Friday, March 22, 2019

On The Needles - Madli's Shawl

Did you celebrate Pi Day on March 14th?

Celebrating Pi Day by casting on a pi shawl with Malabrigo lace weight yarn.
The start of a pi shawl

I celebrated by starting a pi shawl.  Several years ago I got the urge to knit a beaded pi shawl.  I even bought the yarn and beads for it.  Bright, pumpkin orange yarn.  Actually, it's Malabrigo lace weight in Glazed Carrot, not pumpkin.  And then I thought about the reality of a bright pumpkin/Glazed Carrot, beaded pi shawl.... and I set the yarn up on a shelf.  

Sometime last year, still thinking about a pi shawl, I took the yarn down off the shelf and balled one skein.  And then I  thought about the reality of a bright pumpkin/Glazed Carrot, beaded pi shawl and put the yarn back up on the shelf.

Then Pi Day rolled around this year and I'd finished the beaded cowl late the night before... and I couldn't stand it anymore.  I cast on for a bright pumpkin/Glazed Carrot, beaded pi shawl.  And I screwed up the cast on and ripped it.  And cast on again, and screwed it up and ripped it. Again and again I cast on and ripped.  It took me six tries to get the knitting going properly on the dpns.  Six tries!  It was an omen and I should have known.

I knit around and around, following some lacy pi shawl pattern I'd found on Ravelry.  I knit and knit some more and finally it was time to switch to circular needles.  

And then all Hell broke loose.  I have no idea how it happened or what I did but...  It looked like somehow, in the process of knitting off the dpns and onto circular needles, I yarn overed 50 - 60 times, very, very tightly.  The weird yarn overs were so tight they would barely move along the needle's cord and there was no way they'd slide up onto the actual needle.  I pulled and tugged and thought I was going to break the needle but those weird yarn overs wouldn't budge.  I ended up having to cut the knitting off the needle.  I still don't even know how or what I did to mess it up so badly.

And in my frustration, I ditched the pi shawl idea and started knitting a lacy stole type shawl that will be worn as a scarf, not a shawl.  The pattern is Madli's Shawl published in Knitted Lace of Estonia.  And I love it!

I'm knitting a beaded, estonian lace shawl with Malabrigo lace weight yarn.  I'm replacing the knups with beads.
Madli's Shawl

I'm a little further along on the knitting than what's shown in this photo and I'm so happy I gave up the pi shawl idea.  While beads and bright pumpkin/Glazed Carrot yarn may not make for traditional Estonian knitting, I'm loving the result.  And yes, I'm beading instead of knitting knups.  Y'all know how I feel about knups.  Thankfully there are only two out of each twelve rows that are beaded.  It's not as time consuming as it sounds.

Now, let's see how I feel about this shawl design after I've knit thirty one, twelve-row pattern repeats.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Three on Thursday - Summer Tops

It's Thursday so you know what that means.  

Three summer tops I'd like to knit. 

I don't know why I suddenly have such a strong desire to knit myself a summer top.  I spend about 94% of the summer in my work uniform and if I'm not at work, I'm either asleep or at Walmart.  It's also extremely hot and humid during the summers here in Virginia.  The idea of wearing anything heavier than a cotton t-shirt is just... unthinkable.  But despite all that, I have the urge to knit myself a summer top so of course I went Ravelry browsing.

Easy to knit simple summer top with lace panels on the shoulders and sides.

This is Novel-T designed by Laura Nelkin.  I love this top's simple lines and the strip of lace running under the arms and across the shoulders.

This simple summer top can be knit from a cropped top to a full length dress.
Sleeveless Slipover

This one is Sleeveless Slipover from Churchmouse Yarns.  The design seems so basic and not all that interesting but....  The pattern is written so that you can knit any length from a cropped top to a full length dress.  I just love that!  I also love that you could wear it with or without the shirt underneath.  It may be a simple looking top, but this versatile design could be worn all year long.  It's also a design I could easily see myself wearing.

This knitted summer top is plain in the front and fancy in the back.

And Davit, designed by Amy Palmer.  Although the shaping wouldn't look great on me, this one is my favorite of the three.  I just love the simple front and that crossed back.  Absolutely love it!  It might not look all that great on me, but I bet it would be terrific on my daughter.

Now the hard part.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Join me over at Carol's to see others' Three on Thursday posts.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Jeweled Cowl

Life has been pretty good lately.  

A simple, knitted beaded lace cowl.
Jeweled Cowl

I never thought I'd call a trip to the dentist a 'good thing' but I took their recommendation to do no hard physical activity for a couple of days to heart.  I sat, re-binge watched True Blood and knit bead after bead onto my Jeweled Cowl until I ran low on yarn.

I enjoyed knitting this beaded lace cowl.
Jeweled Cowl

I only knit 46 rows of beads instead of the 51 stated in the pattern.  I'm happy with the depth of the cowl though so ....  But I'm not exactly happy with the circumference of it.  It needed to be an inch or two longer.  In order to twist it around my neck twice, I have to remove my eye glasses and it's like wearing a uncomfortably tight turtle neck.  At this point, I'm not sure if I'll keep it and wear it long or find some skinny, small headed person to give it to.

The pond in stormy weather.

Another good thing -  we had some very warm, dry days last week and I was finally able to take a walk around the neighborhood.  I walked down to the pond and am happy to report that all the ice had melted and there were even mosquitoes buzzing around the water's edge.  Okay, I'm not so happy about the mosquitoes but they are a sign of spring.  I'm also happy I got the walk in when I did.  It felt 'tornado-y' and the weather quickly tanked not long after returning home.

Sign of spring.

Another sign of spring - our lone daffodil has sprouted leaves.

