Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

That black lace dress won me a trophy for "Best Dressed Female" at the New Year's Eve dinner and dance we went to. Hopefully, a sign of good things to come for us in 2013. Happy New Year!

So Long 2012

It's not often I look at the passing of time as a good thing but I'm ready to say goodbye to what seemed like a year of stress and worry. Looking back there were some good times like a wonderful Caribbean cruise vacation, a couple motorcycle trips, a week in Sturgis and a very nice Christmas. But most notably, I'm ready to move on from the problems of death, finance, health and occupation that 2012 dealt to me for the hope of a better year in 2013. I've got a black lace dress and new shoes -- tonight we celebrate!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Knits

I sent two knitted gifts to Washington. For years now, I've made wool felted slippers for those special in my life. They can be time consuming but I've made so many now that knitting them are second nature and I've developed my own tricks in making them. I prefer to use Lamb's Pride wool that has a 15% blend of mohair. I felt heavily in a top-loading washing machine with dish soap and dryer balls in hot water. Once felted, the mohair makes the slipper dense and fuzzy. I then take a pair of clippers and slightly trim down the mohair fuzz. A warm and cozy gift for Dr. Dan.
Next a gift for Laura and while I'm at it, myself. We picked out the yarn during our June road trip at a yarn shop in Taos, New Mexico. It's a one-skein Schaefer Nancy yarn shawl. We liked the samples in the shop and getting it done before Christmas was good timing for her a sentimental gift.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

I didn't ask for any gifts this Christmas. Our focus was more on health, faith and family this year. But Santa did pull through for me and didn't have to think very hard about things that I might like. Like anything Harley or Jeep. Elfs on a shelf are big this year and mom gifted me with a huge, vintage Longaberger laundry basket with wooden lid. We had special times with family, close friends and most importantly the gift of health. All very good blessings this Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Somewhat The End

Today was not the end of the world as the Mayan calendar predicted, but nonetheless it was a terrible day that put an end to almost a five year work relationship. Without going into too many revealing details, it was a partnership that was often stressful, challenging, respectful, appreciative and fullfilling professionally. Not the end of the world but a change that I would never imagine to happen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wine, Crafts & Good Cheer

I called up my inner circle of high school girlfriends to come over for a night of wine, crafts and good cheer. We made Shrinky Dink wine glass charms, a photo ornament and a commemorative ornanment filled with the names of the Sandy Hook victims we should never forget all the while sharing the Christmas spirit. I'm so lucky to have some very special friendships that have lasted the test of time.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Knit & Purl's

Yarn shops give me a destination while traveling and I was relieved to find a shop less than two miles from the clinic. So, while husband rested, I got out for a couple hours to visit Hank & Purl's. The shop mascot sheep greeted me at the door and I found a great pattern for boot cuffs. It made for a very nice little getaway.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Mayo Knitting

Knitting is my therapy, reduces my stress, anxiety and makes me patient. So when I had to pack for a worrisome trip with husband to Mayo Clinic for testing, I actually packed an entire (small) suitcase of yarn, patterns and needles. Going into it, I didn't know what to expect, how long we would be there or how anxious I would be. I chose simple patterns such as Ripple, Wingspan and Citron and they helped to settle my nerves and allowed me to wait patiently in my "knitting zone" between appointments. After 7 days, I was left with some lovely reminders of a positive Mayo experience and he a positive outcome and treatment plan.

Monday, December 03, 2012

DIY: Note Magnets

I woke up early on Sunday with a long list of To Do items and decided to start my day off with a DIY project. I purchased a sheet of adhesive magnet squares, sliced some used wine corks in half (horizontally and carefully) and secured with super glue. Easy as that -- upcycled fridge magnets.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Holiday Greenery

How I love you, December. Not the cold, but the next stage of decorating my porches, galvanized pots and buckets, birdbaths and windowboxes with fresh greenery and holiday flair. This year I'm going with a cardinal and pinecone theme. I got a lot done today on my front porch and patio and tomorrow I will finish the hanging baskets in the back.

Friday, November 30, 2012

September Circle

My knitted September Circle should actually be called my November Circle. It's an infinity scarf (you can't lose it) and also wraps around twice for a cozy neck cowl. I am in love with the colorful german sock yarn, Crazy Zauberball!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Small Business Saturday

I had absolutely no desire to get out and shop on Black Friday. Instead, I support small businesses on Saturday. Starting with an early knitter's meetup for coffee with Becky and Jackie at Meads. Then over to Twist yarn shop for a new knitting project. Jackie, Shelly and I will be starting on the pattern, September Circle, knit from the colorful sock yarn Crazy Zauberball. A belt buckle (with coupon that came with their holiday greeting card!) from Aspen Boutique and a handknit hat from Roots & Bloom. It was an enjoyable morning spent with good friends, shopping and all my favorite local small businesses.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rasta Hat

Be still my beating heart -- all knittas love kettle dyed Rasta Malabrigo! The colorways are exquisite and the chunky merino wool is not the slightest bit itchy. This color is Arco Iris in a rasta hat called Shroom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Matching Mitts

I knit up some matching mitts while watching the news with the leftover yarn I spun on Sunday. The super easy pattern, a simple chunky stockinette, Last Minute Knitted Mitts.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Spinning Sunday

I can't always make the 3rd Sunday Spinning group but when I can, we have a lot of fun and it's inspiring to see all the different kinds of wheels and spinning techniques. I recently got a jumbo flyer that has a large orifice for making chunky yarns and tried it out today on some wool roving I got years ago in Estes, CO. And then later tonight, I made another hat with enough yarn leftover for a matching pair of mitts.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fun with the Nuns

I spent the day in Great Bend with the Sisters at the Dominican Sisters of Peace working the annual mission bazaar. They think I'm helping them by donating hats to sell when in all actuality, their kindness and spirit takes me right back to nostalgic and heartwarming times with my grandma and aunts.

