Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crochet Hook...

You know that feeling of using your favorite knitting needles or crochet hooks? People ask you to describe why you like one set over another. Pinpointing the reasons isn't all that easy, but you know it when you know it...


Well, my favorite crochet hook is this little guy. It is a normal Susan Bates hook with the thumb grip (which is a must IMO), but it has a wooden handle. I cannot for the life of me remember where I picked this hook up. Maybe a craft show somewhere years ago? I did a quick search on Etsy and some shops offer similar hooks. I find that my work goes faster and my hands do not get tired when I use this hook. The warmth of the wood is so nice on chilly days. What is your favorite?

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Walk in the Park and a Knitting Afternoon

This past Saturday we headed out to take some photos for my Flossie pattern. The park was so pretty with all the fall colors. I grabbed a bunch of completed knits to get some better pictures of those, as well.



The ruffle scarf...


My mittens from last year...already put to good use this year!


Love him!


Gorgeous!!!



After our photo session and pumpkin carving on Saturday, I got up on Sunday to clean a little bit and then headed to a friend's house for a knitting afternoon. It was so NICE! We were spoiled with delicious cheese...oh so good. The weather was so nice that we knitted with the window open and I managed to get through almost an entire skein of yarn on my alpaca blanket. My hands felt so soft after knitting with it all day!




The table was full of color and yummy butternut squash soup, pretzel bread, a lovely salad, and we topped it off with tea and pie. What a great way to end the weekend! I don't have anything planned this coming weekend. I might have to have my own knitting party of one!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Adventure 2012

This past weekend we went on our yearly pumpkin patch adventure. As usual, we have some silly pictures to show for it. You have to stay young at heart, right!?! I might regret this later...don't judge!



Being really silly on the wooden horse. It was chilly that day so I broke out the central park hoodie. Loving that sweater!



It wouldn't be October without our scarecrow pictures.


llama



Pigs!

After playing around for a little bit, we picked out our pumpkins and headed home to carve them. I went for an IU theme and Patrick went Boba Fett from Star Wars. I picked up two small ones, glue, and glitter and painted them IU red and a golden basketball color. We are all ready for Halloween!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Flossie Pattern Is Available for Purchase!

I'm SO excited to release this Brownie Knits pattern! I think it is my favorite so far. Her name is Flossie and she was inspired by all my tv watching of 1920s era shows and seeing all the vintage pins in antique shops. You can purchase the pattern for $1.99 from my Ravelry shop, Etsy store, or my Craftsy pattern shop. (If you are not a knitter and want to order a made hat, send me a note in Etsy and we will customize one for you!)



Level: Adventurous Beginner to Intermediate


Flossie is a hat featuring a simple spiral texture from the seed stitch brim to the tip top. Inspired by the 1920s, Flossie can be worn in three different ways: Turn up the deep brim in only one spot and pin it with a beautiful vintage pin or leave the brim down and place the pin wherever you desire. For a third look, go pin free. However you wear Flossie, she is one sassy lady that will lift up your day!

Sizing:

Adult S/M (Adult L/XL) 
Finished Circumference (in inches): 19 (21) 
To Fit (in inches): 19-20 (21-22) 
Depth (in inches): 5.5 (6)

Materials:

150 (175) yards of worsted weight yarn 
Knit Picks Swish Tonal used in sample
US 6 16" needles
US 7 16" needles
US 7 double pointed needles
OR size needed to get gauge

Gauge:
4.5 stitches by 6.5 rounds = 1 inch over Stockinette stitch on larger needles








A Quick Fabric Scarf

After my nephew's football game last weekend, we were driving home RIGHT past a yarn shop, so the Jeep just had to turn in, right? We swung into Nomad Yarns in Plainfield and I grabbed a skein of Tecido Trico. I had caught glimpses of this yarn before and wanted to give it a whirl. It is made of strips of fabric that has laser cut holes in it. One skein will make a ruffle scarf...



