Saturday, February 28, 2015


I finished Kate's mittens.  Or at least I thought I had.

knitting fail #33

Doh!  I don't suppose Kate has two right hands.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fiber Friday - Patons Kroy Socks

My original plan was that Fiber Fridays would be about new-to-me fiber, but I stumbled onto a sale and new-to-me colorways.

Patons Kroy Socks, think I like it? Hope you answered, "yes."  As far as squishiness and fabric firmness, it knits up like On-Line which I also love, but the Patons Kroy can be found in local big box craft stores which means I can impulse shop and don't have to wait for the mailman.  It's also inexpensive, washes and wears well.

In the picture, the color ways are, from left to right, Eclipse Stripes, Meadow Stripes, Rusty Stripes and Clover.  I'd never seen Eclipse or Meadow Stripes in stores before.  Meadow Stripes will make fun, spring colored socks while Rusty Stripes will make great fall socks.  I've used Clover in five or six previous projects, including socks, so I have no idea what I'll do with this newest purchase but I love the color way so, in my cart it went.  But as much as I love Clover, I think Eclipse may be my favorite.  It's dark and stormy and fits my mood perfectly.

Why is my mood dark & stormy?

It snowed again.  You'd think, as a lover of all things warm & wooly, I'd love snow, but nope.  I'm just too old for this nonsense.   I really don't know why I'm so bothered by this recent snow.  I don't have anywhere I have to be so it's not like I need to fight the snow plows and crazy drivers.  The kids are old enough to dress themselves so I don't have to spend hours upon hours layering them up to send them outdoors only to spend hours & hours unlayering them 30 minutes later when they come in wet and cold.  We have plenty of food & wine, although we are low on salty snacks & chocolate.  That could be a problem.  I think really, I'm just mad because it snowed during the night and I didn't get to watch it fall.  I do love to knit by the fire while watching snow fall.

In other news, my daughter may have a problem.

A gambling problem.  Sarah was so excited to turn 18 and be able to legally buy scratch-off lottery tickets.  She bought her first ticket and won $1.  Me, being the dork mom that I am, took a picture of her collecting her winnings.  The cashier thought I was totally nuts.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

TBT - Skellatoid

It's Throwback Thursday and,

Zack & Sarah, Colonial Beach, VA

is it any wonder we called the boy Skellatoid?  Based on location & hair styles, I'm guessing Zack is 6 & Sarah is 4 in this picture.  I am a horrible mother & didn't date any of the photos.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I lucked out at Michael's the other day.  I went in to exchange something and found Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool on clearance.  Fishermen's Wool doesn't come in the prettiest colors, but I like it for everyday hats & mittens.  I think of it more as work horse yarn than pretty, fashionable yarn.  But it was 50% off so I started tossing skein after skein into my cart.  Actually, I had to go get a cart, then I started the tossing-in process.  Whatever.  I came home with a LOT of Fishermen's Wool.  I even had enough of one dyelot to knit a top-down, ragland sweater for myself if I use a contrasting color for the neckband & cuffs.  So...


It's not the prettiest sweater ever knit, but it will be a nice wear-around-the-house, work horse sweater.  The pattern & yarn details can be found on my Ravelry page if you're interested.

I like knitting top-down sweaters.  It's so easy to try them on & see if adjustments need to be made.  This particular pattern is super simple and easily modified.  Back in the 90's I knit this pattern six or seven times.  Now, I feel like I'm visiting an old friend.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow boots

Looking to the positive side of this horrible weather...

I have lots of opportunity to wear my snow boots.  Because I live in an area that only gets enough snow to warrant wearing snow boots once every five years or so, I haven't owned a pair since I was a kid.  As in, a little, little kid.  But these, I found at the warehouse club for $14.99 this past summer.  And, they are labeled two sizes smaller than I normally wear so they make me feel good about my boat sized (think ocean liner) feet.  And, they are lined with warm fuzzy fabric that keeps my toes warm in the snow but doesn't make my feet overly hot indoors.  I absolutely love these boots!


I started a top-down, ragland sweater.


My grown up baby boy did his own taxes this year.  He now understands why everyone feels that the IRS has it's own special space in Hell.

Monday, February 23, 2015

On the needles - Kate's mittens

One mitten down.


