Sunday, October 27, 2013

Yes, Susanne Can Knit

This has been one of those weekends when I did close to absolutely nothing. If anyone asked me what I got accomplished I would have to say, "Not much." Saturday was sunny but cold and windy. There is plenty to do outside but I didn't feel like being out there in the cold. I did go over to Fremont and visited with a friend. Before I went there I made a few errand stops and then picked up a couple of Subway subs, my lunch treat for her and me. We ate, chatted and then played a couple hands of cards. She was going later that afternoon to her grandson's birthday party. When I left I did a bit of shopping. I am filling a couple of shoebox gifts for children's Christmas charity and needed to get a few more things to complete my boxes. After that I headed home. I spent the rest of my evening doing a marathon watching of the program Law & Order which I had DVR'd. I love the characters in that show, I hate when they switch around Benson and Stabler. I worked on a new project, nothing much to show you yet, but it is crochet, a baby blanket and done in a pink bobble stitch. I have all the bobble squares made (18) but debating how I can change this pattern up to make it different. I am only doing this because my Fremont friend wants me to make her another one like I did for her a couple of years ago. I get easily bored doing the same pattern over and over, so, hopefully, she will like what I do, that is, if I ever can decide what that will be. She also surprised me with wanting a matching sweater and bonnet....well, well, this blanket doesn't have a matching sweater set, so once again I am left to my own devices.

In the meantime, I won't make you wait for a new post. I am still working on my closets on and off, cleaning and organizing, yes, I'm still doing that, on and off. In my quest to get things organized I ran across this sweater I knitted years ago......

I recall purchasing the yarn from my friend Jean's Yarn Shop and tucking it away in a box. It was on sale and I had no plans for it.

Then one day I ran across a pattern that I thought was pretty and charged ahead with knitting needles in hand. I had finally found a pattern for my red yarn. Now the yarn is like a cotton blend, I believe it was a Patton yarn. Now mind you, I have always professed to be a better crocheter than knitter, but I did learn to knit before I learned to crochet. People can tell I guess because I hold my crochet hook like a knitting needle.

I was leery of doing anything with a lacy pattern. I kept my knitting dictionaries close at hand so I could figure out the stitches. I pretty much sucked at knitting.

Only a novice knitter would know the absolute joy I felt when the lacy pattern took shape and it really looked like something. Hey, I could do this after all! Happy, happy, joy, joy,! I can knit a sweater, and it actually looks like a sweater too, how about that! Yes, I was being a bit smug back then.

And to boot, I am a continental knitter. Once I got my needles clicking and the sweater growing I realized it was going to have to be sewn together......ugh!

But, persistence and determination got me through it. I was hell-bent to do this thing. I wanted to be able to tell people I made this myself. The sad thing is I have never worn it, and you ask why, well I'm too fat to wear it, so until the day comes when I can get into it, my dress form Ella will have to enjoy wearing it. Now isn't that just down right pitiful.

I didn't stop there. I made my hubby a sweater vest too. I believe he wore it once. He claimed he was burning up in it, it was just too darn hot. Well, imagine that, a sweater that will actually keep ya warm. Now who would have thought, lol.

And that is the tale of my 2 attempts at knitting a wearable piece of adult clothing. Since then I have knitted dish cloths and doll sweaters, a few baby toys and that is about the extent of it. I would rather crochet. My main reason for that is because it is a control thing, there is 1 hook and 1 stitch compared to knitting where there is 2, 3 or 4 needles and a whole ton of stitches to pray you don't drop.

And so I leave you with a picture of my German maternal Grandfather Bruno and Grandmother Ella. The baby in the photo is my mother Rose Marie. The picture is actually a postcard. They did photos like that back in the early 30's. My grandfather died in a concentration camp in Russia. He was not Jewish but a German businessman, they owned a restaurant and at another time a grocery store. My grandmother died back in the 80's when I was in nursing school. She passed away in Idaho. I named my dress form Ella, after her because when my grandmother was a young married woman she had all her dresses made by a seamstress. She was a knitter and did embroidery. I do have a photo of her embroidering a table cloth when she was quite elderly. This picture would look better had I taken it out of the frame, there is a glare. They were good, hard-working people, well liked. I never knew my grandfather. My mother was a young teenager when the Russians came and took her father. I was fortunate to know my grandmother, but not as well as I would have wanted to. I only saw her about 4 times in my adult lifetime ♥

