

Math has never been my strong suit. I hate it actually. 
Now here I am, years and years later, working with numbers for a living. 
Go figure. 
I have been working away on the cloths for the gifts and I am up to 22 cloths. 
2 more to go and I am finished!
As I was plunking away at it last night, the numbers started running around in my head. How many cloths I have made vs. how many stitches I have put on, just to get these gifts finished in time for giving away. 
Let me tell you, by the time I figured most of it out in my head, I seriously thought about keeping them all for myself. 
That is a lot of work!

So to put it all out there for you, let's do some math (I know, but it won't hurt too much)
38 stitches X 60 rows = 2280 stitches X 22 cloths = 54720 stitches
and to take it down a little further
54720 / 2 (purl row, knit row)= 27360 purl stitches and 27360 knit stitches
27360 / 2 (stitch, slip)= 13680 purl/knit stitches and 13680 slipped stitches

That! my friends, is a large amount of stitches. 
You would think I would be sick of the linen stitch by now. Especially considering the dish towel with two matching cloths, three 5ft scarves, two cowls and two hats. 
That is a ridiculous amount of linen stitch, and yet I am still in love with the stitch.
Of course right now it could be more to do with habit than anything else, it's just such an easy and versatile stitch, you can do anything with it, and I have done allot. 
You have to try some dishcloths in the linen stitch. The density of the fabric is absolutely perfect for washing dishes and cleaning counter tops. 
Anyway, just had this running around in my head all night as I watched NCIS plugging away at the final few cloths so I thought it would make an interesting post.
See ya on the flipside!

December 3, 2014

Time to make the donuts...oh, no, wait.......

Thanksgiving holiday is over and it is time to get down to some serious knitting.
 I finally found some Raffia that I wanted to tie the cloths up with  on Ebay

I opted for the synthetic instead of the real thing because, let's face it, they are just going to be ripped off and thrown away. I think I will get more enjoyment out of how cute the little bows will be than anyone I give the baskets to.
I still need to find five of the perfect baskets for the cloths. I am trying to find little square baskets that will hold about four cloths rolled up.And then I need something cool and interesting to put my MIL towel and cloth set in.
I think I am pretty close to having enough cloths finished so I can start on the scarf for the ole man, a coaster set for my Aunt and  the wrist warmers to go with my Mom's set.
I don't know if I can finish all that and still have time to whip out a small box of cloths to take to my MIL's Christmas party this year for all of my SILs but I am going to give it one hell of a try.
I know I gripe, often and loud, about Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving but when you are doing all these gifts by hand, you really don't have much of a choice. So yeah! It's non-handmade presents I am against purchasing before Thanksgiving. ;0)

November 21, 2014

Free patterns are easier to find

I post allot of pattern links here at the blog. 
I would say over 90% of what I post are free pattern links. (Thank you to all the wonderful designers who post those free patterns!) 
I don't have a problem paying for patterns. I have actually bought a few over the years but free patterns are always the best. 

I have spent the last couple of days combing through the blog and digging out the links I have posted and tried my best to gather them all together over there --------------------► to make everything easier to find. 

I will be checking the links periodically to make sure they are still good but sometimes they get past me. 
If you come across a link that is no longer working just drop me a note at knittinfun @ gmail dot com and I will see if I can find a better link for it, or at the very least, remove the bad one.
You can also email me at that address if you have or know of a link you would like to stick on the list. 

As far as the blog roll, I try and not let any of the links go longer than a month without a new post. Not that I am one to speak, but I like to keep up with active blogs. 

The links I post are what is interesting to me.  This is after all, my blog and record of my knitting and things in the crafty world that interest me. 
Having said that, I am always open to suggestions ;0)


November 19, 2014

Very Productive Knitting Day

Yesterday was probably the most productive knitting day I have had in a while.
The hat for my Mom is finished! I probably could have made the slouch a little slouchier (yes that is now a word) but I was just so over this hat and how long it was taking me that as soon as I got close enough I was ready to be finished with it.
I don't think she will mind though. It did come out wicked cute.

