Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This about sums it up. . .

I love the original Willy Wonka! I mean, I like the new one with Johnny Depp, too (is there anyone out there who can resist Johnny Depp?, really?), but there is nothing quite like the classics when it comes to movie wisdom! And that picture up there about sums it up for me, especially this week. You see, this is the week that I have to finally admit that I fried a computer. All the files that are precious to me are on an external drive, safely backed up, but sometime last Thursday I lost all my Internet Favorites. . .and quick links. . .and my computer went to live with our Computer Guy for a while.

Don't get me wrong, I clearly have access to other computers. I think I have all of my software disks, and all of my important data will be restored. . .eventually. In the meantime, I just feel like I am in limbo. . .like the whole Computer Universe has it in for me. . .and I live in fear of frying the next machine - Oh!, Woe-es Me!!! How could this happen???

Note: Scarlet O'Hara moment now concluded. On to the knitting. . .Hooray! The knitting is ALL GOOD!

Exhibit One: New knitting pattern.
New, very rough draft of knitting pattern for a shawl, born of the desperation of a group of moms whose kids decided to stand for something and joined the military. . .while our country is fighting a war. . .in a very far away place. I belong to a group of these most amazing women over on Ravelry, and we talk about remembering to breathe quite a bit. You see, when your kid is over there, or getting ready to go over there, or on his/her way back from over there, you forget about the breathing. You wring your hands, you check their Facebook, and you try to go on. Some of us have sought out other moms online, and we remind each other to Knit 1, Breathe 1 (K1, B1) as a way to get through the toughest of emotions. I love these ladies, and I am so glad to have found them. And we have decided that the "B1" stitch is actually "YO, s2kp, YO" in knitting terms. We are going to do a knitalong, starting May 15, and this is the first draft of the lace pattern for a triangular shawl. We do pretty good work! Exhibit Two: FO in Crochet Hearts
While I wait for May 15 to start on that KAL (I know, who am I kidding? I probably will not wait that long!), I have finished an afghan. This is just a piece of the project. . .gift and all that, there should be some element of surprise, and I don't know if the recipient reads my little knitting (crochet on this one!) blog.
Exhibit Three: The Socks that I LOVE to Hate!

These were my In the Mood Socks, but as I finished sock #1, I realized that I really hated knitting it. (Note: The pattern is well written, easy to follow, I just don't like it. Good designer, good design, just not my taste, apparently.) This does not happen often, but I disliked it so much that I did not want to even start the second, and I didn't feel like trying on the first. Whoa, Baby! This was a new emotion for Pretty Knitty! But, as I always say, "There are no wrong emotions. Feel what you feel and move on," so I did. I ripped out the bind off at the cuff, and I started a plain-vanilla sock, toe-up. I have not decided what heel to work, but I have a few rows until I get there, so there's time. And, I am just gonna knit from sock to, well, sock! Here's the very start from yesterday morning:
I am quite a bit into the foot now, but I have not taken any new pics, so this is it! I hope to get my computer back today. . .please send good thoughts, prayers, whatever you've got that it actually happens. And, in the meantime,

Knit in Good Health!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Contest at That'll Do Farm!!

Wanna win some fiber-y goodness??? Head on over to That'll Do Farm's blog, and name the baby alpaca to enter! Good Luck!
Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday's Child. . .

