Friday, February 28, 2020

Leap Day

Tomorrow is Leap Day and I plan to spend it resting on my butt and knitting.  

For transparency's sake, let me be up front about today's post.  I'm writing it on Tuesday night.  And it's already been a looooong week.  I am SO looking forward to that extra day and I really, really, really hope I can spend it on my butt, knitting.  My plan is that the most difficult task I will have is choosing a pompom for my Lofoten hat.
Lofoten hat knit with Wool of the Andes

I don't have a coordinating store-bought pompom in my stash so I'll need to make one.  Should it be all yellow?  All gray?  Or a yellow/gray combo?  I'm thinking all gray.  What do you think?
even floats!

I'm so pleased with the way this hat turned out.  It was my practice project for learning to hold two yarns in one hand and well, it couldn't have been easier.  Look how awesome my floats worked out!  I have never in my entire knitting life been happy with my floats, much less been proud enough to show them off.  Anyway, I plan to knit many more Lofotens in the future.  Specially since I've finally learned how to spell Lofoten.

As for that loooong week I've been having....  We've all been having it actually.  

First, there's been the dog drama.  We live in a super rural area and we are the only house on a dead end road that edges the swamps of the Chickahominy River.  Hunters frequently ride up and down our road looking for their lost hunting dogs.  And sadly, hunters seem to love to abandon their unwanted hunting dogs on our road at the end of hunting season.  This year was no exception.

Since the first week or so of February, we'd frequently seen three hound dogs running together.  On Valentine's day, Animal Control set up a trap beside our property and caught one of them late at night.  We hadn't called to complain about the dogs running loose, but I did call to complain about the trapped dog's howling.  He was loud!  And my phone call set off a chain of events.

The next day, a Saturday, the one remaining loose dog showed up at our doorstep and never left.  He was so sweet!   He was terrified of us, but he was also hungry, lonely and needed a place to rest.  We fed him and gave him an old blanket to lay on.  I let Animal Control know he was here and that we were taking care of him until they opened back up for business on Monday. 

Sometime between my call to Animal Control on Saturday and their arrival on Monday, I fell head over heels in love with the dog.  We named him Andy.  Animal Control was happy for us to keep him. They provided us with a giant bag of food and a large box of treats and they called it a trail basis so that we didn't get jacked up for not having a rabies certificate and for allowing the dog to continue running loose.

Over the next week, we worked to gain Andy's trust.  We were jubilant when he finally took food from our hand even though he still wouldn't let us touch him.  Andy was an excellent walking companion.  He heeled, even without a leash or collar.  We all loved him and my mother-in-law particularly liked going for walks with him.

But Andy wasn't perfect.  He liked to bark, or bray, as hound dogs do.  He knew zero commands and no matter how many times we used his name, he didn't recognize it.  He also liked to chase dark colored cars.  Then one day, he became obsessed with running out into traffic on a nearby busy road.  A very busy, 55 mph road.  And the next day, during one of their walks, he lead my mother-in-law out into that busy, 55 mph road.  It was terrifying.  While my brain had known we couldn't keep him, my heart was set on loving him until the end of time.  But that moment of looking out and realizing they were both out in the road....  Well, I knew at that moment Andy couldn't be ours.  

On Sunday evening I made the dreaded call to Animal Control to say that we couldn't take care of him any longer and they agreed to come pick him up on Monday.  About ten minutes before Animal Control arrived, Andy allowed me to touch him for the first time.  I scratched his chin, then his ears, then the top of his head and he flopped himself over and presented me with his belly to rub.  And then Animal Control showed up and took him away.  It was horrible.  Horrible!  But at the same time, I know he wasn't the dog for us.  The timing just wasn't right.  He needed much more attention than we are able to provide at this time, not to mention a Huge fenced in area to run around in which we do not have.  

Animal Control assured me that Charles City's pound is a no-kill shelter and that they would take good care of Andy.  They'd give him his shots and some training and turn him into a much more adoptable dog.  I sure hope they are right.  I have tears in my eyes just typing this but I also know that all my interactions with Animal Control were pleasant, and there were many interactions! In fact, I spoke with Officers Wiggins and Miller so much I feel like they need to be added to the top of my Christmas card list.  They were both so kind and helpful. They seemed to love and respect the animals and were nothing like the wicked people you see portrayed in the movies.  They even put Andy's toys in his kennel before driving off.

