Happy Valentines Day

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Happy Sweet Valentines Day!  I love blogging and I love your comments, lurks and love.  We had our valentine dinner out last night.  We were in Chicago area seeing friends for dinner so that’ll do.   No crowds.

One rather gross happening. I was having a few sips of my diet Coke, when I found something in the glass.  It was just a piece of plastic, the kind the mints at the hostess station are packed in, but YUCK.  ew ew and more ew.  The waitress apologized and brought me new…that kind of does it for me as far as going back.  I demand spotless when we are paying for dinner out.

Fireman told me he misses getting me chocolates.  I’ve been on Weight watchers for 2 years this weekend.  I told him I’d rather go for a manicure with no points and no guilt.  The way the price of chocolates goes these days, I think the manicure is also cheaper!

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One of my favorite things about Valentines Day is that Westminster Dog show corresponds with it yearly.  My sister sent me this cupcake photo.  Her Gordon setter club had their annual dinner last week and aren’t these cupcakes awesome?

You know I love dogs but we don’t have any currently.  Four cats, one being Fezzik the almost dog, makes up for that.  The only time I wish for a dog is when I’m out for a walk.  And I do wish then.  Someday I think It will happen again for us.  Until then I watch the dog show and think about those amazing creatures.  I know its a fix.  They are already predicting Rudy the German Shepard will win.

Little Valentine Love Beatles is so hard to photograph. And I know its fuzzy but I think he deserves a blog spot on heart day.  He let my great niece lug him around without a peep.  It made her crazy happy.  unnamed-2

So I had a knitting revelation last night in the car.  See my uneven garter panels that I was knitting  last week ?  Awful stitch uniformity in garter.  I was on the purl side of the back of my new knit up (first photo) and I thought, well that looks like garter.  And that looks much better than my garter.  Alright ladies, thinking caps on: Could I knit the panels again, doing stockinette on the front, and purl on the back and use the backside as my fronts? or is that not really garter?  Does that make any sense?

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Monday Questions, I heart….

 

*What is your favorite fiber or blend to knit or crochet with?

(this is my cotton/lambswool blend.  I like blends the best.  Cotton and silk, merino and nylon, to name a few)

*What is your favorite fiber to wear? (cotton hands down)

dscf0194* Have you seen someone you know personally on television? (last night!  Unexpectedly.  We were watching some of the Westminster agility show and when they showed the judge we were shocked!  Anne Riba judged the 24 inch division and she taught us agility with Huck years ago!  Good for her. and good for the sport)

*Do you have a locket?  Who is in it? (I do.  I have a lock of hair in my locket.  A lock of my mom’s hair….Is that odd? )

*What is your favorite pizza topping?  (sausage…c’mon I’m Hungarian)

*The box of Valentine chocolates is in front of you.  What’s your pick of chocolates? (a dark chocolate cream filled with vanilla!!!)

*Is there a state you haven’t visited that you’d like to visit? (Oklahoma…to see Al)

*What’s the oldest thing in your wardrobe?  (probably a sweater that I knit years ago and now fit in again.)   I’m so glad I didn’t get rid of it. I tend to wear things out and shop very little for clothes.  To a fault.  If it weren’t for holidays and birthdays I probably wouldn’t have new clothes…I have a husband who WISHES I would shop)

*When are you most likely to give up on a knit project?

a)when you decide the pattern was too hard

b) when you decide the pattern was too easy

c) when you make too many mistakes

d) when you realize you cannot knit another stitch with THAT yarn, whatever it is

Finally

*Name one thing you love about your husband/friend/or a family member:

(Fireman : He encourages me to take some risks.  We would never have moved if it had been up to me.  I get so stuck in sameness.  It was a great thing for us to do.

Al: She makes me laugh, all the time.  She GETS my humor.

Zach: He is a fabulous listener.  He gives good advice when I ask for it. )

Wrapping up this Week

dscf0125I had to insist on each and every cat we have ever adopted.  3 of 4 insisted on napping with him one day this week.  Who is the crazy cat lady?

Fezzik turned 2 this week.

I learned about so many crazy sandwiches from y’all, this week.

I need to clarify something about Doreen’s awesome Patterns.  I changed the original post but I want to mention it here too: her published book patterns are not available on Ravelry for copyright reasons.   There are patterns Doreen has written for sale on Ravelry but they are not the patterns that her wonderful publisher now has the rights to  –

I feel like I’m making slow slow progress on my sweater, but I have to remind myself: it is a sweater!  I’d love to finish the garter panels this weekend. Good thing it stinks outside!   Perfect knitting inside weather.

I finished the book Sweater Quest because I cheated and read the ending.  It was interesting enough.  Reading the ending helped me decide to return it to the library.

Finally, I listened to a podcast last night about a couple who grew up in the burbs and decided to become farmers.  They lived in a tent on their LAND for a year.  They highly recommend doing that.  If I grow my own flowers this summer, I’ll be more than happy with that!  And I wont be sleeping in a tent for a year.  Podcasts, they are fascinating sometimes. Sometimes they are so boring I think”I should watch this when I cant fall asleep.”  Which is practically never.  I am blessed with great sleep.   Podcasts,   You can find them on just about any topic.  Have you listened to any good ones lately?

You Just Never Know….

dscf0169dscf0171I have to show you Doreen, the Needles’n Pins Shoppe owner’s book that I bought. She has several books, but I bought this one first. I need to clarify to you all that Doreen’s great patterns in the BOOKS are, of course, not available on Ravelry.  She has patterns on Ravelry that do not appear in her books for publication/copyright reasons.  So you can buy her awesome books and support the publisher, and Doreen herself.  I plan to buy lots

There are summery cotton tops that I will be knitting and this cabled Biggy knit that I’d love to make and wear.  Something about knowing the designer and knowing her patterns are perfect is exciting. 

