Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hats for Homeless

On the Hats for Homeless Front:
So far I have only three hats completed, two adult and one child. I feel like I am making excel ant use of what would otherwise be sitting in the closet waiting to become vintage yarn.
I started out making scarves, those are great one skeiner projects. But then I remembered something that the nurse told me when Sarah was born, babies (people) loose most of their heat through their head, and it is best to keep it covered.
That was when I decided that hats would be a better way of helping the homeless, plus I thought the homeless man that spent the night in our lobby a couple of weeks ago might have appreciated a hat more than a scarf.
So these three hats will get added to the basket o scarves to take to the local PADS shelter (homeless shelter), where I know that they will get used for what they are intended for.

I actually had two more but my girl Raine spied them and absconded with two of them, a pink multi colored one for herself and a green camouflaged one for her new step brother Ethan ( he is 5). I had to make her a new hat this year anyway so I let her take her pick. I thought it sweet she thought of Ethan on her own.
I have burgundy hat on the needles now that I will probably finish tonite. I am going to try to knit a hat a day. Probably a lofty goal, but as the temperature drops I knit faster.
I am trying to recruit a couple of girlfriends into helping. It is a busy time of year, but even if I can get a couple hats each, it will be a help. There are so many people that have so much less than we do.
My mother always said that charity begins at home. I see a lot of unfortunate people in my line of work, so that is where I will begin, in my own community.

On the alpaca front, I dropped of the wall hanging to Alpaca Barb on Friday. She was ecstatic! Seeing her face light up makes every time I ripped it out and started over all worth it! She was going to have it on display this weekend at the alpaca show at the Fairgrounds. I told her we will be able to add to it as she has her other animals shorn for the first time. I think that will be soon, she already gave me a skein for one called Savannah. we will have to add them by three's to keep it symmetrical.

And for payment??? Well all I wanted was a couple of skeins to make myself a hat and scarf, Barb gave me 6 (holy cow!) and then I took one of Savannah to start a square to add to the hanging. So I walked away with an armload of selfish knitting !!

A note on the mill that spun the yarn, I told Barb that I had noticed that some of the skeins had some thin spots and some fatter spots, and that I was surprised at how dirty it was even so far as several skeins had little pieces of straw in them. Not that it detracted from the pleasure of knitting with it but, if I had purchased the yarn, I would have been all over it.
After I washed it the second time you really noticed the difference in the softness, it was incredibly soft! and beautiful!
I told her that I was surprised at the different textures from each animal. I did learn that they are all Suri Alpaca's but she agreed that each animal had a different texture wool.
Just like people I guess.
She has a new mill in California that she is getting her second batch of yarn from. I can't wait to see how that turns out.

Current Project
This is all I can show of this one, suffice to say, I am knitting on size 15's with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Blue Ink. It is a nice rich dark blue color, which I noticed with Knit Picks darker yarns that the color tends to adhere to the bamboo needles. I have used this yarn before for felting and it felts up very nicely! Same yarn I used for Mark's hat.

This project is working up very quickly so even with my limited time this week I have managed to get pretty far with it.

And not to forget, I also had chocolate socky #deuce on the needles, which is now complete and my happy feet wore them to work last night!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Yesterday was a complete waste of 24 hours! I was not feeling well and ended up staying home from work. I hate wasting my day in bed, I lay there thinking of the thousand and one ways I could be spending it, instead of laying there with not even the strength to do some mindless knitting. Ticks me off to have to burn a sick day for such weaknesses.

So today I had to make up for it. I started my day bright and early, (that will happen when one spends an entire day sleeping). Scrub the floors and take care of last nights dishes (yuk). Do laundry, and in between, catch up on some of my recorded shows, rip out the five border rows of the Carbon Copy square re-knit it and sew the squares together. Plus knit with my granddaughter, and OMG! after 20 years of trying to get my daughter to learn to knit, she finally succumbed!!! I think it was because Raine, who usually only knits about 5 stitches once in a while when visits, sat in the other room and finished her first half of her bean bag.
It blows us away that the little stinker can remember how to do it after not touching it for months. She knit several rows today and then shamed her mother in to learning.

