~DragonKnits~

But she’ll share…..sometimes.

Shawl of Grace

Step 1:

Frog unwearable Trellis Triangle Shawl:

Frogged Trellis shawl

Note: Trellis yarn is really easy to frog! Wow, this whole step only took me around five minutes. Are these your colors, Grace? Will start on the revised version right after this post. A little late, but I just want to get it started so that tomorrow all I need to do is continue.

A triangle shawl like this is the perfect traveling project for me. No pattern repeats, just knit…knit…knit. The change that I am making is that I will increase every other row, instead of every row, though, that is what the original Lion Brand pattern says to do. Every other row will make it a fuller triangle down the middle, instead of a severely elongated one that resulted the first time.

This is what it’s supposed to look like:

Lion Brand Trellis Triangle Shawl

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007 ~ Posted by | Knitting | 2 Comments

My Own Beaded Stitch Markers!

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Whooo Hoo! Here are my stitch markers. I am so proud of them that I can bust! I want to thank David Reidy at the Sticks and String podcast for demonstrating how easy they are to make. I didn’t make mine the same way as his because I found these 20mm toggle clasps…. but also because I am not fluent in “binary”. I used the ring part for my markers. There is nothing there to catch on yarn, except for maybe any shoddiness in my own work. For my first try, I think I did pretty good. As you can see, these are sitting on US 11 needles with room to spare. The 11’s are the largest ones I have right now. If you look close, you can see that on one of them I cut off too much wire and had to remove one of the beads on top… no biggie… but I KNOW!

I used Regal Beading Guild’s Peridot Flower Lampwork Glass Beads, #62866. The size is not noted on the package, sorry. I don’t know the name of the wire piece, but it had a little doo-dad at the bottom to stop the bead and was a little decorative. The company is called “Bead It”, but I would not recommend it because quite a few pieces in the package were not properly made and as a result, the whole linear effect is off. I could have made more, but because the other wire pieces were so crappy, I had to stop. Well, I got my .99 cents worth. The other beads are just misc. glass beads. Finding the 20mm toggle clasp part was really a lucky break for me as I had no idea what I was looking at. I used a 50% off coupon at A.C. Moore for my beading tools, a set of 3 pliers, pretty basic, but just enough for what I needed. A $12.00 set of three cost me 6 bucks… a really great deal considering I saw tools that ran at least $12-14 for a single tool.

Ah, I am so relieved now. I basically got started on this because I want to start my very first summer top and the pattern says I need stitch markers. My mouth is watering for me to make a real garment for myself. I mean, the scarves, mittens, and even the poncho is real enough, but a S-w-e-a-t-e-r ! Now, that would really be an accomplishment. I’ll let you guys know is going on with that, but I’ve got to get going because I still need to fix some rows on the poncho. I find that I am missing some crochet stitches at the end of my rows. I looked at it and there is a definite decrease going on there…. I have no idea why. Do I need to make two crochets in the last stitch of each row? That is what it’s looking like to me, so I’ve got to go back and fix it all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 ~ Posted by | Crafts, Crochet, Knitting | Leave a comment

Stash Buster

Stash Buster Scarf/Wrap/Poncho

 

This is my Stash Busting project. It’s 230 stitches long and I originally was making a scarf, but then thought “wrap”, THEN thought “poncho”…ooooh.  The more rows I make, the more yarn I use up from my stash…. simple.  Sometimes.  I am determined to use only yarn from my stash as the Log Cabin Blanket was supposed to do that, but I ended up BUYING yarn to get nice color combinations. Well, see where I stopped with the pink at the top?  Notice anything strange about the row below it?  If you look closely, you can see that the texture at that point is different, and the color is slightly off from the rest of the cranberry row.  That is because I ran out of yarn and really didn’t want to rip out the row… OR use a different color as I am striving for completed colors all the way across.  What to do, what to do…. I had a skinny scarf in my closet made of the same color, but in Homespun…. so I frogged it … just a little to complete the row. A mere mortal could never tell it, but us knitters would know in an instant!  That row was a real buster because a whole ball of remnant yarn got used up,  yipee!

I would really love to make a  poncho out of this but I think it’s too long across.  When I hold it from hand to outstretched hand, it goes over my hands…. BUT I am a bigger girl and I figure that my bulk might make up for it!

 Gotta run as I need to get to bed, but I might write more on this tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2007 ~ Posted by | Crochet | Leave a comment

What Makes Me a Mother?

