Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wow, has life changed.

I can't believe how different life is when you get older. When I was starting my family, sleep wasn't in my vocabulary. Now granted, I had just turned 19 when my daughter was born and was 21 when my son came along. Back then, it was nothing to pull allnighters. I remember doing all my housework, sewing, decorating between the hours of 12:00 am and 4:00 am. I would go to sleep from 4:00 am to 7:00 am. I didn't do that every night, but that was my life more often than not. Let me clarify that a bit, housework was done when it got done, IF it got done. My house was clean but often messy. I loved sewing for my family: the kid's clothes, my husband's flannel shirts, my clothes, slippers for friends and relatives, crafts for each holiday. I seemed to get more done in those wee hours of the night/morning than if I tried to do it while the children were awake. Now, if I am not in bed by 9:30 pm, which rarely happens, chances are you will catch me sleeping at the dining room table. Not a pretty sight.
I was hoping with school back in session, that I would get into a very productive routine. Nope!
I didn't take into consideration that when school started back up, Nolan would be in full crawling mode. In the summer, little man was happy to sit in his bouncy chair, sit on my lap, jump in his "Johnny Jump-up". Now, he is rarely in the same room for more than 2 minutes. He is the speediest crawler I have had the pleasure of knowing. The fact that he is trying to keep up with 4 little girls might explain it. And I would love to know who told Nolan that naps are optional. Anyway.......with all that said, I was finding it very hard to find the time to knit.

A few weeks ago I decided to take a Saturday and do nothing, EXCEPT, things that were knitting related. My son had given me a gift certificate to a fantastic knit shop in Detroit called "City Knits". I called my dear friend, Lisa, to see if she wanted to go with me. She had never been to this shop. It is in the old historic Fisher Building. The architecture is mind boggling. From the minute you touch the ornate handle on the door, walk into the lobby and look up to see the carvings and paintings on the walls and ceilings, you can almost feel what it must have been like in the 1940's and 50's. Then when you go into each little shop in the building, it again, takes you back in time. City Knits has so much packed into a small space. I love the yarn selection, but what I REALLY love is their selection of books. I feel like I am at the library every time I sit down at the little nook to look thru the books. Lisa swore she wasn't going to look, let alone buy, anything. She brought along her knitting. I felt bad that she was going to knit while I spent ages looking for ways to spend my gift certificate. As she was walking to the table, to join other knitters, she was stopped by EVERYONE in the shop. She was carrying an adorable felted purse she had knit. For the next HOUR, Lisa and her purse were the talk of the shop. It was hysterical. I loved it. I think it was me who had to wait for her to stop talking with all the other knitters about her purse. I had made my purchase and then joined Lisa at the table. Oh, if you would like to see Lisa's purse, she is Sasa6 on Ravelry. The purse pattern is called, "B4 Bag" by Trish Bloom. By the way, look at what I bought with part of my gift certificate.

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the colors, I love the temperatures, I love the smell in the morning. I used to love the smell of burning leaves, now that is just a memory.
Last weekend I brought in the outside plants that I will try to save all winter. We had a really warm week, 90 degrees, after weeks of 60-70 degree temps. My grape tomatoes started blooming again. I am sure nothing will happen, but, I brought the plant in. Time will tell.

I started 2 clippings from leaves that were laying in the parking lot at Eastern Market, in Detroit. I think they are going to make it.

Basil, Rosemary, and Oregano. Need I say more?

A little of this, a little of that.

My favorite, Hens and Chicks.

Ok, let's get to knitting, I mentioned the last time I posted that I was going to make my reversible Lion and Elephant a misfit toy, since I didn't like the way the yarn was striping. Well, I have now kinda fallen in love with the lion. I don't know why. Nothing has changed, but he is growing on me. It will all depend on how his expression turns out. If I like his face, I am not going to use the yarn I had originally bought for the elephant. Until I find the perfect yarn, the elephant will be on hold

I was watching the PBS show, "Knit and Crochet, Today", and decided to crochet the Filigree Bowl they were demonstrating. I can't believe how fast *I* crocheted it. It only took me hours, not days. The stiffening with sugar water took 3 days to dry. I love it.

I also made 2 more of Susan Anderson's "Egg to Bluebird and a Little Nest, too". My neighbor has been hinting for one for ages. I was making mine and I mentioned it. She looked so excited, I had to surprise her with it. Then, I started mine, DONE IN 2 DAYS!!!! I do not knit fast. That thrilled me.

