Sunday, December 30, 2007

Do I have to take down the tree if it isn't dead yet?

Hey Yarny Peeps! How's your weekend? I'll be glad when all the leftover cookies, nuts and candy are gone...why do I feel compelled to eat it all? Ack!

I signed up for a 3 month membership at the YMCA yesterday...good jeans are getting a bit snug, lol.

Cass asked what kind of camera I got, hey, Cass! It's a Canon PowerShot SX100 IS. I hope I can figure out all the buttons and dials and make some decent pictures soon. I think it's going to take some time though.

I'd like to say a hearty Hey! to Joan, Linda, Clarabelle, Nichole, Grace, Jess, Purl, Birdsong and you too Novice Knitter. Thanks so much for stopping by and making your presence known from time to time.

Rena gave me sock blockers! Don't they look good dressed in my Neopolitan Monkey? Thank you Rena, for more than just the you!

Some actual knitting has been done here at Chez B.

Mom's Irish Hiking Scarf in lavender heather Philosopher's Wool with a super cool shawl pin that Rena gave her. Doesn't she look cute?!

I believe she really liked the scarf.

She never has done any type of handcrafts herself but does appreciate the time and love that goes into them. Her area of expertise is apple pie. Just ask The Saint, hee hee.

Love you Mom!

I've been snuggling my new Amy Butler bag The Super-Sneaky Saint got me for Christmas.

It's roomy, lightweight, has lots of pockets inside for all my knitting "stuff" and when it's full of knitting goodies, like yarn and things, you can give it a hug and it is comforting like a big teddy bear.

And, it looks so cool on the sofa! lol

The purchase of this bag was a cloak n dagger affair.

A couple of days before Christmas The Saint and I had a couple days off work to finish up our shopping. We stopped by City Knitting so I could pick up some yarn for Chef Wes' Christmas present hat.

Wandering around the shop I saw this Amy Butler bag and commented on it. I think I said something like "Isn't this pretty?". I didn't even gush about it or anything.

While I was around a corner looking at some "sale" yarn he was sort of lagging behind pretending he was looking at some other stuff and chatting-up the owner, Lorilee. This is not unusual behavior for him, he likes to chat with ladies in fabric, yarn and book shops. He's real social that way. What he was really doing, with sign language while I wasn't looking his way, was letting her know that there was something he wanted to buy and he'd be back to pick it up later. Lorilee snuck a sticker to him and as he continued to wander he walked past the bag and placed the sticker on it so they would know exactly which one. After we left the shop they popped it into a box and he went back later, picked up the box and dropped it off at Rena's house (she's always his Christmas-wrapping-elf).

I love that he does things like that. He's done it several times in the 10 years we've been together. Love you Honey!

Jared and Tammy got me a gift certificate to City Knitting and I redeemed most of that yesterday while I was hangin out with Rena, doin our usual Saturday hangin out. I picked up a copy of 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. I want to make the Marialis scarf from the book with some of the lace weight yarn I got a few weeks ago.

Yeah, after I finish that blasted EZ Adult Surprise Jacket...I'm finally working on it again and feel like I may actually be getting close to done...that sure is a lot of garter stitch! I was knitting until 1 this morning trying to make some substantial progress so I would be motivated to continue working on it today. Nice try, it's after 5pm and I haven't gotten around to sittin n knittin yet. Maybe when I finish visiting with all of you I'll get to it. lol

Max got a new sweater, knitted by Rena. Pretty spiffy! How do you like the turtle neck?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back to the grind

Well, I was back to the old routine at work today. And I am so glad.

I am a routine kind of a person and when I get out of that routine, doing busy stuff, with someplace to be or rather, several someplaces to be every day for 6's a bit much for me. I'm exhausted.

I think I'll hibernate for a couple of weeks now. No more parties please!

On to the knitting... I got all the hats done in time.

Exhibit A: Chef Wes' hat. It was a bit big but when he decided that it would fit nicely over his billed cap it worked out pretty neat. A new style is born. Hat design and yarn called Sheherazade

Exhibit B: Jared's hat. Basic black, nice snug fit. Made of Patons Classic Wool.

