Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting my feet wet

No, literally, we were getting our feet wet.

In case you missed the news, Wisconsin was hit with a lot of rain the past couple of days. Unfortunately, many of us found it wanting to visit our homes and experiencing the joys of flooding in one form or another. Although we live on the top of one of the biggest hills in the area, there is an underground spring and our water table sits high. This past Thursday, with the help of an overheated sump pump, it sat higher than usual and our basement flooded. We were very lucky and it was not as bad as many of our neighbors and friends, but as many know who have experienced flooding or water damage of any kind, a little water is still a very expensive and extensive amount of water to remove. Add to that the fact that Madison suffers with severe Asthma and is highly allergic to mold. Although we called immediately to get the Water Extraction crew to our home, they were so busy that it was still 24 hours before we moved to the top of the list (which was shockingly fast actually). During that short time, mold had already tried to form and they got to work to rid us of the pesky stuff. Luckily we're on our way. It will still be a while before our house is put back together. Our basement is completely finished (usually) and houses our family room, play room, Caleb's bedroom and bathroom, and a storage room.

I'm very frustrated by the loss and expense, but reminded that these are just material things and our family is safe and well, which is what is most important. Things will return to normal soon enough.

My positive attitude has nothing to do with the fact that no yarn or fabric was damaged in the flooding. I'm sure of it. I think.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I've got a feeling....

I've got a feeling that I shouldn't have ignored the gauge swatches I did for the Adams Rib Cap-Sleeve Wrap. They told me to knit it in an 8, the gauge was right in an 8. I had also knit the swatch in a 7, because I'm a loose knitter and always have to go down a needle size. It was a bit tighter, but I preferred how it looked. I also thought that seeing as this was a rib, it would be easy to block it to the size I want. I had seen many people of different sizes (large to small) try on the size medium sample at Stitches Midwest and it looked good on them all. I thought that if I knit the medium with a seven, it would be around a size small and would fit little ol' me. I'm getting nervous though now. Why would I choose to ignore the gauge swatch?!


Have decided that I'm going to keep knitting on this and hope it blocks close enough to size. If not, I've just knit my daughter a really nice sweater that I'm going to be totally jealous. The next day or so will tell the fate of this project.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Little Blogging, Lotta Knitting!

Since camp, I've been knitting like a maniac. It's not like I wasn't knitting a lot before camp, but I always get so excited after camp that I become a little obsessed.

As mentioned on my last post, we headed out of town for a vacation to our favorite Upper Peninsula Island - Drummond Island. From the deck of the cabin, I spent many hours knitting watching the kids drive the boat around, fish, and kayak; and lots of time kayaking myself (one of my favorite things to do and I have the blisters to prove it).


While at camp, many of the knitters had the cutest shawls and wraps. Jessica was busy knitting on one right next to me most of camp. You know knitting is contagious, don't you?! Next thing I know, I've whipped out three shawls. They have yet to be blocked because we've been running around since the end of July and I haven't had the opportunity to get it done. It's one of the first things on my "to do list" for when the kids head back to school next week - all four of them. EB will start Kindergarten and my oldest is heading off to High School, with two others in between. Does this mean that I need to change my status from Stay at Home Mum to Housewife????? shudder




Last weekend, I headed to Chicago to hang out with Stephanie from camp and meet up with some other campers at Stitches. It was a blast and I fell in love with so much - surprise, surprise!!

My two newest loves are Miss Babs (I know, I'm slow to get on the bandwagon) and Sunday Knits. I've admired Sunday Knits before, but to feel her beautiful yarn close up and try on the samples, just pushed me over the edge. I ended up buying the yarn and pattern for Adam's Rib Wrap Vest and plan on starting it this weekend.

I also purchased a DolceKnits pattern called Savannah and Miss Babs Yowsa in Pewter to knit it. I cast on very late Friday night and as of today have everything but the last sleeve finished, which should be completed by tomorrow morning. It was a very fast knit. The yarn is delicious and I HATE superwash. Normally, that is.


I have mixed feelings about the kids returning to school. I go through bouts of excitement and sadness, anticipation and tears. At least I'll have all this knitting to keep me company.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Need your help, quick!

No, not finding the missing skein of Malabrigo. I haven't found it yet, but I'm ignoring it, so I'm sure it will show up soon.

I was going to use the Malabrigo for a Damson Shawl by Ysolda Teague, but in the absence of the yarn, I grabbed some Cascade Heritage I had lying around and have been whipping it up. I would have finished this morning but ran out of yarn 4 rows before the end. Grrrr. Have some now in my hands and will try to finish it by tomorrow.


