Saturday, January 29, 2011

"B" is for Blogging

"B" is also for Baby! I am glad, because Army Boy and Wifey-Poo have a new baby on the way. . .very soon, now! You may recall that I took a "mental health day" on Wednesday (the day of "W"), and here is what I did.

I started with a purchased fabric kit to make a couple of bibs, a couple of burpees, and a baby wipe holder, like this:

But I really didn't like those fabrics as much as I liked these:

So I took my favorite pieces from the kit, and I traced the patterns onto newsprint. Then I cut out some flannel linings. . .

. . .and cotton prints for the fronts. . .

. . .and I stitched them together carefully (remembering 7th grade home economics, where I learned how to stitch around a curve on a piece of typing paper, with no thread in the simple singer). . .

. . .and, like a good little sewer, I pressed the seams before clipping the corners and curves. . .

. . .turning each piece inside out, and pressing again, before carefully top-stitching with pink threads. . .

. . .pressing one more time, then stepping back to admire my work!
"B" is for Baby, and Bib, and Burpee, and Beautiful!!!. . .oh, and Blogging!
There was also knitting, but that starts with a K, so more on that next time! Until then, thanks for stopping by, and Knit (or sew, or do whatever you love) in Good Health!
Today's blog entry is brought to you by the letter "B," and the number 13, and also by the anticipation of the sweet smell of a newborn grandbaby.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh, what is the letter I love?

Oh what is the letter I love?
What sound am I extra fond of?
It's not any trouble, you know, it's a double-U,
when you hear, "Wuh-Wuh-Wuh-Wuh!"

Yes, today I love the letter "W"! "Why?," you may ask? Well, for starters, the letter W is the first letter in the word "Word," and we all know I love words! It's also the first letter in the word "Wednesday," and today is Wednesday! As a bonus, W is the first letter in the word, "WINNER!," and I have a WINNER to announce today, for sure!

Thank you all for entering that last contest a couple weeks ago. . .it was a good one! The random number generator picked innerbanks as my WINNER, and I dashed her off a quick message on Ravelry to let her know, so it's time to let the cat out of the bag here as well! Congratulations, innerbanks!

For those of you who know her, online or in person, you know that innerbanks is a big-time crocheter. . .so I have picked out a counter for her prize! A couple of sheep that want to help her keep track of her rows as she works on those big (and little) projects. Congratulations again, innerbanks! Here come the sheep, to keep you company as you create with crochet!

As for the rest of my pretty knitty day, I think I am gonna take it easy. I have taken a "mental health day" from the office job, and this is what i would like to see as my "outlook" for most of this Wonderful Wednesday!:
There will be yarn in the picture, but I have not yet decided whether to work on some WIPS or cast on that wedding shawl. . .but that decision is a challenge that I am sure I can handle today!

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that you will guard your mental health, too! Maybe come play a little hooky with me? Oh, and Knit in Good Health!
The previous blog entry was brought to you by the letter W, and the number 8, and my slippers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Contest Closed!

Thanks for stopping by. . .the contest is now closed. Good luck to everyone, the winner will be announced in the regular post on Wednesday, Jan. 26!

See you there!

Knit in Good Health!

Catching Your Eye. . .I Hope!

Don't forget the contest. . .today is the last day to enter!
Wow! That contest announcement has sure caught my black cat's eye!

It's funny what will catch your eye. . .sometimes it's cleavage (and until today, I had assumed that both of my female kitties were straight, but now,. . .well, who really knows for sure with a cat? Perhaps Miss Lohan can tell. . .?)

Anyway, here's something that caught the eye of my little crocheted "Dolly Draft Dodger" doll who sits at the front door, helping us to keep the heat in and the cold out. . .the popcorn tin from Christmas. I didn't have the heart to tell her that there is probably none left. . .or that whatever might be left is surely stale. . .what caught my eye here was her sheer determination! If you look at the left side of that tin, you will see that she has nearly gotten the thing open! Wow. . .
Here's something else that caught my eye this week. This is my Thursday night knitting group. We meet each week at my church, and we have a really good time. We usually meet in the library, and we usually sit on very "cushy" chairs, but with the flood last week, the coffee shop was the dry and finished room that was available to us, and we were thankful to have this space to meet in. . .
Every once in awhile, I look out at this group of knitters, and I am compelled to take a picture. I think I can somehow record in a picture the bonds that we have formed with one another, and the love that we feel. It's a losing battle. . .even words cannot adequately express how special these people are to me. Although, after posting the above picture on Facebook, and receiving comments on it before the knitting group had even called it a night (I love mobile technology!), I realized that I am not the only one who feels this way.
When Michelle jokingly commented, "Hey your knitting group isn't a bunch of old ladies!," we all had a pretty good laugh, and we agreed that Youth is a state of mind. . .and we all have it!But I think Corrie said it best when she commented, "That's what I like most about the group - it amazes me that women with such different ages and jobs and lives can so easily spend hours together. Definitely the best part of the day!" Heck!, we even have a knitter-man in our group! (Sorry I didn't get the camera out before you left, Tim! Forgive me?) The best part of the day is what prompts my TGIT(hursday) every week, dismissing the average person's obsession with that next day, just before the weekend! :)

And, since I am gushing about my knitting friends, I suppose it's also time to start gushing about some knitting. . .it is a knitting blog, after all!
These two pair of socks caught my eye just last night, and I wanted to write about them. They are very different socks, in very different yarns, started at different times, but they have one thing in common. . .both are nearly 75% done - Yay!
The Ski Trip Socks were started last weekend (on a ski trip), the yarn is Patons Stretch, the needles are 2.25mm and the pattern is Dublin Bay Socks! I am working them top down on 64 sts, and using a traditional flap heel. . .I picked the yarn because it reminds me of Good N'Plenty candy, one of my faves!, and I love how they are coming out. :o) I also love the smiley faces that hold my place when I have to put the knitting down for awhile. . .thank you Dawn, for the awesome stocking stuffer this Christmas! (I love the one that's not smiling, too. . .it's like that one "gets it" if I drop a stitch or something!)
I love my other pair just as much. . .the Starry, Starry Socks are toe up, in the Diamond Rib Socks from the Toe-Up pattern, and the yarn is Marathon Socks--North Pole. I am working these toe up on 2.25mm (magic loop because there are 6 reps of the lace, 3 front and 3 back), but I have changed the heel to a short row dealio. . .loving them, and I have actually just finished my second heel, so these should really cook now! Yay!
You may have also noticed the Row Counters in my sock photos. . .if you like what you see, and you would like one of your own, enter the contest by midnight tonight! Or, just stop by this shop on Etsy, and pick one up for yourself. . .I don't know how I ever knitted without them!

Thanks for letting me catch your eye today, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beginnings and Endings

Don't forget the contest. . .

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I have blogged twice in the past week-and-a-half while away from my computer - aahhh!, the marvels of modern technology. . .Thank you, Blogger for letting me schedule the blog in advance! Why have I been away, you may ask? Well, there was a ski trip planned in a very snowy place (Lake Ann, Michigan) for some of the teens I know, and I was asked along as a chaperon, and it was both an honor and a privilege to spend time with these amazing young people! Bonus! - it was so pretty there. . .cold and snowy, but just beyond beautiful. . .and the snow. . .fresh and new every time it falls. . .beautiful new beginning to this day:"But Pretty," you may ask, "do you ski?"
To which, I would reply, "No, Silly! I barely walk! But I knit. . .!"
So, I started a pair of socks on the way there (7 hours in the car), and I got pretty far on them during the trip, but I did not get an excellent picture of the first finished sock. . .sometimes you just cannot rush into the photography! You know what else you can't rush? A new knitter! I made two of those on the trip, actually!
All in all, it was a great trip, with much knitting and even more fun! A knitter really couldn't ask for more. . .Bonus! - no broken bones for me or Mr. Pretty Knitty (who did ski, but that is a story for another day)! It was a trip that started and ended well, fun for all!

