Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I have been so busy it seems this entire winter that I feel like the months are just racing away from me! I honestly don't know how some of you do it! You work, have kids still at home, knit, blog, podcast, spin, go to Fiber Fests....It's mind boggling to me!

What's Going On In My World:

In 2 words. Flooring, painting. Since my birthday in late October we have been doing some home renovations. Pulled up the carpeting in the living room, office & hallway. We painted all of those rooms (Behr Gobi Desert) & then put down this awesome vinyl flooring. It's called Allure & we got it at Home Depot. It comes in 1'x3' planks & is installed as a floating floor over your concrete or even over old vinyl. We got the colorway called Ashlar. It's a dark (but not too dark) stone looking flooring with browns, oranges, golds & to my surprise a dusty blue. That sounds very 70's but trust me it's not. I didn't see any blue in the store samples. Anyway, I love it so far & it wasn't too hard to put down. Except going from one room into another because there are supposed to be transition strips that you can buy from Home Depot. Guess what? Home Depot has no clue what you're asking for & G even called the 800 # in the package & look all over the internet. No luck. But we persevered & did it.Here's a pic of the office at about the halfway mark.

    By the time we got those 3 areas finished it was into mid December so we decided to hold off on the remaining rooms until after Christmas. That stretched into February. Then we tackled the kitchen & dining room. Oh yea...somewhere in between we did the entry hall. It has been a tremendous amount of work but it looks great & I'm so thrilled with it. It is so much cleaner than carpet & we're hoping to see some improvement in our allergies. We still have the laundry room to do & plan to start that next week. Oh and paint the bathrooms.

What's On My Needles/Hooks?

  1. Holiday Wine Tags - I started these back in Nov 2011 thinking they'd be great Christmas gifts. I think I only got one set made. They are cute but I ran out of time & they're somewhat tedious because of the small thread & hook.
  2. Diamond Lace Dress It Up Scarf - Started this in early January using Classic Elite Yarns  Mountain Top Vail in Chestnut colorway. It's a luscious alpaca/bamboo yarn gifted to me by my SS- Carrie K. I have had to frog the scarf once because I didn't like my cast on. Cast on again using the crochet over the needles method & it looks nice. It has been languising due to the Irish Diamond Shawl finish up. But it's now on the front burner.
  3. River Slippers - Started these in late January & got one finished fairly quickly. I don't love them. Not sure why. They look really small. But I will finish them because I feel like a failure if I don't finish things. LOL.
  4. Stripe The Squares Baby! -  This is my second blanket using this pattern. It's really easy & looks great! I will probably send this to G's great-grandniece Sarai. She was born just a few weeks ago. Or, maybe I will send it to the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Gastonia.
  5. Special Olympics Scarves - Our local group, Hooked On Threads, is making scarves for our Special Olympics to be held in Marble Falls in early April. Of course, it will not be cold weather then. These scarves are as a memento for the athletes. Our group has committed to 22 scarves-one for each athlete & for each coach. I have finished two & am on my third. They're all crochet.
  6. A baby hat that I cast on for out of sheer desperation for something to knit while on the bike.
  7. I have swatched for my cardigan project & have a general plan but have yet to begin the actual knitting. I just don't want to start another project until I have something completed. Maybe I should knock out the other River Slipper. That might give me the mental go ahead. 
What Have I Finished?

The Irish Diamond Shawl!! Woo. I love it & Mom does too.

What Am I Reading/Listening To?

I finished reading The Hunger Games. Loved it! I have started the second book in the series Catching Fire. It's good but I'm not enjoying it as much as the first book. It is depressing & much more emotional to me than the first book.

I am listening to Vengeance In Death by J.D. Robb on audiobooks. Love this series!

I've also started listening to a couple of podcasts lately. One is Knit Naturally by Dawn who used to be a member of LSSK. Not sure if she still is but I enjoy listening to her & hearing about her world. It's great! 

The other is Wool Junkies who just started podcasting in December. I'm enjoying theirs as well.

I think that's all I want to say today! Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

WIP Wednesday

    The Irish Diamond Shawl is coming along pretty well. There are 600+ stitches per row now so it's a slow go but I'm still enjoying it & will hate to see it end. The first lace pattern is totally mindless. Once you're in the groove you don't even need the pattern except as a brief reminder. You can easily read your knitting to tell which row you're on so you don't even need a row counter. LOVE. IT. I don't have a more recent picture but I'm into the second repeat of the 2nd lace pattern so only about 20 rows to the end. Of course, every other row increases 8 stitches so it's getting slower & slower. The second lace repeat is a little more challenging than the first but still easy to memorize as a row goes along. It's almost a Zen type mediatative knit. Ok, I'll quit gushing over it. It was planned for Mom's birthday but that has come & gone. I'm still planning to finish it this month. Maybe the one month anniversary of her birthday. LOL.  

The Canaletto Cowl was a quick, fun knit. The pic isn't very good, I know. I enjoyed the knit just wish there was more cold weather so I could wear it!

What else is on my needles? 
Several projects. Seems that I have a mild case of startitis. I was thinking the other day about my progress as a knitter. When I was a new knitter I rarely had more than one project going at a time. I started one & I finished it. Totally typical. Now, I find that as I near the end of one project I start searching for another one comparable in difficulty level. And I always need a challenging project as well as one completely mindless project. As I'm ending the Irish Diamond Shawl I searched for another lace project. 

To that end I've started the Diamond Lace Dress Up Scarf. It seems that diamonds are appealing to me lately. I really love the look of those open diamond patterns on the edges. I'm using some luscious alpaca/bamboo yarn that was gifted to me by my SS this year.

I also have started, frogged & re started the River Slippers from IK Winter 2011. But, I'm just not loving the pattern. I have one slipper almost finished & it has been sitting lonely & neglected in my knitting basket for several weeks. It would be a quick knit if I would just get into it.

For my easy/mindless project I started another Stripe the Squares Baby! This one is being done in chocolate, strawberry & bone Simply Soft. Reminds me of Neapolitan ice cream.  This is a fun, quick & mindless knit.

I finished the Mixed Blues Cowl awhile back but have not seamed it together yet. 

I am working on swatches for my sweater design. This designing stuff is hard work & slow going. I need quiet & plenty of it to work on the design. The original yarn I chose will not work. I don't know why but I think it was too soft to really show the design well. So, I'm on my second swatch using Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed in Brass Heather. It's looking pretty good so far.

What am I reading you ask?
I just started The Hunger Games yesterday. This book is so good. It doesn't sound like something I'd like but it got such great reviews that I thought I'd give it a shot. I am hooked! The book takes place in the future in North America. The government sponsors an annual Hunger Games in which young participants are chosen by random draw to participate in a fight to the death "game" which is televised. 

I'm also still into the "In Death" series by J.D. Robb. I'm listening to these on audiobooks. I just finished Ceremony In Death & am taking a break to read The Hunger Games.

Also, reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. Gee! I am really into futuristic sci/fi type books. Weird!

One more thing to leave you with.... a cool yarn desktop for February.

February 2012 Desktops