Sunday, November 30, 2008


Weird. This is the third pair of socks I have made out of Tofutsies and the first to make this sort of a pattern. The two previous pair were for Jo so they were a few less stitches cast on and it might have changed the outcome but this caught me off guard. I have tried to decide which is the more interesting side and still am unsure. These pictures do not show the colors as vividly, I need a new camera, as they are really a nice purple, pink, teal and cream. Now I have to finish this sock so I can cast on number two and see if it does the same thing. Would be a hoot if it was different from this one.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Here are a few pictures from today. Jo loves to help her mom cook. Here she is glazing the ham. Also this is her apple pie. She and her mom made it together and she cut out little leaves from the crust and put them over the top. Both the ham and the pie were yummy. Here is Matthew, Uncle Daisey, and the turkey leg he asked for. He wants the leg on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Matthew likes to cook also and is great using the smoker and barbeque. He has begun branching out in desserts and made this pumpkin cake that his sister had said she thought looked good. It was. A big gigantic thanks to Allison who did almost all the work and let me play with Jo. I adore both of them. These pictures show a little bit of what I love and am thankful for. Today is also the three year mark for Joseph in the Army. Anyone heading to the mall at midnight? See ya there Uncle Daisey!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Lunch With Grandma

Today was Thanksgiving lunch with Grandma. Jo was very excited to get to go to Grandma's. We had a regular Thanksgiving dinner complete with Pumpkin pie which Jo did not like. When Grandma asked what kind of pie Jo was going to have tomorrow Jo's reply was "Apple." This was the first we had heard of this but tomorrow we are having apple pie along with pumpkin. The second picture is funny. We have a tradition of putting "horns" over people in some of our pictures. Jo was trying to do this over her Grandma's head but she just did not have long enough arms. After our lunch we walked out to the front of the building. There are rocking chairs all along the front of the building. Jo wanted to rock so we did. She did this with her Aunt Jane Ellen at Grandma's 90th birthday back in the spring. While we were sitting there she said,"Aunt Jane Ellen would rock with me if she were here." I told her yes she would. Aunt Jane Ellen lives in Florida but she would rock with Jo or do anything else Jo asked her to do. After we left we headed to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. Jo always wants to ride with me. She had left her Santa hat in the car on Monday and was glad to find it. She calls it her Christmas hat. We also went to Wal-mart, where she put more change in the bellringers kettle. We had to get the last minute Thanksgiving items. They had a horse in the entryway and Jo wanted to ride. It was very funny because it played the theme from Bonanza. She loved it. Take a few minutes in this holiday season and be thankful for those people in your life who you love and who love you. And don't forget to have some pumpkin pie with that cool whip. Or is that apple pie?


I had to get my oil and filter changed on the car so I drove to Denton and met Jo and Allison for some shopping while waiting. I had made Jo a new hat. It was my standard hat pattern made out of lavender Red Heart worsted and Paton's Silverlash in lilac. I held the Silverlash with the worsted for the brim and then dropped it and just used the worsted. I made her a little scarf to match out of the Silverlash. After having cookies and lattes at Starbucks we headed to Wal-Mart. Jo loves this time of year because she loves to give money to the Salvation Army "Bellringers". I started doing this with her when she was a year old. Now it is one of our most favorite holiday things to do. We give change at every store that has a bellringer. It is a small thing that makes a big difference.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Hats

I got to see the boys this weekend. We all got together for a family reunion. These pictures are not very good. I took them on mycell phone and for some reason they did not come out well. I am hoping that their mom sends me some and I can replace them. I was very happy with how they turned out. I used Bernat Chunky Softee Yarn. I ended up adapting another pattern to the chunkier yarn. The hats did fit but the boys will probably need new ones in not too long. The color was a blue, brown and cream that striped very nicely. It was so great to get to kiss those chubby cheeks. Hopefully we will see them again the first of the year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's All about Hats

Right now it is all about the hats. It has finally started to get cool and we can pull out the sweaters and hats. I made "turkey" hats for the grandkids. I called them that because the yarn was the colors that we used to make pictures of turkeys when we were kids, brown, green, yellow and orange. Jo's was my regular sock cap pattern. The boys was a roll brim. Jo is pretty much at a stable pattern size but the boys are growing so fast you can hardly get a hat done before they grow out of it. I knew I was taking a chance on the turkey hats and they did fit, right now. So they will get through Thanksgiving with them but won't wear them for long. So I decided to whip up a couple of hats that hopefully will last a little longer. I made them out of Bernat Softee Chunky yarn. The picture does not do the yarn justice. It is a soft brown, blue and cream. I really liked it and it worked up very nicely. I adapted a roll brim to fit and knit till I thought it would hit below their ears. We will see. But maybe these will get them through at least January. I have already started on the Christmas hats. Actually Jo's is finished and since her mother reads this I will refrain from describing it and ruining the surprise. I will give it to her right after Thanksgiving and then post a picture of it. The boys are getting little Santa hats. Again I am adapting the pattern in hopes that they fit. Since it is just for Christmas they don't have to fit as long. I did not like the brim of the pattern so I am making it two inches instead of four and then will knit till the decrease begins. Since they are small I have to decide what to do about the tassel. They put everything in their mouths. I have not forgotten my socks. I finished the Savanne this weekend and have cast on Tofutsies in #855, blue, purple and pink. So I knit till I am tired of the hat and switch to the socks for a change. So much yarn and so little time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day. This is a thank you to everyone who is serving or has served in all of our armed forces. The first picture was taken last year. It is of my son Joseph while he was home on leave from duty in Iraq. That is Jo in his lap. The second picture in of my Dad. It was taken before he left for duty on Okinawa during World War II. My Dad died 11 years ago so he never knew that Joseph joined the Army. I am sure he would have been very proud. I can also imagine the two of them watching an Army Navy football game. That would have been interesting. To all the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines and to their families, thank you for your service and your sacrifice. You are the true heroes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

