Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Charlie Brown

My daughter and I just watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for the first time. She had been listening to the soundtrack for the last 2 months and really likes the Linus and Lucy song. I was curious to see how she would respond to seeing the film that went with the music she was already familiar with. She liked it, and danced when she saw the part with the other kids dancing, just like I used to do. But I did censor some of the show. I had forgotten how the kids called Charlie Brown names - blockhead, stupid, hopeless, etc; Lucy threatening to beat up Linus and trying to hit Snoopy, etc. I didn't want her picking up any words like that and calling anybody those names (she was already copying other things they were saying as she watched it), so I talked over those parts or redirected her attention. She can watch it again next year perhaps, but I will still be a little wary about that name-calling stuff. Am I the only parent censoring tv like that? Am I too sensitive? It's good that we watched it together first.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snowflakes in the air...

Here is a snowflake that I knitted from a pattern that I got from (the 11/7/07 post):

I thought it would be a lot harder to do, but I followed the instructions carefully and I really like the results! I used a piece of paper to keep track of the number of stitches I was doing while I created it. I used the Bernat Baby yarn, which I think is a little too delicate for the snowflake. I will try it again using a regular white yarn. It only took me 1.5 hours to make (since I was being so careful to follow the directions) but it got faster at the end as I got more used to the kind of stitches I was doing. It measures 3.5 inches across. The directions said to use fabric stiffener to finish it off, but I haven't done that yet and am deciding whether or not I will do that step. Probably on the next one (or the next few ones). I never thought you could create something like this on a loom!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Still Scratchin...

My scratchboard project is 90% done now, I just have to add a few finishing touches and mount it on a different piece of scratchboard, since the one it is on is worn from being worked on. And I'll have a nice long narrative with pictures to talk all about it when I post it to the blog next week!

My Christmas Stocking

Here's my Christmas stocking!

It took about 3 days to complete (working just about an hour each day). It is 15.5 inches long. A few nice long sticks of candy should fit nicely in there! This is using the Lion Brand Holiday Homespun colors. The challenging part was the heel of course. I may just get some cheap yarn and knit a bunch of practice heels until I get comfortable with it. I really like how the stocking came out and I'm considering adding something else to it as a decoration. I'm going to try my hand at making a snowflake, and if it comes out right, I will add it to the stocking (if it looks right on it). I also have to add the loop for the stocking to be hung by the chimney (with care, of course!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Delicious baby hat

Here's the latest:

I think it looks absolutely delicious, like a green and white peppermint! My newborn baby hat series is turning out to be quite nice.

I am working on a red and green Christmas stocking and expect to be done with it tomorrow.


I am making awesome progress on my next scratchboard, it is 85% done. I still keep going back and forth on what I should entitle it. It is a very striking image and I don't want it to be held back for lack of a sufficient title.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My new baby...

Baby HAT, that is!!! Fresh from the loom, combining the Country Loom Landscape and Bernat Baby Coordinates White:

I must say that the Bernat is lasting for a VERY long time and it combines well with other yarns.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My latest hat

Here's the newest one, I just finished it today:

I used Loops & Threads Country Loom yarn. This is one that I haven't used before and I found it to be very easy to work with. It is 100% acrylic, and the color is called Landscape. I would buy it again.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's baaaaack!!!!!

Due to an unexpected increase in the amount of time I have available (don't bother asking me how), the scratchboard project that was on the back burner due to loom knitting has come roaring back with a vengeance. I am a little more than halfway done with a project that I started months ago. I accomplished so much in just 2 days! If all goes well, at the end of the week I will have a new piece to post and sell!

Children's Church Projects

Here are a few more crafts I assembled for the children's church:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's finished!!!

Here are the green leaves for the poinsettia completed and assembled:

And here is the poinsettia!!!

I am so proud of myself for doing it and I think it came out really nice! It measures 12 inches across, which is a bigger size than the instructions stated. But that is probably because I kept losing count of the number of rows I was knitting for the green leaves, so they aren't all the same size.