Sorry about the grainy pictures. As you can tell I still haven't found the right lamps for the living room and it was way too cold in the house to even think about getting uncovered and going to another room to get better pictures. Sorry.
And yes, I have the weirdest hair ever, it doesn't know if it wants to curl or be straight so it does both. Drives me insane!

I also finished the second and final cloth for my MIL's towel set.
Two gifts down in one day! Like a boss!
I started on my next gift on the list.

Abbey decided I needed help with the last one.
She is checking for knots and kinks, yeah, that's what we will go with. She's inspecting!
She says it's a go! I can now use this yarn.        
Of course that is after she tasted it a few times first.
It's all about quality control around here.

I can't tell you what this going to be, but if you have been following me lately, you could probably take a pretty good guess.
And no, I apparently have not gotten over the linen stitch bug.
I really like this yarn, even though it is sometimes hard to deal with, once you get a handle on the fuzziness, it really is a pretty yarn.

So all in all I am glad it never got above 41 degrees outside yesterday, it made me sit and get some things finished so I can keep moving through this ever growing list. that and I don't have to cut the grass ;0)

November 17, 2014

Hats of all different sizes

The needles I ordered to re-start my Mom's hat came in Friday. Yay! 
I ordered some Clover bamboo 16" needles from a lady on Ebay and let me tell you, that was some super fast shipping.  
The one problem with my yarn is on the metal needles it was too slippery, on the bamboo needles you have to drag it around the needles. 
But I am a stubborn one somebody and pulling around is much better than slipping off the end of the needle every time I had change from purl to knit and back again. 
When it was time to sit down and watch some football I had a cute little slouch hat pattern picked out, just a basic pattern that I found on my Ipad. The pattern called for size 9 needles, which was what I tried the first time and it was just way too loose. So I decided to go up to the largest hat size and use my new size 8 needles.

 By halftime I had finished the ribbing and had a good start on the cap.
As you can see, the stitches are much better on the size 8 needles.


 And by the end of the third quarter I had a cute little hat finished. Unfortunately, even making the largest size, there is nothing slouchy about this hat.  I followed the directions exactly and the hat, while adorable, is not what I needed for my Mom.  The cuff was an ok fit, but six inches then bind off, no, that was way to small. Not for a hat, but definitely for a slouchy.
Gauge? Did you ask if I checked my gauge? 
Pfffffffftttttt, it's a hat, it will fit one of the many, many people I have to knit for. 
I already have the intended recipient in mind, so it's all good.


So, at the beginning of the fourth quarter, I cast on 96 sts and tried again.

This time I decided to go with the old tried and true linen stitch to make it a denser fabric to keep her head warm, plus it will better match the cowl that goes with it.
It takes absolutely forever to get 7" on a hat in linen stitch for some reason. This one is going at 8 rounds to the inch. And I am knitting about as loose as I ever have to make it easier getting those stitches around on these bamboo needles. I think it is because I am having to physically move my stitches along, verses them gliding smoothly around, that is making it seem like the longest small project ever!
I haven't quite figured out in my head how to do the bind off in linen stitch, but I am sure I will figure it out when I get there. Hopefully this evening, Gotham is coming on ya know.

I do love the way it is coming out. 
I think she is going to love it!

November 12, 2014

Charitable Knitting ..........Maybe


I would love to be one of those awesome knitters who just knit away for charity but................
every year I start dreaming of patterns and whittling down that huge pile of 'forgotten zone' yarn.
I want to knit hats for homeless people,blankets for homeless pets, socks for the military, though sweaters for penguins never really clicked for me.

I get the idea, I get super excited about it, I plan, I pick out yarns and patterns....................
Yeah, usually that's about as far as it goes.

I don't know why I don't just make that push on through. I just don't.
I come up with every excuse in the book why I don't have time to knit and donate.
I knit, someone sees it and wants it and I give it to them instead of the intended charity.
Or worse, (yes I'll admit it) even keep it for myself.
I just absolutely suck at charitable knitting!
Though I could try and make myself feel better with the whole, "I gave it to someone who couldn't knit", thing. But that's not exactly the same is it?

