Sunday, October 29, 2006

Decisions, decisions......

The IO had the sewing machine out so I thought I would do some sewing. I have a quilt to work on, some sleep pants to make, maybe even some flannel receiving blankets to put together. I also have a pattern for a needle holder that I want to make. Didn't do any of it.

Instead I started a snowman.

I started this last night and worked on it a lot today. I really want to get it done to hang up at work. I plan on adding a magnet to the back of it to attach to my workstation. It's worked on plastic canvas so all I have to do is cut it out when I'm done, but the plastic canvas doesn't give like regular fabric and my fingers hurt after working on this for a bit. Plus I can't go as fast. I'm abt 1/2 way done. I still need to add the mittens, the hat and some background.

To give my fingers a break, I also worked on this.

I'm happy I got some done on it. I still hope to have it done by the end of November.

Last but not least, here is my sock.

I'm really loving this yarn. It feels so nice while knitting with it. I worked on it a bit last night and may work on it some more tonight. However I hear the snowman calling so that might come out first.

I've actually done quite a bit these past two days. I've made myself relax after such a hectic month, and I've been able to get caught up on some shows I've taped along with some good progress on projects. Of course reality hits hard tomorrow, but such is life here at Happy Acres. Meanwhile I feel the need to build a snowman.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday Sky

It's Saturday again and after another hectic week (Baby Girl had her first field trip which included her first school bus ride ever. She was thrilled!), I'm HAPPY TO MOVE SLOW! The weather is beautiful so everybody else is outside while I'm inside. Works for me!!

Since it's Saturday, you know what that means.......



Gorgeous blue sky with wispy clouds and a temp of 69 at 11am. This is why I live here. We had a cool front come thru last night (we were 84 on Friday) so the temps are much more pleasant today. I had to run out this AM and when I came back I saw this.

Apparently we are starting to grow these in trees around here. However I got worried. The oak tree had to be thinned out for #1 Son to climb it. That means Edward Scissorhands (aka the Insane One) was loose! UH OH. He has a tendancy to get VERY heavy handed with the blade. What would I find? This.

PHEW! The cassia tree actually looks good!! Usually if its blooming and full, it gets whacked back to *grow better*. This time he actually made it look nice! He also cut back the ditch lilies (the semi-circle of leaves in front) which was fine because they were looking bad. Plus the knock out roses will now get a bit more light. Here is one close up.

These roses are VERY easy to grow. They were cut back at one point (big surprise there!) but they've come back well.
Now just in case you think all is well here at Happy Acres, there are those that don't do quite so well.....

This was actually thrown out by one of our new neighbors. I asked the IO to go over and get it since I wanted the pot. We stuck it on the side of the house and it rejuvinated! We had some lovely geraniums bloom. However once we moved it to the front of the house, it hasnt done as well. I say we move it back to the side of the house and ignore it again. It seems to do better that way!

It's funny. I love autumn, but for different reasons than the majority of the US. Most of the US is having beautiful, colorful trees. Autumn in Florida is more like Spring up north. We are finally getting out of oppressive weather (the heat) and all the flowers are in bloom. It redeems the summers.

Of course you've all figured out that when I go on and on abt the weather and show pictures of flowers and trees, not much is to be shown with knitting. I've been working on the vest (added abt 9 rows) and the sock (added abt 2 inches), but there have been some nights where I'm just too tired to work on anything. It's going to get worse too since the IO is starting a new job with the County which means that I will be taking both rugrats to (two different) school in the AM and then going directly to work. BUT I will be coming home earlier since Baby Girl is out of school at 11:30. We'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving wknd since I will be off from Wed-Sun. We keep it very low key here for the holiday so no food stressing for me! Plus I'm not one to shop that wknd either so it will be a NICE break in the action! Lots of knitting and movie watching here! Hope you all are having as pleasant a day!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Free at last!!!

They are gone!!! WOOHOO!! Yes I love my family, but its just been too soon since the last time they were out, plus they stayed LONGER this time. It was only an extra day, but it was 4 days too much. We are ALL so wiped out from the wknd. Of course we have stuff planned for next wknd AND a field trip for Baby Girl on Friday (they need both me and the Insane One since nobody volunteered. Its for an arts festival and the teacher's worried abt keeping the kids contained) so not alot of rest and relaxation in the coming future. Ok enough whining, let's get on to the good stuff!!

