Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

I see that it has been a couple of weeks since I last stopped by. I hate being an absentee, but with the rush of Thanksgiving, studying for finals, balancing work and home life, I haven't had a lot of time to be online. I am desperately trying to keep up with my knitting (especially since I have fallen far behind on my Mom's sweater). I'm taking the entire week before Christmas off from work (and Chase will still be in school) and the plan is to hunker down, watch all my favorite Christmas movies, and knit like there is no tomorrow.

I have accomplished a few little side projects in the past two weeks. First there are the Owlie Mitts that my best bud asked me to knit for her daughter's teacher who loves owls. I think they are gorgeous. I went back and forth with what yarn to use for them, but ended up going with Wool-Ease. They're soft, they'll be easy to care for, and I worry about giving all wool gifts to those I don't know. She's also receiving a coffee cozy with the owl on it.

Of course I needed a Santa hat to wear. My friend Dale (who now is a part time barista with me at the coffee house) and I decided we needed knitted Santa hats for work. Of course I can't just have any regular hat, so I knitted up Penny's Santa Hat for myself. Chase picked out the yarn, insisting I needed something with sparkles (there are sequins in this yarn). I also have little bells in the puff balls. I wore the hat while we ran errands on Sunday and plan on wearing it to work this Friday.

And then there is Mom's sweater sleeve. Still the first sleeve. I realized two weeks ago when I was nearly done with it, that I thought my row count was off. I hadn't been keeping really good notes on it, and I finally gave in and pulled it all out down to the cuff. I'm gradually getting back to where I was, and am hoping I can cast on the second sleeve in the next day. I opted to knit the sleeves first then the body of the sweater because knitting sleeves last seem to drag on (not that this is going by fast for me).

I do all of my free reading at work when things are slow. I picked up A Blue So Dark from the library book shop and really enjoyed it. Aura Ambrose is an amazing character struggling to stay afloat in a mixed-up world. Currently I am reading Flowers for Algernon. I've known about this book for years (a high school friend is named for the mouse Algernon), but it resurfaced in mind recently as perhaps something I might enjoy. So far I am not disappointed!

I hope to provide more of an update later this week. Next week is finals and right now I am just trying to get through these last handful of classes.

Happy knitting!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along (A Day Late)

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

I finished one of my secret knitting projects over the weekend. I decided on a different pattern and am happy with the results.

Over the past two weeks I started and finished two very different books. First I read Boneshaker by my friend Cherie Priest. This is the only published book she's written that I haven't read. I was going through a book box of mine and found it stashed away. What an excellent story that takes place during the Civil War and involves steampunk and zombies.

The second book I read was Wishes & Stitches. I have thoroughly enjoyed the books in the Cypress Hollow series of Rachael Herron and am hoping another is in the works. I love the romance, the knitting, the humor.

Now that one secret gift is done, I need to continue working on the sweater for Mom. I decided to knit the sleeves first, and I am still working on sleeve #1. I hope that with no school next week I can get in a lot of knitting.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

I finished the earwarmer band for my friend last Friday at work. I'll be popping it in the mail for him today. I have a whole skein of the possum yarn left so I think that a hat will be in his future, too. Once I finished that project, I could finish the second mitten. Now they just need felting!

Oh..this weekend was the fiber expo. I was tickled to hear they're going to have a spring fiber expo starting next March. I guess this means I should start saving my pennies again.. ;-) But yes, the fiber expo. Steve and I headed off to the event after class on Saturday and I giddily bounced my way through the buildings. Steve likes to watch the angora rabbits when they're being trimmed. I was on a mission to find the vendor who had only fiber from New Zealand. But before any of that, we had to see Jacob the camel.

I love that camel. He is so soft and I could just stand there and scritch him forever (even when he tries to eat my hair). I picked up  a cake of camel yarn (see the above picture) for Mom. She had mentioned that if I saw a nice skein of yarn that it might make a nice Christmas gift. Done.

The next yarn purchase was the blue/gray/purple skein of sock yarn in the back of the picture. I saw it on my way to see Jacob, and I had to stop on my way back through. I thought the colors were perfect for Mom. So socks will be made (eventually! I'm really trying not to add more projects right now).

After picking up a door prize (it's a handmade glass buckle!), and stopping an escaped alpaca, Steve and I wandered around more. That's where I found the mossy green roving. I fell in love with the Icelandic wool instantly. The color is so much better in person. So many of the greens you see are bright, but this is subtle, and I love it. I ended up buying five ounces of it and I have no idea what I will do with it. I suppose I really need to learn how to use my spinning wheel! By this time Steve had found the New Zealand yarn vendor and off we went.

The cranberry yarn is a skein of possum yarn. I had a wonderful chat with the vendor and I will definitely be seeking her out in the future for any of my possum yarn needs (or just fibers from NZ). The colors she had are amazing.

And last, but not least, I picked up a skein of angora yarn. It was the one thing I wanted to make sure I purchased. No, I have no plans for it right now, but I have always wanted to knit with it. Steve chatted with the angora lady and scritched the trimmed bunnies before we finally were done.

This was a paycheck well spent!

I did finish reading Last Summer last week at work. Overall I did enjoy the book. The biggest issue I had were the early diary entries of the character Rosie. I kept thinking back to when I was 14, and her perfectionist mindset just drove me nuts. As the story progressed I began to enjoy it more, but the mother Jane was a constant grating on my nerves. It was a good story about healing after bullying.

And on that note.. I am off to get ready for work. Hope everyone has a great day!

Happy knitting!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

(oops, I forgot the book I am reading!)

I realized over the weekend as I started another project, that I have too many projects going at once and not enough time to dedicate to all of them evenly. So I am taking  deep breath, bagging everything individually, and putting a date on when each needs to be done. I also have a list with the projects written on and numbered based on priority. I had to do this. I have three other "current" projects that I didn't put in the photo!

Let me start with the braids. A good friend and co-worker of mine asked me yesterday if I could make her a braided wig for Halloween (she is going as a Viking princess). She wasn't sure how to attach the hair to her helmet and wondered if I could come up with a solution. Of course! I crocheted a netted hat, then took the process of measuring, cutting, and weaving the yarn together to form a cover for the hat. It's practically done (I need to do a few little stitches to hold everything in place) and I am rather pleased with the results.

The blue is the yarn I picked up when we were on vacation. I have one mitten done and the cuff to its match started. The first mitten worked up rather quickly, and I am looking forward to finishing it and felting them.

