30 June 2012

the grayest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle ~ a post by Melissa

so, what's a girl to do on yet another dreary summer day?  why, head to La Conner of course!

the weather was no better up north but,

here at La Conner Flats in the barn behind this produce building was some indoor sunshine!

our knitting group, high tea and a birthday party!

my first of many cups of warm tea ~ perfect on a drizzly northwest afternoon

 the tables were sweetly set with vintage mismatched china and green depression glass ~ be still my heart ~ and pretty little vases of fresh dahlias everywhere

my very first high tea is starting out well!

 each course was prepared  while we were enjoying the one before

and everything was fresh and delicious and perfect

as soon as one plate was finished, the teapots were replenished and the next course appeared

 it was wonderful to get to spend the day with these women I rarely get to see

this room was filled to the rafters with talent

Sherry, you looked spendid in your chartreuse shawl

and the happiest happiest of birthdays to you, Joanne ~ you have the Queen Mum's wave down to a 't'

thanks to Joanne's English Setter (I think I got the breed right?) for making an appearance ~ what girlie tea party is complete without a pup named DIVA !?! isn't she a pretty girl ;)

also, a special thanks to Linda and Val for planning this memorable get-together and inviting me along for the fun!  I had a wonderful day, despite this darn rain!   ~  Melissa

27 June 2012

happy happy joy joy ~ a post by Melissa

My husband's good friend and his wife are having their first child this September and...it's a girl!  I'm trying to be thriftier at home so I challenged myself to see what I could come up with for gifts using just leftover scraps from other projects.  I cheated and ended up buying buttons so the knits weren't totally cost free but, for about $5 for the buttons, here's what I came up with:

Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat ~ a super easy free pattern that knitted up quickly.  The little umbilical cord knot on the crown is adorable!

Then there's this little gem ~ Plain Cardigan ~ another free pattern!  I finished the sweater and dug around and found a bit of purple and crocheted (!) every edge.  I love how it turned out!
And finally, this last bit of sweetness ~ Autumn Leaves ~ and yup, it's a free pattern, also!  I'm always amazed that designers are so generous with their creativity!  I do try to support crafters that are trying to make a living sharing their talents with the rest of us, but there are some free patterns that are too cute to pass up!

I dug out some wooden beads I had pack-ratted away from a broken bracelet and decided to add them to this little sweater.  I love this so much that I'm tempted to see if I can make an XXXL size for me!

I think that's it for the baby clothes...for now.  Too many other things on the needles that got set aside that I need to get back to.  But that's not it for small gifts from this knitwit!  Remember Kelli's little houseguest?  I think I may get to meet Miss Grace Anne this week and I have a surprise for her!  Remember Zoe and Jo and Zoe's holiday sweater I made for her this past Christmas?  Well, I heard that there's a new addition to the Peep family ~ Zoe and Jo have a new cousin named Merrida and Zoe is gifting her little red sweater to Merrida to take home with her and Grace when they leave.

I chose a new button that I thought Grace might like better than the one that was on it before.  I hope Zoe and Jo and Merrida get to have a playdate before the visit is over!  And I hope Kelli pops on and posts a picture of this little red haired cutie pie with the big blue eyes ;)

Sometimes the best things do come in the smallest of packages and I can't wait to wrap this all up and give it away.  That's one of the best parts of knitting to me ~ giving it away!  Hope everyone is having a great week!  ~ Melissa

24 June 2012

mom & me crochetalong ~ part i ~ a post by Melissa

December 1968 ~ mom at 21 & me at 2

The past two days were spent hanging out with my mom, visiting and starting our first crochetalong...hopefully the first of many.  Mom's not a big knitter (I taught her but she always comes back to crochet) and she can't hang with the knitwits on our many adventures (miserable wool allergy ~ she sadly can't even be around most animal fiber), so this past Christmas I tried to find something that she and I could do together.  I chose a crochet pattern from Churchmouse Yarn and Teas , this Vintage Crocheted Blanket (I'm a sucker for vintage!), and bought all the yarn for both projects hoping that my color choices for her would be okay. 

We have finally begun!

I brought all my yarn (we're doing the larger 7-color afghan version) over to my folks the past 2 days in this cool crochet project bag my mom made for me a few years ago.  I also brought my best listening ears because...I really don't know how to crochet!  Did I choose a project that is too adventurous for a newbie, you might be wondering?  Ha...

