Sunday, April 19, 2015

I Found a Knitting Group!

I'm so happy to tell you I found a new (to me) yarn shop & knitting group.  It's about an hour from our house, but then, everything is about an hour from our house.  The shop is by a pretty little lake out in the country -- on the edge of a neighboring town.  The owners are helpful and friendly, and they have a very nice yarn selection -- including a lot of gorgeous Madeleine Tosh.  They also have spinning supplies -- wheels, spindles, roving -- and a very nice friend of the shop offers spinning lessons if you're interested.  I'm interested.  So, last week, I drove over and had a spinning lesson.  It wasn't nearly as scary as I expected, and I managed to spin a little yarn on a spindle, then I graduated to a wheel for a while.  My teacher was lovely and patient, and we had plenty to chat about -- we're about the same age, same phase of life -- so to speak -- and she had lived in my hometown years ago.  Anyhoo, the time passed quickly, and when my lesson was over, I bought a drop spindle and some roving, so I'll practice at home until I can get to the shop for another lesson.  I also sat in with the knitting group for an hour or so.  They were all so friendly and welcoming -- kindred spirits -- and I can't wait to go back.

In the meantime, I've been knitting socks for my granddaughters (I know, shocking ;), and I've cast on and frogged 4 shawls -- hrummph.  Either the yarn was wrong, I didn't like the way the lace looked, or something, so I started over, again and again.  Casting on 400+ stitches over and over can get tiresome -- to say the least.  Anyway, I finally settled (I think) on the Torshavn Shawl which promises to be an authentic Faroese shawl (my present obsession) with the shoulder shaping that keeps it from sliding off your shoulders every time you move.  I'm still not sure the yarn is right, but I'm determined to knit from my stash, so it will just have to do.  

More soon ❤️✨


P. S.  See, I told you I'd be back ^v^ 

Some Knitting & Reading & Good Intentions

Good morning -- I've decided to start blogging again.  I had closed my blog for a while because I was concerned about privacy, but I miss it.  I love Instagram, which is kind of like mini blogging, but sometimes, I'd like to connect a little more, chat a little more, so I'm beginning again by sharing this post from several months ago.  Since posting this, I've finished the socks and cardi (I'm wearing it right now) and moved on to more knitting, more reading, and more of 'this, that, and the other' which I'll share soon. Have a wonderful week!  ❤️✨

Morning Everyone.  I've been running up and down the road way too much lately -- not enough time (or energy) for much knitting or reading until the last few days when, life as we know it, has begun to settle down again.  Eeenyway, sock knitting calls to me when my attention span is short, and that is much too often lately.

For the first time, I'm using Noro Silk Garden Sock.  I thought it would self stripe, but it really doesn't make distinct stripes on its own, so (taking advice from other knitters) I divided the skein in two and I'm switching every four rows.  Kinda too fiddly for my mindless knitting mood, but I do like the way they're turning out.

I'm also working on these Welsh Stockings from Nancy Bush's "Folk Socks".  I've had these in my queue forever.  They're working up a little too big, but I kind of like gathery slouchy looking socks, so I'm okay with that.

I have managed to set the socks aside long enough to make some progress with my second attempt at Miette -- had to frog the first one -- much too tight.  I found it hard to get gauge with this pattern, but I've tried this one on, and so far so good.  Should have it done and ready to wear long before it gets cool enough to wear a cardi.  Roll on fall!

There's more, but I'll spare you ^v^ -- on to books.  I just finished "The Perfume Collector" by Kathleen Tessaro, and I liked it -- mostly.  There's a lot to like -- the mystique of perfume and it's origins, Paris, London, a mysterious benefactor, & a likable protagonist. I really liked Kathleen Tessaro's first book, "Elegance", which I read years ago, so I was glad to find this new book by her.  It was a fun read. 

Blessings ❤️


Friday, May 9, 2014

The Rhodies are Blooming

Firestarting 101.  I failed.

The rhododendron are blooming.  They're just lovely, aren't they?  I love these hardy plants -- they add a much appreciated bit of green to our bare winter landscape, and these beautiful blooms to our spring.