Exhibit C: Tammy's hat, looking rather elfish in this pic. Green heather Philosopher's Wool.

Group Exhibit:All photos will biggie size if you click on them.

My greatest accomplishment however, was for Rena. It's the Mason-Dixon Knitting Moss Grid Towel. I thought I would never get it done! But, I plowed on through, sneaking around working on it at lunch and when I knew she was working and there was no way she'd be stopping by with that bossy little Winston, lol.

I took this picture of the towel and the two Ballband Dishcloths I made to go with it just for you, Cass! ;-o The color of the bottle label complimented the knit items nicely too.

I have a really fabulous bag to show you. The Saint spoiled me rotten, as usual. I'll show it to you next time after I install the software for my NEW CAMERA! Can't wait to see how the new pics turn out. Until then, have a great day and stay safe and warm. You'll be amazed at how cool this bag is...

Monday, December 24, 2007

I'm Winston and I'm takin' over...

Winnie, here, saying Merry Christmas to everyone stopping in at Grama's blog...she's a little busy today so I got I always do when I'm here, he he he. Thanks for coming by and we hope you and yours have a fabulous and safe holiday!

I sure hope great-Grama P likes this scarf. She saw the yarn in my Grama's sewing room a couple of weeks ago and commented on how much she liked the yarn so Grama whipped up this Irish Hiking Scarf for her gift. I love the pretty cables. Grama said it was a bit rough to work with but after a good soak it came out nice. She made some other stuff too but some snoopy people might be lookin here so she can't show you those things yet. Hello snooper! Get to work on those appetizers! You don't have time to be lurking here today...

In other Christmas news the B children and grandchildren came over last night for their Santa Claus, and Grama tells me lots of fun was had by all. I didn't get to be there cause my Mom had to work at Chez Butt, ha ha ha ha! I'll get my chance for some snacks tonight though when everybody comes to my house!

The calm before the storm...look how the packages were piled high for the grandchildren. The Big Elf did a good job. Where my package at?! Any biscuits under there for a little dog?

Hey, nice ears, Pops, lol. And Grama, what's up with those big shoes anyway? Nice sweater too, meh. ROFL, can I get a couple of pets? I need some love too...oh, ok, I'm outta here!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Crazy Neighbors

You know how every neighborhood has a "crazy neighbor"? I think we're probably them, lol.

Standing in the back room a few minutes ago trying to find something to take a photo of for this blog post, this caught my eye...yep, that's my bottle tree. There's a guy who makes cooler ones here but this is The Saint's design from my request. I've had many questions from neighbors regarding my "art" at the corner of our back deck since it is visible from the street.

I'm thinking not everyone appreciates the beauty of colored glass...or maybe it's the previous occupant of the glass that they can't appreciate. I know I enjoyed the contents of every one of those pretty colored bottles over the past few years. Lots of fun times were had in the course of consuming that wine. Sort of like a diary of all the fish fry's and barbeque's we've had here with friends and family. It's hard to get the full impact of the colors on a wintry day like today but you can sort of get the idea, can't ya?

We got snow last night. After breakfast and a quick glance at The Press, The Saint put on his hunting suit (a lovely shade of blaze orange that keeps him from getting lost in the snow, ha ha ha) and trudged out to the garage and got the snow blower. In a few minutes he had the driveway and sidewalk nice and clean and was headed off to do his Sunday shopping at the local grocery and to hang out with the "old-heads" on the bench at the front of the store. Sadly, on such a cold, snowy day no one else was hangin' out. All he could do was get his few groceries and head on home.

I have my cards addressed and ready to go in the mail tomorrow. Hope they'll make it to their destinations on time. I'm not sure why I've been such a drag-ass about holiday stuff this year but I'm just not feeling any sense of urgency about it. The Saint and I will make our big shopping trip this Thursday and get the things we actually have to buy at a store. I do like to wait til the last minute for some things so you can get the best price. No sense in spending more than you have to right?

I have been knitting a lot, really I have. I'm 3/4 done with the Irish Hiking Scarf for my Mom

and I've started another Helping Hat

with some fabulous Cascade 128 Tweed color #7621 .

