Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Shrug and a White Christmas

I don't remember if I made this shrug last year or the year before. It is knitted from my handspun yarn.
I like the shrug, I especially like the back. However, I don't like wearing it. It doesn't really keep me warm and I am not happy with the fit.  Soooo,

 I have decided to rip it out.

 Above is the back. I really like the back and I am not going to rip the back. I am going to rip the ribbing that is around the edges and the sleeves. I am not sure exactly what I am going to do with this, but I am hoping to be able to have enough yarn to knit 2 fronts and make the circle shrug a vest type sweater or shrug.

Yesterday, we had snow during our Christmas dinner!!! A white Christmas in north central Texas is rare. We were very excited and happy.  I took pictures this morning.

Overnight the temperature dropped into the teens, so our beautiful snow, turned into ice. Driving was interesting, to say the least.

Below is the front of the house, with tiny icicles hanging from the roof.  :)

This is the view from the back deck.  I love the way that snow makes everything look beautiful and bright!

Snow doesn't usually last long here. The sun came out today and it has started melting. The temperature is supposed to warm up tomorrow, so the snow will probably be gone by tomorrow night.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas is almost here.

Wow! I can hardly believe how fast time has flown by this year.  I just wrote our Christmas letter. As I sat down to write it, I wondered if there was anything to write about. Then as I started thinking about it, I realized that we had had a pretty busy and eventful year, when I reached page two of the letter, I thought "WHOA!" So, I backed up and consolidated it to be only one page long.

To end up my year, I have just finished working at THE UPS STORE as Christmas help.  As usual, it was a fun 2 1/2 weeks. This year instead of wearing a Santa hat, the UPS Store guy let me wear a Christmas fedora. That was fun!

I just was reading a blog that I visit once in a while. It is called Attic 24. She is a crocheter in England and loves COLOR! I love to stop by and see what projects Lucy is working on.

For me, several years ago, in a crazy moment of life, I bought some cobweb weight yarn. Yep, me who loves worsted weight and bulky weight yarn, bought cobweb weight. After several attempts at making something, man that yarn is tiny, I finally succeeded. :) This shawl, although not complicated, is so light and airy. It can actually be gathered up and worn as a scarf. It does slide through my wedding ring!

I have written the pattern and it is currently being test knit! I am calling Wil-o-Wisp, because it is so light and airy. Currently, I am not sure when the pattern will be released.

So, today I am off to straighten and clean the house and ready it for Christmas celebrations tomorrow.

I do hope you all have a blessed Christmas Day with your friends and loved ones.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Mom and Long Island, NY

I just arrived back home, to Texas, from visiting my mom in New York.  We had a very good visit, as always.  :)

Mom lives on Long Island, not far from so much devastation left behind by hurricane Sandy.  Her home survived this hurricane all right and only lost power for 2 hours.  However, we have had damage from hurricanes, that have come before, and have had power outages for a couple of weeks before. So, our family is used to the loss due to storms.  This time we feel very blessed that all is OK.

Here's mom! We were having lunch in her kitchen and I snapped this photo!

One day we decided that we would take a drive around town, to see the damage that some of her friends were dealing with. By the time I arrived to NY, most folks had gutted their homes of walls and carpets, cabinets and furniture. They were working on rebuilding and fixing. Her friends' homes were being repaired and starting to look pretty good.

We drove to the local boat docks along the south shore of Long Island, near her home, and stopped in our favorite spot for just sitting and looking at the sea.  It was an extremely calm and beautiful day. But, here is some of the damage that we saw.

This is a local seafood restaurant.  They were getting it repaired, so they could open back up and serve the public.

Some houses being repaired. All the first level floors were being ripped out, while the families were inhabiting the top floors. If you look close you might see the wood leaning against the houses.

More houses and more devastation. But, repairs were under way.
All of these homes are right on the bay, the bay opens into the Atlantic.

This, below, is one of my favorite views. :) Why? Cause it is a picture of the bridges to the beach and I LOVE the beach. Yes, there are two separate bridges there, but they are built close enough, that from a distance they look like one.  We noticed that cars were crossing, so I started the car and we drove to the bridge and tried to get to the beaches.

 After we crossed this bridge, and a draw bridge, we couldn't get to the third bridge, that leads to Fire Island.  The bridge was ok, but the road on the other side isn't.  We tried to visit a couple of other beaches, but they are all closed, due to damage.  So, we turned around and went home......

