Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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 am so giddy to report that the sleeves are attached to the sweater and I am decreasing on the front/back of Mom's sweater! Sunday I was ready to attach the sleeves (and I don't typically enjoy this part) so I hauled all the sweater pieces over to Karen's house and had her cheer me on. When it comes to sew the seam under the arm I'll get her assistance again to help line it up (that's the part I really don't like). Since the end is near, I have put down the secret knitting to focus on this only.

I got clarification on if I can read during quiet time at work (I can), so I am planning on hauling books with me to read when I can. Knitting can stay at home (or knitting group) and my free time in the mornings I typically dedicate to studying and homework so there isn't a lot of reading time available.

Last week Steve was working in Ohio and two of the days he was in Orrville (Home of Smuckers!). While there he also went by Lehman's and snagged the book Backyard Sugarin' for me from my book wish list. I am ever determined to make our city plot of land work for us, and tapping our Maple tree is tops on that list. I'm not expecting a huge production of syrup, just a few jars that we can have in our pantry. Plus I think it would be a fun activity to at least try.

Other than that I have been hunting down projects for all of my newly acquired yarn. I think it makes Steve nervous when he sees boxes of yarn out, but I just have to gently remind him that at I'm merely knitting, not buying. ;)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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..  

The only books I have even looked at in the past week were my textbooks so I didn't include them in this photo (plus it would be hard to since they're both etexts ;-) ). It was so busy last week with the start of the semester and extended hours in my office that I just was exhausted to post to Yarn Along.

I'm extremely excited about the progress I have made on Mom's sweater! I have only four more inches to go on the body before the sleeves come in to play and this makes me giddy. It looks good, it feels good, and I can knit the pattern rows in a flash of time it seems. I've been taking it with me and knitting in the car before I go into work, but I think I might actually bring it in today (and not just because it's 2 degrees out). Every time I wear a knitted creation to work, the girls in my department Ooo and Aahh and I tell them I'm extremely lucky to have a talented Mom who keeps me happy in handknits. I'd like to show them what I am working on for her.

Oh and that little pink blurb? That's more secret knitting. Last week I said to myself that I needed to work on that secret project again because it is long overdue, but I have been so focused on the sweater lately. So I decided I would knit a certain amount on each. It was working until I realized I was almost done with the body of the sweater and the skein of yarn attached (I only have two more skeins! Eee!). So I will probably wait until Friday before I work on more of the secret project.

So how are you all doing? Are you staying warm? Staying busy? Have a wonderful week!


Monday, January 21, 2013

The Gift of Yarn

Shortly after Christmas I was having a conversation with my aunt in New York about cuckoo clocks (Steve gave me one for Christmas). She has the two she brought from Germany that my grandmother had and offered them to me (YES! Please!). While we were talking, she mentioned she also had all of my grandmother's knitting things. She said she was able to put her hands on them easily (the clocks would have to wait until the weather was better), but offered me the knitting supplies. Again, yes, please!

My aunt wasn't kidding about the knitting supplies. All of the needles (this is one package of them), including the tiniest stitch holder! Mom and I saw this itty bitty stitch holders when we were in the UP and we regretted not buying them for when we make things with thumbs. I wish I had two so I could give one to Mom. That yarn is a skein of Caron yarn called Vim, 50% mohair/50% orlon. There are over twenty skeins of it. I would love to know what Gram had planned to do with it all. Better yet, I have no idea what to do with it myself!

And then there are the mittens. When I was little I remember Gram making us all socks and mittens based on traces of our hands and feet. This is such a sweet pair, and I am guessing one of the last pairs she made. Not only do I have this pair of mittens I also have the pattern she used and the notes she made along the way for child size and adult size. I am treasuring these tidbits of my Gram.

Late last week I came home to a large box of more yarn this time from my friend Jody (she sent me yarn last year, too). Jody is a friend of my Mom's from way back in the day and after moving south from Maine, she has no use for her heavy wool yarn (and no daughters to pass the knitting love on to). The yarns are absolutely stunning. Yarns I have never seen or heard of before.

