Friday, November 30, 2007

High Hopes

I met up with my stitching group on Thursday which was a LOT of fun! However I hadn't stitched since our last meeting and I wasnt sure what I had so I shoved all my projects into my stitching bag and away I went! Well apparently I had charts and floss, but no fabric. Or I had fabric and charts, but no floss. The only thing that matched up was my Seasonal Spring. I just put away the Seasonal Fall and planned on starting one of my new January ones, but I never pulled the fabric for it. So you stitch on what you got.

Here is what I did yesterday.

Not bad considering I just started the thing.

Dee got a group shot of us, (go take a looksie), PLUS she finished her shawl that's similar to mine. Unfortunately my shots of her wearing the shawl didn't come out very well so next time we'll have to model them together. She also cleaned out some of her stash and brought it to the group. Look what I ended up with!!

All I can say is WOW!!! I haven't gone thru it all yet, so guess what I'll be doing this wknd!

Oh and I'll be going thru some books as well. I think I went a bit overboard when I was surfing our library's directory. You know how it is, late at night you start surfing and thinking of all kinds of interesting books you want to read. I requested a few and the library called to let me know *a book* had come in. Ok so I decided to browse the shelf of new books to add to the *book* I requested.

Let's just say there was more than *a book*.


One is mine and another I borrowed from Dee, but the rest is from the library. At one point I had checked out 2 of the same book! I have fiction and non-fiction books; mysteries, both the knitting and slightly trashy kind; some juvenile books and a couple of Elizabeth Zimmermann's books. Plus a couple of books on CD. They are all due 12/21.

And its not like I don't have anything else to read. These have been sitting on my nightstand for at least a couple of months

Having high hopes is an understatement. Thankfully my library lets me renew 3 times before I have to send any back.......

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Project Update

I went from having nothing to knit on to having a few projects to choose from. And I will probably add one more.

First up, the scarf

I worked on it all morning long to finish it. I think it came out nice and that she will love it. I used all of the black acrylic, 2 full skeins of the boa and a couple of yards of the 3rd skein of boa for a scarf 62" long. And since she picked out the yarn for herself, I know she'll wear it. Now what to do with the other 2 skeins of boa yarn.......Probably a fun scarf for the kids to play with, but I have to wait a bit, I really don't like knitting with the stuff.

That's the only finished item, but I've got a few WIPs.
The cat blankie


Delaney's sock


#1 Son's sock


My sweater


I want to cast on a sweater for my 3 y/o nephew. It's with bulky yarn so it shouldn't take me too long to do.

And on a final note, I have a favorite new movie, Enchanted. It was fabulous! My sisters are out visiting and we all went to see it yesterday, including the IO. We ALL loved it. I may have to see it again in the theatre before it goes away. And I'm definitely buying the DVD. If you are a McDreamy fan, it only adds to it. When he has his true love's first kiss, ~swoon~. Too bad I didnt have a pause button....... Yes it's PG so it wasn't a passionate kiss, it was a sweet kiss, but it was on the big screen zoomed in for a couple of seconds. Hence the pause button. Or slow motion........

I gotta put the a/c on.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Sky

A friend of mine who lives in NJ picked up her crochet hook when she was working nights. It was a way to pass the time and also to deal with stress. Since it works for me, she figured she'd try it too. She no longer has that job and she wasnt thrilled with her efforts so she sent the rugrats the finished results.

Her alien scarf meant for #1 Son but confiscated by Baby Girl.


Scarf #2 that now belongs to #1 Son. I like the color variations in this one.


She bought some novelty yarn to start another scarf, but the eyelashly stuff made it really hard to crochet so she sent it along in the box.

I am adding in that black acrylic yarn to make it a bit warmer and sending it back to her finished. I've already started it and hoping to have it done by tomorrow night. It's mindless knitting and much easier on the hands than the cat blankie.

It's also a great way to get my knitting mojo back. Being so disappointed with the baby sweater, I needed to work on something mindless so this scarf fits perfectly. I also cast on a pair of baby socks for the new niece. I'm only an inch into that so no pics yet.

However I do have a picture of the first thing I cast on to get out of my knitting funk. Another hat for A4A.

