Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Creations, Knitting and Otherwise...

I HAVE been knitting! I just haven't been photographing and posting to this Blog. In many cases, I knitted and mailed things before taking pictures, which wasn't the smartest thing to do. Seems like my life has been a blur of sorts since the heavy holidays of last year. With life in general taking a course all on its own, and the earth changes (or perhaps I should say, the solar changes) affecting my body I guess I should be glad I am still standing right side up.

Any how; Enough with the excuses and On With the Show! I have always baked, but seldom took pictures of the finished product. This time I am sharing a photo of some Bacon biscuits. I found the recipe online; made it a few times and liked the outcome after 'tweeking' it a bit. What I found out was: using a good maple-flavored bacon is key. All maple-flavored bacon is not created equal. Oscar Mayer is out! Very little maple flavor or scent in it at all. I don't know if you can find it in your stores, but Colonial Maple-flavored bacon is the best.

I've 'adopted' this adorable little baby boy born last October named Jordin. His grandmother asked me to knit a sweater for him before he was born because she could not find anything in the stores to her liking. I agreed and once I met him, I was smitten and have not been able to stop knitting for him since. He's so precious and has the largest most beautiful eyes! So for time to time you will be seeing baby things for Jordin. It's a good thing his mother likes my knitting! One thing about it, he'll have things not found in stores.

Now for the pictures...
Here is Jordin's jacket and hat. I thought the colors reflected an African color scheme of Kinte-Cloth.
Here is another sweater and hat for Jordin. The cap is crocheted. He looks quite dapper in it too!
Jordin needed better washcloths. The ones available in stores for babies are a joke as far as I am concerned. They are extremely thin and plain old flimsy; plus they are too small. When a baby is a month old, they are fine, but as a baby grows you need a cloth with more substance, and regular washcloths might be too rough for baby's skin. Plus Jordin's Mom, Tanisha needed larger bibs. Store-bought ones were too flimsy for my taste so I knitted a few samples for her approval.
Here is Jordin! Isn't he Cute? Now who could resist that face!!
Here I am holding Jordin. His mother wanted me to have a picture of him modeling his sweater and cap and neither one of us had a chance to pose.
This is a Child's Felted Purse I experimented with recently. It came out well so I have to find a little girl to give it to.
Same purse........
I knitted this for the grandaughter of a friend of mine. I don't know if she will be able to wear it. When I planned it, it was for Fall/Winter last year, but I was late in getting it finished and after I mailed it, the weather in her location totally flipped and they started getting high temperatures for the majority of the winter with little or no snow (didn't most of us?). Oh well; I tried....
Here are the Bacon Biscuits. The reddish bits are the bacon; the green bits are green onions, and the darker yellow bits are cheddar cheese...
Here is a photo of the recipe so you can see the ingredients....
Hope you enjoyed your visit and take care until I post again. Hopefully it will be a lot sooner next time!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Few More Baby Things.....

I am never away from my needles for more than a few days. It harmonizes my spiritual energy to knit. Some people drink, take drugs or heavens knows what; but I have to wick my pent-up energy off by creating something and giving it away. Rare is the time when I am paid to knit for someone.

Here are my latest creations....... I knitted a few other things (for adults this time), but gave them away before I had a chance to take photos.

This Receiving Blanket, Sweater and Hat went to a precious little girl in September

This; believe it or not, is a Baby Cocoon. You put the newborn inside and it comes up to their chest to keep legs and chest warm

Here is a larger view of the Receiving Blanket

Some Booties and a few Baby Washcloths

A Toddler Sweater

A Car Seat Blanket, warm Sweater and Beret for a precious little boy born in October.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All Done!!

On my last post, I showed a picture of a lace scarf I had on my needles.

Well; I have finished and here is a slideshow showing the scarf as it is being blocked, with final results. The name of the pattern is the Meandering Vines Shawl, but I chose to reduce the number of stitches and make a scarf instead. The pattern is pretty easy if you create a printed worksheet to help you keep track of your rows. I did have to re-do or compensate for times I wasn't paying attention (Ouch!); but I won't hesitate to make another one, this time in a solid color. For those who might want to try their hand making one, here is the link to the .pdf file online.
I used 52 stitches to make my scarf, and after blocking it is approximately 11 inches wide; quite wide enough for a scarf, and I used Noro sockweight yarn. One of these days, I will get up enough nerve to actually use a lace-weight yarn.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's That Time Again!

