Thursday, February 26, 2009

March...bring it on!

Diagonal Rib Socks
Originally uploaded by brenda.pirie
Last night I finished my Small Project for February at knit group. I can't believe I got as much done as I did, I spent most of the time laughing till I cried. The "jokes" were all over the map...mostly rude and crude, but the topper for me was Donna doing her "how I deal with Danny when he doesn't hear me". Well, that and the word WOW will never have the same meaning for me EVER again.

Anyway, the Diagonal Rib socks turned out so nice. They fit GREAT and the pattern is easy on the brain, too. I think I do another pair with some Pagewood Farm sock yarn I have in the stash.

Try not to stare too long at my white could go blind.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Meet Harold. He comes to me courtesy of my friend, Jodi. He looks right at home next to our little nest in the Oak, doesn't he? He usually hangs in the house with me, right over my computer...he keeps an eye on all computer activity. I just love him...his blue wings, his button eyes and the fact that he's created from a coloring book picture!
Thank you again, Jodi for such a thoughtful gift...your creativity, runneth over.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Move Over Beethoven!

Originally uploaded by brenda.pirie
Here's Joey playing Marching Season, a percussion ensemble from Veronica's band class. Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dimi Rib Cardi Progress

Originally uploaded by brenda.pirie
I'm on the home stretch of my Blue Greenjeans, so I thought I'd start my next sweater. I LOVE this yarn! It's Galway...I know plain Jane, but it's so pretty and feels so wooly. I'm in heaven.

I'm getting hooked on the top down raglan sweater thing, too.

Gotta go knit!

Savannah Revisited

Here are more pictures from my trip to Savannah with my mom. This was on an "advent" calendar in a shop window.
Here I am in a Square...which one, you ask? Um....I forget.

On Forest's bench.

M&M Math

Last night we were watching the History of Chocolate (or some such show) and they mentioned the percentages of colors in the average M&M bag. Someone in the family wondered out loud if that was really true...and could we prove it? I just happened to have one of those "big" bags of M&Ms in the pantry. Justine needs to bring one for her camp out with the Girl Scouts next weekend and well, they were on sale buy one/get one I happened to have an extra bag for the test. So, here are our results!

M&Ms all divided up.
Everyone helped in the division of color. And, believe it or not, no one ate any!

Look at Mike's face...I think he just found out he has to wait to eat the M&Ms!
Our Results
Total in bag: 636
Average % of color in bag per web site:
Blue 24%
Orange 20%
Brown 13%
Red 13%
Yellow 14%
Green 16%
Our percentages from the "big" bag:
Blue 18%
Orange 18%
Brown 12%
Red 15%
Yellow 17%
Green 20%
You can clearly see that our percentages differ from the average given on the web site. This could be because we used a "big" bag instead of the regular sized bag. Maybe more research is argument from the kids (or Mike).
Um...did you notice that the highest percentage in our bag was Green? On Valentine's funny is that?!

Goodies from the Nana!

Not everyone is as lucky as I am to have a wonderful mom....who uses yarn as packing material! She really only needed to send me her CD with the Savannah pictures on it...but she sent much more. I got three jars of jam; one, her homemade apricot (best stuff in the world) and two from the Julian Jams. Julian is a little town located in the Cuyamaca Mountains of San Diego. NanaJan also sent TWO boxes of Sees Candy...both dark chocolate!
And lastly two amazing skeins of Raven Frog Fiber Arts Elegante in the Spring Berry Bush colorway. It's 50% Merino/50% Silk and it feels wonderful! She said she got it in Alaska on their last cruise up there, some 4 or 5 years ago. Because of the green, she'll never knit it up...but like most of us knitters, she saw the yarn and HAD to buy it. Lucky me, eh? Thanks again ya lots!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Knitting Godzilla

In our family, if you do some weird, klutzy, stupid thing that is embarrassing, you're called a Godzilla. It started with the gals at my mom's work several years ago. If there were an Olympic sport on Godzillaness, these ladies would win the gold every time. The stories are hilarious! Around my family...we're talking my mom, me, my, mostly my mom and me. Barb's a Godzilla, but she's better at recovery then mom and I are. Very often (more than we'd like to admit) our conversations include, "Oh, did I tell you my Godzilla from the other day?" or "Let me tell you what so-and-so did. She's such a Godzilla."

