Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Long ago and far away

So, you all know what's going on in the here and now of our lives. You  know that Pretty and Mr. Pretty are currently living their Happily-Ever-After. But who are these fuzzy people?!?

She's 18, just graduated high school.  She's smart, and her parents and teachers think she should go to college and educate herself for a good career, but she's in love with a boy, and he quite obviously loves her, too. She likes music and children, and this is the first serious boyfriend she has ever had.  All she wants in this life is to marry this boy and spend many happy years with the love of her life.  

He's 19, and graduated high school last year. He's smart, but shy, and he recently joined the Navy. He was accepted to the "Nuke" program, and he'll be leaving for boot camp in a couple of months, and then he'll work on nuclear submarines. Today he is marrying his high school sweetheart, and looking forward to many happy years together with the love of his life.

Wow. They have no idea. They have everything going for them, and nothing at all. Life is going to be hard sometimes, but today they don't care. Today is the happiest day of their young lives. Awwww, isn't that sweet? But that was long ago and far away.

Fast forward, two-and-a-half decades:
She's 40-something, plays with yarn, and she loves the Internet and her electronic gadgets. Her children  are grown, and she has been married for more than half her life. She works full-time as secretary in their church, knits once a week with her friends, and she is thrilled to be a gramma.

He's in his 40s and likes sports and being outdoors, and he also enjoys reading. His children are grown, and he has been married for more than half his life. He is a service technician by trade, loves his Kindle, and he can fix just about anything.  Pop-Pop is how he's known by their darling Peanut.

Wait, can these really be the same people? Yes, and no. They are the same, yet completely different, and there were times they thought they might not make it. They have thought, "This isn't what I bargained for," and, "You're not the person I married..." Still, they stuck it out, "grew up" and grew together.  Although they still have their differences, they are livin' the dream, baby!...happily ever after (most of the time).

I'm glad that we did it the way we did. It wasn't usually easy, and there were lots of times it wasn't much fun, but we have such a rich history together. Who I am is so deeply entwined with who he is and who we are to each don't get that until you've spent serious time together, and we've been writing our story for over 25 years now. "For richer, for poorer," "in sickness and in health"...those phrases mean so much more after some time has passed, and it's a sweeter joy that we share because of the hardships we've endured together. 

So, Meatloaf, you've got it half was definitely "long ago, and it was far away," but I don't think it gets it any better for us than it is today!

What's your story?

PS - Happy Anniversary, Pop Pop! I love you more today than ever!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Black Cat Approves

She does? Whew! That's good to know!

With her recent interest in the blog, I've really been worried that my work is not living up to Black Cat's standards. Take, for example, my most recent cardigan:

When I laid it out to take photos, she didn't look all that interested at first, but then she seemed to soften...

As she really inspected my work... seems that she approves of the details at the cuff and hem (GREAT DESIGN, Alana Dakos!)...

And eventually she sealed the deal with a paw of approval as she settled in for a nap.
I think this one can take a nap with me.  - Black Cat
And after Black Cat's nap, the little sweater hugged itself proudly. :)
She likes me! She really, really likes me!  - Little Sweater
How has your knitting made YOU (or your cat) proud this week?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This is a Test

This is a test. It is only a test
If this had been an actual pattern, these pictures would be followed by instructions on how to proceed. As it is with many test knits however, today you just get photos. (I promise that links will be included when the pattern goes live!)

Thanks again, Corrie, for allowing me the privilege of test knitting your pattern for a stranded, colorwork cowl with two - count 'em TWO - Latvian Braids! Yippee! (I can't wait to do the next one!!!)

As for the rest of you, if you have not tried a Latvian Braid, you should. So fun. I kid you not.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!
(59 hexipuffs done!!!)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Black Cat Chronicles

Hey there. Have you seen that pink, sparkly, puffy toy?

You know, the one that I like to hide under the sofa? Yesssss! That's the one!

Well, I don't like that one anymore...

...soooo, what else ya got?!? Any knitted things?

What's this? A heart? I wonder...

Yes, it moves when I bat it...

Oh, No! It's going to get away!

Doh! Get back here! White Cat! A little help...?

White Cat: Ummm, Me? Not too likely...
Oh. My. Katniss. This is the silliest thing ever. Nope. Nevermind. 
Black Cat is the silliest thing ever.

White Cat: Nope. Nevermind. Pretty, with that danged camera...THAT's the silliest thing ever.


This is where Pretty would tell you thanks for stopping by, if she were the one blogging. She'd probably also tell you to knit in good health. 

I don't care so much about all that, unless you are knitting new cat toys...with catnip especially. If you are knitting those, please come and visit ASAP! 

As sincerely as a cat can pretend to be,
Black Cat

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Well, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and I got nuthin'. I mean, I have knitted some crazy, fun hearts,

But I really haven't made any special plans for the holiday. Well, there will be knitting...I mean, it's a Thursday, holiday or not. And I don't think Mr. Pretty will mind that. After all, he's gotten pretty used to playing second fiddle to the knitting on Thursdays...especially since I've been knitting these:

I mean, I've been knitting hexipuffs for a few weeks now, and I have loved them from the start, but this yarn...this is the stuff! Even before the puff is complete, it is spectacular!
This yarn is from a pair of socks I knit a few years back...I
dyed it myself with Easter egg dyes. I am loving 
how it knits into hexipuffs!!!
And a bunch of them together makes my heart skip a beat! Sigh!

