Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Finished Project and Another in Progress

Finished are the superwash wool house socks for my friend Celeste. She will be celebrating a birthdya in the middle of January and amazingly enough the gift is done! I used Lonesome Stone superwash wool I purchased at Mad About Ewes in Lewisburg. A nice bright combination of colors. The pattern is a simple tube sock but it will keep her warm.

Started is a nice neckwarmer for myself. Using yummy worsted weight Lorna's Laces and a fun Feather and Fan pattern. I like the design -- size 6 needles to start so the cowl lays nicely on ones shoulders -- at least that is the designer's plan -- and then size 4 needles on the rest of the garment. Will continue with more photos. Took this one early today and have made a lot of progress since this morning.

However, the neckwarmer has been put aside for some sock knitting. A pair I started a while ago. I miss knitting socks so decided to work on a pair in sport weight yarn. A photo in a few days.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Yarn Shopping in New Jersey: Part Two

Mericash handpainted on the left and Merisock handpainted on the right. Don't you just love the colors?
The day before going to Princeton decided to visit a yarn shop that is less than 5 miles from my home of my brother and sister-in-law. The shop KnitKnack is located in Maplewood, NJ. There are lovely glass windows for colorful displays and completed garments.
Once inside the shop I was stunned. Let me quickly say, very pleasantly stunned. KnitKnack is a small one-room yarn shop whose owner has used every square inch of space to the max! The built-in cubby spaces for yarn were neatly organized and filled with fibers of all sorts -- many of which I had only read about and never seen. This was a knitter's dream shop!
Regretfully I neglected to get the owner's name, but she is such a nice person and a very talented knitter. She is quite helpful, but not pushy. A rare combination in retail. I also enjoyed the three other ladies who were there knitting away on a variety of projects. Those lucky knitters and others were lucky this weekend when designer Jared Flood (aka Brooklyn Tweed) was at the shop for 2 days signing his new book and also giving classes.
I have Jared and his wonderful website to thank. His listing of classes was where I found the information on KnitKnack.
I purchased a lovely little silk project bag, two skeins of yarn, and an Addi Turbo lace circular needle. The yarn is Mericash and Merisock. Both are for me. The Mericash will be knitted into one of Ann Budd's neckwarmers that I am cranking out repeatedly for friends. The other of course will be socks or perhaps a small shawl that I would use as a large scarf.
Time will tell.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Yarn Shopping in New Jersey: Part One

Pagewood Yarns for a pair of socks and a small shawl
Koigu yarn for the drop stitch shawl

Part One: Since I visited two stores in NJ this weekend, I will do a post on each visit. Today's is about the shop in Princeton.

Spent a really nice Thanksgiving weekend in New Jersey visiting with family and friends. A tradition started about 6 years ago is the annual Saturday-after-Thanksgiving trek to Princeton for lunch, shopping, people watching, and looking at the gorgeous greenery/white lights/red ribbons that decorate the shops and downtown. There were no carolers on the corner this year, but we have seen/heard them in years goneby. This year there were four beautifully decorated horse-drawn buggies parading through town.

Since my really good friend Roberta moved from Central PA to the South almost 2 years ago we have added a wonderful element to the Princeton trip. Roberta travels to the central NJ town from either her brother's or sister's homes in PA/NYC and we spend the afternoon together. This year a large amount of time was spent in the Pins and Needles yarn shop.

We decided to do a two-person "knitalong" and chose a "Drop Stitch Wrap" complete with a ruffled edge. Absolutely adorable. However, we just can't leave well enough alone...we made a slight variation to the pattern by shortening the length. The wrap is knitted lengthwise, on size 3 or 4 needles, from Koigu. But, it is designed to be 90-inches long. Since Roberta and I are neither one over 5-feet tall, a 90-inch wrap is unnecessary. We opted for a 60-inch length which means less yarn needed to be purchased and it won't take as long to knit...a win-win!

