Chili Weather

An actual cold snap has come to Florida! The temperature plummeted to 53 degrees this morning. I almost had to close the windows!

A day like this is the kind that makes you want to wear socks--handknit socks of COURSE--and dash into the kitchen to get a nice hot pot of chili going. If I were still in the northeast, I'd say, "Today is a good day to make stew." I ought to bake something, too! I'm having the kind of morning I love: I'm wearing sweatpants, which is something I can only do a couple of times per year here in the Sweaty State; I had time to listen to an episode of She-Knits this morning; and I've started a new pair of socks, similar to the Laziest Socks Ever, but I think this yarn is so gorgeous:


I'm still crazy about self-striping sock yarn. Has it lost its appeal for you? I bought this about a year ago from Little Knits (My God what good sales they have!!! hurrygobuysomeyarntheresaidthesubliminalvoiceinyourhead). It's On Line Supersocke in one of the City colorways. It's superwash. So far, I have refused to make socks out of any yarn that has to be hand-washed. It just doesn't seem practical to me. Knowing me, I'd accidentally throw them in the washer and dryer and felt them to death. Then I'd have to cry, and I don't want to do that. Anyway, this is just a "plain vanilla" sock. No pattern, nothing exciting. Cast on 64 stitches, then turn your brain off till you look down and you're holding a finished sock. Rinse and repeat. The fun part is seeing the various color patterns emerge. I have one worry: While winding this ball, I found a knot. Yeah. A Dreaded Knot. You know what that means with self-striping yarn, right? The color sequence is going to be messed up right there. I'll have to briefly turn my brain back on at that point, to make sure I can make the correct color striping sequence continue. Unlike The Laziest Socks Ever, I'm going to try to make this pair match.

I have a new Christmas stocking blocking on the dining room table. I have to put the finishing touches on the pattern and take pictures, and then I'm going to show you that in the next few days. I was chomping at the bit to finish it because I have received this:


I bet you can't guess what's in there!!!!
Oh, you guessed I really that transparent?

I haven't allowed myself to open that box yet. It's still sealed, in my closet. I put in an order at Knitting Warehouse, which is a great online place to buy yarn. I always go there when I am getting Lion Brand or Caron or Bernat yarns. They don't carry a ton of brands, but they have flat-rate shipping of $5.99 and they are always 100% accurate and incredibly fast. This is my first real yarn purchase since the Great Knitting Slump ended. It contains yarn to make some of the stuff that's in my unrealistically long Ravelry queue. I've optimistically planned to make five sweaters, among other things. I'll have to elaborate on that in another post. I also bought some of the new sock yarn from Red Heart, called Heart and Sole. You have to buy two skeins to make a pair of socks, but a skein is only $4.69 which appeals to my cheap side. Once again, I'm sadly reminded that I'll never be a yarn snob no matter how much I plan to start being one.

Well, enough prattling on! I have to get back outside in my fleece jacket/socks/sweatpants before it gets back up to 80 degrees.

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Sparkling Sleigh Bells Stocking

Here's the solution to that holiday sparkly acrylic you bought on sale last year after the holidays were over :) Ho Ho Ho!!!


This is a generously-sized stocking to hold lots of goodies

sparkling SB candle


Size 7 16-inch circular needle

Size 7 double-pointed needles, set of four

Stitch Marker

Various holiday-themed craft charms and/or alphabet beads to make recipient’s name, and/or jingle bells

Small craft ring (wood or metal), holiday-themed ribbon, or metallic cord suitable for making hanging loop of your choice. Instructions for knitted hanger (not pictured) included.

Finished Size: Approximately 8 inches wide x 20 inches long


Red Heart Holiday, 3 skeins in colors A, B and C of your choice (Any worsted-weight yarn can be used). For stocking pictured, the following yarns were used:

A: Cream (Aran/Gold) 1 skein 3.5 oz/100 g/*251 yds/230 m

B: Red/Green variegated (Victorian/Gold) 1 skein 3.5 oz/100 g/ *214 yds/196 m

C: Green (Green/Silver) 1 skein 3.5 oz/100 g/ *251 yds/230 m

Gauge: Not crucial. Per label:

20 stitches/28 rows = 4 inches/10 cm in stockinette stitch using size 7 needles

*Color B (Victorian/Gold) as above contains less yardage than A or C.

NOTE: When changing colors, pick up new color under strand of old color to avoid holes.

With A, cast 72 stitches onto 16-inch needle, place marker and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Round 1: *(K2, P2) around.

Round 2: Knit.

Rounds 3-12: Repeat rounds 1 and 2 five times.

Do not cut color A; join color B.

