Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

I've been glued to the television since 4:00 am this morning watching the beautiful Kate Middleton become a princess by marrying her handsome prince.  Although I'm an American, I've loved the British Royal Family since I was very young.  I rose bright and early on a summer day almost 30 years ago to watch another beautiful young lady become a princess.  I think her son will make a better husband and his wife is more prepared for her new lifestyle.

The kisses (yes, 2 of them!) were so sweet.  I know his mother is smiling down on him today.

Now, on to my regular household duties and then some knitting.  Sadly, a nap will have to wait as my children are scheduled to either be picked up or delivered every 2 or 3 hours throughout the day and I have trouble relaxing enough to sleep when I know I have to leave that soon - always afraid someone will be left somewhere!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Old Pictures

My sister's birthday was Monday, so our family got together Saturday to celebrate.  My mother brought two copies of a picture from Easter 2002 of our four children - my 2 boys and my sister's 2 girls.

They are now from left to right 10 1/2, almost 13, 16 and 13 1/2.  It's so hard to believe how fast the time has flown and how this picture defines their personalities.  The one on the left is smart as can be, but don't try and make her do something she doesn't want to do.  The next one is sweet as sugar, always willing to help anyone.  Next is my oldest, very smart, especially in math, but recently (as in at age 14 1/2) diagnosed with ADD.  A little scatter-brained, but a wonderful young man.  Last, but not least is my youngest who NEVER liked to sit still and the look says it all.  He still likes to be on the move, and helps me in the yard when I need it.

Here are my two angels nine years ago.  I would love to jump back for a visit to those days!

And here they are now:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rainy Day for Knitting

Today is rainy, cloudy and just plain perfect for knitting.  I really need to weed the flower beds, cut the grass and rake up the stringy oak pollen, but that just can't be done in the rain, so...

...I will work on this...

...because I really need to finish clue #2 before clue #3 is released Friday.  Notice my golden lifeline?  Having frogged this thing 4 times already because I wasn't paying close attention and missed some yarn overs, I refuse to rip it back to the beginning.  So, after every repeat of the chart, a new lifeline goes in.  It's my insurance policy, like taking an umbrella to the baseball field - it keeps the rain away!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Unexpected KAL

I have so many knitting projects on the needles right now.  I'm working on the Lazy Day Shawl, the Horse Scarf (which is a Christmas gift), the languishing Irish Moss Sweater for my husband, and the Scrap Yarn Blanket.  I really need to finish some things, because there's discussion at my favorite ravelry group to start a cardigan KAL.  However, while participating in forum communications at said ravelry group, one trouble maker announced she was working on a Shawl KAL that had just started.  Being the never say no person that I have seemingly become, I looked at the first clue and other participants' progress.  I checked my stash and had the appropriate yarn.  So, here I go....

I will say, it's a challenging pattern for my abilities.  It's not a mindless project at all, but it's beautiful already and I can't wait to finish the second clue.  Above shows all of the first clue and 1/4 of the second.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My New Baby...

No, not a real baby, but something almost as exciting for me.  You see, I have had a Dell laptop for four years.  The first two years were blissful.  It was the most wonderful thing.  The last two years have been awful.  Viruses, the "h" and "shift" keys worked off and on.  It was slow.  I'd be in the middle of something online and I'd receive the lovely "internet explorer is not responding" message and have to restart the computer.  Then I had time to empty the dishwasher while the restarting took place.

I've complained and complained.  At this point, I must explain that I am a personal fiscal conservative.  I use coupons, buy cheap gas even when I have enough gas so I don't get caught using the expensive places, I don't have a lot of clothes, new car, huge house, etc.  However, when I do buy something important that I expect to use for any length of time, I try and buy the best I can afford.  My husband is all for buying the best, no matter what.

So, Thursday I bought this...

