Monday, May 31, 2010

Things I Learned This Weekend

1. Don't let people stay in your home unless you have said home as a business. My house is a mess and I can't find things. Easy things I should be able to find. Like my cutting boards and salt and pepper shakers.

2. Houses look much better without dead animal heads hanging on the wall. We bought our house from a gent who used the house as a hunting cabin and hadn't taken down his trophies till this weekend. Glenn put the heads, and bodies, out by the end of the driveway. Within an hour a woman picked them all up and drove off with them just as Glenn predicted someone would.

3. Some people will pick up any old crap if it's free.

4. Spending time unplugged with your family just can't be beat. No internet, no television and minimal phone contact. Face to face family time rocks.

5. Pregnant nieces are a lot of fun especially when they have to take a break, while shopping at Sam's Club, to lay in a lounge chair in the outdoor furniture section.

6. When you buy a birthday cake that comes on cardboard in a plastic container, remove the bottom piece of plastic. It's very slippery.

7. When you drop a birthday cake off a piece of plastic it inevitably lands frosting side down.

8. Kids will eat birthday cake with the top frosting scraped off. So will dads.

9. Don't let a 15 year old boy carry a broken chair by himself even if he says he can handle it. He can't.

10. Holes in walls aren't easy to fix.

11. Memorial Day weekend yard sales suck.

12. Whomever decides when to do construction on bridges and tunnels is an idiot. Who closes part of the Lincoln Tunnel during Memorial weekend?

13. Patrick's favorite meal is lamb chops with Caprese Salad.

14. There really is no place like home.

That about sums up our weekend upstate. Aside from the the fact that I can't say the word "cake" in front of my son Glenn without him busting out in laughter, it was a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Birthdays!




The ninja on the left turned 46 yesterday and the mini ninja on the right will be 13 this Saturday. One got a metal detecting tool, the other will be getting a skateboard. Guess who's getting what?
Not much knitting right now because of birthday preparation. I'm still working on the Sunday Swing Socks. I did rip down the extra large one and am now working on the large sized one. I was sorry to have to do it but it had to be done.
We're going upstate for a long weekend and I hope to check out Knit One, Needlepoint Too and do a lil damage.
Hope you all enjoy the long weekend!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Patterns For Vintage Hats!

Remember these?









These were the hats my mother made, almost 30 years ago, for my niece Beana. I had my sister send them up to me so Al could have a look at them. Allyson is brilliant and nice enough to have written patterns for me for these which I will now share with you. Thanks so much to Allyson for taking the time and using your talents so I can have these patterns.









Sorry if the patterns are all farkakte but I wanted to get Allyson's exact patterns in because I knew if I wrote them out they'd be a mess!
I'll be knitting these over the next few months for Joyce's baby and I can't wait. I'd love to see photos if anyone decides to make any of these.
Enjoy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Socktacular!

Yesterday Lion Brand Yarn Studio held their Socktacular to introduce their new solid colored sock yarns. Al, Ria and I went to see what they had to offer. Not only did they have the new yarns but they also had demos on different ways to knit socks. Magic loop, two circulars, dpns, crochet were among the various demos they had. They also had one on the kitchener stitch but I'm still a little confused by that one so I stayed far from that table. It wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be so we had a chance to look around then sit for some of the demos.




Oh I also got to meet Helen which was great! If you've never read her blog, please go have a look. She had a lovely blog and she also has a bunch of instructional videos for various cast ons.
I didn't get any pictures of the yarns but the link above will show the solid sock yarns. They're a great buy for $10 per ball which is 437 yards and they're a 75% wool 25% nylon mix. The only complaint I have is that the colors are very limited but I can deal with it for that price.





These are just a couple of socks they had on display so they could show the construction of the socks. They gent who did they demos was sweet and he explained things very clearly.
We had a nice time and I learned a thing or two from the demos. I'll probably be spending some time there this summer since Patrick will be attending the HAP program at the school across the street. Yay for summer programs!
The weather has turned warm here so I'm hoping for some outdoor knitting soon. Madison Square Park has been a favorite of ours in the past so maybe we can get our knit on this week at the park.

Friday, May 21, 2010

You Know What They Say...

...about women with big feet? Yeah, big socks.
I started a pair of these awesome Sunday Swing Socks I found on Knitty. One of the things I was really excited about was that the pattern came in several different sizes going up to extra large. With a size ten shoe, this was great news for me. As my Granny would say "I've got a firm grip on the earth." It sounds much better with her lovely Scottish brogue. Usually when I knit socks I just knit and figure that they'll fit someone in my immediate family since we come in all different sizes. This time I started the knit knowing that they would definitely be for me. I chose the wonderful yarn Megan had sent me for my birthday last year from Bare Sheep Yarn Company on Etsy in the Lil June Bug color and I got to knitting. Here's my progress thus far:



Cute aren't they? But I may have a problem. I think they may be a bit too big. I'll wait till I'm done with the toe and try them on. I may have to frog the whole damn big thing. Eh what can you do? It's a great knit and I'm really enjoying it so I won't mind if I have to knit three socks instead of two.
In other sock knitting news, today Lion Brand Studio is having a socktacular! There will be demos and raffles. I also heard, from a little birdie, that there will be an unveiling of new sock yarns. This is not definite but my little birdie has a very good source so we shall see!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baby Shower!