Most of the time you only get to see the front of a project. Well, here is what the back looks like. That little bit of red yarn is what is left from me knitting the red to the green:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lovin' that flower!

Everyone who sees my poinsettia is giving it raves!And it isn't even done yet! Next I am kntting the green leaves that will be attached behind it. I have finished 4 so far:

I only need two more, which I expect to complete tomorrow.The first 3 didn't come out so well. They are uneven and skinny to me. But I altered the directions a little bit and the last one I did came out better. Most of the green leaf will be hidden behind the red ones anyway, so it won't be too noticeable. See if you can pick out which one is the last one I did.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Leaves Assembled

Voila! The poinsettia! It only took a few minutes to assemble the red leaves.

I made the yellow part using Bernat Satin Sport Warm Yellow and 15 yellow pony beads. The instructions were to string the beads onto the yarn first and then knit them in. At first I thought this was going to create a tangled, loose mess, but I knit it taut and cinched the bottom closed. As I gathered the top it clustered into the neat ball that you see here. I didn't have the Knifty Knitter spool loom, so I improvised using the pink loom, removing one of the pegs, and using a loom clip, as below:

This was easy to do. Here is what the back of the poinsettia looks like:

So far I have completed 3 of the green leaves, which I will post shortly.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Here are the leaves!

My wife said they look like chili peppers. They do, actually. The way I arrranged them on the page could be a work of art unto itself.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Poinsettia almost half done...

I’m finally getting the hang of making these red flower leaves. I was able to get one done in less than 30 minutes today! I’m on the last one now, number 6. It was a little tight even though I kept the yarn loose; I’m not sure why. Once number 6 is done, I’ll post a picture of the leaves, then I’ll sew them together per the instructions and post a picture of them all sewn together. I was thinking last night that I could make the entire plant, but I don’t feel that ambitious (yet). The day may come.

But I did get an idea for Thanksgiving. It would be a nice little craft to put on each guest’s plate at the dinner. That is, if it turns out right when I make it. I don’t expect that I’ll have it ready in time for such a thing, but it will be a neat little something for later. Too bad I thought of the idea so late.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finally Knitting Easier...

I finally figured out a good way to wrap the yarn on the loom. I wrap it on as gently as a feather. It isn’t loose but it doesn’t get taut like it was getting before, and I am able to knit without the difficulty and tightness I was experiencing.

Today I knitted the rest of the second flower leaf and completed another one. So now half of the flower is complete! Just 3 more red flower leaves to complete and I can start on the green leaves. I can tell it is going to look really nice when it is done. I'm excited!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Loom Clips

I forgot to mention that I used loom clips as I was knitting the practice sock. Using the clips was easy... SNAP! and they are in place. But unsnapping them must be done carefully. I was concerned that I might break them as I twisted them off, but I didn't.

I am almost finished with the second leaf for my poinsettia. I'm still struggling with the yarn being wrapped too tightly on the loom, so I have to find that "perfect" balance to knit with. The two main problems with the yarn being too tight are: 1. sometimes the peg pops out of the loom while you're trying to pull the yarn over the top of it, and 2. sometimes the yarn you are trying to knit over comes off as you are trying to knit off. So both strands of yarn are left dangling while you try to figure out which one belongs on top. ARGH!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Yesterday I was working on the second leaf for the poinsettia, but I wound the yarn too loosely around the loom and it just became a tangled, confused mess. I will start again today!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I can’t escape: I was doing laundry and I saw a knitted hat my wife had, and I thought to myself, I could do that…

I was in the closet and I saw one of my wife’s sweaters hanging there, and I thought to myself, that’s an interesting pattern, I could try that…

I was reading the paper and I saw a production still from the movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox is talking to his wife, who has on a knit sweater. I thought to myself, that could have been my sweater in that movie! Does anybody else go through this?

