Sunday, July 30, 2006

I got the most fabulous belated birthday gift today! My wonderful friend and I almost never seem to find a mutually sweet moment to hang out - so we try to e-mail and call each other - but almost never get the face time I wish we could - our jobs, families, other obligations. Anyways, we finally did it - a somewhat spontaneous decision to get together - now! Anyways, the gift is truly one of the most thoughtful treats I have ever been bestowed, the presentation was a gift in and of itself - polka dot tissue with a fabulous limey green satin ribbon trailing from it - really I am a ribbons and wrappings whore. First - a fabulous large robin's egg latte mug that is actually a planter - I have already planted a cute little thing. Then some gorgeous earrings from a little local shop - very sparkly which naturally appeal to my raccoon like persona -love sparkly things. Next a cute little photo holder which is shaped like a brightly colored dress, then some delicious citrus brown sugar scrub and vanilla sugar moisturizer and the crowning piece - a gift certificate to my most favorite lys! This chick knows me, I mean really knows me. I mean I know so many status quo gift givers - don't get me wrong, gifts alone are wonderful - but throw a smattering of fancy paper and french ribbon - HELLO! - it is up a serious notch!

Mmmmm, nothing like wool cooking on the stove - my first try at dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid - Black Cherry. I decided to try this after yesterday's dilemma with the Embossed Leaves socks in variegated yarn - I just was not seeing the definition I was hoping for, so I decided I will finish these socks for someone special for x-mas - someone who will not be a bit hung up on the lack of definition and make myself another pair in red. So I made a trek to one of my favorite lys, Lakeside Fibers, and lo and behold - no red sock yarn. I was almost tempted to buy some Koigu that was less variegated and then thought "STOP!" - remembering why I was in search of a new yarn for this darn project in the first place.

This is auspicious since a co-worker and I have been hatching plans to try dyeing - trying to plan a "dye day" - then last weekend she got the itch and experimented. So in hopes of doing my own homework and being a little more prepared for our bigs plans - voila, I decided to make my own red yarn. I ran it through the process once and was not happy with a couple of pinkish spots - so back to the grocery store for another 4 packets of Black Cherry - it's simmering a second time now - I think I'll be happier - still some lighter areas, but more red than pink. Taking this knitster stuff to another level is always exciting - whether it was learning to manage for dpns, experimenting with lace of dyeing - what an adventure I am having!

As a side note - I found other blogs incredibly helpful with the Embossed Leaves pattern and decision to try some solids - everyone I found who tried variegated was disappointed to some degree - now, if I could just research BEFORE jumping into a time.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Anyone else make these Embossed Leaves socks with verigated yarn? I am giving them a whirl with a nice Koigu - which I think reminds me of fall breeze or something therein. I can see the definition of the leaves myself but I am pretty sure anyone else looking would wonder what the hell I had going on with my socks (my patterned couch is not lending any more credibility to my claim that there actually is "leaf" deifinition here). So this pondering leaves me to wonder do we knit strictly for our own pleasure or for occasional recognition? I did feel a twinge of delicious pleasure when another shopper commented on my daughters Katja today. However, in this case I think I'll trudge on because I am enjoying the lace pattern so much and it is flying by - much more interesting than a rib or stockinette, but next time I'll go solid I think. I also like the additional texture and colors in the Koigu. I hate to frog what I do have - it's the "starting of a sock" that gives me angst...I'm too far now, right?

