Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In Memory

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Knitted to honor the life of sweet baby Isabella (3/31/06 - 8/5/06). Though her journey on earth was short, she was loved dearly and brought joy to her parents and family. She captured my heart and I will think of her every time I knit for the little ones. This gown will be donated to The Preemie Project in her name. It is my prayer that in some small way it bless and comfort the family it is given to.

Pattern Details:

The gown was knitted from the pattern called Spring Purple Burial Gown. I modified the neckline slightly and lined the skirt with a pink silky fabric.

The hat pattern is just one in my head, but the socks are called Easy Socks. I knitted them in the round to avoid having to seam them.

The yarn I used was given to me by Laura and Linda when I was in Iowa this summer. It's called King Cole Smooth DK. It is an extremly soft 100% acylic. Very nice to work with and perfect for baby knits.

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Psalm 139: 13-16

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Vacation Over

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While in Oklahoma, we visited the Round Barn in Arcadia. I believe it's the only round barn on the old Route 66 (and maybe in Oklahoma). There are many round barns in Iowa, Michigan and across the world. This is a tourist attraction of sorts. It's worth a stop if you don't mind visiting with Butch, the barn guy. He's quite a character!

On Sunday evening we said good-bye to Matt. It was bittersweet for us. I'm happy for him and know he will do well at OC, but we will miss him. Our nest is now officially empty.

On Monday we hitched up the trailer to head home. Stopped in Fort Worth for a couple of days to visit with Robyn, our daughter, and James, our son-in-law.
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It was so good to see them! They are doing well and settling in to life after college.

One of the things we did while we were there was to visit an antique mall. I didn't really expect to buy anything, but I couldn't pass up this small two ended darner that the antique dealer had labeled "sock darner".
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I think it's more likely a darner for gloves, but I haven't researched it. I photographed it next to a typical sock darner so you can get an idea of the size. The wood appears to be maple. It's a nice addition to my collection.

We returned home on Wednesday afternoon and I've been trying to catch up ever since. Think I'm just about there.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Trek Along With Me...

...one last time.
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This is a well traveled pair of socks, having been knit in Utah, Texas, Iowa and Oklahoma. This last Trek Along takes place in downtown Edmond, Oklahoma. It was too hot for anything more than a walk down the street to view a few of the many bronze statues that are scattered throughout the town.
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As you can see, these socks are 99.99% Trekking XXL. They are the first pair I've ever knitted for my husband. I just assumed I would have enough yarn and I almost did...so close. When I couldn't find more Trekking in the same color, I had to improvise with another brand of yarn in a complementary color. A good wife and knitter would have ripped out the first sock toe and worked it in black to match the second, but I'm pronouncing these "finished as is". John, the next pair will match, I promise.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Fiber Adventures

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On Tuesday John and I drove over to Guthrie and visited S.W.A.K. yarn shop. I had heard good things about this store and it did not dissappoint. A great selection of yarn! I was specifically looking for Trekking XXL to finish John's sock. Unfortunately they didn't have any, but I found some yarn that would do. I also bought a few skeins of wool that I think will work well for some felted pumpkins that are on my "to knit" list.
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We enjoyed exploring this historic town. Most of the downtown buildings date back to the 1890's. Many house antique shops now. I found some old Workbasket magazines in one store. My favorites were from the early 1960's. I bought a few. Knitting and crochet styles have changed a lot since then, but there are a couple of patterns that I might try and some that I'll look at when I need a good laugh.

We started the day out on Wednesday at the Edmond Farmers Market. It wasn't supposed to be a fiber day, but look what I found.
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Aubrey was there selling her handmade soaps (check out her website here) and just happen to bring her spinning wheel along to keep her company. She also had a drop spindle which she demonstrated for me. This was the first time I had seen anyone use a drop spindle and now I'm thinking maybe I can learn this. She showed me how to spin and "park" (you're right Laura, this method looks easy). I'll be digging out the spindles when I get home and giving it try. Thanks Aubrey for the demonstration. Can't wait to use the soap...it smells so good!
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On Aubrey's recommendation, we decided to stop in at Mountain View Weavery in Edmond (no website). We were warmly greeted by the owner, Wanda Nobbe. She is a very talented weaver and spinner and an extremely patient teacher.
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She spent at least an hour showing us how to spin. John and I both made some "ugly" yarn. Sure was fun! We bought a couple of bags of roving to take home. Wanda showed us her weaving looms and took us on a tour of her log cabin home. There were spinning wheels, looms and hand woven baskets everywhere you looked. My kind of place! This shop is a "must stop" for anyone interested in spinning or weaving. The Mountain View Weavery phone number is 405-341-4998. Call to be sure Wanda is in the shop and for directions. We'll be going back next trip and maybe we'll leave with a wheel. You never know. I'm going to see how the drop spindle goes first.

And why should the fiber fun stop here? After lunch we drove to Oklahoma City to check out a couple of yarn shops: The Gourmet Yarn Co. and Carol's Knitting Studio. I was still hoping to find some Trekking yarn to finish John's sock, but no luck. I ended up using the yarn I purchased on Tuesday. The socks are now finished. Pictures next time.

For those of you who are wondering how John could possibly be having fun with so much yarn shopping going on, don't feel bad for him. His passion is fishing and he's getting to do a lot of it. He's been fishing every day since we arrived. Check out his blog for a different perspective of this trip.

Monday, August 14, 2006

We're Here

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Arrived safely in Edmond, Oklahoma. We're camping at Central State Park and enjoying it even though it is very hot. High temperatures have been over 100 degrees. I'm glad our travel trailer has air conditioning.

