Thursday, March 22, 2018

Three on Thursday

Three things to do on a snowy spring day:

It snowed six inches on March 21, 2018
Six inches of snow on the 2nd day of spring

1.  Fold 100 loads of laundry while binge watching Grey's Anatomy.

Weather gauge cowl knit with Knit Picks Palette yarn
Temperature gauge cowl

2.  Drink hot chocolate and knit a snowy weather stripe into the temperature gauge cowl. 

Daffodils finally popped up on 3/18/18

3.  Worry about the daffodils that just popped up out of the ground three days ago.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Makers' Monday

It's Makers' Monday and I'm happy to report that I am feeling Much better!  I have absolutely no stamina and my voice has that raspy sound like I routinely smoke three packs of cigarettes every hour but...  I feel better!  I can smell the Vicks, the scabs on my nose from blowing/wiping it so frequently are healing and I feel good.   Yay!

And because I'm feeling so much better, I had a low-key, weirdly fun weekend.

The fun started on Friday when Sarah and I went to the Southern Women's Show.  After the show, we stopped for a late lunch at Pop's Dogs and Ma's Burgers.

Pop's Dogs and Ma's Burgers

It's one of those local landmark places that I've always been curious about but never visited.  I have absolutely no idea why, but as a teen/young adult, I always thought of the place as being where the perverts hung out.  I pictured the interior as being dark and smokey and full of perverted old men, most likely without pants.  But when we asked Google where we should go eat, Pop's Dogs and Ma's Burgers popped up as an option.  We decided to be brave it and give it a try.

Inside Pop's Dogs and Ma's Burgers. Lots of things to look at.

I'm so glad we did!  The place turned out to be THE quirkiest, weirdest place I've ever eaten.  And I'm a little bit in love with it.  The place (I really can't call it a restaurant.  It only has six seats.) is tiny and every inch is crammed with memorabilia and little oddities to look at and/or play with.

Pop's Dogs and Ma's Burgers

Honestly, I was a little skeptical stepping in but the food was good, the conversation with Ma, Pa and the other patrons was fun and interesting and we had a great time. No perverts in sight and I'll definitely go back again sometime.

Fair isle hat; hat #16 out of 52 being knit in 2018.

Friday night, I started hat #16 in anticipation of a Saturday road trip to celebrate my last free weekend of 2018.  Mike and I planned to drive to Colonial Beach and eat a meal on the water.  Not a big trip, I just needed to see flowing water before I went back to work for the season.

Well, Saturday was cold and a little rainy and Mike didn't want to make the trip.  Fine!  I'd go without him.

Big mistake!  I thought I knew where I was going but doh! I turned onto the wrong road and ended up on a river 137 miles south of Colonial Beach.  Good Lord!  I've always said I could get lost in a phone booth, but ... 137 miles off course!  Good grief!

But it turned out okay.  So what if I didn't see Colonial Beach.  I saw a beach.  I saw flowing water.  I had good music to listen to and my weight in junk food to eat while I drove.  I found my way home eventually and Little Red and I had a fun road trip adventure.

knitting a diagonal striped blanket with scrap sock yarn.

And since I didn't actually make it to Colonial Beach on Saturday, Mike drove me on Sunday.  I got a little bit of car knitting on my diagonal striped blanket done, but mostly I just looked out the window at the passing scenery.

Of course, I drove all that way, on two different days, and never took the first photo of the water.  Oops.

So what did you create over the weekend?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Three on Thursday

Three Very random things for today's Three on Thursday list:

1.  Weather induced power and internet outages, illness and life in general have gotten in the way lately.  I've been Horrible with a capital "H" about responding to the comments left on the blog.  I apologize profusely.  I have read and appreciate them all, I just haven't always been able to respond.  I will try to be better about it going forward however.

2.  Regarding last week's favorite trees list...  Many of you responded that dogwoods were on your top three list.  I love dogwoods too.  In fact, they'd probably be my #1 favorite except.... The dogwood is Virginia's State Flower and as a child my parents had me convinced that if I even touched one, I'd go to jail.  I remember our neighbors had one in their front yard and it was a thing of beauty!  The gorgeous blossoms, the shiny, red berries, the pretty bark and low hung branches just begging to be climbed.... My parents preached that picking the blossoms (or leaves, twigs or berries) was illegal.  Harming the tree in anyway, specially the harm that might be caused by climbing it, was illegal.  I'm sure my parents instilled that fear of the dogwood just to keep me off the neighbor's property but....  A tiny bit of that fear lives on.

