But she’ll share…..sometimes.

The Phoenix Seraphina

She rises from the ashes of the agony of defeat from the treacherous Flirty Fluttery Cardigan.

What better title for a blog which hasn’t had a new post since December 2008?   This post is also about Ravelypmics 2o10, an event on Ravelry, taking place right now, will finish this coming Sunday night.  For those of you who have not heard of Ravelry.com it’s a community of, what I shall call, “Fiber People”.  These are those who are infatuated with all things fiber.  We are knitters, crocheters, spinners, dyers, weavers, anything that anyone can do with fiber, fiber people.  Yet, we are Ravelry.  Resistance is futile.

The Phoenix Seraphina is the result of a disastrous attempt to make the Flutter Cardigan from Creative Knittting, March 2010 magazine.  (Sorry, if you’re not on ravelry, you won’t be able to see that link.)  There was a discrepancy with the weight of the yarn.  The magazine said it was a worsted weight yarn and the two substitutions for yarn listed are worsted also… AND discontinued.  I wrote a note to the editor on the pattern on ravelry, but have not heard from them, nor do I see my note on the pattern.. OR where they would have made a correction.  Still, with Wool of the Andes yarn (light worsted) and a US I hook, I got the gauge required.

I had entered this cardi into the Ravelympics this year.  I took a guess at the yarn, measured my chest, even met gauge, but still the ruffle was horribly MUCH too long.  Don’t know what happened.  It can’t be that I was off on my foundation row by 200+ stitches!  I even put stitch markers every 50 stitches on the foundation SC row…. I did not start with a chain, rather started with a SC foundation.  I persevered for the full ruffle, to be tragically defeated when I realized that it wrapped around my stomach much too much.  What to do?  I had to let it go…. for now.

In steps Seraphina! For non-ravelry people, you can find the pattern here.  I love this pattern.  I think this is the fourth one I made, so I’m pretty comfortable with the pattern, though, written out it’s pretty wordy.  There’s a streamlined, corrected version over on Crochetville if you’re interested.  Again, you probably need to be a member of Crochetville to access it.  Anyway, I had a FO that did not come out right and I was intending on frogging anyway, so I entered that into the Aerial Unwind event.  Then I used that yarn, Jojoland Rhythm, to make The Phoenix Seraphina, which I had planned to make for a charity auction at my son’s preschool this coming May 2010.  I must say that I’m in love with the Pheonix…. AND that I have enough of the same yarn to make another one, which I certainly will, either for myself or to put up for sale in my Etsy shop.


UPDATE:  2/28/2010: The Phoenix Seraphina Just received her GOLD MEDAL (see badge under picture) ….. the crowd goes wild!

These are my entries and medals won for my events…. minus the Flutter Cardi and socks which I had entered in the WIP’s Dancing event, but have since misplaced them, so another fiasco there.  Please note that The Phoenix Seraphina has not been officially declared a winner which is why she is not here.  Once that happens, I’ll display her medal.  Whew…. so glad I got this posted!


Spiderman Afghan (WIP’s Dancing)

Ed’s BIG Seamen’s Hat (Hat Half-Pipe)

Frogged “My Clapochet” (Aerial Unwind Event)


Saturday, February 27, 2010 ~ Posted by | Crafts, Crochet, Knitting, Patterns, ravelry | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oops, Spoke too Soon…..

My ears were burning and I was CALLED!  Called to the Precious PODIUM… woo hoo!

My trophy!

My trophy!

aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh the crowd is roaring, going crazy!  I’m smiling, waving deliriously in all directions, tears in my eyes…..

and, and…. don’t know HOW they managed it, but, but……

It’s raining CHOCOLATE!

Life is good.

Monday, August 18, 2008 ~ Posted by | Chocolate, Crochet, Knitting, ravelry | , , , | 4 Comments

Across the Finish Line!

dum dum da dum dum da dum da dum da dum dum………..

