Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Show me the money

I haven't gotten much knitting done because I worked all weekend.  One of the things that makes work fun, besides the paycheck that is, is the interesting money we come across.  It never fails to amazes me the interesting & comical things that get drawn on Washington's & Lincoln's faces.  Every time I see a 'happy birthday' message written on a one dollar bill, I wonder if that's all the birthday child received.  Some of the messages we find scribbled across the money are disgusting and vile.  Sometimes we find a simple doodle drawn on a bill.  Last summer there was one particular drawing of a bright blue space alien that kept coming back to us over & over.  We'd send the bill out in the morning as part of a cash register's change fund.  A customer would receive it & spend it somewhere else in the park and then it would come back to us that night.  I must have encountered that one particular little blue alien at least 20 times.  And then there's the old money that we come across.  Old money such as this 1907 nickel.

1907 Nickel
Granted, it's a horrible picture taken in bad lighting with my not-so-great, non-smart phone.  The nickel is so old, at first glance, it didn't even look like American money.  Pretty cool, right?

Okay, so the Cash Control department is easily amused.  We take our thrills where we can get them.

As for the knitting,

Hawthorne is progressing.  Slowly, but progress is being made.

teens and womens slouchy hat https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
slouchy hat
And this slouchy hat is almost finished.  This hat is serving as my current 'knit while I read my email' project and for some unknown reason, I've been receiving an overabundance of email lately.  And that means, the hat has seen a lot of attention considering it's an 'only gets worked on while I'm reading' project.

Neither the hat nor the scarf will see much knitting action today though.  I'm off to visit my four legged furry friend, Lola and her human.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Hats - Cupcake

It's Sunday and you know what that means.  We're talking hat patterns.

Check out this adorable cupcake hat.

crocheted cupcake hat pattern, free pattern on Ravelry http://jeanniegrayknits.blogspot.com/
Cupcake Hat by Jenni Designs

Is that not the cutest thing?

Okay, okay, so it's crochet, not knit, but still.  Look at it.  It's adorable!  And it's a free pattern from Jenni Designs.  You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.

And now I'm craving cupcakes.  I'm off to beg & plead with my daughter to bake a batch while I try to remember how to crochet.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

On the knitting needles

A brief update on what's on, and off, the knitting needles these days.

wool slouchy hat, wool slouchy beanie, dreadlocks, available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
Striped Slouchy Hat
I finished the striped slouchy hat knit with Paton's Kroy Sock and #2 & 3 needles.

And immediately started another.  This hat is being knit with Paton's Kroy Socks FX and #2 & 3 US needles.  As far as I can tell, the only difference between 'Socks' and 'Socks FX' is the striping.  Socks creates much more defined stripes while Socks FX creates much wider multicolored stripes that blend into each other.  Although the yarn label indicates no difference, FX feels slightly thinner in my hands.

I also bought a multi-pack of food coloring so I can play around with dying more yarn.  I wonder what color I'll turn my hands next.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Fiber - Hawthorne

Today's Friday Fiber post is all about Knit Pick's Hawthorne.  A few months ago, on a whim, I ordered the boxed set in the Jewel color-way.  My intention was to knit lacy scarves or shawls with each color but when I received the boxed set, I knew that wasn't going to happen.  The colors were just so perfect all mixed together.  At first I thought it would be fun to knit a pi-shawl with stripes, or rounds, of color.  But who am I kidding?  I still have quite a ways to go on my simple Pi Day pi shawl.  There is absolutely no need to start another one of those monsters before the first is complete.  Then I thought about knitting a mitered square blanket using all the colors.  I thought, and still think, that would be stunning.  But again, who am I kidding?  As much as I love the color combinations of Hawthorne, I'd get bored and quit long before I ever put a dent in that much yarn.  After all, the boxed set contains 3,213 yards of yarn.  3,213 yards of yarn would knit into a LOT of mitered squares.

I've been thinking about knitting another Eclipse scarf/shawlette.  I really, really like the first one I knit.  But then I saw Artesian on Knitting Sarah's blog.  I love the openness of Artesian but wanted the shape of Eclipse.  So I decided to combine the two and create my own pattern.