So Wednesday night at knitting I'm swatching. We're at a coffee house with poor lighting, so I have to forget sock knitting. I decided to swatch my Leaf Scarf and my Amelia sweater. The Amelia sweater calls for 20 sts over 4" on size 7, so being a "lose woman" I start on 6s...nope, I get 19 sts. Then I move on to size 7 needles (yes, yes...I know, but hold on are keep reading). At this point we all go home and I don't pick up the swatch until last night. Now I continue with the 7s...measure, and I have 19 sts. I'm thinking that's weird. So I move onto size 8s. I get about 4 inches knit up and measure....19 STITCHES! This is when I start to talk out loud..."WHAT? How can I have the same number of stitches on three different needles sizes?!" Mike, in his ever so helpful manner says, "Maybe your yarn is changing?" I give him a look and ignore him. It's about this time that the light bulb goes off and I realize I pulled a Godzilla and should have gone down to a 5. DUH. Ok, it is weird that I got the same number of sts on three different size needles, don't you think? I'm sure I would have made the connection sooner if after knitting up the swatch on the 7s, I counted say...18 sts. Or maybe if I wasn't watching the opener for the new Survivor. (BTW, the 5s were spot on right for gauge.)

Well, maybe not...I am a Godzilla after all.

Then I realize that I really don't have enough yardage for Amelia. I have about 1200 and I'd need over 1400 for Amelia. So I decided to make the Diminishing Rib Cardi from the new Interweave Knits. So I decided to cast on and get things started. It has a rolled cast on that I did wrong...again, new episode of CSI...or Godzilla...take your pick.

I'll try again tonight. It's Friday the's always been lucky for me! Mike asked me to marry him on a Friday the 13th and they've been lucky ever since...yeah!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beret Abuse

I had this need to make a beret. So I did.

As soon as it was done, I put it on my head and feeling quite proud of myself I said to Mike, my darling husband, "Hey! What do you think?" He said, "So, are you gonna go paint something now?" What a dork. No use in explaining to him that it's now fashionable for anyone to wear a beret, not just painters. Then I turn to Veronica (What was I thinking?! Big mistake to ask a teenager anything to do with fashion. Unless it's "attitude" you want for an answer.) and she says, "Yeah, well, cute. But I wouldn't wear it." I then asked her if I'd told her how much I hate her today. She laughed.

So, with a head shake of disgust mixed with humor, I put my hat in my knitting bag for Wednesday. Hopefully my knitting sisters will have something more positive to say. Or lie to me. At this point I don't think I'd mind it one bit.

Is it that bad? The hat I mean...not my knitting critics. Should I block it so it's not so slouchy?

I think I'll make another beret because I just haven't had enough abuse yet. I'd like to try this one. I think it's the one Jackie did and it's super cute! I have some Malabrigo that would be good for it, I hope.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Justine and Daisy
Come and get it birdies!!

Justine decided she needed a tree for outside her bedroom window. Something for her to look at and watch grow over the years. She's my "earthy" kid. It was because of Justine we had to switch from paper to cloth napkins at dinnertime. Also, she's always reminding everyone to recycle. She takes care of the animals more than the other two as well. Her new tree is a Dogwood and should have cute white flowers in the Spring. She wanted to make a bird feeder for her tree, too. She has a big shell that she found with MaryLou and Al on their last visit up at Fort Clinch. I suggested she take the shell and nestle it in the branches of the tree. The birds haven't found it yet, but when they do, they'll provide plenty of entertainment for Justine.

She and I decided to take her photo every season to not only show the changes in the tree, but to compare their growth over the course of a year. You can look forward to another photo sometime in April or May.

Oh, she named the tree Daisy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Joey Turns 13

Happy Birthday Joey!

Well, I officially have two teenagers in the house now. He turned 13 yesterday. Joey and his two best buds are having a great time, movie and sleepover. They're so cute!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Still wouldn't trade...

