Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mosaic Tile

The theme park opened this weekend and all I can say is Wow!  I spent most of last week preparing for the opening. We cleaned, moved offices and furniture, and took a thousand trips to the dump.  I was already bruised and sore on opening day.  And opening day was, well, let's just say it was one of those days where you want to cry in the car then drink an entire bottle of bourbon by yourself.  I knew opening weekend would be rough.  The new employees don't know what to do and the returning employees can't remember what to do and there's always some kind of computer/back office issues that pop up.  But, good grief! I guess it felt like the seventh level of Hell because it was my first opening weekend as a supervisor and having everyone looking to me to 'fix it.'  What ever.  I survived.  I'm bruised, beaten and exhausted, but I survived.

The point of me telling you my opening day sob story is that being back at work means my blog time is severely limited.  Please know that I appreciate all the comments and that I do read them. I just won't always have time to respond to them.  Honestly, it's more like I don't have the coordination.  I've been reading your comments as I take the long walk from the car to my office area.  I can read and walk at the same time, (Sort of. I will admit - I have walked into a bush a time or two,) but I just don't have the coordination to walk and type at the same time.

Work was so crazy, I forgot I'd ordered yarn. Wow! That's crazy!

soft superwash merino and silk blend yarn in green, blue and white. Gorgeous yarn
Mosaic Tile, Expression Fiber Arts

How gorgeous is that?  And how on earth did I forget I'd ordered it?

Mosaic Tile yarn from Expression fiber arts
Mosaic Tile

The yarn is Mosaic Tile from Expression Fiber Arts and I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful. It's a superwash merino/silk blend and I'm just completely and totally head over heels in love with it.  I'm torn between immediately casting on with it or putting it under glass atop a pedestal. It's my all time favorite colors and I can't even describe how soft and pettable it is.  I can not wait to knit with it.... and  yet.... I'm sort of afraid to touch it.

I also can't decide what to knit. It deserves something special but I'm pretty low-key and don't wear 'fancy.'  I'm also thinking it might like to be beaded.  But would beads distract from it's beauty?  Would they be too much?  What do you think?  I'd love to hear your pattern suggestions.

Last but not least, I'd like to take a moment to thank Ginny at Small Things for hosting her Wednesday Yarn Along for so long.  I'm sad to see the feature end but I certainly understand her decision to stop hosting it. As for Ginny's timing, she couldn't have planned it better because I haven't read a single page all week!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Makers' Monday - Wedding Shawls

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives. 

It's that time of year when the postman seems to constantly deliver wedding invitations. While my kids don't seem to be the slightest bit interested in getting married, or even dating seriously for that matter, their friends are starting to take the walk down the aisle.  And it's got me thinking about how proud I'd be to have my daughter or, even though she'd never be good enough for my son, a daughter-in-law make that walk wearing a shawl or veil that I had knit.  So naturally I took a look around Ravelry and here's what I found.

In no particular order...


hand knit lace wedding veil or shawl pattern
Le Bon Mariage courtesy of Tiziana Sammuri
Le Bon Mariage, designed by Tiziana Sammuri.  Gorgeous, right?  And it looks doable.  The pattern is in both text and chart format & Ravelry gives it an "average" difficulty rating.

Or how about 

large lace wedding shawl or veil, hand knitting pattern
Monica's Shawl courtesy of Meeli Vent
Monica's Shawl?  This shawl was designed by Meeli Vent for a 2012 KAL.  To knit this beautiful shawl, you'll need to go to Meeli's blog and download each KAL clue separately but it will be worth it as the pattern is free.

Next up is the Snow Queen Pi Shawl.


Snow Queen Pi Shawl courtesy of Bad Cat Designs

This beauty was designed by Andrea Jurgrau of Bad Cat Designs.  You'll need to check out the pattern's Ravelry page to see all the details.  It's stunning and being a Pi shawl, it's probably not horrendously difficult to knit.  One of the things I like about this shawl is how different it looks in different colors of yarn.  Knit in white it's definitely Snow Queen-y or wedding-y but the Ravelry page shows one knit in aqua that reminds me of a starfish or sea anemone.  I think this pattern could be extremely versatile.

