Saturday, December 15, 2007

Anna's Stocking

Here it is in all it's glory.......albeit, with a bit of puckering here and there, but overall I'm happy with the way it turned out. My DH said, "geez, that's a big stocking which means it will hold an awful lot of presents". True, but we'll help out with that and I know Anna won't mind in the least, as she gets older and realizes that MORE has to go into her stocking just to fill it up. I used an old pattern that I had as a basic guide but tweaked things as I knit along, including not doing the decreases down the leg which were called for, and exchanging a different chart in the middle for the snowman. I did the colors in my own preference with size 6 straight needles down the leg, then switching to dpns for the heel and foot. For this stocking I opted for Red Heart acrylic for the white color and Germantown Brunswick (a sadly discontinued acrylic yarn) in the green and red colors.

Now that this is finished I can resume knitting my Regia Surf socks which are at the halfway point and I'm knitting them on 2 circulars so they should be done in about a month or so seeing as how these will not be the only project I'll be working on. I'm also into a pair of socks using Fortissima Colori and a cable pattern from Simply Sensational Socks which I 'm knitting using dpns (my favorite way to knit socks, by the way).

In addition the the socks mentioned above, I've begun a ripple blanket for my new grandson to be who is expected to come into the world sometime in February. I'm using Jaeger Baby Merino in a multi colored blend. I'm doubling the yarn on this one because it just feels better that way since using one strand initially didn't have enough body. Even though I'm using 2 strands it's still feeling light and lofty so it'll be nice and toasty.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho

Here is the progress so far on my granddaughter's stocking.....I'm liking this one much better than the previous one I began. If you scroll down a bit, you'll see that this isn't the same Christmas stocking I began last month because I wasn't happy with the original one so I figured, since I had the time, I'd go for a new one and try to get my stranding to pucker less and look better overall. I'm working on the Santa's now and once I finish them, it's onto the heel portion of the foot and clear sailing from then on.

I'm still plugging along the the Fortissima colori sock I started and I'm using a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks book. This is the first time I've tried any from Charlene's book because I've found it a bit hard to follow and what with 4, count 'em 4, pages of errata at last count, I haven't been all that confident that I won't rip my hair out at some point trying to figure out a certain direction only to find out that it's wrong...ACK! That being said, I decided to follow one wihout any errata and that is the cabled baby rib and so far so good.
We're quickly approaching that wonderful time of year.....Christmas time with all of our collective traditions. It continues to be a magical time of year even though we sometimes get caught up in all the commercialism. I have to stop and remind myself who is the real reason is for the season and it's the joy and the hope that Jesus brought to the world by His birth, death, and resurrection. I've been blessed so abundantly in my life with a wonderful husband, 5 fantastic kids who went and married 5 fantastic spouses, and to top it all off, I have 2 beautiful granddaughters and one grandson on the way! Surely, it doesn't get any better than this, so I'm taking time each day to thank the Lord for His many and continued blessings.
I also wish every one of you, dear readers, a wonderful, healthy, happy joyous season in whatever way you choose to celebrate! I know it's early but with my failure to update my blog as often as I should, I don't want to take any chances.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christmas is Close!

Can you believe how close the holidays are and how quickly they've rolled around, or is it just me? Time flies anymore and no matter how often I've told myself that this is the year I'm going to be ready early and this is the year I'm going to be very organized, it just doesn't seem to pan out! It's like time is looking me in the face and going:
So, I'm furiously knitting a Christmas stocking for my granddaughter and having all sorts of problems with the stranding showing through. It's either that, or I'm being especially picky. I know it's a Christmas stocking that will only appear for a couple of weeks each year and no one else is going to look over it with a magnifying glass to check for colors bleeding through, but I just want it to be (uh-oh, here it comes) "perfect" for her. There's a word that typifies my Type A personality and I have to work on minimizing the need for perfection every day. Only our dear Lord is perfect and while I know that in my heart, my head says things like, "oh, come on now, you can do better than that.....it should be flawless". So, I pushed on and let the colors show through where they may, all the while trying hard for them NOT to, LOL.

I also pulled out a long ago stored WIP which is a cabled sweater using Jaeger Chamonix yarn (sadly discontinued) and after some time spent figuring out which row I was on (my row counter mysteriously disappeared) I am knitting it once again. The picture makes the yarn look like a medium brownish color but it's actually a semi-deep purple called Biarritz. This is the back only, so I still have a front and 2 sleeves, dang it!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Socks!

