Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010....

Well, it is officially the last day of 2010, although we are only one hour and seven minutes into the day. It was kind of interesting to usher in the last day. I mean everyone usher's in the first day of the new year in some way or another, but saying goodbye to the last day of what has been an ever increasing bummer of a year gives me a different perspective on things. I can wash away the old, dust up the remnants of this past year and throw them out. I have approximately 23 hours left to complete the task of getting rid of the old and preparing for the new.

So, today will be a good day of putting things in order - body, mind, house and spirit and preparing for a wonderful start to 2011. I have already started a 2011 knitting project, The Winter Garden Scarf and I have already completed the 2010 knitting by finishing all the holiday projects on time. Check in the box for that  - yeah!

Winter Decor for the Fireplace
Today I will cook, clean, do laundry and prepare to decorate the living room for the Winter with warm colored garlands and sparkly bits and start the process of putting away the Christmas decor. Don't get me wrong, I love the Christmas stuff, but this year putting it away before the new year starts - no catching-up or leaving anything from 2010 undone feels right.

Sunday will be a special day for Dave and I as we will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary (In answer to all the questions I will get, yes we were young when we married and for no other reason than we loved one another and as I like to tell people he was four and I was two.) We would both say that we married our best friend and even though it may sound cliche', it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I think my marriage is a rare and exceptionally special thing (at least to me and that's what counts.) Through all the good, bad and in between, Dave has been there. He has loved me, supported me and spent his precious life with me - what more could a girl ask. So, I know you will all understand when I say that I will not be blogging on Sunday, 1/2/11. That day is about Dave and myself and our life together - no one else gets my time on that day. 

Peace and joy to you all as your leave behind 2010 and welcome 2011....
The Green Girl.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Minute Angel...

The year 2010 is winding down quickly now and I am ready for it to be over and to make room for a new and prosperous 2011. Not only for DH and myself, but for many others that need a new beginning and an uplifting year. It was my pleasure to step-in and do one last angel square assignment for my Baker's Dozen group. It was mailed today, so I made it before the end of 2010. DH gave me a book on cables for Christmas and I used one of those stitch patterns to create the square. It was nice to use my new gift and I think DH was happy to see me enjoying the gift as well.

Yarn: Loops & Threads - Claret and Pumpkin
Being a part of this online virtual knitting group has been a huge delight for me this year as we have no knitting groups in my 3-D world. That will not always be the case as I plan to begin a new group in mid-January. I've been meeting many knitters in my local area and they are all excited  to have a place to chat and knit and just be. I think that idea of just having a place to be is almost a greater attraction and binding agent than the knitting. In the end I know new friendships will be formed and lives will be enhanced.

Well, must head off to sleep now. Pleasant dreams everyone- may visions of sticks and string dance in your heads and bring peace and joy to you all....

The Green Girl.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Not Much Now....But More to Come.....

I know I should blog today - that's what I woke-up telling myself. Do I have things to say - yes. Did Santa bring lovely gifts - he did. How was our first Christmas with no family - it was good because Dave was here and he is my family - it was also very sad. Did I knit - no I did not - I guess if I'm going to take a day off, this is a good one in which not to knit. Was it a white Christmas - it was.

See there are things to say and I have since started knitting a few things and preparing for the new blog "The Knitty Scribe" but I am tired and in pain (physically and emotionally as well.) My shoulder and neck are all wonky, again!!! I'm beginning to feel like the Hunch Back of Notre Dame. I've learned to listen to my body and it's telling me not now, don't jump back in full force today. Allow me some time to heal. So, forgive this short little grouping of words that really go nowhere and say not much of anything. A good night sleep and a lovely tomorrow (I know it will be - I feel it in my bones) and I'll be back firing on all cylinders.

Until then - please be thinking of books, articles, patterns, etc... that you would like to see reviewed in the new blog and I'll get them in the queue. Leave a comment here with your suggestions.

Until tomorrow then...
Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peace and Joy......

At the end of my blogs threads I always sign off with "Peace and joy to you all..." This is an old Irish saying that I picked up several years ago. As I am Irish, Native American, and some other bits thrown in for good measure, that makes me just good old American. However, I relate to my Irish heritage and this saying sums up my hopes and wishes for everyone that I know and for the world in general. I think about what this means every single day and I try my very best to bring a little peace and joy when and where I can. This is a special time of year where peace and joy should abound, but more and more we hear of terror threats rather than stories of people showing love to one another. What's the song lyric, "Give Peace a chance..." Let's try it, heh!

The gifts are completed and purchased where necessary and tomorrow is my time to deliver a few gifts, make pies with DH and prepare my annual Feast of Seven Fishes dinner. And Saturday is a day to be thankful. I don't expect any of you to take time from your holidays to read this blog either. Enjoy your time, your family, your yummy dinners, etc...  Experience peace and joy in your lives.

One last knit-bit. Since the gifts are completed, I cast on for a large tote that I plan to felt. This is a gift from me, to me. I'm using Lion Brand Fisherman's wool - two strands - US 10 sized needles. I'll embellish it somehow, not sure what that will look like yet. I like how this yarn felts, but I have to knit it in stages as it seems to bother my eyes. As in my allergies flare up, like I'm in a house with many pets. Itching, sneezing, gritty feeling. DH takes care of me by keeping little vials of saline eye drops at the ready so that I can wash my eyes as I need (bringing me peace and less scratching.) I find lots of little twigs in this yarn as I knit it. I suspect that the allergen load left in the yarn after all the cleaning is a little high for my eyes. I have no problems with it after I have felted the object, which is great. This is the only 100% wool I've ever had any allergy problems with so that's good as well.
I love this color of brown and cream together. I have felted this before and I think it will look great when the project is complete. I almost used circular needles, but the stitches aren't too bunched up and I wasn't going to frog the whole thing for a little bunching. I mean I have 28 rows done and I'm just too lazy right to care to that degree. Frogging would not bring peace and joy,but rather stress and blue air. No, thanks!

So, there we have it, Christmas is here. I love this special season for numerous reasons. There will be lots of new things coming in the new year - another blog dedicated to knitting books, articles, etc.... a new web site, a new how to video and more pattern designs and lots more sharing right here in the Green Girl blog. Thank you one and all for your love, support and friendship. You have all brought peace and joy to my life.

I'm now signing off until after Christmas. Enjoy your holiday and as always...

Peace and joy to you all.....
The Green Girl

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bella Bear....

The final holiday gift is complete (and the angels sang). In all truthfulness, making this little bear puppet was not as difficult as I had feared. However, the gauge is all wrong. I actually knit a swatch and checked the gauge for this project (am I admitting that I don't always??? Maybe.) But the swatch must have lied as the body of the puppet is entirely to large. If I ever make this again, I'll decrease the number of body stitches by 12-15. When tried on by DH, his hand was even to small. I'm thinking it can still be played with and used as a sleep toy as is, but my I'd like to see the hands that this was meant for - I'm talking Goliath sized hands.
I changed several things about the look of the pattern. As you can see in the picture below, I did not make a Jingle Bear (I will at some point though as I think it's cute as can be.) I figured that the child receiving the bear can get more play time with Bella in her magenta and flowered outfit than in Christmas colors. The flowers are little felted buttons that I found at the craft store. I did not intend to use them on this project, but the muse brought them to me and said to jazz the outfit up a bit (I listen to muse about such things, mostly.)
The pattern came from an extra toy section that was included with the October 2010 Let's Knit magazine. There are numerous other little knitted toys in the booklet and none of them look difficult. I never intended to make knitted toys, but now I know that they aren't so bad to work up (at least not these) so I might challenge myself again in future.

Now it is time to wrap the final three gifts - bake one more batch of cookies - watch the bunnies play in the backyard and share a lovely Christmas with my dearest and best friend, DH - Dave.

Peace and joy to you all now and in the new year....
The Green Girl

Holiday Haiku...

