Saturday, December 31, 2016

And a Happy New Year

I can't believe it's been over a week since I visited the blog.  I think Christmas caused a mini mental breakdown.  Don't get me wrong - Christmas was great!  But post Christmas... phew!

Christmas Eve was wonderful.  Sarah & I did some last minute baking while Mike slept (he didn't get home from work until about 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve.)  Having Mike sleep through the baking was nice.  He wasn't "helping" by tasting or adding a pinch of salt without my knowledge.  Once the baking was done, Sarah & I took the "Christmas Eve tour" where we deliver gifts all over creation.  We've done it the past three or four years and it's become an enjoyable tradition.  Meanwhile, Mike got a little more sleep then hooked up with our son & met us at my sister's for my side of the family's Christmas Eve celebration.  With the exception of my four year old niece being sick & absent, Christmas Eve was perfect!  We had good food, listened to The Night Before Christmas and Zack came back home to spend the night.  That made my Christmas!  I couldn't have asked for a better gift.  I've missed having him around more than I realized and Zack was a really good sport and hung out with me into the early morning hours.

After only a few hours sleep, the kids and I were all awake by 6 a.m.  The kids may be adults now, but we all still get excited about Santa.  We tore into the gifts, ate breakfast & piled into the cars to go to Mike's side of the family's Christmas gathering.

The Wiant gathering was wonderfully relaxed and we all over indulged and everything was great until about 5 a.m. the next morning when Mike woke me up complaining about a stomach ache.  It turned out it wasn't an over indulgence belly ache.  Of course not.  Nope, the Tummy Bug had hit our house.

About all I can say about the Tummy Bug is that I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  Luckily, I haven't gotten it yet.  At least I think I'm lucky.  Frankly, I'm not sure what's worse - having it, or waiting to catch it.  Pretty much all I've done since early Monday morning is hold my breath (so I don't accidently suck in any germs,) wash linens, run ginger ale & crushed ice up and down the stairs and wash my hands until they are practically bloody.

Sea shell stitch markers from and mock cabled fingerless gloves
Stitch markers from Lavender Hill Knits

Between the hand washings, I have managed to knit a few stitches.  I just had to try out the new sea shell stitch markers Santa brought me.  Santa worked some serious magic to get them to me for Christmas and I just absolutely love them!  Not only are they beachy, they coordinate perfectly with the yarn I'm using to knit these fingerless mitts.  The yarn and stitch markers also coordinate with my new Kindle cover, another surprise from Santa.  Good job, Santa!

Now, if Santa could/would only give us a healthy start to 2017.....

Wishing you all a happy, healthy & prosperous new year!

HAPPY 2017!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I think I'm ready.  The tree is up, the gifts are wrapped, the baking is done.

Thank goodness the baking is done!  If I NEVER see another cookie, I will be a happy woman.  Besides the rum balls, we bake 13 batches of cookies.  Thirteen!  And near the beginning of the cookie ordeal, I managed to dump nine cooling racks of baked cookies on the floor.  Nine cooling racks worth of cookies works out to about four batches.  Four batches of cookies dumped on the floor for the dogs to gobble.  Good grief!

But it's done.  The baking is done.

Merry Christmas Eve, 2016

And now it's time to relax and enjoy the season.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Black and White

So, the other day was rum ball making day.  Sarah helped because with my still bandaged thumb, I couldn't mix the dough properly.  You have to get your hands into the dough and knead it fairly well.

We had a lot of fun slinging powdered sugar everywhere and with two of us working, the whole process got done in half the time.  But good grief!  We sure did make a mess with the powdered sugar.  It was everywhere EVERYWHERE!  And I mean everywhere!  There wasn't a single surface that wasn't sticky & white by the time we finished.

Meanwhile, while Sarah & I were coating the kitchen & me (why didn't I wear an apron???) with white powdered sugar, my husband was out in the garage tearing apart his truck's engine and turning himself black.  He was head to toe covered in oil and gasoline.

Mary Poppins Chimney Sweeper

He was Dick Van Dyke playing the chimney sweeper in Mary Poppins dirty.  Except dirtier.  Much, much dirtier.

By the time Sarah & I finished making the rum balls, it was getting close to time to fix dinner.  I decided I'd shower first then clean up the powdered sugar while I was waiting for the dinner time potatoes to boil.  