As I was saying, I need your help! I'm looking for a great tam pattern. Do you have any favorites? I'm heading out of town for a week to Drummond Island, which is located at the tip of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We rent a cabin there each year. I will have lots of time to sit on the deck overlooking Lake Huron and knit happily away watching the sail boats and tankers go by and the kids kayaking and swimming and fishing in the bay. It's my favorite vacation every year. I can't wait, but I need some good knitting to take.

Help!!! Please!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010


I may or may not have quickly stashed away a new yarn purchase last Wednesday before the Cute Guy could ask the inevitable question "Did you just buy MORE yarn?" It's not that he minds, but sometimes I'm a little embarrassed to explain my yarn hoarding habit. So, I hid it away. Now, I can't find it. Am tearing apart my house trying to find this one ball of Malabrigo Sock Yarn.

On the up side .... I did find a cashmere hoodie/sweater that I purchased over a year ago which still had the tags attached and I had completely forgotten about.

Again.... I obviously have many issues. Will seek help just as soon as I find that ruddy ball of yarn!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Just found a little mistake in my Lloie cardigan. I finally had a few minutes (it's after midnight) to sit down and start knitting the applied i-cord edging and discovered that somehow I didn't center the stitches I used in the steek to crochet and cut. It'll be fine, but one side will be a little different than the other on the wrong side. Noone will know it's there (I hope - well, except all of you now that I've opened my big blogging mouth), but I'll know. I will try to not let it annoy the snot out of me.

Here's a tip: don't try to knit an applied icord edging on almost 7 stitches to the inch and 10.6 rows to the inch in a semi-lit room after midnight. It's a guaranteed way to become frustrated.

Monday, July 19, 2010

She gets it!

Knitting Camp was a wonderful experience as always. Jessica and I had such a great time and met some wonderful new knitting friends. I had the opportunity to meet some online knitting friends in person and reacquaint myself with old camp friends. Jessica and I managed to act a little more our age this year.... okay, maybe more like fifteen year olds instead of the thirteen-year olds last year. Camp has that effect on you though. We're all so giddy sitting at the feet of greatness (Meg) that we forget to act like grown ups. That mixed with the fact that very little sleep occurs at camp. I averaged around four hours of sleep a night.



(Left to Right: Jessica, Amy Detjen, and me - it always takes us at least three tries to get a picture where at least one of us is not talking.)

I knit like a maniac while at camp on my Lloie Cardigan and finally finished crocheting the steek at cutting it at Breakfast this morning with Amy Detjen, Jess, and the Indiana girls cheering on. Now, all I have to do is knit on the I-cord edging and sew the underarms.


I love this cardigan! It is probably my favorite project I have knit in a long time. It turned out exactly, if not better, than I had imagined. The colors worked out; the fit is perfect; it was fun to knit. So much fun, that I picked up the yarn to make another one for me and one for my daughter, Madison.

Talking of Madison.... Upon returning home I was showing her the yarn that I had purchased to knit her Lloie Cardigan, which she loved. I reminded Madison, who herself is a knitter with spot on tension and skill for a 9 year old), that it might take me a month or two to complete it. She replied "Well, that's the beauty of knitting!" I looked at her a little shocked and asked her what was the beauty of knitting. She replied "The fact that the cardigan will take a month or two to make is the beautiful thing. Knitting is all about knitting in lots of caring and loving stitches. That's why I love it! That's why you love it!"

Wow! She gets it! She really gets knitting!

Talk about a wonderful mum/daughter moment. Now, I'm really motivated to knit her sweater. Clever girl!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A possible overshare

I'm finally ready to come back. Life has continued to throw some interesting things our way this summer. My oldest son developed pneumonia this summer! Who gets pneumonia in the middle of the summer? Must have been the non-stop traveling and lack of sleep that he experienced while traveling to DC, New York and Virginia, then headed back home to leave hours later for a Scouting High Adventure kayaking trip Up North. He's better now, and our summer still is the busiest we have ever had. We've taken the time though to have some fun thrown in the midst of all the craziness. On the fourth we went tubing down a river for an afternoon with friends. It was a blast and a wonderful stress reliever, even if it did start to pour down and thunderstorm the last hour of the 3 1/2 hour ride down the river.

Camp starts Thursday and I'm knitting like a maniac trying to get the body completed on my "Show and Tell" project, the Lloie Cardigan. I only started it two weeks ago even though I had purchased the yarn last year at camp so that I'd not be rushing at the end. Apparently procrastination should have been my middle name. Jessica ( arrives on Wednesday and I'm looking forward to hanging out with her and other knitters at Knitting Camp. I'm especially looking forward to the deep-fried pickles with mustard sauce at the micro-brewery in Marshfield. I swear they make the best deep-fried pickles ever! I despise pickles normally. I think they taste like I imagine urine to taste (I know, I'm oversharing), but when they're deep fried..... they're delicioso!!!!! I know, I have issues.

