Gosh, it seems like a long time since I did one of these. And since it has caught my eye on several other blogs I figure I would play along too.

1. What’s your staple meal (ie. what meal do you cook most often when you can’t be bothered to be adventurous)? I think that would have to be spaghetti and meatballs. It's done quickly, satisfies, and is relatively hard to screw up.

2. What do you want to be when you grow up? My dad has been asking me what my career plan is since I was 6 years old. Frequently. Lucky for me, he supported me in pretty much whatever answer I gave. I wanted to be a photographer for Life magazine and National Geographic. I've loved science for a very long time (I've got a chemistry background and am trying to return to those roots). I thought about being a teacher (and I did that). I wanted to be a mom (doing that now). I love that I'm building my knitting resume even though it's not a viable full-time gig, yet. I want to do something challenging and interesting.

3. What book are you reading at the moment (if any) I've just started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on the kindle. It's slow going, only because I tend to knit during times I would be reading.

4. How do you relax? I love to sit on the beach and feel the breeze and hear the waves. That doesn't happen too often, so I knit (duh), and I play with the Lorax at her kiddie pool or push her on the swingset.

5. What color are the interior walls of your home? Depends on the room - white, mauve-ish, pale pink, light apple green, tiffany blue, smoky purple, dapple grey and a stripe of dark apple green are found on the walls.

6. What is your guiltiest pleasure? High fructose corn syrup in candy - jelly beans, mike & ikes, gummy worms... As much as I try to resist the genentically modified food and over developed chickens and un-fair trade coffees and HFCS, I cannot resist a handful of wonka candy. That and the train wreck reality tv shows - Real Housewives, Wife Swap, Toddlers / Tiaras, Little Miss Perfect.

7. What time is bedtime and getting up time? I usually get up and go to bed around hubby's bedtime / wake up since he's the one to go out into the work world. That works out to be about 6:30am to get up and 10-ish p.m for bed. The Lorax is usually up by 6:45 or earlier, but is content to read in her room - she's up and out by 7. It's an early day, but I can no longer really sleep in like I did back in college. Now, sleeping in means waking up without an alarm clock - so, 7:15 - 7:30.

8. How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)? At least 1 hour a day I think... maybe more since I can get them on my iphone... There are so many interesting things to read! I can't get enough!


Flower Girl

You know what's fun? Knitting for the wee ones. What's more fun? Seeing the knit item on the wee one.

Several friends of ours have had babies this year. This is one of the newest ones, E - she was born in early May and yesterday we all got together to just hang out. Times have changed since college, but it is really nice that we are all still friends and look forward to getting together. I knit up a little headband for E from knitwity.blogspot.com and did follow the directions as noted on the Ravelry page (Flower is done following the Pacifier Clip from Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Nursery and an EZ "cast-on cast-off"). Quick, cute, and big impact. And, the mom told me today when I asked if I could use her photo on my blog / Rav "She usually doesn't like them but has had it on all day without any protests!" - Win!


This Moment.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

– Amanda Blake Soule, Soulemama.com

Shawl Done!

Not this one. I finally added the little loop, soaked and blocked a shawl I shared earlier. A sample shawl for Schaefer Yarn.

Anne Shoulder Scarf (Ravelry link) in Schaefer Yarn Anne in the Irene Sendler colorway. Who was Irene Sendler? A memorable woman, that's for sure!

I am quite pleased with the end result - it was a quick knit, and Anne blocks beautifully. I would consider making this again, it shows off the variegated yarn nicely.

I had a treat arrive in the mail yesterday - a thank you for test knitting the Emma socks

LausengHaus Superwash Wool / Nylon Sock yarn (I adore this shade of blue-purple!) and stitchmarkers!

Wasn't that sweet? You can get your own at jlyarnworks.etsy.com.



When do kids get into "naming" things? The Lorax has a stuffed dalmation that she carries with her just about everywhere - his name is Puppy. She recently has rediscovered a Cabbage Patch Doll that is interactive. She keeps referring to the doll as "Girl" - we were trying to offer her suggestions and while she says "No" to each one, it's looking like "Patella" might stick.

This morning I was talking with hubs about doll names and I brought up the Ramona books - she had a doll named Chevrolet. I read all of those books many times over and still thinking about Ramona and Beezus gives me a chuckle. Did you know there is a movie coming out this year? I read in the paper that the director brought her 4th grade book report of "Beezus & Ramona" to the meeting with Beverly Cleary to show how much of a fan she is and will remain true to the books. Awesome.