I miss Andy desperately!

And if the dog ordeal wasn't enough drama for the week, my daughter is having her wisdom teeth surgically removed on Thursday.  Not just pulled, but surgically removed.  Surgically removed with real anesthesia, not just laughing gas and novocaine.  And it's a bit concerning.  The roots have wrapped around a nerve and there's a chance she may end up with some permanent numbness in her face.  Not droopy, like she's had a stroke, just numb.  Sarah is handling it well but I'm a nervous wreck.  And, since I imagine I'll be the hovering mamma bear on Thursday and Friday, I figured I'd go ahead and type this post tonight.

And so, I plan to spend Saturday, Leap Day, sitting on my butt knitting.  What will you do with your extra day?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Three on Thursday - Bunnies

It's Thursday and although it's still February, I'm already thinking about Easter.  And you know what that means...

Bunny patterns!  More specifically, easy and quick to knit bunny patterns.  Even more specifically, easy, quick to knit and suitable for an infant because you know.... I'm going to be a Grandma soon!
This one is a free Ravelry design from Susan B. Anderson.  Cute, quickly doable and best of all, free!
Bunny Friend
This one looks like the perfect size for a newborn granddaughter to grasp in her little hand.  A simple change of shirt color and boy Bunny Friend becomes a girl bunny friend.  The pattern isn't technically free, but it's so cheap it may as well be.
Bunny Rabbit
Bunny Rabbit from OGE Knitwear Designs looks slightly more complicated but it does not appear to use buttons.  Buttons are a concern for the tiny folk.  He's also much bigger than the other two.  He'd be great for either a toddler or a shelf.

What, if anything, are you knitting for Easter?  

I hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Despite all the grumbling I do about my life, I am truly blessed.  I have the most wonderful group of friends!  Take Rebecca for example…

Rebecca is a knitting buddy and also an amazing jewelry artist.  I hope to one day soon showcase her here in a Makers’ Monday post.  But until then, you can find some of her creations on Instagram.

Rebecca made me this sterling silver octopus necklace back around Christmas time.  It’s made from a dinner fork and I absolutely love it!  The tentacles even act as temporary stitch marker holders when I need to move them around in a row.  How cool is that??  I doubt she designed it with that function in mind, but she is also a knitter so… maybe!

Rebecca also teaches a variety of craft techniques and this past Saturday, she taught stitch marker making at The Center of the Yarniverse, my LYS.

My wrapping skills totally suck (I hate that expression but hey, let’s call a spade a spade here.) but that has nothing to do with Rebecca’s teaching.  It has to do with my coordination. Or more specifically, my lack of coordination.  And perhaps the fact that I used up most of the class time choosing my beads so I sort of had to rush through the actual making process.  But whatever.  I have six new stitch markers, made by me that don’t snag the yarn!  And they are little silver seashells!  And one is coordinated but different so that it stands out as marking something special.

Thanks Rebecca!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Supper - Brown Sugar Smokies

#cooking from scratch for Sunday Supper
Brown Sugar Smokies from

Tonight's Sunday Supper recipe is so simple it barely warrants a recipe card.  But....  It sounds really good and I'd never have thought of it on my own so a recipe card I will make.

Want to make your own recipe card?  You can find the recipe here.

Friday, February 21, 2020


I'm pretty impressed with myself these days.  Okay, I'm also The queen of denial so I'm totally, 1,000% ignoring the number of times I've broken my yarn diet.  But being the queen of denial, I'm ignoring that.  Instead, I'm focusing on the positive things.

Every year I set goals for myself.  I write them down then I basically ignore them.  But this year...

This year, I knew life would be a little rough and 99% of my days would not go as planned.  I planned on not living with a plan and I set my goals accordingly.  I still have goals for the year, they were just much more doable than normal.  And guess what - I'm actually doing a few of them!

It's only February and I've already read more than half the books on my list.  Not having internet (i.e. Netflix) sure is helping with that one.

One of my yarn drawers is ... well, not empty, but it has a definite empty corner.