Dogwood flowers are the State Flower of Virginia. photo care of

3.  The weird, random facts you learn from blogging is amazing.  My last post mentioned that my nose was so stopped up, I couldn't smell the Vicks VaporRub.  (I'm feeling much better now by the way.)  In the process of Googling whether it was Vicks "Vapor Rub" or "VaporRub,"  I stumbled across an article saying that to quell a nigh time cough, slather Vicks on your feet, put on a pair of socks and go to bed.

There's no way smearing Vicks on my feet could have anything to do with helping me not choke to death on gobs of post nasal drip all night long.  There was just no way!  But what did I have to loose?  I tried it.  

And you know what?  I slept like a baby!  I went to bed with Vicks smeared feet and a nose still so stopped up that I couldn't smell the Vicks.  And I woke up feeling about 1,000% better.  Now, I didn't wake up 100% "well" but I could breathe through my nose and as far as I'm aware, I did not wake up coughing and gagging a single time throughout the night.  Did smearing Vicks on my feet really do that??

Join me over at Carole's to read others' Three on Thursday lists.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Vicks or Vaseline?

I'm not sure why I'm bothering to post today.  I really don't have much to report.

Diagonal striped blanket knit with fingering weight sock yarn scraps.
Diagonal Striped Blanket

Knitting wise, I finally made it across the 50 inch base of the blanket and turned the corner.  And that's it!  That is all the knitting I've done.  Part of me is super frustrated with my lack of progress this week and part of me is pretty dang proud.  Despite this flu/cold from Hell (I think it's just a horrible, horrible cold and not an official flu) I've managed to knit 50 inches of fingering weight garter stitch.  I might not currently be capable of reading a pattern, and I have two unlabeled jars, one of Vaseline and one of Vicks VaporRub, and my nose is so stopped up I can't tell them apart.... but I can rock some garter stitch knitting!

As for my reading, did you catch that bit a moment ago where I said I wasn't currently able to read a pattern?  Yeah, well, I can't read books either.   Apparently the flu/cold is in my eyes as well as my nasal cavities.  I've tried and tried to read but my eyes just gush water (I hope it's water!) and my brain can't make sense of the squiggles on the page.   Currently, I'm typing this post with the zoom set so high I'm only getting five or six words to a line.  It's the only way I can tell what I've typed.  Pathetic!  (I also have no idea how out of focus that photo is so please ignore it if it's so bad it's making you nauseous.)

So, the point is, I haven't read anything this week.  But the squiggles are starting to make a little more sense and my eyes are oozing more at a slow leak pace than a full on gush so I have high hopes that in a day or two....

Monday, March 12, 2018

Makers' Monday

Well, the tables have turned and now I'm the one worrying about rat poison in my Tylenol.  I haven't been anywhere near as ill as Mike, but I'll admit that I get horribly martyr-ish when I'm sick.  Between Mike's moaning and my martyrdom, it hasn't been pretty.  In fact, it's been down right ugly.  On the positive side of things, we are both building some seriously ripped abs from all the coughing.

The weekend didn't present much time or the mental capacity for knitting.  Friday was consumed with an eye doctors appointment (The new glasses should arrive next week!) and a trip to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art to see the Terracotta Army display.  I made it though all that with only a mild occasional cough caused by a weird tickle in my chest.  But on the way home, the chills set in and by the time I got home, my temperature was just a click under 102.  I texted my boss to say I most likely would not be coming in to work the next day.  Always a great way to kick off the season!

An hour later, my temperature dropped back down, I went to bed and woke up feeling fairly good, except for that weird little tickle in my chest and a slightly more frequent cough.  I went to work, had fun being introduced to our new Agents of Shield style office.  Actually, it's probably closer to Firefly's style than Agents of Shield but what ever.  We've got some fun new toys to play with this year.

I got home and before I could even get changed out of my uniform, the chills returned and not 20 minutes later, I was having fever tears.  Does anyone else cry when they have a fever?

knitting a mitered square blanket with left over sock yarn
mitered squares

I tried to get some mitered square knitting done on Sunday, but I kept forgetting to do the centered decrease.  After the sixth or seventh time having to tink back, on one square, I finally gave up and decided to nap.  And I was so busy napping, I didn't even notice Daylight Savings.

But enough about me and what I'm not knitting.  Tell me all about what you are creating these days.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Anchors Aweigh

Thankfully, I have a new hat on the needles and it may be the only thing saving my husband's life.

So, I'll go ahead and say it.  I am a cold hearted b*tch. 

My husband has the flu and he may not survive.  I'm fairly certain the flu isn't going to kill him but I might.  The man is driving me bonkers BONKERS.  I mean, like stark raving, can I put rat poison in his Tylenol? insane.  I'll be down the hall and I'll hear his coughing and the bed creaking, and his faint little voice calling my name.  I take a big, giant breath of non-flu air and enter his room... and he proceeds to moan and tell me how bad he feels.  And when I ask him what he needs or what can I do to help him, he just moans and tells me he thinks he's dying.  And yes, I'm a cold hearted b*tch because my response is starting to be, "When?"