The multi-colored yarn is from Japan. The two packages in the back are a lovely brown. I can only figure Jody purchased them to make a sweater for herself as there are twenty skeins of it. The white.. oh that white yarn. Jody begged me to make something special and warm from it. It was the last yarn she had purchased in Maine before moving and she met the sheep it came from. It is so soft and smells like wonderful sheep.

With the threat of negative temperatures looming for this week, I quickly whipped up something warm for my head for when I am walking campus. My Ravelry notes are here. I still have nine skeins left of the Starcroft Nebula yarn left, and a plan for it right after I finish my current projects.

I feel so blessed that I have been gifted with such lovely yarn and with some things that belonged to my Gram.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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.. 

My goal this week was to snap a photo that showed just how beautiful this yarn is. It's Lake Josephine from Beaverslide Dry Goods and I just love it so much. Mom is pleased with the color selection for her sweater and commented many times that it had to be a new color because she didn't remember seeing it when she ordered yarn for her sweater two years ago (she's right -- they didn't have it listed then, tee hee). Unfortunately the sun is not in my favor right now. The pictures I snapped this morning were too dark, and my second attempt a few minutes ago brought a visitor that was insistent on me acknowledging her presence while I attempted to take a decent photo (Hello Jessica). I guess that makes sense seeing as she has claimed this chair as her own. Sigh. When the sweater is finished I will definitely be taking it outside (hopefully on a clear day!) for its own photo shoot.

I'm using the Bedford sweater pattern for Mom's sweater. After my initial mistakes at the beginning (the right twist), I am thoroughly enjoying this simple pattern. I had a goal for this week that I would knit four rows a day (about 1000 stitches). I figured it was an easy enough goal that I could meet daily while balancing work and family and all that goes with both of those. Well, it is Wednesday, and I have knitted two rows since Monday morning. Oops. I'm going to try and get back on to my daily goal today and make up for it over the weekend with some marathon knitting.

I have been reading a lot of recipes as of late from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume 1). I love Julia Child. I loved the movie Julie & Julia (so does Chase). I asked for this cookbook at Christmas because there are so many recipes that seem so uncomplicated but beautiful once prepared. Once I prepare my first meal from her cookbook, I'll report back on the outcome.

Today will be a longer day at work. The semester starts on Monday and we are approaching zero hour for students. Steve is also heading toward the UP for the next four days for work so if I'm not at work, I'll be shuffling Chase to and from Karen & George's and home, school, Scouts.. It never ends!

Have a beautiful Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday, Monday..

Mom went back to Indiana on Friday. This was the first visit she has made over the holidays where she was later to arrive (she had to re-schedule her trip because of Jury Duty) and stayed past the first of the new year. She was originally supposed to have gone back home on the 2nd, but Steve was assigned a case in Fort Wayne for the weekend, so instead she stayed extra days and he took her home (he also brought her up on the 20th due to this same case -- no train travel at all this time!).

The extra time was enjoyable and she was here when Chase flew back home Thursday night (she was able to get in some extra snuggles with him). Friday night it just felt strange in the house. We had gained Chase being back in the fold, but then Mom and Steve left and it was a different sort of quiet again.

We still have our Christmas tree up. We always keep it up past Epiphany, but I saw so many trees at the curb throughout Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor even before the first of the new year that I was starting to wonder if we were the only ones with our lights still lit and our tree still up.

I told myself it was probably because those trees were purchased at the beginning of November and have given all that they could give by the end of December (curbside pick-up for trees doesn’t even start until this week). 

An acquaintance of mine on Facebook had commented that if you still had your tree up this late in the game you were just holding on to the past and weren’t ready for the future. For me, at least, that isn’t the case. I hate being rushed through the holidays. It is frustrating to go into the grocery store just two days after Christmas and see that they’re seasonal display has already turned to Valentine’s Day. 

