Blizzard Preparedness

We in the northeast of America are bracing ourselves as a big blizzard is about to  hit us.  The snow has already started and we are expected to get two to three feet of snow in the next two days.  The wind gusts are going to be up to 55 mph especially on Long Island where I live.

My major worry is power failure.  We have so many trees on Long Island and all the power lines are above ground.  With heavy snow and strong winds, we are going to have trees and branches falling on power lines.  We went through this with Hurricane Sandy in 2012 when we were left without power for 11 days.  Our block does not have any gas lines, so we rely on electric power for everything.  So if we lose power, that means no heat, no hot water, no cooking and worst of all no internet or cell phone.   (For those of you who are wondering why we lose cell phone use, our provider’s cell tower seems to be close enough to us that when we lose power, they lose power as well!)


The family is ready with food, gas for the snow blower and batteries. but I have gotten together things that I need.  I have my knitting, my books, my fully charged iPad (which will not really be of any use if I lose wifi) and my lantern.

I hope to finish knitting three pairs of warm socks for the veterans, a baby blanket for charity and get a few things upgraded in my Clash of Clans game.

I can get through this!

Keep on knitting!



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Knitting New Year’s resolutions

I am not one for making New Year’s resolutions.   Mainly because I feel guilty when I don’t keep them which is always the case.  But I decided to make an exception.   Why have I changed my mind?  Well it all started with 72 little squares.

IMG_2109There were only 3½ inches by 3½ inches.  No, I did not make them.  These little crocheted squares were in the yarn donation bin at the Greenlawn library where my Heartwarmers group meets.  We use the donated yarn to make all kinds of things for charity.  No one at the meeting wanted these little squares, so I bought them home to put them  together to create a baby blanket.  Some of the left over yarn was included in the bag with the squares.

As I was sewing the squares together, I thought about the person who had crocheted these little squares.  Was she in a nursing home and not able to crochet anymore?  Did she pass away?  What ever the reason, I am glad her family did not end up throwing them all away.IMG_2132

When I finished the blanket, I realized that she had left her crochet hook and the instructions in the bag.  The instructions called for 99 squares in total with 11 rows of 9 squares each.  Since there was only 72 squares, I made 9 rows of 8 squares each with a simple dc border- a slightly smaller blanket but still a good 31 inches by 34 inches.

How did this start me making resolutions?  I though about what would happen to all my projects if I were to suddenly pass away.  I certainly am not as organized as this lady was.  I don’t have everything pertaining to a project together.  I have way too many projects and they are all over the place.  How would my husband or my son be able to give away these projects so that someone can finish them?

So, with all this in mind, I made my knitting and crochet resolution for 2015:

  1. I will organized ALL my WIPs by placing everything for each project in a bag.
  2. I will not  buy any new yarn or take any new donated yarn – I will start using up the yarn that I already have.
  3. I will finish my charity WIPs first.
  4. I will track all my projects on ravelry.
  5. I will organize all my yarn on ravelry and give or sell any yarn that I will not be using.
  6. I will not start a new project (unless it is for charity) until I have finished the current WIPs.

We will see how far I get into 2015 before I revert back to my old habits.  I certainly hope I can make some changes that will became new habits.

Keep on knitting!


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Lace Knitting

I really love lace knitting and I read some simple but every effective tips that was posted by Lynn, a member of my knitting guild, from Sivia Harding here.

I started on a wonderful lace shawl called the Peacock Feathers Shawl designed by Dorothy Siemens in January.  I am knitting it in JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 Lace Weight Yarn in white.

DSC03593As you can see from it’s baby picture (at 10 stitches) it is tiny when it starts out. It begins with three stitches and then increases every other row to create a triangular shape.  I am now at 204th  row and have 406 stitches on the needle.  It will eventually grow to 495 stitches in row 249.  So, it takes longer and longer to do each row.

It will not reach it true beauty until it is finished and blocked.


I have a few more tips on lace knitting that I have learned through the years from trial and error.

  • Use plenty of stitch markers.  In this shawl, I used one in the center, and then one between each pattern repeat.
  • Count and then count some more.  I count the number of stitches between the markers once I finish that section to make sure I have knitted the pattern correctly.  It is very easy to miss a yarn over.  It is much easier to catch and fix the mistake right when it happens than two rows later.
  • Learn to read the pattern.  If you know your pattern and know how to read your knitting, you will see immediately when you are knitting is out of sync with the pattern.

