Monday, February 29, 2016

February in Review

Yikes!  I've obviously suffering from startitis this month with no symptoms of finishitis in sight.  Let's take a look at what I've knit.

hand knit Hitchhiker scarf

There was the Hitchhiker scarf knit with Knit Pick's Hawthorne in Irvington.

mint green striped slouchy hat
Splash Hat

A hat made from Knit Pick's Felici Splash.

tea totes made in spring colors for mothers day, easter and teachers gifts
Tea Totes

Twenty-two felt tea totes in various color combinations.  Okay, these aren't knit, but I did make them and they are going on the list because I deserve credit for sewing on 22 buttons.  I made them in spring colors of purple, teal, pale blue, several shades of green, pink and brown.  The brown ones are my favorite because the colorful buttons really 'pop' against the dark brown felt.

hand knit can cozy available for sale at
River Rock Can Cozy

And last but not least, I knit another can cozy with some left over River Rock yarn.  This cozy is very manly.

Sadly, that is all the knitting projects that got finished this month.  I blame the lack of finished objects on it being February and a short month.  Even if we did have an extra day.

Happy Leap Year!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mitered Squares

The never ending mitered square blanket...

167 out of 252 mitered squares have been knit so far.
167 Mitered Squares

I'm not as close to being finished with this monstrosity as I thought.  Originally, it was going to be 10 squares by 20 squares, but 10 squares across just wasn't quite wide enough and well, apparently I can't count to twenty accurately.  The new plan is to make it 12 x 21 squares.  Twelve by twenty-one squares plus a two inch border all the way around should make it the perfect size to cuddle up with on the couch.

And if I'm lucky, I'll be so old and shriveled by the time I finish knitting the squares, I won't even need the border's added length.

And to prove that even though I can't count to 20 accurately, I can do basic math.....  12 x 21 = a total of 252 squares.  167 have been knit.  Only 85 more to go.

Eighty-five more squares to knit.  Sounds sort of horrible.  But, I'm using up scrap yarns and I love to use up things.  It's nice and colorful so it's never boring.  There's no pattern to the color scheme so I can use what ever color next that I want and if I'm in a no decision making mood, I can just close my eyes & grab the next ball blindly from the pile.  And it doesn't hurt that each little scrap ball I knit with is a walk down memory lane.

Have you knit a mitered square blanket?  If so, feel free to share a photo in the comments.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fascinating Friday

What's so fascinating today?

fingering weight sock yarn in faded jewel tones
Falling For You

Falling For You from fellow Etsian, Knit Knot Studios.

I am LOVING this yarn!  It's a 2ply, fingering weight Superwash Merino/Nylon blend and it's an absolute joy to knit with.  I knit very loosely, so loosely that I always have to go down two or three needle sizes. The recommended needle for this yarn is a US 2 or 3 and the yarn looks a little stringy (not fuzzy) and I tend to knit even looser when using 'stringy' yarns.  I was a little worried.  I also lost my sock knitting mojo several years ago.  I just burned out on sock knitting.  Total, absolute burnout.  But, my sock drawer was starting to show signs of not being added to.  Plus, have you seen this colorway?

sock yarn from Knit Knot Studios
Falling For You, Knit Knot Studios

Forget my slowly emptying sock drawer.  Look at that colorway!  How could I not get my sock knitting mojo back with a skein of that in my hands?

I told that little niggling voice in my head to hush, broke out the US1 needles and cast on.  It would be fine.  I wouldn't end up wasting my time and the beautiful yarn knitting a big, fish net looking mess.

slip stitch socks in faded jewel tone colors for Jeannie Gray Knits
Falling For You socks

Fifteen minutes later I was on my way to having a sock.  A real sock!  Not some hot mess that is knit so loosely it could be used as a fishing net.

I absolutely LOVE this yarn!  The color, oh my gosh, the color!  The colors are brilliant jewel tones, except they look slightly faded or worn, like my favorite pair of jeans.  And what could be better than worn blue jeans?  'Stringy' looking, fingering weight sock yarn that knits up quickly on US1 needles, that's what!  Oh, my gosh, I love this yarn!  And by the way, it does not feel like I'm knitting with string.  It feels like pure joy.

