Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Thanks, Nicole, for the thoughtful gift!

I spent a lovely lunch with former coworkers last week. It was an opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t seen in awhile, and I’m glad I asked my former boss to organize it. It was such a joy!

My friend, Nicole, brought me this:

A thoughtful gift from a dear friend.

A thoughtful gift from a dear friend.

Each book has a special meaning attached to it.

Little Women — I remind my friend of Jo March. Nicole told me this once a long time ago, though I’d forgotten. I have an old copy of Little Women, published in the late 1800s or early 1900s. I’ve read it at least five times. I think it’s about time to read it again.

Persuasion — Nicole’s favorite book. I’ve never read it, so I’m looking forward to it.

The Great Gatsby — Another favorite of Nicole’s.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s all Small Stuff — I’ve heard of this book, of course, but have never read it. Nicole thought it would be useful.

And, most importantly, a Starbucks gift card! I’m sure I’ll burn through it quickly when classes start this summer.

Thanks, Nicole! I appreciate such a thoughtful gift.

Mayberry Toy Co., Mount Airy, N.C.

Looking back over my posts from past years, it seems I’ve been pretty awful at noting many of the local stores and trails in my own backyard. I focus more on the local hangouts of the cities we visit. In the next several months, I will try to point out some not-to-be-missed places in the Twin Counties and surrounding communities, including linking to posts from those areas. That includes Mount Airy, N.C., and Floyd, Hillsville, Galax, Wytheville, and Grayson County, Va.

Today, I have to note a really cool store that opened a year or two ago in Mount Airy — Mayberry Toy Co. This past weekend was the first time I’d visited the store. Chris had went in and bought a gift last year while I stayed outside with Sidney. He was thoroughly impressed. So, this time, I went in with him.

The store is pretty amazing. I love the variety of toys, including Melissa and Dog and Fisher Price toys. There were board games, craft kits, stuffed toys, and science kits. I wish we had a niece or nephew old or young enough who would be interested in the DNA or physics science kits! I would love to see those in action.

We left with a Lego train set for our 18-month-old nephew. I wish we were going to live close enough to visit again next year.

So, if you’re in the area, whether you need a gift or not, stop by and check out the selection. Other Mount Airy posts are found here.

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Rust Baby Cable Socks

Here’s another pair of socks. This marks a third Christmas present off the list!

Baby Cable Socks

Close-up Baby Cable Socks

Here is a close-up of the cable stitching.

Yes, this pattern is also from Cindy Guggemos’ “I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Socks.” This is my first attempt at this pattern — Baby Cable Socks. I have to say I really like it. It’s pretty simple and knits up very nicely.

I’m not sure which pattern I like best — this one or the eyelet chevron pattern. I wrote about the eyelet chevron pattern here and here.

Now I have this on the needles:

Dish Cloth

This will be a dish cloth, and will serve as a last minute gift. I have enough of this yarn to make 2 or even 3. I’ve used this pattern in the past. It’s a simple pattern with knit (k), yarn overs (yo), and knit two together (k2tog) stitches.

Vintage Rose Garter Socks

I had to frog (knitting and crocheting parlance for, “I f-ed up and I had to pull out all the stitches”) this sock a couple of three times. It’s not a particularly difficult pattern, but I miscalculated the size I needed to fit a particular ankle circumference. I also forgot to consider that the sock cuff will stretch, therefore I didn’t need to knit to the exact circumference, just enough so that the sock will stretch to fit comfortably. It’s been awhile since I knitted up a sock. Can you tell?

Vintage Rose Garter Socks

This pattern is from Cindy Guggemos’ book “I can’t believe I’m knitting socks,” published by Leisure Arts. I’ve written about this book before (here and here). I don’t really like this pattern. It’s much more simple than the eyelet chevron pattern, but it doesn’t seem to be as pretty. This yarn is an alpaca blend so the comfiness of the socks should make up for the lack of beauty.

Nannie’s Ripple Scarf

I made another Ridged Wave Scarf from a pattern I bought from Peaceful Heart Alpacas several years ago.

This scarf is made from an alpaca yarn I bought at Peaceful Heart Alpacas.

This scarf is made from an alpaca yarn I bought at Peaceful Heart Alpacas.

I love this pattern and really enjoyed making it again. This will be a Christmas gift to my grandmother this year. Nannie came to stay for about a week earlier this summer and I took her to visit the alpacas.

While there, we petted and fed the alpacas and browsed the store. Nannie picked out this yarn for herself and helped me picked out yarn for a couple of pairs of socks.

I will use this yarn to make a garter top sock

I will use this yarn to make a garter top sock

I will use this yarn for my first attempt at cables.

I will use this yarn for my first attempt at cables.

It was heavenly working with this yarn. Much like a mini spa for my fingers. I can’t wait for Nannie to see the yarn and to finish the socks!