Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yarn Porn

I am getting ready to return to Florida and have snapped a few pics of my yarn purchases before they get packed.

I went a bit crazy on buying yarn from my friend Jill June (who dyes yarn for her business Studio June) to stock my Mermaid Knitting store on Etsy. I'm hoping knitters will love this yarn for minis as much as I do. I like to include a hexipuff in my Etsy shop pictures, so I've been busy knitting hexis (I think I've completed 12 in the past week.).

Jill's Sydney Sock yarn works up into lovely hexi's, her colors have depth to them and the yarn makes a soft, yet substantial puff. They are knitting up in the same size as my Koigu puffs, so gauge is good too.

Take a look at these great colors.

I can't wait to get back to Florida to start winding mini skeins!

It has been a great 10 days, with lots of time spent with our 4 kids, 6 grandkids and our friends.  But I'll have to admit, I am ready to trade in my boots for flip-flops! 

Jax got a new hair cut and he is ready for the trip too.

Florida here we come...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Birthday !!

Today I am celebrating two of the best things in my life!

Happy Birthday to my Oldest Son!

Happy Birthday to my Youngest Son!

I am so proud of the men you have become.
Love, Mom

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Michigan Winters

I have been back in MI for four days and even though it isn't snowy here, I can tell it is winter because of three things:
1)  Chapped lips - never happens to me in Florida
2)  Dry skin - I have used lots of Jergens Ultra Healing lotion in the past few days
3) Where is the sun??  I had forgotten how gray the days can be

We came back home for ten days to get our "fix" of the grandkids, and to celebrate birthdays with my sons. We have made the rounds between Kalamazoo and the Chicago suburbs and have managed to see all 5 grandkids.  Nothing better.   There will be repeat visits with most of them too - once is not enough.  

Tomorrow I am knitting with my long-time knitting group.  Can't wait to see the girls!!  I will also be connecting with Jill June, the talented dyer behind Studio June yarns.  I will be turning her lovely yarn into mini-skeins and selling them at my Etsy store, Mermaid Knitting.  I hope to be flying back to Florida with a suitcase full of Studio June yarn-goodness.

Thursday I will be brushing off my pharmacy skills and working a day at the Pharmacy.  It is always good to see the other employees again - and the customers.

Friday is the birthday celebration, Young Son is turning 24 and Oldest Son will be 28.  They share the same birthday, in an unplanned freak of nature on my part.  They are at the age now when they think it is great to share the same special day.  Their idea was to visit the casino with TanMan and I, so that's the plan for the birthday.   Wish them luck in hitting the jackpot!!

No photos for this post.  It is getting late and I just wanted to let you know what is happening in my world. I will post again soon with some pics of my yarn buying for Mermaid Knitting!   

Knit Happy my friends!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This and That

Another week has flown by.  I was busy with our second guest of the season, so no posting this week!

My friend from MI came to Orlando for a business conference and she extended her stay to spend some quality girl time with me.  I joined her in Orlando for her last night there and hung out at the pool while she attended afternoon session.
After she finished for the day, we headed to Downtown Disney for some fun.  It was a great place to walk around, people watch and have some great food.

I almost got eaten by a dinosaur, but escaped!

We were amazed by the Lego creations...

Had dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Cafe (pumpkin ravioli with browned butter sauce - yum) and spent a few hours hanging in the Mouse's town.

The next day, after she finished the conference, we drove back to Englewood.  We stopped at a favorite place of ours along US 4.  Parksdale Farms, in Plant City, serves the best strawberry shortcake.

Okay, I had some ice cream with the shortcake too...

I got a little knitting done this week too, mostly on the baby blanket I started.

Pattern: Pine Forest Baby Blanket
Yarn:  Berroco Comfort
This is a nice pattern, just a two row repeat on the front side with all purl on the wrong side.  It looks more complicated than it is.  It will be very washable in the Comfort, so I think the baby mom will like it!

I have also continued to knit some Hexipuffs, only this time I am using the correct needle size.  I will be leading a Knit Along at A Good Yarn this Thursday at 11:00.  If you are in the area, stop on in and catch the Beekeeper fever!

We have one week left before we return to the cold of MI for a week.  My sons both have a birthday on Feb 24, so TanMan and I are flying home to celebrate with them and to check in with all of the grandkids.  We do miss them when we are gone.

Last, but not least, another dog picture.  Here is Jackson bothering our friends' dog, Beaker.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Knitting Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is here. Hope you have a fun project to work on during the game. I think I will be doing fair aisle knitting in the Malthese shawl.

This weekend has been a bit like camp. I saw on Purl Bee website the Valentine Friendship Bracelets and decided I needed to make these for my grand daughters.

My supplies were a blocking board and T-pins. I bought two skeins of Koigu KPPM just for this project - a cream and one with shades of pink.

It took me Friday night to learn how to make the knots. I guess I never learned to do this as a child, because it wasn't familiar to me at all. The first try was rough, but I managed to memorize the pattern.

The tragedy involved in this camp weekend was that the puppy got my first, not very pretty bracelet.  I let him chew on it for a few minutes, and when I went to take it away, I couldn't find it...  anywhere...really.  Hope it comes out in the poop without problems.

Saturday and today was production and here are the results, and honestly, I think I better stick with knitting!

TanMan has chicken wings in the oven and Pioneer Woman's broccoli cheese soup on the stove for our game time food.

Enjoy the game (and maybe a few commercials too?) - but most of all, pick up a fun project to knit.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stung by the Bee Keeper

Happy February!  Are you wondering where January went, like I am?

I finished two "test panels" for my new design, Tamiami Wrap, in Kauni Effectgarn.  I dropped the panels in the mail today, so Dawn, who distributes the yarn in the US, can choose a solid color of Kauni to coordinate.  They are panels of mitered squares, that show off the color changes of the yarn.  More on the design in a future post!

So now there are two projects that I am actively working on:

Crystal Seyfarth Malthese shawl - lots of time spent on this, I love the multiple balls of yarn made into magic balls.  I am using the Knit Companion app on the IPad to work the charts.  This app is the absolute best!!

Then there is the Bee Keepers Quilt.  I got 19 new balls of yarn for my Etsy store, so my goal was to knit a hexipuff in each color, for the photos.  I really enjoyed working on all the new colors and the photos look great.    When I finished the photos, I dropped them in the large glass vase that I am keeping them in.  Then I got stung...well not actually stung...but I noticed the puffs that I just finished were a bit smaller than all the rest.   

So what was the deal???  Somewhere along the way, I must have started using the wrong needles? 
Quick check, yes, I should be using size 4's, and inside my hexipuff bag  I found size 2's.  Doh!

I'm bummed - and right now, I don't have the courage to see how many I knit using the wrong needles. Then I will have to decide if I can use them like they are...assuming I ever finish this project... 
Gauge can be an evil b__ch.

Tomorrow I am headed to A Good Yarn to teach another session on Ravelry.  Last week there were three students and I think they learned a lot.  I don't actually know if anyone has enrolled in tomorrow's class, I guess I will be surprised when I get there...  I see a yarn purchase in my future too - I want to knit a baby blanket, so I need a nice, soft, machine washable, non-itch yarn - hopefully a cotton blend.  

Hope your knitting projects are going well  - and no needle mix-ups happen to you!