KNIT GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS
KNIT SELFLESSLY, I CAN DO
KNIT IN PEACE, LOVE TOO!!!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Peace and joy the whole year through...
The Green Girl

Welcome to Knitville....

This is the first blog entry for my latest blog. Come and follow along at http://theknittyscribe.blogspot.com

What's New in Knitville....

Hello and Welcome to all my knitty friends. Whether you do traditional knitting with sticks or loom knitting with, well looms, this is the blog that will discuss books, booklets, articles, and patterns for our art.

This blog will officially begin on January 1, 2011. I am in the process of preparing the first three reviews. Please feel free to drop me a line in regard to any book,etc... that you might like to see reviewed here in The Knitty Scribe.

And don't forget to stop by my other blog and read the latest from The Green Girl (http://thegreengirlblog.blogspot.com/). Looking forward to meeting and chatting with you in the new year.

Be Knitty to One Another...
The Knitty Scribe

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We Have a Knitter.....

Ok - I'll make one thing clear now so as not to sound overly prejudice when I share the most exciting news of recent days. I think all of my nieces and nephews, whether by blood or pure love are the best people in world. They are each tremendously smart, kind and creative little humans (well three are adults now, but you get the idea.) I am proud of each and every one of them to point of love abounding.I mean how could I prouder of Jason, the stop-action movie maker, Jim the doctor, Tom the Air Force Weatherman, Nic the caregiver of all animals, Beth the teacher, Mason the music lover, Katrina the helper and protective older sister, or Kate the 2 year old linguist. Well, I couldn't be - I'm fortunate to have these lovely people as part of my life. However, today is a special day for Kayla. She has become a knitter.

I got news this morning that Kayla, one of our twins in California has learned to knit at school. Kayla is 9 years old and her mother sent out a great picture on Facebook of Kayla knitting with her yarn in a little basket. Concentrating on each little stitch - I know you all remember those days. Sorry I couldn't make the picture larger, I blame FB and their new photo gallery.  Apparently she is a little knitting crazed person. Yeah!!! So, today I declare it "Kayla The Knitter" day!!! This changes the entire holiday gift scenario as well. We have a knitter in the family!

Well done my sweet and lovely, Kayla. I am  so happy that you are enjoying your new skill. It will always be yours. It can help you to keep warm, show your love to others, put food on the table and mostly it will help you to de-stress in a busy life as you grow-up and allow for hours of fun.

Here are a few tips for our newest little knitter:
1)There is no knitting police. Find your way of doing something and go for it no matter what someone else tells you.
2) Take pictures of your successes and failures - it will allow you to view your progress over your lifetime.
3) Remember to make a swatch, but also that swatches lie. It's not your fault the sweater is three times too big or small - it's the swatch.
4) I will always be here to help answer your questions, love away the stress, and cheer you on with each project you make.
5) Always remember tip #1. There is no knitting police.
6) Knitting can travel with you anywhere. Even the grocery line at the market.
7) Share your gift with others and don't worry about the people that think it strange. They are secretly impressed.
8) I love you - not because you are a knitter, but because you are Kayla!

Peace and joy to all our little knitters.....
The Green Girl

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Blue Camo Hat....

This is the third in the series of camo hats made for holiday gifts. All going to the good boys and girl in one particular household. This hat is for the oldest child, Jason. The yarn is the same brand that I used for the Pink Camo hat and the Renegade Camo hat, but obviously the colorway is blue/brown. I found that this hat knit up a little differently in that it did a self-stripping thing that I kinda like. One row in brown, one in blue. Looks like I really thought it through ( we all know that was just dumb luck.)

Now that this hat is finished, I have one knitted project left to complete before Friday when I will have to deliver the goods (I mean gifts of course.) A sweet little hand knit teddy bear puppet that I shall name Belle as there will be little bells stuffed in the paws. More on that later.


I decided to make this hat top down as I had already frogged it twice working in the traditional bottom up fashion. I really enjoyed this process, thought it made things a bit less stressful. All the increases in this case were done quickly at first and then all I had to do was knit, knit, knit, which made it a good project for working in front of the telly. Here's the basic recipe for making a top down hat. Enjoy!

Blue Camo Hat:
1 skein worsted weight yarn of choice.
size 5 US dpns -set of 5 needles
Guage: 5sts wide/inch - 7 sts high/inch

cast on 9 stitches with long tail cast on.
divide stitches among the needles three/needle
join in the round
This pattern is repeated for each needle of which there should be 4 needles with live stitches and one needle for working.
Row1: Knit all
Row2: kfb for all stitches (24 sts)
Row 3: knit all (for all odd numbered rows in the increase section you will be doing a row of knit all after every row of increases.)
Row 4: *kfb, k2* repeat until the end of the row (32)
Row 5: Quiz time - what do you do after a row of increases? Ding, ding, ding - gold stars for everyone that said knit a round.
Row 6: *kfb, k3* to end (40)
Row 7: knit
Row 8: *kfb, k4* to end (48)
Row 10: * kfb, k5* to end (56)
Row 12: *kfb, k6* to end (64)
Row 14: (Get ready there's going to be a change) kfb, knit all stitches until last stitch, kfb
Row 16: *kfb, k7* to end (72)
Row 18: kfb, knit all stitches until last stitch, kfb (80)
Row 20: *kfb, k8* to end (88)

Increases are complete - now starts the knitting rounds
Knit all rounds until you have knit 4-6 inches (if you knit 5-6 inches, you will be able to easily turn up the brim for a secondary look)

Aside: The increase section can be stopped earlier for a hat for a small child or continued in fashion for a hat for a giant - you get to decide.)

At the end of the knitting phase, it is time to start the ribbing.
All Rows: *k3,p1*
Work ribbing for 2 inches. (If you flip up this section the brim will have a reverse pattern of P3,K1 which gives the new look.)
At the end of the ribbing - Do a basic bind off - semi-loosely
Weave in tails - Put on head - head out in the snow and have fun!!!!

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl

Sunday, December 19, 2010

No Knit Chocolate/Pumpkin Cookies....

Happy last of week of holiday chaos to one and all. For me, and perhaps for many of you, today starts the home stretch of meal planning, present wrapping, house cleaning, final knitting or crocheting and baking. I'm working a top down cap and am at the ribbing for brim, should be done this afternoon. Then I have one little teddy bear hand puppet to whip up and the holiday knits will be complete. More on the puppet project in another blog, it's easy and quick from what I can tell.

There is more than knitting to these last few days before Christmas. I always make a Feast of Seven Fishes dinner for Christmas Eve and this year it will be DH and myself only, but I'm still going all out. Crab cakes, lobster bisque, latkes, smoked salmon, roasted salmon & asparagus olive and herb salad on romaine leaves, and a Christmas Trifle for dessert. Now, if you were keeping track, there are only four fishes on this menu. That's because DH is not a big fish lover so I have to plan around the ones he enjoys. That's the only compromise in  the meal though, it's rich, lush, lux and quite grand and in the end it's the thought that counts. This is about celebration, not forcing people to eat things they don't like.

Then there is the big Christmas dinner. Again, just DH and myself but no skimping on the celebratory meal. We go all out. Turkey (breast), dressing, ravioli, mashed potatoes, vegetable gratin, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls, two kinds of pie, homemade fudge and all the baking from this week. Yes, there will tons of leftovers, but I love that part. I make lots of freezer meals and then we can re-visit the warmth of that meal a few more times over the next few months.

I really see no reason to skimp even though there is only two of us. We miss having the house full of people, but we are going to celebrate just like any other year. Besides all the yummy food, that celebration includes the baking of lots of yummy cookies (to be shared with neighbors and friends.) And there is one new recipe from last holiday season that I want to share with you all. It offers the following that is sure to please:
1) Quick, quick, quick
2) Easy, easy, easy
3) Yummy, yummy, yummy
A friend gave me this recipe and I'm sure she won't mind that I'm sharing it with world. Consider it a holiday gift as I cannot make them for you all.


