Friday, February 27, 2015

RAK Week Three

Like my blog buddy, Shug, over at My Steps of Faith, I find it hard to share the kind things I might do for others, but do so simply to inspire others.

My RAK this week didn't take much effort. I  shared some soup with the widow who lives across the street from me. I had some friends over for lunch, made a big pot of soup, and after everyone left, while cleaning up, I thought to share a bowl before putting the remainder into the refrigerator.  She was surprised to find me behind her door, and had a huge smile when I told her I brought her some soup that I thought she might enjoy for dinner.

Thank you Betsy for encouraging all of us to be a bit kinder each day. Check out Betsy blog here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Baby Leaf Blanket is Complete

I still need to block it before I gift it, but the Baby Leaf Blanket is off my needles!

The blanket is so soft and inviting; I love the leaves. It will be gifted to a dear friend who 
is awaiting the arrival of her first grandchild.

I had taken the blanket off my needles last week after knitting five repeats of the pattern as suggested, but it was too small so I "frogged" and put it back on my needles to continue knitting. I added an additional three repeats and am now happy with the size.

Once it is blocked it may be even a bit bigger, which is better than too small.

The pattern is free on Ravelry.  It calls to be knitted with double stranded yarn, but I didn't want such a bulky blanket and decided to knit using one strand of worsted weight yarn. Hence, I had to modify the pattern.  

I co 160 stitches using size 6 needles and knit eight pattern repeats instead of five. I used nearly four skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn (color seaspray).

Friday, February 20, 2015

RAK Week Two

It is hard to talk about what kind acts I do for people, because when done I really don't want credit or accolades for the act, but because I have joined Betsy's four week challenge I made the choice to share and encourage others to do random acts of kindness too.

It has been very cold in this part of the world lately, so I went through the box of gloves, scarves and hats that I have and pulled out those that I don't use any more and put them in my car. As I drive
around town if I see someone without gloves, or in need of a hat or scarf, I offer one of mine!

For more inspiring stories visit Betsy's blog here

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Making Progress

Well, the black hat for my husband is complete .....

That Chocolate's Gone Straight to Your Ribs
...he was happy when he came home yesterday and was able to try on a second "Chocolate's Gone Straight to Your Ribs" hat. I love the name of this pattern and it's so easy to knit! This one is without the rolled up cuff. He will wear it with his casual dress jacket, so I thought cuff-less was a bit more dressy.

Second, project half done would be the leg-warmer project! Now, you would think that leg warmers would be just a simple tube, knit in the round until you're satisfied with the length. Well, I am here to tell you that is not the case when you are knitting them for someone who lives over 4,000 miles away and they can't try them on for size!

There are over 1400 leg-warmer patterns on Ravelry.  Oh, you read me right; fourteen hundred! First, I asked my buddy, Nancy, over at Cats 'N Knit, for the pattern she used for her Noro Leg Warmers, which I fully intended to use since I actually saw her wearing them, and I liked them. However, when I cast on using the directions she gave me, I could not get my foot/ankle through the opening. Usually I am a loose knitter, so perhaps it was the yarn and needles size difference. Anyway, I decided I would do a quick Ravelry search and see what I would come up with, and out of the 1,400 patterns offered there I decided I would try a pair designed by Brenda Patermoster.  "Why her pattern?" you ask! Well, because I got tired of looking.

Oh the saga goes on...

Brenda's leg-warmers had little descriptors with it, but hey they are leg-warmers, right!?  Well, Brenda's leg-warmers must go completely up the thigh, because she had me increasing to a width that was unimaginable for any human calf and the length seemed for that of a giant's leg.  When finally I came to that realization I did some "frogging" and decreased the number of stitches for  top opening and cast off when I thought I was at an appropriate length for my daughter's long shapely leg.

I shall model it for you here......

Without slouching, the leg-warmer comes over my knee. That might be okay since my daughter is about five inches taller than me.

Notice I am wearing the leg-warmer over my jeans! My daughter's legs are also thinner than mine!!! So, here's the plan: I am going to mail her ONE leg-warmer, which she says she will wear over her jeans sometimes and over her tights other times. If she is happy with the fit I will make the second leg-warmer. If she is not happy with the fit, I will ask that she return the leg-warmer to me, so I can reuse the yarn and I will start all over.

You're probably saying, " Rose, really, by the time she gets the pair it will be spring!" Well, as I said she is over 4,000 miles away, but I didn't tell you, away is Alaska. They have more cold weather year round than not, so I am pretty safe in getting them done and sent to her whenever. Although, this winter it has been colder here than there, and we've had more snow here than she has had there. Go figure!

While I'm waiting for the leg-warmer decision, I will continue on the Baby Leaf blanket, which is about three-fourths of the way done. Hopefully, it will be completed by the time I get the 'Knit or not to Knit" call from my daughter.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Year Was 1966

Hummm......what were you doing in 1966!?


Jim, who writes from the man's perspective on his blog, The Masculine Pen, wrote an interesting post, which got me thinking about writing.  As a teacher, I would give my students random newspaper pictures without captions, or objects pulled from a hat to get their creative juices flowing. Do you think I give myself such challenges? Of course not! I toy with writing from time to time, but most of my writing is done right here on my blog, and none of it too creative or challenging. So, when I read his post, which you can read here,  I decided to dig into my wallet and see what coin I would grab without peeking,  and what year I would need to think about. As you see in the photo above, it was a 1966 dime.

So, what was I doing in 1966?

Well, first I had to do the math to obtain my age that year, and I was TWELVE...yep, 12 years old, and I would have been in the 7th grade.  Obviously, a tween, and I am sure I was starting to feel very grown-up. There is one event that always stands out in my mind that year, which was rather, "grown-up," and that is that I went to see my first adult  movie (not as in in not a child's film), alone!

We lived only a few blocks from the movie theater, and I am not even sure my parents knew that I went to the movies that Saturday afternoon. If they did, they certainly did not know what movie I went to see, nor would they have read the reviews. Did they put reviews in the newspaper then? Were movies even rated then? I wanted to see this particular movie only because I liked the theme song that I often heard on the radio.  The movie was "Georgy Girl" remember the song? Such a happy song, if you recall. The movie was not exactly the as happy as the tune.  I did not understand anything going on in the movie, I found it to be very boring and confusing. After all, I was a 12 year old, sheltered, Catholic school girl!  I cannot recall any scene other that the  scene when Georgy was swinging down the street so fancy free! (as the song goes)  I had to look at clips to recall anything else, and oh my what a movie it was.

I've embedded a clip of the movie, which NO 12 year old girl should've watched, yet alone....

...and to help you recall, or maybe present to you for the first time, the song that enticed me to go see the movie.

Such a sweet happy song.....who knew the movie was so deep!  Seriously, I could not tell you anything more about the movie, thankfully, it did not imprint on in my mind.

Random Acts of Kindness

Betsy, at My Five Men, has challenged her readers to four Fridays, which we will perform Random Acts of Kindness. I am coming late to the party, because I just discovered her blog today when an email popped up in my inbox from Tanna, at The Brickstreet Bungalow. However, I love R.A.K and do try to practice it regularly. Realizing if you are planning the acts they aren't really all that random, I sat and tried to think of the ways I might have been kind this past week without too much preparation.  At first I thought, "Oh Dear, haven't I been kind to anyone?!"  but then realized, I was kind to several people and randomly at that.

  • I asked my mom if she'd like me to take her to the nursing home to visit her brother who suffers from Alzheimer's, of course she said she would like that, so we went. 

Seeing them together is always bittersweet.

  • At the Alzheimer's skilled nursing home I took the time to talk to a beautiful woman who seemed happy that I had arrived, even though I wasn't there to visit her, she thought I was, so I went along with it until she moved on to something else.  Talking with her, made me very happy too!

  • Yesterday, the actual day of the 1st week R.A.K challenge, I had just gotten home from a busy day and my mom asked if I had had a chance to get to the library. We are expecting snow today and she had no more books to read. I had forgotten, but with a smile, I picked up her bag, turned around and off to the library I went. I  came back with a bag full of wonderful stories to keep her busy all week! She was happy and it made my heart smile.

Thank you, Betsy for the challenge and for reminding me that nice matters!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Woman's Day 1985
Using variegated yarn and a learn to knit pattern from a Woman's Day magazine,
I was off an knitting!

Modeled by my daughter, This was my very first knitting project.....

 Gotta love the 80's!

I haven't asked her lately if she's worn the sweater, but I gave it to her!

I think the retro style looks great on her.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I am having a problem staying focused!  

Right now there are three different projects in my knitting basket:

I am still working on the Baby Leaf Blanket, which I love, and I started a black hat for my husband. He likes the neutral color hat I made him and so he said he'd like the same hat in black. Of course I want to oblige. Third, I have started a pair of leg warmers for my daughter. 

I just don't know which project to pick up first! 

I definitely have K.A.D.D. (Knitting Attention Deficit Disorder).  The only known cure is to keep on knitting until there are no projects left in the world knit!

Delicious Italian Dishes

I am Italian and I LOVE pasta! Both of these pasta recipes are from Skinny Taste.

Lasagna rolls are not a new or original idea, but this recipe was absolutely delicious. Of course I modified the original recipe slightly, but......

Spinach Lasagna Rolls (6 pts.+)
Photo was taken prior to baking

...they were so good!  The only change I made was using whole milk ricotta and whole milk mozzarella cheese in place of the low-fat versions. Those changes increased the WW point value by 2 points, but I believe in using the 'real' thing whenever possible.

The Spinach Lasagna recipe can be found here.

Then, tonight I made this easy and delicious macaroni casserole. Did I modify the recipe you ask?  Why of course!

Skinny Taste's Easy Macaroni Casserole (11pts.+)
The photo is from Skinny Taste's Website
My substitutions:
I did not add onion, and I did not use any water!  
I used a jar of Bertolli Organic Olive Oil, Basil, and Garlic sauce in place of the marinara sauce.

The recipe for this quick and delicious macaroni casserole from Skinny Taste can be found here.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Priest Singing at Wedding

Father Kelly surprised a couple whose wedding he was performing in April with a very special song. The video has gone viral, and has been viewed over 3 million times, but today was the first I had seen it.  It moved me, so I thought that I would share it with you!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sandwich

If you want a quick and delicious light dinner this sandwich with a side of green beans and applesauce is the recipe for you.  I made this last night and it was a hit. My husband and my mom voted it as a recipe to be repeated.

I never had a real Chick-Fil-A sandwich, but if this copycat recipe really does replicate it, I have no need to go out and buy one.

My guess is marinating the chicken in pickle juice and frying in coconut oil must be the secret ingredients!  The bonus of this tasty chicken, is that it averages out to only 8 WW pts.+  

The recipe is originally from Skinny Mom and can be found here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why Knitters Knit

 The following article is from TreeHugger and was written by Katherine Martinko. I received the link to the article from blogger friend, Tanna, who got it from her blogger friend, Podso, and now I am sharing it with you, because I think it is interesting and true!  

Take a minute and read it; you might consider taking up the craft if you haven't already.

Knitting at the LYS in 2008
Don’t stop knitting! It keeps you healthy.
It turns out that knitting has incredible health benefits. It makes people feel good in just about every way. A bit of research has revealed a wide range of ways in which knitting helps humans cope, physically and mentally.
1. Knitting is used for therapy. It’s a powerful distractant, helping people manage long-term physical pain. For those who are depressed, knitting can motivate them to connect with the world. It is a conversation starter, allowing people to interact politely without making eye contact. It builds confidence and self-esteem.
2. Knitting is supremely relaxing, which is extremely important for reducing stress and anxiety. Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, wrote The Relaxation Response, in which he recommends the repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity to elicit “the relaxation response” – decreased heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure. Knitting is likened to meditation, sometimes described by knitters as “spiritual” and “Zen-like.”
3. Knitting connects people. By joining a knitting group, a solitary activity turns into a social one. One study, called “The Benefits of Knitting for Personal and Social Wellbeing in Adulthood” and published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, found that “knitting in a group impacted significantly on perceived happiness, improved social contact, and communication with others.”
4. Knitting improves concentration and can provide an outlet for excessive energy.Toronto teacher Caleigh Murtaugh started a knitting club for 7- and 8-year-olds at a private boys’ school. It was a smashing success, with boys opting to stay in from recess to work on projects. Some were extremely hyper, but focusing on work with their hands helped them greatly and gave them a sense of accomplishment.
5. Knitting can reduce the risk of dementia. One study of over 2,000 seniors (65 years and older) found that “regular participation in social or leisure activities such as traveling, odd jobs, knitting, or gardening were associated with a lower risk of subsequent dementia.”
6. Knitting offers a break from busy schedules and a refreshing detox from a technology-saturated world. It gives many of us a rare chance to be alone with our thoughts.
7. Knitting makes people happy, from the people who knit to those who receive knitted items, and those who see knitting in their surroundings. Consider the popularity of “yarn-bombing,” the beautiful graffiti that uses yarn to decorate public spaces, filling them with happiness-inducing warmth and colour. No one can resist smiling at the sight of a knitted bus or tree!

Snowday in NE PA

The peaceful blessings of a snowday.........

A Beautiful Visiting Cardinal 


Beak Full of Breakfast

Without a Care in the World

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Embroidery by Hand

My mom and my sister are the hand embroiderers in the family. I know how to embroider, as does my daughter, but my mom and my sister have truly mastered the art.

My sister gave me this table runner as a Christmas gift this past year, and I think she deserves some kudos for her beautifully, detailed work.

My mother has always said that the back of your work is as important as the front of your work. I have to say that my sister did a great job, front and back; would you not agree?

Birds in Winter

“Birds are flying over the garden. What are you doing inside the house? Join them! If you can’t join them, at least open the window and greet them!” 


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