Wednesday, May 30, 2007



oh peony, lay down your head. one of my favorite flowers - gone in an instant but i love their laziness, the huge flowers swaying in the breeze. they are so relaxing, sleepy, just bobbing along - they are the start of summer to me. i was so happy to see them today when i got home, their tight, perfectly round buds had made way for the feathery flower... almost like an exhalation - ahh...

I also got a package today - a bound book of patterns created by my Secret Pal - it is such a delight to see anything with "the netherlands" stamped on it - how exciting! I'm so curious about the rest of the world. One of the patterns is for a sock (naturally:) - Crocus Fields in the Early Spring - how befitting my flowerful day. Thank you pal! I think I will be making several of the patterns - fingerless mitts - I was such an addict over the winter - surely I see some more holiday gifts forming, and a scarf "with little flowers" ironically. I am filled with anticipation of the hint of a package that is coming along behind - hmmm...*wee*

Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback - I shall knit on towards the toe of my Campfire Sock.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Didn't see this one coming...

Another sock - and none of the ones I was pondering for the immediate - but then, there it was...

It is the Campfire Sock from Cidermoon - with gorgeous June Carter Glacier yarn from a swap with East Coast Christine (cbknits). It is a worsted weight yarn knit up on size 4 needles. It has been fun, semi-mindless to knit but I am just not sure I like how the pattern is coming out... It is super thick and cozy - hence campfire. But what do you think? I'm an inch away from decreasing the toe - a 2 day investment so far - hmmm. I just love the yarn, the rich fall colors - was it destined to be a scarf or Calorimetry?Though these could be donned while making a mean S'more. Whaddaya think?


Saturday, May 26, 2007

2 socks


I finished my second toe-up stockinette in the Yarntini sock club installment - pure breeze. I think I bound the second one off just a tad too tight, which is an easy fix. My picot edge became a dream and I just went 3 x 3 rib and out. I like the socks, very cozy soft and I loved working with this yarn.


Some new Hello Yarn in Freckles...


I just love the customer service, darling calling cards and neat little magnets included in the package. Oh, and the yarn too!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

when life gives you lemons...make limeade?


Lemons...limes...signs of summer. Today was gorgeous in Wisconsin - the sun was good and hot - I think I got a little pink while my daughter napped and I knit away in the sunshine. I just hate "laying in the sun"...I'm too anxious to just hang out and bake. But to knit on the deck, not caring if I have a tan line of yarn accross my leg, actually welcoming the thought - now that is "laying out". I worked away at my second Yarntini sock - I turned the heel using the short row technique from Wendy Knits but I adapted it with this snazzy tutorial over at misocrafty - thank you Veronique! My second heel is fabulous, no tell-tale holes - my first heel will be jealous for sure.

So anyways, the lemons and limes. My husband and I dug out maybe a hundred raspberry bushes over at Gramknits' house on friday...worked beautifully for both of us, Dianne thins her bushes and we have a raspberry patch to look forward to. Dianne said my girls would eventually be able to take a little bucket out and pick berries...SOLD! Isn't that a sweet image? My daydream did not include them pushing each other and stealing berries out of one anothers basket - wouldn't be a dream then,would it? In addition to the reward of my potential berry patch, she shared limeade with us - from scratch. Truth be told Dianne is a bit of a jack of all trades, poor man's Martha Stewart - but she forwarded me this limeade recipe. I made simple sugar using Splenda - not as good as the real stuff but better for the kids. Then we added Torani Raspberry Syrup - you could get sugar free of this but this is apparently where we added our octane.

And Voila, limeade - what a refreshing treat. And I finally have a use that neat wooden reamer I had to have the last time I was at Crate and Barrel. Does anyone else have a kitchen tool they had to have but almost never use? Like the Pampered Chef Apple/ Corer/ Peeler/ Slicer? A hand held cheese grater like the ones at Olive Garden? Tupperware contraptions? Maybe it's me...

Tonight I hope to make progress on the cuff of my second Yarntini sock and then I can show off the heel. *wee*

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Astrid and Veronika

astrid and veronika

What a delightful read. I just wrapped it up last night and was sad to close the book, sad to say "good bye" to Astrid and Veronika.

