Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It all goes so fast . . .

So after all the planning and build up, the holidays are over in a flash. As great as all the celebrating was, it was kind of nice to stay home today. Pea is on vacation until after the New Year, so my blogging will probably be sporadic until he goes back to work (gotta take advantage of my time with him while I can!!). He finished the final paper for his night class today, so now he's officially on vacation! I spent the morning cleaning the downstairs -which was in a scary state of clutter and filth. You can see my hardwood living room floor again, now that I've relieved it from the carpet of pine needles, paper scraps and a cookie & potato chip crumb mixture. Very stressful for someone as OCD as me!!!

I know I should post pictures of all my great Christmas gifts . . . but I'm so tired and got so much I wouldn't know where to begin. My absolute favorite was from Pea, the Jordana Paige Knitters Purse!!! I never dreamed I would actually get it - and cried when I opened it! It is already filled with all my knitting stuff and is the only bag I've carried with me since Christmas morning. It's a perfect size and the pockets and loops keep everything so organized.

Other fab knitting gifts I got were a swift (the ball winder was sold out, but is on it's way), a huge perfect haul from my Secret Santa which included Knitting on the Road, LL sock yarn, beautiful handmade beaded stitch markers, awesome palm tree knitting needles, a handmade pin, and a chibi (I hope I didn't forget anything - there was so much!!), the Knitting Pattern A Day calendar from my mom, and KnitLit Too and The Knitting Directory from my Bestus Buddy. And that was just my knitting related gifts! See, told you I was spoiled. Oh yeah, Pea also braved a LYS alone to buy stash yarn for my stocking. Luckily, it was the world's nicest yarn shop, where they made him feel at home and also looked up my previous purchases on the computer so they could point him in the direction of yarns I might like.

Pea was quite happy with his haul too. Now that he's seen the scarf, I can block it and then write a proper post about it. He really loved it! I also got him a dozen martini glasses (okay, they were on sale for $1 each at Pier One) along with a shaker set - so he can do his suave Bond thing!! And I got him Cirque Du Soleil tickets, so we're looking forward to going to see that in February!!

I did manage to get both sparkly scarves for my cousin's daughter's finished . . . and mohair or not, I still claim they are ghetto because the metallic strand ripped a cut in my finger by the time the second one was knit! They loved them and seemed impressed that I knit them - which says a lot coming from two seven-year-olds surrounded by toys! My size 12 brother's slippers got finished too. The second one got wrapped while still on the needles, but I finished it yesterday before he left for home in Upstate New York. Mom got a box full of yarn with her sweater pattern and my Bestus Buddy got two balls of sock yarn with a promise to learn to knit them soon, but they both seemed perfectly happy and are anticipating their FO's.

And last, but certainly not least, allow me to introduce the person I have had the pleasure of spoiling for Secret Pal 6!! Please pop over and meet Lynne, a warm, witty, funny and wise person in New York!! I hope you'll have as much fun getting to know her as I did!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Have a merry and a happy!!!

The knitting is (mostly) all done and gifted. The past few days have been a blur. Finished shopping on Friday. Baked on Saturday. Christmas Eve at my uncles. Presents and cookies this morning with Pea. More presents with Mom, Dad and "little" brother (6'2"), then we all went to LI for dinner and MORE presents with Pea's family.

I am very blessed and more than a little spoiled!! Tomorrow is one more Christmas with my Best Friend's family, and then I promise to get back to blogging and commenting on a regular basis. I miss all my blog-pals!!

I wish everyone out in blog-land a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza. Much love and joy through out your holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Getting ghetto

So, you've all heard Chris and Olga talk about Ghetto knitters? You may have even seen Olga's definition of ghetto knitters. Upon reading them, I found out I was a ghetto knitter and didn't even realize it.

Well, it's time to wear my Ghetto Badge loud and proud. On Monday I knitted up this!

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you, a very tacky scarf knit in Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair. (The bad picture may be ghetto, but it doesn't really show the tackiness in it's full glory. You can't see the metallic sparke in the yarn.) It began as a small scarf for my bestus buddy for Christmas, but as I started knitting I realized it was way too tacky to gift to her. Funny thing happened though, the more I knit, the more it started to grow on me. Not only did I finish the scarf in one day (thanks to an obsessive knitting jag and a very easy pattern from the Lion Brand web-site),but I decided if I knit a second scarf they would make the perfect presents for my cousin's daughters. And to be truly ghetto, I also decided I'd love to make one for myself. Off to JoAnn's for two more skiens.

And hey, why stop at one Lion Brand yarn. I've fully embraced my inner ghetto and chose Wool Ease to knit slippers for my brother. The first one is finished. It's almost like the ones Grandma used to make us, but not quite. I have an old one (with a hole) in my closet and I'll have to pull it out and see if I can figure out the pattern.
While I think it will fit his SIZE 12 FOOT, it came out rather thin and doesn't feel very warm. At which point I realized that when I knit my first slippers (as a newbie knitter) I must have used Wool-Ease Chunky. So I think I'm going to start again from scratch. I'll keep this slipper for myself, and start a new pair for him with the chunky yarn. I should still be able to finish for Christmas. That is, if I stop blogging and start knitting!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Tree

Christmas Tree 2005Oh, gee, did I promise to post this two days ago???? I should know better than to give myself a time line during the holidays. So, a bit late, here is my tree, complete with some wrapped presents!! Every year I get the tree home and it is SO MUCH BIGGER than it looked on the wide open tree lot. So this year, I was very careful - and ended up with a tree much smaller than I intended. One of these years I'll get it right.

I do have knitting content to post, but I'll have to save that for "later". I won't promise when later, but I'll try to make it soon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Reality Check

Seven and a half days until Christmas. Reality has come to visit. There is no &%*&%$ way I will complete all the knitting I had hoped to finish. Take a gander at my progress bars, and you will notice I've begun to axe gifts. Including the mini ornaments for the party tonight. I've spend so much time on the hat for my friend Dave (which also won't be finished for tonight, but it's coming along well and I can bring it to show him) . . . uh, what was I saying?? Oh yes, I've spent so much time on the hat for my friend Dave that I haven't knit any more ornaments. So the three I have will go on my tree (which we are getting today) and that will be that.

I'm also completely axing the scarf I was planning to knit for my MIL. It was going to be one of these. She had no idea I even fathomed knitting her a gift though, so she won't be disappointed. I've already bought the pattern and yarn, so I can always knit it for her birthday (in June) or next Christmas (that might be a deadline I can meet!!).

For now, I'm off the do the last little piece of my super secret Christmas gift and work a bit more on Dave's Crazy Hat (or Crazy Dave's Hat). Then we're off to get our tree!!!!! I'll try to post again this afternoon (or maybe tomorrow) with pictures of the tree and hat. Happy knitting!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Three down . . .

Every year, a bunch of my friends get together for a Christmas Party. We alternate hosting duties. Our friends Tom and Leigh are hosting this year, and I decided it might be fun to knit an ornament for each guest. (Yeah, I'm delusional. Fun . . . . ha ha ha ha ha ha!!) I've been working very hard on them since . . . well, since yesterday. I have three done, including the funny looking bear I knit up on Saturday. I gave him a little scarf and I think it improved him a bit.

Ornament 1 - Itty Bitty BearOrnament 2 - Mini Sweater Ornament 3 - Mini Stocking

I also have plans for a Santa Hat ornament, which I think will go more quickly than the other three. However, since there will be ten of us at the party, I have to knit SEVEN MORE!!!! There's no way I can get them done in time, is there? Well, maybe. Realistically, I don't need to knit one for me or for Pea, so that leaves me with five more to do. Two tomorrow, two on Friday and one on Saturday? It might happen. If I don't do anything else!!!! Um, yeah, tomorrow I'll tell you about the hat I need to finish for the party too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Has anyone seen my motivation?

I've come to the conclusion that I must work best under pressure. I thought I would be so organized and ahead of the game this holiday season. You know, no pesky job sucking up all my time. I don't know what actually is sucking up all my time, but I haven't been doing much knitting or blogging, and my shopping isn't done either. I haven't even started making cookie dough. I must admit, I have more presents bought and wrapped than I ever have on December 13th, but I just thought I'd be much farther along at this point.

We did get some snow on Friday, and I took pictures to post and everything. Four days later, here they are! Better late than never?

back yardin the front
Saturday night we went to Pea's company Christmas party. It was the first year guests had to pay for tickets, and it was a much smaller turn-out. But it sure was a lot of fun. We even got some ballroom dancing done - lots of Cha Chas!

