Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So....that's the end of 2008, huh?

I can't believe this year is over. Time truly does fly when you are having fun. Or working. Or knitting.

So here's what I've been doing - I have been struggling with what to knit next. Dawn threw down a challenge to go through your WIPs (works in progress for your non-knitterly people) & either finish them, commit to finish them, or tear them out. Sigh. That was a hard process for me as I hate to pull out my knitting. It represents hours of time & effort & even if I don't like it I have a hard time doing it. I am trying to change my focus to the fact that if I do that, I'll have more yarn to make things I like instead of just having it sit. Not to mention the needles that it frees up! So I did frog several projects. I frogged some socks that were just going to be too little (stupid Socks That Rock)

Yes, I know they are pretty, but they were going to be too small - I can't get proper gauge with any form of STR. This is my 2nd frog of this yarn, btw.

I am going to frog the Trellis Shawl that was quite a ways in but seriously, I am unhappy with how wide it was (not enough) & I just won't be happy with it. I need to upsize the needles to about a 10 then start over.

It is WAY further along than this - probably 14-16 inches in, but hey, I'm not happy & I need to face the truth.

Then I'm almost embarrassed to show you this, but truth is truth:

I don't know what I was thinking. This Square Cake Bag called for a beaded yarn (tres pricey) & I was thinking I could use use this ridiculous mirrored yarn that I bought for $2 a skein & bling up my own bag. was even a little much "bling" for me. Which is saying a lot - I'm hard pressed to call something gaudy, even when it is. But this was really just a disaster. Dawn tried to frog it to save the Bonsai it was held with, but soon decided that she'd rather me lose the $12 than go through that so we THREW IT IN THE GARBAGE CAN. Oh well. (I truly apologize to the place of business that now has a floor covered in sequins. Not to mention that Dawn will be finding sequins in her knitting bag for about 14 years)

The good news:
I uncovered some projects that really don't require much effort to finish. Noni Adventure Bag - it seems that all I have left on this bag is the handle. I put it down because my yarn is tangled - how wimpy is that???? I can untangle some yarn now so I'm going back to it.

I found 2 skeins of yarn that I have been looking for - both of which will become the 2nd sock of 2 pairs I started. So that's good.

I found my itty bitty beaded bag & it's pretty far along - I actually enjoy knitting on it, so I want to finish that up.
Beaded Thimble bag

Whew. That's it. I think. I want to extend the challenge to you too - go dig out your UFOs - frog what you don't love, knit what you do.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Wrap up

My holidays were SO GREAT - we had the best holiday season ever & I must tell you - I'm so glad it's over. I'm sick of eating rich food & not sleeping & spending money & not sleeping in my know the drill. But really - we are so blessed and go so many freaking presents that I'm STILL unpacking.

Here is my annual for my very own self year end project wrap up. I realize no one cares about this except me, but I love going back & seeing how I've progressed or knowing what I keep making over & over again (scarves, anyone?)

January - 4 hats, 3 scarves, 1 pr socks
Super Yak Scarf
Hannah Hat
Skinny Scarf
Edge of Lace Hat
BR Knock Off Hat
Le Slouch
Luxe Neck Warmer
Basket Weave Hacho Socks

February - 1 shawl, 1 hat, 1 scarf
Opal Shawl
Spring cap
Villandry swap scarf

March - 1 pr socks, 1 scarf
Army Girl Socks
Twisty Toasty Malabrigo scarf

April - 1 scarf
Squishy Purple scarf

May - 1 scarf, 1 shrug
Silk Multidirectional

June - 2 toys (the month of toys?)
Patrick's Gun

August - 1 dishcloth, 1 sweater, 1 shawl, 1 pr socks
Blue dishcloth
Tatami Kimono
Falling Leaves Shawl
Go with the flow Glam socks

September - seriously? Just a burp cloth?
Baby burp cloth

October - 1 baby sweater
Plankton Baby Sweater

November - 1 bracelet, 2 scarf, 1 pr socks
Beaded bracelet
Purple Koigu Garden Socks
Springy Lace Ribbon Scarf
Baby Kimono

December - 1 scarf, 1 hat, 1 pr mittens, 1 pr socks, 1 sweater
Green cabled scarf
Pink Foolproof Hat
Autumn Footies
Fylingdales Cardigan

That's 33 projects - less than last year but still. I really hate that the months that it looks like I'm not doing anything (like April) are probably my heaviest knitting months - I'm just working on something mammoth like a sweater or shawl.

I'm already busy planning new stuff for 2009. I cast on for a new sweater today and I plotted out a few gifts. I also went through my WIPs & ripped out a few things. I pushed a few things to the front burner as well, like a purse that I only have the handles left. Why in the world do I stop things when they are so close to being done? Usually I have no clue, but in this case the yarn is tangled to hell & back. I have a few things that I need support for so I'm bringing them with me the next time I see my friends. Someone is always happy to frog a project that isn't theirs! Time to start fresh! And how about you? Anything you need me to frog for you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Tree that Saved Christmas

I do love Christmas. But the older I get the more I dread pulling out all the crap that transforms my home into a Christmas wonderland. Don't get me wrong - I WANT the Christmas wonderland, I just want the elves to do it. More importantly I want them to take it all down.

