Monday, May 21, 2018

Makers' Monday

I'm going to have to send my husband out of town while I stay home and eat nothing but cake more often.  I got so much knitting done last week!

Knitting a modified So Faded sweater with Knit Pick's Hawthorne yarn
So Faded Sweater

The body of my So Faded sweater is almost finished. 

The sweater is a little big.  Cough, cough.  Someone may have failed to gauge swatch before casting on.  But I think it will be okay with a few modifications.  I decreased a few stitches a couple of times and I've decided to do a split hem to avoid that blousy (blousey?? Spellcheck won't tell me.) look at the bottom.  I think I'm going to be very happy with it.  The loose style will look a lot better on me than a fitted sweater anyway.  I'm going to have to figure out something for the sleeves, but I'll deal with them once the body if finished.

So, I need to find somewhere to send my spouse this week.  Got a spare room?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Two out of Three Ain't Bad

So, are you sick of hearing about my birthday yet?  Hopefully not, because I bought myself a couple of gifts and I thought I'd share them with you.


First, I bought The Miracle TimeCube.  I was introduced to it by Amy Landino, a YouTube vlogger that I follow.  I thought it was a little silly, but I Had to have one.  Just Had to!  And I'm so glad I bought one.  I can not believe how handy this little gadget has been.  I have ten minutes to spare before I need to leave for work and I decide to spend them reading...  Instead of spending five of those minutes fighting the timer on my phone, I simply rotate the TimeCube until the "10" is facing up.  I want to do a five minute brain dump - I just turn the Cube to 5.  I have used this little gadget so much in the week that I've owned it, I'm surprised I haven't already used up the batteries.  I absolutely love this little gadget!  


The next, or second, gift I bought myself turned out to be a worthless piece of garbage.  If you're thinking about buying one of these silicone ice bucket molds, don't!


First of all, the mold is nowhere near as big as the advertisement makes it look like.  It holds absolutely nothing!  And as for those 120 ice cubes it supposedly holds.... 

Most hail is larger than this ice cube!

The cubes are tiny.  Look how small they are compared to a normal ice tray.  I've made ice in the mold three times and still don't have enough ice to fill a single high ball glass.  And don't even get me started on how difficult it is to fill the mold with water without making a huge, giant, wet mess.  In other words, this product is total cr*p!  Do not waste your money on it.

Hawthorne fingering weight yarn from Knit Picks; value pack of yarn
Sunstorm Hawthorne value pack from Knit Picks

And third or last, there may have been a yarn purchase.  I couldn't help myself.  I tried and tried to resist Sunstorm but the yarn fumes got to me.  Besides, I needed something to make up for that ridiculous ice tray fiasco.

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Birthday Cake

Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes.  I couldn't have asked for a better birthday.  It may not sound very exciting, but it was a perfect day.  We had the formal celebration last week because Mike knew he'd be out of town on my birthday and Zack was working.  It was just Sarah and I at home.  

I got home from work in the wee hours of Monday to discover that Sarah had cleaned the house, top to bottom.  Not only was everything sparkly clean, but there was dinner waiting for me.  I went to bed and woke up later in the afternoon to enjoy coffee and cake out on the deck.

Lemon/blueberry cake

Oops!  I didn't even think to take a photo of the cake until we'd eaten most of it.

I never thought anything could replace my grandmother's chocolate mocha cake as my all-time favorite but Sarah's lemon/blueberry cake was to die for!  To absolutely DIE for!  It makes Grandma's cake taste like an old, stale, knock-off store-brand Hostess cupcake.

I spent most of the afternoon sitting on the deck drinking coffee, eating cake (I may have had more than once slice) and reading.  I've been on a massive reading kick lately.  I discovered a Scottish historical romance series, set in the 1300's, that completely sucked me in.  I've read three of them already, just since I got home from work on Sunday night/Monday morning.  (Sunday in my mind, but technically Monday.  Whatever.)


