Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Here is wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season filled with love and stitches!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today ...

My heart is breaking for the victims of the shootings in Connecticut. Words cannot express my sorrow. Colorado has had our share of sorrows. We lived through the Columbine shooting when my son was in high school. He went to a different high school, but some of the youth group in our church attended Columbine. My son said that they used to talk about friends, dating, parents, school classes, and their future before the shooting, and afterward, they talked about friends who died. I grieve for the children, their families, and for our country.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

And Now the Fingerless Gloves

I wrote about my piano gloves on this blog
back in October 2011.
I found this ruffle in one of my
books on edgings. I like it
on these gloves, but not good
for a sweater.
 I just wrote about not liking to knit gloves, and I have had a few requests to post pictures of the fingerless gloves that I do like to knit. I have made several pairs and I sell them at that Renaissance Fair in the summer and a holiday artisan store in the winter.

I don't always feel obligated
to put thumbs in
Fingerless gloves are a great way to try out patterns without having to make a sweater or even a scarf.  I have tried several different lace patterns, slip stitch methods, and even fancy cables. I always use double-point needles because that's how I learned to make socks and like them. I know lots of people like the Magic Loop method, but this works well for me.

I love knitting socks as well, but I realize that if I had to separately knit each toe, I wouldn't like doing socks any more than I like knitting gloves.

Does this pattern look familiar?
If you follow the book/movie
series Twilight,
you will notice it is the
cover of the book.
Very popular

This is a slip-stitch herringbone
pattern. Not only fun to do, but the slip stitching
makes it double layered and warmer.

Lace. How can you ever go wrong with lace?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gloves - ugh

I decided I don't like to knit gloves. I like knitting fingerless gloves, but not regular gloves. Obviously, that must mean that I don't like knitting the fingers.    It isn't just knitting a few stitches on double pointed needles, it is also having to weave in the beginning and end of ten fingers.

I like the results, but I couldn't wait to finish this project. The yarn is a sock yarn that I have had a long time and I don't remember where I got it. Also, the gloves don't fit quite right. There is more material on the web between the thumb and palm on glove than the other. I am ready to go back to knitting hats and shawls. I don't want to work with fit right now. Besides, I have several scarves that I need to finish before Christmas.  Scarves always fit.

Back to the needles.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Foothills Living

Living in the foothills of the Rockies has its advantages, such as the beautiful views and ever-present wildlife, but every few days we have to traipse into town to run errands. We try to combine as many as possible, which always means that Ken needs to stop by one of the homer stores and shop. I enjoy hardware store about as much as he enjoys doing through a Cold Water Creek store. We are about to solve this huge divide of interests by visiting a shopping center in Highlands Ranch that has both a Home Depot and a Tattered Cover book store. Thank goodness for cell phones. He drops me off and I can wander around or sit down and knit, waiting for him to pick up some plumbing pipe for his solar panel invention, or some piece of lumber that he needs to shore up some joint. He calls me when he is done and I don't have to look at paint samples to pass the time.

My idea of heaven is a yarn and book store combination with a really good brand of coffee. The Tattered Cover is about as close as to heaven on earth that there can be even if I need to bring my own yarn. First, I head to the magazine section to see the most current knitting magazines. I have a rule that I don't buy a magazine unless there are at least three projects in the magazine that I would definitely make. I don't buy a book unless there are at least five projects that I would make. Additionally, if my local library carried the book or magazine, I take it home first to see if I am still in love with the contents before investing in it.

It's a dumb rule.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Patterns that Sing to Me

Blanket for Oliver
Andrew and Kathy are having a baby boy. Andrew is my nephew, so what better opportunity to make a baby blanket?! Oliver is due around Christmas and he will be wrapped in this blue and white afghan, lovingly made by his Great Aunt (and I will be a great Great Aunt!)

This is one of my favorite afghans to make, so a couple of weeks ago, I pulled out my needles, grabbed the baby blue, white, and dark blue yarn to make another Quilt-Like Afghan. Maybe it's the combination of both knitting and crocheting, but I love this pattern.

Blanket for Zane
Have you ever had a pattern that just speaks to you? Conversely, have you ever had a pattern that your fingers just can't tolerate? Well, this is one that speaks to me. There is something about making these cute little octagons that I response to. Several times, I have started an afghan pattern only to frog it to cast on 8 stitches and start increasing. Since it's an afghan, I don't pay attention to gauge, and in fact, I don't even pay attention to the needle size and yarn size. I just pick out a few colors that I want to put together, look for matching double-pointed and circular needles, and start in.

