knitnana: March 2011
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who? Me? Stylish? Oh! :)

I just won an award from Hazel who was very kind to think that I might fall in the category of "Stylish Blogger!"

Thank you,'s a treat to think someone thinks this Nana might be stylish!

The rules indicate that I'm to thank Hazel (Oh, I do!) and then to tell you 7 things about myself...I won't even try to think of the things you don't know, because as long as I've been doing this blog you probably have heard it at least once, dontcha know?

1. My annual spring re-evaluation of who/what I am and what I love has begun: I'm totally besotted by anything lavender, denim blue, and honey brown (as in leather, beads, yarn, clothes...). I've had such fun adding things into my etsy favorites listing!
2. I don't suppose that you had any idea that I might be a bag-(hmmm...I almost said a word I shouldn't admit to thinking) so how about "connoisseur?" Well, you know I make bags, but it's hard to admit to you that leather and I go way back...I still eye beautiful leather bags, though I rarely carry one (they're heavy!), but I am going to admit that sometimes they're a necessity, and so I finally (after years of carrying my own creations) purchased and carried to Vermont last August (as part of my carry on luggage) a Jordana Paige Knitting Satchel...Can you imagine what color I bought? *wink* And it's just for flying, which I don't do often.
3. My family thinks it's a trifle bizarre that I not only have a knitting blog, and friends all over the country most of whom I've never met who are knitters, but that my favorite genre for reading is knitting fiction! (I got eyes rolled when I began to explain the plot of my latest read - How to Knit a Love Song.)
4. I'm finally learning a little bit about jazz, and have been enjoying our local public radio station's long-running evening jazz program every night.
5. Not too long after I began my business I purchased a serger and after three years of having it sit, unused, I sold it. I can now understand that it would be very nice to have a serger.
6. I haven't yet decided if I think giving up the extended basic cable tv is okay or not. I am having withdrawal over the news programs...I'm not always home to watch the major network's evening news. And if I let myself get online the next thing I's past my bedtime.
7. My very most favorite blooming tree is in full swing here now: redbud. I adore it most when it's just about to blossom forth, when the color is deep purple...then as it moves from that thru the palest lavender I think, "No! THAT's my favorite shade..." Obviously the redbud is beautiful no matter what (in my mind's eye, anyway).

And then I'm supposed to choose 15 of you to indicate that you, too, are Stylish Bloggers! The hard part of that, you know, is that limiting my list to 15 when I have over 200 that I read thru Google Reader makes this a true challenge.
1. Jocelyn
2. Birdsong
3. Margene
4. Carole
5. Chawne
6. Lene
7. Rainy
8. Vicki
9. Carrie
10. Alison
11. Ellen & Jan
12. Ruinwen
13. Opal
14. Ariel
15. Karen

Those are not in any order, promise...I love all of them equally!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where'd My Snow GO?

That's right, I said snow.

We were supposed to get hit this weekend beginning Saturday night and into Sunday - they were calling for up to 4 inches, and maybe a bit more on Monday morning. Well...

It didn't come - okay perhaps a few areas around got a dusting, but not here. I was a little disappointed.

Ok. A lot disappointed, because it would have been very nice to possibly get one last snow day before the nice weather hit - especially since the leading edge of this storm created havoc in my back. Saturday was so pain-filled that I had a devil's time getting any sewing done, and mostly spent the day on muscle relaxers and the heat! If it's going to be this bad, I want the white stuff that causes it!
Well, today was better - in the pain department, anyway - but it's back to being really cold. Boo-hoo!

I did manage to get a few things made this weekend, though. I started with some Fair Isle items in red and white:
(that's an Oressa needle case, a drawstring bag, and a large zippered baglet)

And today I proceeded to make up this new sheep fabric:

There's a large Sidekick bag, an Oressa, a drawstring bag, and a large baglet up there in that shot. Isn't that fabric a riot? I knew I had to have it; I knew my knitters would have to have it - a knitting sheep (or six or ten) tossed all over that black background...

