Friday, September 29, 2017

Knitting at the DMV

(This post contains an affiliate link.)

Little Red (that's her name) is all legal-eagle now with real, metal license plates and everything.  And that means, I spent yesterday at the DMV.

Spent the day knitting and reading at the DMV
Knitting at the DMV

It was an interesting experience.  I sat and knit, and read and knit, and knit and read, and checked my phone, and knit and read some more....  Every now and then, I'd glance up at the reader board thing to see if possibly I'd missed my number being called.  Nope, still on F144.   (I was F148.)  After about an hour and a half of knitting and reading and occasionally apologizing to the lady waiting next to me because my stomach had started to growl.... DMV finally called F145. Good Lord, it was taking forever. Thankfully, before I got too mean and hangry, ran out of Kindle battery or finished knitting the hat, they called my number.

So, are you wondering how Little Red got her name?

Red Chevrolet pickup truck
Mike and Big Red, 1993

My husband's dad's truck was Big Red.  It seemed only fitting.

alternatives to flowers in a Volkswagen
Little Red's ready for fall

To celebrate not harming anyone at the DMV, I stopped by my local Dollar Tree and bought Little Red a fall floral thing to go in her vase.  Okay, I also bought her a Halloween decoration but you'll have to wait a few more days to see that.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Creepy Kids

Take a look at what I found in my mailbox the other day.

Small metal box full of fabric clips for sewing
Creepy Kids Tin

It's a little tin full of fabric clips.  The kids on the tin are pretty darn creepy but the clips are fantastic!  I just wish I remembered ordering them.  I can't decide if I should be embarrassed or worried that I don't remember ordering them.  And why in the world did I choose the tin with the creepy, chubby-cheeked, weird-eyed, lipstick wearing kids on it?  I see Amazon has several different choices and some of the others are adorable. Oh well.  Even though I have no recollection of ordering them, the clips are great and will come in super handy when sewing up sweater seams.  I may even dig out my old Honeycomb sweater (last mentioned here) out of the UFO pile and finish it just so I can use the clips.

So, what else have I been up to besides possibly shopping in my sleep?

knitting a rolled brim hat for sale at #JGKnits
Hat in progress

I've been shopping at Knit Picks.  Something new and different for me.  Ha ha.  I finally ordered myself a new yarn bowl.  My MIL had given me a ceramic one for Christmas years ago but it got dropped and a chunk broke off.  I was able to glue it back together but it wasn't the smoothest of joins and the yarn would sometimes snag on it. Anyway, I'm now the proud owner of a beautiful and extremely smooth, snag-free, wooden yarn bowl.

I'm also knitting another hat.  My poor Etsy shop is practically empty and the Christmas shopping season is almost upon us. (Scary thought!!)  I need to buckle down and focus on knitting for the shop for the next few weeks.  Poor Sarah.  I'm never going to finish her blanket.

Want to see what projects others are working on?  Join me at the #CraftingOn link-up.

Friday, September 22, 2017

On the needles

Happy First Day of Fall!!

knitting hats for teeny tiny babies. Preemie twins

I've got preemie hats on the needles today.

knitting hats for preemie twins born at 24 weeks gestation
preemie hat

 Sadly, they aren't very photogenic.

sheets with pictures of camels riding in pickup trucks

But did you notice the background in that first photo?  Yep! I am now the proud owner of sheets with pictures of palm trees and camels riding in pickup trucks!  I can not tell you how much this excites me.  My family says I've finally gone completely off my rocker but....  Camels riding in pickup trucks!  Camels riding in pickups, on sheets!  Adult sheets, not toddler or crib sheets.  Adult sheets!  Who comes up with these things??  I'm really glad they did though because the weirdo in me is absolutely in love with them. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rut Girl - a Three on Thursday list

It's Three on Thursday when I list three things and share them with others here at Carol Knits.

So, I’m trying to break out of my rut.  Have you noticed that I basically live in a rut? I’m Rut Girl. My photos are all taken from the same location. I knit the same things over and over. I never talk about going places or trying new restaurants, mainly because I don’t go anywhere.  Yep, I’m Rut Girl.

Part of me is okay with it.  Actually, a big part of me is okay with being Rut Girl.  I like routine.  I like knowing what to expect. And yes, I like being able to stay in my pajamas all day.  But another part of me is pretty bored with being Rut Girl.  So, as of this month, I decided that I would have a new experience at least once a month.  At first, I said weekly, but that could get expensive and time consuming.  If I have to work too hard at climbing out of my rut, I may not make the effort.  So, monthly.  Once a month, I’ll experience something new.  Visit a new restaurant, go at somewhere I’ve never been before, learn a new knitting stitch or craft, maybe something as simple as trying a new recipe.  It doesn’t have to be some major adventure like skydiving, or something expensive like traveling to Europe.  Just something different. 

