Friday, June 30, 2006

Down Time FINALLY!

Remember all those things I had listed yesterday that I had to do?? Well I ditched that TO DO list and instead after work I came home, pulled out my cross stitch, and stitched the afternoon away!! OMG was it wonderful!!! I had no energy to go anywhere or do anything other than sit on the couch and stitch. It was JUST what I needed! And I got some things done as well!!

The first question, what to stitch? I wasn't in the mood for Maggie since there are lots of color changes where I am right now and I didn't want to search for something to start so I went to the back of the closet and pulled out a couple of UFOs. The winner?? Bag Ladies!! This was another one of those that I started back in 2001 just before Baby Girl was born. I had a rotation going with a few big projects, but then a LOT of stuff happened over time (Baby Girl born, the Insane One being laid off from Sprint then his health started going bad, had to go back to work p/t, etc) and other projects that had to be worked on so they got pushed to the back of the closet. Maggie was one of them, Bag Ladies is another. I think I have a L&L Queen Ann's Lace back there as well but I've worked on her in the past 6 months so she doesn't count. I'll have to pull her out too.......
ANYWAY! Here is a picture of Bag Ladies before I started working on her. Ignore the wrinkles, she got a bit crushed.

Bag Ladies has more blocks of color so its perfect for me right now. Here is the after. I did part of the green bag next to the cat and then I did some more of the cat's neck.

I thought I did quite a bit until I compare pictures. BUT if you take into account how many times I had to get up to get juice or lunch or have kids sit next to (or ON) me, I did pretty good!!!

Later that night I pulled out my sock and got some more done on that as well.

Dee wanted to know specific yarn info so here we go.
The above sock is being worked with Berroco's Europa. Its more of a sport weight so I'm using size 3dpns and cast on 56 stitches. Plain K2P2 ribbing but I will probably continue the ribbing down the front of it. The pattern I'm using (more for cast on information than anything else) says to continue the ribbing thru the foot for the extra stretch. I also plan on adding wooly nylon to the heel and toe since the yarn is 75%wool and 25%cotton. I just started the heel (8 rows in) so I still have a bit to go on the sock.

The sweater I'm doing is using yarn from Elann, their Lara Endless Summer Collection, color #326, Claret. Its really nice yarn, but its a bit splitty so I have to pay attention when I go from stitch to stitch. But its knitting up nicely!! And to give you an idea how far into this sweater I am??? I'm almost done with the 1st skein of yarn, only 11 to go!!!

eBay report, got the Lorna's Laces in the mail yesterday, VERY nice (and once I learn how to link you back to past posts, it will include a picture)! I also just won a bid on line for about 6 skeins of Cascade Fixation and 3 skeins of white and pink wool. Socks for Baby Girl or CIC. Not sure yet. Baby Girl is just now showing an interest in the socks I made for her A YEAR AGO! OK so they are just now fitting her so that could be part of the attraction. Of course now that #1 Son saw that she had socks, guess what he wants too??? I'll pull out some bright yarn for him to choose from. The brighter the better for him!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Little Bit of Everything

I *finally* had some time last night to knit and I jumped on the chance. Yes there were dishes and laundry (oh the laundry) and a ton of others things calling but the only one I answered was the call of the yarn. I didnt want to work on the CIC sock. I figure I'm at a point where its the foot part and I can do that on our drive to NY. I pulled out Baby Girl's poncho and did a few rows of that while watching a taped Knitty Gritty. Then I pulled out my sweater with the patterns to it. I only do a row or two of it since every row is different and I dont have the quiet time I need to really make sure I dont mess it up. I havent posted a picture of it yet so here it is.

Its got a viney pattern right now, 5 more rows I'll be on the flower. I started this in December of '05 and this is as far as I've gotten. I wanted to get it done by this winter but it may be the winter of 2007 instead.

Then the kids wanted to sit next to me while we watched tv so out came the new sock for me. The picture isnt true to color but the best I could do this AM.

Its not much but *you* try casting on and fiddling with 4 needles while you have two rugrats climbing on you and asking to knit and arguing who gets to sit next to you and who gets to sit ON you! Needless to say I didnt get much done. Once Grease (the movie) was over (it was on the ABCFAmily channel last night) I decided I was exhausted, kissed everybody goodnight (let the Insane One put them to bed) and went to bed to finish the book I was reading, Knit One, Kill Two. Its supposed to be the first book in a series and it was pretty good. I ordered some books from the library and instead of coming 4 at a time, they put all 8 books in the bag!!! YIKES!!! I already read Embroidered Truths by Monica Ferris and a cute kids book called The Red Wolf. Next I think I'll read Died in the Wool (I think that's the name).