DSC02097I saw this question on Friday but I forgot which blog I saw it on~ Parent Blasters or something like that. They were asking for contributions, but the deadline was Friday, so it was too late for me to participate. Nevertheless, this is a worthy question to ponder. Well, the obvious first thought I could give is that I never thought that I would become a parent at all, let alone ever think there would be a time I’d sit back and think about what kind of mother I am, the kind of mother I want to be. Now, I wonder what am I really capable of and what limitations I have. I think it’s very important to know your limitations. The first of which is the fact that I’ve been thinking about this since yesterday, Friday, but have not been writing anything down. So, I sit here now, at the eleventh hour, trying to both remember my thoughts and string them together in a comprehensible fashion.

As I sit here, I simply cannot think….. The more I do, however, I come to the conclusion that everything I have been in the past, everything I have learned as part of my own, personal, education has helped to make me a mother. I feel as though everything I have learned, everything I’ve experienced in my own life up to now, has culminated into the grand scheme of “mother” I am supposed to be for my child. I get visions of my life flashing before my eyes as if it were a near death experience and everything, every little dot and crossed “t” has now shown itself to be critical for my success as a mother.

If you don’t know me, or my story, I’ll go back a little and say that I have spent my whole life “waiting” for something, unbeknownst to me, to happen in my life. It was something that I just felt. Another predominant feeling of mine has been that I never thought that I would/could make a good mother. I never had the patience for kids of any age, though it’s always been easy for me to talk to children and they to me. The secret was that I actually listened to them and conversed with them. Still, I was a very flighty person and NEVER committed to anything, even if I was pretty sure I’d follow through. Although, I always wondered what a girl child of mine would look like, my desire for one never went beyond that. Part of my aversion to parenthood was that my life was never settled, never stable. When I was married in my twenties, we tried for a baby, but never got pregnant, so I thought that I could not get have them. It seemed so simple to me. Motherhood was not meant to be for me. What I didn’t realize was that something inside me did not want my then husband to be the father of any of child of mine. I am sure that thought is something that tobeme can really appreciate. My body refused to have normal, predictable cycles so that I could conceive. Well, that and the stress of the marriage that I was totally unaware of; which goes to show you how young and mentally immature I really was. The end result was no kids and as time went by, I was happy with my life minus the responsibility of raising a family. I came and went as I pleased. I digress. Then and now.

As I got older, I grew as a person; and one day I realized that the wealth I have to offer a child was not that of money, but of experience, life and pure, unconditional love. I am, and have always been a source of a never ending spring of love. I always felt love welling up from inside me and I had nobody to give it to. It felt immensely frustrating and heartbreaking to me. I wondered why God had done such a thing to me. Ah, the impatience of a 17 year old. I had always thought that I needed a man, a partner, a companion, a husband to shower all this love down onto. Well, the man that I am married to now appreciates it, but he is a very independent guy and really doesn’t need it; and though he likes it, I realize I can easily smother him. As a matter of fact, I smothered too many men and quite effectively chased them away with my attentions. God’s hand moved.

What makes me a mother like no other to my child is my treasure of knowledge, such as it is. Ah, this kind of treasure is worthless, indeed, invisible, if it’s not shared. I just happen to be poised in the perfect position to share because I have resolved to keep the lines of communication open. It will be a difficult line to manage as I want to be a “mother”, yet I want my boy to feel as though he can tell me anything. My sister became her kids’ “friend”, but I know I don’t want to go to the extreme down that road. I am prepared to listen to my kid. I am prepared to explain myself and my motives to my kid. I am prepared to invite questions from my kid. I am prepared to apologize to my kid (if appropriate). I am prepared to make my kid feel that he is important, that he matters, that I value his thoughts, his opinions, whatever they may be. One thing I noticed with young kids is that they know when adults are just patronizing them. The kid that is hurt the most is not the kid that is abused, but the kid that is ignored. Remember The Breakfast Club? When that was said in the movie, it struck a painful chord with me. It was Ally Sheedy’s character, Allison. She was the “weird” one. I WAS THE WEIRD ONE.