I put off the tree decorating a little this year. Usually I put up the tree the day / weekend after Thanksgiving. I stayed home ALL weekend this year because we had both been running so much, I just really needed some do nothing time. I felt guilty all dang weekend because I didn't go get my tree & put it up like a good little Christmas Elf. I'm off on Wednesdays, so the following Wednesday I told Patrick that we MUST go get our tree & put it up today or really, what's the point? Honestly, I was prepared to go through the full Christmas season with no tree. I wouldn't have told anyone this - I can't stand the peer pressure. I find that if you don't say it, seriously, no one asks. Who wouldn't put up a tree? Patrick was very adamant that he wanted a tree & I was a big old scrooge if I didn't put one up. He came home from work that night, changed clothes, and we got in the car, me half groaning. He told me that we could turn around right now & not get a tree....he called my bluff & I said "as long as we are out we might as well get a tree."

We arrived at home depot in appropriate cold (do you know how UNfun it is to buy a tree when it's warm?) He immediately walked over to the small 4-5 foot trees, pulled one out, and said "What about this one?" I could have kissed him. I think I did kiss him. Really? A small little tree that isn't a beating? That only costs $18.95? That we don't have to navigate through the maze that is our house to the tree spot? Only to find that it doesn't fit in the space for said tree? Then try putting the lights on a too big tree......Sounds like last year.

But a small tree....I can do a small tree. Sad part? A small tree never crossed my mind - NOT EVEN ONCE. I don't know what that is, but I didn't even know that was an option. IT IS! So we got the small tree, got it home, and I put the lights (2 strands, thankyouverymuch) - I could even walk around the dang thing to put them on. No beating. No fighting. No gnashing of teeth. I LOVE MY LITTLE TREE! It smells like a tree, it's lit, it has ornaments. Sigh. The tree that saved Christmas, at least at our house.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2009 Plan (not resolutions)

As I stated last year here, I do not make New Year's resolutions. But as 2008 starts to wrap up, I can't help but wonder what 2009 holds in all areas of my life, including knitting. First let me look back at my 2008 plan & see how much of it I accomplished.

* I wanted to utilize my books more this year. I did knit 11 patterns from books that I have or bought throughout the year. That is less than half of the projects I did all year, but that's better than I've ever done before.

* I said I wanted to learn to knit socks on magic loop. Well, I didn't knit narry a sock magic loop, but I did knit 27 Barn Raising Quilt squares on magic loop, so I get it. I consider that a "done".

* Learn to crochet. Uh, that didn't happen for the second year running. I tried & I suck & I hate being bad at something. I can't get my tension right & it frustrates me.

* More sweaters. I knit 2 sweaters for myself, so that is technically more sweaters. Not exactly what I had in mind, though. I think this goal will follow me throughout my knitting life.

* Make a hat that fits a real person, not a doll or a yetti. Well, I knit 5 hats last January & they all fit real people. So....check!

* Glad I didn't make any yarn resolutions because I bought a bunch of it this year.

For 2009:
* Continue the book thing. I love the idea of choosing a book & getting inspired by that book. Ideally, in my wildest dreams, I'd like to knit all of the way through a book. I can't pick a book because naturally I don't like all of the patterns in any book, but I can dream. Last Minute Knitted Gift & Knitters Book of Yarn are the only two in the running at this point.

* Some sort of stranded knitting - I bought yarn specifically for the Inga Hat. I also really like Three Tams & the Fake Isle Hat. So something like that.

* Do more charity knitting. I really am a selfish knitter & I have to consciously decide to knit for charity. I am always glad when I do.

* Do more baby knitting. It's fun, fast, and rewarding. I will be surrounded by babies this year so I have people to knit for (boys! don't they know how much pink yarn I own???). I also got caught needing some last minute baby gifts, so having a few baby sweaters / hats / booties on hand wouldn't go to waste. Can also go with the charity knitting since one of the girls in my group is on the board of Newborns In Need for the Dallas area.

* Blog more. I have so many ideas for my blog. I'd like to share my trips, which I know we have at least 2 this year. My inlaws are giving us a trip to Washington DC for Christmas & then Patrick's dad was named President of the Louisiana Bar Association, so I know we will be going to Vegas or Destin for that this year. We have so much fun & I'd like to share that with my friends & family, not to mention having a diary of sorts for myself. Plus I have some series-es (man, how do you make that plural???) that I want to do. I have tons of ideas & no follow through. I figure if I blog EVERY SINGLE WEDNESDAY since I'm most probably off, that would be great. We'll see.

* As mentioned above, more sweaters. I noticed that the last few years January was a hat time. This year, not so much. I want to knit Liesl immediately following my Christmas knitting (of which there isn't much) and then I'd like to make some type of pullover before we go to DC in late February. I'd like to have a sweater on the needles at all times throughout the year just like any other project.

* Complete The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee. I heard about this book on my new favorite podcast - Cogknitive (you should really go listen). I bought the book & I really am intrigued - it isn't a sweater, but I have read comments from everyone that has made it & they agree that they learned SO MUCH. I want to make it.

* Finally, yarn. I did get my craft room in working order last month. I got a great glass front cabinet to put all of my yarn in, so I can see it AND it's easily accessible. I do have a little room in it, but there's the whole Woolie Ewe year end sale coming up & I already have Christmas gift cards! So I plan to stock up & I do have a list already. I'm not saying that I won't buy yarn next year, because that is RIDICULOUS. I will say that I'm trying to change the way I chose my projects. Usually I pick a project, half-heartedly search my existing stash, then go buy yarn for said project. I want to change that focus to choosing one of the fabulous yarns that I have on hand, swatching (if it's a garment or something that needs it), then find a pattern that works with that yarn. At the end of next year, I'd like to have knit more out of stash than new yarn, and I think that's totally doable.

