Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Yarn Stashing

This is why I never say I'm going on a yarn diet. It's pointless. Case in point...


My LYS Knit N Needle Nook (no links YET) has new owners. The original owner has been in this shop for 47 years. Her husband died last summer and her health is failing so she finally decided to sell. She's been in business for a long time and never believed in a sale so just imagine what the shop looked like.

No, worse.

Nope, worse than that!

This shop was SO bad (how bad was it), you literally couldn't have more than 2 customers in the shop at a time. The place was PACKED with yarn. Sounds nice, but it was EVERYWHERE and not in any kind of order. You couldnt browse. She would ask you what you were looking for and she would bring it out to you. If you didn't like it, she would bring out something different. Personally I like to browse around first, look and TOUCH all the pretty fibers dreaming of what I want to make. Then I will start pulling yarn off the shelves. But you couldn't do that here. It was too cluttered. Plus she was a smoker and even though (in later years) she would smoke outside, the store had a stale odor to it. So needless to say it wasnt a place I went often.

However this has changed.....Lora and Tim just bought the place and boy have they made it better!! It's still a bit cluttered but they took out 3/4 of the inventory and put it in storage. There just wasnt the room to keep it all out at one time and have people look at it. BUT there was walking room and you got to go into the back room where everything in it was $1/skein. This leads me to the above picture. I bought all that yarn and I only spent $17! Not a bad deal if I do say so myself!! The wool is old, but still usable. Some of the colors were dated, but there were still some colors that are perfect for now. Blues and burgundies, browns and tans. The blue wool I got out of a box that had at least another 15 skeins in it. I was thinking of grabbing more, but I can only knit so fast and I have so much already. If I had more money, I'd buy a ton of yarn and distribute it to the knitters on the newsgroups for CIC, but alas, I'm not the money bags I'd like to be. I *do* see myself going back again, see if I missed anything the 1st time around. They will be open for another couple of weeks, then will move the inventory out of the shop for renovations. They will be running their business out of their home until the renovations are done and they will have a grand opening April 1st.

I'm really excited abt this because they plan on adding a sitting area to knit at, plus new yarns. I had a great time. Check out Dee's blog to see what she got. So not only did I get some great yarn deals, but I got to meet up with a friend that I don't get to see very often. Shopping and lunch definitely breaks up the crazyness of life and makes it more bearable.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weekend Update

I took it easy today as well, did some things but mostly cross stitched with breaks of kitchen cleaning and laundry. Here are the progress pictures.....

Here is the felted needle roll.

The pattern said it would be wonky and to cut it square before sewing it, but I'm worried it will unravel. Maybe I'll try a corner to see what happens.

Next up is the sweater for CIC.

It looks like a tank top in this picture but those are actually sleeves. Other than abt 2 inches, the rest of what you see was done yesterday, a BIG amount for me to do in a day!

Finally is Too Pooped.

I planned on putting him away and pulling out Bag Ladies, but I can't find them so this one stayed out. Good thing too because I got quite a bit done. Not sure if I'll rotate it out or keep working on it. Only time will tell......


What a life!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday Sky

Here's what it looked like today.....

Beautiful.

I've been taking it easy today since I'm working on the same thing Baby Girl has. I've been healthy for almost a week, I was due......

Anyway I've been watching movies and knitting all day (in between laundry of course). I'm attempting to felt my needleroll, not going as well as I'd hoped. Once I get it to where I want it, I'll post pictures.

I also cast on for a new project last night. I started a sweater for CIC. They are looking for sweaters for the *older* kids, 6-16. I'm doing a size 10 sweater in orange and brown. It's moving along FAST, I'm almost to the arm holes.

I think I'm going to rotate out Too Pooped as well. I went to work on it today but it just isnt talking to me anymore. Pictures of both will be posted tomorrow since I can't get a good picture this late at night.


Right now this looks like a good idea.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Busy Week

Where do I even start?? I've made 3 different trips to the doctor this week. Both kids were sick, #1 Son has allergy-induced asthma and Baby Girl has bronchitis. Fun fun fun. Thankfully they are both doing much better now that we adjusted their meds.

