Sunday, November 20, 2011

My mom when I gave her the shawl I made for her
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Missing my Mother

I lost my Mother on September 18, 2011.  I do not know when I will be the same, if ever.  What follows is what I said at her service. She would have been 86 on the day we buried her, her birthday.
My Mom was the most amazing, kind, beautiful woman I have ever known. She always had a smile for everyone she met and especially for those she loved and cherished. Don’t get me wrong, she did frown from time to time, but that was only in her sleep.( I have photos to prove that) That was not to say that she was not strict or let my sister and I get away with anything and everything, quite to the contrary. My father was the disciplinarian, but to disappoint my mom was almost like hurting her somehow… and I never wanted to hurt my mom.

I was adopted, along with my sister Myrna, but we never felt as though we were. We were much loved and very much wanted. Even though I was rather sickly as a kid, croup, club feet, Mono at age 6, daily bloody noses… they did not throw me back, instead they kept me and loved me even more.

My Mom always encouraged me to be the very best I could be, don’t settle for less or second or third best… get what you want in life. She was a firm believer in you can be whatever you set your mind to. When I went to fashion design school, she made sure to get all the fashion rags for me so I could keep up with my studies, I think she enjoyed it as much as I did. When I went to Faux finishing school to learn how to teach it… she immediately had me re-do some rooms in mom & dad’s house… whatever I wanted to do, was fine with her, she trusted me.

When it came to my private life, my mom was not the most accepting at first, but she certainly came around. She would call and ask for Karen on the phone and they would talk football and Bret Favre and the Packers and OU… And the two of them, Karen & My mom had another thing in common; the love of food, Karen being a chef and my Mom who I swear had not one, but two hollow legs and loved to eat almost as much as she loved football.

My mom has gone to heaven, where I am sure she is having a ball with my grandparents, my Cousin Linda, and all the family that has passes before us. She is not in any pain; she can eat to her hearts content and able to walk again. My mom leaves a whole I my heart that will not ever be filled, it will heal with time, but I will miss her every day.

Thank you for indulging me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wallet Modification

Wallet Modification #1

1 skein ‘Full’o Sheep’ yarn 100% wool (Debbie Stoller)
Color Black Sheep
Size 10 needle or size to obtain gauge
(gauge is not super critical, you will be felting)
4 stitch markers
Row counter or scratch paper and pencil

Le'ts Begin...  Cast on 28 stitches

Knit 12 rows, place marker #1

Pick up 6 stitches on short side, pm#2

Pu 28 sts on cast on edge, pm#3

Pu the last 6 stitches on the far short side and place final marker #4

1. p entire round (this is counted as row one)

2. k entire round

3. Slm #1, kf&b, k4, kf&b, slm#2, k28, slm#3, kf&b, k4, kf&b, slm#4. First increase row completed 4 stitches increased, 2 each side.

4. p entire round k to marker #2, slm, sl1st p-wise, k26, sl1st p-wise, slm#3, k to marker #4, slm, sl1st p-wise, k26, sl1st p-wise. If you notice, these are the first and last stitches slipped on either side of the long side with out any increases made in them. You will continue this same slipstitch method on every even row.

5. to 10. knit evenly

11. Slm #1, k1f&b, k6, k1f&b, slm#2, k28, slm#3, k1f&b, k6, k1f&b, slm#4.

12. to 20. knit evenly

21. Slm #1, k1f&b, k8, k1f&b, slm#2, k28, slm#3, k1f&b, k8, k1f&b, slm#4.

22. to 30. knit evenly

31. Slm #1, k1f&b, k10, k1f&b, slm#2, k28, slm#3, k1f&b, k10, k1f&b, slm#4.

32. to 40. knit evenly.

41. Slm #1, k1f&b, k12, k1f&b, slm#2, k28, slm#3, k1f&b, k12, k1f&b, slm#4.

42. to 50. knit evenly.

51. p entire round

52. Bind off all stitches up to marker #3, removing markers as you go. (#1, #2 #3) Knit to marker #4 remove marker.

53. Turn your work (ws facing you) k4, p24, k4

54. k4, k1f&b, k22, k1f&b, k4 (right side)

55. k4, p26, k4

56. k4, k1f&b, k24, k1f&b, k4

57. k4, p28 k4

58. k entire row

59. Knit first & last 4 stitches, pearl the rest in-between

60. Repeat row 59.~ 6 more times

61. Repeat row 60. ~ 5 more times

70. Now on this row, (wrong side) k4, p2tog, p26, p2tog, k4

71. k odd numbered rows (right side)

72. k4, p2tog, p24, p2tog, k4.

