Scarves and the Long and Short of Things

I’ve worked rather diligently on my knitting. trying to get in at least 3-4 hours of knitting a day. Which has produced a lot of yardage  of yarn turned into stitches.

Here’s where I’m at-

  1. Entralac Scraf –did not work on this at all
  2. Magic Stripe Scarf –I could be done I think the length is good
  3. Jaywalker socks –decided to change these to wrist warmers
  4. Find Your fade, my third one –on the last lace section
  5. Nuvem Shawl –only knit a couple rows
  6. Advent Mittens, I have 2 of 25 done and I haven’t knit any since 2017!-no work, I did look at the basket though
  7. Maighdeann-roin-The Seal Maiden Shawl, I just started yesterday -finished all the lace sections

The actual updates. First off, I changed the Jaywalker Socks into Wrist warmers. I liked the striping so much.  I kept envisioning these under some long sleeves, just peeking out. I love a good I-cord bind off so I decided to finish with that. These are so good. I really want to make a few more pairs. I think the youngest daughter will nee some as she’s always cold.

The I-cord bind off required some extra thinking and details. I cast on 3 stitches using the Backwards E-Cast On, the K2, k2togTBL and slid stitches back to left hand needle. continuing in this way until I came to the increases of the Jaywalker pattern. Where the points are I needed to ensure they had enough give so that the point would stay pronounced. At the point -between the double decreases- I added a single I-cord row with a K3 instead of the K2, K2togTBL. I then continued the K2, K2togTBL to the last row. Here was tricky bit, and I don’t know how to properly explain what I did, so bear with me. I worked a Kitchener Stitch on the live stitches and on the cast on stitches I wove the needle around the legs of each cast on. Clear as mud, right? Well, anyway. This finishing did two things. 1-It gave me a clean I-cord that looked continuous 2- Added the one extra row that the other double decreases have.  I think you legitimately cannot see where the beginning and end meet.  I’m so in love. Did I already mention that?

As knitter’s oft do. I cast on a new project, because I had a finished one. And I blame my dear friend Peggy. She told me about the pattern you see. It’s one of four patterns in a socks series based on Willy Wonka. I know, right? You see why I had to. The pattern I’m working on is the first release in this set. It’s called Candyman and I’m using the left over yarn from the Jaywalker Wristwarmers and some black yarn, both of these are Wollmeise.

This pattern uses Judy’s Magic Cast On, which will forever remind my of Carol. We spent so many hours working on this cast on together. She is very dear to me. Carol moved from New Mexico to Colorado not long after I moved to Virginia. I will be able to see here next summer when we go to Colorado for Chuck’s niece Beth’s wedding. Luckily for me she is getting married very near to where Carol now lives.

 

 

I think I’m ready to cast off the Magic Stripes Scarf. It’s a good length for a tuck just inside you coat scarf. I probably have enough yarn to knit a second one or I could double the length. I’m thinking it’s the right length right now but I’ve put it on hold to give some time to confirm my thoughts.

On the Find Your Fade I have to finish the lace section on color 6 and then there like 32 rows or so of the 7th color and then the bind off. Pretty close to the end on that.

All in all, I’ve made pretty satisfactory progress. Now to not get distracted my those new socks.

I haven’t said anything about the wand sheaths I made. Yes, I did say “wand sheath.” Yes, I and most of my family have magic wands. Doesn’t everyone. These are very special magic wands that my brother, Andy, makes.  I made the sheaths based on an item by Alice Starmore from her book Glamourie. It was designed as a needle case but it is everything a wand sheath should be.

I ran some experiments. and realized quickly the 133 stitches she starts with are way too many.  After my experiments I found 65 stitches is correct for the wands. I used yarn I spun myself. I also added a flap to the back (that I had sewn down after felting) to create a loop for a belt to go through. I’m quite pleased with these.

I made mine from undyed, natural colored wool and used some of my precious  Wensleydale Lockes, also undyed.   I made a talisman pouch as well. These should suit the Witch aesthetic I’m going for in my forever Halloween costume.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also made one for both my nephew and niece. I made theirs with them specifically in mind. Thinking My nephew’s would have caterpillars as he enjoys making friends with the real thing. And my niece’s would have unicorn hair, be cause it’s unicorn hair.

