3 Years Tomorrow

My uncle – Brandon passed away 3 years ago tomorrow at 23 years old after hitting a semi head on. We still all miss him dreadfully and his absence will never beforgotten. Love you Brandon.

Brandon Lawrence Washburn

Hopefully I will be back later this month for a very long overdue blog update.

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Long Blog Silence

Hey ya’ll sorry for the long blog silence – not going to really offer any excuse other than life just got away from me during the last few months.

I am hoping that maybe my new toy will help with blogging more frequently as I can now blog from anywhere with an available internet connection.  After all these years of thinking that a laptop would be  cool, but would be a waste of money since I do have to have a desktop for some of the programs that I use on a daily basis I broke down and bought a netbook.  Now a netbook is definitely smaller than a laptop and typing on it will definitely take some getting used to, but especially with the deal I got on it I couldn’t pass it up.  Part of the decision to buy was based on the week that I spent at my sister’s – she let me use her computer while I was there, but I didn’t feel comfortable spending a lot of time on it since it was her computer and the amount of catch up I had to do when I got back was horrible.  Also I got a really nice Christmas bonus from my job and decided that I would buy myself a really nice present this year instead of spending the money on a lot of little things that would end up as more clutter.  Can I just take a moment to say that I love my job and the company that I work for – I work in retail as a normal associate yet I still got a very decent bonus (everyone did who works for this company) and make a very decent wage while still being treated like a person – all of which is so rare in today’s society.  I wish I could publicly state who I work for, but I just don’t feel comfortable with naming them so just know that there are still some decent employers out there in the retail industry.  By the way here is a link to the netbook that I bought – I just got a better deal that what is listed there since I bought it on Thanksgiving Day – gotta love internet shopping.

I have been doing a lot of knitting, but on a lot of differnt things so no real progress photos to share, but hopefully there will be some in the near future.  I have put most everything to the side to do some baby knitting.  One of my friends was due to have a baby on February 17th,  but she went into premature labor and they couldn’t stop it and she had the baby on October 30th.  He is a strong little boy and hasn’t had any major setbacks and is fighting so hard.  I had planned on doing some knitting for her, but since she lost her first child at 20 weeks she wanted me to wait to start knitting until she hit 30 weeks so I hadn’t started anything.  So I have a baby blanket and 2 Baby Surprise Jackets on the needles and am currently doing trouble shooting on all of them.  The one sweater needs to be ripped all the way back as I have realized that somehow I managed to miscount the first increase and have 3 extra stitches on one sleeve.  The other sweater is actually back to where I could finish the knitting I believe – I just need to double check that I have the correct number of garter stitch rows before I continue with it.  The baby blanket is the one that I am dreading working on since I have to try and fingure out where I am in the repeat I am and I have already tried starting back up with 3 different rows and had to tink them all back as each of the was the wrong row.  There is a way that I could work on the blanket easily, but it would involve ripping back all the way to the start of this repeat and that is easily 15 rows, maybe more so I am holding that back as a last ditch solution.  Besides those three items I have 2 or 3 pairs of socks on the needles and Christmas knitting (not counting all the other projects that have been put on the back burner until the gift knitting is done).  Luckily the Christmas knitting doesn’t have to be done until the end of January  as that is when my sister and her family are coming down so that we can all head to Disney World for a week. The gift knitting involves a pair of slippers (of my own design) for my father, a scarf for my brother-in-law, a shawl for my sister, and either a sweater or shawl for my mother (need to find out how much more weight she wants to lose before I decide as I already have to restart the sweater since she has lost too much to wear the original size that I cast on for).  I would also like to get the shawl that I cast on for my friend (same one that had the baby) done as well – I put it down because it had me cast on almost 900 stitches and you knit those in a modified feather and fan pattern for the first 12 rows then you decrease down to half that amount (creating a ruffle) then after that you are decreasing 4 stitches every other row so once you get past the ruffle it should start to move a lot faster.  I just got discouraged on row 5 or 6 of the ruffle because of how long it is taking to knit each row and sat it down for a while, but I would really like to get it done for her.

Well, I do have to work in the morning and I have been up since like 7 this morning so I am going to let ya’ll go so that I can get some sleep.  I will try to post more regularly, but I make no promises.