I hopped in the shower, suds up my hair and.... suddenly, it was like trying to shower with a soaker hose.  What was happening to the water pressure?  And then, just as suddenly, I'm standing, shivering in a waterless shower with a head full of shampoo suds and soapy arm pits.  What the heck!?!

It turns out, we were having some kind of county wide water issue.  The water company sure does have good timing.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Let's Pretend

Let's pretend I didn't ignore the blog for four days straight.  Christmas & my bandaged thumb got the best of me.  I really have no idea what I was thinking when I challenged myself to post every day in December.  When looking back, I apparently do it every year and every year, I fail.  In my defense, it's been a very busy four days.

One day was spent having my annual visit to the dermatologist and getting my hair cut.  The hair cut, even though it's just a trim, is an all day event.  My hair is so thick it takes two hours just to trim, thin and dry it.  Literally, two hours.  You can ask my daughter because for reasons unknown, she usually tags along.  I think it's because she sits in the waiting area reading & they give her cookies & soda.

Color work scarf knit from Knit Picks Peppermint Icicle Palette Sampler for
Fair Isle Scarf

Despite my bandaged thumb, I completed the next color sequence on my Peppermint Icicle scarf.  I'm using Knit Pick's Palette sampler in the Peppermint Icicle colorway, thus it's name.

I can't type worth a damn with my bandaged thumb, but luckily I can still knit.  Sort of.

My knitting gauge was off and this hat is coming out large enough to be a sweater.
A hat or a sweater body?

For some reason, the bandage is causing me to knit extremely EXTREMELY loose.  I received another request for the same hat I knit last week.  I'm using the same yarn, the same needle, cast on the same number of stitches and Poof!  The hat was turning out three inches larger in circumference.  Three inches!  How is that even possible?  Instead of a hat, I was apparently knitting a sweater body.  For a pregnant person.  Good grief.

Reknitting the hat at a smaller gauge.  Hat for sale at
Version 2

I started over and now I'm pushing the deadline which makes me very uncomfortable.

Another day was spent jumping up and down with excitement over the mail delivery.  Besides receiving a big box of yarn, I received a few other unexpected packages.

Long, long ago, Leslie at A Friend to Knit With had posted that she had a ton of little clippy things she used as stitch markers.  She got them free from somewhere - work? the dry cleaners? I don't even remember now.  But the point was, she had way more than she'd ever need and she offered to give them away to whoever responded to her blog post.  Well, she was inundated with requests.  After sending out the ones she had, she made a list & promised to send them out as she collected more.  Well, this past week, my name came up on her list.

Thank you, Leslie!  I can't imagine the time, effort & cost that went into mailing me and everyone else  the stitch markers.

The next package wasn't really a package - it was an email.  I'd entered a random drawing over at Knitting Sarah's to win an e-copy of Everyday and I won!  I won!  I never win anything!  My family thought I'd lost my mind because I was jumping up & down shouting, "I won a knitting book, I won a knitting book!"  I even thought I knew which pattern I was going to knit first (Moonstone.)  It was going to be my Christmas Day Cast On project but now I'm not so sure.  There are so many items in the book I want to knit and the yarn I was thinking I'd use for Moonstone has really been marked for cabled cardigan.  So now, I don't know.  I've got 16 days to figure it out though.

Wait, sixteen days?  No, try six.  I have six days until Christmas Day Cast On.  Dammit.  Along with failing to blog daily, I also failed to change my How Many Days Until Christmas Christmas decoration.  Dammit.  I'm just slightly behind schedule now.

Next on the list of the day's receivables was news that Sarah, my daughter, not Knitting Sarah, scored a 100% on her biology final!  I'm so happy and proud of her.  For a homeschooled kid who'd never been in a classroom, taken lecture notes, or even taken a test, she is rocking college life.  We celebrated with cake.  :)

Another day was spent baking without water.  But that's a whole other story.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Struggle

The struggle is real.  Do I choose to knit or do I choose Cheetos?

#yarnalong, reading, drinking wine, eating Cheetos and knititng
Wine, Cheetos, a book and some yarn

It's been a Cheetos and wine kind of day.

The wine is Hobnob Wicked and goes surprisingly well with Cheetos.

The book is Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway.  I'll be starting it as soon as I make the Cheetos vs. knitting decision so I can't tell you anything about it yet.

The knitting is a pair of cabled fingerless gloves inspired by Outlander in Wool of the Andes Noble Heather.

