Thursday, May 31, 2012
Since the kids are have been home and we've returned from our vacation, I've settled into a nice summer routine. I must say I am still getting used to grocery shopping for four people and cooking for four people. Who knew that nine months off would get me out of practice!
This week I've managed to only go to the grocery store twice. Last week I think I visited four times. It was a little ridiculous on my part. I love making lists. My problem is that some family members like to announce AFTER I've returned from the grocery store food they would like to have in the kitchen. I think we are all getting use to the protocol.
If you finished the last bite, write it down. If you drank the last drop, write it down. Do not tell me-write it down (there is something wrong with my memory). So now when I wake up I find slips of paper with food lists where I drink my cup of coffee. The system is working :)
Got any good tips for the creation of the grocery list?
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Oh it's so wonderful to be knitting something a little different. I started this featherweight (third one) cardigan a while ago and it sat in my knitting bag while I was distracted by other projects. I picked this up and finished the raglan shaping, separated the sleeves and started the body of the sweater. I know! So productive. The yarn is silk and is pure heaven to knit. I am hoping that wearing silk will be just as divine. I wanted drape and I'm pretty sure I will be getting some drape in the fabric. I finished my Citron shawl in yesterday's post.
I started The Story Sisters a couple of days ago. I am only at the very beginning but I love the ease in which to story is flowing. Once I am a couple of chapters into the book I will be able to opine. I am in the mood for some eerie, creepy writing and this book might just fill my need. I finished The Orchid House and it just did not thrill me at all.
What are you knitting and reading?
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I just could not wait to show you this shawl. I finished it over the weekend and managed to take some photos in the VERY hot weather. It was nearly 90 degrees when I took these photos. I cannot wait until fall arrives because I have a lovely new accessory to wear.
I couldn't resist this photo. See Frodo? He is patrolling his little world :) Little did he know that I was taking his photo. Whenever he sees the camera he thinks we are going outside for a walk about the yard. If i aim the camera at him he looks away to give me the best profile he can muster up (or is he ignoring me?)
I knit this shawl with size five needles and it was the perfect size for cobweb lace. Once I had a couple inches knit up the fine lace was very easy to handle. This project was addictive for me mainly because of the progressing colorway. I was always eager to get to the next color block.
I much prefer the citron with 880 yards of lace than 440 yards. For me it is a nice size to wear as a shawl or as a scarf around the neck.
Ravelry notes here.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
This is Frodo's little friend. He is a milk snake and lives in the crack between the pool and the grass. Once in a while this little guy likes to rise early in the morning and sunbathe. Frodo loves to paw and bark at the snake when he finds him in the grass. Both are stubborn and eventually I have to move one of them to stop the disturbance. Guess which one I will pick up?
My weekend was filled with: a movie, knitting with friends, laughing with my family, finishing a project, and opening up a very very algae filled swimming pool!
How was your weekend?
Friday, May 25, 2012
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Here is another little beauty that I picked up while visiting a thrift store. It is hand made and somehow I believe it's made by a younger person. I just LOVE the turtle etched onto the side. I have a thing for pottery and I have a thing for vases. So this creation fits the criteria of being bought and brought into my home :)
Have you found anything second hand that you would like to share?
Joining Lady Cordelia
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Even though I had a lovely week of vacation, my knitting has progressed ever so slowly. Why is that? I always accomplished more when I am at home. I am still (sigh) working on the citron shawl. Currently I am knitting the edging and each row is taking forever. I am hopeful that there will be a post next week with it blocked. In the photo above is my lovely new project, cinnamon grace shawl. There is a bit of sparkle in the wool. I really like this pattern because I have it roughly memorized :)
I am still (sigh) reading The Orchid House-I decided not to photograph it because it's been languishing around these yarn along postings. I love the story when it flashes back to the 1940's. I have a very difficult time reading the current time story line. I cannot pinpoint exactly why. My guess is the dialogue is not running smoothly like I think it should in my mind.
While I was at the library, I happened to come across some interesting cookbooks. The older I get the more I like to have general ideas for different dishes. I almost never follow a recipe exactly as written. I wouldn't mind owning either of these books! As I mentioned yesterday, I am participating in the 30 day vegan workshop over at Beauty that Moves. So I thought the more ideas the better!
What are you knitting and reading this week?
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I thought I would share with you some photos of our beach vacation. We were in North Myrtle Beach, SC. When I gathered everyone's schedule to plan a vacation it was immediately clear that the only week available was in May!
That means if you want to swim in the ocean and not become an ice cube you must travel south. We wanted a family atmosphere (read that as: quiet, clean, and less crowded). That is how we picked North Myrtle beach. It was lovely to have oceanfront accommodations, the balcony view was perfect.
I believe that I am fully recovered from the eternal ride coming home from the vacation. Long car rides do me in mentally and physically. My house is mostly tidy. The laundry is caught up. I am now in the "summer" time of the year with both kids home. It's nice to have a full house again.
Another great way to kick off the summer is trying some new recipes. My sister and I are both participating in the 30 Day Vegan workshop which started yesterday. I have no goals. I just want to experience new recipes and focus on a healthier eating life style.
