a different thumb for toasty

Have you ever been somewhere when your pattern calls for you to place live stitches on a holder and you don't have the correct materials to do so? Ya, me too.  And that is pretty much why I did this thumb and have grown to like it.  Not that I won't sometimes go back to the other thumb.  But, this one just works, too.  So, I thought I would show you in case you would like to give it a try.
And for my visual friends (Hi Barbara!) I thought I'd not only tell you, but show you.

The pattern is Toasty.  Remember there is Toast, too.  No thumb to even knit in Toast!
There is also always a link in my sidebar.
After 7" of working the pattern in the round, start working stockinette.  Purl a row, Knit a row.
Work for 9 rounds.  Thumb opening will measure 1.5 inches.
Join to work in the round again and knit until above thumb opening measures 2-2.5 inches.
Bind off.
Pick up 15 stitches around thumb opening.
Knit for 5 rounds.  Bind off.
Sew in your ends.
Wave to your friends.

Hi friends!

Cast on again and repeat.  :)

our favorite pant

Well, that was a quick but lovely trip to Florida.  We refilled our tanks with quality family time.  I feel completely blessed.
Whenever my sisters and mom and I get together, we pack "party favors".  It's fun and exciting.  Most of the time my sisters give better gifts than me.  And they did again this time, but I was feeling pretty good when I passed out my gift. 
My old little Kenmore and my beloved serger.
It had been a while since I pulled out the sewing machine.  And even a bit longer since I made us new lounge pants.  The pattern is in Amy Butler's In Stitches Book.  I couldn't love this pattern more.  
I shop for 100% Cotton, Vintage sheets that cost a few dollars.  Or raid the linen closet with sheets that haven't been used in a while.  (Shhh.) Using a sheet is such a great thing because of the amount of fabric and the finished edges.  
I use the top of the sheet for the bottom of the pant.  It acts like a great cuff.  Just measure the inseam you need and put the bottom of the pattern on the "cuff" of the sheet.  No hemming!  
 And I snip off the top of the sheet for the draw string.
A tank top from Old Navy and you have the most comfy lounge wear you have ever worn.  Honestly. (I made myself a pair, too!)
It takes me about an hour from start to finish to make a pair.   It truly is a gift that keeps on giving!

our amazing planet

Greetings from the beautiful state of Florida.  We met my mom and sisters for a few days of family time.  What a gift.  And, what a amazing world we all share.  SO grateful.  
I've been sprinkling a bit of sand into my Princess Fiona.  Finished the front and am onto the sleeves. 
And just like last year, I'd like to celebrate by offering you all 15% OFF your order of the chalkboard place mats.  It's an earth friendly product, made in the USA, that helps celebrate life.  Use them over and over to leave love notes, practice school work, play games decorate for the holidays.  It really is the gift of green.

Enter the coupon MIRACLE to receive 15% off of your order at checkout.  Coupon will expire on April 27, 2015.  Coupon code is good on either site.

Have a super beautiful Earth friendly day!

getting there

Some weeks just call for these brownies.
Especially when you are trying to finish the body of this sweater.

Happy weekend friends!

lily + libby

 These two have been long distance friends for about 8 years.
And, we owe it all to knitting.  After all, I met Amanda through our knitting blogs and shortly after, we realized that we each had a daughter the same age.  (Actually, only 5 days apart!) So, we started them out as pen pals and with social media, they have kept their friendship growing.
We are filled with gratitude that the France family drove 3.5 hours to meet us.  Meeting Amanda was one of the highlights of my trip to England.  And I owe it all to this passion that we both share.  Knitting.  Isn't it amazing.  Lives woven together just like our projects.  I will never underestimate the power of knitting.
Lily started knitting when she was young and is amazing.  Not only does she knit, but she also designs and publishes her patterns.   (Of course, she knit her fabulous sweater!)
The rest of this post will be in Libby's words.  As I asked her to write a little something just like she did when she was 9.
 At the end of our United Kingdom journey, my stepdad asked us all what was the most life changing thing we experienced that week. I, without a doubt in my mind, said finally meeting Lily! Lily and I first started to get to know each other when we were only 9 through writing letters back and forth; we were pen pals. And after eight years of being in touch over letters and social media, we got the perfect opportunity to meet. I was beyond excited when I found out Amanda and Lily we're going to make a visit to where we were staying in the UK. Lily and I instantly clicked and it felt like we had been best friends for years. She has such a sweet disposition and I felt like we could talk about anything together. My mom, Amanda, Lily, and I sat for three hours just talking about absolutely anything, and it was SO fun! We also had to take some pictures, of course. 
By the end of the day, Lily and I were already planning our next visit to each other! We were both so sad when we had to say goodbye, because it truly felt like saying goodbye to a longtime best friend. BUT, not goodbye for long because we are definitely going to visit each other within this next year! I think it's so amazing for both Lily and I to be able to say that we have a bestie in another country. So, to say the least, finally meeting Lily was my absolute favorite part of the trip, and more than I even imagined! She and her mother are such wonderful people and Im so glad my mom and I could finally get to know them. Never would have thought pen pals would come this far! 