I pulled out some charity wool (by Gaelic)and used my ball winder to make a pretty yarn cake. I am SO glad I have one of those things. I really don't *need* it, but I have so much fun winding up pretty cakes. Cast on 50 sts on size 6 needles, k2p2 for abt an inch and knit for a total length of 7". K2tog all the way across the row, purl back and k2tog one more time. Pulled the yarn thru and seamed it up. All of this seaming is helping me get better at it. Another reason for charity knitting, a great way to practice different techniques.

So this is my contribution for A4A**.

Not a lot, but every little bit helps. Their deadline is Dec 3rd so I will mail it out on Monday. CIC's deadline is the end of the year so I'm hoping to get a couple of socks made for them.

Last but not least, my sky.


Hope everybody is having a safe and fun wknd. I can smell those credit cards smokin'!!


**Hemi not included

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Frustration

It seems whatever I do today is not working out the way I thought.

The House: I've been trying to clean this house all week, but every room needs to be worked on. Yes I know all the tips and hints of choosing one project and work only on that one. Well it doesnt always work. I also recruited the rugrats and while its important to get them involved with cleaning their rooms, sometimes I think it would be faster if I just did it by myself. Like backing in a bulldozer and throwing everything out.

How many kid's meals toys do we really need???


Knitting: Ok this is the true source of my frustration. I finished the baby sweater for my new niece last night. I used Bernat's Cotton Tots yarn and I wanted to know how it would handle being washed so I knit a swatch (amazing!) and threw it in the wash with the regular laundry. It didn't shrink, but it fuzzed up a bit. Ok so when I washed the sweater, I wanted to give it a washing that it normally would, but a bit gentler. I stuck it in a mesh bag and threw it in the wash with some hand knit socks and another sweater, on the gentle cycle. Then I dried it on low in the dryer.

I'm not happy.






Do you see all that fuzz and pilling!? And this was just being washed in a mesh bag on gentle!! My sil will throw it in with the regular clothes.

So should I defuzz it and send it out anyway? Or should I just write it off as a bad idea?? I am SO not happy right now.


Cross Stitch: I've decided that I need to move on to the next season. I'm working on fall and while it still feels warm here, we are headed toward winter so I think I need to knit accordingly. But what to knit? I have my new January FlipIts to do and I also have the winter scene that I just bought the fabric for. I can't decide. The sweater has thrown off my creative mojo.

Here are before and after shots of Fall before I put it away.




The only solution to all of this is to order a pizza and drown my sorrows in garlic and beer!

Have a safe day tomorrow!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Morning Update - sit back, its a long one

I don't think I've stopped moving since my last post on Thursday. And I almost didn't do that either since Thursdays are one of my busiest days. In addition to running errands, picking up kids and going back out for ballet, I had two field trips to get ready for.

Side note: I didn't get a chance to get into the new cross stitch shop, but as we were leaving ballet, I pressed my nose to the window and while she has a few more charts, the place is still very empty.

Friday was a mix of craziness. #1 Son had a field trip scheduled almost 2 months ago to Medieval Times. Then 3 weeks before the field trip, the Kindergarteners scheduled a movie for the same day. I was NOT happy! I knew I could get the IO to go on one of them, but which one? Baby Girl really wanted me so I made a deal with #1 Son, Daddy would go with him and I would go to the movies a couple of days later to see the same movie. Everybody was happy.

So Baby Girl's class went to see Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Remember when I said I disliked movies that preview a lighthearted, feel good movie and you end up with a lot of sad parts?? Welcome to this movie.

*SPOILER ALERT!*
The movie is abt Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) who is over 250 yrs old and owns a magical toy store. He has decided to leave and pass the store on to his store manager (Natalie Portman). Well his leaving is his dieing. The whole movie is abt how Natalie Portman is trying to change his mind. And the store goes nuts because it doesn't want him to leave either. Baby Girl first started asking why everybody was so sad. Then she kept asking if he was going to die. By the time they are in the cemetery looking at his tombstone, she was crying in my jacket. And quite honestly, so was I. Most of the other kids were busy with their toys from their snack packs and alot of it went over their heads. However there were a few like Baby Girl who were sad. Yes it ends happy because Natalie Portman realizes that she CAN run the store, she has abilities that she didn't realize she had (magical yes, but it was more abt how she now has faith in herself).
*END SPOILER*

Needless to say, it wasn't our favorite movie.

