Knitting Thursday

So if you remember I said all I was working on is Jessica’s blanket. Well, that is true, so I honestly don’t have anything new to show you besides an updated picture of it. If I haven’t said so before, I really love how the corners look.

On other notes, I have been looking at patterns *when am I not* & actually picked up three to make or modify. Wanna see? Of course you do.

Hue Shift Afghan

The Hue Shift Afghan blends eleven colors of Brava Sport harmoniously in this unique and crafty mitered afghan. Knit in four larger pieces and then seamed together, each of the four sections begins at the corner and mitered squares are picked up and knit directly onto the existing work. By combining this clever construction with simple garter stitch knitting, you are able to create a modern and visually stunning motif with minimal effort! Although each mitered square is worked in the same way, they each begin slightly differently depending on where in the pattern they are located. The first square cast on becomes one of the four corners of the afghan where four more squares are picked up and knit one after another. Each following row of squares is picked up and knit onto the previous row until each section is complete. Made with simple garter stitch mitered squares and finished off with a dark border, the Hue Shift Afghan is a deceptively simple pattern that explores color in a new and creative way!

You will need US 5 (3.75mm) straight or circular needles, plus 32” or longer circular needles for the border, or size to obtain gauge, yarn needle, and locking ring stitch markers.

I keep seeing this one floating around. I thought about it when it first was published, but really didn’t like the colors used. So I waited to see what others used in colors & see if I drew inspiration from them. Yep, there are a lot of different color combos & so I think I may have an idea for it. Lots of black, gray, white, & maybe a pop of purple & green in it. Don’t know yet.

Crochet Daisy Afghan

Though we’re still snowed under in my part of the world, spring is here. To remind myself that, yes, the snow will depart soon, I created this vibrant daisy motif Afghan.
The pattern was somewhat inspired by Spanish tile work, and is made up of octagon and square pieces that are then crocheted together.
I used Red Heart Soft Touch yarn in three colours — tangerine, turquoise, and charcoal — and used 3 skeins of each to create this 4 foot by 5 foot throw. You’ll require only a 5 mm hook and some time. To be able to crochet this piece, you’ll need to know how to make basic crochet stitches, and the instructions are based on US crochet terms.

I saw this one & knew I needed it. Only one major problem. It is crochet. Hmm…maybe I can get Jessica to make it for me. *thinks* Anyhoo, I loved the style & the look of the afghan. So I got it. I may even do it myself, but I don’t know.

Yarn Bowlz

This little bag is great for putting your working yarn in for any project! The bowl is crocheted in the round from the bottom up and has a button-hole for the yarn to exit from. It also has an optional belt loop to attach to your belt, or anywhere you want!

If you’d like your bowl to smaller simply use a smaller gauge yarn or work less increase rows. If you’d like to make it bigger simply use a larger gauge yarn and work less increase rows. This is what I did for the sample shown in Spud and Chloe Outer (Super Bulky).

I think this needs no reason as to why I want it, lol. I am going to make it except I am going to knit it instead of crochet it. *hopes*


When I was visiting my family in Japan I saw some garments similar to this one and was captivated by the versatility of it. I knew I had to create one for myself.

On the surface it’s just a classic scarf with buttons along the side, but when you add a ribbon and some clever buttoning you get several different garments as well.

My favorite is the cardigan style. There’s something almost Victorian about it. But the shrug [pictured at left], sleeves, and hood are fun options too.

I can’t wait to see what else you do with it! Maybe a skirt?

Look at this! There are so many ways to wear it. I am going to be making this in a dark brown, longer, wider, & different stitch pattern. But my goodness, this is wonderful! Look at what some of the people have done with it on Ravelry. I don’t think I have been this excited about a project since I finished my first pair of socks & they were right, lol.

I am thinking about one of these stitch patterns (second one highly). think it will be engaging enough to keep me occupied yet not so hard that I don’t want to work on it, lol.

Knitting Thursday

*warning* This is a huge picture loaded blog post. It is quite long & you have been warned.

