Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bargains 'n Blooms

On Saturday dear hubby and daughter went to the flea market. While wandering they spotted a box of yarn. Upon closer inspection dd noticed there was some Baby Alpaca/Lambs Wool 50/50 blend in it so she asked the price of the yarn and was told $5.00 for the box. It turns out there were 25 - 50 gram skeins of 165 yds each of the yarn. Fifteen of them are in Navy and 10 in Burgundy. It's made by Baruffa, which I've never heard of and I didn't find this exact yarn in my Google searches. It doesn't matter, the yarn is in good condition and very usable. There was a small amount of other yarns, a small crochet booklet, two crochet hooks and a set of aluminum double point needles in the box! What a bargain. I told hubby he hadn't made that many brownie points in a very long time.

Last night my Queen of the Night bloomed. I missed the first three blooms which I'm guessing bloomed the night before, but last nights blooms were as beautiful as ever. I was only a bit disappointed that all 5 buds didn't open at the same time. To the left of the top bloom you can see one of the spent blooms that I missed. Each bloom is about 10 inches across, and has a very beautiful scent that increases as the flower opens.

For those of you who've never seen The Queen of the Night before, it blooms once each year for one night only.

OTN; Cancer scarves which have gotten very little attention this week while we were cruising new car lots, and crunching numbers with sales/finance people. We finally settled on a new 2006 Chevy Equinox in dark silver metalic. It's pretty basic except for side curtain air bags, but even the basic models come with everything we needed, cd player, power windows, door locks and mirrors. We'd hoped to find something with better mileage than we got with our last vehicle, but most models that got better mileage were much smaller than we fit well into.

We drove a Mercury Montego that we really liked the ride of, but it won't fit into our single car 1950's garage easily. The doors wouldn't open enough to make a comfortable entrance and exit, so that one was out of the question. But I loved the silverish/greenish color and the huge trunk. It was a V6 (as is the Equinox) and had lots of get up and go!

Ooops! Hubby is needing help, and there's knitting to be done so see you later!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Flexiblity is good . . .

As days go, it's nice that retirement allows for flexibility. Tuesdays are my day to go to Auxiliary to do crafts, knit, crochet and whatever. But today was the only day I could get in to see the acupuncturist so that took priority. When I arrived home from the appt. hubby needed to go get wood to finish the last of the bridges on the model railroad. That meant he'd be going near the book store, the perfect excuse for me to tag along. Before we could leave I needed to order the last of the rail clamps he said he'd need. Luckily, our friends who make the railclamps were coming into town and could deliver them after 3:00 which meant we had time to run our errands and I could still make the evening knitting meeting. So off to OSH the only place he could get the wood screws and then to Lowe's for the wood he needed and to Border's where I picked up Maggie Sefton's new book "A Deadly Yarn". Our friends were dealing with issues with their new car and didn't arrive until late. By time they left it was 7:45 so I didn't make it to the knitting meeting after all. It wasn't the day I had planned at all, but it was a good one just the same. Good friends, good books, and a happy hubby, what more can a gal ask for (dinner out? - no, hot dogs - a real tough menu)?

This is a picture of the first three scarves ready for the Pink Scarf Challenge. Yesterday I found out that there may be as many as 8 to 10 men at the cancer retreat so I need volunteers to knit some scarves in colors and designs more appropriate for men (I did talk my youngest daughter into making one as she's the only one of the kids who knits or crochets). If you've been reading about the challenge, and thinking about volunteering, now is the time . . . we can really use your help! I'm hoping this may becomes an ongoing project, but it isn't yet definite.

I have one other pink scarf and a cream/tan/black striped one on the needles, but with so many interuptions I haven't been working very fast. Even at the acupuncturist appointment today I didn't have to wait.

The Queen of the Night buds are coming along nicely, one bud has dropped off but the rest are growing at an amazing rate. This plant is very sensitive to changes of any kind so I wasn't too surprised. It also lost a bud last year.