And because I was kind to my Rut Girl self and set the goal for one new experience monthly rather than weekly, I’ve over achieved already.  It’s the third week of September and I’ve already racked up three new experiences!

First, I bought, and have been using daily, an Instant Pot.  Do you have one? According to the internet, I was the last person on earth to purchase one so I may be preaching to the choir but…..  I LOVE my Instant Pot!  If you don’t have one, you should look them up on Amazon or simply run to Target like I did.  The thing makes perfect rice every single time, in half the time and it never boils over and leaves that icky rice water crud all over the stove. And since it doesn’t boil over, you can walk away and go do something else (like knit) in some other part of the house.  Besides cooking perfect rice, you can saute in it, use it like a slow cooker (haven’t tried that yet,) it’s a pressure cooker and it’s a yogurt maker.  I’m not sure why anyone would want to go to the trouble of making her own  yogurt.  For that matter, I’m not sure why anyone would want to eat yogurt in the first place but to each his own.  Whatever.  The point is, I bought one, I love it, it’s a very different way of cooking and I’ve used it daily since I bought it.

Second, and okay, this one isn’t exactly adventurous, but…. I got a flu shot.  My very first flu shot ever.  Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever get another.  Good grief!  The sore arm after-effect was just about as bad as having the flu.

My third new experience is pretty exciting! I bought a new car.  Well, new to me.  It’s actually pretty old and has obviously been well used by it’s previous owner but hey – it runs well and I paid for it, in cash, with one paycheck!  There was even money left over from that paycheck to put gas in it!

Red VW Bug or Volkswagen Beetle
Little Red Bug

I have wanted a little red Volkswagen since birth.  And now I have one!  I can not wait to travel to new, adventurous, non-Rut Girl destinations in it.  And you know what?  For such a little car, it’s trunk is surprisingly large.  I will be able to go on some Major yarn hauls!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I have the feeling I'm about to become horribly confused. 

I was checking out a book on my Kindle that someone had recommended and while it did sound like a fabulous read, it was $16.99 and I just can't bring myself to pay that much for a book I can't actually touch.  But, my interest in that book caused my Kindle to suggest Snowblind by Michael Abbadon, which I bought.  And that action prompted my Kindle to recommend more books, one of which was Snowblind by Christopher Golden.  And I bought that one too.  Which prompted a third recommendation and yes, you guessed it - another book titled Snowblind

I now have three different books on my Kindle, all titled Snowblind.  It was a hard choice, but I decided to read the one written by Christopher Golden first.  And Oh My Goodness!  After reading two pages, I was hooked.  By the end of the second chapter, I was contemplating fixing a second dinner because I was so hungry. All the characters were eating and the writing was so descriptive, I could feel their hunger and smell their food.  It made me hungry too.  Another chapter or two had me going to look out the front door to see how deep the snow was.  Seriously!  It was 85 degrees that day, but I was so involved in the story, I actually, literally, expected to see snow outside.  I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit that, or if the author should be winning every award possible for making me feel that way. 

While I've read a zillion books that I have loved, many of which made me laugh out loud and a few that have made me cry - at work, at my desk.  Yes, that really happened.  Talk about embarrassing!  Specially since I'm constantly on the security cameras at work and a security guard came to check on me.  I was crying that hard.  Over a book! At work!  So yeah, I've loved a lot of books, but I don't remember an author having this kind of affect on me since the '80's when I discovered Stephen King.  I'm fairly certain that Christopher Golden's Snowblind is going to end up on my All Time Favorite Books list.

Ocean Stripes, a garter stitch shawl and Snowblind by Christopher Golden
Ocean Stripes and Snowblind

All that to say, I spent most of today sitting on the deck, reading and knitting on my Ocean Stripes shawl.  Thank goodness for simple, mindless garter stitch projects that I can knit on while I read.

And yes, I'm using a Rubbermaid tote as a knitting bag. 

Join me for today's #Unraveled linkup at As Kat Knits to see what others are knitting and reading.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


It's National Butterscotch Pudding Day today and I can not see, say, or hear the word 'pudding' without thinking of Dean Winchester in Supernatural's Season 5, 'Sam Interrupted.'  I absolutely Love that episode. 

recipe for making butterscotch pudding from scratch
Making pudding

So, to celebrate National Butterscotch Pudding Day, I made pudding from scratch last night and watched Supernatural reruns.

Eating pudding and watching The Cabin in the Woods, plus a recipe
National Butterscotch Pudding Day

Tonight, I'll be further celebrating by eating homemade butterscotch pudding and watching The Cabin in the Woods.  And of course, knitting.  If I'm honest, I think I'm more excited about The Cabin in the Woods than I am about the pudding.  I love all things Joss Whedon and I was able to snag the DVD from Walmart the other day for less than four dollars!