And then, while checking blogs just now I see a post from flintknits.com - you know, the gal behind February Lady Sweater, Willie and the Wurstwarmer - she's got a new pattern, named in honor of another one of Ramona's pals, Ella Funt!!! So so cute!
(and I love when the universe shakes things together like that!!)

All Wound Up.

I think that's what I'm going to call my Swirl Shawl. The other night I was working on it and we had a heated, one-sided discussion. There was some cursing. Stitches were twisted and the yarn ball was had to be birthed out the center of the dpns. Let’s just say it was enough muttering for my husband to look up from the book / iphone game and ask what was going on over there on the other couch.

I am making progress - I'm taking my time, but each swirl isn't that bad. The first swirl is made with a knit-on cast on and I ended up with a rather loose swirl. Each subsequent swirl requires casting on new stitches and picking up stitches from the previous swirl. This is giving me a bit of trouble - I can't quite see how to do the knit-on cast-on and pick up the stitches in a way that keeps it right side up. So I decided that I would do a long tail cast on, knit/pick up stitches and just go from there. That helped with my speed a bit, but then I took a look at the line of swirls.
The first two (knit-on cast-on) are much looser than the long-tail ones. I think I like the tighter spirals. I think. And maybe it doesn't matter, because it is only the first row of spirals and there will be some blocking in the end. But then I also wonder if I am going to have enough yarn, given that the long-tail cast on leaves you with a long tail... I think between that and the heat it just got to me last night.

For times like that when I need a break, I have the Ladybug Jacket and that is going quite well.


Thirty-one is done! with a Blanket!

I had a birthday over the weekend - hello thirty-two! It was a good day, low-key in the morning and busy in the afternoon visiting with family on both sides (since it also was Father's Day). I have some new toys, new treats and new clothes... and most importantly I have my health, my family and my friends.

I am very excited to also have a rather large project finished. When my brother and sister-in-law told us they were engaged I knew right away I wanted to make them a blanket. I asked for their color preferences but didn't offer any pattern choices. I had hoped I would have it finished in time for their wedding, or Christmas 2009, or when they moved into their new house, or their house warming party... yeah, that didn't happen. But, one week before their first anniversary, it's done!!
Finished blanket!
It's the "Moderne Log Cabin" pattern from the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash. I really did enjoy the pattern - it was not difficult, but it does take its toll on you - that's an awful lot of garter stitch - an as blankets grow, they get heavy, so I couldn't take it out to SnB. The end result is wonderful squishy goodness. And they both were quite pleased -
It fits! :) They are too cute. Much love and happiness for them for all the future years of their marriage!


Good Mail - part 2

It has been a long time since I've done a partner swap, but I decided to play along with the Chittery-Chattery-Swappery-Swappers group on Ravelry in the Scavenger Hunt partner swap. Isn't that a mouthful? :)

The guidelines: This will be a one-on-one partner swap (you’ll know who your partner is and be able to communicate with them about likes and dislikes), with each person creating a box of goodies for their partner. In addition...there will be a list of items to try and include in your box. For every item from the scavenger hunt list that you include, you’ll earn one point (items count only once). A single item may count for more than one item on the list. If the list includes “something soft, something your favorite color and something made locally” I could include locally dyed yarn that is purple.

I was partnered with Raveler Kataish (who is beyond cool and you should go check out her etsy shop and FYI, I've participated in her non-club before and it's worth it!).

My package came with directions on how to open it - so I did as instructed!
C2S2 Swap

C2S2 Swap
My own knit dachshund! (something with a tail, something that makes you feel young, fav animal, something she made, something homemade) A lovely skein of Oddish Creations Painted Toes in “Tree Fuzz” (LOVE that color) and Oxford Book Shop bag (reuseable bag from local store)

C2S2 Swap
Mini Umbrella picks (something campy, something to be used at a summer party), Eco Friendly pencils (something up-cycled, something earthy, something green), Mug Sleeve (something good for the earth, something w/ rainbow colors), A Little Bit of Happy Mix CD (something musical), Magic Wipes (Something from dollar store, something faerie like, something used in home), Apple Crumble Kuchen (recipe, something that contains first initial), Selfportraits, Heart (something bumpy, something red), Nutrigrain bar (something made locally)

C2S2 Swap
Stitchmarkers (something from a kid), feather (something from her yard, something that reminds of childhood home), Sheep bead (something smaller than a quarter, something made in the USA - by k2p2socks), Seashell (represents family, something to collect on vacation), Buttons (3 buttons), Mini Sticky notes (something yellow, something helpful), Maple candy (something sweet, something sticky, local candy), Lychee & Plum candy (something tasty, something citrusy)

C2S2 Swap
Hand carved stamps! A dachshund (so cute!!) and the caffeine molecule!!!

