Tag Archive | Central Park Hoodie

Starting Over……Or Picking Up Where I Left Off

Starting over.  It can be a good thing or something not so good.  Starting over and ridding oneself of all the extra stuff that is accumulated over time can be cleansing and liberating.    It is the time to refocus…to reprioritize…to figure out what is important and what can be given away. What once seemed precious is now discarded. And the materials for those projects that were going to be worked on “some day?”  Well, as I have grown older, I realize that some of those projects are never going to be completed, much less get started.  So, out they go to charity or to someone who will complete them.  That is really a good feeling to not feel the pressure to get it done.

Starting over.   It is a good thing.   Thank you for patiently waiting for this post.

Blue Ribbons

The County Fair is long over.  The midway is empty and quiet, and the rides are packed up and  in winter storage.  However…..the excitement remains that I won Best in Show blue ribbon in the Sweater category for the Central Park Hoodie I knitted last winter for my daughter!  I knitted it in Berroco’s Vintage, a worsted weight, wool blend yarn, she choose at the Memory Hagler Knitting Shop in Birmingham.  I used buttons found in a Button Jar at a close friend’s house.  They are perfect for the grey yarn and she had just the right number needed.  It was meant to be!

Central Park Hoodie










In another category, the Charlotte Raglan Tee earned a blue ribbon, too! I called this my Tornado Tee as I started it on April 27th, a terrible day in Alabama’s weather history when so many lives were lost; and from which people are still recovering.  It’s knitted in Lily Chin’s Chelsea.  On a spur of the moment impulse, I entered a yellow Peaches and Cream soap bag and it won a blue ribbon in its category!  The woolen Habitat Hat and the Angora Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf also won ribbons.  My daughter knitted a slipstitch scarf that won a blue ribbon in the Junior knitting category!  Just as exciting was the Best in Show blue ribbon for her delicious chocolate fudge in the Junior Baking Category!  She also won a blue ribbon for her sugar cookies and a red ribbon for her chocolate chip cookies.


My life is far from being dull and routine.  The biggest event in the past month was my miniature schnauzer almost dying from undiagnosed diabetes.  Beemer was lethargic, vomiting and was practically skin and bones. When I left him at the vet’s we were not sure if he would survive the night.  But he did and after a weekend of IV fluids and monitoring blood levels I was able to take Beemer home Monday afternoon.  Right now I’m giving him eight units of insulin twice a day.   He does not have your typical schnauzer cut so we were not able to see that he had lost a lot of weight.  And he’s not your typical house dog.  In fact, the only time he wants to be inside is when it’s too cold or too hot.  So, we were not watching his water intake closely.

Today, Beemer is back to his usual sassy self, barking at passing white cars (my across-the-street-neighbor’s dog taught him to do that) and biting the tires of Bike Man’s motorcycle when he rides.

Beemer, the camera shy dog

Bike Man's restored vintage BMW bike










With all the vet expenses, it’s a good thing I have a great friend who brought wonderful sock yarn when she came to visit for the Colorfest!  I had too much fun….. so much fun that I forgot to take pictures!

And speaking of pictures…..There’s another reason for my neglect in blogging.  My computer has died.  Died as in the screen fading to white then going black.  BLACK!  Nothing.  Zilch.  Zero.  All my pictures, all my partially written blog posts in Word, and  ALL my knitting pdf. files are unobtainable right now.  My Life is in that little, thin, black laptop.  Right now I’m writing to you from the Bike Man’s laptop and it’s just not the same.

But my knitting goes on.

The Toshiba Tecra's Guts

What To Expect

Moonglow Alpaca Farm

Live Oak Shawlette


Mentone’s Farmer’s Market

Lookout Mountain Knitters

Gloves to match the Central Park Hoodie

A hat to match my Cable on the Side Mittens


Revamping Underway

Hi, everybody!  I’m still here but have technical difficulties as my laptop computer screen went white then faded to black…….  My hubby is a former computer programmer and has been all over the internet and back trying to figure out what happened.  His latest opinion as to what happened is that the mother board is gone.  I told him I don’t care I just want to be able to retrieve my documents and pictures. ESPECIALLY my pictures!   So.  I’m waiting for that to happen.  In the meantime, I’m using his laptop when I can.  I will have to re-take some pictures of my ribbon-winning entries in the county fair and my test-knit one-cable mittens.

I have continued to knit during this fiasco.  I knitted a hat to match my test knitted mittens and just yesterday finished gloves for my daughter to match her Central Park Hoodie!  And a local knit group I’m “hosting” is beginning to pick up new members!

Oh, yes.  Add to this mix, my miniature schnauzer almost died from undiagnosed diabetes. Beemer is fine now, up to his usual barking.  I’m giving him insulin shots twice a day.  It’s no big deal, I used to do this for my Nicki kitty 14 years ago.

My plan is to kick off a revamped and, hopefully, improved blog starting December 1.  This is something I have wanted to do so, as the saying goes, “There’s no time like the present.”

Enjoy your holiday this week giving thanks for all things, small and large, known and unknown.  I’m planning to enjoy turkey and my dressing, which my hubby said is better than his mother’s was!  My budding chef, aka known as The Teen-ager, wants to make a pumpkin pie for her daddy.

Until the 1st, be safe, have fun and take care.

Dancing In the Car

Did you know that dancing in the car is not just for teen-agers?  It was a gorgeous day, unlike today with its overcast skies; the sky was blue and the temperature was just right.  I opened the sun roof, rolled down the windows and turned on the radio tuned to a Golden Oldies station.  Up went the volume and I started “dancing” and singing along to the tunes I listened to as a teen-ager and college student.  It was a great trip down the county road on my way to pick up my daughter from high school.  I’m sure that if she had been in the car she would have been mortified and would have slunk down in the seat, not wanting to be seen in the car with this crazy, eccentric woman she calls “Mama” who was rocking to the music.  At least, as much as one can while strapped in a car seat.  Oh, those were the days, truly.  But, no, I don’t want to go back.  I’m having more fun in the Now!

And that Now includes getting ready for the county fair which starts next week and I am getting ready my entries for the Knitting Division.  For the fair, I will confiscate the teen-ager’s # 13 Central Park Hoodie, by Heather Lodinsky, with my details of the CPH  here on Ravelry; and

The Teen-Ager's Central Park Hoodie










my Jared Flood Habitat Hat, which she wears more than I do and here are my details on Ravelry.

Her Habitat Cap









I have recently completed the Charlotte Raglan Tee by Rosemary Drysdale, for Tahki Stacy Charles.  Here are my details on Ravelry:

My "Tornado Tee" also known as the Charlotte Raglan Tee









Also ready to go is my version of the Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf by Heather Bagni for the Classic Elite Yarns Web-Letter, Issue 11, from October 3, 2007.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf








I did not submit any entries last year.  After a feather-and-fan scarf won first place, I thought I would submit my FOs this year.  Anything knitted within the past five years is eligible for entry.  I will let you know how I fare.  (No pun intended!)

It’s FINISHED and the Computer is Dead

I am going through withdrawal because I have finally finished my daughter’s Central Park Hoodie.  And, here’s the best part…..the weather turned cool for two days after the daily highs had been in the 70’s!  I would show you pictures but my laptop computer is dead and I’m working from a dinosaur of a computer which my husband put together and through his expertise made it work and Internet accessible. Yea!  (In a previous life he was a computer programmer and systems analyst. ) It also helps that he was desperate to read his news blogs.  And you wouldn’t believe the screen we’re using…a very old NEC monitor that is huge.  How did we work around such hugeness?  Anyway.  He has ordered the parts that are necessary to make the laptop work again.  And what is even more special is he has ordered a new laptop for himself after his died a while back.  The three of us have been sharing one laptop.  Talk about getting in line….

Now let me add to the above scenario.  This morning a lightning storm came through and one bolt hit the telephone line that comes into the house.  It knocked the receiver off the wall phone!  Remember them?  It’s an old house.  The plug-in for the wireless phones exploded and I found its cover halfway across the room.  Oh yes, it also tripped the breaker that the refrigerator is on.    So, as I write, there are computer parts and power cords in a tangled mess around the chair.  And since there are two incoming telephone lines there is a phone line running from the back room, through the Teen-ager’s room, down the hall and into the living room and is connected to….. another ancient device….a slimline phone from the 80’s.   It was not a dull morning.

I wasn’t kidding about going through withdrawal after finishing the CPH.  Now what do I do?  I’ve already finished a washcloth and have started on another one.  They’re going to be gifts for a nephew who has a new kitchen.  For myself, I am doing a three-needle-bind off on the shoulders of a linen sweater before sewing the side seams using a mattress stitch. 

It’s pouring down rain again and my Monkee kitty is outside.  Well, that is what she gets for wanting to go outside and not coming in when called.  There are times when she stays out all night.  The longest she has been away from home was four nights last summer.  I finally had to go into the woods way behind the house to find her and bring her home.  Makes you wonder if she forgot how to come home….  Yeah, a cat who has forgotten how to get home?  And these woods aren’t that big, about the size of a city block.

As soon as I have access to my pictures I’ll post them of the Teen-ager in her hoodie and give you all the details.  Maybe I’ll use my cell-phone and email the pictures to myself,  Yes!  That will work since I can access my email from this make-do, piece-meal computer.  Until then, take care.  P.S.  Monkee is inside, warm and dry.

My Birthday Is This Week-end

My birthday is this week-end.  It’s a big milestone for me.  Did I say big?  Did I really say just ‘big’?  The one ten years ago was a ‘big’ milestone, this one is a huge milestone.  This birthday is making me take stock of my life and exploring ways I can enhance my life.  Are my priorities in order?  Do I want to make any changes?  If so, what?

Normally I don’t pay much attention to birthdays.  Growing up, my family celebrated birthdays but in my husband’s family they do not get much attention. So, rather than be disappointed over the lack of hoopla, I have chosen to give them not much thought.  However, for this one, I want to celebrate!  Even if it’s nothing more than going out to dinner with my husband and daughter.  And I don’t mean going to a Cracker Barrel.

My daughter has asked me what I want for my birthday and I’m almost at a loss as to what to tell her.  I have come to realize that apart from family and church, my leisure activities are centered around reading and knitting – not necessarily in that order.  I have the circular needles and single point needles that I need.  I have more yarn than I can knit up in the next five years.  I would love to have a set of hand blown glass knitting needles or a pair from Signature Needle Arts.  And, who wouldn’t want a skein or two or even three of cashmere or silk yarn?

When I read, my favorite writers are Southern women who write about Southern women.  We’re complicated, notorious, loyal, funny, serious, catty, flirty, to name just a few characteristics.  I also like books about Ireland, knitters, cats and the East coast.  The last book I read was by Debbie Macomber and before that I read Patrick Taylor’s An Irish County Christmas, my first from him and it will not be my last.  Maybe another of Taylor’s books is what I can suggest for a birthday present?

And I still haven’t blocked my daughter’s Central Park Hoodie.

Writer’s Block or Knitter’s Block or Both?

I have been obsessing, and I mean really obsessing, over knitting short rows for the shoulders for the Central Park Hoodie I’m knitting for my daughter.  I’ve done almost everything except the shoulders.  I’ve knitted the back up to the shoulders, and both front pieces up to the shoulders.  I have looked at YouTube videos on short rows, knitted and purled; and at videos on Japanese short rows.  I’ve read blogs, and have read chapters about it in books.  This has been on my mind so much that it’s the first thing that enters my thoughts when I get up in the morning and it’s what puts me to sleep at night.

So.  Two nights ago I just put my ears back (have you heard of that expression:  “Just put your ears back and do it.”) and started the short rows on the shoulders only to have my half-grown kitten chew halfway through the yarn the next morning.  This is a kitten-cat who has never shown any interest in my yarn and it’s not even 100% wool!  Did you know that “tink” is “knit” spelled backwards?  Sure you did.  Given the nature of short rows, there was no way I could attach nice, clean, whole yarn at the beginning was a row because there is no beginning of a row.  Out came the short rows and I started all over.  However, this time instead of the wrap and turn short rows I knitted the Japanese short row.  We’ll see how this turns out today.

Let me add this.  For the size 36, you bind off 6 stitches each time until you get the proper number of stitches remaining on the needles.  For the first two bind offs, this puts you right in the middle of the purl or knit stitches that frame the cable column.  Because of this I have spaced my bind off stitches every four or seven stitches so I don’t split a column.

What a Wonderful Day!

Last Tuesday was a wonderful autumn day with the sun shining and the yellow leaves swaying in the breeze.  On this day my daughter had her braces taken off after two and a half years!  What a beautiful smile and worth every rubber band found on bathroom counters and tabletops.  Since it was a Special Day we went to a yarn shop in Birmingham to buy yarn for the Central Park Hoodie that I’ve been promising for two years. I bought the pattern on Ravelry. She wanted a gray soft yarn and I wanted a wool yarn that was washable.  We’re talking teen-ager here and I wasn’t going to be taking this to the dry cleaners, which is 14 miles away.  And I certainly wasn’t going to be hand washing this hoodie.  We settled on Berroco’s Vintage, which is a nice, washable wool blend of acrylic, wool and nylon the medium gray colorway number 5107.  Progress is coming right along with the hoodie but I’m worried that it won’t be warm enough.  I’m knitting this using a size 8 needle and the fabric is not very dense.  It’s great to work with, the yarn is sliding off my Hiya Hiya circulars.  The cable stitches are showing up great in this yarn.

Below are pictures of the swatch I made before knitting and yes, the size 8 called for in the pattern made gauge without any needle adjustments.  I like the way the yarn bloomed after washing, too.

After deciding on this yarn, Only Daughter wanted a pair of gloves in a contrasting color to go with this hoodie. She picked out another Berroco yarn for the gloves in lovely blue.  I’m planning on using a pattern I found on Ravelry, The Malabrigo Gloves; only I’m not using that particular yarn.  If the swatch doesn’t look right, I’ll find another pattern.  If you have any other suggestions please let me know. 

The Special Day was topped off with going to Books-A-Million and getting three books for her and one for me!