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gift From Terrie

Have any of you ever been to Terrie ~.~ Smilings blog? If not, you are missing out on something special my friends. I am so blessed to have this wonderful blogger friend in Hong Kong. Several weeks ago she sent me an email telling me she felt we have become good blogger friends and she wanted to send me a little something. I was so surprised and excited too. Terrie has a wonderful blog and has a talented gift for taking her ideas from nature and creating beautiful things, mainly wearable clothing, accessories and some novelty items. She has tutorials and has been on many overseas trips to learn more about her craft and also to teach it. Soon she will be coming to Canada. You can find her here. Please check out her blog, I know she would love for you to visit her. See for your self her postings on so many of her delicate things.

The mailman brought the package to the door because I had to sign for it.

It had several colorful stamps with birds. I always keep unusual and different stamps.

When he handed me the package he mentioned to me that it came to them damaged. OH NO! :(

Terrie had sent a handmade card with a hand-written letter. The letter head has 4 pictures of what she had sent showing me her gift and suggestions of how it could be worn.

Then I unwrapped this beautiful scarf, so delicate and her one-of-a-kind creations. She makes scarves all the time, each one unique. She is a one woman operation, there are no carbon copies of anything she makes. The leaves for this scarf came from right outside of her apartment. What other people pass by and ignore, Terrie sees endless possibilities. I admire that in her, I admire her kindness and her sweet nature. She is the only one I have ever seen take rusty metal and use it in her boiling pot and then gets something so simply amazing from it.

I took several pictures of the scarf. Her letter spoke of a felted broach to use with the scarf, but some where it became lost between her home and mine, hence the opening on back of the package. The broach is in the pictures at the top of the letter. I found that upsetting, not so much for myself, but that Terrie had taken the trouble to make and send it only it didn't make the trip.

I hate that some of her hard work became lost in transit from Hong Kong to Ohio.

 I wish my pictures were better. I believe she used silk for this piece.

It is light as a feather, and way too pretty to wear for everyday.

I think Terrie should open a little boutique and sell her original work. Or she should open an Etsy shop. Next time I have a special occasion I will wear it. For right now my Ella has the joy to be so lucky to be seen in something so special to me. Thank you Terrie. I love the gift you sent to me. I will cherish it always. It is special, just like you are my friend. God Bless you  ♥

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Daughter's Treat Eating Out

Last Thursday my daughter Meghan treated me to a wonderful evening out at Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, Ohio. Levis Commons is considered one of the finer shopping malls in NW Ohio. It has a lot of specialty stores. Biaggi's is a casual eating experience, but the atmosphere is very tasteful and lovely. Meghan had made reservations for 7:30pm and we were to meet a couple of her friends, Steve and his wife Adaire.

You can't find this restaurant, or as they call it "ristorante", in all the states of the US. They do have a website where you can check them out. I noticed they are located as far West as Colorado, and East as New York, North in Minnesota, South in Mississippi . Mainly they are located in the central plains states, including Illinois, Indiania, Ohio. Actually to this date they are only in 11 states.

Meghan being too serious, girl, where is that SMILE! Maybe she is realizing that she invited me out and is paying for my meal, LOL!

So now you see how terrible I am with my camera.......this is when I remembered to take a picture of the food......

Let me explain what this was, they have this buttery olive oil they spread on a plate and then they add Parmesan Cheese and they have their homemade specialty breads that are cut like biscotti and you dip your bread in this and it is so goooooood! Kinda like a little appetizer to keep you from starving to death before the meal comes.

This was the second go round on that. Everyone wanted seconds and this time I remembered to snap a pic.

I ordered the Farfalle Alfredo (recipe is on the website) which was so good I forgot my camera again, and right in the middle of everyone's eating I yelled, "STOP! I forgot to get a picture of what everyone is eating!" Everyone was so good natured to put their forks and spoons down so I could take a few pictures.

