Thursday, January 31, 2013


 This is all I have left of the bar of unscented goat's milk soap I bought for my face at last year's MDSW. I saved it until cold weather and now I am hoarding the little slivers like crazy.

When I bought it, I had no idea I would be outside in the cold and wind for hours, several times a week, teaching kids how to skate. I would have told you that you were crazy if you even suggested it but here it is. Besides the creamy goat's milk soap, I have been swearing by the weird vinegar I bought for the dogs itchy spots and some generic Vick's vaporub. I make a mixture of warm water and vinegar and splash it all over my face and then cover any areas that may get chapped with the goo. So far I have not had a single problem. I do know I will be buying several bars of that goat soap come May. That stuff is great.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


 I had to go pick up a package at Micheal's the other day.

I had the new grandbaby's birth sampler framed. Micheal's did a beautiful job but it ended up being awfully big. As such, it makes quite an imposing gift that I hope the new parents won't mind. Process person that I am, if they stick it in a closet it won't bother me. It was all about the doing. It helped make a long wait-a 9 month long wait, quite bearable.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I spy...

I was sitting in the kitchen knitting early one morning when I thought I saw a woodpecker.

It wasn't the red head of my friend Woody but another fuzzy friend taking advantage of the fact that I had just cleaned out the fridge. Isn't he/she cute?

Monday, January 28, 2013


I had forgotten about this sweater I had started last summer until I saw the most gorgeous rolags in the world on this blog and remembered that I could do that. Mine are not so pretty but they are spinable and I have the proof in this horrid, hot mess of a pullover.

At the end of last year's Tour de Fleece, I had a basket of leftover Corridale and some hand carders so I thought "why not?". It was 110 degrees in the shade so having a lap full of wool seemed the thing to do. Not. As you can see, I gave up on it.

Although my fashion sense is questionable here, I did learn that even the ugliest of wonkily spun yarn can make some very nice plain stockinette. Who knew? As for the pullover, I am going to finish it. Now. It makes more sense to be working on this in January than in August.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Snow Day

 I took advantage of my snowy Friday afternoon to start my 2013 MDSW shawl. The fact that I had the house to myself was the deciding factor to get serious about getting it on the needles. Working the first few rows of a new lace pattern can be painful. See that yellow box on the chart behind the needle? It's where this particular project almost got the death sentence. I could not figure out how to do a kfb in a k2tog AND get the right stitch count to save my life. For 45 minutes I struggled and then some weird knitting miracle happened and it just worked. Don't ask me how or why-it just did and I am grateful. I paid $6 for this pattern.

I knit on for a while longer trying to decide if it was a keeper. After all, if it got me once it may try to do it again. After finishing the entire first page of charts I decided to celebrate by photographing my progress out in the snow. It was 20 degrees out so I thought this shouldn't be a problem.

  I just laid the knitting on the icy snow and snapped away.

To my horror, my smoking hot needles began to sink into the snow and all my hard work became a fuzzy blue snowball.

 Much to my relief, after a nap on a warm, dry towel, I could see that no real harm was done. By the way, this is Arietta and hopefully you will be seeing a lot more of her one day.

Enough about knitting, there was still snow coming down and I had to get outside. You can't waste a flake around here because you never know if you'll ever see it again.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Close but No Cigar

The extra skeins of yarn I had to spin in a hurry to match the ball in the middle are done. The verdict is out on how well they match.

I had it in my head that there was a lot of turquoise but it seems that now looking at the almost finished sock, there is more green.

I don't care. There is already such a crazy mish mash of colors that having a toe that has too much blue isn't going to be a too much of a problem.

Friday, January 25, 2013


We went to bed Wednesday night expecting a few flurries. Instead we got two inches of snow.

That wouldn't be a problem except our cars were at the bottom of our long steep driveway.

Lucky for The Mister, this was not a shovel type snow. It was of the sweeping type. He gave the driveway a good sweeping at 3am and managed to get one car up. My Mini wouldn't budge.

 I did have things to do and places to go but not until late afternoon. By then Miss Mini went up the hill without any problems. In the meantime, I made good use of the first snow I've seen in several years. Goodness, how I have missed that crunch it makes when you walk on it.

A Lopi mitten covered in snow is such a beautiful thing.

The dreary winter landscape was transformed.

The camellias have been hanging on in spite of the bitter cold. Their coat of snow only made them prettier.

