Sunday, November 26, 2006

Feeling better and some kick-ass mail!

After getting the flu back again - sheesh, I think I am better today (knock on wood). And my little one is starting to feel better too, after another bout of ick late last night. I must say that I think I will actually be glad to be back to work after this long, lousey, illness-filled Thanksgiving.

Yesterday while lying in bed feeling sorry for myself, mail came!! Yes, a package from Sandra in Croatia!! I decided to wait until I was upright to open it. So last night I carefully unwrapped everything - a wonderful scarf that she handknit for me. I couldn't be more thrilled - first it is gorgeous and has a leaves pattern - my fetish, but most touching is it is handknit - there are few gifts more special than something handmade and from the heart. Thank you Sandra!! There are also two chocolate bars - we ate the first candy bars we bought for each other, that makes me giggle - great minds you know. I plan to savor those in secret. Also Pez and some cool sparkly iron ons for the girls - and beads, maybe for some stitch markers?! Also a handdrawn picture from her daughter - I will post this at work for everyone to admire! And a crowning treat - 5 skeins of yarn!! I need to come up with something fabulous to make with it...suggestions wecome! I want to wrap up holiday knitting and then I can settle down and think all about knitting for me....weeee!...Many thanks to Sandra for turning around an otherwise long and frustrating weekend! I will wrap myself in my new scarf and be grateful!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy "Flu-giving"?

Apparently I must be "flu-giving" given my recent little bout with this crapola - Tutti Pickles, my little one has come down with a mean case of goodies coming out of both ends. Apparently the first dose of the flu shot isn't enough - but we're still 3 days out from getting the second dose, wouldntcha know? Poor little soul. I have faith and therefore I can't help from asking myself... did I wish this on her as I was not feeling festive about a family gig? No real reason for balking at the gathering - just sometimes I long to stay home alone, as if - of course in retrospect, a Thanksgiving dinner with all of the trimmings sounds so much better than Pedialite, laundry and the Little Green Machine, oh hindsight is indeed 20/ little angel in her third pair of jammies...flu just takes the good stuff right out of a little girl...

And THEN...I have this kind of purty Nilla Praline Cheesecake (Kraft Foods Holiday 2005). I was really looking forward to this bit of I can merely wave good-bye to her as she heads off to dinner - please bring a piece back for momma...

Giving thanks...

There is so much to be thankful for but in honor of fiber let me just say I am thankful for cotton yarn. There is something so uncomplicated and simple about cotton. I started a simple hat from Itty Bitty Hats last night upon the wonderful news that my sister's friend is having a BOY!! Woo Hoo Jenn! The timing was tailor made, I ran out of cashmerino for my one-cable scarf and was promptly jonesing for something simple to occupy myself while I watched "Daybreak" and "The Nine". I was pleasantly reminded of unfettered, fresh cotton - I love how the fabric knits up, each stitch has it's own voice and definition. It is a little hard on my hands as I knit so tightly but what a pleasant break nonetheless. It is so uncluttered - how I wish my life was at times. Clean and orderly cotton - seems my house can never bring me this joy as I am bogged down with grade school projects, old mail and legos - and even yarn. Yarn even clutters my life a little - ouch. I think I should make a turkey day resolution to destash a little. I need to "de-stash" the whole house but small steps. (I have a great book - book whore - on Feng Shui to declutter - perhaps I should blow the dust off and get some inspiration.) First I will finish my little hat - it is so darling, so immediate gratification - I am visual and scent driven...this little project makes me feel like I am breathing in white, clean air, so fresh it's nearly spiritual. The cotton combined with a little warm fuzzy - oh, to bestow a tiny little noggin' with a cap, can you smell "baby head"? I'm nearly drunk imagining baby smell...It is up there with baby feet for me as the most delightful things on earth. mmmm.

I am also thankful for knitters - you people rock! I have been blessed with several random acts of darn niceness in the last week or so, but those warm fuzzies deserve their own post on another day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holiday knittings...

