Friday, October 18, 2019

Who needs Rhinebeck?

Who needs Rhinebeck?  I don't!  I have the newly expanded Center of the Yarniverse.

Knit Night at the newly expanded Center of the Yarniverse, Ashland, VA
too excited to hold the camera still

On Tuesday my LYS moved from a teeny-tiny, little shop to a huge, gigantic, yarn filled place across the road.  The new place has got to be at least five times larger and it's fantastic!  Fantastic!!  I didn't get a chance to stop by on opening day (damn moving boxes that refuse to pack themselves!) but I did attend the Wednesday night knitting group.

I was way too excited about the newly expanded shop and all the new yarns they are now able to stock to take decent photos.  The only one I took that wasn't blurry was of Stacy, the shop owner, shoving food into her mouth and I'd promised her I wouldn't use that one.  :)  

And yes, we get to eat at Knit Night.  That dark doorway in the background leads into Ashland Coffee and Tea.  So now, you can buy some yarn and go hang out in the coffee shop or, you can buy coffee and come hang out in the yarn shop.  Center of the Yarniverse now has multiple seating areas where you can sit and knit the day or night away.  And if you check out the coffee shop's website, the stage where the band is playing is now the classroom area of Center of the Yarniverse.

Oh, and did I mention that now that the Wednesday night knitting group meets in the yarn shop instead of the coffee shop, the yarn shop is open for business an extra two hours which means more shopping potential.  Yay!!

See?  Who needs Rhinebeck?  I sure don't!
packing boxes and the Martha shawl
Yes, it suddenly got cold enough to break out my fake Uggs!

As for my knitting, I finished the baby blanket and promptly tossed it in a moving box instead of photographing it.

Next, I picked up the Martha shawl and knit a few rows between packing boxes.  My entire life revolves around packing boxes, giant dust bunnies and piles and piles of stuff.  There are piles of stuff to take to my mother-in-law's house (where we're moving.  Have I mentioned that??) piles to go to storage, piles to donate and piles that are trash.  Of course, we ran out of trash bags in the middle of the process.  And soon-to-be-excommunicated-family-members-if-they-don't-stop-it keep putting things in the wrong piles.  It's driving me completely insane.  And my husband, who HATES to shop, has spent multiple days tire and clothes shopping rather than packing.  The situation would be pretty darned comical if the movers weren't due to arrive in a few days.

Speaking of comical....

A church cookbook
Episcopal Chicken
A church cookbook titled Episcopal Chicken.  I have no recollection of putting it there, but it was on my cookbook shelf.  And I think it's hilarious.  I don't know, maybe it's the cardboard and packing tape fumes getting to me, but I find the title laugh out loud funny.  

So, have you picked up on the fact that we are moving next week and the additional fact that we are totally unprepared?  Yeah.  The only way I'm going to get prepared is to sign off from the blog for a few days, maybe even a week or two.  I really, really need to get some packing done.  I'll be back once we've moved and I've unpacked the important things like my toothbrush and my knitting.

And speaking of knitting, I think I'll go knit a row or two.  I have high hopes that today is the day the boxes pack themselves.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Three on Thursday

Three random questions I've been pondering...

1.  My knitting books and The Move.  Do I take all my knitting books with me or do I depend on Ravelry for patterns?  And if I take my books, do I take All of them, or only a few?  What is a few?  Do I set a limit on how many I can take?  How low should that limit be?  I think I might cry without my books but...  They do take up an awful lot of space and honestly, I usually depend on Ravelry for pattern inspiration and Youtube for help.  But without my books, it may feel more like prison than a step towards the big life goal.

2.  Harry Potter.  What is it with all the Harry Potter stuff that keeps popping up?  Have you noticed?  It seems like everyone is once again knitting Harry Potter stuff.  Why?  Not that Harry Potter wasn't a fantastic book and movie series.... but those books and movies came out years ago.  Years!  Why is everyone suddenly knitting Harry Potter stuff again?