We had a great day, visiting with each other and seeing the water.  We both always enjoy just looking at the different views of the water.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finished Teddy Bear

This past summer during the Olympics, I participated in the knit along on Ravelry. One of my projects was this adorable teddy bear. I was to cast on, knit and finish him during the Olympics. Well, this project didn't make it to the finish line in time, but I did finish him.  :) 

BUT, I couldn't show it to you until now. Here he is, Coe's bear.

Coe just turned one! AND we were able to give it to him for his birthday.  I think he likes it. Here is a link to the pattern for the bear on Ravelry.

This project is from the pattern named Revontuli, a free pattern on Ravelry. It was one of the projects just sitting and waiting to be done. So, I finally finished it!! I really am happy with the way the colors stripe in this. 

I did dye the yarn to be self-striping yarn,, hoping that my experiment would work,  It did and I really like it!

Here it is blocking. The knitting starts at the neck edge and you work down to the bottom edge. I did work the bottom edge differently than the original pattern. I added some lace and a ruffle. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin Cake and Projects

Most of us like pumpkin. :)  I Love Pumpkin pie and Pumpkin cakes and Pumpkin cookies. I have a lot of recipes for making them from scratch too. BUT, sometimes you need one in a hurry.  I found a recipe, that is quick! It uses just a yellow cake mix and a 15 oz can of pumpkin.  While I was mixing it, I thought that it might be a little bland. In checking out, on the internet, what others did I saw that some used a spice cake mix instead of a yellow cake mix. It was too late for that.  :) What's a baker to do? I took out my cookbook and added the spices that I would usually add to my pumpkin pie.  AND I added extra cinnamon for good measure.

Pumpkin Cake
1 Yellow cake mix(the 2 layer size box, Duncan Hines, Pillsbury).
1 15 oz can of pumpkin.
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
1/8 tsp nutmeg.
1/2 tsp ginger.
1/8 tsp ground cloves.
Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
Pour into greased 9x13 inch pan, level out. Bake 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Glaze for topping
1 1/2 cups powdered(confectioners) sugar
3 Tbsp Apple Cider
1/2 tsp cinnamon
When cake comes from oven, you can cool for 5 minutes and turn out onto a plate, BUT, I don't have a plate for a 9x13 cake. So, I left it in the pan. Pricked holes all over and poured the glaze onto it. The holes enabled the glaze to drip into the cake.  You don't have to do that step. You can wait for the cake to cool and pour the glaze over the unpricked cake.

If you are a lover of cream cheese frosting, you could also frost it and omit the glaze.

I have launched a new pattern!!!!
This pattern is named Nicole(after one of our granddaughters) and is in the etsy shop and on Ravelry.

This pattern gives you the choice of using fingering/sock weight yarn or worsted weight yarn. You can have a ruffly type lace edging or flat edging.

The shawl starts at the top back neck and you work to the bottom edge.

This blue/lavender shawl, is made with fingering weight yarn from Harrisville Yarns.

The plum and gray one is also fingering weight wool yarn, purchased at JoAnn's. The lace on this one is the "ruffled" one, which helps the shawl to curve nicely around your neck.

This rose pink shawl is knit with Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride worsted(superwash).

The light pink shawl was knit by my friend Liz.  She does a lot of test knitting and editing for me and is so faithful to always help!!!! Thanks, Liz! Liz used a DK weight yarn and followed the directions for the fingering weight yarn.

You know, I don't always knit. It seems like that, but I don't. Once in a while, you can also find me doing traditional rug hooking and even sewing. Years ago, I drew this picture of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, which is out on the eastern end of Long Island, and then I used my hand spun yarns, to hook it. The picture resides on the wall in my hall bathroom, where we have decorated with lighthouses.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dying Self-striping yarns

If you are a knitter and have worked with the self-striping yarns, or you have been the recipient of a project that was made with self-striping yarns, you have probably been totally amazed and wondered, "How in the world did they dye this yarn?"

I wonder how they figured it out, too.  :)  It is totally amazing to me. Here is a youtube video on it.  My friend, Liz, sent the link to me and I thought I would share it with you.

