Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A new toy

I have a new toy!

New project bag purchased from Etsy.
Shweater Bag from Twisted Yarn and Fiber

My new Shweater bag from Twisted Yarn and Fiber.  Wanda, the shop owner is in my Wednesday night knitting group and when I found out she had jelly fish themed bags in her shop, I immediately went shopping.  

She was sold out of the jelly fish but I fell in love with the whimsical animals on this bag.  Surprisingly, there are no sheep but there are goats, turtles, pink flamingos and several different types of dogs as well as many other critters.

Knitting Eclipse, a wedge shaped garter and lace shawl.
Making progress on the Eclipse shawl

Besides the cutie-patootie animals, the bag features a leather handle and a drawstring closure.  Once you get where you're going, you simple loosen the drawstring, fold the opening down and presto-magic!  You have yourself a fabric yarn bowl.  How cool is that?


If you're in the market for a new knitting bag or needle holder, go check out Wanda's shop, Twisted Yarn and Fiber on Etsy.  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Supper - Creamy Whipped Feta Dip

We have Family Reunion coming up and I was searching for impressive yet easy to make appetizer recipes when I came across Creamy Whipped Feta Dip from Once Upon a Chef.

Photo and recipe courtesy of onceuponachef.com

I thought I should probably try it out in advance on the off chance I could ruin feta cheese.  Doubtful, but better safe than sorry, right?

One word - Yum!

I may have to make one small adjustment though.  There may be red food coloring added to today's batch.  Today is the first day of Shark Week after all.   ....Ooh!  Ooh!!  I'm just realizing the pita wedges look like sharks' teeth.  Could it get any more perfect??

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Pearl

This post includes affiliate links.

I've made some progress on my Reyna shawl.

Knitting Reyna Shawl with sock yarn from Knit Picks http://shrsl.com/1q0m3
Hawthorne's The Pearl

The plan was that I'd focus on knitting Madli's Shawl and Reyna would be my 'knit while I read my email' project.


After working on Reyna exclusively at my Wednesday night knitting group, I find I only have 20 more rows to go, including the bind off row!

I'm fascinated with this colorway.  The yarn is Hathorne, The Pearl from Knit Picks.  The more I look at the knitted fabric, the more it looks like the inside of an oyster shell.  But it also has that faded denim look.  Well, maybe acid washed denim since there's so much fluctuation in color.  What ever.  I love it!  As for not focusing on the Madli's Shawl, I'm not sorry at all!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


(This post contains affiliate links.)

First, I'd like to give a shout out to the guys (or more specifically, guy) from Ron's Auto for helping me out the other day.  It was an absolute sh*t storm of a day and that dude will never know how much I appreciated his help.  Sue had her surgery that morning, I had to deal with both DMV and broken eyeglasses, attend a funeral, got tangled up in the traffic jam caused by a cop's mayday call and the actual air temp, not the 'feels like' but the actual air temperature hit 103... and the car overheated.  Ron's to the rescue.  The dude gave Little Red a pat on the head, told her she could do it, told me to maybe slow down a little, and sent us on our way with no more problems.

But what this post is really about...

Simple shawl with lace border knit with Capretta from http://shrsl.com/1plh0
Wedgewood Shawl

I finally blocked my Wedgewood shawl.

yarn on sale at http://shrsl.com/1plh0
Wedgewood knit with Capretta from Knit Picks

I finished it back in April but was in no hurry to block it because it was tiny.  Barbie doll sized.  Way to small for my wide, linebacker shoulders.  I was so disappointed.

Loving my new leather shawl cuff.
Shawl cuff from Howling Hills Studio

Thankfully I finally forced myself to block it.  As always, blocking worked miracles and what was a Barbie doll sized shawl now fits me perfectly.  I am SO happy because I absolutely LOVE the shawl.  It was getting ready to storm when I took the photos and the light is pretty bad and the shawl's color doesn't show well.  The yarn is Capretta from Knit Picks.  It looks like the yarn is being discontinued which is a shame because it's heavenly to knit with!  Anyway, the yarn's colorway is Eliot and the color is...  well, it's pond scum green.  I don't know how else to describe it.  It sounds horrible, but it's the most gorgeous golden green color.