This is my very pregnant, glowing and beautiful niece Joyce the day before her shower:



On top of having a baby in the next month or so, she's also in the process of moving into a new house. Needless to say she's a busy lady. Isn't she cute??
This is the progress I'd made the night before her shower:



As you can see I still had almost a whole mitt to finish. Thank goodness they were small. I got them done in plenty of time but, I must admit, I was sweating it a bit. Oh and don't mind those pretty yellow flowers in the background. Glenn says they're the sign of a healthy lawn.
Here are photo's of Joyce opening the knitting goodies I made for baby Madelyne:








I also gave her a Namaste bag she can use as a diaper bag and a lovely Graco stroller. She loves the colors brown and pink so that's what color stroller we got her. Now the pressure is off, time wise, I'll get more things knit for Maddie before it gets cold again.
I got to spend a lot of time with Joyce this weekend and we really had a great time together. I am so honored that she chose me to be Maddie's godmother. Joyce and I have always been very close and I'm so happy for her. She's got a lovely new home, a great boyfriend and a new baby coming. I'm happy she asked me to be by her side at this very special time of her life.
Here's one last photo. Joyce and my son, Glenn. Twins born 9 years apart, no?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Almost Done!



This was taken today at Whole Foods where Al and I went knitting today. Isn't it adorable? I should be finished with it soon and then onto the mitts. I really like working with this Lily Chin yarn but I do have one complaint. It seems to get a bit splitty while knitting although it's not obvious in the finished knitting. It's nice and soft and airy. I'm sure Maddie will be toasty and gorgeous in it.
I can't wait to give Joyce all the knitted goodies I made for her! I'm so mad at myself for not thinking to make Joyce socks for her hospital stay. Maybe I'll be able to squeeze out a pair before Maddie graces us with her presence.
I gotta go. I have to finish these mitts ASAP!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Let 'er Rip!

The kimono is gone. Torn down. Ripped. Frogged. I didn't read the directions correctly and I screwed it up. It's a great pattern honestly, I just should have read it through. This isn't the first time I've had to take down a project because I didn't read through the pattern. I'm sure it won't be the last.
I decided to do a lovely little cabled hat and mitten set instead. I won't post pictures till it's done though just in case I screw this one up too. I'm using Lily Chin's Gotham which is a sweet combo of merino and cotton, very soft and airy almost. I've just finished the ribbing and am hoping to have the whole set finished by day's end. Ok who we kidding? If it's done by Friday, I'll be happy.
I blocked the blanket and it's really gorgeous. One thing though...if you do a simple pattern it really must be perfect. It's much too easy to see the imperfections in the blanket. Not that there are any or anything like that. Ok maybe just one. Or two.
Next I have a few hats to block and then I should be done.
I wish I'd thought to make Joyce a pair of socks for when she's giving birth. I remember my feet being so cold but I'd brought along Glenn's hunting socks so they were fine. Maybe I can squeeze out an easy pair before she goes into labor. Just what I need..another deadline. Yes I'm a glutton for punishment.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Busy!

My niece's baby is due soon and her shower is even sooner so I have to get to steppin yo! I have a few things knit up and a lovely knitter on Twitter suggested I knit up a kimono that she saw on Ravelry. It's garter stitch in sock yarn so it takes a bit of time. This is what I've got thus far:



Not too shabby huh? It's a lovely peach but I'm not sure what color buttons to put on. Perhaps cream? Glenn suggested navy but blech I don't like the idea of that. I'll have to sort through the bags of buttons I've got and figure something out.
As you can see, I'm reading My Life In France by Julia Child. What a lovely book this is! I watched Julie & Julia and was overwhelmed by Julia's personality. Not enough to cook all her recipes but enough to read this book. I'm taking my time with it and savoring it. The odd thing is, I hear Julia's voice in my head reading it!
Isn't that picture a nice photo? It's actually true to color and well lit. Wanna know why? This is why!



This was my Mother's Day present from my boys. They knew I needed a camera that was idiot proof and I think they did a great job finding the perfect one for me. I'm actually reading the manual so I can use it to it's best ability.
Off to finish my knitting. Hope you're all enjoying your Mother's Day as much as I am.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Testing 1, 2, 3

When Al and I first discovered our mutual love of knitting, I could see what a proficient knitter she was. She made her own patterns and could knit up anything. This has been proven time and again in the last couple of years. She can even look at a knitted lovely and write up the pattern as she did for the hats from my mother. I told her she should write up her patterns and sell them. They're all lovely and seem to come so easily to her. She agreed that one day she would do just that. And so she has.
Last week she handed me a gorgeous cake of yarn, similar to the Neapolitan ice cream looking Art Yarns I'd used before with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry colors, and said she'd be emailing me the pattern and would I test knit a shawl for her. Wasn't it sweet of her to provide the yarn? Especially a yarn that resembled something she knew I liked.
So I've become a test knitter. I started it last week but haven't knit it much. It's going to be my sole knitting focus this week though so I should have something to show you in the next few days.
Now for the bad news. I have to admit defeat in my attempt to clean up my UFOs. The sweater for my sister, Pat, is still in the bag. We have made progress though. It's no longer in the closet, it's on top of my dresser. I'm all for progress even if it is at a slow rate. Maybe this week I'll take it out and read the pattern again. Then again, maybe not.
Oh and am I the only one getting excited already about Rhinebeck? I know it's months away but I'm starting to get the hum of excitement going. We may be there both days this year since Al has purchased a home up in the area. We're already planning out the weekend with the families. I hope I'm not the only lunatic making plans this far in advance. But I probably am.