Saturday, December 17, 2011

Needlework Mission

I am so blessed to be part of a Needlework Mission known as "Stitches of Love".  Basically, this is a group of women based out of Love's United Methodist Church who meet to work on their crafts, fellowship and teach newcomers.  Each person works on projects of their choosing in the craft they prefer. Of course I chose knitting, but we have crocheting, quilting, sewing or any craft we find a mission for. The crafter is connected with mission groups or charities that receive crafts of all kinds. It will also be a clearing house where crafters can bring finished pieces to be donated, and will be sent where there is a need. We can make a piece specifically for someone we know or can add them to the items to be given to a stranger.

Charities or missions we hope to support are: afghans or prayer shawls for sick depressed or lonely people, scarves for breast cancer patients, caps for oncology patients and preemie babies, lap quilts for injured veterans or the wheelchair bound, wheelchair or walker caddies for their "stuff", stuffed animals for police and fire departments to give to children, drawstring tote bags for homeless children in the Family Promise program, dresses for Little Dresses for Africa, the list is endless!

Once a month our finished items are grouped together, tagged and with touching of hands are prayed over with a special pray for the recipients.

One foundation I chose is the Lily Foundation, this foundation is connected with Brenner's Children's Hospital.  I knit this little Thorpe Hat with Peaches & Cream cotton for a small child at Brenner's. 
 Presently I'm knitting a blanket for a young boy at Brenner's (pics to come soon).

With much excitement, I rambled through my closet and containers to find  knitted scarves, a shawl and some baby items to be sent to the most fitting organizations. With full hearts, these goods have been prayed over and are now in the distribution process.

Let me know if you would like to be part of this very special mission, you only need to send me your contact information and I will get in touch with you with the particulars.

There has also been some Holiday Knitting at my house. These two Thorpe Hats are complete and ready for gifting to the daughters of my BFF. I simply L.O.V.E. Christmas and I L.O.V.E Holiday Gift Knitting! 
 If the braids look a bit larger than the original pattern, that's because they are (12-40" pieces were cut instead of 6-40"pieces).  There is nothing frivolous about these sweet young girls so I felt a hearty braid was much more appropriate for their personality and style.
 Each hat was knit in a size Medium on number US 9 needles.  I was very impressed with the 100% washable wool, Kaya by Crystal Palace Yarns. The green colorway #0122 is for "Super Blonde Sister" while the purple/blue colorway #0123 is for "Miss Prissy Brunette Sister".
Presently on my sticks is the Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf by Churchmouse Classics and yes, I am using the wonderful Koigu fiber as suggested!  What a Fab fiber!  I'm never disappointed with Koigu.
 Unfortunately, none of my local yarn shops carry Koigu and I knew mine MUST be knit with Koigu so I ordered my three skeins from Jimmy Bean.  Now for sure they have the best selection going, but it is a little difficult to make color selections when viewing them from a computer moitior. 

Anyhow, I'm quite pleased with my Koigu KPPPM colors: 105D, 118L and 852. AND when I think about it, I haven't seen a Linen Stitch Scarf that was actually ugly.  I definitely plan to knit yet another one of these s.l.o.w. knits in the future.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

pure & simple swing coat

Another Pure & Simple Pattern.
These patterns are always a delight to knit. No matter how many garments or lace projects are completed I always enjoy a P&S project and never tire of their steadfast simplicity.
Project Details
Pattern:                 Neck Down Swing Coat
Size:                     32
Fiber                    Noro Furisode (Discontinued)
Amount:              6 1/2 Skeins
Completion Time:  21 days
If there is a knitter out there that hasn't seen the new publication, Coastal Knits, then you should drop everything and search one out. It is a lovely book filled with beautiful stories and beach shots located along the Maine and California coasts, 'cause that's where these two lovely designers, Alana Dakos and Hannah Fettig, are from.  I can truly say I want to knit one of every pattern in the book, but chose to start with the Water's Edge Cardigan. So far I have about 4 inches to show and loving the marriage of this pattern with Rowan, Kidsilk Aura in a yummy wheat shade #752 (sorry this fiber has been discontinued).

and yes.....we put up our Christmas tree today!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

all I want for christmas

Today was a fun day spent in front of a sewing machine with buddy, Wanda!  Just look what we came up "All I Want for Christmas" apron.  This is a simple $3.00 pattern that resulted in a whimsical Holiday apron.
 We both have Big plans for these precious one two of a kind aprons on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

The ladies at Joann's said, "we just can't keep bolts of this fabric on the shelves". Can't you just see why?? 
 O.M.G....there was even enough for a cute and very usable diddy/knitting bag too.  Seriouly, one would never want to waste an inch of such an adorable print!!
Hope you are all getting in the Holiday Spirit too! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011


o.k.  You may just have to take my word on this one, it's a keeper!      One to curl up in while watching this him or  one to hike around the park in OR simply put; one to Throw on and Go! 
The pattern called for  the bulky Berroco Peruvia Quick yarn but I chose to use Cascade Eco +.  I think the Cascade has a much lighter appearance and certainly gets an A+ for comfort!
Fact is, I just might knit this pattern again using the same Cascade in a natural tone.
  Yea...I just might.