I also purchased two skeins of Pagewood Farms sock yarn. Love the stuff. One will be used for socks and the other will most likely be knitted into "Ishbel" which is designed by Ysolda, a young and very talented Swedish knitwear designer. At this point I cannot decide which skein will be used for which project. Will see how the spirit moves me when I get that far.
To be continued....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Patches 8/2/98-11/20/09

My sweet cuddlebug is gone. The constipation proved too much and her body could no longer work the way it should. She tried so hard at the vet office but it just didn't happen. Surgery would have been a very temporary "fix" and she again would have been in pain. I didn't want a colon rupture when I was away working. Patches would have been in so much pain. I would have never forgiven myself. Rest in peace my love. You are now with your Golden brothers. I will love you all always.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

I decided to use some leftover sock yarn to knit Christmas ornaments. Boy are they ever cute! ... if I do say so myself. The patterns are from Kalamazoo Knits and I bought them last fall at Stitches East in Baltimore.
I have two done and as soon as I finish this post will start a third from blue and white sock yarn...Penn State ya know. The patterns are easy and knit up quickly. I bought a box of 8 ornaments at Wal-Mart for $6 so they are inexpensive to make. Would be nice gifts.

I am now searching for a metal tree to hang them from for Christmas. Better start internet surfing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This is October??

Today's post will again be basically photos. Mother Nature played a cruel joke on this part of Central PA today....first heavy rain which turned into snow...on October 15! The major problem is that the trees are still laided with their leaves and this heavy, wet snow is causing many branches to come down. Here are some photos from my yard. This nasty weather is not to stop until tomorrow. I hope the trees don't fall on the house or cars.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Teddy Bear's Trip to North Carolina

Teddy watches the world go by

Teddy and Daddy watched too much football on TV

Teddy's first time in a hotel. Notice his stuffed babies also made the trip.

Aaaaahhhhh...just like home!

Are we there yet?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


For about the past six months -- since my personal life started to spiral downward dramatically -- I have had a bad case of "startitis." Translation: I keep starting, but not finishing projects. That must change.

This photo is of four pair of socks I have started.
The orange ones are a gift for a friend. Fortunately, she doesn't know I'm knitting them so I don't feel a huge pressure to finish immediately. However, I do want to finish this month so she has them to wear when colder weather hits. These will be the second pair I complete.

The striped ones are technically a "summer" sock. Since one is completed they are going to be my first pair to finish. In fact, I'm taking them along to knitting group this evening. Theory...if you take only one project then you have to work on it. Right? Right.
The reddish striped ones go quickly because they are sport weight and I am knitting them on size 3 needles. They will wait a bit but are third in line.

Last, but not least, is the sock at the bottom of the photo. I thought there was more of it in the photo but I guess not. Well, actually there isn't much to see. It is from an awesome cashmere/merino wool blend that I can't wait to wear. But, I will wait as it is last in line.
These are not my only UFOs. Oh my no. I have a neck warmer on the needles as a birthday present for a friend. Can't say more as she reads this blog. And then there are the various shawls I have started. I am anticipating a fruitful fall and winter of knitting. At least I hope so.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Charity Project

This little gem is a cup sleeve. What is a cup sleeve you ask? Well, it slips over the paper cup that holds your hot coffee you buy at any convenience store or specialty coffee shop. A friend gave me the pattern and I am knitting them for the Pet Pantry of Centre County. We provide cat and dog food to the food banks in the county so people who want to keep their animals, but are having tough economic times, can feed them and keep them. Pets are important to many people. I know they are to me.

I am using superwash worsted weight wool and am waiting for an order from Knitpicks. The project goes quickly and little yarn is used. These will be great lunchtime knitting projects. We are going to sell them for $1 each and of course are reusable. All money will go toward the cost of pet food and will keep those paper cup covers out of the landfill. A win-win.

Check out the website:

WTAJ-TV did a story on the Pet Pantry. I don't think the link is still available, but here is the text from the spot.

