Thursday, September 27, 2007

Atlanta Bound!

I leave for Atlanta tomorrow evening. Unfortunately my camera may not be with me since it has been somewhat of a pain in the rear. Next week will be camera buying time! I am looking at a Canon (like what Laura uses on her blog, ) or a Kodak Easy share....Check out her blog--especially today's post. Just don't say anything about couch cushions to her for a little while......
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


Which is almost Friday....OK, so I am being optimistic....I fly to Atlanta this Friday to visit a friend. I haven't been to Atlanta since childhood and I am looking forward to it. I lived right outside of Atlanta when I was a child but haven't been back since. I am already scoping out the yarn shops. There is one in the Virginia Highlands section of Atlanta that sounds interesting, and my friend said it is reasonably easy to get to, so we just might have to explore.

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

Camera Comments welcome

As you may have read, my Vivitar Vivicam 8300s is not the best camera for me, and I have been contemplating changing it out for quite some time.

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

October resolutions

OK--I got back from an initial consultation at Curves and have decided that it is time for a resolution!

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

Ready for the Weekend

Except for the fact that I have not progressed enough on the baby sweater to seam anything together....darn it. I will remedy that tonight. Hubby has class so I am considering taking kids to the library so I can hang out and read/knit. Not that I can do both mind you, but it is nice to have the option of knitting when I have found everything I want and the kids are still looking.
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 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?
me: yes.
moron: Are you selling it?


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

Fall Into Autumn Swap Topic of the week...


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 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

Things I SHOULD be doing....

I should be doing my online math class...but as you can see, I'm just not at that special place where I can do the M word yet...technically I need to get it done quickly since we are leaving in an hour to have brunch with a friend then check out a townhouse she's considering buying. She's already warned us it is going to need some TLC--which we can definitely assist with. Afterwards, I am heading off to see the The Yarn Harlot---I would say just "Harlot" but I would confuse myself with exactly who I'm talking many of my friends aspire to that title....I would, but it requires too darn much work....

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

FUN day!

I spent the whole day at Twist today! It was awesome!

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 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


Hubby just came home after being on a business trip to Oklahoma. He usually takes the boys to school in the morning and gets them up, so it was my job this time...I was a little afraid I might sleep through the alarm and get the boys to school late--but it all worked out. I actually woke up a little early. Unfortunately he did not get home in time for me to be able to make my Japanese class. I knew this in advance, so I emailed the teacher to let her know and she was graceful enough to allow me to take the test next week.

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

Fall Into Autumn Swap Topic

Here is the question and answer to the weekly topic for the Fall into Autumn Swap.

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

Rockin' Weekend!!!

This weekend was one of those EXCELLENT weekends that just makes you warm all over!!! OK, maybe it was the fact it was actually a billion degrees outside. Either that or hot's so hard to tell lately..

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 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.

Good things:
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

Blah, Blah, Blah....

Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth swap registration has begun and I'm in--yaaa hooo! I am looking forward to this! Click on the highlighted name and see all the folks that are signed up so far. And do join us! I'm sure it going to be a lot of fun! Although it looks like I am never going to be able to figure out how to add the button to my sidebar--you don't even want to know the adventures that has entailed..and I don't wish to relive them anytime soon....And of course this is going to require a trip to the yarn store to weigh my options....Hate it when that happens, don't you?!

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


Isn't this pretty? This was the yarn therapy I purchased from Twist yesterday...It is Jitterbug in Mardi Gras colorway...What a perfect way to end a rough week.