Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guess What?!

It's raining.  It's going to be raining most of the week.  There is water back in the basement.  And I am feeling under the weather.  Going to take the day off and ease into the work week.  I am so lucky to have sick days, thank you SOI.

And if it is raining where you are at, and you don't have to work, it's a good day for reading a book or some knitting, kick back and enjoy, the sun will come out eventually.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

It  is the start of Summer.  It is Memorial Day.  It is raining here.  But whatever the weather I hope you are having a great day with friends and family.  Make your own sunshine today whatever you are doing!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What a great fast two days.  I cannot believe how quickly time flew while over seeing Miss Mona Lisa.  She was not feeling all that great, but when she was, she is constantly on the go, crawling everywhere.  It was really hard to get a picture of her setting still.  Just as I would get the perfect pic, she was off!

She did let me read her a quick little book yesterday morning while it rained.  What a great way to spend a rainy Saturday, reading with a little one.  The kids introduced me to a new game while Mona Lisa was sleeping, Munchkin.  I'm going to have do a little research on that game before we play it again.

Miss Mona Lisa loved Grandma Penny's iPhone.  She, at times, was a leary of us three that are not around her all the time.  But, when I took my phone out she was all over Grandma.  She is quite the lover of electronics.

Baby Boy B drove over and back so I got some nice knitting time and listening to a couple of new podcasts.  I'll blog about those on Wednesday.  On the way over I was armed with my back seat yarn holder and some water.  These cup holders in the back aren't that great for holding cups (they just don't fit anything), but they sure do make great yarn holders.

I did something this trip that I never do.  I only took one main project to work on.  I did, however, pack all of the balls of yarn that I had for it.  I am glad I paired it down this time.  This is where I was on Friday afternoon on the way over.

And my progress as we were coming over the last bridge home.

And I still am on the same ball of yarn that I was on Friday afternoon.  I just finished the adapted waist decreases to the Summer Cardigan.  I'll knit a bit on it and that start the increases up for the hip and motor to the finish.  But, probably not today.  This is my knit shop project so I'll save it til later in the week.  I've got a couple of other projects/KALs to catch up on for now that did not get to make the trip with me and need some attention now.

It's been a great weekend, I'm sorry to see it almost over.  Soon enough it will be back to another work week.  I hope you all are having a great long weekend and you are spending it with friends and/or family!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another 24 Hours

I have yet another stealth knitting project I have been working on that took me another 24 hours to complete.  It feels really nice to be done with those three things so I can get back to regularly scheduled knitting.  But, I think it may have to wait until Monday.  We are heading to Iowa tomorrow to see Mona Lisa and her parents and there will not be much knitting done, but once I am back the heavy knitting will begin again.  I am only taking one project with me and will concentrate on it when I can.

But in the meantime, I just have to show you what the mailman has been bringing me the past few days.  Special mention here though, they are all things I had ordered before I decided to cut back.

My hard copy of Botanical Knits came today.  I ordered it a few months ago along with the E Version of the book.  I am looking forward to knitting some things from it in the Fall.  For now, there are too many other things in the queue to knit first.

The first of this week, my new project bag came.  I could not resist this super cool fabric bag from Blue Tulips.  I like her bags best of all.  I have one other that has my Walpole in it.

And I love that she includes this cute little stitch marker with each order.  I have two now for my collection.  Aren't these just so neat?!

Today, came a very special yarn.  So special I cannot blog about it yet.  It is for my camp contest entry and I am not revealing it until after camp in July.  Suffice it to say, it is so darn cool and just what I was imagining when I ordered it.

For now, here is a pic of the two stitch markers that came with it.  That just about says it all.

Have a good, safe long weekend.  Blog at you on the flip side.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday Website

Stephen West's Living Room

Sometimes it is quite fun to see where other people live.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

24 Hours Later

Well, it would seem the weather has settled a bit down here and down in Oklahoma, thank goodness.  So good to hear friend and fellow knit camper Linda P is okay as well.  Whenever, the weather tosses about down that way I immediately think of her.