If you're interested in making your own pudding, here's the recipe I use.

Butterscotch Pudding

2/3 cup brown sugar
Large pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. softened butter
1 tsp. Vanilla

In a 2 quart sauce pan, mix the first 3 ingredients together.  Add the eggs, then slowly add the milk, stirring well.

Stirring constantly over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.  Boil  1 minute; remove from heat and add the butter & vanilla.  Stir well and pour into desert cups.  Chill until set.  

Serves 4.

To see what others are creating today, join me later today at #craftingon,

Friday, September 15, 2017

Make a Hat

It's Make a Hat Day!

While the term 'make' implies, to me at least, I should be crafting a hat out of newspaper, I guess you'll let me slide if I knit one instead. 

knitting a button brimmed hat with acrylic yarn. For sale at
Make a Hat

I've been on a brief vacation from knitting with my normal wool.  This hat is being knit with acrylic yarn I picked up during a recent my-dog-is-sick pity party I threw myself at the local big box craft store.  I walked into the store, let the party begin & just started tossing things into my cart.  I almost had to get two carts.  Luckily, almost the entire store was on sale.  I threw so much yarn into my cart, I practically doubled my yarn stash, and let's don't even talk about the stamping and drawing supplies I bought.  I haven't rubber stamped since the '90's and I didn't even enjoy it that much back then.  And drawing??  Have you ever seen me draw?  Nope! I do not draw.  Oh well. It was all on sale, it made me feel better (at least until the bill comes in) and now I have some really great things to donate to the library's arts & craft box.

The shopping excursion/pity party wasn't a total waste though.  I've already knit several hats and a pair of mittens with the yarn I purchased.  The rubber stamps make great paper weights (one even has a cute sheep on it!) and my calendar is now nice and colorful with all the art pen notes I've made.

And that hat in the photo - it's not really that cherry read pictured.  It's more of a deep maroon that my camera/phone/computer refuses to acknowledge. 

So, what about you?  Are you making a hat today?  If so, share a photo or a link in the comments below.  I'd love to see your creation(s).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

One, Two, Three

So, I joined a 'thing' called Think Write Thursday yesterday, not really knowing what it was.  Over the past year, a blogger or two that I follow has participated and I thought I'd join too, if for no other reason than possible motivation to create a blog post once a week.  As luck would have it, I received an email this morning saying that Think Write Thursday has now been changed to Three on Thursday.  Actually, it really is a pretty lucky thing for me.  Now, I don't have to 'write,' I simply have to list three things.  I like lists.

But dang!  This is a lot of pressure!  What should today's list be about??

Since it's my first time participating, I'm going to make a pretty simple list.

Three things I should be doing instead of knitting:

1. Scrubbing the bathroom
2. Scrubbing the dog
3. Moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer before it molds.

Want to place bets on how many of those things I accomplish today?

To view others' lists, go here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Yarn Chicken

I'm playing a mean game of yarn chicken.

fingerless gloves knit with leftover worsted weight yarn, OTN 081217
Playing yarn chicken

I'm knitting simple, fingerless gloves with some left over yarn I had.  I'm also praying I  have enough yarn.

I've also been reading Scarred by Joanne Macgregor.  I just finished it last night and absolutely loved it.  The book's Amazon description describes it as a young adult contemporary romance but I felt it was so much more than that.  While it did have the typical boy & girl are made for each other but have some silly issue keeping them apart romance theme, there was so much more to this story.  There was also misplaced guilt and forgiveness, self esteem issues, bullying, and school violence.  Wow.  I'm not making it sound like a great read, but it really was.  I had hard time putting it down and even skipped an after work visit to the local all night dinner with work friends to come home and read.  You Know I enjoyed it if I passed up food for it!  

Join me over at As Kat Knits for today's #unraveled linkup.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


I'm no where close to the half-way mark yet, but Sarah's orange blanket is coming along.

orange and yellow zig zag blanket knit for Sarah
Caron Cakes Spice Cake

It's about 20 inches in length so far and slightly wider than anticipated.

I was a little worried about having enough yarn but if each skein knits up to within a couple of inches of the first skein's fabric, I'll have enough to make this blanket more like a bedspread than the intended snuggle-while-watching-TV throw.  We'll see how the yarn holds out.  I've had issues before with Caron Cakes' yardage varying wildly between skeins.

The color is a little harsh for my taste but Sarah loves it and that's what's important.  The orange is very fall-ish and since I've been suffering from Fall Fever since July 1st....  It's a fun project to knit on.  I've also been thinking that instead of knitting a giant, bedspread sized blanket, I could make it the intended length and have yarn left over to knit a matching pillow.  A pillow with removable attachments.  I'm picturing olive green leaves for summer, acorns for fall, a black pumpkin face for Halloween and something for spring.  If you focus on the yellows in it rather than the oranges, it's very daffodill-y.