I don't do well with sick people.  Can you tell?  I specially don't do well when my loved ones are sick.  And I really, really don't do well when my big, strong husband is moaning.

About the only thing keeping  him safe is my hat.

Hand knit fair isle hat for sale at
Anchors Aweigh

I'm calling it the Anchors Aweigh hat because all I want to do is weigh anchor and set sail, away from this flu infested house before I catch it.  I start work tomorrow and I finally have an eye doctor's appointment this afternoon so I can get new glasses.  The ones I currently have are so old & scratched I can only see to read if turn my head all the way to the right and look out of the left edge of my glasses.  I'm so afraid I'm going to catch the flu and not be able to make the appointment.  And I'm starting to get this weird little tickle in my chest.

As for the hat, I'm hoping the design will look better after it's blocked.  I've never been super great with fair isle knitting.  I really struggle with keeping my tension even.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Three on Thursday - Trees

I'm a little worried about the knitting community.  I think this winter must have been awfully tough on the community in general because a surprising number of you showed an odd amount of curiosity over last week's Three on Thursday mention of my three favorite trees.  Even a few non-knitters wanted to know what they are.  So...

My top three favorite trees:

1.  A Christmas tree.  Duh!  But seriously, the plain old cedar tree.

perfectly shaped cedar tree. photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

There's just something unbelievably magical about the way cedars grow in such perfect Christmas tree shapes.  Maybe I'm weird (who me??) but I get THE biggest kick out of seeing a perfectly shaped cedar tree growing in the wild. And they have those adorable, teeny tiny pine cones.  And the smoothness of their 'leaves' (I don't think of cedar as having needles) compared to their rough, hairy trunks.  And then there's their smell.  Is there anything on this earth more fresh, clean and exhilarating while making you imagine both cold, winter snowfalls and warm, comfy fires?  I have the best childhood memories of playing under the neighbor's cedar tree.  Even though I'd come home with sticky sap stuck in my hair and I'd cry when Mom tried to brush it out, my memories of playing under that tree make me smile.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

2.  Crepe Myrtles.  There's just something special about any kind of tree that flowers.  Crepe Myrtles are not the prettiest of flowering trees (mimosa trees come to mind,) but they are my favorite.  They have that wonderful, pale, peeling bark and they come in so many different colors.  Oddly, I don't like the shade of pink in that photo, but it's my favorite crepe myrtle color.  Weird!

And once again, I have happy childhood memories of crepe myrtles.  We had two in our yard.  One was near the back door and a multitude of bird feeders hung from it. My dad was into bird watching and I have wonderful memories of sitting with him on the porch, watching the birds.  Okay, I was more excited about the squirrels than the birds but whatever. 

The second crepe myrtle was on the side of the house and it lived a long happy life, until one day when it no longer pleased the parental units.  I have no memory of why the tree suddenly had to come down but it did.  Maybe Mom just wanted more space to grow tomatoes.  Who knows.  But it was like some kind of zombie apocalypse tree because it refused to stay 'down.'  They poured hot water over the stump.  They covered the stump with salt.  They sprayed it with early 1970's weed killer (and you know that was some serious killer chemical!)  They even put a giant cement septic tank lid on top of the stump... and the tree continued to grow up around the cement. 

Okay, so I have no idea why a zombie crepe myrtle tree rates as a good childhood memory, but it does.  Maybe being the rebel child that I was, maybe my parent's exasperation every time that thing grew back gave me some small pleasure.  Who knows.  But I love crepe myrtles.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

3.  And then there's weeping willows.  Once again, I have wonderful childhood memories centered around a weeping willow.  Growing up, there was an old, somewhat reclusive couple that lived across the street in what I always thought of as a mansion.  The house was much larger than any of the others in the neighborhood and their yard/property was easily five times larger than anyone else's.  At one time, the yard/gardens must have been something to behold but by the time I came along, the back yard gardens at least, had been abandoned.  It was all very Secret Garden-ish back there.  And I Loved playing in them.  And in the very far back of their property, behind a brick wall with a small, rusted metal gate, was a great big weeping willow tree.  Not often, but occasionally I was allowed to bring a few friends and go play in the gardens.  We'd always hide out under that weeping willow where it was shady and much cooler and do all the things a child does when hiding out in a secret garden, under a giant weeping willow.