I know once I actually accomplish knitting an item and donating it that the feeling would be awesome. I just haven't gotten to that point yet.

I saw the blizzards starting (already!) up north and that made me think about all of this. Why? Who the hell knows, but it did.  So now I am on an online hunt for the one project I want to get involved in.
I'm not going to lie about it, it's going to have to be small projects. Hats for the homeless maybe. There is no sense in me pretending I am going to take on huge awesome and very worthy charity knitting like sweaters and blankets for the homeless. Tho I would love to that will have to wait until I get old enough to get bored sitting around the house too much. Right now, that is definitely not my life.

Maybe by starting with something small and sticking with it I will get the bug and it will blossom and grow into more.

I went on a web hunt this morning and found a website that looks like it will be a great starting point for me.

I'm going to have a looksee and get back to you......

November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day!

To all those who have taken the oath, served our nation and sacrificed great and small  
                                       THANK YOU!

I want to share some pictures of my two favorite Veterans 
Thank You Desire' and Cole
Love you! You are my favorites!





Unfortunately all of the pictures I had from Desire's return home from Iraq back in 2008 were on an s-d card that just fell apart before I could get them transferred to my computer. There were a lot of great pictures and yes, I cried, allot, when I lost them.

November 5, 2014

Instructions for the Linen Stitch Cowl

I finished this cowl for my Mom last night as part of her Christmas gift. My plan is to add a slouchy hat and some cute wristlets to go with this. 
I posted this over at the Knittinfun Facebook page and promised to add instructions here this morning.
I say instructions because this is not a pattern really. I just looked online until I found something I liked and adapted that to my yarn and my needles. Which, I have to say, worked out perfectly together. 
 Excuse the chicken neck. I am getting old ya know ;0)

Red Heart Yarn: Boutique 
Size 9 16" circs

CO: 120 sts
You know the routine, join to knit in the round, being careful, yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda
R1: K1, Sl1 wyif (with yarn in front) as if to purl
R:2: Sl1 wyif, K1  
Repeat these two rounds until it's the size you want it.
That's it. The whole process. 
As far as measurements, (you're gonna love this) I just held it up to my own neck every once in a while until it felt right.

I did get to thinking last night that this would also be great for an infinity scarf with a cast on of about 240 and DO twist your sts when you join. 
Oh SNAP another project sprouting in my brain!
Maybe I shouldn't have started those dish towels for my MIL so soon!

November 4, 2014

Pattern Hunt: Kitchen Items

I have been blazing through my gift knitting list. I suppose mainly because most of the knitted items are not huge like blankets. No, this year it is all smaller knitted items. Cloths, scarves, cowls, most of which I can get through with a couple of nights of  intense t.v. shows. Ok, maybe the scarves and towels, four nights. But not much longer than that.
I do have to get some hats finished. I think my total count at the time is 5 (at the moment) I am so far ahead of the gift knitting game right now, I am sure that number will grow.
The hats are, for the most part, going to be basic beanies. Maybe with the exception of the one for my Mom, I think her's will be a slouchy.
But that's down to the wire knitting. I still have time for those.

So, I was knitting away on the red and white gift that I posted over at the KnittinFun Facebook Page  and it got the brain juices flowing. I love the way the pattern with that particular stitch looks. I'm sure if you look at the picture you can figure out exactly what that stitch is. And it got me thinking about hand towels. Old fashioned two stripe kitchen towels.

Well crap! I am half way through my Mom's cowl and my mind goes finding something else for me to want to do. Now it's a mad rush to finish her gift so I can get started.

I think I am going to grab some white cotton and do a couple of decent sized kitchen towels for my Mother In Law.

All I keep picturing in my head is white with two broad red stripes at the bottom. I already know the pattern I am going to use and trust me, you will like it.

