Tuesday, January 12

Flap Dash Hat

The Flap Dash hat pattern is now available. All you need is a size H hook and about 100 yards of worsted weight yarn to make one hat. I used Red Heart Multi for the wild one and Caron Rainbow Tones in taupe with red trim.

I call it Flap Dash because it is a very fast hat to make. Work about 14 rounds, add the earflaps and then the border with the ties.

The earflaps start with a shell stitch with two rows worked on top of it. Finish one earflap, crochet across the back of the hat and make the other one. Continue on around in sc for the border or change colors for a contrasting trim. The ties are worked as you do the border round. It's a simple chain stitch that you slip stitch back up.

The pattern includes written instructions for kids through adults as well as a crochet chart of the earflaps (just in case you get stuck).

Click HERE to go to Ravelry to download the free pattern

Thursday, January 7

And then the lights went out

Shortly after my last post the lights blinked, came back on, blinked again and then stayed off. Not good! I called the power company to report the outage. This seems to be an all too frequent happening around here. They said they would send someone out to drive by to look the problem. Later, I found out that we had been having freezing drizzle during the afternoon. (This was not in the weather forecast!) Someone slid into a utility pole about a mile from my house knocking out power to our area. It was dark outside by the time the lights came back on. Thankfully, it only took about an hour to repair the problem. It's too cold for the electricity to be out for long.

Late afternoon yesterday, I got a call from the coffee shop where my knitting group meets every Wednesday night. They wanted to let me know that the owner, Rebecca, was sick and they were closing early. Could I let the knitters know? I posted a note on our Yahoo group and hoped it got to everyone in time. Though we do have a fallback of meeting at our local Borders store if the coffeeshop is closed for some reason. Want to venture a guess what illness Rebecca has? Yes, it's the stomach flu! One of my best friends has it too. This bug is nasty and must be very contagious.

The snow continues to fall. A new system pushed into the area overnight. We're expecting 2-4 inches more snow as it moves through. Then the lake effect snow machine will kick in again. The forecast is for it to come south across the lake to hit east Chicago and the Indiana border. We'll see if they prove to be right or not. The seven day forecast looks like a broken record of cold (and getting colder) temps and snow. It's a good reason to stay home, stay warm, and knit!

I'll be glad when I get to feeling back to normal. I did a little too much yesterday and am paying for it today. It's definitely a low energy day.

I finished another strip on the blanket I'm knitting. That's a quarter of it finished. Doesn't look like I've even put a dent so far in my basketful of scraps. It's a pretty mindless knit which I need right now. One plus of the blanket getting larger is it's keeping my lap and me warm while I knit it. Not a bad thing when the temp dipped into the teens last night.

BTW, here's a peek at the first block for the Block of the Month blanket we're doing in my knitting group. I call this one Embossed Diamonds. I've got to get busy knitting a sample of the second block and get it ready for posting soon.

Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 5

Weathering the storm

The new year hasn't started the best for me. After attending a New Year's Eve party, I woke up early Saturday morning with a pretty vicious dose of the stomach flu. It's a good thing these kind of bugs don't last too long or they would probably kill you. My ribcage is still a little sore and my energy level is that of a flea.

It hasn't helped that snow started falling on January 1st and has yet to quit. The dreaded lake effect snow machine has kicked into high gear. When winter winds come the right direction off of Lake Michigan, we get hammered. These bands can be narrow or cover a wide area. (The radar last night showed that lake effect snow bands originating in our area were reaching clear to Knoxville, Tennessee! Yikes!) Sometimes the lake effect bands park over one county and bury them in snow. This event has had multiple bands that have wandered east and west over us but never totally stopped. Last I heard, we have somewhere about 2 feet (24 inches) of snow on the ground. The snowplows pass my house on a regular basis trying to make some inroads against the continually falling snow. The roads have tire tracks down them and are icy in places. The one good thing is that the cloud cover keeps it from getting as cold. Though one night we did hit -10. That is not a misprint!

The forecasters say the snow should stop sometime today. We could get a few peeks of sunshine tomorrow morning before the next snow system slams into us. Oh, and in case you were wondering, even more lake effect snow after it moves through. Between the weather and how I feel, I'm not motivated to even think about going outside.

This weather has inspired me to work on another blanket. Actually, there are two blankets. I'm working on a block of the month project with my local knitting group. There may be more than one block a month. It will depend on how many I get done or if someone else in my knitting group designs a block. The first block was posted on January 1st. The second blanket is the one pictured earlier in this post. I could call it Cobblestones for the texture in the pattern or Stone Soup because of all the odd bits of yarn I'm using up. It's making something out of nothing. That big plastic tub contains lots of little butterflies of leftover yarn from other projects. You could knit each strip in a different color or work a checkerboard design by alternating colors in each strip. The design is really easy with very little purling. The strips are joined-as-you-go. I really dislike seaming things together. One big advantage of this knitted join is a much stronger and more flexible seam than a sewn one.

My niece recently asked me to make her baby some new hats. He'd outgrown all but one she got at the baby shower. After searching Ravelry's pattern database, I sat down with a crochet hook and a ball of yarn to create a crocheted earflap hat. Here's a picture of one hat I made for my niece's baby for Christmas. I'm hoping to get a picture of the baby wearing the hat. A friend, Sarah, has tested the pattern with wool to make a adult sized hat for herself. It's very easy to adjust for different sizes. The pattern should be available very soon. It's called Flap Dash because it is such a fast hat to make.

I've also signed up for the 10 in 2010 lace group on Ravelry. My first lace project of the year is on the needles! It's a new shape for me and I like how it's turning out.

Stay warm!