And I can't seem to ever pass one these trees growing (seemingly) out of rocks without stopping to take their photos.  Their tenacious will to live is inspiring.  I came across these tough guys on the trail to Mt Sterling the other day -- another one I can cross off my goal to hike the 900 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park -- yay me!  The waterfall is on Gabe's Mountain Trail.  It's called Henwallow Falls -- really ^v^.  I love the quirky names of so many of the landmarks here -- Sweat Heifer Trail, Charlie's Bunion, The Road to Nowhere .... Doesn't look like I'll be able to get out into the woods for a few days -- lots of rainy days ahead.  But, that's okay.  After years and years and years of living in the land of drought, I don't think I'll ever get tired of rainy days.  And anyway, that just means more time to knit and work on this sweet little embroidery I ordered from Charlotte Lyons' Etsy Shop the other day.

(photo by Charlotte Lyons)

Can you see -- it says, "She loves birds and flowers".  I do!  

Have a great weekend Everyone!


P. S.  I don't know why I can't get my photos to center when I post from my iPad, do you?  It looks messy ... oh well ..... 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Knitting On

Good morning Everyone. Just a quick update my stalker situation.... at the trial for violating the protective order (after sitting in the DA's office for hours & hours {knitting ^v^}), Voldemort decided to plead guilty.  I was so relieved -- mostly b/c this meant I wouldn't have to testify -- my worst nightmare!  He got a light sentence, but that goes with a guilty plea, I guess.  Anyway, it's a conviction and will now be permanently on his record, so if he does anything else, it will be a felony charge.  I'm kind of beginning to feel like I have my life back and not thinking about the trial & fretting over it every minute of every day.  I'm also beginning to feel safer, although I do still scan every parking lot, store, etc., and look over my shoulder & around every corner with my pepper spray in hand.  

And  just one more thing before moving on  ... I was so encouraged when visiting a lovely church in the area last Sunday.  I ran into the lawyer who represented me last summer when I realized I had to take legal action against the stalker.  Anyway, she asked if I was considering joining the church.  I said I was thinking about it b/c of the situation with Voldemort continuing to creep after me at my former church. She then introduced me to her husband, the "chief prosecutor" and told me that V would be taken care of if he tried to pull anything on their church's turf (yes, I'm paraphrasing).  Anyway, I can't tell you how much that meant to me -- knowing I'd found a church where I could really feel safe, and know the people there would really stand up for me! So, blessings and good brave people really are out there -- this was just the reminder I needed. 

(these are all on my Rav page if you're intersted)

Anyhoo, moving on.  I've been doing a lot of knitting (good therapy) lately.  Actually, I'm always knitting a lot, but it seems even more lately.  Every year, I intend to start my Christmas Stocking Stuffer knitting in the spring, but I just never seem to get it done b/c I take off on an embroidery or some other sort of making tangent -- and then, the warmer weather fools me into thinking there's no hurry - winter is years away.  But then, before I've turned around, it's fall, and I realize I have 10 Lovable Darlings I want to knit for, and I'll never get it all done in the 10 minutes I have before Christmas arrives.  But, this year, I've actually already finished 4 pairs of socks, two pairs of mitts, and I'm moving along on another cardigan (from Ginny's lovely pattern). I've also got another pair of socks on the needles for one the big fellas -- using the coolest Van Gogh yarn from Opal (he's an admirer of Van Gogh - as we all are - along with most of the world, I suppose).  Anyhoo, sounding quite pleased with myself, eh?   And oh, the things in my queue -- a bear hoodie, more socks, well ... never ending.

I discovered this fun Van Gogh yarn (this one is Bedroom in Arles) over at the lovely Susan B. Anderson's blog (bad influence, that girl).

And I love getting knitty/yarny mail, don't you? This yarn is from Opal's Harry Potter Colorways (discontinued -sadly).  These socks will be for one of our Harry Potter lovers (again, that could be all of us).  The color is Lupin -- named for the character who turned into a werewolf.  This sock blocker came today too (from Loopy Ewe).  I thought they came in pairs, but no.  Guess I better order another one -- since I'm making socks for two legged people.

Sunday Sweater for Z - love this pattern Ginny!

So, about reading ..... I've been having a hard time finding a book that really pulls me in lately.  I think the last book that I really fell into was "The Guernsey Sweet Potato Pie & Literary Society" ..... or maybe "The Flight of Gemma Hardy".  At the moment, I'm going back and forth between "The House of the Deer" by D. E. Stevenson, "The Sisters" (about the Mitford girls -- I'm kinda obsessed with them for some reason -- have you seen "Love in a Cold Climate" - love it), and "Mary Poppins", and I like them all.  I especially like D. E. Stevenson's books -- some more than others of course.  As I think I've said before, they're especially good reading if you want/need light happy reading with likable characters and a guarantee of a happy ending.

I'm joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along this week.  Thank you Ginny!

