Saturday, May 26, 2012

my sun hat

Last Saturday Hubby's family had a picnic at El Dorado State Park.  I carefully dressed for the occasion: long pants, long sleeve shirt, straw hat in the big truck.   I had Sister Suzy and Hubby get our straw hats out of the truck. This is what my hat looked like when I pulled it out of the trunk of the car at his mother's.

What you can't see in this picture is that the brim is separated from the top of the hat about halfway around.  A little bit of duct tape wasn't going to fix it if I had had some.  Hubby offered one of his straw hats but the wind was blowing about 30 or 40 mph and neither one of them had a chin strap.

So my face got burnt, purple-red burnt.  Sunday my face was so swollen that my eyes were little slits.  My face hasn't been this burned since high school.  Fortunately I didn't blister.  Now I'm peeling, including my eyelids and my lips of all things.

Well I needed a new sun hat and quickly.  I went out on the web to see if I could find some sun hat patterns.  I found one really cool one but they wanted $15.00 for the pattern.  Sorry, I don't have that kind of money for patterns.  So my second choice was a hat tutorial from  This is my new sun hat.

I used the leg of an old pair of lightweight denim pants I hadn't thrown away yet.  I thought the watch pocket would be a nice touch so I add it to the side of the crown.

And for more whimsy I used a fabric called bubbles for the lining.  The brim of the hat isn't very stiff.  Several things could be done to stiffing it up.  One, would be to use a very firm or stiff interfacing in the brim.  Two, would be to add another piece of interfacing.  Three, is a piece of florist wire in the bias tape around the brim which will be what I'm going to do, if I decide I want a stiffer brim than I have. I want to wear the hat a time or two before I decide.  I did starch the brim and sew concentric circles on the brim like a Boonie hat, which helped a lot.  Something else to consider is to cut a couple of pieces of fusing and weld everything together.

Things the tutorial did not talk about but you might want to consider if you want to make a sun hat yourself is she didn't talk about seam allowances.  I would suggest 1/4-inch seam allowances, as it is easier to get everything to match up for sewing.  She also didn't mention depth of the side of the crown.  I found a three inch side deep enough to let the top of the crown rest on the top of my head. I will probably be adding buttonholes on the sides of the crown to run a ribbon through to tie the hat on my head, as it is windy here. Press the seam allowances at the brim to the brim side, clip the seams and top-stitch the seam allowance to the brim helps the brim to stand out.

The cherries and apricots are beginning to ripen so I may be away from the computer for a bit.

Have a good day!


Friday, May 25, 2012

item # 5 of knitting frenzy

While cruising through Ravelry's pattern section for more unique scarves I found Wingspan.  Wingspan is truly a fun knit!  I also thought it would be a better use of the heavy worsted yarn I tried to use for the Potato Chip Scarf Pattern.

I restarted this scarf a couple of times like several others.  My restart was because I did not like the holes along the top of the short rows as several others noted in their comments on Ravelry. So I frogged and did the classic wrap-n-turn of the short rows.  I also added two more wedges like several others did.  I think the eight wedges would work if you were knitting for someone very petite or only wanted the scarf as an accent piece not to keep your shoulders and neck warm.

I did the recommend cast-on of 45 stitches on US #9 needles and staggered every ten stitches using a backward 'e' cast-on for the steps. I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretch Bind-off to finish the scarf.  I really like this bind-off and have started using it for everything.  I will be knitting this one again; I am thinking about casting-on more stitches and making it more of a capelet next time.

Have a good day!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

item #3 of knitting frenzy

I tried knitting the potato chip scarf pattern but wasn't happy with the way it was turning out.  After some thought I just felt the scarf was too thick probably because I was using Aran (heavy worsted) weight yarn.  I'm wondering if a DK weight yarn with US #8 needles wouldn't be a better choice for this particular pattern.