Or perhaps something at an even finer gauge.

Cecilia courtesy of Rita Maassen

For this gorgeous shawl, you really need to check out it's Ravelry page to see all the detail.  "Cecilia" was designed by Rita Maassen and is knit with cobweb.  I love how the border is worked in a different direction from the body.  I'd have to make one slight change to this pattern if I was to knit it myself though.  Y'all know how I feel about knitting nupps.  Or is it knupps? I see it spelt both ways.  Either way you spell it, I'd have to replace them with beads.

Or maybe you're looking for something a little fancier and with a bit of history behind it.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-princess-shawl The princess shawl, a hand knit wedding veil shawl
The Princess Shawl courtesy of Sharon Miller, Heirloom Knitting
This heirloom shawl is a thing of beauty. The Princess Shawl can be found in the Etsy shop, Heirloom Knitting, or on Ravelry.  The pattern is so large it comes in e-book form and calls for gossamer or cobweb yarn. This one is probably way beyond my skill level but it's fun to dream about knitting it for my daughter to wear one day. 

And last but definitely not least,


floor length hand knit lace wedding veil
Shetland Stars courtesy of A Passion for Lace
This shawl/veil/piece of art makes me want to get married all over again.  This gorgeous shawl leaves me a bit speechless. Blocked, it's six feet square and knit with cobweb or gossamer.  SIX feet square!  I'm still just speechless.  It's truly a floor length veil.  Just look at it!  See?  I'm so amazed, I almost forgot to name it and give credit to the designer.  This beauty is the Shetland Stars Square Shawl from A Passion for Lace.  I think it's pretty obvious Sarah won't be getting married in this veil but maybe if I started today, just maybe I could finish in time for a great, great granddaughter to proudly take the walk in it.

So what do you think? Are you knitting or have or will you knit a wedding shawl or veil?  Please share your experience in the comments.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Photo Friday

Photo Friday... sort of like Wordless Wednesday.

scarp  yarn mitered square blanket, hand knit. https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Mitered Squares Blanket

Between struggling with the decision of what to knit next and my over-flowing containers of scrap yarn, I decided to pull out the mitered square blanket.  I hadn't touched it in ages yet I was so close to finishing it.  Or so I thought.

mitered square afghan knit with scrap sock yarn
Can you identify any of the yarns?

I should never have picked it back up because I immediately decided it needed to be at least four squares wider and three longer.  I'm no longer 'so close' to finishing it.

And for the record, it's physically impossible for me to be wordless.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Knitting with books

There's nothing like a rushed blog photo to show you how desperately you need to put down the knitting & pick up the cleaning supplies.

Mock cabled hat knit with Fangorn from Marigold Fibers.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Fangorn Hat

I just dusted two days ago and already every surface in the house is covered in a fine layer of pollen.  Welcome to spring!

The hat is also covered in dog hair.  Seconds before snapping the photo, I accidently dropped the hat onto the dog bed.  The Great Pyrenees' dog bed.  Do you have any idea how badly a Great Pyrenees sheds this time of year? It's a wonder he's not bald. He just walks around the house, dropping clumps of hair in his wake.  I thought I'd gotten all the dog hair off the hat, but obviously not.  The camera does an excellent job of pointing out stray hairs as well as pollen dust.

Sadly, the pollen and dog hair situation is only going to get worse.  The park opens this weekend and I'm working just about every day this week getting things prepared for the big opening day.  There won't be much time for cleaning. Or knitting.  Or reading. Yikes!

As for my knitting and reading, I'm still slugging my way through Nineteen Eighty Four & I finished the Fangorn hat yesterday.  Since completing Fangorn, I haven't picked up anything else.  I know! It's been over 12 hours since I held my knitting needles.  Yikes! I just can't decide what to knit next. I have 1,000 UFO projects I should work on and another 1,000 I want to work on.  I haven't wound the yarn for any of the projects I want to do.  So, I sit here with the guilt of knowing I should work on the UFO's battling the lack of motivation to clean off the area around my swift so that it has room to spin.

