Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Special Deliveries!!

Last week, Laurie Johnson and I delivered our blocks for Warm Up America to Michael's. The store had been collecting the blocks for the cause in the past few months. They were very happy to see our stash of 134 blocks!

Yesterday, we delivered 65 chemo caps to M.D. Anderson. They were delighted to see the homemade caps just in time for all of this cold weather. We also made the delivery of 100 preemie caps to TX Children's Hospital.

Overall, this has been a very productive year for us. Although we took a break from meetings in the middle of the year, we still managed to meet our goals.

There have been some questions about whether we will repeat this effort again next year. Let me just say that it is under consideration. If anyone would like to help organize this, please let me know. We might want to change our focus on other charities. Stay tuned...

Thanks to everyone for contributing and taking some time to bring a smile to those people in need.

Check out the pictures that we took of our handmade items.

Great job!!

Thanks again,


Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Friday!

This is a picture from the May 7th meeting. (From left to right: Tracy Batchelder, Amy Ehlert, Laurie Wright, Linda Baldree, Louella Mott, Celyna Ebohon and Laurie Johnson)

Well, here it is, Friday again. It seems like this past week just flew by... I have a couple of things that I wanted to share with everyone.

1. Margaret Southern sent me a great suggestion for a cute and easy project for beginning knitters. She recommended the pattern and thought that it might be an easy way to learn how to follow pattern instructions. (It also is a great way to use up those remainders of skeins from old projects.) This comes from the Knitting Calendar by Desiree Scales & Friends. It is called Kitten Hand Puppet (if you would like a better copy, please let me know):

2. I also wanted to share more pictures from our last meeting on May 7th. John Batchelder took these pictures. Enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Just look at our progress!

On Wednesday, May 7th, we met over lunch (thanks to everyone who could make it -- if you couldn't, no worries, we'll try to all meet again next month). We had a pretty good turnout. It was a relaxed session, with people eating their lunches, knitting, chatting, coming and going, just as their schedules allowed.

We displayed all of the beautiful blocks, chemo hats and preemie hats that we have made so far. We were all quite impressed with the handiwork of our fellow knitters! Great job -- keep up the great work!

We also had a special visitor -- John Batchelder's wife, Tracy. She spent some time with us and brought in several preemie hats that she handcrafted especially for our effort. For those of you that don't know, Tracy is the author of Wool Windings (see link under Favorite Blogs on this page), a very spectacular blog showcasing her knitting projects and also including snippets from her life. She has many avid followers (me included!) from Williams and all over the world. I am quite addicted to her blog and find it amazing to see everything that she is able to accomplish. I recommend that you check it out for lots of good knitting ideas and just to see what she is up to. Unlike me, she updates her blog quite frequently and always includes great photography to boot.

Let me just address another question that we've been getting. We've heard from several people that have said (with quite a bit of shame): "I haven't yet finished a block. I feel like quitting because I haven't completed anything!" Let me just set the record straight - this is not a race and you shouldn't be ashamed! There really isn't a deadline and we are still accepting blocks, chemo caps and preemie hats. We will be collecting all year. Knitting sometimes just has to take a back seat to your life and your work. When you get a spare moment, just take it out and continue. And, if you get stuck, give one of your fellow knitsters a call. We love to help and really don't mind.

One more thing, we have scheduled weekly meetings: Wednesdays on level 10 (10333) and Thursdays on level 13 (13405). The organizers will make every effort to attend one of these weekly meetings. But, I’m sure, just as your schedule can be hectic, things come up and we are unable to attend. Please, feel free to go ahead and knit with whoever shows up. Sometimes there will be lots of knitters and sometimes there will only be a few.

Here are some more pictures from our meeting on Wednesday:

I'm holding a very cool tiger hat completed by Valerie.

Stay tuned for more photos from our meeting -- I'm hoping to receive more from John.

Until next time,

Monday, April 14, 2008

We've made over 100 blocks!

I've been travelling the past two weeks and have not had the chance to post anything. Sorry 'bout that! But, not to worry, a lot of progress has been made...

Congratulations to everyone for helping us to meet our goal of 100+ blocks for Warm Up America! Don't worry, if you're in the midst of creating one - we will continue to accept blocks as long as people make them.

Some of our knitsters are moving on to hats and, I must say, doing a fabulous job! I am impressed by the skills of our new knitters!

Keep up the great work. I am looking forward to our next knitting group.



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Progress!

Isabel's 1st Chemo Cap (Great job!)

As you can see by the progress bars, we are really making progress on our blocks. We're up to 85!! A lot of people have asked if we wouldn't accept any more after we reach 100... Well, our advice isto keep working on your blocks, if you're doing so. When you feel comfortable enough to move on to hats, please feel free to do so. We will send in whatever amount that we receive. Our original goal was 100, but there is no magic number.

Tip to those of you trying out the hat patterns: Use a row counter! These are readily available at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. These handy little devices will help you know what row you are on in your pattern. The best way to use these -- advance the counter upon completion of a row. And, when you stop your knitting, always remember to complete a row.

Keep up the great work!


Monday, March 24, 2008


  • We've made some more progress on our blocks! We're up to 74 blocks! We took a picture of the blocks last week and wanted to show everyone their handiwork. Thanks to everyone that has helped.
  • Last week was spring break for most of the kids in our area. We enjoyed some wonderful weather and lots of Easter chocolate. I did manage to get in some knitting and make a few more preemie hats.
  • I've posted the two patterns (one for preemie and one for chemo) below that we thought were pretty easy for beginners. We thought that after you have completed a few squares and are comfortable with both the knit and purl stitch -- that you should tackle one of the patterns below.
  • Please see one of us for more yarn, if you need some. The weekly meetings are back on this week, so please plan on joining us either Wednesday or Thursday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Easy Preemie Hat Pattern

Knitted Preemie Hat

All sizes follow the same instructions.

Newborn uses size 8 needles and a 4 ply SOFT yarn (such as Caron Simply Soft)

Medium preemie size uses size 6 needles and uses a baby sport weight 3 ply yarn (Such as Red Heart baby sport)

Small preemie size uses a size 4 needle and baby yarn

General Directions:
Cast on 54 sts.
Work in Kl-Pl ribbing for 16 rows. (for approximately 2 inches.)
Change to Stockinette stitch. (alternate knit one row and purl one row -- knit for 24 rows)
Decrease Rows:
Row1-- Knit 3 knit 2 together across
Row2--Purl 2 Purl 2 together across
Row 3 -Knit 1 Knit 2 together across
Row 4--Knit 2 together across.

Cut a long length of yarn for sewing. Gather remaining sts and sew securely.

[Alternate stem top (as in picture): Continue final stitches for 3 rows and bind off.]

Sew back seam.
Add pompom or bow if desired.

Easy Chemo Cap Pattern

Amy’s Flat Knitting Hat Pattern

Supplies Needed:
Worsted Weight Yarn
Size 8 straight knitting needles
Tapestry Needle

There are a couple of ways to begin this hat:

Curl up edge: Begin in stockinette (alternate one row of knit and one row of purl) and let the hat curl up to the first row of purl bumps possibly further depending on your yarn.

Rib edge: Begin with an inch or so of ribbing (k1, p1) to form a hat that hugs the face.To begin in stockinette stitch and once the hat is finished do a crochet border to keep the hat from curling up. (This looks very nice)

To make the hat:
Cast on 80 stitches. Use the ribbing edge or curl up edge. Do this for about an inch, then start the pattern:
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Knit
Repeat rows 1-4 until hat is desired length (about 6”).
Now start your decreases.
Row 1: *K8, K2tog* repeat from * to *
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *K7, K2tog* repeat from * to *
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: *K6, K2tog* repeat from * to *
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: *K5, K2tog* repeat from * to *
Row 8: Knit
Row 9: *K4, K2tog* repeat from * to *
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: *K3, K2tog* repeat from * to *
Row 12: Knit
Row 13: *K2, K2tog* repeat from * to *
Row 14: Purl
Row 15: *K1, K2tog* repeat from * to *
Row 16: Knit
Row 17: K2 tog across.

Slip all stitches to the opposite needle. Break yarn leaving a long tail for sewing. Thread yarn onto tapestry needle and slip each stitch one at a time onto the yarn and off of the needle, then draw up tight. Secure top then finish seam. Weave in ends.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We're making progress!

We got a real boost to our preemie hat collection this week (Margaret and I are holding them in the picture above). John Batchelder's wife, Tracy, made 10 preemie hats for our cause! She even donated some extra baby yarn to our stash. Thanks, Tracy for your help and generosity! We really appreciate it.
We also made progress on our blocks. As you can see from our progress bars (to the right on this page), we are up to 58 blocks! We're over half way to our goal of 100!
Oh, and don't worrry if you are still working on your first block -- this is not a race, it's a journey. We are all thrilled that you are learning and look forward to helping you complete your projects.
Until my next post,

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

40 Blocks Down, 60 To Go!!

Knitters on March 5th

Well, we are making great progress on our 100 blocks! Our group has completed 40, so far. Everyone has done a fantastic job at learning the knit stitch and some have even gone on to the purl stitch.

Keep up the great work!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

25 Squares Down, 75 To Go!!

Sharon and Esther hold the finished squares.

Okay, we have 25 squares done, so far! Great job everyone! We also have 10 chemo hats and about 5 preemie hats. Everyone is doing an awesome job!
Keep up the great work and knit on!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We're knitting now!

Linda and Margaret knitting their projects.

Everyone is doing a great job with their squares. We have about 7 squares completed so far! As a side note, we're also having a good time getting to know each other. There is a lot of great fellowship happening with our fellow knitsters sitting around and learning. We even have a dad that has joined us on our quest (welcome to the group, Craig!!).
Valerie brought a special hat today. We had a lot of fun with him. Anyone recognize the Spongebob mystery guest?

We appreciate everyone's efforts and are pleased with your progress. Remember, it's not how fast you get your projects done, it's all about enjoying the journey. So, keep up the great work.

And remember,

Knit On!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Our needles have arrived!!

The needles are in! They are size 8 - 16" circulars from Knit Picks. They are named Harmony and are very pretty. Hopefully, they will make some pretty hats.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Our first project - Knit Block for Warm Up America

For our first project we have decided to make garter stitch squares. Our goal is to make 100 squares in honor of Williams 100th anniversary. This is a great way to learn how to knit.

The instructions below will show you how to cast on and to make a knit stitch, also known as garter stitch. If you follow them exactly, you’ll complete a 7" by 9" block, which will be great practice and help a good cause: Warm Up America!
(With these basics, you can also make a scarf, hat, pillow, bag or any number of projects.)

Beginner Knit Block
What you need:
- Worsted-weight yarn, any color or colors
- Size 8 - 16" circular or 14" long knitting needles
-Yarn needle with big eye- Small scissors

Casting On:

Reference this website for videos covering different methods of casting on: http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/cast-on

Method 1:
Step 1: Make a slip knot on the shaft of one needle. This counts as your first stitch.
Step 2: Place this needle in left hand. Hold other needle in right hand to control the yarn. Insert point of right needle, from front to back, into the slip knot and under the left needle.
Step 3: Hold left needle still in left hand, and move left fingers over to brace right needle.
Step 4: With right index finger, pick up the yarn from the ball.
Step 5: Release right hand’s grip on the needle, and use index finger to bring yarn under and over the point of right needle.
Step 6: Return right fingers to right needle, and draw yarn through stitch with point of right needle.
Step 7: Slide point of left needle into back of new stitch, then remove right needle.
Step 8: Pull ball yarn gently to make the stitch fit snuggly on needle. You have now made one stitch (called casting on), and there are two stitches on left needle (slip knot is counted as a stitch). Step 9: Insert point of right needle, from front to back, into stitch just made, and under left needle. Repeat Steps 5 through 9, 26 more times, until you have 28 stitches on the left needle. This completes the cast-on row, which is the way all knitting is begun.

Method 2:

Thumb cast on: Use this site for instructions http://www.learn2knit.co.uk/knitting/cast-on.php

First Knit Row:
Step 1: Hold needle with stitches in left hand; insert point of right needle in first stitch, from front to back, just as in casting on.
Step 2: With right index finger, bring yarn from ball under and over point of right needle.
Step 3: Draw yarn through stitch with right needle point. Step 4: This step now differs from casting on: Slip loop on left needle off, so new stitch is entirely on right needle.

This completes one knit stitch. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 in each stitch still on left needle. When the last stitch is worked, one row of knitting is completed.
Now measure your work. It should be about 7" wide. If it is too wide, start over and cast on fewer stitches; if it is too narrow, start over and cast on more stitches.
When the width is correct, begin next knit row as follows: turn right needle and hold it now in left hand. With free needle in right hand, work Steps 1 through 4 of First Knit Row in each stitch. Again take needle with stitches in left hand, and work another row of knit stitches. Work rows of knit stitches until block measures 9" long. To complete the block, now bind off all the stitches.

Binding Off:
Step 1: Knit the first 2 stitches; insert left needle into stitch you knitted first, and pull it over the second stitch and completely off the needle.
One stitch is now bound off.
Step 2: Knit one more stitch, insert left needle into first stitch on right needle, and pull it over the new stitch and completely off the needle. Another stitch is bound off; don’t work too tightly. Repeat Step 2 until one stitch remains; now cut yarn from skein, leaving a 6" end. With needle draw end up and through last stitch to secure it. Thread yarn end into yarn needle and weave end into several stitches to secure it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Recap of our activities:

We met on January 29th and around 37 knitters showed up. We introduced our game plan, passed out helpful guides, links and patterns.
  • A folder on the S drive was set up to store these documents. S:\OPS\Knit at work
  • Amy ordered Size 8 16”circular Harmony needles online. Amy is donating these from Hannah’s foundation fund.
  • We weighed and balled up donated yarn and created little packets for the 1st project of the Warm-Up-America 7” by 9” blocks (Instructions on S drive) The plan is to make 100 blocks to donate in honor of the Williams 100th anniversary.
  • We will be meeting Tuesday February 12 11:30 to 1:00 in the Level 6 Theater to pass out needles and yarn.
  • Sharon has set up weekly meetings during lunch for any knitter to be able to eat lunch and work on their project and have access to Experts for help. These reoccurring meetings will start the week of Feb 18th at these times:

Wednesdays 11:00 to 1:00 in conference room 10333

Thursdays 11:00 to 1:00 in conference room 13405

  • Once a month we will all get together to bring our completed projects, and share our successes. Sharon will be sending you a meeting notice for the March date.