Sweet Sweater Turned Cardi

Sweet Sweater Turned Cardi

Event: Sweater Sprint
Team: Team Red Heart
Finished: Saturday, August 16th, 10:26pm EST

May I present…. My first Ravelympics FO, all washed and softened up.  Just one little thing is missing, my button. I’ve as yet need to make it… but this cardi is “wearable” and should qualify for being completed, and no one has gotten in touch with me to let me know that it doesn’t.  Oh, I’m also wondering if I get extra credit for an item sized 3X!

Although…. I have not been called up to the PODIUM yet……….. Let’s just say it’s got me wondering. ha.. you can see in the photo that there it was still a bit damp under the arms after being taken out of the dryer… better that than being over dried. I soaked it in a cup of vinegar while I took my shower this morning, then laundered it to make it soft. It definitely worked.  Many, many thanks to crochetbug13 for providing that tip on softening Red Heart.  Here is her non-ravelry blog’s site. Believe it or not, and this is how naive I really am to the ways of the yarn, I never, ever washed a FO before coming to Ravelry!

How the PODIUM works is that Bobicus Maximus lists all the events and that days’ finishers. Well, I finished late last night, but nothing happened today. My first impulse was to go and grab a badge from the last batch of Sweater Sprint finishers, but I just couldn’t… guess I’ll wait on the sidelines and watch all the other finishers proudly march up the podium to make their speeches….

I’ll just make my speech now, to you guys, and skip it later.

I just want to thank my Grandma Diano for teaching me the ways of the yarn, knitting and crochet. She was a great role model! I also want to thank my neglected hubby and my equally neglected son for all the support I received from them these past several days, and not one word of complaint… well, nothing I noticed! When I showed my garment to the Drake, he did express that he liked it and uttered that unforgettable response, “Aaaah, that’s why you’ve been so quiet.”

Gotta LOVE em!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, here’s a bit of news.  I’m so embarrassed, though, because I was promoted, but just noticed a couple of days ago.

I was promoted to Captain in the Red Heart Group for organizing International Red Heart Swaps and bringing Red Heart yarn to the rest of the world.  Thanks, Zeeppo!

Oh man, that Zeeppo!  He’s got something called Hulu on his blog and I just killed some hours watching some movies off his blog.

Monday, August 18, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, ravelry | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ravelympics Sweater Sprint

Progress in three days of pretty good work time.

Progress in three days of pretty good work time.

Just wanted to give a quick update for this event, since this is the project that I’m putting in the most time with right now on a day to day basis.

As you can see, this is, I’d say, at least 50% done, but that is also counting sleeves and finishing that will be required.  Somebody crossed the finish line with SHRUG THIS…. a small TINY version (can I type that any bigger?), no-sleeve shrug… I can’t believe that qualifies as a sweater, but my LIPS are sealed….

Anyway, since my last post, I did decide to try this as a jacket by not joining the front to form the V-neck.  This jacket will not be long, but on the shorter side because I have a short waist and I do not like things long on me. If you can see at the bottom, I put in a sort of mesh row, formed with DC ch DC… etc.  I want to do at least three of these rows, then go back to solid DC to form the bottom edge.  MAN this thing is already pretty heavy, so I’m not sure if I should just say that it’s a jacket or keep the name as a cardigan.  I think for this event, though, it stays as cardigan because a cardigan is still classified as a sweater.  Oh, and before I forget, I will not have buttons running down the whole front.  I am just going to use one big button at the top, like in the Creative Knitting Magazine, September 2008 issue.  I can’t believe there are no photos to be had for this issue because I wanted to show the button.  My friend, Dee, just bought buttons just like the one on the cover photo and paid $2.50 a piece!  I can make them for a fraction of that… and so, I will do just that and the color will be custom, done by me.

I did manage to work on my “Softest Neck Warmer Ev-A”.  Though I did not work nearly as much time on it as the sweater, I think I still managed to get done about 45% or so.  No pics yet.

