Consolation Package

I’ll admit it; I’m jealous and often a poor sport.  Today, I’m green because Anne and Jessi are meeting up in person AGAIN.  I’ve reminded them both that they have my phone numbers, and not so subtly suggested a text message with a photo would be nice.  However, there’s no need to pout, because as the regular readers know, I’m a rather spoiled fart…

That colorful postcard in the bottom right is from Nichole and her other half, reminding us that we should/could have been with them in Charlotte last week.   The rest is from Jessi and her family.  (I get so tickled when Paypal prints the mailing label; it appears the Knight is receiving a package from Mr. Alabama Fiber Dreams.  SNOL!!)  I’d ordered the two skeins to the right, but the rest was just part of the on-going friendly thinking of you thing Jessi and I have been doing.

Missing from the photo are the cookies for the pups, because the dogs were “helping” me take photos, and Sissy cannot be trusted to stay on the deck floor.  Also missing are the Knight’s Raisinettes, because he had duty crew at the firehouse and wanted some munchies.

Have you EVER seen anything cuter?!  Sissy and I had words over this gal before I even took these photos.  It’s got a little code to plug in online, so I’ll have to do that tonight and see what it’s all about.  She’s going to have to live somewhere my little leaper can’t reach.

 

Then, there were the roosters.  I’d not seen this beautiful tape measure before, and I must confess that as much as I love roosters, I’ve taken fiendish delight in poking this one in the eye to move the tape!  The ones on the towel are beautiful, and shall become my new bread basket cloth. 

 

Oh – and the third skein of yarn is from Fearless Fibers.  Another great Etsy dyer!  There are so many of you out there, I do believe I could never buy from the big guys again, but see…  I have this yarn problem…

What does the weekend hold?  Not much.  Stardust is nearing the end, and I have organizing that didn’t happen last weekend to do.  I’m hoping that the Knight will want to take some sort of adventure tomorrow, as we’ve not had a day to wander together for a while.  How ’bout you?

And a very happy birthday to Shawnee!  Scoot over and wish her many more, and enter her contest.  It takes a special woman to give someone else a present on HER birthday!

Ty-boy

Meet Ty-boy.  He’s my Mary Kay delivery dog.  More correctly, his mama knows I buy make-up just so she and Ty have to make a delivery.  He’s seven, so he’s still very much full of himself.  He’s very small for a Jack Russell, but he sure is cute!

Of course, Mugsy and Sissy don’t mind sharing their toys, partially because they don’t know…

Happy Dogs on Thursday, one and all!  I just thought you might enjoy some different doggy cuteness today.  (That, and I failed to take the photos I needed for the post that lives in my head.)

There’s little to report knit-wise.  Stardust is on the home stretch.  The right side is almost complete, and I suspect that tonight, I’ll get that done and the two sleeves.  Then, I’m going to tackle the seams and the continuation of the ribbed trim around the neckline, which I’m not entirely sure I understand, but hopefully, it will make sense when I do it.  Maybe this weekend I’ll wash and block, maybe.  The lace ribbon is beautiful and the yarn is soft, but I am inclined to finish Stardust. 

Happy Little Friday!  Can we have more four-day work weeks, but paid for five, please?

 

Meme and then some

Robin of my knitting guild tagged me for this.  This has been a really popular meme.  I’m betting it’s because it’s a little more introspective than some of the others??

I never tag others, so we’ll skip the rules.  (No, I don’t read instruction manuals either.  Knitting patterns are another story….)

1) What was I doing 10 years ago? 

1998.  May, 1998.  That was about the time Mugsy and Fred began having male-on-male canine aggression problems.  They had some EPIC battles, and it may have been right about now that Mugsy sliced my finger open on both sides as I tried to separate them.  I was also a newlywed.  About now, I was also starting back to work, and realizing that I’d never again be a firefighter.  It was a rather tough year, come to think of it!

2) What are five things on my to-do list today (not in any particular order)? 

Honestly, I don’t do to-do lists.  I used to be a huge lister, and was probably more productive, but I also found them encumbering.  I rarely even have a grocery list, because should I bother to make one, I leave it at home!  However, some things that need to happen today:

  1. Mail out some Pampered Chef catalogs
  2. Mail out a duplicate receipt and paperwork for a Pampered Chef warranty claim.
  3. Mail back my own damaged in transit Pampered Chef items from a DECEMBER order. 
  4. Pay my Junior League dues online.
  5. Call in a prescription refill for the Knight.