The video is in German and even though I don't understand German, I did enjoy the video. Hope you do too!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Bunch of Hugs

On Wednesdays, I attend a meeting with a great group of women. We are all hand spinners and knitters. Some of us also crochet and some also weave. Meaning, we all love yarn in all forms and fashions!  :)

Once in a while, when one of us needs a special hug, we are able to do something about that.  Today we were able to give Marlene, a beautiful shawl. It was hand knit by Kate, using our hand spun yarns.  I think at least 10 of us contributed yarns to this shawl.

Kate used a pattern from Jane Thornley, named Color Streams. It was a great pattern for putting together a lot of different yarns.

I think that Kate did such a good job, that I wanted to show the shawl to you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pool fun and Yarn Shop Video

A couple of weeks ago, I had fun in the pool with our younger daughter and her 9 month old son.  :) 

Then I thought, since this little video is going around, you might like to see this shop in Maplewood, NJ.  A fun time can be had at knitting and crochet groups.  We do have fun at the spinning group on Wednesdays and the craft group on Thursdays.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ravellenic Knitting

My first Olympic knitting project was this Citron Shawl. I had entered it in the Works in Progress Wrestling event.  :)  I had started it a year ago, but quickly put it away, not sure if I liked the colors.

I took it out at the start of the Olympics and it is now finished.  I have to admit, that when done and blocked, I love the colors!  Who would've thought.

This spring I had purchased some cotton sock monkey brown yarn and sock monkey red yarn at Hobby Lobby.  I wanted to make something with it, so I found this tiny sock monkey pattern.  I had entered this little guy in the Toy Toss competition. 

 My third project was cup cozies.  I actually planned to make one, from the left over yarn above, but had plenty of yarn to make 2! Actually, I still have yarn, but it is in the stash with the other cotton yarns that I have. The cozies were entered in the Homestuff Hammerthrow competition.

I have one more project to go.  It is a stuffed teddy bear. It is started, but not near finishing.  I have 3 days to go.  Not sure if I will cross the finish line with this one, but I am going to try.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kitchen Curtains, plus

When we moved into our house in the woods, I knew I was going to have "fun" with supplying window treatments for it.  For one, I really didn't want to take away the view of the woods, but then, I did want a bit of privacy.  Of course, those who have been here would say, "Privacy from what? The squirrels."  :)

The previous owner of this house, had remodeled the kitchen and dining room. He took out the wall between the two rooms, making one huge kitchen.  He also, put in three fairly large kitchen windows.  The view out those windows is great, but the western setting sun can be blinding when cooking dinner. 

We went for years with nothing at the windows.  I measured the windows and figured out how much fabric I would need for curtains.  Bought some fabric, didn't like it when I got it home.  Did that twice..........

Bought the curtain rods, LOVED them and The UPS Store guy put them up.  Then they sat empty. and empty. and empty. and empty, for what seemed like a year, maybe more....

FINALLY,  I had a brilliant idea! I have loved Early American, Folk Art, Antiques and now Shabby Chic decorating.  The idea for the windows incorporates those decorating styles and was embroidered dresser scarves! (Do you remember those?)

So, Rebekah and I went off to Canton(flea market), and voila! here are my curtains. :)  None are the same, but tried to make sure that each one had blue in them. 

There are three windows, so I took two pics. The center window is in each picture.

Another project that I have been working on, is a baby gift.  The UPS Store guy's cousin has had her first baby.  So, I thought that it would be fun to send something hand made for the baby to her.

I designed the shrug and hat. The flower came out of the flower book by Leslie Stanfield, that I mentioned in the previous blog entry.

Since I don't have a baby at my house, I have brought out one of my favorite baby dolls, that I used to play with, to model for us. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I have three wonderful sisters-in-law.  Right now, one of them, Donna, is receiving chemo and fighting back hard to recover.

So, I decided that I need to make some soft and fun hats and a shawl. The shawl, even though it is a hot summer in the northeastern US, is helping in the air conditioning of the hospital.

I found the pattern for the hat below from, it is a free download.  The pattern calls for fun fur yarn and another yarn to be held with it as you knit.  I used a purple worsted weight cotton.
The pattern for the flower is from the book 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet, by Lesley Stanfield. It is the Zinnia pattern.

 This crocheted green hat is a pattern that I found on Ravelry.  It is named, Ridge Hat with Brim,and written by Kool Stitch. The great flower on this hat is included in the directions for the hat.

