Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flowers - Knitted and Crocheted

I often hesitate to purchase a knitting book unless I’ve had the opportunity to peruse it from cover to cover. However, after searching for free flower patterns on Ravelry with limited success, I decided to order the above-pictured book from along with the needles needed for my students at my next class so that I could get free shipping.
It is fantastic!!! There are knitted flowers as well as crocheted ones. The flowers are grouped according to their natural colors in nature. There are also vegetables and different leaf types. Also in the book are projects with which you can use the flowers/leaves/vegetables as accents. Included are beautiful crocheted flowered buttons. This book is definitely a winner!!!

I’ve been preparing for my next knitting class. I’ll be teaching the magic loop sock knitting method using a lacy pattern. The sign-up was near capacity the week after the brochure was mailed by my local recreational department.

I was pleased when I received an e-mail from the director asking if I would make an exception to the age requirement for my class. A mother went to her office accompanied by her 14-year old daughter who really wants to take my knitting class. The 14- year old really enjoys knitting. I was delighted that the young girl was interested enough to go the extra mile. Of course, I’ll accept her even if her mother is not participating. It’s a great opportunity to pass the craft down to the younger generation.

Last Saturday I attended a newly-formed spinning group in Burlington. We’ll be meeting monthly. I’m really excited about it. About a dozen women came to the first meeting. Not sure...did I already tell you this in my previous post?

It’s been a stressful week. Yesterday felt like it was a real test of my patience. So I put this guy on my desk to remind me to smile. I’m not sure if he is smiling or gritting his teeth. When you squeeze him he says the following:

Calm downnnnnnnnnnnnn!!
Don't stressssssss!
Take it easyyyy!!!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I puchased the yarn and buttons before a local Vermont hero made the news last week.
The sweater will be for my grandchild and I fell in love with these pirate buttons at my LYS.
After the incident described below, I was no longer liking these buttons very much. I wondered if there are "good pirates" sorta like Robin know!!! Is there? There must be because wasn't Johnny Depp's role a good guy?

Captain Phillips of Underhill, Vermont made international news when he was held hostage by pirates. He volunteered to be captive in order to save his crew.
Captain Philips with his children upon arrival at the Burlington International Airport. Not shown in the picture is his wife, Andrea.
Signs along the way expressing gratitude!
Sign on the side of a barn almost directly across the road from the Phillips home.
The crews were reporting from the Underhill General Store which is almost directly across the road from the Philips home. It's a very quaint community where everyone knows everyone else. Most folks have farm animals. I live a short distance from this location.
Coke machine in front of the Underhill General Store. When was the last time you saw one of these?

When news broke that Captain Phillips had been rescued, many of the news folks had just ordered steak dinners at this lovely inn, jumped up from their seats and hollered that they would be back to pay the bill.

The food is divine. Notice that it is a culinary institute.

The inn is much larger than is shown in this picture. The other buildings give a horseshoe effect. This is a favorite place to hold wedding receptions. The view of the mountains is phoenominal.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Marble Child's Hooded Jacket

Yarn: James C. Brett Marble - Colorway MT16 Size 5 needles
Pattern: Child Hooded Jacket from (download $1.99)

This hooded sweater will be for my grandchild, Jakob.

I try to be considerate when knitting for a baby or small child. Moms are so busy these days that they don't have time to deal with "fussy" garments. I'm not an acrylic fan but will resort to it.

I was all ready to tell you how much I loved this yarn. The pink colorway is also gorgeous. However, I was unhappy when all of a sudden, in the middle of a very long row (the back and sides are knitted together) there was a break/fraying of the yarn. I also began to realize that the WPI (wraps per inch) were inconsistent making it difficult to achieve gauge. Ha!! I never swatch. I hate to swatch. I suppose if I were knitting a fitted garment with expensive yarn, you bet......I'd swatch.

Then to add to my discontent with the yarn, when I started the second skein and pulled from the center, I realized that yards and yards of this yarn were just one color and had not been dyed liked the previous skein even though it had the same dye lot.

Notice the edge of the band down the front of the sweater. It has an I-cord appearance called SES (slipped edge stitch) and is done as so.....
Slip last st of each row as if to purl, with yarn in front of needle.
Knit first stitch of each row straight into back of stitch
I purchased this yarn at a LYS so it should be reliable. I will inform them as it is a new brand they are carrying.

