Thursday, March 7, 2013

Part one of the Lacy Keyhole Scarf is finished!



The Lacy Keyhole Scarf pattern by Stephanie Jafel at Craftsy.com, in her Knit Lab class. I finished the first section and here is the part 1............ta da!

 I have learned alot from her class, much more than one in a yarn shop for sure.

 
The lacy ends to this little scarf are way cool. The yarn is Cascade Yarns Pima Silk, a predominently cotton blend with a little silk in it for softness.
 
 
The project takes 1 skein. I am using number 7 needles Bates.
 
 
 
 
 
I've weaved in the ends and started the next section by casting on for Part 2.
The yarn is like butter to stitch with and I think this short litte lacy keyhole frill will be perfect for Spring.
Wish me luck with part 2 because I will learn how to make a buttonhole. XXXX fingers.
 
This morning it's been one of taking it easy for both of us by the wood stove. It's 80 degrees according to the thermostat inside but to us, it's nice and cozy.
Neither of us have much energy today but the good thing is the sun is bright around the mountains today and sometimes just sunshine alone with Tylenol or aspirin + rest, an hot tea gets us better.
 
Well, off to put the tea kettle on for some afternoon tea.
Mr. Darcy has decided to cook supper tonight on the grill and he is an AWESOME griller!
I plan on resting the remainder of the day to save my energy up for tomorrow and hoping to hurry and get well.
 
Thank you for all the comments. You mean alot to me.
 
In the cross stitching world on Thrifty Thursday, found this at a thrift store ths week.
 
 
A make-do with a scissor holder. This gives me good ideas. I wonder if I could make one???
 
My cotton Hobby Lobby yarn, I'm practicing the waffle stitch pattern.
 
So, no syrup with these waffles. :P
 
 
 
My cotton-knitted washcloths are collecting here in this basket.
This is when I watch TV and need something mindless to do with my fingers that produces something functional later or a small giftie.
I am also working on a couple of cotton washcloths for a baby gift this month. A lot of time and love will be in this giftie for a set of twin boys but in actuality it's less than 4 bucks.
 
Hope your Thursday is winding up (no pun intended) well. 
 
Till later,
Jennifer
 
 
 
Abigail at her finest this morning sends her love all over the globe.
 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Progress on the Lacey Keyhole Scarf and Sunshine

I worked carefully this morning, learning to read a pattern in a class and now purling and making purl ridges on the Lacey Keyhole Scarf!!!
 
My progress is here:

 
This is actually part one, the bottom will be attach to part two later.
 
 
 
I learned to purl.  I know that sounds elementary but it is an achievement for me today and there was something about purling that made me anxious. 
 
 
 
However, when I see the effect of the ridges I'm creating and then following some lace, I really loved it!
 
 
 
 
While this phrase is funny, I actually find little time to clean when I'm into a project. :o
 
 
 
Yesterday afternoon, I did see some nature friends around the homestead. Several blackbirds strutting their stuff and a squirrel that just looked so much like a Easter bunny eating his afternoon nuts. He is getting a little plump.
 
 
Probably wondering when Spring is going to actually get here.
 
 
Looking about, a reminder to me, that if God takes care of our feathered friends, He surely will take care of me.
 
 
 
It was nice to see sunshine, as we have had many cloudy, rainy days but the cold wind reminded me that Winter has a little bit more time to go.
 
 
 
The trees are barren except the evergreens but in a month or so the leaves will start making their presentation.
 
 
But right now, Mr. Darcy and I are enjoying the seasonal view of the mountains, and seems the birds are too.
 
 
I value my garden for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs~~~~Joseph Addison, 1672-1719
 
 
I hope you have a great start to your week, enjoying sunshine somewhere, whether it be nature, or needlework, friendships, or a favorite book or movie. Radiate your sunny energy in ways you love and love will come back to you.
 
Sweet Blessings to You,
Jennifer

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Prescription: Knitting

Throughout my career as a women's health nurse practitioner, I have had the opportunity many times to enable women to cope with stress in a positive way. As holistic providers of health care, nurse practitioners utilize coping stategies with patients, and suggest yoga, running, brisk walking, journaling, etc. This is one of the differences between nurse practitioners and physicians that I love in my profession, taking a. holistic view, as we know that nothing pertaining to the body is an alone concept but our bodies all relate from one system to the other.
 
I have found stress to be the culprit, the sole culprit, of many diseases, even in women's heath, gynecology. While most focus on the gynecology aspect, I think more and more, physician's are looking holistically as nurse practitioners in that the root of the problem could have started in any other area of the woman's life and the body is certainly in connection with all systems.
 
