Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Hubby is home from the hospital and doing well.☺  To anyone who prayed for him, thank you.  He's recovering nicely, though he is still pretty tired and weak.  The surgery went well, and appears to have been effective; we won't really know until the post-operative pain is gone.  So for the next few weeks, the girls and I will play nurse and take good care of him so his body can heal itself.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hubby's having surgery.

My Hubby is in surgery at this very moment.  He's having some of the vertebrae in his neck fused, in an attempt to make them quit compressing his disks and pinching his nerves.  He's had a lot of pain lately, so I really hope this works.  Please be praying for him, if you're so inclined.

The girls and I will go visit him when I get the phone call from the doctor in a few hours.  In the meantime, I wish I could go back to bed, but the girls are especially loud this morning, so I guess I'll just have to go to bed early tonight.  So sleepy...

Saturday, March 26, 2011


 I didn't get very far on the second sock yesterday....
because some more lovely blue yarn showed up in my mailbox!
I'm making another Evellyn Anne blanket with some yarn from Mara.  I am in love with her yarn.  I started this last night while we watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and I've just switched from the dpns to the circular, which makes me very happy.  Dpns are a pain in the tush, so I rarely use them, but I had to, to get this project started.  I'm zooming right along now!  And it's a good thing I am; I should be getting the yarn support for Crown Jewels next week sometime.  I'm going to keep the focus on this project, though, since I committed to it first. ☺ My goal is to get it about 1/4 done today, which would be 91 diamonds...somewhere between 6 and 7 repeats...I'll shoot for seven.  Three down, four to go!  I better get to it!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another completed sock!

I finished the first of the Winding Road Socks!
It's very soft and comfy.  I can't wait to get the second one done so I can wear them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Thursday!

Happy Thursday, everyone!  I am feeling better; still have a little bit of a cold, but not feeling like a slug anymore.  I got an email from Knit Picks today, and they're interested in my Crown Jewels shawl pattern, and will be publishing Julia Lynne sometime in the next two weeks!  Woohoo!

I got Angel to take some pictures of me with my KIP Bag today, so that design proposal is ready to go now.
She needs to work on not cutting people's heads off with the camera.  But she's getting pretty good at directing her subject..."Suck your tummy in, Mommy!"
And just for a smile, here's Princess, crocheting a chain. 
Time to get ready for Knit Night!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When yarn speaks...

The other day, I decided I wanted to make something round and lacy.  I was thinking maybe a baby blanket, or a project bag.  I had a basic lace idea in mind, but when I got started I didn't like how it was turning out.  So I frogged it and started over with a simpler stitch pattern.  And then the yarn spoke to me.  It said, "Haha, I'm a snood."
I said, "No, you're not.  Nobody would knit a snood.  Or at least I wouldn't knit a snood."
It said, "I'm still a snood."
I threatened to frog it.  So it changed its mind.  "Okay, then, I'm a bag for holding a ball of yarn."
And I said, "A KIP Bag!  Now there's something I would knit!"

So here's the swirly lacy circle, waiting for the drawstrings...
 And here it is, with a ball of yarn in it!  I threaded the drawstrings through the outermost row of eyelets and cinched it up.
I used less than 50 grams for this, and it holds a 100-gram ball of yarn.  I was going to have one of the girls take a picture of me KIPing and using the bag; but I'm sick today, and the only place I went was the gym, and I don't take my knitting to the gym.  So that will have to wait for another day.

EDITED TO ADD: All three of my daughters have told me they want their own KIP Bags.  And only one of them knows how to knit. ☺

I'm wondering whether Knit Picks might be interested in a pattern like this.  It would only use one ball of yarn.  They don't have a lot of projects that use this little amount of yarn.  But they also don't have any lacy little KIP bags either.  I think I'll send a proposal, and suggest it as a free pattern, since it's so small and simple.
And then I need to make a "banana bag" for my sister.  She asked for one ages ago, and I haven't gotten it made.  And she hasn't forgotten that I promised to make one either.  I haven't been able to find a pattern for one; the closest pattern I've found is a bag for a yoga mat.  So you know what that means....another design is in the works! ☺

Monday, March 21, 2011

Moving right along...

I've made quite a bit of progress on the Winding Road sock!
Yes, I modeled this right sock on my left foot, but that's only because it's easier to take a picture of the "inside" side of your foot than the "outside" side.  Anyway, I've finished the gusset decreases, and I'm continuing on the foot.  I'm really enjoying this pattern.  Once I had done two repeats of the cable, I didn't have to look at the pattern again until it was time for the heel flap.  It's an instinctive design, and very easy to follow.  And this yarn is so yummy!  Very soft, and such a pretty colorway, and I haven't had any strange pooling, just a nice all-over variegation which is what I was hoping for.  Mara did a great job with both the pattern and the yarn. ☺
I've also started swatching a new idea.  I'm not sure what it's going to be yet, but I know that it will be circular, and have a swirly lace pattern.  I'm thinking it might be another baby blanket.  Or maybe a knitting bag.  Decisions, decisions.... I guess the swatch'll tell me what it wants to be when it's a little bigger.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I finished the second sock!  I love how these turned out.
 Pattern: Centennial Socks by Sieglinde McGinnis, soon to be published
Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca
Needle: US2
This is the second pair I finished this month. ☺
And, since I've finished those, I decided to go ahead and start some more!
These were designed by my friend Mara Jessup, and she also dyed the yarn.
I didn't see any more of this particular blend in her shop, but she has lots of lovely yarns.  Go check it out!

