Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Welcome to the World, Sir Raleigh!

My nephew Raleigh was born this past week--on my anniversary! What a great gift. This little man was not so little! He weighed in at over 9 pounds. His legs are super long and he looks just like my brother did when he was born. His chubby little cheeks are adorable.

Getting in my cuddle time.

Uncle Patrick...

Telling the world what he thinks already!

Hank was so cute. Any time Raleigh would make a sound he would run over and check on him. Nothing a good sniff and soft kiss couldn't cure. He is a gentle giant. He is also a big baby.

He also had to get in his cuddle time.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vacation Swap

In my Knitter's Holiday Swap group we are in the midst of the Vacation Swap. I thought this was a really cute idea. We could put together something from an area (like a vacation destination) or a package of something to do on vacation or a vacation in a box. I was assigned to a friend I had made prior who lives in Austria. She had sent to me previously, so I was excited to get to send her a swap package.

Most of my vacations this summer have been to the South. I thought that might be a fun thing for her. So, I picked up some yarn from Knitting Notions (Tennessee), a pattern from Virginia (I think), and a shawl pin from Purdy Thangz (Georgia). I put it all in a tea jug with a sweet tea recipe card and tea bags. Poor thing will go into sugar shock, but what says the South like sweet tea?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Talbott Street Festival 2010

Last weekend we ventured down to the Talbott Street festival. I was really impressed with the artists this year. Because it was right before vacation, I didn't want to spend much money, but boy could I have! There was so much that was worth it. My favorite pieces were by an artist from St. Petersburg Florida. Her name was Kimberly Marshall. I loved her textured flower pieces. She uses layer after layer of paint to get the effect and they were stunning.

I recently added some bird feeders and houses to the back yard in the hopes of keeping them happy versus fighting with the dogs and coming after me (that was a scary one that I forgot to mention). Anyway, there were several stands with outdoor decor. I grabbed up a two-story birdhouse that was really cute. I could have bought so many things from this stand. Cute, cute, cute. As we checked out the guy said if we were ever in French Lick to stop by. I was a little shocked to run into someone from my home town. I told him I grew up there and he looked shocked, too. Ah...small towns. : ) Well, I'm sure that I will be stopping in there on my visits home. I also found out that my aunt and cousin buy their yard decor from him too.

The one knitting item I allowed myself to pick up was this little Baa painting from a painter. I have stupidly misplaced her card, but I'll post the info when I find it. The color matched my paintings that I had already done and hung up in my yarn studio. I also went for the black sheep, of course. Gotta be different!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy 9th Anniversary!

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. We've been together for 11 years and it feels like just yesterday when we held hands for the first time. I remember feeling like a teenager when PK took my hand. I had butterflies in my tummy and was so happy. I had a teacher/friend who I looked up to, and still do, who once told me to be super patient and someone who you have lots in common with will show up. Boy, was she right. He had been right there, as a friend, for four years already!

On past anniversaries I've shared some pictures of our wedding. This year, I thought I'd share some of our 5th anniversary. There are so many memories that I hold onto and we make more every day. I love having you in my life, PK. I couldn't have dreamed up a better partner in crime!

Monday, June 21, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow

After being inspired by the flowers at Roy's house in Virginia, I went out and tried to find some to add to the back yard. Some have worked, some...not so much. Here are a few pictures of the working ones!

This one, in particular, is doing really well in the area that still needs a lot of work. I'm thinking about getting lots of these in a variety of shades and blanketing the area.

These Lily flowers are going really well. I planted them last year and they have really spread and come in super thick this year. This bed has quickly become the best one we have in the back.

Patrick's garden. We should have some good veggies in July. Yummy!