My assistants were too chilly to be of much help this weekend, and spent most of it hunkered down in front of the Great God of HEAT:

The Meezer was curled up with The Tonk, but the second I went for the camera, he was up and following me...I think TM is saying "Where'd my hot pack go?"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bad Blogger...But Can You Help?

I've been a bad blogger, and I apologize for it. This week, heck the past two-three weeks have been busy beyond belief, and when I get a chance to sit, that's exactly what I do. A little bit of knitting here and there, but if I'm not working, I'm sewing (okay, that's work, too). I did get out last night to Red Hats (what fun!), and managed to come home and NOT work, but rather knitted a bit on my friend's shawl.

In snatches of computer time, on Ravelry and on Facebook, checking blogs a few times at lunch I've found two things I want to share with you and ask if you can help:

1. Wendy is sending 100% of the proceeds after PayPal fees to the American Red Cross for Japan tsunami relief if you purchase her too-lovely-for-words, Japanese Garden Shawl. I fell hard the second I saw this and bought it immediately. I'll have to wait to buy the yarn, as I want something more or less solid and am really thinking I might have to do it in RED for the Japanese flag, but we'll see...I let you know when I find the yarn.

2. Kay has done the same thing with her Mitered Crosses Blanket. Proceeds are going to Mercy Corps to aid in Japan tsunami relief. I bought Kay's pattern just now, and will be thinking about what yarn to use (I LOVE Noro, but my bank account prefers I choose something else!). But I love Kay's stuff, as you well know since you've seen my Log Cabin Blanket, so you know I trust her judgement that the Noro is the yarn to use for the blanket...(well, maybe I'll win the lottery? Oh, hey, guess I have to buy a ticket to do that, right?)

So these are in addition to the lovely Pacific Shawl I purchased over the weekend for the same purpose. The situation in Japan has just been staggering to behold, and I simply can't see how folks can muster on with such a blow. Like everyone else, I have been worried about the nuclear power plant (not being a fan of nuclear power at any point in my lifetime) but just watching the news stories about what folks when thru when the tsunami hit takes it's toll emotionally, how could anyone bear it in the flesh?

So my thoughts have been over there, not here on the blog, and for that I apologize. Maybe this post will make a few amends...?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday...I Can Play This Time!

Over on Carole it's "10 Reasons To Be Glad It's Spring" and this is one I can play along with easily!

1. I can turn off the heat in the house! (Ok, it's not OFF, it's set at 60. It was 67 in the house this morning, and I could take my shower without bringing the space heater into the bathroom...YAY!)
2. I can turn off the heat and open the car windows! It's wonderful...until I get stopped at a light next to a smoker!
3. Longer daylight! I hate losing that hour, but the tradeoff of more light in the evening is wonderful...
4. Shedding the coat: This has been a rough winter and when combined with my weight loss, I've had a time finding a coat I liked. As a result, I've worn two that I'm "making do" with till I find something better (maybe next year?).
5. GREEN! Ok, I'm not a huge fan of the color in my wardrobe, but I adore it when the trees are leafing in that light yellow green fringe...
6. WHITE! Our Bradford Pears have sprung forth in a mad rush, and in fact this morning on the drive in (it's been 75-80 the past couple of days) the white is quickly disappearing under the yellow green fringe! Wow. That was fast!
7. Strawberries! Yes, I bought two beautiful 1 pound boxes of strawberries from Florida last night for $5. That's not a bad price at all, and they were really good.
8. BIRDS! As I sat in the living room on Sunday evening, I suddenly realized I was hearing "cheap cheap cheap" which is a tell-tale sign of the cardinals nesting. I haven't seen one for a bit, but they're busily preparing for babies in my bushes out front!
9. Grape Hyacinths! The crocuses (crocii?) and daffodils have been out for at least a couple of weeks, but this morning as I headed out the door (it was 65 degrees at 7:45!) I saw, and smelled, the tiny grape hyacinths right by my front sidewalk...I love them won't be long before I see another favorite - violets in the grass.
10. Fiber Fests! Just 3 more weeks till the Olde Liberty Fibre Faire in Bedford, and then, only a couple more weeks and it's Maryland Sheep and Wool. I'm really hoping I can make it this year, but all will depend on how well the Bedford event works for Nana Sadie Rose. So if you're planning on being there, be sure to look me up, okay?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Busy Weekend But Not Because of Work!

