Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

Happy Fourth Birthday S!

She got to open one gift this morning, and is wearing her Tinkerbell dress already. We're planning out our day based on the birthday activities we need to complete - where to get her cake (ice cream cupcakes from Coldstone) and what she wants for dinner (Mac & cheese at Red Robin - at least this morning that's what she wants!), not to mention what she wants to bring to school tomorrow to celebrate!

Birthdays sure are fun when you're 4!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yowza! It's been a while since I posted. I've done lots of knitting, a little spinning, and all sorts of other "stuff." No pictures, because most of it is stealth (gifts) and the rest, I'm too lazy!

It seems late to post the Sock Summit summary. It was awesome. I bought some stuff. I won more stuff. That's probably enough anyway.

I've been knitting like crazy. For the holidays, for Barb and Kollage, for me - not so much I guess. That's wishful thinking. But there are grand plans for "me" knitting, once the holiday stuff gets finished. I have some lovely silk lace yarn for a Featherweight Cardigan, and a whole bag of Malabrigo in Forest (holy cow what a great gift!) just aching to be a nifty cardigan for me too. Anyone with any ideas is welcome to weigh in. I have a couple options from my Ravelry queue, but I'm open. . . This much lusciousness is so tempting for so many things!

I have been spinning, and planning my spinning . . . I've spun a few natural colors (CVM, some merino/baby alpaca I got in a swap), and a few chain plied fun tops. I'm learning long draw (what you can do with top, sliver, and batts), and feeling more confident with my modified long draw. Posted pictures of most of it on Ravelry. And what I haven't gotten up there, will get up eventually. Lambtown yielded a little new fiber (8 oz of Cormo), but the Yolo Wool Mill trip on Halloween yielded my project for next year. . . I found 26 oz of chocolate merino (at a steal of a price)! I'm planning to spin it up into DK weight yarn, see how much I get, and figure out a lovely sweater to knit for myself from there! I need to decide if I want to do 2ply or 3ply, probably 3ply, because I usually like the look of that better (but after I knit up S's mittens for the holidays, I'll know better). OK, I know I said (somewhere) that I had no desire to ever spin for a sweater. And we'll see if I ever get there. But that's my project for the next year. People change, right? This sliver is just so gorgeous, and such a great price, I could not pass it up! (and I even had to fight off a couple spinners, as I was waiting for my change hehe).

Monday, August 10, 2009


I'm back from Sock Summit. Overwhelmed, exhausted, and satisfied beyond words. It was a fun weekend of knitting, new friends and sisters. I enhanced my stash more than intended (but the bonus of that is that I followed my budget, and only purchased one skein that was not on my list of intended purchases! Winning door prizes is fun.) I got to be a little starstruck and even got to make a fool out of myself gushing at my "spinning idol"

On the non-knitting end of things, I had the best hot chocolate of my life, some great microbrews, good food, and got to explore some of Portland.

Now I am back. I am getting back to the reality of groceries, the chatter of a 3.5 year old, and housekeeping duties.

I'll write more later. And maybe even have some pictures for you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I'm busily preparing for my trip. I leave tomorrow for Sock Summit. For those who don't know what it is, I'm sure you won't understand ;) It's a sock knitting convention. With classes taught by famous (mostly sock) knitters, and a marketplace full of fun sock knitting goodies. I am taking one class, and plan to spend money at the marketplace. I am having dinner with some of my online friends (and hopefully my favorite Yarnista will be there too!) - How nice to put faces and voices with all those posts we've shared online! I am beyond excited. Like a kid at Christmas - you know: up at 4 am watching the window for a glimmer of the sun so that I can go in and tell my parents the sun is up so can we go see what Santa brought now please but what do you mean I have to wait until the clock says 6 but I can see the sun no it is not just a reflection of the moon on the snow I've been watching and it is definitely brighter than it was an hour ago come on why not - My flight leaves tomorrow around 6. PM. I hope I make it without annying the whole family!

