One That’s Old and One That’s New

October 25, 2014

One that’s old

     and one that’s new

          Some pix, some links,

              directions too.

I have an old knitted pin cushion. I bought it a long time ago on my way to visit Hoh Rain Forest in Washington. I don’t remember the name of the little place, but it was off U.S. 101 on Upper Hoh Road that leads to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor’s Center. I was impressed to find something knitted and I’m not too much for touristy souvenirs, so I bought the wool pin cushion.



Yesterday, I decided to make a similar cushion, but I wanted it just slightly heftier for what I had in mind. I wanted to change the height and diameter of the piece.

The old one was made in garter stitch on straight needles and had external seams and though very well done, I wanted to make one without exposed seams. I knit mine in K1, P1 rib in the round on double-pointed needles.


I wanted my larger cushion to hold some short knitting needles I’ve made over the years from longer needles that were not useable for various reasons. I also wanted other knitting supplies on hand (or display, if truth be told): scissors, blunt end yarn needles etc.




I was able to find free online patterns for the garter stitch version, so if you want to try one of them, check the links below or search for something similar.

To make the needle cushion, I used #4 (US) double-pointed needles and worsted weight yarns. I cast on a different number of stitches per each ring.

I knit the rings from largest to smallest as follows:

Ring 1: cast on 56 stitches

Ring 2: cast on 48 stitches

Ring 3: cast on 40 stitches

Ring 4: cast on 28 stitches

Ring 5: cast on 12 stitches

For each ring, divide the stitches onto double-pointed needles with an even number of stitches on each needle. Having an even number of stitches allows you to start each needle with K1. Work 20 rounds in K1, P1 ribbing and then bind off.

Turn the resulting tubes inside out, fold each end to the midline of the tube and stitch them together. Weave in the yarn ends. Turn the rings right side out again and put them together: largest to smallest or smallest to largest. Either way, the ribbing adjusts to make a firm fit.






Once In a While, I Remind Her

October 23, 2014

From time to time, with the help of two products, I add my own personal signature to GN’s lunches. It’s not so much a reminder of who packs her lunches, but a reminder of who loves her while she’s away from home for a meal. The Abuelita Hot Chocolate goes in her thermos, but it has a characteristic flavor that she recognizes.

Abuela is the Spanish word for grandmother and abuelita it the diminutive, less formal form, like grammy, nana, etc. Goodnight calls me “Gram” most of the time, but uses various forms as the mood strikes her, including abuela and abuelita.



Half Way!

October 22, 2014

There has not been much time to knit lately: too busy at work, too nice outside when I’m not at work, and too tired when the sun sets on the busy work day or the sunny after-work day. But I finally hit the halfway mark with my fleur-de-lis  handbag!

A while back, I had started to read my chart like I do for Illusion/Shadow Knitting (because I LOVE Illusion designs) and caught myself after four rows, but . . . it was four rows I had to rip back and fix. That’s life. I don’t get crabby when knitting mistakes happen. I just fix them and move on. It’s that ‘moving on’ part that has gotten me to half a handbag now. 


Just a tidbit about the fleur-de-lis image. It has been used to represent Joan of Arc and when I first wrote about knitting my handbag, I showed a fleur-de-lis grille in the Cathedral of St. Paul that blocks the view of one set of organ pipes. Inside the church, not far from that grille with over 200 fleurs-de-lis, is a stone from the Castle of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was imprisoned from 1430 to 1431.

I am not really knitting any kind of homage to St. Joan. I just like the fleur-de-lis image, but now is as good a time as any to show you that very old stone.




A Sign a Kid Could Only Dream Of . . .

October 19, 2014

I spotted a sign that took me by complete surprise, but it appealed to my inner child. I had to swing around the block to make sure I read it correctly. I suspect it might appeal to Goodnight’s inner child too. I just haven’t told her about it yet.

The sign said “Come Trick or Treat with Us.”

I verified it online by checking the company website. I found the same information there.



Pearson’s Candy Company is hosting their third annual Halloween celebration.  I didn’t know they had already hosted two!

Pearson’s Candy Company was founded in 1909 in Minneapolis and moved to St. Paul 1950. In 2013, Pearson’s Nut Goodie turned 100. Even though I did not find the special wrapper with a possible code to win me a tour of the factory, I helped them celebrate 100 years by tasting their anniversary Nut Goodies and taking some to work. When I want to send a fun gift of Minnesota products, my first purchase is always a variety of Pearson’s candy: Nut Goodies, Salted Nut Rolls, Mint Patties.

I think a Halloween party at a candy company sounds like a thing to do!



Autumn Made Me Laugh Today

October 18, 2014

The wind and my ash

          had their annual clash.  

The wind won.~


Things That Were Not on My Bucket List This Week

October 16, 2014

There are some life experiences I could do without. Some of them are hard to even predict to add them on an “Un-Bucket” List.