One more to go.  It looks freakishly long, but it's not.  The mittens are being knit for a friend with hands a quarter inch shorter than mine and these fit me fine, except that they are just a tad snug in length.  I'm chalking the weird visual up to being because Kate and I are both so long and lean.

I think it's also appropriate to mention that I knit that mitten while watching North & South on Netflix.  You see, she may be my friend, but Kate is a Civil War re-enactor.  And a dammed Yankee!  I, on the other hand, was taught the words to Dixie in preschool.

And now that I'm singing "...wish I was in the land of cotton..." I'm off to knit mitten number two.  And maybe sing Henry the VIII, I Am instead.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Hats - 1 Hour Infant Cap

Today's hat pattern is one of my own creations and it's so quick and simple, I hesitate to call it a creation.  I should also warn you that if you decide to knit one yourself, the pattern has not yet been tested.  I literally came up with the idea, designed the hat, knit it and photographed it yesterday while watching an 87 minute movie on Netflix.  That alone should give you an idea of how quick & simple this hat is to knit.

You will need worsted weight yarn and a needles that give you a gauge of 4 stitches to the inch & 6 rows to an inch.  (I used a US 7 needle, but I knit very loosely.)

Using the long-tail method, cast on 30 stitches and slipping the first stitch of each row,

Row 1:  Knit
Row 2:  Purl
Row 3 -5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Repeat rows 3 - 6 seven times.  You should then have almost 5 inches of fabric.
Knit 2 more rows
Split the stitches in half so that you have 15 stitches on two needles, fold the fabric in half and using a third needle, Knit a 3 needle bind-off.  Break yarn.

Using a crochet hook (I used a G/6,) and additional yarn, chain 25 stitches, attach chain to the bottom of the face edge and single crochet around face opening.  Chain an additional 25 stitches, break yarn & tie off.

Weave in the loose ends and presto, magic!  You have an infant hat in less than an hour.

And of course, you could use i-cord instead of the crocheted chain, fancy up the tassels any way you want and/or use a contrasting color for the ties and around the face.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

To the moms of struggling young writers

I'm taking a knitting break today (not really, but as far as the blog goes, I am) and am talking to freaked out homeschooling moms instead.  For twelve of our thirteen homeschooling years, I led a creative writing group for homeschooled kids of various ages.  Every year, there were several parents who were just totally freaked out over their young kids' lack of writing ability or willingness to write.

Enter the Jimmy Fallon Birdman video.  Have you seen it?  I think everyone on the planet should watch it.  Especially homeschool moms with young children.  The video showed up on my Facebook page as one of those "This is hilarious. You must watch." posts that are rarely very funny and a total waste of time.  But, it happened to roll across my screen with perfect timing.  I was busy procrastinating and chose to watch the video instead of doing what I was supposed to be doing.  And I am SO glad I did.

The video had me rolling around, tears streaming down my face laughing.  I laughed so hard I woke up the kids.  Kids who are teenagers & don't even wake up when the smoke alarm goes off.  Even the dog came over to see what was wrong with me because I was laughing so hard.  The gist of the video is Jimmy Fallon & Michael Keaton acting out scripts that several young children wrote titled, Birdman.  Automatically, you know it's going to be funny, right?

Of course the video was hilarious.  Fallon & Keaton took their rolls seriously, or at least they tried to, and their acting skills & voices were what made them so funny.  The scripts themselves were, well, typical for six & seven year olds' writing styles.  And that is what I want all those freaked out homeschool moms who are giving themselves gray hair stressing out over their child who doesn't write well.  They are kids!  Young kids.  They aren't supposed to write well.

Take the scripts in the video for example.  They by no means show great writing.  Yes, they are creative, funny and show some emotion.  But they aren't "great" writing.  They are just examples of what a typical six or seven year old would write.  What makes them so funny is Keaton's & Fallon's acting & reactions.

So, go watch the video if you haven't already.  And the next time you're freaking out over your child's "lack" of writing skills, picture Keaton & Fallon reading your child's writing.  It's not so bad now, is it?

