For the Birds and Socks

dscf9881We all have our favorites, and Fireman loves the goldfinches.   They require a special seed around here if you want to attract them to your yard.  This is their winter color hue.  They actually become bright yellow/gold in summer and the change is noticeable. 

dscf9876Some of you love the cardinals.  I’ve said it before, (oops trying not to bore you!) but they are a really brilliant red up here in Wisconsin.   Maybe it is just that the landscape is so much less crowded and dense.  The woods make a great backdrop for these splashes of color in the form of birds.   

Can I just tell you how hard it is to get their photos?  They move so fast.  They sit still for very short periods of time.  If it weren’t for my zoom lens, (ah,  Fuji finepix S refurbished I love thee) I wouldn’t get these close ups. 

dscf9889Finally this Friday the 13th, I give you my only sock book.   I think I have only worked ONE of the patterns in this book .   There are no charts.  

I think I bought this when sock knitting was very new to me.  I am going to try a different toe shaping technique on my current pair in progress.  She offers 5 toe shapings: a round toe, a French toe, a Pointed toe, a Star of four points toe, a flat toe and a wide toe.  

The wide toe instructions say to end with a three needle bind off.   The flat toe is the only one that mentions the dreaded Kitchener stitch.  So Here’s to a new toe.  Time for an old sock knitter to learn a new trick. 

Happy Friday the 13th !  May you encounter the best of luck and have a great day.  We are off to see Lala Land and ahem, stop at a knit store in the area of the theatre.  I need to feel some Spun Right Round sock yarn , some Vesper and some Kismet before I indulge in a January pick me up purchase.  


Allison’s Islas Cruces Cowl



Allison has been knitting the Islas Cruces Cowl in Malabrigo Rios.  I love her crosses.  They really pop against the white Yarn.  I’ll have to remind her to use a color catcher when she washes it.  Verdict: She is quite bored with it and ready to be done.   

Santa brought her the Purl Soho Embroidery starter kit and she is motivated to learn.  Oklahoma is expecting an ice storm this weekend and she can stay in and play with strings in a new way.  

We had an ice storm yesterday so we had to cut our visit to our old neighborhood short yesterday.  This meant missing a visit with Mom.  Mom would be the FIRST to say to get out of that weather and get home.  She was the quintessential worrier.  The ultimate mom.   

This is the time of year I catch up on Movies and some books.  We watched Sully the other day.  What a great movie.  Not for the flying faint of heart.  I nearly needed a xanax just watching it.  What a great person they depict in Sully.  A humble hero.  

I also read and skimmed through COCKTAIL HOUR UNDER THE TREE OF FORGETFULNESS, by Alexandra Fuller.   It is a family story that is written with wit.  I do not know Africa well or Scotland, so I think that those who do would enjoy the book more than I.  

Have you seen a good movie?  Read a good book?  Blog pals are full of good recommendations, I think.  Share the love!

Flannel and Pin Stripes

dscf9874Fireman makes crepes. Firefighter Joe taught him how years ago.  Don’t you love a man in the kitchen cooking?  I do.
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Mix in blender
Let stand for 30 min

Pour a thin crepe.  Fill it and fold the sides over.  We like to fill with :Ham, swiss, onion, broccoli and mushrooms.  Mmmmm.

dscf9875Love the Dee inspired Pin Stripes socks.  Yarn: sock yarn from Al , gifted me last summer.  Love the colors.  Love the slipped stitches.  Thanks Dee.  Let the Sock year begin. 



My First Hat Finish of 2017

dscf9872My first hat is finished for 2017.  It will be a part of the Womens’ March on The National Mall of 1/21.  It will be donated and given to warm a marcher and  to show solidarity for womens’rights.  I know some of you expressed that you don’t like the name of the pattern.  I appreciate your honesty .   I do.  I wanted to be a small part of the March.  My friend Anne is going and she will choose/find a recipient for my knit hat. 

I used leftover Zara for the ribbing.  I found some Shi Bui sockyarn  in nearly the same color for the stockinette portion.  So I doubled the yarn and the gauge matched up to the zara weight. (almost. ) It was really really close.  Hey, it worked.  By the way, the red is really more fuschia in real life.  I dont’ know why reds misbehave so in photos.  Way to go Kathy b, using up leftover stash! 

I had a surprise when I awoke this morning.  I had a silicone ear plug stuck to my hair.  My first try at earplugs: epic fail.  Im trying to grow out my hair, not chop it into pieces.  I don’t really  NEED the earplugs.  I’ve just been awakened this week by the neighbor’s dog Harley misbehaving.   It is just such perfect sleep in weather….cold, windy, snowy, slush…January! Harley’s waking me up. 

Harley does not usually cause a ruckus.  I think he’s just stir crazy.  He’s wearing the cone  of shame to, I notice with binoculars….I’m one of those country neighbors!

Thank you Fireman for carefully combing the silicone out of my hair while you had your coffee this morning.   We didnt’ have to cut it!  If we did I’ may have had to keep that new hat….and I would much rather it be donated to a Marcher!