The only good thing about this extreme cold and snowfall in the northeast is that I have more time to knit and the shawl is going very fast.

Keep on knitting!


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A Challenge

My friend Lynne handed me a plastic bag and said make an afghan with it.  Before I had a chance to say anything, she was off doing something else.  I bought the bag home and found eight balls of yarn labeled, Berella “4” Knitting Worsted Weight in a color called, Wine Mist.  Lynne collects acrylic yarn for charity knitting and coordinates and lot of different charity projects.  She knows that I like to make afghan squares.  So, what do I do with this?


The color was rather drab and I did not want to make a whole afghan with it.  The bag sat in my hallway for a few days.

Inspiration hit me when I was looking through the Spring 2014 Creative knitting magazine. Why do they publish these magazines so far ahead?  Well anyway, an interesting pattern called  a Pop Art Afghan designed by Beth Whiteside caught my eye. The afghan is built from short-row strips of stockinette stitch squares that are reminiscent of American folk art.  The squares in the magazine were made up of very bright colors.


I decided that I could use my yarn with some brighter colors to contrast it.  Here is my square:


Not quite as bright as the Pop Art Afghan but it looked interesting to me.  I am not sure now much of the off-white yarn I have but I think I can mix in some of my other left-over yarns with my wine mist.  I can always ask Lynne for some more yarn! I will let you know and show you how it turns out.  I am up to the challenge.

Happy and healthy New Year to everyone.  Keep on knitting!

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Whoo Hoo

Ok, what am I whoo hooing about?  I just finished the sampler afghan whose squares have been sitting around for about 13 years.  My husband kept saying that he does not like different patterns in an afghan – he wants it all one pattern but once I put it together, he loved it.  He wants to keep it.  It is a generous 56″ X 67 “. What do you think?



Keep on knitting!


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Crochet Bobbles

In the previous century, I bought a Leisure Arts booklet called 60 Easy-To-Knit Pattern Stitches Combine to Create Sampler Afghans.  I was so excited that I decided that I was going to knit all 60 squares and make three afghans and give them as gifts to my mother, my mother-in-law and my sister.

As I was cleaning up and organizing my UFOs I discovered that I had made 16 squares.  It was time to finish up this project!  I could knit four more squares and do just one afghan.


As I was zipping along, the twentieth square, called the Large Bobble Rib, bought me to a grinding halt.  Why?  Because  I hate knitting bobbles!  All that back and forth on a small number of stitches drive me crazy.  This square had 9 bobbles on every fourth row.  I will probably have to do more than 160 bobbles to finish this square.  Can I endure this torture?

I couldn’t do it – I put it down after the first bobble.  Did I want this to remain an UFO for another 15 years? NO – I will not let a bobble defeat me.  I then remembered that I pinned a tutorial on how to crochet bobbles into a knitted project (see here).

I tried it and I could not believe how easy it is and the bobbles look so uniform.  I am actually having fun knitting (and crocheting) this square.


I am well on my way to finishing my square.  I will post pictures of the finished afghan soon and it will be another Sean’s Gift blanket.

Keep on knitting!

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Sean’s Gift


My Mom was cleaning up her condo and gave me this blanket that she and my aunts (her sisters-in-law) had made from scraps.  It is made up 11 X 15 granny squares.  It is a generous  54 X 72 inches.   It is colorful, big and beautiful until I turned it over.


There were tails every where.  For some reason, my Mom and my aunts decided that leaving the tails on the back of the blanket was fine.

I decided to calculate how many tails I have to weave in.  There are a 165 squares and at least 2 tails per square which leaves me with a minimum of 330 tails to take care of!

I decided to donate the blanket and my friend, Lynne, said it would be the perfect blanket for Sean’s Gift.  Sean LaPersonerie was a 24 year old veteran home from Iraq when he was hit by a car crossing a local street in his Long Island, NY hometown on New Year’s Eve 2011. Four days later he died of his injuries. Sean was an organ donor and his mother found comfort in a hand made blanket that was placed on Sean while they were waiting for the organ retrieval to take place. Sean’s mom founded SEAN’S GIFT, a non-profit, dedicated to providing the same comfort she was given.

I now feel silly complaining about how many tails I have to weave in as I think about the family who will receive this blanket as they morn the loss of a loved one.  My Mom, my aunts and I are are grateful that we can be a small part in comforting a family.

Keep on knitting!

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