Well, not the kind of work I normally report to you about!

I did do a lot of housecleaning that's out of my normal mode of operations! Vacuuming, a little bit of dusting, but mostly washing the kitchen floor. See what I made to help me with that:

I can tell you that I followed a pattern I found on Ravelry, thinking I needed it (those I-cords hanging off? are part of the original design, they're added to wrap onto your Swiffer cover to push down into the groves and catch the cover onto it. Well, the pattern I used said to knit/purl (stockinette) for 10 inches. I completely missed the word "stockinette" and gartered away for 10 inches instead. And by doing that, I made a cloth that was wide enough to not even need those I-cords. Of course, I didn't realize my mistake until I took it down to put on the Swiffer! Ah well, it's not the end of the world. I'll make more 10 inch long cloths (garter, of course) to rotate on and off, and perhaps I'll even feel like washing the floor more frequently? I can dream, right?

And yes, I spent a good amount of my evening Saturday down on my hands and knees, because the floor was much dirtier than the Swiffer could get in two passes. I have a little boy kitty who plays with his water and his food. In a word? He's a GRUNGE. And my floor was definitely grungy! lol

Before I got to the housecleaning, tho' I spent a lovely afternoon at my yoga studio involved in a Restorative Yoga class. It was heavenly.

Today, I did a little bit of sewing, but it was KnitIn day, so Lynette and I trundled into the county to meet up with our sisters in yarn, and knit the afternoon away. I had to have a sock on the needles for this, you know?

Remember that yarn? Opal, from my trip to Vermont last summer. I'm moving into my lavender and denim period again (it's spring, right?)...Lynette and I left at 5 when the group broke up, stopped by Panera Bread for dinner (black bean soup and whole grain baguette for me), and then off to the new Walmart for necessities...not my favorite way to spend time, but it was better with someone else along. (I'm not in love with our new's too big, and too far away.)

She brought me home and came in to visit with the kitties (who were hungry!). We chatted till 8 p.m.! Oh my the day just flew by.

And I realized, thinking of my lavender and denim phase that I have not shown you a piece I commissioned from my friend Birdsong. I'm sorry I haven't shown it to you before, it just kept slipping my mind, but not because it's not absolutely the most scrumptious thing (it IS!):

She's so talented! I love this piece, the amethyst stones and freshwater pearls are stunning against the gold wire (did you know it was the Victorians who paired amethysts and pearls together and on gold? Mostly what you find these days is amethyst on white gold or silver, but I think the yellow gold is so much prettier!)

So that was my weekend. I hope your's was delightful!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wanting to Do SOMETHING...

I've been as glued as I can be to the television (ok, that's not much these days with just the local channels to watch), to the news websites, and to NPR listening to everything I can catch about what's happening across the Pacific pond. How much can any one country handle? If someone had said, "Imagine a 9.0 earthquake, followed by tsunami, and then a critical event at a nuclear reactor," would you have said, "that's a bit out of the realm of possibility!" Well, I would have, and I tend towards the "if the worst can happen it probably will" mindset...always have been.

So my heart has been wrenched in two the past week, agonizing for the Japanese people. I knew better than to jump and try to do something to help in a knitterly way, because there's no way anything can be shipped over. I'm one who tends NOT to toss money willy-nilly, too.

For all that I work for a nonprofit, I tend not to donate to large groups with massive administrative components. I usually sit back a bit and wait till the right thing hits and then I make donations carefully...

