Friday, April 21, 2017

Open the Window

This was my desk a month ago as I worked on my next new knitting pattern.

"Mitten Work Zone" I captioned it on Instagram... my laptop, my desk... the second mitten in a photographable state of "how to start the afterthought thumb"... a chart, a pad, a pencil... etc.

There is also the window. More of that window on Instagram here.

All of my workspaces have windows or I would not work in them.

I love spring and daylight and windows. In this wonderful season of window opening, I am almost ready to release a mitten pattern that I have named MULTI-PANE MITTENS

Follow me here, or on Instagram, to learn of an introductory discount (beginning April 26) on the pattern. Then, during the month of May, join me and my good friends (in person or virtually) at Gosh Yarn It! for a MULTI-PANE MITTEN KAL.

Open your windows and take a very deep and fresh breath of spring. Then join us in knitting a fun small project during our transition to longer, warmer days. (I am planning some tutorials on that thumb.) (There will likely be KAL prizes.)

May is my favorite month of the year! Did you open that window yet?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

(All manner of) Removable Pompom

My latest Just Chillin' was made for Hannah, and it has the same removable pompom as the original Just Chillin' hat pattern sample made for Mallory.

Within my Just Chillin' pattern there are instructions on how I made a removable pompom on both of these hats... 

Each of these (real) fur pompoms* came attached to a key ring with a small elastic loop. If yours has one as well, you could make your fur pompom removable for a different look, and to wash your hat. First, I sewed a large flat button inside each hat.

Then, I used a crochet hook to pull the pompom’s elastic loop (detached from key ring) inside the hat near the button. Back on the inside, I pulled the loop over the button to attach the pompom.

To remove the pompom, pull elastic loop out and over button. A crochet hook would be required to reattach it.
I have since given some thought as to how I would make my own removable yarn pompom. Typically, a yarn pompom can be sewn on a hat, and the hat can be washed with the pompom attached. Even so, I can imagine a hat with interchangeable pompoms, or a case when you might want to wear a hat with or without a (yarn) pompom.
My recommendation is to use a piece 1/8" wide elastic, or maybe a piece of elastic cord, about 8" long. Normally when I make a yarn pompom, I leave the tying yarn quite long and use it to attach the pompom to the hat.

To convert such a pompom to a removable one, thread an 8" length of narrow elastic or heavy elastic cord on a tapestry needle and draw the needle in and out of the pompom below the tying yarn.

Trim the tying yarn ends to become part of the pompom.

Similar to the removable elastic loop pompom, a button would be sewn inside the hat. A crochet hook would be used to pull the two elastic ends into the hat near the button. Then the elastic ends could be tied (in a bow, or with a simple square knot... in a way that could be untied) securing them to the button.

With all of this in mind, lets look at a couple of faux fur pompoms that I bought when I first caught a bit-of-a-bug over pompom hats.

The smaller one is by Lion Brand. It came with an elastic cord -- but a rather long one. This makes it like my yarn pompom with added elastic. The loop could be pulled into a hat and tied to a button.

The larger one is by Bernat. This pompom has a heavy thread that could be used for attaching. If I desired to make it removable, I would replace the thread with a length of elastic using a large needle... 'Voila' another removable pompom.

*Last I checked the fur pompom with, the easy to use, small elastic loop was still available at  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Snow Day -- takin' photos & bein' chill

February 9, 2017 was a Snow Day in Philadelphia, PA.

Sources* tell me, "Everyone was predicting a 'Snowpocalypse' and what we got was just a little bit of snow, in February, which is when snow is supposed to fall. But still, it has been the only real snow we’ve gotten this year, and everyone kinda wanted this to be a bigger deal than it was, so I get it..."

My son, his girlfriend, and my daughter all live within a couple blocks of each other in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia.

A snow day meant working from home for the day. The sun was shining by the lunch hour, and they all went outdoors -- not to play -- but, to get me some Just Chillin' hat photos.

My favorites:

Manayunk, PA, on a sunny, windy, and cold Snow Day... when they got "just a little bit of snow".

Much thanks to my most beloved young people... striding around the streets of Manyunk in their Just Chillin's... takin' photos & bein' chill...   

Love you so much!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Chill Happenin'

I love my friend Ann's photo of the Just Chillin' Hat that she made for her granddaughter. After Ann posted this photo, I commented that it was "the most beautiful Chillin' ever".

I made my son a Just Chill-in-Black, during the Gosh Yarn It "Summer Camp" KAL. I showed it to him, in July (when it was very hot), and I told him that I wanted a photo before I gave it to him to keep. He got his hat for Christmas, but still, no photo...

My latest (belated) gift knitting was a black cherry Just Chillin' for his girlfriend. Here is a photo that she messaged me (after I sent her belated gift).

