Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Year Ago

One year ago today, Jim and Pete showed up and started demolishing our enclosed back porch.


By the end of the summer, we had an amazing new back porch, and a great new TV room. It still makes me really happy to come downstairs in the morning and see the changes.


I haven’t used the deck a whole lot this spring, thanks to my wonderful seasonal allergies. But if I can work efficiently today, I can goof off and enjoy it out there tomorrow. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get some work done so I can kick Derf out of my favorite chair. He’s looking a little too comfy in there!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WiP Wednesday: SO MUCH Better!

Last night, after I got home from a family dinner, I spent some time frogging most of my Color Affection. That medium-blue Bugga just plain had to go. Then, I wound up the Zen Yarn Garden I showed you yesterday and started over with the short row section.

Why did I knit so much after I realized I wasn’t liking the lighter blue? Those balls of purple and mint are somewhere between a golf ball and a lacrosse ball sized. And, they’re going to be too short. I made a small “change in interpretation” of the pattern instructions. 
First time around, I counted the wrapped stitch as one of the three past the wrap. This time, I’m knitting the wrapped stitches, then three more. But that’s OK. I have mad splicing skills and copious amounts of extra yarn in each color. And I love the new color combo, so it’s totally worth it. Bazinga. 

Programming Note: I leave on Tuesday for the NCAA Softball Championship. I have no idea what I’ll have time to post next week, but it probably won’t be much.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Bat Signal

Let’s talk Color Affection. I was knitting along on the border last night, and it’s official. I hate it. Not the whole thing, just the CC2/border color. Thankfully, I have a big ‘ol stash, so I went diving last night. Here’s what I came up with.

On the left is a Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 that I purchased last November. ON the right is an even longer-aged Bugga. Last night, I thought the Bugga was going to be the way to go.


But today? In sunlight? I think it’s the ZYG.


Either way, it’s going to be a big improvement.

What do you think? Please! I really want your opinions!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WiP Wednesday

So my poor I.B. Footsie sock is dying of neglect. Why? Shortly after purchasing my shiny awesome Signature needle, I cast on for a Color Affection/Affliction/Infection shawl. It’s kind of perfect mindless or multitasking knitting (reading! I love my e-reader!), so it’s been getting my knitting time.


I like it, and I’m going to keep going. But I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that I should probably have thought about my yarn choices a little more. The blue and purple are both pretty much the same value, and don’t contrast as much as I’d like.


Do you see it? How about now?


And yeah, if I’d really thought about it and not been in such a hurry to pick yarn before I went to Maryland, I would have caught it.


Yeah. Don’t be like me. Take your time picking your yarns for Color Affection. THEN you can enjoy the hell out of knitting it. You’re welcome.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

WiP Wednesday

I got very little knitting done while traveling to and from MDSW last weekend. I didn’t touch anything while waiting around in lines (actually, I didn’t really wait in any lines, either!), but I did do a little bit in the evenings during the week and at the hotel. I.B. Footsie is still chugging along. It has a heel flap and a turned heel. Just needs to get back in the round and I’ll be done in no time.
My LYS is doing a Color Affection KAL. Yes, it’s a pattern that’s going viral, but it has no holes and I was able to use mostly stash yarn, so I figure it’s a WIN! I did a little swatching on Friday, but started it on Saturday night on my brand-new Signature Needles.
I started the colorwork section last night and I didn’t think it was showing up enough in that “big” photo, so here’s a close-up.
Color Affection is great “doing other things” knitting, so it’s getting some good progress while I read or do other stuff. Love having a project like that on the needles.

Oh, and it’s official. I hate the new Blogger set-up. Grrr …

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2012: The Purchases

This was my fifth trip to MDSW. And let’s face it. I have a ridiculous stash. I really wasn’t shopping for yarn, but I did have a few things in mind for purchase before I left.

Here’s the whole group of purchases


As for the things that I didn’t take close-ups for… I purchased Sheep Incognito calendars for this year and next year, I got Lemon hard candy from the Bee Folks, and



I got two flavors, Butterbean and Bamboo. I’d purchased bamboo last year and really loved it, so I knew I wanted to get that one again. After yummy round of tasting (around a very “challenging” customer who made the process take twice as long as it should have), I decided on Butterbean for my second pound for this year.

I also did not photo the skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight that came home with me. If I have my act together maybe you’ll see it for Yarn Pr0n Friday.