Aside from knitting.........

We've all heard the term "don't judge a book by its cover", or "it's what is on the inside that counts." I was reading about this (<--click) in the news today and it absolutely warmed my heart and got me misty eyed. Folks in the audience had her pegged as a "loser". This clip has had over 3,000,000 hits on YouTube in the last two days alone. I've listened to one version or another several times already.

I didn't mention in my previous post that one of my relatives sent me home with a
tourtiere. This recipe/tradition goes back to the early 1600's. I was so pleased to receive one.

Usually served at Christmas along with pickled beets, extras are kept in the freezer for other holiday occasions. About three years ago, my daughter and I made 24 of these pies. We use cinnamon/cloves/allspice for seasonings with a 50/50 ratio of pork and beef along with potatoes. We do not use store-bought pie crust to lighten the work. Hard workers we are, for sure. I don't need to tell you how exhausted I was after that marathon. My daughter gives some of these pies to her repairmen, etc. Smart girl!!! She always gets a quick response when she needs them.

Also, Rachel from NZ, I am not able to respond to you because of your settings. I do enjoy hearing from you and don't want you to think I'm ignoring you.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If You Are Age 50 or Older - Fixing The Economy!!!

A relative sent this to me and I just had to pass it along.

If you are age 50 or older, you will love this idea! Sounds like plain, common sense to me! But then, I am over 50 so I may be a little prejudiced.

This was an article from the St. Petersburg Times Newspaper on Sunday.

The Business Section asked readers for ideas on "How Would You Fix the Economy?" I thought this was the BEST idea....I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President,

Patriotic retirement: There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force - Pay them $1 million apiece severance with the following stipulations:

1. They retire immediately. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2. They buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

3. They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed. It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress and their constituents pay their taxes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Maine Lighthouses

My favorite place to relax with my knitting or cross-stitching is at:

Portland Head Light - Cape Elizabeth, Maine
(April -2009)
This lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington and is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) one in the country. Longfellow used to come here and write his poems.

Can you see what appears to be a white board behind the light at the top? Local residents, about 20 years ago, complained that the light was too bright at night for their neighborhood. The lighthouse was there at least 150 years before they developed that area. Now really!!!! I miss seeing the light from the front of the lighthouse.

An aerial view for you. Not shown in the picture is a very large park with picnic tables and a favorite spot for kite flying.

Two Lights - Cape Elizabeth, Maine
(April -2009)
The second light, about 1/8 mile away, is located on private property so I did not take a picture.
Spring Point Lighthouse, So. Portland, Maine
(April - 2009)

It was downright frigid when I visited this lighthouse last Saturday but still worth the trip. The detail on the lighthouse, in spite of the rust, is much more beautiful in person.

My cousin, Willie, loaned me his Nikon digital/SLR while I was visiting. What a treat that was.

Alison recommended Tess Designer Yarns located in Portland, Maine. Ironically, it is almost across the street from the law firm I worked at back in the early '90's.

The yarn is absolutely gorgeous. I did buy a skein of "Baby Bunny" sock yarn. The silk blend that I liked so much was $60/skein so I did not shock my pocketbook.

Kaileigh - Age 10 1/2 months

I was able to get my "baby fix" while visiting family. Kaileigh has been walking on steady feet for about 3 weeks. Kaileigh's great, great grandmother is the aunt who raised me. We are many branches apart on the genealogy tree but much closer in heart. I knitted Kaileigh's mother her wedding shawl a couple of years ago.

Back to my knitting blog tomorrow!!! I hope you have enjoyed my visit with me to my home state.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In Full Bloom!!!

I love the term "Bloom Where You Are Planted"!! I was in full bloom this past weekend as I visited my Maine family for the Easter holiday.

I had a "light fare" lunch at my favorite restaurant in New Hampshire while anticipating my arrival at some of my favorite Maine ocean getaways. What more could a gal with ocean water in her veins ask for? The only place I like calamari is at this restaurant. Notice the knitting....a clue on what I am currently knitting and more on that in a few days. It's getting better....seafood and knitting! They tried to distract me from my knitting by bringing me a basket of warm rolls........not!!! I wanted the whole experience.

You know you are near the ocean when you start seeing something like this!