I know it has been a long while since I made one of these, but I have my reasons. I was working on the same thing, didn’t really think it was worthy of a post, went on vacation (yes, I had a blast), & a took part in Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. Guess what though, I have one ready for you know. Aren’t you so happy, lol.

Sock Monkey Bag

I saw this pattern a while ago & thought that it would make a cute project bag. I took it to a local restaurant to look over the pattern & our waitress decided that she wanted one in neon green, neon pink, & cream. So I complied. Hee hee, I do admit that the colors are not my choice, but now that it is done the colors are not bad. I just hope Kimberly likes it. The drawstring was supposed to be an icord, but I didn’t like the yarn halo (the fuzziness) of the cord so I went with black 3/8in ribbon. I really do need to work on my hand sewing for yarn projects, lol. The mouth looks a little wonky to me, lol. It is a fairly simple pattern, but I would work it bottom up for the next one. I don’t mind the top-down for the bag, but I just enjoy making increases more than decreases.

Queen Anne’s Lace Shawl

I showed one of my friends my finished first Queen Anne’s Lace shawl & her son decided that he wanted one for his mother’s birthday. Since I already had sold the shawl to another lady, I told him that I would make another. The only issue was that he wanted the same size & color. *sigh* Well, the first lady did not show up to purchase the shawl. So I sold it to the son & am still working on the second one. Dad says that if nothing else he will give it away as a Christmas present or I may do so with the Family’s White Elephant this year. But I do have progress pics for you.

Now since I am done with the sock monkey bag, I am back to working on Jessica’s blanket. So honestly unless you want pics of that I doubt that I will have another Knitting Thursday until I am done with it. I want to get it done by August & I am afraid that if I don’t work on it steadily I won’t get it done. There isn’t much to see on it anyway. I have it on 60in cables & it is still folded on its self.

Vacation Time

Well, the house sitter is set, the kids are settled in. So it is vacation time. Dad & I are going to Tulsa, OK for our end of tax season break. Yeah, I know we were going to go to Denver, CO but the cost of that trip would have been more then it was worth. So we are just going to Tulsa for the zoo, aquarium, & the museum.  I can’t wait. Oh yes, there are three yarn stores I am going to drag Dad to. Just hopefully, I won’t spend a fortune. I think I have all the needles that I will ever need.

Though when Signature releases the US7 I will probably get a 32″ fixed circular. Though Signature Arts Needle is releasing a surprise  at the end of May.  I am thinking it is going to be either the US 7 , smaller sizes, or interchangeables.  I am hoping that it is the US 7.

Anyhoo, back to vacation.  I am hoping that this is going to be a nice smooth trip, but who knows.

At the moment I am typing this in Barnes & Noble in Springfield.  Dad & I just came from one of our friend’s graduation at Missouri State University. So happy &proud of her.

I have Queen Anne’s Lace #2 & Jessica’s blanket going with me to Tulsa so I have plenty of knitting to do. Also just in case, I have my US7 to start anything new I may need to do. *Better not be anything new started.*  I am hoping to have QAL2 done by the end of the month & then Jessica’s done by the end of July.  That way I can mail it to Jessica in August. I have to say that Miss Jessica is a lot faster then I am when it comes to making blankets.  She is through with mine & is just putting it together. I am at a 30inch square & needs to be 60in square before I start the lace. Sigh, I will get it done. It is going to be very warm though. Hope that will work.

Ok, I am out of here & going back to knitting QAL2 & watching Youtube or Netflix.

