Thursday, August 25, 2011

Baby Socks - Pattern - Jamie by Lion Brand - Review

This yarn is a Pompadour yarn that is machine washable and dryable.
It is allergy free, shrink proof, non-pilling and moth proof.
A Sayelle yarn made from 85% Dupont Orlon Acrylic and 15% Rayon.
It has a shiny thread that wraps around the strand and it adds a slight sheen in specks on the finished project.

I didn't acquire very much of this yarn so I decided to make baby socks.
Free Pattern Here!

Using a US size 1 set of 4 double pointed needles cast on 32 stitches, distributing the stitches - 8 on first needle, 16 one second needle, 8 on third needle, being careful not to twist join last stitch to first stitch.
Knit 2, Purl 2 for the ribbing working in the round and continue until the cuff is 2 1/2 inches long.

The heel flap is done in the Eye of Partridge stitch.
To do this, work the rib stitch to the end of the first needle. Turn (leaving the needle with the 16 stitches alone) Slip the first stitch as if to purl and then purl across the 2 needles with the 8 stitches on them. I like to purl them onto one needle so I have 2 needles holding 16 stitches each. Turn for the next row. Slip the next stitch as if to purl, but keep the yarn in the knit position, then knit 1 slip one (as if to knit) all the way across. Repeat these 2 rows until the heel flap is about one inch ending with the K1 P1 row.

To turn the heel (which is where I changed the yarn color), Slip one as to Purl and then Purl half of the stitches plus one, then Purl 2 together Purl 1. At this point you should have 4 stitches remaining. Turn, Slip one, knit until there are 7 stitches left, then do a SSK.

The SSK is called a slip slip knit, which means that you slip two stitches onto your needle and then insert the needle that you slipped those stitches off of back into those 2 stitches and knit them together off the working needle as to become a single stitch. SSK is often used in place of Slip 1 Knit 1 PSSO (pass slipped stitch over). If you do not understand with my directions I recommend that you find a video online to get a visual.

Back to the heel.
After you do the SSK knit one more stitch, leaving 4 on the needle and turn your work. *Always leave an even amount of stitches when turning the heel*
Slip the first stitch as to Purl and then Purl until you are 1 stitch before the gap. The gap should be pretty easy to see. Purl 2 together to close that gap, Purl 1 leaving 2 stitches remaining. Turn, Slip first stitch and knit across to 1 before the gap, SSK, knit 1, leaving 2 stitches remaining. Turn, Slip first stitch and purl across to one before the gap, Purl 2 together, Purl 1 - end of row. Turn, Slip first stitch, Knit across to one before the gap, SSK, Knit 1 - end of row.

Now it is time to work the gussets.
Each slipped stitch on the edge of each side of the heel flap are fairly easy to see and this is where you will be adding stitches to. It is easiest to use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through the stitches and place on the needle holding the heel. Also add an extra picked up stitch or two between the side and the top of the foot where the angle meets, this prevents a "hole" at this point. This is another thing that is easiest to learn with visuals. You will add the stitches from one side first, then knit across the needle that held the first 16 stitches and then pick up the same amount of stitches on the other side, but add those to a new needle, so once again you will have 3 needles holding stitches. Add half of the heel stitches (5) onto the 3rd needle and you are ready to finish working the gusset. 
Knit stitches on first needle to 3 before the end, Knit 2 together, Knit 1. Knit across 2nd needle, On 3rd needle Knit 1, SSK, then knit across. 
Next round, knit across all 3 needles.
Repeat these two rows until you have 8 stitches on first needle, 16 on 2nd needle and 8 on the 3rd needle.

Continue on Knitting in the round for the foot. I knitted about 3/4 of an inch before I started the toe. For a longer sock this is where you add for length. The toe shaping is done in about one inch so figure that in for the desired length of sock. The foot of the socks I made here are 3 1/2 inches long.

To work the toe start with the first needle, knit to 3 remaining stitches Knit 2 together Knit 1. On the 2nd needle Knit 1, SSK knit to 3 remaining stitches Knit 2 together Knit 1. On 3rd needle Knit 1, SSK, Knit remaining stitches.
Next row knit the round.
Repeat those two rows until you have 3 stitches on needle one, 6 on needle 2 and 3 on needle 3, then knit the 3 stitches on needle 1 onto the 3rd needle so you have your work on two needles, 6 stitches each.

Now it is time to weave the toe.
You will need a yarn darning needle to sew the seam.
Cut the yarn so you have at least a 16 inch tail to weave with.
Thread the needle.
Insert needle as if to Purl in first stitch on needle closest to you and draw yarn through leaving stitch on the knitting needle. Then insert needle in the first stitch on the back knitting needle as if to knit and draw through leaving that stitch on the knitting needle.

Then insert needle as if to knit in the first stitch of the front K needle and draw through, this time slipping the stitch off the K needle. Then insert the needle into the next front stitch as to Purl and draw the yarn through leaving the stitch on the K needle, then insert the needle into the first stitch on the back K needle as if to Purl and draw the yarn through and slip off the back K needle. Then insert the needle into the next stitch on the back K needle as if to Knit, draw through and leave stitch on K needle.
Repeat from *** until all the stitches have been woven together.