So this evening, when I dropped in on Bonnie's little corner of the world to see what she was up to and discovered she was starting on the Pacific Shawl and that Michelle, the designer, was donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the pattern to The Red Cross for the Japanese disaster relief, I figured that was something I could get behind.

(I do support The Red Cross, by the way)

So if you've a mind to make a quick little shawl with gentle waves of feather and fan, hop, skip and hurry over to Ravelry and pick this little one up. I haven't decided about the beads, but since DD might be dropping in next weekend and heading down to the bead store with me to come up with some denim and brown leather bracelets a la this (don't ask, it's my newest "crazy compulsion"), we might find just the right beads for me to use for my first beaded lace shawl!
And if you've a mind to, please say a prayer or six for the Japanese people. How anyone can survive such a series of disasters is beyond me...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Super Fast Post

'cause I need to hit the sack, but I wanted to share these:

The "business side" of the doublepoint cases and

here they are rolled up:

And then I made this one, yes, I know I'm prepping for a fiber festival not a cat show, but there are a bunch of us knitters who are cat people and this flannel with the kitties chasing yarn was more than I could resist, ya know?

Especially when I can put THIS on the outside!

I'm also hoping in another week or so, to get a few things into the etsy shop. Let me know if you're interested in seeing me continue there? I'm not convinced it's the right place for me these days...

Ok, now, goodnight all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

First Thank You! WHNHH

I had to rush home to pick up my forgotten checkbook to pay a bill tonight, and when I got there, quickly perused the mail. What I saw made me blink and drew me up short! A missive from the United States Senate!

I didn't, at first, realize who it was from...I knit hats for three senators, but I flipped the envelope over to see that it was from Senator Enzi of Wyoming. At first, I dropped it down on the table to read when I got back home...then on second thought, grabbed it back up. It was rush hour, and I knew there'd be at least ONE stop light I'd have to wait for on my errand...

Indeed, I didn't have to wait long. I tore open the envelope and read quickly. I think I love this line the best:

...I believe in the importance of civil political discourse, now more than ever...gestures like yours...serve as an example for all of us here in Washington.

So true. And I know I, for one, intend to hold their feet to the fire, and make sure they do indeed work towards this civil discourse in their efforts to solve the serious political issues of this day.

I pretty much floated the rest of the evening. I've also packaged up the last three hats to mail out tomorrow.

Hmm...I've only got one thing to say: How come I heard from the good Senator from Wyoming before I heard from the three honorable men (two senators and a representative) from my own home state? All 4 hats were mailed at the same time, and Senator Enzi's had a lot farther to travel!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Busy, Productive Weekend...

Beginning with last night, I've been spending quality time with Bernie. Between us we've managed to generate quite a bit of product. Here's one order ready to ship:

(And another is heading out, too, but I can't show you that, as it's a gift for someone who reads my blog!)

Then I got right down to business, making Oressa doublepoint needle cases for the upcoming Olde Liberty Fibre Faire. I have a few weeks to stock up but with the work week being as busy as they've been lately, weekends seem to be all I've got for sewing...
These are the business side of the Oressas
And here they are rolled and ready to slip into someone's knitting bag!

Beginning this weekend, I've drastically cut back on my cable bill. I've been thinking for some time that I wanted to do without TV, and just wasn't quite able to justify that. Then I spoke to a friend who told me there was a lower option than what I had, one that's just local channels, for the most part (but I still get QVC! wink). So I dropped down my internet speed to the middle of the road level, and with those two changes I dropped my bill by about $50. That's serious money when you consider that I almost don't watch TV. I want news and weather. And I get most of my news on NPR. So now, I'm happier and maybe in a few months, I'll feel that I can cut the cable completely except for internet service. We'll see how it goes.

