Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Where have I been??

Thursday, December 27th, 2012
It's been over two months since I've blogged!!! So much has happened and it has just been so crazy of late. That happens, from time to time, I guess. Sigh…
What have I/we been up to?
Jermaine and I took a very relaxing trip to the Florida Keys:
I basically spent a week in a hammock and it was fantastic! We spent our second anniversary at a very nice Lady-and-the-Tramp-like Italian restaurant in Key Largo…very delicious and romantic.
Then we came home just in time for Hurricane Sandy:
Fortunately we were fine but I can not say the same for my cousin and his family in New Jersey. They were without power for a week. So many families had more issues to deal with too with all the damage to properties.
Then there was the election.
Maryland legalized gay marriage. Wohhooooo!!!! I am so proud of my state!
Work has been so crazy for the both of us. The craziness for my job occurred a little earlier this year. Luckily, it will always be busy but the crazy, ER-quality pace has dissipated.

Jermaine and I are enjoying a nice Christmas. Here is a picture of our Christmas tree:


It's what tress often turn into, no? :-)

Craft-wise and book-wise, I've:

  • Finished 11 books. No idea if I'll be able to write reviews for every single one
  • Finished three pairs of socks for girlfriends and one pair for moi.
  • Made two fairly nice necklaces for my boss and my mom. I've come a long way since making necklaces out of macaroni teehee
  • Started knitting a monster for the 600 Monsters Strong group. Inspired by the terrible traders in Newtown this December, this group aims to send these knitted monsters to kids impacted by gun violence.
I hope to share more here in the upcoming months. I feel bad that I have gone MIA both with my blogging and my commenting. I hope to change that.
Happy 2013, everyone!!!

First Finished Object of 2012

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

…was for an adorable family friend’s puppy. Ms. Chloe got her sweater this past week

Chloe's Sweater

Pattern: Side Button Greyhound Sweater by Terri Lee Royea
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash, 275 yards
Colorway(s): Purple
Needle(s): US 8 – 5.0 mm
Casted On: July 6, 2011
Casted Off: January 25, 2012
Modifications: None

I was very pattern dependent for this project because I see Chloe about a half a dozen times a year. I don’t have “access” to a dog to always to a fitting. Nothing even close. So I stayed strictly with the pattern and to how it will then fit Chloe.

I made the XL version of this pattern because I was knitting it at a smaller gauge and…let’s face it. Chloe ain’t a skinny greyhound. :-) I think she enjoys it. When dad went up to Debbi’s house to give it to her, he told me it wasn’t as hard as he anticipated putting it on her and once they did, she appeared pretty comfortable in it. YAY!

Chloe's Sweater

She's probably thanking Debbi for the nice sweater. Teehee

It wasn’t the most EXCITING knit in the world. 5×2 ribbing can get old after a while. But lil Chloe needs the sweater. I know she’ll get a lot of use out of it and appreciate the warmth it gives her after a long walk and her baths.

Chloe's Sweater

Last summer Deb had to say good bye to one of her puppies, Connor. I had talked about it here. While no one will replace dear Connor, I’m pleased to share that she got a new dog from a rescue league named Nala. Isn’t she pretty??


The only downer is her coat is so thick, doesn’t seem like she’ll need a sweater. Sigh

OK Gotta get back to cooking stuff for our football get together!

2 out of 4 Now Completed!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

I have finished my Christmas stocking:

Laura's Christmas Stocking

And now only two more to go!

Pattern:A NEW Mom’s Christmas Stocking by Dorene Delaney Giordano from her Ravelry Store (Note – This is a toe-up pattern)
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Patons Pure Merino.
Colorway(s): Purple and Gray.
Needle(s): US 3– 3.25 mm
Casted On: November 5, 2011
Casted Off: December 4, 2011
Modifications:  Like with the previous stocking, I wanted to make it bigger. I based the instep on 60 stitches (3 pattern repeats) and the sole on 40, making the total stitch count 100 and not what the pattern stated-100.

This made the fabric VERY dense so towards the end of knitting it, it was a rather rough knit! But I still like the final result:
Laura's Christmas Stocking

I just love stars so I knew this pattern had to be the one for my stocking. :-)

Laura's Christmas Stocking

I am not entirely sure I’ll get Layla and Luna’s stocking done in time for CHRISTMAS DAY but I hope to get them done within a months time. I’ve started on Ms. Luna’s:

Luna's Christ Stockin

She is a kitty that loves being in the center of attention. She has a super hero complex as well. So I found it only appropriate to use bright colors for her.

Layla on the other hand is a very gentle soul. Calm and soothing colors were required to match her personality however the combination still had to provide enough contrast for the stranded pattern to be visible. And yes, I’m sure plenty might say I was definitely over-thinking what colors I would use for her. I wanted to get it right though. I finally found it:

Cascade 220 Sport

Seeeeeeeeeeeee….soothing colors but will still provide some wonderful contrast.

Have a great weekend everyone. Knitters, getting all those handknits done for the holidays? What all are you making for loved ones?

One Down….Three more to go…

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

We adopted Layla and Luna in 2005. Back then, I was quilting more than knitting. I started picking up knitting more seriously at the weeeee end of 2006. By the time 2007 came around, the knitting bug hit hard and it became my primary craft. Then, in 2008, I said, out loud, “You know honey, it would be great if I knitted each of us a stocking for Christmas.” Cute idea right?

And naturally I didn’t actually start one till 2009:


Note: This pic was taken 8/23/09

I’m not proud. It took Jermaine and me buying our house to realize I really really wanted all of us to have a stocking this Christmas.
Jermaine’s, I knew, would be the most difficult. His name is just too long–8 letters. Why does that make a difference? I wanted our stockings all to have our names shown on one half of the stocking. Jermain’s name required about 70 stitches, so that doubled would make for a 140 stitch stocking. Depending on what yarn I’d use, sizing and shaping would vary.

So there’s that fine line between one hand where I make him a stocking out of fingering weight yarn, size 1 needles and it taking forever OR, on the other hand, I make him one that ends up so big it can fit Luna.

I then found designs by 2 Sticks and a String on Ravelry and I knew these were the patterns I wanted for our family stockings! :-) I grew up with stockings a little bigger than her planned schematic but overall, I really like the designs!

And with this, I present Jermaine’s finished Christmas Stocking:

Jermaine's Stocking

Jermaine's Stocking

Pattern: A NEW Dad’s Christmas Stocking by Dorene Delaney Giordano from her Ravelry Store (Note – This is a toe-up pattern)
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Sport
Colorway(s): Aurora Heather (green) & Dove Heather (white/gray)
Needle(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm & US 2½ – 3.0 mm
Casted On: October 7, 2011
Casted Off: November 5, 2011

  1. This pattern was based on repeats of 20. So to add some width because of my preference and because of the length of Jermaine’s name, I expanded the stocking to 120 stitches, as opposed to the 80 it called for. So for the instep, heel and “leg” portion, I used size 2.5 needles. After the border on the top, but before Jermaine’s name, I changed to size US 1-2.25 needles and increased twenty stitches evenly by making one stitch after every six stitches. I was concerned that the stocking sizing would look off but with the needle size decrease, everything coincided nicely.
  2. 120 stitches made for an awkward heel flap, so I ripped it and did a short row heel (I mean it’s not like Jermaine is actually going to wear this. It’s for stuffing present(s) in! ).
  3. I also did an i-chord bind off. This was a first time doing this bind-off for me. Sure, it’s not the quickest one in the world, but it gives the stocking a very nice edging. It’s curling over a little bit, as you can see so perhaps I should go up a needle size the next time I use it? I don’t know.  But this certainly won’t be the last time I use it.

I know this project came with a lot of false starts. (Did you notice the first pic? How there’s no gold in the final stocking? That was Jermaine’s request and I was more than happy about that. Never been a fan of golds/yellows/oranges.) But I am quite pleased with the end result.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd I’m half way done with my stocking :-D

Laura's Stocking

Knitting good for the soul….

Monday, July 11th, 2011

That’s not news. Of course it isn’t. But I’ve realized something of late just how true it is.

My buddy Deb lost her sweet boy to cancer on July 5. Granted I didn’t see Connor daily, weekly or even monthly but it was always nice to go up to her house and see him. He was just such a sweet boy.


If something is bothering me, I wear it on my sleeve. Deb, on the other hand, often keeps things to herself. And that’s fine. If anything, I wish I was more like that. So when Deb announced this, I just kept saying to myself “Leave her alone. She knows she can call. Don’t get all up in her face right now, Laura.”

OK Fine. But I had to do something. I miss Connor. I sort things emotionally through doing things. How could I find that something while respecting Deb’s wishes to be left alone.

Then I remembered! She asked me to make a sweater for her other puppeh, Ms. Chloe. I can do something for Deb and Ms. Chloe while remembering Connor’s memory and leaving my buddy alone.

Here’s Ms. Chloe


Isn’t she a cutie?? Nine years old with a lotta puppy in her :-)

I started The Side Button Greyhound Sweater for her:

Puppeh Sweater
 And yes, the purple shall match her collar. :D

I don’t have dogs or even one closer to me to model the sweater as I knit it. So I wanted to pick a very detailed pattern that will help me and my lack of canine companions. So I picked the Side Button Greyhound Sweater. Yeah, sure, Chloe’s a mut and is a little big in comparison to the very athletic greyhound but it’s still a very good foundation for a sweater. I’m fine with adding length and width to a pattern. No problem! But where I should start short rows for the shoulders for a pup? No clue! So I called it my Greyhound Sweater for a Mut

I show my love and support through knitting. My mom cooks food for people and tells guests to come with tupperware. I knit socks for cold nights and shawls for friends with family members dealing with cancer. Perhaps there was a reason I didn’t start making Chloe’s sweater till now, when I’ve had her measurements for about a month now. This will be quite therapeutic for me and hopefully Ms. Chloe will have a sweater for this winter! :D

I’m about to steek my Autumn Rose Pullover. VERY exciting! :D


Socks! And Oh Yes, I’m GETTING MARRIED!

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I seem to be in a sock mood of late. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that Christmas is coming up so I have to get a start on some presents…like what I haven’t already done this summer was enough :-)

Socks! The first is the free pattern off Ravelry named Dionysus Socks. I love the crazy cables zig zagging left and right down the sock. My Snow Under Cedars socks satisfied an itch I was having to do some fair isle. It, of course did the trick! Finally, I love the lacy vines in my In the Peaceful Forrest Socks, made with the warmest sock yarn I think known to knitters – Mountain Colors Bearfoot. I loooooooooove this yarn!

Socks make great traveling projects too.

Why did I mention traveling?



Wedding Bands Yes after about a year of planning, some tears and a ton of laughter, Jermaine and I are finally getting married this weekend and heading off to our honeymoon soon thereafter. These lovely projects might just be completed after we get back.

I know I’ve been quiet of late. Been busy planning this little shin dig  but also I don’t want to post a blog with just saying “Look….this sleeve grew three inches since last I blogged.

When I get back, I will be finishing up Hallett’s Ledge and hopefully made more progress on my Lattice Lace Pullover.

More to come later, this my last blog entry as a single lady! :D

Snow, Roughing It & Ravelympic Poll

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

On Friday February 5, DC got hit with a record breaking snowstorm. See…lemme show you it from space

I did some research and found this out

Our big weekend storm surged Reagan National Airport’s seasonal total to 45″ with the balance of February and March yet to go. This places our current winter in position number three for the snowiest winters on record, behind 1995-96 (46″) and the big one, 1898-99 (54.4″). Of course, that all-time record was set at a more downtown location (M Street), so some may argue the higher elevation and location away from the Potomac was an easier accomplishment. But in my mind, that makes this potential record season all the more notable.

And on Friday night, at about 2250, Jermaine and I lost power that we did not get back till Monday morning. It was fun on Saturday. Jermaine and I played a hysterical game of Trivial Pursuit. But I have to say, as our apartment’s temperature was dropping, the fun was dissipating. I felt how cold Layla and Luna’s paws were through multiple blankets!

365.37 Mom and Ray got their power back on Sunday morning and invited the whole family up to their house. So Jermaine and the kittehs and I went up to mom’s house. I have to tell you it was the most stressful car ride of my life! Roads still weren’t clear making it so so stressful. I got out of the car, shaking and simply said two words to mom “booze please!” I have to say that my mom is pretty damn hip but it still had to be weird for her to hear her little girl request demand that!

I have to say, it was stressful being at someone else’s house. Especially knowing that they’re breaking their rental agreement allowing kittehs to stay the night. (I was nervous they would view the carpet as a scratching post :-SS ) That said, it was also great spending the night at home with my mom like old times, something I haven’t done since I graduated from college. We enjoyed watching the Super Bowl (Congrats, Saints!!) and said nighty nighty, like old times…I woke up and my sweet mom made me pancakes. How amazing was that? So there are parts of me that want to go back to my old life–working, relaxing at home….but there is a another part of me that really enjoyed the time I spent with mom and Ray. And popping by Dad’s place to make sure he was ok too. It was like we were all a team helping each other out. I went over to dad’s to help him out and we, in turn, borrowed his metal shovel.

Now I have a poll for Ravelympics  ;;)

Should I cast one of these sweaters?

Seneca (Ravelry Link)

or Henley Perfected (Ravelry Link)

These would be for the Sweaterboard Cross event. Only one, mind you. :-) It is either I cast on one of those lovely pullovers or I finish one Lace Cardigan in the WIP Dancing Event

this yarn… so so lucious

I am a sucker for these polls, so tell me what you think!!

What should my Ravelympics project be?
Sweaterboard Cross – Seneca by Jared FloodSweaterboard Cross – Henley Perfected by Connie Chang Chinchio

WIP Dancing – Botanical Lace Cardigan by Margaret Atkinson

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