Monday, March 31, 2008

Out Like a Lion

My mother was right, March came in like a lamb (I am arguing with her on that point) and so it will go out like a lion. We are expected to get 8 inches today. Lesson learned: listen to your mother!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Fill-In

1. Some relationships are meant to end.
2. My daughter's band concert is the last concert I saw; it was fabulous! Those kids are so talented! The kid playing the sax did an awesome job -- very talented.

3. Spring should be here already! I am impatiently waiting.
4. Oh no! I forgot to drop off my daughter's Kindergarten enrollment papers!
5. I've recently started working out again.
6. My alpacas never fails to make me smile.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to an opportunity to sit down with my hubby and watch a movie or just chat, tomorrow my plans include going to the circus with the kiddos and Sunday, I want to knit!

Want to play along?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oops, I did it again!

I just couldn't help myself. I ordered another loom knitting book! Crafter's Choice has Isela's latest title, the Loom Knitting Pattern Book on pre-order and it will be ready to ship on May 1st. Considering how quickly the Loom Knitting Primer book sold out, I decided it was best that I jumped on it and pre-ordered my copy ASAP. If you don't want to wait forever and a day, I would suggest you hurry to your favorite online book seller and pre-order your copy today!

I am, despite little help from my hubby (he is way too busy to help with the kids most days), starting a new exercise program! It has been awhile since I was able to work out (I tried about a year ago and kids just kept prohibiting my efforts). I was very consistant with my workouts prior to becoming pregnant with my youngest daughter, Amanda. Well, Amanda turned two in December and is at the age where I don't have to watch her every second of every day. She plays for longer periods of time. I have decided it is time for me to devote some time to myself for a change. I have a nice treadmill that I have, up to this point hardly used. I get so bored usually with the treadmill and it is still too cold (let alone too muddy) outside to go for walks here. Plus, I couldn't really do that anyway because an adult still needs to be in the house with the kids, so the treadmill is my only alternative. To aleviate boredom I got a bright idea last night, I dug my portable DVD player out and pulled out my trilogy of The Lord of the Rings series and decided to watch while I walk. I walked for a half hour last night and almost didn't want to stop because I got into the movie! The whole series should be a great jump-start on my exercise program.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday? Well, almost.

Image edited (Thursday, March 27, 2008 for clarification.


Celebrating Woman's Day 2008 - Today's Prize Drawing

Celebrating Woman's Day 2008 is in full swing! Today features lots of great audios to empower women. Stop by for a chance at today's great Prize Giveaway: Learn How to Make Viral Videos donated by Marie Ynami and a Graphics Package (header/banners/buttons) donated by To enter, all you need to do is stop by and leave a comment on the blog. To triple your entry, simply blog about the Giveaway and link back to the blog post! How easy is that??

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday's Toot

I announced this on my post yesterday, however, I did some more work on it yesterday and accomplished some things that I just couldn't accomplish this past weekend since it was just driving me crazy and I just couldn't figure it out...I set up my new pattern blog and figured out the code for the Pattern RSS Feed! This was no small feet since I kept getting XML errors! No matter what I did, I kept getting the same error. Then, when I figured out one error, I got another one! Arrrrgh! I am really excited about this since now you can sign up for my Pattern Feed and have new pattern download links delivered right to your inbox everytime I add a new pattern! How exciting is that???

Monday, March 24, 2008

I have a new patterns blog...and I won a contest!

My ever growing collection of personal patterns have a new home -- Creative KJ's Patterns! My list was getting longer and longer and I realized I needed to spend some time and put them into their own blog. I spent most of the weekend (almost kid free) creating a new home for them. I am still adding patterns and have many more I've designed within the past two weeks, so bookmark it and check back soon!

More news! I won the cool contest put on by The Purling Dervish. I won some wonderful Wooly Wonka! Since I have NEVER won a thing in my life, I was shocked! Oh, wait, I just remembered, I lied, I did win $90 bucks out in Las Vegas, I sat down at a slot machine and the first coin I plopped in won! Which reminds me! I won't be going back out there in April like my hubby promised. His work is kicking in and we won't be able to go ;-(

Have a great day!

Friday, March 21, 2008

My First - Fill In Friday

1. My first fill-in Friday is so exciting!
2. Strawberry fields sounds like it is summer, yeah.
3. A nice hot cup of joe sounds like it would taste delicious!
4. Why does chocolate make me feel so good?!
5. The ocean is something I've always wanted to see.
6. It's sad when it is spring here one day and the next day (like today) it is snowing and bitterly cold out again.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a Honey Weiss, tomorrow my plans include going up north to see how far the cabin is progressing (we are building one) and Sunday, I want to have a nice relaxing Easter Dinner!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Looking for the Sun

I have to admit I've been pretty sad lately. The loss of my friend has been very hard on me. My children are heartbroken and very sad. We all feel as though the sun won't shine here again. I even saw the Schwan's man today and this wonderfully kind man knew who my friend was because he used to see her every other week when she worked in our home. He too was saddened by her passing. He said she was such a sweet lady.

