30 July 2010

Mr. Sock Meets Lord Kitchener in Kansas City

The sock is complete! And for all you two-at-a-time-on-circular people, yes, I know, ONE sock is complete. I was pushing for a Kansas City finish line and just made it. I tried to get a photo of the sock with the "Welcome to Kansas City" sign, but it flew past us too quickly. (Or rather, we flew past it...)

So now we're home. Ashley is in the upstairs guest room for now. Her permanent residence will be my studio as soon as we can clear out some yarn, and books, and patterns, and loom, and did I say yarn? I'll have photos of that, even though the disarray in my studio is very embarrassing at the moment. But for now, it's just good to be home. Dave says he and I logged over 1600 miles in the last 5 days. (Five days and all I have is a few photos from the gate at an airport, and from the inside of a car. This was not a sight-seeing trip.)

28 July 2010

Mr. Sock is a Heel

Mr. Sock became a heel somewhere in Kentucky, or Indiana, or Illinois. Definitely before Missouri. Since this photo there's a finished gusset, too.

Let's see, I'm a day behind on our trip. Yesterday we left sunny Virginia Beach and headed west on I-64. In an 8-hour day we drove through Virginia, West Virginia and just into Kentucky. We might have made better time except for traveling with a 7-month pregnant lady and her beagle. Thank goodness there was Cullahan's Pub and Grill in Ashland, KY, AND the bartender could pour a really fine Black and Tan!

This morning we started out at 8:30 and were making great time until all traffic stopped. Not moving. Not creeping forward. Stopped. Then bit, by bit we started inching forward. At one point we were even with the cab of an 18-wheeler and I yelled up to the driver, "So, why are we having so much fun?" He answered, but with the cheek of chew and the noise of the engine I missed most of it. I did get, "...exit at 96 and get back on at 94." Well, there was promise with that, since exit 94 held the first Starbucks of the morning. Several hours later we passed the same truck, again. He must have gone beyond us during one of our many stops. Then miles and miles down the road we saw him pulled over by an Indiana State Trooper. Poor guy. And then, yet again, we passed him in Illinois. So, if any of you know a friendly truck driver for Magnum, who wears a straw cowboy hat, but he seems grumpy tonight, buy him a beer from us. (I'll be good for the money!)

I've never been through St. Louis and I was pleasantly surprised at how cool the Gateway Arch looks. It's fun that you can see it from miles away, and then I-64 passes right next to it. But where does everyone live? We drove 20 miles west of the city in heavy traffic the whole time. No one seemed to be exiting the highway, and we didn't see a single street of houses or development. Farmland, yes. Houses, nope.

So, tonight we are in O'Fallon Missouri, not O'Fallon Illinois, which is a few miles back. I thought it seemed like an extraordinarily long day, but the car clock said 5:20. Then it dawned on me that we were in Central Time, once more,so it was 6:20 to us.

Ashley has been fed. Joy, the beagle has been fed. Hopefully they can both get to sleep, soon. And that's were I'm headed. Missouri to Kansas City, then up to Iowa, and finally Omaha tomorrow.

27 July 2010

Mr. Sock Goes to Washington

I thought I'd make Dave happy and knit a pair of "Steeler Socks" for him since, as I've been reminded repeatedly, "Training camp starts this weekend." This yarn has been in my stash for several years (Lorna's Laces Bee Stripe Sock Yarn), but I've forgotten about it every year until football season is half-way through. At that point I'm doing the crazy-Christmas-knitting-dance, so I keep promising myself that I'll be more timely the next year, then the next year, then... Well, this is the year. The yarn is lovely to work with and he's thrilled . Here I am (okay, my left hand) at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, waiting to fly to Chicago-Midway, and then on to Washington Dulles:

I'm happy with the beginning. They'll just be basic stockinette socks with a k2p2 ribbing. Then next to me sits Sue who pulls these from her bag:

Swedish Fish Socks by Spilly Jane. Sue graciously allows me to capture her left hand and these yummy socks.

Oh, my...they're just too fun! I can't wait to get back home and get the pattern and yarn to make some for myself!

And now my little Ode to the Steelers socks are looking like a poor relation.

This is the trip to get Ashley and bring her to Omaha. She and Phillip are expecting their first baby in October, but he's being deployed next week. So little Caleb Patrick will be born in Nebraska with Grandma being the coach. Wait...what?

Maybe that's why I'm just concentrating on simple knitting. One stitch, one stitch, one stitch, change needle, repeat. More on Mr. Sock, Ms. Ashley, and training camp (!) to follow.

14 July 2010

Wicked Beautiful

Wicked: We had a big thunder/rain/wind storm just pass through here. At first it looked like we'd be between two storms, but they joined. Then it looked as if it would be a narrow band and pass by quickly, but it grew and grew. Some of the winds were clocked at 74+ mph. Then, as if that wasn't enough for the evening, the active lightning-producing storm south of us pushed it's edge right over us.

Beautiful: When things finally started to settle down at 8:30 P.M., there was still some sun off to the west, creating this...

...a double, complete rainbow. I wish I had a wide-angle lens. I couldn't capture all of it. The sky looks bizarre, but that was the real color at the time. We, like many of our neighbors were on our deck and front lawn, just staring at this sight.

