Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 FO list

I know this is probably boring for everyone else but I have to do it for me. From what I've figured out - I knit 39 objects in the year 2007 - that seems insane to me!

  • Mardi Gras Scarf for Tiff
  • Bernat Chunky Chemo Cap
  • Caron SS chemo cap
  • Noro Fetching
  • 5 Fun Fur chemo caps
  • TX square for Eliz grandbaby
  • Fast Finish Homespun Throw
  • Square for Warm up America
  • Wool Ease Socks for Patrick
  • My So Called Scarf
  • Noro Multidirectional Scarf
  • Yarn Ahoy Lace mock cable socks
  • Entralac Mini Bag
  • flower washcloth for Alissa
  • Hedera socks in Claudia John B
  • Charade socks in Trekking 126
  • Chevron Scarf
  • Monkey Sock in Sunshine Westwood
  • Cutest Baby Sweater
  • Rainy Day socks in Knit Clinic
  • Rainy Day socks in CM Jackie O
  • Not Quite Straight Scarf
  • Garter Stitch - Bliss Scarf
  • Opera Scarf - Noro Cashmere Island
  • Frosting Scarf
  • Lace Leaf Scarf
  • Mistaken Rib Scarf
  • Garter Stitch - Lucious Scarf
  • LSU scarf
  • Laken's Jacket
  • Central Park Hoodie
  • Rag Doll Scarf
  • Mini Mittens - 5 sets
  • Lucy in the Sky
  • Cathy's Ribbed Scarf

Thursday, December 13, 2007

2008 New Year To Do List

I never make resolutions because let's be honest, we never keep them & then we just feel guilty. At the end of the day, it's a promise to yourself that you have broken - and that's just not good for ANYONE's psyche. On the other hand, if you don't set goals for yourself, how are you ever going to achieve anything? You have to have a plan. Or some semblance of a plan. A list of sorts - and goodness knows I'm a fan of a list! So instead of resolutions - which sound dangerous close to promises, I'm going to just make a list & get it over with. I gotta tell you, I've always got a list going. I have to write stuff down or I forget - period. We need cat food when I visit Walmart? You had better put it on my list or by golly, our cats will starve. Period. So this list is really for me, though I like for everyone to know what I am doing so when you see me doing it you can be happy for me. The only thing I like better than having a list is crossing stuff off of it!

My plan for 2008:
* My main number one, concentrating on utilizing my books this year plan is this: I want to knit patterns from my books! When I was browsing my Ravelry account it was clear that I don't use my books. I have very many knitting books & I have knit out of exactly 3 if them. One of those - Last Minute Knitted Gifts - I borrowed from the library & made 2 projects out of it & decided I just needed to buy the book. I also used another book that isn't even mine - I have it stashed at my house in the DFW Chicks prize closet. Hey - don't judge me - you would too! plan is to pick one project from each book that I own - preferably one of the of patterns that made me buy the book in the first place (not a requirement since my taste & skill level has changed a lot in 2 years) and just knit something out of it already!

* Learn to knit socks using the magic loop method. I bought the needles for this because it was on my 2007 to do list. ooops.

* Learn to crochet. I stole this from Dawn. I didn't mean to, but I couldn't help it. I also recall that we both said this in 2007 as well.

* More sweaters. I have been getting this great sense of accomplishment from these finished sweaters & I have a dream of having a whole closet full of sweaters in a rainbow of colors to chose from.

* Make a hat that fits a real person, not a doll or a yetti. I don't think I need to elaborate on that statement. Don't twist the knife. Really.

* I refuse to make yarn resolutions. I have no idea what my 14 other personalities will do with the yarn this year, so there! I will knit up some that I have & I will buy some new. Is that vague enough?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Trips - not much knitting

I know it's been a while but I've actually been trying to stay off of the computer instead I've been KNITTING. In between everything else I've had going on - so let me tell you what I've been doing.

The first weekend of November I went with a group of gals to Kid & Ewe in Boerne, TX. It was so much fun! I am not going to go in much detail - you can read about the trip & see pictures on the blog of others that went:

Jen (Nov 20th)or Dawn

THEN - the next weekend I flew to New Orleans to meet up with my family & take my Mom to the beach for her birthday celebration. She turned 60 this year & we were going to throw her a suprise birthday party. As it turned out, she would have killed us if we had done that! So we headed to Orange Beach, AL to spend some time at the outlet mall in Foley & some beach time. We had a blast. My sister brought her kids & we laughed all weekend that we had lots of lessons that she'd have to reteach them when they got home. For example:

Lesson #1: Don't say "Eat me"

We got to the condo, threw open the windows & immediately saw this written in the sand. So my 8 year old niece kept saying "Hey B, eat me. What does eat me mean?" I must admit I thought it was about hysterical but I wouldn't think so if it was my own kid. What's wrong with people that do stuff like this? Geeze.

Lesson #2: Don't throw your food. On my Mom's wish list for the trip was to go to Lamberts. If you've never been & you have an opportunity, please go. It's like Cracker Barrell on crack. This guy:

walks around with hot rolls on a cart & if you want one you have to catch it. They throw it at you. My 6 year old niece Laken immediately busted out crying wondering why people were throwing stuff at her. That seriously made us laugh even harder. We are terrible people. The food was tasty but the servings, well - they were extreme. The lady next to me had her food served to her in a skillet. Not like a skillet you get at most restaurants, a real live full sized with a handle kind of skillet. And she didn't even get something COOKED in the skillet as you'd expect, she got chicken salad. I asked. My cousin Tiffany is doing Weight Watchers. - and I mean really doing it - like a few pounds from her goal, not lose 10 pounds gain 6 like me - so she decided she was staying on program & ordered a salad. Here it is:

Bigger than her head. In a bread hat. She ate 2 plates of food & still had more salad than would fit in a to-go container. Really. I got fried pork chops & here is what my plate looked like:

I think my serving size was less than her salad! Oh - and here were the drinks!
Now if they filled it up with wine I might would have been more tolerable. It was a fun experience though. Back to the lessons.

