Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Books, Garage Sale, and a Lovely Yarn Shop!

The saga continues regarding my quest to organize my home.  The recipe project is finished (see my previous blog entry for details), and I have moved on to our books.  When I say "our books," I'm not referring to a bookshelf tucked away in a corner somewhere.  Oh, no.  We are a family of avid readers who love the feel of a REAL book in out hands.   We are slowly being smothered by all of our books. So, we finally tackled them, keeping this thought in mind:  "Will I read it within the next five years?  If I have already read it, will I read it again?  Was it a life-altering book or possibly a beloved favorite?"  

It actually worked.  When we were finished, we had six banker's boxes full for a garage sale, and 15 full to list on Amazon.  My plan was to finish this project before my upcoming garage sale.

I am impressed with how organized our bookcases look now!  Can you imagine all of those other books crammed willy-nilly in here too?

So ... the next step is the garage sale, which is this coming Saturday.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I have retired from teaching high school reading, and have a lot of classroom supplies, teaching materials, decorations, and hundreds of books to sell.   Adding six more boxes certainly isn't a big deal.  The Amazon listings will take a while, and will probably be my "Fall project."

On to knitting news .....
Well ..........NOTE TO SELF: when purchasing yarn for a child's clothing item, knit the darn thing immediately!!!  Why, you ask?  Well, I'll tell you.  I don't have enough yarn to complete the sweater I am knitting for my grandson for Christmas.  No big deal, right?  After all, someone on Ravelry will probably have some in their stash, or certainly I should be able to find some online.  With the world at our fingertips, surely this should not be a problem.  


Only one person on Ravelry has the yarn in their stash, and has not responded to my message of over a week ago.  I searched online for HOURS and could not find the color ANYWHERE.  So, I decided that two balls of a contrasting oatmeal color would look very nice for the shawl collar.  I ordered them from, and all was well.  Or so I thought.  Now I have finished knitting the back and half of the front of the sweater, and realize I won't have enough red to complete the sleeves.  Guess what I had to do?  Yep ...order more of the oatmeal color to stripe the sleeves.  

Now ....I admit that my gauge was a TAD off stitch less in 4 inches, but for a child's sweater, a tad bigger is better, right?  I seriously don't think that small difference in gauge on a child's size 6-7 should have made such an enormous difference in the amount of yarn needed.  I will definitely make a note on the pattern in case I ever want to make it again.  I will post a picture when the sweater is finally finished.  

Better knitting news .....I finally made it to Criativity in Largo, Florida.  What a lovely shop! All of the people there, both working and "playing," were extremely nice.  Besides yarnie goodness, the shop also has clothing, accessories, toys, games, soaps, and more.  Worth a visit if you are ever in the area!

I couldn't resist the call of the fibers, and bought a skein of Petite Madison (75% Merino, 15% Cashmere, 10% silk) in colorway Harvest to make the "That Nice Stitch Cowl" on Ravelry.  I think I will leave it as a scarf, rather than kitchener it together at the end. The Purl Bee has an excellent video on the kitchener stitch here.  I plan to take this new project to my daughter's house on my upcoming visit.  

Until next time, HAPPY KNITTING!

Monday, August 3, 2015

My New Journey - a More Organized Home ...and knitting news, of course!

Well, I'm finally getting around to organizing things in my house.  It's amazing how much can be accumulated in 15 years and how cluttered things become with everyone working full-time plus!

With the assistance of my youngest daughter, my kitchen counters and cabinets are now greatly improved.  The main change was in cookbooks, recipes and spices.  At her suggestion, I moved my spices to a different cabinet (something I never thought of doing) and purchased some amazing racks from The Container Store.  Next, I went through every cookbook I owned, and marked any recipes I truly thought I might make in the next year or so.  I am still in the process of writing those recipes on cards for my recipe box.  Yes, I'm still old school; I'd rather pull out a card than fre up the iPad when in the kitchen.  I'm passing the cookbooks on to a friend ...reuse, recycle, etc.!

This was the spice cabinet had a double-decker Lazy Susan in it, but spices were tucked everywhere behind it too.  What a mess it was.  This makes much more sense!

My cookbooks were on my kitchen counter, under this cabinet, taking up a huge corner area, always looking messy.  Now they are in a nicely organized baking cabinet.  My recipe box will fit in front of the cookbooks when I am finished.

And, I am extremely happy with my spice cabinet.  As I use up some of the larger ones, I will replace them with smaller ones that will fit in the racks ...then maybe there will be space in here for my Crockpots!

All of this has reignited my desire to cook, and is the first step on my journy to a neater, more organized home!

In knitting news, I have started my Christmas knitting.  Every year I tell myself I am not going to knit gifts for Christmas, but here I am, doing it again anyway.  In my defense, I have two sweaters for grandchildren who will not fit into them for very long if I wait any longer to make them!  Here is a picture of the first one, a Wrap-Collar Sweater that I'm making in a size 6-7 for my grandson.  The wrap-collar will be in an oatmeal color of the same yarn.

Until next time ...happy organizing and happy knitting!