Monday, June 30, 2014

Getting the Most Out of Life

Much has transpired since my last post. I said goodbye to my uncle who passed away from pancreatic cancer. Cancer is a horrible disease and am so glad he didn't suffer long, I have been helping my aunt pack up her house as she will be moving to Denver to be with her kids.
My mom seems to take one step forward and two back. I will heading to Florida at the end of July to spend some time with her and to give my dad some off time from his car egging duties.
I myself spent some time in the ER thanks to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Fortunately the colonoscopy and endoscopy showed no cancer. The tests did confirm my intolerance to lactose and my extreme sensitivity to gluten (yeah, no celiac disease). So I have eliminated all dairy and greatly limit my gluten. I am trying to be totally gluten free but am still learning all the products that contain gluten. Never realized how often gluten is added to our foods. Fresh fruits and veggies along with chicken and turkey have become my staples.

Funny though, with the elimination of these items, I have found a to of new energy! My gardens have really benefitted from my extra attention! My husband and I created a vegetable garden this year using an old trampoline, go figure!
Summer keeps me outside so really haven't done much knitting but did have a rainy day where I started the process of consolidating and organizing my stash into one area. My husband couldn't believe how much space we gained in the bedroom since I removed all signs of my yarn obsession.
Pictures to follow!

Getting close to tee time so I say goodbye and hope everyone  continues to enjoy the summer!
Until the next time,

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Seasonal Changes

Rip It, Rip It!

What is with the weather? After the horrible winter most of the U.S. experienced, Spring seems a bit gun-shy to appear.  There has been some nice days, hot even, followed quickly by severe storms and cool weather. I did manage to get some pots planted and completed constructing a brand new vegetable garden using our old and dated trampoline. We planted 3 varieties of tomato, zucchini, cucumber, orange and green peppers, spinach and 2 types of sweet onion.  I will post pictures when the weather allows.
I have been busy weeding and cultivating my flower beds and truly find peace in doing so.

If you have not already applied a weed and feed to your lawn, now is the time. I also feed the flower gardens, cultivate the soil and thin out over crowded beds. I try and do this before a GENTLE rain is predicted. Heavy downpours can wash away the food.
Any flora that I have thinned out will either get re-planted somewhere else in the yard or given away. 

I am currently working on a pair of Lace Rib Toe-up Socks by Elann using Deborah Norville Serenity Sock yarn in Aquamarine. The pattern is very well written so its a great choice for a beginner of lace knitting and moves quickly for those with more experience. I did change the type of cast on to the the Magic cast-on method because I like the feel of it on my toes. Here is the link:
Definitely one of my favorite sock patterns and a great go to for a more spring/summer type of sock.
The yarn is working up nicely and love the color-way emerging within the pattern. This yarn is new for me and am quite happy with it. You can be sure my next purchase will include more of this yarn for my stash.

A big shout out to my daughter who will be graduating college this weekend with a teaching degree, (You Go Girl! ) The ceremony just happens to fall on my sons 21st birthday, but he will always be "my little man" I am so proud of both my kids. They have grown to be amazing people that bring me great joy which is surely needed as life continues to be unusually crazy with some very serious situations. Thank you for all the support, prayers and good thoughts sent my way! 
Stay Strong!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Loving and losing

Well it's certain ally has been a long time since my last post. I truly apologize for this but life can be very consuming! Illness, disease and death has been headline news for me as of late.
I said a teary goodbye to my 14 year old crazy but lovable beagle, helped pack up my uncles dental practice and now his home as he battles cancer and spent much time in Florida visiting my mom whom is suffering from congestive heart failure and kidney disease.

This is the last project I worked on. It has been washed and blocked but still needs to be seamed and the trim added.
I also managed to finish a pair of socks for my mom, but forgot to get a picture before leaving town :(
I have yet to start a new pair but hopefully soon.

My hopes are high for spring! Of course the snow that fell last night will need to melt first. I will be adding pictures from my garden along with gardening tips I have picked up along the way such as,
Early spring is the time to apply crabgrass control to the lawn followed by a general weed and feed four weeks later.

Until the next time, stay strong!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Is it Here Yet?!

Are we there yet? I'm talking about spring! Winter has been brutal for most of us. When 17 degrees F feels warm, there's a problem. I am trying hard to be positive but my efforts are wearing thin. I started a pair of socks using the brightest and most colorful sock yarn in my stash. If Spring won't come to me, I will bring Spring to me!


I am awaiting my latest order from Knit Picks. In it will be a beautiful blue, cotton blend, light weight yarn that will be used to knit a sweater for those cooler spring days or the overly air conditioned public places. 
So why is it that temperatures are so darn cold in public places? Recently I spent some time in southern Florida and was amazed at how cold the grocery stores, restaurants and shopping malls were. People bring sweaters and jackets wherever they go despite the outside temps of (plus) 80 degrees. I don't believe i's necessary or good business practice, I actually left a store because I was too cold. If I had my latest knit hat, I would have put it on. Who knew...

Sorry for the short entry this time but I have a ton to catch up on. 
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Conquering Cables

Another day of hibernation here in the Midwest. Yes, I realize it's winter but, it's not Alaska were temps below zero are the "norm". But hey, who am I kidding...this weather gives me a valid excuse for staying indoors and getting some knitting done. Always a good day when I have a chance to prolong my knitting time.
Now that we have some time, let's take a look at cables! I have so many people tell me they have not tried to cable because it looks too hard. I am here to tell you it's not! Yes, there is a third needle involved, to hold stitches in place, but like any other stitch you will be knitting with only two needles at a time.
So go ahead and cast on 12 stitches using your favorite cast on method.
(RS) Row one: knit.
(WS) Row two: purl
Row 3: Purl 3, the next 6 stitches will be used for the cable, and then the last 3 stitches will be purled. (P3, C3F-K3, P3).
Rows four, six and eight: purl
Rows five and seven: knit

These 8 rows are the pattern repeat. If you want to make the price wider, do so in multiples of 12.
P,P,P C3F-K3, P,P,P Place marker P,P,P, C3F-K3, P,P,P and so on.

C3F defined:
The cable will be made using 6 stitches. Depending on the pattern, a specified number of stitches will be held in front or in back of your work. Sounds a little confusing but I have included some pictures. I find being a visual learner, pics help tremendously.
For this cable repeat, we will be placing 3 stitches on a cable needle in front of the work. Don't panic if you don't have a "cable needle" there are many items that will work. I have been known to use a double pointed needle, pencil, coffee stirrer or anything else that is round and not bigger in circumference than the needles I am using.

Begin by working the first 2 set up rows as they are commonly referred as. Row three is the cable row, start by purling the first 3 stitches, place the next 3 stitches on the cable needle and hold in front of your work. These stitches are just going to hang out in front of your work while you go ahead and knit the next 3 stitches from the left needle. Looks funny? then you probably are doing it right. NOW, the 3 stitches on the cable needle need to be worked. You can either place these stitches back on the left needle (careful not to twist) or as I do, knit directly from the cable needle. Work should look twisted and feel a bit tight. The last 3 remaining stitches on the left needle will be purled. Turn work and purl back. Continue in stockinette stitch for 6 more rows.

If you plan on going wide with this, I strongly recommend using markers between each repeat. It helps to keep your place and any mistakes can be caught very early avoiding needless frogging of repeats done correctly.
I also suggest starting out with a medium weight yarn for the sake of manageability. I am using a # 4 designated yarn in Aran color. In this weight a 2 or 3 repeat sequence makes a great scarf width. To keep from curling, add 3 stitches on each end. Place a marker after the first three and before the last three stitches to remind your self these are edge stitches and not pattern stitches. Knit all edge stitches of every row.
K3, Place marker (PM), *P3, C3F-K3, P3*,repeat pattern between stars to desired width, PM, K3.

Give this a try, let me know how you did, post a pic or send an email.
Welcome to the world of cables. Beware, they can be addicting!
Thanks for visiting,

Three stitches on cable needle in front of work

 knit 3 stitches for first part of cable

Knitting stitches from cable needle
Notice needle is in front 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Purdue shooting

I received word of the shooting on the Purdue University campus, when my son texted me to tell me he was safe as were those he knows. I have been insanely following any and all news related media coverage trying to make sense of this act of violence. As if there is any sense in such behavior.
About two hours after the initial report the campus, with the exception of the building the shooting occurred at, was declared safe and all activities were to resume as normal.
NORMAL? Really, how does one go from lock down to normal in two hours? Shame on the powers that be to okay ten of thousands of students to return to a campus after such a terrifying incident.
No information has been delivered declaring if any or all shooting suspects have been taken into custody. Does anyone really know if a shooter has not fled to a different building in hopes of avoiding capture?
What about the mental states of the students? I for one would not have the capacity to concentrate. My thoughts would be focused on my safety, why this happened, was anyone hurt. The list could go on for miles. I have assured my son that it is okay not to return to campus today.
I understand the University wants to move forward but that thought does not lessen the impact of the terror felt by so many.
I do hope more questions are answered before another statement regarding normalcy is put out there.
There is nothing normal about this situation!
Hoping all students and staff are safe,

purdue university

Missing picture

This a hat I've knitted for charity. So many more to go!