There is also a zombie card (to help survive a zombie apocalypse) that arrived the other day and I forgot to put it with this pile of goodies!

Kata was a great partner - and she scored all 48 points! I think she enjoyed the package I sent her as well (I scored 44 points!).

Good times, good mail - it's been a while since such spoiling.

Good Mail - part 1

I was very excited to see the mailman stop the truck at my mailbox this week and put two packages inside!

The first package contained yarn! On Twitter, I think, is where I first found rAchel (ontheround) - she's got a young one at home and is a spinner and knitter. Then I checked out her etsy shop - sooooo pretty! I had noticed a while back that she had a "Lorax" colorway - of course, that jumped out to me and I got in contact with her. And voila! It's here!!
On the Round Lorax Yarn
400 yards of sock yarn... I can't wait to knit this up. Monkeys? I could use a new pair, since my original ones died in January. Socks in Little Bee Pattern, Honeybee Socks, or Herringbone Rib are also under consideration.

I really want something seuss-y, or truffula tree-ish... I may have to go do research with some pattern books first...


Another Along

My SnB is working on a "Shawl Along" - not all the same pattern, just a shawl or wrap. I think we have all chosen something different, but all the choices are going to be stunning.
After much back and forth discussion with myself about the six potential patterns, I narrowed it down to the three patterns I knew I had the yarn called for or already earmarked for. From there I went with the lazy road and chose the yarn that was already in a ball and the pattern I had pulled out: Swirl Shawl and Melody Superwash Yarn.
Shawl Along Cast On
Swirl #A1 is cast on and done - that's one out of eighty-two (1.2% done already!).



I received a message on Ravelry last night from a fellow crafter named Anna. Anna Hrachovec. The designer (!!!) of the Perching Pigeons! The woman behind Mochimochiland.com! She really liked my little pink pigeon and asked if she could share a photo on her blog. I am flattered and honored and wanted to share the love as well - here is the blog post and there are several cute cute cute pigeons! If you need a quick little project, I would totally push you towards that one!


I'm at TNNA!

There's a big yarny show going on this weekend, TNNA, and I'm there! In spirit, that is, but some of my work is there as show samples!

First up, one Hopscotch Sock for Lorna's Laces.
Sample Sock
It's the Shepherd Sock base, and this fantastic color (not sure of the name - it's new!)
Lorna's Laces Yarn
It was like an everlasting gobstopper!
Lorna's Laces Yarn
Great pattern and seriously great yarn! (Ravelry details.)

Schaefer Yarn has a new yarn, Chris, that I knit a sample from as well. I was sent "Clare Booth Luce" - a luscious blue-green with hints of gold in there as well. I adored this yarn right away!
Schaefer Yarn Chris
I worked up a cute Wee Vest
Wee Vest
It's "#407 Chris Woven Yoke Vest" - check out the picture on the Schaefer Yarn Pattern Page - look at that baby in this vest!!
Wee Vest
More of that woven stitch!

Two thumbs up to each of these yarns if you get the chance to try them - and the patterns too!


Bird break.

Between finishing my sweater, gearing up for some junk tv and marathon knitting sessions this weekend, and trying to decide on a pattern / yarn for an upcoming "Shawl-ALong" with my local SnB, I needed a break.

I spotted the Perching Pigeons pattern over at Mochimochiland.com and I could not stop thinking about them. I have a ton of leftovers from sock yarns. Lots of good bird colors too. Not so many solid colors though since my solid yarn stash has only recently been introduced. I did find a bunch of mini-sample skeins that I received when I bought a few Phat Fiber sample boxes last year. The pattern is easy to follow, works up incredibly quick, there is major cute impact here, and uses maybe 10 yards of each color? If that! This is the type of project that just screams, take pictures of me!

Pink Perching Pigeon
He's wee!
Pink Perching Pigeon
Pink Perching Pigeon
(My mini sunflowers bloomed - just about a month ago they were wee too! see?)
Pink Perching Pigeon Pink Perching Pigeon
Pink Perching Pigeon

And an iphone photo to show scale (at knitting last night when he was finished)
Little pink perching pigeon

Again, Jackson is a very good sport.

Naptime. For Jackson. I'm going to try and start on some of my power knitting.



Remember that sweater that I thought I could be so ambitious with and seam up in a jiffy? Yeah, well the humidity / mini-heat wave that came through slowed that down to a near halt and it took almost a full week to seam up! I am so thankful that Mother Nature is giving us a little bit more of chilly spring weather - means I can wear my sweater!

