Sunday, November 6, 2011

When You're Not Looking

Life happens whether you're looking or not.....
This late summer we enjoyed some grapes at a local winery....the girls just wouldn't stomp them though, no matter how much we encouraged them to do so....
They did settle for posing for this picture with me (they still like me enough to do that, thankfully).

We had some unexpected things happen.....Some pleasant and beautiful.

Some, while not unexpected, brought complications that were. Thankfully, we're closing the whole premature birth chapter in our lives, with this closure of the feeding tube fistula, post-operative infection, and fainting episodes when little girls are cleared too early for regular activities.....

I've had time to knit, and it has been a simple pleasure that's provided much comfort during these crazy and uncertain times.
Summer Wind

Guernsey Wrap

All the Water

Turn A Square

Yarntini Hat

Sugared Violets

All project details can be found here.

No matter the journey, it's always evolving, changing. Sometimes so quickly, we can't keep pace.
It's then that we need to slow our hearts and minds, take a deep breath, and close our eyes.
It's all under control. Even when we're not looking......

Sunday, July 17, 2011

For the Love of the Game

For the Love of the Game
Pattern: Dream Stripes, Raveled.
Needles - US #8
Yarn - Madelinetosh DK in Tern and Tart

It's a lovely knit, and I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Photos courtesy of my loving husband, who has amazing talent.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Striping It

It's all shawls here, all the time. The latest one on the needles:
For the Love of the Game, so named because I started it at my daughter's softball game this weekend.
It's a simple striped shawl with a lace border - go ahead. Click on the link. I'll wait.......and the bonus - it's a free pattern!
It has nice design features, with my favorite center increase - the M1R and M1L surrounding the center stitch. I only like this increase when there is a purl back row, as in the photo below. Beautiful.

The yarn is the exquisite Madelinetosh DK, so it's thicker than the previous shawls I've been knitting (not that you've seen them). The colors are Tart (Red) and Tern (gray). The amazing amount of depth in the dyeing process never ceases to amaze me, and this shawl pattern showcases this yarn feature well.
I also broke out the new signature needles in size US #8 - circular. I really didn't think signature could improve on their older versions (three of which I purchased last year at Maryland Sheep and Wool festival), but they did - this cable is amazing. So flexible, and well, those stiletto points are amazing.
So, I'm off to continue working on this shawl. It's been a bit addicting, and yet, relaxing as well......and my porch is calling me too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's an emotional week, with my oldest graduating from high school. To add to all of that emotion and work, I decided to knit a baby gift instead of buy one for a baby shower at work this week. I felt like I had a homework assignment, albeit a good one. I'm not sure why I impose these kinds of deadlines on myself.
So without further ado, and very quickly, I might add, PRESENTING:
Sophisticated Baby (Baby Sophisticate....Raveled).
Yarn: By some strange chance of luck I found an acrylic (oh my goodness, my hands twinge at that word) yarn at Michael's. I'm not sure what I'm doing in the yarn section at Michael's, but that's another story for another day. When gifting my knitting, I'm also never sure whether the parent would appreciate a wool sweater that wasn't knit with superwash wool, so I knit this in, wait....I can hardly wait to tell you. I hate this advertising scheme....but it was.....Vanna's Choice - in the Harbor Mist color. It ALMOST resembles hand-dyed yarn, and it's super soft, without the wacky, scratchy feel of Red Heart. I used less than 2 skeins for the larger size, and the only modifications I made were to change the method of the raglan increases. I used a knit-into-the-front-and-the-back of the stitch instead of the backwards loop cast on. Much nicer and easier to complete the yoke.
The buttons were a great find at.....Walmart. $1.50 - amazing!

Needles: US #8 Addi Turbos. Love them!
The other beauty - I knit this sweater, wove in ends, sewed the buttons, in... three nights, with some nights not really knitting that much at all. So it's quick, and I'm a slow figure it out. Most people knit this little beauty in two nights.
There are complaints on Ravelry that the finished object runs a tad small, and I tend to agree. The larger size yielded me a sweater I'd consider to be about 3-6 months, maybe a little larger. I didn't do gauge, as it's a baby sweater, and well....I am nothing if not lazy at times with my knitting.
So, as I send MY baby off into the big wide world, it's bitter sweet for me to knit a baby sweater for an expecting Mom who is just beginning her journey.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kickin' Cancer to the Curb

You've heard me talk about my friend (my age, which you all know now is 40 years old, although I think she may still be 39), who is battling breast cancer. She has completed her treatments and is now on her way to a brand new life. A life, I might add, that she is not taking for granted, and one that she lives to the fullest.
Last night she had a fund raiser event for the Avon Breast Walk, in hopes of someday finding a cure for this horrible disease.
Breast cancer affects approximately 1 in 8 women in their lifetimes. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor.
Part of my right to passage when I turned 40 years old, was to get my first mammogram. It was a bit scary, and a bit complicated, but I'm here to say that it's SO important to have it done yearly. Don't neglect your mammogram because you are scared (even if you have a valid concern, like a lump). There's always someone who will go with you to get your mammogram done. Don't neglect your mammogram due to cost. There's lots of free clinics out there that provide mammograms at no cost to women. And remember to check your breasts monthly. Know your own body! Let's kick breast cancer to the curb, not only for our generation, but for the next to come!