We moved Matt into his dorm yesterday. It's very nice for a freshman dorm, just recently remodeled. The name of his dorm is Fails'. Couldn't they have named it "Succeeds" or at the very least "Passes"? I'm sure it must be named after a benefactor by that name, but still.

I decided to finish John's Trekking sock last night and I would have, but I ran out of yarn. I only need enough for one more round and then some to seam the short row toe. I decided to see if Hobby Lobby had anything I could use. They didn't, but I found this.
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This yarn is a lot like the unspun White Buffalo wool that I've used for felting before. I see another felted bowl in my future.

Tomorrow we are going to visit a yarn shop in Guthrie. I hope to find some sock yarn that will blend well with John's sock or maybe I'll get lucky and find the same colorway of Trekking XXL. Check back later for a "yarning" report and maybe even a Trek with a finished pair of socks.

P.S. Panera Bread is a good spot for free WiFi. The food is good too.

Friday, August 11, 2006

On The Road Again

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This is "home sweet home" for the next week and a half. We're leaving today to take my son to college in Edmond, Oklahoma. We'll be staying a week while he attends an engineering seminar and then meet up with him next weekend before saying good-bye. The summer has gone by so fast. I can't believe this day is here already.

I'll be updating the blog as I can. We won't have Internet access where we're camping, but I know a few spots in town that have free Wi-Fi. Until then, here's a picture of a little something extra I included with my donation to Lucy Bug.

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The pattern is from the Summer 2005 issue of Interweave Knits. I found it to be a bit fiddly in places, especially when shaping the nose and ears. It took me longer to make than I expected (an hour or more). The pattern introduction says something about making a family of bears in an evening, so I thought it would go much faster. He's cute, but I don't know if I'll make any more. Knitted with worsted weight yarn on US 5 needles.

Time to hit the road. I'll be knitting John's Trekking socks on the long drive today. They should be finished soon.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Preemie Baby Kimono

When I joined The Lucy Ladybug Knit-Along, I set a personal goal of contributing one bereavement set per month. This is not a requirement of the group, just something I determined to do on my own. Well, it dawned on me at the beginning of this month that I let July slip by without knitting a stitch for Lucy, so I pulled out some yarn, needles and a favorite pattern and cast on right away before August became a memory too.

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PATTERNS: Preemie Baby Kimono and Knitted Preemie Hat
YARN: Kraemer Yarns Little Lehigh (blue) and Red Heart Soft Baby (white)
Chest cicumference = 10"
Length from neck to toe = 14.5"
Hat circumference = 10"

I've used this pattern or a variation of this pattern at least four times now. The simple, classic style is one I never get tired of. It's my first choice for a boy's set, but would be nice for a girl too.

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I wanted to make the gown a little longer, but I had to stop when I got down to the last little bit of yarn. See the two thin stripes of blue yarn in the hat? That's all I had left!

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It's not neccesary, but I always like to include a ladybug somewhere on the set as a remembrance of LucyBug.

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Monday, August 07, 2006


Inspired by Jan, I dug out the needle felting kit that I bought over a year ago, but never used, and tried my hand at adding some embellishment to one of the bowls I made the other day.

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Not bad for a first attempt. I found it was easy to position the yarn into a design with a few stabs of the felting needle and then remove it and reposition it if wasn't to my liking. Once it was right, multiple stabs of the felting needle permanantly embedded the yarn into the bowl. The yarn I used was White Buffalo, which is unspun wool. It worked great for needle felting.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Felted Bowls

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I had another one of those days where I just couldn't stop knitting the same thing over and over again. This time it was felted bowls, based on the pattern from the book One Skein. I've used this pattern before. Yesterday I experimented with different sizes and shapes. It was a lot of fun. Each bowl took less than an hour to knit. I knitted and felted them separately so I could make changes if I thought I needed to.

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As you can see, I ended up with several nice ones. It's interesting to see how various yarns felt differently even if they are the same brand.

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The first bowl I made was the charcoal one, knitted from Wool Pak. The blue bowl was next and is made from Lopi. These two bowls were knitted exactly the same and felted to the same size, but shaped differently when wet. I thought briefly about shaping the blue one into a square, but changed my mind. It would work though.

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I experimented with stripes on these bowls and I really like they way they turned out. The red and blue bowl was knitted from Wool Pak also. There is quite a difference in texture when you compare it to the charcoal one. Also interesting is that it was knitted to the same size as the two previous bowls, but it felted to a smaller size. The brown and natural bowl was made from Cascade Pastaza.

All bowls were knitted with one strand of yarn on 45 stitches using size US 11 needles except for the brown one which was knitted on size US 10 1/2.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hats, Hats...and More Hats

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This weekend was spent knitting hats. They are so quick to finish, I find it hard to stop once I get started. These black and gold hats are for The Preemie Project's Hawkeye donation. All are sized to fit a baby weighing 6-8 pounds and knitted with Caron Simply Soft worsted weight using US 7 dpns. I'll make booties to match later.

The hat on the left was inspired by a picture of one Mariella made called Violet Seed from Hip Knit Hats: 40 Fabulous Designs. I didn't have that book so I just "winged" it. The proportions didn't turn out the same, but it's still cute. The two hats in the middle are striped versions of this pattern and the pattern for the hat on the right can be found in the book, Knits From The Heart by Kristin Spurkland.

Here's a three color version of the Kristin Spurkland hat.
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You can see the ribbed pattern better in this picture. It's different than any I've used before and I really like it. This hat was just barely off the needles before it was wrapped and given as part of a gift at a baby shower on Sunday. Nothing like waiting until the last minute! Yarn used for this one was Lion Brand Cotton-Ease worsted weight. Needles were US 7 dpns. I changed the number of stitches cast on since I used a heavier yarn, but of course since I was in such a rush, I didn't take any notes.