I finished a second pair of Fetching fingerless mitts. I used the recommended Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and I am pleased with the feel and thickness of the fabric. I am hooked on these things. I have my One-Cable scarf 1/3 done - I think it will make a nice set - I am waiting for the LYS to open so I can go get another skein of each color to make the pieces for both sets. I tried to get a bit of my new knit-n-go bag from Scout's Swag since it rocks. You can snap it on your purse or beltloop and knit just about anywhere you can stand or sit. I got mine in camoflauge hoping no one would notice me knitting in the line at the bank.

I also signed up for a class with kind of a knitting superstar - Annie Modesitt - since I just finished her Backyard Leaves scarf she is on my mind. I got a newsletter via e-mail from a shop I recently checked out in Illinois, Wool and Company - only a mere 90 minute drive - and they are featuring her in January. For a new book tour...hmmm new book?I'm a book whore. Anyways, I thought this could be a great way to break up the most pitifully long dragging month of the year... plus I figure I love knitting, I love beads - have to check out knitting jewelry. Classes always inspire me to move beyond my comfort zone and try something new - from a power knitter!! Bonus! (one caviat - I will freaking sh*t if we have bad weather or snow. it will be January afterall..)

gobble, gobble

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Football, hotdogs and apple pie...and cables

Wow - I guess I have had an all-American Weekend...pathetic Packers pissed around on the field today, it was almost painful to watch - thankfully I had my Fetching gloves to distract me - those babies are fun and fast. I have to knit the ends in and another holiday gifts is finished. I started the Single Cable Scarf from One Skein by Leigh Radford - I am slightly into cables now that I learned they aren't the death of me. And I am thinking cables on gloves plus cable on scarf could make a "set"? no? So back to the LYS (with eff'ed up hours) for one more skein of each - lovley Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in a purple and smokey blue. So two tivo'd episodes of E.R. and one Ugly Betty plus a little Packer obliteration has made way for productive holiday knitting.

And apple pie - I made a pie while my dh made an apple crisp today - the best of both worlds and we're both happy. I'm patiently waiting for the kids to go to bed so I can savor each bite in peace...foodie yoga. And just to make the weekend allegedly more American we just happened to have had hotdogs yesterday. Sorry no Chevrolet, no chance.

Friday, November 17, 2006

yawns and wanderings

What a long, great, day. Despite my headachy garbage this morning I managed to pull together to go holiday shopping with a very good friend - totally secret, just us and our holiday cash - armed and ready. Toy R Us is still managable, the mall was quiet, Target - well, Target was Target(heaven)...and I snuck in two yarn stores - merely fondled yarn - bought none - amazing.

I am the biggest Bath and Bodyworks coupon whore ever - I have had to start giving them away, there are so many good ones - so get out there - get Festive Pomegranite and I guarantee you will smell like Christmas! It's so nice, memory provoking, comforting.

Before our trip I had no idea how many Littlest Pet Shop critters there are - I kept finding more new and different ones - Santa has left the building. I was glad to find that Carter's still makes good jammies for 6 year-olds and tub toys are not very interesting...what happened to the good ole Fisher Price houseboat? But most significant - I once again learned that Rum Runner's at Jimmy Buffet's restaurant Cheeseburger in Paradise...dee-freaking-vine. What a glorious day it turned out to be.

But wait - I went on to have a really nice night with the girls - well, until Tutti had the biggest tantrum EVER when play dough time was over. Sorry, kiddo - you're the second kid, I can wait out a tantrum with the best of them. It ended as abruptly as it began but it was pretty record breaking. And now is time for bed. I should sleep like a rock after such a productive day - well, that and being up since 3 am wrestling with the scarf pattern. Rock. definitely.

Lastly, my dh may have a great opportunity for a new job that encompasses his passions - running, biking, swimming. He could make money dealing with things he loves only slightly less than me and the girls. Problem is he will make a little less cha-ching. ouch. at least for now - but he must chase this dream. Anyone out there - cross your fingers this will come to fruition for him. Afterall there are some serious benefits above cash...I am convinced if he is happier at his job he will come home and beg me to do laundry - so pray hard!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wristwarmers are for girls...