I have not bought a single pen in 2020!  (We won't mention the notebook count.  We are focusing on the positives here, not the slip ups!)

I set a goal to increase the average number of monthly blog readers by the end of the year.  The goal I set had me increasing readership by about 300 each month.  It was a pretty 'out there' goal that I never expected to come close to reaching.  But, as of today, I only need to increase readership by an additional 538 in order to reach my goal for the whole year!  I have no idea why, but I'm way ahead of where I expected to be this month but thank you!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  That is all your doing and I can't express how grateful I am.  I do wonder though, can I look a gift horse in the mouth?  Can I ask that you share a post or two over the next few months?  As excited as I am now, I can't imagine how fantastic it would feel to reach my annual goal in the first quarter.  There might even be a give-away if that happened!

Another goal I set for myself was to learn certain things.  I'm already making progress on mastering Excel.  I'm far from a master but I can do a lot more with it now than I could in December.  And, remember my goal to learn to knit with two yarns in one hand?  Done!  This one was so easy to learn I'm embarrassed that I had it on my list in the first place.
Lofoten knit with Wool of the Andes

Now, if I could only learn to count.  Apparently this Lofoten hat is going to give me lots of practice knitting with two colors in one hand.  I'm about to tink the last row for the second time.  Good grief!  The pattern says to knit two yellow stitches then one gray and repeat.  Twice now I have knit two yellow and two gray. Argh!  But hey - I'm being positive here.  I'm choosing to think of it as more practice at two color knitting.   And, there is no deadline for this hat.  Thankfully!  Because it may be next February before I get past this one row.

I have to say though, despite my inability to count, I really like this method of holding the two yarns in one hand.  My stitches, floats and gauge seem to be much more even than when I knit with two hands.  I think there will be much more colorwork in my future!

And again, thank you all for showing up here and reading my blog.  I still don't know why you do.  According to all the 'how to blog' books, each post should be either educating you or selling you something.  That definitely doesn't happen here.  I just talk to you about my knitting instead of to my family.  And believe me, they are thankful!  I imagine my marriage would have lasted about 20 minutes if I talked this much about knitting to my husband.  We are both thankful for your continued presence here!

And while I'm blathering on about how thankful I am....  Many of you have blogs that I follow religiously.  Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been commenting lately.  My apologies for that!  I'm still reading, but I have to read them on my phone most of the time and my phone refuses to allow me to comment on anyone with a Wordpress blog.   It sends me into a never ending loop of wanting me to log in but then it wants me to create an account but it won't let me create an account until I log in.  Anyway, please know that I'm still reading.  I'm just commenting in my head instead of on the screen.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

In omnia paratus

First, let me just say - My baby boy turned 25 yesterday.  How is that possible???  He's a quarter of a century old and I'm only 29.  I'm lousy at math but even I know that doesn't add up properly.

While I contemplate how on earth my baby boy is a quarter of a century old, let's talk Three on Thursday.

That photo was in a post from a few days ago.  Nothing special about it, except I noticed three important to me things hiding in the picture.  Let's start at the bottom and go counter-clockwise.

1.  Bottom left - It's a spider plant.  A spider plant that is older than my baby boy!  I've had that plant for 28 years.  Twenty-eight!  It's so tough it survived being left outside in a snow storm, a fall onto concrete from a second story deck and since the fall and the subsequent smashing of it's pot, it has lived in a plastic coffee can with no drainage holes.  It's so tough, even after that hard life, it's still producing baby spider plants!

2.  My You Call That Art painting.  I'm certain I've mentioned it here before but a quick search didn't produce the original post.  Anyway, it's an original painting of my great aunt looking at a piece of sculpture at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Apparently, she didn't think much of the sculpture and said "You call that art?" just as my grandmother snapped her photo.  A family friend and artist who happened to be with them that day took the photo and painted it.  Someone must have called the sculpture art because to this day, some 50 years later, it still sits outside of the museum.

3.  My newest and most favorited addition to my knitting 'stuff.'   Hanging on the hook on the door is my newly acquired Stars Hollow knitting bag that not only contains a few new skeins of yarn (shhh! don't tell!) but also my new Gilmore Girls stitch marker. 