Back to the knitting. Why does it seem that stocking stitch in the round on the body of a sweater never seems to progress, no matter how long you knit on it?????

Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting back in the saddle

That was a longer break than I had expected. Thanks for the patience.

No sooner did I feel like I finally recovered from the surgery, I had a dear friend become suddenly very ill. Sadly she never woke from her coma and passed away on Memorial Day. Before and after that I ran around in circles with helping her family and keeping my kids running to the end of year activities where I could, and then following that, helping her family and helping prepare for her funeral. I've been in a bit of slump since her funeral last Saturday. The busyness meant I didn't fully embrace the pain of her loss, I think. Then I was busy getting Caleb ready for a trip to DC with his 8th grade class. He's on his trip now, and reality sunk in but dear Trudy, wouldn't want me to wallow. I'm going to finally join the quilt guild that she had been bugging me to join for the past few years and of which she was the librarian. I'm going to try and get back to normal.

I'll be back now. Knitting camp is only a month away and I've got a sweater to knit. I'm looking forward to a dose of Jessica - she'll be just what the doctor ordered. And to hear Meg's soothing voice sounds like heaven.

Again, thanks for your patience.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Slow progress, but still progress!

Surgery went well last Wednesday, but recovery is a lot slower than expected. First, my body always reacts badly to anesthesia, so they tried to do something a little different but still it throws me for a bit of a loop. The doctors had told me that with this surgery nausea really seems to be a big problem. Throw in the trouble with anesthesia and they thought they'd try to ease it up a little by giving me anti-nausea meds in advance and putting a patch behind my ear for nausea that they use normally for chemo patients. It was working pretty well until I had a reaction to the pain meds the first night and start to itch head to toe. I scratched the patch right off. I even managed to scratch a mole until it is no longer recognizable. No patch meant no help with the nausea. I guess that's one way to lose weight. Not the way I'd recommend though.

We expected recovery to be fairly fast from this surgery, but my body was wiped out from what it's been going through for the past year and a half, and isn't cooperating with my speedy recovery plans. Energy is at a 2 out of 10 at best. The girl who never sleeps, now wants to sleep 12 hours a day and not only wants to sleep, but actually can (apparently surgery is my cure for insomnia - lets hope it lasts). Unfortunately, four kids and that low energy don't mix, so I tried to kick it up a notch today and get more done. My body responded and let me know that it was in control, and caused some problems that the doctor is now telling me to chill out and take it easier.

I'm not a very patient person.

Luckily, I have such an awesome husband. The Cute Guy has out done himself with running crazy amounts of errands, clearing his patient schedule so he could take care of me last week and forcing me to lay down when the dark circles around my eyes made me look like I was trying to impersonate 'The Cure' look. (google the 80's all you young 'uns). I am so lucky to have him in my life. Best thing I ever did - marrying that man 18 years ago.

I've felt so cruddy that I've not knit... at all. The girl who can't stand to sit still and not have her hands busy, has laid in bed, napped, listened to audio books and stared out the window. (Thursday we had a triple rainbow and sun shining after a shower, Friday evening we had four inches of snow, Sunday the sun was shining again and snow all melted and the blossoms reappeared from the covering of snow).

Apparently, I'm not the only one feeling a little peculiar.

Watch this space until the weather and I return for regular programming.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

May 5th

Some days seem to be more important in our lives than others. May 5th is mine!

Some of the most impactful events to my life have happened on that date.

May 5th 1993 - My Nanny Taylor - one of the most lovely and special people I have ever met - passed away suddenly on this date. I was in the states, newly married, and poor, and couldn't afford to fly home to her funeral. It was a very sad time and I was heartbroken.

May 5th 1995 - I found out I was pregnant with our first child, Caleb! We had desperately wanted a child and had been told that it didn't look hopeful for my being able to get pregnant (hard to believe four kids later). I still remember looking at that test in the bathroom and jumping up and down crying and laughing. I quickly jumped in my car ran to the hospital lab and had a blood test to confirm it as I couldn't believe it. I then drove to Steve's work and excitedly told him the news, while he sat in shock listening. He continues to be such a huge blessing in our life, as have the other three special children that have since joined our family.

May 5th 2010 - Today I head off to the hospital for surgery to resolve a medical problem that has been progressively getting worse. For the benefit of my health I have to have an alternative to a hysterectomy that would make it very dangerous to both my health and a baby if I were to get pregnant. So, today, my baby making career ends. It's such a hard thing in many ways to do. I know that I have been blessed with four wonderful kids and have a lovely family. However, I love being pregnant and feeling that baby move inside of me. It is when I have closest to my Heavenly Father as being a tool of his creative powers. I do know it's what I need to do though and am blessed to have the options offered to me that will enable me to be free from the health problems that have plagued me recently. I have an amazing doctor, who is also a friend and I trust him completely.

