What's In the Bag?

Here's how it works, people:
The more that people donate, the more I put into the Jordana Paige bag. I mentioned a lovely assortment of notions that I recently got for it, and then today I have found a cool knitting book and some delectable skeins to add to the enticement value. Here's a pic as it looks right now:
There are two skeins of maroon/rust Peace Fleece, two skeins of SWTC Oasis in variegated baby shades, a skein of Tahki Bunny in a kiwi green (ridiculously soft), and two skeins of a cool navy yarn from New Zealand called "Magic Garden" made of wool and acrylic, with a feel like cotton/rayon.

You will also see the little Knitting Answer Book, as well as a jar of Knit Wash and the other notions I mentioned earlier.

Do the women of Interim House need yarn?


Do you have extra yarn in your stash to donate?


Would you perhaps win this prize package by donating and having your name entered into my drawing?


When you have shipped your donations to Interim House,

Kathy Duffy, Social Worker
Interim House Inc.
333 W. Upsal St.
Philadelphia PA 19119

will you send me an email to let me know you did, so I can add your name to the hat?

Do ducks have feathers?? YES!

And . . . do you know my email address?

YES! It's above, on the right side of the blog page at the top.

Seems like we have this all sorted out, so it's time to get to it! ~Stacie

Paean to My Rosewood Needles

I love knitting, and I knit pretty happily with several types of needles, including my new Denise Interchangeables. But for sheer happy project knitting no matter what, it's these rosewoods, no contest.

I got them from eBay last year, and I have them in every size up to something like 30. Those are strange actually, like knitting with broomsticks, but they do the job. I don't have problems with different types of yarn not working well; everything knits up great on these. You will see the dangerously sharp tips--as long as I am careful, this is a huge plus. Even the Denise needles and some of my metal circulars aren't as satisfying as these.

I also have never had to sand them or wax them or anything--the finish is perfect.

Recently finished projects

I have finished a few things lately but not had the time to post them. First, remember that felted purse that I mentioned a few entries ago? It turned out great! Most of it is Paton's soy silk, with some plain brown wool for the bottom. I did three strands of I-cord for the handle and sewed them together and to the purse before felting. After a serious trim, the felted purse came out looking less like a psychedelic Malamute and more like a spiffy purse! I've even had a serious request for one in a series of teal shades. [Hey, requests? I'm ON it.]

I made a baby washcloth last week for a friend's shower in yellow Cotton Tots, and it was the perfect tie-on for the gift bag. I wish I'd taken a pic of it, but I did it freeform with the basic pattern I'd used for that tea cozy last week. I liked the feel of Cotton Tots and have some left over for future baby items.

Still working away at the baby blanket for Angelina, who is due around the first of April I think. It's an easy pattern but I still mess it up sometimes and have to tink a partial row (usually on the K1P1 row), but fortunately I haven't done anything worse. Got major progress done on it last night while watching an interesting foreign film (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis) which it turns out is old, from 1970. It was an early Nazi/Holocaust movie in that genre, so I think it was just beginning to touch on all the issues therein. But I was mesmerized and managed to knit without looking at my work much more often than usual. I had to be careful though (see above re: tinking).

My history with knitting

My grandmother taught me to knit when I was a child, on a car trip, but I was impatient with anything I wasn't instantly good at. Both my mother and my other grandmother were/are cham-peen knitters of the cables/bobbles, fancy edging, duplicate stitch, etc. school, and there was no competing with that, either.

In the early 90s, my MIL was visiting and working a sweater for a friend's grandson, and I got the hankering, but with no other needles save the ones she was using, I was stuck. I realized I did have some yarn that my daughters had been using for crafts and "finger weaving," so I pulled a pair of lacquered chopsticks out of the buffet and put them to better use as knitting needles, at least for that first night. I made a few dolly blankets for the girls (Rachel used to call things like this "softs") and then signed up to take a knitting class at a LYS now closed. The ladies were all business about teaching, and some were pretty impatient actually, but I learned Continental and started to get pretty good. After making the girls some small dolls and animals, and one very rudimentary vest for the baby, I drifted away.

Cut to two years ago, and I don't know what bit me, but I was knitting again, and BIGTIME. This time I didn't take a class but I have been learning steadily, all sorts of techniques, and while I am not an advanced knitter, I can see real progress since I got back into it. I love visiting my newest LYS, Purlescence, because when the yarn is so inspiring it pushes me to try new things.

Here are the latest things I've done
successfully: pick up stitches and knit them from the edge; a simple "cable" pattern that just involves knitting two stitches in reverse order and then slipping them off together; I-cord that looks right and works for various purposes; increasing and decreasing (still somewhat rudimentary on the increases but great oaks . . .); and felting various projects. Things that seemed impossibly beyond me just stop seeming so after a while, and I go at again and find that I can do it.

So that's me and knitting, a match made in heaven. Now I'm about to proclaim my love in traffic:

♥KNITNG! ~Stacie

Yarn can fly!!!

Did you know yarn can fly? Right NOW, 10 balls of Elann Sonata (thanks to Karen) and eight balls of several types from Melissa (not to mention the doodads and needles she included with her ab fab stitch markers) are flying to Pennsylvania so that people can continue their knitting projects. With this many skeins, people could knit a sweater! Now that would be a feeling of success for someone who probably needs a chance to see her capabilities. Speaking of many skeins of a certain type, I have some pink tweed that looks perfect for a sweater or felted slippers, and that is going this week to Interim House. If you wonder why I am waxing eloquent about yarn mailings, you have missed my CONTEST! Scroll down, and check it out!

Feb. 28 it all ends and some lucky person gets the Jordana Paige knitting bag FILLED with knitting goodies.

I gotta few notions to add to the JP bag!

Did I mention go-alongs with the Jordana Paige knitting bag someone will win in my contest Feb. 28? Yeah! They arrove today (finally) and are quite interesting. How about a yarn end weaver? Looks like it does a much better job than Stacie with her tapestry needle.

And some needle point protectors that look like little socks! So cute.

A cable needle and some stitch holders, all big--for big projects.

A nice black wooden handle for a felted purse project.

Some excellent and scentiferous Knit Wash with its own cool scooper.

. . . and a partridge in a pear tree!

OK, not that last part. That would be hard to ship. ;^)

How come you haven't sent me an email yet to tell me about sending a package of yarn to Interim House???

Oh! You haven't sent the yarn donation yet??? Well, no time like the present. And remember to tell me you have done it, so I can add your name to the hat. (Thanks, Karen!)

[in other news]
. . . From my StitchNBitch tear off calendar, I have gotten ideas for (read, hankerings for) some yarns I've never seen. Enter eBay, and voila! I have some Classic Elite Lush, an angora/wool blend that is so soft that it could make anything lovely for a child. And I have a child in mind, who is five and likes soft sweaters. Wish me luck!

I felted my purse and have gotten some magnetic closures that I'll figure out how to "install" soon. I am still working on a soft baby blanket for Pat's as-yet unborn Angelina. It's Elann Peruvian Highalnd Wool in a dusty rose. I'm thinking of sewing this knitted side to a flannet side and edging it with satin, but since the wool is not washable (I know, I know, and I've even had small babies in the house, (not to mention washed all their laundry) but somehow I keep picking regular wools for these projects!).

Ah well. Back to the English teacher life. Prep, grade, write comments for this grading period. I am sighing BIGTIME now. I haven't knitted since Saturday, and that only a little bit [hyperventilating now]. Hope you are getting to the kneedles and the projects more than I am!

Busy filling the Jordana Paige bag with goodies!

If only I had a camera tonight! I've gotten some lovely knitting doodads* to add to the gifties that will fill the Jordana Paige bag that I'm giving away Feb. 28. Scroll down to see the post a few days ago that details the contest--and go get a few skeins to send to the women of Interim House!

*Lessee . . . there's the cool "knit picker" that helps fix snags, the gauge measurer/needle sizer, scissors, some cool needle tip protectors (more like butt protectors from pointy needles lurking in the couch cushions!), yarn needles, and so much more! Crazycatladymel has promised me some of her outstanding stitch markers, which I know from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE are not only lovely but very, very functional.

What kind of knitter are you?

I took this quiz and found that I am a bona fide knitter now. Take it! It's an interesting yardstick for how far you've come!

What is your level of knitting experience?

You're a knitter. There's no turning back now; soon you'll have calluses on your index fingers and double-points rolling around on the floor of your car. There are still plenty of new things you can try, but you have the basics down pat.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Knit for Kids with Cancer--and Donate a Skein too!

Would you like to knit a hat or two for kids dealing with cancer? Here's a site that provides the info about the cause and where to send them. But plan to dig out your fun fur in the stash and use it all up, since these kids love silly, fuzzy chemo caps. Come on, a hat takes less than an evening, and you will feel so great!

BTW, have you cleaned up your stash so you can send a few skeins to Interim House in Philadelphia? The women there find knitting a positive experience and a great part of their recovery from addictions. And we just love knitting because it's soothing in an average-busy sort of life. So rummage through your stuff, pee-pul, and send a little care package to them. And then email me about what you sent them, so I can promote your generosity here on my blog. ;^)

My handiwork in action

Check out the entry just below this for details on my Jordana Paige contest--I'm looking forward to filling it with all sorts of knitters' nirvana and sending it to one lucky winner on Feb. 28!

Now, on with the show!

Monica loves her tea cozy and keeps her teapot warm at school with it.

Here is Adele in her new sweater on her way to some German adventure.

And this is Mr. Max in the stocking cap I knitted him in the fall. He doesn't LOVE it, but tolerated his mother's whim long enough to let her snap this pic of him. She says she'd wear it if it were a bit bigger! (Now that's a true friend. Wear a stocking cap of these colors!!!???)

Did someone say "Jordana Paige" bag???

Ain't it purdy?

Presently holding four
projects in various
stages of completion.

This bag is in tip-top condition, has all sorts of creature features (sorry, no seat warmers though . . .;^) and it could be YOURS on Feb. 28.

Scroll down to my n
ext entry for details!

Do you like being a WINNER?


To start the new year out right, I am holding a contest for Interim House in Philadelphia. This is a 6-month rehab facilityfor women, with both in- and out-patient programs. Their social worker has added knitting (and crochet) to the therapy schedule, and it is hugely popular. Hmm . . . wonder why! Check out the blog linked above so you can see how much they are accomplishing and what progress the beginner knitters are making. I am amazed and thrilled at the varying experience levels and I LOVE those felted totes they're into now. Maybe I can get them to share the pattern with us!!!

You can see why this is a great opportunity to spread the knitting joy. They have tons of enthusiasm and guidance (and the interns are learning alongside them! woo-hoo!). What they don't have funds for is the raw materials--mainly yarn, but also knitting needles, crochet hooks, etc.

Here's how my contest will work:
1. Gather a few skeins from your stash (you know, the one spilling out from that closet, or off of that shelf) that would make great gifts.
2. See if you have extra needles or crochet hooks that you can spare.
3. You can create a kit for a specific project if you like, but it's not necessary.
4. Write a postcard or a short note from your neck of the woods--the ladies enjoy hearing from people all over the country, or even the world! Tell them if you knit or crochet (or both) and what projects you like to do best.
5. Box them up and address your care package to:

Kathy Duffy, Social Worker
Interim House Inc.
333 W. Upsal St.
Philadelphia PA 19119

6. Now here's the contest part. When you have sent your package winging its way to Philly, email me that you did, and give me some idea of what you included. I will put your name in a drawing that I will hold on Feb. 28. Should your name be the one I pull out, you will win--Vanna, tell them what they'll win!

[corny voiceover]
A knitting bag from Jordana Paige!
--brown, capacious*, and well-designed!
Several skeins of excellent yarn!
--none of it acrylic, all of it delicious (what are your favorite colors? least favorite?)
Notions galore!
--let me know if you mainly knit or crochet
Super secret extras too numerous to mention ,
--but some of which are highly caloric (and of course edible ;^)

*can you tell I teach English????

So . . . um, what are you waiting for? Go to it! You know you want to win!

Help! Felted mistake!

Voila! I made an alpaca hat that was a little too big for DH, so I tried gently washing and carefully drying it. Nada. So then I decided to felt it and stretch it back into shape. Bad idea. All the stretchin' in the world won't make this more than an outsized yarmulke. And he is not into that. So I need help! Can I knit a ribbed brim and then attach it? But how?