This morning it actually looked like it had snowed! The trash cans, grass, roof tops, the cars...all covered with a thin layer of white ice. We had to use a credit card to scrape the windows so we could see out of them. It's so cold! I am getting to wear a lot of my knitted stuff, which is great.

I still wouldn't trade all this cold for a Santa Ana winter in San Diego. This is what Winter is supposed to be...cold. Um...but not too cold. Hey, this is Florida after all!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Picot and Ropes Done!

I'm wearing my new sweater today! Finished all the work on this baby...tons of seaming, hand sewing down the loops on the front/neck band, and then sewing on 8 snaps. Worth the effort though, it fits great and is super comfy. It did shed a bit on my black pants at work, some of the tweedy parts came off. Is that normal for tweed yarn? My first time knitting with it so I'm not sure. I'm hoping with a few wears and washes, it will stop eventually.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Things About Me

25 Things you may or may not know about me.

1. I can't watch violent movies (especially Nazi or Mob type).
2. I love to cook, especially baking, but I'm not very creative about it.
3. I read every night before I fall asleep.
4. I have a very large spoon collection that I started in 1982.
5. I've never been skiing, nor do I ever want to.
6. I broke my first bone ice skating at Joey's b-day party when I was 44 years old.
7. I know how to play Craps, 21 and Roulette.
8. My right ear has no feeling in it because the nerve was cut when I had a benign tumor removed behind my ear in 2000.
9. I took a fire arms class and was a pretty good shot.
10. My middle name is for my grandmother...Ruth.
11. Twins run in my family. My maternal grandmother was a twin and I have twin nephews.
12. My sister and I are only 11 months apart. I'm older than her except for three weeks between our birthdays when we're the same age.
13. I'm nine days older than my husband.
14. I had braces as a child.
15. I failed my drivers license test the first time out (on my 16th b-day).
16. I can watercolor paint pretty good.
17. I know how to say "Good Morning" in Japanese.
18. Two of my favorite bands are Oingo Boingo and Bare Naked Ladies.
19. My vision is so bad I'm considered a "severe myopic" and have to be careful for a possible detached retina if my head gets banged (like in a car accident).
20. I have never given blood.
21. My favorite movie is Casablanca.
22. I love Bugs Bunny cartoons.
23. I used to be extremely shy.
24. I love to sing and dance, usually while listening to my shuffle and cleaning the house.
25. I love knitting. (Were you wondering when that would surface?)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bloomin' Cactus

Originally uploaded by brenda.pirie
Most of my outdoor plants are brown or black from the recent freezes, but just look at my Christmas Cactus! I put it on the table in the patio when it started to look like it was getting little buds about 1 1/2 months ago. It just loves the long dark nights and being outside...I guess. I can't believe I've kept it alive for over a year, I bought it from some people on the side of the road last January. Ain't it purty?!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Knitting Update

Diagonal Rib Socks
New Toy

Small Project for February

Ropes and Picot almost done!
Here's a knitting date from my world. The Ropes and Picot sweater is ready for the front/neck bands to go on. The seaming went quickly last night while I was watching The Count of Monte Cristo. What a great movie! The whole family actually sat and watched it with me. Anyway, now I'm ready to pick up along the edges and get the bands done. At first I thought I'd do a button band, but after trying it on, I realize that I will be wearing it alone not as a cardi. The sleeves are on the tight side. I'm going to follow the pattern and do snaps along the front for a closure.
The Diagonal Rib socks are such a delight to knit. Very fast and easily memorized pattern. I'm going to do that pattern again for my Small Project for February. Justine reached into the bin and pulled out the bag with the yarn Cammie gave me for a Thank You from her visit. I'm thrilled to death! I was hoping that yarn would show up early so I wouldn't be waiting until November to see it and knit it up. I'm going to finish the two socks I have going then start on my Feb. project.
The scale is my new knitting toy. Several of the ladies in my knit group have one and say it's essential for splitting a ball of sock yarn for knitting two pair at the same time. Currently, I'm not even interested in doing that, but I am concerned about running out of yarn, especially when working with Jitterbug. This, at least, will help me determine if I have enough to finish both socks.
Gotta go knit...