Well, according to the old Mother Goose poem, "Saturday's child is loving and giving." One of my kids was born on a Saturday, and I think it applies! If Pretty Knitty were a Saturday's child, the only thing that would apply would be "not too bright!" Or maybe, "makes bad decisions." Because, Pretty Knitty, in all her vast and glorious wisdom, went to the Post Office on Saturday this week! What was she thinking?!? (Psst! She was thinking that she had to get to the Post Office on a day off to pick up the registered mail that she was not home to sign for when Friday's mail came. sigh!) Look at the line that met Pretty Knitty at the Post Office:
But, wise girl that she is, she had knitting with her! And the sock got 2 more rows of 2x2 rib at the cuff!:
And when she returned home from the Post Office, she and the Hubster decided on a walk. . .you know, to relieve the stress of the Post Office. While she was walking, she found herself wondering, "Who in the world does THIS to a tree?!?"Is it the city? the electric company? I mean, I know that it's probably a hazard to have all those branches up there dancing with the power lines, but really. . .leave the tree like THAT?!? I guess it could be worse. . .Pretty Knitty saw an article in the local paper about a lady who took issue to the trimming of her tree-lawn tree, and her hack-job was far worse. . .it is what it is, I guess, and now Pretty Knitty and her neighbors are graced with the beauty of a "U" Tree. Pretty Knitty wonders if that is anything like a U-boat. . .now she needs a distraction.
Wow! Tiny, rosebud-type flowers on that tree! Good distraction! How did she not see this before? Another good distraction was blackberries!
One of Pretty Knitty's favorite treats in the summer and warmer months (Thank you, Mexico!). These were oh, so juicy and yummy, and she carefully washed her hands before working on the latest afghan (which falls into the "surprise" category, so there are not many details until next week). She will say, tho, that 7 blocks are done, and it's in Ravelry, so if you are a member, you can find the details!
And for another distraction, who's up for a movie and. . .
Pretty Knitty was, and she and Hubster thought Date Night was pretty good. To be fair and honest, Pretty Knitty liked the movie a little more than did the Hubs, but even he thought the outtakes at the end were pretty funny! :o)

And, finally, to wrap things up here. . .who is now intrigued to know about children born on days other than Saturday? Here is the whole poem:

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Is it accurate for you? Your kids? Do you now feel like cross-stitching this on tea towels? Pretty Knitty says, "Go for it!"

Knit in Good Health, whatever day you were born!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's all about the babies. . .

. . .and there are a LOT of babies at church lately! Yay for the Empty Nesters (me and Hubs) who love to hold and play with children but don't want to rush their own offspring into parenthood! Yay for the Knitter! Yay for the store that sells the yarn that the Knitter turns into baby sweaters! And Yay for the store that sells FABULOUS buttons, too!

For the past few years, Hubs and I have volunteered in the Church Nursery (Yay!) on Sunday mornings. We have also offered our services as babysitters to some of the young families that know us from there. It keeps us in touch with the fun side of life (we are like the grandparents now. . .play, give treats, laugh and sing, play, play, play, turn them back over to the parents as they start to crash from the sugar high), and we love every minute of it! I also especially love to knit the baby sweater!

Quick to knit, and I can use all kinds of fun colors. . . Some of the sweaters are plain, some are striped, some have hoods, some are for girls and some are for boys. This one is for a darling newborn girl with a big brother at home. First girl in the family, so I wanted it to be frilly, but not all pink.

It's a simple pattern that I use over and over again, especially for baby sweaters! I love this pattern because it leaves open all kinds of possibilities. . .like, should it be plain knitting? lace? stripes? Should the ribbing be k2, p2? or k1, p1? or should there even be ribbing? Maybe ruffles with a little ribbing. . .yes! Lace and ruffles, in baby blue with some bright contrast yarn at the collar and cuffs! And, when all the decisions are made, and the knitting is done, and the knitter finds that she only has 4 flower buttons, but she has a single bee as well. . .and there you have it! Taa Daaaaa, a baby sweater for a special little girl!:

And sometimes, when it's not about the babies, it's about the sweaters!
And sometimes, when it's not about the sweaters, it's about the knitalong!
And so here is the Traveling Woman shawl I recently completed in Destination Yarn (Vienna). . .this knitting. . .it's almost good enough to eat!

Then, just when you think you can't get any more yummy color, the seasons change, and the trees and flowers bud and bloom and drip with the perfume of springtime! I am thankful for the Spring and the promise of new life that it brings. . .which takes us full circle to the babies! Yay!
Knit in Good Health this Spring!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Play Date!