24 Hours later, I am knitting another heart block only this one for another project out of another yarn.  This one has less stitches.  You would think that I could knit two less stitches in my pattern, wouldn't you?!  Finally down to the bindoff and I am about 1/4" too long, so I am ripping it back past the bind off and one row and then it will get pinned down for some overnight blocking.

Then I will have one more to do.  8x8 blocks should not take 24 hours each to knit, should they?  I am a pretty competent knitter, but for some reason the forces are against on these simple little blocks.  Soon, very soon, it will be back to regularly scheduled knitting.

Hope you all are having a better weather night tonight, 24 hours later!

Monday, May 20, 2013


It took me more than 24 hours to knit one darn block!  I really do know how to knit!

I am lovin my new yarn bowl!  It makes me smile sitting there next to me.

Notice the cleanness  of my area next to me.  I did manage to get it cleaned up yesterday too!

Major storms through the center of the country today and tonight, be safe out there!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Selfish Sunday - We Didn't Win the Lotto

It is beautiful here in Central Il today.  A nice cool breeze coming in and a hot cup of coffee in my hand and not a care in the world.  Well, actually, there are cares, but they are minor ones in the scope of the world.  And we did not win a bit on the lotto, so it means for now, I'll be working.

Yesterday at Knit 4 Together, it was a most pleasant morning to sit, knit and visit with the two Lindas, Sue and Nancy.  Out of that morning, I came away with a few things I want to change about my life.  Last night and this morning, the Tall Guy and I also had a couple of conversations that have paved the way for where we are going in the next four years.

I have a lot of yarn and a lot of projects and they seem to be overflowing everywhere in my house.

And it is so time to start cleaning my act up in several ways.  I know I have said it before, but I will say it again.  I have a lot of yarn and  a lot of projects in the works.  Linda at the shop said yesterday, if she had as many things going as I do, she would be frantic.  I was for a moment in time, last week, but I am over that bit of franticness.

But that does not mean that mean that I can continue to operate this way.  A couple of weeks ago, I started a new shawl and I worked a lot on just it.  I was amazed at how much in a week I accomplished on it it by just working on it.  Granted, I am now at the lace edging on it, which takes concentration and not just something you can pick up everywhere to work on.  For just a bit, though, I was an almost one project knitter and it felt good.

Today, I am going to take some time to clean my knitting area (aka as our living room) and get it to looking like a living room rather than an extension of Penny's yarn room.  I am going to pull out a few projects and that is going to be my concentration.

 An easy knit that can go to the shop with me or anywhere else where I don't need to concentrate to knit on and is for summer wearing

A t.v. off project that requires attention to the chart or directions

A KAL project that I have committed to

My Camp Contest project - I am not showing it here - mainly because I am waiting for my yarn to come

I already have a sock in my purse so that does not count

But that is it!  The rest are going to be bagged and tagged and put into a clean yarn room to be pulled out when one of the above projects is completed.

Amazing what just some little knitting table conversations can produce.  It makes for some great clarity.

Oh and the convo with the Tall Guy, I think we may have tentatively decided that at around the four year mark from now, we may retire.  In the meantime, the new house is off the plan, we will spend the next four years doing our own renovations to the inside (read that as upkeep that has needed to be done for sometime), no new additions for now.

And I came up with this one all on my own, I am cutting down on my yarn acquisitions.  NOTICE - I did not say stop buying!!

When a person has so many options as to what they want to knit, they have too many.  And I am going to start being frugal on who actually gets a piece of my paycheck.  I think I too am quite generous with my time and money (thanks Sue) and I do not need to subsidize everyone, and just because it is the latest craze, it does not mean I have to buy it.  if I want to retire in four years , I need to be thinking about all of that.  I need to be selfish.

I love Sundays (even though it is back to work for at least four MORE YEARS), it is so renewing.  I hope you are all having a renewing Sunday!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My Pottery Collection

Some people collect Polish Pottery.  Heck, I am not even sure I know what it is!  But, Susan B. Anderson's blog post yesterday, reminded me that I have a pottery collection going.  Mine is just a bit different then the average pottery collector.  I collect knitting pottery.