Join me on Ginny's Yarn Along to see what others are reading and knitting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

All I want for Christmas

I've been feeling a little guilty about my Christmas list this year.  When you ask my daughter or husband what they want for Christmas, their only response is, "Harsher punishment for parole violators.  And world peace."  It drives me insane.  Meanwhile, my list is over hear looking like a new computer, a new TV, a new used car for me or my daughter so that we no longer have to share, a book or two, Season 3 of Vikings, a new desk lamp, those candle sticks I saw at Pier One and a yarn shop's worth of yarn and knitting tools.

uncoordinated Christmas accidents.

But I've changed my mind.  All I really want is some coordination.

So, the other day, I was home alone, had the music blaring while I did some much needed housework.  As I was carrying a huge load of laundry down the stairs, Time Warp came on and I automatically went into dance mode.  I managed the jump to the left and the step to the right just fine, but when I went to  pelvic thrust, I thrust myself face first down the steps.  Good thing I had such a large load of laundry in my arms.  It padded my fall.

Good grief.

And if having to explain that I'm scraped & bruised because I pelvic thrust myself down the stairs wasn't bad enough, the next day I yanked my thumb nail off with a cheese grader.  A cheese grader!  Good Lord!

Please Santa, please.  All I ask is for an ounce of coordination.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Oh, Amazon

Oh, Amazon - you're killing me!

Knitting a tri-colored winter hat while reading on my new Kindle Fire.

So, a few years ago, my original 3G Kindle began taking three or four days to charge instead of it's normal 30 minutes.  As badly as I wanted a new one, it wasn't in my budget.  Lucky for me (or not,) about that time, Verizon offered me a free tablet if I just paid the monthly usage fee.  I jumped at the opportunity, downloaded the Kindle app and got back to reading.

Jump forward to this past Thanksgiving and I've worn the tablet out.  It will only stay charged for  about ten at a time.  Very annoying!  And being a Reader (not just a reader, but a Reader) I couldn't wait and hope that Santa brought me a new Kindle.  I broke down and bought myself a new one.

My new Kindle Fire is great.  Except that it won't let me transfer any of the unread books from the Kindle app on the Verizon tablet.  Dammit.  The 20+ sample books I'd downloaded on my original 3G Kindle years ago are showing up on the new Kindle.  Of course they are.  Because I've since gone ahead & purchased (on the Verizon Kindle app) any of the books that I wanted to read after looking at the free samples.  So the samples from years ago are on my new Kindle, but not the actual books.  Apparently, Amazon won't allow you to transfer books to or from a non-Amazon reader, even if you purchased them using the Kindle app.  I'm going to have to either re-purchase the books on the new Kindle or read in them in 10 minute increments on the Verizon tablet.  Dammit.

Meanwhile, I'm knitting another hat.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


So, this Tracks yarn from The Buffalo Wool Company that came in my November shipment from KNITCRATE is glorious!

Yarn from KNITCRATES being knit into gloves for
Tracks from The Buffalo Wool Co.

I decided to knit faux cabled fingerless gloves with the yarn instead of socks.  I really like the sock pattern that came with November's shipment and I plan to knit it someday but just not with this yarn.  This yarn is just too good to be hidden under shoes and pant legs.  This yarn is just heavenly to knit with.  It's not the least bit splitty and it has excellent stitch definition. It's also knitting up very quickly. I may have a new pair of gloves to wear to my Knitting Group Monday night.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


I've wound my "Tracks" yarn from The Buffalo Wool Company that was a part of KNITCRATE's November Socks package.

Yarn from the Buffalo Wool Co from #KNITCRATE November Socks
Spring Salmon Tracks

Now, I just need to decide what to knit.  I'm weird about my over-sized feet so I don't want people noticing them.  This yarn needs to be noticed.  I'm thinking fingerless gloves rather than socks.  What do you think I should knit?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Better than Christmas!

This is better than Christmas!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a box in the mail.


My first KnitCrate shipment.

yarn delivery for JGKnits

What would be in it?  I felt like I was opening my Christmas stocking.

sock yarn from The Buffalo Wool Co. for JGKnits
#KnitCrate's November 2016 Socks Box

Santa KnitCrate sent me 300 yards of a bison/merino blend yarn ("Tracks") from The Buffalo Wool Co.  Yes, you read that right - bison!  I've never knit with bison before.  I can't wait to knit with it.  It looks a little like cotton but I have the feeling it's going to bloom once washed and become crazy-soft.

