Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Leftover Ribbed Dishcloth

I had some yarn left from the hot green and sunshine ribbed dishcloths so I decided to make one out of the leftovers:

I am going to make some more using ecru yarn too!  I added it to these colors to make it look better.  I will make dishcloths in this color next!  After I make those, I will make another leftover ribbed dishcloth to finish all three of these colors.

Pattern: Dishcloth - Ribbed
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #18010 - Yellow & #18712 - Hot Green & #18004 - Ecru
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunshine Ribbed Dishcloths

Here are even more mindless vacation dishcloths:

I love how these come out and knit so quickly!

Pattern: Dishcloth - Ribbed
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #18010 - Yellow
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hot Green Ribbed Dishcloths

Here are some more dishcloths that I made for myself:

These were great for some mindless knitting while I was on vacation in Maine last week.

Pattern: Dishcloth - Ribbed
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #18712 - Hot Green
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rose Quartz Sunrise Socks

Here is my first pair of socks that has a pattern to it:

I am knitting these for the Sock Knitter Anonymous group KAL (knit along) for July 2011.  The patterns that could be used were any from designer Wendy Johnson or using the technique of colorwork/intarisa or to participate in the mystery sock challenge.  Since I am still a newbie to knitting socks, I chose a rather easy pattern, but new to me, from Wendy Johnson.  It was not as difficult as I thought!  I will be exploring more patterns in the future.

Pattern: Sunrise Socks by wendy Johnson
Yarn: Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight #1778760 - Rose Quartz
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) on 47" Needles

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

KNITFreedom Ebook Videos

I thought I would share some recent knitting purchases with my fellow knitters that follow my blog.

I subscribe to the KNITFreedom newsletter.  It is great!  She has tons of helpful videos for newbies and seasoned knitters alike.  The videos help explain how to correct common knitting mistakes, shares free patterns and even teaches new techniques.  I received a 25% off coupon via email yesterday on single videos so I purchased:

I purchased all of these through Ravelry!  You can also get them through the links above.  I personally bought them through Ravelry so I could have them saved into my ever growing library!

I started watching some of the videos for learning to knit continental style.  I think I need to finish my current projects first so that I don't get confused.  If it is as wonderful as it claims, I am going to be so happy!

I have already learned how to make two socks at-a-time from the top-down from 2-at-a-Time Socks: Revealed Inside. . . The Secret of Knitting Two at Once on One Circular Needle Works for any Sock Pattern! by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  But sometimes it is harder to do learn from a book than from a video.  I have been wanting to make a full sized pair of socks (I've only made the sample socks so far) using this method so this ebook will be very helpful!

I was also able to save all these ebooks on the home page of my iPhone just like an app.  I now have these videos with me away from home.  Thanks Liat for your help with Knitting Faster!  It is working now!

I have used "Learn Magic Loop" Video E-Book and "Toe-Up Socks: One Or Two-At-A-Time On Magic Loop" Video E-Book with great success!  Liat explains everything throughly and precisely and her voice is very gentle.  I am so happy I discovered KNITFreedom!  I don't think that I would be the knitter that I am today without it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Treasuring Emma - Kathleen Fuller

Summary from Good Reads: Emma has put everyone else first in her life. Now at nearly 25, has she missed her chance at marriage?

Emma was Adam's first love but circumstances made them both choose different paths in life. Emma's heart breaks all over again when Adam returns to the Amish community of Middlefield, Ohio, years later.

For the past ten years, Emma has been raising her siblings after their parents' untimely death. She's put their needs above her own and now, with them grown, she can focus on herself and her dream of opening a yarn store in the vacant cider house on her land.

With Adam's return come feelings Emma's long buried. They're older and life hasn't turned out the way they thought it would. Adam's feelings for Emma are stronger than ever, but will he be able to convince her to put others aside and give their love a chance?

Emma has had a rough life.  Her father passed away, then she had to care for her mother who eventually died of cancer, she takes care of her grandmother and has never married.  Emma had her heart broken two years ago when her childhood love, Adam, decided to leave the Amish faith and move to Michigan.  Emma's granmother, Leona, wrote to Adam after Emma's mother passed to have him come back for a visit.  Upon returning, all of Emma feelings returned for Adam at the wrong time in her life.  She had a house and farm to care for while worrying about how to make ends meet.  She did not have time to deal with Adam and his confused emotions.