My afghan -- or rather Neko's
This is the third afghan I have made from this pattern, and I am sure it is not the last. I made the first one for me, which Neko prompted adopted as his own. For this one, I even used the yarn and needles recommended by the pattern. The second one I made for my friend Amber and her son, Zane. My son Lorne has ordered one as well in a variety of colors, as long as one of them is not white. I have another friend who is having a baby by the end of the year, so I will start on that as soon as I finish some scarves for Christmas presents.

This is the free pattern from Lion Brand, so here is the link. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pre-felted Cat

This was meant to be a bed for me, right?
I can't knit a project without adding a little bit of cat hair to it. It's not by choice. It's just life when you knit around a cat, especially a cat like Neko. He is involved in everything.

However, he does seem to have a problem with the projects that I am about to felt. This is a pile of bags and wine bottle cozies destined for the washing machine to be felted, but Neko says nothing doing.

Guess I'll wait until he moves onto another pile of knitting.

Back to the needles.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

He Does Have His Moments

Uh-oh. He grabbed my hand. Will there be blood?

I always make fun of the fact that Neko has attitude.  He is not a nice kitty. But I am insanely in love with him. He is not a touchy-feely type of cat. He is more of an ouchy-bleedy cat.

We have a plaque on our front door that says WARNING: This house is protected by an attack cat. This may cause you to snicker a bit, but the truth is that it is true. A normal cat would run and hide when the doorbell rings. Neko runs to the front door, front teeth showing and a howl in his throat, claws itching to dig into some ankle flesh.

I have been told that to get him to behave, I need to keep a spray bottle of water handy. We tried that. It only made Neko mad.

He thinking about it. The teeth are close to skin.
Now I suppose you wonder why we keep around a cat with attitude. The truth is that he has more character than any cat I have ever had. He is playful and funny. He loves to chase yarn and feathers throughout the house. Ken has invented games to play with Neko including a catapult that shoots little sponge pads across the room. And like all cats, nothing makes him happier than a laser pointer dancing across the carpet.

I swear Neko understands what we are saying and doesn't hesitate to talk back. We have had entire conversations with Neko saying nothing more than his throaty "Meow." 

Aw. Every now and then, my evil kitty surprises me
by giving me more loving
Yeah, I'm hooked


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baby Hat and Mitts

A friend of mine wanted some baby hats for Christmas, one in the Denver Broncos colors (orange and blue). So I designed this little hat and mittens for a newborn for her. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Now I have to start knitting on the other hats. It seems the only things really selling at my holiday stand at the mall are my Colorado hats. No, I am not in a panic yet. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and then the full-blown holiday season starts.

Meanwhile, I am knitting away at Christmas gifts. I started making gifts last August, so why do I have so much more to do??

Anyway, back to the needles.

Lion Brand 387244 Fishermens Wool Yarn -Oatmeal (Google Affiliate Ad)Lion Brand 387244 Fishermens Wool Yarn -Oatmeal (Google Affiliate Ad)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Colorado Hat

In Colorado, we love skiing. I think I saw that about one-third of the people in our state are skiers. I mainly ski cross-country now. Several years ago, I blew my knee out skiing so going downhill is a little difficult.  So skiing apparel is hot -- so to speak -- on our mountaintops.

My hat rack is at American Dreamers in Southwest Plaza in Littleton, Colorado for the holidays. I didn't make too many new hats this year, but I did design and make a hat with the logo from the Colorado map. I made two, one for adults and one for kids. They both sold the first two days.

So now, I am furiously knitting more Colorado hats. They are fun to knit, so I don't mind. Yes, I am going to write it up into a pattern and no, it will not be free. I will offer it for sale on my Craftsy pattern site, but you should be checking out that site anyway. There are hundreds of wonderful patterns to download for free or a small fee.

Check out some of my patterns: or

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Holidays are Coming

I thought long and hard about whether to put up my hat stand at the mall this holiday season. I have made money every time I did, covering the cost of the rental plus a little extra, but never enough to really justify the work. Actually, I will knit anyway, so I always say that this is a hobby that barely covers the cost of the yarn, although my time is never covered.

But with the election over and my freelance job is temporarily suspended, I decided to go ahead and set up my hat stand. I have enough inventory that I don't have to knit my fingers to the bone to make new stuff. So up went my hat stand. The store is really cute this year and if the economy continue to improve, I have a chance to make a little money.  I sold two hats in the first two days, so keep your fingers crossed.

Back to the needles.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Too busy to knit??

