Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Knitting

I finally finished all of the Christmas knitting. I finished my mom's blue socks (which aren't pictured here since I forgot to take a pic, but are exactly like the brown ones) as we were opening our presents!

The man's socks are for my brother. The worsted weight socks are quick and easy. If my SIL doesn't like them, she can give them to my Mom. I know she likes them!

Nothing worse than going to a lot of trouble to make something for someone and have them not mention if they like it or not. :P

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Last one!

Last charity hat for awhile....gotta finish my Christmas knitting!

More charity hats!

Toys for tots

As seen at Fortel's in Affton

Monday, December 07, 2009

Basket buddies!

Shame the flash didn't work....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

some charity knitting

Some items I've done for various organizations. Hats are for Curves and HeadHuggers, scarves are for the St Louis Child Services for the kids in foster care.

scarves for the boys

Scarves for the boys

These were done for my son and his roomie, and I think they turned out quite nice! And Nathan informed me that his was the perfect length! Nathan's is olive and black-varied stripes, and Alex's is Griffindor request. :D

They are 1x1 rib, so there's no right or wrong side, and they don't curl.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Flatfeet socks

Easter sotm from Hearthstone-finally finished!


Where's this going?

Friday, September 25, 2009

More socks!

Ned's Regia

My Regia Cotton "quill lace" which is a really easy pattern-two row is knit all the way round, and the other is just some YOs and Ktogs.

Mary Maxim bamboo 2x2 rib....which is pretty and soft, but really really splitty. Speaking of Mary Maxim yarn.....I ordered a couple of other yarns at the same time, went to start them, and realized they were wound opposite on the two balls! Yikes, talk about a PITA......I finally started one and hopefully will be able to rewind the other ball so it comes off the skein in the same order. It's really pretty yarn (I think it's called Gemstone), but I would never order from them again, knowing what I know now. The bamboo was one skein, so no worries. I don't even want to think about the other two skeins of Gemstone that I ordered in another colorway.

Hand dyed for me! Well....the socks are for me from a hand dyed yarn that was actually dyed about 45 miles from here in Wentzville, MO, especially for Hearthstone Knits. I don't remember the name of it, but it's one of the Operas. I have to laugh when I look at the label since they mispelled the shop name. :P

I started these almost two years ago and couldn't quite figure out how to finish them. I finally decreased at the heel and made a gusset for the foot. The second one went very quickly. I finished these on the way to Canada this month.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sept/Oct KAL in sock yarn

This is the same basket weave pattern as the EasySocks KAL, but done in sock yarn. I used Colinette Jitterbug yarn with US size 1 needles. This yarn seems a bit heavier than regular sock yarn, that's why I went up a size.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Easy Socks yahoogroup KAL Sept/Oct 2009

It's my turn for the group KAL, and I've chosen the Basketweave stitch pattern for the leg. It's relatively easy, but not so easy you can't ignore which row you're on! And I admit I chose it for the name, since I sell Longaberger baskets!

I apologize if my instructions aren't the best, but I write like I think! LOL I don't usually write up the patterns I make here on my blog, but scribble notes in my "magic knitting notebook" that I record all of my projects in. Feel free to contact me if something doesn't make sense or if you find an error. (Heaven forbid!)

If you've been following the EasySocks group, you'll have learned all you need to know from Rhonda's "perfect fit" socks from the last KAL. And of course, your socks all fit perfectly because you followed her instructions, knitted a gauge swatch, and made your socks your perfect size! (or your mom's or daughter's or DH's or.....)

I've used 2 balls of Berroco Comfort DK in red, because I'm thinking red is always a great color (I live in St Louis, and the Cardinals are here, of course!) no matter what the time of year. However, red is the perfect Christmas color, as well as a great fall color. Obviously, you can choose whichever color you prefer, and whichever DK yarn you prefer. (I also picked up some Tennessee Orange yarn for my SIL, but don't tell her!)

This is a nice yarn to work with and comes in lots of colors. It's acrylic and nylon, and very soft. I prefer wool sock yarn, so was pleasantly surprised at how nicely these worked up. (and since you're not using size 0 needles, surprising quick!)

Remember your gauge is important, but since this stitch pattern is over 4 stitches, you'll need to make sure you CO a number that is divisible by 4. Also, since the 2x2 ribbing is a multiple of 4, you will see right away if your stitch count is off. It might be a good idea to have a row counter handy at the beginning.

I used size US size 3, or 3.25mm DPNs. If you prefer using two circs, or magic loop, that's up to you! But you'll need to check your gauge, because you don't want to make socks for someone else unless you intend to!