3) What snacks do I enjoy? 

Couldn’t I just list what I don’t like?  It would be a shorter list.  I like to snack.  Generally, I prefer nuts and seeds, or popcorn, but fruit is nice once in a while.  I don’t really like chips, but chocolate and baked goods are another story.

4) What are some places I’ve lived?

A short list here…  Horse Country, Virginia.  The end.  Oh – save college, in Washington, DC.  Not very exciting, but that’s the way I like it.

5) What things would I do if I were a billionaire?

Billionaire?  Big bucks, eh?  Well, I’d give my inlaws whatever they need to truly retire.  Then, we’d re-structure the family business a bit, so that the Knight and I could be gone more than six days at a time.  As much as I moan and groan and call this my labor of love, I don’t think we’d quit working, or even go part-time.  We might be a little excessive with vacation time if we got the right support system in place, but we’d always be available for executive decisions.  I’d buy a bigger house on the Outer Banks, so that I could have about a dozen of you in at a time for our knitting retreats.  I’d trade my car in for the hybrid version.  I’d enroll Sissy and BOTH of her owners in a personal dog training class.  I’d get that addition on the house underway, ASAP.  I’d buy the house next door (with an easement on our property) and put a trusted friend up in it for next to nothing, so that when we travel, the dogs have the love and care to which they are accustomed.  I’d buy a lovely old home in the city and donate it to the League, so the Board members aren’t afraid to go to the office after dark.  I’d set up a memorial discretionary fund for the County Fire Training Division, in memory of my father, and in honor of my father inlaw and husband, overseen by a committee of five – the Knight, me, the current Training Chief, a trusted dear friend who just happens to be a volunteer chief across the county, and some other sane, reasonable person.  Then, there would be the annual giving plans to the other charities near and dear to my heart…  The ASPCA, The Boys & Girls Club and Habitat Women Build.

Of course, before any of that happened, we’d sit down with our attorney and financial advisor, and we’d have a system and a plan in place before even a penny was spent!

So, play along if you like.  If you do, please leave me a comment so I can see what you wrote.

Now, on to other things…

Yesterday, I failed to share what are perhaps my favorite teapots.  My dear Anita made a set like this for Holly, as a custom order for me for the not-so-coffee swap Holly and I just completed.  I never shared my matching set with you, because I was waiting on Holly to get hers first!

 Lovely, aren’t they? 

That’s the very wee start to my Lace Ribbon Scarf.  I’m loving the Alpaca Sox yarn.  It seems I’m a fan of Classic Elite yarns, especially in greens, as my Stardust is also in their yarn.  Go figure. 

It’s hard to believe it’s Wednesday already.  Love these four-day weeks.  Maybe that would be part of my billionaire plan…

 

 

 

 

Coffee, Tea and Holly

It’s great when two of your dearest friends co-host a swap.  I simply announced before sign-ups that I did want to do the coffee swap, but then pre-arranged that Holly and I would spoil each other – knowingly – because both of us really are more into tea right now than coffee. 

You’d best grab a cuppa’ (or if you’re in the already hot and humid Southeast, a tumbler with ice and…) and a snack, because this is going to take a while.  There’s just too much here that I don’t want you to miss!  This box was packed FULL of goodies, just for me, the Knight and the world’s two most rotten pooches.  Good thing Holly treated the pups, because I must confess that I got carried away with opening my package, and I left them outside and their supper was more than 30 minutes late, because it took me that long to open everything! 

Firstly, there was the ubber lovely card.  It’s from New Civilitea, and I’m sorry to report that the design is copyright protected.  Since my photo is a bit shaky, you’ll have to trust me that everything tea is written in the design. 

For instance, the tiptop of the lid says scones, and the bottom base says cream and sugar.  See??

