For Friends

A friend, a gifted artist friend, happened to ask me for a photo of my hands knitting.   I wasn’t able to get the Knight to take a shot or two for me, so I taught myself to use the timer on my camera, and I hope the results are usable.  When she’s done, I’ll have to get permission to share a link to her blog, but for the Harry Potter fans, think Molly Weasley and Dante.  It’s a fascinating series she’s doing, and I’m thrilled to be involved as more than just an admirer of her work.  I always thought my mother could have been a hand model, whereas my own little, square, squat hands and fingers require a youth XXL golf glove…  (Nymphchild, Molly might be insulted!!)

The mail carrier also left some knitterly goodness.  It’s been a long time since I’ve really felt a part of a sisterhood of friends, but I’ve met some of the greatest people online, and I continue to be overwhelmed by the friendships that form through knitting, blogs and the other connections we discover along the way.  Jessi  sent this perfect bag my way, simply because she knew I’d love it.   She’s right, of course! 

She came from Stuck in Illinois, if you’re interested. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are all kinds of cute little teapots and teacups on the bag, but this is my favorite.  I love the Treble Clef and “Twist and Spout.”  How cute is that?!  Where do you sewers find these cute fabrics?  It almost – but not quite – makes me wish I could sew more than a button.  Thank goodness for Etsy, eh? 

 

 

 

 

Just look how well two balls of Tofutsies fit in there!   Maybe the right, happy bag will inspire me to pick up and knit on the Butterfly Lace Stole more often.   It needs to be done in the next couple of weeks, and I have miles to go.  I just have a wee little meeting tonight, so perhaps after I get home, I will knit a bit.  Maybe.

Thanks again, Jessi.  Where would I be without my girlfriends?!

 

Coffee Swap Week #4

Let’s pretend for a minute we all live in the home of our dreams, have land, and don’t have to work so time is unlimited! It’s Spring planting season! What would you grow? A little veggie garden? A bed of bright spring blooms? Or is your thumb so far from green that the only thing you’d be planting is your tushy into a nice chair on the porch to get some knitting or crocheting done in the nice breeze?

The home of my dreams?  Well, in my current frame of mind, that would be somewhere in the Outer Banks, NC.  I think we’d skimp on landscaping and instead have a couple of pots of patio tomatoes, and flower boxes everywhere.  There would be an herb garden in the kitchen window, and since money is no object, we’d have someone with a green thumb stop in once a week or so to make sure I wasn’t killing things. 

I used to have a green thumb, but it deserted me a couple of years ago.   The Knight does well enough on outdoor stuff, so perhaps he could keep an eye on things for me?  The adorable little prince has a bad history with green things dear to my heart; he gets jealous and finds a way to …um… mark them for death… ??  Sissy would certainly want to see what I was doing, would then want to try to dig and/or eat the green stuff, so perhaps we’ll stick with things that can be secured out of her reach.  (She’s pulled the window box off the front porch twice already.)

Now, if I allow my frame of mind to stay right here in Red Clay and Rocks, VA, where the deer eat all the tender little blooms…

Never mind.  That’s pretty despressing, but it leaves plenty of time for knitting.

What I Read On My Vacation

 (Amazon’s photo wouldn’t upload, so these folks get linked to their photo!)

Since we’ve established that my inner teenage preppy is driving the bus, I’m going to make her give a book report.  (Maybe that will send her back into the depths of my subconscious, where she belongs?)  While I managed a fair amount of knitting on my long weekend, no spinning happened.  I’d packed FIRST and her partner roving, but they stayed in their bag and never so much as breathed beach air.  That doesn’t mean spinning wasn’t on my mind.  It was, as it has been for about a month now.

Thursday afternoon, Amazon left a couple of books on my doorstep, just in time to travel.  My new favorite, recommended by Mary, is a can’t put it down kind of read.  Yeah, I prefer nonfiction anyway, but this book would be a good read for anyone interested in fibers, whether she aspires to hand spin or not. 

