Thursday, December 31, 2015

Knitting Wrap Up - 2015

What I accomplished this year, besides buying more yarn and casting on more projects!

Hats - 3
Scarves - 3
Stocking - 1
Blocks - 1
Hospice Shawl - 6
Peapod/Hat -1
Baby Blankets - 2
Shawls - 3
Dishrag -1
Vest - 1
Afghan - 1

Hmmm, and three of these were for me.  The rest all gifted.  Interesting, no finished sweaters on the list.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Year of My Blessings - Not Really Final

I have so many more categories of blessings, a job, a house that I love, health…but this is a blog about knitting (somewhat) so we'll get back to that tomorrow, but for today, the day before New Years Eve, I am going to tell you about my many blessings, my friends.  I am wealthy in the friend department!

I have childhood friends that I went to school with, that unfortunately, I only get to connect with through Facebook.

I have my many friends through work (you know those who are younger than me who like me have to still work) who keep me young cause I hang out with them.

My Winter traveling partners, back when I was 20lbs lighter - then

And now, we've been through a bit of life together.

My Summer Knit Camp Roomie and fellow "solve the knitting problems and other problems of the world".

The Radicals, although we are quite few in numbers now, but still always in my heart.  And although, I don't have a recent picture of us, this one sums it up pretty well.

And the Knit Wits.  These are the sisters I never had, the daughters I always wanted and the best friends one could ever have.

And so to quote from my fave Christmas movie from a song that Bing sings "when I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep".  I am so blessed, so very blessed..

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Year of My Blessings - Part 2 - Family

You all know what my pride and joy is don't you?!

This October, Poppy was born.  He is adorable and we love him.  Once again, I was able to go over and meet him just within hours of his birth.

And because I have such a great job and understanding boss, I was able to stay a few days and spend it with Mona Lisa.  She turned 3 last July and ok, even if I am the GRANDMa (her new title for me),  she is a pretty special kid.  Smart, independent and she has us wrapped around her fingers.

Even though, Mom and Dad try to ground me when it comes to giving into her.  They are pretty good parents if I do say so myself.

Baby Boy B.  He is a peach of an uncle and really needs to find a girl and have some kids.  He would make a great father.  I hear he is pretty good to have as a friend as well.

And then the Tall Guy.  Next year, in August, we will be married 40 years.  How did this happen?

I am so truly blessed that we have a happy, healthy family and I wish that for everyone in the new year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Year of My Blessings - Part 1 - Hospice

2015 was the first year of a new prayer shawl ministry at a local Hospice Home.  I have blogged before about how much I enjoy being a part of this ministry.  I cannot put into words how much this warms my heart to do this.   It is such a calming place, not at all what I would have imagined a place where one would spend their last days.  If ever, this is the place I want to be surrounded by what seems to me like a staff that cares and certainly a comforting place to spend the last days of ones life.

The Prayer Shawl Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday almost every month, except for next month and major holidays.  To take part of it, I use vacation time or work over, but it has become something that I want to be a part of. I don't want to miss out on this camaraderie or miss seeing all the lovely shawls that show up every month for Shawl and Tell!  You just would not believe the shawls and blankets we see.

This is an amazing group of women headed by an equally amazing, generous woman.  She feeds us, adds to the yarn bins with some super cool yarns and twice a year when we celebrate birthdays she goes the extra to make sure those of us with dietary restrictions have tasty lunches and treats to eat.  What does that say about a person who heads up the Prayer Shawl Ministry?  She is a gift, a treasure, a blessing, a knitter and a friend!

Yesterday, when I perusing through Ravelry, I stumbled upon some favorites from a friend that is knitting prayer shawls for Alzheimer's patients which sent me in the direction for this post.  It should be no surprise to anyone, that I have a couple or three hospice shawls and blankets on the needles, now would it?!

The Green Heather Encore Lap Blanket

The Madelinetosh Susan B. Anderson Shawl

The Kimono Shawl

I am so blessed to be a part of the Hospice Prayer Shawl Ministry.  On a cold, rainy, icy December day, I am so thankful for being able to be a part of this ministry and of the friendships that are being born and renewed from getting together twice a month and knitting for those who are in the very last stages of their lives and by knitting, perhaps, I can make them comfortable and they can feel the love and prayers that go into the knitting of the shawl that they have received,

Today, might be a good day instead of casting on something new, I worked on one of my Hospice Shawls!

Stay warm!  Stay Safe!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lazy Sunday

The Christmas decorations are all put away, and we are having one of those lazy Sundays in Winter.  I'm wasting my afternoon watching House Hunters on HGTV.  What are you up to today?

Even though, we have been so lucky, it would appear that we might get a bit of ice in the next 24 hours and the long range forecast for Central IL is that we will be in the twenties to upper teens in the next week, but hey that will give me some days to wear sweaters that really have not been out of the chest yet this year.  That does not mean that I want Spring and Summer to be here anytime soon, because as I have blogged before, I've gotta lose at least 20lbs, ideally more, but I'll settle for 20 to start.

I'm not sure exactly how I am going to accomplish that yet, but am starting with putting my fit bit back on and promising myself to get back on the treadmill at least a couple of times while I am off.  Once I get back to work, Suzy and I have promised each other that we will get back to walking at lunch a couple of times a week.  She will keep me honest, at least at work, not putting up with my excuses.

But, in the meantime, I am trying to decide which way to go with the eating habits.  Way back when, in the beginning of time,  I have done really well on Weight Watchers, but it seems in the last few years when I have tried it, I ended up just paying a lot of money and not losing any weight.  And I really dislike paying out dollars to lose weight especially when I know how to handle it and have a great app "My Fitness Pal" which is free on my phone.

I've been gluten free for over a year now, and it seems to be helping with some other issues, but it is not a great option for losing weight.  There is a bit of history in my family with adult on set diabetes and I know that sugar has been really overboard in my diet lately, so I am starting by my cutting down the sugar intake in my diet.  It is going to be hard to give up my Chai Tea at night, but I've yet to find some sort of substitute for it that does not include splenda, sucrose, sucralose or a durative of (another group of things that my body does not like).  I do like a good cuppa coffee though, so that maybe a good substitute during the Winter.  I really would be interested in feed back if anyone has some great ideas of what works for them to curb the sugar cravings.

I know that between now and when I go back to work I need to have a plan for taking healthy snacks to work and better lunches than just an apple and peanut butter (heavy on the peanut butter).  Pre-planning is the crux of the plan and I know that so I really need to be ready when that time comes.  Which means a bit of research will be most helpful.  Pinterest has been wonderful to find some great ideas as well and Hungry Girl.  The key word here is follow through!  One can not just read about it and pin it but rather taking it and inserting it into my daily activities.

Thats enough of that stuff.  What I really intended on blogging about today was Hospice Shawl patterns.  But, I'll save that for tomorrow as that post needs more than just a tag at the end of a Lazy Sunday.

Until then, kick back and relax, it is back to work tomorrow, oh wait, not for me!  I leave you with some cuteness for this Sunday.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Day After

Ok, now we can get serious about some knitting and de-toxing all the sugar that I have consumed in the last month.  I'm not waiting until the new year to get moving on both avenues, but rather starting tomorrow (no really), that way by the time the new year rolls around I will be hopefully in a groove of better eating habits and exercise, but we'll blog about that later.

While being off the last few days and having all my holiday knitting completed, I really had the urge to cast on something new.  I felt like by the time I go back to work that I would like to have something to show for my time off.  But, since I could not come up with just one thing to knit on, I decided my time would be better off knitting on something already on the needles.  There are multiple choices as you can imagine, but I have decided to knit on my Labrouste Shawl as much as possible.

Labrouste is a shawl pattern from Natalie Servant.  I met Natalie at Meg Swansen's Knit Camp a couple of years ago.  Last Summer, she released Labrouste.

Labrouste is a pretty simple pattern (at least for now), just stockinette stitch for quite a bit increasing at eyelet rows.

I've been using Labrouste as my knit in public project as it it does not require much concentration.  I have to say, though, I am ready for a bit of change, which hopefully, I'll be at the patterning very soon. The pattern includes some nupps, which will be interesting, since I am pretty sure I have never knitted any nupps, so a google search or you tube search might be in order when I get there.  My friend Pam, who has knit a lot of nupps may be able to guide me if I need some help.

The yarn is Lost City Knits Oak Barn Merino, purchased last Summer at Stitches Midwest (we will talk about that plan of attack in the coming days).

I am loving the yarn and the color way, it will be great to perk me up during the Winter blues that are sure to follow the holidays and hey, it goes with the current nail polish right now too!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

I wish for you all to have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I am so very blessed to have such a wonderful sisterhood of knitting friends.  Thank you for your friendship one and all!

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Work is done for this year and it is time to sit back and enjoy.  I have a lot of knitting I want to do while off and lets face it, I want just a calm 11 days.  I want late nights catching up on my podcasts, late mornings sleeping in and no thinking of work and all the many things that will be happening in the new year.  Ahhhh!

We are having a small little gathering tonight with a light soup and fudge.  Then, after everyone leaves, I am breaking out the wine, will sit with a simple little knitting project, with just the Christmas tree lights on, and I'll watch one or two of my fave Christmas movies I recorded (White Christmas, Scrooge or Miracle on 34th Street).  The Tall Guy will be fast asleep so I'll have a nice quiet house with me and my favorite things.  Ahhhh!

Tomorrow, I get to sleep in, since we are not getting together to celebrate with the Tall Guy's family until the evening and since we celebrated with Baby Boy A and his family last weekend.  It will be a quiet day and I can rest up.  After we celebrate tomorrow night, I'll come home and have a repeat of tonight, watching one of the movies I didn't get to tonight.  Ahhhh!

