Saturday, May 22, 2010

Knot Your Average Dog Toy

When you have a knotted mess of cheap yarn that isn't worth the time or aggravation to unknot - you can make a puppy very happy.

Yarn Stealer2
Yarn Stealer1


Look at this surprise that showed up yesterday...

First Flower

It is the first of what I hope is many Nasturtium flowers. Yay!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Survival of the Fittest

It appears that my herbs and flowers survived the somewhat traumatic transplanting from last month. I'm not really sure how big each type of plant should be right now so I don't know if they are on track or behind schedule. But they aren't dead and that is a victory in itself.

Flowers 1

A few of the flowers are struggling, which I expected they might since the package said Nasturtium don't do well with transplanting. One is definitely looking good with strong green vines and bright color while the others tend to fade from green to yellow on occasion. The dahlias are getting taller and the Johnny-Jump-Ups seem to be progressing. Ironically I've forgotten which plants are the forget-me-nots. I'll know when/if the flowers bloom.

Herbs 1

The herbs are doing well - from left to right is basil, chives, parsley, thyme, rosemary and lavender. They took some injury during a tremendous downpour a few weeks ago. The water cascaded from the roof of the building directly into the container. I rescued them when I saw what was happening but some damage was done, especially to the basil and chives.


The small pot of basil is looking great. Time will tell just what a mistake it was putting all these plants into one container. Perhaps all I'll need to do is transplant them to more containers. It they do well, there will be an abundance of pesto made this summer.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Completed Project: Ocean Waves Baby Blanket - the last one!

This blanket took waaaay too long to finish. Sure, I was distracted by other projects and life in general...but there's no good reason why this blanket wasn't done by the end of March instead of the middle of May. But now - finally! - it is finished. The baby boy for whom it was made is still shy of 5 months old so I think he'll still get plenty of use out of it.

Ocean Waves 3 03
Ocean Waves 3 02

As always, full details available on Ravelry.

I really love the color combination and prefer the bolder hues to the pastel ones I thought I might use. The border is different form the one in the pattern which made it bigger (finished size is 26" square) and gave it more texture and visual appeal. It's Lion Brand's Baby Soft yarn that is machine washable and dryer friendly - a must for baby blankets I make.

The completion of this blanket also completes an item off my list of crafty resolutions for 2010! Yay!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Birthday on the Shore

My wonderful husband took me to St. Michaels over the weekend to celebrate another anniversary of my 29th birthday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous - sunny and warm but not hot and not humid. We took a 90 minute boat cruise on the water where I was able to get a few rounds done on his socks. I was glad to be on the easy part of the sock because the scenery was distractingly beautiful.


After docking, we had lunch at our favorite restaurant in town. This was then followed by a leisurely stroll through town which included a stop at Frivolous Fibers. I had seen a couple of patterns at their booth at MS&W but thought I would rather get it at the store than carry it around at the festival. The patterns are for purses - both knit and both with the option of felting. I decided to buy the handles for both patterns, too.

Purse Patterns 1

The handles were a definite splurge since the horse bit looking handle was $30 and the other was about $15. But I loved them both, I knew I could not find them at Joann's, I knew that they would be way more expensive with shipping to buy online, and I was supporting a local business. Not to mention, it was my birthday. (Aren't I great at justifying yarn store purchases?)

I looked at Sean and told him honestly - these bags may not be started until a year or two from now. He just smiled. And then I smiled. And then we both laughed. I so appreciate that he puts up with me and my fiber addiction.

I don't think I posted about this yarn, Knitcol Trends, that I also bought at Frivolous Fibers, though it was from a trip back in March. This should (fingers crossed) be a quick project of a baby hat for one of the babies due in November. If I run out of time to make a blanket, at least the little one will get a warm hat to wear.

Knitcol Trends

We walked around town a bit more, bought some treats for Seamus (who had to stay home since he would not have been allowed on the boat), and got Sean a new hat. It was such a wonderful day but before we knew it, it was time to get back in the car to drive home. The only thing sadder than the trip being over was arriving home to find that one of my DPNs was gone. I guess it liked the boat so much it decided to stay there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sheep & Shenanigans 2010

It takes some time to recuperate from a sheep and wool weekend and this year's Sheep and Shenanigans was no exception. In fact, it feels as though I needed more days than ever to get back to real life thanks to the absolutely wonderful weekend I had with my girls. Hence, the story of the weekend is being posted more than a week later.