I had to hold true to my blog name and "knit by the ocean" on the only close to warm day of the long weekend! I always feel so serene when near a lighthouse. This one is called "Spring Point" in So. Portland, Maine. Billy Joel owns a home just about 1/8 of a mile from this scene....oceanfront property, of course.
I love walking into a fresh seafood market. The boats in the harbor behind the market guarantee the day's catch.

I passed on the littleneck clams on this trip in favor of the fresh haddock which was only $3.99/lb.

I spent time parked at this location. It is now a "spiritual retreat" but was formally a boarding high school in my home town. I attended the boarding grammar school just down the road, now overtaken by a university. The vastness of this building is unbelievable.

More tomorrow...........I'm delightfully exhausted!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Revisited - Cat Bordhi

A few weeks ago I received a request that said, "We’d like to feature your photo on the Ravelry page for "Cat Bordhi - Swinging-Mikado". I was quite honored. The Moebius scarf above was knitted at a workshop with Cat.

I attended that workshop with Cat when she was here in the fall of 2007 to speak at a fund raiser for the Vermont Cancer Center. She is friends with the the woman who manufactures the Denise Needles. Her brother, an ocology specialist doc works in my department. If you purchase the pink set, $5 is donated towards breast cancer research.

Cat is extremely witty and I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. I won the door prize that day to add to the excitement.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Inexpensive Laptop Bag

I recently purchased a laptop. The monitor is 15.6" and standard is 15.4" which meant your traditional bag would not accommodate my needs. I would have to purchase a bag for a 17" monitor. I wanted something cheery, perhaps feminine, etc. It would not be used for air travel so there was room for flexibility.

I thought of sewing my own bag but that meant precious time away from my knitting.

This is what I found at Jo'Ann's on sale. Final price after I tell you more.

It is a reversible, foam-padded canvas bag.

I added a button closure (used another coupon) with a twisted cord.

The bag has both an inside and outside pocket almost the full height of the bag which is perfect for my computer battery and cord. The inside pocket holds my wireless mouse. I added the D-ring side closures.

Total cost............approximately $12.50. A laptop bag at "Best Buy" will cost you from $35-$75. Needless to say, I am pleased.

Lizzie and I often compare ways to cut costs during these difficult economic times. I was the queen of frugal when it wasn't fashionable so I am used to it.

One of the blogs I read is "Poor Girl Eats Well". I don't consider myself poor but merely a smart shopper.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spinning and Knitting!!!

I've been knitting on my mock cable, magic loop sock this week. You know...the one that I am preparing for my knitting class. It wasn't until I had knitted quite a few rows that I realized I had "screwed up". Ugh!!!
This is what happened. Notice the right side of the sock....looks nice, right!!! (no pun intended there).

Now, look at the left side of the sock. I should have had two purl stitches on the edge to make the mock cable pop out! Oh, and learn. I knew better but I was probably busy watching "Dancing With the Stars" and Gilles, one of the competitors, definitely can distract me.
Now, all you ladies who watch "Dancing" have to admit that he is a terrific dancer and pleasing to the eyes!!!! Sad thing is, I couldn't get through to vote for him last week. But then, he really doesn't need my vote.

Perhaps I'll name these socks after Gilles. Much better than the last time I named socks after someone.

I attended my "Twist 'O Wool" spinning group last Thursday after being absent all winter. It's an hour's drive and winter conditions make it difficult to get there safely. The group is very large with a very healthy treasury. The group has been selling handspun with proceeds going to a member battling cancer. I wish I could remember the $$$ amount but it was very, very generous.

Brian helped me with my spinning when he visited last fall. I have not had much time to spin and have been feeling a little frustrated that I seem to always be looking up what I need to do next with my spinning. I've yet to knit anything with my handspun. Brian told me at the time I was doing well. One of the elderly men who belongs to my group and has been spinning for years, came over and told me I was doing very, very well. It made my day!!!!

The roving is really the most beautiful shade of lavendar and not blue as it appears in the picture.

LDS Venus
sent me some yak to spin. Perhaps it's time for me to give it a try.

One of the ladies at the meeting was wearing a handknit sweater with these beautiful buttons.
They can be found on e-bay along with many other very nice pewter buttons.

Notice the new theme on my blog. If you click on the upper-left corner of my blog (cutest blog...) you will find many free themes for your blog.

Happy Knitting! Happy Spinning!