You would think a Christmas party would kick me into high gear, but the Christmas knitting hasn't been going so well. It's not going poorly . . . it's just not going much at all. I just can't get myself in gear. Maybe Christmas still feels far off . . . I need to start chanting "CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND, CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND, CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND" and give myself some stress. I had a bright idea to knit little ornaments for a yearly Christmas party we have with my friends. Little sweaters, hats, stockings and bears. Small, easy and quick, right? Not so much. I have a total of ONE done. It's the little bear from IK summer 2005. For some reason, I'm having a much harder time knitting these than I thought I would. Am I reading the directions correctly? Are they really telling me to "(k1f&b) 2 times k1 all in the same stitch"????? Isn't that knitting FIVE STITCHES into one loop? Are they insane? Those of you who have knit these bears too, is that what you did . . . and how the heck did you manage it? As it turns out, I finished the bear, but he looks kind of . . . . weird? Mis-shapen? Odd? All of the above?

It's supposed to be a bearAll of the above. My best cheerleader (Pea) loves it, propped it on his school book while he wrote his paper, and said it's the cutest thing he's every seen. I may try a couple more. I'm planning to knit a little scarf to dress him up a little, and he might look cute on the Christmas tree. For now, I'll just forge ahead on the rest of my Christmas knitting. After all, CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND!!!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Imagine . . .

Tonight's forecast . . . .

according to The Weather Channel.

"Partly cloudy skies early then becoming cloudy with periods of snow late. Low around 25F. Winds light and variable. Chance of snow 70%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected."
That's what they said Sunday night too. Let's hope it's just a dusting again!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Is it spring yet?

I meant to write this post yesterday, but I got distracted by computer games er, quite busy and didn't manage to get to blogging.

Anyway, the 3 to 6 inches of snow predicted for Monday night turned out to be only a light dusting. I'm not really sure exactly what qualifies as a "light dusting", but we probably got less than 1/2 inch. I had promised a snow picture, so here is the view out my front door.

Is it spring yet?See, barely covered the grass.

The thing about snow is that is has to be removed from sidewalks and stairs. And to be quite honest, I haven't shoveled since Sweetpea moved in. However, when one spouse commutes 40 to 70 minutes each way, works at least eight hours in the office, and takes a night course - while the other spouse is currently between "official jobs" and fills her day with cleaning, cooking, laundry, blogging and knitting - which spouse do you think should be assigned to shoveling??

If you said the office guy, you think like me!!! Heck, he's stuck inside all day, sitting behind a desk. The fresh air and exercise will do him a world of good!!!! Unfortunately, he doesn't quite see my point. I even tried to use the "as a knitter, I'm an artisan and my hands are valuable tools that need to be protected from manual labor" excuse, but he wasn't buying that. So I am really glad we only got a dusting. Unfortunately, under the dusting was snow's evil step-sister - a sheet of ice that needed to be chipped away. BLAH!!!! If you look closely at the picture, you'll see I did a very good job until I got to the driveway (far left in the picture) where it was very thick and solid. My OCD (this ice will not get the best of me . . . I will chip off every last bit until the sidewalk is clear and perfect) gave way to my aching tired arms, so I took the easy way out and dumped kitty litter on the ice and called it a day. Kitty litter is an invaluable winter tool. It provides traction on the ice (much like sand) but also absorbs any puddles when the ice melts so it doesn't re-freeze every night when the sun goes down.

I also got very little knitting done yesterday due to all the computer games er, ice chipping exhaustion. How many days until Christmas??? How far along are you on your Christmas knitting?

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Woo hoo!!! The hat is done!!!!

Pea's HatThanks to everyone for the supportive comments. This was the first time I've ever encountered a split in my yarn, but I'm getting the idea it's not as uncommon as I thought? Cottage46 Knitter's comment was right, ripping back to the grey was so much easier because the stitches really stood out against the black and green. And while it was a bit frustrating to have it happen so close to the end, it also was good because it didn't leave much to re-do. I can't take credit for the color combo - Sweetpea picked them out himself. Okay, his first idea was blue and orange, but the next day he changed his mind and picked these nice colors.

finished hatI actually ran short on the black, so we came up with adding the grey and green at the top. It worked out better than I had hoped, and looks like we planned it that way all along.

Pattern: Kim's Hats from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Coal, Moss and Fog
Cast On: November 28
Completed: December 4

That's one more Christmas present knocked off my list!! I still have too many left to do. I've started adding progress bars for some of them over in my sidebar. I was afraid it would make me feel pressured, but it actually makes me feel more organized. I'm also finding it encourages me to knit more, just so I can update the bar!! It also helps me see that I really am making progress if I hit a part of a project that feels like I'm knitting and knitting and getting no where.

In other news, we had our first official snowfall today. I've never been a fan of the white stuff, but I've decided it's not so bad when you don't have to try to travel in it. In fact, I didn't go out in it at all! I had great intentions of taking some outdoor pictures to post (for those of you who live in warmer climates and dream fondly - if not misguidedly - of snow), but I just couldn't convince myself to leave the warm house. Next snowfall, I promise!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I've been working pretty hard on my Christmas knitting. It's coming along pretty well too, although I still may have gotten in a bit over my head! But Sweetpea's Secret Present is done - woo hoo!!! The write up will have to wait until after Christmas, but I can tell you I really really loved the yarn.

I thought I'd be able to post FO pictures of his hat too, but I encountered a little glitch. I completed all the knitting, wove the yarn through the last stitches (as instructed) and began to "pull snugly to close top of hat". Funny thing, but there seemed to be a gap forming. Huh, pulled a little tighter. The stitches seemed to be UNRAVELING. Ack!!!!!

so close, but yet so farTurns out, there was a split in the yarn that was loosely spliced together. The snug pulling broke it, and the hat began to unravel itself. Right in the home-stretch too. Argh. I'm going to try my best to save it. I think I can rip back to the grey stripe and just re-knit the green top. It will be a good learning experience, right? If that doesn't work, I can always frog it and knit it over. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger??

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gemini Twins

As I've mentioned before, I am a Gemini. The Gemini symbol is The Twins. And I really do have a twin aspect to my personality. My twins are not identical twins, however. There is ME, and then there is BIZARRO ME. (Yes, Chrissy, you slipped Seinfeld into my subconscious!!)

Last week was all about ME. ME is over-achieving OCD fanatic at her finest. ME cleans and cleans and cleans, and still finds more that needs to be cleaned. ME does at least one load of laundry every day. ME exercises like a good little girl. And ME actually loves doing all this stuff, and finds great joy in it.

This week, BIZARRO ME has taken over. BIZARRO ME sits in her pajamas until 11 every morning. BIZARRO ME will exercise later . . . and later could be in an hour, in a few hours, tonight while watching TV, or next week. BIZARRO ME has decided since so much cleaning got done last week, the house really doesn't need much cleaning this week (besides a swipe of the kitchen counters and a good vacuuming every couple of days). BIZARRO ME spends hours playing computer Mah Jong. BIZARRO ME can go out and get some Christmas presents bought. (Don't click the link, Sweetpea) Oh but BIZARRO ME sure has a lot of fun, and has decided this week is "vacation week!!

BIZARRO ME is not all bad, because a lot of knitting sure gets done. Look, progress on Pea's secret Christmas present. And look, it's a hat, coming along pretty quickly as well. I'm worried about the wonky edge (which is worse in the picture than in real life), but hoping some blocking will help.

And today Wool-Ease was purchased for slippers for my brother . . . my tall tall brother with the size 12feet (maybe I should have bought three skeins).

Okay, all this talking about myself in the third person (not to mention as if I have a split personality) has sufficiently freaked me out. I'm going to knit some more. I should walk on the treadmill, but I'll do it "later".

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It's about time

Okay, I've been terribly lax in my blogging lately. Here are a couple of things I've been meaning to get to for quite some time.

First up, Christine tagged me with a meme weeks ago. So here are my answers to: Why do knitters have blogs and read blogs?

I guess I have a blog for a few reasons. I've always liked to write and always considered myself much better at writing than I am at speaking. When I first began reading knitting blogs, I thought to myself "I could do this", and my blog was born. Having a blog is a great outlet (for knitting and for non-knitting). I've always loved working on the computer as well. I love learning HTML basics, setting up my blog, making my banner and button, and dreaming of the other cool stuff I may someday learn to add to my blog. But I could have any kind of blog and satisfy my writing and computer itch. I have a knitting blog for a few reasons too. I don't know any "real life" knitters, so my blog is a place I can show my stuff to people who understand knitting. I can share my mistakes and achievements. I can get feedback from people who know knitting - as opposed to my feedback from Sweetpea who is biased and thinks everything I knit is the most wonderful thing in the world.