Chocolate chip - Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ingredients:
1 - 15oz (or what I call the regular not on steroids size) can of pumpkin puree (not the pre-spiced pie filling that's too wet.)
1- bag mini Nestle Chocolate chips (or your chips of choice - I'll explain my choice in a moment)
1 - Full sized boxed spice cake mix (any brand will work)

1- large mixing bowl
1-cookie sheet
1- silpat or sheet of parchment paper
1- heavy duty mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer)
1- spatula
1- large mixing spoon
1- kitchen tablespoon
1- cooling rack
1-container of choice for cooled cookies
1- hot toddy mix & rum, coffee, tea or hot chocolate for drinking with cookies

How to:
 Pre-heat oven to 325F (or metric equivalent)
Empty cake mix and pumpkin into mixing bowl.
Blend with mixer until the pumpkin has thoroughly combined with cake mix. Pumpkin is the only wet ingredient so make sure it is well incorporated.
Stop mixing and add 1 or 1and 1/4 cups mini chips and blend into the mixture.
Dough will be think, but not overly stiff.

Aside: The reason I use mini chips is two-fold.
1) I have a mild allergy to chocolate (I know who did I tick off in the allergy department - I mean really!) Anyway as I need to watch my chocolate intake - the mini chips allow me to have two cookies without overdoing the chocolate.
2) Although the original recipe calls for regular chips, I find that that minis incorporate better and don't overpower the pumpkin and spice flavor.
Feel free to use what you like.

Recipe Resumes:
Using your tablespoon, spoon out dollops of batter onto a cookie sheet that is lined with a silpat or parchment. This batter does not spread much if any at all so you can load up the tray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes
Remove from the oven - leave on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to the cooling rack. Cookies are more on the cake side so they will be softer than a typical cookie.
These cookies remain very moist so they will last for several days (right - they are usually gone next day around here) and they can be frozen for advance planning.

Now that they are cooled, place several on a lovely holiday plate, make your favorite hot beveragenie (thanks for the word Smithy.) And there you have it - a warm chocolaty/spicy cookie to warm your tummy on a cold evening. These cookies, a hot toddy and my knitting have been known to send me to nirvana on a more than one occasion. Eat, Drink, Knit and be Merry!!!!

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blah, Blah, Knitting Needles, Blah.....

I think I have mentioned before that I love to read as much as I love to knit. Trying to do both at the same time is still a skill that I have yet to master in a safe and sane way. One day. So, given my love of these two activities, it should only follow that I love to read knitting books, knitting mags, knitting articles, knitting blogs, and the beat goes on... Da da da da de...... So, today while I am knitting these sweet little Christmas ornaments for my nieces and nephews as holiday gift toppers (I like to give them an ornament all their own) I decided to do a little reading of a new knitting book that I received. Lovely book, can't wait to make some of the projects, but that's not the point here - the point is that the author discusses that she never uses straight needles only circulars or dpns. I'm cool with that, but it hits me as I'm reading that many authors seem to make a point these days of choosing sides in the needle chaos and making sure that everyone knows their choice and why you should join that camp as well.

Honestly, as we all should know there is no knitting police or knitting needle police. I have no problem with each person choosing their needle of choice, but I do seem to have a mental block when it comes to why they insist on setting the record straight or circular for that matter in regard to their needle choice. I'm beginning to think that I'm missing something and perhaps my knitting guild card may be taken away from me if I don't emphatically state my preference for all the world to hear. If I had to make a forever choice, I think I'd be in trouble. I love all my needles and for different reasons. Short, long, straight, circular, dpn, plastic, wood, metal, da da da da de........

Okay - here comes the confession portion of the program. At one time, about 15-20 years ago, I was convinced that I was a circular only kinda knitter. I put the straights and dpns away - never to be used again, only to be brought out to be shown as historical artifacts to classes of new knitters. Then one day, as I was working up a demo scarf for one of my designs the light bulb went on - why in the world are you messing around with circulars and their cables that always want to curl back on themselves when a nice straight needle of about 10 inches is all you need to knit back and forth. I sat, I pondered, I scratched my head, I didn't have an answer. I went and dug out the old straights and slipped all the stitches onto two lovely little bamboo needles. Viola' - no messing with a cable that I didn't need for that project - my stress level went down - my hands relaxed. Epiphany - I realized that I could use any needles I wanted and I could choose what worked best for each project. Hallelujah a breakthrough. And that's what I've done from that point on - I choose for the project and I'm a happy knitter. Each pair of needles have made a happy little gift or a pair of socks, etc.... and it makes me happy to see all my little darlings dwelling peacefully in their nest. da da da da de..... da da da da di.......

Knit with your needle of choice, choose a side, don't choose a side, just knit and have fun. However, if you ever here tale about why people are so emphatic about going to one type of needle or another drop me a line and let me know. I think this is another sociology thesis waiting to be written and I'm sure I could get some students together to work up a case study.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl

P.S. Pictures only represent a select portion of my needle collection. Please don't judge, we all have our secrets.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sugar Plums.....

Sugar Plums are said to have magical qualities, different to each person that they contact. They even have their own fairy. Well, I think I have been influenced by just such a fairy or perhaps it was that wee glass of Christmas Port I had the other night, either way due to the holiday spirit(s) my memory has been clouded.

The socks that infiltrated the holiday knitting were completed on Sunday morning. I sat in bed with my coffee and knit until I grafted the last toe stitch. Then I put them on and went to show DH. These socks have some power over me, I couldn't put them down while knitting, I can't stop wearing them and I have to show them to everyone and they aren't anything special. The work of the Sugar Plum Fairy, I'm thinking.  So, as I'm twisting my foot to show off the perfectly turned heel and the neat grafted toes, DH says, "Hey those look just like your Tye Dyed Tootsie socks from last year. Did you make another pair?" What????? No way, surely he's wrong, he has a problem with noticing changes sometimes (he professes anyway) perhaps he just thinks they look the same. Off to the sock drawer I run and low and behold there are the not quite exact, but awful close Tye Dyed Tootsie socks. Yep, the yarn is close enough that I would have said the same thing. See what I mean about their magical power, I didn't even notice the yarn was so similar. Oh well, no ones feet can ever have too many psychedelic socks.

Tye Dyed Tootsie Socks
Sugarplum Socks

I suppose it is the season for Sugar Plums and Gingerbread men and all the rest of the delights that go along with the holidays. Perhaps a pair of Candy Cane socks for next season. Candy Canes don't have their own fairy, but perhaps the muse would wear a costume and fill in for a while.

To one and all, Peace Out and Joy now and for the new year....
The Green Girl

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Retro Metro Christmas Card
Create beautiful photo Christmas cards at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Global Warming Strikes...

Today was a self imposed girl's day, with me, myself and I. I realized earlier in the week that I needed to be among the 3-D people and look at things and touch things. Kind of a sensory input exercise. As I figure this won't happen over the weekend because we are suppose to get snow and driving the back roads - well, not a good idea in the snow. So, I took off and headed north. All was well until.....

Once in the shopping mall it had to be 150,000 degrees F. Trust me, I could have been in shorts and tank top and still felt like I needed sunblock. The place was an oven. Employees in one department store were sweating enough that you could smell their body odor - no kidding I wanted to hand out wet naps and antiperspirant to the poor things. One customer that I talked too said she was about to faint and was fanning herself. Well, move over sister because I'm about to join you. Now, I believe that I have figured out part of my own problem, ever since my cancer surgery 3.5 years ago, my thermostat is not right - it's like having my own personal global warming - is it real, is it not - the  signs are looking more like, yes!!! And the wig is not helping. If I ever wanted to rip that puppy off and say, "frag it all, I don't care what I look like" it was today. If I start to get warm the wig makes my head feel like a furnace. So hot that I start to feel ill. Well, I've figured out a good reason to grab a handful of clothes and head to the dressing rooms. I don't care what the clothes are and they can all be a size XXS for all I care, I just want a reason to go sit in the room and take wig off!!! After a good 10-15 minute cool down, I grabbed my things and headed back to the entrance where the car was parked. I was so drained I didn't even finish going to all my planned stops, not even the yarn store. Now you know just how gross I felt. It has to be 5 alarm bad to keep me out of a yarn store.
I drove all the way home with the windows down. Still feel like a wet dishrag and am now ready to hibernate my way through the weekend.

