Saturday, December 20, 2014

Some things are worth bragging about, some things not so much..........


I have been decorated for Christmas for weeks........but still do not have my tree up.
 

I finished wrapping presents yesterday.........but my wrapping skills are completely rubbish.  I should take more time to do it right but I really don't care.  It is a big joke in my family, I can create some lovely things but simply can not wrap.


I try very hard to not buy more yarn..........
 

But I was so intrigued at the hat I made my son for Christmas, and how the yarn pooled I thought I might try to make myself a cowl.  I did use every yard of yarn I recently bought in Ohio for gifts, none was added to the stash, so I deserve this don't I?

I try hard to be a Superhero.........but that job is already filled at my house.
 

24 hours ago.......
 

12 hours ago..........
 

This morning. 
 I try to be patient for my Amaryllis to bloom.....but find I just can't wait for its beauty to unfold.
 

I tried to be patient yesterday at Little Buddy's small concert in his room.  He was a pistol!!!  He did not sing, he pestered the child next to him and tried to steal his bells.  Then I took a deep breath and looked around.  Not everyone was behaving.......and I am just happy he is a pistol because that is what is going to make him move forward with all his disabilities.


He did do very well meeting Santa.  He even tried on Santa's glasses.
 

I am not so great with all the Christmas stuff, I am a grouch that is for sure.  But my cards are done, the presents are bought, wrapped and shipped.  I am in a better place than usual.  Now it is just time to relax and enjoy.....but you know what I am not so good at that either.

How are you doing as the days until Christmas grow shorter?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Princess, Her Highness and some wonderful gifts




 The gorgeousness battle continues between my lovely Christmas Cacti.  Princess has lead off with a brilliant display, but Her highness, who is much older, and wiser is in it for the long haul.  She reminds me that age is beauty in and of itself, I have to agree.  She may not have as many blossoms, but the ones she has are incredible.  They are the deepest red and a big beautiful size.  And as she also shared, she has been blooming on time for years, and that accounts for a lot.  The competition is all in fun as both plants know they are loved, and I am proud of them.  I have a feeling Princess can learn a thing or two from Her Highness, you can flash your beauty when you are young, but what you have deep inside you to share over time is really what is important.


Friend/teacher/therapists gifts are all wrapped and ready to deliver.  Hooray for that all being done!

I received two amazing gifts in the mail this past weekend.  Right when I thought my headache was going to burst my head open I received these wonderful, thoughtful gifts.  First are these amazing notebooks for knitters from my beautiful friend Anne of NaNa GoGo...in search of simple things. 
They were made by Jill Draper of jilldraper.com, and might I add they are wonderful.  First the cover is stamped with pictures of beautiful wool providing friends, and inside the cover is a weight conversion chart, small ruler and a needle conversion chart.  The blank pages are for your notes while making a project.  The idea is brilliant and I just love it.  Thank you so much Anne!!!!  Anne and I have shared a lot of things over the years, including our dear friends fighting for their lives as they battled cancer.  Anne is the very best, she is so talented with needles and a hook, and a kind word when needed, you are going to be in awe of all her beautiful makes.  Please pop in and wish her Happy Holidays.


Another bag popped into my mail box from  Chris at Chrissie's Knits Times.  This is not really a Christmas present, but rather a just because present.  Now who else but a blogger would send you a just becasue present at the busiest freaking time of the year?  You see Chris works a bit part time in a yarn store, (I know I am insanely jealous, too).  She saw this yarn and thought I would like it.  And guess what, she was right.  She knew about my dishcloth obsession these past few months and thought I might like to give this yarn a try.  This yarn is so beautiful, and I think perfect for dishcloths as it is a bit thinner than the Sugar'n Cream I had been using.  This is Sudz by Estelle Yarns, 100 % cotton yarn.  I think I am in love.


Look at these vibrant colors!  I love them.  Now my mind is spinning and I am thinking of things to make with these beauties, and it just might not be dishcloths.  Thank you so much Chris, please pop in and send Chris a big hello, and look at the absolutely stunning cowl she just finished.  She attempts all sorts of knitting I only dream of.
 

A lot of you are already closing down your blogs for the Holidays, to you I wish you a wonderful Holiday Season.  I will be here, trying to stay up with all the festivities as best as I can through these busy days.  I appreciate your visits all year long, and I appreciate all the time you take to connect with me though commenting especially this time of year when time seems so limited.