So, instead of feeling sorry for myself. I am going to celebrate the four miracles that have entered our family, and celebrate the life of my beautifully Nanny Taylor. She continues to be an inspiration to me of strength and courage when faced with adversity.

Next chapter of life, I'm looking forward to seeing what you bring.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Oh Dear

I promised I'd post with some knitting content showing some finished projects, but the day has gotten the best of me. I've been running around trying to get ready for being able to take it easy after surgery - cleaning, cooking, chores, laundry. It's funny that as a mum we have to work extra hard in order to take some time off. Hmmmm, something seems a little off there.

Oh well! Seeing as I never got a chance to take any pics today to post. I'd thought I'd fill you all in on what I need to cast on and get cracking knitting for my camp project. Yes, I get to go gain this year and Jessica and I will be rooming together, but we have promised to act like adults this year and try to calm down our inner 13-year old selves. No really, I put it on the application that we'd grow up for everybodies sake this year.
Last year at camp, I decided that the Lloie Cardigan was on the 'Need to Do' list.

Here's a picture of Jenny the Potter (who was rather pregnant at the time) and her Lloie was G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. I found myself coveting her cardi and knew it was time to make Lloie my own.

If you recall from post camp photos last year, Jessica and I spent a great deal of serious time selecting colors for my Lloie. (uhhh, look how skinny I was - hate getting older - very frustrating to find yourself growing no matter how much you work out or eat less tiramisu)

Okay, well maybe not that serious, but who could resist those lovely necklaces of yarn?!

Camp is only a couple months away and it's time for me to get that important Show and Tell project on the needles. I'm determined to get it done. So feel free to prod me on a regular basis for updates on Lloie and with your help, Lloie and I will be hanging out at camp together.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Hold that thought

Now, why is my blog titled Knittin' Brit in Wisconsin when there's been so little mention of knitting????? Good question. Well, hold that thought. I promise I'll post something about it tomorrow.

Things have been so hectic here. The dog (thanks everyone who emailed/commented about his health) is doing lots better. Apparently dogs rebound a lot quicker than humans from Lymes Disease. He is responding fast to the medication and you'd never know that he was sick today.

To add to our crazy life/month, last Monday I received a call from the school telling me that Declan (my 2nd oldest son) had been injured during recess and was considering calling an ambulance. I happened to be driving by the school right at that moment and was looking at the kids out on the field, so I told them to hold on as I turned into the driveway. I ran in to find that he was having a hard time breathing. He had been playing football and after a play had gone for the ball as had his friend. They were laughing as they were both trying to get the ball. His friend put Declan in a headlock. Still they both thought they were pretty funny. Declan tried to arch his back to get away and then there was a loud cracking-popping noise. All around heard it. His friend let go immediately as the noise scared him and Declan collapsed to the ground and couldn't get up.

I checked him out and decided I would drive him myself. The school had been concerned it was his neck as he said that his neck hurt when he moved it, but after calming him down I discovered it was mainly his upper back and chest that hurt the most. I took him to the Walk-In and they quickly did xrays. Apparently he had dislocated a rib, but it looked like it had popped back, but he had also fractured his sternum. The radiologist was very concerned as the injury didn't make sense considering how it happened. The sternum is supposed to be a lot stronger than fracturing because someone arches their back and especially concerning as he is a child and his bones should be less likely for this kind of fracture. It would have taken usually a much harder direct impact to the chest to cause a fracture like this. Usually they see this in a child when he was sat in passenger seat of a car and the air bag goes off. The Radiologist recommended we immediately follow up with his doctor for further tests to check his bones. He's had a lot of test so far and has more to come. Next week he has a bone density test which should maybe give us some answers. I'm not worried though. I'm sure he'll be fine. The cute dentist is very worried about his little guy though.

The following day, Ethan (our five year old) experienced his first all-out migraine, with vomiting, flashing lights and intense pain. He's a little young for a migraine so again they wanted to check him out.

Between Declan's tests, Ethan's tests, and my pre-op appointments (did I mention I'm having surgery on Wednesday - we'll talk about that another time) I spent a ridiculous amount of time at the doctors last week and precious little time getting any knitting done or sewing.

So today I've been sewing like crazy to get some bee blocks finished and sent out, and all caught up, plus lots of chores done so that I can rest after surgery.

But..... tomorrow, I WILL have knitting content for you. I do so solemnly swear!!!!!!!!!! ... maybe!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Now I'm Really Ticked Off!!!!

