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Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

On Thursday, July 10th, I took another step on the birthday hill and I can see the top so clearly, that I’m ready to start walking backwards. No really, I must admit I’m a bit sad to hit 39 years old, but that’s only because my 30’s have been my best years ever!

Since my father’s retirement party was in southern Idaho the day after my birthday, we left on July 8th for our drive from Southern California to Southern Idaho. The drive through southern Utah is so beautiful and I just love this red rock that is everywhere.

Originally I was very worried about the 14 hour drive to my parents home and since fuel costs are so high, we really couldn’t afford to stop and stay at a hotel. I was especially concerned because with my fibromyalgia, you just never know how a lengthy car ride is going to be. Thankfully, my most amazing friend Laura came to the rescue and allowed us use of her timeshare points to stay at the Cedar Breaks Lodge in Brian Head, Utah.

Miraculously the lodge was exactly the midpoint in our trip, so we stayed there the night of the 8th and woke the following day to this beautiful view.

The lodge sits at the base of the Brian Head Ski Resort and I can just picture this all covered in snow. It must be beautiful.

The following day, July 10th, had an auspicious start (that’s a whole other story), but at noon I was surprised by getting to visit the local fiber farm, Hartwell’s Lazy PJ Ranch.

Hubby gave me a card with a bunch of money in it to spend at the fiber farm, and so I got some superwash merino and soysilk fiber, a latern moon spinning basket, some back issues of Spin-Off magazine and a beautiful Gita Marie orifice hook.

Of course the batteries on my camera died. So, I was at the mercy of my mother’s picture taking skills. I won’t humiliate myself with showing the photos of my eyes closed and my tongue sticking out, but I do have this photo of me with a suri alpaca.

After the fiber farm, we had lunch at the local Mexican restaurant and later that day I received a few gifts. My favorite one was this “cake” my sister made me.

It’s a pile of the most delicious chocolate frosting ever with 3 balls of marzipan yarn in the center. I know she was disappointed that she didn’t have time to make me a “real” cake, but she was so busy making the retirement cake for my dad, that I asked her not to make one for me. After that candle was blown out, I asked for a package of graham crackers and scooped up piles of frosting on them. Mmmm …. my favorite.

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I want this to be a post about my latest creation, an absolutely stunning shawl designed by my girlfriend Laura, but I’ve been sick the last few days and haven’t even felt up to photographing it. However, I do have FO’s to share from December.

Greenery Hats

Pattern: Greenery Hat by Lilith Parker

Source: PDF or Ravelry

Yarn: Classic Elite Waterspun; Blue Spruce; Needles: 4.5 mm / US 7

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash; 816 Grey & 819 Brown; Needles: 4.0 mm / US 6

I liked this hat pattern so much, I made 3 of them and kept one for myself. The hat knit up quickly and easily and all the hats seemed to fit quite well. I love the color of the Classic Elite yarn. Although the yarn is discontinued, I really quite liked it. You can’t tell in the photos, but it had a felted quality about it.

Chevalier Mittens

Pattern: Chevalier Mittens by Tikru

Source: MadeByMyself and Ravelry

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash; 816 Grey; Needles: 4.5 mm/ US 7

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash; 819 Brown; Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5

Yarn: Classic Elite Waterspun; Blue Spruce; Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5

Grey Mitten Modifications: I omitted rows 75 – 78 and modified the top decrease section as explained by Storm Moon Knits.

Brown & Blue Mitten Modifications: I omitted rows 29-32 and 75-78 and modified the top decrease section as explained by Storm Moon Knits.

Unfortunately they all ended up being too long even with omitting the rows and going down a needle size. The worst part though was that I lost one of the grey ones on my drive home from Idaho back to California. I swear, somedays it’s a good thing my head is attached.

The brown gloves and hat went to my middle sister for her December birthday. She had originally requested fingerless gloves with mitten tops, but after attempting to knit those twice, I gave up. When I saw the Chevalier Mitten pattern, I hoped the cable design would help her forget her original request. She called me just a few days ago and asked for more gloves and hats. Obviously she likes them.

Sisters in handknits

The blue/green gloves and hat went to my sister 14 months younger than I for her September birthday. I know, I was a teensy bit late. I don’t know if she uses them or not since she hasn’t spoken to me since the fiasco at my mom’s house 6 weeks ago. Had I know she was going to say such hurtful things to me two days after I gave them to her, I would have kept them. I’ve always had a policy to only knit for those that would appreciate the love & care I put into a hand knit item. Unfortunately I don’t think she understands that. What’s that saying, “once bitten, twice shy?”