One other point I'd like to make....  I really, really hope that the young authors of those scripts realize that people are laughing at the comedy they created, not at them as individuals.  Occasionally in our homeschool writing group, someone would write something without intending for it to be funny.  The group would see humor in it however, and laugh.  Occasionally, the writer would become upset, thinking the group was laughing at him, not at the story.  That's not the case in the Birdman video.  The scripts and the acting is what everyone is laughing at and why the video is going viral.  So kids, please keep writing and thank you for showing the bravery of putting your creativity out there for the world to see.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fiber Friday - Cascade Quatro

Can you guess what I'm knitting now?

Cascade Quatro

The yarn is Cascade Quatro and it's been in my stash pile for several years.  I remember buying it for a specific project, but I don't remember what the project was and obviously, I never knit it.  But, I needed turquoise for a special project and there it was, waiting patiently in my stash.  Yay for big, patient stash piles!

Since the yarn has been hanging around my house for quite a while, I wasn't sure if it was still on the market, but a quick Google search found it stocked at Webs and it's even on sale, almost half priced!  I should probably go order some more.  Wouldn't want the stash pile to get too low.

I'm enjoying knitting with the Quatro.  It's a nice firm but squishy worsted weight with good stitch definition.  This particular project doesn't have a lot of stitch patterning going on in it, but I think the yarn would make beautiful cables.  I'm pretty sure I'll have enough left over from this project to knit a hat so you can probably guess what the next project will be.  I'm also loving the turquoise color.  It's warm tropical water color and that is The perfect color to be knitting with at the moment. Did I mention it's 4 degrees outside?  Four.  This yarn's color is about the only thing saving my sanity.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

TBT - Lowe's Delivers

Twenty years ago today, Lowe's helped bring our first born into this world.  The story isn't quite as dramatic as that sounds, but it's still a fun, memorable birth story.

Around 4 or 5 in the morning on the day before my official due date, I woke up with, for the public's sake, let's just call it "weirdness."  I grabbed my baby birthing bible and learned that I would most likely go into labor within the next 24 hours.  I woke up the husband and sent him off to work with a "hurry, get your job done & get back home" message.  At the time, his workplace was about 120 miles from home.  Off he went and I went about my normal morning routine which consisted of laying on the couch, watching TV & knitting.  (I was on "couch" rest which was a modified version of bed rest.  I was allowed quick trips to the kitchen and to lay on the couch instead of total bed rest.)

An hour or so later, I kept having a weird sensation in/on my belly.  Not cramps, not contractions, not even squeezes, but almost like a gentle massaging sensation.  An hour or so after that started, I started leaking fluid.  When you are as hugely pregnant as I was and you're carrying the next David Beckham who seems to think your bladder is a soccer ball, it's not unusual to .... let's just say, leak.  But it kept happening.  It still wasn't the "OMG! My water broke!" gush that the birthing class video had shown but it was enough to send me diving back into the bible for more information.

The bible said to go to the hospital, it was almost Time.  I called the doctor and he agreed but said that I didn't have to be in a huge rush.  I started paging (remember pagers??) and calling my husband.  Of course, he didn't respond.  After a couple of hours of not being able to reach him, I called his family.  His family turned out to be blood hounds.  They not only went in search of him themselves (they lived close by where he was working) but they also got the plant's security crew looking for him.  Finally, Michael (he was Michael, not Mike by that time) called me back.  Meanwhile, while everyone had been out looking for Mike, the doctor's office had decided that I if I didn't have a ride to the hospital within the hour, I needed to call an ambulance.  And of course, it was one of those days where not a single neighbor or friend were home or answering their phones.

Anyway, Mike finally calls me back, I tell him the story and he decides the best plan of action is for  Mike's Lowe's salesman to give me a ride.  He'd been an EMT in another lifetime and lived in our neighborhood.  So I called Kevin and he agreed to come get me.  Of course, instead of showing up in his old, rusted up pickup truck, he showed up in his wife's brand new, two-seater sports car.  My "leak" had been steadily getting heavier and I thought we'd drown before we got to the hospital.

Once we got to the hospital, the nursing staff was determined to strip me naked in front of Kevin.  They didn't quite understand that he was my husband's Lowe's salesman, not my actual husband.  Kevin was finally allowed to escape, I was allowed to keep a teeny tiny shred of dignity and Michael finally arrived.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.

We pretty much skipped that whole me cussing at my husband birthing scene they always show on TV.  We went from me happily eating ice chips while we watched TV to me pushing for 3+ hours (yes, THREE plus freaking hours!) to an emergency c-section to get the stuck child out of me.

