Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


 These needle cases are the cutest things; I'm sure I won't make any, but wouldn't they be lovely Valentine's Day gifts?


I forgot to show this pretty votive holder I bought while we were in Baltimore; I got it at Ten Thousand Villages.  It goes perfectly in my sunroom.  The sad thing is that they also had a sun catcher/mobile that was similar, but when we went back to buy it, someone else had already gotten it, so I missed out.

 I've slept late the past two mornings so I've had to take my beach photos after work; luckily the sun sets later now, and I got to see this pretty view:

 Only three more work days this week, and then I start my gifted class on Saturday.  The schedule is a little different from the other four classes; only two Saturdays, and the rest are on Tuesdays and Thursdays after work.   At first I didn't think I'd like going after working all day, but now I'm thinking that at least this way I won't lose a bunch of weekends.  I'll have to see how it goes.  Either way, I'll be done by the first of April.  

Now, I'm off to work some more on this baby:

 Coming right along, isn't it?  Details found here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Miscellaneous Minutiae

It was kind of hectic this morning, so I didn't get a chance to get to the beach until after I got home this afternoon.  I love the long shadows; it's so different from the morning light.

 I saw this over at Pinterest and thought it might be helpful, even with my lightweight digital camera.  Anyone else seen it?  Apparently it's for sale as a poster.

 This is the progress on my Honey Cowl.  I think this yarn is a good match for this pattern; the color is muted enough that it doesn't overpower the stitch pattern, don't you think?

 Still watching The Good Wife on Netflix.  When I'm not watching Downton Abbey, that is.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Busy in Baltimore

I'm ridiculously excited about it, but I found the tags I was looking for at an office supply store.  Now I'm tagging my yarn so I can keep it on display in my baskets and remember the intended projects!  Wonder why I never thought of doing this before?  I'll have to take a few pictures soon.


I'm not so happy with this knitted basket.  I should have picked up for the ribbing in the opposite direction so it doesn't  show when folded.  Oh well, I may leave it as is, or I may go back and redo.  No decision just yet.  What do you think?




We just got back from a weekend trip to Baltimore, which gave me so much knitting time that I nearly gave myself a blister on my thumb.  But I finished another project, the Gator Gaiter, and started on the Honey Cowl.  I'm telling you, this new system is really working for me!


 Here are a few photos from the Fell's Point area of Baltimore:



A favorite pub,


A pretty notorious building,

And a cool window decoration using yarn.  Since I didn't visit any yarn shops, I had to include this photo!

 We ate in Little Italy, 



and after lunch, I managed to fall flat on my face in the street, but luckily, I just skinned my knee and didn't break any bones.  I would show you a photo, but my daughters informed me that no one really wants to see it.  You can thank them for sparing you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I found some photos on my hipstamatic app last night.  The pictures of Melissa and Meredith were taken over Christmas break at my favorite coffee shop.  Melissa was playing with her new Christmas gift,

and Meredith was knitting.  Borjo's is a coffee shop on the ODU campus, which may be why I like it so much. Sadly, it wasn't there when I was a student, but I'm making up for now, as I usually go there about once a week.  The guy in the background is sitting in my favorite chair:  red leather and the most comfortable chair I've ever sat in.  If I ever find out where they bought it, I'm buying one.

 This photo is a result of playing around with another app; looks kind of cool, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, Monday, Can't Trust That Day

 I didn't want to go to work yesterday after having had such a wonderfully relaxing weekend.  Sometimes weekends like that make me feel all energized and raring to go, but this time all I wanted to do was stay home another day (or two).  But alas, I am not independently wealthy, so off to work I went.  Turns out, part of the reason was that a migraine was coming on.  It has been such a long time since I had one, that I didn't recognize the symptoms.  Anyway, I made it through the day and ended up going to a doc in the box last night for a shot and meds.  After a good night's sleep, I feel fine today, thank goodness.  (edited to add:  not fine, but better.  I think I overestimated my recovery, but at least it's exam today, so the students are quiet.  Mostly.)

The beach looked really different yesterday, due to a heavy fog.  My daily photo session is such a lovely start to my day.

I already finished the Soft Basket; not sure where i'm going to use it, but I like it.  (playing with my hipstamatic app)

And now I'm starting my next project, the Gator Gaiter, using a Manos silk/wool blend in a luscious color.  I really like my 2012 Knitting Books project plan!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Link Love

I want to share this list with you, in lieu of making one of my own.  And I want to have it available for reference.  What items sound good to you?


