my main(e) squeeze

Okay.  So this is the blanket that grew from Pittsburgh to Boulder.  I worked on it the entire road trip so that it could join Libby for her next adventures.  Her junior year of college and beyond.  
The finished project is a dream.  A nice heavy blanket.  Durable and pretty much indestructible.  Libby can throw it in the washing machine.  The instructions said to lay flat to dry, but I told her to throw it in the dryer.  I just can't imagine laying this flat to dry as it is heavy when dry.  I can't imagine how heavy it is when wet!
The yarn is super soft consisting of 80% acrylic and 20% alpaca.  Unfortunately, the yarn sheds like CRAZY!  We seriously had fiber flying around the car the entire trip.  It became pretty comical.  The one day I decided to wear black leggings was a big mistake.  Needless to say, I was covered in fiber.
The blanket also becomes very heavy.  So, while having it on your bed is a great thing, knitting on it can turn into a workout!
My main squeeze with her maine squeeze.  

The best thing is that Libby loves it, and I think she will always tie it to the summer we drove her to college.  I promise Libby was wearing clothes. 😌  I just love this photo.  It reminds me of when she was just a baby and I had her wrapped in a blanket.

Project:  Maine squeeze
Yarn:  Buttercream Lux Aplaca Solid, 14 balls or any bulky yarn.
Needle:  US 13

oh new york

I LOVE New York City. I mean, really love it. Everything about it. The food. Awe, come on. So many choices and so creative! The wine. Yep. Delicious. The shopping. I love it even though I'm not a shopper. (But the window displays are still my favorite.) The people. Yep. I love them. They walk around with such purpose, I'm in awe of their lives and what they are doing with their day.  But the thing I get most excited about is seeing the Purl Soho sign when I round the corner onto Broome Street.
I headed in with nothing in particular in mind to purchase.  I've only been to Purl Soho one other time, and I made that mistake then, too.  I wish I would have had a plan but I thought something would just jump out at me.  The problem was, LOTS of things jumped out at me.
I squished lots of yarn in my hands. Talked to the happy sales clerks.  People watched the other shoppers.  I wanted to ask everyone what THEY were buying and making.  In the end I purchased two skeins of Woolfolk Far.  (Delicious.)
I would like to swim in the yarn and fabric.  
Wouldn't that be lovely?

august knitcrate

August's knitcrate came in like a breath of fresh air. I just loved the cool colors I received in both of these crates! (You remember, that's part of the fun... you never know what surprise lies within!)
The theme for August's membership crate is Indigo Glow.  It's all about the stunning oceanic tones, deep teals, seashell pinks and stonewashed grays.  Each membership crate will get two skeins of one of Ura.Yarn Speckled Singles.
A new "brochure" instead of the single cards.  I really like this new look.  You still have the option to print out the pattern, however, now the patterns are included.  Bonus!  I also like all the information about the designers and dyers.
Yarn:  Ura.Yarn Speckled singles.  417 yards of single spun fingerling weight.  100% super wash merino.
Pattern:  Knit:  Gullywasher.  A triangle shawl with great texture designed by Carissa Browning.
              Crochet:  Caribbean Escape.  An expansive crochet shawl with epic fine designed by Jennifer Dickerson.
Ahhhhh.  The August Sock Crate.  A single hank of lovely sock yarn in one of two color ways.  My crate came with Seashell. However I would have been just as happy with Pearl; a beautiful pearly grey.
Yarn:  DagmarEir Lifeboat.  463 yards of 75% super wash merino, 25% nylon sockyarn.
Pattern:  Cascade Socks by Sandi Rosner.  (LOVE!)
Extra:  Cat-eared stitch markers perfect for this project!