My reading situation isn't much better.  I'm enjoying the horror of Nineteen Eighty Four but it's just not one of those 'can't put it down' books. And for some strange reason, I don't want to read it just before bed (which is a big part of my normal reading time.)  Apparently genetically engineered killer ants didn't affect my sleep but I'm afraid Nineteen Eighty Four will.  And just like my knitting, I have 1,000 books I want to read but I'm unable to choose which one to start next.

Maybe it's a good thing I'm going back to work.  At least then, I'll have an excuse for not knitting or reading.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Makers' Monday

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives. 

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone and despite Stella dumping a boat load of snow on the East Coast recently, it's spring time.  Let's talk Easter.  


While I love receiving a basket from The Bunny, I was never that into decorating for Easter.  The decorations tend to be a little too pastel for my taste but a few years ago, I discovered knitting for Easter.  Easter provides a whole new reason to knit!  

I knit baskets full of these Easter eggs a few years ago.  I should knit more of them because mine are sort of weird & not very Eastery. I used left over sock yarn scraps which tend to be dark colors.  My kids tease me about my basket of goth Easter eggs.

A free knitting pattern for knitted Easter Eggs
Easter Eggs, courtesy of Linda Dawkins, naturalsuburbia.com

The pattern comes from Linda Dawkins at Natural Suburbia.  She offers it for free on Ravelry and as I recall, it was a very simple pattern to follow.  You could easily knit yourself a basketful during your next Netflix binge.

Or what about knitting this little duckling?

hand knitted duck plushy to help celebrate Easter
Easter Duckling, courtesy of Morgunova Olga

Is he not the cutest, most adorable, fluffy little thing?  The pattern for this Easter Duckling comes from Morgunova Olga on Ravelry.  Do you think my adult children are too old for an Easter duckling? I really feel the need to knit this little guy.

And you can't have Easter without a bunny.

Knitted stuffed bunny rabbit with removable clothes. Just in time for Easter
Boy Bunny, courtesy of Julie Williams, Little Cotton Rabbits

Or two.

knitted stuffed girl bunny rabbit with removable clothing to knit for Easter
Bunny Girl in a Dotty Dress, courtesy of Little Cotton Rabbits

You'll need to invest a little more time in knitting these boy and girl bunnies.  The patterns are a little more involved and there's lots of little pieces to knit then stitch together, but look how cute they are! I think any time spent knitting these would be well worth it.  I specially love that the rabbits' clothes are removable and can be changed based on the season.  Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits even offers extra clothing options here, because you know, a girl Must have more than one outfit!


Friday, March 17, 2017

Kiss me, I'm Irish

Okay, I'm only a tiny bit Irish. Two of my Scottish relatives were sent to Ireland as young lads to learn the linen trade. They grew up, got married to nice Irish girls & not long before the American Revolution broke out they came to America to set up their own linen shop.  But according one of their journal entries, they got weirded out by the "trouble with the British" and returned to Ireland.  Once the war was over, they came back to America, settled down in Williamsburg, reopened their shop and eventually passed a tiny bit of Irish DNA down to me.  So, I may not be very Irish, but I'm Irish enough to claim it today.  So,

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

But let's talk yarn.  

Last month, in one of my Makers' Monday posts, I'd shown some yarn from Marigold Fibers.  

When I was searching for yarns to use in that post, Fangorn was the first yarn I chose.  I fell in love with the fluctuations in its color and immediately included it in the Makers' Monday post.


St. Patrick's Day green yarn
Fangorn from Marigold Fibers

But after selecting the other yarns for that Makers' Monday post, I wasn't as head over heels in love with Fangorn anymore.  It had lost a little of its charm because it was darker and not as bright, or bluish/aqua, or happy 'Spring is almost here!' green as the others.  And I felt a little guilty about not loving it enough.  So I ordered some.

green yarn from Marigold Fibers
Fangorn

The yarn arrived much quicker than expected. (Thank you, Marigold Fibers!) In real life the yarn was the pretty green in the shop's photo but... It was still dark. It didn't shout, "Spring is almost here!"  The skein sat on my desk, giving me a massive guilt trip while I knit with other yarns.


