Tuesday Morning Potpourri

Today I have a few different things to share with you...

First, remember there's still time to enter the Thanksgiving Giveaway! You can win a free 5"x5" or 5"x7" print of your choice from my shop! There's also time to earn extra entries by linking to that post in your own blog or by placing an order before 11.23.09! So hop on over and do that!

Secondly, I wanted to show you a little knitting project I made last week for my Mom's birthday gift...

This pattern is called "Stirling Cloche," and it's available for free (that's right, FREE, people!) at Ravelry.

If you're not familiar with Ravelry, let me tell you a little about it. It's FANTASTIC! It's a social network for knitters & crocheters, much like facebook, but it's centered around your needlecraft projects.

You can find your friends and add them to your friend list (look me up - I'm "artknitwit"!), keep track of your finished projects and works in progress, and even queue up future projects and the patterns for them! It also has some neat features like allowing you to keep a running inventory of your needles, fibers, and pattern/book library. I attempted this feature once upon a time but finally had to just say "NO," because I can quickly get caught up in spending all my time organizing my supplies and rearranging them and never actually get anything made. (Yes, I have CDO. It's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order, like they should be.) At any rate, you can do that, if that floats your boat. This feature also allows you to search other people's inventories in the event you need some elusive skein from a discontinued lot number to finish a project, and then you can work out a swap. Pretty cool.

Probably my favorite feature, however, is the fact that there are literally thousands of patterns linked on the site! And many of them are free and can be downloaded right to your own computer! You can search for whatever type of project you want by a number of filters (free only, socks, hats, baby, toys, one skein, etc.), so there's really no need to buy patterns anymore! And my favorite part is this - once you find a pattern you like, you can view all of the projects that people have linked back to that pattern, so you can see what that particular pattern looks like in different colors, fibers, etc. You can link your own projects back to the pattern too, and it allows you to make notes if you have made any alterations or have any comments or advice.

Obviously, I think you should sign up for Ravelry. It's a knitter/crocheter's best friend.

As for the cloche, it was knitted in the round, first on circular needles, then dpns (double-pointed-needles), then hand-felted. The band was knitted seperately, the flower on the side was crocheted, and both of these were also hand-felted. Felting is a fairly simple process, although it's time-consuming, but well worth it. It involves agitating the finished piece in warm, soapy water (can be done by hand or in the machine if monitored closely) until the fibers shrink up and mat together. Then you rinse it, press excess water out, then mold it in shape to dry (a bowl works well for hats, or your own head!) It must be done with 100% animal fiber (wool, alpaca, etc.) for best results and is permanent. Felting will cause shrinking, so be sure to make your finished piece a little large to begin with.

And, as you can see, my Mom liked it... :)

And, finally....my Thankful List...

I'm a little behind in getting started, but I think it's worth doing. Several of my blogging friends have been keeping a "Thankful List" this month in honor of Thanksgiving.... So, here's the beginning of mine (making up what I've missed so far), and I will add one thing each day until Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Salvation through Jesus Christ, the hope I have in Him, and the gift of His Word.

  2. A godly, wonderful husband who is my best friend.

  3. A wonderful Christian family and family-in-law.

  4. My furry and sometimes grouchy little ray of sunshine, Harvey, a miniature schnauzer.

  5. Faithful, loyal, and honest friends.

  6. A church family that truly is acting like the Body of Christ.

  7. The freedoms we so often take for granted in this country, and the example of faithfulness in other Christians around the world who don't enjoy those freedoms but keep on believing in spite of persecution and hardship anyway.

  8. God's provision and faithfulness in the lean times.

  9. Creativity and the ability to learn and make new things, and the potential they have for displaying God's truth and beauty to the world.

  10. Good health. (We never think about this one much until we or someone we care about loses it. What a gift it is...)

  11. Shelter, clothing, food, transportation, everything I need and much more.

  12. Books. Good books. Lots of good books.

  13. In the spirit of fall, my favorite season:
    GLORY be to God for dappled things—
    For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
    Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
    Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

    All things counter, original, spare, strange;
    Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
    He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: 
    Praise Him.
    ("Pied Beauty," Gerard Manley Hopkins)

  14. An education, the ability to read, the fact that my parents cared enough to home school me and give me a solid foundation, and a mind to process it all.

  15. Laughter, a sense of humor, and just a touch of non-malicious sarcasm (if you know me, you'll catch the irony there).

  16. The ability to communicate and relate to others - fellowship.

  17. Hot chocolate. (By this, I mean not simply hot chocolate, but rather the platonic ideal of hot-chocolateness and everything that represents, which to me, encompasses the broader spectrum of all things nice, comfortable and comforting, cozy, homey, old-fashioned, timeless, delicious, special, and good. In short, it includes but is not limited to: warm cookies, fresh baked bread, polartec, your favorite bathrobe, the shoes that fit just right, the dog curled up by your foot, a hot fire and a good book, a home-cooked meal from Mamaw or Mom, the smell of Christmas trees, the soft glow of tungsten light as opposed to the garish buzz of fluorescent, your own pillow, the familiar, not needing a map or GPS, holidays with family, fishing with your dog, naps on Sunday afternoon, and sticking your always-cold feet as close as you possibly can to a fire without setting yourself on fire. That sort of thing.)

    Back tomorrow with more..... in the mean time, make your own list!
Have a lovely day...


  1. Apparently I like "hot chocolate" too. :-) Enjoyed the post - and still love the hat!

  2. I adore this post. Your "platonic hot chocolate" part gave me the chuckles. Which is always a good thing. ;)

  3. How lovely your thankful list is - making me think of everything I am thankful for! And I adore Good Hot Chocolate - the best timeis when friends are with you to enjoy that warmth and fellowship with you! We will have to do a hot chocolate sit down one day, Miss Beth! I am so thankful to have you in my life now - you bring a ray of sunshine everytime I see your blog. And thanks for Ravelry I love to crochet and I'm always looking for new patterns - and FREE can't be beat!

  4. Hi Carrie and Heather - thanks for stopping by - glad you enjoyed it and got a chuckle. :o)

    Debbie - a hot chocolate sit down with you sounds lovely... and yes! You've got to get on ravelry - it's the best! Be sure to look me up when you do!

  5. No way. You knitted that hat! It looks amazing! You need to knit one more. For yourself, because it looks great on you. LOL

    I don't do coffee, but I love cocoa and spiced cider. Yum! We're planning knitting parties for the winter, just as soon as crazy times are a little behind us. Looking forward to you joining us and having some fun. Cocoa will be served. lol


  6. Well, thank you very much, Faith! The hat was actually pretty easy - felting really does wonders (and hides mistakes)! I think I will knit another...

    Knitting parties and cocoa sound fantastic! I'm looking forward to it! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. The hat looks great on both of you! I will be working on my thankful list too.

  8. Thanks, Katy. I think it's good for us to always be working on a thankful list...


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