Still Here

I can't believe it's been over a week since I last posted.  I have been quite the busy little bee, though.  Lots of knitting has been accomplished.

First off – I've finished the back and fronts for Ben's sweater:


I'm happy to report that they blocked out to the exact correct measurements!  I'm currently working on the first sleeve and holding my breath.  I had to redraft the pattern.  In looking at the Ravelry posts, it appears the sleeves are just too wide.  I looked at common measurements for the size I'm making, and sure enough, the sleeves as written are 3 inches wider than that!  What was the designer thinking?  Since my son is on the slim side, I knew I'd need to adjust.  So, I got out my Sweaters 101 book and made up a new pattern.  Here's hoping it works.

I also decided I needed to heed the call and knit some hats for Shanti's project.  If you're not familiar with her blog, you really need to head on over.  Shanti is a knitter, but is also getting ready to take command of a Navy ship.  How cool is that??  For Christmas, she would like to give all the sailors under her command (all 278 of them) a care package that includes a hand knitted hat, since the ship is rather cold.  I had put off doing some because I didn't have any 100% washable wool in my stash.  They can't have any acrylic because of the fire hazard.  But another plea went out because the hats just weren't coming in, so I toodled on down to my LYS and picked up three skeins and have almost finished all three Squib Hill hats. 


The yarn I'm using is Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash.  What a wonderful yarn!  It's a little pricey, but it is incredibly soft and luscious. 

Another pair of socks becomes an FO:


These are Cookie A's BFF socks out of Knit Picks Stroll Tweed.  This is really a nice, basic sock pattern – not as complicated as many of her patterns are.  The pattern is for sale on Ravelry, but if you scroll down on the page, you'll see that you can get it free, which is what I did. (Edited to add – the link I had is not working, but Marguerite sent this: Thanks Marguerite!

The Landscape Shawl is also approaching the end. 


I really do love this pattern, but it has not been without a stumble or two.  The patterns are no-brainers, but you have to be very careful of your stitch count.  It's terribly easy to get off and I've had to drop down and tink a few times because I forgot a decrease or added one where it wasn't needed.

When the granddaughters were here last I decided to give them their scrapbooks.  I figured they were old enough to appreciate them, but was really surprised by what a big hit they were.  They had so much fun looking at all the pages.  When Isobel got to the end of hers, she noticed all the blank page protectors.  She looked at me and said, "These are for all our adventures!"  From the mouths of babes – it really warmed my heart.  So, that does put pressure on me to keep up with our adventures:


Kits used – Harvest by Joanne Brisebois and Thankfully by Krystal Hartley.

It's off to Snohomish today.  I'm sewing dresses for the girls to wear to my mother-in-law's memorial service and I need to try them on before I get too far.  Then off to the Apple store for what I fear is going to be a very expensive battery replacement for my iPod Touch.

And Life Goes On

Last week hubby had to go downtown for something and he said he was a little surprised to find people going about their business as if nothing had happened.  It was an interesting phenomenon and a little surreal.  For us, life will never be the same without his Mom.  That's not to say that life will not be wonderful and joyous.  But when you lose a parent, life changes. 

One of the things that I really wanted to do this week was get back to my scrapbooking.  I finally got a system of organization going so that I can actually find things.  The first pages I did were a scrapbooking challenge from Scrapper's Guide.  I should add that if you are interested in getting into digital scrapbooking, they are the ones to go to for tutorials.


The template is by Jenny Binder, the kit used is In His World by Veronica Spriggs.

I also did a page using a quick page, Blumen by Theresa Lindamood (who I was so pleased to meet up with on our trip):

On the knitting front, I started the Landscape Shawl by Evelyn Clark and have found myself a little obsessed with it.  I think it's because it's rather mindless knitting, although you do have to pay attention to stitch count and what row you're on.  If you forget a picot or add one where it's not due yet, there is no hope but to rip back.  You can't pick those puppies up (not enough yarn), or let them down (too much yarn).  I'm on the last stitch pattern, but since the rows are rather long and it's getting a little bulky to handle, I've slowed up considerably.  I have a feeling this will not be my last Landscape Shawl.


