Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Monday, July 28, 2008

An FO Weekend

Actually, I finished the Queen Anne's Lace lap-robe on Friday, but didn't get a photo taken until last night. As you can see, my usual helper was on duty.

I knit these two "Dopey" hats on Saturday (and another one tonight that I haven't photographed yet). These are the same pattern I used a year or so back with the addition of a bit of fun fur to liven them up.

I also finished a "Charlie Brown" hat in blue with the famous black zig-zag just above the ribbing and got a good start on a scarf to go with it. The first Blueberry Waffle sock is bound off and I need to start sock #2. I should have taken the camera with me to knitting class today because the afghans & lap-robes for the hospital were picked up and I would have liked to get a photo of them. We filled one very large tote and another medium size tote, plus we had four on the table that were just brought in today that wouldn't fit.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Wrap-up

I've been working on a number of different projects this last week.

A hat & scarf set made from one strand of white Jiffy & one strand of blue Coordinates.

A hat made from one strand of a bulky yarn & one strand of fun fur. Both of these will go on sale at our Christmas Craft Show in December.

This was where I was yesterday at the beginning of the K4 group on the Queen Anne's Lace lap robe. Between several hours there and watching the House Judiciary Committee on CSPAN today, the project is now finished with all six panels of lace completed.

The blueberry waffle patterned sock is coming along. I'll probably work on it more this evening. I'm not sure why the heel looks so funky in the photo - it doesn't in real life.

This is our new toy! It's a self-propelled sprinkler that follows the hose so we don't have to run out and move the oscillating one several times to get the lawn watered. I love the way it looks like the John Deere tractor we had on the farm right after tractors again became available post WWII. Of course, at the time, I was very upset that our work horses, Floss & Bess were sold. I took this photo from inside through the window screen so it's a bit blurry.

Also through the window screen, the view straight down from the computer room window. Yellow day-lilies, that came from the farm when Mom & Dad moved here, are in full bloom.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Presenting ..... Boomer Belly!!

I just couldn't pass up a photo of Boomer, completely blissed out, showing his belly last night. {g}

Here's the well loved reason for the bliss - his catnip mouse which I knit from one strand of wool & one of recycled sari silk from The Wool Peddler almost two years ago when I was designing patterns for Stephanie. Boomer latched onto it about 10 minutes out of the carrier when we brought him home. Take a look at the post from April 17th last year and you'll see that at that time the mouse wasn't this tattered.

I've been busy with needles & hooks since my last post. I started SOS08 sock #3 Friday night. I'm using the Blueberry Waffle stitch pattern by Sandy Turner, but incorporating it into my standard toe-up design. This was taken last night - I'm a little further now, heading for the heel-bed.

The "Brain Dead" lap-robe is finished. The stitch pattern pulled in more than was apparent the first couple rows, so I added two rows on either side to make the finished afghan a little wider.

This is a close up of the stitch pattern. It's really easy to do and makes a nicer texture than plain old double crochet. I know that I'll be using the stitch again in the future, but will take gauge off this one so I know how wide to make subsequent ones.

For my next lap-robe, I'm using a pattern that I haven't revisited in over 30 years - Queen Anne's Lace. At least that's what it was called in the original pattern book. I found it again this last week on Annie's Attic free patterns and started it last night in worsted weight yarn and a size K hook. The first strip is about 5" wide and 36" long. I've just started the second strip after a bit of internal debate on which side of the first strip the second one was supposed to go. I think I finally got it figured out. One of the things I used to like best about this pattern is that you join the strips as you crochet them.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

And Then There Were Two..

I finished the second pair of Vinca socks for the Summer of Socks 08. You saw the first one earlier but now there are two. This is color 548. I couldn't get the colors to match up because there wasn't as much as the darkest purple/red tones in the second skein as the first. Looking at what is left of the second skein, I don't think it would have helped if I had tried to start further into the skein - those dark tones just don't exist except in the smallest amounts. Anyway, the details are size 2 Harmony DPs, worked from the toe up starting with a figure 8 cast-on of 16 stitches (8 on each of two circulars), a 4-row rectangle that melds into the toe increases up to 60 stitches around. The leg pattern is a 12 stitch Feather & Fan lace with twelve repeats before 8 rows of K2, P2 ribbing. I purled the 3rd row of every lace repeat and this seems to have pulled the lace in lengthwise more than I expected. The leg above the ankle is about 4" unstretched. I'll be posting these to Ravelry's SOS08 group tonight, just in time to qualify for the July 7-18 contest.

These two skeins of Vinca color #8 will turn into the next pair of SOS08 socks. I'm thinking of using the BlueBerry Waffle stitch pattern, but continuing with my standard design of toe up.

This is the reason that pair #3 hasn't been cast on yet. Another K4 lap-robe that will be going to Beaumont Hospital in Troy. It's a version of Stashaholic's Brain Dead afghan which I found on Ravelry. It's a fun pattern to crochet - almost as easy as straight double crochet, but with a lot more interesting texture. I think I'll be using this pattern again & again. For now, I have about 10 more rows to complete and then a border.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Catching Up

I haven't been blogging much this week, but I have been working on projects and hanging around over on Plurk..

