Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yes, Deer. . .

That's what you say when you are happily married. . .and even sometimes when you disagree with your spouse. The young newlyweds who used these flowers for decorations at their recent rehearsal dinner will soon learn this truth about marriage, along with many others, I am sure!

However, on a recent walk at our local metro parks, when I said to Sweetie (in a loud, but whisper-y voice), "Yes! DEER!. . .," I meant just that! This walk had been in the evening, and there were several wildlife sightings, including 4 or 5 female deer that really didn't seem to care that we were there. One leaped out and crossed the path in front of a bicycle, helping me to better understand how they get into so many traffic accidents. This one did take notice of us, and she even stopped eating to "pose" for the camera!

I don't know if the picture adequately shows just how close we were to this doe, but after a few shots, she said, "Now one with the guy in the red shirt! Show your friends how close you were to me. . .they will be impressed!" Sweetie and I obliged. . . (note: Sweetie is standing about where I was standing when I took the first shot!)

To celebrate (how did she even know?), Flat Flora had made some cupcakes while we were gone! (Actually, College Girl made the cupcakes, but Flora was Fast to take the credit!)

In Knitting Knews, fueled by pink, Funfetti cupcakes with sprinkles on top, I got started on my July Socks! They are Basic Cabled Socks in Knit Picks Stroll, African Violet color. Despite the fact that I recently moaned and groaned to my knitting group about how much I hate to knit cables into socks. . .this is what Flora and I picked out of the sock-a-month kits for July. In defense of the pattern, there are only 2 cables every 8th row 9 times in these socks (ribs continue down the instep, but cables stop at the heel). That means there are only 36 cables total in the pair, and I am ok with that. I am even more ok with it because these (like my last pair) are Purple Socks (Hi, Donny!)!!!
Yeah, I know that Donny Osmond does not read my blog. . .but I guess the portion of me that is still the adolescent Pretty, kinda hopes he might someday. . .sigh! In the meantime, I will just continue to knit on my socks, and sweater and shawl.
Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And the Magic Word starts with "F". . .

F is for Flora! Flora is a Friend who came to visit on Friday! Kind of like Flat Stanley from grade school, she is a member of the Oddballs group on Ravelry, so she has been aptly dubbed a "Floddball!"Hello, Blog-friends! And please forgive me for this nearly-late Saturday post! It has been a busy couple of days in my Pretty Knitty world. . .starting (of course) with Flora's arrival on Friday afternoon!

First, she met the Family! College Girl and her Best Beau made a new Friend in Flora, for sure. . .Flora is just so Flippin' Friendly!

And while Flora was settling in, getting to know the Family a little better, she noticed some tiny Forks and spoons on the jewelry table. Although she was hoping for a Fabulous, Four-course Family-style dinner, unFortunately, these Forks and spoons were part of another Pretty Knitty adventure in jewelry. . .Oh, Flora! Can you Forgive me?

Also, happening around the Feet, a Finished object! The June snow Flake socks are Finished, Finally! Yay! I think they turned out pretty well, and they look just Fabulous!

To celebrate the Finished socks, Flora and I went to see a Flebotomist this morning! (Yes, I know, that's not how you spell phlebotomist. . .it's "F" day, please just play along.) The Hubster and I Flattened our Forearms to give blood at the local bank. Flora also wanted to donate, but she had Flipped out a little earlier this morning, and her medication was Forbidden. Still, she Forged on, Framing herself in the Front of the Facility for a Foto shoot! (Again, please don't Flog me for the spelling. . .)

Later today, there was a Fine occasion, where this Fluffy pillow carried golden rings to the Front of the church. . .it was a lovely wedding! Even without an "F" in it!
In other knews, as I Finally Finish trying to Find more words that start with "F," I have made some of these beaded-ring stitch markers! I see them everywhere, so I had to try it! Not bad, you might even say that they turned out Fine!
And since the June socks are Finished, Flora helped me to choose from the sock-kits for a July sock-project, and this is what she came up with! Thanks, Flora! You are a Fine Friend!
This blog post is brought to you by the number Five and the letter "F" (like I even had to say it!). Knit in good health, Friends!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

To Market, to market, to buy a fat pig. . .

