Monday, January 30, 2012

The Journey Home - Michael Baron

Summary from GoodReads: Joseph, a man in his late thirties, awakens disoriented and uneasy in a place he doesn't recognize. Several people are near him when he opens his eyes, all strangers. All of them seem perfectly friendly, but none of them can explain to him how he got there. They offer him a delicious meal and pleasant conversation in a beautifully decorated room. This would be a very nice experience if not for one thing: Joseph doesn't know where he is and he has no way to contact his wife, who he is sure is worried sick over him. Thanking the people for their hospitality, he leaves to make his way back home. The only problem is that whatever happened to him has stripped him of most of his memories. He knows he needs to get back to his wife, but he doesn't know how to find her. He sets out on a journey to find his home with no sense of where he's going and only the precious, indelible vision of the woman he loves to guide him.

Antoinette is an elderly woman in an assisted living facility. She’s spent the last six years there since her husband died, and most of those years have been happy. She enjoys the company of others in her situation and her son comes to visit often. But in recent months, she’s had a tougher and tougher time leaving her room. Her friends seem different to her and the world seems increasingly confusing. She spends an escalating amount of time on a journey inside her head. There, her body and mind haven’t betrayed her. There, she’s a young newlywed with a husband who dotes on her and an entire life of dreams to live. There, she is truly home.

Warren, Antoinette’s son, is a man in his early forties going through the toughest year of his life. His marriage ended, he lost his job, and in the past few months, his mother has gone from hale to increasingly hazy. Having trouble finding work, he spends more and more time by his mother’s bedside. But her lack of lucidity both frustrates and frightens him. With far too much time on his hands, he decides to try to recreate his memories of home by attempting to cook his mother’s greatest dishes using the rudimentary appliances available in her room. He finds the challenge surprisingly rewarding, especially because the only time he feels his mother is truly with him anymore is when she is eating the meals he prepares for her.

Joseph, Antoinette, and Warren are three people on different searches for home. How they find it, and how they connect with one another at this critical stage in each of their lives, is the foundation for a profound and deeply moving story.

This was a heartfelt story about Joseph, Antoinette and Warren and how their search for home came together. Antoinette lived in a retirement community where her son, Warren visited her daily. Warren lost his job and is getting divorced but visits his mother every day to amke her lunch. Along the way, he become close to Jan, a nurse in the community. Joseph is on a missio. To discover who he is, where he lives and how is in his life. All three stories come together in a unique way in the end.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yellow Granny Dishcloths

I was in the mood to crochet granny dishcloths this past weekend.  Can you tell???  Here are another set:

Here is a close up:

This time I did 6 rounds and added the single crochet border.

Pattern: Granny Dishcloth #2412
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Cream #18010 - Yellow
Hook: US G

Friday, January 27, 2012

Knitter's Pride Tunisian Crochet Hooks

I wanted to write a review of my newest toys, Knitter's Pride Tunisian Crochet Hooks, that I purchased from Web's in Northampton, MA.  Here they are:

Here is a single Tunisian crochet hook:

Product Description: Knitter's Pride Dreamz Interchangeable Tunisian Crochet Hook Set includes US sizes E, G, 7, H, I, J, K, and L. This set also contains 4 cables (one 24", two 32", and one 40"), cable connectors, 8 end caps, 4 cable keys, and a clear vinyl case. These beautiful hooks are made of strong, lightweight wood with a polished surface that ensures effortless glide and a groove that prevents stitch slippage. The hooks come in a palette of beautiful colors that are easy to identify and organize. The resilient, no-kink cables easily connect to the hook tips with a smooth join that enables superior stitch glide without snagging.  They sell for $54.99.

OMG, these are the smoothest crochet hooks that I have ever used!  I love how they not as slippery as metal hooks but not as grippy as bamboo.  So far, I have only made 3 dishcloths with these hooks but I found it to be a pleasant experience.  I also love how each hook is a different color for easy identification.  The size is stamped on the hook and is engraved on the nickel base so you don't have to question the size.  This is a plus over my Knit Picks knitting needles that are not stamped.

To use with this set, I purchased one set of 40", 47" and 60" cables.  I also purchased some other hooks that were not included in the set.  They are the size F (3.75 mm), M/N (9.00 mm), N/P (10.00 mm) and 12.00 mm.  Two of them are on backorder and should be arriving soon!

