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Originally posted on I KNIT FOR JUSTICE:


My version of Knitty’s Everlasting Bagstopper.


  • 350-400 yds cotton or hemp yarn (I recommend Lily Sugar N Cream)
  • US 5-7 needles (circular – 24″)
  • US 10.5 needles (circular – 24″)

With smaller needles, CO 19 sts.

Knit 2 rows.
Row 3 (RS): k1, kfb, k to last 2, kfb, k1
Row 4 (WS): knit all sts

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have 55 sts.

Begin decreasing.
RS: k1, k2tog, k to last 3, k2tog, k1
WS: knit all sts

Repeat these 2 rows until you are back to 19 sts.

With RS facing, pick up and knit 19 sts along each side of your base. You will have 114 sts total.

You should now be working in the round. Knit 5 rounds.

Change to larger needles and knit 1 round.

Begin mesh pattern:
Row 1: *YO, k2tog* around
Row 2: k all sts

Continue in mesh…

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Originally posted on :


Be honest–how many times have you watched the first episode of Outlander??? I’ve been watching on repeat since STARZ made the premiere episode available on their YouTube channel at midnight! (BTW: It’s also available via On Demand,, and the STARZ Play app.)

One of the things I love most about this series is the beautiful music, especially the song playing during the opening credits. If you haven’t paid attention to the theme song, check out the video below and give it a listen:

Just gorgeous–right?! Composer Bear McCreary created the music for Outlander and this song, the Skye Boat Song featuring Raya Yarbrough, is now available for download at the iTunes Store! Make sure to grab your copy, and you’ll be able to take a piece of the Scottish highlands with you when you’re not binge-watching the series!

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Long time no see!

I know it has been a long time since I last posted to this blog. I have been very busy working at a new job. One, unfortunately, that I could not keep in the end because of the 1-1/2 hour drive each way, as well as the content of the documentation that I was transcribing. It just became too much for me. So I left the hospital. I start a new job tomorrow, 08/06/13, and I am really excited!  I realized that I need to work from home for a myriad of reasons, but the most telling is that I need a very quiet environment to work. It seems that the older that I get, the more outside noise distracts me. I cannot work as efficiently or produce enough to make a decent paycheck if there is noise swirling around my head day in and day out. Thankfully, I won’t have that issue any longer, and I am super pumped to be working from home for a company that has a very good reputation for treating their employees like they matter and their opinions and skill set matters to the overall morale of the company itself. I won’t get on my soapbox about that today. That is for another blog and another time. This one is focusing on my knitting adventures.

I have started a new project, my very first afghan!


080514_1732_Longtimenos1.jpg 080514_1732_Longtimenos2.jpg


It is called the Cromwell Court Afghan, and it is found on the Lion Brand web site. Here is the link to it:

I am using acrylic yarn because it is going to be given to my stepmom, and she needs something that she can throw in the washer and dryer to keep clean with ease. The yarn that I am using is Vanna’s Choice, and I
have decided to use white, burgundy, and charcoal gray as the color way choices. I have a bit more done than the pictures above depict, and I am at the point where I am trying to decide if I want to make the center of
this afghan all one color or if I want to continue using all 3 colors. I am leaning very strongly towards doing it in all one color and making the ends like you see above with the 3 color choices. I am doing 5 repeats of
white, 3 repeats of burgundy, and 4 repeats of charcoal gray on the ends, and I have repeated that pattern 4 times to make a decent finished edging to the blanket itself. If I go with the solid color in the middle, I will
have to commit to that change because I won’t take it all out to re-do it if I don’t like what I have done. The piece is already big enough to weigh a good amount, so I have to decide to commit or to keep using the 3
colors like I have already done. If anyone has any opinions, please feel free to share them with me. I am really trying to use up my acrylic stash, and I have a good amount of all 3 of these colors. Your opinions would
be greatly appreciated.

