the weekend

The end of summer. I can feel it in every part of my soul. 
My kitchen still isn't quite finished, but finished enough to unpack our things and make room for new memories.  Watch out for more kitchen photos.  I'll show you the before and after as soon as she is finished.  

I used the somewhat old watermelon to make watermelon juice, blending in some boiled ginger slices.  Why haven't I been doing this for like ever?!  Thank you Nadine!

I sat outside working on my Frida Sweater.  It's coming along nicely, but damn that twisted rib. (The entire body and sleeves of the sweater!)  Of course, I timed the rows.  9:40.23 a row.  Let's call it 10 min a row.  
There are 6 rows in an inch.  So, let's call it an hour to knit an inch.  I have about 7 inches more to knit.  So, let's say at least 8 more hours on the body.  Cause you know I am not knitting an hour straight.  I mean, there is something to drink, something to eat, something to check on my phone, something else to do for sure!   (You see how my brain works.  🤪)
I watched the lower leaves fall from the basil plants as I cut every single one.  It was almost too late for these plants.  I have to remember to do this at least one week earlier.  Two weeks earlier would probably be even better.   Yep, end of August, Leslie!
And, I swam my last swim of the summer on Sunday.  It rained on my back as I finished my 100th lap and I felt like a child again.  Thank you pool for all of the meditative times you gave me.  My heart is full.  
Oh, and next summer I need to remember to treat my hair as I did this summer.  Before I put on my cap, I spray it with fresh water and then add coconut or almond oil.  No more swimmers hair!

my scrubbie making obsession

Okay... I truly love making these things!

Here is why:

• They take about 15 minutes, give or take a few. 
• I can get about 15 scrubbies out of one ball of this yarn and about 5 out of this yarn.
• They are colorful.
• They make amazing gifts.
• They make me happy.  
• They are useful.
• They make washing dishes FUN!  ( I mean it!!!)
• They clean my dishes better than a dish cloth.  (And I am now a pro at washing dishes.)
• They can also serve as a shower exfoliant.  
• They make me feel VERY productive!

It's time,  friends, to get your scrubbie on! 
Just think about wrapping a few in a cellophane bag and tying it with a yarn bow.  (So cute for the holidays.)
And my sister and I thought about giving a white scrubbie with a rectangular cloth scrubbie  as a gift with a handmade soap.  They make the perfect bathroom partner.  The round to exfoliate your face and the rectangle to exfoliate your body.  ❤️

or

number 10


I just can not believe that it is September.  I do realize I say that at the beginning of every single month, but damn... It's already September!  

I wanted to mention that if you have about 20 free minutes with your knitting, I have a new episode up on YouTube.  Maybe you would like to sip an ice tea, feel your yarn in your hands, and have a watch.  I'd love to tell you all about my latest obsession.  

Happy September, Friends!  xx

the lawrenson sweater

It's all about this sleeve! 
 I adore being able to add something different to my wardrobe.  
The typical sweater I like to make is something I can wear in the day.  Something easy to throw on with a pair of jeans.  But lately, I have wanted to venture out and make things that I may dress up a bit.  Wear perhaps, with a skirt or a pair of black pants.  It started with the whole reason I designed One Lovely Sweater.  I wanted something that could be the "go to" sweater that I could either wear with jeans, or with black pants.  One that I could wear to lunch, OR to dinner. 
And this seems to be something in that same category.  It's designed by one of my favorite designers; Lily Kate France.  Lily is young and designs current looks.  So, I was all over this the minute I saw it.  

I scoured my stash knowing I wanted to add a single strand of mohair to give it that softer look.  
I had a Julie Asselin Melange N.1 slotted for another sweater, but grabbed it along with a la BIEN AIMEE silk mohair and started swatching.  Something interesting started to happen which is referred to as marling and I instantly knew this would work.  
There is a Fruity Knitting Podcast, Episode 106, which details the effects of marling.  Cecelia Campochiaro is a color expert.  If you would like to learn more about marling, I highly recommend this episode.  And it just so happens that Lily Kate is interviewed as well!

Pattern:  The Lawrenson Sweater
Yarn:  I held together 1 strand of the Julie Asselin Melange N.1 Chandail in Natural Gris,   750 yards, 75% Merino, 25% Yak, with 1 strand of la BIEN AIMEE Mohair Silk, 740 yards, 70% Mohair, 30% Silk in Alcide Herveaux
Needles: US 8
Size:  2
Mods:  I omitted the side stitching due to the look of the fabric I achieved.  

come party!

Hi ya friends!  Although I would love to have you all over for a knit party, I just can't do that right now.  But, damn.  That's a great idea when things get going again!

The party I would like to invite you to, is an online Pampered Chef party where you barely need to put down your knitting needles and you definitely don't have to change your clothes!  ☺️ I am hosting this party from my house for my friend Kristyn who is AMAZING enough to be holding this party on my sweet Libby's behalf.  You see, all of her commission will be going to my girl in a form of a gift card to be used in her Second Grade classroom.  How incredible is that?!

What'd you say?  Oh yes!  Libby graduated from the University of Colorado in May (virtually) and landed a Second Grade teaching job in Colorado.  I guess I forgot to mention that here.  


Libby is up for quite a challenge teaching virtually but if anyone can do it, I am confident in her!  

Like many of you, I have a special spot in my heart for teachers, and now that spot just grew in size!  Kristyn has the same love for teachers and passion for supporting them!  She will be blessing classrooms across the country with her generousity.  Kristyn calls August "Teacher Gift Blitz" as she throws these virtual parties.  Anyone know a teacher that has the necessary funds for all the supplies they need?  Yeah, me either!   