Isn't it fun? It is a great length and can be worn with a coat or an outfit. Some of the other patterns are really interesting, too. I knitted my scarf on size US 7 needles in 2 hours and it is only 5 stitches wide. They would make great gifts for the upcoming holidays if you are looking for teacher gifts and such.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Project Update

While I've been knitting away on some new patterns, I have also been working on some of my for fun knitting. Mostly, I've been rotating between Ravi, Deep Water, and the Ombre Alpaca blanket.


I was going to wait and start this blanket in November, but I had a string of days with massive sinus migraines. This project is great for days when you can't think, but need the knitting to relax you. The pattern is from the book Last-Minute Knitted Gifts or something like that. (Note that there is no way I think this is a fast gift knit!) So far, I've knitted up three skeins of the alpaca I got in Gettysburg. It is so soft and warm and cozy. I'm knitting is on US 10 needles. Kennedy is already trying to claim it. While I am knitting, she will sit under it and get toasty.



Deep Water is moving along so slowly. It is the last project I pick up right. I'm not sure why as I really like the pattern and the yarn. I guess someone has to be picked last! While I initially thought I would have both DW and Ravi done in September and then mid-October, I didn't plan on all the for sale knitting and new designs that I have had as of late. Those are all GREAT things for Brownie Knits, so the sweaters for me get done when they get done.


Ravi got a lot of attention on the drive to PA and has been a big focus this week. She is ALMOST long enough. I need to decide soon if I will do a straight down bottom or put on the short row section at the bottom. I think I will wear it more if I leave off the curve-hugging short rows, but I love that aspect of her design. What to do...what to do...

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Little Football Fun

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to go watch our oldest nephew play football. The day wasn't too chilly for a fall Indiana day and the field was in the middle of nothing, so we had some pretty fall trees surrounding us. A did a great job and managed a great tackle!


That's him pulling down the QB. He is only a few inches shorter than I am. So, I'd say by this time next year I will be looking up when I talk to him.




Thursday, October 18, 2012

October Water Color Class

I so enjoyed my water color class last month that I decided to sign up for October. It's such a nice little break to get out of the house and try something new. Last month, I wasn't totally happy with my butterfly. This month I went in with a little more relaxation and tried to not be such an "in the lines" gal.  I surprised myself by actually remembering some of the techniques the instructor showed me. AND...I even mixed some colors up to get the right shades that I wanted.


I learned how to make the happy trees after that first just looked like green blobs. My favorite part of this piece is the reflection portion. Super happy with how that turned out and it was the part I was most relaxed while I was painting. Given more time I would have added some more detail to the dock and maybe tried to paint the chairs a color. But, the method of keeping the chairs white was also a new technique to me that was interesting. I cannot remember the name the instructor used, but it was a masking "tape" that kept the white of the chairs and the trunks of the trees clear of paint until we were ready. Then you rub it off and paint those areas or leave them white.

SO excited for next month. It is a barn/fall scene that is smaller in scale, but has lots of detail. I am most excited about it because Patrick is going to take the class, too. Should be a fun day!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Summer Knitting for Winter Wearing!

Over the summer, I referenced that I was test knitting something that couldn't be shared just yet. The pattern designer, Classic Cable Knits, released the Holly & Ivy Shawl pattern for purchase! You can buy the pattern in Ravelry here.



I borrowed the pictures from Christina (didn't she do a great job?). I knitted this one using a sock weight yarn from Springtree Road. It was LOVELY to knit and perfect for an on-the-go project. (Large chunks of this were knitted on the beach, by the pool, and in the car.) Toss it in your bag and off you go to knit night! So much attention to detail in this pattern...from the beautiful border to the berries...and both written and charted are provided for knitter preference. I can't wait to wear it during the holidays!

Friday, October 12, 2012

House Days...