Did I mention Zack was big?  As in 10.5 lbs big.  See him in that photo up there?  He's only a week or two old.

But the whole point of this story is, the Lowe's tag line at the time was "Lowe's Delivers."  And since Lowe's helped deliver me to the hospital, that picture was published in Lowe's employee newsletter.

So, Kevin, where ever you are today, thank you for playing such an important role in our first born's birthing experience.  And Zachary, happy 20th birthday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I almost forgot

I forgot to blog yesterday and I almost forgot again today.  Good grief!

 I think the snow rattled my brain.  Yes, we got some snow.  Luckily, instead of the twelve inches predicted, we got six to eight, depending on where I stuck the ruler.

While it snowed, I finished up the beaded black & silver cowl knit with Woven Gems Alpaca.  Good thing, too.  Our heat has been on the fritz and while the emergency heat is still working, the regular heat is not.  And since emergency heat costs about four trillion dollars per minute of use, we have our thermostat set extremely low and we are all bundled up in layer upon layer.  I've been wearing my finished alpaca cowl all day.  It's SO warm and toasty!  I practically don't even need the six layers of shirts, sweaters & jackets I'm also wearing.

I was lost and bored without the alpaca on my needles for a while and started taking selfies.

I am The worst at selfie taking, especially when trying to use a DSLR camera, not a phone.  My lack of skill caused me to hide my face in shame.

Eventually, my arms got tired and I gave up on the selfie taking and cast on another black & silver alpaca cowl.  I still had lots of yarn left, but not enough for an entire cowl.  This new version will have red stripes thrown in instead of beads.

While I was attempting to take just one, lone selfie that wasn't looking straight up my nose, I snapped a few pictures of Max.

He said, "Woman, you know I don't like having that black flashy thing pointed at me."

"The black, flashy thing scares me, Momma."

"I'm never speaking to you again."

Monday, February 16, 2015

I don't think I have enough yarn for this

I'm worried I don't have enough yarn for this snow storm.  I didn't take it very seriously.  All winter, they've been predicting huge, major snow storms and on the day, it warms up and we get rain.  Not this time, I'm afraid.

Doesn't look like much, but that photo was taken about 30 minutes after the snow started falling.  In the time it took me to transfer the pictures from the camera to the computer, the snow completely covered the ground.  And the heavy stuff isn't supposed to fall until tonight.  We may actually get the 12 inches they've been promising.  I hope I have enough yarn.

Winter Driftwood Hat

I finished Winter Driftwood.  Because my version was turning out so much smaller than it was supposed to be (remember to check your gauge, kids!) I decided to leave out half a pattern repeat.  I was also running low on yarn.  The hat is supposed to have a tassel & I'm not sure what I'll do about that.  Either leave it naked on top or add a tassel with a contrasting yarn.  What do you think?


Indian Feathers has a few rows of beads now.  I'm loving how the beads contrast with the yarn, yet pick up the pinkish purple flecks in it.

Meanwhile, Minnie says its so cold outside, she almost wishes I'd knit her a sweater.  Almost.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Hats - Winter Driftwood

It's Sunday and so far, I'm following though on my promise to share a hat pattern each week.  Today's hat,


Winter Driftwood.  It's supposed to be a toddler hat but mine is turning out to be sized to fit a small newborn.  Or, in my model's case, a snow globe.  I imagine the size difference has something to do with the pattern calling for bulky yarn and I'm using worsted with needles several sizes smaller than called for.  But, it's still a cute hat, I'm knitting it for charity, not for a specific person and I'm using up stashed yarn.  All good things in my book.

As for the pattern itself, Winter Driftwood is well written and best of all, can be found on Ravelry for free.  I just love it when I stumble across cute, well written, free patterns.  And, as my hat is proving, it can be knit with worsted for a new born sized hat and I imagine sport or DK weight yarn would produce a premie sized hat.  And, if you wanted a bigger hat, you could easily increase the stitch count to include another pattern repeat or two.  The pattern is also easy enough for an advanced beginner but has enough patterning to keep an experienced knitter interested.  And that means, this pattern is very versatile.  Another good thing, to steal Martha Stewart's line.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Where did they go?

