this Christmas

So, this Christmas, I didn't get 1/2 of what I wanted accomplished. Most of the decorations stayed in their boxes. The advent didn't get started until about the 15th of the month. And, the knitting wasn't finished.
However, the fondue maker was finally used.
And, Santa did stop by to tell my kids they better get to sleep or he wasn't coming back.

***I really wanted to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas. I hope your time spent with family, friends and yarn is all of that and more.***


holiday patterns

So, if you're sitting around under the tree this weekend, completely ready for Christmas (I wish!) looking for something to knit, check here. 50 free holiday knitting and crochet patterns. I have always wanted to make some cute little sweater ornaments and use them as gift tags. Maybe next year.
Have a wonderful weekend!

a cookie of the week

Finally. Finally there was something other than chocolate chip cookies around here.
I don't know why, but there hasn't been anything else baked around here for a pretty long time. But this week (and last) we had the vanilla sugar cookies, again. However, for some reason, I just couldn't add the vegetable oil. Since I am a big dough eater, I just pictured myself drinking vegetable oil. Sort of gave me a stomach ache. So, I used 2 sticks of butter instead. Cause eating sticks of butter seems to be so much better. (ahem.)
You know I am a huge fan of the "slice and bake". I wish I would have had some red or green sugar crystals to roll it in instead of the raw sugar. Nonpareils would be cute. Next time.
The cup of butter definitely gave these cookies a more buttery flavor. Seemed to be a good fit for everyone around here.

I use my place mats for everything. Even jotting down recipes. You still have time to get yours before Christmas. I'm thinking for a guarantee Christmas delivery, Friday will be safe, for sure. East Coasters will be good through Monday. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email and I can figure out if it can get to the address you would like on time. And, if it is a gift, let me know, I'll be happy to include the gift card. Thanks.

water bottle covers

It wasn't something that I had a burning desire to knit. I mean, I knew I would one day make one, I just didn't know when. Well, why in the world did I wait so long? You don't even have to have an ache or pain to fall in love with these things. It's like a little security blanket, tucked under your arm to keep you warm.
There are a bunch of patterns out there, but I really like this one. Like a little sweater for your water bottle. The pocket can be omitted. It looked cute without it, too. I used the two balls I had left over from this project and size 7 needles. Still looking plum to me. (Also, I don't know if it was just me, but I had too few stitches with the 77 to do the final decrease. I changed the K35 to K34 and the K34 to K33. ) I'm thinking there are several people that would love one of these under their tree. Oh! I ordered my first water bottle from target, but they seem to be out of stock. Our local drug store carries them.

My small size 7 circulars were not short enough to join the 44 stitches. I looked high and low for my double points. Tore the house apart, actually. In an effort to avoid purchasing more needles, I decided it was time to try the magic loop method again. Wasn't a fan the first time I tried it, but this time? This time I was sold. Using Cascade 220 Superwash.
Oh, and the double points? Saw them sitting plain as day on the book shelves, holding a pair of toast. Oy.


We've been customizing our table, almost on a daily basis. If you bought the chalkboard place mats (thank you!) just thought I would give a little tip. Turn your chalk on its side. It makes great, soft shapes. Swirls, too. Works really well with broken pieces... and is fun, too! Go ahead, use your imagination and customize away.
You still have time to place an order that will be received before Christmas. I'm thinking the deadline for a guaranteed Christmas delivery may be the middle of next week. Although, I'll let you know next week. I'm now including a gift note with those that are shipped as gifts. (Sorry I didn't start that right away.) If you'd like to order, and send as a gift, you can leave a "note to seller" (located under "ship to" address). Just tell me what you would like the gift card to read. Or, you can just e-mail me that information. Thanks so much.

Okay, back to knitting.
Have a fantastic weekend!


I love an interesting construction, and Elizabeth definitely offers that. Knit in one piece that only requires sewing together along the sleeve and side seems. Adding a rib collar and front panels (that I foresee taking me some time to complete) to finish the sweater off.
The self striping yarn works so well for this pattern, resulting in vertical stripes along the front and the back. Love that.
I should be making hats. Or mitts. Or hot water bottle covers. Or a few cowls or this.
Maybe tomorrow.

Oh! To my international friends. I did check with the fine people at the UPS store to see about shipping my place mats overseas. They averaged $150.00 in shipping. Yikes! If in the future I can get a better deal, I will let you know.

Make it a great one.

you won

december 23, 2009
That was the card delivered with some flowers, from my mother in law, to Libby.
My mother in law was disappointed that she didn't give Libby a flower after her violin concert. So, the next day, she called the local florist and ordered some flowers... asking for them to write on the card "owed you one". Libby was a bit confused when she opened the card. Then we read it out loud and had a big chuckle.

The two winners of the crochet inspiration book are:
#9 ijoemonkey and #167 Lynn.
Please e-mail me (address in sidebar) with your address.

