Monday, November 24, 2014

Home Again.......................

I am home again after a very wonderful weekend in Columbus, Ohio.  I want to thank Columbus for snow on the ground when I arrived and bitterly cold temps, also for the icy rain that fell from the skies and covered my car with a good layer of thick ice that I had to chip off.  I also am thankful it all melted and I did not fall on my tush, although I almost went down a few times.  By Sunday the grey skies looked like snow but the temperature was warm, almost 50! I experienced such a variety of northern weather so thank you.

I got to spend a lot of time with this gorgeous guy.  A few dinners, grabbing lunch for him and driving him home, and just watching him swim was such a treat.  When my boys were growing up both of them swam and that involved countless hours of traveling, practices and meets.   My teenager gave up swimming his freshman year of high school, but Mr. 21 has been swimming year round since he was 11.  That was, and is a lot of work for him, and for us.  And the thing I miss is just watching him swim.  I am a nervous wreck at these meets, really I almost make myself ill, but I miss just seeing him glide through the water even when he is just warming up for an event or cooling down.  

He spends no less then five hours a day at this pool, six days a week training, and training, and that does not include weights and dryland training.  I am in awe of his perseverance.  Swimming has not been easy for him with a nasty abusive coach when he was a teenager,  training hard for years to only drop a fraction of a second or not drop time at all.  It is really amazing to me that this young man of mine is still in the pool.  But he is, no matter the setbacks he gets back in and swims.  I could learn a lot from him.  

Not the best picture of him as he had just taken a deep breath and was blowing it out trying to pump oxygen into his lungs before he got on the blocks.  I think all of your well wishes helped.  He did really well for this time in the season.  The meet was with four teams, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue and Kenyon State.  He fianled in all his events, getting two fifths, a tie for sixth and a ninth.  So that is great, but it is really how he did within his own team that counts.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that he makes it onto the traveling team, which would be very exciting for him.  All these kids train hard, not just my son, but I don't know their stories, I just know his.  And I know he deserves to succeed, to finally feel he is where he needs to be and that all his years of hard work are finally paying off.  He is growing into a really nice young man.  Every time I get to see him I see that he is changing, maybe I can even say the word maturing, it is slow but it is steady.  And the best part of all is that I think after he gets this college business out of his system he is going to be a good man, and really that is all I can ask.  Oh and I got to meet his new, "girlfriend."  She is just lovely, and they make a darling couple.  See maturing...............I like it.

 Oh yes there was yarn shopping.  I actually went to the store directly from the airport, I wasn't sure how much time I would have over the weekend.  This is what being on a yarn diet does to you, it makes you weak in the knees when you smell yarn fumes drifting from the store.  And since I have recently been making gifts with my stash of Malabrigo Rios, I had to buy some more.  The yarn above is for gifts, so do they really count towards my stash if I am using them right away? 

This one is for me.   Cascade Eco Duo which I have used over, and over again as it is so soft and wonderful.  The Yarn Shop is packed full of gorgeous yarn, and frankly since my yarn store closed this past summer I have not been in a store like this.  I was saving my yarn purchases for this weekend and I had so much fun.  You could get lost with all the loveliness surrounding you in this store, but I had a plan because I had specific gifts in mind.  More about that all later.  Yes I am still on the gift making kick, I feel like I am on a spinning gift making wheel and I can't get off!  After you see my latest projects you might just jump on with me.

I only had my iPad with me on this trip and frankly can't stand to read blogs on it.  I know many of you use it but I really think it is so slow.  So I crocheted and binge watched Scandal on Netflix starting with the very first episode. I have never seen this show before, well it is surprising all they pack into an episode.  I crocheted at the pool, and while watching a little Ohio State football in the coziness of my hotel room.  I crocheted on the plane while listening to an audiobook, as you can see I got a lot done.  When I get some buttons you will see my finished projects.

