Friday, January 21, 2011

Feline Fridays

Rainy days make me so sleepy......

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Checking them off the list!

I have not ONE! not TWO!! but THREE (ish) projects done!!! I haven't had a finish in awhile and it feels good to get some things done!

First finish: Barbie Coat

This is actually the second time I made this coat

I made one back when I was 13 when I was going thru my mom's knitting bag. I still have it, too, buried in the black hole of my craft closet.

Here are the stats of this modern, updated version.

Yarn used: Lorna's Laces Sport in Sherbert
Date start: 12/25/10
Date end: 1/13/11
.9 oz yarn used

The pattern is from McCall's Knitting for Beginners from 1966

I held on to this book mostly because it was my mom's and because it had basic instructions. Now as I go thru the book, I'm seeing the patterns are your basic knitwear and could still be used with updated yarn. My mom's book, my efforts, and

a happy Baby Girl. That's a project worth doing!

Second Finish: Kitty Blanket #2

I number my kitty blankets for the year they are worked, but since none were finished in 2010, they just rolled over into the new year. Kitty Blanket #1 is still a WIP. Stats for this project are:

60 sts on size 11 needles with 3 strands DK weight held together
Yarn used: 3 different colorways of Sassy Stripes.
Date start: 11/30/10
Date end: 1/16/11
Finished size: 19.5 x 19.5
Yarn used up: 8.3 oz

I bought this Sassy Stripes yarn a few years back. I really liked the pink colorway and the blue and tan colorway so when Michael's was having a clearance I bought up everything I could. Turns out the only colorways I liked were the pink and the blue. The others have some crazy mixes that don't really work well together. However when you combine 3 strands in a kitty blanket, they look pretty good! The pattern came from the book Knitting for Peace for their animal shelter blankets.

Third(ish) finish: Jitterbug sock

The black fur of Princess really makes this white sock pop!!

It's an -ish finish since I still need to finish the second sock to be able to wear them. However I have started the 2nd sock and just abt to start on the heel (2" cuffs make for quick work!) I'm hoping for faster progress on this 2nd sock; the first one was cast on back in Aug, picked up again in Oct and just finished a couple of days ago.

Not too shabby!! This leaves me with 4 projects on the needles. Updates of those will be coming soon....

Monday, January 17, 2011

St Augustine the Happy Trails way!

Welcome back to Happy Acres Travel Agency!!! We appreciate your business! Today we have something special planned for you!

A B&B in St. Augustine.

You will be on the second floor.

Expect a nice large bed

and a large jacuzzi to rest those weary bones and muscles.

Since you will be arriving around dinner time might we suggest a local restaurant.

Their food is delicious, including dessert.

Thankfully the sign will be lit when you come back.

For those of you who had a few extra cocktails (after all it is a vacation), the sign might look more like this.

Saturday Morning will be a beautiful day for exploring. Make sure you stop in the dining room for some breakfast. On today's menu is a frittata

with coffee, fruit and some lemon poppy cake.

While you may want to take a guided trolley tour, we recommend getting off the beaten path

and exploring the city on foot first.

You will see many things the trolley passes by, like a quiet reading spot

the local fishermen

or those just chillin' on the water.

Coolest place on foot??

Seeing an actual cannonball in a wall of coquina.

However the guided tour is pretty interesting as well. We hear they stop at the local winery for free tastings.

Another good choice.

Once you have toured and shopped and tasted the historic city of St Augustine, feel free to relax in the parlour

or up in your room (remember that jacuzzi?!?).

Take advantage of the quiet because on Sunday you return to your crazy hectic life. Don't forget breakfast before you go. Today's specialty is an egg casserole with hash browns and turkey sausage.

Make sure to try the cinnamon bread as well.

