Monday, December 9, 2013

Dreary December Day

We are not having the biting cold, snowy weather that seems to be gripping the rest of the country, but it is very overcast, about 37 degrees and rainy.  It seemed to be pitch black this morning when I got up, so on went the Christmas lights and the fireplace to spread some cheer.  That is one of the best things about the decorations for Christmas, all the twinkle lights and bright colors keep us cheerful leading up to the Winter Solstice.

My decorating is done, my shopping is almost done and we will get the trees this week.  Just trying to decide how many Christmas cookies I am going to make this year.  Maybe just gingerbread, pizzelles, cut outs and jam thumbprints.

My Christmas knitting is moving right along (and why I do Christmas knitting, I just don't know!).

 Five washcloths done, two to go.
 One slipper done, three to go.
Half a cowl done.  This yarn is flashing and pooling in a very charming way and I think will look really good wrapped twice with a black coat.

More knitting tomorrow.  Hopefully, more Christmas presents finished.  I have a distraction problem whenever I am working on a project that has a deadline.  Every other project in my queue, every other project that I see on other knitting blogs or Pinterest seem so much more interesting and desirable than the one that must get done.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Unknitting: It's the Journey, Not the Destination!

Knitting.  It can be very satisfying and very frustrating, both at the same time.

I had too many projects in various stages, so I pledged to finish up everything before I started any more.  I had one sleeve left on the Dahlia cardigan an aboslutely beautiful cardigan with a really intriguing construction, started in the middle of the lace on the back, afterthought sleeves, a real challenge.

Top picture, it is done!  I tried it on and hated it.  I looked terrible in this!  When will I realize I am not a slinky 20 something and will not look like the model in the pattern picture-ever.  So I didn't even hesitate and took it apart immediately.  I knew I would never wear it and the longer I waited, the harder it would be to take apart. I think this color was totally wrong for the project.  It really was too busy.

I then took out the Tempest sweater (middle picture).  All pieces were done, just had to put this together.  It had sat in the bag like this for over a year, all blocked and really pretty.  I again took a good look at it and realized it would never fit.  Way too small.  Again, not a skinny 20 year old.  I do have plenty of yarn and I still think that the sweater would look good on me so I will make it larger.

You would thing the last project, a pair of socks, would be a breeze after all the sweater trauma.  No, no. The second sock had sat all summer needing just its heel and foot.  But I had forgotten the pattern and the little tweeks I had made to it.  It was a very sloooow process at the heel of knitting and ripping, trying to get the stripes to match.  I think I knitted as much as a pair of socks, with all the knitting and ripping I did to get this pair to match.

I have two other projects waiting and I am almost afraid to look at them too closely, a sweater (which I will tackle next and the Frost Flower Shawl, which is going to be a slow process.  I will try to do one row every day or so, just to keep the pattern fresh in my head.

My main goal right now is to finish Afterlight and that means I will try to be a monogamous knitter.  I have the back done and am almost to the armhole on the front.  Love to have the sleeves going by Thursday's knitting group, but I'm not going to push it.
One of the things I discovered is I really am a process knitter.  It didn't cause me much of a pang to rip out all that work.  After all it's just knitting and now I get to knit something completely different!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Time For New Books

With the cooler weather, kids back in school and publishers getting out their newest books, it's reading time once again.  My plans for summer always include lots of reading, but the reality never comes up to my imagination.
While waiting for the latest Nora Roberts's In Death to come out next week (hurry up Sept 17th) and Louise Penny's latest Inspector Gamache to be available from the library (where I am next in line, yeah!), I picked up some titles that were recommended on the Barnes & Noble blog by Ms Penny.  I started with the first book in the new (to me) Rev. Clare Furgusson series "In a Bleak Midwinter" and am loving it.  This is another series set in upstate New York like the Troy Chance series I happened on this summer.  Wow, two new authors with strong female main characters.  I also picked up "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and the first of one of  Rhys Browns' series "Her Royal Spyness".  I'm really hoping I like this author as she has two other series that sound just like the cozy mysteries that make me very happy!

