Saturday, April 30, 2011

Welcome Baby!

Here is a baby card request:

A co-worker wanted a baby card for a friend who was scheduled to have her second child on Friday!

Paper: PTI White, SU Pretty In Pink, GP White, SU Close to Cocoa, SU Pixie Pink
Ink: SU Pixie Pink, PTI Burnt Amber, PTI Fresh Snow
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Sizzix Flower Embossing Folder, Papertrey Ink Mat Stack 1 Die, Papertrey Ink Limitless Layers 1-3/4" Circles Dies, SU 1-1/4" & 1-3/8" Circle Punches, Brads

Friday, April 29, 2011

My First Socks - Part Six - Knitting the Ankle and Cuff

I finished knitting the ankle up to the cuff.

OMG, I'm almost done!  Here is the cuff before learning how to do invisible bind-off:

The final step is coming shortly!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My First Socks - Part Five - Turning the Heel

I finished turning the heel!

I was afraid that this was going to be moer difficult than it actually was.  I did try them on after completing the heel and they look good!

Next I am knitting the ankle to the cuff for 5 inches!  We are in teh home stretch now!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My First Socks - Part Four - Knitting the Gusset

Knitting the gusset:

This part was a litle different.  You increased the front side of your socks while keeping the back side the same.  I ended up with 26 stitches in the front and 14 in the back.

Next, I will be turning the heel.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My First Socks - Part Three - Knitting the Foot

The next step was to knit the foot.  Here it is:

You know that it is complete when the top of the stitches reached the front of your ankle, with your foot flexed.

Next, I will knit the gusset!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My First Socks - Part Two - Toe Increases

Next I knitted the increases to help form the toe:

I must abmit, I got this far already but I frogged it.  It seems that I was not making my M1L and M1Rs correctly so I had some holes along the sides of the toes.  Now that I got it straight, it looks much better.

By the way, the socks are not supposed to fit over your toes yet!  As you add on the knitted stitches for the foot, the sock will have more stretch so it can fit over your foot.  I thought that I was using the wrong yarn or something when it did not fit when I did this the first time.

Next, I will be knitting the foot until it reaches the top of my ankle with my toe flexed.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chemo Cap #2

Here's another chemo cap:

I love using this yarn!  I love how the stripes magically appear!  They look so cool!
I emailed Shriner's Children's Hospital to tell them what we are doing at work.  Although this facility does not administer chemotherapy, they do have a need for hats since they get several patients from Ecuador and other warmer countries which they are not used to the cold New England weather.  I think the caps that I have made will be useful for the cooler fall temperatures for them.

Pattern: Knit One Chemo Cap
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream Stripes #21010 - Natural Stripes
Needles: US 9

Friday, April 22, 2011

My First Socks - Part One - Casting On

Wednesday, I began watching the videos from KNIT Freedom's Toe-Up Socks: One Or Two-At-A-Time On Magic Loop Video E-Book.  I learned how to do Judy's Magic Cast On!  Here's what it looks like:

Then I knit the first knit the first row.  Look at me go:

Yes, you are seeing it right!  I do have two balls of yarn so I am making both socks at the same time on the same needles.  This way when I am done one, I am done the whole pair!  I will never know what second sock syndrome is!  LOL!

I'll keep you updated every step of the way!  I have been wanting to make socks since I started knitting.  I am very excited to finally start and I want to share it with you.  Maybe it will even motivate a fellow knitter to join in on the adventures of knitting socks!

The next step is increasing the tow.  Stay tuned!

Pattern: Toe-Up Socks: One or Two-At-A-Time On Magic Loop Video E-Book
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (Worsted Weight) #23424 Chestnut
Needles: US 8 on 47" Cables

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chemo Cap #1

At work we started a knitting group called Knotty Knitters.  We knit together during our lunch hour a few times a week.  We have been talking about knitting for charity.  I came up with making Chemo Caps.  Here is my first one:

We are currently collecting chemo caps for Shriner's Children's Hospital in Springfield, MA from now until June 30th.  We will be picking a new place to donate them every quarter.  Next quarter will be donating them to the D'Amour Center for Cancer Care through Baystate Medical Center for breast cancer awareness month.  I cannot wait to see how successful this will be, I will keep you posted!!!

Pattern: Knit One Chemo Cap
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #21317 - Violet Stripes
Needles: US 9

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Marty!

This is for my mother in law:

She turned 60 last Monday but she was away in the Florida Keys with some girlfirends.  I thought the sentiment was fitting for her.  She also retired from her job before leaving for Florida.  We are hoping that this is the start of many good times ahead of her!