I am sure most of you tried to win the giveaway on Susan Anderson's blog last week. She was giving away 10 copies of "knitsimple Holiday 2010". One lucky person was also to get yarn to make one of the wonderful animals in the magazine. Of course I commented, hoping to win a copy of the magazine. Then, I PANICKED! I thought, what are the chances of me winning? And with Susan's new animals featured in the magazine, most likely it will sell out as soon as it hits the stands. So, I immediately went to the website and ordered my copy of the holiday issue. I don't even care that I paid twice the price. I now own the magazine and can't wait to make the Hedgehog/Squirrel reversible toy. And the Owls, oh my gosh. OH, the fox. Let's face it, anything Susan designs, DARLING!

I also bought this used book. There are some very cool looking patterns in it.

Like I said earlier, fall is my favorite time of the year. I forgot to mention that I loved apple picking, pumpkins, cider mill donuts, and decorating my dining room. However, I am not into decorating for Halloween, just fall.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What a great feeling, KNITTING NEEDLES!!!

First let me say, Thank You, SO MUCH, for all the words of encouragement during my weeks of caring for Titch and the words of sympathy over his passing. For some reason his passing has been harder on me than when I had to put down my own dogs. I think that is because my dogs had lived long and happy lives. It was their time. Titch was only 9 weeks. I thought he had his whole life ahead of him. He made an impression on my heart. Such a sweet boy. Again, thank you for all your kind words.

I feel like I have been away from knitting for months. It turns out, it has only been 5 weeks.
I opened my knitting bag to see what I had been working on. I found my skein of red Cascade Yarns, UltraPima cotton, with the beginnings of a pretty little scarf, hanging from the needles. I also found the half knit egg from "itty bitty toys" pattern, Egg to Bluebird and a Little Nest, too. And, my misfit toy, the reversible Lion and Elephant toy, also from "itty bitty toys". That is the one that looks like it should be in the "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" movie. The yarn I chose is self-striping and looks pretty tacky. I have decided I will finish this toy and tell everyone it was made for my Rudolph collection. It is a toy from the "Island of Misfit Toys". THEN, I will make another Lion and Elephant reversible toy in yarn I like.

I decided to work on the scarf. It is such an easy pattern, one I can knit while watching TV or talking with family and friends. I had about 3 inches completed on the scarf when I put it away the end of July. I picked up the needles on Tuesday night and finished the scarf on Wednesday night. WOO HOO!!!! That is great for me. I really like this pattern. The finished size: 4"x 58"

Now that I am back to clicking the knitting needles together, I am anxious to get back to Knitting thru the "itty bittys".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tough week

My last post was introducing you to my little Titch. That was 2 weeks ago.
When he arrived to me he weighed 4.5 lbs. As of last Thursday he was 8 weeks old and weighed 18 lbs. For a megaesophagus puppy, weight gain is wonderful, but for Titch to have gained 12.5 lbs. in 3 weeks, FANTASTIC! I was sure we were out of the woods. Maybe an issue here and there, but, for all purposes, Titch was a normal, happy, chubby puppy.
My heart is breaking. Titch died on Monday, August 30th from an infection that ravaged his little body. He was a fat puppy on Friday morning and by Monday afternoon he had lost 7 lbs. I made the decision to let him go on Monday evening. I miss him terribly, but I am so glad he is no longer in pain.
I spent the last few nights of Titchie's life, sitting in the rocker, his head on my shoulder, rocking. Needless to say, I didn't sleep. I was to worried.
So, I am now in no shape to concentrate on much of anything. I am hoping a few good nights of sleep and I will be back to knitting. It will be very theraputic, as well as relaxing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just a Titch

This month has been absolutely amazing. With that being said, wouldn't you assume I have finished a dozen knitting projects? Or maybe, since it is summer, an exotic vacation? OR, with the number of blog "giveaways" I have signed up for, you would think I would have won at least one? Not a chance to any of the above. I haven't had the time. I have been looking at my knitting bag, sitting just out of my reach, up on a chair, so Titch won't destroy it. Titch?

