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...


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

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 ( 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

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
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

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


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.