I'll admit, I was a little worried about the yarn.  A few days before the package arrived, the sock pattern (which was part of the package) arrived via email.  Now, being my first package from KnitCrate, I wasn't sure what to expect, but the photo on the pattern was showing a shockingly pink sock.  I'm not really a pink kind of girl and I'll admit, I was a little disappointed that my first shipment was probably going to be shockingly pink yarn that I would never use.  But it turns out, the yarn isn't shockingly pink at all.  It's a brownish coral.  The label calls it Spring Salmon.  I call it perfect!

Also included in the package were the cutest, tiniest pair of travel scissors and an electronic row counter.

miniature travel scissors from the November Socks box from #KnitCrate

I mean, look how tiny the scissors are!  Aren't they adorable?  They're not much bigger than a key on my laptop!  And yet, they cut yarn better than my full sized desk scissors.  I'm in awe!

I can't wait to start knitting with the Tracks yarn.  I had to hide it from myself so that I'd finish Christmas knitting.  But lucky for me..... Since I gave up trying to knit the cowl from Hell and decided to buy the recipient's gift.... that means I don't have to knit that recipient's spouse a gift either.  Excellent!  Two gifts instantly struck off the Gifts To Knit list.  And that means, unless I'm forgetting someone (which I probably am. I always do,) I am finished gift knitting!  Done!  Finished! Fini!

And you know what that means.....  I get to go play with coral colored bison!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Santa Came Early

Santa came early this year!

Hand sewn knitting project bag using fabric with knitting sheep I received as a Christmas gift.
Wooly Project Bag

One of the ladies in my Monday Night Knitting Group made each of us a project bag.  The fabric is The cutest!  The top fabric is hat and scarf wearing sheep knitting and the bottom fabric has sheep all over it.  If you look closely, you'll see that the sheep are really just balls of yarn with sheep faces.  And if you look closer, you'll notice that some of them still have their ball bands on them.  It's adorable!

Besides being adorable, the bag is the perfect size - not too small, not too large.  It's also got a drawstring closure and a removable hook on the outside for hanging spare stitch markers, a small pair of scissors, a tape measure, my car keys....  You don't have to be a fortune teller to know that this bag is going to see a lot of action!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Simple Knits

As much as I love knitting cables and lace, there's nothing like a simple hat, knit from natural wooly yarn and a good, simple Christmas romance novel.

hand knit winter wool hat for sale at
A simple hat

The hat will go in the Did I Forget Anyone? pile then hopefully into my Etsy shop.

I'm still reading Sara in Montana by Morris Fenris.  It's free on the Kindle, and a nice, non-smutty romance story that happens to take place at Christmas.  Join me over at Ginny's so see what others are knitting and reading.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Stars or Snowflakes?

The lengths ...

I'm knitting a Fair Isle cowl in the round with Knit Pick's Palette
Early stages of a Fair Isle cowl

   .... I'm going to ...

Can't decide if this fair isle knitting pattern is for a star or a snowflake.
Stars or snowflakes?

         .... to avoid frogging the world's splittiest yarn.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Gone Shopping

Well, it looks like I have some Christmas shopping in my future.  Remember the pink striped cowl with the world's splittiest yarn that I frogged a big chunk of and reknit last week....?  Yeah, that one.  I have to frog it again.  I really, really don't want to.  I want to take it outside and shoot it full of holes with my husband's shotgun.  At this point, I'm not sure if I have the heart to frog it and start the knitting process over or if I'll just throw it in the trash.  What ever I decide to do, I think it's safe to say it will not be reknit as a Christmas gift.  Not this year anyway.  Probably not next year either.  I sort of never want to see that yarn ever again.  Ugh! I'm just disgusted with the whole project.

hand knit hat; warm winter hat for sale at
Two-toned gray watch cap

To take my mind off thinking up horrible punishments for misbehaving yarn, I started another hat.  It's just a simple watch cap styled hat knit in two shades of gray.  Both yarns are Patons Classic Wool. The dark charcoal is Mercury and the gray & white tweedy one is Light Gray Marl.

I've previously knit several different things with the Light Gray Marl.  I'm fascinated by it.  I love tweedy, two-toned yarns when they are on the store shelves.  Just LOVE them!  But every time I've ever knit with two-toned tweedy type yarn, I've been unhappy with the results.  Except for this Light Gray Marl.  The knitted fabric always ends up looking like a well worn gray sweatshirt.  Apparently, I have a thing for well worn gray sweatshirts.  I also have a thing for the contrast between the dark charcoal and the pale gray tweed.  It's a nice break from knitting shockingly bright pink stripes.