It's odd that weeping willows remain on my top favorite list because honestly, they sort of creep me out.  Well, not sort of.  They do creep me out.  I still love the look of them but the noise they make....  The way the leaves rustle and twitch in the slightest of breezes...  It makes my skin crawl.   It makes me think of skeletons crawling across the floor, or some kind of Stephen King spider coming to get me.  Aack!  Just thinking about it makes me twitch.  But despite their horrible noise, I still love the way they look.  And I really do have The fondest memories of playing in that Secret Garden type garden across the street.

So what about you? Do you have a favorite tree, or three?  And more importantly, are you weird enough that your favorite tree also scares you?

To enjoy others' Three on Thursday lists, join me over at Carole's place.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Diet

I've mentioned being on a yarn diet several times since the New Year rolled around and just about every time, someone has called me crazy, or mentioned how they'd never be able to stick to a no-yarn-shopping policy.

Recently I mentioned that while I had not come close to emptying a dresser drawer full of yarn, I did manage to use up a shoe box sized drawer full of little bits of left over yarns.  I received lots of Yays, high fives, You Go, Girl's and many, many Congratulations! Now you can go yarn shopping!'s.  And I appreciate the accolades, but...  I just don't feel right about it.  The goal was to use up a 'real' yarn drawer full of yarn, not that little shoe box sized drawer.

So, I'm going to stick to my yarn diet a while longer.

While the yarn diet is somewhat horrible, it's also somewhat fun.  I have to admit, I get a kick out of using up stuff.  Maybe (okay, probably) I'm nuts but...  squeezing the very last tiny bit of toothpaste out of the tube, using the last bit of ink in a pen, watching an over-stocked pantry dwindle down to emptiness...  It just makes me giddy.  I get The biggest thrill out of finishing things.  (Make note that I like to finish 'things' not projects.  Projects are Not things, which explains my UFO pile.)  So, as much as I am dying to make a LYS run, I'm enjoying watching my yarn supply slowly decrease.

And by slowly decrease, I do mean s...l...o...w...l...y decrease.

But besides watching my yarn supply get smaller, I'm also enjoying the resourcefulness of 'shopping' my stash pile.  I like having the 'use it up' attitude.  I guess that goes along with the thrill of having to use the hairbrush handle to push the last of the toothpaste out of the tube...  Whatever.  I'm enjoying using up my yarn.  I'm enjoying the creativity required to keep knitting 20/7 (I do usually get about 4 hours sleep a night) and only using what I have on hand to do so.  And of course, my bank account doesn't mind either.

So I'm sticking to my yarn diet.

knitting a garter stitch blanket while reading Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

And my diagonal striped scrap yarn blanket is helping me do that.

And all that garter stitch is the perfect accompaniment for a good book.  I can't remember who recommended it, but I finished and Loved An Affair to Dismember by Elise Sax.  I struggled with it in the beginning.  I had to read 20 - 30 pages before I felt like I knew the characters enough to care about them but once I got to know them, they had me laughing out loud.  In fact, at one point, I was sitting alone in a restaurant, eating and laughing out loud, laughing to the point I had tears streaming down my face.  Good grief!  Eating alone in public makes me uncomfortable enough, but to be sitting there, alone, and hysterically hyena laughing, out loud....  Mortifying!  But the book was great despite my embarrassment.

And now, I've moved on to Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.  I'm hoping this book will help me get past my ridiculously shy, introverted awkwardness.  We will see.   After my public humiliation with An Affair to Dismember, I don't think I could have picked a more perfect title to read.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Makers' Monday

It's Makers' Monday!  Yay!

Boy am I glad to see this past weekend end.  All last week Mr. Weatherman kept talking about high wind warnings for Friday.  On Thursday afternoon, they announced schools would be closed on Friday.  They closed the schools in advance for wind!  I had to laugh.  I mean I know wind can be dangerous.  And I know that it has rained every single day in 2018 so the ground is saturated which adds to the danger....  But come on!  Virginia tends to be the laughing stock of the US when it comes to snow closings and now you're closing for wind?

Turns out, it was a pretty good decision because the wind definitely blew.  Friday was the first sunny day of 2018.  Actually it may have been the third sunny day but it felt like the first.  Sunny, with hurricane force winds.  Hurricane force winds that blew for a full 24 hours.

photo of just one of the trees that fell during winter storm Riley
Power thief

This downed tree may not look like much, but it fell early-ish Friday morning, blocking us in and taking out our power line.  It doesn't look like much, but it's almost two feet in diameter and the other third of the tree, the top third, is over across the street blocking up the neighbor's driveway.

We have an excellent power company (I bet you don't hear that very often!) and they were able to restore our power after only about 12 hours.  Naturally, we had all gone to bed out of boredom not 30 minutes before hand.  Saturday morning, we all hopped out of bed bright and early, eager to play on our computers... only to find that while we had power, we had no internet service.  Dammit!