Loom Lunacy

It’s official… I’m a totally hopeless case when it comes to loom knitting. I get teary and drool at the sight of yarn, thinking of all the wonderful things I could make with it. I’m scanning YouTube and the web for various new stitches and projects to challenge me. I discovered websites for men who knit. I learned to loom knit my first sock and I’m becoming more familiar with all the knitting terminology. I’m starting to combine different yarns to see how they look together. I haven’t scratched a single piece of scratchboard for awhile. And now my coworkers know that I loom knit, and I’m not ashamed. One of them even asked me to make a hat, and when I made it for him, he bought it (my first sale, yippee!) It’s official: I’M A LOOM KNITTER!!! Deal with it. I wonder if there is a way to combine knitting and scratchboard…

Here are a few of the projects I’ve been working on to date -
My adult hat collection:
This was an experiment I did using Lion Brand Homespun Montana Sky and some glass beads I bought from Michael's. I strung the beads onto the yarn and kept moving them down the yarn as I knit until I got to where I wanted to place them. It was a tedious process. Once it was done the beads were loosely attached after all that, and they flop around. Next time I will add the beads after I finish the hat. I think next time I would also use more beads or larger beads.
This is my hat, which I used Lion Brand Thick and Quick navy blue wool, and another navy blue regular yarn. I created brims for all my other adult hats, but this was the first one I tried without a brim. I thought if I didn't make a brim that it might unravel, but that isn't the case, so some of my baby hats are brimless also. The two blues are different hues; if you look carefully you can see it:

This is a hat and scarf set I did using Homespun Black, Montana Sky, and the remnants of another mixed white Homespun that I had:
Another hat I made, using Lion Brand Homespun Harvest. I like the variations in color:
This was my first baby hat. I used Bernat Baby Coordinates White. It has a silky white strand running through it, I don't know if you can see that from the picture. After I made this hat, I just kept adding the Bernat White to everything else I did:

Here are a few baby hats that I combined different weights of yarn together, just to experiment.
This one has three different color strands and is very thick. It wasn't too hard working with three strands but it was a little tricky making sure they were all together on each peg:

Here is the Montana Sky and Bernat White together:

Next to the white baby hat, I think I like this one (Bernat white and Homespun Saffron) the best:

Here’s my first sock. I figured I would try to figure out on my own how to make the heel, but my meager attempts did not work (i.e decreasing the size and then just leaving one stand on a peg while I continued to knit, hence the loop you see hanging out from the side). So I turned to the web, and after some clear instructions I figured it out:

Here’s my attempt at alternating ribbed stitches. I like how the pattern looks, and though the yarn looks black it is actually navy blue. Can you see the pattern? The photo didn't really translate it too well. I was running out of the blue yarn, so I started playing with the pattern a bit, making it smaller.

Finally, I am attempting to make a poinsettia (using Lion Brand Holiday Homespun Holly) based on a tutorial I found on the Loom Lore blog (Friday, 12/7/07): It took me nearly an hour to do the first leaf, since I wasn’t used to the technique involved with making it. The yarn keeps getting so tight, I have to fight with it to get it to pull it over the pegs sometimes. But the results come out so tightly woven it’s nice. And I like how I can pull together one end of the yarn and it closes the knitting up, and the more you knit the more it starts making a cup-like shape. Eventually I am going to have a complete flower to post on my blog, and I will be so proud of it!
The photo is a little dark because that red yarn is so bright that the camera flash made it too intense. Those "sparkles" are the yellow thread that holds the yarn together.
You might think I am partial to Lion Brand yarn, and I do admit that I enjoy using it very much, but I also can appreciate the fine yarns from other manufacturers and from individuals that I see online at etsy and other sites.
You can see I've been busy!!! Maybe you should get a loom and see how much fun it is for yourself!

Knittin' Archives Part 2

2-6-09 ~ I am almost at the halfway point knitting my wife's shawl:
It is 23" long so far and I am on my 5th ball of yarn. I have 5 more left but I don't know if I'll use them all yet. I'm truly getting bit by the loom knitting bug now, and I've been thinking of other projects to do, like knitting a baby blanket to have "just in case" we get invited to a baby shower or to give to a local hospital.

