Sunday, November 18, 2012


For those of you that are my close friends, you know how crazy-wicked-busy our life is.

For those of you that don't know me so well, lets just say I am not fantastic at being "Susie Homemaker". I hold down a fast paced job 45-50 hours per week, 30 miles from home. I'm not here...A LOT. My husband is Chef Tell, Joe Taxi, Mr. Fix It, and Magic Mike all wrapped up into one man. We have two teenagers that keep us hopping. This photo was from the first day of school 2012. Important day for us: it was Claire's LAST FIRST day of high school (Senior), and Cruz's FIRST FIRST day of high school (Freshman). Feels like they were both in diapers just yesterday...NOTSOMUCH!

There are many new things on the needles and several finished/blocked items! So Exciting!

In order to maintain my own sanity I plan to mete them out over the course of the week.

Lets go back to my blog entry from July 22nd. I crock pot dyed the yarn for a Summer Flies Shawl but only posted the un-blocked photos. This little bugger blocked out fantastically. I love, love, love it.

I'm still getting the hang of using blocking wires. If you have any input/tips/advice please share your thoughts!

This Age of Brass & Steam Shawlette was also a quick vacation knit with my own hand dyed yarn. I Kool Aid dyed the yarn with Grape, Orange and Lemonade using mason jars in the microwave. FUN, FUN, FUN. Quick, instant satisfaction method of dying.

This last FO was a total BLAST to knit. 
I have never had so much fun. I somehow stumbled upon it on Ravelry and instantly knew I had to make one for my cousin Paul for Christmas. The beard pattern is a little difficult to follow at first, but once I started it made sense. If I knew the men in my family would wear them, I'd make many more in a HEARTBEAT. Its called Dwarven Battle Bonnet. I bought both patterns (I and II), used pattern II for the helmet itself, and the Original for the beard. I can't wait for Paul to open this!

Let me know what you think! 

 Superdad Victor (aka Big Daddy) is my model (victim). He said it was really warm!

Later Knitters!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Time Well Spent

My cousin P & his family were here for the Labor Day weekend. We relaxed, relaxed, and relaxed. The guys golfed, the ladies shopped (for yarn, of course), and BigC took The Bear on a field trip with her Man.

Friday night was quiet. We watched a movie or two and The Bear fell asleep standing up.

Saturday we all went our separate ways. 
The guys golfed
BigC and Her man took The Bear to Cabella's
Thousands of gallons of fish tanks and mountains of 'stuffed' game fascinated him for hours. 

D & I visited a couple no-so-local yarns shops.  I picked up a Yarn Buddy and some sock blockers in Buffalo, and a couple skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino in Archangel in Excelsior, for my Quaker Ridge Shawlette KAL with my Knitting Buddy
(Holy Too-Many-Links, Batman. I'll stop now. Just trying to give credit where its due.)

D & I came home to an empty house and had a few skeins of un-dyed yarn to play with so I have a few skeins to share!

 This is a yellow/orange/natural/lt green/evergreen gradient. Looks like a cowl-to-be to me!

 Big C thought it was rude that some dyers/knitters call skeins like this 'clown barf'. I love it and the Linen Toes Socks I started with it. The colors travel evenly with the linen stitch, and look less juvenile when worn by a grown-up..

Sunday mornings at home call for yummy breakfast by Big Daddy. We had lamb chorizzo with eggs, super crunchy hash browns, and sweet, sweet cinnamon rolls. The Bear established a corner seat at the snack bar, devoured his breakfast, and ran his sugar-high off in the back yard.

We played badminton, swords, ring toss, and the Bear even took some time out to help Big Daddy fill the bird feeders. They also had a really long talk down at the fire pit.

 This is my favorite pic of the weekend.

Our last dye project of the weekend was learning how to create a true, one-color gradient. We used Juniper Wiltons Cake Frosting Tint, vinegar, and BFL fingering weight yarn. Dee did all the dying and several of us performed the un-knotting and re-skeining. We won't talk any more about THAT.

I think the skein is GORGEOUS! She did a great job.

I recently found some yarn in my stash downstairs. I have no idea what brand it is. There were no labels on it. I started a pair of Charade socks with it and love the way the colors coil around the sock! It is a very easy, 4-stitch pattern. These will knit up in no time!

Wow, long post, but lots to share. Thanks for sticking it out this far!

I've noticed my blog posts are full of UNFINISHED knitting projects. That's just how I roll. I get bored easily. I don't think its the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. I just get bored after the first sock and if I don't want to wear them right away, or the gift isn't 'due' for a while, I will move on to something else and go back to it later.
Be patient. I'll finish something....soon.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Emotional Rollercoaster

Today ended a very emotional week. 
I lost my Dad a little over 4 years ago. To make a long story short, he didn't take very good care of himself, and sadly, it ended up killing him. 
I drove the 97 miles to Poplar Hill Cemetery to pick up the pot of flowers at his grave marker this afternoon. I sat, talked to him a little, prayed with God a little, and knit a little. 
For a very short time, I was at peace. 
With myself, and with the world. 
There was no one else there, no one to interfere with my Serenity. 
This is never an easy trip for me emotionally. Memories, good and bad, flood in like mosquitos at dusk, biting and nipping at all my soft bits.
I miss my Dad like crazy. He was not a perfect man, and not the perfect father, but HE loved ME and I loved HIM. Sometimes that all that matters. My parents were very different people. My Dad understood me. He knew how to talk to me, and was never afraid to show me that he adored me. I LOVE that about my Dad. Some thought him soft, or weak, but I don't give a shit about that. My Dad knew how smart I was, and trusted I would make the best decisions for myself. My Dad was the one to say, 
"Missy, you just need to do what your heart tells you."

