Friday, December 23, 2016

A Little Knitting

 What can I say, I just couldn't stop knitting these slippers.  All in all I think I made 9 pair before I hid the yarn and made myself  turn to other projects.  I can knit them in my sleep and probably did.  But they are fun and, depending on the needle size, could be knit in any size. 

 Slippers even fit with mug rugs. 

 And if one set is good, two sets are perfect.  Hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and warm feet.  What could be better?

 In an effort to find something new to do, and not work on knitting UFO's, I decided on a waffle knit dishcloth.  This is fun to knit and is very easy.  I have knit two and will continue until I have used up this cone of cotton yarn.  I'm going to try to get back to  project knitting after the first of the year.

And one more thing that is not knitting, this throw I made for our great grandson for his 2nd birthday.  It has Star Wars on one side and Air Force on the other.  He has lived close to us for the last couple of years and a couple of weeks ago his dad moved him to Colorado.  His mom, who is completing her stint in the Air Force, had to remain behind for a couple of months so we will be spending Christmas with her.  I hope we will also be seeing her several times before she follows her little family to the cold country.

Merry Christmas to one and all.  I hope you all have wonderful, fun, and safe holidays,  Gari

Linking to Patchwork Times

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas & Chickens

This is the second year we have had our ladder Christmas tree with our Christmas Village pieces.  And once again I am thrilled with how it looks and the joy it brings us.  Last year I painted the ladder and Eric placed all of the pieces.  This year Eric did it all and did a wonderful job.  It was fun seeing how the pieces got moved and moved again until he was satisfied.

 And this week I finally felt good enough to put another quilt on the frame.  This one was, again, started over two years ago and fell by the wayside when I was sidelined by illness.  Because I now have a lot of back pain it takes me longer to get things done.  So I got the quilt loaded one day and quilted two rows the next day.  I would be over there quilting now but I had a doctor's appointment this morning and after sitting in the waiting room chairs my back is really acting up so I will get back to it tomorrow.

 For some reason I have become obsessed with cooking appliances.  I really have always enjoyed walking through cooking stores but recently I have wanted to have several of the things I have been seeing.  One of these things has been good cutting boards.  I don't use the stove very often so I bought this one that fits over the top of the glass cooktop.  It is removable when the top is needed and has legs, that we haven't put on yet, so it does not sit directly on the top.  I figured it would protect the glass and keep all the crud from building up on the surface.  Since I took this picture I have begun oiling it and it looks beautiful.

Our neighbor has chickens.  But he is currently living about 100 miles away, taking care of a family member.  His son has been coming daily to care for the chickens but recently they decided to let the chickens out of their pen.  And to our delight they found their way to our yard.  We used to have his chickens visit daily but it has been a while.  As soon as we saw them we ran out to buy chicken feed: enticing them to return as often as they like.  Aren't they beautiful?

I am currently pursuing a pain management implant for my back pain (see this post).  There are several hoops I have to jump through and so far I have done three.  It is the wait between hoops that I really hate.  Why can't these medical professionals communicate with each other more rapidly?

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Birthday Week

Yes, I am still knitting.  And I seem to be fixated on these slippers so here is another completed pair.  And would you believe that I have three more pair in the works.  This is primarily because I haven't found a sweater pattern I want to knit so slippers it is, for now.

And I did find time to spend time with my sewing machine.  This is a fleece throw.  I love the size, 1 yard x the width of the yardage.  It is amazing how large this makes these throws.  And they are so easy to make.  I am hoping that I can find a couple more interesting fleece pieces to make a couple more throws.

Once again, this is Birthday Month.  I have been very good and haven't expected a gift a day, like I got last year.  But there have been a couple of gifts along the way and apparently we are ending the month with a BANG.  What we are seeing here is a ceramic measuring set sent to me by my sister, I think.  It seems that Amazon sends packages but there is nothing in the box to say who sent it to you.  Anyway, I thanked her for them so I'm sure she will take credit for them no matter what.

I do appreciate that they are marked for size so they are usable as well as decorative.

My daughter gave us an Initial Banner to hang outside.  She actually gave us 2 but the other one, a Christmas decoration, is already planted outside and I am too lazy to get up and go outside to get a picture.  Maybe later.

Our SIL found this tumbler and made sure that it came home to me.  I think these little owls are so cute and will be fun to drink with.

DH is so sweet and he knew that I wanted some Gnomes. Why?, you may ask.  Well a few weeks ago I had several trees cut down because they were crowing the house.  What we were left with was several short tree stumps; not enough money to have them ground down.  DH said he was going to paint them so he could see them when mowing around them.  I suggested we glue Gnomes on them to have something fun to look at.   