Let me introduce my foster puppy, Titch. Today he is 7 weeks old. I have had him since the end of July. He is a Great Dane puppy. He is the littlest boy from a litter of 7. His siblings are all about 15 lbs. while Titch is 7 lbs. He has a condition called "megaesophagus. When he eats, his esophagus doesn't constrict and push the food down. I have been designing a diet for him so he will learn to eat and, hopefully, he will outgrow the problem. My 8 year old Great Dane, Eli, had the same thing. It took 4 years to correct his esophagus. Thank goodness, Titch is showing huge signs of improvement. When he first came to me, I fed him every 2 hours. After each meal, he needed to be burped like an infant. We have graduated from the burping, however, Titch still loves that position and likes to nap on my shoulder. That will be quite a sight when he is 130 lbs. and still climbing on his new mom's lap. He is also down to 5 special meals a day. He runs the risk of pneumonia from aspirating. I am currently dealing with the tail ends of a case of pneumonia. Everything is trail and error.

So.......needless to say, my knitting bag keeps calling my name, but, I can't seem to find the hours to dive into it. My birthday was the end of July and I received 2 gift certificates to my favorite yarn shops. I did run to My Craft Room and used that one, from my dear friend Rebecca, to get the yarn to make the pig in "itty bitty toys". Rebecca is a fantastic card maker and scrapbooker, but she is so supportive of my knitting.

Well, I am hoping to pick up the needles this week. If fact, I am thinking of making the new sweater Susan Anderson posted on her blog. She is doing it as a knit-along, starting next week. Check it out on the Spud and Chloe blog, It looks so comfortable. I may have to use the gift certificate, from my son's family, to buy the yarn for the sweater.

I will leave you with a few more photos of Titch.

Titch is actually sleeping in my knitting bag.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm Baaaack

Since I visited with you last, I haven't accomplished much knitting. I wish I had a fantastic story to tell you as to why Project #8 isn't done, but I don't. I have the lion's body knit, but I am very disappointed with my choice of yarn. It made a striping pattern on the body. I had expected it to be more puddled than striped. The pattern has been very easy to follow. Great construction, but I DON'T LIKE THE YARN! I love making I-Cords, so, the mane is fun. I am in the process of making the 17 I-Cords. I was going to go ahead and use the yarn I bought for the elephant, but, I have decided to use something else. If I use the original yarn, my elephant will look like a cross between a zebra and an elephant. WAIT! Maybe I WILL use that striping yarn. Then, when I put my toys out at Christmas, this will fit in great with the Rudolph collection. It would be perfect as a toy from the Land of Misfits. Now I think I love the yarn.

Wow, this summer has really turned out to be a scorcher. Everyone who knows me knows I don't complain in the winter about the snow, ice, or cold. I save up all my whining for the hot summer days. But you know what? This year I am being pretty good. Isn't it funny, if you have a swimming pool in your yard, the heat just doesn't seem so bad. Even though I have only been in the pool twice, knowing it is there makes a huge difference. The funny thing. I am no little girl and the pool is a blow up kiddie pool. It is about 4' x 9' with about 2' of water. Just enough for this chubby grammie to sit in it and cool off.

Sarah and Luiza are gone to the cottage for 10 days. Now don't get excited, thinking I will have all this free time to knit. I still have the 4 other grandbabies to watch during the week. And with Sarah gone, Quinn (her Great Dane) is lost without her. All day he sleeps, trying not to think about his "momma" being gone. Then at night, he isn't sleepy, so, he stares at me, whining and woofing, every few minutes. Have you ever been woke out of a sound sleep by a Great Dane who is almost touching his nose to yours, at 3 in the morning? Well that is my life right now. I tell him to go lay down and he practically collapses on me. He is SO dramatic.

Oh, by the way, Sarah took the camera to the cottage. So, you will have to wait on any new pictures. I may throw in some old stuff, just for fun.

I did start crocheting a summer scarf today. Pretty little blue and white cotton one. Can't show you any photos.

I am also working on another reversible. It is the Egg to Bluebird and a Little Nest, Too. I have the nest done. I made this a few projects ago, but I gave it to Neve for her second birthday. I fell in love with it and decided I must have one for myself.