Got any suggestions for what to buy someone for Christmas when you refuse to knit them a cowl?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 4

Good grief! It's only day four of the #blogeveryday challenge and I'm already down to posting this exciting photo:

knitting a purple slouchy hat with Caron Cakes yarn
Purple Hat

I finished my Baktus scarf and had a little bit of yarn left over from each skein so I'm knitting hats.

As for the scarf itself, it's hanging out in the Block Me pile where it will probably remain until December 23rd.  If tradition carries forth this year, December 23rd will see my dining room table covered at one end with cooling cookies & cakes while the other end will be covered in multiple knitted gifts spread out on blocking mats not drying.

I use miniature Christmas trees as night lights.
Holiday Night Light

Meanwhile, I love my little Christmas trees.  Over the last few years, I've bought all the super cheap and oddly shaped miniature trees I find at Goodwill. I put them all over the house and call them night lights.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Heaven

#Christmastraditions Pepperidge Farm Gingerman cookies with brie cheese

OMG! OMG! I'm in Christmas Heaven.  It's December.  The grocery store's freezer section is stocked full of peppermint ice cream and the cookie isle is full of Pepperidge Farm "Sweet" Gingerman cookies.  

Pepperridge Farm Gingerman cookies with brie cheese #Christmasfood
Gingerbread men with Brie

Do you know what's even better than peppermint ice cream?  It's a slab of brie cheese on a Pepperidge Farm Sweet Gingerman cookie.   Sounds weird I know.  But OMG! You must try it.  But only try it with the Pepperidge Farm cookies.  No other ginger snap type cookie works.  

Friday, December 2, 2016


I was standing in the grocery store the other night having a discussion with my husband about how much I love eggnog but why I refuse to buy it.  It's because it's like heroin.  It's worse than heroin.  One teeny tiny sip and I can't stop.  One minute I'm taking my first sip of the year, the next minute, I'm surrounded by eight empty gallon jugs, I don't feel so well, the seams on my pants are tearing and I want more.  MORE!  I need MORE eggnog!

So there we are, me explaining to my husband about how much I love "Christmas Heroin" (my name for eggnog) and how bad it is for me but how much I love it..... and I take a deep breath, pull myself together and turn around to walk away from the eggnog display and there.... there's a police officer, in uniform, staring at me while I go on and on about how much I love Christmas Heroin.  Good Lord.

Later, my husband & I are tossing our groceries onto the cashier's conveyor belt and guess who gets in line behind us.  Yep, Mr. Police Officer.  So I held up my container of eggnog ice cream and said with a big grin, "Frozen Christmas heroin!"

The moral of this story is that eggnog ice cream is good but it's not heroin.  It's also despised by all other family members which means, it will actually still be in the freezer the next time I want some.


OTN, on the needles, knitting a striped cowl for a Christmas gift.
Christmas knitting

I got all the stitches back on the needles and I've knit a few more rounds.  And gosh, that pink is really.... PINK.  I think it's going to be okay though.  Plus, the intended recipient likes a splash of color.  I just hope that the pink stripes will be splashes, not tsunamis. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Because I have nothing else to do

I must be nuts.  Because December isn't busy enough, I've decided to challenge myself to post every day this month.

My Christmas cactus from Ikea is blooming!
Christmas Cactus

My Christmas cactus is blooming!

Okay, so I didn't challenge myself to write deep, extensive, interesting posts.  Just to post something.

I'm pretty excited about my cactus though.  Sarah and I went to Ikea last month and of course, we picked a frigid, rainy day to go.  We shopped till we dropped, filled up our trunk with goodies, including two desk chairs and a book case, tucked the cactus into a 'safe spot' in the trunk where the surrounding junk would protect it from shifting and turning over.....  And got home to realize that while we'd done a great job making sure the cactus wouldn't tip over, we hadn't considered the chairs and book case shifting around and landing on top of the plant.  A month later and I'm still picking Christmas cactus leaves out of the trunk every time I buy groceries.  But the cactus doesn't seem to mind.  Yay!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

When Karma Bites Back

Good grief!  This is what I get for bragging about how far along I am on the Christmas Knitting To-Do list.

