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Finished Project – Log Cabin Socks.

When I pick a knitting project, I usually have my attention grabbed by something that is stitched in light and airy lace. Like a shawl.  Or something pretty straightforward and quick, like dishcloths. I love shawls. I have a plethora of shawl patterns in my Raverly favorites, and more than I should waiting in line in my que.    But lately a few cable projects have piqued my interest.

Actually I saw these Log Cabin Socks in the book Hand Knit Holidays…  ( Which buy the way I bought because I fell in love with the Swedish Heart-Warmer Shawl.  I told you I loved shawls. It is a sickness. )….  and thought they would make a great gift for my In-Laws.

My in-laws live in CO,  and my FIL works in construction outside often.  I wanted to make him and her something to help them relax in the evening and stay warm. And since this pattern is written for a His and Hers version, I thought this would be perfect!  I made them a matching set.  Blue for mom and Green for dad.

Log Cabin Socks Blocking

Log Cabin Socks Blocking

This pair took me about 2 1/2, almost 3 months, of knitting off and on.  They are his Christmas,  New Years, early Birthday present.   I knit these up using 2 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-ease in Avocado Green, and size 6 Addi Turbo 47″ circulars. I really did enjoy working on these. I can imagine that they will enjoy wearing them together while watching TV, or while warming in front of their wood burning stove.

Wool-Ease seemed to do ok for these socks, since the resulting socks were nice and stretchy, but still warm and comfy.  And it was yarn I had on hand in my stash.  All my previous projects knit with Lion Brand have seemed to wear well. I believe these will be worn for a while.

Log Cabin Socks Front and Back

Log Cabin Socks Side View

Log Cabin Socks Side View

Wire Hanger Sock Blockers

Wire Hanger Sock Blockers

I don’t have sock blockers. Or I didn’t.  But thanks to a FB friend….. I found a video tutorial on how to make sock blockers simply using wire hangers.  I just happened to have two wire hangers. So I gave it a try!   Here are my blockers.  They are not perfect.  But they worked!  What do you think?

My next project is Yggdrasil.  Also being knit for my In-Laws.   This upcoming fall will be their 40th anniversary.  My mother and father in law has been there for us and have done a lot for us, even more than they realize.  And I wanted to do something really special for them on their 40th.

This is another cable intensive project with the tree roots and branches.  And two borders of Celtic Braid cabling. And then a smaller leaf motif with cabling.   It will also challenge my grafting skills.  But I need to improve in grafting anyway.

About to cast on for Yggdrasil

I will be casting on using Plymouth Yarn size 10.5 DPNS, and Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun #7764. I know the color is a little off in this picture. But the colorway is brown with hints of green throughout the strands.   I thought this would be perfect for the tree and branches in the center panel.

I also have a large stash of Unger Fluffy, that was given to me last year, that I hope to use. It is a brushed acrylic, and I know some say brushed acrylic does not work for cables.   But I will be doing a swatch with it just to see how it works. If it works, then great… I can use this for a stashbuster project!  If not… it’s just a reason to go buy more yarn. :)

The weather here is down right cold and dreary. A fresh pot of coffee is percolating on the stove.  We are expecting icy conditions, which means I will not be venturing forth unless absolutely necessary.  I would say that means more knitting time for me tonight. But the piles of laundry are taking over the living spaces in our home, and they must be corralled and tamed.

I just might even get a little stir crazy from the caffeine and mop the floors. Don’t count on that though.


A simple new beginning.

Dear Knitting friends.   It has been a while since I have gotten to chat with you.   I have taken this past year and a half off from blogging, because, well, it was just too much.

I started my little blog with the intent of helping others learn to knit, and to share all kinds of things within the stitching world.   But I wasn’t aware of the pressure that comes with having a quality blog, trying to get and retain blog traffic, and all the other social media it entailed.  I felt like I had to be some one I wasn’t.  My blog posts started to feel “fake” and not like the real me. It became a bad fit for my family’s season of life and I backed away.

This past year or so has been a whirlwind.  My husband is almost finished with 2 degrees (1 more semester! I am so excited).  I have had to return back to work full time. Plus we home educate.  I have not gotten as much knitting done as I had wished.  And the knitting lessons have become sporadic. I have not gotten to join in many local knitting or spinning guild meetings.  But. This season of life is drawing to a end. And it is time I begin again to further my interests.

So here I am.   How I have missed getting to blog about my knitting via blogosphere.  I have kept up with a few of my fiber friends via FB.   I have made new fiber friends.  And I am excited to get to share my knitting and some of my real life with you all.

And so you know.  I have to keep my real life priority.   As much as I would love to have an eye pleasing blog with graphics I could spend hours on…… as much as I would love to have well thought out blog posts, with a draft and re-drafts.   It just is not going to happen.  At least not for a while.

These blog posts are going to be simply chit chat over a cup of coffee.  I’ll probably have just the time it takes for my cup of coffee to cool.  Because that is about how long my youngest will stay in bed for quiet time.

The pictures are not going to be the best… I do have a nice camera and will use it when I can…. but I know nothing about editing photos.

