Monday, December 31, 2007
This is probably how I am going to break in the new year--quietly and immersed in yarn. I have been thinking about whether I want to make any resolutions--even though I hate that word...But goals for the year by any other name is still a New Year's resolution. What are yours?
Saturday, December 29, 2007
finished a sock....
Then another...and LOOK (!!!!) , my first completed pair of socks! YEAH!! I will work a little harder next time to make sure the striping and colors line up, but for now, this is sooooooo cool!
After going to the KIP, I hit a couple stores and found the books above at such outrageously low prices they had to come home with me. The baby hat and booties book had a REALLY clear explanation of the Kitchener stitch, so that alone was worth the $7 I paid for the book. I used it to close the toe of the second sock. I plan to try some of the baby booties patterns too-They look like small projects that would travel well. Border's had their calendars for 50% off, so I picked up the Stitch and Bitch 2008 calendar too....It was a great day!
Lia, Jackie, Lanora, Rebecca (sorry if I misspelled any names)
Sally and Diana
And the newbie, Cindy! Cindy is the primary reason I actually made it to the KIP this morning. I was telling her about the group and she wanted to come play....Cindy has been knitting for less than a week and is flying through another scarf. I taught her the knit stitch and will be teaching her the purl stitch next. At the rate she devours projects, I'm sure she will be knitting sweaters in no time! I taught her the fine art of stash enhancement and she caught on very quickly!
And this is our soon to be departing Lia! We are going to miss her....who wants to organize a multi-state yarn shop crawl to the west coast? Just a thought...I wish I'd gotten pictures of Jackie showing the versatile knitted thing on the table...Hey Jackie, if you add string on either end, it could even be a thong....I'll stop now before I'm forever banned from KIP...
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
And as you can see, Buddy the beagle was there to supervise....
I wonder if that blackmail would work if I threatened to take pictures of their room and post it..Nah, wishful thinking...) They had already opened their presents at this point and were dividing up a box of Pirate playing cards they got. It is a really neat card deck where the kids can build little models from each deck. They loved that surprise.
This was our downstairs patio the day before Christmas. We got 7" of snow. I love snow! However, the wind really blew and we had snowdrifts that were REALLY deep! Like the depth that you can completely lose a dachshund in if they try to go down the stairs that are in front of the chairs you see in the above picture (not the stairs leading to the upstairs). If you look really close, you'll see there are SUPPOSED to be stairs leading to the yard, which are completely snowed in..Sugar stepped of the edge and completely sank to the bottom. We retrieved her, but considering this dog thinks water will make her melt, she was completely freaked out for the rest of the day! Small dogs and big snow..not good. Funny as hell, but not good.
Today I came home from bargain hunting today (and teaching a friend to knit) and this was here---my spinning wheel came! Hubby put it together and I am going to get some tung oil to seal it tomorrow. I did have to email the seller with a couple questions. The instructions say the flyer is supposed to turn. The bobbin turns but the flyer does not. Originally I thought there was something different in the way it operates, but the seller told me the flyer should be turning, so I am going to have to play with it to make it work--keep your fingers crossed for me. I REALLY want this wheel to work! It really is pretty! We will oil the bearing tomorrow since it does have a really loud squeak--so hopefully I will be spinning by this weekend. And this is how we ended the day Christmas. Candles lit and good food on the table.
Saturday we go to Stillwater (Oklahoma) to my parent's house and have dinner with my nieces and nephews, brother and his fiance and my parents. I am looking forward to going home for the day. It amazes me every time I go home that things are changing so much--especially around the university (GO COWBOYS) ! It looks nothing like it did when I was growing up there and attended college. Some of it is good, some of it is not. Oh well, the only thing constant is change...
Great friends and Good coffee to you and yours!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
The depth on the railing is a little less than the depth on the ground, but you get the idea of how much we are getting...Is this great or what?! Love it!!!
Smokey and Socks say we should all cuddle up with someone warm and stay inside.
And no, Smokey was not being antagonized, he yawned every time I took a picture, so I just gave up and he is stuck with this picture being a representation of his likeness! This will be his equivalent to the dorky driver's license photo we all know so well.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
But come to think of it, my brother in law is a sailor and I don't think I've ever heard him cuss, so I guess I'd better retract the sailor comment..oopsie....
But look !! A sock!!! Yeah! I am now 3" into it's partner, although I am hoping that blocking the sock will lessen the mutant club foot look it currently has. I know I'm on the right track though because I had a teenager clowning around and pretending to be a foot model--once he put it on, he just completely stopped and said "Hey, these are WARM!" The teenage seal of approval is much harder to get than the Good Housekeeping Seal!
The kids get out of school tomorrow for Christmas break. I am going to get them busy with helping me make cookies to give out to neighbors. I was so busy and overwhelmed last year that I really didn't get any baking or candy making accomplished. I am going to have to make different candy from my usual since the family cookbook is still packed away somewhere--in a boxed labeled KITCHEN. That completely explains why it is in the garage....somewhere...I am setting a goal of having my house completely in order and decorated by Spring (that includes buying the needed furniture in case you are wondering why the deadline is so far out) . I want to have a big Easter family get together at our house. We finally have a place where tables can be set up so everyone can eat together. I was looking at Marta's blog (which I LOVE --I want to be part of HER family, but Alas, I'm not Cuban...) and it reminded me of how my family used to have big get-togethers. Somehow that got lost in the business of everyday life.......My goal in 2008 is to renew that.