xoxoxo Libby

spring break 2015

My mother took my sister's and me to London when we were young.  I couldn't wait to dig out the photos when we returned from our trip last week.  I have 9 photos.  They each were so special and brought back a flood of memories.  I hold those photos so dear to my heart.  It was a such special time.  And a wonderful trip.
I also couldn't wait to download the photos from our trip last week.  We had a fabulous time and I think my children will hold it and the photos close to their hearts.  But they will have about 600 photos.  Ha!
 We arrived in the Fizrovia neighborhood feeling a little woozy from our travels but totally excited to explore.
And, these 10 feet took us around town feeling very grateful.

Excerpts from Andrews journal (That he dictated for me! )
 Notting Hill.  Beautiful.  Portobello Market.  Take more cash next time.  Fabulous flee market finds.  Bought: nothing.  Pizza for lunch at a corner Pub. 
Some of us were very tired.  (Too tired to even smile.) 
Just want to head back to the flat to go to sleep.  Libby and I slept so hard we never heard when mom set off the fire alarm.  Ya, she pushed the button thinking it was the light switch and it went off for 5 minutes until Steve could figure out how to turn it off.  
We went on the London Eye.  A must to see all of London.  
 Big Ben looked, well, Big.  
 We went on a tour through the tower of London.  It was really cool.  The Ravens were cool, too. We went to mass at Westminster Abbey.  It was so much fun to see where Kate and Prince William were married.  (I made my mom wake me up in when I was in fifth grade to see the entire wedding.)
We went to a Pub for fish and chips.  I was bummed the drinking age was 18.  Steve took us to the Grenadier.  It was so cool.  There was money attached all over the ceiling to pay off a man's debt that was killed because he apparently cheated at a game of cards.  They say it is haunted.  I didn't feel any ghosts.
We went to the Natural History Museum.  There was a Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit. It was amazing.  I liked the photo of the scorpion that the 8 year old took.  Liesl, Libby and mom went to the V & A to see the Alexander McQueen Exhibit and then to have tea.  While, Steve and I went to the Imperial War Museum.  I felt like I was traveling through time and proud to be an American. 
We went to Duck and Waffle to eat lunch.  The lift took us 40 stories up and is on the outside of the building.  Libby was afraid.  She doesn't like heights.  Mom took us to Wool and The Gang where we met Ali.  Mom really loves her yarn.  And then we went to see Abbey Road and try to reenact the Beatles album cover.  I was totally embarrassed.  We had dinner and then went to the theater to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.    It was awesome!
Mom, Libby and I went to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards and then met Steve at the British Museum.  Libby and I were tired, so we sat most of the time in the lobby, while mom and Steve looked at the Lewis Chessmen, the Mummies and they really liked the Big Marbles.  We then went to get Liesl after her classes and took a train to Taplow then to the Taplow House.  We had dinner in the hotel restaurant and then played a game with Belinda and Samir.  Two other hotel guests who asked if we wanted to play.  It was really great laughing and listening to them talk.
 We were told the queen was in the Castle which was fun to know.  I loved that old Windsor Castle.  

The last day was spent with the France family.  (Mom is going to tell you all about that in her next post. ) And then to the Hinds Head for dinner.  Yumm!

I loved England.  And can't wait to go back.