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Silky Merino scarf

January 10, 2010

I begin the process of moving away from my regrettable addiction to computer games (available on a popular social networking site) by starting and finishing a project.  I have had the yarn for a while but time was short due to having to spend most of my spare time; harvesting crops; planting crops; adopting cows, chickens, ugly ducklings, turtles, and stray cats; hatching fish eggs; cleaning tanks; selling fish; battling vampires; attending magic school; making honey, cheese, wine, wool, and angora from rabbits; and running a sucessful cafe. All while making sure everything is arranged and timed for optimum efficiency.  I must say I am quite good at taking meager virtual resources and building my equally virtual empires.

This list becomes mind numbing when you look at it in black and white.  The sad part is, this is the tip of the iceberg.  There is so much out there that I haven’t even tried and when reading the above list, keep in mind I was practicing some self control by dumping the zoo and amusement park while avoiding bingo, poker, gangster wars, scavenger hunts, virtual pets, and fairy kingdoms.

The point of this rant is that overindulging in this activity is the death of creativity.  I got involved as a distraction from being in a knitting slump.  The problem was, I was so busy distracting myself that I didn’t notice when the slump ended.  The time I used to use for thinking and evolving ideas and designs was wholly involved in considering how I would rearrange my cafe or farm.  The time I would spend talking with my husband was subverted into making sure nothing went bad on the stove in my super duper cafe or rotted in the fields of my virtual farm.  Think about this as you let your kids play these games for hours.  They are powerfully addicting and will stunt a person’s ability to be creative in valuable, tangible ways.

So I give you my latest real, tangible project.  Something that I have to show for my time.  Below is a picture of my Streaming Leaves Lace Scarf made with Malabrigo Silky Marino in Stone Chat.  The pattern is available through Ravelry from Fiber Trends or your local yarn shop.


By the way.  Last week I finished the Modern Log Cabin style lap blanket for my sweetie.  A little late for Christmas but close….  I skipped the edging because he didn’t want it.  May sneak one on this spring but it’s okay without it anyway.

Have a great week and thanks for listening.



Since we last spoke

November 15, 2009

Since we last spoke, the truck has been repaired.  We managed to squeak in a camping trip.  The weather was lovely but pretty cold at night. In October I, not to sound negative, got tendinitis and a cold with a pneumonia chaser.   The antibiotics didn’t agree with me but I am trying to move on.

I also got some hearing aids.  When I first ordered them, I felt quite guilty for spending the money.  They are not cheap at all.  However, as soon as I started wearing them I started noticing all sorts of things I wasn’t hearing.  To name a few:  birds outside, conversations inside, and the squeaks in the floor.  I have pretty much gotten past hearing my own voice and am very happy I took this step.  I think I’ll keep them.

Kindle Sleeve in two sizes

August 23, 2009


This Kindle Sleeve pattern was written to utilize the k1b stitch in a manner that will create a thick protective Kindle Sleeve. Changes are given for Kindle II, (Kindle DX).

Worsted Weight yarn in two contrasting colors – 150 yards.
Size 6 – 32” circular needle (for magic loop circular knitting). You may also use two circular needles. I have never tried this technique with double pointed needles but it should work for this design.

Gauge – Approximately 3.5 sts per in in K1b pattern.

K1b = Instead of knitting into the loop on the left needle you work in the stitch directly beneath it. Both strands are dropped just like a regular knit stitch. Also described as: Insert the right hand needle into the next stitch but in the row below the stitch on the left hand needle. Then knit the stitch as normal.

1.Cast on 42 (58) stitches with main color and work in k1, p1 ribbing for 1” or desired length of cuff.
2.With CC k2tog, k19 (27), k2tog, k19 (27) – 40 (56) total stitches should remain.
3.Round 3: With MC *k1, k1b; repeat from * around
4.Round 4: With CC *k1b, k1; repeat from * around

5.Repeat rounds 3 and 4 until entire piece measures about 9 (11.5) inches or desired length. Knit one round in MC.