And then a funny thing happened.  Jade stitch markers from Lavender Hill Knits showed up in my mailbox.  The stitch markers coordiante so well with the Fangorn yarn, I couldn't wait to begin knitting with it.

knitting a hat with Fangorn from Marigold Fibers. Hat will be for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Soon to be a hat

But the yarn... Oh. My. Gosh! It may not shout Spring! but who cares?  It's perfect! It's gorgeous! It's incredibly soft and feels so good in my hand. It coordinates perfectly with my new stitch markers (which didn't show up in the photo. Doh!) and...

great customer service from Marigold Fibers
Yes! String ties

It had one of THE best customer service things a yarn dyer/maker can provide in my opinion - non-matching, string ties.  They were SO simple to remove.  It drives me nuts when yarn creators tie their hanks with matching yarn.  

So, to make a long story a little bit longer, I really, really like this yarn. There's even a good chance I'm going to order more so I can knit myself mittens to go with the hat. 

And did you see that Admiral blue?  Good grief! My bank account's in trouble now.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Find Your Fade

If you've ever held a pair of knitting needles in your hands, you've probably heard of the Find Your Fade shawl.  Everyone is knitting the pattern and for good reason.  It's a super simple knit, the pattern is easily memorized, the knitting is constantly changing so you never get bored and the color options are endless.  I don't remember ever enjoying a project more & the 2581 other folks on Ravelry who've knitted a Find Your Fade can't be wrong.

Knit a Find Your Fade using Hawthorne fingering weight wool from Knit Picks
Find Your Fade

Thanks to ice storm Stella (Everyone else on the east coast got snow but we got nothing but freezing rain.) I finished my Find Your Fade yesterday afternoon and had it blocking by supper time.  It's huge!  HUGE!  My dining room table seats 10 comfortably and the shawl is as wide as the table & it's hanging way off both ends.  WAY off the ends!

I ran into a slight snag near the end.  I ran out of yarn.  The pattern calls for seven colors & I only used six.  I used the green/brown skein twice.  I thought it would be okay.  From looking at the schematic on the pattern, it looked like the stripes start small, get bigger, then shrink back down again.  But they don't.  Shrink that is. It's an optical allusion.

Anyway, I ran out of yarn.  I was only short three garter ridge rows & the yarn fumes got to me and made me forget that technically, I was knitting an elongated mitered square triangle.  The yarn fume brain caused me to overlook the mechanics of a mitered angle.  I was just thinking that the end would be blunt and not pointy.  I could easily live with a blunt ended triangle.  After all, it's only short three garter ridges.  How blunt could it be?

Oops

Not blunt at all.  The pointed triangle tip is still pointy because not completing all the rows on a mitered angle doesn't cause blunt ends.  It causes a weird jag at the mitered angle.  Dammit.

But it's okay.  I'm calling it a design element.

Other than that one little 'design element' the shawl turned out fantastic.  I can't even put into words how happy I am with the way the colors merged together. I used Knit Pick's Hawthorne and look how great the colors blend.  I started with St. Johns, the brown, then added Laurelhurst, a green/brown.

A Find Your Fade shawl hand knit with Hawthorne wool from Knit Picks
Find Your Fade

After the Laurelhurst, I added Rose City. It doesn't show up in the photo but the Rose City has hints of gold in it which match the golden brown in the Laurelhurst.

Knitted Find Your Fade shawl
Knit Picks Hawthorne

After the Rose City, I used Vancouver.

shawl knit with Hawthorne wool from Knit Picks
Find Your Fade

Vancouver blended into Poseidon.

Find Your Fade shawl knit with Knit Picks Hawthorne
Find Your Fade

After Poseidon, I used the remainder of the Laurelhurst.  This is where I ran into trouble.  I didn't have enough Laurelhurst to complete what should have been the sixth color's stripe so I added in the final color, Serpent, early.

Find Your Fade shawl knit with Knit Picks Hawthorne yarn
Knit Picks Hawthorne

And since I started using Serpent early, I didn't have enough to complete the shawl.  Thus, my 'design element.'

I'm a lot less worried about the design element than I am about what color combination to use for the next one.  I don't remember ever casting off a project and immediately wanting to cast on another.  But Find Your Fade.... this pattern is addictive!