First let me say - I freaking love Mountain Colors yarn - it is nice to knit with and the colors are so rich. I used half of a skein of Wild Raspberry 4/8's. The pattern is the "yarn spotlight" pattern on page 7 of the Fall 2005 Interweave. I really like how these came out - but you know it's hard to take a picture of your own hand, and it's harder yet to really show an effective picture of fingerless mitts without hands in them. But I digress, I think I am going to make a scarf to match, which of course means more Mountain Colors - yippee! I have a smidge of the Brooke's Column of Leaves started - the sample is variegated - and knit with MC! However, today I quickly learned that I can't knit lace-ish stuff at the lunch table, far too much yapping going on.

Speaking of too much yapping...we had a school conference for our first grader today - what a joy!! She is a great little student at math and reading... so helpful to her classmates. But she is a teeny bit too social. She likes to chat a bit excessively. I can help her with math, reading, even drawing a little but talking? The little stinker gets her work done and then decides it's social I get why it's a problem and we've talked about consequences but I was a talker in school myself (those who know me are nodding vigorously)- I was moved to the front of the classroom many times - I always regarded this as a "mixer" of sorts...I could chat up new people in each new seat I tried out...see I was rationalizing was back then. As a matter of fact my 11th grade History teacher told me he would give me the "A" I had earned if I would shut up for the last two weeks of the quarter. Ouch. But wait, I believe in equality so just to share the blame, we do call my dh "chatty daddy" around here - so maybe he is the culprit? Is yaking genetic? We simply aren't modeling good behavior:) But we turned out fine, right? I'm sure she'll be fine, just is good right?

Later...much 4:00 a.m...clearly I am a little delusional with this flu-like whatever that keeps teasing with me but I am about ready to strangle myself with my yarn as I keep on screwing up the Brooke's Column of Leaves pattern - and not because there is a thing wrong with the pattern - I mean other people are getting scarves done right? must be me?? I can. not. do. lace. without. a chart. I keep losing stitches or getting extras as I try to read accross the pattern - so there it is, on the free pattern link - A CHART. So my little scrapbookin' self is now cutting and pasting this pattern together on some nice cardstock because I am going to get it - it will at least be prettier huh? Is stubborness a virtue? Good grief, I really should sip some 7-up and hang it up for now. But not until after I frog this baby back to the beginning - a fresh start in the morning...wait, it is morning!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Scout's Meme

1. How and when did you learn how to knit/crochet? Who taught you?

Well, I tried to teach myself but got this bad, wavy thing - that I must confess kind of liked because I made it. Who knew that I didn't need to cast on 50 stitches for a wool scarf, it turned out more like a place mat actually. Then I decided to hook up with a class. A woman named Emily at 2 Busy Kids in Madison, WI. I was the geeky overachiever knitter who finished the scarf before the second class and knew I was hooked. This was in 2002 I think, that's funny since I feel like I have always been knitting?!

2. How has this craft impacted your life? (besides financially!)

It has really brought something to my life to get excited about. I used to quilt but then I had babies...I can work on socks in the car or at the lunch table - my sewing machine can't do that. It's been so fun to pour over pattern books and magazines, and the yarn, yarn, yarn! What a wonderful thing to pet, so much fabulous yarn. It has also expanded my horizons greatly since I have been online more "meeting" some incredible cool knitters. It's been wonderful to meet people as excited about yarn as me - not like those weird non-crafter's who give me "the look", like they are almost sorry for me that I have no life when I tell them about my knitting...and blogging. As if! Who is sorry for who here?

3. Pick at least one person to talk about who you have met through the knit-world and why you are thankful to have met them. Feel free to get all mushy.

