Thursday, May 31, 2007

Free Pattern: Fair-Isle Baby Halter Top

The photo shows this as a size 3 months baby halter top that is knit in the round for the body. I've updated the pattern to include 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. The cups are knitted flat while you still have live stitches located on your circular needle. The ruffle is picked up and knitted in the round. This was inspired by the Katja pattern from Knitty and from the Mason Dixon Knit a long. Those ladies have really tricked out a lot of the MDK patterns.

Materials: Worsted Weight Cotton (Sugar N Cream or Peaches N Crème -Each ball: 2.50 oz / 70 g, 120 yd / 109 m)

Yarn A: Sugar N Cream, Hot Blue (1 ball)
Yarn B: Peaches N Crème, Brown (1 ball)
Yarn C: Sugar N Cream, Hot Pink (scrap – you only need for one 80 stitch row)

Needles: Size 5 circular needles (16-inches long & 32-inch long)

Gage: 20 stitches per 4 inches (Row gage doesn’t really matter here)

Size: 3 months (6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months)

Final measurements:
Chest measurements: 16 (17, 18, 19, 20) inches
Body of halter (not including cups or ruffle): 6 (6.5, 7.5, 8, 8.5) inches

CO = Cast on
K = Knit
P = Purl
K2tog = Knit 2 stitches together
K3tog = Knit 3 stitches together
SSK = Knit 2 stitches together from the back
Kfb = Knit a stitch, leaving stitch on left needle; knit into the back loop of this stitch


Yarn A: CO 81 (86, 91, 96, 101) stitches and join to knit in the round.

Row 1: Knit 80 (85, 90, 95, 100) stitches.

Row 2: K2tog (the last stitch with the first stitch – you’ll have 80 (85, 90, 95, 100) stitches on the needle now). Knit remaining 79 (84, 89, 94, 99) stitches.

Row 3: Knit all stitches

Row 4: (Yarn B: K2, Yarn A: K2) repeat to end

Row 5: repeat Row 4

Row 6: (Yarn A: K2, Yarn B: K2) repeat to end

Next, Yarn A: Knit 7 (8, 10, 12, 13) rows

Next Row: Yarn C: Knit all stitches

Next, Yarn A: Knit 7 (8, 10, 12, 13) rows

Next rows: Repeat rows 4 through 6 (the fair-isle pattern)

Next row: Yarn A: Knit all stitches

Next row: (K3, K2tog) to the end. 64 (68, 72, 76, 80) stitches on needle.

Next row: Bind off 18 (19, 20, 21, 22) stitches. Knit 15 (17, 19, 21, 23) stitches.

Now you’re going to knit one of the triangle cups flat. You will still have 31 (34,) stitches live on the circular needles (don’t knit these, yet).

Turn work as you’re knitting this part flat:
Row 1 (WS): K2, P11, K2. 15 (17, 19, 21, 23) st
Row 2 (RS): K2, SSK, K7, K2tog, K2. 13 (15, 17, 19, 21) st
Row 3 (WS): K2, P9, K2. 13 (15, 17, 19, 21) st

Repeat rows 2 & 3 above 7 st remain

Top of cup:

Row 1: K2, K3tog, K2. 5 st rem
Row 2: K2, P1, K2. 5 st
Row 3: K1, K2tog, K2. 4 st
Row 4: K2tog, K2tog. 2 st

Now do a 2 stitch I-cord until it measures 15 (15, 15, 16, 16) inches. Bind off.

Next, pick up and knit on the back side of the knitted cup 2 (4, 6, 8, 10) stitches and continue to knit the live stitches off the circular needle for a total of 15 (17, 19, 21, 23) stitches. You will now have 18 (19, 20, 21, 22) stitches live on the circular needle (don’t knit these, yet)

Repeat instructions for the cup and do the I-cord.

Now, bind off the remaining 18 (19, 20, 21, 22) stitches from the circular needle.

Weave in ends.


Next is the ruffle. Turn your work over so the bottom of the halter is on the top.

Row 1: With the right side towards you, pick up and knit (with the 32-inch circular needles) 80 (85, 90, 95, 100) stitches. Try to start picking up at the back seam. You may have to do a little magic looping here as the cord will be too long for the initial 80 (85, 90, 95, 100) stitches. You keep increasing the stitches to a total of 320 (340, 360, 380, 400), so it’s important to start with a longer needle.

Row 2: Kfb in all stitches. 160 (170, 180, 190, 200) st

Row 3 Knit all stitches.
Row 4: Knit all stitches.

Row 5: Kfb in all stitches. 320 (340, 360, 380, 400) st

Row 6: Knit all stitches

Bind off. Weave in ends.

Creative Commons License

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Reviewed: "Sebastian" by Anne Bishop

Okay, I was very skeptical about reading this book as I was judging it by it's cover:
Bleh. It looks like a typical romance novel. I was afraid it was going to be one of those paranormal romance novels. Sebastian is an incubus, so you can see my reluctance after I read the first couple of chapters.

Happily, I have to say it's a good read and doesn't devolve into a sex romp ala' Laurel Hamilton. Anne Bishop does a good job of creating a fantasy world and the book has a good beginning, middle and end (with an open ending for an obvious sequel, which in this case is Belladonna).

I didn't really like reading the parts that were from the Eater of the World's view point as I found it a bit repetitive.

But there is a great Good/Evil plot line where the general consensus in the fantasy world of who is Good and who is Evil is topsy-turvey (can you tell I like that type of theme in my reading preferences?).

If you're looking for a good light summer reading, this is a good one to pick up.

Reviewed: "Esau" by Philip Kerr

I must admit that I didn't finish reading this book. It started out interesting enough, but when it devolved into a hunt for a live Yeti, complete with a CIA plot line, I just couldn't take it seriously.

I don't recommend this book. I am very disappointed.

FO-No-so-Baby Surprise Jacket

Here's another FO:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket

Yarn: PnC double worsted, Potpourri Ombre (178)

Needles: size 13

Notes: This ended up to be large enough for my 5 year old daughter (who wears a size 7-8). The sleeves are a 3/4 sleeve, which is good for that age as they always keep their sleeves bunched up. It's very warm and washes/dries very well in our machines.

I'm home!!!

I got out of the hospital yesterday at lunch time. Yay!

I got my final IV antibiotic at 6 am that morning and the wound was looking really good. I'm glad I stayed one more day. After I got my shower, I got dressed in my street clothes. All the nurses and doctors laughed when they saw me.

J and I went to get M from extended day early and we went out to eat at a nice restaurant locally. The steak was heavenly.

Since M got some good Mama-time in, I decided to go to SnB last night. It was lots of fun and it was nice to be able to be with PEOPLE! My days of solitary in the hospital has taken a bit of a toll.

Oh, and my dog Mel missed me, too. He's been glued to my side ever since I got home and has been really pushy for petting.

I got my first sleep in my own bed last night - oh how wonderful to not be woken up in the middle of the night for a blood draw or a vital check or another IV infusion.

It's good to be home.

FO-Fair-Isle Baby Halter (Modified Katja)

Here's the final halter top I finished while being in the hospital.

Pattern: My own, but it's a modified Katja.

Yarn: SnC: Hot Blue, Hot Pink, PnC: Brown

Needles: Size 5

Things I'd do differently: I would re-position the chest area so they wouldn't be placed together so closely. I'd also knit the I-cords with a two stitch instead of a three stitch. They seem a bit thick for a wee one.

I'm thinking about writing up the patterns for this halter and the other halter. Anyone interested?

Monday, May 28, 2007

FO-Katja Baby Halter & Striped Baby Halter

Since I have the time, I wanted to do a quick knit for a baby shower coming up next weekend, so I pulled out my tried and true cotton yarn and knitted this up:

Pattern: Katja from Knitty, size 12 months

Yarn: SnC: Hot Pink, PnC: Brown

Needles: Size 7

Okay, I didn't swatch for gage on this one, so it ended up going to my 5 yo daughter who insisted on posing for this picture. Yes, the hand is on her hip. Instead of purling the same color, I purled with the brown.

Here's another attempt:

Pattern: Modified Katja from Knitty, size 3 months
Yarn: SnC: Hot Pink & Hot Blue, PnC: Brown
Needles: Size 5

I did get gage on this one, but the size is not for a 3 month old, it's more for a 2 yr old. The modifications to the Katia pattern include, knitting two row colors (no purl rows) in the round and adding the ruffle on the bottom. I just love the way this turned out.

Spider bite - Warning: Icky

Here's a photo of the worst it got:

This is how it looks today.

Reviewed: "Daemon" by Leinad Zeraus

When my husband asked me to read this book and review it, I was a bit skeptical.

"It's written by a game programmer so it's supposed to be very industry related," he said.

Well, after that glowing endorsement, I wasn't so thrilled. But reading the description on the back of the book intrigued me enough to acquiesce to reading it.

I'm really glad I did.

Have you ever read a book thinking that you'd like to see it as a movie? This was that kind of book.

Jon Ross, one of many well fleshed out characters in the book, is a contract employee to an insurance company. He shows up in another department because one of the workers has called him over to ask for some help. A virus has hit the company and is sending out large packets of information out into the Internet. Could Jon help explain what was going on?

So starts a series of mysterious events that were triggered by a news release regarding the death of a prominent game programmer.

What I liked about this book is that there isn't one main character that you follow. There are several.

Pete Sebeck is a local sheriff who is called in on two separate homicides - both men worked for the same company as the dead game programmer. Both men were murdered by some type of remote controlled devise hooked up to the Internet.

Then there is the contemptible Gragg who ends up becoming the enabler to the Daemon. Gragg was an identity thief who was chosen by the Daemon through the playing of an on-line game. Gragg won and the story of how he was tested is a good one. The description of the game play was realistic and really good.

Anji Anderson is a reporter whose good looks are keeping her from reporting real news. It's strange how she ends up in the right place and the right time to be able to report and manipulate the news.

Ultimately, the Daemon raids corporations and holds them hostage, massacres Spammers (while gruesome, somewhat gratifying) and ultimately builds a secret society. Each member is awarded points/power which establishes where they are in the society's pecking order.

The lines between good and evil seems to be well drawn out, but become questioned towards the end of the book. People you considered good become evil. But is evil really evil or is the Daemon just taking back the power of the people from the corporations of the world?

If you haven't guessed by now, Mr. Zeraus has successfully teased out a sequel with the ending of the book and I can't wait for it to be published so I can immerse myself into his intriguing world again. This book is a fun read.

Still here

Well, it's Monday and I've slept in the hospital for four nights now. I'm bored stiff. I've watched the whole season of Friday Night Lights -which was really good, BTW. I've also finished knitting two and a half halter tops.

As far as the bite goes, I'm doing okay. I have one more night to go as the wound is still warm to the touch and red. The idea is that I didn't respond so well to oral antibiotics and would possibly end up coming back to the hospital. So we decided to have another 24 hour go around of IV antibiotics.


Friday, May 25, 2007


So, I followed up with my doctor on Monday because the red had spread and I was running a low grade fever. I got some type of antibiotic shot and another prescription of a new anti-biotic.

Doctor said to come in on Wednesday. By Wednesday, the infection had spread about a full half inch outside the original pen markings made in the ER. I got yet another anti-biotic and a new line drawn. I was to come back in on Friday unless any changes were made.

I woke up on Thursday with a blister on the dark area and the infection has spread - again. So I went in to the doctor's office and they said I had to go to the hospital for IV antibiotics. Go straight to the hospital, do not go home.

So, I'm in the hospital getting IV antibiotics. Last night was the first night I got a fitful sleep. I did find out that I'm allergic to hydrocodon - it makes me itch all over.

This morning the redness has turned to pink and the infection hasn't spread. I'm still in a little pain, but it's manageable. It's nice to have a clean gown and to be able to walk around. I'm definitely here for another two days - Sunday we'll have the results of the blood culture. This will tell them what type of bacterial infection I have. Hopefully I can go home shortly after that. Ironically, my doctor will be the same doctor as J had when he had a blood infection.

I saw M & J yesterday afternoon. I tried to be very positive and up beat when she was here. J said she's doing okay. According to J, s-She went to school wearing all of her favorite things: fuzzy pink long sleeve shirt, orange shorts, and her baseball socks with pink crocs. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bleh - Serious Spider Bite

On Saturday, right after I put on my jammie bottoms, I felt an itch - you know, similar to an itch you get from a mosqito bite.

Sunday came and I was fine until the afternoon. The itch had escalated to a full blown pinch. Just imagine someone constantly pinching your skin. I was finally in a place where I could look at it, and the redness was the size of my palm and there was a bruise in the middle.

J said he saw a brown recluse in the living room - which is where I was bitten. :(

So I decided to go to the emergency room on Sunday afternoon. They gave me an oral anti-biotic and a pain killer (or Rush Limbah pills, as J calls them). The nurse drew a circle around the infected area and told me if the redness increases, to follow up with my doctor as soon as possible.

As luck would have it, I got a low grade fever and the redness started to swell the next day. So off to the doctor's office I went. I got some type of antibiotic shot and another course of antibiotics.

Here's what the injury looks like right now.

This is located on the back of my right knee and is very uncomfortable right now. I have a follow up with the doctor tomorrow at 10 to see if I need to get plastic surgery. The nurse is very concerned that the wound has not opened up.

So, folks, don't forget to shake out your clothes before putting them on!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What a deal!

The end of the school year is quickly approaching and I have to find something for the teacher's end of school present. The dishcloths were well received, so I decided to knit some up. To add to the present, J stumbled across a great deal (NAYY):

Bath & Body Works has 4-packs of their Anti-Bacterial Collection Soap, Hand Gels, and Lotions on sale for $10 each. Buy three 4-packs and use coupon code LUXURY10 to get twelve items for $20 + $7 Shipping. Alternatively, use the $10
off $30 printable coupon
at a Bath & Body Works store to buy 12 for $20.
(Good till May 14th, 2007)
It's also Mother's Day so I whipped out some MDK Ballband Warshcloths to make some more Dishwashing Diva's (These are going out the my MIL & SIL):

Monday, May 07, 2007

FO-Chemo cap & PICC sleeve

Pattern: Pi Topper Chemo Cap
Yarn: Esprit (2194 Aegean Sea)
Needles: US Size 7

The pattern calls for one ball, but I wouldn't have been able to knit the flap if I didn't have some extra. This pattern was fun to knit - very quick.

Pattern: PICC Arm Band from KnitPicks
Yarn: Joann's Tesoro (Superwash Wool)
Needles: US Size 7 (the pattern calls for US 5. I also only cast on 44 stitches)

Friday, May 04, 2007

I've done a lot in a year and a half

Another knitting list that's been floating through the knitting yahoo groups.

Mark with bold the things you have ever knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch

Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with bananafiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn

Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items

Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool

Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads

Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers

Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I hate punishing her

Every Friday night we switch off making dinner with some friends. The girls are good friends and we're pretty compatible with the couple.

M spilled orange juice on their carpet last Friday. D yelled about it and M told her not to tell. GOAM found the orange juice stain on Monday and got the story from D.

I am horrified. I found out about it last night when I went to SnB.

So this morning I asked M about the spilled OJ. She denied anything happened. I then told her that GOAM told me that she found the stain and D told her what happened.

So. M did three things wrong:

  1. Spilled the OJ and didn't tell anyone about it.
  2. Told D not to tell (D is one year younger and is easily manipulated)
  3. Lied to me when she was confronted with what happened.

Bleh. I don't want a sneaky kid. I was a bit of one and find it very challenging to overcome as an adult.

So, M got three punishments today.

  1. No TV for a week
  2. No computer for a week
  3. No participating in the Fairy play today at extended day.

She was most upset about not being able to participate in the Fairy play.

I was upset that she lied, damaged people's property, and manipulated a younger kid. Where does she get this? Do we all make our way though life and make these mistakes?

Since the Fairy play occurs in Extended Day, I went into talk to the teacher regarding what was going on. She said that they play video's just before nap time. I asked her to take M to the admin office.

I feel that I am a fairly strict parent and can be very controlling. I definitely have internal dialogues constantly to determine if what I'm demanding of M is really serving a purpose or am I just being controlling.

In this case, she needs to learn a lesson.

I am so sorry GOAM. If there's anything we can do, please tell me.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Book Review: Stardust

This book really should be classified as a Young Adult book.

Synopsis: A young man falls in love and goes in search of a falling star to win her love. The falling star falls in Fairie and our hero goes and rescues her. Of course, there are others in search of the star, too (the star is a woman in Fairie) so it's a race to find her.

It was ho hum and read like Cannonball Run in Fairie.

I like NG's comic book stuff, but his books have really not set me on fire. I've read several.

The reason why I wanted to read this one is because it's a going to be released as a movie this summer.

Christ Wheels

Look what I saw while driving around today: Big wheels keep on rollin'!

All I can think of is how much these cost. Wouldn't Jesus have wanted the person to feed the hungry instead?