When my kids were small, and they whined, I told them to go to their room(s) until they were finished. I told them that most people don't like to hear whining, and neither did their mom. Sometimes a tantrum would follow, and I would shut the door until the screams, sniffles and stare-downs had been adequately stifled. My kids accused me of not understanding.
On Monday evening, my glasses broke. I have had them so long that I can't remember when or where I purchased them, and I love them. The thin strand of metal that held the right nose-pad in place just snapped right in two while I was wiping the lenses clean after my shower, and I just about cried. There is no fix for this kind of damage.
Then I remembered that I have a spare pair of glasses. My prescription has not changed significantly in several years, so I was in search of those spectacles. . .and I even found them! Stylish, I know. . .like Grampa Jones! (Hee Haw reference, hee-hee-hee-haw-haw. . .!)
Seriously, though, they were the first pair of glasses I ever owned that did not cover my entire face, and when I let the optician talk me into them, I thought they were sooooo tiny! Of course, when I put them on yesterday, it felt like the lenses were just HUGE! But I guess something has to be big on them, because the bridge on the frame isn't, and wearing them hurts my face, and makes me feel like I have a sinus headache coming on. . .whine, whine, whine. . .!Soooo, yesterday, I went shopping for new glasses. . .I looked for the places that will make the glasses for you in an hour, and I learned that there are only two stores that do that. . .and you pay dearly for that service! Finally, I went to Wally-World and ordered a pair of reasonably-priced specs that will be ready in a week or so. . .sigh! So, for the next week at least, I will wear ill-fitting goggles with a slightly off prescription, and I will try not to whine too much (more). So far, I am failing miserably in the "no-whine zone," and College Girl would be the first to agree. :o) She sent me to my room when I got home last night, and I went willingly.
Today I feel a little better, and I did knit a bit on a baby sweater this morning. I even tried my hand at steeking! Take a peek:
Yep, I cut into my first sweater. It's acrylic, Bernat Baby Coordinates Sweet Stripes yarn (like a thinner version of Lion Homespun in baby colors), and it's pretty fuzzy where I cut it, but I still have high hopes that it will all work out. . .
If you're the praying type, a couple of those here and there until I get the new glasses would be appreciated. And if you're somebody who sees me in person on a regular basis, please accept my advance apology for my general grumpiness these next few days (and the last few as well), I am working on it! :) And in the meantime, I think I am gonna try to knit myself some happy!
Thanks for stopping by the blog today, and Knit in Good Health!
I am so tired tonight that I was just going to call this post "Speechless Saturday." You know, kinda like a Wordless Wednesday? But then I really got to thinking, and I realized how much Italian blood there is in my veins. . .speechless? I don't think so. So, here's why I am tired:
The day had a normal start, up fairly early, some Etsy shop stuff and laundry, and of course knitting. . .this is a sweet striped sweater for a baby girl. It's so fresh that it isn't even on Ravelry yet! But, after finishing the September socks, I just had to cast on something new! Around lunchtime, some friends came over, and we all went to the park for a picnic lunch and some rock climbing!
Now, those of you who know Pretty know that she is not adventurous in the outdoor kinda way. Oh, you can give her some yarn and a coupla sticks, challenging her to make just about anything you can think of, and she will dive in and probably come up with something close to what you were thinking of. . .but take her outside, where the terrain is rugged, and lookout! Knitter down! Soooonot pretty!!! On the flip side, if her phone has a decent camera, she will take pictures of all of the adventure around her!
It must be a Mom thing, the picture taking. . .check out Family Gal, taking pictures of those cutie pies on the bridge over the river! She was a bit more adventurous than Pretty, climbing rocks with Sweetie, Family Guy, Boy 1 and Boy 2, AND she takes great pictures! I can't wait to see how this shot turns out! Of course, Family Gal does not knit. . .yet!
So, there was rock climbing and checking the depth of the river with long branches, while looking for crayfish or minnows in the water. And there was much laughter and fun!
Out of the woods, the fun continued as the two boys did their best to tire out their mom. . .
. . .and their dad. . .
. . .and everyone had fun on the playground!
And at the end of the afternoon, we were all ready for a nap!
But the Family Van had "Alternate" plans!
