Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 Secret Knitting - Part 1

Do you know about the secret knitting? Secret knitting is sometimes gift knitting, so you can't tell or share all the details.

Secret knitting is sometimes test knitting, so you can't tell or share all the details...but, can you find the spider hiding? It's a row counter I made a couple years! And Happy Halloween-y to everybody!

And sometimes secret knitting is just knitting that you're not quite ready to share.

Hmmm, I could share that last one, tho...those black socks. Well, the photo is of one black sock, on my dear husband's foot, and I suppose it's not so secret.

Pretty: Sweetie, would you try this on? I want to take a picture, but it's too big for me.
Sweetie: Ok.
Pretty: Ummm, did you put it on over your other sock?
Sweetie: Yes. It's a little snug this way.
Pretty: Ummm, would you please try it without the other sock?
Sweetie: Ok.
Pretty: Thank you. (smiles, takes photo)
Sweetie: Wait, are these for me?
Pretty: Yes.
Sweetie: Hm. Ok. 

"Hm. Ok." I wonder what that means. Here are the options, as I see them:
  1. Hm. For me? Wow, I didn't think they were for me. Ok.
  2. Hm. For me? Why is she knitting me socks? Ok. 
  3. Hm. For me? Well, they fit pretty good, so I guess it only makes sense. Ok.
  4. All of the above.
I suppose it doesn't really matter what was packed into those two small words. I love him. I knit for the people I love. I am knitting him black socks because, if he is going to try hand-knit socks, they will have to be simple and practical. Black, ribbed socks are both, and these hand-knit socks have love in every stitch. I hope he likes them. I hope everyone likes their secret knitting when they receive it. :)

Are you doing any secret knitting this year? If you were, could you even tell me? :) Whether it's secret or not, I hope you are knitting in good health!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Love to Knit for Babies!

Babies and knitting...
Baby Rhys...Super Baby!
...and knitting and babies!
Baby precious and new!

They just go together! In fact, I can't think of two things that go together better than Babies and Knitting! Thank you, friends, for sharing pics of your babies with their hand-knits! It really means a LOT to this knitter to know that you are using and loving my yarny gifts. 

Have you knit for a baby lately? You should. 
Knitting for babies is QUICK!, and it's good!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Just Another Wednesday

Just another Wednesday morning. My life is not perfect, and some days I wish it were different. Still, I woke up I also got up, got dressed, and brushed my teeth before I made my coffee and settled into the knitting, as the cats settled into me. 

My favorite time of day is when my lap and my coffee are warm, and my hands are knitting socks. I am livin' the dream, baby. Livin' the dream! I hope that you are too...! =D

Thanks for stopping by, and knit in good health!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Seed Season...and Knitting

"Broken Finger Knitting" is I the season I was in while I wore in a cast and a brace after breaking three fingers on my left hand. Surprisingly, there was a LOT of broken finger knitting! It was surely a slower (and more painful) season of knitting, but I have three projects that I actually made good progress on during those 6 weeks, and now they are finished! 

One of the first things I realized when I started knitting in a cast, the day after I fell and broke my fingers, was that knitting was now difficult and painful. I realized that I would only be able to knit a few stitches at a time in the beginning, so I defaulted back to the good and faithful washcloth. These things are always in season! Some of you call them dishcloths, and they are good for dishes, but I really like them for washcloths, and so does my granddaughter! Knitting for her allows me to make them in fun colors to pass along to her for bathtime, and I actually managed to finish about 8 washcloths in this 6 weeks. There are only 6 are in pictures, however, because I gave two away before I was done. =D Washcloths are fun and quick (normally I can knit one in just a couple hours), so this was a no-brainer, and I'm excited to pass these along when I can!

The next thing I finished was a scarf of my own hand-spun yarn! It was fiber from That'll Do Farm that I bought over the summer, and I spun it very fine. It took me a little while to figure out what the finished yarn, soft and fuzzy, wanted to be...but eventually it decided that a lace scarf was just the ticket! I think it turned out very lovely, and I cannot wait until the season is cool enough that I need a lacy, alpaca scarf around my neck to make it through the day!

Lastly, but certainly not least, are my Stripe Therapy socks. You saw a photo of one of these on Wednesday, but they are obviously both done...see?

Yes, three broken fingers might stop some knitters, but not THIS knitter! It was a slower season in my knitting, but it turns out that I may be just a teensy, weensy bit addicted to the needle arts... Hmmm, I don't see that as a bad thing, do you? lol! You know what else is just a teensy, weensy bit addictive? Pumpkin seeds! It is certainly the right season for pumpkin seeds, and I can't resist 'em, so I'm gonna make some today!

Would you like to know how I get them so perfectly roasted? Here are my secrets...

Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
  1. After digging the seeds out of the pumpkin and rinsing them well, I put them in a sauce pan, cover with water add a bunch of salt (at least a couple tablespoons, maybe up to 1/4 cup), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. They will be gray, slimey and ugly, but the moisture is key!
  2. Drain on paper towels, in a single layer.
  3. Transfer to baking sheet(s), lined with foil and sprayed lightly with non-stick spray, and sprinkle with regular table salt. Use lots if you like your seeds salty, less if you like less. :)
  4. Bake at 300°F until all the seeds are white, stirring and flipping every 5 minutes or so.
  5. Cool on baking sheet and enjoy!
Oh, man, I look forward to these all year long! They usually don't last more than a day or two, but if you need to store yours longer, you can put them in an airtight container. :)

That's a LOT of blog for one Saturday afternoon, and there's still a bunch of day left, so I'm going to go roast some pumpkin seeds, and then I'll see what other trouble I can get into...maybe there will even be knitting! I hope you've got something fun and something yummy planned for your day today. :)

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stripe Therapy

This is the first of a pair of socks I started knitting with broken fingers. I called them Stripe Therapy because they are striped, and because the doctor said that knitting was good physical therapy. He was right! Working with the tiny needles has been really good for increasing the mobility of my fingers as they heal. I still get crampy, and I have to take breaks, but I am almost back to my pre-broken-finger knitting speed...Yay!!! (I have actually knit them both now, but this is the only picture I could find when I started to blog today...bad!) 

Lately, things at the Pretty house have been rough...sometimes life is like that, you know? Anyway, it's nothing we won't get through, but we've been super we decided to cope by taking a quick trip to see Peanut. :) We hopped in the car early Friday morning, and on the way, I knit her a sock to match my Stripe Therapy. These little socks are notsomuch physical therapy, but more like emotional therapy I think...and this sock did it's job for many hours in the car.

However, when we got there, I found that the sock did not fit! 
Oh the woe of a sock that won't go 
Over the toe and the heel.
I had knit and knit, but it it just didn't fit- 
I feared losing my sock knitting zeal!

So I did the only natural thing, and I knit another little sock just a little bit bigger. I finished just before we left...

...and it fits! Hip! Hip! Hooray!!!

More emotional stripe therapy on the Sunday car ride home, and I had the second sock ready to mail back to Peanut. Since I had left the first one behind, I told her that she would soon get some mail...Mindy told me that she likes to get the mail, so I think it's a very good plan. :)

I also decided to leave the big socks behind for Mindy, so Peanut and her mommy can have matching tootsies this fall! Sock knitting is so therapeutic that I even cast on another pair immediately when we got home (well, after I unpacked, showered, ate, started some laundry and went through the mail...) Then we fell into bed, and the Pretties dreamed dreams of a curly, blonde Peanut until Monday morning. 

It was a good weekend, and now I am up to my elbows again in work and in stress. Life is just like that sometimes. That's why I have my knitting with me just about 24/7 these's the best anti-anxiety medication ever, and it's my sedative of choice.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that your days are as stress free as they can be. If they are not, I hope at least that you are Knitting in Good Health!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Twenty Tiny Teddy Bears...or not

I recently had the notion to knit little bears for my knitting friends for Christmas...this year. What I really mean is that I was going to knit actual, tiny teddy, 20-25 of them for my friends...and I would be finished in time to gift them at our annual Christmas the beginning of December...yes, this year.


I didn't knit that one...but I could have...I have a pattern. (Marico knit the one pictured above, and you can check out her blog at this link...MARINOIE, if you are so inclined). I was also going to knit each of my 20 tiny bears a sweater, because I wouldn't want them to get cold. Winter is coming, you know.


I know, right?!? So then I thought that maybe I would buy twenty, tiny teddies and just knit twenty, tiny sweaters to put on them. So, I started to knit tiny teddy sweaters...

First one, and then another...

Ok, two down, 18 to go...


I know... I know... I'm not gonna make it...(sigh!) Each of those sweaters took more than 3 hours...I don't even know how my head goes there! Oh, wait. Yes I do...


Gahhh! I need more hours in my days! I'm not going to get them done between now and Christmas, am I? (lol! and sigh!) Oh, well. I've got other ideas...I've got LOTS of IDEAS!!!


Yeah, I know. It'll be what it'll be. Right now, my head hurts from all the ideas. I think I need a nap!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

And, if you figure out where the extra hours are, let me know!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Happy October! (It's still October, right?)

A week into October, and I can't help but wonder...
What does October mean to me? 

The arrival of October means that I had better start the Christmas knitting and crafting (or I'll face the consequences with many late-night stitching sessions in late December...)

If I'm making decorations, like the Christmas Tree at left, I had better get started in now! (BTW, that link takes you to the tutorial for making one of your cute! And here's a Rav link for your library! And it's've got time to make several, really!)

If I'm looking for new ideas for handmade decorations, October 9th is past time to be stalking the Pinterest boards, or even blogs from last year...(thank you Mooglyblog for linking to my tutorial in 2012!). Or maybe doing pattern searches for Christmas on Ravelry and increasing my queue...(Yes, I'm over 230 patterns in my queue...don't judge. I've seen your faves, same thing.)