And during the meet the girlfriend dinner, my son informed me he lost the Ohio State scarf I made for him last Christmas.  Why does this not surprise me?  I said he was maturing slowly, not mature yet.  So I hopped in my car and went back to the store (it is only five miles away which is pretty convenient and dangerous) for more team colored yarn.  Look at this fun Cascade Superwash...... yes he will get another scarf for Christmas, how can I resist?

I am painfully behind on blog reading, I hope you will excuse me.  This crammed in, shortened work week is not going to help.  If you have something you need me to know shoot me a comment or an email, I hope to catch up with you all soon.

How was your weekend?  Did you get a lot done?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Things on my mind today.................

How are you doing today?  Having a good week so far?  Have you joined in with Sue for her first CAL to make her gorgeous Limpet Mitts?  I have my yarn and hook ready to go, but I have packed them away to take with me to Columbus, OH this weekend when I go to visit my son.  A fun project to make on my trip I'd say.  I am very excited, and can I add I am going all by myself!!!!!  So this will be my last post until next week and I have a few things that have been on my mind.  Let me say from the start I hope I do not offend anyone, these are my feelings and mine alone.

You know I love blogging, I love the friendships I have made, the places I have visited and the amazing creativity I have seen.  The thing I don't like about blogging, besides word verification which truly messes with my aging eyes, is that it sometimes feels like a bit of a popularity contest.  And that makes me feel like I am back in high school which to be honest was not my favorite time in life.  That is why I do not do awards on my blog.  I am so touched that someone has thought about me in a positive light, but I don't want to hurt any one's feelings by not including them.  This year the blog around the world hop was very big, I did not want to join in as I just did not want anyone to feel left out, or that I did not value them enough to pick them.  I think I might be a bit oversensitive about all of this, I just feel everyone should feel included and valued, and that one blog is not more important than the next, and that definitely includes mine.  Does this make sense or do I sound like a rambling fool?  I don't like lists of favorites, the best blogs for this and that, I want everyone to feel important, that they matter.  I have said before if you are not on my blog roll and you want to be let me know because I would sure like to have you.  We should all be kind towards each other, and that includes helping everyone feel special, like they belong just as much as everyone else.  And of course that kindness should be extended to comments.  Many of my friends have had such negative comments lately, I have been blessed as far as comments go but know my turn is coming.  Be kind, treat each blogger with respect and comment in a positive light or don't comment at all.  Now you don't have to agree with everything, but there is a way to state your position without being rude or negative.

Okay I will stop with my little lecture now.  Those thoughts have been swirling in my head for sometime now and I just had to get them out.

Onto Simple Garter Stitch Slippers pair number two.  Made from delicious Malabrigo Rios in the color Teal Feather.  I had forgotten how much I love Malabrigo yarn.  It is soft, yummy and oh so fun to work with.  

I know you are thinking these are blue and not teal, well in this picture that is correct, but in real life they are greenish/teal.   I made them too big as I wasn't thinking clearly.  They are for my friend Lynda who is getting the woven dishtowels and dishcloths.  Her feet are bigger than mine, and due to neuropathy from the chemotherapy she is taking they are sore.  And her toenails are an issue from the same medication so I am hoping they are comfortably big on her but not too big.   She needs room and comfort but not clown slippers if you know what I mean.

This is the real color.  I tried the crochet border on them and just hated it, I felt it was all wonky and wobbly.  So off it came and buttons were added instead.  Now I have started a cowl for her and will make her a hat and I will be done with useful presents for her.  Thank goodness she appreciates homemade things. 

While I am gone my sister Claudia will be having a birthday.  Actually it is on the 21st if you would be so kind as to wish her a great day for me.  

And if you have a positive thought to spare could you send it to Mr. 21 who will be in a swim meet this weekend.  And I might need one or two so I don't get upset about his swimming, or the coach, or the lack of coaching, I usually am a nervous wreck at these meets, I need to be calm.  You bet I will have yarn in my hands to help me through it all.

