Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More Beautiful Yarn...

Today you get a treat.  A post of mostly pictures...with little running commentary from me.  Because I've been asked, here are pictures of the yarn I purchased over the weekend.  I am now officially broke.

First, my Malabrigo ....Gorgeous! 
Cannot stress how much I love, Love, LOVE this yarn.
 I really just want to crawl into this stuff.
 Silvers, purples and greens. Yummy!

Now the JoJoLand Fantasia
 Love the colorway.  It makes me think of a box of crayons.

The next three are some of my bargain bin yarns. 
Not really sure what they are other than pretty.

Here's the sock yarn.  Pretty greens and purples.

This is a worsted weight with blues and emerald greens that bleed together.  
It doesn't show well in the photos but it is subtly gorgeous.

 I'm not sure if this one if lace or fingering weight yarn.  
I'll have to measure the WPIs, but it is so soft!

These last two are some more bargain yarns.  
They are both merino superwash and the colors are so bright.

So there you have it.  The beautiful yarn that is now happily sitting in my stash. I've been trolling Ravelry, and I'm sure to come up with some wonderful patterns. Until then, they will sit quietly, waiting and periodically getting checked on to see if they have any ideas of what they want to be.  Hope you enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed purchasing them. seems that all the green left my wallet and now resides in my yarn! Have a wonderful afternoon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Geek Outs and Yarn.

I don't know about the rest of you, but there are a few people that I admire enough to get a little giddy when I meet them. I managed to only have one major geek out moment at the Conference Saturday and I didn't even have a conversation with this person.  It happened when we first got there.  We were walking through the lobby and this tiny little whirlwind goes blowing past us at ninety miles an hour and I blurt out "Holy Crap, that was Doris Chan." This woman is my crochet hero.  She is an amazing designer and I love her designs because NO seams!  That, in and of itself, is enough to make me like her work, but all of her designs are beautiful and usually, if you pay attention (cough, cough) not too complicated to create.  I have all of her books and have made several of her pieces, so seeing her there was the bonus plan.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see or talk to her later in the day.  However, I did get to meet the amazing Lily Chin and I had a mild geek out moment and had my picture taken with her.  I'm such a dork!  She's another extremely talented lady and was very sweet. Here is a link to some her books. I think I'm going to have to do some book shopping!

My day was not totally filled with geek out moments....for the most part.  I did manage to see some beautiful and very colorful yarn.  Are you ready?

There were tons of sparkly yarns and a lot of vibrant colors.  For example...

I kept threatening to steal this one.  I don't think I would have gotten very far.

Aren't these great?  Talk about amazing socks!  Wonder how long that took...

All in all, it was a wonderful day and I do believe that I went into sensory overload and forgot to take pictures.  I spent way too much money and had an amazing day.  I was told that SAFF will make this look like child's play, so I'm in a lot of trouble.

Finally, I leave you with what we saw as we left for the day....

This made my trippy hippy heart skip a beat or two.  Lovely yarn and lovely friends.  Pretty close to perfect.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh! The Things I've Seen!

Happy Monday Everyone!  Can a Monday be happy? Let's just pretend OK?  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I had a FABULOUS one. I spent Saturday with my friends Dawn and Melanie at the Chain Link/TKGA Convention and I must say I was in fiber heaven!  I'll post more about this tomorrow once I get all of the pictures off the camera, but I will share a little tease....
Do you see that all fiber beauty?!?!  Can you say Malabrigo, Jojoland, Superwash Merino? OH MY GOODNESS! I spent way too much money, but had a wonderful time at my first convention.  In a month, I get to do it again when I go to SAFF with these same lovely ladies!  Until then, I am on a strict fiber diet.'m sure it will be worth it.

Yesterday, I met my Dad and Step-mom for lunch and a lovely visit.  It's so amazing to see my boys standing next to my Dad.  They are almost as tall as he is (6'4") and it's a little crazy to see how much my babies have grown. They used to look waaaaay up to him and now they are almost eye to eye. There are times I wish I could make them toddlers again and slow the whole process down. *Sigh*

I spent the rest of yesterday on the sofa recuperating and knitting.  I've discovered that I love the sound that yarn and bamboo make - that quiet swish. It's very comforting and meditative. I've been using the Araucania yarn that I purchased last week and it's so lovely to work with. This is Amanda Soule's "My Hat of Choice."  The pattern is easy to follow and it wears well contrary to what my Boys have to say.
Since I still have another whole skein left, I decided to make a scarf to go with it. I picked Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "One Row Hand Spun Scarf." This is another wonderful "new knitter" pattern because you only have to remember one line of pattern (even I can do that!) and it show's off the yarn beautifully. I thinks it's so cool the way there is a pattern in the colorway in the scarf that just "showed up" as I knitted. I also love that I can wear it with the hat and they will look good together, but won't look too matchy, matchy.