So, on that note I decided to look up some more kitchen knitting patterns that I might need after I finish the MIL towel.
I am sure you have seen most of these before but here are some I like:

Bubble Up Towel

Christmas Joy Hanging Towel

Clean/Dirty Dishwasher Sign

Cloth and Towel Set

Not The Paper Towel

Simply Striped Kitchen Hanging Towel

One of  my 'go to' faves (basically all her patterns)
Columns Hanging Towel

Basket Rib Hand Towel

Every kitchen should have one
Grip Reaper Kitchen Towel

Knit Gridded Towel

If you have the patience to make 4 of the same thing (don't even ask)
Alexa's Placemats

And never forget the instructions right here on the blog for turning any dishcloth into a double ended hand towel

This should keep me busy a few days anyway.
That is after I get those nagging hand towels done that won't leave my brain alone.

October 30, 2014

Pattern Hunt: Slouchy Hats

Great pattern for a beginner
Simple Slouch Hat

And for some variety
Striped and Slouchy Hat

Just a little slouchy (like my kids)
Slightly Slouchy Cabled Hat

Slighted again (without cables)
Slightly Slouchy

I love the clean lines of this cabled hat
Slouchy Cabled Beret

My Slouchy Valentine

And because there is always "the perfect...."
The Perfect Knit Slouch

If anyone should know a good pattern it should be a wool shop
Easy Slouch Hat

A twofer. With matching Mitts
Prism Slouchy Hat

I like the name as much as the pattern
Nutty Irishman's Hat Pattern

I made the hat in the picture above for myself last year before the fair but ended up giving it to a sweet girl who came to visit me from Miami for Thanksgiving.
It is one of my favorites, but I don't have anymore of that yarn, nor can I remember how I did it.
I have a basic idea. I guess I will have to make one the same way I did this one.

If I remember right, I made about six of these, in various yarns trying to get to the right size for me. All were given away for Christmas, so it all worked out in the end ;0)


October 28, 2014

After Gift Knitting Wish List

I have way too much gift knitting to get through before I can start on something for myself. And as often happens, as I am searching around the web for my gift list patterns, I always find something that I really, really want to make for myself.
I tell myself I will remember it and will get back to it as soon as physically possible. By the time I am finished with the gift giving season I am at a complete and utter loss as to what to knit next.
It all just flies out of my brain and I can't remember anything I HAD to knit for myself.
So here stands my bookmark for Leah Knitting of 2015

This Sweatshirt Sweater is definitely at the top of my list.
Our winters don't start down here on the Gulf Coast until after the holiday season has passed. Most years. So that gives me plenty of time to get one of these made before hibernation sets in.

The Deep V-Neck Sweater would be awesome to wear over the drawer full of tank tops I keep for summertime.

You think I should keep one of these Easy Pullover for Babies, Toddlers on hand just in case no. 8 decides to show up? Nah..........

This Sunset Raglan is a must have!

And a little Camisole for the warm weather that is only three months away

I really want to make myself another Corona
Think that would be redundant?

And for sure one of these Sexy Vesty

Ok maybe I have overloaded it a little bit. But at least I have a running head start when I get those, "oh crap I'm finished with that, what the hell am I going to do now?" which I always get after I have finished a long bout of "organized knitting"

October 25, 2014

Fair Day!

The best things about October for me are the beautiful skies at night 

             and Fair Day with all the granbrats 

I wanted to go inside and look at all the new and nifty crafty stuff, but this bunch was not interested. If Mimi doesn't have anything on display they could care less. 
Honestly I don't think they would care if I did, they just pretend to be nice ;0)

           So PB and I 

followed the group around, handed out tickets and then let all of them have one of these
Cause I'm an awesome Mimi. Tho I don't think the parents appreciate me as much after that. 

