merry merry happy happy

So, I headed to the wine store yesterday to buy some dyed-in-the wool.  They were all out.  All the people crazy for wool must have already bought it all.  I really wanted to raise my glass to all of you.  To thank you for all of your kind words and inspiration throughout the year.  And to wish you all a wonderful holiday.
I'll be back sometime after the first of the year.
See you then.


Well, I finished the advent calendar last weekend.  And, am I ever happy.  It was a big pain to make them all at once.  But once I started, I just couldn't stop.  I learned/relearned a few things about myself as I went along.  
-I don't like small, fiddly projects.  Bring on the sweaters.
-I stink at embroidery.  Especially freehand.
-I love a challenge. And can't quit until I reach my goal.
-I don't like busy.  Not busy as in moving around, I like that.  Busy, as in busy to the eye.  I find this very busy.  And trust me, with three kids, there are a lot of busy things around me.  But for some reason, this is super busy.  I had to move it out of the kitchen where I saw it all of the time.  So, if you are considering making this, think about that.  Scale down the colors.  Fewer would be nice.  All white---ahhh.

The kids have loved it.  In the morning, Libby is the first to get her treat.  (I usually filled it with a small chocolate.) Charlie usually always forgets.  And, Andrew usually eats his and Charlie's.  And then a fight begins.  Oh, happy holidays!


Ana tagged me with a photo challenge.  Choose the fourth photo in your fourth file. This computer only houses photos back to the fall of '07.
So, here it is.  My fourth photo, in my fourth file.  It was November 21, 2007, and I remember it like it was yesterday.  Walking by my front door, this beautiful leaf caught my eye.  Staring right at me, perched up and standing tall, while leaning on its stem.  Just a reminder of one of the many reasons why I love fall.
I am now supposed to tag four people.  Consider yourselves all tagged, and play along if you would like.  It is pretty fun to see and remember what photo pops up.
Happy Monday!

rose hill

four.  I declare a rose hill war.  Well, not really.  I am going to let my friends choose among themselves.  The top three are made with Classic Elites Portland tweed, left over from the Christmas sweaters.  The bottom one is made out of Classic Elite's Skye tweed, left over from last years sweaters.  If you recall, I mentioned that Portland tweed replaced Skye tweed.
I have seven balls left from last years sweaters.  I know I will not get around to using them. (I'm sticking true to Portland tweed.  It is so nice.) If you would like a ball, or two, leave me a comment, and then shoot on over and e-mail me with your address. (My address is in the sidebar.  This isn't a drawing.  Just a giveaway to the first people who want them.)  I will pop it in the mail, and you can make yourself or someone a hat.  Well, you don't have to use it to make a hat.........but they are pretty darn cute.
Have a wonderful weekend!

all three together

                              Charlie's vest, Libby's sweater, Andrew's vest
I took over 500 photos, on two separate occasions.  And this is my favorite photo.  It is so fitting of what happens in my house.  The youngest one does something naughty, and the older two laugh.  Not that putting snow on your sisters head is naughty.  But, when your mother is trying to get a good photo, of smiling faces, it turns the simple act of funny, to naughty.  For a tiny moment.
And I know this is going to be a shock, but I am 99% sure that I am completely blowing off the Christmas cards.  I know.  That is the reason I made the sweaters.  However, Christmas is now eight days away (eight) and I just don't feel like having a card cramming session.  (Especially since the advent cramming session is still going on.) 
And on the list for the new year?  Writing up the pattern for the "libby" sweater.
Have a great one.


I don't like this project.  Nope, not one little bit.  It could be perhaps due to the fact that I didn't start it until the last minute.  Now I am on a race with time.  And as much as I hate it, I am going to do my best to win this race. Because, I am thinking the finished product will be well worth the work.   
The cookie of the week was brown sugar brown butter cookies after seeing these.  I actually made them twice.  Smitten Kitchen updated their post, saying that respondents where mentioning that their cookies were "falling apart".  I would have to fall into that category. Both times we had crumbly cookies.  They taste great, but would definitely not package well.
Have yourself a wonderful weekend!

thank you

Wow.  You all are the best!  The best, I tell ya!  You provided us with stellar information.  I appreciate every single comment, and the time it took to answer the questions.  
We all have a lot in common, as far as knitting.  And from what I gather, the biggest reasons for knitting are because of how it makes us feel.  Relaxed, calm, creative, and productive.  Keeping us connected to those whose paths we follow and a need to slow down in this fast paced world.
If you get time, you should read some of the comments.  They really made me feel connected to all of you.
Thanks again.

a question, or two

I have been taking photos for a new local magazine, minimagazine.
It is a complementary magazine that is small in size, but big with information.  It is the greatest little "throw in your bag" magazine that can be read from front to back in one short sitting. Filled with all sorts of hip/trendy/helpful/fun articles,  and has been so much fun to be part of.
In the upcoming issue, there is going to be an article on knitting.  So, I headed to Knit One, and took a lot of photos of yarn.  That part was easy.  
The next part is a little more difficult for me.  The questions of who, what and why.  I know why I knit.  But, I certainly don't want to speak for everyone. So, I was wondering if you could help me out?  And answer a question or two?

