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Happy New Year!

There is no better way to start a new year than with something good to eat. Yes, I know this is a bit off topic, but one has to feed both the body and the brain to be creative.

For the past year I have tried many recipes for English Muffins; all have involved a lengthy process. Then a light bulb of an idea came to me –pancakes. I gave it a try-this is the results.

The process begins with a heavy batter, placed in buttered muffin rings, that set on a cold pancake griddle. The covered muffins then set for 30 min before the griddle is turned on. Once the temp is set, it only takes about 8 minutes for them to finish rising. They are then turned over, and the rings are removed. About 8 minutes more and they are springy and ready to be placed on a wired rack to cool. Once cool, they can be split, using a sharp meat fork. Place them in a toaster for about 4-5 minutes and serve with real butter and jam. Yum.

They can be frozen for later use.

J’s Easy Buttermilk English Muffins

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Enjoy! KT

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Below is a photo of the Red Cardinal I crocheted for my Christmas tree.

This has been more than a months project, with many stops and starts, but well worth the time. For many of you this might seem an overwhelming task, but for me it has been nothing but joy.

Here you can see the detail on the tail and back.

I have contemplated writing a pattern, but that really isn’t possible, because there are so many variables. That said, however, I can give you the general idea.

  1. A picture of the bird you want to create( I find them on the web). Get all the facts of the birds size. This takes a bit of research, but the info is out there.
  2. Bring the photo into whatever publishing software you have on your pc. Outline the body, wings and tail. Remove the original picture, save all the sections as one unit, then size the bird image to the size you need.
  3. Print off the image.
  4. Working with the image, create you body, then the wings and tail.
  5. Use floral wire to stabilize the wings and tail sections

You can see in the photo above what I mean by working with the image. It is the only way I have found that works, at least for me. You will notice that the body has Poly-fil stuff in the head and body. I fill it as I go to make sure it has the right shape. I simply pull it out when I am satisfied, then continue on.

The detail for this Cardinal, was created with a single strand of sliver embroidery thread and a single strand of grey sewing thread.

The Basketweave stitch that I posted on my website, was the main stitch for the construction of the wings and tail. The body was constructed with a SC stitch, using the back loops only.

I used size 20 crochet thread, and 1.25 hook for the main body, wings and tail, with the addition of a single red iridescent embroidery thread. The additional thread gives it a little shine, and is picked up by the Christmas lights on the tree. I also use it( the spool on the extreme left of the photo) to add a bit of sparkling color to the crown of the head.


In this photo you can see the black pearls I inserted for eyes. I love the highlight in the black, The peak is constructed separately.

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Merry Christmas to ALL!!!

KT

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There is no time like the up coming Christmas holidays to bring out the creative spirit in all of us. This year I have decided to create a White Dove ornament for my Christmas tree.

Basic structure is created with 26 and 30 gauge wire, #20 crochet thread with number 6 (4), hook and a sytro ball in the main body. The inserted beads are from Knitpicks (#6, rainbow clear).

This dove is actually about one half scale. My research information said that they are 12 in from tip to tip, and have up to a 18 inch wing span. They are part of the pigeon family.

I hope this inspires you to start thinking about what you can create.

Happy knitting/crocheting

Kweaker

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It is just off the needles and lightly pressed. I will be blocking it next week with a touch of sizing on the edges. What I am excited about is that I was able to create what finished edge that I wanted.

I will, of course, be able to make the circle more exact, and the points even when I block it, but even at that it doesn’t look to bad.

Just had to share.

Happy knitting- KT

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I idea of having to taking out stitches because of a mistake you can’t live with, or maybe just changing you mind, can be a daunting task.  However, it can also be an instructive one.

I have been sharing the process of knitting my English Rose tablecloth with you in the previous posts, so I thought I would share the “tinking ” lessons I learned when  I decided to extend the double rose leaf portion of the pattern.  I had to take out my extended rose leaves, and then about 12 rounds of the previous pattern to restart an additional set of the double leaves pattern.  I also knew that I would have to adjust the pattern as there were only five sets of the double leaves in the original version.

Tinking Lessons– Lay your work on a table where it will have no stress on the stitches, especially if you have not done this before.  As for me, I pulled my coffee table up to my favorite chair to share the weight of the work.

