Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Liken' Those Mittens

I love knitting mittens. This is the first pair I've made from Malabrigo merino wool in Purple Mystery. Talk about yummy yarn. I just want to roll around in this. I tend not to follow trends, but now I know why so many people seem ga-ga over Malabrigo. And oh how it kept my hands warm when I cleaned off the car yesterday.

Being on the large side, it can take a long time to knit something for me to wear. So I've been knitting Snugabooties for that almost-instant gratification. The same goes for mittens. It's taking me longer to knit a hat than it did to knit mittens. Of course many of my friends and family are getting mittens for the holidays!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I've Been a Knitting Fool

I've been knitting my heart out. First was a pair of mittens for a Ravelry swap. Then there were 2 pair of slippers for a charity thing (only one shown here). Then I decided to alter the slipper design to make a snuggly pair for myself. The slippers are called Snugabooties.

The other day I was sitting in my jammies and cozy Snugabooties, watching television and knitting away. There was a loaf of bread baking in the oven. As I looked out the window the thought came to me that this was the perfect way to spend a snowy day. All right, it was probably close to 50 degrees and there wasn't a flake in the sky, but all the same . . .

I got an apologetic e-mail from KnitPicks today. Replacements for my malfunctioning points and cables are on their way.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Needle Woes

Most of my family members are getting knitted gifts for the holidays. So, I've be knitting away with with my Knit Picks Harmony and Option interchangeable needles. There have been many complaints about these needles (especially the Harmony) on many of the lists that I frequent. But, I loved them.

Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time, but over the weekend I was plagued by some of the problems experienced by other Harmony users. The points for 2 sizes came out of their metal base. In the middle of a mitten I was Magic Looping, the cable broke from its join.

Needless to say, I'm a lot less enthusiastic about Knit Pick's interchangeable needles--especially Harmony needles--this morning. Many have said how helpful Knit Picks has been in replacing its faulty products. I just sent them an e-mail, so we'll see.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

New Obsession

Sometimes you don't know you need something until someone else tells you. I visited my LYS last week, and the owner told me how great fingerless mittens were. I confessed that I never really saw the sense in them. After all, don't you want your fingers to be warm? Well, she explained how great they were for driving, rummaging in your bag, and even shopping.

When I left the store, I really wasn't convinced. But she had mentioned they knit up quickly and I am in need of ideas for knitted holiday gifts. So I turned to trusty Google and came up with several patterns. Obviously I found one. This is the photo of the first fingerless mittens I made. I've now done multiple sets and can't imagine how I ever lived without them!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Heads Up for Something New on the Scene!

As if there isn't enough going on in my life (seven kitties and work can keep one pretty busy), I am launching a free online newsletter. Knitting Purls will debut on January 15, 2008. Please drop me a note if you have suggestions--or if you'd like to contribute an article or pattern. Keep in mind that all of us are working for free.

If you'd like to subscribe to Knitting Purls, please send an e-mail to

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lily Pads--Bringing Comfort to Animals

I've noticed that I'm receiving more and more notices about charity knitting projects. I participate in several. Besides being rewarding, it has given me the chance to learn new skills and keep established skills sharp.

It's my turn to post about a charity knitting project that is sponsored by The Lily M. Foundation. It is an ongoing project, so there are no set deadlines. However, I'd like to make a significant donation near the holidays.

Lily’s FriendsTM, a program of The Lily M. Foundation, is collecting Lily Pads—blankets for animals. They will be distributed to shelters and veterinary clinics.
It’s easy to participate. There are just a few things to keep in mind.

Since animals come in all sizes and shapes, Lily Pads can come in almost any size you’d like to make. Suggested sizes are:

Small: 14 X 14
Medium: 16 X 16
Large: 24 X 24

If you find that a full-size Lily Pad is a bit more than you’re comfortable making, please consider knitting a block or two, which we will join to make a pad. Blocks should be either 7-inch or 8-inch squares.