A Monday Q and A for Today 1/9

For those who want an occasional Monday Q and A, I’m just wondering……unnamed

How do you Hygge?

(I bring a hot water bottle to bed with me, I knit under an electric throw after sundown, I wear my best knit slippers that stay up no matter  (Grandmas_Boot_Slippers pdf) and I light candles.  I do not go out on ice that is new like the crazy man On Lake Geneva)

Have you ever tried to feed the birds by hand?unnamed-1

(Why yes.  I tried Sunday.  I have a flinch, scream reaction to birds flying near my head.   I . was. so. brave.  Me and the chickadees.  One came within arms reach . One flew onto the feeder.  I may have flinched. I did not scream.  I told myself to breathe. No takers from my hand yet.

I’m going to keep trying when the feeder is empty of course.  Fireman just laughed and took the picture of me to send to my kids. )

Pets, can be….well messy.  What’s your best cleaning advice?

(As seen on TV , Quick and Brite takes even the most disgusting cat vomit out of the carpet.  Even an old stain.  This stuff’s magic.  My friend Sandy gave me some. She swears by it. I do too now!)

Have you emailed a famous person?

(Well, She’s the Empress of Dirt. I’m not sure she’s that famous, but I love her gardening ideas.  I emailed her to ask about WINTER Sow methods.  She says it works! She has not written about it.  I put two more milk jugs out today with Hollyhocks seeds in them.)

Are you making a Hat for the PussyHat project?

(Why yes I am thanks to Meredith blogging about it.  I decided to tell my friend Anne, a good nurse buddy also retired now,  because she crochets.  Well guess what? Not only has she made 5 of them already….she’s GOING To the March in Washington DC on the 21st.  So I’m delivering my hat to her and she’s going to pass it out to someone who needs one.   I want to see all those amazing women Marching with their pink hats on and I want to be a small part of it)

Did you have to check up on a gift knit to see if got there?

(Yes.  Uncharacteristically, Uncle Billy never let me know if he got the socks I knitted and sent to him.  I emailed him.  “Did you get my surprise?”  He DID.  He said he was CRAZY for the colorway.  His words: Crazy about the colors” )

Would you even think of 17 pairs of socks in 2017?

(I am thinking of it!!!  I did not complete 16 in 2016 but I started out with a bang.  There is a Ravelry group for 17 in 17.  I may join.  I LOVE to knit socks.  The sock yarn choices are always abundant and within my budget.  Fair warning, its a sock year for sure. )

Did you watch the Golden Globes?

(Just a tad.  Then Fireman and I watched the amazing BILLY JOEL concerts on axstv.  We loved him then, we love him now. )

What’s your quickest/fastest/ knit Stitch type?

(Al thinks stockinette slows her, because it bores her.    I think I’m fastest in stockinette in the round. I love S. in the R. !  Ribbing slows me down but I do love a good snug hat rib or sock cuff rib.  )

Have you had a recipe fail lately?

(Yes.  I made sweet potato chips.  They were fine, but way way way too much work. Individually turning each little chip in the oven and babysitting them …Not worth the effort.  )

That’s it for today!  Enjoy. Join along if you wish. I love to read your answers.



First Finish 2017 28’s Big Sister 77

dscf9851My first finish of 2017, is 28’s Big Sister 77 Shawlette. 

I’m pretty excited about it.

Free Ravelry pattern published in 2010.

Yarn: KnitPicks Chroma in Fingering weight

Colorway: Lupine

Used 1 and a half skeins on size 7 needles.

It is a big success for me.  I didn’t drop any unnoticed stitches and when I did drop I was able to correct.

I have a hard time with knitting when I cannot stretch it out and see it all at once.   This is the case on this pattern for me.  I kept plugging along.  Kept believing in the pattern.  It is a good one.  Clear line by line instructions.  Nothing fancy.

As others said On Ravelry notes, there is a lot of purling.  Because I prefer to knit, I think you could reverse the knits and purls and get the same effect?

It was all ripply when I finished, so……I actually blocked it last night.  I got it really wet in the sink and laid it out on a towel.  This morning it was laying down beautifully.

I’m really happy with it.  I encourage anyone to do this pattern.  It is straightforward and a quiet hygge knit.  Go for it!


A Case of the Pinks

unnamed.jpgThis isn’t even all my pinks.  I have another from Al.   Clearly I need COLOR right now.  I am a few nights away from finishing my shawlette.  So, my thoughts are turned to what next???

This is not the Hygge way.  I am supposed to be content in the now.  But it is zero degrees out. I don’t want to step out the door and I probably won’t.  Is  hibernation part of Hygge?  For those of you unfamiliar: Hygge is the new trend in an old Danish way.  It is all about simplicity and appreciation of right now.  It is about hunkering down in the dark of winter with a warm cup of something and enjoying the people and pets around you.   I do the hunker part fine, it is the Being present part that is so tough for me.  It is a good problem to have. .

Yesterday I organized my double points.  I have 20 sets of double points.  Most of them are wooden.  Some were tossed.  If they were incomplete sets or the points were splitting or snaggy, out they went.  So I have 20 sets After the culling.  Of those 20 sets I probably use 5 sets most.  The zeros, ones, twos and threes get used most often for socks of course.  The 7s and 9s get used for hat decreases when you switch to double points for the small part on the top of the hat.  

Do you you know you hybernate? Do you Hygge? Do you know your needle count?   What’s your collection like? 





A Couple of Good Things

dscf9844Val from Wandering Cat had a yarn end of year sale.  I scored this Reed Grass in 100% merino.  400 plus yards for 11 dollars.  It is so soft and even lovlier in person.  I plan on something ribbed with it because it is pure merino.   I don’t expect much springiness but that’s okay.  I’ve learned to achieve spring with ribbing. 

I was worrying about my shawl as the instructions were perplexing me.   I found a way to understand the instructions.  I went to Ravelry and looked at all the photos knitters posted of their finished shawls.  THEN, voila!  I saw it.  I saw how the construction is going to look if I stay the course.  So, I am staying the course.  I’ll show you soon when I’m finished with it, but it is kind of a crescent shawl with a bib portion in the middle  .  Oh dear, that doesn’t sound lovely, but trust me it is.  

I went back to my old blog and looked at some of the posts from 2010.  We redid the kitchen in the old house that year.  We are currently choosing paint for the new houses interior.  They pretty much white washed everything to sell it.  Fireman wants a bit of color, its below zero out, and we have the time to paint. Comparing the old kitchen paint, to what we want now, is interesting.  Going back that far in my posts made me realize how old some of my socks are.  My goodness they are practical and have lasted a long time.  


Finally, today I have to tell you about the Weight Watcher Lemon Bars with a points value of 3 points a square.  They are awesome and delicious.  Look them up.  The crust is made of animal crackers crushed and a teeny bit of butter.  I tried them yesterday. 

So there you have it: new yarn, new paint and new lemon bars.  Sweet!

Winter Sow


I’m still working on my shawl.  I’m a little worried though.  After I made this huge stitch count, I’m now ribbing a bit.  In just a few more rows I am t0 cast off quite a few stitches on both sides of the row.  I guess this is shaping, but I’m worried about his.  Follow. Directions. Just. breathe….

On with gardening ……as it is freezing outside and with the wind blowing it is the last thing I’d normally spend time on.

Yesterday a woman in my Home Depot was searching for seeds on the store panel.  I figured she was going to Florida.  So, being the usual nosey one that I am, I asked why she was buying seeds. “Already?”

She proceeded to explain the WINTER SOW method.   She said I could google it.  I did when I got home.  She was buying Lupine, so I copied her.  I also bought hollyhock  because I want them to climb up our lattice in front of the hot tub.

Basically, you nearly cut in half a gallon milk jug.  Carefully, put holes in the bottom of it. I read if you heat the plastic it helps not to stab yourself. (Don’t worry I’m not going back to Graphic Monday)   So I filled it with hot tap water, emptied it and put my holes in.

Then you put a few inches of potting soil in the jug.  Add your seeds.  Gently.  With warm wishes and the thoughts of flowers……

Then put another inch or more of potting soil  on top of the little hope seeds.  Wrap the cut part of the jug with duct tape.  Leave the top of the jug open.  Place it outside in sun.  Be sure to place it where it can get rain and snow when that happens.

Then just wait.  When Mother Nature decides to sprout them in your little milk recycle jug, she will.  When they are nice and tall, it should be warm enough to transplant them to the ground.

Here’s hoping!!! Have you ever done a Winter Sow?

If so,

how’d it go?

I’d like to know.

Cause cold winds blow….

Shawlette Progress

unnamedI cannot even tell you how gray it is outside, oh and foggy, oh and damp.  So I just might have some extra coffee today.   Phooey on all those studies, because one day coffee is the key to whole body health and the next day it is toxic.   I’ll choose my studies carefully so they match my whims.  

I know I told you I’m knitting a shawl.   When Santa brought the Knit Picks Chroma in these joyful colors, I had to cast on.  This is 28’s Big Sister 77 – shawlette.  So nice of Lynne Ashton to publish her free pattern in 2010 on Ravelry.  Thanks Lynne.  

I usually cave mid-shawl.  This time, I’m chugging along happily as we approach row 48.  We went from a baby count of cast on 130, to the current line up of 514 stitches.  I can’t wait for my 4 pm needle time.  

I remind myself today, that some of my most productive knitting gets done in Januarys .   Are you more productive with your crafts in certain months?   Go ahead gray gloomy days, I’ve got my Gorgeous colorful yarn and a good pattern to boot, just try and bring me down.  My bloggy pals have taught me to embrace your kind and they are a wise and wonderful lot.  

(Kim at is having a great easy contest yarny giveaway.  Head over and leave a comment.  If you win you’ll thank me! )