I am meeting my (non-knitting) sister there. We are making a girls' weekend out of it. No kids, no J, just me and my sis.

This is a photo of the yarn that I made just to take with me to SS. It is the "Labor of Love" that I mentioned in my last post. It is now all caked up and ready to go in my carry-on (no way I'm entrusting it to the baggage handlers!) For those that are interested in the specifics, after finishing it was about 430 yards of 17 wpi, Targhee from Time to Knit (Etsy seller)

Hopefully I'll have lots to gush about after my return!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pictureless Progress

The vacation was nice. After two nights camping on the beach, we had all gotten our fill of the sand (Anyone else know the Sandra Boynton song that goes something like: "I've got the sand in my toes, the sand in my nose, the sand in my hair and the sand in my face. I think I've got the sand 'most everyplace" Yeah, we all felt about like that.) We took off looking for a new place to camp and we no longer have a tent. (Don't ask!) We spent the next couple nights in hotels, and I think by Sunday, while we had a lot of fun, we had all seen enough of each other for a while. I didn't get as much knitting done as I hoped.

But, this week, I finished another test knit for Barb and Kollage. I knit up a cute little one-skein bag, the yarn and pattern for which I received in a recent swap. And I did a little spinning too.

As the title for this post shows, I have no photos for you though, so it's just a boring list of my accomplishments.

I also need to photograph the labor of love - 4-ply cabled fingering weight yarn, made from Targhee. I worked on it for over five weeks, and now it's just sitting on the table, begging me to take pics so I can post them. It really wants to be loved now, after all the time it spent on my wheel.

So, maybe next post will have some yarn pr0n for you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Whoot! We're headed to the beach for five days! CAMPING on the beach. I haven't been camping since the summer before S was born. (Remember that trip, Courtney and Carrie?) It's supposed to be in the 70s while we're there. That means that we get to escape the 105+ they're predicting for around here. I wonder how much knitting time I will get. I already know that I'm driving most of the 5 hours there, as J has to work. Hopefully that will be the end of the work while we're on vaca.

See you in a few days! I've been pretty cranky this week. Hopefully I'll be more relaxed and happy when we get back.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A few FOs

So one of my knit-night friends keeps dropping these not-so-subtle hints about seeing the finished socks. And since I've sent them to their new home already, pictures will have to do. While I'm at it, I decided to include a couple other recently finished projects too. Hopefully there is some fun eye candy for you here.

I'll start with the test-knits for Kollage Yarns (and Barb, the designer). I just finished two sets of fingerless gloves in 1/2 N 1/2, which is a half wool, half milk protein yarn. I adore this yarn - it is nice and soft, with great stitch definition. It feels fantastic on my hands! Forgive the self-photography. I'm getting better, but there are only so many angles you can get of your own hand.

These are her Petit Feather & Fan Fingerless Gloves. A quick, fun knit. And who doesn't love purple anyway?

Next are the Spiral Rib & Ruffles Fingerless Gloves. There is a funny story about these gloves. A while ago, I knit a pair of socks in this stitch pattern. Made a mental note to never make anything with this stitch pattern again. About a year later, I was leafing through my book, and decided on this stitch pattern, because it's so pretty. Made an actual note to myself in the book to never make anything with this stitch pattern again. So, along comes this test-knit, and I mentally groaned (OK, so maybe I actually groaned out loud hehe) to be, yet again, knitting this stitch pattern. I don't know if it was the yarn, or maybe the slightly larger needles (at least over what I used previously) but I didn't hate the stitch pattern this time. And I even kind of like the ruffle! It was a fun ruffle to make.

And now, the socks. These are Toe-Up Bayerische, which seems to have vanished shortly after I printed up the pattern. I even had a lot of issues getting to the original Bayerische pattern, by Eunny Jang, when I was looking for further information as I attempted to size up a bit. Boy am I glad I printed it all up when I did! I used Shibui Knits Sock yarn, in Chinese Red. These were fun, even though I just finished a twisted stitch cabled sock, and have another in the works. I guess I'm just a glutton, but these patterns are so PRETTY! This one was a little hard to fathom. My typical socks are 65-75, maybe 80 stitches. These were more like 100! And according to the pattern, were supposed to fit something like a 7 inch foot circumference. I think it fits more like an 8+ inch circ, but I was still amazed that 100 stitches at 9-10 spi pulled in to 8 inches! J nearly stole them, before I shipped them off to my swap partner in Minnesota.

Friday, June 19, 2009

adjusting is hard to do!

Yep, we're adjusting to life with a teenager. She definitely is more mature than last year, but still teenager, through and through. We're working on reinforcing that we have rules, and consequences for not following the rules. The one we're working on now is that everyone has chores. And that we don't ask you to do your chores, you are just expected to get them done. She told J last night that the dishes were done. Um, there is not a free surface in the kitchen, at what point did she think he would realize that was an out and out lie. We also found a dirty plate in the otherwise clean dishwasher this morning. Er, I think we forgot a step somewhere, hon. I get that we need to just let this go. I just am not sure how much more of it I can take!!! And anyone who knows me (SO not the queen of clean. About as far from it as you can get!) understands just how bad it must be for me to be itching to clean up my kitchen!!! He says to leave it. And not ask for her to do it. It's killing me!

On a happier note, with someone else "doing" the dishes, I've had a bit more knitting and spinning time. I'm nearly finished with the first of two test-knits, and still plugging away at that 4-ply Targhee from Time to Knit. I WILL have this done by Sock Summit! And I sure hope that it works out to the right yarn weight for socks!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ten Years

Ten years ago today, there was a fantastic party. Two 24 year old kids stood up in front of a whole bunch of people in a church and made a bunch of promises to each other. Then a photographer took a bunch of pictures, everyone had a great meal, and they all celebrated together.

We're not kids anymore. And there are more than two of us. We kept our promises (for the most part - hehe, really who is perfection all the time? I think marriage was more work than either of us figured it would be.) And we still have a lot to celebrate! Happy Anniversary honey! Here's to many more decades of wedded bliss.

Monday, June 1, 2009

As promised . . .

Someone asked me to post some finished yarn pics. Some of these aren't going into my Ravelry stash, so they're going here. Enjoy the eye candy!

First up, Merino from HPY. Fruit Salad colorway. My bobbin filled, so I have a large and small 2-ply skein. I would guess this yarn is about dk weight. I measured the wpi at one point, but forgot to write it down.

Next is a Merino/Silk (70/30, I think) that I got from a friend's destash. I really liked spinning this one! I got about 400 yards (pre-finish) and I'd guess it's a fingering-ish weight. It's all wrapped up, so I'm not going to go measure wpi on it. Both skeins 2-plied. My bobbin just filled up fairly quickly, so I ended up putting about a quarter of it on a smaller skein.

This one is a BFL that I got in a swap. Linda dyed the top herself, and it was a fun one to spin. She did a good job dyeing, the top was not noticeably compacted or felted, so it spun like a dream. The big skein is 2-ply, the smaller is chain plied.

Friday, May 29, 2009


OK, enough with the whining being the last post on the blog. The blog is for venting sometimes, but it wigs me out to have that negative stuff stay on top for too long.

I'm working on motivation these days. Getting things done, no matter how small. Yeah, like unloading the dishwasher this morning. Right on that one (ha!) . . . Maybe this weekend we'll get the garages done! We just have to organize everything that's piled up in the small garage into the (now dry for three weeks) freshly painted garage. then we can have BOTH vehicles garaged! For the first time since the move. That will really feel good.

