Happy Independence Day!

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Stinkymum is getting her patriot act on . . . check out her various red, white, and blue knit items. She just posts pictures - no patterns and, well . . . something to that scale would take more than a day or so to complete.

Help From Dating Sites in the UK

My knitting has took a small turn since hiring out a new dating website so I can find love again. Before I was really struggling with getting dates, but since using FuckSites.co.uk I have not found it hard at all. Dating was a struggle, but this made it easy. Now I have recommended to all my friends that they need to start using http://www.fuck-buddy.co.uk to improve their love life too.

Sooooooo - if you’d like to wear a bit of the colors for the parade today maybe you might want to stick with this simple patriotic ribbon. Simple - easy to do - and quick, also. You could get started right now and have one finished in time to head to the local parade and festivities.

Okay, I use google a lot - haven’t tried the new bing search yet. But, I typed in patriotic knitting and one of the links was this one to a book titled Rendezvous with Death by Mark W. Van Wienen. The page that popped up, as you can see, talks about the folks who knitted socks and other such things for the men who went to war - WWI, I believe, since the date is 1918.

Dating And Knitting Together

Anyway . . . reading down through this little section on knitting I came across the following:
In 1918 the New York Sun initiated a poetry contest with the express purpose of stimulating both this patriotic knitting and the composition of poems about it. From 12 May until 10 November the Sunday edition of the Sun published first, second, and third place winners and ten honorable mentions seleced by the editorial staff. The paragraph goes on to say that the poems were then published in 1919 as a book-length collection entitled Sock Songs.

The book is available - you can read more about it here. Juxtaposing the high literary art of well-known modernists with wartime verse by working men and women, soldiers, and pacifists, Rendezvous with Death collects an unprecedented range of American poetic responses to the Great War.

Fascinating. I never knew what a little dig through google would bring up.

One letter at a time

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Sometimes I come across the neatest things. This qualifies as one of them. It helps that the project combines two loves of mine . . . writing and knitting.

The Poetry Society in London is celebrating its centenary . . . it is one hundred years old this year. As part of the celebration they have put out a call for submissions . . . knitters from “all around” are asked to knit a poem (to be revealed in its full glory at the end of the year) one letter at a time.

You can register your interest by one of two ways:

To register your interest, send your contact details to:

Rebecka Mustajarvi
Email: officeassistant AT poetrysociety.org.uk
(please use @ instead of AT when sending your email). Or (if you don’t have email)

Post: PLEASE INCLUDE AN SAE
Rebecka Mustajarvi
Knit a Poem
The Poetry Society
22 Betterton Street
London
WC2H 9BX

Okay . . . those of you who have read my words here for any length of time know that something like this will just tickle my interest . . . right? Right!

My email is going out as soon as I finish this entry. I’ll let you know when I hear back and will even share with you pictures of MY letter, should I be accepted as one of the knitters.

Wonder what the poem will be? So hard to wait. I like things that can be done quickly - and well - in short amounts of time (one of the reasons I like dish cloths so much). Delayed gratification can be SO overrated, don’t you think?

More dish cloths

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Yesterday I told you about Jess at Sticks and Strings. Last night while watching SYTYCD (what??? You don’t know what that means? sigh. So You Think You Can Dance, of course) I cast on the Lake Ariel cloth. It is a super easy pattern of only four rows. It works up really pretty, but there is an error in the number to cast on. I’ve let Jess know, so she will likely change it soon. If you decide to try it before . . . or just want to make sure . . . it should be CO 41 (not 42) to make the pattern work out right.

I’m doing it in a cream color - hers was done in a gorgeous green - and I think it will look really nice when it is completed.

I’ve completed another tweed cloth and another petal cloth - I haven’t take pictures yet, but will post them when I do.

So, for now, I’ll share some more pictures of the cloths finished for the fall ladie’s retreat. This is the Lace Curtain cloth by Patricial Lawrence (meowmama).

This is a really super easy cloth to knit up. Again, it is a simple four row pattern stitch. You should know YO (yarn overs) and P2SSO (pass two, slipped stitches over). They are easy to catch on - and there is help out there for you if you need it.

Another beautiful cloth is the Lilacs on the Verandah cloth from Keeping You in Stitches.

I am drawn to this pattern firstly because I love lilacs - we had a huge bush next to our rental house when I was growing up. My mom loved flowers of all kinds and had roses, the lilacs, four o’clocks, and many others.

My own lilac bush here in Alaska has never bloomed. The moose keep it pretty well pruned and it has just never gotten there in all these years. At least I have a pattern to keep me in mind of the flowers.

