Saturday, June 24, 2017

back to kansas

Monday morning I'm heading back to Kansas.  Sis called, they are stopping the chemo because it's not working and the tumor is growing.  She has an appointment next Wednesday for the hospice group to come out and get that arranged.  Hopefully we can get all the financial and legal details tied up while she is still able.  

Damn It!

Sister Suzy has taken a shine to a kitten a friend's family has found.  We may end up with it.  I've explained about the deposit and the increase in rent.  So we will see what happens.  (I expect when I get back to have another cat.  I hope it isn't as mental as the last one!)

I think I have the Blogger problems straightened out so maybe I can get on and post.  I won't know until I get to Wichita.

Catch y'all later.


Monday, June 19, 2017

my solution

This is what happens when you have several hundred miles of flapping, shredding tarp and rope beating on your fake leather recliner.

The more you touched the arms the worse it got.  It had gotten to the point if you sat down in the chair you had little flaky bits all over you.  So this is my solution, cover the arms.

I had a raggedy pair jeans that couldn't be rescued.  So I cut the inseams, center front and back seams out.  I did some fancy pinning, trimming and sewing.  And viol`a!  Arm covers that look like they are going to stay on and not slide around like the kind our mothers had on the arms of their sofas.

I haven't figured out what to do with the back of the recliner yet.  Right now a folded afghan covers it.

Next up, is to finish packing because I'm heading back to my sister's in Wichita probably for the summer and maybe part of the fall.  Or at least until the doctors can get her pain under control, so she can figure out what she wants to do.

Hope everybody is having a good day!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

a fleece afghan

Sis decided she wanted to send me home with all the pieces of fabric she had laying around.  No good deed goes unpunished. 😇  What am I going to do with a big bag of fabric?  The cotton pieces got folded up and put in a dresser I store some of the fabric in.  I decided to make an afghan with the fleece and I will be taking it back with me to Wichita.  She needs another blankie! 😉
So I squared the pieces up, split the brown nubby looking piece in two (Yup, that dark brown piece in the back is the other half to the lighter brown piece.)  Then I built a back out of one of the big piece of cotton.  As I sewed the pieces of fleece together I attached them to the backing at the same time.  I cut the backing an extra two inches per side to bring the backing around for the binding.  I had helped my mother to do this with comforts she made out of oddball feed-sack quilt tops she had.  The squaring up the fabric is something my grandmother did to make, quick, wool comfort tops when my aunt and uncle moved into an unheated house with 5 little kids in the late fall.
As you can see I just folded the raw edges under and zigzag the edge closed.  The whole thing only took 4 or 5 hours to do, once I had figured out how I wanted to construct it.
What my sister was thinking when she bought this fabric I don't know, but she gets it back on the back of an afghan. 😉  I didn't think to put a label on this one.  It is done, so it is time to get back to the scrap project I'm working on.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

10-minute quilt block quilt...finished

I posted about this quilting project back in November of 2012.  I finally finished it.  This is one of the projects I found and took with me to Sis's.  The top was complete and I had made a backing for it.  So I pinned a batting in it and put it in the bottom of my suitcase.
It is interesting to note that it is the post with the most hits on my blog.  Everyone is looking for fast to make quilt blocks. This block is Not fast or easy.  It is fiddly to make as an eight-inch sized block, to put it politely.  That post is here.
I do think it would make a great bow-tie block with the raised center square.  I also like how after washing, the edges of the center squares are wavy with the way I quilted them.

The quilting is my typical stitch-in-the-ditch, a diagonal through the center of the blocks while I pondered what to do with the center squares.  I didn't want the centers to loose the raised effect but I had to do some sort of quilting because the section was to big to leave unquilted.  Thus, quilting a presser-foot's width from the edge hoping to maintain the raised look for the center of the block.  I think I accomplished that.  I used a diamond for the outside borders.
The back is twelve-inch squares so the quilt is somewhat reversible.  I like the square-in-a-square look in the quilting on the back.
Well, the label is on and it is time to put this quilt to rest and move on to the next project.  I hope everyone is having a lovely day.


