Sunday, June 29, 2008


There was no bloodshed in the house. MS3 is done. Can we all breath a sigh of relief? Well, I will anyway. You can see the seam down the back, but I'm ok with that. I'm just so thrilled with it and actually once I got the groove of grafting it wasn't so bad. But, I will certainly shy away from projects with that word in them. Or at least lace projects.

MS3 back

So, now that that's done. And, by the way, it took me three days less than one year to finish it. Of course, I didn't work on it exclusively. In fact, I didn't touch it for several months.

Last night I finished this really cute crocheted Floppy Brim Hat. Pattern here. I had to modify the pattern to make it fit my tiny head and it still turned out a little large. But, I like it fine. Except that I don't look nearly as glamorous as I'd hoped. A good grip on reality has never been one of my strong points.

Next up...Featherweight Fantasy Shawl in black Zephyr DK for mom. I'd also like to start the Myrtle Leaf shawl in the Claudia's laceweight that I got at WHIBSIB. The VLT yahoo is doing this as their KAL for July.

We're dancing this afternoon so I better go get my butt in gear.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Holy Grafting, Batman!

MS3 grafting

Back several months ago when I blithly commented that I was going to make the MS3 in two symmetrical panels and graft them together, why oh why, didn't someone slap me?


Do not be mislead...grafting lace is not for the faint of heart. I almost puked after about 15 minutes of it. Seriously. It took me an hour and 15 minutes (not counting the time I spent just staring at it swearing) to do just the 20 or so stitches in the edge. And when I came back to it the next day it was seriously screwed up. The little row of yo's did not match up. Not even close. So, I bravely set forth to un-graft. You ever done that? Well, let me tell's even harder than grafting.

So, this is how much I have done now after about 3 hours. I am halfway. Yippee. I have kindly pointed out my f&%$ups aahhh errors for you by circling them in red.

The next time you hear from will either be finished or there will be bloodshed in this household. Ok, maybe not quite that severe. But, let's hope for finished.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quilted Blocks Baby Blanket

Here's a baby blanket pattern that I made a couple of years ago and thought I'd put it up here as a freebie. It's also on google docs and listed in the Freebies! link at the sidebar along with the two spreadsheets that I made for yarn weights and yardages for VLT and Folk Shawls.
Edited to add link to pdf file that you can download.
Quilted Blocks Baby Blanket
Copyright © 2006 by wendydancer at gmail dot com

Materials: Worsted Weight Yarn (I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease. I used about 5 ½ balls.) Size 8 29” circular needle, 2 stitch markers. The Quilted Blocks pattern comes from several sources including Barbara Walker’s Treasury.

Cast on 176 stitches. Work 6 rows of seed stitch. The first and last 4 stitches of each row form a seed stitch border along the sides. The markers are used to mark the border. Slip all markers on all rows when you come to them. pm=place marker

Row 1 (WS): k1,p1,k1,p1, pm, k3, *p8, k6; rep from * until 15 stitches remain, p8, k3, pm, k1,p1,k1,p1.
Row 2: p1,k1,p1, k1, knit to marker, p1,k1,p1, k1
Row 3: k1,p1,k1,p1, k3, *p8, k6; rep from * until 15 stitches remain, p8, k3, k1,p1,k1,p1.
Row 4: p1,k1,p1, k1, knit to marker, p1,k1,p1, k1
Row 5: k1,p1,k1,p1, k3, *p8, k6; rep from * until 15 stitches remain, p8, k3, k1,p1,k1,p1.
Row 6: p1,k1,p1, k1, k2, *p2, k6, p2, k4; rep from * end last rpt k2, p1,k1,p1, k1.
Row 7: k1,p1,k1,p1, p3, *k2, p4, k2, p6; rep from * end last rpt p3, k1,p1,k1,p1.
Row 8: p1,k1,p1, k1, k4, *p2,k2,p2,k8; rep from * end last rpt k4, p1,k1,p1, k1.
Row 9: k1,p1,k1,p1, p5, *k4, p10; rep from *, end last rpt k4, p5, k1,p1,k1,p1
Row 10: p1,k1,p1, k1, k4, *p2,k2,p2,k8; rep from * end last rpt k4, p1,k1,p1, k1.
Row 11: k1,p1,k1,p1, p3, *k2, p4, k2, p6; rep from * end last rpt p3, k1,p1,k1,p1
Row 12: p1,k1,p1, k1, k2, *p2, k6, p2, k4; rep from * end last rpt k2, p1,k1,p1, k1.