I'm making very slow progress on the Surf socks, but progress, nonetheless, right? I enjoyknitting with this yarn (Regia) and I'musing size 2 needles. The decision to continue in ribbing was made at the last minute because the rib makes my socks stay up better ever though it's a pain to knit. In the end I'll be glad I did, so onward. These are in the very beginning stages as you can see (and yes, I did have the nerve to start another pair, when I certainly didn't need one). I'm going to try out a pattern from Simply Sensational Socks, the baby cable rib. I hope once I get past the leg, I don't wind up misunderstanding these directions because I don't seem to have much luck using this book. I know others rave about it, but since there are approximately 4 pages of errata on SSS at last count, it could wind up being a bit dicey. If that's the case, I will switch to a tried and true heel pattern from one of my other books. I am still plodding away on the linen shawl and making scant progress. I would like to finish it to get it out of the way and clear the road for finally completing my Fair Isle cardigan.....I MUST finish this baby and I MUST do it this year....no more procrastination. You heard it here, so keep me honest and bug me about this sweater, please.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Organization Complete!



Along with my handy (albeit, relaxing on the job) dandy assistant, it only took me about 10 days to complete the daunting task of finding out exactly what yarns I have plus how much of each, donating those that I know I won't use, and finally neatening it all up and getting some labeling so that I know where said yarns are. Now, when I go to begin a new project I can truly begin to use up my stash yarn knowing full well that I must have an appropriate fiber for my project, whatever it may be! Geez, how did I get so much, and whatever made me think I could knit this all up in one lifetime?
The picture above is, as it turns out, an incomplete picture of my current knitting bag collection. I discovered 4 more that didn't make into the pic. Do I ever need to buy a new knitting bag, no matter how cute it is, absolutely not!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Organizing Stash Yarns, etc.

Oh my goodness....what an eye opener to go through your stash one container at a time and get hit in the face with REALITY! I have way too much yarn to ever use up in my lifetime  I think I ought to add that what you see in the picture above is only about 1/2 of the total and I took the picture 'after the organizing'. Since I was on the reality quest to see what I actually own, I figured I might as well take a look at all the knitting/crochet bags I own and geez, how can I ever think again that "I need that bag" when I see something in my LYS or online? I have plenty and I'm running out of room for all of my collection, both yarn and bags. My one, not so big closet is overflowing with yarn bins, bags, etc. and therefore has very little room for clothes.  Ahhh, if only there was more time in the day.

I'm still not finished with the clean-up and probably wouldn't have even begun this were it not for finally getting into Ravelry, a place for yarn inventory, needles, gadgets, books, and all things fiber related. It's a great place to catalog all your investments and it's also pretty nice to know that there are many people who have far more books, bags, and yarn that I do!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Ravelry is Addictive!

I was finally invited to Ravelry on the 29th of September and that's where I've been spending most (oh, okay then, all) of my online time! Wow, a person can lose their whole afternoon and/or their entire day on that site.....the input alone is enough to boggle the mind, let alone the sheer computer capabilities of the site! I'm so impressed with the whole thing in general and the opportunity to link to a specific yarn, a finished object in the same yarn as I'm using, others WIP's as well as their finished projects! It's all too wonderful for words for us knitters and crocheters, believe me. I'm so glad I finally got in since it's been what's seemed like a very long wait, although that's just because others sent their requests to join sooner.....they were the clever ones. The people who thought Ravelry up are to be commended for their computer savvy and their desire to share this wonderful place with knitters from all around the world. I have no affiliation other than being a member and I couldn't be happier!
I'm finally making some progress with my Regia Surf socks....good Lord, these are going slow.....tortoise slow......and I'm knitting them with size 2 circs so it's not like the needles are zeros or ones...I guess I'll just keep going and going, just like the energizer bunny!
I'm still plugging away on my linen shawl which is another project that continues to eat yarn like there's no tomorrow and somehow manages NOT to grow any bigger!!!! I'm not even through the first skein yet (almost), then there's another full skein to go...ACK!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's Been Awhile!

I can't believe how quickly these 3 weeks have passed! I've been very busy with some personal and health issues and they have been taking all of my time and attention, so my blog had to sit here and patiently wait for an entry. :)

My DH and I went to my son and daughter-in-law's new home on the weekend and it was a great visit. Their home is just beautiful and the weather cooperated so we could enjoy their rooftop deck with a spectacular 360 degree view.


