Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Want it to Slow Down

Geez, I promise myself I will post weekly then months go by.
House
  Kitchen not complete yet,1/2 wallpapering left
  Fence has not been touched in more than a year, truly want to finish up this fall.
  House needs repainting and I truly intended this to happen in July...

Animals
  Oliver,our beloved 6.5 year old black lab has developed cataracts rather suddenly.  They began in March and one is already mature and one not so much.  He had an appointment with a specialist who came into the exam a little too exuberant and Oliver growled and jumped.  The rest of the exam both the doctor and Oliver were shaking.  Needless to say he will not be our surgeon.  Oliver is beside himself as his eyesight changes...we are hoping to have surgery done on one eye before the end of the year.
  The kittens are 16 months old and as cute as can be.  Chesterton insists he should live life sitting on your shoulder and Barnaby believes he is a dog, sometimes to Oliver's disapproval.  Chesterton has claimed NIckolas as his dog and is frequently found cuddled up into or on him.  Annabel has grown to tolerate them but you can tell she still misses her brother,Artemus, as do I.
   Poor Phineas has an equal amount of good and bad days and each day I am grateful he tries as hard as he does.  Scatter rugs are everywhere as he can not get his footing on the wood floors.  We have a lot of leeway with his pain meds,fortunately, and adjust them accordingly.

Family
  my oldest son and dear wife celebrated their third anniversary in May and my younger son and his bride celebrated their first in June.  All seem to be enjoying home ownership and the specialness of being married.  We have a family trip planned in September and are all quite excited.  My DH has been working a horrendous amount of hours as there is a major computer changeover upgrade at work and he is under  a mountain of work. Hoping soon it will end as it is taking its toll.

Knitting
   I feel I have finished a lot of projects this year, I am certainly knitting a lot! I am heavily into the classes for my expert knitter certification.  I have signed up for two classes for the fall and that leaves 6 to complete next year. Already know what I want to do for my capstone project and am starting to swatch.  It has to be accepted by the committee,but I am not worried. My Knitting Circus group at work has grown again and all the clowns are progressing wonderfully.  It is an amazing group who offer one another encouragement and support.  I keep trying to think of a way we have a getaway but we all work quite different schedules.
   I worked for months going through my stash and sorting and logging,and it is still quite large, but I am selling off a bit. I discovered knitting 50 skeins a year I have 40 plus years worth and I will likely not live 40 more years.It was quite a realization...So, do I knit faster,sell more,not buy orjust stop....IDK, so far I am ahead of the 50 goal for this year,but I also have purchased project specific yarns.   HOWEVER I asked and was answered with great enthusiasm from my first DIL that on our family trip there will be knitting instruction.  Can you say YAY!!  My second DIL crochets and I am not sure she has an interest in knitting but I will ask.

I must end now, lots of cleaning going on and I have a hair appointment and a yoga class tonight.  I will add pictures in later

Thanks for stopping by, Hi Mom!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Still Here

Work on kitchen redo continues.  More cabinet painting, trim painting, wall papering  The clutter is not a permanent part, just an interruption in the process


   Poor Phineas is worse and worse with an occasional good day thrown in  I took him for a walk, less than a tenth of a mile and it took nearly 40 minutes. But he was at least made happy by two groups of the University's girl running club who stopped to pet and admire him.  He loves ladies and the visit put a little pep in his step.  It was so sweet.

Barnaby always tries to get out so I harnassed him up and out we went.  He hated it, so perhaps he will stop trying to wander.
This is Miss Winnie Cooper.  She is My DS1 and his wife's almost 6 month old rescue puppy.  I was planning a visit and went a bit early to take Miss W out for a walk.  She is learning commands at puppy school and while she does do great with stop, at which time she sits, I had a bit of time trying to get her to move again, lol.  She was intrigued with the flying leaves and we had to run a few of them down.  They met their demise as she pounced them
After the walk and some play the little pup slept at my feet while I knit
Barnaby the Grey believes himself to be a puppy and snuggles the dogs, drinks their water, trying to at the same time they are drinking, and commandeers there beds.  here he snuggles Phineas having slipped his paw under Phin's. He is a gorgeous little kitty.
How can one even think of moving off the couch when two 6 motnh old kitties wrap themselves around your legs and go to sleep.I stayed like this for some time.
As of this writing, one of the work babies has been born and the other will be here soon.  Baby Boy B arrived last Thursday and is an extremely handsome little man.  I got to visit and hold the angel, so heartwarming to see new life.  he and his Mom looked wonderful and so much in love. I made this little 3-6 motnh cap and sweater for him from cascade 220 superwash.  The yarn bloomed and became wonderfully soft after a washing.  I was pleased as I am not a fan of 220 regular.  The sweater was an extremely quick knit.  The color is turtle and I love it.
I wanted to make this item and decided I would.  Another work friend is a blossoming phographer and will do the newborn shoots.  Ihad such fun with the.I plan on making more and selling them.  Four strands of yarn makes this quite cushy


The peas are grape fruit size and right now Baby Boy B is having his photos done!!
I will leave you with a picture and a story.  In March we had a Mad Hatter Bridal Shower for DS@ and his now wife.  These are some of the cupcakes I made.19 boxes of 18 in each.  Not many leftovers.  The flavors were salted caramel,ricotta lemon raspberry,mint cappuccino, malted milk ball and ketchup(the couple loves ketchup.)


