Friday, February 27, 2015

10 Moments

What 10 time periods would you visit if you had a Hot Tub Time Machine?

I saw this idea on a blog I follow and thought it would be a good idea for Ten for Tuesday.  Then I started thinking about it...and reading what other people had posted and comments on those posts. There were worries about going back in time to no indoor plumbing, no electricity and low (and no) tech stuff (creature comforts).  I'm thinking, "How long where you planning on staying in 1542?!"  And the more I thought about it the more I came up with my idea of Hot Tub Time Machine visits.

I'd like to stay in one place and see that particular spot at 10 different times in history.  This really sounds interesting to me now that we're living in an area that has so much history.  Annapolis has such a rich, full history, I wouldn't even have to leave town! I'd love to stand in historic Annapolis, in front of the State House on December 23, 1783 to watch General Washington walk up to steps on the way to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.  I've seen the actual letter in the State House and wondered what that day was like...I've read about it, but to actually see it would be cool.  I'm sure standing on that spot at different times in history, I would see a lot of things.  Annapolis has been around for 300 years, I'm sure I could find ten moments to visit. 

So I'll come up with another idea for Ten for Tuesday.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Favorite Thing!

I've decided that my new favorite thing to do in the world these days is poke my head in the room of my sleeping child and tell her, "It's a snow day today."

And I just got to do that!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ten on Tuesday


1. What is your cleaning style like?
Reluctant.  Is that a style?  I usually keep my house tidy, you know, picked up. When I "clean" I take it one floor at a time (usually on different days). I have long since thrown out the idea that my house needs to be spotless.  If you come over, you come to see me, not my house.

2. What is your favorite thing to add to an outfit to take it from casual to classy?
I rarely dress up these days but to feel dressed up I usually wear heels.  Or any kind of shoe that doesn't require a wool sock.  And I step up the jewelry, too.

3. Do you like stormy weather?
I LOVE stormy weather.  I lived in CA most of my life, the only weather we have is sunny.  Then in Florida we really got to see some the form of rain!  Now in MD, we get rain but it's usually a soft rain, not the torrential downpours of FL. And snow...we get that too.  Yeah!! The worst weather we've seen here in MD was super storm Sandy.  That was a little scary but in a thrilling kind of way.

4. What is your favorite cold treat on a hot day?
Iced coffee or iced chai tea latte (from Starbucks only...the chai that is, iced coffee is best from Dunkin or home made).

5. What is your favorite warm treat on a cold day?
I like a hot chai or a skinny vanilla latte.  And maybe a warm chocolate chip cookie right from the oven (did that yesterday).

6. Who is your favorite animated character?
Bugs Bunny.  Duh.

7. What do you keep your jewelry in?
I have a jewelry box that my Nana gave me many years ago and I keep most of my jewelry in that but I also have a shallow "dish" that Veronica made me out of yarn and plastic canvas and I keep my every everyday/wear all the time jewelry in there.

8. Do any of the rooms in your house have a theme?
No theme. Unless you count my corner of the living room, that's my "nest" with all my yarny endeavours.

9. Do you watch any interior design TV shows – if so, what is your favorite?
I used to watch a bunch of HGTV but now that we're renting for so long, I've lost interest.  When we sell our Florida home and start looking to buy up here, I'm sure my interest will ramp up again.  I used to really love Design on a Dime and Trading Spaces.

10. When was the last time you did something risk-taking?
I took a drawing class last semester at the local community college.  That was fun and a stretch for me to take a class at a new school. That took some nerve, for me.  I also plan on taking a class on how to run a craft business and plan on selling my hand dyed yarn on Etsy in the future (with any luck!).  It's not bungee jumping off a cliff, but it's risk-taking for me.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Waterless Weekend

Many of you heard about my weekend escapades with a burst pipe.  On Friday I went with my friend Dolly to the American Craft Council Show at the convention center in Baltimore.  We took the light rail into the city to avoid traffic, driving and parking costs.  The light rail was delightful! The price for me was $3.30 round trip (Dolly got the awesome senior discount and only paid $1.10), so affordable and easy.  Now I have to admit, there were some, um, well, kinda weird people on the train but you get that with just about every kind of public transportation, I think.  Anyway, easy-peasy...we hopped the train and made it to the convention center.   The weather by the way was extremely windy and very cold...we're talking negative numbers in wind chill.  Lucky for us we weren't in it very long.  At the convention center I saw something else I'd never seen at an event like winter...a coat check!  For $3 they held out coat so you didn't have to lug it around. Brilliant!  Now onto the show.  It was really amazing.  There was everything...ceramics, furniture, mixed media, jewelry, clothing, accessories, hats, etc.  We saw a lot of felted things...and cut up (recycled) cashmere sweaters made into mitts, sweaters, etc.  The jewelry was most impressive...every kind you can imagine.  We couldn't see it all, it was so huge.  We had a great time.  A very fun day.  I was inspired to start creating...something!!  So the train ride back, ride home and arrival home was all uneventful.  Until after about 15 minutes in the door and I hear Justine call from downstairs, "Um, Mom, you better come look at this."

