Sunday, June 29, 2008


She's done. Whew. I thought those cables would never end! Still...a very quick knit! I love it!

While "showing off" my knitting on Ravelry during the last visit with my in-laws, my SIL noted that I had never knit her anything. So we browsed thru some patterns and she really liked this beret. I purchased the pattern from Ysolda and picked up some Caron Simply Soft Heathers in the Sage colorway. My SIL is one of those that doesn't like wool (too itchy for her), and her color choice was tough, since "Sage" can vary GREATLY between so many different yarns out there. I liked this colorway when I saw it, and I like Simply Soft yarns - so here it is.

My Gretel turned out "large" (my SIL told me she has a big head!) but I made the "slouchy" version so I kind of expected that. I just hope after her wash she keeps around the same dimensions or I may have to redo it. What I may do is work some elastic in the band like others have had to do to their own berets so it'll be okay. We had a lot of laughs trying this hat on as well. It can fit kind of funny until you get it situated on your head just right. What great entertainment!
If I make it again, I'll do the "regular" version and probably go down a needle size on the ribbing. This is why I'm so glad I skipped the "tubular" cast on. My gut instinct was "don't make it too stretchy" and I was right. A regular long tail cast on was perfect. I highly recommend this pattern, it's easy to read, easy to make, and FUN to watch evolve. 2 Thumbs Up Ysolda!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I (heart) Knitters

Yea!! I did it!! Fellow Raveler Susan (Kibbles) helped me so much in being able to get the Ravelry WIPs & Finished Objects stuff on my blog. She gave me all the info I needed to work it out and I'm such a happy camper now. Thank you tons Susan! I would've never figured it out without your help. She has a cool blog too, check it out! Her kitty is pretty handsome as well!

Today was "clean the house" day. Fun. Joy. But I always feel so much better once it's done. Looking around me right now, I still have a LOT of sorting to do, but that can wait until another day.

I'm totally excited, yesterday I got this in the mail:

Remember I said I wanted it? Well, I ordered it. I've been a pretty good girl this year on my yarn diet, I think I deserved something to make my heart pitter patter. I don't know how I'll do with this, I've crocheted with beads before but never knitted with them. First I have to string them on, so I'm not sure when I'm going to start this. I also hate charts so I'll be writing the pattern out first to help me along. Ohhh, I can't wait! The yarn is Schaefer Heather. I've had my ups and downs with Schaefer yarns, but this kit was WAY too pretty to pass up.

Here's a project that will never get finished:

I found this buried in my closet and I totally understand why. I'm so not diggin this. It's a self changing yarn (I don't know where I put the label right now) but it looked so pretty in the little ball...I have to try another pattern perhaps. This is just u g l y. It's funny, most people on Rav used it in this diagonal scarf pattern but it's just not working for me.

Okay, I'm off to try to get some more knitting done on my SIL's beret. No tubular cast on for me, it really didn't look difficult at all (it's simply for stretch & flexibility), but I felt it really wasn't necessary and I'll explain all that when I get the hat done. ciao!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life's too short.

Sasha says: "Hurry Up With My Blankee pleazze!"

About the socks: I agree with you Jeanne, I seem to recall a few washes not really helping the other "solo" sock I have in this yarn or else I would have a pair and I know I don't. I have some really nice stuff in my closet and I just bought more, there's no reason to twitter over making another scratchy sock! I'll use the rest of the yarn for cat toys or something (anybody want it?). I think I still have a couple more skeins of this stuff that I should put up on Rav to trade or sell. There's an Opal Group there that has over 450 members so somebody should want it!!! I can't understand their luv, but we all have our own opinions on things and I respect their choice to appreciate it in a way I can't.

I've been trying to start a beret for my sister in law but keep doing other things instead. I guess it's because it calls for a "tubular cast-on" and I don't really want to do it (cause I don't know how). Lately I've had the "fuzzy mind" issue going on, it's too much to think about no matter how easy it is. I guess I should at least watch the video again...maybe it'll just "click" all of a sudden.
Sophie says: "Cool! I'm camo'd from that child who always holds me captive!" Poor Kitty. She gets TOO much love sometimes.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To be or not to be...

That's my question.

I just finished one sock out of Regenwald Opal in the Flamingo colorway and I can't decide if I want to work up the second one. The cast on row is just sitting there waiting for me to decide.