Well, I probably have a couple answers for this one. I have met Sandra from Croatia through the International Scarf Exchange - and we weren't even swap partners. I have found her to be funny, amazing, entertaining and cool. We have had a little swap of our own, and are currently waiting anxiously on our opposite shores for the boat to deliver the goodies... and have been in touch regularly by e-mail - it's pretty amazing to know that even oceans away life is pretty much the same, the same family trials, project ideas, etc. She has a lot of great advice :) and knits faster than lightning!

I also have enjoyed getting to know my co-worker, Dianne from Gramknits much better. I have enjoyed a couple of yarn adventures with her including trips to Illinois in search of "that yarn" and we did some yarn dying this summer. She is an adventurer and life long crafter - she has so much to teach anyone she meets and I have enjoyed trading ideas with her. And if she wants me to pretend to be her daughter-in-law - well, ya gotta do what you gotta do.:) But then as the old saying goes "you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family..."

I have also enjoyed Yarntini - Jessie's yarn is the best and she is such a darned nice person. I mean when do you get anything in the mail with a little handmade lip balm or handmade soaps? Well, you do with her most fabulous yarn. She has also been most delightful to converse with via e-mail. And she likes Lost and Project Runway - if she only lived in my neighborhood, we could be like desparate housewives or something:)

Hands down, yarn lover's are good people. Now of course ou run into that occasional snooty salesclerk but really, I think knitters are some passionate people. Thank you for accepting me into the fold.

Thanks Scout for this little meme - it was a nice little "something to think about". And while I am at it let me add her to my list of people I'm lucky to know through cyberspace. She has damn great swag over at Scout's Swag!

As an aside...I think I have been battling the flu today - you know the classic symptoms - mother achy muscles, headache, chills - thank you to my husband for coming home from work on my day off to man the little one, I am not sure how I could have dealt with our 18-month-old from the couch. And thank you to my dear sister for picking up my 6-year old from school and taking her to dinner and shopping so she wouldn't have to be home looking at death warmed over in the dark. I would pick MY family! and know I am blessed...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's been a Fetching weekend!

And so it has - I finished up my fetching mitts last night - I made a mistake or two on the cables but in the long run it may have helped me figure them out. I am not real sure about the picot edge and have seen other posts with a regular bind off - I think when I make my next pair I will also do a plain-jane bind off to keep the top from curling to let the wind in. I'm already plotting how to get some Debbie Bliss cashmerino at the LYS with the screwed up hours, so good sign it was a slick and easy project. I made this pair with Cascade 220 Superwash. Also I really do have 5 fingers but it's that 80's hairband influence, ROCK ON!

I was grateful today to walk through the hellishly hectic mall - egads, 42 days of holiday shopping remain - and have my six-year-old's warm little hand in my own - probably won't be long before she is saying "aw mom, I'm too big." Good to appreciate the little things. It's been a mindful weekend - first the holiday lights, and now this - good to be aware of those seemingling unimportant little goodies - tis the season to be conscious of what really matters before everything gets overwraught with ridiculousness and materialism, cause it happens, just the way it today's mantra is "go with the flow, I am blessed."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A few odd bits

I was listening to public radio this morning The People's Pharmacy - it is the first of a bundle of great shows on Saturday morning...and well, the "People" suggested a couple of interesting ways to assist with a cough - they were specifically talking about children but I gotta think it would work on grow-ups alike. Apparently a study revealed DM cough suppressants are of little assistance - codeine was slightly better - however (this is the best part) the study revealed that 2oz of good dark chococate with 88% cocao is just as successful as codeine at curbing a cough. I can hardly wait for my next nagging cough so I can test this theory. Another remedy they mentioned - put Vicks VapoRub on your feet at bedtime and pull your socks on. Worth a try right? Being a self-proclaimed book whore, I ran off to Amazon off and got their book with more holistic and alternative ideas as well as some good information about over the counter and prescription drugs. I may be snacking on dark chocolate and having cosmopolitans to cure a cold before I know it!

I also learned a little about cars with Click and Clack on Car Talk and Dr. Zorba had an interesting recipe for Tofu Scramber...I have been wanting to try tofu, it's been staring at me from my fridge for awhile - I need to just get the nerve to do something with it. My husband will surely make a face but...there is always pb&j!!