Stamps: Papertrey Ink - Big Birthday Wishes, Papertrey Ink - Get To The Point, Papertrey Ink - Delightful Dahlia
Paper: PTI White, PTI Kraft, PTI Raspberry Fizz
Ink: PTI Fresh Snow, Archival Jet Black
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Papertrey Ink - Mat Stack 4 Die

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Sock Project Bag

This is going to be my sock project bag:

I started to make this bag using the magic loop method instead of DPNs as the pattern instructed.  Once the bag was large enough, I switched to circular knitting to complete it.

Right now, I have my first hat project and a dishcloth project along with an extra skein of Lily's Sugar N' Cream yarn for each project and a small bag with accessories.  This bag can hold more than you think it would.

I made this bag to store my current sock project and needles.  Once this bag is completed, I will be ready to attempt to knit my first pair of SOCKS using magic loop!  Wish me luck!

Pattern: Knitting Project Bag from Knit Picks
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Easy #112 Berry
Needles: US 7

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom!

This year I made her a set of 4 dishcloths and I bought her a book, The Journey by Wanda Brunstetter.  We both love reading Amish fiction and we both love Wanda's work.  When I found out that this book focused on some of the characters from The Daughters of Lancaster County series, I just had to buy it for her.  I know she will love it!

Stamps: Papertrey Ink - Mat Stack 1 Collection
Paper: PTI White, GP White, PTI Sweet Blush, PTI Melon Berry
Ink: PTI Melon Berry, PTI Burnt Umber
Accessories: Cuttlebug, Papertrey Ink - Mat Stack 1 Die, Sizzix Embossing Folder

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Time to Heal - Barbara Cameron

Summary from Good Reads: Christopher Matlock is a weary and wounded ex-soldier who just wants some peace in his life, but then he meets Hannah Bontrager, a gentle, pacifist Amish woman who turns his world upside down. Born and raised on a Kansas farm, Christopher finally finds peace in this simple community helping with the crops. He expects resistance from the Amish but is appalled when he and Hannah experience threats. When he discovers who his enemy is, he realizes he must stay and reveal a secret that could take away everything.

Christopher Matlock heads to Paradise, PA with hopes to speak with Jenny Bontrager.  He met her in the veteran's hospital when she was recovering from surgery in the last book.  Once Chris arrives, he starts helping out on the family farm during harvest.  He falls in love with the tight family bonds, the community, the way of living and even with Hannah.  Some unusual things start happening on the farm and he begins to question if his past has caught up with him.  Will he stay in Paradise or leave to save the family from any future danger?

I really enjoyed getting back in touch with these characters.  I was anxiously awaiting the release of this book after reading A Time To Love.  This books focused on Hannah as she began to wonder if she would ever marry.  Although Chris is an Englisher, they have a special connection.  I really enjoyed seeing Hannah grow and the decisions she makes along the way.

I love this series!  Barbara Cameron is a wonderful author who has a strong character development.  Her writing style makes you feel like you are there and part of the family.  I am looking forward to reading the third book of this series as soon as it is available!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Plain Wisdom - Cindy Woodsmall & Miriam Flaud

Summary from Good Reads: Best-selling novelist Cindy Woodsmall might seem to have little in common with Miriam Flaud, a woman immersed in the culture of Old Order Amish. But with nine children and almost 60 years of marriage between them, Cindy and Miriam both have found the secrets to facing life with strength and grace. Whether enduring financial setbacks, celebrating new babies and times of prosperity, grieving the crushing losses in the deaths of family and friends, or facing disappointments with their respective communities—through it all they find guidance for each day by looking to God.

With poignant recollections, unexpected insights, and humorous tales, the two women welcome you into their unique friendship. You’ll also gain a rare glimpse into the traditions and ways of the Amish as Miriam recalls special occasions and shares family recipes throughout the book.

Plain Wisdom is a heartwarming celebration of God, womanhood, and the search for beauty that unites us all. So grab your cup and your quilt and settle in for a soul-comforting read with Plain Wisdom.

This non-fiction collection of stories sprouted from an unlikely friendship between author Cindy Woodsmall and an Old Order Amish wife and mother named Miriam Flaud. As the two women watched their friendship grow, the idea of a book began to form and then materialize. The result is this simple, but precious, collection of short stories from the lives of both women.

Woven through Plain Wisdom are stories showing how God has taught both women similar lessons through life despite their very different cultural background. As the book ranges in topic from friendship to spiritual growth to painful times and everything in between, readers are drawn into the lives of these two women. Though their lifestyles are very, very different, it is obvious that much in their hearts is the same.

The book threw several surprises my way, too, as my understanding of the Amish and their ways was broadened. I came away with a clearer picture of their grasp of grace. Their simple life is not a way to obtain salvation. Instead, it is what they believe is the best way to work out and live out their salvation, allowing their lives to be uncluttered by the distractions of modern technology. While I'm sure legalism rears its ugly head on many occasions, I am convinced that it is no more prevalent for them than it is for us.

