Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cute Kids, Cont.

The birthday girl liked her sweater.

And Calvin liked his crocodable.

Oh, did I mention Hallie REALLY liked her sweater? Mmm. Tasty.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm Posting Already

I have no idea what happened to November, honest.

I've been knitting a lot (it seems), but a lot of it is gifts. And we already know what that means.

But very recently, my FAB sister-in-law gave me a TON of photos, many of which I will share with you in the days to come. Today? My favorite picture. The one I've been waiting for. The one that brought a couple little tiny tears to my eyes.

This is why I knit.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

P.S.

KnitPicks has released the Santa hat pattern I wrote up for them along with all the other Sheldon costumes. It's a free pattern. If you have a tiny head that needs a Santa hat this Christmas, go get your knit on!

KnitPicks suggests fingering weight for this hat... when I did Knit Knack's hat almost 3 years ago, I used a bulky weight yarn (and fewer stitches, obviously...) which gave it an oversized look that I really liked. Go nuts. Gimme a shout if you make one... I want to see who you put it on!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Actober Occomplishments

We're barely halfway through my favorite month of the year, and already I think it's been the most eventful half-month I've had in a long time.

My birthday was October 3, the same day as sock club's Socktober to Dye For.

19 industrious ladies plus my mom, aunt, Dani, Lise, Tobie and myself had a fantastic day mixing dyes, painting yarn, and trying not to be blown over by the wind. It was a gorgeous day for dyeing.

There were so many beautiful autumn colors painted into yarns that day. I had to be very diligent not to steal all any of them. Seriously. So much fun.

Then on October 8, my sand volleyball team (Sandy Pants) played in the fall tournament. It was cold and wet (but it had fortunately stopped raining) and our toes froze in the sand, but we won two straight games to win the whole tournament! Booyah! It was ridiculously fun, and I can't wait for April so we can start all over again.

October 10th was the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Walk for Kids, and I walked with my friends Scott & Joy for their daughter's memorial Find A Voice Fund. Our team raised over $9,500 toward purchasing a device to allow a child without a voice to be able to communicate with his loved ones. We walked three miles around Coney Island with thousands of other Cincinnatians trying to raise money for various causes. It was a great day and I was happy to be a part of such a great cause.

Then on October 11, I bent over, and all my activity ceased. I've spent the last week flat on my back with sciatic issues that I haven't dealt with for eight years or more. Five days later I'm feeling well enough to sit in a chair and do laundry and actually knit (!), and I'm planning on going to sock club in the morning. I'm not back to 100% yet, but I'm doing much better. The body sure knows how to get a girl to slow down!

Hope your October has been exciting as well, and hopefully less painful. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hallie!

My littlest niece Hallie turns one year old today!




To celebrate, of course she gets her first birthday sweater! This is the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman, knitted in Creatively Dyed Yarn's worsted weight merino, color Paisley. I LOVE the colors in this yarn, and the way it knits up all squinchy. This is the second EZ sweater I've knit for Hallie... I wonder how many other great Zimmerman patterns I'll try out for her!

I wish you could squeeze it. So squinchy!

The sibling gifts were handmade this time, too. Remember Maggie's b-day sweater? Here's the miniature version for her new American Girl Doll, Kit.

(This Kit borrowed from Wendy's daughter for trying-on and a photo shoot. Yes, Wendy, I did it all by myself!!!)


Mom had the perfect buttons in her button box and let me use them. Woo hoo!

This past summer when the west coast Higgins family came to Ohio, Calvin found a tree root growing above the surface out by the playhouse in Mom's backyard, and told me he'd found a CROCODABLE!!! So I figured he needed a croco-dable of his very own to play with.

Pattern is Hannah Kaminsky's Baby Alligator free amigurumi pattern. I used odds and ends of Cascade 220 from my stash! He turned out adora-dable!

Lots of love to all the Higgins kids... and their parents, too! Hope you have a happy first birthday, Hallie!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

That Time Of Year

So, it's that time of year again. The blog is four years old. The yarn store where I work and teach classes (Yarns & Fabrications... check out the new blog!) is four years old. Sock club is four years old. And I will be four years old on Saturday. No, wait, sorry, I'm a little bit older than that. But it's a good time of year. I love October. The weather is perfect, the scenery is beautiful, and a lot of my favorite things happen around this time.

A couple weeks ago was the Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs. I got to help set up for the show and work with Wendy on Sunday. We had a blast meeting all sorts of wonderful, creative, new friends, and seeing a bunch of great people we knew. Wendy took a bunch of fantastic pictures which you can see on her blog.