The IO and #1 Son had more fun cheering on knights and eating with their hands.

So where are the pictures of all these activities??? Nonexistent. The camera was left at home.


Saturday was MUCH better. The Orange County Convention Center was hosting the Orlando Needlework Show. This is the first show that I can remember being this close to me (the closest one in the past was in Atlanta). I was hoping to take a class or two, but ended up only walking the show. There were a few glitches getting there (Map Quest is not always right), but after taking the long way around, parking a couple of miles away and taking a shuttle bus, I made it! It wasn't as big as I hoped, but they combined it with the Scrapbooking Expo and the Glass & Bead Show so there was more to look at.

And plenty to buy!

I enhanced my cross stitch stash....


...my quilting fabric stash......


...and my knitting stash.

The magazine and tote bag were free so I only spent money on the yarn. I LOVE the colors so it may work its way up to being the next to cast on.

Here is my Saturday sky taken from the TGIFriday's parking lot.


This day DEFINITELY made up for yesterday!!


And Sunday. A day of rest. HA! We were up by 8:30 and I didn't get home until almost 1AM. After our morning services, we went out for lunch at Applebee's. Then the IO took Baby Girl home and #1 Son and I went to the mall and had our own field trip. We played in the Game Room and saw The Bee Movie. Very cute movie, I highly recommend it.

So we finally get home at 6pm. I've had a girlfriend trying to get in touch with me all day and as I'm changing into comfy clothes, she gets me. Did we want to go with her to Downtown Disney to pick up her daughter and meet up with some friends? Well the IO had to work today so he said he'd stay with the kids and for me to go myself. WOOHOO!!!!


The places you can go when you don't have your children with you!

We had a nice time and by the time we dropped everybody off, said our goodbyes and then drove myself home, it was after 12:30AM.

I have to say, since I had so much fun this wknd, I'm actually invigorated to tackle this house!! Good thing too since apparently nobody else knows how to wash dishes or pick things up off the floor.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Target & Charity

I LOVE Target. I just spent the AM walking the aisles, esp those endcaps with clearance prices!! And the $1 bins. The best part? The $1 bins on clearance!!!! I just need to find my links that tell me when they put certain things on clearance so I can make sure I hit the store at the right time. If any of you know of these links, please forward them my way.

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Ok so if you've read my blog just a little bit, you know I like to knit little things for charity. I've very fussy abt which charity, though, since I don't trust just any Joe Schmoe with a bucket or a hand out. I also don't like pushy charities. If I say, "No not right now" or "not this time", don't try to guilt me into it. It doesnt work and it will make me not want to give to your cause.

Ever.

This is why I knit for my local animal shelter. I KNOW they can use what I give them. I've also knit a couple of scarves for the Red Scarf Project because Norma is heavily involved and I know that what I knit goes to a young adult who can really use it. I also like to knit for Children In Common because the knitted items are carried over in an adopting parents' suitcase and delivered right to the orphanage. I'm weary of the ones that drop ship them in a huge box to be picked up by the people in need. I've heard too many horror stories first hand of items being delivered for a charity and then being stolen and sold on the Black Market. Nothing is foolproof, but if I don't feel comfortable with it, I move on.

All that being said, I'm a sucker for a person or small group of people trying to make a difference for an impoverished school or a local shelter. Which is why I was interested in this KAL, Knit Unto Others. They list a couple of other charity groups, but the one that caught my eye was Soaring Eagles. I came across them last year, but found out abt them too late to do anything for them. I watched the hats and scarves come in and then she showed pics of the kids who received them. I LOVE when I see pictures!!! So this year she's trying to collect mittens and socks. I've never made mittens, but you know me and socks, so I'm hoping to make up a pair. She's worried she wont make her goal this year, so if you have a little extra time (I know, I know, I've looked at a calendar!) use up that washable sock yarn you have just hanging around. Double it and use bigger needles so that it goes faster. You'll make some kid very happy.


I LOVE my mittens!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Updates

Baby Girl has a bad case of bronchitis. She's doing MUCH better, but I'm not letting her go outside to play or visit friends. She's not happy with me, but thankfully I have a field trip at the end of the week to dangle in front of her. If she wants to be healthy enough for the field trip, she needs to rest now.