74. Continue to knit first 4 and last 4 of each even (wrong side) row, decreasing 2 stitches by pearling 2 together just after the first 4 knits and before the last 4 knits until you reach (and complete) row 82.

83. to 86 k

87. Bind off all stitches, weave in ends

Throw in washer and felt away!!


pm place marker
slm slip marker
k knit
p pearl
k1f&b knit 1 stitch, front and back
p2tog pearl 2 together

Full length prior to felting

top of wallet
 8 inches in width

10 inches in length with flap down prior to felting

15 inche with flap open prior to felting

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Sun!day

Too pretty a day to be inside.  Made the deliveries early, so we can spend the afternoon by our pool.  Ah the life...knitting later

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My latest Creation

Felted flip top wallet
In this project you will learn how to pick up stitches, pearl stitches,
two different kinds of increases, simple decreases,
and some general knitting terminology.

Size before felting 1”wide x 10.5 wide x 13.5 including flap after felting
Yarn: Debbie Stoller’s Full O Sheep 1 skein, color Black Sheep

A #10 - 16” circular needle
Or needle to obtain gauge
5 stitches to the inch, before felting
4 numbered markers
Row counter or paper and pencil to track rows
Cast on 35 stitches

Knit 12 rows (6 garter stitch ribs)

Place marker #2, Pick up 6 stitches on one short end, in-between the garter ribs, Place marker #3,pick up 35 stitches along the cast on edge, place marker #4 and pick up 6 stitches on the final short edge and end with marker #1, this is the beginning of all of your rounds, this marker should be a little different than you other markers, just to make it easy on yourself. You should have 82 stitches.

Pearl one row around.
Knit one row around.

On next row, *slip first stitch after marker 1, knit to 1st before marker 2, slip that stitch, knit to marker 3, slip the marker and the first stitch after marker 3, continue to one stitch before marker 4, slip that stitch and finish the row*.

{sm#1, sl1, k33, sl1, sm#2, k6, sm#3, sl1, k33, sl1, sm#4, k6.}

These slip stitches are the guide lines for the sides of your wallet & for blocking purposes, these will come in quite useful later*

Repeat the * slip row every other row. They will always be right after and directly before a marker, the increases will not take place in the front or back, only on the sides of your work.

On the 8th row, between marker, 2 ∧ 3 (the six stitches on the sides) and 4 & and; 1 you will increase by one stitch. In the middle of the three stitches between stitches 38 and 39, lifted the bar just under the last stitch you just knit and before the one you would be knitting next. Place this bar up on the left needle and knit a new stitch through the front. {m1} Repeat this same increase on the other side between 79 and 80. At the end of this row you will have 84 stitches.

Increase for a second time, on row 16, immediately after marker 2 and ahead of marker 3, after marker 4 and again, before marker number 1. This is an increase of 4 stitches to a stitch count total of 88 stitches. Your increases are made the same as before, by lifting the bar between the last stitch you just knit, and the one you are about to knit.

The third increase is done a little differently, on the 24th row, stitch number 40, knit into the front as usual leaving the stitch on the left needle, now knit another stitch into the back of the same stitch and then slip both stitches off the needle. This is an increase of one stitch (middle stitch between markers 2 and 3) repeat this on stitch 84 (similar middle stitch between markers 4 and 1) total stitch count of 90 stitches at this time.
Fourth and final increase will be made on row 24, after marker 2, lift the bar between stitch number 36 and 37, place it on the left needle and knit into the front of the stitch, knit to stitch 41 (including your new stitch), knit into the front and into the back of the stitch, continue to stitch number 46, lifting the bar between the next stitch and repeating the same step you just did for the stitch between 36 & 37. (13 sts between markers 2 & 3) Continue to knit to marker 4 slip the marker, knit one stitch- stitch 49, lift the bar between stitch 49 & 50 onto left needle and knit a new stitch. Knit 4 stitches, knit the front and back of stitch number 55, knit to 1 stitch before marker #1, lift the bar between the stitches again up to the left needle, knit into the front of the stitch, knit the stitch, slip marker and continue knitting. The directions I just gave in long hand would read in knitting short hand (also in most patters that you will see on the market; K to marker #2, sm, k1, m1, k5, kf&b, k4, m1, k1, sm. {knit to marker number two, slip marker, knit one, make one stitch, knit five, knit front and back of stitch, knit four, make one stitch, knit one, slip marker}) 96 stitches total.

