Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Tenth Day of Christmas Vacation

What a fun filled day!  It started out at Knit Four Together, where my friend Debbie P gave me this super cute book.  I had never seen it and it is full of cool baby things to knit.  Talk about A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!

After knitting, Baby Boy A and his wife came from Iowa and we opened presents at our house.  This clever wreath was made just for by Mrs. Baby Boy A.  Does she know me or what?

The evening festivities were moved to the Tall Guy's sister's house as she has a little more room than we do. 
It was a great evening of presents and surprises. 

 My niece made me two sets of earrings.  She is getting to be quite the jewelry maker.  Last summer she made me some Cardinal red and white ones.  For Christmas, she made me a set of teal ones and teal and black.  They so go with my nail polish.  Do these people know me????

The sweaters I knit for the greats fit to a t.  My great niece actually left hers on for quite awhile!  It is the perfect length tunic for her leggins.  I believe these were a hit!!  If you remember, I bought ready-to-wear t-shirts to measure up against for length of arms and torso.  What a smart idea that was!

At Thanksgiving, I taught my niece and sister-in-law how to knit.  Tonight, my niece learned how to bind off her washcloth and then we cast on again, just a few stitches, so she could learn how to purl.

Success!  And she bought yarn and needles to knit herself a scarf to go with her new coat.  I think we have a knitter here.

What a great New Years Eve this has been.  Spending it with all our family.  We were so lucky that everyone could be together tonight! 

So long 2011!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Ninth Day of Christmas Vacation

 Well, to start off it is a rainy unseasonable warm day.  Yesterday, we were in the 50's in Central Illinois.  If I can talk the Tall Guy into going for groceries himself today, I think I'll enjoy this almost last day of Christmas vacation.  Sure there are a few days before I have to go back to work, but today really is the last day where I won't be occupied with family or friends.  A day to stay in the jammies as long as I want.

I'll have Monday as well off, but come Monday, the eyes will be looking towards going to work and a week that already is full of stuff to do.  But, lets not even go there til then.

Part of this is what is sitting in front of me.  I still have not made a decision of what I want to be knitting right now, but hope to firm that up while I am enjoying the day.  First, I need to get my projects arranged and decided on.

My List:
For Work - something that I can knit and talk while knitting, - but since we are starting a walking program on Tuesday during lunch, I guess that doesn't need to be a priority to figure it out.

The next two are because I really feel the need to work on something that came from their shop when I am knitting there so I need a project from two of my lyses.

The at home project - I think Bloosmsbury is defiinitely on this list

In the car - something that is always there, in case of long lights or emergencies.

And of course I am sure there is a bag waiting for each and everyone of these projects.

Finally, I think I'll work on sorting the yarn room again today.  At Thanksgiving, when I was cleaning up the living room/dining room, many patterns and books got dumped on the bookcase and table in there.  Today, would be a good day to get that in order.  Who knows it might rejuvenate a project.

The real goal of the day though is to NOT start a new project but pull something on the needles and continue with it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Eighth Day of Christmas Vacation

It's finished and wrapped. Ahhh, that feels good.  But now, two things.  I've been posting over on my facebook page the finished sweaters.  Mistake.  My cousin in Colorado wants me to knit her a one of a kind ski cap.  It's kind of like the can I say no?  I just hope she doesn't want it too quick and too elaborate!

The second thing - now I have to figure out what I really want to be knitting on (before I start her one of a kind ski hat).  So, I am doing some swatching.  The Cranberry Capelet (on left) or this new little capelet from Knit Simple.   

The Liberty Wool originally was going to be a scarf to go with my cap, but wouldn't it look cool in this little shawl from Knit Simple?  And it is a contender for working on while sitting at the shop or on knit nite, also known as idiot knitting.  The other possibility is a couple of other shawls I have my eyes on.
And of course, last but not least is my Bloomsbury Jacket.  I've got to take some time and see where I was on it.