So that's my plan! How about you? If you post a list, let me know so I can go check yours out - I might have missed something & will need to shameless copy you.

ETA: I thought of one more. I want to knit a difficult lace weight shawl. I have done one in worsted weight & one in heavy fingering, so now it's time for the real deal. Right now I'm thinking Hanami in my mahogany Handmaiden sea silk. We'll see.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Need a smile today?

How cute is this?

I went to see Annise & her new little baby yesterday after a long day of Christmas shopping. It made my day - he is ADORABLE & she's such a good little mamma. He arrived 3 weeks early AND managed to break her tailbone in the process, but she doesn't even care.

Too cute!
Photo credits to Liz & her new camera.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Swap questionaire

For my Rubbernecker swap person.

Dear nicest swap partner alive,
Here are my answers to the questionaire. I really am not a picky bitch just in case it sounds that way. I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever you come up with.

* What form of fiber manipulation do you prefer? (Particularly, do you spin / would you welcome roving in your swappypack?). I do not spin, but do appreciate handspun.

* What fibers do you prefer? My favorite is alpaca, but I like any natural fibers as long as they aren't scratchy.

* What yarn weights do you prefer? I think there are uses to all yarns. I prefer chunkier scarves, but I'm also intrigued with lace weight these days.

* What colo(u)rs do you prefer? Pink is my FAVORITE but I'm trying to expand my horizons. Next favorites are green, chocolate brown, or deep purples. The only colors I do not like are yellow or orange. But I'd never turn down pink yarn.

* Would you be amenable to noms in your swappypack? sure Any allergies your buddy should know about? no

* Do you have a wishlist? Just If yes, where can it be found? You can follow that linky thingy.

* Do you have a blog? Wow - yes, obviously Where? RIGHT HERE.

* Is there anything else you collect? I just turned my spare room into a yarn room. I am decorating in sheep & I have very few right now, so I guess the long answer is: SHEEP

* Any books, yarn, patterns, or needles that are out there that you are dying to get your hands on? All of my books/ mags / pamphlets are in my Ravelry library. You can check my queue, but I'm thinking I have more patterns than I'll ever use. Unless you have access some cool UK magazine I can't get my hands on, like Yarn Forward. Or, you know, Shaun the Sheep by Alan Dart. (see, not TOO picky wanting an impossible patterns. how about an Alice Starmore book while your at it)


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Teaser for the Yarn cabinet reveal

Kudos to Liz for the pretty picture. There is a pink row - can you tell?

Kid N Ewe 2008

Several people have asked me about my trip to Boerne, TX to attend Kid N Ewe . I had a freaking ball. I would replay the trip for you, but honestly, I can't do any better job than Sherilyn on her blog or Dawn on her podcast, so you can go read / listen to their takes on it. Here are the only things I would add.

Here is the bracelet I made in my knitting with beads & wire class:

I LOVED this class - I must make more. It was really simple & our teacher, Midge Jackson, was out of this world great.

Here is the yarn I bought:

The pink/gray/brown around the sides is Plain & Fancy Wool, enough to make a sweater. It's the first thing I bought when I got there - there were only 5 skeins in the booth & I couldn't bear to think it wouldn't be there on Saturday. The very top yarn is Henry's Attic peruvian tweed - it is an alpaca yarn & is SO SOFT. I wish I had bought a big pile of it. The purple/green/brown is PacaPeds sock yarn in Grapevine (you know, because I needed more sock yarn). The gray & gray/black skeins are Bluebonnet alpaca for I don't know what but I had to have it. The brown & gray skeins are Panther Farms Llama that I won for $15 in the silent auction - value of $80. The aqua/brown is Brooks Farms Acero that I bought to make a magic shawl. I probably wouldn't have ever made this but some of my friends have & every one of them is GORGEOUS. I also got a stuffed alpaca & some LED lights that you can attach to your shirt but I go those more for reading than knitting. And I bought some sweater clasps that were really inexpensive & I'm excited about finding the right project for them.

My big news is that when I got home, my sweeter than ever husband & father-in-law had gone to Ikea, gotten my yarn cabinet, and put it together. Here it is with hardly any wool :D

More on that later because I've been filling it up all week. Yesterday Liz came over to have an intervention of ugly yarn (which I had surprisingly little of) & man, it's full. I LOVE IT.

I'll leave you with a goat & an alpaca. I must admit my one disappointment was the absence of animals at the fiber fest! A few kids, but no ewes, and for sure no llamas. And only 2 alpacas. Weak!

PS - some people have asked about results from the Hwy 80 sale. I must admit, I started an entry about the weekend & it was BORING AS HELL. The weekend wasn't but the story was & I got discouraged. Also, a lot of what I bought will be gifts so I can't talk about it much. I'll try to spice it up a bit & post after my Mom gets her birthday box.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My favorite thing today.....

is these slippers. I got them as a birthday present from Susanne back in May but I only wear slippers in the winter. Today was a perfect day for them - spent the whole day playing with my yarn (plus it didn't get out of the 50s today) & put these slippers on ....they are so soft & squishy. If you see them at Bath & Body, grab them immediately.

Then there is the cute tail factor.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Highway 80 sale - here we come!