My home is not going to be the cleanest, and if you happen to see a little clutter in the background… well sorry.  I haven’t been able to afford a housekeeper just yet.

I will aim to have one nice blog post a week focusing on teaching others.  I am also going to try to add to my video library once a week.  I am working hard to get back into teaching knitting. I know it will take some time to rebuild my client base.   But I also know there are others I can’t reach in person who also need help.   I want this blog to be a resource free resource for them.  Free.

As time goes by this blog will change with the ebb and flow of the times.  I will learn slowly and improve my blog one small step at a time.  Pictures will get better.  Formatting and editing will fit into my time schedule. But one thing that will not change, is that this little blog will be exactly what I want it to be.

I miss the days of the first decade of this century where a blog was a platform for a conversation. A true conversation.  Where you, me, and other knitters could simply sit down with a cup of coffee and read about each other’s experiences in our knitting life.  And knitting became a common thread that stitched distant lives together into close friendships.

I am not going to try to win any blog awards or any personality contests.   There are a lot of blogs on the web.  And I don’t want to add to the noise unnecessarily.   I’m simply going to write about knitting and all things related to stitchery, with a bit of real life thrown in.   That just makes the best sense to me.

So if you happen to stop by.   Pull up a chair.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee or hot cocoa. And say hello!

Here are a few things I am knitting right now:


Log Cabin Socks.  I’m knitting these for my FIL for a late Christmas present.  I knit my MIL a matching pair in blue.  I’m almost done with the 2nd sock. It is just lacking the toe, grafting, and weaving in the ends.

Twilight Socks – These are a gift for my sister in law.   She became a new mommy a few weeks ago, and I wanted to make something to pamper her.

Yggdrasil – This one is for my In Law’s 40th anniversary this next fall. I will be casting it on as soon as I finish the Log Cabin socks, and I hope to have it finished before the summer heat arrives.

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Beginning BasketWeave Dishcloth

It has been a while since I have typed to you all.  I think I have finally become comfortable with the fact that I have too much going on to try to update here regularly.

But I do have a few exciting things happening that I wanted to share!

This Saturday, September 14th, I will begin teaching again!

My Beginning Knitting 101 class will be at Owl and Drum in Tulsa.  It is a 2 part class.  Saturday September 14th and Saturday September 21st at 11 am – 12:30 pm.

I am so excited and I have been working hard in my scarce, spare time to prepare.

One of the things I have done is write a pattern for a second project for my beginning knitting class: A BasketWeave Cloth for Beginners.

Basketweave Dishcloth1

Photo Courtesy of Owl and Drum 

Some beginners can be intimidated by using the knit stitch and the purl stitch in the same row to create patterns.  Also, they can be a bit intimidated at reading and following a pattern.  This pattern was written to ease beginners into knitting a project that might be a little more complicated, hopefully to give them some confidence!

I just had the pattern tested, thanks to some lovely ladies in the Ravelry.com Testing Pool, and the feedback was very positive.  I have not put all the finishing touches, like a nice photo, on the pattern. But I want to share the pattern anyway, because honestly I don’t know when I will get a chance to finish formatting it!  When I do I will update the pattern and the embedded pattern here.

So….  Here is a free pattern for you!  You can preview the pattern below or click on the link for the full version.


Beginning Knitting 101 Basketweave Dishcloth


Workbasket Wednesday – Valois Shawl – And the end of July is here!

My typing fingers have been silent a lot lately.  But not because they want to be!  July has been an extremely busy month for all of us.   I ended a temporary job, started a new part time job, secured an arrangement to teach knitting classes (more of that soon), and the girls and I getting entries ready for the Tulsa County Fair (more on that later too).

Whomever coined the term “lazy days of summer” didn’t live in my house, that is for sure.   I have a busy life.  And I love it.  I would not trade anything for the world (except I would like to be out of debt right now, and I would like to have my husband finished with his graduate degree right now).

We turned in entries for the Tulsa County Fair yesterday.  My goal was to finish my Valois Shawl and enter it into the fair.  But, alas…  my part time job cut into my knititng time.  Oh well… if it means we can be out of debt sooner, it is worth it!

So I am currently still plugging away on my Valois Shawl.   I am sooooo close to finishing, currently half way through the last pattern repeat.  28 more rows before I can start on the edging.

This is what the shawl looked like nine days ago, approximately half way through the 2nd pattern repeat.

2013-07-22 08.42.49

And this is what my shawl looks like this evening when I stopped for the night.


I am half way through with the 5th pattern repeat.  The needle is not long enough to really let the shawl stretch to its potential wingspan, but I hope you can see how this shawl really grows from the center out and down.

This shawl looks complicated because of the chart, but honestly is really enjoyable to knit up, and has almost become mindless knitting as long as I keep track of the row number.  It has been my companion through many episodes of Start Trek Next Generation, and all episoses of “Call the Midwife”.    I will probably knit up another Valois Shawl in the near future for my grandmother in love.

I apologize for the bad pictures.  But I am not a professional photgrapher. However I am learning and am getting better!