OH MY GOODNESS, I AMOST FORGOT TO TELL YOU !!!! The other day I was trying to decide something fun, fast and easy to make. I decided to start crocheting some Grannie Squares or motifs. I have some ends of yarn skeins in my stash that would be perfect for little coasters. I gathered my yarn and went to get my crochet hooks. Now let me just tell you, my knitting is in almost perfect order. YES!!! It truly is. My yarn is either in bags in my steamer trunk, in wire bins at the top of my stairs, or my dishcloth cotton yarns are in a white backpack. My books are in a special rack and my needles and hooks are in a small duffle bag. I know where everything is. So......I grabbed the duffle bag with all my needles and hooks inside to get the roll I keep my crochet hooks in. I felt for it, not there. I opened the duffle wide and looked inside, still, not there. I got a little antsy. I ran downstairs to see if the roll of hooks was in my traveling knitting bag. NOT THERE ! I flew upstairs and started tearing things apart. I didn't know where to begin because, everything has it's place. I thought MAYBE when I started cleaning out my sewing closet that it got put in there for some insane reason. Now my sewing closet is NOT in any order. In fact, it is a disaster. I started looking through the first 2 bags I came to and thought, "I would never have put my roll of hooks in the sewing closet". After 4 hours of thinking, looking, worrying, I texted my daughter that I was so frustrated. She immediately texted back, "What is wrong"? When I told her she responded, "Oh Mother, I thought something was REALLY wrong". IS SHE SERIOUS????? How much worse could it be? Not only have I finally decided that I want to make little crocheted Grannie Squares or motifs, I have my yarn sitting in front of me, but nowhere can I find my roll of crochet hooks. I decided not to dignify her response with one of my own. I figured I would look one more time for my precious hooks, ALL of my hooks. I went to the top of the stairs, moved one of the wire bins, looked around it. I grabbed the white backpack that holds all my dishcloth cotton yarn. I haven't made dishclothes for ages. I opened it up, felt around..........MY ROLL OF CROCHET HOOKS! How could they possibly be in there? I just had them a few weeks earlier. How would they have gotten into the dishcloth cotton yarn backpack? Oh yea, I was trying to think of a fast, fun, project to do and thought DISHCLOTHS. See, if I had been up to date on my blogging, I would have known right where they were.

Well, I guess I will say goodbye. I will be in touch soon. I will leave you with these beautiful little scallywags.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It is taking an earthquake to get me to blog.

How crazy is this ???? An EARTHQUAKE was felt in my area. I, however, did not feel it. With the girls running through the house, the Great Danes chasing after them, and the baby in his "Johnny Jump-up", bouncing and swinging in the doorway, I felt nothing. Apparently, the quake hit in Cumberland, Ontario and was felt in Michigan. YIKES !!!!!!! Lets not make a habit of this.

I am so happy, I finished my scarf that smells like a musty canvas army tent ( for an explanation, read a few entries back ). I love it. If I can't wash the smell out, I will wear it around my neck, sitting on my lounge chair in the backyard, and daydream that I am at the Pinery Provincial Park in Canada, sitting outside my uncle's musty canvas army tent. Ahhh, memories.
I am starting Project #8 ~ Lion and Elephant Reversible doll, page 143 of " itty bitty toys". I am not sure if I am going to be happy, I am using Lion Brand, Vanna's Choice, acrylic yarn. I was unable to get the beautiful yarn that Susan Anderson used to knit her doll. I am starting with the lion and will see if I can live with this yarn. If so, I will make the elephant. If not, I will be forced to go in search of that perfect skein of yarn. If I must, I will go to every little yarn shop in the lower part of Michigan. I will suffer for my craft.

School is out and summer is here. YIPPEE!!!! I am trying to get into a summer schedule with the kids. Luiza and Ella are going to day camp. Every morning we have been so UNorganized. I need to be out of the house by 9:40 in order to deliver Luiza to camp by 10:00 am. Ella gets a ride there. The 3 little ones arrive between 8:30 & 9:00 am. I have to make breakfast and get the 4 fed. (When I say breakfast, I don't mean cold cereal, toast or bagels. I mean a full breakfast. The girls usually want 2 "dip-dip eggs or oatmeal, soy sausage, toast, and ice water. Once a month they like either french toast or pancakes and soy sausage). I then remember I forgot to brush and put Weeza's hair in a ponytail. By now it is 9:30 and I have to change 2 diapers and load the stroller with the little ones and all their supplies. 9:40am, out the door so we can walk Luiza to camp. We arrive at 9:56am. YES! Mia, Neve, Nolan and I walk back home and now our day begins. It consists of coloring, playdoh, puzzles, outdoor play, and PBS. Praise God for PBS. 2:40pm, I load the gang back into the stroller and we walk to get Luiza. Once back home, the kids spend the remainder of the day in the pool. Ahhh.....

I just had to share this photo with you. This is my Eli. There is something about him. Special boy. If you look close, he has pasta sauce on his chin. He STOLE the ravioli from the plate on the picnic table.