Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy 51st!

Today my DH turns 51! We got him the NFL package on DirectTV to enjoy for a few months....which he is doing right now! We're having a beautiful day (weatherwise) here. We have a yummy chocolate cake with a genache topping and carmel/pecan glaze with fresh strawberries and raspberries. We'll go out for supper. And his bro from TX is visiting!

Happy Birthday D! I love you!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grey Skies & Sad News

Today the sky in our area has been overcast and grey.

My DD has come home from college a day earlier than expected because a classmate and friend from four years of band together ended his life this morning.

It's a horribly sad thing that an 18 year old kid (or anyone young) dies in any case, but especially so when it comes at their own hand. It's hard to imagine the pain, the desperation, the utter lack of hope. I had enjoyed this kid's musical talents at every band event we attended. He was uber talented and very smiley. Yet I barely knew him, or his family.....and still I've found myself shedding tears this afternoon.

So if you read this, please say a prayer or light a candle for Ben and everyone who knew him. The ripples of loss are spreading throughout the community and the kids and his family/friends can use all the support they can get.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fingers Crossed!

I'm over half-way done on mitten #2 for the current pair in progress.

I "winged" the decrease section of the tip of the hand on the first. I guess it turned out ok.

Also, since the pattern I did on the last red/white pair turned out looking differently on the palms (one emphasizes the red vertical stripe, while on the other the white stripe stands out.....I believe this is because one mitten's palm pattern began with red while the other one began with white), I wanted to try something that might look more "uniform" when completed, so I decided to do diagonal stripes. I have intentionally done it so that the stripes run in the opposite direction of each other. I'm liking how it's turning out!

We'll see what I think when it's off the needles.

Also last night I picked up the mitten I had done where I forgot to put in the thumb opening. I figured out which row and which 10 stitches it should have been. Then I placed a lifeline in the row below and the row above. I then snipped the middle stitch. (Ok, yes, this was difficult for me to do! I put it off for nearly 6 weeks! I envisioned a giant, gaping hole and a completely destroyed mitten.)

Guess what happened?! Nothing! It actually took some work to pull out the 10 stitches to make room for the thumb hole!

I had two yarn needles ready and as I gently pulled out the stitches, I threaded them onto the needles. Surprisingly, each side was 2"-3" long when unravelled. I wove them in on the back side of the mitten, on either side of the hole. Then I picked up the stitches from the lifelines above and below the hole and knit up the thumb just as though there'd always been a hole waiting there for me.

Phew! Can steeking be far behind??

Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's A Win-Win Day!

Wow, am I feeling really blessed today!! I discovered I was given a blog award by a fellow blogger today, my friend Val over at Sew Not My Day

It is a "Kreativ Blogger" award.

I believe I'm supposed to tell you 7 things you didn't know about me and then nominate 7 other blogs for the award. So here goes!

1. I don't really like phoning for pizza and will always try to get out of doing it.
2. I always wished I had red hair when I was in grade school.
3. I've always wanted glasses.
4. I had a panic attack during my last dental appointment and nearly jumped out of the chair.
5. I can bait a fishhook and I can take a fish off the hook too.
6. I sometimes make frosting just to eat it on graham crackers.
7. I don't mind the smell of skunk.

Ok, now for 7 blogs I nominate/read daily:

Franklin Habit's The Panopticon
Romancing The Yarn
Crazy Aunt Purl
Wendy Knits
Yarn Harolot
and Cast On

I read many of the same ones my friend does, so I tried not to repeat any of the ones she posted today.

On the other "winning" front, look what came in the post today?!!!

It's a lovely box full of all sorts of goodies! A couple years ago I met an on-line friend via a swap over at We have kept in touch and formed a friendship. A few months ago she and I decided to do another swap which would feature a hand-made gift and some add-in treats. Isn't it a wonderful surprise?!!

I just LOVE the color of the sock blank! (And I've been really curious to see how they work, so I'm thrilled to have received one hand-dyed just for me!!) In addition there are several knitting goodies like a wpi key chain, little crochet hook for emergencies, yarn needles, blocking pins, and a lovely needle guage check that will make a cut necklace too! A little notebook which is perfect to tuck in my knitting bag to keep track of projects, some chocolate, a cool basket (I have to wonder if Kathleen hand-crafted it?! It's really nice!), and some coffee she made for me in a fall blend. (I have to tell you she sent me a small sample of this in the last exchange, and it is THE best coffee I've ever had.....I am so, so, SO happy to get some more!!!!!) <- and a mug with a knitting theme to go with it!

I tell you, I am one spoiled-rotten mamma today!

I was going to post my weekend mitten progress, but I'm going to indulge in a bit of chocolate and oogle my gifts a little more!

