Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Reading List

Books Read in June

86 - 01 6 Rainier Lane, by Debbie Macomber (6/7)
87 - 02 Not Another New Year's, by Christie Ridgway (6/8)
88 - 03 Knit Two Together, by Connie Lane (6/9)
89 - 04 Wicked All Day, by Liz Carlyle (6/9)
90 - 05 Needled to Death, by Maggie Sefton (6/12)
91 - 06 Everything's Eventual, by Stephen King (6/14)
92 - 07 The House on Tradd Street, by Karen White (6/17) *audiobook
93 - 08 They Never Came Back, by Caroline B. Cooney (6/17) 
94 - 09 A Deadly Yarn, by Maggie Sefton (6/19)
95 - 10 Microsoft Office 2010, The O'Leary Series (6/21) *textbook
96 - 11 The Bargain, by Mary Jo Putney (6/21)
97 - 12 Dakota Born , by Debbie Macomber (6/23)
98 - 13 Dakota Home, by Debbie Macomber (6/24)
99 - 14 Always Dakota, by Debbie Macomber (6/24)
100 -15 - The Secret Wedding, by Jo Beverly (6/26)
101 - 16 - I thee Wed,  by Amanda Quick (6/28)
102 - 17 The Life of Reilly, by Sue Civil-Brown (6/29)
103 - 18 How to Bake a Perfect Life, by Barbara O'Neal (6/30)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Knitting at Day Break

7 am, watching the sun rise as I sit on the beach and knit.

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The first stripe of my Special Olympics Scarf.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Adventures of a KIP Hunter

Becca had off from work today, so the two of us went off together to gather up a couple of KIP locations for me. I'm one of the founders and moderators of the Great Gold Coast KIP Hunt, and yet I only have logged in four points so far this week.

I had an overdue book, so we started off at the library. I was good and only choose one book to bring home with me. Not that I really was trying to be good. It's just that I still have "A Game of Thrones" to read this week, and I really just wanted to sit and knit in order to get my point. I found a nice, comfortable corner where I managed to finish the pink ruffled scarf. I got a lot of compliments on it, too. Once the Flamenco scarf was finished, I started right in on a scarf for the Special Olympics.

Our next stop was across the street for lunch at the Gardens Mall. I sent Becca off to Starbucks for some coffee, first, which gave me a chance to sit and work on the Special Olympic Scarf. After lunch, we sat in the food court while I worked on my second sock (my "purse project").

After eating, we felt adventurous so went decided to head downtown. We caught the trolley at CityPlace, earning a Public Transportation point for me in the KIP Hunt. The ride was nice and breezy, and we saw some really interesting art along the way. I only managed to get one picture, since my hands were busy with the knitting and I couldn't put it down in time to pull out the camera.

We rode the trolly to Clematis Street, where I got to knit at the Fountains. This is one of my favorite places to bring out-of-town visitors, especially if they have children. I do not recommend knitting in the fountain; it's much more comfortable to take advantage of the lounge chairs on the nearby patio.

After a while we got bored watching the kids play in the water and since we hadn't brought towels with us (which meant we really couldn't join them), Becca and I decided to go off and find another point. We figured in such a history-rich location as downtown West Palm, it shouldn't be hard to find an interesting historical location.

We found a playground! There were no children around for me to entice with yarn, but at least I got a picture. I got a lot of knitting done, too, since Becca refused to help me down from the jungle gym. What a brat! She knows I'm afraid of heights! But I had my knitting to keep me occupied, so I wasn't too worried. I knew that she would get bored before I would. Sure enough, she ended up helping me down so that we could continue our exploring.

By the time we found our historical location, the old county courthouse, it was closed. It's a shame, too, because there was a sign advertising their current exhibit - The Barefoot Mailman. Now that I know how to get to the old courthouse, I'm going to have to make a trip out there to see the exhibit. Today, I settled for knitting on the front steps.

Then it was back onto the trolly, to head home.

Except, we didn't really go right home. There was a Michaels along the way, so I stopped to check out the yarn. (I behaved myself. Mostly.)

I actually got to knit more than I planned at Michaels. They had a Make It/Take It class that was just getting started when we arrived, and Becca decided it was her turn to have fun. So we stayed while she made a duct tape wallet.

Tomorrow, Becca has to work a double shift so it's just me. I'm thinking the beach. Or maybe the zoo...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I've been knitting.

I finished the 10-stitch baby blanket this week, although I didn't take a picture to share. I like the way it turned out, though, and I'm anxious to see how well it's received.

I decided on the Pink Flamingo Scarf as the next project to tackle from my WIPs list. I wanted something quick and easy to take along with me, and most of my other WIPs are either bulky (like my February Lady Sweater), intrigate lace (several shawls), or complex cables (the Kingdom gloves). Sigh. 

I really like the scarf, though. Once I got going on it, it knits up really fast.  