Monday, May 22, 2017

a baby quilt

While I was suppose to be working on another quilt for a wedding in October, Sister Suzy came home from practicum and said they were going to have a baby shower for one of the guys at the end of May.  A distraction! Yes!  So I went out on the web, looked around, did some thinking on subject and this quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Company looked like a good bet.  They called it the Simple Squares Quilt.
I thought the quilt would look perfect in a rainbow of colors.   The quilt measures 42" by 54" after washing.  I used a low-loft batting.  That's all that Micheal's carries here in Phoenix.  I need to check out some of the quilt shops, Jo-Ann's and Hobby Lobby to see if any one carries medium or high loft battings since I like them better.
The big block is 5-inch squares.  The little block is 2 1/2-inch squares and the white sashing strips are 2 1/2 by 5-inches.  Borders were 3-inches wide.

I used stitch-in-the-ditch for the quilting.  I had trouble figuring out what to use in the border.  I wanted diamonds or triangles but couldn't get the math to work.  Then I had the bright idea to use a rectangle and connect them.

I took the leftover fabric from cutting the 5-inch strips, cut them 2 1/2" wide and sewed them in a rainbow for the binding.  The next time I do a rainbow binding I will pick off the cut edges so that it will be easier to match up sewing the strips of bias together.  I had some places where the color changes didn't match up neatly.
I used the last of the blue seersucker for the backing.

Sister Suzy will be adding a book to go with it.  Will be fun to see what she chooses.  I am betting Tuesday by David Wiesner or The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, both favorites from her childhood.

Well the label is on, so it is time to wrap this up and to wish that all of you have a great day.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

sis's chemo hats, last part

Sis's chemo hats, last part...for now, anyway. 😉  I found Luuk by Annis Jones while looking for hat patterns for Tiffany's girls.
I made it with small balls of yarn I found in Sis's tub of yarn.  I think it's all worsted-weight Red Heart Super Saver done on US 6 needles, 5 stitches per inch using magic loop on 40-inch cables.  I cast on 96 for a 19-inch hat.  This hat couldn't be simpler to put together, knit three rows; purl three rows.
Looks like and old-fashion soft serve ice cream cone!  There is sizing from preemie (13) to large adult (24).
Sis says it actually stayed put on her head and didn't try to work its way up.  So I may have finally found a pattern for our bowling ball heads that works!

The last hat I knit was another one I found while looking for Tiffany's girls.  I thought it was pretty and feminine.
LuAnn Chemo Hat by Beverly Forester was knitted with the leftover blue DK yarn I got for the Feather-n-Fan afghan.  Lion Brand's Baby Soft called Bluebell.  I cast on 120 stitches that were suggested in the notes and did the full 7 repeats to get it long enough (5 1/2 inches) before starting the decrease for the crown, using a US#5 and used 1x1 ribbing instead of the suggested ribbing.  I also did not knit through the back loop where it was suggested.
I still think I got a nice lace pattern even though the rib is not as bold.

Edit:  I forgot to mention these two patterns came from Ravelry.

Believe it or not I have been sewing since I got back to Phoenix.  I have started three quilts and have finished one.  That's on top of the three quilts tops I have finished, one partially quilted and two more kits for quilts I found in Mother's stash.

HA!  And knitters think they have start-itis!  Most quilters could teach a thing or two about start-itis to knitters because most quilters have multi-generational quilt projects lying about.

I hope everyone is having a good day!


Friday, April 28, 2017

sis's chemo hats part 2

Sis came home from the Oncologist with a new hat that was crocheted.  She said it was cool enough to wear all day.  So I sat down with paper-n-pen and counted stitches row by row so I could duplicate it.  Here's what I came up with:

Gauge was 3 double crochets per inch, row was 3/8 to 1/2-inch in depth.
Finished length 8 1/4-inches, finished diameter was 9-inches.

Chain: 3 to 5 join with sl st; chain up 2
Round 1: 11 Dc in Ch ring; sl st; ch up 2 (12 stitches total)
Rd 2: 2 Dc in every stitch of rd 1; sl st; ch up 2 (23 stitches total)
Rd 3: (2 dc, 1 dc) repeat 11 times; 2 dc in one stitch; sl st; ch up 2 (35 stitches total)
Rd 4: 1 Dc then (2 Dc, 1 dc, 1 dc) repeat 11 times; sl st; ch up 2 (47 stitches total)
Rd 5: (1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc, 2 dc) repeat 8 times; sl st; ch up 2 (56 stitches total)
Rd 6: dc in every stitch (56 stitches total)
Rds 7-18: repeat Rd 6

This hat appears to be done in worsted weight yarn.

