Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Shawl a re-do and a little self care................

I know the name of this blog is Mereknits, really does that even happen anymore?  I am crochet obsessed right now.  Don't even think of coming near me to pry the hook out of my hand.  Here is my latest finish the Sunday Shawl by Little Bee.  This is a redo of the shawl I made a few weeks ago that frankly while nice ended up feeling like a disaster to me. 

I whipped this baby up in one week.  One week!  And that is with working a record breaking work week for me.  Thus the need to pry the hook out of my hand.  I am tired my friends, really, really tired.  Every moment that I could starting last weekend I made myself sit down and crochet when I had the slightest opportunity.  When Little Buddy was taking another marathon session to eat, take a bath or play his iPad before bed.  After chores on the weekend I sat on my bed and crocheted while watching The Gilmore Girls on Netflix.  I would not allow myself to clean floors, watch my latest course online or even blog.  I made myself sit still and try to relax.  And the way I relax is to play with yarn.

The body of the shawl is made with Ella Rae cozy alpaca in the color Stonewall, 2.5 skeins used.  The color border in order of appearance, Simplicity by HiKoo in Fijian Water 030, Goldfish 04, Schoolhouse Red 017, Deep Turquoise 010, Frambouise 014, and Lavender 023, approximately 50 yards used of each.  So maybe 750 yards of yarn used to make this ginormous shawl.  Oops, I almost forgot I used a size I hook.

This shawl is big and drapey.  It will be warm and colorful to wear but not too colorful, just enough color to make it fun.  I have visions of myself looking all stylish as I run through an airport to catch a flight to excotic places while this shawl is slung over my shoulders.  Of course I can drape it across my body as the plane gets chilly and I can catch a nap.  Oh and then I can wrap it around my neck while drinking wine with friends in a cozy local restaurant in this exotic location.  In reality it will sit in my closet and more than likely be forgotten for a while as there is no exotic trip in my future.  Still making is half the fun for me.  Making and creating is my therapy and I can always dream a bit about exotic locals while I crochet away.

I have half of those colorful balls remaining to be made into something fun.  Wouldn't a baby blanket be beautiful with this border?  A simple, solid rectangle with a colorful border?  Lucky for me my next door neighbor is expecting her first grandchild in December.  We find out if this new little one will be a boy or girl this week.  I will order a soft gray or cream color and get started on it as soon as the yarn is delivered.  As for now, I mean right this second, I do not have a project going, well one I want to work on anyway.  Just as well I guess because I have to finish chores around the house and run some errands today.  I am finishing the last episode of Gilmore Girls this afternoon, ah I feel like I am losing my best friends.  I still have the new remake of a year in the life to go but still it isn't the same is it?

This week I have two little ones on vacation so I do not need to be leaving my house at 5:30 in the morning on Tuesday and Thursday.  The following week I have another one on vacation along with these two, my work will slow down a bit so at least I can catch my breath.  But for now I am going to go finish that pressure washing, and then run to a few stores to stock up on all I have let lapse this past week.  I hope to catch up with you all soon. The shawl was worth it don't you think?  Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Yarn, Mezzaluna Wrap and more yarn.........

My Mezzaluna Crescent Wrap is finished.  I can't even tell you how fun this wrap is.  I am in love with the yarn, the pattern and those wee little flowers that took me a week to make.   Once I found the original pattern to work off of this wrap was a breeze.  It is fun, so much fun.  I can't seem to get the right picture to express how light, airy and summery it is.  I took a million photos last night and more this morning but I can't seem to capture how happy this makes me.  

First this yarn is divine!  Great Adirondack Yarn Co, Inc., organic cotton in the color toucan.  This was a spur of the moment purchase as I usually don't buy anything this colorful.  It is DK weight which I love as I am not into all that fine yarn you all love so much.  It is so, so, so soft!  I used almost 2 skeins so I am thinking about 500 yards for this wrap.  I only did the first 18 rows and then made the flower border which was so much fun to make.  I think there are about a thousand flowers on the wrap, or at least that is what it felt like as I made flower after flower watching the Gilmore Girls in the evenings this week. I am on season 6 and dreading that the end is near.  I used a size J hook to make the wrap even more drapey.  It is big, but light, soft and airy.  Hope you give this pattern a try because you will be in love with it too!

I freed my yarn from all those horrid plastic bags I had used a few months ago to make sure I did not have any moths.  I swear it is so hot and humid here I felt like my yarn could not breath.  I can't breath!  So every time I looked in my yarn cabinet I felt the yarn and I were stifling.  We both need to breath!  So yesterday I freed the yarn, placed more cedar chip bags on the shelves and sprinkled lavender oil all around to ward off pests.

