Ribbit, Ribbit

Yes, that sound you hear is the sound of frogging.  I have never been afraid to cut my losses, so yesterday the Kerry Cardigan went to that great lily pad in the sky.  This, despite the fact that I had both sleeves done and was halfway up to the armholes!  However, I was hating every minute of working on it.  According to the pattern, the back and two fronts are knit together up to the armholes and then split.  With worsted weight wool, this was making a heavy weight on my needles that was hurting my hands and making me frustrated.  I could have just frogged that and knit them in pieces, but I just could not face doing that honeycomb pattern again and it was curling badly anyway.  In her recent posts, the Yarn Harlot showcased Gwendolyn.   I really liked the pattern, especially the sleeve detail, so it is currently on my needles:


I do feel a bit sorry for this yarn.  I think this is about the 3rd attempt to make it into a sweater!  Usually after frogging I will just start knitting with the frogged yarn, but this has been through the wringer, so I decided to skein, wash and rewind (I did have two unused skeins that I started with).


These are the three skeins I have done and awaiting the washtub.  I am not regretting my decision and am enjoying this knit SO much more.

Speaking of cutting losses, I have decided to close down my Etsy shop.  After a brief flurry of activity at the beginning, I have had very little traffic in the shop, despite advertising on Ravelry.  I had hoped that maybe local bazaars might be the venue for my projects, but that doesn't seem to be either.  Yesterday I spent 8 hours sitting at a table and sold zero, nada, zip!  People weren't even stopping to look!!  I have one more bazaar in November that I've already paid for and I'll do that one, but after that I'll go back to sewing for fun.

It's really hard to break out of the mindset (especially after 24 years of working) that your work is only valued if you are paid for it.  Although I didn't really have any trouble adjusting to retirement itself, I think I still had it in my mind that I needed to do something for which I would be paid.  Hubby has found a nice little cottage industry making airplanes out of recycled aluminum cans and he sells them all over the world!  But he has convinced me that I don't have to do that.  We certainly don't need the money and I should just do what I want to do, not what I think other people might buy.  As is so often true, he is right.

So I am not going to sew anything else for the bazaar coming up, but will concentrate on having fun and maybe making up some Christmas gifts.  

So – that's about it from here.  The family is coming this afternoon and Abby and I are taking the girls to the library.  In one of the eccentricities of Washington infrastructure, we share the same library system, even though they are several counties away.  That means they can check out books here and return them there.  Recently our local library has started stocking books in the Kindle format.  I'm very excited about that because I LOVE my Kindle and am loving that I can enjoy books for free.  Not all titles are available and there are a distressing number of bodice-ripper romances available, but once you sort through the trash, there are a lot of good ones too.  I'm just starting on a new series of mysteries by Anne Perry set in the World War I era.

I leave you with this scene from our peaceful little neighborhood.  This little creature hung around almost all day and wasn't even frightened by our coming and going up the driveway:



I started this post yesterday and at that time I really had nothing to report.  However, I have been a busy little bee and finished not one, but TWO projects!  First up is Isobel's sweater.  Technically you could probably say it's not a complete FO yet because I have not decided on the closures.  But at the most they will be a few minutes work, so I am officially declaring it an FO:


She won't get it until I finish her sister's sweater.  I have the back and both fronts done and am working on the collar.  That makes it all scrunched up on the needles, so it wouldn't do any good to show you a picture. This should be quick work to finish up the collar and two sleeves.

And today I FINALLY finished hubby's Cambridge jacket.  My distate for finishing really got
in the way of this one, plus for a while I was worried it was not going to fit.  But not to worry – it fits fine and I think he looks very handsome in his new sweater:


Besides this finishing flurry of two days, a lot of my time has been spent on stuff that is really quite productive, but that doesn't provide for exciting blog fodder.  I've been taking a class on organization from Linda Sattgast at Scrapper's Guide.  As anyone who does digital scrapbooking knows, it's easy for all your photos and scrapbooking supplies to become a digital mess.  It's not like traditional scrapbooking where you can visually look for things.  Supplies can get buried in the depths of your computer, never to be seen again. So I've been spending a lot of time on organizing.  It can get tedious, but once you have your system in place, upkeep becomes much, much easier.

A lot like any type of organizing, I guess.  This year hubby and I have been working on simplifying and decluttering.  So far we've done several closets, including the walk-in closet in our bedroom.  Last week I did some of our kitchen cabinets.  I wish I had taken "during" pictures!  I had stuff scattered all over the kitchen and dining room.  I decided to really reinvent the wheel and ended up moving the dishes out of the cabinet where they've been stored for 25 years and into the pantry.  The cabinet now holds all of my bread baking supplies.  I think this is really a lot more logical, although it's going to take some time to get used to it.  Hubby's keeping count of how many times he goes to the wrong cupboard for a dish!  Here's an exciting view of my bread baking cabinet:


During all of this I've taken countless boxes of stuff to the thrift shop.  Very liberating!  It's so nice to be able to find what you really want without having to dig through piles of stuff you don't really need.

To cap off all this whirlwind of activity, hubby and I celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary on Friday. We celebrated by treating ourselves to the most expensive lunch we've ever had – at Anothony's in Anacortes.  It was worth every penny and ended with the most decadent triple chocolate cake with ice cream and raspberry sauce.  Yum!  Thanks sweetie for a wonderful lunch and more importantly, the 39 years marvelous years that preceded it.



It's always nice to get encouragement for your artistic endeavors.  Recently I entered a scrapbook challenge with this page:


Imagine my surprise and delight to discover today that I had won first place!  The prize is not huge, but the encouragement is.  Of course, when you have such lovely photos to work with it helps.  Both of these were taken back in 2009 when we visited Orlando.  Mei-Mei was so besotted with hubby, that the rest of us started referring to ourselves as the "second string."  Of course, she's broadened her circle since then, but her love affair with grandpa still continues. (Kits – Dream a Little Dream by Veronica Spriggs, In His World by Scrapper's Guide, font – Handwriting Dakota, Gradient tutorial by Jenn White, B&W tutorial by Jan Walker).

I have a couple of other pages to share as well:


It was such a pleasure to be at Mei-Mei's first ballet lesson.  I didn't think it was possible to have that much pink in one room.  All of the little girls were adorable (especially mine!) and I was pleased that Mei-Mei listened to the teacher so well.  (Kits – Alpha Strings by Brandy Murray, En Pointe by DigiChicks).

And lest we forget Isobel:


I was trying to get some sweet fake-first-day-of-school pictures (more on that later), but "sweet" is not in Isobel's vocabulary.  She makes it clear she is not a girly-girly and definitely displayed an attitude in her photo shoot.  And I don't use the word attitude in a negative way – just a very confident, this is who I am personna! (Kit – Me Personally by Taylor Made, layout and tutorial by Susie Roberts, fonts – Calibri and Baroque Script).

I had asked the girls' mom to take some first day of school photos, but things got hectic and she forgot.  So, when I went down for grandparents' day, I took some off-to-school photos and we're going to have fake-first-day-of-school scrapbook page.  A fun remembrance of its own!