I also went to the dr. If you've been following the blog, I was really sick in Dec, got put on some major antibiotics and the day I ended my meds is the day I broke out into what I thought were hives. The dr put me on different meds to get rid of the hives (which didnt work) so when I went in, it turns out I don't have hives, I have erythema nodosum. It's a reaction from the meds I was on and even though they can be annoying and painful, they won't kill me.

Thank God for small favors. Blech.

Oh and did I mention that they can last for MONTHS?!?! Double blech.

I'm on Naproxin (Aleve) and it has made a difference. My joints don't hurt anymore and neither do the bumps. But they still look ugly. Thankfully with the weather we've been having, I can wear pants.

Speaking of the weather, we've been COLD!! Not as cold as the folks up north, but cold for us Floridians. It has been in the 40s in the AM and only warming up to the 50s by the afternoon. Ocala had the freeze warnings but us here by Mickey's house thankfully avoided that. It really wouldnt be so bad but it was rainy yesterday and WINDY today. It makes it feel so much colder.

Since its been so cold, we've kept all the cats inside.

Samaria


Caesar (who turned 17 today)


Princess


Tiger


and Lucy


Yes Lucy. She came to our house last Saturday and never left. Probably had something to do with the fact that the IO fed her. Once we named her it was all over. I REALLY don't want 5 cats but Lucy seems to have adopted us and just wont leave. Needless to say my house was a literal zoo last night with ALL FIVE cats in the house. The cat litter boxes have multiplied. Thankfully Caesar is an outdoor cat and I thought Lucy was too, but she seems quite content to stay inside. She's little, abt 6 months I would say. She was in GREAT shape when she found us; I think she may have been a holiday present that somebody decided was too much trouble. I've been asking around if anybody lost a cat, but so far, nobody is claiming her. Everybody is tolerating each other (for the most part).

With all the running around I've been doing between work, house and school functions, I haven't been knitting as much as I'd like, BUT I did finish knitting on the needle roll.

It only measures 28" long (I was shooting for 36"), but that is all the yarn I had so it will be enough. I'll felt it down and see if the finished size will hold my spns or my dpns. I think the yarn would make a really interesting sweater, I like the way the colors change, but I'm not happy with the tightness of the spun yarn. Some areas were much looser than others. Either way I'm done with it and can't wait to felt it this wknd.

Now I just need to figure out what the next project will be........

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday Sky


I love the pinks in the clouds.


The princesses watching tv.....




What? I'm not doing anything.......

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Little Pitter Patters

It's been a LONG time since we've had kittens and I've forgotten how much fun they are!! I've tried to take pictures of them playing but all I get are blurry pictures. So I have to rely on sleepy poses.


Don't you love my fu man chu whiskers?



Could I GET any cuter???

We've introduced them to the resident kitty, Samaria. She's not that impressed.

Let's move on to knitting. I've been working on my needleroll. This is one skein in...

This is abt 10" long which means I will end up with 30" total. It will be a bit smaller when felted, but that's ok. I can always use it for my dpns. I'm not totally thrilled with the yarn. So far there has been a knot in each skein, the 2nd one happening early in. It will be interesting to see if I run into another one. It's splitty and unravels more than I'd like, but I'm LOVING the colorway that I'm getting. I can see a really cool hat made out of this yarn......

And for those those who are getting lots of ice and snow, here are some pretty flowers from around the yard. These are some black eyed susans that never died off. We had a perimeter of flowers around the tree at one time

and everything else but these guys have died off. The IO wants to cut them down again, but even though they are in a weird area, they make me smile.


The backyard is a MESS! We have more sand and pricklers than grass. We used to have 2 birdfeeders on the swing and they've left behind some goodies.....

SUNFLOWERS!! All those green plants are sunflowers!! And apparently we have at least two different kinds growing.....



The IO wants to cut THESE down as well (never mind abt all the pricklers in the yard), but I've convinced him otherwise. He does want to take a section of the backyard and make it full of sunflowers. I'd like that, as long as he doesnt cut back the ones that are growing for now. Edwards Scissorhands is apparently itching to come out!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Year of the Knit

Since we were traveling during the new year, I'm a little late in closing out 2006 and getting ready for 2007. I just recently changed my calendars on the wall and updating my 2007 engagement calendar. This is where I keep a list of dates that are important (like anniversaries), and also a list of all on going projects. While I'm transfering all my information to the new calendar, I like to look back at the previous year to see what I've accomplished project wise. Boy has there been lots of knitting!! I finished 17 knitted projects, 5 cross stitch projects and only 1 sewing project. No wonder the sewing machine looked kind of dusty......