But by the end of the day, the van was ready to go, and everyone had a full tummy of spaghetti and chocolate cake, and we were all "Plum Tuckered Out," in the best kind of way! Now it's time to tuck everyone into a cozy bed for a good night's sleep, so we can all dream dreams of days like this one - nearly perfect!
I hope that your today was at least half as good as mine.
The older I get, the faster the seasons seem to change. . .it seems like only yesterday that I took this picture of the blossoms on the crab apple tree outside my office, but I know that it was April. It was nearly just yesterday (ok, the day before yesterday) that I took this photo of the ripe crab apples! Yikes!, where has the time gone?!?
Oh! That's right! The time has been spent knitting! (Ok, there was some playing and shopping and fun with family, too. . .summer is a pretty fun time for Pretty Knitty family and friends!) And now, as I feel the need to prove to you that my knitting has been more than just a "time suck," that something productive has come of the knitting, here is the proof:
Two more sock reviews! Originally, I was just going to do the August Wickerware socks today (which I loved knitting, by the way). . .
. . .but then I also finished my September Squall socks on Monday, so I figured that I would just finish up the 2010 reviews right here and now!
First the Wickerware, which I knit with Serenity Sockweight yarn, color Denim. Once again, this yarn is really thin, and I had forgotten that since the last time I had used it, so I went with the 2.25mm needles (my faves, but a little too big for this yarn, in truth). I cast on and knit the cuff and leg as written, knit my fave eye of partridge heel. . .not even sure how the heel is written on Wickerware. . .and finishd up with texure on the instep, stockinette on the sole. As you can see in the photos, the basket-weave texture shows up very nicely, even in the striped yarn! All in all, I don't think I will buy the Serenity again for socks. . .I think that I am just about "over" the self-striping yarns, because I like to knit in patterns, but I would like to knit the Wickerware pattern again! :o) These are sock love!
And I could have waited until Saturday to review the Squall pattern, but I did finish them a couple days ago. . .and, since I am a project knitter and blogger (apparently), in that I like to finish what I start, and unfinished items make me twitch a little. . .I haveto finish the sock reviews! I loved Squall! I knit these on 2mm needles (metal was all I had on hand in that size - owwie!) on 72 stitches with Zitron Trekking XL yarn in Storm, which was pretty thin. The pattern is a simple 2x2 rib, with a little "twist" thrown in every 6 rows, so it's not too complicated, and it was just a fun knit! I have used Trekking before, but it's been awhile. . .I would use it again. I am anxious to wear these! Double sock love!!!
Want more proof that I have been knitting the hours/days/months away this summer? Well, if you know me "in person," that knitting bag constantly over my arm is a good indication! Otherwise, here's another finished projet! A pair of fingerless gloves in 90/10 Alpaca/Merino from Charm at That'll Do Farm! These were a quick knit, and I love the silky-soft yarn. . .I have a big hank of it (over 250 yards, sport-weight) for I think a scarf. . .but these Charming Mitts have won my heart over to the Alpaca (and her yarn!) in the meantime!
Knit on size 5 needles, in a lace pattern stolen from the Knit 1, Breathe 1 shawl/stole/scarf(also a link in the side bar --->), these will be a staple in somebody's fall wardrobe for sure! Soooo soft. . .
As fast as the spring and summer have gone, I sure hope that fall sticks around for awhile! While this "mystery project" is now finished, I am not at all anxious to wear items of this nature, double-thick wool for warmth in the frigid winter. . .brrrr!!!
I'd like some more time to wear my fingerless gloves and light sweaters before I start thinking about long underwear and leg warmers! ;-) But I guess, as always, I will take it as it comes, and I will be glad when I have needles and yarn close-by! I hope that you are making the most of every fleeting moment, and that you are stealing some quiet moments to find contentment, wherever your life has taken you in this season.
Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Connie and Corrie for the Meatloaf recipes. I hope to try at least one of them on Saturday. ;o) Until then, I hope that we all will Knit in Good Health!
