Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The End is in Sight!

There is nothing like having house guests coming for a long weekend to inspire us into getting things done.  Andy and I worked all day last Saturday filling in the new patio with dirt.

We are so close to being done and I think tonight will be the night.  Last night we added landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from growing and started adding the gravel.  We are estimating that two more trips to the landscape supply store for gravel should do it.

The Adirondack Chairs give a good perspective on how large the patio really is.  I think we could put up a volley ball net if we ever decided to get up out of the chairs when we are finished!

Kristi and Paul are coming down for the long weekend.  The den/spare room is just about finished, the patio hopefully will be done tonight and all that is left to do is to make the Bolonese Sauce so we have something easy to eat.  I can't wait for them to get here!

I promised a sneak peek of Oktoberfest in my last post.  Here is a quick shot that Andy took.  I haven't had a chance to run it through photoshop yet.  Ive gotten really good feedback from the test knitters and should have the pattern ready to release in a couple of weeks. 

I had a wonderful message on Facebook last week from Kyle William who is coordinating a hat pattern e-book to benefit the Living Beyond Breast Cancer organization.  The book will be sold on Ravelry and will be released later this fall.  Kyle asked me if I would be interested in designing a hat pattern for the book.  Of course I said yes and have been working on something a little unique.  It's a layered hat done in Shalimar Yarns Breathless  Black Truffle and Blue Raspberry. I thought the super soft hand of this yarn would feel nice and the two layers would be warm without being overly hot.  The pattern is going to be called "The Outer Limits".   I'll keep you posted on when the e-book is coming out.  100% of the proceeds will be going to LBBC

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Weekend of Peace and Tranquility

Andy and I have been so busy this summer that time had flown by.  It seems that every moment has been filled with projects around the house.  We have gotten so much done and it's a great feeling.  Between our jobs, working around the house and helping a friend move we really hadn't taken any time just for us.  We decided to take a long weekend and head to Yorktown.  After doing a little bit of searching around I found The Hornsby House Inn.

Photo from The Hornsby House Inn website

We arrived at The Hornsby House early Saturday afternoon and were given a warm welcome by David who is one of the owners.  He gave us a tour of the house which included a bit of family history and history of the area.  We stayed in the Magnolia Room which was like a bit of stepping back in time.  Decorated with a reproduction iron bed, antique sewing machine and beautiful glassware that had been in the house for several generations we felt right at home.

Photo from The Hornsby House Inn website

Our first night there we decided to partake in the wine and cheese that is served at 5:00.  I'm so glad we did!  We wound up meeting a lovely group of people who were having their class reunion from 1963.  We had a great time getting to know them.  You can read a little bit more about their reunion on John Warleys blog.  He has written a few books and after enjoying his stories in person,  I've added Bethesda's Child to my reading list.

Breakfast was fantastic both days.  Everything was made there and we had so many things to choose from!  There was fresh fruit, coffee, orange juice, cheesy grits casserole, eggs, and on Monday we had Eggs Benedict which is one of my most favorite things in the world!

Of course we made it to the Yorktown Pub at least once each day.  They have fantastic fried scallops and ice cold beer on tap.  It rained most of Sunday afternoon and we wound up staying at the Pub and enjoying the view of the York River.

We did manage to take a walk on the beach in between rain showers.  I spotted this unusual looking seaweed and thought it would be an interesting picture.  I love the reddish orange color against the paler grainy looking sand.

We had a quick photo shoot for the Oktoberfest Cowl and Walk The Line Socks.  I'll have pictures ready to post next time as this is getting a bit long.  I do have a quick progress picture of the patio which is very near completion!  We have started filling in and leveling the interior and are hoping to have it done by Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Things are really starting to come together at the house.  I finished panting the den.  Ceiling, walls, trim and louvered closet doors.  I wound up painting the wrong side of one of the doors which was easy to fix but rather frustrating at the time.  I didn't realize I had done it until all three coats of paint were on it and I was trying to hang it back up.  I had even marked which sides to paint which just goes to show that no matter how careful you are mistakes can still happen.

I think they look much better painted a nice fresh white.  Ive also made valances and covered a couple of the throw pillows.  I have a a couple more pillows to cover and then I will be done with the sewing portion of the makeover.  I'll have some better pictures once the room is all together.  We have company coming at the end of the month and this room doubles as a spare room.  I'm excited for our guests to come and visit and have a cheery room to stay in.  We still have a few things to put in place (please ignore the mess on the coffee table) which is why this picture is only showing a corner of the room.

Ive always thought the sofa and chairs were a bit boring and overly neutral.  I'm really glad now that they are since they can work well with any wall color and have a whole new look with bright accent pillows.

In the evenings Andy and I have been working on the patio.  Andy finished the last section of the bottom wall on Monday.  It's almost time to start filling in and building up the patio with dirt.  I can't wait to sit out there this fall by the fire pit and roast some marshmallows!

In knitting news - I've been working on a new cowl pattern for fall, Oktoberfest.  It's in Shalimar Yarns Breathless DK in the Copper Pennies colorway.  I'm putting it out for test knitting this week.  If you are interested PM me on Ravelry (SpinningLara).  Oktoberfest is a quick knit and will be available in written and charted formats. 

Walk The Line is with the test knitters and should be ready for release at the beginning of September.  Andy is planning to do a photo shoot this weekend while we are in Yorktown.  There are a lot of interesting backdrops there so we should be able to get some great shots.  We are trying to find a new name for this pattern as another sock pattern was published last week with the same name.  One of the test knitters suggested Hold The Line which I like.  If you have a suggestion, I would love to hear it.  If I use your suggestion I will send you a copy of the pattern when it's published.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

So Many Happy Things!

The cat can come out of the bag!  A while ago, I mentioned that I had a couple of secret projects that I was working on.  Well, I can finally talk about one of them.  Earlier this year Kristi, owner and dyer extraordinaire of Shalimar Yarns  asked if I would be interested in designing a bonus sock pattern for the Indulge Me! Club in Breathless.  Of course I immediately said yes and got to work on it.  Beth test knitted the pattern and we have just been waiting for the last club shipment to go out.  The shipping notices went out earlier this week and the club packages should be arriving any time.  I'm so excited to reveal Yorktown.

Shown here in Shalimar Yarns Breathless in Grievous Angel which is a limited edition colorway exclusive to the club for one year.  Yorktown is a really fun pattern to knit with an easy to remember lace pattern.  Ive added a few interesting elements here and there, like a purl ridge under the cuff and at the beginning of the heel.

You may be wondering about why I named the pattern YorktownKristi, Paul, Andy and I have taken many long weekends trips to Yorktown, VA where we have enjoyed  dinner at the Pub, walking along the serene beach and finishing our day with a refreshing scoop of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  Not to mention that it's very close to Busch Gardens where we have had lots of great times.

Notice that I am no where to be found in this picture!  They all went on the Mach Tower which goes up 246' and then drops down at an amazing rate of speed.  There was NO WAY that I was going on that.  I'm terrified of heights and I think I would have wound up passing out at some point.

Yorktown is available in my Ravelry Pattern Shop.  Use coupon code YT13 for $1.00 off from today until August 10th.  

Work continues on the patio project in the back yard.  It's coming along quite nicely and I think will be done very soon.  The back wall is nearly complete and is the highest point that we are building up.  We should be almost at the point where we can start adding fill and leveling the patio area up.  After that we will put down landscape fabric and then add decorative stone.  I can't wait!  It's going to be so nice to be able to have a place to sit in the shade during the summer and have a small fire in our fire pit this fall and winter.

The black pipes are for drainage from our driveway.  They used to come out near the Blackeyed Susans and we needed to extend them out through the patio to prevent the water from washing it out.  The ends of them will be trimmed back and they won't stick out like that once we are finished.

Ive recently met (online) Chrissy who is Stitched-Together on Ravelry.  Not only is she a designer, but she also has a lovely blog and a very fun podcast. Ive been enjoying listening to it while Ive been painting the den.  She has a cheerful voice and gives a wonderful description of yarns, fibers and patterns.  If you have a chance, be sure to have a listen.

This is the den in progress.  Ive painted the ceiling, walls, trim and am currently working on painting the closet doors white.  The den is in our basement and it always felt a little bit dark in that room. Andy and I thought it would be nice to change to a bright color and liven things up.  The room also doubles as a guest room so we wanted something cheerful and welcoming.  I'm hoping to have things finished up sometime this week.  

Saturday Andy and I were heading out to dinner at Perkys and passed an Estate Sale on the way.  I asked him if he would mind going and that I would only be a an hour or so minute.  So we popped in to take a peek around and boy am I glad that we did!  I've been wanting an older style typewriter and they are crazy prices at the vintage shops in town and are usually not in working order.  We found this one for $9.

A couple of the keys are a bit sticky so I'm going to work on cleaning it and search for replacement ribbon for it.  There is nothing like clacking away on a typewriter!  The case is even in great shape with just a little paint on the outside that I think will come off with cleaning.

We also found this dresser for $5.

It has good lines and is super cute.  Andy is going to fix the crack in the top drawer and then I will paint it a fun color.  I'm thinking coral with possibly each drawer front a different color.  Or maybe cover the drawer fronts with fabric. The possibilities are endless!

A metal picnic basket and cute trash can for my craft room.  $9 for both!

Ive been saving the best for last.  Admittedly I do have a love of dress forms.  I know there are a few already in the house, but none of them are a real dress form.  This one adjust to your measurements and it's probably from the 1960's.  It was a steal at $50.  It even has the original sticker on it and it's made by Singer.

The Indiway Yarns Ferry Beach and Wandering Wildflower KAL begins on August 9th.  There is still a few days before casting on so be sure to come join in the fun!