And to top it off, not one stitch did I complete on any knitting project. No pictures today, no story of how string and sticks make the most beautiful..... (insert object here.) Just laid on the sofa while DH read and I watched total trash TV. I  could not tell you what I watched, just something in background.

Next self-imposed girl's day will include trip to lion cage and alligator wrestling - it will be outside, so it already has a leg up on today's adventure. Lest we think that my day ruined, it was not - heat stroke not withstanding, I did find a lovely little gift for self on deep discount sale. I'm just too tried to take the picture. But it made sweating off five pounds worth every drop.

By the way, how was your day????

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Joy of Sox.....

When we were last together I mentioned that you might not want to wager the farm on my ability to have enough self- control to keep myself from starting a new pair of socks before I finished the holiday knitting. Hopefully you followed that sage advice, because my self-control is definitely on vacation.










Socks are just such  joy a to create. They are relatively easy, but also offer a good challenge. Knit a little ribbed cuff and a bit of a leg, very relaxing. Turn that heel in one go with no frogging and you feel like a genius. It's all very gratifying and makes you feel one with the knitting universe. And after the Doby sock, that's exactly what I did, I cast-on and went to town. Literally! DH and I had an errand to run and I took the sock with us. It even went to Chick-fil-A and had lunch with us.
Now I'm not sure, but for some reason  my back went out while we were in the Costco - spasms moving from left side (old injured area ) to right side (to much compensating) and as the pain swept over me all I could think of was getting home, taking a muscle relaxer and laying on the heating pad. Two hours later I was still in pain, but able to knit. Back to the socks. It takes more than back pain to keep a knitter down.

I got through the heel flap and was ready for bed. This morning has brought a renewed desire to knit socks and less back pain. Once my neck let out with a pop that could be heard around the world, I felt much better. I have now completed that ever mysterious and sometimes daunting act of turning the heel. And it's so pretty, too.... It's odd, I understand the math of turning the heel, but it is still a viola' moment (this always reminds me of the Egyptian ritual of Opening the Mouth - don't ask why, just know that for me it's on the same par.) They are both some form of magic, luckily I get to enjoy my feat of magic without being dead. Big plus, that!
Now I'm off to pick-up, decrease, blah, blah, blah. Let's just say my hands will be having a little party.

Party on!!!!

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Doby, Doby, Do.......

OK - the non-knit stuff is that DH is at his interview right now and I'm ready to jump out of my skin. He has been there for three hours. I can only hope that is a good sign. I have every faith in his abilities as this is the same position as his former job at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, but a different company now here in Illinois. My husband is an amazing person - he gives his all 110% = 24/7-365!!! I do not brag in this, but tell the complete truth. Anyone that knows him will attest to the truth of what I say. Go get'em, Luv!!!

The other non-knitting part of the day has consisted of laundry (only on load two - it'll be a long night) and prepping for mini meatball sandwiches and Italian oven fries w/parm and herbs. YUM!!! If interview goes well it's a nice celebration, if not it's good comfort food.

Now, onto the knitting at hand (I just crack myself up with that phrase - it's just so knitty.) You may all laugh now - pleassssseeeee!!!! Don't leave me hanging in my own bad jokes. The Doby sock is finished, complete with crocheted loop for hanging on our friend's tree (if they like.) I have not knitted any socks in a few months due to other projects and it felt so good to knit the heel flap, it was ecstasy to turn the heel and practically nirvana to graft the toe. What a high. Of course this now has me wanting to pull out the sock yarn and start a new pair of socks. I mean really , really badly!!! I know in one part of my brain that I have a hat to make and scarf to finish and so on....but the socks, oh the socks they are calling!!! Maybe just a cast-on and cuff??? We'll see how well I do with self-control in this area - don't call your bookie just yet, you don't want to wager the farm this close to Christmas.

I know I've been knitting a lot as my old back injury is bothering me and my neck keeps popping and cracking along with my left elbow. All signs that I should take the night off and not suffer for my art, but isn't there also a saying that suffering makes us stronger. If that is the case, I should be able to plow over just about anything right about now!!!

Well, DH will surely be home fairly soon, so I should go and pre-heat the oven for the yummy goody dinner that's prepped and waiting in the frig. Enjoy your evening or morning depending on where you are on this beautiful little blue planet of ours.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kitschy Christmas Knits.....

Every year since grade school it seems that Christmas or the holiday season in general is a time to make fun little kitschy gifts, ornaments, candy holders, etc... One year in first grade we made holiday bells from Styrofoam cups, pipe cleaners and plastic holly and little gold jingle bells. They hung in the archway between my parents dining and living rooms all the way through my high school years. In second grade there was the felted boot that held the coffee can (you can read about that story in the blog thread about felt) - we used it for fudge, cookies and the like. As the years have gone by there has been knitted kitchen towel toppers, and numerous other little items that one usually only dares to display during this festive time of year.

Lion Brand - Fisherman's Wool - Brown - size 3US dpns

This year is no exception - I have many friends that are huge Harry Potter fans, two especially that live in Texas and so I am currently knitting them each a Doby sock. If you don't know the HP books, Doby is an enslaved house elf and the only way for him or any other house elf to be free is to receive an item of clothing from his master. Doby's master is a bad man and to get back at him and to help Doby for saving Harry's life, Harry makes it so that Doby receives a sock (one of his actually) from his master. The master is ticked off and the plot thickens, but Doby is now a free elf!!! The sock is just plain and brown, but it is Doby's emblem of freedom. So, two of those will go out at the end of the week. I'm just using the Yarn Harlot's basic sock recipe (I use it often to save my sanity) from her book Knitting Rules. My friends can hang it on their tree or mantel or where ever, but I think they'll get a kitschy kick out of the sentiment.

Then there are the numerous little granny square ornaments that I will be knitting for crocheting friends. Yes, I said knitting. It is possible to knit a granny square (pictures to come.) Now to be fair it is a more complicated ordeal and I can crochet them, but with my crocheting friends it's the principle of thing (just go with with me on this one.) They have been trying with great enthusiasm to get me to change sides and I cannot let my guard down.

So, today is a busy day. DH is putting together my storage cases from IKEA, I'm knitting , knitting, knitting, preparing the studio for it's new storage system, making turkey and rice casserole for dinner and I may even slip in a batch of homemade fudge. Oh, I almost forgot there is also the laundry. Let's see if I get all the chores done today, I'll have four more days this week to knit, knit, knit. Yep, today is a busy day.


Even though I'm sure you all are just as busy if not more, don't forget to knit a little kitschy item to celebrate the holiday season. Patterns can be found all over the internet. They are cute and usually bring a smile and that's one of the best parts of the holidays, bringing a smile to those we love.

Peace and joy to you all.....
The Green Girl.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Renegade Camo Hat...

Well along with Kate's hat in the pink camo, I also have green and blue camo yarn from the same company. My intention is to make a hat  for each of my brother's children. Today's entry into the camo game is Renegade. It is the actual name of the yarn and it fits the recipient to a tee. Nic is my brother's middle child and walks to the beat of his own drum - what a fantastic tune it is. Nic is smart, kind, curious, energetic and I wouldn't want him any other way. I love him to bits. It's still okay for me to say that as Nic is 9, his older brother is now getting to the age (12) of not wanting his old aunts hugs or to be told he's loved to bits. That's understandable, but I have informed him, however; that he'll just have to live with it.

Well, one more hat to go for this group.

Pattern Info:
1-skein acrylic worsted weight yarn of choice. The yarn I used is no longer made. Sorry!
1 set - US 5 dpns

Cast on 84 stitches across 4 needles. (21,21,21,21)
Connect to knit in the round.