Pond scum or not, it looks great with my new leather shawl cuff from Howling Hills Studio.  (And to give credit where credit is due, I bought the cuff from my LYS, Center of the Yarniverse rather than directly from Howling Hills.)

I can't wait for fall!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday Supper - Zucchini Marinara

Today's Sunday Supper will be grilled chicken and Zucchini Marinara.

cooking from scratch, ways to cook zucchini
photo courtesy of foodrevolution.org

The recipe for Zucchini Marinara is one of my favorite types - the kind you make up on the fly.  And it's blatantly stolen from Highly Reasonable.  The moment I read her blog post about things to do with zucchini, I begged my daughter to run to the local vegetable stand.  

Why am I not growing my own zucchini???

Friday, July 19, 2019


I feel like I should be listening to Pink Floyd as I knit.

Knitting a simple, wedge shaped, striped, garter stitch shawl scarf using yarn from Unplanned Peacock.

The pain of casting on 400 stitches for the Eclipse shawl is slowly being replaced by the appearance of the wedge shaping.

I probably should never have started this project.  I absolutely adore the design, both knitting and wearing it; the yarn is fantastic to knit with and the colors.... Oh!  The colors!  

The problem I'm having is that I'm also loving the Reyna shawl I have on the needles.  And, I've promised myself that I'll have the Madli's Shawl, which I'm sick to death of, finished by October 1st.  

I'm in need of a solid month of straight, 24/7 knitting time.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Three on Thursday

This post contains affiliate links.

I have three new projects on the needles.  Well, okay, one of them you've seen before.  But the other two are new.

Simple stockinette stocking cap knit with gradient sock yarn.
Cascade Heritage Waves Hat

1.  The hat.  You've seen this before.  I knit it while watching Stranger Things.  I had about an inch of it done when I started the show, binge watched the entire thing over 24 hours and all that's left is the decreasing and a pompom.  I knit the hat extra long and floppy so that I can stick my hair up under it if need be.  I  have a lot of  hair so the hat is extra long.  

I didn't have a pattern.  I just cast on enough stitches to be able to knit in the round, knit around and a round, purled a turning row, knit some more, picked up and knit the cast on row with a regular row to form the hemmed brim and kept on knitting.  You can't see it well in the photo but the yarn is a gray gradient which makes a nice, neutral but not too terribly boring hat.  And the yarn, Cascade Heritage Waves, is unbelievably soft.  If I had any sense, I should have knit it into something that would be worn next to my skin rather than on top of my thick head of hair.  But, I think I have enough left over to knit a pair of matching fingerless mitts. 

Garter and mesh shawl knit with Knit Picks Hawthorne in The Pearl colorway

2.  Reyna.  I needed a new basic, garter or stockinette in the round project since the hat was almost complete.  I must always have a simple project OTN to knit on while reading.  I almost started another Hitchhiker but I wanted to use this yarn and I didn't need another blue Hitchhiker.  So... Reyna.

Reyna shawl knit with Knit Picks Hawthorne (#affiliate #ad)

The yarn is Hawthorne in The Pearl colorway, which I believe is one of their newer colors.  I've knit the pattern before and enjoyed it.  It's a simple garter and mesh/lace triangular shawl.  And this time, I'm even following the directions!

Knitting an Eclipse shawl in Starling and Lagoon
yarn from Unplanned Peacock

3.  Eclipse.  The pattern and yarn are both from Unplanned Peacock.  The purple (Starling) will be the main color and the green/blue (Lagoon) will be the stripes.  I've knit this pattern several times before.  I absolutely love this design.  It's shawly enough to wear as a shawl but it's also scarfy enough to wear like a normal scarf.  And don't even get me started on how much I love the Unplanned Peacock's yarn.  

Both Reyna and Eclipse are mostly garter stitch so I can read while I knit them.  But, they also both have a touch of open mesh or lacework that I can't work while reading.  So, the plan is to switch projects when I get to a lacy section.