Then I found this and I'm thinking I want to make all of these for my tree for next year! I just love those lit-tel ti-ny sweaters!

And Max wanted to say hey so here she is admiring the scarf...


Everybody have a great week. Thanks for stopping by. Say hey while you're here. I love company! I have wine...

Monday, December 10, 2007

First tree in years

This year I decided against bringing the 2.5 ft tree already lit and decorated up from the basement where it lives under a plastic bag 11 months of the year.

On Saturday The Saint and I headed up to Greenville to see his friend Tiny aka The Giant and cut a tree. It's always great to see them and while The Saint and The Giant enjoyed a couple of holiday cocktails and caught up on all the latest truck driver gossip cause you know men gossip waaaay more than women The Giant's wife, granddaughter, son and I trekked through the snow to find just the right tree.

And here we have it...and the lights are pretty when you can catch them actually lit. lol

It's tough to catch blinking lights at exactly the instant when most of them are lit. That's a little house down there on the floor lit up. Looks a bit strange in this pic.

Here's this year's favorite ornament; one of Hallmark's Reindeer Girlfriends with her knitting basket. Rena found the set of three knitting, reading, drinking a glass of wine for me, she's such a good child. Love you Rena! I had to have them after seeing them on Grace's blog the other day. Thanks for the tip Grace, these are super cute. They were not easy to find either!

And yes, I actually have been doing some knitting, see...

it's the Irish Hiking Scarf that I'm making for my Mom. I think I'll have to knit in my sleep to get done but whatever it takes :)

I better finish getting ready for work.

Everybody have a great day and thanks to all of you who stop by and say hey.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

wash day and another hat

I have never been so happy to see this...

Laundry spinning around in the washer. Man, two weeks without it has almost driven me crazy! Rena was super nice and did a couple loads; The Saints work uniforms and towels. Everything else has been piling up in the laundry room which also happens to be the way you get into the house, yuk! It's usually messy enough with the shoes, boots, umbrellas, coats, dog beds, yada, yada, I certainly didn't need two weeks worth of laundry piled up back there too. It'll take me a couple of days to get it under control but by the weekend I should be pretty sane again, maybe. *giggle*

On the knitting front, I'm anxiously awaiting Friday. That's when Rena and I will be packing off to the Late Night Yarny Party at City Knitting. We've been once before and it was great fun. We take our folding camp chairs, drinks, snacks and a big bag 'o knitting and hang out with about 50 other knitters, crocheters and spinners from 8pm til 2am. Or however long we can last. She's getting off work at 8 and swoopin by to pick me up. Can't wait!

And, I finished another hat, Hurricane (son Jared's childhood bear) was trying to model it for us but his head just wasn't the right shape and I had to roll the brim which made it look pretty yucky. What is that big hole there? So, here's me, in the hat, that will be going to a nice, dog-loving girl for Christmas.

No, not you Rena! ha ha ha
This is another incarnation of the Helping Hat that canKnitian posted the pattern for. Each one I've made has been different. I have such a hard time counting rows, lol. I just knit til it looks pretty much the same as the set of rows before it and twist it up. I think it turned out ok. The yarn is Philosopher's Wool. I wasn't too crazy about the yarn while I was working it but once I soaked it and let it dry, I love it. Nice and soft and fabulous color. Which my crappy camera really refuses to show you.

Hope all our friends are safe and sound over there in Omaha. It's a strange world we live in. Speaking of friends, we don't have any good news about our friend Ron. After all these weeks he is still in the hospital and classified as unresponsive. They're discussing a trip to Mayo for him. Thanks for continuing to send up good thoughts on his behalf.

Well, the dryer just "buzzed" for the 3rd time so I guess I better go fold some laundry :-)

Everybody have a great day!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday, bleh!

It's freezing cold outside. The roads are icey. My washing machine has been out of commission for almost 2 weeks.

I've been knitting like crazy but it's all for gifty stuff so I can't even show you what I've accomplished incase the gift-ees are lookin.

The high tomorrow is supposed to be 27. That doesn't even qualify as a high in my book.

