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!!

Monday, October 17, 2005

I'm such a sucker

I grabbed this meme off of Keohinani's blog. Why, with all the things I need to be doing, do I feel compelled to answer this now??

Three names I go by:
1. Karen
2. Puddin' Pie
3. Noodle

Three screen names I've had:
1. KnitGirl901
2. Ciana526
3. UltSk8Fan

Three physical things I like about myself:
1. Eyes
2. Hands
3. Feet

Three physical things I don't like about myself:
1. Hips
2. Butt
3. Nose

Three parts of my heritage:
1. Italian
2. Polish
3. English

Three things I'm wearing right now:
1. Glasses
2. Bathrobe
3. Towel on my head

Three favorite bands / musical artists:
1. Beatles
2. Eric Clapton
3. Sting

Three favorite songs: (it changes all the time)
1. Golddust Woman by Stevie Nicks
2. Southern Cross by Crosby Still and Nash
3. Sign Your Name by Terrance Trent D'Arby (just to really mess with ya!!)

Three things I want in a relationship:
1. Respect
2. Honesty
3. Fun

Two truths and a lie:
1. I'm selfish at heart
2. I'm not as fun as I used to be
3. I love my job

Three physical things about the preferred sex that appeals to me:
1. Long hair (but not too long)
2. Strong shoulders
3. A good laugh

Three favorite hobbies:
1. Knitting
2. Watching TV
3. Blogging

Three things I want to do badly right now:
1. Sleep
2. Eat something fattening
3. Kiss my husband

Three things that scare me:
1. Never taking a risk
2. Terrorism
3. Sleeping in my house alone (which reminds me, I've been meaning to blog a post about that one)

Three of my everyday essentials:
1. Coffee
2. Shower
3. Sweetpea

Three careers you have considered:
1. VP of a bank
2. Day care provider (for children)
3. Freelance writer

Three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Italy
2. Russia
3. China

Three kids names you like:
1. Emma
2. Jared
3. Julian

Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Have kids
2. See Italy
3. Learn to knit socks :)

Three ways I am stereotypically a boy:
1. Swearing
2. Burping
3. Leading in ballroom dancing (Sweetpea voted for that one)

Three ways I am stereotypically a girl:
1. Very sensitive . . . and moody
2. Born to shop
3. Love fancy dresses

Three celeb crushes:
1. Mel Gibson
2. Sting
3. Steven Cousins (yes, I consider him a celebrity . . . anyone else out there know who he is??)

I wasn't kidding!!!

When I said we rode horses in the ocean in Jamaica . . .

I sure wasn't joking. When we showed this pictures to my parents, they said they assumed the horse went in up to his knees. Ha ha ha ha ha. The darn horses practically needed scuba gear. It was one of the most scary things I've done, but also one of the most awesome. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Of course, it was sheer terror that kept me on that horse - I cut off all circulation to my hands because I was clamped on so tight! But it was a blast.

I've made a new Flickr badge and uploaded the vacation pictures to it. Blogger wouldn't let me add it to this post (it won't take text/javascript) so I had to add it to my sidebar.

I'm having a problem deciding if I should spend my time blogging about my vacation, or reading all the posts I missed while I was away, or getting some knitting done. But since you've been asking for pictures (you are all so sweet) I figured I'd post some quick ones first!! (I will warn you that they are pretty boring - picture taking was never my strong suit - no artsey eye I guess.) As for how to prioritize my spare time from here on . . . any ideas?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A quick post from the high seas

This will be very short because the on-board computer is so darn slow, and it costs 42 cents a minute. So help me, if Blogger eats this post I'm gonna throw a hissy fit.

The cruise has been wonderful. Can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed and stress free. The food and service are ridiculously terrific and I wonder how I'll ever assimilate to life back home when we disembark. :( The islands are heavenly. We kayaked in Haiti, horseback rode (in the ocean) in Jamaica (and I have a photo disk of pictures of me looking petrified to post when we get back home) and yesterday we snorkeled in Grand Caymen. Tomorrow is SHOPPING on Grand Bahama Island. I don't want to come back. (I would throw in some exclamation points - but that key doesn't work . . . so imagine them at your will).

In knitting news, I started my first sock for Socktoberfest. I successfully knitted in the round on five size 2 DPN . . . but then made so many bad mistakes I frogged the whole thing and will start again soon. I also have almost finished the body of Tie One On (which I wasn't planning to pack, but did at the last minute). I hope to finish binding off and knit one tie today. Then if I can do the second tie on Saturday I can wear it to dinner on Saturday night. That's the plan, but we've really been too busy to knit . . . which I know is a good thing. Not to mention it's too windy on deck to do any knitting.

Okay, I'm off to find Sweetpea and go lie by the pool and read. More on the trip and lots of pictures to post when we get back. Oh, and did I mention, I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME (insert 12 exclamation points here).

Friday, October 07, 2005

Yarn Porn and Bon Voyage

Since I won't have computer access on "Yarn Porn Monday", I figured I'd mix things up a little with a special edition of Yarn Porn Friday. However, I've decided that compared to other yarn porn postings I've seen, mine is pretty sad. I guess I'm just going to have to start ordering / buying more yarn. Oh, by the way, I stumbled upon a bog I had never read before called Major Knitter and found a link to this cool looking yarn store that is so close to me and I didn't even know existed!! How can that be? I can't wait to check it out after we get back from the cruise. (Yes, I did try to figure out if I had time to squeeze in a trip this morning, but I've decided some restraint would be better . . . . or else Sweetpea might put me in restraints!!!)

Okay, on to the yarn porn, courtesy of Knit Picks!!

The top two balls are Essential in Ash . . . for my very first pair of socks. If all goes well, they will be FO's by the time I disembark from the ship and I'll post them upon my return!!! By the way, thanks Keohinani for the suggestion to knit them on two circular needles. Unfortunately, I don't have one circular needle in the correct size for socks - let alone two - but I'll order some when I get back and try that for my next pair!! The yarn on the bottom is Wool of the Andes in Cranberry. I thought the color was great and ordered it thinking I could surely make some pretty nice Christmas presents with it!!

However, after receiving the gifts from my Secret Pal, I couldn't help but notice how nice it looks with the Debbie Bliss SoHo yarn. So I may have to "steal" some of it to knit something for myself!! I know, I'm just shameless.

This last yarn is Sierra, one skein in Coal and one skein in Tide. I have some good plans for this here yarn . . . plans that can not yet be divulged. You understand, right? I mean, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you . . . and I like you all far to much!!

All of these yarns are really nice. Soft and cuddly (especially the sock yarn) and the colors are all beautiful. I'm really starting to get into this yarn buying thing, and I think I'm becoming more and more of a yarn snob. I was at the craft store the other day, and wasn't even tempted to buy any of the yarn there . . . . because it just didn't seem as nice as the yarns you see here. Oh no, it's all downhill from here!!

By the way, I just wanted to mention that I posted the pictures for my last couple of posts using Hello from Picasa and it works really well. It take a little figuring out, but it gives you so much more control over the pictures than blogger does. You can size them to any size (not just the three options on blogger) and also add borders and captions. The only downside is that when you send them, they immediately publish as a new post, which I then remove by re-saving as a draft until I've added my post text. (But maybe you can send them as a draft and I just haven't figured that out yet??)

Well, blog pals, that's it for me. My dad will be here in four hours to drive us to the ship. I'm not done packing. And I need to get to the eye doctor to pick up new glasses (that I might actually wear in public - that's a new thing for me). So I'm off on vacation. I'll miss you guys!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The votes are in!!

(I was going to put web-links on all the names, but Miss McSpazziton was anxious to see what I've chosen, so I'm posting as is!!)

Thanks for all your comments and input on what knitting to take on vacation. I considered everyone's advice (which is a new thing for someone as headstrong and stubborn as me) and surprised myself by scrapping some of the stuff I thought I'd want to bring. And the winners are . . . . drumroll please . . . .

  • Tempting - this will be my mindless project. I debated about bringing it because I was afraid I'd get confused on how to knit in the round. But thanks to the great instructional video link in Miss McSpazziton's comment I can't wait to give it a try. I had a few things I was cloudy on, but the video cleared that all right up. It looks downright easy and I'm confident I will have no problems. (I hear you screaming . . I know, I know . . . I've just jinxed myself!)
  • Airy Scarf -This will be my challenging project, because sadly it is still quite challenging for me. It's not hard knitting - simple knit stitches and some k2togs and yo's - but the KSH is kicking my butt. I think it's harder because the yarn is so fine but it's knit on size 10 needles . . . or maybe I'm just KSH inept. Anyway, on at-sea-days we can sit in the sun and I can give it some good concentration
  • Socks -You guys can totally take the credit for this one, because I wasn't even seriously considering bringing the socks. Again, socks are something I have yet to attempt. But so many of you voted for socks . . . even Kym who admitted she doesn't like to knit socks herself voted for them. And again, I watched the "turning the heel" and "knitting the gusset" videos in Miss McSpazziton's comment link and I think I can handle it.
So there you go. Yes, I'm not likely to have time to knit all three projects . . . but I'm a notorious over-packer. Just ask Sweetpea how many pairs of shoes I brought on our honeymoon. (Eleven! He was horrified. But in my defense, not only did we do a 7 night cruise with formal nights, dressy nights, pool time and shlepping around islands time, but we also spent a week in The Keys. Anyway, I wore all but one pair!!)

Thanks again for all the great input!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My SP is the best!!!

When we finally got home after dance class last night, just look what was waiting for me!!!

Great gifts from my secret pal!!!

How cool is this package?? She even decorated the box with all these happy stickers. Isn't that DB SoHo yarn gorgeous? I'd never seen it before, but it's really neat. It's a bulky weight wool yarn that varies in thickness along the strand. I love the colors in it, and I'm going to need to find a really special pattern to knit with it!

And see my new little friend? His name (according to the tag) is Frizzy. Isn't that the cutest?? To his left you will notice a new Yankee Candle in Ginger Spice Cookie. I love anything with "baking" scents, and Yankee Candles are the only candles I buy. (My mom refers to me as a "candle snob"

Thank you pal . . . you're the best.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Vacation planning

So, we're coming into the home stretch before the cruise and it's time to start thinking about packing. Foremost in my mind is this . . . just how many knitting projects should I bring? I probably won't have the shawl finished by Friday . . . although I've been making some good progress considering I've been too busy to knit much lately. (The bottom picture is supposed to show you the details - like the ribbed rows and the color subtleties - but they didn't really come out anyway.)

So I'll need to bring that, along with the straight needles I'll need when I knit the ties.

I think I'll also bring the yarn and needles for Tempting. But I've never knit in the round before . . . so do I need to photocopy instructions to stick in my knitting bag in case I get stuck? (Hey, at least I'm resisting the temptation - no pun intended- to bring the whole knitting book!!)

On Friday I went out at lunch-time and bought this yarn to make a baby raglan for Heidi's baby.

So I'll probably bring this - I might even be able to get the whole think knit on the cruise. Yes, I did resist the temptation to buy pink . . . just in case my hunch is off. However, Heidi's thinking it's a girl too, because this pregnancy has been so different than when she was pregnant with the Z-man.

I should also have some Knit Picks yarn coming tomorrow or Wednesday. I ordered some sock yarn so I can give sock knitting a try. Maybe I'll bring that. Oh yeah, and I ordered some yarn to make a hat for Sweetpea . . . but I'm not sure I have the right size needles and I probably won't have time to go buy some before we leave. But if I do . . . maybe I should bring that!

Okay, maybe I'm going a bit over-board. (Pun definitely intended there!!!) Please give me some opinions and help me decide how many projects (and which ones) to bring. I'm starting to run out of room for my clothes!

****Airy Scarf!!! I forgot about Airy Scarf!! That's one more to add to the list.

Monday, October 03, 2005

C'mon, you know you do it too . . .

Keohinani does it. (see #80) Knitting Spaz does it. (see Sept 26) I'm guessing all you other knitters do it. And yes, I'll admit it, I do it too. While waiting for the train in Westport on Saturday, I stared at a lady's sweater wondering what stitch it was done in (my guess was 2 by 4 rib), on what size needles (fairly large), and why oh why, with all the beautiful yarns out there, would someone knit a sweater with such an ugly yarn. I know, that's mean. But it really was.

Yesterday we went to the mall. And I was doing it again. I couldn't even hide it. As I fondled and rubbed the sweaters on the sales racks, Sweetpea turned to me and said "Are you playing Guess the Fiber Content?". Busted!!!! When I had read Keohinani's post to him, he was a bit disturbed (sorry, Keohinani - don't take it personally). So when he actually realized I am now prone to doing the same thing . . . well . . . I'm afraid he's going to try and have a knitting intervention. By the way, there was a great pair of knitted gloves - they were 75% Rabbit Hair, 24% something else I forgot, and 1% other fibers! What the heck are "other fibers"??? Whatever else was on the rabbit??

Yesterday morning my bestus friend Heidi and godson Zach popped in unexpectedly for breakfast. (Well, okay, I knew she was coming, but she only told me on Saturday. She lives in New Hampshire, so a visit with less than 24 hours notice counts as unexpected). After we ate, I proceeded to pull out all my knitting books so she could show me things she might like for Christmas. Then she said something in conversation that I heard as "I didn't think anyone would want to knit them". But we were talking about muffins and it didn't really make sense, so I asked her to repeat her sentence. What she really said was "I didn't think anyone would want to eat them". I think she and Sweetpea were a little scared for my sanity. It didn't help matters any when I volunteered the information that I wake up each morning thinking about what new projects I can knit and what new knit techniques I can learn.

If you get committed to a mental hospital, do they take away your knitting needles?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Magical Mystery Tour

"Roll up for the magical mystery tour, step right this way" -McCartney, Magical Mystery Tour

I don't know that I can really describe last night's concert and actually do it justice. Wow. Just wow.

The concert started with a audio montage of Beatles and Wings songs, followed by a video montage that began in Liverpool with James Paul McCartney's birth certificate and went on from there. It had been amazing enough to know you were going to see a Beatle . . . but to see his life there in front of you, and with him narrating no less . . . The Quarry Men, John, George and Ringo, the Ed Sullivan Show, Sgt. Peppers, Wings and so much more . . . . it just blows you away. By the time to curtain went up and Paul was there, the entire audience was on their feet in a frenzy.

On a radio show I listened to on Thursday, they were commenting on a picture of Paul standing in his backyard at 16 with his guitar. They wondered if he knew how famous he would become. I turned to Sweetpea and said I was sure he didn't. Yes, I'm sure he had the rock star dream of any 16 year old with a guitar . . . but I don't see how anyone, pre-Beatles, could ever fathom what the Beatles would become.

So what did he play? All of it was awesome . . . let's see how much I can remember. He opened with Magical Mystery Tour. We heard Blackbird, Hey Jude, Get Back, Yesterday, Back in the USSR, Band on the Run, Good Day Sunshine, Live and Let Die, Got To Get You Into My Life, Maybe I'm Amazed, Fixing A Hole, Drive My Car, Eleanor Rigby, She Came In Through the Bathroom Window, Helter Skelter, Penny Lane, The Long and Winding Road, Let It Be (by candle light), Jet . . . and so many more I'll probably remember later (and add them when I do). He ended with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band - reprise and The End.

I have to add, there's always something about seeing a concert (or a figure skating show or an opera) in New York City that makes it extra special. There's a certain electricity and excitement that you just don't get in Connecticut. Paul loves New York too, so it makes it even more special.

Wow. Just wow.

"And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make" - McCartney, The End