Archive for the ‘Sometimes I sit and knit…’ Category

Does This Count as Knitting?

July 25, 2013

It is a very uncharacteristic purchase for me, but what can I say?  I was totally influenced by the names of the colors.  I say it counts as knitting because knitters know that if they can’t actually be knitting, they are at least thinking about knitting.


The nail polish is from the  Sally Hanson Fuzzy Coat line.

The red background is a shawl in progress.  I had to take a better photo of the nail colors and add some knitting in the background.  I hope to finish the shawl in the next two weeks.

A Promise, A Panic, A Plan, A Present

July 9, 2013

I am a woman of my word.  Despite all the time that has passed since I spotted a post to which I responded, I have completed a project for a blog friend.  Time was not my biggest hurdle.

Some time ago (as in last year), Carol E, at Giraffe Dreams, mentioned that she was going to celebrate her birthday and entrance into a new decade by making herself a Word Quilt.  As I read her post, she was asking for Verbs to use on her “Celebrate 60 Word Quilt.”  Before I even finished reading her post, I got excited for my friend’s project and I jumped to the comment box and contributed two verbs:  WONDER and WANDER.

After leaving my comment, I jumped back to her post to finish reading it.

EEK!  I had just promised to make the quilt blocks!

I don’t quilt.  The tradition in my mother’s family was to tie quilts and I have only done that once.  I can sew garments and I own a sewing machine, but I consider my skills functional . . . and I don’t wear quilts so I felt I had made a promise I would not be able to keep.

Carol E didn’t sound like she was in a big hurry for the quilt blocks, so I just let my schedule get in the way while I mulled over my dilemma.  I don’t quilt.  I follow some quilting blogs because I love the colors and the printed fabrics.  The patterns intrigue me and the end results are photographed beautifully.  But I don’t do that.

I knit.  I am a knitter.

Finally, I decided to keep my promise to actually produce WONDER and WANDER for my friend . . . somehow.

I decided to knit the verbs!  But I wanted them to be close enough to the weight of a quilt block so that my blog friend might actually use them in her birthday quilt.

I purchased some cotton thread in four different colors and made separate knitting charts for WONDER and WANDER.  I didn’t just want to send the words to Carol E.  I wanted to make my pieces have the hint of quilting pieces, but without the sewing, so I added a bit of knitted border.

When I finished the knitting, I purchased coordinating fabrics to which I wanted to attach my knitted pieces. By adding the fabric, Carol E can easily attach them to other quilt blocks.  I have left the fabric pieces large enough for some flexibility in placement.

I hope my final pieces will work for your Word Quilt, Carol E.  They are in the mail!

Let me introduce WONDER . . .


. . . and WANDER.  (The fabric colors in the photo below match better than they seem to in the pic.)


Star Tidy Trilogy: A Legacy Story

June 20, 2013

I wanted to comment about the doily underneath the pitcher of peonies in a photo I posted two days ago because several people have contacted me about it. I knitted it using the Star Tidy pattern from Knitting Counterpanes by Mary Walker Phillips, published in January of 1989.


I have a set of three doilies/cloths in different sizes and though I had owned the book for a while, I didn’t knit the Star Tidy pieces until 2004.  I began by following the directions as published.  The piece, as published, was intended for a counterpane and as such had accompanying directions for other pieces necessary to complete the bed cover.


When I fished the small piece, I liked it so much that I added a ruffled border to finish off the edge.   The octagonal shape is apparent, but less so with the ruffle.


Having completed the first piece via the pattern, I saw that it would be easy enough to make a larger cloth by continuing the increases until I had star points as wide as I wanted and then follow the directions for decreasing down to the star points.  I added the same type of knitted border to match the smaller cloth.  The medium-sized cloth looked like the older sister of the little doily I had finished earlier and I liked them both.


I like to give myself knitting lessons/challenges and I try to think of fun ways to do that, so I set about increasing the star points even further to make a cloth to cover my table . .  or most of it because I really prefer to see the wood.   Thus came about the largest of the three Star Tidy cloths that I made.


I used worsted cotton, so the cloths are not dainty lace work, but I don’t have a pad for my table and the cloths add protection from marring and heat.  I sometimes use the two smaller cloths as trivets.

I use all three cloths, but I use them sparingly.  I try to use them in ways that will have memories attached to them, because the real purpose for knitting the trilogy is to give them to my granddaughter.  I want the knitting gifts to come with memory gifts attached to them so the smaller doilies will have garden flower memories for her and the largest cloth will have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner memories to go with it.

Although I am GN’s legal guardian, I wanted to leave behind some needlework legacies because of how much I have appreciated the few pieces I have from my grandmothers . . . and those pieces are all the more special because of the stories that go with them . . . woven, knitted, crocheted, tatted, or braided into the fabric of my life.

I think that if GN found an old doily that had no memory attached to it. she might be inclined to donate it to a thrift shop.  But if she could stumble upon the medium Star Tidy cloth and tell herself   “This goes on the table in June with a pitcher of peonies and later in the summer with a bigger pitcher of hydrangea blossoms” then she will be remembering some happy times.

I have been working on other happy knitted legacy stories too, but those can be told another time.


Read the rest of this entry »

1 + 2 + 3 = 4!

June 13, 2013

According to basic arithmetic, the title of my post would not make any sense.  I am a knitter and for my most recent project, it is a true statement.

1 cone of cotton yarn rescued from a thrift shop


2 dollars (for what could run between $10 – $20)

Two dollars

3 evenings of knitting


4 new face cloths



Retirement Internship Knitting

June 6, 2013

I managed to accomplish some knitting while I had two weeks away from work.

The brown cap is for me.  It will look nice with the long winter coat I found at a thrift store last summer.

