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 up.............you 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!

October 10, 2014

The Grillmaster

Everywhere we go, if there is a grill, PB will cook on it.
He absolutely loves grilling.
If we are invited to someone's house for a cookout, before the day is started good, he has been "invited" to take over the grilling. Probably has more to do with him hovering over the cook than anything else.
He enjoys it and we all get to chow on some really awesome food.

So when NOAA had their backyard BBQ to support CFC, who do you think was the Grill Master?
Yeah, that's PB at the grill with, I might add, one of my kitchen towels hanging out of his back pocket! I should probably check and make sure that thing made it back home.
Look at that amazing food, you can almost smell it!

October 9, 2014

Knitting During A Freak Show

I decided last night to get some more cloths made for the baskets while I was watching American Horror Story: Freak Show.

When I am watching something really intense, I knit faster and faster without really realizing it and not always with the best results. I was knitting so fast last night, if  I could have accomplished it with any sort of accuracy, I would have been able to finish all of my gift knitting before the end of the hour and a half show. Alas, accuracy and speed, in my book, are two completely different animals.

The show had some very interesting characters.
I think once you start getting into the back stories of all the different people it will be awesome!
All my favorite AHS actors are back! Though some of them I didn't even recognize.

This is going to be an awesome season for AHS! Now as far as my knitting goes?
Big Bang Theory is more my speed ;0)

Oh yeah, and this guy...................

He creeps me out pretty bad, like Pennywise on steroids bad.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

October 8, 2014

Road Trip! Kinda long with pics

I love road trips!
Since the kids have grown up and finally moved out, road trips have become my favorite thing to do. We have been to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, Tennessee and all points in between in the last two years. And you know what a road trip means right?
Uninterrupted knitting time!
Now as hard as I have been working on that dresser scarf, you would think that six hours of drive time would have me almost completely finished right?
Um.....NO. I decided after only about thirty minutes that I was going to start on my gift knitting for this year. Luckily when I travel, I never bring only one project because stuck in a car or not, if I don't feel like working on it, it's just not going to happen. I always have a book in the car as a back up ;0)
So I decided gift baskets were the thing for this year. 4 cloths rolled and tied with ribbon inside a cute little square basket with some kind of perfumey soap. Perfect for those people that you have to get something for but don't know them well enough to knit them something personal and also for those that bug you (DD#1) for cloths all year round, even though you had made it quite clear that you were on hiatus!
I have about three cloths already for the first basket. I just have to comb Variety Outlet for the perfect baskets. I already checked Wally World and that's a big no go. You're as shocked I'm sure, as I was!

I have some pics to share of the trip.
We went to the Alabama vs. Ole Miss game in Oxford this last weekend. 
Yes we lost but the trip was great fun.

The best thing about road trips are the
great views you get from the windshield...                              and the rear view.
The Delta really is a beautiful place and we could not have asked for a better weekend. Low humidity, cool temps and cold evenings.
It will be hard for me to stay at a hotel on any more of our trips. One of our friends decided to check into the state park and rented us a cabin on Lake Enid. It was absolutely beautiful!
The cabin was big enough for all five of us and completely stocked with everything except food. Much more comfortable and cozy then a hotel room would have been. Oh, and a grill, can't forget those awesome steaks PB cooked for us all.
The next morning we were up bright and early to watch the deer come right up to the back yard and play. They were literally everywhere, you had to be careful driving through, they have absolutely no fear. Cars, people, they don't care. It was great!

Then on to Oxford. The people there were really great! It was so crowded you could hardly move. It was a big game for them and they were very excited and for the most part, very gracious, welcoming us in all our Roll Tide gear with warm hand shakes and hugs.

We hung out with some great friends                                   and met some interesting

PB was very excited. Do you know
how hard it is to get this man to smile?
Yes! he was excited!

                                Nothing made me laugh harder the whole time we were there.

October 7, 2014

Just some nifty, crafty ideas

Surfing around the web and came across some really nifty,crafty ideas.
Some I knew about already, some are great new ideas.
Thought I would share them. Plus this serves as my own personal book mark.

1. http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/crafthackz?sub=2164010_1102051#3q6owhl
This has some really great ideas for people like me, bow and pom pom challenged

Those dreadful seams. I haven't knit anything that wasn't in the round because I just can't seem to get the seams down. (literally) This looks like something I might could manage.

