Saturday, November 28, 2009

Heart be Still----

Oh man, Nigella AND Christmas? Gracious gravy may my heart be still! I adore them both! An absolutely excellent book, great recipes, good background chatter from Nigella, excellent photography.

Let the holiday cheer begin!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I changed my mind with Thanksgiving placecards. These are still very nice------ from Martha of course. I'd started out with cute little turkeys sporting fall colored pom poms and bits of paper but just never arrived. So it goes.

The table still turned out great, now that I am dining room-less and not in a bad way. This table usually is folded in and handles my sewing machine and serger. During holiday time it shall be pressed into sturdy service. (Don't ask about the machines!) Pretty cute little turkeys on the table too, thanks Martha!

The first glimpse of the "new" kitchen, with holiday sides lined up on the counter and ready to to into the oven.

Hope your kitchen smells (smelled) as great as mine does today.............. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Remember Me?

Way too long to have made a blog entry, which I do apologize for. As friends know, I'm slammed at work, stressed in life and just overwhelmed. It's okay, I'm dealing.

While I work from home and try to tie up enough loose ends to take tomorrow off and enjoy Thanksgiving I can enjoy the smell of freshly baked pumpkin pies. Rather calming that!

I promise photos of:
  • 12 inches of the body of the Lloie Cardigan, going very slowly but still wonderful
  • I've ordered the new "green sweater" pattern from EZ which just came out----- can't wait!
  • The kitchen has taken me on an adventure into mid-century and away from country French in it's new aqua and red happy face
  • and I can't manage to knit a beret to save my life! Too big, too small, too something. I'm regrouping
until then------- happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US, and many blessings of counted blessings to us all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

in the blue

Work has been insane, insane I tell you! It has gotten in the way of my knitting time, much to my amazement!!

I am finding the long stretch of circular stockinette knitting that is now the Lloie cardi body is quite portable and has been hauled around with me over the past week. I was hoping to have a bit more to show for my efforts because push has met shove and it is time for some Christmas knitting. Not as much perhaps as years past, but well thought out intentional gift knitting nonetheless.

The weekend was spent working as has been my usual lately. Saturday did not have me doing the usual bride thing but assisting as fashion b*oudoir was shot. All I can say is that it is a very good thing I'm secure! Spending the day with young and lovely, firm and fit in their gorgeous lingerie could have been daunting.

Very much so.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Open Love Letter---- No Knitting Content :)

Nope, no knitting content, not one whit. I did make it to knitting group yesterday and stayed for a whopping hour and a half, left before half the group arrived after work. While there I managed three cups of quite delightful coffee, enjoyed good chitchat and tried (again) unsuccessfully (always) to knit the round stockinette section of the navy Lloie cardie using the continental method. I was almost glad to GO-------- after all it was to see the object of my affection.

The Blues.

I used to be completely passionate about the PBR, that is professional bull riding. I love me some cowboys on bulls, but I digress.

I adore hockey, every bit of it. Dressing in blue to go to the game, tucking in enough money to perhaps score a Guiness or a box of funnel cake fries, maybe a hot dog while arriving early enough to watch the warm up. The sight of those completely adorable men (mostly young enough to plant me firmly into the reprobate camp) skating---- the adrenaline, the excitement, the everything. It is a good thing hockey is. Yeah, you betcha'! I can even sing the Canadian National Anthem thank you very much!

But my Blues, how I love them! From Mr. Oshie who is cute as pie and skates like those blades are an extension of his body, to Mr. Tkachuk, the elder statesman (sorry Keith) who makes it all spin. Keith, you were born the year I graduated from high school, I think that might make you feel better about the whole elder statesman comment. The new guy Lars scored his first goal at the last game we were at, (his first N*HL game) that was so exciting to be there for----- and I think he is 12. I'm pretty sure he doesn't shave yet!!! ;) Mr. McDowell, man you are a scoring machine------ and so dang energetic! Mr. Backes might make the U.S. Olympic team, how cool is that????? Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't sing the praises of my OTHER boyfriends Mr. Perron, B.J., Brad (2), and Jay------ you make my heart go pitter patter. Eric/k, Barret, Alex and Mike........... and oh Mr. Polak------- you guys work so hard! And you can't talk about your boyfriends without making sure that goalie Mr. Mason is not also on the list, gotta' love that guy.