Signature Needle Arts

As you know, I have several different type of knitting needles. I have:

There has been one company I have wanted to try for a while. I keep hearing wonderful things about the needles & how they are simply divine to work with. Signature Needle Arts is the company that I am talking about. I hate ordering knitting needles without being able to feel or touch the needles first. Then to top it off the needles are $48 each. I can by almost three (3) Addi Turbos for that price. Then a couple of weeks ago, I was at Barnes & Noble with Dad & had a shock. Usually I am the only one knitting in the store so when Dad told me that I needed to look over my shoulder to see a surprise, I looked. Lo & behold, another lady was knitting (a sweater or cardigan), my eyes zeroed in on her needles. They were Signature Needle Arts needles. I was so excited. I hurried over & ask if I could see the needles. Thankfully, most knitters are the sweetest people on Earth & she let me see them. I just about swooned with delight over the fact I was getting to feel & touch these needles. *Yes, I am weird* The points were dreamy & the shaft felt so smooth, only a little catch where the two metals meet, but nothing horrible. So I let Dad feel them & then the day after I ordered my first needle.

I ordered a US4 (3.5mm) 40″ fixed circular needle. I got a 6″ shaft with a stiletto tip. I was wanting a US 7 but they are still re-designing the needle, so I figured that I would get one I could use on my Queen Anne’s Lace #2 to see how I liked the needles. I ordered them on a Sunday & I received them in the mail the following Friday. Very quick & fast delivery.

Don’t they look dreamy? I think so. I thought I would go through everything I like & dislike about them.

First, the points. Oh my, I love the stiletto point. It is pointier then the Addis, or Chiaogoo, but not as pointy as the KnitPicks needles. A nice in between that won’t puncture your finger, yet you are able to pick up your stitches very easily. So that is a wonderful plus for these needles.

Next, is the length of the shank of the needle. I have big hands (thanks Dad), & so I have some issues with short needles. Below is two pictures. The one on the left is my Addi Turbos. These are close to the same length as most knitting needles hit on my hand. The one on the right is the Signature Needle Arts with a 6″ shaft.

As you can see the Signature Needle Art needle comes down & rests on my lower palm where as the Addi is resting on my upper lower palm. Most of the time this isn’t a problem. My issue is that I break cables & they always break on the right hand side where the cable joins the shank. So I watched as I knitted & I am bending that join every time I knit a stitch. So I thought since I can get custom lengths on the Signature Needle Art needles, why not get it. The average needle is about 5″ long. Since the 5″ shafts would be close to what I was using so I went with the 6″ shaft. I am so happy I did. Yeah, it feels weird, but I am getting used to it. I really like the length of the shaft that I got.

Now for the dislikes. There isn’t a lot actually only one dislike. It still catches where the silver & purple metal meet. Yes, I know it will always do that, but I was hoping that it wouldn’t be bad. It isn’t as bad as my Addi Turbo interchangeable that I had, but it is there. I am hoping that as QAL2 gets more stitches on the needle & I don’t have to stop to move the stitches the catch will be less noticeable. But if that is the only issue that I have (& it is so far) then I am still pleased with the needles.

Will I buy any more? It will depend on whether the catch is still felt or not. As of this moment, I doubt it. My Novas are just as nice & there is no catch with them. If I do buy more than I will get a US7 (4.5mm) when they release it. But for the cost, I can be quite content with my other needles instead of spending the amount on one needle.

I am not saying that they are not worth the cost, just not for me. For example, Grace loves the Addi interchangeables. I sent her mine to see if she liked them. She did & now has them permanently. The catch in them didn’t bother her one bit where is it drove me crazy. Will I do the same with these? Umm…no I won’t. I am keeping these no matter what.

I will do a follow-up review of these once I get finished with Queen Anne’s Lace #2 to let you know about the catch & any other thoughts I have on them.

Shame on You NOOK

nook-color As you are all aware I am a heavy reader. I have over 3000 books in book form & over 4000 in e-book form. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I demand a eReader for myself. My father has one also. He bought his Nook Color in 2011 & I got my Nook Tablet later that year or the next year.

We did a lot of research before choosing the Nook. We thought we were purchasing a product that the company Barnes & Noble would stand behind. Though we still love our Nooks the recent problems Dad has had with his Color makes me really wonder about them. Here is what happened.

Dad uses his Nook every day for at least 2-3 hours. The Nook has approximately 2000 books on it at a time. *This is a normal thing for our readers.* About three weeks ago his Color stopped charging unless he charged it on the computer. So he called support to find out what he needed to do since we were good customers & bought the extended warranty. Ok, so the first staff was nice & told him that they would send him a refurbished Nook Color (I am guessing they don’t make the Color anymore since the tablet & hd came out). Ok, that is fine. We assumed that by refurbished it would mean that they tried the Nook Color out in the warehouse to make sure it was working. Guess what? They didn’t. The refurbished one has memory problems *says there is only 1gb storage when there should be 8gb*. Hmm…problem. So he called them back & guess what! They will only send him another refurbished one. Hmm…burn me once shame on you. Burn me twice? I don’t think so. Dad told them he didn’t want another refurbished one due to this one being broke. The staff member refused to actually answer his question about whether the next one would be refurbished or brand new. Then informed him that he needed to restore back to factory settings, do a hard re-boot, most other troubleshooting items. Hmm…he did all that before he called you. This isn’t the first time we have had issues with the Nooks, just the first time nothing fixed it. Once Dad informed her that he did all that, he asked again if the next one would be refurbished or new. Staff told him that they needed to talk to the supervisor. When the staff came back they wanted to do all the troubleshooting things again. Excuse me, but if it hasn’t worked the previous three times, I highly doubt that it will the fourth time.

My point here is, if you are going to sell a product stand behind it. If something happens to it & you don’t have any more of that type offer a discount on the next one. If your customers buy your extended warranty, than honor it! Also for crying out loud, get support staff that knows what they are doing.

So, is Dad going to buy another Nook? Probably, though no extended warranty or anything this time though. If Barnes & Noble won’t honor their warranties, he isn’t going to spend the extra $100 on the warranty. We mostly buy all our books from Barnes & Noble (2/3 of the books) & other sites. All books on the Nooks are epubs so that is not the issue with what we put on the Nooks.

I am going to see if I can get him to look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7in tablet before he gets a new one. At least, I know Samsung will stand behind their products & honor the warranties. I believe that when my Nook Tablet bites the dust then I will be looking at that one instead of another Nook.

Last words:

Barnes & Noble’s Nook is a good reader for a e-reader. The major downside is that they will not stand behind their products or warranties. I find this to be very very sad. Shame on you Barnes & Noble. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Day Seven : Looking Forward

One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?

This could be anything from mastering a technique (broomstick lace, entrelac, etc), trying a new yarn or skill, or a long-term wish to crochet only from your stash, or knit every stitch in one of the Harmony Guides. Maybe you have no desire or plans for your craft at all, no new element of knitting or crochet that you dream of mastering, in which case write about why that might be. In a year’s time participants will be asked to look back to see if they achieved any goals, no matter how general, and see which house conquered the art of looking forward.

Honestly, instead of learning new skills, I would prefer to work on the ones I have. Plus, get caught up with the numerous projects that I have waiting for me (yes, I know that it will never happen). I do want to complete something with cables, learn to knit color work *still learning that one*, complete a project with entrelac, & try more yarns to spoil myself with, lol.

I really want to get the hang of short-rows & learn to do a heel without it being an after-thought heel. I also want to have these two projects completed:

Calligraphy Cardigan 2011 KALendar

Also a simple YO Pi Shawl made also. But I may be stretching it a little.

Day Six : A Tool To Covet

Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers.

Is it an item that you would recommend to others, and if so for which applications/tasks do you think it is most suited. Conversely, do you have a tool/accessory that you regret buying? Why does it not work for you?

Hmm…my favorite would have to be my knitting needles. All of them. I use my Knitter’s Pride Novas for most projects, but when I am working lace I want my Chia-Goo’s. They are the best for lace knitting. I started a lace shawl with my Nova interchangeables & just wasn’t happy. So I moved the shawl to my Chia-Goos & I am moving along very nicely. 12 rounds in one day (that is good for me).

I recommend the Knitter’s Pride Nova for metal lovers & Dreamz for wood lovers. Though if you are going to be doing lace, I highly recommend Chia-Goo’s for that. They seem to work better for the lace.