Thursday, July 28, 2011

Moss Road Scarf


Why is it I always want to take a photo when it is early in the morning or late in the afternoon?  Both times are not the greatest times for lighting.  So anyways, this is the scarf I am making for my father in law's birthday.  My in-laws live in Ontario, Canada and we will be visiting them sometime this fall.  


They used to visit us every fall but now that they are getting older they have decided the drive is just too long for them.  I agree!  It is a very very long drive for me :)  So when we do make the trip we will be bringing with us their birthday presents, their anniversary gift and of course their Christmas gifts.


My plans are to knit this scarf and to make my mother in law a shawl for her birthday.  I believe I have plenty of time which will make the knitting enjoyable.  I really dislike knitting under pressure or a close deadline.  Knitting is relaxing for me and I like to savor the process. 

Are you knitting any gifts for anyone lately?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yarn Along


I was hoping to have finished the Anne of Avonlea book yesterday but it just did not happen.  So today I will finish it and since I am in a Green Gable mood I will be starting Anne of the Island.  I just love how easy it is to pick up and read a chapter and get caught up in the story.  Love it!!  I think I own all of them except the last one. I have to check the bookshelves.  Anyways, I am loving the series and it is perfect summer reading.

I am making progress on my wren cardigan.  I am almost to the sleeve division!!  Then it is mindless stockinette knitting.  I also casted on a scarf for my father in law's birthday.  The yarn is some alpaca that I bought at a fiber festival.  This is the sweater I made and I am not quite sure how much yardage I have left over.  So I am just going to knit until the yarn runs out.  I hope I have enough to go around his neck!!  Here is the project page (no current photos.... yet)

Please check out Ginny's blog-Small Things

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whirligig Shrug


The only thing that would make this shrug better is to have a 6 month old baby to model it!  Seriously, this pattern was quick and fun to knit.  The pattern's description indicated  that the shrug is difficult for the baby/toddler to take off which to me is an added benefit.


I decided to use cotton and overall I am pleased with the results.  I found the yardage in the pattern to be extremely generous and I did not use nearly as much as they indicated.


So if you have a baby girl or know of someone who is going to have a baby girl, give this pattern a whirl (pun intended, of course!).

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekends



This weekend was so very relaxing.  I am nearly done with shopping for our daughter's apartment and our son's dorm room.  I am glad that I started in June and have done a little bit every time we went out.  I guess I spread out the damages.  Now my guest bedroom looks like a little bomb went off with all the purchases. But come August that should not be a problem.

Sunday morning before church our Frodo escaped the compound.  Who would have thought that getting a tiny dog would result in a dog going under the fence????  Every time he escapes (this is the second time) we board up the escape route.  Yesterday's adventure only lasted 5-7 minutes but it felt like an hour.  I am a worrier by nature so I always think the worst.  The good news is he was about 20 yards outside the fence. The other good news is he shows us EXACTLY where the escape route is located.  I am pretty sure he is tracking the wild rabbits that come in and out of the fenced area.  I really don't think Frodo is capable of ever catching one but I love his positive attitude :)

Sunday was also spent on laundry and cleaning out one bedroom.  I finished a knitting project and planned some new ones mostly for gifts.  I am starting early on the gift making this year.  Last year I think I started in September.

It is still hot and humid and we only had drops of rain.  We need a downpour!!!

Joining Amanda at The Habit of Being.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat Wave



I am sure everyone knows that the eastern part of the US is having a heatwave.  It is very hot outside, too hot to do much of anything except swim.  I am grateful we have a pool and we have central air conditioning.  

