Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturdays with Yarn

This kid likes yarn.
It's a really good thing, because we can always tell where she's been. . . 
. . .and no matter where she has gone, we know she'll return to the scene of the crime. . .
It's a beautiful thing!  I am eager for her little fingers to find the magic in needles and hooks, but until then, I will keep letting her discover how fun fiber can be.

I hope that you are having fun with your yarn this weekend.  Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mork Returns to Ork. . .for a little while

The last two weeks have been full of joyful celebration, because our Mork returned briefly to his "home planet" for his mid-tour leave.  (As a child of the 70s/80s, I can't help but use this reference to one of my favorite "retro TV" shows!) Sweetie and I happily escorted Mindy and Peanut to the airport to pick up their hubby/daddy for some much needed R & R for all of them.  No more desert for Mork, for two weeks; Mindy was once again able to share family responsibilities with her beloved, for two weeks; and Peanut was reacquainted with the daddy-man who can make her eyes light up in an instant with just a smile, for two glorious weeks!  We all enjoyed every minute with him, and we even had cake. . .
But, as we all knew that it would, the leave ended last weekend, and we all packed up to return to that same airport, where we hurried through security, and down to the gate. . .
. . .where we spent an hour or so waiting for the plane to arrive. . .
. . .where we laughed and played with Daddy before he left Ork for the rest of his tour, remembering all the fun we've had while he was home for this happy blur of respite from a year-long deployment. . .
. . .peek-a-boo-ing, and reflecting on all that is important to a family. . .
Before he got on the plane, we hugged and we prayed. . .
. . .and we bid him farewell through our tears.  Be safe.  We love you.

On the positive side, it's just another few months until Mork will return to Ork for good (or at least until Uncle Sam needs him somewhere else).  So now we pray and we hug each other, and we thank God for Skype and Facebook, and the world-wide-web.  It's certainly not the same as being there in person, but it's a heck-of-a-lot better than it was for soldiers and sailors in the days before the Internet. 

While I wait, I knit. . .hats for eggs, secret things for babies, toys for toddlers, socks for stress relief. . .I hope that you are finding time for your knitting (or whatever helps you to relieve stress), because we all have troubles from time to time.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Guest Bloggers. . .

Black Cat: Hey!,. . .it's me.  
No Pretty today.  Something about "holiday knitting," I think she said. Really? In March? Wow.

White CatPsst!  Don't forget to tell them that I'm here, too! 
Black Cat(sigh!) They know. . .they know.  They see you.  Why are you using such an old photo of yourself? 
White CatDu-uhhh!!!  It's my best side!  I look just silly in this one! 

Black CatThat's not the camera's fault.  You were "kneading" a giant teddy-bear.  I don't care who you are, that's gonna look silly.  

White CatNuh-uuhhh!!!  I don't look silly in this next one!
Black CatYeah. . .yeah, ya do. . .  Hey, any idea what this thing is?  Over here, in the corner?
White Cat: Ummm, ye-ah!  You don't know?!?  It's an egg with a hat on. (snort!)  Now, who's silly?
Black Cat: (sigh!)  Pretty is silly.  Who knits hats for eggs?!?

PrettyI knit hats for eggs!  It started small, I just wanted to see if I could. Then the first egg started bragging about his hat, and total mayhem ensued. Now, I think I'm going to have to knit hats for the whole dozen!  It's maddening!  Eggs are sooooo demanding!  And, Black Cat. . .the holiday I am knitting for is EASTER of course!  Sheesh!  I get no respect (except from my readers)!  Now scat!, you two!!!

Thanks for stopping in to see the cats today.  If they were still here, I'm sure they would tell you to Knit in Good Health this week!  =^)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NOT Wordless

Not a wordless Wednesday, for sure, but. . .far more eye candy than words!  Hey, it's what you do after a fabulous first birthday party!
Mork and Mindy spent much of the weekend focused on the birthday Peanut! Weeks of party prep gave us this scrumptious spread:
And the cupcakes. . .
The cupcakes didn't go like we thought they would, but in the end, they were super, super-cute!
The birthday girl supervised set-up. . .
. . .she taste-tested the punch with Dollface. . .
. . .she was so happy to open presents (new shoes!). . .
. . .and so many Minnie Mouse toys and accessories!  Oh, and she got to eat that giant cupcake (came from a bakery, they did an excellent job). . .
It was a super-fun day, with lots of new clothes and toys and fun memories for her family.  In the end, she decided the sheep sweater looked pretty good on Beagle-face. . .
Hmmm, I guess I'll take it.  lolz!  It's been too warm for the baby to wear her sweaters around here lately anyway. . .I don't know where winter has gone, but it's not here lately!  And even the grand-DOG is pretty cute in the sweater and hat!