By the way, it is Wednesday and I'm supposed to be talking about what I'm reading while I knit. I'm still reading Nineteen Eighty Four.  I'm enjoying reading it much more than I did back in high school but it's still not exactly a 'can't put it down' type of book. I may be reading it for a while.

Join me over at Ginny's place, Small Things to see what others are knitting and reading this week.


(This post contains affiliate links.)


Monday, March 13, 2017

Makers' Monday

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives. Today, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, we're celebrating traditional Irish food.  

Irish or not, do you prepare a big Irish spread for St. Patrick's Day?  We usually fix corned beef & cabbage with potatoes but, not being the best cook in the world, the meal is kind of bland and no one is ever overly excited about it.

This year, I thought I'd plan in advance and find some better recipes to try out.  

Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage,
courtesy of The Cookie Rookie

I came across this recipe for traditional corned beef and cabbage made in the slow cooker from The Cookie Rookie.  I do love the simplicity of  a made-in-the-crock-pot meal!  And this recipe sounds much tastier than my normal way of preparing corned beef.  It's definitely going on the menu this year.

Irish stew recipe for St. Patrick's Day
Irish Guinness Beef Stew courtesy of FoxandBriar.com

While searching for corned beef recipes, I stumbled across this Irish Guinness Beef Stew recipe from Fox and Briar.  Doesn't it look yummy?  Irish stew and corned beef with cabbage may make for a heavy meal, but this recipe is going on the menu for those non corned beef & cabbage eaters.  The recipe sounds so simple and there's bound to be lots of left overs.  Having left overs is even better than the ease of cooking in a slow cooker!

St. Patty's Day Irish soda bread recipe
Rosemary Cheddar Irish Soda Bread,
courtesy of Foodness Gracious

If we're having stew, we'll need bread!  The few times I've made Irish soda bread, I haven't been very successful.  I usually end up making cement chunks instead of bread.  But this receipe for Rosemary Cheddar Irish Soda bread from Foodness Gracious looks like it might work.  And to make it less risky, I might ask my daughter to bake it since she's a much better bread baker than I am.

Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce,
courtesy of The Kitchen McCabe

And for desert, because there has to be a desert... Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce.  If this ends up tasting half as good as the picture looks, I will be indebted to The Kitchen McCabe. I absolutely LOVE custard sauce.

So that's our St. Patty's Day meal plans.  What are yours?

Can anyone recommend a gym? I think I'm going to need one.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bitter old woman

I'm quickly turning into a bitter old woman.

coffee; coffee cup; coffee mug; caffeine addiction
courtesy of clipart-library.com

As of Monday, I stopped putting sugar in my coffee.

My husband, who is normally a firm believer in adding bacon grease & a about a half a cup of salt to every single thing he eats was apparently hypnotized by some food/diet related TV show he watched a few weeks ago.  For a little over a week the only, and I mean ONLY thing he would talk about was wheat belly and how bad sugar is for you and then he'd morph into a rant about processed foods.  He even brought home gluten free bread.

By the way, gluten free bread is not bread.  It's a cinder block. The reason it's better for you & you don't gain weight from it, or it doesn't make you sick, or what ever the hell it is that gluten supposedly does to you is because you won't actually eat it.

But back to the coffee.... I've been married to my dear sweet husband long enough to know that his little food obsession-melt down wouldn't last long.  But, being the worrier that I am, all I could think was, what if he does loose weight?  I must not allow him to be the healthy, skinny one.

So I decided to give up the sugar in my coffee.  Giving up my sweet coffee shouldn't be that big of a deal.  I used a little less than a teaspoon per cup. I doubted I'd really even notice the difference.

For the most part, I haven't noticed the difference.  At least, I don't notice the difference in each cup of coffee.  What I have noticed is the amount of coffee I'm drinking.  Before, with sugar, I was drinking close to two pots of coffee a day.  Now, without sugar, I get about half way through the third cup and all I really want is water.

You'd think that would be a good thing right?  But, damn if I'm not waking up extra early every morning with a killer caffeine withdrawal headache.