So for the first time Sarah knit, and Raine knit unsupervised, and has now taken hers home with her in her very own basket! (I'm so excited about it!)
I think I had a full day.

And now for the creme de la creme...

And not a moment too soon, Alpaca Barb's show is this weekend and now she will have her hanging to represent her first six alpaca's. Poor Barb, I'll bet there she thought I would never get this done! And to be honest, there were times I wondered myself. It took me a long time in the beginning to figure out the how's and the what's I wanted to do with this project, with only a vague idea of how I wanted it to look.
Then there was the stitch patterns to choose from, and oh boy are there a lot of choices!! Once I got my head wrapped around it, it went swimmingly, for the most part.
I am still not sure I like how the names came out, but my niece tells me it is very vintage and cool. I just hope Barb will like it.
I am giving it a final blocking tonite, and plan to be able to give it to her tomorrow afternoon.

I almost hate to give it up, because as I sat in this frozen tundra we call home, (no, the heat is not on yet, but in my mind it should be) I sat with this luscious fabric on my lap while I watched a movie, it kept me nice and toasty warm. It still surprises me how such a light and soft fiber can be so warm.

Now on to stash busting!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Still a Work in Progress

Yes I know...I should be done with with by now, and this is the weekend of the alpaca show at the fairgrounds!
Here is some progress so far. One more to go and of course, it is Carbon Copy, the one with the longest name. Sorry about the blur but I was kinda in a hurry when I took this.
This is also the layout in which I am going to sew them together, the missing space is for the last square.
Stitching the names on was harder than I thought it would be. And of course I eyeballed it. I am not 100% happy with the results, but I really did not have a clue how to go about it.
Tomorrow is my Friday (finally) It seems like it took forever to get here! I will finish this on Wednesday come hell or high water!
And don't you know it, just as I suspected...the final square to be knit is the only one that did not match up in size...yes, I foo-barred that one and now I have to frog the last 5 row and continue the pattern stitch for about an inch...then re-knit the last 5 border rows. WHAT THE HECK!
Best laid plans...and all that! I guess was over anxious to get them done.
I will be giving the whole thing a swish in the wash water once it is all put together... and yes I will post a better picture.

And Dawn, my thanks on behalf of my friends in the pink! I will pass on your comments to them!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Update on the Pink

I mentioned here about the wonderful fund raiser that my friends Berni and Nikki from Nails Under the Sun & Nikki's Place are doing for Pink Hair for Hope, Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

I talked to Berni today and she told me that her shop was cram packed full of people. They had over 100 people come in for pink hair extensions today! Hokey Smokes Rocky!!

I cannot imagine that many people in Berni's tiny little shop.

They had to turn people away today because it was just too many to handle in one day. Poor Nikki, I have no idea how she was keeping up...Berni told me she just said "Rock on!". Your a real trooper my friend!

To date they have raised well over $6000!!!! I will try to keep you abreast (seriously- no pun intended) of their progress.

A small note to certain small minded people who think that a lapel pin is enough to bring about an extra awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and think pink hair is "unprofessional" . We, the professionals and executives, the managers and sales clerks, and women in every walk of life across the nation have news for you...
A lapel pin would not have brought out over 600 people to one little nail and hair salon in this one little town. A lapel pin would not have raised over $6000 in a week. A lapel pin would not have made front page news. A lapel pin would not have had people lined up waiting to get into Berni's shop on a Saturday morning to show their support. And yes, while I agree that the pink ribbon lapel pin is a good way to show suppport, it doesn't make the impact or make people talk about it like a small stripe of pink hair does. We can still act in a professional manner!

I do this thing because I have lost someone, and we all know someone who has a story, and someday this little pink stripe in my hair might save my life or the life of someone I love.
Even tho I know he will never read this, I feel better for having said it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a ...

HAT?? Yep a hat, and scarf. Yah I know, we are back to that again. And yes, it is more Baby Clouds, they make great snuggly and warm winter accessories as well as knitting up very fast! I took a little time out to watch a movie tonite ( The Pursuit of Happyness) and k-nit this little hat for my adopted daughter Loreli. She and her new hubby Kasey just moved to Washington where he is stationed at in the Army. Ft. Lewis to be precise.
I made the scarf a couple of weeks ago, and figured no time like the present to complete this little "you are not forgotten" gift.