Centre Co. Pet Food Pantry
Reported by: Adam Paluka
Monday, Jun 8, 2009 @03:32pm
COLLEGE TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY - As the economy continues to sputter, more and more local families are making some tough budget decisions. In Centre County, two women are determined to make sure feeding the family pet is not a casualty of the recession. “Since the middle of last year was about the first that I've heard someone on the phone say 'I really want to keep my dog. I really love my dog. I can't afford to feed it,'” Kim Bierly, of Centre County Golden Retriever Rescue, said. In less than a year Bierly and Caitlin Rivers have the Pet Pantry of Centre County up and running. In three weeks the two have distributed more than 700 pounds of donated dog and cat food. They believe the family pet cannot be forgotten in an economic downturn. “People just aren't willing to give up their dog because it's inconvenient and that's putting people in a really bad spot, and it's my job to make sure that doesn't happen anymore,” Rivers said. The goal is to eventually get one thousand pounds of dog and cat food donated every month. Their efforts are not going to end once the economy picks back up. “(Think about) our senior citizens on fixed incomes. For them, it's a permanent situation. They need the companionship, but sometimes their cat or dog is the only living creature they see everyday,” Bierly said. Currently, only dog and cat food is being collected, and the ladies are using a trusted distribution system to get Fido and Felix their meals. “People are already going to the food bank for human food donations, and a lot of them are the same people that need additional support for their pets. We're using the human food banks to distribute the food primarily,” Rivers said. Some donations come from local businesses, but Rivers and Bierly hope the bulk of the pet pantry will be stocked by local residents. For more information about donating, or getting some help from the pet pantry click here: .

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Adventure Hat

The Adventure Hat is finally finished. My teddy bear model is quite cooperative and loves the hat! It is knitted from two strands of yarn. The bottom part is one strand of taupe wool and one strand of multi-colored taupe/black/grey wool and the top is two strands of the taupe wool. A stunning combination, I think AND a great leftover/stash buster.

I am helping my friend, Libby, who owns Mad About Ewes yarn shop in Lewisburg. 12 of us knitted this hat pattern for female freshmen students at Bucknell University while 12 others knitted hats for male freshmen students. Freshmen are given a list of shops in the downtown to stop in and get a special "Welcome to Lewisburg" gift. I do believe Libby's will be a hit and are wonderful. Just like Libby.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Brandeis 3-8-96 to 8-13-09

My Sunshine is gone. He was stoic and brave these last 6 weeks and was ready to sleep. I will love you forever. You were my first Golden. This photo was taken 3 hours before your death and about an hour before you went downhill dramatically. We had a wonderful summer sitting on the downstairs porch. Brandeis got fresh air, was able to see the world pass by, bark at baby strollers and bicycles, and to sit at the fence to be petted by our neighbor. The weather was cooler than usual and a lot of sun...for my sunshine.
I did easy knitting -- dishcloths -- while sitting with him. They will forever be known as "Deisy's Dishcloths" and will be sold to benefit Golden Retriever Rescue of Central PA.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Orange Socks

The first sock is progressing nicely. It is now a bit further toward completion than when I took this photo yesterday. I have the heel flap completed and the heel is turned. On to my favorite part of socks -- picking up stitches for the gusset and then the decreases! I love this part -- seriously!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New (to me) Websites

It is always fun to come across new knitting-related website -- whether blogs or places to purchase knitting necessities (translation...yarn and/or patterns). I feel so lucky because in the past two weeks I have discovered three blogs that are all well written by extremely talented knitters/designers, very different from each other, and they also sell their designs via pdf downloads. Translation: you pay with credit card by whatever means they use and within minutes you have a pdf of the pattern to download. Yes, you can save it to your computer in case you need a clean copy at some point or need to replace the pages chewed by your Golden Retriever...ahem...we won't go there...will we Teddy Bear??!!

The first site I came across is Brooklyn Tweed. Jared's designs are fabulous and it seems that he is coming out with a book of patterns within the next month or so. I can't wait. Some of his patterns are available for purchase from the internet site Ravelry.