If I do say so, and I do, they turned out quite magical. They were gifted with some rather fun gift wrapping as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wand sheaths were very fun to create. I should’ve taken notes, but was rather lazy about it and my memory isn’t as good as I would like, especially since I made these in July. But…They were happy.  I was happy. We all are happy.

Now, if I can just find where I put that darn witch hat!

l’ll leave you with a cute pic of some chickens.  Happy knitting!

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Knitting all the things

I try really hard to be diligent about finishing the projects I start. I do, really. But for some reason right now I have so many WIPs I don’t think I’ll ever finish. Let’s just never mind I just started a new shawl yesterday!

As of today I have the following WIPs.

  1. Entralac Scraf
  2. Magic Stripe Scarf
  3. Jaywalker socks
  4. Find Your fade, my third one
  5. Nuvem Shawl
  6. Advent Mittens, I have 2 of 25 done and I haven’t knit any since 2017!
  7. Maighdeann-roin-The Seal Maiden Shawl, I just started yesterday

Typically I have 3 projects. A fussy- I need to concentrate one. A mid level challenge I can work on sitting in the car or watching something interesting on TV, such as socks. And an easy- I don’t need to think project. My goal is to get to 3 projects in the next couple weeks. [I probably won’t work at all on the mittens this year so I won’t include that in the 3]

I do have TWO finished projects to share since I last blogged. That’s something. I finished the pair of No Purl Monkey Socks which I gave to my mom when we went home in August. I try to give her a pair for Mother’s Day, her birthday and Christmas. She drives a school bus and walks her St. Bernard, so ends up in the snow quite a bit. Did you know wool will keep you warm whether it’s wet or dry?

 

 

 

 

 

And, also, I finished my socks,  the pattern is Hermione socks. I affectionately think of them as my Witches’ socks. Mostly because I’ll probably wear them with my Witch Halloween outfit. I’m thinking we will have a nice amount of Trick-or-Treaters as this neighborhood has lots of kids. Now if only I could find the Witch Hat I knit myself I’d be all set. Moving across the country misplaces lots of odd things, like muffin pans.

I used the Susan B Anderson Smooth Operator Heel so I could maintain the stripes.  My gauge was slightly off between the two socks. I just couldn’t match it for whatever reason.

 

The Chickens are laying eggs everyday. Right now we are averaging 3 eggs a day with 5 hens-a-laying. We have 5 hens not-a-laying as of today. There have been a couple of the hens that have not yet laid checking out the nesting boxes and fussing with them. That is always exciting. I watch them through the video camera, maybe far too much, but I like to see who laid what egg. And It’s interesting to watch their behavior.

Because I’m Nerdy I am tracking who lays when

I’ve been stamping them with the dates with a food safe ink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a side note, as I’m rereading this before I publish, I have an excellent example of entertaining chicken behavior. I have my iPad open with the chicken coop camera running. It’s currently facing where you can see the nesting boxes.  The White Leghorn, Dottie, will only lay her eggs in the top row, second from the left box. Currently, Louise, a Whiting True Blue, is sitting in the box. Dottie will stand there until she leaves. She did the exact thing just yesterday. Dottie will go in to lay her egg the second Louise is out. The other hens just choose a different box when this happens. Now you know why I watch. It can be better than TV!

We have decided to follow the way of the rest of the non-USA world and leave the surplus eggs unwashed on the counter. It’s very safe- and probably safer- since you don’t wash off the natural protective layer on the egg. When using the eggs you simple wash them under warm water and use as you would any egg. About once a week I wash them all and add them to the fridge caddy since I don’t think Tim will remember to wash them before using them. Tim and Chuck eat most the eggs in our house. If Rick or Hanna were here I’d say they would be the ones eating the most eggs. I just washed 27 eggs from last week to go in the fridge. I’m going to have to start giving them to neighbors. Let me know if you want some.

Since you had a sneak peek at our new counter in the egg picture I’ll tell you about that. When we bought this house I new the island in the kitchen had room to grow. Literally. It was one cabinet deep and 3 cabinets wide. There was an original butcher block counter that still had the motor for a mixer/blender from the 60’s!

We wanted to replace the butcher block with granite. This would be better for Chuck to knead bread and roll out doughs. I asked my brother to build me a bookcase to go on the backside, I have many treasured cookbooks that don’t really have a proper home so I knew a bookcase would be better than more cabinets. As my brother is magical with wood things he created the perfect bookcase that fits exactly behind the existing cabinets. This gives us approximately 18 extra inches of counter!

