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Swimming in a Sea of Laundry

Laundry has always been a way for me to show my family how much I love them.  The boys would get a whiff of fabric softener when they pulled a t-shirt on and they would be reminded of me.  Honestly, is there anything better than a whiff of soap on your favorite shirt, or clean sheets on a freshly made bed?  One of my favorite memories as a child was the smell of the sheets, hung on the clothesline to dry in the sun.  At night, I would fall asleep wrapped in those sheets and the summer quilt that my grandmother made; it always smelled of the cedar from the blanket chest that it was stored in.  I always have mounds of laundry in all three stages of development.  I try to stay on top of it, but there are times when I need help.  You can learn more about my favorite laundry service here.

Look what I did!

 

I really need to take a photo of me wearing this, but until then you’ll have to deal with my understudy.

I learned a lot from this project.  I loved knitting with beads and I definitely recommend you add it to your repertoire.  I plan on using beads in future projects and thanks to the Laura Nelkin group on Ravelry, I have been given many sources for purchasing beads.  This yarn was a single ply; it tended to get fuzzy or cranky when it was handled too much and beads require a lot of action on the yarn.  I would definitely choose a smoother yarn with a tighter twist for my next project.  Many thanks to Razz for modeling this for me.  (he was NOT happy).

Winner! Winner!  Chicken …Wait!  Apparently, I lost this game of yarn chicken.  Here are my lovely “Twas the Night Before Christmas” socks from Little Bobbins.  I thought I had enough yarn to finish, but apparently there will be no chicken dinner for me.  I have ordered another ball of Knit Picks Palette so I can finish these cute socks.

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In other news, I was taken with all the great and versatile projects based on the log cabin pattern by Mason Dixon Knitting.  This is my first attempt.  I have decided to make it into a dishcloth because I worked out a lot of little nuances with this square (trust me when I tell you it is square!)  The yarn is Katia Bombay, 100% cotton.  It is very pretty and I would like to work with it again.  I held two strands together and it made a sturdy but soft fabric.  I played around with where I picked up new stitches to find out what was most pleasing.  Have you ever worked on a project and realized you did something incorrectly but it still worked out?  I think if it is consistent through the project it doesn’t really matter.  In this case, I would want to pick up stitches along the bind off edge consistently through either the front or the back of the stitch.  The pattern does not indicate which way to do this, so I think I’ll contact the designer to ask.  Again, I think what matters is that it is consistent.

So, this post has been sitting in my draft folder for over a week.  I am going to wrap it up before I forget what the heck  I am talking about.

Sipping:  coffee

Watching:  X-Files (still)

Current location of Razz:  under the dining room table

Be well,

Love,

Regina

 

So I’d like to know where, you got the notion

OK, soBanshee how many of you have that song by The Hues Corporation in your head now?  For that, I apologize.  I really do.  I woke up the other day with an Elton John song in my head for no particular reason and it wasn’t one of his better ones.   Regardless, it didn’t belong in there and it took the better part of the morning to get it out!

About notions.  I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you from time to time.

I am just about finished with my “Twas the Night Before Christmas” socks.  We all know that knitting with size 1 US dpns can be dicey at times, and I love a good challenge as much as the next gal, but when I discovered these little needle holders, I wondered how I had gotten on without them.  Check them out.  How cute are they???

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Double-pointed needle case
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They are even cute on the inside.  Like me!!

I purchased these on Etsy.  The shop is  Handmade by Jayney  and she has some really sweet items for sale.  They fit 6″ dpns perfectly.  In fact, I secured the needles that held the instep stitches in the case while I turned my heel.  I was like a woman on fire.  On FIRE!

The other super lovable notion I am using with this project is…

A Hello Kitty Lunchbox!!

Hello Kitty Lunchbox
Hello Kitty! Whatcha making?
Hello Kitty Lunchbox
Prepare to be amazed…

I know what you are thinking.  Regina, you have just blown my mind and I need a minute to process.

