Garden WIPs

My knitting WIPs are either all under wraps or uninteresting blobs for the moment, so I'm going to blog about my garden. I consider myself quite lucky to have grown up with a dad who likes to garden. Starting seeds inside in the winter, weeding and dead-heading in the summer, eating cherry tomatoes right off the plant and the smell of good soil make up a good portion of my memories. Dad would let me look through the seed catalogs and make lists of what I would like to grow in the garden - and would gently let me know that some things just don't grow too well in our rocky New England soil / short growing season. We would try different things though - peanuts didn't grow at all. Now that I have my own home and yard, I feel like I have to have a garden! It's not a quick hobby, but it can be so satisfying (unless you find that the deer and bunnies think you've laid out a special salad bar for them). I love that now the Lorax is into it as well - this year she helped weed, plant seeds, water and look for bad bugs. I was very late in getting my plants outside this year (like, fourth of July!), so my harvest is a bit behind schedule but it's coming! I remembered to finally bring my camera outside to document the perpetual work in progress.

Green Tomatoes
Tomatoes are doing alright this year.

Cucumber Leaf
Cucumber vines are stretching out and grabbing on to whatever they can (mainly the sunflowers and tomatoes)

Daddy Long Legs
One of a handful of daddy long-legs (it's not a spider!) that patrol the garden.

One Hard Working Ladybug
One of two hard working ladybugs that I found walking on the sunflower stems - it's a red ladybug - not an imposter.

Fuzzy Yellow Caterpillar
A fuzzy yellow caterpillar - one of several. I think it's a moth larva... but not positive which one - I'm googling.

A Girl and Her Green Beans
A girl and her green beans - I harvest and she eats half of them before we even get into the house! Same as last year.

And what is it about sunflowers that make them so interesting to photograph?
All Wrapped UP
Sunflower Backside


These Moments

{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. (From SouleMama.com)



Peacefulknitter is headed off on a cross country adventure! Our group of regular SnB-ers each knit up a section of a scarf - so many good thoughts and good wishes for her an her family. Enough to wrap them all up!
Isn't that every knitter's ideal - here's this "thing" I've knit - and the intent is to make you smile and know that you are thought of fondly. WifeMomKnitter wrote up an eloquent post about our group project! All the best to the Peaceful Family - you will be missed terribly!!



I was off for a girls weekend with my Memorable Women up in Massachusetts on Saturday. I have one of those quote frames that truly sums us up, along the lines of "We may not see each other often enough but our friendship is a never ending conversation."

We had time outside at Halibut Point State Park.
Tidal pool

There were dogs:
Jet, the enormous golden-doodle
Martin, theatreknitter's pug
(and Annie, but I didn't get her photo)

There was yarn:
A "crazy zauberball" in magenta / pink / red - also a gift from Theatreknitter. I decided to go outside my comfort zone - thinking about a stripey Citron or (more likely) the Simple City by Eskimimi - what perfect timing!! Also interesting timing was being in Seed Stitch and meeting other Ravelers! And Ravelers that are my friends, not just other people using ravelry!

And if being around yarn, dogs, an adorable 2 year old and friends weren't enough to make me feel right at home, there was the little message from home that I was loved:


Oh Buddy, You're In Trouble

The other night, my father-in-law came over so we all went outside to say hello and help move some things. We left Jackson inside. The Lorax and I played outside for a bit when Dan and his dad left. We came inside to get something and Jackson was no where to be found. He didn't come running when we came inside. I didn't see his leash either... maybe he went with the guys for a ride?

Nope. I found Jackson. Here:
The little weenie jumped onto the chairs and up onto the table. He finished off the rice left in the Lorax's dish and half a chicken tender from Dan's plate.

The arrow is pointing to some dip that was on his paw.

Thank you for not getting sick overnight in our bed. You're still going on a diet.



I spotted this meme on two blogs and I just couldn't resist. Plus my brain is sort of in a fog and funk right now and this seemed like a good idea at the time.
1. Favorite childhood book?
Is it possible to pick one? I was a huge fan of the whole "Little House" series, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, just about anything by Judy Blume, Bunnicula, Ramona & Beezus, Roll of Thunder Hear my cry, and Agatha Christie mysteries

2. What are you reading right now?
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
I think I have a few knitting / crochet books on request that I wanted to see.