Rounds 13-19: With B, knit.

Round 20: With A, knit.

Do not cut Color B; join color C.

Rounds 21-27: With C, knit.

Round 28: With A, knit.

Rounds 29-76: Repeat rounds 13-28 three more times. Cut B and C.

Heel Setup Rows

Row 1: With A, K 18, turn.

Row 2: P 36, turn. Leave remaining 36 (instep) stitches on stitch holder (or on one needle if using double-pointed needles).

Modified Band Heel

Row 1: *Slip 1, K 1. Repeat across.
Row 2: Slip 1, P to end.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 three more times, ending by purling a row.

Begin turning heel:

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7: *Slip 1, K 1. Repeat across.

Row 2: Slip 1, P 10, P2tog, P 10, P2tog, P 11.

Row 4: Slip 1, P9, P2tog, P 10, P2tog, P10.
Row 6: Slip 1, P8, P2tog, P 10, P2tog, P9.

Row 8: Slip 1, P 7, P2tog, P 10, P2tog, P8.

28 stitches on the needle.

Row 9: Repeat Row 1.

Row 10: Slip 1, P 6, P2tog, P 10, P2tog.Turn.

Row 11: (Slip 1, K1) 6 times. Turn.

Row 12: Slip 1, P 10, P2tog. Turn.

Row 13: (Slip 1, K1) 5 times. Slip 1, K2tog. Turn.

Repeat rows 12 and 13 until all of the edge stitches on each side of the center 12 stitches have been consumed, ending with K2tog. There are 12 stitches on the needle. Turn.

Last row: Slip 1, P5. Turn. Place marker for beginning of round (center back heel). You will now begin to work in rounds again.


Round 1: Join color B. With B, K6. Pick up and knit 12 stitches evenly in the chain stitches along side of heel flap. Knit 36 instep stitches. Pick up and knit 12 stitches evenly in the chain stitches along the second side of heel flap. K6. Total of 72 stitches.

Rounds 2-7: With B, knit.

Round 8: With A, knit.

Rounds 9-15: Join Color C. With C, knit.

Round 16: With A, knit.

Rounds 17-46: Repeat rounds 13-28 (as in beginning of leg pattern above) twice. Cut B and C.


Note: Switch to double-pointed needles when too few stitches remain to continue using circular needle.

With color A:

Round 1: *K6, K2tog. Repeat around.

Round 2: Knit around.

Round 3: *K5, K2 tog. Repeat around.

Round 4: Knit around.

Round 5: *K4, K2tog. Repeat around.

Rounds 6: Knit around.

Round 7: *K3, K2tog. Repeat around.

Rounds 8: Knit around.

Round 9: *K2, K2tog. Repeat around.

Round 10: Knit around.

Round 11: *K1, K2tog. Repeat around.

Round 12: Knit around.

Round 13: *K2 tog. Repeat around. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail.

Finishing: Thread a tapestry needle with the yarn tail and run through remaining stitches twice. Pull tightly, then through to wrong side. Weave in ends. **Block.

Attach hanging loop and assorted charms/beads of your choice.

Hanging Loop: With color A and double-pointed needles, cast on 24 stitches, divide evenly among 3 needles, and place marker for beginning of round. Working in rounds, knit rounds 1 and 2 as for cuff four times. Bind off. Sew hanging loop firmly to cuff of stocking in desired position.


Adorn stocking with the holiday-themed craft charms of your choice.

**According to the instructions given by the yarn manufacturer

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Holiday Flurries Stocking

Tis the season to make Christmas stockings!! I'm not making any guarantees, but I have a strong hunch that if you make this one for anyone, they might think twice before giving you fruitcake. Again.

Price: $5.00

HF 3

Okay, I know we don't have snow in Florida, but...

Holiday Flurries 2

Thank you for purchasing my pattern. After your payment is processed, the pattern will be sent to you via email attachment within 24 hours, and most likely lots sooner. If for any reason you find an error (horrors!!) or have a question about it, please leave me a comment or hit the contact button up there on the right and I'll help. Happy Holidays!

If you're on Ravelry, you can get this even sooner by buying this pattern in my Ravelry shop. Just click the "Ravelry Designer" thingie up near the top right of this page and get the immediate .pdf download through Ravelry :)

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No Peeking! ! Well, Okay...a Little Peek

Hey! Remember this?

Red Heart Holiday

I'm making you something, just like I promised!! Ho Ho HO!!!! I'll give it to you tomorrow or the next day. Want me to give you a hint?


Quit trying to scroll to the left and peek. Don't even TELL me you didn't just try that. Those strands of yarn definitely lead to a WIP, as proven by the needle tips sticking out of it. See? SEE???