I have 6 projects that are on going from 2006, knitwise there's my sweater (started 12/16/05) and #1 Son's vest (started 10/23/06). I have a feeling that sweater has reached UFO status. I pulled it out, worked abt 4 rows and put it back in the closet. I'm just not feeling the love. #1 Son's vest, however, has potential. I have the back complete and both front panels almost done. I have to rip both of them back to the armpit, and then pick up and knit a zillion stitches to get the ribbing around the front. Again I'm not feeling the love, but I'm SOO close. Since these both require thought, I started something a bit mindless. I cast on with the SWS for a felted needleroll. The yarn is very soft, but it's not twisted very much and I tend to unravel it. Not a big deal, I just need to let it go and help it twist back up, but the infatuation is not as strong because of it. I DO love the colors I'm getting out of it and as I get further in the skein, either its twisted more or I'm getting the hang of the yarn. Either way, its not that bad. I haven't done much yet so pictures will be coming later on this week.

The other 4 projects are cross stitch. Unfortunately some of these have been languishing for some time. Queen Ann's Lace was started 6/2000, Bag Ladies 8/01, Maggie 9/01, and Too Pooped 4/06. Too Pooped is out now, but there is a LOT of brown in it. We'll see how long I last.

I've been playing with the side bar and I've added an album of my 2006 projects. Check it out if you like. I'm just happy that I was able to add the link to my Webshots album. And you will probably notice that I joined the Project Spectrum for 2007. I need to get rid of some of the other links on the sidebar, but I like how colorful it looks so they will stay. For now.......

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Disney Sky

Yes you read that right. DISNEY sky. Like we haven't traveled enough. Like I've even unpacked from our trip from the Keys.

What started as a day that was going to be just for me, turned into a day at Disney. I swear I should just turn this into a travel blog.

First up, Rainforest Cafe.

We had a LOT of fun here, plus got a discount for being Disney passholders. Food was great, service was great, and the kids had a blast when the special effects of the restaurant went into motion (click on the link-the restaurant is like a rainforest with *animals* that come to life and the occasional rainstorm).

When we left we saw these.

Made me feel like we were in Key West again. This guy would NOT pose for me, but I just love the colors in him.


Nest stop was Disney MGM. This was #1 Son's choice. Until the IO said "or do you want to get the kittens today?" Well #1 Son wanted the kittens and Baby Girl wanted BOTH. So we decided MGM today and kittens on Monday (when we were all home). MGM was a bust (don't even ask) so we left early to see if we could get to the Humane Society in the area. Never found it. Thank goodness we had fun at the Cafe or the entire day would have been a bust.

Here is the one good picture of the two of them at MGM. It's only because of Mickey.


However I did get a picture of the sky. You can see the rays coming thru the clouds, but its hard to see when you have to look thru the windshield, the cars and the electrical wires. Gotta love urban sprawl.


I have started a couple of projects and I'll post more abt them tomorrow. I need to get my legs up because my ankles have started swelling. Oh and I still have my hives from the meds that I was on back in Dec. The dr is starting me on a mix of meds and I see her in a week. We all agree on one thing. I had a reaction from the original meds I was on, but they wont go away due to stress that is my life. Fun fun fun. Is this what life is like at 40????

Friday, January 12, 2007

Key West

We are now approaching our final destination. If you've lasted this long, thank you. If you are longing for the travel drivel to be over, this will be the final installation of our trip to the islands.

Key West. What can I say? It was warm and beautiful and reminded me alot of Miami 30 years ago. We ended up going 2 days instead of the one originally planned. The first day was just the 4 of us so we did some touristy things. First up the southern most tip.


We found a parking spot right down the street from this area AND we got it for FREE!!! Somebody was pulling out when we were pulling in. Not an easy thing to do in the KW area.