All things happen for a reason.  If it is God's will, He will take care of it.  God showed Emma and Adam the direction their lives should be going to but does Adam listen.  Emma is afraid to get close to him again because she does not want her heart broken again.  This was a wonderful story by Kathleem Fuller.  I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to reading more about these characters from her in the next book in this series.

A special thanks to Book Sneeze for allowing me to review this book in advance!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My First Jerry

I have been wanting to make him since I discovered knitted monsters.  Here's Jerry:

He was chilling out in our camper on vacation last week.

And he really wanted his picture taken with a banana!

Finally, here he is at Footbridge Beach in Wells, Maine with my mother-in-law.

But Jerry has a new home!  While I was knitting him at work a couple of weeks ago, someone fell in love with him and asked to buy him.  I hope Jerry had a good vacation!  I'll miss him but I will see him often since his new owner will be keeping him at work!

Pattern: Jerry the Musical Monkey by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Red Heart Cafe & Buff
Needles: US 4 on 47" Cables
Accessories: 12 mm Black Safety Eyes

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beside Still Waters: A Big Sky Novel - Tricia Goyer

Summary from Good Reads: Raised among the Amish of Indiana, 18-year-old Marianna Sommer plans to get baptized into the church, marry Aaron Zook, and set up life in the only community she has ever known. But when her older brother chooses the world’s path following his rumschpringe, and a younger sibling begins showing interest in Englisch ways, Marianna’s parents move the family to Montana.

Marianna's life began from a miracle of a tragedy.  Her two older sisters died in a buggy accident causing her mother to go into labor early for her.  Marianna has always felt the need to be the perfect daughter since she was replacing two daughters.  Her family in Indiana has always been looked at differently since that accident and the family feels that life cannot be bright with that lurking over them.  Her older brother Levi, left the Amish community to live amongst the English and is having a negative influence over Marianna's younger and influential brothers.  Her father decides to move west to Montana at his brother's suggestion.  Marianna does not want to go since she is has feelings for Aaron and they want to begin courting.

So the family leaves via train heading for Montana.  It is beautiful and she cannot help but like the place.  The people in her town are nice but she feels uncomfortable about working along the side of the English.  She starts to trust them as time goes on and she makes friends with Ben, an Englisher with strong religious conviction.  She starts to have feelings for him but cannot stop thinking about Aaron and going back home after her mother has the baby.  She realizes that Montana and taught her family to live again and be happy and she has not seen that in a long time.

Marianna has not been baptized into the Amish church yet.  Her brother left the Amish faith and her best friend Rebecca is challenging it during her rumspringer.  Marianna knows that she wants to be Amish and is grateful to be born into her family.  There is no question about her faith.  When her father decides to leave Indiana to move to Montana, she is heartbroken since Aaron has just admitted his feelings for her.  She is determined not to like Montana but cannot help but fall in love with the mountains, forests and rivers in her area.  Meeting Ben brings all sorts of feelings into question as she gets to know him although it is forbidden since he is English.  After living there for six months, Marianna decides to head home to live with her aunt and to reconnect with Aaron.  She is unsure about leaving Montana since she also discovered another wonderful relationship, the new relationship she has with God.

This was a wonderful book!  At the end of it, there is a short letter from Tricia Goyer explaining how she was asked to write an Amish story which she has never done before.  Ms. Goyer did an amazing job of writing this novel while keeping it true to Amish traditions.  I have read several Amish novels by various authors ans Ms. Goyer will become one of the best ones!  I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, Along Wooded Paths which is due to release in October 2011!

Monday, August 8, 2011

More All Washed Up Dishcloths

We were driving home from Accord, NY a couple of weekends ago after a hot stay at a new campground.  Hubby and I were checking out the area to see what there was to do around it.  We really liked it and will be back again sometime this year.

On our way home, I was knitting my socks and I got to turning the heel on a new pattern so I stopped so I could do it at home with more room and concentration.  So I started knitting some more dishcloths.  Here they are:

I have been using the other dishcloths in the kitchen and they are wonderful.  They are dense enough to scrub with and gentle enough to wipe down counters.  I really like this pattern!

