Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Losing my mind

So, I was sitting at the table with my knitting watching a youtube video on continental knitting. I was hoping to see more videos on how to do it so it would stick better in my mind. And while I was sitting there, this ad popped up while the video was playing. I thought to myself, what in the world? I did not click on the ad...

I closed the ad and went back to watching the video when it opened again. Both times in a new window. I thought to myself, perhaps this has a bug in it, and I was already getting the hang of knitting the new way, so I just quit Firefox altogether.

Nick had said he wanted to watch a movie on the laptop and hadn't retrieved it yet, so I asked him what he was doing and he responded, "Just playing on my ipod." Now, if I had been paying attention, I might have noticed that his voice sounded different and strange, but I was consumed with my knitting.

Anyways, I was sitting there knitting when all of a sudden Safari opened up. I remember thinking, that's strange, I did not open it. But like I said I was busy knitting and not doing much thinking. Then, I heard music and thought Nick was playing some through his ipod. I happened to look up at the laptop screen and behold Itunes was now open and playing a song.

About this time, I turned around to look at Nick, (perhaps I heard a noise) and was shocked and surprised to see him laughing!  Then,  it dawned on me. No, the computer was not possessed. Nick was using his ipod as a remote and trying to trick me! It worked. I kept thinking I was going crazy or something.

We laughed for a long time about it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I miss...

I made a few friends in Kansas before we moved back here and I miss them a lot. I miss riding my bicycle all over Independence with my friend Suni. I miss walking all over the downtown with her and enjoying drinks at Anna Mae's. I miss laughing and having a good time at the Farmer's Market and exploring the Arco Building. I miss hanging out at her house and making Kale chips.

I miss talking to my friend Brandi and hanging out at her house drinking hot tea and talking. I miss interacting with her kids and holding her baby. (Though she's quite grown up now)

I miss canning and preserving with my friend Jill and babysitting her daughter. She's long since moved away from the old neighborhood, but I miss her still the same. I miss walking with her and her dogs. I miss taking care of them and bottle feeding the newborn puppies.

I miss the knitting club in Kansas and the friends I made there even if it was only for a short time.

I miss the co-op and helping out at the divide. I miss laughing and joking with Dalton while we divided up the food. I even miss being able to order through Frontier! lol

I miss riding my bicycle and staying in shape and our late night trips to Walmart on the bikes.

I miss shopping at Magnolia Health and Home and going to the Farmer's Market.

And yet, while I miss all these things and more, I do love my life here in Missouri. I missed it so much when we moved away. And wished that we could move back. And here we are.

I'm so thankful for the memories I have from Kansas and hope that I can always keep in touch with my friends.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

the makings of grape jelly

This afternoon, my friend and I went and picked some grapes to make some grape jelly with. I had just been down to the place a few days before but was in a hurry and didn't have time to pick much. I wish I had! When we went to pick the grapes today, there were hardly any left! It seems some animal must have beat us to it. Perhaps a deer or a flock of birds. The grape clusters were still there but the fruit was missing!

We got them washed and ready to go and took several breaks throughout the afternoon.  We used her awesome Champion Juicer (still want one badly!) to make the grape juice. It was so much simpler than cooking them and hand pressing them through a strainer. We did have to let the juicer cool in between but I didn't mind the break of sitting, resting and watching a movie.

I saw my first Doris Day movie. I had only heard of her from my friend's daughter who loves to watch her movies. I didn't watch the whole movie but what I saw I liked. It was a pretty funny movie that kept me chuckling throughout.

We got the grape juice made and then started the jelly making process. I had no idea how much sugar it took to make one batch, which is usually 8 jelly jars. Almost 4 pounds of sugar! The first batch made 10 jelly jars and the second batch made 9.

It seemed to take forever to get the mixture boiling but after that it went by quickly and soon the jars were coming out of the canner. The sound of plinking could be heard throughout the house.