In the TV, movie viewing we happened upon the "Longmire" series on Netflix (have I mentioned how I could do without cable but never Netflix on demand?)  We plowed through the first season (I think its called binge viewing) and thought we could get the second season on line, but other than the last few episodes or buying them on iTunes we are just going to have to wait.  This is very tough, as we both really enjoyed it.
But the new season is starting this month, so I'm sure there will be plenty to watch.  More than we actually have time for probably, as we only  watch about 2 hours per day.  Shows have to be mighty good for us to spend our TV watching time on them.  I guess that is why I like Netflix,  we are able to find shows that we missed on the network, not have to watch commercials so spend only about 20 or 40 minutes watching.
When complaining about the lack of vegetables in our garden this year, I forgot to mention the raspberries which are plentiful and delish!  We do have to try and beat the bees to them, but this is a potion of what my DH picked yesterday. Enough to eat and freeze.  That's after enough last week for raspberry pie and breakfast eating.
Not a great picture, but here"s Frankie sunning herself on the lounge chair.  Silly dog!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Happy Place

 I love this time of the year.  So full of possibilities.  Even though the summer flew by and we didn't have as much swimming time toward the end of August as I would have liked and we didn't seem to get to do as much as we thought we would, it is good to have that crisp air in the early mornings and the bright yellow school buses taking the kids back to school.

The garden, as you can see in the pictures, is still full of color.  I planted, I think,  almost 100 gladiola bulbs.  I did stagger the planting in order to have color a bit longer.  Not sure how many have come up, as I have been picking them for a few weeks and still have quite a few still growing.  The mix of sunflowers is adding lots of sunny, happy to the back garden.  The Autumn Joy sedum finally got replanted in the right spot and is full and changing into its purple fall color.

The vegetable garden was not too good this year.  Eggplant need hot weather and so do the tomatoes.  the winter squash is doing just fine and I think we will be harvesting enough to take us through the fall and early winter.

We have plans to rework the right side of the back garden.  These were the only beds that didn't get redone this spring.  Plans are for more of a butterfly garden in one of the three 8x8 beds.  We have our eye on some milkweed in a field and I want to get some of the seeds, I also have a few pots of bee balm that I grew from seeds to replant, once we have all the debris cleaned out.  I would like to have a raised bed in one of the other spots for herbs and greens.  It needs to be built up so that the family of rabbits that have lived under our shed for the past 20 years can't get to the veggies.

Fall is the perfect time to do the heavy lifting that these projects need.  Hopefully we will get it done.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer Relief

Hot, hot, hot this past week.  Highs in the 90's, low in the not very low 75 range and humid as all get out.
 Last night the weather broke with a vengeance: we lost power about 8:30 at night and didn't get it back until 4:30 this morning.  The thunderstorm lasted an hour and a half and seemed to be right over our house.  It also brought torrents of rain.  Frankie and I were very scared.  The crack of the thunder followed the lightning immediately.  I kept imagining the tall trees in our backyard coming down on top of us, but we only lost one small limb.

Did I mention the torrents of rain?  They are continuing today in brief spurts.  The windows are all open and the house is getting a refresh.  Feels so good!

I took pictures of all the lilies I have blooming right now.  I want to keep a journal of all the varieties I already have so that I will get different ones when I fill in the two beds in the back that I am redoing.  So here are some pretty pictures:

There are quite a few of the dark red variety, although they each different characteristics.  Some are small, some have a yellow heart, one variety keeps blooming into August.  Still, need some more pinks and white.  These are all day lilies.  The earlier Oriental lilies were yellow.  Need some variety there, also. 