I've got Axel Rose crooning a slightly modified version of Sweet Child of Mine stuck in my head.  It goes something like

Where did they go?
Where did they go now?
Where did they go?
Oh, oh
Where did they go?
Where did they go now?
Where did they go?
Where did they go now?
No, no, no, no, no, no
Sweet needles,
Sweet needles of mine

I used to be the proud owner of five or six sets of every single sized dpn known to man and now, I find myself knitting a toddler hat without enough needles.  I have 2 pet peeves/OCD factors when it comes to dpns.  One, I need five needles.  Four to hold the stitches & one to knit with.  When I knit on only three, I get ladders, no matter how tightly I tug on that beginning stitch.  Secondly, I hate, hate, hate, with the passion of 1,000 suns, having the needles overloaded with stitches.  I'd rather knit with 18 dpns hanging off the project than have too many stitches on each needle.  

So, here I am, knitting a toddler hat with four #6 needles instead of five and the needles are overloaded and the stitches keep slipping off the ends.  I can't find another #6 needle anywhere in the house.  

Where did they go?
Where did they go now?
Where did they go?
Oh, oh
Where did they go?
Where did they go now?
Where did they go?
Where did they go now?

I've checked every drawer, every project bag, the couch cushions, and even under the car seats.  No needles, although I did find almost $10 in change and some very stale popcorn.  Yesterday, I caved into the frustration and instead of blogging or knitting, I went to the store to buy another set of #6 needles.  Guess what I came home with.

#7 needles.  I came home with fricking #7 needles, not #6.  Argh!  I'm seriously thinking about taking sandpaper to them & sanding them down to be sized 6.


So, due to the frustration & time spent searching & shopping, not much knitting has been happening.  The black & silver cowl continues to grow.  It's actually growing fairly rapidly considering the amount of time I've spent on it.  That's sad in a way because the yarn is SO wonderful to knit with.  I wouldn't mind if that project dragged on and on for a while.  Indian Feathers is progressing rather slowly, but that's okay too.  As long as I get the next 18 rows knit before April 1st, the project will be on schedule.  And then there's the hat.  It would be a much faster project if the stitches would stop falling off the blasted needles.

Looking on the bright side....  If I don't take sandpaper to the new set of #7 needles, I can return them.  And if I return them fast enough, I can take advantage of the sale the store was having.  They had bunches and bunches of glass beads on sale as well as Lion Brand's Fishermen's Wool.  Fishermen's Wool isn't exactly pretty, but I like it for everyday use items like hats & mittens.  It's affordable, strong, doesn't itch and still has it's lanolin.  Oh and did I mention beads were on clearance?  I bought a bunch.  Of course, a year from now when I find the right project for them, I'll be singing, 

Where did they go?
Where did they go now?
Where did they go?
Oh, oh
Where did they go?
Where did they go now?
Where did they go?
Where did they go now?

By the way,

Happy Valentines Day!

Got any special plans?  We'll be celebrating at home.  It's supposed to rain all afternoon then drop down to 4 degrees tonight.  It sounds like a disaster in the making.  We'll just stay home, cook something on the grill (the worse the weather is, the more my husband likes to cook outdoors) and hang out in front of the fireplace.  Knitting, of course.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

TBT - The Blizzard Year

The winter of 1996/1997 was a wild one.  We had a blizzard every Thursday from mid December through mid March.  The snow was so deep we couldn't play in it because it was up, over Zack's head.

The first few storms were fun.  My husband had an excavation company at the time so we had plenty of backhoes, tractors and plows.  Instead of digging up the ground, the crew plowed snow that year.  When they were done for the day, they'd all come back to our house, cook dinner on the grill (If you've never grilled in a snow storm before you should try it.   The food is always extra yummy & you'll feel quite manly standing out in your winter parka, ski hat & gloves while playing with fire.)  We would eat, play pool, toss log after log into the wood stove & drink boat drinks while dreaming of summer & watching the snow pile up.  It was "good times" for the first month.  And then the cabin fever began to set in and we all began to despise the "s" word.

Eighteen or nineteen years later, I'm sitting here laughing & saying, "liar, liar, pants on fire" to the weatherman.  It was supposed to snow today, but the sun is shining and there isn't a cloud in sight.  Just the way we like it!

As for my knitting, I'm proud to announce, I did sew up the toes.

