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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve at our house

As usual, we celebrated Christmas with Roger's mom and family. I always have a craft for the kids, but htis year I included everyone in the activity - decorating teeny-tiny sweaters! But first, on Thursday Lisa and Alicia came over to make tamales.
We made a whole bunch.
I finally finished my hooked rug. I designed it myself from a Christmas card Brenda gave us two years ago.
There's no artist listed on the card, but if you know who this talented person is please let me know.
The children and the grown-ups enjoyed the sweaters. Jeff used one as a beer coozie.
So nice to see everyone together.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Final Count

The final tally of my "Fifty-two pairs in 2010" is less than planned but doesn't match my enthusiasm for my project. I think I may have made it into the double-digits. I am able to knit a pair in a few days tops, which gives you an idea of how busy I am otherwise.
Some current projects have been the teenty-tiny sweaters. We have a huge party each year on Christmas Eve with Roger's family and I always have some crafty activity planned for the kids. The little girls in the family outnumber the boys - which always makes a huge difference in how one's craft project is received. The boys are usually bundled up and thrown outside to the wolves until it's time to open presents. Because of technival difficulties, I'm unable to post my picures at this time but will ASAP.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A new pair, and giving thanks

We celebrated in Tampa with dear Zada.
A new pair for Jon - not cashmere as promised, unfortunately!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Time for Teeny-tiny sweaters

First, a PSA for the Rogers Rocket stick. "Rocket" stick - yes, if you're in Bizarro world. Sometimes I think my dial-up was faster. I'll shlep down to the library later on and post the photos - which are adorable, BTW.

Here are the instructions:
Materials: worsted weight yarn (I used Leti-lopi for the fuzzy texture and vibrant colours)
size 6 needles
size 6 dpns, the shorter the better.
No gauge, unless you're knitting these for Stuart Little.
Sorry for the delay in getting these instructions to you. The following is from the 2008 edition of Holiday Crafts.

Cast on 17 st. Work in St st for 3 1/2 in, ending with a purl row.

Next row (neck opening):

knit 6 sts, place next five on a stitch holder. At the same time, cast on 5 st on right needle using backward loop method. Knit last 6 sts. Work even in St st until piece measures 7 inches from beginning. Bind off all stitches.

Sleeve (make two):

Measure up 1 3/4 in from bottom /front and place stitch markers. With right side facing pick up and knit 14 asts between a pair of markers.

Work in St st for three rows, ending with a purl (WS) row. Dec each side of next row - 12 sts. Work three rows even. Dec 1 st at eacch side of next row - 10 sts. Work eve until sleeve measures 31/2" from pick-up row. Bind off al lsts. Rep for 2nd sleeve.


Join yarn at side of from neck opening. Using dpn, k across 5 sts from holder, pick up and k 5 sts across back of neck opening - 14 sts. Distribute sts onto three dpn and place marker to indicate beg of rnd. K next 7 rnds. Bind off all st as if to purl.


Sew sleeves and side seams. Fold up sleeves to shape cuffs. Weave in ends.

Embellish these little sweaters with ribbon, tiny ornaments, Christmas buttons. Hang sweaters as ornaments using miniature clothes- hangers. For a garland, attach to length of twine with miniature clothespins.

People will go nuts over these!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Halloween Ribbon Wreath

You can find out how to make it here. Let me add, I appreciate this nice lady sharing her time and talent!
It was lots of fun to make and I had enough ribbon left over to make one for my SIL/dogsitter, Joyce.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cascade's two-button flared cardigan

Warning, Will Robinson!
This is a beautiful design that has  many flaws in the pattern instructions. I did a search on Ravelry and found that others have had the same problem, so it's not just my inability to read and count. I'm bummed. I started this dog three times, and three times I frogged it, the last for good. So now I'm making  little booties in camo-yarn for my new little friend, Ayden Hough, who was born into a family of camo-wearers.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What I do instead of writing

I knit and bake. Non secret.
I go to the library.
I order obscure titles off of Alibris.
I take photos of my pets.
I exploit my pets by doing insulting parodies of famous mommy-blogs.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall's Fresh Start

Long into our adulthood, we haven't forgotten the great feeling of starting a new school year. You're optimistic, and full of plans for the good things you'll accomplish.
I feel the same way now. I have all kinds of plans for this blog. One of my plans is to decide on a direction for this blog to go. Until then, as my Idol MrsOdie2 would say, it's potpourri.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

These, however, are perfect cupcakes.