Gilmore Girls and Stars Hollow KAL
in omnia paratus (ready for all things)
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Gilmore Girls?  Well, I do.  I love Gilmore Girls and I'm constantly telling my daughter she's my Rory.  She is not as thrilled about it as I am.

Hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Stash Busting

Have I even shown you the shawl I'm knitting?

Garter stitch triangular shawl using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Stash Buster Shawl

I know it's made an appearance on Instagram for my 'post every single day in February' challenge but I'm fairly certain I haven't mentioned it here.


I'm stash busting.  One of my yarn dressers had two drawers of nothing but Wool of the Andes and I decided that needed to change.  I pulled it all out and stuck the sweater/big project quantities back into a drawer.  Next I separated the blues, grays and reds from the greens, pinks and purples.  I am definitely a creature of habit!  All but 3 skeins fell into those color categories!  

I arranged the greens and pinks into a pleasing, (Hopefully. I'm terrible at picking out colors,) display; added two of the three miscellaneous colors into the mix and cast on a shawl. 

Easy top down shawl using Knit Picks wool
Wool of the Andes Stash Buster Shawl

As you can see, it's pretty big.  The idea is for it to be a giant shawl that I can wrap up in almost like using a blanket.  The idea is to also use all that yarn I pulled out of the drawer.  You can also see that I'm not worrying about where the yarns stop and start.  I simply start a new one when the old one runs out.  I don't even want any little, tiny balls of leftover yarns when this project is through.  All I want is a big, giant shawl and an empty drawer.

If I stick to my original color stripe plan, I have three more skeins plus the border to go.  I'm not sure if I'll add the border or not.  It's already pretty big and being garter stitch, it's going to grow considerably when I block it.  I don't want it to end up being so big it looks like a weirdly colored bridal train.  We'll see how it goes.

Despite my urge to hurry up and be done with it, this has been a fun project to knit.  For the most part, I change colors after every two skeins of yarn.  When you're used to knitting 450 yard skeins of fingering weight, Wool of the Andes' 110 yard worsted skeins knit up pretty quickly.  The constant color changes help keep it interesting.  Also, being all garter, I can read while I knit.  That helps a lot too.  Also being all garter and thus 100% mindless, it's a good social knitting project.  The pattern I'm using is Grain  although I'm not sure I can claim to be "using" the pattern.  I simply looked at the start up row and made the shawl my own from there on.

And now, I'm off to clean the bathroom mirror and brush my hair.  Based on that photo, I think both of those things need to happen before I spend any more time knitting.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Supper - Easy Baked Pears

Now that Valentine's is in the wind, I have the urge to actually, maybe, eat healthier.  The passing of Valentine's marks the "I'm officially sick of winter and ready for spring" season.  And if I'm going to be ready for spring, I gotta do something about my eating habits.  Good grief!

Healthy winter dessert recipe ideas for cooking from scratch.
Easy Baked Pears from

So, tonight we'll still have dessert, but we're calling it healthy dessert.  Baked pears, it doesn't get much easier or healthier.  You can find the recipe here.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day!

Instead of knitting all those little hearts to hang on a miniature Christmas tree that I was planning to knit....

garter stitch dish cloth knit with Dishie yarn from Knit Picks
Celebrating Valentine's with a new dish cloth

I knit a dish cloth.  

Much, much easier.  And quicker.

I used Knit Pick's Dishie cotton and was pleasantly surprised by it.  I've never liked knitting with cotton but this stuff was great to knit with.  Soft and not at all hard on my hands.  I just may be knitting a lot more dish clothes in the future.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Three on Thursday

It's Thursday so you know what that means...

Three things I want to learn this year.

Helix hat, photo courtesy of salmonknits

1.  Helix knitting or helical stripes.  My understanding is that "helix" is one single color stripe and helical is two or more colors.  Admittedly, I haven't done a lot of research so I could have that wrong.  But basically, it's a way of doing jogless stripes.  What ever it's called, that's what I want to learn.