Spending the afternoon/evening with my friend made me realize how much I missed canning. We did not have a garden this year so there wasn't any produce to put away. Although I did buy a few handfuls of zucchinni from the Farmer's market and made some refrigerator relish with it. That turned out yummy!

It also made me realize how much I have missed having a friend to hang out with.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Taco Bell and knitting lessons

We met grandma in Nevada for lunch today at Taco Bell/KFC. I had never gotten the KFC lunch buffet before and was pretty impressed with how yummy it was. I ate too much as usual, so when we all went to Dairy Queen afterwards for dessert, I had to decline. My stomach hurt!

Nick's lucky he has a special compartment in his stomach for dessert. Not me!

I met my friend again today for a lesson in purling. She has learned to knit quite well and was ready to try the next thing. I also taught her how to bind off, but I am afraid I might have confused her on showing her two new things. I meet her again on Monday so I'll have to see what all she remembers.

I like that she just wants to learn to do the stitches and is not particular with keeping any of it on the needles. Once she gets several rows going, she pulls it out and starts over. That's what I did when I learned to knit. It was a long time before I was ready to make a project. I just wanted to do the knit and purl stitches over and over until I was comfortable with it.

I have really enjoyed teaching her to knit. And to see her smiling at her work is great!

Until next time!

Prayer Shawl

I thought I'd post up a picture of the prayer shawl I'm working on. It's measuring at 17 inches. Only 43 more inches to go.

The yarn may be hard to work with but it's so lovely and soft!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Knitting shawls

This was my second week of visiting the prayer shawl ministry meeting and I am loving it! Everyone is so nice and friendly!

Everyone gathers and knits their shawl and when there is one finished, afterwards we all gather around and pray over it. Pray for the one that will receive it.

I was sent home with some yarn to start my first one. I don't care to use metal needles but went to Walmart and got a pair. My wooden ones were too small and I didn't have enough money to get another pair. The yarn I'm using is Lion Brand Homespun yarn. I find it very difficult to work with but it is so soft and pretty!

I worked on it the day I got home and parts of the next day and then I got so busy with other things that I wasn't able to work on it until the following Tuesday. Now, I am committing to work on it every day and do at least 3 inches if not more. Eight inches is my goal per day. I am having problems with the Homespun yarn bunching up. It really seems to slow me down having to unbind it every few inches, but other than that I like the yarn.

One of the ladies brought some yarn and a shawl that she had started but did not finish for one reason or another, so now I've got more yarn to use when this one is done. I had started knitting it with size 13 needles, or at least I think that's what size it is, but it seems too loose, so I may have to take it out and start again.

The other yarn is Red Heart Super Saver and such a beautiful variegated color of brown and turquoise.

I will post up some pictures later this week of both the shawls.

The homespun yarn is at 14 inches now. The pattern says to knit until it is 60 inches long. It seems like it will take forever to get to that point but it is coming along nicely.

I am really glad I finally made it to the prayer shawl meetings.

I do miss going to the knitting club and hope to make it the next time around. I miss my friends from there!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Prayer Shawl Meeting

Tomorrow will be my first time going to the prayer shawl ministry that meets in town. I have been wanting to go for some time now but hadn't been able to for one reason or another. I have missed going to the knitting club that meets on Mondays (twice a month) because it's the same day that Nick works at the college. I haven't had the desire yet to just stay in town the whole time and wait until he gets off of his shift. I did it all last year but lately I have just felt the need to stay close to home.

The prayer shawl ministry meets every Tuesday and the timing couldn't be more perfect. It's during the time Nick drives the school bus.

I'm really excited to meet everyone and see what they do. I also love the idea of making things for other people.

I'll post after I get back from there.

Until next time!

Rose granny square afghan

Many years ago when we lived in Texas, I had a crochet pattern for a rose granny square. You could make several and turn it into a blanket if you wanted to. I absolutely loved the pattern but decided to get rid of it along with the roses I had started. At the time, I did not like to crochet because my hands would ache after just a few stitches. I would have to stop and massage them before starting again. This made completing any project unbearable.

