Friday, December 31, 2010

Twinkling Diamonds Cowl

The Twinkling Diamonds Cowl pattern was inspired by the yarn Dewdrops due to the twinkle of the sequins. It reminded me of the line in the nursery rhyme "like a diamond in the sky....."

Size: 8 1/2" x 26 1/2"

Loops and Threads - Dewdrops color topaz - 3 balls

US Size 9/Metric 5.5mm
crochet hook to weave in ends
needle and thread

Three buttons
Three snaps

Pattern Note:
Smaller than specified needles are used to create a densely woven fabric

K - knit
YO - yarn over
K2 - knit 2 together

S2K - slip 2 stitches knit wise, knit together

SK2PO - slip 1 stitch knit wise, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over

Diamond Pattern:
See Chart Below

Diamond Cowl

Cast on 31 stitches and follow chart for 9 repeats.

Knit for 10 rows.

Bind off loosely on right side.

Weave in loose ends with crochet hook and block. Sew three decorative buttons near cast on edge at points on diamonds. Sew snaps underneath buttons for attachment.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Knitting Resolutions for 2011

I have never been one who is much for New Year's Resolutions, but thinking about trying it this year with a different twist. Instead of the typical losing weight, I am going to focus my goals around knitting. I know, I know, you are thinking, what kind of resolutions could you have surrounding a hobby? Well, think of it more from the perspective of setting goals for the year to accomplish new and exciting things. So, here it goes (not in any particular order):

  1. Develop and post some more of my own designs
  2. Learn entrelac
  3. Charity knitting
  4. Finish some of my UFOs
  5. Make a blanket/afghan
  6. Use up some of my stash yarn
  7. Try knitting with beads
  8. Knit more while waiting (take along)
  9. Knit gifts for Christmas
  10. Knit a pair of socks

Monday, December 27, 2010

Counting By Twos Does Not End in an Odd Number

I love to knit, everyone knows that. Beyond the fact of making something, it is very soothing and relaxing. The rhythmic motions are very calming. Think about K2 P2 ribbing for example. You knit two stitches and then you purl two stitches over and over. You always know what is coming next. You can look at the knitting and tell what stitch you just worked and what should be coming next. That is why it is crazy that I can be working merrily along on the Sheila vest for 51 rows when I come to the sudden realization that I am ending the row on can this be?

When I started the pattern, I cast on 178 stitches. The last time I checked, that was an even number. Hmmmm. So, on row 52, I decide to count all the stitches. I get to the first marker, 50 stitches, good, good. I get to the second marker, 128 stitches, good, good. I get to the second to the last stitch, 176. Not good. Not good at all. So, I solve the dilemma by increasing in the last stitch.

Moral of the story, pay attention to your knitting, more often than not it can tell you when you have miscounted.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It has been a busy couple of days at the Paul house and consequently, not a lot of productive knitting has occurred lately. I kind of (ok, I did) wait until the last minute on some Christmas shopping. Then I had to spend hours on Christmas Eve wrapping. Not so fun. I will learn from this (I hope). I did do some work on some swatching as I have been doing some designing in my mind for a new pattern, but, have not come up with the total idea yet, so that is forthcoming.

So far, we had Christmas at my mom's on Christmas Eve and Christmas at my dad's today. Tomorrow we head to the middle of the state for Christmas with my in-laws. The kids are really liking this. Here are some shots of the holidays.

Legos, Legos and more Legos!

Recognize the scarf?

Its skis!!!!

Nope, these are not a product of KP, but are still cute

I got a little bit of knitting in this morning before we left for my dad's on the Sheila vest. It is red, how appropriate given the season! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Curl is Complete

Ok, that scarf took a lot longer than it should have, but all in all, is quite cute. I could see how you could enhance it with beading quite easily, but I am not feeling that interested in pursuing this option. Onto new horizons. I have located a new pattern by the Berroco Design Team called Sheila. A sheila is an Aussie term for a girl (or so wikipedia tells me), so is it the girl vest?