Happy Knitting Everyone,


Oh, and I'm posting from my iPad, and I can't figure out how to link to Yarn Along - pooh.  I'll try again in a little.


Oh look -- there's a cardinal at my bird feeder!  Someone told me that means good luck - I'm believing it!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy Hikers at Charlie's Bunion

(That's me -- second from the right)

Still snow on a few little shady parts of the trail!  

Insane friend (L's DH) on top of Charlie's Bunion.  Made my hands sweat just watching him!  

A few of us Happy Hikers hiked up the Appalachian Trail to 'Charlie's Bunion' (^v^) Thursday.  Such a beautiful day!  I think we covered about 8 miles -- a good stretch of the legs.  Some of us are trying to to conquer the 900 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and this hike counts - yay!  Only about 700 miles to go, I think.  I reckon I'll finish when I'm about 92.  But, that's okay -- that just means I've got a lot more lovely days like this to look forward to.

Happy Beautiful Sunny Spring Weekend to you all!



Friday, April 4, 2014

Best Buddy of Mine

 Oh, how sad I am as I write these words.  Our Dearest Old Friend, our Beloved Buddy has passed away.

He was a beloved member of our family who wanted only to be with us -- anywhere and everywhere -- at all times.

He most lovingly and patiently tolerated our silliness (and even cats!) and was always a good sport.

He was silly and and funny and always brought us joy and laughter.

He was truly a blessing to all our family.  He made my mother smile when he visited her in the nursing home, and he snuggled close beside me during the dark days of her illness and passing.  He was there beside us offering his constant unconditional love and unquestioning loyalty at every turn in the road our lives have taken, whether happy or sad, these past 11 years.  Not enough years.  We will miss you always & forever our Dear Friend and Darling Companion.

Run and play now Sweet Boy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yarn Along

Good morning Everyone.  We had snow yesterday!  So, perfect excuse for an afternoon of knitting in front of the fire while watching "Frozen" --  loved it, not to mention, it fit right in with the wintery theme we seem to have going on here.  Again.  Anyhoo, I don't mind.  I know it won't last long, and the sun will be out again soon.  Winter's swan song I suppose.

I've been working on these Aran Socks from "Country Weekend Socks."  They are utterly soft, squishy, and luxurious.  I'm using Lion Brand Merino Cashmere -- lovely yarn!  However, I seem to have developed the habit of running out of yarn lately, so I'm waiting for the delivery of one more skein.  In the meantime, I finished a pair of Toasty Fingerless Mitts from my UFO pile (had been there for years).  I didn't run out of yarn -- yay me!  Finished them last night -- just need to sew in the ends.

And reading -- I've loved the movie, "National Velvet", as long as I can remember.  I was just as horse crazy as Velvet when I was young -- drove my dad crazy until he finally broke down and bought a couple of horses.  And OMGosh, we had fun riding all over h___ & half of Georgia.  My best friend, Bitty, and I were gone from sunup until sundown riding, swimming in the river, riding some more, swimming some more, sitting under trees talking about boys, riding some more.  Finally going home -- with sunburned noses & huge appetites for whatever good things my parents had cooked for dinner. The best days!  So anyhoo, I'm now reading "National Velvet" - a bit different from the movie, of course, but loving it.  I love books that describe the details of everyday home life, and this one does -- as well as so deftly making the characters come to life.  Good book!  

Blessings & happy knitting/reading Everyone,



Monday, March 24, 2014

Hello Spring .... or Winter?

In Texas, our spring is so short -- really just a few days it seems, and then, Bam! Hello summer.  But here in this fair land, spring is what I've always thought it should be --- a season.  A real season.  As I walked around my neighborhood Saturday, I was surprised by all the flowers I saw that had so suddenly come 'springing' up & out.  It seems like, just a few minutes ago, it was winter with snow on the ground, and then suddenly, spring has come. 

I'm told this beautiful tree is a magnolia stellata (thank you Mrs. Curlew Country).  Isn't it glorious?

And aren't these bright colorful daffodils & crocuses & irises cheerful & lovely?

These sweet little thumb sized hyacinth are so cute!

A variety of daffodils -- scattered around the hills behind my house.

Sweet little robin pecking around for his dinner.

Edited March 25 ....

What was I saying?  Something about one day snow on the ground and the next day flowers? Or is it one day flowers, and the next day snow on the ground ^v^?  Woke up to this beautiful snowy scene this morning.  Not complaining.  I love snow and flowers!

Good day for tea & knitting, don't you think?



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