So, Hexi-Love is my plan for Valentine's Day this year, and I'm looking more than forward to it! Do you have any romantical plans for tomorrow? Tell me all about it! (So I can live vicariously through you...) But please remember, this is a family blog! =D

Whatever your plans for the holiday, thanks for stopping by! Oh, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Hat, or Two...

Sometimes I am so wordy, and sometimes notsomuch. Today is a notsomuch day, I suppose. It's ok. I've got knitting to show you. :o)

My friend Corrie has designed another hat! I am test knitting it, and she has given me the "go ahead" to blog this bit of a knit. It starts with a Latvian Braid, and this was the first time I've knit one of those. It's really cool how it comes together...I want to do it again!

The braid is followed by short-row Ear Flaps and Color Work for the body, I knit the Zig Zag option, but there is also a diamond pattern. There is a good possibility that I will also knit the diamond hat. =D

And the crown is shaped without interrupting the color work at all, incorporating it into the decreases, in fact! It's kind of amazing!

It's not quite finished, there are braids for the ear flaps, and it needs to be blocked...but I can't wait until the pattern comes out live! When it does, I'll give you a link, and my highest recommendation - it's a GREAT KNIT! Thanks for letting me test knit for you, Corrie! Just like your pattern, you are pretty amazing yourself! =D

On this snowy, less than wordy day, I hope that you are warm and cozy. I also hope that you will Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yarn Snob? I think not...

According to Google...

a snob is
  1. A person with an exaggerated respect for high social position who dislikes people or activities regarded as lower-class.
  2. A person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people: "a wine [or yarn] snob".

We all have a favorite something. In the world of knitters (or crocheters), that something might or might not be yarn...but it probably is. To take it one step further, that something might or might not be a specific type of yarn, according to weight, softness, fiber blend, color or style...and it probably is. In fact, some knitters are so particular about their choice of yarn, that they might or might not be classified as "yarn snobs." (Please note: I am not pointing any fingers.) In general, the typical yarn snob is probably not a fan of the inexpensive and/or acrylic yarns you find in the big box stores. 

All this talk of snobs might or might not leave you wondering, "Is Pretty a yarn snob?" I think not! Here's Exhibit A:

A lovely crochet throw for a housewarming gift. After all, new homeowners have a lot of this at first: you'll want that afghan to be washable, and it has to hold up to some amount of abuse. Therefore, this prudent knitter used a brightly colored acrylic yarn. It's inexpensive, and it will hold up to wash after wash, even in the dryer! On top of that, if it gets dragged around the house by a kid, adult, or even a pet, it'll still hold up pretty well...well, unless the cat chews a hole in it. In that case, the yarn doesn't matter. If the cat's gonna chew through it, you must keep it away from the cat. 

Want more proof that Pretty is no yarn snob? Here are are Exhibits B and C:

Fun Birdie Decorations! When you want a lot of bang for your knitting buck, like a small project with multiple colors, inexpensive acrylic might be the way to go. Especially if you like to make a lot of little things, like toys and/or holiday decorations...

Fun shapes and toys that might be carried in a pocket...

..or toys that might be dragged around by a toddler...or her pets... =/

Of course, sometimes you want to make something with a yarn that is made of wool, like a color-work hat, and there are lots of yarns out there to choose from. I'll be working on a hat this week, and this is the yarn I've chosen, because I was already at the big box store anyway:

But sometimes, for me anyway, I'd just rather have the convenience and easy care that acrylic yarns (which have come a long way from the Super Saver of the seventies, by the way) offer...

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to knit with cashmere and qiviut all the time...but, until I have the personal budget to support a Downton-Abbey-lifestyle (which is truly not even fathom-able for me in the 21st century USA), I'll just knit with what I can easily get my hands on. Sometimes that means luxury yarns, and sometimes it's acrylic, and mostly it's something in between. For me, the yarn doesn't matter so much, as long as I can knit...I just love to knit!!!

So, no. Pretty is not a yarn snob (not that there's anything wrong with that), but she's not against those who are...tolerance within the knitting community is very important to Pretty, and I hope that all my "snobby" friends will agree. :)

What's your favorite yarn?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

This is for the Birds

I was in World Market at Christmastime. I was there to buy Dollface an Owl Cookie Jar...which she loved, by the way! While I was there, I saw these:

It's a strand of brightly colored birds. Seriously. That's all it is. They are made of fabric, and although I do not have an in-person photo, here's what several strands might look like, all hung together, like they were in the store:

First of all, let me remind you that Birds do not make me a Crazy Person. Hexipuffs make me crazy. Birds are just quirky...and a little too rich for my blood to get multiple strands, at $6.99 a pop. But (and you knew there had to be a "but"), I just finished making this:

And these:

And I found this pattern on Ravelry:

Bottom line, I have lots of brightly colored yarn (I have buttons too, this is fate, I tell ya!), and I simply must make myself some birds. I'm not even sure where or how I'm going to hang them...those details are for the birds! (I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually...)

Are you knitting anything crazy? Or am I all alone out here?