We finally got our internet back Saturday night.  On Sunday morning I finished catching up on email reading.... and discovered I'd just missed Craftsy's free weekend.  Craftsy had an All Classes are Free weekend and I missed it!  Double dammit!

Knit 52 Hats in 2018 challenge.  Knitting for #MakersMonday
Hat #14 out of 52

In my frustration, I started knitting another hat.

a knitting book from the 1980's

Tell me that knitting book isn't straight out of the '80's!

I'm using the shaping from a hat featured in The Sweater Connection and a simple fair isle design from a random stitch dictionary that happened to be within reach at the time.   And of course, I'm using Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes in Lake Ice Heather and Garnet Heather.

So, here's hoping you'll join me for Makers' Monday and tell me all about the free Craftsy classes you took, the wild weather you experienced this weekend and of course, what you're creating.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Three on Thursday

Today's Three on Thursday list may not be the most exciting list you've ever read but count yourselves lucky.  I was out running errands last night and racking my brain trying to think of something to write about for today's post... and all I could come up with was my three favorite trees.


So here's my knitting stats for February instead.

1.  I've knit 13 out of 52 hats for a score of 19% complete.

2.  My Ravelry Challenge shows me as having knit 16 out of 60 items, for a score of 27% complete.

3.  The yarn diet.  I cheated one day in February and purchased yarn.  Technically, my yarn diet could be over.  The original, lone "rule" was no yarn purchased until I'd emptied a drawer full.  Technically, I have met that goal.  I've used an entire shoe box sized drawer of tiny bits of scrap yarn on my mitered squares and diagonal stripes blankets.  But the shoe box drawer was not what I meant when I set the "rule."  I meant a chest of drawers drawer full of yarn.  The yarn diet will continue.

Hmmm....  maybe a list of my favorite trees would have been more interesting.

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

52 Hats

I thought I'd share an end of February status update for my goal of knitting 52 hats in 2018.  But please, forgive the quality of the photos.  I accidentally spent the 'good light' part of the day filling out a new planner that's going to help me accomplish all the things instead of actually doing the things.  Things like taking photos.

Number 10 is still on the needles.

Number 10 is Beloved, a free Ravelry pattern.  It's knitting up quickly, but I think that may be because I probably should have gone down one or two needle sizes.  Size wise, it's fine but it just seems to have a little too much space between the stitches.  It's not bad enough to frog but next time....

Hat #9 was knit with Barcelona in Dusk.

Hat #8, you've seen before.  Although I'm out of this world excited about how well the button matches the yarn on this hat, I still haven't added it to my Ravelry project page.

Hats six and seven are basically the same.  I used the same yarn, needles and design, but I ran out of yarn so hat is about a half inch shorter than the other.

And last but not least, there's #5, the Owl Hat.  The hat that I enjoyed knitting and think is adorable but will never make again due to the buttons.  Have I mentioned how I feel about sewing on buttons?

So that's almost six hats in February for a total of almost ten so far this year.  But I'm left wondering, can I count the dog hats?  And if they count, do I count them as three hats since I made three, or just one since only one of the three fit properly?  Are there rules that say the 52 hats have to be for humans?

After voting on the dog hat dilemma, please follow me over to Maggie's Mad Hatters' Link Party to see photos of others' hats.

Oops!  I'm editing this post since it's Wednesday and I forgot to include a blurb about what I'm reading.  I've been on a true crime kick here lately and am currently reading The Briley Brothers by Dwayne Walker.  The story fascinates me because I lived through it.  The Brileys terriorized my neighborhood and raped and killed people my family knew. Their reign of terror affected our lives in so many ways.  But no matter my fascination, this book is difficult to read.  Not because of the horror of what the Brileys did, but because it's so poorly written. Even overlooking the poor, or lack of, sentence structure and subject/verb disagreements, I'm half way through the book and I bet there haven't seen five commas yet.  Forget Eats, Shoots & Leaves, just hand this book out to the kids to help them understand the importance of grammar.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Makers' Monday - Diagonal Stripes

Today's Makers' Monday post is going to be quick and dirty and not at all what I'd planned to talk about.  Instead of telling you about the new hat pattern I'm knitting....

knitting diagonal stripes with fingering weight sock yarn.
Diagonally Striped Blanket

I'm knitting a diagonally striped blanket with left over scraps of fingering weight yarn on US 3 needles, while sitting in the rain, in a giant traffic jam, otherwise known as I95.

What are you creating?

Friday, February 23, 2018

Still Happy!

I'm still happy dancing over here!