Happy Monday! Happy Knitting!

(& Thanks so much Kathleen!!) (& Val!!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Doing the Two Step

As in two steps forward, one step back!

Believe it or not, this mitten's entire hand was knit by Friday evening last week.
As I neared the lovely, pointed tip I had the sneaking suspicion something was wrong.
(That, and the fact I kept trying it on as I knit the decreases.)

WHEN will I learn to trust my gut instinct? (And the plain facts of what is sitting there on my body, clearly not fitting??!!)

The hand section was not long enough before the decreases began and thus the mitten did not fit.

While these mittens are lovely, and fun to knit....they're not exactly easy to frog.
I spent two hours Saturday evening tinking (that's unknitting, stitch by stitch) them to the point of where the decreasing had begun. It was tedious! (I've gotten good at wrapping stitches to ensure short carries on the back!)

Since then, they've been sitting and waiting for me to have a brainstorm on exactly how to lengthen them without overboard the other direction and ending up with palms which are way too long.

In the meantime, I've gone back to knitting on the endless garter stitch baby blanket from EZ's Opinionated Knitter. Bleh.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Mitten Monday

Well, after a weekend of knitting fury, I am making progress on more mittens for Christmas.

Here is the completed pair which are my own chart/design. They turned out well I think! (Although there are some minor differences I can't account for since I knit them exactly the same way....but hopefully whoever receives them won't notice!!)

Queen of Hearts

This is a detail section from a pair I completed a few weeks ago, but haven't shown. I have a receipient for this pair. It was done using one of the charts from Lizbeth Upitis' book of Latvian Mittens, however I changed out the cuff to corrugated ribbing, which may be my favorite part of this pair.

Finally, this is the pair I've begun this afternoon. I'm using one of Lizbeth's charts for this pair as well, again switching out to a corrugated rib cuff. The friend this is intended for loves this color combination of the blue/brown and who can blame her? I think they're going to look terrific when done!!

That's the news from my knitting nest . . . how are your projects coming along?

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Something Snapped

Warning: This post contains almost nothing about knitting or photography (until the very end....where I threw in some gratuitous content.)

I had one of those moments in life where there's a choice to be made fairly instantaneously and you either have to act or not.

I was driving along one of the busier streets in town on my way out of town to do an interview. It was about 1 p.m. on a day when school let out early for teachers to have meetings. As I came down the hill near the park I noticed a teen-aged boy (close in age to my own son I'd guess) riding a bike and a small, red car which had come to a sudden stop nearby. Suddenly another teen male, face covered by a bandana, lept from the back seat of the car and ran toward the kid on the bike. By now I had passed the group, but something about the look on the face of the guy on the bike kept me watching in my rear view mirror. The masked teen from the car was chasing the kid on the bike, and other boys were emerging from the vehicle's front seats.

I had gone up the hill and around a bend by this time. I could no longer see what was happening. But the look on the kid's face who had been riding the bike was telling me this wasn't a group of friends joking around.

And so the decision moment was at hand. Keep driving and pretend I hadn't seen what I'd just seen? Or do something?

As I said, it was a busy street. There were at least 3 cars behind me and I had met 3 or 4 others coming at me who surely must have seen the same thing. A UPS truck had stopped half a block away to make a delivery as well.

Even as I pondering the choice before me, I took my cell phone out and had 911 punched in.

Ultimately I decided to flip a U-turn and head back to see if the kid needed help.
I locked my doors and kept the phone in hand.

As I arrived I could see the kid who'd been on the bike standing on the lawn in the same spot. I pulled over, rolled down the window and asked if he was ok. I told him I'd seen what had happened with the group of kids in the car.

Turns out the guys who had stopped had stolen the car they were in. They took his bike as well and had started to beat him up when they noticed the UPS guy and decided to split. He was shaken, but not hurt more than a few scratches.

He was, however, very thankful I stopped. (I think he told me thank you at least a dozen times between his calls to 911.) I stayed parked there while he called police and until they arrived.

Something inside me just snapped I guess. We hear stories on the news of terrible things happening to people and how people just pass by without stopping to help. I suppose I didn't want to be one more. That kid could have been my own son. And I would like to think someone would have stopped to help him.

Now for gratuitous content related to the actual purpose of this blog . . .

Today was my weekly Sit-n-Stitch group. I worked on the mindless sock I take there so I can visit at the same time. Last week I helped my friend figure out how to join the sleeves on the Wallaby she's knitting for a grandson.

On the way home from my interview this afternoon I was driving along country roads and saw a blue heron standing on a farm bridge (the kind which farmers install to cross drainage ditches from one field to another.) It was a lovely site and would have made a beautiful photo!