It took me a few hours to get organized while my mom immediately got started on her blanket. I have a process when I start a project and there are things that must be done! I assigned letters to my yarn and made a little key so I wouldn't get confused with all the different color sequences. I took a few pictures. I read the pattern through and through...twice. I started my note sheet. I sharpened my pencil.

Meanwhile, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh (that's the sound of my mom sitting across the table crocheting a mile a minute).  By the time I was ready to put the first stitch on my hook, my mom had completed her chain and foundation row ~ I have to keep reminding myself this is not a contest!!

At the end of day one, here's mom's afghan.  She got her foundation row and the first two colors added.  She loved the colors I chose for her, too!  Pinks and browns and white.  She's using Berroco Comfort Worsted, an acrylic/nylon blend that is machine washable and comes in many really nice colors.  I had a hard time picking a color scheme for her!  Doesn't it look lovely!?

Here's slowpoke at the end of day one (that would be me in case you aren't following along closely enough!).  I got my foundation row and part of the 2nd row done.  I learned to do a  v-stitch and a double v-stitch.  Only one more stitch to learn the next day and I'm on my way!  I'm using Cascade 220 (love this Northwest based company!) and you can find my project notes on Ravelry if you're interested .

Day two started with a double batch of Rice Krispie Treats and coffee and looking through photo albums for pictures of my mom and I to go with this project, and ended with a dinner date with my parents at their favorite Mexican restaurant and talking about family.

We did get some crocheting done...and look who caught up to mom!  I found out that whoosh, whoosh, whoosh speed of light crocheting is followed by lots of rip, rip, rip unravelling (this is my mom's process!).  Love you, mom ;) !

I'm looking forward to more crafting with mom, as well as more talking our way down memory lane.  You learn lots of things you never knew when you just sit and chat with nowhere to be, like how your paternal grandfather played in a country music band in the 1950's, and how they had their own weekly radio show in upstate New York, and that they were so popular that they were asked to 'play the circuit', an offer my grandfather declined and chose instead to stay home with his wife and 9 children.  I loved my grandpa.

22 June 2012

Moving Up Time ~ a post by Kelli

My youngest will be in High School next year, how'd that happen? She's on the right end with her sisters and cousin. A new milestone to get used to. Oh where's my knitting that's controllable~ Kelli

17 June 2012

"Company company where would we be without company?" ~ a post by Kelli

I'm readying myself and my 11 year old niece, Grace Anne, for a month long visit.

Got out and hung the Sugar and Cream knitted flags my mom knit me for a birthday a couple years ago. I've cleaned the house till I don't reconize it. Should take pictures of the inside too. Hoping to see the sunshine more. If it's wet, that's a good time to learn to knit     ~ Kelli

15 June 2012

simple pleasures

roses from someone special...just because

baby gifts started

hand washables drying under a cloudy sky
(6 were gifted to me ~ recognize any?!)

and a buddy that never tires of your company

hope your day was filled with little joyous moments

04 June 2012

mary, mary quite contrary

how does your garden grow?

we planted a children's garden from seed and count the mystery sprouts with anticipation every day
today there are sixty

the lettuce crocks are filling in and are just about ready

we discovered the first pea flowers on the vine today ~ the tomatoes and peppers are waiting for some heat and sun for their chance to shine

the cotoneaster tree is covered with flowers and soon bright red berries will follow

and the garage sale tea kettle I bought years ago was creatively planted by my husband this year and the lobelia blooms are spilling from it's spout

new life
new growth


how does your garden grow?
~ Melissa

03 June 2012

please be kind...

it's been awhile since I've mentioned the knitting attic ...and here's why:

every bit of crafty goodness I own is now laying in the middle of the floor waiting to be put away

every nook and cranny in the house has been purged of knitting and sewing paraphernalia and every box has been opened and lugged upstairs and is spread out bow to stern, port to starboard

I know where everything is right now, but nothing is where it will eventually be

the only thing left to do before organizing is installing my closet shelving and painting my window frame ... and then it's time to put some order to all this disorder!

this is my project for June ... hopefully by July I will not only have a room where you can see the floor, but maybe some of you will actually have been invited over for a knit day in my knitting attic

(for those of you that know me well, be proud of me and please, please don't judge ~ it is a monumental thing for me to post pictures of a mess and prove to the world (or truth be told, our handful of readers) what I've known all along ... I am not perfect even though I strive to be!) ... and if anyone has any ideas what to do with a soon to be 18 year old wedding dress, I'd love to hear them ;)

~ Melissa