I'm proud to announce that because, well, ahem.... I have been known to toss socks back into the UFO pile to avoid kitchnering the toes.

And since I needed a #todayonmyneedles photo,  I started Indian Feathers.

The plan is to get the beaded lace edging done and save the boring stockinette part to do while I'm at work this summer.  Summer Knitting At Work projects need to be 1) mindless and easy to frequently put down & pick up, 2) portable, as in, the whole project can fit in a ziplock bag, and 3) preferably interesting enough for Security to ooh & ahh over when they search me.  Indian Feathers should work perfectly.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Math woes

Yesterday was one of those days where I wish I'd never learned to knit.  Where I wished I was a gamer & could converse about Zelda & Minecraft instead of spending my days talking about the pros and cons of various yarn fibers & knitting needle materials.  I would have accomplished more if I'd spent the day attempting to hook up the kids' game station than I did attempting to knit.

That was my yesterday, minus the finished socks.  Well, almost finished.  They still need their toes kitchnered.  I have three projects I'm trying to design, with the emphasis on "try."  Good grief!  I feel like I just learned to knit last week.  Needless to say, none of them are going well, although all three should be fairly simple to design.


Finally around midnight, I started thinking Mrs. Drumheller, my high school math teacher, was right.  I would grow up one day and need basic math skills.  I  gave up trying to figure out the math, shoved the project design disasters out of the way and finished the pair of socks I'd started last summer.  They'll get kitchnered today & be on my toes by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if anyone knows where Mrs. Drumheller is, please ask her to get in touch.  I have some apologizing to do.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Randomly placed beads


Remember Friday's post about the cowl/infinity scarf and how I had originally wanted to include beads but decided against it at the last minute?  Well, I changed my mind.  Again.  It is a woman's prerogative after all.  So, I frogged the first version and started over.

The new version will have a smaller circumference and lots of beads.  Instead of being an infinity scarf type thing that can be wrapped multiple times around my neck, this will be one long, turtleneck/tube type cowl.  Remember It's Only Make Believe?  Asking Sarah to model it was a mistake.  She hasn't taken it off since.  But, I kept seeing her wandering through the house wearing her turtleneck/tube type cowl and I decided I wanted one too.  So, that's what this will be.  But mine will have beads.  I put a row of evenly spaced beads on the first round after the ribbing and the body will have beads sprinkled randomly around.

So far, I'm loving the new version.  The yarn is such a joy to knit with and the rounds go quickly.  The beads add just a touch of diversion to the plain knitting so that it's not too boring and the randomness of the beads means that I don't have to pay much attention to what I'm doing.  My kind of project!

I finished the Fisher hat, which I realized is actually called the Fisher Cable Hat.  It was a great, super quick, fun hat to knit.  I'm sure I will knit this hat again, although I may cut out a few rows in the stockinette area.  This hat fits me perfectly which means it's slouchy on Mr. Creepyhead and anyone else with a normal sized head.

And, just because yesterday's sunset was so pretty....

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Hats - The Fisher

It's the Sunday Hats edition.....

Today's featured hat is the Fisher Hat, another free pattern I found on Ravelry.


It's a fun, quick knit and the pattern is well written.  I'm using US 6 needles & KFI Celtic Aran wool that's been in my stash forever.  I don't even remember buying it, but that's the beauty of wool.  Keep it clean & moth free and it will last forever.

Anyway.... Back to the hat.  It's knitting up quickly and effortlessly.  I think this pattern would be great for someone learning cables.  There are enough of them to get a little practice in, but not so many that a beginner would feel overwhelmed.  It's also a fantastic pattern for an experienced knitter who just needs a quick hat.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Knitting Fail

Rookie knitting fail!

This is why a knitter should never set their knitting down & go off to do a bit of housework.

#todayonmyneedles   #KnittingFail

See the white bit of yarn stretched oddly from one needle to another?  Notice how it's attached to both needles?  Argh!  I knit across one needle, set the sock down, went off to load yet another load of laundry into the washer, came back, picked up the knitting & started knitting on the wrong needle.