And between both kids being sick on and off the past couple of weeks and me being the human tissue, I'm now sick as well. It's not all bad. You can get alot of knitting done when you are sick.

I've been working on the Baby Yoda wrap sweater.

So far I have the back and the front left done. I'm working on the front right today.

Once I finished the front left yesterday, I pulled out #1 Son's sock to work on.

I just passed the heel flap and am abt to start the short rows for the turning. I'm motivated to finish this sock because I'm NOT enjoying it and want it finished!!!!

At night when everybody is asleep and a cat wants to take a nap on my lap, I pull out a project that won't mind the cat hair.

My cat blankie. I'm not sure how this one will turn out since I'm using the teal as the main color thruout and am adding different neutrals to it. Once the grey is finished, I'll add a dark brown, then tan, then black, back to tan, dark brown and grey. I have a feeling I'm overthinking this one, but hopefully it wont be too bad to look at when I'm done. I like using brighter primary colors, but I have so much of these left over colors, especially that teal, that I think this will be a great way to use them up.

Since I never seem to get on line on Saturdays anymore, I will post my Saturday sky today along with a Sunday sky.
Saturday


Sunday

Sunday has more interest IMO. And its a bit warmer today as well. 75, blue skies with white puffy non-rain clouds, and sun. Beautiful day indeed. THIS is why people come to Florida.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, no matter what the weather is.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Made of Money??

Apparently *I* think so since all I've been doing the past couple of days is shop! The one thing abt living in Florida is that you really dont need a lot of winter clothing. And when you are an adult, what you had last winter usually fits you the next. However, when you are a child, that is NOT the case.

We have been having some cool days here, summer temps for some of you, but when you live in Florida and its in the 50s and 60s, not only do you need a jacket, but pants are a good idea as well. After checking both closets, we were down to 1 pair of pants each. So I went to Target yesterday.

And today.

Let's just say I did my part to stimulate the economy and we should be set for a bit. #1 Son needed a new jacket as well, but Target has such great deals, *almost* everything I bought was on sale or clearanced. The one outfit that wasnt on sale was this cute velour outfit for Baby Girl. I know the jacket will fit, but the pants may not. She hasn't tried on her clothes yet because she's sick (again). She was sick the beginning of last week, got better, then #1 Son got sick over the wknd. Got him better and now she's got something different that requires a fever. I'm actually surprised that we've lasted this long considering the classrooms sound more like TB wards. However once the Motrin kicks in, so will she into her clothes.

I went to a different Target today and near this one is a Michael's, a JoAnn's, a Books-A-Million and the mall. I didn't have time for the mall.

Here is what I got from Michael's.
This yarn


for this project.


Once I finish the pink sweater for my new niece, I'll cast on for this. Neither sweater should take long, the pink one is for a 6 month old and this one is for a 4 y/o but in chunky yarn.

As I'm in the drive-thru waiting for my Whopper Jr, I hear two booms. My first thought was the military must be bombing in the Ocala National Forest (yes they do this and yes its a bit unnerving when you hear it), but then I remembered the space shuttle was landing today and sure enough, it was the sonic booms from when the shuttle entered the atmosphere. I find this TOTALLY cool and a definite perk of living in Central Florida. We don't always hear it since it depends on the direction its coming from, so it's a definite treat when I do.


Boom? What boom!? I didn't hear a thing!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

HUH???

Last Thursday the Mobil down the street was $2.85. I knew it would be going up soon since the price of oil per barrel was rising and so were the other local gas stations. I tell myself I need to fill up the tank.

Friday at noon it was still $2.85. Three hours later it was $2.93.

UGH.

This morning it was $2.99. By 1:30 its up to $3.03.

I have yet to get gas.

Double UGH!!!

The fact that gas has gone up almost $.20/gal in 4 days is scary.

Then I think that this only means paying an extra $3 for a full tank; that's not SO bad.

HOWEVER, when I think I'm paying over $3 per gallon and it takes me almost $50 to fill up my van, it just makes me wonder how bad it's going to get....

At least we dont have assigned days to get gas, like we did in the 70s. We just have that with our water.

