Saturday, July 29, 2006

To post or not to post . . .

that is the question. I have been trying to get back to posting every other day. And now almost a whole week has gone by without a peep from me. I haven't even been reading and commenting as much as I usually do. (Sorry guys!!) I think sometimes I maybe just need a break. Do you get like that too?

I still don't have anything exciting to report either. Sure, I could ramble on about how much I dislike the "new" neighbors. They constantly have one or two of their SIX cars parked in front of our house. It's a small thing really, but it sure ticks me off. I think the hints and glares are getting through to them, because they've seemed better about it this week. Then, the other day, while working in my craft room, I paused to gaze out the window. And what did I see?? The adult male neighbor, peeing under his deck. YUCK!!! Thank goodness his back was to me, but the whole thing really grosses us out. Hopefully that was a one-time deal. Then yesterday, look what was put in.

A new pool. About one foot from our fence. (Sorry for the poor picture quality - it was covertly taken from inside my house!!) It doesn't bug me too much to have the pool so close to the property line (which our research leads us to believe does not comply with town building codes), but it's really irked Pea. It's tough, because our neighborhood has always been so great, it's a new thing to have a bad neighbor. I guess our neighbor luck has run out.

Mercury is direct now, so I don't have to worry that everything I look at will break. Abigale pointed out in my comments that retrograde is a great time to "re" - rearrange, reduce, reuse, recycle. That worked for me, because I was in such a mood to clear and clean. I was pulling out all of my furniture to vacuum underneath (something I've found I don't do often enough). I scrubbed the garbage can. I cleaned out the freezer and planned menus around what was in there. It feels so great to see everything sparkly and cleared out. Then I saw this post from Major Knitter!!!! I can tell you, her house is absolutely spotless, so I'm all for taking any tips from her. Now I've got a sparkly sink too!!!

Thanks for the tip, Jennifer!!!!

Knitting? I've been knitting a little. I think I've given up the delusion that I can get my Embossed Leaves done for July. I had a plan all mapped out with an equal number of rows to knit each day. I'm now a full week behind, so catching up in three days in very unlikely.

And I haven't knit any purple for PS July - or participated in any other way either. I've turned into quite the bad KAL-er. You may notice from my side-bar it hasn't stopped me from joining though. Check out the Apron Sew Along (great for Christmas presents, if you ask me) and the Mystery Sock KAL (how fun does that sound???). I believe they are both still open for sign-ups, so come join the fun!! Hurry though, Mystery Sock sign-ups end in a few days.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Something has been really wrong over here. Every time I blink, something seems to break. I put together a little photo montage of all the things that have broken in my house in the past couple of weeks.

A bunch of broken stuff

Click to enlarge and read the tags.

When things all start to fall apart like this, I always remember my former friend and co-worker Barbara W. She was in the production department, writing, filming and editing commercials. But her true love was astrology, and she knew her stuff. For quite some time, she had her own astrology show on one of our cable channels. When ever I'd have a bad run like this, she'd say "Well, of course, Mercury is retrograde!! Don't touch anything until it rights itself again". I'm a Gemini, which means Mercury rules my sign. (Pea is a Virgo, the other sign ruled by Mercury, so it's double trouble for us. Are you listening, Christine??)

Once our internet connection decided it felt like working again, I hopped on the web to search for the dates Mercury is in retrograde this year. I wasn't too surprised by what I found. I know a lot of people think astrology is all a bunch of hooey, but clearly I am not one of them. I can always tell when Mercury is in retrograde. I can also feel my old friend Barbara here with me, visiting from where ever she went on that Thanksgiving evening when she passed to another place.

I know, Barbara, hold on for five more days. All will be right on the 29th. I'm listening!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

More graphics blather.

I continue to be amazed at the steady flow of graphics jobs that are coming in. I remember how nervous I was to give this a try, and I also remember thinking no one would be interested in hiring me. I want to thank everyone who urged me to go for it. It's been wonderful so far!! Hopefully you're not getting sick of my graphics-show-and-tells, because I've got a couple more for you to see.

Of course, you remember the wonderful knitting bag Michelle sent me in exchange for my graphics services? This was my first trade, and since she made the bag before I started the graphics, I was really scared that I wouldn't be able to put something together that was worthy of her sewing. It took us a lot of trial and error and a bunch of fiddling, but in the end it all clicked wonderfully! It's such a rush when it all comes together, it's like magic. So pop on over and take a look!! And thank you, Michelle, for all your patience and ideas. I had a wonderful time working with you!!

Long time blog-pal and sock bag winner Sonya also contacted me about a banner and button for her blog. This one came together in no time flat. It's weird how sometimes they just click right from the beginning. Go on over and check out her new look too!

I've still got five (wow, FIVE!!) more jobs lined up, so be ready for more graphics bather in the future. However, to work some fiber into this post, here are some long forgotten pictures of the yarn I dyed for my swap pal Kim. (I know, I know, Dye-O-Rama ended a month ago. I'm not sure how I forgot about these.)

I was really happy with how this skein came out, and I think Kim really liked it too. Her dream colorway would be named "Autumn's Glory", so I tried to think of the colors the leaves turn in the fall. I'm sure I never would have experimented with these colors on my own, but in the end I really loved the colorway. I may have to try to re-create it on a skein for myself.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Last night we got some pretty severe thunderstorms. Pea and I were sure we would lose power, but luckily the lights stayed on. However, all of my tomato and corn plants were lying flat in the garden this morning. If I were a good blogger I would have remembered to take a picture to show you. In a feeble attempt to redeem myself, I will show you that I have them all staked up again and they are still looking very happy.

The garden from the front . . . and from the side.Hopefully we'll be dining on home-grown vegetables soon!! I don't know why I planted the tall ones in the front and the short ones in the back . . . but I did. In the first row you see tomatoes and red and yellow peppers. The second row is the same, along with some corn. And in the back you see yellow squash and cucumbers. All the plants are flowering so hopefully we'll see some vegetables soon.

The best thing about the storms were that they ushered in some blissfully cool air!! I haven't even put on my ceiling fans today and I'm not the least bit hot. And, the repair shop called this morning to say they have fixed our big A/C unit!! Next time a heat-wave hits, we should be able to keep the whole downstairs at a reasonable temperature. Whoopee!!!

With a reprieve from the heat, I'm starting to get the itch to knit and sew again. I haven't picked up the needles since Saturday, and I'm in deep withdrawal. But I do have some "old" knitting to show you. I whipped this little baby out a few weeks ago.

The perfect summer pool bag

Saturday Market Bag
Cast On: July 1, 2006
Completed: July 6, 2006
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'N Cream in Summer Splash

I love this fun bag!! It was a really easy and quick knit, and the finished bag is super stretchy (which is why the picture looks distorted). I picked this color cotton with the idea of making a "pool bag" - something to carry my bathing suit and towel in when we go to our friend's pool. Once it was finished, I was sure it looked to small to fit a towel . . . but this thing S - T - R - E - T - C - H - E - S!!! My stuff fits in just fine.

Want to see what I've got inside today? First up, another fun little knit I whipped out.

Lacy Headband
Knit Lace Headband by Minty Fresh
Cast On: July 13, 2006
Completed: July 14, 2006
Yarn: Left-over Trekking XXL from my Ocean Socks

I'm becoming quite the Pepperknit groupie, having received her two sock patterns and then knitting up this little beauty. I love headbands on other people, but never really like them on myself - but this pattern really appealed to me because the headband is nice and skinny. It only take a few hours to knit, and is the perfect use for some left-over sock yarn!

Next up, my Picovoli in progress!

My Picovoli In ProgressI bought the yarn for this Picovoli almost a year ago, in my first ever order to Knit Picks. I don't know why I waited so long to cast this on! The pattern is wonderful and this has been a great knit so far. I did try it on, and it looks like it will fit just fine. I can't wait to have it all finished so I can wear it. I'll have to sew up a cute skirt to go with it.

One down, one to go!!Last but not least, ONE COMPLETED EMBOSSED LEAVES!!!! I'm so proud of how it came out, and it fits perfectly. Now I just need to get the second one knit, and I need to finish it by July 31 to get my Sock-A-Month credit. Can I do it?? Not likely, since the first one took me over two months. It's kind of sad, because this will be the first month I don't have a completed pair of socks. So I'm going to try my best to crank this sock out, but I'm finding it hard to be optimistic. That's okay though, I'd rather have a perfect sock than a quick sock - and it's all about enjoying the process.

Monday, July 17, 2006

We have winners!!!

As promised, I have drawn the names for the sock bags. Five people entered for the blue bag, and the winner is . . .

The green bag was more popular, with nine of you wishing for one. The green bag goes to . . .

Congratulations to you both, and thank you to everyone who took the time to play in my little contest. Sonya and Shelly, please e-mail your addresses to me. I have to admit, I haven't made the bags yet. I can whip them out in a day, but I probably won't be able to work on them until later in the week when the weather cools down. My craft room / sewing room / computer room is also the sun porch, so it gets pretty hot out there with the sun beating through all the windows.

I know, I know, I've been a big complaining wimp about the heat, haven't I? Well, you should probably know, WE HAVE NO AIR-CONDITIONING. So far the ceiling fans have been doing a good job all summer, but for the past few days they haven't really been cutting it. Hopefully Pea can get our big air-conditioner repaired in the next few days (probably just in time for the heat to break!!) so we can be more comfortable. For now, we're just thinking cool thoughts and drinking lots of ice-water. Hope your A/C's are all up and running (and if they are, I may be over for a visit - ha ha ha).

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Too hot to blog . . .

I had every intention of posting yesterday or today, but it's been too hot to stay inside in front of the computer. Also too hot to mess around with knitted garments and cameras. So, my post will be delayed. However, this little message had to be sent through today!!

**Don't forget today is the last day to enter the drawing for a little sock bag. E-mail me at wannawinabag AT optonline DOT net and let me know if you want green or blue.****

Enjoy your Sunday and stay cool!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Just a lemming after all . . .

I was never one to succumb to peer pressure. No drinking in high school, no illegal substances in college, and never saw the appeal of cigarettes. It's been well documented that I'm a goody-two-shoes.

But damn if you knitters aren't a terrible influence. It started with all the yarn. Oh, the yarn. Alpaca - I had never heard of that and wasn't sure how to pronounce it, but suddenly I was buying it every chance I got. And hand-painted yarn. And lace-weight. Cashmerino. Mmmmm.

Then came the Addi Turbos. You all just had to rave about them. And sock knitting. Sock knitting was bad enough, but now you have to factor in all the great sock yarns. The Lorna's Laces, the Koigu (yes, Dave, I promise to knit with mine soon), the Socks That Rock (my willpower to resist hunting some of that down is getting weaker every day).

I am a goody-two-shoes no more. In fact, as it turns out, I'm just a lemming. That cold, hard reality slapped me in the face yesterday when THIS arrived.

I HAD to have them!!!Oh yes, I caved. The more I saw blog posts about how wonderful these needles are, the more I wanted them. Why yes, I do already have the Denise set. There are things I really like about them, but there are also things I really, really dislike. They certainly have been a major road-block in my Sunrise Circle progress. And the more I read about the Knit Picks needles, the better and better they seemed. All the good points of an Addi (actually, BETTER "points" than an Addi, if you pardon the pun), at a price that can't be beat.

So, I took a look at my graphics earnings and decided this was a great way to spend it. I knew they were on back-order, so I was surprised at how quickly they arrived. I ordered them on July 2nd, and they were on my porch yesterday afternoon. I had just enough time to obsessively organize everything in the neat little pouches before running off to ballroom dance class. The little case is an OCD girl's dream!!! I can't wait to start swatching with them today. Who knew giving in to peer pressure could be so good??

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I've got to start blogging more!!!!

I remember the days when I used to blog regularly. Every other day, or every three days at most. Where did I ever find the time? Oh yeah, I know, I used to covertly blog from work - tee hee. But more importantly, what ever did I have to talk about??

Okay, I will make an effort to post more regularly. I'm sure I have plenty to tell you about and show you, and if I sit down in front of the computer it will all come to me, right? Umm, yeah . . . we'll see. Today I do have a lot to show you though. In fact, I promised you almost a week ago that I would show you some sewing I've been doing!! Remember I said the sewing urge hit after Michelle sent me my beautiful knitting bag? Well, with a bag that great I couldn't continue to use Zip-Locs to organize my socks in progress, could I? I finally pulled out the pattern I printed ages ago for the leetle bag. It was so quick, easy and fun, I whipped up two. (Look, I was still working on Blues Power when I took this picture!!)

The fabric was in my sewing stash, and I used some ribbon from my craft stash as the ties. I even found some pretty buttons in my sewing kit that I used on the ends of the ribbon ties. So cute and so much fun to make!!! And I still have a lot of each fabric left over. Hmmm, what's a girl to do with all that extra fabric? Hmmm, and a sewing project that is so much fun to do? I don't know, do you have any ideas??? What?? Make two more and give them away?? What a wonderful idea - I think that's what I'll do.

If you'd like a bag like those for yourself, e-mail me at wannawinabag AT optonline DOT net between now and Sunday, 7/16. Tell me what your all time favorite sock yarn is. Or favorite sock pattern. Or just tell me something entertaining. But most importantly, tell me if you'd like a blue bag or a green bag. It's as easy as that!! I'll draw two names, one from the Blue Bag people and one from the Green Bag people and announce the winners on Monday.

Still riding on the sock bag success, I headed over the Jo-Ann Fabrics for supplies to try my hand at a skirt. I couldn't find quite what I had in mind, but I did find a cute little skirt panel I thought I'd try. Honestly, I had forgotten all about sewing with pre-printed panel fabric It really is idiot proof. The pattern is printed right on the fabric. You just cut along the dotted line and sew the seams together. And before you know it . . . . a skirt!!

Okay, that picture is pathetically blurry and makes the poor hem look crooked - I guess I'm not good at the picture in the mirror while standing on the bed thing. I'll have Pea take a good picture of me tonight and swap it out.

I've had such fun sewing, I even picked up fabric for another skirt when my Jo-Ann's coupon came in the mail. It should be perfect to wear with my lavendar hemp lacy tank (if the needles ever arrive so I can knit it) and the Picovoli that I'm knitting now. I'll show you those next time, along with a quick FO I whipped out! Oh yes, I'm not going to abandon my knitting in favor of sewing. I figure I'll knit tops and then sew skirts and create whole outfits!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

So much yarn . . . so much inspiration.

Yesterday, I somehow got inspired to do something I've seen other knitters doing. I decided to catalogue my stash on a spreadsheet. It wasn't something I've ever had much of an inclination to do, because I never thought I had much of a stash.

OH HOW WRONG I WAS!!! It took me much of the day to get all the yarn typed in. I only logged full (or mostly full) balls of yarn. I found yarn in my basket I had forgotten I had. I somehow have 52 balls (or 14,389 yards) of sock yarn alone. I clearly have a problem. I clearly do not need to shop for yarn for quite some time. I most clearly better get knitting.

And what better to carry around my knitting projects than a pretty new knitting bag?? Michelle of Me and My Girl Productions contacted me about doing some graphics for her blog. She also wondered if I might be interested in working a trade for a knitting bag. I had gotten a Jordana Paige bag from Pea for Christmas, but I have that next to the couch with ALL my knitting supplies in it. With so much stuff crammed in, it's quite heavy and cumbersome to carry along when I go out. So this trade seemed like the perfect solution. And wait until you see what a wonderful bag she sewed for me!!

It's so roomy and she made a matching zippered accessory case! Look at the great Gerbera Daisy fabric for the lining!! And some pockets on the inside of the bag! It's truly heaven. I brought it to Cape May with me, and it had enough space for everything I needed (along with a bunch of stuff I didn't need but felt compelled to pack "just in case".)

Now the pressure is really on to design a blog worthy of this wonderful bag. I just hope I can do it.

The Graphics gig continues to move along well. Since I've started, I've had a steady stream of jobs, but not so many that I'm overwhelmed. It's been just perfect, because I like to take my time and really come up with the best ideas I can. I recently finished a cute banner for Melissa's Adventures In Knitting, using some great pictures she'd taken to give it a vacation/adventure/scrapbook feel. I also did a cute, whimsical blog design for Nachaele at Stichenforkids. She knits to raise money for a great foundation she's set up to help children in Ethiopia. Go check it out, it's very inspiring.

And for a last bit of inspiration, did you see the wonderful sewing that went on a while ago at Ragan's blog? You remember, this and these? (Scroll down past the socks!!) I've had the urge to sew since then. And when my wonderful bag from Michelle arrived, I really got inspired to do some sewing of my own. I'll show you what I've been working on next time I post!!