Brim: 2x1 ribbing (k2,p1) for 1.5-2 inches or less if you feel you'll freak out before that point.
Body: Knit every round for 5-6 inches or until it is the size required to fit the recipient's head minus 1 inch.
Now - Purl all stitches for 1-2 inches until you have a total from the edge of the brim of 6-7 inches or fit required.
Time to decrease: Follow this per needle - k1, k2tog, purl to the last three stitches, k2tog, k1 - repeat on needles 2-4.
Next row: purl all stitches
Next row: Same as the first decrease row, except - find the middle two stitches of the purled section and purl them together - this is a p2tog. Finish row as before. Repeat on needles 2-4.
Next Row: Purl all stitches.
Next row: K2tog across all needles.
Next row: knit all stitches
Thread a piece of tapestry yarn and scoop up all the stitches on all four needles in the direction that you have been working. Draw them tight together. Thread the needle down to the inside of the hat - turn hat inside out and weave thread around center set of stitches twice. Clip yarn.
Weave starting thread into the brim - clip yarn.
Viola' - one basic hat.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pretty In Pink Camo - Redux...

I got into the zone last night and couldn't sleep until Kate's hat was completed, crocheted curls and all. This is the final result. I can see it on her sweet little noggin - I hope she likes it. So, not much sleep, but I seem to be firing with all guns this morning. More details about the hat are on my project page on Ravelry.com.

In the process of putting stick-up lights in the hall linen closet, I sliced my right index finger open on the evil, Satan sent, clam shell packaging. I don't know which is worse a cut like this or a paper cut. They are both bad and they both tick me off. Do you realize that a band-aid on the index finger really changes your knitting technique?? It seems the band-aid sucks all the knowledge of how to wrap your yarn right out of your head. Grrr......Not now it is holiday knitting time, IT IS HOLIDAY KNITTING TIME!!!!! Grrrrr.......

Ok - that's it for today. Time to do, well any of a number of things that are on the list.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cliche'...

Yesterday I wrote about my oncology appointment and the pink camo hat that I'm knitting for my niece, Kate. As I said then it ended up as a good day. That is not how I felt at the beginning of the day. These oncology check-ups although they always go well, really take a toll on me the day before and the day of, I think I've talked about this in a previous thread so I won't bother repeating myself. Anyway, I always take a project to knit. There is always the 1.5 hour drive, the waiting in the office, the waiting in the room, the waiting, the waiting, oh the waiting. So, you'd better have something to do and in my case it had better be something that will keep my blood pressure at it's normal 118/58 or they may just think that I have something else wrong with me (they'd be right, but it would my crazy alter ego that takes over when I'm stressed and not my heart.)

Of course my de-stressor of choice is knitting and sometimes reading. I really get too distracted to read in a doctor's office, not sure why. I mean why can I hone in on knitting when I'm there, but reading makes me crazier. Anyone need a good thesis topic - I'll happily volunteer as a test subject. Ok - back to the story at hand, (doesn't that saying just work when you're talking about knitting) DH and I are sitting on the comfy sofa in the waiting area (see the waiting is built right into the name, you know there is going to be some waiting going on) and I pull out the knitting. Then I notice, people are looking at me. I'm really not being paranoid, people were looking my way. Was my wig on crooked, were my panties in a noticeable twist, or was it the knitting. We'll assume it was the knitting. DH usually is pretty good about telling me about my wig or to get my panties out of a twist. Then it hits me - no one knows that I knit out of my love for the art, as a part of my new design business, or to de-stress myself - I'm sitting in an oncology office knitting a hat - I am a cliche' par excellence!!! My self-confidence went right out the window, I wanted to run and hide in a corner - for goodness sake people go about your business and stop looking at me! I wanted to stand up and yell this hat is for my two year old niece, it's not a chemo cap, I am not a sad-sack waiting for your sympathy!!

Then, out of the blue (I did not see them walk into the room so a divine act must be at play) two women come over and sit next to DH and myself on the other comfy sofa. Woman #1 looks at me and says, "Oh look this is our section." Both women sit down and take their knitting from their tote bags, both were making holiday gifts as well. That's when I realized that my crazy evil twin had been sitting on my shoulder and zapping me of all my rational thought. These two lovely angels were sent to remind me that perhaps, just perhaps, the people in the room were looking at the knitting and thinking things like, "How cute," "Isn't she talented," "Wish I could do that (you can.)" Regardless of what they were thinking, my fellow knit-sisters had saved the day. Soon thereafter the nurse called me back, my blood pressure was its normal range and I got wonderful good news after all the poking and prodding was complete. Hurrah!!!!

You see, it doesn't take much to turn someone's day around. Many thanks to the ladies (angels perhaps) on comfy sofa #2, I hope your day turned out as well as my own.

Go forth and make someone's journey a bit lighter.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Pretty In Pink Camo....

Well, today's appointment with my oncologist went well. I've moved to the final stage of observation for the rest of my appointments, which means I just need exams, but not invasive tests. Hurrah!!! It was a long day, but I accomplished quite a little bit on my niece's holiday hat. That's right all this in a 1.5 hour car drive after frogging the first attempt.

I found this pink camo yarn several months ago and as her father (my brother) really wanted her to have something in pink camouflage, I thought this would be a good compromise. I'm going to add knitted curls at the crown instead of a pom pom and embroider a few little roses onto the body of the hat. Sporty, yet girly at the same time. 

The pattern is just a basic seed stitch brim and stockinette body. The yarn is striping quite nicely, but I thought it would block out in more of a true camo pattern. Oh well, I think the idea is there. I'm also going to make a matching scarf as well. I may attach it to the hat as a one and done. At two years  old, the chances of her losing the one of the pieces is pretty high, odds are better for long term use if they are stitched together.

So, I'm almost ready to mark one more knitted gift off the holiday list. What's on your knitty gift list this year???

Peace and joy to you all.....
The Green Girl.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bank Fraud - Hairpin Lace and Other Holiday Fun.....

Well, now that Thanksgiving is over holiday fun has officially begun. To start off the seasonal festivities, DH and I have been the victims of a process called, "skimming." This is when someone gets a hold of your debit/bank card information and takes money from your account. According to an article this happens to 1-5 people so we are in good company. Apparently your information can be skimmed when you use your card at the gas station, atm, or just about anywhere else in the known universe. Hurrah - no one's safe!!!! Makes me feel so much better. We were skimmed by a lovely company in Minsk Belarus. Six large charges all of the same amount were taken on Thanksgiving day. We are now in the process of creating new identities with the bank, obtaining new cards, etc... I feel like we have entered the witness protection program. And there's nothing to say that this won't happen again with the new info.... I just feel so warm and cozy!!!! Happy Holidays and pass the vodka comrade!!!

On a more knitty note, I had a chance to take up an old fiber art form of Hairpin Lace. I remember this from the 70's and vaguely recall having tried my hand at it back in the day. It was brought to my attention once again while watching a re-run of "Knitty Gritty" hosted by Vickie Howell. So, with coupon in hand I picked up a lace loom and in order to relax and try to get my zen back, I have been mindlessly making lace all weekend. I'm trying to work it into a knitted object. I don't like what you see in the picture in regard to the knitting, I think it is the knitting pattern that I don't like with the lace. I'm going to frog that pattern and try a standard stockinette stitch. I love the lace even though it is a little bit fussy at first. It gets much easier. I think it will work into a knitted pattern well, as soon as I figure out what pattern to use.

