Sunday, January 27, 2008

New blog for my designs

Seeings how I plan on writing down and then posting all of my designs or patterns that I needed to create a different blog just for them. I'll be moving the few that I have on this page over within the next couple of days.

The new blog site is

I'll be posting any revisions, comments or updates on my designs there.

Check it out, I promise it will be worth it!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Moss stitch bookmark design

This is a very easy and basic design. These are great gifts. you can get up to 6 out of each skein of yarn.


DMC Traditions Crochet Thread(size 10) Pastels
Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet Cotton (size10) Cream
Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet Cotton(size 10) Maroon.

Size 1 needles


You will hold and work with all three yarns at the same time. I find it easier to roll them all up into balls and keep them in separate bags. I use ziploc baggies that I can pinch shut and am able to leave enough space open for the yarn to pass through.

Cast on 1 st.

Row 1: K, bring yarn forward and p into 1st st, bring yarn to the back and k. You should now have 3 sts.

Row 2: K, p, k.

Row 3: K, bring yarn forward and p into first st; k, p; k, bring yarn forward p into last st. This will bring you up to 5 sts.

Row 4: *K1, p1.

Row 5: K, bring yarn forward and p into first st; *k1, p1 to last st; k bring yarn forward and p into first st. Now there should be 7 sts.

Row 6: *K1, p1

Row 7: K, bring yarn forward and p into first st, *k1, p1 to last st; k, bring yarn forward and p into first st. You should now have a total of 9 sts.

Row 8-desired length: *k1, p1

To decrease: K first st, p, slip first over second; *k1, p1 to last two sts; p, k slip purled st over last st. Brings you down to 7 sts.

Next row: *k1, p1

Continue decreasing until you have only 3 sts left. K first st, p slip first st over(you'll now have two sts, one on your right needle and one on your left); k slip first st over.

This leaves you with one st. Cut yarn leaving a 1" tail. Pull through last st. Secure by tying a knot at the top of your last st.

For my bookmarks I added beads at the end of the tails. You could add tassels or anything else. Now grab a good book and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Seamless pom-pom bag revisions

Oh hell, who am I kidding. I have to redo the whole dang pattern. Lesson: Never think you can just write a pattern down after two years of not having done anything with it. Anyways, here's the Real Pattern!

Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver Country Blue(a)
Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver Blue Jewel(b)
Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver Pale Blue(c)

Size 6(US) knitting needles
Size 6(US) Dpns
Row counter


With A, cast on 80 sts.

Row 1: K
Row 2 -47: Slip first st purlwise; *k, slip next stitch purlwise(sspw). You should end with a knit st.

Row 48-49: (This is the row you will add your new color to. You will follow the same pattern only now you will hold b and tack it into place with your k sts.) *Sspw; k.

Row 50-97: (On this row you will start knitting with b. The next 50 rows you will be using your seond color and can cut A. Leave enough to weave in, or use the same method as adding a color to tack the end into place)*Sspw; with B k.

Row 98-99: (These two rows are wher you will add C on. Follow pattern only now wyou will hold C behind your work and tack it into place with B). *Sspw; k.

Row 100-149: *Sspw; k.

Bind off. To bind this project off and leave an opening you will need to slip the first st onto one of the dpns. Knit next st and then slip the third st onto the dpn. K the fourth st(you should now have two sts on your right needle and two on the dpn.) Pass first st over second. Continue until you have 1 st leftnright needle and 40 on dpn. With right needle k first st off of dpn. Pass first st over second. Continue binding off until all sts have been worked. Cut yarn and pull through last st.

Flip bag inside out. Now you are ready to add the handle and pom-poms.
I-cord: Using dpns, cast on 5 sts. Knit those sts. Switch the needles in your hands without turning your work. Slide the sts to the other end of the needle in your left hand(the yarn should still be hanging from your left and not from your right). Knit these sts. Make sure to pull the yarn tight on e first st of every row so the fabric rolls in on itself. Keep doing this until you reach the length you want. Bind off.

Pom-poms: I used yarn from each of the colors in the bag to make multi-colored pom-poms. Thread A onto needle. Using pom-pom maker wrap yarn through and around the two circles. Coninue doing this alternating between the three colors until the center hole is filled. Cut through the loops all the way around the outside of the circles. Cut a piece of yarn about 8 inches and pull this between the two halves of the pom-pom maker. Make sure you wrap it tightly around the middle of the pom-pom. Tie a knot to keep it in place. Pull the rings off, fluff and trim your pom-pom to even the ends. Make 6.

