knitnana: February 2013

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

This week's topic is Ten Reasons You'll be Glad that Winter is Over! Hmm...should be relatively easy:

1. Primary reason is? See those Crocuses down there? (My Sweetheart hears me say "Croci" and winces, so just for him, I'll be normal...this once, but that link shows that I'm really NOT wrong!! Whoohoo!) Spring Flowers are my first reason for winter ending - it's the first sign of spring, and it's my favorite.

2. Warm weather, sorta follows that first one up there, doesn't it, because without it, we won't have the flowers. I'm ready to shed the winter coats.

3. Longer days of light - the time change hasn't happened quite yet but I can already tell the difference in the lengthening days...My Sweetie and I both have a touch of SAD and we really notice the advancing light...and glory in it.

4. Being able to take the exercise routine OUTSIDE! Walking on one of the two Greenways (either in my town or My Sweetie's), is a nice change from cycling away on the indoor bike.

5. Lace shawls! I pull them out to battle the AC in the office. And get to create them at home! I love the switch, tho' I still churn out socks and mittens/mitts - tiny projects for all year round.

6. Lower utility bills...my AC doesn't cost nearly as much as my heat!

7. Finally getting out to see people and catch up from a winter spent indoors. I tend to get to see the neighbors children and grandchildren and marvel on how big they've gotten during the months they played indoors.

8. BIRDS! Oh my, I love hearing them again. Especially my favorite cardinals.

9. Redbud is my all time favorite flowering tree, and it's usually out long before the dogwood everyone else seems to prefer.

10. This might gross some folks out, but it's my biggest reason to long for warmer weather - my finger cracks heal up and don't open again till it's time to pull out the mittens again. I suffer badly all winter long, seeking whatever remedy I can for healing, and really do get quite desperate by this time of year. I'm hopeful that I'll have found the answer for them, later this month, so I'll try to remember to let you know if it works or not. But I truly can't control my fingers. In the chill, dry air, they split open without provocation, and I've been known to bleed on whatever is nearby. NOT happy, and very painful.

BRING ON SPRING!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Can Spring Be Far Off Now?

Those are in my front yard! It's FEBRUARY!! And I know someone who can't wait to see these every year so...Paging Carole!! ;)

I finished another project this weekend, thanks to the snow day we had on Friday (it was really an ice day): That's the Vintage Bubble Bag pattern from the book Pursenalities. I used Noro Silk Garden and Lanaloft yarns held together, and than picked up a well-used bag at Goodwill and put on the straps. The button came from stash, as did the cording loop. And then?

I lined the bag with a batik I had in stash and added a couple of pockets, too. I love it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mid-Week Musings

Spending a few minutes with my favorite coffee cup, hoping the hazelnut blend inside will hurry and perk me up.



Wednesday, already? This is a short week which is good. It seems as if February is a long slog to the finish. But, hey! It's getting lighter in the evenings, and that brightens my mood. I heard crows squabbling on Monday morning, so spring can't be far off now, right? Hope your Wednesday goes off without a hitch (and hope mine does, too!)
(((Hugs)))

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ten Random Things...

Because there's apparently not a Ten on Tuesday this week, I decided to go ahead and do Ten Random Things of my own, highly random, thinking...

1. No spoiling. But: I.Am.Not.Happy.With.Downton Abbey's.Finale. Just sayin'.

2. I uploaded 20 skeins of Knitpicks Palette colors to my Ravelry database yesterday. This is a drop in the bucket as to what sorts of yarn I have in stash that haven't ever been documented in the database, but it was a start.

3. It was also a study in using my iPhone to photo the yarn, and my computer to work with the actual record, then upload the photo directly from the phone to the Rav database file while I moved on to the next record on my computer. I was psyched! It went much faster than first downloading the photo to my computer, editing it, saving it, and then uploading! Whoohoo!

4. Today is back to work after a long holiday weekend. Blech. Would much rather play in stash!

5. It was a very good weekend.

6. I have work to do this week, beyond my day job. Three large bags to make. Hope to get them finished before the weekend and either delivered or shipped. At least that's the plan...

7. I'm looking forward to this weekend, when the temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-50s. That's almost spring-like, and Sweetheart and I are planning to head down to the Greenway to walk. Shake off this cold-weather ennui.

