On the house & In the Mail

Today I spotted something special on the house when I was giving Jackson a bathroom break –
IMG_2370
Up there, on the roof – a hawk!
IMG_2372
We frequently see them flying around, this is the first one I’ve spotted on the roof!

After that surprise, there was a surprise in my mailbox as well.
IMG_2374
A pattern booklet, Simplicity Volume 2 – Women’s. I had almost forgotten about this job – I test / sample knit a sweater for it with Simplicity HiKoo yarn.
IMG_2375
I knit the blue one in the middle. It was a fun knit and the end result was cute – I was able to fit the Medium size, and I knit the one with 3/4 sleeves (this was back in Novemeber, 2010)
photo.JPG
photo.JPG
I am glad I can finally share that project!

Shop Hop

I have done informal yarn crawls and today I participated in my second “official” yarn crawl, the I-91 Shop Hop that covers 3 states! My in-laws were kind to take the Lorax for a bit, so I just popped around Connecticut – I went to a LYS, a nearby LYS, a new shop and a shop I haven’t been to in years. On the whole I enjoyed it, and I do hope that it turns into an annual event, and that in future years some things are done differently.
A neat feature, when you bought your passport (a booklet that had info on each shop and directions) you also got a tote for your purchases! (Thanks to Jennsquared – I bought her passport since she couldn’t go!)
IMG_2363
Cute!
A group shot of my goodies:
IMG_2364

My first stop was up to Village Wool which was a new find for me. A very sweet shop, nice selection. I was pleased to be able to indulge in some Madelinetosh Tosh Sock and Be Sweet “Bambino Taffy” and some silly knitting cards that I think I will frame.

The next stop was at a shop I haven’t been in years. Unfortunately when I stepped in I remembered why – it is a very cluttered shop, and while I appreciate that there are labels of the yarn and prices – most things were shuffled around and not near their labels or were incorrectly priced! The owner also seemed tired and somewhat annoyed but at the same time, gossipy – I had noticed one beautiful scarf and was about to ask where the yarn was when she came over to me and mentioned that she didn’t carry that yarn as it was $66. Ok fine. Then she continues, “But you get what you pay for” – well duh, that’s part of why the yarn / object was so gorgeous. She had a lot of lower priced yarns (and inexpensive yarn on clearance), but I did notice a few skeins there priced for $80, so I really don’t think that a $66 skein would have trouble there. Anyway, I do want to support my local shops, so I picked up some Kollage “Glisten” yarn in red, with some sparkle – I think that will become a Koolhaas hat for me. I was short on time so did not make a big deal, but when I was rang up the price was more than I calculated in my head – I think the price I read on the label was her cost not retail. Sigh. It’s fine, but I know I will not be returning to that shop.

I haven’t been to Knit New Haven since I took a class there last year, but I am glad I made a stop today – it’s a very sweet shop – nicely organized, well lit, friendly staff. I had trouble focusing on a yarn, so I went with a new mug and some stitch markers. Those herdy mugs are so cute!

And last, I made it to my LYS, The Yarn Basket – again I had trouble deciding on a yarn, so I picked up Whimsical Little Knits 2 by Ysolda.

At each shop you could enter your name for a daily drawing; it would be nice to win something! In the future I would love to see the shops do sales to coincide with the yarn crawl – sure there were clearance items (my impression is that they were there before the crawl and would be there after), but a little extra incentive is always nice (and just buying yarn before it is taxed is not an incentive, in my opinion). Also, I get the idea behind the yarn hop where if you make it to all the participating stores you get entered in a drawing for a prize worth more than $1,000 – cool, but for people like me, I can’t do that. Maybe I am being selfish with my entry in just the daily drawing… why not turn in my passport at my last stop and be entered for one more prize? Or an extra daily drawing entry?

This was a nice little treat on a Friday – probably the last of my yarn shopping until Rhinebeck. I am expecting some books to arrive next week or the week after as I did online shopping at Interweave’s Hurt Book sale and the KnitPicks Summer Reading sale too!

Strawberry Season

Finally. We went strawberry picking last week and I am hoping to go again. The Lorax and I picked four pounds last week, and I am already missing them.
photo.JPG
Many many berries were eaten just as berries. I made a batch of Strawberry Vanilla Jam in those cute little jars – and used my hot water canner that I got at Christmas. I think I may have not let the “jam” get hot enough before canning, because it is very runny – not that it is any less delicious! I have mixed it in with yogurt and it was so wonderfully sweet and sticky! I think I need to get some vanilla yogurt to have it on as well. And maybe try adding it to a glass of milk. Or on top of a cup of shaved ice snow cone. And make a batch of pancakes or waffles. If I do that, then I also could use the Strawberry butter that I made – this is wonderful on bagels, english muffins, toast… I also eeked out a small batch of freezer jam. I really want to try the Strawberry Cake
The weather is looking iffy, so maybe instead we will just go to Bishop’s and buy them.

Yarn Along

Yarn Along: ~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr.

It has turned into a good week for books! My birthday was on Monday (Hello 33! It was calm and peaceful and relatively quiet, which hopefully will set the tone for the next year.) and my brother-in-law & parents gifted me several books from my wishlist. And then I also borrowed books from fellow knitters. I am now reading 4 books and working on 4 projects. Having multiple projects going is nothing new, but generally speaking I tend to be a monogamous reader.