So many choices!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Seventh Day of Christmas Vacation

Did not go as planned.  First of all, I was going to spend the day knitting out at Knit 4 Together, but that didn't happen.  On the continuing saga of the newly remodeled bathroom.  This is how most of the day was spent, while they fixed my diverter in the shower/tub, but not all the way.  They will have to come back yet again next week, because the piece they put over the hole is chrome and not brushed like the rest of the fixtures.  This has been quite the project and at this point, it's just not as much fun as it once was.  Actually, I'm ambivalent about it right now.  The room needs something to make it wow, I'm just not sure and not into it! 

What I can say, is thank goodness, I decided to wait on the kitchen remodel.  Although, it desparately needs it, I'm just not ready to commit on it.

I'm working on the sleeves of "the sweater".  I really am hoping to do some marathon knitting on it tonight, because frankly, I'm tired of knitting on it.  Last night, I did the hem.  As you can tell from this pic the green really flips up.  The plan is when I finish the sleeves, is to go back and rip that green out and end it with the hot pink being the hem, or add some more green so when the green flips back that it flips back and you see green.

The last few nights there has been absolutely nothing worth watchin/listenin to while knitting, so I've been watching Netflix Instant from my lap top.  Sure, it's a smaller screen and the volume sometimes has to be turned up all the way, but there have been a couple of Mommy movies that I have had a hoot watchin...while knitting of course~~

From Prada to Nada
Blue Crush 2
Why Did I Get Married Too?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Sixth Day of Christmas Vacation

I started putting away most of my Christmas stuff today before I even sat down to knit or shower.  The only thing left up is my tree.  I'll take it down after this weekend when we finish celebrating Christmas with Baby Boy A and his wife.

Between now and February ish, I put some of my snowman collection up so it still looks wintry around here.

Then, while I was in the basement, I thought it was time to wash the sheets and vacuum our bedroom, which evolved into cleaning part of the closet out of some old crap and scrubbing under some things that have just been accumulating.  The Tall Guy wasn't real happy to have to haul stuff to the garbage, but he did.

Tonight, we spent the evening with in-laws celebrating my nephew's 35th birthday.  He and my mom shared a birthday, she would have been 81 today if I am correct. 

On my timeline for the final Christmas sweater, I need to finish the body, so that is how I will finish out this 6th day of Christmas vacation...funny, I just had to ask Baby Boy B what day today was?   I knew the date but not the day of the week, I find that quite interesting.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Fifth Day of Christmas Vacation

Finally, after two days and many tries at the sweater for the great-niece, I have one that I like.  I'm using the Knitting Pure and Simple top down pattern, but using big blocks of stripes that incorporates all the Encore that I bought for it originally.  I think by the time it is done, I won't have to buy any extra yarn...stash all the way.

 This morning I put in Schoolhouse Press' DVD Glossary to look up the Jogless Stripe.  For years, Meg has talked about it, and I never quite got it straight in my mind or rather I was just too lazy.  Last Summer at Stitches, I even took a class on it.  I got it then, but everytime I went to use it I had to haul out the instructions.  For some reason, the DVD made it quite simple for me this morning.

I'm pretty stoked about it.  Looks pretty good and when I went to do the yellow one, I didn't have to even look at it again!

The rest of the day I've been doing some knitting and watching the DVD.  It has kind of been like having the day after Christmas "knit day".  Wouldn't it be fun to arrange one of those next year?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Fourth Day of Christmas Vacation

Our tree stays lit all day today.

 This is where we started earlier this weekend.  Hot pink for a yoke sweater.  But only have one ball and this would require going to Morton on Tuesday.  This also means that sometime long about tomorrow, I'll lose about a day knitting on this sweater.

 So I decided to cast on with this Encore Colorspun that I have enough to complete the top down raglan tunic.  With this one, I would lose no time having to go and buy yarn for.

This is the third one that I started this afternoon on.  I only have one ball of yarn in the light pink and if I want to continue with the light pink and then use the green, cream and hot pink on the yoke, I would need to make a trip to Dunlap on Tuesday to get more yarn in the pink.  The plan was to go on Wednesday to Dunlap not Tuesday. 