Ohhh-Kaayyyy! Can you explain? Well, it's like this: The weather has changed, and I am really happy about that, because it means that I can wear newly finished wool sweaters (outside at least, at night and early in the AM)! I am also happy about the cooler weather because I like to cook, but I hate to heat up the house when it's hot outside! Knitting with wintry wool and cooking comfort foods make my life seem like a bowl of cherries! However, even though I am good at many things, like knitting that sweater up there, and making a killer chicken soup, great chili and pretty nifty oven-fried potatoes, my family would absolutely love it if I would just make them a meatloaf. Yes, you read that correctly. . .the Hubster and College Girl are craving meatloaf. But, there's a small problem. I have never made a successful meatloaf. I make meat mush.
I have tried my mom's recipe, Betty Crocker's recipe, Dear Abby's recipe, and several recipes donated by friends. . .all with differing proportions of the same basic ingredients (ground meat, bread crumbs, eggs, spices). . .but, when it comes out of the oven, that first slice always turns into a "scoop" of cooked meat mush!
I really don't know what I am doing wrong. I mean, I have eaten other people's successful meatloaf, I have eaten frozen meatloaf (defrosted and cooked, thankyouverymuch), and I like meatloaf as much as the next mom. . .I just can't seem to make my meat meld together into the right form. sigh! Is there anyone who can point me in the right direction?
If you have a no-fail meatloaf recipe, please email me at PrettyKnittyJewelry[at]yahoo[dot]com to share, or (if it's not too long) just leave it in the comments at the end of this post. I like meatloaf, and I like making my family happy. . .I would love it if my readers could help me to overcome this hurdle in my kitchen. . .thanks! By the way, if I make your meatloaf work, there will be much happiness, and when Pretty gets happy, she likes to give things away. . .just sayin'!
In direct contrast to the meatloaf situation, in the knitting arena I have far fewer frustrations, for the most part! When I start out to make a sweater, I usually end up with a sweater. And when I cast on for a sock, I end up with a pair most of the time. I love knitting!
Sock Review Time!!! (I remembered! I remembered!)
In July, I loved knitting these socks! They are Basic Cabled Socks, worked on 2.25mm bamboo dpns, in Knit Picks Stroll(African Violet). It was an easy pattern, mostly 2x2 ribs, with a cable at each side on the leg only. Barely any thinking, and I did the 6-stitch cable without a cable needle, so super quick! Plus, they look fabulous in a solid or tonal colorway! Another bonus: this is a great pattern for unisex socks! Just enough interest to keep you from getting bored, but not too fussy for a male wearer. . .and you really want to do these handsome cables in a solid or slightly tonal yarn color in order to really see the texture well. These socks are a WILL DO AGAIN pattern, and I think I even have some more solid yarn to turn into spectacular socks with basic cables, once the Christmas knitting is done! Yay!
Speaking of the Christmas knitting, I have finished two projects, and I have two more still on the needles, 03Christmas 2010 Project(about 25% complete) and 02Christmas 2010 Project(about 75% complete). Of course, these are super secret (unless you're on Ravelry), so there will not be pictures until after December 25!
Well, now that I have blogged (quite early for me on a Saturday, so I feel like I have already accomplished something), I am gonna start a pot of chili for later, and then go knit! I look forward to your meat mush. . .errrr, meatloaf recipes!
Soooo, my first comment on my last blog post was from Connie. Connie has been paying attention, and she noticed that I had forgotten to review a sock in my post. Apparently, I was so punch-drunk from all the cleaning solutions and dust that the review slipped my mind entirely!!! Ooops!
And here I am, making up for it, with Two, Two, Two Reviews in One (post)!!! After all, the May socks took nearly two months to finish, so they just about deserve their own post, don'tchathink? I started with luscious TV Yarn in the color Monk (one of my all-time favorite shows, because I think I "get" him). I ordered this yarn from White Oak Studio on Etsy. Her shop appears to be closed there (sad face here, I love her yarn), and her last blog update was last summer, so I don't know where you can find her, but do look. I loved this yarn color so much that I was eager to start using it as soon as I opened the envelope on April 5th! I quickly cast onto my magic loop (not my preferred method, but the one I wanted to use for this one) and started into the pattern called "In The Mood," but apparently I wasn't. I loved the look of the herringbone stitches, and my needles were the 2.25mm size that I know and love for the fabric they create, but when I had finished the first of the toe-up socks, and woven in all the ends, (at both the toe and the cuff) it was a total no-go. . .as in NOT going over my heel. . .Ugh!FYI - herringbone seems to produce a less-stretchy fabric, so swatch and adjust whre you need to. . .
