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!