Knit 8 rounds with out any increases or slipstitches. Repeat slipstitch round once more and pearl one round.
Starting at marker #1, remove marker, bind off stitches knit wise until you get to marker #3 removing marker #2 along the way. Knit the 35 stitches between marker 3 (which you have removed previously) and marker #4. Remove marker #4 and continue to bind off the last 13 stitches, break yarn, weave in your ends. You will still have 35 live stitches on your needle; this will now become your top flap to your wallet. We will start with some simple increasing, and slowly begin decreasing to a blunt point and finish off with a simple knit bind off.

On the wrong side (WS) of your work, reattach your yarn and knit a row (yes, knit). On the right side (RS) of your work, pearl 1st, knit 1st, pearl 1st, knit 1st, on the next stitch, knit the front & the back of the stitch, knit all the stitches up to the last 5 stitches, now, knit the front & back of one stitch, pearl 1st, knit 1st, pearl 1st, knit 1st and turn your work to the wrong side. The pattern on the sides that you are doing is called ‘Seed Stitch’.

WS k1, p1, k1, p31, k1, p1, k1
RS p1, k1, p1, k1, kf&b, k29, kf&b, p1, k1, p1, k1
WS k1, p1, k1, p35, k1, p1, k1
RS p1, k1, p1, k1, Kf&b, k33, kf&b, k1, p1, k1, p1
WS k1, p1, k1, p39, k1, p1, k1

Continue in pattern without any change for 10 rows:
RS p1, k1, p1, k38, p1, k1, p1, k1
WS k1, p1, k1, p39, k1, p1, k1

End on a right side.

Decreasing as follows:
WS p1, k1, p1, k1, pearl 2 stitches together as if they were one stitch (decrease of 1 stitch), continue your pearl stitches up to the last 5 stitches in the row, pearl 2 together (p2tog), k1, p1, k1, turn.

RS continue in pattern, making no changes, 4 seed stitches, your knit stitches and 4 seed stitches.
WS continue to decrease by p2tog directly after your seed stitches on the wrong side rows and right before your seed stitches on the end of the row for 7 rows and end on a right side row.

Now we are going to work seed stitch all the way across the back and front of the flap, that is knit 1 and pearl 1, repeat to the end. (*k1, p1, * repeat) Do this for 3 rows.
Bind off knit wise loosely. Weave in ends,

Felt until it reaches the size you think it should be.
Mine took 3 washings...
More on the finishing later
Bag before felting
side view of sliped stitches

back view with flap up

Comforts Style

This was from the first class that I taught at our home in Novato.  It will not be the last!

Knitting "Comforts" Style 101

Knitting is not just a Hobby it’s a Skill.

The reason I have chosen you to start with 100% wool as opposed to a man-made fiber is 2-fold.

1. Wool and other natural fibers such as silk, linen, cotton, angora, mohair, cashmere, alpaca, llama, rayon and viscose breath. They keep you warm in the cold, and cool in the heat. Man-made fibers resembling acrylic, nylon, polyester, lycra and assorted fabrics with “mod” as a prefix or “ilic” as a suffix do not breath, thus keeping you sticky and or clammy. Not letting your skin breathe and making you uncomfortable.

2. Natural fibers feel good, look good for a long time and tend not to pill-up, as a man-made will do almost immediately. If you are taking the time to make something that you want to have for years, you want it to look fabulous as long as you have it. Start with the best you can afford, it’s not worth it if what you start with is cheap and or cheap looking.

We are starting with a plain twist yarn instead of a novelty yarn so that you will be able to see the simplistic beauty of the knit / garter stitch. Also with a single twist yarn, you will be able to see your possible errors and correct them with out too much hassle.

