Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Hubby told me I had a surprise in the freezer. While I was hoping for ice cream or a frozen Kit Kat, I was charmed to find this guy.

Spagetti arms, tea leaves hair and I don't know what for eyes miniature snowman. D sure does know how to enjoy the snow when it finally gets here.

Happy winter!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yarn basket take two

Well it has been a while since I showed off my basket of yarn. After last fall's festivals and helping out Kisknit with a knitpicks order to get free shipping, my basket over flows. I just love a heapin' basket of yarn!

Now my question is how did I subconsciously divide the basket by color? My blues and greens are one one side and my reds and burgundies are on the other. There are of course a few exceptions but it looks like I divide my color palette by basket handle. Does that mean I am more complex than I think I am? Or just more anal retentive than I would like to admit?

Either way my yarn is pretty and I am happy!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting a Golding

I take a long time to make decisions. Once I do I am like a puppy that needs to go outside. I want it now. Now? Now? Nowwww?

Here is my new lovely. Do you spy the extra little bit in there too? A wee taste of fiber. I did not plan ahead once I made my purchase. I did not buy any fiber to take my spindle for a spin. Gasp!

I carefully unwrapped my new toy, all the while I was planning my run to my yarn store. I was smart enough to email them earlier in the day to ask if they sold un-dyed fiber. My book (Respect the Spindle) advises beginners to start with un-dyed fiber. Thankfully they do have the fiber.

My Kingswood beauty. Don't you think she is pretty too? 

I decided that my first bit of spinning would be playing only. I'm not really trying to get a usable yarn just trying to get the hang of not dropping my drop spindle while holding fiber too. It is not as hard and much harder than I thought, for different reasons of course. 

Not a bad effort for the home team.

Why yes I have acquired fiber stash in a short time period. The two balls are my cheaper learning materials while the white braid is Rambouillet softness that I could not resist. And oh what the heck I need a colorful braid too. When did I start liking yellow? I guess when it is paired with red and green. I have no idea how it is going to work out but I'm enjoying the possibilities.

Happy spinning!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dang it

I fought the good fight but I succumbed. I am a spinner now. Only an hour old but I gave in and bought a Golding spindle and fiber. Now I have $70 worth of yarn making supplies and a big smile on my face. I must give thanks to the Hubster for encouraging me to check it out.

I always said spinning was not for me. It would cut into my knitting time and who wants that? I really like knitting why would I do something that took away from it? The answer is to make yarn to knit. Such a simple answer.

I also said I couldn't see myself knitting a sweater. It is just too hard and what happens if it does not fit right. Turns out it is just as easy or hard as you want to make it. Simple patterns exist to teach how things go together, and difficult patterns exist to make you grow. It is all good.

Now I've made three sweaters for D and three for myself, with two more in the works for me. I started off making simple raglan sweaters and added cables to make them more complex in different ways. Now I get the urge to knit at least one sweater a winter. Two would be better so we have harmony in the house. Sweater jealousy is an ugly thing, you know.

Well I am off to read about spinning then dream about spinning. It would be wrong to call in sick tomorrow so I can stay home and spin, right? Yeah I know it is wrong and I will not do it, but I can spin on my lunch time right and order pizza for dinner so I don't have to cook? Those things are Ok with the Hubster's consent on dinner, right?

Monday, February 20, 2012

What I'm reading

I've been reading a couple of books that Hubby Gus and Jack got me for Christmas. Hubby Gus and Jack decided it was time for me to try a couple of new books. They decided to pick mysteries since I have enjoyed reading Agatha Christie. They allowed Hubby to wrap them and inscribe them by putting pictures inside the book that each picked. You know how difficult it is to tell whose paw that stamp came from? Trust me pictures are easier.