6.Once the desired length is reached, the open end needs to be securely closed. I used the kitchener stitch to graft mine closed. You can also just sew it shut or flip it inside out and do a three needle bind off. If you choose the last method, you may want to do a couple more rows first, since the bind off may take up some interior space.

7.Weave in ends and gently block if you wish.

8.Additional optional steps. As you can see from the photo, I elected to construct a braided cord and attach it around the outside of the sleeve. You could also use an i-cord for this purpose. The first thing to consider, is that this is a knitted sleeve that will naturally stretch from the weight of the Kindle, so you cannot just attach a handle at the opening. Running your cord around the outside of the Kindle Sleeve will transfer most of the weight from the fabric to your cord.

9.Notes on sizing. The Kindle II measures about 11.3” around and this sleeve is not a snug fit. I could not find dimensions for the Kindle I, so you will have to measure yours and adjust in even numbers.
If you wish a PDF copy of this pattern you can get one here.

Lacy Diamonds Dishcloth

August 22, 2009

One of my favorite lace cloths, this pattern is delicate in appearance, but still able to do the job.  In my opinion, lace cloths dry quicker after use. An important consideration when your summers are humid.

After I came up with this dishcloth, I found that there are other Lacy Diamond Dishcloths available.  I guess great minds think alike.  In any event, this is my version.


Using the recommended needle size of 6, this pattern will make a cloth about 7 ½” by 7 ½”.  You can have a larger cloth by using a larger needle.  Note you will also require a bit more yardage.


Size 6 needles

45 yards of Worsted Weight Cotton

Cast on 31 stitches (Note: You can make a larger or smaller cloth by adding or subtracting stitches in multiples of 6.)

Knit 4 rows for bottom border.

Begin the Lacy Diamonds pattern.  You will always be knitting the first 3 and last 3 stitches as a garter stitch border.

Lacy Diamonds Pattern:

Multiples of 6+1

1st row (right side): K3, *k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2tog tbl; repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k4.

2nd and every even row: K3, purl across to last 3 stitches, k3.

3rd row:  K3, k2tog, *yo, k3, yo, [sl 1] twice, k1, p2sso; repeat from * to last 8 stitches, yo, k3, yo, k2tog tbl, k3.

5th row:  K3, *k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1, k2tog, yo; repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k4.

7th row:  K5, *yo, [sl 1] twice, k1, p2sso, yo, k3; repeat from * to last 8 sts, yo, [sl 1] twice, k1, p2sso, yo, k5.

8th row: K3, purl across to last 3 stitches, k3.

Repeat these 8 rows another 4 times.

Knit 5 rows and bind off loosely.  (I used a size 10 needle to ensure this.)

Lightly block if desired.

A PDF file for this pattern can be downloaded here.

Copyright Nettie DiLorenzo 2009 or Ravelry: Nettieknits

All rights reserved.  Permission to reproduce is required.

One of my favorite lace cloths, this pattern is delicate in appearance, but still able to do the job. In my opinion, lace cloths dry quicker after use. An important consideration when your summers are humid.

Rough day

August 15, 2009

Yesterday was a rough day.  On the way to work I had a car accident.  The other driver pulled out of a gas station from my right side apparently making a left hand turn exactly when there was no possibility of my stopping in time.  Her first words were, “I thought you were letting me go!”.  My thoughts, “How could I possibly be letting you go, when I was so close I couldn’t stop in time?”.  I am still getting flashes of that sickening feeling that you get when something like that happens.  I wonder how long the wincing will last.

To add insult to injury, we were supposed to leave tomorrow for a camping trip to Maine for a week.  A week that is shaping up to be one of the best weather weeks of the summer.  Granted we will have the same good weather here, but it’s just not going to be the same when your tow vehicle is now undrivable and stuck in the depths of a body shop waiting for an insurance adjuster.