Almost finished knitting this baby blanket in the car while driving to the new house
car knitting

3.  I bought SO much fall colored yarns over the summer... and here I am knitting for a spring baby.  Spring baby colors are completely different from fall adult colors.

Join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday party.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


I'm 10-42.  I have ended my tour of duty.  I'm officially a trophy wife now.  My dear, sweet husband says I can't claim to be a housewife because housewives cook and clean.  Nice. Real nice, Mike.  


I mentioned the other day that we are moving down to my mother-in-law's house to help take care of her.  Her house is about 55 miles from my job.  I was planning to finish out the season and just deal with the drive but.... The MIL is requiring a little more assistance now than she did a month ago so I quit my job to fulfill the role of main caregiver.  Yikes!

Sunday night's shift was my last and it was bittersweet.  As miserable as it could be sometimes, I loved my job.  Even the miserable tasks were fun in that way running a marathon is fun.  The people were great, my boss was the best you could ever hope for and the place felt like home.  I was pretty sad to leave.  But...

Sad as I was to leave, I'm going to have my weekends free and I'll be able to, eventually, adapt to a normal person's sleep cycle so that I'm awake during the day instead of all night.  I'm Very excited about that!

The other thing I'm excited about?

Perhaps the thing I'm most excited about....  I can go back to carrying a purse with a wallet.  And the wallet can contain cash!  That might not sound like a big thing to most people but after spending six years having to carry my stuff in a clear bag and not being allowed to have cash on my person....  An actual wallet with cash in it is huge.  Huge!

So that's the big news.  I quit my job and get to carry a real wallet now.  It was only fitting that after not raining for almost two full months, I got to walk the park in the pouring down rain on my last day.  King's Dominion's way of saying goodbye, I guess.

I'm going to miss my job but I'm looking forward to the next adventure.

And on that note, don't be surprised if my posting get's a little spotty over the next week or two.  We have so much we need to accomplish between now and the closing, I'm not even sure I'll get to knit a few rows each day.  Yikes!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday Supper - Fall Vegetable Casserole

These days, we are all about easy.  We're also trying to empty the pantry and freezer so we don't have as much food stuff to move.  Today's Sunday Supper recipe fits the bill.
Fall Vegetable Casserole from
Join me for a nice gooey fall vegetable casserole.  It doesn't get much easier than this one!  You can find the recipe here.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Kale Hat

Things are about to become very brief around here.  I've officially entered panic mode.

I mentioned we were selling our house, right?  Well, the people buying ours sold theirs so it's on now.  It's official.  We have to move.  In two weeks and a couple of days.  Aack!  We're moving in two weeks and couple of days. 

And worse than 'we're moving' is that we're moving in with my mother-in-law.  She's getting on up there in age and needs some help.  

Our ultimate goal is to eventually build a house on tidal water, with cash, and live debt free for the rest of our lives.  Our living with the MIL will not only help her, but it will help us reach our goal sooner.  It's a win/win.

The problem with this win/win plan is, how do I pack?  What do I pack?  We don't need to take anything with us except our tooth brushes, clothes and yarn.  What do we do with the rest of our stuff?  We don't know how long we'll be living with the MIL.  It could be three weeks or three years.  How do I pack for that??   I'm so undecided, I'm totally frozen.

So, instead of packing, I cast on a new hat.
Hat knit with Kale from Unplanned Peacock

It's the Kale Unplanned Peacock yarn I bought at the fiber festival last weekend.  On US #8 needles,  it's knitting up super fast which is nice.  I really should be focusing on knitting the baby blanket and the Martha shawl but I needed a break from all that garter stitch.  Somehow, stockinette in the round seems so much better.

And now, I should probably go pack a box.  

Thursday, October 10, 2019


Remember me recently talking about having a 'thing' for the color aqua?  Well, apparently I also have a 'thing' for golden colored yarns.

