Thursday, March 31, 2016

March in Review

How many knitting projects did I finish this month?

hand knit socks with a slip stitch pattern
Falling For You Socks

Okay, so my Falling For You socks haven't been kitchnered so they aren't technically finished, but the knitting is done.  I vote that they count as a finished project.  And as long as I'm voting, I vote that I need all the yarn from Knit Knot Studios.  This yarn was perfect!  The colors are gorgeous and somehow both bright & glowing while being muted & slightly worn/faded looking.  I LOVE the the colors in these socks!  And, the yarn itself was a dream to knit with, and, I had a ton left over.  I think the skein must have had way more yarn in it than the label said.

a men's slouchy hat for sale at

I finished the Buckman hat and got it listed for sale in my Etsy shop.

a hand knit hat for sale at
Yellow Watch Cap

Ditto for this yellow watch cap,

a green slouchy hat for sale at

as well as for the Poseidon hat.  Poseidon was another favorited yarn colorway.  The photo just doesn't do it justice!

decorative button band hat for sale at
Button Band Hat

And then there were two button band hats, a gray and a black, that I finished.  I haven't taken photos of the finished hats yet though.  Hopefully their day in the spotlight will come soon and I'll get them listed in the shop as well.  Can you guess which button I decided to use?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mitered Squares

Let's check on the status of the mitered squares blanket I'm knitting with scrap fingering weight yarns.

12 x 21 mitered square blanket knit with fingering weight sock yarn for
Mitered Square Blanket

195 squares out of 252 have been knit so far.  That means 57 more to go.  I knit 28 squares this month and if I kept up the same pace, I'd have the blanket finished by the end of May.  Let's clarify that.  I'd have the squares finished by the end of May.  The border will take a while longer.    But, since my work season has started and this project is too large & cumbersome to be a Take With Me project, I'm guessing I'll finish knitting those remaining 57 squares sometime next January.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Not knitting

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.

spring flowers

Instead of having three days off, those of us in theme park land worked.  It was brutal.  I'd totally forgotten what it feels like to be on someone else's schedule.  But besides being brutal, it was also fun.  I really do love my job and it was great to see everyone again.  The first weekend the park is open is like an extended family reunion.  It's always so much fun catching up with everyone after the winter break.

spring chick with daffodils

There's a slight problem with theme park land though.  I got no knitting done.  Actually, that's not true.  Over the last three days, I've knit two mitered squares on my scrap sock yarn blanket.  Two squares!  At this rate, it will be another year before it's completed.

Since I have no knitting photos to share, I'll leave you with this adorable little guy.

spring lamb

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

My knitting life tanked but it's been a busy, non-knitting related productive and fun week.

I never could adjust to my new eye glasses.  I finally got where I could see with them for the most part, but two weeks later, I was still struggling to read with them.  Besides the reading issue, there were issues with the frames.  I kept having to go back to Walmart to have them adjusted and each time, the adjustment would cause a new problem.  By last weekend, not only could I still not see to read, but the hinges pulled my hair out every time I leaned forward, and I had a massive allergic reaction to the new nose pieces.  I ended up going back to wearing my six year old scratched pair of glasses and realized I could see better with them than I'd ever been able to see with the new glasses.  So, early this week, Walmart allowed me to return the new glasses for a full refund.  As much as I despise Walmart, I have to say, the eye doctor (Dr. Tsai) was great and the folks selling the eye glasses were fantastic to work with.  And the refund showed up in my bank account this morning so it is a good Friday!

Max, howling his happiness

Max is letting the neighbors know how happy I to have received the refund.

The boy child came home for a visit and a month-late birthday celebration.

Zack gets protective of his birthday boston cream pie

He got impatient waiting for the birthday Boston cream pie (his favorite) to be served so he decided to do it himself.  Then he got a little testy when I tried to help.

On Wednesday Sarah talked me into going with her to 2nd & Charles.  There's a new one in Midlothian so we decided to check it out instead of making the trip up to Northern VA.  We each bought lots of books, had Chili's Molten Lava Cake and enjoyed singing along to our road trip music.  Okay, I had fun singing.  Sarah was tortured by my singing.  What ever.  If you are in the area & haven't visited 2nd & Charles, you should.  Besides an unbelievable number of books, they also have a large stock of music & musical instruments as well as a variety of TV fandom stuff.  And if you are a homeschooler.... The place is Heaven!  You could easily create your own year's worth of curriculum for less than $50.

And since we'd eaten the Molten Lava Cake, Sarah dragged me into the woods for a hike yesterday.  I'm proud to say, I am capable of walking today.  Apparently, I'm not as badly out of shape as I thought I was.