My very first piece was purchased some years ago in St. Charles IL at a knitting shop.  I tried my best to drink coffee out of, but the outside is a tad rough for that so it holds my pens and pencils next to my knitting chair.  And it about says it all when it comes to my knitting.

Over the last few years at Knit Camp, I have collected my all time fave pottery person, Jennie the Potter.  You can guess why?!  Not only does she do a great knitting mug that I have in three sizes, but she gets the color just right.  I used to have a special Knit Camp cup from last year, but alas it cracked, but I am still using my other ones for my daily coffee.

Jennie does a great knitting bowl to that of course fits the bill.  Right now it holds some buttons in the yarn room.

And to round out my collection, my local yarn shop, Knit 4 Together has been carrying some pottery as well.  The neat thing about these next two pieces is that they are crafted by one of the owner's brothers.

As luck would have it, I was in the shop today when the new yarn bowl came in.  I just love the face on it and it sits on feet.  One of the owners said that she uses hers for cheese and crackers sometime.  Would that make a cute little table display?

So it would seem I have a pottery collection and I didn't even realize it!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Books and A Picture

I have to say I am quite impressed with Barnes and Noble and their many knitting books they are now carrying in the store.  It has been a while since I have been to our local one and I was quite impressed.  They have always had a good representation of knitting books, but I think they have the most I have ever seen out there.

I really went out to do some shopping for Mona Lisa, but ended up with for Bella instead and some for me.  I wasn't really going to buy Amy Herzog's new book, since I bought her Craftsy class and had printed off her on-line blog about a couple of years ago.  But, after the Knit Girllls reviewed it, I decided to see if B and N had it.  Sure enough, on the top shelf, they had several copies so I had to get me one.

Yesterday, over on Susan B. Anderson's blog, she posted about B and N carrying it.  I kind of sort of knew that I wanted it since I saw the designs at the Pipeliner's Retreat a few weeks back, but I figured I might have to order it from Amazon.    It took me a bit to find it today, but I did and now I am the proud owner of it.  There are several designs that Mona Lisa is just going to have to have.  And I think maybe one for her first birthday coming up in July and maybe another for Christmas.

This book was not one that I bought today, but rather found a couple of weeks ago when I was doing my little filing thing.  I love this book and as I recall when I bought it years ago, it wasn't cheap.  The best part of the book is that it shows you all different ways and places to do quilts.  I particularly like the photos in the houses and outside the houses and it just makes me wish that I had a.) more time and b.) more money to do all of these lovely things I want to.    This is a great coffee table book, but most of all a nice book to just look and dream.

This has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but last night as I was sitting in my chair and looking down the hall to Baby Boy B's room, his water glass just jumped out and begged to have a picture taken of it.  There was just something about the contrast of the darkness of the room with a little light shining over a glass of water with ice it.  Course, it goes with my flip flop collection of knick knacks.  It may be time to get the collection out for Summer.

This weekend is supposed to be drop dead gorgeous so I hope you all can get out and enjoy it a bit!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Your Mark, Get Set, KAL

At long last, I believe that Springer is here.  What is Springer?  Spring and Summer mixed.  All of a sudden, we go from the 60s to almost 90 in Central IL.  Which means it is time to get the shorts out and which also means that I am so hacked off with myself that I haven't been very serious about my Weight Watchers program or my exercising program.  I don't have my Spring knitting done either.

So here is my thought.  Tomorrow, it is back to regularly scheduled Weight Watchers meetings.  And on Thursday, it is back to the walking program at work three days a week at lunch.  I am really going to try to get up earlier and do a little treadmill walk/running too.  Try is the operative word.  I am not going to freak out if I don't stick to this one, but am really going to see if I can.  I really don't want to set myself up for too much disappointment.

Tomorrow, starts the Single Handed Knits Read Along/Knit A Long over on the Ravelry board.  I have all of my stuff ready to go and I am anxious to cast on and read Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.  I'm broadening my horizons.

I know, I know, it is another cast on, but hey, I think I am getting pretty good at it!  But, look at it this way, if I have a ton of knitting to do, it should keep me out of the kitchen and from finding something to snack on.  And at dinner time, if I stop after the first plateful and proceed directly to the knitting, I may just be able to lose a few pounds in the next couple of months!