Exhale, it's done!
The pattern is Cardigan Neutral from AwareKnits. (You can also get this particular pattern for free at the Caron.com website, here).

Exhale, it's done!
The yarn is O-Wool Balance. I adore this yarn. I had some trouble with gauge, so I did the math, followed the pattern for the XL size and held my breathe as I knit away and hoped I would end up with the medium size. I am really pleased with how that worked out - the armpits are the slightest bit more snug than I would like, and there are a few flaws that I think I'll be the only one to ever know about or notice, so we'll just leave it at that.

Exhale, it's done!
My intention with this sweater was for days like this - a short sleeve tee underneath or even a thin long sleeve (A good portion of my t-shirt wardrobe seems to be of the tissue tee variety) and a light sweater - good for keeping out a bit of wind or a early summer evening chill. I adore the sleeves especially - cute lace pattern on each cuff end, nice length - though they came with a headache - the sleeve directions in the book are wrong, and I could not find any errata online. The version of the pattern posted at the caron.com website has proper sleeve directions.

Exhale, it's done!
The lace pattern is on one of the fronts. And there is a small garter stitch edge along each of the front edges. I think I like how the sweater rolls a bit. I plan on getting a lot of use out of this sweater!


Aw shucks!

Sara, of Lazy Knits and Purls, nominated me for a "Beautiful Blogger" award - thank you so very much - that is the first award this little blog has ever received!

The rules are I have to give 10 little known facts about myself and then nominate 10 people for the award. So, 10 mostly-little known facts about me:
1. I can't sleep with the closet door open.
2. I love all sorts of terrible reality shows, but can't get into Top Chef at all (and I keep trying!)
3. When I was a kid I went to the Double Dare mall tour - I didn't get to do any of the stunts / games, but I did get to ask a question about Marc Summers (who wasn't there) - he was a nice guy and fun to work with, so said the assistants Robin and Dave, who were there.
4. The first concert I went to was All-4-One - the tickets were free from someone I worked with during summer theatre at The Puppet House.
5. Blueberry pancakes are my most favorite breakfast (overeasy or sunnyside up eggs + bacon might tie sometimes) but I really stink at making pancakes. I'm not patient enough.
6. Sandwiches are not my strong suit - I'm content to slap a piece of turkey in between two pieces of bread that maybe have some mayo on them. This disappoints my husband to no end.
7. While I do look for a good deal (and coupons) I will never ever buy store brand / generic Cheerios. My mom did that once when we were kids and oh were they terrible. Even my dad agreed, and he eats anything!
8. My plans for the weekend include several power knitting sessions on several gifts. One is almost overdue, and two others are for a baby due in July.
9. I'm waiting on some good mail - a swap package, several yarny items, and I pre-ordered the MochiMochi book (I really hope that one ships early!). My mail carrier tends to idle the truck at my mailbox always making me hope that there's going to be a package, usually there is not.
10. I used to be a nail biter, but I've recovered (I do still occasionally slip up). Now that I can get my nails to be nice and long, it drives me crazy to have nails longer than my fingers, so I still have short nails.

And my nominations are....
1. Amy, at Things We Make
2. Mique, at Thirty Handmade Days
3. Jessica, at Happy Togethers
4. Julie, at Joy's Hope
5. Jamie, at The Seventeen Magazine Project
6. Virginia, at Beauty Schooled Project
7. Sonia, at Peaceful Knitter
8. Missusvonkysmeed
9. Eskimimi, at EskimimiKnits.com
10. "BoutrosBabe", at HighlandHandmades.com


Lazy speed

We enjoyed one of the laziest weekends ever, and somehow it flew by! On Saturday we tried taking the Lorax to a kids fair in town put on by a local nursery school. It was ok - next year I think it will be fabulous. She was a bit tired (she's been getting up with the birds and their dawn chorus). It was hot / humid. It didn't open on time. She really wanted to ride on a train that rode around the green but it was for kids only, no parents and we're not there yet. The other thing she really wanted to do was to go in the bouncy house. That worked out well -
She fussed a bit after her turn was up, so we checked out the animals and called it a day.

I have two large projects to be working on, but in the heat / humidity that just wasn't happening. I spent the bulk of the weekend working on the edging for the Anne Shoulder Scarf (Ravelry link) sample for Schaefer. It's a new color - black and white photos for now - colors after TNNA!
Garter stitchy goodness.

I just have the little napkin-ring band to finish and then blocking and it will be done.
Hopefully I can get the boards and pins set up to block this this weekend while the Lorax sleeps. She's been pretty adamant about "helping" with everything lately - even editing the photos today!