Today I promised I would complete the One Skein August gift, but again time slipped away and it isn't done. But there's always tomorrow! So I'm off to knit . . . no frog ponds in my life tonight!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Berry Basket Dishcloth From Deb in Little Rock

The Berry Basket Dishcloth seems to be getting lots of attention, if not feedback. Here is the first picture sent to me by Deb in Little Rock of her version in a variegated yarn. Deb, you did a great job, I appreciate you sharing with us. With over 2,000 hits since I posted the pattern I'm hoping to have pictures from others to post in the next few days.

In other news, my Queen of the Night plant that produced this single 10" flower last year has six buds on it this year. I feel like a mother hen sitting on the nest just waiting for the eggs to hatch. Last year the bud was discovered on 9/2 and it bloomed on 9/19 so it seems that from bud to flower takes a little over 2 and a half weeks. If that holds true this year I can expect the blooms about the second week of September. This may not seem like a big deal to those who've never seen or smelled the scent of this flower, but it blooms at night, for one night only, and it blooms only once a year. Fortunately I'm a night owl! I can't begin to describe the scent of it, except to say it is the most delicately sweet scented flower I've ever smelled. If I could bottle it I'd be wealthy no doubt! Shortly after sunrise on the morning after it becomes a bedraggled mess that somewhat resembles wet tissue paper. I'll definitely share pics when it does bloom.

In knitting news, I have two scarves done for the Pink Scarves for Breast Cancer Challenge, and two more in progress. I've also picked up yarn from the cancer center to start knitting blankets for them. Nothing on the needles for personal knitting at this point except the usual UFO's.

Coming up soon will be a purse for my sister in law and a blanket or something else adorable for the best friend of my youngest daughter who is expecting her first baby which will be a boy, due close to Christmas. Also in the planning stages is a shrug or shawl of some sort for my mother in law who is confined to a wheel chair. I've received lots of suggestions, now I just have to choose between them and when the Challenge is done I can start knitting some of these planned projects.

But for now, I'm off to bed, it's almost 2:00am (which proves that I'm no Cinderella!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Just a quick note to offer a huge "Thank You" to all those who have offered to help us meet our Pink Scarf Challenge. There is little doubt in my mind that we will exceed our goal. However, if you've been thinking about joining us, come on and join in, there is no such thing as too many scarves when it comes to comforting cancer patients.

I've changed the settings to hopefully make it easier for you to leave comments (I'm not real technically inclined when it comes to these things).

Thanks also to those who've been stopping by to get the Berry Basket dishcloth pattern. I'm anxious to see some pictures of the ones you all make and will be asking permission to post photos of a few of them!

Well, I'm off to finish the first of the pink scarves. It's about 3/4 done.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Pink Scarves for Breast Cancer Challenge

Today I surprised everyone at our local knitting/crochet group meeting by introducing a Pink Scarf for Breast Cancer Challenge. Most everyone knows someone who has, or has had breast cancer. If not, you probably know someone who knows someone! Our challenge is to make a minimum of 25 pink scarves (and a few in manly colors because men can also get breast cancer) by September 23rd. We will be donating these to the local St. Joseph's Hospital Cancer Center. I had a few "hot pink" tote bags to give out (I wish I had enough to give one to everyone who helps) and I pulled all of the pink yarn from my stash which I shared with the gals who were at today's meeting. I've challenged our group (everyone, not just the gals who were present at the meeting) to make these scarves between now and September 23rd so they can be given out at a retreat the first weekend of October.

Jim Linderman of St. Joseph's Cancer Center was kind enough to take time out of his day to stop by and introduce himself and share with us some other ongoing projects they have which we could also participate in. One is a "lapghan" program which he will get us more information on, and the other is a "chemo caps" program.

Now, I'm inviting you, my internet friends, to join us in making these scarves. I'm also encouraging you to enlist the help of friends, relatives and neighbors who knit or crochet, or even weave. If we get more than the 25 scarves I set as a goal for our small group, that would be wonderful - they will find a use for them.