I know from past experience that this yarn knits up like "sandpaper" to me personally. Some yarns improve over time, but this doesn't seem to be one of them for me. I couldn't help it, this colorway grabbed me at a LYS about a year ago and when you're in a hurry things like that can happen. More and more I'm discovering that my yarn purchases are smarter when I take my time and think things over. Being impulsive has it's consequences. The yarn diet has has made me reflect on a lot of things and I'm doing so much better but I still have to deal with the unwise choices from my stash! Oh well, live and learn. It's all good.
I guess I'll give this sock a nice bath to see if it gets any softer before I make up my mind.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sometimes a change is good...

Lately I've been crocheting more than I've been knitting. I sometimes need a change (notice my blog keeps changing? LOL!) to keep me in a happy place. Certain MEN (my husband) would say it's because I'm a woman. hmpf.

I had several skeins of yarn that I had set aside to make a Patchwork Afghan from Lion Brand's site. I first saw it in a catalog they sent me (a couple of years ago?) and I fell in love! Later I thought "can I really knit 100 squares without losing my mind?" And then later as brain cells were actually functioning in a faster mode, I thought about all those "ends" that would need to be woven in. Oy. Not going to happen in a million years no matter how much I love that afghan.

All that yarn has been in my closet for a long time now so I finally pulled it out and decided on a ripple afghan using Jan Eaton's pattern "Soft Waves" in the book 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns . It's not going to be a huge monster, probably just a simple back of the couch kind of "catch all the cat hair" kind of blankee. I used the Random Stripe Generator to develop some ideas and while I'm not using it "exactly", I'm working from parts of different designs to make it easier than picking colors randomly on my own. I'm so indecisive, it would never happen without it so I'm thankful that it's available.

I have to take breaks with this project though, I must sit totally still when I crochet now because there's one spot on my back (on the right side between my shoulder blades) that tenses up like crazy when I crochet this. Time for some yoga (and knitting).

The Big Guy has caught that summer cold that's going around. He seems okay as long as he takes his Tylenol Cold. Poor Guy. I hate when he's sick, but luckily it's the weekend and he's been able to get some rest. I can't get him to stay home from work if my life depended on it, so it hitting last Friday was the best time it could've popped up.

Today was a good day to lay low, we had some thunderstorms come by that sounded like they'd crack my house in two. Yes, this southern weather will never cease to scare the beejeebee's out of me.

Stay well and knit - or crochet on.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Lasted Half a Year! WOO HOO!

Being on a yarn diet wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I'll most likely continue after this little blip. Lasting six months is something I'm proud of because I'm a total "impulse" buyer if there ever was one. I can happily report that I've been on STR's site, ebay, and others over the past months and I've actually put things in my cart and been SO tempted to hit "buy now". Then I stopped. Yep, I just stepped back from the laptop and no one got hurt.

It felt good to really ponder those (wishful) purchases and realize "I'm not going to die if I don't get THIS color RIGHT NOW". Yes, I survived to knit another day. It was like when I was little and my brother and I would scour the Sears catalog for all the toys we wished we could have. And boy would our list be long. But, out of site, out of mind. Life goes on.

I got some of this (been wanting to try this - color 1812) THIS is so SOFT:

And some of this (Happy Feet Color 4):

And some MORE of this (I needed more Smooshy like I need more chocolate):

And this (which is really a lot prettier in person. It's Rio De La Plata Merino Sock):

The trip to visit the in-laws was really nice. Although it was typical Tennessee weather on the way there:

We were blessed that the storms went around us.

My In-laws are really a lot of fun to be around and we love to catch up on what everyone else is doing since The Big Guy's family is very spread out. His Mom & Dad are the "hub" where everyone checks in and gives updates (gossip! LOL!). His sister from Indiana was there with her son and we all went out for dinner at The Outback. Yum. I didn't order any cheesecake either. I was so proud of myself! (Okay, so I had three brownies in the car, I made them last several days!!)

One of the reasons I don't mind the drive there is because my FAVORITE yarn shop The Yarn Patch is on the way!!! These are absolutely the nicest ladies I think I've ever encountered and I've been to maybe 20 different shops in three states. I don't know how to explain it, other places are nice too, but this shop just has that "special" somethin, somethin. I wish I lived around there so I could knit with them. It's such a nice, comfortable atmosphere and they always make me feel welcome. I give this LYS 5 stars. They're the best.