I have several other projects that I pulled out of hibernation to work on a little at a time.  Like my Log Cabin Socks, and my Lacy Leafy Baby Afghan.   I still kept my Haruni in hibernation, because I want to add beading to the edging and I want to be able to devote some time to that project.  I am making all other projects a priority to finish so I can give Haruni the love it deserves.

In other news….

My 5yo daughter, Little Miss Daredevil, wanted me to show her to knit today.  So I pulled out Knick and Knack, my kiddie knitting needles and a ball of chunky yarn to let her try.    I cast on for her and knit a few rows for her, then showed her how.  It did take her a while, and I fixed quite a few mistakes, but she is actually doing very well!

DSCN1402She has been carrying her yarn around the house most of the day and chanting the rhyme:

“In Through the Front Door

Around the Back

Peek through the window

and off Jumps Jack!”

It has been very cute to hear her saying this over and over.  She wraps the yarn in the English Style, except that she holds the yarn with her left hand, like the Continental Style.   It will be interesting to see which style she gravitates towards as she practices more.   I think she is trying to be just like mommy, and this makes me smile.

Knitting is such a great outlet for me, and I am grateful that all 3 of my girls want to knit, crochet, or do some type of yarn craft as well.     I rarely make it to any of the local knit nights with other groups.  But it is fun to have our own little hand crafts circle in our living room. :)

Have a StitchTastic Day!


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On my needles now – Valois Shawl by Alexandra Beck

The weather here in Ok is sweltering (it is summer, I am sure it is sweltering everywhere).  I just finished knitting two baby afghans for belated baby gifts, and the last thing I wanted to knit right now is another heavy project.  But there are only so many dish cloths you can do for summer knitting, you know?

Last week I picked up the 2013 Accessories Special Issue of Knit Scene.   Almost every issue that Interweave Press publishes is beautiful, full of inspiration and knitter’s eye candy.


Image Courtesy of Interweave Press

But the shawl pictured on the cover of this issue is just gorgeous!  And when I opened it up to the pictures in the magazine I knew had to knit it!  It was love at first sight!

Knitting a shawl in the middle of summer does not sound like a smart idea.  But shawls really are a good project for hot summer days.    If shawls are constructed from light yarn, shawls remain light and breathable on your needles and in your lap, helping you to not smother under your knitting in hot weather.

The Shawl featured in this issue is the Valois Shawl designed by Alexandra Beck.  It is a neck down trianglar design, with an elegant lace pattern.  The edging is knitted in rows back and forth separate, and joined to the body by knitting the live body stitches with the edging stitches one as a time.

beck_shawl__1__small2Image Courtesy KnitScene via Ravelry Pattern Database

The pattern calls for Artesano 100% Alpaca 4 ply yarn which is a fingering weight yarn.  It is also a yarn way out of my current budget. As much as I love to touch and paw botique yarns….   Right now my budget is Hobby Lobby or other large crafting stores.

I purchased Patons Lace Sequins for this project in Aquamarine. I do not normally like this color, but I really liked this yarn in this color.  I was also very fortunate to get it on clearance (on my birthday! Happy Birthday to me!!).  I immediately cast on for a gauge swatch so I could practice the lace pattern and then the edging.   I finished the swatch with the edging yesterday and blocked it. I think this yarn is working well for this pattern, don’t you?


The lace pattern looks complicated, but it really is not.  The chart for the pattern is pretty straight forward to read. The hard part is just keeping track of what row you are on in the chart as it is read across.

The edging was a little tricky though, and actually took me a few attempts before I finally got it to work and be what I think the designer intended.

Valois Lace Close Up

I cast on for the shawl today and am working on the body of the shawl.   I actually expect that I will be able to finish the shawl body and ready for the edging within the week.

Valois Shawl In Progress 1

Follow my progress on my Ravelry Project Page

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Blue Log Cabin Socks in Progress

My Blue Log Cabin Socks: http://images4.ravelrycache.com/uploads/ThatsStitchTastic/132549596/file0_medium #ravulous

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Lifelines – What to do when the project is over

A few months ago, I posted about knitting lifelines. I hope I was able to give you a good understanding of what they are for, and how to use them when knitting your lace project.

But I kind left it hanging with the last post,  and didn’t explain what to do with them once your project is completed.  So this post is to pick up from there.  :)


So, you’ve finished your project.  You have secured your last bound off stitch, and woven in your ends.  You made it through the whole project without one mistake.  Or if you made a mistake, the lifeline helped you save your project!  Yay!!!

But now you have a completed project with different colored threads running horizontally through your knit fabric.  And they have to be removed!  But how?

It’s simple!

You can either grab the lifeline thread from either edge, and pull, pulling the thread out of the row.  Or if your lifeline thread will not pull out easily, you can pick the thread out one or two stitches at a time, using your tapestry needle.

I made this quick video today to hopefully illustrate how to remove a lifeline.

Please be kind.

I almost didn’t upload it, and after I uploaded it I almost deleted it.  It is not the greatest quality…..


I only have 2 hands and I need both of them to knit with, so I have to improvise to hold my phone and camera!

Despite my skills in shooting a video, I still think this one illustrated the basic concept.


Until Next time – Have a StitchTastic Day!



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