Early Sunday morning, on the way to take Goodnight out for breakfast, I stopped at a bank ATM and tried to withdraw some cash. Does the word ‘tried’ give you a hint? The machine whirred through the automated counting process three times and then told me to remove my cash. There was no cash, yet it printed a receipt to verify the withdrawal. The whirring sound happened because there was no cash in the machine to count! The screen did not say that my transaction could not be processed. It mocked me instead and said that I had not removed my cash in time and therefore had to make another request. The bank was not open, so I could do nothing about the loss until Monday. I had to file a claim.

I did.  

Very late last night, I was heading back to my office after my long day at work when I saw a student trying to catch an open elevator. I happened to be near enough to stick my hand in the door to hold it open. I was holding my office key and the door knocked it out of my hand and down the elevator shaft it went . . .  clank, clank, kerplunk! I just stood there in amazement and peered into the very narrow crack that lead to the lost key netherworld. I had to call security to let me into my office so I could retrieve my belongings and head home. Retrieving the fallen key required filing a claim.

I did. 

As far as the missing cash from the ATM, I was assured that  my account would be credited within ten business days. The machine will be out of balance and the camera will verify that I received no cash. Thank goodness I didn’t cuss.

As for the disappearing key, that will take a lot longer. The elevator company makes regular service calls and will look for the key at that time. In the meantime, I had to fill out a request to have a replacement key made.

I did.

If I were inclined to place blame for the two above un-bucket list events, I would blame myself for being nice. I just wanted to take my granddaughter out for breakfast and I just wanted a weary student to catch the elevator.

Maybe I should stop being nice! 😉

Busy Knitting Pockets

October 13, 2014

I should maybe not have found so much to keep myself busy since my last post. I left the photo of my German-American Day Apfelkorn up so long I hope no one thought I was on a bender. It just got very busy at our house: homecoming, homecoming dance, parent/teacher conferences, work, homework, basketball open gym, drill team practice . . . etc.

When I had a quiet moment, I used it to knit pockets.

In recent days,  I had the good fortune to find some interesting sweaters and vests at thrift shops and none of them had pockets! I got the “pocket gene” from my mother and am comfortable with  knitting pockets for whatever garment might be lacking them.

I found a vest that has the cut and drape of a short coat or jacket, but it is sleeveless. The fiber content is 80% wool and 20% nylon in a nice plum color. I think it got donated to the thrift shop because the previous owner had thrown it in the washing machine. It is not felted or fulled beyond use, but it may have shrunk enough for the person not to be able to wear it. It is not stiff and  I knit patch pockets to put on the inside. I liked the look of the vest and didn’t want to change the outside. I used large snaps for the closures that are very secure.

I had some plum-colored wool at home and while the match is not perfect, it is plenty good for pockets hidden on the inside and not detectable from the outside.



I have three more knit garments that need pockets. It might seem boring but, it is quick knitting that satisfies a functional purpose for me.

German-American Day Postscript

October 7, 2014

A toast to my ancestors and a toast to end German-Day 2014.

Prost! (Cheers)   Sehr gut! (Very good!)







A Day to Celebrate

October 6, 2014

Heute ist der German-Americane Day in den Vereinigten Staaten. Meine Enkelin und ich werde zum Abendessen zu feiern. Wir werden Nürnberger Bratwürste, Spätzle, glasierten Karotten und kandierten Kirsche Nussriel. Kein Bier, aber wir werden die deitschen Tee zu trinken.

Today is German-American Day in the United States. My granddaughter and I will celebrate at dinner. We will have Nuremberg sausages, spaetzle, glazed carrots, and candied cherry nut bars. No beer, but we will have German tea.


And I think I need to hit the hardware store again and finally buy that four-pound cross peen hammer so we can play Hammerschlagen this evening.

German-American Day was celebrated in the 1800’s, but faded with the onset of WWI. It was not revived until 1983.

Here is the link to this year’s Proclamation.

Auf Wiedersehen!










“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”

October 4, 2014

Now I can show you what happened to half of the hex nuts I got for craft and movie night.

First of all, the movie Goodnight and I watched was Frozen and one of the songs in it is “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” So I decided it might be fun to try making snowmen from the hardware. 

We painted them white and used two coats of paint. When they were dry, we glued the hex nuts together stacking them as you can see in the photo below. I decided to knit a hat and scarf for my snowman.

Goodnight hasn’t had the time to finish her snowman because of her schoolwork and her job. She will get to it as her schedule allows.

The flat sides of the hex nuts make a sturdy base for the snowmen to stand and I may use them for napkin rings.

The largest diameter hex nut I was able to get at the hardware store was 1 1/4 inch. I would have preferred a 2-inch diameter nut for the base so my Christmas cloth napkins would fit, but I went with what they had at the store for now.



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