And this is a story DH wrote and put on FB...it is wonderful
A true story.
We are blessed to have three wonderful dogs. While they are each amazing, they are very different. A point that was illustrated in an astonishing way today.

We were playing tennis in the back yard. (This involves me hitting tennis balls for the two black labs to retrieve, while Phin, our Aussie Shepherd sits and chews a squeaking tennis ball. His knees are too bad to run). 

I hit a tennis ball, it traveled high into the air, and lodged in a branch. There it stuck.
Here's where the differences showed.

Oliver, the big black lab, stood patiently, tail wagging, waiting for the ball to magically appear.

Phineas, got up, slowly walked over, and sat under the tree, nearly beneath the ball, and stared up at it.

Nickolas, our youngest black lab, looked up at the ball, then turned his head, and ran over into the lilac grove, causing an unseen commotion. Seconds later, a squirrel shot up through the lilacs, leaped to a large red cedar tree, and then into the maple tree where the ball was stuck. Sure enough, the squirrel ran along the very branch in question, and as it leaped from that branch to another tree, the ball dropped to the ground, right in between Phin, and Nickolas, who merely stood grinning knowingly.

Olliver ran over and scooped up the ball he had been waiting for the whole time.


So til next time with more knitting , renovating and sewing update.  Hug those you love.  Hi Mom

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rainy Monday

I have been working on redoing the kitchen as the kittens wreaked havoc with the wallpaper, but it is a rainy day and I cannot take the cupboard doors outside to prime and paint so I will strip more wallpaper and paint the trim.  I wallpapered and painted the tin ceiling 5 years ago but have never been happy with the cabinets.  A reno is down the road but needing to redo the wallpaper gave me the opportunity to refinish cabinets.





The previous owners were smokers and try as I might the cabinets never looked or felt clean.  When we moved in I scrubbed them and spent a bit of $$ replacing the horrid knobs with beautiful glass ones.  I actually questioned reusing them as they are amber glass and the paint color is beehive :)  
But I wanted to help the stainless colors coordinate with the paint color so went with the square knobs.  I had been investigating these knobs at $4-6 apiece and bought them online from someone, 39 for $30!! Love a bargain.
The wallpaper was chosen first as I try to maintain the Victorian character of the house, then the paint color.  My DDIL1 and I were texting back and forth and discovered that yellow was a chosen Victorian color, while the greens were from the Art Deco era.  So yellow it is!

We generally paint the trim a color as close to the walls as possible which is also a trait of Victorian homes but we are going with bright white this time to try and brighten up the kitchen.

OK let's see what is up with knitting updates.  I cannot add pictures or descriptions or discussions currently as some things are stealth.  But I will be donating the Chemo caps my Circus has knit.  I am hoping to gather them all together, finish tagging and get some pictures.  I need to do a quick article and clarify with the Chemo Center that it is ok to send to the hospital newspaper.  I cannot wait to share all these beautiful caps with you!!!  
I am 15 minutes past my schedule of switching from knitting to DIY projects so I will stop here.
The kittens are almost 6 months old and cute as can be.  Annabel is 4y6months and it is evident she misses Artemus tremendously, as do I.  Nickolas is almost 4 and the sweetest dog ever, Phineas is almost 5.5 and has more good days than bad lately, I think we have finally figured out the right combination of his meds and Oliver will be 6 in December.  He is not always comfortable with kittens and is somewhat high strung but this manifests itself with vomiting and pacing rather than aggression .  He is a wonderful dog who tries and takes care of everyone in the house.  

