Baby Hats and Big Girl Blankets

Received a baby boy announcement last week from Hubby’s cousin — isn’t he a cutie pie? Had some variegated blue baby yarn and size 4 double pointed needles handy, so just went for it. Turned out pretty cute …

Rolled Brim Baby Hat

I used Bernat Softee Baby Acrylic #3 Light weight in color His Jeans Ombre

Size 4 dpns

Cast on 88 stitches

Join and knit until  it measures 5″ from cast on edge

Decrease Rows:

(I use my cast on tail as my place marker, always keeping the first stitch at the beginning of a needle)

Next row: Knit 9, knit 2 together

Next row: Knit around

Next row: Knit 8, knit 2 together

Next row: Knit around

Next row: Knit 7, knit 2 together

Next row: Knit around

Continue decreasing in this manner until you have completed Knit 1, knit 2 together

Knit one more round

Cut yarn, leaving about 8″ to work with. Using a yarn needle, take each stitch off and close the hole by pulling snugly. Bring yarn through the hole inside the cap and weave in end. Weave in cast on tail. And it’s ready to wear!

And congratulations to my baby sister and her sweetie on the purchase of their house. All that moving and unpacking of boxes is exhausting so I made a Big Stix Afghan and sent it so they could take a nap with it.

I used skeins of Caron One Pound acrylic yarn in Black, Country Rose, Taupe and Off White. I love those Big Stix size 50 knitting needles!

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Knitting and TV Watching

I’ve had the house pretty much to myself this weekend and have been happily knitting myself into a coma while “holding the remote control” and laughing like a mad woman. Let me say first that I have not felt compelled to tune into the Olympics even once. It’s been Lifetime, the Food Network, A & E and true crime shows. This morning I watched “The Net,” which is an older Sandra Bullock movie where she plays a computer nerd whose identity is stolen through the computer. She is drawn into murder and mayhem and no one will believe her. This is very similar to the Jeffrey Deaver book I read recently, “The Broken Window.” Good and scary stuff!

Since I took the Funky Footsies knitting class, I have been on a mission to single-handedly pump out cozy chunky socks. Somebody stop me!

I started with a turquoise pair that I gave to a friend when we met for lunch last week. Bless her heart, she loves to receive handmade stuff and promptly whipped off her shoe, put on her sock, threw her leg up on the table and posed for a picture in the restaurant. Another pair went to the Granddaughter because purple is her favorite color of the moment.

Funky footsies for granddaughter and friend JEH - February 2010

YD requested a pair in charcoal gray with no frou frou stuff on top. If I did not know for certain that the only 9 pound 3 ounce baby in the nursery was mine the day she was born, I would think she’d been switched at birth.

Charcoal gray non-funky footsies for YD - February 2010

And a pair for a neighbor who is going through a serious health crisis …

Funky footsies for neighbor - February 2010

I just love the decorative yarns in the tops of these socks. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re available any longer — I’ve had them for some time and pulled them out of my stash.

I was visiting some of my favorite knitting blogs yesterday and as I read Mason-Dixon Knitting, I saw that they’re making these adorable little Knitted Neck Scarves. I’ve seen them pictured before, but never had a pattern. They offered this link to the pattern on the Martha Stewart Living website. Of course, I immediately had to start one. After again raiding my stash, I’m using a sport weight baby yarn that has a sparkly thread running through it as a test run.

It’s a very simple pattern and the little pocket that you knit into the scarf to pull the end through is ingenious!

To make it all even more cozy, along with the non-stop knitting and temporary ownership of the remote control, it has rained constantly. Everything from a little drizzle to the roof pounding kind that strains the palm trees and makes the dogs stare out into the darkness and growl. Kinda nice, kinda creepy!

On the Needles – Soft Rib Cardigan

With our months of home improvements and making the horsie blanket for the baby shower, I actually only knit one gift for Christmas — a prayer shawl for my Middle Sister. It’s made of Bernat Soft Bouclé yarn (#26958 – Carnival Shades) that is so light and soft and cushy, it feels like you’re knitting air. MS emailed me … It is already in place on the back of my prayer/reading rocker in the living room (reading + rocking = exercise!). Maybe I should get rid of my treadmill and get a rocking chair instead. It would certainly get a lot more use!!!

I enjoyed making this prayer shawl so much, I bought yarn to start another (#22927 Misty Shades). While I didn’t know at that time who it would be for, I spoke with someone last week whose husband has been through cancer treatments. Things were looking good; then he was just retested and they found another spot. I can’t even imagine how scary that must be. They are young with three boys. She told me she puts on a confident face for her husband, but cries in the shower — this one will be for her.

I receive a weekly email from Lion Brand and last week’s newsletter included a pattern that was so cute, I decided I had to start it right away. Check out the Soft Rib Cardigan. I am not using the Fishermen’s Wool yarn they show it in, but their pastel blue Pound of Love that is easy care and can be machine washed and dried.

I started the sweater yesterday and got the lovely rounded bottom of the back done while we watched the Cardinals football game. I’m not a big sports fan, but it was quite the exciting game, tied 38 even and going into overtime. Fortunately, the Cards beat the Packers by 7 points so we’re still in the play offs. I must say, it’s a lot more fun to watch sports (and everything else) on the big screen. I can actually tell what’s going on … sometimes.