October 23, 2014

More Gift Patterns: Fingerless Mitts

I never know if I am going to get through all of the gift knitting that I plan every year. I chose all these wonderful patterns, line them up with who I want to make what for and start usually about......ummmm...November.
You see where this is going right? It never gets completed in time and I usually end up with my 'winter' knitting being done in January. I mean come on, that's when it gets cold where I live! Then by the time that Christmas rolls around the next year, everything has already been scooped up by kids, grandkids, friends, other family members. So I start gift knitting again in November with all these wonderful patterns I have lined see the circle here?
Well this year I am going simple.
Simple patterns that take not so much time. Let's face it, with new babies and weddings and so forth this summer, the number of immediate family members has grown.
Seven kids
Soon to be seven grandkids
Alabama Mimi's two boys in Vermont (who I think need it more than most living up there in all that snow, that starts falling in, like, July, I don't know)
As you can see, it's a long list and usually most of it goes un-knitted.
So the theme this year? Simple patterns, ww yarn where applicable. Smaller projects. (sorry, no blankets or socks for anyone this year).
I mean really, you spend hours and days and months on these great complicated, intricate patterns and most people don't know the difference in effort or project time between that or a simple knit and purl rib pattern. Out of all the work I have put time into and given away, not one person has ever looked at me and went "WOW! That looks like it was a lot of work!" No. Not one time in my whole knitting career. So......

Hats, mitts, scarves. All quick knit projects.
On that note, here is my list of usable fingerless mitt patterns:

For the little guys and gals
Adorable Kids Fingerless Mitts 

Basically Adorable
Maggie's Mitt

This one's for the guys (I so heard Martina McBride sing that line in my head)
 Man Paws

Another guy pattern

Fancy without too much work involved
Margarete Fingerless Gloves

Easy Eyelets
Montgomery Fingerless Mitts

Cool thumb pattern and stripes to boot
Nein Mitts

Cute but not complicated
Optimistic Mitts

Clever idea

With fingers
Codename Wintergreen

I am sure Ravelry is loaded with great patterns also. These are some of the oldies but goodies.

I'm going as fast as I can

October 21, 2014

FO: Not as thrilling as it sounds

FO: Finished object.
Weeks or even months of knitting on a WIP (work in progress) and then all of the sudden it's an FO.
You think it would be thrilling, and to a certain extent it is. But! (you know there is one) I get what can only be described as FO anxiety.
My brain starts reeling, what is my next project going to be? What do I have in my stash that I am going to use? Do I remember where those size six needles went I used on the project before this one? Should I work on gifts or something for myself? Didn't someone ask me to make something a few months back that I agreed to?
I think this vicious cycle helps explain the frog pile too.
I start stressing as I get closer to the end of a project, then I start planning my next project, then a picture forms in my head, then BAM! There it is, I am bored with this project because the new project is going to be so much  more thrilling and fun to do.
I know I can not be the only crafter who has this disorder, seems like it would be a given. And judging by the huge frog piles we all have lying around there must be others.
Maybe I should start doing my projects like those irritatingly organized people who get together for a weekend and plan out and prep a meal for every day of the month.
But then again, what if I don't want chicken on the 15th? What if I want it on the 3rd and pizza on the 15th?
I think planning my projects like that would only lead me down a narrow, very dark path.
As you can see by this post, I am down a dark enough corridor already!

October 19, 2014

The Never Ending Dresser Scarf is Ended!

When we went to buy a new bedroom set, I fell in love with this antiqued set. 
We had it delivered and I worked most of the day setting our room back up. I loved it. It has a down in the country kind of feel to it.
Brat #1 comes over and says "Mom, all that beautiful furniture they sell and you had to pick up something that looks like Mamaw bought it at a yard sale." Lol
 She just can't understand why I bought a brand new furniture set that already looks old. But I love it!

I decided to make the never ending dresser scarf to protect the top of the night stands from morning coffees and overturned water bottles. I did not realize just how wide our nightstands were. They are not normal width,which works out great for all my books,my phone, and of course, the ever present coffe cup, not so much for trying to quickly get something knit to protect it. 

I finished last night watching Alabama walk over Texas A&M. Sorry guys, we know how you feel you killed us a few years ago. 
So here it is! 
No I still haven't found the perfect lamps yet. I'll take any ideas you have!

Now to start the second one. Whew!

It's going to take months when it's time to make one for this monster!

October 17, 2014

Infinity? Cowl? Scarf? What's the best?