Well there might have been another reason to get things organized.  My dear friend Jeannette, Medical Foster Mom to Little Buddy when he was a wee boy, gave me this gorgeous yarn this past week.  You see I had a birthday last week and she gave me this beautiful yarn as a present.  There was no need, I mean no need at all but she shopped her brother's stash just for me.  You remember Uncle Sean and his wonderful stash yarn don't you?  I have been the lucky recipient of it in the past.  Uncle Sean has some amazing taste when it comes to yarn.  I will gladly take anything he does not need.  This gift and a few more skeins that I have recently purchased needed a new place to live for a while so working on the yarn cabinet became a priority.  Yarn organizing should come before paperwork, right?

Last Saturday I went down to the local children's hospital to stay with one of my patients to give Jeannette a bit of rest.  This little boy has had a heart transplant and is now undergoing chemotherapy due to the cancer he developed from the anti-rejection drugs needed for his heart.  He was in a very bad way just two weeks ago but has now officially been discharged and is back home.  I went down so Jeannette, who is also battling health issues could have a few hours at home.   I just happened to be near Stash-A Place For Yarn in St Pete, so I popped in for a visit.  The owner is so kind, the older house where Stash is now located is a wonderful spot to find yarn.  The inventory was limited, but they have room to grow.  You can visit if you are ever in the area.  But if you are ever close you really need to visit Criativity my very favorite store and the one I visit almost exclusively.   The colorful yarn above purchased at Stash was a little treat to myself for my new Sunday Shawl.  I told you I was obsessed and I need to get it right.  Teresa finished hers and I am in love with it.  Totally gorgeous!

I just had to have one more look at Mezzaluna.  Okay friends I am off to pressure wash my pool pavers.  There has been so much rain here lately I feel I am growing a mold farm in the cracks between them.

  I know we are all busy this time of year and I appreciate your visits and comments so much.  I hope to catch up with all of you this next week, because tomorrow is all about paperwork for me before my busy work week starts.  I know exciting life I have right?  At least I can look over at my yarn and breath a sign of relief as I work away on my computer.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July!  Hope you have loads of fun if you are celebrating.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The way things really are.......

Sometimes I get a little frustrated with all the lovely moments posted on blogs and social media.  That is a big reason I try not to be on social media because I find it to be so false.  I try to be honest on my blog, there are good moments and bad.  I want to post the reality of my life as much as I can without revealing too much.  This is my almost cleaned up desk this morning.  You should have seen it last night while I was finishing up another evaluation and my monthly paperwork.  It was covered with files, piles of papers, and a cup of water.  There were also papers and files all over the floor.  That is not always my reality but it sure was yesterday.
These past three weeks have been exceptionally busy for me at work.  I have new patients that I can't say no to even if I should.  I have been pulling in four 12-13 hours days in a row each week and frankly I am tired.  I am so thankful for my job, it is a blessing to me, but still I am wiped out.

This pile of yarn is being sorted for my next attempt at the Sunday Shawl.  Little Buddy and I made a mad dash to the yarn store nearest me last Friday.  I wanted a gray yarn for the body and thought I might be able to use leftovers from the stash for the colorful edging.  I have not visited this store for years and years because the owner was a miserable woman.  I know that is not nice to say but she was.  I vowed not to go back after several mean encounters with her.  She recently sold the place to a very nice woman, I liked her a lot.  It is a shame the selection is not very great so I probably won't be back.  I still have my favorite store about 45 minutes away from me, but near several of the patients I visit.  I will keep going there.  I really like to buy locally if I can, I need to feel the yarn and smell it too before I can make a purchase.  I know I am a bit weird.  Have you seen Teresa's Sunday Shawl?  It is so gorgeous I want to copy it stitch for stitch.

Coffee tables aren't really for coffee are they?   This is the cleaned up version of the table.  We usually have toys everywhere.  Currently there are magic tricks, coloring activities, some birthday cars, Marshall Robot as Little B calls him, and of course Little B's crutches.

Little Buddy and I had a slow start to the morning, or maybe I should say he did.  I had to catch up on chores that were neglected all week long.  He has had a rough week, most of my little ones have also and I have no idea why.  After my third 12 hour day in a row we both had several tantrums over writing the number 3.  I know, don't ask.  Why was I making him write the number 3 when we were both so tired and cranky?  Well I do follow through whether I should or not and he did not do his work for the baby sitter that day.  Mind you his work involves writing his numbers 1-10, writing his name and reading two books.  Not a huge workload in an eight hour day.  I told him he would have to complete it with me if he did not cooperate with the sitter.  By far not my finest moment as a mom.  Lucky for me he is very forgiving.  After I got my wits about me we had a cuddle and said some sorrys and all was put back in order.