And have you seen the candy corn colorway Knit Knot Studios is currently offering?  You know how I feel about candy corn.  My bank account may be in trouble.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

On the needles

This week has felt crazy busy yet my calendar tells a different story.  Honestly, I think I've spent the entire week watching Buffy re-runs, knitting and pretending my son hasn't moved away.   At least the knitting has been somewhat productive.  I finished the Splash hat.  And I probably gained ten pounds in the process just thinking about eating mint ice cream.

mint green striped hat for sale at

And I decided the 10-Stitch blanket knit with my collection of Hawthorne yarns was a bad idea.  I just didn't like the way it was looking so I frogged it and decided to knit a hat instead.

brown and blue striped hat for sale at
Hawthorne Buckman

Two hats, actually.

gorgeous green knit hat for
Hawthorne Poseidon

I can not express how much I love this Poseidon colorway.  The photo doesn't begin to do the yarn justice.  There's something about the color fluctuations that make that knitted fabric glitter like fish scales in the sun light.  But pretty fish scales.  Like mermaid scales, not yucky, smelly fish scales.  If a knitting apocalypse struck and I was only able to knit with one color yarn for the rest of my life, I think I'd be okay with it being this color.  It's just gorgeous!

Actually, I thought we were having an apocalypse yesterday.

tornados and heavy rain storms swept through Virginia 2/24/16
Tornado Rain

That line of tornado producing storms that tore up the US from Louisiana yesterday hit our area.  We spent most of the afternoon and early evening hiding out in the bathroom.  Today, we're counting our blessings.  We got almost a full inch of rain in less than 15 minutes and I thought the thunder booms were going to knock the house off it's foundation, but considering the devastation to the north and east of us, we were dammed lucky!  My thoughts and prayers go out to those families who were not so lucky.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Dining Room

Do you use your dining room?  Do you even have a dining room?  So many newer homes don't and that's kinda sad.

Recently, a friend called with the news that Annie, another friend of ours, was acting in a community theater play and did I want to go see it.  I said sure and never even asked the name of the play.

So last night, Traci drove us to the theater & while giving her really bad directions and getting us just a tiny bit lost, I asked, "What's the name of the play?  What's it about?"  Traci's response was, "It's The Dining Room.  It's about what goes on in a dining room."  Wow, I thought.  Good thing our friend is in it & I'm really looking forward to seeing her because an entire play about a dining room sounds painfully boring.  And I didn't even bring my knitting.

The Dinning Room, a  play staring Annie Zannetti all about life in a dinning room.  Photo borrowed from HCP's Facebook page
Huguenot Community Players presents The Dining Room

It turns out, the play was not boring at all.  The play was fantastic FANTASTIC!  And it really was about the life experiences that happen in a typical dining room.  The dining room table takes on the lead role in the play and well, as usual, I'm not explaining it very well, but it was like watching my life unfold up on the stage.  I laughed and giggled and grinned guiltily and I laughed again and I sobbed and I laughed some more.

I really can't say enough about the play.  It was fabulous.   The show is put on by Huguenot Community Players  and runs through March 6th so if you are anywhere near Richmond, go see it.  Tickets are inexpensive, not much more than a cup of fancy coffee really, and the show is totally worth it.  And if you're jonesing for that cup of coffee, they serve it at intermission.

And because after the play, we went to dinner with several of the actors and the play's director & a few of them seemed skeptical when I was explaining how our family claimed inheritable items by taping our names to said items....

The back of a painting I claimed as my own.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Fascinating Friday

Today marks the beginning of a whole new adventure.  My baby boy turns 21 today.  As an over protective, helicopter parent, I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I suddenly feel older than dirt.  Knowing how I spent my own 21st birthday and knowing the stupid things a 21 year old boy can do, I'm slightly terrified.  On the other hand, we've raised Zack well and are extremely proud of the man he's become.

Zack Wiant
Zack, 3 months

Zack wears the right colors.

Zack Wiant
Zack, 1 year old

He's laid back, enjoys life and doesn't stress.

Zack Wiant driving a Mac dump truck
Zack driving the dump truck

He learned to drive and is responsible behind the wheel.

Zack Wiant canoes his sister around the yard after Gaston flooded Richmond
Canoeing in Gaston flood waters

Zack captains of his own ship and doesn't crumble under the weight of peer pressure.

Zack Wiant bowled his first 300 game
A perfect score

He taught himself how to bowl.

Zack Wiant won a bowling tournament
Tournament Winner

He's learned to win graciously,

Zack Wiant, one roll short of a perfect game of bowling

and how to handle disappointment just as well.

