Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Stocking

My wonderful husband's aunts knit. They made baby booties for the babies in the family and they also made stockings. All the children and their children have knitted Christmas stockings. Not the great grandchildren and no knitters other When I googled this pattern I really thought it would be hard to find but no, I found it.
Abby was born last year and Hampton is on his way so I guess I'll get started. I've been trying to figure out why Jim married me and I think I've found the answer.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Unpacking Somemore

In two days my mother-in-law is coming to visit for the holidays. I guess I better finish unpacking and cleaning out the guest room.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Me and My Stilletos

No Rachel I'm not talking about shoes, rather my Signature Needle Arts US O 5" double point needles. I love them!! A few months ago when they were having a free shipping day I ordered a set of 5. I have not had the opportunity or project to use them until now. Other then the US O's, the rest of the Signature needles are made in aluminum. I assume because of their diameter the US O's are made of stainless steel. The needles are very smooth and the point is wonderful for ssk's and ktog's. And I haven't bent or broken one. In the future I see a set of US 1's being added to my collection of needles. They are very pricey but well worth the investment if you are one of those like me who keep breaking their smaller needles.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Beginnings

As I go out and about I also am cognizant of my background in retail and the fact I have owned a yarn shop. One of the goals we had at the shop was to say hello to everyone as they came in and if not, at least acknowledge the person's presence while they were in the shop. This week I went to visit one of the shops I was hoping to make my home and was again not recognized for even being there. The previous week I had gone in hoping to find some yarn for a baby blanket and couldn't find enough of a color I needed and left without a hello, goodbye, can we help you find something, although I was there at least a half hour. This week I went in looking for some yarn for a scarf for my mother-in-law. I did find some yarn without the help of anyone, including the owner who was busy chatting with the regulars. Even at check out, while paying $50 dollars for my yarn the only acknowledgement I received was getting to pay the bill. Needless to say I am somewhat disappointed in the shop and will probably be looking elsewhere to spend my money and time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Out and About

I must confess that Wednesday I had put gas in my car for the first time since moving from Texas to California. We are talking a 13 gallon tank. Obviously I not getting out into the world. It is hard to meet people if you don't venture out.

I do say I have felt some what hampered by the fact Jim has been sick. The Saturday before Thanksgiving he wasn't feeling well and ended up with the Flu. What kind we're not sure. After dealing with it for a week we went to the doctor on Monday as things did not seem to be getting any better and he now has pneumonia. I am the mother of three children and use to dealing with their illnesses. Children are much easier to deal with than adults.

I needed to add some sanity to my life so Tuesday evening I went to the Foothills Folsom Knitters. What a lovely bunch of ladies and I look forward to meeting with them again.

Wednesday to get out of the house I set out for Auburn Needleworks. I am working on a needlepoint canvas for a Christmas gift and I ran out of fiber. Amazingly enough there is no needlepoint shop in Sacramento. Auburn Needleworks is both a needlepoint shop and yarn shop. And wonderful a shop it is. I got the fiber I needed to complete my canvas and also yarn for a baby blanket that I need to make for my niece.
Tuesdays the needlepointers hang out at the shop and Friday's the knitters hang out. What a wonderful place to be!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Crazy Weather

And they say Texas has crazy weather. It's hailing in Sacramento right now. This is the view from the garage. That is hail covering the street. Front door view.

Lovely view of the pool.

And the back deck.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving -this day has many connotations for me. My parents immigrated from Holland to England to San Francisco. From all the stories, they came to San Francisco the weekend of Thanksgiving. Being from Holland they had no understanding of what Thanksgiving was but were invited to celebrate the holiday with neighbors. From that day on Thanksgiving dinner has always been a celebration in my family. From year to year you never knew who would be at dinner but there were always extras. For my mother's 7oth birthday we decided to go on a cruise for Thanksgiving - her birthday is December 1. I will say this was probably the end of the family Thanksgiving holiday for our family. I was getting a divorce, mother was dealing with cancer and everyone seemed to be moving on. This was a wonderful time but time moves on and things change.