This evening, I was listening to recorded interviews about the Japanese nuclear power catastrophe-in-the-making on and worked on the final stages of Representative Lowey's hat, and finished it:
It took a bit less than one skein of the Bernat Alpaca, and I had to make an adjustment. I didn't realize when I started that this is bulky yarn. I knit the Coronet pattern on size 8s as the pattern calls for, and suddenly realized while making the band that I only needed 14 repeats of the cable pattern instead of the called-for 16. I still picked up the 84 stitches and knit the pattern to the small, but it fits ME nicely, so I think I know what I'm going to do with the other skein of this. It's soft and warm and almost sinful to the touch. And the deep dark eggplant color is enough to make me drool. It reminds me of the dark purple grapes in the stores right now.
From the side, you can see the cable a bit better. Rep. Lowey's hat makes seven that I've created for the Warm Hats Not Hot Heads campaign. Several of us have been discussing that there are some Governor's that are in need of these hats...A certain one in Wisconsin, another in Michigan, and you have to know that I'm thinking our own, in Virginia, probably needs one. I'm not sure I'm quite up to it right now, but perhaps after the Fibre Faire.

I've also been working on my client's books this weekend and need to wrap them up tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll also be able to meet with a knitting friend who wants to learn to make toe-up socks, and still manage to get to bed reasonably to help adjust to the time change.

It was absolutely gorgeous today, in the mid-60s but windy. I couldn't help myself, I had to get to the Greenway and was the first of the season and I was quite proud that 30 minutes wasn't hard at all! Tomorrow, I'll try to get out again.

Hope your weekend is all you want it to be!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Like Many Other Knitters I'm Hoping to Help ...


Read it, budget your next four weeks of contributions to purchase raffle tix. And may we raise a bundle!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Hats Keep Rolling Off The Needles

But soon will be winding down, I promise...

Tonight I finished the Representative Robert Hurt (R)VA hat:

Yes. I agree. It's large. I made it exactly to the pattern, but last night as I worked on it during Knitting Guild Meeting, I said, "Wow this looks large." Poor Karen. She does have eyes...but not wearing this hat!

Once it was off the needles, I immediately began Representative Lowey's hat:

I decided to use a pattern I'm very familiar with. I think I've made 4 Coronets but this is a first in such a soft yarn (in the past I've used Peace Fleece). I love this cable, and am hoping I can work on it during an out of town business trip (the boss is driving!) tomorrow. We'll see if I can remember the 8 row pattern well enough to not have to rip. (I do tend to get confused when I'm not concentrating).

Anyway, this gorgeous eggplant color of Bernat Alpaca is scrumptious.

I might have to think about a sweater in this yarn for me!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

100% of the Senate - Almost 50% of Congress!

*title edited for accuracy*
That's right. That's how many hats have been created or are in process in the Warm Hats Not Hot Heads campaign! We're shifting focus to include anyone (including those pundits you wish would develop the civility to report facts instead of opinion, usually at the top of their vocal range). Today was another of those days where I felt rather lousy (rain and sort of chilly, but also tummy distress courtesy of the antibiotics, I suspect), so I ended up spending a lot of the day with needles in hand listening to the Metropolitan Opera on Public Radio. I finished Representative Morgan Griffiths (R) VA hat and it was on a wish and a prayer that I did so. Here's the yarn I had left:

This is more of the Wool-Ease from my first lace shawl, the same yarn I made Senator Webb's hat from so if this looks familiar, that's why:

I am happy to report that The Meezer was also fascinated by a woman's head (Karen's) being down on the floor, but she seemed to have more interest in providing affection than her little brother was. She rubbed Karen's nose (almost knocking her over) where The Tonk swatted her nose...

The difference between girl and boy kitties?

Anyway, I had time and the inclination to put Representative Robert Hurt's hat on the needles, and got all the way to the point of decreasing. This is a variation of Jared's Turn A Square pattern. I made all the stripes in the body of the hat and will just have black on the crown. And I'm so impressed that this yarn is Vanna's Choice - I'm just amazed at the stitch definition! Isn't it lovely?

