Memorial Day Weekend

This coming Monday, in the United States, we take time to remember all the men and women who protected our country and are protecting us now.  My parents and grandparents called it Decoration Day.  A Civil War General, General John Logan, thought it would be a good way to unite our country once again after war.  He decided on May 30th as the day to honor our Veterans because flowers would be in bloom all across America.  In 1971 Memorial Day became a federal holiday, giving us all a three-day weekend.

So whether you are enjoying a family picnic or taking advantage of the great shopping sales or just relaxing on a paid day off, take time to remember those who gave their lives so we could enjoy our freedom.  

I plan on doing a little of everything this weekend.  I am going shopping today, JoAnn’s of course!  And, a few other places too.  After that I will be spending time with family, cooking out, playing games, reading, and of course, working on projects.   Enjoy your weekend!  I will be back here on Tuesday.

Itty-Bitty Toys

Yesterday I wrote about the book Itty-Bitty Nursery by Susan B. Anderson and I mentioned that I didn’t care to add the book to my personal library because I had already made a number of the items in the book and I didn’t feel it had enough new patterns to entice me.

Today, however, is different.  I am absolutely giddy about the book Itty-Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson.  This book has the same eye-catching cover with a spiral binding and it also features a section devoted to the basics as does her other book.  The difference lies in the content.  Devoting one book to stuffed toys that are so adorable hooked me. 

From blocks to puppets to stuffed animals to reversible toys and more.  I don’t have one favorite in this book – there are too many to choose from!  I love the hippo, monkey, lamb and little brown dog.  Then again, I love the reversible lion and elephant.  And the giraffe!  Oh, my.  The pictures are bright and colorful, very nicely presented.  The patterns are well written and easy to understand. 

I guess I’ll need to add this book to my wish list!  It is definitely one I want in my library!

Itty-Bitty Nursery

While reserving books from our library inter-loan system I came across two books by Susan B. Anderson and decided to look them over.  Itty-Bitty Nursery caught my eye because of its very eye-catching cover.  A good-looking cover sells books.  Another feature this book has and that all knitter’s and crocheter’s appreciate is a spiral binding.  Nothing is nicer than being able to open a book flat to read the pattern while you stitch.

Inside this book are more attractive photos and easy to read pages.  Many patterns in this book are easy enough for the very novice knitter.  Susan also includes a section on basic skills. 

One pattern that caught my eye, is the grumpy old bear.  A simple brown bear with a scarf.  The bear is pictured on the cover.  Very cute.  One any child would love him. 

Another pattern that was interesting, although I don’t think I would make, are the pacifier clips.  You could make a flower, frog or elephant clip to attach to your baby’s pacifier.  I’m not sure where you would buy the clips.  An interesting and cute idea.

The book has a couple of basic sweaters that you can find similar patterns elsewhere, a very cute cupcake hat that I’ve made many of and which I also found the pattern elsewhere and a very cute knit tea set with cup cakes. 

It was a cute book to look at, but not one I would add to my collection.

7 Months Until Christmas!

Lately I’ve been in a dream world.  I’ve been dreaming about yarn and patterns and projects, mostly for myself.  Now it is time to settle down and decide what I am going to do about Christmas!  I know, Christmas isn’t for another seven months, but I’ve got too many gifts to have completed by then.  I must think about it now.  Last year by this time I was 1/3 rd of the way done.  I haven’t even started on Christmas this year. 

I usually have a theme going so that no one feels like someone else got more than they did.  Not that my family would feel that way.  No, not at all.  LOL.  I think I need to decide what this years theme will be.  It will not be hats and scarves!  Even though I love to make them, I think they are tiring of them and have enough.  So, what to make?  I also cannot make more blankets or afghans, as they are overloaded with them too.  My, and they think I’m bad to buy for!

I’m thinking of the kitchen again this year for everyone but the Grandkids.  I can knit dishcloths and scrubbies, sew pot holders and mitts, then there are placemats, aprons, and more.  Everyone can always use kitchen items – I hope.

The Grandchildren are a little harder.  With such a wide range of ages and interests, it is hard to know what they will like and use.  I’ve got to give that some more thought.  They have enough tote bags and hats and scarves.  They don’t like mittens.  More contemplation is needed. 

