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.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Well, I'm knitting one less striped thing.  My squishy gray cowl that I loved so much turned on me.  It turned quickly & violently.

My original plan was to knit the cowl in color blocks with two strands of different colors of worsted and one strand of lace weight yarn.  The lace was a tonal gray and the worsteds would be light gray, dark gray and a slate blue. All by themselves, the colors coordinate and contrast perfectly.  Everything was knitting up fine until I added the slate blue.  Mixed with the grays, the blue became an uncoordinated, not enough contrast to see clearly yet glaringly different pile of weirdness.

When knitting goes bad, #craftfail, #knittingfail
Frogging 3 yarns knit together

And so I spent all night frogging the entire project.  Yes, I spent the entire night frogging two worsteds and a lace weight yarn that had been knit simultaneously.  The Entire night.

Just shoot me.  Please!

And if I ever mention doing something similar, shoot me again.  I beg you.

And yes, that is candy corn and a Christmas glass in the same photo.  Don't judge.  I LOVE my Christmas glass.  My uncle gave me a set back when I was really way too young to appreciate receiving a set of glasses for Christmas.  But he was no dummy.  The glasses turned out to be my favorite thing to drink out of.  Thirty-ish years later and I still drink out of them constantly. Thanks Uncle Hank! I just wish that once I took the glasses out of my hope chest, that I'd thought to tell you how much I love them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Put to rest

Another season has been put to rest.  Sunday was the park's last open day and Monday was my last day to work. While part of me is jumping up and down screaming, "Yippe! It's finally over!!" the other part of me is already looking forward to next season.   Over the last few weeks I've come to the conclusion that the new supervisor position isn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be and I'm actually a little bit excited about the 2017 season.  Or at least, I am today.  Yesterday I was still tired and burned out.  I worked close to 50 hours this past weekend and by the time I left the park Monday evening, it was all I could do to stay awake long enough to drive home.  Once home, I ate my weight in chinese take-out and was in bed by 8:15 p.m.  In bed, lights out, by 8:15 p.m. on Halloween.  That's tired!  Multiple days in a row with less than 8 hours between shifts will do that to a girl.

I was looking forward to waking up early on Tuesday and beginning my non-working life.  In other words, I was looking forward to getting up early, beginning the arduous task of getting the house back in some kind of order and taking photos of my knitting in sun light.  But yesterday was not the day.  I slept until almost noon, dealt with four days of ignored email, celebrated my semi-retirement by having dinner out with the spouse, then came home and went back to bed.

Hopefully today will be the day instead.  Hopefully.  I'm already off to a late start and...

thick, bulky warm scarf hand knit and for sale at
Triple Gray Cowl

... I have this fun, relaxing knit on the needles.  It's a simple garter stitch scarf/cowl knit with three yarns held together.   And  yes, as it turns out, it's another striped project.  Sort of.  It's such a mindless, thick and squishy project, it's hard to put down.  And thus, the problem with getting the housework accomplished.

As for what I'm reading, (it is Wednesday and I am joining Ginny's Yarn Along) well, I guess I'm cheating by posting to the Yarn Along.  In all honesty, I'm reading a tiny bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing.  I have about six different books going but I haven't opened a single one of them since last week.  Yikes.