We were lucky enough to find the perfect complimentary granite to what is alreadyin the rest of the kitchen. Extra lucky because it was a remnant! Installed at $50 a square foot. Normally this specific granite would have been $150 a square foot.

River Rock Granite, theres so many interesting rocks in it

Chuck used the electric components from the mixer motor to add 4 electric outlets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND…this is the same type of granite we had chosen to install in our beloved Michigan house. It was kismet.

island in Michigan

We also had enough of the remnant to do the counter in our laundry room/back door entryway. This really elevates this space. It now has a presence of all of its own that isn’t lost in the cabinetry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough distraction. I’m going to need to be very stern with myself this week.  Knuckle down and finish at least a few of these WIPs. Maybe the scarves are the most realistic to finish. I really don’t want to work on them, I want to work on the newly started shawl of course.

We are expecting some high winds and flooding from Hurricane Florence. So we need to batten down the hatches today.  And maybe stock up on some supplies, like a generator.  Keep your fingers crossed thing slow down. or miss us completely. It looks like Stevie had more rain and flooding close to her than we have so far. luckily her house is high on a hill.

Happy knitting.

Family Time

When Chuck was looking for work one of the criteria was being closer to family. Right now I’m feeling we won the jackpot in Virgina. We have seen Stevie and Matt more this year than I ever could have hoped. They live less than 3 hours from us and that has afforded trips, for us there and them here, many times already this year. Not to mention it’s doable to co-vacation, such as Myrtle Beach and our upcoming trip to Michigan.

When Hanna decided to come here from Oklahoma and Charlie with Rick from Michigan, Stevie and Matt quickly made time to come, too. Which meant we had all of our kids together for the second time in the last year! Considering this had happened only 3 times in the previous 7 years it is pretty amazing! And I feel very blessed indeed.

We didn’t do tourist things while the kids were here. The only event we attended was the neighborhood Queen’s Lake Day. Instead we hung out, talking by the fire pit (which Chuck and my brother made this spring) doing basic -I wish I could everyday- relaxing and ate lots of really good home cooked food. There was plenty of bacon and we were treated to an assortment of different biscuits made by Chuck and Matt to go with eggs and sausage gravy, all the biscuits were delicious.

 

My fantastic son-in-law, Matt, chopped a ton logs into manageable fire wood. He said he loves to chop wood, which I am eternally thankful for. It was quite impressive to watch. And watched he was, by Charlie from the hammock and myself from the comfort of a chair. I feel a little guilty about that, but he insisted, being the gentleman he is.

 

Charlie and Rick moved a “bigly” railroad tie that was far too heavy for just Chuck and Tim to move. Then they replaced it with the top step at the cottage that had rotted out, giving me and my broken foot much safer passage to and from the chicken coop.

The siblings will never be together enough in my lifetime, or theirs for that matter, but I will always treasure these times and I look forward to many more now that we are relatively closer. Who knows, perhaps we can do this every 6 months or so now. Christmas in Virgina has a nice ring to it. What do you guys think? Are you in? We have plenty of firewood for a Christmas morning fire in either or both of our fireplaces! As a side note; I need to take more pictures. I always forget to. I need to work on that.

 

We were treated to an impromptu concert by Rick and his ukulele and Tim and his guitar. Rick has a lovely voice and a passion for playing and encouraged Tim to work as a team, which isn’t always easy for either of them.

 

We also are very lucky to have had my mom join us the last day the boys were here. We played cards, Hands and Feet, which I haven’t played in forever. I needed the practice as we no doubt will play with my cousins Bill and Linda when we go home tp Michigan in a few weeks. I’m looking forward to that very much.

I’m working on finishing up some knitting projects that have been on the needles far too long so I can start a new longterm project and a new pair of socks. As I have a long car ride to Michigan coming up and I plan to make the most of that time knitting!

 

Enjoy your family. I know I do.

 

Queen’s Lake Day

We live in a neighborhood called Queen’s Lake. It’s a lovely community with different style homes all on large lots. The neighborhood is around a private lake named Queen’s Lake, and bordered by Quaterpath Park, the Colonial Parkway and Queen’s Creek (which isn’t really a creek it’s more of a river.) There are lots of great amenities and activities to be enjoyed daily, but the big event each year is Queen’s Lake Day.