Last Monday I somehow came across the site for Pink Lemon Twist. She has great sock patterns and I purchased some of her downloads. I LOVE her patterns for various reasons ... first and foremost she knits top down on dpns as I do. Nice top down sock patterns are tough to find these days since many people are knitting toe up. Just not my thing...I so prefer dpns and top down.

The last very pleasant "discovery" was later in the week. A Scottish designer/knitter named Ysolda who has a wonderful pdf booklet called Whimsical Little Knits. Absolutely amazing patterns. I immediately had to cast on for the gorgeous scarf with its lace border. I am not an overly accomplished nor overly confident knitter but I think it is a pattern I can handle and will enjoy. The pattern also comes in a shawl size, but the yarn I chose is enough for the scarf which I will wear more than a shawl. More on it in a future posting.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Not A Lot of Knitting

Haven't gotten much knitting done lately, and obviously even less blogging. Been cooking all the meals for my 13+ year old Golden. He is now eating again and is lively and he is my priority.

I am knitting a pair of socks for a friend's birthday. Shades of oranges and yellows with some green mixed in. Not my color scheme but her favs so that is why I chose this yarn from Fleece Artist.

Will photo this weekend and add to the blog posting.

Also plan a new post about two other blogs that I have come across recently and absolutely LOVE!

More soon....

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Knitting Projects

Slight alteration of plans for the sock pattern. Instead of the Opal Petticoat colorway -- which will be knitted into a vanilla sock -- I pulled a gorgeous skein of yellow/teal blend hand-dyed by Earthly Hues from the stash. This yarn is labeled a fingering weight and I am knitting it on size 2 needles. It is really, really close to a sport weight -- at least Lorna's Laces sport weight -- in my opinion. I knit sport weight on size 3s but that won't work for this pattern. Will post photos when more is completed and there is actually something to see. The pattern was knitted in a one-color yarn but I think will work OK in the yarn I selected which is a yummy blend of merino wool/cashmere/nylon. I'm not frogging unless it turns out to be way too large, which I don't think will happen.

While organizing stash I came across a HUGE amount of dish cloth yarn. Really nice colors and plains. So, I am now on a dish cloth knitting frenzy. They will be donated to Golden Retriever Rescue for our sales table.

I love hand-knitted dish cloths. My sister has me spoiled by knitting them for me. Uh-oh...she reads my blog! Guess I'm busted! She will insist that I knit my own from now on. LOL!

Photos of the cloths, too, when more are knitted.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yard Sale and Of Course New Socks

Our town has a community yard sale weekend that officially began today, but many people (myself included) got a jump start on the weekend. Last night many of my knitting buddies showed up to check out the yarn that was for sale and help support Golden Retriever Rescue which benefitted from the $121.50 made at the sale. Thanks ladies!

I continued the sale today with some household items, books, etc. etc. More of the fun tomorrow morning. I had forgotten how much work a yard sale can be. My muscles won't forget for a while!

I am knitting the second sock of Summer Sox. I consider it to be the nicest of the summer cotton blends that I have used. But my hands are itching (figuratively speaking, of course) to knit with wool again, so I'm starting another pair of socks.

Opal is one of my favorite sock yarns and I haven't knit with any in quite a while. I pulled from my stash a skein in the colorway "Petticoat" and can't wait to knit on it tomorrow. Not using the usual basic sock pattern but rather am going to finally knit "Waving Lace Socks" from Favorite Socks book. I usually knit on a size 2 needle with 56 stitches. Because of the design in this sock pattern, I have to drop to a size 1 needle because the repeats require 64 stitches. This will be interesting...