And I got more than the one, I have six.  They are marked for being outdoors and then there are a lot of precautions about bring them in for different weather situations.  Well, that's not going to happen.  So the plan is to poly them with a couple coats to protect them and then they will be on their own until next year.  I think it is going to look so cute.

This was quite unexpected.  Yes, I showed DH this and told him what others had said about this appliance, but I did not suggest we get one.  So imagine my surprise when I saw the box.  I think we will try French fries to see if it works as well as advertised.

And this was a BIG surprise.  I saw this cart advertised and showed DH because I now am having difficulty bringing groceries in from the car: too heavy and too much.  He poo-pooed me and we dropped the idea.  Well, I guess he had second thoughts.  It came in a really flat box but was completely assembled and DH got to use it first.    Those six wheels make steps so easy and it just glides over our rough ground.  I think we will need to affix a basket on it but even just this way it is it works.

Even Mother Nature has gifted me with this beautiful display.  The buds just popped the day after we brought them inside (brief 30s at night).  They really make me smile.

And that's it for me.  I have another doctor appointment tomorrow, seeking some pain management that does not include drugs.  I had to fill out several pages of admission paperwork, most of which dealt with drugs, past or future.  By the time I was done I had already formed a negative impression of the group of doctors which is not going to help me tomorrow.  Tonight I am going to have to pray for a change of attitude ....... darn.   Gari

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Early Finishes

I seem to be on a knitting roll.  This is my newest accomplishment, a hat made without a pattern.  I had just finished the cable socks, see previous post, and still wanted to do a little cabling so I started this hat to match the scarf I completed last month.  And not a moment too soon.  When I got up to go to the lab (blood letting for the oncology doctor) the temp outside was 39F.  I really needed a hat this morning.  This one I did flat, not in the round, so I had to seam it but interestingly the seam doesn't show.

These are slippers that I finished this past week.  I saw the pattern in a YouTube video ( and thought they would be great for wearing in the studio this winter (no central heat or air conditioning in there).  I don't usually wear shoes over there so having nice warm socks/slippers is a really good idea.  These are really easy and she also has a written pattern, both in English and French.

Anyone who has been following me for a while knows that I celebrate Birthday Month every November and that last year my husband gave me a gift every day in November.  He already informed me that that isn't happening this year but he has gifted me a few small things as the month has gone on: cookies and the above coffee cup.  It is in remembrance of the orange and cream VW van we had about 45 years ago and that we loved.  We had originally had a VW camper that we wore out on a 2 month camping trip to the West Coast, with a 5 year old, a 2.5 year old, and 6 month old twins.  The orange and cream one was more like a bus and we loved it until it broke down on an interstate in Mobile, AL and we couldn't get it fixed.  But we still look back on it with fondness.

I am including this picture because I am confused about the light green leaf.  It is growing on the same stem as the other leaves but it obviously doesn't belong to the same family.  I found myself singing the "Ugly Duckling" song while checking it out.  Does anyone know what plant this leaf belongs to?

And last but certainly not least, I present our resident Daddy Longlegs.  He was running from plant to plant looking for bugs to eat but unfortunately we had had rain the night before (first in over 2 months) and all of the plants had gotten a good wash.  I apologized as he ran off: this is the only spider that I welcome on our deck.  We also have chameleons and it is fun to watch them catch bugs, too. 

And now I am off to continue my search for the perfect cable cardigan and possibly fingerless gloves for wearing while sewing.  I find my fingers stay warm when I am knitting but not when I am holding fabric for sewing.  Wish me luck and have a great week.  Gari 

Friday, November 4, 2016

KnitPearlHunter KAL 10/2016 Finish

I am so proud.  I finished the KAL socks before the finish time: two days before the end.  I know, I really wanted to finish them before the end of October but it just didn't happen.  I seemed to not want to knit right when I only had 6 rounds to go.  But I decided that the important thing was to complete the task in Michelle's time requirement, not mine. 

I had the last 6 rounds done on 11/2/16 and on 11/3/16 we were off to visit friends.  For the first time I decided I could knit while hubby drove and I got the Russian Bind Off completed on half of both socks. Then this morning, while said hubby slept, I finished the bind off on both socks and they were completed.  I would have worn them for you but it was in the 80s and my feet didn't want to wear wool socks yet.

The sock on the left shows the instep pattern that ran from the toes to just before the bind off.  There are several mistakes but I don't think they will be seen when I have them on with shoes.  The sock on the right shows the abbreviated back leg pattern.  I don't ever knit socks with long legs because I live in the South where it isn't cold enough to need to keep the leg warmer than denim can keep them.

