Friday, June 29, 2007

What's In The Whoduknit Bottle?

All the way from Georgia to Virginia this little bottle came.

Wonder how many postal workers turned this bottle over and over trying to figure out 'what the heck is this all about?'.

DH brought this in from the post today, delivered right on time, cut-off is June 30th. Look at all the stuff inside, there is sock yarn, a book, bath confetti, a calculator, pin and earrings, stitch markers and flip flops, one a magnet, one a key chain, a book maker and perhaps something else.
My spoiler was Cathy from the Whoduknit group on Yahoo, didn't she do a terrific job of stuffing that bottle. The object of the exchange was to stuff as much as you could into a 2 liter bottle and send it by postal mail services to your partner. This group is a knitting and mystery reading group. We read a book each month declared by poll, then the book is discussed on the given days and a monthly project decided on, usually a knitted item that goes along with a thought from the book. Lots of fun and a great group of women.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Downstream Partner Received Her Bag Today

Travel on over to
and see the package I sent to my downstream partner in the Spring Felted Bag Exchange. She did a great layout of the package and the bag shows up well, scroll on down and she show the lining also. And since this was a two part swap, the first package is also there on the previous page. JoAnn didn't have a blog for this swap but I'm hoping she starts one for the fall swap.

Knitting, Entertaining, and Loafing

I've been busy, knitting, entertaining, and loafing and knitting some more.

These packages were sent out Monday and should be reaching their destination today. I do hope they will please their recipient's.

On Tuesday I entertained a couple of my gardening club friends, it was wonderful to see them again. They came with arms full of gifts and hugs. How nice it is having friends who love you and don't forget you when you are out of circulation for awhile. We walked the property and they made me feel like the plantings have progressed farther than the way I see it. One of the ladies is head gardener at the local country club and can sympathise with my battle of the soil. She shared some of her experiences of fighting with this thick clay that seems to suck all the oxygen from the soil, smothering the roots of anything planted below the surface. We are working on raised beds for the iris and my prennials, but raised beds are expensive to build and fill with good planting material. Still the backbone of the landscape is to do, the plants that are most costly and having a root system that must be put directly into the soil, not above it. After walking the property, we sat on the porch and had a glass of the wonderful Earl Gray and Lavender tea that Cindi sent me in the Whoduknit Spring Mystery Swap. It was delicious iced and both ladies enjoyed it as much as I do. Thank you Cindi for that special blend.

After the ladies left and DH fetched a pizza for our dinner, and we played a game of Scrabble and had a glass of wine, I cast on the stitches for the ITE-IV exchange. I have the first repeat finished and the knitting is coming along rather fast. I would like to finish it along with the second part of my No Sheep For You Exchange by the end of next week. I want to begin doing some volunteer work and don't want other responsibilities hanging around until I see how it works out. I've aways wanted to do 'Meals On Wheels' when I retired. I have to check into it and also look at other possibilites that may have a greated need in this area. I know I can find something constructive to utilize a few hours of my time each week. I want to; and feel an obligation to give some of my energy and time to help someone less fortunate than I.
Yesterday my neighbor and I 'loafed'.
Isn't that a great word, I love it. My mother use to use it in her conversations and as a youngster it would always catch my attention. There were lots of wonderful words used in 'those days' that have slipped from our conversational vocabulary, sometimes being replace with a much less polite word.
Anyway, we loafed and it was a spur on the minute thing, no planning of what to do or where to go. We just hopped into my car and I started driving. I think perhaps I had a small town in the back of my mind when I called my neighbor and ask if she wanted to loaf, but if I did we never went there. Instead we drove the back roads north, to Culpepper. We spotted an antique store with a parking place (no fee or time limit) right in front of it's door, and decided to start there. It was a large store and we spend quite awhile enjoying the things inside and walking down some of our memory lanes. By the time we were ready to leave we were ready for a late lunch and decided we'd walk up the street and see what we could find. There seemed to be plenty of places to eat in this small northern town. We turned into a corner cafe but once inside decided we would rather have something lighter than their menu appeared to offer. I noticed a cafe across the street with a table on the sidewalk and said "there's one over there". My neighbor looked up and exclaimed "thats 'It's About Thyme' ". Fate must have taken us there; my neighbor just lost her son a few weeks ago and she's finding it hard to cope with the loss. This was a restaurant she had read about and suggested to her DH she would like to go to. It was so nice to see her show an interest in something and I was so glad we had found our way to this little town and found this jewel of a restaurant. I think it was everything she had expected and we indulged, including dessert and coffee. Afterwards we window shopped the shops along that street and then headed home. A full day, fun, and most of all, it was a good day for Sally.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Knitting Pals Look Out, I'm Packing Boxes Tonight!

