Monday, February 27, 2017

Makers' Monday

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives.

Being part Irish, I'm still looking forward to St. Patrick's Day so I'm keeping the theme going.  Today we'll be taking a look at a few St. Patrick-y project bags and stitch markers.

First, let's check out a few stitch markers.

knitting stitch markers for St. Patrick's day
Peridot Jade Stitch Markers, courtesy of Lavender Hill Knits

I'm thinking these peridot jade markers from Lavender Hill Knits are a must-have before my next Outlander binge.  (And yes, Kate, I'm aware I'm once again mixing Irish & Scottish heritages here. I have Scottish blood as well as Irish so I think it'll be okay.)

knitting stitch markers for St. Patrick's Day
Flowered Millefiori bead markers, courtesy of Lavender Hills Knits

If you aren't an Outlander fan, (gasp!) maybe you'd prefer these removable markers also from Lavender Hill Knits.  It's sort of hard to see but they have tiny little flowers on them.

shamrock stitch markers
Symbol of Luck Stitch Markers, courtesy of Blue Dog Workshop

Or how about these adorable shamrock stitch markers from Blue Dog Workshop.

I've shopped at  both Blue Dog Workshop and Lavender Hills Knits in the past and been extremely happy with my purchases and the customer service from both of these Etsy shops.  

small shamrock project bag for knitters
Shamrock mini purse courtesy of Creative Jen V

Creative Jen V, is offering this adorable shamrock mini purse.  Last summer I purchased a non-holiday bag the same size from Creative Jen V & couldn't be happier with it.  It's the perfect bag for socks or mittens and I can't believe the bag's durability.  I have abused mine rather badly, and frequently, and it still looks brand new.

medium sized knitting project bag for St. Patrick's Day and dog lovers
Project bag, courtesy of Quilt Knit Craft

Or perhaps you'd like a slightly bigger bag.  How could anyone resist these adorable puppies all dressed up for St. Patrick's Day?  St. Patrick's Day or not, this bag from Quilt Knit Craft is going on my wish list.

large knitting project storage bag with lime green celtic knots
Neon Lime Celtic Knot Bag, courtesy of Shop House of Knot

This larger bag from Shop House of Knot is another being added to my wish list.  I just love the shorter handles and lime green celtic knots.

Which is your favorite?

Saturday, February 25, 2017


First, a brief comment about Wednesday's post....  Several people commented on the naked guy peaking over the top of my Kindle.  Apparently, that's what happens when you're listening to music on Youtube while struggling to stay awake & realize that you never wrote the blog post that's supposed to go live early the next morning.  I quickly snapped a photo with my phone, loaded it to the blog, typed three words about what I was knitting and reading and called it a night.  In the process, I caught a shirtless Scott Stapp, from Creed in the background and didn't even notice it.  Sorry or you're welcome, depending on your point of view.

Now, on to today....

The word "fade" sure has gotten tossed around our household a lot lately.  It's been used mostly in the context of, "I think I'm dying and I'm fading fast."  And of course that thought got the Grateful Dead's Not Fade Away lyrics stuck in my head so I've been walking around singing coughing out "I wanna tell you how it's gonna be..... You know my love not fade away...."

And when I say I've been coughing out the lyrics, that's what I mean.  The flu morphed in to a wicked, wicked case of bronchitis.  The slightest movement sends me into a massive coughing attack and forget about trying to talk.  I just blink and start coughing.  After finding me curled up on the kitchen floor lightheaded and crying from sore stomach muscles, the spouse forced me to the doctor's.  The doctor announced I had bronchitis and that the only thing I could do for it was to take cough medicine at bedtime & use a humidifier.  Thanks doc.  WebMD had already told me that.  I'll admit though, it was nice to get a second opinion and know that I wasn't actually dying, no matter how it felt.  Or feels.

I am getting better though.  I made it out of the house yesterday.  I had to go to Target to get yet another bottle of cough syrup.  I'm on my fourth bottle and I think I may have made it onto some kind of official watch list at the drug store.  I'm sleeping well though.  I gotta say, the Robitussin + humidifier in the bedroom combo is providing me with about 12 hours of sleep each night.

Somehow, even with the lightheadedness, imminent death and 12 hours of sleep each night, I've gotten a bit of knitting done.  I haven't touched my Honeycomb sweater but, I finished the wedge scarf (which I haven't photographed.  Oops.) and somehow, magically, a Find Your Fade shawl has appeared on my needles.

find your fade shawl knit with Knit Picks Hawthorne fingering weight kettle dyed yarn
Find Your Fade

I've been seeing this pattern everywhere and really liked it but I was determined not to knit one.  I'm stubborn and generally refuse to knit the popular thing that everyone else is knitting.  But Find Your Fade got the best of me and I couldn't resist.

I'm knitting my Find Your Fade with stashed Hawthorne fingering weight from Knit Picks.  Specifically, the colors are St. John, Laurelhurst, Rose City, Vancouver and Poseidon and Serpent, both kettle dyed.  I've used Hawthorne in lots of different projects and love the yarn so when ever Knit Picks has the boxed sets on sale, I grab some.

And of course, while I knit Find Your Fade, I'm singing coughing My love is bigger than a cadillac....

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Knitting with books

A Very last minute post....

Knitting with books; reading Hemingway, knitting and listening to Creed

Knitting:  I caved in and started a Find Your Fade shawl.

Reading:  I finished The Secret Garden & am trying to decide what to read next.  A biography? Hemingway? A mystery? Romance? Total smut? Economics?  The one problem with a Kindle - way too many choices.

Join me at Ginny's for this week's Yarn Along.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Makers' Monday

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives of all types.  

Valentines is in the wind and I've moved on to dreaming of St. Patrick's Day feasts and all things green. As a knitter, I also dream of yarn.  What do you get when you put the two together on Makers' Monday?  A showcase of beautiful green yarns and the artists who create them.  

First up,

Makers' Monday, St. Patrick's Day green yarn
Tea Leaf Green, courtesy of Morning Bright Yarn

"Tea Leaf Green" from Morning Bright Yarn.  Doesn't it just make you drool for spring?  The yarn is hand painted  80/20 certified organic merino/nylon sock yarn. I've shopped at Morning Bright Yarn before and have nothing but good things to say about my experience.  Tea Leaf Green is definitely going on my Wish List.

St. Patrick's Day green yarn; Makers' Monday
Emerald Isle Green, courtesy of Baskets Yarn and More

This beautiful skein contains 600 yards of hand spun and dyed 100% 23 micron count merino from Baskets Yarn and More out of Missouri.  The Colorway is Emerald Isle Green and it reminds me of an Irish hillside covered in Shamrocks. 

beautiful green wool, hand spun and hand dyed for St. Patrick's Day Makers' Monday
Over the Main, courtesy of Edgewood Garden Studio

Or how about this one of a kind beauty from Edgewood Garden Studio?  The colorway is Over the Main.  This yarn was both hand dyed & spun from Blue Faced Leicester.  I look at this yarn's coloring and feel like I'm sitting on an Irish hillside, looking down into a clear, blue lake loch.

Makers' Monday, St. Patricks Day celebration of yarn dyers and spinners
Fangorn, courtesy of Marigold Fibers

It just doesn't get much more shamrocky than this gorgeous yarn from Marigold Fibers.  This heavy worsted, mossy green, 100% merino is called Fangorn.  This was the first skein to catch my attention when I started researching yarns for this post but after seeing the other yarns I found, this one almost didn't make the cut.  The yarn is dark and doesn't really give me that jolt of 'Spring is almost here!' adrenaline.  But take a look here at how the yarn knits up. It's to die for!  (And don't tell, but there just might be a skein traveling towards me as I type this.)

Makers' Monday celebration of St. Patrick's Day green yarn
Light Spring Green, courtesy of Tommie James

Or maybe you prefer knitting with one of a kind bulky yarns.  This one comes from Tommie James and is described as 200 yards of 2 Ply hand spun, hand dyed bulky weight fine wool. It reminds me of a fuzzy green caterpillar.   How fun would this be to knit with?

Which of these is your favorite and what would/will you knit with it?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Knitting with books

Not much knitting going on here.  Believe it or not, we have the flu.  Again!  Our family is normally very healthy & we go years without needing to visit the doctor but this year... This is the second time since New Year's that the flu has wiped out the family.

This time around, it's been particularly horrendous.  No stomach issues thankfully but instead, high fevers & even our toenails ache.  At one point, my temperature went to 104.7 which was a little scary. Last night, the fever broke and today I'm way below normal. It was down to 95.9 at one point.  Not to be overly dramatic, but I feel death may be imminent. And it will be welcomed.  Did I mention even my toenails ache?

garter stitch and short rows shawl knit with Palette yarn from Knit Picks.
Short Row Wedge Shawl

But that's enough whining.

So, how blurry is that photo? I can't even tell.  Either my eyes are seriously suffering from the flu or I suddenly went blind.  Everything is horribly blurry and I can barely focus enough to read the super large print on the Kindle.

Phew! I'll try one more time.  No more whining.