Well, lunch break is over, so I have to get back to work.  I'll be back soon with more pictures for you.  Hope the start of your week is a wonderful one!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lovely Friday!

Oh you sweet friends!  Aren't you just wonderful?!?!  Thanks so much for your kind, supportive comments! They mean so much.  I'm a very fortunate person because I have an amazing support group in my friends here and home.  You all bring a HUGE smile to my face :)

Guess what?!?!  It's Friday!  If you can't tell, I'm so excited!  This weekend is the TKGA and the CGOA are having The Knit and Crochet Show and it's right in my own back yard!  I'm going with my lovely Yarn Ho's and Hookahs and I know that we will have a BLAST!  Number One Son has been picking on me all week - making jokes about the "Rager" that I'm going to.  He wanted to know how many rocking chairs were required for this event....funny boy. That's alright.  There will be gorgeous yarn porn everywhere and I can't wait!  I'll try to take some pictures - if they let me. 

Photo Courtesy of my Sainted Mother
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I leave you with pictures of the Purple Pumpkin I came home to Wednesday.  My Sainted Mother saw it at my friend Susan's store and said it "Screamed Melissa." So she decided I had to have it and took it over to the house before I got home.  The writing says "Ghouls Night Out."  Isn't it too cute?  And my mother is right, we all do need a purple pumpkin....Right?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finding My Rhythm

Photo Courtesy of Number One Son
I don't know if it's been apparent, but I've been off my stride for a little while.  Nothing terrible but there has been a disconnect.  This has been going on for a while now.  There has been a bit of dissatisfaction that has lingered around. I can blame part of it on hormones and I'm not using that as an excuse.  A couple of years ago, I had "that" female surgery.  They removed my "junk" as Number One Son put it.  My "junk" would be my ovaries, uterus....I really don't need to go any further, you get the picture.  By doing this, I was thrown immediately into menopause and let me tell you it was ugly. This was not a gradual slide into menopause most woman have, but a hit you up side the head with a cast iron skillet "Hello!"  So, to make a long, nasty story short, it took a while to get my hormone levels back to a normal level so that I was myself again. But...and there's always a but...something still wasn't right. I wasn't happy. And that's hard for me to admit because I generally an easy-going, happy person. Now before anyone gets worried, I had not fallen into depression but I wasn't happy.

I had hoped that once I had my hormones at the correct level, all would be well.  I will have to say that there was a GREAT improvement, but things were still off. This meant that I had to look deeper....into me. Yikes! I don't know about the rest of you, but that's a scary prospect.  Self examination is a difficult task, even on a good day but when things are off kilter, it's even harder.  But I took a deep breath and dove in. That's when I discovered the disconnect.  It wasn't that I was unhappy with me as a person, it was that I was unhappy with my actions.  I was coasting. Now, when you're riding a bike, coasting is great.  You enjoy the breeze and get to take a breath.  But coasting in life, not so much, because you miss a lot.  I was still there for my family and friends but there was no passion in what I was doing. I was just going through the motions. Ugh!  That just sounds bad! It was like everything was going on around me and I was standing still.  How many of you have experienced this?  Talk about a rude awakening!

Photo Courtesy of Number One Son
So last night, when everyone was home, I informed the family that there was going to be a change. We were all going in different directions and passing each other but not seeing each other.  I was missing my family.  They were passing me by and I was missing some very precious moments.  It almost makes me cry to think about it! So the games were turned off.  The television was turned off.  Music was turned on softly. And we talked while I cooked dinner. And we sang old Hall & Oates songs together.  Then we sat down to the table and ate dinner...together. Why had we gotten away from this? Busy schedules?  Please! And we talked about our day. We joked and we laughed.  Then the Boys cleaned up the dishes and we went into the den and watched some TV together and we talked some more  - about what we were watching, about the garden that we are going to plant this Spring (our first one ever! Eye rolls from the Boys), about what gifts we were going to get for family this Christmas (and which ones we were I was going to make) - and I was engaged again.  I was involved. 