The owl coffee cozy is the third I've made in the past week. I made one for the formally mentioned co-worker who loves owls, then made another one for a friend, and this one for myself. I've had a few requests for more coffee cozies, so I guess those will be my side projects. They're rather portable and easy to make.

Finally, the real priority project is the gray project. That is a skein of the possum yarn from New Zealand. My close friend, Chris, has a dream to move to New Zealand in the next five years. When I bought the green skein for myself, I told him all about it, and he begged me to make him something..anything.. with the yarn. His birthday was this past Sunday, and I am finally was able to get back to E. Lansing to pick up the yarn. Per his request, I am making a headband to keep his ears warm this winter. I think I will put owls on it, too (I'm in an owl mood!). This is the fourth attempt to get this project underway and keep it underway. I'm crossing my fingers I get it finished this weekend and in the mail to him.

I'm still reading Last Summer. I work mostly at the coffee house location at the library, and there seems to be a lot of quiet time out there. So when things are quiet, I read a few pages. I'm still going to hold off on my opinion of the book, but I am gradually starting to get into it more.

Things are pretty busy over here right now. Balancing work, school, tests, and Steve spending a lot of time out of town with work, things are hectic. I miss you all.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

I think that when Mom and I get together and knit at the coffee house, I end up talking more and knitting less. It's just so nice to have Mom here to knit with!

The paprika yarn in the background is a secret project I am working on currently. I started it on the way to Mackinac Island, and frogged it about three times over the weekend, before starting on the way home and doing my own thing when it came to the ribbing. Finally I am at a good place with it! The hats I started before we left and I took with me? Yep.. forgot one of the dpns at home so they didn't get worked on that much. I could not happily divide the stitches over three needles and there was not enough to justify using the circular. Oh well! It's something I can work on at home when I have the time.

The blue in the foreground is the Sunday Sweater Mom is working on for the daughter of her tattoo artist (she has been knitting for this little girl since she was a newborn). Mom is using Lamb's Pride wool in Tahiti Teal.

The beautiful variegated yarn is mine(!) that I picked up in the UP over the weekend. It's Farmhouse Yarns -- Andy's Merino II in Caribbean. It is so soft and wonderful. I have plans for this and some winter knitting.

Reading wise, I have started nor continued anything new. I know, I'm boring. Mom has read everything I had left out for her upstairs and finished reading Call the Midwife while we were on vacation.

Mom is going back to Indiana today and will return for Christmas. She is going to be missed terribly.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yarn Along -- A day late

I know we're a day late this week. I worked the morning shift yesterday and was exhausted in the evening so I didn't get a picture of what Mom and I are up to these days knitting wise.

I actually have three secret knitting projects going on, one of which I can't work on while Mom is here. The other two I am thinking of hauling up to Mackinac this weekend to work on. But on to what I can share!

I haven't started reading anything new right now. I did catch the first episode of Call the Midwife on PBS and I was not disappointed! Mom just finished reading The Language of Flowers and says she thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't wait to find out which of the books I left in her room she will tackle next.

The project in the back is Mom's latest the One Day Neck Warmer. She actually just finished it, so I made her a page on ravelry for it. As soon as I know the yarn she used, I'll update the project page. I do know that the color the yarn bled which onto her hands and needles and really disappointed her. She says she'd like to knit more of these, but would be extremely cautious as to the yarn she chooses for it in the future.

I'm working on an Amstel Hat and am using Malabrigo Silky Merino in Celeste. I have enough yarn that I am hoping to make a hat for myself and one for Mom, too. The plan was to have both knitted by the time we left for vacation this weekend, but I am still on hat #1 due to a burn on my left hand. I'm hoping to get lots of knitting in tonight at knitting group!

Tonight we are heading off to the knitting group for more knitting and socializing. Tomorrow I will be packing up my project bag for the weekend. I think Mom has said she wants to go through my yarn stash and see what I have readily available to be used because she is itching to be working on something else right now.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Classes, Coffee, and everything in between

This has been an interesting first month of the fall semester. I'm only part time this term, but I seem to be putting in more work than I have in the past with a full schedule.

My Saturday bio class (the one I take with Steve) is going pretty well so far. It's an all day class (9am to 3:30pm), but isn't "all day" in the sense that the first ninety minutes are lecture time, then there is a thirty minute break, three hours dedicated to lab time, and finally ninety more minutes of lecture time. We have yet to use the entire lab time we have scheduled which leaves me with an hour or more for us to hang around. Nothing on campus is open on the weekends, so Steve and I just tend to hang out in the classroom. I took my knitting last weekend because the dead time is driving me nuts.

The real issue I am having is with my algebra class. It's not because of the course material (that's doable right now), but a software issue. The math department decided over the summer that all the classes needed to be submitting their work through an online program. It was supposed to be better than a previously used online program (it better be for the added expense they're charging students). Sadly, since the first day there have been issues.

The website crashes constantly. When it does work, it is questionable if it will take the correct answer or not (I kid you not). My professor is completely fed up with the program. The math chair for the department had her students taking their tests in the program and had to throw the scores out because of the problems they were having. This is no good! As for now it seems like we are to be submitting our homework on paper to the professor. I have no problem with this because I was writing everything down before submitting it online. It seems like that for an assignment with ten problems it was taking over four hours to submit due to all of the problems. So much time wasted!

I decided a couple of weeks ago since I spend so much time at my beloved B-24's, that I should put in an application to be a barista. So for the past week in my free time I have been learning all of the ins and outs of latte making. Things are going pretty well so far. I worked today at both their locations (they have one in downtown Ypsilanti and another at the library in the township). I love the people who work there already that it just felt like it was the natural thing to do. It keeps me busy, keeps me in free coffee, and even provides a bit of pocket money! ;)

Knitting group started at the beginning of the month. With group we saw the return of the crazy sock lady and many new, hopeful knitters (sadly no lefties this time). This is the one time I allow myself to knit and knit with no concern about work or school or even my family. That being said, I did finally finish the MKAL (I still have to block the shawl, then I will post pictures), and have started working on a sleeve for my Mom's Christmas sweater. I also have been working on writing a sock pattern and that is going slowly.

My reading has taken a back seat again, too (and right after my Dad ordered me a stack of books to read!). I'm sure that things will balance out over the next couple of weeks and I will have room for everything again.