It's official, I think I am a stalker...I am in love with Yarntini, her colorways are the most incredibly vibrant I have seen. I just purchased Boardwalk through - good grief it is gorgeous. I can feel the cotton candy melting on my tongue just looking at it - not sure what the red is, but the blue and pink is surely spun sugar! I can't wait to get it - I ridiculously sat at my computer at the "designated times" to jump on these listings - thats a little weird probably, I hope I don't scare Yarntini!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I finished my second Jaywalker...I am glad they are done, always glad to finish a project but can't stop seeing every little thing wrong with them. They became fraternal twins somewhere along the heel's minor but my type A personality just magnifies these little things. I seem to often find things anti-climactic - start out full board with excitement - but then as I see a mistake and can't see how frogging is even going to fix it, I lose steam...I have to tell myself "damn, it is self-striping sock yarn, this is not science - let it flow sister!" Okay - now to believe it (I mean REALLY believe)! Those extra little toes belong to my daughter, sweet Tutti Pickles!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I saw the Yarn Harlot...Yes I did! I traveled to Chicago via the Metra with my sister, a "non-knitter" who agreed to take one for the team and accompany me. We got off the train downtown and enjoyed a great lunch at The Downtown on Wacker - where the staff was extremely attentive. This of course was after taking several wrong turns in an attempt to head towards Michigan Avenue. We were able to regroup over lunch and plan our route to the shopping mecca. I was taken by the wind, the crosswalks busy with pedestrians and the shade lent from the tall buildings. I am from a small Wisconsin town where the tallest building, well, may be about 3 stories. So we went with the flow downtown. Sephora, Ethel M's Chocolate Lounge, Coach, oh my! My sister was so disciplined buying just a unique Cubs hat for her husband. She then proceeded to tell me about a store Teavana - where they have bulk tea. I am a tea newbie - really just starting to enjoy a nice iced tea from *um* Snapple - but I was into it, I really wanted some white tea - antioxidants, healthful qualities, mild flavor. So off we went - I tried the Caribbean Breeze/ Rooibos Key Lime iced tea *SOLD* I also grabbed a tea contraption to help me brew up a quick cup...well, then feeling a little adventurous I thought - oh hell, give me some Scarlet Cloud White Tea "an exotic melange of fresh strawberry pieces and rare Chinese white tea from Drum Mountain White Cloud Monastery"...why wouldn't I expect this tea to be 45 bucks for a small tin? Good grief, when the clerk said 91 dollars I felt a warm wave wash over my body - gulp. Oh I paid it, it became the joke from then on - my entire family is expecting quite a fancy tea party in the near future. It will be worth it...right?

So after this debacle we were off to catch a cab to another train station - more seedy - and traveled to south Chicago for the Harlot's lecture. When we got off the train and saw the train station boarded up we wondered what we were in for. We had a beverage at a disorganized, slow but friendly cafe - and used the restroom - and would you believe there was a poster of white teas in there (the 15 bucks a tin version) just laughing at me. We then walked to a park where we would hear the Yarn Harlot - the anticipation...The neighborhood we meandered through to get to our destination was lovely - large houses reminiscent of the homes surrounding the University of Wisconsin - obviously refurbished, large lots, kept clandestine by the lush foliage - it was so pleasant despite the 95 degree heat.

At first I thought the venue left something to be desired... shabby, dated - a fan the size of a plane engine. But then the knitters started milling in - everyone pulling out their assorted projects, I felt like I was "home". Everyone so friendly, complimenting each other's yarn - interjecting comments into Harlot's lecture. Oh Stephanie McPhee - my knees were weak when she signed my much loved book - I have had that exact feeling only once before - when I was in the front row of a RUSH concert and literally was overcome, I forgot every word to every song they ever sang. duh...Those Canadians make me swoon. She is funny - so funny, so real - her blog only in 3-D. My sister even laughed and found her endearing, entertaining. The event was entirely worth the stressful trip - wondering, can I make it on that damn train, find a cab, survive the crowds - I did it. I am knitter! Hear me ROAR!