(Aren't they a cute couple?) I finally got the photo I wanted of him wearing his hat, but hers is not totally in the frame. Would you believe that I (boldly) asked her for another? She did not seem too bothered by my request... There was mention that my daughter, who I have recruited often enough to give the title of "experienced knitwear photographer", will take one. I will share any new photos that come my way.

Speaking of my lovely daughter, she is also an "experienced knitwear model". She posed for the photos of my design sample hat that she now owns.

JUST CHILLIN’ is a worsted weight cable hat pattern with an optional pompom. You can make a pompom with your knitting yarn, or you might try a purchased (faux or real) fur pompom.The hat pattern has three sizes to fit heads of 19 (22, 24)” circumference, or to fit an average sized child (woman, man).

Look for an upcoming post all about "Removable Pompoms" -- like the fur ones on three of the Just Chillin's above.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Revisiting: Love & Prayers Scarf

To this day, I still have a side note on my blog about winning a design contest that lead to the creation of this blog... "In May of 2011, I won a scarf design contest held by Knitcircus Magazine and one of my prizes was a small ad in the online magazine. I began this blog on June 12, 2011, so that I would have something to advertise!"

The WomenHeart scarf design contest was held to promote women's heart health awareness and encourage charity knitting. My scarf design, Love & Prayers, won first place.

I am posting this shortly before the 15th annual National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 3, 2017. It is an especially good time to learn about women's heart health.

The American Heart Association states, "Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we have the power to change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action."

From WomenHeart, "[This year] heart attacks alone, will claim the lives of more than 200,000 women -- nearly five times more than will die of breast cancer." 

Knitcircus published its last issue in 2012 and my Love and Prayers scarf pattern is no longer available from them. I currently offer it free on Ravelry.

Please learn if you are at risk for heart disease; take all preventative measures possible; and learn about heart attack warning signs. Take care of your heart like your life depends on it.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Back to Back weekends away... VT and NYC

Vermont. We went to my sister's home in Vermont (near Burlington) for Thanksgiving. One of our two other siblings came from Watertown, NY. All of our children (including my own 2+) were able to join us!

I did post two photos on Instagram.

My Vermont nieces and my own daughter on Wednesday night. Beautiful ladies. They have so much in common (those glasses! the love of each other!) We were at the Stone Corral, a Richmond VT hot spot... a "small-batch brewery on a horse farm offering limited hours at a tasting room in a barn".

Three Thanksgiving pies. I made the apple crumb. Not my best, but it was still good.

The weather was gloomy. It rained on Black Friday in VT. We all went shopping in little groups wandering through Burlington... Then we met as a larger group (11) to celebrate a birthday lunch (Mr K's) at a lovely Vermont-y local-food and brew restaurant, right downtown in Burlington.

We returned to our home in PA on Saturday, and that evening we had another family celebration with my brother (who lives local to me and did not make it to VT) and his entire family (one more niece and three nephews, two of whom live in NYC). Good fun!  

New York. The very next weekend, Mr K and I put our remodeling work on hold, once again, and went off to New York! I love that city only a 3-hour bus ride away!

We did so much and saw so much. I love that we also now have real New York people to visit. (A niece and nephew live in Riverdale. One of the VT nieces is studying in Brooklyn. And we have friends, our own age, who live part-time in a posh downtown apartment.)

[Dear Reader, I started writing this post over a month ago... I need to get it done!... I am sharing only a couple of my photos from New York. There will be a great many links for anyone who wants to see more.] 

Let's get this done!

We arrived at Port Authority around 10 AM on Friday, December 2.

It was not a very long walk (we passed Madison Square Garden and largest post office I have ever seen) to our hotel the Chelsea Courtyard Marriott... very nice.

After a bit of settling-in, we decided to walk to Rolf's for lunch... a longer walk than we expected. (We passed the Flatiron.) Rolf's is a German restaurant known for its over-the-top Christmas decorations. I did post my favorite photo on Instagram.

Rolf's decorates in October and un-decorates in May. It was quite a sight to see.

That afternoon, we visited the Whitney Museum of American Art with all of its thought-provoking exhibits and tremendous views. On the way back to our hotel we explored a bit of the High Line. 

Dinner with our nieces... after dinner drinks with our friends... And that was just the first day!

On Saturday, in between a couple of amazing meals, we went to Macy's for the window displays, and a bit of shopping. Later, along with our friends, we saw Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones. From the website, "The Rolling Stones exhibit features over 500 Stones’ items with 50 years of Stones fashion, 190 original artworks, vintage instruments, interactive sound mixing desks and recording studio, a screening cinema with exclusive content, all culminating in a 3D concert finale." It was all that and more!  

We attended evening mass at St Patrick's Cathedral. And then (for the first time ever) I saw the lighted Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Dinner was at Rossini's.

(Home on the bus after a "downtown" Sunday brunch.)

[Dear Reader, Thanks for baring with me for this post. I just had to finish it. Next time there will be knitting!]