I've also been reading The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.  Oh my!  This book is SO good!  I'm only a few chapters into it and I'm already tempted to toss my knitting aside and focus my time, attention and money on aquariums.  It's also got me a little hesitant to set foot on a boat ever again.  I'd never given any thought to having my boat attacked by an octopus before, but given my proclivity towards crazy, freak accidents....  I may have to give up salt water and stick to fresh from now on.  But even though I'm a little freaked about boating now, I still want a pet octopus.



So, I spent my 'morning' reading and eating cake on the deck, then spent the late afternoon/evening knitting on the deck with yet more cake and a bottle of wine.  Like I said, it was THE perfect birthday day.

Sweater knit with fingering weight Hawthorne yarn from Knit Picks
So Faded sweater

I love how my cake, the wine and my sweater are all sort of coordinating purples and burgundies.

And then the sky turned an almost matching purple just before an insane thunderstorm hit.  They'd been predicting a pretty horrific storm for several days so it wasn't totally unexpected.  Sarah and I huddled up in an interior room and decided we should eat more cake and have another bottle of wine just in case the storm blew us off to Oz.

Thankfully, the storm did not blow us away, nor did either of us get sick from so much cake and wine.  Even better, we suffered no storm damage and our lights stayed on.  We were lucky!  There were so many trees blown down in the storm, schools were canceled the next day.  I think the birthday gods were watching out for us.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Makers' Monday

I hope everyone had a


Today's #MakersMonday post is not a normal one because I've been too busy working,

(We even have Stapler wars at work!)

eating Mother's Day cheesecake, birthday cake (today's my birthday) and


a "You wanted lemon/blueberry cake for your birthday but I wanted peanut butter pie" pie.  Sarah went on a baking binge while I was at work and now I've gained about 300 pounds over the course of two days.  Yikes!

Assuming I survive the diabetic coma I'm putting myself into, I'll be back in a day or two to show you my So Faded progress.  I've started color #3 and am so happy with it!  Until then, feel free to join me in celebrating #MakersMonday, even though I didn't make anything  (except about 400 gazillion trillion fat cells.)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

I'm fine

Today is Three on Thursday and I pretty much have nothing for it.  All I have done since my last post, like, literally all I have done, is knit around and around and around on my So Faded sweater.

Photo taken at night in fluorescent lamp light.

I don't even have a decent photo to show off my progress because, well, I've been too busy knitting.  My husband even offered to take me out to dinner the other night but I chose to stay home and eat a sandwich instead because, well.... knitting!  I'm seriously, neurotically obsessed with knitting this sweater.

I'm so over the moon in love with the current yarn.  It's the Arleta colorway.  I knew it was my favorite of the group while it was in the skein but....  It's even prettier knitted up!  I'm SO glad I went ahead and ordered a few more skeins the other day to use on the sleeves.  (Yes, I'm going to knit the sleeves with one yarn instead of stripes.)

But, it's Three on Thursday.  I'm supposed to be listing three things, not blathering on about my sweater obsession.

Okay, fine!*

My three favorite motivational quotes, in no particular order:

1.  "Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own.  I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze.  My choice; my responsibility; win or loose, only I hold the key to my destiny."  Elaine Maxwell

2.  "My center is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent.  I shall attack."  General Ferdinand Foch

3.  "Destination, determination, deliberation"  J. K. Rowling


*I'm cheating.  "Fine" is actually my all time favorite.  It stands for "freaked out (or F***ed up depending on the situation,) insecure, neurotic and emotional.  And I hear that in my head every single time I hear someone say, "I'm fine."

Even though I cheated, I hope you'll still join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Makers' Monday

Although you may not be able to tell from the picture, my So Faded sweater is coming along.

Fade sweater knit with Dark Mood Hawthorne yarn from Knit Picks
So Faded

I'm only a few rows from finishing those pesky raglan increases then it's miles and miles of smooth, mindless stockinette.  And really, I should clarify.  The raglan increases aren't pesky.  It's the garter stitch sleeve caps between them that I'm struggling with.