Now I don't have to worry about losing my little piece of paper.  Yeah!  A good example of this pattern is Simple Chemo Hat by Mamta Motiyani on Ravelry.

Remember that feather-n-fan afghan I made?  Well, I had leftover DK yarn.  I decided to try and use as much as I could up.  Time for a gauge swatch!  4 stitches to the inch and about the same depth of row using a G hook.  Here's what I came up with for the DK yarn:

Chain 3 join with sl st; chain up 2
Round 1: 13 Dc in Ch ring; sl st; ch up 2 (14 stitches total)
Rd 2: 2 Dc in every stitch of rd 1; sl st; ch up 2 (28 stitches total)
Rd 3: (2 dc, 1 dc) repeat; sl st; ch up 2 (41 stitches total)
Rd 4: 1 Dc then (2 Dc, 1 dc, 1 dc) repeat; sl st; ch up 2 (56 stitches total)
Rd 5: (1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc, 2 dc) repeat 12 times; then 1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc; sl st; ch up 2 (66 stitches total) [In other hats I redistributed the 5 dc through out the round.]
Rd 6: dc in every stitch (66 stitches total)
Rds 7-18: repeat Rd 6

LOL Once again I don't have to worry about losing my little piece of paper.

In the first hat I replaced round 18 with a shell edge starting with a half-shell and ending with a half-shell and 15 complete shells in between.  I used a 6 dc shell in this border.

Clown Barf and White for this one.

The next one I replace the last 3 rows with a Cathedral edging, which is an 8 treble stitch shell with a ch 3 picot between stitch 4 and 5 of the shell.  It looked great until you put it on and then the shells stood straight out from your head. 😕  So my solution was to add a band that pulled the points back in.

This hat was done in Teal and White.  If I were to repeat this hat I think I would move the Cathedral edging up towards the middle on the hat, so I would finish with the teal instead of the white against the face.

The third hat was a hat I found on Ravelry called a Diamond-Edge Hat from Designs by KN.  It uses a Catherine's Wheel stitch pattern.  A comment in the project notes of one of the completed hats pointed me to a You-tube video on how to do the stitch pattern.   That hat disappeared (probably in Sis's desk at work) before I could get photos of it.  The hat is primarily White with the first round of Catherine's Wheel in Blue and then a second round of Catherine's Wheel in Clown Barf.

My messy kitchen is calling my name, so I hope everyone is having a great day.


Friday, April 21, 2017

sister-in-law's hats

While I was knitting Tiffany's family their hats, my brother and sister-in-law came to Wichita to visit Sis and I.  Sister-in-law asks about what I was knitting, so I explained it to her.  She then asked if I would knit her a couple of ponytail hats and I said, "Sure!"  I sent her to the store to get worsted weight yarn.  She came back bearing 4 skeins yarn for two hats.
With the first skein of variegated yarn I made the Waffle Hat by Gail Bable.  It was one of the patterns I found on Ravelry while looking for hats for Tiffany's bunch.  It was knitted on US#6.  I cast on 96 stitches.  The Waffle pattern would have looked way better in a solid or a more subtle variegated.  I moved the ponytail hole up to 3 1/2 inches from the bottom edge.  It seemed to fit better there.  I started the crown decrease at 5 1/2 inches cause none of us really like the slouch look.  I didn't keep the band off the yarn so I can't tell you what color way it was except it was some CraftSmart Value Yarn.

The second hat was the same hat pattern (Jogger's cap by Karen Steward Longest) I used for Sister Suzy's hat, moving the ponytail hole to 3 1/2 inches.
I used US#6 needles again with a cast-on of 96 stitches.  Began the crown at 5 1/2 inches dividing the crown into 8 sections of 12 stitches and decreasing every other row.  I used the CraftSmart Value yarn SIL purchased in Giverny for the variegated and some white Sis had.  This hat turned out much nicer.
Next up...more hats.  😀

I hope everyone is having a good day!


