Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Birthday socks for the CaliforniaDreamin' Guy

I love doing these socks and they are the California Dreamin’ boy’s favorite.

The socks are for the runner in the family who has very muscular legs. At Christmas he commented on a pair of socks I’d knit as the”best fitting” socks. This is the formula I had used: I knit on 32 sts but increased 3 stitches along the top/back of the heel and also 5 stitches across the cuff bind off in the stretchy bind off.

They give me such a lovely feeling of “frugal-ness” and I was surprised to see my leftover sock stash is beginning to disappear! The Berkeley Socks are beginning to make a dent.
Pattern: Vanilla, Slip Stitch, Fish Lip Heeled Berkeley Socks
Yarn: Sock Yarn
Colorway: Blues
Amount: Bits and Pieces of 80% 20% yarn
Needles: US Size 1

(Now, I must dash off to make more leftover stash!)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Alternative Facts" on my knitting project

A new buzz phase has been making the rounds since the inauguration - "Alternative Facts." (By the way Kellyanne Conway, I don't think this cleared things up at all - just saying.)

I'm going to give "Alternative Facts" a whirl in this blog today.
I'm so excited I bought enough Knit Picks Sport to knit three sweaters.
The baby sweater pattern was great, no errors in the book I bought.
The Teddy Bear looks ridiculous in the sweater.
Can't wait to send this to my new Grand-niece.

Pattern: Seed Stitch Cardigan by Nicole Reese
Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Sport
Colorway: Freesia
Needle Size: US Size 7

~"Alternative facts?" Call me old fashioned but, is that a euphemism for lying? I'm just asking.
  Chicago Tribune~

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Proud to be a crazy cat woman

I've always loved cats and am lucky Hubby does too. It doesn't take long once you enter my home to realize cat lovers live here. Evidence is everywhere, framed pictures of cats here and there, porcelain kitties perched around, and kitty toys in abundance. 

I don't remember a time I didn't want a cat as a pet. Mom said all I wanted for my third birthday was a cat. However, Dad didn't like cats and was very resistant. As my birthday got closer, they would ask what I wanted and my answer was always the same, a kitty.
 Mom, Cousin Kit, me, Cousin Mary, Cousin Bill (My second birthday)

On the big day I have the vague memory of Dad coming home from work with a white box (similar to a cake box with a circle hole in the side.)  Mom and I greeted him in the driveway on that sunny day and in the box was a little black and white kitten. We named him Trasie, This was Mom's idea and a play on the Spanish work for three, Tras-ie. He was the first of many kitties to enter into my heart.
 Dad and me on "Uncle" George's boat - scary times!

Dad put up with the cats over the years because they brought joy to both Mom and I.

It wasn't until he retired things fell into place, tho. Dad took early retirement the year The Chick was born and a few months later they got their orange cat Bridget. It didn't take long for both The Chick and Bridget to totally win his heart. He loved being home all time time and becoming an integral part of the household. Finally, one day he just looked at Mom, and said "Now I get it".  He loved being home and at the center of the daily activities which became such special memories.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A monumental weekend

The California Dreamin' Family was busy this weekend...

Wish I'd been with you!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A brown bear sighting in my own livingroom

The Grandgurls have enjoyed sewing projects the last few times they have visited.  I've had this pattern for many years, it looked simple and fun to do and thought they might enjoy making a Teddy Bear for Cousin John's baby daughter coming this spring.

Our time together passed quickly and it wasn't until The NorDak Family had headed back home that I pulled out the furry material and pattern for Chloe to work on. The Pirate and I were busy re-tying his blanket (don't use 80-20% sock yarn to tie a blanket, within a few days the yarn was coming untied.)  and Chloe started on the bear. I talked to her about about keeping the nap on the material going in the same direction and then let her loose to pin and cut out the bear...it proved  easier said than done. The fur was not easy to cut out...or sew...or seam rip...the pattern wasn't clear on many counts. After a valiant effort, Chloe quietly put it down and didn't return to the project for the rest of her stay.

In an effort to try and get the sewing room back in order yesterday,  I pick up the project and decided to "get her done".  I plugged away on it,  and had trouble getting the head on the little feller but LOVE the finished product. I'll add a bow before it goes in the mail. I hope it becomes a well loved companion.
(FYI: The eyes and nose were bought on Etsy and are supposed to be childproof. They are screwed in from the back of the fabric and are very secure)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gracie Lynn (May 2000 - Jan 16, 2017)

For over sixteen years Grace, my constant companion, has been at my side. On the deck enjoying the summer sun, sitting on the couch next to me while I was knitting, or sleeping on my legs at night. When taking pictures of my finished knitting projects there was Grace. The two of us got along fine.
But from the beginning she didn't like being second fiddle to an older and established kitty in the household. She really didn't care for Nikko and didn't mind letting her know. With a constant chip on her shoulder she would often allow this to carry over to humans, the daughters and grandkiddos often got the brunt of her frustrations.
The last few years brought us closer. Becoming "Top Cat" allowed her to come into herself. To a non-catlover this may sound strange but others will totally understand. Grace had my total and complete attention. She knew she could sit on my lap without invitation for hours and in the last year, if I wasn't looking adoringly into her eyes she would gently reach up with her paw and direct my gaze into her loving eyes. I learned how to give "cat massages" much to my families amusement but Grace loved them and would purr to her heart's content.
It's been a sad week. In hindsight, there may have been some tell tale signs she wasn't well. Grace had started yowling at odd times, usually when we just turned out the lights and gone to bed.  She had started to be a bit restless and would jump from hubby and I, staying only 5 minutes or so... But last Tuesday we felt it was rather sudden that she became sick. Even after two trips to the vet's we were unable to turn her health around.

Good bye sweet friend.

Monday, January 16, 2017

"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties

 and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream."

  -Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Starting the year off on the right foot

The first of many socks for 2017 are finished. I used some of my coveted West Yorkshire Spinners yarn from England sent via Oregon. - Thanks Misako!

When the entire family was home at Christmas I needed a pair of vanilla socks to knit throughout their visit. A row here, a row there makes a fast pair of socks! This striped  yarn is perfect on its own but add a slip stitch at the striping line and they become stunning .
Pattern: Slip Stitch Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply
Colorway: Passion Fruit Cooler
Amount: 1 skein
Needle Size: US Size 1

Monday, January 9, 2017

WELCOME 2017, and a new beginning!

Hubby came home New Year's morning after working his last shift at the fire station.
The retirement party was between Christmas and New Year's. It was wonderful to have all the family able to attend and honor Hubby's hardwork at the station and in the community over the years. 

Already just a few days into retirement I see Hubby isn't going to sit in his recliner and allow himself to get out of shape. Every morning down to the workout room we go to complete our morning routine. He even has me lifting weights!

We are both excited to see what the year has in store for us. We have a trip or two planned but mostly we plan on relaxing and resting "on our laurels" - in our home which we dearly love.