Monday, June 30, 2008


Green symbolizes: life, nature, fertility, well beingGreen is the color of nature, fertility, life. Grass green is the most restful color. Green symbolizes self-respect and well being. Green is the color of balance. It also means learning, growth and harmony. Green is a safe color, if you don't know what color to use anywhere use green.

Green is favored by well balanced people. Green symbolizes the master healer and the life force. It often symbolizes money. It was believed green was healing for the eyes. Egyptians wore green eyeliner. Green eyeshades are still used. You should eat raw green foods for good health. Friday is the day of green. Green jade is a sacred stone of Asia.

Green Energy
Green contains the powerful energies of nature, growth, and desire to expand or increase. Balance and a sense of order are found in the color green. Change and transformation is necessary for growth, and so this ability to sustain changes is also a part of the energy of green.

Put some green in your life when you want:
~a new state of balance
~feel a need for change or growth
~freedom to pursue new ideas
~protection from fears and anxieties connected with the demands of others

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Color knitting always seems more complicated than knitting in one color. But, as with many things, it's all a matter of practice. Working with several balls of yarn is bound to be more awkward than working with one, but it needn't be difficult. I always promise myself that I will learn something new with each project. The knitting technique that I’m learning now is intarsia.
Along with learning a new knitted technique, I also like to know a bit about the meaning of the technique. The word "intarsia" (in-tar-zha) comes from the Italian intarsio, or inlaying (usually wood). In knitting, the term refers to the integration of isolated blocks of color into a project.

Intarsia is knitting using a separate piece of yarn for each of the areas of color, linking them together as you work across the row. It frequently leads to a large number of pieces of yarn dangling from your work; I found this to be somewhat intimidating at first.

Charts are very commonly used with intarsia knitting, and it is very important to keep track of where you are. The Party Parka’s chart is very easy to read because the blocks of color are counted by rows and the color changes are charted in blocks of color (very intarsia 101).

When I linked the sections of color together, I worked along the row as usual until I come to the place where the next color change was to begin. With the OLD color yarn on the wrong side of the work (where it would naturally tend to be unless doing something fancy), I placed the OLD color of yarn over the top of the NEW color, before I pick up and started working with the new color. I also held the new color taunt before I knitted or purled it to make a tight join without holes. There is definitely an art to get good tension in intarsia knitting.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008



In a previous post (If at First You Don’t Succeed) I wrote about the disaster of a sweater that I was knitting for my cousin’s baby that was due in January. Well, the little made her entrance into the world at the end of January. I still planned on sending her a knitted item.

In early March my cousin sent some pictures of her precious bundle and she is a beauty.
Her name is Victoria and I have given her the nickname “Princess Victoria”. I gave her that nickname because anyone that knows my cousin knows that she is a woman that wants things her way or it’s on way at all. I told my family that the new addition would change some of that and she has. Princess Victoria is running things in the house and it just makes me laugh.

Anyway, once I saw a picture of the new member of the family I knew that the sweater I was knitting (or planned to re-knit) would not do. I began looking for another garment that would just look darling on our Princess. While looking at a post on, a knitter posted a beautiful picture of a sundress that she made. I knew that it would be lovely on Victoria.

This was a pleasant little project. Knitting doesn’t get much easier than moss stitch, the shaping was quite simple, and being that it’s baby-sized, it knit up quickly. I used Plymouth Yarns Jannee, in a Chartreuse color. I have grown quite fond of this yarn. Relative to other high-end yarns, it’s quite inexpensive. And it’s very pleasant to work with.

Pattern: Buttercup Sundress
Book: Cozy Knits for Cuddly BabiesMaterials: Plymouth Yarns Jannee 51% Cotton/49% Acrylic

Needles: US7/4.5mm Addi Turbo

Monday, March 31, 2008


"All you need is your own imagination
So use it that's what it's for
Go inside, for your finest inspiration
Your dreams will open the door "
Madonna Vogue Album: I'm Breathless

"The way or fashion of people at any particular time; temporary mode, custom, or practice; popular reception for the time; -- used now generally in the phrase in vogue. "

When the new Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting 2008 arrived at my LYS I just had to have it. I’ve had a great time reading and looking at the patterns these past few weeks. It is a very good issue, well done with lots of good ideas and interesting patterns. I love this knitting magazine above all the others. There are more exciting knittable and wearable items per issue than I have seen in the competitors. The pictures reflect what I plan (at least in my head) to make.

One thing I particularly like about Vogue Knitting in general is the emphasis on fashion as opposed just to knitting. There are all kinds of knitting magazines and all kinds of knitting information, some trendy, some traditional. I think traditional knitting skills and patterns are great, but what I often see in knitting magazines is that they are often not particularly geared to what is going on in the world of fashion. Vogue also gets my applause for featuring so many plus-size patterns that I would actually make and wear.
Now I know that fashion is not for everyone, and not everyone is interested. They don’t need to be. It is true that what most people wear in their day to day lives has little to do with the world of fashion. But I find it interesting. I like the way this issue combines traditional knitting patterns and skills with some very interesting ideas that are pretty trendy and stylish. Also most of the patterns are technically interesting and wearable, at least in some variation by someone. I think there is very little here that someone wouldn’t want to try. In fact I can envision someone wearing almost everything here, not necessarily me. Taste is so variable, as is style.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Yes it did! My Ravelry invite came today and unfortunately I haven’t had the time I want to get everything set up. I signed up on the 16th of March, so the twelve day wait wasn’t nearly as long as I thought it would.