The other project that I am working on is my mother-in-law’s shawl, the Rose Leaf Trellis Shawl. I have written about this shawl before, but for those who haven’t read my blog since the beginning, it is a paid pattern through
Ravelry, and it can be purchased here:

I have been working on this shawl for a long time, but that is because I get bored with it and pick up something else to break the monotony up. Then I pick it back up again when I get tired of working on the other
project(s). However, now I am getting towards the end of it, and I have 11 more 8-row repeats to go before I am done. The project has been daunting but enjoyable, and I have made some serious mistakes that made it look really
horrendous. I have had to take it to my local yarn store, Yarn Tree Studio, in Raleigh, NC to get my favorite yarn guru to take it out below the mistake, put it back on the needles, and start again from that point. I have had
to do this twice now in the past few weeks. One time I worked short rows that should not have been in the shawl at all, and the other time I dropped several stitches and didn’t realize it until I was 12 rows above that and I
stuck my finger through the hole that I created with the dropped stitches. This shawl has lace work on both sides, so trying to pick up the stitches and fix the error wasn’t possible and I had to watch her rip out the 12 rows
plus another 8 rows to get under the dropped stitches so that I could start AGAIN!  Frustrating is what I called that, as anyone who knits would understand!! So, I am back to the spot where they took everything out, and I
have gotten back to the point where I am pulling the yarn out of the center again. I counted my repeats last night, and I have 45 repeats done, which means I have 9 more to go to reach the 54; however, I think I will do 11 more
repeats just to make sure it will be long enough. The pattern has 54 repeats, and row 1 is halfway through the motif, so I have to work 12 rows to see the full motif.

I have been told to multiply 30 x 12 divided by 8 to come up with how many repeats that I have left. Math is SO not my strong suit, but according to this math, I have done 45 of the 8-row repeats, which means
I have 9 more to go. However, the shawl just doesn’t look long enough to me. Here is the shawl as of today:

080514_1730_Longtimenos5.jpg 080514_1730_Longtimenos4.jpg 080514_1730_Longtimenos3.jpg


How long do you think it will stretch out once it is blocked? I just don’t think it will be long enough. Having said that, I have never blocked a full size shawl before. Any opinions?  I will be back on the blog once I have completed
this shawl. At the rate I am going, it won’t be too long. I am getting pumped to see it finished now!

Until then take care, and please give me your opinions!

Enter Martine’s contest to win a free ebook!

Teaching Knitting

There are some really good tips here! Enjoy Martine’s take on teaching someone to knit. Please feel free to add any of your own tips in the comments.

I promised in my last blog post to put up other pictures of what I did in 2013, and update you on where I am with Grietje’s Rose Trellis Shawl. Honestly, I have put that aside to work on my first afghan that I am making for my step-mom, Rachael.
She asked for one in early January, so I started researching available projects, and I found one that I think she will love. I am making the Cromwell Court Afghan from the Lion Brand website. I will be alternating between Grietje’s shawl and this afghan for
the foreseeable future. They are both huge projects, especially for a novice knitter like I am. I have aspirations on being a master knitter, but I don’t expect that will happen within the next few months, LOL.. Are any of you master knitter’s? If so, how long did
it take you to get to that status?

You can find the free pattern here:


SKILL LEVEL:  Intermediate (Level 3)

SIZE: One Size
About 46 x 54 in. (117 x 137 cm)

I am doing it in 4 different colors that I have in my stash. I have quite a bit of acrylic in my stash that I have purchased for baby patterns, etc. So, I decided to make it with acrylic worsted weight, and I used Vanna’s Choice, Red Heart (eek!), and Lion Brand Pound of Love baby yarn. I am using a snowy white, burgundy, charcoal, and olive green in the blanket, but the main color will be white. This is an excellent use of my stash and it will allow me to use up some of the partial skeins that I have or the odd skein that I didn’t use in another pattern. In my mind it is going to be very pretty. I am doing 5 repeats of the white, adding a color and doing 2 repeats of whatever color that I am using at the time, and then 5 more repeats of the white, etc. until I get it the length that I want it to be. This pattern is very easy to memorize as well. All of the yarn is a nice thick worsted, although not the yarn called for in the pattern. I dislike working with bulky yarn, so I had to add more cast on stitches than they called for to make it the size I needed for it to be. I imagine the weight will cause it to stretch beyond my imagination as it is already getting stretched out and I am only into row 33 or so into it.