Because I was on vacation next week, and no matter how shaky I felt, I needed to go to work and finish up a few things.  My husband brought me, and I still feel bad at how I had to call him and turn his “happy to hear from you” voice into one of worry.  Even though it wasn’t my fault, I feel pain that his trip was ruined too.  Everyone at work was wonderful to me and it reminds me anew about how much I like working with them.  I can’t tell you how many people were offering suggestions on how I could get a tow vehicle to use for camping.  Unfortunately, it’s not just getting a tow vehicle, but one that is up to pulling our trailer and that has the right towing package installed for proper braking.   I finally finished up my stuff around 7:30 and my husband picked me up.

So now I am trying to shake it all off and wishing that I didn’t give my Durango a personality, gender, and name.  It been fun hobby most of the time but now it’s become a habit.   I find myself wondering how “Joey” is, and wincing at the memory I have of him leaking pink radiator fluid onto the ground like a mortal wound.  I wonder and fear too that it was the last time I would drive him.  You can say that it’s just a truck and logically I agree, but we had a lot of adventures with that truck.  That truck was part of some of the best and worst camping trips we’ve ever taken, and part of the memories.

I am sorry for such a sad post.  I keep trying to find a way to go funny/amusing with it but it’s still too fresh.  Several people mentioned that everything happens for a reason, and that perhaps we were not meant to go on a trip next week.  Maybe something will happen that will allow me to agree with that.  Probably we’ll never know…..

A few things

August 9, 2009

In new and exciting news one of my free designs Chunky Cable Wrist Warmers, has been accepted for the 2010 Knitting Pattern-a-Day Calendar.  Look for them on September 10th through September 12th, should you get your own copy.  I just received my copy yesterday, and it’s chock full of really nice projects.  Check it out here.

I have a new dishcloth pattern that I would like to share.  To me, it seems to suit summer time and is listed as Foaming Waves Dishcloths here and on Ravelry.  There are two sizes in the pattern, so that individuals who prefer a smaller cloth, have that option.  The PDF can be downloaded here.


Just in case you want to see, my Kindle came in and, as an avid reader, I am delighted.  This is a Kindle:


and this is the Kindle sleeve that I designed for it:


I am pretty pleased with how it came out and will post info about the pattern once it is neatly written up.  I just spend the morning on the dishcloths and need to do some stuff around the house.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.


Knitting for technology

July 19, 2009

Through a combination of events such as getting tinnitus and not being able to comfortably listen to the library’s audio books; reluctance to increase the clutter in our house by adding more books; and my inner child’s longing for a Kindle ever since they first came out, last week, I finally seriously considered getting one.  I had a tiny bit of “found” money, having recently exercised an expiring stock option that, due to the economy, didn’t net too much more than Kindle cost, instead of the financial bonanza it originally aspired to be a decade ago.

For those of you now wondering, “What the heck is a Kindle?”  It is a wireless reading device for eBooks that also allows you to subscribe to magazines, newspapers, and blogs that are all delivered to your Kindle electronically.  I ordered it from Amazon and I am still anxiously waiting for it to arrive. Through USPS tracking, I know it’s been in town since Friday  I am still a bit miffed that it didn’t come yesterday.

However, I have been consoling myself by designing and knitting a Kindle Sleeve.  They sell and recommend that you purchase a protective sleeve to protect your device but as a knitter, I hate to buy something that I can make.  Plus buying a Kindle sleeve uses money best reserved to buy yarn.

The Kindle measurements are 8 by 5.3 inches and for some unknown reason I began the process fixated on the 8 as the narrow measurement.  I am sure you already spotted the problem with that.  Unfortunately, I spend two evenings merrily knitting away using the wrong measurement as a basis while Kindle dreams danced in my head.  Friday evening I went back to refer to my original measurements, since I had begun to have a sneaking sense that something was not well with the sleeve.  After calling myself 9 kinds of dummy, I frogged and restarted the project using 5.3” as my basis.  I can only believe that my inner geek’s preoccupation with getting a new toy was overwhelming my knitter’s common sense.

Below is a picture of the work in progress and I am pretty pleased with how it’s coming out.  I have devised a pattern that uses a k1b stitch and the resulting fabric is thick and should be very protective.  The geek approves, the knitter is content, and harmony reigns.