I bought a few golden colored yarns at the Montpelier Fiber Festival last weekend and since it's a Thursday, I thought I'd show you three of them.

The big, giant skein is 950 glorious yards of fingering weight superwash merino from Beaver Creek Yarns.  The yarn came with a free pattern for a ripple type shawl.  I can not wait to start knitting with this yarn!

Next up is Octoberfest, also from Beaver Creek.  This skein is destined to become Halloween socks.  This skein is making me wish that my name included "I dream of" because I would give anything to be able to blink and have the socks already knit.

And last, from that 50% off booth that didn't have a name, two skeins of Magico II.  I have no specific plans for this yarn but it will most likely end up being a shawl or large scarf.  No plans, I just liked the colorway.

I hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday.  I also hope that if you didn't see it, you'll take a peek at my Three on Thursday post from last week.  I completely forgot to link it to Carole's or to do any type of promotion.  Oops! The post contained a free pattern and I wouldn't want you to miss out.

Meanwhile, I have a few thousand packing boxes to fill.  Think of me while you knit please.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Four out of Twelve

I went to the Montpelier Fiber Festival this past weekend and had a blast.  As always, there were the sheep dog trials and sheep shearing to watch, good food and the the I-can't-live-without-it strawberry lemonade stand, and of course, yarn shopping.

My little red VW bug.

Being the good and faithful blogger that I am, I only took one picture.  All there was to see and do and I took one picture.  Of my car.  Oh well.  The day was cool and cloudy.  A perfect day for a nice ride in the JGKnits mobile.  Little Red just loves going to fiber festivals.

In preparation for the festival, for a little over a week I had "No Sock Yarn!" signs posted on my bedroom mirror and calendar as well as using the sign for my laptop screensaver.  The idea was to remind myself not to buy a single skein of sock yarn.  Or fingering weight.  Fingering is what I really meant.  I'm over run with fingering/sock yarn.  My yarn stash is huge but it only contains 2 skiens of DK/sport weight and zero skeins of multicolored worsted weight.  I wanted to change that therefore, No Sock Yarn!

How'd I do with that plan you ask?

#yarnshopping, #yarnfumes, #yarn, hand dyed yarns

Out of the twelve skeins of yarn I purchased, four of them were not sock weight.  


Not a very good percentage, but let's face it - it's a better percentage than I really expected.

And please, forgive the boxes.  The closing on our house is set for three weeks from yesterday and I'm starting to panic a little bit.  Life is going to be nothing but packing boxes for a while so I've decided to embrace them rather than try to hide them.


Yarn...  Left to right:

A dirt cheap Malabrigo Rios in "Camaleon."  There was a huge booth selling four yarn shops' worth of yarn, all half priced.  I bought a few skeins (the others were of course sock weight) and told myself I'd go back and take another look at the end of the day.  My wallet is thankful I forgot to go back.

Next in line is a Shirsty Cat skein of DK merino in The Heart of the Forest colorway.  I just love this one!  It's all deep blues and greens and golden browns.

Third from the left is an Unplanned Peacock superwash Merino, DK weight in Fox.  This one might be my fall favorite.  It's not quite orange, not quite red, not quite rust colored.  And I absolutely love it!

And last but not least, an aran weight superwash merino also from Unplanned Peacock.  I love the color but I'm not sure about its name, Kale.  Sarah picked this one out and wants a new hat made from it.

Actually, I think I'll knit hats with all of these.  Or maybe fingerless mitts.  I don't think any of them have enough yardage for finger covering mittens.  My intention was to buy enough DK and/or worsted  for baby sweater knitting but....  The yarn fumes got to me and I just started throwing single skeins into my cart.

Oh well.  There's always next year's festival.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sunday Supper - Apple Spice Cake

Phew!  It has finally cooled off a little and is feeling a little more fall-like.  And now that it's below 95 degrees, I'm craving warm, fattening foods.  

