Curtis Willis and Maizie

Friday, December 30, 2011

Last Finish of 2011

It's been enjoyable and inspiring to read other blogs that show the author's 2011 finishes, and in some cases, how they stack up against goals set for the year.  No such organization on this blog I'm afraid. It's a real feat just to upload a photo or two on occasion.  I had an unanticipated request from a coworker to knit a baby sweater for her new grand-niece, smack in the middle of last minute gift knitting (there was a deadline)! But I had a skein of Rio de la Plata just calling to be knitted, and had a supply of cute pink buttons on hand, so decided to go for it.  The photos don't really show the yarn's beautiful shades of spring green, pink, white and a bit of turquoise. I had a newly published version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket that really helped speed things along, including the use of short rows toward the end.  The 2nd photo shows the jacket as it appears after bind-off.  It looks somewhat like an amoeba! Just two small seams across the shoulders and 5 buttons sewn on et voila! A tiny little jacket!

To welcome the new stitching year I will be joining with a number of good friends to set off on a journey to stitch the most amazing Ann Dale 1827 sampler by Theresa Venette, owner of Shakespeare's Peddler and designer extraordinaire!  Theresa mentioned that there are approximately 65,000 stitches in this lovely sampler.  I had to do the math: 65,000 stitches/50 weeks/5 days per week = 260 stitches required daily to finish within a year.  OK - game on!!  Is anybody else in? Here are the fabulous silks that will be used, and a half-yard cut of Vintage Pear 40-count that looks the size of a bed sheet!!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year filled with peace and light and lots of time to enjoy your needle work pursuits. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2 Scarves

Oh, so many missed opportunities to blog which I now regret.  Must resolve to do better.  Just posting some snaps of finished objects - gift scarves for people who help keep me going during the work week.  One never knows when gifting knitware how it will be received but if I get compliments for any hand knits I happen to be wearing, that person becomes fair game.  More knitterly details on Ravelry.

1st Scarf
Pattern: Molly by Classic Elite.  Yarn: Liberty Wool by Classic Elite. Blue Twilight colorway.

2nd Scarf
Pattern: Drop Stitch Scarf. Yarn: Boomerang by Fiesta in Misty Morning Colorway.

Lots more photos...will post more later.  Must go knit now.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Frosty Florida?

The TV weathermen were all forecasting 39 degrees for our Saturday a.m. but we lucked out with mid-40s.  Many of us enjoy the cooler temps because we can bring out the hand knits and actually wear them all day!
Here's a self-portrait shot taken with the iPad in my office at work, stylin my recently completed Tanta, design by Emily Ross (knit using Malabrigo Sock in Abril; see Ravelry for details).  Gosh I wish my photo editor software had something to erase neck wrinkles - like that red eye erase feature only it would work on wrinkles!  Loved this design so much I am making another using Cascade Heritage Paints sock yarn.  Like the colorway but the yarn isn't as crisp as the Malabrigo so the points on the border aren't as defined.  Perhaps they will block out.  Here's the almost half-way point:
FYI that is one of our giant pine cones, approx 5-6" long.

As I staged this WIP scarf I noticed a serious mistake about 3" from the bottom.  Will definitely wind back & start over since this will be a gift.
Yarn: Classic Elite Liberty Wool in Reflecting Pool. Grays, lavender, turquoise, lime green combo.  Pattern: Molly by Classic Elite.

And this poor scarf has been neglected since Tanta rode into town; it's the Swiss Cheese Scarf design by Winnie Shih knit in Kauni wool 8/2 Effektgarn.  Not sure I like the sides of the "holes" but perhaps they will tighten up a bit with soaking.  Or perhaps I will unravel and start over! OCD!
Enjoyed a nice relaxing afternoon with cross-stitchers but cannot post a snap of my progress on Villages of Hawk Run Hollow because it's been stitch 10 rip 20 recently.  But I think block 7 is stabilized now and will come along nicely.

Curtis Willis (big boy cat) is now officially addicted to his red laser mouse.  That's a tale for another time.

Wishing you all a wonderful rest of the weekend!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Thankful, after getting a call from the DH saying he hurt his hand, arm & head, that after rushing home from stitching group across town I found him a little scraped up & sore, but with no broken bones or major issues.

Thankful that a friend was home & able to get to him within a few minutes.

Thankful that her aunt and my sister are nurses with 70 yrs experience between them...and although being in distant cities patiently listened to us describe his condition and make recommendations (no ER visit needed).

And along those is a little piece I stitched, an old Blackbird Designs, framed by Chris at The Frame Shop in St. Augustine.  The wonderful beading on the frame doesn't show very well.

The words are similar to The Beatitudes: faith, wisdom, patience, love and peace.  The beautiful overdyed colors don't really show either.  Clearly my photography skills are lacking.

