Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yarn Along

I finished Anne's House of Dreams which I thoroughly enjoyed.  This book flowed easily and the subplots were very interesting.  Anne loves to help people find their happiness.  There is also an event that shadows Anne's happiness.  She truly is a wonderful character who has an upbeat way of tackling the sadness of life and embracing wholeheartedly the goodness of life.  And so I begin number six in the series.

For knitting, I am on the body of the mustard seed cardigan and the body of my wren cardigan.  One is worsted weight and is going very quickly.  The other, sadly, is on size four needles and is pokey pokey slow going.  Oh well, I believe it is all my fault....right?  I know I will love both sweaters when they are complete.  I am certain that everyone should try a top down construction of a sweater-I guarantee you will convert from the sweaters that you have to sew the pieces together.

I am thoroughly loving the cold mornings!  Seems to me that fall is around the corner.  Before anyone knows, it we will be grabbing a scarf or a pair of mitts before heading out the door.....BLISS!!

Joining Ginny at Small Things

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roses Are Red Shawl Complete

Over the weekend, I finished the shawl for my mother in law.  I am quite pleased with it.  I would definitely make the Holden Shawlette pattern again.  It was very easy to follow and I was able to memorize most of the pattern, which means I could knit and talk at the same time.  Can't beat that!

I did make some minor modifications.  I repeated the chart three times instead of two and a half.  I also decided not to do the picot edging.  I felt it would have been a little to busy visually with the yarn being multicolored and I was afraid I might not have enough yarn.  I did do the stretchy purl bind off.  

This is the second time I have knit with Ella Rae Lace Merino and I just love it.  It is very springy and the dyeing technique never leads to pooling of the colors.  The yarn also blocks beautifully!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Flying the Coop

Yep, that is our son's stuff.  A bit too much stuff if you ask me.  Would you believe that we jammed the Accord to the brim and we still had room for our kid!  Anyways, the move in was quite painless.  The university had the process all streamlined which made my husband and I very grateful.  His roommate and family were already moved in and helped with all of our stuff.  So nice!!

These are brandy new dorm suites and he is lucky enough to have a corner room so he has two windows instead of one. He shares a bathroom with his roommate, no walking down the hall to a shower or bathroom.  I hope the boys will occasionally clean their bathroom.....The views from his room are nice (except for a dumpster-so just don't look down, look across).

Today he starts classes and over the weekend he attended lots of orientation meetings.  None of the meetings will take away the apprehension of your first days of school at university.  

We said our goodbyes quickly and then we left.  It feels very weird in the house with just the three of us, counting Frodo of course.  I think it will take a while to adjust for all of us.  On our walk yesterday, my husband and I were talking about how we started out as a couple and we have come full circle. 

We carry our cell phones around just in case one of them texts or calls :D

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekends-After the Storm

Through the night hurricane Irene arrived in northeastern PA.  We live about 2 1/2 hours from NYC (with traffic being manageable).  When I went to bed, I really did not think much about how it would affect us.  So it was a big surprise to have 40 mph winds and lots and lots of rain.  

My husband and I took a walk with Frodo after dinner (remember we are now empty nesters) and I brought my camera.  

My weekend was filled with gratitude because:

-we fit everything in the Accord when we moved our son (pictures to follow tomorrow!)
-we had a really quiet laid back weekend.  With a revolving conversation of "what do you want to do?"  and the answer "I don't know, what do you want to do?"
-I have received some texts from the kids with snippets of their lives.  Enough to know everything is okay but not enough to satiate my curiosity.  
-I have so much time to knit like a demon possessed.
-AND most of all I only had two loads of laundry this weekend instead of four or five loads :D  

Joining Amanda at Habit of Being

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Knitting Nook

I really enjoy being able to see my favorite yarns and books and that is why there is a knitting nook in my family room.  I do not have a craft room but I am totally fine with that.  In the family room is where I do my knitting.  This table (made by my husband years ago) holds everything I need.  It is also my inspiration.  I can look at the hanks of yarn that I have purchased and think about what I might make of them.  I have a jar of neutral buttons (another big tin can upstairs holds the rest of my button collection).  There is a big box on the bottom shelf that contains all of my knitting needles and markers that I do not use regularly.  This nook is where my favorite yarns have a home. 

The huge wire basket holds all of my lace weight yarn.  It is supposed to hold a vegetables after picking them from the garden.  Harvesting hanks of fiber is much more fun for me. 