Do you know there was a line you had to wait in to pose in front of this buoy?!! I can understand why, but when we first walked up, there were 20 people ahead of us!! That's just nuts.

Next up, the Butterfly Conservatory. We love butterflies. The Insane One wants to make a butterfly garden on the side of the house. When Epcot has their FLower and Garden show, they usually include a butterfly sanctuary that we always visit. Here are what grown ups look like at the Conservatory.


See the grown ups. They are still. They have butterflies on them. (I LOVE the look on Baby Girl's face! True emotion.)

Here are what the rugrats look like at the Conservatory.

See the rugrats. They *try* to be still. They have no butterflies on them.

They were SO disappointed that no butterflies landed on them. Whenever any would get close they would try to *help* them land on them and the butterfly would leave. Baby Girl was appeased when she met Mr Turtle.


#1 Son was appeased when we went into the gift shop and he got a rubber salamander that stretches more than Gumby.

FOR ADULTS ONLY!


The conservatory had great plants and flowers in it. I got a GREAT shot of an orchid, but I'm thinking of turning it into notecards. It came out that good. But the rest of them came out blurry except for this.


After we stop for drinks (it was HOT) we went to Ernest Hemingway's house. It was a bit pricier than we wanted to spend, but Baby Girl ended up being free and we got a discount for another local museum, so in we went. I think we spent 20 mins on the grounds alone before we actually got into the house. Hemingway had a cat, Snowball, that was a polydactyl and he is the Grandpa of all the cats there. We were hoping they sold the kittens, but they stopped doing that. Now they let the females have one litter and then fix them. They have abt 45 cats on the property. We had such a fun time petting the cats. Some were VERY social and others kept to themselves. And others were used to the public and just ignored everybody. You know, a typical cat!!

I took a ton of pictures, but will only post this one. You can see the extra toes on this guy. He was a funny one, too. He was very friendly at first and when I would try to take a picture, he would run. I chased after him but he ran into some bushes. So I went to search for other more willing kitties. Wouldnt you know it? As soon as I stopped chasing him, he came back! I still ignored him, and then he would plop down in front of any cat that we were paying attention to!! I liked him!!

He looks like he has thumbs.

We were all wiped out, but we wanted to still see Mallory Square so to take a bit of a break, I found the only LYS in Key West. Its called Knit Wits. I'd give you the link to their web site but it goes to a boating site. Not sure what's up with that. Anyway it was a neat shop. Good sized shop with lots of cottons, linens and silks. I had no project in mind and so I do what I always do, search for sock yarn. I couldnt find any but when I asked, one of the owners pointed me into the right direction. Apparently they organize yarn by color, not size or fiber, so I couldnt find the sock yarn immediately. I left with some sock yarn, a sheep measuring tape and a sock pattern. That pattern was a mistake, she was showing me what the sock would look like once knit up and she included it in my sale. I didnt realize it until it was all added up and included in the sale so I didnt say anything. I could have said that I didnt need it (its not even a patterned sock, its a basic vanilla), but I'm willing to donate for the well being of a LYS! Here's a pic of the stash.

I can't wait to start my Key West socks!

While there, I asked them how they were doing and she said that as long as the cruise ships keep coming in, they are doing FINE! If you are ever in the Key West area, stop by and see them. They are right next door to the Mel Fisher Museum and just blocks away from Mallory Square.

At this point, the kids had fallen asleep and we were both wiped out so Mallory Square never happened.

The next day in the Keys we were with family for most of it. We ate at The Conch Republic Seafood Restaurant. Again I'm not a seafood fan, but the food was AMAZING!! You can tell that the food was freshly caught that morning. I got chicken that was very nicely flavored. BAby Girl got Chicken Fingers and I even finished hers off!! Here we all are after we ate.

As you can tell there are quite a few of us. This group included 5 of the 7 kids (the IO is the 3rd oldest) their spouses and kids.

Afterward we walked a bit more and got icecream. Can you imagine all of us storming a Ben & Jerry's?!?! This is where we parted. Baby Girl was VERY upset that she had to leave everybody. She HATES goodbyes.

We still had those tickets to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum so we stop there before we head home. It was interesting, though the museum wasnt as big as I expected. Of course I found this of most interest.

Mel Fisher was a treasure hunter and found sunken treasure in an old ship. The gold bars were cool and so was the pottery, but the scissors and needles and thimble were really interesting to me. Some things never change with time.

Key West definitely has a quirky side to it. Not as *weird* as I was expecting. But quirky just the same. Here is a montage of quirkyness.......

A tree stump with art burned into it


Roosters were EVERYWHERE!! but they usually ran away from us. This one actually posed!


Nothing says class like going to your final resting place in a powder blue hearse!


Mile Marker 0 with the obligatory bum on the grass.......


Gas prices on SAturday the 6th


One of the interesting vehicles on the road


Now THIS is a Saturday sky!!


That concludes the adventures in the Florida Keys. Thank you for joining us during this pictoral journey. Stay tuned for regularly scheduled crafting and general craziness (because that's just the way life is).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Happy Couple


Introducing my sister-in-law J and her new husband M.

The rugrats (insert cute wedding picture here)

think its cool that everytime we go to a wedding, they end up with a new uncle! LOL

They had a VERY simple wedding. They both live in NY and have aLOT of friends. If they had a wedding up there it would have been HUGE. Plus J helped out planning tons of weddings and showers in the past 5 years. She decided that all the fanfare makes the bride and her close personal friends nuts and she didn't want that. So they went simple. They chose to get married in Key Largo so that it would be warm for her guests. They only had abt 50 or 60 at the wedding (VERY small considering her immediate family numbers over 20). She didnt walk down the aisle in the traditional sense. She walked toward the stage with M as we were finding our seats. She got her dress from J Crew and will be able to wear it again. She had no bouquet other than the three flowers in her hair. She did get some flashy batik shoes and had a matching handbag. Since M is Korean and she can speak *some* Korean, they decided to have the wedding talk in English but the vows (including the REPEATING of) in Korean. Very cool. She did a fantastic job too.

Afterward as we were heading out to the restaurant for the reception, they were handing out tote bags that had flip flops in them (for those of us wearing horrible shoes and wanted to change), snacks so that we weren't starving to death, some Key Largo souvenirs and some Florida Keys information that we could use during the next couple of days.

Then we all drove to here:

Pierre's in Islamorada. What a great place!! Once we got there we had great views to take pictures (and perfect excuses to use the flip flops in our bags). I took a ton of pictures here but I won't bore you with the family faces. I will show you this one, this is the back of the restaurant facing the beach. It was SO beautiful!


And so was the sunset.


The food was amazing!! I tried taking pictures but it was too dark to get any decent shots. Ok in reality I thought of it AFTER it was half devoured and not pretty to look at anymore. I'm not a big seafood lover so nothing I got had seafood in it, but it didnt limit me to my choice in food. It WAS a bit fancy in flavors which made it difficult to make the kids happy. The salads with their balsamic dressings and different greens weren't impressive (but OH SO yummy to the grownups) and the fancy cheeses included in the fruit and cheese platter weren't much to be desired (unless you called the pears *apples* and broke up the crackers so they couldnt see the green things baked in them, the whole thing would have been a bust). The cornish hen and filet minon were *chicken* and steak. As you can tell there were no kids meals but there WAS plenty of bread to help in between courses. Dessert was a chocolate souffle (there were 3 others but once I saw chocolate, I was sold!). The kids were happy and full and so were the grown ups. There was no wedding cake (again, very non traditional) or dancing, but with dessert like what we got, nobody really noticed. And instead of a guest book that you sign when you first walk in, they took pictures of us with a polaroid, stuck them in a book (it was the fancy polaroid camera where the pictures are the size of a large postage stamp), and then had us sign by our picture. They had one book for the kids and one book for the adults.

All in all we had a wonderful time. It was VERY non-traditional, but my sil is a very non traditional girl. It was simple and elegant and everybody had a great time.

Which is the whole point when you get down to it, right?

They weren't the only happy couple married on a Jan 4th. 21 years to the day 2 other people were married in Miami.


And here they are 21 years later.....

My have we aged..........

Tune in tomorrow for the final installment of our Adventures in Key West.