I also finished the first sock of my From Memory pair. I knew I could do it! The Debbie Norville sock yarn is really splitty to work with, but oh-so-very-comfortable to wear! 
I have decided that I am pathetically OCD, even without trying. I jumped right in with the first sock, without taking the time to plan out the stripes so that they would match on the second sock. My intention was to knit a pair of fraternal socks. Really. I wanted fraternal socks. So when I finished the first one, I just jumped right in on knitting the second sock without even checking for the stripes.
I cannot believe I matched them this closely without even meaning to.
 * ~ * ~ *
Blanket Update:
139 squares in 165 days
(Status: I'm still 26 squares behind. Sigh.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Favorite Things: A woman and her purse.

While Cari was down last week, we went thrift-storing. (I know "thrift store" is not really a verb. But the way my family does it, it might as well be.)

One of my purchases was this purse. I spent a whole $2 on it, and it's already my favorite pocketbook. I love, love, love it! I like the compact shape of it, and that I can carry it by the handles OR use it as a shoulder bag. It's small, and yet I don't look ridiculous carrying it. It might even be real leather, but I don't really care enough to figure out for sure since I like everything else about it.

Best of all, it's huge inside despite its compact appearance. I can fit my calendar/notebook, my knitting, my wallet, my camera, ipod and accessories, and a book to read, as well as my lipstick and comb. (I wish I could say that I didn't just list everything in order of importance to me.) I think it was a wonderful use of $2.

And to think I almost didn't spend the money. I'm so glad my daughter convinced me to splurge!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Yarn It!

I spent the day with my mom at Yarn It! for the opening celebration of the Second Annual KIP Hunt. We had a really nice time, socializing with everyone and knitting. I mean, how could it be anything but a great day?

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Great Gold Coast KIP Hunt

Knitting in the Park  - 2/26/2011

World Wide Knit in Public Week starts tomorrow morning, and I hope everyone is ready to present yarns. (Sigh, even I have to admit that was a pretty poor pun.)


As part of the WWKIP, we are celebrating the Second Annual Great Gold Coast KIP Hunt. The official list has been posted (well, I'll be finished by the time you read this) in Ravelry. The object is to knit in as many places on the list as you can, taking a picture at each location. Then you post the pictures on Ravelry to get points. Whoever gets the most points, wins. And there are really great prizes!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Wednesday's WIPs and FOs

In the past two weeks, I've officially finished two projects. Yeah! The Baby Surprise Jacket, which I actually finished knitting over a month ago, was seamed and gifted. I've very proud of how it turned out; I really like the color combination. I used Knit Picks Cotlin, and I really liked this yarn. I think I want to get some more of it to use in a light-weight sweater for myself.

I also finished the  simple socks that I was knitting as my take-everywhere project. These were done toe-up, using my favorite Back to Basics pattern from

I've used this pattern several times before. This time I used Jeny's Sprisingly Stretchy Bind Off that I found in It really is a very stretchy bind off. I've bookmarked the site so that I can use it again.

Since I needed a take-along project, I went ahead and cast on another pair of socks. (Obviously take-along projects do not count in my self-imposed ban again starting new projects until I catch up with the WIPs I already have on the needles.) This time I'm trying to knit the strictly from memory, to prove to myself that I really am a sock knitter.

I'm still working on the baby blanket. Right now the blanket is about 27" square. I have only one more skein of yarn to knit, so it looks like it will end up being around 29" square. I can't decide if that is big enough to give, or if I should try to get another skein of the yarn. Maybe I'll go out this weekend and see what I can find.

 * ~ * ~ *
Blanket Update:
135 squares in 158 days
(Status: I'm starting to panic -- I'm almost a month behind.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

New York is so very far away.

Cari's gone back home to NYC. I hated to take her to the airport this morning, and not only because we had to leave the house at 4:30 am. I'm glad that she has built a good life for herself, and that she loves what she does. It's just -- did she have to do it so very far away from me?

We had a marvelous time. I taught her to knit a sock. (Well, she still has to do the toe on her own, but at least we turned the heel together.) We explored thrift shops, and came home with first edition books and wine glasses. The kids went kayaking, and we all got wet in Orlando. We ate loads and loads of potato salad. But we also got to go out to eat several times. (Sushi Jo's is incredible!) We had family time, and mom-and-daughter time, and I loved having her around. Even if I did have to spend too much time ignoring her in order to do my schoolwork. (Although I chose spending time with her over updating the blog.)

I only wish that we had more time. (And that I had taken more pictures.)

Sunday, June 5th - My Daughter

Cari has been home for almost a week. We've been running around, having a marvelous time. We even spent the weekend in Orlando at Bonnet Creek. (I really love the timeshare!) And yet this is one of the few pictures I have of her this visit.

What is the point of carrying a camera in my pocketbook everyday if I'm not going to take it out and use it? Sigh.

Wednesday, June 1st - Party Time!

Since we were going to Orlando for the weekend, we had Becca's graduation party Wednesday afternoon at Du Bois park. Everyone had a great time hanging out at the beach. As usual, though, I planned way too much food. (I think we're going to be eating potato salad three times a day for the next week!)