First, thank you for all the love on yesterday's post.  I was a little worried that I was being one of those annoying moms who think every single scribble their child makes is genius and should be hung in the Louvre.  I was glad to know I wasn't the only one who thought Sarah's letters were funny.

the new updated Vogue Knitting book available at Amazon
My new copy of Vogue Knitting

Second, I'm happy to report that I finally got my hands on a copy of the new, updated version of Vogue Knitting and it does not disappoint! 

While I've been anxious to see the new version, I didn't intend to buy it.  Why bother? I already own an original 1989 version.  So what if the new version has prettier, more modern photos?  I didn't need to spend the money just to get modern photos.  After all, it contains the same information.  It's just an update.  Right?

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

If you haven't checked it out yet, what are you waiting for?  Close this blog post, turn off your computer and go directly to your LYS, local book store or Amazon and find yourself a copy.  Today!

hand knit pompom hat for a small dog.
A smaller hat for Nooshi

And third, I'm happy to report that Nooshi likes her new, smaller pompom hat.  Admittedly, she looks a little skeptical in the photo.  But the smaller pompom is definitely more her size and her mom reports that Nooshi is happy to wear it.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Three on Thursday

My daughter will probably kill me in my sleep for sharing these, but I couldn't resist.

In a recent attempt to avoid cleaning up what ever it was that exploded in the microwave and was left to harden into a cement like mass, I decided to purge my file cabinet.  In the process, I came across a few letters Sarah had written when she was younger.  I hope you find them as humorous as I do.

The first, a Father's Day poem for her dad.

This is a photo copy.  The original is framed and hangs over my husband's desk.  As a point of reference, Mike's office used to be next door to a bakery and he'd bring home yummy goodness several times a week. He also brought truck loads of sand home occasionally for the kids' sandbox. The poem reads:

Dad, Dad, you're the best
Your brought us sand
And all the rest
Like cookies, pie and donuts
and now we have great big butts.
And so I'd like to say,
Happy Father's Day!

Next up is a letter to Santa that was found in Sarah's stocking late one Christmas Eve.

It reads, "Dear Santa,  How's your wife?  I have been extra good this yaer! I hope you have a safe tripe back home.  Love Sarah   P.S I hope your deer are ok!"

First, "How's your wife?"?? That just cracks me up.  And the "o" in "hope" has been turned into a peace sign.

And last, we have a letter regarding her feelings towards her brother.

"Dear Mom,
I find you're son completely EVIL. He steals my diary, messed up the still wet ink from my 9 hill (I have no idea what that is supposed to say, but that's what it looks like.) and did numeus (numerous) other crimes.  You should be thankful I, Sarah Wiant, DO NOT press legal charges.

Although I saved these masterpieces, I failed to date them.  I'm kicking myself for that now.  Sarah must have been eight or nine.  She had mastered the your/you're thing by the time she was ten or eleven and she obviously hadn't when writing these.  She had to have been at least eight when she wrote the evil brother letter though, because she'd put it in an envelope and written our return address on it.

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Doing the Happy Dance!

I'm so happy!

 I'm happy because Zack finally came and packed up his room yesterday.  He moved out two years ago and when he left, all he took with him was his guitars, his computer, his bowling balls, one beach towel, a few pair of jeans and his toothbrush. All his 'stuff,' his manga, his rock band magazines, his stuffed animals from when he was three, his posters, bowling trophies, CD's, DVD's, 90% of his clothes.... have all been just sitting.  Sitting, waiting for him to come make the Toss or Keep decision. 

Now that Zack's room is mostly empty, I can have a yarn stash room.  A whole room to fill!  Happy Dance!

Zack putting together the fire pit he bought at Walmart and gave to us for Christmas.
It's almost a fire pit.

Zack gave us a fire pit for Christmas and I knew if I waited long enough, he'd put it together for me.  Now we can have an outdoor fire.  I'm so excited.  I've wanted a fire pit for ages!

Some how the YMCA song got put into my phone's music thing and every time I press Shuffle, YMCA plays.  Of course I can't resist doing the arm motions, and it's played so much the dog has learned to jump up in the air every time they sing the Y-M-C-A parts.  It cracks me up that she's doing her on version of the YMCA dance.

hand knit striped shawl or scarf knit with Patons Kroy Socks yarn
41 Teeth on my Hitchhiker Shawl

I'm happy dancing that I've finally passed the 40 teeth mark on my Hitchhiker shawl.  (And how is it that I always notice a mistake in the photos, never in the knitting itself?)

I'm happy dancing over the weather.  It has FINALLY stopped raining and with the sun, we have warmth!  Actually, we have heat.  We hit 75 degrees today and tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer.  Record breaking warm, actually.  Actually, I might not be that happy tomorrow.  It was Hot today!  And if it's going to be this hot, I'm going to have to shave my legs & dig out some shorts.  Please, please, bring back the snow!

