Friday, February 24, 2012

Why I love the Semi-LYS

Yesterday afternoon, Steve decided on answering the question that had been plaguing me all morning: I need to visit the yarn shop in Lansing, but is it worth the drive considering gas just sky-rocketed and there is potential snow doom heading toward us? Yes, yes it is worth the trip! It's so nice that Steve understands me. :) So we loaded up and headed north (with a promise to Chase for a stop at the MSU dairy store for a root beer float)

The same girl who helped me a few weeks ago helped me again yesterday. I was able to pull my eyes away from a color of yarn I fell in love with, and pleaded my case. While Steve and Chase sat and in the back, she (gosh I need to find out her name!) sat down with me and we looked at the pattern together. Aha! A second set of eyes is always great to have! As it turns out, when I copied the pattern (the key for the symbols is 4 pages after the chart, so I copied the key so I could hold it on the same page as the chart), it didn't copy the fine lines of the graph! Now it made sense. Since I hadn't brought my sock with me (again, this was a last minute decision -- we were going to the bookstore originally), I promised I would try it out as soon as we got home.

And since I was already there...

I picked up the newest issue of Interweave Knits and the skein of yarn I had been eyeballing: Lorna's Laces Honor -- Purple Mustang. I only bought one skein of it (because I hate buying too much yarn without a project in mind), but gosh I love this yarn. It's purple and wonderfully soft and .. and I want it all for myself! I think Mom would fall for the color, too. I have found a project for just one skein, and hope to cast it on sometime soon.  And yes.. there is my sock in progress! I'm enjoying the pattern now! Hopefully by the next Yarn Along I'll have made even more progress.

But on to the list of why I love the yarn shop. It's definitely because the girl did recognize me (and knew the exact day I was in there). It's definitely because I feel so at home there and that she was so willing to help me with the pattern (she even said if I had my copy with me, she'd help me color code the chart -- something she loves to do for her own patterns). And yes, I would definitely have to say that when in a fit of frustration I emailed the owner (who wrote the pattern) and asked if she had a non-charted version, she emailed me back last night with the non-charted version and told me to call her anytime if I still had problems. Of course being able to look at all the wonderful books, and even more wonderful skeins of yarn helps, too.

Now I am off to continue working on the sock. I have a goal to reach for the night before I swatch for the purple skein.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

{this moment} - Learning to Knit

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Joining with SouleMama...

I grabbed size 4 needles to teach *facepalm*.. the lessons continue!

Wednesday, February 22, 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... 

Look! A book!

I should first come clean about my reading habits, or lack thereof, as of late. I had read a book a couple of weeks ago, a political post 9/11 book which I thought was going to be excellent. I was sorely disappointed. I'm not going to mention the title here, but I think that book soured me on picking up something new to read. Determined to start something new by this weekend, and none of my library hold requests coming in (still waiting! Ugh!), I purchased book #2 in the Cypress Hollow series How to Knit a Heart Back Home by Rachael Herron. Let me tell you, Rachael has not disappointed her readers in her second book. I'm laughing my way through, giddy with excitement. I love her writing. This is the perfect light-hearted read that I was in need of.

Knitting -- Well, the socks are on hold. I have spent so much time in the past week converting the chart so I could read it, knitting the chart section on scrap yarn to figure out the issues I was having, and then finally giving up. I honestly think this is going to require going to the semi-LYS (WOOHOO! Trip to Lansing!) for assistance with this pattern. The problem I am having most with this pattern is that there are two different possible stitches that could be used and they're both marked with the same doodle. Hence why I was working the pattern out line by line on scrap yarn before attempting it on the actual sock. Frustrating!

I'm cruising happily through my Sassafras shawl, however. It's like a little surprise waiting to be discovered. It may not look like much on the needles, but you can start seeing the pattern and when it comes off the needles, all will be revealed.

In need of another knitting project, Steve has come to my rescue. He's been going out of town a lot lately with work and has been feeling bored while out in the field. He asked the other evening (while in the 'burbs of Chicago) if I would teach him to knit. Why yes! Steve figures I would be a good teacher for him since he is also a leftie. Later today we're going for coffee and a knitting lesson. I'm excited!

Happy Wednesday and happy knitting, everyone!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

It's Wednesday already? Gosh, the time seems to be flying lately! Linking up with Ginny over at Small Things today..

You know at first I was worried the picture was too dark and the green was going to look black, but it looks pretty good today!