How about a little rant to start your day?

We have a dishwasher.  We use it quite frequently.  As a matter of fact, we run it practically every day; sometimes twice a day.  My children seem to be unaware of this fact until I point it out to them.  Every day.  If I don't specifically say "Put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher" they will put them on the counter above the dishwasher.  Six inches away from where they should put them.  And when there isn't room on that little sliver of counter(that area is also occupied by the dish drying rack, for when dishes get washed by hand), they'll make little piles all around the kitchen on the other counters.  It doesn't help that Hubby does the same thing.  It's apparently too much to ask for anyone but me to actually look in the dishwasher to see if it holds clean or dirty dishes and whether there is room for more.

As a result of their lack of using-their-fricken-eyes, dishes inevitably fall off the stacks, or get dropped(sometimes even on purpose) and broken.  It happened yesterday.  The dishwasher had room.  The piles were everywhere.  Angel and Princess know that it is their job to "take care of the dishes", so it wasn't that I was being lazy; they were.  So I told them to get to work and fill the dishwasher and start it.  Of course, they are unable to work together without fighting.  Combine that inability with wet, slippery dishes; and it's inevitable.  A tempered-glass pan lid was "dropped".  Yes, we do have tile floor in the kitchen, so things that are dropped can get broken.  But these pan lids have been dropped umpteen times and have never broken before.  Which makes me a little skeptical of the accidental-dropping story.  But I digress.  Tempered glass, when it breaks, shatters into tiny, sharp pieces and flies everywhere.  My lovely children were condemned to spend the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen until it was "clean".  Of course, their standard of "clean" isn't exactly the same as mine, but that's a rant for another day.

I came to the conclusion that my incredibly privileged children are unaware of what a great blessing a dishwasher is.  I grew up without one; I was the dish washer.  My sister Rebekah still doesn't have one; a fact I was reminded of when she called me while the kids were cleaning up.  So I decided that my children need to be deprived of the dishwasher for a while so that they'll appreciate it.  For the next month, our dishwasher will stay empty and locked, and the girls will wash every dish by hand.  Yes, I mean it.  I got a little notepaper and wrote on it "April 17" and hung it on the front of the fridge.  Until that day, they are not allowed to use the dishwasher.  If they haven't learned the lesson by then, I'll add another month.

Yes, I am a mean mommy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Evellyn Anne is up!

My Evellyn Anne baby blanket pattern is finally up on Knit Picks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Julia Lynne is on her way!

I sent the sample and pattern off yesterday.  Hooray!  So now it's time to turn my attention to the next design proposal....and future designs! 

Having celebrated yesterday the second anniversary of being banned from a knitting site, I find myself wanting to design something with a Bunker theme.  I want to celebrate the wonderful family of crafters that I'm fortunate to be part of.  We're a tightly-knit group(pun intended)...with different personalities...some are skilled at being vague...some are crazy and tons of fun...some are quiet...some are full of advice...all are creative...so I'm thinking whatever it is should have lots of different stitch patterns.  Some cables, some lace, some texture...maybe some colorwork?  It should definitely be Bunker Blue.  Sorry, just thinking out loud...or thinking with my fingers...or something like that. ☺

Here's a question for my readers...What inspires you?  What does your design process look like?  Do you start with a theme and then come up with a project that describes it?  Do you begin with a stitch pattern and then decide what sort of project would showcase it?  Or do you start with a garment idea, then flesh out the idea with stitch patterns?  To answer my own question, I do all of the above.  For Julia Lynne, I started with "I want to make a little girls' cardigan with lace and ruffles".  For Laura, I started with "I want to encourage Laura".  For Frost, I started with "I love this stitch pattern".  So tell me, how do you design?  Really, I'm curious!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Julia Lynne is done!

I finished my Julia Lynne cardigan last night!  I blocked it overnight.  And this morning, we had a very successful photo shoot.  I took the girls to the park, and told Angel and Princess to go play while I took pics of Kitty.  Poor Kitty, she just wanted to play too, but she had to wait until I had enough pictures.  Here are a few of them...
It's a gorgeous day, so it was perfect for photos and playing at the park.  Some of the pictures came out a little shady, so I brightened them up, except for the one on the monkey bars.  That one was bright enough, and it would have been my favorite if not for the shadow across the sweater.  I like the bike one also, but the grass in the background turned out so bright it almost hurts my eyes!

After polling my friends, I decided to use the one on the swing as the main pattern pic, and include the one in the tree as well.  I'll send all of the pictures along with the pattern to Knit Picks, and they can use all of them on the website. I really hope they like my photos, because I'm partial to having my own girls model for my patterns.

