Category Archives: Needles & Yarn

Foamy shawlette / Kopuk sal

I decided to move back to my original blog location… I have less and less time to blog these days and hosting “on my own” was creating additional burden on me…

I apologize for those of you who couldn’t reach my Foamy pattern for the past week…

Please feel free to comment on here if you have any questions… thanks again for your interest in my pattern.

foamy_26_12_09 (in english)

kopuk (turkce)

Beehive hat… (ari kovani sapka)

*Turkce blog icin yazinin sonundaki linki tiklayabilirsiniz.

hat_3

 Noro Hat by Saartje de Bruijn (this pattern is free)
Yarn: Rozetti Panco, worsted 10 ply, 100% soft acrylic (very similar to Vanna’s choice) 100gr / 224 yard (205 meters)
Color: Dark Purple, 1/2 ball , Lavender 1/2 ball
Needles: don’t know exactly probably 6mm or 7mm, gauge : 13 stitches to 4″ (10cm)

I had this hat on my “ravelry favorites” for a while. I wasn’t planning to knit it anytime soon though, at least until next fall…
When we arrived at Eskisehir a few days ago… It would be nice to say we froze our rears off… the wind and the cold kicked our butts… of course, since we had spring in full swing back in Memphis and since I had no intentions to pack all winter, spring and summer clothes, we had no beanies for the kids… My MIL found a hat for my son, who has a huge head and would be fine with an adult size hat… my daughter on the other hand, refuses to wear hats and can only wear extra soft, loose hats, that she likes the colors of… again, she is only 2, but she is a she like many people who read this blog and I am sure most could very well relate…

I knit this hat on 2 needles instead of the circular ones that the pattern calls for because I didn’t have my needles with me. We are visiting my in laws and I didn’t bring all my needles. I felt like a chef without my own knives…

I had to knit it quickly, so I held 2 strands together of this worsted weight yarn and knitted with the largest needles in my MIL needle stash. The needles were really old and I wasn’t able to read the size. They were made in UK and in mint shape… it is bad for my blog, but good for the project. I got 13 stitches to 4” (10cm). I actually didn’t gauge my work first -I know, I know put me in knitting jail this time-, and I made a hat for my daughter’s baby doll instead (see below picture)… I wonder if I learned my lesson about gauging yet, please remind me next time when I screw up a day’s worth of work…
baby_hat2My daughter’s head circumference is 50cm and I cast on 65 for her hat.
For the doll’s hat, I cast on 40 which is perfect size for a newborn (this doll is huge and I am pretty sure it will fit a newborn). Again, don’t forget, I held 2 strands together and got 13 stitches to 4”.

I knit 4 rows, purled 4 rows with the same color ( 8 rows per color) per original directions. This pattern is so simple, yet very clever and looks amazing.

My daughter is one of those toddlers who refuses to wear hats, so far she loved this hat, because it’s a bit loose on her head without falling on her eyes…

The yarn that I used was purchased by my husband’s aunt here at the local yarn store and is almost identical to Vanna’s Choice. It might very well be from the factory who makes Vanna’s choice, since that’s also made in Turkey.

The last modification I made was I made decreases early on and more agressively. I started after 32 rows. First I decreased twice on alternating rows, then on every row. Again, I used 2 needles and knew that the “beehive” effect wasn’t going to happen… All I needed to knit was 40 rows on 2 needles…
hat_4

I am pretty happy with how this pattern turned out. And will make more with using DK weight and circular needles…
Turkce blog icin tiklayin bakalim!

lace shawl…

sal_6This was my first attempt at a lace project. I joined a knit-a-long on ravelry.com. I made this shawl for my mother-in-law… Honestly, I am proud of how it turned out… yet again, I have to give almost all of the credit to the designer… She posted this pattern for free on her blog and helped us along the way… Every 2 weeks or so she posted a new “clue”… That’s what is the most fun in a knit-a-long I guess… You knit, then you wait in excitement for the next design… of course when in the hands of such a great designer, each clue was perfect and challenging… Thank you lankakomero… and thank you everyone who answered my questions about blocking, frogging, lifelines,etc… i think I am hooked on lace and can’t wait to start my next project… I am honored to announce that I have been asked to knit a shawl for a friend’s wedding… we are going to select her yarn today… deadline is pretty managable I think (I don’t want to jinx it). it is due in november… stay tuned for more lace from me…sal_4

Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise by Lankakomero (each clue is still on her website)
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18
Color: Ruby, 1.5 balls (Each ball 630 yards)
Needles: US 5 circular 24″

I used “garter stitch” bind off variation… I knitted 3 rows of garter stitch and bind off with US size 8 needles to make the edge loose enough for blocking…

And photo courtesy goes to my very talented brother in law… My projects wouldn’t look as nice if it wasn’t for him. He takes pictures when I ask him right then and there… I know the light wasn’t ideal, but he did such a good job… Thanks Bora…

Until nex time… g.

“Piece of cake” Cake, and not-so-piece-of-cake hat!!!

Koolhaas Hat for my cool brother-in-law… He is one of those man with big head, and a full head of hair… Correction: He has thick hair, that is a hair short of becoming a huge afro… he actually got a haircut before I took on the “hat” project… the hats on the market are too small for him and just look too funny for his cool looks…
I will try to convince him to pose for me with his new Persol sunglasses and this hat. Until then, here’s the hat-only version.

bora11
Koolhaas Hat, by Jared Flood
Yarn: Cascade Superwash
Needle size: 6 US
Cast on 128 stitches

I had to make this hat twice… The yarn that I used is much lighter than the original pattern. So my needle size is also smaller… I like my stitches tighter especially on a hat… Even though I made the first hat with 112 stitches, it was too small for him… And I have to say it was perfect for me :)… but I still frogged it, and remade him a new one… It is a 2 day project for the experienced knitter and for me it was about a 1 week project since I made two of them. It also took me a while to get used to the “koolhaas” lattice pattern. It is again a perfect design and well written pattern by Jared, that is so nice for men… This pattern was published for women, but it’s such a great fit for men like most of his projects. I am so glad he is out there designing, I can finally knit things for the men in my family following a pattern…

Whenever, you are stuck with a “problem” project… and don’t get me wrong, sometimes there is just no problem with the actual project or pattern, but it just goes slow, or wrong, or just doesn’t work… I suggest making something easy that you don’t have to worry about… It is even better if it comes in the form of sugar…

kek1

Here’s the “piece of cake” cake from my friend Cindy… This cake or cookie/tart heaven was a hit at the Thanksgiving dinner she hosted this year. She made this a few times and brought it over. I usually enjoy deserts better when I don’t know what’s in it… it’s kind of hard to bring myself to eat one more slice when I put 500 grams of fat and 4 cups of sugar in something. But I just had to ask for the recipe, for this, “oohh-so-very-light-and-fruity” cake… I have to say, I look down on stuff that comes in the form of “processed food”… but serve this one to any chef and they cannot tell that the dough is store bought…

I don’t know how easy it will be to make this for my readers who live outside of US, but you will figure it out.. just use your imagination and aim for “store-bought”…

Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough (sugar cookie flavor)
Cool Whip 12 oz
4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese (use half of 8 oz package)
Ultimate topping: Fresh fruit

-Leave cream cheese at room temperature. This is one of the important steps, but hey if you don’t mind people tasting small parts of cream cheese in whipped topping, don’t even wait for that…
-Take the dough out of packet. Put it inside a glass or aluminum baking dish. Push dough and pat with your palm. Following package directions bake the dough for 12 minutes. Don’t overbake (I already did this once, and the dough becomes a cookie)… You want a chewy dough so it’s more like a cake, not tea cookies. If you can’t find “refrigerated cookie dough” bake your favorite cookie dough about 12-15 minutes (for friends in Turkey, something like “sable biskuvi” or “un kurabiyesi” would work) Take it out of the oven just before it turns golden brown
-Whip the cream cheese until it reaches smooth consistency. Mix in the whipped cream slowly… If using a mixer or Kitchenaid, 2 minutes at medium speed is great.. Don’t overmix, your whipped cream will fall.
-Spread the mixture over baked dough after it cools down. Decorate with fruits and put it in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Thank you Cindy for giving me the most impressive, crowd pleaser easy cake that I have tasted so far… This whole thing takes about 15 minutes to make. I have to admit, there have been times that I spent 4-5 hours on a cake and it still didn’t please my guests as much as this one does… Bon Appetit…

The weaving nomad…

I proudly present the “Urban Aran Cardigan” that I made for my husband… This project took me about 20 days to complete…
cardigan_12

Urban Aran Cardigan by Jared Flood
Original Pattern: Patons Street Smart“Urban Aran Pullover”
“modifications used are on Jared Floods website”
Yarn: Elann Peruvian Highland Chunky
Color: Mocha Heather, 18 skeins
Needles: 10.5 US for body, 10 US for ribbing, 9US for collar
Size:Large (female large in pattern, 2″ longer arms and 1.5″ longer body)

 

This is the 1st time I put in a zipper for a knit project… It was easier than I thought, but I am glad that I made the research on the Internet beforehand.

I was also a bit nervous for the collar. Even Jared had problems with the color, so I knew I had to start decreasing stitches for the collar somewhere that made sense… I didn’t even really like the way the collar looks on the pattern itself… So I really tried come up with how Jared made his from the pictures and I think I was able to knit a good representation.
cardigan_32

I am very happy that my husband actually wears this. He is not a big fan of wool, most of them scratch him… This yarn is soft, and doesn’t rub him the wrong way I guess…

Last but not the least, here’s the afghan I made him as well… It’s about 5.5 foot in length and 4 foot wide… This is a crochet pattern from an old book that I checked out at the local library.
afgan12
I am really in a knitting frenzy these days. It might be due to a few things… Here are my theories:

i) the knitting season is approaching it’s end for me… for the past 15-16 years I really didn’t knit anything during the summer… I might knit a few things during spring, but I am not a summer knitter…
ii) I have been getting lots of compliments on my knitting… so “positive reinforcement”, or Pavlov’s dog syndrome might be the very reason…
iii) the latest incidents have pushed my emotional state to it’s limit… there is really nothing more mind-occupying then following a pattern. This might also explain the projects that I am attempting now. I am knitting a lace shawl for my mother-in-low… and Koolhaas hat for my brother-in-law. The hat might look simple, but there so many mini cable stitches hiding in this pattern that it takes a lot of work to make this hat… I also have 2 cardigans in queue for the kids, and I need to turn a sweater that I made for my brother in law 6 years ago into a cardigan… So much to knit, so little time… and when I am occupied I don’t think about other stuff…
iv) it might all be written in my genes… My father says my grandma’s side was “yoruk”. Actually after he has seen some of my knitted work, he said I was very much like his mother. She would see a sweater on someone and could come up with the pattern. I am not that good, but I think I am close. I mostly knit without patterns if I cannot find one. Yoruk women are known for their yogurt making abilities 🙂 and their weaving techniques… the most beautiful kilims that are in my parents’ house came from yoruk families that still live in Toros mountains… Unfortunately, with modernization, most of them have been forced to settle and stop traveling… a few families still keep insisting on living the way they lived for centuries though.

Coming back to my yoruk roots… here’s a link that explains who they are. I would like to direct your attention to where it says “….A people passionately devoted to their freedom, the Yörük are like birds of passage. Until the early 19th century thousands of Yörük nomads lived in the Ottoman territories of the Balkans and throughout western, southern and southeastern Anatolia. They spent the summer on the high pastures, autumn at lower altitudes, and the winter months in sheltered encampments with their flocks and herds.”
That part of my being also came out under pressure I think. We are leaving to go back to Turkey by the middle of March. We are planning to go to my husband’s hometown for a few months, then to my hometown for a few months, then maybe to Antalya for a few months… We are planning to come back to the US in November… I just think that we will be happy like that. Both my husband and I love living here and there… we kind of find something that we like about everywhere we go… his grandpa also had “yoruk” ancestors… I guess we are a good match in that sense. I think I am worse than he is though, I really cannot stand to stay or live in the same place for too long.

Life goes on in our house, with lots of… maybe too much knitting…

Until next time,

Hugs… g.

Cat is out of the box…

Therapy for the neurotic woman in me… I am not sure if I talked about this on the post that I didn’t publish… Many of you wonder how I have time to take care of twins, work, cook, knit and crochet… So it’s time to let the cat out of the box… I am not an Angelina Jolie in disguise… I don’t take care of kids on my own -neither does she-, and look fabulous at the same time (Angie is a winner in this case)…  I am a “jack of all trades, master at none”… I like doing things and stuff and I like doing “different” things… Except for my housewife, wife and mother role I have to say, none of the above is a priority… I just do it when I have time… Also I have a great helper… Not because he sometimes reads this blog, but because it’s true and known… My husband is a great helper around the house and for sharing the care of the kids…

I also have a great brother in law, who my kids adore, who is a great cook and also a great babysitter, dogsitter and housesitter… In addition to this, I have great friends who help me and my husband constantly. When we go out to visit them or when they come, I don’t have to do anything they do everything…

So with all the leftover energy, I cook, I knit, and I crochet… Especially during the cold winter months when we are mostly inside… Yesterday, I was working on blanket number 2 -which will be referenced here shortly-, and I just didn’t like it… So I frogged it… Both my husband and BIL (brother in law) couldn’t believe it, and tried to talk me out of it… I frogged it with a smile and continued from where I left off… 5 minutes later my husband looked at me again… I guess he was trying to figure out why on earth I was going through so much trouble making this blanket at this day and age, where I could buy one much better and much prettier for less cost (yarn is expensive people, because it’s not made in China) …. then I think he had an “awakening” moment and said “I guess this knitting thing is like fishing”… hmmm… that also made sense to me, in a way sometimes the people closer to you know your “crazy stuff” and find meaning in them…

Actually, I tend to cook, clean and knit more when I the times are stressful… I guess it is something that I can focus on, that by each knot, by each garment, something is in my control and I am mostly happy with it… or if I am not happy I can change it…

Here are a few project of the last few weeks… here’s “THE CAT”…

The Cat

The Cat


She is a trial cat, my first ever crochet toy.. I am planning to make a good one for a close friend who loves cats and this one was just to get practice… Kids love it and call her name all the time!!! You can find the pattern for this cat and some more at http://www.crochetkitten.com/

The other projects mean a lot more to me… Two close friends are expecting baby girls… one is due in January and her blanket had to be finished first… It turned out very good, and it was really fun to make… I used Vanna’s choice yarn by Lion Brand… the color options are beautiful… so this is “Sophia’s blanket”, and it’s made with much love…

Sophia's Blanket

Sophia's Blanket

The pattern for this blanket can be found under http://www.ravelry.com. Ravelry is an online crochet and knitting society… It’s a free service and it’s a knitters dream come true. However, you have a wait a few days to become a member since their server is swamped and can only accept limited number of members each day… If you are a knitter you should be on there, don’t waste time!!!

Blanket number 2, is in the works… picture will be coming soon… it’s for the spring baby girl… it’s almost the same theme, similar colors… it’s still in my hands… I put the finishing touches on Sophia’s blanket on the day I heard my Mom’s passing, and started Baby #2’s blanket the next day. So both blankets are very important to me… and helped me so much through the grief process…

Crunchy and yummy...

Crunchy and yummy...

And just to add some New Year cheer, here’s my perfectly addictive “meringue cookies”… you cannot get away with eating one… they are so easy to make… just wait until you have a recipe that calls for “egg yolks”.. and use the whites for this recipe… it’s a guaranteed winner with everyone and here’s the link for the recipe… the secret is to bake it in low temperature, 100 C or 200-250 F for at least 45 minutes… http://www.teatime-blog.com/turkce/2006/01/22/karamelli-damla-beze/ 

I will post English translation under my blog soon…

Happy New Year to everyone. It has definetely been a bittersweet holiday season for me… I cannot express my gratitude with words for the friends and family who called, emailed and left comments…

Until next time…. Love and many hugs, g.

Hot off the needles!!

I actually finished this short-sleeved summer tweed shirt for my daughter last week. However, by the time I steamed it, washed it and put it on her a few days passed by. Also when it was time for a photo shoot, we had a teeny bit of a problem. Her head would not go through. As I was desperately trying to stretch it with my hands, there was a screaming baby who was very unhappy. Here’s a picture of the culprit!Innocent-looking baby shirt… it is guaranteed to make even the calmest baby scream when tried on

I knew what I had to do, however, since I steamed, seamed and washed the shirt, I dragged my feet to change it. I even desperately thought, I can try it again on her, but then came to my senses. I went to Yarniverse, to get ideas from the ladies. One mentioned that the bound off edge was too tight, and I had to do it with larger needle. (i already did that btw). The other mentioned that I needed to add buttons. For some reason, it’s always really easy to put baby shirts with shoulder buttons. Even with their onesies. I liked the idea, however, never had to knit anything with a shoulder button… It was kind of painful to find the ends of the yarn. I hid them pretty well, I guess. And summer tweed doesn’t frog very easily. It loses it’s shape and form immediately. Then half-way, I thought, how the ribbon would work with the buttons. After all, each time I had to put it on, I would have to take the ribbon off… I like functional and practical clothes for myself and my babies. With twin infants re-threading a ribbon each time is out of the question… So here’s the end result… and my husband and I decided that different color buttons are also cute! (should I also add, I didn’t have matching pairs)

My daughter wore it for one of our employee’s birtday party. And we got great compliments!!