And as Lori put it, she is freeeeeeeeeezing out there. Guess what kiddo, it is freeeeeezing here too!
Ok, so Mom finally came through and a care package will be in the mail this week.

This still should be a surprise since I am pretty sure she never reads my

Back to my alpaca squares...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pink Hair For Hope!

Today was pedi and hair day- A girl has to have a day off you know :) But this was a trip with a twist!

My very good friends Berni and Nikki run a hair salon and they have been participating in this huge fundraiser Pink Hair For Hope along with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. It is a nation wide campaign which you may have heard of. They have been putting in Pink hair extentions for $10 and the money goes to breast cancer research.

This is a topic that is near and dear to me as I lost my own mother 11 years ago to breast cancer. And yesterday was the 16th anniversary of my brother's death, we lost him to colon cancer at the young age of 40.
So far my friends have raised over $5000, that is over 500 hair extentions!! I am so proud of them both!!
Here is the new article the News Sun ran on them - Cool in Pink . They were front page news around here!

Of course, I did my part, I have two pink extensions in my hair, and yes fuchsia does look good in red hair!! (just in case anyone was wondering)
And keeping with family continuity- my daughter and granddaughter will be getting theirs today, along with one of my nieces.

I have awesome friends- don't you think??

Here's Raine with hers!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fishing anyone?

Whoever came up with this idea is a genius!! (Must have been a woman, right? LOL)
I have tried a lot of "storage solutions" over the years, but nothing has ever tamed my circulars like this!
Sometime last year, or maybe the year before, I was discussing our out of control needle collections with my partner, (my partner at work that year was a knitter/crocheter too).
Like me, she has a lot of tools from her mother that, also like me, she is loath to dispose of, that went along with the increasingly growing collections of circular needles we both continue to purchase.
For my straights, that I rarely use, I found this too cute case at Walmart ( yes I know baaaaad) for just a couple of bucks, and it has the old fashioned style of a travel trunk, except that it is tall and rectangular. Of course it is not tall enough to be able to close the lid on the needles but it is functional and looks cute on my craft dresser. It holds about half of them, the other half are in a tall glass canister.
But I had nothing practical for my circs! And don't you hate sifting through a drawer trying to untangle the mess the circular needles get into (seemingly all by themselves)?

Anyway, we were browsing the Internet looking for a new needle case solution, since we both had the same problem. Lot of some very pricey cases out there! Someone, somewhere out there mentioned she got an idea from her husband tackle box- a great zippered case with Ziploc bags-cheaper that any "needle" case she had seen.
Well would you just know it...Bass Pro Shops have a great idea for keeping bait and tackle organized! Ok, maybe I am not so surprised. It would not be the first time I shopped in the fishing isle for a craft storage solution.
Off to Bass Pro I go and low and behold (gosh those guys are organized) I find something even better, cheaper! A case with a Velcro strap... I can fit a lot of needles in one of those I think to myself.
And oh boy can I- with no strain on the bag itself!
I bought two of course- one for my circulars and one for my double points. After 30 something years of knitting and crocheting, I have a lot of needles and hooks!

I kind of even like the little fish logo on it :)

Double point needle case.

Circular needle case.
Which I have labeled in numerical order, in some cases I have two pages for some sizes. I have a needle gauge in each case along with, stitch markers and needle tips. And, they both have room to grow! But now that they are neatly orgainzed and stored, I find I have more than enough needles for just about any project. Plus, I have my Pink Denise's, so I don't think I will be needing to buy any more needles, unless it is an Addi, I find I am really liking those!
Mom had always used a flat Tupperware cheese container for her crochet hooks and that has worked well for me, so I keep that (plus it was mom's and I am kind of attached to some of my deadables).
Love those guys at Bass Pro Shop, you should have seen the look on the guy's face when I answered his question of " So what are you going to do with those?"...It was comical to say the least. I guess I don't look like the fisherman type.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's Laundry Day!

