Friday, November 27, 2009

Baby Blanket

My cousin Amy and her husband Sal had a baby girl last month. After seeing the pictures of their baby's room on Amy's blog, I set to work on this blanket:I made the center square red since she's a girl. I had decided if the baby was a boy, the middle would have been the blue. I used the numbers of her birthday for the number of stitches and rows. I love geeky math stuff like that. (The colors are a bit off in the pic above - the next two are better - not sure why that happens sometimes.) I keep making these baby blankets and they are fun to knit every time. This is the first one I have done in the concentric square motif, and I'm sold. WAY less ends to weave in, and the mix of thick stripes and the thin cream stripes makes my brain happy.
Log Cabin Baby Blanket, knit in Lion Cotton-Ease Yarn (50% cotton 50% acrylic, machine wash and machine dry) in colors Cherry, Lake, Almond, Lime, and Taupe.
Welcome to the world, baby Mia!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a great day! The menu: spinach artichoke dip with bread, onion tartletts, carrots and hummus, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams with carmalized bananas (my favorite of the year), corn green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and sugar cookies decorated to look like turkeys.

I had to do very little cooking, which makes me completely thankful.

Today I spent the morning decorating, then had a yummy turkey sandwich for lunch, and took a huge nap. A huge huge nap that was hard to wake up from. I love those.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

fingerless gloves pattern

this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
e. e. cummings

After several months of waiting, I can share a project that I have been working on - I have designed a pattern for fingerless gloves. I'm pretty excited about it. Here they are:
Knit with beautiful malabrigo worsted merino yarn (one skein makes two pairs!), they are stretchy and fit almost everyone and have a cute heart detail on the thumb.
The pattern is below. Click here for the updated pdf file with charts . Enjoy!

i carry ur heart (fingerless gloves)


One (Adult)


Cuff circumference: 6.5 inches; Length: 7.5 inches


Malabrigo Worsted [100% pure merino wool, 210 yards (3.5 oz) per skein], color #157 "Amoroso", one skein [One skein will make two pairs of gloves with approximately 5 yards left, not including gauge swatch.]


1 set US 7/4.5 mm double-point needles

Stitch marker (optional)

10-12 inches waste yarn

Tapestry needle


19 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch


Combo Ribbing (worked in the round over a multiple of 5 sts)

K2, p1, k1, p1

Open Ribbing (worked in the round over a multiple of 5 sts)

Round 1: k2, p1, k1, p1

Round 2: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1

Round 3: k3, p1, k1, p1

Round 4: k3, pass the third stitch on the right needle over two stitches, p1, k1, p1

Round 5: k2, p1, k1, p1

M1R – With left needle, lift the strand between stitches from the back and knit into the front of loop.

M1L - With left needle, lift the strand between stitches from the front and knit into the back of loop.



Cast on 35 stitches, dividing stitches onto three needles (10 sts, 10 sts, 15 sts). Join, being careful not to twist. Place marker at the beginning of the round.

Rounds 1-10: Work in combo ribbing.

Rounds 11-15: Work in open ribbing.

Thumb Gusset

(I have included a chart for this section if you prefer that to detailed instructions.)

Round 16: k2, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k2, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]

Round 17: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1, k4, p1, k1, p1, [k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1]

Round 18: k3, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k4, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k3, p1, k1, p1]

Round 19: k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1, k6, p1, k1, p1, [k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1]

Round 20: k2, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k6, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]

Round 21: k2, p1, k1, p1, k8, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]

Round 22: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k8, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1]

Round 23: k3, p1, k1, p1, k10, p1, k1, p1, [k3, p1, k1, p1]

Round 24: k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k10, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1]

Round 25: k2, p1, k1, p1, k12, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]

Round 26: k2, p1, k1, p1, k5, p1, k6, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]

Round 27: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1, k5, p1, k6, p1, k1, p1, [k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1]

Round 28: k3, p1, k1, p1, k5, p2, k5, p1, k1, p1, [k3, p1, k1, p1]

Round 29: k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1, k5, p2, k5, p1, k1, p1, [k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1]

Round 30: k2, p1, k1, p2, k3, p4, k3, p2, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]

Round 31 : k2, p1, k1, p2, k3, p4, k3, p2, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]

Round 32: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p3, k1, p6, k1, p3, k1, p1, [k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1]

Round 33: k3, p1, k1, p 14, k1, p1, [k3, p1, k1, p1]

Round 34: k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1, slip next 12 stitches to waste yarn, cast on 2 stitches (using backwards-loop cast on), p1, k1, p1, [k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1]


Round 35: k2, p1, k1, p1

Rounds 36-40: Work in open ribbing.

Rounds 41-45: Work in combo ribbing.

Bind off in pattern.


Round 1: Put 12 stitches on two needles, attach yarn, and knit every stitch. Pick up and knit 5 stitches in opening at top of thumb. (17 stitches)

Round 2: P 17.

Round 3: k 12, k2tog, k1, ssk (15 stitches)

Round 4: p 15

Round 5: k 15

Bind off purlwise.

Make a second glove following the same instructions.


Weave in all ends.

©2009 HandKnits by Sheila Chew. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today I am putting up curtain rods and ironing curtains. Normally I hate ironing, but the endless straightness of these curtains is very soothing.

I am a domestic goddess. I have a screwdriver (the tool, not the drink) in one hand and an iron in the other. Fear me.

I am realizing that the best part of new curtains is that they cover up the dirty windows. (Tomorrow, I'll have windex in one hand and a wad of paper towels in the other . . . maybe I can find the kids doing something wrong and punish them with window cleaning . . . . )

Monday, November 16, 2009

monster cookies

My friend asked for this recipe, and I cannot believe that I have not posted this yet. This is my mom's signature cookie - there is a 95% chance she has a dozen of these in the freezer at any given time. This makes a lot of cookies, so make half or plan to freeze some (or give some away - everyone loves cookies).

When I make them, I use extra m&m's to decorate the top. They look pretty that way, and you can do different colors for the holidays too.

Monster Cookies
Recipe by Sheila at musings of a
2 sticks of butter
1 lb. brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
6 eggs
2 Tbsp. vanilla
3 cups peanut butter
4 tsp. soda
9 cups quick cooking rolled oats
½ lb. M&M’s
½ lb. chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients. I use a cookie scoop to measure them out on the cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 on greased cookie sheets for 10-15 minutes, or until the edge of one cookie starts to brown just a teeny bit.  These taste better on the under-done side, as they set up as they cool. Makes 6 dozen.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

It's Veterans Day, so you know what that means.

Sleeping in. (yeah right)

Watching cartoons. (well, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix)

Sam's a good helper . . . . (here he's in charge of the cinnamon and sugar topping)

but he's a goofball too.

(Sally was still in her jammies and refused to be photographed. She sends her regards.)

Dad, Happy Veterans Day. We will call you later and tell you we love you and are proud of your service to our country. (PS - I think you'll be pleased to know that yesterday Sally said to me, "Well, I suppose we'll need to call Grandpa tomorrow", and then this morning Stuart reminded me, "Don't forget to call your Dad today.")

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

shopping links

Hi Everyone!

Well, it's November. Time to start a countdown to Christmas. This year, I'm determined to get my cards in the mail early. (I say this every year.)

If you are like me and you are looking for an easy way to get your shopping done, I have some ideas for you. These are businesses that are owned and run by people I know. Check them out:

Ace Quality - my sister's on-line store - camping gear (tents, outdoor showers, food - everything you need), all kinds of camelbak hydration backpacks, and more. She's got all kinds of personal trainer computer things and heart rate monitor watches for the athelete on your list.

So Many Colors, So Little Time - my cousin Amber's Etsy shop - Amber makes super-cute cards, hair ribbons, and earrings. She takes custom orders, too.

Pressed Ink - my friend's line of note cards - I've used these cards and they are beautiful and thick. Stripes and polka dots. Personalized initial. Love it.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sam and a laundry basket

Stu took these pictures of Sam. I don't know why he fell asleep with that thing on his head, but I had to share.

coping skills

We're almost all better over here. The kids will be going to school tomorrow. Sam finished his last dose of prescribed medication, and I have stopped getting water for people. (No, I did not tell them to get their own damn water. I did think it, but I didn't say it.)

Honestly, the worst part for me (other than the constant hand washing) was the worrying. I'm a great worrier. I learned from my mom, who is a champion worrier and an excellent teacher. So, to stop myself from obsessively worrying over the sickies, I decided to sew something. I totally blame the boys, who wanted me to make them Jedi robes for Halloween. (I did - they are fantastic - and they will wear them next year since we missed all the Halloween fun this year.) Anywho, all that sewing sparked a little crafting fire in my brain and I cranked this out for me:
a needle case for my double pointed needles and crochet hooks. (Notice the vitamin c, hand sanitizer, and mug of tea!) I've been wanting one for awhile, and saw one for $60 (!!!) and thought, Hmm, I could totally make that.I used fabric and thread that I already had (I love that) and made up the pattern from a few photos of retail needle holders.

I made one for Sally too.

(Hers is a bit wonky because something was up with my sewing maching - it did not like that green checked fabric and kept bunching up funny. I'm still not sure what happened, but her edges are finished better than mine.) She has become quite the crocheter - she's into the animaguri toys and has even designed a tree that is knit and crochet. She's very talented.
(And yes, I am wearing black nail polish. For Halloween. Even though we didn't leave the house all day.)

This is how I cope. I find a project that requires me to think and use my hands. It calms me and makes me not freak out. Which I think we would all agree is something to avoid. The only healthy person in the house freaking out. That would be really bad.