It is a story about two women suffering their own unique tragedy. They happen to become neighbors in rural Sweden. They become unlikely kindred spirits and share so much, it seems without saying so many words. Astrid is an 80-year-old woman who has led a sad life but through Veronika finds hope and joy. Part of her story, as a mother, I found nearly unbearable - it taints her character for me but my heart hurt for her all the same. Veronika is in her early 30's who has had a different kind of loss but through Astrid is able to recommit to her life and move forward.

The cover really attracted me, the deep red, berry-stained hands. The writing is so descriptive and sensory. I am grateful for a book that pulls me in emotionally, that makes me physically feel anxious and heavy hearted. It was enchanting.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pure Breeze Yarntini - one down, one to go


I love this yarn, it is so fresh! I can hear steel drums and taste a margarita. I used Wendy Johnson's generic toe-up pattern. My ideas of granduer - to make a picot edge were forgotten, so I finished with a little 3 x 3 rib. I'm not crazy about how my heel came out a little "meh" at the gusset. I started on dpn's but after breaking yet another, I switched up to two addi turbo circulars - where have these been all of my knitting life? Waaaay faster than my sticky bamboos of choice. I will not give up on dpns because I just like how they feel but for a "vanilla" sock where the stitches can fly by without a lot of concentration, addi's might just step up the speed a bit.

So what's next? My other Pomatomus? The other Yartnini? I'm think Yarntini will be cast on to keep as my TV knitting, and then I should cast on my other Pomatomus...but Sundara's April installment beckons. So Dahlia here I come? I just love the choices knitting brings for me - they are all good.


I also got some wonderful handmade soap yesterday from Nell over at Chicken Knits - she has opened an etsy shop. Limey Coconut and Somali Rose from BrownBag Soap...both positively delicious.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Kiddo!

to my sister...
It hasn't always been easy - I didn't become a big sister gracefully for sure. Yet you were always enduring, always waiting for me to buy in to sisterhood. Lucky for me, we have grown into friends as adults. I'll always be older, there is no debating that...I might be able to offer you some practical advice to offer about parenting, marriage or wrinkle creams. It has been pure joy for me to watch you flower into a beautiful young(er) :) woman, I have been able to cheer by the sideline as you have developed a career, a very special relationship with your husband and as you have "unwrapped" your life - it's all pretty darned amazing.

Adulthood can be a real drag sometimes but the gifts we share makes it rich and almost managable. :P Thank you, girlfriend!...and happy birthday!

Birthday swag!

Wow! Thank you for all of the wonderful good wish comments, I love that! I had the best birthday thank you to my family and friends - and the blogging community... This is the first year I really got yarn as a gift, I love it.

My good friend, Tina and I trekked to Galena, IL - what a total treat. I felt like I should have been wearing a crown with the royal treatment Tina was giving me - first driving, lunch (with beer nuggets - omg), a bottle of wine and a yarniful gift!

Lousia Hardings gorgeous book Swallowtails along with some ecru Glisten to whet my appetite. She also got me a button for the cover sweater. I feel so special when people see something as darling as this sweater and say "it's a Stacey sweater". Yay!

While we were in Galena, we wandered into a bead shop and Tina figured out we could actually make something there...we are wannabe beaders - I think it took us an hour to pick our our "galena bracelet" concoction. We were happy with the results. Especially that lone leaf and the fancy toggle.


Then I stopped by my sister's place - she was kind enough to grab a cake for me to take home to my family after being on the run all day...and she and her dh got me some Sundara - Sundara worshippers are salivating right? A couple of solid skeins - I'm seeing the grass green as these socks. The blue will marinate for a bit while I find a worthy pattern. My sister was a little long faced as she wan't confident about the colors - solid sock yarn, how can I use it? Let me count the ways! So, no long face sweet sister - I. Love. It! I really think she was just sad not to be bantering with Jessie over at Yarntini who is so darn nice! Which leads into...

The icing on my day was Yarntini from my husband and girls - what a total surprise! Bravo husband for being so clever and thoughtful. Almost 800 yards of a gorgeous red for maybe a Shetland Triangle Shawl. Also was a skein of sport weight Good to be Girl - good to be the birthday girl, that is.