Well, I'd better get going for the day! Let's see, I have to go by the spice merchant and pick up more coffee, the jewelry supply shop downtown for a planishing hammer to I can get some wire work jewelry done (I'll post pictures later) and by the farm supply store. We don't have a farm, but I find some of the coolest things there, plus I get pet supplies there at pretty good prices...where are you going today?
Good coffee and great friends to you and yours!
Friday, December 14, 2007
After reading the story, consider this:
Do you suppose that a bunch of scientists were sitting around the lab, bored with injecting furry creatures with enzymes that make legs grow out of their foreheads and said " HEY! I'm bored, wanna mess with that cage of mice over there? I have an hour before lunch and I haven't mutilated mother nature today...let's see if we can figure out a way to keep that government grant money rollin' in! Lab X just got a billion dollars to study the ancestral mating habits of the rare suburban housefly !" And the other scientists (having been bred with the same gene that makes lemming follow each other off cliffs) nod their heads in furious agreement. For those of you that don't know what this looks like, take a teenager to see the newest electronic device--you'll get the idea....
Maybe there will eventually be a lab that breeds the dumbass out of scientists....
DISCLAIMER, PLEASE READ AND AGREE BEFORE PROCEEDING : The opinions, theories, hypothesis contained hereafter are not the views of the general inhabitants of this house, just the rambling thoughts of a female with too much coffee and easy access to a WORLDWIDE communication device...the opinion and theories set forth are in no way meant to substitute for fact, honest truth, OR COMMON SENSE...
SOOOO--- if you breed mice that aren't afraid of cats, here are just two possible scenarios:
1: Suicidal mice that render themselves extinct and thereby reduce the number of small furry creatures scientist have at their disposal, thereby rendering scientists obsolete. Since mice will no longer be afraid of cats, we will have a whole generation of cats that are on mood inducing drugs because they feel they are no longer cat enough to induce fear in a little rodent, and then they have to go on long pilgrimages to search for their inner cat and their spiritual purpose....If they don't find that inner peace, there will be a string of cat rehab centers for cats that are self medicating on the cat nip (in human context, think late 1960's...) I know, technically that was two scenarios, it's not my day to stick to the rules.
2. Given that original intent of any experiment has a really strong potential to come back and bite us in the arse ( think Castro and Bin Laden for history buffs, bell bottoms and hip huggers for the rest of us..), please consider this scenario:
Bud the jacked up lab mouse, feeling 10 foot tall and bulletproof (usually witnessed in humans when mixing alcohol and testosterone) decides the cage is too small and he is getting out. So, out he goes, hey-what's there to fear out there? After a night of pillaging and harassing Tom the cat and all his friends at the animal shelter, Bud spies this ravishing female rat (Bud has a thing for well endowed larger women, none of that bony mouse tail for him...no siree...). The next morning Bud scoots out the door, unaware he is a Daddy. Yep, I know, rats and human males sometimes share disturbingly similar traits...I digress...This would be all great and fine except that half his offspring inherit his fearless gene and breed with wharf rats. Ever see a wharf rat? Ever see the rat in teenage mutant ninja turtles? You get the idea...In these wharf rats, this fearless gene mutates and produces Volkswagon sized rats that aren't afraid of people....
When I get held up at gunpoint by a cheese crazed wharf rat with no fear, I'm going to hunt down those scientists and kick their boneheaded arses..
And that's all I have to say about that! Now off for more coffee.....
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
As you can see, it is really modern --- quite a change from my Ashford Traditional wheel, but something about it really spoke to me. Very clean lines, and I like the integrated lazy kate. I think it is unfinished, which I will probably just seal and keep the light colors. Darker stain doesn't seem to be what this needs. We'll see when she gets here....I was originally looking for a double treadle wheel, but I think this one is going to be good because it has a place to rest my foot off the ground.
Another great thing about staying inside when it is rear freezing cold is that I am almost finished with a sock. I am soooooo happy I took the sock class at Twist that Jackie and Lia taught. I came out of it with a firm understanding of turning the heel and doing a gusset. I know turning a heel is supposed to be one of the coolest things about making socks, but I love doing the gusset. It amazes me to see it all blend! I am completely addicted to this simple sock pattern I am working on. The original pattern called for 2-3" of K1P1 ribbing and then 7" of stockinette. I did about 5" of stockinette and wasn't feeling the love for it so I frogged it and did 7" of K2 P2 ribbing. Good stuff. I did go up a needle size since I tend to knit tight, but next time I will do a pair in the needle size suggested and see what a difference it makes. I completely love the project bag I got at Michael's craft store. I was really surprised to see them and just bought one to try it out. I am in love! It is perfect for toting a SIP (sock in progress) and yarn! LOVE !!! I'll post a picture tomorrow of it and the progress on the sock.
I found a really cool spinning wheel on Ebay and won the bid this weekend. It is a pretty modern looking wheel and it is coming from the Netherlands, so I will have to wait a little before I get it, but I am psyched. The seller said there used to be several wheel manufacturers in that area in the 70's and 80's, Louet was one and the only one that survived. I'll keep you posted. Cute man (hubby) is going to work his magic on my Ashford traditional and get it back in working order since there is nobody who apparently works on wheels in this area. There used to be one in Oklahoma City, but no longer...figures. I will no longer be loaning my wheel out to any high school for a prop in a play....lesson learned.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
And then you get a shot of Mr. Navy himself, my other bro in law, Jon Robert...I couldn't figure out whether he was encouraging me or discouraging me to take the picture-then I remembered I'm the one with the camera............ Booze and knitting....It's a Good Thing....(sorry Martha...)