This last photo is someone's beautiful sand creation that I needed to photo. I don't know who made it but I love their style :)
Sunday, May 20, 2012
We drove ALL day on Friday leaving the beach vacation and arrived to home sweet home at 9:10 p.m. We lost so much driving time around the DC area. But that is the past. So is my whining like a 3 year old in the car. I know, you are shocked that I whine. I do and it's heard by all and I get cranky.....and like a 3 year old, if you stop and feed me I settle down.
When I did get home to the greatest place on earth, I had two lovely packages waiting for me from some giveaways. I won. Twice!! The top photo is a pair of lovely mugs from MJ at wander wonder discover blog. Thanks MJ!!! I love them better in person :)
My other giveaway win is from Sylvia and Simona from artsy ants blog, they are a truly artistic sister duo and you need to check out their blog. Their lovely jewelry ensemble was created by indieandchic. I am amazed at the intricate detail of the jewelry! Beautiful and thank you :)
So I am on the 7th or 8th load of laundry and as each load gets done, I am happier and lighter in my soul. I thrive on tidiness and organization. I am all unpacked and put away. Did I tell you I love my bed too? yep. It always takes a vacation for me to appreciate home.
I loved the ocean and the togetherness of our family. I also love driving into PA and smelling the earthy air and seeing the hills,trees, and endless farmsteads. Frodo is still a tired pup from the week at the kennel. I don't think he gets that much sleep over there. Maybe he likes coming home too.
How was your weekend?
Friday, May 18, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
The weekend that my sister and brother in law were visiting us, there was an afternoon that the guys went on their merry way and my sister and I went out and about the town. We passed a thrift store that begged us to stop in. That's when I saw this glass box and left it on the shelf. (why? who knows!) I browse faster than my sister and we parted ways. When we met again she had the glass box in her hands....in that moment I really wanted it. I was also kicking myself for not picking it up first.
She said to me "don't you want this? It's your style."..........Love her! Now I can have the perfect-to-me green box and still love my sister for being so thoughtful. I did find her a wooden shelf for her rubber stamp collection. Why is it easier sometimes to find items for someone else?
So my question is, do you think this is an old refrigerator container? Any ideas if it has an interesting past? There are no markings. It's sitting now on my kitchen counter. Whether it's old or new, I'm keeping it!!
joining Lady Cordelia
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Oh the projects are many but the my time is limited this week to knit, so my progress is slow. On the left is my citron shawl it has taken up the majority of my time. I have romantic visions of completing this soon. I cannot wait to see what it looks like all blocked. Also the yarn is a little rough and I am hoping that the wool soak will made it softer.
On the right is a new shawl that I've started while on vacation. The pattern is Cinnamon Grace. I love the look of the edged ruffle. I wanted something easy to remember and I wanted the colors of the yarn of the yarn to stand out. The yarn is the beautiful skein that I won on a giveaway!
The Orchid House is still my read this week, the beginning was a little slow for me. Now that I am into the story and the time period has changed to the beginning of WWII my interested is renewed. I have been reading in tiny spurts, that does not help me enjoy a book. I need a span of time sufficient to be wrapped up in the story. So I continue reading in hopes the story continues to intrigue me and carry me away. Bird by Bird has been read in bits as well.
what are you reading and knitting this week?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I thought it was time to show you the growth of my Harmony Shawl. I am loving this project more and more every time I sit down to knit. I have around 800 yards of this cobweb yarn (jojoland harmony) and I am going to knit until I run out of yarn.
I am on the 7th tier and each row is taking around 20 minutes? That's a guess. I haven't timed it. This pattern is perfect for knitting while talking or not paying attention, I do both very well. There are two increase rows on every tier, that's the only time I am chanting numbers out loud so to not make a mistake. If I am off by one or two stitches, no big deal! I just add them in somewhere. This shawl is a "fudge-able" shawl :)
Do you have any simple shawls that you love to knit?
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I thought you all would love to have a quick peek at my rotting tree stump. It is slowly being taken over by some interesting fungi and lichen. It looks beautiful when it's rainy or misty outside, nearly iridescent. Today it's sunny outside and looks like it will dry up after the past two wet days.
Yesterday was stressful and I'm so glad it is done. Today I see that it was not that big of a stress but while I am in the midst of living it, my mind blows every detail way out of proportion. Car trouble? Big deal. Renting a van for retrieving the kids. So what. It was not life threatening, but my response was disproportionate to the stress.
That is one aspect of my personality I would like to change or accept. I've always been like that. I would like to think I'm getting better at it but truthfully I think I'm the same. What is different is that I can say affirmations in my head that slightly calms me down. ("this is not a big deal")
I did pick up my knitting and I did calm down. Today is a brand new day. I wrote my list. I will be returning a rental and picking up a fixed SUV not to mention other little errands. The kids are home and now my summer begins with having a full house :)
How do you handle stress?
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
I sometimes buy books just for their cover art. This book, The Orchid House, is one of those times. I loved the dress and the pose. So far it's an interesting read, not spectacular, but good enough to keep on reading. I am at a part where there is flash back to the 1930's, so it's picked up a bit for me. I finished The Lace Reader and would recommend it if you like to be confused on what is going on. I liked it. I also liked the first and third person narration. I figured out the mystery but still enjoyed the ending.
My knitting has mainly been this citron shawl. I have been knitting it exclusively this week. See that blue on the right--I have been knitting like a demon so I can see blue in my shawl. I honestly cannot recall why I bought this yarn. I have looked at it in my stash and thought it was not very pretty. I was so wrong! The color changes are wonderful and seamless. They happen so gradually. I also love the wispy-ness of the shawl. Perfect portability!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
It is raining here and it's very very gloomy. I think it's starting to bother me. The best way to chase away the rainy day blues is to talk about yarn. More specifically yarn that I own. The above photo is the luxurious yarn that I won from Twist &Twine yarns. Camilla is so talented with colorways so you must check out her website. I have decided to cast on the Cinnamon Grace shawl. I wanted a very simple knit so that the yarn colorway could shine! That little bit of sparkle helps the shine too :)
I bought these three skeins when I was with my sister last weekend. The yarn is Araucania itata solid. I've knit with this yarn before and I love how it blocks out and the touch of silk is heavenly. I'm thinking of a cardigan right now for this yarn but not sure of the pattern yet. Still thinking.
So today I will be knitting away while the rain continues to fall from the sky.
How do you cope with the rainy day blues?
Sunday, May 6, 2012
This is my all time favorite chocolate in the whole wide world. It has some serious salt kick to it that makes the chocolate tasty. And I get a poem....sweet!
Ah. My weekend was splendid. My sister and brother in law arrived Friday afternoon and it was non stop fun. I know you know that I love my sister. I am lucky that we enjoy each other's company and have fun together. The husbands have a pretty good time together as well.
In no particular order my weekend had:
cherry cobbler, yarn buying, walking Frodo, sitting on the back porch swing, rice chex krispies, chocolate, strawberries, grilled chicken, another craft fair, buying big mixing bowls (my sis has a thing about finding the perfect mixing bowl), chocolate macaroons, homemade soaps, visiting garage sales.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Both of my children will be home for the summer by next Thursday, can you believe it? Honestly the time has whizzed by for me. They both had a great year and they each like their schools. That makes it easier for us parents while they are gone. I spent the last 20+ years staying at home raising them and it's nice to see them happy and excited about their futures.
I purposefully made sure that this past academic year was filled with weekend trips for the two of us. My husband and I loved going away and setting a pace that was perfect for us. Sure we missed the kids. Sure we had the cell phones with calls and texts but it still was without them and fun.
This blog has made my empty nest journey so much easier. I truly believe hobbies of any kind are what sustains happiness. I started this blog almost two years ago because I loved reading blogs. I kept thinking "I want to do that someday". During my child raising years, I always maintain interest of my own, so that when the kids left, I had pieces of me to build upon. It was natural for me to keep on knitting and reading. Photography and blogging, well those were added only a few years ago. An empty nest is what you make of it. I made mine an enjoyable natural part of my mothering journey.
So today is the last shopping trip that will be under a hundred dollars. Next week I will see stars when the cashier rings up my grocery bill. There will be more food in the house. When I make cookies, they will not last over a week while I worry if they are growing mold or not. Oh and the laundry!!! Massive massive amounts of laundry. I am ready for my stay-at-home-mom job to return for 10 to 12 weeks of summer :)
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
We are going to gloss over very quickly what I am reading this week. That's because it's the same two books as last week. I have 20 or so pages to go on The Lace Reader which I am thoroughly enjoying. It's a weird book but I like the way the story is written. I just was unable to finish reading before this early a.m. post. Bird by Bird is a book I am savoring. I am not in any hurry to read this book fast. I read a few pages then do some thinking. Love the book!
Do you see that project on the left? That is a Citron Shawl with Jojoland's Harmony. I have had this ball of yarn for quite some time in my stash. I have no idea why I bought cobweb lace....It must have been a momentary lapse of judgement on my part. I adore the colorway!! Starting the pattern was quite fiddly but now it's manageable and I'm enjoying the knit. On size five needles.
My other project is my featherweight cardigan in silk. Starting anything with silk yarn is crazy slippery. However, once I had about two inches, I am not knitting in fear of losing stitches. I wish everyone could feel this yarn, it is oh so soft!!
What are knitting and reading this week?
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I did not finish this little sweater on the day I intended. I finished it the day after. Thanks for all the cheer leading and encouragement but I am totally at peace with being one day off . It was fun romanticizing my knitting skills even if I was a little delusional. For a change, I knit this cardigan with 100% cotton instead of wool. I have to say that I'm not a fan of cotton because it hurts my fingers. There is just not enough elasticity in the yarn.
I do love the results of knitting with cotton. I did not have to block this wee sweater and the stitch definition is incredible. It is also super soft! The sweater is wrapped and today my husband will deliver it to the new dad. This is their third boy :)