A Whole Lotta Hats

On top of a hectic work schedule, somehow I managed to crank out 20 hats in the past couple of weeks to donate to charity. I think I'm just about done with these for a while.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Fall in Oklahoma

It was another great annual family reunion at Osage Hills State Park. Aside from a 3 hour, four mile hike in the woods, I bet we spent the entire weekend sitting by the campfire. Daytime temps were in the mid 60's with very little wind - just perfect for a relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wool Fidel

I just can't stop making these hats. Of course, I had to use leftover fishermen's wool from my vest to make a matching hat. I carried another heathered yarn with it just to make it appear slighting different and used the same buttons.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fishermen's Wool Vest

As the temps dropped this week, I started thinking about wool sweaters and flipping through vest patterns that I can layer under a blazer. Then I came upon the BEST Patons book with all kinds of sweater pattern variations. Seriously, I want to knit up every thing in it. The crew neck vest caught my eye so I purchased two skeins of Lion Brand Fishermen's pure virgin wool in Oatmeal and knit it up this weekend. When I was finishing it, I decided to add the collar.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blanket for Grey

Neice Amy is expecting her first child in December. She's naming him Grey. I picked out some Navy yarn that fits the baby room ocean theme and had a week's notice for her baby shower so I had to get my KNIT ON -- and like, fast to get the blanket finished in time.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Handspun Fidel

This one is special. I knitted it from my very first hand carded and hand spun chunky yarn I made from assorted fibers when I first got my spinning wheel several years ago.
I haven't had a use for it until now. The many different fibers made the yarn somewhat stiff so for this project I carried along a worsted cream acrylic with it. This hat has great structure and not as floppy as the previous one I made.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Fidel (Crochet) Hat

It was a lazy Sunday morning. We were watching movies and I sat down with 80 yards of bulky handspun wool from That'll Do Ranch that I picked up at the festival in Winfield and a crochet hook. I looked at several hat patterns and made some modifications to this one and came up with my own crochet fidel hat. Update: Gifted it to someone special.

Pecan Grove Scarf

That red yarn (Twin Canyon Merino Silk) I purchased in Winfield at the Walnut Valley Festival from Denise has turned into a beautiful lace scarf. She designed the scarf and named it after the grove where we camped. Once I stretched it out with blocking wires, the knitted pecan leaf pattern came to life. I can almost hear the dulcimers, guitars and fiddles playing.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Kansas Barn Sale

Following our morning at Woofstock, I drove out to Hesston for the Kansas Barn Sale. The temperature dropped and a light drizzle fell making it almost too cold to shop for antiques and handmades. But I was able to spend some time with my friend Tamara at her booth and get one of her crochet flower embellished hats. She's a master at crochet.

Woofstock 2012

Molly and I had to bundle up for this year's benefit for the KS Humane Society at Sedgwick County Park. There was no need for wading pools for the dogs to cool off in this year. The cold front that came through allowed her to sport her hot pink handknit cabled sweater and I some matching hand mitts for a morning at the park - all for a great cause. That's the face of one happy dog!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Happy Birthday

I can say that Friday is an awesome day to have a birthday. I was able to have lunch with my dad, dinner with my husband and finish the day off with my family of friends and birthday cake. Oh yeah, throw in a new pair of red birthday western boots...I am truly blessed.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

2012 BBB Rally

Our last motorcycle trip of the year took us to the Blues, Bikes & BBQ motorcycle rally in Fayetteville, AR. It's an easy two gas stop trip that we have been making for several years. We made it down to Dickson street to walk around, went to a car show and then spent most of our time at the Pig Trail HD dealership in Rogers where there were alot of vendors, music and LOTS of biker stuff going on.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2012 Walnut Valley Festival

For this year's bluegrass festival, I set my tent up on Monday next to my friend, Karen's RV and left it there until I could get off work later in the week. My friend, Angelique, drove in from NM and we headed out to the festival on Thursday. As it always does this time of year, the rain moved in that afternoon, stayed throughout the night, drizzled all of Friday and it was cold. But in all, the rain didn't stop me from having a good time. I just layered more clothes, put on my rainboots, knitted in my tent at night by the lantern light and by Saturday the skies cleared and we really got to take full advantage of the many band acts, bicycle ride around the campground and roam around the campgrounds at night. I'm already looking forward to next year's festival.
The Festival
The Campsite
The Knitting
Good Friends, Good Times