A special thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah for allowing me to review this book in advance for my review.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm Magic Looping!

I have been wanting to learn Magic Loop for knitting in the round without using double pointed needles (DPNs) for a while.  I tried watching several different videos on You Tube and I could get it started but once I finished one side, I got totally confused when I flipped it to do the other side.  UNTIL I discovered KNITFreedom!  Liat Gat has several video e-books that are available to purchase through Ravelry.  I bought "Learn Magic Loop" and it is wonderful!  It is so worth the $12.97!!!

I watched the first two videos on Wednesday night and I knitted along with it on Thursday.  I finally got it!  Here's a picture of what I accomplished:

I used worsted weight acrylic yarn (Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice Pink) and size 7 nickel plated interchangeable circular needles on a 40" cable from Knit Picks.

Liat does a wonderful job explaining how to magic loop along with several easy little steps to avoid common errors.  After practicing for a little while, I watched the second video about Magic Looping Faster and I picked that up right away also.

She does such an amazing job explaining things that I bought "Toe-Up Socks: One or Two-At-A-Time On Magic Loop" to teach me how to knit socks next.  I was looking into buying a paper book for this but her teaching methods are so clear that I did not want to take a chance with anyone else!!!

Thanks so much Liat for creating these outstanding video e-books for us!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Quilter's Bible - Linda Clements

Summary from Book Sneeze: The ultimate quilter's companion to over 220 patchwork, quilting and applique techniques.
  • Packed with detailed advice and ideas, with clear step-by-step instructions for beginners and expert tips for more experienced quilters.
  • Techniques are illustrated throughout with more than 800 colour diagrams,and the beautiful photography provides endless inspiration for your own designs.
  • Features instructions and templates for 13 unique projects to practise your skills, including quilts, bags, cushions, wall hangings and placemats.
I have been an avid quilter for almost 10 years.  I learned everything I know from books, I never took a single class!  For me I wish this book was around when I first started.  I loved how each chapter is broken down into smaller sections to assist the newest of quilters to develop their skills for their new hobby.  The examples of projects are gorgeous!  The pictures and explanations are thorough, complete and easy to understand.  I love the Make It Now projects at the end of each section!

I found this book to be very inspiring!  It helped me to re-discover techniques that I have not done in a while.  I now want to get back into paper piecing!  It is a creative way to use scraps to make beautiful pictures to add as focal points to your projects!

I was very impressed with the contents and the adundance of valuable information within this book.  I would highly recommend this book as a reference book to any quilters, new, experienced or anyone wanting to explore new quilting techniques.

A special thanks to FSB Media for allowing me to review this book in advance for them.  This book was published by David & Charles.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hot Pink Double Bump Dishcloth

Here is another double bump dishcloth:

I wanted to try this pattern using a solid yarn since I personally had a hard time seeing the pattern in the varigated one I made previously.  Now the two of them will make a nice set!  I did realize that I goofed up on a couple of rows, oh well!

This is also the first dishcloth that I made on my new Knit Picks nickel plated interchangeable needles.  This is one of the three that I received in the Try It set that I reviewed earlier.  I love using the nickel with cotton yarn!

Pattern: Double Bump Dishcloth
Yarn: Liliy Sugar N' Cream #01740 - Hot Pink
Needles: US 7

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sweet 16!

Today my niece Miranda turns 16!  OMG, where did the time go??!!

I'm not sure if I really like how this card turned out.  I guess it will have to do.  I knew that I wanted to use the car and playing with the number dies was cool too.  Whatever!

Stamps: Papertrey Ink - Enjoy the Ride, Papertrey Ink - Background Basics: Retro, JustRite Stampers - Times Roman Uppercase
Paper: GP White, PTI White, PTI Lemon Tart, PTI Raspberry Fizz
Ink: Archival Jet Black, PTI Lemon Tart
Accessories: Cuttlebug, PTI Enjoy the Ride Die, PTI By The Numbers Dies, PTI Banner Builder Collection

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hexagonal Market Bag

Here is my first market bag:

This is my first "big" project.  I borrowed some circular needles from a co-worker to make this project before buying some.  I really liked working with them!  I don't hit my bearded dragon in the head with the ends of the needles.  LOL!

I am going to use this bag as a shower bag when we start camping this season.  It is nice because of the mesh and that it is made of cotton and will dry if it gets wet.

Pattern: Hexagonal Market Bag
Yarn: Lily Sugar N' Cream #00084 - Sage
Needles: US 4 & 10-1/2 Circular 24"