Both arcs spread across the horizon from ground to ground. (One of the pleasures of living in the Great Plains. Massive vistas.)

Just had to share this awe inspiring moment.

12 July 2010

Hat With Heart

What was I thinking at the end of yesterday's post? Quit knitting?! Get serious! I might as well not breathe.

And so I present a new pattern, Hat With Heart:

Those who know me well have seen me knit quite a few of these for The Ships Project, a massive group of crafters who have hand made hundreds of thousands (really) of items for our deployed troops. I designed this pattern a few years ago and like the rapid decreases in the crown. Not only is it an easy-to-remember pattern (perfect for road trips or plane rides), it also has a contemporary feel.

Here's the free pattern. It's also on Ravelry here.

Hat With Heart

For many years I have joined hundreds of knitters who have knit thousands of hats for our troops through The Ships Project . This is the hat pattern that I developed and use. The military requires that there be no cuff, but there are many organizations that need hats for civilians, as well. Please knit a hat for someone you love, and then a hat for a stranger, whatever the cause, need, or group.


· Worsted weight yarn, approx. 150 -200 yds

For hat in the round:

· One 16” circular needle, size 8, or size required to get gauge

One set double-pointed needles, size 8, or the same as the circular needle

For flat hat:

· One pair knitting needles, size 8, or size required to get gauge

· Stitch marker

· Scissors

· Darning needle

Size – to fit average adult head, 20”-24” Gauge 4 sts/in, stretched slightly

Abbreviations & Stitches Used

CO – cast on; K – knit; k2tog –knit two together; p – purl; p2tog – purl two together; rep – repeat;

rnd – round; st(s) – stitch(es)

(Try this: 7-8 yds are needed for the decrease rounds/rows. Measure this amount from yarn end, tie a knot to mark remaining amount for crown. There will certainly be enough to complete hat.)

Hat (in the round)

CO 88 sts. Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. (Try this: Cast on one extra stitch. When joining in the round for the first row, knit together the last cast on stitch with the first cast on stitch. This makes a firm join without the usual “gap”.)

Place marker at beg of round.

Next Rnd: *K2, p2; rep from * to marker.

Continue with this pattern until the hat measures 8” for hat without cuff, or 11” for hat with cuff.

Decrease Rounds (change to double-pointed needles when there are too few sts for circular needle)

Rnd 1: *K2, p2tog; rep from * to marker. (66 sts)

Rnd 2: *K2, p1; rep from * to marker.

Rnd 3: *K2tog, p1; rep from * to marker. (44 sts)

Rnd 4: *K1, p1; rep from * to marker.

Rnd 5: K2tog for complete round to marker. (22 sts)

Rnd 6: K to marker.

Break yarn, leaving a 10” tail. Thread tail through remaining sts and pull tightly. Secure to keep crown tight. Weave in all ends.

Hat (flat)

CO 90 stitches.

Row 1 (RS): *K2, p2; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Row 2: *P2, k2; rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Rep Rows 1 and 2 until the hat measures 8” for hat without cuff, or 11” for hat with cuff.

Decrease Rounds

Row 1: *K2, p2tog; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2. (68 sts)

Row 2: *P2, k1; rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Row 3: *K2tog, p1; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2tog. (45 sts)

Row 4: *P1, k1; rep from * to last st, p1.

Row 5: K2tog across row to last st, k1. (23 sts)

Row 6: Purl.

Break yarn, leaving a 18” tail. Thread tail through remaining sts and pull tightly. Secure to keep crown tight. Seam down hat, using one stitch from each side as seam allowance. Weave in all ends.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved – Lynn Anne Banks

This pattern is provided for your personal, non-commercial use (don’t sell hats from this pattern at the Farmers’ Market!) and may not be resold. Please do share it, though, and encourage others to knit for charity.

I hope you enjoy this, and will consider knitting a "donation hat".

11 July 2010

Love the One (or City) You're With

It's been a glorious weekend in Omaha, starting with coffee and news on the deck:

No, I'm really not scowling. Dave wouldn't let me put on my sunglasses.

After reading all that the Omaha World-Herald has to tell us, we took a ride downtown to the Farmers' Market in the Old Market section of town. Lots of local vegetables, lots of bake goods (ooohh, baklava!) and lots of music. This was a group playing some Cajun tunes. They had high hopes with that large pail for tips!

The Old Market is filled with these old buildings (many of which were once warehouses) turned condos. And look ... a fellow sitting there playing the clarinet.

Great window boxes. (Excuse the No-This-and-That sign.)

And, finally, a shot of a small section of the market, itself. AND, another clarinetist! This young man is much improved since last summer!

Maybe I should give up the knitting gig and go to work for the Omaha Chamber of Commerce!

07 July 2010


Yay! A new pattern is finally out! I'm calling it Cubicle and have the pattern available on Ravelry. This has been a long time coming. The Silk Garden version was knit as my Knitting Olympics challenge. Then I thought it would be good to have a solid version. (Note to self: It's even more difficult getting a second afghan knit than a second sock!)

I love this color #84!

Now on to more...I have a bunch of ideas, and want to get started right away with a baby blanket pattern for Ashley's baby.

I hope everyone's summer is going along nicely. It's hard to believe that the first week of July is a thing of the past!