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Wow long trip

That was a long trip.  My sister, niece and nephew kept me busy.  Will post more later this week – have photos and may even have an FO photo, but right now I want to eat dinner, get things around for tomorrow and get to bed.  I was in the car driving for almost 10 hours for an 8 1/2 hour trip (that includes a couple of stops even) due to several accidents and slow downs in Kentucky.  Have to work at 8:30 tomorrow which is wonderful – early shift after a long week away and I just know my department will be a mess.  Catch ya’ll later.

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Hello from Indiana

Hey ya’ll – sorry I haven’t blogged since the 31st (though ya’ll are probably getting used to it since I have been a very bad blogger lately), but things got kinda hectic between work and trying to get ready to go on vacation.  I arrived at my sister’s last night and boy has it been fun.  Daniel is just wonderful and Natalie is so different – the last time I was up she was talking, but not very much – now she is a blabbermouth and is never quite.  I believe I have already been a big help to my sister, though it was fairly easy last night and today since her husband was home – tomorrow will be the real test since he will be at work and we will hopefully be going to 2 doctor’s appointments (she needs her staples removed and Natalie has been sick since Tuesday and isn’t getting better, even with the medicine she got on Friday) and to a couple of stores to do returns.  Hopefully I will be able to blog a couple of times while here as we have my mom’s laptop downstairs and with Natalie sick she has been actually napping during the day so maybe there will be time for me to blog.

I did mention last time that I had some FOs to show ya’ll –  here are the last couple of socks that I have finished for the WendyKnits Socks form the Toe Up KAL over on Ravelry for her Socks from the Toe Up book.

Cinnamon Seaweeds – from her free patterns

DIC CG Seaweeds Finished 1

Start Date: August 4, 2009

Finished Date: August 17, 2009

Toe: Turkish – Rounded it by starting with 9 stitches and increasing on the first 6 rounds and then every other round until I got to the correct stitch count.

Heel: Slip stitch heel flap

Needle: 2 US 1 circs for 2aat

Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Cinnamon Girl

Comments: I love this pattern. I decided to do 1×1 ribbing on the back of the sock to hopefully make sure they fit my sister correctly and it worked.  This wass the first pair of socks I have made for her and while I know the foot width and length were okay I was not sure about the ankles as she has fairly slim ankles compared to mom and I.

Koigu Nanners – from her free patterns

Koigu Nanners Finished 1

Yarn Used: Koigu KPPPM  in P616

Needled Size: US 2 (2.75 mm) 2 circs for 2aat

Start Date: July 12,2009

Finish Date: July 19,2009

Toe/Cast on: Turkish – mods to toe were to cast on fewer stithces and increase every row for 6 rows then every other row until to correct stitch count

Heel: Slip stitch heel flap

Bind off: Sewn

Comments: Used size 2s like normal with Koigu but should have used 1s as even the small is loose on me and based on previous experience would have expected to have to knit the medium – the only thing I can think is that with all this sock knitting I am getting more comfortable knitting socks and my gauge has loosened up since I am not constantly having to think about keeping the stitches tight to prevent the ladders I used to get.

Birch On Hold Socks – from the book

On Hold CTH Birches Finished

Started: July 1, 2009

Finished: July 12, 2009

Toe: Turkish Cast-on

Heel: as per pattern

Needle: 2.75 mm Harmony Knit-Picks circs using 2 for 2aat

Cast-off: Sewn Bind-off per book

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Birches

Comments: Loved the pattern, but have found that instead of doing a plain back I should have done the ribbing from the heel up as they are a little baggy. I did about 4” of pattern after the heel and think that is the max I can do for me without having to do increases as the top would be a little tight if they didn’t sag a bit.  The yarn was a wonder to work with, but the color is too variegated to show off the pattern well.