I'll be glad when I can do some laundry again. Wait, did I really say that? My brain must be frozen...the repair man is supposed to be back for the second time on Wednesday. sigh Why can't they carry some parts on their truck? I think it's a conspiracy...

Here's a knitterly bouquet to say thank you for stopping by and listening to my whine.

I gotta go knit now...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

An Evening with Debbie Stoller

WARNING: Lots of pictures in this post.

Woo-hoo! I got to meet Debbie Stoller tonight and she signed my Stitch n Bitch book. We had a little happy hour get-together at City Knitting, thanks Lorilee! followed by a trip to Schuler Books on 28th St for Debbie's introduction of her new book and some book signing. It was way fun!

Debbie Stoller, Kim, Lorilee, someone I don't know and Jessica! (italicized people are the fabulous City Knitting crew)

Debbie brought a few items to show us from her new Son of Stitch n Bitch book including this beautiful double knit argyle scarf.Leslie (sorry if I've misspelled your name) modeled this cute hat.

And just to prove I was there, that's me cheesin in the background, looking like I was actually involved in the conversation, lol. Notice how Debbie and I both chose red for the evening. hehe

Lorilee presented Debbie with her very own Know Your Cuts t-shirt and tote bag. Doesn't she look surprised?!

I believe a fun time was had by all.

I'll leave you with one last pic from Schuler's.

please ignore the head in the center of the picture :-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

FOs and a special evening

Hello evrybodee!

Debbie Stoller is coming to town! I can't wait for Wednesday to get here. Stitch n Bitch is the first knitting book I ever purchased and I'll be standing in line to have it signed, you bet! There's a little happy hour celebration at City Knitting before the book signing at Schuler Books and that should be great fun too.

I've been off work since last Wednesday and guess what I've been doing...besides eating and raking leaves...

KNITTING!!! 3 hats, thanks canKNITian for the pattern, and a Ballband dishcloth. And I've gotten 12 more rows done on my EZ ASJ. Nothing like a weekend of power knitting to get that old carpal tunnel syndrome flared up! lol Where's the ibuprofen?!

I really like the yarn in the red one and the green one. It's Schulana Colardino. I found it at my LYS but this eBay link has a good picture of the yarn.

Here's a closer up look at the hats...

I've decided that if I make any more with that pattern they'll be in solid color yarn so you can see the cables better. I just couldn't resist the colors of the Colardino though.

Now I'm working on a teeny tiny sweater ornament with my leftover Ice Cream Sundae yarn from the Neopolitan Monkey that I made. I really need to get busy on the Monkey's mate but there are so many other things to work on right now, waaaaa.

So, it's been a lot of years since we've had a Christmas tree, other than the 2 ft tree I keep in a garbage bag in the basement, completely lit and decorated, and I'm wondering how long a tree will last once you cut it down. I'd really like to have a real tree this year with lots of pretty decorations and lights but I really hate cleaning up all those needles when you drag it out of the house the week after the holiday. Anybody got any ideas on that?

Thanks for stoppin by. Have a great week and knit somethin.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Food & Family & a Beautiful Day

The Saint said goodbye to Mr. Turkey's paleness on a beautiful 2007 Thanksgiving morning...
all those leaves fell in about 2 hours yesterday

40 minutes in the fryer...

en voila! A golden brown tasty turkey!

Best turkey I ever ate!

My little helper, Rena, showed up to help with the last few preparations for the big feast. Thanks, Rena, I couldn't have done it without you. Seriously.

I think we used about every pot in the house by the time we were finished. It's a good thing we had 5 burners and 2 ovens, lol.

And, of course, you can't have a feast without a few of The Saint's favorite beverages...

The meal and the day were both unbeatable. We fed 12 here at Chez B.

Chef Wes (Rena's husband) came by around 6 and picked up his to-go boxes. He was finally finished with his day at work. He started at 4am and cooked 20...yes 20...18 lb turkeys and fixin's to go with 'em for the members at the country club where he is Exec Chef. He looked tired but I'll bet there were 250 or so well fed folks at the club. We're super proud of him and what he does. That man makes the best hummus on the earth!

Hope all of you had just as good a day. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's turkey day stories this weekend.