I finished my first Tanta shawl and can't say enough good things about its designer, Emily (knitterain on Ravelry).  Very clever borders and an easy knit.  I immediately cast on another the night I finished it!  This one knit using 1 skein of Malabrigo sock yarn in Abril...a delicious purple-y blue...just like berries.

Our breezy cool weather is great for sleeping with windows open, but it's making Curtis Willis a little beast...he's bouncing off walls...literally.  Here is his most innocent look and don't let it fool you:

This is airshow weekend at our NAS and we are enjoying the Blue Angels zooming thru the skies!
Thanks for stopping by my little blog!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Fever!

Some folks get spring fever...I get fall fever.  Want to be outside in the warm sun (no humidity - yay), communing with the flowers & butterflies, reading, knitting, napping...anything but working!  Spring is nice but oh! the sunlight is so very different in the fall.  Visited the neighborhood hardware store yesterday & discovered their plant 'hospital' for plants that dearly need a home.  For greatly reduced prices I purchased 3 coreopsis plants that just need a little deadheading (love these for the way they re-seed), a hanging sweet potato vine (beautiful purple leaves), a lipstick plant (I think that's what it is) and this unidentified one:
Also 3 pots of nice plump zinnias, waiting with the others to be planted this morning:
I've been surrounded by Monarchs and other butterflies.  One last Monarch caterpillar is making his chrysalis in the eaves of the house.  I hope the butterfly hatches in time to migrate.  Glad I let the milkweeds have the run of the front garden; we had at least 2 dozen Monarch hatchings.  Would have had more but for the dang wasps who prey on the young caterpillars.  What a privilege it was to see the butterflies hatch. Who knew that milkweed grows higher than 6 feet?

The porterweed is popular now too; both purple and red are in bloom.
Colors in the photos look washed out due to very bright morning sun and use of the iPad for picture taking.

Knitting - finished one sock last week, using Dream in Color's Smooshy and a free pattern named 'Lake Effect Socks'.  Very easy, pattern well written, a 3-row repeat (with every other row knit).  Just cast on for a scarf but am also itching to stitch.  I have 3 samplers that are half-finished; they range from small to gigantic.  More on those to follow.

Spent a few delightful hours stitching with friends at the local library where we found a treasure trove of gently used books for sale at bargain prices.

Top to bottom they are:
The Private Life of the Cat Lilian Jackson Brown
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLauglin & Nicola Kraus
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Marley & Me by John Grogan
Dancing with Cuba by Alma Guillermoprieto
The South Beach Diet by Arther Agatston, MD
Are Men Necessary? by Maureen Dowd
A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffet
Nancy Reagan by Kitty Kelley
and 3 copies of Birds & Blooms magazine! Score!

Hope you all are enjoying your fall days as well. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Few Finishes!

Just a quick post to record the fact that sometimes my projects actually do get finished.  This one had a deadline, a baby shower at work.   A baby kimono jacket and matching socks from Dream in Color sock weight yarn in color "Happy":

A baby sampler for great-nephew born in Canyon, Texas earlier this year; design by Just Nan:
And finally got Olga in her frame; design by Plum Street Samplers (look like a cat we might know...hint hint she'd in the header):

My poor Susan Rambo sampler is languishing in the to-do basket while I am momentarily distracted by the siren's call of the yarn stash.  Happy Fall, Y'all!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wings of Summer

Didn't summer fly by on golden wings this year? The best of intentions to post often did not carry through to action.  Now I have a scad of pictures, many of the monarch butterfly circle of life we were privileged to observe in our own front garden.

The Azalea Guild was honored with a visit from our dear friend and teacher, Lorraine Mootz of Celle,  Germany.  Lori has charted a number of samplers and is a curator at the sampler museum there.  Here she is showing one of her antique treasures:

And here is DF Jane holding her completed Marguerite Dumas, an antique French sampler that Lori charted.  Lori is holding another sampler that she charted and Jane finished...will someone please comment on the name of the sampler? It eludes me!

And here I am holding a favorite German sampler that Lori charted and I finished several years ago:
 Each attendee contributed something wonderful for our luncheon. After dining we were treated to a lecture about samplers delivered by Lori.  This brief post far understates the event and I regret that I have so few photos to share and not much in the way of commentary.  The event took place at the beginning of the summer which now seems like forever!  Thanks to DF Melody for hosting this wonderful event at her workplace, the historic Benzel House in the Riverside area of Jacksonville.