Not that I want to go, but I need to start getting ready for work, leave at noon, go work out at Curves, come home, shower, then take the kids back out to another Summer Library program. This one is called the Kaleidoscope Storytellers. Yep, just another quiet day on the farm..........This is what I'd RATHER be doing.....

Now THEY are enjoying the LAZY days of summer!!! Good for them, growing up comes W-A-Y too fast.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How Soon We Forget

Here is the sock for CIC.

This sock has given me more problems than any other sock I've done!! I'm thinking its the pattern, but not sure. Either case, I won't be using this pattern again. It's a good thing that I've knit socks before because that is the only reason why its still on the needles.

Also, I'm using the leftover yarn from my felted bag. I HATED knitting with it!! I think its the mohair in it since I can work with regular wool without any problems, but this stuff makes my eyes and throat itch BAD. Either way, I dont see a second sock happening with this yarn. Its going to be hard enough to finish this sock as it is. I'm on the gusset part so it wont take me very long to finish the sock. I *could* rip it out and just send the yarn, but I'm a bit stubborn and want to at least finish this one sock. I will send it along with the rest of this yarn and the purple I have as well and donate the sock and the yarn for more socks to be made by somebody who doesnt have a problem knitting with it. The colors are fantastic but the yarn (for me) is not.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Crazy Days of Summer

So what ever happened to the LAZY, hazy days of summer?!?!!?! I'm just getting the crazy part and I'm starting to feel jipped. I want the lazy part. I NEED the lazy part! I havent stopped since last Sunday and I'm really getting tired.

What have I been doing?? I really dont know to tell you the's just been really busy. My sisters came to visit on Thursday which required a cleaning of the kids' bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen. Done. On Friday when I have the day off from work, my sisters went looking at condominiums in the area and the rest of us went to run errands, get haircuts for the boys, and pick up our wood laminate that we ordered for our floors. Everything was going well until we get there......guess what? The price they (verbally) quoted us was wrong. The ACTUAL price is like $600 MORE than we originally planned.....YIKES!!! We are NOT happy and the more we talk abt it the more we realize that we dont want to go with this company. (they later called and said I left my driver's license at the store, meanwhile I've been driving all over Orlando not knowing I don't have it).

The Insane One decides that he's tired and doesn't want to go out to eat. Its too late to cook so the rest of us go out to dinner. We dont get home until after 10pm.

Today I take my sisters out to look at the condo that one sister is seriously looking at. P.S., she buys it (and we have to wait while they process all the paperwork, stupid me has NO knitting! UGH - note to self, ALWAYS keep a project in the car!) and then we drive to the new location she is transfering to. We don't get home until 4pm, pick up the kids (the IO stays home yet AGAIN!) and we go back out to the movies. Saw Cars (it was REALLY good) and then hit Target for toys for the kids. It is now 9:30 and we stop for Chinese food. I am getting OLD because eating this late at night is NOT good for my stomach. It is now 10:43pm, I am wiped out but I need to get the kids down. They dont want to go to sleep because they have new toys to play with. Meanwhile the IO is IN BED. Let's just say that the only thing saving him is that he did the dishes.

I wanted to update this blog because I havent been on in a few days. I have NO knitting pictures to add since no knitting has been taking place. I'll have to leave you with a Samson picture instead. More project news once the sleep over company has left and I get my house back.

To sleep, perchance to dream........

OH OH OH!!! I *DO* have some knitting news! I won an eBay auction for some Lorna's Laces. I paid a total of $6.63 INCLUDING SHIPPING for the skein!!! I make ankle socks with different colored toes and heels so I'll have plenty for a pair of socks for ME!!!! Arent they pretty?????

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Decisions, decisions.......

I've got nothing (that I want to do) on the needles so it's time to start something new. I've decided that I want to start another pair of socks that will be MINE! I bought this Berroco Europa on eBay and I cant wait to use it. Its been discontinued but I've heard some really good things about it.