I was over at the Kittinfun Facebook Page and asked the question, cowls or scarves or infinities? Which do you like best?
I have the Myra Cowl that I knit about two years ago, and let me tell you when the temps dropped below 20 degrees here on the Gulf Coast (IKR!) last winter, I wore that thing like a pro. Tucked inside the collar of my nice warm wool coat. It made a huge difference keeping the wind and cold from creeping down the back of my neck every time I moved. I liked it much better than a scarf that, it never fails, comes unwrapped or untucked or untied or, worse, inadvertently gets pulled tighter around your throat.
But it was too tight feeling, like I kept grabbing it and trying to stretch it out some to stop the feeling of having toasty warm hands wrapping slowly around my throat.
So I went on a pattern hunt and found a few that I think I might like to wear.
Tho some would have to be made bigger than the directions, they are all adorable!

I really like this one. It has a hood built in. I would think this would come in very handy if we hit those low temps again this year.
The Hooded Simon

Ok, this is just too damn cute not to share.
January Cowl

Sweet and simple
Jenny From The Block Circle Scarf

Big and snuggly
A Hint of Snow Cowl

Touch of lace
Bridger Cowl

I'm seeing one of these in some team colors
Broken Stripes Moebius

Longer cowl pattern
Cowl A La Mode

A little more complicated, but I love it!
Vampire Style

And as always, you can find anything and everything you ever wanted on Ravelry

Sometimes I feel like this....

October 16, 2014

That's not your pattern!

Exactly how many versions of the same pattern can there be?
I love Ravelry. It is one of my favorite places to start looking for something new and fun to make. And then when you find it you can see all the different projects made with that pattern. You get pattern notes, yarn suggestions and people's opinions about those patterns.
It is a great source of information and inspiration for me.

Having said that first, people need to realize, just because you took a pattern and changed the color of the yarn, or used larger needles to make it more "drapey", or went from five stripes in the original pattern to two tone, does not make it a new and wonderful pattern.
You can not take that and post it as your own pattern. It's not.
You can post it as a revision to the original pattern. An upgrade even. But it's not your original pattern. Even if you do post it for free. (thank you tho! I love free!)
Using Grandma's Favorite as an example, there can only be one.
I have found plenty of "Another ...." or "Just one more....." stop it!
It's not an original idea. It's Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth pattern.
It doesn't matter if you did yours in stripes or with a different kind of yarn besides cotton. It's not a new pattern. Not that we wouldn't all love to see your notes on just how you did that.

I did see one that inserted a heart in the middle of the cloth. Yes! That's a new pattern. The writer had to sit down and figure it out, chart it even, and then knit, and possibly tink the pattern until it became doable. Now you have a new pattern, and Thank You! by the way for sharing! It's awesome!

And please don't take said pattern variation and sell it! There are unsuspecting new knitters out there who have no clue that exact same pattern has been around for years with different yarn.

Ravelry is not a police state, they don't check every pattern and say "Hey, that's just like the pink striped garter st. scarf, now it's purple." 

I have a lot of things that I change a little thing here and there, and I make notes, post notes and talk about it, but I never claimed my differences to be a new and exciting pattern.
If I add ten stitches to the beginning of a mitered square instead of twelve, no it's not new, just a note.
I can tell you exactly what pattern I am using and then tell you, "this is what I did" but I can not take that difference and write it up as my new pattern. It's not. 

Now having vented, I am off to search projects  before someone sees this and banns me from Ravelry for life.

October 14, 2014

Chasing Fish all Weekend Long

We spent Friday evening on the Island. PB was trying his hardest to chase us down some mullet since it's been like almost a week since we have had any for dinner. I know, horrid thought!

            Beautiful day                                                        My In-laws came down


Sunrise comes early on Saturday. I kicked back in my new Bama sunglasses, picked up at the gas station where we grabbed some breakfast, with my toes in the water and relaxed.
We even had some company

With no luck Sunday morning rolls around              It's time to pull out the heavy equipment.

                                                             Did we find the fish?
                                                                   Well of course!

Getting back in the groove

It's been so long since I have wanted to knit anything.  I knit so many socks when I started knitting back in '99 that I was comp...