Want to take bets on which gets finished first?

Joining Carole for Three on Thursday.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Knitting with Stranger Things

And so it begins...

Every summer, as work takes over my life and the weather gets hotter and the weeks seem longer, I begin to skip regularly scheduled posts here and there until I suddenly realize I haven't posted in a week.  Sometimes two.  This year I promised myself that wouldn't happen, even if I had to resort to 'phoning in' the posts.  I picked a bad year to make that promise to myself.  I think I've previously mentioned that I'm having a lot of dental work done.  Anyway, I've been averaging 60 - 65 hour work weeks and since mid May, every day off has been spent either at the dentist or taking Sue to the chemo doctor.  The schedule is wearing on me.  The schedule (work schedule that is) also got messed up this past week and I had Sunday off instead of a weekday... and I just had to say, "Ef it!  I'm spending my day knitting and binge watching Stranger Things, not writing a blog post."  So sorry, not sorry. 

My new chart keeper is helping me knit Madli's Shawl (affiliate link)

Anyway... I did knit.  I knit sixteen rows on my Madli's Shawl while I finished binge watching Roswell on Netflix.  Yes, my TV viewing tends to be that of a 12 year old girl.  Laugh all you want, I don't care.  It was a good show.  And there was more than one Buffy reference made and y'all know how I feel about Buffy.  Anyway, I've finished 20 and a half pattern repeats, only ten and a half more to go.  My goal is to have it blocked and finished by October 1st.  I wanted to keep knitting on it but....

Stranger Things!  I'm not coordinated enough to knit beaded lace and watch Stranger Things at the same time.  I put down the lace and picked up a simple stockinette hat. 

Knitting a stockinette hat with Cascade Heritage Wave yarn while binge watching Stranger Things
knitting with Stranger Things

The hat is knit with Cascade's Heritage Wave yarn on US2 needles and it's taking forever!  It is my 'only knit while I read' project which is one reason it's taking so long.  The other is, well, to quote my mother when she'd get really mad, "Dammit all to Hell!"  A fellow blogger recently posted about how their ball winder had started messing up and causing big loops of thread to hang out of the skein.  I smugly thought to myself, "That never happens to me.... except for the skein I just wound yesterday did have one weird loop sticking out of it..."  Of course that skein was my Cascade Heritage Wave.  And of course, karma!  After knitting about five rounds, that loop started causing all kinds of problems.  I have No idea how that one little loop sticking out could cause SO many tangles but.... ever since, I've knit about half a round, spent five minutes untangling and freeing enough yarn to knit another half round... and repeat.  Over and over and over again.  Dammit all to Hell!

But back to topic - Stranger Things!  Have you watched it yet?  Besides being a fantastic show, I'd forgotten how much fun it is to be visually carried back to the '80's.  And that outfit that Nancy Wheeler is wearing in the photo, I had the exact same outfit!  Well, almost the same.  Her stripes look gray while mine were a faded blue.  I remember not wearing the skirt much but I practically lived in the shirt.

And now, I suddenly realize I'm running late and have to go get ready for work so I'm cutting this short.  Until next time, happy knitting!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday Supper - Blueberry-Pecan Galette

So, we aren't actually having this for supper, I just wish we were.  We have quite a few leftover blueberries and I was Googling what to do with them and....

Blueberry-Pecan Galette from bonappetit.com

Doesn't that just look like it would satisfy every craving?  Soft, crunchy, hot, cold, creamy, fruity...

I'm desperately hoping I can talk my daughter into baking this Blueberry-Pecan Galette for me while I'm at work tonight.  And if she was a really good daughter, she'd allow me to call her when I'm finishing up at work and she could time her baking just right so that it would be fresh from the oven when I got home.

It's nice to have dreams.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Making Mama Proud

It's not pretty, or big, or knitting related... but my mama would be so proud!

Picked a ripe tomato before the fourth of July
First tomato, 7/3/19

It was always a huge thing, a major source of pride, something to be worshiped and more importantly, something to brag about to the ladies at the pool when you got a ripe tomato before the fourth of July.  