Another unrelated bit, an "ah-ha moment" - putting up outdoor Christmas tree lights may cause spontaneous holiday spirit. It started out with snowman failure with my 6-year-old, I knew that pathetic snow wouldn't pack but you know you can't tell a child anything, they must figure it out. Then the mildness lured me to think about what needs to get done. I lugged the box out, thanking myself for putting them away neatly last year so I could get started (note to self - do this again this year). I put the same tree lights around the same bushes I always do but today it was kind of peaceful. I think I was being more mindful about it, even enlisted my dh - who I usually boot off light duty out of sheer impatience. It felt good to be out in the crispy air thinking about the impending holidays. I'm trying not to freak out about the little things - they'll get done, they always do. I have a good chunk of my shopping already done and am into the knit-mode to crank out some fingerless mitts for the truly special. I enjoy making them - let's call it immediate!gratification! And let's not forget those One Skein quickies - I see some in my future...if I could just figure out who I could make a knit cupcake for - damn they're cute.

And because this blog is kind of about knitting - I think I'll have my second Fetching done for posting tomorrow. (and because ADD really does run in the family, while searching for the link I found a KAL - what a great way to see what yarns people are using...sweet!)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This damn ADD does run in the family...I had a knitter but then I lost her

It was close, my 6-year-old bugged me and bugged me, "I want to learn to sew"! Now, I know this little girl, and she is easily distracted by well, Sponge Bob. But finally I gave in and we sat down last night and she KNIT! It was pretty amazing, I was imagining this frustrated kid giving up - but no, she knit several rows before announcing that she wanted to make a sweater. I left her to her imagination, smiling inside - I could have bourne a knitter! Then today she hops in the car after school and announces that when her friend comes over she is going to teach her how to knit...this is developing into something. Then I ask her where her knitting is, well mom, you have to leave the room...cause the truth was the little stinker took it for show and tell today. The responsible part of me thought, "knitting needles at school? My gosh you'll be expelled for bringing weapons!" but then I quickly thought *squee* "she likes it...she really likes it!!!!" Then the ruse is up, just like for our friend Rudolph. She got angry at a few stitches and.was.done. - the kicker was when she said I wanted her to knit - that's great kid. That's really not how it went down - though I am an over acheiver, first-born, I could totally imagine myself pressuring her to knit - but not til she's older...gulp.

Now I've just been invited to come to her knitting club in her room - okay like I was sayin'... A.D.D.!

(I'm having second thoughts on giving her the Knitting Nell book I bought for her for Christmas - would hate to create any undue stress...)

And then just because such drama needs an intermission...I'm off to pet my Yarn Pirate. That sounds dirty...I like it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yarn diet woes and some projects put to bed...

Well, I trolled the internet today under the guise of looking for a more perfect yarn for my Townsend Yahoo Group Hot Sock Swap (there's a mouthful)...looking for that more perfect skein of something purple. It took me from Bluemoon Fiber Arts to Fleece Artist...oh, my hand wanted to push enter to "submit order" at a site with the lovely Fleece Artist - but I prevailed - no sock yarn but a terribly close call. So back to fingerless mitts I went. I finished these from Last Minute Knitted Gifts...

...and I started Fetching from Knitty - I have, gulp...cabled people! My buddy at Gramknits was right - it isn't near as scary at it sounds. Whew. So I plan to finish my first fetching tonight during Lost. I am really committed to the idea of many mitts for Christmas gifts - well, "many" may be a teeny bit of an overstatement - but I am thrilled to think I may be able to bestow my sweet mail lady with a pair - so much more practical than the Hershey's Pot of Gold last year. I mean, how many packages of candy do you think these people get? and I love the thought of pleasing people who least expect it.

