Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Little Bitty Luxury

I need a break from my first sweater. After the whole making the wrong size sweater fiasco I decided to knit something up quick. Instant gratification. My first idea came to me Sunday night at 10:00p.m. Crazy right? I ran out to my quilting room with hanks of cotton in hand to wind some yarn. After all, I had to check on the horses why not wind up some yarn too! LOL! At first I was going to knit a dishcloth. After looking at the pink yarn I knew it was way too pretty for scrubbing pots and pans! I just adore pinks, mauve's, strawberry and every other color. This sweet cotton yarn was begging to be worn.

Don't you just love these colors! The yarn is by Classic Elite Yarns and the colorway is hot pink multi.

The Kerchief Scarf is fron Last Minute Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. By the way the pattern says it takes less than 2 hours to knit. I would have to say it took me just a bit longer. Do you like it? I think it's really sweet.

I thought I would leave you with this final picture. Here's a shot of our mailbox. It's pretty well buried from the snow plow. The weather forecast for tonight is 2-4 more inches of snow. This has been one of the top ten snowiest winters ever recorded.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Congo Calls

I just returned from our annual Aglow Retreat. We had such an awesome time. We had wonderful music, fabulous fellowship and awing teaching. Our speaker was author Maria Chapian. She has written over 30 books and been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. What a powerful woman of God. We all were so blessed! We stayed in a hotel right on Lake Michigan. It was only about an hour drive from my home. What a difference in the landscape. When I woke up yesterday this was the scene from my window. It was just so serene.

We saw deer coming right up to the hotel looking for food. They would step ever so dainty.

They would come closer and just watch us. It seemed as though they were listening to every word we spoke. I was amazed by this. Where I live we are out in the open. I never see any deer by our farm. What a treat to have them visit us.

Speaking of treats....Yes, I'm still on the no sugar or white flour thing. I feel great. I have more breathing room in my clothes. Hooray for that! Anyway this recipe was waiting for me when I got home. My Aunt sent it to me to try. She has had this clipping from the newspaper since 1965. If you can read the clipping it states that it is several years old. I thought Congo Bars would be a nice treat for my guys today. Not to mention with our over 40 degree temperature I can almost feel the congo beat of summer!

O.K. so I have not baked for at least 3 weeks. Can you tell? I guess I got a little confused with the low, high speed. I just have to laugh! Please, laugh with me!

My mess was just not on the counter, mixer and toaster. Yup, also all over me! I'm just showing you one leg here. I also got it all over the front of my shirt and sleeves and floor! LOL!

Aahh! The smell of the congo baking in the oven. Yes. that's right I'm still celebrating Christmas! LOL! BTW big snowstorm heading our way for tomorrow. Way up were I live we are suppose to get 8 to 10 more inches! Alright, I just started up the grill outside. You know it's over 40 here. The perfect tempature to grill some hot dogs for lunch! Then for dessert the Congo Calls!
Anyone want some congo bars?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sweater News

Yesterday one my lunch hour I started putting my sleeves on waste yarn. The reason for that was to see how the Wicked sweater was fitting me. I have never put anything on waste yarn so I was a little nervous. What if I do it wrong and all of the stitches drop off? I really had no idea how to take them off so I just used a big sewing needle. It worked! After dinner I was ready to finally try it on. My first clue that something was wrong was not being able to put the sweater over both shoulders. UUMMM...So I ended up putting the whole body of the sweater on waste yarn. I was so excited. Finally, I thought this would be the magic moment in first time sweater knitting!

Nope! My sleeves are too small. Only about 2" too small! Also at that point the sweater should have covered my bust. Mine covered about 3/4 of my bust. I knitting the wrong size! Come on, laugh with me!! I knit a small when I thought I was knitting a medium! How funny is that? I have to laugh. I didn't realize that the first size was an extra small. Oh well, what can I do? I am going to rip back a row and put the sleeves back on and keep increasing. I think because it's a raglan sweater it could work. Maybe the neckline would be higher than in the pattern. I also may frog the entire project and start over again. I am kind of a perfectionist. Don't tell anyone. I'm really still in the beginning stages of the sweater. But I already knitting over 220 yards.....Hmmmm... I just can't seem to make up my mind. Help! What should I do? I am desperate for some advise. What would you do if you were me? I think that for today I going to take a break from my first sweater.

