Daruma…where have you been all my life?

Daruma…where have you been all my life?

Lavender Colors
Violet Colors

I was knitting up some charity hats and decided to change yarn sizes and use some of my 2/24 stash. There is a whole cupboard of it that I have accumulated through the years – most coming with a machine I was buying. But the problem is I need 2 strands to knit a hat and even though I have a cupboard full – nothing matches. So, I just chose 2 different sets of purple and began knitting hats. First, I just ran 2 cones through the same side of the mast and those are the hats in the photos that are striped. I presumed the colors would probably pool in a way I did not want, but stripes came out. The stripes did not look too bad, but I decided to try winding the 2 yarns together with a Daruma Twister before knitting with it. I have had that twister quite a while – it also came with a machine I had purchased. But I had never tried it.  I wound 2 balls – one with the violet yarns and one with the lavender yarns. And I knit more hats. I liked the result! It is more of an allover color distribution and I find it more appealing. The photos also show the difference in the 2 yarn colors on the cones. The lavenders are not very close in color, while the violets are closer. With this winder I can utilize a whole lot more of these yarns! Now…I know I could just make a second ball of one color on my Brother winder…but hey…what fun is that? 😊 I have discovered a new toy!

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Always Learning

Always Learning

Spring top in lacy pink

At our yearly machine knitting seminar, that our knitting club sponsors, we have a demonstrator come in to share their expertise and this year we enjoyed Sandee Cherry of Kwik Knits. It was a great seminar and I must admit I spent way too much on patterns that she offered. But it was all so much fun to gather and see like minded-folks and learn new techniques! One of the patterns I bought showcases sideways knit tops. The photo shows a dolman sleeve top I picked from the choices and I do like this one because the slope under the arm is not large so that it bags with extra fabric as some dolmans can do. I chose to leave needles out of work to create faux lace. When knitting sideways one is limited by the width of the knitting machine for the length of the garment. I would have liked a little more length even though I added needles over her suggested amount and used the whole bed. I did have a bit of trouble with what I felt like was leaving out some vital instructions – but perhaps it is just due to my lack of experience following patterns. I tend to just find schematics of what I want to make, do a swatch and write my own patterns. But learning to follow other patterns is an education for me and probably most folks, that have been knitting and following patterns longer than I, would have understood. Sandee was gracious as I emailed her to find out what I missed. The sleeve edges and bottom can have an edge applied, but she has suggestions for making the unfinished roll look good. If I make this one again, I may do a flat ribbing or such thing – which would also help with the length of the top. I am not a huge fan of unfinished edges – although this one looks fine. I made this top out of a hard twist yarn like Tamm Diamante or Estilo on the standard machine at tension 7. It is suggested to wear a tank or camisole under the topper with the lacy look. I have more patterns of Sandee’s to try and I will be an expert pattern reader by the time I get through all of them! 😊

Tuck Lace Afghan

Tuck Lace Afghan

I wanted to make a blanket on the standard machine like this one that Diana Sullivan did on a bulky machine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93z-X3Nuq1s It is a tuck lace and makes a nice fabric and I like her hem technique. She did not refer to making sure there were plain stitches on the edge, so when I did it on the standard I should have watched a little more carefully because a tuck stitch ended up at the edges. That made it much harder to make a nice join with the latched joining method. So, I ended up mattress stitching it together. It is fine, but not as nice on the reverse side as the latching method would have been. Hoping it is a cozy, warm blanket to snuggle under as one receives the chemo treatment.

Awaiting a Living, Risen Savior

Awaiting a Living, Risen Savior

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen!” Luke 24: 1 – 6

History proves Jesus Christ lived on this earth and there is proof he was killed. History and the accounts in the Bible prove He is alive today. The ones who killed Him could not produce a body. They all saw the empty tomb because Jesus had risen from the dead. Hundreds saw Him walking around after He was resurrected and saw the wounds in His hands and feet. He died to pay for our sins and His resurrection sets him apart from every other person. It was undeniable He had risen from the dead. Just as there was a specific day Jesus Christ was born on this earth, a specific day He rose from the dead, there will be a specific day when He comes back. Will you be ready for that day? You have one life time to choose Him and we never know on which day that life will come to an end. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. I invite you to trust Him today or you will miss out on the greatest opportunity ever presented to mankind. His resurrection and the free gift He offers us, sets Him apart from every other belief system. We await a living, risen Savior. May you truly rejoice over His resurrection this Easter!