Saturday, April 8, 2017

the hats for tiffany and family

While I was knitting Sister Suzy's ponytail hat and mitts my sister was talking to Tiffany, one of her co-workers, about it and asks if I would knit a hat.  I said, yes, find a pattern and some yarn.  So the pattern my sister found was the Goodie Bag Hat by Cheryl Oberle on Ravelry.
I used Red Heart With Love in Boysenberry on US #6 needles with a 30-inch cable to do the Magic Loop.  It was a fun little knit once I decided to ditch most of the instructions.  I just knit the garter stitch sections using a traditional garter stitch in the round (knit one row, purl the next).  Using the gauge I was getting which was 5 stitches per inch times the 20-inch circumference.  I cast-on 100 stitches using the German Twisted cast-on.  I used a 3 stitch I-cord for the drawstring.  The something new I learned on this project.

The next hat was Dominic's.  This kid loves purple so to get a hat that nobody would think he was wearing a little girl's hat I found Robot Hat by Jane Sharp on Ravelry
I knit a standard stocking hat and used the chart for the robots.  I used the lt. gray from Sister Suzy's hat for the robots and some neon green yarn my sister had in her stash for the eyes.

Then I knit Riley's.  Mandie Harrington calls the pattern Swirl Hat.  I put a ponytail hole in this one at 2 1/2 inches because Riley doesn't like her hair pulled up too high as it gives her a headache.
Riley likes a wild riot of color and my sister had this variegated which I coupled with a solid turquoise ribbing.  I didn't use the ribbing called for in the pattern because I have had the best success with 2x2 ribbing.  I was disappointed with the crown, as it wasn’t, as flat I like them.

They have a little girl that stays with them off-n-on so I knit Maddie a hat too.  I used In-Between Seasons Hat by Elena Nodel from Ravelry.
I used the bayberry from Tiffany's hat coupled with a hot pink my sister had in her stash.  Loved the simple little lace pattern.  The pattern calls for DK weight yarn but I used Worsted.  The lace pattern is an eight stitch repeat so I cast-on 96 stitches which gave me 12 repeats.  No ponytail hole in this one as Maddie's hair is fairly short.

Last but not least was Josh's hat.  I originally was going to knit a Ribbed Watchman's Hat by Channah Koppel I found on Ravelry but my sister saw it and ask if I was knitting a balaclava.  I said no, she said a balaclava would be a better choice because he rides. Okay, but I'm not sure I have enough yarn.

Used Easy Balaclava by Nanette Blanchard again.  I lengthened the neck portion by two inches as most people were noting that the neck was too short for most men.  Then I lengthened the top by an inch to make sure the top of the opening covered the forehead.  I had maybe 2 yards of yarn left after I finished the crown.

I kept the pattern for the Watchman's Hat because I think it is an excellent pattern for a male hat, which is long enough to fold for extra warmth around the ears.

This is part of the knitting that interrupted the knitting of the feather-n-fan afghan.

I hope everyone is having a good day.


Friday, March 31, 2017

sis's chemo hat collection part 1

Sis's chemo hat collection, part 1.  Yup, I'm going to explore the wonderful world of chemo hats for bowling ball heads.  Our heads are round with short necks and most hats just don't fit well.  Without hair, hats fit even worse.  We are constantly pulling on them trying to get them to stay on.  I'm still looking for a style that really works.

First up, we looked at making fleece hats using McCall's M4681 hat, scarf, and mitten pattern.  We used view D without the flower trim.  She just wanted a plain hat, no trims, no gathers on top, no dangly bits.  The hat is of a very simple construction a back seam, a seam across the top and a hem.  The problem is, it's a tube.  We don't have the elongated skull or neck to pull off wearing a tube.  So I added gathers between the center-front seam and the hem to pull the bottom of the hem up off our noses.
It helped; but she discovered that the hat fit better if she turned it around and wore the gathered part in the back.  The biggest issue is the hat quickly got too hot to wear.  Fleece while soft doesn't work if your chemo makes you feel hot.
This is four of the six hats I made.  The other two were a green/black/white plaid and a Black Watch type plaid of navy/black/forest green.

While I was playing with the fleece Sis wanted me to make face-masks to pre-warm the air before it hit her sinus and lungs.  I found this pattern Germ Free Face Mask over at  A single layer of fleece isn't thick enough for pre-warming your breath.  So I added a second layer, that was better but still not good enough.  I wonder if adding a piece of woven cotton would have helped.  I think a molded wire or piece of metal to pinch it tightly around the nose would have helped, too.  I ran out of cold weather and ideas for materials to shape the nose so I dropped that project for now.

Lunch is calling me, so I hope everyone is having a good day!


Monday, March 27, 2017

rainbow feather and fan afghan

While planning my trip to Wichita, I wanted to take a big knitting project with me for after I finished the hooded sweater.  While playing around in Ravelry's pattern section I found Stitchylinda's Rainbow Feather and Fan Wavy Baby Blanket pattern.  Which is written for DK weight yarn.  I just happen to have had a bunch of oddball half-used skeins of DK weight yarn.  Some of the yarn I bought and some was given to me.  Yes!  Clean some more yarn out of that drawer!  Watched a Very Pink you-tube tutorial on how to do Feather-n-Fan stitch pattern.
I figured I had enough yarn for maybe a 48" by 48" baby blanket.  My sister saw it.  She said she really liked it.  What the hey, would make a great Christmas present for her.  I could replace that extra heavy crocheted afghan on her sofa and she would get a knitted afghan from me.  But I would have to go to the store and get some more yarn because I was pretty sure I didn't have enough to make my standard size 48" by 72" afghan/blanket.
Sister said she liked the variegated yarn I was using (upper edge of the photo), so when I went looking for more yarn that would blend in with what I had, I found some clown barf (Candy Baby).

I discovered after I had done all the swatching and had about 4 repeats done that I was using the wrong size needles.  The pattern calls for 4mm needles.  Guess what?  That's US size 6 needles.  Guess what size I was using?  US size 4 needles.  No wonder I needed 12 repeats wide to get to 48 inches.  4 rows of garter and 3 repeats (12 rows) of the feather-n-fan equaled 2 inches so I figured I needed 35 repeats of color plus the 2 white borders to equal about 72 inches.  That part turned out right!  Yeah!

I found that the way Stitchylinda had the rows labeled in the pattern confusing because you actually knit the feather-n-fan stitch pattern rows 4,1,2,3 and repeat that sequencing 3 times before knitting 4 rows of garter stitch.  That's so when you add new colors you get a neat add. 
I wasn't happy with the way the borders turned out, the garter stitch curl.  This is because I knit in acrylics and don't do hard blocking.  This is because they are 6 rows deep.  The outside rows probably need a few extra stitches in them so they would lie flat without any hard blocking.  Next time!

This project was interrupted several times for hats so it didn't get done until the first of February.  Sister was surprised when I gave it to her and said, "Merry Christmas!"  She thought she was just teasing me, I got the last laugh, though.

Next, on to the hats!  I hope everyone is having a good day.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

a hooded cardigan

My sister was admiring my cabled afghan as I was knitting it.  She also liked my rose sweater. So I put the two together and I suggested I knit her a cabled sweater, with the yarn she had bought for a sweater she was going to knit for herself but had frogged it.  The yarn was Red Heart's Super Saver Coffee Fleck and Real Teal.  I used US #6 needles on a 48" cable with a gauge of 5 stitches to the inch.  Row count was 6 rows to the inch, also.
The sweater is Kate Gilbert's A Cardigan for Arwen, (was free, but I now see it no longer is) with a few modifications as I am wont to do.  The first mods were to make it longer and to increase the armhole size.  Then knitting it as one piece starting at the hem, dividing at the armholes.  I Kitchner stitched the shoulders together.  Because I didn't know if I had enough of the teal yarn to finish it the way I wanted to.  I slipped all the stitches for the hood onto a spare cable and picked up the stitches for the sleeves.  Using the magic Loop and knitting both sleeves at the same time I knit down to within four inches of the right sleeve length.  Slipped the live sleeve stitches off onto holding cables and picked up the hood again.
I bound off the stitches around the back of the neck to add some structure to the neckline.  Then picked them back up on the next row and followed the directions for the increases for the hood and stopping on row six of the reversible cable to Kitchner Stitch the hood closed.  I messed up the Kitchner Stitch on the hood by reversing which needle you purl off and knit off of.  This gave me the ridge you see in the photo.
To add the cuffs, I provisionally cast-on the stitches I needed.  When I got to the live stitches on the cable, I would slip the stitch off the cable and k2tog.  Turn and go back to the other end of the row until I got all the stitches off the cable.  I undid the provisional cast-on and Kitchner Stitched the two edges together.  I actually had yarn leftover, yeah!