The yard sale provided quite a bit of entertainment today for Patches and Lily. As you can see in the photo they needed naps. Patches is pushed against the glass bow window but Lily decided to stretch out on the chair. AAAAHHHH, that's the life!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Knitting in Public

Today is World-Wide Knit In Public Day. I am out-of-town so was unable to participate in the events in State College and Lewisburg but celebrated in my own way since Thursday. I have been attending an outdoor event which gives me a lot of knitting time. I don't get much opportunity to knit these days, so take advantage of every minute I can squeeze out of the day for knitting.
I finished the first sock from "Summer Sox" yarn and the second is on the needles. Truly, it is! I didn't have the second ball with me when I finished the first, so I picked up my Pi Shawl and started knitting on it again.

It is coming along. Progress is slow and will get slower when I get to the next k1, yo round which will take me to almost 600 stitches per row! Yikes. The Noro sock yarn is keeping this rhythmic knitting interesting as the colors change. The colors are bright and fun and do "pop" as I knit. That is the only good think I can say about this one-ply yarn. The spinning of it is inconsistent and changes from think to thicker to unspun roving in a short span. Then I go for a while and it is the normal fingering weight thickness. Also, I think it is rough so would not want it for a pair of socks. My other complaint is how tangled it is in the center of the ball. I pull out a short amount of yarn and a glob of tangled fiber pops out. I think I spend more time gently untangling that knitting. But, this will get done.

I am planning an garter stitch edging that also serves as the cast off. I think it will look very nice and will keep the edge from pulling toward the middle. Blocking should be interesting. More on that when the time comes.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby Socks -- 1 pair done, 2 pair to knit

These cute little baby socks are a gift for Isaac who was born last week. His mom is a receptionist at the vet offce where we go. Isaac is her first child and I know she and her husband will be wonderful parents. They are also great parents to Grizzly, their Golden Retriever.

I used a yarn from KnitPicks that they don't make anymore. It is a combination of cotton, acrylic and nylon. I don't like knitting with it so fortunately these sockies don't take too long to knit. The yarn is soft (or I wouldn't use it for a baby) but it tangles/twists and drives me crazy!

I think these colorful ones are cute. I have more of this colorway and also some of a blend of beiges with blue. Good thing I have a stash of it because another receptionist (who my Stratton loved his whole life) is expecting her second son and also one of the women in our knitting group is expecting her second baby. These little socks are good lunchtime knitting projects.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend of Golf, Reading and Knitting

Spent Thursday through Sunday in Corning, NY for our annual trek to the LPGA tournament. This year was the 31st for the tournament and the sadly, the last. Tournament sponsors can no longer afford or justify the costs associated with sponsorship. Corning is a lovely community with a terrific downtown filled with cute shops, museums, restaurants and coffee shops. I will miss our trips there.

Thursday evening was fun. Keith and I attended a cookout at the campsite of our friends, Jackie and Eddie and their boys O'Connor and Sullivan. I took some wonderful photos. But you won't get to see any of them. After returning to the hotel and turning on the camera to view what I took, all I got was a message in the screen -- "memory card error." I couldn't and still can't believe I no longer have photos on that card. Kodak ate my pictures. I think I will contact them. It won't bring back my photos but I think they would want to know about a defective card.

On Saturday we left the course mid-afternoon and headed about 20 miles further north to Watkins Glen. Keith checked out the sporting goods store while I headed to Fingerlake Fibers yarn shop. If you ever get to Watkins Glen or even nearby a stop in this shop is a must. A lovely play with a wonderful assortment of fibers, patterns and books.

Caught up on some novels on my Kindle so now looks like I need to find some more.