So I switched yarns and pattern.  The pattern I switched to was Ruffle Lace Scarf and I used a white Micheal's Loops and Threads yarn in DK weight on US #10 circular needle.  It drapes a lot nicer around your neck.  I haven't blocked the scarf yet which I think will make it look even better.

I bound-off in the black Cascade 220 Superwashed.  I was afraid I wasn't going to have enough! 

I learned a trick I'm sure that ever experienced knitter out there knows.  When you want to bind-off in a different color don't add the color and then bind-off.  Just bind-off in the new color and you won't get that line of new color bumps on the purl side below where you changed colors.  I learned that on item #4 so I am going to take out the bind-off and that last row.  Then I will just bind-off in the black.  I will then be able to block the scarf and call it finished.

Have a good day!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Items 2 and 4 of knitting frenzy

I don't have a picture of item #2 as it got away from me before I could get a picture of it.  However, item #4 was knitted from the same pattern so it will have to do.

The pattern is called Checkerboard Moebius Cowl.  I found the pattern on Ravelry.  The first checkerboard cowl I knitted was with Vanna's Choice in Wild Berry.  I bound-off with Cascade 220 super-wash merino in black. I believe I used a US #7 because the cowl measured 6 3/4" by 10" unblocked.  Both Sister Suzy and I thought the cowl was too tight.  I thought it might fit and look good on a couple of her friends that are very petite and I was right.  One of the girls was over, tried it on and she was still wearing it when she left.

Here is the second cowl using the Checkerboard Moebius Cowl.

For this one I cast on 160 stitches using the requested US #8.  This cowl measured 7 1/2" by 17".  I used Vanna's Choice in Rose and bound-off in Wild Berry.  I am not real thrilled about the color combination as the Wild Berry is muted against the Rose.  I am seriously considering remove the Wild Berry and using a variegated yarn with jewel tones instead.  I used that combination in another scarf and I liked it a lot better.

Once again, use the 40 to 48 inch circular needles as the 32 inch ones I have are a real pain to work with.  In fact, I would think the 40-inch circular needles would be tight getting that first couple rows done.  Once you get past the first couple of rows the 32-inch circular needles aren't that bad.  But man, those first couple of rows!

Hubby liked the fit and drape of the larger cowl as a scarf so I am going to make him one to match his balaclava.  It will be green, brown and white.

Have a good day!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Lacy Moebius Cowl

I was over at Stacy's blog Golden Bird Knits and she was showing a pattern she had found that she was enjoying knitting.  I thought it would be a fun knit for the Sister Suzy's friends.this Christmas. Which lead to a knitting frenzy of scarfs and cowls.  Here is the first one I finished.

It is Cat Bordhi's Lacy Moebius Cowl pattern.  The cowl was knit on US #10 circular needles with Red Heart Designer Sport in Cocoa and uses less than a skein of yarn.  This was such a fun knit.  Knitting moebius is addictive.  For instructions on how to cast-on a moebius go to Cat Bordhi's you-tube video.  It is so cool!  One word of warning I did knit this on 60" needles and it was a pain getting the stitches to move  around the cable.  I also knitted two more on 32" needles and it was even more difficult, definitely use 47" needles.  (Something I want for my Birthday!)  The cowl knitted up for me 10" by 11" un-stretched.  The bind-off is Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off.  Cat Bordhi has a you-tube video for that too!

Have a good day!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

latest afghan

This is the latest afghan I have started.  It is based on Jen Stone-Gerardy's Cabled Wedding Blanket.  The Cabled Wedding Blanket is knitted in a super bulky weight yarn, which is not the yarn I was wanting to use.  What I wanted to use was Red Heart Supper Saver Fleck in colorway Aran Fleck.  So I did some searching for stitch patterns after carefully looking over the photo of the blanket.

The borders appears to be the basket-weave stitch.  If you use the basket-weave II stitch pattern from the instructions for rows 8,9,10,11 and 12 are wrong if you knit Eastern-Uncrossed (combo) style.  Rows 8,10 and 12 should read:  P5, K6, *P4, K6*repeat to last nine stitches, then P4, K5.  Rows 9 and 11 should read:  P5, K4, *P6,K4* repeat to last 11 stitches, then P6, K5.


