Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happ-y Halloween-y!!!

Trick or Treat! 
When Mindy sent this pic, she said, "She won't wear her
ears or smile...she's Minnie." LOL!
I hope you have your Corny Candy Bag to collect the plunder if you are going out tonight! If you live in the northeast corner of the US, I hope that you also have your personal flotation device...

Our Tricks-and-Treats have been postponed to the weekend, but the holiday is here, so Minnie and I say to you and yours, "Happy Halloween! Eat as much candy as you can!" (Unless you have a medical reason not to...) I guess I'll just be hunkered down with just my knitting...TRAGEDY!...NOT!!!

In the absence of the little ones tonight, I am especially glad that you stopped by, and I hope that you will be Knitting in Good Health (and staying warm) this evening.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happiness is. . .

Even though the edges of Frankenstorm approach, I'm going to carve a smiley face out of my pumpkin...
I like smiley pumpkins, and people, and this has me thinking about when and where I find my joy and happiness. Happiness and joy have been abundant in our lives, when I have been looking in the right places. Check it out:

Happiness is sometimes quiet, like a sleeping kitten.
Don't wake the "baby." That will happen soon enough.
Take time to bask in the warmth of a quiet joy.
Happiness is sometimes fleeting, like the rain.
So sing and dance in the rain, and enjoy
happiness when it finds you.
Happiness is totally attainable, if you're willing to get messy.
Sometimes you have to get some gunk outta your life to be
happy. Sometimes you've gotta do that more than once.
Happiness is the reward for making other people happy.
On this mission trip, happiness is a bag of rice for
Mom, and a balloon animal for the kids.
Happiness is more lasting if you're willing to be silly sometimes.
A little dose of silliness can really pick you up
on a cast-iron day.
Happiness is love, like a big shade tree on a summer day. 
Love covers a multitude of sins. It eases forgiveness,
and erases regret, making everyone happier.
Happiness is a box on your head (unless you're the dog).
See "silliness" and singing in the rain above.
Please, do not put a box on your dog's head.
Happiness is bubblegum and baseball, but it's not usually "24/7."
Of course, you can't have bubblegum and
baseball 24/7 either.
Happiness is perfectly pedicured-and-posed, prom-ready toes.
Put your best foot forward, and happiness will find you.
Happiness is sweet, like a little chocolate-y treat once in awhile. 
You could eat one of these every day, if you wanted to.
It's a pretty good "swap" recipe from the Hungry Girl.
Happiness and joy are a way of life. You can't always be happy, but then again, you can't always be anything really. Happiness and joy ebb and flow through our lives every day, and you will find them more often when you are looking for them (and helping others find them, too). If you're hungry for happy, open your eyes and your heart. It's there, just waiting to be found.

As October comes to a close, I hope you will be finding the joy in a holiday filled with candy, and silly-ness, and maybe a chocolate muffin (or two?) with whipped cream. Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Where are you finding your happiness and joy?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Decision 2012

I promise (especially to my friends in the "swing states") that this is NOT a political post. There were polls, and votes, and decisions to be made, but the issues were mostly knitting-related! =D For instance, I've been wanting to do an Advent something for a couple of years now. I've searched the Ravelry patterns, and queued more than a couple of things lately, but I finally settled on these two options:
Tiny mittens OR socks, to fill and to hang, and to count down the days to Christmas! They are both begun on 24 sts, so their size is similar, and they are both super cute...but once I decided that the "year of the knitted toy" (this year) was the time to finally get this done, I realized that I had to choose quickly...there's just a little more than a month until December 1st! So I put up a poll in two of my groups on Ravelry, and the clear winner (without worrying about swing states and without a single commercial aired and approved by the knitter) was...

*drumroll, please*

Ta-daaaa!
MITTENS WIN! Thinking it through, I decided that 24-stitch mittens and 24-stitch socks were both very do-able within my time frame...however, in terms of fussiness, I chose 24 thumbs (held stitches, a couple of extra ends to weave) over 72 color changes (many ends to weave and working with two balls of yarn for each one) on the socks. So, thumbs up!, and thanks for your input if you participated in the polls...I'll keep you updated on my progress. As you can see, I have six mitts finished, with a seventh one started...yay!

Mittens vs. Socks was not my only decision this week. I made another pretty big decision as well...on a whim I decided to...
...CUT MY HAIR! 
It was almost a total whim. I had my first thought of getting a haircut around 9am that morning, and I did print out some photos to take with me, but there was no "I think I'm going to cut my hair" conversation with Mr. Pretty, my friends, or ANYONE! I just walked into Great Clips, and handed the pics to Jennifer when she introduced herself to me at around 6pm on Wednesday evening...which went something like this:

Jennifer (with the two-toned hair and perky-smiley-happy face):
Pretty? Hi, I'm Jennifer!