Here it is- each square handwashed and pinned to dry. I can hardly wait for them to dry!!! I had to stand on one of those bouncey -wobbley dining room chairs to get this shot.
As usual, I have only a vauge notion of how I am going to stitch the names in. Each square has a panel of 15 stockenette at the bottom for the names, and I will have to use a contrasting color for obvious reasons. I think I would rather have them in all the same color except for one. I think that would show up the best and tie it in together better. I will have to look at the quanities of yarn that I have left over from each one before I decide.

Then there is the layout to be decided on. What will be the best color scheme? And should I make it a long or wide wall hanging? While these dry, I will sleep on it, and hopefully the idea fairy will give me a nudge.
I am open to suggestions if anyone wants to comment on it! What do you think?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Last Square Knit!

Yesterday prior to leaving for work, I finished the last few rows of my very last square for the Alpaca Project!!
I was having a lazy morning today and did nothing more on them, but tomorrow morning I plan on being productive and get the squares washed and blocked out, then lettered.
I can't have them sitting around without names, now can I? I don't think it will take long to get that part finished then sewn together. I am anxious to see if the finished project looked anything like what I pictured in my minds eye.
(And I hope Alpaca Barb likes it! She's been waiting a long time for this.)

" Carbon Copy"
Stitch pattern - waving rib
I should mention, all of my stitch patterns came from 365 Knitting Stitches A Year, Perpetual Calender. This has been one of the handiest little books I have run across. You can probably tell by how curled up my copy is, and the ton of posty notes sticking out of the side of it, that I use it a lot.
I always make a photo copy of my patterns, to make it more toteable, and of course to write all over. But even so, my little desk calendar is starting to look like it has been in a war zone.
I did cast on the mate for my orphaned sock :) before I left for work today, but did not do much else. (It was a little Ant-Arcticy inside the house today and my daughter and I huddled over our coffee cups while we visited, burrrrrrrrrr!)
I have decided that a knitting essential is to always have a sock on the needles...especially in my case of the, 19 (OMG!) skeins of sock yarn stash... What was I thinking??

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sarah's Patriotic UFO

My daughter, the poor kid, asked me about a year and a half ago to crochet her a red white and blue afghan, like the one I made for my house and this one that I made for her Auntie Pam, by the 4th of July. Of course I say I will. No problembo!

But then, as things would turn out, it was suddenly 900 degrees outside (and we have no air) and it quickly became too hot to work on this afghan, never to be picked up again.

Poor Sarah, always the last to get something from Mom. So since my ploy with myself worked so well with Raines tv blanket, I decided to use the same tactic. I put Sarah's RW&B in the big basket next to my chair! The next UFO to be taken off the list!

It is an easy enough plaid to make, all chain 1, double crochet 1. Could not go quicker once I sit down to do it. The woven portion is more work, in my opinion. I thought about making her help me with that part, but that probably isn't fair.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I have an empty basket!

I have an empty basket! You know what that means right?? Yep, I watched TV last night - two episodes of Doctor Who and 1 episode of Journeyman and 1 episode of Flash Gordon.

Ok- your probably thinking "holy crap! Did she do anything else last night?" Well actually, yes I did, thank you for asking. I finished crocheting that damned squishy rainbow blanket!!!!!!!!!


Woo Hoo! ( as she does the Snoopy dance). Yes- It is finally finished after over two years!!!

See??? Finito!

Ok yes- I know, it is not a huge afghan or complicated pattern, there is nothing special about it. It was really just an impulsive usage of an impulsive purchase. I am trying to curb that, no really, I am.

But just the fact that it was a UFO or more precisely a F/U project, or for more sensitive hearing a Screwed Up Salvaged Project (SUSP), makes it all the sweeter to complete! And as it turns out, it is just the right size for a little girl, who cannot have enough of her Mimi's blankies to curl up in. Now it's out of my computer/craft/disaster room and into the washing machine to make it's clean get away to Sarah's house ( and out of I couldn't be happier! (I know, I know, enough already...I'm done)

Now I have an empty basket ready for the next UFO to be placed inside it (shuddering) soon as that last alpaca square is done....I am at the finish line with it.

So I now present....Drum roll please....Raine's Squishy Rainbow Blanket! Ta-Da!