It's as simple as these three steps:
1. Email me to sign up (
2. Start making scarves (make one or as many as you want)
3. Get the scarves to me by the deadline (I'll provide a mailing address upon request.)

Guidelines - Any color of Pink (unless you're doing a manly one), size should be 4 to 8 inches in width, and 56 to 80 inches long. They can be crocheted, knit or woven. Any pattern you wish to use, but because they're being given out the first weekend in October think warm!

Deadline: They need to be in my hands no later than September 23rd. Please include with each scarf;
(1)Laundering instructions
(2)fabric content (it would be nice if this was done on a nice note card)
(3) if you choose, send a personal note with your name and a bit about yourself and whatever well wishes you'd like to send the recipient.

It's important that you email me ( with your name and a way to contact you to sign up so I know how many people I can count on. If you enlist others to help, please provide me with their names and contact info also. (this information will not be given to anyone else!).

Strangely this whole project started because I found those totes on sale for just $2.00 at Barnes & Noble bookstore on Thursday. At first I only picked one up for myself thinking it would make a great knitting tote. But before I left the store I decided at that price I'd buy the 5 they had available and share them with the knitting group. I wasn't prepared at all for what God had planned for me to do with them. But He gave me the idea to share the bags and the pink yarn and to call the St. Joseph's Cancer Center to see how the scarves could be used. You see, Jim Linderman wasn't in when I called on Friday, and what were the chances that he'd return my call on a Saturday? Then for Jim to be able to make time to come to our meeting on his day off (?). . . That my friends is God's work, not mine!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Berry Basket Dishcloth Pattern - Free

This pattern came about because the stitch pattern reminded me of the wood berry baskets we used when I was a kid. But the stitch pattern was part of a child's sweater which I had no interest in making so this is the resulting dishcloth and I'd like to share the pattern with all my cyber friends. I used Lily's Sugar Baby cotton and size 7 needles.

Please send me pictures of your dishcloths.

Berry Basket Dish Cloth

Using your favorite cotton yarn and appropriate size needles cast on 49 sts

Border Pattern:
Row 1 K1, P1 across
Row 2 K1, P1 across

Body Pattern: (consists of 20 rows) Odd number rows are Right Side rows

Row 1: K1, P1 ♦ K5, (P1, K1) twice, P1, repeat from ♦ to last 7 sts, K5, P1, K1
Row 2: K1, P1 ♦ P6, (K1, P1) twice, repeat from ♦ to last 7 sts, P6, K1
Row 3: Repeat row 1
Row 4: Repeat row 2
Row 5: Repeat row 1

Row 6: K1, P1, K10, P5, K15, P5, K10, P1, K1
Row 7: K1, P1, P10, K5, P15, K5, P10, P1, K1
Row 8: Repeat row 6
Row 9: Repeat row 7
Row 10: Repeat row 6

Row 11: K1, P1 ♦ K5, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, repeat from ♦ to last 7 sts, K5, P1, K1
Row 12: K1, P1 ♦ P6, (K1 P1) twice, repeat from ♦ to last 7 sts, P6, K1
Row 13: Repeat row 11
Row 14: Repeat row 12
Row 15: Repeat row 11

Row 16: K1, P1, (P5, K15) repeat once, P6, K1
Row 17: K1, P1, (K5, P15) repeat once, K5, P1, K1
Row 18: Repeat row 16
Row 19: Repeat row 17
Row 20: Repeat row 16

Rows 21 – 25: Repeat rows 1 – 5

Rows 26 – 30: Repeat rows 6 – 10

Rows 31 – 35: Repeat rows 11 – 15

Rows 36 – 40: Repeat rows 16 – 20

Continue in pattern until it reaches the size you want, end with two border rows.

Finishing: bind off and weave in ends.


To make this pattern into a towel or larger item increase in increments of 5 stitches and/or 5 rows.

Copyright Shirley Heikkinen 2006
Please do not post this pattern to other web sites without express permission. Email me at You are welcome to share it with others by sharing the link to my blog.