So as I experience this heat wave I have a list in my head of what I would like to accomplish before fall arrives.  Here it goes:

-Get the Christmas making list started (this is knitting for others)
-Crank out one or two more sweaters to wear when the weather is chilly
-Clean out the pantry and "stuff"  (my pantry is a catch all of various things!)
-Go through all kid's clothes and donate (this requires the kids participation)

Do you have anything you want to accomplish before the summer is over?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Buttercup Yellow Scarf





For the record, my window is not dirty it is the steam from morning fog......at least that is what I believe;)  The buttercup yellow scarf is complete!  I used every single inch of that yarn.  Blocking it was a little wonky I think because it is cotton and just doesn't have the springiness of wool.  I really look forward to cooler temperatures so I can wear it!  I think it will go great with my wardrobe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yarn Along


Good Morning!  I am so excited that today is yarn along day.  Where else can you get some good knitting ideas and good book ideas?  So this week I am reading Anne of Avonlea. As I stated last week I was probably going to start the next book in the series.  I find Anne of Green Gables addictive.  

I did finish Dark Places and overall it was a really good creepy book with a good story line.  However---it was extremely violent (in gruesome detail) which I am NOT fond of at all and had way too much potty language.  So I have forewarned you all.  If any of you are brave to read it I would love to know what you think of it.  I had to read the book during the day and not at bedtime.   I unfortunately (or fortunately) am functioning at a PG-13 level of entertainment.....

I am knitting the whirligig shrug for a friend who is expecting a baby (of course).  The yarn is Paton's Grace and I had some skeins in my stash.  It is cotton and I just love the sheen of it.

Please visit Ginny at Small Things for more knitting and reading ideas!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pappy's Birthday



We drove 3 1/2 hours one way to visit my dad to celebrate his 70th birthday party.  And then drove back home the same day.  It was a long ride but luckily my husband did all of the driving.  I know, I am spoiled!



It was really hot outside and we sat and talked and then we hit the limit of hotness and moved inside to air conditioning.  I think I read somewhere that it takes two weeks for your body to be used to extreme hot temperatures without air conditioning.  I will blame my cushy life with AC as to why I am intolerant to high heat!!



My sister and I thought of how we could make this party a surprise party.  It was hard since we wanted our dad to cook the meat ;)  We brought side dishes and our step mom made the roasted potatoes and the birthday cake.



The entertainment was fun and there were a couple of singalongs.  Most of the music is "their" music.....I am proud I knew two of them!!!  (one was by the Decemberists, do not ask which one)


My sister and I managed to snag a couple of minutes on a brief walk to take some photos.  She mentioned that she might be visiting us in August.  I have all my fingers and toes crossed that this works out with her family.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekends



I have been seeing at least one of these fawns in the yard the past week or two, always without a camera!  Friday my family was in the pool and they were just at the edge of the property.  How exciting to have the camera on hand!!  I am pretty certain they live in our woods, aren't they beautiful?

My weekend was quite busy, at least to me.  On Saturday I finally went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It seems like yesterday the first one was released to the theater and I was taking my second grade boy (now 18!!!) with his friend.  I was surprised that the theater was not filled.  I guess everyone went to the midnight show on Thursday night.  I am usually sleeping then :)

So once the movie was over, we had a lovely dinner out while the kids had plans with their friends.  Once home I made a rice salad for Sunday's outing.

Sunday we drove to my dad's to celebrate his 70th birthday. We had chicken on the grill, fried fish (cannot remember what kind), rice salad, macaroni salad, roasted potatoes and watermelon.  The kids brought guitars and we had an impromptu sing-a-long.  

Joining Amanda at The Habit of Being

Clover requested the Rice salad recipe, so here it is! :

Mediterranean Rice Salad
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh oregano, minced
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped spinach leaves (fresh ones)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled feta cheese


In medium sauce pan, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil, add 1/2 tsp salt and the rice. Turn heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with fork. (I throw mine in a rice cooker--just cook the rice all the way! :)
In a large bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, pepper flakes and remaining tsp. of salt.
Add rice to dressing and toss to combine. Add spinach, toss and let sit until no longer steaming, about 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve at room temp or cold.
(from Sunset Magazine, Sept. 2006)  Recipe courtesy from Bethany Blogs.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Weeks Ahead


In four weeks we will be dropping our daughter off for the beginning of law school.  We still have so much to do to prepare for her moving into her apartment.  The lists are starting to be made.  It is such an exciting time but time is flying by for me!


(my husband picked this watering can out at the hardware store, isn't it the "cheerful-est" one ever?)


In six weeks we will be dropping off our son for his first year of university.  He is planning to study math and possibly adding physics.  Oh and just maybe some computer programming.  His to do lists are so much longer because he needs everything.  But we will have an extra two weeks between the two kids.



In six weeks I will be cooking for two people instead of four people.  It seems like yesterday we had little children and the years just spanned ahead endlessly.  My husband and I are looking forward to doing so many things now that the high school schedule is no more.  Picnics planned, hikes at the state parks, and weekend trips to visit relatives just to name a few.  Such an exciting time in the weeks ahead :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Frisbee Troubles


So I am sure you remember my post about Frodo's frisbee here.  Well that frisbee was not a dog frisbee, it was a human one and somebody (I won't name names) was eating the plastic.  So the kids and I dropped into Petco to purchase a specially made frisbee for Frodo.... oh I meant specially made for dogs.  I do not know why, but one that floats was very very important feature, I had a premonition.



Frodo has a terrible history of dropping tennis balls into the pool on purpose.  So I have banned the tennis balls from the backyard.  I thought I have out smarted him.  Can you guess what he has decided to do? 


Yep the little stinker is dropping the frisbee into the pool......then waits.  So now the frisbee has to be in the house if he is out in the back yard by himself.  I just do not want to fish out a frisbee every time I blink and I do not want Mr. Smartypants getting the idea to jump in (I thinks he considers it and would jump IF he would not get wet)!



I have to say when we adopted Frodo in December 2009, it was a decision that changed our lives for the better.  I laugh every single day from something that he does.  Laughter is the best medicine, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yarn Along


This week I have been knitting two projects and thinking about a third.  My first project is the buttercup yellow scarf.  I am nearly done with this knit.  I think once it is washed and blocked it is going to look great and that is what motivates me to finish it.  I am also enjoying working with 100% cotton yarn. It has a very nice feel.

My second project is this cardigan.  I am following the featherweight cardigan pattern the second time around.  I enjoyed making it before that I knew I would make another sweater!  Here is the ravelry project page.  

I finished Anne of Green Gables and you know I loved it.  It is my third or forth time reading it.  There were so many events that I forgot happened and it was like revisiting a friend I haven't seen in years.  I am a sucker for romance and just love the end when Gilbert and Anne become friends and he won't let go of her hand during a handshake.....~sigh~  How sweet!!   I was only going to read one Anne book but I think I might start reading Anne of Avonlea next week.

I am also reading Dark Places which is a very creepy book.  It is too early to tell whether I like it or not but I must say I have a hard time putting it down!  

Joining Ginny from Small Things, please go visit and check out what others are knitting and reading.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One More Time



Quite a while ago I decided to make another featherweight cardigan after making this one and casted on after we got home from Cape May.  I really liked the blue one I made but......I wanted it to be in a smaller gauge and a smaller size.  I used size five needles and now this one is down to size four needles.  I know, I was crazy to start another cardigan in a smaller gauge but I just love the look and drape of tiny tiny stitch gauges and I never learn my lesson  

The yarn is Madelinetosh lace which is perfect for summertime knitting.  It is light weight and can be jammed into a knitting bag or purse.  The color in these photos taken at the crack of dawn (read that as poor lighting) it looks light brown.  Do not let it fool you, in certain lighting it looks greenish brown.  I like it either way because it will match about 90% of my clothing. 

What could possibly be better than miles of stockinette stitch and mindless knitting to entertain me while await fall?  I am sure I will think up an interesting button band design when the time comes. Just think I will have one more clothing option in September!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekends


Our weekend started off with saving this little frog from the pool, although how much saving he needed is questionable he seemed quite happy to stay in the shallow end and swim around.  My son and I tried to get a photo of him out of the pool in hands but the frog was very camera shy!  

Saturday morning I was lucky to sit early in the morning on the patio and knit on my cardigan.  It was breezy and not hot.....yet. My husband and I then took a drive to the shops and I managed to purchase an anniversary present for my in-laws.  We also had a really delicious dinner at home!  Chicken on the grill with gnocchi and basil pesto (I will not go into details of picking basil and 'ahem' pepper leaves, I kinda got carried away out there).....yep, the basil was from the garden-----YUM!

Sunday we went to church and later in the afternoon I went to Sit and Knit at a local coffee shop.  We meet two times a month, however summer is hit and miss with everyone's travel schedules. It is so nice to have two hours carved out of my day for knitting and talking!  Dinner was burgers on the grill, french fries (baked) and a vegetable tray.

The weekend was so relaxing!  How was yours?

Joining Amanda at The Habit of Being.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Warm Topper


Before I even rave about this pattern (which is about perfect) I have to say I am so excited about the photos of the hat.  I did them myself......yes you got it right I was the model and the photographer.  I have managed to snap a few photos that show off the reverse stockinette knitting paired with the regular stockinette!  My skills abound!!

Okay, back to the hat, my project page is here.  I did update the info on the stash yarn in cotton.  I really do not know if it is sold anymore.  And I cannot remember when I bought it.  That tells you that I bought it more than 7-10 years ago.....

The only modifications I made to the hat was to add a picot edging instead of a purl ridge for the head band.  I used size four and five needles and I barely made it with the yarn I had.  (I always get a minor thrill wondering if I have enough yarn....simple pleasure)


I hope everyone has a great relaxing weekend!  


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blossoming in July



We are all waiting patiently for tomatoes and cucumbers.  Really we are!  I know in a month I will be posting about what to do with tomatoes and cucumbers, but for now can we just have one?


There are a couple of wild rabbits that are just loving the parsley that we planted......it also might be enjoyed by one or two groundhogs.  I am glad they are getting their fill but hope they leave a tiny bit for us gardeners!



How is everyone else's garden growing?  


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yarn Along



I am amazed that it is yet another yarn along.  This week I am reading two books.  The first one is an oldie but a goodie-- Anne of Green Gables.  I know a few others out there are reading it and it made me pick it up and revisit an old friend.  I simply adored this book as a pre-teen.  I have read it many times and it is such fun to re-read it again.  I think it has been over five years since I have read it.  To off set the happy care free Anne, I am also reading Dark Places.  As you can gather by the title, it is a thriller, which was highly recommended by my son.  We tend to have similar interests in books.  So let's see if that trend still holds.  He gave the book a "ten".......not much gets a "ten" on his scale, he is quite a harsh book critic.

For knitting this week I have been focusing on two projects.  The first one is the buttercup yellow scarf which has been around a couple of weeks now.  Still plugging away on that one.  My other project is wurm head.  I am thoroughly enjoying this project!!  Everyone should make one.  It has been quite nice to be knitting with cotton, it always has a different feel when you throw the yarn around the needle.  What have you been reading and knitting?

Joining Ginny at Small Things--please go and check out what everyone else is knitting and reading.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wurm Head


The project I started this past weekend is a hat.  The most difficult decision is to decide which pattern to pick.  I like so many!  What helped is that I did pick from my stash this lovely blue cotton yarn so I did narrow down my search to double knit weight yarn.   The pattern I chose is Wurm.  It is a lovely simple pattern and I really enjoy just knitting away while talking (a skill I continue to finesse).


Here is my ravelry project page.  I chose cotton so it could be a summer into fall hat.  But this would be fabulous in wool.  I know I will be making this pattern again.