I also just joined the yahoo group for CIC and they are having a KAL for socks for these kids. I have some left over Lambs Pride wool

from this felted bag that I'm going to use.

AND Number One Son really needs another quilt for his bed. The one he chooses to use is the bug quilt I made for him a couple of years ago.

Its too small for a bed quilt so it looks like I'm going to be pulling out the novelty and kid fabric as well. I've already gotten a bunch of squares cut out so now I just need to start putting it together.

Of course Baby Girl wants a quilt now too, but I told her she would have to wait until Number One Son's quilt was finished. We won't even get into the fabric I have for the outfits she wants me to make.......

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Brain Seepage

Even with all the help from the IO and Dee, I still have a mental block with all this computer blog lingo needed for making it all look pretty. However you WILL notice that I have added a button on the side of my blog along with a heading for future things to come. The brain matter just doesn't seem to want to wrap around this info. And its not like its BRAIN surgery!! Well I am a stubborn one and will NOT let it kick my butt. I will keep plodding away on the side and will probably have it where I want it by my one year anniversary.

As promised here are the pictures of the finished socks.

I washed them in the sink with some shampoo from the shower and let them air dry. WOW are they soft!!! I wasn't so sure how they would feel because they weren't that soft as I knit them but they washed up well and look great now that they are dry.

Specifics, socks are made with Lionbrand Magic Stripes Jelly Bean on size 2 dpns. I cast on 56 stitches and worked in a K1P1 rib for almost an inch and finished the cuff with a K3P1 rib for a total of 4.75inches. They are the same size but somehow that 1st sock ended up with a bit of red at the tip!! I'm not happy about it but there is NO way its coming out!

I washed the Cascade socks as well and they look SO much better now that they were washed!!

Specifics on these, yarn is Cascade Fixation knit up on size 3 dpns. I cast on 48sts for these and did a K2P2 rib for 2.5 inches and also knit for 10 rounds before I started the heel. They look like they shrunk up a bit but that's ok since they are for my friend with the smaller feet.

Now, tragedy!! I have no socks OTN and don't know what to start! It looks like I will pull out Baby Girl's poncho and knit some more on that one. I'm really thinking that I will run out of yarn with this poncho. The only solutions are either get more yarn in another dye lot OR rip it out and use a different pattern that will stretch the yarn out a bit more........I'm not quite half way thru the yarn for the one side so I'll continue and see how big it is 1/2 way thru......

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Shake Your Grove Thing

How much fun did I have tonight!!! An internet friend of mine was visiting from TX and her and her friend and I met up at Rainforest Cafe for a girls night out. We had Lightning Lemonades in glasses that lit up and sparkled (got to keep the glass too!) and pretty much closed the place down (it was only 10:30 though, its the Cafe by Animal Kingdom and they close early).

Pam, me and Tiffany

I get to the car, call the Insane One to make sure everybody is ok and that I'm on my way home. Start driving on the 429, crank up the radio for the Saturday night dance party music and Sammy Haggar is telling me that he can't drive 55. Suddenly I'm transported back to the 80s, driving my '84 Honda Prelude and cruising the highway with my friends and my lead foot.

I know, Sammy! I can't drive 55 either! Then Rick Springfield started telling me he's having an Affair of the Heart while Gloria Gainer will survive. Yep it was Sammy, Rick, Gloria and I just jamming to the tunes on the radio. There were no bills to pay, house to care for, family to take care of, just me and the gang hanging out on a Saturday night. Of course reality hit when I pulled in the driveway of the mortgaged house, with the IO and children asleep in bed. But that's ok. Being grown up is good. I want the house and the children and the IO. But its nice to know that those old friends aren't that far away.

More project updates tomorrow. I finished the socks last night, washed them today and will mail them out on Monday. Will post a picture of them soon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Two Fer

Not only will you be seeing an update of Maggie, but also of yours truly! Met the girls at Needle Orts in between tropical storm bands on Tuesday and OH What Fun It Was!!!! However can I tell you how I forgot my camera?!? I saw it sitting on my table and thought oh I better grab that to bring with me today and immediately forgot it!


Stop by Dee's Blog. She has pictures of our adventures including my sock being modeled. Here is a picture of Maggie and Me.