8. This is the first year since my big weight loss that the cold-weather ennui has caused me to pick up a few pounds. Not.Happy.With.That.EITHER.

9. Exercise bike, here I come.

10. Love-love-love Spilly Jane's new mittens and mitts colorwork patterns over at Knitpicks. I have a list of those I'm planning to knit for Christmas gifts. I will be starting early this year. I.WILL!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Nana Sadie Rose is Sewing...

...and I wanted to share a few of the results! There's an adapted Mera there (shoulder straps the same length as a Knitnana bag), a Mera Adorned (the one with the bronze solid fabric on the bottom), a Kaia, and a large drawstring in a long-out-of-print fabric from Dan Morris. I've a couple of bags using the same fabric in the works right now - it's always interesting to see what fabrics people go nuts for. And anything with cats and books is a sure seller!

And then, because I haven't in awhile, here's a shot of The Tonk. My receptionist at work has been telling me that I'm remiss in posting, especially posting cat photos.

I'm ashamed and will try to do better, I promise! *wink*

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Progress on 2013 Plans

When I began the year, I wanted to do certain things, which believe it or not, I've been doing! In particular, I wanted to stop buying yarn (I have), and start using stash (I have), and I especially wanted to finish many projects that were on the needles. These were really important choices I made, as I'm a bit of a spendthrift when it comes to yarn...oh boy.

So it's with a lot of glee that I report that I haven't been buying yarn! Ok...not MUCH yarn. I did pick up yarn for those ruffle scarves (for gifts). I had also exempted sock yarn, but so far, I've not succumbed to the lure of that. (I haven't been to any new yarn shop, either, which is a criteria for buying sock yarn in the first place...)

I'm trying to hold to just starting new items when I finally finish big projects. And for the most part I've held to that, too. I exempted socks, there as well, because My Sweetheart doesn't have many pairs of handknit socks, so I'm trying to remedy that. To that effect, I began these new Brown Tweed socks (Trekking XXL) last week, after finishing the last pair. I had the Trekking in stash, of course.

Himself seems really pleased with the look of them, so that's another good thing!

And the big project I finally finished is this:

My sis-in-law will finally get her Landscape Shawl. I have to admit this was one of the toughest knits I've done - not because it's complex, it's not. But I totally and completely LOATHE Seed Stitch. And I've apparently not quite figured out the yarnover when moving from purl to knit. I think that's the one. The yarnovers are erratic on one side (on the other, not so much). Can't you just imagine The Tonk here expressing his disapproval? I can.

Maybe I need a remedial knitting class? This was literally just garter, stockinette, seed, and moss stitch. I dislike the last two. And so it made for a very unpleasant knit, and that's another reason it took so blasted long. I started this in November 2010! And I didn't make the entire pattern. I was getting to the point where I hated it so much I couldn't make myself pick it up. I finally took it and measured it on sis-in-law, and stopped it after the last bit of the fourth pattern section. There was yet a FIFTH pattern that I completely eliminated.

Glad I know how to make socks. At least I can feel accomplished about something!

By the way, I'll be forced into something of a knitting hiatus come May, when I have shoulder surgery. Not too sure how long the recovery will be, as they're not sure what they'll find till they get in there, but it's potentially a long recovery. So I think I might pick up a few crochet books and see about spending those weeks with the hook. I've been wanting to learn it better. This seems like the perfect time. You're suggestions about good books to learn crochet (I'm thinking along the lines of Knitting for Anarchists by Zilboorg, might be a great one. Something that can teach me to SEE the stitches and learn to read them the way I do knitting stitches - and I'm still learning on that one, too).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

This week's Ten on Tuesday challenge was to list Ten Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day. I haven't actually had the occasion to celebrate Valentine's Day all that often, but I do have a few ideas (mostly low cost and hopefully, healthful) - and this year I AM celebrating! Happily!

1. Hearts and flowers are the traditional (along with Chocolate) means for celebrating this day of love, but my Sweetheart suggested this weekend that I probably wouldn't see roses on Valentine's Day. After all, he just did 4 dozen sweetheart roses at the beginning of the month for our 9 month anniversary, so more right now really is overkill. And he prefers to have them sent to the office when I least expect it. (hmm...I like that idea!).