Frogging and knitting a cowl for a Christmas gift.  bad karma
Christmas Knitting Frogging

I just frogged seven rows of 350 stitches of THE splittiest yarn ever spun and am picking back up the 350 stitches all over again.  Did I mention that the yarn splits?  And how it doesn't grab onto itself so that each time the loose stitches shift slightly, eight good stitches frog themselves?  Can I just pretend the relative this project is intended for doesn't exist?  Please?

And before anyone comments on this project's ugly color... It's not really that color.  Well, the pink sort of is.  But the other yarn is actually a pretty black with blips of matching pink and yellow.  I know - it sounds horrible but it somehow magically works.  It just doesn't 'work' under incandescent lighting in a very dark and gloomy house on a very rainy day.  Today's weather is matching my current feelings about this project.  But I have confidence.  One day soon, the rain will stop, the sun will shine and I will, I repeat, I will get these 350 stitches picked back up.

And once those 350 stitches are picked back up and oriented properly on my needles, I will celebrate by reading another chapter in my current Christmas romance, Sara in Montana by Morris Fenris.  Join me on Ginny's Yarn Along to see what others are reading and knitting.  Or frogging.  Hopefully,  for their sake, knitting.

Monday, November 28, 2016


This has been a crazy exciting holiday weekend.  Okay, let me rephrase that.  For a frantic, dangerously close to panicking knitter, this has been a crazy exciting holiday weekend.  And by exciting, I mean since arriving home from Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's, I have done nothing but watch Gilmore Girls and knit.  I Love Gilmore Girls.  It's my favorite show, next to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Anyway... luckily for me, the Gilmore Girls reunion premiered on Netflix this weekend.  Of course I watched it in it's entirety without pausing.  While doing that, I finished up three custom orders.  As soon as I was finished watching A Year in the Life, I flipped back to Season 1, Episode 1 and kept on knitting.  Since then, I've finished up the last of the Must Do shop knitting and cast off two more Christmas gifts.  Having all those Thanksgiving left-overs and the fact that my daughter likes to cook has really helped the situation.

Knitting a cowl for a Christmas gift and watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
Christmas Gift Knitting

It's also nice that my daughter gets even more excited about Christmas than I do.  She does the decorating.  She's been dying to put up our new $20 Christmas tree.  (The six foot $20.00 Christmas tree is a whole other story, to be told at a later date.)  It's a little plasticky up close but it's up, it's decorated and from across the room, it looks great.

It's also great that, as long as I'm not forgetting anyone, I only have two more Christmas gifts to knit.   Two!  I'm almost finished Christmas Gift Knitting!  I can not believe how much Lorelai and Rory have helped me accomplish.  Thanks, girls.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Oy with the poodles!  I never want to see another carb.

made a few pies for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving went well.  The meal was delicious, the family well and there was no drama.  I didn't even cry in the kitchen!  Couldn't ask for more.  But goodness!  I ate too much.

knitting a Baktus scarf
Baktus scarf

I spent yesterday recovering from a massive carb hangover.  I'd had big plans.  I was going to go visit a childhood friend who was in town for the holiday then I was going to spend the afternoon/evening watching helping my daughter decorate our house for Christmas.

None of that happened.  I ended up spending the better part of the day glued to Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life on Netflix and knitting.  It's probably for the best.  As much as I wanted to see my friend, my Etsy shop has been exploding recently.  Not a bad thing.  Not bad at all, but it has left me in a bit of a knitting panic.  Besides the Christmas gift knitting, I've added a few custom orders to the do-list and the shop is in desperate need of some new stock.

But it's okay.  I have a plan, a ton of yarn and a To-Knit list.  And there's the seven original seasons of Gilmore Girls, not to mention a zillion Christmas movies to keep me entertained while I knit.  I got this!

And bonus points if you noticed my new Ikea pillow slippers.  They are fantastic!  So warm and comfy, and Christmassy.  Except, they are so big & puffy, I don't know where my feet are and I keep stepping on the dogs.

Oy with the poodles.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Preparing for Thanksgiving

Thank goodness tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

Reading Christmas romances and knitting hats for
Yarn Along Wednesday

Because I've already started my Christmas reading.

Actually, I'm hanging my head in holiday shame because not only have I begun the tradition of ignoring my ever-growing To-Do list by obsessively reading Christmas romances, I've even been listening to Christmas carols.  I know, it's shameful.  Shameful!  I'm a firm believer in celebrating one holiday at a time but....  I just couldn't wait this year.