Like I said, we had a great time. I always love meeting up with those girls. And every single one of them I met thru AOL. Yep on line friends that became IRL friends. Dee was fantastic in giving me some help with my blog, now to find the time to put it to good use!! Well actually that active link to her blog is some of her help! And she lessened her stash load on me! YEAH!! Got some more Moda Dea (like the yarn for Baby Girl's poncho) and some Lionbrand Woolease AND a skein of Knit Picks sock yarn!! I will figure out a way to stretch that skein to keep it for ME! Just need to find a color to match for the cuff, heel and toe. Thanks again, Dee. Love me some new yarn.

On a final note, one of the many blogs I read (cant remember which one) shows pictures of the sky. When I got back from meeting the girls, the weather had cleared up a lot and I loved the cloud patterns in the sky. Here it is.

Hope all those in what's left of Alberto just get gentle breezes and light sun showers.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Heart Attack City!

The good news, we've had abt 12 hours of good soaking rain. My plants and my water bill greatly appreciate it. However the bad news (and the cause of the heart attack) is that apparently some in the animal kingdom thought our house was an ark and they decided to climb aboard! As I was closing the slider in my bedroom I noticed something behind the curtain and thought it was a lizard. ~BUZZ~ WRONG! It was a tree frog!! I quickly get the Insane One (that would be dh) to come capture it. He grabs it and IT JUMPS ON ME!!!!! O-M-G!!!! I scream and it jumps on the bed. The Insane One quickly grabs it and starts to laugh. Well needless to say he got hit with my knitting bag! We put it in this little cage like thing we have to put bugs and small creatures in but the IO pulls it out so I can get a picture of it. Its not the best or the clearest, but remember, I'm still recovering from my heart attack!

Once captured, he's kind of cute in a froggy sort of a way and was probably looking for his son who was visiting a couple of weeks ago.

I guess all these frogs have been coming around because, get ready to groan, I had to go to the frog pond on Sunday! These socks:

are now these:

And yes you count correctly. Those are FIVE little balls of yarn instead of 2 medium sized balls of yarn. That's how many times I had to cut out knots (and one hole) from that yarn. I started one skein for one sock and thought I got a bum skein but finished the sock. I wasnt thrilled with the fabric (too loose on #3s) so I decided to try 2s. That skein had a break in it so I ended up with loose threads in this one too. The sock was too tight (but my gauge was right on, I just didnt cast on enough stitches) and too short. I chalked it up as my experimental and learning pair. However I decided instead of letting them sit in my drawer, I would unravel it all and start fresh. Yes I should have just returned the yarn but I already had one sock done by that point and 1/2 way thru the other. Plus I like the color. This time around I will also add some wooly nylon to the heels and toes since it is 100% merino wool. They will still be my experimental pair, just in a different way now.

On other knitting news, I've turned the heel on the Magic Stripes sock and REALLY want them to be done by this wknd. I *think* I can do it. And Maggie is making progress as well. They both will be coming with me to Needle Orts tomorrow for show and tell. I'm SO glad Alberto didnt ruin that!! Here's hoping he's not causing too much damage to the folks on the west coast and in the big bend.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fasten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy season.

It always amazes me how many people flock to Florida. Yes we do have nice beaches and we have great weather in the winter, but we also have alligators and sharks and mosquitoes. And the hanging chad. And hurricanes. We are day 10 into the season and there is already a storm a'brewin'.

The grey line goes DIRECTLY over my house.

Honestly I'm not really worried. By the time it hits us it will most likely be Tropical Storm Alberto. A lot of wind and rain. I'm up high so I don't worry about flooding and with brush fires (did I mention 1/2 the state is under brush fire warnings?) popping up here and there (you could see the smoke of one while in the Disney parks) we could use a good soaking rain to dampen the soil a bit and fill up our water resources. I'll take 10 of these back to back than an Andrew or Katrina or Rita any day. And before any of you feel like I"m being flippant and not concerned about hurricanes, I've been thru enough of them (one of them being Andrew in 1992) that tropical storms don't make me worry.

What is the most upsetting about this whole thing is that I was supposed to meet up with some crafty friends of mine in an LNS to do some stitching and knitting and it looks like we'll have to cancel.

On the knitting front, I wasn't sure what I wanted to work on last night. I'm about to work on the heel of the sock which requires a bit more brain cells than available last night so that didn't happen. I didn't have the Ott light available so no Maggie. The sweater for me is involved so that wasn't going to work. What to do? I pulled out the poncho for Baby Girl and just started to knit. I wasn't in the mood for that either but kept at it. Nice mindless knitting......ahhhhhh. I got quite a bit done too.