Thank you for letting me vent.  Now I need to go pack my projects, download audiobooks and pack some warm clothes.  Have a great rest of the week.
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Simple Garter Stitch Slippers

With all the crochet I have been doing I have been itching to get knitting needles in my hands.  I am like that, when I crochet I want to be knitting, when I knit I can't wait to have a hook in my hand.  You see I am never really happy!  When my knitting friend came over for Thai food and some knitting last weekend she brought over this pattern for Simple Garter Stitch Slippers, a free Ravelry download by handepande. She is making them for her daughters for Christmas.

I quite fell in love with them and cast on right away.  Well that is after I made myself finish those woven towels and crochet dishcloths.  These are a super quick project and keep you toes toasty warm.  I had mine on last night as the temps dropped a bit down towards the chilly mark.

Here have a peek.

I used J. Knits Superwash Sock yarn doubled up and size 6 needles.  This yarn was a Christmas present from my husband last year.  God bless him he has bought me sock yarn several years in a row even though I refuse to knit socks anymore.  Now that the yarn store is closed there will not be anymore Christmas yarn for me........wah!

I added the buttons as my seam was well, pretty craptastic. I think the buttons are fun.  I love the versions on the pattern, you have to check them out to see what I mean.  I can see a scrap yarn pair in my future. 

I immediately started on a pair for my friend who is getting the woven towels and flowered dishcloths, remember I am trying for useful projects for her this year.  My lovely friend Pat asked for the dishcloth pattern, frankly I can't believe anyone would ask me for a pattern so thank you Pat!  It is the Flower Dishcloth also a free pattern on Ravelry.  I swear what did we do before Ravelry?  Pat, I added one more round to my dishcloths to make them a bit wider. My lovely friend  Pammy Sue sent me a link to this dishcloth/potholder which I would also like to try when I get my dishcloth mojo working again.  Pammy Sue is taking a bit of a break, go on her blog and bug her to get blogging again, I miss her sense of humor.

My wee tomatoes are growing.  I am sooooooo excited!

Don't they look fun?

I am the very proud winner of a shawl pattern by the lovely Elisabeth, it is the gorgeous one she has surrounded herself with in her blog picture.  You can find the beautiful pattern here, it is simply gorgeous.  Thank you so much Elisabeth.

Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon (well after Little Buddy's therapy) teaching my SIL's how to weave.  Now this is a bit hysterical in itself as I barely know myself.  We had fun, and even though I kept jumping around with my information because frankly it is not settled in my own brain yet, I think they are getting the hang of it.  We are making towels as I already had the yarn.......wish me luck on round two with them tomorrow.  I hope to send them home with my loom and hope that they will be on their way to woven bliss.

How are you?
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Woven Towels

The woven towels for my friend Lynda's Christmas present are off the loom.  They have been wet down and spread out to dry.  They have been ironed, and then placed over a chair to wait for the photo shoot where they became wrinkled again.  So excuse the massive wrinkles in the pictures, obviously they need a good go at the iron again.   These photos are craptastic (of course the wrinkles don't help much).  I took them when the evening was approaching and the light was getting dim.  Should I have taken them again this morning?  You bet I should, but who has time to take towels all over the place for a proper photos shoot, waiting for the perfect moment for them to behave?

I used Peaches & Cream yarn bought at the dreaded Walmart.  I have to say I like Sugar & Cream yarn much better, I think it is thicker but that may be totally my imagination. 

Each towel is 19 x 17 inches and made with alternating stripes.  Now next time I make these I will make them a little longer, I had some extra warp at the end so they could have been a good 21 x 17......ah well, live and learn.

I also made her two dishcloths with another one on the way.  