If you still haven't tried a knitcrate, you totally should!  AND you can get 20% off your first crate using code FKW20.

road trip highlights

We packed a lot into these last couple of weeks.  August always seems a little nutty, but this year even more so.  I took Andrew to Alabama to get him settled into his new home away from home.  He will be playing golf at a Jr. College in Alexander City called Central Alabama.  It is the perfect fit for him.
We decided to get Libby to Boulder by ways of automobile!  A good road trip was just what we needed.  We rented a car in Pittsburgh (our home town) and started our journey.  First stop; Frankfort Michigan.
{Manitowic Breakwater Lighthouse}

We spent two lovely nights in that beautiful state.  Then started our journey west on the third day.  Across Lake Michigan on the S. S. Badger.   From Ludington Michigan to Manitowoc Wisconsin on a car ferry.  The 60 mile journey took us 4 hours.  And it was wonderful.  A beautiful day on the Lake.  We continued our trek (via highway) across Wisconsin into Minnesota and stopping for the night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Hitting the road early on the fourth morning anxious for the sights.  We had our eyes on the Badlands National Park.  And boy, it did not disappoint.  Absolutely breathtaking views around every corner.  
I knit the entire way (I mean, the entire way!) on a blanket I wanted to leave with Libby when I left her in Boulder.  A blanket for her new bed.  A blanket to remember the road trip.  (More on the blanket later.)
We were also most anxious to get to our hotel for the night.  And my goodness friends.  I can not say enough about this perfect place to sleep.  With Mount Rushmore in the distance, a tent equipped with a king sized bed, a sweet cot for Libby, tucked in the trees.  It was absolutely PERFECT.

{The fifth morning.  Still knitting on the blanket. } 

On our final day we spent the morning at this spectacular sight.  Mount Rushmore, which I have only seen in photographs, proved to be as splendid and moving as thought to be.

We rolled into Boulder around 7:25pm and I finished the blanket about an hour before.  My hands were as happy as my heart.

littler feet

August 20, 2008
Hello!  I am so sorry for not getting here sooner to announce the winner of Classic Kicks for Little Feet.  We returned last Friday from a fantastic road trip while taking Libby to college in Boulder.  I'll be sure to share some of the highlights, but wanted to make sure I announced the winner before.  That above photo was taken 10 years ago today.  My Charlie, who had littler feet than he does today! :)

The Random Number Generator chose number 33, Karen51.  Karen, please email me lesliemfriend @ gmail dot com and I will make sure the book lands in your mailbox!

classic kicks for little feet giveaway

Hey friends!  Helga Spitz has a new book out tomorrow!  Classic Kicks for Little Feet . (You really must click on that link to see the yumminess!)  OMG... It is TOO cute!
I guarantee that I would have made everyone of these for my kids when they were babies.
Libby said I should just start making some to have a supply for baby gifts when needed.  Great idea, Libby!
There are 16 patterns that mimic actual adult styles.  Created for babies from 0 to 9 months, every pattern is quick and easy.  They all use the same basic sole construction.
Since these projects are small, they don't require much yarn  Perfect for stash-busting.
They all have a sampling of fun embellishments like shoelaces, beads and zippers.
It really is the sweetest collection of baby goodness!

The sweet peeps at Sterling would like to give away a copy to one of my readers!
If interested in receiving a copy of Classic Kicks for Little Feet, please leave a comment here before Thursday evening (August 9) at 5pm EST and I will have the random generator choose a name.
*******
EDIT... I'm extending the giveaway until August 16.  I have been getting Andrew and Libby ready for college and all my time has gone to helping them and getting them to where they need to be.  Andrew is a freshman and is now settled into his place in Central Alabama where he will be playing golf.  And, we are leaving today for a road trip to get Libby back to Boulder for the start of her JUNIOR year!

july knitcrate

Oh my goodness was I ever excited to receive July's Knitcrate's. Honestly... JOY in a box!
The theme was Modern Primary.
"Explore a fresh look at the familiar rainbow with bold, intense color!  Tangerine, grass green and sunshine yellow play against navy and ultraviolet.  Mix and match this month's pigmented hues with rich neutrals and camel, caramel and stark white for pieces that pop!"
This months sock crate might have been my favorite.  I truly almost squealed when I saw the colorful insert, the bright yarn and the awesome project bag!  A reminder written on my bag on how to do Kitchener stitch?!  Well... that is ALWAYS necessary when I am knitting socks. I don't know why I can't ever remember that stitch!  Two beautiful possible colors to receive of the sock yarn.
Yarn:  Pictured Yarns in Tetra Colorway.  420 yards of 75% super wash 25% nylon.
Pattern:  Summer Rain by Hannah Woodhead
Extra:  Yep.  The most wonderful little project bag.
I really love the yarn + pattern I received with the membership crate.
There were four possible colors and to be quite honest I would have been happy with all of them!
I'm all over the knitting project for this one!  US size 10 needles makes this project a quick one.