Once that's finished, I'm thinking of getting going on the last hat I'll do for a bit, the one for Representative Lowey of New York. Still thinking of the pattern, but I'm narrowing it down.

And now that it's past midnight, I'll publish this and head off to dreamland.

More Projects Than You Can Shake A Stick At!

All those music keyfobs in the post earlier this week were an order from a friend of my Big Sis' that I received during my visit to see the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, just thought I'd mention that, as apparently I confused some people (unintentionally, I promise!)

So last night, hearing that my DD was considering a fast trip in to visit this weekend, I scurried to finish a couple of things I wanted her to have, rather than waiting and having to pay for shipping:

My daughter plays the violin, and I had a bit of this wonderful border print fabric with violins on it from years ago (long out of print, sadly). So knowing how much she needs things to corral the huge number of keys she ends up carrying - why do we need so many keys? My key fob is like a dead weight in the bottom of my purse, and if I split them into two? I can't find the right one at the right time, even with my Nana Sadie Rose "a pocket for everything and everything in it's pocket" handbags!! *wink*

Anyway. When I was in Northern Virginia, Big Sis and I shopped fabric stores galore. I do mean that, btw...They have way more up there than we do. (sigh)

I found this delightful kitten fleece print at Hancock Fabrics and bought enough to make a small throw for my baby granddaughter. It's one of the "no-sew" styles, but...

You can probably figure that I can't leave well enough alone. Once tied, I stitch all around just above the ties, to be sure that even if the double sides of fringes come untied, the top and bottom layers don't gap apart. I guess I just think it's safer that way, but maybe it's just that I'm Nana Sadie Rose and the sewing machine has to factor in every fabric-related item I make? Ok...guilty as charged!

I hope she'll love it. (I'm not worried about my daughter, I know she will, I mean my Granddaughter!)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Spring is Springing...Hats and More!

I promised these first two photos to Carole today...These lovelies appeared for the first time on Monday (what a way to say good-bye to February, eh?)

And when I got home tonight, these greated me!

If that's not the prettiest sight for winter-weary eyes?

I am feeling better, and tho' I'm not completely over my sinus infection, still the handwriting is on the wall...I felt well enough tonight to finish up an order for Nana Sadie Rose

What do you know? Something besides cats? Yup!

I felt good enough tonight that after work, I dropped by Barnes & Noble to see if they stil had a copy of Piecework's Annual Knitting issue - they did. I'd ordered my subscription hoping they'd begin it with that issue and of course, you know they didn't. When the newest issue arrived yesterday in the mail, I knew I had to rush and see if I could get one...

Obviously they did. Those two issues along with the newest Weight Watchers Magazine are my night-time fun for the next couple of weeks or so...(I don't last long when my head hits the pillow, but I do need a bit of something before I give up and turn out the light!)

What's this?

I also stopped by A.C. Moore. I had a coupon. I usually am very good and only buy one item for the 40% off. Nope. Not this time.

What's it for? Oh, well, you know that Warm Hats Not Hot Heads campaign? Well, I might have volunteered to make hats for the two new Freshmen Republican Representatives from my corner of the state. One is on the needles as we speak and is more of the navy Lion Wool-Ease that I made Senator Webb's hat from. The other will be some striped combination of the black, cranberry, and gray Vanna's Choice you see there (I originally planned to only buy the black to go with leftover cranberry from one of the grandson's hats I made this past Christmas...then I decided it needed something else, so I got the gray.

And the purple Bernat Alpaca? Well, I will have made 6 different men pretty blah and boring hats for WHNHH. I decided I wanted to make a woman's hat. I scanned the list of available names that hadn't yet been claimed and came upon Representative Nita Lowey of NY. I think, perhaps, that it's time for something fun, and perhaps a bit feminine. I like Lowey a lot, having seen her on various interview shows. Hope she likes this very deep eggplant color. (It's certainly jumped out at me at the store, but then that should come as no surprise to anyone!)

I'm off to look for a lovely pattern...


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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