Shortly after ending the trip and returning home, there was another happy ending! I finally finished another pair of fingerless gloves! (This is good, because I keep giving away my fingerless gloves, and I did not have any left! I am so glad to have a pair again. . .these are my favorite kind of handwarmers!)
So many beginnings and endings, but I am not finished yet! College Girl (who really needs a new blog name - ideas?) has finally set a wedding date. . .and it will be before the summer's end!
Pretty really needs to get cracking on turning this yarn into a lacy wedding shawl!
This project is so new that it doesn't even have a Ravelry page yet, but I have a pattern in mind, and I will fill you in as I go. . .wish me luck! My past 36 hours have been spent securing a hall, the church, and a DJ, as well as starting to hash out the details of the food, favors and cake! My brain is now just wedding mush! But I am enjoying the time I have spent with College Girl, dreaming about our her perfect day!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fun and Games

Before we start today's post, let me remind you that there is a Pretty Knitty Contest underway! We will wait while you go to check out that linky. . .

Good, you're back! I trust that you entered, and Good Luck to you! Now, on to the post!

Suppose for a moment, just suppose, that you live in a snowglobe. . .like this:

What is one to do when the warm weather wanes and this white stuff takes it's place?!? Well, yarn (and knitting, duh!) is one option. . .

. . .sewing for a granddaughter yet to be born is another (especially since I bought some fabric last week). . .
. . .but, with Snake in the family, . . .
. . .the option we chose was MONOPOLY!
I don't know how long it has been since Sweetie played Monopoly, . . .
. . .and I am sure that it hasn't been very long for College Girl (who has played with Snake and his family in the not-too-distant past), . . .
. . .but for me, it has been years upon years! Sweetie and I played Monopoly Jr. with College Girl and Army Boy when they were wee ones, but regular Monopoly?. . .not since before I had a sweetie for sure! Monopoly, for me, is one of those memories that is unique to my family. I don't think I ever played at home, or with my friends, but my cousins and I enjoyed the game at our Grandparents' house from time to time. . .We would set up lovely neighborhoods on a card table in the basement, and we would play until the oldest cousins had all of the properties, and all of the money, and all of the houses. . .and the younger cousins were finished paying rent to their tyrannical landlords! Even though I wasn't one of the oldest of the cousins, and even though I don't think I have ever come close to winning a game of Monopoly (I generally do better at word games than at math games), I remember Monopoly as being a lot of fun. . .it's more about the time in Grandma & Grandpa's basement, playing board games and running around the big, ancient furnace with cousins I got to see fairly often, but never often enough. . .it's more about leftover pizza from a family reunion, and fresh spaghetti that was always on the stove when we visited this magical home. . .it's more about the bonds that were formed long ago, and have been re-established recently through Facebook and the common Christmas card. Monopoly is just one of those memories that reminds me of the ties that bind family together. . .even after all 8 of us grandkids have grown up and moved on into our adult lives.

So last weekend, while we were living in a snowglobe, Snake and Sweetie and College Girl and I took a little walk through an old, but familiar, neighborhood. . .
. . .and we had a pretty good time. . .until the giants caused some of us to roll over and play dead, forcing us out of the game as only tyrannical landlords can!
Still, it was a good time, and I think we will play again. . .and perhaps someday, when they have grown up and moved away, Snake and College Girl will remember the games we have played with a fondness that speaks "family" to them, too.

Until then, I will knit and sew, and play games with family, making memories while my world is blanketed by snow. I hope that you are making memories with your family, too!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Lemonade Day

You know the kind of day I'm talking about...
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

I have always been fond of that quote, and of the spirit of hope that accompanies those who truly mean those words as they speak them. Some days I make lemonade quite well, and others. . .well, let's just focus on the positive for now, shall we? Like these wrist warmers I am currently working on. . . The pattern came with delicate, Estonian lace, and a sensuously scalloped border at the base. Lovely to behold are these wristers, and I knew I had the perfect yarn for them! You know what the pattern did not come with? A thumb. So, I made lemonade, and I think they are turning out pretty sweet!
Next, let's look at this scarf. . . You see, I had made a scarf for Wifey-Poo, and College Girl decided that she wanted one, too. . .but in green. The lemons came in the form of wool this time. . .a yarn that felt soft on my neck, but itchy on hers. . .because everyone's neck is different. So, after knitting this far, and feeling pretty accomplished. . .
. . .she put it around her delicate neck and declared it unfit. . ."too scratchy!!!" So, I put it aside until I could get to the store that has the Snowflake Wool Blend I used for DDIL's scarf, and I got enough of the color "Limelight" to complete a scarf and mitts for my very delicate daughter. Lemonade in the limelight, I suppose.And then there was yesterday. . .a normal day, by all accounts, at the start. My biggest worry as I drove to work that morning was the snow that the weatherman had predicted for that afternoon and evening. However, as I approached the building where I work at 8:30am, I noticed something strange. . .Water was flowing out of the bottoms of the front doors. My heart sank as I called the building administrator and the staff.