2 color brioche photo from
photo courtesy of

2.  Brioche.  I know.  I think I may be the last person on the planet to learn this technique.  Everyone and their brother seems to know how to do it.  It's about time I learned.

entrelac looks woven.  photo from
Entrelac, photo courtesy of

3. This is a tough choice.  If this was a random Friday or even a Tuesday, I'd have no problem, but being a Thursday, I must narrow it down and well...  I want to learn to knit with two colors in one hand (I currently hold one yarn in each hand when doing colorwork) and I also want to learn to knit backwards.  What I really want is to do some entrelac knitting but I don't want to have to keep flipping my needles around.  Thus, my desire to knit backwards.  Knitting backwards may win out over knitting with two colors in one hand.  Although.... the two colors in one hand thing sounds like it would be easier to learn and much quicker to master.  And you know I'm all about easy these days.  Decisions, decisions!

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Gloucester Knitting Retreat

The knitting community is an amazing group of people. 

I was so excited to be invited to attend Gloucester’s annual knitting retreat this year.  If I understood correctly, to honor a passed member of the now defunct Gloucester?? Mathews County?? Middle Peninsula?? (I really don’t know their exact name) knitting guild who always knit blankets for the animal shelter, a group of knitters gets together once a year and spends the day at Beaverdam Park in Gloucester knitting and eating delicious pot-luck foods.  They charge a very small admittance fee which is then donated to the Matthews/Gloucester ASPCA.  This year, they raised over $200!

Being shy and a total wallflower and knowing only one other attendee slightly, I’d planned to make an appearance, see what it was all about and then leave.  I ended up staying six hours and I made several new friends. 

Fall leaf stitch markers from The Wren's Daughter purchased at Gloucester knitting retreat.
Can we skip spring and summer and go straight to fall so I can use my new stitch markers?

The park's lodge is the perfect place to hold such an event.  It sits right on the edge of the water and the view was gorgeous.  The view inside the lodge wasn’t too bad either.

Yarn Matters and Shanzi from The Wren's Daughter.
Love to see yarn sellers playing nicely together

Yarn Matters and The Wren's Daughter were there selling their wares.  I almost got away without buying any yarn.  Almost.

fingering sock yarn Fox - Movie Night, superwash wool and nylon
The Wren's Daughter, Movie Night

As much as I wanted to buy every skein on Yarn Matters' table, I was able to resist because I’d just been in their shop recently and pretty much bought the place out.  But The Wren's Daughter was a different story.

Dragonfly, sock/fingering yarn, superwash wool
The Wren's Daughter, Mulled Cider
Shanzi was a delight to chat with and had The most gorgeous yarns for sale.  She also had beautiful handmade jewelry and stitch markers, but her yarns…. Goodness.  Well, who could blame me for blowing the yarn diet?

I’m already looking forward to next year’s retreat.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Makers' Monday - Love Ewe Farm

I'm bringing back the Makers' Monday series, although it will mostly likely be a once a month thing rather than weekly.  Don't remember Makers' Monday?  Rather than being all about me and what I'm doing, Makers' Monday is all about other creatives and what they are doing.  

Today, we are celebrating Betsy McPherson and her sheep at Love Ewe Farm located in Montpelier, Virginia.

Betsy McPherson, Love Ewe Farm

Betsy is a member of my Wednesday night knitting group and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and her yarns.  Betsy gets me into lots of trouble and frequently makes me goof up my self-imposed yarn diet. My most recent shawl that I showed you the other day is using wool from Brandi (the brown) and Sadie (the white.)

Romney wool from Love Ewe Farm

Despite her bad influence on my yarn diet, I asked Betsy to tell me her story.  How did a surgical nurse become a soap making sheep farmer, author, and knitter?  This is what she said...

We moved to Montpelier Va in 2012 to a house with 15 acres of land. At the time I was working as an operating room nurse but soon found out that I needed both my hips replaced! I was only 55 and after 30 years on my feet my hubby suggested that I retire. I knew I couldn’t just sit around and because of all the land we had we decided it would be fun to raise some animals. I have always loved to knit, I love the feeling of wool yarn between my fingers and then after seeing sheep sheared at the Powhatan Festival of Fiber, choosing sheep seemed like the most logical and magical animals to raise!