Lesson #3: Don't smoke.

The last time I was home in Louisiana I was telling my Mom about how on the last knitting retreat I went on we sat around drinking wine smoking candy cigarettes. She got a bit excited & said she wished she knew where she could find some to give to the girls. Nevermind that she would get FURIOUS if my Dad bought us candy cigarettes - but that's what happens when you are a grandkid. And she denies ever being mad about them but my sister & I both remember that.....I digress. When I went with some friends on the Hwy 80 Garage sale we found this little -uh - quaint store that sold them so I bought some. I promptly gave them to my mom to distribute though so that I wouldn't be in trouble with my brother-in-law. She handed them to the girls & told them they had to smoke them all before they got home or their Daddy would be mad. It was such a funny scene - seeing Laken step away from the cigarettes, then hold them wrong so my Mom had to show her how to hold them right - I mean, it was just wrong.

Lesson #4: Don't talk to strangers
On our way there, a big wreck was on the interstate and was blocking the way. Go figure. Tiffany & I were ahead of the rest of the pack so we saw it right after it happened & it was way less of a pain for us. The other group - including the kids - were behind & sitting in traffic right next to an 18 wheeler. Well, everyone knows that truckers had CB radios & talk to each other & know what is going on! (Right? Do they still have CBs & do that? Shrug) So my Aunt rolls down the window, flags the trucker to roll down his window, & he does. She asks how far ahead it is, all the pertinant questions, all the while - talking to....well, a stranger. The girls were asking - "Who is that man Aunt Net is talking to? Does she even KNOW him?" HA! Don't talk to strangers. Really. Do as I say, not as I do. That's all I'm saying about that.

Disclaimer: I swear we are good people & my sister is an excellent mother. We were on vacation & being silly. Really.

A final shot.

Sigh. I love the beach & want to live there - just as soon as I win the lottery.

PS - I do have knitting content, I swear I do. I'll post again this week & let you know what I'm doing - it's a bunch! Just too much for one post. Later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Buttons & FOs

I think I have a button problem. It all started a few weeks ago when I went on the Hwy 80 garage sale with some friends. I decided I wanted to find some vintage buttons & jars to put them in. I was very specific about the kind of jars I wanted, I didn't know what they were called but I'd know them when I saw them. Let me tell you - I found buttons in spades! See:

And the buttons jars to put them in. You know, I couldn't be happy with one. Or two. Or dang it, even three! They are cool, though, aren't they?

I recently finished my Central Park Hoodie (pictures & button saga to follow - that needs a whole blog post of it's very own, let me tell you). I had buttons issues with that as well - and naturally I couldn't chose from the 4,383 buttons I already had. What is WRONG with me?????

In FO news:
I have an aunt - ok, she's not really an aunt, she's a cousin of my Dad & my Mom's best friend - anyway, a person that is not your aunt but is in your life forever & close enough you call her an aunt. She babysat me when I was a wee thing. She made quilts for my baby dolls that I still have to this day (horrid Raggedy Ann & Andy material but I love it so). She is known for making a quilt for every new baby she knows & only asks that you send her a picture of your baby on her quilt - she keeps them in a photo album & it's so fun to look through. When I decided I wasn't going to have babies I got rather indignant that it wasn't fair that I'd never get a quilt since I wasn't having a baby. She sent me a Happy Divorce quilt to go on my new couch - I still treasure it. And in case you were wondering, yes I did send her a picture of me with my quilt to go in the baby book!

Imagine my surprise when my Mom recently told me that said Aunt found out that I was knitting & she was all jealous. She wants to know how to knit & by God she wanted a scarf. So I whipped one out for her. It's the Mistake Rib Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts in Paton's SWS Natural Earth. I LOVE this yarn but I'm afraid it's a little scratchy for a gift scarf to a non-knitter. I'm going to give it to her because I am going to Louisiana this weekend, but if she thinks it's too scratchy I'll make her another. I love surprise gifting people - it makes me happy.

PS - Clarissa, I totally stole the scarf pose from you. Hope you don't mind.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Such good stuff I can't stand it!

Ok, I had a ridiculous good knit night last week. On Tuesday nights I meet up with some of the Chicks & we knit at Starbucks. Man. Tonight I got my KnitFlix swap gift & it was AWESOME. Here it is:

The Cutting Edge (haven't seen it? No? OMG - you must). The Cutting Edge Licorice Twist yarn dyed by Liz of Knit Clinic Yarns, Zitron Unikat yarn & 2 hat patterns. I'm going skiing & I'm totally into whatever I will be able wear while I'm there (nevermind that I will be in Colorado for 5 days & already have knitwear for about 50 days - just hush!), some of my favorite candy including M&Ms, Giant Chewy Sweettarts, Rainbow Twizzlers which I've never seen in my whole life but was more than happy to try out, Ghiradelli hot chocolate (yum), beads, little magnetic pads which I always have a soft spot for, a pom pom maker, low fat popcorn to even out the candy - all housed in the coolest popcorn bowl ever! Whew. I know - lots of stuff right?

Close ups of the yarn:
Knit Clinic Yarn - hat or maybe Calorimetry?

And then there are these letters. Sigh. You'd almost have to know my swap partner Janet to appreciate this. She is the mom of one of the girls in my group. You know how you hang with your friend's moms & it's not the same as hanging with your mom since they are cooler than your own mom & in no way responsible for you so you are friends with them too? But when you say / do something that you know your mom won't approve of & they give you that mom look but don't really mean it because well, they aren't responsible for you? Well, that's Janet. And she doesn't really approve of my cussing, I can tell. I've been wanting some cursing stitch markers since Becky made some for blogless Betty. Well, Janet got me these letters so I could make some cursing stitch markers of my very own. How sweet is that?

Then ---to top it all of Lise got there & she just got back from Rhinebeck. I entrusted her with some of my hard earned cash & she did not disappoint. Here is what she came back with.