#cooking from scratch #recipe #fallfoods #apples
Apple Spice Cake recipe from

And what could be warmer or more fattening than Apple Spice Cake?  This recipe from looks like it will fit the bill perfectly.

Now, if I can just figure out how to talk Sarah into baking it for me while convincing her and Mike that it tastes gross so they'll leave the whole cake for me.  Because you know, I need to eat an entire apple spice cake by myself.    Hey, stop looking at me like that - it's got fruit in it.

Friday, October 4, 2019

On the Needles

Yes, the baby blanket is still on the needles.  

Easy garter stitch baby blanket. Sock yarn from Knit Picks
baby blanket knit with Knit Picks Sock Labs Stroll

But I have finally added the second color.  The blanket is not going to be anywhere near as large as I'd hoped it would be, or as I feel it should be based on knitting time, but it will be okay.  Rather than a crib blanket, it will be more receiving blanket sized. 

I'm telling myself it's okay if the blanket is small.  It will be fine for covering a newborn and as baby grows, perhaps this one can become the Linus type 'blankie' that they hold and snuggle with rather than the one that keeps them warm.

And look how the blanket matches my project bag.  Have you noticed everything in my life seems to be that aqua color?   Sitting here at my desk, without even turning my head, I can see so much aqua!  There's my knitting, my project bag, my yarn bowl, my project chart keeper thing, an ashtray that I keep paper clips in, a bottle make that two bottles of nail polish, my yarn scale, my calendar cover,  some file folders, Post-It-Notes, a book I'm reading and believe it or not, duct tape.  Yes, I even have aqua colored duct tape!  Good grief!  I'd have said it was green, but do you think aqua might be my favorite color?

Oh, and if you're local and will be at the Montpelier Fiber Festival tomorrow, look for me.  I'll be there - shopping, not selling.  So if some crazed woman shoves you out of the way, my apologies, but you were standing between me and the yarn.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Three on Thursday

I'm joining Carole for Three on Thursday and I have three knitting updates for you.  My apologies in advance if the photos are blurry.  I can't tell.  At the moment, everything in my world is blurry.  That never-ending, cold-like virus I've had is still hanging on and now it's gone into my eye.  My eye and eyelashes are full of antibiotic ointment which makes it tricky to see details.  

You'll also need to excuse the packing boxes, weird furniture placement and general disarray in every photo taken for the next month or so.  Did I mention we are moving?  Yeah, I'm still in slight denial about it.

Super simple, garter stitch cowls knit with faux fur from Knit Picks
Fable Fur Cowls

Luckily the Fable Fur cowls I've been knitting are garter stitch on giant needles.  I could practically knit them in my sleep.  Which it sort of feels like I'm doing.  The gray one on the bottom is Kuma, the middle is knit with Bjern and the top is Mishka.  Kuma is my favorite.  I feel like it looks the most like real fur.  I thought I'd prefer Bjern over Mishka but it turns out, I like Mishka better.  

And speaking of Mishka, have you seen the free teddy bear pattern Knit Picks is offering to go along with their Fable Fur yarn?  It is Adorable!  And did I mention, it's free!?!

simple cowl or shawl desing in three sizes from Chris Knits
Test knitting the Showl Cowl for Chris Knits with yarn from Forbidden Fiber Co.

Next up is the test knitting cowl I knit for Chris Knits.  I ended up making the medium size with an extra garter ridge row.  I really wanted to knit the largest version but the skein of yarn was getting smaller and smaller and I am the Queen of Denial.  Just like I'm happily denying our upcoming move, I was denying how quickly the cowl had begun to eat up yarn.  I finally calculated how much yarn each row was taking and had to face facts; I didn't have enough.

I'm hoping to get the cowl blocked over the next couple of days and show you a better photo of it next week. But even unblocked, I think it looks great!  