When I got home yesterday this was waiting for me. This is a mystery quilt from Jan Patek Quilts. I love Jan's designs. Her style is very primitive yet so warm. This is a block of the month. I hope I can keep up! She also sent the borders and sashing. The colors are so rich. If you have never heard of Jan Patek designs please take a look on the link above.

Also in the package were samples of her newest fabric line she designed with Linda Brannock. This line is called "Wildrose". The prints are florals and paisleys. Sweet vines and buds.

As soon as I came across this fabric I found my new favorite. I need to get more of this one. I'm talking yards more. It's perfect for backgrounds and everything else in between! I just love new fabric! How about you?!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Farm Fun

It has been bitterly cold here. The temperature has been in the single digit's. Then factor in the wind chill and it feels like it's 15 below zero. Yes, I can hear everyone in the warm climates shivering! It's really not all that bad. Anyway I have had the horses inside all week. Horses are like little 4 year old kids. Little four year old that you have had locked up in a closet with lots of candy bars. Needless to say they get a little excited. Today I turned them out for a few hours. Boy, were they happy about that. I was lucky enough to have my camera handy so I was able to capture some cute videos. This is my miniature horse Minnie Moo. She is a young 3 year old. Minnie reminds me of a very large dog. A 350 pound dog. She loves people. Minnie loves taking snow baths. She rolls around and itches her face and back. Today she took at least four snow baths. I just love this little darling. I hope that this video puts a smile on your face like she did for me!

I hope you had a great day. Check back tomorrow for a sweater update!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Little of This and a Little of That

Today we actually broke freezing! We have had more than a week of frigid temperatures. As this pictures shows the icicles are consuming our eves. This shot is from the second story. My DH says that it seems like we are in prison. The icicles reflect a rainbow of colors. Can you see the beauty of them?

The sun is shining and the sky is putting on it's best blues for us today. I love how the sky itself variegates all the different blues!

The clouds are also trying to impress you with quick streaks as they race across the sky.

I have been knitting on my Wicked sweater as much as possible. This week I haven't had as much time as I would've liked. After only 3 more repeats I can put the sleeves on scrap yarn. At the point I can try it on. If I need to I can make any adjustments in length ect. Hopefully I will be savvy enough to be able to figure that out! We were out last night for a romantic dinner. I was wearing a beautiful red angora sweater. My DH leaned over and said "Is that your sweater you've been working on?" I just looked at him and honey I'm not even finished with it. My DH just saw me with the sweater in progress the night before! I wish I could've seen my own face! Of course he was just joking!

Maybe it's just me......I think it's so funny how I can get so into a project. So consumed by it that the expectations in your own mind are enormous! Ever feel that way? I experience that with almost everything! LOL! Then all it takes is some little distraction. You know....Nothing big, maybe just a magazine......

How about the new Interweave Knits magazine. If you haven't seen it yet you must and I stress must get yourself a copy. I found so many gorgeous projects! I adore the Mirabella Cardigan, Printed Silk Cardigan...... I could go on and on.
Bam! Then I'm off in another world dreaming about all the beautiful images. I start to plan in my head how I could add something different. How about a different texture yarn? At that point I lie to myself and figure out ways to try and knit or quilt more. Maybe wake up extra early in the morning and wash all the floors before work. Or I'll make myself a deal if I clean the house for 2 hours I can knit or sew for 4 hours! LOL!
Then reality set in. What happened to all of the time I had? Really the right way to say it is where did the time go?
P.S. I just want to say that I treasure every comment that you make. I love hearing from you all!
P.S.S. If there are any lurkers out there I'd love to hear your comments too!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Happy Valentines Day!!! I saw this cute little card and thought of all of the different hat's we each wear. We may wear knitting hats, quilting hat's, sewing hat's. Some of us also love to wear gardening hat's, chef hat's. I could keep typing on and on. I'm wishing you a day of love and lots of fun. Keep those hat's coming!