Monday, July 17, 2006 I love thee, let me count the ways...
1. I simply love how your pattern is created with just two simple rounds - well, one really since every other row is just knit even. It simply flows along.
2. I love how you fit, perfect! And you can kind of "slouch" them - they are so cozy - and will kick ass in a pair of clogs!
3. my craftless co-workers (I know, how sad) freaking loved you - I felt like a SUPERSTAR! They looked longingly as I furiously knit away on lunch - could there be a knitting group in this brood? Okay, Jaywalker, if you can do that I need to create an altar for you.
4. While, Jaywalker, you didn't pick the yarn - but God I love it - the colors are so vibrant - you look hot! And again craftless co-workers seemed hopeful when I described the colorway "Cosmopolitan" - we could knit and drink?! I'm envisioning converts. I saw a few lightbulbs flicker when I explained that "you too could spend 23 bucks for sock yarn and spend 15 hours making your own pair. Can you imagine, you can spend 23 bucks to buy yourself 15 HOURS of enjoyment (this is a bit of hard sell to the Craftless - we'll have to work on that over a cosmopolitan while admiring my socks). But imagine, you can't go to the movies for $23 bucks. The 15 hours of fiber therapy are simply priceless...
5. I did watch Pirates of the Carribean, knit at the bike trail while waiting for my mom, watched Cinderella Man, knit in the car, in bed, at t-ball - Jaywalker you are a multi-tasker.
6. You have given me hope that the second sock syndrome could just be a 24 hour virus, I didn't seem to catch it this time around so far. As a matter of fact I excitedly tried to match my yarn to start my second immediately. Woo Hoo!!
7. You have so many fans, there are so many cool versions out there to peek at, inspiration! You have siblings around the world! Some are a little smarter, but none prettier.
8. Your author's name is Grumperina - enough said!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I just came accross this on another blog and thought I should really see what this test has to say about me. It is a little scary when you just nod and nod...and nod. Hmmm, how can answering a few questions put my whole personality into a nutshell in 4-5 paragraphs. It makes me wonder, are we all just a teeny bit different from our neighbor? Are all of us shy folk wandering around feeling unique or weird, on the outside of something looking in? Where are all of my kindred spirits? Oh right, they are also being "quiet and reserved in social situations" - so of course we probably will never meet! Ah, but when we do - the fun we will have being "organized" and "cynical" together! *sigh*

Your Five Factor Personality Profile

You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have high neuroticism.
It's easy for you to feel shaken, worried, or depressed.
You often worry, and your worries prevent you from living life fully.
You tend to be emotionally reactive and moody. Your either flying very high or feeling very low.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is medium.
You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.
But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.
You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.
The Five Factor Personality Test

Friday, July 14, 2006

I received the most wonderful package today - I got two skeins of yarn from Yarntini - Cherry Coridal and Cosmopolitan, sounds like a great evening already! They were delightfully packaged in bright pink tissue and included the two skeins wrapped individually with a stick of "Knitter's Salve" - what a nice extra treat - as if the most heavenly textured yarn were not enough. I have to say the colors are candy for my eyes. Okay, everyone says this right - but really, it's amazing. I am excited to start some new socks with it. But which one first? And which sock pattern is worthy of such heaven? I just can't decide. I may have to play eeny meeny miney moe!

And to follow up on the yarn mishap from the other day - I did receive my Neopolitan yarn, it is very nice (though thoroughly TRUMPED by Yarntini's goods) - the problem is I was charged for priority mail but it was sent first class - so it took a little bit to get here, and the package was a little beat up as though it may have been lost for awhile. My faith is restored.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I recently ordered some wonderful sock yarn through, it is Neopolitan - I will want to lick my own feet right? Well... the seller says she mailed it on 7-3, but I still haven't gotten it. I just hate this part of buying from individuals on-line - because now what? I feel kind of like I'm left holding the bag here - "well, I sent it, so you're out of luck"? Hmmm. And now I start worrying about every paypal or ebay transaction - there is no recourse really - the sites stress a "hands-off" work-it-out-yourself policy. I have never lost money because thankfully, Paypal does seem to protect you somewhat -but I have a new sadness as this is a knitter to knitter transaction - I expect more from fellow fiberholics. But all is not lost yet, it could show up anytime, but in the meantime I wonder and doubt.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I was surfing the net in between my "responsibilities" and was thrilled to see a new Knitty is up - I don't know how is snuck up on me. Though truth be told, I am always a day late and a dollar short trying to join some kind of secret pal-thing, why would a new Knitty be a surprise? But it was - a ridiculously nice one given a long weekend of "bad parenting" - we are hitting some bumps in the road and I think I've been yelling too much - it seems when all else fails revert to how my folks may have dealt with me (oh, yes, I did of course say "I'd never do that" - but there I go embracing what I know DOESN'T work - I've become quite talented at tuning out loud voices). But then, I immediately follow that thought with a distortion "Well, I turned out okay"...didn't I?

My feelings are a little mixed on the patterns, I like some - other aren't my style - but that is what makes the world interesting and different. I'm hoping to check out making Flora from a previous Knitty, I ahve seen some fabulous examples on other blogs to help me start thinking about yarn choices. But then I do also have these two gorgeous skeins of koigu wanting to be the Embossed Leaves pattern - I realize I am blessed if this is my toughest decision today.

In closing, I finished my daughter's watermelon socks - hmmm, the second one's striping got slightly off at the toe. I have of course rationalized - post second sock traumatic disorder, that they are for a 6 year old who will be wearing them with one will SEE the toes. But I will know they are in there, just slightly not right. Will my perfectionistic type A self do anything about it....well the toe is not grafted yet so we'll see.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Second sock, in the home stretch. I got hooked on this self-striping watermelon yarn when I was browsing the "Harlot". I showed a co-worker who was then on a mad hunt to find some - bless her heart. She ended up getting the hook up from a woman on eBay who agreed to a custom dye for us and "voila". Oh, and then we got our hands on the dyeing book this pattern originated from and we have big plans to dye our own yarn this fall - I already have the PVC for my own niddy noddy in the garage. Something so simple just snowballs with little encouragement. I digress...

Anyways, it's the simple sock pattern in the child's size from Cat Bordhi's book - my first run at two circulars...though I am torn, I kind of like the extra steps on dpn's - I feel like Laura Ingalls or something, but this has been a new change. That second sock though...always so tedious. The first feels like an accomplishment...a sock! But then I realize - I am only HALF way. I think the yarn is adorable and then as I've knitted along I have thought, wool and watermelon - something doesn't quite work here - so I'm thinking my 6-year old will need some nice clogs to show her socks off this FALL!

So anyways, tedious second sock - with a new pattern already on deck. I would like to get on to the Embossed Leaves sock pattern in the Winter 2005 IK. I think I've got some great yarn enroute for these guys - I'll be sure to post how awesome Yarntini has been once it arrives. (I NEED to figure out how to get in on the next sockapalooza!) Oh and need not forget I also have yarn on the way for the Lotus Blossum Tank (LBT) in the Summer IK - {does everyone tell themselves, "okay THIS will be my lasy yarn purchase until I finish some of the stuff I have"?} I have joined up with my first knit-a-long so I'm itching to participate in that - though the thought of all of the necessary swatching makes my head swim.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Vacation is a such a mixed blessing. I am amazed by stay-at-home moms when I just "test drive" for a week. I love my children - but I think I love them better when I have a break - er, work. Yet, I wonder how much of their frustrating behaviors is due to the fact that I am not doing this job in my home on a more full-time basis. How much "help" is daycare vs. my job. I feel my job has a great deal of impact on my self-worth, if I left that...where would my self-worth go? Yet when I come home and try to overcompensate for missing those 40 odd hours, is that damaging to my self-worth - is it a wash? More over is it a disadvantage (or even harmful) for my kids...A curious thing. I'm guessing I'm not alone in my thoughts on this one.

But we are off all together for the week - me and my girls - yet I find myself longing for some alone time to continue knitting on my watermelon self-striping socks, or to just sit in a chair without I just lazy? Is there something wrong with me? I do love that yarn stash, but probably not more than I love my kids - well, not usually anyways.