That’s the everything shot.  There’s so much there that I just can’t share EVERYTHING with you, but we will hit the high points, and boy, there are plenty of ‘em.  But first, a quick roll call, from leftish to rightish.  There’s an assortment of bee-themed notepads and such, a darling bee hotpad that is sure to become the Knight’s favorite (and he’s hotpad picky, as Holly recalled!), a copy of Tea Time magazine, my favorite Lindt bar, my all-time favorite snack – candy coated sunflower seeds (think M&Ms meets sunflower seeds!), THREE scone mixes, my very special treasure of a tape measure, the adorable bee stitch markers, Icarus pattern AND yarn, the Knight’s dye kit and yarn, my first braid of roving, my own pink needles with pink custom tops and point protectors, doggy treats (which closely resemble human sticky buns and could trick the Knight, very easily…), the prettiest little tea for one ever, two lovely mugs, four teas, and last but not least, perched upon the very top, the coffee, because it is, after all, a coffee swap. 

A word about said coffee.  It’s from my most favorite grocer in the world, Fresh Market.  I have it on GREAT authority that they’ve secured a site here in my city, but I’ve yet to see the store.  I’m getting impatient.  Anyhoo, dear Holly sent me some of their limited edition, Honduran Yaruchel coffee.  From the package:  …coffee with notes of brown sugar and subtle fruit tones.  Need I say that tomorrow morning, I shall press a cup in my adorable coffee press?  SIGH.

The teas are stellar too.  There’s Stash Chai sampler and Jasmine Blossom Green Tea, which are two of Holly’s favorites.  She also sent me my favorite tea to brew for iced tea and a new to me green tea, along with a tin of Snowflakes by Teaspot, which is ironic, because I sent her a Teaspot loose tea too!

Then, there’s that refined, but generously cupped tea for one. 

Isn’t it lovely?  I think I’m going to have to have a cup of chai in it, just as soon as the humidity and the temperature drop a bit more. 

There’s also a pair of these lovelies.  I love embossed, bone china, another tidbit Holly couldn’t have possibly known. 

The pupster sticky buns.  Don’t they look good enough to plate up and serve with tea?  Tsk, tsk…  No, I’m not going to let the Knight bite into one before I tell him they’re for the dogs.  Besides, the dogs have already earned them by waiting patiently for their kibbles.  (We’re going to ration them out though.  One, per dog, per night.  Mugsy’s watching his figure, and we’re trying to teach Sissy the concept of moderation.)

There’s so much fibery goodness.  I didn’t do a close-up of the Knitpicks Bare laceweight with the Knight’s dyeing kit, but you can see it in the “group photo.”  Holly caught on one blog post, quite a while back, that the Knight seemed curious about dyeing yarn in the microwave, so now, he can.  (Right after he makes me the PVC niddy noddy I’ve asked for!)

Then, there’s this incredible roving from SakinaNeedles.  I do believe my lovely Bluefaced Leicester in “Concord” is the same yarn on their banner.  I want a wheel NOW!!!  This stuff just BEGS to be spun.  (Yes, my roving stash is growing too, but I’m proud to point out that I only bought about 7 oz. for myself.  The rest has been gifted to me, thank you very much!)  Maybe this weekend, I’ll go wheel shopping again.

 

Then, there’s the Icaruskit Holly assembled for me.  I swear this woman has figured out how to get into my cart at a couple of different online shops!  I’ve admired that pattern for a while, and interestingly enough, the very yarn she included, Knitpick Shadows in Oregon Coast Heather, has been in my cart more than once, but I just never checked out!  (See the link for a true representation of this soft, yummy colorway.) 

 

 

 

Holly had some help with several items in this package.  The fink My good friend Anita worked her fingers to the bone so Holly could give me some truly unique, precious gifts!  The sneak even asked me one day while we were chatting how she might make a tulip tape measure.  Me, the not so-visual lover of tulips…  I tried to help, and now, I know why she asked.  I never thought for a moment that it was for me!  I’ve pulled the petals open here, so you can see the full effect.  The tape comes out there at the green stem.  You can also see closed version in the “group photo” at the top of the post.  You can look, but you can’t touch.  Long before this came to live with me, Anita told me she’d never do another of these beasts.  I’m sorry I was so much trouble girl, but I promise it was worth it! 

 

Then, there was a pair of Anita’s special needle toppers.  She’d also told me that she wasn’t doing these anymore, except for swap pals or personal gifts.  I’d hoped that I might one day get a pair just the same, again, never sensing that the pair she just struggled through was indeed for me!  I had difficulty photographing these beauties, but you get the idea. 