In order to pull myself out of my grief, I've been working on lots of patterns. I am tossing around the idea of making them into a book. I even checked into self publishing them with a company called Trafford Publishing. Their publishing packages are definately doable and it is definately a dream of mine to be a published author. I even have several children's books I could publish with this company too. I would need to illustrate them myself, of course, since I couldn't afford to hire out an illustrator.

I have also have been needle knitting to try out new techniques to convert over to my looms. I fell in love with the reverse stockinette and regular stockinette to create patterns on my cloths rather than using stockinette with purls to get pictures. It creates what looks like an embossed image and I just love the look of it.

One of my goals for this year was to learn cables on both my looms and the needles. I posted a picture of my success story on my loom (thanks to Isela's wonderful Cabled Mittens pattern) a while back. I sat down and started working on the Inspired AllOver Spa Cabled Cloth in the March 2008 issue of Creative Knitting Magazine, and finished around the time of my friend's death. Other than a few small (barely noticable) mistakes, it went fairly well. I of course had to go out and find a book with more cables for knitting needles onces I finished it. I checked out a book at the library called The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches from Reader's Digest, with lots of cables for me to try :D

I must be getting better with my needles since they have been what I reach for lately. My March Loom Along pattern is still sitting on my loom and I don't have much desire to finish it! I will be heading to the doctor today so maybe I'll bring it along and work on it while I wait.

I am the designer for the May Loom Along on the Loomin' Dishcloths group over on Ravelry. I have the pattern picture designed, I am just working out the technique for the loom (it is a needle knitting technique). I am crossing my fingers it works out! If not, I'll think of something so it is super fun to knit up! Hope to see you over there!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Spring in MN?

Yep! It's a big old muck hole!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Loom Knitting Q & A

This thread is currently on my loom knitting yahoo group KniftyKnitterLooms. I've found it very interested so I decided to post my Loom Knitting Q&A here for your enjoyment.

What drew you to looming?
I learned to needle knit so long ago I don't know for certain how old I was. I can verture to guess I was around 8 years old or so. I have a very distinct memory of showing my aunt that I knew how to knit and she asked me if I knew how to purl yet. Of course I took that as a challenge and had to learn how to purl. I put down my needles and picked them back up many, many times over the course of the past 30 years or so for various reasons, mainly for a lack of time. I also have had many arts and crafts related interests and those various creative endevours took up my time and attention. I took up loom knitting because it had been so many years since I had needle knit that I was very rusty at it. Then one day my sister brought me to this darling little yarn shop that was about 5 miles from my house (about a year and half ago) I spotted these plastic round things and she right away said that her friend's daughter was using them to make hats and she really enjoyed using them. I picked them up and inspected them. Since my knitting needles were long ago packed away and in storage, I decided to purchase a set (I didn't buy them there, but bought a set a day or two later in town at a larger store). I of course was hooked and couldn't get enough of my new found hobby "loom knitting".

What is the your next must have loom?
A Wonderloom from DALooms.

What is your favorite thing to loom?
I pretty much enjoy loom knitting any small project that I can get done and admire. I don't get into long and envolved projects. I get too bored with them and can't finish them. My favorite FOs are socks/slippers made on the blue KK since they don't take long to make.

What's the next item you really want to learn how to make?
Well, my goals for the year for both needle knitting (yep, I picked them up again too over the past year) and loom knitting were cables. I already learned these for both needles and the loom (not an expert by any means but I am confident I can read most patterns written for cables on both the loom and needles), so now my goal is to learn how to knit lace on both the loom and on needles. I also want to needle knit this cute t-shirt from Mag Knits. I of course want to make my own graph. Once I learn to needle knit it, I would like to make it on the loom and make a graph that says "I loom knit, therefore, I am".

Is there anything you've tried to make and ended up giving up on?
I tried lace but had too many projects going on and had some patterns I was working on writing that I put it down and it is still sitting on the loom I started it on as a UFO.

Was there anything you thought you'd really goofed and ended up loving?
Not yet:)

Whats your favorite yarn to work with and why?
Alpaca! Because I have five of them running around in my back yard! LOL!

Do you make most of your creations with the intent for them to be

That seems to be the case. I have kept very few of my FOs.