Before you know it, we'll be paying for air. (think Spaceballs)

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Vivian tagged me last week to list 7 random facts about me.

1. I'm perpetually 5 min late. Always. When I worked for the newspaper, it wasnt a big deal since I was the first one in. When I worked for the bank, it made my boss nuts since I was consistently 5 min late. Since I stayed late and never took my breaks, I never understood why this was an issue.

2. Once I was warned that I would be written up if I didnt stop coming in 5 minutes late, I changed my ways. I came in EXACTLY at 8am, took my breaks and left EXACTLY at 5pm.

3. This same job made me so stressed, I ended up on heart meds.

4. Two months after I left, I was off the heart meds.

5. One year later I found out my boss from the bank that caused all my issues was fired and escorted from the building.

6. My 4 page exit interview was part of the reason why.

7. Obviously there were other issues involved, but don't MESS with me abt being 5 min late!!!


If you want to play, consider yourself tagged.

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Lucy says, "May the schwartz be with you!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday Stuff

Now that Noel and the High over Central Florida have finally left, we actually got to see a cloudless sky again.

It was early when I took this and you can see the moon. It's that little white speck in the top left corner, click to see it bigger.

This one shows some early morning color.


It was also cooler this AM, at least for us.

According to Baby Girl, she now knows what winter is. She is SUCH a Florida girl!

If she could, she'd have put on this hat, but it was too small.

Its the rest of the leftovers from the socks I just finished, the rest of the 1st Kool-Aid yarn I dyed and some yellow/orange I had hanging around. It only took me 2 days to make it AND it looks like a real hat! I think I can make a couple more to add to my A4A envelope before I mail it out.

And I may have pulled out some acrylics to start more cat blankies, but I actually cast on for this.

A wrap sweater for Delaney.

Isn't she cute?

Technology is SO cool!! She's not due to make her appearance until mid-January so I have plenty of time to finish this sweater and start her one for when she's a bit older.

And apparently Baby Girl wasn't the only one to think it was cool this AM.

Another one who has no idea......

Thursday, November 01, 2007

We Have A Winner!

Using the latest high tech capabilities, a name was randomly drawn by an impartial judge.







And the winner is..........(insert drumroll here)


That's right! SusieH you are the proud new owner of Mr Euro. I'm sure the two of you will be very happy together.

Thank you to all who played and made my first contest a fun one!!

One Thing Leads to Another

Hemi is now sterile. As a responsible pet owner I make sure my animals are neutered so that I don't add to the abundant population of stray cats. However, as a CHEAP responsible pet owner, I look for ways to make this as affordable as possible. This means going to the local humane society. They offer a discount certificate to make it more enticing to have your animal fixed. So on Tuesday I drove out there to pick up the certificate and to drop off the two blankets I made for them over the summer. You'd think I brought them gold. They LOVED them.

Which makes me want to knit another blanket.

So I enter the closet of yarn (which is technically my clothes closet, but the yarn is quickly taking over) to look thru the huge bag of acrylics. Now where is that pattern?

Oh yes, in the basket I keep near the bed. As I'm searching for the cast on numbers and sizing, I find a sock pattern I was looking for.

So I start going thru the basket to put all the sock patterns in one bag. Wait, don't I have a gift bag that has more sock info in? Back to the closet.

After moving a couple of bags of yarn I find it. Huh? What's this?!? It's the pattern booklet that I want to use for my SIL's new baby!! THAT'S where I put it!

So by being a responsible pet owner, I found the pattern book in an area I never would have looked thru. And my basket by the bed is better organized, esp with all my sock patterns. Of course with all this organizing, it just reminded me of all the projects that I want to work on. Esp for Baby Girl. But at least its with yarn I already have so I'll at least use up some of the stash.

With all this talk of beginnings, I do have a finish. I whipped up some charity socks for A4A.

My basic Super 24 baby socks. I have enough yarn left to make the rim of an infant hat. I'm not really fond of this yarn, its a bit busy for me, but I think it will be just the thing for a cold winter in Afghanistan.

And just a reminder that you have 2 hours to comment on the chance to win some Euroflax linen yarn,aka Mr Euro. I'll be posting the winner later today.


I'm still a little sore Mom. Feed me tuna.