As for my book progress....  Well, I obviously spent more time binge watching True Blood than reading.  I'm still reading Disturb Not the Dream and I started reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Yeah, I'm a little slow on that one.  I'm probably the last person on the planet to read it.  

Monday, March 18, 2019

52 Weeks - My Favorite Movies

Today's 52 Weeks Blog Challenge topic is my favorite movies.  All I can say is, you better grab some coffee and maybe a snack.  The list is long.

In no particular order:

Office Space
Catch and Release
Breakfast Club
10 Things I Hate About You
King Arthur  (the one with Clive Owen)
The Sound of Music
Terminator 3
Alien 2
The Cutting Edge 
Leap Year
My Fake Fiance
Miss Congeniality
Almost Famous
Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Bodyguard (the one with Whitney Houston & Kevin Costner)
A Knight's Tale
The Perfect Storm

So, yeah.  I have a thing for sarcasm and romance.  And apparently, movies from the '80's.

What about you?  Are any of your favorites on my list?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Supper - Cabbage Lasagna

First, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

Although I've got some Irish blood, we won't be celebrating the day with traditional Irish foods because someone forgot to grocery shop.  

Well, okay, okay.  Maybe that someone was just too busy knitting and didn't want to grocery shop. 

Whatever.  We won't be having corned beef and cabbage tonight.  But we do have a head of cabbage in the refrigerator and I have been trying to cut back on the carbs lately so....

Easy, low carb recipe for lasagna made with cabbage instead of pasta
cabbage lasagna, photo courtesy of

Cabbage lasagna.  But shhh....  don't tell the family.  Based on how last week's carrot fries went over, I don't think anyone besides me is going to be excited about lasagna made with cabbage.  I have high hopes though.  Cabbage has become a staple in my diet (mine, not theirs) and everyone loves meaty tomato sauce so...  I'm excited to try it.

If you'd like to take a chance, you can find the recipe here.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Off the needles

First, let me just say thank you all for your kindness over the last few posts.  I've enjoyed reading about your bat stories and although sorry for you, I'm glad to know I'm not alone in dental woes.  And now, on with today's post...

In all the hoopla of last week, I forgot mention -

Simple Yet Effective cowl

I finished the Simple Yet Effective cowl knit with Winter's Candy Cane.

Large version of Simple Yet Effective

I didn't think about it while I was knitting it and you can't see it in either of these photos but the design is reversible.

It truly was a simple cowl to knit.  The only difficulty I had with the whole project was typing the name.  Every time, as in Every Single Time, I've tried to type "Yet," I've accidentally typed "Etsy"  I guess it just goes to show how much effect muscle memory has on my life.  But, if you don't have an Etsy shop and/or  you don't plan to type the cowl's name repeatedly in blog posts or on social media, I'd say give the pattern a try.  It's very simple, knits up quickly and it's free on Ravelry.

I can't wait for Christmas so that I can wear it.  Not that I'm rushing the season or anything...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Three on Thursday

Well, you might want to skip reading today's Three on Thursday post.  It's mostly me whining and throwing myself a giant pity party.  And it gets a little graphic.  But, if you ever find yourself in my situation, I do have some helpful information.  Here goes:

1.  I went to the dentist to get x-rays and to make a plan.  Sadly, I'm having some issues and will be spending a lot of my summer in the chair.

A trip to the dentist

Instead of x-rays and a plan, I got one x-ray and a pulled tooth.

2.  I spent the remainder of the day (and most of the night) sucking on tea bags and binge watching True Blood.  It seemed appropriate.

Do you know about sucking on tea bags when you have a bloody mouth for what ever reason?  Soak a teabag (caffeinated green or black tea) in cold water then stick in your mouth over the bloody place.  The tannic acid helps stop bleeding.  Sounds crazy but it really does work.  And, if you get the right flavored tea, it tastes a lot better than bloody gauze.

What's the right flavored tea?  Definitely not Lipton's green tea.  Yuck-O!  I'll admit though - I'm not a fan of green tea to begin with so sucking on a green tea bag was just - Ick!  ICK!  Next I tried 'regular' Luzianne but all we had was Family Size bags and I couldn't begin to close my mouth around the giant bag.  I went to the pantry shelf full of "special" tea and most were either decaf, cinnamon or peppermint flavored (thought that might not be best for an open wound) or they'd expired five years ago.  (We rarely drink "special" tea, although I love the idea of it and buy it frequently.)  But there on the back of the shelf - Yes!  A tin of Barnes & Nobles' Autumn Orange.  Okay, so it was expired too, but only by a little bit.

By the way, expired Barnes & Nobles Autumn Orange bags taste pretty good.  Good enough to over power the blood taste.  And they stopped the bleeding eventually.  Yay!

3.  And  now I'm on the "cold and old" diet.  That's what I've named it.  For 24 hours after the bleeding stopped, I can only have cold foods.  Cold, unlumpy, soft foods.  

So now I'm drinking yesterday's left over cold coffee.  You know you're a coffee addict when the dentist tells you cold foods only and your Very first thought is, "But what about my coffee?"

And did you know that there are no cold, non-lumpy soft foods that aren't pure sugar?  Apple sauce, ice cream, pudding and jello.  Ugh!   I mean, ice cream is Yay!  But even ice cream gets old if it's all you eat over a 48 hour window.

Because at work, never fail, as soon as I heat my food, some crisis happens and I end up eating my food cold an hour later.  It never fails!  But, it has taught me that I like cold cauliflower smashed up like mashed potatoes.  And today I discovered cold scrambled eggs with a tiny dollop of mayonnaise to hide the cold egg flavor isn't bad.  

So yeah, I'm calling it my "cold and old" diet.   But it's okay.  the diet is working!  I've already lost three pounds and tomorrow I get to eat warm soup.  But for now, I think I'll go finish off the ice cream.