I can't wait for Chris to put this pattern out into the world.  I think you'll enjoy knitting it.  It's super simple to knit but you never get bored.  Even with the longer rows you don't have a chance to get bored.  You only knit a few rows of one stitch before it changes to something else.  And the lace sections are simple too.  The pattern is easily remembered, yet it changes every few rows.  Super simple, yet it keeps you on your toes.  Definitely my kind of design!

I'm so thankful Chris offered me the opportunity to knit this wonderful cowl and gifted me the yarn.  I'm hesitant to include a link to the yarn shop because I don't trust myself not to shop and did I mention we're moving soon?  I'm supposed to be getting rid of yarn, not collecting more.

simple garter stitch triangular shawl
The Martha Shawl

And last, my most recent project.  I'm calling it Martha.  I'd planned to knit a simple but lacy shawl design with only Sunset, the pink/yellow yarn, but I didn't like the way the yarn played with the lace.  It was a little too busy for my taste.

Long ago I knit a loooong triangular scarf from a pattern whose name started with a "B."  Sadly, the shape and the "B" are all I can remember about it.  Although I don't know the design's name, I liked the result and have knit my own made-up version numerous times since.  Each one has been knit slightly different.  

This time around, I'm knitting (Actually knitting every row.  Yay! No purling!) two rows of the not-so-solid, solid black (Carbon from Knitted Wit) and two rows of Sunset from Dying for Art (KnittersKnacks on Facebook.)  Each first row of the black is an increase row.  It couldn't be simpler.  Four rows repeated over and over and over until it's long enough and/or you run out of yarn.  If you're interested in the details, they are:

The Martha Shawl

Using 2 colors of similar weight yarn and needles to obtain a pleasing gauge,

Cast on 3 stitches
Row 1:  Using color A, K1, Kfb, K1
Row 2:  Knit across
Row 3:  Without cutting yarn, switch to color B and knit across
Row 4:  Knit across

Row 5:  With Color A, K1, Kfb, knit across
Row 6:  Knit across
Row 7:  With Color B, knit across
Row 8:  Knit across

Repeat rows 5 - 8 until you run out of yarn or reach the desired length.

I have knit a version of this in the past where I used three colors and it looked great but keeping up with the increase rows wasn't a mindless thing.  You may have noticed - I like mindless.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Lucky Girl

I am such a lucky girl! 

First, my awesome boss gave me two days off so that I can attend the Montpelier fiber festival this coming weekend.  Will I see you there?

Second, Martha, a friend from my Wednesday night knitting group, is a yarn dyer.  She's been dying yarn for a while now and not long ago started her own business selling her hand dyed yarns.  But what does that have to do with me being lucky you ask?

superwash fingering weight yarn found at KnittersKnacks
Dying for Art Sunset sock yarn

I'm lucky because Martha gifted me a skein of her superwash sock yarn.  The colorway is Sunset and it's much prettier in real life than it is in the photo.  Currently, the state fair is in town which means it's raining.  And when it rains, my house is dark and dreary and taking a decent photo is out of the question.  Also, my camera hates reds and absolutely refuses to accurately portray anything red, pink or orange.  And today, for some reason, gray. 

Dying for Art sock  yarn found at KnittersKnacks
The Ocean's Daughter and Sunset 

In the photos, the yarn appears to be pink, blue and yellow.  In reality, it's pink, orange, yellow and a darkish gray.  I plan to knit The Ocean's Daughter, a Kat Riddell design.  I'd prefer to knit a baby sweater with it, but Grand-baby To Be wasn't cooperating at the last check up so we still don't have an answer to the boy/girl question.  But it's okay.  There is plenty of yarn in the stash pile and one day in the not too distant future, the question will be answered.  Meanwhile, I'll be content to knit The Ocean's Daughter... just as soon as I finish test knitting the cowl.

But enough about what I'm doing.  What you should be doing is checking out Martha's yarns.  Her shop is on Facebook and can be found at KnittersKnacks and if you're on Instagram, she's luvsteddybears.  Go check her yarns out, she's got some beautiful colorways.