The dog in the photo is Zoe.  She was a much loved pet who died in December 2009.  We loved her so much that we decided to get Frodo in the same month.  Zoe never even considered trying to get out of the back yard :)  But then she weighed 67's kind of tough when you cannot fit under or through a fence.

I have much more yarn in my walk in closet.  That is where I keep the cottons, blends, worsted weights and novelty yarn.  
Before my daughter left for school she raided the closet for some acrylic yarns to make charity knitted items.  There were skeins in there that have sat around for decades and now they will have a purpose.  

Do you have a knitting nook?  Where is it in your house? 

(yes!  I did knit the table runner it is on this project page)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yarn Along

I started a new book this week!  Anne's House of Dreams which is book number five in the Anne of Green Gable series.  Anne is now finally married (took her long enough!) and she is living in a new town with of course more neighbors and friends to interact with.  I have been thoroughly enjoying re-reading this series and remembering the plots as they occur.  It is a wonderful trip down memory lane.

For knitting I have been working on my tea leaves cardigan.  I am loving every stitch of the project!  The yarn ella rae classic is perfect.  It has spring and bounce and just enough elasticity.  I have finished the increases for the yoke and now just need to complete the stockinette portion until I get to the armholes.  I will be dividing up the sleeves and body.

The weather here has changed for the better.  There is a crisp feeling in the evening that was missing two weeks ago.  The sun is setting a little earlier each evening and it just feels different.  I know if we do get a heat wave it will most likely be over quicker than usual.  Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  I am more than ready for scarf, sweater, and mitt wearing.

Joining Ginny at Small Things

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Catch a Wave

Catch a wave of awesome lace knitting!  This pattern on the Holden Shawlette reminds me of the feather and fan stitch that I love so much.  The pattern is wonderfully written and is quite easy to remember so you do not have to frantically read the chart every second.  I love that.

I am planning on knitting as much lace until I think I need to end the shawl before I run out of yarn.  I like shawl patterns that let me do that.  Then I do not have left overs that linger about not having a purpose in the knitting realm.

This project could very well be completed in a day or two.  But as you know, we will be taking our son to his campus on Friday and guess who is not packed????  Yup!  I focused so much on getting our daughter all organized that I slacked off on our son.

Yesterday started the frantic "to do" list and the "oh my" thoughts (I did not write the "oh my" thoughts down I kept them to myself).   Deep down I really think packing him up will be easier because....well he is a boy (they tend to have less stuff) and he does not have a kitchen. Just a dorm room.  Oh and on an interesting note we might be taking the Accord instead of the Explorer.  We are doing a dry run of the big things to see if it is possible to travel in AC.

Monday, August 22, 2011

At the Winery

For Christmas last year, my dad and step-mom gave my husband a gift certificate to Spyglass Ridge Winery.  We waited and waited until now to go and visit the vineyard and their store.  The drive was wonderful (in air conditioning-luxury!) and the weather was perfect.  Sunny but not stifling hot.  This winery is about 45 minutes away from us. 

So while my husband taste tested inside, I took photos outside!

I think this was a fun gift to receive for Christmas.  It ended up being an activity with a personally selected gift to bring home.  It also gives the local business

I had an incredible urge to pick these and taste, but I did not want to disturb their crop...

The above photo was taken by my son.  

I am sure we will visit again and maybe take a tour.  If you have a local vineyard, definitely take the time to stop by and enjoy the "fruits" of their labor... (I couldn't resist, sorry!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekends-Special Delivery

My weekend had one main event---moving our daughter's belongings to her apartment.  She has been living in a hotel for five nights and Saturday was the big move in day.  We arrived around 9 a.m. to stand in line for the check in procedure.  Only 45 minutes!!!  See-expecting the worst does have its benefits ;)

She has a four bedroom two bath apartment that four girls share.  Wow!  I remember my first apartment during grad school and it did NOT look like this place.  I thought her apartment was beautiful.  And she has AC .....jeez!

We hit a couple of snafus that day.  We found a full mattress set shoved into the kitchen area.  Maintenance came and removed it within 10 minutes.  Then the refrigerator was not working.  Maintenance once again came and flipped the circuit breaker and all was restored to working condition.    

My only complaint (you knew there would be one coming) was that we traveled in our oldest vehicle, a 1997 Ford Explorer,and the AC does not work.  So I was very cranky on the ride home.  Very. Imagine a temper tantrum and a hissy fit rolled into one.  We gave up trying to use the fan and just opened all the windows while highway driving.  I haven't done that since grad school either. 

So on Friday we will be doing this all over again with our son...... he has less "stuff" but the Explorer will probably be the vehicle of choice unless we take two cars.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for a cold front.

(By the way, I did not knit one stitch or ponder over a puzzle)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


A few days ago it rained and rained and when it was over I decided to walk Frodo around the property.  Of course I did not take my camera the first time around so I did that same walk again.  Anyways it is very hard to photograph and hold a dog on a leash...a skill I lack.

I was amazed at all of the mushrooms that popped up out of nowhere near the woods.  They have since been mowed over but I thought they looked quite pretty. 

We lost this tree to a storm 3-4 years ago.  My husband still has the stump removal on the "to do" list.  I am in no hurry because it looks so nice adorned with moss, lichen and more fungi.  Maybe by the time we get to cutting it down it will just fall over from rotting???  Okay, maybe not.

Our daughter is now at her school and it sure has been awfully quiet around here.  We did have a nice summer break with her.  It was also fun seeing her get more excited about starting law school and making new friends.  On Saturday, my husband and I are loading up her belongings and delivering them to her apartment.  

Part of me is dreading the day since the apartment complex is checking in all of the students.  However, we are going to try to be one of the first in line (people tend to not like mornings).  I am also taking knitting and puzzles and packing a lunch so I do not get cranky (who me??).  I figure if I expect the worst then there is nowhere to go but up!! It should be a very interesting day.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yarn Along

Shamefully I am still on Anne of Windy Poplars for my reading this week.  Can I blame it on a busy schedule?  Maybe.  I have slacked off with reading more during the day and we did take our daughter to her university on Monday.  We still have to take all of her stuff on Saturday when she moves into her apartment.  So I predict my reading will continue to be slow this week.  I am enjoying the Anne series.  This book is all about her three years teaching in another town, so lots of new characters are introduced and many drama scenes occur in the town.  It seems that quite frequently Anne is able to solve a dilemma or at least twist around another happy ending for the townspeople.  Last night she said "people are delicious and life is delicious"  How true!!!

My knitting is very exciting this week (to make up for the lack of reading, of course!).  I am plugging away on the shawl for my mother in law.  I am so close to the lace edging-which is the best part of a lace shawl.  I will have to pay attention when I get there.  The project page is here.  When I am not working on the shawl I am savoring every stitch of my tea leaves cardigan.  I do not know why it has taken me so long to start this project because so far it is fantastic!  The pattern is very well written and it is so exciting to see it worked up quickly since I usually knit on size four needles.  Worsted weight does have its benefits.

Joining Ginny at Small Things

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mustard Seed Cardigan

I did it.  I started another cardigan....for me!  This is my mustard seed cardigan and if you look closely you can see that it is the Tea Leaves Cardigan pattern.  I have had this pattern in my basket since Christmas.  When I was in the LYS I immediately fell in love with this heathered shade of yellow and knew instantly what it would become.  I just get a big kick out of how everything falls into place.  The yarn is Ella Rae Classic and feels wonderful~ just enough spring.  It is a little bit scratchy but I think a soak in wool wash will fix that right up.

What makes this a fab purchase is that even my husband loves the color.  I tend to buy too many neutrals for his liking (like gray!)  Believe me I was looking at gray in the store but I have that color in my yarn stash.

Right beside my beautiful yarn is a lovely bag my sister gave me over the weekend.  Tucked inside is my featherweight cardigan project.  It matches my knitting bag perfectly!!  

So with all of my knitting projects, I am motivated to knit and get something off the needles :)

Monday, August 15, 2011


My weekend started off with getting ready for my sister and her family to arrive.  Potato salad (yum) was made, rice salad was made and chicken was marinating in Newman's Lime salad dressing for the grill.  Everyone arrived safely and the visiting commenced!!  We ran to the LYS and of course I bought yarn and of course I started ANOTHER knitting project and of course the sweater is for me.    We had such a good time being out :)  

Saturday we shopped for new purses, you know the basic necessities.  I found a great basic black bag that my camera can fit inside so the next time I am out I will not be wishing I had my camera.  It happens more and more.  For dinner we had baked potatoes, corn on the cob, steak and shrimp on the grill with a tossed salad.  

Before you knew it, Sunday arrived and we where saying goodbye to each other.  

All day Sunday my daughter packed for school and I occasionally mentioned "do you have _______?"  (I am an excellent supervisor or a back seat driver).

As a special ending of a fabulous weekend, we spent 45 minutes of our lives looking for Frodo.  Yes, he escaped AGAIN!! He crawled under a part of the fence that is not boarded up (yet-another project for this week).  When he is wet from the rain he obtains super dog powers!!!!  Meaning he is slippery and can squeeze that body through anything.  Anyways, he was in our woods not obeying the "Frodo come" command.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Moment

Split Pea Soup

1 onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 tbs of olive oil
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups of yellow split peas
1 tsp thyme

Saute the first four ingredients for 10 minutes then add the rest.  Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

(loosely based on a recipe from  1001 Low Fat Vegetarian Recipes by Sue Spitler)

Linking with Amanda at Soulemama

Thursday, August 11, 2011


This weekend my sister and her family are coming for a visit.  I cannot wait!  I have been planning the menu yesterday and today.  I have errands to run and of course I need to clean the house.  They were here for the graduation party but it was too busy to truly enjoy her company.  She was a big help in setting the food out and cleaning up the kitchen....sisters are the best!

On Saturday we are going to the yarn store (of course), the quilt store and the health food store.  Let's see if I can resist spending any money...I need more yarn like I need a hole in my head (Gram's saying not mine).  The excuse in my head is that I am keeping the economy going, pretty good huh?

I hope I can remember to take some photos during the weekend.  But when my mouth is yakking, preserving memories flies out the window.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yarn Along

Can you believe it is Wednesday already?  Time is just whizzing by for me.  As you can see I am now on the fourth book Anne of Windy Poplars.  I finished Anne of the Island and guess what?  Anne finally figures out who she loves.....duh!  Throughout the whole book everyone knew but her. The best part of the book was when she was contemplating being with a romantic man who says beautiful things, or with a man who has a sense of humor, one she could share a laugh with.  I think if you are laughing through life you might just live longer and have fun along the way!  Thank goodness for Anne, humor won out.  How sad if your partner doesn't get your jokes.

My knitting is a new project.  This is a shawl for my mother in law's birthday.  Now I really hope I give it to her because I am LOVING it very much for myself.  Here is the ravelry page.  Sometimes it is hard to be generous.

Joining Ginny at Small Things

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Creature Feature

Did you know that Frodo, our trusty miniature schnauzer, is a rescue dog?  Well apparently he is!  Every morning he first checks to see if he can get out through or under the far so good.  We have thwarted him :)  Then he walks around the pool looking for poor drowning/or swimming creatures.  Frodo stands and stares until we come outside to scoop whatever he thinks is important.  Bugs do not count in the rescue.  The above toad made it.

This poor little frog did not jump but rolled to safety, so I am guessing he swam a little too much.

I swear this is the same turtle (I think he is a box turtle) that is hanging out in our yard.  He is extremely shy and will NOT come out for a photo.  Believe me I try and try.  Frodo does not like the turtle and barks at it.  Even though it does not move.  Maybe he just creeps Frodo out.  (the turtle is never in the pool, just near the woods)

This little critter is a milk snake (according to my husband) and he was rescued from the pool skimmer.  You would think he would be grateful but, no, he was ready to strike.  He was very nasty and mean.  Even though he was not the nicest snake we carried him to the edge of the woods for a better life.  We have lots of snakes that live under the concrete around the pool.  Since we moved here there have been less and less.  I am guessing it is because of dog ownership.

Yesterday, I spotted this little fella hopping on the step of the pool.  My daughter and I went out and gave him a lift to the edge of the woods.  Mischief managed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moss Road Scarf Revisited

It is official, I have finished one, count it-ONE-knitted gift!  I feel so very accomplished.  We will not go into how many more I would love to do for the year.  If I begin to think I have to make all of the gifts this year then I feel stressed.  So one project at a time.

This scarf was my own creation.  I casted on 36 stitches on size 7 needles.  I then knitted the double moss stitch until I ran out of yarn.  I am guessing I had about 400 yards of this beautiful alpaca sport weight yarn that I purchased at the Endless Mountain Fiber Festival two years ago.  Stash yarn knitting at its finest!

Double Moss Stitch:

Row 1 (rs):  K2, P2 across.
Row 2 and 4 (ws):  knit the knits and purl the purls in whatever order they appear.
Row 3: P2, K2 across.