The author makes her bias for a top/high whorl spindle clear from the start, but also explains why she finds it to be THE method of choice for spinning.  There are sketches galore, and more detailed advice than I’ve seen anywhere else.  Of course, the history buff in me (younger than the preppy) delighted in the background information laced throughout the book.  

Again, even if you’re just fiber-curious, this is a great book.  She talks about preparing fibers, and about the qualities of different sorts of fibers as they relate to knitting, wear and of course, spinning.  

I’m hoping that Thursday night will grant me some time to spin again.  I have meetings tonight and tomorrow night, so even one repeat on the butterfly lace project per night will be an accomplishment.

Spin to Knit  was the other book in the box.  A quick flip through left me going “eh.”  It has good reviews in general, but I’d have to agree with the worst one that it didn’t enhance my spinning knowledge (or appetite), and the patterns were hardly inspiring. 

Fiber Candy

But first, a contest!  Enter before April 30th for a chance to win one of five totes and/or and advance copy of a new book. 

Before we headed southeast, I received a Loopies Groupies notice about a sneak up.  I rushed over and secured my own Lawre’s Laine Baby Bag.  I’ve seen the bags in other sizes in person, and knew I wanted one of my own.  (I still want THE bag or even the Big Bag too…)  Even the Baby Bag would have allowed me to cram all three of my WIPs AND spinning bag into one place, rather than the two totes I took with us to the beach last weekend.  I love that they’re made here in Virginia, and I know I’m not alone in wishing we could order directly from the website.

 

(Nine interior pockets!)

I also scored some of The Loopy Ewe’s  custom dyed yarn, Michelle’s Pretty Pink Cactus.  My Loopy Goodness was sitting on the porch waiting for me on Sunday.  I had no idea it would come so quickly!

 

 

 

 

 

Then, there was the mandatory stop at Knitting Addiction.   I’ve eyed her cute tees before, and now that it’s warm enough to wear one, I couldn’t help myself.  There are other designs too, but I settled on that one, this time. 

Now look at the back.  That’s OBX, get it?!

 

 

I decided this little bag would be perfect for my small lace project, and it was.  (Rotten photo, I know.)

 

 

 

 

I also bought one wee skein of the Plymouth Linen Isle linen blend (far right), because Jeanne swears it is lovely, and those who were around last summer know I didn’t enjoy linen much at all.  (Don’t fall for the colorway.  The brilliant marketing team at Plymouth discontinued it.) 

Then, there was the sock yarn, because I could hardly visit Jeanne and leave without sock yarn.  (See the shirt above.  It’s true.)  Tofutsies (#855) and Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in “Lottery.”  How could I go wrong?  Also, Jeanne and I played our own little “if you could only knit with one yarn, what would it be?” game.  It shouldn’t surprise you to know I quickly announced that I could live, as long as I had an endless supply of Tofutsies.  Jeanne’s answer was Interlacements Toasty Toes.  I’ve not knitted with that before, so I’ll have to find a way to work some into my future…

I also required some of the O Wool Balance, the turquoise in the middle.  I think it could make me love cotton blends.

There was a finished object I can share.  Nichole’s contest runs through April 25th.  It was my honor to whip out a Dog Paw Scarf for the occasion.  It’s a speedy knit.  This one was done almost entirely on the 4-hour drive back from the beach, complete with interruptions by the royals with whom I travel.  PSSOs aren’t easy on bumpy roads, but I managed.  (And hopefully, Nichole will manage a better photo too.  It’s supposed to rain until Wednesday, and I really want to ship this out tomorrow!)

Details:

Pattern:  Dog’s Paw Lace Scarf   This is my second time with this pattern.  It’s quick, easy and produces a nice little finished object.  What’s not to like?

Yarn:  Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Hurricane   Ha.  Ironic, no?  I had no idea I’d be knitting on the way home from the beach, in the rain nonetheless, when I bought this.  This was my first experience with fuzzy, soft, wee yarn, and I’ll be going back for more.  The only problem I had was that the fluff stayed in my mouth.  I probably could have knitted the scarf in half the time, had I not constantly been pulling a stray fiber from my mouth.  Of course, if you don’t shove your needle in your mouth at the end of the row when you flip and turn (I do small lace projects on straights, remember?), you probably won’t have that problem. 