This Tuesday is my 3.5 year oncology check-up. Only 1.5 years of checks to go after that. Getting closer all the time. I always take a knitting project with me to the office. As DH and I drive about 70 miles to the clinic in Chicago it helps to take a car project and an office project. Last time it was a loomed sock, this time it will probably be a hat. Nothing to large or cumbersome, but something that will take my mind off the business of the day. Truly an impossible act to achieve, but every little bit helps. Doesn't seem to matter that it has been 3.5 years since my cancer surgery, each appointment reminds me of the first and feels like the first. The worst part is hearing the MRI machine on the floor below our waiting room. That sound will forever indicate to me that someone is having their life changed for all time. My heart breaks for each one of those women. They were just going along, living their lives and then WHAMO!!!!! However, as I well know, the doctors can help us to get well. Oh there are still consequences that I deal with every day, but I'm here and except for some scars of the physical and mental variety, I'm well, I'm loved, and I'm knitting!!!! Hurrah!!!! Wouldn't have been able to go through this without DH. He is all I ever thought him to be and 10,000 times more. Thanks, my love!

So, let the holidays begin - let there be joy and love and all the rest at this time and throughout the new year to come. And keep your knitting close, it will help you through the good, the bad and ugly of each day. KNIT ON!!!!

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks....

Well, there's only a few hours to go and we here in the U.S. will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Although this day has special significance for us in the states, I find myself giving thanks for so many people and things that have no connection to this country. To all my friends from around the world, whether we've ever met in the 3-D world or just in cyberspace you have all enriched my life. Which brings me to saying that I am thankful for the World Wide Web. I know so many people, have experienced so many things, and learned so much about this precious planet of ours because of those three little letters (www.) that take me anywhere I want to go. It is such a pleasure and blessing to live in this time and place.

Tomorrow will bring the turkey, the dressing, the cranberry sauce, the pumpkin pie and much more food than any of us have the need to consume. The abundance is overwhelming. However, there are so many that have none, just like the 4th little piggy in the nursery rhyme. So, I ask that we all give just one can, one hour, one hand knit, or one dollar to help someone in need. Not just now at this time when we think about giving, but I send out a challenge to give "Just One...." each month of the year. By this time next year the blessings in your life will be ever abundant  and perhaps the lives of 12 others will be better than they are now. On Friday of this week, I will donate one bag of food to our local shelter. In December I will donate one knitted blanket to a new mother and child at the local hospital. Those things are confirmed, now I will consider my giving for the rest of the year and I will keep you all updated in hope that it will spur us all on to grab the hand of someone in need and lift them up.

To everyone, everywhere - whether you live in the United States or elsewhere - Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Apple Cup Throwdown....

Morning all - It's a lovely November morning here in the Midwest. Our backyard is full of lovely Autumn leaves and the sun is shining. I'm on my way to a book fair to support the local theater group and tonight Dave and I are going to see the theater's children's rendition of "Robin Hood." The children always do a remarkable job on their productions and I'm sure we will be well entertained. All in all it should be a lovely day.

I know that the muse spoke to you all earlier in the week. I'm finally caught up with my knitty responsibilities and have been allowed to use the computer once again. That muse of mine can be a stern task mistress - she really loves those high heeled black knee boots! Anyway, I have started a project and thought perhaps I was going to be caught up well short on the deadline, but I now know that I may be able to eek it out.

Dave and I lived in Seattle for most of our adult lives as I may have mentioned. While the state of Washington has several wonderful universities and colleges of higher learning, the University of Washington (Huskies) and the Washington State University (Cougars) have a very long standing rivalry. UW is located in Seattle and WSU is across the mountains in Pullman. Every year they hold a football game called the "Apple Cup." It is usually the weekend before or of Thanksgiving. The local TV anchors wear their school colors and the throw some generally good humored banter back and forth for about a week prior. And let's just say, you had better take up sides or someone will conscript your behind and throw their preferred colors around your neck. As Dave and I are not from Washington, we chose WSU when we moved to town as we had both attended Illinois State University in our youth. So, we would put on our crimson/white/black garb and yell "Go Cougs" on game day. Then I went and did something that changed the balance of our "Apple Cup" affiliation for the rest of our lives. I decided to return to school and get some more book learning and a couple degrees along the way. Where did I attend??? Well, we lived in Seattle, and it just so happened only about 2 miles from UW. I was going to be an official Husky. Oh the horror!!! My fellow Cougar friends would actually shake their heads and tisk, tisk me. Now listen, you figure it out, 2 miles to class or 6-8 hours over the mountains. Logically it makes sense to go to UW, but some friends actually said I should move to Pullman and come home on the weekends. DH was not appreciative of that idea. So, in order to pay homage to both schools, I would wear purple and gold on the years the game was in Seattle and crimson and black when it was in Pullman. Trust me when I say, no one was happy with my decision. Game day become a bit interesting in that old Chinese curse kind of way for about 3-4 years.

Well, now we zip forward in time and DH and I are in the Midwest. We could go back to cheering for ISU, but our hearts are still with the teams in Washington for now. So, this year in order to honor both schools I am knitting myself an "Apple Cup" scarf. Half in Husky colors and half in Cougar colors. As you can see I've just started it, but it is a quick pattern and for some reason known only to the Game Day deities the Cup will be played on December 4th this year. The latest date in the history of the game. Just enough time to knit my fingers numb and get the scarf completed for wearing during the game. Hurrah!!!

Any sports rivalries in your family?????

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Doing the Continental.....

Many moons ago when the earth was young and knitting was done with rib bones and whatever material we could make into string, I learned to knit using the English method. I am a lefty and my poor gran almost collapsed from exhaustion while trying to teach me - we finally settled on her teaching me to quilt and decided to leave the knitting lessons to someone else.

One of my earliest memories is when I am about 3-4 years old and finding a skein of red yarn and two red needles and instruction book in my mother's closet. Apparently at some point in her life, she had tried to learn to knit - gave up and stuffed those lovely red needles and yarn away into the land of forgotten pastimes. When I found them I was so intrigued, I wanted to do this thing called knitting. As mother could not teach me and I could not read more than a few words - I had no idea how to proceed. That did not keep me from trying. I would sit and make the motions that I had seen other knitters make - click click, click click..... (no yarn involved at this stage.) Then time would pass and I would pull out my treasure and try wrapping the yarn around the needles - striving to figure out this mysterious act of making cloth with sticks and string.

Then when I was about 5 my granny taught me to crochet. Cool - I could do something with yarn and a funny hooked stick. Yeah!!! However, it was not knitting - so when my gran gave up I was broken hearted. As the years rolled by, I became quite proficient at crochet - I taught, I designed, but I was never quite satisfied. I wanted to knit!!!!

I finally signed up for lessons - I had asked the teacher in advance if she could teach a lefty (I had been turned down by many others so I was not expecting great things.) I was told that teaching a left-handed individual was no more difficult than teaching a right-handed individual. Cool!!! I no longer had the original red yarn of my mother's, but I had the needles (size US 8's apparently.) I took those ruby red jewels, bought a new skein of better quality red yarn and went to class. Oh my, oh dear, perhaps it was harder to teach lefty. The method was Continental. The other six people in the class were happily, "getting it." I was making knots! Knots, knots, more knots. At first the instructor thought it was from being a crocheter. Shock, horror - why hadn't I said I was a crocheter (said in a hushed appalled voice.) Honestly, I didn't think it would matter, if anything I thought I'd have a leg up, I could already use yarn in some way. Well, I might as well have worn a big red "C" on my chest. I was marked!!! I am sure that I noticed the other students scooting their chairs back from the table just a little. Let's give the "crocheter" some room.... I could feel it. I felt like I had been shunned. Thank goodness, the instructor decided that I could stay and she would work more closely with me and see what habits I had to unlearn - honestly!! For all of my fellow brothers and sisters of the hook - I say show your hooker pride and don't let anyone shun you for your chosen art form!!!! Here's to Hooker Pride!!! Hurrah!!!

Well, it was decided that it could have been my handedness or my crocheting, but something was causing me to knot, not knit. The instructor finally gave in and said she would try one more method with me - the English method. I was a natural English throwing , knitter. I WAS A KNITTER!!!!!! Hurrah!!!!

It has been many, many years since that epiphany and I have never really thought to much about methods. Oh I know hat there is a secret war going on between the Continental and English camps. There is probably a little shunning in the background as well, but they seem to keep everything on a civil footing. When I teach, I show a video of the Continental and then teach the English method. I have been assured from those lessons years ago that I would never be able to knit the Continental, so I have never tried on my own. Until now...... (hee hee hee.)