Stats - Hooter Hat (knit with the owl cable as the focal point).
Size 8 bamboo and addi turbo needles.
Yarn: Debbie Stoller's Bamboo Ewe - in Pink of course!
Pattern: Heavily modified form of a combination of hat patterns. Contact me if you want the exact formula I used.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Milestones....I've reached a few in the past months while I've been away from the blog.
I've turned 40 years old. Just typing that number makes me cringe a bit. Saying that you are 30-something never bothered me in the least, but 40? It bothers me a bit. People start saying things to me, like, "Well you don't look like you're 40!" What exactly do they mean? People whose children play sports or sing in concerts with my children haven't turned 30 yet. This is amazing to me. It's not as if I feel any older with turning 40. For Pete's sake, it's only a couple of days over 39. But the mental stigma of turning 40 is throwing me for a loop, and I find myself questioning myself and my life more and more.
But then we move onto the next milestone that has me feeling older than....well....39 years old.
My oldest daughter is graduating from high school. This year, my "I'm not wearing a dress, or anything that doesn't involve pants and a t-shirt-type of gal, surprised the socks off of me (unfortunately, they weren't wool socks), and went not only to the homecoming dance (in a dress, no less), but also took a date, who was a friend of hers, to the Senior prom. Shocking. To celebrate this most momentous occasion....I thought she needed a knitted accessory. Now, in case you haven't been reading this blog long at all, you may realize that I'm not good at knitting deadlines. Work deadlines- no problem. Knitting ones....yikes. I'm almost always knitting something last minute on Christmas Eve. Well, this was different. My baby was going to the prom, she had a thin-strapped gown that though she loved, I could tell made her a little bit uncomfortable.

SO....after she decided that she wanted to participate in the prom, we went dress shopping. True to her form, she chose the first dress she had tried on. I should just listen to her when she says, "This is the one, Mom." Instead, we searched for a couple of hours,sighed way too much, and grouched a bit throughout the mall hallways. It all ended with, "I told you that was the one, Mom." So, we got the dress. I came home and dug through my pink yarn for the precious knitted accessory I was dreaming about. Now, lest you think I'm an organized knitter, and stash all of my pink yarn in one place.....I shall put you at ease. There's pink yarn (and yarn of any color) stored just about everywhere in my house. But fear, not! I suddenly remembered that I had bought some sale yarn (who doesn't love sale yarn) at a shop in Tennessee years ago (probably about 4 years ago), and decided it might be a perfect fit. It even had some silver in it (There was also silver in my daughter's dress - go ahead. Click on the photos, I'll wait - find the little circles of silver in the material?). It was not the softest yarn I've ever knit with, but by gosh and by golly, it did match her dress pretty well, and to its credit, it did soften just a smidge with washing.
Then came the horrible decision of what design to knit for my jeans-wearing, t-shirt-loving gal.....I searched my again, lest you think all of my patterns are in one place, rest assured, they are not. I searched and found this pretty butterfly tattoo shawl that I posed (graceful way of stating that I showed it to her without getting my hopes in an uproar) to her. She loved it.
So I gregariously began knitting her shawl. I finished it way before the prom, but neglected (as per my usual) to block it until the week of the prom. The night before the prom, it still felt damp on the blocking boards. I guess this isn't the time to tell you about the three shawls just waiting to be blocked in my living room closet? Nope, I didn't think so either.
Back to the prom....she wore the shawl (It had dried nicely on its own), as evidenced by the photos in this post, and I couldn't be more proud of my daughter, who has grown from a t-shirt-loving, jeans-wearing, black-sneakers-only, please, little girl, into a sweet young woman.
I'm totally smitten with her, as any mother would be. Even a 40 year old one!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two on Tueday

Two pictures on Tuesday, and two posts in a week (obviously, I'm starting the week out on Sunday).
First of all, let's give a big hats off to the Packers for their big win on Sunday. It's exciting to see a new team win something big every now and then. I'm not much of a football fan, so I wasn't really into the game that much. In fact, after the first quarter, my friend and I spent the rest of the night booking our beach house for our summer vacation. :) YEAH!

But onto the knitting, because if you're one of the few people who read this blog, you are probably here for the knitting, right?
This is a picture of my Balustrade project (unblocked). It's a super large cowl knit in the pretty, pretty yarn of The Plucky Knitter.
It's knit in superwash merino wool, and I used almost all of the 410 yards in the two skeins. It's a fabulous dark gray color (it's hard to capture anything, especially color, on camera this time of the year). I'm unsure of how to block this cowl - leave me some suggestions in the comment section if you're able to recommend anything at all.
This knitting was pretty fast, but I got distracted a lot by other projects. The lace on this project was not hard to knit, but I did have to pay attention, especially during the middle section. The outer portions of lace were easy to memorize. I even found myself correcting an error with a yarn-over involved, and I don't think I batted an eyelash. That's progress for me (and of course, insurance that I will screw up royally on my next project, and be unable to fix it, what with knitting karma and all).