This past weekend included one of "house days." If you are new to the blog, our house days are times that we set up on our calendars to get things done around and to the house. Otherwise, it is too easy to always put things off. So, a dreaded house day...while you are doing the work, you are unhappy. But, the good side of a house day is the satisfaction of a job well done and enjoyment of the finished result. This particular house day was to:




Finish up Patrick's bathroom upstairs...we had painted it earlier this year/added new fixtures and lights/replace the countertop and Patrick installed a new floor a few weeks ago. It still needed trim nailed down and the other trim repainted where it was pulled up for the new floor. I also changed out the white rug and vent for green and tan. Added a vase of fresh fall flowers and cleaned everything.

SO much better than the 20-year-old flooring that had some black marks from the old washer.




Paint the utility room and hang some hooks. Can I just say I HATE this room? It is tiny and is our room from the garage to the house, i.e. the dumping ground for dirty shoes, the trash can, and storage for drinks, mops, etc. A fresh coat of paint was definitely needed and I wanted real hooks in there to hang hats and mittens. I put hooks and a paper towel holder on the get organized items list before vacation. We discovered that an ironworks store we liked had reopened outside of Gettysburg. Love his stuff and we got these functional treasures while there.



I did let myself go off the shopping list to get this cross. Isn't it lovely? I hung it in our front room where we put our Christmas tree. Thought it was appropriate.

While PK painted and wood glued down trim downstairs, I cleaned the entire house, including shampooing the couches! I loved our couches when we got them 3 or 4 years back. Then, the dogs lived on them. I pulled out our 15 old plus Hoover shampoo vac, loaded up on super hot water and some oxyclean. Three and half hours later, they were clean and drying. Would it work? Would I have to pay someone to clean them? Ugh...




IT WORKED!!!!! I was so happy with the result. What was quoted at $250 to $500 for cleaning was FREE, except for the 2 gallons of hot water! Now that I know how well that worked, I'll be able to clean them on a regular basis as the dogs dirty them up with their little paws.

Of course, I also added a few fall decorations as we went. Tis the season for the pumpkin and sunflower invasion...


I'm happy to say that there isn't another house day (other than normal weekly cleaning) until spring! On the list is cleaning out and painting the garage and painting PK's office. Hopefully, the list stays that short. Given our 2012 list that was at least two pages, those house days sound awesome! Time to settle into our tidy home for the fall and winter!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

PA Food

Whenever we head out to PA to visit my family, there are certain foods we always get. Foods you either can't get in the Midwest or you only let yourself have once a year. Many of these foods, all of them actually, remind me of being a kid and our summer trips out to Grandma's house. I still remember the first time I took Patrick out and he witnessed a crab-fest. It is the ONLY food that I eat faster than him. A practiced skill...


Easily my favorite food in the world. Nothing else like steamed Maryland crab...


The everything dog from Famous Hot Weiner. Remember that once a year rule! 
But, damn, they are SO good. 


And my favorite chips in the world...it is such a good thing I can't easily get these in Indiana.

For me, these foods bring back memories of time with my family and all of those who have already left us. I can see everybody gathered at my Gram's house or my Uncle/Aunt's lake. All of my cousins who have gotten married over the last five years are pictured in my mind as kids, with Jen and I (the oldest girls) being followed by the younger ones. I remember how it felt to drive through Maryland and how that meant we were close to seeing Grandma. 

Now, with Patrick, these trips and the accompanying foods are something he looks forward to, as well. It makes me smile to catch him sneaking a look to see how I am opening the crab. How he fits right in with my family and patiently drives the 22 hour round trip at least once a year. And, it warms my heart when I hear him talking to Gram and hear him call her Grandma. So, yes, we enjoy the actual food, but I also enjoy the memories--old and new--that are formed around those meals.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cute Dog Pix for October

This month, we decided to go with a "guest" cute dog. Meet Ozzie...my grandmother's dog that she adopted a few months ago. He was abandoned and had to be shaved because his coat was such a mess. He just adores her and my dad. After our visit where I gave many dog shoulder rubs (he didn't move a muscle and kept coming back to me) and we bought him a box of treats, I think he liked us, too.





Isn't he a cutie? His little tail would move ever so slightly and cause his tail fur to look like a mop. 
Such an adorable face!