Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas is finally coming to our house. Boxes have been brought up from the basement containing ornaments and other Christmas decorations.

The tree, set up last Saturday finally has lights and some decorations. We still have quite a ways to go with the ornaments although I'm kind of liking the economy of decoration.

Each ornament is special to me. You probably can't see it too well but there is a llama near the very bottom of the tree, a present from my MIL.

And one of the many ornaments made by my mother over the years is here.

And then there are the ornaments commemorating special events, like the trip my brother and SIL and my husband and I made with my 7 year old nephew to the Empire State Building last February. Nephew had the BEST time ever on that trip, and I'll remember it each year when I see this on my tree. (Don't tell him but he's getting one as a present too!!)

So what's been happening since my last post? Life, I guess. Let's see, in no particular order I saw the Yarn Harlot in Marlton, NJ in the fall. Here are photo: me with the Harlot, and the Skein Mavens, my SnB knitting group, in the audience, waiting for action!

I've also rededicated myself to finishing the wedding present for my daughter and SIL...the fact that they just celebrated their FOURTH wedding anniversary in October 2007 has helped me along with this rededication, to say the least! It WILL be finished for their fifth anniversary, which is cloth, I believe. It's really a beautiful quilt, if I do say so myself.

Ravely, wonderous thing that it is, has, among its many groups, a dishcloth exchange. I participated in the Thanksgiving exchange and made Gary the Gobbler and this bee hive. Cute, no?

And let me leave you with a gratuitous animal Sophie, love of my life.

I don't believe in New Year resolutions but I'm going to contradict myself this year. My resolution is going to be to blog more consistently in 2008. You know, like regularly.

Yet to come, posting about paying it forward, and my solo trip into NYC last Monday to help in the sew-up of the thousands of 4" squares for Oliver's blanket.

Wishing everyone, a warm home and hearth, family and friends, and peace of mind and heart.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Catching up

It's been quite a while since my last post. I did not fall off the face of the earth, I did not sail around the world. So what have I been up to? A little bit of this and that I guess.

I work at a university...probably the only university in the US that starts the fall term after Labor Day. So it's summer, la de dah, I have all the time in the world, and then it's Labor Day, and it must STILL be summer because school hasn't started yet so it's more la de dah, time time time, and then school finally started....WITH A VENGEANCE!! So for the last three weeks I've been working crazy. We'll get a break at the end of October but until work work!

But I do have some knitting to show. First, my Monkey socks.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...wait, that's another story. Sometime during the summer (who can remember summer!) I started my Monkey socks in a little coffee shop in Hopewell.

Here's my bagel, coffee, and Monkey recipe.

Soon, Monkey socks began to emerge.

And then one day, SOCKS!

I also worked on a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. What do you think?

Friends and I get together at least once a month to quilt. We 'took the summer off' but decided that we missed each other too much and so had a quilting day, inspite of the weather being totally 'unquiltlike' (hot and October!!)

What you are looking at here is the quilt I'm making for my daughter and son-in-law (wedding present...and they will be celebrating their 4th anniversary later this week....) and my friend's cat Sonya, snuggled in for a nap!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Downstream Sockapalooza sock

I sent off my socks to my downstream pal earlier this month. Her package included socks (Lorna's Laces fiber knit up in Melanie's Snowflake pattern), a blue notions bag (matching the socks!), a postcard from Long Beach Island (NJ) picturing the lighthouse at Barnegat, a refrigerator magnet from Maine (vacation rememberance), stitch markers bought on Etsy (can't remember maker just now but will add later) and a few other the post-its in the shape of a sheep! I hope she enjoys everything because I haven't heard from her...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

And I say to myself...what a wonderful world!

Friends, it truly is a wonderful world...for so many reasons. #1: I am alive, healthy, with a good job, a roof over my head, food on the table, and with the love of family and friends in abundance. What more do I need? Truly, nothing, but on Friday I was the recipient of two boxes of wonderful things!!