Monday, August 11, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Slow Start

Sweater Sprint

Cowl Jump

I am happy to report that I have started all planned projects and they have at least a few rows a piece started.

The Herringbone stitch is so tight and slow going for me, so I feel that I have a handicap right here.  I have about 5 rows done and knitting it on size US 13 straight needles.  Jumped over to the “Red Fuzzy Cowl” and had a couple of starts and stops with this one.  The red Caron Bliss yarn is SOOOO, so soft, but a little hard to work with… so put that down after just a couple of rows to move on to the next project, “Softest Neck Warmer Ev-A” and I’m happy to report that this has gotten off to a good start, after a lot of false ones.  This project was originally going to be one of two Herringbone Neck Warmers, but it was not working out.  I had combined Wool of the Andes in Blue Bonnet with Caron Bliss in Peacock… such a beautiful combination and the blues in these two yarns just BELONG together.  Alas, stitch definition was lost in the fuzziness of the Bliss and because it’s such a time consuming stitch, I had to give it up for this project and adapted a regular stockinette stitch to the pattern… Is this cheating?  Not sure, but all changes were made before the start of the games, and I deleted the original pattern, to say that it’s not any pattern.  Oh, and I plan on making my own buttons for both neck warmers.

Oh… I am remiss.  I just realized that I’ve not started my Blue Caterpiller Cowl yet.  I originally wanted to use home spun yarn, but looks like I won’t be able to do that.  I am still searching for yarn to use with this.  The pattern is called Abstract Caterpiller Cowl… and this is a RAVELRY link to the page, so those of you not on ravelry probably will not be able to access it.  Sorry about that but it looks like its a free Ravelry download and a file and not a link.

On to my next project……the Sweet Sweater (SS).

Well, the Sweet Sweater is a crocheted object and the pattern is not really a pattern, per se.  It’s more of a formula to get you started making a top-down sweater, then leaves a lot of the designing to the crocheter.  This is what I love about it.  Gauge is really important.  You are setting your own gauge by choosing the yarn and size hook you want to work with, but once you make a swatch, which is essential, you need an accurate gauge.  Row gauge is not really important here because you are working from the top down, and you decide how long you want the sweater, midriff, hip length, tunic?  You decide.  But the stitches per inch gauge is really important.

Anyway, my gauge came out to 3 stitches per inch, working with a US-K hook on Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Lavender.  This is for Team Red Heart, and so it must be Red Heart yarn.  Originally, I wanted to use Red Heart Soft, but I could not find the colors I wanted to work with, and that bummed me out… so at the last minute I turned to my stash and this is what I found.  Since it’s worsted/aran, I decided to make a larger pull over or cardigan… though I really don’t need to decide until I get to the point where the V-neck is closed.  When I get to that point, either I close it, and it becomes a pull over; OR I don’t close and continue to work back and forth and it becomes a cardigan.

So, I managed to get a minds eye picture of what stitches I wanted to use, do swatches, calculate the formula, in what took the better part of the afternoon…. in between interacting with my kiddie.  Then really got into the beginning of it.  I completed about ten rows when I noticed that two rows back, I placed an increasing shell in the wrong stitch.  I was so, so tempted to just leave it and move on, but it was eating at me so I ripped back two rows to the offending shell and fixed the mistake, then continued.  I spent the evening crocheting while watching the Horse Whisperer… not the best since there is a lot of suspense and must be seen by-the-eyeball scenes, but I managed since this was not my first viewing….. whew.  Today my crochet group is getting together for our monthly meeting and I’ll have the day to work on my Ravelympics projects…. woo hoo!

No pictures yet, but soon… once I get enough on all my projects to be worth taking pics.

Oops, I’ve gotta run… don’t want to be late!

Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, Knitting, Patterns, ravelry | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the Games Begin!