Photo Courtesy of Number One Son
And as I stood outside, holding the umbrella over Number One Son's head so that he could take these pictures, I felt whole again. I was happy and life was good.

P.S. Thank you everyone for your Birthday wishes!  They were so sweet and greatly appreciated!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Catch Up

Happy Monday Everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was FAB! I didn't mention it last week because I've found the older I get, the quieter I am about it, but my birthday was last Wednesday. It was wonderful and spent with my family.  My Sainted Mother made an amazing dinner for me and gave me a GORGEOUS Waterford Crystal Bowl that she bought for me when she went to Ireland - lucky thing!  I'll try to take a picture for you when the sun comes back to my little corner of the world and my camera battery is charged - I'll explain in a minute.

On Saturday Morning, Car Guy and I had to run errands. I also had a little bit of cash burning a hole in my pocket courtesy of  Fabulous Frankie.  I've been wanting a basket that I can store my WIPs in so that they are all in one central place, but can be moved around easily and it was my lucky day...
I apologize for the horrible picture!  I'm afraid that the last time we went to my Grandmother's beach house, I left our spare camera battery and charger plugged in behind the chair and totally forgot about it.  So all my pictures are being taken with my phone that has no flash.  We've been having a lot of gray weather so everything is a little dark. 
The basket is a lovely deep green, so deep that it's almost black.  And if you can't tell from the picture, it's huge.  I was so pleased! And on top of that, I got it for $9.00-Yeah!

I also managed to find some gorgeous yarn.  It's a hand painted  wool/silk/camel blend made by Araucania called Lauca.  This stuff is incredible! I bought it at a close out store and paid $5.99 a skein.  I was only able to get two skeins, so I went surfing last night to see what I could find out about this stuff.  I finally found it at JimmyBeansWool for.....$19.99 a skein - Yikes! You gotta love a bargain.  I spent part of my day just  holding this stuff.  Car Guy asked what I was doing and I told him I was trying to find out what this yarn wanted to be.  He gave me a quizzical look and so I said that I was waiting for the yarn to speak to me.  He laughed and said "hand it over."  He proceeded to unwrap the skein and hold it for a minute.  Then he wrapped it around his neck and sat there watching the TV for about five minutes.  When he took it off and handed it back to me he pronounced that the yarn wanted to be a scarf. I think he may be right.  How scary is that?  I think I might be rubbing off on him :) Anyway, those were the sweet gifts that Fabulous Frankie got me.  He has such wonderful taste, don't you think?

Finally, have I mentioned lately that I have some amazing girlfriend? Here I thought this birthday would slip past quietly, but not with these ladies.  They - and their husbands - came over Saturday with the most wonderful food - Cantaloupe wrapped in Prosciutto, Taquitos, Stuffed Chicken Breast (stuffed with broccoli and cheese), Tomato and Mozzarella cheese skewers and so much more.  And of course there was something sweet - pound cake covered with chocolate and raspberry sauce - so amazing! It was a wonderful celebration with wonderful friends.

So, as you can see, I had a WONDERFUL birthday and weekend and am truly blessed.  Hope everyone else has been just as fortunate.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

80's Flashback

So I decided that I'd lighten the mood after yesterday's somber post.  As most of you know, My Boys are in High School.  Well, Homecoming is this Friday so they have had various events to celebrate spirit week.  So far there has been "Red, White & Blue Day" & "Camo Day." But I think today's is my fav..."80's Workout Day." Check these out...

Oh, the short shorts, headbands, muscle shirts...go ahead and laugh...I am...I'm cringing at the same time, because I remember all this :) 

Denise, this is my Wednesday WIP post just for you cause those boys are definitely WIPs!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Difficult Explanations

If you watched any TV this past weekend, you were reminded of the terrible events of 9/11, since we just passed the 10th anniversary.  I've gone round and round about whether or not I was going to post anything about it or not and as difficult as this experience is to revisit, I've decided to share my experience-just a little later than everyone else - for two reasons, my sons.