Red velvet Cupcakes with 'White Chocolate Cheesecake' Frosting

These cupcakes are adapted from a recipe for Red Velvet Cake, a traditional favourite in the South. With its deep red colour and rich chocolate taste, it's perfect for special occasions, especially Valentine's Day.
These cupcakes are also a favourite here at home in Canada ! I prepare the batter in my food processor with great results.

Ingredients :

1/2 cup shortening (Crisco, Tenderflake)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup red food coloring
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

Adjust oven rack if necessary so cupcakes bake in center of oven. Pre-heat to 350.
Place paper cups in muffin tin and lightly grease bottom of cups (PAM is fine for this.)
In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vinegar, red food colouring and vanilla until blended.
Gradually add dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Blend after each addition then beat until fluffy. (approximately 2 mins for conventional mixer, less for the food processor.)
Fill cups 2/3 full with batter and bake in the center of the oven for 17 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove at first sign of done-ness.
Allow to cool thoroughly before frosting.

"White Chocolate Cheesecake" Frosting

2   8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened (stick butter gives best results)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1 cup icing sugar

Beat cream cheese, vanilla and butter together until fluffy and increased in volume. Add melted white chocolate chips and beat until blended. Add icing sugar gradually and continue to beat until fluffy and slightly stiff in consistency. Frost cupcakes when completely cool. Add sprinkles or mini candies to make these cupcakes extra festive.

Note: I use a pastry bag and large decorators tip to frost cupcakes with one big frosting rosette. It’s easy, makes a lovely presentation and saves lots of time. If you don't have them already, considering adding these items to your kitchen arsenal!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two New Pairs

The yarn I used for these socks was from On Your Toes. It's bamboo and wool - incredibly soft and works up beautifully - so beautifully that I'm considering making a larger garment out of it.
These are the socks I made for my friend, Barbara, after she sent us a cute do-rag that she made.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

High summer

The tomatoes are ripening, the lettuce and beans are done for another year. The flowers need extra fertilizer. The other crops in our garden mature slowly under the blazing August sun and the frequent showers. Roger and I celebrate twelve years together.

Monday, August 2, 2010

How do you delete blogs you're following?

cause I'm sick of the one I'm following. Cheesily metaphorical, amazingly self-absorbed. I know that's what blogs are for - to provide a place to promote oneself, right? Anyway - if anyone has an idea how I can get rid of this honey, let me know.
OK - this is how you do it: go to Blogs You're following, hit settings and follow the instructions. Ha! I really cracked that code, didn't I?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Finally finished my basic shell

And it looks great on my model, Lisa. Lots of fun to knit.LB shell back
LionBrand basic shell

It's a LionBrand pattern but I used TLC Cotton-plus (since discontinued). Find the pattern here.
Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Milo's haircut

Yeah - things are really hopping around here. The most exciting then lately has been Milo's summer buzz cut.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Memories of Edgewood

We had a wonderful time at this idyllic resort on the NW shore of Long Lake in Park Rapids, Minn. The town itself was quaint and fairly unchanged through the decades. Case in point - the soda fountain in town!

My favorite shop was the LYS - Monika's. If you're ever in the area make sure to go - fabulous yarns and notions of all kinds.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summers with Sarah

She's started slowing down a bit - which for me is a good thing in some ways because she's always outlasted me on our outings and shopping trips. Nevertheless, she's great company and I look forward to her visits. Someday these trips will be a memory.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Hot Thursday

It's just past eight am and the sky already has that white haze to it - indicating another sweltering Canada summer  day! At least we know there's some respite at the end of this heatwave, not a daily thing like it is for FLoridians!
Mom and I have been having some fun - spending time together is always nice. We do a little outing at some point in the day, then it's back to the air conditioning!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Mom has been here a week already and we're having a great time. At least I am! Sad news last week about fred Pannier. We lost him too early. He was a good friend.
I just finished a top from the July 2008 issue of knitsimple. I'll start putting my stuff out in the cyberworld asap.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's opening day! and an update...

It's the opening day of bass season here in Long Point and the marina across the canal was in full buzz as soon as the Posts flipped on the first light. A big shout-out to the early-bird fishermen who kept the noise to a minimum!

We got here last night and had a lovely evening together. Milo loves the cottage!

Roger took off early this am with our neighbor. I wonder how that's going - our dear neighbor is a "filet & release" man while Roger hardly keeps anything. ETA: They got 5 bass, 6 perch, and put everything back!

I hit my favorite amish vegetable stand the other day - the first time this year. I was not disappointed! I gave up growing peas after I found out I could buy 10x the peas I could grow. The big haul is pictured above.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday to all out there -anyone???

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back from the Reunion

Sadly the week is over. A wonderful time was had by all, friendships were forged and old ones renewed. It feels wonderful to be in the bosom of a rollicking, loving family.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Has it been a month?