If you prefer a worsted weight yarn, you can also use this pattern by using bigger needles. I used CottonEase worsted for the anklets KAL this summer and CO 40 stitches on US 4's. It worked great because it is still a multiple of 4.

This is a cuff down pattern, so you'll CO at the cuff, and work your way down to the toe.

CO 48 stitches, join in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches, place marker at the beginning of the round. If you do twist them, you'll end up with a Moebius strip and you'll have to rip out.

Work a 2x2 ribbing for an inch, or longer if you prefer, then switch to your pattern stitch as follows:

(The pattern is repeated over 4 stitches and 4 rows. After a while, you won't need to use your row counter, because you can tell what your pattern needs to look like.)

Row 1,2 (K2, P2)* repeat to end of round
Row 3,4 (P2, K2)* repeat to end of round

Repeat rows 1-4 until desired length of cuff. I stopped at a total of 6", including my 2x2 ribbing.

Knit all round for 1" of stockinette stitch, then you'll start your heel. I prefer a short row heel, but you can use any heel you like. For a short row heel, my center stitches numbered 10 before I started increasing again.

The best short row heel instructions I've found are here at Knitting Daily in the Ambrosia Socks pattern. I won't reinvent the wheel or retype the instructions, but I will give you the link.

Ambrosia Socks - Knitting Daily

Once you've finished your heel according to either these instructions, or doing the heel you feel comfortable with, it's time to start the foot.

Because you aren't increasing or decreasing with this type of heel like you would with a gusset, you won't need to worry about decreasing for your foot. However, if you have a particularly narrow or wide foot, then you can do that here.

The foot is stockinette stitch (which is knitting all rounds) until you get to the length you need. I stop at the ball of my foot because the toe I use gives me about 1 1/2 inches additional length. As a guide, I wear a size 6 shoe, and the length of knitting between the toe "corner" and the ball is about 5 or 5 1/4" in length.

To decrease for the toe, you'll need to make sure you have equal number of stitches either distributed on the 4 DPNs or the 2 circs or the magic loop. Basically you'll need them divided in half. To begin, you'll decrease two stitches every other row until you have 16 stitches on each half (or total of 32), then you'll decrease every row until you have 8 stitches total, 4 on each needle. I've dropped two needles at this point because it's awkward to have only 2 st per needle.

To decrease for the toe, you'll treat the two needles as one:
K1, SSK, knit to last three stitches, then Ktog, K1 twice (so you're decreasing a total of 4 st on those rounds)
Next round is Knit all around

Repeat these two rounds until you have a total of 16 on each side (or 32 total).

Now you'll decrease 4 stitches on every round (using the same method above) until you have a total of 8 stitches.

I don't do a Kitchener stitch much anymore, because I think the following instructions are easier, and look just as nice. If you find this toe doesn't fit you well, then there are other options and types of toes you can use.

I cut the yarn, thread a yarn needle, and thread the end of the yarn through the last 8 stitches a couple of times, then weave in the ends. The pictures I've uploaded will show the short row heel and the toe decreases.

Voila! A finished sock! Now you do the exact same thing for the second sock, and you're good to go!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

KAL tote

Before and after felting-the colors didn't change much at all-it's a bit fuzzy, as can be expected. It shrank about 1/3 of the original size. One of the knitters in the group was nice enough to bring her manual washing machine to do the felting for us. It's a really neat little washer, and I'm temped to buy one for myself....if I knew how/where to store it!

I need to upload a pic of the actual finished product with straps and button closure. I was very pleased at how it turned out and am making another one in a different color range-greens/pinks/purples.

Chemo Caps

My Curves is collecting Chemo Caps/Headhuggers for cancer and burn victims, and I have been making a few to donate. Hats are so easy and quick!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ravelry name change

I changed my name on Ravelry.....that's about the most excitement I've had all day. If you have Chosenlass listed as a friend, you'll now see JanaKay. I just felt that more people could find me if I used a variation of my real name!

I know....big whoop....

Okay for the knitting portion of the blog-

I finished my Kalahari bag, and thanks to Sherry's wonderful portable washing machine, it's felted! It looks great, I can't wait to use it. I have the straps knitted, but not felted yet. I really didn't know how long to make them, so I think once they are felted, I can decide. They really turned out nice. I think about 1/2 of the group is done with the bags, but there are quite a few less attendees than when we first started. All of the bags are really beautiful, and it is really neat to see all the color choices. I think most of us have ordered another round of Nature Spun for another bag! LOL

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me! LOL

Here are the rest of the KAL bag pics-

Hearthstone KAL

These are the last two shots from the Hearthstone KAL-I've added some others on Ravelry, and can't seem to get them uploaded here.... I only have the last row of 1/2 square triangles, trim, and handles to knit, then it all gets felted into a lovely bag! (hopefully!)