This shawl is a variation of my pattern, that is named Terrific Shoulder shawl. I made the shawl longer than the pattern says to, and added a great edging to the bottom of the shawl.  Sorry that I don't have a picture on the mannequin, or a person.  :/ I forgot to do that.  I was so excited when I finished it and how the striping of the yarn worked, that I didn't think about an "up" picture.  The yarn that I used is Lion Brands Impressions, a bulky weight easy care acrylic. 

So, in the studio, I am working on a couple of new patterns, but also, trying to finish up UFO's (unfinished objects). 

I don't know about you, but with knitting, my mind can have it done tomorrow, but reality is that my hands don't work that fast.  :)  I have made a list, checked it twice and am going to finish the 20+ projects.  I will let you see them as I finish, I want the UFO's either finished or ripped out.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A New Pattern

I have been very busy working on some new patterns, and some family projects.  Today I want to show you my new pattern.

Its name is Ma Cherie.  I love this little shawl. It is quick, works up on size 19 US knitting needles and uses between 150 and 220 yards of yarn. There are now two sizes for it. One size, the shorter size, is shown in the top 4 pictures and there is a longer size, which is shown in the 5th picture.

 The teal and red ones are from bulky weight yarns.  The teal is a Bernat yarn and the red one is a Lion Brand yarn.

I have found this little shawl, great in air conditioned restaurants and I think it will be wonderful in the winter too. It adds so much to any outfit, really.

 This off white one, is made from worsted weight cotton yarn.

The off-white one below, is the longer version.  Some of the knitters, who tested this for me, wanted a longer one.  So, we added that version to the pattern, too.

This pattern can be found in my Etsy shop, here. Or in my Ravelry shop . I even have some finished ones in my Etsy shop, too.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hero Rush

Hero Rush is, quite honestly, new to me. :) But, not my son-in-law(Tad) and daughter(Anna). It is a 5K obstacle course, put on by a local fire department, and it benefits mainly the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation of the USA.

Today, I had the pleasure of attending the Hero Rush in Irving, TX, to watch Tad, run the course. It was amazing to me and I wanted to share it with you.

Tad is the man in the white t-shirt on the top of the platform. This is the beginning of the race, they climbed the stairs and are sliding down the poles, while fire sirens are blaring in the background.

At this point they jog/run a bit and find their way through a few obstacles, one being climbing rope and then walking down from 100 feet in the air on what looked like a fireman's water hose! Then more jogging and eventually rewarded with this slimey pool, which was to simulate hazardous waste. :)  Tad said it was slimey and pretty gross feeling. Remember, firemen make this course to simulate their jobs!

There were about 5 more obstacles that I missed, because the trail for us to follow the participants, wasn't clearly marked and we had the stroller.

One that I did see, but didn't get pictures of, was each individual was having to hoist 2 connected car/pick-up size tires over and under the vaults. Apparently they weigh about the amount of a person.

When they came back out of the woods, the part I didn't see, they crawled through a smokey maze and then climbed a rope type ladder into these huge containers filled with soap suds(below). 

Then down the rope ladders. If you look closely, you can see soap suds all over the ground.

Everytime they started to get hot, there was another water challenge in front of them. This is a great idea, since it was about 90F when I was there at 10:00am. (The race had more start times all through out the day)

This challenge looked really good to me! Except, they had to climb up to the top, inside those black plastic tubes, on what was no more than pieces of wood secured to the wall, if I understood that right. Then slide down, and fall into a huge pool of water/mud. 

They then jogged to the ladder that took them into a burning building and across the building and down another ladder.  (I did wonder about this one, as we walked under it)  :)

The finish line!  But, just before it, you can see the smoke, another fire in a fire pit, that they had to jump over to get to the end.

He made it through and did receive a medal for finishing. The happy family.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I NEED chocolate! :)

Did you ever have one of these days? You wake up(Ha, should've known better), determined that it will be a good day, and you have 20 things to do?  Well, do you ever make it? OR does it go bust?  :)  My day today went bust.  :)
I just wish someone had been here to film this, cause I imagine it was pretty funny. Although, I wasn't laughing at the time.

As I was getting my ingredients out to make my blender cheesecake recipe, I was thinking that I should share this with you on my blog.  Yep, the cheesecake is sooo easy that everyone could make this. Until.......