Monday, May 13, 2013

1 KAL 2KAL 3KAL More!

Over on the Ravelry Knitaway board, one of our Spring KALs has been Cheryl's Ivory Leaves jacket.  I've been tossing mine around for probably about a year out of stash yarn King Tut.  I love the jacket, but I also know that the cut is just not very nice fit for my body.  

The cool thing about knitting is you can change that, something we encourage over on the board.  Several knitters have already done that and so I am using a few of their ideas for mine.  First of all, I am lengthening mine quite a bit.  

It has a drop shoulder, another not so flattering look for me, so I'm going to make mine a bit of a set in sleeve.   I am almost to the point of splitting the fronts and backs which is going to be super fun to be.

I love this stitch pattern so much that while laying in bed last night, I have come up with a couple of ideas that I want to try out with it.  I had to keep myself from getting up and casting on last night to see what they would look like.

One of them that I have been tossing around the whole time I have been knitting on my jacket is a rectangular shawl.  I have to admit, more than once during the knitting of my jacket, I thought about turning it into a shawl instead of a jacket.  

I know it may seem like I am taking the whole leaves thing quite literally when it comes to the color, but isn't this Kidsilk Haze so cool and wouldn't it make a great little rectangular wrap?!

This is a WIP out of Kidsilk Haze that has been time out for a couple of years.  I think the pattern was Birch, which also has leaves on it.  I think that may be where my subconscious came up with the using this yarn for a rectangular shawl from it.

Yesterdays sky and trees may have had something to do with the sudden need to see where else Ivory Leaves could take me.

Just what I need is more inspiration!

And then one more idea, how about using Ivory Leaves on the bottom of a sweater and stockinette on the top?!  I have the perfect Ultra Pima for it.  I wonder if I can knit the pattern from the opposite direction if I do a top down pattern?

So many ideas from one KAL!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day To Me

My best accomplishments - Baby Boy B on the left received his Master's in Business Management from the University of Illinois.  Baby Boy A, a great father among other things.  We are so proud of them both!

And dear dear Mona Lisa who is 10 months already.  Where did that time go?  She is the little love of our lives, but then you already knew that now didn't you!

All you Mom's enjoy your day, however you are spending it!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Monday, May 06, 2013

Knit A Long Little Doggie

I am a sucker for Knitalongs.  I think I must be in about a half dozen of them over on Ravelry.  In the  next few days, I'll give you a rundown on them.  I am not sure what pulls me to them.  It is kind of like Knitting Camp, a big group of knitters sharing and all knitting the same thing with a wealth of info at our disposable even from the designers themselves at times.

The first one that I am going to share with you today is the RAL/KAL with Single Handed Knits, Mel Ski.  This one is going to be different because it is a Read Along/Knit Along.  Mel has designed a cardigan with the name of the book that we will be reading together and knitting at the same time.  The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway.  I have never ever read the book, can you believe it?!  Not even in high school.  I am not sure how that happened since I had to take four years of English and at least a couple of years of Lit.

I am so pleased that I had some yarn in the yarn room that I will be able to use for this pattern.  I bought this during the Knit Wits trip last winter to Lake Geneva and Janesville.  Mine is Malabrigo Arroyo, Reflecting Pool.  Is that now an appropriate name for a color way for The Old Man and the Sea?!  It was originally slated for a different pattern, but some how this just called out to me.

I absolutely love the way it knit up in  my swatch and when I blocked it, it was even softer than it was before going into the bowl of water.  I am so anxious to cast on and start reading, but alas, the official date is not until May 15th, so I have plenty of time to knit on one of my other KALs over on Ravelry.

These little beauties came in the mail on Saturday.  Aren't they the coolest?!  Knitting Friend, Sue turned me onto them and I gave Plover a shout out over on Etsy and asked if she did custom orders.  Eh, Voila here they are!

If you all have not checked out Mel's videocast, you have to do it.  The backdrop is lovely Hawaii and I look forward to watching it every week.  Reminds me of the colors of my new sweater to be and my new stitch markers.

Have a Blue Hawaii kind of day all!