I had no idea of how many sheep breeds existed in the world, so I read and researched while I was recovering from my first hip replacement. I chose the Romney breed simply because I LOVED their faces! To me they looked like the all- American sheep, there are white and natural colored Romneys, but the white faces with their beautiful black noses just spoke to me! Another reason why I chose Romneys is that their wool is the “ finest “ of the long wooled breeds. Spinners love to spin Romney, the fiber drafts very easily and it is known for being a good beginner wool to learn to spin with. And lastly, Romney ewes are known to be wonderful mothers and have gentle temperaments.

Our farm is now in our seventh year and along the way I have become a District Director for the American Romney Breeders Association and I am on the Powhatan Festival of Fibers committee and head up the animal exhibit every year. Funny how life takes us down different paths, but our previous lives always play a role in our present lives and my nursing experience has played a big part in being a sheep farmer. We had a lamb one year who’s lower eye lid was turned inward and it was irritating his cornea.....our vet was out of town so I had to put a suture underneath his eye to pull down his lower lid until the lid was trained to sit normally. I could never have done that if I wasn’t an OR nurse in my previous life!

Farm Yarn table at Center of the Yarniverse

Raising sheep is fun because of the seasons that go along with it....there is breeding season, shearing season, lambing season, and then just summer season where we watch the lambs play and grow until they are sold. We send our fleeces to a mill which makes beautiful Romney yarn for us and we sell any leftover raw fleeces to spinners at local festivals. I have learned how to felt little sheep which is a fun activity for me to do in the winter months as I await the lambs who will be born in March &April. I also make Goats Milk Soap ( we don’t have goats, I use a goats milk base )that I originally made to give to those who bought lambs from us, but so many people loved it so I keep making it to add to our table along with our yarn.

Lastly I’ve written a children’s book called Daisy and the Shepherd. I got the idea for the story while I was bottle feeding a little lamb named Tom Thumb......I looked into his sweet face everyday as I fed him and wondered what it would be like if the lambs could I put my story on paper and found a wonderful young illustrator who helped bring it to life! I have written a second book but haven’t gotten serious about it yet!

felted sheep from Love Ewe Farm

Our girls are grown and gone now (28 & 25) and I feel as if we now have 19 wonderful children in the backyard, each of whom have their own personalities and give me a purpose everyday as I shepherd them. My hubby always says that there are “highs and lows in farming” which is so true......some days are trying; tackling chores while enduring hot Virginia summers, dealing with ewes who have mastitis, or managing pasture parasites that make lambs sick, but as in all of our lives, you just have to stay positive and weather the storm!!

If you'd like to get to know Betsy in person, she invites everyone to come out and see the new little lambs that will be born in March and April.  You can schedule an appointment to see them either via email ( or through her website,  She's also created several lovely shawl patterns that compliment her yarns which can be found on the website as well.  Additionally, her yarns are for sale at the Center of the Yarniverse as well as at the following fiber festivals this year:

  • Powhatan Festival of Fiber - April 25th
  • High a Fiber Festival - May 16th
  • Fall a Fiber Festival - Oct 3-4

Besides the website, Betsy and her farm can be found on Facebook and Instagram with a quick search for Love Ewe Farm.

I can't wait to go visit the new lambs.  I hope any of you who are local will take Betsy up on her offer.  And hey, if you aren't local, well, you could always take a road trip!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sunday Supper - Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

Tonight's Sunday Supper is yet another version of crack chicken.  It's one of the few dishes that the whole family likes.  As in actually likes, not just tolerates.  We all love it.  And we haven't had it since my Instant Pot died a painful death in the oven.  Yes, in the oven.  And no, I still don't want to talk about it.

Crock pot crack chicken
Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole by

The exciting thing about this new version is, it can be cooked in the crock pot.  The next best thing to tossing dinner into the Instant Pot 15 minutes before we want to eat is tossing it into the slow cooker in the morning and having dinner magically ready that evening.  Can you tell I'm not a fan of spending a lot of time in the kitchen?

So, the recipe....  You can find it here.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Saving the world

Remember a few weeks ago when I was all excited to go see a trunk show a friend was having to show off her hand dyed yarns?  Do you also remember even further back me talking about feeling overwhelmed by my yarn stash?

Well I do.  And now, now we have a roof leak and while we wait for the roofer and wait to see if his repair job works, everything in my room is squished over into a three foot strip along the edge of my bed.  My only seating is now on the bed.  So I sit on the bed knitting, and staring into the closet of doom.  With the exception of my camera bag on the floor and a very tiny plastic Christmas tree on an upper shelf, every thing you see in that closet is craft related and 95% of it is yarn.  And that's not even all the yarn.  I'm completely overwhelmed.  It's actually making me a little bit depressed thinking about the fact that I will never ever live long enough to knit up all that yarn.

And with that in mind, I swore to myself that when I went to the trunk show, I'd only buy one skein.  One.  One single, solitary skein.

Add caption#yarnshopping - Dying for Art, Urth and Yarn Matters' wool for knitting
Yarn Haul from the Dying for Art trunk show at Yarn Matters, Williamsburg, VA

And so I came home with eight skeins and a new tote bag.  Good grief!

I don't even have concrete plans for them.  The top two skeins, that purpley gray and the red multi colored, plus the light blue multicolored on the bottom row are all DK weight and will be socks.  Or maybe fingerless gloves, but most likely, socks.  I desperately need new socks.  I just don't want to knit socks anymore.

All the rest are fingering weight and will most likely be shawls.  The gold and navy skeins on the bottom row are Urth Harvest and I plan to use them together.  I just love that navy and gold together.  I also feel slightly better about my purchase because Urth plants a tree for each skein sold.  I may be overwhelmed by my yarn closet but it's helping to save the world.   The other skeins are all my friend Martha's, or more specifically, Dying for Art yarns.

And that bag!  Well, I needed a bag.  Okay, okay.  I needed another bag like I needed another skein of yarn.  But look at it!  How could I resist such an adorable bag?  Besides, it has pockets galore and is big enough to hold an interchangeable needle set, a medium sized tool bag, a large sweater, the start of two shawls, a wash cloth project bag and a few spare skeins of miscellaneous yarns that may also turn into shawls at some point.  You know, just in case I run out of knitting and need to start a new project on the fly.  And yet while big enough to hold all that, it doesn't feel like a huge, gigantic project bag. Besides, it has alpacas and lamas on it.  No one, including alpaca farmers, can agree whether they are alpacas or lamas so I'm saying it's both.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Three on Thursday

Does it feel like this past week has flown by in the blink of an eye?  Where on earth did the week go??  Seeing that I was apparently caught up in some weird time warp thing and accomplished absolutely nothing, today's Three on Thursday post is mostly a recap of last week.

Simple scarf knit with 2 strands of Simply Alpaca held together.
Bulky 2x2 ribbed alpaca cowl

First, I finished the bulky, 2x2 ribbed alpaca cowl.  This was such a quick and easy project I know I will be knitting a few more in the future.  For this one, I held two strands of Simply Alpaca together to create the required bulky yarn.  For future projects, I'm envisioning using some of the many, many variegated, speckled or striped hand painted yarns that I keep buying single skeins of with one of the many, many skeins of solid Palette that I also keep buying.  Despite appearances and my bank balance, I really am trying to knit from my stash and this would be an excellent stash buster project.

the tweed version of Wool of the Andes feels so much softer!
Weekender Sweater knit with Wool of the Andes Tweed

Still on the needles is my Weekender sweater.  I've split the front and back at the armholes and am only knitting the front right now.  You'd think it would be growing in leaps and bounds with only half the stitches on the needle but....  While this past week has flown by at the speed of light, there were a lot of distractions taking place.  I'm not abandoning this sweater though.  Hopefully by next week I'll have the exact same photo to show, only I'll be knitting the back instead of the front shoulders.

simple garter stitch shawl knit with 2 color blocks that fade into each other.
Beginnings of a shawl knit with Love Ewe Farm yarn

This one is a new project.  It's going to be a shawl and I'm knitting it with my friend, Betsy's, wool.  I love that her skeins are marked with the individual sheep they came from.  That dark brown that's on the needles comes from Brandi and the white skein was provided by Sadie.  As you can see, I'm not very far into the shawl but so far, this yarn is wonderful to work with.  If you are interested, you can read all about Betsy and her farm here.  

Join me over at Carole's place for today's Three on Thursday link up.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Superbowl Weekend

What a great weekend I had!

Friday was spent reading Darklight by Bella Forrest until the mailman arrived and brought me Harry Potter Knitting Magic.

I’m so excited to own this book.  I’m a Harry Potter fan, as in, I loved the books and have read the full series twice and a few of the books even more often and of course I’ve watched the movies both at the theater and on DVD many times.  But I’m not the kind of fan to dress up or decorate my house in Hogwarts colors.  In other words, I wouldn’t ordinarily buy a fan club type knitting book.  But this book, this book is special!  So many of the patterns are amazing!  Absolutely amazing!  Yes, there are simple can cozies and scarf patterns, but there’s also gorgeous sweaters with amazing details, beautiful mittens, gloves and socks as well as a glorious shawl/blanket/wrap and many, many other things that I fully intend to knit.  Oh, and the owl.  The stuffed owl is a true work of art.  I’m not the least bit into knitting stuffed toys/decorations but that owl…. That owl will soon be on my needles.  Oh, and did I mention?  The sweaters are sized from skinny little young teen sizes all the way up to 60+ inch chests!  There is absolutely nothing I don’t love about this book.  I’m just so happy to call it mine.

As for Dark Light, it’s pure trash and I’m loving it. Which is rather surprising, actually.  It’s a human/vampire romance advertised as The thing to read if you loved Twilight.  I don’t see it written anywhere that it’s a YA book but I think it probably is.  I’m about three quarters of the way through it and so far the ‘romance’ consists of blushing looks at each other.  To be honest, I don’t know what it is about the book that’s preventing me from putting it down, although it does have a lot of action, there’s that ‘they obviously have the hots for each other but won’t admit it’ thing going on, and the story moves at a pretty good clip.  It was also a Kindle freebie which never hurts.  If you’re looking for a little fast paced escapism, I recommend this book.

Casual gathering of knitters at my LYS
Center of the Yarniverse

Saturday was spent at an impromptu gathering of knitters at our LYS, Center of the Yarniverse.  I absolutely love that this shop is big enough and friendly enough to not only allow, but to welcome ten+ people to randomly show up and spend four+ hours sitting and knitting.  And eating!  Let’s not forget the awesome nearby food sources.  Yes, my LYS not only allows, but encourages you to eat your lunch at their table so you can keep knitting and chatting while you eat.  How awesome is that??!! 

chicken salad sandwich boxed lunch with red velvet cake
Homemades by Suzanne

My lunch came from Homemades by Suzanne and was delicious!

over sized pullover top
Weekender Sweater knit with Wool of the Andes Tweed

I love that the red velvet cake in my boxed lunch matched my Weekender sweater. 

Sunday was the Superbowl and I was free to relax and knit throughout because I didn’t give a hoot about either team.  And more importantly, I made sure our Superbowl food was super simple so I got to spend my time knitting rather than messing about in the kitchen.  In fact, I was able to get so much knitting done, I finally separated the front and back of my Weekender.  The knitting is going to feel like it’s going SO much faster now!  And that’s a very good thing because I may have accidentally bought a sweater’s worth of wool while I was at my LYS on Saturday.  So much for that yarn diet!

How was your Superbowl weekend?

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sunday Supper - Shepherd's Pie Soup

Okay, let me be honest.  I'm totally, 100% cheating on today's Sunday Supper post.  First of all, I'm typing this on Saturday night.  Second, we won't try this soup until Monday.  Superbowl Sunday's meal will be simple pot roast which can be tossed into the oven way before the game starts and eaten whenever halftime happens.  Appetizers and game munchies will either be simple stuff like chips out of the bag or recipes I've already shown here.  No one cares about those recipes.  So technically, today's post is Monday Supper, not Sunday's but.... whatever.

soup recipes, cooking from scratch, winter soup
Shepherd's Pie Soup from

So, the recipe.... Shepherd's Pie Soup.  I LOVE shepherd's pie.  I haven't had it in ages and well, shepherd's pie in soup form sounds delicious!  The recipe can be found here.  

I can't wait for this football game to be over so I can go to sleep and wake up thinking about shepherd's pie soup.

Meanwhile, Happy Game Knitting!