Jack got me Bitter Harvest by Sheila Connelly, which is set in a New England orchard. I enjoyed reading about her being snowed in. I swear I need to find a cabin for a week in the winter time. Poor D would get the worst case of cabin fever ever, I'd be sipping tea and knitting. Anyways the book is dragging a bit for me. There is a lot of introspection and minutia that I'm not enjoying. I believe the author is trying to build drama bit it's not happening for me. It seems right now to be going no where. But I'll let you know if that changes because we all know I'm going to finish the book. It is what I do. Plus I am enjoying reading about the snow since we do not have any. Who knows it may end up being a nice light read.

Gus went to a Regency mystery set in England instead, The Cocoa Conspiracy by Andrea Penrose. What can I say he must be reading my romance novels too as this setting I am commonly drawn to. Stories of Lords and Ladies get my attention. I think I may even ask him for the first book in the series too. The story is a well written political intrigue. In contrast to the other book the characters are more complex and live less in their heads. I am enjoying a wife and husband team.

What I did notice and appreciate about the boy's choices were strong female characters. I don't like a lady that faints for every reason. I like to see independent thinkers with can do attitudes, just like my kitties. No one ever reached the top of the fridge by fainting.

I finished Fool by Christopher Moore on audio in the car last week. It was an irreverent telling of King Lear. Moore's books make me laugh but they are not for the easily offended. This tale came with a warning in the beginning, I kid you not. I thought about getting another of his books for my new kindle but the audio performance is really the way to experience it. The reader at such flair and atmosphere that I fall in love.

Since I've been with out a "car book" I realized I need to find another audio book soon, the same songs that are played on the radio are driving me crazy. Who decided that the top 20 songs are the only ones that should be on the radio?

I'm also reading Peril at End House by Agatha Christie. I don't think she wrote many bad books, if any. Of course I am avoiding the one that fans call her worst but that is neither here nor there. End House contains my favorite detective (besides Adrian Monk) Hercule Poirot. I just love the way he puts all the evidence together. I still remember reading Murder on the Orient Express on my flight home from London. It seemed so fitting.

Well turns out my knitting is not the only thing I am not monogamous with. I make up for it in the areas of my life that are really important I swear.

Happy knitting and reading.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Talking about socks

I finished some socks from this years Rhinebeck loot yarn. That is two out of eight done with two more on the needles. Not bad at all. I do so love my yarn!

While I think they're good socks, I did not love the yarn and don't know how well it will hold up. Watch a few years from now I will be bragging about how great these held up and asking why didn't I buy more of this yarn.

The yarn is Autumn House Farm sock yarn in Foxglove Velvet colorway. I do like how they have blips and flashes of color without true stripes. I especially like how this is not a normal color for me. I don't have any other yarn that looks like this. Which is what I was trying to do this year and probably next year too. There are so many yarns out there why not try something new? We all know my first pick will still be green and that is OK too.

Well maybe my first pick is still grey that is what I am telling this guy anyways.

This ball of yarn has been claimed by Big G. I have woken up a couple of times to him chasing it all over the bed. While I am a bit bummed to be woken up, I am also very happy to have him feeling good enough to play. I can not believe the camera was fast enough to capture the little pink tongue. Another reason to just keep taking pictures while the action is happening, you never know what will show up. And speaking of what shows up on camera.

Is it just me or did a sock bomb go off in my bedroom. Guess laundry day needs to get here faster. I can still remember having my first two pairs of hand knit socks. Trying to walk a delicate balance between keeping them washed and wearing them right away. I was so worried about wearing them out by wearing them so much. Now I ask myself if it is a fancy sock day or a plain sock day. I do tend to wear my fancier socks to knitting group, unless I just finished a pair that I was working on last meeting, then I have to show off my newest socks.

Last week they laughed at me when I pulled out my third project to knit on. Good thing I am monogamous in other areas of my life, my knitting certainly does not see that side of me. I have learned to only do simple knitting at knit group, if I try to do anything that requires real attention I just end up redoing it later that night. My sweater had been knit to where I needed to separate the sleeves and start the body, not something I can do while stories are being told. I thought the cuff on the sock was almost long enough but I did not want to read what I needed to be done next so I put that one away and pulled out my simple sock. See I do have a rhyme to my reason. You just thought I wanted to play with lots of yarn, well that is part of it too.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Did you ever notice how much more knitting you get done when you don't waste time on other things? You know like blogging or housework.

My Wild Apple Hill Farm sweater is moving along. I like the cables I chose to go down the arms. It is now in the really awkward stage that every top down raglan sweater goes through. It looks like a wooly version of an eighty's cropped quarterback shirt. Not a good look for a sweater I can assure you. Now I am debating continuing down the body section then knitting the sleeves or knitting one of the sleeves then the body then another sleeve. You see I suffer from a different kind of SSS. SSS is commonly known in the knitting world as Second Sock Syndrome, many people get bored making an item for the second time in a row. You know me I can make sock after sock after sock........ Occasionally I get to change up the colors but essentially I knit the same sock over and over.

Sleeves on the other hand I hate. I know, why hate a sleeve? I don't get it, but it was a revelation to me when I figured it out. I hate the second sleeve! I don't much like the first sleeve either but the second one just torques my cookies. Maybe I should just start adding heel flaps in where my elbows are and that would solve everything.

I bought myself a new toy that will either increase my knitting time or cut into it severely, a Kindle. I have been hemming and hawing for a while. The decision was made once I realized I did not have to try to hold a paperback open while attempting to knit at lunch time. I tried it out today, the Kindle lies flat and all I have to do is tap to turn a page. I'm still going to be hitting the library used book sale for my romance novels, but it is nice to have an option. I'm sure packing books for trips will be easier too.

I received my February sock club yarn from Sweetgeorgia too. I'm thinking of making a small shawl or scarf with it since it is 50% silk. Pictures will follow when I can get them.

I did a little research on what I knit last year and found I made myself 16 pairs of socks. That is better than a pair a month which surprised me. I also made three pairs for D. All I can say is at least he got a few pairs. In my defense he has bigger feet than me, not a 16 vs 3 size difference but still, I tried.

I can hear my sweater calling me so I'll be knitting on that this evening. Happy Knitting!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stepping out

Dear Hubby informed me on Thursday that we would be going out on Saturday for Valentine's Day. I was a bit surprised since we've been married for over ten years now and let's just say V Day is not big on our radar. It may not even be a scratch on the screen of our radar.

He would not tell me where we were going just that he had made reservations and it was not any place we had been before. I decided to let anticipation rule the day rather than my normal control freakishness. The only additional question I asked was if we would be dressing up, since my wardrobe is sadly lacking it was a pertinent question.

He informed me that he would be wearing dress pants and a dress shirt, which meant that I needed to go shopping. I had acknowledged to myself in the past that maybe it was time to go through my closet and see what was what. I don't buy clothes that often and when I do my first priority is warmth and second is comfort. I don't think I am a slob but I may dress like one. Well, maybe not a slob but a casual, functional person. The last think I want to worry about in my clothes is if I move, will I be blinding someone by exposing some of my neon white lilly white skin to them.

So off I went on Saturday to find an outfit for an unknown destination. I found a shirt and pants that fit my needs and thought about shoes too but I opted to buy cat food instead. No, I did not wear the cat food as footwear. I just decided to make do with what I had at home after a quick call to D, that confirmed extended walking or standing was not required of the evening.

I really made the effort to not be the annoying portions of me that evening. I set aside my control issues and running late habit. I am proud to say that I was ready before we needed to leave not ten minutes after we needed to go.

As we were walking into the restaurant I pointed out that I had even pulled out my fancy little black purse that holds very little. I even left my knitting in the car. To which D replied Wow the pressure to entertain is really on!

We had a lovely dressed up dinner out with a nice glass of wine and great food. It was nice to do something special for a change.

Don't worry we're still our humble selves, I suggested that we go to the local grocery store and pick up one of their desserts to enjoy at home. A leopard can not change all its spots in one night, neither can we.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Mom is crafty too

Since I come from a crafty line of women I should show off Mom's skills too. A few years ago I noticed the stores stopped selling pretty and interesting pillow cases. They had just plain blah ones. You may be shocked, but I like funky and fun pillow cases. When I told Mom this she remedied the situation.

Yep knitting pillow cases with a stitched in heart for reinforcement. Darn you can not see it but trust me it is there.

Now these are pre-made pillowcases but with embroidery fun.  Our bedroom is lilac colored but since I am extremely eclectic everything matches by not matching anything but my personality.

I will show you more in the future. We have his and hers pillow cases too but not the way you think. Mine have kitties and D's have Navy things on them. 

Mom found it surprising that embroidery helps her arthritic hands feel better. I am a bit surprised too but exercise and use usually makes things better, except Gus the thinks naps make him better.

Well I think I need to get some things done. D made reservations for us tonight at a nice restaurant, he's not telling me where. So I should really be out buying something to wear, since I am a rather relaxed clothing person. I've even recycled my Christmas party dress a couple of times now. Hey why spend $60 to  $100 every year when I can spend that money on yarn for accent shawls?

Fashion sense, I don't have any. I was thrilled to get out of jury duty so I did not need to buy new "court appropriate" clothing. What does that even mean?

And yes I choose my Church by the ability to wear jeans to service. I don't think I am a bad person just one who hates to buy clothes. 

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


We had quite the hubub here the other morning. You know how sometimes in the morning you're just not quite with it? You don't have your glasses on and everything is out of focus? Yesterday morning was one of those mornings for me and D.

Part of the reason for me was that Gus was yowling and carrying on in the early morning. That boy sure has some lungs. Jack was tucked in with me. D got up and he likes to sit for a bit in the morning and gather his thoughts usually in the dark. You don't want to gather those thoughts too quickly or you'll be placed in charge of making breakfast.

As I walked into the living room D was saying to Gus; why are you looking at the curtains? I look up to see a fist sized, dark shape move across the top of the curtains. Before you get too freaked out remember I have smaller fists. I grabbed my glasses so I could see and sure enough a mouse was up on our curtains. Freaky!

We both go into What-can-we-use-to-get-it mode. Jack however went into his Mine! mode. D grabs a dishcloth as his weapon and I decide a pep talk to Jack is my most effective thing. My track record is not so good when it comes to mice in the house. Who knows it may even be the same mouse. I tell Jack this time he needs to kill the mouse! D-E-D, dead this time. (Bonus points if you know what movie that is from.)

I start tapping and shaking the curtain to send the mouse D's way and after much scurrying it ends up on the couch. All we saw was a blurr going over the arm of the couch followed by Jacks butt and tail. It all happened so fast! Jack emerged a moment later with something in his mouth and proceeded to the dining room. What? Where do you kill your mice? He dropped the mouse and then sprinted after it and caught it again. I ran to get a paper towel, shouting encouragement all the way.

I returned to find the mouse laying motionless in front of Jack, and my husband with a look of awe on his face. Jack was praised. The mouse was given a paper towel coffin and placed in the outside trash bin.

As D says he was all instinct, a pure killing machine.

Greenies treats and many fur strokes were given in praise to our boys. Gus for pointing him out and Jack for doing the deed. I must tell you I think the mouse was twice the size of a normal sized mouse.

Later in the day I came across this article. Which talks about what would happen if all the cats on the earth died. Other than my heart being completely broken, the rodent population would increase. I refer you to this line from the article:  A study in New Zealand in 1979 found that, when cats were nearly eradicated from a small island, the local rat population quickly quadrupled.

Can you imagine a quadrupled rat population? Even if I can I don't want to!

Well done boys, well done.