I swear, I'm turning into a bitter old woman.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Knitting with books

I'm still knitting my version of Find Your Fade using Knit Pick's Hawthorne.

simple to knit lacy shawl pattern, http://shrsl.com/?grdr
Find Your Fade

I can not tell you how much I'm loving this pattern.  It's so simple and easily memorized yet I never get bored.  I'm in a constant state of, "Oooh! It's almost time to change colors/knit lace/read while I knit garter stitch" excitement.  And the colors.... While I was pretty happy with the colors when I chose them, I was also filled with self doubt.  I'm not always so great when it comes to choosing color schemes.  But this project... I'm just thrilled with the way the brown merged into the green/brown then how the golds in the green/brown transitioned with the golds in the red. The red, which is really more of a berry pinkish red, transitioned perfectly with the purpley blue which blended so well with the aqua that it was hard to tell the two yarns apart at first. Find Your Fade is quickly becoming my all time favorite knitted project.

And look how big it is -

knitting the Find Your Fade shawl pattern with Knit Pick's Hawthorne fingering yarn
Finding My Fade

Unblocked and bunched up on a 24" needle, it's still almost as wide as my dining room table.  I just can not wait to have it off the needles and wrapped around me while I cast on another.

Meanwhile, I finished reading Invasive, thank goodness.  Don't get me wrong, it was a great read, but those ants....  I can still feel them crawling on me.  Now, I'm reading Nicholas Sparks' A Bend in the Road and Nineteen Eighty Four.

Nineteen Eighty Four is an odd choice for me.  I read it in high school and didn't enjoy it. I guess I hadn't yet discovered my love of horror.  Both Nineteen Eighty Four and A Brave New World came up in conversation during last week's supervisor training session & I realized that the two books are sort of merged together in my mind.  My plan is to read Nineteen Eighty Four then if I can stand it, A Brave New World.  We'll see how that plan goes.  So far, my horror loving & slightly fearful of the government's control adult brain is enjoying appreciating Nineteen Eighty Four much more than my 14 or 15 year old brain did.

Please join me over at Ginny's place and at Frontier Dreams for a discussion of what others are reading and creating.

(This post may contain affiliate links.)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Makers' Monday

Welcome to Makers' Monday, a celebration of knitting designers, artists & creatives.

I'm still obsessing over  St. Patrick's Day patterns and ideas.  Today, I thought I'd share a few hat patterns.


First up is the  St. Patrick's Day Kiss Me Hat offered by Cassandra May at Little Red Window.




Irish hat, St. Patrick's day hat knit for toddlers
Kiss Me Hat courtesy of littleredwindow.com

Knit with worsted and designed for babies and toddlers, this would be a super quick knit and great for colorwork beginners.  


Ravelry pattern for knitted St. Patrick's Day Irish hat for infants, children and adults.
Bit O' Luck, courtesy of Keya Kuhn
I just love this adorable hat pattern designed by Keya Kuhn of Cedar Hill Farm Co. on Ravelry.  This fair isle pattern uses fingering weight yarn and is sized for infants through adults.  Every time I look at the photo,  I picture a large Irish family with each member wearing their own version of this hat.

Which hat will you knit?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I have nails!

I have nails!  Real fingernails!  To most of you, this is probably the most un-earth-shattering news possible, but for someone who has never, and I mean NEVER been able to grow their nails...

Using Biotin & Nailiques to grow my fingernails.
I have thumb nails!
I'm jumping up and down with excitement.  I'm over here like 'I just won the yarn lottery' excited!  Believe it or not, in my almost 55 years of existence, I have never had my thumb nails grow past the tip of my finger.  Never!  But now....  Just look!  I can actually feel my fingernail sticking out past my skin.   I am just SO excited!

How did this come to pass, you ask?

With Nailiques,





and Biotin.



You may remember that I started taking Biotin last April.  You can look here to see how bad my nails were.  If you look here and here, you can read about how the Biotin made my hair grow like crazy & how it had made my nails stronger but they weren't actually growing.