This year Jim and I are by ourselves . Next year I hope to find people to share the holiday with us. I am in a new land and need to learn how to negotiate it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bret is Finished

Actually the sweater has been finished for about a month but I finally got it on my model last night. It's gotten rather chilly in Cali!! The pattern is from Rowan Denim People by Kim Hargreaves. I did shorten the amount of ribbing on the cuffs and the sweater band. I love working with Rowan denim although the darker blue did turn my hands blue.

This sweater was knit with no holiday in mind. Two years ago for Christmas I gave Jim a sweater that was not completed at the time of gifting and he likes to tell everyone how it didn't get finished for several more months.
Yes my man does dishes!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mei Ling's New Sweater

Yesterday I decided I needed to get out of the house. It's getting to a point that it is harder and harder to find somewhere to put things as I unpack boxes. The weather here in Sacramento has gotten chillier and Mei Ling is wearing the sweater I previously knit her 24/7. What better excuse to go to a yarn shop!!! So off I headed to The Yarn Shoppe in Elk Grove.

The Yarn Shoppe in Elk Grove is a wonderful well lit store. The people there are friendly and helpful. I wandered for awhile touching and feeling. I did fondle for some time some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (should we say spoiled dog) but decided on some Berroco Pure Merino dk in three colors - navy, eggplant and aqua. In the photo the aqua is looking more light blue - just imagine it a little more green. If I can make it to DFW Fiber Fest in April I hope to take Franklin Habit's class on photographing yarn. I think it will really help my photography. The yarn is said to be shrink resistant. I just need to remember not to put it in the dryer.
I hope to hang out more at The Yarn Shoppe!! They have knit nights Tuesday and Thursday right now and I did overhear something about people bringing wine, kinda like the old shoppe. The biggest drawback is that it's about 25 minutes from the house. Then again for me that's kinda like the old shoppe!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We have landed.......

In California.

Last Wednesday my car was picked up for transport and the packers came. For some reason I thought the packers would be women. I had mixed feelings about men packing my panties and bras but Jim does like Victoria's Secret so no granny panties in the drawers. Friday the movers came and loaded up the truck. It is truly amazing how they pack the truck to use every bit of space.

To squeeze a little fun into our last weekend in Texas we were invited with the Millers to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters 50th anniversary on the 50 at the new Cowboy Stadium on Friday night. We got to check out the locker room and the dinner and auction were out on the field. We had a great time and it was fun seeing the new stadium. The screen hanging down from the ceiling is huge.

Saturday we had a crisis as Hagen, Kelsey and Mia showed up at the house. Apparently their dad decided that Mia, the eight year old indoor cat, was going to now become an outdoor cat. I had a fleeting moment of bringing the cat to California but really didn't want to as I am allergic to her. She is now residing with Kelsey's boyfriend so Hagen will still get to visit her.

Sunday we headed to the airport. Getting Jake on the flight went smoothly and he didn't seem traumatized when he got to California. Sacramento airport has an area to let your pet out to do their business which we checked out with Jake and then back in the crate for the ride home. The little dogs were happy to see us and get out of dog prison which is what Jim calls the boarding facility.

My car came Monday and Tuesday all the furniture and boxes showed up. Lots of boxes!!!!! 179 to be exact. Now I get to open them and find places to put everything.

And as a final note I would strongly discourage anyone moving to a new time zone in the West to make the move the weekend of daylight savings time. Rather then my body adjusting to a two hour change I am dealing with a three hour change.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wedding Presents

Jim and I got married January 27, 2007 at Cacharel in Arlington, Texas. I will say he is the love of my life and a wonderful stepfather to my three children. My mother decided to not attend my wedding but did send a wedding gift. This wedding gift has stayed unopened in the cedar closet uptairs. As I get ready to move I am making a conscience effort to not move anything that has a negative kharma which I do feel this gift has so I have decided to let Misson Arlington receive the gift of this present.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Birthday Season

This is the birthday season at our house. The girls turned 20 and 22 in the past two weeks - yes Rachel I'm telling everyone how OLD you are - and Hagen turns 16 in about two weeks. Clear the roads!!