We hope you enjoyed your virtual vacation! Please remember Happy Trails for all your virtual vacation needs. Safe travels!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

St Augustine Sky

What was supposed to be our 25th anniversary trip has turned into a me-cation instead. #1 Son had a bad asthma attack and we were in the hospital ER from 4am to 7am on Friday. I knew what it was, we've been there before, but the dr insisted on being thorough. PS he does NOT have pneumonia or the flu. He had an asthma attack. Wow. Big shocker there!!! Once they gave him a steroid, he was better in 5 min. However, this was the day we were supposed to leave. Since these attacks really wear him out, I didn't want to leave him with my sister (if you were sick would you want your own bed or an air mattress in somebody else's house?) plus I was exhausted so we decided that we would reschedule. Well I could reschedule but I'd still have to pay full price for the reservation. We tried figuring out who we could send instead, and finally the IO told me to go. We were talking abt me having a couple of days off by myself and since this was already paid for, I should go.

After hemming and hawing, I went. Once I got past the guilt and disappointment of not having my husband with me, I have to say I am enjoying myself. It's quiet and I've been able to explore the city my way.

Here is my sky for today.

This is overlooking the Matanzas Bay taken in the late afternoon when the tide was high. If you click on the pic, you will see the moon at the top of the shot.

Stay tuned for your virtual vacation come Monday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Feline Fridays

Two years ago, Hemi broke his hip and needed surgery to fix him. The dr said after a year we'd never even know which hip needed surgery. It didn't even take that long. The only thing that reminds us is when Hemi sits like this.

His leg bone is not attached to his hip anymore and while his tendons and muscles keep it all in place, he still has some flexibility with it and he likes to show it off.

Or he's just being lazy.

Hey, who you calling lazzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What works best??

After yesterday's fiasco of blown out socks, I decided to check when I made the current socks I have in the drawer to see the *shelf life* I can expect.

My Lorna's Laces

were made back in Feb 2007. They blew out Jan 2011. Almost 4 years, not too bad! Esp considering these have been my first pair that fit me perfectly. I have literally worn them to death. I would definitely make another pair out of this yarn. My only complaint is that they faded after only a few washings.

My Crystal Palace Maizy pair

made back in June 2008. Still going strong! I wear these a lot in the summer. My only complaint is the white didn't stay white on the bottom of the foot. They aren't as elastic as wool, but over all, would make another pair with this yarn too.

My Red Heart Heart and Soles

are coming along fine. I made them back in July 2008 and there are no thin spots and they have barely faded. Still fit good. I would use this yarn again.

NH Knitting Mama

Amanda is the independent dyer I got these from (her new shop name is Sunflower Yarns, go check her out!) and they are fantastic!! They are very soft and the colors are just as vibrant as the day I made them back in Sept of '08.

Now the Malabrigo socks

I made them 11/09 and they blew out 1/11. That's barely a year. VERY soft yarn, but I'm really disappointed with the longevity. The other two skeins I have in stash may be used for baby things. Soft yarn for projects that won't get the same wear and tear that I would give it.

Last pair in the drawer are my Paca Peds

Made these Feb 2009. They are doing fine, but they've felted a bit over time which means they no longer fit. They now belong to #1 Son.

The only other socks that I made for me were made with Cascade Fixation. These (picture taken with ME wearing them)

don't even fit Baby Girl!

However these

do. They have lasted a long time w/o wear spots, but they seem to keep shrinking with each wash. Won't use this anymore either. I can hear you now Dee!!!

Oh wait, there is one more pair.

I don't remember the brand, but they are an acrylic/nylon blend. Not an ideal sock yarn, but I only wear them during football season. Wearing fine actually, but they do seem to stay stained by the heel.

So there you have it. After two blow outs I have 3 pairs of socks in the drawer. (not counting the acrylic) The kids have more than me!! Guess that means I need to get cracking on my Jitterbugs!

So with all the brands out on the market these days, what have you found to be good or not worth the label their wrapped in?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not again!

Warning: more graphic knitting pictures ahead.

We already know I fixed the ball of my Lorna's Laces socks. Now the heels blew.