Then today I got a package from the Loopy, I know I didn't order anything. It was from Jessie a.k.a Yarntini! She sent me this pattern (for that gorgeous red sock yarn?), a darling sock blocker key chain and some SOAK. Again, another wonderfully unexpected treat.

I am so humbled by kindness. It is so easy to get caught up in day to day stuff and forget that we are all special in some way - all have our own gift, it took a special birthday to remind me. So I did not just receive tangible gifts - figuritively I received an overflowing basket of "gifts" this year. Thank you.

psst - I'll be back today as my birthday girl sister needs a special blog shout out - especially since she has been such a yarn addiction supporter (my sponsor perhaps?) and reads my blog even though she doesn't knit - how cool is that?!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Happy Day to Me!


I hope it is not wrong to pimp your own birthday...I'm simply so happy to have time away from work and a little sunshine doesn't hurt.

On my 8th birthday, I got a baby sister. How many people can say that? She was technically born at 12:22 am on May 18th - so just missed me - but my mom went into labor on my birthday, so close enough. Anyways, as my sister and I have grown older (though she will quickly remind you that she is much younger!:) we have started to enjoy celebrating our tandem birthdays more - kind of a drag as a kid, sharing cakes and comparing gifts. We went with our dh's to a fabulous Italian restaurant Tuesday night, Portabella. This was actually almost supposed to be a surprise for my sister and was a treat from my sister's dh. It was fun to be silly and have a cocktail together - getting older isn't so bad. She just called and sang me happy birthday - guess I am up for tomorrow? poor kid.

Now I am off for some shopping in Galena, IL with one of my most special girlfriends! Bobbi Brown counter here I come! And maybe that fernleaf peony will fall in my car? Tonight I hope to enjoy my well behaved children and some sugary cake! buttercream frosting...

By tomorrow I hope to show my first finished Yartini club sock! I might just try the next one on two circs to shake it up a bit!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hello Gifty

hellobdayMy birthday is around the corner and one of my dearest friends, a non-knitter, got me a gift certificate from Hello Yarn...I was doing the happy dance after I opened this! Adrian from HY packaged it so adorably with samples and little magnets too! I can't wait til the next update over at HY! Thank you Pancake!

Today Tutti Pickles and I meandered over to The Flower Factory in Stoughton - holy flowerlicious Batman! It was a wonderful, well worth it trip. On the way out I fell in love with a Fernleaf Peony which a little pricey after getting a flat of perennials - so I clasped my purse and jumped in the car - fast. If I can find the right spot, I may have to enjoy a trip back to this little piece of paradise. I went in search of a Lenten Rose, this flower was the inspiration of Sundara's December installment - but I didn't know the fancy name and was too enthralled with everything to ask. I got several sedum and Asiatic Lillies. I have a pretty shady yard, so any suggestions for shade loving plants encouraged...:)

I feel renewed and fresh as I have taken a week off to wander. I always take my birthday off as kind of a gift to myself, this year I went for all the marbles and took a week - little goodies planned here and there like a treasure hunt, but all in all, I'm calling it...rejuventaion. I'm so thankful for this time. There will surely be time for knitting. Life is good.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


First: Happy Mother's Day!

my girls
my silly girls getting along today - I couldn't have gotten a better gift. Do you remember when you were little asking your mom what she wanted for Mother's Day and she would respond "just for you to be good" or "that you and your sister get along" - and thinking - "no, what do you really want?" Now I am all grown up with kids of my own, and I think I get it. I do just want them to be good girls. That is a gift...some days more than others I suppose. *ack*

Second: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

Here are my facts:

1. I was the drum major in highschool band and I loved it!

2. I hate talking on the phone, always have. I just never have that much to say.

3. I like heavy metal music. This quiet, shy girl likes to bang her head and sing loud to this angry stuff in the car - I'm talking Metallica even. I like normal stuff too:)

4. My favorite meal is breakfast - I could eat it for every meal. Especially crepes or french toast. I can also eat birthday cake at dawn.

5. My favorite treat is fountain soda - mother's milk. I didn't like the taste of alcohol until I had children, I always say they drove me to drink.