So why do I read blogs? The first reason is because there are so many wonderful blogs out there to read!! The people who write my favorite blogs feel like personal friends to me. Also, blogs are a great place to pick up tips and techniques I might never have discovered out here on my own. I may be "(mostly) self-taught", but the rest I have learned in cyber-space! I love to see what everyone else is working on, and I get so much inspiration from the knitting of others. I can't imagine not knitting, blogging, or reading blogs. It's like my life had been lacking a passion, and now I've found one again.

Okay, part two. Does everyone remember Lolly's collector post from the beginning of November? Is it too late for me to post pictures of my collection? I hope not, because here they are!!

My all time favorite movie and book is Gone With The Wind. So I seem to have amassed some GWTW "stuff" over the years. I have figurines.

I have plantations.

I have pictures.

And I have the plates.

This isn't even half of the plates. There are more "in storage" - ie, with the stuff still at my parent's house that I haven't "had time" to get in the 6 1/2 years since I moved out!!

I also have a collector's edition book, the movie on tape and DVD, the soundtrack, picture books, music boxes, a GWTW cook-book, Barbie-size dolls of Rhett, Scarlett and Mammmy, gosh, the list goes on. (I couldn't imagine trying to upload all those pictures, so you'll have to take my word for it.) There is a fine line between "collection" and "obsession"!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Hot new contest!!!

Hey there, Keohinani has started a great contest. You have until 11/30 go join by admitting "you know you knit too much when . . . ". The prize has not yet been announced, but if you've ever seen this girls stash you'll know she has great taste, so I'm sure it will be something fabulous!!!!! What are you waiting for, check it out here!!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

What makes a great day?

I've got a few ideas. Take one FO, one trip to a huge yarn store, one trip to the bookstore and one wonderful husband to share them with.

I finished my first hat today, and it came out pretty well.

baby hat on a bear
It's the Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch 'n Bitch (modeled on a small stuffed bear, since no babies were handy!) This is a great first hat project, because it was very easy and very quick. I used Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino - so soft and snuggly and also machine washable. I don't really like the umbilical cord look, so I double tied the "cord" to give it more of a knot look. Valuable lessons I learned were 1)Do Not Overcompensate: I was a loose knitter, as I suppose every new knitter is. My knitting must be tightening up with experience, but I am also trying to knit tighter - thus overcompensating and knitting so tight that I sometimes can't move the stitches around the needle. Not good. 2)The right way to tink: A valuable lesson learned when I had to re-do a row because I had overcompensated and knit way too tight. 3)How to pick up a dropped stitch: An extremely valuable technique learned when one stitch slid off a DPN needle and I didn't notice it until it had dropped four rows down. Learning this saved me from Frogging Practice!!

Color Me handpainted yarn in MistyThis afternoon, Pea took me to this great knitting store!!! I had never been there before, but I plan to go back a lot. I can't show much of what I bought, because most of it was gifts. (Tee hee) I did treat myself to a set of Denise interchangeable Needles, which many people raved about in their memes and seemed easier (and cheaper) than running to the store every time a pattern calls for a circular needle I don't have. I do love my Addis, but now I can build up my collection of them at a more affordable (on one salary) pace!! Oh, and I bought this yarn too! So pretty.

Somehow, I was still able to talk Pea into stopping at the big Barnes and Noble too! (Lady Luck was smiling on me!! It also didn't hurt that I promised to buy him a hot chocolate.) I got some more gift shopping done and had a yummy coffee and biscotti. What more could a girl ask for?? It was the best day!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Why does OCD have such a negative connotation??

The Count
The Count's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

It started with a simple affection for counting and the terror it induced in others, didn't it? But now it's turned into a full-blown life-consuming chaotic nightmare of order, repetition, zealousness, and perfectionism. You used to be so grand, but now you find yourself obsessively worrying over the littlest things--like, maybe if you don't check the light switch at least once every two minutes, the electricity will go out (and damn it, you're a vampire--that shouldn't be a problem!), or maybe if you don't wash your hands until your seams are coming out, you'll get some fatal disease. Get yourself some treatment.
Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?
Yeah, so, I like things neat and organized. I re-arrange the silverware in the dishwasher because Sweetpea doesn't put it in correctly. I love the phrase "A place for everything and everything in it's place". I've mopped the kitchen floor three times in the last three days. (At least I used a mop - my mom does her floor every night on her hands and knees with a wet rag! I "come by it honest" - as Jen would say.) I have been known to scrub the bathroom floor by hand.

I don't see that there's anything wrong with that. Have a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope nobody spills gravy on your tablecloth!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lots of knitting, but not one FO??

How can that be, you ask? Well, it's quite simple really. I CAN'T SEEM TO KEEP MYSELF FROM STARTING NEW PROJECTS!!!!

My WIP basket contains the following (many of which you will remember and won't believe I haven't finished).

  • The first Sockling
  • Airy Scarf
  • Tie One On wrap (for when it's drafty at work . . . and I ended up quitting before I finished it)
  • Hair Ball (the mohair pillowcase gone horribly wrong)
  • Swatch-In-Progress for Picovoli
So, I've got plenty to work on. But no, I needed more. The lure of new yarn and new needles and fun patterns is more than I can resist. After all, I don't have a pesky job thing getting in the way anymore, right? So over the weekend I cast on for (DON'T CLICK THIS LINK, SWEETPEA) this. It's a secret Christmas preset for Sweetpea and it's 1/3 done already. The yarn is the softest I've ever felt, and I'm going to need to buy more and knit something snuggly for myself!! That's about all I can say here, just in case he's reading.

Yesterday some circular needles I ordered arrived. And you know, I joined the Cover Your Head Knit-Along and have watched all the great hats flying off the needles. How could I help but start this:

I know my best friend is having a girl :)Umbilical Cord Hat from Stitch 'n Bitch. I had to, really. I can't let the KAL down. I can't be dead weight. I have to get a hat done. And anyway, my best friend is five months pregnant. Her little lobster needs a hat. It chilly in New Hampshire in March.

I'm trying really hard to resist the temptation to start Sweetpea's hat too. I have a feeling I will cave really soon. His little head is cold. And a cool pattern is being posted here. And it would be another one for the Hat-A-Long. Really, it would be terrible not to start it. Right?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

One door closes when another is meant to open.

The title of this post is actually my favorite quote from the card my co-workers gave me at my good-bye lunch. My friend Kathy wrote it, and it's such a great sentiment.

Thanks so much to all of you who left supportive comments and wondered how and what I'm doing. So far, not having a job has been wonderful. But before I get into that, I did want to try to talk a little about my last few days. I'm not sure I can put it all into words or make anyone understand, but I'll do the best I can.

I started my job over 15 years ago. I was fresh out of college, had a boyfriend in Massachusetts, lived with my parents, and had just bought my first car (a used Hyundai). While I was there, many boyfriends came and went, and I met and married Sweetpea. The Hyundai turned out to be a hunk of junk, and one of the Sales Reps at work helped me get a great price on the Honda Civic I drive now. I bought my own house and had my co-workers over for a party. I lost both my grandmothers. I went from being Ad Traffic Co-ordinator, to Ad Traffic Co-ordinator 1, to Ad Traffic Supervisor. I went from a 22 year old girl to a 37 year old . . . girl!! All kidding aside, those walls have seen a lot of changes in me over the years, and the people in my department felt weirdly like family. A few of them are friends I know I will have for life.

When I told people within my department I was leaving, the first thing most people said was "What are we going to do without you? Who will do the work??". When I told people in other departments, they usually said "NO, you can't go. You are the one person we know we can come to and you will take care of things right away. Who can we call now?". But overall, everyone was very supportive, and wanted me to do what was right for my health. My boss's boss told me he wants my health to come first, so he wouldn't try to convince me to stay, but there would always be a place for me if I wanted to come back. Another Vice President told me if I ever needed recommendations, I should put him at the top of my list. pretty flowersThe news director in Yonkers sent me these lovely flowers, and the guys upstairs (who I don't even work with anymore since procedures changed years ago) chipped in for a thoughtful card and a restaurant gift certificate. Numerous department heads offered me jobs in their departments. It is an unbelievable feeling to know your hard work was noticed and was something you can feel proud of. It did make it sadder and harder to leave, but I've also never doubted my decision was right. I was so unhappy there, and I've tried to changed things, and waited for others to change things, but I finally realized nothing was going to change. I had given up trying to make things better, and that's no way for a supervisor to feel. The people who reported to me deserved someone who had some fight left in them.

Thursday night, there was a party in New York to celebrate the anniversary of our news channel (I worked for a cable television company, btw). I went, and all of the people I deal with in our NYC office and our Elmsford NY office were there. It was such a great coincidence, and it gave me the chance to say good-bye to them all in person. It was a lot of fun, but when it came time to say good-bye, I couldn't keep the tears back. I will keep in touch, but I know it will never be the same. But I promised to take the train to the city some time soon and meet them for lunch. I swore to them I will keep that promise . . . . because after all, I can't have their last memory be of me sporting my Alice Cooper look!! (Why didn't I realize I would cry and wear waterproof mascara???)

Friday was so surreal. Some people seemed surprised that I actually put in a full day of work - but hey, the work needed to get done, and it was still my responsibility to do it!! Other people didn't hesitate to come to me with problems, which kind of ticked me off. I didn't mind doing my full day of work, but I did think they would go easy on me and bring the problems to other people. My "surprise" lunch (which one of the more clueless sales reps told me about earlier in the week) was wonderful. My boss ordered in some awesome food and we ate and talked. Everyone in our office signed one card, and everyone in the Elmsford office signed another. They even took up a collection, and I now have $300 in "yarn money"!!! When "The Bossman" (the big boss) got up to speak, I was crying before he even said his first word. He spoke about the day I came in to interview, and all I've done throughout the years. He had us all crying (and if there's one thing he hates, it's a room full of crying women!!) He's like my second dad, and I have nothing but respect for him and know I will never have a better boss then he was. It was tough to say good-bye.

By 5:30, I had finally finished my work, and I began to pack up my desk. I sat alone and cried when I realized it was no longer my desk and no longer my computer. When Sweetpea came to pick me up, it was time to say good-bye to my close friend Tica, which was so hard. And then I had to say good-bye to my boss Olga. I am the first person she ever hired. She's a weird mix of sister, mom, friend and boss to me. We got so hysterical you'd think one of us was dying. It was crazy, and it was probably a good thing we were the last people left in the office.

And that was it. I walked out the door with two boxes of stuff from my desk (most of which was mine, but some that wasn't - hell, after 15 1/4 years I was taking every last Post-It note and staple in my desk!!!). I am no longer a Cablevison Employee. No more free cable television and free cable internet. No more reporting for work, seeing them all every day. No Holiday Deadlines, no billing week, no "my clients commercial is running wrong". Friday night, it was a very sad feeling.

Sweetpea made a surprise dinner reservation to celebrate. He picked the most perfect place ever. Instead of going to a fancy (stuffy) restaurant, he make a reservation at a Hibachi table at a great Japanese restaurant. It was just the fun and festive atmosphere I needed, and I've always love their food, so it was perfect!! And then I came home to find that wonderful Secret Pal gift, and I felt so good. All the sadness of leaving slipped away over the weekend. I still feel sentimental when I think about it, but I am so happy with my decision.

Is this post too long already? Well, if you're still here, I'm going to keep you a minute more to tell you about my "new life". I feel so happy and content. I love having the time to take care of my house and my husband. A typical work day for us meant leaving the house by 8 am and getting home somewhere around 7 pm - if we didn't have a dance lesson, if we did it was more like 9. Cooking became a chore, cleaning didn't get done, and laundry baskets overflowed. Yesterday, I got to sleep until 7. I actually exercised - and I have the sore muscles this morning to prove it!!! I did laundry. I scrubbed the kitchen spotless. I bought groceries. I cooked a huge dinner that was ready when Sweetpea got home - a "country dinner" of Chicken & Gravy (a recipe I kind of made up by looking at a few chicken recipes and winging it . . . no pun intended) with biscuits made from scratch and collard greens. Oh boy, I love to cook . . . I think I had forgotten how much!!! My obsessive compulsive tendencies have kicked in, and I re-washed the kitchen floor after cooking!!! And my blood sugar levels? Perfect all day!! Sound boring? To me, it's the best life!!! I know I still have a lot of adjusting to do - right now it kind of feels like I'm just on vacation. I'm sure some days will feel lonely. And eventually I will probably get bored. When that day comes, I can take a look around and figure out what I want to do next. For now, I'm off to wash some clothes, clean upstairs, and knit on a secret Christmas present for Sweetpea!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Best Secret Pal Ever!!!!

Yesterday was my last day of work. I don't quite feel up to blogging about that yet. It was very emotional and very sad (even though I don't doubt I made the right decision), and I just don't have the strength to recount it all today. Maybe tomorrow because after all, . . . tomorrow is another day. (Pop quiz, that's the last line of what book / movie??)

Not wanting to blog about work is just fine, because I have a much more important thing to blog about today. MY SUPER AWESOME SP6 AND THE GIFT SHE SENT ME YESTERDAY!!!

Secret Pal Goodness!!I don't mean to make anyone jealous, but my secret pal is the best secret pal ever. Everything was packed so carefully and wrapped so prettily. Of course, it was REALLY WRAPPED - so much tape was used I could barely open the packages. LOL All the effort was more than worth it though, when you see what was inside. She really did her research and memorized my blog! I am so spoiled!!!!!

click for close-upLantern Moon Needles - I can't believe it! I had always thought I would never knit with anything other than bamboo - until I bought a pair of these in New Orleans. I posted on a meme that they were my favorite needles, and SP sent me another pair!! They are so awesome. I am going to switch Airy Scarf (which is knitted on 10s) onto them and be inspired to actually finish it. KnitPicks Gossamer yarn - I almost cried when I saw the color is "Sweetpea"!!! And the icing on the cake is that the colors are so beautiful!!! And speaking of icing . . . Pink Buttercream Frosting hand cream!! It is so yummy - I have it on right now and I am loving the smell. (The bottle even warns you that it is not edible - lest you forget)

click for close-upMore Yankee Candles . . . in baking scents . . . my favorite. Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mom's Apple Pie. I can't wait to light these up. I love love love the Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint - so pretty, so soft, this is going to become something extra special!!! And the candy - she sent me candy I can actually eat - it made me feel so special!!!! Sugar Free Creme Savers in the best flavor ever - Chocolate & Caramel Creme. I'm eating one right now.

click for close-upBut wait, there's more. Look at the Acts of Kindness notepad!!!! I love it, am already using it, and really appreciated the sentiment on the cover. I will enjoy the right here and the right now - I feel like I'm getting a fresh start and who knows what will happen from here. The pad seems so fitting - I can use it to jot brainstorms, plans, ideas and dreams. And last, but not least, the butterfly pin with beaded antennae. It's so pretty. They put butterflies on my going away cake too, so it was like my whole life tied in together. Sweetpea said butterflies are a symbol of change - so it couldn't be more perfect for my life now. It was the best package ever and came at the exact perfect time. I could never thank you enough, Secret Pal!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Playing the gauge game

Okay, time to ask for some help / opinions / words of wisdom. About gauge. I hate trying to get gauge, and to tell the truth, I don't even bother for things like scarves and dishclothes and stuffed animals. I mean, what's the point?

But I'm ready to start Hourglass (okay, I do have a million other things to work on, but I really really want to start Hourglass). I've always been a loose knitter, so I usually go down a size from the suggested needles and my gauge comes out fine. Not so with Hourglass. I need 19 stitches in 4 inches. I knit up a swatch with my size 6, and 19 stitches only comes to 3 1/4 inches. Okay, I tried again on the recommended size 7 needles. Argh, still only 3 1/2 inches. Maybe I'm becoming a better knitter and therefore don't knit so loose anymore. (Hey, a girl can dream!)

So now what. I'll try on size 8 or 9 needles. But then again, the size small sweater is too small and the size medium is too big, so I need to knit between sizes anyway. So how the heck do I figure out what I need my gauge to be???

I am throwing myself at your mercy and asking for any words of wisdom you might have. Help me, please!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Where would I be without you??

I've decided today is "Blog Pal Appreciation" day at the (mostly) Self-Taught Knitters blog. I've been meaning to thank you guys for all the support and praise you give me (and my knitting) every time you comment.

When I blogged last week about putting in my two weeks notice at work, I was bowled over by how many supportive comments I got!! I think it was a record high. Your support means so much to me. And yesterday, when I proclaimed myself a "knit loser" for frogging up those socks, you all assured me everyone has trouble with their first pair. Whether you are just being nice or not, it really meant a lot to me. Thanks also to everyone who patted me on the back for my provisional cast-on. It was my first attempt, and a success, so I was quite proud too.

My blog pals have become my extended family. I look forward to seeing your blog light up on Bloglines. I want to see what Chrissy is designing next. I wonder what Bossy and Stinky are up to, and what great stories Chris will have for us today. I wonder what Keohinani's yarn is telling her today and what crazy knitting feat she is attempting. I want to know how many times knitting spaz has frogged her latest project to make it come out perfect. I can't wait to see what Bella and Ben are up to and how Christine's arm is doing. All day today I wondered how Cathy's daughter Em was doing and what she decided about class. And I can't wait for each weeks question over at Beak Knits. I want to see what Talitha has knitted up next. I found that Rayleen shares my love for Lost, so I look forward to many e-mail and comments on Thursday to discuss what happened!! I thank Laura and Lolly for the great K-A-L's that inspired me to try my hand at socks and hats.

And everyone else who's blogs I read every day. You've amused me, you've enlightened me, and you've made me feel a part of something. Here's to bloggers everywhere.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Earth Wind Fire and Ice

Last night, my Mom and I had on-ice seats for this!!! (Read more here.) Wow, it was so much fun!! Earth, Wind and Fire rocked!!! The audience was on their feet, and the skaters looked like they were having so much fun. Nicole Bobek wasn't there (that happens a lot with skating shows due to injuries and such), but instead Naomi Lang and Peter Tchernyshev were there!!!! If you follow skating, you know they had dissolved their partnership and it didn't seem to end on good terms, so we were so happy and shocked to see them skating together and having so much fun. (And let me tell you, Peter is one hot guy!!)

The show was great. My mom clapped so hard at the end that her ring FLEW OFF HER FINGER and landed on the ice. The skaters were coming back to do the re-takes (which is where they re-do any jumps they fell on, so it can be edited in for a perfect performance on TV), and we were scared someone would skate over it and fall. So, I told the usher, and when Brian Orser came out, they told him to remove it from the ice. So up pops my mom, and not only did Brian give her the ring back safely, but she got a big hug from him too. She was thrilled!! Anyway, it will be broadcast on NBC on December 17th, so tune in! Maybe you'll see me in the audience.

In knitting news, I successfully turned the heel on my sock!! It was so cool. Want to see a picture?? Yeah, so do I. The little heel is no more. I got all messed up working the gusset. I had my stitches split among the needles any old way, and got so confused as to where I was supposed to be working the decreases. It was so frogged up, I had to rip it back to the heel flap and I'll try again. I found a great on-line tutorial that I'll use on my second try. I almost got so frustrated that I frogged the whole froggin' sock, but I stopped myself in time.

To try and keep from feeling like a total knit-loser, I finished up my second Fingerless Mitt. Thank goodness, it was a success!!

Fingerless Mitts
Pattern: from Weekend Knitting
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Cranberry

These were a really easy knit and knit up very quickly. On the first mitt, I followed the pattern as written. They are knit flat, and you pick up stitches from one side to do a Three-Needle Bind Off for the seam. I ended up with a very wide, ugly looking seam. When I knit the second mitt, I used a Provisional Cast-On, so I had live stitches when BO time came. This worked perfectly, the seam on the second mitt is completely invisible.

I think even in the picture you can see how ugly the seam on the right is. The left one is invisible. Next time I'll also make the thumb hole one stitch bigger. It fits, but I think it would be more comfortable if it was a bit looser. These would make great last minute Christmas gifts, because they are a fast fast knit. Very satisfying if your craving a FO!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

20 things - better late than never

Chris tagged me with this. It feels like she tagged me months ago and I'm sure she thinks I'm ignoring her. (Sorry Chris, I'm really not and I am actually excited to do it!! I just needed to wait until I could get my thoughts together.) I'm not sure I've actually gotten my head on straight yet, but hey, that may NEVER happen, so now is as good a time as any to sit down and do this!!!! Here goes, try not to be too bored.

  1. I don't like ketchup, mustard or relish. I will eat mayo only if used sparingly and only if it's Hellmann's.

  2. I went to Bentley College. It is a Business School and the students were pretty conservative (think Alex P. Keeton). I started as an economic-finance major and wanted to be the VP of a bank. I decided fairly quickly that wasn't for me and changed my major to Marketing. The majority of the other students said "Oh, Marketing. You won't make as much money.". Happiness was not really a factor to them. And we Marketing majors were considered the "artsy" students!! I also wrote for the college newspaper and was a d-j for the college radio station, so I was considered extra artsy. It was the only time in my life I've been considered the artsy rebel!!

  3. I am very stubborn. I also tend to be spoiled, which will not help break me of my stubbornness!!

  4. One of my many high school crushes was on Dave. He seemed to be the perfect guy. We had great fun shopping together and liked so many of the same things. Too many, as it turns out. When news of my crush was leaked to him, I became one of the first in our group of friends he came out to. It was for the best, really. To this day, we are very close friends. He was in our wedding. Had we dated all those years ago, we probably wouldn't still be friends.

  5. I don't tend to keep ex-boyfriends as friends. Not intentionally, it just works out that way. I am friends with a couple guys I only casually dated. As much as Pete likes them, there is always a little jealous part of him that says he hates them.

  6. I bought my own house, all by myself, when I was 31. It was probably the bravest thing I've ever done. I loved living there alone.

  7. Two years ago my house was robbed. They came in through a LOCKED window (popped it with a screw driver). They stole my wallet (and credit cards), camera, small binoculars and some jewelry. It was the worst feeling ever. None of the jewelry had monetary value, but one of the things they took was my Grandmother's ring. It had birthstones representing each of her grandchildren, and it was the only piece of her jewelry I had. That was the last time I have ever slept alone in my house. Pete and I were engaged, but he wasn't going to move in until after the wedding. All the sudden, that seemed like a really stupid idea.

  8. My mom and I are huge figure skating fans. We go to any show in the area, and usually sit in the front row. To us, fifth row seats are like the nose-bleed section. We also think of the skaters as our friends (yeah, we're warped). We were at the Sergei Grinkov tribute. I have met and gotten autographs from Steven Cousins, Craig Heath, Alexei Urmanov, Vyasheslav Zagorodniuk, Rory Burghart, Lu Chen, Josee Chionard, Lucinda Ruh, Brian Boitano, Denis Petrov, Paul Binnebose, Vladimir Petrenko, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Scott Davis, Silvia Fontana and Tatiana Tarasova. I have hugged Viktor Petrenko, and Kurt Browning touched my hip (he was crouched down waiting to go on the ice, and he was holding my chair for balance.)

  9. My father is a twin. My mother's sister also had twins.

  10. When I was in college, I was putting on my Keds for gym and one of the laces broke. I was already late, so I pulled both laces out and wore them like that. To this day, I don't wear laces in my Keds. I have a convoluted story I tell people about the laces being taken away from me when I was in the psyche ward. I got it from my grandmother, she had a friend who was in the psyche ward and had her laces taken away for safety reasons, and she always told me my sneakers reminded her of that!!

  11. People tell me I am just like Monica on Friends. It is actually pretty true. I like things neat and clean and just so, and always use a coaster. Sweetpea also tells me I am like Monk, but I'm not that bad.

  12. Sweetpea and I got married on the five year anniversary of our first date. I have a friend who bugged me for years to go to a singles group with her. I refused, because I didn't believe there would be any "good" guys there. She convinced one of our other friends to go with her. They called me one night and told me the singles group was having an event at a near-by restaurant. I only went because I really liked the nachos they had there. I met Sweetpea that night.

  13. That same friend is still single. I feel bad about that.

  14. I'm six years older than Sweetpea. We almost didn't get together because I though he would think I was too old - and he thought I would think he was too young.

  15. My best friend and I have been best friends for 26 years. I also have a group of "Stop & Shop" friends, we have been friends for 20 years (we all worked together at Stop & Shop in high school). Dave is one of the Stop & Shop friends.

  16. I have been called "the walking contradiction". I tend to contradict myself all the time. I blame it on the fact that I am a Gemini.

  17. I call my husband Sweetpea in real life - not just on my blog. I only call him Pete when I'm mad at him. . . . and Peter James when he's in trouble.

  18. I think I might like to go into web- design. I would need to take a lot of classes. Deep down inside I'm afraid I'm too old to go back to school.

  19. I am terrible at phone calls. My friends (well, really just Dave) always nag me for not calling. I've always considered myself much better at writing than at talking. However, I am the worst speller.

  20. And, as if you couldn't tell, I am very long winded. No short and to the point for me!!

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Gambler

My parents are country music fans. Every family trip we took in the car meant hours of forced listening to guitar twangs and drunken binges, bar brawls and cheatin' women. We weren't old enough to revolt. We just sang along.

I am not a country music fan. I'm a classic rock girl. But as you can tell from my high score on the '80s quiz I have a freakish (and mostly useless) retention for song lyrics. Every so often, a country song will be piped into a store we're in, or pop up while scanning through radio stations, and much to my horror, I will sing every word. I know lyrics to songs I didn't even remember hearing before. It's crazy.

Today's guest song lyrics come from Kenny Rogers. As Kenny says:

You got to know when to hold 'em,
Know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away
And know when to run.

I guess I've known for quite a while that the time had come to walk away. Today it was time to fold 'em, and time to run. Today I gave my two weeks notice and quit my job. I started there in August of 1990, just months after college graduation. It was a nice place to work, filled with fun people who were like a happy little family. We worked as a team and got everything done.

I don't know how it morphed so far from that. All I know is that it happened very gradually over the years. I just got used to being so miserable there and for a long time it didn't occur to me that it just wasn't right. Working through lunch every day isn't right. Coming home crying several nights a week just isn't right. That sense of dread and depression every Sunday afternoon because another week of work is about to start just isn't right. The job makes me into someone I don't like. I scream at Sweetpea for no good reason, just because my last nerve was shot at work. I don't want to leave the house on the weekend, even to do something fun, because I'm spent from the week. Also, I'm diabetic, and all the stress just isn't good for my health. It makes my blood sugar skyrocket.

The part I dreaded the most was telling my boss. We've been through so much together, and I hate to desert her. I don't mean to sound conceited, but the truth is I do more work in the department than anyone else, so I know it will be hard when I'm gone. I think I do a lot of stuff no one even realizes I do. But my boss was so supportive and understanding, and is ultimately happy for me. The support I got from everyone really touched me. I knew I would feel relief, and I sure do. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted from me. But I didn't realize how sad and sentimental I would feel about everything.

When all is said and done, no matter how hard and sad it is, I know it's time to move on. I have no plans for what's next, and I'm not even going to start thinking about it until after the New Year. I need to just recover and relax. Then I'll look around and see what's next.

It's a gamble that I know will pay off in the long run. Deep down I know great things will come . . . and that you will never win big if you don't take the gamble in the first place.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

So slow

I did get some knitting done last night and today. I knit quite a bit, but since I still knit pretty slowly, I don't have a lot of progress to show. It still takes all my concentration - no knitting while reading for me. I can kind of watch TV, but I mostly end up tuning it out and turning all my attention to the knitting.

I did make a little progress though. I knit the first of my two Fingerless Mitts, from Weekend knitting.

I used Wool of the Andes from my stash. It's an easy knit, and even fits well around my freakishly skinny wrists. (Trust me, they are. I never could wear bangle bracelets!!) The side seam is a little weird. I don't know if I did the three-needle bind off incorrectly, or if that's just the way it comes out. Anyone have any ideas?

I also made it to the heel flap on Sockling.

I'm only about five rows in, but I'm really thrilled with the way this is coming out. I do have the two little hole-ish things near the top, but they won't be noticeable when I wear it. Since it's my first sock, and my first time knitting with DPN, I'm pretty excited about this sock!!

That's about it for tonight. I've got a tough day ahead of me tomorrow, which I'll tell you all when it's done. It's time for a good nights sleep.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I've got to stop buying more yarn!

I really know I've been going overboard lately. My stash is growing by leaps and bounds. My FO's are few and far between. I'd love to blame other knit-bloggers as enablers (you know who you are) . . . but I know I only have myself to blame. The solution will be two fold. Decrease the yarn buying and increase the knitting time. I have both of those covered. Trust me, I do. One fell swoop will take care of them both. And if you haven't guessed my plan, it will all be revealed on Monday!! (Don't you hate blog teases?)

To get your mind of my little games, I'll dazzle you with some new loot!!! First, my latest Knit Picks spoils.

click for close-upThe green you see on the right (and in the back) is Andrean Silk in Lettuce, and I chose it for Hourglass. I plan to join the knit-a-long very soon. The color is not quite as bright as I thought it would be, but I like it anyway. I had a hard time choosing, there were so many wonderful colors. I'm hoping I'll like the pattern and want to knit one or two more.

The yarn on the left is Simple Stripes in Storm. I never thought I would like self-striping yarn, but I seem to be changing my tune. I think knitting is helping me appreciate different colors and textures, where as before I used to mostly wear solid colors in neutrals. If I ever finish Socklings, there will be some striped socks on my future.

Behind all the yarn is a hat pattern. My friend Dave has been bugging me to knit him a hat like Ralphie's brother Randy wore in A Christmas Story. I can't find a picture of the hat to link, but from what Dave remembers it was similar to the long hat on the left, but striped and without the pom-pom. I'm not sure if he's kidding or not, but I'd love to knit one and make him wear it!!

As if this wasn't enough, I also placed an order with The Knitter.com.

click for close-upIt really couldn't be helped. I needed some circular needles for Hourglass, and also for my future sock knitting. And if I'm going to buy circular needles, I might as well go for the best, right? The Knitter.com had a great selection of Addis and free shipping. Since I didn't have to pay for shipping, I decided I could buy a hank of the Lorna's Laces yarn everyone raves about. This is Shepherd Sock in Aslan color-way. I love the muted neutral tones and can't wait to see how it knits.

So that's it. I guess I'm officially on a yarn diet now. It's time to start knitting with all this great yarn I've been buying. I did start my Fingerless Mitts last night. The first one is almost done, it just needs the three-needle bind off. Since I've never tried that technique before, I'll probably wait until the morning when I'm fresh and up to the challenge. I'm almost ready for the heel-flap on Sockling too, so hopefully I'll have lots of progress to show you tomorrow!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I want to knit

And I want to blog. I've been way too busy to do either, and that makes me very sad.

That doesn't seem to have stopped me from ordering stuff though!!! And that makes me very happy. Tomorrow I will post pictures of my haul. Green yarn to knit Hourglass. A self-striping sock yarn. A Lornas Laces sock yarn, just because I've read such wonderful things on other blogs about it. And a bunch of Addi needles . . . two are on back-order, but three arrived.

Yeah, Pea is going to freeze my credit card for sure.

Aside from finishing my first Sockling and knitting the other one, I want to finish Tie One On. I'm dying to start Hourglass. And I find myself really wanting to knit Fingerless Gloves, and Laura just posted a great pair I'd like to knit this weekend. And then I want to make a matching scarf.

Not to worry, I predict a lot of knitting time in my future. Sunday is going to be a do-over of last week, when I was going to knit all day (until the violent evil stomach flu hit me!!!) But for now, it's back to work.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Frog is a four letter word.

Frog . . . I’ve decided it’s my favorite new swear word. Think about it, it really should be considered a swear, when you reflect on how much agony it brings.

Uses include “There’s a froggin’ tangle in my yarn.” , “How the frog could I have misread the pattern?” and “Frog that Blogger, it ate my post again.”. My personal favorites are “Frog off” and “Go frog yourself” (usually muttered under my breath at co-workers).

Didn’t I warn you in the past that I was warped?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

I love Halloween. I can hear the cute little kids outside right now Trick or Treating. Halloween is big in my neighborhood. The people across the street set up a huge Haunted House in their front yard . . . and I've never gone through it, but rumor has it if you make it through, then hand out FULL-SIZE CANDY BARS instead of those little "fun size" ones (which, if you ask me, are not really all that fun). Everyone stays outside to hand out candy and the whole neighborhood is one big party. (Too bad the lady next-door who used to give Bailey's the the adults moved away).

So why am I not outside, enjoying the festivities? Because I'm still sick - wwwaaaa. I dragged myself to work because it's month end, which is our busiest time, but I only lasted until 2:00. Sweetpea (who works 5 minutes from my work so we car-pool) drove me home and got me settled on the couch with Saltines, and went back to work. Maybe he'll hand out some candy when he gets home. At least he can have some fun.

It's about time a tackled those Meme's. I'll do one tonight, and save one for next time, okay? I will start by saying I'm still a fairly new knitter, so try not to laugh too hard if my answers are lame. Here goes:

What is your all time favorite yarn to knit with?
Well, I like Knit Picks, because it seems to be good yarn at a really good price. But I guess the best yarn I've knit so far was the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

Your favorite needles?
I can hear the screams now . . .but I have yet to try my Addi Turbos. So I can't count them, although from what I've read I will love love love them. My current favorite are the Lantern Moon Rosewood needles I bought in New Orleans this summer.

The worst thing you've ever knit?
Probably Bloody Pulp . . . the tank top I started in this ugly red Jewelbox Yarn. I didn't finish it though, I came to my senses and ripped it out!!

Your most favorite knit pattern? (maybe you don't like wearing it . . .but it was the most fun to knit)
I'm not sure I've found my favorite yet. I am having fun learning to knit the socks. And I'm dying to try Hourglass.

Most valuable knitting technique?
For now, it's knitting in the round!!!

Best knit book or magazine?
I've learned a lot from Stitch 'N Bitch. But I have a soft spot in my heart for Knitting Pretty, because that was the book that first inspired me to learn to knit.

Your favorite Knit-A-Long?
The only one I've tried so far is Socktoberfest. Although I failed miserable in reaching my goal of a pair of socks done by today, I loved the sense of community and think Lolly was a genius to put it together.

Your favorite knitblogs?
I subscribe to 48 feeds on Bloglines, but my four best blog-friends are Knittin Mom, bits of knits, Aloha & Oreos, and Adventures with a Knitting Spaz.

Your favorite knitwear designer?
I'm not sure I have a favorite yet, but I did really like knitting the Debbie Bliss Baby Raglan.

The knit item you wear the most?
My slippers. I'll add a picture tomorrow, when I'm feeling better . . . and it will be easily apparent just how much I wear them, because they're getting fuzzy!

You're not really going to make me tag people when I'm sick, are you? I don't have the energy. How about this, if you read this and haven't yet been tagged and would like to be, leave me a comment tagging yourself so I can come read your answers!!!

11/1-05 ps: I received a comment today from Cathy, who is sick with what I had. I always check out the blogs of anyone who comments . . . and after giving her sympathy for having the awful stomach thing, I took the opportunity to tag her. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I had the best of intentions

You know I did. I was going to get all my house-cleaning done yesterday so I could spend all day today knitting.

Well, I did get all the cleaning done yesterday. I worked my butt off. I was so proud and couldn't wait for today . . . my whole day of knitting.

Then . . . . when I least expected it . . . . out of no where . . . . Violent Evil Stomach Flu. My head felt like it was splitting in two. I couldn't even keep down 7-Up. I just wished I were dead. Not exactly conducive to knitting.

I'm now starting to feel almost human again. Ate some crackers. Since they've stayed put, I went crazy and took some Advil and felt good enough to boot up the lap-top. I think I'm feeling well enough to work on my Socktoberfest socks (Sweetpea asked me what name I had for them, and since none has come to me, he wanted to call them Socklings! He's so cute.) Sad but true, I know my goal of finishing Sockling #1 by tomorrow is not within reach. I also wanted to do my 20 Things meme that Chris tagged me with, but that will have to wait until tomorrow too. And I've been tagged for another one, so I'm looking forward to having lots of stuff to share with you guys.

Darn those viruses, they come at the worst time. It could have at least picked a work day, not my long awaited Knitting Sunday!!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

I don't know how they figure this?

My blog is worth $5,080.86.
How much is your blog worth?

But wouldn't it be lovely if it were true!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I almost didn't post tonight. My work-fried brain just couldn't think of anything I needed to say. Lucky for me, Keohinani sensed my apathy and sent over a request for a book review. Voila, instant blog topic.

On a recent trip to NYC I treated myself to AlterKnits. This in one cool book. The focus of the book is to look at your knitting in a new light. Use different materials and needle sizes. Knit something you wouldn't have thought to knit. Use your inspirations to knit something new. Sprinkled throughout the book are AlterExercises, which can be anything from coming up with a guest list for your dream knitting party to a knitting a swatch from a knitting grab bag to noting down inspiring words. There is even an AlterKnits workbook attached to the front cover, for logging exercise answers or charting your very own knitting patterns.

Of course, let's not forget the projects. This is a knitting book, after all, and the projects are great. Some cool ones I can't wait to try include a tube shawl, a bustier, and a velvet-trimmed raglan. The first one I'll probably knit is a felted laptop case. I started to look around for yarn to order for it, but now that I've built up quite a stash I think I may already have yarn on hand. I'm thinking this yarn would be great . . . . except that I kind of wanted to use the DB yarn from my secret pal to knit something I could wear. You know, the sentimental stuff about thinking of her each time I wore the item.

But I've gotten side-tracked. This is supposed to be about the book. Another thing I liked was the use of different materials to knit with. Leather lacing, crepe paper, old t-shirts, nylon thread and wire. I've seen patterns knit with wire in other books too, and for some reason that appeals to me. (For some reason?? The reason is I'M CRAZY!!!! As if I'm not having a hard enough time with plain yarn, now I think I'm gonna knit with wire and paper? Madness.) Okay, when the voices is my head start getting too vocal, it must be time for bed. Check out AlterKnits thought, it really is awesome.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Where's the knitting??

Okay now, I'm sure you guys have noticed and have been far to kind to comment. But lately, aside from the sad attempt at Socktoberfest socks, there has been a blatant lack of knitting content on this knitting blog. You're right, you're right. It's time to make amends.

It's not that I am adverse to showing my WIP's. It's just that I haven't been knitting all that much. Work is really bad . . . really really bad . . . and it saps the last bits of life right out of me. I go home, curl up in the fetal position on the couch, and rot what's left of my brain with TV.

Don't worry, the knitting siren song is still calling out to me. I do still knit every day, but not for as long as I would like, and my progress is vvveeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy ssssslllllllooooooooowwwwwwwww.

But enough with the excuses - here's what I have. I've been knitting faithfully (albeit slowly) on my little sock.

I guess I'm about 4 inches along, and the heel flap starts at 6, so I'm psyching myself up for that. I have artfully posed it to hid the two holes in the leg - the picture came out blurry but if you look closely toward the center left you'll see one of them. I think I know (three inches later) what I did wrong, but I'm okay with leaving them there. They are small and who is really going to see them, right? I'm noticing I'm having a very hard time holding the tension on my yarn. Is that normal when learning to knit on DPN's? Or is it because the yarn is so thin? Do you hold your yarn a different way when you knit socks? I use one of the methods shown in Stitch 'n Bitch where you kind of weave the yarn through your first three fingers and loop it around your pinky.

I also finished the main body of Tie One On while cruising, and got a good start on one tie.

Haven't touched it since I disembarked from the ship, but it's next in line when the sock is done.

And sad but true, that's it. Baby Raglan is STILL NOT BLOCKED . . . I don't know what I'm waiting for. I've got to finish it soon or the baby will be too big to wear it. I vow to get all my cleaning and chores done Saturday, and devote my whole Sunday to knitting stuff. (Yeah, easy to say now . . . we'll see what happens Saturday when I have to clean the whole house in a day. I'll try to be strong though, for the sake of the knitting.)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Mr. Clean & Monday yarn porn

I'm warning you now, this post just may show you how truly warped I am, and how reading my blog may have been a horrid lapse of judgment on your part. Read on at your own risk!!

So, I was blog surfing during a quasi-lunch-break at work today and came across this post at Crazy Aunt Purl's blog. What was I most excited about? The "famous" house-guest? The fun no-muss no-fuss knitting dinner party? Sorry, no. I was most excited about her mention of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!!!!!

Let me tell you, the Magic Eraser was flown down from heaven on the wings of angels. This thing will clean anything . . . ANYTHING!!! Until we replace our kitchen floor, it's a dull shade of grey . . . but Magic Eraser makes it white again. Stains in the tub, gone!! Trust me, you gotta try it.

So, in case you couldn't tell, I've always had myself a little crush on Mr. Clean. But alas, it was not meant to be. Why, you may ask? Silly reader, Mr. Clean is clearly gay. Let's face it, hot body . . . very neat . . . and clean . . . and the ear-ring. Come on, just go look. Oh well, he wasn't the first gay man I've had a crush on, and I'm sure he won't be the last.

So, enough on my love life, let's move on to a little yarn porn. Pea indulged me in a little Stash Enhancement eXpedition on Saturday. (I don't want to just use the acronym after my Mr. Clean rambling -I'll pop up on all kinds of keyword searches for sure!) We went to a newish LYS - they've been there for 8 months, but it was the first time I had visited. It was the coolest yarn store ever!!! Don't believe me? Just look at the shopping bag!! It almost makes you want to buy yarn just to get the bag. (Of course, I had my yarn all picked out before I actually saw the bag . . . it was just the icing on the cake.)

Anyway, I had some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket, so this is what I got. (Yes, yes, I know Christmas was 10 months ago . . . . I like to save . . . okay, hoard . . . gift money for the perfect occasion).

This is an adorable lambie tape measure that I just couldn't resist. He's resting comfortably on two balls of Kid Merino by Crystal Palace Yarns. It is very very much like Kidsilk Haze. Why did I buy it, when I have struggled so much with Kidsilk Haze that I haven't touched Airy Scarf in over a month? I don't know. Maybe because the colors are so pretty (even with the bad lighting, they came through pretty well). Or maybe because the ball of Kidsilk Haze cost me $15, and these were only $5.25 each. In any case, I will master Airy Scarf . . . and then make a few more in these gorgeous colors!!

Next up is some light blue Lush Angora Wool from Classic Elite Yarns. It seems really soft and snuggly and warm . . . I have no idea what I want to make with it, but I know it will be great. Actually, I have some soft grey yarn I bought in New Orleans in July that might go great with this blue.

And last but certainly not least, this awesome green Alpaca and Silk from Blue Sky Alpacas. I know, I know, I've said I like neutral colors and earth tones. But when I saw this green, I fell in love. You would not believe how soft it is. I'm thinking some kind of top, whatever I have enough yarn for. It would make a nice tank top for layering in the winter.

It really is a shame I didn't snap these pictures while it was light out, but that's getting tough now that fall is here. Waa, the daylight hours are waning. And it's COLD!! We've begun using the furnace. How depressing. I'm off to cry frozen tears.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Thank You!!

One of the greatest things about blogging is that if you get stuck . . . . on a knitting project or on a blogging endeavor . . . there is always some kind soul out there to help you.

My new banner is up, thanks to Christine's suggestion to try photobucket. In one easy step, it uploaded my banner full size, and gave me the URL and HTML tags needed to paste into my template.

A big thank you also to Chrissy for her super awesome tutorial, which I'm sure saved me hours of frustrations and . . . . tears? . . . cursing? . . . let's not go there!

So here are my new banner and button. I like them a lot. Of course, there is room for improvement for a perfectionist like me . . . . but I'll save that for another day.


I'm begging for some help from anyone who has made their own banner for their template. I just finished making one that I think I'm happy with. But I can not for the life of me upload it in the correct size for my template. Blogger and Picasa both shrink it down - neither will let me upload it in it's original size. Anyone know where I can upload it full size and get the URL code?

For now, I guess I'm going to get started on a button!!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Third times a charm??

Or is it three strikes and your out? We'll soon find out, because before I left for vacation I joined . . .

Where are my fun Socktoberfest socks, you ask?? Everyone else is posting socks right and left?? Ah well, therein lies the problem.

I cast on for my very first ever sock (which was also my very first time ever knitting on DPN) on the second day of the cruise. It was going okay . . . until I started dropping stitches. I was able to salvage a few drops . . . but then it just got too out of control. FROG!!!!

On my second attempt, I decided to knit using four DPN instead of five. I figure I can switch to five when it comes time to turn the heel. I still think that will work. But what I did wrong on that attempt . . . which was a really stupid mistake . . . . I began knitting with my stitches TWISTED!!! I know . . . I know . . . . every tutorial I've ever read tells you over and over how important it is to make sure your stitches are not twisted. I don't know why I didn't check. So . . . FROG!!!!

A few nights ago I realized that everyone is posting finished socks, and I didn't even have a set on the needles. I fear I may be kicked out of Socktoberfest. So once again, I cast on. And this is what I have . . .

So far, so good. I'm using Knit Picks Essential in Ash. The pattern a is a Lion Brand Family Socks sheet that I picked up free in AC Moore ages ago. It has a picot-edged hem (which I'm doing) and garter check pattern (which I'm not doing - I'm just doing stockinette stitch to get the hang of DPN knitting and also because I wanted plain socks). I'm a bit concerned that I misjudged my gauge and am knitting them too small . . . . but I think I'll continue on and see. I tried them on as best I can with my pathetic little inch and a half knit, and I think they'll fit. If they come out small, I'll give them away.

Can I get them done by the end of October?? We'll have to wait and see. I sure will try!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Afghans and '80's

As promised, here is a picture some scrap yarn blankies Grammy used to knit for us. It's hard to get a good shot of them in all their tacky glory . . . but they mean the world to me!!

I realized, unfortunately, that the acrylic '80's sweaters are still packed in the basement and I'm just way too tired to dig them out tonight. But to prove that I am a child of the '80's, I took this little '80's quiz and scored a 118, baby!!!

I'm not quite sure why I'm so proud. Let's face it, I graduated high school in 1986 so the '80's really were my formative years. Yes, I wore pink fluorescent shirt . . . and socks . . . and leg warmers . . . and headband. Shoot, you could seem me coming a mile away! I had the big hair and the geometric jewelry. My first concert was Cyndy Lauper. And I promise, this weekend I will dig out the big sweaters Grammy made them and model them for you. Hell, maybe I'll even dig out curling iron and see if I remember how to feather my hair (that may be more '70's, but I think I threw out my '80's hair crimper!!)

My Grandmother

Today's post is a little sad and a lot sappy. I am remembering Grammy, who we lost four years ago today.

Way back in my first few posts, I wrote about how Gram was a knitter. I asked if she would teach me to crochet, and she said she didn't like crochet but she would teach me to knit. Well, I couldn't imagine trying to wrangle yarn over those two straight sticks, so I said no . . . I would get books and teach myself to crochet. Yes, I'm very stubborn . . . but guess who I inherited that trait from? So she didn't try to persuade me to learn knitting (knowing that since I was as stubborn as she was, it would be futile!!).

Thus, I am a self taught knitter. But deep down inside I know that's not exactly true. I feel like I'm picking this knitting thing up far too fast. And I know why that is. Grammy is here with me, teaching me to knit. When instinct kicks in and I realize the proper way to knit something, it's Grammy guiding me with a helping hand.

I can not count the number of afghans I have that Grammy knit for us. A few were made specifically with me in mind, in a color that matched my bedroom or a color I chose. But I think my favorite afghans are the "scrap quilts". Those are the multi-colored blankies that used up the odds and ends of her yarn. They are something that she did out of the sheer joy of knitting, not as a special gift, just to keep her busy and use up the yarn.

The other thing Gram knitted were sweaters. I don't know if she followed a pattern (I think she did) or just did them by rote, but Gram's sweaters were all the same. Big boxy oversize things done in acrylic yarn!! (On second though, only mine were big and boxy because that's how I wanted them . . . it was the '80's after all. I remember she would hold up a WIP and I would say "Bigger, Gram, it needs to be bigger!!" She would look at me like I was crazy, but she would do it anyway.) You could only wear them on very cold days . . . . . because man were those babies WARM!!!! You could have a v-neck or a regular neck, but other than that they were all the same. Sometimes she would knit a little pattern into them. As the years progressed, you could only choose a light color, the dark colors were too hard to knit because she couldn't see them as well.

When I get home tonight I'll have to add some pictures of the scrap quilts and oversized sweaters for your amusement. I don't wear the sweaters anymore, but have saved a few for sentimental reasons!!

I often think I would love to bring her to a LYS and see what she thought. I know she would say the yarns were WAY TOO EXPENSIVE, but I like to think the knitter in her would appreciate the fine fibers and wide color choices we have today. She bought most of her yarn in department store yarn sections, and I think she only used acrylics. Once in a while my mom could talk her into a trip to AC Moores, because that was a treat for Gram. The yarn selection was HUGE compared to the local department stores. They didn't go often, because Gram thought it was too far for my mom to drive. (It wasn't . . . it's the next town over and we go all the time!)

I miss Gram so much. But I'm glad to be a knitter. I feel like it keeps me connected to her and keeps her with me. The highest compliment I got on my first sweater, "Miss-She-Actually-Fits", was from my mom. She simply said "Your Grandmother would be so proud". I like to think she is, and that she is giving some of the credit to herself as well. Deep down inside, I know she is here, teaching me to knit.

Oh yeah, and I never did get around to teaching myself to crochet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Four truths and a lie . . . .

Well, what do you know . . . I guessed the lie correctly at Chrissy's blog, so I'm up!!! (Read more about the game here.) This is harder than I thought, but here we go:

We have a winner!!!! Karen correctly guessed my lie on what was her first comment to my blog (if I'm not mistaken . . . my brain may be a little fuzzy from lack of sleep!!)

1. I have been a diabetic for 26 years.
Yes, I was diagnosed in 6th grade.

2. I can function on 4 hours of sleep per night.
That's the lie!! I am a true sleep wimp. I need at least 8 hours, but 10 or 11 is better. (Yes, I hear all you mom's out there laughing at me!!)

3. My husband and I can do 11 ballroom dances.
I didn't say we can dance them all well, but we can do Cha Cha, Rhumba, Waltz, Foxtrot, Swing, Tango, Mambo, Samba, Pasa Doble, Viennese Waltz and Merangie.

4. The food I despise most in the whole wide world . . . Mashed Potatoes.
True, true, true!!! My mom and I both can not stand mashed potatoes. Everyone seems to have a hard time believing that!

5. When I was little, I basically did everything my parents told me to do. I was the model child and never got in trouble.
Yup, I was a good little girl. My dad says he never had to yell at me, just one look and I would immediately stop whatever I was doing. My aunt used to get annoyed at my mom . . . whenever my cousin Kelly would act up, my mother would say "Well, why don't you just tell her no???" Don't worry, Aunt Mandy got her revenge when my brother was born. My mom found out that telling Marc "NO" just made him do it all the more!!

Is that a lame set of statements?? Oh well, it's tougher than you think to come up with four truths and a lie . . . especially for someone like me who never lies ( . . . . or is that actually another lie????). Guess away!!