When we arrived they had chamagne and a tray of brie, swiss, and strawberries with water wafers all ready and we dove right in. On top of all this luxury, they presented me with my birthday gift which absolutely thrilled me to no end.......the digital camera I've been wanting, the Canon SD 1000 digital elph! This baby is a dream and the viewing screen for picture taking is nice and large, plus vibrantly clear for these 'foggy' eyes (ah, the perks of getting older). I took all the pictures on this post with my new baby and I couldn't be happier. Don't I have the best kids in the world and the best daughters-in-law (I have 4 of them, LOL).



We had the most wonderful weekend with 2 of our other sons and their wives there as well and on Sunday we went to an unbelievable brunch which was enough to set another good 3 pounds on this already overloaded body! Here's a peek at one tiny part of the dessert table which was 3 times this big and had more temptations that this girl could possibly resist.

Sorry I don't have any knitterly pictures to share with you since I've only been crocheting for the most part and slipping in my knitted shawl once in a while. I haven't even worked on my socks pictured below for a long time so I've got to make sure I start doing an even amount of knitting and crocheting so I can show you some progress.





Sunday, August 26, 2007

August is Almost Over!

Can you believe that August is just about finished and September is looming right around the corner. Now September is my darling daughter and my sweetie-pie granddaugther's birthday, within two days of each other so it's always a very happy month. I'm just completely amazed as to where August went and how fast it got there!

Our garden has produced such delicious tomatoes and cucumbers. The green peppers didn't fare so well though for some odd reason. On the other hand the herbs grew beautifully.....peppermint, basil, thyme, parsley, and chives. I whipped up a cheese omelet for myself and my husband this morning and put some chives in and a side of sliced tomatoes which is my very all time favorite. I love having omelets with a ripe, summer time tomatoes.....I should have taken a picture because it looked mighty tasty (and it was, LOL).


Instead, I'll leave you with a picture of the banana chocolate chip muffins I made with milk and white chocolate chips. They were deliciouso, if I do say so myself. The trouble was trying not to eat too many which was quickly remedied when 3 of my sons came over at the same time and pretty well wiped them out. No worries about weight gain here!
Till next time, dear readers, knit on, be happy and take it one day at a time....the present is all we have so let's enjoy it.
P.S. Sorry for the lack of knitterly pictures or the current status of my shawl.....next time for sure.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Shawl Saturday

I've been trying to get somewhere with the progress on my linen shawl and so far so good. I'm close to halfway finished and although I'm not in a terrible rush to complete this, I'd like to be able to say, "ahh yes, one more WIP has bitten the dust". I counted my ongoing projects last night and I have a whopping 5 items on the go as we speak. I think that's too many and I know I've said this before but I am going to take 3 and put away and work on the remaining 2 solely, so that I can FINISH each one in turn!

Isn't this a sweet picture reminiscent of days gone by, sadly enough? My mother bought it for our main bathroom saying she thought of me when she saw it.....the necklace laying on the sink, the rose water, and fresh flowers in the vase. These days it's a spartan bathroom for many with just the essentials and no added touches to supply the beauty that can transform a room.

I'd like to start bringing some of that beauty back into our everyday life here in my home. I think the time is overdue to start 'using' many of the things that have been in china closets, or locked away carefully for special occasions. Time is going by quickly and if I don't make my own special occasions, I'll be waiting quite some time for them to come, which as we know, they never will.....so, if not now, when?
So, I'm on a quest to find beauty and luxuriate in it right here in our home day after day. Celebrate your own special items by displaying and using them and see how wonderful doing so can make you feel. I'll leave you with a beautiful picture of one of our petunias which has the deepest of purple color to it....enjoy and have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Do Love August!!

This is my favorite month for one reason only and it's a selfish one, at that, but ask me if I care, and my answer is absolutely NOT. As you can see, this is my birthday month and I always look forward to it regardless of my age....or perhaps now, in spite of it! I don't like the heat of the summer one bit but I manage quite well thanks to my trusty AC, which I don't know how my mother, grandmother, etc. managed to survive without .....especially when you get hotter than a firecracker at the drop of a hat, so all I can say is bless their hearts!

Our garden is coming along quite nicely and if the truth be told, a bit too quickly as far as herbs are concerned. I have sooo many of them and need to use them as well as give a good many away......any of my family members or friends reading this, just holler and I'll give you some next time we get together. Here are a few pics of them, pepperming, english thyme, and basil and parsely.