Well, I do have seven months, what’s the rush!

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club

As an avid knitter, I like to find books that revolve around topics that interest me.  I noticed the book The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club book by Gil McNeil at our library and decided to give it a try.  The book was first published in Great Britain as Divas Don’t Knit in 2007 and was then released in 2009 in the United States under the title The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club. 

Gil McNeil writes in an easy flowing chatty way, filled with gossip and light humor.  As an American I find her words and expressions cute and it reminds me that American English is much different from that used in the U.K.

The book revolves around Jo MacKenzie and her two small boys.  Jo is a recent widow who moves her boys from London to the coast and takes over her Grandmother’s Yarn Shop.  Jo renames her Grandmother’s shop to “McKnits”, starts a Stitch and Bitch group for novice knitter’s, and the name of the book is “The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club”.  Although I see why the author decided on all three names, I would have liked to seen more continuity in the book. 

For many, this is the perfect book to read on a gloomy day and will lift your spirits.  I found the book  a little lighter and airier, without a lot of  substance or depth I am used to.  It is, nevertheless, an enjoyable read that I give 3 out of 5 stars, for those of you who like ratings.

Gil McNeil has written a second book in this series, Needles and Pearls, which came out in Britain in 2008 and was released in the US this year.  If you like light, feel good books with some humor added, then you will enjoy The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club.

Beautiful Weather ♥ Books ~ Burp Cloths ~ Baby Sweaters

A busy week-end and beautiful weather,  I couldn’t ask for more.  I got a chance to sit outside and read.  It is always nice to find a good book and relax in the fresh air.  I’ve started another book.  This one is about a yarn store and a knitting group.  It’s not my usual type of book and I’m not feeling pulled to sit down with it, but I’ll give it a shot.

I managed to get my manicure and pedicure in.  Now I’m ready for sandals and my hands are soft and snag-free for knitting.

The baby sweater is coming along nicely.  I finished one sleeve and I am about halfway along on the second sleeve.  I will be working on it more today as I sit outside.  It is really nice out already this morning.

I also made another trip to JoAnn’s.  I read their flyer wrong and thought that the flannel was half off.  It will be, but not until next week-end for their holiday sale.  I did find a few remnants so the trip wasn’t a total waste.  

The reason I was looking for flannel is that I was asked for a few more burp cloths.  I made up a dozen or so of  them and I’ll be making up a few more so I have some on hand for the next request.  They really are nice to give as a gift. The store-bought ones just don’t compare.  Then again, when does anything store-bought compare to handmade?  I was looking online for a tutorial on making burp cloths to link with the photos, but I can’t find any that are like the ones I make.  Most of what I found online uses store-bought diapers and just dresses them up.  If anyone is interested in making a few and doesn’t know how, I will put together some instructions for you.  Just let me know.

China Bayles Series

Reading is something that I can get engrossed in and lose all track of time.  I hate for a good book to end.  I guess that is why I like it when authors write a series of  books. 

A while back I read all of Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles series.  China is an ex-lawyer who moved from the big city and opened an herbal shop.  The books revolve around her and her friends.  The man in her life is an x-cop, University instructor and PI.  I enjoyed every one of her books.  The books should be read in order, as references to past incidents are mentioned in the following books. 

While looking for a book to read now, I realized that Susan had written a few more China Bayles books that I had not read.  Nightshade, #16 in the series, was written in 2008  and was the next book in her series for me to read.  So, after reserving and receiving the book through our library interloan system, I sat down yesterday to enjoy another one of her books.  I was not disappointed. 

Nightshade is the third book within the China Bayles series to revolve around her father’s death.  This book wraps up the mystery behind his death and the people involved.  It was another well written book and I couldn’t put it down. 

As many of you already know, I love the  Stop, You’re Killing Me! site.  You can find any mystery book by author, series, character, occupation, location, genre, and so on.  I find almost all of the books I read on this site.  You can find a list of all the books in the China Bayles series and other books written by Susan Wittig Albert here

I am now waiting to receive books #17 and #18, Wormwood and Holly Blues, of the series.  Enjoy!  I did.