Oy-vey! I've been too busy knitting, riding, and reading other people's blogs that I've neglected my own. My new goal is to make this thing more interesting, and we'll start by including some instructions for making this great clear-stamp storage thingy. I outright copied it from an item I found in Michael's in the Tim Holtz section, so I'm going out on a limb to say this is an out-right rip-off.
First of all - Roger gave me a big box of scrap paper a few years ago that came in a really pretty 12x12 box.You'll need a similar box and you'll have to kill and eviscerate an old ring-binder for the ring-binder part. Just get a craft knife and have at it. Trim the chipboard away from the binder part.
Then I scored two of the corners so the sides will fold out flat. Glue the top on with some kind of heavy-duty glue and let it cure for at least 24 hrs. At this time you can glue down the ring binder part, too. Glue it down about 2 in from the edge.
For the storage sections, I used various photo pages that I had - some 3x3, some 4x5and some full-page. This arrangement makes it nice to see exactly what you have. My former system was using cd cases which became a little frustratying for me because it took so long to pick through them to find what i wanted. I'm going to blog next about my craft room and the organization. It's been a work-in-prgress for a long time and I think I've finally fine-tuned it to my exact specs!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Got off my butt - or rather, on it.......

A former professor of mine at UF said that writing was %1 talent and %99 keeping your butt in the chair. Wise words. Also memorable (and rather nagging if I may say so) are the words of a friend, "What your story really needs is finishing."
Well, I can finish a sweater, that's for sure, but lately the unfinshed work is piling up.
I'm back from Tampa - a land where no one knows how to knit. The usual stores are minimally stocked with knitting supplies there. I was happy to see an old favorite still thriving: The Flying Needles in Belair. I used to haunt the place when my aunt & uncle lived around the corner on Los Gatos Drive. I did needlepoint then, mostly - and loved the selection available.
I'm going to plug Brenda's daughter, Leah Ordext, in her You Tube video singing with a Led Zeppelin cover band in New York.
The warmer weather has inspired me to try the crocheted fly bonnet. I'll add the address later when I dig it up. The saddle pad for Paint Bob was really great but I hated the look of it - I'm a white saddle pad person - so it become a great laundry room rug.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

In case anyone is wondering whether or not this is the sock blog - yes, it is - I just got a little carried away with my knitting. I just heard of the impending arrival of friends Tyson & Kristy Hough’s first baby in August, so I’m going to be cheating on my sock count by making some of those socks in infant sizes. That’s one way to catch up! Also, one long car trip produces several pairs. There’s a long one this summer to the Motis reunion in the north woods of Minnesota. I’m really interested in branching out in my knitting so the next pair of grown-up socks I make will be lace. I still stand firm in my pledge: Fifty-two pairs in 2010.
I realize I might have made some sort of promise that I would use up all of my yarn before buying more, but I sort of forgot. I went to Mary Maxim yesterday and found Young Touch dk Egyptian cotton on sale for $2.99 a 50gm ball. I bought twenty-four balls in three beautiful colors. Was that wrong?
Completed my ‘beach sweater’ out of Cottontots and I have worn it enough to have thrown it in the wash already. We’ll see what happens to it! I have completed a pair of “corncob” slippers for my little friend Heidi Vosseler. They’re from a great old pattern book by Beehive yarn “Bazaar Novelties and Gifts”. If you’re interested in a quintessential toilet paper-roll cover, this is the book for you. They do have several cute tea-cosy patterns and some unique dog sweaters and other bizarre novelties. I’ll post photos as soon as Roger gets back with the camera…..
Til then, have a wonderful day. The warm weather is holding out so poor li’l paint pony gets his bath today!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy (Soggy) weekend

Finished a beach sweater out of Bernat Cottontots in "Pretty in Pink", a lovely toe-shoe pink. I really don't like knitting the stuff all that much, but the purchase of Addi straight needles sped the job along in the end. I have everything perfectly blocked and ready to stitch together. I've knitted so many sweaters that i just pieced together some instructions off of basic sweaters and just went my own way - it's actually the first sweater I have ever made that fits.
I do have one aside note to make on the above, one which I believe is crucial in making sweaters that fit: SWATCH SWATCH SWATCH!!!!!!!!! I never thoght I would hear myself say it, but there you go. I also have found that swatching is a really good excuse to knit when you just want to....knit.
A most useful book when it comes to basic knitting: "The Yarn Girls' Guide to Knits for All Seasons" by Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs. I made my beach sweater from the "Separation Sweater" pattern.
Happy KNitting! Let me know if you are around......