I ranted and raved when one local radio station started playing Christmas music before Halloween. I dug my heels in deep refusing to listen to any holiday music before Thanksgiving (I’m not against others doing so, trust me, but for me it really is being stuck listening to top 40 Christmas music and not the oldies, but goodies, that I love). I had no problem picking our tree up the first weekend in December because I have learned from Christmases past that I really do not like standing out in a tree lot when it is cold, damp and dark trying to pick out the next tree to grace our home. It also sat for well over a week in the living room naked until I felt ready to decorate (by that time Chase has decked out his room with his own tree and five strands of lights).

Plus I really do love all of the decorations. 

Why are people in such a rush? Whatever happened to just taking our time and we’ll get there when we get there? 

And this isn't just about the holidays. It's everywhere now. So many people are coming across as being impatient. I fought tooth and nail during the month of December not to be rushed, not to get overly excited, not to stress, because really, is it worth it? What is up with society these days?  Whenever I am feeling a bit stressed or rushed, I take comfort and watch the panda cam at the San Diego Zoo. I have been watching Xiao Liwu since shortly after his birth and have found his interactions with his mom to be fascinating. Watching them is just so peaceful.

I apologize if this has become a bit rambly. I suppose I am still fighting against being rushed and am letting my thoughts and words flow like molasses. ;-)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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?

Good morning and happy New Year to everyone! I am ready to start this year off with wonderful knitted awesomeness and so is Mom.

The sweater was Mom's Christmas sweater to Chase this year. It met his two requirements of it needing to be buttoned and it needing pockets (the gear buttons were a bonus).

The reddish item is a headband Mom knitted for me last week from yarn I've had in my stash (she was dying for a project!).

The teal color is was to be the sweater I was knitting for Mom. I just ran out of time, honestly. The sleeves are done, but then I hit a block where I just didn't want to knit. Twelve inches into the body of the sweater the mistake I made near the ribbing was bothering me so much that I ripped it all out. I'm hoping maybe this will be a Valentine's Day sweater instead.

And under all of that is a sweater Mom started knitting for herself. The pattern for her sweater is a Debbie Bliss pattern she found in a magazine. The yarn is Cascade Eco that we found at the yarn shop in Plymouth.

Reading wise, I have not read anything new as of late (I need to change that). Mom has been reading The Ranger's Apprentice series that Chase has been plowing his way through, too. She says that it is a great series for young adults.

So that is it for us. Happy knitting and reading!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013

Overall in 2012 I fell silent with my blogging. I had the urge to blog, the desire was there, but many times after I started a post I wondered if I should even bother. I was more worried about content over anything else. Does anyone really care about the daily happenings in my life? Not to mention a few things that I am too ashamed to mention here on my blog have happened.

I know that in November and December my life focus was strictly on finishing up school for the semester. I was taking two classes, the last two classes for my degree program, and I was determined to pass and not let myself down, nor my parents. I also started working at the coffeehouse in October and even though it is/was a part time gig, I was determined there to be the best new hire they have had in a long time.

I have decided that I want to get back into blogging. And not just on Wednesdays when I join in with the knitting bloggers. I have been reading everyone's blogs, but sometimes I'm just not commenting as much as I feel I should be. I worry about you all. And when you don't post for a few days, I worry more. In case anyone has been worried about us, I will provide an end of the year review.


Steve is doing pretty well these days. Granted, he is currently fighting of a mild case of bronchitis, but in general he is in good spirits. He finished up his first semester back at school and pulled a B in both classes and is pretty tickled with himself (I'm pretty tickled, too). Work has been work, and he has spent a lot of time traveling to Indiana. In fact, he was working in Evansville before Christmas and was able to bring Mom up (instead of her taking the train) and will be in Fort Wayne at the end of the week so he is taking her back home (and we get to have her visit for two extra days).