I love Mother Goose! She can say things that are not politically correct. She makes up rhymes about the shepherdess, and songs about the wool. And don't forget the goof-ball who runs through the town, upstairs and downstairs, in his nightgown! See, there is NO WAY that could be considered politically correct! He might even be arrested for that in 2010!!! Depending, of course, on where he lived. . .

Mother Goose even wrote a rhyme about my most-recently Finished Object!

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, dancing a jig;
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog;
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done!

With all that marketing, surely I will need another Market Bag. . .and here it is!
Even though I have never seen, or even heard of (other than in this song/rhyme) a "plum bun," I am sure that I could fit several in this bag! I am not sure, however, that a fat pig would fit in there. I am pretty sure that I would need more yarn for that! But, you know what DOES fit?

And, of course, this makes me happy!

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Coveted Title

"Best Knitter in the World!"
. . .or even
"Best Knitter in My-Neck-of-the-Woods!"

These would both be titles I might covet.

"Best Yarn in the World!" is not a title the de-stash, pink-and-green, acrylic, tape-yarn (thank you, Michelle!) will be receiving. . .yep, you read that right. Acrylic. . .tape. . .yarn. . .in pink and green (I think it's called "Strawberries and Limes"). And it is not going to be a poncho, and it is not winning any prize. As a matter of fact, I am not sure exactly what it will become. . .but it called out to me at knitting, and now, it is mine!

Something else that is mine, is this bottle of wine.
It may not be the "Best Bottle of Wine Ever," but the Hubster and I visited a local winery earlier today, and we thought it was pretty good, so we picked it up! Then, realizing that we are new to being "wine-people," we went out to get ourselves a corkscrew, and a bottle stopper. Oh, and wine glasses! lol I think this may be our first bottle of wine without a screw on cap! Or in a box. . .yeah, I know!

Still, this is not the Coveted Title I'm really all about today.

"Sandstone Center of the World" is also not that title, although I did read that the title was once argued in 1964. Here's a photo of the Town Hall in the Sandstone Center of the World.
And the article disputing the title. . .And I suppose, when the debate was over, it was only natural that the state of Ohio would eventually erect an Historical Landmark Marker to prove that it was true. . .which they did!
All of these are titles, and many of them may be coveted and contested. But the Coveted Title I address today is both much simpler than these, and also much more complex! Today, the day before Father's Day, let's talk about the "World's Best Dad!" also sometimes known as "Daddy."
Here's a picture of my dad. It's not a great picture, as a matter of fact, it's a picture of a picture. . .and the original picture was a newspaper photo, and it was of a very poor quality.
My dad had been a US Marine for just a couple of years in his early 20s, and then later he was an active member of the Marine Corps League. Former Marines (once a Marine, always a Marine, Semper Fi!) all over the country belong to this league, and they work together with current Marines and community organizations in service projects, like Toys for Tots at Christmas. This photo was a part of a local news story on all the good things that these guys (and gals, I am sure) were doing for the community. My dad was one of the good guys, and I am pretty proud of that.
Another thing about this photo, is that it was taken very close to the time he died in 1994, when he was 57 years old. Now, there never were many pictures of my dad around. . .mostly because he liked to hold the camera! That makes this rare photo of him an extra special thing. So, even though the quality is poor, and he has on dark glasses, and he is posed with a bunch of toys and none of his loved ones, my mom and my sister and I jumped through hoops to get a copy from the local paper, and then we took it to a local photo shop to have it copied, blown-up and framed.
When my dad died, I had just started getting to know him as an adult. I mean, as his daughter, I had learned over the years that he would not always do what I wanted him to do. As his daughter, I thought he did not always spend as much time with me as I wanted him to, and he did not always measure up to being the man I thought he should be. My dad liked "wine, women and song," along with his cigarettes and red meat, and he just wasn't the "World's Best Dad," at least according to the Hallmark description. It made me sad, because I thought I deserved better.
Fast forward to the year he died. As an adult, I went out of my way to call every week and talk to Dad. I lived 12 hours away by car, but this was the year I really got to know him - and his love for me. I learned that he suffered from headaches and often depression, and also that his physical heart was failing him. I saw the way he abused his body, and I wanted him to take better care of himself, but I could not make him change. I also saw that he was sometimes not so nice. . .my Daddy was sometimes not so nice. . .and that was difficult to grasp. But I also learned, as an adult, to start forgiving him his shortcomings. I started to love him for who he was. . .an imperfect guy with a big (but physically weak) heart, who was really good to the people he cared about. My Daddy was a respected business man and leader in his community, and he loved me and my sister and my mom, even through his imperfections. I think he would have been the "World's Best Dad" if he had known how. . .
I wish my dad had lived longer. . . He met my kids, and he loved them well when they were small, but they don't remember him much at all. He loved them better than he loved most anybody, and I got to experience the joy of his love extended to me, the mother of his grandchildren, in a new and glorious way. On Father's Day weekend, and on many other days, I miss him terribly.