I've always loved a good challenge and the muse has put the idea in my head that I should give this other method a go. She keeps saying it's faster, easier, blah, blah, blah.... And then she planted the bomb...This morning I sat down with my coffee to watch an episode of "Knitty Gritty" from the DIY channel. The program is no longer airing new episodes, but I am recording the old ones for myself. And it just so happened the the episode I  watched this morning had a woman showing her project and she was doing the Continental. SLOWLY..... In fact her demo was at a pace in which I could see exactly what she was doing. I thought, ok grab the sticks and give a try. See what happens, no one needs to know. Well, I be danged, it may not be pretty, it may not be right good, but I'm doing the Continental, baby!!!! Me the former "crocheter." And to top it off, I even purled. OMG!!!! Yes, I am doing the knitty dance. Not because I can do this method, but because I figured it out and proved to myself that I can do anything - I may have to do it my way, but I'll get there.

Even though this felt like I had never held the sacred sticks before in my life and my working yarn keeps falling off my fingers, I'm getting there. Practice, that's all it takes. I may never switch over to this method completely, but who knows. For now I will knit a little each day in a new color in order to check my progress and we'll see how it goes. I'll throw in a picture now and again so that you can follow along. I think I will make it my 2011 knitting challenge. Then I can teach in both methods, use either method and my brain will be stronger for having learned a new technique (one way to fight off the Alzheimer's don't ya know.)

I'm really interested in hearing about other knitting or crocheting war stories. Pass them on and remember just have fun and Knit On or Hook On!!!!

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Headlines From The "Muse".....

Hello Everyone - This is Muse. I wanted to try my hand at writing and as the Green Girl is off working on one of my latest ideas, I thought I'd just drop you all a note. Honestly, I will not let the Green Girl write again until she finishes her two Baker's Dozen squares. She's had a lot going on in the life department lately and she needs to get caught up. However, I'll be around all day, so if you want to chat, share your muse's latest brilliant project just pop me a comment.

When the Green Girl gets back, she will hopefully have her first You Tube - "How To" technique video. It has to do with double pointed needles. Intrigued you didn't I????

 So, as the Green Girl would say,
Peace and joy to you all...
The Muse.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Presto -Chango... Now the Kntting is in Great Shape......

When last we met, The Green Girl was diligently trying to create an Angel Square for the Baker's Dozen Group. "Try" being the operative word as she frogged the square 12 times. When she finally thought she had it right, she sent out the little blog thread - showing the picture - confident that this would be the last of the frogging and she would be able to complete the square quickly. The best laid plans.....
Original Square - Frogged 13 times!
 It is now Monday of the next week and let's just forget that dark blue square from before shall we. It was kindly frogged for a 13th time and the yarn was put to rest in the stash for later use. No matter what I did it just kept growing and growing all with the same number of stitches. Incredibly frustrating!!!  Maybe for three days I actually lost my knitting juju. Maybe I ticked off the muse and she laid a little curse on my sticks and string. Whatever it was, that square was just not meant to be - no way, no how!!! 
New Square - Yarn: Sensations - Cuddle in Aqua Blue

Back to the stash and there hidden in the back of the last box was this DK weight aqua blue yarn - I think it was meant to be part of baby layette, but what the heck, no babies for me and none on the way that I know of for family and friends so let's give it a whirl for the square. Once again, I switched up  the pattern and from the very start it came out at 12 inches and has not budged once. Yeah - Let's Celebrate This!!!! Presto -Chango and away we go. Note: Last evening I was horribly upset due to our current unemployment status and something that happen at the market to the point of setting off an anxiety attack- never try to knit anything but garter stitch when you are that upset - I had to frog 6 rows (twice) to get back on track and that only happened after the meds kicked in. Oh the things you get thrown in life. Grr.....


Well, I'm slightly past half way on the square and it should go in the mail by Wednesday. It is suppose to end up being part of a shawl, so I hope it works. If  -not the recipient can frog it and make her own pattern - put a fork in me I'm done!!!

The good part of this day occurs in about an hour. A dear friend, Sandy is treating me to a lovely cup of coffee at the local book store as a little cheer-up. She is a precious soul and I'm honored to be her friend.

What are some of your recent knitting escapades????

Peace and joy to you all...
The Green Girl.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lies, Is All Lies, the Knitting Is In Great Shape....

Or so I thought! Let's just get this right out in the open, swatches lie. They pretend to be all upright and truthful and play guide to the work that is come, but they lie! I am for the most part a true swatcher. Even though my Baker's Dozen Square group laughs at me because I swatch for squares, there is a method to my madness. I don't do a full on 4x4 swatch for a square, but I do enough to see if I've cast on enough stitches and I do enough to see where I am inch-wise on the vertical so I know how many times to repeat my pattern. I suppose that I should let you know that I do not work from a pattern for a square. I take a stitch pattern that I like and work it into a square. I have a pretty good idea of what to do if I'm working with a size 7US needle as I use those to test knit everything in my design collections. Outside of that size, I work a swatch instead of guess.

So, two days ago I started a lacy square for the BD group - it is an angel assignment for a neighbor to the north up in Canada. I was actually quite happy about this one as all the other members have asked for worsted weight/acrylic yarns with good solid patterns so that they can make lovely little blankets.Now, that is totally cool, no problemo there - they are quick, fun and thus far have been appreciated by all my knitty friends. However, this particular request came from a lady that is making shawls with her squares and requesting sock or DK weight yarn in shades of blue. Don't they sound pretty? Well, as you might guess the muse started jumping around, singing her little lace songs (don't ask me to repeat them she can be a little well, interesting in her musical endeavors. She may secretly have wanted to be a musical muse, but let's say her talent was elsewhere.) Before I knew it, Muse had the stash closet ripped apart and was tossing all the balls of sock yarn into the air, juggling them, petting them, (I think the muse needed a break from all the collection design work she's been doing, it was getting a little stuffy in this studio - poor muse!) Then I stepped in and played bad cop. You see the recipient of the square has an aversion to green - can't imagine, but hey to each our own, so no green. Most of my blue sock yarn has some form of green- light green, seafoam, heathered, it's all right there. So, I kept vetoing the yarn and Muse was getting a little out of sorts. She started tossing the balls at my head (thank goodness they are somewhat soft, but still she has a wicked fast ball.) Anyway, she had tossed one that I happened to grab and it was a solid sapphire blue with a lovely sparkle running through it. It was a Vanna's Glamor yarn in sapphire. Lovely - soft - solid blue!!! Perfect. Time to decide on a stitch and do a swatch.

I chose a basic open work stitch broken up by the garter stitch. Simple, lovely and easy to add into the shawl that it was destined to become. My swatch told me that I would need 60 stitches for the 12" width and 12 repeats vertically to make 12x12 square. Simple right??? Oh you know what's coming, I've told you already, but in case you're arriving late to the party - SWATCHES LIE!!!

Last night I am what looks to be 1/2 way through the project. Good time to do a check measurement - hmmm...hmmm....what????sh** sh**sh**- it's 13.5" across and 9 repeats has only given me 7" in height. Maybe I have pulled it and that's how I got 13.5", let's try again. Calm, calm.... Remeasure - 13.5" x 7" NO....................... So, as I sit there watching Dancing With the Stars and while DH sits quietly next to me reading, I slip the needles from the square and I frog the whole thing!!!! I wrap the yarn, rub my eyes to the point of blindness and start again. Oh I should say I re-measured while still on the needles and found that my stitch count per inch was indeed different than the swatch. I recast the square using 50 stitches, changed up the pattern a little to take out some of the growth factor and began a new. Oh, this is bound to be a better square anyway, right??? (We have to tell ourselves these things or risk the chance of losing our ever loving minds.)