{Libby was always playing teacher.  This was my favorite class she taught.  ☺️ March 2009}

{Zoom in on pic... How to pearl!}

If you are like me, you've been cooking and baking non stop during these last few months.  (Yes, even without a kitchen.  Toaster ovens rock!)  Maybe you have found a few areas that need an upgrade that these amazing Pampered Chef tools could fill.  If so, I would love for you to support my friend's small business AND my daughters classroom by adding your purchase to this party.  You can easily add your online order to my party using this shopping link.  

Kristyn will be doing a special product drawing for each friend who orders from this post!  So leave us a comment so she can watch for your order and add your name!  If you have any Pampered Chef questions or to host your own party, please reach out to Kristyn.  734.250.1770.  Tell her your friend to knit with, Leslie, sent you!  

Party ends Sunday night (23rd) at midnight.  

Thank you, friends!

Petite Lin +

This sweater was all about the yarn.  And the colors.  I fell madly in love with this combination and knew I wanted to knit a sweater immediately.  I also wanted to knit something out of Linen.   At first I thought I would knit a Missoni Accomplished.  Which I think would still be something I would LOVE, but since I had just finished one, I thought maybe something else should belong in my closet.  I also did not want to knit the linen held single.  So, I held two strands together and did a gauge.  Next, I headed to Ravelry.  
Upon spending hours on Ravelry, hunting for a pattern that would work for my gauge, I settled on the Ida Sweater.  Classic and simple.  
Now, I certainly don't like to complain about patterns, but I also don't want to send you down a path that might not work for you.  
 So, here's the deal.  The Ida Sweater seems like it is more like someone's notes, rather than a pattern one should purchase.  SO much is left to the imagination.  And, if you don't really know much about reading a pattern, you might be  instantly lost.  Everything is also in cm so unless you have the conversion memorized, you will constantly be looking up measurements.  There is not a schematic, so there's that, too.  I think the designer is Norwegian, so I am sure that is why.  And, I am glad I purchased it to have some sort of guidelines to follow.  
This sweater is definitely based off of that sweater, but I made a lot of changes.  The split hem.  Which you know how to do, right?  It's very simple. I also did a different neckline and longer sleeves.  

And the reason I have pink at the top is because I ran out of the tan.  I only wanted to knit the edges in hot pink, but in the end I was glad I ran out of yarn.  I quite like how much hot pink there is in this sweater.  I added it by counting my stitches and decided I would just knit 2 x 2 color change since it was divisible by 4.  (And 2)

Pattern:  The Ida Sweater WITH MANY CHANGES 
Yarn:  Petite Lin + by Espace Tricot, 4 skeins Fairmont, 1 skein You had me at Tricot.  HELD DOUBLE.
Size:  M
Needles:  US 9

a love letter to july

 My dearest July,

I realize that it is August 11, and my heart has moved on to love this beautiful month.  But I want you to know that you gave me some of the most incredible summer days that I have ever had the pleasure of living. 

Your slow mornings, your warm days and your beautiful evenings will always be remembered.  Did you know that you gave us time to put those new couches in our living room? (They look fabulous by the way.) And the full trees were cut to let more of your beautiful sunlight shine in through the old windows.  I scrubbed the cushions on our back patio furniture to make them look fresh and new.  I worked on my Lawrenson sweater knitting your sunlight into every stitch so that I will be reminded of your warmth come those cold evenings of winter.  Because of Covid-19 we didn't get to celebrate your 4th the same way we have in the past but you were warm and lovely just the same.  Our neighbor brought over fresh almond croissants and we filled our bellies while enjoying your sweet summer air.  

Your cool mornings alone at the pool are by far and away my favorite way to start a day.  July, please know that your weather is far and away the most special to me.  You were so wonderful to give us days for the men to work on building our lovely kitchen. (If only you could have made them work faster.) While I'm cooking and baking, in our new kitchen, I will think back to when the scraping and pounding filled most of your week days.  

You welcomed my girl home and then my oldest boy.  Their presence is welcome anytime, but you do know how to give us so much love and light!  Your sunshine gave the hydrangeas just enough warmth to blossom into a beautiful bounty of gorgeousness.  

Your days were there for us as we headed on a 16 hour road trip to the Florida sunshine and gave me the most glorious time alone with my children.  We so needed those lazy days just being together, getting sand on our feet and swimming in that beautiful ocean of water.  
Of course, I knit on everyone of your beautiful days.  I listened to my boy and his awesome music.  We had happy hours at the beach, and we swam as we watched the sunrise.  Remember the one day you shared with us as we spent it with my mother;  their grandmother. We kissed her all over her face like there wasn't a pandemic because Lord knows she would risk everything to feel our skin against hers.

I picked  a lot of basil that grew in your lovely light and tried to slow down the days with my boys and girl.  

I knew that our time together was coming to a close as I drove with my girl to Denver. We did this so that she, too, could move slowly into her next love, August.  She was so eager to meet August and start her new life as a school teacher.  I reminded her how we have to stay in the moment and live in the day we are given.  Time is fleeting and if we look too far in the future we will miss the glorious gifts that are in front of us. We stayed in that beautiful day having a picnic at Chessman Park filming aTikTok.  Oh how we laughed.
July, I was so happy that we weren't quite finished upon returning home. I had one more week with you as I drove to Lancaster and spent a couple of nights in a charming farmhouse.  And, to have one more day to watch Andrew play in his golf tournament.  Yep.  Grateful for that day, too.  We drove by corn fields and bought corn from a farmer who uses the honor system.  July, you are magical.  

I want you to know, July, that I care so deeply about you, still.  That you and I held something so precious that it will never fade and you will always occupy a place in my heart as well as my mind.  


With all the warmth and love I can give.

Leslie