If I'm thinking of knitting a Christmas Sweater for myself, with a picture on it, I should really rethink my fashion priorities this October. Perhaps it's time for my wardrobe to move into the 21st century!

And if I'm thinking about knitting for friends and family, I should count my friends and family and then decide on a pattern for each. After totally freaking out at the volume of knitting that would produce, I should then prioritize that list, including only "knit-worthy" friends and family. Then it's time to check Facebook to see how many of those remaining on the list have posted photos of knitted gifts from me in the past, and read all the comments to make sure they were proudly posted, rather than posted to their "walls of shame." At this point, I'm probably just knitting for my granddaughter, and maybe my friends who knit. Of course, there are about 25 in my local knitting I should probably pick a fight with 15-16 of them. If I follow this plan, by November I should only have 10-12 people to knit for...doable? Maybe. 

Arrrgh! I'm only knitting for Peanut this year!

October means that it's dark, and cool and crisp in northeast Ohio. My mornings are quiet, apples are ready for picking, warm beverages and baked goods fill my kitchen, and there's lots of time to sit and knit in the evenings. It's time for comfort-food dinners and holiday party planning. You know, with all the time I'll have in these shorter-daylight days, I'll bet I could knit a little something for everyone...(but please, don't hold your breath...I may still just bring you a nice candle instead).

All of the bloggers and podcasters are talking about their holiday knitting and crafting, and I haven't really even started to plan for any of mine yet... Wow! I guess I should stop blogging and start knitting!

Thanks for stopping by! Knit (and Craft for the holidays) in Good Health!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Poetry in Motion

You guys all know that I have a thing for music, right?...and you've seen me rhyme. You also know that I was never very athletic, and I am definitely NOT "poetry in motion"...I've proven that over and over again in this lifetime! That might leave you wondering what the heck I ever did to pass the time on the playground when I was a kid, and it might not surprise you to know that I delighted in the rhyming games...jump rope rhymes, hand clapping games and the like were more my speed!

Don't be fooled...I was no better at jumping rope than I was at kick ball or soccer (or running)...but I was really good at memorizing the rhymes, and turning the rope so others could jump! You remember the classics, I'm
Cinderella, dressed in yella,
Went upstairs to kiss a fella.
Made a mistake, and kissed a snake!
How many doctors did it take?
1, 2, 3,...

Or perhaps you did this one:
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, shine your shoe!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, how old are you?
1, 2, 3,...

Oh! And I loved the hand clapping games, especially with a little melody, like:
Miss Susie had a tugboat, the tugboat had a bell.
Miss Susie went to Heaven, the tugboat went to...
Hello, operator? Please give me number 9,
(I'll stop here, you've probably heard this one)

So, you get the picture...I like rhyming! And singing! And knitting! Sooo, it really shouldn't surprise anyone that I like knitting rhymes and songs. Rhymes help you remember things. The ABC Song rhymes (and so do most of the songs we use to teach our toddlers and pre-schoolers). Most songs rhyme, and just take a moment to look around in your head and see how many stray lyrics are still hanging out up there, even songs from decades ago! I can even remember jump-rope rhymes from elementary school, for goodness' sake!

It's no surprise, then, that when I teach knitting (especially to kids) I love to use rhymes! I use them for adults, too...but the look on a pre-teen who is first learning to knit when I say, "In through the front door, grab your scarf! Out through the back, before the cat barfs!," that look is priceless! (Wait, did she just say BARF?!?) I get much the same look from adults who don't know me well! Of course, the ones who know me barely bat an eye. lol!

I know I'm not the only one using rhythm and meter to teach knitting, so I looked up knitting rhymes this week, in the hopes of sharing with you. After all, you never know when you'll need to teach someone new to knit! Here's the most common knitting rhyme I found (there are variations, very few include the word "barf."):
In through the front door and around the back.
Out through the window, off jumps Jack!

Or, if you want to teach the purl stitch, try this one:
Under the fence, catch the sheep.
Back we come, off we leap!

Knitting, you amaze me! You produce beautiful fabric, and you quiet my soul. You are poetry...poetry in motion on my needles. Thank you knitting!

Thank YOU for stopping by! I hope this week will find you knitting and rhyming in good health!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Yin and Yang...and Kevin

Yin and Yang, or (as you may know them) White Cat and Black Cat. They love Mr. Pretty, and sometimes me, if I sit still and play with yarn. Mostly they this.

Yin 1 and Yang 2, or (as I know them) my neighbor's white cat and black cat. They love my neighbor. They tolerate me if I am scooping litter and filling the food dish when she is away.

And Kevin, an outdoor, neighborhood cat who begs treats and loves long as we have kitty treats and are willing to share. 

And this is the spinning I was able to accomplish when I was not petting, playing with or providing food and treats for cats this week. Not too shabby!

That is all. Happy Hump Day!