I had a chance to play with a friend today! Actually she was the Maid of Honor at my wedding some 20 years ago, and we have kept in touch pretty well through the years. Well, we send annual Christmas and birthday cards (her birthday is two days before mine), and for the past few years we have also gotten together for lunch around birthday time to celebrate and catch up. Today was the day this year, and I wore my Salsa Sweater, and we met at Chili's, where we actually ordered the exact same lunch entirely by coincidence! Friendship like that cannot be fabricated or replaced! I cherish her, even though I don't see her often. We talked through the ups and the downs of the past year, and had a pretty nice afternoon. My only regret for the day is that I do not get together with special, life-long friends like this more often. . .perhaps that can be more of a priority when we are Shuffleboard Queens? (Click here to listen to a portion.)

Until then, I enjoyed seeing you, Friend! And I look forward to our next birthday lunch. . .we are getting better, indeed!

Note sock on table. . .yep I was knitting at the restaurant, while deciding what I was In the Mood to eat! lol

When I came home from lunch (nearly 5 hours after leaving the house), the Hubster stated that I probably wouldn't want to go out for Mexican, then, right? I thought about that for like a nano-second, rationalizing that I had ordered a salad for lunch and brought half of it home (totally ignoring the fact that I had also orderd and about polished off a fried onion ring and jalepeno appetizer), I answered, "Well, technically, I ate lunch four hours ago, so yeah! Just let me knit on the baby sweater a few rows, and we'll go!" I mean, really, who would ever turn down our fave Mexican restaurant on a Saturday night?!? I know, right! Oh, and here's where I am with the current baby sweater project:

It's going to have a multi-colored ruffle at the neck, hem and cuffs, and the body and sleeves will be peppered with a simple lace pattern. . .it will be totally cute. . .can't wait to see it on the baby! And, speaking of multi-colored, here's the shawl, blocking on College Girl's bed. It's the first shawl I have done in a looooooonnnggg time, and this one is blocking behind a closed, locked, bolted and alarmed door (see cat in previous post, that is luckier than lucky to be breathing after munching on the cast on corner of a Clapotis, knit in lace-weight on size 2 needles)!

After lunch out, and dinner out, Hubster suggested we take a walk around the local mall for some exercise, because the weather genies decided that it should be cold and rainy (and dare I even say a couple snowflakes fell - ack!?). We walked and we talked, and we bought a couple of individual chocolates at Malley's as we went past. We also stopped in a cute shop to get some gifts for our Mom's for May 9th (don't forget YOUR mom!). Then we came home, took off our shoes, and I sat down to blog and relax.

I hope that your day was lovely, and that you had time to talk to someone special to you, and also to "play" in your favorite way!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Weird Wednesday

Do you ever have those days where you are trying to get something. . .anything. . .accomplished, and the ENTIRE UNIVERSE seems to be against that very thing??? Yeah. That's kinda how I have been feeling the past couple days. Like, I think that I am just gonna get this one thing done, but So-and-So and So-and-So keep asking me to do other things (things that clearly fall within my job description and/or general capabilities), and then I get distracted (think Dug from Up, as in, "Squirrel!"), and forget what it was that I was trying to do. . . Aaaargh!

Ooooh! Looky. . .flowers!!!:
And more shiny flowers!!!:
Yep, shiny, happy people am I lately. . .and easily distracted (Squirrel!). The knitting is suffering. . .the work is suffering. . .the house is suffering. . .and I do not have any idea what has happened to my brain. And the cat adores Dad above all others:
Here is the knitting that has not suffered:
Traveling Woman Shawl in Destination Yarn (seriously. check her out!). This yarn's colorway is Vienna. . .maybe it's all the sugar that's got me so scattered? Yummmm!
BUT STOP TRYING TO EAT MY YARN, CAT! (wonder why she likes him better? hmmm)

So, this post is pretty random. . .if you like random, and you like funny, check out my fellow blogger and yarn enthusiast,
Cozy. Her blog makes me laugh so hard I wet myself (oooohhh, TMI?). . .and the things in her shop are soooo cute. . .but I digress. . .seems to be the theme this day.

Knit in Good Health, even if you are easily distracted (Squirrel!)!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Out & Back. . .