Can you tell I'm excited?  I've spent a few days getting to know the Apple way vs. the PC way.  Old dogs can learn new tricks, but it does take awhile!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Break

Ah! Spring Break.  No 5:30 alarms to start my day.  No driving to and from two different schools each day.  It's been even better so far, because my husband has been out of town (being fitted for new golf clubs), so I can sleep as late as I want.  He'll be home this afternoon, so tomorrow I will have to rise at a reasonable time.  It's only fair that I fix his breakfast if he's going to work, now isn't it?

The kids and I have been doing long needed yardwork.  Cutting grass for the first time time this spring, moving river rocks from around the trees left by the previous owner, weeding flower beds, and so on.  We've worked in the mornings and enjoyed the afternoons in the sunroom.  I've been knitting and listening to books and they've played video games or shot basketball in the driveway.

Also assisting in the yardwork has been Clover, my mini wirehaired dachshund.  He sticks so close that yesterday, we thought he had wandered off (very unusual for him), but found he had jumped in the car when I was getting something out.  He was perfectly happy sitting in the passenger seat waiting to go somewhere!

Tonight we have a baseball game and then more of the same tomorrow.  It's so nice to have my kids home all day.  It does make me realize my time with them is dwindling though.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ta Da!

I love these socks.  I finished them last night and took pictures this morning.  The cashmere in the Wanderlust yarn makes them soooo soft and squishy.  They feel so good on my feet.  I love the pattern, the little clouds that appear on the leg (it's also nice to be able to mindlessly knit the foot) and the chart is easy to memorize.  As others had mentioned on ravelry, they are quite snug getting over the heel.  I went up to a size 3 needle and they are still a bit tight, but wearable and quite comfortable once on.

Now, for the bad news.  All had been completed in the sunroom, blinds hung (all 13 of them!), furniture moved in and arranged, kids tvs/video games set up, and suddenly, the air conditioning wall unit began to drip.  Drip, drip, drip!  We quickly moved the tvs/video games and dried the shelf.  The air conditioning guy is coming this morning.  Hopefully, this little hiccup will be resolved quickly and easily.  But, if that's my only complaint, it's a good day!

Today, I'm knitting as much as I can.  We have baseball late tonight, with the younger son's team playing.  Then more knitting this weekend.  Next week is spring break for the kids, so that makes life much less hectic.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Getting back to normal

The final touches were completed on our sunroom renovation this morning.  Yesterday, I ran from one Lowe's store to the other in order to acquire the 13 aluminum mini-blinds needed to keep the strong sun from the southwest facing windows to a minimum and give us privacy at night.  I am almost finished installing the blinds and have had some wonderful assistance and supervision from Captain Jack.

I can't wait to get the furniture back in here and start knitting in the beautiful sunlight.  This room also houses the kids' video games, board games, etc.  It will be a nice room for our family to share.  Captain Jack seems to be the most enthusiastic "person" so far.  He truly enjoys the wide window sills.

Tomorrow, pictures of my finished Tuscany Cloud socks!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuscany Socks

The Tuscany Socks are coming along nicely.  I am pleased with the leg portion, despite it being slightly tight going over the heel.  It really is pretty and the way the little puffs show the colors of the yarn remind me of tiny clouds.
The first picture represents the colors of the yarn the best.  It's a periwinkle blue. 

On other fronts, the sunroom is almost finished and ready to be occupied.  This can't come soon enough, as we are stuffed to the gills with spare furniture in the living room.  Baseball continues to take a great deal of time.  The kids were dragging this morning after a late game last night and two are on tap for Wednesday.  We'll see if they go to bed early tonight - I'm betting they do not.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yardwork's cutting in on knitting time!

Spring has sprung and with it rain and tall grass.  So, this morning after dropping the kids at school and switching a load of laundry, I set out to cut the grass.  This is more difficult than it might appear, due to the resident mole hunter (aka Shiloh, the beagle).  He follows mole (or is it vole) tunnels, digs the critters out and kills them.  However, he never refills the tunnels, so our backyard is full of 8 inch deep canyons.  Sadly, my encounter with one of these tunnels has injured the self-propelled mechanism on the mower and I was only able to accomplish 2/3 of my task.