Tomorrow, maybe some knitting.  Today is mostly just recovery from the hot and the non-stop visits from all the kids to swim.  Not that that was a bad thing, just a bit tiring.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Some Knitting

It's really spring!  The magnolia tree is spectacular and the forsythias are blooming also.  There was lots of outdoor activity, like cleaning out garden beds, golfing, and lawn mowing and raking this weekend.  The weather couldn't have been nicer for this, sunny and not too hot.  Today it is overcast and the rest of the week is going to be in the 70's.  Yeah!
Transitioning from winter wools to summer shorts is never a gradual process in our area.  It usually happens so quickly you haven't gotten out the summer duds or put away the boots.  Snow and frost can happen well into May, so tender annuals can't go in the ground too soon.

I potted most of my seeds; zinnias and sunflowers, beets and beans.  I like to start them growing in pots before I transplant them in the garden to give them a head start and keep the bunnies away from their tender new shoots.

I finished a pair of socks for myself this weekend and started another pair.  I have to add to my drawer as I had 4 pair that developed holes on the heels.  I think one of my pairs of boots had a spot that wore them through.  I'll have to replace them before next winter.  My favorite pair, of course.

The Kroy striped sock yarn is usually free from knots, but one skein had several knots and I was worried I would have two non matched socks (hate that!)  but it didn't turn out too badly, just a little difference in the toe, that only I will notice if I keep my shoes on!
I put another sock on the needles as soon as I finished the Kroy.  It is a limited edition Kertzer in blues and purples.  I think I might do a pattern as the pair I did for DD#3 pooled a bit.  Got to be an easy pattern as I take these socks with me everywhere and work on them when I have a spare moment.

I have three sweaters in the almost finished pile that I am going to commit here to finishing this week.  

1. Pat's cardigan has the buttonhole band to be finished and the side seams to sew up.  
2. My striped Tempest has to be sewn up and the button band and collar done.  Hmmm! That one could take a while.  Maybe that's why it's been unfinished.
3.  My Dahlia cardigan has one sleeve partially finished.  Once both sleeves are done it is completely done and that is a good thing.

Maybe one week is too ambitious.  I'll just devote myself to these three projects and see how long they take.
I'll check in next Monday with a progress report.
Free day, one of the kids is sick.  We have a bowling banquet tonight so no cooking tonight!  A really free day!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sewing Monday

When my girls were little and I was not working outside the home, I did a lot of sewing for them.  Everything from t-shirts to jeans and fancy, smocked Easter dresses. I remember one Easter eve staying up until the wee small hours finishing up 3 dresses.  There was even a time when I sewed and crocheted various stuffed animals and sold them at craft shows with a friend.

I am no novice, but it has been quite a number of years since I have really done any sewing other than mending.  I got the itch to pick it up again and decided to start with something simple.  I always have a need for more project bags and there is plenty of  coordinating fabric in my stash.  This weekend I decided to get some sewing done.

I know what I like in project bags.  The small bags from are my absolute favorites for my sock knitting.  The reasons are clear, no zippers or velcro to trap my yarn.  I want larger bags to hold sweater projects and tried to find a pattern I liked.  None of the commercial patterns had everything I wanted, so I am trying to engineer the type of bag I like.  I am modifying a Simplicity pattern and adding features that I think I will like using.

My sewing skills are more than a little rusty, I will admit.  I am using two very plain fabrics to make the prototype.  I also cut the basic pattern out of a medium weight interfacing so I can reuse the pattern, if I get it to turn out the way I have it in my mind.

One thing I noticed about the pattern instructions, is how very brief they are.  A novice sewer, I think, would have a hard time knowing just what to do.  I am not sure if this is true of every pattern that's out there, but it sure is true about this one.

Stay tuned to see how this turns out!

It is in the high 60's today,finally, so I went out to do some gardening this morning.  I cut down the clematis vines on the side of the garage and cleaned up the debris that gets blown in that corner and did some weeding.  Wow, am I sore!  Winter was too long and I haven't been keeping in shape.  A little at a time is how my garden is going to get ready for the summer!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Can't Believe It's Been So Long...

Just checked my last post which was after winter break and here it is after Spring break and I am just posting again! Too long with too much to catch up on.
Spring is taking a long time to get here this year.  We finally had some sunny warm weather the last two days but the evenings were rainy with prolonged thunderstorms.  It's going to rain all day today and temperatures are going to drop again for a few days but there were some small signs of spring among the mess of last year's garden: crocuses and the first of the daffodils are trying to break through.  I was so happy to see them!

Also robins have been spotted both by eyes and by ears, I just love their happy songs this time of year and I hung the finch feeder on Sunday, they finally noticed it yesterday and I got to see the bright cheery yellow outside my kitchen window.

Spring break was less than stellar.  More cold miserable weather that kept us indoors.  Fortunately books were read and a puzzle was worked on.  I thought the Winter break puzzle was a challenge, well for Spring break I picked a black and white panorama of New York.

Needless to say we are still working on it

Hopefully it will be done this weekend as the kids are sleeping over.

I have been trying to  keep up with my reading goal of two books a week.  One audio and one either paper or ebook seems to work. Don't know how this will be during the summer as I have less time to myself, but I am going to make an effort to keep it up.  

I have been listening to two podcasts about books: Books on the Nightstand and Literary Disco.  Both are excellent and fun to listen to.  

I have been feverishly adding to my wish list on the library site and have read many of the Books On the Nightstand recommendations.  I have yet to hit a bad suggestion.  I am also following the short story arc.  Anne Kingman has challenged herself to read a short story a day for 2013 which she has designated Project Short Story  I am not quite that ambitious but I am reading some of the suggested short stories, especially the ones that are readily accessible on the internet or library or on podcasts, such as Selected Shorts and The New Yorker Fiction.  

I had some misgivings about tackling short stories.  They have never been on my radar so I have not been exposed to the genre since high school and college days.  But I read a few of the first suggestions and  have been pulled in.  It is truly a unique writing style and takes an amazing ability to give the reader a completely satisfying story in a few paragraphs.

A really wonderful experience was listening to Ray Bradbury's "The Veldt" read by Stephen Colbert while taking the kids to the Botanical Gardens.  It was a "driveway moment" to have them want to sit in the car when we got home and finish the story and then have them say "That was great!"

I have to try to remember the stories I've read so far this year and make a list.  It might be a goal to try and read one or two a week.

Monday, February 25, 2013

We Made It!

Winter break is over and I have a day of rest to recuperate.  The kids were great but the weather was so cold that we were not enticed to do much more than stay warm, read books, work on a jigsaw puzzle and watch movies.  There was also a lot of cooking involved and dish washing.

I forgot to take a picture of the puzzle all put together.  It was a city collage of Chicago and seemed to be one of the more challenging ones that we have done.  Watched two of the recent Bond movies Skyfall and Casino Royal  two of the best of the series.  Then of course we watched the Academy Awards last night.  I don't care what anyone else thinks, I thought it was funny and enjoyable.  I love seeing all the beautiful dresses and jewelry.

I do have a finished  object to show off, the Honey Cowl.  An easy knit that really shows off this yarn.  I will be wearing it tomorrow and will definitely be making another.

This week I hope to finish up some of the projects I have on the needles which hasn't stopped me from starting two more projects.  My knitting mojo is definitely back.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Little Break

Didn't mean to take such a long break from the blogging.  Not any reason in particular, just didn't sit down to blog. I'll just go on from here rather than trying to catch up.

I like what the ladies at the Mason-Dixon knitting blog are doing.  They do a quick 15 minute blog each day or so.  That way they form a habit and keep it current.  I'll try to do that rather than a once a week catch-up.

This week is Winter break for the kids and week-end break for their parents, which means kids week for us. Not sure what we will do with them.  It is cold and snowy out, so maybe a movie day, a craft day, a cookie-baking day?  I got a new jigsaw puzzle, so maybe that will help.

I would like to complete one project per week, knitting, sewing, little job around the house and garden.  So that is what I'll be posting on Sundays. So here is the sock I completed this week.  Cookie A's BFF socks in KnitPicks Felici in the Gelato colorway which doesn't look like it is available any more.

I love everything about this project.  The yarn is soft and lovely and the colors remind me of a favorite dress I had as a little girl that was yellow and brown and pink, which I called my ice-cream dress.  I will definitely make this sock again, but make the leg another inch longer (I was afraid I was going to run out of yarn, but had plenty). It is an easy pattern with great results.

I fell prey to the Honey Cowl syndrome.  Never thought I would, but I was so taken with the cabled or braided cowl that Watson wore on the TV show Elementary, I fell down the cowl hole and came up with this one first.  By the way, this is a show that I keep pausing to get a good look at Watson's outfits.  They are so smart with really classic lines and a smattering of great knits.

I love, love, love the Honey Cowl already.  I am using a Plymouth yarn named Kodu, which I have had in my stash way too long.  It is a cotton and silk blend, but I thought I would give this pattern a try using it and so far it is coming out with great awesomeness!  I have my next Honey Cowl all lined up.  I may have fallen into a dark hole!
There is great discussion on the Ravelry boards trying to pin down a pattern that would replicate Watson's cowl and there have been many suggestions.  I think I am going to go with the Lava Flow cowl, maybe a bit wider.

I am happy to say, I have gotten my knitting mojo back.  It seemed to have deserted me last year

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The End of the Beginning

I can see the end beckoning me.  I have reached the underarm bind off of both sleeves of Pat's cardigan.  By my eye-balling measurement, I have about 3 more repeats of the motif to do before I am finished!!!!!

Of course I will have to put it together, but that seems so minor compared to getting through this cardigan.  My biggest fear?  That it will be too big.  I told the hubby, it didn't matter if it was HUGE on him, he would wear it and like it!!

I would like to have at least one finished object for January.  I guess I do, sort of.  One of #1 grandson's socks is finished.  I did promise the second one would be done last week, but that didn't happen.  It really is great that all my family loves my hand knits and requests them, but there are so many of them!

DD#2 has been wearing the orange Wingspan I made, and has had several people who come for her Yoga classes ask for some for themselves.  They told her that I could name my price.  If I just quoted them the price of the yarn (about $15.00)  I think they would back down.  That doesn't included my time.  I should figure out the number of hours it took and my hourly wage, just for the fun of seeing how fast they run the other way.

I got new sheets yesterday to replace the one set we were down to.  I also got a new bedskirt and imagine my surprise when I washed it and found it wasn't permanent press.  I will spend the next few hours ironing it into submission before putting it on the bed with my knitted bedspread

I'll take a picture of the newly updated bed and post it.

I have to congratulate myself on fixing the picture problem with Blogger (just needed to update to google chrome) and getting my Nook to take the downloads from the library.

The main reason I got the Nook was to use it for library downloads and it was really annoying to run into this problem.  I'm with everyone who has gotten disgusted with the price of ebooks.  When I got the Nook I thought I could cut down on the number of physical books I have, as I am trying to avoid and eliminate the clutter all around me, and the price of the books was very reasonable, about six dollars.  But now bestsellers are about fifteen dollars and I am not willing to pay that much for digital books.  My library, however has a wonderful supply and they keep getting more.  The only negative its that you have to read them within 14 days, and I hate deadlines.  So I was more than bummed when I couldn't get the books to open after they were downloaded.  I went on line to user groups and found out there were multitudes that had the same problem.  I followed the advice in the forums but still couldn't get it to work.  I finally called customer service, got a great technician to guide me through the steps and fixed the problem.  The thing I had neglected to do was the second delete of the Adobe files and a hard reset of the Nook.  "Joe" said to me that I was the easiest person to get through the steps and wanted to know if I worked with computers.  It was nice to know I could fix something without one of my sons-in-law having to help.

It's been bitingly cold here this week.  In the single digits, so my knits are getting a workout.  I find that I need more pullovers in a lightweight wool to keep me warm. Every day I thank myself for making me so many pairs of wool socks to keep my feet toasty.  I have been wearing my blue cardigan around the house since the wool hasn't held up well and it gets very pilly.  Old yarn, what can I say, besides get rid of it!

I have read four books, since last I blogged so I'll be short and sweet:

 Sweet Tooth - very good, I recommend
The Tiger - Just OK, very long and involved references to Russian history, geography, tigers  and people and customs, that grew tiresome.
The Beautiful Mystery - Excellent just like every other Louise Penny novel.  This series is so beautifully written.
The Rope - Excellent.  A prequel to Anna's adventures.  Takes us to the beginning of her service in the NPS.
I have read all of this series in the last year and have found the last few very dark, but very good.  Well worth starting from the beginning and reading through to the last one.

We went to see Lincoln  last weekend, and I couldn't believe how compelling the story of getting an amendment passed could be, when in the hands of a master.  The theater was full and there was barely a murmur or movement from the crowd.  We were amazed when almost 2.5 hours went by.  Great acting and just beautifully done.

My plans for the week are to get the sleeves finished, get the sock finished and get the picture adventure I have started near completion.  More on that at a later post. Now on to ironing.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Little Things

Still making progress on the sleeves for the cardigan for DH.  Two sleeves at once may be something I do from now on.  It is so easy to keep track of the increases.  Yes, it seems to be slower since I would probably be finish with one complete sleeve, if I was doing this one at a time, but when I got to the second one, I'd lose time  constantly counting and trying to figure out where I had done  all the changes to the first one.
One thing I am having a hard time with (and I have messed up a couple of times) is not working on the correct sleeve .  Finishing two rows of the first sleeve and not having done the same rows of the second.  I have put on lots and lots of markers, keeping track of rows, the various changes in the cables and I added the handy little "start" and "end" markers that came with the cute little "Stitchdot"  stitch markers.  I love what they refer to as the "retro" case.  I remember taking my lunch money to school in a case like this one.

I have the toe of one sock to complete on Nathan's socks.  Need to have him try it on.  His feet get bigger every day!

It was warm enough (with rain) for all the snow to be gone.  We even took a nice walk yesterday during halftime of the football game.  We have been watching the playoffs this weekend, so didn't watch any movies.  We watched the Golden Globe award show.  This is always so much more fun to watch than either  the Emmys or the Oscars.

We did watch last weeks episode of "Downton Abbey"  and I was a little disappointed in what seemed like choppiness in the scenes, didn't seem to flow well.  And a little more of the wedding would have been nice.  The program that aired before it was the real life residents going through all that they have to do to keep this beautiful place from falling down.  It does seem like a daunting task and incredibly expensive.

I am really keeping to my resolution to read 2 books a week.  I have been using the recommendations of the podcast "Books on the Nightstand" as my guide and I haven't hit a dud yet.  Listened to  "The Age of Miracles" audio book and enjoyed it tremendously.

I also read  an Agatha Raisin "Hiss and Hers",  Now I love M.C. Beaton having read all the Agatha
and Hamish MacBeth series, but this was just dreadful.  It reminds me of The Cat Who series that just got impossible to read.  Not much plot, or character development and a total disregard to time.  I'll probably try the next Hamish but I'm definitely finished with Agatha.

It's hubby's ROMEO night out, so I may watch a movie tonight.  Have to see what's out there!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year So Far

Christmas is just about put away here.  The decorations are all boxed up.  The only remnants are the two trees, bare and waiting to go to the curb and be composted.  That is one big job, getting everything back to normal.  The house looks a little bare and sad!

I have been busy on DH's cardigan.  Finished the back and both fronts.  The hardest part, so far,  was to do the raglan decreases and v-neck decreases and keep some integrity to the cable pattern and keep both sides symmetric.  I think I accomplished this and have started the sleeves. 

I am doing both sleeves at the same time.  Something I have never done before!  It never bothered me to make a second sleeve, as some knitters say they get "second sleeve syndrome"  i.e. not liking to make two of the same thing.  My reasons for knitting these at the same time, is the same problem I had with the fronts.  I want to ensure the increases and decreases and the cable pattern all happen in the same place on both sleeves without constant counting and marking.

Blogger is giving me picture problems, so I can't post pictures at the moment, so I thought I could link the project but that gave me warning messages! (Sigh)  (EDITED to add picture.  I installed Google Chrome now able to add pictures)

I am on my way to completing 2 books a week, since I finished "Burn" by Neveda Barr and  "Defending Jacob" by William Landay this week.  I guessed the ending to "Defending Jacob", probably because the reviews told me there was a surprise ending.  The last three Nevada Barr books have been darker than the other books in the series but all were very good.  I highly recommend both of these books.

Watched Christmas movies this week, so oldies but goodies.  I did watch "The Descendants" while DH was out somewhere and we both watched "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" last weekend.  Both very good.  We are watching the first season of  "The Big Bang Theory" and liking it.  It is a one note comedy, but it has made me laugh out loud, so we will continue with the second season.

"Downton Abbey" season three starts tonight!!  I am so ready for this.  Also new episodes of our old series coming back tonight, so lots of TV knitting happening.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year 2013

Let's forget about 2012.  Not that it was a bad year.  Far from it.  However, I lost some of my mojo.  Knitting and blogging and gardening (too hot this summer) went by the wayside and time went by too fast with not much to show for it.

So going forward into the new year, I am going to try and get my mojo back.  My knitting has already started to increase.  I'm enjoying it again. I really kept to the resolve of not taking any classes and not buying yarn for anything but items I needed to start right then and there.  No patterns or pattern clubs, no KAL's or mystery KAL's (total disasters each and every time!) and knitting up the stash.

I really blitzed my yarn and got rid of two garbage bags full of yarn, some semi-new and some dating back to the days of my working at the Needlebasket (which was over 20 years ago).  I made a sweater for DD#1  Metro out of Cascade which turned out beautifully.  I made the same sweater for me out of some of that old yarn and I was far from happy with it.  It is okay, but nothing more.  When I started another sweater with a different yarn from that era and it was turning out like a brillo pad, I realized it was a waste of my time to continue.  So out it went along with most of the rest of the hangers-on from ancient times.  Yarn is so much nicer now and my time and effort is much better spent using the good stuff.  Lesson rather painfully learned!

This year I am going to continue knitting from the stash and I want to keep better track of my projects and knitting yardage.  I finished 27 items last year (which included Christmas knitting of dishtowels and slippers) as this included the epic bedspread, it's more than I thought it would be.

I'm in the "13 in 2013" group on Ravelry and I want the 13 to be items from my queue.  I have them in project bags, patterns and yarn together.  I would also like to make 12 pairs of socks; 6 simple pairs and 6 pair using some of the hand-painted yarn and special patterns I've been collecting. 

I have four sweaters and one shawl on the needles right now: Frost Flowers , Tempest, Dahlia, Pat's cardigan, and I just started Bel Air. I am going to concentrate on finishing these four and maybe start a pair of socks in January.  The year I made monthly goals worked well for me, so I think I will continue that.

I read 54 books last year and I would like to double that amount.  Two books a week seems possible, one audio book and one print book.

And I would like to do some sewing.  Nothing much.  Maybe project bags and simple curtains.  I would like to brush up on my sewing skills

I want this to be the year of the great clearing-out.  Getting rid of all the unnecessary junk in the house.  Because we haven't moved in over 30 years, we never seem to have a real reason to get rid of stuff.

And I am going to make sure I keep blogging.  At least once a week.  Keeps me aware of what I have accomplished and is a nice way to look back.

It's been snowy since Christmas with light dusting's every day or so.  You may be able to make out the beginnings of the snow fort the kids started building out of garbage cans full of snow.  Great idea!