First, completed projects. Here is the square for Crazy Aunt Purl's grandma (see sidebar link). I used a 100% superwash wool. I was looking for a worsted weight but this was more of a dk/light worsted wool. The yarn is Juvel Idena. Not bad. I wouldn't use it again because living in FL makes this yarn a bit too heavy, but I could see how it would be nice up north. The leftovers will be used in CIC socks. I cast on 46sts on a size 6 needle and knit in a double moss pattern for 8". Finished square is 8x8. I started it on 10/14 and finished it off on the 16th.


Second, this is my square for Warm Up America. Acrylic was wanted in this project so I used up my Lionbrand Homespun. I cast on 28sts on a size 8 needle. K6 rows then Row 1:K5 P18 K5, Row 2:K across. Finished size is 8x8. I started on 10/17 and finished 10/20. Both squares could have been done sooner if I had more blocks of time, but they were a great mindless stitch and a nice break from regular knitting. Notice how much yarn I had left once the block was finished.


Next up are WIPs. This is what I've gotten done for #1 Son's vest.

The back ribbing is done and I'm about to start on the pattern. This is the part that concerns me. The pattern is not hard at all, but I knit mostly at night when my mind is pretty much shot. I'm going to try to work on this first before I pull anything else out. We dont have much of a *winter* here so I dont want to drag this out too long. My goal is to have it done no later than the end of November.

I really like the yarn I'm using for this vest. Its Uruguay DK Queensland Collection. I've never seen it before and I really like the way it feels and knits up. It's 70% merino, 20% alpaca and 10% silk. I was debating on whether I should use this yarn for #1 Son's vest (considering the last one I made him was a Sirdar acrylic), but then I remembered how often his other vest I made him was washed. Hardly at all! He only wears it to religious services and back. If we go out to eat afterward, I'll make him take it off. I just hope I have enough yarn......

And my WIPs would not be complete if I didnt include some socks. These will be for me.

As you can tell I have yet to cast on. The yarn is from Knit Picks, Sock Landscape in Mesa. It's a discontinued yarn, which I find surprising since I like the way it feels. I didnt cast on yet since I had to wind it into a ball from hanks. THANKFULLY this yarn unravelled and wound much better than the linen I just recently did. However I do wish I had a swift to use because I like the way a yarn cake looks compared to a yarn ball.

Everybody stay warm! We've got a cool front coming thru which means a low in the 40s and a high of only 68 tomorrow. I know, no sympathy, but for us Floridians, that's cold!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Call of the Wild

I've been running like crazy and I'm tired. My final straw was walking from one room to the other to orchestrate dinner with everybody. I finally told them that whenever THEY decided what to eat, just let me know and I'd show up. Oh what a stir I caused!! LOL Since then I've read the newspaper, watched some TV and have come on line to blog. I didn't figure out what the order from KFC would be (see what happens when I'm out of it?), I didnt collect the money or try to get people to go with me. I also didn't referee a fight between the kids. What a liberating feeling!! I *MIGHT* make pull apart chocolate chip cookies, but then again, maybe I won't.

Instead here is a pictoral of the wild in my little piece of the world.....

Saturday sky this afternoon at 1:46pm today.

Along with the temperature. Yes it only reads 84 but the heat index was at 90 today. It felt hotter.

Night blooming jasmine. Not blooming since its not night, but I wish I could send the smell.......SO fresh! Plus look who is trying to sneak into the picture in the upper left side!

Hibiscus

More bleeding heart

Cassia tree flower.

Birds and squirrel having breakfast.

The wildest of them all!!

I've been knitting as well (keeps me from strangling people). Grandma Purl's square is done and so is my Warm Up America square. I will post pictures and yarn details tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More Company

Not much blogging occurs when you are trying to get ready for company. AGAIN. Baby Girl is better. She went to school Tuesday only because she was student of the month for her class, but the presentation was different than what #1 Son had (right now they are in different schools because the elementary school we are zoned for doesnt have a pre-K program) so she was sorely disappointed. The Insane One told her that maybe we could have a little party for her when my sisters come out this wknd. Easy for him to say!! Add party cake to my list.

So Thursday the family is coming out because #1 Son has his first religious Bible reading. We have prepared for 2 weeks and he's as ready as he's gonna get. It's a reading from Proverbs so it's not too complicated, but the word annihilated is in his reading. Just try saying that with a missing front tooth! Friday is Family Picnic day at #1 Son's school which we will all go to, Friday night will be a lasagna dinner along with pink party cake for dessert. And Saturday we have some additional things planned for the AM. We'll round out the day with either bowling or a movie. It will be fun but I'm already looking forward to Sunday afternoon!!!