Another quality that I have that makes me a mother is that I never really lost my childhood. I love to play and I know the importance of nurturing the inquisitive mind. I allow my son to experience anything and everything up to the point of his personal danger, however that may manifest, be it a busy street, to dog, bird and cat poop in the yard and spiders in the water cans. Those of you who are acquainted with my quirkiness for English, probably have an idea already that I refuse to speak to my kid in baby talk. It’s not that I am trying to push him out of his childhood, but I want him to learn proper English, and not think his made up words are correct. I understand his words, but repeat back to him the proper word. I praise him, but I use the proper word. Eventually, he’ll get it.

I am sitting here wondering what else makes me a mother and I look around the place. This part of the house is also my son’s play area. It’s 9:30 at night and every box of his is empty, all toys strewn about. I have learned to act as if I do not notice. I may or may not pick all this stuff up; but probably will just because tomorrow the boy’s Nanny (grandmother) will be coming over. She really doesn’t mind, but if I don’t put a reason there to do it, it won’t get done. I’ve freely given the boy more and more territory. I’ve accepted the fact that I’ve got to put more and more of my stuff away in storage just so that they can survive to the next era of “normalcy” around here. A time when adult items can be proudly be out in the open without fear of death or destruction. I do this with a smile as this idea was a “light bulb moment” when a solution was needed to stop my yelling at the boy because he was going after my stuff, no matter how high I put things. Ah, precious dragons are put aside for precious boy.

Though I have more patience with him than I ever thought I would have, there are times when I blow up.  There have been a few of them… but more than I care to admit.  I sigh a long, hard sigh.  This is one of my limitations.  I pray about it.  I think about it and I try to be aware of my tendency to flash a tornado at him.   I try to think why I am “really” upset and more often than not, the situation was caused directly by my lack of forethought than the baby “being bad”.  Lack of forethought is when I forget to take things I don’t want him to fool with out of his way before he sees them… like the bottle of soda he is increasingly becoming more enamored with each day.My son is really learning some words now. Already I am sharing his joy when I see his excitement of showing us what words he knows and that he knows he knows them. Got that? I love seeing his little light bulb light up when he is successful at what he is attempting, whatever it is, be it going down a slide for the first time or taking off his socks. I’ll never forget the light in his eyes (or mine) when I found the Land of the Lost Boy’s Socks under his crib~18 pairs! He loves to learn, God bless his heart, and we will try to keep the opportunities coming to him. He is learning to say the letters by letters on the fridge and Newman’s Own Alphabet graham cracker cookies… hubby’s great idea! I wonder how many bags of that stuff we’ll have to buy! DH says that the whole alphabet is represented in every bag.

I am tired but somehow I don’t think I’ve managed to say much <again>. Though I ache for bed this night, I would be remiss if I did not write a little more. Like any other kid, I learned a lot from my own mother, but not in the way that you’d expect. My own mother never really talked to us. She was very intelligent and intuitive to a degree, yet, there was never true communication between us. I do not feel as if I ever truly knew her, or who she was. Not all her fault either as I was to blame, too; but hey, she was the parent in that equation and her responsibility to take the lead, not I, the immature child. She just left it alone, giving up, whatever. I’ll never know. I have made peace with my mother, though. I realize that she was somehow incapable of anything more than she was. I know she made sacrifices for us, big ones, but very subtle. She sacrificed herself, her identity to be our mother. She sacrificed being our “friend” to be our Mother, capital M. She shut herself off to us perhaps because she found herself in the position of the needed disciplinarian while my father was out working 2 and 3 jobs. She was very sensitive, too, and that was probably why she had to shut herself down emotionally… so that we kids would know that she meant business.

Remember, babies never did, or ever will come with a user’s manual. My mother’s mother did not talk to her… and so the cycle repeated itself, for one last generation. I am where the buck stopped last…. to die. Pretty smelly here as I do not have a manual, either; but I am planting my lavenders, rosemarys, and lemon tyme to stifle the stench and my baby will someday help me plant my garden. He will someday learn how to knit if he still wants to by then. The world will be his oyster if oysters are not wiped off the face of the earth by then.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Gotta go and fold some laundry!

Saturday, May 12, 2007 ~ Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

A Breakthrough

Just a quick note…

As you may know, I’ve been knitting dishcloths lately from “Color-Splash Dishcloths”. Well, I’ve learned that when you are making something with these types of patterns, you really should NOT use variegated yarn, yarn that is more than one color. All that work, and you cannot see the pretty designs in the resulting fabric. Stick with single colors and the difference is significant…. but that is not my breakthrough.

