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.