Thursday, April 2, 2020

Good Things

I feel like I've been doing a lot of whining lately so I thought for today's Three on Thursday, I'd mention three recent good things.


1.  My brother-in-law came over and hung out with my mother-in-law so that Sarah and I could go run errands together.  It was the first time since Christmas that Sarah and I had gotten to have mother/daughter day and the first time in thirteen days since I'd been in a public place.  It was quite an exciting and exhilarating day spent at Target and Walmart.  I will not mention how much money I spent on snack foods and fancy shampoos.  Worse comes to worse, our plan is to use some of the shampoo as hand soap.

2.  Baby time!  The new granddaughter and family have been in quarantine and I've only gotten to visit once before but... Mike and I picked up dinner and went for a visit the other night.  I got to hold Hayden the entire time we were there.  She was awake and squirmy part of the time and slept in my arms the rest.  My apologies for the crumbs I may have dropped in her freshly washed hair.  I wasn't about to put her down to eat though.


3.  I do not have seasonal allergies.

Join me for today's Three on Thursday link-up, stay healthy and knit on.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Oh froggers!

I know you've been waiting with baited breath...


My Hitchhiker went from an oddly shaped and ill-fitting completed body to


piles and


piles of yarn.  Frogging it was pretty disappointing, but not as painful as I expected it to be.  Honestly, I never really liked the sweater from the begging.  I think I was only knitting it because of peer pressure.  I love the idea of an oversized sweater but I'm not a fan of reverse stockinette and that much positive ease, not that my sweater had any but...  Anyway, that much positive ease would have made me look like I was wearing a circus tent.  In the end, I'm okay with having frogged it.  I've also already found a new pattern to try.  

super simple and easy to knit stuffed cat with embroidered face.

Meanwhile, while I binge watched the entire first season of Stranger Things, again, I knit Sleepy Kitty from Baby Knits Made Easy.   Hayden needs a toy.

Hopefully Hayden likes kittens with devil horns instead of ears.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Petals

Lots of petals in my life at the moment.


The redbud tree outside our backdoor is in full bloom and gorgeous, despite the gray skies.

Garter scarf or shawl knit with Stroll Tweed https://shrsl.com/26owv

And my Petal Hitchhiker is coming along.  At the time that photo was taken, I had 21 teeth knit and now there are 24 complete.  

In addition to knitting the Hitchhiker, I've been working on my sweater from Hell Weekender.  Remember that project?  I wish I could forget it!  How is it possible to so horribly mess up such an easy design?  

Remember that when I finished the waist ribbing, I'd forgotten to change to the larger needles and I didn't discover it until I'd knit 12+ inches, in the round?  And  how I decided to leave it because the sweater was already designed to have ten inches of positive ease?  Did I mention that when I split the sweater fronts and backs for the arm holes that I started using the larger needles?  Or at least I was  using the larger needles in that project bag.  I completely finished the front on the wrong (correct??) needle and started on the back.... 

And about 20 seconds ago, as I was typing this, I thought, "Let's link to an old post about my Weekender so the readers will know what I'm talking about," and low and behold....  There was my post about knitting the body with the smaller needle.  Crud.  And then I went and noticed that my gauge notes say I'm using two completely different sizes from what was actually in the project bag.  What the heck?  

Good grief!  At this point, I'm just going to finish the back, bind it off, sew the front and back together and see what it looks like.  From there, it will either get trashed out of frustration, frogged or the sleeves will be knit and I'll have a sweater.  Stay tuned for the exciting outcome.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Three on Thursday - Stash Busting

We're all stuck in our homes, the grocery stores are empty and our local yarn shops are closed. The only thing left to do is dive into that yarn stash pile.  Thank goodness for a giant yarn stash!  I don't know what those poor knitters who don't stash will do.  My heart goes out to them.

Besides stashing yarn, I'm also very, very happy about my tendency to hoard hand lotions.  My family have always made fun of me for it, or more honestly, been irritated with me over it, but they aren't complaining now!  With all this hand washing, we're going through some hand lotion!

But back to knitting and yarn....

What can we knit with all that stashed yarn?  Assuming the majority of your stash is like mine and made up of mostly fingering weight, single skeins rather than sweater quantities of gorgeous hand dyed yarns....  What can a knitter knit?  Other than the 10-stitch and mitered square blankets that instantly come to mind when planning a stash busting project, that is.  And free, since so many of us are out of work due to the nasty "C" word....