Blizzard Baby Hat

Blizzard Baby Hat

Mid Gauge
Standard Gauge

As you undoubtedly heard on the news this last week, Colorado (and other states) had a blizzard called a Cyclone Bomb. That was some storm! But as I watched the coverage of it, they showed a Mom and her baby that was ready to come into the world – Cyclone Bomb or not – as babies are known to do. And this baby had the cutest hat on! It was an earflap hat with a pointed top and I was so inspired I had to make one. I had written a pattern a while back for several sizes of earflap hats, but they started at 6 months size and I wanted a newborn size to knit for our Knit Club charity. First, I knit one on the mid-gauge, then tried on the standard. I much preferred the standard gauge one. Even though the mid gauge one looked great – it is so much heavier with the bulkier yarn and the standard gauge one is so light and just right for indoor wear for a newborn. I did not work out making them come to a point, but I think they are pretty cute either way. If you’d like to try making one, the pattern is in the drop-down menus. The cute loops on the top of the standard gauge hat are not my design. You can see where to find the instructions at the bottom of the pattern. The hat with the loops in the photo ended up a little short so I adjusted the pattern – if adding loops to the top, then more rows are needed. But… we’ll call this one a preemie hat. 😊

Yukon Set

Yukon Set

Hearts and Love

I am always working on charity knitting in between projects for myself. I drew up this design in the PPD and did the baby blanket in Double Bed Jacquard. It makes a thick, soft blanket. I decided to make a hat to match and thought I’d just do it in fair isle instead of DBJ and was hoping (haha) that the floats would not be too bad. I chose the opposite color for the background of the hat. But of course, the floats were awful. So, I rehung it and made a lining. But stockinette and fair isle do not knit up the same length for the same number of rows, so I was guessing on length of lining. Ahh…good guess, GrammaAnn. 🙂 I also only wanted to do one repeat of the design, but I did not have enough rows knit yet to complete the hat. So, I changed out the white for another cone of the same red and continued on with the fair isle. It made a faint design in the fabric, but it is the same thickness at the bottom part of the hat. I finally got the lining all attached and mattress stitched. Now this baby can forge the Yukon! It is a rather thick hat between the fair isle, which is already thicker than stockinette – then adding a lining. Both blanket and hat are snuggly and warm for a cold day! I do hope this set will bless some new Momma and baby!

Mosaic Mistake

Mosaic Mistake

Mosaic Mistake
Ahhh…much better 

I wanted to knit a 2-color tuck in one of the mosaic designs that are built into my Brother 940.  I knit the first hat, took it off the machine and was so surprised to see I basically had stripes. Not even pretty stripes. Certainly not a mosaic design. The wonderful fellow knitters on the KP Forum graciously pointed out to me that I was changing colors on the wrong row! I was knitting 2 rows to begin, and it takes 3 with the beginning color. Then you change colors every 2 rows and it turns into mosaic knitting like the second photo. Who knew? Well… I did read the manual for instructions, but I must have missed that one. I liked the mosaic look – even though it has a mistake, as you can see, where I forgot to change the color. But we will call that a design feature. 😊 Anyway, they will both make warm charity hats for some one less fortunate than me.

Studio 700 Lace

Studio 700 Lace

I purchased a Studio 700 and lace carriage because I had heard that it was much easier to knit lace on this machine as opposed to my favored Brother machines. To be honest I am not fan of Studio machines. I know it is just what one is used to – and I am used to my Brother machines. But I must admit, having used both, that the Studio is much more “fiddly” than a Brother. But nevertheless, I bought it and it is easier to make lace! This scarf/cowl was knit over 60 needles and 300 rows with Loops and Threads Wool-Like yarn. It took 1.6 ounces of a 3.5-ounce skein and took just a few minutes to knit. Plenty left for more scarves. 😊 So, I guess we will call this my Lace Machine because I will always do the lion’s share of standard gauge knitting on my Brother 940 and reserve this one for lace!

Soft and Cuddly for a Newborn

Soft and Cuddly for a Newborn

Blue and White Sheep
Purple and White Elephants

I am having fun with designs on the PPD!  I did some hats designs on the PPD and covered the back of the fair isle floats with the lining of the hat. But I wanted to do some charity baby blankets so needed to do double bed jacquard. But I am no fan of bird’s eye backing on DBJ. It makes the fabric much denser and stiffer, as well as pulling in more on the sides. So, my go-to backing for DBJ is the 2-row stripe. No settings on the ribber and it makes a lovely, soft blanket. I wanted to do pink and white for the elephant blanket – you know pink elephants. 😊 But the pink I had was too light and with the white did not show the design well at all. So, the other choices I had in my stash (besides blue that I had already knit the sheep blanket in) were orange and purple. So purple it was. I wish I would have done another repeat of the design for the elephants, but it is large enough for a newborn.  Knit on the standard gauge with 2/14 yarns at tension 4. I have so many more ideas that I want to make in DBJ, but I might try something else for a while.

Savior and King

Savior and King

We have had wonderful family gatherings to celebrate this season. And family is so important to us – we love them wholeheartedly! But the real reason for our getting together is to remember why we are celebrating. The gifts are thoughtful, the food delicious, the connecting with each other is heart-warming.  But the reason we have this holiday is to remember that Jesus Christ was born over two thousand years ago. He did not come as a king or a warrior but as an unassuming baby. But that baby was born with a purpose and that was to die on a cross. He knew the plan but willingly came and some day He will come again as King. It might be easier to think of all the fun and festive part of Christmas, but I pray you will not miss the real reason Jesus came and that was to die for you and me so that by putting our trust in Him, we will be ready to meet Him as King someday and spend forever with Him. Merry Christmas to my dear knitting friends!