Pizzas 4 Patriots

Pizzas 4 Patriots
$10 provides two soldiers with a taste of home!

Friday, October 30, 2015

I feel the older I get, the more I'm learning to handle life. Being on this quest for a long time, it's all about finding yourself. -- Ringo Starr

My last post was May of 2009. So much has happened over the past six and a half years, and so much is getting ready to happen. Patrick was so young... and now he's working on college applications. And I've turned 50! We still have Titan, and Titan has a dog (Thor). 

Not sure where this is headed, or even if it will stick.  I'm inspired to come back as we fast approach the start of NaNoWriMo 2015.  Probably not the best time to restart blogging, when I'll need every spare minute to capture 50,000 words in 31 days, but maybe just this kind of writing will help.  

So, my NaNoWriMo project, I think will be Perilous Paths.  The title is from a quote by Poe in the last year of his life.  I'm not really excited about the title, but it works for now. I do like the draft cover.  Just need to focus on the writing.  I'm filled with anxiety that I'm going to freeze up and not be able to get any further, despite all the steps I've taken. I just need to write.

Anyway... more words, more pictures, more of lots of things are to come...

Friday, May 15, 2009

California Dreamin' on such a winter's day

That was an easy title for this post! While rainy Ohio was covered in clouds, Patrick and I got on Frontier Airline (which after all uses the slogan: "A whole different animal") Wednesday, April 29th and headed west, first stopping in Denver and then a connecting flight to San Diego where the weather was PERFECT! Our final destination? Legoland USA located in Carlsbad, California.

A short car ride north on the deadly I-5 and we reached Carlsbad around 9PM PST. It had been a long day, the normal 24 hours turning into 27 for us, but we were too excited to just crash in the hotel. We explored a bit around us, the city of Carlsbad at 9PM being more like 1AM here in Cincinnati. It was odd and I had wondered if perhaps there were a curfew that I'd missed in the tourism literature. We didn't find much that reminded us of home and it was dark, so we grabbed something to eat and headed to our room at a newer Motel 6 which was, just like the rest of Carlsbad, very nice.

Thursday morning we were up early and headed out. The time zone difference definitely an issue. It was too early to head to Legoland and during our nocturnal adventure the night before we found that we were actually fairly close to the amusement park, so we had plenty of time.

Our first stopped we decided was the ocean. As we neared the public beaches we were glad we were in the car with no one else to see how goofy we were. You'd think we'd never seen water before! There in front of us was the expanse of the Pacific Ocean and we were struck by the beauty. Parking the car and despite not being prepared for a stroll on the beach we were drawn toward it.

We walked along the beach for several minutes and watched the beach wildlife: little squirrel-like creatures, joggers, walkers, surfers, and knew that we would be back once Legoland closed in the late afternoon.

Legoland wasn't exactly a challenge for Patrick the Ride Warrior, but he had a great time. Adorned in his Diamondback First 10,000 Riders t-shirt from Kings Island he ended up in conversations with several people who apparently were into visiting various amusement parks too -- other honorary members of the Ride Warrior Brotherhood.

Patrick's favorite rides were the Volvo Driving School and the Robotic Arm. The driving school had cars that didn't ride on tracks like I'd driven when I was a kid at the amusement park. The kids drove around the town, supposedly obeying traffic laws. He went on this ride several times during our visit.

The other ride he was thrilled to take it to the maximum intensity (a 5!) and just watching him made me want to throw up.

We made Legoland and the Sealife Aquarium a two day adventure. Patrick rode everything at least once and was able to participate in the Mindstorm activities as well as be part of a live action show, which was really pretty good.

Before leaving, we made sure we visited the California Flower Fields which were gorgeous. Our visit was toward the end of the blooming season and it was an amazing sensory experience with the sights and and smells of beautiful flowers. One of my favorite moments during the trip happened after walking around the immense field of blooming flowers, we got to see some of the smaller "specialty" flowers including the rose garden.