Take all the time  you need, my friend.  While you acclimate to your new-found enlightenment, let me further impress you by telling you that the stitch markers are kept in a Trader Joe’s Green Tea Mints tin, and yes…my Pilot G-2 pen is wearing a Hello Kitty band-aid to prevent people from walking off  with it.  As you see, it works like a charm.

I prefer using boxes like this because:

1. fancy-pants project bags snag my yarn on the zipper

2. fancy-pants project bags snag my money – have you priced some of these babies??

3. fancy-pants project bags don’t protect my needles against my 85 lb golden retriever’s rump, or protect my 85 lb golden retriever’s rump against my needles.

Win-win-win

Show me your stuff.  What is your favorite notion?

Sipping:  Killian’s Irish Red (Good ol’ Uncle George!)

Listening:  Why this, of course!

Today’s magnificent Saints are:  Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marta.  If you aren’t familiar with the story of Fatima, I encourage you to learn more about it here.  Really awesome stuff.

Have a wonderful week!

Hugs,

Regina

When Lent and Mid-life Collide

My husband is so freakin’ adorable.  He is a really wonderful man and he loves his faith – we both do – and Lent is a very meaningful time for us.  So, imagine my surprise when he lamented the fact that he was exempt from the prescribed days of fast and abstinence because he was a ‘man of a certain age’.   But what a wonderful way to view aging.  To him, though, it is not about what he has ‘lost’ rather, about what he has to gain.  Does that make sense?  To keep it real, even Snoopy had his moments!

On to knitting…

Oh boy am I enjoying the All-Ways Cowl.  I am also enjoying the compliments I am receiving!  Mind you, for all the years I have been knitting, I still look at my work with hyper-critical eyes.  Sure, I have made some oops on this project, but I am reluctant to rip back because the yarn is single ply and with too much fuss becomes wild and crazy!  Honestly?  The beading is really the focal point and if I get that part correct, it will be a stunner.  Wanna see an updated photo?  or two?

The photo on the left reflects the colors best.  Regardless of the outcome, I consider a project, knitting or otherwise, a success when I come away with a better understanding of how things work.  With this one, I have learned I must be very ginger with single-ply yarn.  I have learned that there are multiple methods for adding beads to your knitting and there are reasons for each.  I have also learned that leaving my knitting out at work attracts the curious, which results in the dropped stitches that immediately follow the cry of “oooh!  let me see what you’re working on!”  :cue the sound of beads bouncing off the desk:  I don’t have to tell you that the reason employers use that speckled, low-pile carpet is because it hides a multitude of sin, and in this case, teeny-tiny beads.

Other fun things on the needles include two pairs of socks, and a baby sweater for a little girl.  I will post more on these as I make progress; right now they are in their infancy.

20180215_125417.jpgIn my glass:  Coconut water and frozen fruit cubes.  Delish!

 

 

 

In my ears:  INXS Original Sin.  You can read about this tribute album here.

Saint du Jour:  St. Berach, an Irish Abbot.  He is the patron saint of Kilbarry, County Dublin.  I’ll drink to that!

In my heart:  These guys

When Irony Is Not Lost

Supermarket face plantMy local supermarket is in the throes of renovation and reorganization.  Typically, the feminine supplies are located somewhere in the vicinity of the health and beauty  aids, right?  Now they are conveniently located in the snack aisle.  Yuppers…Potato chips, Fritos, and feminine supplies.  Not quite sure if this was the brain child of a man or a woman, but I am convinced someone accessed the deepest darkest recesses of my brain.   Some people go for the chocolate, but for me, it’s all about salt.  Is there really any limit to how many pistachios a gal can consume?  I think not, and I would consider myself a pistachio expert.