The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy.  This is a perfect pattern for a lightly variegated sock yarn.

I've also been busy stitiching a multitude of heavenly hosts for our upcoming church bazaar:


Things have kind of come to a screeching halt, however, as I have run out of water soluble stabilizer.  Our Walmart here used to carry a wonderful, cheap stabilizer, but I was dismayed to find out they no longer carry it.  I sent them a stern letter as now I'll have to make a trip over to the mainland to try and find it there.  If the Walmart there doesn't carry it, I'll have to find a new stabilizer.  I really hate it when something works, works well and then you have to find a whole new system!

Tomorrow hubby and I celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary.  We can't do much tomorrow because of some obligations around here, but will celebrate Friday by a trip off island to find stabilizer and then dinner out.   We really know how to live, don't we??



Ruth Waite

December 19, 1925 – October 6, 2010

We said goodbye to our dear mother and mother-in-law yesterday.  She is now in the arms of the Savior she loved and served all of her life.  We rejoice for her, but grieve that her loving presence is no longer with us.  She was truly a selfless servant of the Lord, always thinking of others before herself.  Despite an often challenging life, she never showed signs of bitterness or self-pity.  We will miss her.

The Great American Road Trip

Thirty days, sixteen states, 7,890 miles, 14 hotel rooms, 11 cousins, a new great-niece and great-nephew, 2 brothers, 2 parents, 3 national parks, numerous museums, gardens and national waterways.  Countless restaurant meals, 3 audio books and hundreds of tunes – bluegrass, classical, rock and gospel.  Three and a half shawls and one half of a sock completed.  And it was all good!  What a wonderful experience this was.  When we first started planning this trip we had certain attractions that we wanted to visit.  What we hadn't counted on were the unplanned attractions – places that the locals recommended or places that we just stumbled across.  It was wonderful to see different parts of the country – the scenery, the food, the people.  But when all was said and done – there really is no place like home.  Being away from home really reinforces how much we love where we live and how very comfortable our house is.  And sleeping in our own bed that first night was heaven on earth!

This was the most wired trip we have ever made: GPS, iPad, 3 iPods (his, mine and ours), a laptop and two cell phones.  We were a little reluctant at first, but we made use of all of them (except my iPod, which is having battery issues).  We couldn't have done without the GPS – we were never lost, although "Jane" seemed to have a sense of humor, including leading us through the slums of Indianapolis to our hotel, which was in actuality right off the interstate!  The iPad was wonderful – not only could we keep in touch with friends over Facebook while on the road, it was also a great photo album, allowing us to share old family photos with all of the cousins.  Since I also had my laptop with the same photos, we were able to download them to flash drives to whomever wanted them.  We had one iPod dedicated to audio books, which helped some of the long boring stretches go much faster.

We arrived at Ben and Abby's house on Wednesday afternoon and the girls and Maggie were so happy to see us:


We were worried that Maggie may have forgotten us and decided she preferred her new home, but she greeted us so enthusiastically.  Of course, she doesn't have a tail, but she was wagging her little butt so much I was afraid it was going to fall off!  The first two nights at home she seemed a little disoriented, but she fell back into our routines fairly quickly.


It was fun to get back in my sewing room and to my machine again.  I finished Mei-Mei's quilt top:


All of the blocks for Isobel's are done; they just have to be put together.  Then comes the real challenge – quilting them.  Realistically I will need to machine quilt, but that is definitely not my strength.

I also came home with a boatload of lace to block:


The pile includes two scarves which have been finished forever, but never blocked.  On the trip I finished Aeolian – those last border rows took forever!  And I finished three more small shawls from start to finish.

You might think I was burned out on shawls, but when I got home I cast on #9 of 10 in 2010 – the Landscape Shawl by Evelyn Clark.  I'm using the Dream in Color Smooshy that I bought at Paradise Fibers.  This is a pretty mindless knit, which is good right now as I settle back into routine.

And routine it is this week – Bible Study group, yoga lessons, knitting group, spinning group.  But that's all good too.