I've been knitting like crazy but can't post pictures though cause they're gifts for possibly lurking children, he he.

Have a great weekend and be sure to squeeze some knitting in between the shopping trips!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My first (and probably only *sniff*) baby hat...

Ta-da! I made this hat for my business manager's granddaughter. She couldn't find a hat small enough for her so I volunteered to knit one. She took it home today to see how it fit. I hope it will be perfect. Since Rena says she's not having any children I have to live precariously through others, ROFL.

Warning for Cass, cover your eyes and skip this next part...

Are you covering your eyes, yet? Ok, now scroll really fast past this next part and maybe you'll miss the picture of the dreaded meatiness to follow. lol Love you, have a great Thanksgiving. Here's a pretty lava lamp picture for you to enjoy before you get to the meat that I know you don't want to see. Doesn't it sort of look like a tornado? ok, are you scrolling yet? go!

Say hello to my little friend...
yep, thats Mr. Turkey, nervously awaiting the fryer tomorrow morning, mwa-ha-ha-ha, nevermind that bottle of sangria peaking out in the lower left corner. That's for later.

Yep, he's an organically grown, freshly murdelized turkey from one of our local growers, Heritage Acres Farm. He looks like a pretty nice one too. Let's hope he's really tasty. The Saint will be dropping him into the hot peanut oil tomorrow about 12:30 and we'll be feasting by 1:30, mmm-mmm.

And this is my frequently requested, crack-like substance called Pumpkin Apple Spice bread. More like cake you can eat with your hands than bread though. It has 2 1/2 cups of sugar in it and it is topped with brown sugar crumbly stuff! Yikes! And Granny Smith apples and a can of pumpkin. Mmm, it's tasty. You just can't stop with one piece of this stuff. It's very moist and has lots of those seasonings you associate with Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie.

And I'll leave you with this one more interesting photo of The Saint's favorite lamp. He looked up the other night and said, "look, we have our own little tornado"... m'yeah. Whatchu think?

You have to use a little imagination but I could totally see it that night. Maybe you just had to be there, lol.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

hats, dogs and yarny thoughts

I found the pattern here. Super quick to knit. I used the same yarn as the twisted cable mitts that I had knit previously using the hand spun yarn from the Farmer's Market. It turned out to be the perfect color for The Saint.

This picture shows the color more accurately...

Today I'll be parked on my favorite knitting chair finishing a baby hat for a co-worker's grandchild. My first baby hat and probably not my last. Found the pattern on Ravelry. Hopefully by the end of the day it will be complete and I'll have something else for show and tell.

The sun is shining brightly today, yay! Gives me a little extra energy. These dreary days really sap your ambition don't they? The Saint is off to get his "mystery meat" to make head cheese. A yearly ritual. Ew. Let me stop a minute and go wash my brain of that image...k, phew, that's better. I heard him on the phone taking orders for the mysterious loaves from family members yesterday. Glad to know it won't all be staying here ;-)

Let's look at some yarn!

I wound these up yesterday while Max was at the groomer doesn't she look lovely?

Oh, sorry, I get sidetracked very easily...back to the yarn...

I think I'll have my own little sock-a-palooza. Simple rib cuff on 2 circs I should be able to do a pair a week and have a nice new sock wardrobe by the end of the year, ROFL, ya, we all know I'll get sidetracked by 15 other projects along the way but it sounds good doesn't it?

I especially love the yarn in the middle...that's a cake of Yarn Love Scarlett O'Hara in Milk Chocolate, mmmm I picked it up at my favorite LYS. On the bottom is the TV Yarn that Amy sent me, hey Amy, for the Coffee Knitters Swap version 1, top of pic is the Claudia Hand Painted I purchased at the Michigan Fiber Fest down in Allegan.

Second pose of yarn... Don't you think they'll all look spiffy in my Mary Janes?
Socks without feet just don't have much photographic appeal :-)

No news about our friend Ron. We have to assume that since we haven't heard anything that his status is the same. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts this past week. Hopefully we'll get some better news soon.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are inclined to celebrate the holiday. We're expecting about 11 here for fried turkey and roasted potatoes, mmm-mmm!