Today I thought I would show you my first lace project. The pattern is by French Girl and is called "Daphne". I first saw this shawl at Stitches Midwest. Susi and I attended our very first fiber show. We decided to find a project that we could both knit together. As soon as we saw Daphne we knew we found the perfect project for our skill level. I picked out Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb. It is 50% silk and 50% wool. The color is Tuscany. I purchased 3 hanks. This was probably the most money I had spend on a knitting project. It took me about 3 to 4 weeks to finish the shawl. Knitting it really tested my experience. All you have to do is draped it across yourself and instantly you can feel the warmth of the fiber. The shawl is truly gorgeous!

Susi finished her Daphne before I did. She went down needle size because she prefers a finer stitch. Hers turned out fantastic! It was just too small for the vision I had for mine. I cast on more stitches and followed the pattern. As I knitted along I was loving the way the shawl was working up. It was hard to tell how big it really was. The night I finished I showed my DH before I cast off. I draped it around my neck while it was still on the circular needles. Man, did it look great. My DH was impressed! He went to bed and I started the process of casting off. I thought I would never get it off the needles. Can you tell where I'm going with this? My shawl turned out to be a whopping 130". Yes, that's right, over 10 feet tall. The average ceiling in ones home is only 8 feet. This sucker is huge! It's gigantic! Enormous I must say! Then I had to add the fringe.

Here is a better shot of the stitch pattern. Isn't it pretty? I did not block this shawl. First because I'm not sure where I could have a space to do it. Second, I don't need it any bigger!!! Well, I did wear the shawl once out in public. I wore it to fiber show. I got lots of looks and compliments! I had to fold it in half and then cross it over my shoulders. I still had to be careful not to let it slide off and step on it! So now it sits on top of my knitting cabinet. I have it draped on top and it hangs over each side.
So tell me, what do you think?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Stockinette Stitch Marathon

My Wicked sweater is starting to take shape. On Saturday I finished the neckline. I decided to do 2" ribbing instead of the stitch the pattern called for. I adore ribbing so I think it's going to look great. I still can't believe I'm knitting my very first sweater! If you would've asked me a year ago if wanted to knit a garment my answer would've been no! I really have to say that it's the inspiration of other knitters.

Sunday was extremely cold. The temperature did not hit 1 degree! It was too cold to really do anything outside. Also way too cold and windy to go anywhere. I had the perfect afternoon to get down to some serious knitting. By last night I did 7 repeats of rows a & b. I timed myself and could finish the repeat in 30 minutes. This is the neckline and the start of the body of the sweater.

Here is a different view of the sleeve increases. I love the fact that you knit this sweater from the top down with almost no seaming! Pretty cool! I feel like I'm on a knitting marathon!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Makin' Cakes!

Last night I stayed up and made some cakes. Yes, that's right...Queen of cornball said yarn cakes! I wound the casscade yarn for my wicked sweater. As I was winding my yarn all I could think of was cake! Any kind of cake. Chocolate fudge cake, bundt cake, red velvet cake, coconut cake, spice cake, white cake with orange dreamsicle icing, strawberry short cake, and in my own desperation even fruit cake! I heard you shudder! Yup, can you tell I'm on a diet? I have to tell you one of my most guarded secrets...I am addicted to sugar! I love it! I adore anything with sugar as the first ingredient. My second addition is white flour. You know...the stuff cookies and cakes and pastry and pasta is made with! That combination has served me well! If anyone is counting about 25lbs well. UGH! On monday I cut out all of the sugar and carb's from my diet. Because of that sometimes my mind wanders to happier times like this.....

Yes, I can make a mean strawberry shortcake! Whoa, I got to snap out of that one!

O.K. back to reality. This is a funky Malabrigo yarn. Love the colors don't you? Remind you of anything?

Mmmmmmm blueberry pie, Want a piece? Oooppp's did I say that? LOL!
O.K. I promise to be good. I girl can dream now can't she?
Hope all your dreams are as good and tasty as mine.
Better get back to the sweater I just cast on. The color, strawberry!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Just a bit of eye candy

I thought you might like to see a little bit of new eye candy today. This is Socks that rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. It's 100% superwash merino. The color is seastone. It feels nice and squishy! I think it will make a great pair of socks.
I really didn't do much of anything today. We got hit with a snow storm!! Yeah! This morning it was snowing just a bit so I put the horses out. Bo and Minnie were happy to get out of their stalls. Minnie took a nice snow bath and tried to get Bo to play.