Wishing you a wonderful day.
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Limpet Mitts according to Meredith and some Christmas

Way back in November, Sue of Mr. Micawber's Recipe for Happiness posted a CAL for her beautiful Limpet Mitts pattern.  I am not usually one to jump in but Sue's patterns are so fascinating and you learn so much from her.  I decided to get moving and try to stay up with the instructions.  Alas I have to admit I did not stay up, but I finished mine yesterday, well Limpet Mitts according to Meredith that is.


Here was the first section to the pattern.  I was so thrilled I learned about Sue's special way of joining rounds and I learned how to make Limpets.  They are so fun and such an incredible design element. 
This poor portion of the pattern remained all by itself until yesterday when I finally decided to get this project done.
 

Now Sue, don't be all embarrassed for me but I just could not do the thumb portion of the mitt.   First of all I got mixed up, and since I was nursing a pretty bad headache I had to read the directions several times (not your fault they were flawless).  When my heads hurts nothing makes sense even simple directions.  Then as I actually got it right I decided that the yarn I was using was too thick to make the thumb, there would have just been too much yarn between my thumb and hand.


I put them down for a while and thought about it.  What if I made it without the thumb portion?  Well I am no designer or even that creative, so I had to give this a lot of thought, and frankly my head was not cooperating.  I finally worked it out, going back and forth for four rows and then joining again in the round.  The problem was I should have decreased before going back and forth to make them fit better as Sue was decreasing at the same time she was making the thumb, well live and learn.  My yarn choice was also a bit to thick, I made a smaller size but really should have used slightly thinner yarn.


They are a bit wide across the widest part of my hand, but I do sort of have thin hands, they just might be perfect for someone else, but there is no way I am giving these away, I like them too much.  I used Jo Sharp yarn left over from one of the tank top/sweaters I made earlier this year.  So here they are Limpet Mitt's according to Meredith, minus the thumb, and a little too big........


Signs of Christmas are all over my house.  Little Buddy loves looking at these snowflakes slowly spinning in my windows.
 

My mantle has been decorated since right after Thanksgiving.  I don't like to decorate early but I know with my schedule it is the only way it works for me.
 

I collected Santa's for years, it was a great present for my parents to give me, as it always gave them something to look for that I would love.


My favorite Father Christmas I bought years ago at an art fair where my parents used to live in Michigan, he is sitting on my Father's antigue red bike.
 

Not the best picture here but I did want you to see Her Highness on the right, and Princess on the left, in relation to the other plants I have.  These two are ginormous for Christmas Cactus plants.  Princess was really 1/3 of the size when I bought her last year.  Do you see my tomato plant in the middle?
 

Little Buddy's face has healed right up.  By the next day all you could really see was the scratch on his face.  If you looked really close there was a tiny bit of brusing around his eye.
 

He says thanks for all your well wishes.

Happy Sunday.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Can you stand two more......and poor Little Buddy

I am done with my Christmas crochet/knitting creating.  I may not be done with all creating but creating of the crochet or knitted kind is finished.  I made the last cowl for Little Buddy's babysitter.  She watches him every Monday and Wednesday while I am at work.  I love her and so does he.  She loves purple so I decided she needed a cowl too.


Yes another Malabrigo Rios Cowl.  I usually make her a shawl, but she is getting a cowl this year instead.  She likes to walk in the park and believe it or not it has been chilly here recently.  I thought this might keep her neck warm on chilly mornings.


I love the variations in color in Malabrigo yarn, and it is just so soft to work with.


Then I decided to use the Cascade Yarn Eco Duo yarn I bought in Ohio to make myself a cowl, too.  Now I just about love this yarn more than any yarn I have ever worked with, and I love this exact color.  I now have this cowl, a large basket weave cowl, and a Queen Anne's Lace Scarf all made from this exact same yarn in the exact same color.   Knowing myself, next time I see it in a store I will probably buy some more.  I just can't seem to help myself.


It is so pretty and soft who can resist?


Now for Little Buddy.  Apparently he took a big fall on the playground today near the sandbox.  His poor little face hit the fence and I think the fence won.  He was very sad when he got home from school, I can't blame him, I bet that it was pretty scary.  I know his teachers took great care of him and I told them that little, active boys are going to fall, no matter how hard we try to watch them.  It is all part of growing up and exploring.  I have a feeling this sweet face is going to look worse before it looks better.