Me: Hi Jennifer...I sure hope you're feeling adventurous tonight...

*Jennifer just blinks. Pretty thinks she hears crickets.*

Me: ...I'm a middle-aged woman, in the throes of hormonal imbalance, and I am looking for a CHANGE!

Jennifer (looking instantly relieved): Oh! You're my drastic change haircut for the day! I LOVE those!

This response made me exceedingly happy, and I had apparently happened upon the correct stylist for the evening, because we talked and laughed as I encouraged her to "go a little shorter even," and this is how it turned out:
Jennifer was pleased with it. I am pleased with it, and no-one has fainted dead-away upon seeing the new "do" since Wednesday, so I'm also calling this decision a big win as well...yay!

The last WIN for the week is really something I should have told you about on Wednesday, but I forgot to take photos when I finished...sometimes life is like that, you know? Anyway, here is the finished Wanda (plus) Wallaby:
Not sure why I can't seem to get a good shot of this one...maybe it's the approach of winter (brrrr!) with it's shorter days, maybe it's the acrylic yarn (right, Trish?), or maybe it's just that I've been busy, and my photo routine is currently down to "throw-it-over-there...we-haven't-see-that-floor-in-a-long-time-and-it-looks-relatively-clean-today...now-take-as-many-as-you-can-in-30-seconds...I-can-surely-edit-to-get-something-I-can-use!" Yeah. I think it's that last thing. And it is what it is. BUT, it's finished! (Seamed, soaked and photographed, too. That counts, doesn't it Jasmine?...lol!) Win!!!

Soooo, that's a LOT for one post, and much of it was knitting! Another win! But, now it's time to say goodbye to all our family...wait, that's another show, from quite a few years back...

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

This post has been brought to you today by the letter "W" (for winning!) and by the number "24" (see mittens and socks).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Post with NO Rhinebeck...

That's right. No Rhinebeck for Pretty. (sigh!) Stop reading, if you must, but this knitter did not go to Rhinebeck, so she has nothing about Rhinebeck to blog...except, of course, her hopes and dreams of going to Rhinebeck someday. 

*insert tiny, heart-broken violin melody and sad face here*

This knitter did do some knitting, but most of it is secret knitting, so I can't show it to you or tell you about it. This knitter is now 0 for 2.

*more violin, more sad face*

This knitter also switched to her cold-weather coffee mug this week. She likes this mug. It gives her the warm fuzzies.
Coffee gives the warm fuzzies, too. This week
it's pumpkin spice coffee...mmmmm!
Hey! Looky there! Finally, this knitter gets a hit! It's not outta the park, but there's knitting in that photo of the coffee! Knitting she can blog about! 

I did cast on that DROPS pattern I told you about last time. In my size, I cast on 315 stitches...sport weight yarn, on 3.0mm (US 2.5) needles...yes, this one is going to take awhile! And yes, true to form, the pattern is kicking my butt a little. 

Luckily, another Ravelry knitter has already made some modifications that I really like, and I am adapting her changes. =D Bonus, the body is knit in one piece, so even though it starts on 315 stitches, I don't have two front pieces of over 150 stitches each to work after this first piece is done...thank goodness for tiny victories in the knitting!

I wish I had more to show you today, but I guess it is what it is. Perhaps by Saturday this will look more like a sweater, and less like a lace border around my coffee...

In either case, thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

PS - This knitter is thankful for those of you who have blogged your trips to Rhinebeck...living vicariously through your tales of yarn and fiber adventure keeps me going on the most mundane of days! Thanks!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Don'tcha wish...

Don'tcha wish your Girlfriend could knit like me? Don'tcha?
This is a sticker from one of my online Girlfriends: 
Girlfriends Knitting is one of my favorite knitting podcasts!
I've been listening to Carolyn from the beginning,
and we've even designed a sock pattern!
(Thank you Carolyn!) She sent this sticker to me a few days ago, and I have been racking my brain ever since, trying to decide the perfect place to stick it so I could see it every day. It's not like when I was in school, and I could put it on any assortment of folders and/or notebooks...but I did finally find the perfect place! My Kindle Fire! You know, the place I now store all of my working digital patterns, as well as every single other pattern available online several patterns that I am thinking about knitting someday. And, since my KF  sticks with me so closely, it's only fitting that my Girlfriends Knitting sticker and my Fire are sticking together!