First up, a rather boring yellow lap robe (wheelchair size) for the hospital. Worked in worsted weight yarn, double crochet with a size K hook.

This lap robe is a "rescue". DH came home from garage sales Thursday morning with several bags of yarn including five 12" granny squares and the start of four more that measured about 6". There wasn't any matching yarn, so I crocheted the four small ones together and then assembled them with the full squares. I added onto the sides with a yarn that came close to the outside rows of the big squares and then worked one row of navy blue shells & a row of single crochet around to finish it off at about 30x38".

These next two are hats I knit to go with crocheted scarves that another member of our K4 group made.

Last weekend, I took a photo of the two skeins of Vinca color 548 yarn that I planned on using for the next pair for Summer of Socks 08. Looking at it in the skein, I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised once the first sock was complete.

The pattern is my standard toe-up with a feather & fan lace design in the leg. Unlike the last pair of F&F socks, I purled the 3rd row of the four row pattern and didn't start the lace until the heel was turned and the gussets shaped. I added a few rows of K2, P2 ribbing at the top before binding off. Now to cast on the second one.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

What Is The Difference???

... between a sock cuff that took me over a week to complete and an almost identical cuff that I finished this afternoon? Answer: 1 Formula One British Grand race & 1 Indy Car Watkins Glen race plus a half hour or so of news. Presenting Summer of Socks 08 pair #1:

What you can't really tell from either of these photos is that the leg ribbing is a K3, P2 pattern that shifts one stitch every fourth row. Sounds simple - at least it did when I dreamed it up - but I found when trying to do it while reading, which is my usual knitting style, I was making too many mistakes and it was difficult to keep track while working within the black stripes of the yarn. Therefore, the first sock which was cast on at 12:01 on June 21st seemed to take forever once I got past the heel turn & the gussets. Today with two races to watch, I decided to hide the latest book and concentrate on the sock first & the races second. Next thing I knew, I was heading toward the finish line - ah, I mean bind-off. {g}

The ribbing on the right & left socks spiral in different directions so that they're mirror images. The yarn is On-Line & the sock pattern a version of the toe-up design I came up with earlier this year with the only difference being the ribbing on the leg. I used size 2 Harmony double points after starting the toe with two circulars to obtain a provisional cast-on. This is the same yarn that I attempted to knit on size 1 needles only to find that with that size I get a gauge of 11 stitches to the inch instead of the 8 stitches with size 2 needles. I'll try to get a better photo of the ribbing soon. Right now, I'm going to pick out the skeins of Vinca I want to use for SOS pair #2.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008


A few photos of some finished projects instead of the garden.

I spread the green afghan out for the photo shoot and Boomer thought it was worth investigating. Looks innocent, doesn't he?

"Hmmm.. Maybe there's a mouse under here somewhere?"

"If I tie this chunk of green whatsit in knots, I'll have any resident mice trapped!!"

After *suggesting* that Boomer might like to visit the basement, I tried again. I finished this hat a few weeks ago and then got busy on the afghans. Finished the scarf yesterday so now it's a complete set.

This hat was knit to go with a scarf a new member of our K4 group knit. She wasn't at the meeting today but we'll get them united sooner or later.

No photos yet, but I finished up the first sock this afternoon and cast on for the second. The toe is complete and I'm working toward the heel.

In a comment a couple days ago, Angie asked about the leaf pattern I used on a vest that I made for Mom back in the April 10, 2005 post. The leaf pattern is the exact same one as is shown in the Leisure Arts booklet. I've used different lace patterns, but the lime green version was straight from the pattern, except that I knit the vest in the round up to the armholes instead of knitting a front & a back. Hope that helps.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Quite well at the moment, thank you..

Remember how small the tomato plants looked when I put them in? They're getting bigger every day.

Just about every one of the plants have blossoms and small tomatoes.

These are the ones I can't wait for - grape tomatoes, my version of summer candy.

The zucchini is blooming, but so far none of the blossoms have baby zukes behind them. I may have to pull out the catnip as it appears to be crowding the zucchini out - something I never thought would happen given the size of the plants I used to get at the other house.

And, finishing up the edible part of the garden, here are the potato plants which are doing nicely despite being up against the south foundation which usually produces too much bounce back heat for anything to grow well.

On to the pretty parts of the garden. Mom's Peace Rose came on strong again this year. This rose is almost as old as I am and has been moved successfully several times.

These lilies were already in the front flower bed when Mom & Dad moved here in 2002. There are a few more of them every year.

Along the side of the garage, the larkspur self-seeded and makes a nice contrast to the Marguerite daisies behind.

The 7-Sisters rose is blooming along the east fence in the back yard.

I don't know what this is - probably a weed - but it's pretty.

Not much knitting in this post, but I finished the second 50x65" afghan about an hour ago. Will try to get a photo before I turn it in. I'm still working on the first SOS08 sock. Whatever possessed me to try a spiral ribbing pattern when I have a new computer & a stack of good books? The sock went quickly until I got to the leg, now it's creeping. I joined Plurk in order to get Wendy's SOS08 sock pattern for members. There's a link to my page up there in the sidebar. I'm enjoying the new computer - especially the sound card that lets me listen to streaming audio of Grateful Dead concerts. You knew I was going to do that, didn't you?? {g}


Acrylics Anon/a