Pattern Update - Girly Socks!

Remember those Girly socks I blogged about last week or so?
Test Knit Sock
The pattern is live! Emma is available on Ravelry and etsy - and comes in sizes from toddler through grown-up!
Jackie is a great designer - she talks about the sock on her blog here.

FYI, I got gauge (10st / in) with Malabrigo Sock - wonderful yarn for this pattern! Don't let the gauge scare you off - it's such a nice fabric! The cast on seems a little intimidating (there's just a lot of stitches) but there is a quick decrease that follows.


Good finds.

Today I found myself with a little bit of free time. The Lorax went to spend time with her grandmother as I was supposed to have a meeting but it ended up being canceled. I took full advantage to head out for some toddler-free shopping time*.

I visited a local consignment shop just to see what was in. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted an item I have thought about getting before, but always putting it off:

A set of those foam interlocking kid mats. I think this one's first life officially was a hopscotch set. Heaven help me (again) - it's the princesses**.

It is also close to 900 square inches of blocking space that doesn't involve me taking up my dining room table or the bed or all of my towels! I've been in this shop a few times and have kept my eye on the set. Today, it was marked down red-line style for $3! AND I had a promo coupon from the paper, so I only paid $2.55. For that, I can live with the princesses. They were obviously used (there are some stains / grass marks on the backside), but I am confident they will do the trick.

I had a treat in my mailbox today too - yarn! Payment for my sample knitting for Schaefer Yarn arrived - I picked the "Agatha Christie" colorway (one of my all time favorite authors!, They have "Laura Ingalls Wilder" too - I'm working for that one next!) from the Memorable Writers line in a skein of Audrey and Nichole
The top skein is Nichole, Audrey is the bottom skein. The colors include a pumpkin-spice, a cobalt blue, a teal-ish blue-green, some brown-copper... of course this only causes me to queue up more items in Ravelry.

*Not to say that the Lorax isn't fun to shop with (she's big into going into stores now), but I have maybe 0.010298375 seconds to look at anything for fear that the Lorax is tearing into something. Don't get me wrong - she's a good kid, usually listens to me / stays near me, but she's getting more independent and having worked retail I don't want to be one of "those parents" that would casually call after their kid "oh timmy, you're not getting into trouble are you?" as timmy is getting fingerprints all over something I just cleaned or whatever.

**Officially I have no problem with the princesses. I love fairy tales. It is the mass marketing aspect that I can't stand, especially to little kids. There is a time and a place for princesses and I don't think we're there yet. We're at a Red Riding Hood / Goldilocks and the Three Bears stage. Also, have you ever had a "thing" that you like? For me it used to be frogs. Specifically Poison Dart Frogs, but that didn't seem to matter - people ran with that theme (and some still do) and for a while it was okay, but there was a point where I had to say No. More. Frogs. I have heard from friends who are parents that once their kid got into xyz, that's all they ever saw.



I noticed yesterday that Bishop's Orchards Pick-Your-Own program was starting today for strawberries! I thought it might be something fun and different for the Lorax and me to try. It was better than I expected!


She did really well for someone who is two and a half! She took careful steps around the plants and was gentle when picking the strawberries as well as putting them in the box.

Berry picking

I was quite impressed by the restraint she showed - she didn't eat any until we were on our way to the car! Maybe she just didn't think of it (and I was also very good and waited until the car as well). She's been having them non-stop now! They are so good - and they taste like strawberries should!


I think we ended up with around five pounds! I've got a batch of chocolate covered strawberries cooling. I'm going to freeze some (or mash them up then freeze in ice cubes, maybe both!). I would love to make Amy's Strawberry Tart (but I need pie dough). Strawberry Marshmallows - ?! I think those might be a must try (need potato starch!). Oooh and angel food cake with strawberries. I think we might be making another trip to PYO! Here is a great link from GoodCheapEats.com (a blog I adore!) about storing berries.


There are a few in there that aren't quite red yet - I tried to remind her to pick ones that were red like fire trucks, but that didn't stick (really, we don't see a whole lot of fire engines... and sometimes they are yellow!) - so, we looked for berries that were red like elmo.


Here she is eyeing the box of berries after making a tower with our sandwich supplies.

There's more red! I've got about 2 more inches to go on the Ladybug jacket for a friend's baby-to-be. The yarn is Berroco Comfort and though it is a little splitty, I love how soft it is and the fabric it creates. I'm using a different yarn for the black and I will miss the Berroco!
Give Life, Donate Blood