Here's a picture of College Girl and Army Boy with their Daddy - many years ago! If your dad is still around, remember to call him tomorrow. I know that your relationship with your dad may be flawed, and I am not suggesting that it can be fixed in a day, but take a moment to recognize that he is just a man. Forgive what you can, and try to move past the rest. Then live your life in such a way to honor those who gave you life.

"'Honor your father and mother'—which is the first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." --Ephesians 6:2-3

Oh, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Graphic-Rich Wildlife!

The computers I work on are often moving just a little slower than I would like and I am a Pretty Impatient Knitty! But, I often tell my family and co-workers, "It's a graphic-rich site. . .just be patient!"

And so I ask you today, my Pretty Knitty readers, to please be patient with my graphic-rich post. . .I will try to make it better by using fewer words, but I don't think that will make it load any faster. . .lol!

On Sunday, a friend visiting from Japan brought me some very yummy treats, and I wanted to thank her (THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!), and show them off!:
All the way home from church (where I was "gifted"), Sweetie and I tried to figure out what flavor candies were in the green bag! All of the writing was in Japanese! Mint? Green Apple? Nope. Green-tea! The Hubster and I both tried them, and we have also shared with some friends. . .I have never tasted anything quite like them!
And in the wrapper, was a box. . .
And in the box, a beautiful tin!:
And in the tin (which had some french on it, but Sweetie and I don't speak french), were these cookies. . .!:
Light, buttery, crisp, and filled with a delectable white-chocolate cream! drooooool
They are so good! (THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU again!) Of course, Sweetie and I just vowed to watch what we eat. . .ugh! But I must say that, with every cookie individually wrapped, it is more difficult to eat these en masse than it is with Oreos! Perhaps I should buy everything individually wrapped! lol
Or, I could just busy my hands with the knitting, making it less convenient to snack! Then I might finish my June socks on time, too - bonus!
In the land of Castin' on Again, I finished the details of the green sweater
with CHICKENS! OMGosh! Maybe too cute for even me!
And then the blue sweater jumped out of the stash, begging to be knit NOW for College Girl's co-worker's kid. . .it is a little bigger than the green one!
Here it is, all buttoned up. . .
. . .and with the collar turned down. . .I enjoyed the knitting, adding in it's own special details. Every Pretty Knitty sweater gets some special details!
But, where's the wildlife, Pretty Knitty?!? You promised wildlife!
That's right, I did! Remember the baby geese. . .how cute they were? Well, much like their human counterparts, adolescent geese are far less cute. . .and a little gangly. . .
. . .and they always seem to be eating! What's up with that?
I really don't know, it must be a growth spurt! So there is the wildlife I promised, and before I sign off, here is one gratuitous shot of Pretty Knitty "in the wild!" (and wearing her Aurucania Tee!)
Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Castin' On Again. . .

I just can't wait to get Castin' On Again!
Found my needles making music with some yarn. . .
But I can't wait to get Castin' On Again!

Maybe this "Pile O' Yarn" has something to do with it?. . .
So, last night, even though I have three things on the needles already (which is kinda my personal limit), I cast on yet another 5-hour sweater.This one is for a boy baby, so there are heavy modifications. . .like, no lacy holes or k2togs. . .those are replaced by some top-down, raglan shaping. . .still on 10.5 needles, tho, so it's a fast knit! I cast on last night, and finished the knitting early this afternoon. . .still need to add buttons and weave in ends, but I think I may gift it this coming week!
Aaaaand, the Peaches & Creme in the top photo will be another baby sweater, for the son of one of College Girl's co-workers. . .I think it will be another 5-hour, but it might also be a Knitting Fool pattern. . .decisions, decisions!