The pattern requires some concentration, but it is soooo pretty, and it was very well written. Even so, every time I went to pick up that sock to work on it, I thought, "Ugh!" That should have been my first clue, but I kept knitting on a sock that I absolutely hated, until I was rewarded (on April 27th) with a sock that would not go on over my heel. . .frustrated knitter was I!
But I knew how to fix it. I un-wove the end at the cuff, and I cast on again, another toe-up attempt on the same magic-loop needle. In three days' time, I had a beautiful, plain vanilla sock, ends woven neatly in, that looked about perfect. . .until I tried it on. (Will I never learn?!?) Still not going over my heel! Double Ugh!
I un-wove the cuff on that sock again, and I cast on again, but this time with my trusty bamboo DPNs (same size, 2.25mm), and I started over once again, cuff-down, plain vanilla with this yarn I love. . . By the end of May, I had knit a total of 4 socks, and I had a pair to wear! I do love this yarn, and I love the plain vanilla socks it made. They are beautiful, they fit, and I love the yarn, so eventually, they were perfect. :o) I will not knit In The Mood again. Once again, the pattern is good, well-written, beautiful. This knitter just doesn't like it. Any pattern that makes me think in "F-words" should probably be banned from my personal knitting basket.
After the May experience, I was not as eager for June's entry in the sock club. . .but I forged on anyway, and I was really happy to pull up Snowflake Lace Socks! This is a pattern that I have had in my stash and drooled over for months, which is why I made sure it would be a part of this 12-month sock project! (Note: there is no picture on the pdf of the pattern, but here is my project page, with this photo, and a couple others!)
These were knit on the 2.25 bamboo DPNs with Knit Picks Stroll in lovely Lavendar. I love the look of these socks, and the lace was pretty easy to do, too. I so needed this pattern after the May socks, and I love the way they turned out! These will not leave my sock drawer. . .unless they are inside my shoes, that is!!! I believe that I WILL knit these again. As a matter of fact, I have a sparkly skein of blue yarn at home (might be blue and white?) and I can already feel another pair from this pattern forming on my needles. . .mmmmmmmmm!!! Love this pattern, and LOVE this Knit Picks yarn!
So there you have it. Two, Two, Two Reviews in One (post)!!! Did you find one you like, Connie? Thanks to Connie, Michelle, Cozy and Tinker for your wonderful comments on the last post. . .I love it when you chime in here, like friends around the kitchen table. You guys are the best! And thanks to everyone for stopping by again today!
As I head toward the days of grandparenthood (Army Boy and Wifey Poo will bless us with a grandchild in the very early spring), I have started to reflect on what kind of Mom I have been. Mostly, I think I was a pretty good Mom, giving my kids just the right proportions of love, discipline, understanding and nutty theories to help put their future therapists' children through college. . .but still, I must occasionally ask myself. . .
Does it make me a bad mom when I take a day off work to knit with the gals (and the livestock) at That'll Do Farm just because I can? Yeah, probably not. . .I know. Especially since I have totally finished that sweater now (well, it doesn't quite have buttons, but the knitting is done), and finishing things sets a good example for kids and adult kids, ri-iiight???
Does it make me a bad Mom when I consider getting rid of these pieces of "art" that my son was graded on when he was in the 10th or 11th grade? They have been on display for years. . .
I mean, I am going to get rid of the art, but I am keeping Shaun Cassidy, Billy Joel, Spooky Scary Stories and a few other vinyl faves (I do have a turntable). The cat can't believe that I would even consider getting rid of these classics, which would have certainly made it to my mp3 playlist. . .if iPods had been invented then. . .but even she doesn't much care for the baseball-playing likeness of Army Boy in kiln-fired clay and paint. (The bat broke off a way-long time ago, so I sat it out with the giant golf ball, also in clay. . .yep.)
Does being a really bad housekeeper make me a bad Mom? I guess I should take that question out of the running, though, because today I did get some "crap" out. . .see the photos in this linky, and compare them to these freshly straightened corners in the living room. . .where the "Assorted crap the cats get into" used to be stored.
