Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where the Action Is

Pretty's house has seen more action in the last three days than in the whole last month! Army Boy and Wifey-Poo brought the grand-dogs up for Thanksgiving, and this place has been hopping. . .Beagle-Face has been scouting for cats (who have apparently gone into hibernation since the dogs' arrival). . .

. . .Puggle-Jumper has taken up residence on any and all available "lap-space," and under every blanket at least once, since her arrival. . .
. . .College Girl and Army Boy have been laughing together, and it is like music to my ears. . .
. . .and even though my Thanksgiving table whittled itself down to just 4 plates . . .
. . .the boys were appropriately enthusiastic when "Dinner!" was proclaimed ready!
So, Sweetie and I joined Army Boy and Wifey-Poo at the table. . .
. . .and I filled my plate full! (twice even!)
Although the guest of honor did not sit with us at the Thanksgiving table, this 20-pounder deserves special recognition. . .both for the original Thursday meal, and for three glorious days of leftovers!
I did eat a LOT, and so did Sweetie, so he decided that we should go for a long walk in the park on Friday afternoon. I protested. . .but Sweetie persisted, and we went for a walk.

We saw icicles. . .I told him it was cold!
In the evening, we stayed indoors, and I pulled out Army Boy's baby book, along with some other souvenirs I will send home with him, now that he is going to be a Daddy!
Look how attentive he is to his wife and their puppies:

. . .ummmm, perhaps I should retract that last statement?!?
In the end, all of the kids were pretty agreeable to one last photo op this morning. . .you know, for the Christmas card. . .
. . .apparently Boy Friend and Wifey Poo are not as used to the impromptu photo session as my own kids are! But they did re-pose for a "traditional" shot. . .awww, they're all so cute! Even the dogs!!!
Of course, I wasn't quite done, so here's a shot where they were supposed to "Look like you're having fun, now!"
Army Boy came in pretty late, so I guess that's as much fun as he could muster! lol I think I have a couple shots I can use for Christmas! Yay!
And, lest we forget that this is a knitting blog, here is my only "not secret" knitting project:
A little longer than the last time you saw it, and it should grow even more tonight during my TV knitting as well! There is bound to be much more knitting, secret and not-so-secret, in the next few weeks, and I can't wait to show you! For now, I need to get back to the Action!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you are enjoying holiday activities, and enjoying the people surrounding you, and also that you will Knit in Good Health this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Next Generation

Over the river, and through the woods,
to Grandmother's house we go!
And guess what?!? I will be the grandmother in a few short months! Yay!
For as long as I have been married, I have cooked holiday meals. When Sweetie was in the service, we cooked for (and with) our friends when we weren't "home" for the holidays. There were many single sailors who came to Pretty's apartment for some home-cooking during those early years.

Then, after we moved "back home," I took over the family Thanksgiving holiday meal from my Sister-In-Law (she still did Christmas), and we fed our extended families every November, around a piece of plywood, on top of the pool table, in the basement. Now that our own kids are grown, we are finding that the holiday traditions are shifting, as we become the next "Grandparent Generation" in our families!

Last year, Army Boy returned from the Scary Place just before Turkey Day, and we decided to make it a quieter affair. . .just the immediate family. It was so good to have him (and Wifey Poo) "home" and around our holiday dinner table. This year, they are expecting their first child, and they will be coming home this week for that same holiday meal. . .I cannot wait! It will be a small-ish affair again, just us and the kids and their significant others. . .and maybe one or two tag-alongs. . .so different than the 18 people stuffed into the basement when we were the "Sandwich Generation" at the holidays!

I look forward to the days when both of my kids have kids, and they come "home" for the holidays. I look forward to a time when they start to bring their kids' "significant others" along once in awhile. I look forward to stuffing bunches of people into the basement, around that plywood again. I look forward to the day that our kids become Grandparents, too, and maybe sitting at their holiday tables for a change. . .

Until then, I pray for their safety as they travel over the highways, and through the mountain tunnels to Grandma's house. I pray that the love they have learned around our holiday table, and in our home, will carry them into parenthood and grand-parenthood with few regrets, and much contentment. Most of all, I pray that they will be as proud of their kids, and of themselves, as we are.