Needles:  Speaking of which, I used my go-to lace needles, the Bryspun straights, in size US #10.  I do have to say though, that with the PSSOs, the point wasn’t sharp enough for my liking.  

Yes, my eyes do glaze over and I do seem to buy similar colorways in different yarns.  Here’s the Loopy yarn and the CTH, side by side.  Evidently, I’ve been answering the call of my 13 yr. old inner Preppy.  You can never have too much pink and green, right?

 

 

Cultural Diversity

This post is really for Jessi’s Mr. Little and for the Knight’s friend’s grandson.  Friday, while the weather was perfect, we went for a ride to Digger’s Dungeon.   (That’s the name of the souvenir shop at Grave Digger’s home base.)

The actual shop for said monster truck is attached to the same building.  I didn’t get her in the picture, but I did enjoy seeing a young woman on the mechanics crew.  I was a little surprised that the Knight didn’t stand and watch them work, but I think he kinda’ felt uncomfortable with them just behind the little plastic chain.  They weren’t interacting with the visitors, so it was rather voyeuristic. 

 

The retired versions of the truck were put out to pasture, rather literally.  We did walk out and look at them, not that I had a clue what we were viewing.  I just snapped photos for the little guys to look at later…

 

 

That’s a close-up.  Rather impressive artwork, whether you’re into that kind of thing or not.  I wondered more than once about the residents of the house in the background.  At least directions are easy.  “Turn right at the big ‘ol monster trucks…”

The Knight hasn’t figured out yet that when he turns his back to avoid the camera, I still take the picture and share his posterior with all of Blogland.  He’s not a tall guy – I’d guess 5’6″? – but still, who on earth was inspired to build such a vehicle?!  Yet again, I feel terribly uncreative and uninspired. 

 

 

 

This was the Knight’s favorite truck.  It was in working order, and appeared rather new.  It was also missing from the – ?? – front yard when we came back by on our way home on Sunday.   You may reveal yourself as a true monster truck fan if you happen to know where it went!

 

This shot’s for the big boys.  (I figured I’d put all the itdoesn’treallyinterestme stuff in one post.)  It’s the Knight’s new favorite beer huggy.  It also serves as a tipsy-measurer, because I’ve found that when he giggles while he’s unzipping the thing to remove the “dead soldier” to insert a fresh beer, he needs to eat a little something with the next round.  Again, who thinks up these things, and why can’t my mind bend that way?  Wouldn’t you love to invent something and watch the royalties roll in (from your beach house porch)?

Bad Start

To look at the sunrise Friday morning, you wouldn’t know I went to bed nearly in tears on Thursday night.  We left on schedule, but hit TWO traffic jams before we got to Richmond.   (Not quite an hour from our house…)  Later, we risked getting arrested for trespassing at a golf club (no names to protect US!) so that Sissy could empty her bladder in a rather emergent fashion.  A few exits after that, the Knight stopped for gas at some wonderful spot with more bullet-proof glass than I’ve ever seen – really.  Then, about an hour before we got to the beach house, Sissy – our “good” rider – threw up in the back seat without warning.  Mugsy hyperventilated the entire way.  (He was the best rider, prior to our accident in December.)

The Knight doesn’t do puke, poop or his own blood.  To say that he wasn’t helpful is an understatement.  By the time we crossed the bridge, everything but Hooters was closed.  He did get me a Starbucks iced Mocha in a large bottle from a convenience store, and that was breakfast Friday morning.   For reasons I still don’t understand, Sissy didn’t get walked as soon as the Knight walked back into the house.  (We always drop the dogs off before getting dinner and doing our shopping.)  So, after washing the back seat AND one floor mat at 10:30pm, I stepped in a puddle when I walked in the door.  Welcome to the beach.   I drank a beer, ate a few wings and onion rings, and went to bed, very literally praying for a better Friday. 