Steve and Adaire got the spaghetti and meatballs. From my vantage point I was not able to get a good enough photo of how big a bowl that meal came in. If I can compare it, I would say take a good sized salad bowl and you kinda get the idea of how huge a portion.

Meghan got the crab cakes which she said were so tender and delicious. I really wish I would have had the good sense to remember to take the pictures before we all started to demolish our meals, but I think you get the idea. The food was good, the company was fun and the overall evening was a hit. It was the first time I had ever been to that place and would go back again should I get the chance. Thank you Meghan for a very nice evening.

Next month on Roger's birthday the girls and I are going out to eat at a place called Mancies in Toledo. I guess it is another good eatery and Meghan says that if her dad were still alive he would have loved eating there. We will see, I'll get back to you on that. ♥

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Elise Shawls

I finally have something to show all of you. I can happily say I finished 3 of these Elise Shawls. The free download pattern can be found here. I will give my friend Mereknits credit though, she was so taken with this pattern that she has made 4. You can find her on my sidebar. Go check her out. 

For this particular one I used Red Heart, Heart & Sole with Aloe sock yarn, color 3940 Green Envy. The pattern calls for approximately 400 yards of sock weight yarn. The skeins have 213 yards each, I had 3 skeins and decided I would use all 3 so I wouldn't have any left overs. The pattern calls for a size I (5.5mm) crochet hook and that is the size I used.

 Then I got the crazy idea to turn the flash off and use the artificial lighting in the room, big mistake. But I was in a hurry to post this and so I didn't go back and correct that. This second shawl was made from Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Premier Yarn in the color Spring Fling. There are 230 yards in each skein and I had 3 of them. Once again I used all 3 and used the I hook.

It is pretty colorful. The yarn was easy to work with but I get annoyed when I am crocheting along and find a knot where the factory has tied 2 lose ends together. My friend that owned the yard shop told me that the companies are not suppose to do that. I always snip out the knot and crochet double strand for several stitches and then use a tapestry needle to weave in the ends. I do not knot anything, ever. I don't use knots in my embroidery either.

I put the flash back on for the last reveal. This one was make from Paton's Kroy Sock Jacquards color Lavender Jacquard 55309. There were 166 yards and I had 3 skeins. I used all 3 and size I hook.

These were fun to make, relatively fast and easy once you get the pattern figured out. It is a basic 2 row repeat. I did steam block them all, just using my iron held about an inch above the finished shawl. It does get a bit monotonous holding that iron above the yarn, but you can't chance ruining your work with a hot iron.

And last but not least, I want to thank my new model who came to live at my house this past week. I named her Ella, after my maternal grandmother. I ordered her from Amazon and about 2 days later she was delivered. That was fast!!! I had to put her together, that was an easy job, no hassle what so ever.

Hope you enjoyed my post. I also hope you get the chance to make yourself one or more of these shawls. I will probably give one to each of my 3 sil's for Christmas. You can have one made in a couple of days so it is a fast and easy gift.

Halloween/ Birthday Party, Costumes & Pumpkins

I am getting ahead of myself here. I have a couple of other things to post about but will do them in a couple of days. I just had to do this one first. This is my youngest daughter Rayanna Meghan. She did her own makeup and she is the Cheshire Cat. From what I understand, in the dark, her eyes and grin will actually light up. If you squint you can get a better idea. I think she did a splendid job. What do you think?

And below is her best friend Mary..........I would say that Mary is definitely some sort of skeleton bride.

and this is Mary's husband Mike.....Mariachi, (is that how ya spell it?) ghoul or something.

Now the story behind these pictures is this.......Mary and Mike have 2 children, Chloe and Vincent. This is Chloe's birthday and Mary and Mike pretty much go all out to celebrate, but this year they decided to make it a costume party. One can only imagine how much fun those children have with parents who go the extra mile for their kids. And of course, when it comes this time of year my daughter and her friends always try to out do each other when it comes to costumes.

Last year this was Vincent.......the little business man, mustache, suit and briefcase......

This is Mary and Meghan without the Halloween makeup......

I wish I had a picture of the birthday girl, Chloe, and a recent picture of her brother Vincent, to share, but I thought it would be some fun to post what I do have.