Are you wondering which pals I'm packing boxes for tonight? Well, there are two packages going out in the morning and one large envelope but I won't tell which direction they are heading.

One package is almost ready except for writing a note, one still has another major piece to be put in, and the envelope is completed, except the address for where it is going. So, if you are expecting a secret pal package, be on the look-out, one of these could be for you.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Knitted Bags, Cheesecake, And The New Puppy

Here's Artie, isn't he precious? He is 8 weeks old and is already weighing 14 pounds. He seems to be saying "what are you doing to me, I want to get down.

That throw over the chair is one I crocheted for my son about 15 years ago; I noticed it on the back of a chair when we visited him two weekends ago and was pleased to see he has taken such good care of it. I'm sure Artie won't be allowed to sit on it for long.

I had my last radiation treatment on Thursday, what a lot to be thankful for. Now I have to wait about 8 weeks to find out if it worked and if the remainder of the mass is all gone. I'm praying that it will be.

My WhoDuKnit pal received the bottle I mailed her earlier this week She is pleased with what I sent and it arrived at a good time to lift her spirits. She had worked a double shift that night and was dragging when she came home close to noon the next day. The bottle was waiting for her and with yarn for making socks. She loves knitting socks on size one needles. I sent her some lace weight merino from Elanne to knit her socks with. It must take forever to knit a pair on size one needles.

Yesterday I baked a cheesecake and I can't wait to get into it. It is a huge thing, taking three pounds of cream cheese and nine eggs, and a lot of waiting. First two hours of baking, three hours of resting, and then in the refrigerator for over-night so it can really set. When I'm ready to plate it later this morning, hubby will have to help me remove it from the pan and flip it because of its size and weight. Then the good part comes, cutting and eating it. I will take some over to my neighbors and send some home with my daughter when they come out later today. That will still leave enough to serve a couple of my gardening friends when they come out on Tuesday and to freeze a bit for next weekend when my knitting friends come to visit. I can easily get twenty slices from this big and rich cake.

I finished the bag I was knitting for the Spring Felted Bag Exchange and last night it went in for its hot bath. I'm pleased with it and glad I decide not to rip out the top. I decided to add a different color yarn for interest then about three rows into the chang I through I should rip it out, it was going to come out looking awful. After sitting and dreading taking out and putting back those slip stitches with ytb, ytf I said "to heck with it, its the only way to learn and if I have to throw it in the trash and knit another one, so be it". I didn't even knit straps because I was so sure it was going to be to ugly to use, but, I love it. The slip stitches and k2tog's left an interesting pattern and now I want to buy pretty black handles rather than knitting a cord strap. I plan to go to Richmond this morning and try to find what I have in mind since I let the time creep up on me and don't have time to order. The bag needs to go in the post on Monday. The other goodies are already in place so its just the bag to contend with, thank goodness. If I can't find the handles I have in mind I will have to knit the cord. I'll post a photo later.

The coffee pot is calling me to come have a last cup and then to get busy with all there is to do; Dariana is coming today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What European City Do You Belong In?