My first purchase of the festival was a replacement for a previously purchased pig. (it's in the group shot near the end of that post)


The original was purchased on my very first trip to MDSW, and took a nose dive off a table onto a hardwood floor when my niece was first mobile. Oops.

My next purchase was a repeat from last year. My friend Jennichrys introduced me to The Lion Potter last year. The mug I bought from him last year? I’ve probably used it 200 mornings out of the last calendar year. So I figured it was a worthy repeat purchase this year. It’s very hard to see the detail, but it’s black with multiple dragonflies stamped on the outside.


Last year, I purchased an inkle loom. This year, I got a better shuttle for it. I decided to pick a very pretty one from Kessenich. Maybe this year, I’ll actually use the thing!


Last year, my very good friend CelticQueen bought a Wacky Woolies bag, and I thought it was awesome. She was nice enough to pick up some Wacky Woolies accessories at Rhinebeck, but I decided that I still needed a bag.


And what is that peeking over the top there? I splurged on a Signature Needle Arts needle. A US 6, 32” with 5” tips. It already has a project growing on that cable, and I’d have to guess that it won’t be my last Signature needle.

The one true impulse buy came near the end of our stay on Sunday. We decided to take one more tour through the smaller barns, and Dianne and I both found nice stuff at Greenbridge Pottery. This is a small “dish,” that I’ll use for my spent tea bags in the mornings, and it sports a Chinese character for “Double Happiness” which alludes to weddings. Mostly, I liked the color and it was inexpensive so I decided to buy it.


And finally, I’ll share what is probably my favorite purchase of the entire festival. A bracelet I saw on Saturday. Twice. And overnight I decided I couldn’t live without it. I’m thrilled with this purchase.


Brushed sliver. From Moolenschot Blacksmith. Beautiful. I love it.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2012: The Sights

I had a wonderful time at the Festival this past weekend. I did a terrible job of taking pictures of the people I saw. And I saw lots of people! Friends old and new, Plurk peeps I hadn’t met before and I had a new experience – for the first time, I walked around the festival with a friend almost the entire two days! I’d spent time walking around with friends at various points in previous years, but this time I walked around with my friend Dianne almost the whole time. It was great! There was plenty to see. It’s just easier to show you in pictures.


As always, Saturday was the busier day.


There were plenty of animals. Bunnies…





Of course, there were sheep!



And some of them were even walking along the midway


The sheep dog demos are always fun to watch


And, the Sheep to Shawl competition has become a definite Do Not Miss for me.


That is my friend Michelle, the weaver for the winning team, Friends Through Fiber. If she looks a little familiar, it’s because she’s the one that made the amazing handspun double weave blanket in my Double Weave class at The Mannings last summer. Tomorrow, I’ll show you what I bought. Believe it or not, I topped out at one skein of yarn. That’s right. One.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


Last year, we pretty much ignored the yard. Let the grass burn out in the summer, didn’t do more than basic maintenance on the beds around two sides of the house, didn’t do anything about replacing mulch or cleaning up the edging. With all the renovations on the back of the house, it just didn’t make a lot of sense to put extra effort into landscaping that was going to be trampled and/or trashed. So this year, with a little help from a Facebook plea for help that came up with a gold-star landscaper, we have a great-looking house.


The beds were cleaned up last week and finished on Monday. They look spectacular.


The plants on this side (of the front door) don’t seem to grow as well, probably because they catch a lot of shade from the big tree. We moved the sprinkler head that finished under the stairs for the deck, and all parties agreed that trying to grow grass under those same stairs didn’t make a whole lot of sense, so we decided on landscaping fabric with gravel on top for that space.


We’ll be spraying and over-seeding the lawn over the next few weeks. Then we’ll definitely be off the hook as Neighborhood Slackers. I love our awesome house! And, finally, I’ll be headed to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival tomorrow (Friday) and will be there both days. If it’s as hot as forecasted, I’ll probably be wearing this hat and definitely be carrying this bag:


Now where the heck did I put my Ravelry name badge?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

WiP Wednesday

Another week, another sock photo. Slow progress this week since the Hubster was nice enough to share the cold her brought home next week. I need to keep resting up so I’m ready for Maryland this weekend. Oh, yeah. The sock!


Two more repeats and I’m ready for the heel flap. Huzzah! And now, I need a nap if I’m going to manage to go to knit night long enough to hear about a friend’s trip to Sock Camp. So excited for her, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!