I was getting ready for work that morning and happened to have the news on.  I didn't have to be in until 9:30, so I was taking my time.  I wasn't really paying a lot of attention.  I just remember hearing Julie Chin saying something about a plane crashing into the first tower.  My first thought was what was wrong with the pilot - was he/she stupid or ill.  My second thought was why on earth was the plane anywhere near the tower? I remember just thinking that it was going to be a mess and I hope everyone was OK.  I was distracted and running through my head what I needed to do before I left for work. I was literally putting on my shoe when the plane hit the second tower. I distinctly remember sitting down on my bed, my shoe in my hands, thinking that this was not good.  I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I just sat there stunned. After a few minutes, I put on my shoe, grabbed the portable radio and head out the door.  I backed my car into the neighbor's driveway and ran up, knocked on the door and asked Dorothy if she was watching. She said she was.  I told her to keep me posted and drove to work. While I was on the way, I kept trying to get in touch with Car Guy.  At the time, he worked in a call center and didn't have access to the news. I finally got hold on him and he didn't believe me at first.  He said that it was just so far fetched.

When I got the work, I was late. I was ready with my apologies, but since there were just three of us in the office it wasn't really any issue.  Jim was just glad I'd brought a radio since we didn't have a TV or radio there. It was a small one attorney office and we sat in the reception area listening as everything unfolded before us.  We were totally shocked.  I think we were all a little numb as none of us was talking. When the first tower collapsed, all three of our cell phones rang with updates from our family/friends. We spoke quietly and quickly on our phones and hung up so that we could continue to listen.  When the second tower fell, Jim walked into the conference room and stood quietly, looking out the window for a moment.  He then turned around, looked at me and Debbie and told us to go home, he was closing the office and we needed to be with our families.

I think that was the weirdest and eeriest drive home I've ever had.  No one was on the roads.  I was driving down a highway and I only passed the occasional car, most of which were law enforcement vehicles.  The other weird thing was the air traffic. All planes had been ordered to land and we live near a major airport so planes were landing one right after the other - all different sizes and descriptions. I remember getting home and feeling a certain amount of relief just because I was home, but I didn't feel safe.  I'd been trying through out the morning to get in touch with various members of my family.  My Sainted Mother was in Florida and my sister was in LA.  My dad was home and I was able to get hold of him first.  We didn't have a long conversation:

Me: Are you watching?
Dad: Yes
Me: I love you, Old Man.
Dad: I love you too, Sweet Pea
Me: I'll talk to you later.
Dad: Be careful

That was it.  All we needed to say in 3 minutes.  Conversations with my mother and sister were very similar.

I spent the better part of the day over at my neighbor's house watching with her while we waited for the kids to get home from school.  Our conversation was mostly about how on earth we were going to explain this to them.  It was everywhere.  There was no way we could keep it from them.  How could we make sure they understood they were safe?  And were they really safe?  It was a horrible conversation to have with a 5 year old and a 7 year old.

Car Guy came home early so that he could be with me when they got home and we talked to The Boys about everything. We told them what happened and who was responsible. Number One Son over analyses everything. He always has.  He had so many questions about who and why.  I don't think he felt scared, he just wanted to understand and was very frustrated because none of it made sense to him. He was old enough to understand that if this could happen somewhere else, it could happen here.  I think that having us both there reassuring him is what let him sleep that night.  Number Two Son was different.

Number Two Son: Mommy, the people that did this, they're really bad people right?
Me:  Yes Baby they are.
Number Two Son:  Then God will take care of them.  Can I have a snack?

He was young enough that it was something that happened on TV and everything in his immediate world was normal, so he was fine.  We spent the remainder of the day together watching little TV until we put The Boys to bed.  For several nights after that, I had trouble sleeping and would get up at random times in the night to check on my children.

Fast forward to the 10 year anniversary and there are some similarities in that the events were all over the media. We didn't watch very much.  My boys couldn't understand why we didn't want to watch it and why we were so sensitive about it.  I tried to explain to them the difference in the perception of the event as it happened between adults and children. The boys still view at something a little distant.  Yes it happened, but their insular world was safe.  We, as adults, on the other hand were rocked to our very core.  Everything that we took for granted was question. I tried to explain to the boys that it wasn't about our safety, but it brought home the reality that we can only do so much to protect what is ours and there is so much that is out of our hands.  I told them we weren't watching because we didn't want to be reminded of how totally helpless and out of control we felt that day.

We will always remember the loss, the fear, the shock, helplessness and hopelessness from that day.  But we will also always remember that there were true examples of heroism and hope that day. And with all the sadness that was experienced, I 'd prefer to remember that I also saw the good in so many that rose to the occasion and surpassed it. They made me see what I kind of mother, wife and person I'd like to become.  I will also remember that with death comes rebirth and there was a new patriotism that was born that day and we all stood together. It was one of the worst days I've ever experienced, but it made me appreciate how fortunate I am and how much I have been blessed with.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Naughty, Naughty!