I am liking the pattern, and on the plus side I am not bored with it yet. That is saying a lot because I get bored very quickly, which is why I change patterns so very much. As it is now, I will probably pick up the shawl and go back and forth between this pattern and the shawl just to keep things interesting.

Speaking of shawls, last year was the year of the shawls. I made my SIL a pink simple shawl, and I wanted to show ya’ll what it looked like. It was a simple stockinette triangular shawl with added fringe. It was made with 100% mohair, and she loved it. OF course, Katie has taken over possession of it because it is pink and it is for princesses according to Katie. J

Until next time!

I worked on a few projects in 2013, all of which I am very proud of. Several of the items winged their way to the Netherlands when my husband’s family came to visit and took their gifts back home with them
when they left in September 2013.

First up is my father-in-law, Wim, modeling his cable scarf that I have talked about previously here on the blog.


Here is the scarf that I made for my brother-in-law, Joram. It is a deep red alpaca yarn that was used. This picture doesn’t do the scarf much justice. This is my brother-in-law, Joram, and my mother-in-law, Grietje. The picture of the scarf that I made for Joram is below this one.


This scarf was a LONG knit. Joram is 6 feet 3 inches tall, and this scarf is as tall as he is! I can’t believe that I had the patience to work on it for that long!

Next up, is my mother-in-law, Grietje, modeling her collar, hat, and scarf that I made for her, along with a close up of where I am at with her shawl. I didn’t manage to get it finished before she left to go back home, and it is still on my needles being worked on.


Okay, so the hat is WAY too big for her head. I didn’t have her actual head measurement when I made this, but this hat will not fit anyone’s head that has tried it on to date. So, I think I will remake it to fit her head as she loved it and wished that it fit her head better.

The shawl is in progress. I still have about 40 repeats of 8 rows before I finish this shawl. Of course, I may make it shorter than the original pattern called for. I don’t seem to have the patience to make something really long, but I am trying to keep on knitting on this one for the simple reason that I want to see if I can do it, AND I want to see what it looks like when it is fully aggressively blocked and finished. I still have to take some pictures of it in its current state. However, it looks a lot like what I have previously posted, except it is longer.. J

I finished a shawl for Katie, which is pictured here:


Here is of closeup of the lace pattern. The pattern is the 198 yards of Heaven that you can find for free on Ravelry.



Here is a picture of my darling Katie wearing her shawl and the sweater that I made for her this year.


A chance to catch up

Good Morning!

I wanted to take a few minutes and update my blog. I know it has been a long time, and if you are still with me I thank you. It has been a rough few months, getting over losing Chewi and trying to train the new pup. We both still miss her so very much, and I am not sure that will ever lessen. The puppy is very smart, but it is hard to remember that she is not Chewi, she is Sasha. She is all over the place, getting into everything, so I have to be diligent in keeping my shoes off the floor, making sure my knitting is out of her reach, making sure the door is bolted because she has gotten big enough to be able to open the door by herself if it is not dead bolted. She is a very smart puppy! Here she is at about 8 weeks old trying to carry a Frisbee in her mouth. J


Here she is about a week ago laying on my foot. J See how much she has grown? She is so big that I can’t crop the picture enough without cutting off one of her body parts in the picture! She is growing like a weed, too! Look at those feet!


When we went back to Sparta, NC to get her spayed on December 23, 2013, she weighed 25.6 pounds at 3 months and 18 days. Now she is up to approximately 30 pounds at 4 months and 7 days today! She has already wiggled her way into our hearts from the first night.
She is helping both of us heal from the pain of losing Chewi. I pray that she is around for a good long time. I do wish that Nikki would warm up to her. That has yet to happen. Here is a picture of our cat, Kiddle, checking her out when she first got here! She was about 8 weeks
old in this picture. Kiddle is about 4 years old here. She is a Russian Blue kitty that we rescued from Safe Haven for Cats. Isn’t she beautiful? You should see her chasing Sasha around the house, giving her a right hook to bring her in line. It is so funny! Sasha barks a lot at Kiddle,
as well as Nikki, so that can be a bit nerve wracking at times. When Kiddle gets tired of it though, she puts her in her place really quick!