The event is actually kicked off on Friday night with a lighted boat parade on the lake at 9pm Friday. Saturday is filled with a large variety of events. A few are the Triathlon, Water Polo, and scavenger hunt. The morning also has a bicycle parade. Kids and adults decorate their bikes in the them for the event. This year’s theme was West Side Story and was called East/ West Side Story in honor of our two sides of the lake, the streets are E Queens and W Queens.

He Is “Jets” fuel lol

“Sharks” were well represented

Being new to neighborhood we didn’t know what tp expect. Most the activities took place in the common area where the pools, marina, playgrounds and tennis courts are. I have to say I had no idea how well attended the events would be.  The place was packed! And I love that everyone wished each other a “Happy Queen’s Lake Day.”

There are 3 meals catered and at $10 bucks each it seemed like quite the deal. They also had a beer truck and soda tent all day.  We didn’t take part in all the events but we definitely enjoyed the drinks and the corn-hole tournament the most. Chuck and Charlie made it all the way to the final round, finishing up in second place! Go team. Rick and Matt lowered the levels in the beer supply happily.

Charlie and Tim in the foreground

Chuck and Rick here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim really enjoyed the pool more than cron hole. I think my favorite thing was the greased pole. Yes, the greased pole. There is a pole, maybe 25-30 feet high, that has been greased and a token placed at the top. As the day progresses and no-one makes it to the top there is more prize money added, at one point I heard it was $150.  I didn’t take part personally,  but it was entertaining watching all the teenagers problem solve and work as a team to get to the top.  After 3 or 4 hours of watching them they finally made to the top to claim their prize just before I headed home. I was lucky to have seen them make it to the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all it was a pretty good day and I think my kids enjoyed themselves, too. I’m looking forward to next year!

 

Happy Queen’s Lake Day!

 

 

Hydrengea Shawl

It’s finished! I finished the shawl in what feels like super fast amount of time. This was a really fun knit, Chevron Shenanigans by Stephen West. I love chevrons as a rule and this one with short rows was rather interesting. I also am still crushing on the whole fading of colors still. Did I mention I’m knitting my 3rd Find Your Fade?

This shawl has an I-cord edging and an I-cord bind off which I also really enjoy working.  I-cords give very nice clean edges. I worked the cast off with a size 7 needle which is 2 times larger than what I worked the shawl in. I wanted to be sure there was plenty of length so it wouldn’t pull awkwardly.  Even with this larger needle it is just slightly not loose enough. It’s going to pass but I would’ve liked to create a larger curve than I was able to when I blocked it.

 

I’m very pleased with the way the colors worked out. I generally don’t like purple but this is a bit on the grey side so it works for me. My favorite of the 5 colors is the dark blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll touch on my Hydrangea plants a moment. And they are just plants….All the flowers have been eaten! We have many deer frequenting our front yard and gardens. I don’t really mind as I like to watch them, there’s a bit of a thrill every time I see one. I have moved a few of the more desired plants to the back yard, such as Day-lilies, but I hadn’t realized they would like the Hydrangeas. These were planted by the previous owners so I assumed they were of little interest to the deer. Apparently that is not the case.  I’m pondering whether these should be relocated or not. Maybe the pink blooms aren’t tasty but with the addition of the fertilizer and coffee grounds the blue ones become delicious?  I’ll have to see what my mom thinks about that. She’s coming next Tuesday, which is pretty exciting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend all 6 of our kids and the son in-law will be here visiting. This is very special as we don’t often all get to be together at the same time.

 

It also happens to be Queens Lake Neighborhood’s big weekend. There are so many events and activities going on. I hope to get to see some of them. There will be a Corn Hole Tournament which we do enjoy. Perhaps we will have time to at least watch a bit if not actually participate. Plus there is a Bike Parade and Dinner at the pool with a live band. We probably will have no problem seeing the parade or hearing the band as we aren’t very far off the event location.

So looking forward to this weekend.

Happy knitting.

Yikes!

This past weekend we drove down to Myrtle Beach to spend the weekend with Chuck’s brother, Pete, and his family. Stevie and Matt drove down with us making the weekend even better.

We spent most of Saturday at the beach. Tim absolutely loved being out in the waves. It was a red flag day at the beach so there were plenty of big waves. Stevie was in need of the extra vitamin C and spent the day with Chuck laying in the sun. Unlike Stevie, Chuck did not apply plenty of sunscreen and as a result was very sunburned.

I, having a broken foot, spent the day hanging out in comfy chairs under an umbrella. Matt and I did a good job of distracting each other from our second choice books. He was reading something important and educational, I was reading a book loosely based on a series of real murders that happened many years ago on the Colonial Parkway right where I live. It’s not that the book isn’t good rather I’m way into the 5th book of the Outlander series and that is what I need to be reading. It’s on my Kindle and I didn’t want to risk sand exposure.

 

The drive to Myrtle Beach is about six hours and with Chuck driving I was able to power right through the dark blue on My Hydrangea Shawl. I am officially on the last color. Two more sections to go then the arduous task of an I-cord bind off.  The bind off will be more than 1500 stitches. It will take awhile. As incentive last week I picked out two more skeins of yarn to go with the 3rd find your fade shawl I started many months ago. I will start working earnestly on that once this shawl is done.

 

Let’s talk about Bird Watch 2018. I’m down to two nests. The 3rd hanging basket nest, that has House finches in it, is coming to a close. Yesterday I noticed all the little birds fluttering around but not completely moved out of the nest. There have been 4 babies testing their wings and at least one adult, maybe two, feeding the babies.  Today when I watered the plant all but one baby flew up into the tree.

 

 

The next bit is sad. I hesitate to even mention this one [because I don’t like it] but I think I need to say it so I can find peace.  Be advised it’s ugly.

Yesterday I saw the 4 House Finch babies looking for mom with food. They were mostly feathered and getting bigger by the day. A couple weeks behind the other babies in the hanging pot. I meant to go out and take a picture but got distracted and never did. This picture is from Friday before we headed to the beach.

 

 

With my foot being broken Chuck is doing a lot of the chores I usually do. This includes watering. We have beautiful pots full of petunias and marigolds and snapdragons. But they require lots of hand watering. Anyway……Last night after dinner Chuck was out watering, he watered the front pots, grabbed the box on the porch from Amazon and reached for the door handle. YIKES! There was a snake climbing up the door’s side windows! CLIMBING UP THE FRONT DOOR!!!! He regrouped his thoughts, took a picture and sent it to me. I’m not proud and therefore will tell you my reaction was probably too dramatic! As I called for “OFF with it’s HEAD!” Max calmly inspected it from inside the house while Chuck did the same from outside. Their goal was not to kill it, regardless of my opinion, but to identify it. They googled, looked it up in my Reptile Book and talked to others.

 

Chuck, Max, Stevie and Alvin (Chuck’s BBF) all agreed it was a Rat Snake and “They are a good snake to have around.” Max relocated the snake from the door to the yard. Knowing the snake would have a one track mind and a guaranteed meal waiting in plain sight this probably wouldn’t be enough to save my baby birds. Chuck did offer to move the wreath to a hanging hook. I didn’t think the nest wouldn’t withstand the move as most of its architecture was supported by the door so I said to leave it.

This morning I went out and checked. All the little babies are gone. No proof of what caused their disappearance. Maybe it was fairies that took the birds to go live in a charming glen somewhere. But most likely it was a Rat Snake. Should I have let Chuck risk the nest falling apart to move it? Perhaps. Should I have put the babies into a box and fed them myself with smashed chicken feed until they were strong enough to fly off? Perhaps. But neither of things things happened. And I’m sure the Rat Snake is very satisfied with his evenings result.

Mean while I am contemplating why I moved to a place that not only has Rattle snakes but also Cotton Mouth snakes just to name a few.  We’ve already had ticks on the dogs and myself and Chuck seems to be popular with the Chiggers. I never felt as in danger living in the desert as I do now in Virginia……..

I think I’ll stay inside and knit.

Happy Knitting.

 

 

 

 

 

Extra time to Knit

Around here there seems to be an abundance of yard work. Having an acre of land can be rather daunting. Especially having spent the last 8 years in the desert. Though we made plenty of garden space with raised beds and lots of flower pots we did have rocks instead of grass. Not cutting grass for so long has significantly skewed my perspective on the amount of time it takes for this task.

