Thanksgiving Week Monday Q and A

Happy Thanksgiving Week 2016  Lets play Question and Answer.  I’m thankful for you playing along, it really helps me know you better!

*So it got cold here!  What’s a silver lining for you and the cold? (the crazy bugs are dead.  I’ve never seen so many bugs now that we live in the countryside.  Box elder beetle invasion was nothing short of creepy at first!) 

*Did you have an AHA! moment while knitting this weekend?
(I did!  I realized my never ending blanket would have ended it I hadn’t knit it in the round.  It would be twice as long and done!  See the little blue yarn above?  That’s the END of a leftover ball of sock yarn.  Made me feel so frugal to have knitting that leftover baby to the end!)

*Have you begun your holiday Thanksgiving prep or baking? (It’s officially Thanksgiving week.  I made the cranberry bread you see in the images, yesterday. It is Martha Stewarts quick bread recipe.  Fireman says it was the best loaf ever, because you add the entire 12 oz bag of crans to the batter.  )

*Have you stepped out of your fashion comfort zone lately? (Yes, and this does not mean I got out of a sweatshirt!  It means I bid on a rather glitzy gold purse at the shelter Gala, and won it.  So I am using my glitzy purse whilst wearing my Jeans and usual.  Tim Gunn would shudder at the mix !)

*Did I thank anyone this weekend?  (you bet!  I’ve thanked our realtor in Wisconsin. She didnt tell us that while we sat in our hot tub under the stars we’d see fireworks from a hotel on the lake too!)

*Do you knit when your family visits? (of course! ) 

*Has your cat caught a mouse in the house? (Caught this weekend, killed not quite.  I’m sure the mouse died of fright with four cats tossing it around.  )

*Are you buying any Thanksgiving components? (Yes.  GOing to the Elegant Farmer to buy their pie in a bag tomorrow.  You can’t beat it.  My sweet mom was the first to say, “Oh just buy it” 

*Are your hands cold?  (Visiting mom this weekend, was a joy.  She was so funny and sweet.  When I went to hold her hands she shrieked, OH MY GOD YOUR HANDS ARE LIKE ICE!   and she’s right.  Time for my angora fingerless!)




November Thankfulness


This is a glorious Ginko on the Lake Geneva trail walk.   The American flag before it seems majestic to me.  Today we have snow flakes.  We are headed to see mom, so there will be never ending blanket knitting today.  

*I kind of miss my radiators. I do not missing stubbing my toes on them.  I know my cats live in the present, but I wonder if they miss them, too.  

*If you want to watch something amazing see if you can get the PBS Operation Wild series.   They highlight veterinarians around the globe who operate on wild animals. I almost had to get the kleenex out when they worked on a primate with cataracts.   We really forget Pie can’t see much at all.   She’s so full of spunk it serves her well.

*It is GUN DEER HUNT week here.  Oh dear, that was a real switch in topics….My father was a hunter, and he loved the seasons and he ate everything he killed.   Still, I’m not used to the weather forecast centered around killing Bambi.  Suffice to say I wont be woods walking this week!

*Al’s going to see the Pentatonix concert in OKC tonight.  I’m so thrilled for her. 

*Since the Rockettes are NOT going to be near me again this year, I got their dvd out of the library too.  

*I’m working on socks in Novemberish colors.  Simple Textured Socks by Kay Redding pattern.  All of the sudden: SOCKS!!!!  I started the year out knitting them like crazy then took a long break.  Dee, I thank you for the inspiration.  I’m planning a Christmas pair in reds and greens next but I dont have the yarn . Darn, I have to yarn shop!

*Finally, Zach continues with salsa lessons in Mexico.  I hope he can teach me a thing or two when he visits us at Christmas.  Less than a month and I can spoil him again.!

November, and I have lots to be thankful for.  Including all of you.  Thanks so much for making the switch to Compassionknits my old blog in a new place.  




Cowls Finish

The cowl on your left is a cowl in handspun alpaca. It felt gorgeous to work up.  It is a modified version of the STRAIGHTFORWARD (cowl) by Bethany Hendrickson.   For her original version the entire cowl was knit in garter.  The yarn had some natural spring to it, just enough.  Knit on straights, seamed.   Handspun has that rustic look to it. 