Have a great one.

it's time

I got the text.
If you haven't gotten yours yet... you can consider this yours, too.

Have a great day.

crochet inspiration

(my turkey's are getting SO big!)
I took this photo on Thanksgiving Day but never made it over here. I really did want to tell you how thankful I am for you visiting this little space. All the kind words you offer all year long are very much appreciated. Also, thanks so much for supporting my little shop. The elves (aka my parents) and I worked in the warehouse to box the chalkboard place mats which are on the way to homes as we speak. Thank you!
I haven't been "a friend to crochet with", yet, however, this book could change that. Pages upon pages filled with crochet inspiration.
There are four chapters that focus on crocheted fabrics, motifs, grannies, and flowers. All detailed to perfection, by Sasha Kagan.
It all looks so unbelievably gorgeous to me.
If you are a friend of mine that likes to crochet, or wants to learn to crochet, Tara at soho would like to share this book with two of you. Leave a comment by Friday, December 3, 5pm EST, and I will have the random generator draw two names.

Happy December!

the chalkboard place mats

Do you remember the chalkboard place mats I told you about back in the spring? I told you how we made them and how you, too, can make some. Well, I got such great feedback and inspired some of you. I love that.
Well, you inspired me, too.
I knew I couldn't make them for others, (they are just too darn time consuming) but I thought maybe I could find someone to manufacture them (in the USA) for me. And you. And save everyone some time. So, over the past months, I have been working on this little project. With the help of a friend, found all the right people and an AWESOME product.
I truly can't say enough about these. They are thick and durable and oh, so, smooth, the chalk just glides. Speaking of the chalk, it is like it is magic. For some reason, it produces very little chalk dust. Gotta love that. They wipe clean with a damp cloth and look like new when they dry. They have bull nose edges, so they are careful on the hands. They are safe on your tabletop and will inspire all those in your family.
Have your little ones set the table and have fun while doing it. They can write the names and choose where everyone sits. They can practice spelling words and math problems. They can play tic tac toe and hangman. You can leave notes to others and yourself. You can draw yourself a pretty picture and smile at it all day long. You, and they, will use your imagination to come up with new uses. Trust me, there are plenty!
I opened a little shop so you, too, can have some in your home. They are sold in sets of four and include one box of crayola® colored chalk.
If interested, go take a look
Thank you... and have a beautiful day!


November 22, 2009
The two numbers the random generator chose were:
18, Geri
Congrats! Please e-mail me (address in sidebar) with your address and I will make sure they land in your hands.

My parents arrived today. My mom is currently on my Ravelry account looking for a new project to make for my father. She is sweet. (My father is currently washing my car.)

Happy Knitting!

mittens and gloves

I've been meaning to show this for quite some time.
Chances are you have probably already seen it out there. The book includes 40 of the best designs from Vogue Knitting magazine.
An entire chapter devoted to mittens, one to gloves, one to wrist warmers and a fun and funky section.
Super long, fair isle, motif's and cables.
I'm pretty sure you could find something for everyone on your gift list, including yourself. Time to get busy!

Tara over at Soho would like to give one (actually TWO!) to a couple of my readers. Leave a comment between now and Sunday the 21st at 12:00 EST and I will have the random generator choose two names.

By the way... the pattern links in the sidebar now work. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Also, I have added the yarn colors to my piece of pi and your piece of pi.

Have a great one!


Andrew is eleven. I'm not going to mention how hard it is to believe that, but it is.
Eleven balloons, chocolate croissants for breakfast, (Trader Joes. My friend Betsy turned me on to them... they are so good. Frozen, four in a box, check them out.) a ride to school and yellow smiley face cookies for the class.
Friends over, pizza and cupcakes.
It's good to be eleven.

Have a beautiful weekend!

this time

Oh, hey. I just wanted to let you know I realize you can't get the Libby pattern, the chunky knit beanie pattern or the package pillow pattern from the sidebar. I don't know what in the heck happened to them, but do know that I am working on it. Please give me a few days and then you should be able to access them. Sorry about that.
I also wanted to tell you that Sara is holding a little contest. If you would like to knit or crochet something for your favorite charity, then you are eligible to enter. All the details can be found here. Always a beautiful thing to knit for charity.
Loving the extra light, the sunshine and the frost on the leaves in the morning. You should see some of my morning get ups for walking Trouble. (And I'm not talking shoes.) You would think I am getting dressed in the pitch black. Always good to laugh at yourself.

the winner

Gosh. I'm so sorry I can only choose one winner for the Piece of Pi pattern and yarn. (It truthfully bums me out that you all can't win!) The random generator chose #569 Elizabeth Soule. Elizabeth, please e-mail me (address in sidebar) with your address, and I will make sure it ends up in your hands... you will soon be busy making three super cute hats!
As always, thanks for playing along.
xx, leslie

your piece of pi

Remember my Piece of Pi? Well, guess what? Nichole would like to give away her pattern (!) AND Classic Elite would like to give away yarn (That yarn! Up there! How great are those colors?) to one of my readers! How cool is that? So leave a comment here by Sunday the 7th, 12p.m. EST and I will have the random generator choose a number. Oh! And guess what else? Nichole is giving away the same thing, just different colors. So go ahead and enter hers, too!
See you Monday!