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yarn-ends-mittens
Yarn End Mittens by Kathy Lewinski

How about a pair or two of Yarn End Mittens?  They'd definitely be a great way to use up some small scraps of leftover yarn.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-age-of-brass-and-steam-kerchief
The Age of Brass and Steam by Orange Flower Yarn

Looking to use up a full skein?  How about knitting The Age of Brass and Steam?  As written, the pattern is for a kerchief but it could easily be made larger by knitting more pattern repeats.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/smitten-a-holiday-garland
Smitten by Emily Ivey

Or, perhaps you'd like to get ahead on the holidays.  This mitten garland would be adorable hanging just about anywhere in your house and you could even tuck little gifts or candies into them.  Individually, they'd make great tree ornaments and/or gift toppers.  The pattern is Smitten by Emily Ivey.

I hope you are all surviving this COVID-19 ordeal and will join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.  

Stay well, stay sane, and knit on!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How you doing?


So, how are you doing?  I've got to admit, this whole COVID-19 thing is starting to get to me.  As introverted as I am, thirteen days without a break from my family duties or a visit with a friendly face is pushing my limits.  

The news just continues to get worse.  As of yesterday, my state has 254 cases and seven deaths.  The Governor closed certain businesses, one being my son's (so the new dad is now out of work for a minimum of 30 days,) and the public schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year.  I'm not even embarrassed to admit that I shed a tear when I received back to back emails saying that (1) my LYS is basically shutting down and will only be open by appointment only and (2) Knit Picks, my favorite online yarn dealer, will no longer be shipping orders as of last night.

The reality is, I have enough yarn stashed (and maybe an order or two out there on a truck somewhere) that at least three of you could come over and all four of us could knit 24/7 for the rest of our lives and probably not use up all the yarn.  But that's not the point.  The point is, I no longer have a yarn on demand source.  No internet, no meat, no paper towels (we did find toilet paper!) and now no yarn.  I think I'm gonna die!

As for the toilet paper situation, we scored a pack!  Actually, my daughter did.  She was on spring break and drove 132 miles to visit a friend who now lives in an even more remote location than us.  While visiting, they went to the grocery store and, yowza!  Toilet paper!!  Twelve whole rolls worth!  It's party time over here now!

So, in an attempt not to commit harakiri out of boredom/stress/loneliness/too much family time, I've of course been knitting.

Top down ragland knit with Cascade 220 Wave from Center of the Yarniverse
Wave Ragland Sweater

I finished the Cascade 220 Wave top-down ragland sweater.  It's a pretty big sweater and start to finish, it took me 20 days.

Top down ragland child's sweater knit with Colorburst from Universal Yarn
Colorburst Ragland Sweater

Next, a miniature top-down ragland for Hayden to wear in a few years.  Per the calendar, that one took me four days but in reality, it was two days and about three hours.

Hitchhiker shawl knit with Special Reserve Stroll Gradient Tweed from Knit Picks https://shrsl.com/26ix9
Petal Hitchhiker

And yesterday I started another Hitchhiker.  I'm a bad Grandma!  I'd bought this Special Reserve Stroll Gradient Tweed from Knit Picks with the intention of knitting Hayden a little dress but....  I'm not normally a big fan of pink but this is really more of a coral and faded bricks color. Knit Picks calls it Petal.  Whatever color you call it, I love it! 

Oh, we did have a bit of excitement today.  I think I've mentioned before that our house is beside the railroad tracks.  Well, the railroad folk have been repairing the tracks and replacing the ties.


They had a huge, giant pile of the old ties stacked up.  And for the past few days, tractor trailers have been driving down our road, picking up loads of them to carry away.


Our road is pretty narrow with our yard and mailbox on one side and the swamp on the other.  Well, today, the railroad people didn't time things too well and two tractor trailers had to pass each other.  It was quite exciting watching them try not to damage our yard or drive into the swamp.  Of course, I didn't think to take a photo until the excitement was over.

Well, that's all the news I have.  I'm going to try to keep to my normal blog posting routine but if things get spotty here, it's due to the lack of internet.  We have a couple of jetpacks that we use for email and light duty internet but for the bigger stuff, or anything that streams, we've always gone to the library or Dunkin Donuts to use their free wifi.  But now with everything closed....  We managed to use a whole month's worth of data on one of the packs in less than three days so....  Things may get pretty hairy around here.  