The ride home was nice even though no yarn shop stops were made. Although, I was pooped from a little girl kicking me all night as we slept on a sleeper sofa. Well, SHE slept, I couldn't. The mattress was too soft for me and I always fancied myself like the "Princess and the Pea". I guess I can only do "soft" to a certain extent anymore. With this beautiful day in hand, I went back to sleep when I got home.

Summer seems to be flying by. We really want to get the girls rooms painted before school starts in August so that's been nagging at us. We have totally good intentions, let's just hope it happens. If I felt better most of the time I could do it no problem. The other main problem is picking out colors. Why is it so HARD?? It's like buying yarn, sometimes the choice of colors can make it impossible to feel "right" about what I've bought. Except with yarn I can go back and buy MORE! I actually wanted PURPLE sock yarn, and look what I brought home...well, there's always next year.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blah Blah Blah


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

This is a filler blog post. I took pictures of some things I wanted to post about and deleted them from the camera before I got them onto my laptop. Yes, I had a few choice words for myself when that happened. I've been fighting a migraine for too many days now. I'm barely conscious so I probably won't remember I did it anyway until I go back and read this post one day.

But hey!! This made me feel a bit better. I even admitted I don't cook, I curse (a tiny bit) and I whine and complain! Too funny.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day Big Guy (You're the BEST!)

From the very beginning: you cut up the tiny apple slivers I needed to get thru morning sickness (in the evening). You helped me get thru the complications from my first c-section (I couldn't have done it without you). You were there to change (many, many) diapers, rock them to sleep, take feeding shifts even when you had to work and I didn't, chauffeur them to daycare (and check on them on your lunchtime everyday), be the nurse when bad tummies happened, put in pony tails, take them for their immunizations because I was too scared, make school lunches (and MY lunch!), do bath time and.... SO, SO, much more I'd have to write for the rest of my life.
You give them so much love every single day, they'll always know their daddy is their rock. Solid.

We luv you Daddy. Always.

Luv, Your Girls

PS. His socks came out "decent" and will be super comfy when winter time rolls around. In sport weight they turned out squishy and soft. Total comfort socks. Thank goodness these were salvageable, I was ready to give up! Gasp! He does have cute legs don't cha think?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cool ZooMobile

I had to pick up a couple of books from the library yesterday (YES! I actually got out of the house! It's an absolute miracle!) and I was excited that the Zoomobile would be there so the girls could enjoy it.

Well...lets just say that my expectation of their excitement was premature. They're growing up faster than I care for. They love animals, they just weren't as enthused as I thought they'd be.

And...there were mostly smaller kids there, BUT it's not like mine are 16 yet! geez!! We ended up staying (my choice) and I think they enjoyed it after all. Especially after my oldest found out that when she's 13 she can volunteer at the zoo. Right now she can attend zoo camp, but later is when she'll really get to be more hands on with helping out. She's totally jazzed, only a little more than a year to go. Of course, will her desire still be there in one year?? I sure hope so. We have so many books on mammels, sea life, reptiles, birds, etc. that she's amassed over the years you'd think we had our own library. She's a huge animal lover.

The Zoo goes around to different library branches and brings small animals to show. This snake was the second one, the first was a huge lizard thingy that lives in the rainforest. I can't remember where this snake came from, I'm not a huge fan of them so it blew right by me...oh, I do remember that it's some kind of rat snake, maybe from Africa.

This was the best though, this is a little fox from the Sahara Desert and it was just the cutest little thing! All the kids got to pet his back. I just wanted to take him home, until I saw his claws and teeth. We'll let Mr. Foxy stay in his own den.
His ears keep him cool in the desert. Aren't they cute?

I was a happy camper and learned a little knowledge that I didn't know before. It makes me wish I could volunteer at the zoo. But I can't even get thru one episiode of Meerkat Manor (it just breaks my heart) and my kids can watch with no problem. She's probably the better choice and she's been an Animal Planet watcher since she was a toddler. Keeping my fingers crossed that she'll still want to do this in the near future. xx

Thursday, June 12, 2008

HEY Kool Aid!!

Once upon a time (quite awhile back), I ordered a skein of Great Adirondack Nassau yarn in the Tourlamine colorway from an online yarn store. (No doubt I had a pattern in mind for this "at the time" but I'm so flighty when it comes to projects I have No idea what it was now -uhh... like I knew a WEEK after this came! I crack myself up ). Anyway, I'm pretty sure this isn't the colorway I ordered and instead of bothering to return it I just kept it. This is what arrived:

I was expecting the colorway that is in the link above (whom I DID NOT buy this thru but probably should have if they were selling it way back when). I received this lime green, pinkish, orangey neon thing which would have been okay if that was what I had ordered. But it wasn't. This ball has been sitting in my stash for over a year at least so I decided, "why not change the color!"