We will start with the Knit stitch; you will see this in patterns simply as ‘K’. You will be knitting every stitch for this pattern, no pearl stitches ( ‘P’ ) are involved. First you need to have a base on which our knits to exist, this is known as ‘casting on’. I have picked out a #10 wooden needle for you to work on because of the ease of wood, it holds on to your yarn just long enough for you to knit your stitches with ease. As you become more advanced, you can choose your needles in plastic, glass, bone, aluminum or metal. A size 10 (5.75 metric) is a good size to start many projects. All of the above mentioned have their particular advantages, speed, beauty and the like, but for our first venture into the knitting world, we will begin with wood & wool.

Why A Scarf?

A scarf on the needles is the comfort food of knitting. Whatever else we are doing, anything else the day holds for you, you can return to the scarf we’re making with a since of pleasure and relief. A scarf always fits its wearer, whether it ends up an inch narrower or wider, shorter or longer than intended. No matter what you decide to do, will become a coherent design by the time we all bind off. And what makes a better gift than a hand-knitted scarf?!? A virtual hug to the recipient with your carefully constructed stitches.

To extend the food metaphor, knitting a scarf is a bit like making your favorite pasta dish. Like pasta, scarves can be created with little effort and a few basic materials. You can follow a knitting pattern or a recipe from a cookbook to the letter with excellent results, yet both are good vehicles for creative elaboration. Let’s have some fun.

Long tail cast on begins as such ~

You as the designer of your scarf will need to choose 20, 30 or 40 stitches to begin. Wrap a piece of your yarn around the needle 3 times, take this measurement and now multiply it by how many stitches you have chosen to cast on. Once you arrive at this measurement, make a slip-knot at the end; now place this slip knot in your needle with the long tail facing away from you and the yarn that is still attached to the ball of yarn, towards you.

Cast on as many stitches as you need.

Now comes the FUN part.

Take the needle that has your cast on stitches and place it in your left hand, take the empty needle in your right, put the point of the needle to the left of the first stitch on the bottom of the needle (knit wise) and push the tip of the needle through and to the back about an inch. Take your yarn and make a loop around the needle in your right hand (over and down motion), now pull that loop through the cast on loop and slide it off your needle. Congratulations, you made your first knit stitch! Now repeat this motion of “needle in to the left of the leg on the left needle, make a loop, and pull it through and off the needle”.

When you reach the end, you should have the same number on the right needle as you started with on your left needle. If not, you need to start over… if you have the same amount, switch needles with hands and continue this knit stitch until you have about 2 yards of yarn left. What you are doing is called “Garter stitch”, and your stitches should look similar to the next illustration.

Now we will do what is called casting off or ‘bind-off’. This starts with 2 knit stitches, now take your left hand needle put the tip through the first stitch on the right needle, lift it up over the second stitch and off the needle, you have your first bind off stitch completed. Knit the next stitch on the left needle, this stitch has just become the second stitch on your right needle, ‘bind off’ the first stitch and repeat this until you have only one stitch left on your right needle.
Thread the end of your yarn on a blunt needle; pull it through your last stitch and ‘Weave’ in your ends.

To correctly weave in your ends (you should have 4) thread your blunt needle with the yarn and take the tip on the needle through three stitches on one side going on a diagonal, now go one stitch over, & three stitches up and back down two stitches, cut your yarn close to your project and lightly pull your project in 2 different directions, your yarn is now hidden.


You may want to immediately wear your newly knitted item, but take the time to Block it. Blocking can be your knitted items new best friend. With blocking; stitches that look too big, too small, edges that are catawampus and general unevenness can all be ‘helped’ with Blocking. Take your completed project to a sink and completely submerge it in warm, but not hot water with some wool soap or your favorite shampoo. Let this soak completely for a few minutes. Rinse twice, no agitation (we do not want to start felting your project, which is for another class) and roll in a towel to remove excess water. Lay flat and stretch a bit to get your project to the desired dimensions. Let it dry completely and enjoy your project.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Its a Saturday nite in June... The wind is up, the picnic table blew over and there was glass EVERYWHERE. That is cleand up now and I can get back to my knitting... hahaha  I have been working on a pattern for my Comforts students for a small little felted wallet.  I completed the knitting part and am just finishing the pattern for it and will felt it tomorrow.  Then make the pattern for the lining and pockets for the students and make it a kit.  I am having so much fun!  Work is kinda getting in the way of my knitting...