The cats would rather that I knit and blog and play with clay, because then they have more to play with all over the house. . .and leave languishing under the couch. . . As it is, they have now resigned themselves to fighting over my purse in their boredom. . .
. . .as if I had actual money in there. . .
. . .or catnip or kitty treats. . .
. . .I am not sure what goes through their little kitty brains most days, but I do not think that they would agree that a good Mom has to be a tidy person. . .
Of course, even I sometimes like to be tidy. And this was a good Saturday to be that way. The Hubster is Golfing, and College Girl is working, and so the house is quiet and not in danger of getting messy again until after 5 o'clock. . .it actually feels good to get some pieces-parts of this place picked up! And so I light up the blueberry pancake candle to celebrate as I sink onto the sofa to watch a sappy movie. . .ahhhhhh!!!
WAIT!!! I do have proof that I am not a bad mom! Look!, I took a picture of College Girl, and I am including her in the blog. . .bragging even! It's even a milestone moment. . .today is her last day at Wendy's, where she has worked for the past 6 years. This was/is her first job, and she has learned much about life through her experiences there. Her biggest lesson? That she would eventually like a career that does not involve the phrase, "What kind of sauce would you like with those?"Yay for her!, and good luck in finding a new job soon. . .college girls need money, you know. . .and college parents are sometimes broke, especailly when they ditch work to knit!
Well, that's all that's going on here today. . .some cleaning, cat herding and crafting before the crazy family comes home. I think it's possible that I even miss them. Well, whaddyaknow? I am a good Mom!!!
That's what the Alpaca do at That'll Do Farm when Farmer Gal opens the gate so they can head out to play on the hill. I think the goats were a little miffed that they were still stuck in the barn, but I am sure they will also have their chance to romp in the pasture. . .and I know that a goat hill is in the planning phase, so there will be ample opportunity for goat's-play in their future! I visited the farm for the first ever "Sit-n-Knit" there yesterday (I played a little hooky from work). One of the farmer gals writes a pretty good blog, "laugh-out-loud-in-a-room-by-yourself" funny, about the going's on of the livestock and their keepers. Since my visit, this place promises to become one of my very favorite places, especially since the chickens are friendly and the proprietor gives yarny gifties from time to time. . .see that mitt there? A little sample from Charm, one of my new alpaca friends. I think that this is my first experience with knitting alpaca, and this soft and fine, silky yarn (mixed 90/10 with a little merino) has me and my needles hooked! This mitt was turning out a little large, so I pulled it out to start over on a few less stitches. . .secretly, I am glad that I get to knit it again! It is luscious! I will be buying more of this. . .yarn diet or not!
Not nearly as luscious, here is another yarn that I havespun (or over spun) and just recently plied. I am calling it a success, although not a smashing success. . .but, it is plied. :) However, just like the knitting machine, I may be finding that spinning really is not my thing. I tried Navajo plying with these singles that I had spun some time ago, and while I was plying, I thought it was going well. It felt mostly soft, and did not seem over-spun or kinky. . .until I gave it a soak, which I have read that you should do with your plied yarns before knitting them. However, when my yarn hit the water, it really kinked up, and I had to weight it pretty good while it was drying. . .the resulting yarn is a little kinky, a little wiry, and doesn't really seem like it will make for fun knitting. I guess there's not that much there (maybe a bookmark?), so it's not such a big deal, but I am getting a little frustrated with the spinning. I am quite happy to report that I am NOT frustrated with the knitting! As a matter of fact, I am quite enjoying the September socks, Squall in Zitron Trekking XXL, which is a funny name for a super thin yarn! I am knitting these on 2mm needles, 72 sts around for my "average woman's foot." I love that this yarn looks "stormy (not sure of the colorway, but it's dark blues/greys), and the pattern is squall. . .and it's fall, when the rains come and the days get a little gray. . .perfect! More of a review on this sock when it is finished, I promise! However, if you absolutely need a "Sock in Review" today, well you are in luck! Up this week are the Catnip Socks I picked for the April edition of my Sock Club, although they were completed before April even began. . .more about why that was a good thing on Saturday! These socks were worked in Lion Brand Sock-Ease, in the Rock Candy colorway, which I did not realize was a self-striping yarn until I was well established on the first sock.