I'm frantically happy dancing over Sarah's new computer arriving today.  You wouldn't think I'd be so excited for her to get a new computer....  But she's been using mine every day.  I've only had computer access for an hour or two in the evenings for the last month or so.  It's been a struggle.

But, with all that no-computer time I've had on my hands, I've had lots more time to read.  I'm happy that I read four books this week.  I finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (and it was Excellent!,) The Christmas Boyfriend by Taylor Hart, The One Hour Content Plan by Meera Kothand, and Lifestyle Blogging Basics by Laura Lynn.  The two blogging business books were interesting and motivational but not earth shatteringly educational.  The Christmas Boyfriend was what you'd expect from a story line where a girl hires a stranger to be her boyfriend to get her parents off her back.  In other words, total fluff but fun and quick to read.  And then there was The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  Wow! I LOVED this book!  It was one of those books where I found myself frequently highlighting whole passages and I was riveted from page one all the way to the very end.  I'm definitely giving this one five stars.  No actually, I'm giving it more than five.  Six stars and I'm adding it to my 'Re-Read Every Couple of Years' list. I'm also going to buy a hard copy that I can actually use a real highlighter on to underline my favorite passages instead of having to track them down on my Kindle. The Ocean at the End of the Lane may not have been a very happy story, but I sure am happy that I chose to read it.

I'm joining up with the #Unraveled crew over at Kat's.

Monday, February 19, 2018

A field of color

Knitting a mitered square blanket and a striped hitchhiker shawl
A field of color

I bet you thought I was going to be talking about spring flowers again, right?

Nope!  I'm trying to keep thoughts of fields of spring flowers (tulips instantly come to mind) at bay by concentrating on knitting my Hitchhiker shawl and the never ending mitered square blanket.

On the needles - a knitted blanket and a shawl
OTN 02/19/18

I keep thinking I'm doing so well and making good progress knitting each....  And then I check the numbers.  Although I'd swear that I'm knitting a minimum of four or five 'teeth' a day on the Hitchhiker, today's count shows it having 38 teeth.  It had 34 teeth three or four days ago. How is that possible?

And then the mitered squares.... Goodness!  I don't even want to think about it.  I had it in my head that I only needed to knit 15 or 20 more squares.  Nope!  I have 141 more to go.  One hundred and forty one more squares.

I SO wish I hadn't counted.

contest to name the yarn and win a skein of yarn
My second favorite mitered square

But, to make today's Makers' Monday post a little more cheerful and a little less whiny, let's have a contest.  That blue, orange and celery green square is my second favorite on the whole blanket so far.  It's knit from a self striping yarn.  The first person to name the yarn correctly in the comments below wins a random skein of yarn from my stash pile.

And, since it is Makers' Monday.... You know what to do.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Made for each other

Hat with button for sale at
Button Brim Hat

That button and the yarn seem made for each other!

Yarn:  Lion Brand Wool Ease, Dark Rose Heather
Button:  LaMode

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Three on Thursday

It's Three on Thursday and I have a MASSIVE case of spring fever!  We hit 70 degrees this past, very rainy, weekend.  It's supposed to be in the mid 70's tomorrow. 

And it's supposed to snow on Saturday.

I have spring fever and I'm consumed with thoughts of

Daffodils, photo courtesy of


Tulips, photo courtesy of

and tulips

Forsythia, photo courtesy of

and forsythia.

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

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm going to keep today's post super short - hopefully.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

After finishing Seven Steps to Closure, I started reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  Seven Steps was a fun, hilarious read all the way to the end and while I'm only 31% into The Ocean, it's proving to be just as good, although for completely different reasons.  These days, I only seem to be able to find time to read right before bed.  I've trained myself to read a page or two then fall asleep.  If it wasn't for that, I think I'd have finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane in one sitting.  It's that good!

Temperature journal cowl hand knit with Palette yarns from Knit Picks.
2018 Weather Cowl

As for my knitting, I'm still busily knitting mitered squares for my blanket, doing some shop knitting and keeping up with my weather scarf. cowl.  I keep calling it a scarf, but it will definitely end up being a cowl, no question about it.  Each month will only be about two inches long.  Definitely not a scarf!  Although I seem to be incapable of calling it a cowl, I'm happy for it to be a cowl.  Specially since I can easily knit a liner for it and not have to deal with weaving in 365 loose ends.  I do wish I'd chosen a different green for the 67 - 77 degree range but.... I was/am working with what I have.  Gotta stick to that yarn diet!  I also find it amazing that it can be 70+ degrees one day and snowing the next.   Welcome to winter in Virginia!