I'm having a hard time making a decision on this one.  The only reason I don't go back to the Colorspun is that Pink is this little lady's fave color.  Oy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Third Day of Christmas Vacation

I finally cast on for the great-niece's Christmas sweater.  Disclaimer here -- I don't have to have it done for a week!  It took me quite a while and some digging on the internet, ravelry and in the yarn room to decide what I wanted to do.  The great-nephew's was a Knitting Pure And Simple pattern with raglan sleeves.  I wasn't completely sold on that for the little girl, thinking that a round yoke might be a little more girlie.  Couple that with the fact that I have about five colors I wanted to use together and not enough of any one to do the KPS without making a trip to the yarn shop, which I did not want to do today.

I have in my mind what I want the yoke sweater to look like, a take off on Playful Stripes by Alana Dakos only not as a cardigan, but as a pullover.
I'm pretty certain that come Tuesday, I will have to make a trip over to Morton to add some hot pink yarn to this, cause I fairly confident that one is not going to do it.  Originally, I was thinking some chunks of color when I bought the rest of the yarns out at Knit 4 Together.

I did spend a lot of time noodlin through how to do this one.  Since it was a yoke sweater and almost all of them are from the bottom up, including Alana's and the EZ ones, I did a little searching to see if there was anything from the top down that I could use to adapt to either one of these sweaters.  The thought and the reason I like top down so much is that should I need to alter this one after the gift has been received, it should be fairly easy to rip back or add to at the hem to make it custom fit.  Something, you don't just get bottom up sweaters.

So in my noodles, a technique came back to me that I saw in just the last couple of days.  I think it might have been the Yarn Harlot or someone she had guest bloggin years ago or it could be someone totally different.  Anywho, the just of it is to cast on with a waste yarn.  Work three rows of stockinette and then begin your sweater.  Work up through the yoke and neck in the conventual or rather the EZ way.  Then, pull out the waste knitting, and work down towards the hem.  Voila, problem solved should I need to add or subtract from this area.

I've got a sample of a 4T for sizing for this one as well, but on hers I am leaning towards making it longer into a tunic that she can wear with leggins ( the sweater not the t-shirt).  It seems that this little three year old has a mind of her own and likes to wear dresses and tights instead of pants.

Now, you might think that I finally settled in my mind and am busy knitting on the yoke tunic?!  As things would happen, this morning, while doing a little Ravelry surfin, I came up with this little cutie!

Just like Little Red Riding at first thought, I tole myself that I don't have enough yarn that is soft and pretty enough for this and that a trip to the only yarn shop that might be open this morning could be in order. But, I am really trying to use stash so I went into the yarn room and sat on the bench looking at the yarns, hoping one would jump out that would meet the criteria for this cutie.

The red Venezia is an option since I have sufficient amount of this for it to be held double.

What really drew me to this pattern is a comment her mother made earlier this Fall, that her brother and she were into capes.  I'm just afraid that if I do knit this one, that it will be used more for play than for the beauty of it, but on the other hand, I am not so sure that the sweater is any better of a plan.  This child has her mother's temperment from when she was a child, what can I say.

I am fairly certain that this will be the last year for knitted items for these two as I'll be knitting for a grandchild next year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Second Day of Christmas Vacation

I finished one of my Christmas present sweaters for my great-nephew.  At this posting, I am trying to decide if I need to block Encore?  Thoughts anyone?

Next up, I am trying to decide what to knit for my great-niece from these lovelies.
My nephew's was from Knitting Pure and Simple, and I could use the same pattern for my niece.  I was kind of noodlin with using EPS and just doing a bottom up sweater ala Elizabeth.  The other contender is Playful Stripes from Alana Dakos -Never Not Knitting.

The actual pattern is knitted from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and my yarn is Encore.  At this sitting it will probably be a combo of the two, using the striping and cardigan details from Alan, but using my gauge with Encore to re-work the pattern a bit. 

