Pneumonia and My Current Project

Since April 4 my daughter Randi has been in the hospital with a severe case of pneumonia.  (We actually started out at Express Care, they sent us to the local Emergency Room, and they sent her by Ambulance to a larger hospital about 45 minutes away from home).  She started out on IV antibiotics. The doctors thought everything was improving but a chest X-ray showed that fluid around her lung had actually worsened.  So last week they put in a chest tube to get rid of the fluid build-up.  2 days later she was having surgery to remove infected tissue from around her lung. During the surgery they discovered part or her lung was severely necrotic and ended up removing about 1/4 of her lung. She’s currently in Pediatric ICU .  So we’ve been at the hospital since April 4th. I’ve been staying here with her every night and day.  We are hoping there are no more surprises on the long road to recovery.

I’ve had a couple knit and crochet projects with me here at the hospital, but honestly it’s been so chaotic with all the doctors and nurses that I haven’t done much, and haven’t really felt like it or been too tired most of the time.  I did finally start knitting a hat the other night out of this hand-dyed wool from Blue Heron Farm.  I think it’s actually the first time I’ve made anything with yarn that originated from my home state.  I love the pink color. Maybe this project will help motivate and energize me to stitch some more.

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My mother started a fundraiser to help out with expenses related to Randi being in the hospital.  If you want to check it out and/or contribute, just click on Randi’s image below.  Any help and well wishes are appreciated.  Thank you!

 

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Knits for Boys: 27 Patterns for Little Men + Grow-with-Me Tips & Tricks

Book Review – Knits for Boys: 27 Patterns for Little Men + Grow-with-Me Tips & Tricks by Kate Oates

Kate Oates has hit knit a home run with book Knits for Boys: 27 Patterns for Little Men + Grow-with-Me Tips & Tricks.  I’ve heard lots of customers over the years ask for more patterns for boys and that is exactly what Kate has done with this book!  The 27 patterns in this book range from sweaters and vests (even hoodies), to mittens and hats, to socks a bow tie–even a belt!

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The patterns are realistic patterns that boys will really want to wear—How about a T. Rex Graphic Pullover or a Henley top? Maybe a hooded jacket, a newsboy cap, or even a pair of long johns? Along with 27 patterns, the book includes 25 charts and 190 color photos, plus  a tutorial section to help make the patterns achievable for all skill levels.

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Perhaps the best feature of the book is the section on how to knit for kids. This special section discusses choosing colors and styles, sizing, and how to make a sweater “grow with” your child.  I never really put much thought into how kids were built and how they grow.  I always just went by the pattern or used sizing charts.  This book gives me a new perspective on sizing for kids (boys in particular, of course) and how items can be made or modified to fit or grow with your child.

Get a sneak peak at the book right HERE.

Knits for Boys is available for purchase at Stackpole Books and will be available soon at Amazon.

 

My First Pair of Knitted Socks!

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I want to improve my knitting.  My ultimate goal has been to knit socks.  Well, I just finished my first pair!

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They aren’t fancy, but it’s a huge accomplishment.  Not only was it my first time knitting socks, but my first time successfully using DPNs.  I’m more of a circular needle type of girl!

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I took a class at my local yarn store– thank goodness!  I never would have gotten through the pattern without the class.  The pattern is Classic Socks for the Family for Yankee Knitter Designs, available for purchase on Ravelry. The pattern isn’t difficult, but for someone who hasn’t knitting socks, it helps to have the guidance.  The great thing about the pattern is that it is written for fingering, sport and worsted weight yarn AND for all size socks from baby to men.  For the class we used worsted weight yarn. I selected Rowan Pure Wool Superwashed.  In case you are wondering, the color is #119 Magenta.  I received tons of compliments on the color.

Now I am starting a second pair of socks using fingering weight yarn.  Now that I kind of know what I’m doing, I want to modify the pattern a bit and make the toes a bit more rounded.  For this pair I am using Cascade Yarn Heritage Prints. One ball will make a pair of socks.  But with fingering-weight yarn, I’m a long ways from reaching the toe!