Join me for today's #Unraveled  link-up.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A log cabin miracle

So, I finished my log cabin shawl a week or two ago.  I even blocked it right away which is fairly unusual for me.  But the shawl was ... dull.  It needed some bling.  I went to the craft store and found the perfect beads to bling it up.  Understated bling, exactly what I wanted.

Darice Venezia crystal beads
crystal teardrop beads

I came home and sewed them on in time to wear the shawl to my knitting group meeting that night.

I added beads to my log cabin shawl to brighten it up.

And as I walked through the kitchen on my way out the door to go knitting, my husband asked me to hand him the salt shaker.  I reached over the stove to grab the salt and...


The shawl threw itself off my neck and into a pot of spaghetti sauce.

Yes, a full, giant, 20 quart kettle full of bubbling spaghetti sauce.

Holy ^%%$%^&E%%^ Hell!

You have never heard such curse words before!  Words spewed from my lips that I didn't even know I knew!

I grabbed it out of the sauce pot and attempted to toss it in the sink but as luck would have it, it hit the floor instead.  The dog immediately began licking it.

I was so upset I just walked away.  I left my brand new, just finished alpaca, merino and silk, just washed and blocked, just went the trouble to buy and sew beads on shawl laying on the floor and I went to knitting group.

I assumed the dog would eat the entire thing and it would be out of sight, out of mind by the time I arrived home.

It wasn't.  A dear family member had shoved it over into the corner with their foot however.  Very kind of them, right?  At least the dog was helpful in cleaning up where the sauce had smeared across the floor.

Thinking it would be in 1,000 pieces from the dog chewing it, I picked it up to throw it in the trash....  But it was still in one piece!  It was a little hard to tell because of the amount of sauce that was still stuck to it and beginning to harden but... It looked okay.  It had a reddish/orange tint to it and there were still chunks of tomato stuck to it, but the fabric looked to be still in once piece.

I filled the sink with water, tossed the shawl in and went to bed.

The next morning, I rinsed the shawl out a few times, let it soak once more in soapy water, re-blocked it and Voila!

The knit alpaca and silk shawl, cleaned up after it fell in tomato sauce.
A log cabin miracle

You'd never know it ever took a spaghetti sauce bath!

It's a log cabin miracle!

To see if anyone else had a creative miracle this week, join me for today's #CraftingOn link-up.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Makers' Monday

It's tough when your knitting turns on you.  It may be Makers' Monday, but I'm not exactly celebrating my own knitting achievements today.

I've been doing so well lately with staying on track with my knitting and getting the pieces on my To Do list knitted, finished, and shipped as necessary.  I've been doing so well at it that the skin on my forearm has become overly sensitive and sore from my shirt sleeve/cuff rubbing against it as I knit.  That's a lot of knitting!

And then there was the knitting for puppies issue.

I had an Etsy customer who bought a hat and wondered if I could knit her little dog a hat with a matching pompom.  I went in search of dog hat patterns to get some ideas, (there aren't many out there) and came up with a design that I thought might work.   I knit the puppy hat and sewed on a pompom that was about half the size of the human hat's pompom.

Tiny dog modeling a hat with a giant pompom
The adorable Nooshi

Look how adorable Nooshi is wearing her hat.  Look how the pompom is almost as big as her head!  Look how I didn't do a very good job trimming the pompom!

The pompom on this dog hat is bigger than the dog!

Poor little Nooshi!  She can barely hold up her head due to weight of that giant pompom.

Roxy is not happy to be modeling her new hat.

During the design process, I ended up knitting two hats in different sizes so I shipped them both to the customer.  Poor Roxy!  She looks mortified!

knitted hat for dogs for sale at
Poor Roxy! She's not happy with her new hat.

 Roxy never asked for a hat, nor is she happy to be wearing a hat, specially a hat with a giant pompom.

Luckily, depending on how you look at it, my phone went bonkers yesterday and I spent close to four hours at Walmart's phone center tying to fix it.  After a crazy amount of time with Joseph, the extremely helpful Walmart associate (he was so helpful, he deserves recognition,) and a conference call with the phone provider's service rep, I ended up having to buy a new phone.  While I'm not thrilled with having to spend the money, or that I lost the majority of my contacts in the transfer, I'm right pleased with my new phone.  I'm also right pleased that all that time away from my needles was a huge help to my forearm.

I'm also right pleased that while I was leaving the store, I happened to stroll by the craft section and noticed they had a teeny tiny pompom maker.  So now, it's back to the puppy hat drawing board.  And Roxy, I promise to never again ask you to model a hat.

A giant Thank You! goes out to Nooshi and Roxy for playing guinea pig and, despite their pain and embarrassment, for allowing me to post their photos.