This leaves the toe seamless.
Then just weave in the loose ends and your sock is done.
Now I just need a little Grandbaby to put these on!

These little socks don't take much yarn or time to make. In fact the colored yarn was just a little bit that I had no idea what to do with.

Finishing the review of this yarn.
It really is a beautiful yarn.
Looks aren't everything.
The negative is that the feel is stiff and the texture is far from soft.
Another positive is that it appears that it would be a very durable yarn. This would make a nice "dress" sock.

I hope this has been helpful for you even though there are not visuals to help guide you.

If you like my blog, please share with others.
Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Ready For Home Schooling

It's time to put "socialization" on hold and let education get the focus this year.

I have watched my daughter get grades in public school that are less than worthy of bragging about. The schools always claim it is the parents fault if a student does not do well.
Well, if it is my fault than I guess there is only one thing for me to do and that is to remove her from public school and home school her.

One of the biggest cuts our public schools have made is to the arts.
They want the students to excel in Math and Science and yet they remove a critical piece in the development of the student's mind.
When creativity is absent in education the rest suffers.
Playing a musical instrument has been shown to increase math scores.

Many problem solving skills are developed through the arts.
Students are sorely lacking in problem solving skills as I have witnessed in my daughter and her peers this past year. I would have thought that schools would have made some improvements in this area since I was in school and unfortunately that is not the case.

What good is socialization if you can not teach them how to resolve problems in a mature manner?

So at any rate. This year she is mine to teach. She will be getting her basics through an online school and I will be teaching her; the Arts, Music, Home Economics, Shop, Woodworking and Alternative Energy.
I might even find some other things to teach her as well.

I went to the craft store and bought her her first decent paint set.
5 canvases
Acrylic paints
Oil paints
A set of 10 assorted paint brushes
and 10 other assorted paint brushes

I have plenty of other supplies already in my sets that she can use including pallets, an airbrush, a wash bin for brushes and things like Acrylic Mediums and Oil thinners and dryers.

We also have things for wood-burning, pottery, paper mache and more.

I will share her art classes here as they come up.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Antique Henry Sears & Son Prussia scissors

This pair of scissors has been in my husband's family for decades if not a century.
I don't know anything about it, but I wanted to share it with you.
It is still very sharp.
Look at how beautiful the detail is!

I have not been able to find any information on these.
It is stamped with:
If you have any knowledge of this model of scissors and where is came from, please leave a comment for me.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

A Different Way to Gluten-Free Pizza

I have done many variations on this recipe for years, but I had not done anything with it for quite a while. Usually using the smaller mushrooms. Then a friend steered me to this site
and I just had to try it and post here to make sure that my Gluten-Free family will see it.
I made it minus the sausage as in the recipe and it was really good. My husband loved it.
This is the finished and plated version I made. 
I cooked the stems and other mushroom pieces in butter along side the rest and then used them to top and garnish.
This was before it went into the oven. I know it looks like quite the mess. I am sure most people watching their weight would be worried about all the butter. I prefer to use natural foods so I use butter and it sautes the mushroom scraps well.

The down side to using mushrooms as a pizza crust, or to hold any other filling, is the fact that mushrooms are very watery, even if you don't use water to clean them.  Washing a mushroom will make them miserable so try not to do it. Just brush them off.
Back to my point, I think this would work even better if you poked a few tiny holes in the outside of the mushroom cap just to pierce it and then placed it on a rack over a baking sheet so the excess water could drip out during baking.
You can also serve them like this without the garnish, I just really hate to let things go to waste.

This is so fast to make that from the start to when I finished eating them and posting this. It was under an hour.

Now I need to find a non-dairy recipe for the Lactose-Free people.

Thank you for stopping by and check out the other site for some more yummies!

Dee Dee

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why Have Long Socks

One article of clothing that has become a victim of the fashion industry is the sock.
Not many socks are made for comfort in the cold climates, that is unless they are handmade.
Why so many women willingly give up the comfort of warmth in the winter to freeze just to show a little leg, and for what? So others will think you are "attractive"?
I have news for some of you. 
I have ugly pairs of socks.

These ugly socks are 100% wool and very warm for the cold weather we will have here. These are ugly knee-highs and they are very much not in style. In fact I made them myself. They are so incredibly ugly that no one else would want to make them. People laugh at these ugly socks.

One day I was wearing a pair of my ugly socks and I had an unforgettable encounter with my husband.
He sees me at times in nylons and he thinks that is nice, but when he sees me in the ugly socks he always remembers that encounter with a smile. It is not the fashion of the sock, it is what you do in them. Anyone can stand there in fishnet stockings and look good. It takes something more to pull off the ugly socks.

Now with that knowledge, wouldn't you rather be warm and cozy when you are out in the snow? Think about that the next time you are freezing in your anklets walking to the shops. 
If you are lucky enough to have a pair of unwanted ugly socks, be sure that you wear them with sizzle, because you are going to be warm, maybe even hot!