So, while Max is sad that no knitting got done this week,

a sad dog

Minnie is happy that I had a fun filled week.  Okay, she's really just happy because I'm not too sore to take her for a walk.

a grinning dog, ready for a walk

I'm working all weekend so if I don't make it back to the blog,

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dangerous Slope Ahead

It  happened again.

North Anna Battlefield Park
North Anna Battlefield Park

Sarah dragged me into the woods for a hike.  And once again, I let her choose the Blue Trail.

North Anna Battlefield Park

Even the trees were screaming, "No! Don't take the blue trail."

But we took the blue trail.

We made it to the end.  The trail ends at a lovely little, fast moving river.  It wasn't quite warm enough to dip our toes into the water, but we sat by the river for a while, eating our packed breakfast and reading.  (Neither of us ever leave home without our Kindles.)  It was a really nice way to spend the morning.

Let me rephrase that, the hike down to the river was a nice way to spend the morning.  The hike back up the Dangerous Slope was not so nice and I have to admit, I was in agreement with the screaming tree.  Or I would have been if I'd had enough breath left to scream.

A screaming tree at North Anna Battlefield park, Blue trail.
Don't take the Blue Trail!

By the end of the hike, when the parking lot was almost in view, my poor legs were so tired I was  barely moving & practically tripping over the grains of sand on the path.

Sarah still has energy after taking the Blue Trail.

Meanwhile, Sarah was still full of energy.

Good grief!  I think I might need an exercise program.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Good Grief!

I feel like this over-pruned grape vine.

I over-pruned the grape vines and it's leaking sap
Grape vine weeping sap.

In other words, I feel like weeping.

I feel like I have the flu.  A deadly version of the flu.  Or, maybe it's more like I was hit be three large trucks after being in a wrestling match which was proceeded by a boxing match.  I'm at that stage where I wish I were on life support so that some caring relative could pull the plug & put an end to me.

And what makes me feel even worse is knowing that the reason I feel this way is my own damn fault.

You see, "the season" started yesterday.  I went back to work.

Since January 1st, one of my weekly to-do's has been to "get in KD shape," meaning, get off my butt, step away from the computer/TV screen and move.  And at the end of each week, I've  put a little arrow beside the to-do item indicating that I did not accomplish the task but plan to next week.

So, I went back to work yesterday.  It was great to see everyone again and we all did the "how was your winter?" thing and they all laughed when I said I'd spent it "Netflixing & knitting."

And since I really did spend the entire winter doing absolutely nothing but sitting on my butt, watching Netflix & knitting, and because I stupidly wore shoes with absolutely no arch support & spent the entire shift standing, and because I only had two cups of coffee instead of my normal three pots yesterday, and because I probably also didn't drink enough water, and because I had a slice of left over pizza for breakfast yesterday & a pack of crackers around 5 p.m. & nothing else to eat all day, I woke up this morning unable to move.  My shoulders are sore & don't want to move my arms, legs & butt are sore from standing on the hard concrete floor for the entire shift.  My feet are suffering from plantar fasciitis & don't even want to touch the floor, my head feels like it's going to explode from caffeine withdrawal & probably a slight case of dehydration (I'm overly sensitive to not getting enough water) and my belly is growling but I'm too stiff & sore to open the refrigerator door.

Good grief!

Good grief, I need to get in shape.  Maybe I should put it on my calendar.

Oh wait, I already did.

Good grief!

In knitting news, my recent knitting progress is almost as pathetic as my poor, stiff body.

hand knit sock
Falling For You

The second Falling For You sock now has part of a foot and my Pebble Beach shawl has reached the 25% mark.  I'd say I was planning to finish that sock today but it's sitting over on the edge of my work table, about three feet away from where I'm sitting.  And I don't think I can reach that far.

Good grief!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Come on and sing it with me

"At the car wash, working at the car wash..."

My car got it's very first by-hand car wash today.

Sarah washing our car.

Sarah washed.

sarah washing the car and trying to squirt me

(And she didn't appreciate being photographed doing it.)

Sarah washing the car

And I supervised and knit from the safety of the porch.

hand knit button band hat for

Sing it with feeling, y'all

"At the car wash
whoa whoa whoa whoa
Talkin' about the car wash, yeah
Come on, y'all and sing it for me
Car wash...."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

On the knitting needles

Seems like lately I've been writing a lot of these simple, 'here's what's on my knitting needles today' posts with a photo & not much else.  It's because I haven't done anything worth mentioning lately.  For the most part, I've spent my recent days either cursing the new eye glasses, fighting with the eye glass people, or trying to accomplish every single little tedious to-do item on my list before I start back to work.  This Sunday marks the beginning of the new season and naturally, since it's spring in Virginia, it was 80 degrees yesterday and it's supposed to snow on Sunday.  Should make for an interesting first day back to work.