Although the roses seemed to have already bloomed, the smell was still wonderful. I initially thought there was music being piped in so a person could sit on one of the benches in the flower garden, but it was actually a live performance of the music of Khausak. He had various traditional flutes hanging from the microphone and performed music from his CDs which he was selling. My souvenir along with a stone rounded by the tide, was his CD "The Life of the Wind" which he recommended as relaxation music.

Patrick had done a little mining for unattended toddlers too.

Legoland was nice, but for me, the best part of the trip was sitting on the beach and just watching the waves...

We had to head back to San Diego and eventually Cincinnati on Saturday, so avoiding I-5 we took the much more scenic Route 101 driving by Torrey Pines Golf Course (which was yet another nerdy thrill for someone from Ohio who has watched too much television). It was with a lot of sadness (and some sunburned skin) that we left the beaches of California and the Pacific Ocean and headed home.

Many more pictures of our latest adventure can be found on Picasa as a slideshow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains" President Barack Obama

Today is the start of International Year of Natural Fibres as determined by the United Nations. I thought it was a perfect way to share with anyone who reads this blog for knitting information about my latest projects and urge you to pick up a skein of yarn made of natural fibres (I've used wool and soy based yarn) and knit for our troops who need helmetliners, scarves, watch caps and neck gaiters to stay warm this winter.

A coworker of mine and Jane's has a son who enlisted with the Marines and before Christmas he was sent to Afghanistan. She shared with us some of the hardships he and others in his group were dealing with, including the bitter cold. They don't have the furnaces and washing machines that we take for granted. These are 18, 19 and 20 year old men and in some cases women who are serving our country.

I remembered having done research on the internet about knitting a neck gaiter (a knitted tube that slides down over the head and is worn around the neck without the excess of a scarf) and had read about knitting helmetliners for members of the armed forces. I mentioned this to Jane and she got her needles out and in a short time she had a helmet liner done. It was shipped off to Afghanistan and gratefully received by our coworker's son. While it was too big to wear as a helmet liner, he was able to wear it when he slept and he reported back that the first night wearing it was the first night of good sleep he'd had. Till then it had been too cold to sleep well.

Jane immediately got to work to knit more for the other men in his group. I've just completed one and we were able to send several more over. I'll admit for a knitter of my limited skill level, it's not an easy pattern, but with practice it gets better. Also, as we learned, even if because of size issues the headpiece doesn't work as a helmetliner, it still provides our soldiers with comfort and warmth when they sleep in areas where they don't have much more to use. We're excited too, because more people in our office are interested in learning how to knit so they can also make items to send.

I've copied and pasted several links here for those people who are interested in knitting for the troops. There are requirements that wool be used and there are color requirements to follow as well. I found some Paton's SWS (a blend of mostly wool with some soy fibers) on sale in an olive green that made for a warm and softer helmetliner. Three skeins were enough for one liner and at least one neck gaiter following the pattern given on the website. That website is also featured in an article in the Winter 2008/2009 KnitSimple Magazine on newsstands now. We didn't get any pictures of the last bunch we sent over, but there are pictures on the various sites of how a finished helmetliner looks.

There are lots of causes and people that need help... the soldiers, knitting preemie caps for Save the Children, knitting blankets for the homeless (Warm-Up America) and for sick children (Project Linus) among so many others. If you've got yarn and some time, making one item means so much to someone else and it's an amazing feeling to know that you've had a positive impact on someone else.

This site has a nice picture of finished helmetliners:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I heard the bells on Christmas Day, Their old, familiar carols play... -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Amazingly in Cincinnati today we reached a high of 69 degrees. On December 27th. Given the proper warnings for unseasonably warm weather, Patrick and I had made plans. We decided an outdoor adventure would be perfect, since it's likely to be another 60-90 days before such nice weather kisses our brows!

We checked our maps, dressed appropriately, packed our lunch, grabbed Titan and headed to Loveland, Ohio. The three of us explored a part of the bike trail we would likely never get to on our bikes. The trail was full (again, to the chagrin of the Tour de France wannabees) of families walking, people jogging, people and their dogs enjoying the break in what has been a cold Ohio winter.