Zack Wiant loving on Minnie
A boy and his dog

He knows how to love.

Zack Wiant does his own taxes
Manning up at tax time

And Zack even does his own taxes.

We've raised a fairly responsible adult and I shouldn't worry.  I should celebrate the day.

Zack Wiant celebrates his 21st birthday

Happy 21st birthday, Zack.  May you live long, prosper early, laugh heartily and love deeply.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Off the needles

Finally!  Something to report besides cold coffee and tape dispensers.

hitchhiker scarf
Hitchhiker Scarf

I finished knitting my Hitchhiker scarf late last night.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy scarf
Hitchhiker Finished 02/17/16 

Notice the word, "my."  It's mine!  All mine!  And I couldn't be more pleased with it.  So pleased, I'm almost looking forward to more snow.  The scarf was knit with Knit Pick's Hawthorne which is a fingering weight yarn & US3 needles.  I love how the colorway, Irvington, turned out.  It's got that stormy seas look that I love and there's just enough color fluctuation to make it interesting without being overly stripey.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Today's post is pretty much a repeat of last week's.

a look at what's on the knitting needles today. Hitchhiker scarf, hat & socks.
OTN 02/16/16

The one major drawback to knitting multiple projects at once - no visible progress.  I knit and I knit and I knit but there's nothing new to see.  My Hitchhiker scarf has 34 teeth now, but I swear it hasn't grown an inch in length.  The Chocolate socks are two pattern repeats longer, and the Splash hat has a few rows of stockinette stacked on top of the ribbing.  The mitered square blanket does have quite a few more squares on it now, just enough to make me realize I need to make it two or three squares wider, but not enough to make it worth the hassle of clearing off a space big enough to photograph it.  So, like I said - today's OTN status is pretty much a repeat of last week's.

Just so you have something new to look at....

a heavy duty packing tape dispenser
My new best friend

Did you even know they made regular desktop tape dispensers for packing tape?  I am so freaking glad I discovered that they do.  We all know I'm not the most coordinated gal on the block and packing up Etsy orders was always a nightmare.  It would take me $20 in tape & 45 minutes to tape up one little package.  No matter if I used the giant & awkward professional tape roller, the tiny little freebie one that sometimes comes with the packing tape, or no dispenser at all, I'd end up with yards and yards of tape stuck to me, my desk and my files and if I was lucky enough to get any tape on the package, it would have either fingerprints or carpet fuzz in it. It's pretty clear that tape rollers and I do not get along.  But I discovered this desk type dispenser, and immediately fell in love with it.  It's actually two dispensers in one as it holds both wide packing tape & regular tape, or in my case, washi tape.  It also has a pencil/scissor holder (just in case I have to cut may way out of the mangled mess I make with the tape.)

Meanwhile, Max is throwing himself a pity party today.  We got eight or nine inches of snow yesterday and today it is pouring down rain.  POURING rain!  We've had hurricanes with less rain.  I'm just happy that it's rain and not snow or freezing rain.  Max is not so happy however.  He's wet and miserable and his fur is so thick, he may never dry.

sad max, he's an old wet dog.
Max 02/16/16

Saturday, February 13, 2016

On and off the needles

Today, OTN is standing for both 'on the needles' and 'off the needles.'

hand knit hat for sale at
Green Beanie

I finished this hat last week but had never photographed it.  It's knit with US3 needles and Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Lost Lake Heather.  It can be worn with the brim folded up for extra ear protection, or slouchy style.

green beanie hat for sale at
Stroll Hat

My Hitchhiker scarf is coming along.

hitchhiker scarf hand knit

It's got 31 teeth now.

10-Stitch blanket knit with knit picks Hawthorne wool yarn
Hawthorne 10-Stitch

I started yet another 10-Stitch blanket.  Laugh all you want, but I couldn't get past the fear of running out of scrap yarn and I had several extra skeins of Knit Picks Hawthorne laying around....    The plan is, while knitting this 10-Stitch blanket, I'll finish the scrap yarn mitered square blanket, then return to the scrap yarn 10-Stitch I started the other day.  That's the plan.

hand knit hat in mint green wool with stripes for sale

And since I try to always have something shop related on the needles, I cast on another hat.  The yarn is Felici Splash, once again from Knit Picks.  I am loving this colorway!  It's very beachy & splashy which is a warm welcome to the current dreary February weather.  It also reminds me of mint ice cream which is one of my absolute favorites.