My three girls - Mia, Becca and Lauren

May Reading List

Books Read in May

65 - 01 Wait Until Midnight, by Amanda Quick (5/1)
66 - 02 Happy Ever After, by Nora Roberts (5/1) audiobook
67 - 03 Wicked Widow, by Amanda Quick (5/2) re-read
68 - 04 Didn't I Feed You Yesterday? by Laura Bennett (5/3)
69 - 05 Knit One, Kill Two, by Maggie Sefton (5/4)
70 - 06 In Too Deep, by Jayne Ann Krentz (5/5)

71 - 07 Skein of the Crime, by Maggie Sefton (5/6)
72 - 08 The Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz (5/7)
73 - 09 Curse of the Spellmans, by Lisa Lutz (5/9)
74 - 10 Revenge of the Spellmans, by Lisa Lutz (5/11)
75 - 11 Hello, Darkness, by Sandra Brown (5/14)
76 - 12 Obsidian Prey, by Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) (5/15)
77 - 13 Dark Light, by Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) (5/16)
78 - 14 Midnight Crystal, by Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) (5/16)
79 - 15 Married by Morning, by Lisa Kleypas (5/19)
80 - 16 Lavender Morning, by Jude Deveraux (5/22)
81 - 17 Secrets To The Grave, by Tami Hoag (5/23)
82 - 18 Accidentally Yours, by Susan Mallery (5/24)
83 - 19 Twenties Girl, by Sophie Kinsella (5/25) audibook
84 - 20 An Engagement in Seattle, by Debbie Macomber
85 - 21 Quicksilver, by Amanda Quick (5/30)

My recommendation from the books I've read this month is Laura Bennett's Didn't I Feed You Yesterday? This book had caught my attention at the library because the title is something I've frequently been overheard telling my children. When I realized the book was written by Laura Bennett, my favorite Project Runway contestant of all time, I immediately started reading the book. (Did you know that librarians will frown at you for reading in the check-out line? You would think that the library would be one place that would be encouraged. Go figure.) The book is a very light-hearted, honest account of motherhood in the tradition of Erma Bombeck (my childhood idol and my lifelong role model). It's readily apparent to me that I am Laura's long-lost sister. (Okay, so I'm the sister who isn't nearly as cool or thin, but we're still sisters.) For a look at motherhood done right, or at least done with pizazz, read this book!

I don't normally give a Least Favorite, but I can't help mentioning that the entire time I was listening to Twenties Girl I was questioning my judgement. Even though I limit audiobooks to my time in the car, I can't help but feel that I wasted my time and killed off way too many brain cells. (And yet I never just erased the book...)

Tuesday, May 31st: Becca's Graduation

 Becca's graduation was held on Tuesday, May 31st. It was a really nice ceremony. Quick, since there were only about 100 graduating seniors from the small school she attended, but we really enjoyed watching the graduation. The vice-principal not only announced each graduate's name, but also their concentration and certifications. (The bigger schools - like the ones my older two went to -- just call out names quickly in order to get through the list.)

My mom was there to watch her youngest granddaughter graduate, and naturally my oldest daughter fly in from NYC.  Becca's father was there, too. In fact, the only ones missing were my sister's family but we decided not to let it ruin the day.

Becca will be attending the local state college in the fall. Thank goodness I have all summer to get used to the idea that my baby is a college-student.

My three children: PJ, Becca and Cari.

A proud Gramma April with her grandkids

PJ and Cari express their "surprise" at Becca's graduation. LOL!

Becca's mentor for the Take Stock in Children scholarship.

Becca needed to wear a white dress under the graduation gown, and I ended up making it. I had a little trouble getting the halter back to fit her properly, but I think it turned out wonderfully after all. In the picture you can't even see that I cheated and machine-stitched the hem. (I was running out of time, plus I really-really-really hate to hand-sew.)

Monday, May 23rd: Doodlebug's Recital

My friend Paula invited me to her daughter's dance recital. Doodlebug is four five, and this was her first year taking lessons. I had forgotten how much fun it is to watch the little ones  perform.

Several times a young dancer left the stage in the opposite direction from the group, and had to be "corrected" with shouts, waves, and/or physically dragged back across stage by the other girls. There was the obligatory one girl twirls in the wrong direction, knocking over another dancer. And of course the "discrete" waves to parents in the middle of the performance. All in all, everyone did a wonderfully perfect job, and I hope that all the families were proud of their prima donans. (Although Doodlebug really was the best one there!)

Saturday, May 21st - Girls Day Out

Mom, Cathy, and I had our monthly Girls Day out at the Morikami Museum. Cathy and I both have annual memberships there, and it's no wonder. The Morikami is a beautiful place! Cathy brought her daughter, Nyssa, along. Becca would have liked to have come with us, but unfortunately she had to work. We had a really nice time, despite my whining and neediness. (My legs were really bad still; the swelling just wouldn't go away despite anything the doctors have done.) It doesn't matter how often you go to the Morikami, there is always something new and beautiful to discover.