A water pipe had burst in the ceiling overnight, and water had continued to flow for I-don't-know-how-long until we arrived on the scene. Water was everywhere I looked when I came inside...Lemons. However, there was no water in the offices (with all the computer equipment) or near the music and AVL equipment...Lemonade. It is still a big cleanup, even after the first day of work by the professionals and volunteers...Lemons. It could have been so much worse...Lemonade. Praise God!

By the way, the snow did come yesterday, and it continued through the night. Lemons. But it sure looks pretty outside this morning. Lemonade.
Knit in Good Health, and have a glass of lemonade for me today. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Club and a Contest!

You may remember this picture from last January. . .
Well, that was the yarn and patterns for 12 pair of socks in my own, personal, Pretty Knitty Sock Club, as per the yarn Harlot's instructions! After I had organized each yarn with a pattern, I sealed them in envelopes and put them in a big box. Each month, I would fish out an envelope and "surprise" myself with a new sock project! Then, I went back to that original picture, and noted the "finish date" for each of the sock pairs. . .
. . .and I published that here, along with photos of each of the different socks!
They are not in Chronological order, but here is the order they are in (left to right, and top to bottom), with links to each of my project pages (in case you have missed the reviews throughout the year, or you might like details on any specific pair):
  1. In the Mood for Monk in May. . .Not
  2. April Catnip
  3. Snowflakes in June
  4. November is a long way off (January)
  5. December Sa-weet Socks
  6. August Wickerware
  7. African Cables for July
  8. November Marriage Lines
  9. September Squall Socks
  10. March through February
  11. February in January
  12. October DragonFly Away
Whew! That's a lotta socks! There were even more than that, but these were the sock club, and I feel pretty accomplished that I was able to finish all of them (plus a few other things) last year. . .yay! How was your year? I hope that 2010 was good for you, and I hope that this year will be even better!

Leave me a comment on today's post, telling me a goal you have set for yourslf in 2011. Everyone who leaves a comment before Saturday, Jan 22nd, will be enterred into a drawing for a surprise counter from the shop! Get a second entry by "Liking" Pretty Knitty Jewelry on Facebook, and leaving me a comment here, letting me know that you like me. . .I love to be liked!!!

If you are one of my non-knitting readers (I know there are a couple of you), mention that in your comment, and I will exchange that surprise counter for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry! It will probably be a pin to dress up your pretty knitty-reading self!

Best of luck to you, readers! Thanks for stopping in, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Starry, Starry Socks. . .

"I could've told you Vincent, this world was never meant
for one as beautiful as you. . ." -Don McLean

Starry, Starry Socks,
color me in blue and white -
look out at the winter night,
and think about my frigid winter toes!

Wearing woolen socks
keeps my tootsies warm, like toast -
all night long, but I won't boast,
I'm happy when my feet don't shock my guy. . .

'Cause now I understand
why he kicks me in the dead of night,
when my cold toes end up on his thigh,
and he is woken from the soundest sleep.
He does not like it when my toes are cold,
and he is woken from the soundest sleep.

Starry, Starry Socks,
I need you on the coldest days,
in sunshine, snow or rainy haze
to maintain warm toes all day 'til the end!

You'll be my best friends,
my warm and woolen, starry socks!
I'll love you, starry, starry socks,
for you will keep my toes warm when you're done. . .

And we will sleep all night,
and he won't wake up kicking me,
because my toes will be warm as can be,
and we will sleep all through the blessed night!
He does not like it when my toes are cold,
but we will soon sleep through the blessed night!