I don't know how far we walked. It seemed like it was many miles, though I'd be afraid to find out it wasn't even one mile. Patrick was sure he'd burned off a few hundred calories, of course, that helped balance out the few hundred calories he'd gotten from the Coke he was drinking. The headline for this blog was influenced by the bells that played in downtown Loveland. We did walk long enough to hear two songs... ironically one was "Let it Snow." I'm hoping to visit this part of the trail with my bike when spring arrives for more than 24 hours.

My knitting is sparse considering the amount of time I've spent reading instead. Alison had talked me into seeing Twilight when it came out at the end of November and I was hooked. I saw the movie again with Nancy, and I finished the last book in the Twilight Saga on Christmas morning. I'm feeling the same loss for the Cullen family that I felt at the end of the Harry Potter series. There won't be any more evenings in Forks just as there are no more new school years at Hogwarts. Now the search to find something to fill that hole. Always the danger when you get wrapped up too much in a book series.

Anyway, I was talking about knitting. This blog's greatest number of hits are usually from people looking for patterns to use their Speed Stix and I've made several afghans from the pattern posted on the Lion Brand website that is free. As noted in previous posts though, my friend Jane and I decided to forego the fringe and do "knitted row" edges. Fringe done with with Homespun isn't attractive.

In my latest afghan, a Christmas gift for one of Patrick's teachers, I did four rows knitted on each end, and then on the sides there were 4 stitches on each that were knit, whether it was a knit or purl row. I don't have the accurate Homespun color names for this one, I used a lot of yarn I had from past Christmas' where I had made these afghans and had quite a stash for more. The main colors are an olive green, red, cream and a dark blue that had a thread of red running through it, which I believe is a color that is discontinued. It made a nice Christmas afghan as you can see from the pictures, but the color scheme didn't necessarily scream "CHRISTMAS" when you see it under natural light.

I started another afghan with yarn that I had in my stash and will post pictures of those colors. I'm doing the same pattern with the same change (knitting rows to border all 4 edges). Another quickie gift. I've also taken the remnant balls of yarn from all the afghans I'd made in the past and started doing 7" squares that I'm planning on piecing together for a blanket. Despite how inexpensive Homespun is, I really like the feel and the colors. Now that I've mentioned it, I need to work on it and get it done!

For those of you who are looking for patterns to use your speed stix I found a really nice booklet at a Michaels recently, and it's available online at as well: Quick Knits with Speed Stix (Leisure Arts #4165). The patterns use a lot of Lion Brand Homespun, some of the Lion Brand Fur yarns, as well as Incredible (ribbon tape yarn). Patterns include a nice coat, a vest with and without a lapel type collar, some decor items, a fashionable scarf, a caplet, and more. I've not finished anything yet, I am doing a scarf to use up some Incredible and Trellis yarns left over from another project. The sizes given range from small to 2X, the clothing items tend to be more for adult women (no kids patterns). I'd love to reach a skill level where it only takes me the few hours they cite in the pattern. There's only so much time available though isn't there?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I would rather have an army of Dogs led by a Pug than an army of Pugs led by a Dog. --- Napoleon

Today was PugFair 2008 and what a terrific day for an outdoor event. It was very warm in the sun and the occasional cool breeze would blow through to remind a person that autumn is here.

We'd started preparing for the event a few weeks before. I'd made some scarves and donated them for auctioning or prizes. Jo-Ann's had one of my favorite yarns, Moda Dea Ticker Tape on sale ($1.99 a skein which is $6 cheaper than the regular price!) and I found a free pattern on the internet and was able to knit up a few. One in Sunset (a variegated color scheme that is very autumnal) and one in a variegated shades of pink. I made some cute gift bags using Pug greeting cards and bows and was able to donate a couple of nice packages.