Okay, I feel guilty. I have not been writing on my blog, but I also haven't been knitting much this month either. I have been working on the presidential campaign every day, and will post more after the election. This is not a political blog, so you only need to know I am busy.

I have been working on a red shawl when I got a chance. I am close to finishing since I am doing the edging now. It's a beautiful soft alpaca and as I am working on it, I realize that it will probably be too warm for me.  I'll post another picture once it is done.

Back to knocking on doors. Go out and vote. See you in November.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Fluffy Scarves

You've seen the yarns. You've seen the scarves. You've seen the colors. The new trend of 'pre-ruffled' yarns can be seen in every yarn store, knitting magazines, and box craft stores.

The first time I was these yarns was about a year ago when Ken and I went to the Colorado Wine Festival on the Western Slope. We stayed in Grand Junction so I paid a visit to their local yarn store Tangle (adorable store). The ruffled scarf just took my breath away. I purchased the yarn -- and it sat in my yarn stash for the past year. Since then, ruffled yarn has exploded on the yarn scene. They were in every yarn store I visited during the Yarn Crawl, in sensational color designs and even in fabrics. They are so compelling that you can't help but touch them as you walk by.

So yesterday, I pulled that skein I purchased a year ago to give it a try. I have to admit that it was fun to start and complete a scarf in couple of hours. However, I couldn't wait to finish it because I was getting bored with it. I was itching to get back to my shawl or my socks. I guess it's good it is a fast project.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fluffy Scarves

Just a quick note about me.  I hope this doesn't change your opinion of me but I don't read romance novels. I never cared much for Jane Austen or Wuthering Heights and I have maybe read four modern romance novels in my life. I prefer murder mysteries. If someone doesn't die in the first 20 pages, I go on to the next book. My threshold used to be death within 30 pages, but I'm older now -- I have less patience with normal life in my books and there are still too many books to read.

That being said, I absolutely love the new series of knitting magazines Jane Austen Knits.  I am saying a series because there are two magazines so far, and I hope they keep them coming. The patterns are lacy and airy and the yarns used are more delicate. The lavender scarf is make with an alpaca lace yarn and the orange and red one is a worsted in a self-striping yarn. Both are using the pattern displayed on the cover. The pattern uses short rows to create the ruffles and flow, and it is very fun to knit. It is also an easy travel project because it is quick to memorize. It's also impressive as the scarf gives longer and longer and you have a cloud of fluffy yarn in your lap. I have both issues of Jane Austin Knit, and have ear-marked at least six projects in each magazine.

So here's to lacy and romantic knitting. I've had my real life Mr. Darcy for 31 years so maybe that's the romance on my needles is more appealing. Back to the needles.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yarn Crawl - Yarn Along the Rockies

Here we are with our Yarn Passports, trying to fill them up
We just had the most wonderful event here along the Front Range. 22 yarn shops in 9 days. I didn't make it all 22, but I get to 12 of them.  There were several stores I didn't even know existed. I think that was the whole idea of the Crawl.

My friend Joan Bradt and I spent the entire day going from store to store, touching alpaca, stroking merino wool, and evaluating colors. We didn't buy much, but we did add to our wish lists

Just one of the beautiful shawl
projects we came across
Every store had a gift basket give-away, and there was some grand prizes for those who got to all 22 stores. All along the way, we would run into the same group of women, also going store to store, obviously following the yarn trail we were on.  I wondered if there was a string of yarn following us.

Joan can't decide which one to get.
We ran into two young women who completed their passport with every store. They did the crawl over four days all during school hours. They had to pick up their kids by 2:30 every day so they were booking it. I hope one of them win the grand prize. That kind of dedication deserves it. The grand prize is worth over $1000 in yarn and yarn doo-dads. Oh, what I could do with that.

There was that unpleasant incident at Knitty Cat though
This was the first year and it was such a success that the stores are already planning on next year's crawl.  I am putting it on my calendar and saving my pennies. To see the web site, go to I didn't get to the Boulder, Colorado Springs, or the mountain stores -- but next year for sure!!

After going to 12 stores in one day, it was a very tiring day.
At least Joan ended up in the alpaca pile.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mammoths in Roxborough? Who Knew?

Ken and I moved to Roxborough Park in 1985. Roxborough Park is south of the Denver Metro area in the foothills to the Rockies. It is a beautiful area with red rocks formations, wildlife from mountain lions, coyotes, and bears to raccoons and skunks, and breath-taking scenery. We have hiked the foothills, bicycled up Waterton Canyon, and cross-country skied across the prairie land. Our property backs up to the Pike National Forest, and we can sit on our deck and see downtown Denver, Chatfield Reservoir, Arrowhead Golf Course, and Roxborough State Park. Our summers are filled with hummingbirds and our winters are filled with hundreds of birds and jays.