Here are some more fun photos I wanted to share.......

Holden and his scary rat, he loves it, believe it or not!


My little pumpkin painting his pumpkin, lol....he has more paint on himself than on the pumpkin.

My little grandson Holden's curly top...people pay to have curls like this! Love them ♥

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Catch My Breath Sunday

It is Sunday, and I hope this day finds all of you lovelies resting up from the past week as well as resting up for the week to come. I am not going to start off right away posting about the dull, mundane, chores and tasks I've been doing (that can come later in this post), but I'm gonna go straight to the heart of the fun stuff, "the dessert" so to speak. Here is a glimpse of my 2nd Elise Shawl. I just love the colors, don't you? The first one is still not blocked. I have the 3rd one to make yet and hoping to have that one started by this evening. When I get all 3 completed I will give you the low-down on what I did and the details of where you can find the pattern. In the meantime, if you can't wait, go to my sidebar and click on Mereknits. She has all kinds of info related to this shawl. She also has beautiful photos of the ones she has made from this pattern and the blocked results. You can also find the link to the pattern. I know she'd love it if you stopped by to visit with her.

Sundays don't usually find me doing much of anything. It has become my day of rest, but I stretched it a bit and threw together an apple pie. Look at it, is it not the silliest looking pie crust you have ever seen, for me too. I had about a dozen apples picked from my trees the other day, sitting on the kitchen counter for a good 5 days....gnats! Yep, gnats, this time of year brings them inside and I needed to do something with those apples. I whipped up some apple pie filling yesterday morning and put it in the fridge. Then this morning I got my old stand by deep dish frozen crusts out of the deep freezer and you see it, my masterpiece. It just so happened that I didn't have enough apples to mound them up so that the top crust would stay up. So, I smashed it down and looks like a beret of sorts, lol. I had already crimped the 2 shells together around the edge.

And this is for you Teresa, I too have struggled with aluminum foil around the edges, but then I remembered something I bought from Pampered Chef a couple of years ago.....this pie edge shield/guard. I love gadgets, unfortunately sometimes they end up in a drawer or cupboard and I actually forget what I have, just like the apple peeler slicer from Pampered Chef which sat in my cupboard for years before I opened the box. Anyways, this guard is just wonderful. You just place it over the edge of the pie. It works for your basic 9 inch pie and from what I saw it looks like you could use it for a bit bigger pie as well.

Then I put the pie on a pizza pan and into my preheated oven. The pan catches anything that bakes over the edge of the pie. Believe me, it sure saves a lot of time with oven clean up. I don't know who out there likes the job of cleaning the oven, I sure don't. I have a self cleaning one, but you still have to wipe it out a bit and clean around the edges of the door. It is so much easier to wash a pizza pan than be on your hands and knees praying that you didn't have to clean out a dirty oven :)

 See, easy peasy, nothing but simple, simple. I'm sure many of you are saying to yourself, "heck I know to do that". But then there are always the young bakers and cooks who can use little tips.

 The pie didn't turn out as a prize winner, but the kitchen smelled yummy and I'm sure it will be good eating. When I took the shield off the rim it did catch on that flattened area of crust and I tore it a bit. Had I made my own crust it would have been better I'm sure, but I don't spend much time fussing over homemade right now. The shield did keep the edge nice and golden. I like that. It really was worth buying, and I had bought 2 cause during the holidays you hardly just make 1 pie, especially if you have a family to feed. Now all I have to do is to find someone to help me eat it.

Now for the boring stuff, cause I'm sure you are as tired of reading about it as I am about doing it. I took what looked like this and made it tidier and transformed it into this.........

It took me several days because as usual, I have to drop everything and go do something else. I'm not complaining, really, those breaks are often much needed times to clear my head and to think. But I am pleased with the results and that old woodpile is no longer an eye-sore inside my privacy fenced area. I knew there would be more wood than the new rack would hold, but I managed. There is a lot more to do and I will let it wait till next spring and summer. I have some transplanting to look forward to, NOT!

 See him? I almost stepped on him. A walking stick. He remained there 2 days and this morning he was gone. And I leave you with that......I'm gone, for now. Have a wonderful week ♥

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