Hopefully somewhere this weekend, I will also get some spinning done. I'm working on my first alpaca (purchased from royal fibers on ebay). So far, it's going well. We'll see once it gets plied up and washed. I definitely made good progress on my goal this month. I started and finished 8 oz, plus a couple sample sizes, as well as at least half of this alpaca. Taught someone how to spin on their spindle at knit night this week too.

I'm knitting away on my swap socks. Just started the legs. It's a top-down pattern, but I'm using a translation to toe-up. Something got lost in the translation, and I ended up ripping a full inch out. That's a full inch on both socks, which are 90ish stitches each. Ugh. Oh well, they're working now, and looking beautiful, if I may say so myself! (J says so too. I'm not sure how I will get these out of the house!) Good thing I'm such a process knitter, because I could see myself getting attached to these. And you can bet I'm never knitting them again!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Knitting Drama???

Yep, it sure was. I've been psyched about Sock Summit for a while now (ever since I didn't get into Loopy's Spring Fling, then heard about SS, and talked DH into taking full responsibility for the girls for the weekend while I play with sock knitting) and anxiously awaiting registration. I had my classes all chosen, and was ready for the button pushing at 9:59 this morning. Only to find out that, yet again, the technogeeks had no idea how many knitters there are out there. You got it, the servers crashed before things even got started.
I continued refreshing for at least forty minutes. Then, like an idiot, once I learned that the servers were down, and the organizers asked us to hold off until they told us it was working again - I did. I kept checking the blogs to see if things were up again. I heard on Ravelry that they were up, and went to check. EVERY class I wanted (in fact, all the classes aside from a few beginner ones) was sold out. I got angry, and then cried. And then got angry at myself for crying over a silly sock knitting convention. I mean, really. Still, I was looking forward to the weekend away, and with some people who "get" me. And a few Ravelry friends who I'll never have the chance to meet otherwise. And a weekend exploring a "new" city with my sister.
So, I was commiserating with said Ravelry friends, when one of them mentions that she was just at the SS site and everything was open again! I headed over straightaway! Unfortunately, even though there were many open classes, only one (of the three I wanted) was available.

Now I have to decide if it's worth the plane flight and hotel to go to one class and the marketplace. Phew! I'm wiped from all the knitting drama!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mama got a new pair of shoes!

Running shoes that is. Holy cow, is that nice! Of course, I've been running with my pronation for so long, that I didn't make it very far before some muscles told me that enough is enough! They told me that they had never been used for running before, and they were done for the day. Funny. BUT my feet and hips thanked me profusely for the new shoes. I am sure the calves will be grateful, once they have had some time to get used to the idea.

I finished the sweater for S. We'll head out this afternoon to find the proper buttons for it, then I can attempt to post a photo or so.

I've been spinning. Got some pretty BFL done, for a swap. Then realized that the swap partner likes purple, not turquoise! Oops. Good thing I started some purple next. I was going to keep this stuff for myself, but I suppose I can part with it.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bad mama

Sometimes when I run in the mornings, I think about how I'm going to blog something clever about it. Never happens. I think I must be much more creative when I'm dripping sweat, sucking wind and staring at the inside of my garage door. Or something.

On a more positive note, baby girl is much healthier this week! Yay! Healthy enough for me to tell her all day yesterday and all morning as we got ready about how she was going to the zoo with her school today. Except that it's tomorrow. Who's the worst mom EVAH? That's me.

On the knitting front, my new socks had their photo shoot today. The yarn review is pretty much written - just waiting for some washer/dryer action to be complete. Whoot!

I FINALLY started on that sweater for the little one. You know it's bad when the three year old asks, "Mom, when are you going to make my sweater? You said you would make me a sweater!" But then, when I started it yesterday she had a fit too, because for some reason she was under the impression that the orange fuzzy novelty yarn I purchased (to keep her happy at a yarn store that was a really bad place for a kid) was going to be her sweater. NO freaking way! There is no way she will ever wear that yarn outside our house! I promised her at the time that I would make her a shawl with it. Of course, I suppose I could just swell with pride when the kid wanted to wear her freakishly fuzzy sweater every day, but I would probably just die a little inside instead. I guess I really am a yarn snob. I have started her shawl and try to get two rows a day on it. Haven't touched that for several days. . . I'm having too much fun with her REAL sweater and the organic cotton yarn . . .