The front is full of impatiens and hostas. You would think that I love to garden with all the flowers and such. In reality, I hate it because I suck at it! It never ever turns out how I picture it in my head. When the front of the house came out good, I about passed out. The back, still needs a makeover but it is tons better than it was when we moved in (i.e. not a single tree, dead grass, and no flowers). We now have 11 trees, three flower beds, live grass, and even SOME SHADE!!!!! That's the best part of all the hard work. We have bits of shade. Next house...already established yard is a must.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Franklin Fiber Fair 2010

Patrick gets Friday summer hours, which means he is off after 1 on Fridays. I LOVE this program because it makes your weekend feel so much longer. We like to plan a fun outing for those days. Sometimes a movie, sometimes a walk, sometimes a fiber event! We went to the Franklin fair several weeks ago. I didn't really find all that much this year. Many of my favorite vendors were no longer there. BUT, I did find a few things, of course.  : )

I picked up some things for a upcoming swap from Knitting Notions and then found a few things from Ogle Designs. She had some really cute patterns. I'm really into small projects and felted projects right now. That resulted in a little kit to make City Light fingerless mittens with beads and a felted birdhouse shaped like a fish. Too funny!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wesley the Elephant

During our trip, we stopped at A Likely Yarn. My find at their shop was a crochet booklet from Leisure Arts named Cute Little Animals. I had been wanting to make some little animals as gifts, but wasn't too keen on knitting them. Problem solved--crochet! I also had wanted to do one from a written instruction to get my feet wet enough to then try to design a few of my own. (I need to figure out a Kiki pattern, right?)

Well, they had Wesley the Elephant as a shop sample and he was really cute. They had crocheted him out of a soft linen with a G hook and he was really, really open looking. I decided to drop my needle size to get a more closed look (like the booklet) and I picked up Jarbo's Soft Cotton. I liked their Duo yarn, so I thought I'd give this a whirl. What a great little cotton that is great for kid projects. I can't speak to any stretch issues as I only used it to tightly crochet this project.

It was really easy to follow the instructions and the seaming of the pieces together went surprisingly fast. Crochet is so easy to finish because all the lumps are built in to hide your "thread" and what not. 

The elephant is super soft when stuffed. Should be nice and cuddly for Raleigh.

Love his cute little tail!

The projects in this book are really cute and fun. Most of them are simple single crochet, slip stitch, and a single crochet decrease. The author does a great job in her how-to pages, as well. Although all are marked for intermediate levels, if you have done a few projects, you could venture into these. It took me 3.5 hours of RELAXED (i.e. checking FB, letting out the dogs, etc) time to make him up, so they are great for those last-minute baby showers you didn't get to yet.

I plan to make the puppy and the dino monster.

If you don't use the Soft Cotton or the yarn recommended in the booklet, I would stick for a super soft worsted weight. I don't think a wool (other than merino) would work too well and I think a 100% acrylic would be too stiff. I was really happy with the Soft Cotton and I think a Jeanne Worsted would be a good one to select.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Riley Has Adjusted

Well, I think Riley has adjusted to the new couches. No where for him to go under the couch, but he loves the soft pillows--that is, when he isn't sleeping on the foot rest.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lacy Baktus

During our girls trip we decided to all knit a Lacy Baktus (thanks, Jen, for the suggestion). This is a great little free pattern. You can do it with any onesie skein you have. Divide the ball in half, cast on and work until you are done with the first half. Next, start the pattern for the second half (using the remaining yarn).

Needle: US 3
Yarn: 1 skein of Miss Babs 2 ply (400 yards fingering weight)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blocking the Gina Shawl

I had a question the other day from a customer about blocking The Gina Shawl. There are several options for this garment and it all depends on what look you desire.

  1. If you want a straight edge across the top, pin that first and pull the center down. This will create a straight edge all the way around.
  2. If you desire to see the pretty round edges that the pattern creates, pin out the curves first and let the top angle down.
  3. Regardless of which of these two methods you select, you can also change the size in the blocking process. Lace can be left unstretched or you can REALLY stretch it out and pull on it aggressively to gain some more coverage. 
 Here is an example of #2. When I wear it, you cannot tell that the to is sloping down. 
I love to wear this style around my neck or with the wings tied behind my back to give a shrug effect.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Just Too Cute and a Few "Thank You"s

While I was on my girls trip, I missed out on a visit with my SIL Meg and nephew Jack. Meg managed to snag a picture of Jack with Uncle Patrick and Kennedy managed to snag a little something that Jack left behind. Well, that poor little ball didn't stand a chance when put up against five pounds of Kiki.