As you prepare your holiday meal, and as you travel to wherever you are going to share that meal, I pray also for your safety and health. I pray that you will bask in the warm glow of all that is good this holiday season, and that you will be content, even if others around you turn all "Scrooge-y."

Happy Thanksgiving, and Knit in Good Health!
Disclaimer: Please knit only in the passenger seat, leave the driving to someone else if you have emergency holiday projects to finish "on the road"!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Can We Make Cookies Now???

Okay, now imagine that title again, just a little whiny-er. . .and a little more. . .and a little more. . .THAT's IT!!! That's what College Girl sometimes sounds like when she has a hankerin' to bake at Pretty's house! But I suppose that she has a good enough reason this week. . .it IS nearly a holiday! lol Of course, first there was a printer to be dealt with. . .I just replaced the ink, and it's not printing right. I think the new, refilled color cartridge is bad, but I am not sure. . .because all of the services on the printer menu are in FRENCH.

I took 4 years of high school Spanish, and 4 semesters of college Spanish. . .why, oh why, is my printer speaking to me in FRENCH?!? Sooo, anyway, I think the new cartridge will have to be replaced, and I am not in the mood to bake cookies.

After the printer started printing, there was the normal laundry to be dealt with, and then a drive out to pick up some supplies for baby shower goodies. . .

You know what else? We still had to buy a turkey. . .it will need about 4 days to thaw in the fridge, so I went shopping. . .to the Super Wally World. . .on a Saturday. . .and the Christmas rush has already begun, to boot! What was I thinking? I wanted to see this in my fridge:

. . .and now I do, so yes, Virginia, we can bake cookies! After a little dance of joy, she/we mixed up batches of sugar cookies. . .

. . .and chocolate chip/peanut butter chip cookies. . .

. . .and oatmeal scotchies! Yummmm, my favorite!

Then we froze the little balls of cookie dough, on the pan, for a couple hours. This is my favorite homemade cookie trick, because once they are frozen, you can store them in a ziplock freezer bag, and bake them at will, with no mess and no fuss! You want 3 fresh cookies? You take out 3 frozen cookie-balls, and bake! Bonus - No milk in the whole bunch! Yay!!!

To offset the cookies I did end up eating today, I was so glad that Sweetie wanted to take a walk! Of course, it gets dark so early that we did not make the entire 7 miles, but I am pretty sure we did 6. A little chilly, the park wasn't crowded, and it was a lovely walk. The park looks so different than it did just a few short weeks ago. . .

All in all, this day has been a productive end to a productive week! There was a giant beading project - now finished!!!

. . .and of course, some Baby Love. . .

. . .and some not-so-secret knitting for Pretty! Look, the December socks have been started!
The pattern is Dolce, and the yarn is 5th Avenue Socksation, very polar purples in this colorway (that I cannot remember the name of). . .but I love it! It is Sock Love, for sure!

I hope there is Knit Love, and Craft Love, and Holiday Love in your heart and home this week! Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not a Wordless Wednesday

As a matter of fact, it's more like a photo-less Wednesday. That's partly because my knitting has been all in the secret category, and partly because I have been pretty busy with other things in life over the past couple weeks. It's all good, just busy. Unfortunately, it's not the kind of busy that I would normally blog about. . .you know, routine Dr. appointments, haircuts, housecleaning, and work stuff. . .so here I am this week, sans photos! Forgive me?

What I do have to offer, however, are some random suggestions (with links) that you might enjoy! First up, one of my favorite bloggers and podcasters is Wonder Mike of the Fiber Beat podcast. Wonder Mike is full of tips and tricks for your knitting, as well as interviews that are informative and entertaining all over his podcast. He even has a couple of video casts that are really good. . .and entertaining! You should check Mike out on the Fiber Beat! (Psst! He's on Ravelry, too!)