It's going to be great and I am already looking forward to it all.  Merry Christmas Eve to All!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Book Review of Sorts

When I saw over on Susan B. Anderson's blog that she had a book on Kid's Knitting, I had to put it in my cart on Amazon.  The method to my madness is that I am hoping someday, Mona Lisa will want her Grandma to teach her out to knit, even though her mother already knows how to knit.

 And of course when the Tall Guy saw me open it today, he thought it was a book on kids knits and I, of course, had to point it out to him that it was about teaching kids to knit.  Which just so happens to be almost the first thing Susan talks about in her book.

Kid's Knitting Workshop includes items that teens could knit and wear, some cute little toys that younger people would enjoy and Susan encompasses a lot of quick projects that don't require yards of knitting on before you come out on the other side with a finished project.

One of them just so happens to be these bracelets.  Now, I am not young at all, but I think I might just knit me some of these over the break.

The book is divided into skill levels and has projects in each of the sections to teach the skills that she tells the reader what they are going to learn.  I, totally, appreciate and commend whomever it was, either Susan or the publisher, that they spiral bound the book so it can sit flat or easily stay open for reading.

The final section addresses fixing mistakes and the book ends with caring for your knitting, a decent glossary and yarns used in the projects. The book does a good job of illustrating all of the things a new knitter needs to know and even some adults may find it useful.  I can see using this book as a resource in the new year when a couple of co-workers have requested I sit with them at lunch and teach them how to knit.

 I like this book and I hope to use it a lot with some new knitters.  For me at a cost of  $17.95, I give this one two needles up.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Taking A Minute For Me

It seems like it has been months since I could just knit on what I wanted with no knitting deadlines.  Hey, wait a minute, it has!  I first started knitting for Poppy's impending birth back in September, with his blankie and another for a shower present for Poppy's cousin and then onto Christmas stocking knitting and finally finishing up with two scarves for greats and a cowl for my assistant late last week.  I think it may be time to knit something for me with no constraints, no deadlines, no I'll wait until I lose a few pounds, just knit for the pure enjoyment and on whatever I want to.

Problem is, I want a finished product, I just don't want to knit a whole bunch on it. I need something with a bit of excitement to it, but not so exciting that I can't follow the pattern while I am knitting in public.

I, also have this notion that it should be one of the many WIPS already on the needles or something from the Stitches Midwest bag of goodies, because like my friend, Linda from OKC, I think I need to go Cold Sheep starting in 2016!  I have a ridiculous amount of yarn in the stash and I need to be knitting on it!

Did you just catch what I did?  I started out knitting without constraints and all of sudden have begun placing all kinds of constraints on my knitting.  Oh for pete's sake, I think I'm going to go get a piece of peanut butter fudge and figure out what my next project is going to be.

Catch ya on the purl side!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Finally Finished Friday

One Harry Potter Scarf

One soft and cuddly scarf

The Quick Slip Cowl for my Assistant's Birthday on the 26th.

And out of the other ball of the same yarn, the Darn Knit Kinetic Cowl.  This one is done for 2017, yes I said 2017.  I'm knitting scarves and cowls for the Girls Holiday Bash and starting now so I'll have them all done by then.

Now, all of my holiday knitting is complete.  It is time to start knitting for me.  What shall it be?  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday Website

I'm a bit late to the plate for this one, but Tin Can Knits is offering 12 days of Christmas patterns, one free pattern a day!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mish Mosh Monday

Just a few random things this Monday.

Possibly my last project to knit before Christmas, possibly, but don't hold me to it.  The Quick Slip Cowl out of Berroco Brio.  It takes just one skein, on size 15 needles.  This one is for my assistant's birthday the day after Christmas, which means I have to have it done by next week.  Not a problem though, it is super quick and should be done and ready to go in the next couple of days!

Super cute coloring book for Adults and for Knitters.  A gift for a friend who likes to color and knit.
Coloring books for adults and knitters, who would of thunk?!  Now, if the knitters could just get a knitting emoji!

If I only had one more week, I would have knitted Poppy the hat and booties from Knitters Magazine last Summer to go with one of his Christmas presents.  It could have been a theme!

Knitters wrapping paper from Target in a big roll!  Lovin this.

And finally, the first batch of peanut butter fudge has been made.  This batch went to the Tall Guy's work, one tin for my gals at work and the rest over to the kids later this week.  I'll need to do another batch later this week for the rest of my gals at work and Baby Boy B.
Then, one more batch to get us through Christmas next week.

I have to say I scraping the pan on this stuff when it is warm!  Catch you on the purl side.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Finally Finished Friday

You know how it feels when you finish something, that sigh of relief.  And ahead of schedule.  Poppy's stocking is a little wonky in the pic below, but some steaming this weekend should make it right.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Some Thursday Humor!

Have a great Thursday!