I've ordered more yarn to do another bag-this time in purples and greens. I've always loved those two colors together, and have to laugh when someone says, "you've stolen MY colors!" like they own that particular color combination. Don't get me started on egos....that's for the other blog.... :P

I have lots of 100% feltable wool that a friend gave me, so I might try another one using bigger squares and/or triangles.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Flag socks

Finally finished!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

more knitting....

Nope, that's not all I do....but maybe it's all I take pictures of. :P

First pair of socks were started for Ned, but he didn't like the 2x2 rib in the cuff, so I finished them for me. I've been working on them off and on for probably a year. I made Ned a pair from the same yarn, which is Regia cotton/wool/nylon. It's really nice to work with.

Red socks are a possible KAL for my EasySocks group. It's simply a basketweave cuff and stockinette foot. They are made from Comfort DK, which is acrylic and nylon....I think.... They'll probably go to my Mom.

The light socks are made from Jeannee cotton/nylon worsted weight, which was easy to work with. That's also a possible KAL for the group. It's a very easy lace pattern on the cuff. These will also probably go to my Mom or my SIL.

The scarf and hat are Iowa attire! Not that I'll ever go to a game, but since Nathan will be attending University of Iowa for grad school this fall, I decided I'd better have something in IA colors. (yeah, also Mizzou colors, so perhaps the neighbors won't be offended. LOL) The scarf is a very easy pattern using two strands of regular worsted weight yarn. The pattern calls for chunky yarn, but my good friend Cathy made one using two strands and I liked the way it turned out. I made the scarf longer than the pattern calls for because I like to loop it over twice. I used gold and black from Hobby Lobby called "I love this yarn." It's so much softer and easier on the hands than RedHeart.

The pattern is here: The hat was also worked with two strands on a circular needle, then on DPNs once you decrease enough for the crown. It's all knit stitches, which gives it that rolled brim. You could do a 2x2 or 4x4 rib for an inch or so for a different look.

I'm still working on those flag socks. I have one done, and the other one is maybe 3/4 of the way done. I want to finish them for Flag Day, even though it'll probably be too hot to wear them!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

new site

I've had this domain for quite some time, never really had an opportunity to play with it.

I used one of those free template sites ( just to see what I could come up with.

Check it out and let me know what you think, please!

I also added some widgets here, since I found a couple of really cool ones!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Congrats all grads!

It just occurred to me that Mehlville graduation was this week. Hard to believe it's that time of year already. I remember when Nathan graduated in 2006, how proud we all were, how emotional it all was, how OLD I felt. LOL Now we have his college graduation to look forward to on the 30th. I'm sure I'll be a wreck!

He was able to get a lot of credits from HS/college classes, so he will graduate with two degrees after only three years. He received an A for his thesis-I'm really looking forward to reading it, but wondering if I'll understand it. LOL Cue Monty Python, "I may not know much about Art, but I know what I like...."

He will graduate with degrees in Art and History, and go on to grad school at University of Iowa in the fall for Art History/Museum Studies. He'll probably go on to get his doctorate as well.

Crazy kid changed his middle name to Leopard on Facebook so it would rhyme. :P

Friday update.....

My Thursday update.....well, Wednesday, really.... but by now it's Friday..... lol

I finished the second leg of a possible KAL for "all y'all" on my EasySocks list, and am ready to turn the heel. I'm not sure how to write this all up yet, and I'm wondering if anyone on that group is up for a short row heel?? I'm using DK weight yarn instead of worsted. I don't really like using heavier yarn for socks, but I do know that my mom likes the heavier ones, so they won't go to waste.

I've finished the other pair for a possible KAL, which is worsted weight, but again with short row heel.

I need to write them up, since they aren't really "published" anywhere. And of course, heel type is an option. Heaven knows we all modify. LOL

I worked on some plain vanillas for the DH at my LYS yesterday, but man oh man is that boring! LOL Pretty yarn (something by Kaffe Fassett?? By Regia), but he likes plain old st st. :P

Our next shop KAL is a felted modular knit tote from the Summer Interweave Knits, page 43/86. Should be fun as I've never done much modular knitting.....or felting! We are using Nature Spun sport weight, and I've chosen a rainbow colorway Hardest part was choosing 8 colors out of about 200! LOL I picked up the yarn yesterday and I think it's going to be really pretty. The yarn wasn't really too expensive either, maybe about $40 total.