I went to my LYS Saturday as planned, boy was it packed (yes I know it was 7 days before Christmas) and fell in love love love with Teva Durham's Loop D Loop Moss. It is 85% Extra Fine Merino Wool and 15% Nylon. It is so-o-o-o-o soft it is incredible. Can't wait to start work on this newest project.

Friday, December 17, 2010

4 Rows Down, 800 Stitches to Go!

Okay, I am apparently easily lulled into a sense of well being. Take the Curly Q Scarf, for example. The pattern has 5 rows. Just 5 little rows. So I think to myself, how the heck long can that take?? Apparently case you have not guessed yet, I am not done with the scarf. To make matters worse, it is going to take 3 balls of yarn and I only rolled 2. I took some photos to show where I am at. All I can say is thank goodness I never had to crochet a table cloth, I am not certain I could make it to the end. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

Tomorrow I might have a chance to get down to the LYS and do a little browsing  shopping   indulging keeping the local economy going. I have my eye on several sweater patterns in my queue on Ravelry. Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

To Seduce a Hook

I claim I am not just a purl girl and today's post is proof positive. I was interested determined to use the Berroco Seduce yarn I purchased a few months ago. Something just hit me today. So, I used a new and improved strategy to roll the hanks into a ball. Yes, the hank is hanging from the handle of my kitchen cabinet, and yes that mess below is my stash of cook books. It was amazing how much easier rolling the yarn went and I was a much happier camper than the last go around. My apologies Berroco, I guess I was just being stupid and lazy previously. I promise next time to use my head and roll appropriately.
I found an adorable pattern for a ruffled scarf on Ravelry the other day; for those of you that know me well, you are WELL AWARE that I do not wear ruffles. Don't like them. Never have. But these are different and much like the yarn seduced me, the pattern did as well. AND I really, really like these ruffles. AND I am almost done, that just might be the best part. Instant satisfaction feels really good some days.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

See Ya Later Gaiter

Since I still had some Red Heart camouflage yarn left from my brother's hat, I asked him if he would like a gaiter to match to which he gave a resounding yes via text. So, in between other projects, I worked on this gaiter for him. It is a K2 P2 rib worked in the round with reverse stockinette at the top. Since my brother was not available, my husband got the opportunity had to model it for my photos. Doesn't he look thrilled? My son saw it and asked if it was his (no) so I think that I will be making another one real soon.

We got a winter snow storm over the weekend (not a huge surprise for us) but the surprising part is that inland got a lot more snow that we did this time! My in laws in Midland area got 10-12 inches of new snow. In Holland it is very windy but not much accumulation, which I am fairly happy to see. The morning may be a different story. I know the kids are hoping for a snow day tomorrow. I am betting that my work will go on regardless.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Carols

Today was my son's second piano recital and I always feel sort of sentimental seeing my child up there in front of the crowd playing his songs. While they were not perfect, in my heart, they sound more beautiful because of the hesitations. A H-U-G-E thanks to his teacher Mrs. Rink who has the patience of a saint and shares the gift of music with many.

Today I got the opportunity to work on some more Christmas ornaments. I made more of the mittens I made previously but this time I actually used a Christmas-y yarn (if you can call it that), Vanna's Glamour, a fine weight acrylic with a metallic thread. I purchased white, bronze, red and cream (winter white). I just realized by looking at the label that this yarn is a Lion Brand, who knew? Obviously not the purchaser! Well, take a look and see if you feel more in the Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fools Gold Scarf

The Fools Gold Scarf pattern was inspired by the yarn Mirror FX due to its beautiful sparkle in the light.

Size: 4" x 70"

Sizing Note: This pattern could easily be adapted to be a wider scarf or even a stole or wrap. The pattern is a multiple of 3 stitches with a minimum of 6 stitches.