The green mittens are for my granddaughter.  I know I have already knitted and then fulled a wool pair, but I wanted to knit another pair.  This pair will not be washed for fulling.

The blue and white scarf is a gift.


The green mittens will have a green hat and scarf to match.  The green knitting is my lunchtime project at work for the summer term.

The blue and while scarf will have mittens and hat to match.  The blue and white knitting will be my evening quiet-down project.

I haven’t decided if the brown cap needs any matching mittens.  When I decide, I will find a way to fit the knitting in.  :-)

I Got Sent to the President’s Office

June 4, 2013

It wasn’t what I had expected on my first day back to work.  In fact, I wouldn’t have expected it at any time because in 24 years here at the college, I have never been sent to the president’s office.

I was walking in a hallway yesterday when. heard my name called.  “Gram?”

I turned around to see who was calling me.  I didn’t see anyone at first.  Then tucked into a small corner workroom with a barely open door, I spotted a familiar face.

I walked up to the door, stuck my head in and asked the women if she had called me.  She had.

“Could you go to the President’s office?”

My raised eyebrows must have been enough communication because the woman added, “His administrative assistant needed some help and she emailed me, but I told her you were the person to ask for the help she needed.

Again, I raised my eyebrows. The woman speaking to me works in Technology and I do not.  If the President’s administrative assistant needed help, I was struggling with how I could be the go-to person.

“She is trying to knit a vest and she lost a bunch of stitches three rows back and asked if I knew how to fix her mess. I told her I couldn’t help her but that you would know.”

Gram: On my way!

A knitting problem . . . yea.  Not a bad way to start the summer term!

Glove Needles

May 29, 2013

Because a few people have contacted me and asked the question, I thought I would write a brief post about glove needles.

Glove needles are double-pointed needles and can be used to knit the thumbs and fingers in gloves of mittens.  They can be purchases in sets sized the same as regular double-pointed needles, though not ALL the sizes.

The sets of gloves needles I have are all four inches in length and the advantage to the shorter needles is they are less cumbersome for the smaller amount of stitches per needle used in fingers and thumbs.  The shorter length also prevents the tips from bumping into the other fingers (or the mitten hand) as one knits.

The photo below shows the glove needles in perspective to the knitting in progress.


Photo credit:

“I Don’t Have Cabin Fever” Knit Scarf

April 28, 2013

I finally had chance to finish the scarf I was knitting.  I hadn’t really given it any kind of tame, but someone contacted me for info on how to make it, so I thought I would share.

I am not in a position to type a formal pattern and save as a PDF today, but the general directions are as follows:


Size 8 (US)  straight knitting needles

7 ounces  (384 yards) worsted weight yarn

Blunt end yarn needle

Cast on 30 stitches

A:  Garter stitch for ten rows.

B:  Next row, knit across row, but wrap yarn twice around needle instead of once.

Next row, knit across row by knitting  only one wrapped strand from previous row.

C:  Garter stitch for eight rows.

Repeat B and C above for length of scarf, ending with C.

Bind off.

Weave in yarn ends.

Note: Wrapping yarn twice round your needle, then knitting only one wrapped strand on the following row is how the Drop Stitch is made.  Drop Stitches give an airy look to a knitted piece.  For this particular scarf, I wanted to knit something while looking out my picture window at our late April snowfall.  The Garter Stitch is easy to knit while looking away from my needles, but the Drop Stitch adds enough interest to keep the task from becoming tedious.

I rescued the yarn for the scarf pictured below from a thrift store.  There were three skeins of the variegated yarn.  The scarf required two, so I have a skein left for matching mittens!

p.s. I knit the little flowers many years ago, but they still look cheery in that little cut glass vase after all these years!


I Don’t Have Cabin Fever

April 14, 2013

image It is early morning on a Sunday in April. It is snowing again. Many folks are not happy about the snowfall in April and I don’t like it much when I have to drive in it, but GN has been at a sleepover since yesterday afternoon and I have been holed up at home.

I don’t have Cabin Fever either.  I got my chores done early yesterday before I took GN and her friend to a movie and then the sleepover.  With the work done for the weekend and time on my hands to relax, I am in the middle of a Denzel Washington Film Fest and knitting a scarf start to finish as I watch . . . at least I hope to finish the scarf by the time the credits roll on the last film.

In between the next two films, I am going to get a stew on the stove for a lovely dinner when GN gets home.  (Thanks, Dancing, for the link to the recipe!)

The scarf is a simple combination of garter and drop stitches – more garter than drop – so I can knit and still enjoy the film Fest I’m throwing for myself. Life doesn’t have to be complicated to be wonderful.

Emergency Knitting Project

January 4, 2013

Cadet Goodnight and I were having a conversation about her Thursday morning routine for getting ready for school.  Good thing the first inspection day happened while I am still on semester break and my Winter Retirement Internship.  She put the uniform hat on yesterday and that was fine for the car ride to school, but when I go back to work, she will be dropped at her bus stop again and needs to be properly dressed for the weather. 

GN: Umm . . . Grammy . . . Master Sergeant says we may not wear civilian accessories while in uniform. 

Gram: Are they going to issue winter hats and scarves and mittens, then? 

GN:  No, Grammy.  The only color we are allowed to wear is black. 

Black it is then, but the young cadet will still be properly dressed for the weather – cuz I’m the Gram and cuz I said so. 

So, I’m off to get some black wool for a hat scarf and mittens that will not get her written up for a uniform violation.  There’s an added bonus to my emergency knitting project:  GN can’t wear a proper stocking cap once she’s gotten her long hair up in the tidy bun required for inspection and I expect her to have her ears and head covered. 

I’ve been giving it some thought.  I think I have come up with a plan that will satisfy the Master Sergeant, the cadet, and the Gram. 

Must get clicking!


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