Monday, February 26, 2007

Not a busy weekend

Two of the puppies are under the weather, so the weekend was not quite we had expected it to be. Bill and I had planned to wander around South Side on Saturday afternoon, poking around shops we hadn't been in before, and finding new and interesting places to return to. Instead I called the vet at 11:00 to see if we could bring Scotia in before they closed at noon. She was all stuffed up, with a chesty cough and had spit up some phlem when she was wandering around downstairs with Bill. Turns out that she may have picked up kennel cough from the groomers, even though all the dogs have been vacinated. She's now on cough pill and anti-biotics for the next ten days. Instead of South Side, we went to the bank and as we were out of "fridge" wine the liquor store. Bill found Alice White chardonnay and I picked up this....

Dyed-in-the-Wool Sauvignon Blanc - Marlborough, New Zealand.
I loved the label and had to have it, not the usual way I pick my vintage but this just called out to me.
The postman brought the new "Sock Club" shipment. Connie has outdone herself this time, I love the yarn and the pattern is very sweet. I love this club, wonderful yarns every month, a few I have tried but most I haven't and it's great to find something new and exciting that you would love to use again. This month's yarn is Spunky Eclectic, dyed specifically for the the club.

I finished the "furry" chemo hats for the Children's Hospital in Boston. They are boxed up with 3 skeins of gifted sock yarn, I will have them in the post tomorrow, along with socks and a hat for Connie in Ontario. I am not a big fan of acrylic fun fur, but that is was the children asked for so that is what they are getting.
Yesterday, Banff confirmed my suspicions that he has some sort of an ear infection, violently shaking head, constant stratching and he let out a shrill yelp yesterday when Bill tickled him behind it. Called the vet again today and he's in for 5:30 today. Between the vet and my addiction to sock yarn I will never be able to travel in the ranks of the "rich and famous", ah well they probably don't have as much fun as me anyway. I mean what more excitement could there be in life than winding a skein of BMF's rocking sock yarn and casting on a pair of socks......I'm itching to get started.

Friday, February 23, 2007

In the huge USB port of life.................

I wanted to get something of my chest today, which has absolutely nothing to do with my knitting skills, or current projects, but with the "way of the world" these days.

I spent a little time today playing with newly delivered ipod, and the wonders of itunes. I "Ituned" the Dixie Chicks album Taking the Long Way, I loved them before the comments and love them even more afterwards, sorry if that offends, but if you can't speak your mind in a "free, democratic state" without recrimination, then that "state" needs to change. As I was becoming "attuned" with my new little friend and listening to the Chicks, I began to wonder if we (and I mean that collectively) are not becoming one huge USB port. You plug us in, feed us information and we avaricely consume the download. I am appauled that the number one and number two news stories in the US, for the last two weeks, has been about two rather unfortunate blonde women who have absolutely no impact on my life or yours. Don't get me wrong, I sympathize with their plight, but I am weary of the crash and burn media frenzy that exudes from "celebrity". The more they are placed in the spotlight the more spotlight they crave to consume, and "reputible" news agency should hang their head in collective shame that this pap is considered worthy of their journalistic talent.
(I am seriously going to patent this as I don't want someone else honing in on my idea.) This came to me in a sheer moment of "journalist annoyance", it all started with Tom Foley (remember him), and the "I'm going to rehab.....". "What the hell for", I said matter of factly, "where, celebrity a**w***e rehab". Since then many celebrities have entered "a**w***e rehab", some of the more succesful clientele are, and in no specific order, Mel Gibson, Linsey Lohan, Michael Richards, Isaiah Washington and Tim Hardaway. "A**w***e rehab" doesn't cure these people of anything it just offer a safe haven where they can hide until another celebrity makes a bigger "a**w***e" of him or herself and the press and general public move on. A certain bald young lady is in dire need of "a**w***e rehab" space , however they can't seem to find a way to effectively restrain her for any length of time.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Grand Day Out and In!

Retirement has done an interesting thing for me, it has made me more precious of my time. I have time to exercise, at a time more convenient than 4:15 am, time to be creative at what ever time of the day I feel creative in, time to relish the walk about with the dogs, and time to really be calm and centered. That being said, I still do have to enter the world on a somewhat regular basis, that would be Thursday. Thursday has become my day to go to the post office, shop for the groceries, stop by the book store, and weight in at WW. In a week full of wonderful weather (40's and sun), today has decided to return to winter, it began with fog and damp, which turned into an amazing 20 minutes of snow and ice, and progressed to high winds and biting cold. I hit all my favorite high spots before 11:00 am, and armed with another week of weight loss, came home and jumped on the treadmill for 90 minutes. Bill, who went to Cinncinati yesterday, called and said he wouldn't be home until tomorrow, which means that dinner will not be vegetable lo mein and stir fried veggies, (Chinese New Year celebration), but homemade frozen veggie lasanga. I have the fire lit, and after dinner will finish a "fun fur" chemo hat for Boston's children's hospital (the last of 3 -all will be mailed them on the weekend, along with my sister-in-laws birthday present), watch "Idol" to see which 4 will leave tonight, and then begin my new book.