::how does knitting make you feel?
::is it the start of a project - the execution- or the completed item?
::do most women/men like to knit in groups?  or alone?
::do most women/men learn from a mother/grandmother, or learn on their own?
::what are the easiest items to begin with?
::do you knit all year round, or just when it is cold out?
::do you always knit from a pattern or do you tend to make your own up?
::how long does it take you to knit a pair of socks?  a sweater?  a scarf?
::do you think it is expensive?
::what has to do with the resurgence?
::who is the coolest knitter you know?  (ha.  kidding)

If you don't mind picking one or two questions from the list, and answering them in my comment section, I would really appreciate it.  Also, leave your first name, and city/state/country.  I am not sure how exactly the article will play out, however, if your answer is used in the article, and your name quoted, I will be sure to send you a copy.

I'll go first.  And answer one question.
A story first.  Last summer, I was at the pool with the kids, and I met a friend of a friends.  I chatted for a bit, but soon my knitting was calling, and I had to return to my chair.  It was July when I declared it my "knitting for others" month.  And while my kids were occupied,  I knew I could get some quality knitting time in.  My friend later told me of the conversation that went on between two of the girls (women).  
"Leslie seems nice, but what is up with the f#*$*≈g knitting???"  
"I don't know, she just likes it. (pause) It keeps her lid on tight."

I loved that.  So for me?  I knit because it keeps my "lid on tight".

i can't think of one

Wow. I can't believe how many of you thought that I was crazy about my feelings for the skirt! Thank you so much for your input.  I will definitely give it a chance.  I promise.  
I ordered a little something from Heather's Etsy shop.  You should see this piece of  handmade art.  Sequins.  Beads.  Totally sweet.  I know the perfect gift that this will top.  And then the recipient can hang it on one of her drawer pulls.  Or a doorknob.  And enjoy it all year long.
And, for cookie of the week, Keana sent me a link to this recipe.  I didn't have the dulce de leche caramel (who does?).  So, a little raid through the kids halloween candy and I scored some caramels. Melted those and that worked fine.  (I also tossed that halloween candy.  Finally.) And the little chocolate that was supposed to be drizzled on top?  I got a little preoccupied and forgot all about it.  They are still delicious without it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

the scoop on the skirt

Back to the skirt.
These are not the best photos.  They were taken last Tuesday, through the window, by my mother.  It was 28˙ outside, and was just starting to snow.  I wasn't about to make her come join in the fun.  I also had the camera on the wrong setting.  Whoops.
There are a couple of things that I don't like about how this turned out.  See how the skirt separates and sort of comes to a V at the bottom.  That bugs me.  It has been blocked, and steamed, and continues to do that.  My mother and a good friend think that I am being a bit picky, but I like my knits to turn out like the photo in the pattern.  Also, the waistband must have elastic sewn into it, otherwise it would end up down around your hips all day.  Not a good look.  
Yes, a little clingy in the rear.  I know, I should have expected this from a knit skirt. 
The scoop:
Needles:  Size 6 and 7
Size: small
Yarn:  7 hanks Classic Elite Renaissance
Modifications:  I did one extra pattern repeat.  To add a couple of inches to the length.
And sewed a 2" piece of elastic in the waist band.

Bottom line.  I am not that comfortable in this skirt. I will probably wear it a few (couple) times. (Maybe once.)  Then I may have to recycle the yarn.  

december 1

So, it's December 1, and somehow I seem to be stuck in October.  Or maybe wishing it still was October.  I mentioned last year, that I wanted to make the advent calendar like Garnet Hill.
Make a couple a month.  No problem.  Fast forward twelve months.  Not a single one was made. They started popping up again, and I got the urge to make them. I managed to make four over the course of last weekend.  Just to get a jump start.  Now, I guess that I will have to make one a day, just to stay ahead of the game.  I must admit these are not my favorite things to make.  Easy enough, but as soon as you think that you are finished, you have to embroider the number, crochet a chain, and perhaps make a pom-pom.  I just want to keep knitting.
One could wing the pattern, but why, when it is clearly written out here.
Happy December!

turkey skirt?

So, I worked hard to get this skirt finished for today.  However, changed my mind about wearing it.  A little clingy for a day of eating, if you know what I mean.  So, it will reside on my dress form for the day.  
I'll be back soon to let you know all about this project.
Have a wonderful day!