Thanks for stopping by my little blog!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How Did They Do It? the Olden Days?  Whew, we've been without A/C since yesterday afternoon.  I kept telling the DH the A/C wasn't working right but noooooo. I came home from work to an 82 degree house and DH sitting in front of TV apparently not affected! Fortunately "we know someone" who is coming by today around 3 pm.  So all windows are open, all ceiling fans moving the 100% humidified air around. The cats are enjoying their window sitting; all the better to keep eyes on the birds.  Praises for the wonderful rainstorms we've had the past few days. Since 90% of the swamps in south GA have burned, the rains may dampen them and protect the rest. Fires are a normal part of the circle of life...for a swamp...but hate thinking of the critters that live there.  And wow, rainwater does a world of good for my plants. The milkweeds have been growing 3-4" a night, I swear.  Last evening I discovered 8 good-sized monarch butterfly caterpillars munching away! This morning early a few of them were on the march. They move amazingly quickly! Hope we see 8 chrysalises (chrysali?).  A few snaps:
Wowee!! was able to get a snap of our female hummer! She's on the far left side of the feeder.
These are some of her fav plants:
Lady in Red Salvia
And I spied a few of these Milkweed Beetles on the plants. This one was very camera-shy; he kept scooting around the stalk when I lifted the camera!

Oh and just for fun, our Uverse service has been on the fritz for 5 days.  So just when I try to send an email or when an exciting part of a TV program is poops out.  Calling the AT&T No-Help-At-All Line has been frustrating but supposedly whole neighborhoods are affected and it's not our house with a problem.  GRRR.  And I can't get the NY Times Crossword Puzzle app to work on my iPad now that I am completely addicted to it.  Their help is really useless.  Technology!  We love it!  But HOW did our foremothers survive in this humidity?? wow!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hummingbird Days of Summer

We now have an official pair of hummingbirds, male and female.  She perches while she sips from the feeder, for what seems like minutes at a time.  He can't be bothered to sit.  His manners are lacking because he chases her away until he gets his drink of nectar.  Yesterday he seemed to be sipping water off all the leaves of a rosebush after the morning rain stopped!  I wish I had a photo to show.

A few weeks ago our Azalea Guild was delighted to have a guest from Ohio...Ellen Chester!  After a yummy lunch we stitched and visited all afternoon.  In all the excitement I failed to take any good photos; this was taken near the very end of our gathering:
This tiny snap was taken with an iPad2 and unfortunately I haven't been able to figure out how to enlarge it without losing clarity, darn it!  Here is a snap of DF Henri working on her Hannah Gilpin 1800, another gorgeous Quaker sampler for her collection:

This is my Susan Rambo...not much progress as I've been working on a couple of birth samplers, to be posted soon.
Half of the bottom section is fully done but I see this photo does not show that.

I'll close with a few kitty pix, so dear to my heart.  Curtis Willis and Maizie aka Teeny Weeny (not really Teeny anymore at age 1).  They are so cute when they nap together!
Teeny is always hoping for a belly rub!  CW wants everyone to know that he is innocent of matter what his sister says!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bunnies Cats & Hummingbirds

By now I was hoping to post a finished Susan Rambo but alas, I got sidetracked by With Thy Needle & Thread's Mystery Sampler...the colors just grabbed me. I saw another stitcher's finished Part 1 and discovered I had stitched only the inner 1-stitch border...didn't even realize there is an outer 1-stitch border as well.  I will get right on that tonight!  Here's my nearly-finished Part 1:

Here's what I picked up next Just Nan's 3 Violets Humbug.  It was interesting to learn that a humbug is an English candy of a certain shape.  I always wondered where Nan came up with that name!

I hope to finish, add beads, and assemble this weekend.

Here's someone who's clamoring for my attention by misbehaving (on top of the frig):
While little Maizie soaks up the late afternoon sun on her perch at the window:
I had hoped to snap one of the hummingbirds on the feeder, but they're still a little camera-shy.

I've been enjoying the use of my new iPad2, provided by my employer.  All the snaps above were taken with its camera app & I'm pretty pleased with them.  Not quite as crisp as I'd hoped but not too bad.  I'll leave you with a portrait of Curtis Willis in a brief moment of good behavior & wish you all happy needle crafting this weekend:
 Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bugs N Slugs

Ah, fresh batteries in the camera! I try to be green by using rechargables but they just don't seem to have enough power to take more than 2 pictures. Anyone else have that problem? Maybe the old HP camera is the problem.

Below are my 2 favorite subjects, Curtis Willis and his little sister Maizie, doing what cats do best. Right now Curtis is bouncing off the walls, but for this snap he was out like a light.

Here is a snap of some of our newer outdoor friends...Monarch butterfly caterpillars, munching on the milkweed plants near the front door. Can you find both of them?

There were 4 in all but they have since morphed into their next phase; so far we've discovered 2 chrysalises.  One apparently liked the receptacle cover for his incubating spot. Another one is attached to a fern frond nearby.  I hope I'll be around to see the butterflies emerge!

ere's what I've been doing instead of housework...plugging away at my Susan Rambo sampler:

For some reason the squirrel strikes me as looking a little bit zombie-like. I was tempted to stitch his eye in red....bwahahaha. I love this sampler!

Thanks for stopping by!