Yeah, I know . . . lots of dish cloths - what else can I knit? Well, I am about out of dish cloth cotton so it may be time to dip into the sock yarn stash . . . . . . .

July first!

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Okay, I don’t know about YOU . . . but when we get to the fourth of July I am starting to think summer’s over, it’s almost time for school to start, what the heck happened to my summer?

Am I the only one? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

We are having a MUCH nicer summer this year than last - I think we only had ONE day of summer in 2008. This year? Absolutely gorgeous May and most of June - and July looks to follow along the same path. I am grateful for that - because, even though I am not much of a sun-loving person (allergies to uv rays) I do enjoy seeing it from inside my house.

There is NOTHING like a sunny day to lift any bits of gloominess.

But . . . this is not a weather blog - this is a knitting blog. So, while I am listening to the sound of mowers down the street and a neighbor blasting a young Michael Jackson across the street, I am here writing to all of you.

And, I’m going to send you somewhere else . . . yup, today I’m going to share some other knitters’ blogs with you.

First off, I’d like to introduce you to Jessica - at Sticks and String. It’s all about her, you know. It says so right there. Jess is one of our fearless leaders at the Dishcloth KAL over at ravelry. And, she has designed a couple of very cool cloths - I’m going to have to knit them.

Next is Snookie’s Oz. She’s a fellow Big Brother crazee - we’re in a pool together. She has a pretty neat tutorial, complete with pictures, of an I-cord bind-off procedure.

Lastly (for now), here is Diana’s Place. Diana is a BRAND NEW blogger so go on over and say hello and welcome her to the great big wide blog-o-sphere.

Leave a comment with your fave knitting/crafting space.

Nature’s colors

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I wish I could duplicate in yarn the colors God has given us in nature. I told you yesterday about our trip to Homer - the colors were spectacular in the sunlight! The greens of the Devil’s Club, the blue/lilac of the lupine growing alongside the highway, the whiteness of the clouds, the blues of the sky and ocean . . . we just cannot match it with our dyes and paints, I’m afraid.

And . . . patterns!!! the patterns of nature are sometimes so pure it makes your heart cry, you know? Take, for example, the gift we received as we were driving up a rutted gravel road toward the Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church (The Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church).

We are always on the look out for big game - bears, moose, caribou - because they are fun to photograph and they are also dangerous to vehicles. We look into the sky to see eagles soar. We look to the waves hoping to see beluga whales.

Today I chanced to look down at the gravel road just in time to see a sandpiper crossing in front of my car! As I stopped the car and fumbled for my camera I was chanting don’t move little guy, don’t move and trying to get hubby to see what I was seeing. I was blessed with a great shot - and can now marvel at the patterning in one of God’s small creatures.

———————————————-

and . . . just for fun . . . I finished another of the petal cloths - used a larger needle for this one so the cloth is a bit bigger. I also used two colors of yarn for this one - alternating with each petal. Turned out pretty cool I think.

Close Knit

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Hubby and I had an R&R day today. It’s my last Monday off in my end-of-the-fiscal-year catch-up on days off so we decided to take a run to Homer - at the end of the road.

Our family - two daughters - 7 grandchildren - 2 sons-in-law . . . is pretty close. Sometimes we are closer than other times, but that is normal for any family.

One of the things that we love to do is take one grandchild each week for a shopping trip/lunch trip/time to be with us trip. It is usually just to a restaurant (of the child’s choice), then to the local grocery for our weekly stock up.

This week, rather than that same old- same old, we decided to invite D to accompany us on our trip to Homer. He will also spend the night tonight. We have taken each of the grands except the youngest two on such trips - but he has never been able to come along. It was his time - his turn - and . . .

we all had a blast!

The weather was great - lots of sun - not too hot (although here in Kenai the temps soared into the low 70s making Kenai the state’s hot spot for the weather day). There was some ocean breeze, but not enough to keep us in the car when we got to the end of the road. We spent quite a bit of time sitting on a drift log watching a line of fishermen and women catching small flounder right off the beach.

We ate at Fat Olives - that boy ate all but one piece of his 12 inch pizza! (He ate that piece when we got home this evening!)

He is currently watching tv with his grandpa and I’m here to tell you how blessed I am. I trust you all have such “knitting” in your life as well.

Challenge!

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A challenge was posted in the dish cloth knit along group yesterday morning. The first person to complete FOUR specific dishcloths would be given two free skeins of dish cloth cotton yarn.

