Love You…Love You Too

I awoke on Sunday morning with 29 missed calls. 19 from my little sisters phone and 10 from numbers I didn’t recognize. I knew something bad had happened and didn’t want to face it. I got up at 5:50 am, fed my cat and dogs, made a pot of coffee and ate a banana. I settled down in my office chair and called my sister’s phone first, thinking that something had happened to one of my brothers or one of her kids. Instead, I got her daughter, my niece, Kayla who had the task of informing me that my sister had died in her sleep anywhere between 2-3 am.

My sister had texted me on Saturday and asked to borrow some money. Her last text to me was “Thanks sis. This should be the last time I need help. Love you.” I replied “Love you too.” Who knew that it really would be the last time she would ever need my help? I’m absolutely heartbroken.

We were mending our relationship due to stupid, idiotic stuff that some siblings go through. We were in the best place ever since we were kids and I moved away. I’m heartbroken for her four kids who have to now go through the grief we went through last year with my Mom: Ashley, Kayla, Danny and Charlie. I’m heartbroken for her grandchildren who she will not get to see grow up: Stacy, Xavier, Halo, Rhea and Athena. I’m heartbroken that she will never get to mend her relationship with my Dad, who loved her with all his heart. We all think we have time to heal wounds; but you never know when your time will come.

I’m heartbroken because things were looking up for her and she was in the happiest time of her life. She had finally found someone who treated her like a queen. She was about to get a settlement for pain and suffering and wanted to buy a house so she wouldn’t have to worry about where she was going live ever again. No more roaming and a safe haven for her and any of her kids / grandchildren who needed her help.

I am happy that she is no longer in pain. I’m happy that she gets to see my Mom, Grandma and all that have gone before us in heaven. I’m still absolutely heartbroken.

RIP Veronica Sue Bryant Lyons Hackney (11/4/1970-10/25/2015) Fly high little sister. You will always be loved and missed. We now have another angel watching over us and I’m still absolutely heartbroken.

Paula and Veronica

The last picture I have of the two of us together at my Mom’s funeral in August 2014.

Veronica, Chuck, Me and Mom

One of the last pics of us with our Mom.

Kayla, Charlie, Veronica, Danny, Ashley

Kayla, Charlie, Veronica, Danny, Ashley…she loved these kids with all her heart.

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Almost finished!

Thursday Knit-A-Sock-Along: Week 9

It’s Thursday and you know what that means? We are back to our regularly scheduled blog post about socks. Yes, socks! What? You haven’t jumped on the band wagon for one of the coolest things in the world to knit? I went from being afraid of them (eek DPNs!) to loving the construction and learning new techniques (to me). Plus, there are just so many awesome sock patterns out there! C’mon…it’s not scary at all. I promise! I eventually want to be able to replace all my socks with hand knitted socks. I’ve got one pair down and who knows how many to go 🙂

To give a little background (if you haven’t read my other blog posts), I am currently working on the Hermione’s Everyday Socks, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I’m using Madelinetosh Tosh Sock yarn in the color Spectrum and two US 1 – 2.25 mm circular needles.

When we last talked about my sock, I only had 9 pattern repeats completed of the leg section. Guess where I am now? Give up? I’m almost finished!!! With one sock…I still have to make the second 🙂 I am currently 4 pattern repeats (of 4 rows) into the instep and it looks like I may have about 8-10 more pattern repeats to get to where I need to be for the toe decreases. I’ll let you know when I finish. I’ve also learned how to make my first Heel Flap, Heel Turn and Gusset. Super cool! Now I feel like I can conquer the world!

This is my first time making top down socks and I have to say that I really like the toe-up versions better (at least for now); if only to know where I need to stop in the pattern before the toe decreases. The pattern doesn’t tell you…just continue knitting until you have reached your desired length. Well, how do I know when I’ve reached my desired length? How long is the toe supposed to be? More research needs to be done.

I have some fellow bloggers to thank for inspiring posts on starting socks. They are Alex, Hannah and Maggie. They are also working on socks, amongst other things and we are participating in a knit-a-sock-along. Want to join us? Just link up on your next sock post! Until next time…

Happy Knitting!

Almost finished!

Almost finished!

Almost finished!

Look at that Heel Flap, Heel Turn and Gusset! I’m so proud of myself 🙂

All three hats

FO – Three Hats for Miss Maria

I told you about my friend Gabby’s daughter, Maria, in another post earlier this week. She’s making excellent progress so far and Gabby appreciates all the prayers that have come her way for healing and strength. I’ve now completed three, yes count them, three adorable hats that I hope she will love! All three are made out of super soft yarn, so they will not hurt her head when wearing them. In addition, they are able to be machine washed and dried. I know this will make it easier on Gabby.