Ultra Alpaca Feather and Fan Shawl from Folk Shawls

Ultra Alpaca Feather and Fan Shawl Finished 1

Started: June 2007

Finished: July 26, 2009

Pattern: Feather and Fan Triangle Shawl from folk Shawls

Needle: US 7

Yarn: Ultra Alpaca in Black (6245), Charcoal Grey (6289), and Cream (6201)

Comments:  I really love this shawl and it is really wearable even though it turned out huge.  While I do wish it hadn’t taken as long to make as it did I do have to remember that even though this was cast on back in June of 2007 I didn’t work on it that long before sitting it aside for Christmas knitting and then I only picked it back up as in January of 2008 as it was already fully started with the pattern, needles and extra yarn all bagged which made it easy to grab when we got the call about my uncle’s accident.  Then the shawl went into a major hibernation when we got back from that week as every time I tried to work on it I got upset and couldn’t stop thinking about my uncle since I had worked on it almost non-stop while waiting for the machines to be turned off and the funeral – I think the only time I wasn’t knitting that week was when I was in the hospital room saying my goodbyes, at the funeral and then the gathering afterward.  When I put the shawl away I had managed to get all the way to the 5th or 6th row of the lace.  So when I pulled it out in July after finishing both pairs of socks for the KAl I just  had to finish around 50 rows of the lace which went very fast.  I still think of my uncle when I look at the shawl, but now I remember the good times – like how goofy he was and how he was so camera shy and when I wear it I feel like he is looking down on me and watching over me to make sure nothing bad happens which makes it kinda like getting a hug from him.

Well, that is it in FOs – I do still have my Diamond Gansey socks on the needles for my grandpa, but didn’t manage to finish them in time for the KAL, but I am working away on them as I want to send them to my grandpa for Grandparents Day on the 13th.  I did bring along some yarn to cast on the free pattern for the KAL for September (feather and fan socks) in case I finish my grandpas and need something to work on while here.  I still have at least a full repeat and the ribbing to do, but it is slow going since I chose to use thin black yarn and size 1 needles for them.  I try to let ya’ll know how things are going, but for now I should try to get some sleep as Natalie, my brother-in-law and my sister are sleeping and I managed to get Daniel to sleep about and hour and a half ago.  I should probably try to get a couple hours before he wakes up wanting to eat again – my sister is still pretty sore and I am hoping I will be able to get him before she trys to get up – even though I will have to wake her up to feed him I know she will appreciate it if she doesn’t have to get up to get him too.  Have new photos of Daniel and Natalie to post, but need to get the uploaded tomorrow before I can post them.  Good night ya’ll.

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Newest Addition to the Family

I cannot believe I have let almost 2 months go by without posting – I have so much to share with everyone that I am sure it will take a while for me to get it all written up so here is a quick post to introduce you to the newest addition to our family.

My nephew Daniel Anthony was born this morning at 8:02 am weighing in at 8lbs 4ozs and 21 inches long.

daniel1

daniel4

Natalie seems to really like her baby brother – the only thing she seems to be having trouble with is the fact that she cannot sit on Mommy’s lap due to my sister having a c-section.  Right now my parents are there and they will be coming back on Sunday which is when I will head up there for a 1 week vacation to help my sister out.  I cannot believe that he is here already.

Have to run for now – need to go run some errands.  Will try to post again before I go on vacation as I have quite a few FOs to show ya’ll.

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New Yarn

Look at what I received today!! My June prize skein of Lisa Souza Sock! in Gendarme ( for the KAL we are entered into a prize drawing for each pair of socks we complete each month that follow the KAL guidelines using the patterns for that month.)  I am so excited to try this yarn – I have had this type of yarn on my wish list for months now, but haven’t been able to buy any due to budget constraints – now I can try it just for finishing a pair of socks. Thanks you so much Lisa for such a great prize. I love the color and you can bet I will most likely have to move this yarn back onto the wish list soon as there are several colors that I just love.

Lisa Souza Sock Gendarme

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A KAL, FOs, and Life

Hey ya’ll this is going to be a long catch up post.  All of the pattern links are to Ravelry and the rest are to different websites (I will note the websites).

I never mentioned that I had joined the Socks From the Toe Up KAL over on Ravelry.  When I received Socks From the Toe Up (Amazon link) by Wendy Johnson (her blog) in the mail I absolutely feel in love with every pattern in the book.  Then while cruising Ravelry I found this group and just had to join even though I tend to have trouble actually working on KAL projects (the whole, oh look shiny and away I go on another path thing).  We are doing one pattern from the book every month and for those who want we are also voting on one of her free patterns to knit each month as well.  When I first read that I couldn’t believe it because I thought I would have trouble knitting just one pair of socks each month and for people to think they could knit two pairs I thought was crazy.  Well, count me among the crazy then because for June I finished both pairs  in time and I am so pleased with myself since it pushed me to actually knit everyday.  I had become lax about knitting everyday and was sometimes only knitting on my days off.  For June we had the Lacy Ribs from the book and Sprucey Lucy for the free pattern.