Just ask Mr. Pretty Knitty. . .there is almost nothing worse than cold toes that wander over to your side of the bed in the middle of the night. . .really, it is a rather rude awakening. That's one of the reasons I am so glad to be working on yet another pair of wool socks for my pretty knitty feet!
There are other reasons I am excited about these socks, too! Like the yarn. . .Marathon Socks, North Pole is all sparkly, and when I saw this blue and white a couple winters ago, I knew that I had to have it! I knew that this yarn would become Starry, Starry Socks from the start, and all I can think of when I look at the ball is this Don McLean song! (Go ahead. . .listen, then re-read the poem, and it will all come together, I promise!) Still, even though I was excited to make the socks, I couldn't find the perfect pattern until recently. . .perfect marriage of yarn and pattern. . .yay! I cannot wait until these are done!

I could go on, but I think that perhaps I have overstayed my welcome for this Wednesday post! I will sign off here, but I promise that I will be back later in the week with more knitting content, including a total recall of the 2010 Sock Club for those of you who are curious how I did!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another Year Bites the Dust. . .

Hey! Hey! Another year bites the dust! And another one's gone, and another one's gone, another year bites the dust! Hey! It's gonna get to you, and two-thousand ten is gone. . .

Hmmm, that's not quite how the song goes, I am sure. However, it's kinda how I feel today. . .I mean, I did manage to stay up to see Dick Clark last night (he looked a little better than the last time I saw him, yay!), and to watch all the people in Time Square, but it didn't feel like a celebration or a milestone. . .it just feels like another year has come and gone. . .

Don't get me wrong, it was a good year. Many knitting projects were finished in 2010, including 12 pair of socks that I vowed to complete last January! The last of these were the December Sa-weet Socks, started at the end of November, and they threatened to NOT be finished in December. . .but I made it!
It was a close one, alright, but not because they were difficult, or because I didn't like the knitting. . .neither of those things could be further from the truth! I loved knitting this pattern, Dolce, and the yarn (5th Avenue Socksation) was a dream, and I love the way they turned out! It was just all that holiday stuff that impeded the knitting time! LOL! But the holidays were good, too. . .I even managed some knitting for myself (besides the December socks). See exhibit 2. . .the 16 Cable Hat in Knit Picks Shamrock (color: Sullivan). This yarn is a heavy worsted, and probably thicker than the pattern intended, but I love the way it turned out! And it is warm!!! Sooo warm, in fact, that I could only keep it on for 5 pictures today! Maybe I can get some better shots in the next few days, but for now, that's what I got. Of course, my holidays have not been all knitting, as I mentioned earlier. . .in order to not fall asleep early, the family and I played some games last night (one of our fave things to do with College Girl and Snake)!
Rummikub is one of our favorite games, since College Girl and Army Boy were little people. . .and these days, everyone gets in on the fun! (Oh, and there is some occasional pouting when "we" are not winning. . .)
So there were games and family to help Pretty ring in the new year, and there has been knitting already in 2011! Today, I present to you my first FO of the year: A One-Row Scarf, cast on with a provisional edge and kitchenered together with a half-twist! Thank you Yarn Harlot for a lovely pattern, and thank you Cozy Spirit for a near-dusk yarn experience! I am going to wear this one to death!
The colors are really hard to photograph. . .here's a little more detail:
Finishing a scarf so early in the year leaves me with just one question:
What shall I cast on for now? The answer is (of course) another scarf! This time one for College Girl, who is living in envy of her sister-in-law's scarf! I got enough of this yarn to also make mitts. . .we don't want to take any chances with that green-eyed monster, now do we?
Well, I guess that's just about it for this first day of this fine, new year! Do I have any resolutions? Well, I have been thinking about that for the past week, and I don't really think so. I guess I am done with resolutions at this point in my life. . .I think I am pretty much on the right track with most things, but I recognize that there is always room for improvement.
If I really had to come up with at least one resolution. . .you know, if my life depended on it for some bizarre reason. . .I would resolve to just let myself (and others) off the hook more often. After all, not a single one of us is perfect. . .so, why not just do the best we can, and let the rest go. . .yes, that's my resolution!
Thanks for stopping by, and Happy New Year! Oh, and don't forget to Knit in Good Health!