Repeat these 12 rows until desired length is achieved. End with row 5. Work 6 rows of seed stitch. Bind off loosely.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some Goodies for Ya!

A couple of years ago I got really frustrated because I was spending a whole lot of time thumbing through some of my books and then researching yarns online to find out first) the weight of the yarn used in the book and then second) an acceptable substitute. I started making notes and before long my book was crammed with little post its and odd scraps of paper. Finally sat down one day and made a spreadsheet of my research. So, for what it's worth, I am going to link to my spreadsheets that I made for the Folk Shawls book and Victorian Lace Today. And please remember that I am human and make mistakes so please verify anything before you take it to the bank....Look for the links in my sidebar. The spreadsheets are stored on google documents and you should be able to print or download them from there.

Enjoy and let me know if you find them helpful!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moss & Ribs Cardi Disaster

Moss & ribs Cardi
Originally uploaded by wendydancer
I am feeling really sick right now. I've been trying to tell myself that it's my imagination or the lighting or that it'll look ok once I get more of it done. Well, I'm nearly halfway done with the front left and it definitely is lighter colored than the back. Even DH says so. And we all know that men can't see color variations, right?

I think you can see it in the picture. The back has a lot of really dark blue bits and the front has none, zero, nada. It's almost a stone washed denim look. Very pretty, but not very matchy!

The yarn co/dyer was very accomodating and offered several options to remedy the situation. One of which was for me to frog, send her the yarn back and she would dye me up 3 hanks that match.

I told her that I will try to find another project or projects for this yarn where it doesn't matter so much that the color varies. I do love this yarn. And I love the sweater pattern and I think it would look awesome in this yarn! Waaaaaa!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Let's take a look at those New Year's Resolutions

Since it's already June and the year is half over I thought it would be appropriate to review my knitting resolutions. Here they are again as a reminder:


#1- MS3. I am still working on it and have about 100 rows to complete it. The picture above is of both halves. The first half (the completed one) is through row 258 and the 2nd half is at about row 180. I'm not sure how many more rows I will knit because I'm just going to piece together two of the Chart D's and try to find a place that looks good. Melanie said to stop at row 313 and graft the two together there but if you do that the Cat's Paw (I think that's what the pattern in the middle is called) won't be offset at the join. Anyhoo...I'm trying to do 10 rows a day on it.

#2- Well, I am knitting a sweater. Finished the back and started the left front. But I'm worried that it's going to be too small. Will that moss & ribs pattern flatten out with blocking? But I digress. And I do have an awesome idea for a sweater. Just waiting for my abilities to catch up with my ideas.

#3-Mom's afghan is finished. However, it is now a baby blanket. And a damned ugly one at that. Maybe if I add some fringe or ribbon it'll look more baby'ish. I am not proud. But, at least it is off the needles. So, I can check it off my list because that's just how compulsive I am. I even took a picture to prove that it's done. (Which I should've cropped before putting it up because you can see my toe and part of my shorts leg.) I think this may be pushing the envelope of what's actually allowed to be counted as completing a resolution...but frankly my dear.....

#4-Hmmmm. I forgot about that one. Well, I still have 6 months to work on that.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Peppers and Tomato

We've been to North Carolina to see our granddaughter graduate from High School. She was Valedictorian and is a very smart and beautiful and poised young lady. We are so proud of her!

We drove our little Ford Focus all the way. It gets 33 mpg which is pretty good but I'm still afraid to calculate how much we spent on gas. We took a leisurely trip going up there. We left on Saturday around 11 am. Yes, I said 11 am! We'd helped host a party the night before and didn't get to bed until around there! We stayed in Fairfield Inns all the way up there and they are very nice for the most part. They have indoor pool and hot tubs which is what we wanted because DH's left hip is really bothering him. And we did enjoy the hot tubs. I must say that the Fairfield Inn in Jackson, MS was not great. But the others were wonderful. Especially the one in downtown Atlanta. Very nice.