Granted, it may be only slightly larger than a golf ball, but mine plucked itself from the vine on July 3.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Off the needles

Today, OTN is standing for off the needles rather than on.

Hand knit prayer shawl

The prayer shawl for Sue is finally finished.  Just in time for her last chemo appointment next week.

Simple garter and lace prayer shawl

After asking for everyone's opinion about the contrasting border color, I went with the white.  I'm So glad I did.  Color-wise, I think it looks great and besides, it looks like waves crashing on the beach.  And since Sue loves the beach....  I think it's perfect.

lace detail on a simple garter stitch prayer shawl

Well, it's obviously not perfect.  There are several 'creative design elements' in the lacy border.  Oh well.  The shawl is not perfect and neither is Sue.  They can be perfectly imperfect together.  At least that's my story of why I didn't bother to rip and fix them.

lace border knit on the outer edge of a simple garter stitch semi circle prayer shawl

Despite the those 'design elements' in the border, I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.  I'm also amazed at how much it grew during blocking.  Pre-blocking, the shawl barely went across my shoulders, much less wrapped around me.  Post-blocking...I'm going to have a very, very difficult time handing it over to Sue.

But hand it over, I will.  Sue deserves it.  She has done SO well with her chemo treatments.  She's had none of the horrible side affects you hear about and didn't even loose her hair.  I'm so proud of the way she's held her head up throughout the whole ordeal.  She'll have one more dose of chemo then go for another round of CAT scans to see what the next step is.  The doctor seems confident that she's going to beat it and be considered 'cured.'  Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.

Monday, July 1, 2019

52 Weeks - Fears

Today's 52 Weeks Blog Challenge topic is my fears.  Wow!  This list could be even longer than my favorite snack list.  I'm a little bit neurotic and I know it.  Laugh if you will but in no particular order...

1.  The dentist but I've already covered that so I won't go into details.  And I was happy to see I wasn't alone in my dental fears.  Sorry for you, but thank you for the recent commiseration.

2.  Adult diapers.  Or more specifically, the need for them.

photo courtsey of kimballstock.com

3.  Black panthers in trees.  I'm fairly certain I've covered this ridiculous fear here on the blog at some point but it bears repeating.  Ever since reading the Little House books as a child, I've been terrified of black panthers lurking in the tree tops at night, just waiting to pounce on me.  Did you read the books?  Do you remember when Pa was late returning home and the panther was in the trees stalking him?  Yeah, well, you can't convince me that there are not panthers in the trees just waiting to get me.  I can read Jaws while laying on the beach and jump into the water with no problems, but... But those panthers - they are out there.  And they are out to get me.

4.  7-11's.  I've discussed that fear before too.  Actually, I don't like any small convenience store but 7-11's especially.  It's a shame because I do love a good slurpee.

5.  Dying and my husband discovering the actual size of my yarn stash.  Even worse than  him discovering it is the fear of him throwing it away rather than handing it over to my fellow knitters.  Forever let it be known that I'm perfectly fine with you coming to raid my stash within minutes of my final breath.

6.  The kids getting into a car accident.  I'm So neurotic about it.  Every time, every single time, my phone alerts me to an accident in an area they might be in, I have to verify it wasn't them.

7.  Accidentally felting a newly finished sweater or socks knit from expensive yarn.

8.  Suffering a stroke or any kind of health thing that leaves me unable to move or speak but aware.  Please, if that ever happens, for the love of God, unplug me.  Quickly.

9.  The neighbor's dog.  It frequently runs loose at night and comes by for a visit when I get home from work in the wee hours and am standing at the door trying to find my key in the dark.  The dog looks like a coyote (size, shape and color) and it about gives me a heart attack every time.  He manages to sneak up on me and tends to growl.  And maybe he's not growling at me.  Maybe he's growling at a panther up in the trees.

knit shawls on pinterest
photo courtesy of pinterst.com

10.  Knitting intricate lace without a life line and the interchangeable needle coming unscrewed from the cable.

I'm sure I could think of a thousand more fears if I tried but that's enough.  You don't need to know All my deep, dark secrets.