Monday, February 28, 2011

For my Mates Downunder.....

Happy Monday!!! Hope you all have had a great weekend. I have once again separated my shoulder and rotator cuff on my right side. Spring is coming and I have started to come out of my hibernation and on Friday I thought a good way to pep up the old bod was to do two Pilates routines in one day. I've done it before, but this time it was a bad idea and the shoulder went snap, crackle, pop! That stopped my cleaning of the studio for Saturday in its tracks. However, I found that I could knit with little to no pain because my right arm stays pretty stationary when I knit. So, with ice on my shoulder I snuggled up on the sofa and finished my little eyelet and lace cowl.
It's still pinned for blocking in this picture, but you can get the general idea of the pattern. And with full intention, I actually made the i-cord that is woven through the neck. As you may already know, I hate making i-cord. I usually use a little Embellish Knit i-cord maker, but this time I made it the old fashioned way.

I made the i-cord long enough that it can be tied in different ways so that you can enhance the type of outfit being worn. Above it is tied in a traditional bow, which is feminine and enhances the knit design.
And in this picture, I've knotted the i-cord for a slightly sporty look. You can also add a pin to the neck for another look.

In the end I like how this turned out. I'll be putting this pattern on Ravelry tomorrow and selling it for 1.99$ US. The proceeds will go to the earthquake victims in New Zealand. My friend, Jane lives there and although she and her family are doing fine, I want to help the people of the area in some way. If you don't have a Ravelry account, I'll also be listing this on Etsy and E-bay or you can contact me directly. You'll be giving to a good cause and this will make great gifts.

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

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Hands of Time.....

Do you ever wonder about your ancestors?? It has been a passion of mine since I was a child to know them - know as much about them as I can - to try and understand their thinking and their choices - to try and know what came together to bring my collection of genes into this world. Perhaps it is one reason why I hold degrees in biology and ancient history and language. I just cannot get enough. I started tracing my heritage about 30-35 years ago, but never found all that much. Then came!!! The mecca for us family history nuts. And oh what a flood gate it opened up for me. I won't bore you with all the things I've found as in many ways I'm just a normal American girl, but there is a mystery that has been solved that is directly attached to moi' and I think you'll like the story.....

I am left-handed. I understand fully that I was given a right hand so that I would look like all the other babies laying in the hospital bassinets, but the right hand I was given was for the most part non-functional.Oh it looks nice with a bracelet and ring or a watch, but put a pen in it and it acts like a launching pad. Nothing works very well when in my right hand. That's okay though, we have learned to get along and have had a pretty easy relationship for the past 48 years. I get zero sympathy from family, as there is no one - not a soul on either side of my family that is left-handed. Just me and me alone for at least 4-5 generations. That makes you a real oddball at all the family functions -"Put her on the end so she won't hit the person next to her with her elbow while we eat." "Don't let her cut that - she can't use the right handed scissors (actually I could, I never got that- they worked fine in my left hand.) And the list goes on and on that I could not be taught this or that because I was lefty. Then once I had a teacher tell me that being a lefty made me smarter and more artistic. Well, the jury may still be out on both counts, but that comment gave me confidence.

Then about two nights ago while weaving my way through the past, I found a census from the 1700's and on that census was one of the greatest surprises of my life. It stated - Katherine Mullins - born: Ireland - arrived: six months ago - head of house (widow) - occupation: LEFT-HANDED KNITTER!!!!! And the angels sang!!!!!! I have a many times great-grandmother that was not only a lefty, but a knitter as well. Someone else like me - I can only conclude that she was  strong woman to have come from Ireland alone with her children to start a life here. She holds her needles like me, her left hand ached after long hours of knitting like mine do. I am not a complete oddball - I am part of her - her abilities skipped many generations and landed in me. I'm as happy about this as I can be - silly maybe, but for me and me alone a little inspirational. Now I have a little niece, Kate (Katherine) and I am waiting to see if she is a lefty as well. I think granny would be happy to know us both - I have loved meeting her over all these intervening years.

Who are you like???

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

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fresh and Pretty....