No grass gives you more leisure time for sure. This is our yard in NM. You cannot believe the difference of dry heat vs humid heat if you haven’t actually experienced it.

I told Max, whose responsibility it is to weed whack, that it would take me around an hour to cut the front yard. Here’s where my skewing comes in. It took me about three hours in reality! And mind you I have a riding lawnmower. Previously, Chuck or Max have taken turns at doing this job. I was relegated to this task as it’s currently one of the few I’m “allowed” to do.

A calming view of my grassless NM yard. I was probably knitting while not cutting grass here.

 

What do I mean “allowed?” Well, apparently, I’ve broken my foot bones in three places. I wasn’t even aware I broke anything.  I knew it hurt, particularly when walking on uneven ground or up and down hills and such. Some days it really hurt and others it wasn’t noticeable.

 

 

Until one day at Tim’s therapy, where I was sitting waiting for him, I dropped my kindle. I leaned forward to pick it up and I guess I put weight on my foot just right and had such a sharp pain for a second I thought I might pass out! I definitely saw stars. I set up a Podiatrist appointment that day.

After seeing the dr, and getting X-rays, it was clear I had two very significant fractures in the bone second from the left with a hairline crack in another. It was concluded that between the pain meds I’m on for Fibromyalgia and not having any initial swelling or bruising I didn’t realize it had happened.  [It’s most likely happened when I stepped wrong on a tree root raised above the ground. Probably the very one I asked Chuck to cut off that was by the chicken coop, since I always was tripping on it.] The powers that be must have decided to give me a wake up call. Saving the bones from actually breaking off by the continued stress of walking on them and therefore preventing the need for a surgery.

Our front yard in VA is  actually larger than our backyard.(The backyard has been assigned as such only because it’s the fenced in part of our acre)

So, now I have a ugly, heavy, hot, robotic-like boot I have to wear for at least 6 weeks. And orders to stay off my foot whenever possible. Which as it turns out has been a real challenge for me, I’m not a very good patient.

But it is not so bad if I look at it from the point of how much time this leaves for knitting. And Chuck, being a great support, is doing a lot of the work I usually do and both boys are helping out, too.

And I have been doing lots of knitting. With each row I knit on my shawl I gain more and more stitches. Thus, each row requires more and more time to knit. I think that I’m winning. I’ve been powering through the Hydrangea Shawl like a beast. I’m now fully into color 4 of 5. While my shawl is clearly getting more blue as I switch through the colors I think my Hydrangeas are also getting bluer with the addition of fertilizer and the rusty things I’ve added around it. (Plus I’m saving all the coffee grounds in order to spread around the roots on my SIL, Carolyn’s, recommendation.)

What do you think? Are the flowers turning blue? Right at the centers I think.

 

Happy knitting.

An unnecessary chicken picture, Ida and Gertie.

Nesting

Birdwatch 2018 is still ongoing. All this bird nesting has me thinking about how we’ve settled into our new home. I still love this house and all the ways it’s so different from our New Mexico house.  We are individually finding our way into our Virginian lives. Meeting new people, hitting the local Farmers Markets, finding our favorite spots. We have a long way to go, but in time this place will feel like we’ve lived here forever.

I’ll tell you about our master bedroom, our nest if you will. I chose to keep this room very neutral going with the same “Floating Feather” by Edwards and Dunn that I painted the main areas of our house. As well as the color I chose for all of the New Mexico house actually.

This is our living room. It’s one of my favorite views. I love how this couch end is angled. It makes the really large couch feel intimate and cozy. I picked up that Majestic Palm at Harris Teeter for $20.I love it in this corner. But really the point of this shot was to show you the paint color.

 

 

Our Master Bedroom has a small bathroom which you get to via a dressing room.  Hollywood style? Maybe. The dressing room is a prime example of one of the best features in this house. The built-ins. This space has enabled us to eliminate the need for dressers in the bedroom and expanded the closet storage. As a bonus it even has a makeup table, definitely old school style if not Hollywood.

 

I picked up this painted mirror at a second hand store which has made the space function as a make up place. The table has good storage with 3 side drawers and one large shallow drawer where the chair goes. The chair is a second hand needle point chair. You may remember I have a need  to re-home every needle point chair I find, I suppose in remembrance of my grandma.

 

These built-ins house my stuff on one side and Chuck’s on the other. It’s surprisingly a lot of space. Having the three-way mirror is really nice for bouncing around light.

