Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Website

Most Wednesdays I let you in on some of the websites I love and find so interesting.

But, what about you?  What are your favorites?  Turn us on to something new, will you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our Knitting GetAway

Or our version of a Knit Away.  And we have a name, a t-shirt and a mug with our logo on it.

Our destination - Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. One of the nice things of which there are many, the knitting, the yarn crawl (shops between Peoria and our final destination), the getting to know everyone again AND the food.  Friday night we went to a Fish Fry.  Saturday night to Sprechter's that has hard Root Beer, something I have never had but interestingly, it tastes pretty good.

My room upstairs in the yellow nautical house.  I can say this is the one time in all of my travels that the temperature was just right for me sleeping.  Everyone else was sweating.

The 13 of us stayed in side by side nautical theme houses.  Everyone had a beachy, nautical, vacation type house theme within walking distance of downtown.  It was so comfortable that Sue and I stayed in Saturday for the most part and knitted in the big comfy chairs.  All we really needed was a nice little fireplace and the weekend would have been complete.

As I blogged yesterday, our final knity shop destination on Sunday was The Dragonfly Yarn Shop.  Besides the yarn, she carried Knitters Pride Karbonz needles.  I have heard a lot about these lately so I decided to pick up a couple of 16" in my current Mona Lisa Knitting sizes and a set of the 1.5 double point for socks.  I'll review them later this week.

My other purchase was a hand cream that a friend's husband found for us years ago locally.  I loved it then, but have not seen it since he passed away.  I picked me up a big jar and have been using it lots since then.  Not only does it bring back memories, it is so cool to have it on my hands again.

We are under a major storm here in Central IL today and I may just stay home, but this decor on my wall puts me in the mind that this has to be the last one doesn't it?

In the meantime, I have my knitting to keep me warm and thoughts of yet another great Knit Away weekend!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Kicking Myself

Let me start off saying, I promise tomorrow the blog will be much more up beat.  I don't know if it is the realization that I have to go back to work tomorrow after a super fun weekend or the over whelmingness of what I have once again done, but something is going on here and I am beating myself up quite a bit.  The reason I know I am beating myself up is that I am in a plain narly mood.  I can feel it.  

Thank goodness I am home alone today or my family would be bearing the brunt of this foul mood.  But, there is light at the tunnel.  The reason I know that is after sitting down and making a list that I'll share further down, there may be a pin prick of a hole of light shining through.  It is amazing what a little bit of self analysis does for oneself and reflection too.

It all started about an hour after I got home yesterday.  Our last stop for the day of our knit away weekend was at The Dragonfly Yarn Shop in Janesville.  You see, I managed to go the whole weekend without buying yarn!!  Oh, I bought a  new pattern in Delavan, Wisconsin 

and a new shawl pin there too, the day before.  And a new tool, but I am not showing it here, because I bought one for some other friends and I don't want them to see it until I get them from the shop where they are being made.  Thats it, no other yarn, not even from the Fold in Marengo IL that will be definitely a return engagement at a future date, but more on the Fold another day.

Then comes our last stop.  I was perfectly content on not buying anything!  I did not come on the weekend armed with any patterns that I wanted to look for yarn for there, because as I have blogged about before I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE YARN!!  I was on the knit away to simply knit.  And I did really well until yesterday.  You would have thought that I did not have a thing to knit on.  But others were buying, and I just felt the need.  And I did.

 Malabrigo Arroyo.  Do I have a project in mind for this?  No.  Do I think that I have enough yardage for a sweater for me?  Maybe not.  Then why...because as the song goes, we may never pass this way again.  Seriously?!

And then this little number.  I have even less of a use for this but I still bought around 900 yards of it.  No plan, no thoughts, I just liked it and I know that none of my shops have it around here.  You see the trend here?

Fast forward to about an hour ago.  I'm having a moment here.  I have so many projects that like the old woman in the shoe, I don't know what to do.  I think I was on the verge of a meltdown and so I had a strong talk with myself (after losing a fight with a cabinet downstairs).  I sat myself down, cup of chai in hand, took out my handy dandy clipboard and made columns.

Spring 4/1
Spring 5/1
PASG 5/1
Camp 7/1

Next to the columns I made notes as to what I think I would like to accomplish before those dates.  Only two are really set in stone, the rest are all negotiable.  Most of all at the end of this little exercise, I am also adding in with *  - there will be no new yarn purchases except for the camp project or to add to a project.  Really, people I am going to need some help here.  