Last night, our puppy, Winston was his usual self - getting into all kinds of trouble. This morning he woke up limping and yelping with pain. As the morning went on the pain and limping got worse. By 9:30am my heart was breaking for him. I'd checked him all over and there were no ticks I could see, or thorns, so I called the Vet who told me to bring him right in. (The above picture of his him in the waiting room at the Vets. He doesn't look as sick here as he did in the afternoon. Those sad puppy eyes.)

They did a blood test and my special puppy, Winston, has Lyme's Disease. He was vaccinated last fall, but as I've since found out is fairly common, it didn't work. They gave me antibiotics but didn't want to give anything for the pain as a common side effect of Lyme's in dogs is Kidney problems/failure, and the pain meds could further complicate that.

As the day progressed he's been getting worse, but the Vet said he may get worse before he gets better. I spent a fair amount of the day holding him and snuggling him. The puppy who never stays still barely moved and when he did, he yelped with pain.
I hate Ticks! Of course, I did find out today that we live in the Lyme Disease Capital. Now, do you all see why I love the freezing winters here the most! Then the ticks are all dead.

On a good note... I participated this spring in a Napkin Swap hosted by Lisa from Stitches Under Oaks. My swap partner was Larissa from Stitches In Play. I found this fun fabric that I felt would work for both Spring and Summer, and couldn't resist throwing together a coordinating Dish Towel. Hope she enjoys it! I found I loved whipping out these napkins (although I think my corners suck eggs!) so I've whipped out 12 different yet coordinating napkins for our family. They are such a instant gratification project.

Surely you have some fabric stashed around that you could whip up some for your house.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mum-ME Time

I did get quite some sewing done on some projects this weekend, in addition to lots and lots of not expected running around with the kids. I think I need a t-shirt printed with the following statement: "It's Mum-'ME' Time - Please ask your Father!" I'm sure they'd still ignore it. Oh well.....
I did get some time for me though and went to Johanna May's Fine Tea Shop with a friend. It was delicious. I had some Cherry Vanilla Herbal Tea - which was out of this world, and a wonderful Warm Croissant Sandwich with Turkey and Ham, Havarti Cheese, Granny Smith Apples and Blackberry Preserves. For desert (please note above picture, and yes, I did eat them all and may have possibly picked up every crumb from the plate) I ended with some Petit Fours. Two were vanilla with lemon and white chocolate and two were Black Forest Gateau. The only disappointing thing was that they claimed to have scones with Clotted Cream but admitted to me that it wasn't really Clotted Cream, because they're not allowed to sell unpasteurized dairy products, so they make their own with cream cheese and powdered sugar - which is most definitely NOT Clotted Cream.
It was a lovely place, albeit an Americanized version of a British Tea Shop, but still very enjoyable.
It was such a lovely time and a nice get away. It helped curb a little bit of my homesickness. I really do miss a good tea shop.
What's your favorite tea?

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Free Weekend!

Look what I found today to help me with my freeform quilting! It's a sampler panel with all different quilting designs so that you can practice on it. It was just what I was looking for. There are only so many pot holders a girl can make. I know, I could of gotten some muslin and drawn out the designs myself and saved some money.... blah, blah, blah, blah. Where would be the fun in that?!

For once the weekend isn't too packed, only three scouting things for the boys to attend, but I can talk the Cute Guy into handling that. This weekend I plan on getting lots of sewing in on various projects and block party bee's that I belong to. Now, let's see if I can convince the family to cooperate with my plans.

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Why, of COURSE!

I've been really wanting to take my journaling to the next level and have been checking out some books from the library and perusing journaling books at Barnes and Noble.

One of the blogs (ArtsyMama) I read on a daily basis tipped me off to an e-course that Hope from Nostalgic Musings is starting on Journaling. It looks like exactly what I'm looking for.

So, I signed up, of course! Wanna join me?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


I love learning! Love to continue to grow and develop my skills and knowledge. If I had my way I'd be a professional student, studying whatever took my fancy.

Last Saturday I had a class at the Quilting Workshop on Freeform Quilting. I'll be honest. I thought I was going to kick some booty. I have studied art and thought it would be a cake walk. I was wrong. That is definitely going to take some practice. I've been trying to practice a 10 minutes every day so that I can get the feel of it.

Tonight I had a class on Borders and Binding. I have issues with borders and binding. Mainly avoidance issues, but from yesterday's post we all know I tend to have some procrastination issues. My main problem with borders and bindings is my desire for it to look perfect and then being frustrated if it doesn't turn out just so. My reason for taking this class was to learn some new tips and tricks so maybe I'd have a little more success. It was a great class and I'm actually excited to put some borders and bindings on some of the projects hanging around.

