Thursday, May 31, 2007

Some of my favorite possibilities....

I have seen some of the coolest and wierdest knit items on the internet. There is such creativity out there! Here is one item I'd really love to make, maybe in Koigu KPPPM.....the swiss cheese scarf. How cool is that?!

How about the Garterlac scarf? I tried knitting the garterlac washcloth, but it was the wrong type of yarn on the wrong size needles for my first entrelac attempt, so I gave up. I would love to make an Eleanor at some point...

Cool, look at the pinwheel dishcloth! Want to make that, too. Yummy garter stitch texture.

Since I have no photos to show you of knitting (still sick), I will have to show a pic of the robin, sitting in his crafty little nest, who set up shop right off our porch:

He freaks out every time we go in or out. There are little baby heads that bobble up and down in there, but it's near impossible to get pics of them. You can just see their downy heads when the parent is not there....

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ripple blanket to come

Okay, some figures (with old pics, sorry!):

I washed and measured my finished ripple mat. It started out life as 19 x 23.25 inches. After a good hot wash and dry, it shrank to 18 x 21.5 inches. If I use the same pattern, I can plan for about 5 percent shrinkage from ripple point to ripple point (what will be lengthwise), and about 8 percent shrinkage widthwise. So now I have to decide what size I want it to be finished...

I think it would be nice to have a size that would cover my queen-size bed, although smaller, like a twin, would be okay. Haven't decided if I want to use it as a bedspread or a throw on the end of the bed....

I think if it's bigger, it would be too heavy--?maybe. Definitely want it to remain as large as possible after shrinkage. Hmmm. And it is going to be mostly blue, instead of mostly green.

I'm dying to get started on this. Must calculate the starting chains next....

I've been sick overnight, so it may be a while before newer pics get taken. I have no further days off work, so will have to stick it out the rest of this week. I think I'll be wiped out by this eve...but I'll leave you with a fun pic of my patio, pre-winter cleanup:

And my tree project--don't laugh:

I am forever weeding out seedlings of maple and redbud trees from my flower beds. Last fall, this little maple seedling had one leaf on it in the most gorgeous scarlet, so I transplanted him into the middle of the yard so that he wouldn't get pulled up by me in the spring. I placed a candle-cup holder for a stake to protect it from the mower. I can't wait til he's big enough to transplant.... :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I wanna....

Ooh, WIST....
I'd like to make this, but doesnt' look like they make it in my size, may have to tweak the pattern.

Want to make some of the cutest booties on the planet, from Saartje. Never mind there is no baby in the near future for anyone I know, those are just darn cute!

Am waiting to start the Einstein Coat in this thick green yarn "Cascade 128", I think it'll be really warm and cute.

I am a jacket fiend, can never have enough. Tips for the pattern here.

Last year at Stitches, I purchased a kit for this beautiful multicolored cardigan: have I started it yet? No.

Available here.

(But hon, I need more yarn...)
Sigh, back to the work grind...good thing I love my job!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Yard work = hard work

Wow, got a lot done yesterday, and then again, not enough. Sigh. How can the hours fly past so quickly? Didn't I just start my 5 day vacation? And now I am on the last day.

Yesterday, instead of staying inside, I worked in the yard. This was the first time I've really gotten out there this year!!! Lots of cleaning up to do after winter, and the plants are not waiting just cuz I'm running late....

Here's a rosebush (Carefree Wonder or Carefree Beauty) that did not even require pruning last year, it just burst into bloom and kept going all summer. And it was huge.

Well, this year it looks completely dead, until you prune away 99% of the bush, and down at the bottom is the new growth!!!

I'm sure my neighbors are glad to see that pruned finally. Look at the pile of THORNS I have to deal with now! Yikes.

Also turned this:

into this:

That is one monstrously huge bouquet of peonies, and man do they ever smell good!!! I had to bring them in, in spite of the ants (they just love these things).

I spent about 3 hours lopping off big branches from all our trees. The high winds of thursday made me realize how close some of the trees have grown to the house. I concentrated on removing branches that were hitting the windows in the storms. I was so exhausted by the end of my work that I just left the branches piled around the yard, to be bundled tomorrow. Geez. I am really out of shape!

In addition, I had planted some of these:

into these:

At the end of the long day, a shower and my lawn chair beckoned. I worked on Convertible from am really liking the feel of the merino handpainted yarn from Crash Into Ewe, and the way the colors are working up into the shawl. It's not so orange after all, just a rosy glowing peachy confection.... :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Graduation, and the lake....

Well, we made it. Both kids have graduated from high school. Wow. I feel old today....But happy to be the parent of such wonderful, brilliant people. And they have such potential!!! How exciting to be once again on the brink of adulthood, the world as your oyster.

I went to my Grampa's in early May. He lives on a lake. It is really nice to be there before the tourists/summer vacationers. It was soooooo quiet there--here, listen for yourself:

I got a little knitting done as I sat in the sun with a coat on, listening to the waves and the birds. aaaaaah. Why can't every day be like those few moments?

I picked this up yesterday, my own copy finally. Have been using the library's copy up until now, but I had a $25 frequent buyer discount at my LYS, and thought I'd use it for this:

Sometimes I read and talk more about knitting than I actually knit! Whenever I come to that realization, then I will sit for hours working on a project, usually until it's done! So blogging is a good impetus for knitting, in the end. All these plans and patterns and yarns waiting in line to be used--they are all pushing at the current WIPs so they can be next in line....