I am still in a narly mood, but I am going to contribute that to no longer having my quiet time and having to go back to work in 15 hours.  But, good news  Miss Mona Lisa is coming home for a long weekend this Friday morning so things are looking up.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Knit Wits in Lake Geneva

So much to show and tell, but the Academy of Awards are about to start, and I am shutting down the computer.  Have my coffee and my knitting.  Tomorrow, I'll have loads to share because smart woman that I am, I took the day off and I am not looking at my work email tomorrow.  Just going to enjoy my alone time!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Yarn Candy

I just realized that I never blogged about my new yarn.  Is this not too die for?!

I cannot wait to cast on them, but I have a pair on the needles that I have to finish before I start these.  Could be the kick I need to work on them.

This will be my first experience using Lollipop yarn, I'll keep you posted on it down the road.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Off to Knit

13 of us are leaving tomorrow morning for Lake Geneva for a knitting weekend.  There will be shopping, there will be knitting and there will be fun!

But first we have to get through this!  This is the third year we have done our knitting weekend.  And this is the third year that we have had to contend with snow.  What are the chances?

I've pretty much got my knitting together, just have to get my clothes ready.  It is going to be a great weekend.

Until then, stay safe everyone and knit something!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We Made It In!

Linda and I made the roster for Meg Swansen's Knit Camp 2.75.  Talk about excited!

As soon as I complete Mona Lisa's Closet Spring Wardrobe, I'll be camp knitting.

So many things to think about.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just A Little Shoppin

I don't know what happened, I must have fell off of the wagon.  I was just going downtown to the Fiber Universe to see if they had a nice yarn for a quick scarf.  All of a sudden, I was seeing things that I had to have. 

 I've been eyeballing this Knitted Gifts book for a bit.  Then Kristen was doing her love things last week and showed a sweater that was from the book and well you know the rest is history.

I have seen this book on a blog and video cast here and there.  I know that I can search just about any cast on or bind off that I may ever need on the internet, but sometimes I just like the feel of a book.
It has the twisted german cast on in it so I figured what the heck.

This is what I really went down for.  Some yarn for a scarf that is soft and squishy and a good color.  This is for someone I work with.  She knows I am a Snoopy fanatic and every time she sees something snoopy related on sale, she buys it for me.  I felt like I needed to do something special for her.  

Now, I realize, or at least I hope that Spring is coming soon (you wouldn't know it by the forecast for later this week), but I figure if I hurry I could get this done before the snow gets here on Thursday.

I am knitting the Yarn Harlot's one row scarf pattern.  The combo of the yarn and the stitch pattern is making this one soft scarf.

While downtown, I thought I might find an alternative yarn for the Single Handed Knits Mystery KAL that I am doing.  So between Erin and I, we decided on this Ultra Pima.  Only problem is, Mel doesn't suggest cotton for this sweater, something I failed to remember until I was home with it.

But, I am okay with that!  I already have plans for this one.  I think it will be lovely for my Wisdom cardigan.

But, I absolutely cannot cast on for it until I get a few things Mona Lisa's Ensemble.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What A Super 24 Hours

We only spent a short time over in Iowa with Mona Lisa, but it was a fun trip.  She is growing so.  Sitting up by herself, eating cereal and fruit, and staying awake much more.  

The Mabel's Closet ensemble I am working on now has a sense of urgency to it.  The Garden Frock looks to fit for right now.  The Cradle Cardigan too, but the sleeves need to be ripped back and shortened along with some shaping, they are way, way too huge at the hem.

She and her Daddy will be over in a couple of weeks for a short visit and I'd like to have the whole ensemble done and ready for her to start wearing then.

It was a great trip, too short, and always fun.  My DIL and her sister introduced me to Orange Leaf last night.  Anybody else ever heard of them?   All I can say is Peoria needs one of those!  It is right up there next too coffee.  Or maybe it is a good thing we don't have one?!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Purl Ridge

This little gem has been in my knitting bag for several months.  It was a great project to have in there when I needed something to knit on in public and could carry a conversation on and knit.  It is   Stephen West's Purl Ridge Scarf  - a free pattern!

This scarf can be done in almost any yarn.  I chose a really light weight yarn - Aracunia's Nuble with a size 4 needle.  I wanted something that I could wear with one of my fave turtlenecks to work in when a sweater wasn't needed.  

I actually cast on 200 stitches instead of the pattern's 300 stitches.  I did not want a scarf that had to be wrapped more than once around neck and I really did not want it mine to be super bulky.

I wrote the pattern down on a 3 x 5 card and made a mark by each of the rows as I finished them.  That way I didn't need to haul the pattern around with me.

The scarf can be worn as an infinity scarf too, which I like, but for the most part I'll wear mine doubled.