I predict a lot of Potholders in my future. The perfect project for practicing both techniques.

Any tips?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Keep Calm

Keep Calm...

when I actually post when I say I will.

Keep Calm...

when you have a six and a half hour hair appointment because you're getting hair extensions.

Keep Calm....

when you have five sweaters knitted in their entirety that need to be sewn together (some have been that way for almost two years). I'm committing to you all that I'm going to tuck into these this week and get my procrastinating behind cracking on finishing these once and for all.

Keep Calm.....

when I promised a little something heading out to the first commenter on this blog post.

Keep Calm.....

and Carry On - this is one of my favorite British sayings from the Second World War. Doesn't that just sound so British. I can imagine my Grandmother sitting knitting in the bomb shelter saying to herself - Keep Calm and Carry On (knitting).

The first commenter on this blog post will get this lovely notebook/diary that I found in good old Barnes and Noble. The sayings a little modified (although they do have the original saying on a red journal too). Everything is better with a cupcake!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Marching Right Along

Yeah, I missed an entire month of posting... I was busy living and never quite got around/made the time to blog. Sorry!

Tomorrow, I'll get back in the saddle. Don't believe me? Well, wait and see. First person to comment after I post tomorrow, will get a little something something sent their way.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Before the Cute Guy and I head out of town for the weekend early tomorrow morning, I had to take my oldest son (14y) to the mall to get some new jeans and a new suit (Solo Ensemble is this weekend and his choir likes them to dress nice - his was getting a little on the snug side). After getting the rest of his shopping done, we headed to get his new suit. I was sure that he'd be able to get one in the young men's section. He tried a 14, then a 16, then 18, then 20 - the max size in young men's. As I stood there looking at the little toddler and little boy tee shirts and realizing that I had to head to the Men's Suit Department to find something to fit him, I burst into tears. He's not a little boy anymore.

Then as he found a suit (and not the smallest men's suit either) that fit perfectly and didn't need any tailoring, I started to cry again and how he really looked like a (dare I say it) "Man" now. The sales clerk stared at me and my son showed how special he really was. He didn't try to hide from me or shush me, as most teenagers would, or die from embarrassment. He walked over to me and wrapped his arms around me and told me "I'm still your little boy; always will be. It's okay." So I cried some more.

The added bonus was the sales clerk must of thought I was out of my mind and decided to give me all kind of extra deals that weren't supposed to be available until Saturday and then gave me an extra 25% off everything - just because!

But having a special son who loves his mum unconditionally and isn't embarrassed by her sobs - Priceless!

Now, must get back to the packing and then knitting of the sleeves... tick tock, tick tock - time seems to be creeping up on me in all aspects of my life!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fly By

I'm doing a quick fly-by as I must get back to knitting my Ravelympics event cardi. I'm over halfway there, but am not sure how much time I'll have this weekend to finish up as it's my anniversary (and Dental Midwinter meeting) and the Cute Guy and I are heading to Chicago, so I've got to get cracking on it.

I admit, I probably could have achieved a lot more if it weren't for all of the reading I've been doing. Denise recommended The Help, which had been on my list for a while, so with her suggestion I downloaded it to the Kindle and was instantly hooked. I highly recommend it!

Not sure what's next on the reading list, but I have downloaded a few samples to try out including some of the following: The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey; The Postmistress by Sarah Blake; A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick; The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker; House on Tradd Street by Karen White; and Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.

Anyone read any of these and have some reviews? or other suggestions.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Going for Gold

Thank you everyone for your suggestions as to what I should knit for Ravelympics 2010. I still struggled deciding until the very last minute. I thought that I was going to do Lloie until five minutes before the games started, but I was concerned as I didn't want to rush it as I wanted Lloie for my camp project (did I mention, I'm in!!!!!!), so I decided with minutes to spare to switch to the Elise cardigan by Black Purl. It's the perfect project! The gold silk yarn is very motivating in achieving my goal of getting that Gold Ravelympics Medal. I'm 25% completed already!


In addition to the Ravelympic Knitting, I've been squeezing in all the reading I can (again, there are benefits to insomnia I find.) I've read a few books on it now and am looking for some more suggestions of good reading material. Any books you suggest?

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Talk about waiting to the last hour. I have been struggling to decide what to do for the Ravelympics and seeing as Opening Ceremony is tomorrow, I better get my bubble butt moving.
I need some help deciding. Please, please, please help me.
Here are the contenders:
Elsie by Black Purl in Tilli Thomas Disco Lights. The picture does not do it justice.

Staghorn by Lisa Lloyd from a Fine Fleece in Mountain Mohair by Green Mountain Spinnery.