The entire entry, hallway, and utility room was flooded.  Water soaking in to the carpet in the bedroom...water dripping from the recessed lighting in the entry ceiling, water stained and soaking into the ceiling and wall...and we discovered later, water leaking into the garage, too.  Luckily Mike was just two minutes from the house and quickly came home to shut the water off.  Of course I didn't even know where the shutoff valve was...I do now.

We soaked up the water with towels...dried them in the dryer...soaked up again, then dryer, repeat again and again.  Ok, so now we're waiting for the property management to get back to us.  Waiting...and waiting.  Finally, he calls.  The short story is a plumber finally came to fix our problem at 3pm on SUNDAY.  Many factors on the length of time it too for him to get here.  Part of the problem was (you're not gonna believe this), he showed up on Saturday morning and no one answered the door.  I was gone (knitting), Mike was at the grocery store (getting water) and Joey was asleep.  Too bad Gracie couldn't open the door and let him in! We didn't know he was even coming, of course, or Mike wouldn't have left.  Anyway, the weather was bad too.  Saturday we got another 5 inches or so of snow so travel was tough, then early Sunday morning was rain, so, ice. Anyway, all fixed now as far as the pipe goes.  Someone is coming out today to see the rest of the damage to the walls, garage, etc.  I'm catching up on all water related activities...laundry, dishes, cleaning, and blocking (you know there had to be a water related knit activity, right?).  I got a shower about 1.2 seconds after the water was turned on.  I offered the first shower to Mike, after all, he was the one pouring water from a bucket in the toilets to "flush" them...but he said I could go first.  He's so nice to me.

Here are a few observations I've made on life with running water...

A shower is very important for morale.  I showered on Thursday then didn't shower till Sunday.  I was feeling very depressed.  There's something about a shower that means your life is in order, you're ready for the day and you're, well, clean. I was extremely grateful this didn't happen in the Summer.  Of course, pipes generally don't break in the summer.

I was feeling kind of freaked out about not being able to wash my hands.  It felt weird. I didn't want any of us to get sick, you know.  No running water and sickness...that would really, really be depressing. I didn't want to cook...that meant dirty dishes...MORE dirty dishes.

Mike said, "Just pretend you're camping." No.  Camping had running water.  It may have been freezing cold and a 20 foot walk from your camper, but it was running water.

Anyway, I have a renewed gratefulness for running water, a hot shower, clean dishes and simply turning on the tap for a drink.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to 2003 and play dates with Sydney and Chloe! And Oma, too, of course!!  Those were fun days.  Sydney and Veronica are the same age, Chloe and Joey were the same age, then came little Justinie-weenie!
Joey was a little out numbered with all those girls but he had fun anyway. Elsie and I could hang out together, chat, tell stories, maybe a cry a little...maybe have a glass of wine or two.  Good times!  Wonderful memories.
These kids are so big now.  All but one are driving and in college.  It would be fun to recreate this photo.  Maybe someday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow, snow, wonderful SNOW!!

A walk in the snow...
 Frozen rivers look so cool with trees partly submerged.
 Bubble machine under the dock keeps the ice away...and the dock safe.
 I love shadows on the snow.
 Justine stands on the river...but not too far out on the surface!

 Justine loves the snow too!
 Normally this area is quite swampy.  Much prettier with a snowy blanket.
 Our walk had several snow coated bridges.
 Super cycle!!! 
 My beautiful snow angel!

 Here we are!
More snow is expected later today.  Just a couple inches this time.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for another big snow fall before Spring. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday

This was our camping vacation to Santa Barbara in August 2003.
This picture was taken at the Mission Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara is where Mike proposed to me in 1991 on Friday the 13th. We like to celebrate all Friday the 13ths, because for us, they're very lucky!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Just to clear things up...

Yesterday was a snow day.
There was no snow.  None.
Only ice.

I think I might cry.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ten for Tuesday...Snow Day Style!!

