Thursday, December 7, 2017

Kaleidoscope Cowl, times 2.............

Another week has passed with a blink of an eye, or with very tired eyes as mine feel right now.  I hate to admit it but I think I am getting too old to keep up this pace with work, and of course Christmas to get ready for.  I. Am. Tired!  Okay enough moaning.  I do have a finish and I actually have a name for it.  The Kaleidoscope Cowl was inspired by the Rhinebeck Scarf, designed by Carolyn Bloom.  I made all the circles I could with this beautiful yarn from Cephalopod, using Carolyn's pattern.  The yarn is Bugga! in the colorway Sochi Pride, to honor the Olympics.  It was a gift to me and I have been saving it for the perfect project.  I think I found it with this cowl.

I made 42 circles and lined them all up to see what I could make.  I tried a scarf and did not like the look of it, and did not have enough circles for a shawl, so I decided on a cowl instead.    I looked and looked in my stash for a border color and could not find one that went well, so off I went to the yarn store last Saturday.  I found this beautiful Queensland Collection United yarn in the color Acunite.  I think it is a wonderful contrast to the colorful circles  I was so excited about this cowl I made two of them.  One is for a gift.  One cowl has 20 squares and the other has 22.  I used a size I hook, which is pretty big for this sport weight yarn, to make the cowl drape better.  I altered the pattern and made a different border because I felt a simple border around each circle would work better for me.  After the squares were joined as I went along, I made a simple dc border on both sides to finish them both off.  Total yardage used was 675 yards.  And I have another gift to give a dear friend, hooray!  I am planning on making another cowl and fine tuning the pattern a bit.  I love both of these but think I can do better.

 A few more Santa's to show you.  The last on is one of my very favorites.  He is a fabric doll and sits on my Dad's old tricycle.  I am not sure who painted this bike red but it is just perfect.  It has metal wheels and a wooden seat and handles.  It is tiny.  My Dad must have been a baby when he was on it.  The tricycle sits on my mantle year round, it is one of my dearest possessions.

Hope you have all had a great week.  I hope to catch up with you soon.  If you are in California I am so sorry you are dealing yet again with horrible fires.  Stay safe!

Friday, December 1, 2017

A new project and a little Christmas.......

I have a new project on the go and I am so excited about it.  I was gobsmacked when I saw this beautiful scarf by Carolyn Bloom.  It was featured on Ravelry and is a modified version of her Water Arcade Blanket.  I knew once I saw this scarf I needed to make some version of it.  I have not been drawn to a pattern with such intensity in a long time.  I have 38 circles made so far with yarn left over for a few more.  I am kind of playing a bit of yarn chicken with this project, using only stash yarn and just seeing where it takes me.  I am in love with it so far. 

Christmas decorations are up at my house with the exception of the tree.  As you know in my usual Christmas grumpy style, I am not a fan of the tree.  It might go up next weekend when we are all home.  I feel it is a bit early for it to be up because of the expectations Little Buddy will have that Christmas should be happening right this second.  I have an Advent calendar to help with that but still seeing that tree up will make it harder to wait for the big day.  The one thing I do love about Christmas is the memories it evokes of Christmases past.  This nativity scene was my parents.  I remember it so well from my childhood.  It always had a special place under the tree we had in the living room.  We had another tree in the basement for presents.  My Dad would always place one single Christmas bulb up in the loft to represent the Star of Bethlehem.  

We have had this big stuffed Santa from the year my oldest son was born.  Santa has been with us every Christmas since.  Do you remember Lillian Vernon catalog?  That is where we bought him from when it was not that common to catalog shop. You actually had to call them up and give them your credit card over the phone!

This wee snowman with the shovel was from my MIL to my oldest  son.  We got stranded in Wisconsin after Thanksgiving the year after he was born, due to a sudden snow storm that hit while we were on the way to the airport to come home. He was just over one and he loved the snow.  The snowman reminded her of him with his hat and rosy cheeks.

For years and years my parents would buy me a Santa every year for a present.  I have so many lovely Santa's, most of which are on my mantle.  But this guy is so big he has a special place in the middle of my dinning room table.  I adore him and all the others which I will show you another time.  It is lovely to look back at these special gifts and remember the love ones that gave them to us.  As for this evening another memory will be made when we visit Santa with Little Buddy.  He is asking for two things this year, a remote control car and a V-tech watch.  Hope Santa agrees he has been a very good boy!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Another shawl finish......

Another shawl has been completed and is ready to be wrapped up to give away for Christmas.  This is for Little Buddy's Physical Therapist.  Orange is her favorite color, the jury is out whether that orange can be paired with purple, an odd combination I know.  Will she like it?  Who knows?  Will she wear it?  I might never know that either, but I will gift it to her none the less.  Making a present should be about trying to make something you think someone will like.  But as we all know handmade gifts aren't for everyone.

This is my version of the ever popular Virus Shawl.  I again added all of those chains 1's in the second row of the shell, and chain 2's in the third row.  I like the shawl to be more airy, less dense.  Made with Queensland Collection Sunshine Coast yarn in the color Kings Plains.  I used just under two skeins so approximately 550 yards, and my favorite size H hook. 

I swear this not working for four days in a row is incredible.  I have gotten so much done and have so much energy.  It is amazing what getting up really early and working long hours does to you.  Now I would not want to do this all the time, I'd be bored silly, but for a few days it is lovely.  This is what normal people must feel like.  They get things done, they post and read blogs, they are not completely whacked out all the time.  It is lovely.

I had to make a quick trip to the ER with Mr. 20 on Friday evening.  He had a re-occurrence of his nasty abdominal pain.  We had to get pain medication and anti-spasm medication.  Thus the increased time to work on this shawl.  Thankfully we caught it all very early and he was released that evening.  Last time it was so bad he had to spend four days in the hospital.  He is back on softer, blander foods for the next few weeks until he is done with exams and we can get him home from school.

I am also happy to see we have not killed each other as a family.  While all of you always show such family bliss, we are a group of strong personalities and all this togetherness can be a bit much.  It helps when the two school football teams, of the two oldest boys, have won their big games this weekend.  So sorry that Mr. 20 had to watch the second half of his whirlwind game in the ER.  As for today that family bliss might be shaken as we are about to do round two of the family photo session for the Christmas card.  Why is it all those family photos of cards are always so intimidating?  They show blissful moments of families on incredible vacations or enjoying each other so much.  Our family is always arguing and I will have to tame the older boys eye rolling because they have to take a family photo once or twice a year.  Maybe I will take a photo of a non smiling Little Buddy turning his head away from the camera and be done with it.    

I wish you all a wonderful Sunday, or Monday depending where you are.  Wish me luck on that darn photo.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The day after...........

It is the day after Thanksgiving and the feast is over.  Well that is until we eat leftovers for the rest of today.  This is how Little Buddy and I decorated our table.  He put stickers on simple cut outs I had for work.  We spread them around under beautiful berries from my holly tree.  

Speaking of the holly tree, it is so full and gorgeous this year I can hardly stand it.  What does that mean, is it going to be a tougher than normal winter?  Colder than normal?  I have no idea.  All I know is that it is stunningly beautiful, especially after a rain.

Thanksgiving decorations have been gathered up and are ready to be packed away.  Dare I say Christmas decorations will be up today.  I know it is way too early but this is the only time I have to do it, the rest of the month will be crammed full with work, Christmas shopping and wrapping.  I am trying not to be so much of a grouch this year when it comes to Christmas.   Trying is the key word here.

My favorite Little Buddy decoration for Thanksgiving.  He missed out on lots of fun at school because he was so ill.  This one is a keeper, those Pilgrims look hysterical to me.  I laugh every time I see them.  

There are certain things I needed to complete and this is the weekend to do it.  I sort of finished this vest.  Well I am saying sort of because it is supposed to be the Envision Cardigan by Heidi May.  I was all excited about it and actually got a lot done until I got sidetracked with another project, said every crafter everywhere.  When I dragged myself back to it and started the sleeves I saw the problem that had been lurking in back of my mind.  I am not so good joining rounds in crochet.  Actually, that is an understatement, I am horrible at it.  Yes, I have tried all sorts of different ways to do it and I still stink.  The bottom of the sleeves were going to look horrendous. So this is now the Envision Sweater turned into a vest.  It is simple and elegant, or at least I am trying to convince myself it is.  I adorned it with my 99 cent Joann Fabric and Crafts bargain pin found years ago.  Will I wear it, I am not so sure but that really isn't the end goal is it?  I mean creating is the main goal, if it fits and I wear it that is just an extra bonus.  Made with Juniper Moon Yarns Moonshine in the color 01, 800 yards of yarn used, with a size H hook.  This is the third attempt at a project with this yarn, it will not be frogged again, even if it needs to be.

Another goal was to plant some plants back behind my pool area.  I got them in just in time as we had a good rain on Thanksgiving day.  Is there anything prettier than raindrops on a beautiful poinsettia? 

As for this guy, this is all you get today.  He is pretending to be a snake and well snakes don't like their picture taken.  I thought I would surprise him with a wee box of Frosted Flakes, I would have loved these when I was little.  Nope, not Little Buddy, he did not like them and chose toast instead. 

I have one more project to finish for Christmas.  This will be a shawl/scarf for Little Buddy's Physical Therapist.  She loves orange and I had this in my stash so it was a win-win.  The only problem is with a triangle shawl you actually have to have the middle point of the triangle stay in the middle.  The other evening I saw that I had veered off at some weird angle and the middle was no longer the middle.  Rip, rip, rip and now I am back on track.  The yarn at the bottom and the pattern is for my next project.  I will share about that later. 

I leave you here to start decorating, I have procrastinated long enough.  I thank you for your birthday wishes for my sister.  I thank you for your Thanksgiving wishes, and of course for your friendship.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving.............

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you my friends.  I am thankful so much in my life and that includes all of you.  If you are celebrating I wish you the very best.  If you aren't I wish you the very best Thursday.  To all of you missing family, I completely understand, I miss mine everyday.  To all of you who have seen so much devastation this year, I wish you a full recovery.  To all of you, wherever you are, I wish you peace.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Birthday Claudia

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister Claudia.  She is the very best sister and aunt you can imagine.  Please pop over and send her some birthday wishes.  She deserves them and so much more.  You can find her here at Mockingbird Hill Cottage.

Claudia you know how much I love you.  Thank you for being such a wonderful light in all of our lives.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday projects.....

After seeing a private patient this morning I had much to do.  I went to the health food store for a sale, can't pass that up.  Home Depot for plants and potting soil and back home for some chores.  I re-potted two plants but could not plant my mums or poinsettias because it started raining.  Ah well that I can do that on Tuesday.  I got more done as far as holiday shopping goes, I am almost done with Little Buddy and got a good start on the older boys.  And most important of all I did this.....I packed up a full box of yarn for a very good cause.

Kathy B who has been mentioned quite a bit here lately alerted her readers to a great program at a high school in Chicago.   They teach knitting to help their students to instill calm and help kids get off the streets.   I packed up a lot of yarn, over 4,000 yards and that does not include the balls of extras.  I have recently given a ton of other yarn away and I wish I had it back.  Regardless that yarn is going to a good cause, too.

If you would like to give your yarn away to this worthy endeavor and can find the school here:

North Lawndale High School
1615 South Christiana Ave
Chicago, IL 60623

Look at my yarn cabinet!  It has all the yarn I own with the exception of the two projects I am working on and the next one I am planning.  I am at a record low of 22,500 yards of yarn in my stash.  I am hoping to keep it low and hopefully get under 20,000 yards by the end of the year.

Kathy B had a little present for Little Buddy and me when she visited with the older guys of mine at the Packer game.  She had this fun snake for Little Buddy and a cupcake coloring book.  He loves snakes and often pretends he is one, slithering around on my floor.  As you can see he loves it, even if it is a poisonous coral snake!  I got the cutest turtle button, I forgot to take a photo of it but will do so soon.  Thank you Kathy B.

Yesterday we had a great day, spent with my dearest friend Lynda from North Carolina.  She was in town for a wedding and we got her for a whole day.  We went to lunch and soccer practice.  Or should I say Little Buddy run around on a field and pay no attention to the soccer ball practice.  Afterward, we came home and just played with this little one who actually fell asleep on my lap by 5.  He is still recovering from that nasty virus or flu, but as you can see his smile is back!

I am working a lot the next three days and then have the rest of the week off.  I will be decorating and shopping after Thanksgiving, as I need to get ahead of all this Christmas stuff before it gets ahead of me!  See you soon.