Well, I was knitting up my third dishcloth and had completed a row with different stitches. One of which was slip 1, K2 tog, PSSO. The PSSO means to “pick, or pass the slipped stitch over the K2 tog stitch. The alternate rows are always a straight knit all the way across. Well, I was knitting on one of these rows, and came to a point where “I just saw” that I forgot to PSSO! Wow, knowledge ingrained in my brain! Then I did a quirky thing! Well, I am proud of it… I sort of completed the stitch WITHOUT ripping out all the way back. I just turned the work back and got back to that point, then completed the stitch by slipping the slipped stitch, then made sure it was on the right needle, then turned the work back and continued on with my knitting.

I say again, WOW!

Spirit of the Maternal Dragon Roars!

Friday, May 11, 2007 ~ Posted by | Knitting, Personal | 2 Comments

Self Striping Socks

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These are my socks. Like them? My neighbor told me they look like cups for a bra! I suppose they could, indeed, be mistaken for that, but I assure you, I am trying to make socks “this” time. I took this picture in the car. It’s a prime “clutch” example of the great things that can happen when you leave the house prepared to knit wherever you land. The baby was not interested in napping this Sunday so I suggested to my DH that we just get out of the house because it was such a great day. We decided to go to “Scoops” for some ice cream. Well, right before we got there, our little darling was out cold in the back seat. SO, we continued on to the book store, one of our favorite hang outs, and DH went inside to soak up the local color and I remained outside while baby slept…. and knit my socks. So, so clutch!

Anyway, I mentioned that these socks were not coming out the way I planned. They are coming out too big for my feet. It seems that I am using US #4 needles and not #3’s. On top of that, I added some stitches before settling into knitting full rounds. Well, I went back and forth over whether I should frog these babies or not, and have decided to keep going. My MIL has permanently very swollen feet and ankles, so these will go to her. I just can’t bear to rip them out. This will be okay. I know I have enough yarn to make them this size, so no reason not to push on. This Sunday, Mother’s Day, we will be seeing her; and though they will not be done, she will be able to try them on so I can better judge the heel. I’ll probably have to add even more stitches to the heel, but it will be a creative learning event.

I am really loving how the stripes are just appearing and I can’t wait to get myself to a LYS (Local Yarn Store) in order to indulge in some niiiice sock yarn. I’ll have to see if I can find some of the smaller sizes in circular needles, as well. My immediate problem is that I have the Knit Picks Options circular needles. I really love these needles, but could not afford to get the complete set and just got 4 pairs of various sizes, trying to give myself a good range within my means. I really did do a pretty good job, but back then I was not knitting socks and didn’t see the need of going smaller than a US #4. Sigh. Oh well, my birthday is coming up in a couple of months, so maybe I can convince DH to let me order more needles, cables, and more yarn!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007 ~ Posted by | Knitting | Comments Off on Self Striping Socks

Splish Splash

DSC02398I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but recently I got really fed up with the clean up in the kitchen. I started out using a sponge to mop up liquid mess, but then found myself using an inordinate amount of paper towels to do that job. They are neat and they are disposable and they are paper, so it’s assumed that they will break down relatively quickly. Another thing they are is Ex-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. I mean, I found myself using paper towels for everything and totally ignored my sponge. Why? The reason is that I’d regularly get pretty annoyed over the fact that I can never seem to squeeze out all the soap so that I can properly and thoroughly rinse the table, counter, stove, whatever.

Trivial? Maybe, but true.

I never thought I’d knit a wash cloth, but I did in about two days. I had plenty of Sugar and Cream for another kitchen project I planned, but I had absolutely no plans for a dishcloth. Nevertheless, I resolved to knit one after not knowing what else to do about the kitchen situation. I bought a pattern book called, “Color-Splash Dishcloths”, by Evelyn A. Clark and got one step closer to actually doing it. I realized that this requires more skills than I had and I hesitated; but then saw that there were instructions and diagrams of all the extra skills necessary. I realized that I had wanted to learn all of this and these dishcloths are the perfect vehicle to learn them. This was so easy, like I was mentally ready to learn, and so I did. I’ve got to say that listening to all the knitting podcasts out there and reading blogs and the myriad of information on the web has helped me understand more and more every day.