So this is where Sasha is right now, and I will write a 2nd post to talk about knitting. Thanks for sticking with me! I really appreciate your patience!

Until next time,
Linda, the girl who knits and purls!

Where to begin? Most, if not all of it, has nothing to do with knitting, but I hope you all will indulge me please.

Three weeks ago tomorrow, we lost our beloved German Shepherd, Chewi. We lost her to gastric volvulus, which in layman’s terms means that her stomach flipped
on itself and cut off her blood supply to both her heart and the rest of her body. She died within hours of this happening. We have been very heart broken over our loss, and we are trying to get past it. It isn’t easy, as anyone with a pet can tell you. Just in case any of my readers have a large dog, let me tell you what my vet told me about how to avoid having this happen to your dog. If you have a large dog, something like a German Shepherd, Lab, Retriever, border collie, etc. Any dog that will grow to be over 50 pounds… Think about having this done when you spay or neuter them. I say then because they already have them on the table to spay them, and it is just a very simple fix to their stomach and causes no additional pain while they are healing from being spayed or neutered. Have your vet tack their stomach to their abdominal wall. This will prevent their stomach from flipping like Chewi’s did when they get older. Chewi was in a lot of pain according to our vet, and when we get our next puppy spayed in December, we will be doing this procedure to avoid this for her. I don’t think that I can go through this with another dog. I don’t know why it happens with the larger dogs and not the smaller ones either. The vet did a necropsy on her, which means that they determined the cause of death after she died. They told us it was gastric volvulus, and that Chewi was in a tremendous amount of pain. They told us that they could not have saved her without surgery to flip the stomach back, and even then there was a very good chance that she would not make it anyway. That is when she told me about the procedure above to prevent it from happening with the next GSD that we get. I will be doing that for sure.


Here is a picture of Chewi when she was a puppy. This was taken the night we brought her home from the rescue organization that we got her from:


She was 8 ½ years old when she died, and IMHO that was too soon. She still had a lot of life in her. She was just starting to get a tiny bit of gray in her muzzle. I will miss her for the rest of my life I believe. My husband, Arno, took her death extremely hard. I told him that we had to get another pup and sooner rather than later. I was surprised to hear him say okay to that. I thought he would not want that to happen for a good long time, and I wanted him to know that I wasn’t willing to wait a long time. It so happened that I was surfing around that same day and I saw that a shelter in Sparta, NC had just received a litter of German Shepherd mix dogs that were about 6 weeks old. I called the shelter to verify that they were still there, and we took off to Sparta the following Saturday. When we got there, they had 2 of the litter of 10 left. Both of them were little girls, and we decided to adopt both of them that day. We gave one of them to my friend, Therese, who had lost her GSD to hydrocephalus just a few weeks earlier. Here are the pictures of both of them. Our pup is named Sasha, and she is the first dog you see in the pictures. The 2nd picture is of both of them, with Sasha on the right and Cinda on the left.




Are they not the cutest pups you have ever seen? Yeah, I am a little bit biased over here. Sasha is very smart, and she is quite the loving little puppy. She has bought a lot of joy to our lives and started the healing process for us. Nikki, our Shih Tzu, is not a fan of hers yet. I believe that Nikki and Kiddle, our cat, are still grieving over the loss of Chewi. They both keep looking for her to show up around the corner or down the driveway. It is heart breaking to see Nikki go down the driveway looking for her friend only to find that her friend isn’t there.

The second thing that has happened in my life is that I got a new job! I am working for a company that makes me happy to go to work each day. I am working full time for the first time since 1998, and I am once again loving my career! YIPPEE!!

I hope that the feeling continues and that they don’t decide to sell to one of the multi-conglomerates that are gobbling up all of the smaller MTSOs in the nation as fast as they can manage to do it. I think that I will get out of the industry should that happen to this company. I am doing psychiatric transcription, and that is my passion. I love every single word that I type, and I love it every day. I have yet to get bored with working on these accounts. The work is fresh every time a new report comes on the screen. YES! I am a happy camper!