Attach the pom-poms using the same yarn you used to tie it together. Using needle, thread yarn through needle and attach to bottom of bag. Weave ends in.

Attach i-cord to top of bag on sides where you bound off.

Seamless pom-pom bag

This knits up pretty quick once you get going. The hardest part is adding the new colors.

It’s a pretty basic design. By slipping the first st and ever other st after that, you automatically create an opening. No seams to sew up, my fav part of the whole bag! When casting on, you have to always do an even # of sts. For the bag pictured, I used a blue color theme. I worked from a darker, to a lighter to a cream colored.
Cast on 80 sts. with darkest color.
Row 1: K*
Row 2 and all even #rows: Slip first st onto right needle; k1, slip next st to right hand needle* to last st. K last st.
Row3 and all odd # rows: Slip first st onto right needle; P1, slip next st to right hand needle* to last st. P last st.
Continue working pattern for 47 rows. On the 48th row you will add your next color. To do this you will need to hold the added color behind your sts and carry it up for two rows. When you k your first st on row 38, hold the yarn behind the color you are working with. K over the yarn to hold it in place. Do this with every k st. Continue to do this on row 49, only holding the yarn in place with purl sts.
Row 50: Drop mc and start working with new color.
Continue with pattern and new color for 47 more rows. This will take you to row 97.
Row 98: Add third color. Use the same directions for adding second color. Continue holding new color throughout row 89.
Row 100: Drop second color and start working with third.
Continue pattern for another 49 rows. Ending with a purl row.
Bind off. Flip bag inside out for St st to show.
Handle: I used an i-cord for the handle. Cast on 6 sts. K those sts. Switch the needles in your hands, but do not turn work. Push sts down to opposite end of needle in left hand and k across. Pull the first st of every row tight so it rolls in. Continue until desired length. Bind off.
Pom-poms: Make multi-colored pom-poms by using the three colors for each pom-pom. Attach to bottom of bag. I used six medium sized ones on this bag.
Attach i-cord handle and you are ready to shake your pom-poms.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

If I can't draw a straight line, how am I supposed to knit one?

So I'm working on my Anything Goes blanket. I decided to go ahead and try to do some duplicate stitches to see how it looked. From the "I'm stitching and looking right at the pattern" standpoint it looked fine. Then I put it down to check on it and this is what I discovered....

I was doing pretty good there for a little bit and then somehow my brain decided the line needed to go up, not straight. No big surprise there, my brain tends to follow it's own path and that isn'talways what I have planned. Ok, so that sounds weird. What I mean is that I will have something in mind and have it pictured in my mind perfectly. When it comes time to do the project(or whatever it my be) it ends up looking much different.

Guess that's why all my stuff is one of a kind. No two are alike. Plus, I did name this the Anything Goes Blanket. Maybe my subconcious was hard at work while I was trying to follow the pattern.

I think from this point on, I'll wait until I'm finished with the blanket before I do anymore decorating of the inside.

Lesson learned: Don't jump the gun. There is a reason why I must complete things in order.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


My daughter is 12 and she's bipolar. She has been unable to attend public school because she has such a hard time controlling her emotions. Currently she is going to a day treatment center where she recieves therapy twice a week, attends school and has groups every day. She has come a long way. Next month she turns 13 and she will no longer be able to go to Poyama. She was accepted into another day center for adolescents and will be graduating next month.

She's been at Poyama for a year and I wanted a way to thank the staff for all the help and work they have put into helping her get her emotions under control. Chantel isn't like a lot of the kids that go to her school. Most of the kids have behavioral problems. She does but not the way the other kids do. She doesnt act out physically, she doesn't throw things or yell at the teachers and other staff. She's never needed to be restrained. Her emotions are just so out of whack that they are very difficult for her to control. She tends to be more on the depressed side and she disassociates very quickly. Meds and lots therapy have helped a ton, but she still refuses to acknowledge her feelings. She's come a long way, she's no longer suicidal, but she still has a ways to go.

When I was thinking of things I could do for the staff I knew I wanted it to be something they could keep forever, or at least for a while. I also knew that I wanted it to be something that when they looked at it they would be reminded of her.

So I decided on bookmarks. I'm doing them in the color of her favorite big red coat. She never takes her coat off at school, it's her security blanket. She has a lighter weight one that is maroon that she has to wear under the red one. So I decided to do the bookmarks in those colors with a cream color to kind of add and highlight it.