This picture was taken when we were in Mexico after the 'old lady' Rachel graduated from high school. Kelsey doesn't have to bend down anymore since Hagen is almost as tall as she is now.

Friday, September 25, 2009

One Down, One To Go

The start of the 2009-2010 Knit Purl Sock Club was this month. I had used my California address and when I went to visit the dear husband last week my September sock club was waiting for me. I already knew it was there and had ask Jim what the needle gauge was so I could bring the right size needles to begin. Needless to say I started sock one and I got quite a bit done on the plane home to Arlington while finishing up listening to the last Harry Potter book. As of today I have one sock complete.
This sock pattern was designed by Kristin Spurkland and is called Eikrem Sock. The yarn is one skein of Chameleon Colorworks Twinkle Toes and the color is Socktail. This yarn is a blend of 50% superwash merino wool and 50% Tencel. The tencel makes is somewhat splity but I like the sheen it gives the yarn. Now I need to cast on the next sock to avoid the "second sock syndrome".

Monday, September 14, 2009

To Market, To Market

Here's finally a picture of the market bag I made during the Labor Day soccer tournament. The pattern came from The pattern was posted on her blog on June 1, 2007. I made it out of some leftover Tahki Cotton Classic . I plan on making the handles longer on the next one so it can fit over my shoulder. Now I just need to remember to put it in my car so I can use it the next time I go to the store!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I had offered to sew the league patches on the boy's soccer jerseys for those that did not have the time or ability to do so. Mia decided she liked laying on the bags with the jerseys. I hope none of the boys are allergic to cats!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Labor Day Weekend

Besides all the knitting I am doing these days the other thing that fills my time is soccer. Soccer practice, soccer games and soccer tournaments.

This weekend was the Plano Labor Day Soccer Tournament. No tournament is complete without early morning games. We are talking 7:30 a.m. Subtract from that the 45 minutes the coach wants you to be there before the game and another hour it takes to get to the game and we're talking leaving the house at 5:45 a.m. That is just WAY TOO EARLY. I did check into getting a hotel because we also had 3:00 games both days but being a holiday weekend there was not much available. I was given the option of king size beds (no I do not want to sleep with my child) or smoking rooms. So we drove back and forth. I will say I saw some new parts of highway 121 and 161 that I have never seen before. Thank goodness for toll tags.

Saturday's games were at Pizza Hut Park. The facility is great but they really need to have covered seating for the spectators. Especially since they charged $7.00 to park. The morning game, which we won, was great but the afternoon game was hot and to top if off the boys had to play on Astroturf. Talk about adding another 10 degrees heat. We tied that game. Sunday morning we played at Russell Creek Park. They have covered seating!! This game we lost but still qualified for the quarter finals at.......Highpoint Park. They're fields needed some TLC and water. And you definitely did not want to use the ladies facilities. The field we played on was smaller then our normal field and fast. This game we lost which ended our tournament play. While I am sad the boys didn't get to play in the semi-finals and finals I was very happy to be able to sleep in today.

This is a pictures of all twenty-two of the boys. I guess I really should refer to them as young men. My child is top left.

This is just an awesome picture of the child in action. Watch that elbow!! One of the dads on the team takes pictures throughout the games and then shares them on Shutterfly. Thank you Keith.

Of course I did get some knitting done waiting for games to start and at half time. I get to involved watching the action to knit during the games. I finished a market bag which I will post when I take a picture of it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some More FO's

I've been finishing a few small things lately. This is called Bird's Nest Smoke Ring by Shui Kuen Kozinski. It is a free download from If you remember a few posts back I wasn't really happy how my Andamento Socks were turning out so I frogged them. This is what the yarn became. I was very happy how it turned out. We just need a little more nip in the air I can start wearing it.