So... In the infamous words of Elizabeth Zimmerman, "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises."



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Supper - Split Pea Hummus

We, okay, I have been thinking about going vegetarian again.  It's been a long time since I last tried eating that way. I felt a lot better when I cut meat out of my diet but I was constantly hungry and I gained weight because I ate nothing but crackers and mac and cheese.  But I like a lot more vegetables now.  I have my daughter's support but not the husbands.  We'll see who ends up being boss in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, today's Sunday Supper recipe is for split pea hummus.  The website (myrecipes.com) won't share their photo so you'll have to follow the link to see what it looks like.  Basically, it just looks like green hummus.   I understand how a website might not want to share their photos but I don't think I've ever run into one that won't even allow you to Pin it.  Weird.  I wouldn't have even bothered mentioning this one except, it sounds super easy and tasty.  We'll see...

Friday, March 20, 2020

Timing is everything

Boy, did I time that right!  Thankfully I finished the ragland sweater late Wednesday night while the high temperature was still in the upper 50's.  It's a big, wool sweater and warm on the lap.

hand knitting a sweater for my grandchild. Simple and easy ragland sweater. Colorburst yarn from Universal Yarn
top down ragland, size 2T

Yesterday it climbed into the 80's and I spent the day on the porch knitting another, much smaller version of the same sweater.

I now have three sunburned toes.  They sort of match my yarn.

Speaking of yarn, that's Tropical Sunset Colorburst from Universal Yarn.  This is the second project I've knit with Colorburst.  It's not cashmere soft but it's not horrible and for the price, it's pretty dang awesome.  Two year old Hayden probably won't want to wear it without a t-shirt on underneath, but it will be a great sweater to throw on before she goes outside to play.

And because we can't seem to have a conversation these days without mentioning the "C" word....  I hope you are healthy and have a well stocked pantry and bathroom.  I can't believe it's been over a week and our grocery store shelves are still empty.  No paper products, no meat or cheese and not close to a fully stocked fresh vegetable section.  I guess I should just be glad they have bread now since the only meat items they do have is frozen hamburgers and chicken patties.  Yeah, this was a great time for me to fail my cholesterol test.

Oh well.  I have yarn and that's what matters.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A sleeve and a baby

My Wave sweater has an arm.

I have a sleeve.

Hayden Kristina, two days old

And a granddaughter.  Meet Hayden Kristina.  She is perfect!


She has my hair and sadly, my giant feet.  She also has the Owen nose but thankfully, not the Owen ears.  She has tiny, little delicate, adorable ears.


Mom and Dad seem pretty pleased with her.  Hayden is "chill" and they think they'll keep her.  As long as she can keep a hand up to her face, she doesn't fuss at all.


Even Aunt Sarah is taken with her.  And of course, I'm over the moon with her.  

Her birth about killed me though.  The hospital was on lock-down due to the corona virus and we weren't allowed to visit.  We had to wait until she got home before we could meet her in person.  Y'all can imagine how well that went over with me.

To deal with the stress/excitement of waiting for her birth and trip home, I knit and read.  Over the last sixteen days, I've knit the body, a rather large body I might add, and one sleeve on my Wave sweater plus started and finished five books on my Kindle.  I've been a bit obsessed.

If you're in need of something to keep your mind off the fact that the grocery stores have nothing but empty shelves and the news media is acting like we will all die an immediate death if we take a single step outside our doors, I found these books to be hard to put down.

Jane Doe:  A Novel by Victoria Helen Stone
Her Last Word by Mary Burton
The Last Sister by Kendra Elliot
When She Returned by Lucinda Berry
The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent

A couple of them had unbelievable and/or rushed endings but they were all free on the Kindle and they definitely held my attention.

Well, I'm off to scroll through photos of Hayden.  I wish you all full pantries and plenty of toilet paper.  Stay healthy folks.

Oh, and happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday Supper - Pots de Creme

We're getting pretty fancy for today's Sunday Supper.  We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day a little early with Chocolate Pots de Creme.

https://thecafesucrefarine.com/blender-chocolate-pots-de-creme/
Chocolate Pots de Creme from thecafesucrefarine.com

You'll need a blender and you'll also need to scroll way down through the website to find the recipe.  After looking over the recipe, I think scrolling down through the site will take more effort than making the recipe.  It sounds delicious!