Are you excited? I'll show it to you tomorrow...night. Muahahahaha!!!

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Funky Acrylic and Buyer's Remorse

It happens every year, doesn't it? You can admit it; it's just us here now. You've knit for six months for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa and the holidays have finally come...and GONE. You resolve to lose weight, exercise more, and go on a yarn diet, too. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

One day last January while out and about, Determined to Not Buy Yarn, I bought this:

Red Heart Holiday

It was a sale. A SALE, okay? Immediate buyer's remorse set in. I was helpless against the force field of good yardage and the sale.I stashed it away, thinking I'd probably never use it, or would give it to a school for craft projects, maybe. It's kind of unwearable. It's scratchy to begin with, and then the addition of that gold or silver glitter-laden thread wrapping around the strand just makes it feel like steel wool.

I took it all out the other day and stared at it. I didn't even buy two skeins alike. Sigh. Did you do this, too? I'm working on a pattern we can knit to put some of this to good use. If you bought out the whole shelf of this last January, or something similar, don't lose hope. Come back in a few days, and maybe I'll have posted a free pattern that will help you justify that old purchase and sleep a little better. Plus, if you use up some of this yarn that's been taking up valuable stash space for almost a year, you know what that means, right? More stash space. Riiiiiiiiiight!!!!!

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The Blue and Orange Monstrosity, Revealed

As God is my witness, I shall never crochet with navy and orange again in my life. You know how many miles of it passed through my hands to make this??

LBHS whole thing

That's probably a lie; I no doubt WILL crochet with navy and orange again in my life. I have two kids attending the same high school with the same hideous-beyond-belief school colors, and only one of them has a school the math. Let's just say I'll be taking an orange and blue hiatus for a while--at least till my sight returns to quasi-normal. This afghan is for my oldest daughter.

So the name of the school has the letters "LBHS." She's in the class of 2010, is into music, and know.... I heart her. Of COURSE I heart her!

LBHS flat

You can do this yourself. Get giant gobs of acrylic (gotta be washable! and cheap!) in your kid's school colors, graph out the letters and numbers you want, add in a few squares that apply personally to YOUR kid, and there you go. I made four strips 40 stitches wide with 5 squares each 40 rows high, per strip. Also, I carried the color not in use inside of the row so it sort of peeks through. In other words, in a square that's predominantly navy, the orange yarn is running all through each row, and vice versa. This makes it thicker and warmer. I used a size J hook because of this. I didn't want it to be stiff like wood. After all, an afghan should be kinda bendy, right? She's going to cover up with it, not surf on it.

I almost forgot to tell you about the most important part, and why it tortured me! You already know from a few posts ago that this has taken a ridiculously long time to make. What I didn't mention was that on the final strip, the one with the "2"/"CLASS OF"/"L" is that I made a horrible, insane mistake. I finished the entire strip only to realize I made it in the WRONG COLORS. Yeah. Everything that was blue should have been orange, and vice versa.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Breathe. Okay.

I maaaaaay or may NOT have uttered several swear words when I discovered it. All I really remember is the slight pinprick from the needle when they gave me the sedative, and someone saying something about removing all the knives from the house...;)

So there you have it: The Blue and Orange Monstrosity in all of it's cheapo acrylic glory.


OH!!!! Speaking of cheapo acrylic, I have something I'll have to remember to show you tomorrow. For now, I have to just bask in the fact that I'll probably never touch this afghan again. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

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Laziest. Socks. Ever.

So one day last fall I was at a local flea market; it's an indoor venue with tons of essentially permanent booths set up by local vendors who sell their stuff on weekends. I was browsing around and found one that was an actual...yarn shop. You see, the lady who owned it had just closed her brick and mortar LYS. It was a store I'd always meant to stop by, but I never did get around to it, what with being a lazy procrastinator and all that. I was delighted to find her in the flea market, and I bought two skeins of S.R. Kertzer On Your Toes . I cast on the first sock pretty much right away and got past the heel and well into the foot when The Great Knitting Slump of 2007-08 AND Premature Second Sock Syndrome struck simultaneously. At that point, the unfinished sock, the ball of yarn and my size 2 DPNs went to live in my knitting basket.

Fast forward 11 months.