The most important factor in choosing yarn for a Lily Pad is washability. Lily Pads must be able to withstand lots of machine washings. Wool is not a good choice. Acrylics hold up very well. Keep in mind that it isn’t necessary to go out and buy the most expensive yarn there is for a Lily Pad. Trust me—it won’t impress the recipient. The yarn should, however, be soft and comfortable.

Feel free to use any pattern you’d like. A Lily Pad can be as complicated or as simple as you’d like. Here are some basic patterns.

Knitted Version
Here is a basic pattern that even the novice knitter can easily follow (this pattern will also work for individual 7- or 8-inch blocks):

Using yarn and needle size of your choice

Cast on 1 stitch.
Row 1: Knit front and back of the cast on stitch (you now have 2 stitches on your needle).
Row 2: Knit in the front and back of the first stitch; knit to end (there are 3 stitches on your needle).

Continue in this pattern (knitting in the front and back of the first stitch and then knit to end) until you reach one of the sides reaches the desired length (for example, 14 inches). Then begin decreasing rows.

Decrease row 1: Knit to last two stitches; knit 2 together.
Continue in this pattern until you have 5 stitches remaining. Bind off.

Please make sure to knot all ends and weave in all tails.

Use 2 strands of yarn—same or different colors—held together throughout.
Make a multicolor Lily Pad from yarn left over from other projects.
Use one color for the increasing section, and another for the decreasing one.
Knit smaller blocks and join them (a great takealong project). Note: If you use different colors for the increasing and decreasing sections, this can give your Lily Pad a look similar to the quilt pattern Flying Geese.

Crochet Lily Pad
Use yarn of your choice (nonwool and washable!) and the size hook recommended for your yarn type.
Gauge is not important.

Make a foundation chain of 81 stitches.
Row 1: Make a single crochet in the second chain stitch. Single crochet to end (you’ll have 80 single crochets). Turn.
Row 2: Chain 1. Make a single crochet in each stitch. Turn.
Continue in this pattern until the Lily Pad is the desired size. Fasten off.
Knot all ends before weaving them in.

A Granny for a Furry Fanny
Use the yarn of your choice (no wool and washable please!). This is a great opportunity to use up those single and partial skeins left over from other projects. Of course you can also make it in one color.
Needle: Use the needle size as recommended on the yarn label. Gauge is not important.

Chain 8 and join with a slip stitch to form a loop.
Round 1: Chain 3, 2 double crochet, chain three, *3 double crochet, 3 chain. repeat from * 2 times, which should bring you to the first stitch of the 3-chain stitch pattern.
Round 2: **Chain 3, 2 double crochet, chain 3, 3 double crochet, chain 3 (this gets you around the corner). Make 3 double crochet in each space created by the 3 chain row, chain 1, 3 double crochet; repeat to end of round.
Round 3 and all subsequent rounds: Repeat from ** until the Lily Pad is the size you want. Fasten off.
Knot all ends before weaving in.

Other Lily Pads
You’re not limited to knitting or crocheting a Lily Pad contribution. Lily Pads can be quilted or sewn as well. If you’re making a quilted version, please do not use the tie method to secure the layers. Rag quilts should also be avoided.

Remember, whatever yarn and whatever pattern you use, have fun and know that there will be an animal very grateful that you took the time to make a Lily Pad.

If you have any questions, and to find out where to send your Lily Pads, please contact Ida Walker,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Red Scarf Project

Again this year, the Orphan Foundation of America is sponsoring its Red Scarf Project. Individuals and organizations are asked to donate up to five unisex red scarves that will be given to kids in foster care for Valentine's Day. You can get information about the program at They are accepting donations between September 1 and October 15. This is a great way to support a group of young people who are often forgotten.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Wonderful Wallaby

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It seems as though everyone I know has made at least one Wonderful Wallaby. Except me. I'm knitting for the Afghans for Afghans project and decided that it was time for my wallaby. So, I went in search of the pattern, which I bought years ago. I had to stop looking for it. It wasn't where it was supposed to be--or anywhere else from what I can tell. Off to the LYS I went for a new one. Okay, I bought some booty yarn and a few other things as well. My Wallaby yarn should be here in a few days. Then all I have to do is find the time to actually knit it.