So, here's the scene. I have all of my ingredients out, screw the base on my 38 + year old blender.(yep, wedding present) and put the first four ingredients in there and whirr it. Good, everything is fine, no problems. So, I cut up all of the softened cream cheese into tiny pieces, put them in there and turn it back on. OK, still working everything is OK and I turn my back to set the timer and WHOOSH!!!  The top pops off and as I turn around the glass pitcher goes flying off and lands on the floor!  Oh, and if that wasn't enough, the blades are still whirring at top speed, spitting milk, eggs, sugar, cream cheese all over the counter, cabinets, and floor! Ohhhhhhhhh, there went my day........

To make matters worse, The House in the Woods, is a fixer upper. The previous family put indoor/outdoor carpeting in the kitchen......... Not being MY priority, it is still there. How in the world am I going to get that mess out of the carpet?

I picked up the errant blender and placed it in the sink. Rolled up the throw rug and put that in the sink. Then found the dust pan and a small cutting board, for the firm straight edge, and tried my best at scraping this mess up. Then I scrubbed the carpet.  Oh, and I had to get if off the cabinets and off the counters, but those were easy in comparison. :)

I started to rinse off the blender and then said, NOPE. Off you go. I am not taking another chance with you. Everything was hooked up correctly and you blew your top.  Into the trash it went. Truthfully, I was a little upset in throwing it away.  It was like a friend.  I mean I used it for 38+ years.  I know the color isn't vogue, but it was my friend........

With that, I thought, crumb, now I need a new blender. ug.   AND just as quick I remembered, NO, I have a Ninja. :) Out the Ninja came and I made this chocolate pie on the other side of the recipe card. The directions say to put sweetened whip cream on top. I don't have that. After all I was supposed to be serving cheese cake.  But, I have ice cream!!  Ha!

So, today, instead of the easy cheesecake recipe, here is an easy brownie pie recipe.  :)

Impossible Chocolate Cream Pie
(it makes its own crust!)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 squares(1 ounce each) melted unsweetened chocolate(cooled)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup biscuit mix(calls for Bisquick, but I use Pioneer Baking Mix)

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 9 inch pie plate. Place all ingredients in blender container. Cover and blend on high 1 minute. Pour into pie plate. Bake until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center, about 30 minutes. Cool completely. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

And yes, knitting is still happening!  I have joined a Knit ALong(KAL) with Jane Thornley. Jane is a knitting designer who thinks outside the box and doesn't follow a lot of traditional knitting rules.

I am working on a shawl. The upside down card is my color inspiration and the yarns are what I am using. All of my yarns are made by me.  One is an old silk garment, dyed and cut into strips.  The rest is handspun yarn. Some yarns are wool, some cotton and the off white one is mohair.

Oh, and I decided after having scrubbed the carpet and stepping on it and it feeling slimey(eeeew!) that I needed to steam the carpet. So, I took out the carpet steamer and have that portion of the kitchen carpet steam cleaned.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fun projects and links to patterns!

I have been on a baby bootie craze.  I guess having a 5 month old grandson would do that to a gal. :) I wanted to make him some colorful booties. This is them! I used only 100% cotton yarns for these. The tie inserted at the ankle, seemed to keep them on. Shocker! The pattern I used for these is from Ravelry, found here. I did change up the pattern a bit, but my changes worked. :)

Next, I decided to have fun making dolls!!! I made these two dolls, one for each of our granddaughters. The pattern came from Interweave Press Knit's magazine, Summer, 2002.  The pattern is named Best Friend Doll, by Sandy Cushman. You will see my JoJo doll on my blog, she is knit from this pattern too. :) I must say, these dolls were a hit! The girls had fun with them most of the afternoon.
I made them to sort of look like the girls. One has blue eyes and the other brown. Then I used different brown cotton yarns, cut to be close to the length of each one's hair. Both girls wear glasses, so I fashioned glasses out of craft wire.  HINT: If you know a little/young girl with glasses, putting glasses on her doll is a big plus!
Pattern Here. The dolls are made from 100% cotton, but the clothing is a mixture of types of yarns.

Last, but not least, is Laurie's beautiful shawl. Laurie used her beautiful handspun yarn and made this shawl.
The pattern is a free pattern from Crystal Palace Yarns. The name is Fan Shawl.