Yarn:  Knitologie Bouncy Worsted.  180 yards of 100% super wash merino.  This color way is Dashboard.
Pattern:  As always, a knitting pattern and a crochet pattern.
              Knitting:  Beach Ball Cowl by Virginia Sattler-Reimer
              Crochet:  Yoga Socks by Virginia Sattler-Reimer

If you want to try a knitcrate, your first crate is 20% off when ordering with code FKW20!

motive

Meet Motive.  A new pattern named after my hair salon.  Because my hair stylist, who owns the salon, requested a pair of mitts as long as Toast but with more of a shape of Those Mitts.
Long enough to pull down over your fingers on those super cold days.  And can easily cuffed to free your fingers when you need to use them!
I added a heart to one mitt and like to wear it in the palm of my hand.  But since they are reversible can also be worn on the top of your hand.  Or you can add a heart to both mitts if you like.  Totally up to YOU!
The pattern is intended for a worsted weight yarn on size 6 needles.  I like to use Lion Brand Wool Ease because it can be thrown in the washer and dryer and wears amazingly well.  I also like the price point for a project like this.
The heart motif is written in a chart and row by row in case you don't like to follow charts.

The color combinations are endless!  I can't wait to try more combinations.  And, as my sweet friend Kristyn just mentioned, she is getting an early start on Christmas knitting with these!

what the fade

Okay.  I finally had Libby take some pics of my What the Fade.  Post swim hair and all.  
What the Fade was one of those projects that pushed me to try something new.  Brioche.  How in the world have I been knitting for 30 years and never tried this stitch?!  I love the texture and the reversed effect.  After I caught on, it became very methodical and relaxing.  But, let me tell you... it took me quite a while to catch on.  So much so, that the first attempt was frogged.  Too many mistakes which I tried to overlook but in the end I just couldn't.   It took me a couple of months to get the motivation to try again.
However, I did motivate, and I am extremely happy with the results.  
Just as soon as I was tiring of the Brioche stitch, the pattern introduces mindless garter stitch.  Oh ya. NOW I could travel with my project.  That's what I'm talking bout!
The mindless garter is perfect for the times when your people are all around.  Or those evenings on the patio with a glass of wine.  I love having a project like this.
But here's the thing.  I don't think I truly understood choosing fade colors until I got into the garter section of this project.  I feel that some of my colors are a bit harsh next to each other.  Next time I will choose colors with more like colors to fade into.  And although I love the bright fades I have seen on Ravelry, I know those are not the colors I would gravitate towards to actually wear.  
What the Fade bonus... it can be used as a lap blanket! 😊

OH!  I opted for 2 tassels instead of 3.  I didn't attach one to the bottom point.  I just didn't want to sit on it when I was wearing it as a shawl!

Pattern:  What the Fade
Yarn:  Knit Picks Dark Mood - Hawthorne (I see it's on sale!)
Needle Size:  US 3

something new

I'm not sure if I mentioned my whole quarter plan?  I don't think I did here.  (I did on my YouTube channel which I am going to get back into... soon!) So here goes. :)
I decided this year to break my year up into quarters.  January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December.  Each quarter I would be able to start new projects.  One for the head, heart (thank you, Darby), hands and feet.  So, the head would be hats or scarves.  The heart would be sweaters or shawls, the hands would be, well hands/arms.  The feet would be, well, feet/legs!
And... If I finished the project during those 3 months then I would not be able to start something new. I would have to go to my unfinished projects and work on those.  I hope this helps me from starting too many without finishing my other projects first!