I hope she likes this present.  At least she will know I was thinking about her as I made them.  Lynda has recently visited and met Little Buddy.  She is my friend who lost her husband this past Spring, all while she was moving into a smaller home, and figting breast cancer herself.  I want to make her things she will use, not give her more things for her to try and fit into her smaller home.  We all have so much, don't we?  I plan on knitting her a pair of slippers and hopefully a hat to add to her presents stash.

There was a little bit of warp  on the loom and I hated to waste it.  I am not sure what this is as it is 9 x 17........hmmmmmmm maybe it looks good just like this, a simple table topper with flowers on it.

Today it is all about Little Buddy and his appointments.  We are headed to the Children's Hospital to get an MRI, and to see his pediatric neurosurgeon for a routine check-up.   It is a long drive for him and a long morning for me.  As soon as we get back home I turn around and drive right back in that direction for work.  So today I will be spending a lot of time in the car and waiting rooms with a very wiggly boy.

What is in store for you?
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Monday, November 10, 2014

A quiet Autumn morning

Sunday morning was quiet.  A hint of coolness in the air, the sky covered with Autumn clouds.  The berries on my holly tree are sparse this year but still beautiful.  Leaves fall from the trees and turn colors on my lawn. After a brief sprinkling of rain my lone rose looks rehydrated.  Tiny flowers are turning into tomatoes on my potted tomato plant.  The potential of an empty loom and a new project with needles and yarn.  And of course a beautiful wee little face to brighten my day.  The weekend is over, it slipped by so fast.  Nothing remarkable happened, just bits and pieces of life.  Now onto Monday and the whirlwind of a busy week.........
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Saturday, November 8, 2014

A new shawl

Shhhhhhhhh, can you keep a secret?  My husband is out of town visiting Mr. 21, and I got the best nights sleep last night, no snoring, no one kicking the bed in the middle of the night or waking me up early as he is an early riser.  It was so lovely.  I had my knitting friend over for Thai food last night and a bit of creating time.  After Little Buddy drifted off to sleep we chatted and played with yarn, how lovely is that?  Today Little Buddy is off to visit his Aunt's for a bit this morning so I can go out and run some errands.  Then it will be lunch, nap time and a visit from his Medical Foster Parents this afternoon.  Leftovers for dinner and a quiet evening will hopefully end the day.  I might actually get to watch Death Comes to Pemberley, which has been saved forever on my TV.

I do have a finish to show you.  Another Olive Twist Shawl by our favorite blog friend and up and coming fab designer Sue Perez.  

Made with Berroco Boboli Lace in color 4383, and a size I hook.

This is the left over yarn I had from the woven shawl I made my friend Lynda this past summer.  So I am guessing about 475 yards used in this project. Yarn from my stash and a completed gift, a win-win.

Before blocking, it was a muddly mess.

After blocking the design popped!  Now mind you I used steam and I shouldn't have.  This yarn is made of 42% Wool, 35% Acrylic, and 23% Viscose.  Right on the label it says, "lay flat to dry".  Did I pay attention to that?  No, not me.  I got that steam iron out and went to town.  I am glad I did not melt the whole thing.  It definitely changed the integrity of the yarn, so my suggestion to you is if you use this yarn is to wet block your project.

This is for Little Buddy's Speech Therapist for Christmas.  She has been working with him as long as I have.  She has worked so hard to help him to first suck from a bottle, eat food and to communicate.  I think she deserves a really nice treat. 

His Physical Therapist is going skiing for Christmas.  I had a beautiful chunky red cowl I made earlier in the year in my present bin, she will get that for Christmas.   And his Vision teacher will get a Queen Anne's Lace Scarf I crocheted a few months ago.  I swear things are looking good for Christmas presents, I have a few more to make and then I am done!

This morning the lovely lady on the moon showed her beautiful profile to me.  This picture above is untouched, no editing at all. 

With a little crop and auto-contrast you can see her so much better.

Have a great Saturday.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Moved by the Moon

“We ran as if to meet the moon.”  -Robert Frost-
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