 

The closet is just to the right. While it would be nice to have it a bit bigger, the addition of the shelves Chuck added in works nicely to put my hand knit sweaters folded in there. I really cut back on the amount of clothes I have, that was probably really over due. I still had clothes I wore before Hanna was born, and she’s 21. Yikes.

 

The bathroom has been previously updated in a way that feels authentic to the house. I like the style but will probably someday make changes so we can enlarge the room.  It’s so small there really is not any good storage. There is the medicine cabinet and I added a little shelf from Target to hold extra stuff like washcloths and shampoo. There is no counter space or a place too hang a hand towel. It was actually pretty hard to get a photo that didn’t include the toilet. Now that is a small bathroom!

I’m obviously a fan a repurposing things. One of my favorite repurposes ever is in the master bedroom.  When we moved in there were shutters on a pallet behind the cottage. After my mom paired them with their windows, we ended up with one lonely shutter.  This shutter having no mate, no window, no destiny. It needed a new identity. So I helped it find one. It was already hinting at my favorite color combo, red, white and blue. I knew I couldn’t change that. So, I simply sprayed it with the hose on the highest setting, gave it a good scrub with some bleach water and let it dry. I then covered the entire shutter in a coat of polyurethane to prevent further peeling.

 

See those chippy colors. It had my heart. And needed a place of honor in our home, too. I new exactly where it would go. Right above the headboard in our master bedroom! I could picture it in my mind. I could see it there with the perfect focal point being a wreath. I set out on a wreath hunt the very day I hung the shutter.

 

 

I found the exact wreath size and style at Home Goods. I used heavy duty picture hangers screwed into the back side of the shutter and then added heavy gauge picture wire. It is really heavy so I used two anchored hooks rated for 50lbs each secured into the wall at the precisely measured height. Added a command hook to hold the wreath.

 

 

Voila! It is magic. I love it there. I have the beautiful afghan my grandma crocheted for me forever ago. I think it is charming and pairs nicely with the shutter, bringing the outdoors in, just the way I like it.

 

 

My reading corner is in this room, I’ve mentioned this corner here before.
This  is one of my favorites in the house. I love the way it feels and the way it looks.

 

 

Back to nesting and Bird Watch 2018. The bird houses in the back yard with the Winter Wrens are a flutter of activity. Mom constantly bringing food to hungry babies. They can’t be to far away from flying the coop. Of course I can’t see inside the houses so I’m just guessing. The Wren sitting in the paper box by the mail boxes is still in there, sitting all day and night. I steer clear of her getting the mail. I have noticed there is a lone teeny egg sitting just outside of the nest. I may try to collect it after this nest has been abandoned.

 

I did collect the Robin’s nest, there are the two unhatched eggs still inside. I placed it carefully inside this decorative wire nest I picked up a long time ago at Hobby Lobby. It will live here on my entry table for awhile. I can’t bring myself to give it up, but my hanging basket needed to breath, my plants can now flourish.

 

 

The sparrows have to be about too fly their coop as well. The two nests of finch eggs are still being sat upon. One nest should be hatching any day now. I can’t wait to see these birds out on their own!

 

Until next time. Happy Knitting.

 

Hydrangeas

I’ve never had a Hydrangea bush before. Luckily this house has 3! They are just coming into bloom.  I noticed the buds yesterday. Do Hydrangeas have buds? I guess the flowers just before they open are buds?

Any way. I noticed them yesterday. They range in colors from purple to pink. As you may know, I have a great love of all things Red, White and Blue. My dining room has fallen into that realm accidentally. But my front porch is all about the Red, White and Blue intentionally. So, these Hydrangeas clearly need to be blue. Off to Lowe’s we go.  [Max works there so we always choose Lowe’s over that other place with the orange logo.] I picked up fertilizer to add acidity to dirt around the Hydrangeas to encourage blue blooms. Among the fertilizer I also got several more bags of River Rock, it seems we have a never ending need for more rock. Did you know the more the soil is acidic they are blue, the more neutral they are purple, the more alkaline they are pink?

 

They have to be blue, am I right? We need more blue to offset the red. GO TEAM Red, White and Blue! (Side note; I’m thinking about adding my other bistro set to the  porch as well.)