Today started out beautiful and sunny. . .the perfect way for a Saturday to begin! It is still a bit cool, but then, it's early April, and that is to be expected! Look what I saw on one of my first ventures out-of-doors this morning!
I love that the trees are blossoming and opening their first, spring-green leaves! Yes, I think that color is one of the things I love most about spring. . .which explains the next two photos. . .in the foreground is the natural Cascade 220 I bought on my Wednesday off work this week:
And here is the same yarn after I attacked it with leftover egg dyes and powdered drink mix! This is after they were all dried out on Thursday:
The formula included 12 red dye tablets, 6 orange and 3 yellow, aaaand 3 envelopes of no-name fruit punch mix! It was quite the process, and I was scrubbing dye out of the counter, floor and my hands for quite some time after the pot was full of cooking yarn!

But, I digress. On to the yarny (and other) things of today. Like, when I got up, I thought about knitting, but my heart wasn't in it. Yeah, I know, weird, right? Anyway, I remembered that I have this bit of blue and purple fiber from my friend Stephanie, so I decided to spin a bit.
The thing I am learning about spinning is that there are many grades of fiber, and many different preparations as well. While the colors are spectacular, this fiber was a little harder to draft than the gray I spun recently. Still, I made some singles with about half of what I have. . .it's not much, I know, but every bit of practice is making me better. I even did a little drafting without parking this morning, and I was very impressed with myself, indeed!
Speaking of the gray yarn I spun, here is a picture of what I managed to ply successfully. It is a lace or fingering weight, and it is pretty soft, I am thinking bookmark, since there is not much of it (plying is seriously kicking my spinning butt!).
So, after the spinning, and the obligatory laundry (I will spare you those photos), the Hubster and I decided to go for a walk!
And not just any walk, either! There is a nature center with a walking trail that is at least 6-miles long! It is all paved, so there is no tripping, but you are surrounded by nature for the whole walk. . .beautiful this time of year! (I am seriously going to have to start bringing my camera on these walks, because I missed the perfect shot of a cardinal in a still bare tree with my phone. . .yeah, these are all phone pictures. . .sorry!) This is the shot that didn't "get away!"
So, basically, my day went like this:
Coffee, spinning, laundry, breakfast, laundry, coffee, let's-go-for-a-walk! It's a nice day for a walk! Let me just finish the laundry first. . .

Drive to nature center (yep, we drive to walk sometimes. . .it is what it is), talking about how they have added more trail. . .might be 6 miles or more now. . .wonder if shoes offer enough support.

Start the walk on the mile-long slight decline, and enjoy the sights and sounds, and each other's company without much thought about the fact that it will be a one-mile incline on the way back. . .at the "end" of the walk. . .reach that last mile, feet and legs screaming with a half-mile left to go, collapse into car with barely enough energy to lift the water bottle. . .whew! What a way to end a walk!

Do I need to tell you how I will spend the rest of my Pretty Knitty day?

You probably guessed it. . .I am going to put my feet up and sit and knit and wait for another beautiful sunset, like the one God gave us yesterday:
Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Yarn and Flowers. . .

It should be "Hearts and Flowers?" Not when you're a knitter! Since my job went full time in 2010, I have been wondering how to get everything done!

Solution?: take a day off of work! lol! And this is how my day started. . .sunny new tulips, smiling just for me!
Just as pretty as the daffodils I showed you last week! I love springtime! And, since it was a day off, we cannot forget the knitting! Below are the current objects of my knitting affections:
From left to right, they are In the Mood for Monk socks, Traveling to Vienna shawl, and the Bagstopper for Me that I forgot to show you on Saturday (sorry!!!). I am actually going to bring it to knitting tomorrow night! Yay!