I picked up Knit 1 and The Friday Night Knitting Club at Borders on my morning jaunt. I am not a huge fan of Knit 1, but I do have to admit it has progressed from all Lion Brand acrylic to the natural Lion Brand yarns, as well as other yarn companies. I have heard good buzz on the book and decided to indulge myself when I saw it on the "staff recommended" table. Lest you think that I have been lax this afternoon in adding to my sock stash, Michelle at Sweet Sheep emailed that Yarntini would be available at 4:00 pm, I hoped over at 3:55 and picked up 3 colourways that I did not possess.

While out and about the morning (not ooot and aboot), I missed the Fed-X man with my much anticipated ipod, I must admit that this is a sheer indulgence, but I have been thinking about it for quite sometime and decided to throw caution to the wind and take the plunge. I was a huge fan of Napster and have hour upon hour of downloaded radio classics, Hancock, Round the Horne, Lux Theater, etc., you name it and I probably have it, truly my library is extensive. All this means that I will be up early tomorrow as I do not want to miss the Fed-X man on his second time around.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Early in December, while looking for Christmas presents for my grand-daughters, I came across a rather expensive doll set depicting "The Princess and the Pea". I examined it carefully and thought, as one does, "I could do that", so with a little inspiration from the book I have taken on the task. As this will be for our grand-daughter Jada, who turns two in May, this is not the book that I will include with the finished set, I have a pop-up version on order at Amazon, this one seems just a little to grown up for a two year old.

My first task was to find a bed, which as you can imagine was fairly fruitless, so I began looking for wood findings that I could turn into a bed. This is what I constructed, it's 5" by 9", just the right size, made from wooden peg legs, a tray and two picket fence pieces, all painted white and then pink. I think I will add little painted flowers and vines to the fence posting. I made a white duck cloth pillow and box spring, padded with pure wool batting, and hand sewn using pink varigated thread.

There are twelve mattresses in the book, so there will be twelve mattress in different coloured pink fabrics, in the set. The first two are above, wool batting in the middle and pinked around the sides.

Five other mattresses, ready for sewing and pinking, with the other fabrics that will be used for the remaining five mattresses. I haven't decided yet whether to knit the doll (which is my first choice) or create a cloth doll - still working on that, I may do one of each and see which I like better. I want the set to be totally hand made, so a store bought doll is out of the question. I will needle felt the pea, actually two peas, one very large one (don't won't a two year old with a mouth full of roving), and a smaller one for when she gets older. I will be sure to post pictures as the project evolves.
Just in case you think I have given up knitting, I finished a pair of Apple Laine socks, in Garden Party. This was my first time knitting with the yarn, and I really enjoy this yarn very much. I have some more in the sock yarn stash so will be using it again soon.

I also have twenty-three of the squares completed for the Lucinda Guy blanket. They look like pink waffles when they are stacked up. I made a bargin with myself, that everytime I have fifteen of them, I will stop and weave in all the ends and block them. That way it won't be to traumatic when all sixty-three are finished.

Over time I have found that I can knit through most television shows, unfortunately with todays intense television that isn't so any more, I have to give my full attention to "24", "Lost" and "Heroes", an hour when I could also be knitting....oh the waste.
After the last few weeks of freezing temperatures, we will reach 41 tomorrow and in the 40's for the rest of the week, the snow and ice will melt and be replaced with muck and suck (that wonderful sound your boots make in squishy mud), and paws will be washed before they enter the house, oh the joys of spring.

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's Friday....and I have great news

There are many wonderful things in my life that make this a great Friday. I have a loving and devoted husband, who last night went through the linen closet to find a small electric blanket for me, so I wouldn't be cold while I watched "Ugly Betty" in the knitting room. I have been blessed with an exceptional son, who decided to travel his own path and create a life for himself, which is just as it should be. I have incredible parents who I appreciate more and more as I get older. I have 4 step-children who all have found their perfect partner in life, and I have two beautiful grand-daughters, Avery turned 14 in January and Jada will be 2 in May. I have wonderful friends and family who are caring and supportive. I have my 4 amazing shaggy friends, and one very special cat.

My first gem of good news is that, James, who is far off in a land called Boulder, starts his new job today, as an Account Manager for Laser Cycle USA. He loves Colorado and now that he is gainfully employed, life is really good.