Above yarn: Classic Elite Fresco, 5335 Peacock, 5350 Ginger, 5336 Oatmeal, 5378 Alpaca Sox, 5322 Port Royal.


Thirteen balloons. Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast, a big hershey bar in her lunch box and her favorite soup in bread bowls for dinner, again.
A vanilla cake with purple buttercream icing. (Quite possibly the ugliest cake I ever made.) She loved every bit of it.
Thirteen beautiful years with a little girl that inspires me every single day.

queensland collection

It's one of those. A sweater that can be worn over and over and over. Doncha' think? I have always wanted to knit something like this but could never find the right combination of yarn and pattern. And since I am a girl that (usually) uses what the pattern calls for, I had a hard time finding that. The moment I saw this sweater and felt leche, I was sold.
This is what I worked on while on my trip. Stockinette pieces with a cable yolk. Just enough simplicity with a little detail to keep it interesting. Not too bulky, great for traveling. If you haven't attempted cables in a sweater before, this may be the project for you. Just a small section, perfect.
Yarn: Queensland Leche Shade #9 brown (but all I see is PLUM!)
Needles: 1 pair US6 and US8
Size: 32"-34" actual 36"
Modifications: none.
This pattern can be made for a little girl, too. You better believe Libby would have had one.

my piece of pi

L O V E this hat.
You know it's a good one when a couple of twelve year olds walk by you and say, "Cool hat, Mrs. Friend".
The pattern was fun, easy and a pretty quick knit. Nichole knit a couple of super cute variations. The possibilities are endless, really. It uses Classic Elite's Fresco. My first time working with this yarn which was super soft. I ordered the yarn from Sarah at Knot Another Hat. (I have told you how fast she gets her yarn to you, haven't I?) It may seem a little pricey, but you will have enough yarn to make three hats. So, there you go. You'll have three gifts or three new hats for yourself or one for yourself and two for your friends or special someone or kids or...
Happy November!

5335 Peacock, 5376 Moss, 5336 Oatmeal, 5378 Brown, 5301 Parchment .

a few things

There weren't any cookies baked over here this week. That doesn't mean baking didn't happen. Any recipe involving an apple seemed to be baked. I bought more apples for another pie for this weekend. Too bad one of the kids didn't want to be an apple for Halloween. That costume seems like it would be easier to make than a bush costume, (Charlie). We also have one ghost, (Andrew), and one still undecided, (Libby).
Tons of you probably already know this, however, I recently shared this with a friend that had never heard or thought of it... so I thought I would mention it here. If your button holes are too small for the piece of yarn and your tapestry needle, untwist yarn to single ply and use that along with a smaller needle to sew on your button. So simple.
Those mitts look really great long. (Knit until piece measures 10" before thumb shaping.) My sister finished hers on the plane on the way home from our trip. She's calling it the updated version. I like that. I also like using this yarn if making for a college kid or a person that may be hard on their things and want to throw in the wash with all of their other clothes (or lose them!). With this yarn they could do that. The price is sooooo right! One ball will make a pair, it really does knit up nicely.
Oh, that bag... is this bag (Supercalifragilistic). A total splurge, I know. One to use for years.
I have a few books waiting to find a home along with a super cute project. Next week.
Hmmmm. What else? I guess that's it.
Have a great weekend!


Favorite Memories:
-Today is free.
-The Acropolis. The Parthenon. Standing on those grounds. It really is unbelievable.
-Catching the changing of the guards at the Parliament. (Of course I noticed the gigantic pom poms on their shoes. Sorry I didn't get a photo. You would have loved them!)
-Meeting Sifis. Sifis owns a gorgeous (perfectly kept! seriously! check out that order!) three generation yarn shop in the heart of Athens. I met Sifis a few years ago through his flickr group. I knew our trip into Athens required a trip to meet him in person. I can't even begin to express how wonderful this time was with this very warm, generous, huge hearted man. It's hard to explain how we all felt. It was like we had all known him our entire lives. He took us to a local greek restaurant, where we ate the most delicious food of our entire trip, shared stories of our lives, laughed and cried. All happy tears. It could not have been a more perfect ending to our trip. All because of knitting. Lives knit together.

Thanks for letting me share my trip. I feel very blessed for that time with my mother, sisters and new friends.
Happy Knitting!