Nassau is 50% cotton/50% silk so this is "iffy" in dye land with kool aid (works best on animal fibers = wool) but I've been wanting to try it so bad I figured what the heck?. After reading up on the What a Kool Way to Dye board on Ravelry and asking if this would work - I soaked it for about 30 minutes in luke warm/cool water, mixed my kool aid and a bit of water in a cup, then put the yarn & mixture in a microwave safe dish and ran it thru for 2 minutes at a time for a total of 8 minutes. In between I would let it set a bit so I wouldn't cook my yarn. When the water gets clear, the dye has been absorbed in. Mine seemed to be okay for the most part even though it looked like this in between trips to the microwave:

Looks a little like icky I'd say. But it's part of the process. Then I just let it sit and cool.

I gave it a few rinses in cool water to try to get some of the excess dye out. Red is a hard color to stop from bleeding no matter what kind of dye you use. This is it in a white bowl, so not too bad considering how dark it was to start out with. This is what I got once it dried. It's still not anywhere near as dark as I had hoped for but the neon greenish spots turned "gold" which works okay for me. I may still give it one more go, I'm not sure if I used enough KA and need to ask on the board. I used 5 packages: 2 Cherry, 2 Black Cherry and 1 pink lemonade (just for the fun of it). I don't have a scale and I think it's one packet per ounce. I think I may use all cherry next time too.

This being a cotton/silk blend, it's not going to work as well as it would with wool, but I like the variations that still exist in it. It's certainly no worse off than it was when I started out! And I have to say, this is some SOFT yarn, another one that I want to just have by me to "pet". I may order that Tourlamine on ebay after all (once my yarn diet is over). If you haven't kool aid dyed yet, you're missing out. It's fast, fun and I can't wait to try it again.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Recipe for Disaster:

1- take one tired, pain-ridden little girl
2- let her knit socks for her hubby.
3- expect her to read a pattern correctly.

Mix together and this is what you get:
Hmmmm. What's wrong with this picture?

Do you ever get that achey feeling in the middle of your head when you begin to wonder "why does this sock seem longer?"

I had started on size 3 needles, but then switched to size 2's after working it up for a bit. Well, I DID do the ribbing on the first sock on the SIZE 3's..... But.....something happened on try #2...I completely and totally skipped it all together. Why? I have no idea. I guess in my tired, pained head I was thinking "I already did it". I frog these? No. I'm too disgusted with myself for NOT NOTICING until I was almost done with half the foot part of sock #2. (I POSTED PICTURES of the first sock and NEVER NOTICED it was wrong - and I hadn't even started sock #2 yet !)

I can't rip back that far, I just can't. I don't have the strength. I'm going to just pick up stitches at the top of sock #1 and do some ribbing, No, it won't line up "perfectly", but OH WELL, It's time to move on. If I don't I'm gonna cry. Anyone have any good Father's Day gift ideas?

The pattern (Monogrammed Gentlemen's Socks) was in the February - April 2007 issue of Cast On magazine. I couldn't find the link in Ravelry by doing a search for the pattern but checked with Chrissy Gardiner and she said I should be able to add it when I post a picture (big IF on that one now!). Hmpf.

Pink...I think I need something Pink.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday Stuff

Today was errand running day. Thank goodness I actually woke up in time to enjoy some daylight for a change. It feels so good to be out in the sun enjoying the day with most of the world instead of being asleep. My nocturnal ways are really getting old (and a little depressing). I'd give almost anything to turn my clock around for good. Maybe someone needs to konk me on the head or something. Where's an anesthesiologist when you need one?

ANYWAY, it was another hot day today - in the 90's - but thankfully it wasn't as humid as I was expecting. Last week when the girls and I took a walk it was only around 78 or so - but it FELT like being in a sauna at a spa. How high do those things go? Drip. Drip. Drip. That's all I have to say. Ew. Even the 70 year old lady who can easily walk circles around me looked like she was ready to drop that day!! She does 6 miles a day, 3 in the morning and 3 in the evening. She really makes me feel pudgy and slow! I would walk with her but she leaves me in the dust...literally. Well, we do what we can.