My Goodness, it's been a long time since I have posted to this Blog! Time just seems to whiz by so quickly these days and "life" has been getting in everybody's way over the past 12 or more months. I have knitted some hats and scarves for the winter season as gifts, but forgot to take photos beforehand; so can't share those with you here. Hopefully, I won't do that too often. If you don't take photos of what you have done, you tend to think you haven't done anything; and if you are a knitter or do any type of creative work you begin to feel a little guilty.

For years now I have admired lace knitting but knew I lacked patience to knuckle down and follow the oft-times intricate patterns that create such beauty. So I put lace-knitting on my "to do" list knowing it would take a much more mature aspect of myself to stick with it. The younger me did not want to be bothered. The younger me wanted instant results. The "younger me" has now disappeared into the background realizing that her time has passed and the more mature aspect of herself is now spreading her wings to see what she is capable of doing.

This year is supposed to be (for me) a Number Three Personal Year in the ancient science of Numerology. That means among other things, I am supposed to blossom in 'creative' ways. If you have talents; or would like to obtain abilities to create, the number three encourages, and is there to support you.

I wanted to get back into drawing with charcoal. Since a child I have always been drawn to painting or trying to express on paper what I see through my eyes. I have not perfected my skills and I always envy those who do such marvelous work. I enjoy writing too. I've started a few stories; one of which I found a little to painful to continue, and another which if I keep it up will be a journal of the tremendous earth changes we are all experiencing. I have titled it "The Ascension Chronicles."

Knit-wise; I finally allowed myself to tackle lace! I am only beginning, and so far I am loving what I have been able to create. I am of course careful to choose the very simple patterns; ones that don't have 40 rows of intricate instructions.

Though extremely beautiful those will have to wait until..... who knows. I don't want to frustrate myself. I only want to try and see what I can produce using simple patterns, large needles and more expensive yarns than I have used in the past.

My local yarn shop had a sale and in I went to see what bargains I could harvest. A master knitter gave advice of purchasing individual skeins of yarn and 'working with it' to see how it will knit up using the needles you plan to use and the basic stitches. You will get a good idea how the finished fabric will drape. When buying the more expensive yarns this is a very good idea. Before investing $80 to knit a sweater or $20 or $40 to knit a scarf and hat, it is better to buy one skein and knit a sample swatch. If you don't like it, you can choose another option and not feel bummed.

I purchased some skeins of Noro sock yarn. Noro yarn is made in Japan and is always variegated with a variety of colors in each skein. It is also in their finer gauge line composed of thin to thick strands woven into each skein. You never know when the strand of yarn you are knitting with will become as thin as sewing thread, or thicken up to bulky. The exciting thing about this yarn, and the only exciting thing about this yarn in my opinion is the mixture of colors. As you knit, the colors unexpectedly change, and you never know until your fabric is done exactly how it is going to look. You know the shape of the finished piece beforehand, but you won't know how the colors will look until it is done.

I am including pictures below. That's half the fun isn't it??? Two scarves are knitted using the Noro yarn, and the third scarf was knitted using Chroma yarn from Knitpicks' online store. I wanted to try that yarn as well. The Chroma was Ok; but the true excitement for me was the unpredictability of the Noro.

So here goes..... Enjoy!

Here is the scarf knitted using Chroma Fingering yarn. It is 70% wool, and 30% nylon. Comes in a nice 396 yard pull skein so I didn't have to wind it into a ball before using it, and in knitting this scarf no running out of yarn and having to attach a new one. A nice price too..... $8.99 per skein.

You can see the subtle change in shades of orange. I photographed all of these pictures while the scarves were pinned to my interlocking Blocking Mats. You get 9 to a box and they come in mighty handy when blocking your knitting. They are made of some type of rubbery material so they take pins with no problem and are 3/8 of an inch thick. For those who don't knit, you must block (or stretch) your fabric and spread it apart see the lace pattern in all its glory.

I purchased the Mats at Knitpicks.

Here is a scarf knitted using one of the skeins of Noro yarn. Noro comes in different weights, but this particular variety was 70% wool, 30% nylon and contained 459 yards; again no need to change skeins while knitting this. Noro is not inexpensive. I got this yarn on sale for $10 per skein. Normally it would cost $19.
You can see a better picture of the pattern below. Can you see what I meant about the variety of colors in each skein? No two skeins are alike. They might have the same colors, but how they will 'arrange' themselves as you knit is a pretty good mystery and not revealed beforehand.