And now I'm craving mint chocolate chip ice cream.  What's your favorite flavor?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fascinating Friday - Chocolate Socks

Thankfully I have something a little bit more exciting to share with you in this week's Fascinating Friday post than just cold coffee.  Not exactly "I climbed Everest" exciting, but exciting for me.

yarn from
Belgian Chocolate Shavings

I have new yarn from Expression Fiber Arts.  I've been following this shop on Facebook for over a year but had never bought any of their yarns.  I have no idea why because EFA's color ways are to die for.  Anyway, I bought some new, never used by me yarn from a new, never ordered from before shop.  Isn't it gorgeous?  It's called Belgian Chocolate Shavings.  I can almost taste chocolate every time I look at it.

hand knit socks with lace pattern for
Chocolate Socks

And just to be extra fascinating this week, I'm knitting socks in a pattern I've never knit before.  The pattern itself is a slightly modified version of the Diagonal Lace Socks in Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson.  Obviously, I'm not knitting mine toe up, plus my stitch count is a little different, but the basic lace pattern is the same.  It's also a super easy to remember lace pattern so, yay!

And one more surprise fascinating thing.  Look how different the yarn's color looks in the two photos.  It's magic yarn!  When you set the yarn on a wooden desk or hold it in your hand, it just looks brown.  But when you put it on something red, it turns a rusty shade.  When viewed with a blue background, it turns almost gray and it turns pink against a pink background.  How cool is that?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Route 66

Hey, look at that.  Two posts in two days!  The Passion Planner must be working.

hand knit stocking cap
Stocking Cap

It's way past time I shared the Route 66 stocking cap with you.  It was one of the things I knit while binge watching Making a Murder.

wool stocking cap for sale at
Wool Stocking Cap

It didn't turn out quite as long as I'd hoped (another example of gauge's importance) so I added a button to the brim and a button hole loop on the crown.  Now it can be worn slouchy & loosey-goosey.

warm winter striped stocking cap for sale
Route 66 Stocking Cap

Or not.

The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks in the Route 66 colorway and if you don't want to knit your own, you can find the hat for sale here in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I'm giddy with excitement.  My Passion Planner arrived today.

My Passion Planner arrived and Little Dude Friendly Fred is showing it off.
Fred & the Passion Planner

(That's Fred.  He's helping out by covering up my address.)

I'm not sure how I learned about the Passion Planner.  I think one of the knitting bloggers that I follow may have mentioned it but I really don't know.  As you may know, I'm a planner geek.  I LOVE my planner.  Well, I should say that I LOVE having a planner.  The right planner.  Having the right planner is a very important part of loving my planner.  For years and years I'd used a two page a day Franklin Covey loose leaf planner.  It was fantastic because I could add & delete sections as needed and there was plenty of room to track all the different hats I was wearing.  But now that we've finished our homeschool adventure, the kids are grown & I no longer have to keep up with their schedules and my husband has finally automated his businessey secretarial duties that I used to have to do (Thank the Lord!) I find I'm only tracking myself these days.  I no longer needed such a complex (okay, thick) planner.

I'd bought a generic 2016 planner from the store (okay, two planners) but I wasn't really feeling the love.  Then last week, while trying to watch Super Bowl commercials in advance, YouTube kept putting Passion Planner videos on my screen.  So I ordered one.

Anyway, I'm super excited to have received my new planner in today's mail.  I'm going to be fabulously organized and passionate about reaching my goals for the remainder of the year.

It's a good thing the planner arrived when it did because I've suddenly lost all passion for my Etsy shop.  For the last week or so, I've had no desire to knit for the shop.  I only want to knit mitered square or 10 stitch blankets.  And Freds.

Little Dude, Friendly Fred
Friendly Fred

Isn't Fred cute?  Well, goofy may be more accurate.  What ever.  I just love Fred.  Friendly Fred. He sits on my desk and doesn't say anything ugly when I knit mitered squares instead of hats & shawls for the shop.  Maybe I should change his name to Mute Mike.

And now, Fred & I are off to plan our passions.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I crack myself up

Most of the time I refuse to join the band wagon & knit That pattern that everyone else is knitting.  Or at least I refuse to knit it while it's popular.  I may knit That pattern a year or two after all the hoop-la has died down, but I rarely like doing what everyone else is doing.