I'm using the Hawthorne Rose City,

fingering weight wool, http://jeanniegrayknits.blogspot.com/
Hawthorne Rose City
and Hawthorne Goose Hollow.

fingering weight yarn http://jeanniegrayknits.blogspot.com/
Hawthorne Goose Hollow
And it's turning out to look like this:

yarn review http://jeanniegrayknits.blogspot.com/
Okay, it doesn't look like much yet.  But you can see how well the colors work together.  And I guess you can see how one end of the scarf will be much wider than the other end.

The pattern is simple short rows of yarnovers & knit two togethers.

fingering weight, open, lacy scarf, available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
So far, I'm loving it.

And I'm loving the yarn.  Hawthorne is a fingering weight Superwash Fine Highland Wool with just a bit of Polyamide mixed in to give it stretch & help it retain it's shape.  In other words, it's perfect for sock knitting, although I'd never be able to actually knit socks with it simply because I knit too loosely.  But I'm loving the way this scarf is knitting up.  The yarn is not splitty (splity??  it doesn't split) at all which means I can easily knit while reading Outlander.  And the color combination!  I am over the top in love with the color combination.  I'm so in love with the fluctuations in color that I think perhaps I could have knit another Pi shawl or a mitered square blanket big enough to fit a king sized bed without ever getting bored.  At least I wouldn't have gotten bored with the color.  Maybe the project, but not the color.  And since it's a Superwash wool.... I could toss the finished blanket into the washing machine.  Hmmm.... I just may have to order more and knit that mitered square blanket.

Anyway.... if you haven't tried Hawthorne yet, do!  And I highly suggest purchasing the boxed set.  It's a fantastic deal.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

TBT - Prom

It's TBT and I'm remembering Prom.

Mike and Greg in their 1983 prom fashion tux & tails.
Mike & Greg, 1983
Mike and his brother, showing off their 1983 prom fashion.  Gotta love white tails!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thank a Lineman

So, did you hear about all the storms that ripped across the east coast Monday?  Thankfully, they skipped over us.  We were under a tornado watch most of the day and night and at one point, the sky turned an ugly purple then cleared & went back to sunny and blue 30 minutes later.  Just before midnight, we got a little bit of rain & it was breezy.  But it was just breezy and the rain was regular rain, nothing like that monsoon from the previous day.

So, late Monday night or this early Tuesday morning, depending on what you want to call 12:45 a.m., I was sitting at my desk watching Netflix on the computer and knitting the first few rows of a new lacy project.

lacy fishnet scarf or shawl by https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
All of a sudden, I was in total darkness.  Total, unprepared-for darkness.  And let me tell you, you don't know what dark is until you've experienced an unexpected powerless, rainy night in the boondocks.

Sadly, my laptop has no battery.  It's a long story.  But, when the power goes out, or the dogs get so tangled in the cord that they pull it out of the computer, the laptop shuts down.  Instantly.  So there I was, in sudden total darkness.  And I mean TOTAL darkness.  I screeched a little as I attempted to set the knitting down without pulling the needles out of the stitches.  And I instantly started worrying about spiders being in the room with me.  I began the awkward fumble as I looked for my phone, my tablet or a book of matches, all the while screeching just a little each time I bumped into anything soft & furry (yarn, hats, mittens, shawls, the dogs....) as I felt my way around.  (I just knew that visiting spider from the other day had relatives.  Big relatives.  Maybe even big enough to cut the power so they could attack me in the dark.)

Anyway.... My phone was there on the desk just to the right of me but then, so was about a thousand other items.  A thousand soft, fuzzy, spiderish feeling items.  Remember the disaster zone that is my desk??  I finally felt my tablet but struggled to find the On button.  Eventually I was able to begin the long & arduous task of getting it turned on and lit up.  That's a long story too.  While the tablet was taking it's sweet time coming to life, I searched my desk drawer for matches.  I finally found them.  The box contained one match.  One match that broke in half when I tried to light it.

One broken match.  Story of my freaking life.

About the time my tablet finally came to life, the girl child stumbled in complaining that the lightbulb in her room had blown.  No, sweetie.... the power's out.

With the combination of light from my tablet & Sarah's cell phone, I was able to find my own phone in the mess on my desk.  I called the power company to report the outage. (I take pride in always calling within seconds of the power going out.  No way I'm going to depend on the neighbors to make the call.)  The power company's outage reporting recording thing acted a little strangely and I said a few choice words & hung up.  Meanwhile, Sarah had gone in search of more matches.