I love this picture. Jack is such a cutie in his tie t-shirt.


I also need to give a shout out to the great knitting gifts I received for my birthday. Nancy gifted me the Miss Babs Yet yarn that I knitted Annis out of. Guess you can tell that I LOVED that gift! Already knitted and worn a few times. I plan to wear it on my upcoming anniversary too.

Tonia, as always, found some gorgeous yarn.

And these beautiful scissors!

And Carol is feeding my blanket addiction with this fantastic book and some yarn too. I had been looking at this book for weeks and was planning to buy it the next time I worked. The very morning I was going to buy it, Patrick brought me the mail and there it was! I love having a friend who can live miles and miles away and still hear my thoughts. : )

Thanks to all the ladies for making my 29th a great one.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finished Gina Shawls

One recent Thursday night when I was working at the store, I looked around and saw not one, not two, but THREE Gina Shawls. Well, of course, I had to take some pictures!

Marybeth did a great job with her shawl. It is out of Dream in Color Starry. So pretty! She is wearing her shawl around her neck and off one shoulder. One of the things I like about the shawl is all the different ways you can wear it. 

Aren't they lovely? 
Karla (center) knitted her shawl out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted.
Kathy knitter her shawl out of Dream in Color Classy. Yummy!
This picture also gives you a good comparison of the sock weight versus the worsted weight for length. 

I'm oh so happy that this shawl pattern has done so well. If you would like to purchase a copy, you do so at any of these three locations:

  • My etsy store
  • My Ravelry store
  • Stitches & Scones in Westfield, Indiana

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flip Flops

A few weekends ago Patrick and I went to a neighboring town and walked around enjoying the great weather. It was nice to get out of the house for a little bit. I wasn't feeling so great--kept getting really exhausted all weekend and I slept for HOURS. Anyway, I stopped into the yarn shop for a quick look around and picked up some Cascade Paints and a pattern.


I don't know what is up with me and felted things recently. I think because I love my knitted and crocheted slippers so much, I was drawn to this pattern. They are knitted in two layers, bound off and seamed together, and then the thong portion is applied. They look HUGE! These are for me and are the size 7 woman's size. They are perfect for warmer weather--don't keep your feet warm but keep your feet from hitting the air conditioned floor.

 Here's an in progress picture. You knit a top and bottom and then do an applied i-cord bind together. The double layer is really nice and thick (especially with the garter). I've even been wearing them outside.

The finished product. A perfect fit.

Yarn: Cascade 220 Paints (2 skeins)
Needle: US 13
Mods: None (Although I would shorten the length on the straps the next time I make them for me. I have small feet and would prefer them be a little more tight to stay on better.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Girls Trip Part Seven: The Finale

I've been saving these pictures for last because I thought they just kind of sum things up. When we got to Roy's house, our yarn was still wet. On his front porch, he had a bunch of nails to hang chimes and things. It was like they were meant for our yarn. Poor guy. We swooped in and hung yarn all over his house as soon as we got there.

This one does a great job of showing my colorway in TRUE color.

Then it started raining and Lee and Roy ran to the porch and rescued our yarn for us. We laughed at them draped in the yarn. We told Lee, who is single, that we could use these to get him a date!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Girls Trip Part Six: The Family Home

A very special part of our trip was seeing where Nancy was born. The land was gorgeous and we saw many sites along our drive.

I think this might be my favorite from this particular scene...

A church where Nancy's daddy preached.

An abandoned mill water wheel--like a little postcard!

A lovely small waterfall...

And, oh, three zebras?!?