Friday, January 31, 2014

New Legwarmer Progress

    Yesterday I made some progress on the new legwarmers. I love that I can do them both together. While Owen was napping, I got three rows done, and it's nice and bright there, so I didn't have any trouble seeing the stitches.


    Someone commented on facebook about knitting two things at once, so I will explain. Those of you who know already can skip ahead. First you cast on the stitches for one item (#1). Then using a second ball of the exact same yarn, cast on the same number of stitches on the same needle (#2). You knit the first row of #2 with its own ball of yarn. When you finish that row, drop that yarn. Then knit the first row of #1 with its ball of yarn. So you always knit all the way across, doing each piece with its own yarn.

    This method works especially well with sweater sleeves or other matching pieces, because they will both have the exact same number of rows. I once did this method one better, or so I thought. I did the two front pieces and the back of a sweater all together, but it didn't work out so well. I think I must have gotten confused, because one of the pieces was too short. Perhaps sticking to only two pieces at a time is a better idea.

   If my explanation is confusing, I apologize. If anyone feels they can explain it better, please feel free to comment.

    I am babysitting Owen again today. It's so cool getting to spend time with him when he's so little. Maybe I'll take some photos and post them over the weekend.

10 PM

    I just realized I should give credit where credit is due. My friend Jan Harrington, knitter extraordinaire, showed me how to do the two at once method. Thanks, Jan!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Change of Plans..... Again!

   It happened while I was swatching yesterday. You see, the day before, while looking for my size 8 circular needle, I came upon some Malabrigo sock yarn, in black. I have four hanks, so there's plenty for whatever I want to do with it.

    So there I was, swatching, and suddenly my thoughts wandered to the Malabrigo. Suddenly I wanted to make the legwarmers out of sock yarn. Then they wouldn't be so heavy, but they would still be warm.

    I then searched out my tiny little circulars. Those I have in 16 inch lengths. I found the one I wanted, size 3, and set to work casting on for a swatch. I figured I'd better swatch because I have no idea how many stitches I will need to go around my foot. It quickly became obvious to me that working with a 16 inch needle was not comfortable. I don't have one in a longer length. Then I remembered that I have a set of size 3 double points that are about 10 inches long. I got those out, stuck point protectors on one end of each one, and voila! I had myself a pair of straight needles of the desired size.

    The last thing at this point is light. I forgot that with black yarn, especially black sock yarn, it's difficult to see the stitches unless you have a bright light source. I will have to turn my work light up to the level of the sun. But it's doable. Excuse me, I need to get back to my swatch. Here are some photos:

First up is the ribbed pink swatch progress:

 Second is the black sock yarn swatch:

       Ooooo! I just remembered something that is a great idea, and will totally work with this project!! Like sweater sleeves, I can knit both legwarmers at the same time!! That should eliminate the "second sock syndrome", only with legwarmers.... 
Happy Dance!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Disappointment leads to frogging

    I finished the first legwarmer last night. Let's just say that it shall be frogged. I am currently swatching for a knitted version. I have decided to give the knitting another chance. This time I will knit it flat and sew or crochet up the seam. I know that some people never swatch, but this time I need to know how many stitches in ribbing will go around my foot.

    I was severely disappointed about the legwarmer fiasco. At least there will be more than enough yarn from the crocheted version to make the new and improved knitted one. I have a plan, as mentioned above. I hear that you learn something even from failure, but I can't figure out what I learned from this one.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Crochet progress, Winter Sports, and Dominoes!

    Today I babysat for my two older grandkids, Chloe who is five and was home sick from school today, and Mason who is three. I actually found time to work on my legwarmers today! And the best news is that the first one is almost done! I'm super excited about it! Then I can start the second one, and have a pair of legwarmers that I actually made myself! I almost hurt myself patting myself on the back!

    I have a favorite winter sport. The only time I ever get to see it in when it's a Winter Olympic year, as this year is. For me, it began when I was very young and we lived down in Putnam County, in a little town called Lake Peekskill. My parents actually rented the bottom half of a lake front house, and we got to use the yard, the giant sand box which overlooked our little private beach, and the dock. We swam in the summer, and ice skated in the winter.

    I remember skating down the lake to near one of the three public beaches. My brother and I used to skate all over the lake. But in that part of the lake I saw people playing some weird game on the ice, where they glided big round rocks and crazy people slid along next to it, sweeping the ice madly. I had no idea what they were doing, but it was fascinating to me. And that's how I was introduced to Curling.

    I love watching Curling to this day. I love when it's a Winter Olympics year. My Hubs thinks I am absolutely barking mad. But it makes me happy.