That is my news today. I will get back to writing about my knitting as soon as I can. I have a couple of projects in the works for Christmas presents, and I have to tell you about my new Jordana Paige bag that my husband bought me for our anniversary, too! It is a beautiful bag! Until then, take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends! Happy Holidays to everyone!


Good Afternoon!

I am finally getting around to writing about Sock Innovation by Cookie A! I chose this book to review because of all the beautiful sock patterns in it. I thought that it would be a nice book with pretty patterns and some instruction but not a lot. However, that could not be further from the truth. Cookie A goes into a LOT of detail on how a sock is constructed, how heels are done, stretchy bind offs and how to accomplish that, the different types of textures that she uses in this book and how to create them, and THEN you get to the patterns themselves. The socks are beautiful! They are all done top down, and I prefer to do toe up because of how big my feet are. I like being able to try the sock on for fit as I go. I am not sure that I will do any of these patterns due to the fact that they are all top down, but being that I have yet to try a top down I may try it just to see if I like it as well. I have knitting friends who swear by doing socks from the top down, one at a time. I aspire to do 2 socks at a time, toe up, on one circular needle so that I don’t suffer from second sock syndrome. I get bored very easily, and I believe that if I have to do 2 socks on DPNs or a small circular needle that I may not ever get to the 2nd sock. How many of you suffer from this syndrome? Is it easy or difficult to get past?

I know that the sock patterns in this book seem complicated when I first looked at them, but as I looked again and again they are just like all the rest of the knitting patterns I see. Knitting and purling in ways to create the texture that the author is going for with the design of a particular pattern. If you know how to knit and how to purl you can do anything, right? LOLOL! That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Can you see the texture in these socks? The picture didn’t import very well, and I have a lot of these types of pictures from the book. As I said above, she discusses basic sock construction, biases, designing, gussets, heel flaps, how to avoid the pesky holes in the gusset, and she has a lot of the stitches explained with pictures at the back of the book. I think this book will please sock enthusiasts as well as teach newbie sock knitters how to knit their first pair of socks. I believe it was well worth the money that I spent to buy this book, and I think it would be a good book to have in anyone’s knitterly library!


Good Afternoon!

I have my fingers in a lot of pots right now, and I am currently working on another shawl/shawlette for my niece, Katie. I tend to make a few things for her each year, but only because she is so cute wearing what I make for her. She is 5 years old, and she is a total fashionista! She loves hot pink and just about any variation of it. So, when I was looking in my stash for the perfect  yarn to make this shawlette for her, I came across some Cascade 220 Superwash in hot pink. I knew that was the yarn that I was going to use to make this shawlette for her. I will post a few pictures of it soon. I have had to frog it completely because I didn’t follow the chart correctly. I knew that the shawlette wasn’t showing the lace correctly. I just didn’t know why and I could not seem to figure it out.

Off to the yarn store I went. Where else would you get help from when you can’t figure out something in a pattern, right? I talked to the resident knitting/weaving/spinning guru, Rachel, at my favorite yarn store, Yarn Tree Studio in Raleigh, NC. Let me give a shout out to Lynn and Rachel over there!

Rachel showed me how to read a lace pattern correctly. See, I thought that you would work across the row from right to left and then return to the right and work the pattern repeat box until you got through with the yarn on your needles. WRONG!

She explained that you work through the row from right to left; however, when you get to the center stitch, you would simply go back across the row from left to right because you want the shawl to mirror what you did on the right side of the shawl! Talk about a light bulb moment for me! DUH!

So, I took it all out last night and started it over so that this time the stitch counts would be right, and everything would mirror each other and look like the pictures here. These pictures are from and they belong to the the original designer. I am only posting them here as a reference point so that when I post my pics of my shawl for Katie, my readers will be able to see how it should look vs. how it really looks. I hope that it turns out okay. It is a fairly quick knit, at least it is right now because I don’t have that many stitches to work across. By the time I am finished, there will be approximately 139 stitches on my needles and that may take a minute or 2 to work across.