Bernat Satin Sport Black 1 ball (color A)
Berroco Mirror FX  2 balls (color B)

US Size 9/Metric 5.5mm
crochet hook to weave in ends

K - knit
Sl 1 - slip one as if to knit
PSSO - pass slip stitch over
YO - yarn over

Mesh Pattern:
Row 1 - K2, YO (Sl 1, K2, PSSO the 2 knit stitches) repeat to last stitch, K1
Row 2 - Purl all stitches
Row 3 - K1 (Sl 1, K2, PSSO the 2 knit stitches, YO) repeat to last 2 stitches, K2
Row 4 - Purl all stitches

Repeat these 4 rows for desired length

Fools Gold Scarf

Cast on 18 stitches with color A and color B and continue in mesh pattern for 15".
Drop color B and continue in mesh pattern in color A for additional 40" (scarf is now 55")
Pick up color B and continue in mesh pattern with color A and color B for 15" (scarf is now 70")
Finish with row 3
Bind off in purl

Weave in loose ends with crochet hook and block.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Knitting for Hunting

My brother is a big hunter, by big, I mean he bow hunts, gun hunts, muzzle loads etc etc etc. Anyway, when I saw him at Thanksgiving, I told him that I wanted to make him something. He smiled and said he wanted a hat. Well, I had a pattern for that, I told him, what color? Blaze orange or camouflage. Hmmmmm, where the heck do you get camo or blaze orange yarn???? I go to my new knitters group on Ravelry and post the question. The recommendation comes back that Michael's has a camo thru Bernat. Another recommendation was Red Heart camo. I thanked them and my son and I headed off to Michael's. He was in charge of finding blaze orange (of which I was not holding out much hope) and I was in charge of finding camo. We walked up and down the aisles for a few minutes....mind you our Michael's is not that big. Surprisingly, Dan comes back and tells me he has found the blaze! He hands me a skein of coral colored yarn. So, I nicely explain the difference between coral and blaze orange (and wonder if my son might be color blind).Finally I locate the camo from Red Heart. It has a strange feel to it that I am immediately turned off by, but where else am I going to get camo yarn? Online I guess, but sometimes I am all about instant gratification. After a few hours of knitting, I have a camo cap for my brother that I hope he enjoys.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Round Two

So, after two Thanksgiving dinners with both sides of my family,  I finally sat down and actually knit today. AND, I did finish the hand warmer. I still think the thumb sucked, but I guess it is the best it is going to get and I was not planning to rip it back again. Instead, I got out my size E crochet hook and went to town on the inside of the thumb to fill the hole gaps. I think it looks better, but not great. If you look at the other examples on Ravelry, I would say others have done a much better job, but oh well. I am making these for my friend Beth, so hopefully she can overlook the thumbs. My friend Gina said they looked just fine, so I am going with her opinion. My daughter Elizabeth is modeling these for me since it is impossible for me to wear them both and take a picture at the same time.I feel warmer, just looking at the picture. Maybe its just thinking about hot chocolate?
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Mini Mittens

I get inspiration for projects from a lot of places and one is the library. Recently I was at the library and I saw a book called Christmas Stockings, by Interweave Press. I was not planning on knitting any Christmas stockings this year, but I always like to browse and get ideas. So, I am flipping thru the pages and half heartedly listening to my son tell me about the latest Star Wars movie he watched when I came across a pattern for miniature stockings and mitten ornament patterns. They are so cute and quick to knit. So, after I finished one of the hand warmers, I decided to break in and make one of the mini mitten ornaments. I grabbed some leftover stash sock yarn and went to town. I used #3 needles for the whole project because I don't have any #2 dp needles (I know that is hard to believe). I think that it wasn't a big deal. I was surprised the thumb was actually just an i cord made of 9 stitches, pretty darn clever. Looks like I have another project to use up my leftovers.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When Persistence Pays Off