Hope you are not feeling as beat up as this little one is looking.
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Simple Sunday

I run around so much for work, and of course for Little Buddy that today I need a simple day.  Actually every Sunday I need a simple day.  My decorations are up, well except for my tree which is the last thing I put up and the first thing I take down.  My yarny gifts are almost complete, the last crochet cowl is in the works as I type this.  I have Christmas cards to address and must get my husband to write a wee note about Little Buddy to include with our cards.    A lot of people don't know about him yet and I want them to see how he fits into our family, and not to think he is our Grandchild (I am assuming Mr. 21's ?!?!?!),  like one acquaintance thought after he ran into my husband and Little Buddy at the grocery store.  Seriously this man, who actually knows Mr. 21, actually asked that!
Today is about simple.


Maybe I will wear my new scrap yarn slippers.  These are made with the leftover Malabrigo bits and bobs I had from the crochet cowls I made.  The flowers were already made, I have a tendency to whip one up when I have a bit of yarn leftover.  I used them to cover my wonky seams which are ever so much more apparent in stripes.  Funny the stripes match up from the wrong side when I sewed them up.  Lets just say my finishing techniques leave much to be desired.


I love the wonkieness of them, is wonkieness actually a word? You can find the pattern for them here.


I saw these plastic ornaments on sale at Joann's for a dollar each and had an idea.  Only a true yarn lover would think of putting yarn ends into a plastic ornament and think it would look dazzling on a tree. 


My lovely friend Lynda sent me these two ornaments.   They have been on her Christmas tree for years.  I think she sent them to the right place.


May I introduce you to Mrs. Claus with toothpick knitting needles.

And of course this darling sheep who will never be packed away in the Christmas bin again.  I think this lovely sheep deserves to be displayed year round. 


Her Highness is getting ready to burst into bloom.  She was moved closer to the house this year as our summer was very hot.  She has grown a little but is in risk of being shown up by her daughter, Princess.


I purchased Princess last year and she has outdone herself growing and adapting to her new home.  She is huge and apparently loves the total neglect I give her.  If you have read my blog in years past you will know my Christmas cactus live outside in the Florida heat and humidity, I water them all the time, re-pot them and frankly forget they are supposed to be treated differently.  I never follow the rules on growing them and they seem to thrive so I am keeping with what works. 


I almost forgot to buy an Amaryllis plant this year.  I loved having one on my table last year, so when I saw one at the grocery store a few days ago I bought it.  I bought the smallest one they had so I could see it grow.  It has already grown inches in just a few short days.  I look forward to seeing that gorgeous red bloom.

So today is about simple, being at home, making blueberry muffins, addressing cards, maybe a row or two of crochet, a bike ride/walk with Little Buddy and just being at home. 

How is your Sunday shaping up?
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Friday, December 5, 2014

Ohio State Scarf and Hat


Do you remember the wonderful Ohio State themed yarn I bought while visiting my son in Columbus?  It is now a scarf and hat, made for him for Christmas.  This is Cascade Yarns, 128 Superwash, in merino wool, 128 yards per skein.  It is really a delight to work with, very soft and fluffy.
 

I am fascinated how variegated yarn behaves when used in different situations.  Here is the hat, knit in the round in pretty basic stockinette stitch.  I love how the colors pool, but are slightly different in each row.  I cast on 54 stitches using size 10 1/2 double pointed needles, made around a 2 inch rib, knit it until I thought it was long enough, about 8 1/2 inches, and then  knit tog 2 tog until I had just a few stitches on the needles.  I then used a darning needle to pull the yarn through the last remaining stitches, and it was done, easy peasy.  This is based on the pattern I referred to in my last post.


Now look at the same yarn used in a very simple garter stitch scarf, it looks completely different.  Cast on 21 stitches using size 10 1/2 needles, knit each row until you run out of yarn, that was at about the 48 in. mark for me.  I'd say it is pretty manly, just perfect for Mr. 21.


I thought the scarf was okay until I made the hat, which I am in total love with and now makes the scarf look pretty drab.  The hat just has some extra zing I think, and I love the colors, love, love, love the way it turned out.  I could do something else with the scarf, but I am not frogging it as I know my son, it will be lost in no time at all.  Two more finished projects to add to my list.

Now for the modeling session...........


Someone I know was not in the mood to model.  He was busy eating his breakfast and watching his shows before school.  I took a million photos of him, almost all of them were a big blur as he was turning his head every which way.
 

I swear he looks like an Elf, one of Santa's helpers with his tiny little head.
 

Even blurry he is awfully cute.

Happy Friday.
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