Picture 048


In keeping with maintaining my laziness where these socks are concerned, I didn't even bother trying to make them look like they matched. Normally, with self-striping/patterning yarn, I attempt to start sock #2 at the same place in the color sequence so the socks come out looking exactly the same. But I didn't do it for the Laziest. Socks. Ever. Did you notice they're also sans any sort of interesting stitch pattern whatsoever, too? Ultra-lazy. Yeah--and I didn't bother blocking them, either. However, I did have so much yarn left over that immediately upon grafting the toe of sock #2, I cast on and immediately finished these:

Picture 052

to attempt to assuage my guilt over taking almost a year to make one pair of socks, never mind The Unfinished Blue and Orange Monstrosity that has also been a UFO for almost a year.

By the way, I just finished that at midnight last night. Pictures coming soon! Probably not a year from now! :)

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Nearing the Crochet Finish Line

If you've been following this blog, you've heard me refer to The Great Knitting Slump of 2007-2008. I've had an epiphany where that's concerned!

I know (partially, at least) what killed my knitting mojo. First, you need to know that I generally have three projects going at once: One knit project that's kind of time-consuming; one knit project that gives nearly instant gratification like this; (you won't be able to see the link for this cool hat unless you're on Ravelry) and one crochet project. Now don't go running away right off the bat if you're a purist knitter and I've just used the "C" word! Keep an open mind, now :)

Anyway, I digress. A little over a year ago, I promised my daughter I would crochet her a specific something. There were a couple of problems. I had to design it myself, which I like, but it wasn't really something I felt terribly enthused about. Mind you--I WANTED to want to do it, see? But I really sorta didn't. I got as far as designing it and even making all my color charts. I bought the yarn. Actually, that's pretty much where the kiss of death began. I didn't like the yarn. But I'm frugal; I'm thrifty (cheap cheap cheap) and needed a crapload of this yarn. Also, it had to be in two colors I happen to specifically kind of loathe. It was this and this.

I was able to start this project, but early on I got sick to death of it. I'm the type of person who feels sorry for my UFOs and feel disloyal if I really take on a new NEW project (beyond the 3 as above) with a lonely UFO sitting around, and I really couldn't go on with this big crochet project, so I stalled out.

I really think that deciding to get on Ravelry and listening to my favorite knitting podcasts again jump-started things. After not touching this thing for almost a year, I've now reached the home stretch! Woot! I'll show it to you in the next couple of days after I bribe the one person in the house who can take a decent picture to do so. Decent pictures are not my forte, as you can see by looking around here. That's a subject for a whole other day. See yas!

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I'm Missing Out

I've spent a lot of time knitting and crocheting in my life. Haven't you? Since the dawn of the internet, online patterns, Ravelry, etc., the knitting world is at my fingertips, in its entirety! Hello? Dream come true!!!

However, with all the browsing, surfing, dreaming and drooling I do on a daily basis, I haven't made very many of the "wildfire" knits, as Jenny and Nicole on Stash and Burn call them. I'm talking about those wildly popular patterns like Clapotis, Monkey Socks, Branching Out, Irish Hiking Scarf, Wicked, Baby Surprise Jacket,etc. I made the Einstein Coat, but I used a yarn I got on ebay that nobody else will ever use. I things so unconventionally.

I wonder why that is? Those are great patterns, and like I say--wildly popular. I do spend a lot of time designing my own stuff, but I have to start making sure I have lots of free time for personal sit-back-and-relax knitting. I'm going to head over to Ravelry and start queuing up some good, popular, tried-and-true patterns so I can be like the cool kids :)

By they way, remember when I posted yesterday about being flabbergasted that there were 7 pages of activity on my designs on Ravelry? Now it's up to 16. I love you, Ravelry. =)

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Holy cow!!!

So let me tell you this! I waited way longer than most rabid knitters to get on Ravelry. I just got on it after the end of The Great Knitting Slump of 2007-2008, on September 18. A couple of years ago, like I mentioned earlier, I was writing patterns and selling patterns and all that. I took a few of those designs today and plunked them on Ravelry. My gosh!! Talk about being welcomed with open arms! If you aren't on Ravelry, get on it. That has to be the friendliest, warmest group of a quarter million strangers you'll ever come across.

I'm beyond flabbergasted. I've had patterns posted for only a few hours right now, and already there are 7 pages of "activity" on them, meaning people have favorited them, commented on them or queued them. I'm stunned, stunned, STUNNED. And happy! And flattered. If you're one of those people, and you're reading this post, then I like you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart :))
You guys are the coolest. Of course you are! You're knitters/crocheters, right? 'Nuff said. ;D

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Oh Lordy Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm's October. You know what that means, right? Halloween candy!!!! Have you seen the Candy Corn Hershey Kisses?!

Good God. I just got some and put them in my clear glass pumpkin-shaped candy dish. Oh, soooo yummy. They taste like white chocolate to me.

Go get some right away.

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