Today I was successful because of persistence. First, I have been struggling with the interface between my digital camera and my computer ever since the VIRUS OF 2010, which was this summer. Since that wonderful time, connecting said camera to said computer resulted in nothing, nada, zippo. As you may remember, I have an extremely short temper for these types of stupid things and so I resorted to  a work around, my work laptop. It was a solution, but kind of a pain in the neck. So today, I bit the bullet and tried again and this worked!!!!! My electronics are talking to each other again and we are one big happy electronic family.....until the next virus comes along. OK, deep cleansing breath........started work yesterday on a cute hand warmer pattern that I found in Ravelry. It has been sitting on the shelf for quite a while forever since I had a queue of knitting to address first. My friend Beth is going to be the recipient of the test product, of which I finished one today. Back to my title of persistence, I finished the hand warmer but I really hated the look of the thumb (no fault of the pattern, simply the knitter). There were gapey holes where I picked up stitches and it looked crappy. I could have left it there, but I was determined that I was going to have a good looking thumb. Try two is not so bad, should be interesting to see how the right hand thumb goes. I also learned a picot cast off, which is really easy and looks pretty cool. Did I mention we are onto goldfish #6? Is that persistence or something else???
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not Just Fluff

After getting sidetracked several times (I admit it, I have project ADD) I have finally finished the pearl haze scarf. I wrapped it around my neck during the knitting process to check fit and I must admit, although mohair is extremely thin and visually non substantial, it is incredibly warm. Add the softness and the cushiness and you have a scarf you want to wear EVERY DAY in the winter, especially here in Holland, where we are about to embark on cold weather for the next 3-4 months. I hope my sister, who is going to be the recipient, really enjoys it. A big thanks to Skacel, who provided the free pattern and Lizzie Ann's Wool, whose sample hanging next to the kid silk haze, inspired me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Right on Target

This ornament is the result of a joke between my husband and his boss. He works at Target. The other morning his boss was commenting that she was putting together her list for Christmas. Wanting to "one up" her, he told her he was knitting her a sweater......from his belly button lint. She laughed and laughed as did everyone else. So, everyday she would ask how the sweater was coming along. She told others at the store and it became a standing joke. After I made the mini sweater ornament, Don asked if I could make one of these for his boss. So, I whipped one out today and added the Target logo for kicks. Every Christmas when she hangs it on her tree, she will remember my silly husband. Happy shopping when you hit Target this holiday season!

Illinois Target StoreImage via Wikipedia
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Don't It Make My Blue Eyes Bluer?

I got to feeling a bit guilty the other day, people ask me if I make sweaters for my husband and I always say no, because he is always hot, he never wears sweaters. But after I made Andre's cap, he said he would like one too. He never complained or asked when I was going to get to it (if ever) and I really appreciate that. But I I put down the pearl haze scarf and picked up the homespun and started knitting his hat. When I got to the stripe, I was inspired by hub's blue eyes. I think when he wears blue clothes it really makes his blue eyes even bluer. So, if you see him with his hat on, tell him his eyes look really blue!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Knitting and Cooking

Yesterday my husband went to the library with the kids and picked up some movies for us to watch as well. Our choices for last night were Julie and Julia or Amelia. I was very intrigued by the Julie and Julia, so we decided to go with that one (or I guess I decided we were going with that one). So I got us all set up in the living room and brought over my latest knitting project (pearl haze scarf) and proceeded to watch the show. I thought it was kind of cool that Julie decided to write a blog about her cooking experiences with Julia Child's cookbook. Cooking was her therapy and knitting is mine. Julie got a little crazy about her blog, but in the end learned a lot about herself, her husband and cooking. It was a very fun movie.

I am cruising along on my scarf, it is so relaxing to work with kid silk haze as it is simply wonderful to the touch. If I stay focused (which is REALLY HARD for me) I will finish in a couple more days.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pearl Haze

So, I went shopping at Lizzie Ann's and I found this yarn on sale, Berroco's Seduce. Believe you me, I was seduced by its shine and deep green color. I could foresee a drapey scarf in my (or my sister's) future. So, I come home and decide to roll the yarn into balls so I can knit. As I have mentioned in the past, I am not always good about rolling into balls, it just seems like wasted time to me that I could be knitting; but I digress. So I start rolling and OMG, in about 4 minutes I have what looks like a rats nest. I work and work at it and finally pick the whole mess up and toss it into a bag, perhaps never to be seen again. I pull out a second hank and carefully try to roll it up, wow, I think it took me an hour! I was pretty cheesed off since I didn't even get to knit this day. So the next day, I promise myself I am going to knit today. I pull out a drop stitch pattern and cast on in 9s (pattern recommends going slightly larger than posted on ball band). After 4" I am not impressed with the look, it is too loose. So I frog and try with 7s. After 4" I am disgusted with the visual, it sucks and so I frog the whole thing. By now I need serious therapy as I am in a BAD MOOD. So I pull out my pattern for skacel ripple scarf and a ball of kid silk haze and start knitting. I am transported. I am happy. I am knitting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feeling Fringe-y

It has been a l-o-n-g week this week and I have not gotten very much knitting in (which probably is why I feel it is such a long week without my yarn therapy). Between conferences and other activities in the evening, it felt like we had way to many things to do and not enough time to do them in. I am sure I am not the only sister in this boat! Today I PROMISED myself I would knit tonight (or at least work on a knitting project). So I pulled out my sister's lacy linen scarf and decided to add the fringe and finish the project. I looked around for a piece of cardboard to wrap the yarn around and then I realized that I could wrap it sideways around a Wii game case and it would be the perfect size I was looking for (how handy is that?) 50 some wraps later, we have fringe!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Andre's Cap

When I was at work the other day, a friend, Andre, stopped me and commented on the sweater I was wearing and asked if I had made it. One thing led to another and I offered to make him a hat. His requirements were orange, no wool and machine washable. So, I whipped out this little number using a free pattern from Ravelry. After I finished it, my husband said he wanted one as well. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to that yet :-)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thinking About Christmas

As we get further on into the year, I start thinking about Christmas and gifts that I can make for my friends and family. Digging around on Ravelry's site, I found a free pattern for a sweater ornament that is too cute! AND there is no sewing involved (BONUS). So, grabbed some left over sock yarn from my stash and gave it a try. It didn't take too long, but my hands do get tired using tiny needles, so I don't think this is something I could wait until the last minute to start cranking out a bundle. I gave this first sample to my friend Beth and I hope she enjoys it for many Christmas seasons to come.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Knitting Away in Florida

Having a B A L L in Orlando, Florida on vacation, I know what you are thinking, she is ALWAYS on vacation. Well, you have to have your priorities straight, right? Also, I don't write every single day. Today is our last day here, we fly out tomorrow morning, back to cold Holland, MI. But, I will be glad to see my cat Georgie. I took two types of yarn and patterns with me for this vacation, linen and wool to make 2 scarves. I didn't have time to find a new sweater that I wanted to work on and frankly, a scarf doesn't take up too much room in my back pack.

The first pattern I printed awhile ago and never got to it. My results look nothing like the picture of the pattern, but hey, I like it, so who cares, right?

The Rowan lenpur linen drapes incredibly and feels awesome to the touch. I am a bit bummed since I only purchased 2 balls I could be in for some trouble as it is only 56 inches currently and I would like it around 75-80 inches, enough to wrap around the neck. Pray that my LYS still has some left!!!

The second scarf is a repeat of an earlier group of projects from last winter, the brioche stitch cable scarf. It is cushy and warm. I am using up some left over Malabrigo from an earlier sweater (hub always loves when I do this).
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Well, better get back at the knitting as it won't finish itself.

Monday, October 4, 2010

She Knit a Raspberry Beret

Stopped by Lizzie Ann's the other day since I was conveniently downtown and I was looking for some bamboo. I got sidetracked by a beautiful red beret in the corner. Lindy saw my interest and pointed out that the pattern was free with a purchase. I can hardly resist the words F-R-E-E! I touched it and I could hardly walk away. The big question, which color.....eventually I went with the red and I am SUPER glad I did, I love the look of it with my black wool coat. The pattern is incredibly simple and I finished it in one day (and I am not a super speed queen by any means). I posted it on my Ravelry account and I was getting comments almost instantly! I hope to see a lot of others wearing angora berets this fall.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Stripey Felted Tote

You will notice all has been quiet lately. After I went on vacation up north, I sort of got out of the groove of writing every day. Today, I am getting back on track. (It was a fabulous trip, by the by, Sleeping Bear Dunes was absolutely beautiful. This is a pic of hub and I at the first flat on the dune. It was a beautiful day and we had a picnic under the trees with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, who happened to be in the area (Gaylord) at the time. We later went onto Mackinac Island and did some touring there. That was the first time I had rode the catamaran and it was very rough that morning. The kids had a great time, though.
This project, the stripey tote happens to be one of my husband's favorites. I think it has something to do with the fact that I used stash yarn to make it. It is a cobbled pattern from Leigh Radford. Her original design has a self made handle but since I have about 5 sets of handles sitting around in my stash, I decided to use those instead. I think it turned out pretty well. I can't believe how L-O-N-G wool takes to dry after you felt it. I think this took 4 days.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So Far, So Good

We started our vacation a little crazy. We decided to drop Don's van off Friday night to get serviced while we were gone. On the way there, my low tire pressure light came on. So when we got back home, Don went to pump it up and discovered a screw in the tire, YIKES!!! So we drove back to get his van and dropped my van off at the tire shop to be patched. So, the next morning, I walked and picked up the van (only a 30 minute walk and I am no speed demon by any means). When Don got home from work, we were off to Sleeping Bear Dunes. We made great time and met his sister and her husband while we were there. The weather was fabulous and we enjoyed a picnic under the trees. All in all, a pretty great first day of vacation.

While we were driving, I couldn't work on the petunia tote since reading in the car makes me car sick and you really need the charts for that one, so I picked up the mulberry tote and started knitting on that again after quite a long hiatus. I might just finish that project yet!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Vacation is Here!!!

Good Harbor Bay, Sleeping Bear DunesImage via Wikipedia
Tomorrow we leave for Traverse City and then onto Mackinac City and the island. While in Traverse City, we want to hit Sleeping Bear Dunes. We haven't been there since my son was just a baby. I am hopeful we will have good weather and no car troubles (hopefully I didn't just jinx us). The kids have never been to Mackinac Island, so we think they will enjoy the carriage rides and fudge and the fort, of course. Maybe we will stop at Petosky during the trip, who knows? One thing I know for certain, the knitting will be coming along for the ride.
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bottoms Up

Finished the bottom of the petunia tote yesterday and started up the sides, it is kind of neat to work your way up and helps you determine just how big you want your tote to be. My fingers were SO TIRED from picking up 184 stitches all around the perimeter of the bottom. I am also finding that the cotton is not moving nicely on these plastic circulars so I am seriously considering switching to my aluminum needles to see if that helps at all. Maybe I am just knitting too tightly, not sure, but I finally was getting into my grove about bedtime

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Petunia Tote

Surprise, surprise, I just started another project. I am working on the Petunia Tote by Katie Himmelberg. It was featured in the spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I scoured my magazine selection and wouldn't you know that happened to be the one I don't have (and I have a lot of them, believe me). I love the floral damask pattern created by purl stitches, how easy and fun is that? While she went with pink, not one of my favorite colors, I decided to go BOLD with red. My yarn is Patons Pure 100% Organic Cotton. It is incredibly soft and easy to work with, but using size 6 needles, is not a quick knit I will admit.

Looking forward to vacation up north in just a few days now. I have been watching the weather and hoping it doesn't rain. The kids are looking forward to it as well since they have never been to Mackinac Island before. Wish us luck!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crazy Days of Summer

Finally got my act together (or maybe my focus) and made the shrug I kept saying I was going to knit to match the hyacinth tank. I don't really like the arm seams, but I will live with them because I was too stupid to just knit in the round like I had originally intended. Regardless, I now have the ability to wear my tank year around. Boy does ribbing really s-l-o-w you down........

Cooked some marshmallows on the grill today, I bet the neighbors were thinking,

"What are those crazy Pauls doing now????"