I made the Sprucey Lucy’s for myself and am in love with them, except for the yarn choice.  I actually really took the time to check fit and everything and they are the best fitting pair I have made for myself.  I am really loving how well the heel fits me, so I will be using the Slip-Stitch heel from Wendy’s book on most of the socks I make.  I already know from my Leyburns that short row heels don’t work for me due to my instep, so those are out, but I will be trying the Gusset heel on one of them at least to see how they fit.  On the yarn front I love the feel of and the stitch definition of the yarn, but the colorway was not the best choice (for anything, it looks nothing like the sample sock that made me purchase it).  So onto Sprucey Lucy photos and details.

Sprucy Lucy Finished

Started: June 1, 2009
Finished: June 30, 2009
Needles: 2 US 1 (2.25mm) 16″ KnitPicks Harmony Circular Needles(KnitPicks) – done 2 at a time (2aat)
Yarn: Jojoland Melody (Jojoland) in a colorway of pale greens, purple, bluish green, and a yellow-green
Cast On: Turkish
Heel: Slip-Stitch
Cast Off: Sewn Bind-off
Mods: I made the toe more rounded by knitting the first 6 rows of the toe as increase rows and then finished the increases normal. I also only made the cuff about 3-4″ high as I prefer shorter socks – had to do at least 2″ of the pattern before ribbing to meet the criteria of the KAL. I also make the ribbing so that it was working in a sort of pattern that flowed with the pattern already established.

I made the Lacy Ribs for my grandma.  Back in April when my great-grandma passed away my grandma saw me knitting the Diagonal Lace socks (FO photos later in this post) and wanted to try them on.  So I let her and she fell in love with them and asked me to knit her a pair – of course I made sure I didn’t have to use the same pattern and also checked on colors she liked.  I ended up falling in love with this pattern so I will most likely have to go back to it and knit myself a pair at some point.  I hope she likes them and that they fit – I had told her that it would most likely be towards the end of the year so I had to guess at the measurements.  I took the sock that she tried on and made the Lacy Ribs skinnier since the Diagonal Lace socks were a little loose on her. I hope they come at a good time – my Uncle Lou pasted away yesterday (her brother). He was in poor health, but it was still completely unexpected. I am hoping that these socks will give her some comfort during this rough time. So onto Lacy Ribs photos and details.

Lacy Ribs Finished 1

Lacy Ribs Finished 2

Started: June 20, 2009
Finished: June 29, 2009
Needles: 2 US 2 (2.75mm) 16″ KnitPicks Harmony Circular Needles(KnitPicks) – 2aat
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Yarn (CHPY link) in Fingering in the Opps! colorway
Cast On: Turkish
Heel: Slip-Stitch
Cast Off: Sewn Bind-off
Mods: I made the toe more rounded by knitting the first 6 rows of the toe as increase rows and then finished the increases normal. I also only made the cuff about 4-5″ high as I wasn’t sure of how tall Grandma would like her socks – had to do at least 2″ of the pattern before ribbing to meet the criteria of the KAL.

For this month the patterns for the KAL are the On-Hold socks from the book and the Nanner socks for the free pattern.  I have plans to do both if I can finish them.  Unlike last month though I am not going to cast on for both pairs to start.  I started with the On-Hold socks and am loving the yarn – so far I haven’t gotten past the toe increases due to being very busy, but I have nothing to do for the rest of today and tomorrow so should make some progress on them yet this weekend.  I really hope I can finish them and get to the Nanners as I have had the Nanners (yarn and pattern) sitting in my knitting basket for almost 2 years. Here is a progress photo and details.

On Hold CTH Birches Progress

Started: July 1, 2009
Finished: ???
Needles: 2 US 1 (2.25mm) 16″ KnitPicks Harmony Circular Needles(KnitPicks) – 2aat
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill (CTH) Supersock Merino (CTH link) in the Birches color
Cast On: Turkish
Heel: ???
Cast Off: ???
Mods: I made the toe more rounded by only casting on 8 stitches instead of 15, then knitting the first 6 rows of the toe as increase rows and then finishing the increases normally (had to add an extra increase on each needle to account for correct stitch count, should have cast on 9 stitches).