I love that my KF has really been helping with the knitting since I figured out how to put my digital patterns on it. It's also helped me out with choosing which sweater (for me) and secret knitting (for Christmas) to cast on next! Sooo, yesterday I cast on both projects! Obviously, I can only tell you about the sweater, but I can sneak in a picture of the secret thing:
Bonus! I get to use the Ruby Slippers bag,
and my favorite row counter!
This is the last pic of this project you will see on the blog until after Christmas. You'll also notice, if you are not a Ravelry member, that you cannot follow the link to my project notes...again, this is a secret. I am going to keep it a secret. (If you have not already picked up on this, I am not very good at secrets. I tend to want to share everything...my knitting, my uterus, wait...story for another day.) =/  Oh, well. Best laid plans, you know. But, this next one is not a secret, yay!:
I have 10 balls. Ummm, of this yarn, that is.
I am hoping to have enough leftover to craft a mini
version of the sweater for someone special...
It's also not actually cast on yet. I have the yarn (some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino that I have been dying to try), and I have a couple of needles (although I am not sure which one will actually give me gauge), and I have chosen a pattern. I had hoped to cast on last night, but again with the best laid plans. =/ Turns out I knit better than I plan, but for now the pattern is going to be another one from DROPS...

*crickets*

I know, I know! I remember the Baseball Sweater...and I remember agonizing over knitting it because I am so notsofond of how DROPS patterns read...and I remember that I had to re-write the pattern before I could even cast on the back to give myself a fighting chance of keeping track of moving lace, waist decreases and edge stitches. It was exasperating! But, in the end, the sweater was BEA-YOU-TEE-FULL!!!
Even the newest member of our group about passed out when
he heard that I am attempting another DROPS sweater.
Still, every time I search patterns for sweaters that I think will look good on my frame, I always end up adding half-a-dozen (or more) DROPS patterns to my Rav queue as my faves. I guess it is what it is, and I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows. I also believe that this will be a gorgeous sweater that I will love to wear, so here we go again. Besides, even with an easy pattern, sometimes the knitting is exasperating...take this new Wallaby, for example:
Just a little more hood to knit, then this happy sweater is DONE!
Again, I love this pattern, and I love the finished sweater it produces. It's seamless, so when you are done, you are done, and I am nearly there. Of course, a seamless sweater (even one with stripes) really should never look like this on the inside:
What's up with all those ends? 
As simple as this pattern is, I kept thinking I was at the end of a section, so I'd cut the yarn. I thought that every few rows (apparently). And now, even though I have not run into any knots in my yarn, and despite the fact that I have used just one ball of each color (no joins to deal with), I have about a-gazillion ends to weave into the inside of this sweater. Ugh! Best laid plans? I guess so. =/

A weaving I will go, a-weaving I will go! 
Hi-Ho, the dairy, oh...the Cheese stands alone! 

*even the crickets are silent...that was a very odd mash-up*

I hope that your knitting is treating you well, and that you are finding time to spend with your favorite people. And I hope that you know that someone out there DOES wish their girlfriend could knit like me (or you)

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Is it real? Or is it Memorex?

You decide, is this a real cat?:
First clue, I've never heard it purr...maybe it's depressed?
White Cat and Black Cat were quite concerned when this cat showed up last month. They already think there's not really enough kitty kibble to go around, and this gal (fellow?) appears to have extra toes, so he (she?) will surely gobble up more than her (his?) fair share. They are also concerned that even they cannot figure out the gender of the new feline friend (foe?). That tail stays so tightly wrapped, and we had to put it outside about two weeks ago because it kept sleeping on the table!
Eventually, it really started to creep us out...and it was
setting a bad example for the other cats.
Besides, I think he (she) likes it out there. Just look at this:
Check out those eyes...creepy!
One downside, now that it's outside, is that it's creeping out my neighbors, too, one even had her husband poke it with a stick last week to see if it was alive! She messaged me on Facebook, and we are still laughing today!!! We think (but we are not certain) that this is somebody's beloved pet, taxidermied. (Wait, is "taxidermied" even a word? Spell-check thinks not.) Creepy or not, this well-preserved kitty obviously belongs in my blog, because she (he) obviously loves the knitting! There he (she) sits, in the sun, just enjoying my FINISHED Hitchhiker! Here's another look at the scarf...
Check out the scarf! Not creepy at all.
Insert applause and compliments here.
Just like all of the CKW girls (and others) who have knit this, I love the pattern. It's just magical the way the teeth appear, and it's easy-easy-quick-and-cheesy knitting! Even though the knitting was easy, I really grew weary of the project at the end...the rows were long and more than a little boring. =/ But then I finished, and very I nearly cast on another one immediately...lolz!
All stretched out in the sun...
drinkin' in the sunshine.
It is just stunning!
Reminds me of sherbet! Yummmm...
How can you argue with a scarf that looks so lovely? Even all folded up, it just begs to be petted and admired on the sunny porch! Even so, I still have not cast on another quite yet...we are heading into the cold-weather seasons, but I want to see how I like/love wearing this one before I knit a million more! In the meantime, I have found that I am back to the monogamous knitting, for the time being anyway...
Love, love, love the Wallaby!
Yep! It's another Wonderful Wallaby! I have knit a few of these through the years, and I knew that I was ready to knit another, but I ran into a roadblock the day I started (last Thursday, after knit-night)...I couldn't find the pattern! Oh Noes!!! It's only sold as a paper pattern, and these days I keep most all my patterns digitally. If I could have purchased a digital copy, I would have just bought a second copy, but it just is not available as a PDF (yet anyway). :( I did eventually find it, yay!, and you can see where I am...just starting sleeve 2, with plans to join sleeves/body sometime tomorrow, I hope! When I get to that point, I am planning to cast on another cardigan for meeee! Oh, and a pair of socks for someone...not sure who yet. :) I have no socks on the needles (gasp!) at the moment, and that needs to change!