So, since dinner's in the slow cooker and laundry only requires a bit of attention, knitting is on tap for this afternoon.  I am glad I used a needle a size larger for the legs of my socks.  I tried them on yesterday and they were a bit snug.  Any smaller and they might be too snug over the heel!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday, at last!

I don't know why, but this has been a LONG week for me.  Nothing devastating has happened, it's just seemed to drag.  Maybe it's the beginning of baseball season and busier weekends and weeknights.  I don't know, I'm just glad it's Friday and we have very limited commitments for the weekend.

I began the leg of my Tuscany socks, using a lifeline (a brilliant suggestion from the writer of the Minding My Own Stitches blog.  So, the lifeline is in place and I am going up 1 needle size for at least the beginning of the ankle.  Most complaints have been about getting the sock over the heel of the foot, so we'll see.  If it's too baggy, my lifeline will be there!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Baseball, Sunroom, and Knitting

These three things are all consuming for me right now.   As for the baseball, the Junior Orioles' game began on shaky ground last night, but they came back to win in exciting fashion.  Michael (son #2) came home with a beautiful baseball impression on his ribcage which remains this morning.  He's sore, to say the least! 

Regarding the sunroom, it's ALMOST finished.  Just a door, some trim and a storm door to install and we'll be in business.  This room is where I plan to do most of my knitting.  I just can't wait until it's all ready!
There was also knitting yesterday.  I've completed the heels on my socks and am debating going up a needle size for the leg.  Others have suggested that the pattern makes for a tight leg and I'm concerned about that.  So, while I debate I continue on the Lazy Day Shawl.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ah, Spring!

Despite some wild weather yesterday morning, it's looking quite a bit like spring around here.  The Dogwoods are blooming, the grass is growing AND I'M SNEEZING!  But, that's ok.  Spring is wonderful. 

I've been knitting on my socks at baseball games and making slow but steady progress.  I've realized that I'm not a fast knitter.  I see blogs where people knock out an entire shawl or sock in one evening of knitting.  That is not me.  But, I think since I'm more of a process knitter, it's ok.  I really enjoy the whole process of a project, from selecting a pattern and yarn, knitting a swatch, and every part of the pattern.  Which is a good thing, considering I'm a relatively slow knitter!

We have another baseball game this evening, so more baseball knitting is on the schedule.  Hopefully, I'll make it - Captain Jack decided 4:00 was a great time to wake up this morning.  This is how he will spend the day:

Monday, April 4, 2011

What a Weekend!

Wow!  That's all I can say.  At the baseball field from 8 am to 7 pm on Saturday for Little League Opening Day festivities and both kids' baseball games then back to the field from 8 am to 6 pm yesterday for a tournament for my younger son's travel team.  We are worn out and the week is just starting - including two baseball games tonight!  Poor scheduling (and my dear husband is the scheduling dude for the little league!)

Anyway, all those hours did result in knitting time, except when it was so cold my fingers were blue.  I worked on my Tuscany socks to the beginning of the gusset and moved to the Lazy Day Shawl.  Our weather has been crazy.  Saturday was in the 50's, with lots of wind and several rain showers, yesterday was sunny and mid 60's, today will hit mid 80's. 

Here are the socks being modeled by my precious gray tabby, Captain Jack Sparrow:
The Captain loves yarn and enjoys sitting beside me while I knit.  Sadly, I have been surprised to be knitting along and come upon an unforeseen end to the yarn, thanks to my sweet kitty's chewing!

Friday, April 1, 2011

School Holiday

Today is a school holiday/teacher work day, so we're all at home today.  The kids are playing video games, since it's rainy outside and I'm being very lazy.  I think this is a perfect day to do some knitting and listen to my book.  I'm about halfway through Sense and Sensibilty, by Jane Austen.  I didn't read any of her books in school and really don't know why.  I do believe I appreciate them more now, though.

Work continues on the sunroom.  We now have heat, electricity and are having the trim installed today.  It's really coming along, with the floor being installed next week.  I can't wait for it to be finished and to sit by the window and knit my heart out!