Even with all the chaos going on in the house (then again, when isnt there something) I've been knitting. I've finished the square for Crazy Aunt Purl's grandma (see sidebar button for link), but no picture has been taken yet. It's been washed and blocked and ready to be mailed out. Next up is a charity block for Warm Up America. I am using some leftover Lionbrand Homespun. Can I tell you how much I dislike this yarn??? I tend to pull on it so the loops will bunch up if I'm not careful. I am close to the end of the ball, but only 3" into the square (it needs to be 7x9) so not even sure if I have enough yarn. If not, I will add some other left over yarn to finish it off. Michael's is a collection site and it needs to be done by Nov 11th. When I am done with this square, I will take pics of both blocks with details of yarn, needle size, pattern etc. I plan on starting another pair of socks once this square is done. With any luck I'll have them done by the end of the month. Maybe.......

I probably won't post again until Saturday (can't let that sky shot get away!), so here is a picture to hold you until then.......


Is there NO place safe from the paparazzi?!?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Living in the 21st Century.......

There was an article in today's newspaper on how to keep a blog alive and well, or Keep those Web logs crackling (their catchy title, not mine). It was a fascinating article on how to keep your blog interesting. Some come out blazing, but before long they are writing abt eating at McDonalds again for lunch or blogging that they don't have anything to blog about. Apparently these people don't knit. Or garden. Or quilt. Or cook. Or rate restaurants (I've been to blogs that rated restaurants I wanted to go to and found them quite helpful). Some days I don't have much to say, but if you look at my archives, I'm quite the chatty Cathy. And for those that know me IRL know I'm that way IRL too!! I also thought it was quite interesting to see an article abt something that is VERY hip and now in a venue that has been around for a LONG time...

Baby Girl has been sick these past couple of days so not much knitting has been happening (it's hard to knit when a sweaty hot child is laying all over you) but I was trying to get caught up on laundry during one of her naps when this happened...

I took this as a sign to just sit back and let everybody nap! I didnt sleep, just watched Pirates of the Carribean while Baby Girl and Samson napped (don't want them watching the scary parts anyway!).

However, some crafty SHOPPING has been happening. On Saturday I took the kids to JoAnn's (this was before Baby Girl was sick) to pick out some fabric for sleep pants. Of course on the way there I had to stop at KNIT!, a not-so-LYS that had some worsted weight superwash wool that I wanted to get to start Grandma Aunt Purl's square. I have no website to post since it doesn't have one and quite honestly, its not that big. Hardly ANY sock yarn (Cherry Tree Hill was it along with abt 5 balls of Cascade Fixation shoved in the back of a bin) and not that much really caught my eye. I will stick to Sip & Knit for my nice yarn needs. What's crazy is that I have a yarn shop less than 3 miles from my house, but its hardly ever open. Plus its not a shop to browse. It's a shop where you go in and tell her what you're looking for and she brings it to you. Sounds exclusive, but it's not. You can't browse because the shop is CRAMMED full of yarn and you cant walk thru it all. There is literally a space by the register (in the front of the store) and a small pathway to the back of the store that the owner uses to bring out yarn. She doesn't need the money so she shows up when she wants. However she is right off Main Street so she still gets alot of traffic. Plus I've seen people call their friends to tell them that she was open and to hurry up and get there. LOL Whatever. Anyway back to the square. I am abt 5" into it. Once its done I'll post a pic of it, hopefully in the next day or so.

And just when you think your blog entry is becoming too much of a snooze fest, (like telling you I had McDonald's for breakfast; sausage burrito and a free coffee with a coupon from their Monopoly game), you throw in one of these!


What would she blog about without me??


Why ME of course!! It's GOOOD to be retired!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Little Bit of Everything

First up, I finished #1 Son's Baby Girl's socks last night. Here they are on her feet.....

And here they are for their photo shoot....

The stripe around the cuff is different (one has more green in it, the other more blue), but the toe came out the same! The tips are both blue which I was hoping for.

Sock specifics:
Yarn: Cascade Fixation in 2 colors
Needles: size 3 dpns
Pattern: Cast on 40 stitches, K1P1 for 2", stst for 10 rows before I started the heel flap. Stockinette stitch the foot and kitchener the toe. Your basic vanilla sock.
Time Frame: 10/1 thru 10/13

If I had more time during the week, I could crank them out faster. #1 Son's socks will have to be wider. The ankle was too big, but the sock itself was too narrow and definitely too short in the foot. I'm a bit socked out so I cast on for his vest. More on that when I get more done.