Like I said, there hasn't been much knitting progress but I have added a third color stripe to my short row wedge shawl.  I really need a better name for it because  I keep calling it Wedgie in my head.  I'm knitting it with stashed skeins of Palette from Knit Picks.  As for books, I'm still reading The Secret Garden.

Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along for a discussion about what others are knitting and reading.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Makers' Monday

Welcome to Makers' Monday - a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives of all types.

Do you like knitting cables?  I've been having so much fun knitting the cables on my Honeycomb sweater lately, I decided today's Makers' Monday would focus on celtic cable knitting.  Today's patterns all come from Ravelry.

Celtic Cables Scarf from Purls of Wisdom PA
Celtic Cables Scarf

First up is the Celtic cables Scarf from Purls of Wisdom PA.  This scarf is knit loosely with bulky yarn so it should knit up quickly.  My kind of cable knitting!

cabled scarf from Deborah Lawless
Celtic Braid Scarf

Next is the Celtic Braid Scarf designed by Deborah Lawless.  Knit with aran weight wool, the simple but dramatic cabling should make for a super warm scarf.

from Storm Moon Knits
Celtic Cable Neckwarmer, photo courtesy of Rebby

Last but not least is the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer, a free pattern from Storm Moon Knits.  Being much shorter than a regular scarf and knit with worsted weight wool, this neck warmer should be a super fast knit.

I've already put all three of these Celtic knitting projects into my Ravelry que.  How about you?

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I'm so conflicted!

I don't know what to knit.

I finished knitting the back of my Honeycomb sweater & I've started the front.  I really want to get this sweater finished. My To-Do list says it will be done by the end of the month.  Silly To-Do list.

Palette yarn from Knit Picks

But I accidently started something new.  I try to keep a garter or stockinette stitch project on the needles at all times to work on while I'm reading my email and I'd finished my other projects.  Well, I'd finished a few of my others.  Okay, I was bored with my others & started something new.

<a href="">Palette</a>

It's a no pattern, make-it-up-as-I-go short row, elongated triangle shawl.  It will be stripes of color separated by thin stripes of white.  Part of my 'going minimalist' plan (I know, I still laugh at that too) is to knit up a significant amount of my yarn stash.  I'm using Knit Pick's Palette because I realized I have two full drawers plus a giant Rubermaid bin full of nothing but skeins of Palette.  I'm not sure if that's something to be proud of or embarrassed by.

I'm knitting outdoors because the weather is GORGEOUS!  (And I'm using the soon-to-be-a-deck lumber pile as a table.)

It's 72 degrees and a mostly clear, blue sky.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be 19 degrees.

73 degrees vs. 19 degrees.  How is that even possible?

And while I sit on our half-built deck, enjoying the warm sunshine, dreaming of summer, and looking out into the woods behind our house, I realized something rather amazing.  I'm not ready for winter to end yet.  We've only had one snow and I had some kind of horrible, horrible lung rot plague and barely even got out of bed to see it.  I LOVE looking out at our backyard view when the woods are covered in snow.  I'd like to have one more good snow before spring arrives.

And wishing for one more snow before spring made me think of summer and the Virginia heat and humidity....  and I realized, Oh Lord, I start work this weekend.

While my bank account is screaming that I should have gone back last month and I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my coworkers, I am SO not ready.


(This post contains affiliate links.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Knitting with books

It's Wednesday so we're talking knitting and books. Join me & others who are linking up with Ginny for today's Yarn Along.

Knitting the Honeycomb sweater from Knit Picks and reading The Secret Garden
Honeycomb Sweater & The Secret Garden

Perhaps you can tell from that fascinating photo that I've finished the back of my Honeycomb sweater and have started the front.  (And that I also need to clean the fish bowl.)  Honeycomb is a cabled sweater from Knit Pick's Woodsmoke Cable Collection.  I'm knitting it with Wool of the Andes and it's knitting up fairly quickly, despite my grumblings about its slowness.  Considering how little time and effort I've actually spent knitting on it and considering how long it's been since I knit anything heavily cabled, it's progressing fairly quickly.

So that's my knitting.  As for reading....  I've been a little embarrassed about my choice of books lately. It always seems everyone else participating in the Yarn Along is reading uplifting and/or educational books and I'm over here reading a YA vampire romance or something.  I decided 2017 was going to be the year I read better.  I'll always read and enjoy the ridiculous romance fluff but there's no reason why I can't read an occasional uplifting and/or educational book too.  One a month, that's my goal for 2017.

