Saturday, May 30, 2009

A box of goodies to brighten my day

The weeks are just flying by here and school will be out soon, less than two weeks to go and all three kids will be home and looking for entertainment - UGGH!!!
Keelei finished up her drivings training class and passed the written exam - YEAH!!! She only has two more evenings of driving with the teacher and then we can go get her permit. She wants to drive all the time, but I'm leary right now of when I let her as she is so slow and nervous - so very careful about the timing in the day and the level of traffic that will be out there. Summer should be good for just letting her drive everywhere we go during the day and really working on logging her 100 hours in there. I honestly can't believe my baby is driving - its CRAZY!!!! She's so grown up in so many ways. She was sad to have canceled her trip to Europe this summer. With the economy she just wasn't able to get enough jobs to earn the money. But we found a great opportunity for her to go for 9 days down to New Orleans with a group of Unitarian Universalists from our district to do a service project cleaning up from Katrina, as well as some education on the process that it has been cleaning up from the Hurricane. I think it is going to be a great eye-opening experience for her. If I thought my body could manage it - I'd so go with her. But I don't think I could do sleeping on a cot and following someone else's schedule for when I can rest ect.
Along that line, my Fibromyalgia has been irritating me more and more. My daily pain seems to be up a couple of notches, and I seem to move into more intense pain quicker. All of this has added to me dealing with more and more depression & anxiety. I've been so hopeful that I could deal with this with the least amount of "drug treatments" as possible. I haven't taken anything since having the shots in my hips last fall. But I've been really weighing things the last few weeks and how bad I've been. I know its hard on Mike & the kids when I am not able to get thru the day without being in tears from my pain or just crying because of my mood. So, I'm thinking that next week I'll call and make an appointment with my rheumotologist to talk about the different drug options and the implications of those drugs. We'll see where that goes.
That brings us to the "brightening" of my day(s) - Yesterday I got my wonderful box of yarny goodness from Fresh From the Cauldron. Jen so rocks!!!! So I got two colorways off my list for the Vampire Club, Charlie Swan & Volturi, along with a cool sock pattern. And then I got the club colorways for the OZ club Dorothy Gail & Scarecrow. The OZ club also came with a coffee mug that says "If I only had a Brain", a stitch marker and a pattern for a basketweave shawl. Jen also sent me another pattern to test for her - I'm currently testing the Bad Moon Rising pattern and it is so cool! there are elements that I've never done before and I'm loving watching it all come together. I posted to the FFtC group to see what yarn I should do it in, and Jen wanted to see it in the "No Place Like Home" colorway that I received from last months OZ club shipment.....I'm so glad thats what I went with, it is just turning out beautifully. I'll get a picture of it soon to post.

As for items I've finished.....I've gotten a couple of things done this month:
-a Ballband Dishcloth pattern by Pisgah Yarn & Dying Company

a cabled bookmark using the Backbone pattern by Kiersten Brandt

and last but not least - the Monkey socks that I just finished and mailed off to Kate of Katydid Creations - hope she loves them:)

Well, I guess thats it for now - off to work on my socks, watch for a picture of them soon:)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oh the Yarny Goodness!!!

I am doing the happy dance here! On Saturday I got my GORGEOUS yarn package from Fresh From the Cauldron - I joined two of her Yarn Clubs, the Vampire Sock Club and the Wizard of Oz Club. I had never tried her yarn before (other than to drool over pics of it online), and I am sooooo excited to be in these clubs now. Here are my first months items:

On the left is Forks (this is my favorite for sure!!) and then on the right is Bella. I had to pick 12 yarns that I'll get over the next 6 months and it was sooooo hard narrowing it down. I wasn't sure from the online pics about Forks, but in person - it is scrumptious for sure! I can't wait to knit something up with it and see it in all its beauty! Keelei is probably going to steal Bella for something for her - which I "might" let happen......we'll see.

And then for the Wizard of Oz Club, I got these beauties:

On the left is "No place like home" and then the right is
"Not in Kansas Anymore". And then that gorgeous case you see on the far right is a circular needle case and a giant lolli-pop:) I'm so keeping that hidden from my children.......