Then I found a Celtic Braid pattern at I found in Ravelry a pattern called Aran Square by Darlene Swaim, which I picked the Aran Braid out of the middle of.  The Aran Braid is on the left and the Celtic Braid is in the right, in case you are wondering.

And believe it or not, I swatched like crazy to figure out how to knit it all at once.   The center panel is three Aran Braids one on each side and one in the middle and the two Celtic Braids are between the Aran Braids.  (I couldn't spread it out because the circular needle is too short or, I swear, I would have.)  The center panel is 24 inches by 48 inches, with a 12 inch border all the way around of the basket-weave stitch for a grand total of 48 inches by 72 inches.

I cast-on 252 stitches using US# 6 circular needles. (The extra two stitches are the stitches I slip when I turn a row.)  Knitted the basket-weave stitch for 12 inches, then I started the center panel.  I had to increase 24 stitches on the first row of the center panel to make up for the pull of the cabled braids.  When I get to the end of the center panel I will have to decrease on the last row those 24 stitches I added so I can go back to just knitting the basket-weave stitch.  Which means the afghan should lay flat without any blocking.  I will be able to toss it into the washer and dryer with no extra fussing.

So this is my knitting I am taking everywhere I go for the time being.

Have a good day!


Friday, May 18, 2012


I won Joy Wilson's Joy the Baker Cookbook in a drawing on Leslie Limon's cooking blog La Cocina de Leslie.  She was celebrating the third year of her cooking blog with a contest and giveaway.  If you are interested in delicious simple recipes highlighting Mexican cuisine, this is the place to get recipes and great tutorials on how to make good food.

UPS delivered the cookbook today.  I've been thumbing through it and have spotted several recipes that look interesting like Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies or Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake or Avocado Fries.  I might have to do some talking to get Hubby to go for that last one!  LOL  But still, interesting!

I want to thank Leslie again!  This is so cool!

Have a good day!


EDIT:  I showed Hubby the Avocado Fries recipe and he wants to try them the next time we pick up avocados.  Wow, I underestimated him!  We tried the Single Girl Melty Chocolate Cake last night and it got a two-thumbs-up from everybody.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sister Suzy's afghan

I finished this afghan right after Christmas for Sister Suzy.  I finally had enough leftovers to finish it.  I started it in 2010 and had to lay it aside when I used up all my odds and ends.  Then I never had the motivation to photograph it at the same time the weather was decent enough to do so.

The afghan is Shelly Kang's Sock Yarn Blanket Pattern done in worsted weight yarn on #8 needles, casting on 30 stitches.  The mitered square block measured 4.5 inches for me.  It is eight blocks wide by 22 rows.  I then single-crocheted around it.  It is a fun easy knit in garter stitch.

Sister Suzy was looking at this afghan after I was about half done and asked me who I was knitting it for.  I said no one in particular would she like me to finish it for her.  Her face lit up and said yes so long as I didn't use any more pink in it.   I still had the label so I showed her that the color wasn't pink but salmon.   The kid really doesn't like pink.  LOL  It's on her bed and she has packed it on trips to visit friends, so I would say this is a success.

Have a good day!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I've been busy

This is what I've been up to since I lost my Mojo to blog.  Each item will get a post of its own with a few pictures of each one.  I'm about knitted out and the urge to quilt is reappearing.  

The house is a fright. I wish I could get the urge to clean like I do for needlework.  I may have to due some heavy browbeating to get motivated for that though!

I have started washing dishes again.  Hubby's gout has flared up and he has lost use of his right hand.  I'm helping him with his socks and shoes.  I'm also trying to cook things that can be eaten one-handed which is a challenge because I forget every once in a while and cook something that needs a knife.

Have a good day!