Do you have a tip or advice to pass on?
Don't worry if a pattern doesn't make sense. Trust the pattern and try what the pattern designer wrote out first and if it doesn't turn out then give them a holler. Usually patterns don't make sense until you do what it says, and then, aha, you do it and it is all clear.

What other crafts/hobbies do you enjoy?
I love fine art. I have a degree in graphic arts and have worked as a designer/illustrator for more than 15 years both for companies and freelance. I love cake decorating and designing, website design, crochet, writing, reading, photography, spinning, felting (needle and wet), and just about anything I can get my hands to make my mark :D

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My best friend died yesterday

Ever since I found out I haven't stopped crying. I cried all night. I was thinking of her while I slept (although I know I slept very little) and when I woke up there were tears in my eyes still. My children loved her so very dearly also. My stepdaughter told me last night she was like another mother to her. She was the Godmother to my two little girls. She was my spiritual mentor; someone I laughed with; someone I cried with; now there is a hole in my heart where she belonged.

I want to write about this. I want to find my words and let some of this anguish go.

My friend walked side by side with the Lord during her life. She let anyone and everyone know how strongly she felt about her Savior and trusted in Him completely. Despite the heartache of watching her children from a previous nanny position move half way across the world to Australia, the Lord sent her to our family. She didn't want to be a nanny again, her heart ached still from missing her first two children she cared for. God called her and she came to us. We hired her as our nanny for our children while I was pregnant with my daughter Paige. My husband had just gotten full custody of his three children, and we also had my son. My pregnancy with my daughter Paige was a very rough one, I was on bedrest for most of the last trimester and I ended up having Paige taken via c-section when I was 38 weeks.

Sheila and I became instant friends. We even shared the same middle name, and we both favored the color purple, and we even said the same table prayer. We were the best of friends despite our 20 year age difference.

Sheila nannied our five children until the Lord brought David, the man she married (she was previously widowed), into her life. We had a hard time seeing her go. She did so many wonderful things for our family. Our son Sam (my stepson) benefited the most from her presence in our family. He suffered from a condition called sensory defensiveness. He ate very little when my husband got custody of him, and what he did eat was nutritionally imbalanced, Sam was deathly ill. She was the one to get Sam to eat. As a result, Sam flurished in her care.

My friend always had a smile on her face. She was quick to laughter and rarely got angry. She would talk your ear off if you let her. The only time she was quiet and without words was when she wasn't feeling well. She prayed without ceasing. She prayed for me and for my family constantly. I feel guilty for not remembering to pray for her as much as she did for me.

Sheila never had children of her own. She was pregnant a few times, but each time she miscarried. She had always wanted children. This is the main reason why she wanted to be a nanny.

My friend had the singing voice of an angel. She was very gifted musically. She even sang a solo at my youngest daughter's baptism.

I am happy for my friend. I know she is is up in heaven meeting her babies for the first time. I know she is back together with her first husband and I know she sitting down chatting it up with the Lord. And when she can, I know she is singing with the angels. She is free from pain and she has left this horrible nasty world behind.

Goodbye my friend, may you rest in peace.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Signs of Spring?

Isela posted on her blog signs of spring in her hometown. She asked us to post pictures showing signs of spring on our blogs. Are there signs of spring here? Well, not quite. In a few days though I hear it is suppose to maybe get up to 40 degrees! Wow! Bikini weather! Well, in Minnesota anyway! LOL! I did spot a mud puddle forming by the garage when I went to bring my daughter to school today. There was a little melt off of snow from the garage roof, that's all ;-(.

I am still getting these terrible dizzy spells. I am just miserable with it. One minute I am fine and the next minute I am falling over. I got up in the middle of the night about two weeks ago and thought I was going to die. I was so light headed and faint. Then I got a sharp pain in my pelvis and got really sick to my stomach (probably from the pain). I have lots of things I want to design, but I keep sitting down to work on them and get so dizzy (I did get three more graphs done but haven't written up any directions yet). I can't look at anything for very long. I did start needle knitting a cabled dishcloth because that was one of my personal goals for this year (learn cables on a loom and on the needles). It is turning out just gorgeous! I made a little boo boo though on one of the cables, I didn't have my working yarn in the right spot (it was behind the cable needle in back rather than in front of it) so I have a thread wrapped around one of my cables. Must have been a dizzy spell! Oh well, I'll still use it though.

The March LAL on the Ravelry Loomin' Dishcloth Group is in full swing. A couple people posted pics of their finished cloths. They all look fabulous thus far! Great job everyone!