Well . . . I had not done the featured cloths before, and I am always up for something FREE, especially if it is of the yarny goodness variety. So, I copied off the patterns and settled down for some ME time . . . my own form of “self-care” that we preach to the guys who attend our Batterers Intervention Program re-education classes.

Hubby was working yesterday morning, so I would not be taking time away from him. I had yarn from the wally’s run he and daughter made a week ago. I had the laundry started. There was NO reason I could not settle in for some marathon knitting.

It helped that there were a couple of good movies on the telly yesterday as well. (Great Expectations with Robert DeNiro was one of them.)

By the time hubby had come home from work I had one cloth completed (first picture) and the next one well under way. I finished it after fixing and eating dinner - and while we watched tv together. (He really doesn’t care what I do - he just likes having me in the same room with him while he snores in his chair - lol)

I started the third cloth before going to worship service this morning - finished it afterwards while waiting for hubby to come home from work. (He works as a caregiver for two different agencies - part time.)

I cast on and completed the last cloth while cooking dinner this afternoon.

Competitive much?

Yup, that’s me. Challenge me and watch me go.

Here are the pics of the other three cloths:

Sock Summit

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Yes, you read the title right . . . it’s a Sock Summit! Held in Portland, Oregon August 6-9th at the Oregon Convention Center. There will be socks and socks galore . . . in fact, even the Big Sock might be there - that’s in the process of being arranged right now.

If you like to knit socks - if you like to talk socks - if you like to dance at a Sock Hop (ouch! that is an old, old, OLD term - but one I remember well) - then this is the place for you.

You could take classes while there: 2 at a time socks, crocheted socks (for those who would rather hook than play with sticks), learn to make beautiful beaded baby bootees . . . you have a class in mind? There is likely one there for you.

Of course, this isn’t cheap. On top of airfare to get to Portland (or fuel if you’re able to drive there from wherever you are), and hotel rooms, the registration costs follow:

Prices:

$70 A three hour half day class.
$140 A six-hour all day class.
$15 A “one hour wonder” featuring small techniques that can be learned in an hour.
$35 Lectures (Barbara Walker, Anna Zilboorg)
$25 The Luminary Panel, on Sunday afternoon, featuring Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Anna Zilboorg, Nancy Bush, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, Deborah Robson, Barbara Walker, Cat Bordhi, Lucy Neatby and Meg Swansen, with Tina Newton and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee moderating.
$20 The Sock Hop on Friday night.
$22 A ticket to the opening reception on Thursday evening.

Students will be able to sign up for as much or as little as they please, and materials fees for the classes will be extra—and optional, as much as we can. (We want you to be able to stash-dive to save money where possible.)

They are developing a Sock Museum as well - and for those of us who cannot travel to the summit . . . it is available online - and there’s a KAL, too! Check out how you can help build the museum (so to speak) with your sock knitting capabilities.

There’s a Sock Summit group at ravelry, too. Waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too much fun, yall!

Dish Cloth mania

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Of course, with all of the new yarny goodness . . . one must certainly make more cloths, right? Especially since I was working toward getting thirth cloths done . . . you noticed I said “WAS”? Yup - all thirty are now complete.

I don’t have pictures yet of the last few, but will share a couple more with you today.

This is the Kahili Bearer Lace cloth by Maile Mauch.

Mailie writes: The kahili of ancient times were used in the same fashion as the royal nobility scepters; announcing the presence of nobility. Kahili were also used as fans and fly whisks.

Decorated with feathers, silk and shells today’s kahilis are made of dyed feathers, satin and the flowers of the Island it represents. Hand kahili’s known as kahili pa’a lima or kahili lele were used in the days of Captain Cook’s arrival to the islands. Many paintings show hawaiian women fanning themselves with these ornate feather kahili’s.

You can find a picture of the “black royal” kahili by clicking here.

I really enjoyed doing this cloth - a word of caution, though . . . don’t try knitting this pattern if you are watching an intense movie on tv (like Taken). I had to set it aside and later frog that cloth because I made so many mistakes. (great film, btw, just intense)

So, make sure you have the time to get into the pattern and then enjoy.

This cloth really speaks to me - I loved my visit to the Islands in 2004 - hubby and I visited Hilo and Kona for our 35th anniversary. When I think of the Islands I think warmth - both in the weather and in the people - fragrant breezes - the smell of island flowers (I love plumeria) - the mountains/volcanoes - the ocean - the people we met.

I am hoping to return for my 60th birthday - and hope one or both daughters can go, too. Maybe February?