Mezzaluna Wrap when will I get a chance to work on you?  I ended up frogging down to row three last weekend because I was just not getting this pattern.  How could it be so hard when others have made two or three of them with no issue?  After some detective work, (really sometimes I think I am not that bright), I realized I was trying to make sense of a shortened version of the original pattern.  The original pattern can be found two or three versions down on the pattern link page.  It is the Mezzaluna Wrap English Version updated June 29.  Try that one if you are interested in making this beautiful shawl.

I was so busy this past week I almost missed my roses blooming.  The top photo shows how humid it was here this morning.  I had to wipe the moisture off my lense to get a clear photo.  The heat here has been really bad this year.  Little Buddy wants to go out on his new big wheel when I get home from work and frankly I can't handle more than 15 minutes of it.  Heat and high humidity can be so hard to deal with.  I feel so bad for all those people working outside in these conditions.

After I turned around from taking the rose photo I had a great surprise.  An unexpected gardenia at the very top of my bush.  It reminds me of a lotus flower which should bring me a sense of peace.   I need it with a very stubborn six year old, a loved one nursing a broken heart, work, heat, and the current pathetic state of our country.  The thought my precious, stubborn boy and many like him may lose the very insurance that keeps them moving towards functional independence and provides for their complex medical needs is frankly overwhelming to me.  The thought that politicians are gleeful about taking away Medicaid and affordable healthcare makes me ill.   That the current resident of the oval office is the biggest bully in the land is disheartening.  I could go on and on............but I'll stop here, try to take a deep breath and get back to that laundry that needs to be folded.  The way things are are not always wonderful, they are real and that is my life.  Maybe the weekend is just what I need.  Hope your week went a bit smoother than mine.  But isn't it good to know that everyone is  not happy with beautiful flowers, perfect projects and perfect families all the time?  A bit of reality is good for us all.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Little Buddy is six, adoption day anniversary and more pictures than you want to see.....

Little Buddy turned six yesterday!  A big day for a big boy.  He also shares this wonderful birthday with his sweet Uncle Don.  They always send each other a video singing happy birthday, it is now a tradition.  

This boy had so much fun.  It started with a trip to the beach with Mr. 20.  We have not been all year, I know it isn't that far but it is a big undertaking with a little one that can't walk by himself.  No walker or canes on the beach, they won't work.  I bought a new beach wagon and plopped him in it.  I know they are for chairs and toys but you have to do what works.  I did get a few looks, especially after it tipped over in the sand with him in it!

After lunch he had a great nap, and then it was time for dinner, presents and cake.  He loved every minute of it.  Aunt Claudie and Uncle Don got him some magic tricks, he was able to do one of them and was so pleased.  He also got a new vacuum, Paw Patrol toys, and a new big wheel that I hope he can ride. 

Did you know that six year olds will not smile for the camera?  He simply refused all day, these were the best photos I could get, taken on the fly when he was not looking.  He smiles all the time but not for the camera.  Ah, six you might be more of a challenge than I thought!

To make the weekend even better a special jeep got delivered to our house.  Little Buddy's teacher had a grant for the last two years to adapt special motorized toys for those kids in her class that have special needs.  Her husband, Mr. Bill, is an engineer and adapts all sorts of things for kids who need them, including helping very involved children being able to drive their own electric wheelchairs.  He adapted several vehicles that Little Buddy and others enjoyed during the school year.  Little Buddy's teacher retired after this past school year and offered this jeep to Little Buddy to keep.  We were speechless, and if you know me it takes a lot for me not to have any words!  The jeep was delivered on Friday, the battery was charged up, Mr. Bill came over yesterday to fine tune things and now it works.  He was out in it this morning in his pj's!  What fun!!!  There is a switch on the steering wheel that makes it go easy, peasy.  I do think Little Buddy could use a gas petal but this works perfectly.  He is so excited.

Today is the anniversary of Little Buddy's adoption.  A very special day for my family because this is when he became legally ours.  He has been a part of our family for three years, actually living here almost three and a half years, boy does time fly.  You can read more about Little Buddy's adoption here and here.  Some of you are new to this blog and might not know about our special boy.  By the way welcome to this space, I am so glad to have you here. 

Yesterday at the beach my older son said, "I think (Little Buddy) hit the jackpot when he got our family."  I so agree, but I think we won the jackpot not him.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sunday Shawl blues.............

Ladies I had a vision for this beautiful yarn a bought a few weeks ago.  I stopped by the yarn store just before school was out, treating myself to some new yarn to get me through the summer.  Now you and I both know that is ridiculous, because frankly I can stop by at least one day a week because I am close by due to work.  Still somehow I justified it all in my head and I bought more yarn.   

My vision was using these three colors to make some sort of color block shawl.  I envisioned fan shapes or something like that and failed miserably to find a pattern that suited my aspirations for this yarn.  I researched Ravelry, I spent many hours on Pinterest and could not find the right pattern.  So I tried to make a pattern work.  Let me just saying forcing yarn to turn into a project it is not meant to be for is a big no-no.  Yarn knows what it wants to be.  Sometimes it will wait years in your stash for just the right project.  It will simmer, nudging its way to the top of the stash just when you need it.  I should have listened.  

I kept coming back to this pattern, the Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland.  Let me just say this pattern is wonderful, well worth the money as it is so descriptive.  You will never be lost in it.  It is wonderful and darn if I should have actually done what the pattern said.  I am not saying this finished shawl isn't nice, it is it just is not my vision of what I wanted this yarn to become.  But as I have said before, time is not ever wasted when playing with yarn.  I am putting this in my gift bin, to be given to someone in the future.  It was still made with love, it was still made by me, it just is not what I had envisioned and so therefore it is going in time out just for a little bit.  I can't punish a project for too long when it was me who made the error.

The particulars are Juniper Moon Farm Zooey yarn in the shades toasted coconut, carnation pink and sloop.  Approximately 200 yards of each color,  give or take a little here and there.  I used a size H hook but could have gone up a size. 

I know I will make the Sunday Shawl again because if you know me at all you know I am obsessed with making things the right way.  Well that is once it has not worked well, which would make you think I would be more careful when selecting a project and yarn.  I am also obsessed with making things several times so it is just a matter of time before this gets back on the hook.  Actually I am searching for yarn already, see my friends I am not well!

I am struggling with my Mezzaluna crescent wrap.  I am thinking my brain is not working really well these days as I can't read the pattern right.  I found some other alternatives to the written pattern in the projects pages here and here.  I seem to be able to understand these directions better.  They might help you too if you are so inclined to make this along with me.   I think I am just plain tuckered out from work, the heat, family life, etc.  

This is a special weekend for one little boy I know.  More on that later.  Hope you all are having a wonderful week. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The zoo actually has animals......

Little Buddy and I had a surprise adventure to the zoo today.  I have not been the best Mom lately, I am frankly too tired on the weekends to do much.  I decided last night that no matter how tired I was today we were heading out for some fun.  I am so glad we did because Little Buddy was brave enough to actually ride a zebra on the carousel, last year we could only sit on the bench.   On top of the three carousel rides he also rode on the train three times.  We went on the wild banana ride once, he gets a little nervous before it starts because it makes a loud noise.  Once he gets going he makes that wild banana fly high into the sky.

I talked him into actually seeing animals this visit.  He really likes the rides and the water area, and I don't blame him because it was mighty hot and humid while we were there.  He walked a LONG way with his walker and those little legs of his.  He was plum tuckered out after seeing some animal friends.  Here is a bit of what we were able to see.

Penguins.  Yup, we have some here in hot Florida, the water they swim in must be sooooo cold!

A black bear.  He looked very hot in all that fur.

The manatee exhibit is my favorite and not because it is inside and nice an cool and dark.  This zoo is a rehabilitation hospital for manatees.  They are very successful in helping them return to the wild after they have been ill or injured.  This is a baby above.  She/he was just hanging out at the bottom of the tank for a while then headed up to the top to get a breath of air.  Her Mom  was always near by keeping a close eye on her. 

Little Buddy loved this area as he could really see them up close.  There were fish and turtles in the tank, too.

This turtle was massive.  She kept swimming by us over and over again.

They have two gorgeous rescued bald eagles.  They are so regal.

There was also a special exhibit with robotic dinosaurs.  Little Buddy did not seem to impressed, Mr. 20 would have loved this when he was little.  He knew every dinosaur there was and what period they were from.  Some dinosaurs were life sized and made movements and sounds.  I sure would not want to run into Tyrannosaurus Rex with all those teeth!

We made it two whole hours, which is a long time for a little one to walk around with his walker in the heat and humidity of Florida.   I am not crazy about zoo's but I am glad that ours has space for the animals and that they are treated well.  There is a large area with elephants, giraffes and zebras where they can roam.  We will see that next time. 

Hope you are having a cooler weekend than us!  Happy Father's Day to those of you celebrating.