.the blues.

i got the blues. the madelinetosh blues. i’m trying to start the new year off right with the just right project. i chose hannah fettig’s effortless cardigan in madelinetosh’s dk. the colorway is stovepipe. while i haven’t spent too much time working on this it is still being worked up quite quickly. before i knew it i had twelve inches from the underarm. only an inch and a half to go before working the ribbing, sleeves, and neck. a finished object is in plain sight. finally.


Friday Fun

Back to School was yesterday. For Jem. Seventh grade. Middle school.

And Scout. Well, we’re preparing for Preschool. That starts next Wednesday. And since she needed new shoes, we thought we’d share her rockin’ new style.

{Too Cute.}

This is too, it’s what I’ve been using for my knitting notes.

{I used all of my Garden Fairy books so I ordered some Robots. You can get yours from Stephanie too.}

This morning I woke up early and started to work on a quilt when my rotary cutter blade broke. I put everything away and was disappointed that I hadn’t gotten very far at all.

{I’m using the Tina Given’s fabric I bought months ago. I still have a lot of squares to cut. Looks like I have to make a trip to the craft shop.}

So instead of sewing, I knit.

{Eyelet Row on back of Eastlake Sweater.}

I’ve been trying to stay busy with my extra time, but it had been such a long time since I had any that I think I forgot. I haven’t been able to focus on any one thing. Maybe my Fridays should be called Freedays. They are the only day I’ll have to myself once Scout starts school.


It’s not the word of the day, but it is how my life can be classified at the moment. A plethora of activity has been brewing at Casa de AJ.

It all started on Friday when I got really bored just sitting around watching summer reruns on the tube. I picked up some linen and wool and decided to make a sampler for the living room (it will go perfectly with my soon to be painted living room). I have to say that I’m really enjoying this freehand embroidery. I wish it hadn’t intimidated me so much before. Especially after I got a copy of Bags in Bloom. NowI have an itch to embroider everything.

Saturday I wasn’t so much bored as I was unoccupied for a while. So I decided that even though I’m still working on my Tea Leaves Cardigan and all I need is the second sleeve, I cast on for something new. (Part of the reason I stopped the sleeve is that my arthritis has been acting up when I work with DPN’s.)

So Norah Gaughan’s Eastlake Sweater it is.

{ Eastlake by Norah Gaughan in Woodland Gothic }

US 5 and 7 needles (smaller is for the ribbing)

Berroco Inca Gold in Azul Marina

And because I know how many of my dear blogging buddies love cookies I thought I’d share with you my new creation.

{ Triple Chocolate Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies }

1/2 C. Margarine

1/2 C. Sweet Cream Butter

1/2 C. Granulated Sugar

3/4 C. Brown Sugar

1 Egg

3 tsp. Cocoa Powder

2 C. sifted Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 C. White Chocolate Chips

2 C. Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Cream butters. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar until mixture is smooth (about two minutes on low if you use a Kitchen Aid mixer). Add cocoa powder and egg until both are incorporated. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips until the batter is thick.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes. Yields approximately 4 dozen cookies depending on how you spoon them. (I use a melon baller.)


As the dark clouds ominously rolled over the mountains we began our journey to the Country Fair Antique Shop. The boast 100 shops for all your shopping needs. I’ve gone there a few times and I’ve never left empty handed. Too many treasures to be found in the dusty corners of each booth.

Today was no different.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

This twin sized crocheted afghan was just sitting on top of a bureau. The booth was pretty empty, I assume they were either setting up or closing business.

And this is the kicker…

Yes, it really does say $3.00.

So Shawn bought it for me. And $3.29 I was a much happier woman. Especially walking out into the rain and thinking about what other treasures my day would bring.

Mainly it’s consisted of sitting on the couch under my blankets and knitting a new Minimalist Cardigan.

Two treasures in one day. I’m lucky.

A Remedy

Sage Remedy, that is.

I finished up my little sweater last night with less than desirable results. Don’t get me wrong, the sweater is absolutely gorgeous. It’s insanely soft. It’s lightweight, so it will be perfect for any type of weather Southern California can come up with. The color is both neutral and simple. But the fitting, well I found the pattern’s schematics to be a little off. Then again, I had problems with the pattern to begin with (I wasn’t sent the second, revised, pattern when I purchased it) so maybe I’m just a little disappointed with that to begin with.

However, I digress. I will wear this sweater. And if it doesn’t fit quite the way I want it to, well who cares? Really. And in the end I can always lose weight to make it fit, right? There’s looking at the sunny side of things!


{The back lace panel.}


{The front.}


{The Fan and Feather lace panel on the bodice.}

Would I knit this again? Absolutely. Would I make changes? You betchya. I would most definitely lengthen the sweater by at least two inches. (I’m 5’8″ and for me I like my sweaters to cover the waistbands on my pants/jeans.)  I would have picked up more stitches for a larger sleeve as well. I would probably knit this on larger needles, should I use the same yarn. I would most definitely use the Invernal again. Mmm, angora and merino wool. You can’t go wrong.

Nope, you can’t go wrong.

One Of Those Days

Today was just one of those days.

Where I woke up earlier than I desired, after a night of restless sleep. Where the weather was a little chillier than anticipated, yet not cold in the sense of the word. Where making lunch seemed quite futile and taxing.

Yes, it was one of those days.

But also a day where I can say I accomplished something.

Being ahead of schedule.

Being able to pat myself on the back.

Being able to get at least one thing done.


Just One Button Cardigan by Elinor Brown*

Yarn: Red Heart Eco Ways in Aquarium, approximately 1.75 skeins.

A very quick and easy knit. Something that I can see Scout wearing on her birthday, two months from tomorrow. When I was knitting this, I imagined her twirling around in a little white cotton dress. I imagine her being three. Two months and one day can make such a difference.

Now if I could just figure out what button to sew onto this little gem. Maybe choosing a button would make today not one of those days.

* Be sure to check errata on Elinor’s pattern page, I “accidentally” stumbled upon an error with the buttonhole. Nothing that you couldn’t figure out for yourselves.)

30 Days of Happiness: Knitting

I’m happy to be resuming my “30 Days of Happiness”. I’m just counting down each day. And even though it’s only, technically, been one day, I have to say that I am happy. At least, happier. In every sense of the word. I think it might have to do with this new book I’m reading, too. And it most definitely has to do with this:


I cast on for the Vine Yoke Cardigan yesterday. I cast aside the scarf that needs a hood and the colorful Chevron scarf with the never ending yarn. I put off knitting a dozen mini hats with pom-poms, all twenty four hats and mittens which need to be embroidered and hung to a very long i-cord. I set aside the four very different cabled socks with varying charts. There’s another sock, waiting for it’s mate. Patiently. I hope. I think.

The thing is, it made me happy. There’s something about newness. It’s very zen. I highly recommend it.