So, today I will knit said square and in order to keep my universe at peace and in harmony, I'm making a lasagna for dinner. I'd like to say that I have been cured of my swatchiness, but I haven't and I now know that they will probably lie to me again, but in this relationship I choose to be co-dependent for the sake all of my future sweater recipients.

Peace and joy to you....
The Green Girl.
 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Haiku Me, Haiku You...

Wow - the Yarn Harlot is burning down the internet highway. Her current blog is a contest - write a haiku about casting on and binding off. I've been trying to download for 20 minutes, but keep getting "Sever Error." I'll bet she doesn't do that again soon. Poor thing, all she wanted to so was share her book bounty with the other yarn harlots (I say that in lower case, as Stephanie is the only real Yarn Harlot.) Well, here is my haiku, just for you (oh, I'm all about the  rhyme now - look at me fancying myself a poet).


Cast on, Bind off, done!
Sing: That's what it's all about!
Do the knitty dance!!!! 

Peace and joy to you all...
The Green Girl.

Knitters: Knowing and K-nice and K-loving....

In other words, knitters are knowing, nice and loving people. I have written recently that life is a bit shaky right now, but it will come back into balance eventually. Not sure when, but I have faith that it will. Many of my friends have offered their words of support and one has offered to have DH and I as part of their family for the Thanksgiving holiday. However, there is one person, a woman (Lara) that really doesn't know me from Eve, whom I have met and had a brief chat with in a Ravelry forum. Through an e-mail, I shared that I would have to put a future purchase on hold as DH and I have lost our jobs. That's all no details, just the facts. Well, how should she reply, but to say, "If you don't have any yarn to knit in your stash, let me know and I'll send you some of mine." Simple and matter of fact. I'm sorry, I have no witty come back for this,all I can say is that I was touched beyond words. I replied that my stash was abundant and that I was fine, but thanked her wholeheartedly for her offer. She replied that if that changed to let her know.

This got me to thinking about the different threads I read in the Ravelry forums - I see knitters and crocheters coming to each others rescue all the time. It is like being part of a world-wide sisterhood & brotherhood of the "sticks and strings." Then I realized just how much this "hood" does for all people not just its members. They knit hours and hours to make blankets for the newborns, homeless and hungry. They make tea cozy's to support medical research, Chemo caps to help those fighting the battle of their lives. They are truly an army of giving and loving humans. They can teach us all a huge lesson, regardless of the amount of time we spend doing for our families, making life work in some way that keeps us off the edge, time can be found to help someone we do not know and will never meet. They are the Golden Rule writ large!

So, whether you are a member of this "hood" or no hood, be a member of the "human hood" and give back just once. I think you'll find yourself hooked on giving! Believe me when I say it will bring you great joy and serve as a daily reminder that we are all equal.

Peace and joy to you....
The Green Girl.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Yarn Harlots and Angels...

To say that it has been a rough couple of weeks is to say that hurricane Katrina was just a mild storm. She was not and it has not been an easy couple of weeks. However, as DH husband has told me over the past 29 years, if your legs walk and your lungs breathe on their own when you wake each morning, it's a good day. Too true!!! And then there are the little things that make me smile out of the blue, like the square I finished yesterday for the Baker's Dozen Group. This was an Angel Assignment for another group - the member of the month had no special requests other than the yarn be of a worsted weight. No problems!!!

Yarn Harlot One Row Pattern - I Love This Yarn in Seablue Tweed
So, I'm sitting on the sofa watching Shane in the background with DH.  Shane, is an old Alan Ladd movie and it is one of the three major human stories told in a million ways - "Stranger Comes to Town" or in this case, "Stranger Comes to the Homestead." Well, DH is reading and watching and I'm knitting. Then I just start to laugh to myself - it hits me that I am knitting a Harlot pattern for an Angel assignment. Now I know that the Yarn Harlot has a specific reference to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and her comedic take on writing about knitting, but it just hit me as funny this juxtaposition of the two words. This is just one of those little things in life that brings about a pleasant moment when the rest of life around you seems to be on a not so pleasant binge. And this was enough to keep me smiling even when I had to frog 10 rows (and I thought I'd get through an entire project with no mishaps - what planet did I think I was on anyway?)

So, what makes you smile???

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time To Trek the Cascade Loop - Newest Pattern Info.



Hi Folks -
  I have just published my latest pattern on Ravelry - Cascade Loop Scarf or Cowl (both patterns come in the download.) This pattern sells for 5.00$ US. Part of the proceeds of the sales will go to St. Jude Children's Hospital.
Here is the link to St Jude's if you are interested in knowing more about their work. http://www.stjude.org/
If you wish to purchase this pattern and you do not have a Ravelry account, please let me know and I can send the pattern via e-mail.
I hope you will enjoy making and wearing these projects as much as I have.

Peace and joy to you all...
The Green Girl.

 Cascade Loop

The Cascade Loop design is part of Oz Dust Designs, Autumn 2010 Northwest Trek design series. The Cascade Loop is a 400 mile scenic drive starting just north of Seattle, WA and leisurely winds through the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia River Valley, and the Wild West Territory of the Methow Valley. My husband and I made this an annual summer trip when we lived in Seattle. Along the drive you will discover the beauty of the forest, the grandeur, and ingenuity of the Grand Coulee Dam, the vineyards, and orchards of the Inland Empire and many other glorious natural formations along the Columbia River Valley. This makes a lovely 4-5 day driving vacation and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Do the Funky Chicken....

Morning everyone - at least it is morning here in my humble abode and the furnace just kicked on (yes we broke down.) There's a mighty chill in the air today - only 36F on the outside thermometer. Brrr..... Quite crisp! The sun also seems to have decided to stay inside and be warm today, so it is a bit overcast and gray at the moment. Lots to do today, but I wanted to share a little fun from yesterday before I get started and "THE LIST." I'm sure you all have one so, good luck to you...


Yesterday was election day for the mid-term political races here in the United States. Lots of last minute political bantering going on and on and on..... Some people woke this morning and are happy, some are sad and in the end, as DH always reminds me, we made governmental changes without guns being fired or blood being spilled. For that we should all be thankful.


Moving on... (I said this was fun so no more politics.) DH and I had an errand to run and decided to treat ourselves to lunch at the Grand Opening of Chick-fil-A. For all of you that live in the southern part of the U.S. you will instantly understand the draw this chicken restaurant has on all humans that have eaten there over the years. DH and I use to eat there when we lived in Pensacola almost three decades ago. It was worth the wait. The new restaurant opened about 3-5 days ago and we thought we would be safe to go without running the chance of long lines. OK- that was just wrong thinking - little did we know that the place had acted like a magnet for every person that had ever eaten at a Chick-fil-A. There weren't lines, there were LINES, two outside tents for the overflow to have a place to sit, and children that were off from school because of the election (when did that start by the way - we never got to miss school because of elections) and traffic wardens  guiding the hundreds of cars to parking spaces and areas off the property. Holy Chicken (notice I didn't say cow, wouldn't want to offend the Chick!!!) For a second I thought we were in line to see, oh I don't know, you pick a celebrity that you would wait in a line for and insert here_________.

However, I must say the employees had it going on - the place was working like my knitting needles when I'm in the zone - flash, flash, flash - done, thank you, out the door...next! Best of all, it was worth the 25+ year wait to eat that chicken. It's not a heavy breading, or a huge bunch of crunchy stuff, it's light and real honest to goodness chicken and then there are the mouth watering, lip smacking waffle fries. Oh heavenly lord and all his saints and angels - those fries are a work of pure genius. Again, like the chicken, light and fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside. It's really a good thing that we will have to drive a good distance to get there, or I'd gain weight by the potato wagon. In the end we took our pictures to commemorate the day and had a lovely ride home. Truly the nicest part of the day was spending the time with Dave. What can I say, I love him.

So, go forth, do the funky chicken and enjoy eating one of your favorite treats - then get back to the holiday knitting. Time - it be a ticking.....

Peace and joy to you all.....
The Green Girl.