Ten Wishes for today's Snow Day!


2.  And then...more snow!! (Really there's barely a trace out there so far...but lots of ICE so that's why there's a Snow Day.)

3.  I really need to get to the store today, I wish for a nice pocket of no snow for when I run to the store.

4.  I wish for a good movie on TV or Netflix.

5.  A nice chunk of time to knit something wonderful.

6.  A new project to start...or swatch.

7.  I really wish I don't eat too many of the cookies I made yesterday.

8.  I really hope Mike is at work and not still on the road.  Last I heard he was stuck in traffic before the Severn River Bridge.  Technically they don't get a Snow Day from work unless a State of Emergency is called.  

9.  I hope if knitting is cancelled tonight, it's rescheduled for Thursday instead.

10.  I wish it snows enough for tomorrow to be a Snow Day too!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Joey Turns 19!

Happy Birthday Joey!!
Today my boy turns 19! Joey was such a fun baby...he was so squishy!!  Yes, he leaned out over the years but as a baby he was so rolly-polly!  We loved to squish him!  He has always had the best sense of humor and can always make me laugh.  Love this kid!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Throwing back to the 80's today!  
Me in a sweater I knit...a very 80's sweater I knit.  I still love feather and fan though...and disco.  What can I say?  Picture was taken in Debbie Giamanco's house, when I was her roomie.  Good times!

This was taken when I went to Mazatlan with Debbie G. and a couple other gals. It was a great trip...lots of laughs!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

All the Knit, and Nothing but the Knit

I though I'd let you know what I've finished recently, what's on the needles and what's waiting in the wings...
 This is Wurm...Knit with my own hand dyed yarn.  Too band the picture is crap.  The green is much more kelly green.  I need a better camera.  Or maybe a camera that isn't my phone.  Or maybe learn to use the camera in my phone better.  Anyway...Wurm.
 This is an infinity cowl called Irish Mesh Cowl.  Quick and easy to knit.  Yarn is really lovely (picture below more true to the colors)...a silk and merino single ply blend.  I'm such a sucker for single ply at any gauge.
 Below is Nurmilintu.  It's an shawl.  I haven't blocked it yet, probably today.  I'll post another pic of it blocked and hopefully capture the color better.  The yarn is Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Tart.  Only the best and most beautiful shade of red in the whole wide world!  And a single ply.  Really lovely.  A lot of garter and totally reversible.
Mitts called Sprig in beautiful Malabrigo Arroyo in the Pocion colorway.  A quick knit, even with all the twisted rib.
 Justine wanted a cowl in this yarn.  She picked it out when we were in Jacksonville at A Stitch In Time. It's Malabrigo Worsted in the Molly colorway.  The pattern is Darkside Cowl.  Nice play on ribbing, don't you think?  It's very geometric and super squishy!  She loves it.

Here's what's on the needles:
February Lady Socks in a super fun colorway called Bollywood by Stitch Jones.  A joy to work and will be a blast to wear.  One sock down, one to go.
 I hand dyed this yarn too.  It's red, blue, some green and pink.  I'm making mitts called Aqua Mitts.  Big cable and ribbing.  Yum.
 More hand dyed yarn ala Brennee!  This was the first one I did in my recent delve back into the world of yarn dyeing. Just a vanilla sock but all those colors make it so much fun to knit up.  And NO POOLING AT ALL!!  Sweet!
 I got this lovely self-striping yarn at A Little Bit Sheepish in Berlin.  It has some sparkle in it...just a little bit which suits me perfect.  Vanilla again, but fun stripes to keep interest.  One down, one to go.  (Don't fret, I don't have second sock syndrome and all these socks will get finished.  I usually have 2-4 socks going at once.)
 This is a sweater I'm knitting, just barely.  I really need to get working on it.  There's no "deadline" just some of us working on the same sweater.  It's Meadow Road by Blue Peninsula.  I really love her stuff.
 My Ascalon shawl is on hold...ran out of yarn.  A lovely Raveller is sending me her leftovers, hopefully it will be enough to finish.  It's a huge shawl...the two skeins I used so far were 900 yards.  Again, picture sucks.  The color is more blue.  Yarn has some bamboo so it should drape quite nicely, important in a big shawl don't cha think?
 More socks.  These are the first pattern I've knit from my newly acquired book by Heather Zoppetti called Everyday Lace.  They are toe up and look like they might be on the big side (toe up socks have that effect, I think)...I'll keep an eye out for fit and may send this pair to the frog pond.  
 This is the second sweater in the shared sweaters I'm doing with my friend Teri.  I'm working on the back.  It's Pour Moi in Worsted.  Madelinetosh Vintage in Baltic.  Oh Holy Cow...this picture does not do this color justice.  It's a beautiful deep blue-teal.  The pattern is a simple cardigan with a soft shirt tail back.  

