Monday, March 31, 2008

Some contests . . .

When I opened my e-mail this morning, I had some good news waiting for me. You see, Debby at She Knits by the Seashore blogged about donations for her husband's ride in Get Your Guts In Gear to benefit Crohn's disease. He is also riding in honor of their cat Charlie, who they lost to the feline version of the disease. I was happy to donate, and as luck would have it, I won some gorgeous yarn from Lavender Sheep that was dyed and donated in their Charlie's honor. I will knit the yarn with love, and wear my socks in memory of both Debby's Charlie and of my Charlie. I know they are off playing together right now. Debby and Chris are still a long way from their goal, so go on over and donate to a wonderful cause.

Next up is my entry for a contest over at Valerie's blog. I've been meaning to post three of my favorite things all month, so hopefully I'm not too late. Even if I am, it's been fun to pick three things to share with you all. (Click on any picture to enlarge it.)

My first favorite thing is the sign that hangs over my living room couch. I bought it at a fair in town before I had moved into my house (the binder was signed, but I hadn't yet closed). It's made from wood salvaged when one of the oldest churches in town was being remodeled, and I felt the quote had wonderful words to lived by as I prepared to move into my own house. Not to mention that Shakespeare is a favorite around here. (Can anyone guess why? First one to answer correctly will win a small something from me!!)

Next up is the wing chair that belonged to my grandmother. I love having things from my grandparents furnishing my home, and this is just one of many "hand-me-downs" from my grandparent's on both sides. The color fits in perfectly with my living room. This was also Charlie's favorite chair. He would use the little footstool to climb up and settle in for a nap. He also preferred to sleep there every night, instead of in his bed or on the couch.

Last, I thought I'd snap a picture of my desk/workspace in my office/craft room. I love this whole room, which is packed with my yarn, craft books, fabric, beads and more. This "desk" is actually Pea's old kitchen table, and it's perfect for computer work and also large enough to sew on. The white cubbyholes from Target keep my junk clutter important things in order while blocking out the view of the weird neighbor's deck!

And that's it!! Hope you had as much fun with this as I did!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A little yarn swap . . .

What ever did we do before Ravelry? It was through Ravelry that The ADD Knitter spied three skeins of Debbie Bliss SoHo in my stash. She had two skeins in the same colorway that she kindly offered to gift to me! Wanting to reciprocate, I asked if there was anything in my stash that interested her. As it turned out, she was happy to take the left-over Soft Tweed from my Sunrise Circle Jacket off my hands.

The SoHo showed up in the mail last week.

And oh my, what is that behind it??

A gorgeous skein of sock yarn from GypsyKnits! It's rare to come across a sock yarn I don't have in my stash, but this is one (ummm, now WAS one). The colors are beautiful and I was so touched by her generosity! Thank you so much, Ms ADD!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Book swap anyone?

I agreed to participate in a cool book thing - part swap, part chain letter (but not in a scary way). And I'm looking for more people who want to participate too. It's easy, inexpensive, and sounds like a lot of fun.

Here's how it works. Email your snail-mail address to me, and I will send you a copy of the letter above and six address labels with my address. You simply send a paperback book that you've read and enjoyed to the address on the back of the letter. Then, make six copies of the letter and put one of my address labels on the back of each one. Send them, along with six of your own address labels, to six friends. If everyone plays, you should get 36 books in the mail!!

Who's game?? Email me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Breaking the diet . . .

Here I am, back from my little trip to New Hampshire to visit with my best friend and her boys. Not wanting to arrive empty handed, I knit up some little treats to bring to them.

Cupcake Trio
Cupcake from One Skein
Cast On: 8 March 2008
Completed: 11 March 2008
Yarn: Scraps and Leftovers
Needles: Clover Bamboo US9 (5.5mm) DPNs and Clover Bamboo US5 (3.75mm) DPNs

Of course, knitted cupcakes don't really break any kind of diet. And a food diet is not the diet I'm referring to in my post title. That right, I broke the Yarn Diet!!


Oh yes, it's Malabrigo. It was 25% off. I don't see how I really had any other choice but to bring enough home for a sweater. Yes, I am disqualified from the Top 10 Stash Projects KAL. Yes, I have failed the Quarter of Fiscal Responsibility. But it's MALABRIGO. 25% OFF!!! And we have a really good tax return coming.

Tell me, you'd do the same thing, wouldn't you??

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Slippers and Socks

Yesterday was a very good day.

My first ever gift from the Random Acts of Kindness group on Raverly arrived in my mailbox. And as if that's not exciting enough, I was gifted with the thing I'd been wishing for the most!

Felted Clogs

Starfish sent me the patterns for Fiber Trends Felted Clogs. I've been admiring all the clogs I see around blog-land and have been dying for the pattern, but Pea and I are in a self-imposed "Quarter of Financial Responsibility" while we wait to see what goes on with his job. (Yes, we really call it that - often. Every time we want to go out to dinner or buy something fun). I've already wound up the yarn and will be knitting these tomorrow as Amtrak whisks me away to New Hampshire! I can't wait to have these on my feet, because our hardwood floors are still very, very cold.

I also finished a pair of socks. Thick, quick socks that will keep my cold little feet warm too.

Easy Socks
Iris Schreier Toe Up Socks
Cast On: 23 February 2008
Completed: 10 March 2008
Yarn: Artyarns Handpaint Stripes - Colorway 136
Needles: Clover Bamboo US5 (3.75mm) DPNs

I knit the first one in a couple of days, then put them aside until March so I could use them as my Sock-A-Month 5 credit. I started the second one on Saturday and finished yesterday, and didn't even have that much time to knit. Working up thick socks on size 5 needles is a fun break from the socks on 1s and 2s that always seem to drag on forever. And I think the yarn is so pretty - pooling and all.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

That purple blob in the snow . . .

from my last post is my oldest WIP, finished at last!!

Perfect Pie Shawl

Perfect Pie Shawl from Weekend Knitting
Cast On: 20 August 2006
Completed: 14 January 2008
Yarn: Araucania Atacama, 503
Koigu KPM, 2239
Needles: Knit Picks US (5.5mm) Circ

I don't know why it took me a year and a half to finish this shawl. I thought about frogging it many times, but in the end, I'm so glad I didn't. It's really pretty and soft and warm. Of course, my photography skills often leave much to be desired. Although I love the picture above, I didn't manage to get a good picture of the whole shawl laid out. (Note to self: Don't just plop it down, ARRANGE IT!!)

My crochet skills leave a lot to be desired also. The crocheted edging is a bit lumpy and uneven. But I like it just the same.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Because Kathy said I had to . . ..

This morning, Kathy left me a comment urging me to post again. It was exactly the push I needed to get me going.

Last week was a bad week. A really bad week. One of those weeks where you feel yourself spiraling farther and farther into a depression, but are helpless to pull yourself out. Luckily, I have so many wonderful friends, both old and new, who check up on me and lend support. Thank you all so much.

I also have a dear, sweet husband. He felt as helpless as I did, but somehow he knew just the right things to do. He sent me flowers to cheer my day. He made a call to an animal shelter so we could go meet a cute little kitty we'd been looking at on-line. We actually met many cute little kitties - but seeing them all helped me realize it is still too soon for me to bring one home. I thought it wasn't, until I got there and couldn't help but cry (again). But I'm so glad I went, and I know in a few weeks or months or whatever, it will be the perfect time to bring one of them home.

After that, things seemed to start getting better. I had a long talk with Heidi, my best friend since sixth grade, who always helps me sort things out. And next week, I'm taking Amtrak to New Hampshire for a little visit with her and the boys! I can't wait, and it's so nice to have something fun to look forward to.

So, things seem much better. I still miss Charlie so much. But it's different now. Still sad, but less smothering. I know there will always be an empty place where he was, but I know it won't always hurt so badly.

And with that, comes the feeling that it's time to get back to regular blogging and commenting and e-mailing. I've missed all of the communication with you, my friends. I've already got a post for tomorrow all planned out. I'll give you a sneak peak before I go . . .