Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Knitting with Beads

I'd like to learn how to knit with beads.  I bought two books a few months ago and then bought yarn that was pre-beaded.  I didn't like the pre-beaded yarn quite so much because you didn't have the ability to select where you wanted bead placement.  I also found this tutorial online that shows you how to thread the beads onto the yarn using very small crochet hooks.

Today I bought two small packages of 4mm Swarovski beads by EKsuccess Brands.  There are 30 beads per package and the colors are; clear, light green, light blue and teal blue.  I plan to knit them into the lace pattern of the socks I started last night....for ME!  The sock pattern is called Flying Arrows Socks by Helen Waittes.  The pattern calls for a size 1 1/2-2 (2.5mm) needle which I don't have.  I do have a size 2 (2.75mm) needle.  I looked through the needle racks at Jo-Ann's Fabrics last week and again today.  No size 1 1/2 knitting needles.  

I've only gotten through part of the second pattern repeat and it's going slow but I'm trying to be careful and not drop stitches.  I find it difficult to knit while the tv is on or my husband is talking.  Sorry, hubby!  Is it my age or all that chemo?  Probably the first and not the latter.  :)

The yarn I'm using is called Sloth in the Sinful Signature colorway by YarnLust.  It's a pale greenish blue that I'm just in love with.  I hope you can make out the colors in the photos below.  It's 50% superwash merino wool and 50% tencel fiber.

I'm hoping this photo from my stash at Ravelry shows the color better.

Okay, I don't have a crochet needle small enough to secure the beads onto the yarn so I'm hand sewing each one on.  Ugg.  What I did not want to do.  Here's what the first sock is looking like.

I ripped the sock out this morning.  I hated the beads on the yarn and the sock stretched too much to get on my foot.  It looked horrible.  I'm looking for larger needles hoping this will correct the problem with stretching.

I decided to go with a different pattern.  I'm using A Pair of Hearts by Donna Edgar.  Okay, what is wrong with me?  The sock was way too large so again I started over and over three more times until I gave up.  

Today (Thursday, May 2) I started over yet again.  This time going with the Dragonfly pattern I'd used for two previous socks.  I hand strung the beads onto the yarn and knitted them into the cuff.  I am happy with the sock and have started on the heel flap.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is good for the soul (I've read the book) and tonight it's going to be good for our bodies.  Hopefully, we'll get over this spring sickness soon.  The soup smells so good!  Three small chicken breasts cooked and shredded.  I used a quart of chicken stock and then added a quart of water with three chicken bouillon cubes.  Then I added carrots cut into small pieces, celery stalks cut up, onion sliced up then I added half a bag of frozen spinach.  I cooked this for two hours on low and then added salt, pepper, bay leaves and rosemary.  I added a cup of uncooked orzo to the pot and turned off the heat.

The soup was unbelievable!  Both Phil and I each had two bowls.  There was enough left over for him to take in to work for lunch tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Cold or Allergies?

Phil and I both started to feel sick this past Saturday.  He stayed home from work on Monday and was in bed all day.  Yesterday I was the one who slept all day.  My ears feel plugged.  Sinuses are pounding at night and draining during the day.  Coughing, scratchy throat, feeling feverish, etc.  We've been taking "over the counter meds" from the pharmacy which allow us to function during the day otherwise we'd still be holed up in bed sleeping.

I've got to go to Walmart for food and supplies.  I just don't have the energy but I'm afraid if I lay back down I'll fall asleep.  Hoping this passes soon because I have so much to do around the house.  Dinner the past two nights has been fried eggs.  I don't have the energy to do anymore than that.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Is it Spring or still Winter?

A few days ago we had a gorgeous day with sunny skies and 88 degree weather!  Yes, here!  Then Friday I left the house without a jacket and it turned very cold.  I kept thinking it would snow and then yesterday it did.  We had snow flurries here.  We went up to Warriorsmark yesterday and it flurried there the entire time we were there.

Phil has been working with Rocco and Roxy.  Rocco's natural ability test is over Memorial Day weekend.  Roxy's isn't until September.  Both did well with training yesterday but Phil did something to his knee yesterday which cut short the training day.  We got home and he took aspirins, had a hot bath and then rested his knee for an hour (yes, it was a nap which I suggested).  Today he was feeling much better and was out training dogs near Kittanning.

I started knitting a hat for Lilly while we were driving yesterday.  Cute pattern called, "Vanilla Ice Flower Hat," which I found on Ravelry.  I'm using an all cotton yarn called Bamboozle by Crystal Palace Yarns.  I found it in the discount bin at Kathy's Kreations in Ligonier.  I'm using a size 2 circular needle and it's been a little tough for me.  I know!  I love a yarn and buy it and then try to find a pattern to use it.  Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.  I'm trying to knit looser so the needle slides into the stitches easier.  I've gotten as far as row five in the second pattern repeat.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lilly's Sweater

I finished Lilly's sweater this week.  I took it over today to give to her.  I made it in a size 4 and was SO surprised that it actually fit her well.  I thought it would be roomy and she'd grow into it.  She looked really cute wearing it.

I bought her the shoes, too.  They're by StrideRite and I bought them through Totsy for something like $15 which was pretty awesome!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Vegetable Gardening

We've never attempted vegetable gardening where we live now.  The ground is too hard and all clay.  We have little top soil and what we do have covers about two inches of gravel in most parts.  Last year I tried container gardening on the front porch.  Not exactly conducive to gardening.  Cherry tomatoes will grow anywhere so those don't count.

We had a beautiful veggie garden where we lived prior to building here.  Lovely black soil.  Beautiful beans, zucchinis and cucumbers.  Nice fruit trees, too.  It's such a shame we couldn't pull all that along with us.

I'm thinking seriously about raised container gardening in the front yard on top of our sand mound.  If you don't know what that is, here's the Wiki explanation:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mound_system.  Our sand mound is large and takes up almost all of the area in front of our house.  I found a garden kit which I think would work well and, at a great price!  Here it is:  http://www.samsclub.com/sams/garden-kit-dsv-collect/prod9360606.ip

I already have my seed packets purchased; stringless green beans, lima beans, peas and corn.  I started some seeds I had saved from lemons, cherries, plums and peaches.  I even put in pumpkin seeds, zucchinis and other squash.  I'm hoping they sprout soon.  Will post pics after they do.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Visit with Oncologist

I came prepared to sit and knit in the waiting room prior to my visit with my oncologist.  I arrived at 11:20 for my 11:30 appointment.  I filled out paperwork, yapped with the receptionist and knitted.  I finished the second sleeve.  Finally I was taken back at 12:15 and waited a little while longer for the doctor.  He came in the door smiling and said, "You're still on the cured list."  Much better than the alternative that I always worry about.  So glad I got my blood work results via email!  Whew, that took a load off!

Phil, his brother and Matt Snyder worked putting up the ceiling in the kennel.  Matt arrived at our house at 7:00 in the morning and didn't leave until 11:30 last night.  What a very long day for them!  It looks great and should hold the heat in much better.

While waiting on the guys last night I finished Lilly's Sawtelle cardigan.  Here's a photo with the new shoes I bought her through Totsy.  They're by StrideRite and I got them for less than $20!