This poor sock seems doomed!  The first sock went so well.  Granted, I started the first sock last summer & it sat lonely & ignored in the UFO pile for month after month, but once I picked it back up & started knitting on it again, the first sock was a breeze.  I immediately cast on the second sock & patted myself on the back for not suffering from Second Sock Syndrome.  And then, knitting fail after knitting fail.  Oh well.  It's not like I'm on a deadline.  And this Felici yarn is happy to be ripped & reknit.  And, despite all the problems with this second sock, I have rounded the heel and am heading down the foot towards the toes.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fiber Friday - Woven Gems

I am in love!

Woven Gems Prime Alpaca Peruvian Tweed

I have a new favorite yarn.  Woven Gems Alpaca Peruvian Tweed.  I would marry this yarn if it was legal in the state of Virginia.

I picked this yarn up at the Montpelier Fiber Festival this past fall.  It was a spur of the moment, once-I-touched-it-I-had-to-have-it purchase.  It is THE softest, most petable yarn I've ever knit with.  I'm in love!

The single skein contains 600 yards so it should make a decent sized infinity scarf.


I've only just begun but I know I'm going enjoy the project.  Part of me wants to lock myself in a closet with no distractions and just knit, knit, knit and part of me wants to limit myself to one row per day to make the yarn last.  Have I mentioned how much I love petting this yarn?

Another thing about this yarn that makes me happy is its tweedy affect.  I rarely like tweed yarns.  Actually, that's not true.  I love tweed yarn, just not the fiber tweed yarn creates.  I'm drawn to the colors in tweed yarns, but am very rarely pleased with the messy mush of colored fabric they create.  But this, I love.

My only problem is, I sort of want to add beads.  From the moment the yarn was put into my shopping bag, I've been thinking beaded scarf.  I even have the perfect silver beads in the bead drawer.  But when I swatched, I decided the tweed was too busy for beads, plus, the beads would make hard little bumps in the softness of the yarn.  So I made the decision not to bead.  But now....  I keep thinking about those silver beads.  Should I rip it out & start over using beads?  Or should I just keep knitting?  Ugh!  I hate decisions.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

TBT - Big Belly

It's the first Throwback Thursday of February and I'm celebrating my baby boy's birth this month.  And yes, he may be turning 20 in a few weeks but he's still my baby boy.  He always will be.

It's a good thing I love him so much because look what he did to my belly.  This picture was taken around the six month mark.  Sixth month!  That means, I had another three months to go & believe me, my belly continued to triple in size.  By the end, I was so huge the doctor was making jokes about putting a broomstick up my butt to help keep me upright.  By the end, I had a major case of the backwards tilt thing going in an attempt to balance out the weight & honestly, the broomstick sounded like it might actually be a good idea.  I was just plain huge.

It's no wonder I was so big though.  Zack was a big baby.  He weighed in at 10.5 lbs at birth.  Like I said, it's a good thing I love him so much.

Can you guess what today's  #todayonmyneedles is?  It wasn't planned, but I think I should get points for matching today's knitting project with the maternity sweater.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Joy of Knitting

#todayonmyneedles 02/04/15

Drat!  See that paper clip-turned-stitch-holder?  I dropped a stitch.  But the joy of knitting is that it can be fixed.  Fixed without having to rip back to that row.  Thank you Gods of Knitting.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

On the positive side

God help me!  Netflix is down and it's Tuesday which means my daughter has control of the TV so she can watch Pretty Little Liars.  Please, Netfix, please come back to life.  I desperately do not want to have to watch Pretty Little Liars.

On the positive side of Netflix being down.... It helped me remember that I never posted today because the camera battery was dead.  Again.  Dead like Netflix.

No, I don't have a Netflix addiction.  Nope, not me! Just because that song, How Do I Live Without You is stuck in my head does not mean I'm addicted.  Nor does the fact that I'm shaking in fear at the thought of a night without my shows...  I'm not addicted.  I'm not!

Okay, let's focus on knitting instead of my Netflix's abandonment issues.

#todayonmyneedles 02/03/15

One sock almost down.  Only a few more rounds of toe decreasing to go.


I finished my Xing X's hat.  I made it slightly bigger than the pattern called for so that it would fit my ginormous head.  It was a super easy & quick hat to knit & I'm sure I'll knit more in the future. If you want to knit your own, you can find a link to the pattern here or here.  Oddly, it's not on Ravelry.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A blast or a bust?