6. The word "bozo" makes me bust out laughing.

7. I listen to public radio.

I'm kind of chain-letter phobic (or I have fear of rejection?), sorry to break the rules Nell but thank you for tagging me! - I probably won't publicly tag anyone, but if anyone wants to play - come on and steal it!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pomatomus #1 done!


At last I did the kitchener and wrapped up my first Pomatomus. I am kind of relieved it is done so I can move on to something a little more mindless for a bit before casting on #2. It is from Interlacements Tiny Toes # 206 - Las Vegas Brights. I think a solid may have showcased the shells a little better - but I like the funky colorway. I enjoyed the interesting pattern - it did at last get to a point where I could look up at the TV for a second - but I definitely could not watch Lost while knitting this one - both are puzzling enough to need my full attention. Hey, Lost fans...what is going on?? rue to form, lost answers one question I have and leaves me with 7 new ones - that must be the draw! "Beer me some strength..." (for you Office peeps!!)


A sink full of cat.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I got an SP Present!


I got home to a package today - from Holland! Yes, Holland! My pal sent me several cool skeins of Louet - an Opal and a Gem. OOOh what to make? Ideas welcome:) I also got a skein of Carina fine cotton. This could make a darling little accessory or nifty top for Stella. Or maybe a sweet hat for one of the babies my office is expecting this summer?


Also included was some yummy coffee candy! There was also a nifty card with daisies on it, did you make it? The technique is cool! And a hint of a future possibility of some sock patterns designed by my pal herself! Fun!But wait...possibly my most favorite thing...


A Fisher Price Little People DVD!! You see, it's the weirdest thing, my kids love, love Little People. I was so pleasantly surprised to find it in the envelope! We have several VHS tapes and only one VCR that barely works so we limit "the peeps" - my daughters will be so happy to see something new (and mommy will be so happy to have content children so that she can knit!) makes me wonder, have I written about People? I am telling you pal, you must have some psychic power to know how much my family loves these darling videos, I find myself humming the theme song often! I even have a pencil drawing of Fisher Price people hanging in my office flanked by a shelf with a wooden Fisher Price figure from my own childhood - the blue lady with the blond bun. It takes me back...OMG I had the Village, the Boat, the Schoolhouse - my mom says I counted them before bed to be sure they were all accounted own kids have the Farm, the City and the Family House - not too mention the whole Nativity Scene of people that graces our Christmas. Thank you for the fond memories and warm fuzzy today - truly priceless. Even continents apart we share the same "people" love. Bless you!

Thank you! I can't wait to hear more from you! Take care and your new baby too!

Sunday, May 06, 2007


The weatherman lied again. It was chilly today in Wisconsin. She said 70 degrees and partly sunny - well, a mob of parents were huddling while our 7-years-olds played soccer today - it was like March of the Penguins. Good thing the kids were running around so we didn't have to curse ourselves for not making them wear coats. It is May, right?


I couldn't help it - I have already wound my pure breeze from yarntini, its so fresh and clean, a pleasure just to gaze at. "Where's mom?" "She's staring wistfully at her yarn, again!" It just takes me to a hapy place. I know you know what I mean. warm fuzzies.

Which reminds me Warm Fuzzies by Betz White is coming out this fall - doesn't the cover just make you want to see what is in there? She has some snappy little cup o' joe kits for sale in her etsy shop too. just in case.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I received my first installment of Yarntini's sock club through pureknits yesterday. Holy cow - Jessie you have outdone yourself. I love the self-striping pure breeze. It is so refreshing - I can almost smell the summer air. This yarn came right after a yoga practice where we visualized the ocean waves flowing in and out with our breaths during savasana (try this, it truly can be relaxing). The ocean waves became personafied when I unwrapped this yarn. I would like to make a plain pair of stockinette - something zen that I can knit wherever. Seems fitting. I was too excited to wait for a sunshiney day to photograh the fiber - it may be even more clear and crisp in person - it's like sea glass.

Also included was a gorgeous bag from misocrafty - I have coveted these bags - and not for nothing. It is so crisp and pretty, the colors coordinate beautifully with the Yarntini. Also included was a sock book by Lucy Neathby, some of yarntini's signature lipbalm in a comforting coconut scent to compliment the yarn... Wait, can you hear the steel drums? This kit is delightfully sensory for me. There was also a SOAK sample packette and some cute stitch markers. All in all, a lovely sock surprise!