We're also getting some delicious tomatoes now and we've had at least 10 crisp, tasty cucumbers, along with some wonderful green peppers. I absolutely love eating a homegrown tomato and often times just eat it like a piece of fruit because they're that sweet and tasty.....yummy!


Above you can see some of the yarns I just got yesterday. Now, I know I said no more yarn for this over zealous yarn fiend, but, here's the thing, and a head's up for all of my knitting pals out there: Jaeger is discontinuing all of it's yarn lines---yes, you read it right---very soon, Jaeger will be no more! So, if I don't get a few of my favs now, I will wish I had when they're no longer available anywhere. I love Jaeger yarns! I've never been disappointed with any of the yarns I've purchased from them and now it's all coming to an end. Why is it that the best things in life seem to end way too soon and the "okays" linger on forever?

I guess that's it for today, friends, so on that note, I'll say bye for now and wish you a wonderful weekend with your favorite things to do and favorite people too!





Monday, July 16, 2007

Here's What's Left!





This is what's left AFTER 'baby bunny' got done with his meals (all three per day, mind you). Yes, can you believe that this plant looked much like this one in the beginning.......before 'baby bunny' set his sights on it....now it's just a shell of it's former self. The brazeness of that little bugger and right in plain view too, without so much as a thought of "geez, I'm scared, what if someone sees me'"! Ahh well, these are some of the pitfalls of gardening, I guess, but just the same, it's not fun to watch a beautiful plant be stripped of it's color, one
branch at a time, and this is for you,'baby b':

along with go away and stay away you naughty bunny!

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, I can get down to some knitting content. I'm making some progress on my linen shawl (but with the new beta template, I can't seem to get my former % bars on here) as it's now about double the size of the picture below. I had to change from a 24" circular to a 40" one with all the stitches that are currently on the needle. This gets very wide as you go along and by the time I'm finishing up, the shawl will be all scunched up in order to fit. I guess as I knit it, about halfway through the row, I can then check for any gaping holes, etc.

I began knitting the shawl for Moi, but as I knit along I can see this being just perfect forsomeone in my family who will go unnamed for the moment, just in case she's reading my blog. I know I said it's for me, but all of you knitters out there, know how that goes. I very rarely wind up keeping anything for myself in the final analysis, but it's good to know that I can make someone happy to receive something I've created with my own two hands. So, until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful week with many fiber creations and much joy.

"Beyond all mystery is the mercy of God." Abraham J. Heschel

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bunny Rabbits

I don't know if you can see this or not because I had to take the picture through our window and screen, but if you click on this picture and look closely you can see a baby bunny in our red petunia pot, which up until now, has been growing by leaps and bounds. Now this smart little baby is saying this to me!I couldn't believe it when my husband called me to get my camera and see just where our lovely, full petunias are going now. Ahh, well, I guesss it's safe to say this this little guy (or gal, as the case may be), won't be starving anytime soon.

This looks pretty much like me sitting in front of my computer with coffee or tea in hand, and once again, changing the template and colors of my blog. Now, why I'm driven to change this every so often, I don't know, but the urge strikes and when it does, I've got to get going and check out something new and lovely. Maybe it has to do with the fact that in my home, I don't make many changes at all, so this is my chance to break out of the mold?

I'm still working away on my 2 rippled afghans, albeit crocheted, and my shawl, as well as the Regia socks. I think 4 WIPs is more than enough to keep me busy with everything else that needs to be done. I leave you with a gorgeous sunset picture for your viewing and wish each of you a joyful week and week end.


"It's not what they take away from you that counts: it's what you do with what you have left." Hubert H. Humphrey

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hot & Humid

Today is a scorcher, so inside is where you'll find me, enjoying all the AC I can....

Ahh well, maybe I have too much time on my hands, who knows, but there you have it. I'm still working on the Euroflax linen shawl and making moderate progress but I think it's a slow knit all in all. The good part is I don't have a deadline as I seem to have for many items, so I'm not worrried about when it will be finished.

I've finally begun walking once again which is something I really needed to get back to. Presently I'm doing about 1mile a day at least 5 days a week, but perhaps I'll up that, and I should, but knowing how much I do detest taking the time out of my day for this, I'll probably keep it just where it is. However, it's real progress considering I haven't walked since the beginning of December so I'm way overdue. I have a ticker at the bottom of the page just so you can check on me from time to time and I'm answerable to someone, :)
Not much more to report for today, but I did want to post while the time was available. Have a great week and stay cool, whatever you do, at least those of you in the heat.


'The essence of your home is no small matter'.