What I need is to hurry up and knit the blanket and be done with it before it turns into a never ending, life-long project.

Join me over at Frontier Dreams for today's #craftingon link-up.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The last ride

I've been putting this post off because, well honestly, I didn't want to see it in writing.  Documenting it makes it so official. So real....  And I so desperately wish it wasn't real.

As is usual in my life, Karma's response is quick and sometimes brutal.  Not three hours after my National Dog Day post went live and I publicly admitted that Max was my favorite, Max began to show signs of illness.

He didn't want his breakfast.  Not wanting breakfast was HUGE.  Max took meal times Very seriously.  If someone made the mistake of getting in his way, he'd knock them down to get to his food bowl.  If you were bending over too slowly to place his full bowl on the floor, he'd grab the bowl out of your hand.  Max liked to eat.

But after adding a little hot water gravy, he ate.  He ate with enthusiasm, although he did take the time to chew rather than his normal one-giant-inhalation gobble.  He seemed fairly okay so I went to work.

Within twenty four hours of wanting gravy on his food, three golf ball sized lumps had appeared on  his throat/neck, he'd gone totally blind and one leg wasn't working quite right. We had to carry him up and down the stairs and in and out of the house.  He was still eating though - as long as we put 'gravy' on his food and placed the bowl in front of him and he wasn't having accidents in the house.

I talked to the vet and she felt that he was 'stable' and she changed his Well Check appointment he had coming up in a few days to a Quality of Life Discussion appointment.  I cried.  A lot.

For the next few days, Max held his own.  The family made sure someone was with him at all times, I slept downstairs on the sofa with him at night so he wasn't alone. We placed his water bowl and food bowl in front of him and he ate and drank.  We picked the big lunk up and carried him outside where he'd wander around the yard, bumping into trees.

The morning of his vet appointment, he was able to find his water bowl without help.  I had high hopes.  Maybe my husband's theory that he had a sore throat & just needed antibiotics was actually correct.  Maybe his blindness wasn't the end and he'd be okay.  Maybe his restlessness the previous night was him wanting to get back to his old, mobile self and not signs that he was starting to feel pain.  Maybe, just maybe, he'd be okay.

Sadly, that was not the case.  On August 31, 2017, Max took his final car ride.  The diagnosis was lymphoma and the vet was able to feel 18 tumors.  The tumors were everywhere. Head, neck, chest, belly, legs.  Everywhere. One in his head had caused so much pressure, the blood vessels in his eyes had ruptured causing his blindness.  It was time to do the unthinkable.

My heart is broken and I miss him more than I thought possible.  But I'm also confident that he's in a better place. A pain-free place with an unlimited supply of pizza and donuts, and he can actually catch the neighbor's cat every once in a while.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Read a book

Boy am I glad to put August behind me.  It was quite a month.  More about that later, but for now....

Happy Read A Book Day!

To be honest, I celebrated yesterday.  The morning's weather was just too perfect not to sit on the deck with my coffee, knitting and a good book.  But who am I kidding?  I'll celebrate again today as well. Today, it's cool and rainy.  A different type of perfect day to spend reading and knitting.

hand knit acrylic yarn hat. Knit while reading Harry Potter.
Pink Hat

I'm re-reading Harry Potter.  It's been slow going because I don't dare pick it up for bed-time reading because it's just too good to put down and bed-time reading is about all I've had time for lately.

Harry Potter isn't in the photo because I'm reading it on my Kindle and the fingerprint smeared screen doesn't exactly make for exciting photography.

Okay, that shocking pink hat doesn't photograph well either.  But that's what it is.  A hemmed brimmed hat, most likely headed for my Etsy shop when it's done.  It looks much better in real life than it does in the photo.

Linen drawstring storage bag from Knit Picks
Secret Garden Project Bag

The Secret Garden project bag the hat is laying on is Adorable with a capital A!  I just love the cranes & kitty cats sprinkled throughout the flowers.  The rest of the bag is so cute, I'm not even bothered by the little garden snake.  I had to have it the minute I saw it.  Just HAD to!

linen travel bag great for protecting shoes, accessories, cosmetics or toiletries
Secret Garden Project Bag from Knit Picks

And look - the bag even came with a stitch marker attached.

So..... all that to say, I hope you're enjoying reading a good book today.  If you aren't, then I hope you are accomplishing something important.  Besides being Read A Book Day, it's also Fight Procrastination Day.  Who comes up with these things and what kind of sadist monster decided they should be on the same day?

I have to admit, I cheated.  I planned ahead and today's to-do list simply says, "Relax and read a book."  I'm rocking both holidays.

To see what others are reading today, join me over at As Kat Knits' Unraveled Wednesday.