We lit tons of candles and got the place fairly well lit.  Then I got the bright idea of reporting the power outage online.  What I discovered on Rappahannock Electric Co-op's website was amazing.  I typed in my phone number and the website responded with my address, the fact that there was in fact an outage in my area and the fact that there were 19 houses without power.  In all of Virginia, there were only 19 houses in the dark.  The website further stated that the power would be back on by 3:18 a.m. but I highly doubted that.  Would they really send out a repair crew at 1:00 a.m. for just 19 houses?

As it turns out, yes, they would!  Our power came back on at 2:48.  A whole 30 minutes earlier than they said it would be.  Thank you REC for being the best power company!  I shouldn't have ever doubted them.  REC has always been fantastic about getting our power restored quickly no matter what the weather conditions are or the time of night.  Thankfully it's been many years since I've had to deal with the big power company (i.e. uncaring mega corporation) that services Richmond, but I'd bet my life savings Richmond's power company would have left us in the dark until the regular daytime crew came to work.  I may not always sound it, specially when the bill comes, but I am truly thankful to receive our power from such a caring company as REC.  And since it's #ThankALineman month, I'm shouting out a big Thank You! to REC and their linemen.  Specially the linemen willing to work in the rain at night.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A weekend in review

I learned something about myself over the weekend.  Apparently, I thrive on drama.  Let's review.

Moments before leaving the house to go to work on Saturday, I received a Facebook notice that a favorited band that used to play at most of my high school dances was having a reunion next month at a local bar & grille.  The notice had just been posted but already several friends had replied that they intended to go.  Now, understand that my high school was tiny.  Teeny tiny.  Actually, eentsie, weentsie tiny.  Tiny as in, there were 13 people in my graduating class.  So, getting four or five of us together at one time counts as a high school reunion.  I was psyched.  A high school reunion, a high school reunion that does not include a rubber chicken entree but does include a live band that will bring back so many fun memories.  Like I said, I was psyched.  And I went in to work all smiles & giggles & "Hey, how ya doing?" to everyone I passed.

I walked into work & discovered that all Hell was breaking loose.  Actually, that's probably a slightly exaggerated description but things were going wrong and some manual adjustments were being made that would cause some slight confusion and a bit more effort.  While the panic set in, I continued to tell myself that it would be fine.  We'd deal with it.  And we did.  But as days like that go, things continued to tank.  It was one of those Murphy's Law days that would leave even Murphy quaking in fear & confusion.  Everything that could possibly go wrong did.  And then things that couldn't possibly go wrong went wrong.  The theme park's slogan is about the customers having their 'best day ever' and occasionally when an employee is having a bad day, you'll hear them joking about it being their 'best day ever.'  Well, Saturday was so bad that almost every employee I encountered either asked me if I was having my best day ever or informed me that they were having their best day ever in that weird, giggly, a nervous breakdown is about to occur voice.  It was just one of those days.

And then I came home to one dog growling at the dining room door and the other dog doing her 'there's something wrong' bark rather than her 'Oh, goodie!  You're home!' bark.   My first thought was that a opossum or raccoon had gotten in through the dog door.  But no.  No such luck.

big ass spider, wolf spider
Big spider
After the day I'd had, I really should not have expected anything less.  It was a spider.  A spider so big, the dog was growling at it.  Normally, I kill bugs with Windex but this guy looked like he probably drank Windex for breakfast.  My solution was to put that 2-cup coffee cup over it (while the dog distracted it) and leave it for my dear sweet husband to deal with.  And if you're wondering, that's his sized 12 shoe.  Look how freaking big that spider is!  Holy Moly!

Somehow, I managed to get a little bit of sleep between dreams of monster spiders.  Sunday, I got up & did it all over again.  Things were still going wrong at work but I did at least have a working computer so it wasn't quite as dramatic as the previous day.  The biggest problem was the rain.

It didn't just rain.  It monsooned!  Actually, that's not correct either.  It rained so hard it made a monsoon look like a light mist.  And of course, my rain coat was a mile away in the car.  By the time I got to the car, even my underwear were wet.  And then I had to stop for gas and got even wetter if that's possible.  I was so wet the gas station gave me a free slice of pizza when I went in to pay.  Because of course their pay-at-the-pump thing was broken.

After a few scary hydroplaning episodes, I finally surfed my car home, stripped my soaking wet clothes off, put on some dry ones & fell into bed with soaking wet hair.  I woke up this morning looking like

Only curlier.