So the Atlantis socks are coming along slowly. I took this poor little sock to knitting group last week and instead I demonstrated how to join in the round on circulars and helped a wonderful lady increase and decrease. Hard to believe that another three week session of Karen's knitting lessons is over and a new one starts tomorrow. Anyway, I am finally to the point in this pattern where I start the fancy stuff! This means the sock will stay at home where I can concentrate and I will take a more portable project with me.

Luckily enough, my shawl is at that comfortable rhythmic pattern that I feel comfortable taking it out of the house. Now that I am comfortable with the pattern (and I have the right size needles), I can happily say that beautiful green yarn is going to become a Sassafras shawl. I haven't knitted a shawl in the round before, but I have to say I am rather enjoying this little project. I'll probably end up taking it with me tomorrow night since I have put it down over the past day to work on the Atlantis socks.

It was funny when I sat down to start this shawl last week and I made the shocking discovery that I do not own a set of size 8 dpns. I had gauged the yarn on a set of circulars, so I knew I needed to have the 8 dpns. Of course when I went to Jo-Ann's they had one set of wooden dpns, with TWO needles missing. As badly as I wanted to start this shawl, I didn't want metal and I certainly didn't want to haul off to the LYS. So I waited until the weekend (when I knew they'd be fully stocked for their upcoming sale) and picked up a set. Whew!

I'm still not reading anything major. I'm really not sure what I am in the mood to read right now, and that leads to commitment issues. I am setting a goal for myself to start a new book (any book!) this weekend.

Time to click around and see what everyone is knitting (and hopefully I will pick up a title of a book while I'm at it).

Monday, February 13, 2012


Weekending. My favorite part of the week. A time to relax, live, love and just be.

Linking up with Amanda..

Steve with Mom (2/10/12)
Our weekend began with Steve returning home from two days on a rush case down in Evansville, Indiana (a nine hour drive one-way!). On his way home, Steve decided to come back through Indiana and surprise Mom. It worked!

As Steve was approaching the Indiana/Michigan border, he ran into the winter weather that was heading across the state. Iced roads, sub-zero wind and blowing snow, forced Steve (after much pleading on my part) to pull off for the night 90 minutes from home (it took almost three hours for him to drive 90 miles at that point. Friends of ours graciously used some of their hotel points to put Steve up for the night (my friend's hubby drives a lot for his job, too, and they both were freaking out with me when they heard Steve was still trying to get home). Love my friends!

That "one inch of predicted snowfall" turned into the most we have gotten thus far totally 4.8 inches.

Saturday brought a surprise singing Valentine while dining out with the family (this is Steve's barbershop group). Fun!

Sunday was low key. There was a Scout event that Steve and Chase went to. I used a gift card from Steve and treated myself to a manicure!

Oh and there was knitting. Lots of knitting.

Friday, February 10, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

On Monday, Mom had a CT Scan when she went in for her daily radiation treatment. With only eight treatments remaining, they were confirming it was going well and preparing her for the last five super doses of radiation. Tuesday Mom got the best news. Her body has responded extremely well to treatment, that the super doses weren't needed, and that her last day of treatment would be 2/9, instead of 2/16. 

The cancer center where she has been going has been absolutely wonderful. Mom loves the technicians they have on staff and feels like she was in good care. After her last treatment yesterday, they gave her a book and two red carnations. 

We're going to plan a celebration for when she is here in May.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

Good morning and happy Wednesday, everyone! Linking up with Ginny for another wonderful day of yarn and books..

(I'm having lighting issues again -- Grr!)

I admit I haven’t been reading anything more than a magazine here and there lately. I’m getting frustrated with my library because I have a list of books I’d really like to read, but they just don’t have them. So then I spend my time debating on if I really want to buy a few of those books or will I be disappointed if I do. I’ve been watching the Avonlea series while knitting and am sadly down to the last three discs. I love everything about Avonlea and the characters. I remember watching when I was a child, but I never saw the final season. I’m certainly going to miss them all when the last disc is watched. 

I’m pleased to report that I finished Gena’s scarf last week and I love the results. I debated about tassels as I was finishing and decided not to go with them (I’m forever zipping the tassels on my scarves into my jacket). I used this pattern and chose Bernat Softee Chunky in Lavender (I really do like Bernat’s acrylic yarn a lot!). 

After the scarf was finished I needed to knit something, anything. I had to keep my mind off my Dad and my hands busy. I’ve had the Claudja head kerchief sitting in my ravelry queue for a while and decided I was ready to cast on. I ventured to the bead store, picked out a few different beads, and cast on. I have no idea what the yarn is! It was in my stash, and I have long since removed the tags. Oh well. I fell in love with the color when I bought it (that much I know). I love my Claudja. I wore it all day yesterday! I will definitely be making more in different colors in the future. 

Now about these potential socks. Toe-up? Ugh! Size 1 DPNs? Cringe! Thankfully Youtube had a video of the “magic cast-on” for a leftie. I think I would like this cast-on method if it were on bigger needles. Yes, I think I will need to pick up a pair of metal needles for these. I already see those little wooden ones bending a lot. I’ve put the sock on hold until Thursday for knitting group. I’m at the part where I knit for 28 rounds so it would be good to take to group (distractions welcome!).

The green is the yarn I picked up over the weekend. I'm not so sure about this project just yet, but I hope to be more into it next week at this time. 

Happy knitting everyone!

Yarn Shop Love

(I just noticed Agent sitting Chase's laundry basket in the background)

Back when Mom and I visited the somewhat LYS in Jackson, Michigan, the owner had mentioned the yarn shop up in East Lansing as being fantastic. We didn’t get a chance to visit when Mom was here, but it has been on the back burner of my mind to scout it out for us. 

This past week as I was eyeballing yarns and patterns (and looking for local shops that carry particular yarns), I saw that Rae’s was on one of the lists. By Saturday I was ready to venture out in the world again, so the boys and I headed up to Lansing (go Spartans!) with the promise of yarn and a trip to the MSU Dairy store. 

I am head over heels in love with Rae’s. The yarn selection is that of which I have never seen before. Plus they have spinning wheels, drop spindles, roving, needles, books.. I could go on for ages! The absolute icing on the cake was when the shopkeepers said with excitement “Please come in. Touch everything.” Music to my and Chase’s ears! We felt the yarn (and Chase eyed the double peddle spinning wheels). The yarn I was looking for was in fact there, just not enough of the color I wanted. Not wanting to wait on an order, I opted for a very nice substitute (Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Peat Mix) that is luscious.  

Rae also has a sock knitting kit/club. I was interested in learning more about these sock kits while I was there and was told to go ahead and look in one of the kits to see the yarn, pattern, and goodies inside. I think that I may buy the next kit that comes out. It would neat to knit with a sock kit/club!
I did pick up one of the patterns used in a previous kit to knit socks with my beloved skein of Springtree Road yarn that has been patiently waiting for a pattern. The Gates of Atlantis pattern certainly looks interesting and it’s a toe-up sock. Wish me luck there!

After I had yarn in hand, we wandered over to MSU campus and had root beer floats and cheese curds. Lansing is only about an hour from us and well worth the trip for goodies! I can hardly wait until Mom is here in May to take her to the yarn shop. I know she’ll fall in love, too.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A rollercoaster week

First and foremost, thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers this past week. My family truly appreciates them all!

Secondly, I apologize for not updating sooner. I spent my time in thought this past week and avoiding the internet for the most part.

I am pleased to say that my dad is fully alert and off the respirator. By Wednesday the sedation was completely turned off and we were waiting for Dad to "wake up". He was taken for a CT scan to look for signs of stroke (thankfully there was no sign of a stroke) and we were left to wait a little bit longer. Chase was getting desperate (as were the rest of us). I made a recording Thursday morning of Chase and sent it to Fara's cell phone. Not sure if she played it or not, but a couple of hours later she texted that Dad was waking up. Friday morning they had hoped to remove the respirator, but his liver was not functioning well, so they kept him on. Chase got to call and speak to my Dad Friday evening. He detailed our adventure at Scout camp. It was hard for Chase when he got off the phone because he wanted to see my Dad and his responses to what he was telling him. I told him that until he was off the respirator, he just needed to call and tell Dad a story.

Saturday morning Fara texted they were removing the respirator. Dad wants to go home (they say it will be at least a week), and he wants orange juice (last I heard he wasn't allowed juice yet). He'd also really like to get out of bed (not allowed still) and is determined to have my stepmom help him do so (she won't). Chase got to speak to Dad yesterday and was tickled that he was able to chat back for a few minutes. We were going to call again, but Fara said that Dad had been awake without any naps and that he was not too coherent. We'll try again today.

As soon as Dad is released from the hospital, I'll be heading to Delaware for a bit to help out with the recovery process. I still think it will be at least a couple of weeks before he is clear to go home. There still seems to be no real idea about the infection and what all has gone on here.

Thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart for the prayers and support for my family.