SO... yesterday I started my feet project for this quarter.  They will be socks for Libby and I just loved the color.  It's a Knitcrate sock crate :: yarn and pattern from June.  The five o'clock somewhere socks.  AND... I was so excited to pull out my new small project bag for this project.  LOVE it!  Sandy makes these bags and has a shop update monthly.  The bags can be pretty hard to snag but if you happen to be reading this before noon on the 12th, head on over to her site.  She has an update today!

straightening

I am really dragging out my What the Fade! 😊
I did make the tassels on Saturday.  I'll be sewing them on later today.  But wanted to mention that I had to tear apart my first attempt at my What the Fade.  I literally didn't have any yarn left in a couple of the colors except what was in my first attempt.  
 However, since it had been sitting as stitches it was wavy when I unraveled it.  I didn't think curly tassels would look as nice as straight, but I actually considered that it might be fun.
(See... first attempt with too many mistakes on the right.)
I hung the tassels on the fence for a nice dry and voila!  Straight yarn tassels.

Happy Day, Friends!

time for tassels

I debated on if I wanted to add the tassels to my What the Fade, but my sister convinced me that it would be fun. And if I ever became tired of them, I could just snip them off.  SO... today I will be making three tassels.  Sounds like a fun thing to do on a Summertime Saturday.

Happy Saturday!

a happy fourth

It's about 95˚ today and I couldn't be happier. Front porch knitting in the heat? Im in! Especially when I have a new project. Ya, I agree. Working on a large project draped over my legs would not be fun.
I started Oak out of Plain & Simple.  I must tell you that this book is A M A Z I N G!  I truly want to knit each and every pattern. (Thank you, Jane!)  I decided to start with Oak.  But who knows,  I truly might knit each one.  A personal goal like that would be fun!
And, because I don't want to forget and thought maybe I would share... Purple potato salad.

I've been working on healing my eczema from the inside out.  If you have been around this blog for very long, you will remember, I have attempted this in the past.  But never to this degree in regards to determination and willpower.  Working with a naturopath, I have been doing the elimination diet.  I have not omitted night shades or eggs, but pretty much everything else.  Dairy, Gluten, Grains, Legumes, and anything out of a package.  I think it is basically Whole30 with a little wine thrown in for good measure.  (It's summer afterall!)  The ingredients are below.  If you need any help with specific directions, please let me know!

Purple Potato Salad:
1 1b purple boiled potatoes cut into pieces.
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3 green sliced scallions
1/2 cup fresh chopped, parsley
Salt and Pepper

Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 small avocado
juice from 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper
Blend on high in the Vitamix for a thick creamy mixture.

I'll be serving this today!
Happy 4th Ya'all!

about to fade

1 ridge = 2 rows
1 row = 18 min
1 ridge = 36 min
Left to do:  7 ridges
How I figure I have approximately 4 hours left to knit on my What the Fade.
Which makes me pretty happy because I gave myself a July 1 deadline.
I look forward to casting off all 569 stitches.
Thank goodness for hot Saturdays with nothing planned.

june knitcrate

I think I have mentioned before, but I have never been disappointed with a Knitcrate. You remember what it is, right? A yarn subscription service where a surprise box of yarn arrives in your mailbox! You can choose a monthly option or not. It's all up to you.
This months theme is Ice Scream!  Yes.  I sort of let out a little yelp when I opened this box.

The fresh neons and icy brights of this month's shipments have you screaming for more.  Celebrate the season with these popping, primary tones with a twist.  These electric hues remind us of afternoons spent poolside, energetic beach towns, and the sizzling heat of summer days.  

The yarn is just soooooo yummy.  And although I am not a huge shawl maker, I thought the knit pattern that came with this months crate had me all... whoa.  That fringe!  I love fringe.
The Membership Crate:
Yarn: 2 skeins of Vidalana.  80% Superwash Merino, 10% Nylon and 10% Cashmere.  That cashmere gives it that super deliciousness.   (There are four different colors.  I just happened to receive Chewy.)

The patterns.  As always, there is both knit pattern and a crochet pattern.

Knit pattern:  Minty Fresh by Taiga Hilliard.  A traditional triangular shawl amped up with a leaf lace motif and fringe.  I love it.

Crochet pattern:  Lemoncello by Kalurah Hudson.  A lightweight poncho that can be worn a multiple of ways.  I really like this, too.  If I was a crocheter I would consider making this.  But knitting is my one true love.

As always, a $63.00 value for $24.99.

If interested in ordering, use the code FKW20 to receive 20% off your first knitcrate!  (Code works on all crates.)

three generations

6.13.18

Before our summer schedules become too crazy, we took a quick trip to Florida to visit my sweet mother.
I miss my mom every day.

and then this happened

6.10.18 

Yep.  It happened.  Time rolled on like the speed of lightning and my baby graduated from High School.   I started this blog when Andrew went to kindergarten.  It's so hard to believe that just like that, he has now graduated.

I truly encourage anyone who wants to document snippets of everyday life to start a blog.  Although this is and has been mostly a knitting blog, having moments of my everyday life sprinkled into my blog is one of the greatest gifts I have given myself.  I love, love, LOVE looking back on the years and seeing what we were up to during different years.  I usually always pick a year from my archives and look at a particular month.  Always, ALWAYS with a smile.

Andrew will be headed to school in less than two months.  A new chapter will then begin.  I've been having many talks with myself.  Telling myself to embrace this new chapter.  I think it's now beginning to soak in.  I know it will be filled with college visits and care packages and travel. And of course, knitting.

It's gonna be a great new chapter.  Just like the last.

catch up

I think June usually kicks my butt every year. That wonderful, crazy transition from a scheduled life to a completely different sort of day. Having all three kids home (YAY!) just makes more of everything. More food, more cooking, more laundry, more waiting, more scheduling, more traveling, more conversations, more errands, just more, more, MORE!
I headed to Beaver Creek, Colorado at the beginning of the month to meet my sister, Shelly and my friend, Kam.  It was a weekend devoted to, you guessed it... KNITTING!  Honestly, I think that everyone should have a weekend with friends/family and yarn at least once a year.  Stay in your jammies, drink coffee and knit.  Head to lunch, order wine and knit.  Jammie up early, chat and knit.  It was perfectly, perfect!
One afternoon we headed out in search of a yarn store.  We found the yarn store but it was closed.  The sign said "Closed for shearing"!  We were pretty bummed as google wasn't showing any other yarn stores in the area.  So we decided to head to wine, I mean lunch and as we parked the car, discovered there was a new yarn store right next to our lunch spot!
I immediately made myself right at home! :)  

Maker + Stitch is a beautiful yarn shop located in Edwards, Colorado.  An absolute full and lovely selection of yarn with two of the sweetest owners you'd ever want to meet.  It had me wishing that this shop was in my neighborhood.

sunset highway

Well, your friend to knit with actually has some finished knitting to show you!
This sweater was a true delight to make.  The perfect amount of pattern to keep you concentrating and knitting to keep you on cruise control.  
The yarn was dreamy.  Truly light and lofty.
The only thing about this sweater is... I never wear these colors.  I do wish that the purple was navy and then it might fit into my wardrobe better.  When I ordered it, I thought it was navy.  But, the colors made me happy while I knit.
I didn't make a single modification to the overall sizing.  Sleeve length and body length are knit the way the pattern was written.
However, I opted to make the bottom straight around and not longer in the back.
Oh, Hi!  Libby was so opposed to taking this shot.  She said that I looked so uncomfortable and that I would never stand like this.  I told her to take it anyhow.  I want to show the sleeves.
I'll giggle every time I look at this. 😊

Pattern:  Sunset Highway
Yarn: Lizzie-Anne Yarns  (Sold as a sunset highway kit.)
Needle: US 2 for sleeve hem and neck.  US 4 for body and sleeves.
Size: S