Ok that was for Raine....she's 7, whadda you want?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend excitement- Welcome to my world!

Normally, all I talk about here is my craft- which ever one takes my fancy at the time (usually knitting) But I recently read somewhere that people like to read other things about a person's daily life in their blogs because we are made up of other things besides knitting. Too true!

So here is a slice of my daily life.

For the two or three people who might stumble upon this post and don't know it, I work for a police department in a fairly well behaved, affluent town. Usually weekends are a breeze at work and I really don't mind working them, generally speaking.

This weekend was plodding along quite nicely, Saturday was quiet ( we never say the Q word at work.) and we had no major incidents, that is not to say that the surrounding communities did not have their own issues (I think someone mentioned the Q word to them). I remember thinking at the time, that they needed to keep their trash south of our borders.

And weekends are usually a great time to catch up on paperwork, which I seem to have an abundance of. I also work on the department's website and having got myself behind schedule with events, I spent until the wee hours of the morn' getting the Halloween announcement page ready after I got home, you know, when I could have been knitting.
No biggie, what is a little red eye between friends. And I think it looks totally cute this year!

So having fiddled around on Saturday while at work, Sunday was going to be my paperwork catch up day, and I was swimming right along, all by my little lonesome until a neighboring community called and said:

"Hey- did you get any reports of an assault on your bike path??" "Noooooooo." "Well you do now!"

Oh Boy!

Adrenaline kicks in and dispatcher mode goes into high gear (should I mention the Bears Game had just started?) No giving the usual verbal heads up for the boys in the next room-I dispatch the call. They run!!

I love these kind of calls - No don't get me wrong, I do not like when people are hurt, quite the opposite, and this case was severe, very severe! And my heart goes out to the victim!

But I do love the rush you get from having an in-progress, hot call, out of the normal, run of the mill, automation of movements, type of call that require real brain activity!

"Unknown offender, unknown direction of travel" In other words-stop everything thing that breathes! "Medics on scene with severe injuries"
(yeah ok- did we know he walked to the hospital?)
No signs of life on the bike path-hmm

Suffice it to say, I began a frenzy of phones calls, to gather information, and disseminate information, and call in additional manpower. Fun Times- woo hoo!
I can't give the details of the call as it is under investigation, and the details are sketchy at best, we will just leave it at, this was an icky call, one that involved stopping the train for three hours.
This call started with me and two officers on shift at 7:30 pm. I finally left at 1:30 am, my two officers were still there, processing evidence, along with the four additional officers that I called in, Chief and Deputy Chief.

The victim? Well, his injuries were pretty severe, and I can't really tell you what they were, but he was air lifted out to another hospital as soon as he was stabilized, hospital A, being practically across the street from the incident, and when I left at 1:30 am, he was still in surgery and had been for several hours. We never got to talk to him so we don't know the rest of the story. Sorry- I have to leave you to your imagination.
And something to remember- Trains are big and made of metal! People are made flesh, blood and bone- hopefully the twain shall never meet- because if they do- people usually loose.

Bet you can guess why I knit daily now!


Unrelated- for those of you that have been here more than twice- you might have noticed I have been doing a little house keeping. Adding labels and what nots. I find the more time spend here, and more I learn and the more I play. I am sure I am not alone in that regard.
So to make it easier to find particular posts ( I hope) I have tried to categorize them a tad, for those of you that might want a second look.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Is it black or is it brown?

Here I have been thinking this little beauty was black all this time. Until I actually started working with it. In real life it looks just as black as it does in this picture. Ok so maybe it was a case of poor lighting in combination with poor eye site, but until I started knitting in some good lighting, I would have sworn it was black yarn!! Good thing my new glasses will be in soon, the Optometrist was not impressed with the pair I have been wearing for the past several years. I believe he mentioned something about a garbage can.

I tried to take several pictures that depict the true color, but as with most things, there is no justice in the photograph.

I am still in awe of the beauty of nature and the variety of colors of these lovely animals.