When in Anchorage

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Hubby and daughter went to Anchorage middle of last week for an investments seminar. In the meantime I was knitting up a storm - trying to get all the cloths for the Fall Ladies Retreat finished - and chatting about knitting with a friend . . . Hi, Ms. J!

She told me about a variegated red yarn that she had just purchased while in Anchorage at wally’s. Now, when hubby and I were at wally’s just the week prior I had not found the yarn - they are in the process of remodeling the store - so I was a bit sad I hadn’t gotten that particular color.

Call them and tell them you want them to get some before they leave town
, she so wisely said. I’ll email you the color name when I get home, she continued. And, that she did.

Just about the time I received her email daughter text messaged me with pictures from their breakfast spot - so I replied with the name of the yarn and the plea to bring home a ball of Sugar N Cream Fiesta.

This is what I received on their return: not one ball, but EIGHT balls of yarny goodness! And, not one Fiesta, but FOUR.

I had to get you both types of Fiesta, Mom, said daughter, because (look closely at the picture) even though the bands all said Fiesta, they were wound differently or something because they’re different.

Yup - a bit different, but all usable.

Then she told me that she HAD to get the two pinkish and the two greenish variegateds because I would like the pink and SHE loves the greens.

Yes, I have already given her a cloth done with one of the greens and I am working on another in the other green.

So . . . when in Anchorage . . . go to wally’s (always) and get some yarny goodness. Thanks, family!

Baby Shower, cont.

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As promised, here are the other three bibs I made for young Master Samuel.
This is the Something’s Fishy bib found at Down Cloverlaine.

We are a fishing community - everyone either fishes commercially or subsistance fishes or sport fishes . . . at some point in their lives here on the Kenai Peninsula. So, I felt it was quite fitting that Samuel should have a fishy themed bib. Don’t you agree?

I think - at least in mine - the fishes are a bit hard to see if you aren’t looking for them. That’s why I added the fishy button. The picture is a bit blurry - hope you can see the pattern.

The i-cord is done with a double pointed needle. The technique is really simple once you get it down. Don’t be afraid to try it.

Another bib is also linked on the same site: This Bears Repeating by Elaine Fitzpatrick is so cute. I didn’t add a button to this one as I think the bears are easily seen in the pattern.

I used a lighter green color for this cloth. The ties again are the i-cord ties - really, super easy to do once you get down the knack of NOT turning the work each row . . . just slide the work to the left and work the next row each time. Easy peasy.

The last one I made is the Train Bib by Rainy Kimbrough. I didn’t like - so didn’t do - the contrast stitching around the bib. Maybe it was just the picture that threw me off so I didn’t even think about doing it. (Ever since I was small red on blue JUMPS and SQUIGGLES on my eyes. It has taken me years to figure it out - I think it has something to do with the astigmatism I have in both eyes. )

Okay . . . TMI perhaps - so here is the picture - I did it in red and added buttons to signify smoke coming from the stack.

Baby Shower

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Another baby shower was held last week, but I was unable to attend because of work. I did take over the gift before I went to work, though. Wish I could have seen her reaction to the bibs I knitted for young Master Samuel. The hostess tells me that H. really liked them, so I will be happy with that.

Thought I’d share a couple here today and will show you the rest tomorrow. Does that work for you? Modern Cabled Baby Bib, a pattern by Andrea Pomerantz.

This variegated one is the first that I made and I really like it for its simplicity. The button is a wooden button - wanted to make it more male friendly since it’s for a little guy, after all.

The blue one shown below has a turtle button sewn into the cable at the bottom. I love these buttons - you’ll see another tomorrow - they are sort of rubbery so no harsh edges. And they are so darned cute! I think the turtle makes the color of the bib just pop, don’t you?

If you’ve never worked cables before, don’t let that stop you from trying this pattern. They are really simple to do - you don’t even need a cable needle. You can use a double point needle instead. (We all have those, right? We knit enough socks to have them in our needle carriers.)

If you don’t have a double pointed needle - and you don’t have a cable needle - don’t rush out to buy either. Use a pencil or pen in a pinch. Anything that is tubular will help in a pinch.

There, that’s your knitting tip of the day.

Happy Father’s Day

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Daughter, Lessa and granddaughter, Pup, took hubby out for a Father’s Day picnic yesterday afternoon. The rest of the family was off doing other things and couldn’t join us. (hey missed out on the deviled eggs.)

Hubby, as you can see in this picture, was a mite chilly - I was wearing a knitted sweater and warm as toast (see how nicely I fitted knitting into this Father’s Day post? ha ha).