The bestest part of this pattern was the bind off.  I actually had read about it, but never used it, and I will use it again.  It consists of knitting 2 tog through the back loop and slipping the stitch back to the left hand needed.  This is definitely something I will use again.  My only problem is that I may have cast on a little too tightly, hence why I'll need to wear it doubled, mostly.  

I am totally lovin this pattern and may try it down the road in a heavier yarn.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

While I Am Waiting

for an official notice that I made into knit camp this year, I am working on Mona Lisa's Closet pieces.  I am hoping to start the jumper on Wednesday which means I need to finish the Cradle Cardigan tomorrow night and get it blocking.

This blush Pacific yarn may be a Mystery KAL sweater or I may use it for what I intended it to be the afghan pattern by Sally Rainey.  The plan was to have it done in May for the PASG luncheon contest.  At the moment, I am just letting it veg.

Two things in this bag.  My Long Collared Coat from Knit One Knit All and my Swirl Jacket.   I really want to take the coat as show and tell to camp this year.  The Swirl would be my go to project to knit on while at camp.

And finally, the yarn in front is going to be a MVK shawl and the back would be another shawl.  Both I would love to have to wear during camp.

But, until I really hear that I am in, I am going to let them sit and wait on me.  Wouldn't want to push my luck and jump the gun knitting on them just quite yet!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday - It's A New Week

Woo hoo!  I lost 2.7 pounds and I am taking it!

Spring Knitting - Not quite the Last Installment.

It is raining outside, we had a thunderstorm in February and it is going to be a dreary day.  As soon as I finish up the laundry and have my shower, it will be a good day to sit and knit and get caught up on some DVR stuff and movies.

If you look at retail, they are already putting out their spring stuff.  And seriously as a knitter, we should be putting the final touches on those sweaters for winter and starting some Spring knitting so when the calendar really says Spring, we will be ready for it, not just starting to knit for it.

I am so ready to buy Spring yarn, but alas, my local yarn shop is just starting to shop for spring yarns.  Really?  Well, as readers can tell from previous posts, I have enough Spring yarns to get me going!  I spent a little bit of time this morning over on Ravelry looking at some things that I want to do for the upcoming seasons.  Oh, do I have a list.

One of the things that I seem to be gravitating towards is these little short sleeve/sleeveless numbers.  Unfortunately, God gifted me with these pelican biceps so unless it is 100 degrees, you are never going to be seeing me with my arms exposed.  I'll have to either make a plan for something to go over them or do a little re-write of the pattern to extend the sleeves a bit.

In a couple of weeks, I'll be heading out for a nice weekend with knitting friend to our annual knitting getaway.  I have already started planning on what knitting to take.  At first, the plan was Mona Lisa's Closet, but now I am wondering if it shouldn't be some of  the yarn I bought at last year's knitting getaway.

This one is technically a Spring knit.

This one not so much!  And there are others.

Maybe, I should ban myself from buying any yarn on this getaway until I finish last years?!  Maybe, I should take a page from Mel's last video podcast and spend more time knitting and less time on the internet.

Chuckle!  That is rich.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

This Is Like The Movie Groundhog Day

On Saturdays when I know I am going to the shop, and I get up early, I get a wild hair that I need to cast on something mindless for the shop.  Never mind that I have plenty of mindless that I can knit on at the shop!

And I sell it to myself that this would make a nice Spring wrap to wear.

So, I get my scrap yarn out to do a provisional cast on.

 I start knitting on the project, put it in my bag and go out to the shop.

Where it stays and never comes out of the bag, not once.

Okay, so maybe I'm not ready yet for Spring knitting even though I should.  More on that tomorrow.

Friday, February 08, 2013

If You Knit It, It Will Come

Spring Knitting Installment #2

I have probably blogged this before, but I will say it again.  Ever since, the Tall Guy and I went on our very first and only cruise out of Florida and the ship churned up that lovely blue water, I have been in love.  When my friend and I did our years of February Mexico vacations, I stayed true to the blue water.  I call Caribbean Blue.  I think maybe Vogue Knitting might have it pretty close in this issue.

If you look really close on the model's nails, you will see the color of a polish that Avon put out last year.  I have some and I may just venture out to have put on my nails later this spring.  I can hardly wait for this issue to be out so I can get my hands on it.  I hope it doesn't dissappoint.

 You can see that I have some yarns waiting for Spring.  The one on the lower left is Cascade Pima that  I bought last Summer.  It should be perfect for this Spring/Summer.