Tonight after my knitting group, I’m going to search the site a bit more. So far I have seen that there are places to share projects, patterns, your stash...I can't wait to search through the site more!

Anyway, if you are on Ravelry, too, feel free to find me. My username is dreamsherl.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Tune: "Frere Jacques"
Cold winds blowing, It is snowing.
But I don't care, I don't care.
I am snug inside. I am snug inside.
Let it snow. Let it blow.
Jean Warren

It began at 5PM today. It’s snowing again. Where is the spring weather?

Friday, March 21, 2008


Just about any knitter can tell you what scientific research has been trying to prove for years: knitting is therapeutic. It's not hard to get lost in the soothing, repetitive movements of fingers, yarn, and needles. Knitting has been compared to meditation in the same relaxing qualities it produces.

I admit to picking up projects after a stressful day. Even if there are no hassles to wind down from, just the simple act of knitting helps to calm my mind and body.

Sometimes I knit when angry and, as a result, my tight stitches remain as a testament to that strong emotion, it's nearly impossible to continue to feel uptight when I continue to knit. As I create, as the yarn evolves from one long string into an actual item--whether clothing or accessory or swatch--I can feel tension being released.

I knit during all times of my live, happy and sad. I nearly always remember what was going on during a certain project, especially if the circumstance was unusual. It's not uncommon for me to recall that a scarf was knitted after a breakup or that a blanket was made after a death in the family. These objects can have emotions knit into each stitch.

But why knit during these sad and stressful times?

When I knit, I’m focusing on what's in my hands. Even though my thoughts are still present, there's something being created by me, something that's also calling my mind to it so I’m not solely concentrating on my sadness or stress.
Whether making something for myself or something to comfort someone else, the act of knitting gently forces my attention elsewhere. The bonus is that I’m creating, I’m making a thing of beauty, so unlike eating chocolates after a bad day or tuning out in front of the television, and I’ll have something to show for it.

I’m usually able to knit during more happy times than not, but like many other knitters have discovered, this cherished hobby becomes more than just a pastime during the more difficult times in our lives. Knitting may or may not be "the new yoga," as it's been said, but it's a gift that you can keep with you forever.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


What is Ravelry?

It’s all the talk over at Knitting Help and on just about every knitting blog that I visit. Knitting Help (a knitting community it’s self) has a Ravelry thread.

Ravelry is an online knitting and crochet community craze, which appears to be a lot of fun. It seems that knitters can’t stop talking about them.

I have resisted joining this community because I couldn’t find a reason to join. I’m on Knitting Help most of the time and blogging and both have been meeting my needs. So, am I missing out on something? Will it take away from the time I spend at KH? Will it make me stop blogging? Well, I’ll never know if I don’t join. So I'm:

You are #127744 on the list.
5111 people are ahead of you in line.
1328 people are behind you in line.
94% of the list has been invited so far

Monday, March 10, 2008


Last month my sister and I were able to get out of town for a little rest and relaxation. We decided to go to Las Vegas. Now, taking any trip with my sister is anything but restful or relaxing but you will see a lot.

Now, being the knitter that I am I wanted to know if I could take my knitting with me on the plane? I checked the TSA web site to find out what was permitted on flights. To my delight knitting needles were allowed. I quickly printed out the information just in case someone tried to give me a hard time.

So, now we’re on the plane leaving Detroit Metro the flight loaded with the Vegas bound and my knitting. Not to long after take off, I’m knitting and talking to sis when the treat tray ramble down the isle and I find out that soda is free but not snacks. One 80g can of Pringles was $2, Yikes. Oh ya, did the seat on the plane get smaller or had my butt gotten bigger?
Once we land and go to our hotel (Luxor) sis and I get in a line to get our luggage held until we can check in. We’re greeted by a woman that I thought worked for the hotel but it was one of the many, many, many time share people that would terrorize that entire trip. We had a few hours before we could get into the room I figured why not. We went through 4 salespersons (saying no to each one) before we could get our freebies for just listening. We received two tickets to the “Knights of the Round Table” dinner show for $20 a piece (normally $58 a piece) discount for the “all you can eat” buffet at the Luxor and $75 in vouchers to gamble. Not bad for two hours of my time but I’ll never do it again.

The next day we walked to Planet Hollywood in Caesars Palace to pick up our “Power Passes” we bought from With these passes we were able to visit a varity of attractions for one price. Our two day passes were $97 a piece. I kept track of how much each attraction we went to would cost without the pass and we saved over $100 each and we didn’t even go to all of the attractions featured on the pass. Here are just a few of the attractions that we saw.

Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton
I had the most fun at this attraction. The two rides were very interactive. The museum was fantastic. A must see.