At one point hubby got up from the picnic table and tried to hide behind one of the posts holding up the shelter. He almost fit, too. Lessa and I, of course, took pictures . . . that’s what we do in our family. We take pictures.

We take pictures - and we love each other - and we support each other through thick and thin . . . (and things like this earthquake that is currently shaking through our house. Whew! that one was a big roller of a quake - a good minute’s worth at least.)

We enjoyed teasing the Paw-Paw about being cold - and what would happen later because of all the deviled eggs he ate - and whose house he needed to sleep in last night because of the deviled eggs - drat, I lost that battle.

And, then we took a drive - letting the Pup decide where we turned left and where we turned right. We visited the new bird watching platform - the only birds we could see, of course, were gulls. And we drove down to Kasilof to visit with hubby’s buddy - who was out fishing - but it was a nice drive.

We enjoyed the wind (yeah, we did, even though it was cold) and we enjoyed the drive . . . but mostly we enjoyed being family together.

Hope your day was good, too.

How’d you do that?

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One of the questions I get asked when folks see me working on a project is How’d you DO that? It’s generally an honest question and often I can show someone new how to knit a few stitches. That is fun and it’s rewarding.

But, I do NOT know it all - not even close to knowing it all - about the different stitches and how to put them together to make something newer, bigger, better . . . prettier.

That’s why I love being part of the weekly knit along (KAL) dish cloth group at ravelry.com. Each week one or two new patterns are posted in the group and we are off to the stash to pick out the perfect colored cotton yarn eager to try new stitches . . . to stretch our imaginations a bit.

A few months ago I was leery of doing something like the cloth shown above - it has HOLES, for goodness sake! And, holes means some sort of yarn overs (yo) and PSSO (pass slip stitch over) and wraps and such . . . and it would be HARD!!!

Or so I thought.

All I really needed to do was to sit down with the pattern, study it a bit, and stretch my toe out to dip it into the water. I may have to rip out a row or two (or more) along the way, but I eventually (usually) get it finally. And the results are so very cool.

A good place to find stitch charts is “Knit Stitches”. Don’t be afraid to try knitting from charts if you’ve never done it before - find a simple one and go for it. If you need to, you can convert it to written instructions. A lot of knitters convert from written to charts.

Go for it!!!
————-
I’ve been meaning to thank JM over at Long Relationships. She asked me to write up a piece for her blog about hubby’s and my 40th anniversary. You can find it here. Thanks again, JM!

More of What’s in the Box

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This is one of the cloths in the box waiting for the ladies retreat. It’s called The Gift of Time, which is a cool take on the cloth and what it takes to knit (or crochet) one up for someone. It’s truly a gift of time.

Anyone who knits . . . or does crafting of any sort . . . is often asked “What would you charge to make me one of those . . .” Grin, grin, wink, wink . . . I’ve always been one to just give something away - simply because there is no way folks would pay for the time it takes to make it.

I have accepted yarn before - in order to make someone the thing they wanted most. But, I have to think about that, too . . . it’s a time investment more than anything when you do something like that.

€ Can you take the time to do something you wouldn’t normally do?
€ Can you freely give of yourself to spend (literally) hours on a project for someone else?
€ Will your friend (coworker, sibling, etc.) be happy with the product when completed?

I’m sure you can think of other such questions to ask yourself before agreeing to make something for someone else - or for someone to give to someone else.

See how convoluted it can get?

I was recently looking through my pictures on flickr and found a comment by someone asking me how much I would charge for dish cloths . . . well, there is no easy answer, is there? Do I charge simply for the yarn in the cloth? Do I charge for the time involved?

You know what I did, right?

Yup, packaged up a couple and sent them to her. She loves them. She’s happy . . . I’m happy . . . it’s all good.

You know? I might have to make another cloth using this pattern. It is really pretty in the yellow. I think it would be very nice in a pink, too.

About Knitting Passion

Is knitting really a passion? On THIS blog it is - for all who come here. Blog entries will be made up of patterns, photos of in-progress or completed work - off the wall discussions about whatever tickles the author's fancy (Survivor Knitting anyone?). This can be as much YOUR blog as it is the current author's. Questions will be entertained and answers sought diligently. Comments are always welcome - and information ALWAYS appreciated. Will there be stories and pictures of the stash of yarn or the duplicated knitting needles? Will there be more off the wall ideas for knitting? Will there be original patterns or freebies cited? Only the dark of night and the author's amount of caffeine or sleep can determine that.

Ready? ONE - TWO - GET SET - KNIT!

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