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy Sunday

Happy Sunday to all of you out there. (Anyone?)
I'm veering off a little from my sock knitting to make a summery "beach" sweater. It's out of Bernat Cottontots, and to tell you the truth - I am not sure if I like the stuff or not. It's funky to knit. It doesn't flow smoothly on the needles. I've tried several different kinds: plastic, metal, bamboo, and not really happy with any of them. I'm almost finished with it so it's practically a moot point.
A tip for others of you who knit and purl unevenly, making for odd rows in your work. Use two different sizes of needles. For instance, I tend to purl tighter than I knit, so I purl with a needle one size larger than what is in the directions. Try it and see if your work doesn't look better on the RS.
The saddle pad turned out great. Let me know if you find double worsted cotton anywhere!
I finished the garter stitch vest I made with left over Moda Dea silk n' Wool, a beautiful yarn that's been discontinued.
I'm going to knit a pair of socks this week, and knit a summery tank. I want a basic pattern but I'm going to attempt a more interesting stitch than stockinette or garter or seed! Maybe some nice diagonal pattern.... I have some TLC that needs to be used up.
Happy knitting until next time. Have a great week

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time to type!

I can't believe practically an entire month has gone by and I haven't updated my blog. I have been knitting, though - which is most important. I know I swore to not buy any more yarn - but I did. I bought eight cones of double-wopsted cotton for a saddle pad and have whipped through more than half of it already. If I don't have enough for the pad I'll just turn it into a rug.
BTW - if anyone is here and is reading this, do you have any insights into finding some double-worsted cotton yarn? I know Sugar n Cream (Peaches n Cream? I can't remember - one is the US company, the other is Canadian) carries a line of it but their retailers are mostly in the Carolina area. (Looks like I'll be visiting Rick & Rebecca soon in their new Murphy digs.)
We were in the Keys form the 2 to the 11th of February and I met three knitters at the Seafarer. The first was Carol from Maryland - a mad sock knitter who introduced me to HiyaHiya nine-inch circulars. Then I met a really nice girl from Tampa but didn't get her name, and then there's Matt- the knitting jet pilot and future The Bachelor star. I'm serious, and he flies for JetBlue BTW.
While I was in the Keys I knitted two pairs of socks. (Might've been three - I'm ahead in my count and getting cocky.) I tried a new cast-on, which is the closed-toe method in Janet Fehfeldt's book Toe-Up Techniques. It makes a nicer toe for me than the figure-eight, which needs to be tweaked endlessly until it's right. I have stuck with the figure-eight for my new experiment:felted pointe-shoe pads, as it's smoother.
Current sock count:6
"See" you next time!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

First update

Greetings to all reading, and happy socknitting.
After completing a list of boring errands, I`m back to report on the progress of my Fifty-two Pairs in 2010 project - an idea I stole directly from the talented and productive ladies at Socknitters and from the original concept of blogging projects that brought us such stuff as `Julie & Julia`.
In the meantime, I`ve knit seven pairs of socks in a year and a half, four of those pairs have been done since January 1 of this year. Currently I have two pairs on my circular needles: a pair of pedi socks and a pair of men`s slipper socks for my husband, who is an enthusiastic recipient of hand knit socks. Both are worked on 2 circulars from the toe-up.
The pedi socks are from _______________book and directions are for this sock to be knit from toe-up. I made one sock according to `directions, then made the following changes to the second: I cast on the ribbing first and worked from the foot to the toe on 2 circulars. When I got to the toe sections, I switched to stitch holders and dpns to work the toe sections, adding stitches when needed between the toe sections. I might add that stitch markers are a must for this technique! I quickly lost track of my decrease spot and it now appears right on the instep. The second sock looks a little tidier - being left-handed usually has something to do with it!
My second pair are a basic toe-up sock from worsted, and I love how speedily you can whip up a sock.
I haven`t decided what I`ll do with the pairs I make once I`ve sent pairs to my mom, sister, etc - certainly donating them to some charitable organization has been a thought.
I`ve also decided to stage a moratorium on yarn purchases. I`m not buying any yarn until I`ve used up what I have - probably two storage totes full. So far I`ve used up two gigantic skeins of SugarnCream double-worsted cotton on a crocheted rug. I love that stuff. If anyone is out there - let me know if you can get it where you live. I use two strands and the stuff works up at lightening speed.
Happy knitting. Write back and tell me of your socknitting goals.
PS - I`ll add the sock knitting book references ASAP. It`s downstairs and I`m too lazy to go get it now;-)
Until next time, happy knitting.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

52 Pairs in 2010

Be on the look-out for yours!
Total pairs made as of January 21 : 3, using the toe-up pattern from
and a figure 8 cast-on