But as soon as I brought out the hay all the play was forgotten.

I won't be hanging out any wash today!

We actually had to go out to help a family member this afternoon. I know...What were we thinking. The forecast for my area was for 10-20" of snow. Also 30-40 MPH winds. That means blizzard conditions. As we made our way through Woodstock I was relived to see a lot of the businesses were closed.

This is the Woodstock Square. The movie Groundhog day was shot here.

We got there at about 2:00. The roads were not plowed at all! We got stuck in the snow three different times. Just out of nowhere a few people showed up and helped to push us out! Thank God for good Samaritans!

Our house is one of 7 on our two mile long road. Needless to say just the drive down our road was an adventure. You could not see the road. The drifts were about 2.5 to 3' deep. All was fine until we pulled into the driveway. My DS had the snowplow truck stuck at the end of the drive. The engine on the plow broke! Ugh! He was trying to pull it out with another truck. Yup, that one got stuck too. Then my car got stuck!!! You just got to laugh! At the end of the driveway three vehicles stuck!

The weather man said that this storm was our worst since 1999. My DH plowed three times today. The snow was very wet and heavy. Then the temperature dropped and ice started to form. The wind kicked up out of the north and pounded sleet right into your face. So far the snow total is 14". You know what my warm weather loving DH said...."Dear, you love this weather!!!"

I also want to send out my prayers to anyone affected by today's tornado's. I hope and pray you and your families are all o.k.

P.S. When I check the forecast on my BB the next line states; check weather from Hawaii!!!! Talk about teasing!

Saturday, February 2, 2008


First I want to say thank you to all of the bloggers in blog land! I am sending you a virtual flower bouquet. I love reading your blogs! Also thank you to all who have left me a comment. It's really cool that you took the time to read and post your input. I read each one and also check out your sites too!
I get so inspired by what other knitters are working on. If you are reading my site for the first time please check out the sites on the sidebar. I have learned so much from these fantastic artists! The patterns, yarns, and colors just amaze me.
I was checking out DebbieKnitters blog and could feel the inspiration vibe across the internet. Debbie was the one who cheered me on to do my first double point project! Leave it to DebbieKnitter to inspire me to knit my first sweater. DebbieKnitter is working on a sweater by Zephyr. I went to Zephyr's site and noticed another sweater called "Wicked". Then I went on Raverly to read about projects made by other members using Wicked as the pattern think I just may be able to tackle this one. I purchased the pattern on line and off to the yarn shop I went!
This is the picture of Wicked by Zephyr. It is knitted in the round with almost no seaming!

I found some really nice yarns.

This is Casscade 220 Tweed. The color is a gorgeous deep strawberry. The yarn has little flecks of other colors in it like yellow, blue, green and pink. Don't you just love it?! So here I sit with my yarn and my needles......waiting for my pattern to be e-mailed to me. A word of advise, make sure you use your credit or debit card not an e-check! I guess with e-checks it can take 3 days to clear!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Snow Heaven

We got another snow storm last night. If you know me than you know that I'm loving every minute of it! We have about 8" of snow on the ground. The drive to work this morning was a lot of fun. I think I slid the whole way! I was hoping to get a snow day but no such luck. I was praying for 12". My DH thinks I'm totally crazy (which I admit to) and so does almost everyone else I know. My DH is trying to get me to move to a warmer climate. I'm not ready for that yet.

Now for a little quilting........I want to make mini pillows for our bed in all different sizes. I think making tiny quilt blocks into pillows would look really unique. I've been playing with paper piecing. These are mini quilt blocks. No way could I piece these without doing it on paper. Each block section is 2 1/2" and will sew down to a 4" finished block. Can you see the embroidery scissors? Just to show how small they are.

I love these blocks. They are 3 1/2". I was sewing these rows together late one night........When I should be sleeping all nice and snug in my bed.

Disaster strikes! Yup, can you see what I did? The seams don't meet!!!! How the heck did I do that? Maybe because I didn't take time to pin it. I've been quilting too long for that to happen. Know anything worse than ripping out a seam? Oh yes, ripping out a seam that has been paper pieced!!
See, I told you I was nuts!!!