Lloie's Cardigan by Schoolhouse Press in J&S

Or maybe I'd just do a bunch of socks. One in each color of the Olympic rings.

Or maybe I'd finish some of the many UFOs hiding out in the house.

Or maybe.....

Help! I need it (obviously, but for once not the psychiatric kind, the knitting decision kind.)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Love

Shhh, don't tell the Cute Guy, but I've fallen in love.

Oh, Kindle, How I Love Thee

Let me count the ways...
  • I have books downloaded in less than a minute

  • Surprisingly I read so much faster on you (I think there should be a study down on why people claim to read faster on the Kindle. I didn't buy it at first, but after reading a couple of books on it. "I'm a Believer")

  • You save me money. Well, you would, if I hadn't started reading so fast and am flying through books.

  • You give me free books. And not just the classics.

  • You fit in my purse and I can read whatever I feel like depending on my mood and don't have to have planned in advance what I'd feel like reading.

  • I can accessorize you! I know, I'm so girly, but what's not to love about having cute covers and skins to protect your Kindle.

  • I can email myself pdf's of my knitting patterns. Yes, you can actually store my knitting patterns, so they don't have to get all crumpled and spotted with chocolate. Yes, I do eat chocolate when I knit, do you have a problem with that? (Oh, apparently my ever growing backside has a problem with that, but I'm going to continue to ignore it)

I've also been knitting away on the Tapestry Cowl that I'm knitting for a class I'm teaching next month. I'm halfway. I'm really enjoying it, but am finding I like one side more than the other. Which is your favorite?

Okay, I still love the Cute Guy. Especially when he takes our cute girl to the Sweetheart Daddy/Daughter Dance.

I guess I'm just full of love!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesdays with Winston & More

Yes, I've been gone from the blog. We took a little family vacation for some fun in the snow and had our first trip without Winston.

No one wanted to say goodbye to the cute little pup. Just look at all that yummy hair (remember Cockapoos have hair, not fur).

This is how he looked when we picked him up. I think I screamed when I saw him. Ethan announced that he looked like a Chihuahua (okay, maybe not, but we think he looked like he had been in rehab or juvi). Madison is allergic to dogs so he was supposed to be "trimmed" and washed before we picked him up. The groomer obviously didn't listen to a word I said. She did, however, get to listen to quite a lot that I had to say the next day.

While on our trip I did work hard on a project and have almost completed some yummy fuzzy mittens for me, but have one thumb left to do so show and tell before the weeks out.

I've also been busy this week with a couple of projects for samples for classes I'm teaching at the Black Purl. One is the Citron Shawl and the other is the Tapestry Cowl (double knit). Will head upstairs to finish the last couple rows on the shawl tonight and after blocking will post pics later this week of that one. It's such an easy fast knit. Took me around three days. I worked on it while watching "24" DVDs. Love, love, love, that show. Don't you find knitting is the perfect thing for catching up on tv watching?! Somehow I feel more productive that just sat on the couch.

I never did post some blocks I had to do for December and January for the Tethered Threads Block Party. I "heart" paper piecing. I just love doing it. Maybe I should pull out the paper pieced quilt I started more than two years ago and finish it. Maybe....

Here's my dilemma: I have the month of February for the Block Party and I'm struggling to decide on a quilt and need to get everything sent out this week. Do we like this quilt? Any other suggestions? Please, please, please. I love suggestions. I don't want overly traditional. A lot of the quilters around here that I know like to do the more traditional quilt styles, which I enjoy, but want something a little edgier. And what exactly is Zakka style quilting? Questions, questions...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wednesdays with Winston

Found the coolest thing at the pet store the other day.

You take your old mismatched socks, sweaters, blankets, towels and put them in this nice washable mesh bag.

Then take this lovely Molly Mutt Duvet Cover....

and insert mesh bag and zipper up. Then you have this lovely "green" doggy bed.

Here's a blur of Winston discovering his doggy duvet/bed.

And finally here's a picture of the dashing Sir Winston Humvee the First proudly sitting on his throne. Okay, it's a dog bed, but humor me.

He is a crazy, militant, naughty, wild puppy who loves to try and chew his mummy's knitting, but how could you not love that face.

Must share a funny Ethan story though: Today at dinner Ethan was begging for soda. We rarely let the kids drink soda (dad is a dentist and mum is a soda addict) so I told him No, he could have milk or water. He said "Well, I WANT a Sprite", which Caleb immediately followed with "Well, I want a million dollars". I said "Me, too.". Ethan said "I want a million dollars too, so that I could have my very own puppy to taunt!!!!" Followed by a wink in my direction.