For the third year running, I am spending the weekend going from small town to small town to experience the Highway 80 sale. This is a garage sale that spans from Mesquite, TX to Jackson, MS. It really is a bit insane. The past 2 years, some friends & I have gotten up at the butt crack of dawn & driven East. This year will be a bit different - only 2 brave souls, Liz & I, will be attending. Becky moved away to Cincinnati & we are heart broken that she can't join us - we even tried to lure here back to Texas for the weekend. Other past or potential attendees can't get away for a WHOLE WEEKEND. That's right, I said the WHOLE WEEKEND. We are leaving at some point tomorrow & heading in that direction. Liz's Mom lives in Marshall, TX, which is about 2 1/2 hours of straight driving from the Dallas area. In garage/yard sale terms that means a full day. So we plan to spend the night there, get up EARLY Saturday morning, and see how far East we can get. It really is a ball & I can hardly wait to get started. My MIL has a theory about garage sales. If you go with her, you have to verbally speak what you are looking for & you will create it. I used to think that was bullcrap until I went with her & did it about 10 times. So I will verbally state my agenda for the record & the universe to hear me. I plan to decorate my yarn/craft/extra room in sheep, so I'll be looking for cute sheep in all forms. I am always looking for cool buttons, vintage & otherwise. When I was at my Mom's house this weekend we moved some furniture around & she has the prettiest antique piece with really old quilts displayed in it. I am going to look for something cute for her to hang over that piece, something like an old quilt sign or a cute picture or something like that. We also are always on the lookout for cool vintage jewelry & purses (Liz will fight me to the death for a purse, so I'll try to play nice). Preferally all of the above for a quarter. You have to have a goal or 3 days of yard sales might be a bit overwhelming. Plus we aren't bringing a Uhaul. The most important thing we always come back with is stories, and I can't wait to share them with you. I also see some knitting in the weekend, I just have to figure out what to bring with me. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mystery of the Socks - Solved?

Let me tell you a sock story. Just in case you didn't know - I said I would "never" knit socks. Never say that - about anything ever - because you never know what you might do & actually enjoy one day. My first sock experience was not a good one, but I took a class on how to do socks on 2 circs with my good friend & the best teacher ever - Alissa - the Knitting Fairy. I simply took the class to learn the method so I could do sleeves on 2 circs because I am not a fan of DPNs. Then I found sock yarn. It's a cheap fix & so dang pretty so I caught the sock bug & knit up about 8 or 9 pairs. Then I lost interest. A few months ago I got interested again. It's Texas, it's freaking HOT & socks are a good summer project. I started some socks - they didn't work. I tried using the "fool proof" method out of the highly recommended books Sensational Knitted Socks & More Sensational Knitted Socks. In case you have been living under a rock or aren't a knitter, these books are "fool proof" (notice those quotes I keep including - it's coming - wait for it) because it teaches you to measure your foot & customize socks in 4,000,000 different ways. I exaggerate but you get the drift - you can merely knit a gauge swatch, figure out your stitches, add a pattern, do different types of toes & heels, etc, etc. I did make one pair of socks from the method in this book & they came out fine - these as a matter of fact:

But they were in DK weight & I had an idea of how many stitches & the needle size that I needed to make them work. So if I was being totally honest I'd say I didn't actually use the measuring part of the book. Ok - all of that to fast forward to the near past....
I have a lot of sock yarn. Um, a lot. So I decided to knit knit knit socks. I have another excuse - I got these for my birthday:

Yep - clear Converse. I love them & they are perfect for showing off hand knit socks. I need more so I can wear them more.

I picked some yarn I love & started a sock.
STR Little Bunny Foo Foo

Didn't work. Was too big around my leg. So I went down # of stitches. Didn't work. Doesn't fit over my ankle. Let's try toe up. Nope. Too tight in the ankle. Let me just say this - I don't have weird feet & ankles. I don't think anyone believed me so they checked me out at knit night. Nope, pretty skinny ankles for a chubby girl & normal sized feet & toes. Nothing unusual. So I set it aside & grabbed more pretty yarn.

Lotus Yarn Punk Rock Girl. Love.

Started to knit Carolina's - I didn't like the pattern with the yarn so I tore it back. And I didn't like the fabric so I went down a needle size. Nope. Still not good. Started toe up - nope.

Do you see a freaking pattern here? I swatched, I swear I did & socks don't like me. So I gave up. RIP sock knitting.

Flash forward to about 6 weeks ago. By a twist of fate I ended up with some of this seller's watermelon sock yarn. Biscotte - if you like her stuff for goodness sakes buy something! She has great customer service & her yarn is pretty. Anyhow. So I decide to knit a plain stockinette sock or a simple rib or something & do it until I get it right. Well, I needed a size 1 needle. Somewhere along the line I must have decided that 2.75mm needles are the PERFECT size for me because I have quite literally 7 circular needles of this size plus a set of DPNs. BTW - fingering weight does not so much work with that size needle. (Tasha's sock problem #417). I have 2 size 1s & I couldn't find them so I went on a hunting mission. I found them - in a sock that I started in November last year at Kid & Ewe. I had knit maybe 3 inches on it & gave up. I came ridiculously close to pulling the sock off those needles to use them then I had a thought - "why in the world would I do that when these socks are WORKING?" HEEEEELLLLLLLOOOOOO. I started knitting on them again on a Saturday & bound off the first sock on Monday night. I loved it! I am in love with it. I like sock knitting again! So I cast on for #2 at knit night on Tuesday & Friday night I finished a pair of socks for the first time in 6 months. These- Go With the Flow socks from Favorite Socks in Lone Star Arts color Glam.

May I take this moment to mention that I didn't have even ONE finished object in July? All of those quilt squares & circles I guess. September is sucking quite a bit as well.

To add to my sock knitting craziness, I'm going a sock retreat this weekend in Lindale, TX at Arabella Garden. I'm bringing the only problem socks that still exist on the needles (that adorable Little Bunny Foo Foo sock) and more sock yarn than I can shake a stick at. I'm coming back an expert - DO OR DIE. Socks beware.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wanna see something pretty?

Isn't it? Oh, I think it is. What is it, you ask? It's my newest sweater project - the Fylingdales Cardigan from A Fine Fleece. Only that picture on her website doesn't really do it justice & I'm not putting that flappy collar on it - I don't do well with a collar like that. There is some controversy about the name. The pattern as originally published clearly reads "fLyingdales" - which seems to only reference a Jethro Tull song, but the book clearly has "fYlingdales" - which is an area in England. Neither are in the dictionary & quite frankly, I don't really care. I only know it's pretty. I'm using Mmmmmmalabrigo worsted weight yarn in the color Red Mahogany colorway that I bought at The Knitting Nest in Austin when we went down to see Franklin in May. I am LOVING working with this yarn. It's so gorgeous & soft & buttery. I think it's great because I think of that weekend often while knitting with it - it's the perfect souveniur from the trip. I just started this sweater last Sunday so I've made great progress on it in a week. The fact that Patrick has been deployed again for a hurricane & it's a long weekend may have something to do with that. Gustav, go away please. Thank you.

In other news, I finished my kimono last week. As most of you know, I've been working on the stupid thing forever! Well, not exactly forever, I started it mid-December last year. It came out really pretty & can you believe it? I LOVE IT. I generally work on something for that long, try it on & don't really get that loving feeling. This is entirely different - it's really pretty. I do still have to block it before I wear it & I have to finish a whole lotta i-cord for my belt, but it's about half way done. I figure that makes it done. Not wear it tomorrow kind of done, but I could literally wear it in a few days if I could concentrate. Which I can't. So I will post a picture when I finish it completely & it's wearable.

Have a good week!

Friday, August 22, 2008

My new favorite thing

I feel like I'm way behind the times on this but I have just found Pandora radio. This has to be the greatest invention ever! You can create an account & it will customize radio stations for you to play while you are on your computer. You type in an artist or song that you love & it will find songs with the same general properties & play those as well. You can then tell it that you like those songs or not - the more information you give it the better it gets (much like the recommendations that seriously freak me out they are so accurate. {shiver}). I currently have the following stations on mine:
Duran Duran (my absolute favorite)
Maroon 5
The Bee Gees
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Kid Rock
Abba (much like the Bee Gees, as you can imagine)
Madonna - but when it starting giving me her new bullshit dance stuff I said I didn't like it, so it started into Like a Virgin territory & I told it I did like that. Now it sounds a lot like a Breakfast Club soundtrack in our office. HOORAY!

Hmmmmm, Breakfast Club radio. I might have to try that.

If you try it & find a "station" that you think I might like, let me know. I'd love to hear how you like it if you try it out.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Adventures in Gay Bingo

First I must say, Gay Bingo is the most fun ever! If you live in the DFW area or if there is such an event in your area, you must go right now. Seriously.

The Outfit:
I debated what to wear to an event titled "Double Wide: One Man's Trash is Another Man's treasure". My original idea was to go buy a moo moo, for lack of a better word. I headed to Walmart & ick - I honestly didn't think I could wear that in public even as a joke. So I was searching Walmart debating buying NASCAR pajama pants & wearing them in public when Liz called & said she thought she had some overalls with Tweety Bird on them, and they might be shorts. OMG. Perfect. I also found some jellies - ick. I scouted out my options, like what kind of sponge rollers they sell at wallyworld & left with nothing. I had to see my muse - the overalls - to get it all together. Liz sent me a picture - she did find overalls, they didn't have Tweety Bird but they were pretty bad. I found a strapless bandana material top in my closet (I can't believe I ever wore this for real, though I was in Vegas, but still). It would be perfect if I wore a regular bra. And where is my blue eyeshadow? I am happy to report that no blue eyeshadow lives in my house, I would have to buy some. I found Mardi Gras beads in my vanity drawer to wear as my jewelry (doesn't everyone have Mardi Gras beads on hand? no? hmm, ok). I knew I was on the right track when I hit Walmart on my way to pick up Liz for a few things to complete my outfit & I headed to the checkout with my I Love My Eyes blue eyeshadow, sponge rollers, & my red jellies. The not very sophisticated checkout girl said, and I quote, "Them is some cute shoes for the summer, and they are on sale for $3! And it's tax free weekend." I stared at her in disbelief. Um, no they aren't cute, I'm buying them to poke fun at people that think they are cute, and tax on these shoes are about..oh, I don't know, a quarter! I'll put it in my house fund - I'm sure the mortgage company will be impressed. And by the way, the shoes were only $5 to begin with. But I didn't want to insult her so I simply said "Aren't they?" and moved on thinking they must be perfect. Because somehow I think that girl was raised in a double wide.

When I got to Liz's she was still in her nightgown. Her husband had told her that she really needed to get dressed & she told him she was dressed. See, she grew up in East Texas & had just spent a weekend there. She attended a wedding & in true trailer couture, some ladies AT A WEDDING were in the dress she uses as a nightgown. Perfect. So we both made out eyelids scream BLUE and curled up our hair. The Liz made the topper to my outfit - a sash made out of a trash bag that says "Miss Louisiana Trailer Park 1990." In the car on our way to meet everyone else we passed a Uhaul. Welcome to Texas. Everything you have heard is true. I bet those people are still hiding in their new house afraid to meet their neighbors.

Betty, Annise, Me - I can't believe I'm posted this picture of me but you need to know.

Just a tip for ya. If you dress like trailer trash, don't meet for a late lunch at one of the most fashionable areas in your town. Oh, but we did. We met at Cafe Express at Mockingbird Station. Oh yes, we did. Three of us went up to order at the same time - it is safer to travel in groups. I ordered wine, naturally, and told the guy that I really needed some & he did realize that we were going to a costume party, right? He admitted that he was wondering why we were dressed like that. I commended him on being professional & waiting on us as though we were dressed like normal people. People did check us out but honestly, not as much as I imagined. Mostly I think they ignored us for being unfashionable but in that neighborhood, I would expect the same treatment if I was dressed in my non-designer duds from Target. We also got our final accessory - Annise brought us all candy cigarettes, which have somehow become the mascot for all of our major get togethers but actually served a purpose in this case.

Annise is pregnant & this is the first time that I've seen her in a few weeks & dang, that baby grew. It couldn't have been more perfect. Right?

The Event:
So the actual bingo was SO FUN. We had a big group so we had reserved tables up in the front. The event is held at a club called S4 & this club has drag shows on Saturday nights at like 11:00 - when all of us ladies that live in the suburbs are already sleeping. The stage was set up like a scene from Jerry Springer & there were skits, including a cat fight.

There was also dancing by extremely cute unshirted men. Btw, I finally know where all the cute men in Dallas are! at gay bingo looking for each other apparently.

The music was great, they serve you drinks, bingo was fun, if you call bingo incorrectly you go to bingo jail - these girls don't mess around! Two ladies in our group actually won some cash ($95 & $119). It's for sure a do over - we will be going back. Hopefully the outfits will not always be so horrifying. But the fun will be the same.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Mom would be so proud.....

A group of friends & I are going to check out gay bingo in "big Dallas" (I live in the suburbs & that's what I call it - don't mock me) tomorrow night. Each month there is a theme. Tomorrow night the theme is "Double wide: One man's trash is another man's treasure." We are dressing up. My list for my Walmart in the morning includes the following:

Blue eyeshadow
Pink sponge rollers

Shorts overalls are involved.

Wow. You know what they say. You can take the girl out of the country......

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Is it seriously almost August?

I refuse to come here once a quarter and make some lame excuses as to how busy I am & why I haven't been blogging. I really hate it when people do that. So let me just tell you what's been going on in my knitting world & let's call it a deal, ok?

First I just must mention this because it's driving me freaking insane. My "k" key on my laptop is sticking. AAARRRGGGGHHHHHH! Thank goodness that doesn't include a "k" because it would have been really tough to type. It seems that something might be under it maybe? And I'm not sure if I can pop it off & clean under it & pop it back on so I won't do it. Ok - I'll move on but I thought I would mention it - if suddenly a word doesn't make sense, try throwing a "K" in there somewhere.

What am I knitting?
Well, my last few entries were about Barn Raising Quilt squares. I am currently at 17 squares so that's some progress. Want to see some pictures?

Those are in addition to the ones in the previous post which you have already seen. I was a little optimistic when I started this project. I really thought I wanted to do the quilt out of my scraps to make it a reminder of old projects blah blah blah. Until I finished up my scraps. Guess what? It will take me 11 million years to make enough socks to finish this. So in case you haven't heard, I would really like one scrap from my knitting peeps so that they will have a square in my blanket that represents them. I don't care what color or what yarn. Some yarns seem more appropriate for some people than others. Like Jen gave me a Lorna's scrap (not pictured yet, but it was #17) - it's terribly appropriate because she has a Lorna's addiction. Betty gave me the purple & pink scrap - purple is her favorite color & pink is mine. Liz gave me her scrap of Socks that Rock Misty Kelp that has a history between us but honestly that story is so long & you really won't care at all. The point is that we know & it is meaningful. Don't feel pressure though, if you give me a scrap it doesn't have to have a ridiculous tie in other than "this is pretty"! If you are an internet friend & you want to donate to my cause, email or PM me on Ravelry & I'll send you my address. I really love the idea of this blanket & I keep putting the fact that I will have to seam it all one day out of my head.

Speaking of hating seaming but being obsessed with small objects that require seaming....I also started the Astrid shawl. You basically make a billion circles then put them all together. Seriously, what is wrong with me? Did I mention that I don't really like seaming? Or weaving in ends that much? I'm knitting it in Noro Cashmere Island color #10 & it's going to be freaking gorgeous. I'm hoping to have it finished in time to wear to one of my nieces' weddings one day. They are ages 9 & 6 - I might just hit that goal! This is the set of "medium" circles.

I also did a few small ones but no photos yet. I love this yarn - I am a mild hater of Noro Silk Garden & Kuyeron so let me tell you - if you love the color changes of Noro & want something softer, I highly recommend Cashmere Island.

What else? Patrick is still deployed with Texas State Guard for Hurricane Dolly. He is in Austin now though so not very far from home & it looks like he will be home by Saturday at the latest. Thank goodness! I'm missing him.

I do have other stuff on & off my needles but I have to save some stuff until next time!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Barn Raiser update

Ok - so I finished 4 squares - redid one of the old ones & made 3 new ones correctly. I also frogged all of the old ones today. It's really sad that pulling the bind off took a while but winding the yarn / pulling out 5-6 hours worth of knitting takes well under a minute. Bummer

What yarn is that?
Top left - Cider Moon June Carter
Top right - Yarn Ahoy Berry Beautiful
Bottom left - Cherry Tree Hill Misty Moor (from my Chevron Scarf)
Bottom right - Knit Clinic Autumn Fever

Friday, May 09, 2008

Barn Raiser woes

So I just finished #5 square of my Barn Raising Quilt. When I started it I actually re-read the directions & realized why my squares look more like a boob holder than a square. I missed 4 YOs per row - so yeah, when my stitch count was off by about 50ish on the first one I should have realized what was wrong but no - I just kept knitting squares. 3 more in fact. So I have to rip them out & start over. As I was ripping last night Patrick asked me why didn't I just ditch the ones I had & start over - uh, because then I won't have any yarn, I'm using my scrap yarn from socks! So I really don't have a choice except to rip them out. The worst part is I did a sewn bind off so they have to be picked out, they won't just rip. Sigh. At least each square only took me about 2 nights of knitting. Still. What a pain in the arse.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Still knitting

Really I am. I haven't completely given up on my blog but I'm having a hard time getting motivated to write about my knitting. Between my local group & Ravelry, I feel like I interact about knitting and yarn A LOT. I'd prefer not to let it completely take over my life, but it might already be too late!

This is my insanely busy time at work - literally I don't take a break from the time I walk in until I leave 8 hours later - I eat at my desk & run quickly to the bathroom. It's insane. So the absolute last thing I want to do when I get home is try to think of witty things to write about knitting. So this is turning into the "whatever the heck I feel like" today blog. Patrick & I have done some traveling lately & I'm in the process of writing up trip reports so I can share our experiences and photos. The Colorado trip is close. Then we took the road trip home to Louisiana & honestly, I think our car time is highly entertaining so I'm going to tell you about that too. Stay tuned.

Knitting: still working on kimono. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but I just can't bring myself to work on it. So instead I cast on for a different sweater - Ophelia. I'm using Blue Sky Alpacas cotton & it is such a dream to knit with. I am putting sleeves on it because I love all of you too much to subject you to my upper arms, and now I'm stuck. I got all the way to the armholes then went to visit with Alissa to help me put sleeves on it. She helped me & I haven't picked it up since. Instead I bought a new book Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together & started ANOTHER new project - the Barn Raising Quilt made out of my scrap sock yarn. I finished 4 squares in 6 days so I think that's pretty cool. Here they are in all of their unfinished / unblocked glory:

It's a fun project but since I've only knit about 6 or 7 pairs of socks, I have a long way to go before I finish the 42 I'll need to make an actually blanket. So do you see a theme here? I completely can't commit to any one project, though I did complete a lavender scarf (Pasty Purple? Really, Berroco?) out of Berroco Plush yarn because I just need a dang break from patterns. It is SO insanely soft - this yarn would make great chemo caps. And I guess it will because I bought 5 balls of it 1/2 off at Rose Path Weaving several weeks ago & that scarf only took a little over 1 ball.

What else haven't I shown you. OH! I finished the knitting work on this Tovesta bag.

I LOVE this color & this was a fun project. As usual I haven't lined it yet & haven't done the finishing work. I actually don't even have fabric to finish this one - usually I pick fabric in the midst of a project because I love that part. No go this time around, I haven't even looked. I went to this one fabric store that I had never been to & whew. Let me give you a tip. If the fabric store has chandeliers, you probably can't afford the fabric that they sell. Just saying. The fabric I liked was $44 per yard. Holy crap! I get the whole quality issue, blah blah blah. I just need something that my stuff inside of my purse is going to sit on. I'm not wrapping my most precious bits. Geeze. I'm hoping to cure my fear of lining soon. We'll see.

I just thought of something else I haven't talked about - DFW Fiber Fest. Man I have a lot of stuff that I haven't told. Must get ready for work though - more later.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hat Bonanza and a new Creepy Model

So now that I started knitting hats I just can't stop. It seems that despite the fact that I am knitting gauge swatches, I am still the Goldilocks of hat knitting - some are just a little too big, some are just a little too small and some are Just Right. Maybe it's my head? Who knows. Every single time I've finished one & put it on Patrick tells me that "it's cute but you are just not a hat person" which translates to "hats look like hell on you, stop trying you crazy girl". But I won't listen. My friends keep telling me that they look cute on me. He assures me that they are lying to me to spare my feelings. You can't buy honesty like that, I tell ya! Disclaimer: I have looked in the mirror wearing all of these hats & I must admit they aren't my cutest moments. Damn it! I wanna be a hat person.

Before I get to the goods, I have to introduce you to someone. She is what has been referred to as the "creepy glass head". Can you even believe that there is a story behind this? Oh yeah, there would have to be, wouldn't there? Over the past few weeks, with the start of the hat knitting, I have become obsessed with having a creepy head to model my hats. I am not a self-portrait kind of gal. I can never figure out that whole in the mirror picture thing, my timing is never right on a timer, and quite frankly Patrick would mock me so much if I asked him to take pictures for my blog & Ravelry that it's just not worth it. I have been stalking heads on ebay - uh, let me take a moment to pause for a Public Service Announcement. DO NOT search "head" on ebay. Or anywhere on the internet for that matter. AHEM. Back to the story....these MANNEQUIN HEADS (that's what you search - it's safer, but I still won't claim responsibility for what you see) were going for like $40 & $50 with shipping! Geeze. They are obviously heavy animals plus they are a bit fragile so it seemed to be a losing battle since I didn't want a head THAT bad. I read on a thread about said creepy glass heads (yes, I found a thread about Creepy Glass Heads - I love the internet) that some people got them at Pier One. So I head to my local Pier One & hold my breath but I'm in a time crunch so I just have to ask - "Ummm, this might sound crazy but I'm looking for a clear glass head." The girl says "yes, follow me" and brings me right to them. For $15 - $16.20 with tax. I check out all the while wondering what kind of ridiculous self control this chick must have because if it was me, I'd have to ask "WHAT DO YOU NEED A GLASS HEAD FOR? SERIOUSLY?" but she hands me my head like it's a candle holder or something & I'm done. I have given a lot of thought about what I should name her but it always comes back to Amelia. So there you have it. Priscilla, meet Amelia. Amelia, Priscilla. She will be showing up modeling hats from now on, so get used to her.

Now to the hats. Modeled by the one & only Amelia.

Edge of Lace hat from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders (love this book, if you don't have it, order it right now.) Made with Noro Cashmere Island which I enjoy much more than the Silk Garden & it's not expensive at all. This matches my Opera Scarf. A set - YAY!

Banana Republic Knock Off Hat - Because even using what I consider pretty pricey Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Super Chunky yarn it's still cheaper than the $50 overpriced BR one. I used some pink scraps from my Skinny Scarf so I was a little short on yarn. I did add two extra rows of knitting to the body but honestly it could have used a few more. I'm afraid I will be pulling on it too much so I'm probably going to donate this one to charity & knit another one for me - I have a whole skein of this yarn in ivory & I have a load of Rowan Big Wool, either one would work.

Le Slouch. I thought I would die of knitting in seed stitch but this went surprisingly fast & painlessly. Plus it's the first time I've knit with Malabrigo & OMG - I know what the rage is about. I heart this yarn like no other.

Now, in between all of this hat making I made this ridiculous cute Skinny Scarf from Knitty Gritty.

I've been wanting to make it forever but just never got around to it. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Super Chunky which while nice, is overpriced. Nevermind that the first ball I used had 3 knots in it's whole 82 yards. Not ok. I know what the industry standard is, blah blah blah, but I expect that the more I pay for yarn the less knots I should encounter. That's all I'm saying. I did get the yarn 50% off at the Woolie Ewe sale, but I'd be EXTREMELY disappointed if I had paid full price for it. The fabric really is super nice but I won't be making a sweater out of it or anything!

Stacey - do any of these appeal to you? I'll make you a scarf to match. Dang it to all you hat people everywhere! (I recommend Le Slouch - it's about adorable on every living person other than me!)

I am also working on the Tatami Kimono in Plain & Fancy Wool. This yarn is TO DIE FOR nice to work with. It was about 400 yards for $16- WHAT?? That's nearly free! I found this yarn at Kid & Ewe in November but the colors they had weren't my favorite. Of course there was ONE skein that was exactly what I wanted - it was called "coral" but it had burgundy & pink & some coral plus some dark grey mixed in - just the perfect yarn. I talked to the lady who dyes it - Ms. Graycie & she said she would try to duplicate that yarn & would mail it to me. So that's what we did. A few weeks later I got an email from her, she sent me about 2 feet of it, I approved it, and I got it like 2 days later. Even before I paid her which was entirely shocking to me, though my check was in the mail. Really, it really was, I promise. So this kimono is going to be BEAUTIFUL if I may say so myself. While the construction is highly clever, it is BORING ME TO TEARS (can you say "clapotis"? It's the clappy sweater). So I work on it for a while then I make a hat then I work on the kimono, then I make a hat. Nevermind that I'm intrigued by the hats so I'm much more likely to work on a hat than the sweater. Ok - I confess, I didn't knit a stitch on the sweater between BR Knock off & Le Slouch. But whatever - don't judge me. The full back is knit on the kimono & that includes the sleeves because it's knit in one piece so I just have to grit my teeth & finish up the front - probably just in time for spring. In Texas spring happens in early February. So as much as I HATE WIP pictures, here is one so you can ohhhh & ahhhhh over my pretty yarn. The second picture is much more true to real color.

Sorry this was so long - it's been a while and lots has happened - be happy I didn't tell you all of the knitting news!


Sunday, January 06, 2008

I Made a Hat!

Look - finally I made a hat. For those of you who are unaware, you can read about some of my hat history here. I've decided that for me hats are the new socks. The fast, small, portable project that I will do in between big projects. Today I made Hannah - it only took about 5 hours in this wonderful chunky yarn. I used June Carter in Cider Moon Cloud. It was a perfect pattern, perfect yarn, great experience. I even had these great buttons on hand so I'm done - plus the yarn came out of my stash. There is a hole in the back where you can put your ponytail! I admit this is a little big on me - but it did look better when I rolled the brim up a little. CUTE - on to the next one.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008