Saturday, September 27, 2008

50th Post Giveaway

I know you've probably been wondering where I've been. It has just been really busy around here lately. Every fall my cousins, and aunts, my sister and mother and I go away for a weekend together for some female family bonding. It is so much fun. We eat really well, always have a lot of laughs, and sometimes a tear or two when we reminisce about the ones who aren't with us any more. It is a wonderful tradition that we all look forward to each fall. It happened to be last weekend. Then this past week I painted a bathroom one day and went on a hike another day. The hike was something my friends and I have been wanting to do for a while. We had a two hour drive to Mount Major in Laconia, New Hampshire, a two hour hike up the mountain, lunch, a two hour hike back down, and then a two hour ride home, so it was a long day. The views were spectacular and I would recommend this hike. The trails were well marked and you have a choice of a more challenging trail that is shorter or a less challenging trail that is a little longer. We had such a nice time that we want to try to hike once each month. There was one point in the hike were I was out of breath and needed a rest, and this cute, little 85 year old man flew past me with his walking sticks. I was really impressed, but of course completely humiliated!

I have not felt inspired to knit lately. I've been cruising Ravelry for some inspiration, but nothing! I finally settled in on making Kyra. It's a free pattern from Berroco. The sweater looks really comfortable and warm. I'm just not feeling it though. Although I do love the Keltic yarn I'm knitting with.

This is my 50th post, and I have to say I really enjoy blogging. I've corresponded with so many people from all over the United States to Europe and as far as Australia and New Zealand. I really appreciate every one's comments. They really make my day. As a thank you, I wanted to do something fun which I've seen on other blogs, and have a giveaway. So please leave a comment before midnight (EST) Thursday, October 2nd, and you will have a chance at winning the following: An Amy Butler Chelsea Bag made in Amy Butler fabrics by me, and a 450 yard skein of hand dyed sock yarn from Pagewood Farm in a really pretty color they call Mississippi Mud, and a few surprises too. The yarn would make a pretty scarf or hat for those of you who are not addicted to socks (yet)! So, please leave a comment and good luck to everyone!

P.S.: If you are not linked to a blog, just leave an email contact in your message, so that I will be able to let you know if you are the winner.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I love Wendy Bernards designs. They are simple yet very stylish. I really enjoyed knitting this sweater, and I love the retro look it has. The pattern was well written and easy to follow. I didn't run into any problems or mistakes at all.

I really over did it with the knitting this week, and my wrist is paying for it. I will have to take a few days off from knitting. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I bought Norah Gaughan Vol. 3 a few weeks ago, because I loved every design in the book. Norah is a design genius. I usually like to work on only one project at a time, but Loppem kept calling me to be knit, so I put Ingenue (with only one sleeve left to knit) on hold for a few days. I couldn't help myself. Once I started Loppem, I just couldn't put my needles down. It was like reading a good book. You can't put it down until it is finished. There is a lot of errata on this pattern, but it was a seamless (and no sleeves) knit which made it knit up fairly fast. I used Berroco Palace yarn in a green color only because my LYS didn't have enough of the blue, but I think the green works too.

This is my son's artistic shot.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Six Random Things about Me:

I was tagged for a 'Six Random Things about Me' meme by Amanda. I wasn't sure I could come up with six things, but here it goes.

The rules are as follows:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Here are my six random facts:

1. My father wanted to name me Nancy and my mother wanted to name me Mary. My mother won. Everywhere I have ever lived, I've always had a good friend named Nancy.

2. I'm still best friends with my elementary school friend, Nancy, after 35 years.

3. I meet my husband at a New Years Eve party that we both almost didn't go to.

4. I have two brothers and one sister and together we have given my parents five grandsons. My sister in-law is pregnant and we are really hoping for a little girl to spoil.

5. My favorite food is salad - any kind.

6. My family called me Mary Beth until I was entering Junior High and I decided that two names were too childish. Now, I love the name Mary Beth.

I'm tagging:

Juicy Bits


At Home Mommy Knits

The Knitting Den


It's just for fun. Don't worry, I won't feel bad if you choose not to play!

I have been very busy lately, but I have found some time to knit each day. I'm currently working on Ingenue. I just have the sleeves left to work on.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tribute to Jane Brocket

I received Jane Brocket's new book The Gentle Art of Domesticity from Amazon the other day. I immediately made myself a cup of tea and sat down and flipped through the book. It is filled with lots of inspiration. As always the photos are beautiful, and the whole book is filled with heaps of color. There are a few recipes in the book too. The Fairy Bun recipe, that she posts a lot about on her blog Yarnstorm, is one that I've always wanted to try. The recipe called for self-rising flour, superfine sugar, lemons and food color paste. She was very specific about it being paste and not liquid, because liquid will water down the frosting, and the paste will make a richer color. So I made my list and off I went to the market. Hmmm, my local market did not carry self-rising flour, superfine sugar, or food color paste, but they did have lemons! So I used my creative skills and came up with a plan (nothing could stop me now).

My solution: boxed cake mix and liquid food color (I'll just use less lemon juice.)

And so that became this:

Close but no cigar as they used to say back in the day. I do think Jane would be quite proud of me anyway, because really she is all about just enjoying the simple pleasures of home, and that is exactly what I did. They taste really good too!

I am working on some fingerless mitts. The pattern is the Daisy Stitch Hand Warmers by the Purl Bee. I'm using Classic Elite Waterlily.

I'm off for some tea and a faux Fairy Bun.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Pattern: Spiral Boot Socks by Veronik Avery
From: Interweave Knits Summer 2007
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Sock Navy
Needles: Size 2 dpn

First let me say that I'm really glad I made these socks. The second sock went along much easier than the first sock. I still made a few mistakes, but all in all I like the way they came out. I do think I will sew a little elastic thread into the top of the socks to help them stay up.

Now let me say I have a new appreciation for shawl knitters. I think this may be as close as I ever come to knitting a shawl, but I don't want to say never, because I said that about socks once. You really have to keep focused on the pattern at all times.

I had all these visions of putting on a skirt and boots with these socks for the photo, but these blurry pictures are as good as it gets after a day of work, grocery shopping and errands. Sorry. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Brimfield Antique Show

Today I had the chance to go to the Brimfield Antique Show. It was really hot and humid, but the atmosphere was very friendly and fun. There were lots of deals to be had. I was looking for items like buttons and vintage fabric and trim. Things with which I could create something new. This is what I found. Some vintage fabric, a necklace that I want to make into a bracelet, some old painted doorknobs, lots of great buttons, a frame and some vintage pins.

I could not find any vintage knitting needles, etc. But I'm happy with what I purchased. I can hardly wait to start creating. I have some ideas. I just need TIME!

Also, I wanted to share with you this really great web-site I found. It is called The Toy Maker. They have lots of free downloads for anything from paper dolls to cards to puppets. It would be a great web-site to check out with the kids on a rainy day. This is what I made.

a gift bag and a frog

The Spiral Boot Socks are almost ready for their debut. Hang in there - hopefully tomorrow I'll have a knitting post!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Son's Offically a Junior!

Back to School Check List

Pencils - check
Notebook - check
Backpack - check
New underwear and socks - check

I guess it's official. Son is entering his junior year today, and I really can't believe it! This year he will turn 16, learn how to drive, and start looking at colleges. I do miss the early years, but I'm really enjoying watching him grow into the kind, funny and very intelligent young man that he is becoming.

Good Luck, Son!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


My new favorite afternoon treat is cappuccino. It is so delicious especially with a cookie (or two). There is a great tutorial here at Salt and Chocolate on how to make stovetop espresso. The espresso maker came with directions, but this tutorial has pictures! Here is more evidence of my new addiction:
Also some evidence that I am working on those socks!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie
I'm really not known for my cooking, but every once in a while I find a recipe that everyone loves. Last summer, I had some of my very good friends over for lunch, and I made this Tomato Pie. Everyone loved it and wanted a copy of the recipe. (A sure sign that they really did like it.) I made this recipe a lot last summer, but then put it in the recipe box and forgot about it until my dear friend reminded me of it a few days ago. It is really easy and a great way to use up all those tomatoes that are coming off the vines right now. We had it with some soup and it was surprisingly hearty.


1 refrigerated Pie crust
1 1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
5 tomatoes
1 Cup loosely packed fresh Basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

Unroll pie crust into a glass or ceramic pie plate / quiche dish. Press edges and use fork to poke holes in bottom of crust before baking. Bake as directed.
Meanwhile - cut tomatoes into 1/2 thick slices and drain on a paper towel.

Take Basil leaves and garlic and use chopper / processor to coarsely chop together.

Mix mayo, grated Parm, 1 cup of Mozzarella, pepper and basil mixture in a mixing bowl, and set aside.

When crust comes out of oven, sprinkle 1/2 cup of the shredded Mozzarella on the bottom of the hot crust, and let melt.

( now turn down oven to 375 Degrees )

Arrange tomato slices on bottom of crust. Pile them up. More is better! Spread Mayo/cheese mix over entire top -trying to completely cover.

Bake for 35 -40 minutes - should be nicely browned and bubbling when you take it out. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. Cut and serve warm. There will be NO leftovers !

Hope everyone enjoyed their nice long weekend! I'm making progress on the second Spiral Boot Sock. I'm almost to the heel flap!