Making a home

This moving stuff is so much, not so fun, work.  Luckily Stevie came just a few days after we moved in and really made a huge dent in the unpacking.

Then my mom and her friend, Judy, were here last week. They completely unpacked Hanna’s boxes. That was a really big help. Since Hanna is away at school her room will be the acting as the guest room. My mom also worked in the yard quite a bit. She really misses having a large yard, I’m happy to accommodate her love of gardening. She prepped some garden areas, put out lots of garden decor and planted some roses. She was happy and I was happy!

I’m the indoor cat to my mom’s outdoor cat.

I love decorating, moving things around and editing what we have to work in new ways. I have an eclectic style, a bit farmhouse, a bit traditional and now a bit New Mexican. We don’t typically buy new furniture or big investment types of purchases. I like to change things around so garage or resale purchases are better for the budget and frankly my style. We have many family pieces, like the tv that my grandma dragged from someone’s trash to her house, she gutted out the tv parts leaving the shell of the case. She then refinished it, adding glass doors and a glass shelf. I use it to house the various crystal we have, also, mostly hand me downs.  I love this sort of stuff. Historical pieces, well, my history anyway.

This is the TV cabinet my Grandma repurposed

I want our house to be…..timeless, not trendy. You won’t find a sign that says “Farmhouse” or drop cloth curtains hanging from our windows or anything like that. Not trendy, rather, updated and comfortable.

After mom and Judy left I went in and added the little touches to Hanna’s room that make a place special. She wanted to incorporate cacti into the design and I found these cute cacti lights at Pier One so I tucked those under the edge of the upper cabinets. Super cute if you ask me.

Hanna chose a pretty Emerald green but I went with the lightest color on the card, Breaktime, to give a spa like feel. Before she left  for school Hanna picked out some throw pillows and accent pieces to go in her room. plus we purchased the chair and nightstands I previously talked about on my blog. I purchased new all white linens to keep with the spa/hotel vibe I wanted. I’m going to add several pictures of her room for you. What do you think? I love how it turned out.

Hanna loves it, too. And we are ready for guests! Whose coming next? YOU?

I’m hoping to squeeze in some knitting this weekend. I really should get in my craft room and finish unpacking there. I have way too many books. Not to mention I haven’t even opened the boxes labeled yarn or crafts yet, I won’t say it out loud but it’s a hot mess in there. Look at the picture with your eyes closed please.

Real life ahead————–>

Happy knitting.

 

 

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Yarn Tasting

A couple of weeks ago I signed up to go to my LYS, the Flying Needles, yarn tasting event. Kim Dyes Yarn was the featured Indie Dyer. I new this would be a fun easy going evening and I new I would be ready for a break after almost two full weeks of moving work. My boys kept asking me when the wine tasting I was going to was. Too funny.

Kim Dyes Yarns offers a large array of colors, weights and fiber choices. There was a cute berry basket filled with 5 different yarns, they were wrapped around cute little wooden tags, a nice typed up sheet giving the yarn details and there even was a piece of chocolate. Kim was charming and sweet. Her enthusiasm about the yarn bases was contagious. She has chosen a really great selection of yarns to dye. She has named all her bases after different foods. How fitting since delicious is a word I often use to describe yarn.

Kim has a great eye for color and has so many beautiful colorways she invented. Some are themed around music and tv shows. There’s a  nice sprinkling of tonals to blend in with some of the louder color combos.

One clear favorite among the group was her sparkle yarn. This is different than many sparkle yarns I’ve encountered. The sparkle is a single strand that is plied among the other fibers rather than bits and pieces blended in.  She called this one Sugarcookies. It is 92/8% Superwash Merino/Lurex. It is a very round, bouncy yarn that is super soft and……. well it’s delicious.

Kim debuted a new yarn at the shop as well. Angel Food; it is a luxurious worsted MCN blend of 80/10/10 Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. This one. too, was a favorite. I myself would love to use this to knit the Central Park Hoodie.

I, of course, had to buy myself some yarn. You know, since I don’t have any yarn to knit…. I picked up a skein of Sourdough Sock. I felt this was the perfect type since my husband is quite good at making sourdough bread. I chose the color way Dark Forest Bright Sky. It is so “me” colors.

I also really needed the Flan Fingering single ply yarn in the color way Murky Pond. This is a 70/30 superwash Merino/silk. I just fell in love with this yarn. and the color.

To round out my purchases I managed to snag one of the few Thrummed Mitten kits. The yarn is Granola Bar Aran which is a tweed in the color way Robin. The fiber is a beautiful rainbow of bright colors.  I can’t wait to get started on this.

It was such a pleasant evening. I’m really glad that I took the night off and joined in the fun. I very much miss my friends and the camaraderie of knitters.

 

Happy Knitting xoxo

Two is Better than One

I decided [since I had started my Find your Fade with a different color than I had planned] I may as well knit another shawl. The color order I had chosen can be found here. The  other shawl will be the same colors just in a different order.  This will be interesting.  I will have an excellent example of how colors can blend as well as a second shawl that can be a gift.

  1. Tosh Merino Light, Plaid Blanket
  2. Black Elephant, Acheron
  3. Malabrigo Mechita, 5 Aniversario
  4. Black Elephant, Sunflowers
  5. Dragonfly Fibers Pixie, Middle Earth
  6. Tosh Merino Light, Coquette Deux 341
  7. Malabrigo Mechita, 866 Arco Iris

 

 

I think I need to purchase only two, maybe three, additional skeins to do this. Which means I will use most of my yarn up. Always a win. I’m pretty sure I will need a second skein of Dragonfly’s Middle Earth and Madeline Tosh merino light in Coquette Deux. Everything else should be ok.  Maybe.  I’m going to concentrate on completing one and then I will weigh the leftovers and math to see where I’m at.

 

I’ve decided to put my traveling socks on hold. I’m using Wolmeise. I am making Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder. The heel is Susan B Anderson’s Smooth Operator Heel, so that my swirl will be maintained throughout the socks. I want to make the heels and toes with a blackish Wollmeise skein I have. Unfortunately that skein is in storage. Hence the on hold. I really like the way the yarn is knitting up and I totally can picture the black heels and toes as icing on the cake.

We have the moving truck delivering all of our stuff in less than a week. I doubt I’ll have much time to knit but I will be able to find that black skein of yarn!

Happy Knitting.

Hanna’s Guest room

For the time being Hanna’s room will act as our guest room. Hanna is away at school in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  She has chosen some really great things to go in her room. The color she is working around is a emerald green. The room has built in cabinets on two walls. because of this, even though it is a larger room, it feels small. It needs to be as bright and airy as possible.

I think I will paint the room a very pale version of the green she likes. She chose some pillows and a throw blanket that are white with silver sparkle.  Great for reflecting light. I will pick up a white duvet to keep it light and easy to wash. She’s always cold so we need plenty of layers for her.

I’m keeping my eye out for the perfect green sheets and hopefully some matching she

shear curtains.

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Hanna found some perfect green pillows and these

sequenced ones on Etsy.

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Also on Amazon a pretty throw in green.

 

 

 

 

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There is a desk as part of the built ins and Hanna spotted a clear plastic chair at World Market that will suit the desk nicely. She will be using this to do her make up so a good light up mirror will also need to be added. The desk is in front of the window so there will be natural light during the day.

 

 

 

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Chuck found some great night stands join Amazon other day. Hanna is a big reader andt

hese will give her a place for books with out

cluttering up the tops.  The even have the hint of green on the sides.

With our oldest daughter, Stevie, coming as soon as we move in to help unpack I want to get this area set up for her top stay in. And as we get closer to Easter we have all kinds of people coming to visit including Chuck’s sister Jane and her family.

 

Paint It

When we purchased the new house I knew we would be painting some of the rooms. I really like the chalk board walls in the mud room. I am excited about having a constant rotation of decor in there, I even purchased a book for inspiration. The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Valerie Mckeehan. I’m sure that will also be a fun place for Max and Hanna to doodle. I also like the red dining room and the green in the kitchen. The builtins and moldings throughout the house are white and that will stay the same. I also think I may leave the Master bedroom for now since it’s a neutral color.

As for the rest of the house I’m looking for some new colors. I picked up about 50 paint swatches at Lowes to start plotting the colors I wanted. Then I went back and picked up some more. And then did it again. But then when I saw the Sherwin Williams store it hit me. I quickly pulled in the parking lot, I ran in and made an inquiry. Can I get an entire paint color wheel? The answer was a YES. So I  made one of the most simple yet exciting purchases of my adult life. I now have my very own paint chart color wheel!!!! It is life changing.

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I’ve spent many hours looking through all the colors.

I need a Jade green for Hanna’s room. A blue for Max’s room, and of course, Tim wants orange.

I plan to change all the ceilings so the crown moldings and beams throughout the house really pop. I’m thinking outside the box on this one.

I also want a neutral color for the foyer, hallway, living room and family room. We had just painted our entire house in New Mexico the perfect neutral cream. I think I want the exact same color. That was a Dunn and Edwards paint which is a southwest brand. I went to their website and order the swatch card in the color we used so I would have it for a reference. The color is Floating Feather. Doesn’t that name evoke peace and relaxation? I picked up the swatch yesterday in the mail. I compared it to the Sherwin and Williams colors I was thinking of. To my surprise I was way off in my color memory. Maybe because the apartment were staying in is so dark or it could be just that the ceilings in our New Mexico house were so tall, or the flooring there being on the darker side that through me off. I was looking at much lighter colors.

 
C13A25E9-AE25-432C-B85D-B55AEC5B52C3 2I know that Floating Feather matches our biggest piece of furniture. The sectional sofa that will be going into the living room. But I’m feeling torn. Floating Feather is more beige than I had in mind. However, the new house does have great natural light from large windows. And It would ground the rooms better than the Reliable White for example. Plus, there is a tremedance about of moldings that will be all white, including one of the fire places. Wait. I think I just talked myself into Floating Feather….

I just need to compare the colors to the brick fireplaces. I also want to compare my white choices with what already is there. If I can get a similar white I won’t have to paint absolutely every built-in and all the moldings. Only the ones showing wear. That will really save both money and time.

I can’t wait to get out my chalks and get to work!

Tonight I’m going to the Flying Needles Knit In. I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone is doing on their Find your Fade. I’m not has far along as I would’ve liked. I’m about to start the second lace section, it would be easier to knit and chat in the garter section. It’ll be fine though.

I hope you find time in your day to knit or do something you enjoy.

 

 

 

Knit on

I am super excited to be partaking in the Find Your Fade KAL with the Flying Needles Yarn shop. Unfortunately the weather was bad the night of the cast on party so it was canceled. I cast on at home as did others or they cast on at the shop on other days, posting to social media via Instagram, #flying needles2018KAL or Facebook.

I tried to find a moment or two each day to add a few rows. I started knitting on my color 2 four days into the project. As I was knitting along on Color 2, Madelinetosh’s Tosh Merino Light in the color Plaid Blanket, it hit me. I’m using Color 1 as color 2. [Insert image of me hanging my head head in shame here] I mislabeled them when I put the yarn labels together in order 1-7.

You can see I did it almost from the beginning, before I even took my official photos for my Ravelry project page. I guess I had a brain fart. I new what the swatch order was so I cannot explain it. Today I will be starting over, in the correct order.

Just for the official record the color order is as follows;

  1. Black Elephant, Acheron
  2. Tosh Merino Light, Plaid Blanket
  3. Malabrigo Mechita, 866 Arco Iris
  4. Tosh Merino Light, Coquette Deux 341
  5. Malabrigo Mechita, 5 Aniversario
  6. Dragonfly Fibers Pixie, Middle Earth
  7. Black Elephant, Sunflowers

At least this way I get fun extra knitting on this project. Really get my money’s worth out of the yarn by knitting it twice. Get the chance to start the KAL again! Just trying to get enthusiastic about restarting…..

Happy Knitting.

The Journey Begins

Today I moved my blog to WordPress from Blogger. I’m trying really hard to update things here regularly as I really want to share my love of knitting with you. I also want to keep track of the new things in my life. The year of 2018 is bringing so many different things. We moved from Las Cruces, New Mexico to Williamsburg, Virginia at the beginning of December in 2017. I’m really excited to live in a place that has such a rich history in the birth of our country! I’m looking forward to learning through the living history at Colonial Williamsburg and exploring Jamestown and Yorktown.

I’m currently reading the Lacemaker By Laura Frantz. It is set in Williamsburg, Virginia during the American Revolution. The Main character, Lady Elizabeth “Liberty” Lawson is charming, resilient and determined. As her world unravels around her Liberty sets her mind to fining a way to be independent using her creativity to make it on her own in a time when woman had little options. She uses her skill as a lace maker to set herself up in the folly behind the tavern Raleigh taking in lace orders and mending. [Raleigh is a real life tavern that saw many important meetings with General George Washington, Thomas Jefferson to name a few. Probably the walls hold all the secrets that went into the development of Declaration of Independence.] As the story progresses you find Liberty putting herself right in the middle of the danger and proving her name is just the beginning of who she is and what she stands for. This book is exactly what a new Virginian needs, I find I’m searching the history books to learn more about the names and places mentioned.

So here I go.

I’m on my way.

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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Swirling thoughts keep swirling

 

We are closing on our new house on January 31st. Im spending too much time with all these thoughts and plans swirling around in my head. What colors to paint. Should I paint every room? Do I want neutrals or colors. Neutrals in some rooms, colors in others? What plants to plant. Hydrangea’s and Roses, definitely some Impatiens. Where to place furniture and art work. Living room will have our big couch but do I put my favorite chair in there or in the family room?it never ends.

 

I’m spending so much time scour Pinterest, Instagram and blogs trying to decide what my style will be.  I’m what I would consider hand me down eclectic. which won’t change,  but what is the overall feel I’m going for.

What I really love about this house is all the built in storage. It is homey and cottage-y. I will make sure to enhance all the moldings and builtins with my paint choices. White trim and cupboards is a definite yes. The family room and kitchen have beams that have been painted white and I will keep that, but these and the crown moldings are getting lost against the white ceilings. I will change the ceiling color just enough to make these features the glory of the rooms.

 

You can see the ceiling beams and moldings in the family room

 

this is one of many builtins in the hallway
one of the bedrooms

I’m pretty sure when I saw the builtins I was sold. Totally ready to move in.  I love the “dressing room” part of the master bedroom. There are matching builtins on either side of the 3-way mirror and a make up desk.  I can imagine a large mirror hanging above it with some new farmhouse style good lighting will be perfect. Eventually I may replace the counter or maybe open up the master bath into the dressing room area.

one side of the dressing room
make up desk with original 1962 sparkle countertop

A big challenge is definitely going to be the master closet. and it is just a closet.  very basic and very small. With some fresh paint and some smart storage choices I will make the best of it.  It’s a great time top finally pair down to that Capsule Wardrobe I’ve been planning.

please be kind
these clothes belong to the current home owner
more along these lines

 

Chuck asked why I didn’t want top build a house so I could make it exactly what I want.  I do have exactly what I want. to take something good and make it amazing.  To be the curator, the editor, the caretaker. This is what I want.
Now to get off the internet and finish knitting my hat. To keep my mind from swirling.
Happy Knitting.

Hanna’s Exoskeleton and a KAL

This sweater isn’t charming or sweet. It’s odd. It’s definitely quirky. It was a fun knit. I’m smitten with it.  So is Hanna! The Shusui Shrug by Susanne Sommer

Hanna looking radiant
I rarely use black yarn because it’s so hard to see the stitches. The contrast for white and black Brioche works really well. I can easily see the stitches as the Brioche technique combines both colors for each stitch. This is great for all the inevitable mistakes that happen when knitting a big project.  I certainly had my far share of those!
Knitpicks Hawthorne Speckle
When I first saw this project on The Woolshop Podcast I went directly to Ravelry and bought the pattern. Immediately starting the search for yarn.  Find read more about that on this previous post. I have the yarn to make one for me and I really want to start that now, I’m going to hold off so I can instead focus on a KAL I want to participate in.
Hanna was excited to have a fun photo shoot for her Exoskeleton on a super cold day in the snow. She likes it, she really, really likes it.


Hanna, Hannah [Hanna and her BFF do indeed share a name] and I went to my local yarn store. Which is unbelievably exciting. I am so happy to have a LYS. It’s a great shop. The store is The Flying Needles and the owner Susan is wonderful! She is fun, charming and you can tell she has enthusiasm for the yarn she carry’s. There are so many samples in the store. It’s a feast for your eyes, bright colors in every corner, and it gives you an irresistible urge to touch all the things. Susan has a large variety of big brands, Indie and local yarns.  I’ve had no shortage of things I wanted on both occasions I visited and therefore came home with new yarns.
The first time we went in I had mentioned I was looking to add to my own yarns to knit another Find your Fade and amazingly Susan was planning a KAL for the Find Your Fade and Free your Fade patterns by Andrea Mowrey. The casting on party is January 17th during the knit in, these take place from 5-7pm every Wednesday. I attended my first one this week. There’s a nice mix of ladies and there was lots of laughter and sharing.  I was thrilled to see the different color combos shared for the KAL. I am sure these evenings will brighten my life. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the knitting world here in my new little corner in Virginia.
My Find your Fade colors
I’m actively trying to look ahead to all the wonderful things our life in Virginia is presenting. If I spend too much time dwelling on what I’ve left behind in New Mexico I might not put myself out there and find good things like the LYS. I really miss my Tuesdays and Thursdays supporting people in their knitting journey. I reallllllly miss my Monday afternoon knitting with my friends who all met at my house. I miss starting my days with Raquel, who was Tim’s caregiver, but also my friend, if I had a sister it would be her…….it is her, she will always be my sister of my heart.
Onward and upward!
Happy knitting.



