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Sweet Saturday

Today is my little guy’s 7th birthday! Yay!!! The day started with sticky, sweet cinnamon rolls and will continue with a trip to Chili’s for lunch followed by a trip to our local zoo and park, a small birthday party mid-afternoon, and a special treat for dinner. It’s going to be a wonderfully busy day.

Until next time, I wanted to share this, as I found it on someone else’s blog. It’s too cute for words! Enjoy, and happy Saturday!

A return to blogging?

I’m not really sure, but maybe! While I think about it, I found an online speed typing test. It says I type 82 WPM, and that’s a bit slower than I used to type 10 years ago. Oh well!

How fast do you type? Find out! Speed test

Yes, I know I’ve been silent this past winter, but I’ve been doing some serious hibernating! Along with the increasingly lovely weather we’ve been having, my motivation and ambition has been increasing, too. Hmmm… perhaps it’s time for me to move to the tropics! πŸ˜‰

FO: Diagonal Knot Stitch scarf

Since Thanksgiving, we haven’t really had any adventures to speak of, and since I finished my Clapotis, I don’t have any really good knitting news, either. There is the second scarf I made for my Ravelry Scarf Exchange pal, Rae, which was mailed to her over a week ago. I know that she probably received it by now, although she hasn’t emailed to say so.Diagonal Knot Stitch Scarf

Completed and blocked, this is the Diagonal Knot Stitch scarf which I knit out of Malabrigo Merino, colorway Violetas. The pattern really opened up once I blocked it, but I do need to find my iron because I could have done a much better job with it. Once I find it, I will be able to block my Clapotis, and finally be able to wear it, hopefully in time for Christmas. (I don’t know what it is about that project, but I’m itching to make another!)

The second nightmare sock of the pair I started eons ago is getting additional rows added to it here and there when I have time at night, which is the only time I get to knit anything anymore. There is just too much to do during a day with homeschooling and housecleaning and cooking and now decorating and Christmas shopping. Phooey! I’d love to just sit and knit all day!

My perfect day would include everyone going out so that I was left alone in the house. The first part of my day alone would beCorey practicing his typing skills. spent in the kitchen dyeing yarn, and the second half of it would be spent in the living room knitting in silence. In fact, that’s not even a day, but about eight hours. Eight hours that I could spend doing the laundry or vacuuming or cleaning the house. Eight hours that I could spend teaching long division to my 6-year-old. Did I mention he’s learning to type, too? In the image at right, he’s practicing his typing skills! πŸ™‚Stitch markers!

Congratulations to my good friend, Anita, who’s handmade polymer clay stitch markers are featured in the current issue of Knit Simple magazine! You can get a set of these adorable stitch markers for yourself by visiting her etsy shop, Yarndemon Designs. I have a set of those sweet peas, and I’ve gotta tell ya, the real thing is soooo much cuter than the images, by FAR. Her shop also features the perfect accessory that every fiber crafter needs: little tape measures with very nice hand-crocheted covers on them. When Anita sent my stitch markers, she also include one of these tape measures which I keep in my little accessory bag and gets frequent use when I’m knitting! Wouldn’t you know it’s that time of year — the season for gift giving, and these stitch markers and tape measures would make PERFECT stocking stuffers!

Ravelry Scarf Exchange

Today I received my Ravelry Scarf Exchange package from Emily and I couldn’t be happier with the scarf she made for me — it is really nice! It’s soft and squishy when you bunch it all up and squeeze it… and the color is a beautiful bold green that I just love! She went above and beyond my expectations with all the other little goodies she sent too, and I feel well and truly spoiled.

Ravelry Scarf Exchange goodies

My boys were just as excited as I was that the package came today. In fact, it wasn’t easy to get my youngest to keep his mitts off my stuff! It seemed to be the endless package, as he kept reaching in and pulling items out for me, one after the other!Ravelry Scarf Exchange scarf

Along with that beautiful green scarf that she knit for me was the leftover yarn she had, wound up with the yarn band. She used Brooks Farm Yarn Acero, and I’m going to use the rest of it to make something special. I don’t know what yet, but with the help of Ravelry, I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon!

Some knitting accessories that I will definitely use — sock-shaped point protectors, yarn needles and a cable stitch holder — which are going into my little accessory bag right after I finish this post. A rose, sandalwood, and vanilla-scented glycerin soap and spice-scented fizzing bath bombs are going to drive my DH crazy because he can’t stand scented soaps and candles, but I love them. Therefore, I do believe I’ve figured out that I have a secret weapon if I want to be left alone! LOL! Hmmm, that idea has a lot of potential and I could have a lot of fun with it… I’ll keep you posted! πŸ˜‰

Then Corey saw a CD in the package and snagged it right away and put it in the CD player — Let It Snow by the Chanticleer Holiday Orchestra, which was a very nice surprise! Every year, we get one or two new Christmas music CDs to add to our collection. This year, Corey has been the super Christmas boy, spreading the Christmas cheer since about August when he started playing our Christmas CDs on a daily basis, starting as soon as he woke up, and ending when his dad wanted to watch TV after dinner each night. You can probably imagine that I’m SUPER GRATEFUL that she sent this CD, as we really needed to hear something new. How many times can a person listen to “Christmas is Love” by Alabama, or “Hard Candy Christmas” by Dolly Parton before they lose their mind? Really!