Happy Saturday!!!! We woke this morning to absolutely no snow for the first time since November. DH has informed me that we may get as much as one inch tomorrow or it may all be rain. We shall see - regardless I know Winter is not over yet.
That has not kept me from diving into a little Spring knitting. If you've seen the posts from earlier this week, then you will know that I had a good knit followed by a good frogging session. However, not to be detoured I started over and have now finished what I think of as a pretty little Spring lace cowl.
I did not intend for this to be a cowl when I began so it was not knitted in the round, but I like the way I put it together in the end. All's well...... If nothing else this was a nice little pick-me-up piece of knitting and a good way to get me thinking about the warm weather to come.
Lace being blocked - still a rectangle

Completed cowl - yarn: Omega Stella (Limon)
Peace and joy to you all...
The Green Girl.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Round Two....

Well, the best laid plans and all that.... yesterday's lace was frogged back to the needle at about 7:30pm last evening. Lesson: do not watch an information rich documentary and try to keep track of 26 lines of a lace pattern - you'll be sorry!!! And before anyone asks, yes I was keeping track of my rows with a pen and paper. My brain seemed to miss about 18 rows and repeated the first nine rows three times. Never registered until I laid everything out on the carpet to see how things were coming together. Then by the time I ripped back I was so frustrated that I just frogged the entire thing - 21 inches of lovely Spring green lace. DH gave me a quick glance and turned away - he knows better than to comment. So, disaster not averted - disaster "verted" full-on right into the bloody wall. Smash, bang, crash, ZOW!!!!! Ugh!!!

After a few deep breaths I calmly went back to the studio grabbed a set of needles one size smaller and started again. I suppose you could say the disaster allowed me to re-think and make some changes that I like far better, but that would be putting a positive spin on the situation and I'm not quite ready to do that just yet. Changes: I added a garter stitch border and changed the needle size. I'm liking "Spring Lace: Partie Deux" so far - it looks a little more thought out and refined, not as if I grabbed a skein of yarn, a set of needles and stitch dictionary and just started knitting, which is in fact what I did when this whole project began.

To explain even further how in a zone I was between the knitting and the watching last evening, I will tell you a little story. At some point, don't really know when, I couldn't find my second needle. Did it fall into the cushion - onto the floor - was I sitting on it??? Where did my 10" piece of blue pointed plastic go??? It wasn't stuck in the book or in the skein. Then DH looks over to me and says, "Sweetheart, what's in your mouth?" Oh good grief! I had been sitting there looking for this needle for well on to twenty minutes and the whole blooming time it was stuck between my lips!!! Then I started laughing hysterically because in the back of my mind I seemed to remember the Yarn Harlot having a similar story, but her needle was stuck behind her ear and I believe a rental car and some neighbors were involved. I guess this just goes to show the level of dedication (not lunacy as some might think) that we knitters have for our art.

OK - back to the laundry, cleaning, writing, and of course the knitting. Do you have a goofy knitting story to share?

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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring is in the air.....

Hi ya - I claim amnesty in advance for my poor typing today - as the muse wrote earlier, I have a bummed up elbow, shoulder and hip. Lesson - don't overextend your arm into a below freezer with a door on rollers - it can apparently only end badly. I'm moving kinda slow at the junction, but today has been better than the last few. Thanks to everyone that sent me private messages wishing me a speedy recovery - they were all appreciated.