Last night was without a doubt the BEST hockey game I've ever seen. Or at least in recent memory. There in seats twelve rows off center ice I watched the glory unfold. The first score came within minutes of the puck drop and they were at 4 by the time the first period ended. I was so in love with my boys!

Great hockey, lots of scoring, excellent ass kicking (Cam you ARE the enforcer), a WIN (canya' say 6-1) and free Big Macs? Hells bells a perfect hockey evening, sorry Canuck*s fans.

Icing on the cake was the Hat Trick----- my first three-fer in a very long time. It was INCREDIBLE! Watching all of the hats flying from the seats onto the rink in mad abandon was great............ and left me wishing I had a hat of my own to toss. I briefly considered tossing my panties onto the ice but remembered several things. First, it was not a Tom Jones concert, my panties were under a pair of jeans and I know for a fact that I could not get my pants off and do the panty tossing thing in enough time to be considered anything less than some kind of awful threat. Lastly they are for pity sake granny panties and as I am all but ignored by the camera in the stands because I am not a young hot thing (preferably blonde) tossing my granny panties onto the ice might get me arrested. It was Mr. Perron's first career hat trick, I'm pretty sure he would have dug the panty thing. Really.

I'm going to make you watch it here-------- you can knit while you do but I don't want you to miss anything---

Thanks boys, it was a glorious evening, even with hockey sticks and not my usual sticks of preference!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Top Shelf Where the Stockinette Goes

Hockey themed title today (aka Top Shelf)................ sorry I do love hockey! Last night I'd planned on coming home, opening a can of soup or some other easily accomplished meal and knitting while watching Gray's. Instead, imagine my joy when instead came an offer of free hockey tickets. Good ones. Hockey! Love the Blues, even when they've been struggling a bit lately. The new kid? First game in the NH*L and his first goal. Top Shelf baby!!!!!

Knitting has moved into top shelfdom as the ribbing is OVER. I recall EZ saying that the way to determine when ribbing is done when you can't bear to knit another stitch. I reached that point at about 2 3/4 inches, short of the prescribed 3". I'm okay with it, the ribbing that is there looks grand enough and I am DELIGHTED to move away from the 1x1 on those beensy 2's and enter the stockinette body on 3's. Three's! Feels like a big ole' honkin' needle and I like it.

The weekend will have too much work (including a bride to pose tomorrow) and a show on Sunday. This means that Monday will be full and I'm hoping for a breather shortly thereafter.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Knit The Season!

Despite my fears that the holidays will be on our doorstep at the next wake up, and endless sniffling over the fact that it is November already and I have not started any handmade gifts, much less decided upon them------ I do LOVE a holiday book.

Better yet is the third in the Friday Night Knitting Club series, holiday themed, "Knit the Season" by Kate Jacobs. A novel nestled into a holiday vignette with knitting! How does it get better?

Having read all of Kate's previous books (including Comfort Food) I was intrigued by another book from the characters I've come to know from past volumes. As in the past, Kate generously provided a sneak peek of Chapter 1 (below), follow the link for the entire chapter.

Chapter 1

New York seemed to be a city made for celebrations, and Dakota Walker loved every moment of the holidays: from the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds breathlessly waiting for the lighting of the gigantic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, to the winter-themed department store windows displaying postmodern Santas, to—her favorite—the kickoff to a month of fun with that ruckus of a parade on Thanksgiving morning. ****** To read more Chapter 1, please click HERE.

I finished the book last night, having received an advance copy to review. I loved it! If you are a fan of Friday Night Knitting Club, or are just looking for a holiday read, look no further. A great read from cover to cover! Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, Christmas and New Years all represent, and as icing on the cake there is a wedding reception to remember. Yes, I do still miss Georgia Walker but her influence remains in this latest book as well as some great character development from the knitters we've come to know and love.

Kate was generous enough to stop preparations for her new book tour to answer a few questions, thanks Kate!


KC: Have the characters from the Friday Night Knitting Club stuck with you after the books have been written?

KJ: Absolutely. But I have characters haunting me who are in books I haven’t yet written, so that’s par for the course. For me, every character is just a real person who happens to be imaginary. That’s it. So I really think of them as friends, as people I care deeply about, and I forgive them all their mistakes and flaws. (Except for Cats’ ex-husband in the first book.) It’s exciting to me to have both Knit Two in paperback and Knit the Season in hardcover because I can talk about what’s going on with the series overall. You see, there’s five years between the narrative of the original FNKC and the setting of Knit Two, and the years in between have allowed certain characters to try to grow up. Yes, I mean Georgia’s daughter Dakota, but also Cat (who renames herself Catherine) and Darwin and so on. I like to say the characters are older but not always wiser, and that’s so true. They’re still making mistakes because that’s realistic, I think. So Knit Two is the story that answers some of the lingering questions from the first book, the what happens next of it all, and also looks at this idea of dealing with legacy and moving forward after loss. It also introduces some new characters and brings in some new elements. Knit the Season is the icing on the cake and not just because Dakota is serious about her pastry! Its set just over a year after Knit Two and is the book that really unifies the series. It is the happy holiday story the characters and the readers deserve.

KC: Did Knit The Season have a life of its own? That is, had the characters tell you where they were going?

KJ: Yes, characters can be bossy! Thing is, its important to follow them where they lead without letting them take over so much that the essence of the story I’m trying to tell becomes lost. That’s the challenge. To remain true to the characters and also true to myself. Knit the Season is a peek into the lives of the knitting club that I just had to share.

KC: What is on your needles?

KJ: My hat for the Lands End/Warming Families FeelGood charity drive! The goal is to knit 25,000 hats for people in need by the end of the year. We need your help, your energy, and your stash! Anyone can take part. There’s a free pattern (designed by knit guru Vickie Howell) available on my website or at . If you’re an absolute beginner and want to do a simple scarf, that’s fine as well. The concept is to reach out and share something warm.

Also: I'll be collecting hats at book signings in November, there’s a full list of details on the Events page at but the tour includes Atlanta, Dallas, Madison, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Fullerton, San Diego. Or simply give your knitted donation to your local Warming Families chapter. (For more, go to

KC: Any special gifts from your creative hands coming up for the holiday season?

KJ: I am 100 percent
focused on the hats for charity right now! Everything else just has to wait.
Holiday gifts will likely require Internet shopping and I often send Sarabeth's jams because they’re delicious.

KC: Has the response of the knitting community toward your books and your characters been a surprise to you?

KJ: Life is full of surprises. Always. I am so grateful for the reaction from the knitting community. Its one of the reasons why I always try to include stops at knitting shops when I'm on tour. To say thank you. Not only do I telephone book clubs to talk with readers at their homes and in libraries, but I also telephone little yarn shops if they want to do Friday Night Knitting Club nights.

When the novel first came out, I figured my mom would read it. And after that, I just didn't know. so I went around from yarn shop to yarn shop, reading from the novel and
introducing myself to knitters. Readers word-of-mouth carried the book along. And I hope they also have a soft spot for this quirky group of smart, strong women who are just figuring out life as it happens. The Friday Night Knitting Club series is all about friendship and supporting each other. And I'm so appreciative of the support I've received in my life.

Thanks Kate! I know for a fact I'll see you November 10th, a week from TODAY here in St. Louis! With luck I'll bring along MY knitting group and our projects. Hopefully STL will represent with some beanies for your charity project, it's a good one!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ode to Blue #2

Too long has passed since I've knit blue, I had forgotten the relative closeness to BLACK. Ahem, magnification and illumination rule the day.

I had also forgotten how long it has been since I've been away from the heavier yarns, the chunkies, the bold and the down and dirty. Jamieson's Jumper Weight was feeling like a cobweb when I first cast on and I've already had to go in search of a finer gauge crochet hook for 'those' things that crop up.

I've cast on for Lloie's cardigan and in what seems like lightyears of knitting have managed an inch and a half of 1x1 ribbing. Mind you, such ribbing is never fast but in Jamieson's Jumper Weight and on TWO's........ well suffice it to say that the ribbing just goes on and on. And on.

Because I have vowed to ENJOY the knitting of this classic cardi, I have also promised myself not to endlessly bitch about it. Too much. I do love the yarn, not overly soft but it has a very nice softer than many shetlands feel and a nice sweet crunch (or something akin to that).

I've told myself that with another inch and a half of the ribbing I shall move onto the happy swath of the body, delightful seamless sea of knitting it shall be and on THREE's? That will feel like knitting with broomhandles, surely.

I bring you no photos, at this phase it is really beyond boring. Even to me!

I did move Valkryie off the blocking towel, it is fully dry and minus a bit of crochet around the neckline finished. I'll call the model for photos soon.