Take it out from the wrong side, working right to left, holding the thread/yarn in your right hand as you would for knitting English style(throwing the yarn).

  1.  Use your left index finger and thumb to pinch just below the stitches or stitch groups to prevent them flying off the needle.
  2. Use the index finger of the right hand to gently lift the thread/yarn up to release the knitted stitches.
  3.  Use a clockwise rotation of the right needle tip to pick off the stitches.
  4.  Use smaller size circle needles.   I knitted with a 2.75, so I used 2.0 or below to tink with because it allowed me to see the stitches and the path of the thread/yarn more easily.
  5.  Remove the 2 legs of a “knit 2 together” by inserting the needle from back to front, lifting the index finger of the right hand slowly, as you pinch the base of the group of stitches with the left hand thumb and index finger. (See photo below)
  6.  Stitch groups such as YO, Sl 1, K 2 tog, psso, are processed the same as a K 2 tog, except that when you release the stitch group you need to rotate you left have forward to pick up the third stitch of the group.
  7.  Stitch groups as SSK, Sl, 1 K 1, psso;  Sl 2, K 1, psso, (left leaning) just require you to insert the right needle from back to front before you lift the yarn with the right hand to release the group.
  8. Relax, don’t look at the clock.  When you finish your project you will be proud of it.

In this photo I am getting ready to pick up a K 2 tog.

Above, I have identified a sl 1, K 1, psso.

In this photo, you can see that I inserted my needle from back to front.  I will proceed by placing my thumb and index finger below the stitch group and then gently raise the yarn up with my right hand index finger.

  •  If for any reason the stitches come off out of order, you can simple keep the pressure on the “pinch” you have in your left hand, then fix the position of the stitches.  As long as you have secured the base, the stitches are not going anywhere.
  • If you are in double about the needles position, tip the area of concern toward you with the left hand.  At a look at the right side.

Happy “Tinking”  – KT

One more thing-  I found that dividing my tablecloth into smaller segments and knitting my circles in rounds( knitting off one end to the other), allowed me to deal with less bulk at a time.  Also, the stitches were not crammed together on one 60 inch needle.  I now have the tablecloth on three 60 inch needles.  It also gives me the opportunity to lay it out on the table to see the results of my additions to the pattern.

And, yes…… I am writing it down.

 

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I mentioned in my last post, that I was thinking about designing a different edge, or finishing round for my English Rose tablecloth.  What you see in the about photo is that new design.

I wanted my last rose leaf to be free and overshadowed by the busy background lace. As a result,  I worked out the following method to individualize the leaves.

I began by working each leaf individually, as you would with straight needles, adding the connecting sts to only the right side edge of the leaf.  Using a spare 24 in circle needle of the same size, I then picked up the corresponding stitches for the left side of the leaf, and proceeded working across the “bridge” (connecting pattern stitches), to the next rose leaf.

Even though this is a bit of work, I find that using my extra 47 inch circles of lesser size work perfectly as carrier needles.  I pick up each completed unit on these needles, (about 3 leaves to a needle). This allows me to free up the stitches on the main 60 inch that I am using for the body of the tablecloth.

I do think that this process could be used for various shapes you might want to incorporate into designing an special edging.  As long as the work is supported on the “carrier” needles, they are easy to pick up when you are ready to finish the final rounds.

One thing I did do, was to use a different color needle tips for my needles; blue for the main/working needle, and purple for my  carrier needles; that way there is no doubt which one to pick up.

In the photo above, I am set up with my main (blue) needle tips to begin a new leaf.

When I complete the 40 leaves, I will knit all the stitches back on to my main needle, then finish the edge.

For those who might be interested, I am going to writing up a tutorial for this edging, and will upload it when I am done.

 

Happy Knitting- KT

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Since I didn’t want this tablecloth 72 ins, I decided to work it until I thought I had about 60 inches.  However, the only true way to know when I reached that point, or near it, was to block it.

I learned how to do this when working on the Princess Shawl designed for the Queen of England.  The lady who published the pattern advised checking out what the final blocked edging looked like.   Her advice was, “When in doubt, block it out.”  The only stipulation is to have all your stitches on needle cords, and secured with stoppers.

*Even, if your project is rectangular, the circle needle cords work great.