Good thing I don't have to have these knitted until New Year's Eve.  This will be some good knitting this weekend. 

Today, I am just having a ball.  I'm listening to Podcasts, Knitting Pipeline and 2 Knit Lit Chicks while knitting and wrapping the last of the presents I had to wrap.  While I was dowstairs, our nice neighbors delivered a tin of homemade goodies.  My goal is to limit myself to one goodie a day. 

I can do it!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My 12 Days of Christmas Vacation

Technically it's only 11 days, but I am counting tonight as one day. The minute I walked out of work tonight, I was in the holiday mood. After dinner, shopping with the Tall Guy, a glass of wine, a cuppa mystic chai tea and some knitting on the great nephew's sweater, I am ready to hit the hay.---the first day of my Christmas vacation!

Tomorrow, I get the house to myself as both the Tall Guy and Baby Boy B have to work. I'm going to get up when I feel like it, drink some coffee and open the drapes when the mood strikes me. he plan tomorrow is to chill, finish knitting the little nephew's swearer and start the little niece's sweater. Also, on the list for tomorrow is some wrapping while there aren't any prying eyes.

Oh I've got lots of plans for my 12 days of Christmas vacation, mostly involving knitting and doing what I dang well please!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Website

Now, if I had a yarn shop, I would so have one of these next year.  Seriously, this is such a cool video.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Will It Fit? 

The last time I tried knitting for my great-nephew it was a bust.  I think he could wear it all of five minutes.  Since he doesn't live close by, and my niece is not to handy with the measurements, I thought I'd go another direction.  Armed with the size he is currently, I went to our local Walmart and bought a t-shirt in the same size.

Voila, I am knitting it to the t-shirt's measurements.  When finished, I'll either return the shirt or give it to him as part of his Christmas presents.

Pretty smart eh?!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Goodie Bag Hat
  by Cheryl Oberle

 The Yarn - Classic Elite Liberty Wool.  I love the feel of this yarn, well and of course the colors.  So much that I went back for the rest of it, for a scarf and if enough a pair of mittens.

 When off the head, it doesn't look like a hat,

And from the front, it isn't the most flattering of looks, but on me there aren't many hats that do look good on me.

Best of all is the back.  I've been wanting a hat like this for sometime.  It will be a great hat for walking in the winter when it gets colder.  Normal hats, the hair gets in the way and more times than not, I was trying to keep the hat on with the pony tail.  Then, I'd get warm and pull it off and then cold and try to get it back on.

If you are interested in the free  pattern, pop on over to

My hat took me 5 days to knit, but in reality, there is still time for you to knit one before Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Countdown Is On!

No, not for Christmas, but the countdown until no work....5 Days until 10 days off! Technically, it includes weekends, but for me it is a straight shot of  doing only what I want to do.  At this writing, I am still noodlin taking Friday off.

I've got a little list going on in my head of what I would like to accomplish while on break.  I'm working towards our family celebration on New Year's Eve so I have plenty of time to finish the two top down sweaters for the great-nephew and great-niece.  And then I am seriously going to try and get some things off of needles for me.

This time off for the holidays are going to be so different.  Since both eves land on a Saturday, the regular knitting at Knit 4 Together won't happen.  There will be a little withdrawal there.

It will just be the Tall Guy and Baby Boy B for both Christmas Eve and Christmas day as everyone else we usually get together are going to be in Iowa or Aurora.  Something similar happened a couple of years ago, and I swore then that wouldn't happen again.  I think though, I can almost unequivocably say that this is the last year that will happen.

Next year, we will definitely be in Iowa for Christmas, because wait for will be our grandchild's first Christmas!  You heard it here, and you know what that knitting starts soon.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Love Getting Mail

From the days when I was a kid, I have always loved getting mail.  In the summertime, mom would let me get the summer edition of Weekly Reader.  Now, the first thing I look at when I come home is the mail.  Sometimes, I'll even call and ask if we got any good mail?