Pattern: All Washed Up Dishcloth
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #19011 - Bronzed Blue
Needles: US 7 on 24" Cables

Friday, August 5, 2011

Yarn U - iPhone App Review

I received the Yarn U app for my iPhone for free in return for a review from Mary Beth Klatt, the app owner, through Ravelry

I played around with it last night and it is quite interesting!  It lists tons of yarn by brand name or by weight and has all the specifications about it in one place along with a link on where to purchase it.  It is quite helpful!

A cool feature is that there are pictures of the yarns.  If you have ever been into a large yarn store (I live in Massachusetts so Webs is local to me - don't be jealous!), it can be very overwhelming in finding something specific.  Knowing what the label looks like is very helpful!  Another cool feature is that users can post comments about the yarns listed.  Some comments listed were regarding current sales, wearability and quality of the yarn.  It is helpful to have in case you were trying to decide between yarns.

My only complaint is that there are many brand names and different products within them that are not listed; but a nice variety is available. For example, they have Knit Picks yarn available (which is my favorite place to buy yarn lately) but only 12 types of yarns are listed when there are so many more. I know, there are tons of yarns out there and I cannot expect all brands to be listed.

I would like to suggest adding some of the more inexpensive and readily available brand names found at Michael's, AC Moore, Joann's and Wal-Mart such as Lion Brand, Red Heart, Caron and more.  As a newer knitter (I began knitting in January), I still have a hard time spending money on expensive yarns for my every day projects.  I will often try a new pattern on Red Heart before diving into some hand dyed yarns such as Dancing Dog Dyeworks that I have splurged on.

Another suggestion would be to have the ability to compare yarns.  Often times, as a newbie, I want to get the suggested yarn for a project.  If I could compare it to another one, it could simplify the process of finding a substitution.

Overall, I think that this is a very useful app for anyone who knits or crochets.  A special thanks to Mary Beth for allowing me review this app for her!  :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Gift of Grace: A Novel - Amy Clipston

Summary from Good Reads: Rebecca Kauffmans tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her "English" sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.

Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessicas rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God.

Rebecca Kauffman receives custody of her older sister's children after she and her husband died in a tragic car accident.  Grace left the Amish way of life and was shunned by her family and community to persue her education in the English world.  Jessica and Lindsay weree from Viriginia Beach and life in Bird in the Hand, PA is quite different.  Lindsay adjusted quickly while Jessica felt out of place and wanted to return to Viriginia because she did not belong and could not adjust to the Amish rules.

All things happen for a reason.  Rebecca was not able to have her own family and felt that raising Grace's children was a blessing from God.  Jessica was a typical 16 year old teenager who challenged every Amish rule.  She did not belong there and refused to try to adjust.  Lindsay, who is a year and a half younger, quickly adapted to the Amish culture.  She worked in the family bakery with her aunt and learned Pennsylvania Dutch, went to their meetings and even began to dress like them.  She did this to feel closer to her mother.  It was natural for her.  They both missed their parents and since it happened recently, they could not believe that it was true.  Daniel was faced with rumors about Jessica's behavior and it was commented on by the bishop.  Daniel needed to gain control of his household or their would be problems.

This was a great book!  It showed me that everything happens for a reason and that something good can come out of a tragedy.  It also explained how one group's culture may not be for everyone.  Although you may want it to work out, it is not for everyone.  I throughly enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, A Promise of Hope.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dot the Guardian of the Craft Room

Meet Dot:

I made her to be the guardian of my craft room!  I have lots of hobbies so I need someone to guard over everything when I am not there.

Here she is waiting to help me wind some yarn:

And here helping me pick out some stamps to use:

And finally here guarding my collection of ribbon and cardstock:

I really enjoyed making her!  She was easy to make with the super bulky yarn.  But I need to send a special thanks out to maddiesmama over on Ravelry for sending me 2 pairs of size 18 mm black safety eyes to use on her.  The 12 mm ones that I had just looked too small on her.

Pattern: Dot the Dress Up Box Monster by Rebecca Danger from The Big Book of Knitted Monsters
Yarn: Lion's Brand Thick & Quick #103 - Blossom & #112 - Raspberry, Red Heart - White (for mouth)
Needles: US 10.5 on 40" Cables
Accessories: 12mm Black Safety Eyes