Next suggestion is Knit Picks. I know, I know, all you knitters out there already know about Knit Picks, and you probably know about their current contest (where you could win up to $100 of the stuff on your wish list), but have you entered? I have, here's my list! Bonus here, they have a bunch of kits and other items on sale (many will be discontinued, from what I saw), and several of their yarns are retiring colors, although there are still good quantities of many of them.

Lastly, you all know that I am a fan of social media! Well, to further prove my fandom, I have started a Facebook page for Pretty Knitty Jewelry! I already have 15 "likes" for the page, but I'd like to have many more, so if you are on FB, hop over here and like me! I like to be liked. . .doesn't everybody?

Well three suggestions for a Wednesday that is not wordless. Now, off to work with Pretty! Thanks for stopping in. . .

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I've got Things to Celebrate!

It has been a busy couple of months, and there have been a couple of bumps along the way, but there have been some very positive things happening, so I am gonna CELEBRATE!

...throws confetti...blows party horn...does a little jig...sits down, a little dizzy...

A few months ago, I had a little food issue. By "a little food issue" I mean that I ate something that totally threw my system outta whack, and made me eat tentatively since then. You see, I am lactose intolerant. Lactose is milk sugar. Lactose is found mainly in the whey...and it has been in my way since I learned about it! Soooo, I have been avoiding milk and soft cheeses, and anything with whey or lactose (or several other terms that mean that lactose might be in there) on it's ingredient list. It kinda stinks, because it seems like there are milk products in just about everything!

Ummm, Pretty? That's nothing to celebrate...

I Know, Right?!? And then, Mr. Pretty had his annual exam a couple weeks ago, and Mr. MD told him to lay off the salt (he's on high blood pressure meds), lay off the sugar (he's pre-diabetic), and lay off the fat (and his cholesterol has gone through the roof!). Truth be told, I have had my own trouble with the sugar also... So now, Mr. Pretty and I walk around the house, tummies grumbling, looking for sugar-free, low sodium, lowfat foods that do not contain milk, and it kinda stinks! Some days, it barely seems worth it to eat anything...but the passing out isn't any good either...

Okay, I still don't see why you are celebrating...

Well, the food stuff is definitely NOT what I am celebrating. But, three months of not eating the milk stuff that will give me the digestive "issues," paired with a couple of weeks of cooking better for Mr. Pretty, has resulted in a significant weight loss! So significant, in fact, that I had to go out to buy myself a new pair of jeans (and I have a pile of clothes ready for the Goodwill store)!
Now, I don't know about you, but I hate shopping for jeans! It's easier to do, though, when you are buying jeans that are 2 sizes smaller than the ones you have to give away! Yay!

...throws confetti...blows party horn...does a little jig...sits down, a little dizzy...

I am not really dieting...trying to make a lifestyle change...and supporting Mr. Pretty (who has also started to drop some inches, Yay Mr. Pretty!) to hopefully extend the time we can spend with our kids and grandkids on this earth. The benefit to not really dieting is that I can occasionally indulge, and celebrations call for a little indulgence! So, some good friends came over for chocolate fondue last night - Yummmmm!
Friends College Girl and I used to hang out with regularly, K1 and K2 brought the dippers, and we had a wonderful time, a celebration in chocolate!!! We laughed, we chatted about college for the girls, and jobs, and boys, and Mr. Pretty says that we had far too much fun! (We think he was a little jealous!) Bonus! K and K brought a gift for Pretty! A fancy "scrap bag," with a weight at the top that also doubles as a pincushion...
...connected to a bag that can catch your scraps as you scrapbook, knit, sew or craft!
And Pretty was very thankful to receive such a crafty gift, because there is crafting happening in Pretty's head...
Lovely, beaded bookmarks! Here is the first one finished...modeling for you in my current favorite book...
By the way, if you don't read the Panopticon, give it a look...Hil-larious!!!

And here is the finished project, modeling by a sunny window...
...with dangly, glass beads to dance in the light!
Bookmarks are not a natural for me, I don't tend to do much actual book-reading...but I loves me some beads and was thinking of even dangling one of these from my rear-view mirror!

But Pretty, reading is fundamental!