This pattern was not my first toe-up sock, but it was my first toe-up with a reverse heel-flap and gusset. The lace was not too taxing, and the foot and leg sections seemed to knit up very quickly! For me, however, I really did not enjoy the reversed heel shaping. . .it was fiddly, and I was unfamiliar with the technique on such a small scale. (I used a similar technique on a larger scale to knit a top-down, set-in sleeve right into an armhole, and it did not seem as difficult. I am still not sure I like the way it looks, though.) I may try this heel-style again, and I would knit these socks again, without a second thought. . .I really like them!
If you are adventurous, and you like to try new things, give this heel construction a shot! Otherwise, knit it toe-up or top-down using your favorite heel. . .it's a wonderful sock!
And just like the Alpaca, I find that I am "Thundering Forward," in knitting and in life! There are Christmas projects on the needles, and a wedding, baby shower and bridal shower in the planning phases. I am so glad that the cooler weather has descended upon my little corner of the world, and I am knitting with wool to celebrate so many occasions. I hope that you can find something to celebrate in your life today!
Kids are back to school! Watch out for the yellow bus, and don't you make such a fuss September's here so mind the Golden Rule!
It's beginning to look and feel like Autumn! Sixty-six degrees - Last week it was really hot, today it is really not; Summer's end is just what I can seeee! It's beginning to look alot like Autumn! (Autumn!) Autumn! (Autumn!)
Haha! Get it? That's my Summer's End sweater up there! It had been two weeks since I had worked on it in earnest, and then I pulled it out a knitting on Thursday night this week. . .I am ready now to join the sleeves to the body, and it was all I could do to take this cozy sweater off my lap to get anything done today!
Recently, we had a little heat wave, with temps up in the mid 90s! Now, it's not odd for the temps to go that high in my neck of the woods, but we generally expect that more toward the middle of summer. . .and (as you may have read earlier here), Fall is nearly on us at this point! Ugh!
But today. . .today, the high temperature was a glorious 66 degrees Farrenheit, sunny and windy with a spotty shower here and there! I wore my Harumi cardi over a long-sleeve tee with JEANS! And, of course, I took the opportunity to knit on thick wool. . .luxurious! Know what else I did?
Well, Sweetie and I went to give blood, because it had been 8 weeks. It all went without a hitch. . .for Sweetie, that is. It seems that my iron was a bit low, so I waited, and knit on some Christmas presents. . . I have not had low iron since I was a teenager! Weird. But, I can try again in a week. After we got home from the blood bank, I decided that I could not do this gloriously cool day without peanut butter cookies, so here they are! Or, rather, were. . .and they were delicious! Yummm! The veggies and chicken were good too, but we still have some of those leftover, so I don't miss them as much as I miss the cookies. . .sigh! It should still be cool enough to make a few more cookies tomorrow, and I already hear the oven calling to me!
We also joined the fun at a little get together today with some friends, and let me tell you that any excuse to have a pinata can make for a fine day! We had fun watching the kids take their swings, run and play, and devour sugary treats. . .soon-to-be-grandparents heaven! Bonus!-the party was down the road aways, so there was also car knitting on the Squall Socks, the September edition in the Sock Club!
And, speaking of the Sock Club, here's my latest review!
If you are looking for a sure-thing sock-knitting experience, try Harris Tweed Socks! I knit these in Knit Picks Stroll (grass), on 2.25mm needles, 64sts. The pattern is a variation of a 2x2 rib, and it's a real no-brainer. . .this is a great pattern for a man's or woman's sock, and it will also "play nice" with those self-striping yarns! I did these in the solid, but you can see how lovely the straight lines would work with most any yarn!
These socks are a must-do for a beginning sock-knitter! Just enough pattern to keep it interesting and supply you with a little "instant knitting gratification," while being simple enough to master while you are learning basic sock construction! Win-Win!
Now, I have a loaf of bread in the oven for tomorrow's breakfast, so I am gonna sign off before it over-browns itself. I hope that your Autumn is filled with splendor when it arrives at your destination, and that it is filled with the sights, smells and sounds of all the best things fall has to offer!