10 stitch by Frankie Brown
Round 10 Stitch Blanket

But the popular 10 Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown has been calling my name.  The blanket comes in several different styles, all of which are free on Ravelry.  There's the round one, pictured above.  There's a zigzag one and the rectangle one.

10 stitch blanket
10 Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown

Everybody is knitting the rectangle.  Everybody!  And for once, I wanted to join in the fun.  Except, I'm still not to the half way point on my mitered square blanket.  The mitered squares are knit with scrap, left over yarns and my 10 Stitch Blanket would be as well.

And the thing that was holding me back from starting my own 10 Stitch rectangle blanket was...  What if I run out of yarn?  I would be knitting two blankets, both made with scrap, left over yarns.  What if I don' have enough?  What if I run out?

I really do crack myself up sometimes.

So I went ahead and cast on my 10 stitches and started knitting.

OTN 021616 10 stitch blanket with mistakes
Something's amiss

It was fairly obvious fairly soon that something was amiss.  I decided that I just didn't know what the beginning was supposed to look like and knit through another episode of Buffy.  By then, there was no getting around it.  Somehow, I'd missed a corner on the very first round.  I hoped I could just knit a random corner into it and maybe it would be okay.  It wasn't okay, but I thought I could knit a flower or crochet a granny square or something to sew over top of the center.  That would surely fix it.  I kept knitting.

Sometimes, I crack myself up.

Eventually, Spike left Sunnydale and I had to face reality.  It was about as likely that I could cover up that goof as it was that Spike had left Sunnydale to come find me.

10 stitch blanket on the needles
OTN 02/06/16 10 Stitch Blanket

A bit of frogging and yet another episode of Buffy later and I'm on my way to having a nice, flat 10 Stitch blanket.  And so far, I'm no where near close to running out of yarn.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fascinating Friday

Fascinating Friday is not all that fascinating this week.  I knew I was in a rut, but good grief!  My big, exciting thing this week was cold brewed coffee.

Cold brewed coffee from Barnes & Noble and Buffy Tthe Vampire Slayer reruns
Cold brewed coffee and Buffy

Coffee at Barnes & Noble was the best I could do.  I literally did nothing else exciting or new this past week.  The cold brewed coffee was a new experience for me though and it's an experience I'm likely to repeat.  It's delicious!

And yes, I'm watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns.  Again.  I started watching the show for the 1,003rd time back during the big snow storm and once I made it to Season 2 and Spike's appearance, well, I'll be watching through the grand finale at the end of Season 7.

And, while we were at Barnes & Noble, Sarah found a copy of The Physics of The Buffyverse.

The physics of the Buffyverse by jennifer ouellette
So of course, I bought it.  So really, that's two new things this week.  I am smoking this Fascinating Friday thing!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Under Pressure

"Pressure, pushing down on me..."

Yeah.  I have Under Pressure stuck in my head.

I took (and passed) my work required drug test last weekend which means The Season starts soon.    I go this weekend for training and once that's done, they'll give me my schedule.  Normally, I don't start working until the first weekend in March but my job offer said my start date is Feb. 7th, which happens to be training day.  And all of that was a very long, drawn out way of saying that I may not have another free weekend until November.

No more weekends until November??


Under Pressure!

I'm suddenly feeling the deep dark need Need to knit all ALL the things.  I'm a little freaked out about how many things I want to knit before I go back to work.  Okay, not "a little freaked."  I'm feeling more like, seriously under pressure to get all the projects that are too difficult and/or bulky to knit at work.  If I don't knit them now, they won't get knit until November.

And since I'm in total panic mode, I'm being my typical self and doing nothing.  I'm just sitting here, hour after hour, staring at my computer screen and knitting bag but not actually touching either one.

I really need a new song to sing.  Something more like this one.

Okay, so now that I'm not worrying...

I can talk calmly about knitting.  I finished one of my polygamy knitting projects.  It turned out fairly well considering I didn't have a pattern and was knitting it based on my very shaky memory of a hat I'd knit for my daughter some 16 years ago.

As for the other polygamy projects, I haven't even picked up the Hitchhiker scarf since last week.  The other hat is another inch or two longer and the mitered square blanket has four or five more squares.  Like I said, not much knitting is getting done these days.  I'm just way too busy doing my totally panicked stone statue routine to knit.

And I have to say, Bob Marley isn't really helping this time.  Got a suggestion for a better song for me to sing?