Should I be scared or impressed that my four year old knows the word taunt and has such a dry sense of humor?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Wrapping Up 2009 and Opening 2010

To start with a bit of unfinished business:

Follow up for those who asked: Thanks for your kind thoughts towards Declan. He is doing well since his procedure. It did show some problems that initially were rather scary, but the biopsies have come back negative. He has some issues to work through, but nothing we/he can't handle. We are so proud of him for his strength and attitude of just doing what needs to be done. ..

Declan on procedure day - poor baby! Even though we have so many nice blankets and quilts in our home, it's the cheap $15 blanket we bought in Mexico sixteen years ago that he wanted to drag to the hospital. Whatever makes him happy!

And to show you how fast he bounced back! This was the next day, when we went to go and cut down our Christmas tree.

Back to his old tricks! While Caleb tried to hurry us along so that he could go skiing, he claimed he was the perfect (yoga) tree and there was no need to look any further. Dec offered to cut him down for us. Which resulted in......

Caleb attempting to bury him alive. EB helped out, but tried to prove he was a little angel immediately following, just in case he'd get in any trouble.

Mummy's little angel! How could I ever be mad at that face?

Finally the perfect tree was found. Unfortunately the guys thought it was hilarious to leave Madison and I holding the very heavy and VERY prickly cut tree while they wandered off for a mini-snowball fight.

It was one of many fun filled days this holiday, with lots of my favorite kind of weather - very cold and lots of snow! Pure heaven!

Christmas was a lovely time with just our immediate family, although I have to admit I was dreadfully aware that this time last year we were visiting my Mum and Dad in England. I missed them terribly this year and worried about Dad and his health. A visit has to happen by summer this year, I've decided. Somehow I must make it happen.

We had friends over for a New Years Party/Get-together and we had a blast. Steve and I crawled into bed at 4:45am. I woke up with a froggy throat as some of the girls and I formed our own awesome "Band Hero" band on the Wii and we played and sang our hearts out. I think we should take the kids Wii and Band Hero to Knitting Camp next year. That'll liven up the evenings and keep everybody awake - or give them a raging headache.

New Years Day was exactly what the doctor ordered - I'm stayed in my pj's all day. I relaxed, knit, napped, played with the kids, watched movies and, of course, ate. Our November and December was so incredibly busy this year. The Sunday evening before Christmas was literally my first evening home since before Thanksgiving. Needless to say I've been a bit burned out.

This year, I plan on clearing out the many wip's that are languishing in the knitting and sewing closet (room). I plan on being realistic and know that I'll cast on new projects before all the wip's are done, but I do plan on trying to whip out at least two of the ufo's a month in addition to any others that I'll be starting. It feels like a reasonable enough plan and certainly not over ambitious.

I also plan on doing a project for the Winter Olympics, but haven't decided quite what yet. I do have a project or two in mind though, so more to follow.

I do, however, plan on trying to reduce the stash. It overwhelms me. I feel suffocated by all the yarn and guilty if I want to start a new project and need to purchase yarn for it when I have so many potential projects and materials already on hand. I plan on taking a much closer review of what's in the stash and what needs to move on to others and free some space.

I won't make a firm promise as to blogging regularity. I hope to blog regularly, but am realistic that I am a busy mother of four children and involved in many things that demand my time. To be honest, if I have to choose between finding time to work on a project that day or blogging, the project will win. Does that make me seem rather bratty and taking you readers for granted? I'm sorry to say, so be it! I'm sure you understand.

I don't want to set a lot of goals for the year as if I've learned nothing else from 2009, things change and priorities are required to shift. However, I do have some shorter term goals for this month.

  • Complete two of the long term knitting projects that have been languishing around the house and two sewing projects. To do this, I will knit at least one inch on an old project every day or sew one seam before working on current project.

  • Begin journaling on a regular basis

  • Have already knit two hats this year and expect to knit two more this month.

  • Cook at least one new recipe each week and blog about my kitchen adventures

  • Blog at least twice a week (wait, didn't I just say I wouldn't make any promises - oh well, I told you things change; obviously sooner than you thought)

  • Begin some destashing - will post items on ravelry groups

  • Need to get together my materials and pattern for Tethered Threads Block Party 2, and send out by end of month. February is my month. Any ideas???????
It's a good start!

Friday, January 01, 2010

It's a Hatty New Year

The cold has hit Wisconsin and the requests for Ski hats has flooded in from the kids (their friends are asking for them now also).

One Fusili Scarf knit in Manos Silk Blend for a friend. I'll admit I loved the colors of this scarf and had a hard time giving it up. (Look how pretty it looked on my tree, it could have been a pretty garland on the tree)

All four hats were knit in Berroco Pure Merino. I love this yarn. It's a joy to knit with, wear and take care of.

Happy New Year!