Happy Groundhog's Day.  Since Mr. Groundhog says we'll be having six more weeks of winter, I'm basically over the holiday & ready to move on.

So... The Super Bowl.  What did you think?  Was it a blast or a bust?  I think I'm going to have to vote bust.  I didn't particularly like either team and had only planned to watch the game for the excuse to have a little uninterrupted knitting time.  Even during the pre-game stuff, I still hadn't decided who to root for.  I was leaning towards the Seahawks simply because I like anything ocean related.  I made up my mind to go ahead & cheer for them during the singing of the National Anthem simply because more Seahawk players were standing with their hands over their hearts than the Patriots.  A great way to pick a team, right?

I guess I should have listened to my gut.  My gut had been shouting that while more Seahawks than Patriots were showing out national anthem respect, the Seahawk coach was gawking around & laughing.  I don't even know why their behavior bothers me so much.  I know that at that point, their heads are all in the game, not on singing a song but....  I guess I just expect better from teams who've reached that professional level.

And that brawl at the end... Yeah, that showed good sportsmanship and professionalism.

And how about that halftime show?  Admittedly, while I like Lenny Kravitz, I'm not a big Katy Perry fan & I'd never even heard of Missy Elliot before.  But that show just seemed ridiculous to me.  Between the Hunger Games look-alike outfit, the giant cat robot, the beach ball boobs & the dancing sharks...  Actually, I kinda liked the dancing sharks.  They were the best part of the show.  Have I mentioned I like pretty much anything to do with the ocean?

And then there were the commercials... Nationwide's dead child commercial was about as dark and tasteless as you can get.  There were a few that I liked but it seemed that the only two that were actually advertising their product & not just trying to pull at your emotions was the foot fungus one & the Budweiser commercial that poked fun of the peach ale drinkers.

All in all, I'd say the game was a bust.

Perhaps it was a bust because I was so busy tweeting about the ridiculousness of the whole thing, I didn't get much knitting done.  I started the hat mentioned in yesterday's post.  If it hadn't been for Twitter, I probably would have come close to finishing it.  I did make a few new Twitter friends though, so not a total bust.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Hats

Do you put on a hat and go to church on Sundays?  I don't.  I was raised in the Episcopal church and Episcopalians don't wear hats.  But Baptists do and there was a Baptist church right down the street from the house I grew up in.  The Baptists' service also started much later than the Episcopal service.   One of my fond childhood memories is coming home from church & sitting on the front porch with my dad and watching the Baptists walk past on their way to their church.  And they all wore hats.

But neither religion nor "Sunday go to meeting" hats, which is what my dad called them, have anything to do with this post.  I just needed a title and I haven't had quite enough coffee to come up with anything more creative than Sunday Hats.


My summer job will be starting soon, well, in two months, but that feels really soon.  The last couple of summers, I've let the blog fall by the wayside while I worked every waking hour.  Last year, so much time passed between posts that I forgot my password at one point.  I really don't want that to happen this summer.  So, I'm trying to come up with ideas for short, simple posts that I can possibly write in advance & schedule into the automatic posting feature that Blogger offers.  Normally I don't like to write the posts in advance but the reality of my summer is that it must be done.  So....

My plan is to post a link to a hat pattern once a week.  I picked Sundays because hats tend to remind me of sitting on the porch & drinking a Coke with my dad while we watched hat wearers walk by.  I picked hats to feature, rather than say, scarves, because, well, because a lot of reasons.  Hats are universal.  Men, women, teens, little kids and even babies wear them.  Hat patterns can be simple things and can be knit in an hour or two, or they can be extremely complicated and take ages to knit.    You only have to knit one so there's no danger of second sock (or mitten) syndrome.  They don't take much yarn so they tend to be economical.  And the number one reason for focusing on hats is that there's a local shelter who's always looking for hat donations.  On the off chance that I actually knit each of the patterns that I share and I end up with 50+ hats at the end of the year, I'll have something to do with them.

So....  all that was a super duper long way of saying, here, I'm sharing a hat pattern.  The hat is called Xing Xs and it's published by Rose-Kim Knits.  The pattern appears to be super simple with one little design element that changes it from just another boring hat into something special.  And it's free!

Today on my needles...

#todayonmyneedles 02/01/15

An almost finished sock.  Tomorrow, it will probably be an Xing X's hat.