When I started knitting about a year and a half ago, I didn’t care about doing anything fancy – I just wanted to knit scarves, hats, mittens and … socks. The scarves, hats and mittens were relatively easy to learn, but, oh boy, the socks. I tried making a pair early on in my knitting experience and gave up after knitting a pair that was basically not wearable. I waited awhile and tried again and yet a third time without good results. At this point, I gave all of my sock/fingering yarn to my daughter who keeps me in gorgeous socks and figured I must have a mental block that kept me from doing what so many knitters consider an easy project.
Last week, I decided to give socks another try when I noticed a pattern on Ravelry called Easy Peasy Socks (“designed with the first-time sock knitter in mind”) by Stacey Trock. The pattern calls for yarn and needles that would produce a gauge of 6 stitches/inch and I used #3 needles and baby/sports weight yarn to make mine. I use only circular Magic Loop needles (circular with a long cable) and I was actually able to follow the pattern and make a pair of socks! Stacey issues a warning: “This pattern is annotated with lots of helpful hints & notes … it’s sorta like a transcript of what a sock class with me is like.” And it’s how I felt as I followed along – it was like a class with a very student-friendly teacher.
My big problem has always been the heel flap and gusset, and I was able to do this reasonably well.
I’m now in the process of adapting the pattern so that I can make it with a longer leg length, longer ribbing and in a fingering/sock yarn. I want to devise a formula that will allow me to make this very nice and “easy-peasy” sock in any size I want and using any needles or yarn that I choose. More on that later.
Here is Stacey’s free pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/easy-peasy-socks-for-first-timers
This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in 2015 on a wonderful site called Natasha’s Palace. It’s worth a visit there to see all of the great and unusual recipes she has. The original recipe is here:
My daughters and I love this dish, especially if I can use some flavorful Honey Baked Ham leftovers.
Ham, Pear and Goat Cheese Pasta
¾ cup bowtie pasta
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 Tblsp. garlic, minced
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and sliced
One cup chopped cooked ham
1 tsp. oregano
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 Tblsp. butter
4 oz. goat cheese
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente, drain
In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion slices, sprinkle with salt/pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent but not brown.
Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add pear slices and ham and cook until heated. Stir in oregano and salt/pepper to taste. Stir in butter and drained pasta. Add goat cheese in small lumps and stir gently until cheese has melted.
When I decided to learn to knit in January of 2016, I was interested in making easy, practical items for several charities. One of them was Knit Your Bit for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. All of the information is here:
In addition to information, there are patterns on this site to use to both knit and crochet scarves. I knew from my daughter’s experiences from past years that red, white and blue scarves were very popular and that is what I’ve been making.
Recently, though, on the Knit Your Bit Facebook page, I found a pattern for a scarf that has the colors and designs of a National Defense Service Medal. This medal is a decoration presented to recognize all military members who have served in active duty during a declared “national emergency”. It is an easy garter stitch striped scarf and interesting with the addition of bright yellow.
To find this pattern, go to the Knit Your Bits Facebook page and search for National Defense Service Stripe Scarf to get the free pattern for a scarf 6 inches wide x 71 inches long, knitted in worsted yarn with size 9 or 10 needles. Nice item to donate to the museum’s program or to give to your favorite veteran.
I found this recipe, adapted slightly here, on a cherry orchard web site in 2013 (page no longer available).
I just got around to making the wraps and they are really good, quick to make and have some vegetables included along with the tangy dried cherries. I’ll be making these again.
*Instead of tortillas, I used some great flatbread I found in the deli section of my grocery store.
Dried Cherry Wraps
1/2 cup non-fat lemon yogurt
1 tablespoon honey Dijon-style mustard or honey-mustard dressing
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (8 ounces)
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onion
4 (8- to 10-inch) whole wheat flour tortillas, tomato-flavored flour tortillas*
Whisk together yogurt, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Gently stir in chicken, cherries, carrot, cucumber and green onion. Mound about 3/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla or flatbread, leaving space all around for folding . Fold in top and bottom and fold over each side, placing wrap seam-side down on a plate. Cut into 3 portions. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Yield: 4 servings
This is another pattern from designer Marianna Mel on Ravelry.com. The pattern was written to fit a baby of around 3 months, but I used #7 needles and Premier acrylic yarn (color – Cake) to make a dress to fit a baby 6-9 months old.
The dress buttons in the back.
This is a good pattern for an advanced beginner and turns out so cute. It should do well going into the spring months for the South Dakota Pine Ridge baby who receives it.
See Ravelry.com for information on the Lakota group, The Children of Pine Ridge.
I enjoy making baby and toddler clothes for the Lakota/Sioux Children of Pine Ridge in South Dakota. A group called the Sacred Shawl Society collects items through Ravelry.com for young mothers and their children who come to a shelter to escape abuse at home. They can use all kinds of warm knitted items for both mothers and babies.
Marianne Mel on Ravelry.com has so many free patterns for baby sets that are relatively easy for an advanced beginner and turn out beautifully even with limited experience. This little set is in a newborn size using size #6 needles and DK (baby yarn/sports weight) in variegated pastels. I had a chance to use three vintage buttons (always happy when I can find 3 to match in my huge tin of old buttons).
The cap is a basic design sized for a newborn.
Here is the link to the free pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fleur-baby-cardigan-jacket