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

I can't believe a week has passed since our busload of chatty knitters, spinners and weavers visited the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. We all had a wonderful time -- despite the rain accompanied by mud that Mother Nature threw at us.
I love MDSW and look forward to it each year. This was my 7th year -- I was surprised when I figured it out. I didn't take any festival photos this year. Why? I think it was a combination of the weather and being tired after organizing the trip for 55 people. But it was well worth it. Many have already said they want to go again next year!
I actually didn't buy as much as usual -- but did not go away empty-handed, as the photos indicate. Because of the weather the indoor vendors were busier and people were pushing a bit too much for me. I also learned -- after the fact -- that some vendors moved into the animal barns. I will be sure to check them out next year.
I did do stash enhancement and will describe what you see in the photos (please click on them for a larger version):
Shawl knitting is becoming my passion thanks to my good friend Billie. She is very helpful and encouraging to me. One of Billie's ways of encouraging me was to buy me this book "The Best of Knitter's Magazine" Shawls and Scarves which is a wonderful addition to my ever-growing knitting book library.
The sock yarn stash enhancement includes, from left: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Wilderness colorway; a lovely multi-colored skein of merino/nylon blend from Ellen's Half Pint Farm in Vermont (one of my very favorite vendors and one of the nicest people; Sockin' Sox from Plymouth yarn which will probably be used as a Christmas gift for Irina; medium-pastel shades of my favorite colors from Tess' Designer Yarns (which was packed with people as always...the weather doesn't stop Tess' devoted fans even though her booth is outdoors); and Socks That Rock Never on Sunday colorway.
Yarn for another shawl. This time from a dyer and booth owner new to me. I will be a returning customer. Kiparoo Farm in Maryland had this beautiful hand-dyed wool and mohair worsted weight yarn which I will be using for the shawl pattern shown in the photo. I saw the shawl knitted and knew I had to have the materials for knitting it.
Last, but certainly not least, Carodan Farm Wool Shop had several grba bags of sock yarn for $25. I got a bargain. Enough for 2 pair of summer socks and the plain black to knit for under my short dress boots I wear with suits in the winter.
A wonderful shopping time and a great event again.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pi Shawl

The end of my last post referred to "the big project." Well, here it is...started at least...a Pi Shawl as designed by the knitting wonder Elizabeth Zimmerman. I am loving this shawl...colorful in Noro sock yarn which changes every few rows -- I think I counted 13 colors before the repeat which is now just beginning. I will post photos as this project continues.
I am planning on the knitted garter stitch edging. I think the garter will be a lovely contrast to the stockinette stiches. Also, once it is is done. No casting off. Elizabeth Zimmerman says that shawls should always be knitted off, not cast off.

The Pi Shawl is so easy. Knitting in the round with the theory of every time you double the number of stitches you are knitting by using yarnovers, you double the number of rows you knit...translation: 18 stitches, 6 rows; 36 stitches, 12 rows; 72 stitches, 24 rows, and on and on. Very easy. That is the way Elizabeth wrote the pattern, and being a traditionalist I am doing it as written. There are many lovely Pi Shawls on Ravelry and blogs. Most are very different from each other....which is fine. I bet Elizabeth would love how people are adapting her pattern.
One summer sock is done so tonight I will cast on the other.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

2 New Socks....and a Scarf, too

I like small knitting projects because they can be finished somewhat quickly. I rarely knit a larger for my next post later this week because its content will counter that statement!

Back to today. I am knitting two pair of socks -- both with yarn I purchased at Mad About Ewes yarn shop in Lewisburg, PA. Libby has great taste in yarn, I think, and is one of the nicest people I have ever met. We have gotten to be good friends and I love the time I get to spend visiting her and Wyatt, her VERY adorable Sheltie, who accompanies Libby to work almost every day.

The first is a pair of summer socks from Classic Elite's new yarn "Summer Sox" which is a wonderful blend of 40% merino/40% cotton/20% nylon. I think that combination will give a nice amount of memory...contrary to other cotton sock yarns on the market. And, this is washable and dryable. Also a plus. Libby has eight lovely self-striping colors in this yarn. Stop by and get some.

Second is a lovely merino/tencel blend and right now I cannot remember who makes it or the colorway...something with Roses in it...of course Libby emailed me the info but do you think I can locate the correct email. NOT! I will fill ya all in soon. She also has quite a few colorways in this yarn and it runs out the door quickly, so don't miss out.

The mindless knitting project -- I always need one of those ... don't you? -- is a triangular scarf being knitting from Schaeffer Anne yarn in the lovely colorway "Crocus." This is great car knitting. Total garter stitch, no row or stitch counting. All I need to remember are the yarnovers and each end of the row that starts with a row marker. Now how tough is that? A friend asked me how big the scarf will be. Answer: I am knitting until the skein is finished, so however big 560 yards of Schaeffer Anne allow. No reason to stop and possible waste this wonderful wool/mohair combination. Oh this yarn was purchased online from The Loopy Ewe.

More on the big project later this week. I promise.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This Is Spring?/New Pair of Socks

According to the calendar Spring sprung on Friday. We awakened not to the blooming of tulips, daffodils and crocuses but rather to snowflakes. See this photo taken early in the morning from the deck of our home. Brandeis and Teddy Bear enjoyed the surprise and were as frisky as if it was the first snowfall of the season. Let's make it the last one until November, please...but we have been known to have snowy Aprils.

These past 5 1/2 weeks since Stratton's death have been some of the most difficult, sad and stressful of my life. I now have good days and some not-so-good days. I doubt that will ever change, no matter how much time passes. I am told that my vets think I am back to normal and handling things. NOT! One of these days,especially if it is a bad one, and someone says the wrong thing to me, they might get a reality check...

I have been knitting some the past two weeks. I finished these socks (yes, they do match) last night and am wearing them today. I think the yarn is from On-line and I know I bought it at Stitches in November. I started a scarf from Schaeffer Anne in the colorway Crocus which is a lovely, rich purple/light pink/sage green. All being knitted from the corner (much like a dishcloth) in garter stitch. I will knit until the 560 yards is done...this will be a large scarf but will be soft and warm underneath a coat this coming winter. I love Schaeffer Anne for scarves and fingerless mitts and really appreciate the huge amount of yardage in each skein. It is a soft but sturdy wool/mohair blend although I'm not sure how well it would stand up to wearing as a sock. Might have to try a pair sometime and check it out. I will post a photo of the scarf in the next blog installment.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stratton 08/02/98 to 02/12/09

My darling handsome Stratton...Mr. assistant chef...Strattie...Lovie Boy...the best Golden ever born...Puppy Puppy Puppy. I cannot believe you were taken from this Earth and from me at age 10 1/2. It is so unfair.

We don't know why. The surgery was successful but your body couldn't handle it. Something happened and we will never know what. You did have some issues the past few months and looked a bit different in your eyes for about two weeks. Also, you clung to me more than ever. I think you knew and were trying to tell me. Perhaps. Maybe your body did fail you, only to save you from a struggle later in life.
I totally blame myself for your death. I should have asked more questions and not been so quick to agree to the surgery. I will never know. I feel blessed that I was with you those last 8 1/2 hours. They were tough on me but much tougher for you. Now you are at peace and painfree. I cannot imagine you going through all of that trauma without me. I know you loved me. I heard you cry for me when I walked away for just a minute. That broke my heart and that was only the beginning. I am crushed.

Stratton you are my heart dog. You taught me how to love unconditionally. I adore you. I will always love you. You live in my heart. You were and will always be my life. I will always be your mommy. Please forgive me for taking you away from your family. I beg for your forgiveness. You were always such a loving, forgiving boy. I hope you can forgive the one person who adored you and worshipped you. I am so sad and lonely without you...

Sleep well my darling. You deserve it and much, much more. Life for me will never be the same. Love, Mommy

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Now You See It...Now You Don't

Now you see it...
Now you don't...
In keeping with two of my knitting resolutions for the New Year you might notice that I am blogging more often. I know a few of you are reading so would you please leave me a little note! I appreciate getting them.

Another New Year's resolution I am trying to keep is FROGGING projects I don't like for whatever the reason. Pictured is the first in that category. This lovely sport yarn is called Lord of the Rings (I think) and I don't remember the maker but I got it from The Loopy Ewe which has a wonderful on-line selection of yarns. And service is top notch!

I was knitting the so-popular Monkey Socks. I didn't like the ones I was knitting. I think the problem was that I chose sport weight yarn which is just too heavy for the design. It is a lovely design and fun, fun, fun to knit. And a FREE pattern from Knitty an on-line magazine. Cookie A who is a very creative designer graciously allowed the magazine to publish this design and it has been a huge hit with knitters for the past couple of winters. I also really love the rich colors in the yarn so decided it was time to frog and do a standard pair of socks. They will be started soon.

We are waiting for snow in Central PA. The Goldens and I would love to play in it and I would really like to get some video of them. I haven't taken any in way too long and life just passes us all by. I hope the ice doesn't arrive, too. We have had too much of it this winter and I worry about falling and also about one of the dogs hurting themselves. I saw a handsome Rottie at the vet today. He hurt his back leg last night on the ice. Hope the boy is OK. He was very stoic and sweet.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Knitting Progress

Not much time to post today but wanted to share a photo of the fingerless mitts I made for Celeste for her birthday. I altered the pattern to her specifications which mainly was a longer cuff. They fit her perfectly and she loved them.

OTN now is a sock for me, a scarf, and a shawl that isn't getting touched except to move it from one knitting bag to another...sigh...

Today I got two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in a specially dyed color Mt. Nittany. It is beautiful tones of purple, blue and green. See...I think it only take one skein to make a pair of socks for myself but I didn't want to risk not having enough so I purchased two. I will use the second for mitts or something that only takes 200 yards of sport weight.

Will take photos of knitting progress for next post. ... assuming there is progress to be photographed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Alpaca Yarn and New Bag

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my friends Monica and Dennis own an alpaca farm in southeastern PA. They have gorgeous animals and the result is fabulous yarn. See here. I am going to make a shawl and will post photos during the process. Be patient as I am going to finish a few other projects before I begin. I think I found the right pattern but am still contemplating.
I fell in love with this knitting bag from Namaste called a Knitube. A model they came out with several years ago and I think are discontinuing. I bought mine at a big discount at Dream Weaver Yarns. I was really pleased with the prompt service and will shop there again.
The outside is a nylon fabric and is possibly waterproof. I'm not testing it. Each end unzips and is lined with the beautiful fabric you see in another photo. One end is for yarn storage and the other for your work-in-progress and knitting tools. Then there is a side zippered pocked that could hold a small wallet, cell phone and keys. Also love the neat strap. Cool, huh? I think so.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Mystery of the Missing Fingerless Mitt

Photo is of guilty party.
Name: Teddy Bear
Age: 5 1/2 years
Favorite hobby: laying upside down in daddy's lap as seen in photo

I have one fingerless mitt completed and the other 2/3 finished.
Celeste's birthday is Saturday but I won't see her until Sunday so I will be done in time! Yeah!! Double Yeah!!!
I hit a snag this morning when I could not find the finished mitt. Not in the pocket of the knitting bag where I keep it, not in the rest of the knitting bag, no where to be found. I thought I let it at Keith's apartment when we were in Harrisburg for the weekend, but knowing the birthday was this week was positive I brought it home. Well, I did. It was stolen but fortunately recovered in a good condition.
I will post photos of the finished mitts later in the week. I forgot the camera in the office today.

Also, I was gifted with some fabulous alpaca yarn on Saturday. Very special...the cria spin from Lucio my very favorite alpaca. Two skeins of fingering weight in a gorgeous white. Making it extra special was the additional two skeins of a beautiful rich medium brown that is spun from his mother alpaca's shearing. I am going to do a shawl from the two. The yoke will be the brown, I will knit as much as I can with the white and then do a pattern repeat or two with the brown. Can't wait to start.

Lucio belongs to my friends Monica Kline and Dennis Balban who own a Suri Farm in Lebanon County, PA. I saw them at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and received a cute gift bag with a tag from Lucio.

Photos will be in next post.