I haven't finished anything in a while. I'm mostly working on a pair of monkey socks right now for an online friend. I had all kinds of challenges with the first pair of socks that I planned to knit for her, so I ripped those out and the yarn was frustrating me like crazy, so I bought new yarn, picked a new pattern and away I am going. Here's a picture of sock #1 a couple of days ago (I'm further along now). I LOVE this yarn, it is Farmhouse Yarn's Fannie's Fingering Weight in the kaleidoscope colorway. I am just loving this colorway and how it is working up on Cookie A's Monkey pattern. I'm so going to have to knit myself a pair of monkeys someday.......

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where has the time gone?

Well, its been a while since I last posted. We had the flu fly thru our house at the beginning of March and then things just got all kinds of crazy busy here. My daughter is gearing up to take Drivers Ed., my older son started his first year of Little League (which my husband is assistant coaching), I'm busy with all kinds of church activities. I have gone to a High School CON (Conference) in Louisville,Kentucky; the District Annual Meeting in Muncie, Indiana; the Middle School CON at our very own Peoples Church in Kalamazoo, MI; along with lots of smaller stuff too. It has all taken its toll on my health - unfortunately my fibromyalgia has really been kickin' my butt with all of this busy-ness. I'm really struggling with whether or not to start taking some type of medication, whether it be for the Fibromyalgia, the depression that inevitably comes with it, or a combination of both. I think that I'm getting closer to going there - I'm just so stubborn when it comes to taking meds.......we'll see!

In the midst of all that busy-ness, I've done as much knitting as I can. I have a few things still in progress. So my WIP's (Works In Progress) are:
-Bella mittens for my niece (have one done, need to do the second one)
-a cabled bookmark (just need to block this)
-my baby sweater (just need to do the finishing touches around the neckline and weave in all the ends)
-My sweater (the body is done and I've started on sleeve #1)

I'm also working on a pair of socks for an online friend, I've had to abandon the original pattern I chose, as it just wasn't working for me, and I've picked a new pattern to give it another try. I think I'll like the new yarn I got for these better now too.

Now for some of the things I've finished since last posting......I've had some fun projects that I've done:
My beautiful Blue Scruncy Scalloped scarf (the pattern is from ) done in Malabrigo worsted weight yarn in the Jewel Colorway:

Then there was my Argyle Lace Hat (pattern out of the book Boutique Knits) knit in
ShibuiKnits Baby Alpaca Dk Yarn in a beautiful shade of red. This was made for my friend Elizabeths Birthday. And I was so thrilled that she loved it!!! I loved knitting this hat so much, I've already bought yarn to make it for myself someday - someday when I feel like I don't have so many others to knit for that is.

I did finish the cute little hat to go with my baby sweater set (needed to feel like I had gotten somewhere with the whole project - LOL!)

A mobius Easter Basket for my daughter (as we stole hers last year to use as part of a last minute gift;) ), this is from the wonderful book by Cat Bordhi - A second Treasury of Magical Knitting. I SO love Cat's wonderful and amazing designs!!!

My first ever lace project - I'm so very proud of my cute little doily! Took me a while to get going, but once I got past the first 5 rows, I didn't have any issues at all with it! The pattern is the Little Flower Doily from BadCatDesigns:

And last, but certainly not least, is my adorable anteater! This was a request from my 12 year old nephew, Cameron - yeah he doesn't ask for the easy stuff, does he?! I haven't had the oppurtunity to give it to him yet, but I can't wait to. I really hope that he loves it though! I think he turned out so cute. The pattern is an oldy, originally the Small & Tiny Clanger by John S. Fletcher.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And back to the baby sweater

Well, I've been taking on little projects like crazy trying to avoid going back to this baby sweater. Don't get me wrong, I love the yarn, and the way things are looking, and can't wait for the finished project - but the thought of all the seaming and finishing work...........what can I say, I've been procrastinating!!! So, I picked it back up last night, and I finished the first sleeve this afternoon. So I'm ready to cast on the 2nd sleeve and then we'll go from there. I just need to stop putting it off and get through it!!!! Any advice on how to do that?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I finished the hat!!!! I'm really happy with the 2nd try at it too. And though it looks really cute on my daughter Keelei (it does, doesn't it?) - I'm keeping it for myself;) I wore it all yesterday and got tons of compliments on it. Even several strangers came up to tell me what a cute hat it is. Anyways, like I said in a previous post - I did this up for part of a group I belong to on Ravelry, and I promised to post the finished pattern for all who wanted a cute ribbon hat of their own, so here goes:

A Perfect Holiday Ribbon Hat

Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 (or another similar yarn)

Needles: Size 8

Cast on 99 stitches using the backward loop cast-on (or your favorite stretchy cast on)

Rows 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12: Work in a K2, P1 rib pattern placing a marker and joining in the round on the first row.

Rows 3 & 10: *K2, P1, y/o, K2tog, P1* repeat from star 15 more times, end in a K2, P1. (this will give you a wider space where the beginning and end of the round join - this is where you will have the "tie" in your bow on the completed hat)

Row 13: Purl Across to marker

Row 14: Knit around, continue in this manner until piece measures 5".

Now we start to decrease:

Row 1 *K9, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row 2 Knit around

Row 3 *K8, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row4 Knit around

Row 5 *K7, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row 6 Knit around

Row 7 *K6, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row 8 Knit around

Row 9 *K5, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row 10 Knit around

Row 11 *K4, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row 12 Knit around

Row 13 *K3, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row 14 Knit around

Row 15 *K2, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row 16 Knit around

Row 17 *K1, K2tog* repeat until marker

Row 18 *K2tog* repeat until marker

9 stitches remain, cut yarn leaving about 8" and weave thru remaining stitches pulling tight. Tie off and weave in all ends.

You will be left with holes towards the upper and lower ridges of the ribbing, take a nice soft flexible ribbon and starting at the widest point (near where your marker was on the ribbing you should have 2 rows of knit and 3 rows of purl between holes vs. the 1 row of knit between them around the rest of the hat - hope that makes sense). Weave your ribbon in and out of these holes making an "X" pattern in and out. When you get to the final hole, before tying off, try the hat on and adjust the ribbon as needed so that it will comfortably fit your head. I tyed mine while on my head and haven't had to readjust since.

Hope you enjoy this pattern - it is the first that I've ever written to share, so if you come across any errors in it or have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks so much!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

and inspiration hits..........

so, I belong to a group on Ravelry called "as seen in movies". Its a great group that is inspired by the knitwears in the many movies it is often highlighted in. Some just post about great knits from the movies, some try to find patterns that are similar to something they've seen, and some create their own versions of them. Well, someone posted this past week they saw in the movie "A Perfect Holiday". I instantly loved the hat!!! I'm no designer by any means, but the hat was a simple enough thing that I figured I could work something out like it. You can see a clip on YouTube of the hat here:

Anyways, so my first attempt, I had a couple of issues with. I started to run out of yarn, this was supposed to be all cream colored, but I had black in the same type of yarn, so I improvised and gave it some stripes towards the top. Then, the ribbon that I had bought was WAY too stiff to go thru it and look good (or feel good on the head), so I raided one of my many, MANY craft drawers for something that would not be so dense - insert pink ribbon instead of black decorative ribbon. Well, I also knit the hat too long (maybe I wouldn't have run out of cream if I hadn't, eh?), and I don't think the space between the rows of y/o's is wide enough to show the criss-crossing of the ribbon well. Sooooooo - I'm off to try again. Hoping that test run #2 I will be much happier with. I just raided my stash and found a yarn that I like, and have 3 skeins of, so I won't have to worry about running out at least this time! We'll see how it goes..........

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Well - I've been working on a baby sweater for a friend who just had a baby - was so excited about it, finished it and LOVE the way it turned out! Well, love everything except that its too small for the baby its for {{{{{{sigh}}}}}}} Oh-well, next sweet little thing thats born I'll have a gift all ready to go, right?!

This is pattern is the Wee One Welcome Set pattern by Chris de Longpre, you can find the link for her pattern at . Though I think it looks WAY cooler in the Zwerger Garn Opal yarn that does the self striping effect than what she shows it pictured in - just my opinion.
I'm trying to finish up a swap gift tonight - and then I'll have to do something else for the baby this was for, and I've got another baby gift to make as well (do I try to make this pattern again bigger????). Then it will be back to working on my UFO's again. Though I think I've made really good progress - I believe I only have 6 (almost down to 5) left. The couple of groups I joined on Ravelry have *really* made a difference with getting thru those 'ol projects. Gotta love Ravelry!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What a week!!!

So, this last week consisted of trying to get things together for my daughters birthday on Thursday - I can't believe she is 15!!!! Where in the world did the time go? So we celebrated her birthday at my mom's house on Thursday with her wishes fulfilled - Stuffed Peppers for dinner and an Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream for dessert. She has gotten so much grief for that - what a weird kid! But she doesn't even care that all her friends and much of her family think she's so weird - she was glad to have what she wanted.

Then we jumped into the weekend - driving Keelei over to Farmington Hills for a Spirituality Conference at the Universalist Unitarian Church there. She was the only one of the youth from our church who wanted to go to a more serious CON, so we had to do the transporting to get her there and back. We all drove over there on Friday and the boys were sooooo good for us. The watched old Superman Movies in the backseat and Keelei just rocked out on her ipod. Mike and I had some really nice conversations. I was so glad that we all ended up going as I had had a fairly emotional week for whatever reason. After we dropped Keelei off we took the boys out for dinner and we had a great dinner together. They were goofy and silly and several people stopped to tell us how beautiful they are. Then we started the trek home late and put the boys to bed.

Liam was restless and feverish all night Friday night and then Gavin woke up on Saturday with a fever too. So thats pretty much been the weekend, taking care of sick boys. Liam is still pretty active, but Gavin is a little limp noodle on the couch. He still has a fever, so I probably won't get my usual Monday on my own here.....probably will keep Liam home from daycare if Gavin isn't going to school too. We'll see. The tough part will be that with them home I can't get as much done as needed to get ready for Keelei's Birthday Party with friends on Friday. She's having a Friday the 13th themed party:) So trying to get some fun stuff together around that theme. She's invited 4 girls and 3 boys, so we'll see what we end up with here on Friday.

Ohhhh! I almost forgot - the highlight of my week! I am in a couple of different swaps on Ravelry right now and earlier this week I got my package from the Color Swap I am in! It is sooooo awesome. My partner, figmentkim on Ravelry, sent me an awesome bunch of green goodies, 2 scarves, a shawl, 7 skeins of Crystal Palace Ribbon Yarn & 2 skeins of Crystal Palace Fizz, a beautiful wooden bookmark with a quote from Socrates that says "Wisdom begins in Wonder.", a journal, a gorgeous green bag, a package of frog magnets, a project bin that she made recycling a container and covered it with fabric. It was awesome. The best part though was the beautiful and touching letter she sent to me. It was a detailed little "diary" of her putting together the package. She did such an awesome job of researching thru my posts and my projects and I just want to send out some huge cyberhugs to Kim to thank her for all the lovely goodies she sent my way. I've posted a pic of my lovely Color Swap Swag above - thanks again Kim!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

So tired of Winter........

I've been nothing but sick - bronchitus, reactive asthma, pneumonia - and now the stomach flu! I can't seem to get a break this year! Ready for spring to move in and the ability to let some fresh air in.
On the bright side - I've done nothing but sleep and knit all day. Gotta love that, right?!
I'm hoping to finish these fingerless mitts tonight. I'm really excited, I went to the yarn store yesterday and I picked up the yarn to make my daughters Birthday gift - the Bella Mittens! You can check the pattern out here:
They are so awesome and I have had them in my Ravelry queue for a month and a half.......and I'm so ready to start up on them:) I think I should be able to get thru them relatively quick - which is good because I have two things to make for new babies too. I always seem to have so many things that I want to get going, if only there were more hours in the day.
Well - off to finish up those fingerless mitts...........

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Knitters need a little help?

I joined a group on Ravelry to try to help me along with all my UFO's. The group is called Finish or Frog It - the idea is every Friday to evaluate one or more of your UFO's and decide whether to Finish it or Frog it. I have several items that I need to do this with, so figured this was a great group to help keep me accountable. Do you have a basket, bin, shoebox or maybe even a closet of Unfinished Objects? Maybe you'd like to join in the fun! Here is a link on the rules:
Looking forward to showing off my finished & frogged items in the very near future;)

Starting up.........

Well, I've been thinking about starting a blog for quite some time now. It will be a new experience for sure, and I'm sure that I'll have lots to learn about how to navigate all of the things that are possible by being here.
I hope to be posting about things I'm working on, and just general stuff with family life. There are so many folks that I love looking thru their blogs and seeing what they are doing, making, and dreaming about. I can only hope to find a little bit of the creativity that so many others show.
Happy Blogging!!!!