 

With the current colors ranging from purple to pink,  definitely not blue, I’m hopeful its was not too late to add the fertilizer for this year. Next year I will get it out there earlier.

But this is not what is so interesting about my notice of the Hydrangea’s flowers…………The interesting part is actually all about the knitting!

 

 

Later in the day I was knitting on my Chevron Shenanigans shawl. And it hit me. The colors were the same as my Hydrangeas! I had no idea as the thought never occurred to me. I bought this kit last fall I think. While I still lived in New Mexico for sure. I’ve not given much thought about Hydrangeas or their colors previously. [How many time can I say Hydrangeas in one post!?!] Much less chosen colors of yarn for Hydrangeas. I’m using yarn from a Fade kit I purchased on Etsy from Woolfiend.

Well, I’ve decided I need to rename my shawl and henceforth it is the Hydrangea Shawl. I have a new perspective on creating color combos and project names. This shawl calls for five colors and you fade them into one another similar to how the Find Your Fade shawl is. Fading colors is exactly what the Hydrangea flowers are doing! Tip-Fading is super trendy still and can be great for stash busting.

I love to work chevrons and this one with short rows is fun and feels fast. I’ve developed a strategy using stitch markers that enables me to need to only glance at the pattern for reminders and to confirm stitch counts. There are 18 rows per section, and 22 sections for the large size I’m making. I’m currently about to start section 13. As you work the short rows, stitches are left behind, to be worked again later. In this case they are reintroduced in row 17. I use a stitch marker for each set of rows to make counting easier for me.

I’m using the small purple one to denote rows 1-2, the dragonfly one for rows 3-4, then the pins for each of the for consecutive rows3-4, then rows 13-14 & 15-16 are easily counted so I don’t mark them.  I use the pink locking marker to count where the short row stops as I work towards it, I then replace it with the previously specified markers. This is working great, I can stop at any point and know exactly where I am in the sequence.  And, unintentionally, the marker dish happens to be the Hydrangea colors as well! Bonus.

 

So this week I’m laying pretty low as I hurt my foot somehow a few weeks ago. Doing yard work probably. Since it’s still bothering me I’m trying to stay off it as much as I can. That’s giving me a bit of extra knitting time so I won’t be complaining. I do have a doctor appointment next week with a podiatrist if it’s not any better. Until then.

Happy knitting!

New Eggs on Bird Watch 2018

This morning I went out to check the nest and discovered the front door wreath nest has two eggs! They are so tiny in the nest. I wonder if we will have more, one new one each day? I checked on Tuesday and there were no eggs. I thought maybe the nest had been abandoned. I haven’t seen the bird, but we do have the AC on so the front door is always shut. I left it open today to see if I can catch a random glance of the bird.  The bird building the nest was a House Finch and I assume these eggs are the same.

I love the nest has long lengths of grass with the seed heads on them

How many eggs will be laid in total?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the House Finch nest in the hanging flower basket, we still have eggs, no baby bird yet. Tuesday when I checked the nest there were only four eggs and today there are five! Very exciting!

 

The Sparrows have all hatched and are keeping their parents very busy providing food. There’s lots of chirping and activity in that hanging flower basket. I’ll also mention here there is lots of movement on the new birdhouses in the backyard. The momma bird is constantly going in and out. I assume feeding babies. I can’t see inside the houses as the doors are very small and its dark inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m taking today off from yard work and spending the day knitting. I started the Chevron Shenanigans by Stephen West last Sunday. I’m just about to start Wedge #6 which introduces the second color. I’m planning to do at least this entire wedge section today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week I also put in some quality time with my Hermione’s Every Day socks. I realized my change in the way the second sock was striping was because my gauge was off. With the second sock being knit at a looser gauge, so I frogged that and started over.

It will be much better if both socks end up the same size. I don’t mind starting over. I really like to knit and this way I get a finished project I’m happy with.  I also want to mention the Biggest difference between a good knitter and an excellent knitter is not that the excellent knitter doesn’t make mistakes. But rather they know how to, and do, fix their mistakes.

I spend most of my knit teaching time helping knitters discover what the mistake was and how to fix it. To me it is so important to fix those mistakes. In my knit projects I find if I don’t fix the mistake, all I ever see is the mistake, and that makes me crazy.

I’m off to meet with a second cup of coffee and my knitting!

Happy knitting. Finally!