Made to Order Hats

A couple months ago my nephew, Anthony, called me.  He asked me to make him a hat. Is anything cuter than a kid asking for a hand knit hat!?! I inquired about what color he would like, he gave me very detailed guidelines. Blue, with green, white and black stripes. it would have to have earflaps for sledding. I asked if he would like a pompon and he quickly replied those were for girls………and speaking of girls- his sister, Sam, would probably need a hat, too. He told me she would want purple, pink and more purple, stripes, and with earflaps of course. Oh, and a pompon, you know, because she IS a girl.

Anthony and Santa with Baily my mom’s dog

When we went to D.C. in November and while I was there we hit up Fiberspace in Alexandria. It’s a really great LYS that has a large selection of yarns and I knew it would have all the colors I need in a washable wool. I choose Berroco Ultra Wool. They did indeed have lots of colors to choose from. While we were there Hanna’s boyfriend requested her to knit a hat for him since it was so cold to our New Mexico blood. I grabbed a skein of yarn for him, too. I didn’t have the right size needles with me, they had exactly what I needed in Knitter’s Pride, so those came home with me too. I also picked a skein of Neighborhood Fiber, CO fingering weight, wool/cashmere blend. This yarn is locally dyed in Baltimore, MD they have a variety of colors named after neighborhoods in and around D.C. I picked the color Rosemount as this is the neighborhood Stevie lives in, in Alexandria.

Back to Anthony’s hat. With the crazy November I didn’t really get to start knitting his hat until we left for Virginia. I planned to use the pattern SureFire Hat by Susan B Anderson.  Driving across the country with a car slammed full of our stuff, my husband, son, and three dogs there wasn’t much space for knitting. I had thought I would knock the hat out quickly. Not so much in reality. I worked on it in the evenings at hotels and finished it here in Virginia in our temporary apartment. After I wove in all the ends and washed it, did the crocheted edging, braiding and then really looked at the finished hat I realized it was going to be way too big, It was even big on me! So I started knitting the hat again with a smaller needle.  The smaller needle was just what was needed. the second hat was perfect!
I did add a pompon to the larger hat
but of course not to Anthony’s

I had about a week to knit Sam’s hat. Hats are quick so I would have plenty of time to get them in the mail for Christmas. I used another Susan B Anderson pattern she put out with Spud and Cloe. it’s a very cute pattern. I knit the hat quickly, everything went as expected. I wove in all the ends and washed it and put it on drying rack next to Anthony’s. Wait!!! It was HUGE! Oh my GOSH! No Way!

Sam’s hat next to Anthony’s hat

I was so frustrated. What the heck! I knit this hat with the same yarn and same the needles as Anthony’s. Why was it so big? I still couldn’t believe it. I went to bed with a heavy heart.  In the morning, after I had coffee, I revisited the hat drama. I double checked the needles. Size 6, that was right. I pondered awhile.  I read through the pattern, and then did it again.  What did I do?  In desperation I counted the stitches. Geeze, that was it. I made the Woman’s size, I needed the Child’s size. UGH! What stupid mistake. So I did the only thing I could do. I cast on another hat.

This time I decided not follow the pattern for the extended decrease section on the crown and worked a traditional one decrease row, one knit row crown. I didn’t really like the slouchiness the pattern has. I thought it had too much weight and might not stay on so well sledding down hills, I also didn’t do the extra pompons and tassels, not because the weren’t absolutely adorable [which they totally are] but because I didn’t think I’d have enough yarn.

 

the size difference is apparent

I didn’t get them out in time for Christmas. I sent the kids their Christmas gifts after and they had New Year’s Eve Christmas gifts instead. That probably made them even more special since they didn’t get lost in the jumble and chaos of the holiday.  I’d say they were a win as the kids gave me two thumbs up! And as a bonus Charlie and Leah also received great New Years Eve hats!

Anthony and Sam December 31st, 2017

My mom said they are loving their hats and are wearing them through the really cold snow filled outings.  Mission accomplished!

It’s clearly making the cold more bearable

Happy Knitting!