But, I did not actually get much knitting done today (so far!). Today was a field trip with Michelle and Jess! We started out at Smith's, a local yarn shop that doubles as a furniture and flooring store - I know, it sounds weird, but I promise you there are "YARNS" inside!
To prove it, check out my haul! More than I usually spend, but the wool was 25% off, and the cotton was Araucania. . .the yarn that sings to me! So, I ended up with 6 skeins of Cascade 220 in a natural color that I plan to dye in reds and oranges and pinks and maybe yellow, and maybe I will do that later today! The other yarn is Araucania Ulmo Multy, in color 718. They wound the yarn for me at the shop, and although all the dye lot numbers match, the 4 balls of yarn seem to each have their own dominant color. I am sure I will have to alternate balls when this yarn decides to let me know what it wants to be knit into!
We left Smith's and visited a bead store, where Michelle bought 7 lovely kitty beads. . .I know she will have a photo in her blog at some point! And after that, we went in search of lunch and a potty. No, this is not a potty-mouth blog. . .but we did need a potty after all that shopping! We saw coffee shops, a Mexican place, a bakery, and several others.
And Michelle kept telling us how good Lorenzo's Pizza is. . .Jess and I had never been, so off we went! I had a Mediterranean Pizza (personal, lunch size; thick, pan crust; olives, eggplant, spinach and feta cheese. . .to die for!) and a salad with the house dressing - Yummmm! Soooo good! I will have to get the Hubster in there sometime!
After the pizza, we decided to "walk it off" a bit. . .well, we also all wanted to head over to the Ben Franklin's! It was a good day for a walk, starting out warm and sunny. . .in the 70s when we got to "town!" After lunch, it was definitely a little cooler, and the sun had decided on a nap.
We walked over to the Ben Franklin's (see Jess, you are still in there, but without your "conjunction"!). It was fun there, so many things inside, from toiletries to new and used books to yarn and fabric!
Oh! And half-off Easter candy! Don't tell the Hubster, but I could not resist some Peeps, a Cadbury Orange Egg and a Reese's Peanut Butter egg! Oh yeah, and some dishcloth cotton, that I actually think will become a baby sweater! lol
Yeah, the candy should effectively cancel out the walk.

Meh, I don't think I care today!

And as we walked back to the car, we noticed that the temps were still dropping, and it was looking like rain. . .which it did. Just a little sprinkle, not enough to ruin a field trip, and perfect timing. . .waiting until we were all covered up in the car! Yay! Then, when I got home, I noticed the tulips again. . .all closed up now because they know that we are headed for a cold snap over the next few days. . .smart flowers, and beautiful too! Just like Pretty Knitty and her friends!
Thankful for a great day. I hope that you have fun friends to go on "field trips" with, and I hope that you will all enjoy the spring!

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter Song. . .

So, on my birthday. . .

I heard a new song for the first time, and it went something like this: Click here, but it doesn't mention my birthday, so it may not be totally accurate. It does, however, mention many of the spoils of spring tradition. . .too funny! Thanks, Jenifra!

And after a wonderful birthday, with cake from College Girl and flowers sent by Army Boy and Wifey-Poo, I was totally exhausted! Almost did no knitting on Friday! Yikes!

To make up for that, I did quite a bit today! Yes, that is why I am posting at 10:30pm! Soooo late for Pretty Knitty, but here's the rundown of the day for anyone who is interested:

First, some charity blankets on the knitting machine. . .three "blanks" that still need hand finishing took me about an hour to create this morning, maybe a little over an hour with the stripes. (Don't worry about that orange, it's just my waste yarn between the blankets! You can stop holding your breath now. . .)

The weather was so nice that the Hubster and I hopped in the car for a trip to our favorite outlet shops, where the train was running, the daffydills were in full bloom, and most of the people had short pants on! It was a totally beautiful day!

After shopping, we had a wonderful lunch at an Amish restaurant, and we tried to stay awake in the car on the drive home! Since it was a fairly long drive, I worked on my new wrist-warmers: Porphyria is the pattern, Palette is the yarn, and Pretty is the knitter! Here's my project page.
Once we got home, there were Easter preparations to be made, most of which will actually happen tomorrow. For tonight, the sweet, egg bread dough was made and the crescent rolls baked. . .as they are for every holiday at Pretty Knitty's house. . .yum!
And College Girl and Boy Friend wanted to play a game, so we pulled out Cranium. . .they have the red mohawk and we are the sensible baseball cap. . .and I will tell you this: 23 years of marriage makes for some pretty outstanding communication, and we really cleaned up at this game! It was fun, would have been fun even if we had not won (twice!), and I expect that CG and BF will do better the next time! lol So glad they wanted to play!

And now I am tired. Off to bed with me. . .big day at church tomorrow. . .hope that you all have a Happy Easter!

Knit in Good Health!