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Happy Birthday baby sister (who’s not quite a “baby” anymore). Not only is she one of my sisters, but even if she weren’t, I would like to think that we still would be close friends.
My sister is a very talented artist and a delicious baker, so last year she combined the two and started making one-of-a-kind cakes. I’m always amazed at the fantastic confections she creates and I hope that someday I’ll be lucky enough to be the recipient of one of her cakes.
Last year on her birthday I let her choose one of four fabulous gifts, but this year I figured it out all by myself. Since her favorite color is green, and since I know she doesn’t have any for herself, I decided to treat her to some hand knit socks. Unfortunately, they didn’t get complete in time to make it in her mailbox for today, but they are going in the mail on Monday (along with the delayed socks I knit for her daughter’s December birthday). Do we see a horrible trend here or what?
A Twinkle in the Congo

Pattern: Twinkle Toes by Cookie A.
Yarn: Cider Moon Glacier in Congo
Needles: 3.5mm (US 4) 24″ KnitPicks circulars
Pattern Notes: This is definitely a great pattern to try if you are intimidated by other patterns written by here. Since it’s knit with DK weight yarn, it knits up fairly quickly, but still introduces you to Cookie’s fabulous design work. I knit these two at a time on 2 circular needles, and cast on using Judy’s magic cast-on (of course). I knit 5 pattern repeats before starting the instep increases, but I should have only knit 4. In the heel section, I used the yarn over method that Cookie demonstrated on the Knitty Gritty episode instead of wrapping the stitches as written in the directions. I knit 6 pattern repeats on the leg which makes them a bit long, but hopefully she prefers a longer leg like I do. I used the sewn cast-off for the very first time and I’m wondering why I never tried it before. Brilliant.
Yarn Notes: It’s super soft, squishy, the color variation is beautiful, and it smells great. The downside is that in Sept 2007, the Cider Moon blog said that due to a legal matter, they’ve stopped doing business. It’s such a shame because I’m not one to typically purchase DK weight yarn, but I really think this is one I’d purchase again. Hopefully whatever the issue is, it will be resolved soon.

Final Thoughts: While I’m pleased overall with how these turned out, I’m afraid they may be a tad too big for her. Then again, she could just wear them around the house as big slouchy socks, right?

Thanks to all of you for your comments on my last post. I’m still trying to sort through all the emails and read each of your blogs, so bear with me while I try to catch up this week.

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Does anyone have any idea why Cookie named this sock pattern Thelonious? Does it have something to do with Thelonious Monk?


Pattern: Thelonious by Cookie A.
Pattern Source: www.cookiea.com
Yarn: Louet Gems Pearl in Sage
Needles: Knit Picks 24″ circular size 1.5 US (2.5 mm)

Thelonious is one of the patterns I purchased when I took the sock design class from Cookie in July and it’s one of the few patterns I didn’t convert from cuff down to toe up. I figured I’d knit a pattern as written (for once) mainly because she designed them cuff down and I wanted to knit it as she designed it.

I made a few errors and had to tink back here and there, but overall, things went smoothly. The yarn was wonderful to work with, and I’m glad I chose a solid colorway yarn so that it shows off all the details of Cookie’s design. I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone who loves knitting socks, but be forewarned, you need to be able to knit from a chart.

These socks are being mailed to mom for her birthday, although I must admit, I’m almost a week late in sending them to her. I’m sure she’ll forgive me though since her gift to me was a few weeks late also.

I’ve already cast on for the next Cookie pattern, Twisted Flower, and it’s taking my full attention, although I’m starting to itch to make something other than socks.

In yarn collecting news (because I can’t not), I picked up 13 skeins of this Classic Elite Skye Tweed for a future cardigan for myself. I’m not sure what pattern to use, so I’m wondering … does anyone have any recommendations?

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I just saw the most surprising and amazing thing! Lara at Yarn It nominated me for a Rockin’ Girl Blogger award. I’m completely in awe that she did this for me (since my blog only seems to “rock” once in awhile), but I’ll accept the honor anyway. I know I’m supposed to nominate others for this award as well, but honestly, I just can’t narrow down the list of awesome bloggers that I frequently read. I also know that quite a few of you have already received this amazing award.

I know it’s been almost a month since my birthday came and kicked me in the arse, and I’m yet to share with you some of my birthday treasures and since they are knitting-type related, I thought you might be interested.

First, my sister in Pittsburgh has only ever acknowledged my birthday with a card, but this year, I received a gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe. I chose to spend my money on something I would have forever, so I selected the sterling silver Eternity shawl pin from Designs by Romi. Although I only have my Clapotis shawl to use it with, since I’m still working on the Mystery Stole, hopefully this pin will work well with it.

Second, my baby sister at Bits and Pieces gave me a gift certificate to Amazon.com, so I picked up a couple of books from my wish list. Favorite Socks from Interweave Knits has been on my list since before it even released. I’ve already knit the Embossed Leaves Socks before and loved them, so next up I think is the Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn A. Clark.

And, since my sister is a crocheter that I taught to knit, I chose the Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting book so she can claim she taught a knitter to crochet. It counts. I’ve already started with a few practice swatches in this orange cotton yarn and the book has great step-by-step photo guides for everything. There are 14 chapters of over 273 pages of information regarding everything you ever wanted to know about crochet, so I’m giving this book a huge thumbs up!

In other news, I’ve been meeting with contractors and handymen the last few weeks for some desperately needed work on my home. Hopefully most of the work will be completed by the end of the month and hopefully I may even have some money left over for food when it’s complete!

I’m off to Salem, OR for a few days, so I’ll try to catch up with emails & blog reading and all of that when I get back, since I’ve decided to make it a computer-free getaway. Until then, I leave you with photo evidence of what happens at a family party when my dear husband feels it necessary to harass our son-in-law.

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It’s like a broken record. Everywhere you look people are having a blogiversary. I believe something must have been in the water (or yarn) that month because a year ago today, I also got bit by the “blog bug”! I think I started reading 10 blogs consistently then, but as of today, I have 216 blogs that I’m subscribed to. Yes, insanity has hit an entirely new level around here. So much has happened in a year and I’ve made some great new blogging friends (although I’ve only met two of them) and I’d love to increase that number this year.

Of all the stats I located about my blog though, these are my favorite:

  • 4,776 people have visited my blog (about 1,000 of those were in February)
  • 127 posts have been written (including this one)
  • 536 comments have been left here

Thanks to all of you who frequently comment. It really does make my day to see so many comments on a consistent basis. I sincerely try to respond back to every comment I receive, but occasionally one falls through the cracks (or I can’t locate an email address) and for that I’m sorry. I hope you continue here with me for my adventures into my second year, and I look forward to whatever my blog brings me. (an income would be nice)

In honor of my one-year blogiversary, I’m going to do the predictable and give away yarn. I was going to make it a contest, but I don’t want you to have to work too hard for your freebie, so here’s what I’d like. Leave me a comment on this post about your favorite yarn, knitted item, knitting book, and knitting accessory between now and Monday, March 19th at 12:00pm PST. I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner and that person will receive this skein of Trekking XXL. Come on people, it’s time to finally de-lurk. After all, this is FREE.

Since I haven’t posted since Monday, I could bore you with all the things I’ve been doing, but I won’t. I will, however share with you the best part of the week. On Wednesday I went to Laura‘s beautiful home up in the hills of Orange County California. WOW! Talk about some stunning views!! Of course, I didn’t think to take any photos because I’m an idiot! It’s the truth, what can I say? We had a wonderful afternoon of showing off some of the items we’ve knit and I brought my yarn haul from Stitches West to show. The time passed too quickly (as usually is the case when knitting and yarn are involved) and as I drove home I was very thankful for blogs. I finally realized that the reason I blog is to keep in contact with those of you who have the same obsession for knitting as I do. I love connecting with people who can appreciate the joy, happiness, sadness and frustration that we call our craft, and the opportunity to hopefully someday meet some of the amazing people we correspond with through our blogs. Am I sounding too sappy? Okay, I’ll shut up now.

In family news, my baby girl is turning 4 years old on Saturday.

This is Kya and I guess she’s really not my baby, as much as she is my dog, but since I never had kids of my own, (other than step-children) I consider my pets my kids. I know some of you may understand. Ever since she was a puppy, she’d lay on the ground and roll her ball around with her paw. It’s one of my favorite things to watch her do, so I just had to include a photo of it for you.

And just so my handsome 3-yr old doesn’t get left out, this is Duke.

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