Now I am going to buy some more sock yarn so I can knit some more.  And I am going to start looking for a new sweater pattern so I can put my new cable knitting prowess to work on something larger.  Oh, I love the sense of accomplishment.  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times

Monday, October 31, 2016

Misc. Fun

How about these?   I am calling them my "uptown nails".  My DD came for lunch Sunday and had these nails and I just had to have them, too, after all I am the one who collects owls.  So this morning I jumped out of bed and drove over to the nail place to get an appt.  Well they don't do appointments but the person who did DD's nails was available so here I am.  They are gell nails and different from anything I have ever had.  I don't think I like the squared off nails but will get them more rounded when I go back for the fill in two weeks.

My next find are these two row counters.  I saw them advertised on Facebook: they came from Singapore.  I currently am using both of them since the wonderful person who designed the Knit Along (above socks) has the front of the socks doing a different pattern from the back.  Without these row counters I think I would be really confused. 

I find knitting very relaxing but sometimes I don't want to be paying attention to a pattern.  That's when I turn to washcloths.  Here are 15 newly completed cloths.  I use them as washcloths and dishcloths and they seem to last forever.  So I even give them as gifts.  When they get wet they are so soft they are perfect for babies.

I have already shared that I am having fun with my Instant Pot pressure cooker.  I have made mac and cheese, pork roast, and here I was setting up for poached eggs.  And I spend way too much time online looking for new recipes to cook in my IPot. 

 On a livelier note, my Christmas cactus' are getting ready to bloom.  I was afraid that they were not going to produce but last week all kinds of buds were popping out.  I will be buying a new plant in December: this has become my Christmas event.

And last but certainly not least is Abby. I took this at 2am.  I got up to go to the bathroom, an old person's thing to do, and saw this at the foot of the bed.  She likes to sleep under the covers but it seems she needs her nose and feet out.  She looked so cute.  Then when I woke up in the morning she had migrated to the head of the bed to sleep on my pillow.

And now I am off to try to get my socks done before the end of the day.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wooden Needles Don't Click

This is my completed orange cowl.  I am so happy with how it looks and I know that my neck and chin/mouth will be warm this winter.  Again, this is not fairisle, you knit the pattern with one color for two rows and then the other color for two row. 

And, I have the heel done on one sock and am 4 rows away from finishing the heel on the other.  Then it is just the legs, which for me will not be very long, and I'm done.  I did have to take one of the socks off of the Magic Loop because the pattern has you knit in the round a couple of times in the middle of the heel.  I wasn't prepared for that but I rallied, slipped the stitches of one sock on to DPNs and continued with just one sock.  I think I should have these done by the end of the month (hope, hope, hope).

This has been a slightly difficult week and I have retreated into my knitting.  I had a bone scan which showed that the cancer in my complete skeletal system is worse rather than better.  We have made a change in my medication but things are not looking good.  That being said, as soon as I have this pair of socks done I will be once again working on my Sweet 16 again, setting up a little quilt that hasn't been quilted, and cleaning up the studio. 

And I have a new hobby, cooking, something I haven't done for over a year, and with an Instant Pot pressure cooker.  I have made broccoli/cheese soup, Red Beans and Rice, hard boiled eggs, Beef and Macaroni, Applesauce and Jamaican Jerk Pork.

Here you can see the JJ Pork in my sandwich and the applesauce (I did not make the coleslaw).  Everything I have made has been great and because I still cook for 6, we have a lot of great leftovers in the freezer. Eric and I have split up the days that each of us is responsible for dinner.  But with all that is in the freezer, I don't think either one of us will have to cook very often.

We have a quiet weekend planned so I should be able to get a lot done.  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times

Thursday, October 20, 2016

KAL Part 1

I have been knitting socks through a KAL by Knit Purl Hunter.  I decided to follow this KAL because she was putting cables (easy ones) on the socks and I had never done cables.  I have seen several patterns with cables and I have always had to pass them by because I didn't know how to knit cables.

I am way behind in this KAL.  I think that is because I am knitting two at a time.  I do that because I know that I would never knit the second one if I only did them one at a time.  She has released a new to me heel, part 2, and a different cable pattern for the leg, part 3.  And I am now just almost to the point of starting the heels so I obviously have a long way to go. 

Please don't look to closely at my socks.  There are several errors as I learned how to do the cables and not get lost in the pattern.  But I really like how they are looking anyway so I will keep going.

I am also knitting a hat to go with my recent scarf but I don't have a picture so maybe next time.  Have a great weekend.  Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Knitted Finish and Other Things

Well, it has been a while since my last post.  It isn't that nothing has been happening around here but for some reason both my husband and myself have been so busy seeing doctors that what we are doing has not been newsworthy.  However now I have something to report:  Eric/hubby, will be having gall bladder surgery tomorrow.  He is nervous and we are both wondering how we will get along since I still cannot do all the things he has been taking care of.  Should be an interesting time.