I don't have any pics of signs of spring. I sure wish I did. I am a summer girl all the way. Since we haven't had enough snow to snowmobile, I'd rather have spring.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Freebee Friday - St. Patty's Day Dishcloth Pattern

Just in time for Saint Patrick's Day, my gift to you, a loom knitting Shamrock dishcloth/afghan square pattern. Enjoy!

Shamrock Dishcloth
By Karen Gielen

Knitting Loom: Fine gauge loom or Dishcloth Rake with a minimum of 35 pegs.
Yarn: Approx. 200 yds 100% cotton medium/worsted weight yarn.
Notions: Yarn Needle, Scissors, Crochet hook

Cast on 35 sts (clockwise on a round loom or left to right on a single sided rake).
1. K35
2. P35
3. K35
4. P35
5. K35
6. P35
7. K35
8. P4 K27 P4
9. K35
10. P4 K27 P4
11. K35
12. P4 K13 P2 K12
13. K35
14. P4 K12 P6 K9 P4
15. K35
16. P4 K12 P8 K7 P4
17. K35
18. P4 K12 P9 K6 P4
19. K35
20. P4 K12 P3 K3 P3 K6 P4
21. K35
22. P4 K12 P3 K3 P3 K6 P6
23. K35
24. P4 K12 P3 K3 P3 K6 P4
25. K35
26. P4 K12 P3 K12 P4
27. K35
28. P4 K12 P3 K12 P4
29. K35
30. P4 K4 P3 K5 P3 K5 P3 K4 P4
31. K35
32. P4 K3 P5 K4 P3 K4 P5 K3 P4
33. K35
34. P4 K2 P7 K3 P3 K3 P7 K2 P4
35. K35
36. P4 K2 P8 K2 P3 K2 P8 K2 P4
37. K35
38. P4 K2 P9 K1 P3 K1 P9 K2 P4
39. K35
40. P4 K3 P9 K1 P1 K1 P9 K3 P4
41. K35
42. P4 K4 P9 K1 P9 K4 P4
43. K35
44. P4 K3 P9 K1 P1 K1 P9 K3 P4
45. K35
46. P4 K2 P9 K1 P3 K1 P9 K2 P4
47. K35
48. P4 K2 P8 K1 P5 K1 P8 K2 P4
49. K35
50. P4 K2 P7 K1 P7 K1 P7 K2 P4
51. K35
52. P4 K3 P5 K1 P9 K1 P5 K3 P4
53. K35
54. P4 K4 P3 K1 P11 K1 P3 K4 P4
55. K35
56. P4 K7 P13 K7 P4
57. K35
58. P4 K7 P13 K7 P4
59. K35
60. P4 K7 P13 K7 P4
61. K35
62. P4 K8 P5 K1 P5 K8 P4
63. K35
64. P4 K9 P3 K3 P3 K9 P4
65. K35
66. P4 K27 P4
67. K35
68. P4 K27 P4
69. K35
70. P35
80. K35
81. P35
82. K35
83. P35

Crochet bind off. single crochet in between each loop join. Weave in ends with yarn needle.

Copyright 2008 Karen Gielen for personal, non-commercial use only. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What are you loom knitting?

Just for fun...a loom knitting meme. What have you made with your loom? What do you do knitting/fiber related? Copy and paste the following meme into your blog and link back to me by commenting to this post.