Here is my final lace scarf knitted using Noro. The photo shows what the scarf looked like after knitting it, but before blocking it to show off the lace pattern.

Here is a close-up and you can see I have started using the straight pins to stretch the knitted fabric to the blocking boards.

Here's are better views of the same scarf in different stages of the blocking process:

Scarves folded and finished........

Here is another lace scarf I have started below (yes; I'm hooked). It too will look different after it is blocked. The orange scarf is going to an organization in California that supports women who were living in an abusive domestic relationship and decided to leave. Each woman is presented with a handmade scarf. We were told that many of these women have never been given a gift before; and to be given something by someone who doesn't even know them gives them hope and lets them know that there is love out there; and the world is not all bad.......

One scarf will be sent to my aunt in Baltimore who will present it to a dear friend of hers for her love, kindness and support when it was needed. She also has recently lost her husband to that all-too-common Alzheimer's. Something I can relate to....
The other scarf is not assigned to anyone and will sit waiting for a home.

I guess you could say I am on a scarf tangent these days because I just placed an order for 4 more skeins of Noro. I found a great bargain online at 'Webs - The Yarn Store.' They have hundreds of yarn brands and colors for sale and there is ALWAYS yarn on sale for you to have fun with; they ship Priority (standard)for a cheap price so you can get your yarn a little quicker.

They do have an actual physical store/warehouse which I refuse to drive to. It's close to a few hours away and I know if I ever went inside, I would need a lunch because I would be in there so long walking up and down feeling this and that, and being totally mesmerized; then realizing I don't have enough money to buy everything I see. How does one whittle down your selection to an armful after browsing thru thousands of skeins? That's like walking thru a room of diamonds covered from floor to ceiling and only coming out with 3 or 4...

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Latest Fiber Work Collection....

Is it possible to have the summer whiz right by you, yet feel as if it was a long number of weeks? I know it sounds crazy, but that's the way it seems to me. Here I am back in Autumn and finding myself with this unreal knitting "To Do" list. Each year I always say that I am going to have a leisurely knitting year; take time to concentrate on upgrading my skills and maybe get around to knitting that complicated lace scarf or shawl. It never seems to happen. "Life" gets in the way (either mine of someone else that I care about) and suddenly with zeal and gusto, I am knitting for someone else. I did try a few new things these past months, and I am sharing them with you.

For some reason I wanted to try 'felted soap.' Well... it was interesting and fun; but I don't like the way the wool interacts with the soap once it is done, so these wonderfully colored bars will remain as 'decoration pieces.' They'll be on display somewhere to brighten up a dull corner.

I had this need to experiment with felted wool, so I knitted some coasters using colorful wool (Brown Sheep) and I am pleased with that outcome. I kept a few, and sent some to grace the home of my Uncle and his Lady friend Geri in California. I don't know if she's using them, (they are a bit bright) but I use mine to put my cups on in the living room. They are particularly good in the warm, humid times of the year when everything seems to sweat so much; and they protect your tables from cups that are too hot.

I saw this adorable pattern for a Neck Warmer online and was excited to knit it up. I liked it so much I am on my third one. My aunt Monica doesn't know it, but she is getting one of these bad boys to wear this winter. She commutes using public transportation every week and needs to be wrapped warmly. What I like about this neck warmer is it is a unisex design. The author of the pattern photographed it being worn on a woman; but I used John as my model, and he wants one to wear this winter as well. He wants two: one in a camouflage yarn, and one in a dark blue.

I'm an Aunt now to a cute little 9 month old baby girl; so I knitted her a sweater for the cold weather with hats and mittens to follow.... and eventually a crib blanket will be made.

So here are the photos:

Here are the Felted Bars of soap...
And the Felted Coasters

Here is the Sweater for my niece....

Oops! I forgot I knitted dishcloths! These went to my Uncle's home as well...

I found out my Uncle likes using the dishcloths in the shower, so I knitted him a few and added some bars of handmade soap. No... I didn't make them; but it has crossed my mind more than a few times over the years!

Here is the Neck Warmer.......

A back view.....

This pattern designed by Madeline Tosh, is a free download and can be found here:
The pattern is called the Honey Cowl. It is shown in two sizes. I opted for the short version

Ms Tosh has other free knit patterns and they can be found here:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tried Something New This Time....