Madame Tussaud's Interactive Wax Attraction at the Venetian (Whoppi looked so real)

Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage
King Tut Museum at Luxor

Mini Hoover Dam Tour (Beautiful)

Liberace Museum (Lost my pictures but everything was so over whelming)

Now what good respecting knitter wouldn’t visit one of the LYS if they had a chance? I visited Wolly Wonders located on Tropicana Avenue. I chose that shop because it was a straight shot on the bus and they responded to my e-mail. I picked up some nice sock yarn (I’ve never made a sock) some Berroco Comfort, and some red KIM. I also picked up a pair of cute white birch needles.

Along with all of that we gambled a bit shopped a lot and had a great time. Viva Las Vegas.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


When I found out that one of my cousin’s and her husband were expecting, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to knit. Any time that I pick a new project, I look forward to learning some new technique or stitch. In this project I would be challenged to learn several.

I decided to try to make a lovely little sweater. The pattern was featured in a previous post (Time, Time, Time). This pattern offered me several new challenges. I had to learn how to make corrugated ribbing, picking-up stitches, making button holes, and a three needle bind-off.

I began with the corrugated ribbing that made the bottom band of the sweater. The CR was a breeze and fun. The body of the sweater had a bit of stranding in it but that was nothing new to me. The armhole and neck shaping was easy to follow. The sweater’s body is knit in one piece and the shoulders are connected with the three needle bind-off. Everything looked beautiful up to this point.

I know that by now you are wondering what went wrong, well I’ll tell you. Once the shoulders were connected, I had to pick up stitches to make the sleeves. It was a nightmare and when I was done with the sleeve, it looked like one. The pick-up looked horrible. I then decided to make it look even more horrific by doing the decrease on the top (outside) of the sleeve.

I completed one sleeve and continued on to the next. Again, I encountered the same picking-up nightmare and I still put the decrease on the top of the sleeve, duh. Still, I continued on with the neckband and the left front placket. I didn’t have any problems with the pick-ups and they both look just lovely to me, so why are the armhole pick-ups so janky (my word for stinky)?

I thought that I could do some repairs to the sleeve areas by whip stitching the area on the inside to make them look better, right, right? NO! My dear daughter looked at it and said, “Mom, don’t give that to anyone.” Well, with that simple statement, she had said aloud what I had been thinking all along in my head. I let go of my denial. I wasn’t alright with the sleeve attachment no the sleeves. There wasn’t any repair that I could do to make me happy with this sweater let along gift it to a precious newborn.

So, with that I sat the sweater aside to begin another project. Wait a minute; the new project was for my DD. You don’t think that she had an alternative motive? Hummmm.

My newborn cousin received some store bought items to celebrate her birth, but I have not given up. I do plan on making this sweater. I will not admit defeat. I’ll work on some other WIP in the mean time. We all know that is at first you don’t succeed…

Monday, February 11, 2008

Notable African Americans

Nikki Giovanni (1943 - present)

As an African American woman, Nikki Giovanni has written many revolutionary poems reflecting on the culture and heritage of her race. Spending much of her youth growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, Giovanni’s childhood has greatly influenced her writing. Nikki Giovanni, (Yolande Cornelia Giovanni is her given name) was born June 7, 1943 in Knoxville Tennessee. As a child, she attended an Episcopal school, and when it came time for her to start college, she enrolled at Fisk University. As a freshman, Giovanni was a very rebellious student, ignoring many of the school’s social rules. This attitude led her to suspension from the university before her first year was even completed. However, in 1964 she returned to Fisk, and her writing career began.

Giovanni was an active participant in many groups on campus that dealt with racial issues. This led her to write many articles for the schools magazine, Elan, and also got her involved in a great Writing Workshop. Giovanni was able to graduate from Fisk University in 1967 with a degree in history.

Shortly after she graduated, Giovanni set up her own publishing company and published her very first collection of poems, Black Feeling, Black Talk. Since then Giovanni has written many powerful poems and collections, as well as a few albums of her poems recorded to gospel music.

One of these recorded albums, “Truth is on its way”, was chosen Best Spoken Album by the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers in 1972. Mademoiselle also crowned Giovanni as Woman of the Year, and groups such as Psi Phi fraternity and PUSH have honored her for her wonderful work.

One of her most well-known poems, titled “Nikki-Rosa”, was inspired by her childhood. This poems examines the relationship between love and wealth, reflecting on how much love Giovanni was surrounded by as a child, despite her poverty. Another significant poem in Giovanni’s career is “Black Feeling, Black Talk”. In this poem Giovanni takes on a revolutionary perspective, promoting violence and illustrating the identity of her race.

Along with inspiration from black family culture, and racial issues, many of Nikki Giovanni’s poems showcase her strong faith in God, as well as womanhood. Blues music and rhythm are also key components of many of Giovanni’s pieces.

Giovanni is a remarkable poet who has written many valuable collections of poetry. As an African-American, her race, as well as her childhood and her womanhood, inspire much of her work. Giovanni has received many awards, and has been honored many times for her pieces. During her long career, she truly has contributed much to the world of poetry.