Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club

A young single mother, a pair of knitting needles, and a chance encounter in a park begins the journey in this heart warming novel about life, its triumphs and disasters, and sisterhoods that are stitched instead of born.

Georgia fell in love with James, who fell in love with himself. Cut to twelve years later and the reader finds Georgia as a successful business woman, the owner of a knitting paradise, thanks to the support of Anita, the rich widow whom she met that day in the park. Over time, the regulars of the shop form what become The Friday Night Knitting Club, and from there, the sisterhood begins.

This was a great story, full of hopes, dreams, frustrations, and laughter. The reader may not be prepared for the surprising twists in the "yarn", if you'll forgive the pun...well worth a couple of evenings under a knitted blanket with some hot tea. If you're a knitter, the knitting "purls" of wisdom between chapters will make you smile extra wide. Definitely keeping this one on the shelf, and I'll be checking out Kate Jacobs' other books, including the knitting-inspired sequel "Purl Two".

I'll try to include more books in my posts for the future. I'm asked often by friends and family what I'm reading, and what I recommend. Since I read extremely quickly, I always suggest they befriend me on Goodreads, where I've a list of what I want to read and a partial list of what I've already read. This site enables me to grant each book a certain number of stars based on how I liked it, plus I can write a brief review as well. I'm adding it here, to my sidebar. Check it out!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Knit Ten, Purl Ten: Repeat

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We sure did here in Oregon. In other posts I will showcase the marvelous abilities of my new camera, a few cuts above the old point and shoot variety! It might rival my precious 35mm old film camera in quality of shots. Time will tell but it's pretty promising. Plus, no wasted film on blurry or bad shots. Woohoo!

I got these beautiful rosewood knitting needles in my stocking, and am using them to make my daughter a basket weave scarf. Basket weave is a simple pattern, just knit ten, purl ten, and repeat. Once you've completed ten rounds, switch it up!

The yarn is lovely too; this is a Lion Brand yarn, apple green is the color. It's called Jiffy. Neat!

I'll post the finished scarf in a couple of days. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I know, it's tomorrow. I won't be here tomorrow! Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Here is my slipper sock, first one completed, second one in progress. I will finish it probably today if I knit for a few hours. The pattern is pretty simple, and I make these for my mom every year. I chose this yarn for her because she likes autumn colors.

Pattern: CO40 stitches, divide in half for each circular needle (I used size 9 circulars). Join in the round. Garter stitch the first two rows. Rib stitch the next several rows, as long as you want the cuff to be (2K, 2P). Knit the heel flap on one circular, holding the instep stitches in stasis on the other needle. Heel flap: S1,K1,S1,K1 to the end of the row. Turn, S1 and purl the whole row to the end. Turn and repeat the S/K pattern from heel flap row 1. When the heel flap is the desired length you can either turn the heel (narrow the heel) or leave as is, since it is a slipper sock. Pick up gusset stitches; when you reach the instep, rib stitch to the end of the row. Pick up the other side's gusset stitches. A note about gussets: to avoid the dreaded gusset hole, pick up the stitch UNDER the obvious one, one row down. It seems wrong, but just do it. If you miss it, just stitch the hole closed from inside the sock later, no biggie, just annoying. Ok, then start forming the foot. Decrease each gusset side by knitting two together every other round until you are left with the original twenty on the bottom needle (always continue the rib stitch pattern on instep needle). When you reach the toe, same thing: decrease by two every other row. Finish by using the Kitchener stitch, it's durable for the socks.

These socks may look odd off the foot; partly due to the yarn and also the rib pattern. But on the foot, they stretch out nicely!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Writing on, Blog

In addition to crowing about my friend's genius with needle and thread, I wanted to highlight a new section of my blog, the Pages section. Here is where I will be posting various blips and blurbs of my writing, for anyone who is interested. I have three to start off with, from my creative writing class, but I have binders, and scraps, and files, and folders...full of writing that I will transcribe or edit for viewing and publish here.

In other news, I am currently working on my mom's annual pair of slipper socks, which I will post pictures of once I have one sock completed. I will also post the pattern if anyone wants it; pretty simple rib stitch pattern but picking up gussets is still challening with some yarns. I have a little hole in one gusset to fix. Sigh. Gusset holes...the sock maker's kryptonite. I will then be working on a purple headband, and I'll post that picture and pattern too.

Stay tuned!

Laura Sews Stuff: Check it out!

Laura Sews Stuff: Sidetracked - back to the Butterfly Bag!: I took a little sidetrack back to the Butterfly Bag for Layla today.  I found the easiest zippered change purse tutorial at SewMeHappy ’s ...

My friend Laura's recent blog about the matching change purse she made for her grandaughter's purse, which she ALSO sewed. She is a sewing genius!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Head Band, Version One

Here is the head band I made for my younger daughter. It's a simple two/two cable down the middle, beginning with 10 stitches for three rows. I increased each side every third row for a 16 stitch total body. I did the cable pattern for the desired length, Then I decreased the same on the other side. I crocheted the loop and sewed the button. I have a few more pattern ideas but wanted to get a feel for making them first.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ducks in a Row

My husband and (step) son love the Oregon Ducks. For Christmas, I knitted this scarf for the boy. It's a simple scarf; CO 42 stitches and garter all the way!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spats for Flats

My cousin, who is more like a sister, came to visit and we got crafty. We made spats, out of old sweaters and thrift store handbag liners. Check these out!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Want Peace for Christmas

I'm really struggling with what happened to all those kids in CT. I just read a story about how the first grade teacher hid her kids in cupboards and then told the gunman that they were in the gym, sacrificing her life. That was extremely brave; would I have the ability to be that brave if needed? I would like to think so. I keep hugging my precious daughters and imagining how those parents feel who can no longer do the same. I wish there was more that I could do for those families, and some way to stop thinking about this happening to my children. I can feel it becoming an obsession and it worries me, because I don't want to scare them, but I'm scared myself. This can happen anywhere, at any time. If there are resources available to help people cope with these situations, even when not directly involved as I am not, I would be happy to hear any suggestions. In the meantime, I will be sending all my positivite energy toward those families devestated by this event during this holiday season. I hope peace comes to them, one day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cat's Meow

My mom brought over a prototype crocheted catnip mouse. I'm trying to recreate it, and here's what I've got so far. More to come!