I know that the muse mentioned something about inspiration for Spring knitting and I too have been hit by Spring fever. The outside temperature has been slowly rising over the past week and I just could not sit without doing some sort of knitting, so I pulled out some spring green yarn and started a lace cravat for the new season. It's been a very slow slog since I cannot move the right arm all that well. My friend, Anna says that I don't know how to slow down, she knows all my secrets to well - don't worry Anna, I'm taking it as slow as humanly possible, for me. Anyway, I'm in love with this yarn, it's that green color of a fresh new leaf bud. Not quite full on green, not yellow, kind of a really soft lemon-lime. The skein that I have is an odd lot that was on sale for 99 cents. I had no idea what I would make with it when I bought it, but I knew I had to have it - it escaped the stash this week when I knew I would love a new lace neck warmer for chilly Spring days. The pattern is a lace pattern from a Vogue stitch dictionary (one of my favorite sources for inspiration.) As with most lace, you cannot tell what that mess is suppose to be until it is blocked, so I will post new pictures upon completion, but I wanted you all to see this yarn. If I had more of it, I would have made a wrap for my light-weight Spring/Summer dresses. Now, something in the back of my brain keeps telling me that we are still going to get one more Winter blast. That's fine, I love Winter, but for now and in preparation for the lovely soft days of Spring that will arrive in their good time, I shall knit lace and dream of my trees budding into their full glory for another year.

Are you all starting your Spring planning? What are your Spring dreams??

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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Velentine's Day Musings......

Happy Valentines Day !!!!

Hi ya - It's the muse here. The Green Girl had a bit of a kitchen accident yesterday and can only use one arm - her right arm is pretty useless at the moment. So, I decided to take this chance and send you all Valentine's wishes and a bit of "musment." That's just a little touch of my special kind of inspiration. May each of you have visions of lovely spring knits today. It's not that far away and today might be a nice day to break out the cottons, linens, and silk in preparation for some lovely spring fashions and gifts. The Green Girl is working on a special wrap for a niece that is marrying in the summer (that is when she can hold two needles again.) What other kinds of things might you want to prepare for:
How about a loosely knitted beach cover-up
An Easter dress for a favorite little girl
Maybe some Spring animal toys for the children in your life
Don't forget the light weight chemo caps for a local clinic
Any spring or summer babies coming to your family and friends - great time to start that little blanket

There the ball is rolling and now you can imagine away - The Green Girl would love to hear about your Spring time knitting plans. And don't forget to comment on her Valentine's Treat blog for a chance to win a needle cozy and pick-up the quick and easy pattern.

Peace and joy to you all - with love,
The Muse

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Treats.....

Well, we are only a few days away from the official day on the calender that celebrates - LOVE - LOVE - LOVE - All We Need is Love..... yep I think the Beatles basically got that right. So, I've been wondering for about a week now what I can do for all of you to show a little love. It came to me as I was finishing up a book review, a pattern that will work for all of my fellow knitters and crocheters. A needle/hook  holder. It's a simple pattern and I'm happy to share it with you now. It's a great little gift, a great way to use up some of your odd bits a stash yarn, and makes a nice organizational tool for your dpns or crochet hooks.

Materials Needed:
yarn - #4 weight wool - color of choice
needles - 4 - US #5 dpns or size for gauge
1 snap and one decorative button of choice
tapestry needle, sewing needle to fit through the holes of the snap
thread for sewing on the button and snap

Gauge: This is more of guideline than a rule. 21 sts - in stockinette stitch knit in the round = 2" across on front and 2" across on the back. Length = 8.5" when flap is closed and 10" when flap is open.

CO 21 sts and connect in the round. Make sure not to twist your stitches.
Knit until the tube is 8.5" long
BO 11 sts
Place remaining sts on one needle
Row 1 - Knit
Row 2 - K2 - Purl across to last two sts - K2
Row 3 - Knit
Row 4 - K2 - Purl across to last two sts - K2
Row 5 - Knit
Row 6 - ssk - knit across to last two sts - K2tog
Row 7 - Knit
Row 8 - Knit
Row 9 - same as row 6
Row 10 - 13 Knit

BO remaining sts

Finishing: Weave in ends - At bottom of the tube use yarn to stitch tube closed.
Sew on half of the snap to the inside of the flap and one half to the front of the tube.
Sew on button to the front of the flap - button is for decoration only.
If you want to add an indicator so that you know the size of the needles/hook in the sleeve - take a contrasting piece of yarn and duplicate stitch the number of stitches that indicate the size. Ex: US size 4 dpns - duplicate four sts.