I finished the first one last night. It only took me a couple of hours, actually less than that. I'm really pleased with the results. We are also adding beads with the each staffs initials on it at one end. That's Chantel's idea. I'm doing the knitting of the bookmarks, she gets to do the beading.

The bookmark I finished last night is done in a moss stitch. It starts with one stitch and then I keep adding until I get 9 stitches total. I knit on it until it was the length that I wanted then started decreasing on each end until I ended up wth 1 stitch. I cut the yarn and pulled it through. To make sure it doesn't come undone, I tied a knot at the top. I'm braiding the tails and then adding the beads. Did I mention that I used three different yarns at the same time? I've worked with two before, but stil thought this would be difficult. It wasn't too bad. Probably because I used crochet thread.

I'm thinking after I finish the 16 of these that i need to do that I might make a stockpile of them for next Christmas. Maybe even sell them. I'll be able to figure out how many per ball of thread I can make and then figure out the pricing from there.

Isn't it great how doing something nice for others acan lead to ideas for yourself?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Knitting it together

I actually wrote this last year during the summer while I was still in therapy and shortly after finishing the poncho.


I've never thought of knitting as a form of therapy. I knew that it helped me relax and that often my mind would clear. Just recently I was overjoyed when my passion helped me to start healing from childhood abuse.

A few years ago I bought a book of sweater designs. I got it with the intention of knitting myself one. This would have been my first task of this size and this complex. I took the book to my mom's to show her what my next project would be. She instantly fell in love with the sweater on the cover. I decided that my mom would receive my first adult size sweater as a Christmas present.

I went and bought the required 11 skeins of yarn(in a color she had pointed out as one of her favorites), the three pairs of needles, cable needles, buttons thread and stitch markers. I was so excited I could hardly wait to get home to start. I just knew this was going to make my mom happy.

Let me describe this sweater. It was a double moss stitch polo, with cabling where the button wholes would be. For me this project was like building a pyramid, climbing Mt. Everest and having any experience. It was huge, monumental, scary and exciting.

I worked every day on that sweater. Ripped out stitches, restarted it countless times trying to make it perfect. I finally finished it three weeks before Christmas. I was so pleased with myself. The sweater was gorgeous, so much that I had to try it on. I took it to work the next day and showed it to everyone. No one got by me without seeing this wonderful creation! By the end of the day I was very tempted to keep the sweater. Maybe I would make my mom a scarf. In the end, I wrapped it and waited.

On Christmas day I was so excited and nervous. I couldn't wait to see how happy I'd made my mom. I just KNEW she would love it as much as I did. I KNEW she would be overjoyed by me remembering her wanting that sweater. Maybe she'd even notice how much of my heart I put into the making of HER gift.

When she opened it, her response was "Oh. I wasn't expecting that. Thank you." That was it? That was the response I had been holding my breath for? That was the show of appreciation for all my hard work and effort? Honestly, her response didn't surprise me, but it did hurt. right to my core.

The nest day she decided to wear her sweater. After about an hour she started complaining. The sweater was too heavy on her shoulders. The stitch wasn't exactly like she thought it was. The sleeves were too long for her short arms and she had to roll them up. What my mom failed to realize was that in order to make the size she needed, the sleeves would be longer. She also has ALWAYS had to roll the sleeves on all of her sweaters. My heart hurt even more.

The following November she brought over a box of clothes she didn't want anymore. I worked at a shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence and would take the clothes in for our clothing closet. I always looked them over first. This time I decided to do it while she was still visiting. At the bottom was her sweater, my masterpiece. I looked up and my mom looked away. She said sh couldn't wear it so she didn't need to keep it. Not once did she meet my eyes. She left shortly after my discovery. I took her sweater and crumpled it up. I unfolded it and thought how could give away something I had worked so hard and so lovingly on? How could she give back my love.

I decided to keep the sweater. I even wore it once or twice, but every time I did I wanted to cry. I put it in one of my yarn bags and left it there. I couldn't look at it or even touch it. At the time I didn't recognize that this sweater had taken on a different form for me. It became the visual reminder of how little my mom thought of my hard work. How easy it was for her to dismiss my feelings. How little she thought of me. How nothing I did was never good enough. It represented all my childhood memories and feelings.