More of The Princess

Just received some more pictures of Princess Jo. I just had to add them. There is a good view of the side of Jo's cake. Allison did a fantastic job. There is a pix of the whole princess outfit including the shoes. They are cute but they clomp very loudly especially on a tile floor. These are happy times.

A Very Princess Birthday

It was a very princess birthday. Jo is now three years old. It was a busy day with a hot dog lunch, a bunch of friends and relatives, tons of presents and a fantastic cake made by mom. Jo decided she wanted a castle cake at least six months ago. We have a castle cake pan by Wilton and assumed that was going to be the cake. About a month or so before her birthday Jo decided on a stand up Princess castle cake. Allison, being the fantastic mother that she is, did not bat an eye. Well, she did kindof sayhow many cakes mixes does this cake take? The answer, three, plus the gynormous cake had to be pre-cut and frozen before pre-icing to avoid crumbs in the icing. All of this plus Chef Jo who always wants to help cook and a YoYo who said she would get there early to entertain the birthday girl but had to take Uncle Daisey to the airport and ran later than she thought. Also included was the fact that Jethro the dog had somehow pulled part of the base siding off from around the house and crawled under the house getting into who knows what. Oh, yes, did I mention that Allison is also expecting my second grand-daughter in March. As you can see she is a trooper and all around good egg. The cake was beautiful as you can see and was also finished by the time I got there. Allison and TJ's house is so welcoming that no one ever wants to leave. Everyone hung around all day long and supper consisted of eating the last of the grilled hot dogs and chips. The birthday cake, well it was extremely good, very sweet and almost completely eaten. Jo got so many presents and just about everything was "princess" or what a princess might need or want. I really wanted to post the hat and scarf I made for her before but I did not want anyone to see it till that day. It really was just an accident I made it. I was "cleaning out my stash", yeah, right, and came across the fuzzy Trendsetter Dune yarn. I thought it would make a great princess scarf. Then after it was finished I realized that I had some Fushia in soft Red Heart. So I whipped up the hat with the brim being the fushia yarn and Dune held together. I then dropped the Dune and knit the rest of the hat in just the fushia. I was pleased. Aunt Jane Ellen and I make Jo so many different types of hats and she has a bunch but hey, they are fast and fun to make and always are different. Plus when some one is always saying thank you and I love it how can you not knit more? Happy Birthday Jo, I want to eat you up.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall Funday

Saturday was a busy day. Jo's daddy was gone hunting so she and her mommy came to spend the day with me. We went to the cemetary to put out some flowers. Since Tuesday is Veteran's Day I wanted to make sure there was a flag and new flowers on my dad's grave. He was with the Navy during World Was II in Okinawa, Japan. This is the first time Jo remembers going out there. I let her help put in the flowers and flag. She enjoyed this so I told her next time we would put more out. We ate Chinese food for lunch and then Jo wanted to go to the park. She loves the tall, twisty slide. I had made her a new hat. I called it her turkey hat because it is made out of fall turkey colors. She loved it. I know she gets a lot of hats but that just means lots of choices on which one to wear. We played football, her version, in the front yard. Then we drew with chalk on the driveway. While her mother and I were talking she kept running up and down the side walk. I did not realize we were playing tag until she got tired and laid down on the sidewalk. Coach brought home Chicken Express for supper. She was hungry. Everybody was exausted at the end of the day but this was one of the best and most fun days ever. I could eat her up.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Counting Stitches

This is Army SPC Joseph Armstrong. He is stationed at Ft. Benning, GA. Yes, he is my baby boy. He really would give me a look if I said that considering he is an adult and the fact that his mother put his picture on her blog with him standing in of all places the bathroom. Well, he sent me the picture and I said it might go on the blog. But, it is a good picture. I just sent him the knitted hat last week. I adapted my standard pattern to make it fit how I thought he would like it, covering his ears pretty good. It is a nice blue/green color and is very soft. Mother's get misty about their children anyway but for some reason I have had the need to make him something. When I saw on my computer weather link that it had been about 37 degrees at Ft. Benning last week I decided to knit him a hat. Some people just do not understand knitting. Why do it when you can run to the discount store and get socks, hats, mittens, shawls,afghans, well anything cheaper? I knit because I love it. I knit because it is calming. I knit because every stitch I knit means something. When I knit a hat or a sweater or anything for someone a part of me is in every stitch. I have never counted the stitches in most of my projects. Of course if it is lace or cable you have to count or you count the rows but I never actually counted the number of stitches. My sister did count stitches on one project she did. When my twin grandboys were born prematurely she made them each a hat on tiny needles with tiny yarn. There were something like 6,000 stitches in those two hats each one a prayer for the boys health and safety. Sadly those hats got lost in the mail, how we have never known. I told her and I still believe that one day they will appear in the mail. It might be on their first birthday and we will all be in awe of how big the boys have gotten and how much they have grown in that year. The hats may have gotten lost but the prayers were still there. So I was knitting on Joseph's hat and thinking I wished I could hug him. The idea popped into my head, you are. Count the stitches. Count the stitches? Count the stitches. There were 3,177 stitches in that hat. Before I put the hat in the mail I wrote him a note and at the end I added, "There are 3,177 stitches in this hat, every one is a hug from me to you." I don't think some people, non-knitters, understand how much of our lives that we put into the pieces we knit. Yeah I could buy a hat, mail it and get a picture of the person wearing it. But everytime I look at this picture I see a hat that my hands knit, warming the head of someone I love very dearly. There are 3,177 hugs in that picture.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Southwestern Shawl

I had been thinking about this shawl since October 27th. That was the day that I was reading the forums on Ravelry and saw that Tony Hillerman had died. If you love mysteries and if you love mysteries that deal with the Southwestern United States and the Native Americans that live there then you know who Tony Hillerman was. Was. The fact that I have to write was saddens me. I have read almost all of the books he has written. His writing is always so vivid that you feel you are there with the characters. If you take a map, you can actually find the cities, reservations and landscapes that he makes come alive with his writing. About five years ago I started reading his books. Also at that time I had a fellow knitter at a local yarn shop ask me for help on a pattern she was having trouble with. She said it was a relatively simple pattern but as we all know those can be the ones that you just don't read exactly and you have to start over twelve times because you are so confident in your knitting and "this is a really simple pattern." The name of the pattern was Knitted Winter Shawl. Apparently it came from Godey's Ladies Book, November 1864. My friend had found the pattern on the internet. It is a very basic triangle shawl knit in worsted weight yarn and completely knit in garter stitch. What the problem was with it is lost to my memory but the shawl is pictured here. I used Brown Sheep Yarn in worsted weight. I am better now than I was back then in writing down every bit of info for a project. I do not know the color names off the labels but decided to make the shawl look Southwestern. I love turquoise so I built the other colors around that including, rust, dark orange, black, and white. I was pleased with the result of the pattern and I remember I had no trouble with it. On the day I read about Tony Hillerman's death I thought of this shawl. What I thought was that I was remembering that I had given away that shawl. I go through cleaning jags and you just sometimes let go of things that later you ask youself why you did that. So I was sad. Sad that Tony Hillerman had died, sad that I would no longer be "riding" with Leaphorn and Chee to solve new mysteries, and sad that the Southwestern Shawl was gone. Tuesday of this week I was cleaning out closets. I keep thinking that we are going to finally at some point get cool enough weather that I am going to be able to wear hats, gloves and sweaters. Even though I wash them before I put them away, I wash them again when they come out of storage so they smell fresh before that first time they are used. I pulled out the storage tub and got out the mittens, the hats, and then a sack that was not see through. Weird. I always try to use clear plastic so I can see "what's in there." I opened the sack and caught my breath. Oh, My, Gosh!! It was the Southwestern Shawl. I could not believe it. I had not given it away (to a person more needy than I ). I pulled it out of the sack. I held it close. It is wool but it is the softest wool I have ever felt. I held it up. I knew I loved this shawl but I had forgotten how much. I love the colors, the softness, the simplicity of the pattern. I decided to take a picture. I thought I would put it over the back of the couch. When I did I realized how big it really is. It goes from end to end on the couch. The pictures just do not do it justice. So I am a happy knitter again. I have decided that the first nice cold day we have I am going to wrap this shawl around me, sit down in my favorite chair with a cup of coffee and I am going to read the next Tony Hillerman book on my list. Thanks Mr. Hillerman for all the great reading adventures. I will think of you everytime I wear this shawl.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


This is the first year Jo has gone trick or treating for Halloween. At first she did not want to go even though she had been looking forward to going. After the first house she was wanting to go to every house on the block. She was Princess Aurora and even her bucket was Disney princesses. It was such nice weather she did not even need a sweater. Her birthday is the day after Halloween and it is sure to be a very Princess birthday.