This is the July installment from my Knit Purl sock club. The name of the pattern is called Tessuto by Sara Morris and the yarn color is Saturday Market dyed by Knitted Wit. This was my first pair of toe up socks on two circular needles and I enjoyed making them. The pattern called for the Turkish cast on which was easy to do and made for a seamless toe. I did have some issues with the short row heel. Jean talked me through it over the phone (I was in California and she was in Texas at the time) but she also said she learned a new Japanese method of short row heel that she couldn't really explain over the phone so I hope to meet with her soon and learn it.
The second year for the Knit Purl sock club will be starting in September. I think I did pretty well this year and finished (used) four out of the six yarns. Two of the yarns are already packed and I'll wait to do those in California. I'm looking forward to another year of wonderful sock yarn and original patterns from them. And the tussie is always a fun treat. My goal this year is to try and finish each pair before the next one shows up. We shall see!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Scarfs for Sailors

My good friend Mary's son is off to Navy boot camp in September. She has gotten involved in several support groups, one of which is knitting scarfs for sailors for Christmas. She has ask her friends, if they are interested, to knit a scarf or two for the sailors. As an American it's the least I can do. Unfortunately I didn't feel I had anything in my stash that would work so....I went to Joann Fabrics. I know as a previous LYSO that's not really where I want my yarn money to go but it was in the evening and Hagen had soccer practice close to a Joann's . I will say there is not a lot to choose from when it comes to 100% wool. Lots of acrylic. YUK!! Anyhow, I ended up buying some Fishermen's Wool which claims to be 100% virgin wool containing natural oils. It also seems to contain some extraneous fibers that I have pulled out. The scarf is turning out nicely and I hope to get a few done before Christmas.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Leaf Collector

Mei Ling has adjusted well to life in California. She is still wearing her sweater when the temperatures drop in the evening and she has not fallen in the pool recently although the squirrel is still taunting her and she is still trying to catch it. Her favorite thing to do is explore the backyard. The downside is all the leaves and debris she collects on her fur. She does wait patiently while you brush her to come inside because she knows she will get a dog treat.
I wonder what you have to do to come back as a dog?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cold Mountain KAL


I'm halfway through!!!

I saw this knitalong on Ravelry a few weeks ago and debated with myself before opening up Box 2 of the packed yarn. I'm making the stole using Helen's Lace in Primrose pink.

Another week and I should be done.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Andamento Lament

I was really going gang busters with this sock thinking I would get it right although I was frustrated early on. I am on gauge and assuming everything is great. But remember what you learned about assume? The pattern has a chart for the size 10+ size which I am using but lo and behold when we get to the finished toe the size is not for a 10+. The finished size for a 10+ is 10 1/4. Not actually what I achieved on gauge. Granted I didn't get a row gauge so who know's who is off. Needless to say I am happy this is not the first sock I finished from my Knit Purl sock club because I would be very disenchanted. Other socks I have finished have been wonderful. On the same token this was the first of the sock club with errata which was never formally addressed. This sock is now about to become a cowl or shawl of some sort.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Another pair of socks done. This is the March Knit Purl sock club selection. The pattern is Thora by Kristin Spurkland and the yarn is Shibuiknits sock "Arboretum". The sock pattern went quickly even though you needed to change needle size throughout the sock pattern. I had great fun doing these socks. They do have me looking at buying a pair of US O's Signature Needles. I had 2 Darn Pretty needle casualties.
Here we have the September 2008 sock from the Knit Purl sock club. This is Andamento by Sarah Pope in Koigu Premium Painter's Palette Merino "The Pearl". We never carried Koigu in the shop because I never felt the hype was worth the yarn. It is a lovely yarn but I don't think it's the end all. I am also having to reinforce the heel and toe because of what different ravelers have said about the heels and toes wearing out. I'm having to backtrack to relearn the pattern and figure out where I quit since I started several months ago and then stopped. As much as we all know not to quit when we get frustrated that is what I did so hopefully now I am back on track and will get these finished.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I took some good friends to the airport yesterday. My "tip" was some wonderful homegrown tomatoes. We are growing tomatoes on our back deck but we are still waiting for the first red ripe tomato. As you can see, still on the orange side. We do, however, have plenty of basil. A quick trip to Whole Foods for some fresh local mozzarella, a little olive oil, capers, salt and pepper and we have for my dinner tonight a fresh, homemade Caprese salad. Yum.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Birthday Socks