Yes, yes it is. However, since getting the Droid, most of Pretty's recreational reading is now electronic books...well, except for the knitting patterns! It's difficult to place a bookmark in a two-page knitting pattern...
And so it goes! The knitting is still fairly secretive, but there is plenty of stitching happening. This project is in the Italian yarn again, and I am itching to get back to it! Since I know that you are probably wanting to get back to your knitting as well, I'll sign off. I'm glad you stopped by, and I look forward to our next visit! Until then...
Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Counting Sheep. . .and Cats. . .

I wonder if sheep and cats get along. . . Does anyone know? I sure do hope so, or my most recent polymer clay project will be doomed as I mail it off to it's rightful owner! You see, I had a request for some crochet counters, and she said perhaps sheep or cats. Sounded like a challenge. I hope I rose to the occasion, and that she will like the sheep. . .
. . .and the cats. . .. . .because, really, how cute are these little guys!!! I think I love them. . .and it will be hard to send them away. I think I can manage, though, because they are leaving some friends behind, and they would also like to be made into counters for the shop! I had a busy time this week with the polymer clay - Yay!
This customer is an avid crocheter, and she has ordered 4 counters total. At first I thought, "Whoa! She crochets a lot!" Then, I remembered a baby project I am currently working on, and how much I also love crochet! I mean, I am an obsessive knitter, to be sure, but my roots are in crochet. . .my Grandma (on my Dad's side) taught me when I was but a wee lass. . .that's why I make crochet counters in my shop, too!These are kinda cool, because the markers double as row markers. . .you just place them after every ten rows to keep track of how far you have crocheted! The main counter (with the numbers) is placed close to the top of the work, and moved up as necessary. But, you don't have to move it every row. . .instead, you just slip the elastic, seed-bead marker past a number bead as you complete each row. With the set, you can mark 100 rows of crochet! (Normally, I make this set with a different style hook at the top of the number counter, but the lobster-claw clasp was a special request. I love custom orders. . .never a dull moment in my studio!)

And, for your viewing pleasure, here are all four counters, completed in the middle of the night, when I am sometimes very crafty. Of course, sometimes I am pretty silly in the middle of the night, so that's where the "whimsy" comes in. . .but a little whimsy in the crafting is a good thing, don'tcha think?
Now that I have blogged, I am off to let the customer know that her order is ready! I sure am excited, and I hope that she loves them as much as I loved making them! Thanks for the order, Dianne!

I hope that you will Knit. . .and Crochet. . .in Good Health!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

So much time. . .

. . .and so little to do. Wait a minute. Scratch that, reverse it.

Vintage Willy Wonka said it best, and I love that movie! To me, Gene Wilder is the perfect Wonka. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE Johnny Depp fan in general. But to me, Wonka will always be Wilder. Maybe it's the name? Maybe I like "wild" things? Like this Wildflower Honey from That'll Do Farm that is really super yummy in my tea, and straight off the spoon, too! drools a little at the remembrance of the last cuppa tea. . .But I digress. What was I saying? Oh, that's right, so little time. . .where does it go? I feel like I have been running in secret circles lately. Each time I sit to blog, I want to tell you about what I have accomplished in the my knitting life. However, this close to Christmas and a baby shower, that's really hard to do! All of the knitting I am currently working on is for gifts, so I can't give details, or really great pictures, or even pattern reviews. . .ugh! But I have decided to share a couple of photos, you know, to prove that I have been working on something!

Here's a bunch of stuff that's finished:
That photo represents 4 completed projects! I think all of them are on Ravelry, but I hesitate to show you photos of each piece, lest I lose the surprise factor when they are gifted! This is a closer photo of my most recently finished object, which is also the object of most of my affection lately:
I especially liked this one (and I hope the recipient does too) because it is knit with Italian Yarn, you know, from Italy!!! It's super sweet, and I can't wait to really show it off soon! I'd pray for the time to go faster, but there are still about a dozen projects that I haven't even started yet, and they will all need to be done next month! Yikes!