Chase is Chase. We had a rough spot in October with school where he felt he could slack off and his grades did show it, but I think he's back on track right now. In November, Chase crossed over early from Webelos II to Boy Scout. He met all of the requirements for his Arrow of Light badge in October and instead of waiting until March to cross with the rest of his den, he went ahead and crossed early. His new Troop is fantastic and he is excited to go camping in the snow at the end of the month (if we still have snow).

It is amazing to me how much he is growing up. And it is scary. I decided to take a page from my friend Kristine (and her father), and decided to write a journal for Chase. Granted, he isn't four, but I thought I would spend 2013 writing a journal for him, about him. I am looking forward to looking back with him at how this year evolves.

Right now Chase is in Delaware with Dad and Fara. They came to visit briefly right after Christmas and took Chase back with them. He'll be home Thursday night. It's definitely been quiet around here without him. Oh and his cat is tolerating the fact that he is gone (with the help with yarn balls and extra kitty treats).

Dad and Fara:

Like I mentioned above, Dad and Fara were here shortly after Christmas and left just as quickly as they had arrived. The idea was for them to come in and celebrate my degree early (just in case Dad is not here in May when I walk). Overall, they both seem to be doing well. Dad is still using a cane (though he swears he is going to get rid of it this year), and at his most recent exam they said he was doing really well (albeit the doctor was a bit surprised he was still alive and kicking, I hear).

Dad has been making plans in case something happens to him. He and Fara feel that he has made it through two heart surgeries and two massive infections in the past two years that he may not make it through a third crisis. So Dad is making sure that everything he has said he would do, will be done no matter what. My brother thinks this is morbid behavior and doesn't like it when my Dad goes into detail about plans (like getting Chase to Paris to fulfill a promise he made him when Chase was five). I think it is realistic and I honestly can appreciate the reasoning behind it. Dad doesn't want to put off things he planned to do, but he doesn't want others to either just in case he can't be there.


Mom is fantastic. I'm loving having her here and am so excited she gets to spend an extra two days with us. We've been knitting, baking, and just enjoying the company of the other since she arrived. We went to a new found yarn shop before Christmas and she picked up yarn for a sweater for herself. Her health has been great, and everything is looking good.


I finished the semester with a B in my Bio class and a C+ in my Pre-Calc class. I am satisfied with my grades. The pre-calc class was a challenge, and I loved every minute of it. I was happy with my grade when I saw I was less than 2 points from a B. Not too bad. I might take it again during the summer just to make sure I understand all the concepts (I missed a test, which contributed to a lower grade). Over the next week I will be applying for the Pharmacology program that starts in the fall. I am quite excited about this!

The community college issues degrees every semester, but only does a graduation ceremony once a year. Come May I will be able to finally walk across the stage! 

I start a new job tomorrow working part time out at the community college. I am looking forward to the change of pace and the criteria in general. It's four days a week for five hours and won't interfere with my home life and school.

Working at the coffee house has been an interesting experience, and one that I am thankful for, no matter how it all ends. There is a lot to be said when there are 9 people who cover two locations and you are the oldest (because everyone else is 20-24). I have realized that many younger people are immature, and while I find them amusing as a barista, as a co-worker their antics are not as funny. I think the owner has a lot of on his plate and I hope that he is able to get a better handle on things. That being said, I still love my coffee house, but I think it will be better when I am back to being only a customer. I honestly don't know if I will be back on the schedule next week or not. I know that two new people are going through the training process, and I only am available on Fridays, so he may have decided to just write me off the schedule. I'd be okay with that. I have made it perfectly clear that while like most of his other employees I am in school, but unlike them I have a husband and a child who both clearly are a priority in my life.

The Holidays:

Christmas was wonderful. The snow storm held off until the 26th and brought with it seven inches of wintry delight for Chase to play in. We had a great time at home and visiting with Steve's family.

And now we are welcoming the New Year. As my friend Chris said to me earlier today "2012 was a challenge, but despite the struggles we faced, we came out stronger in the end. We're going to take that strength into 2013 and make the year ours." And that, my friends, I truly believe.