About six months later, I began to dissect the sweater. I ccarefully undid the hem and the seams. Then I began on the sleeves. At first slowly, carefully, but then the speed increased and I was no longer unraveling a sweater. I was letting out all my hurt and anger. I cried over every last stitch. I remembered all the awful, horrible things my mom had said to or about me for as long as I could remember. At that point I actually found myself hating and resisting the yarn. I didn't care if the sweater cam unravelled neatly or if I tore the yarn into pieces. I finally got it rolled into balls ad put it in a bag intending to make myself a poncho.

At the beginning of that net Summer my mom told me she would like me to make her a poncho. I couldn't look at her, but told her I was going to use the yarn from her sweater and make myself one. I was sitting close enough to her that she actually reached out and smacked me on the arm and called me a brat.

Thee yarn has sat for over two years. I picked it up one day and started casting on. I knit about two rows and had to stop. I was becoming ill. My stomach muscles were cramping, my head was pounding and my shoulders were tense. This shocked me! Knitting had always been a way to relax my body and mind. Never had it caused type of reaction. I still had not recognized what those balls of yarn meant to me.

I had been in therapy for about 2 years and had been steadly working on my feelings towards my mom and my fears of being like her. I had finally come to an inner understanding that I am not connected to my. I had finally come to understand that I am my own person with the right to have my own thoughts and feelings. I had come to know myself better and to stand up for my rights, beliefs and values. I was beginning to understand that I could be a separate person and that my mom's thoughts, feelings and reactions are hers to own, NOT MINE TO TAKE CARE OF!

Out of the blue I felt this intense need to start that poncho again. I began working on it feverishly, almost obsessed with finishing it. I had no idea why, but it felt vital. That if I didn't I would lose something valuable

Then it hit me. Came right out and stared at me plain as day. I wasn't just knitting something for myself. I was actually re knitting my life. I was taking something that I had made for my mom and reworking it into something for me, for my enjoyment. The yarn and poncho were now representing me reclaiming the lost pieces of myself. Every stitch was like rewording everything negative or harmful thing she had ever said or did to me and changing into the opposite. I had taken an object that wasn't good enough for her(me aka the sweater) and was making it into something just right for me. With every stitch it felt like pieces of me were healing. Again I cried while working with this yarn. This time it was grief for all that I could have been and happiness for all I have become. I was finally knitting myself back together. finally understood that the yarn had meant so much more to me that I had thought.

In the beginning it was hope and longing to be found worthy and to be loved. In the middle it was dark, hurtful, hateful. Needing to be hid away because it wasn't good enough. In the end it has become freed, reworked and made beautiful.. It is acceptance and understanding of a true self. It is now free to be what it was meant to be.

This yarn was not meant to be a heavy, weighed down sweater. It was meant to be a light, carefree, airy poncho. Just as I am not meant to be what my mother said neither am I a copy of her. I AM MY OWN WOMAN!!!!! Meant to be who I am with all my emotions, thoughts and faults. Loved for what I've been through and accepted as I am.

I have finally knitted my inner self back together.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Current projects

I keep thinking about what my new project should be. Not that I don't have a couple going right now. But I'm one of those knitters who like to have at least three at any given time. That way I can change if I get bored with one or I can choose which one to work on depending on my concentration level.

Right now I have my Anything Goes blanket. Which is a pretty basic design. A moss stitch border and stockinettes on the inside. I like this blanket because there is so much you can do with it on the inside. I have some geometric shapes that I want to use. I've been trying to figure out the best way to get them on the blanket. I finally decided to finish the blanket and then use the duplicate st method. This is going to be my first time trying it and I'm a little nervous. After restarting 5x I really think that this is going to be the best and easiest method.

Second one is finishing up a second sock. I started turning the heel today and had to stop and think for about five minutes. I'm horrible when it comes to finishing socks. I never finish a pair in a good amount of time so I usually forget for a little bit how to do a part of the pattern. Socks are my take anywhere projects. They sit in my bag until I'm on the bus or waiting somewhere. It can be months in between before I finish the first and second one.

Project three is a pillow with fairy designs on it. This one is pretty much complete. All I have to do is finish stuffing it and then sew it up. I created the patterns for the fairies and words myself and am pretty proud. This originally started out as a blanket but I got tired of creating the individual squares and wanted to see a FO quickly. I plan on posting the graphs for fairies on here and on my project page at

I have two ideas for new projects that I am going to start. One is using one of the fairy designs and making either a bag or purse and the other one is too come up with designs for two of my favorite cartoon characters and make a blanket. Ill have to see how it goes.