In cross stitch news, I can finally show you the housewarming card I made for Jane. She just recently moved and I wanted to send her a little something to warm up her house. Along with some of this

(what better way to warm a house than with some yarn?!?!)
I made this

I found these kits by Mary Englebreit to stitch up into cards. They had 3 different patterns in it, Friend, Home, Love. I had no idea what I would use them for, but they were SO cute and I couldnt resist. Well I've used every single pattern in it!! Who knew?!?!

Here is an updated picture of Too Pooped.....(click here for a BEFORE shot)

I'm putting him away for a bit to work on this.....

With it cooling down a bit, I want to make some snowmen before it gets warm enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk again. He's the first one up.

And lest you thought I forgot abt Saturday Sky, here are some pics of the sky at 10AM this morning. Straight back.....

and to the side.....

The sky is gorgeous today!! Lots of different clouds in the sky. It's amazing how now even the IO and the kids will come out with me to look at the sky and I will be given suggestions as to which side looks better!! LOL If nothing else, we all have learned to appreciate the sky a bit more.

I've decided to add a little something to my Saturday Sky pictures. Its Saturday tempuratures! Ok I'm really asking for it considering its snowing in certain parts of the US, but I just cant help myself!! tee hee Here is a picture of how cold it was when I took my Saturday Sky pictures.


Don't hate me because its beautiful.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Socktoberfest Sock History

I've been wanting to answer these questions that Lolly posted on her blog for Socktoberfest and hopefully Blogger will cooperate.

When did you start making socks?
My first pair of socks were made back in Sept 2003, but I dont really count them. They are tube socks that I knit up for #1 Son and then a couple more for a friend of mine's little girls (which btw they STILL wear!! They apparently make great bed socks)




They ARE socks, tube socks to be exact, but I dont really count them as TRUE socks (the kind with a heel). My first TRUE sock is this pair.

Aren't they cute?? I made them in March of 2005.

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I taught myself with the book Knit a Dozen Baby Socks by Edie Eckman. I was working at JoAnn's at the time and really wanted to try a pair of socks. I'd seen patterns in the different magazines I had but they seemed SO involved. I wanted to try something easy and while I was putting away some other knitting books I came across the baby socks. PERFECT!


What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
I'm not sure how they've held up since I made them for my nephew when he was first born, but since they were made out of acrylic and he wasnt walking when they fit, I bet they still look great!

What would you have done differently?
Nothing. I made the ankle a bit tighter than I would have liked, and I did use acrylic yarn, but overall I was really happy with them. I havent made that many socks, but each one is a learning experience. Do I like these needles? Would I change the size of the needle for this yarn? Would I use this yarn again?

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Well I havent made that many yet plus I tend to make a couple with the same type of yarn. I do like Cascade Fixation and I also liked the way the Lionbrand Magic Stripes knit up. HOWEVER my stash has lots of yummy sock yarns that I can't wait to try......Lorna's Laces, Koigu, some hand dyed wool.....and some Knit Picks essential. I'm an equal opportunity sock yarn person! However I'm not sure I'd make many socks with acrylics for adults. Its GREAT for babies and moms who dont want to have to hand wash ANYTHING.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I knit them using 4 dpns. I've tried bamboo and even Onyx dpns, but they dont slide enough for me. So I'm very happy with my Susan Bates.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I've only done a flap and since I'm happy with it for now, will continue using it. However I do see myself trying short rows eventually.

How many pairs have you made?
I've only made 8 pair, but it seems like more! Guess because you make 2 for each pair and 16 seems more like it!! And I've made more in the past recent weeks than when I started so I hope to be cranking out more and more as we go along!! It's KALs like this one that keeps me motivated on the socks.

Monday, October 09, 2006

There's Always a Catch.......

The good news, I finished one of #1 Son's socks. The bad news, it's too small. Ugh. I measured against another sock of his that fits, but apparently it has more stretch in it than the cascade. It fits baby girl fine. You would be seeing a picture of it right here but Blogger has been a pain all day with posting pictures so you will have to wait until Blogger decides to behave. (I've been trying for the past 8 hours to post this picture, but blogger wont do it!)

However when I asked #1 Son if it was ok that I give her the sock, he said ok but immediately said, but now she'll have 2 pairs! Oy. Then when I asked Baby Girl if she wanted them and she said yes, but she still wants the socks that she picked out. Double oy! So I will finish off these socks for Baby Girl, start another pair for #1 Son and then make Baby Girl her other pair that she picked out. Guess my feet will have to wait a bit for any more socks for ME!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mount Dora Sky

Since we have family visiting, we decided to hit the local sites. Here is a picture of my Saturday Sky overlooking Lake Dora.