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

Borrowed from my pal Marianne @
Another city I want to visit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Knitted Face Cloths or Whatever

Our local knitting guild is knitting chemo hats for this weeks meeting. Since I enjoyed the pink and brown hat on my sidebar the most of any of the hats I wore, I've decided to knit it again for my contribution. I was looking through my photos and 'dishrag' yarn, and came across these face cloths so thought I'd post a picture. I've thought of making Dariana a quilt when she is older using the alphabet. She knows her alphabet now but isn't old enough to appreciate the hand knitted quilt.
I've also thought these cloths would make cute gifts for teenage girls to hang in their rooms, knitted with their initials, framed, and then add a pretty ribbon at the top for hanging by.

That's for another day, today I want to knit the hat and work on the purse that I frogged this morning. I could have salvaged it but decided it would take more time to do that than it would to start over. I've decided I need to add two additional stitch markers to keep me straight, it will also quicken the project.

I've cut Queen Anne's Lace from the roadside this morning and brought it in to enjoy on the family room table. On the kitchen counter I have a vase of cilantro that's in bloom (going to seed) which reminds me of the lacy affects of the Queen Anne's Lace. The cilantro smells so wonderful, I love the smell and the taste. When I made potato salad on Sunday night I chopped a tablespoon-full of cilantro and added to the diced potatoes along with some red onion, an egg, a bit of chopped celery, some sweet relish, a bit of mayo and a bit of sour cream, and a bit of herbed oil & vinegar. Yum was it good along side a grilled chicken. Yesterday for lunch I made grilled chicken sandwiches with a few squash pickles on top and a scoop of potato salad on the side. Still Yum.

I almost forgot. The bottle did put a twinkle in my eyes as I watched the line of people in the post office gaze discretely at my package. No one ask about it, only looked and smiled. When I got to the counter and laid the bottle on the scale the post-mistress said, "Oh look, this must have been a lot of fun". I had placed the bottle in a basket when I left home because I had to go for a radiation treatment before going to the post office. The temperature was near ninety degrees so I didn't dare leave the chocolates in the car. So basket with the bottle went inside with me. My radiation technicians had lots of questions, had to touch, and wanted to dip into the goodies. I must remember to take them a basket of goodies on Friday since that will be my last treatment I hope.

One last remark for today; New grand-baby and father doing fine. Father declares him to be the most beautiful baby there is and very smart; didn't use the bathroom in his kennel all night.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Knitted Bowl

I failed to post a photo of the knitted bowl I made for the WhoDuKnit Spring Swap. That's it above filled with potpourri and setting on my chest. You can see the entire package I sent Cindi on her blog at

I was able to get some knitting done on the IV Tote Exchange over the weekend and should have something to post on their blog, this later this week.

Also this is ready to go to the post in the morning:
It was so much fun stuffing this bottle and I know I will get a good laugh when I take it to the post office. Our little village post office always has a line of patrons since it is the only post office in the county. You know how curious people are; its going to be so much fun watching everyone as they try to determine if I'm stupid or if my mental capacity is just a bit off.

We had a wonderful visit with my son on Friday night and a good trip to Baltimore on Saturday. It turned out to be a much longer day than we had planned for. We were up at 5:30 to drive from Arlington, around Washington DC on the by-pass, and get to the shopping center in the Baltimore suburbs by 8:30. The Iris show opened at ten o'clock and then the judging had to take place. This was a beardless show and DH's first attempt at judging such (We grow mostly bearded iris). After the judging there was lunch and then a trip to our Host's home to see his gardens and for DH to have some additional training. From there we drove deeper into the Maryland countryside to see our Hostess's garden. DH was quiet worry by this time of day and we still had to drive back to Arlington for Maestro and then home. We arrived home about eleven o'clock exhausted but knowing the exhausted came from a day enjoying what we are interested in and seeing some of our Maryland iris society friends once again.

Today has been a take-it-easy day. I rode the mower to cut grass then vacuumed the pool and hopped into it. Maestro joined me and we rode the noodles for about half an hour before lunch. Maestro can swim, but doesn't. He loves to drape across my arm or onto a noodle with me and float. He gets so relaxed that you can see him fighting to keep his eyes open. What a joy this little fellow is. I have a little jingle I sing to him while we swim, swim, swim; he is so at ease and so happy to be there with me.

