Thursday, August 26, 2010

15 years ago today...

15 years ago today, I met some friends at a bar to drink some beer (even though we were all underage and I was recovering from mono).

15 years ago today, we left the bar and went back to a room in a frat house to hang out some more.

15 years ago today, I sat on a bed and shyly held hands with a guy who gently played with my fingers as everyone talked.

15 years ago today, I realized I had found a guy who made me smile and laugh.

15 years ago today, I realized that--even though I'd just sworn off guys for a bit after a few too many upper class frat jerks--this was one guy that I couldn't resist.

15 years ago today, I smiled and laughed and realized I was already starting to fall for this wonderful guy.

Thank you, love, for fifteen years of love and laughter. I can't imagine my life without you in it.

Changing Gauge

I am currently trying to knit this sweater:

Isn't it adorable? I love the open collar with buttons. So cute! I think this will be a great sweater for the warmer Texas fall and winter days.

The pattern calls for light fingering weight yarn, but I had some great charcoal gray yarn in a light worsted (Country by naturally in my stash that I've been waiting to use. I decided this was the time to use it.

So I did three gauge swatches to decide what size needle to use and decided on a size 7. I then measured my gauge: 20 st x 28 rows = 4 inches. (The pattern gauge is 28 st x 39 rows = 4 inches.) Next, I looked in Stitch n' Bitch Nation and reviewed how to change the numbers to make the pattern fit my yarn and gauge. The ratio of me/pattern ended up being .7 for both stitches and rows. I then multiplied all the numbers in the pattern by .7 to get my numbers. I had to adjust slightly in a few places to accommodate stitch patterns (e.g., needed to cast on a multiple of 6 for the 3 x 3 ribbing.)

Anyway, this is how far I've gotten:

Sorry for the sideways picture. Blogger just flipped it for some reason.

This is a closeup of the beginning of the front right sleeve:

I'm not sure if the larger yarn/gauge is going to make this sweater feel too bulky or not. It's also looking a little boxy. I tried to "try it on" but it's hard to tell at this point. Only time will tell. Will keep you posted.

I'm considering using my buttons on this.

What do you think? Adorable or too much?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brotherly Love

Home Again

The boys and I got back last night from a lovely trip "home" to Virginia. We got to hang out with my parents and my sister and brother and my six nieces and nephews there. Here are a few photos from our trip:

My oldest nephew Michael with a raccoon skull found while exploring the woods near my parents' house.

J, N, Michael and Lizzie with my mom at the local children's museum.

My mom and N.

My mom convinced the three "big kids" to take some quiet time by resting together in her bed.

My oldest nephew, Michael, just turned 7. He waited to have his family party until we were there. We had it at the pool.

The three oldest, Michael(7), Lizzie(5) and Joe(5), all loved jumping off the diving board. In this picture, Michael just jumped and Lizzie is getting ready. I love the expression on her happy face!

Lizzie in mid jump.

My dad got in on the action and attempted a back flip.

My sister and mom with all eight grandchildren in the pool.

My mom and dad.

Michael blowing out his candles with his "sidekick." N.

My sister and her daughter.

All eight grandchildren playing outside at my brother's house. My brother's triplets, Reed, Madeline and Mary (climbing), are the three in the front of the picture. His oldest, Joe, is standing on the platform in the blue shirt. My sister's children are Lizzie (in yellow) and Michael (in orange.)

As always, the trip was too short, but lots of fun. I miss everyone already!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Photos from Ohio: Part 3, Fun with Family

More pics from our Ohio trip.

This little bunny (we named it Petunia) was eating my mother-in-laws flowers every day. The bunny had no real fear of us and the boys LOVED going out to see the bunny.

Playing bean bags with Grandpa.

Another favorite activity: Being firemen (aka, watering the plants and flowers.)

One day a bunch of relatives came over for a BBQ including these adorable little twins.

N enjoying Grandma's garden.

Silliness with B's cousin Chris!


J was doing "headers" with Chris and actually hit this one!

Eating ice cream with Grandma.

Photos from Ohio: Part 2, The Kiddie Park

Another morning in Ohio was spent at a local amusement park geared toward preschoolers. We went once when J was two, but he wasn't ready to leave me enough to enjoy it then. On this trip, both boys LOVED it. What a fun morning!

Pictures from Ohio: Part 1, The Zoo

While we were visiting family and friends in Ohio, we made a trip to the Cleveland Zoo. We had a blast! The boys were excited to see a lot of animals we don't have here in Dallas. Here are a few of my favorite pics.

Even though we've fed the giraffes in Dallas, we were still excited to see this cute young giraffe in Ohio.

The polar bear is always a must see and he posed for some cute pics. This blinking one is my favorite.

We had a little rain and stopped under a bridge to stay dry. Decided to take the moment to snap a quick shot of our group. Uncle Mike, N, Grandma, Grandpa, J and B.

The Australian Outback was a lot of fun. I loved the sweet Koala with her baby. The boys loved the train that let us see several types of kangaroo up close and personal.

I thought this Cloud Leopard was beautiful!

Since J wants to be a zookeeper I had to snap this shot of one at work.

N loved this giant fish that swam with the sharks. In this pic, he's pointing out his eye.

On the tram with Uncle Mike.

Checking out the lions. J loved seeing the "daddy lion" with his big mane. The male lions at our zoo are only a year old so they don't have manes yet.

I loved watching the male and female lion hanging out together. They would occasionally lick each other and there was just an air of a married couple about them. Very cool to watch.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I finished my Textured Circle Shrug and I think I will wear it a good amount. I made my sister one a while ago and she wears hers all the time. I finally decided it was too cute and I had to make one for myself.

The pattern works up really quickly and is pretty easy to follow. There is one set of "typos" that I found in the increase rounds of the ribbed portion of the neck trim. Details can be found here on my Ravelry page.

This is the same yarn that I used for my Minimalist Cardigan. I bought it because it's an affordable ($6 for 205 yds) machine washable cotton blend that I thought would be good for the warmer Texas climate. Since both of these sweaters are 3/4 sleeve, I assume I will wear them more in the Spring and Fall vs. Winter. I REALLY enjoyed this yarn for this project--especially on the sleeves and back when I was using size 8s. On the 8s, this yarn knits up so soft, light and drapey. It's just gorgeous to the eye and to the touch. It did nice in the ribbing too, but I don't like it as much in the seed stitch. I LOVE this yummy gray color.

Pattern: Textured Circle Shrug by Stefanie Japel (free pattern)
Size: Small (32-34" bust)
Yarn: 4 skeins of Berroco Weekend in Color 5907 (75% Acrylic/ 25%Peruvian Cotton/ 3.5 oz/ 100g/ 205 yds/ 189m)
Gauge: 18 sts and 26 rows = 4" in stockinette on larger needles (Size 8)
Needles: Size 8 (24" and 16" Circular) and Size 6 (24" Circular)
Mods: Stopped seed stitch after 20 rounds instead of 22. My excuse: I thought I might run out of yarn on that skein and I didn't want an end to weave in so close to the shrug edge. My real reason: I was ready to be done. The seed stitch rounds were 295 stitches each.

I finished this sweater in a record two weeks, but that was only possible because I spent 6 days visiting my in-laws in Ohio. Thanks to them and my great brother-in-law who entertained my boys, I got lots of extra knitting time.