After getting the scarves done, I started working on Titan's (aka KP) costume for the costume parade and contest. Patrick and I had pondered what kind of costume we should make for him, and in my constant striving for yet another bad pun, I opted to make him a "Beer Pug." (Beer mug/beer pug, get it? Apparently neither did the judges. Or maybe they drink from steins?) Perhaps next year I'll try a coffee mug joke.

I started out with a dog "sweatshirt" pattern from one of the pattern companies (yet another $1.99 sale at Jo-Ann's!) and changed it for my needs. A beer colored fleece fabric was the body. A gray felt handle (soft sculptured) and also a strip of gray felt at the bottom (you can't see it in the picture, he's sitting on it) was meant to look like the bottom of the glass. Sherpa wool was used for the collar to look like beer foam. I opted to not use the sleeves in the pattern and just left the leg openings rough. Patrick got lots of compliments from other fair goers, but we didn't get any awards for humorous or homemade costume. I think if we had just bought the lobster costume from Target and strapped it to his back, we would have fared a lot better. Patrick was disappointed, but he doesn't stay down long and is planning on his best friend Trick-Or-Treating with him as a Beer Pug. Not sure yet what Patrick will be wearing. I could try to figure how to make Patrick a Pretzel. :)

We enjoyed the PugFair quite a bit though. It was almost surreal to be surrounded by so many pugs. I think Titan made sure his nose sniffed the butt of every single dog there. What was amazing, there was a large pen where the pugs were placed sans human companion and leash to play with each other. No snarling, no barking, no aggressive behaviors were witnessed. Pugs just seem to enjoy socializing with each other playing and butt sniffing. Those that chose to wander alone when another pug came along and invaded his solitude, he just dealt with it and there was no snapping or growling. A very interesting breed of little dogs. Oh and Titan was wonderful! He was so compliant and even happy getting into his costume and wearing it.

One of the highlights of PugFair was the almost constant performance of Dr. Dan and the Stray Dogs Band. It was fascinating to hear just how many times they could work the word pug into a song (Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl became Brown Eyed Pug for this audience -- it's almost worth going to the Greyhound rescue gig they have on Sunday to hear how he does that one!). I avoided the deep-fried Twinkie for diet purposes, so I can't review those... though they looked delicious as I stared at other people eating the lard soaked snack cakes on a stick.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Give me your hands, if we be friends... Shakespeare

This is the posting I was so hoping to be able to share!

Yes, that's Patrick and Drew Carey! And if you can't tell, Patrick was beside himself (ha! bad pun not intended -- see below). For those of you who don't know this story...

Patrick had decided he was a huge fan of Drew's. Wanting to grow up to be a game show host and actor (after all, Drew did it!), he decided to take his act to the streets and was Drew Carey for Halloween, 2007. A suit, his glasses, a Carey grin and a Price is Right microphone and Patrick looked the part. Anytime Patrick orders pizza from the neighborhood Snappy Tomato, the order is entered as "Drew Carey Howard," they had enjoyed his costume and performance so much.

I'd learned that Drew Carey was making his debut performance with the Cleveland Orchestra (Doing what you might ask? Doing Shakespeare I would reply as if that were the most common role in the world for Mr. Carey!), narrating parts of Shakespeare's play (those words spoken by Puck) and one of the best orchestras in the world playing selections from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Once tickets were on sale I immediately made sure we had the best available in the pavilion and planned a trip for July to Cleveland.

Being encouraged by several of you who might be reading this, I emailed the PR dept. of the Orchestra explaining about Patrick, sharing his pictures and asking if there were any way he would be able to meet Drew Carey. Fast forward a few months, and we were down to the week of the concert. I finally received a reply from the director of the PR Dept. and she had said she would share my email with Mr. Carey and it would be up to him. If something could be arranged, she would let me know the day of the concert.

Friday, July 25th, we excitedly embarked on our trip. Patrick had packed everything and had it waiting to go when I got home from work and we hit the road north. I'd found a nice, inexpensive hotel with a swimming pool that wasn't far from the Blossom Center where the summer outdoor concerts are held. We got a good sleep and woke up Saturday morning for our day of seeing Drew Carey's Cleveland.

Please note: while the following may seem to be stalking, we were doing it in a lime green VW Beetle, so therefore, no malicious intent was intended. Had we done so in the car wearing clown make-up, well that could qualify as malicious.

One of the more famous stories about Drew Carey available on the internet is him buying the house he grew up in when he first made it big. Not expecting success, I was easily able to find the address of a home owned by a Drew Carey using the county auditor's site. Our first stop was driving past the address on Flowerdale (which we realized Patrick is living on Lonsdale, hmmm) three times. I told Patrick that was all I was willing to do since people were starting to wonder. The house was empty, well taken care of with a large, white wooden fence around it. After that thrill had subsided we headed for the next stop on our Mecca of Carey's beginnings.

The most recent story on the internet about Mr. Carey involves him ordering 45 pizzas from his very favorite pizza parlor and having them flown to a party for the Price is Right in California. So, we had lunch at Drew's favorite pizza parlor, Antonio's Pizza in Parma. We of course listened several times to Moon over Parma from the soundtrack of the Drew Carey show as we drove. The pizza was very, very good (Drew does have terrific taste in pizza it seems!). We talked to Curtis, the guy running the place Saturday morning and Patrick was dying to tell him we came all the way from Cincinnati to eat there. Curtis burst his bubble. It seems people come from greater distances to check out Drew's favorite pizza. He did explain the process of shipping the pizzas from their store via UPS and it involved many steps that would make one wonder if the pizza really arrived as tasty as ours was. He also mentioned that a woman in Florida shells out $50 to have a pizza delivered every few months because she misses their pizza.

We never did hear from the PR Dept and with a bit of disappointment we listened to the first half of the concert. Drew came out on stage after the intermission and the hometown boy was given a rousing welcome. It seemed to take Mr. Carey a bit to relax or perhaps warm-up and the performance was very fun. I'm sure Patrick will replay the death scene without much encouragement now that he's seen Drew Carey do it. After the show, I wondered if we sort of hung around maybe there would be a chance to run into Drew (since we hadn't while we were stalking him earlier in the day). Waiting on the side of the backstage area, Patrick worked his charms on several of the women who were guarding the gates and they noted how adorable he was and that he looked like he could be Drew's son. One thing led to another, I threw around a few names from my email and while we continued to wait, a group came out of a post concert party and asked for our names. Much to Patrick's excitement we were told that our names were "on the list" and we were led back to the party.

Standing there, right in front of us was Drew. He was really nice and introduced himself to Patrick and Patrick was speechless. There was some awkwardness, I shook his hand, and told Mr. Carey about Patrick being a fan and dressing up like him for Halloween (I left out the stalking details). Drew smiled and joked around with Patrick who was still speechless. He posed with Patrick for the above picture and we thanked him and started leave. Patrick stammered, still wasn't able to talk and Drew grabbed him and gave him this huge bear hug. It was really awesome. Once we'd walked away, Patrick was able to talk again, yelling that "I'm going to savor this moment for the rest of my life."

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Spring - an experience in immortality." -- Henry D. Thoreau

And feeling very immortal, Patrick and I hit the bike trail this past Sunday. It's been a while since my last entry, I think the cold winter took longer to pass this year and my fingers have finally thawed to type. There's been some knitting. Some home decorating. A few personal changes. I've even gotten out and mowed the grass a few times. But, this past Sunday was our first trip onto the bike trail in 2008.

Patrick is always anxious to head out for an adventure on our bikes, at least at first. I'm just the opposite. I dread putting the bike rack on the Mobile Lime. Despite what the manufacturer said on the package, my bike rack was not made for a VW Beetle. Also, despite that my car sits so low to the ground, I didn't want to have to lift bikes over my head to get them on the top of the car. Well... I'm not lifting over my head, but it's pretty close. Once I get the bikes on the car, and then holding my breath the short car ride to the trail praying to the Goddess of Single Moms that the bikes don't slide off and my son's prize possession doesn't end up mangled under the wheels of a Suburban, I exhale when I'm there and in park. Then I realize, I have to get the bikes off the rack.

But, the bikes come down and we get started. We review the rules of riding. We review our signals and then Patrick zooms off ahead of me forgetting all the things we'd just covered in the excitement of the open road. I've learned to go later in the afternoon, the serious cyclists training for some national cycling event have hopefully been out much earlier. There are still plenty who take their ride seriously and I try to keep both of us out of their way.

This particular day, we started further up the trail, hoping to see some previously unexplored bike path. We did go a total of 12 miles, and given the weather with threatening storm clouds and blustery winds, that was a lot, however, we never got past the point I had made it on my 20 mile ride last October. Another lesson learned, take into account the direction and the strength of the wind when determining just how far one should go before coming back. In our case, it took all we had to make the last 6 miles back to the car.

I'm sure we'll venture out again this weekend, it will be Memorial Day Weekend and perhaps I'll have forgotten the pain in my shoulders (from lifting the bikes) and the pain in my tail bone (from sitting on my, well you know...) to get back out there and maybe go a bit farther.

As for knitting, I've just finished a poncho for a friend of a friend. Some people look great in ponchos, others, well they look like camping tents that sleep a family of four. This particular poncho is knitted with one strand of Lion Brand Incredible in "Accent on Black" (a variegated black gray color) and a strand of Lion Brand's Trellis in a lime and turquoise color. I happened to have enough yarn in my stash and the Trellis was perfect for adding a dash of color to the monotone Incredible. Incredible is similar to Ticker Tape, which I'd used for a previous poncho. My friend will take an extra skein of the Trellis and make fringe. I suspect it will terrific on the person who will be getting it, just because it luckily happened to be colors that compliment her own coloring.

I have plenty of projects on deck, including curtains for my bedroom and a snuggly afghan made from a variegated brown, pink and cream that I just love.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

“Those of you who feel knitting has changed your life, welcome to the club. I can think of no better occupation to reveal your own creativity.”

The above quote has been attributed to Kaffe Fassett.

Learning to knit did change my life in good and bad ways. I spend too much money on yarn, books and needles, but I have a way to unwind in the evenings, a way to express my creativity, and a new appreciation for textiles. I learned to knit a few years ago when my friend Jane showed me how to cast on and how to do the knit stitch. She suffered through the days it took me to grasp the Purl stitch and now she deals with all the goofy knitting things I find on the internet and am driven to share with someone!

Two of those goofy things I'm including pictures of here that Jane had made. The sock monkey hat I've mentioned before (the pattern can be found here) and is being worn by the lucky recipient just this past Christmas.

The other pictures are of Patrick wearing his R2D2 beanie Jane knitted. Patrick is performing in the talent show at his school and since his selected piece is the Main Theme to Star Wars, we decided on the costume shown here. Jane quickly came to the rescue and made the beanie since I wasn't able to find a really nice R2D2 costume for a preteen/teen to wear and it needed to be open enough for him to play the piano.

I'm still waiting to see if she makes the chenille breast or Elvis wig.

By the way, the R2D2 Tshirt can be purchased online at 80sTees.

Monday, January 21, 2008

“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” -- Percy Bysshe Shelley

We've been lucky so far. What little cold weather we've had here in Cincinnati so far this winter, when it was cold it was really cold!

And only a true friend would model some of my knitting on Fountain Square in a wind chill that was probably in the single digits! My friend Nancy is wearing one of my first projects, a poncho made with Mode Dea Ticker Tape. The yarn was on sale and I was excited about working with the elastic ribbon yarn. I gave the finished project to Nancy knowing how fabulous it would look on her. She gave it her own touch and trimmed the fringe which really enhanced the look. She's also wearing the Booda Bag I knitted using Noro Kureyon yarn. She loved the Booda Bag and again it was perfect for her.

Knitting the Booda Bag was a real adventure. I'd found the pattern on the internet but, couldn't figure out exactly how to do the base and knitting around it. It was more searching and finding many blogging knitters with advice that I finally was successful! I picked up the Noro Kureyon at my favorite LYS, Fiberge, though I can't remember what color it was. I probably should have felted it a little bit longer, and the felted I-chord straps were still stretchy, so more felting might have helped with that. I would also suggest cutting a piece of plastic canvas, covering it in a matching fabric and stitching it to the inside bottom of the bag for support. Nancy liked it as is, so this one didn't have a flat bottom.

Currently I've finished everything I've been working on with the exception of the baby kimono. I've got some projects I'm prepping though, and am anxious to find something else that doesn't take a lot of concentration. I'd found a "reading shawl" that I can't seem to stop thinking about, as well as a mobius shawl that I bought in a kit. I'd also gotten a skein of recycled silk from sarongs and would like to make something for me from it, so I'm looking for the right project.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

But when we're through this New Year, you'll see, will be, Just fine.

Wow... I've been away for 2 months and not much to show for it. A few gifts were finished and got away without pictures. And Jane made an incredible Sock Monkey Hat a picture of which she promised to share so I could post it here.

I finished a very quick but delicious afghan. Using the Speed Stix pattern, I avoided using Homespun and instead used some yarns I found on sale and were colors I was dying to use. I've really come to like the "Neapolitan" colors (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) that seem to be in vogue. I'd found at Hobby Lobby Yarn Bee "Frosting" in Barely Iced which was a pale pink and Creme Plus which was a variegated pink/brown/cream/blue. I used 2 skeins of each, then added one skein each of "I Love This Yarn" in a coffee and a cream. This help added bulk to the afghan and the "Frosting" yarns made the afghan incredibly soft. All the yarns are washable and dry at home in a dryer. It was the 6-Hour Throw free pattern on Lion Brand using Speed Stix. but again I didn't add fringe and this time no border (honestly, I forgot... I started the project at the last minute while I took Patrick to see a movie that I'd already seen). It will be nice enough, though if I were to do it over, I'd definitely add the border like the other ones and I'd make it a bit wider. The pattern calls for 34 stitches cast on, using these yarns I'd probably do at least 40.

It's a gift for a friend in the hospital who has a long rehab ahead of her. I'm hoping the softness of the yarn is pleasant to her touch, like hugging a favorite stuffed animal.

I also finished the baby blankie mentioned back in November, and a baby hat. I'm still working on the kimono and probably will have to give that to the baby's proud "Nana" later.

And finally, I'm finishing up something that while should have been so simple has been incredibly frustrating! I purchased at a post Thanksgiving yarn sale at Fiberge, my favorite LYS, two skeins of Karabella Yarn: Gossamer. The yarn is a fine, very fine thread which was a dark brown color that had copper metallic strands woven into at intermittent spots. I'd seen a completed stole on display and thought it was the perfect gift for one of my friends. It's so delicate and light, it is just beautiful. Working with the yarn for me however was a nightmare because it was fine and delicate. It was a basic stockinette stitch, I used bamboo 15 (everyone in the store who had already made one said 15s were preferable over the specified 17, which was convenient since I didn't have bamboo 17s and they were out of them as well, but had lots of 15! Fortuitous! Also, the women there recommended since I was using 15s, I should probably cast on 70 stitches which I did (I think the pattern called for 50). As simple as this should have been, I started this project 3 times before really liking my work and continuing beyond the the first 5 inches. It just took me an incredible amount of time to get the right tension for working with such a fine yarn. I'm determined to use all two skeins before calling it done and at this time, there's not a lot left. Hopefully this weekend will be the date and I can start on something new.

Perhaps I'll get a chance for a picture of her wearing it, so the real beauty of the stole and the wearer can be fully seen. It's really a gorgeous accessory, perfect for wearing over a black or brown turtleneck I think.

So, Christmas is almost over. So many more things to make and not enough time, but a New Year to do it all in!