Happy Holidays!

Here in The States, this week is a celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all other similar holidays celebrated throughout the world.  Happy holidays to you all!

christmas-treeCB067761kwanzaapeace_one_day_logo

And now, here is one of my favorite christmas songs by John Lennon:

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so happyChristmas (War is Over, if you want it)repeat with verse
For weak and for strong
The rich and the poor ones
The road is so long
So happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas (War is over, if you want it) repeat with verse
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Merry Christmas
So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so happyChristmas (War is Over, if you want it)repeat with verse
For weak and for strong
The rich and the poor ones
The road is so long
So happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas (War is over, if you want it) repeat with verse
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A merry merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Merry Christmas

 This is what I wish for in 2009 and onward: peace_one_day_logo

 

I don’t have any new knitting news at the moment…should have the chocolate poodle done very shortly, so come back in a day or two to check CJ III out!

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Yarn Therapy and Cancer

 crochetingyarnmousecrocheting

Earlier this year, I was browsing through a knitting magazine (Interweave Knits) and read a short article on how crocheting helped one nurse through her cancer treatment.  Was it the crocheting or working with yarn that helped in the healing process?  Or maybe it was the actual crafting of something from a ball of yarn/string?  Well, it’s actually all of these.  By engaging in the creative process, an area deep in the brain called the amygdala is stimulated to release endorphins and other neurotransmitters and hormones, thereby, reducing pain, promoting sensations of pleasure and comfort, bonding, and relaxation.  This relaxed state, then, triggers the immune system to function more efficiently.   

Studies have shown that people who are ill engaged in the creative process ,  have lowered blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and decreased need for pain medication.  For more information on creativity and healing, visit my other blog titled “Creativity in Healthcare“.  There’s alot of information there, so check it out.

And here’s the story from Interweave Knits (Spring) I mentioned a few paragraphs ago…

Boredom of seemingly enless hours of chemotherapy is almost as bad as the accompanying nausea and weaknessgrannysquares, according to one nurse diagnosed with cancer. “I couldn’t stand just sitting there doing nothing for hours on end…it was horrible.”  She took comfort with string and hook – crocheting afghan squares.  For this nurse, crocheting gave her a sense of normalcy, “I had something productive to do again, and when I got caught up manipulating the yarn, I could forget where I was and what I was really doing there.”  As her chemotherapy went on, her pile of afghan squares grew larger and she began feeling better.  “As the blanket got bigger, I got stronger…the chemo was doing its work and I was doing mine.” (Nurse undergoing chemotherapy in Hatboro, PA. Interweave Spring 2008; 13(1):24.

What I’m working on right now? 

cjA replica of my chocolate standard poodle, CJ, aka. Cowboy Junior.  Here’s a picture of the real C.J.   Of course, the knitted toy version is much smaller, more obedient, doesn’t stamp his front paws when he doesn’t get his way, and generally quieter. 

 

The yarn I’m using is Lionbrand Homespun Earth.

homespun-earth

Mr. Frosty pattern

Mr. Frosty

Experience level: Beginnermr-frosty

Finished measuremnt: approximately 11 inches high, including hat

Materials:

  • worsted weight yarn of the following colors – white, scarlet, grey, and small amount of black for the eyes.  Of course, you can use any colors you want…I used buttons for the eyes and mouth instead of yarn.
  • Size 8 (5mm) needles or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Stuffing
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge: 17 stitches = 4 inches/10cm in St st.  The gauge is not ultra important here…remember this is a stuffed toy.

Body: Begin at bottom with white & CO 20 sts

  • Row 1 (RS): [K1, inc] in each st across = 40 sts
  • Row 2 and all rem WS rows: Purl
  • Row 3: Rep Row 1 = 80 sts
  • Row 5-36: Work even in St st (have total of 41 rows at this point)
  • Row 37: *K2, k2tog, rep from * across = 60 sts
  • Row 39: *K1, k2tog, rep from * across = 40 sts
  • Row 41-62: Work even in St st.
  • Row 63: *K2, k2tog, rep from * across = 30 sts
  • Row 65: K1, k2tog, rep from * across = 20 sts
  • Row 66: Purl

Cut yarn leaving a 15 inch end.  Using tapestry needle, thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight, then sew back seam.

Stuff body, gather bottom sts and pull tight; fasten off securely.  Shape body. 

With black yarn, embroider eyes OR sew buttons for eyes.

Hat: With red, CO 44 sts

  • Row 1 – 10: Work in k2, p2 ribbing
  • Row 11 – 32: Beg with a knit row, work even in St st.
  • Row 33 (RS): *K2, k2tog, rep from * across = 33 sts
  • Row 34: Purl
  • Row 35: *K1, k2tog, repr from * across = 22 sts
  • Row 36: Purl

Cut yarn leaving a 10 inch end.  Using tapestry needle, thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight, then sew back seam.

Make a small pompom and fasten to top of hat – optional

Scarf: with grey (or any color), CO 13 sts.

  • Row 1: K1, *1, k1, rep from * across

Rep Row 1 for seed st until scarf meas 21 inches long.  BO all sts

Ta -dah — Mr. Frosty!

It’s snowing…on wordpress!

I love the snow flurries available on this blog!  After the snowflakes melted from my eyes, I was quite surprised to find Mr. Frosty inside the house in front of a Christmas tree!  From his expression, he’s also very surprised!

mr-frosty

I found the Mr. Frosty knitting pattern a long time ago on the internet, and now is no longer available.  Since I really like this knitted toy, I will type it out for you, so check back in a few days to a week for the pattern… yes, it may be that long before I can put it on my blog…life tends to get in the way sometimes!

And more…finger puppets!:)

Finger Puppies!

finger-puppies

Okay…you’re probably getting tired of my obsession with finger puppets, but I MUST tell you about the finger puppet pattern I found at Knituition.  The sample for the finger puppy at Knitutition are the 2 pups on the right…the dark chocolate on the left is my standard poodle CJ (aka Cowboy Junior).  The white one (2nd from the left) WAS supposed to be a cat, but it’s looks like a polar bear instead…I guess it’s a polar cat.

And now, I’m leaving…

groucho-marx1

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

turkey-finger-puppet

Can you tell I’m really into finger puppets?!  I found this neat pattern at Team Knit, so check them out.  There’s some beautiful neckwarmer patterns on the blog as well.  Also, there’s pictures of some awesome manufactured  knitted and crocheted bathing suits that will inspire and wish away the pounds.

Fingerprint Portrait commission

contemplating_sm‘contemplating’ by Marti Hand. I did this sculpture in early 2008 working from a live model.

A few posts ago, I knitted finger puppets of the presidental candidates, Obama and McCain.  During the creative process of knitting the finger puppets, the idea of painting fingerprint portraits of Obama and McCain evolved.  Scroll down a few posts and see the puppets and fingerprint portraits. 

From that ‘aha’ moment, a few people have commissioned fingerprint portraits as gifts.  The portraits are unique in that they are a visual and written story of that person’s life, whether she/he is 100 years old, 12 years old, 44 years old or newborn. 

Check back soon for a look at a commissioned fingerprint portrait – I’m sure it will be verrrrrry interesting!  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll take pictures of the portrait in progress…

fingerprint2fingerprint2fingerprint2fingerprint2