4. Bad book habit?
I've gotten better with my books but as a kid, I would crack spines and dog ear the pages.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
A pile of books for the Lorax: Ladybug Girl at the Beach, Hug Time, Is There Really a Human Race?, Muncha Muncha Muncha, Where are You Blue Kangaroo, No More Kissing, Wiggle, and one for me: Sweater Design in Plain English

6. Do you have an e-reader?
I have a Kindle2

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
While I might have ADHD with my knitting, I like to enjoy one book at a time.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Not really, as the blog was started for knitting. I have occasionally reviewed books on the blog though.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
I have gotten rather sick and tired of a few of the Lorax's books, and I didn't love the last Twilight book.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
I really loved The Art of Racing in the Rain. And Eat, Pray, Love.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Now that school is all done and I get to choose my own books, never!

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
I like a good story - that could be in anything I guess.

13. Can you read on the bus?

14. Favorite place to read?
On the beach.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
Fairly lenient - I've never been burned on this, so I will lend stuff out.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
I used to when I was younger, but I don't anymore.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Not so much

18. Not even with text books?

19. What is your favorite language to read in?

20. What makes you love a book?
Good story, good quotes, something that makes me think from a different point of view or interesting concepts where I can learn something new.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I can't stop thinking about what I read or I can relate to it.

22. Favorite genre?
Mystery, memoirs

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

24.Favorite biography?
Rachel Carson's

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

26. Favorite cookbook?
How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman (referred to around here as the Bittman bible)

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
I really enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love.

28. Favorite reading snack?
Mike & Ikes / Jellybeans

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Harry Potter? I've seen the movies and while I'm sure the books are better, I have no interest to read them (maybe when the Lorax is old enough we can read them together)

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don't read too many book reviews, I don't care what the critics say.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I'm honest - if I didn't like what I read, why would I say otherwise?

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
I have never thought of a book as intimidating, though in high school Shakespeare was probably just that. By the time I got to college and had to read it, something "clicked" and it was fine.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Can't think of one.

35. Favorite Poet?
Shel Siverstein

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
With the Lorax, 5 - 10.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
A handful - there's just not enough time - I'm working on knitting and reading on the kindle - sometimes it works.

38. Favorite fictional character?
the Pigeon (by Mo Willems), Miss Marple, Ramona,

39. Favorite fictional villain?

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Something light and fluffy - stephen king, chick lit a la Jodi Picoult or Jennifer Weiner

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Hard to say - several weeks?

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
I totally gave up on the Lord of the Rings, Profiles in Courage, The Killer Angels

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
My toddler. but not much else. Jackson barking.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Each time, the book was better, but maybe The Princess Bride?

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
I'm not sure... so many times, the book was better.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Buying college textbooks easily ran up a few hundred dollars. Non college stuff could also be $100 or so buying gifts.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I'll flip through a book at the bookstore, but that's all. I'll skim / skip boring pages (Stephen King, I'm looking at you!)

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
There is a mild organization going on in my shelves now, but it's quite fluid.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I like to keep my books, but I've been thinning the shelves lately - books I'm not going to read again, books I didn't love can move out to someone elses house.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

52. Name a book that made you angry.
The last twilight book

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
I'm blanking...If i think I'm not going to like it, I generally don't bother unless I hear from others that it's worth the effort.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Best Friends Forever (Jennifer Weiner)

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Knitting books? Cookbooks? Isn't it supposed to be guilty pleasures?


A little birdie

Each week, the Lorax and I attend a "Mommy & Me" sort of class. We started going when she was 8 weeks old or so - it was a great resource as a first time mom. As the Lorax grew, we made our way from the baby class to the waddlers group and now we're just about done with the toddler group (up to age 3 or so). Through it all we have had the same teacher - we love this teacher! She has such patience and care for each of the kids that attend - she is such a sweetheart. Last week she shared with us the news that she has accepted a job to teach preschool full time (in a different town, so not one the Lorax will attend)! I am happy for her, but wanted to let her know how much she means to our family. She always commented on the handknits I made for the Lorax, so that seemed an appropriate way to go. In the end I settled on an Itty Bitty Toy by Susan B. Anderson - the Egg to Bluebird and a Little Nest Too. I think it came out really sweet!
(trying to get a cute picture - you can see the lorax peeking in the corner of the mirror)



I'm wondering if I should start knitting up Pencils next for future teachers!


Touch and Go Knitting App - Review

I use my iPhone for everything - grocery shopping lists, notes, games, music, social networking - and I love that apps for knitting exist. Through a blog forum on Ravelry I made contact with the creator of a new knitting app, "Touch & Go Knitting" and was granted the opportunity to check it out.
From the Touch & Go Knitting website:
Touch And Go Knitting (TAG) and now Touch and Go Knitting HD overcome knittings biggest headache visually: MATH and it's calculations. Start knitting more useful shapes and let TAG do the math for you. You work with moving images of the shapes you want to knit. No calculator pads! You move the yellow tape and the shape moves to the size you want.

TAG is a brand new iphone and ipad app for knitters. Using it couldn't be simpler! Everything is visual. Touch an arrow, then slide a yellow measuring tape that instantly appears. Watch as the necklines, raglan or scarfs change shape on screen while you dial the tape. You can see what the neckline will look like before you knit.

Lift your thumb …. the Sts/Row and instructions appear as the yellow tape stores itself away. B Created for Knitters of All Skill levels : Beginners, Casual, Skilled or Seat of the Pants. Being all thumbs is a big advantage."

This is a great idea for an app - I am not math-phobic, but more math-lazy. So for me to have the option to input numbers and get the right info for buttons, necklines, cuffs, etc is awesome. I could see how this app would be a real asset in a designer toolbox.
Pros & Things I Like about this app
a. Clean design
b. User friendly
c. Nice big touch spot for the counter.
d. I was pleasantly surprised to see on the swatch page, if you click the 1 in the lower left corner the option to select a needle size, weight of yarn, and yarn brand - so you could save that info with your swatch.

Some points I would like to see improvements made in future upgrades
a. Certainly not every yarn ever made will be able to be listed, but I think there are some others that should be included - Malabrigo! Encore? Caron? Some baby sweaters might be made with that.
b. It would be awesome if someday it could include a sock design option. That is probably a whole other bucket of worms (toe up or cuff down? heel style?)
c. There is a document section that is handy, but needs some work:
c1: The abbreviations are extensive, and have a lot of crochet terms - maybe a page of crochet instructions would be useful for the knitter that doesn't crochet a lot.
c2: The Knitting instructions page is really back to basics - cast on and how to read a pattern. I would think that most users looking to use this app would already know how to read a pattern and cast on.

And this would be a dream upgrade - I would love to be able to take a picture of my knitting swatch and have this program use that to get the gauge / get the math. But this is pretty close :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this application free from Touch & Go Knitting. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Size Matters.

Virginia's Beauty Schooled post today was really interesting, in my opinion. And not just because I got a shout out for a previous comment. I never thought about the patterning side of it, but that makes sense. Frequently at knitting night I hear others talk about shaping and how particular patterns help / benefit / etc women of different sizes. With that in mind, I point you towards Fit to Flatter: A Series of Tutorials for knitting, and as a reminder to myself that I wanted to re-read this, make notes, and take a different look at my ever-growing queue (and possibly, my wardrobe)

Memorable Women

Concert time! 3 of my best friends and I decided to attend Lilith Fair when it came through Hartford. Of course I had to consider what knitting I would bring! I settled on a "plain vanilla" sock following the cheat sheet from the Yarn Harlot. For the yarn, I used my new Memorable Women yarn in the "Agatha Christie" colorway. It seemed the most appropriate - listening to Memorable Women show their talents in the company of Memorable Women.
I cast on the cuff and knit two rows the night before so I would be all set to go. Here are my girls and the sock, waiting for the lawn to open up.

On the lawn, with a refreshment. This was after Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles played - they are both adorable. Love their stuff. Ingrid did a great version of "Poker Face" and "Toxic" and Sara did "Single Ladies", and I especially loved her song "Fairytale" about the princesses.

The real draw for us was seeing the Indigo Girls and Sarah McLachlan. This is the fourth time I've seen Amy and Emily and it was so great again! I only wish their set was a little longer. I have to say though, that I was pleasantly surprised at how efficient and on time this concert was!

Links to stuff on YouTube (I love finding this stuff - I was actually there!!)(sound is not so great some, turn the volume down and it's better)
Because the Night covered by all the performers, awesome.
Love's Recovery - Indigo Girls and Sarah - I had forgotten about this song actually, and it's stunningly beautiful. I think I "get" it more now that I'm older. (sound is not so great on this one, turn the volume down and it's better)
Closer to Fine with the Ladies of Lilith.
Toxic - covered by Ingrid.
"Official Lilith Hartford"
Give Life, Donate Blood