Ravelympics 2008 Team Jersey Button/Badge

Ravelympics 2008 Team Jersey Button/Badge

I love the Olympics coming along to spice up our lives very four years. Unfortunately, we do not have a television with cable access, or any access, since you pretty much need a cable connection to get any kind of connection at all with the exception of a couple of Spanish channels. ah… so I knit, crochet, spin, to the sounds of music and podcasts. Not so bad. Now THIS year…..

I have the opportunity to actually participate in Ravelympics. I will be the star (in my own mind) of two events, the Sweater Sprint and the Cowl Jump. I entered a long sleeved Sweet Sweater for Team Red Heart and a few different cowl projects in the Cowl Jump for Team Jersey.

Right now, I’ve got to get myself going, so I’ll make this short, but I’ll try to give daily updates. Hubby’s vacation time is going to cut into my knitting this coming week, but the upside of that is that tomorrow is when my monthly crochet group is meeting… I’ll be at it for most of the day…. weeeeeee!

Friday, August 8, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crafts, Crochet, Knitting, Patterns | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips and Tricks of the Trade

Just thought I’d post a few tips and tricks I’ve developed, discovered, whatever. These two are for weaving in ends, though I just saw the knitting one here. I discovered this technique while doing my Lob Cabin Blanket a while back, but I didn’t think to share it…. poo on me.

Weaving in Knitting Ends.

Weaving in Crochet Ends:

What I like to do for Double Crochet, when starting a new row, is to draw the new colored loop through the work, then make the chain with both ends for a thick chain. This makes it look more like an actual DC. Then, for the next few stitches, I’ll draw through both strands, but only use only one strand, the working yarn, to complete the stitch…. and OMG, I’m actually uploading a video to youtube! My very first tutorial! Yeepiiiiii ! Ya’ll can listen to my sick voice because I’ve got a horrible cold right now….. 33% uploaded….. I did take some pics but it was tough taking pics of my TWO hands… ha. So I put my camera on a little box, stuck my hands in front and let ‘er rip….. 53% uploaded… man, this is taking so long.

I’ve got to apologize for some mistakes. I recorded, verbally unprepared, at about midnight. My camera batteries are dead, so after the recharge I’ll make a new video. Here are the corrections:

  1. I say, “… Then I go into my next “chain”” but I should have said my next “loop”.
  2. Then I say, “and here’s the second one”, but it was really the third or fourth.
  3. I made a statement saying to continue until you finish up the the working yarn. Oh man! What I meant to say is, until you finish weaving in the end.

Then I made a statement one should never make on a tutorial video when you want to make something look easy. I said, “it’s so hard”…..GAH! What I really meant was that it was hard to make the video, itself; not that what I was doing was hard to do… geesh.

I was struggling to keep track of what was going on in front of the lens and talking and keeping everything in focus, etc. Wow. I’ve got to put more effort into this the next time around. I was just so excited, too, about actually doing it. It’s actually possible for me now to make significant videos with my digital camera because I lost my first memory stick and when we replaced it, bought a stick packing 2GIG’s… quite a jump from 16MB!

Finished Object Alert


A FO is lurking right around the corner! That Hogwart’s Scarf I started eons ago. I had a revelation today… another sort of trick, but it’s so obvious that I want to kick myself in the head for not thinking of it sooner. I am working this scarf in the round, for extra thickness (he lives in New Hampshire) and also to keep the edges from curling. So, this thing had double the knitting a regular scarf would have. Okay, so you get the picture. You know what it’s like carrying up the colors… the strands were forever getting tangled, twisted and I got dangerously close to cutting the yarn just to untangle it. So 25 stripes, 450 rows, and 22,500 stitches later… the light bulb goes off to just tuck the resting ball of yarn into the tube, well below the work area. Simple right? Like I said, I could kick myself in the teeth. Sigh. So that’s my gift to you this February night, cause it certainly wasn’t a gift for me because I’M DONE. But it was nice for that final stripe. I’m tempted to make more stripes just so that I can tuck my yarn into the tube for a while longer… but I’m so done with this project that I can’t wait to mail it out… pronto. Pics to follow when I put on the fringe.