Can you believe that we wished on last years wishbone yesterday?
I kid you not.  It sat on our kitchen windowsill, behind a plant, for twelve months.  I would pick it up, clean under it, and put it right back down.  Always thinking that perhaps two of the kids should take a chance at breaking it.  But which two?  So yesterday, they drew papers out of the palm of my hand.  Only two received the lucky piece.  Charlie and Andrew.  And then only one got the big half.  Andrew.  I hope his wish comes true.  (I am sure it is something like, get a new lego guy.)

Onto the giveaway.  I had the random generator (thanks for the emergency help, erin) pick one number from the comments. #334.  And then thinking about, 'tis the season, had it pick another.  #4.
So, the two lucky winners are:
it's the little "tings"  , comment for a necklace that sweet?  You bet!  I just love the birds, so lovely.
 Jan, My sisters and I love birds - our mother did, too!  Would love this one!

Congratulations to the winners, please e-mail me with your address.
Thanks for playing, and here's to having wishes come true.

cookies (i wonder how many times i have used that boring title)

Lest you think that I have reneged on my cookie of the week, I can assure you that I have not. There are always cookies being baked over here.  
Last weeks cookie was Oatmeal scotchies.  That I had to make after seeing this photo.  The recipe is right on the bag of butterscotch chips.  I can't believe that I have never made them. They were a big hit, and the butterscotch chips seemed to make them extra sweet.
Also last week, I made the batter for this cookie,  after seeing this post on Parikha's blog.  I baked them today. Perfect for this coming week.  This cookie definitely is not as sweet as the oatmeal scotchie.  I sprinkled the second and third batches with sugar before baking.  Added a little bit of  "sweetness" if you know what I mean.
And to keep their snappiness, I took the advice and stored them in a ziplock bag.  Sort of a bummer since I like cookies in the cookie jar.  But nobody probably wants a soggy gingersnap.

We were super busy around here this weekend cleaning our home.  We cleaned corners that I didn't know we had.  You'd think we were getting ready for the parade of homes.  Nope, just the parade of parents (mine).  And I am super excited, as they are coming in for Thanksgiving tomorrow. 
I'll be closing the comments on the giveaway at noon tomorrow.  And will be back to post the winner shortly after.
 See you then.

lisa is giving one away!

Hello Saturday. Cold, wintry feels like January, Saturday.
Just wanted to pop in and show you my new necklace. I adore it!
Have you seen lisa leonard designs?  They are fabulous.  I truly would love one of each.
If you are looking for a gift for a special someone, (or maybe yourself, ahem) take a look here.  I am sure you will find something.  And if you are trying to stick to the handmade theme for your holiday giving, this couldn't be more perfect.

And guess what? Lisa has decided to give this same necklace to one of my readers!  Leave a comment here by Monday at 12pm EST,  and a name will be drawn.

Have a great one!

complete opposite.

I would love to say that taking photos of my thirteen year old is easy.  I got one "posed" shot, and the rest while he pretended I wasn't there.  
One thing that might be harder than taking the photos was finding a pattern for this age.  
I think this works, and Charlie didn't have any complaints while wearing it.  Always a good thing. 
Same pattern as Andrew's, just the complete opposite colors.  
Pattern:  billie, rowan pipsqueaks
Yarn:  5 balls classic elite portland tweed, color 5013 black forest, with contrasting color 5077 folkestone.  Must I mention again how much I love this tweed?
Needles:  size 7 
Size:  10-11 year

Now to get the photo of all three together.  I like to take the shots outside, so hopefully it will warm up a bit....soon.  30˚ just won't cut it.

Having my doubts about the skirt,  but still knitting on it every spare moment.  I can't believe that Thanksgiving is eight days away.  That sort of scares me.  


So often, I will be cruising blogs and flickr, and something will spark my interest.  It happens all the time.  Just yesterday, I saw this photo.  I spent the next hour searching for pine-cones and tea lights.  And then, something to place them in.  And then, another 30 minutes moving them around the house.  Silly, but oh so fulfilling. 
 I would like to thank you all for taking photos, and posting them.  And then writing about them.  And if I am not the one inspired, there are sure to be others who are.  Because we all know, this all takes time.  And, although we enjoy it for ourselves, we would like to know someone else enjoys it too.  
Is this making any sense?
It is the month about thanks.  So thank you for all of your creativity. 
 Another thing that sparked my interest was Kim's giveaway. Go over and enter and give yourself a chance to win.
Have a wonderful weekend.  