We stopped at a Popeye's Chicken somewhere in Alabama on the way up. It was Sunday afternoon and very crowded with the little old ladies in their church finery. We were munching away when I heard a small voice "hi". I turned to look and this tiny little black boy was smiling at me. I said hi back and he put his arms around my waist and laid his head on my chest. Oh my heart be still!! It was so sweet. Then he looked at me and said "heart". Seriously I almost bawled. Then I realized that he was looking at my heart pendant. So, I said yes, it's a heart. And he pointed to his t-shirt and said "SPIDERMAN!!". Cute, cute, cute. (It wasn't a spiderman t but I guess he didn't know that.) Meanwhile his mama and grandma were telling him to come back over here and eat your lunch and fussing at him and they were just in shock that he'd done that.

Another cute story ...we were in the hottub at Fairfield Inn in Jackson MS the next night. I had my eyes closed and was really relaxed....when I felt water splashing my face....I ignored it for a few minutes but it kept on. You know sometimes those hot tubs can get a little rambunctious. I finally opened my eyes to see this little doll of about 2 yrs old splashing me. He was squatting on the edge of the tub and leaning over to splash water on my face. When I opened my eyes he gave me the most beautiful, sweet smile. I guess I am just a magnet for little 2-3 yr old black boys. {grin} Where was his mother, you ask? Sitting right there letting him splash me. Hmmmmm....

Oh yes, the subject of this post....The weather was very hot and windy here at home while we were gone so I was a bit worried about my tomato and pepper plants. But, they survived. We have ONE tomato! Several jalapeno peppers and I picked one today and used it in my gazpacho. It was very good, not too hot but a little heat there. There is a whole story about these pepper and tomato plants that is quite funny. About 6 weeks ago, I got the idea of planting tomatos and peppers in pots on our deck. And it seemed like a really great idea and DH was into it too. So, we trotted off to the garden center and bought pots and soil and plants. Somewhere in the range of $25 spent. It's all good. Tomatoes are so expensive at the grocery and they don't have any taste at all yada, yada, yada. Well, a few days later we realized that it was a possibility that the deer might come up onto the deck and munch our lovely plants. Remember the Hibiscus debacle? So, we went down and bought cages for the tomatoes and netting to put over the plants. Another $20. It's all good. We are loving it. Then we had like 8" of rain in four days and 3 hail storms. Oh the plants are not looking good. I fertilize. I turn the water off. I worry. I fret. I trot over to my neighbors who has this humungous garden and inspect her tomato plants. They already have tomatoes on them. I ask her what should I do for mine because they look really, really bad. She tells me about this stuff called Bloom Set. But it at the garden center. A natural growth hormone for vegetables. Spray it on when you see flowers. Ok, another $4.95 and I'm ready. I go out and inspect the plants every day waiting for blooms.....waiting...waiting....oh to hell with it. Spray 'em.

So, we're sitting on the deck one evening having a glass of wine and discussing our lack of vegetables and the upcoming trip to NC. DH has an interesting thought....what if the deer come up on the deck while we're gone and no one is around and they eat up the veggies? Yikes. What can we do? Well, we can enclose the deck with more railing and a gate. Yee Haw, he's a genious. Off we trot to the building supply place. You dont' even want to know how much we spent there. Suffice it to say that those 5 peppers and that one tomato are very, very expensive.

Well, since I'm on a writing about a little knitting content?

I finished the back of the Moss & Ribs Cardi while on the trip and could've gotten more done but I forgot to take my US 3 circs with me. And being the tightwad that I am....I refused to buy a set of size 3 straights when I know I'll never use them again. The only places to buy yarn or needles was Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Wal-Mart. I also made another of the circular washcloths. I was 8 rows from finishing when I ran out of yarn. I searched everywhere for matching yarn, but the afore mentioned stores did not have it. It's some kind of striped cotton yarn. Sugar & cream or peaches & cream or some such.

I have decided that Mom's afghan is not going to be mom's afghan. It's going to be a baby blanket for a preemie. I am just sick to death of knitting that thing. It's time to put us both out of our misery. But again...I am such a tightwad and so wierd that I cannot bear to rip it out so I am finishing it and will give it away.

If you've made it through this post to the deserve a medal!