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Am I the only one who isn't particularly crazy about Noro Kuyreon...I love the changing colors, but it is really scratchy. Has anyone else worked with this and does it soften up after washing? It was suggested to me that you need to use hair conditioner on it--ever heard of that? I am discovering it is a pain to frog! It catches on itself almost as bad as mohair.
The dogs are not used to having me at home and right now are testing my patience by trying to play musical doors. Parents of children know this game well. If the kid is on the outside, he feels lonely and wants to come in. If he is on the inside, he feels stifled and wants to go out. And the cycle continues...Right now one of the dogs is sitting at the patio door crying to get in...He can just plant his happy butt in that spot for at least another hour, darn it! Ever notice that kids and dogs come finely trained to dance on that ONE exposed nerve? Yep, at least with dogs you can put them outside for the day and not have to worry about social services coming....but then at least with kids, they don't have accidents on your carpet. Or at least I hope...
I have decided that I am in the market for a spinning wheel. I am surprised at myself, but I am leaning strongly towards getting a Louet wheel. For some reason, I am finding that I actually like the modern look of a Louet. However, I would really love to find one used since I don't think a new one is in the budget. So if you know of anyone wanting to sell their Louet wheel, email me.
I am anticipating a shipment of mystery roving from Wool2Dye4. I love this company for large quantities of natural yarns that I dye, so I was happy to see such an awesome price on roving. They are sure it is not merino but are unsure of exactly what it is. Once I get it, I'll make a decision on whether it is soft enough for sock yarn or whether I will blend it with merino to add some softness. Now I just have to become best friends with an alpaca farmer.....hmmm. I guess I will have to check out (stalk)the livestock arena at the state fair next year. I didn't get to the livestock this year, but the year before that I fell in love with some of the llamas at the fair. They were really soft. As soft as any alpaca I've played with, so I'm going to see about getting some of that to spin too. I got to pet a couple llamas and talk to the breeders. I was surprised at how docile they were. I was expecting them to spit. The breeder explained that llamas that are not stressed are usually docile...Hubby nixed my idea of getting one for the backyard with just one glance. You ladies know that look. I didn't even bother to give him my "Fine, I'll come back without you later and pick up a dozen" look...I imagine a llama would be hard to house train. However, if you know of anyone that has, please do tell.
Well, I guess I will get something accomplished today...please don't hold me to that though. It may take me a week to get in the mode...right now I am still trying to figure out how to structure a day where I have to write the agenda...
Monday, December 03, 2007
Let's see, plans for today:
1. Finally get around to making the batch of 7 layer bars I've been promising the kids.
2. Get my bathroom scrubbed.
3. Get dinner on the table before 7pm! That alone is worth it's weight in gold.
4. Calculate the yarn I'm going to need to get my wrap coat started and actually make some progress on my sock I'm working on.
It may sound boring, but believe me--just the fact I am going to have time to do any of the above is exciting....I am making the animals nervous. I think the cats had a party planned by the way they keep coming into the room to see if I'm still here. Once it is established there is one of those disgusting humans still in their house, they stomp off (a cat "stomping" off is more of an attitude--those who own cats know what I'm talking about. Those who don't have cats will just have to take my word for it).
More posting later---
Great friends and good coffee to you and yours!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I got the new camera and have been playing with it to figure out the new features, so I will post something later.
Yesterday I took a spinning class from one of the ladies in our Knit In Public group. It was so relaxing, and it did come back to me which surprised me since it has been 8 years or more since
I've spun. I did use a castle style wheel (everything is upright in a line) and found it very comfortable. I am eyeing getting one next year if the budget permits. I was able to spin surprisingly thin yarn that will make wonderful sock yarn once plied. I'm hooked!!!! I left the yarn on the bobbin so I can continue in 2 weeks at the next class. since I figured out the camera, I will have pictures of the next class. It is really fun!!
I went from the spinning class to a bead shop with a friend and made a really neat necklace and bracelet. It was an excellent afternoon for creativity and it was capped of by going to Michael's craft store on the East side of town where I found a really good book on wire working--and since I had a 50% off coupon, I got it at a steal. Which left me money to splurge on a REALLY cool thing I found to carry my sock yarn in---I'll tease you for now and post pictures later..It was an excellent and relaxing day!
Monday, November 12, 2007
I tried my hand at acid dyeing...and discovered why it is best to wear gloves during the process...yes, I know the whole dye/chemical thing, but more than that-it will dye your nails. Yep, I have beautiful brilliant blue yarn and slightly off cast blue fingernails....just a hint of color--enough to make people go "HUH?!".. lesson learned. But DANG I am soooooo addicted to dyeing my own yarn! It completely rocks! I am just doing single colors right now and there is a skein of merino silk that will be going in the dye pot again since it is a little spotty (note to self, stir gently for 30 minutes as per the instructions so the dye and yarn meet properly..)...I found the perfect shade of blue---pictures tomorrow. It is unbelievable!
On a side note, another addiction: playing with glass and flames! I took the glass bead making class at Beadazzled this weekend and loved it. I made quite a few beginner beads but am sure I will be starting to use the studio in December so I can make more. At $8 an hour or studio rental (after you take the first class), it is a steal considering you get to use the torches and the kiln. And she has a great selection of glass that is pretty inexpensive. I thought I might be intimidated by the torch, but it was absolutely mesmerizing. LOVE IT! If you are in Wichita, I would really recommend giving it a try.
I am actually off work today because of Veteran's Day. Our office is one of the few that closes, which is great. Kids grumbled about having to go to school and hubby went off to work, so the house is quiet. But, lest you think I am having complete bliss, keep in mind I also just finished cleaning up cat puke off a light cream carpet. Yep, real life has a way of slamming through, doesn't it?
Great coffee and good friends to you and yours!
Monday, November 05, 2007
If anyone sees a digital camera along the highway trying to hitch a ride out of Kansas--yell at me...Mine has gone AWOL and I think it got up an walked away on it's own. Yes, I have been griping about it---a lot--but I would really like to find it so I can at least grab the memory card! So needless to say, it may be hiding in fear somewhere around the house after the last time it screwed up, but it isn't where I left it....It's probably hiding out in the laundry room with all the single socks that have disappeared...darn it!
So for at least a little, while, I may not have pictures...time to order another camera. Darn.
I will post more tonight when I have time to write--good coffee and great friends to you and yours!!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
I found another yarn shop with 20 minutes of Wichita. I went a couple weeks ago and it was really nice. I'm planning on taking a little road trip tomorrow so I will post some pictures and tell you all about it. There is also a bead shop/store in the same business, so it's all good!!! There is also a wonderful quilt shop in the same town, so I am going to be one happy camper!
Good coffee and great friends to you and yours!!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
1. Whole bean or ground? Whole bean is best since I have a grinder. I love the process of grinding coffee for each brew.
2. Fully-loaded or decaf? Fully loaded!
3. Regular or flavored? I'm fine with anything.
4. How do you drink your coffee? With turbino sugar and creamer or whole milk.
5. Favorite coffee ever? I like to try many types, so I have to say whatever blend I have in my cup that day is my favorite. I did get an unbelievably good bag from my recent Fall into Autumn Buddy... yum!!!!
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? I love trying different house blends from coffee houses and the smaller coffee shops.
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? sugar cookies (the crispy kind) or biscotti of any kind.
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? Nothing in particular--I just love coffee!
9. Yarn/fiber you love? I am nuts about sock yarn in any fiber blend.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Is it possible to hate yarn?!
11. What's on your needles? A sock from Collinette Jitterbug, a facecloth, my first sweater, a scarf and I am about to cast on a sock with some fabulous yarn from my dishcloth buddy...not on one needle, mind you, but many to suit whatever mood I'm in.
12. Favorite colors? Blues, purples, reds, greens, oranges etc--I like all colors actually.
13. Allergies? Nope!
14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? my bra...oops, wrong swap (LOL) and for those of you I have just shocked or offended: Hang on--it's going to be a bumpy ride!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
My flight was really smooth to Atlanta. Mind you, having not flown commercially since before my 21 year old was born (and that was my first/last time), I was really unsure of myself. I left Wichita, Kansas --with our 11 gate airport---and landed in Atlanta, with their 10 gazillion gate airport! And the airport has a train in it!!! And it is inhabited around the clock with at least half the number of people that inhabit my little town!!!! Luckily I followed two ladies that got off the flight from Wichita--I figured they were going towards baggage claim, so I followed. This was probably their first time in Atlanta and this very minute one of them is blogging about being stalked by some crazy lady from the flight.....um, that'd be me...
Marita took me for a ride all over different parts of Atlanta and was very graceful when I announced there was a yarn store in Virginia Highlands that I had to visit. If you are in Atlanta, please visit Knitch ! The store is amazing and the staff are sooo friendly! They have the most amazing yarn selection for any kind of yarn or pattern your heart desires! I didn't take my double points with me on the plane so I was really going through withdrawal! I bought 2 skeins of sock yarn from Mountain Colors in an amazing colorway, a set of Brittany double points and some patterns. The owner was very sweet to give a little advice on how to at least save my work if they didn't let me go through with the double points. Luckily I had no questions at the security gate. I assume maybe the TSA guards realize most knitters are very quiet patrons if they are kept busy--plus, there is absolutely no way size 4 double pointed needles can inflict harm without breaking first...However, I definitely would not try my luck with metal. That is asking to get them confiscated.....Knitch is an amazing place with a dye kitchen and a Zen sitting space upstairs. They even have spinning wheels and roving of all sorts. My friend has not been enlightened to the zen of knitting =--but she was pretty patient with me. I really must knit her a scarf for taking me there.......I am going to bring an extra suitcase with me when I go next time so I can get all the cool yarn---oh, I mean souvenirs-- back.....
We took the train to Five points station--accidentally. She got Five Points and Little Five Points confused. It turned out OK because I really enjoyed the train ride--we don't have trains in Wichita. We went to Underground Atlanta since we were already down there. Did you know you can't take pictures in a train station? I certainly didn't---until this guy came up and yelled at us. Mind you, he didn't even tell us who he was, so we thought he was the crazy train station homeless guy. Decently dressed, but crazy nonetheless...I did find an attendant near the train area and he was very gracious about explaining what the issue was with any pictures in the station. I had taken quite a few before we got yelled at and was going to keep them, but the attendant made sense and was very polite, so I deleted them after we left the station. I certainly would not want to post something that a dingbat terrorist could use...It's sad that we even have to consider that...But, now I know you can't take pictures in any major transportation hub...see, I learned something. But the first guy could still use some interpersonal communication skill training. Dear Marta -- please train your staff in manners (except for the older attendant, he was very polite and gracious). OK, maybe just some of the staff --the attendants at the ticket machines and gate entrances were really sweet and quick to offer help to this really confused tourist...
Atlanta has some amazing ethnic restaurants, a Whole Foods Grocery store (I definitely had to visit that store----We NEED one in Wichita!!!), amazing funky stores and beautifully restored neighborhoods. Next time I go, I want to go to Little Five Points for shopping, the Martin Luther King Center and the Jimmy Carter Center. There is so much to do there, a weekend is not enough to cover. We even went downtown to the Atlantic Station area where there was an art fair. This was the first year they've had it, so the crowd was a little light, but hopefully they have it next year. I am saving up just in case. There were many really talented artists and I found a ton of inspiration! I am going to start making jewelry and painting again...
I was supposed to fly out of Atlanta at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, but that didn't happen. Instead, I awoke at 1:30 with a feeling in my left side like something had burst. I took two really hot soaks in the tub and the pain was so bad that I couldn't stand up. My first thought was my appendix burst--but I called hubby and he said the appendix is on the right side...next? At 3:30 it was clear the pain was not going away and was getting so bad I couldn't even breathe--add to that nausea...so I had to scare the bejebees out of my friend and have her take me to an emergency room. Not really what I had in mind. However, I must say, the staff at the hospital in Riverdale are very good with grumpy people in pain. Not to mention they don't blink twice when you get sick....I don't think I ran into a single grumpy staff member the whole time--so I really rate them highly--if you have to go. Everyone from the admitting staff, to the nurses, to the doctor who explained everything clearly, was very kind and patient. If I ever have to have an IV or get blood drawn again, I hope I can find staff as good as them. I am terrified of needles, but they really were good at their jobs. A CT scan, several shots of painkiller and some hours later, I found out I had a kidney stone....I would have never guessed something like that could cause so much extreme pain!! I wish that on nobody! Needless to say, I didn't make the flight home. I flew out on Tuesday afternoon after sleeping all day Monday....interesting ending for the week.
But it was all good. I saw a lot of interesting things, met and saw a lot of interesting people and found a spectacular yarn store (from that moment on, anything else we did and saw was just icing on the cake)..I am glad I had a resident to show me around though. Atlanta is a huge city.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I got my Harmony needle set from Knit picks today. I do have to say that the larger needles that I ordered earlier (sizes 7 and 8) are prettier and have a lot of color to them, but the smaller ones have more single colors than a mix. That's OK. I started to cast on a swatch in the round to play with a sock recipe that we got at the sock knitting class--and I drew a COMPLETE BLANK!
I have completely forgot how I did it and how to do the first couple rounds---what's up with that?!!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
It has definitely been a week of slogging---that is when you are trying to make some progress, but are just slogging around in the muck. The muck in my case are telephone calls from clients that require more time and energy than is really needed, but still sucks up time anyway no matter what...I'm not a good slogger! As much tail chasing as I have done in the past two days, you'd think mine would be smaller!
I am about to go upstairs and start on the back of the baby sweater I started in class. I got a little frustrated with the front so I am letting it rest overnight. Then I may take it to Twist for some help. It is knit in Berrocco Comfort, which is a synthetic yarn (with baby stuff it is all about the wash ability!) but I may have to block it nonetheless to get an accurate measurement. I am getting uneven measurement on both sides and I know they are even....I WILL finish this sweater...........then I have to cast on a dishcloth or a facecloth for the swap. As if by fate, I happened into a used book store here in Wichita and found a rather thick book of knitting stitch patterns. There are several that look really neat, so I may have to make several to see which ones work best in that format...darn, don't make me knit...
I am hoping that I am able to get on the flight with my wood double points -- I'd love to start some socks before I go so I can work on the ribbing while I am on the plane for 2+ hours. It keeps me calm. I knit when cute man and I fly in single engine planes (hubby is a private pilot) and it is very calming and productive........I am going to buy some wood double points this week if my Harmony set from Knit Picks does not arrive by then. I am waiting....I loved the size seven and eight set so much that I bought the packaged set of smaller ones. I love the colors and they really are smooth and feel good in my hands. I haven't knit with them yet, but since they are from Knit Picks, I trust that they will hold up well and be guaranteed like everything else. I buy their skeins of yarn that you dye yourself when I am kool aid dyeing. I love Kool Aid dyeing--it is so easy! I am about to move into acid dyeing as soon as I get my set of dyes and read a little more about it.
Well, I have to run!
Good friends and great coffee to you and yours!
Monday, September 24, 2007
I am considering the Kodak Easyshare line. They have one out with 10 mega pixels for around $200. So--before I actually jump off and spend money, I would love to hear what kind of camera you use, what are the pros and cons and if given a choice, would you buy it again? I need one with a reasonably quick shutter speed--the Vivicam REALLY does not have that ability so I either miss a lot of shots or end up with blurred pictures. I find it is such a hassle to operate that I end up not taking pictures at all. Oh, and I want to keep it under $250.
Talk to me!
Good coffee and a great day to you and yours!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I could wait for the new year, but today after weigh in, I got a wake up call. My weight is at a ridiculous and dangerous level. I'm embarrassed to say how much, but trust me, it is NOT good. SOOOO-starting in October I am resolving two things--I am going to lose weight and exercise more--and I am going to use the yarn I have in my stash to keep my mind busy and my wallet closed....since I am really bad at going cold turkey, I am going to treat myself to 2 skeins of some Jitterbug after each 10 lb weight lose. Ten pounds doesn't sound like a lot, but to me it is. Since I love Jitterbug sock yarn so much, it will keep me motivated. I am going to start on a pair of socks using the Jitterbug I featured a couple posts ago. I really have not progressed to anything other than basic socks, but I love sock knitting intensely! I work on double pointed needles and there is just something really calming about going around the needles. I am eyeing a little more complicated cabled sock from the Interweave 25 Favorite Sock book....I've done regular cables and really like it, so it shouldn't be too hard to transfer that technique to something smaller, right?
I haven't gotten as far on the baby sweater as the teacher would like us to. She was wanting us to have two pieces that she can use to show us how to sew seams together. I have not even finished the front, so I am just going to make a couple swatches that I can use for her to show me how to seam them together. I am a slow knitter, I guess. Either that or I am a really busy person. I am going to hang out after class again Saturday. I had such a wonderful time. I probably won't close the place down like last week, but I will sit and visit for a couple hours. I am hoping to be able to make it to the Thursday stitch and bitch at some point--when my schedule slows down.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I need to get the front finished-up to the button holes, which I do not know how to do yet and the neckline. After I finish the sweater, I will start another so I can reinforce what I have learned and get back to work on my socks. There is something relaxing about sock making, I'm not sure what.
Had an interesting exchange at 8 O FREAKING CLOCK IN THE MORNING yesterday....my door bell rings and I look out to see a guy and his kids standing there. I figure it has to be important this early in the morning so I answer it--in my pj's and wet hair. The guy asks if that is our blue Thunderbird out front. Mind you, the car is so pitch black, it is inconceivable that it can be mistaken for blue. But hey, it's 8 O FREAKING CLOCK IN THE MORNING, so I'll allow for a little color blindness. Meanwhile 2 of the 4 dogs have decided these people on my doorstep look particularly tasty and are trying to break past me to get a morsel. Still, I'm trying to be graceful. And here is how the exchange goes from there---at 8 O FREAKING CLOCK IN THE MORNING:
me: yes, that is our Thunderbird.
moron: does it run?
moron: Are you selling it?
NEVER MIND THAT THERE IS NOT A SINGLE INDICATION THAT THE CAR IS FOR SALE, NOT SIGN, NOTHING...NADA...ZIP...
me: no, it is not for sale.
moron: it's not for sale?
me: no, it's not for sale.
moron: does it run?
me: yes, the starter may need to be looked at, but it does run...
moron: it runs?
Mind you, he is taking time to formulate each witty response while I am contemplating being rude and shutting the door, or releasing the hounds, but I know too much about liability law to be comfortable with that...
me: it's going to be going to Iowa soon.
moron: you're taking it to Iowa?
me: yes, IOWA.
moron: where are you going to get it fixed? (the first non repeating statement he has made in the whole conversation, so I'll grace him...)
me: to Doug's (one of the few mechanics in town and an absolute wonderful owner and staff but I did not add this since I saw the next sentence coming..)
moron: To Doug's?
By this time I am starting to get visibly pissy so I guess his common sense button was finally tripped and the nice man took his son and got the hell of my landing at 8 O FREAKING CLOCK IN THE MORNING....
And the scary thing is he got in a vehicle as a driver....isn't there some law that says you have to have a brain to drive...never mind. The flip side of that is that maybe he was having a pissy morning and just felt the need to knock on a random strangers door and share it. uuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg!!!!!
Secondary note, did you know spell check doesn't recognize "pissy"? Go ahead, spell it and ask for the alternatives....
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
When you knit or crochet dish clothes, wash clothes or face clothes, what do you use?
I knit both face clothes and dish clothes. I am working on some right now just for my face using a really nice Egyptian cotton. One of the ladies I met while hanging out at Twist got me hooked on this yarn....so soft....
What size needle or hook? Wood? what type? Metal? Plastic? A specific Brand? Why do you love that needle or hook so much? Is there one you are dying to try?
I tend to be a tight knitter so anything in the 7-10 size range works well for me if we are talking about straights. Metal or plastic is fine with me. I really love the plastic needles that I found at Jo Anne's crafts. They are cream plastic and have a little whale on the package. I can't remember what they are called, but I have a whole set of them.They are flexible and the tips are sharp for getting into tight stitches (as I am known to do). I'd like to try the new casein ones out by Swallow. I'm not really picky.
For double pointed and circulars, I recently discovered the Harmony needles by Knit Picks. I have a set of the double pointed in 7 and 8 dp's and they are truly beautiful .
Is there a particular yarn you love and use all the time for clothes? What is so special about it?
Cotton is my favorite, but I am open to any brand.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I am hoping Stephanie got a proper Kansas welcome at the gate---complete with some fool dressed up like Dorothy, the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow.
Well, probably not Tin Man since I doubt he'd get through the metal detectors. He is still at the security office getting interrogated and frisked...and maybe not the Lion--I'm sure he is on some kind of "no-fly, no pass" status for whizzing on a kiosk at some airport....And maybe not the Scarecrow. He has been deemed a possible inflammatory device....And while we're at it, Toto is a dog, so no unsecured animals. Security probably grabbed him and threw him in some crate. Good thing he is a master at getting out of enclosed spaces. The airline would lose him anyway....
So that leaves poor Dorothy. Hopefully they would send a fresh faced young Dorothy. I would volunteer, but menopausal age Dorothy just doesn't have the same effect. That be like giving someone a menopausal age Barbie. You know the one--you press the button and she says "Get you own damn dinner" or "I gave birth to you--you don't see me whining do you?" and for Ken when he presses the button "You have two perfectly good hands--leave me the hell alone"...Yep, fresh faced, young Dorothy would probably be a safer impression.
OK, I'll be quiet...
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I had the last of the 2 classes for the sock knitting class. I loved that class! I learned how to turn a heel and shape the gusset, which will get me unstuck on the legacy sock. I have a ton of worsted weight yarn that has been hiding at my house, so it now has a purpose since the pattern we used calls for worsted weight yarn. I am going to work on an orange and black sock soon. Not for Halloween, although the timing is great, but for the Oklahoma State Cowboys--where hubby graduated from college and both of our hometown.
I had the sweater class from 10-11:30 and the sweater class from 1:30 to 3 ish...I say "ish" because most of us hung around long afterwards......the shop has a really neat seating area, so after everyone from class left, I hung out there. I also discovered the shop stays open on Saturdays until 8 p.m! Oh Yeah! You know I stayed until then! I also found out how small the world really is when you knit. I ran into an attorney from the office--I never even knew she knit! And had a great conversation with a lady who turned out to be a friend of our State Director...and another lady came in that I haven't seen in ages. Amazing! It was a lot of fun to hang out with everyone and just knit. I did pick up some awesome yarn for the Fall into Autumn swap in cotton. Since I was a dork and revealed my name accidentally to my swap buddy, I won't blow it here--but it is good yarn! Soooooooo smooth.....so soft......mmmmmmm....ok, I'll stop. But it is really good yarn.....mmmmmmm...... Dear Buddy..I promise the yarn you get will not be drooled on.....
I have to bust it this week to get the sweater pieces done. She is going to show us how to join them next week. I did learn a Russian edge that makes really smooth ends. Supposedly it will result in a really smooth join with no seams showing. No seams showing is a good thing......... I also picked up another good tip on managing the yarn I'm knitting with. One of the ladies at the shop has her yarn wound into yarn cakes (OK, yarn balls--but cakes sound much more yummy)and slips them into a zip lock baggie that has a hole punched in the middle of one top. Through that hole she puts the start of the yarn. Isn't that clever? The yarn stays clean and manageable.
Yarn Harlot comes tomorrow! I am really looking forward to seeing her! I love her books and her blog--although I have to admit I haven't visited the blog in a while. Bad me! I will have to make it a point to stop by there more often since she is such a hoot. For those of you who don't speak redneck, hoot means she's "funny".....Not like the business "Hooters", which would mean something totally different--but we won't go there.....
Good yarn and great coffee to you and yours!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
It has been a busy week! I am looking forward to the next/last sock class this weekend. I start the beginning sweater class too--so Saturday will be a blissful day of knitting.YEAH!!!!! And Sunday I get to see the Yarn Harlot in Wichita---double scoop of YEAH!!!! I ordered a set of size 7 and size 8 double pointed needles from Knit picks and am looking forward to playing with them. These are the right size to make socks out of worsted weight yarn. I need some boot socks, or socks to where with my clogs around the office. I want to learn to acid dye so I can make some really bright and funky socks that shock!
The weather is finally starting to cool off! I love Fall! The golds,yellows, oranges and reds are among my favorites! Actually, orange, red, mixed with a little cobalt or royal blue are my favorite color combinations! Like the colors of a charka.I don't actually think I've ever met a color I didn't like, but bright is best. I want a pair of socks in those colors! And that is exactly what I am going to make when I learn to knit socks!!
I am on a pattern quest after work tomorrow. I want to start my dishcloth for the swap. I haven't decided what pattern---maybe something simple. I have to look at my secret pals blog again and see what she likes. I wish I still made handcrafted soaps--I'd be set on that! But instead I will find a local soapmaker so my buddy gets a taste of Kansas....For those of my fellow knitters that need sources for handcrafted soaps, try the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild. You can find a soapmaker by state etc...Good stuff!
Monday, September 10, 2007
Now that in some geographic locations the weather is starting to turn cooler, do you change the type of yarn(s) you knit/crochet with?
If so, what do you now knit/crochet with instead and why? If not, why do you not switch and what do you knit/crochet with?
When the weather starts cooling off, I tend to put away the lighter cottons and go more towards wools and alpaca. That being said, I still knit with cotton year round when I am making dishcloths or sample swatches. It allows me to see my stitch definition and see where I am making mistakes. I'm really not picky. Yarn is like chocolate--I've yet to find one I don't like!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Well, except for the part about having a test in the online math class I'm taking at the local junior college---mmmmm--love those polynomials...NOT!!!!
Saturday started with one of the best classes I have taken in a long time! It was the first class of the two week sock knitting class that I signed up for at Twist. I know the two girls (at what age do we become women?!) that teach the class from the Wichita Knit in Public group, but haven't taken classes from them before. Jackie's blog says it was her first time teaching, but they did a flawless job. Jackie and Lia were very good about watching for knitters in distress and knowing when to let everyone work it out....I screwed up by knitting with my tail (the YARNS tail, not mine... ) straight out of the shoot (otherwise known as the knit with your tail and falling on your arse technique..I perfected it). Hey it can only go uphill from there, right? I had enough of the tail to knit to the beginning of the round luckily and just faked it from there by switching over to the working yarn. For those of you purists who are having chest pains at the thought of that, hey--it worked....not that I intend to do that again, but it is a "learning experience"(which is usually followed by the phrase "Well, isn't that SPECIAL", or "Well, I don't think I've ever seen that....in all my YEARS of teaching"). And I TURNED THE HEEL TODAY. For those of you not familiar with " the legacy socks" aka. "Jeez Mom, are you ever going to finish them" socks, just take my word--this is a MAJOR deal! As I realized the heel cup was formed, I could have sworn I heard angels singing-then I realized it was one of the cats growling....good timing on the cat's part....
Later that evening I worked the state fair booth in Hutchinson that our company has every year. I enjoy it. Cute man and kids hung out from 4-9:30 and looked around the fair. I want to go back before the fair ends so I can actually see the exhibits and the livestock. I got there too late last year and didn't get to see all the animals. I did run into the llama breeders last year, who had not packed up yet. They were a really great group of people--and I still really want one! But there is this little thing about being able to convince the neighbors that it is a sheepdog....a really BIG long necked sheepdog...that spits....I'm still working the details out on that one, stay tuned.
And to top off a weekend that couldn't get any better: My friend Marita flew in to Wichita for the weekend. It was so good to see her! I am flying to Atlanta at the end of the month to visit her on her home turf. I am dragging her to every yarn and fabric store in a hundred mile radius...suggestions welcome.
The Yarn Harlot is coming to Wichita next Sunday. Tickets are free from Watermark Books here in Wichita. I got mine!
Knit picks has the coolest multicolored wood double point and circular needles! They are called "Harmony"...I heard about them at the sock knitting class this weekend, so you KNOW I had to look...and order... a couple... OK, maybe more than a couple. Last I checked, the only thing that was bad to have "too many of" was husbands and parking tickets. Yep, I use the same argument when eating Oreos...
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The twins are both playing football this season. This will be the first season that we haven't had to juggle two sports at one time. I am surprised Mark likes football as much as he does--he has always been my soccer kid....but he loves to kick the ball...
Things are pretty stressful at work right now so I have had to dig out some mindless knitting projects to relax. I have a simple basket weave scarf in Berroco Twist that I started and am finding that I really enjoy--it is a simple pattern and you can vary it just by adding or subtracting rows and varying that sequence....I am really looking forward to the sock class at Twist this weekend. I love sock yarn, and have quite a bit of sock weight yarn that I Kool Aid dyed last year that would be awesome for socks! And considering cold weather is right around the corner, this is a good time to start a pair. The jitterbug yarn is sitting there calling my name...I have to run down and get yarn for the sock class--they are using worsted weight, which I think will make it easier to work with. I will probably have to go up a needle size though. Every time I go to Heritage Hut, our other yarn store in Wichita, the owner points out that I am a precise and tight knitter. Luckily she remembers and has reminded me on several occasions. Actually on one project, I had to go up 2 sizes just to get gauge with the same yarn specified! I'm sure with the stress of classes and work, I may have to move up to tree branches!!!
I am trying to retrieve my jewelry making supplies from the depths of the garage, but as of yet, it has been challenging. I am thinking a trip to Target for bookshelves and storage cabinets is in order this weekend! That will enable me to actually keep my stuff in one place so I can find the stuff I already own to make stitch markers. They are quick and easy projects, and I am seeing a lot of them around lately.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been doing it? I have been knitting for a couple years off and on--I don't do anything fancy yet--I'm working towards finishing my first pair of socks and I am taking a sweater class the middle of September. I also crochet. I learned to do that 21 years ago and have made several afghans and face/dishcloths.
2. Have you made dishcloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both? Yes, I have made several crochet clothes. I have also made some knitted ones that turned out pretty good.
3. What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ? I really like peaches and cream cotton--it's inexpensive and you can get it in the discount stores. I haven't tried anything else, but peaches and cream has a double worsted weight that I saw in Mason Dixon knitting that looks intriguing. I would also like to try some of the organic cottons, I just haven't found a place that sells them locally and never get around to ordering them.......
4. If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles? I like anything--straight or circular are great. If I'm traveling, circular are easiest to pack. If it is a home project, I have a collection of straights in just about any material. I like any kind of needle--I'm not picky at all!
5. What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much? I love reds, oranges, purples, blues....I'm not a big peach person. I use it sometimes, but sparingly.
6. What do you like best about Autumn? The smell of the air, the falling leaves....
7. Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks! ALL of them!Never met a pie I didn't like. I am packing the proof on my hips!!!
8. When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day? I am a late sleeper, so I always had the excuses worked up before the first day even approached!
9. Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the time frame of the swap) I love Halloween and all that goes with it--ghosts, goblins, etc and the fall leaves etc---it's all good!
10. If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose? Anything chocolate, anything coffee flavored and caramel...hey, since they all start with C, does that count as one?
11. Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;) 4 dogs, 5 cats, 3 kids and a husband that puts up with me......
12. If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why? Alpaca--I'm soft, fluffy and expensive (just ask hubby).
13. Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths? I have sponges for the sink. I like to use things handmade for my face since there is a lot of time and effort in them...that being said, I do use the first try samplers for dishcloths sometimes...
14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays) I love Halloween --I like giving out candy and carving pumpkins.
15. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about? Nope--unless you count penicillin, but I think that isn't going to be an issue here since it is a dishcloth, not a pharmaceutical swap ;-o
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I really like this book! I hope you can access it just by clicking on the picture--in a perfect world, this will happen instantly...however, since you are in my crazy life, maybe not so much...You should have seen me trying to upload the button for the Fall into Autumn dishcloth sway. As you can see by my sidebar, success was not in the cards. I hope this works better!