2-16-09 ~ Here is the progress on the shawl:

So far it's up to 29". I think it is coming out even nicer than I thought it would.
I also just finished an all black scarf for a friend who doesn't know he/she is getting it yet.
And I just started a scarf for my wife, whom I had not made a scarf for yet. I bought some of that gorgeous recycled unrefined silk yarn I had blogged about last month from It is so soft and beautiful! I bought 200g of it. When it came it wasn't wrapped in a ball so I just started working with it right away. I soon learned that I had better make it into a ball before it turns into a tangled mess. Unfortunately I had already started, so it was starting to get tangled. I had always wondered why I would see in those old movies sometimes a person with their hands out holding the yarn while a second person winds it into a ball. Several hours and a few scissor clips later I had 4 balls of yarn of various sizes.

I wasn't sure if I had enough to make the length of scarf I wanted to make, but I figured I'd just start it and order more if I needed to. My wife loves the color and richness of it, and as I work with it, it becomes more and more beautiful, since the variety of colors in it will allow her to wear it with many different outfits. Here it is:

2-20-09 ~ I am so happy with the progress I've been making on these projects for my wife. The shawl is already at 37":

I'm going to measure one of her other shawls to make sure this one is the same length (or a bit longer). However I just noticed that even though I take a new picture of it, it probably looks the same to you from week to week. I'll have to figure out a way to illustrate that it is getting longer.
And her scarf is at 17":

It isn't as hard to work with as I had imagined, though it will be thin in some spots. To me that makes it more delicate, and even though it will be a little thin, it is strong and will take a lot of abuse. The colors in it are so rich and luxurious, no one will guess that it didn't cost a lot when they see it!

3-15-09 ~ I had some personal business to take care of last week, and it took a good part of my time, so I didn't work on the knitting projects too much. But when I was able to get back to it last weekend and during this week, I finished my wife's scarf! Here it is, finished, at 68" long:

It is like stained glass:

You will see different colors in it depending on the light you're in. It is so rich and beautiful, I love it, and so does my sweetie! A great big thank you to The Wool Peddler at! I advise anyone looking for some great yarn to check out their website.
I decided to hang the shawl on the door so you could get a better idea of how long it is getting. That red at the top is just a towel I put there so the dust on top of the door wouldn't get on the shawl:

As you can see it is almost the full length of the door. Right now it is at 68" - same length as the scarf - and I have two more balls of yarn to go. I expect to have it done in early April. All this knitting has really been a wonderful experience for me, and I look forward to seeing what role it will take on in my life after I finish the shawl.
3-22-09 ~ It has been a productive week for knitting, and I am finally on my last ball of yarn! I have knitted this shawl out of 10 balls of yarn, and it took longer than I thought it would. But I am grateful for the journey and excited to present it to my wife. Right now it is 83" long, and I expect to have it done before the end of the week:

As you can see, it covers the whole door now. I had to use a different door than last time to take this picture.

4-04-09 ~ I'M DONE WITH THE SHAWL!! YAY! It took me about 8 weeks to do, and I'm very happy with how it turned out (so is my wife). The total length is 84":

I was done with it last week but I didn't have any batteries for my digital camera so I didn't blog about it. While I was working on the shawl I completed 2 scarves for some dear friends of ours, who were very appreciative of them.

Knittin' Archives Part 1

Here are the archives of all my knitting projects from before I switched my blog over to Blogger:


12-27-08 ~ I knew back in the summertime that I wanted to make handmade gifts for my family this year, but I thought I was going to be able to learn how to quilt. I wanted to make quilts for everyone with family pictures on them. Rather ambitious for someone who has never quilted before!! So after I did a little research at the local yarn and craft store, I decided to make something different. I had always wanted one of those hand-cranked knitting machines and I started looking for it. Surprisingly, my wife found it when she was in the local thrift store and bought it for me. I tried it out, but I wasn't too happy with the results. Sometimes it would miss the yarn and you had to re-thread it back in, which made it difficult to simply turn the crank and knit without a care. So I went to Wal-mart and bought a Knifty Knitter loom and some yarn to practice. It was slow going at first, having to learn a new craft. But the directions were very easy to follow (once I read them several times and studied the pictures). And in no time I was loom knitting. I've discovered a new way to relax and create something wonderful for the people I love. The photo below is a picture of me nearly done with the scarf for my mother-in-law:

I sent it to her and she was absolutely delighted with it. I made one for my parents too but haven't heard back yet since they weren't available when I called. I haven't finished two more I'm making for other family members. Once I got started, I enjoyed it so much. It is a very peaceful and fulfilling activity, since you see the progress you are making so rapidly.


1-2-09 ~ Here is the scarf that I just finished for my sister:

and here is a detail of the scarf:

I think it came out so nice. I didn't measure the length but it is 2.5 rolls of this color yarn. It took about 2 weeks to complete, working on it for about 1-2 hours a day during the week. I'm working on my brother-in-law's scarf right now and it should be done by the end of next week.
1-7-09 ~ Here is the black scarf that I finished for my brother-in-law:

Here is a detail:

I didn't measure the length but it is 1.75 rolls of this color yarn. It is not as wide as the others because the wider ones seemed more feminine to me.

1-8-09 ~ Who knew I'd be knitting my way into 2009?! Here is the scarf that I finished for my daughter:

It probably took about 1/4 of the red and not much of the white to complete. It measures 4.5 x 34.5. I decided to try knitting two colors together to see how it would look, and I think it came out great. The white yarn has various colors marbled into it, and you never know which color you are going to get as you work your way through the yarn. When I bought it I thought it would mostly be blue but there is also purple and brown so far; I'm sure other colors I haven't seen yet are hiding in there. If you look closely at the picture above you can tell that the white ends are both different colors. Here is a detail of the scarf:

It is as soft and warm as it looks! This scarf took the shortest amount of time to complete: 5 hours. It is the shortest and least wide of all of the ones I've done.

I was loom knitting this scarf as my wife and I sat in a public waiting room, and all the women on staff came over and commented on how nice it was coming out. One showed us a lavender and white baby blanket she had crocheted. It was beautiful! She also loom knitted: she made little hats for the premature babies to wear at a local hospital. She described how she made the hats and the little pom-poms for the top. She shared with me some tips on knitting and showed my wife (who has an interest in sewing) how to make the rail fence pattern for quilts. The women were surprised that I could get almost the entire scarf done in the amount of time we were sitting there and kept coming over to check my progress. If I get ambitious I might try to make a hat and maybe some mittens for her.

1-15-09 ~ Here are two more projects I have started this week. The first one is a scarf for me. My daughter loved her scarf when I gave it to her and I decided to make mine two colors too:

This is about 5 hours worth of knitting, and already I have 28" in length. I'm using the 8" loom. I hope to be done with it by the end of next week since the temperatures are in the single digits around here! I'm using the same yarn I used for all my other scarves: Lion's Brand Homespun.
This is the shawl that I started making for my wife:

It is a different brand of yarn: Patons Divine. The color is Denim Storm:

It has wispy strands, almost as if you had taken a comb to the yarn and pulled it through:

I thought those wispy strands were going to make it easier for the yarn to snag as I worked it, but it didn't. This is about 3 hours of knitting on the 20" loom. I have 3 inches of length. We bought ten 142 yard rolls of it, so hopefully that is enough to do the job. Can you tell that I'm really enjoying this?! What's next, Artman Greg scarves? Maybe.
1-22-09 ~ Progress is so quick and visible when you knit, that is one of the most satisfying parts about it. Here's how they look after just two weeks. Mine measures 50",

the shawl is 12.5":

1-30-09 ~ My scarf is done! I made mine the longest (72") because I like nice long scarves to wear. It is so soft and warm, I love it! My hat goes off to Lion's Brand yarn! So it took about 2.5 weeks, partly because last week I only worked on it 3 days:

And here is the progress on my wife's shawl. It is now 19":