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Alpine Holiday Scarf

I saw this Alpine Holiday Scarf, designed by Kalurah Hudson, on Facebook and was immediately in love with it.  It was available exclusively as a workshop/kit through Craftsy.  I really need to work on my knitting skills, and I knew this scarf would be a challenge for me, but I wanted to take on this challenge because I loved this scarf so much. I’m not sure exactly what it is that appeals to me so much about this scarf, whether it’s the colors or the pattern, or the combination of it all, but I couldn’t wait to get started.

Since all I can really do in knitting is cast on, knit and pearl, I really learned a lot from this project. It took a lot of do-overs and a lot of patience.  I had to watch the provided online videos over and over, but I learned how to do a Longtail Tubular Cast-On, create a button hole, sew a bind off for a 1×1 rib.

I must have restarted the scarf and the Longtail Tubular Cast-On close to a dozen times before I was happy with how it came out. AND it took me that many tries to get the rhythm of the cast-on.  Once I got past the cast-on, the pattern went pretty well, but it was definitely important to keep a Life Line going in my work! And then there was the bind off for the 1×1 rib– that took a few tries and it certainly doesn’t look perfect, but I finally got it figured out. I actually ended up finding a different video than the one provided in the workshop to help me through the bind off.

This pattern is exclusive to Craftsy until Feb 2015.    You can also find out info about the pattern on Ravelry.

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Dress-to-Impress Knitted Scarves: 24 Extraordinary Designs for Cowls, Kerchiefs, Infinity Loops & More

I was invited to join the blog tour for Pam Powers’ brand new book, Dress-to-Impress Knitted Scarves.  I’m so happy to have had to chance to review this book, and though my knitting skills could use some practice, there are definitely some designs in this book that I want to make– namely all of them!

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The designs are chic and trendy, something so many pattern books are lacking. And with  the collection of 24 (that’s right– 24!) ascots, cowls, and other scarves, there is definitely a design to suit any person or occasion.

Another thing that lacks in so many pattern books is photos and charts, but not in Dress-to-Impress Knitted Scarves.  You’ll find 19 charts, 29 schematics, and 131 color photos!!!!  The photos are totally inspiring, as they offer additional ideas on how to wear and style the scarves; the schematics are extremely beneficial in making the scarves, especially for the less experienced knitter.

Get a sneak peak of Dress-to-Impress Knitted Scarves right HERE! It’s definitely worth taking a look!

This is definitely one of the most inspiring books I have seen in a long time.  Kudos to Pam Powers for a job well done!

 

The book is available for purchase at Stackpole Books and Amazon.

Baby’s First Security Blanket – Free Knitting Pattern

This is a knit pattern I did a while back for Knit 1-2-3 (no longer in publication) for Baby’s First Security Blanket.  The design is  in support of Newborns in Need, which distributes items free of charge to babies in the United States.

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BABY’S FIRST SECURITY BLANKET

designed by Carrie Carpenter

 

SKILL LEVEL: 1 = beginner

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: Blanket measures about 15″/38cm wide x 14″/35.5cm long.

YARN: Worsted weight baby yarn (acrylic), 2 balls (about 265 yd total).  Sample made using 2 balls #5107 Tide Pool  Deborah Norville Serenity® Baby from Premier®Yarns.

NEEDLES: Size US 10 (6mm)

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: Yarn needle

GAUGE: Gauge is not critical for this project.

 

DESIGNER’S TIPS

  1. For a larger blanket, cast on more stitches. If making a significantly larger blanket, more yarn may be required and you may wish to work back and forth on a circular needle, as if working with straight needles, to accommodate the width of the fabric.
  2. This is a fun project for a self-striping or self-patterning yarn.

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Cast on 60 sts.

Work in Garter st (knit every row) until piece measures about 14″/35.5cm from beginning or desired length.

Bind off.

 

FINISHING: Weave in ends.