So, laying in bed the other night, I started Wuthering Heights.  I got all of about three paragraphs into it and vaguely remembered the entire book being cold, rainy and rather depressing. (I read it for English class back in high school.  Which means I skimmed the first few paragraphs of each chapter.)  Anyway...  Wuthering Heights wasn't the right choice for a cold, icy February night.

I noticed The Secret Garden was on my list.  Gardens, flowers, spring....  that sounded like a much better choice.  So, that's what I'm reading - and enjoying.  It's just that books on the Kindle don't make for interesting photos.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Makers' Monday

I thought I'd start a new thing to acknowledge and celebrate other knitters, designers and artisans.  I'm calling it Makers' Monday and today, I'm focusing on knitted gifts for Valentines Day.

I found each of these projects on Ravelry.  First up,

Makers' Monday pattern
Valentine Heart Hat

The Valentine Heart Hat from Sandy Koh.  The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and the fair isle stitching is fairly simple making it not only a quick knit, but also a good color work beginner project.

Makers' Monday pattern for Valentines Day
Heart Dishcloth

The Heart Dishcloth is another quick to knit project from Yarnspirations.  Even better, it's free!

Makers' Monday - Valentine shawl
With Tulips in my Heart

Last but definitely not least, is the With Tulips in my Heart shawl.  It's an elongated triangle with simple stripes of garter stitch broken up with heart shaped lace and a picot edging.

Hurry up and get knitting. You only have eight days until Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

#30DayChallenge results

I have never, ever, in my entire life, ever been so glad to see February roll around.

Remember my #30DayChallenge to not do any impulse shopping during the month of January?  Well, I survived.  Barely, but I did survive.  I even kicked it up a notch.  Originally, it was only going to be no impulse spending.  But I did so well, or I was so badly tempted, depending on how you look at it, that I didn't do any shopping at all.  Well, that's not true.  I just decided that I had to 'report' all pennies spent, not just the impulse ones.

You'd think I'd be over here rolling in dough like,

money photo Borrowed from
Borrowed from

 I did really well.  Even counting my purchase of Woodsmoke, a collection of cable patterns from Knit Picks, I only spent $46.07 the entire month of January.  That even includes groceries!  Granted, my husband picked up bread & milk a few times, we've eaten bean soup three times in the last two weeks, and the only thing left in our pantry now is a rusted can of water chestnuts and a half a jar of cake decorating sprinkles.

photo of stacks of money
Borrowed from

I should be sitting on piles of money after only spending $46.07 all month.  But nope,

skinny, starving piggy bank
Borrowed from

there's the matter of my daughter and her schooling.  The $46.07 doesn't count things like the electric bill or my daughter's educational expenses.  She's almost finished her EMT program and over the last few weeks, she's had to buy (i.e. I had to pay for,) not only a gazillion dollars worth of text books but also her own stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and the EMT uniform (2 of them) required for her class & ambulance ride-along adventure.

Good grief! It looks like I picked a good month not to spend any money.

I really can't complain though.  By mid August, she'll be debt free and done with school.  All those meals of bean soup won't seem so bad then.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Knitting with books

There hasn't been too much knitting nor reading going on here this past week.  I've knit a few more rows on my Honeycomb sweater,

knitting a honeycomb sweater and reading a book called The E Myth

and I'm still reading The E Myth.  I'm a little upset with myself for neither meeting my knitting nor my reading goal last week.  I'm proud of what I've accomplished instead though.

Instead of knitting and reading, I've been purging my junk.  Over the last few weeks, I've taken three full car loads of junk to Goodwill, the used book shop and/or other collection places.  I'm proud of that, I just wish you could look around the house and tell.  Good grief!

Did I mention I was going minimalist?

Okay, I'll pause while you clean the coffee spit off your computer screen.

I know - me, a minimalist.  It is a pretty funny idea. And I'll never be a true minimalist.  Just the idea of it makes me twitch.  But.... you know how hard headed I am.... and when I jokingly told my family I was considering becoming a minimalist, they all laughed just a little too hard.  So of course now, I'm out to prove I meant it.

I'm getting rid of all my stuff, needed, wanted or not, simply because I'm stubborn and feel the need to say 'I told you so' to my family.  Good Lord.

If you're interested, you can help me out by checking out my Etsy shop.  I've been listing a few crafty items there each day.  They are all under the Stash Buster section and if you buy four things, I'll refund the shipping fees.  So please, take a look & help me get rid of my stuff quickly so I can scream 'I told you so!' at my family then get back to hoarding restocking the craft room.  I've got a lot more to list so check back often.

Join me and many other's over at Ginny's Yarn Along to discuss what books we are reading while we knit.  Or in my case, what I'm not knitting or reading.