I bought some Tofutsies to do some "no shows" and had to rewind it from the outside. Anyone else have that problem? Love that yarn though. I CO for them last night, but decided I liked the yellow/orange/pink so much, I'm going to do regular socks. I think I'll use that feather and fan pattern stitch that's pretty easy. I another colorway that I'll use for the short socks. I'm thinking of CO double on larger needles, and then decreasing for a teeny tiny ruffle, but also thinking that they won't really need a ruffle. The shop also had some new Cascade solid sock yarn that would be gorgeous using a fun stitch...maybe a simple lace pattern.

Enough of my blathering, eh? Contrary to what my mom or I might think, it's NOT all about me. ROFL

Monday, May 04, 2009

Easy Socks group KAL May/June

Done! Very easy pattern, made even quicker and easier by using worsted weight yarn. I usually don't use heavy yarn, but thought I'd go ahead and use some CottonEase I had. I remember it being pretty cheap-I think Michael's had the color on clearance. So yeah, they aren't exactly very spring like, but they are still finished socks! LOL Since I have never used this yarn in socks, I have no idea how they will wear. The yarn itself comes in lots of pretty solid colors, and is 50/50 cotton/acrylic. Information on the yarn is here:

As you can see, I made a couple modifications....I just couldn't resist! I made the cuff longer, and did a short row heel instead of the one called for in the pattern. BTW, the best instructions I've found for a short row heel is from the Ann Budd pattern called Ambrosia Socks, and can be found here:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Easy Socks KAL

I'm in a yahoogroup full of lovely knitters called Easy Socks. Umm the group is called Easy Socks, the clue if they are Easy or not. LOL

Anyway, we do KAL every couple of months, and I really do enjoy them. I don't always get them finished or posted, but I do most of them.

This time we're doing Alli's Anklets, which can be found here: I remember going into my LYS last year for the yarn and buying Plymouth Jeannee worsted as a substitute. So I'm all set for this KAL!

I have one scheduled for Sept/Oct, and I do have a couple of things in mind. Something a bit more challenging, but not so challenging to make you tear your hair out.

I think what intimidates most people who are new to sock knitting (or circular knitting in general) is using double points, not the size of the needles or yarn. But if you've done any circular knitting at all, the pattern I'm thinking of will be a snap.

Speaking of easy socks.....this pattern looks really cute and even easier than the one I'm probably going to do.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yarn shop hop

While traveling this past month, I made a point of checking out as many yarn shops as I could. It was easy finding them using an internet search and GPS on my phone.

We traveled the Lincoln Highway from Mount Vernon, IA, to Times Square, NY, and you can read all about it here: It's a bit disconnected because I didn't have any way to upload pics while I was writing.

There are quite a few shops on Long Island, and most of them are pretty nice. There was only one in Port Jefferson that I don't think I'd bother visiting again. Lots of nice yarns, but if the staff isn't friendly, then I just don't buy.

One particular shop in Cape May, NJ, is on my list-I had a coupon for 10% off the total bill, so I picked out quite a few things that I needed or had been wanting. Well.....she only took the discount off one item, one of the cheapest items! Then she argued with me about it. She also charged me full price for some things that were clearly marked with sale prices. I got it straightened out, and I actually put several things back on the shelf, but I won't shop there again. Face it-I don't get to Cape May very often, but if I do, I'll resist temptation!

One of the shops on LI was going out of business, and she had 25% off everything in the store. She's moving to Chattanooga in June. I hope she does well, she was very nice and friendly.

My new favorite out of town shop is Yarn Haven in Knoxville, TN. It's really hard to find, but worth the extra effort. The staff was very nice and helpful, and there were some really great yarns in her shop. She had some official UT sock yarn, which I wished I'd had last fall when I made socks for my SIL!

It's fun to visit other shops and see what else is out there, but I do prefer my own LYS, Hearthstone Knits in SOCO. It's like Cheers-everyone knows your name, knows what you're working on, knows your family, etc. It's very much a family.

Some new Flatfeet yarns!

Paducah Quilt Show

I haven't been to Paducah for a couple of years, so when I found out that my good friend Cindy had a quilt accepted, I made it a point to get down there.

Nicolette and Ann and I hung out, and had a great time on Wednesday. Cindy and her daughter Katie met up with us as well for a short time. Here's a pic of Cindy and her Ricky Timms Rhapsodies type quilt called Ancient Rhapsodies.

I didn't take many pictures at the show, just a few of the ones I really found interesting. The show is so big, it's a bit overwhelming in a way. Especially since I haven't quilted in quite some time!

These are silk wall hangings, based on Korean folded designs.

Another one I found particularly interesting was this one of Joseph Smith in the Grove.

knit for your health!

Watch CBS Videos Online

Thanks to Georgia at Hearthstone for the link!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Quilt show

As mentioned previously, my guild quilt show is always the best in the area! I shared one of Monica the other day, but have uploaded some more pics of the quilts for your enjoyment.