What I've made on my knitting looms and what I have done knitting/fiber related:
Afghan - no
I-cord - yes, I have made hair scrunchies with them
Garter stitch - yes, all the time with the dishcloths I make
Knitting with metal wire - no
Shawl - no, on my list though
Stockinette stitch - yes, constantly
Socks: top-down - yes, several
Socks: toe-up - no, but intend on doing a pair soon
Knitting with camel yarn - does alpaca (a camelid count?)
Mittens: Cuff-up - yep
Mittens: Tip-down - nope
Hat - lots
Knitting with silk a fine strand with wool for socks - no
Moebius band knitting - no
Participating in a KAL - Yes, but we call them LALs
Sweater - no, my dream project
Drop stitch patterns - no
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn - yep
Slip stitch patterns - yes
Knitting with banana fiber yarn - no, banana what?
Twisted stitch patterns - yes, ewrap anyone?
Knitting with bamboo yarn - no
Charity knitting - yes, I knit squares for the VT shooting afghan, many chemo hats, threads of compassion scarves, and more
Knitting with soy yarn - no
Cardigan - no
Toy/doll clothing - no
Baby items - no
Knitting with your own handspun yarn - yes
Slippers - yes, just made two pairs
Designing knitted garments - yes, gloves with fingers and half finger gloves
Cable stitch patterns - yes, just made a pair of fingerless gloves with cables
Lace patterns - no, I started a dishcloth with lace patterns but didn't finish it
Publishing a knitting book - no, it is my dream
Scarf - many
Teaching a child to knit - yes, my stepdaughters
Knitting to make money - no, not yet
Buttonholes - no, I tried and I failed :D
Knitting with alpaca - yep!
Fair Isle knitting - yes
Dying with plant colors - no
Knitting items for a wedding - no
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…) - lots!
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) - yes!
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn - yes
Holiday related knitting - yes
Teaching a male how to loom knit - no
Bobbles - yes
Knitting for a living - no
Knitting with cotton - yes!
Knitting smocking - no
Dying yarn - no
Knitting art - yes
Fulling/felting - yes
Knitting with wool - yes
Textured knitting - yes
Kitchener stitch - yes
Purses/bags - yes
Knitting with beads - no, sounds fun though!
Swatching - yes, the dreaded swatching, I'd rather not!
Long Tail CO - yes
Knitting and purling backwards - huh?
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn - yes
Stuffed toys - no
Baby items - didn't we ask this one already?
Knitting with cashmere (mmm, cashmere!) - no
Darning - no
Jewelry - no
Knitting with synthetic yarn - ummm, urrrrr, yeah
Writing a pattern - yes
Gloves mittens are warmer! - gloves
Intarsia - yes
Knitting with linen - no
Knitting for preemies - no
Short rows - yes
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers - yes
Pillows - yes
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine - yes, Loom Knitters Circle Mag!
Rug - no
Knitting on a loom - uhhh, yeah!
Knitting a gift - yes
Knitting for a pet? - no
Shrug/bolero/poncho - no
Knitting with dog/cat hair accidentally or on purpose? - no
Hair accessories - yes
Knitting in public - yes
Knitting with buffalo yarn - no
Knitting with pygora - no
Dyeing with food dye/drink mixes - no
Dyeing with chemical dyes (acid, etc) - no

Play along if you like.

Adapted from the Knitting Meme.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A month of birthdays, March dishcloth LAL, and getting my feet wet with cables.

My little Princess Paige turned the big 5 on February 27. We had her birthday party this past weekend since my parents need to come from far away so they make a weekend of it. Poor dear had the flu on her birthday and was so sad, she wimpered to me "oh, why do I have to be sick on my birthday?" We partied it up this weekend though and she forgot all about being sick on her actual birthday.

Here birthday cake was inspired by a cake in 50 Easy Party Cakes by Debbie Brown. I have been battling the flu too so I didn't have time to really think about her cake this year. Paige helped me out and picked out what she wanted so I made it for her. We don't use gum paste over the whole cake though since no one really likes the taste of gum paste in our family. I just used it for the cell phone, eyeshadow, eyeshadow applicators, blush, blush brush, lipstick, and flowers. The rest of the cake was made with homemade frosting. It went together quickly and turned out just darling!

Here is Paige with Kim, Lexi, Sam, and Kaden. Our sixth child, Amanda, was sleeping and didn't get into the picture this year.

February was also the month to celebrate my Dad's birthday (February 5th) and my mom got a bithday this year too...yep, she's a leap year baby! She turned a whole 18 years old on Friday, February 29th. For my dad, I knit up a pair of the the Plushy Slipper Socks by Isela Phelps from the January LAL on Ravelry. For my mother, I knit up a pair of cabled fingerless mitts using the cabled mittens pattern from the February LAL on Ravelry. I added the mini cable to the top of the mitts and just love how they turned out! I am so in love with cables now I can't get enough of them. Perhaps I should knit up something from Isela's Learn to Knit Cables on Looms now that I got my feet wet and I have actually made something with cables. They turned out to be EASY AS PIE and not at all as difficult as I was making them out to be!

I am the designer for this month's LAL for the Loomin' Dishcloths group on Ravelry. This month everyone wanted to learn how to do colorwork in a dishcloth so I obliged. I thought I'd give everyone a jump start on knitting up Easter cloths and designed this adorable Bunnies In Love dishcloth for them. The skills everyone will learn with this LAL are intarsia knitting on a loom and reading a chart. With intarsia or colorwork on a loom, learning to read a chart is critical. Although I wrote the pattern out, anyone knitting up this cloth will soon find out that reading the chart is going to be a lot easier since it is a very visual process to do colorwork. From the chart you can see at a glance what color comes next and you can also see when you will need to add a new color or bobbin and if you need to get more yarn for a bobbin. If you are just following the written instructions, this isn't so apparent and will cause you a lot of headaches. Many thanks to the ever so talented Stephanie McElheran for test knitting this cloth for me!