Oasis Aussi Sock Yarn

Some ridiculous gorgeous pink & brown handspun. Which Patrick said looked "unfinished" (ie, thick & thin handspun). Exactly. Sigh. I love it.

Dorchester Farms Handpainted sock yarn

It was hysterical because we were all sitting in a circle & she was showing us all of her loot. It was a haul let me tell you. I was politely looking at all of it & petting it as it came around the circle all the while sitting on the edge of my seat because I knew my stuff was in there! So she pulled out a plastic sack & I couldn't see it & I swear I felt like those people on the Price is Right when they are telling them "you could win......THIS" - And she'd pull out some yarn & I'd get all excited & clap & try to figure how much did that cost. Not really on the cost part. She said she almost came home with $14 of my money. I would have killed her & taken some of the gorgeous stuff she brought home for her!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Look, I made a Knitter! And other fun stuff.

My niece Jordyn has been showing interest in my knitting since I started pulling it out in front of her. She kept hinting that she might want to learn but never came right out & asked. Honestly, I really didn't think I was a good enough knitter to be teaching anyone - I have my own way of doing stuff & figured I would confuse anyone interested to no end. Not to mention that I'm neither patient or a teacher in any way, shape or form.

Well, Friday night I stayed at my mom's house & Jordyn stayed with us. Away from the watchful eye of her little sister she asked me to teach her to knit. I was happy to do so but I didn't really have teaching supplies with me. I'm working on my Central Park Hoodie & no way was she using that yarn. I had a beaded bag on size 0000 needles with me. Luckily I had some Caron Simply Soft in my suitcase but not with suitable needles - I only had Addi circulars with me (of course!).

I told her that I knew there was some children's rhyme about a bunny & a tree or something (maybe I was thinking tying shoes?) and she told me she didn't need a rhyme to learn. Oh - excuse me. It was a good thing though because I didn't know it & I didn't even know who to call that would know it! She had her own way of learning - "up, around, through & off". Can you see how hard she's concentrating?

Works for me. Worked for her. The circs were throwing her off though. I made mention of the fact that it didn't escape me that she was learning on expensive needles. Too funny. Saturday I headed to Hobby Lobby & got her some cute pink & purple needles with some sparkly yarn - also pink, purple, aqua, brown - any guesses as to her favorite colors? While I was there she finished this scarf:

I am gushing with pride & excitement. I have visions of her in 20 - 30 - 40 years telling the story of how her Aunt Tasha taught her to knit when she was 8 years old & how she put it down for a while but picked it back up because it brought back good memories. Oh, I'm such a freaking sap! This might be her only scarf ever but I'm too happy about it.

Other fun things.

Ya'll. Really. If you don't listen to another podcast, you have to listen to this one. It has nothing to do with knitting & everything to do with nuthin. I love it.
The Big Boo Cast

I'm also reading this Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris. It is about vampires & it has a sexual undertone (maybe some overtones too)and you know, a little vampire bloody. But it's really funny & tons of fun. I just didn't want ya'll to say I didn't warn you in case you are easily offended. I am loving it though.

More later about what I'm knitting. Really.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pimping my Wares

Two notes of interest on this lovely Friday morning.

First, I entered a pair of my socks in a contest & I'm currently getting my booty handed to me. Go vote - vote for the ones you like best, but personally, I think the best are mine - Lacy Mock Cable Socks by Tasha. Hee hee.

Exercise your right to vote!

Yarn Ahoy contest

Honestly, I loved working with this yarn & she has some insanely gorgeous colorways. If you haven't gotten any, go take a look: Yarn Ahoy

Lastly, if you are in the DFW area, come by & see us on Saturday. The Knit Out Crochet Too is a free event & we have gotten some fabulous prizes for our Purse Contest & as door prizes. It should be a crazy day!
DFW Knit Out Crochet Too

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Love the One You're With

I have a yarn problem right now. I lost my mojo & have been working a lot, ie, more hours = more money. Instead of saving extra for my house like I should be I've been doing A LOT of stash enhancement. I find it ironic that this increase in yarn buying coincides with my return to Weight Watchers meetings. I can't eat guilt free so I'm using yarn buying as a substitute for food? Well, there is my Psych 101 contemplation for the day! (Down about 8 pounds if you care)

Disclaimer: Patrick, stop reading right now. Seriously. And if you chose to read on, I want you to figure out how big of an army you could arm & have ammo for should the zombies / aliens / etc come. Seriously, stop reading.

Ravelry had made me face the truth. I have a lot of yarn. For whatever reason the many 33 gallon drums full of yarn didn't have the same effect as actually photographing & logging stash yarn. Are you ready? Here is what I figured out. I have enough yarn for
11 Sweaters
69 pairs of socks
15 shawls
29 scarves
23 Various other items
I mean, that's all a rough estimate. This isn't bragging in any way - I am horrified to admit the truth, but hey, I have to tell somebody. (you could say that's not so bad Lise, you really could, I've seen your stash!) How long do you think it would take me to knit all of that? 5 or 6 years maybe? I'm thinking yes. So WHY do I keep buying yarn? I really don't get it. I refuse to put myself on a yarn diet because, well, I've talked about this already & I don't think that works either. I said I'd only buy yarn that I love & I've been doing that too! And it has to be functional but it is! I have to also say that I have some very lovely friends & I have been gifted lots of cool stuff over the years.