Oh that horrible frog pond!

Now this is a great idea for that too tight bind off. One of the first sweaters I ever made doesn't fit over my fat head, wish I had known this then.

I love fair isle knitting, mine just looks awful

Great for beginners plus it never hurts to touch up..

Great tips for sewing knits

8. http://kristenmakes.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/cadence-kal-finishing-your-knit/
I think we could all use a little help in this areas

9. http://sockpr0n.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-weave-in-ends-while-knitting.html
Weave those ends in as you go

Not really about knitting but I had to add this, some great ideas!

October 2, 2014

Video killed the radio star

I have been surfing around the web lately, checking out all the knitting and crafty blogs that used to be out there. Over half of them are unused anymore.

I know I fell into the same rut, not posting on the blog, sticking mainly to Facebook, Pintrest and Twitter, and lord let's not forget Instagram.

That got me to thinkin', has social media done away with the normal everyday  routine blogger? Not the business blogger, who wants to sell you something, or the professional blogger, just the normal everyday, run of the mill blogger who put out most of their lives onto a blog that was more for themselves and friends than the need for anyone else to see it.

With social media it is instant gratification when you post something.

You post a question and sit, waiting sometimes not so patiently for a reply. You post how you are feeling today and it is instant sympathy or excitement.

I think that is what happened to me and my blog. But now I am going old school.

I went thumbing through my blog last night and saw some posts that were absolutely nostalgic. I laughed and teared up and rolled my eyes. It was a definite trip down memory lane.

Now of course you can do that on FB and all the other social media sights, but a blog is so much more in depth about what you were thinking and feeling. Social media has cut the conversations down to short snippets of who we really are and what we really feel and think about a situation.

I like my blog, I am going to make use of  my blog. I will hug it and squeeze it and call it George.

Will you still see me on social media, well duh! I'm not a a recluse. But this is where I am going to hang out and have fun.

Which all brings me, in no short route, to this video.

When I was thinking about all this last night, this song went round and round in my head.

Different premise, same idea.

Social media is killing the everyday blogger. (I'm sure you are wishing it had squashed my own little part of the blogging world by now) but hey, there's a back button around here somewhere if you need it.


October 1, 2014

Half way there

Half way finished!

Breast Cancer Awareness bandwagon

You know it's coming.
Tons and tons of tweets, pins and posts about breast cancer awareness month.
I know it can all seem overwhelming and a tad annoying but you need to stop and think about what this campaign has accomplished over the years.  I am not going to get into technical information that anyone with an internet connection can Google and find for themselves.
You know this campaign has helped many, many women make the decision to get checked out, and that is the first and best step to stopping the disease.
Lets face it, it's embarrassing, uncomfortable and just a basic pain in the ass to get your mamo every year.
There is also mountains of evidence that it works.
Everyone knows someone who has been touched by breast cancer.
Everyone can share a story about a Mother, Daughter, Sister, Cousin and Aunt or Friend.
And yes, jumping on the bandwagon for a good cause, I will share mine with you. (it's a wagon worth riding)
My Aunt was faithful with her mamos, or titti sammiches as she liked to call them, every year. Cysts run in her family so she was a faithful follower of the yearly routine.
Biopsy after biopsy showed nothing dangerous, nothing to worry about, so the last mamo she had, she went to see the doctor about the results alone.
We all waited for the yearly phone call saying that she had another cyst and she was fine. But this year we didn't get that call, it was stage 1 breast cancer.
It was a hard day for us all, and I think, as a family we all still carry that guilt for not being there for her when she was given the news, but there was good news in there, because she had her tests done yearly, without fail, it was only stage 1. The diagnosis was good from the beginning. Not to down play the worry at all. It's still a very scary thing to deal with no matter how reassuring the doctors are.
She still had to go through the surgery and through the radiation. It was hard on her and she was strong through out and never lost that positive attitude we all know and love about her.
My Aunt has been cancer free for well over six years now and she doesn't mind sitting you down and giving you a thorough tongue lashing if you don't go get your mamo done every year.
I honestly think if I lied, she would be able to find out.
Who can blame her, she is living proof that early detection can save a life.


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...