There is some secret Christmas knitting, but not nearly as much as in years past...I'm just not feelin' it so much this year. Maybe that will change (it usually does, somewhere around the December 1st, right?), but for now, there's just not much Christmas knitting planned, and I am ok with that. Totally.O.K. Are you guys doing a bunch of Christmas knitting for 2012? Inquiring Pretties want to know! Inquiring Pretties also want to know what you think of our new kitty-friend...
Is it real? Or is it Memorex? Or should I just spray paint it black and leave it out until after tricks and treats? Hahaha! (I crack me up!)

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween is almost here...

I wish I still had these little people to decorate for Tricks and Treats:
Cute, cute little cat! And a painted turtle. This was during
the heyday of TMNT, and we were so into that!
Dollface and Mork circa 1992
How much more adorable does it get? Oh right, there's this too!
I hope he forgives me for posting a picture of
him in tights, but he's Robin Hood, for
goodness sake! She's Tink!
Dollface and Mork circa 1994
Sorry the pics are fuzzy...they are pictures of pictures in my scrapbook. I just needed to get back on the blog-horse today, and Halloween seems like a natural thing to blog about in October. I remember, back in the day, I sewed and painted and crocheted and glued to come up with cute costumes for the wee ones in our family (while they would still let me). These were fun times. The only thing that might have made them better is digital photography! I've got lots of photos, but not a lot of good photos...developing was expensive!

What are you (or your kids) wearing for Halloween 2012?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My Inner Weirdo

Walking in the park a few days ago, there was this conversation:

Pretty (gesturing wildly, turning and dancing about): 
Most years, it seems like the trees aren’t turning very much, then poof! One day you wake up, and all the leaves are just gone! It’s so cool to be out here, walking through the trees, in the winds, seeing the leaves fall…experiencing the process!!!

Mr. Pretty (looking at Pretty, wonder in his eyes): 
You really are a weirdo. You do know that, right?

Luckily, I do know this, and I am totally ok with it. I’ve had to come to terms with my inner weirdo over and over through the years, and now I just embrace her. She’s a little “off,” but she’s also pretty cool (in her own way). 
I tried and I tried. I could not get a good
pic of falling leaves...see there in the circle?
There's a couple. They were in a hurry!
The trees are turning, most of them
looked like this. 
Either way, it is a beautiful time to be out of doors in my neck of the woods! We went 7 miles on that walk, and then there was knitting! Wanna see?
First up, Green Hat. I started this for Mork, but I don't think
Mork would really wear it, sooo Sweetie gets a new hat!
Mittens With a Flap for Dollface, my pattern!
See the sidebar for the free download. :)
The colors are truer in the first shot...but there
has to be a picture of it all open!
Headband for Dollface, in a yarn recently acquired, all this
needs now, really, is a super cute button!
Do you see the color theme? For some reason, there was a green, and orange theme to the knitting this week. I'm not complaining, but it's pretty interesting! Also, considering that my lap usually looks like this when I knit:
Tiny sock on the cat. That's how I roll.
I have to use bright colors so I can see what I'm doing! And brights are what I am drawn to when I don't get enough time outside in the fall...just look at the yarn I ended up with on the Yarn Discovery Tour:
I see a corny candy bag, a facecloth a skinny scarf and
a pair of mittens in there with that silly white
cotton that disagrees with the flash!
The headband's in there, too!
Wow, I've knit a LOT of that yarn already...Yayyy! for 6 weeks off work! (Well, except for the staples. If I said yay for staples, then I would have to disown my inner weirdo...that would be too weird for even her!)

