Sunday, December 30, 2007

Drop Stitch Wrap

Fresh off the needles is the drop stitch wrap. It hasn't even been blocked. Which can be the next post - showing the difference between something that hasn't been blocked and the same thing after it has been.

Anyway, this wrap is five feet long before blocking and was made on size 10.5 needles with Bernat Chunky yarn which is discontinued and I happened to get a boat load of it at Joann's for about $3.00 a skein. It is one of those skeins with about 600+ yards so it was quite a deal. I got two in turquoise and two in black. This wrap took about half the skein.

Cast on 48 stitches
Stockinette stitch keeping the first and last four stitches in garter stitch.

Work until the wrap is as long as you like it and then bind off in the following manner.

I used a tighter bind off because of the drop stitches. You can bind off the regular way or use the tight bind off which is done by k1, knit the next stitch but keep the new stitch on the right needle and the old stitch on the left and pass the last stitch over then drop off both stitches.

Bind off 8 stitches, drop the next stitch and make a ladder all the way down. Repeat.
Add fringe if you like. I added fringe to the ends of the ladders.

I will use a wet block and it should stretch another couple of inches and have a cleaner, more matte look. I think I just might have to do a post on blocking. I wasn't a fan of blocking until recently and now I think it will have to become a regular thing.

This wrap will be tagged and priced for the next craft sale we have in May. It is a very easy knit. I think I did it in no more than two days.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Head2Toe Project

So, this idea has been floating around my head for months and I've decided just to plunge right in and take some of my knitting friends with me.

The Head2Toe Project is meant to provide head to toe comfort to kids in foster care. Here are the steps as they play out in my mind:

  1. Ask members of a congregation or organization to provide a pair of socks (sizes from infant to adult)
  2. Knit groups would knit scarves and hats. (Again from infant to adult).
  3. Send knitted items to one place for tagging and sorting.
  4. We would match up one hat, one scarf, and one pair of socks.
  5. We would send off these sets to ChildServ or ChildServ designated agencies to distribute to kids in their care.
Worsted weight yarn - recommend Caron By The Pound a little of that goes a long way!
Gender neutral colors
Gender neutral design
There would be a designated time for items to be sent in so we can distribute at Christmas and again at Valentine's Day.

I've already contacted ChildServ to see if we can work with them and I am in the process of contacting knit groups in churches to see if they would like to participate.

I would like to have a knit & sit to kick it off in the fall of 2008. - This is called planning ahead and the website should go up as soon as I have participating organizations. I just wanted to put it in the atmosphere and see how it sounded to 'say it out loud.'

If you might be interested in the Head2Toe Project, leave a comment and I will keep you posted on our progress.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Maya Del Sol in Oak Park, IL

We received a $50 gift certificate to Maya Del Sol, a restaurant in Oak Park, IL and since I am suffering from a little bit of knit frustration (it happens when I am doing a pattern and I keep messing up so badly I have to start over) I thought it would be a nice place for the hubby and me to go on our regular date night. (We've been married for almost 12 years and once a week we go out!)

Maya Del Sol touts itself as being a little Mexican, a little Cuban, a little South American and a little...Californian. Well, my husband doesn't like Mexican food. He isn't fond of heavy spices and heavy sauce so he was a bit skeptical.

We started off with the Nachos Del Sol and they were wonderful. Honey braised beef over tortillas with beans, scallions, jalapenos, tomatoes and sour cream. Ohmigod! My husband LOVED them.

We then split a Caesar salad that was nice because it didn't have the standard iceberg lettuce - instead they had a mix of field greens.

I ordered the Enchiladas and the hubby ordered a Salmon Cervices. He loved his meal, but it was more of an appetizer so I gave him a portion of my generous plate of enchiladas with steak. I thought they were very tasty, but he didn't care for them at all. I couldn't finish them.

There was room, however, for dessert and he ordered a Chocolate Mousse Cake that was so creamy and so light. It was a perfect ending to the dinner.

We didn't do much by way of drinks: iced tea for me and Coke for him.

The service was excellent. We no sooner finished a course when someone came along and cleared the plates and gave us fresh napkins, plates, and silver for the next course. The owner stopped by the table and by the time we left, there was standing room only at the bar and he went behind the bar to assist his bartenders by cleaning the glasses!

And you know what? The bill was $50.49 before the tip. All in all, I'd say that was one very nice Christmas present.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Because at some point you have to put down the needles...

and do something like make dinner. And since this is Christmas Day, I wanted to share with you our Christmas Dinner meal:

Preheat the oven to 400

Roasted Lemon & Honey Chicken
Take a whole cut up chicken (with the skin) and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Rub it in.
Melt some butter and add as much lemon and honey as you like (I use about 1/4c of lemon)
Brush this all over the chicken and get some under the skin.
Place in a pan on a bed of onions, mushrooms and snap peas (or whatever your favorite vegetables are)
Roast for about 30 minutes.

Garlic & Oil Pasta
Cook pasta per packaged directions. While it's cooking, infuse olive oil with garlic. Drain pasta and add oil along with the vegetables from the chicken. To make a side and vegetable dish all in one.

Open a can of cranberry sauce. Cook some packaged rolls and that's a nice dinner! I'll post a photo as soon as it's all done and on the table!

Sorry, the photo didn't happen. The food was eaten before I could get batteries in the camera. Trust me, though, it was really good!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Seed Stitch Scarf

This is a very nubby, textured stitch and is great for a guy's scarf. It's a simple 4 row pattern:

Cast on an even number of stitches.

Rows 1 & 2: K2, P2. Repeat to end of the row.
Rows 3& 4: P2, K2. Repeat to end of the row.

I slip the first stitch of every row to create an even edge, but not slipping them makes a textured edge which also works.

This scarf is a gift for our choir director. What you don't see are the four gift cards attached to corners.

For this project, I used size 10 bamboo needles and Caron By The Pound yarn. It's a yarn that's very inexpensive, but knits up very nicely. I use it a majority of the time with great results. It is my worsted weight yarn of choice.

Friday, December 21, 2007

White Cable Scarf

I did this scarf in just a day. It knit up quickly because it uses Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick (2 skeins) and size 13 needles.

I wet blocked it and it is about six feet long and very warm! It will make a nice Christmas gift. (Which is just why I made it!)

I don't rememer where I got the pattern. I know I was looking for something else that was on the same page when I found it. It's a pretty basic pattern - cables on a reverse stockinette background with garter stitch on all edges.

For those of you who are afraid of cables - don't be. Cables are nothing more than stitches knit out of order. Instead of knitting 1,2,3,4,5,6 you knit 4,5,6,1,2,3. If you want the cable to slant to the right, hold those first three stitches in back of the work, if you want them to go to the left, hold them in front.

For a lesson in cables, nothing beats a Dummies book. Click here for a crash course!

What's on my needles now? I have one more scarf to knock out for Christmas. An afghan using Thick & Quick, and an afghan using Caron By The Pound. I'll post the pictures when I'm done. In the meantime, I would love to see what's on your needles.

Red Wine Scarf

Here's the scarf that just came off my needles the other day.

It's knit with Lion Brand Jiffy in yarn. It took about 1.5 skeins and after blocking is more than five feet long.

It looks like it has cables, but it doesn't. Not one cable in sight. Instead, it's got some k2tog action that involves knitting into the front stitch before moving the stitch off the needle. Don't get it? Well, I got the pattern off another Blogger site.
Take a look for yourself. The scarf on her page is in another color and another weight of yarn that gives it another look. It's a simple 6 row pattern that you will memorize just in time to finish the scarf. Because this one is knit for a guy, it's not as long as I would make it for a woman and i didn't add fringe (I wanted to, but my husband poo-pooed it!)

It's a very easy knit. I got it finished it a little over a day.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We're Open For Business!

This is the first day of The Knitter's Restaurant blog! This is a place to share what's on your needles as well as what's on your mind.
I learned to knit way back in the 7th grade and hadn't touched it again until two years ago when a friend and I decided to start a knitting group at our church. At first, it didn't seem as if it was going to fly, but at the end of this year, we have sold more than $1000 of knitted, crochet, and woven crafts. The money goes to buy more yarn (of course!) but also to some of our programs of knitting comfort items for our congregation and members of the community.

So, what's on your needles? Currently, I have three projects going: two afghans from The Little Box of Knitted Throws - Garden Gate and the Aran Squares, and a scarf from a pattern found on the web. The afghans will go to the programs while the scarf is a Christmas present. I'll post photos as soon as they're done.

What about you? What are you working on?


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