I always figured I could just google the pattern when I needed it. A few years later, I wanted to try making the squares again and got on the internet to search for the pattern. No matter what I typed in the search box, I could not find the pattern! I found several look alikes, but not that exact one that I had fallen in love with so long ago. It would have helped had I remembered the title of the pattern but could not.

Each year, I would look and google the pattern but never had any luck finding it, so I gave up. Then, after learning to knit and switching all my needles over to the Brittany brand. I decided to try one of their crochet hooks. I soon found as I told earlier that I could crochet for hours and not have any hand pain at all! It was great. I had long forgotten about the lost pattern until today.

I received a box of yarn from one of Grandma's friends. In the box were not only colorful balls of yarn, and a few started projects that the lady had started, but in the bottom of the bag, there was the pattern I have been looking for all these years!

Called Rose in Bloom Afghan.

That made my day!!!

The pattern:

Afghan measures approximately 47" by 62"

Red Heart "The Pounder"
4 ply worsted weight yarn, 16 ounce 457 gram skein

Amount: 2 skeins Burgundy CA, 1 skein Hunter CB, 2 skeins cream CC

Crochet hook size I-9

Gauge- motif= 7 1/2" x 7 1/2".

Motif (make 48)
With CA ch 8; join with a sl st to form a ring.
Rnd 1: [Sc in ring, ch5] 8 times; do not join.
Rnd 2: *(Sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc) all in next ch-5 sp; rep from *around; do no join-- 8 petals made.
Rnd 3: Holding petals forward, sc in first sc of Rnd 1, ch 4, * sc in next sc of Rnd 1 between the petals, ch 4; rep from *around; do not join.
Rnd 4: * (Sc, hdc, 3 dc, hdc, sc) all in next ch- 4 lp; rep from *around; do not join.
Rnd 5: Rep Rnd 3, working sc in sc of Rnd 3.
Rnd 6: *(sc, hdc, 5 dc, hdc, sc) all in next ch--4 lp; rep from *around, join to first sc. Fasten off.
Rnd 7: With right side facing, attach CB to 3rd (center) dc of any petal of Rnd 6; ch 3, holding back last lp on hook, 2 dc in same st, yo and through all 3 lps on hook-- beg cl made; ch2; holding back last lp on hook, 3 dc in same st, yo and through all 4 lps on hook-- 3 dc cl made; *ch3; working tr cl and dtr cl in the same manner as dc cl, in 3rd dc of next petal work (3-tr cl, ch4, 3 dtr cl, ch 4, 3-tr cl)-- corner group made; ch 3 **, in 3rd dc of next petal work (3 -dc cl, ch2, 3-dc cl); rep from *around, end at **; join to top of beg cl. Fasten off.
Rnd 8: With right side facing, attach CC in dtr cl of any corner group, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch3, 3 dc) all in same st, [3 dc in next sp] 5 times; *(3 dc, ch3, 3 dc) all inr cl;  [ 3 dc in next sp]  5 times; rep from * around; join to top of first ch-3.
Rnd 9: Ch3, work dc in each dc and (3 dc, ch3, 3 dc) in each ch-3 corner sp around; join to top of ch-3. Fasten off.

Finishing: Holding wrong sides together, sew motifs together with CC through back lp only of each dc and each ch in 6 rows of 8 motifs each.

Edging: With right side facing, attach CC in any st, ch 3 and work 1 rnd of dc, working (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in corner sps as before; join to top of ch-3. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

beg= beginning
CA= color A
CB= color B
CC= color C
ch= chain
cl= cluster
dc= double crochet
dtr= double treble
lp= loop
mm= millimeter
rep= repeat
rnd= round
sc= single crochet
sl st= slip stitch
sp= space
st(s)= stitch(es)
tr= treble crochet
yo= yarn over
*or**= repeat whatever follows the * or **as indicated
[ ] = work directions given in brackets the number of times specified.

Please let me know if you find any errors.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Goal for the weekend

Finish my pink and blue wash cloth set.
Knit a set of fall dish cloths.
Knit a set of holiday dish cloths.

Take better photos of my work. (To do this I really need some poster board, so I will probably have to wait on this one until we go into town on Tuesday)

It must be the week for knitting lessons because I found another person who wanted me to teach her how. She wants to teach her children to knit and had bought this cool book. I had seen an older copy of it at the library but the newer version is so much better!

I found several projects I'd like to try out myself! The way they taught to cast on was different than how I do it, so I showed my friend my method and she liked it better. Before I left, she was casting on by herself and promised to work on it tonight so that tomorrow I could show her how to do the knit stitches.

Both ladies I'm teaching how are left handed but it hasn't been a problem since both hands are used. I suppose there might be a "left-handed" way to knit but I don't know how. This way seems to be working just fine.

Yep, it's going to be a busy weekend for me, but I will love every minute of it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bright Pink dish cloths

This week I bought some yarn. Bright pink, bright blue, green, brown and burgundy. I'm hoping to knit some fall colored dish cloths but am having trouble decided which design to do. Yes, you read right, I bought some bright pink and bright blue, not for fall but because I wanted to have a wider variety of colors to show.

One of my problems is that I sometimes will buy cone yarn and then I am stuck offering way too much of one color. Even if it's a different design, it gets boring. At least to me. By the time I'm done using the last bit of that color, I'm so ready to get something else. I have also found it's not that much cheaper to buy it in the cone size. I thought it was but after a few calculations, it isn't. The problem is that some of the colors I want aren't found in the smaller size.

So, I've got some pink dish cloths on one set of needles and trying to decide on which fall theme to do next. I really need to get busy with it. I feel very behind since Christmas stuff is already out at the stores!

I did knit a sage green flower dish cloth yesterday at the bus barn and while knitting it, a lady commented on how much she wished she could knit. When I told her I'd teach her how, she was thrilled!

So, we had our first lesson today. It lasted ten minutes, because she was running late, but she figured out really quickly how to cast on. I told her that after learning to cast on, I'd show her how to knit, then purl then bind off. Maybe not even in that order. That is all I learned to do before I was venturing off to try more challenging patterns. I think with the basics in mind and a right attitude you can learn anything!

There is still some things I find challenging like making sweaters for other people. My mom really wants me to make her a sweater. I am just having a hard time finding "the" right pattern. She doesn't live close, so for her to try it on as I go is not an option.

I recently read articles about intarsia and fair isle knitting both of which intrigue me greatly. But I have so much on my plate right now, (so to speak) that I don't know when I'll learn either of those types.

I've been working this week on redoing my pictures for etsy. You'll have to check it out. I've decided that a white background looks better than anything I've done before. I haven't been able to completely re-edit all my pictures but slowly getting it all done. It would sure help if the sun shone a little! I don't care for artificial lighting.

I've been hanging around on the forums on etsy trying to learn all that I can. I've also been learning to let my feelings go when I find someone else on etsy that is selling something of the same pattern for so much less than me.

I've learned that I can't compare my prices to anyone. I have figured my cost of the materials, etsy fees, paypal fees, and time it takes to complete a project and feel I have accurately priced my work. Some might think my prices are too high. Others still insist to me my prices are too low for the work that I make.

I read an article the other day about someone who complained over the high cost of another lady's craft item and the lady explained that she didn't expect them to work for pennies per hour, why should she. It is work to make a dish cloth and just because I enjoy what I do, doesn't make it any less.

Until next time!

Cell phone zippered pouches

Last week a friend asked me to sew her a cell phone holder that she wanted to give to a friend. So I took out my supplies and started to d...