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 24, 2007


I belong to a charity knitting group; okay, I belong to several. But the particular one I'm talking about is Knitting Hope. Each month a new charity is chosen, and we knit something for them. The August project was potholders/hot pads. For September it's baby things.

Now, I'm not a baby person, and I've never knitted for babies or children before. But I've had so much fun expanding my knitting horizons that I've signed up to knit for other babies and children charities. These are my very first booties!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tote IV

Another Tote Exchange has come and gone. This time I made two for my partner. The first one, called Sleeveless Bag, is a lightly felted one. I love the button. The second one I call Violette. It makes for a handy key chain.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Virtual Vacation Swap Questionnaire Answers

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why? Maine. Because I want to live in the Portland Head Lighthouse

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why? Australia. I'd like to pet a kangaroo

3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries? Yes

4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it? No

5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why? I drove from NY to Alabama. Because I did it on my own.

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain. No

7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker? Museum

8. What's your favorite type of yarn? Alpaca

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn? Don't have one

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet? Shawls, hats. I'd like to do socks.

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation? Needles, yarn, cutters, measuring tape

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet? Bead

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise) Nothing (unless you count bunnies, birds, dust, and cockroaches)

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite? Fav: Purple Least: Black

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)? Savory

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know? I have 7 cats

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I've Been Tagged

By Calling on Kahlo. I have to list seven things about me. You can start yawning now. Then I'll have to tag others.
Okay seven random facts about me.

1. I'm afraid of clowns. Don't laugh--it's not as strange as one might think.
2. When I proofread, I do it with an accent. For example, when I proof something written by a French person, the little proofer in my head reads with a French accent.
3. I know knitting is supposed to be relaxing (the new yoga and all), but I often fall asleep while I'm knitting--ergo, my preference for easy patterns.
4. I think chocolate pudding is extremely sensual.
5. I hate shoes--which is why I practically live in my Birkies all year round.
6. I have a serious crush on Hugh Laurie of House.
7. I'm starting a nonprofit foundation.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Latest Lily M Creation

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First, I apologize for the photo. I can't get it to load correctly, i.e., small and horizontal.

This is the latest Lily M. creation--the Lily M. Starlight Lily Pad. My fur kids love to drag their blankies around. Oh, and they occasionally sleep on them. Clarence drags his around like a security blanket. I hadn't made anything for them lately, so I decided to spend last night on the blankie. On size 50 needles, it sure goes fast!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Buttons? I Got Blog Buttons!!!

Thanks to Isabelle--Tricotine--I now have blog buttons. And can I hear a Yee Haw!?!?! Please feel free to paste them on your website or blog, but please don't steal my bandwidth.

I've pasted Isabelle's button on the right side of this blog. Take a look and see the wonderful patterns and other things she has on it--including the famous knitting lobstah.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Combining Skills and Young Knitters

For a long time I've been looking for a way to combine my love of knitting with my career as a writer/editor. Okay, I admit that one reason I wanted to do so was so I could deduct the costs of my knitting supplies from my taxes. Well, I've figured out a way to do it.

I've started writing a book about two young girls who become friends over knitting and two cats needing help that live far away. Here's where I need some help. Not having or even knowing any kids between the ages of eight and twelve, I'm not sure what these girls would be knitting. One of the girls is quite skilled, the other is just a beginner. Does anyone have any ideas of what they could be knitting?

I'm also working on a book of Lily M's patterns that will eventually be available at least as an e-book.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Little Late

Well, with the International Tote Exchange IV about to begin, I decided it was time to post the images of the tote I made for ITEIII. It's the first tote exchange I've ever done, and it was a wonderful experience.

The bag was knit in 100 percent wool. Both sides are a slightly different color, allowing the wearing to chose which color to show other people. The pattern is an original Lily M design.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do for ITEIV. I guess it depends what my "secret pal" would like. But, that doesn't mean I'm not already working up a potential design in my mind!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Addiction

For a couple of days last week, it almost seemed to be summer. The previous week we had an awful winter storm, but last week was in the 70s and 80s. Certainly not an incentive to working on my Einstein Coat.