You love to knit cables?  You may just want to give this one a shot! But realize it does take a considerable amount of finishing time...or maybe I'm just slow (like 4 hours to sew up Aidez)!
 Project Details
Fiber:  Cascade Ego+
Color:  2450 - Purple
Amount:  2 skeins
Needle:   10 1/2
Size:  36/Medium (or perfect)
Project Time:  Less than one month
Oh!  Look what My Gardener got me (an early Birthday and Christmas gift)!  The Gardener and Wife are both in learning mode and so far are really pleased with his selection. I see a photography class at our local community college, maybe sooner than later.

Next up on the knitting scene is this Knitting Pure and Simple pattern, knit in a bulky Noro!

Hugs and Purls!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Easy Skillet Apple Pie

This was SO good.  I wasn't sure if The Gardener would think it would equal Mrs. Smith's apple pies (that's what he knows as a comparison). But, hey! he and The MIL raved about it. 
 Several of my friends have baked this pie and it is just as yummy as they insisted it was. The crust is light and flaky with  four pounds of sugar/cinnamon covered apples baked in a 10" cast iron skillet.

This will be an addition to the usual Pumpkin Pie served at my house on Thanksgiving....And don't forget the Butter Pecan ice cream!
Here's a quick look at the two sweaters on my needles.  They couldn't be more different. One (The Austin Hoodie) with lots of stockette knitting in a pretty blue fingering weight fiber while the other (Adez) is a chunky purple oversize cable sweater. Gosh. it's been a long time since my last cable piece and I've come to realize just how much I have missed them.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

it's all about Stephen West Design

Take a look at my second Stephen West knit.
 I chose to knit this shawl with Blue Sky Baby Alpaca using a sport weight!  Everyone that knows me knows how I seriously love Alpaca and these colors are pure eye-candy.
   The Gardener didn't take any shots worn as a scarf, but it's soft and also fabulous when wrapped around the neck.

 OK...I'm really diggin' Stephen's Designs!  Look here at the first shawl I knit and here will be my third one!  And yes I already have the Yarn for the third one too.
Enough with the shawls's time for some sweater knitting and I have two in the works. The Austin Hoodie knit with Madelinetosh merino light in the color, Window Pane and Aidez knit with a bulky Cascade Eco+, color #2450.   

Sunday, October 2, 2011

bring on fall

Every Fall a day spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a must!  Usually it's just me and Mom, so this year was especially fun when my son joined us! 
There were pumpkins everywhere! Pumpkins for carving, decorating or eating. So many selections it was hard to make a decision or select only one.
With temps in the 40's, it was the perfect day for my Sweater Cardigan. I had forgotten how much I like the color and coziness of this tweed wool piece. 

Ohhhh,,,how beautiful the fall mums and pansys are this year! My Gardener would have wanted one many of each.
 This was our favorite roadside market.
 On the way home we made a stop to snap this scenic shot of Pilot Mountain, a North Carolina State Park.
Prehaps Fall was meant as a period of the year to prepare the soul and spirit for the special holidays ahead. Hope your family members are enjoying this season as much as my loved ones! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Knit & Crochet Show

Bronna turned me on to The Knitters Guild Show that was held just down the road. It was a three day knitter's and crocheter's cup of tea filled with classes, fashion shows, a silent auction, dinners and of course socializing and shopping.

Laurie and I could only attend one day, but worked a lot of mingling and shopping into those few hours.  Here is a look at some of my goodies! 
The teal, aqua and purple is The Windsor Tweed Shawl by Maggiknits. This is a whimsical wool shawl that many of my knitting buds purchased as well. There were several styles with many lovely colors to choose from.  I'm really excited to get this on the needles! The yummy orchid, rose, red and orange is  Windsor Hand-Painted Sock Yarn from Miss Babs and plans to be a "Ruffle My Feathers Shawl".  Next are the four skeins of Organik Arctic Tundra in a natural colorway. This is a merino, baby alpaca and silk blend that will be fabulous for the Topografie's Stone Wall Bonnet and her Horseshoe Lace Cowl. One of the exciting features of this set is the patent leather buttons (oh...they are attached with screws and are removal...ain't that cool) to be used on the bonnet and the KILLER pewter colored spiral bridge closure. AND of course I can never turn down a skein or two of worsted Malabrigo (that's the rich blue/purple)!