My second gem is an email I received this morning, it reads as follows:

Congratulations! The felting tip you submitted through has been chosen for publication in Nicky's new book, Knitting Never Felt Better,
by Sixth&Spring Books. Please write me back with your mailing address, and we will send you a free, signed copy of the book as soon as it arrives in our warehouse! We will also post the winning tips and stories on Nicky's Web site closer to the book's release date.
Thanks for participating, and Happy Knitting!
Best,Erin Walsh

I remember submitting the tip ages ago and thought no more about it, in fact I already have the book pre-ordered on Amazon, I guess I will have to go back and change that order.

Enjoy your Friday, I hope it brings a smile to each and every face.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

We're having a snow day, a tropical snow day.......

New snow, a new begining...........
A walk around the garden..........
A run up the snowy stairs.........
A chance to grab an icy snack............

How about seconds...............

Maybe thirds................
A little chewy...........

Birdseed for "ruffage".......... and then a nap.



Monday, February 12, 2007

Think Pink

would say "THINK PINK".............

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Friday, February 9, 2007


Two weeks ago I asked my mum if she could look through some of our old knitting patterns and books and see if she could find a pattern for a knitted rabbit. It's a very old pattern of a rabbit family, I knitted the daughter when I was in high school and would like to knit the whole family now. Needless to say mum is still looking, but in the interim she thought I might like to have these.

Yesterday the FedEx truck brought 22 volumes of Creative Hands. We subscribed to this series in the early 1970's, I think ours is 3rd or 4th printing, the first printing was around 1967.

The volumes are in exceptional condition, there is slight damage to the spine of one volume but apart from that they are like new. I have had a quick look through a few of volumes, this weekend I will set aside an afternoon or so to have a really good browse.

The series was set up to teach you knitting, crochet, tatting, embroidery, sewing, needlepoint etc. there is one or two lessons on each in every volume. The sewing patterns are definately dated, but the others do seem to stand the test of time, and the techniques for all haven't changed over the years. I love this knitted jumper, very Twiggy, and not that dated in today's market, especially seeing the Marc Jacobs 1920's inspired Spring Collection.

This lovely little crochet jacket is so sweet, and very upscale French baby boutique. What mum wouldn't want this for a very special occasion.

Two sweet little loopy fall/winter coats.

I desperately wanted this coat when I saw it the first time (1970ish), and would still love to own it. I just think this is timeless.

I know the pictures are really cheesy, but take a look at the workmanship of this beautiful coat. It's heirloom quality.

This great coat is knitted on "jumbo needles 3/4", I have no idea what size that is but I am assuming 35's or so, what we used to call broomstick handle. I would knit and wear this coat today.

These are hysterical, they are knitted stockings that would be held up by suspender belts, bless the creator of panty hose, the cold draughts that used to shoot up our 1960's mini skirts was a true form of fashion torture. However, the pattern could be adapted to knee highs.

I cannot express how much I love these books, I loved them when I was a teenager and they would arrive (one a month for two years) and I still love them when all 22 of them arrived last night. Needless to say my mum is still looking for the original requested rabbit pattern, but according to my dad she has found some loose patterns to send so it maybe in those.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Bicycle Knitting

I had these two balls of Kid Classic waiting to be knitted (don't ask how old they are because I really can't remember where or when I bought them). I am trying to ride my exercise bike for an hour every afternoon and usually knit socks to pass the time and watch something that I have tivoed. But as any knitter knows sometimes you have to change it up. Last week my DH slipped across the US/Canada border and changed some Canadian money he had been holding on to. Did he purchase something for himself, no he gave me the "found" cash to visit one of my LYS's. I added 6 more of the deeper pink and 3 more of the light to the two I already owned. Why you may ask? Well on looking for a change up in my bike knitting I combed through my children's patterns, as the colours oozed "little girl" to me.

This is the pattern book I choose, and the pattern that just screamed, in an Alice in Wonderland kind of moment, "knit me on your bike".

This is my first square, it took less than 30 minutes to knit on the bike, and if I knit 62 more I will have this very sweet blanket. The original colours are pink and red, with pink being the predominant colour, I just couldn't do red and pink together and am very happy that I already had the deeper pink and am using this as the predominant colour. Even though I am not a pinky kind of girl, I just love these two colours together. Very razzelberry.

I know that I have other projects on the needles at the moment that really need to be finished, but this really doesn't count as I am multi-tasking and will probably cast on and cast off a square during one bike ride, all in all a combined mind and body experience.

The dogs have that lunch time look in their eyes, which means it's feeding time at the zoo. After which, I will bundle the two little ones into their coats, I will pull on my boots, hat, coat and gloves and head out into the deep freeze that awaits us outdoors. (we are experiencing the coldest weather in 10 years - and for the second day school districts all across the eastern US are closed) Don't worry I have very smart dogs, even they know it's cold outside.

Monday, February 5, 2007


It was spa day today, the girls spent the entire day at the groomer and came be looking beautiful.
I made the appointment over a week ago, how could I know that today would be the coldest day of the winter. I bundled them up in their coats and a blanket and put on the heated seats for them in the car. Every school district within a 50 mile radius was closed. Our students are bussed to school and the district's won't put the busses on the road if it is minus five degrees, and today was one of those days.They don't want frost bite to claim the ears, noses and fingers of tomorrows generation.
I have a feeling that tomorrow will be one of those days too, as it isn't going to warm up until Thursday. In fact the Pittsburgh Zoo is closed for the next three days, the only animals that are equipped for this climate are the polar bears.

Sunday, February 4, 2007


The most exciting day in American sport. The SuperBowl itself lasts about 4 hours, the lead in however takes an entire week. It started last Monday and culminates today with a 4 hour pre-game show. If you are lucky and the game is exciting it can be a really enjoyable day of sport. If the game turns out to be boring then you still have the SuperBowl commercials, which go for around $2,000,000 a minute. If the commerical's and the game turn out to be a dud, then there's always the food. Pizza, chili, chips, dips, brownies and beer, can get you through even the worst of SuperBowl Sundays. I heard a staggering figure this morning, 8 billion dollars will be bet on the out come of today's game, this truly mistifies me, as I have a very hard time spending a dollar to purchase a lottery ticket, after all that money can be used to buy yarn. And that brings me to my favorite past time of SuperBowl Sunday - the knitting of course. What better way to spend this incredibly cold Sunday, 5 degrees F. with a windchill of -10, (the lowest temperatures we have seen in 10 years), than sitting in front of the fire and starting a new pair of socks using wonderful Apple Pie Yarn in Garden Party colourway.
I know that just about everyone and his brother is picking the Colts, which means of course I have to root for the Bears.

Friday, February 2, 2007


There are days when I trot out to the postbox and am severly disappointed by the offering. Unwarranted solicitations for credit cards, cookbooks, magazines or just pure "junk mail" flyers never cease to dampen my spirits. Today, however, was not one of those days. The post man arrived with not one but two rather special surprises.

The first is the yarn for the new

The yarn is hand-dyed by Dani Frisbie, the colour way is Sweet, and I believe it is a special hand painted yarn for the sock club. Dani lives in Boston and sells her sock yarn on Etsy. Her yarn is 100% Superwash wool, approximately 450 yards on size #0-#2 needle and 7-9 stitches/1", it's machine washable, lay flat to dry. As you can see Dani included a few extras, candy, stitch markers and a cute sunshine button.

The second surprise was one 1/2 of my order from Cherry Menlove. Cherry is based in London and has a very special online shop.

This is the Cared For Soap Set.

The soap is from the Dahlem's Soapworks in Louisiana. It contains Jardin de Rose handmilled soap, lavender lip butter, wooden soapdish, hand knitted cotton wash cloth & solid lotion bar. The ingredients include beeswax, shea butter, olive oil, almond oil, coconut & essential oils. The lotion bar has the sweet beeswax smell, the lavender lip butter is real treat, and the hand knitted cotton wash flannel is very soft to the touch.

Cherry write two wonderful blogs, that you will fall in love with and find hard to resist. She is a very special girl, she has such a gentle and romantic spirit you will be entranced.

Last, but most certainly not least wonderful treat of the day is that my DH is home after a long week on the road. He left on Sunday for Ohio, was home for a few hours on Tuesday night, then he "shuffled off to Buffalo" for two days. He did make a quick dash across the border last night and found about 20 Cadbury Thins for me at Shoppers Drug Mart.

They are 100 calories each, come in four different varieties and count as 2 WW points. He also found 3 boxes of Aero singles, and 3 boxes of Kit Kat singles, which also count as 2 points.

All in all a very satisfying Friday.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Tomorrow is National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red Day supports the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. On the first Friday in February each year, women and men across the country can unite in the national movement to give women a personal and urgent wake up call about their risk of heart disease. Everyone can participate by showing off a favorite red dress, shirt, or tie, or by wearing the Red Dress Pin. The Heart Truth is that heart disease is the #1 killer of American women. In fact, one in three women dies of heart disease. But heart disease can also lead to disability and a significantly decreased quality of life. When you put on that red pin, dress, shoes, purse, hair ribbon or tie tomorrow you will be drawing attention to the high risk of heart disease in women. If you don't have a pin and would like to wear one next year, clink on the link and find out where you can purchase your pin.