Today DS called to say he was on his way home with a new puppy. Last year he had to put his yellow lab down after about a week in the hospital with no change in his health; he was diabetic. It has taken him time to decide he was ready for a new roommate. Today he rode out to the Shenandoah to look at a litter and one of them came home with him. He hasn't chosen a name for the pup yet but he was so excited to have found a new mate. Maestro is use to visiting and having all the attention; I'm know he is going to be jealous.

If all goes well, I will finish my radiation treatments this week. It was suppose to be completed on Wednesday but the oncology radiologist feels she should add two smaller treatments onto the end. I do hope when I have another scan in about six weeks that everything will be clear. I feel good and I'm confident that the tumor is going to be gone this go around.

Friday, June 15, 2007

We're off for the Week-end

We're off to visit son for the evening and night, then on to Baltimore in the morning for DH to judge at the Siberian Iris Show. I'm hoping I will have time to hit a yarn store or two. My order arrived woth the yarn for the IV Tote Exchange along with some yarn for another swap. My bottle is packed and ready to go to the post on Monday for the Bottle Exchange, and I'm taking the purse I'm working on for the Spring Felted Exchange with me. Don't expect to get much done on it but I'll have it in case there are a few extra minutes here and there.

Will post exchange photos on Monday.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Decision on Internationa Tote Exchange Bag

Okay, I'm making progress.

Yesterday I cast on 41 stitches for the bag I'm making my partner in the Spring Felted Bag exchange. I think she will love this pattern and I hope the color, although its not listed in her favorite colors. The color seems to be one I keep leaning toward this year, I've bought a couple of outfits in the color and used it in a previous knitted project. This afternoon I went to the craft store (LYS not open on Sunday) and bought a new pair of #15 bamboo needles to knit with. I had three pairs of 15's but either they are out of a material I didn't like knitting this yarn with, or to short, or to long. When I got back home I sat beside the pool but under the umbrella, and transferred the stitches from one set of needles to the other. I knitted a few rounds before dinner and tomorrow I should be able to really make progress on the bag.

I've finally decided on the pattern for Tote Exchange IV and have the yarn ordered. What a relief to have that decision made, it seem to be the hardest part of a swap. This is a pattern I've had for some time but never really looked at it before. I was looking for something that I thought would compliment my partner's personality and I think this is it, cheerful and bright. The colors I've chosen are blue, pink, orange, green and yellow. Can't wait to get started on this bag, it looks like fun.

I think I have gathered all the goodies I need for both exchanges. I've been picking up things here and there as I see something I think will help to make a nice package. I keep my ears and eyes open for yarn sales too cause I think a knitting exchange always needs some yarn in the box. I go to my stash first but for some reason I never find what I want in there. I either can't part with whats in my stash or I find something I don't feel is right for a gift. Today I did find some sock yarn in my stash that I plan to use in a swap. I bought it thinking I was going to knit socks but I still haven't talked myself into 'knitting socks'. Maybe if I ever wore a pair of hand knitted ones I would feel differently; I can't seem to get past the fact that I can buy a pair of sock for about half or less, than I'd pay for a nice skein of yarn to knit a pair with. I know that knitting the socks is for the satisfaction of having made them one's self, and because 'I do know this', one day I will knit socks. I will knit socks someday. I felt the same way about knitting face and dish cloths. I finally got around to knitting face cloths this past year and found it was fun, quick, and a good little thank-you for some of the many people that have been so wonderful to me during my cancer treatments.

Dariana was here on Saturday and we had a grand time blowing bubbles with the ones sent to her in the package from my partner in the Spring Felted Bag Swap. Thank you partner for being so thoughtful and kind. She was good at blowing the bubbles and had the patience and perseverance to blow and catch the bubbles. At two she has an amazing imagination. She plays pretend as if she was a five or six year old child rather than a toddler. Saturday she said to DH, "Sit down Papa" and of course Papa sat down while little Dariana preceded to give him a pretend manicure and hair-do. She used a pencil and pretend it was a brush and hair roller so Papa had his hair brushed and rolled and a nice manicure. We don't know where these ideas come from, they are not something we initiate, she really has a vivid imagination for a two year old. She has been having tea parties in her tree house since she was about 28 months old, making pretend toast and tea or 'pink' milk. She loves to plays 'mommie and baby' and surprises us with how much 'pretend' she comes up with. What an angel we have been given.

Time for bed. I am having sleeping problems now that I am into the radiation treatments. I've had thirteen treatments so far and seven more to go. However when I saw the Dr. last week she said they may need to tack another two or three onto the end of the twenty. It's been a year now since the Hodgkin's Disease was diagnosed, a year of Doctors, medicines, and chemo-treatments and now radiation. How happy I will be when I am through all this.

Friday, June 8, 2007

WhoDuKnit Mystery Package

Look what a nice package I received from Cindi, my upstream partner in the WhoDuKnit Spring Mystery Swap. There are all kinds of goodies in that bag, a beautiful scarf knitted from the skein of yarn I sent Cindi in March (she added to it you see, how nice),two books, can't wait to read Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes, the title is very catching, a notepad with Earl Gray tea enclosed, lavender soap which I adore and Earl Gray tea with lavender blended in. Can't wait to try that. I love lavender cookies and lavender lemonade. Thank you Cindi for a great package, I'll think of you while enjoy the tea, when I wear the scarf, and when I smell that delicious lavender soap.

Time is slipping away from me and I have to get busy knitting on a couple of felted bags for swaps. I plan to start one tomorrow and will probably take one with me next week-end when we go to Boston for my DH to help judge an iris show. I'm planning to take Mr. Maestro with us so he and I will knit in the hotel room while the judging takes place. This show is for Siberian Iris, the bearded iris have finished the season on the southeastern coast.

My entrelac shawl is coming along nicely. Once I got the hang of the turns and triangles I find it is fun knitting. The silk garden is knitting up beautifully, I have to make a photo when I have a few extra minutes. Having to go for radiation at one o'clock every day really hangs things up for me. It seems I don't have time to accomplish much before I go or much once I am back home.

Yesterday was my BD and DH took me to a nice Piano Bar for dinner last night. The music was so pleasant and relaxing and we had a wonderful hostess and waitress and toward the end of the evening when the pianist learned it was my BD he played HBD to me and then Moon River, one of my very favorite tunes. It was a nice evening for both of us.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

So Much To Tell

We're back from a wonderful weekend visiting friends, visiting and working in a fabulous iris garden, and Car Knitting. I took along the stole I am working on and was able to complete a couple of tiers on the way up and part of a tier on the way back. Usually I'm not able to knit in the car, it makes me dizzy (dizzier some would say)but I sat in the back seats to allow our guest the front seat. Naturally this was a treat for me and I didn't feel guilty about not participating in conversation. We visited with DH's Navy buddy, Frank from the 60's and his wife, Marie. Our friend Cameron was met by a lemo and driven to his hotel near the Presby Gardens while we commuted back and forth so we could visit with our friends. What a good time we had catching up and talking gardening, grandchildren, foods and wine which we both have in common. They have build a beautiful garden so we last visited them and they are so proud of it. It is a nature garden, having two ponds and many 'rooms' to sit and enjoy that part of the garden. We had appetizers and wine on the patio beside the pond on Friday and on Saturday, wine in the gazebo. Sunday it rained and we had appetizers and wine at the kitchen counter while our salmon grilled outside between two cedar planks. The bag and goodies I placed inside it was well accepted and Marie quickly removed the goodies and claimed the bag for a purse.

On Saturday morning we took off for the iris gardens. It was a beautiful day but before noon almost unbearable in the gardens. It was really tough on me even though I wore a brimmed hat and a light weight cotton long sleeved shirt to try and keep the sun off my 'radiated skin'. Our friend and DH was able to help the garden superintendent identify a few of their unknown iris and to identify many mislabeled (named) iris. The gardens were vandalized a couple of years ago by a drunken teenager and all the iris were knocked out of the beds with a golf club and stomped upon. What a shame, Presby Gardens, a registered historic garden and I believe, the largest of its kind in the world. For someone to destroy it this was is sickening and to ever correctly identify all the correct names of the iris that were lost is almost an impossible task.

We were also taken to see an individual garden belonging to one of Presby's volunteers whom we had met at the National Convention in 2006 and whom DH has exchanged some of his historic iris with. I do believe another 'swap' was arranged. On Sunday we had lunch in the private gardens at Presby and met with some of their board memebers and volunteers to discuss ways of improving the garden and what we saw as positive, or things that could be improved upon, to make Presby an even better iris garden. It was a wonderful experience for us all but for our friend Cameron, it was near heaven. He was a real trooper at his age and in his poor health to spend the hours we spent in the garden and in the horrific heat trying to help the staff at Presby Garden to carry on his beloved iris forever. Sometimes this older man can become a 'grummpy old man' but the joy I got from watching him in this garden last weekend will remain in my memory forever. It was an extremly tiring trip for me and I've still not entirely recovered from it, and would I do it over again? You bet I would. This was the kind of pleasure in life that you stumble upon; something that goes beyound what you imagined it would. To make someone as happy as this trip did our friend is amazing.

When we got home on Sunday night our neighbor came over with a 'big box'. It was from my exchange pal in the Spring Felted Bag Swap. I was so pleased to see it, yet to tired to give it justice. I did open it, couldn't bear to wait, and here are photos of what a grand box Nifers sent me.

Thank you Nifers for everything. She sent me her fist set of handmade stitch markers and they are beautiful,there is a wonderful flower bucket for displaying tall bearded iris as well as peonies, and lilliums. Also in the box was two skeins of freedom wool and two skeins of sugar and spcie yarn and a skein of Dreambaby to knit my little Dariana something from. She also sent Dariana bubbles which she adores and I can't wait for her to visit so we can blow bubbles together. There is Earl Grey tea, pita chips, dip, soap, bath confetti and a date bar cookie. Tell me I haven't been sir rea, you can't. I have been spoiled. Thanks Nifers and thanks too, for the hand written CD note, I like it.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Pink Hobo Bag Felted and We're Off

Here it is, the Hobo Pink Striped Felted Bag.

The bag felted really well and the size improved tremendously. Un-felted this was the biggest bag I have ever knitted and I was afraid it was going to turn out much larger than I wanted it to be. Luck was with me and it is a perfect size to be used for:

We're off this morning to take our friend Cameron to the Presby Iris Gardens. He was invited to come and help identify some of their historic iris. Cameron is rally excited over this trip and over what an honorary invitation this is for him. We are excited for him and so pleased for him to be ask to participate in this. Cameron has a large historic iris garden at his home and a huge one at his cousin's property in the country. He is responsible for much of Mr. Ro's training in the iris world and has shared many of his rare historic iris with us hoping they will be carried on for another two hundred years. Yes, we have some iris in our garden that were hybridized over two hundred years ago, isn't that amazing. Anyway - we're off this morning and DH and I are staying with his Navy buddy and his wife. We've visited back and forth always and we're looking forward to seeing them again. The bag is for them, don't you think it is just perfect? I love it and they will too; and it can be used again for the same idea, used as a work tote or even as a 'pocketbook'.


free web counter


DH'S Cardigan

Ruffled Shawl

Ruffled Shawl
Knitted Prayer Shawl with Crochet Ruffle

Knitting Class

Knitting Class
Teaching Co-workers to Knit

Wave & Shell Shawl

Wave & Shell Shawl

Plum WIne (SDB-Iris) 04/01/07

Plum WIne (SDB-Iris) 04/01/07

Chemo Hat

Chemo Hat
Chemo Hat

Chemo Hat

Chemo Hat
Peaches & Cream Yarn

Felted Hats

Felted Hats
Gray Hat Before Felting

Felted Hat

Felted Hat
Gray Hat After Felting

Baby's Hat

Baby's Hat
Dariana's Hat