 

 

There was even a pair of tip protectors too, which conveniently enough match a lone stitch marker Anita sent me with the last order I placed.  Ha!  The joke’s on me, evidently. 

 

 

 

Anita was a busy bee, filling Holly’s special order for me.  Aren’t these guys cute?!  In case you’re wondering, there was a bee theme to this package.  Holly had sent me the Lantern Moon bee tape measure in a Valentine package too.  I don’t remember when I shared with Holly that I like bumblebees.  It’s kind of weird to like a creature that my father was deathly allergic to, and Mugsy has his own allergies, which thankfully, he hasn’t tested in many years.  However, there’s story about the bees that inspires me.  I heard it not long after coming to grips with my own, new and permanent physical limitations, about ten years ago.  Evidently, some engineers decided that bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly.  There are several variations on story, but the point is that the bee doesn’t know it shouldn’t be able to fly, so it just beats its wings as fast as necessary to fly.  It does what it must to do what it wants to/needs to do…

Well, I’ve run on long enough.  While I pandered here, the Knight took Sissy out for her first run within the confines of the invisible fence.  He and Mugsy played fetch, and she ran and ran.  They’re all sacked out around my living room, so it’s time to go make dinner.

Thanks again, Holly dear.  I look forward to having tea and/or coffee with you in person one day soon!

 

Score!

Ever since I first stroked Rosanne’s Panda Silk, I’ve had my eyes open for some of my own.  After swearing loudly enough for the dude sitting two doors down to hear me when I found The Needle Lady closed yesterday, I headed to It’s A Stitch, *KNOWING* the store that closes at 4pm on Saturdays would be closed for the holiday too.  Ha!  Wrong!  My skepticism was trumped by a 25% off all yarn. 

This Pearl Blue Panda Silk came home with me.  I’m thinking it will be a scarf, probably for the to be gifted pile, but I’m open to suggestions.  It’s very soft and silky (duh?), but it really is bamboo and wool with a dash (5%) of silk.  I’m still looking forward to the soy version, due out in a month or so.  I love knitting with wool and alpaca, but I’m also very fond of soy and bamboo.  Heck, here lately, you can add cotton to the mix too.  I’m just all about soft, squooshy yarns, it seems.

My other big find was my $10 handbag.  No, really, and from Kroger’s (grocery store) nonetheless.  I had pulled up to use a self-checkout lane, and the employee supervising said stations noted my fabric bag and asked if I’d seen their cart of similar bags, 1/2 off.  I said no, and tried to present my best, “Really, not interested!” aura, but I’m glad I failed.  It wasn’t the Vera Bradley knock-offs I’ve seen at other grocery stores.  I’m not at all sure what made him think the two types were similar, aside from the fact that those in the cart weren’t leather or vinyl, but fabric…

It’s the perfect size, style, shape, colors… everything.  I hope it doesn’t run in the rain or fall apart before the summer’s over.  I even love the little bow!  I’ve always been mad for little bows.  The colors washed out in the close-up; they’re close to true in the first photo.  The contrast stitching is done in that pale pink.  Truly, I would have paid LOTS more for this bag.  It’s as though someone designed it with me in mind.

Inside, there are three little pockets.  The standard, flat zippered pocket built into the side, and two cell phone sized pockets.  The one on the left was too narrow for my phone, but the second pocket holds my phone just fine.  Everyone keep their fingers crossed that this bargain holds up until I get tired of it, please?

I’m sure you’re quite tired of reading about my little bargain bag, but I really am blown away at how well-designed it is.  It even has the little “feet” I like on bags! 

That’s the last of the bag blabberings.  Thanks for bearing with me.  You know how picky I am if you’ve been reading about my knitting bag search, so this really is a find.  Along the same lines, Vera Bradley has announced the next four colors to be retired, and they’re 25% offright now.  I might order a baby bag, just to try it.   I’d like to wait for a bigger discount, but that also means I’d risk the colors I like (Mesa Red and most especially, Botanica) not being available in the pieces I want. 

The mystery lace is complete for a few weeks.  Clue #2 is done.  It’s rather easy, as lace goes, and I’m just crazy for the yarn, both the color and the feel. 

It’s not a great photo, but at 9pm, you take what you can get. 

Whew!  I need some iced green tea now, after all of that.  Shall I pour for you too?