I am looking forward to our family vacation next weekend (we're also celebrating Chase's birthday) to Mackinac Island. I've never been before and I hear it is absolutely gorgeous. I plan on knitting and reading the whole time. Mom says she's hoping there is a good coffee shop up there (lol).

So now I think I will get off this computer and go study a bit. ;)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Where has the time gone?

I think I took an unintentional break during August from the blogging world. I had great intentions to write regular updates, but as soon as that last class was done, I disconnected for a while. My "summer" was only three weeks before classes for the fall kicked in.

I'm going part time this fall. Things are slowing down now as I wrap up the list bits for this degree while working on classes (the next year is going to be heavy on bio/chem) before I transfer. One of my classes meets all day on Saturday. This also happens to be the class Steve and I are taking together. So far, this is an interesting experience taking a class with him. He does make an excellent lab partner.

The first week campus was open I worked as an information station greeter. The Student Activities department has four stations throughout campus stocked with maps, forms, and helpful people to guide visitors on campus. It was a lot of fun (I wish they would hire me in to the department!) and I met (and witnessed) many interesting people. That week of working just solidified the fact that I really, truly do miss working.

Everyone is doing well. Dad and my stepmom went to the beach for an overnight last week. This was the first time since Dad's surgery in May that he really ventured out past the house (and the hospital) for any period of time. His goal is to go six months without a health crisis, and then take it another six months at a time. They still have no idea what causes the infection that he's been getting, or where it starts or is hiding.

Mom is also doing really well. It's been a year since she was diagnosed with cancer. She had her mammogram this week and everything looks great. She has a check-up with her oncologists next week. When she is here in October for Chase's birthday, we're all going up to Mackinac Island to celebrate her health and Chase turning 11. It's not the ocean, but I think I will love it just as much.

As for Chase.. Chase is Chase. He went back to school on Tuesday. He's at a new school this year (they reconfigured the elementary schools in our district over the summer) and so far, he's loving it. One of his friends from the neighborhood is in his class, along with two from his class last year. His lady friend (the girl he has called every night through the summer) is not in his class, but they do see each other on the playground.

Chase has had a pretty great summer. He and Steve went to Scout camp for three days and absolutely loved the experience. They also slept on a submarine two weeks later. Chase was able to partake in a water robotics program while at the submarine that he thoroughly enjoyed. He also has been to a local archery range to practice. He and a friend are joining the JOAD program at the sportsman's club in October.

The garden is.. well.. it's there, but I am about finished with it. The tomatoes are slow to come in. We had three zucchini, some beans early on, and that is about it. This was just a really bad summer. I'm okay with it, though. I have been filling the fridge with goodies from the farmers' market all summer so at least I am supporting my local farms!

And now I look at the time and I see I should be wrapping this update up and getting myself ready for class (and waking the still sleeping members of my family). I'm going to try harder to provide more of an update each week. I may not post a lot, but I am around to read!

Fifth grade!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

See that? It's a finished "wing" on this MKAL! I finished it up last Wednesday evening. I'm slowly working on the other side, but dare I say it? The end is near! Knitting group starts again tomorrow and it will be the perfect project to take with me and work on for two hours straight.

When God was a Rabbit arrived in my mail on Saturday and I devoured it through the holiday weekend. I loved it. It was raw, and real, and my heart ached for Elly and her brother Joe.

I'm itching to cast on something else right now, socks or a hat, but I am determined this shawl be finished this weekend.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

Well good morning! I've been a tad bit busy over the past week (hence no post last week), but I am back now!

(Sage really likes the hat I made and was hoping he would get to lay down on it)

Let me tell you.. first and foremost I am really over this MKAL shawl. I'm still on the first "wing" of it, getting closer to be done with it, but even though it is really easy knitting, it's really boring. Last week I put it up for a couple of days for a challenge. I used my opossum yarn and turned it into a hat! Now I am just waiting for a cooler day to wear it. I think it will be wonderful this winter.

The shawl is to a point where I don't want to take it out with me if I go someplace and my knitting should tag along. Those two balls of yarn are annoying and seem to escape the bag and end up in my purse (you know.. tangled with my keys.. a wallet). My new travel project is Mom's sweater. I'm still working on the ribbing, of course, but it is at a great portable state right now.

To be honest, I really have not had a lot of time to knit this week. As a matter of fact, I think the last time I picked up my needles was on Sunday evening. However, I have been able to read so I started The Midwife and finished reading it yesterday afternoon. I knew I would love it. PBS is going to start running the series Call the Midwife next month based off this memoir so I wanted to be ready. I was not disappointed! I think my favorite character was Sister Monica Joan. I really loved the peek into 1950's midwifery.

With my morning free, I think I will work on that pesky shawl some more.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

Not a whole lot has changed on the knitting front this week. I realized last Wednesday that I made a mistake on my Laramie shawl so I had to frog and start again. Then frog and start again! I'm not quite sure where I was making the mistake early in the pattern, but I finally had the right amount of stitches. I think this progress picture I am at the same point I was a week ago. Thankfully I am off from the DPNs and on a circular! Whew!

And you can't really tell in this picture, but I am in the process of finishing the MKAL shawl now, too. I have about 12 rows so far on the "wings" section. A lot more rows to go, I'm afraid.

I did a gauge swatch for the sweater I am knitting for Mom this year and I am anxiously waiting to cast on for it. I have to get this MKAL out of the way first. I also have been thinking of other things to knit this week. So many project ideas!

This week I re-read a beach favorite: Life's A Beach. I needed light reading material and something with sand in it.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

I finished clue #3 on the MKAL. I have to say I enjoyed this clue quite a bit and the trim is pretty neat to look at. I am still up in the air about this shawl as a whole, so I decided to put it to bed for a week before finishing it. I wanted to see others finish theirs first, too, so I knew what to expect in the end. I think it will still work as a gift for Mom.

I went over my "in progress" projects and my project "to-do" list to figure out what I wanted to start working on. I also compared those lists to our trip in October and what I can and cannot take with me for that (geesh..!). As I was settling in to start work on a project, Steve came home and said he business in E. Lansing and wanted to know if Chase and I wanted to go along for root beer floats and a drive-by of the yarn shop (as if he needed to ask!). So instead of starting a project, I took a few skeins of yarn to roll in the car.

Sadly, the buttons my Mom ordered back in May are still not in. And the pattern I have seen a glimpse of and have been leaving messages for the shop owner about have gone unanswered. Dejected, I asked the girl in the shop if she could show me something unique in their yarns. As it happens, a new yarn had come in earlier in the week and it fit the bill perfectly.

That green skein in my picture? Is part merino wool and part possum. That's right.. possum.

It is the softest yarn next to cashmere that I have ever felt. I had no idea what I would do with it, but I wanted at least one skein to play with.

Once home, I googled the yarn and it's quite an interesting story!

So what am I knitting now that I put the MKAL to bed for a while? I decided to cast on for my Laramie shawl. I'm hoping to use this project as a fill in for other projects this fall. I'm using Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Blueberry Mix for mine. So far this has been a very nice pattern of repeats.

EDIT: Thanks for all of suggestions on what to do with my poor smelly sweater. I ended up ordering a bottle of Soak and Saturday morning, Chase and I washed it in the sink. He really enjoyed the hand washing part and declared "IT SMELLS LIKE SHEEP AGAIN!" triumphantly after we let it sit and soak for a bit.

We hauled it outside to dry in the shade, but brought it in later in the day when we had some pop-up showers in the area. It has finished drying in our spare room and I am happy to say the bad smell is gone and my sweater now smells like a lightly perfumed sheep. Hooray!

Happy knitting and happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

I finished reading The Language of Flowers last Friday and I absolutely loved it. It was sad and endearing and left me with hope for the characters. My Mom picked up and sent home to me via Steve a copy of A Prayer for Owen Meany, but I haven't started it just yet.

I finished clue #2 for the MKAL yesterday afternoon. I'm still up in the air about this shawl. I have to keep telling myself it would look bigger if I had it on the right length of needle, but I am still a bit worried about how it will be when finished. I hope to whisk through the next clue and be ready by Friday for the final clue. Mom suggested I knit something else to take my mind off this project, and I did toy with the idea of whipping up a new toy for my biggest knitting fan (she has been carefully watching me when working three balls of yarn). We'll see.

I do hope to cast on a new project this weekend, however. It was a toss up if I would knit a shawl for me, or start Mom's sweater for Christmas. The shawl for myself I want to be done so I can wear it in October so I think the shawl has won out for right now.

Who else is watching the Olympics? I have to say, while the summer games are not my favorite, I have been enjoying more events that I previously thought I would. I'm really into the men's swimming (go Lochte!), water polo, and rowing. I settle in to watch a few matches with my knitting and end up putting my knitting down! Oops..

Happy Wednesday and happy knitting!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hello Summer

Chase saw him first yesterday morning.

I know, it has been summer for a while now. But it is officially my summer time. I finished the last of my class work Friday night and am ready to veg out until late August when my classes start up again. This was the first summer that I took classes, and I know it won't be my last. The nice thing is that for the next year, I can go part time. Whew.

There are no real plans for this summer. Well, I take that back. I don't have any real plans for the rest of the summer. Things for Chase and Steve are getting ready to pick up. They're going camping this weekend with the Scouts. I'm not quite sure what I will do with myself for three days and two whole nights! You know.. other than knit, read, sleep, and most likely clean and de-clutter the house. 

Two weeks later they're going to sleep on a submarine. I thought about going instead of Steve, but the thought of being stuck in confined quarters with 30 8-11 year olds did not sound like fun to me. I tried to convince myself that while the boys are sleeping on the submarine, I could entertain myself at the the fiber festival, but alas, my wallet won't allow that little luxury right now (besides, I have oodles of projects I should be working on right now).

I think a staycation is what I will have!

In garden news, we got about six snow pea pods this season before the heat just burnt those poor little plants up. Our tomatoes, for the most part, are doing well. There has been some evidence of end rot again this year, so Chase and I dosed the entire garden with antacids (thanks again, Tracey, for the tip!!). The little black cherry tomatoes seem to be doing well, and are nice treat right off the vine.

Oh and we have zucchini! There are three right now that I can see. I am hopeful that the pumpkins and watermelons will produce. Mom keeps telling me to be patient. This has been such a hot summer that I shouldn't give up on anything yet. It's hard. I told the pumpkins this was their last year as an attempt before I cut them off the list like I did the corn. Patience..patience..breathe.

I also went on four interviews last week. I went months without even a nibble and then suddenly back to back (to back, to back) interviews. I have another this week, too. So I am staying hopeful that a job offer will come from one of these. I really need to be working again! I miss it so much.

And in case anyone is wondering..

Steve was working in Anderson, Indiana last Friday and Saturday and with a little bit of sneakiness, he surprised Mom at work and took her out to dinner. Mom is doing quite well. It's always nice to see that she is, though. (Plus this was the first time she got to show off her son-in-law to all of her co-workers!)

So hello summer -- sorry I was late for the party. Lets enjoy the next few weeks.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

Well, I am chugging along with my MKAL shawl these days. This may not be the greatest picture, but unless I actually pin it down, it wants to curl up. For the most part I am enjoying this project. Clue #2 involves three balls of yarn going at once which is always fun. I just don't care much for breaking yarn and weaving in.

After seeing Karen post about The Language of Flowers last week, I knew I had to pick up a copy of this book. I'm still too early in it to give a detailed opinion, but as of right now, I'm really enjoying it.

Now for a question for all of you knitters.. How and what do you use to clean wool sweaters?

Last year my boyfriend sweater was stored in a plastic tote (which I assumed was sealed) and was apparently exposed to chemicals (perhaps when my hubby fumigated the house) and now it has a chemical smell to it. I knew this at Christmas time and all through the winter, but I used Febreeze on it and went about my way. It's been sitting out all year in my room and it still smells heavily like chemicals.


My thought was to wash it in wool wash by hand and lay it on a sheet in the sun to air dry. Mom thought maybe putting it in another plastic tote with baking soda for a week or so to see if that absorbs the odor.

Mom knitted this sweater for me using wool from Beaverslide. Her sweater of the same yarn was stored under mine, but it smells just fine.

I don't want to take it to be professionally cleaned. I love this sweater too much to just hand it over to someone.

Thanks, everyone! Happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

I'm a bit light on the reading again this week. Focusing on finishing up my accounting class for the semester and working on final projects that come with that. I'll be relieved when this class is over with!

I have been reading and re-reading the pattern for my little lace knit project over and over, however. When I picked up the fall edition of Knitting Traditions 2011 last year, the Christening gown pattern caught my eye immediately. I picked out the yarn for this pattern in May when Mom was here (I'm using Fyberspates cob web weight yarn for this) and decided to cast on while waiting for the 13th.

I think this is the finest weight yarn I have ever used before which is why I didn't want to go into too much detail last week. If the project was deemed to be TOO MUCH! then I would just frog it until a later date. So far, however, so good. I have the top and the sleeves done. I'm at a good place to stop so I can focus on my other project. The skirt should be fun, along with the fancy trim for the neck and cuffs. I like how open-ended this project is. Once done, it will be packed away with the other little things that are being knitted for fun.

Of course Friday was the first day of the Mystery KAL! The night before I was skimming over the discussion boards and my goodness.. some women were chomping at the bit to get started. Wow. I think Clue #1 is looking pretty good so far! It's kind of slow going because this is in my bag for when I go out, and I didn't take it out much over the weekend. Now that I am at a comfortable stopping place with the Christening Gown, I am going to work on the shawl more at home, too. This part of the pattern is easy enough that I have it down pat and can leave the pattern at home.

Okay! Off to browse before Chase and I head out to run errands. Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Something new...

Steve and Chase have been talking for quite a while about going kayaking. After seeing pictures of Lori's husband on her blog (and Chase getting very excited at all of the potential fun), I did some serious research. I knew where two liveries are on the Huron River, but it was just nailing down a good time to go. It just so happens that today was Huron River Day!

So this afternoon we headed toward the river (along with everyone else, apparently). I opted not to go kayaking or canoeing (I have this fat girl in a small boat fear), but happily sent them out into the water.

They had a great time! They went under the overpass and disappeared behind the fishing island for quite a while. After their hour on the water, Chase was wanting to again. He spoke with the wonderful ladies with Urban Wave who really tried to convince him to try SUP. He says 'not yet.. but soon!'.

I think we're going to go back again in the next few weeks and try one of the river tours. After more research on my part, I think I can safely go in the water and sink to the bottom ;-) The boys certainly are ready to go!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

I tried taking a break from knitting while waiting for the mystery KAL to start, but it's like when the needles stopped clicking together, my creative juices stopped flowing in all of my projects. Saturday I decided to pick up a book and pick up the needles. I've had Sheepish for a while now, and with one class done, and another finishing this coming Saturday, it was time to start reading for fun again.

My only two regrets about Sheepish is that I waited so long to start it, and that I finished it Monday and I am craving more. What a wonderful memoir! It just solidifies my desire to have five sheep (I've been going on about this for years to Steve). I ordered a copy for Mom because I know she will love it as much as I did.

As for the knitting.. this may end up being a very long term project. That super lacy yarn is certainly something... This project stays at home because I am afraid of getting it dirty. I'll see how it goes over the next week and if it seems to be working out, I'll discuss more.

I also knitted up two more cat toys (pigs this time). It started with one, a request from my Mom for a friend of hers, but Jess found it hiding in my school bag and took off with it. So I worked up another one to send my Mom last night (Jess thought that one was for her today).

Okay! Time to get back into the school groove. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

After finishing the first sock and deciding it just wasn't fitting right, I went back and added more rows. Finally my corn maize socks are complete! I really enjoyed this pattern and am looking forward to making a few other pairs in the future.

Reading wise -- I'm studying up on Maine. When I was little we used to spend time on Frye Island during the summer (not to mention trips to LL Bean). Chase has expressed an interest this year in wanting to vacation in Maine. Granted, Chase wants to go during winter, but I think I have convinced him that a summer trip next year would be possible. So for the past two weeks I have been working on a travel guide for us. Of course we can't just go to Maine. We have other places to stop along the way. If everything works out, we'll be taking two weeks at the beginning of summer next year and exploring the Northeast.

Oh that little purply thing? Well, today is Jessica-4's birthday. Chase asked me last night as he was heading to bed if I had made her a toy (no.. the thought honestly hadn't crossed my mind). Jess is his baby (though she oftentimes treats him like her baby) and he wanted her to have a new toy. Knowing that Jess likes ball shaped toys, I decided to make her an octopus. Currently she is happily batting it around the living room.

I find myself in an interesting standpoint with knitting right now. I am over my "I must knit for myself!" kick, and have no projects waiting for my attention (well, my sweater is, but I just don't want to work on it right now). So I am not sure what I am going to knit between now and when the mystery KAL starts next week.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

I honestly thought I was going to be done with the socks this past week. I am decreasing for the toe on of them, so that's good, right? The thing is, I got distracted last Wednesday. When we were making trip #2 (for the week) up to E. Lansing, I decided to take along my beloved yak yarn and start working on the Who? hat. I needed a different project to counteract using the tiny needles for the socks. This was an excellent hat project! And the yarn.. yes.. it is a dream. The buttons I have on it so far came from my Mom-in-law's stash. I decided I want eyes for all the owls and am working on mixing and matching.

I did a smidge bit of reading (that was not school related), too. While at the yarn shop (trip #2), Chase pulled his attention away from the spinning wheels long enough to eyeball the book Little Felted Animals. He began to flip through it, then go through the yarn shop confirming all the needed tools were available When we made trip #3 to E. Lansing Sunday, I decided to buy the book and read up on it myself. I had dreams Wednesday night of Chase making felted toys and I took that as a sign it was something we could at least read up on and possibly try together.

Trip #3 to E. Lansing. Yes, well, when we were up there on Wednesday I had mentioned to the shop girl about Heather's mystery shawl KAL and how I always seem to miss out. She let me know that Stephen West was hosting a Mystery KAL and that there was still time to sign up. I thought about it. And thought more about it. When the opportunity presented itself to visit the yarn shop for potential yarn, it was set!

I decided to go with an old favorite (I used this for my Sassafras shawl), and picked up more Berroco ultra alpaca fine yarn in Turquoise and Oceanic. I'm looking forward to this next project.

Okay.. I'm off to get ready for my class. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


This weekend included:

Baking two new to us recipes (both delicious).
Watching the original 90210 series (okay, it's a guilty pleasure!!).
A migraine.
Steve getting backed into while in the church parking lot (ugh!).
Wondering about dress codes in general.
Another trip up to E. Lansing (hey, I'm not complaining!).
More yarn shop love(!!!).
More root beer floats (some with green ice cream and cake pieces).
Saying goodbye to Steve as he heads out of town (again).
Iced coffee. By the pot full.