You may also remember that I grated the center strip of my thumb nail off with a cheese grater right before Christmas. (Can you say, Klutz!?)  That injury is a little hard to explain.  The grater took the center strip of my nail, but in typical grater fashion, it cut on an angle.  So over that center strip, about half my nail was completely gone then there was a VERY thin layer of nail that gradually thickened to barely-scraped up close to my nail bed.  I'm not sure if that makes sense to folks who've never grated their nail off with a cheese grater, but that's how it was.

It just so happened that a few days after the cheese grater incident, I had my annual appointment with the dermatologist.  I asked her if she had any nail growing recommendations, which of course, she did. Nailiques, Biotin and always wear gloves when washing dishes or using chemicals while cleaning the house.

Well, I haven't exactly followed the glove wearing rule.  I just can NOT stand to wear rubber gloves for any length of time.  Just the thought of them makes my skin crawl.  And I was already taking the Biotin. In early January I found the Nailiques at my local Target (for Much more than it costs on Amazon, I might add. Why didn't I think to look on Amazon first??)  Anyway, I bought it and less than two months later, I have nails!

Using Biotin & Nailiques to grow my nails
nail growth

Even my grated off thumb nail has grown out.  The center strip is still a little thinner out towards the end of my nail but give it another month and even I won't be able to tell I ever tangled with that dammed cheese grater.

Friday, March 3, 2017

On the needles

This Find Your Fade shawl may be the death of me. 

lacy shawl hand knit with Knit Picks Hawthorne yarn
Find Your Fade
It may literally be the death of me.  I can't put it down.  Since I started it almost two weeks ago, I've barely eaten.  I keep feeling hungry but tell myself I only have ten more garter ridges before I get to the lace section.  I'll eat then.  Or, I only have a few more lace rows to go - I'll eat when I finish the lace.... Or I'll eat when I get to the end of this color.... But I get to that stopping point and can't bear to put it down.  I have to see what this yarn will look like in lace, or I want to finish the lace so I can get back to a garter section, or more importantly, I HAVE to see what the next color is going to look like....  And on it goes and I end up eating breakfast at 5:30 in the afternoon.  You'd think I'd have lost some weight from not eating, but no.  Of course not.  Maybe I haven't lost weight because I also haven't gotten up out of my chair.  I just sit and knit and knit and knit.  I've become one with my chair.

You'd think with all that knitting being done, I'd be finished with the shawl by now.  I'm not, although I have reached the point where I'm no longer increasing.  I got off to a slow start with the shawl because I was sick and had fever-confusion.  I also started binge watching Shameless on Netflix while I was sick so I kept finding myself just holding the knitting while I stared, open mouthed at the screen.  Have you seen Shameless? I didn't know anything about it when I started watching it.  I'd heard it mentioned by a few bloggers and Netflix kept telling me to watch it.  When I first came down with the flu, I thought it would be good background noise while I drifted in and out of consciousness.

Turns out, I LOVED Shameless!  I'll admit though, as the child of an alcoholic, it was pretty emotional.        It reminded me of a lot of the anger and frustrations growing up with an alcoholic parent, but it did it while making me laugh.  Well, most of the time I laughed.  Sometimes it was just too realistic to laugh about.  But I have to say, the show did a fantastic job of poking fun of some pretty horrible behaviors &  issues, while being brutally honest but in a comical way.

But this was supposed to be about knitting, not about Shameless.  I'm no longer increasing.  I only have three more color changes to go.  If I hurry and wrap this post up, and I skip my 5:30 p.m. breakfast, maybe I can finish it tonight.

And maybe monkeys will fly and the alcoholics will put down their bottles.

Hey - a girl can dream.

By the way, I'm knitting my Find Your Fade with Hawthorne from Knit Picks.  The yarn I'm using had all been in my stash but Knit Picks has put together several great yarn kits for knitting a Find Your Fade if you have trouble choosing colors on your own.  You can see them here.


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Knitting with books

I feel things crawling on me.

Reading Invasive and knitting Find Your Fade for Yarn Along Wednesday

Invasive.  Genetically engineered killer ants.  I can't put it down, yet I'm terrified to read the next page.

Luckily the tranquility of knitting Find Your Fade is helping to keep the hysteria at bay.

 Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along to see what others are knitting and reading.