Friday, February 8, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, Knitting, Tips and Tricks, Videos | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Public Display of Crochet

Okay the holidays are officially over. What’s a girl to do? No more deadlines to meet for half a dozen gifts…. well, I am still working on my Harry Potter scarf for our nephew, but it’s almost done, and I feel no pressure. Just a few more stripes (yeah, I said that over a month ago!)

What’s on the needhookles? (needles, hooks)

I am still working on my Comfy Shoulder Shrug, from Creative Knitting, Sept. 2007. I can’t seem to get a picture from the internet, but here is what I had in December. I really love these colors and texture of the pattern. If you can’t figure it out, this is one of the sleeves. You knit your way up the arm, around the back, and down the other arm. I’m stoked because this is my first “real” garment, for me.

Gemstone Shrug1

Here is where I’m at today:

Gemstone Shrug
I’ve got one whole arm done, and a bit started on the back. What really has me bummed is the very noticeable color change when I went to the second skein. The colors are not as dark, or intense as when I first started out. Because I added stitches to bot sides of the arm, I am guessing, is the reason that you can see some pooling of the colors… but I really like that. I’ll have to get over the color change, though, because I’m not about to frog this and start over. Plus, it’s something that I cannot correct because both of these skeins lost their labels long ago. Red Heart is not supposed to have dye lots, but I heard they are having a hard time with it now, and they DO have dye lots for some of their yarns.

I just started a Christmas Afghan for next year. I am thinking about gifting it to someone, but I’ll see. I really love this for myself, too. (Isn’t that always the way?) This is a free pattern that looks like squares of holly leaves. Here is my first completed square. You need 70 of them… whew! I thought I’d be safe starting it from now. Holly Leaf Christmas Afghan

Oh, on a side note, this pattern looks like it was designed with Red Heart Super Saver in mind. Why do I say that? I’m so glad you asked…. It’s because all of the names of the colors match Red Heart Super Saver colors: Burgundy, Hunter Green, Soft White, Cherry Red, Paddy Green, and Soft Navy.


Okay, so lets finally get to the shameful public display of crochet. So, I attended a bridal shower today. You know how you can get antsy while the bride is opening her gifts? Well, before that could happen to me, I pulled out my burgundy RH yarn and started 8-10 squares for the x-mas afghan. Pretty simple. I didn’t want to have six skeins of yarn with me, so I decided to make the start up color. Oh, and I did manage to snap off some pics of the shower……Pretty decent. Then tonight, I was unexpectedly invited out for coffee at a local diner with my neighbor. As soon as I sat down, I pulled out my crochet and whipped out 8 more. Woo hoo… I’m on my way! Sure I got the usual questions of “what ARE you doing?”… “oh, what are you making,” etc. That part is fun and I get to answer a lot of questions and casually also tell them that it’s SO easy and that they can do it, too. That’s normally when the conversations ends because nobody really seems interested enough to take the next step. I can’t blame them, though, because it took me a long time to get over my fear of more sophisticated than what I was doing, like scarves and unattached granny squares, destined for nowhere.


Sunday, January 27, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, Knitting, Patterns | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Respect the Red Heart… AND the Art of Crochet

edited 1/18/08:  Just realized that the caption from the article did not print here, so here it is:

” Nancy Hilton and her husband, Mack, of Athens, stand Thursday in front of an American flag she crocheted by hand. The flag is 24 x 13 feet, weighs 43 pounds and contains more than 20 miles of yarn.”

Just a quick note. I came across this article first on Ravelry and really want to share it with the world… so here I am. Nancy Hilton of Athens, Texas crocheted an over-sized American Flag in honor for our people overseas fighting for this country. She did it with Red Heart acrylic yarn.

Please read the article and hopefully it will get to the attention of some of our military risking their lives to serve this country…. just to let them know she is thinking about them and appreciates what they are doing.

Link to the article below:

Tyler Morning Telegrah, Sunday, Jan. 06, 2008

Crocheted American Flag

Monday, January 7, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Knitting….