Before I started.....

After I worked on it last night.......I got a lot more done on it than I realized. Gotta love mindless knitting and mindless TV!

And one more picture for good measure. Here is Baby Girl modeling the tank I made for her about a month ago. She's my fashionista and is a great size to knit for.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tales from the Sun

Ok so maybe it wasnt *that* bad but it was HOT today!!! You'd think living in Florida my entire life (less 5 years living on Long Island) would make me used to the heat. NOPE! And we havent even hit the peak of summer yet! This is why I knit socks!

Speaking of socks, I'm still plugging away on the magic stripes pair.

Not the way I wanted to post this picture, but you get the idea. And since I'm a total dork with the workings of this blog, you'll have to bear with me.

I've also been pulling out Maggie the past few nights as well. I'm beginning to feel my desire to work on this project beginning to wane, I'm getting into areas that have alot of color changes and Im not getting the mindless stitching time that I crave.

Here is a pic of Maggie when I first pulled her out last week. I havent touched her since Sept and boy was she happy to see me!!

See how content she is??? She purrs everytime I work on her.

Now I will go back to ignoring the huge stack of paperwork staring me in the face and I think I'll do some eBay shopping....there are some Cherry Hill yarns that are going CHEAP!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I did this why??

Blogging isn't as easy as it looks. I really like the idea of writing down what's going on in life and sharing my love of fiberly crafts with others who enjoy it, too. But trying to make my blog look good is extremely confusing to me. How do I add the links on the side? Those cute KAL buttons? Or linking to my other blogs? I emailed the blogger people to see if there was a blogging for dummies somewhere. You know, those who aren't real computer savvy, who don't understand programming, who just want to point and click.

But alas, I digress too much. What is being worked on here? Some socks for a friend. I got her foot measurements and everything and worked the sock according to the directions. They look great. Wait. They look......BIG! So I try them on. Perfect! This is bad because my foot is 2 sizes bigger than hers! They will still fit but not snuggly like I'd like. I will add a pic of the finished sock tomorrow along with the progress of its mate.

Also being worked on is a cross stitch project, Maggie the Messmaker. Its a really cute stitch by Charles Wysocki. She's been sitting in my closet since Sept of last year and the only reason she's out is because a stitching buddy of mine keeps asking how Maggie is doing. I brought it out just so I'd have something to tell her and I'm glad I did! I've been working on her almost every day for the past week! I'll post a pic of where she's at now and then one every month while I work on her. Cross stitch moves slower (esp for me!) so the monthly pics will have more impact that way.

And just so you don't walk away without any pics to look at, here are some socks that I finished not that long ago. They were made with Cascade Fixation yarn on size 3 dpns. I wasn't sure how I would like knitting with this yarn but it wasn't as bad as I thought and it makes a GREAT fitting sock!!! Lets hope it fits those 2 sizes too small. Yep she's getting those too. What is it about the cobbler and no knitted socks???

Monday, June 05, 2006

And so it starts.........

I knew I'd cave. Talk about peer pressure! I wanted to join in with the crowd. Jump off the bridge because everybody else was doing it. Where's my mother when I need her??

Well its partially her fault. She is the one who taught me to knit so SHE's the reason I love to feel the fibers slip thru my fingers and SHE's the reason I love all those beautiful patterns and shiny needles. My grandfather taught me how to shop for a bargain so HE's the reason I cant pass up a good sale on yarn or fabric (I like to quilt and cross stitch as well......). AND my great grandfather was a tailor so HE's the reason I cant walk past a fabric store. So its genetic!! I can't help it. I'm pre-wired that way.......

I'm in need of therapy but that would blow the craft budget so instead I'll start this blog and keep the money for stash. I've found knitting to be great therapy, saving my sanity MANY a time. (just holding up a pointy needle makes offending, stressful people move back, and using dpns makes me that much more a force to be reckoned with). Plus I like to talk about what I love and this gives me a forum to do it.Since I have been reading blogs for awhile I have no qualms about blatantly stealing er BORROWING ideas that I enjoy from them so you will see links to KALs and pictures of kids (Baby Girl and Number1Son) and cats and works in progress (be it knitting, sewing, quilting, cross stitching or gardening).

Peer can be a good thing.