Anyway, this sweater is knit holding two strands of the yarn together so it is thick and cozy. And the slip rib stitch is an easy repeat that I can just knit on without referring back to the pattern every few minutes. I think I’m going to like this one a lot.

Knitted Gift Pouch

Knitted gift pouch

Knitted gift pouch

My middle sister is having a birthday soon and I know she loves turquoise. We had spent the 4th of July in Prescott, Arizona, enjoying every minute of their wonderful celebration in Courthouse Square. There were hundreds of craft booths and — as hubby mentioned a few times — I looked at EVERYTHING in EVERY booth! There was a great booth selling turquoise jewelry and I found some beautiful silver dangle earrings with turquoise stones. Okay, done.

Birthday Earrings in Knitted Gift Pouch

Birthday Earrings in Knitted Gift Pouch

Now, what to send them in to make it more exciting. I decided to knit a little gift pouch. Played with it some and ripped it out and started over a few times. Settled on a moss stitch pattern and a button closure. Used size 6 needles and worsted weight acrylic yarn. Finished size, closed and buttoned, is 3-3/4 x 5-1/2″.

Cast on 3 stitches.

First row (right side): Increase in 1st stitch, knit 1, increase in last stitch – 5 stitches total.

2nd row and all wrong side rows of flap only: Purl across.

Row 3: Increase in 1st stitch, knit 3, increase in last stitch – 7 stitches total.

Row 5: Increase 1 stitch in each of first 2 stitches, knit to last 2 stitches, then increase 1 stitch in each – 11 stitches total.

Continue increasing 4 stitches on right side rows until you have 23 — this forms the pointed flap.

Body of pouch is in moss stitch: knit 1, purl 1 across every row until body portion is 7″ long.

Bind off.

Knitted gift pouch before seaming sides

Knitted gift pouch ready to bind off

Single crochet around entire edge. Crochet a small chain for loop — length of chain depends on the size of your button. I used a 1″ button. Determine where button needs to sit and sew on. Seam sides of pouch together.

Crocheting around the edge of the knitted gift pouch

Crocheting around the edge of the knitted gift pouch

You could make this any size by increasing more stitches for width and adding more length. You could use different size needles and/or yarn or change the pattern stitch. You could make it without crocheting around the edge, but would probably have to block it to keep the flap from curling.

You could make a strap for it and carry it as a little “going out” bag. I remember shopping in the handbag section of a department store with my youngest daughter who was in her late 20s at the time. I picked up a tiny, tiny handbag and said, “What could you carry in this?” Daughter replied, “A driver’s license and a clean pair of panties.” I looked at her, shocked, and we both burst out laughing. Just then, a snooty old lady walked around a display and glared at us. We stopped laughing just until she had walked on by, then laughed even harder. Good times …

I am posting this because my sister already received her gift in the mail yesterday so I can’t spoil the surprise. Happy Birthday, sis!!! Love you!!!

Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

One of the things I’ve knitted that I’ve kept for myself is this cute knitting bag. It was fun to knit, it’s even more fun to carry around to be admired, and the pattern is free at Knitting Daily.com. All you have to do is register on their site and they have so many wonderful things available, why wouldn’t you?

I made my bag out of Bernat Softee Chunky in Nature’s Way #40012. I think this yarn is so pretty, this is the piece I chose to use for my masthead photo.

One thing I did change was the handles. They show flat garter stitch handles; I decided to make round I-Cord handles. I did get some fabric to sew in a lining, but just haven’t done it. One of these days …

Close Up of Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

Close Up of Knitting Needles Knitting Bag

And I finished knitting the Speed Stix afghan last night. I decided to single crochet around the edge, which isn’t called for, but I think it gives stability and helps straighten out the tendency for the stockinette to curl. I’ll be adding the fringe next.

Knit Cotton Dishcloths

I love to knit cotton dishcloths. In fact, that’s what got me started up knitting again a few years ago. I was flipping TV channels and came upon “Knitty Gritty” and they were knitting bar cloths. It made me absolutely yearn to knit something so I ran to the store and grabbed some needles and cotton yarn.

There is a very cool website of free patterns for all kinds of clever hand-knit dishcloths/washcloths at Knitting Pattern Central.com. In fact, they have patterns for many things available — if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.

I’ve made a bunch of these cute dishcloths for gifts. The apple, knit in red, is a great teacher gift and the pear in green is adorable. I’ve made the cowboy hat for my sister who loves all things western. My other sister, who has been to Paris, got the Eiffel Tower. The duckie and teddy bear are wonderful little washcloths as part of a baby gift. I’ve given the dragonfly to my mom and the butterfly to my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day. I’ve made the bunny and used some fuzzy white yarn for a pom-pom tail at Easter.

Dischcloth on the knitting machine

Dischcloth on the knitting machine

Just recently, I’ve started knitting a square on my knitting machine (27 needles, 35 rows), then crocheting around it; first single crochet, then double crochet, then another row of single crochet. They are so fast and easy and look beautiful — love the variegated yarns. I’ve been able to get 2 dishcloths from each skein.

I’ve made a bunch that I use myself. They really are functional and work well in the kitchen, wash nicely and wear like iron. These two I am giving as a hostess gift next weekend.

Cotton Dishcloths

Cotton Dishcloths

I was trying to come up with a way to present these dishcloths to our hostess without just using a gift bag and thought this was fun … tied up together with a ribbon to look like a bouquet.

Bouquet of Dishcloths

Bouquet of Dishcloths