In the wings, my husband has been patiently waiting for a hat and fingerless mitts out of this yarn. The yarn is Madeline Tosh (old worsted) in the Field colorway. I think the hubby wants to blend into the winter background with it. The color of the yarn matches the blueish/gray of the past week or two here in the woods. I'm not minding the weather so much this winter, possibly because I'm so busy with my new job and trying desperately to keep up with the family's activities.

So, we've come to the conclusion of my Two on Tuesday post. Enjoy your week.....I'll try to show you blocked pictures of the cowl at some point, and I've got another Two on Tuesday surprise awaiting you - I've finished two pair of socks! YEAH ME!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Sunday Afternoon Post

Nana's scarf, a project from long ago. I finally finished it these last couple of days. It's knit in Brooks Farm Merino wool, so it's nice and soft. Nana picked the colors, and I knit this simple pattern from the Yarn Harlot.. This pattern seems to work really well with variegated yarn, and handspun.

I can't stay long, as it's Super Bowl Sunday, and we have a bunch of people coming over to watch the game. Me, I'm just looking forward to the friendship and the food!

Here's wishing you all enjoyment during the game tonight! And as a Pennsylvania resident, I feel compelled to shout - "GO STEELERS!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I can't decide.....start a new project, or finish some of the myriad projects on the needles? Wouldn't it be great to finish the two (or maybe three) pair of socks on my needles? How about those two, whoops, three lingering scarves? Wouldn't I like to finally finish that Noro blanket?
Hubby is begging for his hat and gloves.....Mittens - I gotta have a pair. It was -3 degrees on the way to work yesterday. And there's that shawl pattern I wanted to cast on yesterday.
And I have to block three, possibly four finished shawls, and a cowl.

Oh, I give up. I can't focus on the knitting. Apparently I have knitting ADD.
But, I need a picture for this how about a photo of my salad? This was Friday night's dinner last week. Tonight - Chicken breast stuffed with broccoli and cheese, and I'm going to make a knitting list (after the laundry, the dishes, the kids' homework, yada, yada, yada......)!

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's That Time of Year

It's that time of year when I'm spending a lot of time in the bowling alley, watching paint dry, supporting my children in their activities. Knitting helps to get me through these events, but it's got to be a bit of mindless knitting. The mindless knitting takes awhile to finish, as it only gets attention in the car (when I'm not driving), and during events like this, or at the doctor's office, etc. I marvel at those crazy talented people who can knit when they are driving. That's kinda impossible here, where traffic lights are 15 miles away, and farm equipment and snow plows dominate the back roads.

So here's a photo of my current mindless knitting (taken at the bowling alley, no less)......aka the Striped Noro Scarf.
This one is being knit to match my black coat, and to give me a little infusion of bright color on these long winter days.

Do you have mindless knitting on your needles now?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First Finished Object of 2011

Snow is softly falling outside my window this morning. The house is quiet, and I've got a nice cup of coffee sitting next to me. Welcome Saturday morning!

I've finished my first project of the New Year last week. It's an iPad cozy for my Aunt. She opted to forgo the button closure, because she didn't want the button to scratch her screen. I can't say that I disagree with her at all, but IMHO, I think it might resemble a water bottle without that button......ah well. She likes it, and that's all that matters. I enjoyed knitting it too!

IPad cozy - pattern here
PS - Pattern is free!
Yarn - Nature Spun Worsted in Stone colorway (my oldest stash).
Size US #8 needles.
This pattern taught me a lot of things.....
Judy's Magic Cast On for knitting in the round.
Cabling without a cable needle (okay, this is my second project utilizing this technique, but it's still new to me).
Use that stash yarn! This is probably the oldest yarn in my stash. I'm glad it's finally getting put to good use!

I've not made goals or resolutions for myself lately, because I usually fail miserably at them, but I have made a firm decision.
I want to be a prolific knitter. In order to do this, I must spend more time knitting. I already knit quite a bit, but often times, I don't record my projects in Ravelry, and I don't take the time to photograph (however measly my attempts) my projects. This is something I would like to make a conscious effort to do this year.
Hmmm....that sounds an awful lot like a New Year's resolution to me!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011

Welcome 2011! Today was so gray and dreary, a perfect day for lounging about, which we did! But yesterday was a different story. I got a chance to get some very quick outside photos of a shawl that has surprised me to no end!

The pattern held no surprises. It's a straight forward knit. I was afraid that the variegated color of the yarn would obscure the results, but I like it. I like it very much! I think I'm keeping it. Yes, indeed I'm keep this one for me.
Pattern: Wandering The Moor
Needles - US#6
Yarn - Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga - colorway - Frog-Legged Leaf Beetle (gorgeous color).