Good mail for me is something knitting related.  Could be a magazine, could be a catalog or could be something I ordered.  Yesterday, the good mail was my new autographed copy of the new Schoolhouse Press book.

I'm so excited to sit down this early a.m in the quiet of the house with a cuppa and look/read my new book.

Good mail indeed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Might Have To Make Me A Pair Of These
But not until the new year.  These are by Kate Spade, cost $65.  Only problem with knitting these is that there seems to be a real lack of finger weight yarn in white or as close to white as I can get. 

You have to admit these are kind of cool, even if it has a dirty four letter work on them.  They just scream ME!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Just Couldn't Resist

There I was knitting along on my great-nephew's sweater, when I felt the urge.

To cast on Cheryl Oberle's Goodie Bag Hat.  This pattern is perfect for those of us with long hair who need something to cover the head when we are out running/walking.  I've tried the ear thingies before but just haven't been happy with them.

Then Cheryl comes along with this freebie pattern and I just felt the need to cast on for it.  And the perfect yarn is some Liberty Wool that I have had waiting for a scarf, but I think it really wanted be this hat.

You can read more about the hat over at

Happy Wednesday Website!

Monday, December 12, 2011

This Just Says It All

Thank you my dear friend Debbie.  You know me too well!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

You Know The Drill

It's Sunday.  It's a new week.  I have an agenda/list albeit it is in my head at the moment.

I went to Weight Watchers yesterday.  They rolled out the new 2012 program.  I have committed myself to lose during the holiday season.  I am also giving myself a month from today to see some weight loss and some changes in my exercise program.  If after a month I have not changed my ways, I am not paying WW anymore $. It will be time to reassess.

The Tall Guy is putting the finishing touches on the bathroom downstairs today, painting the walls that are still blank.  Then in a week or so, he will put up a coat rack down the outside walls so we can hang towels there to dry.  I saw that idea on Pinterest and thought it would be a good way to get rid of a towel rack that is taking up room in front of my sewing machine that I would like to ge to.

I'm excited to get the bathroom downstairs done too.  I'm moving the make up and hair stuff to the bathroom down there from the bedroom too.  The bedroom is a spring project, but I am trying to get a head start on it and de-clutter through the winter when I get a chance.

After the painting, the Tall Guy is moving upstairs this afternoon to that bathroom to finish up the light switches and outlet covers.  I've already started this morning in both bathrooms putting things in the cabinets and drawers.  I bought a shower curtain and other cool stuff for the upstairs bathroom.  Once we get it all together, I'll post pics of both bathrooms.

The real plan for today was to clean the upstairs and put my tree up, we'll see if I get that done or just the other decorations.  I've also got some work to do for the real job, but may leave that until tonight. 

It's the beginning of the week and time to jump in.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Everyone Loved Their Scarves

It was a once in a lifetime deal.  Never to be repeated.  We did it Norma!  

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wednesday Websites

I have probably posted this before, but I have to tell you about what I did tonight.  I belong to the Planet Purl email list.  Earlier this week, Beth sent a note out letting us know about a video chat that she was doing with Connie Chang Chinchio.  I know the name from some patterns that I like that Connie has designed for Interweave Knits.  I have never really taken advantage of the video chats with Beth, but since there really isn't anything on Wednesday nights that I want to watch, I decided to tune in.

It was a fantastic chat.  Beth showed some of the patterns from Connie's new book "Textured Stitches"  Can you say I am ordering the book for me???  The first six cardigans we saw tonight are perfect for my work wardrobe.  Enough stockinette and texture to keep it interesting.  The next four we saw were okay, but not my faves.  Then the last six were accessories.  I could see myself knitting some of those!  So I am off to order the book for me!

I'll check back in with Beth over on Planet Purl for her happy hours real soon.

In the meantime, check out these websites:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


About a week before Thanksgiving, it seems like Christmas is quite a ways away.  Then all of a sudden, Thanksgiving is here and oy, Christmas is just around the corner.