So til next time, thanks for looking, leave a comment and see you soon.
Hi Mom





Thursday, September 05, 2013

On A Roll

So may as well post when time allows....remember the group of knitters from work?  Cheryl's Knitting Circus?  March 24 one of the Clowns suggested we make something for the two pregnant Clowns in the group.  It was suggested I take charge of this endeavor.  I must say in the midst of all the goings on at home and wedding and class this was a biggie.  However, the Clowns stepped up to the challenge and the results were amazing.  We voted many times and after I designed several blocks, we decided to knit bears and bunnies.  When we started we did not know the sex of the little Clowns but one Mom found out and let us know Baby G was on her way.  We had already started a gender neutral bear blanket which we decided would be for the other Mom.  This worked out well as Baby B turned out to be a little boy. The bunnies were earmarked for Baby G.  I designed blocks, with some variations, ordered yarn , printed patterns, wound yarn and handed out little kits.
This is one of my favorite pictures.  Bear kits waiting to be handed out.  Many of the Clowns learned the skill of long tail cast on which is what I insisted it be and they learned lessons about gauge.  I am not sure they were always happy to learn the lessons but did.  Deadlines were set and for the most part met.  Clowns helped Clowns, squares were redone and finally I had 30 bears in my possession.  Next came bunnies, one Clown really wanted to do white tails on her squares and after much discussion, I ok'ed a few white tail bunnies and redrafted the pattern.  I learned intarsia was not a lesson easily learned for some, but they persevered and some time done the road I had 20 bunnies waiting to be assembled


As you can see, that while all the squares are beautiful, some are a bit different in size.  BUT with tweaking all went together and the results were gorgeous.
During the bunny production we all starting talking about the one baby that had been born shortly after the creation of the Circus and in fairness how we wanted to make a blanket for Maverick, who will be one in December.  We wanted to present this blanket at the same time as the other two so more designing, winding and knitting and trucks starting rolling in.
The trunks were much more rectangular than the other two designs and varied a bit more in size but blocking seemed to bring in order.  

Each blanket also had its own special border design.  The bears had paw prints, the bunnies had carrots and after much thought I designed hammers for the trucks.




The borders were knit in the blanket colors so I duplicate stitched one of the designs for emphasis although the border did show up nicely.

We met last knit and surprised the recipients with dinner and the blankets.  I also made pink strawberry cupcakes and blue lemon blueberry cupcakes as a special treat

The Clowns were very touched and the knitters seemed quite impressed with their work in the resulting blanket.  It is a wonderful group to be part of.  We are all CT Techs who participated in this endeavor.  I will leave you with a few pictures of the final results.  These will be part of the book I am in the process of writing so the designs are copyrighted.
Here we have the two expecting Clowns
 Middle Clown gave birth to Maverick last year.










So, there you have it.  If you are interested in some impressive stats, the bear yarn was given out April 25 the final truck was turned in August 16.  I had many many many hours of finishing, constructing, borders, embroidery after the fact.  113 days of block knitting 70 blocks, 270000 stitches and 11.2 pounds of yarn. WOW

Enjoy knitting for what it is and share it whenever you can.

Hi Mom

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Rose of Tralee

Where oh where has my life flown away to?  This has been a most busy year.  I will try and update, but as I sit watching QVC and the Rose of Tralee special, I admire the Aran sweaters and miss my blogging friends.  SO I am back!  There have been many many things going on that have kept me from having the time to post, but this is the fall of Cheryl.  So here we go.

As is the case, when time allows and on breaks, I knit at work.  Last year many of my co workers showed interest in and asked to learn or further their skills.  I am in the process of getting my Expert Knitter Certification from WEBS and of course was thrilled that the art is in another resurgence so was quite receptive to aiding those interested.  One new knitter in particular thought it would be fun to form a secret group on Facebook where they could show progress, ask questions, cheer one another on.  I am the Knitmaster and we are all Cheryl's Knitting Circus.  It has been quite the adventure.  The skills of these knitters has progressed and I am quite proud of all that they accomplish.  I will share some of their accomplishments from time to time.  Another Clown, as they are referred to, suggested we should do something as a group and we started knitting Chemo Caps we will donate next month.  I had hoped to give about 50 hats as a donation but at last count we are over 130!!  It is amazing...they have learned to knit in the round, read patterns, use DPNs and even design their own hats.

I, decided on a long term project of writing a knitting book.  The first project that will surely go in is a pair of mittens I designed with the collaboration of one of the Clowns.  It started as a silly conversation of "hey we should do..."  and then we did.  Our weekend supervisor suffered the loss of one of her beloved Golden Retrievers, so A pair of mittens honoring him and his "sister" was designed by me and knit by the both of us.  I am not sure they will ever be worn as they are a very emotion filled symbol for her, but they are gorgeous and I am extremely proud of them.

In March, a lovely Bridal Shower for DS2 and his then Fiancee was the focus of my attentions.  My DIL and the bridal party and I were very busy.  DH and I designed and made the centerpieces, my DS2 FMIL and I made the favors.  Much cooking and baking by all and the results were a beautiful Mad Hatter themed shower for the couple.  They got married in June and agaan, I was quite busy.  I knit the Bride's shrug, the groom's socks, made the Bride's petticoat, my dress, all the groomsmens ties, the Groom's vest and tie, DH's tie, the Bride's bag and bags for the bride's maids and flower girls shrugs were knitted.  Sadly the bridal shrug was somehow lost after the wedding but we do have a picture or two and I have promised to knit a replacement for DIL2.  I am so blessed, two wonderful sons married two incredible women.  ALSO, both of the couple bought homes this year.  one in April and the other in June.  It is a wonderful thing to see your children reach goals so quickly.

In April, I was getting ready to work an errant Monday shift(happened to be the day of the marathon) and before leaving for work found my beloved Artemus on the guest bed in a pool of blood trying so desperately to clean himself.  He always met me at the door when I returned from work late in the night and the previous two nights had not and it struck me as odd.  Finding him in this state was heartbeaking. DH took him to the vet while I went off to work.  At one point during the trainride underground, the train stopped abruptly and all cell phones went off.  people starting screaming BOMB, we were under the area where the bombs had gone off.  The train took off not stopping til it reached the hospital.  That shift was very emotional, and so busy and sad.  Coupled with worrying about my Artemus and praing that anyone I might know at the Marathon was safe, made the shift almost unbearable.  But we did what we do and got through.  In the meantime DH let me know the Vet was sure it was a UTI but when she tried to aspirate some urine there was only blood and it was likely bladder cancer.  They could do surgery but Artemus had a very bad heart and was never to undergo anesthesia according to his cardiologist, so we decided he should not suffer.  I know Annabel tried very hard and was successful at cleaning him as he was immaculate the next day.  We decided he should start his journey in his favorite place, the deck, and for two hours he sat there with me, still, occasionally moaning but enjoying the sun and the many visits from his brothers and sister.  Annabel would not leave him and the dogs came and paid their respects.  I will forever hate the vet who was kind enough to come to the house within hours of being called and let Artemus gently go assisted with meds.  I held him and we gave him a beautiful site where we can visit .  I will never be at peace with letting my very first cat, one of my first pets go at the very young age of 4 years.  We could have let him go naturally but it would have been two to three days of suffering as his organs shut done.  I miss him greatly.  Annabel had a very hard time, she was heartbroken and we were so worried about her that within a week we were blessed to get two brothers, 5 weeks old.  It took her several weeks to accept them, but it gave her something to do watching them, teaching them.  Now they are a trio, eating off the same plate, drinking from the dogs bowls, it is a hoot.

It is quite late and I will save this and get back and finish tomorrow.

On the subject of pets, my Phineas is doing poorly.  His hips and knees are bad, were bad and the horrendous winter we had did him in.  He is lame, and on so many meds I wonder everyday if it is his last.  He is medicated for pain and the number of pills he takes inceases as time goes by.  he will let us know when he is ready and I have already asked the children if they need time with him before the day he leaves and everyone agreed yes.  he has been a wonderful dog and is just 5 years old.  We have had a cart and a brace specially made for him and they do help but neither can be used unsupervised or for long periods of time.  DH built a ramp onto the deck so Phin could get up and down, primarily unassisted. I am saddened eerytime I think of putting this always smiling puppy out of his pain...but we knew when we rescued him he would not be ours very long.  We have given him a good life and now it is going to be as close to a pain free life for however long we can.

Renovations continue on the house and new projects abound.  But for now I will say see you next week after a few pictures are added.

Remember to hug your family.  Hi Mom
 Kevin and I, I made his tie to match his sneakers and my dress
 My two sons, very diifferent but so alike.  The Groom is wearing an Avengers belt and I made his tie and vest and his brother's tie.  Both weddings the shoes of choice were sneakers
It was a picnic themed wedding reception and he loves burgers so what else would I line his vest with?
 Very old school multiple color wedding. The entire event suddenly took on a very retro feel.
The Groom, when he sees his Bride...
ALL MARRIED!!!  The girls wore flip flops, there is a multi colored petticoat under there.
I had this signage made up after consulting with the couple.  They had never heard of it and loved it so much I had this picture printed on cards to be used as thank yous.
 My gang, so beautiful, kind, smart and in love. My DIL1 is holding one of the bags I made.  We could not find ties to match the dresses, so I got wraps made for the dresses and made ties from the wraps and had leftover fabric so made the bags for the girls.
 See the petticoat, isn't she a gorgeous Bride?
 Here is the silly group photo
 EVERYONE should be this happy
The shrug, it's only wearing as the day was quite hot, it disappeared after this.
 My Design, the white fur on their chests is angora, I need to find a picture of the other side as the thumb is a hydrant
 Closeups of the Bridal shrug, over 500 beads
 Beautiful
 Groom loves video games ...the hi score is their wedding date and the numbers beside the aliens is the date of their first date
 Barnaby, 5 weeks old and stinking cute

 Chesterton, my littlest love
 Barnaby has the most gorgeous coloring  They had to be bottle fed for a few weeks...so tiny.