Hello all!  I'm afraid I was naughty last month. And no one noticed - whew! I went the whole month and didn't do a Show and Tell/Pay if Forward post?!?!  Shame! I'm going to chalk it up to August being crazy busy and claim vacation.  So for September's Show and Tell......drum roll please......Soule Mama.
Amanda Soule's books available at

I don't know if any of you are familiar with her, but her name is Amanda Blake Soule.  She's an author (three books shown above), a blogger, a homemaker and a Momma...of five, no less. The thing I love about her is that everything she does, her blog and books, are centered around her family.  It's so obvious that they are her priority.

I've written and rewritten this post several times because I have some very strong opinions about motherhood.  It's one of the most important jobs a woman can have and it's something that all of us moms should do with pride.  I went off on several tangents about how society doesn't respect this job as they should (looking down said noses at stay at home moms) and decided that this post was not the place to get on my soapbox. I'll save that for a later date.  Let's just say that Amanda takes great pride in motherhood and being a homemaker extraordinaire. She's the kind of wife/mother I strive to be and wish that I had the time and energy to juggle the necessary job and motherhood without feeling like I'm falling on my face half the time. She reminds me very much of my Sainted Mother and that is a HUGE compliment.  I grew up with clothing sewn by my mother, hand packed lunches, help with homework, a smiling face in the stands/audience at every event and hugs and kisses always at the ready. That is the kind of mom Amanda comes across as.

Amanda has wonderful posts about knitting, sewing, cooking, canning and general homemaking. She suggests great references from books to blogs. She's a good read for those of us who appreciate the finer feminine skills of motherhood, so pop over some time and check her out.

Legal Jargon - Disclaimer - the pictures above are from  They are copyrighted material.  They are solely the work of Amanda Blake Soule and are her property.  I am not claiming them as my own in any way, shape or form cause I ain't no thief.  Also, Amanda does not know me and this is not a paid endorsement. I'm just sharing the love.  Does that take care of all the legal stuff? Thank you for your time!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Work, Work, Work

Hello Everyone!  I hope you are all doing well this fine Wednesday!  It looks like the rain is finally clearing away, not that it's bothered me.  The weather was gorgeous while we were at the beach.  We were even able to spend some time with friends who were staying at a neighboring beach.  That's a slightly blurry picture of me and my friend Sue (on left).  She is truly a beautiful friend - LOVE her!

While we were at the beach, Car Guy pressure washed the deck while I cleared out the cobwebs inside. Basically, we just did some general maintenance/cleaning around the house, but we still enjoyed ourselves.  The boys and Car Guy are thrilled because they found a TV at a thrift store for $19.00.  The beach house now has a TV, but still no internet. We came home Monday, only to crash hard.  I didn't realize I was as tired as I was.  

I was able to start my One a Day project on time yesterday - Yea! I'm making the Urchins and Limpets Blanket. I was actually able to make two of the large motifs, so that means I have 28 more to go - that's not counting the 20 smaller motifs.  I really want to make at least two a day because there are so many and I'm a little short on time.  I am forcing myself to weave in all ends as I go so that I won't be faced with those pesky little buggers when I'm done.  I'm trying to use only stash yarn to make this and I think I'll be able to do so. 

Even though this isn't the best picture, here are the colors I'm using. There is a bright turquoise, fuchsia, dusty green and yellow - which didn't make it into the picture because I couldn't find it (Helps if you look under the table where it rolled out of the basket and was found this morning).  Anyway, that big ball of variegated yarn will be used fore the border because it has all the colors in it. I think it will be pretty, colorful and gender neutral.

The socks are moving right along.  I've almost finished one and I'm loving the way they are turning out.  I'm continuing the lace pattern across the top of the sock just because I think they'll look so cute. I like that I can work on this during lunch, make a couple of motifs after dinner and work on other projects as well.....can we say time management?  No, not really :)

The shawl/wrap is a little slower.  I thought (that was my first problem - thinking) that this would work up quickly, but that's not the case.  It's a really simple pattern but knitting that really skinny mohair like yarn with those big needles is making me really clumsy.  OK, it's making me clumsier than usual. I'm going to continue because I really do think it will be pretty when it's done.  If it isn't, it will get shoved into the back of the closed because that yarn sticks to itself way too much to try and frog that puppy.

Well, that's all for today.  I've got to get my needles and hooks moving because I'm no where near where I need to be as far as preparing for Christmas.  Let the fun and games begin!