Now, as an extra little treat - because it is getting onto the day of love after all - for all the readers that leave a comment about your favorite Valentine memory - I'll pick 5 people at random and send each person a needle holder made be me, The Green Girl, especially for you. You have until the end of the Valentine's Day to leave your comment. I'll announce the recipients the day after and give the information for you to contact me with your mailing address.

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

Zip,Zip, Zoom......

Zip, Zip, Zoom = quick, fast, correct, smooth:
  reading - check
  cooking - check
  cleaning - check
  knitting - un-check -Oh un-check big time!!
I have a saying - Zip, Zip, Zoom! It's kind of my motto in that I multitask pretty well, with a descent speed. So, a lot of folks seem to think that I'm a booster for "speed knitting" as well. Well, confession time, not so much.

Here's my motto for the speed of my knitting - "Slow Groove.." I knit to de-stress - I knit to  let the muse out to play - and none of that goes well with speed. I'm not saying that people that like to speed knit are doing it wrong, live and let live - you like to speed knit - rock on!!! However, this idea of speed knitting leads me to worry a little about new knitters that think that speed knitting is the way they have to knit. I get asked quite a lot by new knitters to help them increase their speed and decrease their mistakes. For my knitting, speed knitting = mistakes, anxiety and basically a bad time. I ask new knitters to take it easy on themselves especially at first. It's the old saying you can't run before you walk. Walk a while and then if you decide that speed knitting is a major plus for you, ask a speed knitting expert, they're out there and ready to help. You need someone that understands the pros and techniques of speed knitting to help you out on this one.

You want to read the great novel in one night - I'm your girl! You want to knit a sweater in 2days - again, not so much!  Many apologies for my lack of ability on this front.

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

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Well it looks as though the blizzard of 2011 has pasted for the most part. It is still snowing, but not as much as yesterday. Now comes the sub-zero temps for a couple of days and then more snow over the weekend. And we all know what that means - SNOW-DAY!!!! aka - KNITTING DAY!!!! Yep - that's right, time to have a little "knit-in." Perhaps a little romp in the snow as well - that is if I can find a way out of the door. The drifts are 3-4 feet high so that's going to take some strategic planning. DH got out the door to walk to work this morning. His lab is only a mile away and apparently there are millions of dollars mid-way through the process that he'd rather not toss down the drain on his second week. Really bad form! Now that I think about it, I'm not sure how he got out of the house. There are no tracks walking away from any door. Has he created a molecular transporter and forgot to mention it over dinner?? Hmmm... Mystery.

Our dear neighbor, Ed has since taken his snow blower to our driveway and cleared it off. He and DH are always helping one another in this way. The kids across the street were out playing and trying to clear their parents car from a big drift. So, that's what you have kids for - makes perfect sense. They seem to be able to handle the cold better than my aging bones. And I know there is life here in the Winter Country as I have already seen bunny tracks in the fresh snow this morning. I'll put out some carrots for them later today. Again, that is after I find a way out of the house.

Weather aside - I'm a little stoked as this is my month to the be MOM (member -of - the- month) in my Baker's Dozen group. I'll start receiving lovely little squares for my blanket in a couple weeks. Hurrah!!! That also got me to thinking about what I would do in regard to knitting on this fine snow-day and I think I'll work ahead on a few blocks for the group and I have a secret wrap in the making for a special person. Oh and I want to work on the fingerless gloves I started two weeks ago and seemed to have forgotten that they exist. They may get fingers now, as I've lost one of my good gloves. This is the second thing I've lost in the last month - first the phone and now my favorite glove. I can see them vividly in my mind on the last day they were in my possession, but they are no where to be found. I don't typically lose things, ever! My record is now broken quite in half since the glove incident, but I think that living in a time warp for the past few months has messed up my brain a little. We shall see if it returns as we re-enter the normal slip stream of life. Keeping fingers crossed. Thankfully my knitting skills have stayed in tack. Hurrah!!!

Ok - I should post a couple of pictures and sign off. Muse is dancing around and begging to play - it's a snow-day for her well and she thinks she's got the next big idea dying to be shared. We shall see. Enjoy the winter if you've got it and most of us in the US have it in spades.

Peace and joy to you...
The Green Girl