The daffodils also seemed to holding their own. Good thing. They are calling for more snow today. I am going to make sure I enjoy it. Next week it is back to the 50's.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Apologies in Order

After all the fuss I made over the new brand of Lopi I am forced to make due with, I have a confession.
I like it. 

No. I love it.

It has all the same properties as the original but it is a tad softer and it fluffs beautifully without much coaxing from a brush. Now I need to collect a few of the colors it comes in and I'll be back in the mitten making business. They are quite addicting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Stuff

I had to order replacement needles after a few of my favorite size 1's went missing. While I was at it, I treated myself to a few other things-most notably a set of 5" doublepoints in Sunstruck. I was all excited about this new needle color until I realized-it's the same color as all the zillions of bamboo needles I already own. I do have to say that their point is way sharper, which is a giant plus in their favor.

I had to throw a bit of yarn in the order because Daughter has yet another friend expecting a little bundle of joy. This one, another boy, is due in March so Daughter wanted a St.Patty's themed pair of baby socks and newborn hat. Beanstalk should do the trick.

Seeing that I am either losing or breaking my doublepoints on a regular basis these days, I decided to also throw some needle protectors in the cart. Of course they only work if you use them so I hope I can get in the habit of using them.

Arriving the same day was another box of Valentine's material from Connecting Threads that I hope will keep Daddio busy while I get some knitting done.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Weekends and Tuesday Nights

 I've been doing a lot of this lately.....

 .....and this....

...and even more of this.
Daughter is the skating director at two different outdoor ice rinks in Washington, DC and I've been helping out (for $$$) during the Learn to Skate classes. It's the closet thing I've had to snow in quite a while so I'm enjoying every minute of crawling around on the ice with toddlers. I also either help out with or teach (!) five classes of beginning adults that are a riot and a half. I didn't learn to skate myself until I was in my late 40's so I can definitely still feel their pain. The secret to success: gel pads and lots of them. Cover everything you don't want bruised, blistered or broken and then and only then is this skating thing fun.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mommy and Me

I decided to gift the Socks That Rock pair to Dear Daughter in Law so I just had to use the leftovers for a matching pair for her new little Mini Me.

I know I broke my New Year's resolution by casting on another pair of socks when I have so many in progress but I couldn't resist.

As for Socks That Rock, I still have a ball that was going to be something else and then got frogged so I am not being completely selfless in giving them away. I'll be rocking a pair of these socks some time in the near future-but not until the others are all off the needles.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

January Daddio Update

It's been a long time since Daddio has felt like picking up the needle and thread. First the fall and resulting concussion left him unable to think straight and then the medication made his hands shake. Poor guy.

What got him going again was the material Little Sister sent him to make her a Valentine's table runner. He couldn't wait to start paper piecing the Rhapsody of Reds collection.

While he was piecing away, I got busy machine sewing together all the flannel squares he cut before he took his tumble. It's another Disappearing Nine Patch.

Filling his design wall with something new always lifts his spirit-mine too.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


I am in deep mourning. This year's fruitcake is about to become history. Inside this wad of foil, I am hoarding the very last of it.

I am trying to think of an occasion special enough to finish it off.

Before global warming, I would have saved it for a snowy day but it doesn't look like that's happening.

Now that I am looking at it, I think I am going to have to go eat it right now. What I do need to do is find a healthier recipe so I won't feel guilty about eating fruitcake all year round.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I bet you can't guess what this is.

If you said it was a Honey Cowl, you'd be right. I had to jump on that viral bandwagon and have one of my very own since everyone on Ravelry already has one. I even had to break my new year's resolution in order to cast this on because those five pairs of socks are still not done.

What makes this even more naughty is that even before this one was finished, I had bought the yarn for two more. Even worse, I'm betting they won't get done as I am not actually having that much fun making the first one anymore and I have some prettier cowl patterns waiting in the wings. There has been a lot of tinking going on with this one. The pattern is such that you can't take your eyes off it for even a second. You might as well be knitting lace.

And yes, it is all cheapo yarn because anything around my neck and face has to be. I love the wooliest of wool on my feet and hands but not above the shoulders. Up yonder it has to be soft acrylic. I have even found acrylic that is too itchy for head wear. I'm talking to you Bernat Mosaic. Pretty you may be but scratchier stuff that didn't come from something on four legs can't be found.