For this project, that meant using my other 47 inch circles needles, from 2 on down.  Since I have an abundance of them, this wasn’t an issue.   I just dunked, squeezed, toweled and dropped it on my bedroom floor, which I had covered with a heavy cotton quilt, and used the burgundy sheet to create contrast.

**I did put my attached working thread in a Ziplock bag to keep it dry.

The carpet, and pad underneath gave me a perfect base for pinning.  I also used different colored tips for the original 60 inch needle, so when it is dry, I can just pick it up and start knitting the stitches off the other needles.

Since I now have the right measurements, I know exactly how much further I want to knit.  I also like the scalloped edge, so I will add the stitches necessary to maintain the stitch count to make that possible.

Don’t be afraid to try it.  You can do this with any size project.

When I do my final wash and block, I will use the tape measure to ensure that each point is exactly the same distance from center to outside edge.

 

Happy knitting- KT

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I am sorry to say that I do not like working with double pointed needles.  That is not to say that I haven’t been successful knitting with them, but I did not enjoy it.

I recently remodeled my home and put new windows in the music room, so with all that new woodwork framing those beautiful windows, I just had to have a new white round tablecloth for the  table that sits in front of the window.

I found just the pattern in “Modern Lace Knitting” by Marianne Kinzel.  The pattern I chose was called “English Rose.”

Of course, the first instructions were to pickup the double pointed needles to start the center.  However, my inclination was to make a crocheted Magic Loop-which I did, replacing the DP needles with a 47 inch circular needle.

Here is a photo of my work in progress.  In the photos below I hope I can explain the process I used simply enough that you will be encouraged to try it, if you haven’t already done so.

Create your Magic Loop.

Insert tip of circle needle into crocheted loop.

Using the crochet hook, insert hook through Magic loop, yarn around hook and draw through to front, yarn around hook again and draw through loop on hook.  Place this loop on the knitting needle.  I repeated this process 10 times, as this pattern calls for 10 stitches to be cast on.

Take up slack in the Magic loop.

Once all the stitches are on the knitting needle, I pull the needle all the way to the left, leaving only a small amount of cord to my right.  Next, I divide the stitches up as instructed in the pattern.  In this case there were 3 sections, 4, 4, and 2.  I simply bent the cord and pulled it through, allowing a loop to form.  I did the same for the next 4 stitches, then the two that remained were my last unit.

Once this was completed, I closed the Magic loop to form the center ring.

To begin the first round, pull the left needle into the “start position.”

Pull the right needle though and make a clockwise circle, positioning the needle in the start position to begin knitting off the needle in your left hand.  Be sure to make the first stitch snug to the cord of the right needle..

Personally, once I have knitted all the stitches off the left needle, I pull my right needle through so that the stitches rest on the cord.  Next, I pull the left needle back so that it is in position to knit the next group of stitches.  I adjust my loops for comfort, before I begin the next section.  I have never lost a stitch doing it this way.

When you first try this it is best to work on a table top.  It helps you to keep the work from twisting.  I admit it takes a bit of practice, but I think it is worth it.  I also don’t have to go back and fix the center.

Here you can see the loops as they have diminished in seize.  Once the needle is full, I changed to a 60 inch circle to finish the project.

 

Happy knitting-  KT

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I have not posted in a while, as I have been up to my eyeballs in music for the season.  As those of you who have followed me know, I am extensively involved in arranging music, etc,  for our local community choir.  This year I added a new project to the mix by restarting the hand bell choir I used to direct when we first arrived in Idaho.

It has been a labor of joy, and everyone involved has had a blast.  The smiles on the faces of everyone we have performed for has been the greatest gift of the season.  Everyone was elated to hear the Bells of Christmas.

So….., as my gift to you this blessed Christmas season I have uploaded several of the pieces we performed for your listening pleasure.

What Child is This?

Silver Bells

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

O Holy Night

Gesu Bambini

Merry Christmas – KT

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My rose finally has a home.  I added a few items to the mix, but not much-just enough to support the stem and leaf structure.

I might add another rose or bud someday, but for now it is enough to know that my idea worked.

I do like the look of the leaves much better than normal crochet, as they are smoother, and I was able to make them more life like.  They are in the foreground hanging over the Baby’s Breath.

Just sharing!

KT

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