I love this idea for using recycled sweaters!  And this one is great too!  (my sweater squares are still waiting for me, but I'll get back to them.)


I love this tutorial for making your own buttons, but I don't think it's something I would ever have the patience to do it.  I can, however, totally see my daughter, Meredith doing it!  She loves shrinky-dinks!


I may need to make a few of these for my daughter's kitty.


My Knitting Books Project is already a success in that I started one of the projects last night.  I have found that picking a project and finding the yarn is always such a struggle for me that I end up knitting something I've knit before.  Like another scarf, cowl, or hat.  And I have been getting bored with that.  This is a Soft Basket from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and I'm using this scratchy but pretty turquoise yarn I bought at Maryland Sheep & Wool a few years ago that I loved, but couldn't use for anything that would be next to skin.  



Another thing I've realized is that I don't like storing my yarn in ziplock bags, even if it is a better storage method.  I like my yarn out in baskets so I can see it.  So in order to keep organized, I'm going to find some card stock tags (similar to what Quince & Co. uses) to attach to my yarn.  After all, the majority of my projects are single skein ones, so it should work.  Boy, this has been a fun weekend!  Nothing like playing with yarn on  rainy days, is there?  I hope your weekend was a good one.

Oh, and go Ravens! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Knitting Books Project

 I had this idea to take the time to peruse my collection of knitting books and pair up patterns with yarn for a year long project.  My thought process was that if I couldn't find at least one good pattern (and by good, I mean something I wanted to knit) in each book I own, then maybe I should consider passing on said book(s) to someone else.  Plus, as my year gets busy, it will be nice to just pull a ready made project bag out and start knitting.  I don't know about you, but I often get stuck trying to start a project and end up doing a tried and true (but boring) project for one reason or another, when I really want to try something new.  Obviously this isn't a new idea; I even tried (and failed) a similar plan using only handwarmer patterns a year or so ago.  

Anyhow, I now have my list of patterns, and hope to match my yarn up this weekend.  It's a grey, rainy day here, perfect weather for playing with yarn.

Here's my list of books and projects (sorry for not linking individually):

  • OneSkein:  Kids Colorblock Cardigan
  • Weekend Knitting:  Petticoat Socks
  • More Last Minute Knitted Gifts:  Soft Baskets, Cabled Fingerless Gloves, or Sideways Fingerless Gloves
  • Sock Yarn One-Skin Wonders:  Woven Fingerless Gloves or Lily Cuffs
  • New England Knits:  Brattleboro Hat
  • OneMoreSkein:  Horizontal Rib Scarf
  • Gifted:  Precious Baby Jacket
  • Knit Green:  Gator Gaiter
  • Knitting 24/7:  Spiral Tweed Cloche or Redwork Cowl
  • Whimsical Little Knits:  Ishbel Beret
  • Whimsical Little Knits 2:  Veyla
  • Weekend Hats:  Wanderer Cap

I've made projects from some of these books before; OneSkein is one of my favorite go-to books and I think Weekend Hats is going to be another one, but I made sure to pick projects I hadn't done before.

So I don't have a photo-less post, here are some pictures from the walk Steve and I managed to take on the beach this morning, in between the rain showers:


 Even on the greyest of days, you can find some color, can't you?  Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January Book Project: Weekend Hats

I finished the Wanderer Cap last night and it fits Steve perfectly, although he wasn't interested in modeling it for me this morning.  Odd.  So I took a few "artsy" photos without him.

I really enjoyed this pattern, once I got going on it.  I did a regular ribbing, instead of the tubular one, in the interest of my sanity, but I will try the tubular one again the next time I use this pattern.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Actual Knitting Progress!

Steve and I went out to dinner last night at a place that's only two miles from us.  They have $2 wine night every Tuesday, so we took advantage of it.  We also ordered a garlic plate appetizer, which was delicious, although I paid for it the rest of the night.  (and my students will be paying for it today, hah!) I think it is the first time I've ever said I had too much garlic.

I took a few pictures from the beach access by the restaurant, just to see the difference.  It's surprising how different the view looks, even though it's so close to our area.

I love how the walkway twists a bit under the branches of the trees.

And wouldn't you love to sit in these chairs in nice weather?  Well, maybe not these chairs but this location.

As for the knitting progress, I love this hat so much!  I apologize for the craptastic lighting, but I couldn't wait to show off those traveling stitch details.  The color is a sort of steel blue, although in a certain light I can also see a hint of green.  I should finish it tonight, as I'm already beginning the decreases.  Hopefully I can get Steve to model it for us, but don't expect Jared Flood's quality of modeling shots.

 More knitting info tomorrow, as I plan on picking my monthly projects by then.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts

I'm back at work today after a three day weekend that just wasn't long enough.  I'm thinking I'm going to need a mental health day very, very soon.  I'd like to clear out some closets, and maybe even some clothing storage bins to lesson the weight of all these things we own.  There are clothes and shoes I'll never wear again, so why am I keeping them?  I did manage to give a grocery sack worth of yarn to my stepdaughter to take back to college  with her, so that was good.  And over the Christmas break, I gathered a huge amount of old costume jewelry and gave it to my girls to split up, so that was good too.  They loved some pieces and they'll use other pieces for crafting.  I just need to keep going.

I was reading the latest posting at Knitty, and decided on a similar strategy for my knitting projects.  I want to pick a project from at least a dozen of my knitting books to make this year.  I'm already on my way for January, since the Wanderer Cap is from the book Weekend Hats.  I think I'll try and use part of Stephanie's idea of the Sock Club, by picking out the project yarn (from my stash, of course), making a copy of the pattern, and putting them both in ziplock bags.  Then I can just grab a bag and go!  Doesn't that sound like fun?

And I'm sure you are all tired of my beach photos, but I am in love with them, or rather the process of taking them every morning.  

The way the morning sunlight can make the beach grass glow:

How even on cloudy days, the sun's presence can be seen:

And how the texture of the beach access has a rustic beauty of its own:

Can you tell how much I love living here?

Monday, January 16, 2012

This and That

It was a beautifully sunny day yesterday, so Steve and Stephanie and I walked down to the water, only to head home fairly quickly.  The combination of temperatures around 40 degrees combined with a pretty stiff wind made for a very cold walk.  So I took a few pictures and we headed back home to catch our breath.  Still, it was lovely.

 Remember this cowl? It's only a memory now.  I didn't like the yarn in this pattern either, so I frogged it.

 And then I started (or rather, I restarted) the Wanderer Cap for Steve, using a skein of Quince & Co. Lark in blue, and thankfully it's going well.  I love using that yarn and I'm excited that I'm using a Jared Flood pattern! Oh, and Steve will get a new hat out of it, so it's a win-win.


On a side note, I took a photo of a piece of seaweed this afternoon when I took my daily walk on the beach.  Pretty cool, huh?  I'm so very glad that I started this project.


Saturday, January 14, 2012


Steve and I took a short walk on the beach today.  Although it was windy and brisk, the sun was bright, which made it quite pleasant.


I thought the sand had an interesting look, probably due to the wind.

 And someone posted this on Facebook, and I wanted to share it here.  It's been a tough week and I thought I could use the reminder.

Hope your weekend is a peaceful one. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Indecision, Part Two

 I am still futzing along with startitis and her ugly sister, frogitis.  Everything I've started displeases me for one reason or another.  I ripped out the cowl I showed here yesterday, started a scarf with some Manos last night, then promptly frogged it, and now I'm working on another scarf.  I think this one may last, but I'm giving no guarantees at this point.  At least the process of knitting is comforting to me.

Meanwhile, Stephanie is a knitting machine.  She finished her second mitten, felted a pair of handwarmers, and is now at work on a Bandana scarf.  She's definitely taking advantage of being home on semester break and the fact that I have a small yarn shop in our house.  At least someone is being productive.

(and yes, that is the time honored toilet lid background you see in the photos)

To say I'm looking forward to the three day weekend is a gross understatement; hope you have one coming to you too!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Since I had to frog the Honey Cowl, I decided to try another pattern.  I think this pattern works better with the self striping.



  I still want to make a Honey Cowl, but I just think it would look better in a solid.  


Then Meredith sent me a couple of links today, one of which was Nougat, which would be perfect for my newest yarn.


Isn't that color gorgeous? 

High Point of the Day

I wish I had some knitting projects to share, but there really isn't anything new just yet.  I want to spend a day re-sorting my yarn, especially since the cat's visit, but I don't think I can justify a "sick" day for that.

I don't have any sewing to show yet either, but again, I don't think my sick leave policy covers that either.

I do have a beach photo though.  If you look closely, you can see the dewdrops on the feather.  Such a peaceful way to start the day.

Unfortunately, my day usually peaks right about then.