Emily also sent a nice journal that I can use to record knitting notes, a skein of Atacama by Araucania Yarns in this sweet tealy-blue colorway (potentially to be a pair of knucks), and chocolate galore — a bar of milk chocolate, one of dark chocolate, and a peppermint bark white chocolate bar (can’t WAIT to taste this) — and some maple candy which I’ve never had before. Looks yummy… let’s see… YUP! Yummy! And they’re pure sugar! WOOOOOO!!! Wow! I’m going to be wired now!!! I see a long night of speed knitting coming up! πŸ˜‰ Am I supposed to put them in my coffee or something? They’re very potent….

Ravelry Scarf Exchange scarf

Thanks a ton, Emily… you’re an awesome spoiler! I’m wearing the scarf now and my neck is nice and toasty! πŸ™‚

Two magic toe-ups

I’m going to master socks, and I’m going to try to master them two-at-a-time and toe-up, via the magic loop technique. This link should definitely get me going in the right direction!

I did it!

Yellow leavesWhat a sense of accomplishment! For the past few days, I’ve been knitting on my Clapotis like a maniac, trying to get it completed, and now it’s done! Honestly, I didn’t think it would ever get finished because I have a horrible track record with larger projects. To say I’m pleased with myself is an understatement. Now it just needs to be blocked. Pictures to come when I can get a really good one outside in natural light.

Today I mailed out the angel package to my extra Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange pal, and sheOrange leaves should get that in a week or so. That’s another swap down! Once I send out the scarf I made for the Ravelry Scarf Exchange (it’s blocking now) and then the final package for my SP11 pal (everything’s ready for it), I’m done with swaps for awhile. There are so many other things I want to knit, and I can’t get to any of it if I’m always making items for swaps, so I’m going to take a break.

Now that the Clapotis is finished, I can concentrate on those nightmare socks I started way back when. The first sock is done, but I might need to reknit the toe, and the second sock has it’s leg, heel flap and heel turn, but the gusset is giving me some problems. Although I have the pattern directions in front of me from “Knitting Socks on Two Circulars” by Cat Bordhi, I am completely lost and can’t figure out what the directions are telling me to do. I may need to enlist the help of my knitting friends in this one. I’m determined to master socks before I start another single project!

Holly

The boys and I went outside last weekend and had a great surprise when we saw that fall had finally snuck in, almost overnight. The fall foliage is so beautiful right now; all I have to do is peek out my front window to see all the pretty colors. πŸ™‚

Cape Henlopen State Park

This post is a bit overdue, because each time I found time to sit down and type something, I ended up getting involved in other things on this computer. Games, which are a complete time-waster, take up some of my time when I’m on the computer. I play Age of Empires III with two of my real life friends (games are about an hour each for us), and then when I don’t feel like playing that one, I get sucked in to spending a large chunk of time playing The Sims 2 Pets. It’s only been a couple weeks since I found out my male Sims can get abducted by aliens and come back pregnant, so I’ve been having LOTS of fun with that! πŸ˜‰ Of course, that’s not all that I’ve been doing though.

Cape Henlopen

A few weeks ago, my sister and I got together for “Sister’s Day Out” and headed to the beach. We visited Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, DE (the first town in the first state!), and walked along the shoreline of the safe harbor which was built in World War II at the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Since all the tourists were gone for the season, it was a very peaceful and enjoyable walk.

Breakwater light station

Once you start walking on this stretch of beach, one of the first things you notice is the Breakwater East End Lighthouse, built in 1885 to replace the Cape Henlopen Beacon. It was operable until 1996 when it was finally deactivated from lack of necessity.Horseshoe crab

I was stunned by the amount of dead baby crabs all along the shoreline and all over the beach. Some were as tiny as 1/2″ across! We saw a lot of young dead horseshoe crabs, spider crabs, calico crabs and even blue crabs. Among all these dead crabs were broken shells and bits of seaweed, along with an occasional lost fishing line and pieces of plastic; plastic Walmart bags, garbage bags and packaging from fishing rigs and hooks, rubbery fishing lures and also plastic gallon jugs. I dare say that beaches everywhere are polluted this way, and it’s frustrating to know that people are the culprit. If people would just throw their trash away properly in the garbage cans that are provided, the beaches (and the whole world, for that matter) would be so much safer.

Atlantic ghost crab

I spy… with my little eye… an Atlantic Ghost Crab (can you find him?), and this one was about an inch across total, and FAST! They skittered quickly away when we walked near, and some went right down their ghost crab holes. And of course, I was completely fascinated by them. (Click on any of the thumbnails to enlarge them.)

World War II tower

During World War II, Cape Henlopen was home to a military base called Fort Miles. In 1941, the U.S. Army built these concrete observation towers along the coast to spot any enemy ships or submarines. If you’re interested in learning more of this interesting bit of history, you can read it here:DNREC.

Pier

The Cape Henlopen fishing pier stretches out into the Delaware Bay for a quarter mile, and many people fish and crab off the pier all year long.

While we were walking, we saw the past meet present day when the Cape May-Lewes Ferry passed the Kalmar-Nyckel beyond the rock jetty of the Breakwater East End Lighthouse.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry & Kalmar Nyckel

Kalmar NyckelThe Kalmar-Nyckel is “Delaware’s Tall Ship”, and has quite a history behind it. The original ship came from Sweden in 1683, and brought settlers that established what is now Wilmington, Delaware. The current ship is owned by the Kalmar-Nyckel Foundation, and they offer tours and sailing trips for educational purposes. Very fascinating history, and you can read all about it here:Kalmar-Nyckel: The Tall Ship of Delaware.