Here’s what I am reading:
IMG_2358

Cherries In Winter by Suzan Colon – lent to me by WifeMomKnitter. I am only a few pages in but already in love with this book due to this:

Why do we have all this stuff? The answer is simple: It’s because I can’t bear to part with anything that belonged to my family.

So true. On top of the book pile you can see a Sheldon – he is going to be a gift, so I do not want to say too much because the recipient has on occasion swung by the blog. His costume is in progress and I think it will be adorable!

Bossypants by Tina Fey – I had to start this one right away, I was so excited to get it as a gift! I keep hearing such great things about it. I am finding it hysterical – enough so that it makes me laugh out loud thus disturbing Dan (I mostly read at night before bed). His complaint is that no book can be that funny. He is also a reader but tends to stick with the likes of World War II and Chuck Palahniuk, so of course those are not laugh out loud. So, I started Unbroken (a WWII story) – what a life this guy had – very engaging.
IMG_2361
My “JuneBlueBerry Triangle” is coming along nicely – I am on to Chart D. I had intended to leave out the bobbles when I started, but decided that they would add to the “berry”-ness, so I went with them… and, I hate bobbles. So I did 3 rows with bobbles, skipped next set of bobbles, and have decided to do the next set for a balanced look. I hate bobbles. This seals the deal. Seriously. No more bobbles, ever!

Our Best Bites cookbook, from the website of the same name, is making me drool! I have made several recipes from the website and they have all been fantastic! This tortellini bake was awesome and I will make this teriyaki sauce again soon! Right now my grocery list for the next week has a lot of ingredients to make several items from the book!

I am just about halfway through with a Babysquared blanket for baby #2. I’m using Encore Colorspun Worsted (same yarn as for my cousin’s blanket) – it’s a green mainly with bits of purple-yellow-light red-light blue with it.
IMG_2359
I’ve also completed one section of all the colors in my “Neon Nightmare” crochet blanket:
IMG_2362
I am in no rush whatsoever to finish that project, but I do like how I can be working on a blanket and can hold it so it is not all on my lap, as happens with larger knitting projects. Maybe that will change once it is bigger, but for now all is good.

Spoon-man

I come from a long line of coffee drinkers and love the daily routine of having that first cup in the morning. I do like my coffee regular and being on the East Coast, that means cream & sugar. I have never been big on stirring my coffee, unless I’m out at a diner. Growing up I do not remember seeing either of my parents stir their coffee (or tea) after adding anything to it.

My husband is a different story – he wants to prevent any sort of sugar sludge, even though he doesn’t put enough in to create the sugar sludge. Every morning, this is seen in my kitchen.
IMG_2355
Frequently there is also a paper towel folded up underneath. I can appreciate the paper towel underneath to catch the one or two drops of coffee from the spoon, but really? It is wasteful. Without it though, that glass cutting board / work area catches the drips and it is a pain in the neck to clean. Seriously – I happened to notice it one day and tried to clean it and ended up breaking out the baking soda and elbow grease and was at it for 15 minutes! Ick. What is a knitter to do? Make a coaster.

IMG_2356
Super quick and the pattern is one of many found here. I have started another one to have a back up, and I may do one more in a non-bumpy cotton yarn, just because I am sure I have scraps to use up.

Spoon Coaster
Now the trick will be to remember to use it!

Yarn Along

From Ginny (and long have I followed fellow bloggers doing it!) – ~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?
picnikfile_9eNm_q
I think I may have found my reading mojo again. Thanks to Wife,Mom,Knitter – she is the one who lent me The Murderer’s Daughters. This book so far has been just right for a summer read. The story is narrated by each of the two sisters from the beginning when their father kills their mother, and continues over their experiences over the next 30 years. Very interesting; and the story really sticks with you. I am about 40 pages from the end and am quite curious as to how it will all be wrapped up.

I’ve been enjoying working on the Juneberry Triangle in Malabrigo (Periwinkle) – charts A through C moved along quite quickly. Now on Chart D, there are bobbles. I am not a fan of bobbles at all and thought about leaving them out of this pattern, but decided in the end they do contribute the “berry” aspect of the pattern. They are not too terrible to work, but they do slow me down. Also this chart requires a bit more attention – I haven’t been able to find the rhythm of the pattern yet. One stitch at a time, one row at a time, it will get there.

Photo update – color!

TNNA happened over the weekend, so I can go ahead and share color photos of one the projects I knit up for it. Over on the Lorna’s Laces blog the posts have been discussing the colorway names – interesting stuff! I have never been to Chicago, except for an airport layover, but hope to someday! I am anxious to read about the colors I used in the Brick House shawl sample, “Grant Park” and “Watercolor” in the new “Solemate” yarn. According to the blog, “Solemate is a blend of 55% superwash merino, 15% nylon and 30% Outlast, a fiber that interacts with your body’s microclimate to moderate temperature from being too hot or too cold.” Nifty!
IMG_2341

IMG_2339

IMG_2340

IMG_2342

I need to practice taking photos of shawls, I am always stumped with styling – and I can’t hand the camera over to the Lorax or Jackson either. I have played around with the self timer but maybe I should look into investing in a remote. I expect that I will get more practice soon – I have started my “Juneblueberry triangle” and have already finished 2 of the 5 charts. Gotta love a shawl knit in a worsted weight yarn!