Okay, so a mom story.  I’ve been a bit of a mess since last visit.  Fireman and I went to see her last night.  Complete change.  Mom was smiling, silly and ate her entire dinner for me.  Yup, all of her Chicken a la king, a peach part, a few mini cookies and even drank her milk.  Now I Fed her of course, but she actually tried to hold the cup of milk with me as I helped her drink it.  At one point, she looked at me, smiled and whispered, “I’m pregnant!” 

If she thinks she is and she’s happy, that’s all that matters!  I congratulated her. And I slept like a rock last night. Surprise. 

Inspired at Needles’ n Pins

unnamed-1How about this woman’s Butterfly/Papillon Shawl?  Pattern on Ravelry by Marin Melchiors.  10 page pattern.  I think this woman said she used Lang for the color skein.  She said you need a skein that has long color repeats for this effect.  She choose to do the Solid outlines in black.  This is her second shawl.  She finished the first in 9 days.  To which someone in the knit group said “You don’t sleep do you?” Wow.  I think I’ve managed to entice friend Karen to knit one.  

Another passerby stopped in to show us her Azel.  She knit in Bulky as the pattern called for.  She is sending it to her friend in Alaska.  Easy peasy pattern.  She nailed it.  

The really good news for me is that Doreen, shop owner and knitter and pattern publisher magnificent, looked at my sweater starts and said I’m good.  If I want perfection in garter then I can knit on a machine.  This is a new group for me so I didnt’ share that my tension is a wonk from day to day with news of my mom etc. 

I had another wonderful afternoon knitting with these ladies and met some  new ones too.  I had less stressful a drive on the roads this time around.  It is really good for me to go there. 

A funny topic that came up was the bizarre sandwiches we used to eat: 

Bread, butter and lettuce

Graham crackers and frosting

Something called schmaltz: goose fat on bread

and something one eats when their stomach is upset: soda crackers soaked in milk

Happy to share some OTHERS knits with you.  OH and Teresa, they were working on a crocheted jacket.  I’ll get images for you next time.  

Garter , Grays and Shelter Ways

dscf0149I’m sorry to do this to you.  Or, because I know there is a small but sincere faction out there that adores this kind of weather: here you go!  Kelly Rippa calls this Harry Potter weather.  I call it, better focus inward, Kathy B.  dscf0152Okay I found this forlorn sock in a bag the other day.  This is proof that :
a) I do not always finish a project even though in my knit brain I claim I am monogamous.     Okay, 99.9 % of the time I stick with one project until it is done. 

b) I am capable of knitting many many many many stitches in stockinette in the round in pretty good form AND, and here’s the key, I can pick up a dropped stitch independently and most importantly without tears.  Wow, how’s that for a run on sentence? 

This brings me to my current concern.  The sweater I am knitting, (and I really am knitting a sweater, ) involves several to many garter panels with icord edges.  It asks for provisional cast ons.  The only thing that gives me pain, is garter.  

I am very critical of my garter.  My stitches are not as even in garter.  I simply cannot pick up a dropped garter without a small panic attack.  

So what’s my deal, friends?  I am going to my new knit group this afternoon. I am afraid I’ll blush when I bring out my first 2 panels because they are not perfect.  

I am truly truly hoping I will be encouraged to carry on.  Because, my bloggy knit pal therapy support group friends, I ain’t starting over .  I love the yarn, I love the pattern so far and I have two large stockinette sections ahead of me.  

I knit up a small section of garter in biggy yarn in hopes the leader will show me a better way to pick up a dropped garter stitch.  

unnamed-1Finally, on a sweet  note, we visited the animal shelter in our new area.  It is brand new after a major capital campaign.  The cat rooms are cage free.  They are spotless.  I would have loved to take a black kitty home, but 4s my limit.  I was just there to take a look see.  I may end up there after my term is over at my old shelter in Illinois soon.  

This shelter has a resale shop that is 5 minutes from my home.  I have no retail experience besides being a Mcdonald’s worker in the 70s but they seem open to my inquiries.  So that’s another option.  

Anyhow I was impressed with this beautiful facility.   It made a gray day, very bright for me. 

Does garter give you the willies?????

Knitting Jenny Blast from the Past

img_67541446329453knitting-jennyThe sweater knitting is moving along nicely.  I will try to go to the new Knit group again tomorrow afternoon, for reassurance.  Two things:

I love the pattern because it uses the same needle size for the entire project.  Also, I have tried a few different provisional cast on methods.  One was tricky and used two needles and a wrap stitch.  The other, taught by  a simple Purl Soho video, using a crochet hook around your needle, was infinitely easier for me.  

So last night I was looking for my favorite photo of my mother and I.  I could not find it.  What I did find, which is so funny, is the above Christmas photo.  I’m the little blonde one with the bangs that scream ‘Home haircut”.   In front of my sister Mary Jo, is a KNITTING JENNY toy.  The photo Im showing you is an iphone photo of the original so it is …..blurry.  Trust me on the original, it is KNITTING JENNY. 

I have absolutely no memory of this gift.  Mary Jo and I were a year apart and often shared gifts from Santa.  I do know I had the attention span of a gnat and am pretty sure we tried the JENNY and it probably ended in a lump of tangled yarn.  OR, or , our perfect older sister showed us how to work the Jenny and we went back to playing house with our dolls.  

I  was delighted to find this photo and perhaps I did use this toy.  Perhaps it planted the seed that wouldn’t sprout for another 30 years in my life.  I was delighted to find anything KNITTING in my childhood.   The toys I recall loving we dolls of any kind and my Easy Bake Oven.  

How about you?  Did you have a Knitting Jenny?   Any other favorites from your childhood??