Aaaaand, the cone of blue yarn in the photo is the 50/50 wool/hemp blend from the Fiber Festival, and it is destined to become another
Bagstopper! Super Yay!
In Knon-Knitting Knews, I have been playing at the photog thing again with Michelle! She is wearing her new tank (Lovely! - finished just moments before the photo was taken!), and this is my favorite shot of her at the barn on Thursday evening!
On the Home Front, we had a pretty productive day today. . .
For the past 15 years, we have not had a light by the door we use most frequently. Mostly, it was a nuisance when we came and went after dark, but lately we wondered if it was not also a security risk. There are some pretty big shadows between these little houses, and I would not want to be sneaking up on anyone "lurking" in the shadows. So, we hired a local handyman, and now we say, "Let there be [a] light!"
And, a few years back, we re-did the bushes in front of the house. We tore out the big ones that were creeping under the siding, and replaced them with two holly bushes, two daylillies, and what I think was a barberry shrub. . .the leaves were reddish and very pretty, but it was the prickly-est plant ever! Pruning was a pain! So, Sweetie took it out today, just before we laid more mulch. . .
We then went shopping to replace the center shrub, and decided on a boxwood for it's heartiness and evergreen qualities. The daylillies disappear in winter, so we wanted to be sure that whatever we planted would stay visible and attractive, rather than creating a big void in the center of the flowerbed when winter rolled around.

Now, we are not master gardeners, and it took us the better part of half an hour to pick which shrub we wanted to get. We looked at Azaleas, Roses and other flowering shrubs, as well as other varieties of evergreens. . .and then we just chose a lovely boxwood.

When we got home, we saw right away that there may be a "SMALL" problem. . .since we didn't have our other shrubs with us at the gardening center (should we take them next time? they felt so left out!), we did not realize just how puny a plant we had picked! lol
Sooooo, here we are, in the heart of summer, with a big void in the center of the flowerbed! lol And Sweetie and I are basically too lazy to go back and get a bigger plant. . .eventually, this one will grow. . .we hope. . .
But for today, we are finished with the landscaping. . .finished with the home repair and cleaning. . .finished with the shopping. . .finished with the hot and muggy sweating every time we even look out the window. . .and I am going to knit! I hope that you have some time to relax and unwind this weekend, and that there is yarn in your plans!
Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Ought'a be in Pictures!

And now, I think I am!

I told you a couple weeks ago about a new craft venture, and it has now come to fruition! You see, I have a friend who has some stunning photo jewelry that uses pictures of her kids, and she wears it all the time, and I covet it. It is, however, on the pricey side of things for my Pretty Knitty budget. . .sooooo, I decided to see what I could do with some glass, some resin, some jewelry findings, and my own photos! This is what I came up with!:
A bracelet for College Girl, featuring her and the Boyfriend! She let me take some photos from her Facebook page, and I made some chain maille connectors for three charms, and I am rather proud of myself! Bonus!, she likes it, and I have even seen her wear it twice! I also did a few other picture charms, and I plan to make something(s) for someone(s) with them, maybe for Christmas?. . .more on that later.

For now, it seems that I am in [the business of] pictures! So I thought to my Pretty Knitty self, "Hey! I could make charms like this for my row counters!," And then I did!:
I used a couple of my personal, knitting and yarn photos, and played with the color a bit to "stylize" them, and I ended up with a few usable pieces that I truly love! So, I thought to my Pretty Knitty self, "Self, you should make some new row counters for the shop. . .," and then I did!:

Seven new counters for the Pretty Knitty Shop! At this point, only two are listed, but the rest will make their way over there in the next week or two. . .I am totally jazzed about them! Aaaaaand, I have also put the word out that I can even make custom counters with the knitter's personal photos for an additional $2! Yay!

In Knitting Knews, I am still working on a sweater, a shawl and a pair of socks. . .a pretty knormal knit load for Pretty Knitty! The sweater is a new project, the Harumi Cardigan from the Smart Knitter, and I have only just begun the project. The socks are a Snowflake Lace pattern that I have wanted to knit for a looooooong time, and they are the June edition of my Sock Kits! And the shawl is another of the Knit 1 Breathe 1 variety. . .this time in Wollemeise!

OH!, and I finished the Shapely, Summer Sweater! I am liking how it turned out, and I have already worn it once! Oh!, and I am going to wear it again tomorrow, because it makes me happy! See?:

Knit in Good Health, you Pretty Knitty People!