As for me, I had x-rays this week to see if I can take advantage of a back procedure that would repair my bulging discs and at the same time restore the 2" I lost last summer.  I am anxiously waiting to hear from the doctor.

Meanwhile, I have been knitting.  I just finished this scarf, ready for whatever cold the winter brings.  The funny thing is that I found this yarn in a bag in my studio.  I must have sent for it for a reason but I have no idea what it was.  I still have one more skein of each color so I think I will be making a hat to go with my new scarf.  Then I will be well prepared for WINTER.

The other thing I am knitting is the Tesserino Cowl.  I LOVE cowls as in the winter I hate to have my neck get cold and scarfs frequently don't stay up close to my neck.

 This is what the original cowl looks like,
 and this is what mine is looking like.  In actuality I have completed about twice what is showing in this picture.  I saw this pattern on a Very Pink Knits video.  She said it was easy, I didn't really believe her, but decided I could try anyway.  And guess what, it really is easy, although you do have to pay attention to the pattern.
I knit on this cowl in the studio where I am not interrupted by dogs and, for the most part, my husband (who does show up in the studio at least once a day).  And I knit easier things in the house while watching TV with hubby and 4 dogs.  So there are always two knitting projects going at the same time.  And to keep that going I am going to pick up the purple sock I seem to put off finishing.  Bad Gari!

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Ours will be quiet which will be good for both of us.

Linking with Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Plugging Away

What on earth have I been doing?  Well, not a lot.  It seems like I am busy all the time but since I don't seem to get a lot done, that probably is not quite accurate.  You see I go to the studio almost every afternoon and sometime during that afternoon I fall asleep.  I do laugh about it now but I was really surprised when it began happening: I have NEVER been a napper.  But now it is happening almost every afternoon.  But when I am awake I knit and have been working on these:

This is block 3 of Esther Aliu's Sweet 16 BOM.  Mine is all fused and I have about 2/3's of it appliqued.  There will be domes over these sweets but I am going to do them all at once when we/I have all the blocks finished.

Here I am working on the applique and in front of the machine is some of the spools of thread that I set out to see what matched best.  I do seem to spend a lot of time setting threads under the machine's light and on top of the fused applique looking for the best match.

Fortunately I have a pretty good stash of threads.

The problem with having so many choices is that it sometimes is difficult to see the difference between shades of thread or it is frustrating when the shade you need is between two that you have but don't have that in-between one.

Once I start appliqueing one block I start work on the pieces for the next block, in this case Block 4.  One of the funny things that occurred while choosing fabric for this block was the discovery that I rarely purchase floral fabrics.  The block called for a flower to be placed next to the cake and I really had to hunt to find one.

My flower is a lot bigger than the one in the pattern but I really liked it so here it is.  This block is only fused and will not be stitched until the above one is completed.  Meanwhile I have drawn the units of the next block onto the fusible and all those parts are sitting on the ironing board, ready for me to choose fabric for them.  Unfortunately there are 5 very colorful "sweets" on that tray so it may take some time to prep the pieces and then put the jig-saw puzzle together.
Meanwhile I have a new toy, an Instant Pot pressure cooker.  Judy at Patchwork Times has talked a lot about her's and all that she can do with it.  I, on the other hand, have reveled in the fact that once I got sick my husband took over all the food preparation and I could see no reason to change that.  Then I somehow stumbled onto a Facebook community where people shared their IP experiences, good and bad, and helped each other.  And so many recipes that sounded so good.

The internal components are really simple but the problem is going to be that the "experts" keep sharing all the additional things you can use with this pot.  And everything you make is made faster and the moisture and flavor stays in the pot.

So I picked my first recipe,

Bought 3 large chicken breasts and put them in the pot with water, spices, and sauce.  And out came perfectly ready meat.  Due to unforeseen circumstances we didn't get to have the tacos but the chicken went into a couple of great salads and were wonderful.
I have made hard boiled eggs that peeled perfectly and a pasta dish last night that was great (and enough for two more dinners are safely stowed in the freezer).

Just in case anyone is wondering, I don't plan to take over the cooking.  My plan is to cook about once a week and then also try my hand at sweets. 

And, of course, last but not least, we have Stubby and Sherlock either commiserating or plotting.  It always impresses me at how well our animals get along

We have company coming this weekend and I am still trying to decide if I am going to cook for them.  It has been so long since I have done that and one of them is a vegetarian, something I have never had to consider.  So I guess this weekend is going to be a surprise for all of us. 

Have a great week and weekend: see ya next week.  Gari