Break Time

Pandora's sweater (2)

It is pretty good to be home after weeks on the road. It has taken me all week to make progress on getting caught up on things around here, but I am getting there. I spent the first part of the week doing taxes, bookkeeping and the children’s lessons. It was even good to just spend my Saturday morning giving the house a good scrubbing. I finally feel like I can slow down a bit. I still have a to-do list of business plans to get through, but this day and Sunday are a time to refresh.

As you can see I have been coming along on the baby sweater design. I opted for lace edging on the sleeves. I have started the bodice section which shouldn’t take much time at all. I may even have it all finished by my next post which I will try to keep up with more regularly this month. Smile

It finally looks like spring


While I have been busy travelling spring has finally arrived in Tennessee. The peach blossoms against the clear blue sky yesterday were begging to be photographed.


I can’t remember what this flowering shrub is called. If anyone knows leave me a comment.


These little wild violets are all over the place in our lawn.

I am off today on my last trip until early May. I will have a nice little break of four weeks starting Tuesday. I am on my way to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the DFW Fiber Fest. I will get there late tomorrow afternoon and set up the booth on Thursday.

I haven’t made much progress on the baby sweater so I didn’t take a new picture. I may get some time Wednesday and Thursday evening to knit and if that happens I may get the bodice started.

Happy spring! Hope it’s looking more colorful where you are too!

Filling the Days

JimiShawl (1)

Well I think I have discovered just why Jimi is so popular with the knitters in Dee’s Ravelry group. It is wicked fast to knit. I am only 10 rows away from completion and that’s after adding six stripes to that section to make it a bit bigger since my yarn is lighter than the original yarn used. It is great movie knitting too for obvious reasons. To be fair I have had more knitting time the last two days than I normally do because of my layover between festivals in Virginia but still it is a fast and satisfying project.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (4)

I did a tiny bit of sightseeing here in Winchester yesterday. I visited the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and spent a couple hours wandering about. It was all self guided which I much prefer. I have more pictures than these but I didn’t want to overload the post so here are a few highlights.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (2)

This miniature and the one made from a stump above were exquisitely hand made from wood. This castle is assembled from little “bricks” made from mahogany and cherry.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (6)

I just had to show you the spinning wheel. There were some needle work pieces but the pictures weren’t as good.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (9)

They have a neat collection of miniatures but despite the fancier houses I was drawn to this one. I suppose it is more the kind of place I probably would have lived in if I had lived a couple hundred years ago.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (14)

The gardens were very nice to stroll through. I put on my headphones and listened to the Brandenburg Concertos and some Mozart.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (15)

I was particularly drawn to the Water Garden area.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (16)

This little sitting area would make lovely reading spot, wouldn’t it?

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (17)

Here’s the view from inside where you can see the pond.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (18)

There are some pretty big fish in it.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (19)

Cool little walk through in the stone wall that enters into the Oriental Garden.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (20)

I loved this little bridge and what is at the bottom of it…

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (21)

It reminds me of Frodo’s door. Okay, I know it’s fancier but it’s the round part that was so cool to me.

ShenandoahValleyMuseum (22)

It has been raining a lot here and I am concerned about this coming weekend. The Fall Fiber Festival is all in tents and all the vendor and customer parking is on the field. It is really nasty when wet. It is not raining today at least so I am going out to do a little grocery shopping. Hoping the hurricane in the Atlantic veers out to sea and some drying out can happen before Friday.

From Virginia


Well here I am once again in the lovely and historic Shenandoah Valley. The SVFF is such a fabulous festival; just the right size IMO, without the stress and bustle of some other festivals and full of fabulous knitters. Smile

Knitters love to show off their creations and many of my customers bring in things they have made with my yarn. Rarely do I think to take pictures of them, except for yesterday. I present you with Sarah Paukstis’s (pinkbunny on Ravelry) Tempest Cardigan in my Classic Merino Superwash Sock Yarn in Azure and Green Apple. I just adore those buttons too and before you ask, she said she found them at Joann’s. That is where I get mine too. Amazingly I can usually find the perfect buttons there.

SVFF-2015 (4)

So anyway, here’s your obligatory booth shot from Friday. I finished setting up by about 2:00 pm and headed over to the Apple Blossom Mall to hang out and look for some cd’s and dvd’s.  I wanted to get the new Chris Cornell solo project  Higher Truth and I found that at F.Y.E.It is very good if you like vocals and acoustic music. He could be singing the phonebook and it would sound heavenly.

The internet at the hotel is horrid. I have been using my AT&T bandwidth from my phone for surfing but video streaming eats up too much of it. I am at the last episode in season 6 of the X-Files. I may buy 7 on dvd if the internet doesn’t improve on Monday. I have a feeling it’s so slow because the hotel is full but most will probably clear out today and it may speed up. In the mean time I did buy Les Miserables (2012) because I finished the book on the drive down and want to re-watch it. I also picked up The Imitation Game which I watched last night. It was interesting and I love anything with Benedict Cumberpatch. Smile


Before I sign off, here’s my new glasses. I like them and was so happy they came in Wednesday morning so that I could pick them up before I left in the afternoon. I took this with my new laptop webcam. Not too shabby. Winking smile

Sennheiser in the Mail


Okay here’s a glimpse at the lace border on the Chance of Showers Cardigan. I am on the last repeat here and after that all that remains to knit is the front and neck edge which is all in one IIRC.


Just for fun, I lately acquired some new headphones which I have been eyeing for awhile. They are the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 in Ivory.  They recently went on sale so I pulled the trigger on them and they arrived today. I will mainly use these with my phone and tablet. They need some burn in time to open up the soundstage, but so far I am pleased with them.


I got this upgrade cable for when I use them with my laptop. It came with a thinner cable that has a Android controls on it which is great when you are using it with a phone but not so great with a computer.


Which brings me to the other reason I wanted them which is for watchinhg Blurays on my laptop. I needed some good headphones that will work straight from my laptop headphone jack because my amplifier that I use with my favorite headphones has a USB interface which for some reason will not allow me to play Bluray discs when it is plugged in. The Momentums sound great amped but sound fine without as well.


These are my most treasured set of cans, Sennheiser HD650, and they sound like butter when properly amped but are not for use straight off of the laptop sound card. I use them for most of my music and movie watching. Worth every penny I spent on them. Smile

I hope I didn’t bore you with my audiophile geek fest. Smile

It’s here!


My new computer arrived yesterday and it is sure taking awhile to get settled in. All my data ported over from my cloud drives and I am almost done installing my programs and getting everything how I want it.

I love it! I haven’t had time to try out the Bluray player yet but everything else is working great. I am really liking Windows 10 too. I did opt out of lots of snoopy MS settings and I disabled Cortana. I don’t use OK Google on my Android devices either. It kind of creeps me out to talk to my electronics. Oddly I have no problem whatsoever with holding conversations with myself, but that is where it ends. Open-mouthed smile


Before the computer arrived I managed to get out in the studio and get the color mixes worked out for the custom dye work I need to get done this week. I had to tweak two of them and now I just have to get off this computer and mix the dyes. I will probably get the fiber done by Saturday if not before.

What Next?

Stitches Midwest 2015 is over for another year and I have a couple days off, so what to do?

I finished the ladies Sorrel on Sunday and I hesitate to show it to you unblocked but since here it is. I am waiting until I get home to wash and block it since I have only coin operated washers here at the hotel and it will be better handled at home. So, this is the best I can do for now. It will be much improved from a good blocking.


So while I should be working on the pattern write up, and I will get to that soon, instead I picked back up my Summer Showers and started the right sleeve. :-)


What else am I doing with my time here in Schaumburg? Well boring and geeky person that I am I first attempted to upgrade to Windows 10 since that came through over the weekend.


I was able to get that done in a little over an hour yesterday morning BUT in the end spent many more hours trying unsuccessfully to find a workable driver for my Intel HD Integrated Graphics. I tried searching at Intel and Toshiba in Safe Mode with Networking but so far nothing for sure that will work. From what I could see of Windows 10 around the difficulty of a annoyingly flickering screen and barely responsive navigation (except for Task Manager which I could get up using CTRL_ALT_DEL), I am looking forward to it on the new computer I ended up ordering from Toshiba Direct. My current laptop is basically fine but it is 5 years old and I have been planning to upgrade this year anyway. This just convinced me it was time. Kyla will probably be getting this one later this month. :-) Oh, and I was pretty painlessly able to roll back to Windows 7 for any one out there who wanted to know. I wouldn’t have even attempted it this week if I didn’t know that was an option.

So yesterday afternoon I decided to get out of the room for a bit. There is a Half Price Books just down the road that I always hit a time of two while I am here. Not too much damage was done but I found a few vinyls and a CD.


I think I’ll head out to Woodfield Mall just to get out of the room this morning while I am running a backup of my computer in preparation for my sweet new machine coming soon after I get home. Can’t wait! See you later.

A mixed bag of updates

Hello! I have quite a few things to share so I will get right to it.

Why don’t we start with a pretty new shawl?

Glenallen 9-2014 (3)

Cassie finished the knitting of Glenallen on Sunday but I just got it blocked yesterday.

Glenallen 9-2014 (1)

The color is closer to the picture in the middle with Cassie wearing it.

Glenallen 9-2014 (4)

You can see it in person, along with all the other fabulous samples we have been busy knitting up for you this year, at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in Berryville, VA this weekend. We are actually going to go one step further that that. Not only can you see the shawls and yarn in person, you have a unique opportunity to pick the brains of the designer! That’s right! We are hosting Dee O’Keefe of Designs by Dee in our booth this Saturday afternoon from 1-4 for a meet and greet. While you are there you can enter our little contest for your chance to win 5 DBD patterns of your choice (digital copy only). No purchase necessary to enter, we just need contact information. Sound fun?

In other news, I have kitchen remodel pictures to show you and man am I happy with how this is coming along? You better believe it!

Kitchen remodel cabinet doors (1)

This is what I found when I came home on Monday. :-) I am excited to see what progress is made over my 12 day absence while we are in Virginia for the back to back festivals. Talk to you soon.

Kitchen remodel cabinet doors (2)

Last day in Chicago

Opening night at Stitches Midwest last week were they only pictures I remembered to take and that with my phone. Here are the excited knitters after the gates were opened on Thursday night. :-)

Chicago August 2014 (3)

Here’s a quick shot of my booth before they arrived.

Chicago August 2014 (2)

After the show and the booth was all loaded back I the trailer Cassie and I had three days with no definite plans. I guess I am a bit of a hermit even when I am on the road because we have just kicked around Schaumburg a bit doing some book and music shopping mostly.

This is a little of what I bought and we when we weren’t shopping we have been just reading, listening to new music, watching videos and a little knitting too. No doubt some would find this a boring way to spend your days off but I rather enjoy having nothing to do but bum around every now and then. :-)

Chicago August 2014 (1)

We are staying in a place with a kitchenette so we went to the Whole Foods and stocked up on good stuff so we haven’t had to eat out for the last 9 day at least. I feel better when I eat healthier.

Chicago August 2014 (4)

Today I went to Kohl’s and found a new hand bag and wallet to replace mine which I have been carrying for a long time and they were looking very worn and tired. What do you think? I love the color!

Chicago August 2014 5

We leave for Allegan, Michigan in the morning and will be setting up the booth in the afternoon/evening. Leisure time is over and it’s time to get back to work. Talk to you again from the eastern time zone!

Mini vacation

Quick phone post today.

The weather is like early fall here in Schaumburg this week. Wehave taken in a little shopping and just kicking back.

I have finished the second book in the Dark Tower series and am about to start the third as soon as I finish this post.

Here’s a view of my reading spot for the afternoon.


I was hanging out at the covered patio reading yesterday during a brief rain shower when I was joined by one if these little fellows.


In case you can’t tell he is literally inches from my foot. Here’s proof.


No doubt he was hoping  for a handout but he went away disappointed. 

I actually pulled out my knitting last night and worked a few rounds. Didn’t take a picture to prove it but maybe I can do one better and have it finished by next post. I am ever the optimist.

Maybe Brookfield Zoo tomorrow.  Later!