But the point of all that is.... all that drama was kind of fun.  Well, maybe not 'fun' but it was certainly exciting and made the work hours pass by quickly.  I never got any knitting done at work though.

But, I did finish a few WIP's (works in progress) in the mornings before work.  I already showed you these, but here are the Outlander fingerless gloves on a hand model and a hat I finished.

hand knit Outlander gloves and hat for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
Faux cabled hat & Outlander fingerless gloves
I really like that cable pattern.  "That" being both the faux cable on the hat and the cable on the fingerless gloves.  The gloves look much more complicated than they are, as long as you don't forget how to count to three.  It's surprising how many times I failed to correctly count to three.  I'm blaming it on the spider.

hand knit, available for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
blue faux cabled hat
I finished a blue faux cabled hat as well.

hand dyed, fingerless gloves, https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
hand dyed fingerless gloves
And I dyed these fingerless gloves.  Actually, I dyed them late Friday night.  And that was a whole other bit of drama.  It was late, late Friday night when I was dying them and I'm blaming it on the hour.... but I stupidly stuck my hands into the dye bath without putting on gloves.  My hands instantly turned a nice bright magenta color.  And then I proceeded to get the dye on one side of my face as well.  So when I bounced into work on Saturday, not only was I grinning & saying "Hey, how ya doing?" to strangers, I was also a lovely shade of red that made me look like I had extreme blood pressure issues.  Like I said, Saturday was definitely a 'best day ever' said in the most sarcastic voice possible kind of day.

Anyway...  I was excited about the dye job though.  And it could have been worse.  I was using black dye so I could have ended up with gray hands instead of bright pink ones.

Anyway....  I turned this

hand knit, jeanniegrayknits.etsy.com
brown and white tweed
into this

knit fingerless gloves, hand dyed, one of a kind for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
hand dyed fingerless gloves
And yes, it's sort of a mahogany reddish brown, not black.  Black is really made up of a whole lot of blue plus a little bit of red.  I'd been warned that black dye would most likely separate and I wouldn't end up with black fingerless gloves.  And I was cool with that.  I didn't really want black gloves.  I also didn't want those brown & white tweed gloves.  As you can see, the black dye did separate.  I have no idea where all the blue went but I ended up with reddish gloves and magenta hands.  I'm happy with the way the gloves turned out though and with all the drama & nervous sweating that went on on Saturday, by Sunday, my hands & face were back to their normal color.

And last but not least, I managed to knit a few more rounds on this slouchy hat.

slouchy striped knit hat for dreadlocks to be for sale on https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
And yes.  As you can see in the backgrounds of these photos, my desk is still the disaster zone it was last Monday.  In fact, it's even worse.  I have the feeling it will be November before I can call it truly organized and clean again.  It's just another bit of drama we'll have to learn to deal with.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Hats - Women's Beehive Hat

Today's Sunday Hats post is featuring the Women's Beehive Hat pattern.

knitted hat pattern, women's beehive hat
Women's Beehive Hat by IKnit4aCure
The pattern comes from an Etsy shop, IKnit4aCure.  The hat pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and appears to be simple combination of stockinette and reverse stockinette stitching.  In other words, a cute, versatile, quick to knit hat pattern.  And for the super lazy knitters or non-knitters out there, I see that the pattern listing also mentions that you can buy an already knit hat.

Besides being a cute & versatile hat pattern and the fact that the shop donates a part of their proceeds to the American Cancer Society,  what really caught my eye with this pattern is the kilt pin in the picture.  What a cute way to embellish a hat!  Plus, it's a kilt pin.  A kilt pin!  Have I mentioned my recent obsession with Outlander?

My Outlander addiction should be a whole other blog post.  The show doesn't come on our TV, but I began reading the first book last week and have done nothing but read & watch Youtube clips ever since.  I'm totally addicted.  It's also made me realize why my family talks funny.  While my mom's family have been in America since just before the American Revolution, they originally haled from Scotland and counted themselves among theJohnstone clan.  And instead of saying, "the mouse ran out and about the house," we pronounce it "the 'mose' ran 'oat' and 'aboat' the 'hose'."  I've always wondered why and now I know.  Thank you, Jamie.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A new addiction

I have a new addiction.  Outlander.

Sadly, the show doesn't come on my TV but I'm reading the books.  Well, I'm reading the first book.  But I fully intend to read them all.  The book is excellent and I'd have been addicted even if I hadn't discovered Outlander clips on Youtube.

And then there's Jamie.  Book Jamie is hot enough, but Actor Jamie???  Phew!  There is just something about a scruffy man with a blade.  And a scruffy man with a blade and a kilt....   And a kilt wearing, scruffy man with a blade who loves yarn???

Outlander quotes from goodreads.com
What?  He's not talking about yarn?  Okay, okay.  So Jamie is talking about Claire, not yarn.  But you have to admit, it could go either way.  Specially when he says,

Jamie wanting Claire
Outlander quote from professionalfangirls.com
He's got to be thinking a little bit about that perfect skein of yarn, right?

Okay, okay, okay.  This is supposed to be a knitting blog, not a Jamie love fest blog.  To prove that it still is, or at least that I'm capable of combining the two,

fingerless mitts with a celtic cable
Fingerless gloves
I knit a pair of Outlander inspired fingerless gloves.  And they look much better on than just laying their flat.  I'm home alone and not coordinated enough to photograph my own hand. Where is Jamie when you need him?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Knitting Accessory Bag Friday

It's supposed to be Fiber Friday but instead, it's Knitting Accessory Bag Friday.

knitting accessory pouch by Ocean Patch Etsy shop
Octopus Garden by Ocean Patch
Granted, Knitting Accessory Bag Friday doesn't have the same ring to it as Fiber Friday but...

small knitting accessory bag or pouch by Ocean Patch
Sea Turtle bag by Ocean Patch
OMG! Have you ever seen a cuter sea turtle?  I just want to hug him!  Except it's a her.  That turtle definitely looks like a her.

small bag or pouch for knitting accessories
Sea Turtle accessory pouch
Besides, her mate is on the back of the bag.  He just looks like a boy turtle.

I've only had these bags in my possession for about ten minutes but I'm totally in love with the turtle bag.  The octopus bag was bought to give as a gift so I'm trying to ignore it so I don't also fall in love with it & decide to keep it.

The bags came from an Etsy shop, Ocean Patch.  I was a little worried when I made my purchase about how long it would take to receive the bags.  There was no mention on the listing about shipping time frames or whether the bags were sewn after the order was placed or if they were ready to ship.  I had no need to worry though.  The bags were waiting for me in my mailbox just five days after purchase.  Maybe even four days.  I never ventured out to the mailbox yesterday.  Remember me being Grumpy Girl the other day?  Yeah, well the grumpiness was the precursor to a nasty stomach bug that I will not share the details of.  Let's just say I'm probably about 40 pounds lighter now.

Anyway.... the bags...  they are adorable and I'm going to love storing my knitting tools in them.   Well, in the turtle bag.  I have to keep reminding myself the octopus bag is to give away.  It's not mine to keep.

There is one problem with my purchase though.  The shop really knows it's marketing ploys.  In the process of gathering the link to Ocean Patch, I noticed they have several more bags available now.  And one of those bags has sheep on it.  Sheep!  And, my turtle and octopus bags came in the cutest packaging that included a tiny turtle charm attached to their business card.

turtle charm as part of the packaging from Ocean Patch Etsy shop
Ocean Patch
Oh my gosh, does this store know me or what?

I almost wish I hadn't discovered the Ocean Patch Etsy shop.  As the saying goes, knowledge is a dangerous thing.  The knowledge that there's a cute little sheep bag, not to mention a zillion other beachy bags out there just waiting for me to purchase them, plus the fact that I'm working again & have a steady paycheck....  And if I buy more bags, I'll have to buy more knitting accessories to go into them....  Plus, if I buy more bags, maybe they'll send me more turtle charms....  Knowledge is a very dangerous thing and I could be in so much trouble!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

TBT - Mom's garden

It's TBT and spring is here and the outdoors is starting to turn green again and I'm reminded of my mom.

Mom could grow and garden flowers and vegetables anywhere, even in concrete
Sunflowers growing in concrete
Mom could grow anything, anywhere.  Including sunflowers in concrete.

