Friday, September 25, 2009


I've had a very busy and sometimes difficult couple of work weeks that at times have spilled over into my "me" time. When I have times like that - I have to stop - take a deep breath and look out of the beautiful hand hewn mahogany french doors in my office and remember how lucky I am to first be employed and equally important - get to come to work every day with a family owned company in a lovely historic home. Here is the view from the veranda outside my office.
I work in a lovely historic district near downtown Jacksonville. The home I work in was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and this is the only house he designed in Jacksonville before moving on to a very sucessful career I'm sure. It will be 100 years old in 2 years and it is just awesome. Prairie style in every way. A wide veranda is evident on 2 sides of the house - the side I'm in - yes Betsy and I have the whole downstairs of the house to ourselves - opens onto the wide veranda you see above. My office was originally a library and smoking parlor for Mr Bensel who was a lumber baron in the early 1900's here in Jacksonville, I have a huge pocket door that closes my office off from the conference room. 99 % of the time it stays open and this is the view from my desk. Pretty cool huh? I feel so guilty when I complain about being so busy - that is such a blessing in the car business right now - to be busy. So my post today is all about being grateful - I think we can all find something to be grateful about today - even the small things - not to mention - time to stitch - stash to plunder thru if we so choose - friends who understand us and love the things we love - family who is tolerant - I'm sure you have your own list.

One last photo - here is the view of the mighty St Johns River - one of the only rivers in the US that flows north towards the Atlantic Ocean. This is taken from the front veranda. Jacksonville is a beautiful city and I am proud to be a native and 5th generation Bryan from this area.
This post is also about my being soooo busy these last 2 weeks that I have not gotten anything done. I missed rug guild last weekend because we had server problems - so not a loop pulled for many weeks - I have been too tired to stitch so I have just been doing some fill in work on my Plymouth sampler. I have been knitting a little - I started a KAL last weekend with The Local Needle - a not so LYS - here's Joan's blog where she introduces the Shawl of Cables project - Maybe some of you out there would like to join in - there is no charge for this virtual KAL on the internet. There is also a Ravelry group set up for this project if any of you are members of that great internet community.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments on my blog even though I've not had anything exciting to show you for a while. I hope you will enjoy the photos of "my hometown" and the beautiful views I am blessed with every day. Fall - I scoff - it is 91 degrees here and I think I will just get in the pool and float away all my cares. Remember - enjoy every day - your way - Mel

Friday, September 11, 2009


Yes friends - I have a finish - a knitted finish no less - this is my mom modeling her Spiral Nebula wrap knitted in Dusty Olive Malabrigo. She wanted it for a trip back to the mountains next month so I am ahead of schedule. YIPPEE - I wish you could see the detail a little more but it is dark yarn in a dark room taken at night - that's about as good as it is going to get.

I have another one of these going in a beautiful hand dyed lace weight yarn for moi' . It is a super easy pattern by Heartstrings in case anyone is interested in checking it out.

Not much else going on with me - work has been crazy this week trying to catch up from vacation and get ready for a business trip on Monday morning. I have not stitched at all since returning from vacation. I hope to get back to my Sail Away SAL this weekend but we have sampler guild sunday afternoon and that is not a project I can work on there. Has to be more mindless so I might take my Plymouth sampler and do some fill in work. It's always nice to see what my friends are working on.

I tried to finish this post earlier today but did not get it done - I am up at 4:30am not able to sleep - urghhh - I guess slipping into my wool room and getting on the PC is going to relax me and put me back to sleep - humpf !! Doubt it but I sure hope so. I would say TGIF but it is already Saturday morning - so glad I don't have to get up at regular time for work and that I have 2 whole days to do what I want to do. I'm sure those of you who work can relate.

I sat and tore out the whole completed back of a cardigan - it is gorgeous hand dyed blue sky alpaca yarn and it is a lovely fallish orangey color - I saw a wonderful cardi in the new fall Knitscene mag and it was in the exact same yarn same color - so that got me thinking about that UFO and knowing exactly what knitting bag it was stored in - I set about the find it and recycle the yarn into a hopefully enticing new project. I am trying to knit from stash when possible - One would not believe how much yarn I have - more than some shops I've seen and all neat stuff - not much for the donation bin in my yarn stash although I am going to try and have a "yarn sale " this fall when I finish (if I ever finish) cleaning out my old house. I have so much yarn - I really don't even have room to store it in my new house - egads - what a predicament.

I'm afraid my stitching friends are going to grow tired of my yarn talk but in the fall I have a terrible pull to all things wool - hence my wooley thoughts ~~~~ hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and can enjoy a taste of fall in their own favorite way.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Sorry to be so late in posting the winner to my first giveaway for the 3 balls of lace weight yarn from Australia - I did have a family member draw the winning name on Labor day as promised but I've been extremely busy catching up at work since my return.

Ta Da - it's Jean from Baa Baa Knit Stitch - congratulations ! Hope you make something purdy with your new yarn.

I've already been in touch with Jean and will send her prize to her ASAP.

Thanks for everyone who entered my first giveaway - I'll be doing another one soon - it was fun.

I'll post something more later

Monday, September 07, 2009


Noro Taiyo that is - gorgeous stuff - I found a great shop on the way to Tennessee in Franklin NC - I have been traveling thru Franklin since I was a small child - I have fond memories of going there with my grandmother and great aunt as a child - my great aunt bought fabric remnants from a mill over that way for braided rugs. I don't think she did the braided rugs but apparently someone did - we used to have a large round one in my grandmothers house but I let it go years ago before I knew the value of hand crafted rugs. Sentimentally speaking - it should have been kept and taken care of - for that I am very ashamed. OK - so that is my connection with Franklin - a quaint little town on the edge of the Smokies near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I found Silver Threads and Golden Needles when searching for needlework shops in the area where we were going which is actually a yarn wasteland. Silver Threads is a darling shop with GREAT yarns - they were having knit night when we stopped by there on Thursday evening. Had I known it was such a great shop - I would have arranged to spend the night so I could have enjoyed the evening knitting with Virgina's group. AHHHH - on to the yarn purchase - She had lots of neat stuff but we were tired and the men were pacing the sidewalk in front of the shop - I knew I had about 15 minutes before tantrums would occur. She had Spud and Chloe another new yarn venture for Blue Sky Alpaca - could not find a pattern and I did not care for their pattern support - I was looking for something different - something I had not seen before or could not get locally. HUMMMM - A whole section of Noro was spotted and books too - I started thumbing thru a nice new looking book - Flowers I think it is called. Found a cute jacket that could be made into a large size - OH OH OH - she had the yarn - Taiyo - gorgeous stuff - cotton/silk/wool/nylon - AND the owner graciously pointed out a shop model in the exact jacket I was considering. OK - that was it - I was sunk - I busily found a beautiful colorway and even snagged some coveted Lantern Moon Destiny circulars so I could cast on right away. Here's a better picture without the view from our 4th floor balcony.

We have had a fairly relaxing vacation - It has been much cooler which was a pleasant break from the oppressive summer heat in NE FL.

I thought I would get so much done while here - silly me - I did get a small start on the Brenda Keyes design - Sailors Wife - but I mostly worked on another BK sampler - Plymouth - Here is a WIP photo of that one. It has a lot of fill work so it is easy to work on when distracted.

Well - it's Labor Day- Happy Labor Day everyone - I hope you all had a wonderful 3 day weekend and enjoyed BBQ's, picnics, and days filled with happy stitches. We'll be traveling home tomorrow - I'll be drawing for the 3 skeins of lace weight yarn later tonight. Gotta run now - I'm late for dinner.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I guess fall is truly here when I taste my first sip of Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks! There is a SB about 2 blocks from my office and sometimes I have to really fight the urge to pop in there - At one time I was spending about $50 a month on SB and when we moved last year and things got so tight financially - I had to put a stop to that addiction and limit myself to once a week or maybe twice. Here is their new cup

I also bought a cool new tumbler with the brown backround and the lovely mermaid logo. I'm the only person I know that can go on a shopping spree in a Starbucks LOL

I have quite a few people signed up the for lace weight yarn I'm giving away on Labor Day. Thanks for your interest and comments on my last rambling post. Glad lots of you stuck with me even though you are not wool addicts or knitters. Still time to enter - I'm drawing on Labor Day.

Stitching progress - I picked up my Where the Hart Lives again and made great progress on it - I promise to show another WIP photo soon. I'm falling farther and farther behind on the Sail Away SAL - they're sailing away without me - humpf - my own fault - I just need to pick it up more often. I'm dying to start something new - I joined the plantation sampler SAL and have the chart and linen but I gave the DMC I bought to a friend since I decided I'd use silk - - oh oh oh - Sailors Wife - by Brenda Keyes - that is the one I really want start that I keep putting out of sight - but just not out of the mind - maybe I'll dig that out tonight. Anything to avoid that over 1 lettering on Sail Away.

I've been knitting a lot lately - I am doing very well on the VK hat - the green alpaca yarn in the last post. Hope to have it finished this month.

I was going to make this short - won't be posting till after Labor Day so I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend and gets to take many happy stitches.