This is a very short posting this month. The online charity group to which I belong presented members with two opportunities to help others in June. I chose to create some items which will be sent to the northern Canadian territory and given to new Inuit mothers.

Inuits used to be widely known as Eskimos, and yes; these were the same people who used to live in igloos. In modern times, they choose to be called Inuits, and the 'western world' has required them to live in permanent communities now instead of living in three different residences as the seasons changed.

I didn't know much about the Inuits except for a few documentaries looked at over the years, but in writing this post I went to Google and tried to gather good sources of information and visuals so that you will have some idea of how life goes in the land of the Inuits.

I found one source on Wikipedia. Here is the link:, but I found an even better source from a man named John Tyman. Mr Tyman actually lived with an Inuit family for a while and got to know first hand about Inuit life. There are two links I would like you to look at that I think you will find very much informative. The first one gives a short bio and can be found here:, but the real knitty gritty visuals can be found here:

Have a look; I don't think you will be disappointed. As I looked at the captions under the photos, I realized that like most indigenous peoples who shift into living the 'westernized' way of life; there are always the same problems. I felt like I was looking at what has occur ed with the Native Americans in the United States. The same bad habits of drinking excessive sugary drinks, smoking, and heavy alcohol consumption is causing health problems such as diabetes and domestic violence. Children being made to attend school and trained for jobs that are non-existent in their corner of the world causes youths to become bored, and you know what happens when youths have very little to do.

Trash is now a big problem because very little of their waste is biodegradable and just like in the so-called modern world, disposable diapers now litter back yards and waste dumps where they will sit for thousands of years.

Enough of my yammering...... on with photos of what I have knitted.

The most widely used method of transportation, especially in the winter months is the dogsled. Snowmobiles are also used after the snow has melted, and some have all-terrain vehicles.

Here is a photo of an Inuit mother and baby.

Here is an overview of what I've knitted. As you can see, there is a sweater, hat with earflaps, a pair of socks and mittens. The sack-shaped article is a baby Cocoon. Rather than putting a blanket around a baby and trying to keep the legs and arms wrapped up snuggly, you simply insert baby in the sack and that's it.

Here is a close-up of the sweater. As you can see, I have used my old batwinged baby sweater pattern, but I gave it a collar for warmth and embellished the collar and one side of the sweater with little 'nubbies' for decoration and to keep me from getting bored.

Here is a slightly different angle. I also added a little extra do-hickey shape along the bottom hem of the sweater. I altered the baby Cocoon pattern as well. It was supposed to be knitted in two colors and have a smooth stockinette stitch throughout. I knitted it with four or six rows of purl stitches then switched to two or three knitted rows. It gives a wavy look to the pattern, and I also placed some of the 'nubby' decorations and embellished with clay buttons just for "creation's sake."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How To Make Buttons Made of Clay & My Latest Projects on the Needles

A few of my fellow crafters have admired my clay buttons and some wanted to know if it is something easily done; so instead of giving my usual written reply, a lightbulb suddenly came on in my head to show how it is done in photos and place them on my Blog....

So here it is! You will have to forgive me. A few of the photos came out a bit fuzzy. For some reason, I cannot always get my digital camera to focus sharply when I need it to, and I did not feel like getting out the instruction manual to figure it out. It's like digging into an encyclopedia.

First, let's look at the basic equipment.....

Here is the clay I use. It is made by Sculpey Bake in the Oven Clay and used to be available at WalMart. It still might be, I haven't checked in a few years. I purchased my 'Starter Pack' from Walmart which included various cakes of clay and two sculpting tools which you will see later. The problem with the Starter Pack is the color range. You only get basic colors. If you like colors with a capital "C" you have to find a store that sells art supplies. I found what I needed at AC Moore. I have to make it clear that Sculpey makes a variety of clays. The larger packs you see above named Studio does not to my knowledge come in a 'variety pack' like the smaller packs of SculpeyIII. If you do a "Google" you can visit the Sculpey website where you can see their entire line of products and they also have creative ideas for you to try as well.
Here is another photo showing the two sculpting tools included with the Starter Pack. I suppose you can purchase these tools separately. I've never noticed because I didn't have a need.
Here's a close-up of the clay tools.

The clay is 'scored' into sections. So here; I have broken off a scored section and I am getting ready to 'work it.' You have to soften the clay and make it malleable. You're pretty much working the clay like you would pie crust, except you won't get your hands all messy and sticky.
Work the clay with your fingers to get it soft and bendable. Only takes about two minutes.

