Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sheepy DPN Holders

Not too long ago we got these little cuties in a notions delivery at The Village Knitter. I thought they were adorable, yet pretty useless for me as I refuse to use dpns.

::open mouth, insert foot now::

Well, as you now know, I'm a dpn convert with these counterpane squares. It's just much easier to shape the early stages of the square on the dpns, says the die hard magic looper.

So now I've ben experiencing those old annoyances of using dpns: losing or dropping the fifth needle, stitches falling off the ends of needles, and accidentally pulling a needle right out of a side of my square. Nothing completely life shattering, but seriously annoying.  So I had an excuse to buy yet another cute accessory.

These are actually working pretty well.  Once a lot of stitches are on each needle, though, it really takes some maneuvering to get the needles lined up neatly to go into the holes the right way.

Seriously, don't even ask me how I managed this one.

All in all, a good buy for 8 bucks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Four Letter Word

Dpns. That is a four letter word for me.

Back in the winter of 2007, I was using dpns to make some fingerless gloves with yarn left over from a poncho.  I loved this yarn. It was beautiful and soft. 

The mitts were coming out great. Except the part where the needles met. That's when I learned about ladders (see here and here). I had bad ladders. All thanks to those stupid dpns. I mean, there was no way it was my fault that these gaps were forming all down the sides of my mitts. It had to be those needles.

That was when I swore to never use dpns again. Except for in cases of i-cord of course. But other than that, NO MORE dpns.

So really, looking back, it really probably was me. Than was back when I was still twisting my stitches when I knit. And I didn't have that much experience using dpns. And the yarn was probably a little too small for knitting on size 7 needles.

Now I've knit counterpane squares before. You may remember me starting these to make a scarf. Yeah, it's still not finished.  But I do know and have worked the technique before. With those squares, I was working them magic loop with no problems. But knitting up the first sample square for the Relief Counterpane Blanket was less than comfortable. As soon as I went to The Village Knitter again, I bought dpns for the beginning of the squares.

And I love it! Trust me, I'm the last person who thought that would happen, but it did. Which is crazy because I have been thinking for a few weeks that I should try knitting socks on dpns, even if just once. To say I could and have of course.

It is definitely much easier to get the squares started on the dpns for my hands. Being used to loooong circulars for magic loop, I have dropped  my needle here or there but, hey, it happens.

My mind is spinning for other uses for dpns now.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Our power came back on last Tuesday evening- exactly 8 days without power.  Ever since then, things have been a little hectic, but now they're getting back to normal.  I was even able to get some sewing done today- the first time in weeks!  Guess I won't be getting that Halloween project bag done for, um, Halloween.

But having power means I can finally post some pictures!

Storm?  What storm?  It's nap time!

Working on my BFF Cowl Swap link

Flooding started before the storm even officially hit us

Early Monday afternoon

This is why our power was out for so long.  But not WHY it went out

Next door

Somewhere under there is our telephone pole

Traffic lights out

Main Street, Babylon Village

Argyle Lake overflowing

Canal overflowing into the park

Flooding in Lindenhurst

I'm still so thankful that we ONLY lost power.  My heart goes out to those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed in the storm.  But at the same time, people are coming together to help each other.  And right now, that's most important.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just a Couple Things

Just a real quick post today. Power is back on at home! But there are still plenty without! Including on my block. The homes near where the tree fell on the pole are still out, as well as a couple others further down the road and the stop light at the end of our street.

Here's a bunch of places you can go to help out those affected by the storm:

Jan and Terry created this group: Squares for Comfort.  They're customers at the shop and wanted to expand on the square idea in a way to help others directly. So if you knit some Relief Counterpane Squares and don't like seaming, you can mail them to these ladies! They will assemble blankets and distribute them locally.

Next is another customer at the shop: Suzy. She's got a list of patterns and websites contributing funds to Sandy relief over at Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser Group. There's also lists of donation items needed.

Last for today is probably the fastest and easiest for everyone. Maria from Subway Knits Podcast is running what in the past has been a very successful fundraising campaign. All you have to do is donate minimum $5 to a charity and forward the receipt to her. You then have to post in the thread on Ravelry for a chance to win a donation incentive. And there certainly are a lot of prizes!

ETA 11/7/2012:
Jessica of the Knitting Brooklyn is hosting a KAL in conjunction with Squares for Comfort.  It will be running until 12/31 and there are PRIZES!

Monday, November 5, 2012


There are many reasons to love Starbucks. Today, I love them for their heat, electricity, and wifi. And that I can walk there. Because if you haven't heard, gas lines around here are INSANE.  I've heard of people waiting 8 plus hours. Not for me yet. I have no where that important to be yet. I'm really hoping power comes back asap since we're now expecting yet another storm this week.  oy

In better news, word is spreading about the Relief Counterpane Blanket. So far, 40 copies sold. That's $200 before whatever Paypal charges. I finished two squares and they're at home blocking. or possibly freezing. But they'll block eventually.

I changed it up a bit and added a contrasting color border. And if you didn't see the tweet, I made a mistake. While knitting my own pattern. Proof to be careful when knitting late at night and early in the morning. Whoops. But I don't think it's noticeable. I also have ripped back about half of my original square so that I could make it match the actual pattern (I modified the pattern post knitting and pre publishing) and so I can give it a matching border. I can't wait to get it done and seamed up. The pattern and Ravelry page need some good, proper photos.

Relief Counterpane Blanket
size US 7 needles
approximately 150 yards of worsted weight yarn per square
9 squares makes a small blanket

All of the proceeds generated by the sales of this pattern will be donated to Long Island Cares.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sandy Updates

1- We still have no power at my house.  Though I'm hoping that will change soon.  A pair of guys came to fix the gas at the yarn shop today.  One had a hole in his pocket and he was looking at our notions display for a needle and thread.  I told him we wouldn't have anything appropriate there, but that we had an emergency sewing kit in the bathroom.  They went to get everything set and came back into the shop afterwards.  So picture it:  He's standing there pulling on the pocket and I'm leaning over doing the worst sewing job ever just to get the pocket lining reattached to the jeans (my boss at the costume shop would have been so embarrassed!).  The conversation went like this:
Gas Man:  "How are things by your house?"
Me:  "We have no power, but gas runs the hot water, stove and oven, and we have a wood stove for heat."
Gas Man:  "Where do you live?"
Me:  I tell him the name of my town and describe where my neighborhood is.
Gas Man:  Blank stare.
Me:  "Where are you from>"
Gas Man:  "Syracuse."
Me:  "I have family in Tully!"  (a small town 20 minutes or so south of Syracuse)
Gas Man:  "What's the name of your street?"
Me:  I tell him.
Gas Man:  "Well when I see the power guys I'll send them that way and make sure they get you fixed."

Cross your fingers for me...

2- Grandma is finally out of the hospital.  I don't know how she weaseled her way into 2 extra nights there.  She tried to protest when we were visiting her Friday because she had not lights or heat at home and a doctor aggravatingly told her, "This is a hospital, not a hotel!"  But her house got electric back at 4 am and she came home sometime today.

3-  Relief Counterpane Blanket has sold 32 patterns as of my last check.  And OMG THIS!  Fangirl moment :o)  It's very handy when your boss tweets your pattern, and Kay Gardiner just happens to retweet AND buy it.  I love it.  You guys rock.  Keep it going!  If you haven't gotten it yet, use that button just down there...

Relief Counterpane Blanket
size US 7 needles
approximately 150 yards of worsted weight yarn per square
9 squares makes a small blanket

All of the proceeds generated by the sales of this pattern will be donated to Long Island Cares.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Oh, Sandy

As I'm sure everyone out there knows already, Hurricane Sandy came through our area like a beast.  There's plenty of devastation- floods, trees on houses, power lines down, homes just swept away.  I was lucky- we lost power but have a gas stove, oven and hot water heater.  And hey, I can knit by candlelight :o)

Unfortunately, not everyone I know was as lucky.  Family and friends have homes in varying degrees of being destroyed.  My grandmother had heart surgery within days of the storm and has no heat (electricity) to go home to.  Every shelter in the area is filled but many are sleeping in homes with no heat, power, gas or even a ground floor in livable conditions.

Bring in the fundraiser!  I've pulled a Kay and designed a simple square motif pattern to sell to raise money for Long Island Cares, a local food bank working their butts off to provide supplies for those in need in Sandy's aftermath.  Special thanks to The Village Knitter in Babylon, NY for providing me the electricity, Internet access, and amazing community it took to make this pattern possible!

Once you've knit at least 9 squares, they can be sewn together to form a small baby or lap blanket.  Add more to make a larger blanket.

Each square uses approximately 150 yards of worsted weight yarn.  Use more than one color to destash some of those leftovers :o)

Relief Counterpane Blanket
All proceeds to benefit Long Island Cares


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