Growing up, we lived in the city & had a very small backyard.  But in that backyard, mom grew hundreds of beautiful flowers as well as most of the vegetables that we ate.  Sadly, I did not inherit the green thumb.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grumpy Girl

I woke up grumpy today and I have no idea why.  The sun is not exactly 'out', but yesterday's torrential rains have stopped.  The birds are singing.  (Well, that may be part of the problem. The birds were singing while I was trying to sleep.  Have I mentioned before how loudly our birds sing?  They are freakishly loud.)  My car passed inspection yesterday without needing a dime's worth of repairs.  Our taxes were done a few weeks ago.  I haven't dropped a bunch of stitches or totally screwed up a piece of lace knitting.  And I've discovered the wonderful world of eye shadow primer.  (Are you aware how much difference eye shadow primer makes?  OMG!  It's like I've been introduced to a whole new world!)

Anyway.... There's no reason for me to be feeling like such a grumpy girl.  But I am.  And there's nothing worse than a blogger who does nothing but bitch & moan.  And it seems like I've been doing a lot of bitching & moaning lately.  Oops.  Sorry about that.  Oh, and by the way, the cold/pneumonia/bronchittis/total and complete lung rot disease I had is gone.  The other  night, I went to bed still unable to catch my breath between coughing attacks & woke up the next day magically cured.  Another reason I should not be feeling like such a grumpy girl.

Patons Kroy Socks yarn in Meadow Stripes slouchy girls or womens hat

I'm so grumpy, I don't even feel much like knitting.  Even though my current project is fun and colorful.

But spring is in the air & it's hard to be grumpy when the outdoors is turning green.  Or in my case, yellow.

Dandylion yellow.  Our yard is a field of dandylions.

The bumblebees are enjoying the explosion of dandylions.

spring growth buds

The flowering bush that I planted last year is still alive.  I just wish I could remember what kind of flowering bush it is.  All I remember is that it's supposed to be extremely hardy, hardy enough to withstand me being it's caregiver, and that it's supposed to get really big.

Have I mentioned I'm not much of a gardner?

leaves budding on a grapevine

The grapevines will at least have leaves, if not grapes, this year.

daffodil blooms

Over the years, I've planted hundreds of bulbs.  Each year, exactly one blooms.  But this year, the annual daffodil produced two blooms.  It's a miracle!

wild daffodils growing in the woods

And an even bigger gardening miracle... a second patch of daffodils came up out in the woods.  The sad thing about this is the realization that the squirrels and voles are better gardeners than I am.

It's no wonder I'm a grumpy girl!

Monday, April 13, 2015


There is not a single part of me that doesn't ache.  I'm so glad it's Monday.  Or more specifically, a Monday in April.  Or to be exact, it's a non-spring break/Easter week Monday.  I'm not sure I could have survived another day of the summer job.  The park was open all week because of spring break/Easter and after spending the winter sitting on my butt, knitting & binge watching Netflix, a full week of work kicked my butt.  I mean, it seriously kicked my arse.   I knew I was out of shape, but good grief!  I'm bruised and battered and blistered & there isn't a single part of me that doesn't ache.

But it's okay.  I have five days to recover.

Knitting, art and planning projects spread all over my desk.

And to clean off my desk.  Good grief.  Between the disaster zone I'm calling a desk and my gazillion itemed to-do list, I'm almost wishing I had to go to work today.

Well, I'm off to tackle the to-do list.  Or knit and watch Netflix.  I should really focus on the to-do list, but.... I am behind on my knitting.  And getting a few knitting projects finished is on the to-do list....

Or better yet, I could ignore it all and go back to bed until the blisters and bruises heel.

Decisions, decisions....

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Hats - Elephants

I love elephants & was excited to find this knitted Elephant Hat pattern to share with you.

Isn't it adorable?  I can't wait to knit one (or six) for the babies in my world.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Blue Dog

When I was born, my much older cousin gave me a bright blue stuffed dog.  Blue Dog.

My childhood stuffed animal.
Blue Dog
Blue Dog is not so blue anymore, but he is still loved and cherished.  These days, Blue Dog can be found comfortably resting in a cedar chest and hiding from moths and the family pets.  But back in the day, Blue Dog lived.  Blue Dog slept with me every night, he went to nursery school with me, he went on many, many sleep overs and he even went to Girl Scout camp with me. When I was 19 and broke my back, I woke up after surgery to find that Blue Dog had even come to hang out with me in the hospital.  (I would give anything to have seen my mom convincing the recovery room staff that I needed this grungy looking stuffed animal (Sorry, no offense intended, Blue Dog.) in the bed with me.  I laugh every time I think of it.)