Now for the soon to be projects...
This is going to be a cowl!  The pattern is Abstract Leaves Cowl. The yarn is 100% mink and just look at those pretty beads!
 Another hat...why not?!  It's called Celandine Beanie.  I better have enough leftover for a pom-pom.  Still need to get those pom-pom makers.  Hat is knit from the top down...hello Emily Ocher!
These are the latest hand dyed by me.  I still need tons of practice but I'm getting there...and it's so much fun!
 And last but not least...I got this lovely stuff over the weekend.  My friend Cam and I went to an indy dyer trunk show at The Knot House in Frederick. Dragonfly Fibers had a ton of yarn all weights and colors.  It was very hard to decide on a yarn to buy, hey, the budget only allows for a wee bit of yarn these days.  So I got this lace weight yarn called Nautilace in the Silver Fox colorway.  It's....wait for it....60% silk and 40% baby camel.  So yummy!  Anyway, as you can tell by it being already wound up, I wanted to cast on right away with Autumn Wave but the needle I need is on my Ascalon Shawl...crap!  That's ok, I have plenty to keep me busy till that's done, which will be longer since I'm waiting for that yarn from an angel in Colorado. Some of you might be thinking...just go out and buy another needle lady!, not gonna do that,, not gonna.  No.

Hope you have plenty on the needles to keep YOU busy.  
If not, you can borrow one of mine.

About A Sweater

I woke up this morning, got out of bed...and I was cold.  Usually I wake up warm every morning.  I used to be REALLY warm in the morning, like a sweaty mess warm but I'm past a few milestones in the menopause adventure and luckily those days are behind me.  So, today...cold.  Might be because instead of my usual long-sleeved pj top, I had on a t-shirt with my flannel pants.  So I thought about grabbing my usual morning "sweater".  It's a shorty-robe type thingie that is made of super soft fleece-y type material my sister gave me for Christmas.  I love it and live in it from about 8pm to bedtime every day.  And I usually put it on in the mornings too...but I can't fit it under my coat for my early morning walk with Gracie.  The thought of having to take it off and wear just a t-shirt and my coat to fend off the cold morning made me shiver.  It's 23 degrees out there folks! And icy!  Sooooo...I grabbed my Dark and Stormy sweater instead. It fits beautifully under my coat for cold morning dog walkies.  Oh Dark and Stormy, how I love thee!!  You may be the perfect sweater.  Perfect for me because I modified the pattern to make you so. And the yarn is so nice, too.  Wool...but soft as can be, right up against my bare arms.  Cozy.  Here she is:
 I modified the back neck line, the shawl collar (I like mine long enough to lie flat so I'm not messing with it) and narrowed the button band and made smaller button holes...and made it longer.  Pattern calls for a shorter length, right about the belt line.
When I knew I wanted to make this sweater, I opened up a project for it on Ravelry, long before I had the yarn to make it.  Then I added any modifications I liked to the notes on the project page. I linked in the projects I liked (other knitter's projects, ideas, mods). It was so easy when I was ready to cast on to remember what I liked about the original and what I wanted to change.  Sometimes all the info on Ravelry can get me quite muddled and I can't remember where I saw this, or where the info was on that, you know.  It really helped to have the info right there to remind me and help me achieve a sweater to my liking. Quite a few of the ladies in my knit group had knit this so I really had a good look at some FOs in this pattern and knew exactly what I wanted to modify.  The buttons I got at G Street Fabrics in Rockville. Dolly helped me pick them out.  Ok, if you have Dolly helping you do anything, you know it's gonna be awesome!
The yarn is Heartland by Miss Babs in the Beach Glass colorway.  This yarn has held up over many wearings quite nicely.  It has pilled a little...easily fixed with a snip here and there.  Don't pull your pills people...snip them.

Anyway, I know it's been a while since I posted.  Thought I'd share this sweater with you.  I have many, many projects on the needles and a bunch to share.  I'll work on that and blog about it soon.  I should post again today with a Ten for Tuesday on my knitting projects.  I probably have close to ten on the needles.  At least that many spinning around in my head to cast on soon.  Please starteritis, keep yourself at bay till I cast off a few projects!