I cast on a mere 3 stitches last night and didn’t stop until just before dinner today… during spare time only but I managed to make a lot of it! All through it all, I kept in mind to just follow the pattern and just do what it says, to the letter without trying to figure it out. I was rewarded by this beautiful item called “Splish-Splash”. Now came the really difficult part. I love it so much that I really didn’t want to use it! I made it a point to use it tonight for table clean up and stove duty. I was really impressed by it’s scrubbing ability, rinse-ability and absorbency. Well, of course, it’s cotton! It’s pretty addictive, too. If I can do it this fast, I can whip up plenty by Christmas and include them as gifts to the special woman I give gifts to. You know the ones. Those who are capable of looking past the fact that it’s a dishcloth and can appreciate the fact that it was handmade.

Still, this is the perfect type of project to learn new techniques on. Included today are YO, SSK, K2 tog, K3 tog, and slip 1, K2 tog, PSSO. SO EASY… now that I know, of course! That loop at the top was my own add-on. I was going to block it, but then realized that this little number will be getting wet and stretched out time and time again. I am definitely making more of these for myself as these are the kind you must WASH in the laundry every so often…. so cool!

Tomorrow I will have an update and pic of the socks I am doing…. not going exactly as planned, but at least I know why.

Monday, May 7, 2007 ~ Posted by | Knitting | Comments Off on Splish Splash

Where I’m At

Just a quick note, I have been trying to gather internet information and focus on knitting those toe up socks.  Socks was my original “justification” for spending money on knitting in the first place; and I still have as yet to knit, and complete, a pair.

I first heard about toe up socks on Brenda Dayne’s podcast, Cast On, and I was obsessed from then on to find out how to make them.  BTW Brenda, LOVE your new look!  I am also obsessed with making 2 socks on 1 circular needle… so as you can see, learning tons of stuff at one time.  Oh, and I used the Figure 8 cast on… wow, really tons of new stuff; but that is how I like it and that is how I want it to be, to always be learning something new.

I have a normal foot, but it’s grown to a 9 1/2 (or so), and my left foot is permanently swollen a bit from previous injuries; so I have a terrible time finding socks that fit both my feet, let alone fit well.  Making toe up socks will allow me to make the foot first, then worry about the leg and if it’s a little short, so what.  Because I am just learning, I really want to make two at once so whatever I do for the first, I can immediately do for the second.  I am also the type who gets bored rather quickly and I don’t want to end up making one sock then letting the other one remain unmade.  I do not have a pic as of yet because, 1- I only have a few rounds done, and 2- the batteries on my camera still need to be recharged… IF it can be found.

Another thing that I sort of figured out while learning M1L and M1R is that I realized  the mistake that I made while making a shawl that didn’t turn out very well… or rather it seems to be a mistake in the pattern.  I am attempting to make a triangle shawl out of the LB trellis yarn, using the pattern off the label.  The label states to increase front and back of every row.  Well, you can imagine it was very elongated and not shaped well.  It was very long horizontally, but had no shape, no volume on the back.

I went over the instructions over and over just to see if I was missing something, and certainly, I will get in touch with Lion Brand first; but I believe that I really should have alternated between increasing and then knitting a complete row before increasing again.  What do you think?  Please, if you have any ideas or any advice, WRITE ME, either comment or send me a private email.  I would really appreciate it because this shawl is long over due for a friend of mine.

Okay, gotta run and see with the boy is getting into.  Shhhhh, it’s vewy vewy quiet out there.  I’m hunting BOY!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 ~ Posted by | Knitting | 2 Comments

Darjeeling Tea Hot Chocolate

This is the drink that got bumped from last week. A little “controversial” to some, but I can assure you that, if you like tea, you will love this recipe. I have tried it and it’s really good as long as the tea is made on the strong side. It’s very simple to make and yummy any day of the week.

Today happens to be a damp, miserable day and I will surely treat myself after the little one goes down for his nap. Right now, he is throwing his toys into my bedroom as I have “gated” him out so I can write.

So, if you’re the adventurous type, this is a great way to feed that spirit on a day where you just want to snuggle up with a warm blanket.

Darjeeling Tea Hot Chocolate

4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1 black tea bag, such as Darjeeling
1 cup boiling water
Cream to taste
Sugar to taste

  1. Place the chocolate in a small bowl and heat in a microwave until melted, being careful not to burn it.
  2. In a large mug, steep the tea bag in the hot water for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the melted chocolate. Add cream and sugar to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 1

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 ~ Posted by | Chocolate, Recipes | Leave a comment