Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blue Sky Love

Hope everyone had a wonderful (& filling) Thanksgiving holiday.  I managed to bring home enough leftovers from daughter's house to ensure no cooking for quite a few days. 

This is my first year not venturing out for Black Friday.  I'm truly "ole school" - napping after dinner, rising at midnight, layering on the clothes to ensure warmth while standing in line waiting for the doors to open.  Unfortunately, this year's marketing (stores open all day Thanksgiving; sales starting a week early; non sale-worthy pricing) -  took all the anticipated fun out of it.  10 - 20% off doesn't even offset the cost of gas!  I was tempted by my LYS' early opening but I truly, truly, need to be on a yarn diet......... the stash is out of control. 

Speaking of stash, I'm doing very well on my quest to finish a decent amount of knitted gifts for Christmas.  My latest project completion is the Lovely Ribbed Cowl pattern from Purl Soho.

Made with Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino - it's as soft & cushy as it looks & the project only took 5 days to complete due to the ribbed simplicity.  This is my third project using this yarn & each time, I love it more & more.  When the yarn diet ends, this yarn will be at the top of my list. 
On to my next project - Slouchy Gauntlets - an extra long pair of fingerless mitts.  Suggested yarn is the same Suri Merino but I'm substituting using Rowan Felted Tweed.  Happy knitting!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Magic Yarn Ball

At last count, I belong to at least 41 groups on Ravelry.  From hat, cowl & sweater lovers to fans of Amazing Race & Top Chef - there's a group for everyone & everything on Rav.  One of my favorites is my swap group - Yarn Snobs Inc........... yes, that's right, I am a Yarn Snob!  Although I began my knitting journey with acrylic yarns, there is nothing quite like the feel of Alpaca, Silk, Cashmere & 100% Merino. 

The ladies of YSI have opened my eyes to lots of specialty yarns & we love to treat each other with all kinds of goodies.  Which brings me to our latest swap - the Magic Yarn Ball Swap.  Each swapper gets a partner. Starting with one goody in the middle - yarn is wrapped around small gifts for the recipient to find as they knit up or unwind the yarn. Our swap focused on items from each knitters wishlist.  I received my ball a couple weeks ago.

Beautifully decorated for fall/Halloween, my partner outdid herself (thanks, Mary)!  But the outside was just a warm up to the goodies inside.  It actually took me awhile to unwind because there were 3 separate sections of goodies.  A gorgeous tote with my favorite Fleur de Lis pattern, stitch markers & holders, chart keeper, tape measurer, note book, needle caps, scented soap and of course a skein of luxury yarn.

It's the cashmere/merino blend (Bugga) from the Sanguine Gryphon in Red-White Leaf  Beetle colorway. A gorgeous pink.  Mary also gifted me an added bonus of the Summer Wind Cowl pattern by IrishGirlKnits which will look lovely in this color, 
I'm off to start winding up my partner's ball.  Hoping to do mine justice.  Happy knitting!


Friday, November 9, 2012

The Week In Review

My daughter has an awesome timeshare in Williamsburg, VA so I've truly been chillaxing & putting in some dedicated knitting time.  My BFF came down last weekend so we spent some time at the Outlets, Ripley's Museum, & in Virginia Beach.  Drove back to NoVA on election day to vote with DD#2. 

That's my Knitters For Obama pin (WAHOO!).  Drove back to Williamsburg & spent Wednesday celebrating the end of all those dang political TV ads (can someone say excessive?).  Visited my favorite southern  LYS - Knitting Sisters - & picked up some new stash for my holiday gift knitting.
That's Rowan Drift, Rowan Felted Tweed, Regia sock yarn, Prism Lace Wool and a cool logo tote.  Really love that shop.  The ladies are super-friendly & the inventory is great.  I managed to finish a couple of projects using my Vogue Chicago stash....... my Lucy Hat & the Ombre Cowl.  Lucy Hat uses Madeline Tosh Vintage & the Ombre Cowl is in Rowan Kid Silk Haze.  Both projects were fun & gave me new appreciation of these yarns. 

In fact, I see that Little Knits has a fantastic price for the MadTosh Vintage so I'm off to make an order.  Happy Knitting!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Yarn & Family Love

This has been a whirlwind year for me - full of highs & lows.  I'm getting used to the life of retirement & find that I truly enjoy the ability to travel on a whim.  The year started with Vogue Knitting  Live in New York, followed by Homespun Yarn Party, followed by Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  This was my first year hosting a knit2gether for "I Love Yarn Day" & I missed a couple of my favorites - Stitches Midwest & Shenandoah Fiber Fest.  The ultimate treat was my first New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.  Tagging along with my knitsibs - Cici, Chelette, Arthella, and Wanda - it was truly a great experience. 

Eating, knitting, shopping, more eating.  The Rav meetup was fun.  Getting to meet & greet the knitty "celebs", bloggers,designers, and of course other Ravelers.  Stayed at home a couple days then made my way to Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago.  Great (cold, cold, cold) time hanging out with aunts & cousin, Jen.  Even took a sidetrip to Loopy Yarns .

 Final stop was Cincinnati, OH to spend a few days with family.  Kept abreast of impacts of Hurricane Sandy on the homefront while knitting up some of the new stash.  Quick visit to their LYS - Hank, A Yarn Boutique (of course more stash was acquired).  Very nice shop with a great inventory.  Back home now finishing up the Lucy Hat - from the latest Knitscene magazine.  It's a great pattern!
As the weather continues to cool down, my knitting mojo heats up so I'm in full knitting mode now.  Winter knitwear for me, the daughters, & the grandboys, as well as holiday gifting.  Life is good!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

In Loving Memory of Gwen Sampson

To my Mom who passed away last week.

You blessed my life in so many ways
I will cherish our memories until the end of my days.
You left me too soon - this was not part of our plan
But God's wishes always come before those of man

A special bond we share like no other
For this is possible for only Daughter and Mother
I thank God for each day we were able to share
Without you in my life, it will be difficult to bear

Being with God, you will find joy and peace
In this I find comfort and some happiness at least
Mud-Dear you will always be
My Mom so loving and so loved by me.

Excerpted from Deanne Finewood's poem - Mommy Dearest

Saturday, July 7, 2012


My birthday was a couple weeks ago but this is worth a new celebration.

It's Chocolate! So pretty I don't want to cut it........

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Whoosh, whoosh (blowing the dust off the blog). Happy Belated Independence Day to all! This year is super-special for lots of reasons. After a couple of fun-filled celebrations, I joined the Double Nickel Club (yep, that's 55 for those counting) and retired from federal service after 32 years on the job. Independence is sweet. My Plans? Refocusing efforts toward my Arts & Crafts business (Stitches of Heritage); traveling; getting healthier; assisting Mom; volunteering my time/talents; & of course more time knitting! My latest project is the Color Affection Shawl. As the Ravelry stats will attest, it is very popular. I've named my version the "2ManyAffections" shawl because it's being made especially for Mom who is always chilly during/after chemo. Hopefully, this shawl will wrap her in warmth & love on a daily basis. I'm using Miss Babs Yummy Superwash yarn in the Moss, Frogbelly & Roasted Pumpkin colorways.

You would think boredom would set in since the pattern is entirely garter stitch, but the stripes & design keep it interesting.
Until next time, happy knitting!