I was a particular fan of this goat. He wanted to tell us something, but couldn't stop chewing long enough to spit it out.

I may have stumbled into some sock yarn, but there's no photographic evidence. Let the record show I was very well behaved at this year's Wool Gathering. (Yarn is from Knitted To A T by Tonia Graves, 400 yards, merino/nylon blend, colorway is Chocolate Covered Cherry... yum.)

Looking forward, things are just as awesome.

This Saturday we're having a SOCKTOBER TO DYE FOR!!! (James Bond would be so proud.) Last April, sock club had a
Sockstravaganza where everybody got to dye skeins and flats of sock yarn, and we're doing it again this Saturday! We've got 50 skeins, 10 flats, 20 sock clubbers, one mom, one aunt, two store supervisors, one assistant, and one birthday girl. It's going to be one crazy day! I can't wait to show you pictures next week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hiatus Filler

So, I know you're all wondering, now that Burn Notice is celebrating the hiatus of its split season, and isn't coming back with new episodes until January, what in the world is Brooke doing on Thursday nights? What is sustaining her? How is she getting through this difficult, Jeffrey-Donovan-less time?

Well, before you get too worked up about it, there's a rerun summer finale recap on even so now as we speak. Er, as I type. And there's always
Hulu or the USA Network website. Deep breaths, my pretties.

Also, you'll be pleased to know that Burn Notice has been approved for a fourth season. You know you want to dance a little. Go ahead... I'll wait. (Screen shot shamelessly stolen from the USA Network site.)


So, back to the original question. I have been invited to join a sand volleyball team that plays on Thursday nights. This session started three weeks ago. We won our game the first night, lost last week, and won again tonight! Woo hoo! Our team is called Sandy Pants and is made up mostly of people I work with or used to work with. It is super super fun and I'm so glad they asked me to join them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

7 Worthwhile Reasons

Reason 1: She chose the yarn.

Reason 2: She chose the pattern.
Reason 3: She let me choose the buttons.

Reason 4: She didn't think I'd get it done on time.

Reason 5: I DID get it done on time.

Reason 6: It turned out "just like" she wanted.

Reason 7: My sweet and happy niece just turned 7 years old!!!

-----

Pattern:
Drive Thru by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Plymouth Galway, 100% pure wool, color #127, #1, #19, and #136
Needles: US8, 29" long Crystal Palace bamboo circular
Started: July 9, 2009
Finished: August 17, 2009
Yarn and pattern purchased at
Studio Knit in Medina, Ohio.

Happy Birthday, Maggie! I love you!

-----

Thanks to my sis-in-law Morgan for the pictures of the seven-year-old stunner. You can see more birthday pics here, and even a birthday video here. Wow!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sock Update

We interrupt this vacation blog with a little sock knitting content. Vacation viewers, please come back soon.

The local Socks Without Partners (SWP) support group bade farewell to a dear member not long ago.
Mockery sock #1 ran off (understandably, and on more than one level) with Mockery sock #2, to a happy wooly footy life together.

1.


The SWP board of trustees wished the pair well, but not before accepting new member
Outside In sock #1.

2.


Monkey sock #1 and Cables & Corrugations sock #1 are eager to join upon completion.

3.


4.


-----

1. Mockery Socks, Conjoined Creations Flat Feet yarn, US#2 dpns. For me. Great pattern + great yarn + much fun = socks I love.

2. Outside In, Creatively Dyed Yarns, US#2 dpns. Bought this yarn at this year's Great Lakes Fiber Fest and could not wait to cast on. Perfect pattern showed up on Knitty mere days later. Coincidence? I think not. For me. MUST take pictures of heel-in-progress on second sock. You will pee a little.

3. Monkey Socks, Misti Alpaca "Birds In Paradise", US#2 dpns. I think I like the pattern/yarn combination. Not for me. Not totally sold yet, but I DO like the picot edge.

4. Cables & Corrugations, Malabrigo Merino Sock, Kollage Yarns square US#2 dpns. LOVE the square needles -- gift from sock clubber Melinda. LOVE the yarn -- bought at Great Yarns in Everett WA. LOVE the pattern -- now that I got past the five inches of stockinette at the beginning of the toe. For me (adapted to 72sts). Too bad the Cat Bordhi knitalong only has one more session
.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mackinac Island Vacation

My mom and I spent the majority of last week (really? it was only just last week?!?) in Michigan, driving to, spending a couple days on, and returning from Mackinac Island. (It's pronounced Mackinaw, btw.) I find it important to tell you now that I fell in love with the Mackinac Bridge, however, since I took 764,285 photos of it, drove over it, and became more and more fascinated and enamored with it, it will get its own post. You lucky dogs.

Knit Knack and Knitasha's wedding was a definite highlight, and the rest of the week was filled with great new experiences, relaxing, and mom/daughter bonding time.

We had to stop in Mackinac City first (Honest! That's where we caught the ferry!) and go to Cynthia's Fine Yarn & Gifts. It had been recommended by one of my yarn shop's patrons, and a fine recommendation it was, indeed. Cynthia's is filled with beautiful yarns, inventive samples, a rainbow of gifts, and surprises in every corner. Cynthia herself is super friendly and knowledgeable, and even sent me a personal email after I got back home. I'm happy to pass on the recommendation to anyone who might find themselves in the area.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the ferry ride. We took Shepler's Ferry out of Mackinac City as part of our resort package. They take care of your car and deliver your luggage and provide a chilly, scenic, and extremely invigorating voyage to the island.

Here's a view of the island from our ferry. Wouldn't it be fun to live in one of those houses along that hill? If anyone is made of money and wants to buy me one, I promise to invite you to stay anytime you want to!

Here's the view from our resort entrance. We stayed at Mission Point Resort, and it was pretty nice. It felt a lot like being at camp! The place was huge and featured long, meandering hallways, three different restaurants, a pool and two spas, its own gift shop, a mini golf course, gorgeous gardens with a variety of brightly colored flowers, and lots more.

One of my favorite parts of the resort was the HUGE lawn right next to Lake Huron. Mom and I spent some quality relaxation time in a couple of those adirondack chairs. There were kites flying, kids and dogs chasing seagulls, people drinking wine, and lots of folks just soaking up the sun. The building in this photo is the main building of our resort.

There's a state highway that travels the perimeter of the island. Since there are no automobiles on the island, lots of people rent bikes (I've never seen so many tandem bicycles in one place!) or walk around the island. There's a bike path just off the highway that travels between the front lawn pictured above and the lake. I walked down to see what I could see, and now you get to see it, too.

An alternative to biking or hiking is riding in a horse-drawn carriage! You can rent your own or find a driver to take you where you need to go. This is our favorite driver, who took us from downtown to the resort and back a few different times. And that's Doc and Dolly, the horses! I can't remember which is which; maybe Mom will know.

Another favorite of the trip was the carriage tour of the island. The majority of the almost four-square-mile island is a state park, and we got to see a lot of it thanks to the carriage tour! Our driver for the middle part of the tour was Dave, and he told us a lot about the history and sights of the island, along with a handful of REALLY bad jokes. These were our horses, Dylan, Blaze and Jimmy. Blaze is in the middle, with Dylan (the slacker) on his left, and Jimmy on the right.

On the tour, we stopped to see Arch Rock, which was really cool, but difficult to get a full picture of. I suppose I could have backed up and gotten a gazillion other tourists in the picture, but it's kind of more fun to pretend I was the only one there. Except for, you know, the tiny people up in the corner.

videoThe horses on the last part of the tour got to go to the pony playground, and we got to watch the new team get hitched up. Those guys are super efficient. With all the carriages on the island, I can't even imagine how many times a day they get to do this.

Here we are on the way back to town after our tour. It's so peaceful! We learned some important basics while on the tour, too. There are between 400 and 500 horses on the island during the peak tourist season. We saw a guy collecting road apples, and wondered how many such workers are on the island. We also learned that there are folks who power wash the streets every night. Every night!

Knit Knack and Knitasha enjoyed their time on the island, too. It wasn't all wedding preparations! Mom and I did a little shopping downtown while the turtles rented bikes and explored the island. How fun!

The last night we were on the island was a little chilly, which left the pool and spas empty, just for us! We found a shortcut from our room which took us down this little hill straight to the pool. Too bad we couldn't bring one of the spas home with us as a souvenir.

Thank you, Mom, for buying your own birthday getaway (and, uh, destination wedding...) and for inviting me along. I had such a wonderful, beautiful, peaceful, relaxing time. I can't wait to go back for the Lilac Festival in a couple years!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Destination Wedding

In celebration of my mom's birthday yesterday,

Knitasha
and
Knit Knack
joyfully announce
their marriage
which took place
July 9, 2009
On Mackinac Island





Officiated by the Right Reverend Chip
Witnessed by Best Man Meekins
Witnessed by Maid of Honor Floxie







In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom ask that you leave your congratulations in the comments. The newlyweds celebrated their honeymoon on Mackinac Island and will continue to live with Drunken Monkey's mom in Ohio.

(More Mackinac vacation photos in coming posts.)