Chase says this one is for you, Tracey! xoxo

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Days

For the past two weeks on Mondays we have gotten some nice little fits of rain. It's almost becoming a tradition. And we're talking significant rain. Enough that the garden doesn't have to be watered. And perhaps, a nap can be stolen with any willing feline for an hour.

And then it gets warm again. Like pretty much everyone else, this past week we dealt with the horrible heat wave. The weather has confused people and plants.

Rose of Sharon

The Rose of Sharon is starting to bloom. This usually doesn't happen until August at the earliest. I was completely shocked yesterday morning to discover this little bud opened.

The Garden 2012

The garden enjoys the bursts of rain (oh and of course the sprinkler). I've been battling squirrels this year. They decided to uproot two cabbage plants last week. I've peppered the garden. Everything I started indoors never made it outdoors. But everything I waited to start as seed in the ground is doing fantastic (look at the pumpkin plants!). I have 4 or 5 types of tomatoes this year. I picked up the plants from one of my favorite vendors at the farmer's market. So far they're all doing really well. The empty box is for Chase to plant his seeds from Ms. Tracey (he has been waiting for the weather to be tolerable).

I thought I had made a post and set it to publish a week ago, but I see that it didn't happen. I received my surprise package of goodies from Jacinta in Australia (thank you again Tracey for hosting the swap!). Everything is wonderful. Chase has enjoyed studying the map, the post cards, and sniffing the soap. I have plans for the yarn (!!). Thank you for everything, Jacinta!

Goodies from Australia.

There also has been trips to E. Lansing for Steve, with me and Chase tagging along in the afternoons. Root beer floats from the MSU Dairy Store and a trip to the yarn store?? Yes please! Mom is still waiting on the buttons for Chase's sweater to come in, so I don't mind stopping by the shop to see what the status is, or feeling the yarn, looking over the buttons myself..

Does yarn make me happy? Oh yes, yes it does!

Happy Fuzzy Yarn is new to the shop AND they are local to me! I only bought one skein of it because I just don't know what I will do with it right now. It feels so good and I love the colors (reminds me of fall). Oh and the buttons are a steampunk theme. Mom really liked them when she was here in May, and since they were still plenty, I brought home half a dozen. Again, not sure what they will be used for, but they're there when needed!

And between all of the studying (final exam is on Thursday for one of my classes!), the running around, the excessive heat, the iced coffees (mm.. ), we are lucky to see a little bit of natural beauty on the way home from Scouts.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

Progress! Both heels are turned and I am working on the "foot" section of these wonderful socks. Nothing beats carrying a freezer bag full of tiny little needles. And yes, my "luxury" reading so far this week was my newest issue of Food Network magazine. It arrived as we were heading to the farmer's market yesterday afternoon, so I took it with me and read it cover to cover at the coffee house post market trip. There are a lot of great recipes in there! Chase snagged the "50 milkshakes" insert and has started making a list.

I received notification from the library that after five months on the wait list, Townie is finally ready to be picked up. I'll be making my way to the library soon to pick it up.

Okay.. time to get ready for class and another scorcher. Stay cool and happy knitting!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

I took a break from yarn along last week because the only knitting I had accomplished was the Hugs and Kisses bracelet. Mom saw the bracelet as a kit in a knitting magazine and ordered one for me (I love being the test guinea pig!). I definitely see myself making more of these little bracelets. It was a nice, quick little knit, and the kit it came in included needles, yarn, pattern, travel yarn cutter/needle threader. The difference between my bracelet in this picture and the one on my Ravelry page is that the bracelet went through the wash yesterday and tightened up a bit (much to my liking!).

Oh and my socks.. they were neglected last week. I've opted to go with shorter socks so one is ready for the heel, the other is about ten rows from that point. I love this pattern so much!

Reading.. well.. I finished the other two books in the Fifty Shades trilogy last Monday. I just could not put them down the previous week. I loved them! By book three I was a bit annoyed with the "adult content" and admittedly did skim over some of the bedroom scenes (Okay, I get it, you have sex! Great for you! Now.. can we get back to the issue at hand here?). I found the trilogy to be light and fun. The interaction of Ana's "Inner Goddess" and her "Conscious" kept me amused.

Since finishing the trilogy I haven't picked up any reading for pleasure. Everything I am absorbing right now is strictly for academic purposes and let me tell you.. reading an accounting manual is BORING! I have two weeks left in one class, so my mind is focusing on studying and the weekly tests and quizzes. I think once this class is over in two weeks, things will settle down. I have another class that ends in a month, and the accounting class goes until August. They weren't kidding when they said these summer classes fly!

Okay.. I'm going to quickly check on a few blogs and get ready to head off to school for the morning.

Have a lovely Wednesday!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We All Fall Down

I've been trying for two days to write a post about things, but my heart has not been in it.

I made a comment over the weekend that I think migraines are the body's way to get you to slow down and I fully believe it. After the past two weeks of worrying about my dad's health, over-stressed about class, I finally succumbed to a migraine Saturday afternoon and stayed in bed until Sunday morning. I should have known one was brewing because Friday, despite Steve taking me to Frankenmuth for the day to cheer me up, I was on the verge of tears the entire time. At that time I didn't know what was going on with Dad's health (they decided not to install a pacemaker) and I was scared. He texted and called me when I was in class Saturday morning and let me know he was happy to be home. We talked for a while. Everything, tentatively, is good.

So I needed the rest and my body demanded it. I ignored my homework for the rest of the weekend and took care of Me. Stressing is just too exhausting.

Gradually I am getting myself back on track again. I've ignored my accounting work long enough and am ready to tackle the lectures. Steve has been out of town a lot, again, so it's just been me and Chase, and I have been dedicating my time to him mostly (he's learning how to solder). There is just too much wonderful going on around me and I don't want to miss it. School is important, I agree, and I don't take any of my classes lightly. But I have been down this road before where I let one particular thing dominate my life and I just won't let it happen again.

So for now, I am going to enjoy the time when my husband is in town, enjoy my friends, my knitting, my reading, even my classes, and most importantly enjoy those simple moments with Chase.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Knitting Gift Exchange -- An Apology

To those that expressed interest in the knitting gift exchange:

I apologize for the late notice, but with my father's health crisis and school this summer semester, I have decided to postpone hosting the event until a later notice. I am hoping to work out the initial kinks and try again this fall when things will hopefully be calmer. 

