Moderne Log Cabin

Christmas day is usually pretty quiet. This year even more so because WT and I had opened up almost all our gifts days and days before. Hey, we are adults so that is okay, right?

I had a chance to finish knitting the large sized Moderne Log Cabin afghan from Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Did you notice that I said "finished knitting" vs. finished? That means I still have about a million ends to tuck in. I managed a few Christmas day but then needed to take a break. I still haven’t finished, but I might take another crack at it tonight.

For those of you who are interested, I thought I would share a bit of the details:

First, I scanned the page from the book that showed the color layout. Then after choosing the yarn I wanted to use, I brought the scan into my PaintShop Pro and worked on the scan – making rectangles to overlay and then filling in with colors. I didn’t like the original color layout, so I changed it up a bit.

Next was figuring out my gauge and doing the math to determine how to get the correct finished size 50" x 60" out of worsted weight yarn (Cotton Ease).

From the gauge swatch I determined that I was getting 4 stitches and 8 ridges (16 rows) per inch. I then marked up the print of my colored scan so that I would have all the numbers handy.

While I was knitting I kept track of how many stitches I could get out of a whole skein. It came out to approx. 9216 sts per skein. Knowing that, I determined each square total stitch count (stitches x ridges x 2 (because each ridge is 2 rows)) so I could be sure I had enough of each color.

I knit this up leaving the live stitches on the needle instead of binding each rectangle off, and then having to pick up those bound edges. My Denise needles came in really handy here – especially since I had already purchased the additional extra long cables that are sold separately.

Just for the curious, for this large size log cabin in worsted weight it came out to a total of 96,000 stitches – without the i-cord binding calculations. I am not crazy/mental weirdo must calculate it lady (okay, I am but) in order to do the pattern you have to know the number of stitches per rectangle and also the number of rows – it is all a part of the pattern.

For the 2 side-by-side squares I had originally went about following the directions, but I thought it looked sloppy, so I tore that all out and knit each one separate. I zipped them up together at the end.

The edge is done with i-cord in the dark blue color. I wish I had flipped it before I started the i-cord so that the raised edge would be on the front vs. the back.

front with i-cord edging

back with i-cord edging

To end, I would make this again and probably will. Another worsted weight but not cotton-ease because I don’t have enough to do another and I am not liking the new colors – too pale.

If anybody has questions about my calculations or such, please feel free to email me at

Here is a last photo of my dogboy Spencer helping me:

After finishing the knitting I had some time to kick back and just do a lot of nothing – at least for a few minutes before we had some friends over for a multi-course dinner. Nothing fancy, just one of those can’t get it all together timed right all at once, so we pretend it was planned that way. Spicy chicken wings, roasted potatoes, steak, cheesy artichoke dip with crackers, spreadable cheeses, and a variety of goodies (homemade peanut brittle and cinnamon walnuts, plus some other store bought/gifted goodies). Yum!

Then gifts and just hanging out. We still aren’t totally done with Christmas because this next weekend is another gathering at my friend’s house with her 3 girls. More gifts, hanging out and fun. Plus New Year’s eve with another set of friends. We might get a group together pre-party gathering to go see Eragon (fingers crossed).


Christmas Eve

I will put the knitting content first. Family members who visit my blog, there will be a lot of photos after the knitting schtuff.

I have a pair that I didn’t show you before; Moc Croc pattern from I chose a green color that had a serpent look to them. They are meant for Jody, whose D&D character is a huge croc-alligator-like being. I haven’t tucked in the ends – just in case I have to add length or such.

Also the felted mini-bags (see previous post for the details). Here all in a row sans one because I forgot to photo that one (with the across the shoulder strap vs. braided). In the background is a small Christmas quilt I did back in the 80s. Perfectly sized for a loveseat throw.

I think the sewing in of the braided ends too longer to do than the actual knitting. Very fussy, but I was trying hard to make it neat. I hope they don’t come apart. They felted down very nice. I could have let them go a bit more, but the tan colored yarn that was in 3 of the 4 bags actually started to felt to itself. I pulled it apart, but a few of the bags have tiny creases in them. Not majorly ugly – but something I notice. I would use the yarn again but if I ever make another felted object with it I will put plastic bags in the center and not set the washer on such an agressive super wash setting again.

Christmas Eve at my folk’s house aka no more knitting content
Getting ready to go, I had it in my mind that dogboy Spencer wouldn’t be coming along because my folks have a very small house and it would be jammed with people. But he sensed that we were going somewhere – I don’t know how he figured it out because I was just getting ready to sit on the couch, wasn’t making movements to leave for another 45 minutes. He was so upset that we decided he had to come along. He is our child afterall.

There were already a few of my family members there. I didn’t get photos of everybody but here are a few…. I was asking them to "show me Christmas Crazy".

Then just regular photos – some of them blurry (dang!).

I don’t know who was more happy




I think Jessica because she showed us her

Engagement ring.


Progress and SNOW

It is finally snowing here. Earlier today it was raining – cold rain that started to turn into slushy rain which is bad, bad, bad.

I had just come home from shopping so I am safe. But DH/WT is still at work and I am really hoping he has a nice drive home. He is still feeling pretty crappy with his 3rd prescription for antibiotics for a long-standing sinus infection. Add thrush/oral yeast infection to that and then pile on end of the year stress, and then a heaping dose of holidays.

bags ready for felting We are already celebrating by gift giving before Christmas. Two huge shelving units from Ikea; one for the living room and one for my office/sewing room. Also a new flat screen for my computer – yipeee! I installed it this a.m. and it is very, very nice.

Some knitting pics to show you; four bags ready for felting. Aren’t they cute? I know they will felt up really nice. Again, all from Patons Soy Wool, using the Kureyon-Chan pattern by Chris. The one on the left is going to have an across the shoulder strap instead of the braided short straps as pictured on the pattern. That one will also have a button closure, the other three will be plain.

The only thing keeping me from felting them is my fear of things creepie crawlie in my dungeon basement. I just hate centipedes. Sometimes I can just get over it and trek down there, but right now it is a big no go.

Another finished project is a hat knit from the top down using Live Dangerously, Don’t Swatch pattern by Susan Lawrence. I love it! I paid for the nice .pdf version, a steal at only $3. I especially like the i-cord bind-off. I hope giftee likes it. I went for washable so it was knit using about half a ball of Encore. A nice brown/black tweed with bits of dark blue.

I also chose Encore to start up a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. This time in a dark red & black tweed. I am going to do the here and there cable from the Interweave Scarf Style book. I love that book. I tried out the pattern (without swatching) on Sunday during community knitting at Borealis Yarns. It was way too wide, even after 2 repeats of the cables, which really sucked it in. So the no swatch thing became a rip-it-out and start over kind of thing which is perfectly fine. I decided to take it down 18 stitches so that it is a more reasonable width. I don’t have anything to show you yet, except for a photo of the yarn.

Still plugging away at the Elf sock. I should finish tonight. Socks on 0s take a looooooooong time. Even though they look super weird long snakes, I will still have some yarn left over. Maybe enough to use it on heels and toes of a solid green or lilac sock. Or maybe a solid white to tone it down a bit.


Christmas clowns

burgundy?I colored my hair. I don’t know why, but I have been feeling the need to have my hair be purple or something close. It could be my version of mid-life crisis. The crisis part is that hair dye manufacturers don’t seem to recognize my needs. A lot of reds, no purples. The closest I could get is a burgundy color.

Kind of clownish. Granted, this is in the full sunlight. I know it will fade, and it’s only hair. But I don’t really care for clowns. Oh well!

Further steps of easing back into the quilting thang. I thought that I should make something quick and easy to get the measuring – cutting – sewing juices flowing again. I saw a patchwork scarf done up with batiks and a fabric called minkee so I decided to rip-off do an homage to that. I bought 6 fabric fat-quarters at Joann Etc. in Christmas-like colors, and fleece (much cheaper). Not really blatant primary red and green, but greens and reds and cherry colors, even some blue tones. Cut the fabric into various width strips, sewed them together and used the fleece for the backside – a nice strawberry color (and it will look so nice with my hair! *grin*). Here are two, with Spencer’s hiney in the background. I have 2 scarves more – I went kind of crazy, they will make good Christmas gifts.

I am also now working on the 2nd Elf sock – really loving the Lime N Violet sock yarn.

Elf girl socksDid you notice that the grass is still green? Weird weather here in MN. It feels like spring, and while it is very nice for shopping and such, just too strange for me. I hope it snows by Christmas day. But I guess I can’t do much about it right now. And on that note, hope you all have seen the Al Gore movie about global climate change. A MUST SEE.

I am also working on some mini felted bags using the Kureyon-Chan pattern. Thanks Chris! Except mine are done in the Patons Soy Wool. It is really nice yarn, and feels kind of like silky hair. If I get permission I will show you before and after felting photos soon.

Back at it – Peace!

Christmas is coming!…

and I am the goose is getting fat(ter). *grin*

I love Christmas because making or planning presents for others is so much fun. I wish I could show you some of the great stuff I have made, but I can’t for fear of the recipients finding out.

I am thinking that you all are experiencing the same thing. I am thinking of getting a super secret knitting blog going where we can post our stuff anonymously without fear of others seeing their gifts. If you are game, email me at shaguirre @ comcast . net (without the spaces) and I will invite you to post on a shared blog on I haven’t done a blog sharing thing before, but I am sure we can figure it out together.

And to help get you in the mood, click on this Hoops & YoYo demonstration showing the correct way to open a gift. Sock knitters will really enjoy this one.