So, not wordless, but less wordy than usual.  I hope that you enjoyed the pix!    Thanks for stopping by, and knit in good health!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Peanut's Day Recipe

I know that today is St. Patrick's Day, and I know that St. Patrick's Day is all about the green, but. . .since Peanut's daddy did not make it home in time for a party last Saturday, we are celebrating St. Peanut's (Birth)Day today. . .and that means lots of PINK!!!  Actually, we've been celebrating all week, but today is the day for sharing the celebration with family and friends.  There has been much preparation, and Minnie Mouse (her favorite) has played a big part in our theme for the day...
(Disclaimer: If you are coming to the party later today, please act surprised at our kitchen craftiness. . .K?  K.  Thanks!)
The cupcakes were Mindy's idea, and they looked great when we finished them yesterday.  This morning, I am just praying that the icing held up and they still look lovely for the party...  Yes, the cupcakes turned out really cute, but the thing that really got me excited is the new recipe for sugar cookies I found...they are super yummy!  I love my old recipes, but finding a new gem is sometimes just as priceless, and getting to use my Grandma's rolling pin in the process is a super bonus!
Keep reading for the recipe to these super-yummy cookies, but don't forget to stop and marvel at the craftiness of taking cookies, cut with a Micky-Mouse cutter...
...and turning them into super-girly Minnie Mouse treats for our little Peanut!
Mmmmmm!, and while I was at it this week, the baking and cooking for the party, I  did manage to stop long enough to knit a letter M. . .there is just no end to the creativity at Pretty's house!
Now, I'm off to finish my end of the party prep.  Thanks for stopping by, and Knit (or, bake some yummy sugar cookies) in Good Health!  Here's the recipe:

Sugar Cookies from the Crisco Sticks Label
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time (350ºF): 6 min
Yield: 6 dozen 2-inch cookies
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 stick Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks
OR 1 cup Crisco® Butter Shortening
2 large eggs
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour, plus 4 tablespoons
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. HEAT oven to 350º F. 
  2. COMBINE sugar and shortening in bowl of electric mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, corn syrup and vanilla; beat until well blended and fluffy.
  3. COMBINE 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl; gradually add to shortening mixture, beating at low speed until well blended.
  4. DIVIDE dough into 4 equal pieces; shape each into disk. Wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
  5. SPRINKLE about 1 tablespoon flour on large sheet of waxed paper. Place disk of dough on floured paper; flatten slightly with hands. Turn dough over; cover with another large sheet of waxed paper. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove top sheet of waxed paper.
  6. CUT into desired shapes with floured cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. BAKE 5 to 7 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet; transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You deserve a break today. . .

Everyone needs a break now and then, and I am thankful that our military has seen fit to give mid-tour leave to the boys and girls serving in the current "over there."  My last post was all about Dollface, so it's no surprise that today is all about her brother, who is in the middle of a tour in a very sandy place.  He came "home" to Mindy and Peanut last week, and they were so happy to be together again!
Peanut was a little apprehensive at first. . .he's been gone for more than half of her little life!  Despite that, she has already fallen in love with her Daddy again:
She has her moments, when she would rather have Mommy for sure, but every kid has that sometimes.  It's just so good to see them all together again, and I am thankful that they are together in my neighborhood for this leave.  It's every soldier's mom's dream to have that boy or girl back so close. . .so I am a happy Pretty!  Here's another reason I am so happy:
All of them were sitting together in church on Sunday with Sweetie and I.  It's been a long time since I even had the opportunity for a photo like this, and I even got a "bonus kid" in there!!!  A friend of Mindy's has been coming to church the last couple of weeks, so she joined the group as they found their seats and settled in for the morning's worship. . .my eyes welled up as I set for this picture, and then Dollface rolled hers and whispered, "Mommmm!!! Really?!?  It's just church!"  lol!  
(Side Note: Sweetie was ordained as an elder in our church this week, and all the kids were there for him...yay!  I am one lucky Pretty!)