My wonderful sockpal sent me the most incredible Sockapalooza box. Here, take a look:

What's in that box, you're asking? Well, first are these gorgeous socks! The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in colorway "Flames." An apt name for this colorway if ever there was one. The pattern is Lava Sock from the Sock Bug website. Perfect in every way. Thanks so much, Socks 4 U (the nom-de-knit of my pal).

But what ELSE is in the box???Chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate!! All from See's Candy Shops. There is a lovely bag of dark chocolate foil balls (still intact but the day is still young!!), a dark chocolate bar with almonds (yum), and a box of assorted chocolate delights. Oh, so delicious!!

And what else is in the box? The cutest notecards in three colorways with a ball of yarn and needles on each (no picture just yet); a sweater key ring (picture coming soon), and a knitting quickie cutter (picture....) Socks 4 U, if I have overlooked anything please forgive me. I'm totally blown away with your generosity.

That was the first box I opened on Friday. What about the second one? Well, if you read Gathering Wool you know that she had a party recently and Alotta.Knittin was the lucky person selected by the totally impartial Jack the Cat! So get a load of what was in the package:

The most beautiful Cherry Tree Hill yarn, colorway Champlain Sunset. Can't wait to get my needles into that stuff!! Green Mountain Coffee: Vermont Country Blend and FT Raspberry Rhapsody. I can almost smell the coffee brewing as I type! A jar of maple butter...which my husband coveted just as soon as I showed it to him. I have a funny feeling I may not get even a taste of it!! Two of the cutest stitch markers that will come in handy with the Cherry Tree Hill yarn, and Vermont postcards. Gathering Wool, you are the greatest!!!!

My downstream sockpal's package is on the way and should reach her on Monday or Tuesday. I'll post pictures after I'm sure she's received the box. I hope she likes the socks!!

And last but not least, although I think I am the absolutely LAST person in the world to make Monkey socks, here they are.

Colorway? Claudia Hand Painted Yarn, colorway Donna's Favorite.

I've made some progress since this photo was taken. I'm turning the heel and am trying a new heel with only limited success to date. I have confidence that I'll work through my problems.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Summer vacation

We were away for the first two weeks of July. We've been going to the same camp in Maine for 15 years now and still loving each and every minute of it. We've perfected the fine art of doing nothing. And that's the truth. There is the entire state of Maine at our beck and call...and we don't go anywhere!! But if you take a look at these photos you'll see why.

The dewy pix were taken from the porch of our cottage. That's right, right on the rocks on the water. The two other pix are taken from the rocks at the water's edge. The place is heaven on earth for the time we're there. We get breakfast and dinner cooked for us in the farmhouse, eating family style for these two meals.

I may not have gone anywhere for two weeks but I DID knit. Of course, no pictures to back that up, but I did! My Sockapalooza socks are about 3 inches from completion (tick...tick...) and I hope to get those done this weekend and then soaked and blocked. Also spent a LOT of time on Mystery Stole 3! I'm really enjoying it and will post a photo soon. I'm only on clue 3 but hey, it's not a contest.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A baby quilt for a future someone

I've told you about the wedding quilt I'm making for my daughter and they've been married since October it's not finished yet. Well, so as NOT to be in that same situation when they have a baby (don't get baby is planned for a couple of years) I decided to be proactive and make the quilt now! Actually I finished it last summer. It's made with 1930's reproduction fabrics, and the pattern is "My Aunt Gracie's Quilt" from Calico Cat Patterns & Designs. (middle of the page)

This is the front of the quilt showing the border and binding.

Closeup showinhg the quilting in the white blocks. Each large block has an animal in it: elephant, butterfly, rabbit, squirrel, cat, etc. There are three repeats of each animal.

This shows you the back of the quilt. I just LOVE this fabric.

The quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted. I still need to put a label on it but I think I'll wait until there's a baby on the way!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Socks go down the shore

As all New Jersey-ites know, one goes 'down the shore' when one goes to the easternmost part of the state. One does not go to the beach, or to the seaside, one goes down the shore. Yesterday my socks and I, or should I say partially completed sock and sock in training, went down the shore to visit my sisters and mother who were vacationing at LBI. While there I took the sock for a little peek at the ocean. We didn't go out for too long...sunblock and all those things. Sock is really coming along. I figure another inch or two and then I'll start the toe. I'd love to have the second sock cast on before the end of the month. That way I'll have time to work on them on vacation!

All photos were taken by faithful daughter, The Home Cook. You can check out her musings at Taste of Homecooking

Sock and sock in training

Sock and crashing waves

Sock in training waving hello

Sock, sand dune and crab shell

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Friendship quilts together at last

In a previous post I wrote about the Friendship quilt my friends and I are making. Friend #1's quilt is finished and proudly hanging on her wall. Friend #2 and I are still quilting....but it's such a joy because we're doing Bishop's Fan.

We gathered yesterday for a day of quilting (and a brief trip to #1's LYS). It was a glorious day. Friends, yarn, catching up, beautiful weather, lunch alfresco (and a delicious lunch it was!!), and of course, quilting. And here are, without futher ado, the Friendship quilts.

Friendship quilt #1

Friendship quilt #2 with Jules, the cat. Jules adores #2 and never misses a chance to curl up in one of her quilts. This shot also shows the gorgeous backing of #2's quilt.

Alotta's Friendship quilt

These photos don't really do justice to any of these quilts. Remember, each quilt has identical blocks, with the exception of one that is unique to each quilt. We each chose a different lattice, and #1 and I chose to use setting squares while #2 did not. Each is beautiful; I love all of them. And each is so different, thanks to the lattice, I think. We were going to set up all three quilts on a frame outside yesterday but the day got away from us. Hopefully you can get an idea of their beauty (if I DO say so myself :-) ) from these photos.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And so it begins....

Hard as it may be to believe I have FINALLY started my sockpal's socks!! Yes, it's true, and I have the pictures to prove it. I decided to go with the Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock in colorway Mt. Creek in the snowflake pattern. You can check my previous post for pictures of the snowflake pattern. These pictures don't do justice to the absolutely beautiful colorway of this yarn but I hope you can see how the colors glow. This is only one repeat. What do you think? Is this the right yarn for this pattern, or vice versa?

Sockapalooza sock in the making

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How many times can YOU change your mind?

Me, I guess I can change my mind about 50 times a day...when it comes to sock yarn!! And I did it again. Now I've ordered Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock in colorway Mt. Creek. Isn't it beautiful? Not that I don't love equally all the many colorways I've already bought, but I don't know...this one really spoke to me this morning.

And now I'm thinking about making Snowflake Lace Socks, Pattern available from Mag Knits, September 2006. Do you think the pattern and the wool are a good fit? I hope so.

Another pattern I was thinking about is Hedera by Cookie A. How is a girl supposed to decide when there are so many beautiful patterns out there?? This sock calls for Rowan soft. Does anyone know if I can substitute the Lorna's Lace Shepherd soft?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A swatching we will go...and the orange blanket...but not in this order!

In an earlier post I mentioned the orange baby blanket I learned to knit on (bad grammar, sorry). Well, here it is in all it's glory. This thing has been through a lot! Went to college with me as a little something to keep me warm, went to preschool with my daughter as something to keep HER warm, and now it lives in my office to once again keep me warm. I wonder if I'll pass it on to my eventual grandchild to keep her/him warm too!! It will probably be the only day-glo baby blanket at preschool!

I never realized how difficult it is to photograph yarn! Well, here is my sockpal yarn balled (not the best ball I've ever wound but it was late at night....) and a swatch for gauge. I adore these dp needles: Lantern Moon #1. This is the first time I've ever knit on something so tiny. What do you think about the colors. My sockpal said she likes saturated colors. The yarn knits up beautifully and I can't wait to finally decide on my pattern and to REALLY get going on the socks.