We have also traveled all over the western United States with our boys going to similar digs such as Hot Springs in South Dakota, Dinosaur in northwestern Colorado, Mesa Verde in Colorado, Hovensweep in Utah, Head-Smashed-In and Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta Canada.

The dig is now covered to protect it, but plans are to
put up a building over the dig.
So how come we didn't know we were within 4 miles of an archaeological dig that uncovered 33 mammoth skeletons?  Lamb Springs is over 40 acres in the grassland prairie to the north of Roxborough, and we drive by it several times a week.

I can see my house from here! It's south of Lamb Spring.
On Saturday (Sept. 8), we attended a lecture about the history of Lamb Spring at the Roxborough Library followed by a visit to the site. If you get a chance, sign up for the tour on the website and spend a morning going back in time with the mammoth hunters. It is well-worth your time!!

The Lockheed Martin plant is directly west of Lamb Spring.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Every Lacy Shawl Needs a Little Cat Hair

Yes, that dark spot in the lower right is Neko,
checking out the best spot to shed his fur.
I made this shawl about a year ago and never got around to blocking it until now. As I was going through some yarn in my craft room, I ran across it. Seemed like as good a time as any to finish it. This yarn is Alpaca Lace in a light lavender. The pattern is in the Victorian Lace book -- I think. Like I said, it's been over a year since I finished the knitting part of it.

And with all blocking projects, Neko has to lay stake and claim to it. Now it is a hot day, and the dampness of shawl from the blocking process has to be appealing. But it won't matter if the shawl was wet and damp, or pre-heated and toasty. He would still have to lay on it.  

It could also be the appeal of the vortex. The lavender against the navy blue carpet is very striking and the swirls center the energy down. 

Neko is using the vortex to travel to another dimension by way of a lavender highway where there are no yapping dogs or other cats to annoy him, nothing but tuna treats in the food dish, cream cheese whenever he wants it, a sunny spot to nap filled with the essence of catnip, and he could finally do outside.

Neko is still there in this lavender dream world. I can't pull up the pins until he is done or he may not make it back. Hopefully. he will be back by breakfast. 

Remember, cats are magical creatures. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Attack Cat

I don't remember who gave me this plaque, but it seems to apply now more than ever!

WARNING: This house is protected by an attack cat.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My New Favorite Scarf -- So Far!

I wish my camera could show you the intensity of the colors in this scarf. I am so pleased with it! The yarn comes from Skaska Designs out of Ft. Collins, Colorado ( and the colors range from an intense orange to a vibrant fuchsia. This is an incredibly simple lace pattern so it doesn't overwhelmed the colors. The yarn is soft, and it feels feather-light. I brought it to work last week, and the first thing everyone had to do it touch it. I also had a couple people threaten to steal it.

The pattern is from Susanne Lewis' book, Knitting Lace, a must-have for anyone who knits lace. I just added a garter stitch edge of three rows at the top and bottom and three stitches along both sides. Unfortunately, the orange and yellow colors do not look good on me, so when I wear it, I need to have the fuchsia and pink next to my face. I can make it work.

I am now ready to start knitting some more scarves and shawls from this delicate lace yarn.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What I Did on Summer Vacation

These are my adorable sweet sons, Lorne and Dane.
They reluctantly allowed me to take pictures
of them with their hats.

One last note about our trip to Canada. When I not driving or sleeping during the car trip, I was knitting. I finished the watch hats for my sons and hubby, all three made out of an ulta-soft alpaca yarn that is very warm.

I also made two shawls  although I didn't finish the blue one until I got home. They are made from three skeins of Mini Mochi, and I only had two skeins of the blue.  When I got home, I went to my local yarn store to see if they had another skein, only to find out that these colors have been discontinued. I searched the web and finally found some. Whew! I really love the blue and purple colors, so I would have been disappointed if I couldn't finish it.  I will probably offer the rainbow one at my church auction this fall.

The pattern is Wingspan, and can be found on Ravelry. It is very, very addictive, especially if you like doing short rows. There is an array of yarns making this pattern so the variations are endless.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Neko Attempts The Balance Beam

Just as Neko attempts the balance beam in the Cat Olympics, ...

... it did not go as planned.  After all, ...

... it interferes with naptime.