On to knitting…

I cast on for the All-ways Cowl (for the third time) and knit the first 8 rows.  As an FYI, there are multiple techniques for incorporating beads into your knitting.  I watched two videos, neither of which were by Laura Nelkin Designs, and neither of them were the ‘right‘ techniques for the project.  Three is a charm indeed.  I am going to show you the very early stages because I am just so freakin’ happy that I finally get it.  I give all credit to the dedicated folks in the Nelkin Designs Ravelry Group, and Laura herself for not leaving knitters high and dry.  I know the photos are lousy, but can you see how the yo and ssk are creating an angle?  I feel like the beads could stand out more, but I wasn’t familiar with all the different bead sources available (again, something I learned from the Ravelry group).  Once finished and blocked, I think this will be a real beauty.

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Eating:  Honey Crisp Apple

Listening:  Me crunching on a Honey Crisp Apple

Who is today’s Saint? So glad you asked!  St. Jerome Emiliani, patron of orphans and abandoned children.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if St. Jerome was out of a job?  Sending love and hope to children everywhere.

Enjoy the day and have a truly wonderful weekend.

Love,

Regina

Oh, I forgot to tell you!  I posted two new photos here and here.  You’ll never guess the subject!  Hey!  I own my obsession… just sayin’

Not Bad for a Monday (even though it’s Wednesday)

It was a productive and pleasant day.  Work was very busy, but it always is when school is delayed due to weather; somehow those two hours get crammed in somehow.  During lunch, I made some progress on knit on my ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ sock.  Initially, I wasn’t crazy about Knit Picks Palette, but it is growing on me and I think the final result will be a nice, sturdy sock. I adore the pattern.  It is easy enough to do and the result is very subtle.  If you don’t know the designer (Dani), I recommend you check out her podcast Little Bobbins Knits.  Bobbins is her pup and he makes a very cute co-host.

After work, we went to the gym.  I stayed on the treadmill, but after reading a blog by AJ of A Petite Slice of Life , I was motivated to add a little running to the mix.  I ran two miles.  No, not all at once.  I alternated walking with 5 minute intervals of running (trotting?  lumbering?). My son was running on the treadmill to my left, and each time I switched from walking to running, he would look over and give me a high five.

I love catching up on knitting podcasts while I am doing cardio; really makes the time fly.  Today, I watched one of my favorites, The Gentle Knitter.  Nicole is from Canada and she has a quiet and soothing demeanor.  Her work in a natural history museum speaks to the earth girl in me.  Her episodes rarely exceed an hour, and the projects she creates are done in very muted and natural wool.  As much as I love all the speckled this and fancy that, I prefer things a bit more earthy in nature.  As she was sharing some of her recent FOs and give -away items, I decided to make it a goal this year to make a fair isle sweater for myself.  If any of you have a favorite pattern, I would love to hear about it.  Raglan style with a two-color yolk would be my preference.  She is wearing the Branches and Buds pattern that seems to be everywhere these days, but I would be seeking out something a little less mainstream.  I imagine I could take the main construction of the sweater and incorporate a different design on the yolk, but to be honest, I don’t think I have the skills.  Isn’t the neckline beautiful?  So feminine.

We are expecting snow in the Northeast tomorrow.  Snow days = knitting days!

Currently casting on:  The All-ways Cowl by Laura Nelkin.  I have joined her 2018 First Quarter KAL.  This will be my first project incorporating beads into my knitting, as well as my first KAL.  The group is extremely helpful and Laura is very active as well, offering her guidance when people like me complicate the uncomplicated.  (it’s a gift)  I am only in the casting on stage so I have nothing to show.  I do recommend you take one of her Craftsy classes, or if you really want a treat, participate in the Knit Stars series.  Very cool!!  After a few false starts, I am ready to cast on.  All the beads have been strung.

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The yarn is Crystal Palace Mini Mochi and I selected glass beads in various shades of mauve and pink.  Soooo pretty!

That’s it for now.  I hope you have a blessed day and if you have the good fortune to hug a doggo, do so at all cost!  My hug will be going to this guy!

Sipping:  Coffee, coffee and more coffee

Listening:  To my boys playing video games!

Today’s Saint:  St. Colette  Read more about her here.

Love,

Regina