While at the lake, there were NO ducks, but some of these......

Don't know their names but they are cute! However there were LOTS AND LOTS of these.

I was looking for dead carcasses but there weren't any. They were mostly doing this...

Guess they were just enjoying the day like we were.

No stitching of any kind has been happening. All I"ve been doing is dishes! Gotta love company......
Normal life (whatever that might be) will resume tomorrow night.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Contests......

Contest #1:Lorinda is having a ‘fess up to your oldest UFO contest. She beats me by 7 years but I still wanted to play so here it is......

I started this in 1990 while I was still living in NY. We moved back to FL in the beginning of 1991 and my knitting went on the back burner. I didnt really get back into it until the end of the 90s when I had my son (it's amazing how kids get your creative juices going). I've always liked this sweater, but its too small for me now. I *could* rip it out, but the back is complete and a lot of the front is done, plus I don't have enough yarn to make it bigger. So it will sit until somebody in my family will wear it or finish it.

Contest #2:Jane is having a flash your socks contest. I really have a piddly few to show but here they are anyway.

I had the rugrats modeling them, but blogger is being uncooperative so you only get the sock circle picture. Three of my socks were given as gifts and one made a trip to the frog pond so those are missing from the picture. They look so sad dont they? I need to be knitting more socks to keep them company!!

Oh and more info on the cascade.....I washed them today by throwing them in the washing machine and dryer. I was a bit worried abt them shrinking from the dryer but they were still slightly damp when the dryer went off and they were fine!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Look Familiar?


I did exactly this just last week!! This cartoon was in one of those local newspapers that they give away in stores and in banks. It's Maggie Mae (I think), and this edition was dedicated to Crafty Women. Not as much fiber arts as I would have liked, but there was a full page spread on my LYS.

And here is a picture of Too Pooped. It's from one of Charles Wysocki cat paintings. I love his work, and I think I have abt 2 or 3 of his cat calendars that I've bought thruout the years. Pretty much the same pictures, but that's ok with me.

I really like this cat, but working on him at night is hard. There are a lot of color changes and I'm working it on a hand dyed piece of linen (to get that Saturday Sky effect) which takes its toll on my eyes late at night. I won't be doing it for long and will probably rotate him out after another day or two. I have a snowman kit that I want to start now so that I can display it when its cold (for FL). It's the only way I can make a snowman here! We're still getting highs of 90, but the humidity isnt as bad and the breezes have been decent. Still hot but not melting hot.

And for all you sock knitters out there, check out Jane's Blog for a Show Your Socks contest. I will be posting a picture of mine soon. My limeade cascade socks (thanks Susie for the name!) are buried in the laundry and I need to find them before I can take a group sock picture. Plus I hope to be further along in #1 Son's sock so that I can include that one as well. All this while I have family visiting. People that don't know I blog. I'm going to have a fun time explaining my Saturday Sky picture! LOL

Monday, October 02, 2006

Socktoberfest!

As usual the wknd was busy but I did get the chance to finish up a couple of projects. First one is this......

This was a FAST stitch!!! It took me 2 nights to stitch on it and I washed, pressed and inserted the project in the pillow form it came with. It's a Pine Mountain kit and boy does it make finishing off a project a breeze!! This will be for my SIL's wedding. She's getting married Jan. 4th, a THURSDAY. My SIL likes to buck the system any way she can so its not really surprising that she planned this for a Thursday. It will actually work out well since the wedding is Thursday out in the Keys (a destination wedding no less!), the family will have hotel rooms thru Sunday so we will have another family reunion of sorts and they will go off on their honeymoon. He doesnt get much vacation time so this will give them a long wknd. Plus he's of Korean decent and she asked for shoe sizes of the family so we will have some Asian customs as well as American. It will be a VERY interesting wedding and I can't wait to go!!

The other project will have to wait to be unveiled.

On to the next projects!! Since it is Socktoberfest, I cast on for another sock, this time for #1 Son.

This sock is going fast!! I cast on last night and I'm already on the heel! But then again it is a sock for a kid with a small cuff.

I wanted to start another sweater for this winter and thought I had the pattern with the yarn, but I cant find it. I need to keep looking...... and I also decided to pull out another cross stitch, Too Pooped. Since I finished that other cross stitch, it's motivated me to get some more done on this cat. I'll post updated pictures once I rotate it out for something else. Here is what it looks like for now. Hmmmm, I guess I dont have an updated picture of Too Pooped! I have one of Maggie and The Bag Ladies, but not of this one. Stay tuned for a picture of this one before I start working on it........