Today's recipe will have to come later. It is, after all, only 5 AM! ;-]

Okay, I'm back. Did not get any baking done, but here's a great recipe for Limoncello, an Italian liqueur that can either be taken as a cordial, or used in desserts or for baking (what I always use it for.) It makes huge amounts of basic lemon extract, that will keep you baking, and drinking, for a while! I love this recipe:


2 lbs lemons, peeled
3 c sugar
4 c vodka
3 c water

Steep the lemon peels (yellow part only--no pith) in vodka at room temp for 1 week.
Stir together sugar and water in pan over heat until dissolved; cool. Add to the vodka and lemons. Strain into bottles, seal, and chill 1 month before use.(Don't need to store in fridge though.)

I made my bottle of this 2 years ago, and even though I have a great recipe for lemon tirale (Italian cookies) that I use it in, I have a lifetime supply here, unless I start making hard lemonade ;o)

Friday, May 25, 2007

knitting resources

Why is the model on the cover of Vogue Knitting doing the
self-breast exam? Does this sell magazines?!

Why don't they just pose her with her feet in the stirrups?!

Look what else I got yesterday (very excited):

(note that none of these models are doing any such

I got this cute book with a gift certificate my daughter gave me for Mother's Day. I had seen this at the library, thought it was out of print. Very happy to have my own copy, especially for the clownfish:

isn't that the cutest? It's big too, I've seen pictures of the finished project, and it's big enough to be a bed-pillow if made in worsted!


I also got my first Japanese craft book! They had this at Barnes & Noble, and I snapped it up. Look at the cute animals from socks:

They are soooooooo cute!

Finished Ripple

A pink trillium in my Grampa's woodland garden:

Well, I finished my ripple mat. Only because we had high winds yesterday, we lost power, and I didn't feel well. Otherwise, I would've cleaned house and planted my garden. Yes I would...

Instead, I sat around on the sofa and crocheted on my ripple, in between naps and reading 'Friday Night Knitting Club.'

I made it a bit larger than I want because I know it will shrink significantly. I really like to wash things in very hot water--we'll see how much it shrinks. It measures 23-1/4 x 19 inches now....

I had to run to the store to pick up these 2 colors of Sugar & Cream cotton....

And came back with these:

Yup, $50 later, I have a huge assortment of washcloth cotton! (Hobby Lobby loves me.) I really like the feel and weight of the crocheted ripple mat, and am contemplating a ripple blanket-throw to put on the end of my bed....It's either that or a lifetime supply of washcloths, now.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Time Off

Yay for time off! I am starting a minivacation today. Looking forward to getting things done around the house and garden. My son graduates from high school in 3 days....where did the time go? He's the baby of the family. My oldest is going to Marines boot camp in 2 weeks, likely to be the biggest challenge of her life. I know she'll do well.

I had worked a bit on my ripple yesterday, but was exhausted when I got off work. Laid down when I got home after 5 pm, and woke up at 9:30 pm!!! So did not get much done at home. Really needing this vacation.

Avon is selling Hello Kitty jewelry!!!

Since I already own the necklace they sold a few years ago, I had to have these to go with it.

Here's my necklace. Now look what I got yesterday:

Sorry for the stinky pics! Well, I hope to get some knitting and crocheting done in the next 5 days....:) Hast luego!

P.S. Did I tell you that I ordered lots of the Avon HK earrings, to take the charms off and make myself some cutie-cute HK stitch markers?.....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

nature.....and ripples and miters


I finished another Ty-Dy mitered washcloth yesterday. Again, posing it around my yard:

It's slightly larger than the wonky miter written about previously; I used size 8 needles and switched to size 7 needles at 3/4 of the way through, to minimize pointiness of bind-off corner.

I gave in and started a ripple. Not just any ripple, mind you, but a crocheted ripple. Wow, it was tough to transition back to crochet after being such a knit-head for the past year. Harder than I thought! (although I haven't really crocheted in about 8 years).

I decided to make this after seeing this, and giving up on this poorly written pattern. It wasn't even fun to work on, there are so many pattern mistakes. That left me with this:

and this:

My ripple will be of 100% cotton, will be a small project to replace something I gave my daughter when she moved out. Fifteen or twenty years ago I had made a crocheted mat (of acrylic yarn of all things!) for draining dishes on, based on one I had seen at my Nana's. (She always had the most inspiring textiles around her house. I owe my love of them to her.) Anyway, we've just been using a towel since I gave it to my daughter: I miss having a dedicated mat for this purpose. So the ripple will brighten up my kitchen, and help me decide if I really want to jump into a larger ripple project....Plus, it's not acrylic!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wonder of the Web

I'm still amazed at how exciting it is to be "publishing" online! I rush home each day to see who has left a comment! Did not realize how much others' comments could mean to the authors--I've been the biggest lurker on everyone's blogs, but now I am going to make a supreme effort to leave a comment whenever I visit. I love, love, love this blog thing! Thanks to everyone who has commented on my new little blog :)

Okay, now some knitting: I finished my Mason Dixon mitered 9 patch washcloth last night, and posed it around the hood....

Look at those sharp mitered corners. Ooh, I'm so proud ;-D

I really love this washcloth. It came out to be 10 inches square, and we'll see how much the cotton shrinks after the first wash and dry in hot! I want to do another one in 2 colors only....

Oops,how did that puppy picture get in there? (nudge, nudge, wink,wink).

These tulip looking buds opened into these...

I love the springtime. See yas....