We decided a zipper would be the best closure for the sweater so a trip to Joanne's was in order to pick up a separating zipper in a 26" length. I used this you-tube by Feride Erbasar to attach the zipper.  I like this method better than the one by Techknitter.  I got a much flatter, more secure zipper than the methodology from Techknitter.

So with this knitting project I learned to knit reversible cables and a sewn in hem.  The bonus was a different way to install a zipper.

I almost didn't get pictures because my sister wouldn't take it off.  I threatened to take the pictures with her wearing it so she gave it up long enough for the pictures.  LOL

I'm glad I finally finished it and it is keeping her warm as she goes through Chemo.

I hope everyone is having a good day.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

sister suzy's new hat and mitts

Sister Suzy found a hat on Facebook that had a hole for her ponytail.  She asked me if I could make her a new stocking hat in Midwestern's school colors.  The school colors are Dark Blue, Dark Warm Gray, and Light Slightly Warm Gray.  Well, of course, I can!
What I found was Red Heart Soft in Navy Blue, Charcoal and Light Grey Heather.  I don't have any formal training in Color so I don't see any difference between Navy Blue and Dark Blue.  Nor did I see any difference in the color swatches for warm grays and cool grays.

The hat pattern was the Jogger's Cap by Karen Steward Longest I found of Raverly.  I used Size 6 needles, gauge was 5 stitches per inch and I cast on 96 stitches which makes a hat of 19 inches in circumference, for a 21 to 21-and-a-half inch head.  I have found two inches of negative ease is about right for our bowling ball heads.  I did a single-crocheted around the ponytail hole to reinforce the hole a little and to give it a finished look.
The mitts pattern was the Easy Fingerless Mitts by Maggie Smith I found of Raverly.  I love that site for patterns!  Sister Suzy's hand is 7.5 inches around at the knuckles so I cast on 36 stitches and made the top cuff a bit longer so the mitts cover more of her fingers, which she prefers.
I knit everything using the Magic Loop with the mitts two-at-a-time so they would come out the same length.  I started the project with a navy, light gray, and charcoal sequencing but the charcoal up against the navy really muddied the navy.  Talked with my sister about it and she was of the same opinion I was.  So I ripped it back and added a second strip of light gray, which brightened everything up.

Sister Suzy got to wear it a couple of times to class before it got too warm.  She said several really like the hat with the ponytail hole done in Midwestern's colors.  Yeah!  A success!

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Friday, March 17, 2017

well that was annoying

For some reason when I went to connect to the USB port of my camera to the USP port of computer for down-loading the pictures I had taken, the computer wouldn't complete the connection.  Sister Suzy wants to use my camera (She has misplaced hers) so she took the cable and camera to her computer and down-loaded all the pictures to a jump-drive.  She brought the jump-drive in and stuck it in one of the USB ports on my computer.  The computer read it as a removable drive like its suppose to.  I can now load the pictures into my computer.  What The Hell!  So I guess I can now show you what I was up to over the last 5 months.

Stay Tuned


Monday, March 13, 2017

still here

I finally got back into blogger/google.  What A Pain!

I've been at my sister since the middle of November.  Got back to Phoenix yesterday, will be here for a little while and then will return to Wichita.  Her cancer has flared back up and I've been shuffling her back-n-forth from doctor appointments and chemo treatments.  However, I needed to come home to take care of taxes, lease on the apartment, and supply Sister Suzy with moral support.

I finished a bunch of projects at my sister's but because of blogger/google not letting me into my account I couldn't do any posting.  So while I'm taking care of business here I will post pictures about what I have finished.