Monday, April 20, 2009

Random Monday Thoughts

104 degrees is really hot. Especially when it's radiating off your baby.
Motrin is your friend.
Sick babies don't like to be far from Mommy.
Barney is the spawn of Satan.

Seriously, but who could take him away from the little person in the next room, who is still hot and can't keep crackers down?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back in the swing . . .

So, we're back from vacation. I suppose I should write a vacation report, but there's not much to report. We had dinner at what is reputed to be former President Clinton's favorite Bar-B-Q joint. It was very tasty. We had good massages, and sat in the hot springs. J, his dad and step-mom played golf nearly every day. The Mid-America Science Museum is really neat, for kids of all ages (we had 3 - 60+ covered). And I didn't get nearly as much knitting done as I had hoped to. Isn't that always the way it goes? I over plan, just so I won't run out, and then don't get even close. I need to remember to bring more mindless knitting on vacation. Cable intensive, chart intensive knitting doesn't work very well when we're at the park, or attempting to make conversation with drinks after dinner. Sigh. I got about halfway through Chart A on my Seascape Stole, and most of the Cairdeas legs done. But I didn't finish a single project. I was SURE I would be able to finish those socks. Sigh.

On a more fun note, I got several swap partner assignments while we were gone. I have some fun swaps coming up. One that requires spinning, and another that I am going to spin for. One that requires knitting, and a couple that will just get me digging in my stash for fun stuff.

I got up and went for a run this morning. It went better than I thought it would, with a week off. Now to just keep it up.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So we're getting ready to leave on our Spring Vacation. This year, we are headed to Hot Springs, Arkansas with J's dad and his wife, which should be fun and interesting. Last time we visited with them, I attempted to teach her 2-at-a-time, magic loop. I believe she's stuck at turning the heel, so that should be a fun evening while we figure it out.

Vacations are very different with the little one, and I usually complete a project or two with all that "free" time in the evenings. Usually socks. This year, I have a lace stole (Seascape from Knitty, in a pretty rusty color from on the docket. I am hoping to finish my Cairdeas socks before the vaca. I'm wondering if I should bring another sock project along too. . . Just because I can't be monogamous with my knitting. And I'd hate to be stuck in Arkansas with only one project, when what I really wanted to do was knit on some more socks.

Soooo . . . I think I need to find a sock pattern. Very "man", with some cables on it. For a very slightly varigated yarn (Three Irish Girls, Adorn in Baltic Sea, if you must know). That I can knit at around 9-10 spi. If anyone's reading, and can suggest a winning pattern, I will be eternally grateful. Well, at least until my next cast-on dilemma.

Oh, and don't forget my Handmade Share - you can get cool handmade goodies from me!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ahhhh, Stitches. . .

Well. Now that I know this blog isn't read very often, at least by people who like my crafty items. . . Nobody wants to join the contest? Hehe.

Stitches. I came home just giddy - I'd had so much fun! I decided to give it a day or so to settle down. I'm not sure I'm settled, but oh well. Hehe.

I had much better restraint this year. I think I shall be able to use everything I got, and within a couple months - if I choose to do it all consecutively! Aside from a skein of yarn for a swap partner (Hi Linda, if you're reading) and a skein to make a fun water bottle carrier, I only bought fiber this year. Definitely a different crafter than the one who attended last year!