So, that's a LOT of knitting, but you know what? Christmas is coming! I guess I'd better stop blogging and start some secret knitting! If you haven't started your holiday projects, I'm sorry I reminded you of the deadline. If you are finished with your holiday projects, I am a little jealous. Either way, thanks for stopping by the blog today, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Rest of the Rest of the Story!

OK, I promise. This is it. I promise. Really. I went to the doc, and I've been told that I am healing beautifully (yay!!!), so surely I can get through the telling you about all of the rest of the recovery knitting, right?!? Let's hope so! And let's get right to it. 

First up is a fun little Skinny Scarf, knit from a single skein that caught my eye in a shop I visited for the first time a couple of weeks into my recovery. 
This scarf is almost like jewelry!
Love it with a blouse!
It was one of those skeins that makes you think to yourself (or exclaim out loud), "OMGosh! This is Be-A-U-TI-Ful!!! But what do you do with it? Do you carry it with another yarn? Do you knit it on it's own? What will I make with this beauty? Do I need more than one skein? I HAVE to have it, but how much do I really have to have?" 
See what I mean?
In the end, I only bought the one skein, but I love the scarf it made. I loved it so much that I made another scarf right away, but in a different yarn...aaand I challenged myself to a new technique!
The knitting goes every which way,
and it's pretty cool!
That's right, it's multi-directional! Bonus (because there are a LOT of bonuses lately), it's MMMMMMalabrigo! Mmmm, that yummy yarn! There was only one skein of this colorway, and I had to have it, so it simply had to be an Entrelac Scarf...not bad for my first time! Something I'm not knitting for the very first time, is another pair of Mittens With a Flap.
Didn't realize it was stripey until I started, but I like it!
It's a pattern I wrote, so I'm partial to the finished products, even when they're not quite finished yet! And this is a yarn that is new to me, so I am forming my opinions. It's called J√§rbo Garn Raggi Multi, and it's an aran weight, and I think I like it. :) 

OK, that's about it! Whew! Of course, in the week-and-a-half it's taken me to catch up and tell you about all I have been knitting, I've kinda cast on a few new things too...I'm a knitter, what can I say? I'll fill you in on all of THAT next time! So, what have you been doing the last few weeks? I'm so enjoying being back to the blogosphere, just in time for the winter knitting!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

...the Rest of the Story

I promised to bring you the rest of the recovery knitting, so here it is. Starting with more stuff for Peanut, here is a sweet, stripey Sweater that was inspired by this little number from Knitty, but truly based on my favorite sweater pattern generator:
I used a self-striping (but discontinued, sorry!) yarn
that I love, from Knit Picks.
She likes it, hey Peanut!
Yes, there is a hat as well. How could there not be? You know what else I couldn't resist? Chicken buttons!
Because, if you have the choice to knit a sweater with button buttons OR with chicken buttons, it's really a no-brainer...gotta go with the chickens! And if you knit a sweater with chicken buttons, then you should knit some corn, right?!? Well, how about a Candy corn bag for Peanut's Halloween candy?
Yeah, I know!  Soooo super cute! (If you want to knit one, the pattern was kindof an improvised thing, and all my notes are on the project page, and I know you can do it...just sayin'!) Bonus, it's felted! So, your stitches don't have to be super pretty-and-even, and if you want it bigger, it's easy to just add some more increases and/or rows in the orange and/or yellow sections. It's totally customizable!

Peanut loves the candy corn bag already, because she just loves to carry things in bags, purses, and boxes. Sooo, when she was visiting last week, and having trouble carrying all of her "bee-bees" (balls, as in baseballs, footballs, softballs, bean-bag balls), it was only natural for me to run (err, walk, I just had surgery!) to the basement for some bulky yarn to make her a bag/purse of her very own!
Every evening, she would gather up her snugglies and bee-bees to take to bed with her for the night. Both Mindy and I were glad to use this bag as a third hand for that chore...and it was far less frustrating for Peanut to use the bag when she wanted to carry more than two small toys or bee-bees...so, we call this one a win!

Wow, that's a LOT of words, and I'm still not done! I guess I got more knitting done than I thought I did! Just blogging these few items has me winded again. Since it's Saturday, and since it's not even 6 weeks since my surgery, I think I'm going to take another nap. This week (on Tuesday), I have my official 6-week check up, and I return to work full-time (4 days only, but still), I'd better take advantage of the naps while I can! I guess I'll need one more blog post to finish catching up with everything...  =/ 

As always, thanks for stopping by; and until next time, Knit in Good Health!