Now onto the Diagonal Lace Socks.  I love these, but they are too big for me.  Not only are they too loose, but they are also to long – by about an inch.  Oh, well they do make very comfy socks for lounging about the house in.  Now, for the photos and details.

STR PG Diagonal Lace 3

Started: March 11, 2009
Finished: April 10, 2009
Needles: 2 US 2 (2.75mm) 1 circulars – 2aat
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight (Blue Moon Fiber Arts link) in the Pink Granite color
Cast On: cannot remember – probably Judy’s Magic Cast-On (link to directions)
Heel: Slip-Stitch
Cast Off: Sewn Bind-off

Now, onto a life update. Obviously I mentioned my uncle’s passing. I would like to note here the message my sister put up on Facebook (do I need to say it – Facebook link)

Rest in Peace Uncle Lou (great uncle) – I will always remember you as the life of the party and I am really proud to have used my daughter’s name as a way to continue your daughter’s legacy… it means so much to me.

Now I want to explain what she meant.  My Uncle Lou had a daughter named Tammie Lorraine who died of cancer when she was a child.  My mom at the time was around 10 or so and was really close to Tammie, so when Jenn was born she asked Uncle Lou if she could use Lorraine as Jenn’s middle name.  Almost 24 years later when Natalie was born my sister asked Uncle Lou if she could continue the name.  When my mom asked he was touched and then when my sister asked he was even more touched.  I just cannot believe that the “life of the party” is gone – he was always so much bigger than life and so warm and welcoming that it will be hard to go home and not see him.

My mom is healing as well as can be expected.  She is finally back at work – with restrictions, but back.  We still are not sure how much of a permanent effect this will have on her as she is still in therapy and regaining lost motions.  That she will end up with a partial disability is undeniable, but as to how much it is anyone’s guess.  We are hoping for the best, which is all that we can do.

My sister has a tentative c-section date of August 31, 2009 to have her baby.  She is having a boy and the main reason that the date is tentative is because he is measuring about 10 days too big.  She was 30 weeks on Wednesday and was measuring at almost 32 weeks, so they may end up either taking him early if he starts to get way too big or she may go into early labor.  She has a name all picked out, but we are not telling anyone until he is born.  Right now the plan is for mom to go up the Saturday or Sunday before the c-section and stay until the Saturday or Sunday after.  The same day that she leaves will be the day I head up for a week (hopefully – my vacation hasn’t been approved yet) so that she will have help for the first 2 weeks after the c-section.  Which with Natalie (2), 2 dogs, a husband, a home, and a newborn she will really need.  I will keep ya’ll posted on any developments with her.

Current knitting is the On-Hold socks (and once they are done the Nanners).  I also need to get the baby’s blanket and sweater done because he will be here before you know it.  I am also making an identical sweater for Natalie and will make some winter white corduroy pants for him and a skirt for Natalie to wear with them for photos.  I am making the Tulips Sweater in stripes of winter white, pale olive, mid olive, and dark olive for both of them.  I thought that it would make for some awesome Christmas photos of the two of them.  I also need to keep working on Christmas gifts and really need to find a pattern for Natalie’s poncho.  I would also like to take my Feather and Fan Shawl (that I was working on last year when Brandon died) out and rip back (I made a lot of errors working on it at the hospital) to the start of the lace and finish it.  I would really like to get this project done because the longer I wait the more the memories of those dark days come back to haunt me when I work on it.  Plus, I could really use the finished shawl to keep warm in the house.  Normally we keep the house fairly warm in the summer (around 78 to 80), well this year for some reason Dad is keeping the house at 72 – which while nice when you are warm can get a little chilly.  Especially for me since I knit at my computer desk normally (which is the only chair in my room, so unless I want to watch a bunch of stupid TV it is my only option) and my computer chair is directly under the air vent.  I wish there was some way to rearrange my room, but with all of the furniture, books, and yarn that I have in here it is impossible to come up with another way to work it all in.

Well, this post has taken me several hours in between eating and cleaning so I am going to go for now, but not before I say Happy Forth of July to all Americans, especially to all the men and women who serve in our armed forces.


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