Thank you for stopping by!
Dee Dee

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Planning Next Year's Garden -The Pond #1

I have been collecting things for a pond for a few years now.
I have been checking thrift and surplus stores, garage and estate sales, and that wonderful online group called Freecycle!

I started out with a 40 gallon water trough from a feed store. I knew it was not quite big enough for fish on it's own so I started looking for other options. I found a fountain pump. I forgot how many GPH this pump runs but it should have more than enough to handle this project.

I think I got this at a surplus store.

Then I came across this pond shell on Freecycle.

The white coloring is mineral deposits, the circle in the center is where I scrubbed some of the deposits off. It isn't really like a third depth.
 I have no idea how many gallons this holds so I will post the next to pictures to show the comparison between this and the 40 gallon tub. I am think the pond is close to 150 gallons.

As you can see the 40 gallon tub is not as deep as the center part of the pond.

Now that I am aware of aquaponics I am hoping that I can use these things to set up a system that looks more natural for an enchanting feel in my garden.
I am hoping that the pond is big enough to raise some yellow perch in.

I also picked up some bags of pea gravel and I have an assortment of things from tubes and hoses to some pond pots.

I have more boxes filled with things that I can use on this project but, I realize I have many things that I still need to get to complete the system. The first goal is to figure out the placement of the pond and how to make the whole system as natural looking as you can with a preformed pond shell. Then I would like to construct a geodesic dome to enclose the whole system so that I can have it going in the winter time. 

Be sure to watch for more garden and pond updates!
Thank you for stopping by!
Dee Dee

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Planning Next Year's Garden -The Beginning

If you are in the Northern hemisphere Now is a great time to start planning next year's garden. If you are in the Southern hemisphere I would think that you would have your planning complete and you are either putting things in the garden or waiting to.

"Why start now?", you may ask.
Let me share a few things with you.

These are some of my left over seeds. Some, I am sure, are no longer viable but I have decided to try to use them up next year and maybe a few this fall.
My garden will be done in cooperation with a few neighbors and not only will we be sharing the fruits of our labor, it will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from others and share knowledge and to just enjoy the company of others. 

The first part in planning is deciding what to plant. "They" say  "Plant what you eat!" 
I say, "Why limit yourself?"
While many people won't try new things, there are others that are bravely forging a new food path. In the USA we have people here from all over the world and those who are Indigenous. They all have brought their different foods and a piece of their own cultivation experience and we learn from each other. When I was young I did not like garlic, today I love it. Some day you might like spinach. Why not grow it and try it from time to time.

Many of us are looking back at the old ways of growing as the best tasting produce, and most responsible to the planet. No Chemicals, all natural. I know that some of you will be able to pick out the fact that I have some old hybrid seeds in my basket. I will be quickly using them up and starting heirloom seeds when all the hybrids are gone. Some of the hybrids are so old I am sure they won't sprout. I will be getting into seed saving as time goes on.

So I need to sit down with my lovely neighbor and go through the planning of planting. What to plant and where, and how much should be planted.  We will draw out designs so that we can have a beautiful garden that will feed the eyes and soul as well as the body.

In the mean time, here is a tip for this time of year.
Start saving the empty toilet paper rolls and clean out empty one pint (milk, half & half or cream) containers.

Rinsing out and cutting off the top of the pint container, then poking some holes in the bottom make great starting pots. The thrifty have been doing this for decades.
The toilet paper rolls are for putting collars around plants to prevent cut worms from wiping out your seedlings.

Now to show you what we are up against and what we have to work with.
This is what happens when you have a garden and you get sick and have no one else there to help with it.

That lush growth there is where my compost pile was. It is weeds now.

These just happen to be my raspberry bushes.

At least I am providing a nursery for Monarch Butterflies.

This is my Asparagus row on the back side of the garden.

My Strawberries are lost and the Rhubarb is close to dying too. I couldn't even find the onion beds I had.

So as you can see there is much work to be done to get it ready for next year and I am still hoping against odds that I can just maybe get something this year.

What is needed is hard work. I hope I can rise up to the challenge. 

I hope you come back to watch the progress. I will try to post on it at least once a week.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Friday, August 12, 2011

Boa for a Scarf

It was like knitting one never ending string of false eyelashes.
Just look!
It is called Boa and it is made by Bernat.
It is 100% Polyester. Hand wash and dry flat.
The color is Phoenix, which has an autumn glow like a sugar maple.

I used size 9 needles and followed a pattern on the inside of the label.
The pattern was easy enough but working with this "yarn" slowed it down. The lashes tend to hide the main thread and can make it hard to tell where one stitch ends and the next begins. I found backing up hard and trying to experiment on a dropped stitch was difficult. My opinion is that you would have to pay me money to use this yarn again.

On the positive side, the end product is really flashy and perfect for fall fashions. It looks really nice with a dark brown suede jacket.

So why does the model look mad? 
She didn't get paid.
But at least she was able to go have fun later.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee