Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We Have Winners!

May 19 was a beautiful day for participating in Race For The Cure with my sister.  Nearly 50,000 walkers and runners of all ages turned out in Columbus, making it the 3rd largest event in the country!
There is my sister, a survivor, in her pink shirt, with me walking just in front of her.  We walked in memory of some who have not won their battle, and in support of some still fighting.

Thanks to all of you who contributed, I was able to make a donation of $300 to Race For The Cure.  75% of that money will stay in Central Ohio to help diagnose and treat cancer patients.  The remaining 25% goes to national breast cancer research.  I pray that we will start seeing cures in our lifetimes.

Now, on to the prizes!!

Prize 1.  The Dream in Color Yarn goes to Deb P!

Prize 2.  The yellow Dancin' Nanners now belongs to Bobbie, co-owner of Yarn Cravin'!

Prize 3.  The Tall Birches from Keegan Lane Yarns now belongs to Mary Nicholas!

Prize 4.  Dr. Becky is the winner of the Creatively Dyed yarn.

Prize 5.  The Watermelon yarn is going to live my friend Sarah Sagaser!

Prize 6.  Dale Ann, co-owner of Yarn Cravin' is winner of the Perfect Day Yarn

Prize 7.  Kay H. wins the Noni Book of Flowers.

Prize 8.  Mel "Gimme The Yarn" wins the Wollmeise!!  Way to go, Mel!  (You're knitting me socks, right?!)

I will deliver prizes to Yarn Cravin' on Thursday.  They will be in a bag labeled with your name.  Congratulations!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Still Hating Cancer - My Annual Appeal, and A Contest!

If you know me well, you know that cancer has invaded my life far too often.  Less than a year ago I lost my dad to metastatic lung cancer.  A few years before that, my older sister, Ursula was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Fortunately, she was diagnosed early, and has been cancer-free for over four years now.

In celebration of that, but also for those still battling, my sister and I are participating in Race For The Cure in Columbus, OH, to help raise funds for cancer research, but also to raise money for the ten county area in Central Ohio. The money raised stays in Central Ohio to fund mammograms and cancer treatment for people without insurance and those with financial hardships.  Our Race is May 19, 2012.  That's coming up soon!!!

My guess is that you know someone who has had breast cancer, or your family has been affected by breast cancer in some way. One in EIGHT people will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Look around Starbucks. Look around the grocery checkout line. Look down the pew at church. Glance around your office at your co-workers, or around the table at Sunday dinner, or even around your local yarn shop.  Who is next?

You can help! I'm asking if you're reading that you consider making a small, tax-deductible donation. You can make it honor of someone winning their battle. Make it memory of someone who fought a valiant fight. Make it for your children, so they can grow up in a world without cancer. No amount of money is too insignificant. Go without that $4.95 venti latte for one day.

So, as an incentive, readers, I'm offering up some yarn and other prizes  Yes, there is WOLLMEISE! I will do a drawing on May 20, 2012.  $5 gives you one chance to win.  $25 is six chances to win.  $50 is 12 chances to win.  You may only win one prize so that the yarny goodness will be spread around.

1.  Make a donation here:  Karen's Donation Page

2.  Email me at with verification of donation

3.  Leave a comment here, please!

PRIZES (in the order in which they will be drawn)

1. DSC_0212
"Be Bold" from Dream in Color 100% superfine Australian Merino

 2. DSC_0216
"Dancin' Nanners" from Dizzy Blonde Yarn.  100% Merino  A whopping 560 yds!

 3. DSC_0224
 From Meliabella of Keegan Lane Yarns, Toasty Sock Big Footies in "Tall Birches."  85% superwash wool, 25% nylon

 4. DSC_0221
Creatively Dyed "Luxury", 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon

5. DSC_0218
"Watermelon" by All Things Heather.  Superwash Merino, approx. 360 yds.

6. DSC_0220
Beat Sock in "Time of Fire" by Perfect Day Yarns.  Sarah is no longer dyeing yarn, so don't miss your chance!

. DSC_0229
7. This book is autographed and dated by the author! Noni Flowers, by Nora Bellows.

 8. DSC_0227
Wollmeise.  "My old blue Jeans"  574 yards.

I appreciate your help and support, wish you great luck in the contest, and hope you enter!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Keeping My Head Above Water

I'm still here, everyone. Keeping my head above water, putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward. Most days, honestly, I still feel like I'm trying to swim through Jello, but I'm here. My friends are a real blessing to me, and hopefully I have let them know that I appreciate their efforts to keep me connected to the real world.

So what have I been doing? You can "friend" me on Goodreads to check out the copious amounts of books I have devoured since the beginning of 2012.

I have also been knitting, of course.

December had me knitting hats for family members...

I knit a snowman afghan square for a swap. This one went to a friend in Europe.

I knit another icky scarlet and grey hat for a good friend who lost the first one I made him, and mailed it to him as a surprise.

Worsted weight yarn on US size 3 needles is a pain. I'm just sayin'. I told him to take this one to the vet and get it microchipped!

These socks were made on size 3 needles from a yarn called Induldgence, which has sadly been discontinued. It would have made a great Baby Surprise Jacket.


I also knitted a Chickadee Cowl (free pattern on Ravelry) for a charity auction to help a friend's loved one with medical bills related to cancer.


A whole group of knitter friends got together and sent knitted items and she was able to create two big basket of knitted items for the auction.

I made a red, white and blue scarf for Honor Flight participants.

Honor Flight of NW Ohio takes WWII Veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the war memorials, specifically the newer WWII Memorial built in their honor. It is the goal of Honor Flight to make sure that all WWII vets see their memorial before they die. On each flight, a goodie bag of treats is given to each Veteran. Yarn Cravin' knitters got together and knitted EIGHTY scarves to give to the participants of the first flight of 2012, which will leave for DC on April 25. Sometimes participants get a pin, or a hat and a pen and little trinkets. We wanted to make sure this group was wrapped with love!

My darling daughter, Mayhem, turned 13 recently, had her tonsils out right after that, and requested a special stuffed toy to love. Introducing "Gort."

Gort Poor Gort is still missing his mouth in that photo. If you are looking for a fun, quick knit, look up Rebecca Danger's Big Book of Monsters.
He is Mayhem's Track Team monster. My baby girl is doing track and softball this spring/summer. That darn tonsillectomy is getting in the way of everything since she is sidelined until April 27.

Another fun knit, and one for me was this Color Affection Shawl. It's still in the top 20 patterns on Ravelry, and I loved knitting it so much that I am pondering colors for another one!

color for me

It's all garter stitch, some short rows, and M1R, M1L. One section is using 3 colors of yarn, though, and keeping them from tangling was a bit annoying, but putting the skeins into ziploc bags helped with that issue.

Two more friends are expecting babies and I have started working on wee little baby knits. Can't show those off here yet, though. Top secret stuff!!

By popular demand, Bill and I are doing another student trip once school gets out. The kids who went to Washington, D.C. as 7th graders last year begged us to do a trip for them this year. So... we are taking 50 eighth graders to New York City in June when school is over the year. Lord help us!

Before that, though, I have one more big event. On May 18 I am doing Race For The Cure with my older sister, who is a breast cancer survivor. She has not yet reached the five year mark to be considered "cured," but is getting closer. Last year, if you recall, I held a raffle in her support. This year, I will be doing that again, and asking you to support our team as I walk with her. More details to come very soon.

If you want to donate already, here is our team page and I will make sure you are entered into the raffle for prizes!

2. Just click on my name (Karen Yockey) to make a donation if you want to be included in the prize giveaway.

3.Then send an email to me at You will have one entry for each $5 you donate. Your donation is tax deductible as well.

Prize info coming soon, but for sure there will be Wollemeise and one autographed copy of Noni's new flower book, Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gifted... Part One

In the spirit of the season, and an attempt to get into that season, I have been working on some hand-knitted gifts to exchange with my sister and her family this week. She and I decided that we wanted a simpler, less-commercial celebration of Christmas. a Tomorrow evening we are exchanging gifts and my contributions toward that end are displayed below.

A quiet evening of pizza, our four kids and the men with us is bound to be much more enjoyable than a wrapping paper ripping frenzy, which always seems to happen when the whole family gets together.

So, on to what I've made. For the boys, including my brother in law:

Family Ribbed Hats, from the book, More Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

Red is for Aaron
These hats are stretchy and warm, and made of Lamb's Pride Bulky wool.

Blue is for Nicholas
Again, I used Lamb's Pride Bulky.

Black and Grey is for the Brother in law. He'll use it for shoveling, and the occasional trip out sledding.
This hat used Shepherd's Shades by Brown Sheep, which contains no mohair.

My sister wanted a totally different hat; one that would keep her warm while walking the big Golden Retreiver who shares their lives. She is receiving Thorpe, a wonderful earflap hat. Both of my kids also have this hat, courtesy of me.

Back to Lamb's Pride Bulky for this one. The trim is crochet, and their are long braids hanging down from the earflaps. Thorpe is a free pattern on Ravelry, if you are a registered user.

More on the topic of "Gifted" in the days to come, because I have been receiving some blessings from some special knitting friends!

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Thursday, December 01, 2011


Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I have reminders still of all that I have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for Family: There were 20 of us for Thanksgiving, and being at my younger sister's house meant we could all sit in the same room together. Here's the table before we all sat down.


I'm thankful we have enough to eat. Here's my mom and others getting the meal ready, with plenty of room to be together. Having plenty of food to eat and share is a blessing. And wine too. Can't forget the wine!


I'm thankful for the kids in my family. Mine, and others. Here's my Absent-Minded Professor (red shirt) playing with his favorite male cousins.


Mayhem playing pool with her 6 year old cousin, Hadley.


I'm thankful that my 10.5 year old Lab, Bruno, still likes to play. His health hasn't been great off and on lately, but today he was feeling good. He gutted his "baby" and was having great fun showing off.

I needed to vacuum anyway.

I'm thankful I finished the Rainbow Blankie. See? Knitting and my knitting friends are a blessing in my life.

I have woven in the ends since I took that photo!

Good thing it's finished, too, because the recipient arrived yesterday, November 30! Meet my newest great-niece, Ansley Rose. I'm thankful she arrived safely and is healthy! Congrats to my nephew Andy, his wife Rebecca, and big brother, AJ.

Ansley Rose

I'm thankful for the love and support of my family and friends.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On the Needles and Finished

Yes, I'm still here, and still plugging away. It seems like the days are so long, and I'm up to my eyeballs in coping with grief and sadness and depression, and *poof!* before I know it, an entire week, or month, has passed.

Knitting is keeping me grounded in some ways, more so than just about anything else. Well, that and keeping my chin up for my kids when they are here with me. Mayhem is in choir and orchestra this year so she has twice as many concerts. Absent-Minded Professor has discovered girls and has an on again, off again relationship with the same girlfriend that sends his moods on a rollercoaster ride!

So, finished projects?

Easy Baby Cardigan, (ravelry link) by Diane Soucy. This is going to be a gift. A quick, easy knit. I used Mirasol Hacho, a DK weight yarn.

Elf hat

Elf Hat, (ravelry link) by Classic Elite yarns. This pattern sells for $6 alone on Ravelry, but if you can get to a yarn shop, you can buy the whole pattern booklet (Classic Elite Yarns Toboggan) for $9.50 and get SEVEN patterns! I used Toboggan yarn in Garnet and the Merino/Alpaca blend is yummy and warm.

I also finished a pair of plain vanilla socks from Colinette Jitterbug, but they are currently in the laundry and I will not fish them out to photograph them for you!

Nearing completion is what I have affectionately dubbed the Rainbow Blankie From Hell. This will be another baby gift, and I love the way it looks, but the yarn was a disappointment. Five of the 7 balls had defects in the ways of breaks, weak spots, knots to rejoin broken spots. I was sucked in by the gorgeous, deeply saturated colors, though. I ended up having to double the yarn in order to make sure that this wouldn't fall apart. Avoid Tonic by Jojoland.


This blankie is pretty much thought up on my own, but loosely based on a blanket I saw on the Purlbee blog. The light blue border was added because I decided the blankie wasn't wide enough and so the light blue represents the sky. The border is wider on the sides. It has made for good TV knitting, though.

Once that blankie is finished, I'm on to Christmas knitting... hats, mittens, some ornaments, an e-reader cover, slippers. Good thing I have a big stash of yarn!

It's also time to get ready for Thanksgiving. What are your plans? For the first time ever that I can remember, we are having the family here, instead of two hours away, in our hometown. We'll be at my younger sister's new house. There's a lot to do between now and then.

Oh! One last thing! Remember when you're out doing your holiday shopping that the Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday! Shop Main Street, not Wall Street. Drop in those small, independent stores and shop local.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Back In The Saddle... Sort Of

Let's see if this thing still works. I know it's been a while, but I'm still here. Still sad, still grieving, but always knitting. You know the old saying "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on"? Well thank God for knitting, and my knitting friends. They really have been my lifeline the past three months. And Sunday it will be three months since Dad passed.

I plan to be with knitting friends in Chicago this weekend, being happy. One friend is celebrating a birthday, and another is having a baby shower. Another knitting friend and I are heading out early Saturday and driving together.

So, what is the lovely new babe receiving from his (it's a boy, by the way) from his honorary Auntie Karen?


His very own, preppy, sweater vest. This is the Owl Baby Vest (Ravelry Link), made from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I know a fellow knitter can handle hand washing.


And here it is, all ready with a little white tee, and a special book. hehehehehe

The momma of this babe is a teen librarian so I managed to purchase an autographed copy of Go The F To Sleep by Adam Mansbach. You can hear Samuel L. Jackson read the book here Book reading. If you've ever been an exhausted parent, give a listen. ;-) Bill, my kids and I have all had a great giggle more than once with this book.

What else am I knitting? I joined a KAL for Stephen West's Mystery Shawl. Here is my progress so far:

This is my first attempt at intarsia, but each row only uses 3 colors at a time, so it isn't too bad. I love the yarn I chose, too - Madelinetosh Sport. Yummmy! Slow going for me, though. All the purling on the back side really slows me down.

I also finished a pair of socks, which were started three years ago!

Latest sock
My gauge had changed so much that I had to change needle size for the second sock. Three years ago, I started the first sock on size 2 (US) needles, and they were loosely knit. I had to cast on the 2nd sock on size 3 (US) needles to get the same gauge!

That's all for now. I hope to be here more regularly. Really. The kids start back to school Aug. 31./Sept 1.

Oh wait!!! Big news! Absent-Minded Professor had his braces taken off this week. He's looking totally different now!

Bye bye braces

What are you up to? What are you knitting?

Next for me, along with the shawl, and ever-present pair of socks is an afghan square for a swap in which I participate.

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