All three hats were easy and used less than one skein of yarn. I put a lot of love and prayers into them while knitting. Here are the details, with links to the free patterns on Ravelry:

Hat 1

Ravelled Here: Lacy Girly Fancy Hat by Alexandra Walters

Started 10/9/15 – Finished 10/14/15

Needles: US 7 – 4.5 mm 40 inch circulars using the Magic Loop method

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in the color Plum Wine

I learned a new lace pattern that is easy to memorize and that I do not like working the first few round with this yarn. It’s kind of splitty; however worked up into a beautifully soft hat. This one may be slouchy on Maria because of the length; however the ribbon makes it adjustable and she should be able to wear this one for a very long time.

Hat 2

Ravelled Here: Barley by tincanknits

Started 10/14/15 – Finished 10/16/15

Needles: US 6 – 4.0 mm 16 inch circulars for the ribbing; US 8 – 5.0 mm 16 inch circulars for the body (switched to 40 inch circulars for magic loop to finish decreases)

Yarn: Berroco Comfort Prints in the color Sachet Mix

This was my first time working with this yarn and I love the way the color pooled differently in the garter stitch versus the stockinette stitch. This yarn was a joy to work with! This one may also be a little slouchy. as I was initially measuring the garter stitch side (6″) instead of the stockinette side (7″) and was supposed to stop at 6 inches before the decrease section.

Hat 3

Ravelled Here: Azalea Hat by Snapdragon Crafts

Started 10/17/15 – Finished 10/17/15 (This was a 2 hour project for me!)

Needles: US 13 – 9.0 mm 16 in circulars (switched to DPNs for decreases)

Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA in the color Phoenix Azalea

I’ve worked with this yarn before. It is so easy to knit with and works up super fast because of the bulkiness and large needles. This is the first time I’ve worked with an i-Cord and I love the pixie look of the top of the hat. When you look down on it, it almost looks like the cherry on top on top of a sundae 🙂 It was also my first time decreasing a hat using DPNs instead of the Magic Loop method.

I’ve got pictures of all three hats together, as well as individual pics. Until next time…

Happy Knitting!

All three hats

All three hats – What a joy to knit for Miss Maria!

Lacy Girly Fancy Hat

Lacy Girly Fancy Hat – I love the ribbon that makes this adjustable!

Barley

Barley – Super simple garter and stockinette come together in a simple, yet beautiful design!

Azalea Hat

Azalea Hat – I love the color and the pixie look from the i – Cord top!

3D View

FO – My First Sweater

So, I’ve finished both of my hats for Miss Maria; however I want to wait til tomorrow to post about them because I need light for the true colors to show through. I’m super excited to send them off to her and know that they are so soft they will not hurt her tender head. Until then, exciting news! I finished my first sweater!!!! OMG, how exciting is that? Uhm, well…it’s an ornament, so it’s small…but it’s a finished sweater!

I actually finished it the day that I started Maria’s first hat and the day of my last sock post (so sorry for missing this week!); then I forgot all about posting it! Here are the details:

Raglan Sweater Christmas Ornament – I didn’t get this from Ravelry, but from the blog Milk-Shed. I have spent the last few weeks reading page by page from the beginning and watching her podcasts. It’s a kick ass blog and I highly recommend it! It’s funny because it came to me from the emails I get from AllFreeKnitting.com and I would have never known about her except for the email. I also want to try the little Santa Hat, Little Mitten and Ornament Ball that she posted a couple of days later.

Needle – US 6 – 4.0 mm 24 inch circulars

Yarn – Red Heart Super Saver in White (I totally want to try this with a yarn that I would actually use for a sweater)

Ravelled Here: ftlsweetie – Raglan Sweater Christmas Ornament

I’m super excited because now I know that sweaters are not scary at all; as long as you can follow a pattern! Now, I know I probably should have staged it better…maybe on a Christmas tree with other ornaments; however it is only October! Without further ado…and til next time!

Happy Knitting!

Neck

Neck

Sleeves separated

Sleeves separated

Bottom of sweater complete

Bottom of sweater complete – I changed this to 1×1 rib instead of purl one row, knit one row, purl one row

Flat View

Flat View of Finished Sweater Ornament

3D View

3D View of Finished Ornament

Miss Maria's Hat

WIP – Hat for Miss Maria

Last week I found out that my Mom’s former CNA (and a good friend for years) Gabby’s six year old daughter was in a horrible go-kart accident. She’s in the burn unit at one of the best children’s hospitals and has had multiple surgeries to repair the damage. She still has to go through many more; however she’s a little fighter. Gabby asked for hats, bandannas and scarves to help Miss Maria through the trauma, keep her warm and make her feel pretty. Immediately, I got to work searching for patterns on Ravelry and stopped all work on my current WIP’s. (Hint: There may not be a sock post this Thursday.)

I found something I think she is going to love! I know it’s not practical for cold weather; however it should be something she can wear inside, as well as into the fall and then again in spring. Here are the details:

Ravelry (free pattern): Lacy Girly Fancy Hat

Needles: US 7 / 4.5mm 40″ circular needles (using magic loop method)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in the color Plum Wine

I haven’t worked with a Picot Hem before and wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to work. I’m still not sure if it will cause the edge of the hat to become too tight. If anyone out there has any suggestions for making sure it is stretchy, please let me know! It has to fit over her head and bandages.

The yarn was very hard to work with at first and I almost gave up and started with another yarn. The thing is, I needed to make sure that it’s machine washable / dry-able. In addition to Maria, Gabby also has an infant son and doesn’t have time to hand wash / dry. It’s super easy to crochet with, but I’ve never knit with it. Thank goodness I continued, as this is a super soft hat and the knitting has gotten easier! I’ve completed 10 repeats of the four row lace pattern and it measures 7″ from the picot edge. I’ve got 2 more repeats to go until I think it will measure 8″, which is where I will need to start the decreases.

I would also like to make her something that will keep her warm. Anyone know of a quick and easy child hat to knit or crochet? If not, I’ll keep searching Ravelry once I’m finished with this one. If you are the praying sort, please keep her in your thoughts. She can use all the good vibes possible out there. Until next time…

Happy Knitting!

Miss Maria's Hat

Miss Maria’s Hat – Almost finished!

Maria & Gabby

Maria & Gabby before the accident…Love these two!

Hermione's Everyday Socks

Thursday Knit-A-Sock-Along: Week 8

It’s been a week already? Holy cow, these Thursdays are coming fast! If you’ve seen my blog this week, you’ll know that I was busy crocheting a super awesome Christmas present this past weekend…and now I’ve got Christmas knitting on the brain 🙂 There are so many people that I want to knit something for the holidays, that I’m not sure I’ll get done. Maybe I should dig into my stash of finished projects? Maybe, maybe not…I may have to rethink how big those Christmas presents will be this year and then plan better for next year. I probably shouldn’t have started a pair of socks and a cardigan for myself. One of those (the cardigan) may have to go into ZZZ status until the new year. That makes me sad 😦

I’m still continuing with my Hermione’s Everyday Socks; however it’s slow going. In my last post, I was 3 pattern repeats (of 4 rows) into the leg section. As of today, I am 9 pattern repeats into the leg section. You might say, big whoop! But that’s 64 stitches on teeny, tiny, sharp ass (can I say that here?) needles times 24! When you look at it that way, I’ve knit a whole 1,536 stitches since last Thursday on my socks alone 😀 Now, that’s the bomb diggity! And it looks really good! I mean the picture doesn’t do it justice…I love the pattern!

You say you’d like to take the plunge and knit your own socks? Why bless you! Why don’t you join me and my fellow sock knitters on our adventures? Check out Alex, Hannah and Maggie to see what gorgeous socks they are creating…and while you’re at it, give us some love! We’ll do the same for you…promise!

Hermione's Everyday Socks

Hermione’s Everyday Socks – Progress is being made!

Completed Large Mouth Bass

FO – Bulky & Quick Large Mouth Bass Blanket

A few weeks ago, one of my very dear friends from high school, tagged me in a photo on Facebook. The Designer, MJ’s Off the Hook Designs, is on Ravelry and also has her own Facebook page. I took one look and knew that the Bulky & Quick Large Mouth Bass Blanket would be a perfect Christmas present for my nephew (best friend’s oldest son) Merrik! He is obsessed with fishing and watching me work with yarn, so this was a win, win. He still plays with the baby blanket I crocheted for him when he was born.

The pattern is not free, but is well written and worth it. Although the pattern stated this would take 2.5-5 hours to make, depending on skill level, it took me more like 14 hours. I have been crocheting since I was 8 years old and consider myself experienced, so I think she must have taken timings after she crocheted this several times. This was literally a weekend project and I still think of it as quick; plus I had a ton of fun making it! Here are my notes on Ravelry, if you’d like to take a look. She also has a Mermaid Tail blanket that I think will be perfect for some adults on my Christmas list…or maybe future birthday lists 🙂

The yarn used was Bernat Soft Boucle in Grey Heather, Bernat Softee Chunky Solids in Forest and Bernat Chunky Solids in Aran. I purchased all the yarn online at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. I used a size Q (15.0 mm) hook with two strands held together for the body and mouth of the fish. I used a size N (9.0 mm) hook with one strand for the tail and back fins. The amount of yarn varies depending on the size you make. The pattern has these sizes included: Infant (0-18 months), Preschool, Child and Adult. I made the child version and the blanket/cocoon portion measured at 48″ long. Plenty long enough for him to snuggle in for quite awhile.

I can’t wait to get a picture of him in it! Until next time…

Happy (Crocheting) Knitting!

Blanket Section

Blanket Section

Cocoon Finished

Cocoon Finished

Mouth and Eyes Finished

Mouth and Eyes Finished

Tail Fin and Back Fins

Tail Fin and Back Fins (this is in the color Forest; however photographed as grey)

Completed Large Mouth Bass

Completed Large Mouth Bass

Outside Picture

Close-up Outside Picture to see the true colors