Instead of giving you the play by play of events (which would be an epic blog post considering al the hilarity and randomness packed into the weekend), I'll share just a few highlights. There was talking and catching up, giggling about boys and cooing over the bebe, lots of feasting and merriment, and a few Wii sporting events. Seamus had a wonderful time and was his usual social and bouncy self. It was a lot for him as this photo will attest. I give you - the tiredest puppy ever - and this was only on Friday afternoon! He was playing with his stuffed animal and promptly fell asleep mid-play.

66 Seamus

The festival was wonderful as always. While the weather was beautiful and sunny, the temperature was a bit too warm to handle. We headed to the big barn first, not only to avoid the major crowds but also to avoid the heat. The barn gets hotter as the day goes on, from the lack of air circulation and the ever increasing mass of people. When we got there, it was already crowded but not as bad as I had feared it could be.

Though I didn't have any plans to buy yarn, I did come across a yarn company I had not previously heard of - Miss Babs hand-dyed yarns. And, though I didn't have plans to buy anymore sock yarn given the numerous skeins I have at home, it was beautiful sock yarn that caught my eye. They are sitting in a beautiful Carnival glass bowl I bought recently from Etsy.

Miss Babs Yarn

Something new that caught my eye this year was a weaving booth, as in basket weaving. I'm sure it has been there previous years; this was just the first year I stopped by to look. I found what I hope will be an easy to weave hair clip. The kit makes two so I have a backup if I mess up the first one.

Hair Clip Kit

After the main barn, we made our way to the smaller barns of goodies. After pushing my way through one barn, I had had quite enough and volunteered to watch Bebe's stroller as the other girls walked through the remaining barns. I did get a chance to walk through the sheep barn and take some cute photos. A few are below or you can see them all on Flickr.

40 Sheep Nose43 Sheep31 Sheep51 Sheep

It was close to noon when we made our way to the shelter of shade beneath a large tree to eat lunch. It was another great idea this year to bring our own lunches. I find the festival food to be overpriced, not very tasty and for the most part, quite unhealthy. We did treat ourselves to some ice cream, as is tradition, and at only $4 for a dipped cone it was worth the price on a hot May day.

After calling our chariot to retreive us, we made our way through some other lanes and saw other vendors, trying in earnest to find out where Brooks Farm had gone. A number of vendors had moved this year to a larger area which was great for their booths (more space) but a bit frustrating for us (hard to find them). One of the vendors who moved and whom I wanted to see was the artist, Conni Tögel at the Charisma Art Gallery. I bought one of her small prints a couple years ago and it now hangs in the craft room. I was hoping to find another print for the craft room, though it would need to be one that I absolutely loved - not just one that I sorta liked. While flipping through the prints, one caught my eye immediately.


It's called "Beside Still Waters" and I just love it! The colors, the trees, the happy sheep - all of it. I'm going to get it framed and either replace the flowers photo with it or hang it to the right side of the cabinet in the craft room.

When Sean arrived, we climbed into the van, tired and hot but happy and content. And also sunburned - bright red on my arms, chest and ouch! my head where my hair is parted. (Note to self - next year remember sunscreen and big, floppy hat.)

Tradition continued with a viewing of Auntie Mame and a dinner of pierogies. Sadly Perches and Bebe had to miss dinner and a movie. They needed to head home a day earlier than planned which was probably for the best considering the rest of us were up until 3:00 am. Or was it 4:00 am. Whatever it was, it was waaaaay too late because Sunday morning arrived too soon. It was time for breakfast, and lots of it. French toast, homefries, bacon, sausage, eggs, fruit, yogurt - so much of it and so delicious. Food that was great for a hangover as well as keeping us full until dinner time.

After breakfast, there was time to knit, crochet and talk. But alas, the minutes moved so quickly that it was suddenly time to drop off the girls at the train station and airport.

And thus, before I knew what happened, Sheep and Shenanigans was over. A whirlwind of activities and laughter and much needed girlfriend time had come and gone in what felt like hours, not days. But my soul was recharged so there was no sadness, leave for the fact that MS&W 2011 was now a full year away.

Thanks to "C", we've got a notebook in which to chronicle our shenanigans, not only for this year but for years past and those in the future. I'm not sure how next year will top this year, but I have no doubts that it will.