Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, it's my birthday, and I got some knitting-related gifts!

My sister sent me a Shawl Stick and a little K2tog pin. I think she got them both at Yarn Barn in San Antonio, and I love them both!

Shawl stick and pin

I also got two knitting books. Knitting in the Sun is full of great patterns -- Santorini and Bordeaux are all already in my Ravelry queue, and I'm sure others will join them.

I also received a copy of Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders, which also has great patterns. The friend who gave it to me admits, though, that the deciding factor was the toddler sized elephant hat. (Rav link - sorry!) I'm trying to decide if I can upscale it to fit her!

I'm still working on Buttercup, and it's going well. I went back to finish the sleeves and neckline before I continue on the body. That way, I won't be worried about running out of yarn. I'll probably finish the neckline this evening, so I'll post a photo of that much next time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New stuff

It seems like a great deal of yarn has come into the house lately, and I haven't blogged it or even posted it on Ravelry (I LOVE the stash page on Ravelry -- I actually know what yarn I have now!)

Of course, there were eight balls of Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in Eucalyptus (027), which they describe as grey green -- I think it's more of a bluey green. It's being made into the previously described Buttercup.


There's also the three skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy. One skein is in Petal Shower

Dream in Color Smoosh "Petal Shower"

and two are in Absolute Magenta.

Dream in Color Smooshy "Absolute Magenta"

The magenta is destined (at the moment, at least) to become Ishbel.

There's also two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Wendy Knits Sunrise, which was dyed in honor of this Wendy

LL "Wendy Knits Sunrise"

and a skein of Tempted Good Grrl in Va-Va-Voom.

Tempted Good Grrl "Va Va Voom"

And if that weren't enough --

a Namaste Buddy Case

Namaste Buddy Case

(I'm not sure what I'll use it for, but I love the removable divider),

Namaste Buddy Case

a Knit'n'Walk (although I'm pretty sure I'd be unable to knit while I walked),

Knit'n'Walk sock bag

and, finally, a bag that I got on sale from some store at the mall -- they had them on sale for $10, hanging on racks out front.

knitting bag

A bit much for a purse but great for a knitting bag. Here's a close-up of the print:

bag close-up

* * * * * * * * *

Harley says, "This makes me very tired..."

Thursday, July 09, 2009


I know, I know -- 3 posts in 2 days! Don't get used to it!

Also, this one has actual knitting content! Including a finished object! Whoa!

Here it is -- the baby-sized Artful Afghan (which is the same project as the Artful Elegance Afghan, just with different colors recommended -- you'll find examples under both names in Ravelry), finished the night before the mother went into labor (in fact, as I write this, I haven't heard that the baby has been born yet). This is an extremely easy pattern, which, for me, makes it wildly boring. It really shouldn't have taken four months to finish! However, I'm happy with the result.

Baby Afghan

The yarn is Cotton-Ease, in a variety of colors. From the center: Berry, Lime, Lake, Azalea, Violet, and Charcoal. I had never knit with Cotton-Ease before, but it's a nice machine-washable and -dryable yarn. It's a good thing I like it, because I've got quite a bit left over!

Last night, despite a numerous WIPs that have been completely ignored for the last couple months, I cast on for Buttercup (Rav link, where the pattern is available for free) using Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, in the evocatively named 027 colorway (light blue-green). And I'm hoping you're sitting down because I actually did a gauge swatch!

Buttercup swatch

My stitch gauge is right on, although the row gauge is off. But that's pretty easy to accomodate. Tonight, I'll cast on for the actually project.

And it occurs to me that some unblogged-about yarn has come into my life recently. So there's another post (but don't hold your breath)....

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Bezzie's Library Card meme

Bezzie has requested that we post pictures of our library cards. And on mine, you get to see my bad handwriting, too, although in a pique of uncharacteristic paranoia, I've blurred out part of my signature, in addition to my card number and barcode.

library card

And I promise -- knitting next time!

Fun with the Family

I took a few days off last week and met up with my mom, brother, and niece at Illinois Beach State Park. We're a camping family, but we don't camp because of a love of the great outdoors or anything like that. We camp because it's a whole lot cheaper than staying in a hotel! Over the years, we went lots of places, like Washington, D.C. and Key West, that we wouldn't have been able to afford any other way. We started out 45 years ago with a teeny little tent and air mattresses, cooking over a fire -- although just about the first "fancy" accessory we bought, after sleeping bags, was a propane camp stove.

Now Mom has a pop-up camper, with (almost) real beds. However, I'm afraid our little camper may have gotten a little bit of an inferiority complex from our neighbors!

Camping at Illinois Beach State Park

It was really chilly while we were there. The Lake Michigan beach was 2 minutes away, but we spent the hour there huddled up in our sweatshirts. One afternoon, instead of going to the beach, we visited the Jelly Belly Distribution Center, 20 minutes north, just over the state line in Wisconsin.

We were driven around on a little train and watched videos of the history of Jelly Bellies. And we all had to wear paper hats.

Jelly Belly tour

Of course, the tour ended in the the gift shop, where we stocked up on Belly Flops -- Jelly Bellies that aren't quite up to standard.

On the 4th of July, we drove into Chicago -- all the way down Sheridan Road, maybe not as fast -- sometimes -- as taking the Tri-State (where I was stopped for more than an hour on Friday by this accident) but a whole lot more interesting of a drive -- and went to Taste of Chicago. Because it was chilly and a little bit drizzly, it wasn't real crowded when we arrived.

Taste of Chicago 2009

I was thrilled to see a booth from one of my favorite Chicago restaurants, Star of Siam, so I had Pad Thai and potstickers. My brother and niece wandered off to find "real food," but Mom had Pad Thai with me.

Taste of Chicago 2009
I'm not sure Mom had ever had Thai food before, but she liked the Pad Thai!

After sampling a few more things (and I wish I could remember the day of the place where we got the yummy Chocolate Hazelnut gelato), we made our way to Navy Pier. Frankly, a rainy holiday is NOT the day to go to Navy Pier -- all the people who should be outside there are crowded indoors! But I do wish I had had more time to look at the stained glass on display.

Stained glass at Navy Pier
This window was overlooking the staircase in the house of a former mayor of Kankakee.

That night, we sought out the local fireworks in Zion, the town next to Illinois Beach. (Click that link about Zion - the town has a really interesting history!)

Fireworks 2009

Fireworks 2009

The next morning, we had a great -- and cheap! -- breakfast at Emily's Pancake House in Beach Park (there's one in Waukegan, too). If you're ever in the area, stop there for breakfast or lunch (they close at 3:00). Our waitress was as good as the food - when she heard that my niece had been excited to find a slice of kiwi in her side of fruit, she brought her a bowl of nothing but kiwi and cantaloupe!

And then we made our way home, where I found three kitties who had missed me -- even Vinnie wanted to be petted!

Next time: actual knitting content! (Guess what is finally finished?)