Every year, up until the year my mom passed away & could no longer help Blue Dog write the gift tag, Blue Dog gave me Christmas and birthday gifts.  The gifts from Blue Dog were always cherished.  In my younger days, the gifts were normally in the form of a book that we could read together before bed.  And I loved having Mom tell me the story of how Blue Dog saved his allowance so that he could take the bus to go present shopping for me.  As I said, Blue Dog lived.

My favorite childhood toy, a stuffed blue dog.
Blue Dog
Blue Dog was well loved.  So well loved that I don't even remember him having but one eye and I remember him loosing that eye in the wash after a particularly nasty case of the stomach flu when I was eight or nine.  I remember he used to be a lot fatter and he used to have a lot more hair.

As you can see, Blue Dog was very special to me.  And since Blue Dog's retirement to the cedar chest, I get pretty excited over products that have 'blue dog' in their name.

Chateau Morrisette Winery, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
Blue Dog Wine
My favorite wine is Blue Dog from Chateau Morrisette located off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.

And imagine my excitement when I stumbled across Blue Dog Workshop on Etsy.  They have their own website too.  But I was on Etsy the other day, goofing off and procrastinating working on my shop.  Etsy's home page recommends items they think you might like & I was skimming through their suggestions.  All of a sudden, there, in the middle of my screen, was knitting stitch markers.  A set of knitting stitch markers with a lighthouse.  A lighthouse!  I love lighthouses.  I glanced at the shop's name... Blue Dog Workshop.  Oh. My. God!!  Blue Dog and lighthouses AND it's all knitting related.  I didn't care what it was, how much it cost, or what kind of reviews the shop had.  I just ordered.  Now that I think about it, I didn't even look to see if the shop had other knitting stitch marker sets that I liked better.  I just hit the "Add to my cart" button & started typing in my Paypal password.

Today, my stitch markers arrived.

handmade by Blue Dog Workshop
Stitch Markers from Blue Dog Workshop
And I promptly traded out the boring marker I'd been using for the lighthouse on a new hat project I'm knitting.

knitting stitch markers set from Blue Dog Workshop
Lighthouse stitch marker
I'm so excited to own this set.  Each of the six 'plain' stitch markers  have a single red bead on them, as does the lighthouse.  I was a little worried that the lighthouse would be heavy & uncomfortable hanging off my needles, but it's not heavy at all.  I don't even realize it's there until I knit around to it.  I love having fancy stitch markers and this set is just perfect for me.  Just perfect!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

TBT - Michael

It's TBT otherwise known as Throwback Thursday and my husband was such a stud!

Throwback Thursday, Michael in his youth looking like a stud.
Can you blame me for falling in love with that smile?

TBT - Graduation

It's TBT and high school seniors everywhere are excited about graduation.

graduation from Chickahominy Academy, the graduating class of 1980
Chickahominy Academy, 1980
And that is almost the entire graduating class of 1980.  I went to a very small school.  And if you're wondering, I'm the second from the right.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Knitting Progress

Yeah.  The knitting progress report is, well, blank.

As I mentioned the other day, the summer job has started.  Don't get me wrong, I love the job, but it does cut down on my knitting time.  And specially this week.  It's Spring Break/Easter week and the park has been crazy busy.  Toss in a ton of new employees who don't know what they're doing and a bunch more returning employees who've forgotten how to do what they are doing.... and work has just been crazy busy.  No down time for getting any knitting done.

Viper still looks like this.

A UFO lacy knit scarf named Viper
And the pi shawl has had even less visible progress made to it.

And please pardon the photo.  It's taken with my non-smart phone because Someone left the real camera turned on the last time they used it.

I'm sure that 'someone' wasn't me.  Couldn't have been.  I'd never do something like that.  Nope, not me.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday - Easter Hats

Instead of sharing a knitted hat pattern today, I'm celebrating Easter by sharing a Richmond, Virginia tradition with you.

Richmond, VA Easter hats
The Monument Ave. Easter Parade.  It's a huge tradition in Richmond.   The streets surrounding Robert E. Lee's statue are blocked off and there's a huge, giant block party complete with beer, bands, a parade, and a hat contest.

Richmond, VA easter parade hats
Everyone participates.  Young and old,

Richmond, VA easter parade on Monument Ave.
People and pets.

Everyone dresses for the occasion.


Monument Ave., Richmond, VA
Even the plastic pink flamingos take part.

richmond monument ave easter hat parade
And everyone enters the Easter hat contest.

Richmond, VA Easter

Happy Easter!