And now I'm back to planning for my next pattern!  I'm trying to decide between my Frost Cowl and my Crown Jewels Shawl.  I'm leaning toward the shawl, since winter is practically over.  I'll probably hold onto Frost until fall.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Speaking of socks...

I finished the test-knit sock!
Isn't this a great design?  Sieglinde did a great job.  I can't wait to see her pattern up on a prominent knitting site!  I used Berocco Ultra Alpaca in a light heathered bluish-green.  I've already done the cuff ribbing for the second sock, but I'm not going to knit it in two days like I did the first.  I need to work on my other projects.

So right now I'm working on Julia Lynne.  She needs sleeves.  I was going to Magic Loop them, but instead I'm using a very short circular.  It's working, but not well.  I wish it were about two inches shorter; the stitches are a bit stretched out on this needle.  I'm thinking of switching back to the longer one, or dpns.  My longer needle doesn't have a nice flexible cable, which is why I switched to the short one in the first place.  But it might still be quicker than dpns.  Aw, heck, I'm wasting time thinking about it; I'm going to just go back to my original plan and get this done.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm still here!

Hi there!  I realize I haven't blogged in almost a week.  I've been busy, and haven't had time.  First, since all I talked about last week was the kitchen, yes, Hubby liked it. We didn't get a chance to talk about the cabinets, though, since he was only home for two days, and then off to London.
While he was here, on Saturday we went to a ball.  It was a West Point Founders Day ball, which I always enjoy.  The first one I went to was eleven years ago, when we were engaged.  Now, here we are, old married couple...
I wore the Waltz shawl that Sandra made for me, and it came in very handy, as it was a chilly evening.  I got a lot of compliments on it.
Okay, on to what else has kept me busy!  I finished this pair of socks yesterday morning.  I had started them a while back, and last week I got the first one out and realized I was ready for the toe decreases, so I might as well finish it...and when I finished it, I thought I had better go ahead and start the second one, even though I've never caught Second Sock Syndrome.  And then, after I'd finished the ribbing and started on the heart lace pattern, I volunteered to test-knit a sock pattern for my friend Sieglinde....and then realized that the needle I wanted to use was in my second heart sock.  So I zoomed through the second sock, getting it done in one week!  And here they are!
I think, since I finished the second sock in a week, this counts for my Socks In A Month KAL.  But just in case anyone disagrees, I'm still knitting socks.  I started on Sieglinde's sock immediately after finishing the second heart sock, and just over twelve hours later, I had turned the heel.  I would have gotten farther on it, but I kept getting distracted, by lunch, by dinner, and by this:
That's right, it's a crochet project!  And I'm not a crocheter.  Not that it would be a bad thing if I were; I just prefer to knit.  But I couldn't resist this pattern!  It was designed by my friend Michelle, and is available on Knit Picks: http://www.knitpicks.com/patterns/Diamond_Exchange_Crochet_Scarf___D10886220.html  Isn't it a gorgeous design?  And it's simple enough for a beginner like me to do!  I'm using some lovely sock yarn that was dyed by my friend Mara(the blue/green tonal) and a Paton's yarn to go with it.  All three of my girls were begging me yesterday to make it for them.  I think I will, but I won't tell them.  I'll make three, in different color schemes and set them aside for Christmas presents, because by the time Christmas gets here, they'll have forgotten about them.
And just for fun, here's something I made a while back, and forgot to post a picture.
I made this sock for a swap spoilee who likes to knit socks.  I think every sock knitter should have a sock blocker keychain. ☺ I still need to make a sock for mine...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another curtain

I found magnetic curtain rods today!  Which means I was able to carry out my plan for the door to the back yard.  I got the rods before my workout, and the fabric after.  They only had two sheer fabrics in the right color; a stiff shiny one and a sparkly one.  The girls preferred the sparkles, but in the end I went with the shiny one, even though I would have liked a softer fabric.  Anyhow, the back door now has a nice sheer blue curtain over the full-length window, and it really helps cut down the glare on the television.  So it was worth the extra expense.  Two more days until Hubby gets to see the new kitchen.  I really hope he likes it!

Worked my back and arms today, and did 20 minutes on the elliptical.  It was a good workout.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My kitchen!

I've got the kitchen just about done, for now.  Here's the window over the sink...
 Here's the table area, with the new curtains on the windows.  And you can see one of the framed doilies there to the right of the window...

 Here's a closeup of a doily; there are two of these, on opposite walls.  I used some leftover curtain fabric for the background.
 And here's the coordinating doily that is next to the window in the picture above...
These doilies are over a hundred years old, and were made either by Hubby's grandmother, great-grandmother or great-aunt.  They've started to come apart in places, so I've been afraid to use them, or even handle them too much.  Now they'll be protected and displayed at the same time.

I still want to darken the cabinets and maybe even the table and chairs, but I'll wait.  So now I just need to clean it up, and get all my project stuff put away....and hope it stays clean until Friday...