Laurie and I met many Triad Knitting friends. The day was exciting and surreal all rolled into one.  In all my excitement I didn't get one pic, nope....didn't even think about it!

So many years I have admired and wanted to meet up with Champagne Maker!  Finally it happened! I have knit several of her unique and lovely knits, The Wrapigan, and Under Tow for starters. She is a talented and out of the box kind of designer that is filled with a real love for life.  CM was excited to tell Lauie and I about the publication of a new book in the works! Included in the book will be her adult "Sock Monkey" simply is the cutest EVER sweater and I have wanted to pattern since the first time I laid eyes oh it!  If there is a pre-order period for this book, I will be one of the first on the list.

Knitting on the Earth and Sky wrap is coming right along.  This has been an enjoyable piece that I think will be just as enjoyable  to wear.
To bad you can't F.E.E.L....but you can look and see how sooooft it is!
This one should be off the needles and on my shoulders this week.
Hugs and Purls!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scarlet's Sweater and Bonnet

This is a sweet sweater set knit for a Special neighbor's first Great Granddaughter!  Scarlet will be welcomed into this world early December and I hope the new Mommy will be pleased with this adorable set when received at her baby shower in October.
The Feather and Fan Baby Sweater is a design by Kimerbly Conterio and can be found in this fabulous book. I chose to knit the project from my Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino stash and realized once the sweater was complete, I had enough remaining to knit a matching hat.  Thanks to Ravelry I found the Sourball Bonnet (knit in the same Feather and Fan design) that fit the bill perfectly!   

Everything about this project is sweet and girlie...even down to the tiny seed pearl buttons.

Here's a peek at my newest quest...AKA: Earth and Sky by Stephen West. I didn't get on board with this project during the Mystery period, but found the design to be quite interesting and couldn't resist.

The Blue Sky Baby Alpaca is always a dream to knit and this is no exception!  So far I'm really loving the fiber and pattern combination.   

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Rhodocrosite and Nicholas
 Rhodocrosite and Dusty
 Just headless me and Rhodocrosite
 All finished. Seriously there is a lot to be said for a knit that is well written, fast, and just plain fun.
 I did knit an extra pattern repeat and pleased with the size that allows it to be worn as a scarf or shawl.
The project blocked beautifully and is soft, fluid, nice and drapy!
So hooked on Madelinetosh yarn that I started this sweater in the same Madelinetosh line in an ohhhh sooooo pretty blue! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

clue # 2 and how 'bout a muffin

In a prior post I mentioned my new mystery project,
Through the Looking Glass Shawl
and here it is......

The shape of this shawl is a lovely Farosese, with a central lace spine and two wings and provides directions for nupps or seed beads or Both.  I haven't decided if I want to deal with those nupps or just eliminate them altogether and stick with only beads.  That decision needs to made pretty quickly as I hear the nupps and bead work starts in clue #3.

I'm into the second clue and really enjoying the fiber and pattern.  There was a small hick-up on row 17 of clue #2, but thanks to knitting friend, Belva, she had figured out the error on the written part of the pattern and shared it with me! Seriously, you need to check out her mystery shawl...her color selection is both beautiful and just fabulous. 
 Check out my beads. 

OK...I seldom never share recipes, but I think this one is certainly worth the effort and is by far my all time favorite muffin. The Gardener and MIL love them equally. Credit and Thanks must be given to my sweet dear neighbor for sharing this healthy special treat.

Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup sifted whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sifted white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
l/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk (low fat)
1/4 cup egg beaters
1/4 cup veg oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar (Splenda)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup craisins

Mix as follows:
Sift dry ingredients and add to eggs, brown sugar and shortening mixture THEN add buttermilk/oatmeal mixture.
(oatmeal/buttermilk mixture:  pour the 1 cup buttermilk over the oates and let stand 1 hour before adding the mixture)

Fill muffins cups 2/3 full
Bake at 400 degrees for 17 to 20 minutes
Makes one dozen

For any of you Weight Watchers, I checked the Power Points to be 5 points per muffin.

I snapped these pics right from the oven today!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

belated birthday wish

Even with every good intention and keeping an eye out...I still missed it!  So here's wishing Knitting on Cloud IX a belated "Happy Blogoversary"!  Plans were to post a few of my past headers during the last 4 years, better late than never I guess. 

Do any of these look familiar to you?? 

I usually crop my pictures on my computer then head over to Picnik and add the text.  I like the font and effect selections there and they really have some cool features.  Oh, did I mention Picnik is free??
Molly over at A Foothill Home Companion has great information on how to make headers.  You should check it out!
Hugs and Purls!