I have had this Gulf of Mexico colorway for a couple of years.  It thinks it knows what it wants to be, but we'll see if it gets  to be or if I change my mind.  Whichever, it turns out to be, I want to be wearing it this early Spring.

So, is it any wonder that I love the background on Mona Lisa's pictures from six weeks ago.  Yep, thats the color I love!  And the doll babe isn't half bad either is she now?!

Whatever the color is called, turquoise, caribbean blue or aquamarine, it is my signature color and I need more of it in my wardrobe, to go with the nail polish you know.  Wink.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Time for Some Serious Knitting

Spring Knitting - Installment #1

 This bag has all of my Sublime yarns in it for the Mabel's Closet Ensemble in it.  I'm working on them next.  If I don't get these done pretty soon, little Mona Lisa will have to give them up to my great niece to be's wardrobe next Fall.

I've put these on the back burner.  Had a great idea for a sweater out of them, but it just never quite turned into something I really loved. You can see the cast on sitting there.  The rosy pink just wasn't what wanted with these.  These may have to be pushed back to Fall.  Or a Spring cardi for me, perhaps.

Look how this little girl is growin!  Sitting up and everything.  It has been 6 weeks since we have seen her and I am chompin at the bit to get over there to see her.  I am afraid that it may be March until we get there.

Either that or Grandma is going to have to take a couple of days off and go over by her self.  Unfortunately, I just cannot fit it into my work schedule right at the moment.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Wednesday Website

Carin makes me want to do a little cross stitch, if only I had a little more time.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I Love a Good Mail Day

My watermelon sock yarn came.  I've had it ordered for awhile.  I am not going to start it right away, but rather keep it for a bit.

I bought two because I thought Mona Lisa may need a little something out of it later this Spring.

And look what knitpurlgurl threw in.  A watermelons slice stitch marker.  How cool is that?!

Love it!

Monday, February 04, 2013

It Was A Good Day Yesterday

I bagged up the Girl Scout cookies and started counting my points again.

I got my back knitted for my Eadon.  Tonight, I am going to block it and see what decision needs to be made on casting on the fronts.

I finished my Downton hat.  I like it.  If I were to make another one though, I would go up to the Adult Size 2.  I could use just a bit more room, but I can still wear it when it is uber cold.  Other than that, I am not really a hat wearer.

I am pretty proud that I stuck with these two things this weekend for knitting.  Just goes to show you what focusing on a project does.  Now to keep the momentum going for Mona Lisa's Valentine sweater!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Hazy Shade of Winter

Leaves are brown now, there's a patch of snow on the ground... I like this Simon and Garfunkel song.

Regular readers know that Sundays are my start over days.  It's the first day of the week and for me, it seems like Sunday is the day to get my house in order, well not really the house, but more like my state of mind.  Most Sundays, I finish up some laundry, but the rest of the day (at least on these Hazy Shade of Winter Sundays), I hole up in  my comfy chair with either some HGTV on or catching up on Knitting podcasts and my knitting.  I love Sundays even though it means tomorrow it is back to work.  I am trying really hard to work on one or two projects this week so I can have some closure on some things.

 Eadon is one of them.  I want to get this back finished today, so I can see what it looks like after blocking.  I went down a size on it and down a needle size.  I am hoping that blocking will open the rib up a bit.  If that works, then I will feel comfortable casting on the fronts.  

Today, after noon, I am going to be watching House Hunters on HGTV.  It is some good knitting t.v.
 I don't watch the Super Bowl, but rather tonight I'll video chat with the Single Handed Knitter's Ravelry Group and then watch Downton Abbey while working on my hat by the same name.  I am hoping to have it done shortly and that it will fit, so I can wear it a bit this Winter yet.

There are a whole lot of projects swimming in my head, but for today, I have two to concentrate on.

Tomorrow will bring thoughts of Spring, which according to the local ground hog is just around the corner!

Friday, February 01, 2013


The room was picked up and vacuumed.  I put stuff in closets, in cubbies and on the treadmill in the basement.  I hung up sweatshirts in the basement.

I borrowed a high chair from my sister-in-law.  I skipped knitting last night to go to the grocery store.  We stocked up on food for an army.  I dusted and swept at least two times getting all the dust bunnies.

 I went all out and took the Girl Scout Cookies out of their containers to make it easy for everyone to grab.  I was two steps away from being all finished, when the kids in Iowa called and said they weren't coming.  Bummer!

So, tomorrow I'll punt.  I'll go out to the shop and knit.  In the next couple of weeks, we'll head over there or they will try to come home when perhaps the weather will be better.

In the meantime, maybe I can get Mona Lisa's Valentine's sweater done for her.