Some progress made. Yes I have been working on this piece, but I have frogged more than I would have liked. I should have had this one finished by now, darn that job of mine for getting in the way of knitting! Darker colors do not show off the stitch pattern as nicely as with the lighter color yarns. This is the fourth pattern stitch I have tried this week. So I rip it, rip it, rip it until I get it right. I am liking the look of this one.
Alpaca Barb's alpaca show is looming up fast (no pun intended)! I so want to have this wall hanging on display for her (ok, and for me too, yes, I am vain enough or I would not be here in the first place). Nothing wrong in wanting people to ooh and ahh over something we have made, right? It makes all the frogging we do well worth it!

(Carbon Copy- pattern stitch - waving rib)

This picture shows the beautiful rich brown of the yarn so much better, try to ignore the little fuzzy stuck to it, I promise not to have that in the completed shot. This is my last square to complete, the alpaca's names have to be added. I still have not decided how the layout will go.

I have been pretty much flying by the seat of my pants for this whole project.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Charity Knitting

I must have been tired last night. I woke up this morning and found I had posted this picture with no commentary. Oops- a sure sign that I stayed up too late!
This basket-o-scarves is ear marked for a local homeless shelter. It is just a start, I have six done so far, but as soon as I am finished with the alpaca project I plan to start knocking out some more scarves and hats. (My stash depletion plan). I have a lot of fuzzy wuzzy yarn left over from the squishy blanket that will be perfect for a warm scarf to help someone see the winter through.
I have a couple of friends that have an over abundance of yarn as well that I taught how to knit last year (they crochet as well). I am hoping to convince them to join me in this endeavor. There is a local shelter that my Police Department runs a coat drive for every winter. I think this would make a nice compliment to any coats we receive this year.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Kinda silly when you think about it, the reason this one is not finished. A couple of years ago I started this blanket for a baby shower. One of those, I really like this squishy yarn, and bought it kind of deals. So I just started knitting, at break neck speed, then when I thought I should be just about finished, I took a good look at it and realized it was much too big for a baby blanket. Infact, I think it would have fit the whole crib. So I immediately slammed on the brakes, re-thunk the situation and instead of frogging I decided to add a few border rows and give it to my grandaughter. 'Cept, I never finished.

(Made from Red Heart's Baby Clouds- very warm and snuggley but tends to pill)

I don't usually do that, I very rarely have UFO's, but in this case it has sat in the basket needing those few rows crocheted for two years. The baby who I started it for just had her second birthday. She received something altogether different, a different blanket that was crocheted and a matching sweater. Knitting and crocheting for baby showers are always a rush it seems. For the last 4 or 5 years it seemed that all I did was make baby stuff. I had two baby showers back to back that year. My best friend had her first baby then too so I was also working on her gifts at the same time, plus trying to finish a cross stitch baby quilt as well (that also is a UFO).

One thing always seems to lead to another in large families, and I never could bring myself to pick up the hook and finish this one after all the rushing around was done.

Since I am trying to deplete my overgrown stash, I decided I had better start here. It now sits next to my tv chair to remind to get it done. I did throw a few stitches on it last night before my niece showed up to visit.
Now, if Iwould just sit down to watch some tv.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Kinda Fugly Shawl

This is a step back into the past a little ways. I actually made this shawl (my first) last winter. I have an abundance of this particular yarn because I was going to crochet an afghan from a pattern I "inherited" when my mom passed away. She had used this pattern called a "Star pattern" for the layette set she made when my son was born. Well, I guess I should have had her show me how it was done. It is the most complicated pattern I have ever tried to read and I completely botched the whole damn thing.
So a frogging we will go... and I shoved the whole mess into the closet.
Until last winter, while I sat in my freezing computer/craft/disaster room shivering until I could hear my teeth rattle- I pulled out two of these ginormous balls of yarn, used it double strand and started knitting.

No real pattern here. I started out with three stitches, and increased on each end, I think maybe every other row. Honestly I can't remember. It is pretty big as you can see by the size of the chair, and toasty warm! Which was what my goal was. I was told that it was hillbilly ( I think that was the word he used) and that I should throw it away. He also told me to quit wearing "that blanket" around the house, along with some other derogatory comments. *shrug* What do I care what it looks like -it keeps me warm and has a place of honor on the computer chair.
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