Anyway, what little bit of knitting I've accomplished....

OTN Pebble Beach shawl and Falling For You hand knit socks
On the needles

My Pebble Beach shawl is slowly growing.  I'm at the 20% mark.  It may not look like I've made much progress but the last photo showed less than 5% completed.

My Falling For You sock #2 has a heel and the knitting tends to go much quicker once the heel is done.  Hopefully they'll be finished in the next few days.

Gray button band hat with leaf or pumpkin button for sale at
Button Band Hat

I started another simple button band hat.  I like to keep a stockinette project on the needles at all times to work on while I read my email.  Or just plain read.  I can easily knit stockinette and read at the same time but I haven't yet mastered the art of knitting any sort of pattern accurately while retaining the information that I'm reading.  Anyway....  I started this hat with the intention of using the leaf button but now I'm not so sure.  The button doesn't "pop" against the knitted fabric as much as it does against the skein of yarn.  The hat may become a Halloween hat instead.  What do you think?

squirrels are cute when they aren't eating your tomatoes.

And, just because squirrels are cute. At least they are when they are running around on the edge of the yard.  They aren't so cute when they are munching on the tomatoes you're desperately trying to grow.  But here in the Glen, we still have a few months before we even have to think about putting tomato plants in the ground so squirrels are still considered cute.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Springing forward with coffee

Spring may actually be here.  Yesterday was the beginning of Daylight Savings Time here in the US and we are finally starting to see a few physical signs of spring here in the Glen.

our single daffodil, a sign of spring in Ruther Glen, VA
Our single daffodil

Our one faithful daffodil.  Since moving into this house 11 years ago, I have planted thousands of daffodils and each year one blooms.  One.  Only one.  And it's not even the same one each year.  But there it is.  Our one daffodil, not even in bloom yet.

And suddenly, the dogwood trees have sprouted buds.

spring has finally arrived in Ruther Glen, VA
Dogwood Buds

And now for the coffee part, because I need lots and lots of coffee to get me through the first few days of Daylight Savings...

knitting project bag decorated with coffee cups from
Coffee Cup Project Bag

My new knitting project bag from The Guy Who Sews.  Isn't it awesome?  I just love all those little to-go coffee cups.  The bag is perfect for me because anyone who knows me knows I practically bleed coffee.  This is my second bag from The Guy Who Sews.  The other bag gets used constantly and although I don't begin to treat it delicately, it isn't showing any wear or tear so I thought I deserved a second bag.  And my new coffee cup bag is already packed & ready to go to tonight's knitting group meeting.

All this coffee talk has made me thirsty.  And sleepy.  I think I'll go brew another pot.

Friday, March 11, 2016


I am so glad I ignored my to-do list yesterday & didn't write today's Fascinating Friday post in advance.

1,000 Twitter Followers

Why, you ask?  Because this morning, I woke up to find I had reached 1,000 Twitter Followers.  In my hermit like introverted world, it's a big deal.  Or at least it is to me.  To celebrate, I jumped around with the dogs, (why do things like this never happen when another human is home??) and gave them a rare, early morning Scooby snack.  And to celebrate with you, I'm offering a coupon code (JGKTHANKSYOU) for 10% off anything in my Etsy shop.

As for knitting news,

hand knit wool shawl, the Pebble Beach shawl, knit with Knit Picks Palette
Pebble Beach

Thanks to Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise, I started a Pebble Beach Shawl last night.

And yes, I put in a life line on row 25.  Another first and exciting thing for me to report on Fascinating Friday.  I rarely knit lace without wishing I'd used a life line, but I just never think to put one in until the dreaded disaster has already been made and it's too late.  But my vision is still a little off and apparently, I'm getting smarter in my old age.

Anyway, I'd seen the Pebble Beach shawl Karen is knitting and fell in love with the color.  And since I like her yarn color, I must like the pattern too, right?  I'm knitting mine with Marine Heather Palette that's been in the stash pile for a while.  The pattern provides instructions for three different sizes (I'm knitting a medium) and seems to be well written & is quite easy to follow.  While I normally prefer charted patterns, this one is written out line by line which turns out to be a nice feature.  Each line of instructions is followed by a stitch count so there's no math involved when determining if your stitch count is accurate.  And, my favorite feature - the pattern tells you that you've reached the 5, 10, 15, 20%.... completion points.  I've never seen a pattern do that before but it's a super nice feature when knitting a large, solid color beast that grows in width with each row of knitting.  Granted, I haven't even reached the 5% mark yet & I've already put in a life line so I may be cursing those little percent completed numbers at some point but for now, I'm excited to be coming up on the 5% done mark.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Eye glasses & acid trips

A short knitting post and a long rant.

hand knit socks in slipped stitch pattern
Falling For You Sock #2

I'm proud to say, my Falling For You socks are not suffering from Second Sock Syndrome (SSS.) What they are suffering from is my sudden inability to see clearly, and thus, the rant.