Today, my heart said "Be alone. Find some Peace."

Well I did. ThankYouVeryMuch.

Now, on the needles!

I started this Bubble Cowl with the gradient I dyed for my Knitting Buddy's Christmas Gift. Like I can keep a secret from HER. I might as well just post it.

 While in Madison in March I bough a skein of cashmere yarn to make this pair of Susie's Reading Mitts.
Notice the dreaded aluminum needles. I hate them, but could not get my hands on any US4 DPNs in bamboo without driving about 60 miles. Grrr....

 These are the most awesome socks I've made in a very long time, simply because I love the colors. BigC picked out the Kool Aid 'flavors' (Strawberry, Peach Mango, Pink Lemonade & Orange), and I dyed the yarn. I named it Bahama Mama.

 These Bold Beauties are SO appropriate for her!

We at the Casa are all looking forward to a quick week to pass. We have company coming Friday to join us on our annual trip to The Fair! Hurry Friday!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Captain Claire
When she was five, I was a goddess. She wanted to wear my lipstick, high heeled shoes, and my perfume.
A few years ago I became the most ignorant, out of touch, creature she has ever met. We communicate by shouting, crying, hugging, laughing, talking, growling, and sometimes swearing at each other. Every day our relationship is something different. Sometimes fun, playful and loving, other times, angry, loud, and distant.
Hopefully someday soon, perhaps in between her twenties & thirties, she will realize I'm pretty freakin' smart, and that sometimes grown ups make mistakes too. Babies don't come home from the hospital with directions on "how to...".

For now I love her even though every time I say something she bites my head off and stomps away. I adore her from afar because snuggling with your Mom when your 17 is really not so cool. I praise her behind her back because my Mom-Friends understand where our relationship is "at".

This is my daughter, Claire. It was announced at the Senior Volleyball BBQ last night that she is a Captain this season. She seemed rather nonchalant about it, but I could not be more proud. She is my most greatest female accomplishment, and I love her to pieces.

More knitting updates coming Sunday!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic Progress

Our weekend started relatively slow, and with a quick change in the weather, turned into a frenzied DIY project spotted with a small batch of dyeing and some knitting on the side.

I added all my recent dye projects to my stash on Ravelry. 

Link is to the right >>> 

Details are here! 

I miss my DP (dyeing partner) like crazy, so out of the 15 blank skeins I have in inventory, I only dyed four. As I am the Bean Counter and not the Chemist of this pair, I surfed the learning curve all on my own.

First: Our yarn creations are starting to sell! Yay Me & D!

 I dyed this second skein of Jester's Hat for D's friend in LA.  

 In a stroke of genius (or perhaps and actual stroke because of my poor decision making) I dyed this green/brown/orange skein for a pair of TreeBeard socks D wants to make. She absolutely loves it, but I dyed it on the wrong base yarn. Hard to knit a pair of detailed, leafy socks with only 245 yards of sport weight yarn. Duh. So, this one will either be sold ASIS or will be overdyed at a later date.

 This skein of Bearded Iris is also a sport weight wool. 

And finally, my attempt at a gradient. I took another 100g skein of sport weight wool and wound it off into 5, 20g. sections. I filled the crock pot with 12 C water, 1 C vinegar, and Wilton's Blue and Green Frosting tints. After a sequence (or 5) of dunking, removing, adding more dye solution, (lather, rinse, repeat) I found myself with a gorgeous skein of yarn that looked nothing like I had intended it. 

After lots of rinsing.


It is something I don't think I will ever be able to duplicate, but I love it, love it, love it!

So the DIY project of the weekend is a major repair to our lawn sprinkler system. Last summer a sewer and water project along one side of our corner lot left us with an entire zone of sprinkler lines buried, never to be found again. There was a miscommunication with the subcontractor and we came home from work one night late in the project to find all the sprinkler lines in our side yard buried, the dirt rolled & compacted, and the curb poured. This weekend was about digging a 75-80 foot trench, laying new water line, and installing new heads. V & LittleC were able to accomplish this and save us well over $1000. For the mere cost of $16 in parts and a couple of pizzas for labor, we will have our cushy lawn back for BigC's graduation party next June. 

Here is a picture mid-project from this morning. I have been summoned outside to help fill the trench and call in the pizza order!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

We've had a busy but amazingly fun weekend. My cousin P, his wife Desiree and their son N visited for the weekend.

V and N spent a lot of time together. This was documentation of the use of a purple back rubbing thing-y and a wrestling match with Mr. Tough Guy.

Dee and I have turned out to be great friends AND she is my uber favorite knitting buddy. While the boys golfed, BigC took N to the zoo, D and I dyed 10 skeins of yarn.

Three crock pot dyed with Kool Aid.

  Re-skeining for self striping socks.

Three crock pot method, 1 salsa bowl method, three ice cube method (2 were over-dyed).

 Self striping: black, teal, violet, yellow & white.

Self Striping: violet, yellow, teal, rose.

We had cake to celebrate D's Birthday.

And had some serious snuggle time with the NoNo Bear.

They are leaving tomorrow morning and my heart aches already.

Happy Knitting!