The red cowl is simply a stockinette tube.  My friend Sandy loves red and she says she needs something to pull up while she walks her pup in the winter.  Sandy prefers not to wear hats, so this little red tube should do the trick. 

In the thankfulness department: 

*Thanked Joe our friend for his crepe recipe.  It is our go to for crepes.  Crepes with low fat low salt ham, broccoli and a smidge of swiss cheese make an delish low carb dinner.  

*Thanking the Good Lord for our amazing 18 days of November weather.  The door slams shut tomorrow.  For Nancy, it already has.   I was watching the Weather Channel and they showed Riverton, Wyoming!  I saw a bell that looked like it was attatched to a swingset device.  I looked for you Nancy!  Glad you were in and I hope you were knitting!

We are expecting a 40 degree temp drop later tonight.  Let the Season of mittens and cowls, hats and fingerless begin.  

Want to join me?

unnamed-4*Today I thanked the Starbucks barista in Target.  Because they are Target employees they cannot take tips.  Mary helped me choose a low fat version of a frappicino and charged me less due to the little bit of sugary syrup I asked for. 

I’m finishing my cowl today.  I’ll show you tomorrow.  Biggy yarn means fast finishes here.  

I have to run now.  The weather is glorious for just one and a half more days. Into the woods to wrangle more buckthorn.  If you are in Nancy’s snowstorm, hunker down and enjoy the beauty and peace of the snow.  



Thank A Worker Bee Movement

I’ve got a new plan.  To finish 2016 I’m going to thank a worker bee every day by filling out a form that goes to their supervisors.  Yesterday at my Piggly Wiggly grocery, Crystal, above, quizzically asked me if I was a Senior Citizen. 

The manner in which Crystal  asked was complimentary, and I responded, “define Senior Citizen.”  55 or older.  YEAH BABY.  I get a discount on Tuesdays that saves me 4% .   She saved me 3 dollars yesterday.  Multiply that by 52 and that’s a nice amount of yarn right?  I can do that for 45 days to end the year.  Hold me to it! 

The sunset was nothing short of dreamy last night here.  The Church I noticed on my  way to the little post office yesterday, is actually someones house now.  I could tell because of the toys outside etc.   

Knit Plans:  More on the modified alpaca cowl.  






Accidental Swatches

My knitting is not settled lately.  I’m casting on, leaving on and moving on. I will call this gauge swatch knitting (which is laughable though because I never do a swatch, I’m too impatient) 

Top left : angora fingerless.  I’ll certainly finish this and make the other partner. 

Top right:  alpaca Cowl from pattern Staightforward Cowl.  I’m frogging it.  Look at those awful garter stitches.  Garter doesn’t like me.  I think I will make the cowl but just modify it for stockinette with a garter border.  

There’s an upside!  The fibers are so delicious in both projects that my whole self is happy just touching it.   

Here’s my own advice to me:  Update that Ravelry project page.  I nearly lost my blog a little big ago and were it not for the project page, I’d have lost my precious list of finishes.  Poof, gone forever.  

(Oh and let me just tell ya, , my Holiday gift giving for my family got exponentially easier with the Cubs World Series win, if you know what I mean! )  



Monday Q and A November 14


Let’s play!


*Have you ever petted an angora bunny?  (yes yesterday at a new LYS in Richmond Illinois.  I think I was touching a cloud. She was the softest animal I’ve ever touched)

*Do you have any novelty yarn in your stash?  (yes.  Only because a friend gave it to me recently.  Don’t I sound defensive ?  I was all about it 10 years ago.  I have to thank the novelty yarns for pulling me back into knitting then.   I’m a snotty fiber girl now, primarily because I’ve learned the hard way, WOOL WORKS) (That’s my snotty fiber find of the weekend above : a handspun wool that looks delicious)

*I’m maintaining my weight but I have to admit I still have to have: Creamer in my coffee and sugar.  Is there something  you simply can’t give on with your food life?