 I keep forgetting to do the purl rows.  If it wasn't for tinking at least a few stitches on every single purl row, I'd be finished by now.  And, I'm going to have to learn how to duplicate stitch a purl stitch.  About 15 or 20 rows back, there are six knit stitches that should be purls.   I was already several rows ahead when I noticed it and at the time I decided nobody would notice.  Okay, I talked myself into the 'nobody will notice' attitude because I was lazy and didn't want to rip back that far.  But it's on the front of the sleeve cap and someone will notice.  But I'm still lazy and don't want to frog it... So I just keep knitting hoping there's a way to duplicate stitch purls.  Or maybe I can knit a flower or some other fun creative thing to pin over the bad spot.  Or maybe it's in a spot that will be mostly tucked under my arm and nobody really will notice.  Or maybe cows will fly.

Whether cows fly or not, I'm going to keep knitting.  I'm 'this' close to starting the next color and I just can not bear to loose the progress I've made.  And I really, really want to see the next color.  If Kerns, my least favorite yarn of the group, turned out to knit up so beautifully, how awesome will the next color be??  The desire to knit with the next color is greater than the distaste of a glaring garter stitch error.

On a side note, has anyone else knit a So Faded sweater?  How on earth are you supposed to know when it's time to change yarns?  How do you know when you've knit to the point that you need to save the rest of the yarn for the sleeves?  There's probably plenty of discussion about it over on Ravelry, but once again, I'm lazy.  I thought I'd just ask instead of spending precious knitting time researching.  And then there's the lazy idea I had to just order more yarn and knit the sleeves in a solid color instead of matching stripes.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Three Things

Three exciting things happened this week...

1.  So, Saturday afternoon, I was driving to work, the weather was beautiful, good tunes were blasting out the speakers, I was a happy little camper as I gawked off to my left at the hundreds of baby goats running around the goat farm field and suddenly.... BAM!  A snake falls out of the sky and lands on my windshield.  A snake!  On my windshield!  I had a not-so-brief moment of panic and eventually managed to fling it off the car with the windshield wipers.

So, besides a crazy story that isn't so crazy if you know me and know how things like snakes falling from the sky just seem to happen to me, I also have a nice hairline crack in my windshield.  The kind of crack that you don't really notice until you turn on your defroster... and then you hear that weird crackling noise and a giant gaping hole spreads across your windshield.  Ahhh.... Something to look forward to.

2.  I started the second color on my So Faded sweater.

Dark Mood Hawthorne yarn set from Knit Picks https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=726901&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
So Faded sweater knit with Dark Mood from Knit Picks

I'm using Knit Pick's Hawthorne Dark Mood set of yarns to knit the sweater and I'm using them in order of light to dark.  The speckled yarn is Berry Smoothie and the second color is Kerns.  

I am beyond fascinated with Kerns.  In the house at night under lamplight, Kerns is a mixture of grays.  In the house in daylight, it's a mixture of taupe-y browns.  But take the skein outdoors in the sunlight and it becomes a mix of purples.  I almost didn't use the Kerns skein because I thought it was kind of bla but... Wow!  Now, after seeing it knit up in different lights, I'm thinking I need a whole sweater knit in Kerns.  A sweater, a hat, some socks and definitely some arm warmers.  Kerns just may be my new favorite neutral colored yarn!

striped wool cowl knit with palette from knit picks https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=726901&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Weather cowl knit with Knit Picks Palette yarn.

3.  I added the first orange stripe to my weather cowl yesterday.  And if you are curious, orange represents 89 - 99 degrees.  Yes, Virginia.  We had exactly two days of spring.  Two!  We have now jumped directly to scorching summer heat.

The one benefit I can think of to jumping directly to the seventh level of summer heat Hell is that I shouldn't have to worry about the defroster and my windshield for a while.  But on the off chance the temperatures drop back down and we revert back to winter, let me go ahead and say - This post contains affiliate links.  Go buy some yarn!  Help me buy a new windshield!  If you'd like to make your own weather cowl or scarf, I'm using Palette which comes in practically every color known to man.  And then there's Hawthorne.   You can't go wrong with Hawthorne.  It comes in THE loveliest colorways and it's a joy to knit with. 

After you finish yarn shopping, join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.