It becomes way evident to me that if I want to knit things for Christmas, that Thanksgiving is not the time to start!  This year, the twoper scarves kept me a little busy right before Thanksgiving.  Now that Christmas is in sight, I can't help but wish that I had started earlier on my Christmas knitting and had some fun things to blog about.

So, tonight, I am going to pick up the great nephew's top down sweater and knit a bit on it.  Even though we are not getting together with them until New Year's Eve, it may be possible to knit on this to get it to a point where he can try it on and then I can finish the rib.

There are a couple of striping options that I have seen over on Ravelry that I might try out on his sweater.  One has them right at the armpit, the other a combo of thin and chunky stripes towards the bottom of the sweater.

I'm still not sure where I am going with the great niece's sweater.  That may be a between Christmas and New Year's knitting project.

I think for next year, I need to put on my google calendar now, to start my Christmas knitting around October 1st.  When do you start your Christmas knitting?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I Know It's Not Wednesday!

I seem to be blogging lately about websites and not on Wednesdays, but they just seem to come up and in the interest of not repeating something you may already have seen, I just had to blog this little youtube video. It's just too darn cute to keep until Wednesday.

Not sure what is going on but, it's 3:30 pm on a Sunday and I am just getting around to feeling like doing anything. I've just been hanging out in my fave chair enjoying the cleaness of the house right now.  I really need to get serious about doing something.  I have not even knitted yet today.  Just been watching HGTV.

Sometimes you just have to chill.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

No Not Yet

Despite that the guys who are remodeling our tiny bathroom worked from 8am this morning until 8pm tonight, the bathroom is still not ready for me to use.  I say me, because I sort of made a decision that this is not going to be the bathroom that we use every day.  We are going to keep using the new bathroom downstairs for our showers so this one can look good for awhile.  Can you say she must live in house with men?

Anywho - here is the course of five days work.

 They completly gutted it!  Took out our old moldy window, installing a nice new vinyl one and pulled the old tub out.  Glad I wasn't around when they had to do that.

 New plaster and walls. In the exposed area is where a tiny little cupboard was when we bought the house.  On the first bathroom remodel, the Tall Guy boarded over it.  It was kind of a hoot to see it again.

New underlayment went down on the floor, something the tall guy and his dad didn't do in the first remodel about 30 years ago.

 Brand new slate tile done in an offset pattern.  Funny thing is though that one odd tile.  Of all the tiles left in the box, one wonders why the tile guys used it?  It's not terrilby offensive now that the toilet is down.
This sure is a change from my little one inch tiles that were always popping up and having to be re-glued down all the time.  There were times when I just would pull the rug over them and forget about them for awhile.
 New paint!  It is not as blue as this picture would indicate, more aqua but not a deep caribe.  Later this week, I am going to go shopping for a new shower curtain.  Not sure right now what direction I am going with that, but it will be fun checking out Bed Bath and Beyond or Kohls for that.

 A new medicine cabinet, vanity and sink.  The sink is not operational yet because it was missing a piece so that will be finished later.  Tomorrow is a trip to Menards to get lightbulbs for the medicine cabinet. These are not your normal lights so that might be an experience.  Not sure what I was thinkin when I told him to put the towel bar up there, I think it might of had to do with not wanting to mar the wainscoating with it.  But I am going to live with it.

And finally a new tub surround.  I wish I would have taken pictures of the before, but actually it would be way too embarrassing to post them!  The shower and window was bordering on gross and I am surprised the DIL ever wanted to take showers in this one.

The guys will be back next week to caulk and finish up some things.  Also the painters need to come back as the paint job was not up to par, but we will deal with that as it comes.

It's been a long day.  After the guys left, I started dusting and sweeping all that fine dust that remodeling creates.  I was just going to do a bit, but once I got going, I just wanted to be done with it.  Tomorrow, I'll vaccum the furniture and kick back after that. 

This remodeling stuff is hard work.