Friday, March 13, 2020

I've never been good at math

Knitters, bakers and mathematicians world wide know what tomorrow is - Pi Day.  Every year I say I'm going to cast on a Pi shawl and most years I'm able to ignore the urge.  The years I do cast one on, I'm cussing myself a few months into the project.  Have you ever knit a pi shawl?  They are so fun and quick to knit the first 4,000 rounds, but those last 20,000 rounds take FOREVER!

This year, I'm proud and excited to announce I did not have the urge.  Well, not a big urge.  It was just a teeny, tiny, "I should knit a Pi something for a blog post" urge.  So I knit a Pi dish cloth.

pi shawl dish cloth knit with Dishie from Knit Picks https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435395&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Pi fail

Or at least, I tried to.  I think I screwed up my math because it turned out to be shaped like a VERY wide brimmed sombrero for Barbie.  Oh well.  It will still scrub the dishes just fine.  And, it's green so it counts as my St. Patrick's Day knit.

If you're curious, the yarn is Dishie from Knit Picks in the Caterpillar colorway.  I used US 5 needles and cast on three stitches.  I think for a Pi, I needed four, maybe.  Really, I don't understand why it didn't work.  With the math of pi, it should have worked.  I knit a row, increased a row.  Knit 2 rows, increased a row.  Knit four rows, increased a row....  It should have worked.  But then, I've never been good at math.

Happy Friday 13th and wishing you a pie filled Pi Day tomorrow!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Three on Thursday

Three Very random things...

1. My apologies if you've attempted to leave comments on my posts over the last few days.  Spam comments were being left so frequently that I made a few security changes and being technologically challenged, I may have messed it up.  And then on top of that, I set it so that I have to approve your comments before they show up for the public to see... then forgot to check my email to approve them.  Hopefully I've fixed the glitch I created and learned my lesson and will remember to approve the comments going forward. Hopefully.

top down ragland pullover, self striping yarn, self fading  wool; wool jumper
Cascade 220 Wave Ragland Sweater

2.  My Wave sweater is coming along.  I'm still not sure the stripes and/or bright color will look good on me but who cares.  I'm having fun knitting it.  The color changes every few rounds so it's never boring even with all that stockinette.  And yes, the weather has been nice enough to do lots of outdoor knitting.  Yay!

3.  That grand baby of mine still has not arrived.  I'm trying to be patient but....  I do feel a little bit bad for Mama though.  The doctor has instructed her to 'naturally induce' labor which means she's supposed to do squats, eat a lot of pineapple and drink castor oil.  I could deal with the pineapple but the rest....  

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Oh Dear!

First, and most importantly, we still do not have a baby.  At least as of about 10 p.m. last night we don't.  It's a full moon so maybe something changed after I typed this but Baby is being stubborn and I kinda doubt it.

While I wait, most impatiently, I've been knitting.

Easy Ragland knit with Cascade 220 Waves worsted wool.  Knit in the round, top down.
Waves Sweater

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous and I sat outside in shorts and knit.  It was wonderful!  I just hope I didn't scare anyone with my lily white legs.

The sweater is coming along.  I haven't measured or even paid that much attention, but I think I'm probably five or six inches past the arm hole.   I'm still over the moon happy with the yarn.  The colors just fade into each other and every row makes me smile.

But for the 'oh dear' part of this post....

https://shrsl.com/25rpi
Static

I'm determined to knit that sweater before I start anything else.  Well, anything except may something small for the baby.  I'm thinking she needs socks.  But besides baby socks, I want to focus on that sweater.  And then..... Look what showed up in my mailbox.  

Meet Static, a self patterning sock yarn from Knit Picks.  The yarn comes in brights and neutral colorways, is a limited edition thing And it's currently on sale.  I don't even remember ordering this skein of Peppercorn, but I'm going to have to order more.  I can't wait to see how this knits up.

Fingering weight sock yarn https://shrsl.com/25rq0
Stroll Tweed Tonal Special Reserve

This one, I do remember ordering.  Stroll Tweed Tonal Special Reserve, also from Knit Picks.  They've added tweed to hand painted tonal yarns and it's perfection.  Absolute perfection! This one is also on sale. And, I think I also need more of this yarn.  I believe Baby needs a sweater knit with Petal.

Oh Dear!  With these two gorgeous skeins staring me in the face, how on earth am I supposed to focus on my Waves sweater?

And since I seem to be pushing Knit Picks today....  

Did you know Knit Picks is affiliated with WeCrochet Magazine?  For those of you who crochet, or are interested in learning to crochet, they currently have two fantastic deals on kits right now.  Here are links if you'd like to check them out.  I don't crochet but the prices on these kits make me want to.

$15 Yay Crochet Kit ($39 value)
$25 Yay Crochet Kit ($100 value)

Friday, March 6, 2020

Is that you, Spring?

Yes, I think spring might be here!  Early spring in Virginia really isn't much different from winter, while late spring is pretty much the same as summer temperature wise.  But flower wise....  

Spring is officially here.
daffodils

My mother-in-law has so many daffodils in her yard, you'd think we were in Holland.  They have all been above ground for several weeks now but this one little clump are the only ones blooming.  Weird.  But hey - the daffodils are blooming.  Spring is officially here no matter what the calendar says.

All those messy looking, mostly dead vines in the background are wisteria and honeysuckle.  I don't remember the wisteria blooming last year but I sure hope it's still alive and blooms this year.  Besides being beautiful, the whole yard smells so good when it's in bloom.

red sky at night, sailors delight; beautiful sunset with pink and purple sky
Sunset, March 5, 2020
How was your sunset last night?  Mine was gorgeous!

And no, I have no knitting photos to show you.  Instead of knitting, I spent yesterday obsessively checking my phone.  I'm officially on Baby Watch.  I'm expecting the phone call that they are heading to the hospital at any moment.  Actually, I've been expecting that call for the last 40+ hours.  I'm getting a tad bit impatient.  I want so badly to meet my granddaughter.  I'm starting the think that they aren't even having a child.  They are having a sloth.  Why is this baby taking so long??  I know Mamma has been pregnant for at least three years now.

I have never been good at waiting but this whole waiting for a baby thing is killing me!  If I don't have a grand-baby to show you next week, that son of mine and his woman are going to have some serious explaining to do.  

Okay, now I'm worried.  Out of curiosity, I Googled when the next full moon will be.  March 9th.  And it's the "worm" moon.  I can not wait four whole more days to meet my grand-baby and she will NOT be born under a worm moon.  Come on Megan - get your act together and have that baby!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Three on Thursday - Sweater Choices

I'm still madly in LOVE with the yarn I'm using to knit my newest ragland sweater but to be honest, I am starting to worry I'm going to look like the Jolly Green Giant when I wear it.  I'm also struggling with how to introduce the next skein without a weird line showing up and/or wasting yarn.  I'm concerned I won't have enough yarn because I was planning to knit something else when I purchased it.  Yardage is going to be very, very tight.  Maybe I could solve the problem by loosing 50 pounds in the next, say, 20 minutes when I'll be ready to separate the arms from the body.  

I doubt seriously I'll loose those 50 pounds so ....  Plan B - buy more yarn.

But, meanwhile, adding the next skein continues to be a problem.  The first time I introduced a new skein, I "faded" it by doing a couple of single row stripes of each but....  I was left with a 20+/- inch tail of the old yarn and by the end of the sweater, those 20 inches could be a make or break thing.

The second skein, I did a row of alternating single stitches of each color.  But again, that meant using both yarns for one row.  Too wasteful.  If you have any suggestions, please post them!

Since I spent yesterday at the doctor's being drained of blood and finding out I'm over weight and have a thyroid problem, I didn't get much knitting done or have a chance to take any new photos.  I do have an excuse for the weight though.  It's not the cookies, it's the thyroid!  Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Okay, okay....  Let's stay on track here.  I didn't take any photos.  So instead, I'll show you what the Cascade 220 Wave yarn would have been if I hadn't been too lazy to walk across the room to grab a pattern at the very moment I decided I must cast on.

Felix cardigan pattern knit with bulky weight yarn
Felix

At first it was going to be a Felix cardigan, but that calls for bulky and the Wave is worsted.  I really, really love that ragland detail though.  One day...

Simple cropped pullover knit with worsted weight wool
Hibernal

After another brief Ravelry search, I set my sights on Hibernal.  I like the simplicity of it.  I also really like the loose body but tighter arms.  I don't care for big, bulky, floppy arms on my sweaters.  I want them loose enough to push up the sleeves if necessary, but not floppy.  These sleeves look perfect.

Harry Potter sweater cardigan
Hogwarts House Cardigan

And then my Harry Potter Knitting Magic book arrived.  I decided to knit the Hogwarts House Sweater.  But in the moment, I was tired and lazy and wanted instant stitching.  Apparently walking across the room and opening a book wasn't instant enough.  Plus, I'd have had to swatch.

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Waves

I can't remember if I ever showed you the yarn I bought recently.

Worsted weight wool, green and blue, glows like a mermaid tail
Cascade 220 Wave from Center of the Yarniverse

It was one of those sort of/sort of not spur of the moment purchases.  I wanted to knit a Felix cardigan because, well, I think I'm the only knitter left on the planet who hasn't knit one.  Besides, I love the ragland detail on the Felix.  I didn't have a sweater quantity of acceptable yarn at home so....

Of course, this yarn is not acceptable for Felix either.  It's Cascade 220 Wave worsted.  Felix calls for bulky.  I didn't care.  I had to have that yarn!  HAD to!  The greens and blues called to me and I was powerless to say no to yet another pile of yarn for my stash pile.  

I thought about adding a strand of something else to it to make it work for a Felix but I was afraid of messing up the yarn's glowy color.  It reminds me of a sparkly mermaid tail.  I absolutely LOVE it!

So, as soon as I cast off that last stitch on the Wool of the Andes shawl, I immediately grabbed this yarn and cast on.  

Very easy to knit top down ragland with simple rolled cuffs knit with Cascade 220 Wave
The beginnings of a top down ragland sweater.

I was both so lazy and so excited to start knitting with it, I didn't even find a pattern.  I just started a plain top down ragland and guessed at the cast on stitches.  I'm basing it on my memory (yikes!) of  a simple ragland from Green Mountain Spinnery.  I've knit that sweater many, many times so I think I'll be okay winging it.  Fingers crossed!

And yes, I'm using my in omnia paratus stitch marker.  With this gorgeous yarn, I am ready for anything!

Speaking of in omnia paratus... Several of you asked about a link for purchasing the Gilmore Girls bag I mentioned a while back.  I've been slow responding because Organized Chaos Yarns was in the middle of a website change/upgrade and it wasn't accessible.  But they are up and running just fine now.  You can find a link to their Gilmore Girl collection here.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Sunday Supper - Winter Lentil Soup

Welcome to March!  My mind says it's spring but it sure still feels like winter.  There's nothing better on a cold winter day than a nice warm bowl of soup so...  

Today's Sunday Supper recipe is winter lentil soup from realsimple.com.  Sadly there's no photo, but it's vegetarian, only takes 20 minutes of hands-on prep time and sounds delicious.  I think.  I hope.  I've never had leeks before so I really don't know.  My understanding is that they are sort of oniony and I like onion flavored things so...

Anyway, we're trying it.  Want to try it with me?

Friday, February 28, 2020

Leap Day

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

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

https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435446&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Lofoten hat knit with Wool of the Andes

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

https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435446&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
even floats!

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

I miss Andy desperately!

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

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

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Three on Thursday - Bunnies

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

Bunny patterns!  More specifically, easy and quick to knit bunny patterns.  Even more specifically, easy, quick to knit and suitable for an infant because you know.... I'm going to be a Grandma soon!

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rabbit-13
Rabbit
This one is a free Ravelry design from Susan B. Anderson.  Cute, quickly doable and best of all, free!

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bunny-friend
Bunny Friend
This one looks like the perfect size for a newborn granddaughter to grasp in her little hand.  A simple change of shirt color and boy Bunny Friend becomes a girl bunny friend.  The pattern isn't technically free, but it's so cheap it may as well be.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bunny-rabbit-11
Bunny Rabbit
Bunny Rabbit from OGE Knitwear Designs looks slightly more complicated but it does not appear to use buttons.  Buttons are a concern for the tiny folk.  He's also much bigger than the other two.  He'd be great for either a toddler or a shelf.

What, if anything, are you knitting for Easter?  

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Seashells


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

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


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

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


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

Thanks Rebecca!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Supper - Brown Sugar Smokies

#cooking from scratch for Sunday Supper https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/14939/brown-sugar-smokies/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringId=17220&referringContentType=Recipe%20Hub&clickId=cardslot%205
Brown Sugar Smokies from allrecipes.com

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

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

Friday, February 21, 2020

Goals!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435446&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Lofoten knit with Wool of the Andes

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 20, 2020

In omnia paratus

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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