Is another reason why I’ve not been able to get back here. Good Grief!

I am struggling through a clapotis scarf for a friend. I’m making it with Wool of the Andes, Blue Bonnet yarn. I really love the color. The problem is that I’m running out of steam. I am bored to tears! A cloche made with matching yarn was in the works, but has stopped because I wanted to finish the clap first, to make sure that I had enough wool. Now, I’m going to have to finish the hat, regardless, because that clap is not getting done before Christmas. So, at least I’ll have the hat.

Harry Potter ScarfNext thing I’m working on, and have only just started this week, is a Hogwarts scarf for our nephew. I feel horrible because this is not the scarf I wanted to knit TWO years ago! I wanted to design a logo that shows the logo for his hockey team. I’ve not learned how to do colorwork yet, so I had to compromise and do “something”. The problem is that I am sure that his brother would like this scarf better than him, and I definitely do not have the time to knit two scarves. As you can see, I am knitting it in the round and so, will take a mite longer than a normal knit scarf. They live in NH so, it’s the least I can do… LOL… Anyway, my goal is to knit at least one stripe a day, and it should be good to go before xmas, right?

DressIn the midst of all this, I have been crocheting some sweater dresses for Hugs4Hope, a group dedicated to supplying hospitals with items for newborn preemies and full term babies.  I love this pattern and can almost make a whole dress without looking at the pattern… so cool.  As a matter of fact, the jacket from the green outfit for my new niece, is a modification of this same pattern… I just didn’t make the skirt part.

Oh, another gift I am making, and is almost finished, is a cute kid’s vest I am making for Isabella, the little girl I babysit sometimes.  She lives right upstairs and I just had to make something.  This happens to be my first foray into following a pattern for an actual garment.  I will have to update this post to post a pic as I do not have an up-to-date one  that illustrates the garment… wow, did I say g-a-r-m-e-n-t ?

There is a whole slew of things I want to start.  Being on Ravelry is not helping matters.  I love that place.  In case I have not posted it already, my name there is DebbieKos.  Recently, I’ve become a volunteer editor and, most recently, a co-moderator of a group there.  Should be fun.  I do also have my own group that is geared towards identifying those oddball yarns, called, what else but “Mystery Yarn”.  I thought a group like that would be needed in a fiber community.  I am amazed at how resourceful and creative one sometimes must be in order to just find out what kind of yarn one has.

Last Thanksgiving we had some of both families here, at our house.  I thought it might be fun to give out favors… or something to thank everyone for coming.  After a long story, I decided to crochet dishcloths, and this is the Diamond Dishcloth.  Great pattern and very easy to make.  I made eight of them and arranged them in a small yellow basket so that they resembled flowers, and had that on the table all night.   I wish I had stopped to take a picture!  Alas, no.  Maybe when I get more made for myself, I’ll do that again, but it still would not be the same, know what I mean?  As a matter of fact, I took NO pictures that day… nada.  What the heck is wrong with me?  Just a busy, busy gal, I guess… with brains of jello.  I’ve decided that I need to make at least one of each color I made for Thanksgiving.  So bad, as this was meant to be a DE-stashing exercise.

Debbie’s Booga Bag

I guess you guys never saw THIS… my beautiful Booga Bag!  Made with Araucania Nature Wool Chunky.  I do not believe the colors are named, just numbers.  Too bad.  I would put a link to the pattern, but not sure if I can.  The pattern states:   This pattern is for personal use only. It may not be copied and distributed in any way and bags cannot be made from this pattern and then sold.  So, I’ll just tell you that I got it from “Black Sheep Bags dot com“.  I actually made that “thing” that is hanging off the bag.  It’s supposed to be some sort of clasp to hold the flap down.  Just something I flubbed…. buuut… I still love my bag!  I will NEVER, EVER give this one away!  I’m in love!

Until next time, KNIT ON!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 ~ Posted by | Knitting | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments