31 May 2014

look what she can do! ~ posted by Melissa

I thought about naming this post :
'Who Needs A Plumber?'

'How I Spent the First Day of Summer Vacation'
...but neither felt exciting enough for today's accomplishment.
This week I discovered that my dryer hose was heavy.  Very heavy.  And full of water.  Houston, we have a problem, and I'm guessing it's a pretty d*mn big one.  So with some supervision from my husband (who is still in chore lock down), I added a plumber's cap (which is so much better than plumbers butt !) to my growing collection of hats.  Check this out!
Before photos (I spared you the rusted sopping wet mess that I found inside the wall):





I did things I never knew I could do this afternoon!  I cut out drywall, removed insulation, disassembled all the old ventilation pipes and a piece of our tile floor.  Our foundation is so wet and the metal pipe has been leaning flush against it for longer than the 15 years we've owned our house.  It was full of rusty holes and literally fell apart as I was removing it.  I think the only thing that was holding it together was the insulation packed around it?
And I did all this in between the wall and our laundry organizer ~ a space about as big as I am wide so there was very little room to work in (the picture below, to the right of the step ladder is where all this took place.  Tight squeeze, let me tell you!  I don't know how my husband could have fit!
And now, although the new drywall will wait til Jason is back to his old self, I have a functioning washer/dryer and brand new shiny pipes and ductwork :

I've done a load of laundry already and nothing fell apart (I feel like I aced a test!).

I think my husband might just be a little proud of me ~ he made me dinner in return :) .
Sesame Ginger grilled chicken sandwiches and a salad...no pictures this time, I was too hungry to take the time to share!
Hope everyone is having a good weekend!
~ Melissa

28 May 2014

hap(py) ~ posted by Melissa

 Hello again!  Many thanks to everyone that chimed in to last week's post (link here) and helped solve a mystery.  Although quite a few of you thought my plant is a white hydrangea (and have now made me covet a few of these as well!), I believe that those of you who decided it is a snowball viburnum hit the nail on the head.  Everything I've looked at online mirror images the flowers and leaves and size of the plant we have.  Thanks again ~ I'm excited to track down another of these since they seem to thrive in our bog of a back yard when not much else is happy there.
This week I pulled out a work-in-progress (and if you know me at all, you're not surprised that I chose something that matched the color scheme of the book I'm reading ~ I'm a dork!).  I'm working on my jaywalker socks (link here) and I should be done with them by next week's yarn along.  They're pretty easy and I put them away with one completed and the other already started so I'm more than half finished.  They're fun and easy and a sanity saver (thanks, Will ~ hehe!).

And look!  I finished the hap I cast on last week already! 
It was such an addicting knit ~ so hard to put down and so quick to knit up.
That Kate Davies is wonderful ~ the pattern is very well written and so classic and simple.  I think I'm going to cast on another soon in a lighter weight yarn.  Perfect for a travel, no-brainer project.
Hope you all had a good holiday weekend (if you're stateside) ~ I tried to balance the must-do's with a few wanna-do's and it turned out to be a fairly pleasant few days.  The best part though was when my husband (who I've had on chore-lockdown for the last 10 months...and counting) told me to park it on the couch and knit so he could make me dinner.  It was delicious!!!  I felt guilty the entire time but I sure enjoyed it ~ and even better, there were leftovers the next night.  What a guy :)
here's a link to the recipe : Papas Con Chorizo
see you all next week :)

25 May 2014

Meet my new knitting group~posted by Kelli

                                 Lucy, Tessa, & Isabell~  twin sisters on the ends, 10 years old and Tessa 8 years.  We try and get together Sunday mornings after church.  They brighten my day with so many questions, and comments.  For example, today they called the stockinette stitch side, the 'waterfall side' and I'm right there to remind them the correct naming of things.
 They are naturals and knitting and chatting.  Lucy on the left is knitting her baby cousin a blanket, Tessa in the middle just started last week, on a scarf, and Isabell a hat in the round.
 I can't tell who enjoys it more, me or them, but I pretty sure it's me~

21 May 2014

curious ~ posted by Melissa

Hello again, everyone ~ now that I'm looking forward to Wednesdays and our weekly visits, they seem to be upon me before I know it.  I'm slowly savoring my reread of Angle of Repose ~ I'm enjoying it immensely more the second time through and am taking my time to feel all the nuances of Stegner's writing.  He's brilliant.
I made some good progress on my Coda sweater (link here) but didn't think to take any pictures.  I'm getting close to where you divide for the armholes which is exciting.  I caved in and cast on yet another project when Kate Davies released her newest design this week.  It's 'A Hap for Harriet' (link here) and I'm finding it very hard to put down.  It's a really intuitive knit and I rarely have to look at the pattern now that I have a few chart repeats under my belt.  The yarn is a bit of a mystery ~ my friend Kelly got it from her local spinner's guild sale and sent it to me (thanks again, Kelly!).  It's a wool/silk blend but I have a feeling there's a smidgen of nylon in it since it's impossible to break.  There was no tag with it so this pattern is perfect since it's all based on percentages and you can use whatever yarn you have and make it work.  Very fun!!

I managed to hit a few more new blogs this week and enjoyed seeing how crafty some of you are.  I'm hoping to visit a few more this week that I haven't yet!

One more thing ~ I've noticed many of you are gardeners and I'm hoping to solve a mystery.  We have this gorgeous bush in our yard that gets these huge bigger-than-a-handful poms of delicate white flowers in the spring and I can't seem to find anything similar online to identify it.  If anyone knows what this is, please let me know ~ I'd love to plant a few more if I can figure it out!

 Have a great day & see you all next week!
joining Ginny @ Small Things and her Yarn Along Crew

19 May 2014

true blue ~ posted by Melissa

new friendship

unexpected treasures

a theme to brighten my day

so much thought

and care went into this box

these gifts I can share with you

the sentiments and the words that were enclosed

are just for me ~ they are heartfelt and meaningful and I will treasure them always
thank you, Mimi ~ you make the world a brighter place
and mine that much better just by being you
edited to add: my friend Will (our blog readers know him as WillyG) just posted a beautiful harp piece that he recorded for his mom ~ he's multitalented and a gem as well ~

16 May 2014

LYS Tour Happening Now!!! ~post from Kelli

                                          Good ol' Clive,  he's on the 2014 Local Yarn Shop Tour!
                                           Happening this weekend, throughout the Puget Sound area.
I have good memories of traveling around some of the shops with you Melissa~ We would meet up, get coffee, bring our latest 'knits' finished or not, to show each other.  You'd have perfect directions, all printed out, in hand, and drive us around from shop to shop,  when we'd get to a yarn shop, you'd claim I was running to get inside the shops first~ would I do a thing like that?!  What fun!  Hopefully life will slow down and we can catch up to do it again.

14 May 2014

Yarn Along ~ posted by Melissa

“it is an easy mistake to think that non-talkers are non-feelers.”
― Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose 
Hello again, new friends!  I can't believe a week has already passed.  I hope to visit with more of you in your spaces this time around ~ I didn't get to as many as I was hoping last week and I'm looking forward to meeting so many of you.
The needles have been pretty quiet since last we met.  Little progress was made on either my Coda or anniversary shawl since life threw us yet another curve ball (or two).  I did finish a Purl Soho dishtowel that I've been doing a row or two on occasionally (like many of their patterns, it's free!).
 I modified it just a little to make it bigger and also added a grosgrain ribbon loop & vintage plastic button so that I can hang it to dry when needed.  I had fun with the finish work since I got to use one of the new sewing pins that Jocelyn sent to me, as well as the needle book that Kelli knit for me years ago (it has been put to much use!).
I started and finished A Passage to India.  It was wonderful but I wish that I knew more about that time in history than I do.  Many of the period and cultural references were lost on me.  I read it straight through to get a feel for the story (it's so well written) and I will read it again, next time stopping when I need to look things up that I'm unsure of so I get a better understanding of the story.
Next up is a reread of one of my favorite books ever (I know I've seen this one on Ginny's shelf) ~ Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.  I highly recommend it (there's a reason it won the Pulitzer Prize).  I may not get any knitting done in the next week, either, since I already know this book is so hard to put down!
Can't wait to see what everyone else is up to!  Have a great week ~ Melissa
joining Ginny & friends for Yarn Along

11 May 2014

mama love ~ posted by Melissa

happy mothers day to all of ewe :)

Kelli & her two younger girls

07 May 2014

old books ~ posted by Melissa

My first visit with Ginny at Small Things and her Yarn Along Wednesday friends.

Tap, tap, tap...may I come in? I've been outside, peeking through the window at all the fun the Yarn Along crew has been having with Ginny and I'm hoping there's room for one more?  I don't take up much space...a corner in the back is fine with me.  I'm just happy to be here :).
(hi, Tracey & Karen & Andee & Leanne & Liesl ~ I already know so many of you ~ hehe!)
Since it's my first visit, I guess I should share a little about why I'm here.  I love books.  Old books.  I love to imagine who has read this story I hold and wonder did they love it as much as I do?  I love their smell and feel in my hands as I turn the yellowed pages.  I could spend an entire day in a used book store.  I dislike dust jackets ~ my newer book purchases are quickly stripped of their paper covers ~ books are meant to be handled and loved and a cover that's frayed around the edges is testament to the goodness inside.

I also love to knit.  For a few years after I cast on my first stitch, reading took a back seat ~ there was so much to learn and so many new and exciting things at every turn.  I knit to make up for lost time, I think, since I didn't start until my late thirties.  Lately I've been trying to find a better balance between yarn and books and a few other things that I used to enjoy doing that I haven't done in so long.

Yarn Along seems like a good start!  I already read Ginny's blog ~ I get lost in her stories and pictures and the adventures her family has.  I'm so happy to be here and hope to add to my 'must read' list from the book loves you all share.  Maybe someone will find a new treasured story from my list of favorites as well.  This should be fun!  Here we go ~

I'm off to start a new book ~ it's a classic and one I haven't read yet:
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster.  Between chapters I'll be working on Coda ( from Wool People 7 ~ Ravelry link here ) and my anniversary shawl ( Ravelry link here ).

I hope to have progress to share on all three next week!  Until then, happy knitting and reading and thanks for letting me share & visit for a spell.
~ Melissa

04 May 2014

My Heroiness! ~from Kelli

             My 16 year old daughter, Isabell & date Jonathan, Prom 2014
                                  I did offer to knit her a shawl,
                                         not happen'in here~
                                        (nice iPhone...really?!)

03 May 2014

good juju & a bit of knitting ~ posted by Melissa

just a quick post today to share some loves ~
first off, I received this one of a kind gift in the mail from a new friend:
Jocelyn sent me a note back in January and wanted to know if she could contribute to our Operation Alex Project Phase 1 & Phase 2 (her hat and a few others didn't make it into the photos so there was actually a Phase 3 that never got blogged about...sorry!)


I recently noticed one of these button jar creations in her projects and commented on it ~ lo & behold, look what I am now so proud and excited to own!  Not only did Jocelyn knit up the pin cushion jar topper, she also made all the buttons she enclosed herself!  Thank you so much, my new (and very talented!) friend.  I hope much good juju comes your way if it hasn't already!
If you'd like to make one of your own here are some links:
on the knitting front:

I've been working on Coda from Wool People 7.  It's a wonderfully classic reversible ( ! ) sweater design from Olga Buraya-Kefelian.  It's a bottom-up sweater and I'm just about to the bust increases but had to stop for a bit since Olga sent me a note about errata in the pattern that I'm unsure about, so I'm waiting for her to answer a note from me before I go on.  I love this design and with the bonus of using Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, it's been pretty hard to put down.
I'm also working on this:

It's a lace weight version of Jared Flood's Guernsey Wrap that I'm modifying for the finer gauge yarn.  I'm hoping to have this done by our twentieth wedding anniversary in July (the entire project grew around this yarn and the colorway that so closely resembles our wedding flowers in color ~ salmon, orange and pink).  It's Sappho 1 by The Sanguine Gryphon in the 'but have you forgotten me' colorway...a destash purchase from our fellow blogger Jeff.  I was picking another friend's brain about my idea to use this yarn with this design and while I was chatting with her, she decided to surprise me with the pattern (thanks so much, Mimi!!).
I'm really enjoying this project as well since it prompted a visit down memory lane ~ the photo albums came out and we've had fun going through them and thinking about how quickly twenty years have gone by.  I'm hoping the next twenty bring just as much joy as the first did.
my handsome husband still takes my breathe away
That's it for today ~ Dozer has a much needed date at the do-it-yourself salon (why oh why does he insist on rolling on slugs in the yard ~ stinky stinky stinky!!) and today I'm the lucky lady that gets to give him his bath.  He hates it.  I'm pretty sure I will, too, by the time it's over :).
Happy weekend, everyone!  ~  Melissa