So that's what's going on here.  How's the weather in your neck of the woods?    I hope that you find loved ones around you, and that you also take a break now and then to stop and smell the crocuses, daffodils and tulips that signal Spring's joyous arrival!  Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We go together. . .

Heard at my house, one evening this week:
"I guess knitting is just like riding a bike. . .a stupid, yarny bike!!!"

Since Dollface got married, I have missed our time together.  I know that's the natural order of things, but when she showed me this picture that she took with her phone the other day:
It really got me thinking that I'd like to spend more time with her when I can.  So, when she asked if I wanted to go to lunch this week, I was super glad to say yes!  Because we had so much fun at lunch that day, and since both Snake and Sweetie had previous engagements that evening, we decided to extend the fun with an old-fashioned craft night at my house - Yay!

We started with paints.  Remember the painted bowls from a couple years back?  Well, I still had some of the paints, and a few leftover serving platters from those sets of dishes, so we set out to decorate!  Here's what we came up with:
Not too shabby for a couple of semi-sometimes-crafty chicks, eh!?!  We were quite proud of ourselves, but neither of us was ready for the fun to end. I remembered when Dollface and I learned together how to knit, at a baseball tournament out of town, in the sun with all the other sisters and moms, while dads and brothers were busy on the field. . .and I asked if she'd like to try that again.  She said yes, so we got some yarn and needles.  She started slow at first, shy around the purl stitches, and a bit awkward:
. . .but eventually, she was knitting like the wind!
Even though she resisted a pattern in her knitting at first, she eventually insisted on casting on some of the stitches and knitting the simple pattern of the 1-row scarf, and then berated herself a little at fearing the purl stitch  Eventually, she declared (through clenched teeth)"I guess knitting is just like riding a bike. . .a stupid, yarny bike!!!," as her fingers started to automatically remember what they were supposed to do.

We both laughed, as we had been prone to doing throughout our crafty evening, and she claimed her knitting victory.  When it was time to go home, she took her yarn and needles, and let me know that this scarf would likely be my Christmas present this year.  I can't wait for December!

Now that I have yarn in her hands, my next challenge is getting her on Ravelry. . .I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!  What's your next project?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Buying and Knitting Rhymes

This week I did it again, I bought yarn.
From a friend a-destashing
I bought yarn, I bought yarn!!!

I thought I could hold off 'til Wool-Fest, I did.
But I couldn't, by golly...
Just look what I did:
Some's been discontinued, and some are my faves,
But all of the colors in that box - 
They're all my faves!

Besides the yarn-buying, I also did knit.
But socks and secret hats are not
All that I've knit. . .

See here, I have knitted a fine letter "J"!
Letter "F" will soon follow
That fine letter "J".

And now that I've bought and knitted this rhyme,
It's time to wrap up,
My newest blog rhyme!

Don't judge, I know this isn't Pulitzer-Prize-winning stuff, but rhyming is hard work for an early Wednesday morning!  Off I go now to my real job, and then more knitting (and less rhyming), for sure. . .

Thanks for stopping by, and knit in good health!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sox and photos. . .

Sooo, this post was going to be all about sox. . .safe sox, pictures of sox, hints about sox, and advice about sox. . .but then I got some better pictures (thank you, Connie!) of the Abalone.  So, here's the sweater:
And here's the detail of that front corner, which no longer puckers anywhere, because the rip and redo were successful:
Turns out that I love it, and I love the way it photographs!  Of course, I also love sox!  As a matter of fact, sox were my first knitting love some years ago, and I have now enabled another knitter to the world of the sock-obsessed:
Her Ravelry name is EternalSocks, because she never thought she would finish her first pair, but after these were finished this week, she exclaimed that she needs to always have socks on the needles!  Welcome to the Dark Side, EternalSocks. . .  I know that the slope to the sock-obsessed is slippery, but there's some wiggle room for other projects.  Still, I have two pair on the needles myself these days!  There are my Back Socks, in the color of Fruit Loops. . .
. . .and the Pretty Helen socks, in more neutral tones:
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle those toes!
Yes, those are my ugly toes. . .quick!  Look at another sweater picture!
Whew!  That's better!  I LOVE THIS SWEATER!  And I love knitting Sox, too!  Maybe there will be more sox in the next post, maybe not.  But, all in all it's been a great knitting week for me, and I hope that it has been a good one for you, too!

Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, Knit what you love in Good Health!