I sincerely apologize. 

- Emily

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

As I mentioned on Sunday, I finished up my Sassafras shawl Friday evening. I was giddy as I was casting off at the coffee house during open mic night that it was finally finished. Looking back, it really didn't take too long to make, especially since I had to restart in March. I'm blocking it one more time to get the right shape, but I plan on wearing it this week (the weather is going back down to below 70!). And yes, I did finish Mary Sutter and I loved it! I loved how it was detailed and I love how going along I thought I knew what would happen and was quite surprised at the outcome (but extremely pleased).

Moving on to the present: I am working slowly, but happily, on the corn maize socks. I also decided to make a pair of miniature mittens to send to my State/Country swap that Tracey is hosting. 

I started and finished 50 Shades of Grey  by E L James this past week, too. I picked up the other two books in the trilogy last night so I can find out what happens. I honestly debated if I was going to mention what I was reading. Why? Well, when the trilogy was released, I was mildly interested, but didn't buy. Then I started to hear about it. The radio program I listen to in the morning was discussing it one morning and women were calling in. Mom says a library near here was trying to ban it (do libraries still do this??). If a book is drawing that much attention then I had to give it a read. I will say it is not for the faint of heart. It covers a specific lifestyle choice (which I am fine with), but the author is quite detailed. I think more people (probably mostly women) are reading this in secret.

I ordered Sheepish last weekend (the bookstore was out) and am waiting for it to be delivered today. It will have to sit on the bookshelf for a couple of weeks now, I suppose! Our library doesn't have it in (I really am starting to wonder what they actually do carry lately).

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week thus far.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Thank you to everyone for keeping my father and family in your thoughts and prayers for his surgery.

Dad's surgery was a success, but the surgeon realized once he was in there that there was far more damage than originally they had expected. Ever so thankful that it didn't go another two weeks. 

As of today he is still in the ICU, but most of the wires and tubes have been removed. I haven't been able to speak to him yet, but I am hoping today he will feel up to a brief call. The focus now has been moved to locating the root of the infection in his body and attacking it full force. The pathologist on his team is determined to not let him go home until there is an answer.

My weekend has consisted of:

coffee and open mic night
breakfast with family
more coffee with friends
finishing a book
finishing my shawl
spending time with my little
guy as my bigger guy is out of town on business
Avoiding more homework
Looking forward to more time with family

Joining up with Amanda on this beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Second verse same as the first

Dad is having heart valve replacement surgery this Friday.

When I spoke to him Sunday, he said that after having an MRI late last week, he started to feel ill. Sweats, chills, unable to move from the couch to a chair in the living room easily. He figured he had a flu bug. I asked if he was going to see his nephrologist on Tuesday and his GP later this week if he still wasn't feeling well. He was more annoyed with the fact he injured his hip while getting up on the MRI table. Overall, he sounded good, just tired.

Before I went to bed Monday night, Fara had left me a voicemail. It's one of those moments you know that something isn't right. Fara had taken Dad to the hospital and he was being admitted. I called and spoke with them both briefly. The original thought was the infection he had earlier this year (that led to him being in a coma) wasn't completely out of his system and was rearing its ugly head again. Thankfully he got to the hospital before it got horribly out of control. Monday night he was refusing treatment and just wanting to go home. He was admitted, however, and started on antibiotics.

I figured he was doing pretty good because he was online posting on Facebook and overall seemed in good sorts yesterday.

Today after much testing the news came in that he needs to have surgery on his heart again. The infection has settled into the valve that was replaced last July. It's bad enough that it has to be surgically removed and the valve replaced again. Dad says no bovine valve this time around, he's actually going to have a human heart valve (there goes our "Where's the beef?" jokes). He's also going to need back surgery this year, but that probably won't happen until later this summer. When he and I spoke this evening he said that he felt pretty good and that he'd walk out of the hospital and go home for the next two days if they would let him (they won't). He's pretty optimistic about all of this, more annoyed that it is another set back in his full recovery (and to a lessor extent, his summer plans). The good news is that he should be home by Wednesday. He's also looking forward to another "heart pillow" (you know.. a stiff pillow to hug tight when you need to cough).

Fara says we don't need to head to Delaware right now. Everything seems to be pretty much on the up and up. I'm pretty optimistic that this, too, will be successful.

Please keep my dad in your thoughts and prayers, and also Fara. This has been such a year for them both. I worry more for her and her health these days.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Winding Down, Gearing Up

Things have been quiet on the blogger front in these parts. I feel bad because I have been trying to visit with everyone when I have the free time.

Chase's school year is winding down. I don't know why the schools wait until the end of the year to host not only field day (okay, I understand that part) but also science fairs. And of course on top of that, his Scout den is pushing activities almost weekly again (we've declined a few of those already). Chase's district is going through reorganizing that will be sending Chase to a different school in the district for fifth grade. He's been on pins and needles, so to speak, for two weeks hoping to be assigned the first choice on his list (he was). His best friend is also moving at the end of the school year and that is weighing heavy on his mind and heart. This little girl has email access (and a cell phone) so they're hoping to stay in touch.

So as Chase's school year is winding down, my semester is in full force. I decided that I needed to get back into the swing of things at school after taking the winter semester off. So this spring/summer I am going full time again. I have one class that meets daily until the end of June, another that meets mostly online save for 6 random Saturdays up until 7/14, and a third is completely online. Never a dull moment, right?? The nice thing is that come fall, I can drop down to part time.

I hope that within the next week things will have settled into a nice working groove and I can come back and visit more frequently. Until then, please accept my apologies if I am a bit quiet in this spot.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend at WWOW

(even in the woods, I think of the ocean!)

This past weekend, I joined Dale and Sarah for our first WWOW experience. WWOW stands for Wild Women of Washtenaw. This is an event held at the sportsmen's club for women only. For thirty-six hours, women are instructed in courses of their choice varying from rifle shooting, shotgun skeet shooting, outdoor photography, dutch oven cooking just to name a few. This was the fourteenth year the club hosted this event. There were 145 women present, more than half of them first time participants (go us!).

The instructors (members of the club itself) volunteered not only their talent and time, but also all equipment that was used. We had the opportunity to camp out on the grounds Friday night, and being the wild women that we were, we opted to do so.

Friday night there was beef roasted outdoors for dinner, a class on how to make your own make-up, and knife/axe throwing. There was also a bonfire in the field were the tents were (there were about 15 tents set up) where instructors and participants mingled well into the night.

I admit that I am not as rugged as I had hoped to be. Shortly before 2am Saturday morning, I came home to sleep in my nice warm, comfy bed. The temperature had dropped down to 46 and despite a sleeping bag and quilt, I was freezing. My head was aching and I wanted to get a few hours of sleep in order for my classes on Saturday. I was back on site by 7am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I think next year I will definitely take an air mattress and an extra sleeping bag (and a wristers..).

The classes I signed up for were rifle shooting (200 yard range), shotgun skeet shooting, and beekeeping. After breakfast, we split up (Dale and Sarah had a compass/map course when I had rifle shooting) and went to our classes.

My use of guns of any sort is limited. And when I say limited, I mean I shot one of my Mom's shotguns back when I was probably thirteen just once. There were 14 ladies in my rifle course, most of us with very little to no experience. Being the only left-handed person in the group (geesh! why is this such a shock to people still?) I was lucky enough to be paired up with a very willing instructor. He had two different rifles for me to use: a Remington 700 and and Ruger. Oh they were delightful (as delightful as guns can be I suppose). My instructor was patient with my extreme nervousness and just as excited as I was as I shot out water balloons. When I missed a shot and I swore, he laughed and said I was becoming a great huntress. Out of twenty shots, I managed to hit my target 17 times.

After the first class, we all met back at the club house for lunch. Dale and Sarah made it back from their class and we socialized with others. The three of us had the next class together, which was quite the entertaining experience.

Skeet shooting is not my thing. Flying clay pigeons? No thanks. I like my target relatively stationary, thank you very much. Out of my five shots, I grazed a pigeon on the second shot, and not again. Dale had the opportunity to shoot on an extra round. I should mention that the skeet range was next to the range that handled musket and muzzle loading (and a cannon?! what!) shooting. The ground rumbled and the air boomed the whole time. At one point I quipped to Sarah that I felt the South was trying to rise and we best grab our weapons to save our land.

Exhausted, we headed back to the clubhouse for our last classes. Sarah was taking basic archery, and Dale and I had beekeeping. The beekeeping instructor was amazing. She had so much great information to share and the last remaining questions I had about keeping a hive were answered. She offered to be a bee mentor for me, and I think I will be taking her up on that offer. Steve and I have wanted to keep bees for two years now, but within the city limits they are extremely finicky. Now that I have all the right information, it's time to look into boxes and getting on a swarm call list. It will probably be next spring when it all becomes official.

After the last class, and with the tent packed up, we hugged and said our goodbyes. We're already talking about what classes we want to take next year. Mom was disappointed that she wasn't here long enough this year to join us. Next year I am hoping that not only Mom can go, but Steve's Mom, too. I think we would all have a great time!

This was an absolutely amazing experience.

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

I'm on the last 10 rows of my shawl! Okay, so I didn't meet the deadline of having it done by today (again). I'm just going to not give myself any deadlines for this. It's so close to being finished that when it happens, it will happen. Of course being so close to finishing my shawl, I needed to cast on another project (something easily portable!).

Remember at the beginning of the year I declared this was the year for socks? Erm.. well, I haven't really made any socks yet. I did whip up the pair for my Dad in January, and I started my Atlantis socks (but I need help again with the pattern). Mom ordered the Corn Maize sock pattern for herself, but realized it was charted and asked if I wanted it. I'm going to help her ease her fear of charts this year. I promise! Anyway, of course I happily accepted the pattern. And since I just so happened to have some yummy sock yarn on hand, I couldn't resist!

I'm still reading, and enjoying, Mary Sutter. I've carved out about 45 minutes every morning for just reading, so I am happily reading on.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things...

This week we will start with what Mom has been up to.

 On the train ride here, Mom worked on two pairs of wristers and a pair of socks for Chase. When she arrived, she quickly finished up Chase's Christmas sweater for this year (she had shipped it here in pieces to put together while she was visiting). Chase had picked out buttons from the yarn shop a couple of months ago and Mom ordered them when we were there. As soon as they are in, I'll have to share.

Chase wanted a cardigan sweater this year and it had to have pockets. I can't wait to see it on him this year!

Before Mom got here, I picked up a copy of My Name is Mary Sutter after seeing Heather post about it.  It sounded like my type of book, and so far, I am not disappointed. I handed it over to Mom as soon as she had settled in so she could read it while she was here. Now that she is done (and she absolutely loved it!) the book is back in my possession.

On the needles, Mom has started work on a Who? hat using yarn she picked up at the local spot over the weekend. It will be a nice project for her journey home.

So, yes, I am still reading Mary Sutter and loving it. :) And yes, I am still working on my shawl, but I am finally on the first edging chart! I was hoping to be done by today, but school is back in session and I am getting myself into the groove. Maybe by next week. The blue yarn should have been in Mom's picture, but it was forgotten until I was setting up my things. The yarn is for my Christmas sweater that Mom is working on.

For those that are interested in joining the Summer Knitting Gift Event, I have decided to tweak the original idea just a smidge: 

1) We will knit either a cowl, a shawl, or a scarf with the yarn we are given. It can be any pattern of the knitter's choice.

2) Each participant will supply their own yarn for their own gift. If you have 3 skeins of purple and no idea what to do with it, toss it in! The more yarn you have to put in, the more options your knitter will have.

3) Those participating can send their yarn to me. Once all the yarn has been received, I'll have Chase draw names (he wants to participate someway) so everyone gets a stash of yarn to work with. I'll then send out the yarn to the new recipients including the addresses of who the gift will go to. 

4) I figure we'll start this June first as a kick-off to summer and to ease us into fall. That means you can work on your project from June through the end of October. If more time is needed, I think we could adjust it.

5) This is open to EVERYONE (international is a-okay!). Mom is going to participate, too. If you have an allergy to a specific yarn, make sure you make a note of it when you send your yarn to me (so if you have an allergy to wool, I'll make sure you're paired with someone who provides a non-wool fiber).

6) No posting pictures of your projects until September. That way it can stay a surprise as to who is knitting with YOUR yarn!

7) Interested? Email me at emily.zimmerman @ and let me know. I'll start working on a list of those that would like to take part and send out an email as we get closer to the end of May.

Happy Knitting!