I did take a short break from holiday romance reading to check another Christmas gift off the To-Knit list.  That's four gifts down, only 4,000 more to go.  Four gifts down before Thanksgiving!  I think that deserves an hour or so spent with a cheesey Christmas romance novel and a glass of wine.

But before I hit the bottle too hard, I should probably go get the Thanksgiving baking done.  Wish me luck.  I'll need it!

Wishing you all a very happy, safe, drama-free Thanksgiving!

(And don't forget to join me over at Ginny's for Yarn Along Wednesday.)

Saturday, November 19, 2016


It's an exciting day today.

I finished knitting  the my Autumn Fire scarf.  In the beginning, I'd questioned whether it would be a Christmas gift or a scarf for the Etsy shop.  It's no longer a question.  It's mine, all mine.  For the life of me, I'll never understand how that bright magenta, a fire engine red, a lemon yellow and three shades of orange can blend so well with ten shades of brown but it does, and I love it.  LOVE it!

And, I finished knitting the clown barf cowl.  I love how that turned out as well.  It's both bright and muted.  All at the same time.  Combining the clown barf with solid black was definitely a good call.

And while finishing those two projects is exciting (because they both felt like they'd dragged on for ages,) it's not The exciting thing.

THE exciting thing is that my youngest, my little bitty baby girl turned 20 today.

Sarah loves having her picture taken.


The fashion sense of a five  year old.
Sarah, the fashion queen

 No longer a teenager.

beached basking shark, Hatteras, NC, OBX
Sarah & the shark

No longer a kid.  She's an adult now.

Sarah's birth date, November 19, 1996

How is it possible that my little bitty baby* girl is twenty?

*Yes, I'm aware that my "little bitty baby" was never very little.  She was over 10 pounds at birth and had shoulders to rival The Fridge.  Luckily, she grew into her shoulders and out of that angry newborn stage.

Happy Birthday, Sarah
Sarah, 2010

Happy 20th Birthday, Sarah!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday

Does looking over the To-Do list count as reading?

Knitting the Baktus Scarf, drinking wine & watching The Crown on Netflix
Baktus Scarf

I hope so because it's about all I've managed this week.  I didn't even get a chance to photo my current knitting status until late last night, when the lighting was at it's absolute worst.  I'd like to say I turned the photo black & white to alter the looks of a Christmas gift but really, it's just because the lighting was so bad.

the leaves just keep falling.  I have to rake the deck twice a day.

I wasn't kidding about having to rake the deck.  That's about 3 hours of fallen leaves.  I don't know where they are all coming from.  We've never had this many on the deck before and the trees still look full.  I also have no idea how all that junk got piled up out there in three hours.  That's impressive junk piling, even for my family!

Minnie, The Queen, is a bed hog and cover thief.
Bed Hog

And do you ever wonder why I'm grumpy?  That's a king size bed and I don't even fit on it.  I have to wear socks to bed to keep my toes warm when the queen dog hops up, shoves me over (practically off) and steals the covers.  Good grief!

Join me and many other's for the Yarn Along over at Ginny's place.  Hopefully everyone else is having better luck with their reading goals than I am.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Baktus Scarf

Meet Baktus, another striped scarf.

striped triangular scarf,
Baktus Scarf

The scarf is basically a very looooong, narrow triangle.  I love how versatile the pattern is.  You can use pretty much any yarn, or combinations of yarns.  You just increase until you've knit half your yarn then you begin decreasing.  So simple!

I'd planned for this scarf to be a Christmas gift, but I'm falling a little bit more in love with it each time there's a color change.  I'm not sure I'll be able to part with it.

hand knit striped triangular scarf
Blueberry Cheesecake and Bumbleberry

I'm using "cheap, craft store" yarn.  Caron Cakes from Michael's in the Blueberry Cheesecake and Bumbleberry colorways, to be exact.  For "cheap, craft store" yarn, it's really not bad!  I've used Caron Simply Soft yarn before for inexpensive baby items but was never impressed.  It was horribly splitty and didn't hold up well in the wash.  I'm glad to say I'm enjoying knitting with Caron Cakes.  I'm not having any trouble with the yarn splitting, it's extremely soft, and doesn't have that icky acrylic feel to it.  (The yarn is 80% acrylic & 20% wool.)  I hope it washes as well as it knits because you can't beat the price and it comes in some awesome color combinations.