    The only comparable thing there is, for me, is Dominoes. When Hubs and I were on the west coast for three weeks some years ago, he was gone all day, and I was by myself in the hotel. That's how I found the dominoes tournament on one of the sports channels. I watched it avidly the whole time it was on.

   It was fascinating to me, how the teams from the competing countries played so differently! One country's team put the dominoes down nice and neat, and one was very sloppy. When these two countries played each other, fights would actually break out! Fascinating. Ever since then, I keep looking for dominoes tournaments on the sports channels here on the east coast. I haven't found any yet. I have decided it must be a west coast thing. Maybe someday I will get lucky and find it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Time for crochet while babysitting

    I had that for the past two days. I was babysitting for my newest grandson, and while he napped I had time to crochet. I got some more done on the first legwarmer. I think it's about 2/3 done now.

    Babysitting is quite an adventure in itself. First, I really hate having to get up at 5:30 am. I figured that I already get up that early two days a week, what's two more? It wouldn't have been so bad, except after the first day of sitting, I had an awful night of sleep. It was one of those god-awful nights where you wake up every 20 - 30 minutes? I think the best sleep I got all night was the 5 minutes after the alarm went off. I only know I fell back asleep because I was dreaming.

    Really, a newborn doesn't require that much work. But I was exhausted none-the-less. He really is a good natured baby, and doesn't really cry unless there's something wrong. The hardest thing is keeping him occupied for 5 minutes while his bottle heats up. But yesterday, he made my day...

    Sara went upstairs to get dressed. When she came back down, she brought Owen, who was still half asleep. She put him in his downstairs sleeping place. I left him alone in case he went back to sleep. After a few minutes, I looked in, and he was awake, so I leaned over and told him that Nana was here to stay with him today. He looked right at me and smiled!

    I was so very tired yesterday, and that's not a good thing. When I am that tired, I get extremely weepy. The littlest things make me tear up. It happened twice yesterday while I was at Sara's. And then again after Hubs got home from work and I was telling him about it. He just chuckles at me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

My first day with Owen

    Last Friday, my daughter Sara went back to work, after having her adorable little son Owen. She was understandably distraught. I got to be Owen's first all day babysitter. I'll be taking Thursdays and Fridays, while his other grandma is taking Mondays and Tuesdays. His daddy is off on Wednesdays.

    He was asleep when I got there. I really hoped he'd stay asleep until after mommy left, I thought it might make it a bit easier for her. He decided to wake up just before she left. So mommy got to supervise my warming his bottle, and we were settled into having it when she left.

    The little guy was pretty good. He complained most of the morning, I think he missed his mommy. At one point he looked right at me, and started to cry. I didn't take it personally. We had some good talks, and after his noon time bottle, he passed right out. He was still asleep when his daddy got home 3 1/2 hours later!

   I kept busy watching a show on Hulu that Sara thought I might like. It's called The Misfits. I watched all of season 1, and a couple shows from season 2.  Just before daddy was due home, I turned the show off, and put the baby tunes on.

    My biggest question is this: I didn't do much all day, why was I so exhausted?  Perhaps it was because I didn't get to have my usual morning coffee. I did bring some of the chocolate chai tea I had found, but only had one cup. I can't wait to see how it goes this week.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Where did the time go?

    I just realized that a whole week has gone by since my last post. I really don't know where the time has gone. I guess I've been busy.

    I have crocheted on my leg warmer some. I babysat for the new grandbaby Owen twice. Monday for a little while, then Friday all day. That was the day daughter Sara returned to work. It was difficult for her, as it was for all of us who had to do it.

    I've also been reading. I found a new series of books, I'm currently reading the third one. They are about a girl who discovers she is an Elf changeling, and has no memory of her former life as an Elf. They were written by an author named Liz Schulte. I'm enjoying them so far. Check them out if you can. I guess I just haven't had anything Earth-shattering to share with you all.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Today's Pet Peeve

    It's been a  while since I voiced any pet peeves. Recently this one has been really bugging me. I have a nook, and my Hubs has a kindle. When I go shopping for new ebooks, I like to read through the whole description. I want to know if it's worth my money to purchase it.

    That's all fine and dandy, except when I go to open a new ebook to read it, and discover I paid good money for a stupid book that's only 100 pages long! And there, dear reader, is my pet peeve. Why can't Barnes and Noble, and Amazon too for that matter, put in the descriptions how many pages a book is?

    I have actually gone to the mother-site of Barnes and Noble, looking for a way to let them know that this would be appreciated by their readers, but could not find any way to get through to them. I haven't tried Amazon yet, I got pretty discouraged by my experience with bn. I'm hoping they will be easier to contact.

    There has been more than one time that I was upset about the page count of a book. This was brought sharply into contrast yesterday, when I opened a new book to read and discovered it was over 700 pages! I actually cheered!

    You should know that I rarely spend more than $10 for an ebook. I even page through all the free and less than $5 selections first. So it really upsets me when I don't feel I got my money's worth.

    Has this become an issue for any of you, readers? If so please feel free to comment and tell me your stories. I would love to hear them.

    OK, OK, I shouldn't have listened to the Hubs. It turns out that Amazon DOES  tell you the page count. He just never noticed... Sorry for the confusion.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Legwarmer Update

    Today I was working on my legwarmer. I crocheted while I watched Arrow on Netflix. I had been interested in that show, but never got to watch it. It was good, I hope there is more than one season. I just finished watching the season 1 finale.

    Also today, I went to watch my grandson Mason, who is 3. He is getting to be quite a handful! Very physical, and I'm so *not* a physical babysitter. Oh well, he'll learn. While he was napping, I worked on my legwarmer. Here are some photos, see if you can see how much more has been done:

    That is the whole thing. The next one is just the top, or knee end. The white stitch markers are where I added short rows to the ribbing to make it wide enough.

    Then the bottom, or ankle ribbing.

    So as you can see, I have made some progress. It's not all Lazy Kim's Cat Toys. I'm getting there; perhaps slower than I'd like, but I'm still getting there!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A busy but productive week

    It has been a busy week for me, crocheting my Lazy Kim's Cat Toys. I ran out of wooden rings, so I had to go in search of more. Joann's was where I found the last ones, so I went there first. They didn't have any.

    The original version of the cat toy was made with flattish plastic rings that I had bought at Joann's. I had even restocked from there. Then they stopped carrying the stuff with which you make purses. I think they call them findings, like for jewelry. That was when I found the wooden rings.

   They didn't have more at Joann's as I said, but Bonny and I went to Michaels, and they had some!! I bought all three packages they had on the hook. That was 15 wooden rings. I also bought some more of the Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn, in colors I thought would be pretty as cat toys.

    What do you think?

    All of these toys were made with the Sugar 'n Cream, except the solid brown one, which was Lion Brand Cotton. Sugar 'n Cream, it turns out, uses 100% grown in the USA cotton. I will be putting that on the tags. The Lion Brand Cotton? I'm not sure, it doesn't say on the label.

   I only have one more color to use, red. That was the color I used for the original toy I made for Ozzy, and I was saving it for last. The reason I'm only making one of each color to start is that each one is a different length. I've kept track of what each one's length is, so I can make more of every color after I write out the individual tag for each one. The lengths range from 10 feet to 13 feet, with the majority being 12 feet.

   And yes, this puts my legwarmers on the back burner. The never ending garter stitch baby blanket for Owen is there as well. I hope to get back to them at some point.

    I would like to point out that I use plastic or wood for the toys, not metal, because metal could hurt the kitteh's  teeth when they bite, and their claws too. Even though metal, being heavier, would go further when the toy is thrown. Oh well, safety first.

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's here, it's here!

    I checked the tracking on my jacket this morning, and it arrived at our local little post office this morning at 8:10. In small print under that, it said to allow 1 or 2 more days for "processing". That really irked me, as our local post office is really small. What will it take them two days to do to my package? What could they possibly do to warrant even a one day delay?

    As I was going to watch the older grandson this afternoon, I went to the post office first. Lo and behold, my package had somehow not needed the one or two days for "processing". I had a yellow package slip in our box. Yippee Skippee I was so happy! I then went and got some gas, then went on to relieve Mason's regular sitter. I will be needed again on Friday. I have no problem with this, as I welcome the chance to hang out with both him and his sister. Today I got to get her off the school bus. She's in 1st grade now. I am impressed. She is so smart, and well behaved.

     When I got there, Mason was napping, so I started working on a new crochet project. I have decided to make some of my famous "Lazy Bitch Cat Toys" to sell at craft fairs and such places. If you don't remember my cat toy, there is an earlier post in which I talk about it. There are even photos. I got three done during and after  Mason's nap.

    Now I'm waiting for Hubs to get home, so he can see my jacket. Then I'll cook dinner. I'm getting hungry. Later! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

What I've been up to

    I have been working on my crocheted leg warmers, at least the first one. It's coming along better than I anticipated. I decided to do short rows of ribbing for the top, since it has to be bigger than the ankle part. Every 5 or 6 rib ridges, I do the shirt row thing. It's working out well, the top is now noticeably wider than the bottom. And it's curling around the leg nicely.

    You remember my post about roasting chestnuts? Well, I decided to do it again. I felt that the first batch weren't fully cooked. When peeled, most of them were still pretty white. So I bought more the other day, and today I felt the urge to roast them. My mouth was watering for them.

    I pre-heated the oven, and set to scoring all the nuts, as per the directions I read. When done, I put them in the oven on my Pampered Chef baking sheet, and set the timer for 35 minutes.

    After the time was up, I let them sit for about 10 minutes before I began shelling them. They were still pretty hot, but I was able to handle them. This time, I had much less trouble with the shelling. I'd say that about 90% shelled very easily. The other 10% I had to fight with a little.

   Thanks to my due diligence, there was only one ucky one this time. When I was at the store, I examined each nut to look for splitting or holes. Those are bad, by the way. So I purchased only whole, unblemished nuts this time. Last time, I just grabbed handfuls and tossed them into the bag. Now I know better. I should have read the instructions before buying the nuts.

    Anyway, the nuts are delicious. I have eaten a bunch already. Is there anything tastier than a still warm chestnut? I think not!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I want my JACKET!

    Since my Hubs got his Harley, I have been fantasy shopping for a nice leather jacket for myself, in the hopes that someday we will ride together. After much searching, I found the perfect one. It was on a website called Here is what it looked like:

    I really loved this jacket. I read all the reviews, and most of them talked about how quickly theirs was delivered, and how you should buy a bigger than normal size. Unfortunately, they were sold out of my size. I therefore asked them to inform me by email when my size was restocked.

    Weeks went by, and no emails came. I went back to the site, and was informed they would no longer be carrying that jacket. I was crushed.

    Fast forward to December 23rd. I decided on a whim to check the site again to see if there was another jacket I might like. And lo and behold, the jacket, MY jacket, was back. Apparently they didn't inform me because it was now $10 more than the last time I saw it. Believe me, it was still worth the money. I told Hubs, and showed it to him. Then we went to bed.

    The next morning, he told me to order the jacket! That was on the 24th. Of course, I never would have expected to get it in time for Christmas, but when we placed the order, they said it should arrive between the 27th and 30th. Perfect! I happily waited for it, and rushed to get the mail on Friday. It wasn't there.

    Hubs checked the tracking, since the notifications were being sent to his email account. My jacket was still in California. It went from Los Angeles to some other city in those three days. For the rest of the weekend, we checked the tracking every evening, and it showed my jacket was "in transit", but with no location. I had no idea where it was! Then finally New Years Eve, there was a city! My jacket made it to somewhere in Pennsylvania. And now it's in transit again. With my luck, it'll be in my Post Office tomorrow, and with this stupid storm I won't be able to go get it.

    I look forward to posting a photo of me, in my new jacket. Or a reasonable facsimile of me, since I am not find of having my photo taken...  But either way, I'll be ready to ride come Spring!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

    This post has been a long time in the writing. I had a really hard time since the last time, deciding what to tell you about. Christmas was nice this year, with the new baby and all. We have our family gathering after the holiday, due to the many sub-branches wishing to celebrate with their own families.

    This year, we had dinner out on Saturday the 28th. It went swimmingly, even though my older son, his wife and two kids were unable to attend due to the kids being sick. They didn't want to endanger the baby or my mother. The dinner and gift exchange afterwards at son Jesse's house went better than I had hoped. 

    Everyone loved seeing the new baby, and my nephew Christopher really seemed enamored of him. He really is a sweet kid.


    And then New Years Eve came along. It just so happened that I was in the grocery store and found loose chestnuts in the produce section. I had been buying the ones in foil bags until I discovered that they are a product of China. And that is a bad thing. So I had vowed to not buy any more of those bags.

   So I was delighted to find the ones in the produce section! I scooped up about a pound of the little buggers and took them home, vowing to look up on the internet how to roast them myself.

    I was successful, finding two slightly different methods. I tried one last night, and it worked. The chestnuts were even better than the ones from China. Next time, I'll try the other method which steams them a little first before roasting. Supposedly it loosens the shell and skin, and makes it easier to remove them.

    Hubs helped me shell the hot nuts. They were very tasty indeed! Kudos to Hubs for helping, since he doesn't even like chestnuts! Unfortunately, we both fell asleep before the ball dropped at 12. We had been watching the Walking Dead marathon nearly all day. We only stopped at 10 pm to watch The Big Bang Theory. It was really fun to watch the first two seasons again.

    Here's hoping we all have a happy and healthy new year! With the "Big Storm" that's heading our way, I hope all the people I care about stay safe. Love to all!

    P.S. I have made some progress on my crocheted leg warmers, the first one is getting quite wide! I try to do at least two rows a day. So far, so good....