I am going to try using these hooks to learn knooking too!  I'll let you know how that works out later on!  I would highly recommend these hooks!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paprika Tunisian Intro Cloth

I have some new toys, Tunisian Crochet Hooks from Knitter's Pride.  Here are my first dishcloths using the tunisian simple stitch:

Here is a close up:

I made my first one using a size H hook and it was too tight.  The dishcloth is still usable but it was very hard to work.  Then I tried making it with a size J hook.  I like how it is a little looser and does not curl as much using this one!

Pattern: Tunisian Intro Cloth by Hailey Redden
Yarn: Lion Brand Lion Cotton Solid #133 - Paprika
Hooks: Tunisian H & J on 24" Cables

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Billowing Blue Granny Dishcloth

I made some more granny dishcloths.  Here they are:

Here is a close up:

I like how these came out using the size G hook.  It is so much tighter for better scrubbing.  I also did 7 rounds of the pattern and added a single crochet border.  It looks more finished now!

Pattern: Granny Dishcloth #2412
Yarn: Peaches N' Creme #W268046 - Billowing Blue
Hook: US G

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hannah's Journey - Anna Schmidt

Summary from Good Reads: What could bring an Amish widow and a wealthy circus owner together? Though Hannah Goodloe knew she'd violated countless unwritten laws, she had to visit the only man who could help find her runaway son. But when the enigmatic Levi Harmon agreed to take her on his train, the results were utterly unpredictable.

Levi never expected to find the embodiment of all he wanted in a woman in the soft-spoken, plainly dressed Hannah. And for Hannah, to love an outsider was to be shunned. The simple pleasures of family, faith and place to belong seemed an impossible dream. Unless Levi unlocked his past and opened his heart to God's plan.

This story takes place in the mid-1920's in Florida. I have never read an Amish book whose community was from here. Hannah, along with her sister in law and father in law, take a train ride with the circus to find her son Caleb who ran away with the circus. It was discovered early that he was safe but the train had to make it's way to back to Wisconsin. The trip was interesting as they were in contact with circus performers but they stuck to their Plain ways.

Once they arrived in Wisconsin, Hannah and Levi developed feeling for each other. Hannah could not let those feeling grow since Levi was not Amish. As the book progressed, so did their relationship.

I have never read a historical Amish fiction book before, never mind one with the circus as well. I thought the book was just okay while they were traveling on the train. I enjoyed it more once the story shifted to Amish life. I was very pleased with how this story played out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Monsters = Happiness

I made some monsters for a co-worker's children.  Here they are enjoying their new friends:

Teagan with Lurleen

Gavin with Maddox

They love them!  Teagan even taught Lurleen how to use the potty since she is learning too!  LOL!  Thanks Tara for letting me share these happy monster pictures!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Aquarius HDC Cloths

Here are some more crocheted dishcloths:

Here is a close up:

I am adding to my stash of completed projects since it shrank with Christmas.

Pattern: HDC Cloth by Theresa L. Jones
Yarn: Bernat Handicraft Cotton #W - Aquarius
Hook: US 8/H

Friday, January 13, 2012

Iris in Prints

I decided to make myself a new monster.  Meet Fruit Loop (a/k/a Iris the Gourmet Monster):

Here is a picture of her alone:

I was working on her second leg at work and someone commented that the yarn reminded her of Fruit Loops cereal.  So I named her Fruit Loop!  I really enjoyed making Iris.  The instructions for the foot were super clear and I did not screw them up!!!  I will be making her again soon, maybe with super bulky yarn so Dot has a friend.

Pattern: Iris the Gourmet Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Worsted #7137 - Prints
Needles: US 5 on 47" Cables

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lurleen in Purple

Here is Lurleen the Laundry Monster:

She sure did get into a lot of trouble in my laundry room the other day.

This is for my co-worker, Tara, daughteer Teagan.  I was originally trying to make her a Jerry the Musical Monkey in fingering weight yarn and it was just going nowhere fast.  I put that project aside for when I have more ambition.

Pattern: Lurleen the Laundry Monster by Rebecca Danger from The Big Book of Monsters
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorpun Worsted #7139
Needles: US 5 on 47" Cables

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pansy HDC Cloth

Here are some crocheted dishcloths:

Here is one close up:

This is one of my favorite patterns to crochet!  It is great for mindless crocheting while watch TV.

Pattern: HDC Cloth by Theresa L. Jones
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton #W275769 - Pansy
Hook: US 8/H

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Keeper: A Novel (Stoney Ridge Season #1) - Suzanne Woods Fisher

Summary from Good Reads: Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding—again—she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet, Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.

Roamin' Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul's cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant.

Can Julia secure the future she's always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?

Full of the plot twists and surprises her fans love, The Keeper is the first in a new series by bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher. Through touching family relationships and trials of the heart, Fisher's vivid characters grapple with yielding to God's will when it doesn't match their own.

Julia Lapp is the eldest daughter of Amos and has been rsponsible for her 3 younger silngs since her mother passed. All she wants is to marry Paul Fisher but the Bee Man came to town again and it got Paul to postpone their wedding. Julia has never like Roman but especially now. Roman comes to Lancaster every spring with his bees to help pollinate the crops. This year he says around longer on the Lapp's farm to help out since Amos is really sick. Everyone else is mesmerized by his looks and his behavior except Julia.

Will Julia win Pauk back? Will Roman build some roots at Stoney Ridge Farm?

I really enjoyed this story! I cannot wait to read more about the Lapp family. I loved how the story came together in the end too. A special thanks to Baker Publishing for allowing me to review an advanced copy of this book!

Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Batik DW Darrell Waltrip Dishcloth

Here are some knitted dishcloths:

And now for a close up:

I thought this yarn was perfect for this pattern.  It shows off all the bright colors!

Pattern: DW Darrell Waltrip Dishcloth by Rhonda White
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Creme #102002 - Batik
Needles: US 7 pn 24" Cables

Friday, January 6, 2012

Third Time is a Charm Winter Hat

I finally got it right!!!  Here is hubby's snowmobile hat:

Do you believe that he requested another hat in gray this time???  I told him that I am making myself one first since I tried three times to make his hat!  LOL!

Pattern: Regular Guy Beanie by Chuck Wright
Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable #01040 - Black, #01044 - True Grey and #01532 - Claret
Needles: US 6 on 47" Cables

Thursday, January 5, 2012

North Carolina Frances

I made this monster for my very special friend Abby!

Here she is posing for the camera:

And getting into mischieve around my house:

Abby is a co-worker's daughter that my hubby and I have become close to.  They are moving to North Carolina at the end of January.  I wanted to make this for her so she would not forget me!  We have all spent lots of time together hanging out and camping over the past few years.  I am really going to miss all of them but Abby especially!  I wish them all lots of luck in their newest adventure to NC!

Pattern: Frances The Charismatic Monster by Rebecca Danger
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft #9719 - Soft Pink
Needles: US 5 on 47" Cables
Accessories: 12mm Black Safety Eyes, Embroidery Floss, Ribbon

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Albert the Boss

Here is a monster for my boss for his 61st birthday which is today:

I made this monster because last year I made him a bucket filled with 60 lollipops that read "60 Sucks!" and I am sticking with the old theme.  I just need to make a name tag for him so he will always remember his name!  LOL!

Pattern: Albert the Absent Minded Monster by Rebecca Danger of Danger Crafts
Yarn: Cascade Yarn 220 Wool - Orange
Needles: US 5 on 47" Cables
Accessories: 12mm Black Safety Eyes, Embroidery Floss

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hershey Update

Things are going very well with Hershey! We are on day #8 of no accidents in the house!  Yeah!

Here are some new pictures of him from Christmas:

Hiking in the woods with Daddy on Christmas Eve:

And here is my favorite picture of him:

I love those big brown eyes!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Resolutions

Happy 2012 Everyone!

Here is a list of my things I want to accomplish in 2012 (in no particular order):

1. Loose 20+ pounds
2. Complete my UFOs (unfinished objects) - I have only 2 projects to complete but they are haunting me!  LOL!
3. Use more of my stash yarn and buy less
4. Knit this sweater for myself
5. Knit more Danger Crafts monsters
6. Knit more socks for hubby and I
7. Learn to crochet socks
8. Learn to crochet doilies
9. Learn continental knitting
10. Work on my scrapbooks
11. Read 50 books (I read 40 in 2011)
12. Try reading different authors