#JGKnits, new knitting bag for Jeannie Gray Knits
Max helps #JGKnits

Max wanted you to know that (a) he helped take the photos, (b) Mamma got a new knitting bag and (c) the deck needs to be raked.  Again.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

For the love of Autumn

Autumn, my favorite time of year.

fall leaves; raking leaves, trees of fall
Autumn leaves

Until I look out the door...

buzzfeed dot com, Vanessa Williams
borrowed from

... and realize I have to rake the deck again.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Rake the deck.

Good grief!

hand knit and felted bag or purse; Lopi, Lamb's Pride yarn
Felted bag.

While the leaves fell, I knit and felted a bag with some scrap Lopi & Lamb's Pride.  It's going to need a good shaving once it dries.  I've felted Lopi before, both accidently and on purpose, but I don't remember it ever turning out so hairy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Election Day

So, I'm writing this Yarn Along post a day early.  It's election day here in the U.S. of A and what a strange day it's been so far.  I'm sure tomorrow, after the votes have been tallied, life will be even stranger. (Can you tell?  I'm not thrilled with my choice of candidates.  I'm fairly sure my dog, even the dumb one, would make a better president than what's being offered this year.)  But for now, let's talk about Election Day, not the election itself.

Being a Tuesday, a day the girl child takes my car all afternoon & evening, I had to get up super early to go vote.  Okay, 'super early' was 9 a.m. but keep in mind, I haven't gotten my days & nights switched back around yet.  I'm struggling.  Anyway.... by 9:30 a.m., I'm dressed and my buttons seem to be buttoned correctly and although I've only had about a quarter of a cup of coffee instead of the full pot required to make me human, I'm sitting in the car with the key in the ignition.  The car that refuses to start. Dammit!  I had to get a new battery.

Battery installed, get to my polling location.... and wait in line for an hour and a half.  An hour and a half wait, to vote for a president I don't even want. And worse, I don't even have my Kindle or knitting with me. Dammit.

I get home from voting only to find a coyote in my front yard.  A coyote!  Dammit!  And there I was, too shocked to think about taking a photo until he was out of sight.  Double dammit!

Skulldugery Pleasant and a Baktus Shawl

So, here I am, spending this weird election day afternoon sitting on the deck, enjoying the gorgeous weather we are having, watching for the rogue coyotes, knitting, reading and writing tomorrow's Yarn Along post.  I hope you'll join me tomorrow over at Ginny's place.

Monday, November 7, 2016

A weekend off

I'm giddy with excitement.  I had my first weekend off since March.  Admittedly, the excitement factor of my weekend activities was not exactly off the charts, but I had a weekend off!  A whole, sunny, gorgeous weathered weekend!

Mostly, I slept through it.  I'm still struggling to turn my sleep cycle around to being awake during the day.  The girl child & I did run errands one day which turned into Christmas decoration shopping.  (The girl child loves Christmas even more than I do.)

hand knit  Christmas gifts  for sale at
Car knitting

She drove so I could knit in the car.

Christmas decorations and motivation to knit Christmas gifts
Too early to decorate?

And she talked me into buying a decoration for my desk.  (And yes, I know.  The number of days is wrong.  My desk is such a disaster that there's stuff piled up in front of Santa and I keep forgetting to change the days.  Plus, if I keep it at 51, I feel better about my gift knitting status.)

Besides going out to eat each night (Yes! I didn't have to cook at all!!) I also got to spend some time with the boy child.  I hadn't seen him in a few months and had been missing him terribly.

I also got a lot of cleaning done.  Okay, not 'cleaning' per say.  More like throwing out and putting away.  With my summer work schedule, I literally don't do much around the house beyond sleep, eat, shower and go to work.  (My job description states that I'll work a minimum of 65 hours per week.)  Sarah is pretty good about sweeping, vacuuming, doing the dishes & cleaning her bathroom but everything else gets ignored over the summer.  The junk mail piles up, my husband's junk piles pile up, the laundry piles up and if I'm going to be honest about it, my junk piles up too.  For the next week or two, I'll spend most of my time just dealing with the piles so that I can spend the next week or two deep cleaning.  In other words, there's been a lack of knitting going on because I've been busy trying to reclaim the house.

Oh, and between Christmas decoration shopping, eating out and putting junk away, I knocked out another Christmas gift.  I'm pretty dang proud of myself.  It's November 7th & I've already finished knitting two gifts.  Only 30+ more to go.  Yeah, I'm definitely keeping Santa at 51 days.