What’s new?

Wow. With all that’s been going on lately, January fairly flew by. Now it’s nearly Valentine’s Day. Five years ago on Feb. 14, my darling husband proposed to me. Hard to believe it was that long ago!

I’ve posted a few “new house” photos since we moved, so I’m sure you’re all rather sick of looking at the same landscape. But when I saw the sun making the distant hills rosy this morning, with twilight still in the foreground, I had to snap a few. Check it out here: Sunrise

Finally, lest you think I’ve been letting my knitting slide, here are a couple of photos. First, the “Frozen Feet” socks, made out of 100 percent alpaca. These suckers are going to be W.A.R.M.

Frozen Feet Socks

Next, a quick pair of “Fetching” gloves:


I designed a neck warmer to go with them, but haven’t taken photos of it yet. I’ll try to be good about writing it up, because it turned out to be quite cute!

Hey, did you notice the fab Fiesta Ware sugar and creamer set in the Fetching photo? LOVE the color!!! And the price…I found the set for $15 at an antique store in Cape May, NJ last fall. Fun ;-)

Well, back to work. Duty calls, and all that. Until later, happy knitting!

PS. I HATE how WordPress works with photos! But Blogger doesn’t let me post PDF files of my patterns for you…So. What’s a girl to do? Guess I have some research to do on blog options. If anyone has suggestions, I’m open to hearing them!


Pulse Check Wristers (free pattern!)

Hi, friends…Thanks for checking in!

I’ve been really bad about keeping up my blog. Especially since Ravelry came along. But I feel it’s important to spend less time ogling other people’s knitting–fun as that can be–and more time writing. Writing is good.

During the past month I’ve actually been reading a lot, resting a lot, and knitting a lot…

I love the extended Daylight Savings Time, but when we changed the clocks this fall, the darkness came as more of a shock than usual, because it was later in the year.

As someone who thrives on sunlight, I think I’ve been suffering from a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s amazing how many people have the same problem…at least among my friends and family. Or maybe I just befriend people who are so much like me that we all burrow away the minute darkness descends. Ugh.

That’s one reason why I tend to celebrate Winter Solstice more than any other “Winter Holiday.”

Winter sunlight at Dupont Circle

Another reason is the obscene amount of commercialism associated with Christmas. For this is the time of year when millions upon millions of people hit the malls with the battle cry: “Consume! Consume!”

Have you ever gone into a department store around this time of year and REALLY looked at the merchandise? So much of it is crap that–at any other time of year–we wouldn’t even THINK of buying! And most of it is stuff that nobody really needs. I know I don’t need more stuff… Though I always “need” more yarn ;-)

Well, to each his or her own, I say. We should all do what makes us happiest, since we have one crack at life and ought to enjoy every minute of it. I would just like to think that the gifts people give each other are meaningful, and that we all focus on quality over quantity.

So, to that end, I’m offering a little something you can whip up in an evening (or, if you take your time, in two evenings) and give to anyone who needs a little extra warmth and color during the winter. That person may even be you!

Pulse Checks are like tiny hugs for the wrists. Believe me, they DO make a difference in keeping off the chill…especially in older houses, which tend to be cooler. And that’s good news for those of us who like to knit or crochet during the evenings!

Pulse Check Wristers

Yarn: Dale of Norway/Dalegarn Falk (superwash wool) in colors A and B (I used red and dark burgundy)
Needles: Size 5 DPNs or 32″ circular/s (I used the Magic Loop method)
Notions: Stitch marker (optional) to mark beg. of round
Gauge: 24 x 28 = 4″
Size: Fits 6.5 to 8.5″ wrist (I made my husband try them on to be sure!)

Woodsman’s Check Pattern*
8 rounds in circular knitting
(multiple of 4)
Round 1: *K1 A, K1 B; continue from * to end.
Round 2: *K1 B, K1 A; continue from * to end.
Rounds 3 & 4: *K2 A, K2 B; continue from * to end.
Rounds 5 & 6: Repeat rounds 1 and 2.
Rounds 7 & 8: *K2 B, K2 A; continue from * to end.

*Based on stitch pattern found in Robin Hansen’s Favorite Mittens

Here’s the Pattern:

Ribbed Arm Cuff
: Cast on 36 stitches (in pattern is best, if you’re so inclined) and join to work in round. Work seven rounds of K2 P2 ribbing, increasing 4 stitches evenly on 7th round.
(NOTE: To make nearly invisible increases in ribbing, knit into front and back of the knit stitch that comes just before purl stitches. The little “dash” formed by Kf&b increases will blend in with the following purl stitches and disappear!)

Wrist Pattern: Joining in color B, follow Woodsman’s Check pattern above (Chart lovers: I feel your pain, and will post a chart as soon as I can). Be sure to carry your yarn loosely so the fabric won’t be too tight. Work all 8 rows of check pattern 3 times, then work rounds 1 and 2 once more. Break off color B (leaving enough to weave in end).

Ribbed Wrist Cuff: Using color A, work seven rounds of K2 P2 ribbing. Cast off loosely in pattern.

Weave in ends, soak briefly with yarn soap like Eucalan…or you can use hair conditioner, if you want to soften the wool even more. Press between layers of towel to remove excess water and lay flat to dry. Halfway through drying process you may want to turn writers inside out to help the inner layers dry more quickly.

Now, slip them on and enjoy the comforting hug and warmth :-)

Enjoy…and Happy Knitting!