(Note to all – I’m a wine girl.  However, the Knight offered a taste of his ice-cold beer, and honestly, I’ve never had a beer go down so smoothly.  The reason he’s my Knight is because he never flinched; he just went and fetched another for himself, acting as if that was the plan all along.) 

 (Excuse the photo.  I couldn’t get the angle I needed on the deck, so you get to see the screen.)  THIS is what Sissy and I watched every morning, from our front porch.  Mugsy stayed inside, on the sofa with his Dadaw, where it was warmer.  I did wear my shawl, but it clashed with my nightie, so no photos for you.  Sissy REALLY likes listening to the noises of beach road.  Mopeds fascinate her, but she’s not quite tall enough to see out the windows!

Now THAT is how to start the day.  Sissy and I would hang out on the porch, knit and sway on the swing until the Knight fell off the sofa with the announcement that he was ready to eat. 

Friday was THE perfect day.  It was almost cloudless, so we drove around all day with the windows down and the sunroof open.  We went on a little trip for two special little boys – I’ll blog separately – and hit the Cotton Gin  on the way back.  Crocs and monster sized Tervis Tumblers were only some of the things we came out with, and then we headed home to take the dogs to the beach.  Friday night also marked their first night visit on the beach.  The moon was full or nearly so, and it was beautiful. 

Saturday, we hit Knitting Addiction.   That too will be a separate post, as there was also knitterly goodness on the front porch here in Virginia when we arrived tonight.  There were also FOs, but one is a secret, so it will get blogged about when it goes to its forever home.    We were surprised to get a call from the Knight’s brother and his girlfriend, but we enjoyed spending time with them Saturday night and again for lunch on Sunday before we headed north.

That’s how the darling ones travelled this afternoon, thanks to a round of grape chewable Children’s Benedryl for both pups.  Sissy actually slept the whole way, save the flash in the face moment above.  I did get some cute beach photos, but you’ll have to come back on Thursday for those.  Tomorrow, we ease back into our lives with a rainy Monday at the family business.  (Read:  I’ll have lots of time for another post or ten, and the Knight will either be wallowing in the mud or buying breakfast for ten, or both!) 

 

 

Dressed to a Tea

April 13 – April 19
Dressed-to-a-Tea

Share ideas for dressing up for afternoon tea. Is your favorite tea-time outfit a silk caftan, flannel jammies, or a dress with proper hat and gloves? Do you enjoy wearing tea prints to tea? Or do you prefer something more elegant? Lace and ruffles? A feathered hat? Long pink gloves? Satins and silks? Cotton comfort? Jeans and a t-shirt you say? That’s okay — share it all here. Pictures of you in tea-time costume are welcome!

Or as it is more likely to happen at my house, to a TEE.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love a good tea party with my great grandmother’s pearls, one of my Derby hats from years gone by, and even white gloves.  However, the tea outfit I’d hoped to share would have featured a delightful “casually elegant” spread in the side yard, with a simple, spring dress and a cute but not so over the top hat.  Unfortunately, this week hasn’t allowed me to stage such a photo opportunity, and I was wondering how I was going to make this week’s post happen. 

Then, my dear Grace dropped the answer in my lap.  Still no photo of me, but I’m going to tell you how I do tea nearly every night.  It’s also how I’ll be having tea in the early mornings and late nights while we’re at the beach this weekend.   In fact, that’s the theme I’m going to use for the rest of the post.

Picture me in my favorite cotton tee and some cropped yoga pants, sitting in the porch swing on the front of the house, looking at the ocean, with the sound of the waves crashing.  Across my shoulders is my sweetest tea attire, the shawl I “won” in a contest Grace had last year.  As I’ve gotten to know the lady behind the work of knitted art, I treasure it even more, and it warms me inside and out. 

(That’s as big as I can get it, since I can’t find the photo in Flickr.)

Instantly, I feel elegant, regardless of what is underneath the shawl.  Isn’t that part of what tea does too?  It’s like a warm hug from a good friend, just like Grace’s lovely shawl.