Today was Wal-Mart day. Sometimes you just need stuff but I dread going there for many reasons. One: the crowd. If I could get up early and be there by 8:00 AM it's not bad at all, but that's the time when I'm falling asleep nowadays so it's "time to find your space in this busy world and arm wrestle a cart from some little old lady" kind of shopping. A little stressful, yes. And Two: I SPEND MONEY. I went for another paper shredder (my old one lasted many years but doesn't criss-cross shred) and $300 later we left. Funny how that happens?? Well, I also got a crock pot to try some new dishes since cooking is NOT my thing. This seems pretty "no-brainer" and I'm the type who has to cook the HECK out of any kind of meat since the memory of a family member having food poisoning from some chicken has always stuck with me. We also got another TV for the guest room since mine blew up and I took that one. (That helped my total get up there. ) All in all we had a great day. We had lunch at Olive Garden (I dreamed of fettucini and had to have it..)

and then we stopped by Borders.

I so Freak in there. My eyes dart everywhere at once. People must think I'm on something. I'm a big library kind of gal because I read like the wind and don't have the space for that passion, but seeing what new books are out is so cool. AND, there are so MANY knitting books that I get all flustered, excited, and have warm fuzzies since the tiny little Waldenbooks at the mall close to us has about two titles at a time. I really enjoyed browsing through a lot that I had on my Wish List on Amazon and was glad that I had held off on some of them. I a l m o s t bought one of the Harmony Guide books, I think it was the Lace one but I did good and stepped away before anyone (my wallet) got hurt. After that prior shopping trip it was time to be frugal (I'm so cheap). I came home with just these (all on clearance):

Joel Osteen is an awesome Pastor. I really enjoy his sermons & books and I've needed some uplifting thoughts lately. The cook book is really cool and it was only around five dollars. The journal is for me to start tracking my good (?) & bad days. What hurts, how bad, how long, etc. My mind is mush anymore and I rattle on & on (how come I can't write a short blog post?) then forget what happened yesterday. I want to start tracking my symptoms and pain issues so when I go to the doctor and she asks "How are you doing?" I'll have an inkling what to say.
The Big Guy is sparking up the grill (nothing like good old fashioned charcol to bring back great childhood memories.) so I'm going to go help. Happy Summer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Father's Day SOCK

One Father's Day sock done. Full of cat hair and a few snags (Sophie got a hold of it! Bad Kitty! Grrrr!) but it's done and going to be washed (again!).

This pattern turned out a little big unfortunately. Yes, I had him try it on because I was having a hard time knitting these at nighttime and I was crossing my fingers hoping it would fit. It's a 72 stitch cast on which is BIG - but for a guy I figured I'd be okay.

The yarn is Lorna's Laces Sport Weight (I should've used fingering I'm thinking) in Charcol and I used size 2 needles rather than size 3 that the pattern called for. I don't much care for the Cheshire Cat stripes on these I must say, I think I would prefer a solid yarn. Ok, they aren't "that" noticeable in truth, but they make them seem more like "fun" socks than fancy dress socks to me. Good thing The Big Guy rarely has to dress up for work, his standard outfit is jeans, nice shirts, and tennis shoes (being that it's a manufacturing plant), but every so often he has to suit up for meetings with customers. It was so funny the last time we had to scramble for a suit for him...he had to borrow a tie because we had given them all away years ago!

Well, he just informed me I have to make the other one so I guess I will. He can wear them around the house and let the cats lay all over them (they LOVE them!) It just sort of bummed me out because I usually make his socks a little too snug!! Oh well, someday I'll get it right!

Monday, June 2, 2008

I WANT this....

Oh, If only my yarn diet was over!! This has changed the whole yarn diet concept for me. Six months... for six months I've been good. I think I deserve this. Yes, I do.
I read about it on Harlot's blog but I didn't actually click on her links to SEE the scarf made up. Then I got my online newsletter from Sandra Singh and saw it actually done up on there. It made me itch with anticipation. It's made with beads. Pretty beads. I want one like yesterday. Apparently it's all over Ravelry too, I'm always the last in on things. I don't know if I want to use Schaefer yarn tho, they bleed something awful....
Hope you're all staying cool. It's going to be in the 90's later this week, so it's going to feel like...oh say - 520 degrees here. I guess the walking thing is history. I better go do some yoga on my wii. yeah. sure.