Another day that was all about a number. 
Andrew turned nine today.  And my list was full.  Because I waited until today to do everything for this boys big day.  I try not to procrastinate,  but with three in a row, I sort of loose my steam.
There were nine balloons.  The cookies were baked and dropped off at school.  The gifts were purchased and wrapped.
The cake was made.  The handburgers were grilled.  And we were reminded of how fast they grow, but how young nine still is.  (He still calls them handburgers.)  
As Andrew says, eight is great, but nine is fine.
I believe it is honey, I believe it is.

what's going on

So, I finished vest #2.
Plan on getting photos as soon as it warms up a bit.  I foresee an unhappy model with temps in the 40's.  
I started this skirt for myself.  Call me crazy, but I would like to wear it on Thanksgiving day.
Brown tights.  Brown boots.  
Lunch with friends.  And this for dinner. 
Have a wonderful day.

to lily

dear lily,
I was so excited to get your package.  I love the bag so much.  I can't believe that you made it, being the same age as me. Although, after seeing your projects, it is no surprise.  It is so cute, and is holding my project. 
The book is so interesting, and hard for me to put down.  I love that it is set in a place that you visit.
These chocolates are so delicious, and they even have your name on them!  I wonder if they only make them in England.  I shared some with my brothers.
Thank you so much for everything!
love, libby
P.S.  Happy Birthday to you!
P.S. S. Lily is the daughter of Amanda.

what a week

It's friday already? What a week, huh!
On tuesday night, we ate dinner around the coffee table in the family room. Chicken noodle soup with sleeves of Ritz crackers. We watched as states filled with blue and red and history was made.  I am sure MLK was smiling. 
I made Erin's hat.  1 ball Zitron Loft from the stash.  A great pattern, perfectly written, and cute to boot!  I think I will have one on the needles from now until Christmas.  Rose Hill hats for everyone.
And the cookie.  This is the second week I made Sandy's delicious cookie.  Cute as a button, huh?!
Have yourself a wonderful weekend!

eleven. no way.

I know. Pretty hard for me to believe, too. Halloween came and went. We had Rocky, Madeline, and a Purple Octopus in the house.
And today, we counted to eleven.  Over and over.  Eleven balloons.
Eleven flowers placed in a vase from pappy, that arrived in the hospital in 1997.  Eleven years ago.  
And a very delicious, time consuming, cake.  That held all the wishes of an eleven year old.
Yep.  Today was a very special day.  
Happy November.  

mystery socks

Libby's turn to stand on the table.
And Libby's turn to receive a new pair of socks.
I loved working on these socks.  And knowing so many others were making them at the same time seemed to add to the fun.  
Pattern:  Through the Loops Mystery socks for Socktoberfest (thank you, Kirsten!)
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss, baby cashmerino.  Color 202. It is not sock yarn.  So, Kim let me in on a little secret which a lot of you probably know.  (I didn't.)
To reinforce the heel, hold a piece of thread together with your yarn, as you knit.  (Okay, okay, probably ranks right up there with the freezer paper story.  I just didn't know this either!)
Needles:  size 3 dpn's
size:  56 stitch
Libby skipped off to school this morning wearing these.  Well, I don't think that she was actually skipping.  But have you skipped lately?  You should really give it a try. 
Have a great one!

a couple of boys. and their socks.

I pretty much love Soctoberfest.   
And I'm pretty sure my boys do, too.  Especially since Charlie has been asking for a new pair of socks since this time last year.   
I also love self striping yarn.  Sort of takes all the thought out of deciding what pattern to knit. One 150g. of Opal blues, color 2025 was just enough for 2 pairs.  A mere 2 yards was all that was left.  I cast on 52 stitches using my favorite Ann Budd basics.  A little elastic sewn into the rib helps keep them in place.  
It was pretty rewarding when I made my rounds the other night, and spotted a foot dangling out of the bed wearing his new sock.  Made me wonder if he loved them more because he had to wait so long for them.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But either way, I've decided Socktoberfest will be all about socks for the kids.  So, until next year boys, enjoy your socks.  

just a boy. and a vest

I pretty much love making vests.
Not having to make sleeves is such a great thing.
And I love how taking photos of your children can bring so much joy.  Or so much frustration.
This was one of the more joyful times.  This little guy just cracks me up.
When I started this, I wasn't following a pattern.  I did a gauge with the yarn, measured my guy, and multiplied the number of inches round by the number of stitches per inch.  I cast on with the contrasting color, started in a 3x3 rib for 2 inches, changed to the main color continuing in the rib.  Changed to stockinette stitch after 2 inches.  I then had a little problem with the V, so searched my books, and found Billie.  Pretty much followed that pattern the rest of the way.
Pattern:  Billie, Rowan Pipsqueaks
Yarn:  4 balls Classic Elite Portland Tweed, Color #5077 folkestone, with contrasting color #5013 black forest.  Have I mentioned how much I love this yarn!?  Especially after you block it.  
Needles:  size 7
Size: 8-9 years 
For:  Andrew, age 8

I cast on for Vest #2 this weekend.  Committing myself to finishing that and the mystery socks before I start anything else.  Although, it's taking everything I've got not to cast on for this cabled skirt.  
Back tomorrow with some finished socks.