2. Dinner out. Whether a trendy new spot or your favorite restaurant, having someone else do the cooking is delightful and then you can concentrate on each other...but that's not what I'm expecting...

3. Because we like to stay in a lot, so I have been told that dinner will be of my Sweetheart's creation on Friday night. (What with Valentine's Day being on Thursday and we both have to work all week!)

4. This year, I'm thinking that a romantic movie IN along with that dinner IN sounds like a wonderful idea. Perhaps something I've missed (well, that would be easy), or a classic? How about the last of the Raider's movies, which I know my Sweetheart hasn't seen yet?

5. He already knows, so I can share that I've managed to snag tickets to his favorite jazz musician's concert later this spring. We're both very excited about the event! But you could pick tickets to a play or sports event that you both would enjoy.

6. How about a moonlit walk? I know it's cold, but then we could come back and make hot chocolate - low-fat and gourmet style chocolate *raspberry?* would be delish...

7. I know some folks gift lingerie, and there's even the Pajama Grams thing. How fun would it be to receive a pair of pjs from your fella?

8. I also like the idea, since roses are soooooo expensive right now, of a full bouquet of chocolate bars! It wouldn't be the most healthful, but there's room in my diet for the occasional treat, and it's a cute idea.

9. A Valentine card a day, delivered to my mailbox. I love the idea of using old fashioned snail mail for flowery cards with lovely sentiments - I'm a Victorian gal at heart, so the more romantic, pink and pretty, lacy cards the better...

10. And what about a bouquet of ballons? Heart shaped, "be-mine" type?

Valentines doesn't have to be expensive. Pretty, fun, sexy, flirty ways to say I love you are worth far more than over-the-top restaurant meals and roses. And if you make sure that you do some healthful activity, you can easily absorb a bit of dark chocolate along the way, right? The most important thing? That you convey to your love that he/she is the most important person in your world. There's nothing more romantic than this. I've spent way too many years without a special person in my life, and now that I have one, I'm determined to let him know just how much he means to me...spending time together is the best part of Valentine's Day...

I think we're both feeling pretty darn lucky this Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

More Knitting? Wow!

Yes, I finished another ruffle scarf, this one for Sis-in-Law's birthday (okay, it's a couple of weeks late...). I did use a larger needle than called for - the yarn is Red Heart's Sashay, and they call for 9s but I used 10s. I like it a bit drapier. And no, I didn't turn this into an infinity scarf, it's just looped twice around Karen's neck for display.

Next up is more sock knitting for my sweetie. He has two pairs to my 40 or so, so there's much to do to get him stocked up with socks...

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday this week is all about the past - the Ten Things You Miss from Childhood:

1. Horseback riding (and no, can't go back to it, under doctor's orders)

2. My Aunt's summer camp on Lake Champlain in Vermont (sadly, it's been sold)

3. Ballet Classes (every week - but see #1)

4. Summer vacations from school (heh. My boss wouldn't appreciate me taking the summer off!)

5. Sunday night summers growing up - Pancakes (mom's concoction for which there was never a recipe, Vermont Maple Syrup, and my Aunt's Sour Pickles - I think the recipe is somwhere in someone's box, but not mine.)

6. Friends who've passed away (Ricky, I'm thinking of you in particular).

7. My Dad's/Mom's garden and the tomatoes they grew - I cannot replicate the flavor no matter what! :(

8. The play's/shows my friends and I put on in the backyard.

9. Playing outside until dark and not being afraid - is there ANYONE who can say they aren't a wee bit worried if their kids/grandkids play outdoors for long nowadays? (what are we coming to?)

10. My mom. Enough said. This was a nice walk down memory lane.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Knitting Content!

Well, what do you know? Knitting!

My Sweetheart's second pair of socks, in Regia 4 ply. LOVE this colorway so much, I bought myself some of it for another pair. These took me way too long to knit (2 months!), but there was gift knitting in between. heh.

He's happy. That makes ME happy.

Namaste

I honor the place in you,

which is of love, truth, light, and peace.

When you are centered in that place in you,

and I am centered in that place in me,

we are one.

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