Now I'm going to make a concentrated effort to knit from my stash (thus the title of this entry). I have some really really gorgeous yarn. I have new projects planned out & I'm going to do it - but don't be surprised if you see me with a bag with SOME yarn in it. Lately I've been doing pretty good using stuff in my stash. We are supposed to be going skiing after the first of the year & I'm on a scarf kick. When I started knitting I made scarves exclusively for about 6 months. I kind of slip back into scarves every now & then but I've been staying away for quite some time. Now that I've started back I figured out that I can crank out a scarf in like 3 nights watching TV. I've been having fun with it.
Opera Scarf
made with Noro Cashmere Island. Like everyone else I love the color changes in Noro but I find the yarn pretty scratchy. This cashmere blend, while not as soft as I expect a cashmere blend, it's the softness that I want normal Noro to have - and it wasn't expensive, plus I got it 30% off. Love it. Obviously my gauge was off compared to the pattern - I used light worsted yarn & size 9 needles but I liked the look & kept it going. I have enough yarn for a hat or something. Love

Ok, so I love this cheap yarn. I bought this at Walmart for less than $1 a skein to make my 7 year old niece a scarf. When I saw it I immediately thought of her because she loves all things pink & sparkly. Well, apple doesn't fall far from the Aunt Tasha because...well, me too. I had enough left over to make one for me - I made this pattern. It's pink & squishy & I love it. Proof that you don't need expensive yarn - this cost me less than $4.

And in other news - Guess what? My socks are semi-famous. I sent the girls / ladies at Cider Moon a picture of my socks & they posted them on their blog. Isn't that so cool? Yeah, I know. They are the pink ones in case you are insane & didn't know better.....

Friday, August 31, 2007

Dr. Evil Stole my MOJO!

It could be because it's been 100 degrees in Texas, but I believe I've lost my mojo. Let me first say that I generally knit every single day. I knit while I'm watching tv at home which is a daily occurrence. "What about when you are not home at night?" some might ask. Well, if I'm not home on weeknights I'm usually at a knitting meet up so, well, I'm knitting. A sweet lady that I knit with recently made the comment that I don't have to knit every day. Can you believe that stopped me in my tracks & made me go "hmmmmm"? I seriously hadn't thought of that. Duh.

I have made a pledge to finish a sweater for myself by the time it cools off here - which should be entirely possible since it is only cold for like 2 months starting in December! But a light chill would warrant a cardigan so Lucy in the Sky is my latest victim. It is a deep green & is coming along really well but I got to the arms & now I'm stuck. Not because I don't know what to do, but because....well.... I can't find the needles I need to use & I have to dig out another skein of the yarn from my recent attempt to organize my stash so now everything I need is at the bottom of the heap no matter what I that whiney enough? GEEZE!

I knew my MOJO was on the fritz so lately when that happens I cast on a pair of socks. The only problem with that plan is that I tend to be monogomous to the socks so the sweater gets no love until the socks are done. Defeats the purpose of finding my mojo. Did I mention I don't even WEAR socks? Whatever.

I have been posting projects to my Ravelry account so I just realized that I haven't posted so many of my FOs here! I'll run through a couple of them & if you knit with me or stalk me on Ravelry (and I mean that in a good way), you will be bored silly!

My latest socks:

Jackie O Glacier from Cider Moon using the Rainy Day pattern from Magknits.
Can I tell you how much I LOVE the ladies at Cider Moon? Their customer service is outstanding & I have gotten the sweetest emails from them. Go buy some yarn right now! The colorways are gorgeous & the yarn is so nice to work with - I've never been disappointed. Well, that's kind of a lie, I was disappointed when I got my order of June Carter Cloud & I had only put one skein in my cart when I wanted 2 - what in the heck was I thinking??? And I have this strange compulsion of not being able to buy another skein from a different dye lot because I think it will be different shades, yada yada because it is hand dyed. Bummer. I guess I'll have to buy 2 more for my scarf & make a matching hat! That Cloud is ridiculously squishy & they tricked me into buying it by sending SAMPLES with my order. What clever vixens.

I also finished these Monkey socks with Sunshine Westwood yarn.

I have this new rule where I won't buy a sock yarn that I haven't already knit with. Wouldn't it be a shame to end up with a pile of one kind of yarn & hate it? So I made these so I could try out Sunshine since I love her colorways & it totally passed the test. It was wonderful to work with. I am not one to knit the same pattern again but I gotta tell you, I will make more Monkeys. The pattern looks good in every yarn I've ever seen it knitted up in, it's easy to memorize, and it seems to help with pooling. I can see why it's such a popular pattern & if you haven't made any, get to it! I finished them in 17 days, which is a personal best time for fingering weight socks. Go Tasha! Go Tasha!

You know I'm not much on progress pictures but I have to show you this because it will be a while before it's done. It's the Trellis Shawl from the Runway Knits book. I instantly fell in love with this book & I love the idea of this shawl because it also has arms. I really like the idea of a shawl in general but I just don't know how practical it is for me. This one is so squishy & luxurious- I can't wait until it's done. Though it's pretty boring knitting..... I have made quite a bit of progress since this photo - I think I'm at 15 inches & it needs to be 75, so still quite a way to go!

Due to my long absence I have tons to talk about. I could blather on forever but I'll spare you.

Friday, August 24, 2007

What your Ipod says about you

I don't know about you, but I have a love affair with my Ipod. I firmly believe that if I put it on "shuffle songs" it knows just what I need to hear, even if it's not what I WANT to listen to. Not too long ago I had one of those days. You know the one - I ran from one stop to the next & was on fast forward mode all freaking day long. I turned to my ipod to see what it had to say. Mellow music. Damn it. Skip to next song. Mellow music. DAMN IT. Skip to next song. Mellow music. DAMMMMMNNNNNN ITTTTTTTT. I get it. I need to chill out. So I listened & it was right - just like when your Mom tells you if you eat more sweets you'll regret it & you do then you are mad that she was right. Same thing.
I thought I'd share with you such a playlist that my Ipod decided to give me today.

Til't cha head back - Christina Aguilera w/ Nelly
Kyle's Mom is a Bitch - Eric Cartman - South Park
Hurricane Party - Cowboy Mouth
Could you be Loved - Bob Marley
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
White Lines - Duran Duran
Express Yourself - Madonna (remember old classic Madonna? Sigh)
Can I get a F**k you - Puff Daddy
Girl Next Door - Saving Jane (sadly from my niece's Nickelodeon CD)
Celebrate - Ru Paul
All She Wants is - Duran Duran
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) - ABBA
Grease Mega Mix - Olivia Newton John & John Travolta - I love me a remix
Fight For Your Right To Party - Beastie Boys
Voodoo - Godsmack

Man, how does it know that it's a WEEKEND? What a fun machine.

Disclaimer: I am highly embarrassed that I have the South Park Bigger Longer & Uncut soundtrack on my ipod, but I do. Same goes for RuPaul, but I won't apologize. You can disown me now.

I'll try to fit some knitting content in this weekend. I promise.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Ridiculously Good Swap present.

First let me say that I don't participate in anonymous swaps. I love the idea of Secret Pal whatever-number-we-are-on in theory but I'm so scared of getting a terrible package that I just won't participate. I co-own a local yahoo group in the DFW area & we do swaps several times a year. This one I like because I know all of the participants & they know me so it's easier to buy for people. I have always had great swap partners, I have never been disappointed, and I love the ladies in my group for their thoughtfulness. Our most recent swap was the brain child of Dawn & it was SUCH a good idea & fun swap. Participants sent their pal on a "vacation" of sorts. My partner, Liz is a really really good friend of mine & she is also a liar. She told me that she had someone else & I totally bought into it the whole freaking time. You must know something about me - when we have a swap I try to figure out the list of who has who so I can limit it down to the person that has me. I love a surprise but apparently I think I'm Nancy Drew as well so I get great joy out of figuring it out. Here's the best part. Liz told me that she had Dawn. Now that I think about it, I KNOW WHO HAS DAWN. And I still didn't put it together. I think I need to go back to detective school....ANYWAY. Liz knows hords of information about me because I talk an awful lot. I was a perfect target for this vacation - BACK TO THE 80s. She handed me presents all wrapped in pink paper & in a pink fabric box & everything was numbered & I had a stack of envelopes. Whew. I'm tired just thinking about opening it, much less putting it together. I'll do my best to take you through my journey.

Planning stages envelope had a message that said:
Your trip will tak you to a place with no cell phones...No internet....(eek!)...No TiVO (The Horrors!!!). You are going BACK.....

Next envelope marked "You are going....."
BACK TO THE 1980s!!

Just a brief pause to say that I was sure that I was squealing at this point....

#1 - Back to a time when we wore Converse High Tops and slathered our lips with Cola flavored Gloss

#2 - And wore baseball jerseys with 3/4 length sleeves

#3 - A time where the candy was goody and not covered in dark, delicious chocolate

#4 - When the music ranged from Punk (Lotus Yarns named Punk Rock Girl)

#5 - To silly songs about turning Japanese

I know, it's so good right! But that's not all...

Packing up: But, alas, as with every trip - you have to go home again...In this case - back to the Future.

#6 - A time of candy-pooping animals (this is an inside joke, and trust me, it's freaking funny)

#7 - And the days of Knit Clinic Yarns in colors that you wish for...

I mean, ya'll - that is just ridiculously clever! I have been wanting that shirt & that kimono pattern & I've been begging with little dignity for her to dye me some pink & yellow yarn.

I case you didn't know, Liz opened her own Etsy shop to sell hand dyed yarn. It's really gorgeous, she has a great sense of color & has been shopping for the perfect base yarn - it's fabu. Go check it out. Knit Clinic Yarns

Thank you thank you thank you Liz for the gift, but mostly for making it so fun for me. You are so thoughtful & I am so lucky to have you as a friend. Even if you didn't give the best presents EVER (which you do). Lucky me!

PS - OH YEAH. And if that wasn't enough - uh, which it was, I think she was confused on the price limit, but I got one more present. She didn't get it in time to give it to me with my gift so I got it later. It's a really pretty necklace with a friendship tree on it, much like the friendship bracelets from the 80s. No clever commentary from me because, well, she didn't give me any & I suck at that. As was evidenced by the fact that I handed Jen her bag full of goodies & said "you are going to Italy" with narry a note attached. I'm not very creative I'm afraid!

Monday, July 23, 2007

WANTED: Originality

I really love Ravelry, really I do. I love seeing the ideas people have for using certain yarns that I love, or yarns that I've never heard of, or how they modify patterns that I love, or patterns I've never heard get the idea. Part of the reason I love the idea of hand knit items is that not everyone and their sister will have my sweater. Now I wonder, is that true? I mean, 942 people on Ravelry have knit a Clapotis - do you see my point? In the big scheme of things I guess having 1,000ish Clapotis, or 10,000, or even 100,000 in the whole world is just a fraction when you compare to my favorite sweater from the Gap. Right? Sometimes I just feel like I get caught up in the latest knitting trend and I turn into a sheep. I like wool & I've turned into a sheep - what is wrong with me?

All of that to say this - tonight I got sick of looking at my Monkey sock (743 pairs on Ravelry as I type this, in case you were interested). I decided that I needed something new, something different, something that NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD HAS. Why do I feel this way? Huh? I am not a designer. I am not creative. I'm a total copy cat, really I am! I want something that is mine & only mine. I don't want to bring it to a meet up & have people ohhh & ahhh over it (no, I'm not ill & I realize how irrational that statement is coming from me, bear with me). I don't want approval from anyone else. I want to make an original SOMETHING that might just turn into the biggest, furriest monstrosity you have ever seen in your whole freaking life. So I cast on for said original creation tonight with original yarn that someone else lovingly hand spun - and then abruptly sold at a yard sale for 10 bucks. My $10 monstrosity - I haven't been so happy about anything since my unoriginal Clapotis!

Stay tuned.....

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Screw a Yarn Diet

Here's the deal. I have been beating myself up about how much yarn I buy for as long as I've been knitting. I didn't realize it until I went back through my blog gathering photos of old projects for Ravelry (which rocks, btw, if you are still on the wait list be patient, they are adding new people constantly). Way back when my posts sounded exactly the same as they do now - constantly justifying my yarn purchases. Screw that. Why do I do that? I enjoy buying yarn! It's currently my only money sucking vice. I rarely buy clothes or shoe anymore & I have no clue why I feel the need to justify it to myself - obviously to myself since not THAT many people read my blog - and to people that I knit with. Or other knitters who by & large buy as much as much yarn as I do. It's not that much & for goodness sake, no matter how many podcasters / bloggers compare yarn to crack, at least it literally isn't CRACK. I mean, it could be worse.

There has also been some discussion of yarn snobbery in my local group lately. It seems that someone made a comment that they went to a meet up where many people were using Red Heart & other forms of acrylic & that it was nice that it was about the craft & not about the yarn. Hum. That made me do some thinking.

I use acrylic & acrylic blends as much as any other fiber when appropriate. Acrylic at the LYS isn't any more expensive than acrylic at Walmart. Should I be snubbed when I'm paying the same yard per yard for similar yarn because I went to the LYS? Gee, I sure hope not. I'd rather support a local woman owned business before a billion dollar conglomerate any day of the week. Right now I'm making a Lucy in the Sky cardigan. The yarn that I'm using is an acrylic / wool blend that I got at a LYS for less than $50. Am I more or less noble because of this? Would it be snobbier if I had used Karabella Aurora (the yarn I'm looking at for another sweater on my wish list)? I guess I don't get it. For me it's about the process & making something for myself that I enjoy making & will enjoy wearing. This time around it's a cheap acrylic blend. Watch out, next time it might be expensive cashmere. I don't expect the women I knit with to comment either way - quite frankly it's none of their business. But they wouldn't do that or I wouldn't knit with them, you know?

I guess I equate yarn buying to the way I buy clothes. I buy some of my clothes at Walmart or the thrift stores. They are perfectly good clothes & I wear them a lot. They are totally useful & I wash them a trillion times with no problems & I don't worry much about them because they are sturdy & durable. But sometimes I just want to go to Nordstrom & plop down a pile of money on a nice sweater. I have to hand wash it & care for it differently. I'm ok with that because I deserve it & it has a place in my closet just like my less expensive clothes. Same with my stash. I have all types of yarn in there & it all has it's place. Knitting for me is about the craft. But golly - it's also about the yarn. One of the features that I love the most about Ravelry is that you can search for a pattern & see what kind of yarn everyone used for that project. I love to see the range of yarns that were used for the same thing, it doesn't make the project any more or less beautiful. Work with what you can get, you know?

I think meet ups are a great place to view / touch / exchange yarn experiences - that's one of the the things that love about meet ups! I love that some of my friends buy yarn that I may or may not be able to buy or may or may not WANT to buy. I like to be "in the know" about my yarn choices & that is one way that I learn more. I like to be able to touch & feel yarns that I've heard about or have seen on the internet. Sometimes it makes me want the yarn more, sometimes not. Not every knitter has the same color & touchy feely preferences - I might not want the yarn someone else buys but I enjoying seeing it. I enjoy seeing the joy it brings it's owner. I think that's part of the knitting camaraderie & experience.

I know in my life that I won't always have the most expensive house, clothes, car, shoes, handbag or yarn. I love the women in my life that have more & less than me & I don't judge them either way. I'm surely not going to stop enjoying the company of women who chose to spend $500 on their handbag because I'm a $20 handbag kind of girl. To each her own I say - I'd rather spend my money on yarn. And I am. And I'm not apologizing for it anymore so say goodbye to the yarn diet ticker & purchasing guilt forever! Good riddance I say!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More yarn, finished socks & why I haven't been blogging

I'm starting to think that I'm more of a yarn collector than a knitter. Yes, I bought more yarn. A lot of it. Well, Patrick is getting this bonus at the end of the week. Ironically it nearly coincided with all of my LYS annual sales. It just so happens that 2 of the shops have nearly the same anniversary date (though very different years in business) but they put their whole shop on sale. So naturally the other smart shop also does a sale at the same time while all yarn shoppers are in spendy mode.

Last year I bought loads of yarn that later got destashed or is still sitting in my stash. This year I had a plan. I made a list of things I knew I wanted to knit & decided to stock up on that yarn so I'll have it in my stash. Here is what I got:

From the Woolie Ewe - sale was Memorial day weekend & they had 35% off of the whole store. Everything. I think I was pretty good considering. Rust Silky Wool for a sweater, Jojoland cashmere in emerald green that I find highly an impossible color to find in yarn, more Baby Alpaca Grande - I love that yarn. The acrylic needed to do the crochet Larger Than Life bag from current the IK Crochet magazine, a few needles, and those adorable leopard purse handles.

From The Shabby Sheep and Passion Knit
Passion Knit had everything 35% off the whole store so I got some of the Handmaiden Sea Silk & enough Silky Wool in deep purple for a sweater. I have been wanting some of the Blue Sky Cotton so I got that as well. From SS I got more Manos in a color I normally wouldn't buy but think it's GORGEOUS - Panda Cotton - a book & a DPN holder that I've been eyeing anyway.

Yes, I know it's lots of yarn. But really it was at least 35% off. So if I was going to buy it know the drill.

And then there is this:

My inlaws frequent garage /estate sales & they came across a spinner. She hand spun all this yarn & decided she wanted to start anew so she sold them this whole box for $10. It is some BEAUTIFUL stuff & I plan to do a hodge podge scarf with it. I sure hope it comes out like I imagine.

In that spirit, I'm changing my yarn diet ticker. Instead of keeping track of how long it's been since I bought yarn & fixing it all the damn time since I haven't completely stopped, I'm going to do a 90 days without buying yarn drought. Really. No yarn. In a week or so when I'm POSITIVE I'm done. I have a hard time making that commitment when I have a big slush fund coming my way......

I finished my Hedera socks. I freaking love them. I must admit I was bored out of my mind by #2 so I really can't imagine how people knit the same pattern over & over. It was a great pattern - easy to remember & fun to knit, not too tedious - highly recommended.

Why I haven't been blogging - because I've been hanging out on Ravelry. If you are a knitter/ crocheter/ fiber person & haven't signed up yet - what are you waiting for? They are in beta & the wait list is about 6,000 people long, it will only get longer. They started adding people at an alarming rate & I imagine it won't be long until more & more are added. They are moving as fast as they can without crashing the site - please be patient. I have heard some disturbing things about messages they are getting - it's a free service, people. They are in beta. Be patient. I know - easy for me to say since I blindly took an invite when they were offered at the very beginning, but seriously, ugliness will get you nowhere fast. Put down the pitchforks & be supportive - it will be worth it, I swear. I have organized my stash, my projects, my future projects, found projects that I didn't even know that I wanted to knit, met new people, kept in touch with other people that I knew already (manda!) It's awesome. Really.

Friday, May 25, 2007

My personality test & a sock

See, I'm a joiner so I had to take this test that was on Dawn's blog. This is pretty right on so I have to share.

You Are An ESFP

The Performer

You are a natural performer and happiest when you're entertaining others.
A great friend, you are generous, fun-loving and optimistic.
You love to laugh - and you like almost all people equally.
You accept life as it is, and you do your best to make each day fantastic.

You would make a good actor, designer, or counselor.

I'm knitting too, I swear, I just am bouncing around 3 projects & have nothing finished. And you know how I feel about WIP pics. I did finish one sock though & I'll post that just to prove this is still a knitting blog. Hedera in Claudia handpaint John B.

* Notice how I already changed my yarn diet ticker? I have every intention of buying yarn at the Woolie Ewe birthday sale. 35% off everything in the store. I have $230 in birthday money. It is a no brainer. I imagine today will be the day that no yarn speaks to me - isn't that just the way?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Captured the Bird of Peace

Yes, I did. So here's how it happens. After I get off of work at 5ish I let my cats roam around in the yard for an hour or so. Thursday a week ago when I went out there I found an injured dove in the yard. I immediately get the cats to leave him alone - not that they could even CATCH the injured dove that can't fly, I mean, it's not as if they are hunters or anything - I grabbed up the dove & put him in a shoe box. Then I called Patrick. Let me get a few things straight right off the bat. Patrick grew up in a VERY animal friendly home. My in laws are huge animal rights activists to the point that the MIL captures spiders & lets them go outside. I grew up on a farm with cows - and not the dairy kind. All of the men in my family are hunters & hunting season equals fresh deer in the freezer. Our views of the roles of animals in the world differ quite a bit. As I have grown older I have become much more open hearted to animals, but I'm still a realist - if you know what I mean. So if you are a PETA person, I don't want to hear crap about my comments - as you'll see I'm too animal soft hearted for my own good. Ok now...back to the story. I tell Patrick of the dove & he said he'd deal with it when he got home (duh). He calls me on his way home & we have the following conversation:
Him: I looked up injured dove on the internet & we have a few choices
Me: Yeah?
Him: Yeah. First of all, it says it depends on what kind of person you are.
Me: {holding my breath & kind of hoping we are the kind of people that knock an injured dove in the head but instead say} So what kind of people are we?
Him: Well, we can wrap it's wing with an ace bandage & keep it for a few weeks & then it SHOULD be able to fly, then we let it go.
Me: {immediatley wondering when the dove still can't fly in a couple of weeks who will knock it in the head} hmmmm, ok, then that's what we'll do.

This requires a cage, which we happen to have since we didn't have very good luck with the hamsters. (oh yeah, remembering that the cats CAN hunt - well, a caged animal anyway). We keep the dove. We wonder what birds eat & the feel immediately stupid when we realize the answer - bird seed - duh. We wrap the dove as per the instruction on the web site (which I can't find right this second).

So we are doing the right thing, right? Who the hell knows. We know nothing about birds. Or doves. or injured doves. Quite honestly the dove doesn't seem overly grateful that we rescued it....I think he feels that we birdnapped him. Of course we did immediately put him in a little birdy straight jacket & we do have cats so I'm sure he figures he's lunch. Saturday morning we wake up & he has escaped the straight jacket. I have no idea how. Whatever, we wrap him up again.

Saturday we were both gone all day. Patrick goes to the pet store to get it some toys to keep it busy. Because really, I mean, the dove had toys in the wild, right? (insert eye roll here) The pet store girl basically tells us that the dove is one of the stupidest animals alive & that if we stuffed a wire ball with grass it will spend it's days taking the grass out of the ball. Geeze. Good thing we got it a toy. Maybe it's not thinking ANYTHING after all. Patrick goes to get the cage to put said toy in there & low & behold we see this:

Do you see it (right there under the piece of green grass)? It's a FUCKING EGG. The bird laid an egg. At this point I am totally speechless & if you know me at all you understand the severity of this statement. Really, I just don't know what to say about the bird we save from certain death & wrapped up in ace bandages laying an egg. I shake my head in disbelief for the rest of the day. The phrase "No good deed shall go unpunished" keeps coming to mind.

We tell this story to the FIL at lunch on Sunday. He knows a lady that takes care of injured birds! Oh man, that is the best news I ever heard. We drop the dove off at her house. We ask her if she wants the egg. She looks at us like we are crazy. Seems that the bird lady is a realist too. I have had people that said they couldn't have left the bird there if she didn't take the egg too. To those people all I have to say is this - I know where you can go to get an injured bird.....Just saying.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

WIPs & I don't seem to get this yarn diet.....

I really have been knitting, I have just been neglecting my blog. If you know me at all or have read my blog very much you know that I'm not big on WIP pictures. To be honest, I really don't want to see your socks in 20 stages of completion & I figure I'll save you from the boredom of looking at mine. Right now you'll just have to bear with me though, or not see any pictures. I am SUCKING at finishing right now - but I'm on a starting roll. There are so many things that I want to work on that I figured I'd just cast them all on & work on them. How's that for a plan? So in the last week or so I've cast on for 3 projects.

First of all I cast on for this Opal Shawl - I have been wanting to knit this FOREVER - well, honestly about 6 months - but it seems like forever. Alissa had a finished one at a class I was taking & I immediately decided that I MUST have the pattern. Unfortunately the author is deceased & there is copyright issues...blah blah it wasn't particularly easy to get. They worked it all out & I got my hands on a copy from Yarns & Stitches. I must say - the pattern photo is the most unflattering I've ever seen on any pattern. I would have never purchased it from that picture - but I saw 3 of them in person & they are really really lovely. If that picture is unflattering, well, I have no idea what you call this one. I'm only putting it up here to show you that I have been knitting & the yarn is knitting up so freaking pretty that I can't stand it. Socks That Rock medium weight in January One colorway. I am also having issues with the lace pattern on the bottom - it seriously isn't that hard but I've torn it out 6 times now. Thank goodness for life lines. I think I am to the point that someone else needs to look at it to make sure I'm not insane.

I have been looking at the Flickr group for the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I realize that everyone & their sister is knitting this scarf right now & I really really dislike being a sheep & following the crowd. I just couldn't stop looking at the combinations & the beautiful results. In my spare time & before I went to sleep at night I would plot which yarns would look which way. Finally in an act of desperation I convinced Betty to ride with me to the Woolie Ewe to pick out 2 yarns that might work & the only prerequisite was that neither could be pink or even contain pink. This is quite shocking I know, but I was left with a startling revelation when I was packing for New York last year....despite the fact that I have knit countless scarves in all colors of the rainbow, I have 5 pink scarves. Naturally I suppose when it came time to knit something for me I always chose some pink I have knit a few other things for myself that aren't pink, but they are few & far between. This will be one of those. We chose two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill - Misty Moor & Life's A Beach. My goodness it's pretty! Usually I love the yarn when I'm picking something out & I'm excited about the project until I get into it, then it bores me senseless & I lose love for it. Not so with this scarf. If you knit with me while I'm knitting on it, I'm going to show it to you & say "Isn't this pretty?" about 14 times so just bear with me. Love for a work in progress - it's a new disease for me....

Then I didn't have any socks on the needles so I cast on for Hedera in this yarn I bought last weekend at the Shabby Sheep. It's Claudia Hand paint sock yarn in the John B colorway. It's a departure from my normal color preferences but I'm trying to broaden my horizons. And it's knitting up so pretty - I'll show you when I'm done - damn those progress pictures!

I also bought this - a new wooden swift! or I should just say "a swift" since I don't have one at all. I have the world's suckiest ball winder but it will do until I decide on a new one. My chair back isn't doing the job & Patrick says I'm bitchy when I force him to be a swift so he won't do it anymore. My options were limited. I found this one at White Rock Weaving for what I considered a great price & I christened it this morning on the sock yarn for Hedera.

As you can see I've reset my yarn diet ticker. I just don't seem to be doing so great laying off the yarn buying. Yesterday I took a toe up sock class by the wonderful Joan Schoeder hosted by Woolie Ewe. I had no intention of buying yarn, but really, how could I resist. They had this Lorna's Laces Flamingo Stripe:

Over the past couple of weeks I also bought the yarn for my Chevron scarf & that sock yarn that I'm using for Hedera. Other than that I'm doing pretty good though. Ok, I've blathered on long enough. Tomorrow is my birthday & I plan to post something fun....stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Yarn, FOs, and Mickey, OH MY!

Ok, I know I haven't posted in weeks. I have a good excuse. I'll give you a hint

Yep - there it is, one of the worst pictures of Cinderella's castle that I've ever seen. I spent last week with my mom, sister, & nieces in Disneyworld. We had an absolute ball but I seriously think that deserves a post all of it's own.

Did I knit? Heck no. Actually, I worked on sock #2 of my yarn ahoy socks at the airport before I left. I can't knit on the plane - I need more room than a narrow seat in coach allows. On the ride back to the Orlando airport I started a charity hat to turn in at Fiber Fest but I didn't finish it - I imagine I will tonight. No it won't go to the charity it was meant for but it will go in my pile of chemo caps to go to the Baylor cancer ward here in Dallas. It's adorable but after I realized it wouldn't get done I got distracted.....

You also may have noticed that my yarn diet ticker has been reset. I really don't feel bad about this AT ALL - I had a good excuse. And I made it a freaking MONTH without buying any yarn - except a few balls of Sugar & cream which at $5 total just doesn't count.....This past weekend was DFW Fiber Fest. I took the Entralac class with Knitting Fairy Alissa Barton - do I need to sing her praises AGAIN? I don't think so - you know that I'm a fan. She is a marvelous teacher. I needed feltable wool in 2 colors for the mini bag that she was featuring in the class. Do you believe that I didn't have 2 colors of feltable wool in my stash? Shut up. This was prettier. Even though the likes of Lily Chin were teachers at this event, this was the class I truly wanted and it's all I could manage after walking 194 miles at Disneyworld on little sleep, no wine, and dealing with children for 5 days. (I am not opposed to all children, but I get nervous when I'm outnumbered. Just saying....) Here is the bag that is a product of that class. Adorable, huh?

Oh, and I bought some Perchance to Knit Foxtrot from my friend Manda's destash mission - I've been wanting this yarn FOREVER & if you don't know what it looks like, when you see it you'll understand. In case that isn't enough justification for you, I also found a $20 bill in a Christmas card from my Grandmother when I was unpacking from Disney. How is that for some fate?????

Now, my most favorite announcement. I finished my first pair of socks that I actually like. Did I say like? More like LOVE. They are the Lacy Mock Cable Socks made out of Yarn Ahoy Berry Bang (I think) yarn that was given to me by my very sweet secret pal Ronda. I love love love them. I was trying not to squeal as I finished the kitchner last night since Patrick thinks hand knit socks are tools of the devil (see previous post). But geeze I'm proud of them & I can't wait to wear them in some anti-fashion statement like with Birkenstocks or clear clogs. Here they are in all their glory.

That's it for now folks! Hope to see everyone soon - I miss my knitting buds. But I caught some child cold disease in Disney - or maybe I have alleriges, whatever, I feel like crap. More knit time. Later