I also got to meet Susan and Anastasia from Kollage Yarns. What a treat! I have done some test/sample knitting for them over the last year or so, which has been it's own treat (the yarns are great to work with, and Anastasia and I seem to communicate well. Not to mention that she designs some great stuff!) I walked into the booth and introduced myself to Susan, and she bypassed my hand for a hug. Then when Anastasia returned, I didn't even get to my name - she just knew who I was and gave me a big hug too. It is so nice to work with such wonderful people! They made me feel like a member of their family. I can't wait for my next assignment with Anastasia and Kollage yarns!

I met Dianne from Creatively Dyed, and saw Joan at White Lies Designs again this year.

There was so much beautiful fiber, as well as some gorgeous beads, and wonderful woodworking. I just love to see it all and wander while being distracted by all the fantastic handknits!

There was also a guy starting a documentary about knitting. They interviewed me for what felt like forever, and half the time I think they were trying really hard not to laugh at how all these people are about knitting and yarn. I hope they got what they were looking for, and am interested to see how the documentary turns out. (They took my email address, so I can stay updated on their progress. I'll let you know if I hear anything interesting)

I guess I have managed to keep the giddiness out of it - mostly. I certainly enjoyed Stitches West, and we're already making our plans to attend next year.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Game Time!

ARE YOU GAME?The first three people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be.
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 3 people who do the same on your blog. The first 3 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!
Who's in?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fleeting thought

Heh. I've been trying to run a few mornings a week. My sister, in an awesome display of support, made me a mix cd to run to. I don't know how to run my mp3 player corvery well, so her songs are all mixed in. Every so often I get a song thrown in that just doesn't seem very familiar. What is interesting is that they all seem to be songs that, should I be making a movie of my oh-so-interesting life (hahaha) they would be songs that would play in the soundtrack while I am running! Go sis! Thanks for the awesome running music.

Monday, February 2, 2009

February already?!?

Wow, it's been almost a month. I've accomplished quite a bit of knitting and spinning. Not as much as I would like, but then when does that ever happen? I've been bad (as usual) about photographing any of it, and even worse about uploading the pictures. I'm doing more swaps, and so some of my knitting is the supersecret kind.

I knit my first project with handspun yarn (some I received in a swap on Ravelry) . . . And am getting ready to knit my first project with my OWN handspun :) Just have to get the socks off the needles, since I can't have more than one pair of socks otn. (My own rule, made to prevent myself from having 22 socks otn and having to buy new needles constantly!)

I had a pair of socks go holey on me. Dangit! I swear it's my Birkenstocks. So many people I know wear their handknit socks in them all the time, but all three handknit socks I've had go (as well as several storebought ones) have been immediately after a day in the Birks. I think I'm done with wearing the handknits in my Birks! I thought it just must have been a horrific coincidence after the first two, but these last socks were practically brand new! Worn maybe twice?!? Sigh. I have enough Smooshy to make another pair, I think, especially if I make them shorter.

On a side note, what do I want for my birthday? I have sooo much yarn, and fiber, that's not a good thing to ask for. . . Jewelry, well, a lot of that too. Anyone have any ideas? It's getting a little late, I guess, but maybe someone can help me. All I've come up with is a new pan, and that's pretty boring!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Back to the real world

Whew! The holidays are over, and the last-minute gifts all got done in time. I have been spinning up a storm, and knitting like crazy too. The Aran Sweater of Doom is FINISHED! Whoot! I should give something away for that. Hmmm, that's a good idea. I'll just have to decide what. Maybe I can get it off J long enough to get a pic (or maybe get a pic with him in it) and when I post the pic. . . We'll see if anyone actually reads this blog. Hehe.
Here are a couple pics of spinning I've done. I'm not going to go into too much detail, because some of it is supersecret :)

I think my consistency is improving. I am having so much fun with the different fibers and colors! There is a local spinning group starting up tonight, so my Traveller will go traveling for the first time since I brought it home. I'm excited to get out and meet some new people.
Not much else to say, I just wanted to put these pics somewhere, and my Ravelry page is too close for some of those supersecrets mentioned earlier :)