Late Little Teapots

Life – oh heck, knitting, shopping and the dogs – kept getting in the way, but here is my final tea blog -along post. 

May 18 – May 24
The Pouring Teapot

This week is all about sharing about teapots. Do you have one? two? or three? maybe more? Is it for display only or do you use it for tea? What is the tea server you use most? Your favorite teapot (or is it something like a quart jar?). Tell your teapot story, give it’s history, and tell what it means to you. You can share more than once if you’d like. Antique, new, Asian, English, or something inbetween — we’d love to know!

I showed some of my teapots earlier in the series, but there are two very special, very small pots I wanted to share.  They don’t pour tea, but they are special just the same, and allow me to ALWAYS have a teapot with me.

The first one is a charm I found at a local antique show many years ago.  Rosanne and I were wandering around together while her OH and the Knight were looking at whatever it is that appeals to them.  Around here, most of the antique shows also draw very unique jewelery vendors.  This little beauty lives on my silver charm bracelet, which gets worn often and it has held up well.

The second little treasure is a charm attached to the yarn cutter Michelle gave me.  I told her then that I might move it to my charm bracelet, but I kinda’ like having a little teapot with me when I’m knitting on the road!

I really have enjoyed this -along.  It’s been great to read everyone else’s posts.  I’ve added several books and teas to my wishlist.  If you’re not a fan of tea, try a different blend.  There’s a tea or twenty out there for everyone.

 

 

Remember to Remember

Anne has about the perfect post on Memorial Day, so I’m just going to link to her for the facts and a great photo, and then mention my own thoughts on the day.  I could try to list all the people in my life who have protected our freedoms, but I’d surely forget some.  My father was a Marine.  My father inlaw did a tour with the Navy.  Pop and three uncles did their tours with the Army.  I could go on and on, but again, the last thing I want to do is fail to remember anyone, so thank you to all who served or are serving still, and to their loved ones, whose sacrifice was none the less.

While we’re talking about Anners, scoot over and give her a suggestion on what to do with sock yarn, other than knit socks with it.  She’s having a contest, and the prizes are incredible!

Saturday had a bit of mail goodness too.  Natalie (Gnat) allowed me to help her with a Pampered Chef  need, and along with her payment came the cutest wee sock!  You can also glimpse the sweet pups on the notecard in the background.  I love the colors in this yarn, and will have to ask Natalie what brand/colorway it is.  (Shut up.  Sock yarn doesn’t count as stash; therefore, I have almost no stash at all.) 

Wee socks are a lot of fun to knit.  I love the sock blocker keychain, and will have to start using mine one of these days.  I’m thinking they’re also a great way to test out a sock yarn and see if I’ll like it.  Thanks a bunch, Natalie!

I’ve also made a lot of headway on the mystery lace, but until I finish clue #2 later today, I’m not taking another photo.  I’m not sure how I’m going to like wearing the rather funky progression of pattern changes that seems to make up this mystery pattern.  You see, I’m pretty conservative and traditional in my attire, and I like things to match.  The idea of this running swatch stole is going to have to grow on me.  Otherwise, I’ll wear it to our Christmas luncheon, and someone will then receive it as a gift, with the bonus of having it smell more like my perfume than whatever Soak I use.  (Is that REALLY tacky?!  I wouldn’t wear it, aside from the whole “we’ll all wear our shawls to the luncheon” element of the guild’s KAL…)  And who knows…  I might fall in love with it when all is said and done.  Maybe.

My other knitting mission for this long weekend is Stardust.  I managed to finish the left front panel yesterday, and have started the right. 

There are all the parts, to date.  As soon as I post this, I’ll do another repeat or so on the lace, and hopefully, the Knight will awake and we’ll go run errands.  Then, the rest of the evening, I’ll finish clue #2 and hopefully make more headway on the right side of this sweater.  I still have the right side, both sleeves, and that 2×2 rib cuff will have to find its way around the back of the sweater too.  Then, some seams, and I hope we’ll have another FO by the end of this week.  The Knight has taken a rather curious interest in this one, and seems concerned whenever I knit on anything else.  He does seem to feel I should only have one work in progress, but I thought we’d worked through that last summer with baby blankies that don’t travel well and socks that do.  I suppose I should just be happy that he’s aware that I knit, and even mildly interested in what I knit. 

How ’bout that.  He is up and moving. 

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours.