Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunday Shawl blues.............





Ladies I had a vision for this beautiful yarn a bought a few weeks ago.  I stopped by the yarn store just before school was out, treating myself to some new yarn to get me through the summer.  Now you and I both know that is ridiculous, because frankly I can stop by at least one day a week because I am close by due to work.  Still somehow I justified it all in my head and I bought more yarn.   

My vision was using these three colors to make some sort of color block shawl.  I envisioned fan shapes or something like that and failed miserably to find a pattern that suited my aspirations for this yarn.  I researched Ravelry, I spent many hours on Pinterest and could not find the right pattern.  So I tried to make a pattern work.  Let me just saying forcing yarn to turn into a project it is not meant to be for is a big no-no.  Yarn knows what it wants to be.  Sometimes it will wait years in your stash for just the right project.  It will simmer, nudging its way to the top of the stash just when you need it.  I should have listened.  

I kept coming back to this pattern, the Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland.  Let me just say this pattern is wonderful, well worth the money as it is so descriptive.  You will never be lost in it.  It is wonderful and darn if I should have actually done what the pattern said.  I am not saying this finished shawl isn't nice, it is it just is not my vision of what I wanted this yarn to become.  But as I have said before, time is not ever wasted when playing with yarn.  I am putting this in my gift bin, to be given to someone in the future.  It was still made with love, it was still made by me, it just is not what I had envisioned and so therefore it is going in time out just for a little bit.  I can't punish a project for too long when it was me who made the error.

The particulars are Juniper Moon Farm Zooey yarn in the shades toasted coconut, carnation pink and sloop.  Approximately 200 yards of each color,  give or take a little here and there.  I used a size H hook but could have gone up a size. 

I know I will make the Sunday Shawl again because if you know me at all you know I am obsessed with making things the right way.  Well that is once it has not worked well, which would make you think I would be more careful when selecting a project and yarn.  I am also obsessed with making things several times so it is just a matter of time before this gets back on the hook.  Actually I am searching for yarn already, see my friends I am not well!

I am struggling with my Mezzaluna crescent wrap.  I am thinking my brain is not working really well these days as I can't read the pattern right.  I found some other alternatives to the written pattern in the projects pages here and here.  I seem to be able to understand these directions better.  They might help you too if you are so inclined to make this along with me.   I think I am just plain tuckered out from work, the heat, family life, etc.  

This is a special weekend for one little boy I know.  More on that later.  Hope you all are having a wonderful week. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The zoo actually has animals......




Little Buddy and I had a surprise adventure to the zoo today.  I have not been the best Mom lately, I am frankly too tired on the weekends to do much.  I decided last night that no matter how tired I was today we were heading out for some fun.  I am so glad we did because Little Buddy was brave enough to actually ride a zebra on the carousel, last year we could only sit on the bench.   On top of the three carousel rides he also rode on the train three times.  We went on the wild banana ride once, he gets a little nervous before it starts because it makes a loud noise.  Once he gets going he makes that wild banana fly high into the sky.

I talked him into actually seeing animals this visit.  He really likes the rides and the water area, and I don't blame him because it was mighty hot and humid while we were there.  He walked a LONG way with his walker and those little legs of his.  He was plum tuckered out after seeing some animal friends.  Here is a bit of what we were able to see.


Penguins.  Yup, we have some here in hot Florida, the water they swim in must be sooooo cold!


A black bear.  He looked very hot in all that fur.


The manatee exhibit is my favorite and not because it is inside and nice an cool and dark.  This zoo is a rehabilitation hospital for manatees.  They are very successful in helping them return to the wild after they have been ill or injured.  This is a baby above.  She/he was just hanging out at the bottom of the tank for a while then headed up to the top to get a breath of air.  Her Mom  was always near by keeping a close eye on her. 


Little Buddy loved this area as he could really see them up close.  There were fish and turtles in the tank, too.


This turtle was massive.  She kept swimming by us over and over again.


They have two gorgeous rescued bald eagles.  They are so regal.


There was also a special exhibit with robotic dinosaurs.  Little Buddy did not seem to impressed, Mr. 20 would have loved this when he was little.  He knew every dinosaur there was and what period they were from.  Some dinosaurs were life sized and made movements and sounds.  I sure would not want to run into Tyrannosaurus Rex with all those teeth!

We made it two whole hours, which is a long time for a little one to walk around with his walker in the heat and humidity of Florida.   I am not crazy about zoo's but I am glad that ours has space for the animals and that they are treated well.  There is a large area with elephants, giraffes and zebras where they can roam.  We will see that next time. 

Hope you are having a cooler weekend than us!  Happy Father's Day to those of you celebrating.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Signs of Sunday.............




It has been quite a week my friends.  I have been a crazy woman at work, have the normal stresses of being a Mom and all the worries that go along with it, and don't even get me started on politics and all that is happening there.  There have been positives and negatives all around.  We have finally gotten some much needed rain.  We were in a severe drought even as those states north of us have been inundated with rain.  My flowers are flowering and my grass is green.  Unfortunately two plants I rescued from my parents have finally died.  It makes me sad as I have nursed them through mites and fungus, but they just can't survive any more.


I treated myself to new nail polish.  Living in Florida my toes are on view most of the year.  I never seem to find the perfect polish color but I think I have a win this time.  Baguette Me Not by Essie.  It is the perfect shade of soft lilac.  Here is a little hint that I recently read about.  If you have dry feet or cracked heels like I do put castor oil on them before bed and they will be soft and wonderful.  I now do this every night and it looks like I have had a pedicure which I have not done for months.  By the way castor oil is also great for scars, just rub some in twice a day and you will be surprised how wonderful that scar will look.


This latest project is the Sunday Shawl is not turning out how I had envisioned it would.  See here I go again making my own interpretation of the design and it isn't working.  Or maybe these colors are not working.  Or maybe I am not working.  Regardless I crochet on because if I am sitting still these days I have a hook in my hand and you will have to pry it out of my fist if you want me to do anything else.  I simply cannot stop crocheting.  I think this just might be a disaster, only time will tell.


The good news is that it is only yarn that will be wasted, time is never wasted when playing with yarn.  There is always more yarn and more patterns to choose from, the possibilities are endless.   The Great Adirondack Yarn Co., Well Dressed Sheep yarn above is a recent purchase.  It is soooooo bright and colorful, not my usual thing.  When cruising patterns on Ravelry I found the Mezzaluna Crescent Wrap  and thought this yarn would be perfect.  Maybe it will be a win or a loss, regardless I will give it a try and see how it all works out.  Part of the fun is just seeing if your guess work results in a great finished project.  If it doesn't then you can always frog it and begin again.


After the smiling photo of Max from last post I now have a sad boy.  His left leg gave out three times in the kitchen today.  Bless him that has not happened for a while.  When I got him up he went directly to the door and walked around outside for a bit.  The pavement is easier for him to grip with his paws, much easier than the wood floors in my house.  I put rugs in his favorite areas and now he is confused and is laying down in other places.  He likes the coolness of the floor and doesn't understand it is easier to get his feet under him if he is on a carpet.  He is back on pain meds for a few days to see if we can get him through this tough time.  It has been almost exactly one year ago that he was so horrible for weeks that we did not want him to suffer any longer.  I will keep my eye on him because the greatest gift I can give him after all of his love and loyalty is no suffering.


Somebody got new braces and to the delight of the men in the house Little Buddy is sporting some Green Bay Packer love.  The options were slim when we were picking the braces out  a few weeks ago.  Camouflage, superheros, plain or professional sports.  I think they will make him look a bit older as he moves into kindergarten this Fall.  I will miss the cars and trucks of his last pair, that is really where he is developmentally.  But at least now he looks like a big boy and the whole Wisconsin contingent of the family will be thrilled.


Little Buddy wears Crocs with his braces.  They are easy to get on and are wide enough for the brace to fit.  We went to the Croc store on Friday and they had a buy one, get one at 50% off.  He goes through these shoes pretty quickly so I bought him three pair, which left room for a pair for me.  I am in love with these flowered shoes!  Aren't they fun?  I plan to wear these to work because they can be easily wiped off.  I am on the floor all day long.  I get spit up on and well you can only imagine as I work with many babies.  If someone has an accident I can just wipe these off and go on with my day.  A win-win I'd say.

Speaking of Little Man he has passed on his wee cold to me.  Mom's do have a way of picking up their children's germs.  Maybe it is because this boy of mine is so kissable, I am always smooching him.  My cold is not major, actually just minor enough to keep me irritated or think everyone is trying to irritate me on purpose!

Hope your weekend was beautiful and peaceful.  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Test crochet for Teresa and some Twiddle Mitt fun......




My dear friend Teresa has a wonderful stitch pattern she uses for blankets.  She wrote up the pattern and asked for testers so I climbed on board.  You can find her pattern here.  This is a wonderful pattern that is easy to memorize.  I decided to make small versions and incorporate them into twiddle mitts for Kathy B.  Helping two blogging friends at once is perfect I'd say.

First, the pattern by Teresa is really simple.  In her directions it is a two row repeat which is really fun and makes a beautiful fabric.  The pattern is in multiples of three and easy to remember.  I made the first mitt in just a few hours.  The second mitt I miscounted, which is not unusual for me, and found out that is works just as well and then actually is just a one row repeat, easy peasy.  I am wondering how it would look in a very fine yarn made with a big hook, a very drapey scarf or shawl.  I  think it would be perfect.  

The mitts were made with Vickie Howell Sheepish yarn that has been in my stash forever.  Actually I don't think they make this yarn anymore under this name.   I used a size I hook.  Two mitts made with one skein of yarn so a total of 160 yards.  All the doodads were from my work stuff.  I hope they make someone suffering from alzheimer's or dementia very happy.

Max was peeking at me this morning out the sliding glass door as I attempted to take photos of the mitts in the rain.  It was too dark out so I had to venture inside and take them under artificial light.   My boy is still smiling, that makes me so happy.

For those of you in London, you have my greatest love as you travel through yet another day of senseless violence.  Know that those of us from around the world are on your side.  Most of us American's are with the world even though after this past week and withdraw from a very important agreement, it does not appear that way.  Most of us do not agree with the ridiculous people in charge of our government, know that. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Queen Anne's Shawl..............






I finished my latest project on Tuesday, the Queen Anne's Shawl.  This is a really easy project if you have the brain power to count, which to be honest on most nights I do not.   The lace chart is very easy and it also has written directions if you like that better.  

Made with Berroco Modern Cotton in the color #6624 or Salty Brine.  It is a a slightly green, slightly blue color that is perfect for summer.  I made this with one skein of yarn, so around 300 yards, and a size H hook.  Next time I make this, which if you know me at all will be right away, I will make it with a bigger hook.  The original pattern calls for a fingering weight yarn and a larger hook so the shawl has more drape.  I chose a bigger hook, just not big enough to make it look like the photo in the pattern.

Ah well, live and learn my friends.  Even after all of these years playing with yarn, 30 years if I am counting correctly, there is always more to learn.  And frankly if I would just pay more attention to the pattern directions and yarn suggestions I would have a lot less to learn.  

While I think this will be fun to drape across your shoulders with the coolness of a summer evening, I really like it wrapped around your neck.  I think a summer scarf is so much fun.  Alas this is not for me.  First of all it is never cool enough in the evenings here to wear it and I never go out anywhere fun to put it on.  I am working so much that frankly I want to stay home when I can.  I am a bit boring that way.  I know exactly where it is going.  I think my projects whisper a name to me while working on them and once that thought is in my head there is just no changing it.  Hope my friend will like it.

This weekend I am working on Twiddle Mitts that my dear friend Kathy B is requesting in honor of her lovely Mother who has recently passed away.  Kathy's mother suffered from Alzheimer's Disease and Kathy is requesting these fun mitts to help others suffering from it also.  My Mother had Dementia but did not fidget or twiddle, she simply stopped moving.  Regardless of the disease it is so hard to see your parent suffer.  I hope to get two out to Kathy by next week.  I am sure she would love some help if you would like to join in.

Hope you are having a good week.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Where is my three day weekend?





Yesterday Little Buddy and I picked up our friends, two little ones I work with, and spent the entire day with them.  Their Mother is recovering from breast cancer surgery.  She had it last Tuesday and all the preliminary reports are looking very good.  Still we thought she and her family should get some rest, they still have two medically complicated babies to attend to.  

We picked up the ladies at 9:00 in the morning and headed directly to the splash park where everyone had a great time.  After the park it was home for lunch and play time all afternoon.  We were getting our pool enclosure and deck pressure washed so there was no time for swimming.  It did not seem to matter, these three were very active indoors.  You might recognize the girls from the wedding Little Buddy was in in February, their older sister was the bride.   After loads of playing, lots of refereeing on my part and a little time out for Little B who did not listen to Mom and went potty in his pants, we were off to dinner out.  Yup, me and three little ones.  It went really well and we returned them at 7:45, getting back to our house by 9 in the evening.  You would think this little one would have slept in today, I sure did, but no he informed me he does not sleep in on Sundays.  

 Today Little B went to the kids museum in Tampa with Dad while I cleaned up the mess outside left over from the pressure washing.  The kids museums in Tampa and St. Petersburg both have special Sundays were kids with special needs can attend without the crowds, lights and loud sounds.  Little Buddy can handle the lights and sounds but sure needs a bit of extra space to get around without the crowds getting in his way.


I also ran out to buy a few more flowers.  My spring flowers have all died and I am not sure how these new ones will do in the heat.  It is really hot here already, yes it is the end of May, but it is still just so hot.  These will be the last flowers I plant until October when things cool down a bit.  I felt a bit ill after just planting 11 plants in the heat of the day.  No more planting for me.


My gardenias are at the very end of their blooming cycle.  They have been blooming and blessing me with their gorgeous smell since mid April.  This is the only one I could find without brown leaves on it.  I will miss them.  I am always jealous of all of you with your lilacs, peonies and gorgeous summer blooms.  In the harsh summer temps in Florida we can't grow your beauties but we do have azaleas and gardenias in the spring. 


This afternoon I hope to work on this shawl.  The Queen Anne's Shawl by Rebecca Velasquez.  I have had this pattern in my pattern stash forever.  I bought this gorgeous Berroco Modern Cotton a few weeks ago and thought it would be ideal for this project.  I know I have already made it wrong, I should have used a much bigger hook to get more drape, yet I have not pulled it out.  There is a LOT of counting in this baby and frankly my brain can't handle starting over.  I will just see how it goes and start a new one when I am done.  You know me it is all about the process with not a lot of concern about the outcome.  I do care, and really should be making more things I actually use but with so many fun patterns to try you have to go with what strikes your fancy.

I am working a short day tomorrow.  There is no three day weekend for me.  I don't get paid days off or paid holidays so I try to work when I can.  With all of my medically fragile patient's doctor appointments and of course Little Buddy's, I tend to miss more work then I would like.  Hope you are having a fun weekend.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Little B's big day...........





Little B had a big day yesterday.  He had his moving up ceremony, he is headed to Kindergarten next Fall.  While I do think they make a bit much with all the hoopla it was a fun event.  Little B sang all the songs, made lots of the hand movements, and even had a speaking part introducing a song all by himself.  He walked in with his walker because a friend had his, and did the rest of the ceremony with his crutches.  I have to admit that I did cry a few tears.  That is after I laughed and laughed at him singing and trying to keep that hat in place.  My eldest son could not believe I was crying a bit, it was not because of the day it was because of how far he has come.  Truly this boy was born dead, at just 27 weeks gestation, and had every complication you can imagine.  So yes, I did get a bit emotional because he is so amazing.  He is so darling and I just love him to pieces.  All the teachers and therapists at school also got a bit misty eyed, they know how far he has come.  This extra year in preschool has been a miracle for him, he is reading, doing simple math, writing his name and his letters, focusing a bit better, socializing more, and getting around on his crutches except for walking  long distances which he does with his walker.  He is ready now.  Watch out Kindergarten, here he comes!

By the way thank you for the warm welcome back.  I have enjoyed getting caught up with all of you.  Hope you have a great day.