I am making this for Katie so that she can wear it like a shawl now while she is little, and as she grows up into a young woman, she will be able to wear it as the designer intended, like a shawlette, so that means that she can wear this for most of her life if she wants to. Originally, I was going to use Malabrigo yarn to make the shawl and I had this beautiful hank of pinks that I was working with, BUT there wasn’t any hot pink in this hank so I frogged it and I went with the Cascade 220 Superwash that was all hot pink instead. Let’s see, that makes 3 times I have frogged this pattern to start over. By the time I am done, I will know this pattern inside out and all around!

I think it is a beautiful pattern, and if you are interested in doing this pattern  yourself, (it is free on Ravelry) here is the direct link to it:



Good Morning!

I am working up my book review for Sock Innovation, by Cookie A. I took pics this morning of the sock patterns that you could knit in the book, leaving out any pattern instructions so that you have to buy the book if you want it.. :) I thought that the patterns in the book don’t seem to be that complicated, even though they look very complicated with the cables, twisted stitches, and lacey socks patterns.  I am a very newbie sock knitter, but these patterns look as if I could do them without pulling my hair out or making me go completely gray while trying to do one of the patterns! The stitches are ones that I am familiar with, so I can figure it out.

From what I can tell so far, Cookie A really goes into the construction of a sock from the toes all the way up to the top of the sock. She shows you the different toe types you can knit. She shows you the basic stitch patterns, as well as the harder ones. She explains about the different yarns one can use to make socks, along with the needles needed to do the same. She speaks of the construction of the charted pattern versus the written one.

I found all of this just flipping through it this morning when I got up. I will post more about the book once I have a chance to get into the meat of it and read it through. I think that I will FINALLY be able to get the gusset and the heel and how to prevent that little hole between the 2 as she addresses that.

On a totally different subject…

I am now on to  figuring out how to do a proper YO when you are purling the stitch behind it. That is not addressed in this book review, but I need to learn how to do it. When I do a YO, it is normally on the right side of the work right before a knit stitch that normally follows the YO. Of course, when I purl back on the wrong side of the work the YO is purled to create a nice hole for my lace work.

This pattern, however, calls for YO on both sides of the work, and the YO before a purl stitch is stumping me. I am working on 198 Yards of Heaven, free on Ravelry, for my 5-year-old niece, Katie. You can find the pattern here:

She loves pretty, feminine things, you know. She loves pink, especially hot pink. This is a shawlette for adult women, but on her it will be a shawl for a long time before it becomes a shawlette or scarf she can wear when she grows up. I am hoping that she will grow to love wearing it as much as I loved making it for her. Anyway, if I am needing to make a YO on the knitted side of things, I simply bring my yarn forward as if I am going to purl and then I knit the next stitch, which puts the required YO right in line where it is supposed to be. With the next stitch being a purl, I can’t do a YO that way. Any ideas or links you could offer to explain this to me would be most appreciated!

Thank you for reading this post. A much longer one is to follow later in the week. Someone told me recently that she likes to read my blog because even though I write long posts they don’t bore her!  LOL!! She just doesn’t know.. LOLOL!!!  I am sure I will succeed in boring her to tears at least ONCE. ;) Hey, Latasha!

Have a great day everyone!  I am off to work now, even though I would SO rather be knitting. :)


Good Morning!

It is 8:12 a.m. here in the gorgeous Georgia mountains! Oh! I forgot to mention that my husband, Arno, and my extended family have traveled from NC to Georgia for a week, didn’t I? We are staying in a gorgeous cabin in the woods in a little town called Elijay, Georgia. You should see this cabin. I don’t think that there are any adjectives that could describe it and do it justice. I will include the link to the cabin though, just so you can drool at the gorgeous cabin like we did when we rented it in April.

For some reason, I cannot get the page down to work so that I can post underneath the pictures below, so I will make my post here and then leave the pics at the bottom of the page.

I am also going to post pictures of how far along I am on the gift I am making for my MIL. She is so excited to see it done, but she told me last night to put it away for a while and work on something else because it would be a good long time before she came back to see us after she goes home to the Netherlands on September 24, 2013. I will really miss her when she goes. Sounds strange, I know. But I got lucky when I married my husband. Not only did I snag a wonderful guy who really loves me, I snagged a good family along with him as well! Lucky girl I am!

I will have to get pictures of all of the stuff that I made for her, Joram, and Wim before they leave.  I don’t think Joram, my BIL, was all that pleased about his scarf. Maybe he will see the need when it gets cold as a witch’s tit in the winter. :) Who knows? I know that Wim, my FIL, loved his scarf that I made for him. I spoke about the cabled scarf on my blog when I first started making it, I think that was in January maybe? God, my memory isn’t doing too well this morning!

Anyway, I am going to step away from this post to take current pictures of the shawl in progress! Feel free to comment while you wait.. Talk amongst yourselves… LOLOL!

I am back! Let me see if I can get below the cabin pictures to post the shawl pictures. If not, I will post them here. :)  So I can’t get below the cabin pictures. Why did I even begin to think I could? I have already tried that! Duh!

When I look at the pictures I put up in April and compare them to today’s pictures, I have come a long way in getting this shawl done. Can you see the rose trellis in the pics that have light behind them? Even though this shawl has an 8-row repeat, it takes 12 rows before you see the trellis begin to take shape. When I was first starting this shawl, I could not see that trellis to save me, but I do see it now. It is so beautiful in real life. I can’t believe that MY hands are making something so beautiful! Grietje is so excited about it. She used to knit a long time ago, and when she knitted they didn’t have circular needles, either fixed or interchangeable. She stopped knitting because of the weight and taxation on her shoulders when she would get far into a pattern. She said she still has her straight needles, but she is loving the circular needles that I am using. She said it looked like it would take the weight off of her shoulders because then she could put it in her lap as she went along

When I asked her last year what she wanted me to make her, her first comment was “No socks!” Okay, so what do you want me to make for you? She said that she would like a shawl.. so that is how I came to be making this Rose Trellis Shawl for her. When she got here this past Tuesday, I asked her why she didn’t want socks.. LOL.. Who doesn’t want a handmade pair of socks? : ) She said that they were too thick and they were itchy! I showed her the shawl and told her that the yarn was sock yarn! She didn’t know that the yarn industry had evolved so much as to make sock yarn this beautiful and so thin.. YAY! I will be able to make her a pair of socks once I learn how to make them myself! I do have to get some measurements for her before she leaves.

Funny thing! She said that when she was knitting, she never would do what she thought of as “easy” patterns. She said that plain stockinette was boring to her, so she always picked complicated patterns to do. Ha! So do I! This pattern that I am doing is what I would call a bit difficult, but once I got into the rhythm of it, I think it is easier than I thought it would be. I am excited as well to see how it progresses along. I love the yarn that I am using, too. It is Claudia Handpainted yarn, and it is so beautiful!

I am off to get a pedicure right now! I got up early to write the 2 posts for today, and now that I have done that… I have a pedicure to enjoy! Oh, it has been so long.. I can’t wait!

Enjoy the pictures!

Talk to you sooner than I have lately!


Rose Trellis Shawl Pattern. Buy it on Ravelry!

Rose Trellis Shawl Pattern. Buy it on Ravelry!

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First, I want to apologize to any of my readers who have been checking my blog only to find nothing new in terms of updates or posting. I have been out of commission for a while now. When I was able to function, I had to work, and life just generally got in the way. I wasn’t able to knit for a little over 5 months, and I have only started to pick my MIL’s shawl back up in the last week or 2. Even then, I wasn’t able to do a whole lot on it. I certainly have not met my goal of one complete 8-row repeat each day. Obviously, it wasn’t finished by the time she got here. I am very disappointed in myself about that. **Sigh** However, I also know that I am my own worst critic, so I should probably give myself a break and realize that when one has tendinitis AND one has surgery within weeks of each other, one is usually out of commission for a good long time.

The surgery that I had was called the BPD/DS or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. Those are a lot of scary words to say weight loss surgery, wouldn’t you say? It is and was a major surgery. I was in the hospital for 5 or 6 days, I cannot remember for sure. I slept almost all of that time, and even though I took my little shawl project with me to work on.. that was a joke for sure! I was so wasted on pain medications that when I tried to do just 1 row of the shawl, I messed it up so badly that I had to rip back to my lifeline. So, that went into the project bag which then went into my duffle bag to go home and be picked up at a later time. You don’t have to tell me twice. I made a note to self that day. I told myself that I can’t knit when I am high as a kite with watery eyes and an unfocused mind. I just thought I could. Luckily, I had just put the lifeline in right before I went into surgery, (I was in the waiting room waiting to be called back for preoperative workup,)

Anyway, I had my surgery on May 7, 2013. When I went in for the surgery, my recorded weight before surgery was 399.8 lbs .  To date, I am down 89 pounds, WOO HOO!  If you are interested in weight loss surgery, then you can go to this web site to learn more about the surgery and if you are interested in reading more about my history, then you can click on the 2nd link. I won’t use this blog to discuss this type of thing. It has nothing to do with knitting. However, I will say that you can write to me using the comment form below, and I will try to help you or answer your questions if you wish.  You will have to remove my name from the comment boxes and put your info in instead. That said, here are the 2 links..

This is me, several years ago, at one of the highest weights I have ever been. I think I was about 425 in this picture. I can’t remember for sure though.



I think I am going to end this post and start another one that has to do with knitting! This one got off on a different tangent, and it seems odd to go on with  the post talking about knitting now. :)

See you in a bit!

My latest shawl in my quest

Good Afternoon!

I am currently working on my 2nd shawl in my year of the shawls in 2013! I am making it for my mother-in-law, and I plan to give it to her when she comes to NC in September from the Netherlands. I am quite excited to make this for her, and I hope that she will love it and feel the love that I feel for her as I make it. I have completed the Irish Hiking Scarf from from my father-in-law, Wim, last month. I wrote about this scarf in March. I have also completed another scarf for my brother-in-law, Joram, and I am sure that neither of them expects the gifts that I have made for them.

Anyway, on to this shawl. I have embarked on the Rose Leaf Trellis Shawl for my mother-in-law, Grietje.

I am using Claudia Handpainted Yarn in a purple colorway, and I must say that it is a pure joy to work with. I love how this colorway is knitting up! It appears to have a different color or shade of purple depending on how you hold it up to the light. Sometimes the brighter colors take the lead, and sometimes the more intense colors pop out in the light. I just LOVE this yarn!

I am using the Knit Picks Sunstruck Interchangeable needles, size 6, with a 24 inch cable attached. I also love working with the light-colored cousin of the Knit Picks Harmony needles. I don’t yet have a preference between the 2 of them, but I do love how the patina develops on the Sunstruck needles vs. how soon the patina develops on the Harmony needles. Perhaps that is because the wood is so much lighter.

This shawl is a paid pattern, and if you are interested in purchasing it, you can do so here:

I have frogged this shawl 3 times because I just could not make the stitch count that seemed to be necessary based on the designer’s text. When I contacted her, she told me that on 6 of the rows the count would be off, coming in at only 18 stitches per repeat. She said on rows 7 and 8, the stitch count would come in as it should at 20 stitches per repeat +5 on the end. It was quite confusing the 1st and 2nd time I knitted this. I would get up to having done 3 repeats, which came to a total of 24 rows, and I couldn’t see the pattern starting to develop. After having e-mailed the designer and talking to her a little bit, I have now started it yet again, and I am working on the 2nd repeat of the pattern, up to row 5. I have been very attentive to the pattern, and I have corrected any errors in each repeat because I count each repeat as I do it to determine if I have the right count. I hope that by doing this extra step, I will be able to see the pattern start to develop as it should.



I am truly enjoying the pattern, especially since I have finally figured out how the stitch counts work across the pattern. I will be running my lifelines for sure! However, I believe that it will be quite beautiful once I am done. I have figured that if I can do 1 complete repeat of the pattern’s 8 rows each day, I will be finished with it in plenty of time before September 2013 when she arrives. I have to find a nice shawl pin to do this beautiful shawl justice. If you have any ideas on where I can get a musical shawl pin, something like a musical note, or a nice flower pin, I would appreciate the links. Thank you so much! Until next update with pictures, I look forward to reading any comments that my readers care to give me.

I hope to hear from you soon!


okay, not really.


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