As a woman myself, over the 20 years of being a women's health nurse practitioner, I have zoned in on ways to improve my practice of NP by staying abreast of evidence-based care, as well as keeping in touch with alternative methods of managing symptoms of disease and prevention of health issues.
I have found out by experiencing many of these issues my own self through the past years and finding what really works as evidence shows.
 
Knitting and/ needleart has been referenced in studies a few times and many conclude that it truly does change the neurotransmitters in our brains and increases the happy hormones, increases endorphins just like runners.
 
 
 
and many other sites.
 
 
A book, Just Keep Knitting by Lonna Cunningham
 
 
My true love is cross stitching and designing but in November of 2012, I attempted again to try knitting and I am in love!  I'm a beginner, of course, but intrigued with hours of the repetative nature of the soothing activity.
 
Many readers of my blog probably wonder when I will show more cross stitching. SOON!
I haven't forgotten and do I miss. How I wish I could do both~~~simultaneously.
 
However, in the last couple of weeks, my novice, soul-soothing activities have included working through a Craftsy.com knit class by Stephanie Jafel, called Knit Lab. Thisclass was offered back in November with a deep discount, I assume for the holidays and I leaped into it, not knowing all the length and depth of information I would learn. I love the Craftsy workshops because once you pay for them (some are free), then you have endless access to them forever and can go back and replay the lessons, stop the video and and try that stitch again.
 
In Knit Lab, she shares about 5 other of her own patterns for knitters and after learning just how to READ a pattern with her teaching knowledge you follow along with the class materials which are simply printed off in a pdf format.
 
I'm starting to make the Lacey Keyhole Scarf.  Her pattern is only available if you purchase the class. The class takes hours for beginner information and I have listened to all those twice.
In this small project, garter stitch is used, how to increase, how to decrease, how to make a button hole, and beginning lace, knit and purling, and yarn overs.
 
You can see the skein I picked (only takes one skein) and have cast on plus 9 rows.
This scarf is small and narrow and can also be converted to a headband that is very cute!

 
Of course, I cannot put the pattern steps on here, however, this is the start for one of the 2 pieces. I will be gartering for a while then start the lacy pattern! I love the color in a vintage soft pink.


This very soft yarn is small, but not smallest, and I'm using a 7 Bates needle. Only one skein for this project.


I think I have the garter stitch and long-tail cast on, down pat.

 
This selection I picked because that yardage was exact as what was called for, and it is super soft
with 85% cotton and 15% silk. Cascade Yarns, Pima Silk.
 
 
 
 
The class teaches how to exactly read the label and every part of a label is important to the knitter.
 
 
Other projects not related to the class I have completed this week include starting a yellow kitchen dishcloth with Peaches and Cream cotton. I have found that for dishcloths, Peaches and Cream at only 1.70 or so a skein is a good, mildly abrasive, yet soft cotton for the kitchen or cleaning in general. I can stitch 2 dishcloths from a skein. However other brands I have sampled from Hobby Lobby I prefer more for washcloths for the bath as they are softer.
 
 
I picked this Springy yellow to brighten up for the warmer months ahead.
It's like a ball of sunshine when I pick it up to stitch.
 
 
 
 
 
These three are knitted for different purposes.  Different brands.
The colonial blue on the left is knitted with a cotton-blend, Italian cotton, very soft and will be useful in the bath as a washcloth.
The second one is in a Antique Gold and this one and the teal one is I Really Love This Cotton brand from Hobby Lobby. Those are 100% cotton but so much softer than Peaches and Cream that washclothes are in store for these as well.
 
 
So these are the softest washcloths ever! I hope to make a good basket full for the bath.
 
 
Going back to Peaches and Cream after stitching the softer cottons is a change. I have noticed that this cotton I work better with aluminum or glass needles vs. wood so the cotton will slide easier on the needle.
 
 
So I have found in life, many lessons, but in stitching and needlearts of all kinds, especially true.
 
Find things that you can create for function and durability, for color therapy, for stress management,
and for just learning something new to stimulate our brains, yet calm our souls.
 
 
 
Abbie is comfortable this morning with her skirt flying up, taking a nap in a quilt that someone long, long ago, spent their creative juices, making something fun, and functional, probably unknowingly helping to cope with the difficulties in life by soothing the soul.
 
So, your script for today is:
 
Soulfully Stitch
 
1 session BID (twice a day) prn (as needed)
refill: forever
Name brand necessary
 
 
Jennifer
 
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