*Do you swim during the winter months? (Nah.  But Fireman does. )

*What are you having for dinner tonight? (the never ending question here.  I need some ideas) 

*The weather has been such a gift this November. It is sunny and 50s and that is just unheard of now.   Friends are putting up their Christmas decor.  are you? (I dont have that snowy feeling yet.  New house, new traditions.  Plans for a beautiful front door and a bow on the mailbox )

*Are you a Black Friday Cyber Monday shopper?  (I haven’t been yet.  But go ahead and pursuade me.  I’m all about a real deal )

*Did you cast on this weekend?  (Yup.  Twice.  Wait, no 3 times.  Finally settled on my project.  I didn’t frog the fingerless I started, but I don’t feel like knitting them right now.  So, cast on for a cowl and now it feels right)

*Did you see the Supermoon yet? (Yup sure did.  Will see it tonight and try to get a good photo of it.  )

*Would you like to recommend a movie?  (must entertaining and light)


THANKS  !  Have fun!





Mindful Saturday….Am I there yet?

unnamed-1I’m trying to practice mindfulness today.  Ha!  I’ve already failed a few times.  That’s okay there are more minutes in the day and I seem to be able to be PRESENT for only about a minute anyhow.  

My patterns are learned, and my mom (God Love her, asleep for our entire last visit) was so good at worrying about the future.  She really considered it part of her job to worry about all of us all the time, and our friends and our friends friends.   My father was a worrier too but he wouldnt ever admit it.   It came from a place of deep caring, but it manifested in a family that can act like rats in a coffee can.  

So being in the here and now is a real task for me.  Some of the ways I can be truly engaged in the moment involve this craft of knitting. 

When I use a chart I have to think think think and it keeps me centered.  

When I was working the Gala room, last weekend, for the benefit I was fully involved and focused.   By the way we achieved our fundraising goals and it was hugely successful.  

When Fireman and I are in the woods doing physical labor and cutting brush, I get lost in the work of it.   I’m outside, it feels good to be accomplishing something. 

Zach is taking salsa lessons and he says it is a great workout and he has to focus. 

Do you work on being PRESENT and not worrying? 

What are the things you do that get you so focused you can escape the constant chatter in your mind?  What? You don’t have constant chatter ?   It’s just me?  If it is I better find Charles Schultz Lucy and get some advice !  

The Jokes on Me

I could have cheated and not told you my error, but Fireman thought you’d all get a chuckle about my rather noticeable error. 

The quintessential thumb placement error.   I guess I was distracted.

These are for me.   You know I’m not going to frog again because of the sheep. The angora would get wasted.  So this goes into the ‘wont’ make that mistake again” file in my braino.   I talk with my hands….a lot.  So the sheep will get noticed either way. I’m far from perfect as a knitter and a person.   I can’t wait to wear these anyhow. 

There is no pattern for them.  I simply found a sheep motif and made sure I had enough hand (and I should say palm) stitches to knit him into the blank angora canvas.

I am starting another angora mitt today.  The yarn for the sheep mitts was from my nearby LYS and she had the yarn specially spun for her. 

The next pair will be very very fuzzy.   While I wound the new yarn last night it was so fuzzy it wanted to begin to felt itself right then and there.  I don’t know why I’m so in love with angora but oh I am. 

And my girl is so happy for December to arrive.  She loves the red Starbucks cups, the carols and everything Christmas.  I can’t wait to have both my kids home for Christmas. 

But Today is Veteran’s Day and I want to thank every single military family who gives so very much during duty and beyond.  Thank yoU!

Sheep on a rabbit Mitt

Sometimes you have to put a sheep on your angora rabbit yarn.  This is my fingerless reknit.  I think the sheep is so much cuter than my original cable plan. I realize this should be a rabbit on angora yarn, BUT, it is a angora/wool blend. So that works right?   

Big big shocker: I blocked it last night.  The sheep was a bit wonky in the tummy.  I have never knit intarsia and I better learn now.  The floats in the back are crazy pants, but I doubt that’ll be giving this pair away.  

Today I can work on mitt number two .  SQUEALS.