I went to the eye doctor for my "annual" exam (meaning it had been six years!  Six!  Good Lord!) and ended up with a prescription for "thicker" glasses.

Do you wear glasses?  Do you wear progressive lenses?  Ah, the joy of progressive lenses!  I've been wearing progressive trifocals (yes, I am definitely my mother's daughter) for about eight years.  I remember it took a few days to adjust to them in the beginning.  If you don't wear them, it's hard to explain, but you have to hold your head just right to see at any given distance and until you build the required muscle memory of how to hold your head, life takes on a very acid trippy weirdness.  As you move around, what you see flies past your line of sight like you're reading at an old microfiche machine.  There's weirdness & halos and everything comes in & out of focus with the slightest movement of your head and/or eyes.  Once you build that muscle memory & instinctively know how to hold your head &/or where to point your eyes, it's all good and you're super happy you splurged on the progressive lenses.  But until then, life is weird & very acid trippy.

So anyway....  I picked up my new "thicker" lenses on Monday and life is still a giant acid trip today.  I'm headachey, a little nauseous from the microfiche effect and beginning to get a little frustrated.  I'd have thought I'd adjusted to the new lenses by now and I'm starting to think there's something wrong.  It almost feels like the left lens' progression is upside down.  I'll give myself one more day to adjust but if I still can't see to knit tomorrow, the eye doctor will be hearing from me.

Meanwhile, instead of knitting, I spent yesterday trying to read with only one eye (my right eye seems fine.  It's only the left lens giving me problems.) and sitting on the porch enjoying the sudden spring/summer like weather.  Last Friday, my daughter's classes were canceled because of snow.  Yesterday, I was sitting on the porch in shorts, a short sleeved top & barefooted.  You just have to love Virginia in the spring.

Monday, March 7, 2016

On the needles

hand knit slouchy hat for sale at

I'm slowly making progress on my Poseidon hat.  I've even learned how to spell Poseidon.  The benefits of knitting never cease!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Holding my breath

I'm holding my breath.

hand knit striped sock with yarn from Knit Knot Studios for
Falling For You

I finished the first Falling For You sock and I'm praying the skein actually weighed the stated 100 grams.  After knitting that first sock, I have 52 grams left over for the second sock.  That's cutting it awfully close.  I am praying to the knitting gods & holding my breath.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fascinating Friday

This week was fun.

First tiime I ever voted in a Primary. Virginia 3/1/16
I voted

It was the first time I'd ever voted in a Primary.

First time voting for sarah. presidential primary 3/1/16
Sarah voted!

And Sarah's first time voting at all.  One of her teachers was giving extra credit for (a) having a voter's registration card, (b) bringing an "I Voted Today" sticker to class & (c) sharing a photo of the student at the polls.  This was all the excuse I need to embarrass Sarah half to death taking her picture.

Sarah flipping the bird for embarrassing her while taking photos
hand gestures

And that's how she felt about the situation.  Good thing Momma has a sense of humor.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

On the needles

Just a very quick update on the knitting status...

hand knit socks by
Falling For You

My Falling For You socks are coming along, albeit, slowly.  The lack of progress is no fault of the yarn.  The yarn is delightful!  It's just my life.  Life has suddenly gotten in the way of my knitting time.  Anyway, the sock has a heel & if I can talk my daughter into cooking dinner tonight, it should have a foot by tomorrow.

Mr. & Mrs. Creepy Head modeling hand knit hats and beanies for
Mr. & Mrs. Creepy Head

Mr. & Mrs. Creepy Head are having a romantic moment in bad lighting, while modeling their hats.  Mr. Creepy Head's is finished and Mrs. Creepy Head's could be if I worked on it tonight instead of the socks.

The two hats are an interesting study in gauge.  They are both knit with the same yarn.  Different colorways, but the same yarn, (Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering)  Mr. Creepy Head's was knit with US3 needles while Mrs. Creepy Head's is on US2's.  The difference in texture is great.  Mr. Creepy Head's has a gauge of 6 stitches per inch, feels cotton-stringy, has lots of drape and is definitely a spring/summer/fall beanie while Mrs. Creepy Head's hat measures in at 7 stitches per inch, feels softer, squishier and thicker and has enough umph to stand up on it's own and even supports the weight of the needles.  All that variance with just one stitch per inch difference.  I find that sort of amazing.

dogs, pets are family too
Max the Hellhound

Meanwhile, Max is doing his Hellhound imitation & is outside barking at the pending snow storm.