On both socks.

But wait, there's more!!!

These are my malabrigo socks; very soft but I've had nothing but problems with these guys. And they aren't even that old!!!! I'm not even going to bother fixing either pair.

It's a sad day here at Happy Acres......a sad day.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Starting the year off right!

Back in Oct I started a hat on size 3 dpns. Because of the number of stitches I had on the needles, I kept dropping them so I decided that I needed to work this hat on circs instead. Three months later I finally got them.

They look so small!!! I plan on moving the hat later tonight.

Meanwhile look what else jumped into my electronic cart

This got good reviews so I thought I would try it. I have a few rough spots on my fingers and I'm hoping this will help them. Plus it smells like cake batter!

And this was calling out my name

I tried to ignore it but it just wouldn't shut up!!! It's a new yarn that Knit Picks is starting to carry.

I thought it was at least a 2 ply yarn, but it's single spun.

I'm a little worried abt that since I tend to untwist and pull apart single ply yarns as I knit with them. We'll see how it goes.

This comes in worsted weight too in case anybody is interested......

No, none of the worsted fell into the cart, just the fingering. I've been really good with buying yarn over the past year. I only bought 9 skeins of yarn in 2010, the last was the sock yarn for the Airy hat back in August so I was due.

TuSal and a Quarter of a Century Later.....

First up, today is the first day to show off our orts jar.

It's the Tu Sal that Daffycat is hosting. Thank goodness I knit so that the yarn bits add a bit of body to the jar! From what I can tell, some throw out after they post, others add it to another jar. Me, I'll be keeping them all right here (for now) and just keep adding to it. Once the kitty hair and dust take over the orts, then I'll move it to the circular file.

On This Date In History

who are these children and why were they replaced with this old couple??

I SOOO can NOT be old enough to be married 25 years. People who celebrate their SILVER anniversary are old! Thankfully I was a child when I got married so I'm still young!

Even though today is our official wedding anniversary, I'm not really counting it as our celebration yet. We plan on going away to a B&B for a couple of days to relax and get away from the house and the kids. I am SOO looking forward to that!!!! We don't go for a few weeks, but I am SOO ready for the break.

I say anytime two people can stay married for 25 years and NOT kill each other is a reason to celebrate!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Is it STILL the First?!?!

Wow it feels like it was at least a couple of days ago that I watched the ball drop, but apparently it's been less than 24 hours. And yet it STILL doesn't feel like the new year to me. Maybe once the kids are back in school.

Meanwhile it is Saturday which means a look up.

I really need to get out there sooner in the day during the winter months.

Reflecting, sort of

So if you go back to my old posts from this time of year, I'm either nostalgic or reviewing the year. I'm not that nostalgic this time around, but I can't deny it's a new year so I went thru my finished projects for 2010.

It was a short trip.

Total knit projects completed in 2010: 13

6 of them were for that craft fair back in May

The list consists of:
2 hats
1 trivet
7 prs of socks (5 baby)
1 scarf
1 sweater
1 cowl

The most surprising for me?? I didn't do ANY knitting for charity.

Total cross stitch projects completed in 2010: 1

that was the one I did for my sil's anniversary in Aug or Sept.

Total books read in 2010: 6

possibly 7 but I can't remember. I just find it hard to think I haven't read a book since August.

So there you have it. Not a real productive year of crafting, yet I don't feel all that bad abt it. I'm realizing that my knitting is more of a process than a production and that I like to knit things that I can pick up and put down w/o an issue. I'm expecting more of that this year. And maybe some tanks for Baby Girl, she seems to enjoy them the most.

If you want to see last year's list, go here. The funny thing abt it is that I say almost the same exact thing abt my reading. I read 2 more books last year, but August seems to be the last month that I get any reading done!!

I was planning on sharing an On This Date In History, but I have no pics taken on 1/1! Weird. So instead I will leave you with one that will make you smile.

We should all be so relaxed!!