Here is a yellow piece after working it between my fingers, squeezing it flat, folding it over, working it flat again. It just needs to feel your body heat to do this.

Fold the clay over and 'work it'

Fold it over again...

Here is the general shape the clay should take to make your button. It can be larger. It depends upon how much clay you are using. Just make sure it is smooth across the entire surface. You can do this with your fingertips. Make pretend you are shaping dough to make biscuits. The thickness would be about a quarter of an inch. It can be adjustable, depending upon your needs. You will need to experiment the first time to get your fingers and creative juices used to working with the clay. My buttons are chunky. I call them "Freddy Flintstone Buttons."

Put your penny or dime on the clay.

You will need a penny or a dime to use as a guide for the size of the button. Nichels and quarters are just too large unless you are making them as a decorative button for an adult garment.

Just as in biscuit making, after you have rolled out the dough and are ready to use your cutter, place the penny or dime on top of the dough, and use your clay tool (the one with the edge shaped like a knife) to trace around the coin. This will give you a general shape. Use your fingertips to perfect the shape along the rim.

Now you are ready to make the buttonholes.

If you knit or crochet, you will always have a sewing needle for yarn. Get yours out and decide where on the face of the button you would like to make two buttonholes. Stick it in. Push the needle in from front to back until the eye of the needle has travelled out the other end, and while the eye of the needle is making its way through the clay gently twirl the needle around to make sure that once the clay has baked, the hole will be large enough to get that same needle through when you are trying to sew it onto the garment.

It doesn't have to be perfect, just functional. These are for babies. Babies and children like things a little 'odd.' It's more interesting to their psyche (mine too!).

Here are two buttons with holes. The pink shows the 'right' side of the button. The yellow one shows the back of the buttonhole. The back will always have that 'puckered' look. Don't worry about it. It's the back!

I just know someone is going to be curious as to how I mix my colors and come out with those great looking wild buttons; so here it is.

First of all; it you can't find a specific shade or color you need, don't be afraid to mix two or three colors of clay together. It's just like in school when you mixed paints or crayons to get a color: blue and yellow make green, etc.

Just break off the colors of clay and work each color separately to make it flat and soft. Then mix the two together like a pancake and squeeze and bend and roll, then flatten out again. You will see a different color as the two merge together.

You can join two colors together, but not fully merge them. In that case, you get a candy-cane effect like the photo above.

You can take that flat shape and roll it like a Tootsie Roll in the palm of your hand and make a cigar shape as shown above.

Take a flattened sheet of clay the thickness and color of your choice and place the cigar shaped clay as pictured above.

Roll that bad boy like you are making "pigs in a blanket." But make sure there are no air pockets. Roll it tightly. You'll know once you work with it and are able to look at it in person

Here's an example of clay not rolled tightly enough. You can see some air pockets after cutting the clay.

Here is where I merged orange clay around another color.

Here is what it looks like after cutting the clay. You just roll and shape into a jelly-roll shape and cut just like you are making sugar cookies.

A slightly closer view..........

A view of a button next to a penny....

Finally, we are ready to bake these bad boys! You will need a glass pyrex plate as shown above. The shape does not matter, just make sure it is glass. Place the buttons face up in the glass baking dish and make sure they are not touching. They can be closer together than what is shown in the photo above.
Preheat your oven to 275 degrees (American) and bake your buttons for about 20 minutes minimum. Bake longer if they are more than one-quarter inch thick. The instructions on the clay wrapper will give more detailed baking instructions. The important thing is that you not burn the clay. I haven't had such a total disaster, but they will deepen in color if left in the oven too long.

Put the buttons in and bake.

Now! Last but not least, as they say, are two knitting projects I am working on at the present time. Wish me "God-speed" in completing them soon. I'm in one of those moods where "I have to do something" and haven't found the perfect pattern to really excite me, so this is 'a better than nothing' project.

This is a scarf. Not for warmth. This would be more of an early Spring or early Fall scarf. The yarn is mercerized cotton from
The Free pattern can be found here:

This is a baby blanket. I like basketweave, but it can have a boring look about it; therefore, I always stay away from knitting it. This pattern is different as you can see. The edge of the blanket is bordered with a miniature basketweave pattern and gives it just enough 'excitement' to keep me interested, and keeps you on your toes. The free pattern can be found here: