Catch Up

This past weekend was a busy one.  Jess and Louis brought Rosie up and Gram and Pop came over and we all had a picnic. Jess and Louis have two little dogs; Sadie, a silkie, and Millie, a cocker spaniel, which meant we say neither hide nor hair of Persephone for two days.

IMG_2687    IMG_2688

Rosie has learned to talk quite a bit and was jabbering all the time. Her favorite word is ‘baba’ which means -to her- Grandpa, bathroom and her baby’s bottle. Baba is chinese for ‘father’ and her aunts on her mother’s side use it to refer to their father as Baba, so she now calls both of her grandfathers Baba. She liked playing with her lacing boards.


While we talked she did her string thing while I did mine.

I finally managed  to carve out some time for the Blanket. I got about four squares done. I tried out the yarn I got from China a few weeks ago.


I also bought a skein of Patons Kroy Socks.


It’s 75% wool and 25% nylon. I can’t wait to try it out. I mordanted the cotton/bamboo yarn I’m planning to de with birch bark. I have off Friday so I’m hoping to dye it then.


Yesterday I picked some violets


and tried to make dye out of it. I figured it would make purple. I actually got a dark green.


(Pantyhose is a great strainer for plant material. It’s clean -I promise!)

I loved the color though so I decided to try it anyway. It didn’t absorb any of it, the yarn, a wool I had spun a while ago, wasn’t even tinged green. I’m not sure if I didn’t have enough (Probably) or that it wasn’t mordanted or that violets just don’t make dye. I’ll probably try it again with more and a mordant eventually.

I went to Kmart to pick up some more seeds and ended up with Onion seeds and two easter egg kits that were 90% off (the total for the egg kits was 38 cents). I finally planted the Lavender, Chamomile and Fennel in pots I threw myself.


I’m working on another project but I’m not sure whether I’m going to submit somewhere so for now it’s a secret.

Due to the wonderfully reliable technology I was unable to participate in the end of Blogging week. So I’ll try to catch you up on what I missed.

Here’s one tool I couldn’t live without; my swift. I actually built it out of Tinker Toys. I wound up the yarn for Podster 2.0 last night and it worked great.

IMG_2700  IMG_2701

I one year from now I would like to have ten patterns published. I know that’s quite a lofty goal but, hey I like challenging myself.

Yarn Day

4KCBWDAY5 Something A Bit Different It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. You may choose to create a podcast, or vlog, create a wordless post or write in verse. You’ve already stretched your wings with an infographic, now it’s time to freestyle. You can post on any topic you like, but be sure to post in a style different from your usual blog presentation.

Eskimimi Makes




Feeling Blue

Today’s assignment is to write about our favorite color for knitted projects. I would have to say my overall favorite color is purple; but when I knit I like to use blues and purple’s equally. People have been telling me that blue brings out my eyes my whole life. I suppose that’s why I’m drawn to blue; it just seems to be a ‘good’ color even if the project isn’t for me. When I use purple it is almost always in a project for me. I just like it. No real reason behind it as far as I can tell. Although purple has blue in it, so maybe that’s why?


Notice all the blues and purples. Also, the two yarns I ordered from China are blue.


Not for me, but blue!



Also not for me but it’s blueish



These have blue AND purple.


Flo finished

Rosie’s elephant is blue.



The One Skein Wonder Sweater is also blue.



Finally, Tychus is blue, too.



Wow, some of these projects are from right when I started this blog. But blue really is a color I’ve been working with a lot. As I was adding the pictures I was surprised by the number of project’s I’ve made with blue in them. It was more than I had originally thought. Even the yarn I ordered for Podsters 2.0 is blue. Actually it’s similar to the shade of blue Rosie’s elephant. I guess I’m just a blue gal. What colors do you like to use?

Deciduous Again

I seem to be having a hard time getting these posts up before the assigned day is quite over. Anyway, Day 2, the assignment for today is to pick a mascot project. Eskimimi defines a Mascot project as:

“a project that embodies that house/animal…. either of the animal itself or something that makes you think of the qualities of that house.”

I went onto the Ravelry project page and was surfing around thinking about what my perfect project would be. After some thought I came up with fingerless glove. They are quick and practical. I decided that I’d use Deciduous as my mascot project since it is something I designed and am rather proud of. IMG_1948


Fingerless gloves are quick enough to hold even my attention all the way through. Especially if they’re knit on large needles like Deciduous was. I get enough use out of them that I feel like I’m making something useful . They can be as fancy or as plain as you want. There are an endless number of ways to construct them; flat or in the round. The sleeves could reach all the way up one’s elbows or stay at mid forearm. Really they are quite customizable with cables or lace. Instarsia or beading.

Here are some links to other fingerless glove patterns I liked:

Spatterdash Wristwarmers by Dagmar Mora

Fightin’ Words by Annie Watts

Kelsey Gloves and Mitts by Silka Burgoyne

Busy Bee

See this cute little Badge?

I’m taking part in The Fourth Annual Blogging Week hosted by Eskimeme Makes. I’ve chosen my “house” for today’s post. She describes bees as:
“The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.”
If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time you know this is true. I have several W.I.P.s that probably will never be done. I decided to take take today to describe all my U.F.O.s and my plans for them.
Podster Gloves

I only have one finished minus the hood. It is way to big so I’m going to frog it and try again with different yarn (I just got an email today that cascade is having a 60% off sale. I’m going to see if I can find anything there.). I wanted nice gloves all winter and these would be perfect but this just isn’t the yarn for it.
Umbilical Cord

Umbilical cord was a major lesson in gauge with cables. I ended up buying something for the friend it was intended for it have languished ever since. I don’t really have any plans for it other than to frog it.
Cable Dress and Hat

Cable Dress and Hat is one project I don’t plan on frogging. It is perfect movie knitting. I just haven’t been in the mood for cables but I am planning to finish it (someday ;)).
the Blanket

The Blanket hasn’t really been growing lately but I am planning on carving out some time this weekend to work on it. I have everything I need to try and make the pink and brown yarn I’ve been planning to dye.

You may have noticed that Kumpel wasn’t in my list of U.F.O.s. That means they are done! I worked on writing up the pattern per the weekend but I’m not quite done yet. I’ll leave you with a picture of them.



Last night I was experiencing a serious case of second-sock-syndrome (or in this case slipper) I did manage to get this far though.

The second slipper on top of my sketchbooks. More on them in a bit.

The second slipper on top of my sketchbooks. More on them in a bit..

I decided to call this pattern Kumpel which is German for “pal or mate”. It sounds better than freund which means “friend” in German. I like to say it. Kumpel. Go ahead say Kumpel just once. It’ll make you smile; I promise. I am planning of finding a tech editor for this pattern because I want to do some grading and make these slippers available to everyone. From baby or toddlers all the way up to adults. I might come up with another flower option as well.

I am ordering my yarn for the April/May Design it! tonight once I get home from work. I’m thinking some Berroco…  Last night I had all the yarn picked out for the project I was originally going to make, but then, it didn’t seem right. Ya’ know? So then I started going back through my current sketchbook and I realized; there are tons of designs in there! Some are pretty crappy and never need to be cast on. Ever. But others weren’t so bad. They were mostly baby sweaters, the perfect little project if you ask me. Not that I have any little babies to knit for anyway. Rosie is hours away and not all that little anymore. 😦 After I got done rediscovering all of my old ideas and designs I decided to exhume my first knitting sketchbook.  More child sweaters. But I decided that I wanted to knit something to wear this summer.  After much deliberation I ended up deciding on a project I have been wanting to make for years. It has never ever got off of the drawing board.

I’d also like to congratulate Cathy on winning the March Design it! contest  with her  wristlet design. I follow her blog so go on and say hi.

Dandelions and Dafodils

I’m not a person who likes to buy yarn online; I like to smell it and squish it to death. But simply because of the lack of time I have, I have been buying it online more often. I jus received two skeins of sock weight yarn all the way from China. The shipping was free, that’s what hooked me on them. I don’t remember what the Ebay site said about them, and both the ball bands are in Chinese.


The birch bark dye isn’t looking very pink so I moved it outside to get a little more sun.


I went outside to see what was growing. I got rather carried away. I took pictures of our spindly little dogwood (I think that’s what it is…) tree,


a very determined daffodil


and this cute little flower that popped up right in the middle of our yard.


I finally did dig up some dandelions. I wanted to make red dye  from the roots but from  my research European Dandelions are needed so I’ll try making green from the leaves; there weren’t and flowers yet so no yellow.


I really do think a yellow cotton dress is in order. I’d probably order one of the internet since I can’t sew at all it seems. I’ve been working on Jojo’s slippers and I started the heel this afternoon.


I picked up the stitches from the cast on edge and I’m going to decrease it a little bit to keep them on her feet. The pink and  blue will pop with the white. On the flip side, I’m hoping, the white will keep the colors from being overwhelming. Saturday I was in an antique store and I stumbled upon this teeny Spinning wheel. If you move the treadle it actually will move all the parts. It is, believe it or not, a pencil sharpener.



Spring seems to have finally arrived. The peepers have started up their sound which won’t stop until fall. I can keep my window open in the afternoons. I don’t need a jacket when I take the dogs out in the morning. You can hear the motorcycles pounding down the back roads surrounding the lake and our house. For the first time in months I turned the radio -a constant in our house- down so it could play second fiddle to the outside noises. This weather has come about rather suddenly. It had remained sunny but frigid all weekend and then yesterday morning when I took Wilbur and Coal outside at six I couldn’t help but notice that the air felt softer, not as icy, and I didn’t need the coat I had forgotten inside. (Hey -I was tired. I hadn’t even had any coffee yet.) When I got home that afternoon I noticed that some flowers had opened up. I grabbed my camera and snapped some pictures before the light faded. I actually remembered to set the camera to the foliage setting so they turned out pretty nice.


Copyright Cleo Lititz 2013


Copyright Cleo Lititz 2013

Even Persephone got in on the action. Copyright Cleo Lititz 2013

Even Persephone got in on the action.
Copyright Cleo Lititz 2013

I’m glad I got them when I could, five minutes after I was done it clouded up a bit. This morning I took a bowl of loose ends (mostly from the Blanket) I have been collecting for a month of so now out and put them out on our front porch railing. Hopefully they’ll help the birdies make some nests around the yard. I’ll have to check the bird boxes and rafters of our pole shed and pavilion in a couple of months.



I’ve been working on Jojo’s slippers. I finished the first sole last night. I’m not sure quite how big to make them, she’s taller than me so I’m going a little larger than my feet but I’m not sure how much larger to go. I’m just winging it and hoping it looks good. If not I can frog it. There isn’t much of a deadline. They just need to be done before June when she goes back to Germany.


Status: First Row

I admit I didn’t finish the first row of the blanket. Wednesday was one of those day where I didn’t want to do anything- not even knit (yeah, one of THOSE days). It was about nine PM before I actually touched my Dpns. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work on the blanket, I was just in a funk. Anyway back to Wednesday night. I finally cast on for the last two squares and by Thursday afternoon I had them both finished (Ok, almost finished).


I connected them together and got to work on the second row. I think the Blanket might be at the point where it is no longer a good traveling project. I’m taking it with me today, I’ll just have to see how it goes.  I’m considering doing Status updates, every friday. Similar to what Shelly Kang did, she only posted about her Blankie on Fridays. Would you rather I do that? Let me know what you think.

I decided not to enter Jojo’s project into the April/May (Two months to work- imagine what we can accomplish in double the time! Cue evil laugh here. ;)) Design it! project. It just didn’t me the prerequisites. I’m knitting the soles separately and picking up stitches to form the top and sides. The blue is going to form flower motifs on the front. Just perky and girly enough to match her bubbly personality perfectly.


The forum is up now to vote for last month’s Design it! challenge. There are some pretty cool ones this month. Check them out. Feel free to vote, just click the “Love” button.


I have a few more pictures of Slouchy Hat! (Which I have renamed The White Cap. Clever eh?)



 The wind was blowing so hard I was afraid it would rip it right off of my head and into the lake. The White Cap is also now available on my patterns page and is now listed on Ravelry .

Yesterday I wanted to get creative. So I dyed what I had leftover from the Bunny Hoppers with Kool Aid. I pretty much just dove right in, I had no idea what I was doing whatsoever. I heated up some water and mixed in the packets. (I confess- I added some food coloring to each color, I was afraid the color wouldn’t stand out enough.).



Then I let the yarn soak in the dye for about an hour (it had reached the color I wanted). Then I took it out

IMG_2473 IMG_2479

 and rinsed out any excess Kool Aid. I discovered that glass bread pans work great for this. Then I hung it up to drip dry.


This is once it was dry.

The pink is a little bit lighter in reality than the picture. I wish I could describe more of what I was planning to do with it but I might be entering this in April Design it! contest once the thread comes up. All of this Kool Aid experimentation makes me wonder why people drink this stuff…