So all of that "I-can't-tell-you-about-my-knitting" makes for a pretty boring knitting blog, doesn't it? Well, let's see, what can I tell you about? Oh! I know! Remember, back in August, when I joined the Get the Crap Out of My House Challenge? And remember the two, messy corners in the living room, the ones with all the "assorted crap the cats get into"?
Well, I did manage to straighten them out a little. . .take a look!
That corner by the door is still harboring some leftovers from Halloween (bucket of gourds, and fleece hay bale from Trunk-or-Treat), but it's mostly cleared out now. That's because we changed gears in our front room and finally bought a TV for it! Now we can live in the living room (rather than the basement, where the main TV has always been). Look, even the cat likes to watch TV now. . .

What's that, Chloe? The Food Network? C'mon, you know better than to watch that stuff when you're on a diet!

So, I guess you could say that I also put some new stuff in my house. . .but I did get quite a bit of clutter out of this room. . .I am calling it a win!

Know what else is a win? I think I am joining the church choir. :) I mean, if you have read my blog and/or met me, you know that I got the music in me. . .always singing songs I know and making up new ones to fit my current circumstances. My whole life is practically a musical, so why would I not want to join the choir? So, there you have it. Auditions are next week, aaaand. . .
I'm so excited,
and I just can't hide it!
I'm about to lose control,
and I think I like it!

Ok, back to knitting. I am knitting and I am crocheting my heart out! I hope to post a bunch of baby item pictures after the shower next month, and then the big, year-end post with all of the Christmas gifts - Yayyyyy! Then I can get back to just showing off everything as I knit it. . .what a relief!

I'm glad you stopped by today! Thanks for reading, and for sticking it out through the secret season. . .I hope your holiday knitting and crafting is on track, and that you are having fun with it!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

At the speed of what?

Considering that I finished my November socks on November 1st, I would say that I am currently knitting at a pretty good speed! I may be slower than the speed of light, or even sound, but I feel like I am keeping a respectable pace for a Christian with a major, religious, gift-giving holiday and a brand-new grand baby on the horizon! Sooo, without further ado, I present to you the November Marriage Lines socks:
. . .and the crowd goes wild!. . .

I loved knitting these socks, and I wish I could get a really excellent photo, but this lovely yarn just does not want you to see it's loveliness. . .or perhaps the socks don't want you to see their loveliness, lest you would turn green with envy of my woolly, warm, Pretty feet! Yes, that must be it. . .green would surely clash with the sweetness that is this Sawa-Sawa sock yarn from Okay Knits. . .and truly, jealously looks pretty bad on most people. So, my socks are just saving you from yourself, really. And there they are, doing that in a most fashionable and relaxed way!

The knitting that is definitely NOT relaxed at Pretty's house these days is the BABY KNITTING! I am pretty jazzed to be knitting for a darling baby girl, and I'm knitting as fast as I can to finish as much as I can before the baby shower next month! Here is the beginning of my second project:It's gonna be pretty, but not pink. However there will be lace, and that will make up for the lack of pink, I think! And, as with the booties, I am knitting as fast as I can! Army Boy and Wifey Poo will certainly understand if all of my projects are not finished by the shower, but I still want to have a good showing!

Still, I feel conflicted. . .there are still 2 Christmas projects yet to be started, and a pair of December socks (I have made it this far in my self-imposed sock club - I cannot fail in DECEMBER!). Must. Knit. Faster.

. . .said the knitter to no one in particular, as she realized how close year-end is getting to be!

You know what else moves pretty fast at Pretty's house? That's right, it's College Girl. When she is not knitting, she is in class or (most recently) at her NEW JOB! Doesn't she look professional?
Well, she looks pretty professional when she is not going at warp speed, or running away from her crazy-mother-with-the-camera-habit!

"What? You actually took that picture, Mom?!? What's the matter with you? We need an intervention."
(Disclaimer: College Girl is much too loving to have said any of that. . .but a picture is worth a thousand words, isn't it?)

As much fun as blogging has been today, I hear some Italian yarn calling me. It wants to be a lacy, baby sweater, and who am I to deny it that simple pleasure? Thanks for stopping by!

Knit in Good Health!