Now if I could just have some knitting content right? I am going to be turning the heel of my Pomatomus tonight, so maybe I'll have something to show. It has been a week of goodies, now I need to buckle down and get knitting!

Anyone have any thoughts about the latest Interweave Knits? I feel kind of "eh". I like the Josephine top but I am probably too busty to pull it off. I also like the Ogee Lace Skirt but where would I wear that? It is probably too hip for small town America...could I be a trendsetter? Not so much. And the Spiral Boot Socks are nice but I'm not sure I have the stick-to-it-tiveness to finish knee high socks. We'll see.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sundara is a goddess!

april sundara

The latest Petals Collection arrived yesterday - OMG, I was delirious from my incredible package from Christine and then I still had a box from Sundara. It was a heckuva special mail day. The yarn is inspired by the dahlia - and the pattern features a gorgeous twisted design. Without looking at the pattern closely, it almost looks as though the lacey bit runs up the back - good stuff.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Blow me down. I got the nicest package today - well, plural actually. Christine, known as CBknits and I had a little swap of our own - I was her "person" for the Knit Mitt Kit Swap, and we have kept in touch. She offered up a skein of June Carter Cider Moon in trade for something from my stash - I jumped on that and now, gosh, I hope she is 1/3 as happy with her package as I am with mine from her - she spoiled the pants off of me.

cider moon
Cider Moon - it is gorgeous beyond words and after a little hunting around, I think it might ultimately make some great Campfire Socks. Or perhaps another Calorimetry?

Some All Things Heather freaking gorgeous supersock merino. She included this wrapped in birthday paper - which at first stumped me...I mean, my birthday is coming up. She's good - she knew that! Bravo Christine! What a wondeful, thoughtful surprise.

And wait, this may very well be the crowning piece...
Can you see that pretty spindle in there? I am having way too much fun with my camera - and the perfect occasion. She got me a louet drop spindle kit at a Sheep and Wool Festival near her home on the East Coast. I can't tell you how many spindles I have had in my cart over at Helloyarn, only to chicken out. She also included some other special little goodies, loose leaf tea, some nice opaque nail polish and funky buffer - just in time for sandal season. This surprise box positively rocks! Now CB, I think you need to get blogging so everyone can appreicate your knitting awesomeness! :) Thank you for making me feel a little like a pampered celebrity today!

Celebrity sighting...

I met up with Susie from Susan B. Anderson on Sunday at the LYS. She wrote Itty Bitty Hats and has Itty Bitty Nursery coming out this fall, maybe September 3rd? I learned to knit in Susie's shop maybe four or five years ago, some things from Susie herself - so it was fun to get together and talk knitting. PLUS I got a secret peek into her new manuscript - wee! The projects are darling! I don't plan on having any more kids but I love knitting for babies - so I will definitely be picking this book up in fall. She has such a flair for details - she is not afraid to change up colors and weave ends or sew a seam - her softies are darling, kind of this one she posted on her blog.

I even got to touch several of her new ideas for a book she is creating with projects for adults and children due out maybe in '08? I felt like a kid in a candy store. The candy store happened to be a yarn store - OMG. A yarn store with a coffee bar in it - can you say limeade? mmm, so good. It was wonderful to have a couple of hours of knitty girl talk with someone who truly appreciates the craft and brings such delightful creativity. Thanks for the meet up, Susie!

On a side note, I am temporarily abandoning Monkey until I can decide on the right pattern for my Vintage Yarntini - this yarn deserves to be "just right". In the meantime, I have started Pomatomus in some Interlacements - it's a little slow going with the kids running about and American Idol needing my full attention last night. Okay, well, not exactly. But this pattern means paying attention - I think any Cookie A. pattern means "just say no" to multi-tasking.

gummie muse
...interlacements...good enough for a nibble?

And one more thing...want some eye candy? Maybe a nifty screen wallpaper? Check this out over at Scout's...make's you want to have a Cosmo or eat a pansey - they are edible you know.