The May sock pattern for the Knit Purl Sock Club was called Willamette Hop by Cookie A. The colorway is Microbrew dyed by Painted Skeins. This is not a color I normally wear myself but it is the perfect color for.........Dru Ann. And guess who's birthday is this month's?? I loved the pattern and will probably use it to make a pair of socks for myself. That's of course after I finish the other pairs of socks I have in my queue.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July Sock Club

My July Sock Club from Knit Purl came today in the mail. As always the colorway and pattern have been unique. I have thoroughly enjoyed this club. This month the pattern has been designed by Sara Morris and the yarn was dyed by Knitted Wit. The colorway is Saturday Market. I just finished knitting the socks from May and am working on the March selection. The May socks are a birthday gift and I will post about them at the end of the week after the recipient has received them. And yes, I have signed up for next year's Sock Club. Last year when I signed up it was for research, this year it is for pure pleasure.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Icarus Finished

My Icarus shawl is finally finished. I look forward to a night out so I can show it off. I could always wear it to the grocery store since they keep it so cold. I tried out my new blocking wires which made it very easy to spread out the shawl straight and even.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Selling Your House

Why is it we fix up our houses to sell? Don't we deserve to live in a house that is ready to be bought? Four and a half years ago when I bought my house the inspector put fluorescent tags on lots of the switch plates and electrical sockets showing they were loose or with a ? mark as to what it turned on. Now that the house is on the market I am finally taking the tags off.
Why did I wait so long?
When I bought the house the kids bathroom upstairs was painted a lovely dirty yellow color. Three weeks ago I painted it a nice cream with white trim.
Why did I wait so long?
I think we all need to look at our homes and say "If I put my home on the market tomorrow what would I fix?" Then go out and fix it now. Enjoy your homes the way they should be and not let the next person have a house you wish you had!!
I will now get off my soap box and go back to knitting.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Go Fish

I couldn't help myself. I just had to make one. Okay, I can't help myself, another is on the needle. This is a Fishy Tawashi translated by Rhonda White from a Japanese book. The site to download this free pattern is I did realize after closer inspection I embroidered the eye incorrectly but that will be fixed on the, ahem, next one. I've only been knitting tawashi's so far but the realm of possibilities in crochet are amazing. Don't all faint but I might just out the crochet hook. The cupcake is really cute!! Tawashi's are like Lay's potato chips - you can't make just one!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mei Ling's New Sweater

A few weeks ago, as most of you know, we took the dogs and wine to California. The weather in Sacramento was wonderful and in the evenings it would get chilly. Both Dru Ann, yes even her, and I wore sweatshirts. Mei Ling has been losing her hair and does not have quite the coat she should for a shih tzu so she would wake me up shivering at night. We made a trip into downtown Sac and decided to check out Rumplestileskin's where we found a wonderful book, Simple Gifts for Dog Lovers by Catherine Tough and washable yarn to make her a sweater.

I finally have pictures to post of her in her sweater which she is still wearing at night and in the morning.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Icarus Shawl Unfinished

Well it looks like maybe I have figured out how to post pictures. I was trying to make it a lot harder. Here you can see the progress of Icarus. I have two more charts left and then the edging.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Getting Ready To Move

One of the rules of thumb when you travel is to pack your knitting first. The corillary to that is when moving you pack your knitting first. I really never had a stash while the shop was open because the shop was my stash. Now as I pack boxes I need to pack my knitting first. Ravelry has become a great resource as I inventory and pack my knitting! I now know what box has what and should I need it before I move I still know where it is located.
While doing inventory I also found a few ufo's.
When I decided to get married 2 1/2 years ago I planned to make a wedding shawl for myself. Dru Ann and I finished shawls for the girls but mine did not happen. I am now trying to finish the icarus shawl. The goal is in the next few weeks to get it finished. It will probably take me as long to figure out how to publish the finished result.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And So We Start

Yesterday the for sale sign when up in the yard. I have mixed feelings. I want to be with Jim who is the best thing that ever happened but it is such a massive undertaking to move across the country and leave family and friends especially my children!! I am looking at this as a new beginning for the second half of my life. Yes I'm gunning for 100. And so friends I will keep you posted on what is happening in my life.