But, I did want to knit something, so I started scrunchies! Since I have long hair, hot weather is horrible. I don't really have the face for a short haircut, so most of the time my hair is pulled back into a ponytail of sorts. Over the years, my scrunchie supply has dwindled to one, sorry looking yellow one. My yarn stash, on the other hand, has apparently bred among itself--not necessarily a bad thing I must add. So, I bought some hair elastics and went to town making scrunchies. This is a photo of the first three. The design is one of my Lily M's designs.

Monday, March 12, 2007

What's this silliness

about knitting from your stash? If you use your stash, there's nothing available for those late night, wee early hours of the morning knitting urges. Sadly, the 24 hour yarn store is still in the future--well, except for Wal-Mart.

Some ladies on the blog Good-Natured Ribbing have come up with an alternative to the suggestion that we knitters should be knitting from our stash--Expand Your Stash. Click the button on the side of this post, and you'll be taken to an explanation of this newest KAL. I think it's one we all can enjoy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm back

Ah, yes. I've been reminded that I've not posted in a while (thanks Monica). Things are well. It just seems as though I have been busier than usual with writing and editing books, researching future projects, and yes--knitting.

I've been participating in a Tote Exchange and just today put the final touches on the bag itself. It's mostly my design, or what I'm calling Lily M's after my late knitting buddy. This is my first foray into design, and though this one is pretty basic, it certainly spurred me to think about doing other projects. As soon as my camera batteries are recharged, I'll post a photo.

I've also been working on the Einstein coat. I'm probably not going to get it finished before it's too warm to wear it, but I'm already feeling a sense of accomplishment. This is the first coat I've made.

The Maura sweater is finished, except for putting it together. All in all, I'd have to say that I've had a productive few months, knitting wise anyway.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

I was looking online for an image for a new business venture (as if I don't have enough irons in the fire) and came across this image. It's so beautiful and peaceful. I know some knitters get very intense when they work on their projects, but that's usually not me. I'm looking for a way to relax. Eventually, after some fits and starts, I get a rhythm going with my needles, and I sit back and let the yarn flow. Sometimes I get so relaxed I fall asleep, but that's just me. Even if the cats are running around the house like lunatics and television is blaring, my knitting and I can be peaceful.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Knitting, Crocheting, and 24

The weather mavens are predicting that temperatures won't make it out of the 20s most of this week. I hope that this will give me the kick in the hind end to finish my sweater. Fingers crossed.

The new Lion Brand catalogue came yesterday. It seemed as though most of the patterns I really liked were crochet. Each knitting magazine I pick up seems to have increasing numbers of crochet patterns in them. I must admit that it irks me a lot. I buy a knitting magazine because I want to knit--not crochet. But, I'm having second thoughts. I used to crochet, but I haven't for many years. Perhaps I should pick it up again.

Tonight is the first part of the season premiere of 24. Yee-haw! Last year I got most of my knitting done during the show. Of course it had to be something easy, since I got engrossed in the plot. The more intense the action got on the show, the quicker I knitted!!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

SP9 Goodies

Greetings from balmy New York--it's January 6 and 60 degrees! The unseasonable weather has certainly not been conducive to me getting the incentive to finish knitting my sweater.

I received my latest package from my SP9 pal. She always remembers the cats, and I'm not sure who is more excited when a package arrives--me or the seven furballs.

Anyway, I got some Cat Butt gum (I smelled it before popping a piece in my mouth) and beautiful yarn that would certainly make some snazzy socks (providing I ever learn how to knit them). I love merino wool, and this purple/blue combo is gorgous. The silk yarn is yummy, too. I just love rubbing it against my skin.

As for Herman, Eddie, Clarence, Purrl, Marlin, Norman, and Phoebe, they got a catnip mouse and a package of Greenies! They are happy campers.

Oh, and of course everything was wrapped in purple paper and put in a purple bag. She thinks of everything.

And, completely off topic, Eddie celebrated his 5th birthday on January 3. Not bad considering some thought he wouldn't make it to his first!