I also grafted my Backyard Leaves scarf together. What a gnarly mess of grafting but it's wearable. (kind of sad when umpteen hours of work is reduced to wearable) I made it in Rowan Cashoft which in hindsight was not the best choice - it is too soft - imagine. It hardly looks blocked and the leaves kind of languish in the mix - but it is cozy. So next time - as if there'll be a next time at this pattern (well, you never know) I would use a more rigid yarn, like the Karabella 8 it suggests - why do I always insist on doing it my way? Well, anyways I was finally able to snap a picture, I confess to cursing when my 18-month-old grabbed it and made off with it. This kid will keep me on my toes - all I could think was "terrible two's huh? Go figure...(she is unplugging the vaccuum on my husband as I type...)

Does this look like the face of a child who would drive you to drink?

Okay - maybe I exaggerate :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm a copy-cat Meme-r

Because I am kind of slacking on taking pictures and thinking this week - sad but goes...

48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Stacey

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not a soul. My mom wanted Erin Elizabeth (pre-Walton's even) she lost.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? yesterday I teared up in a training about Domestic Violence listening to a 911 tape of a call made by a child.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It depends. Sometimes it gets a bit "out of control"

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? none really - I prefer p b -n- j! or just cheese!


7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I journal on and off. I like this method through blogging. My other favorite is a "gratitude" journal - I need to be reminded what I am thankful for on occasion.


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not a chance, unless I were on the Amazing Race and there was money involved.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I like sugar cereals from my childhood - but since they are almost never around, probably Honey Bunches of Oats

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I wear a lot of loafers to avoid this all together, but when I run I do usually untie my tennies just so I can get them off.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes, emotionally I guess, if I am committed to something. I could use some weight lifting to be actually strong, but do think yoga has made me physically stronger and if I mad enough, look out.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Turtle Custard at Culver's

14. SHOE SIZE? 7

15. RED OR PINK? and more pink, wait - also purple

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? my anger - keep it under my hat usuaully - but that's not good either is it?

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? A college friend I am delinquent about keep in touch with, an old friend from work that I barely get to see - mostly old friends I wish I still had.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? No - just like reading then when I see them on a blog

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? sweats and my danskos - it's chore day and I haven't made it into the shower yet- eek!

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Toast with jelly

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? the Channel 3 news - about the sad state of the War in Iraq...


23. FAVORITE SMELL? babies, specially mine

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My sister - can you believe some evil person would call HER fat? WTF? She is a teeny girl! But she has stopped smoking *cheers* and has gained a mere 7 pounds and is therefore self-conscious - f*ck the dude that said that crap! men like that are stupid.


26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Gosh, I would bet that I would, I have merely met her blog today - but I like that she left me a comment:)

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Diet Coke from the fountain - specially McDonalds - OR the Rum Runner from Cheeseburger in Paradise

28. FAVORITE SPORT? To watch? To play - er frisbeee? Watch? Football

29. EYE COLOR? Blue/ gray

30. HAT SIZE? Who even knew there were sizes?

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes...but my glasses aren't awful in a lazy moment.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? Mexican with too much sour cream and fresh guacamole!

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? neither...I prefer funny or dramatic movies

34. IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD THAT BE? Right where I am. Oh but then it is getting cold...maybe somewhere on some ocean at my leisure - If I could just figure out how to walk out my front door in Wisconsin and walk out my back door in Hawaii.


36. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs generally but kissing my kids is wonderful

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Strawberry shortcake in the sumer, Apple or other fruit pie in the fall or winter

38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? ?? No one, since I stole this one?

39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Same as above

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? I'm reading Digging to America - kind of a cute story. Also Cage of Stars - good so far. My favorite author is Elizabeth Berg - I'm waiting patiently for her next book. I usually have several in queue...

41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? my girls

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Dancing with the Stars - pathetic, and a Tivo of Prson Break (maybe even more pathetic)

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? my yoga CD - Oceans of Peace, water, white noise and baby giggles

44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? neither? I like them both but neither one in particular. I prefer 80's big hair and metal pissed music - I hardly look the type though...I know, I have a "pathetic" pattern forming


46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I can usually counsel people, I'm pretty good at listening and helping people, least I think I am?? I also have a "hitch hiker's thumb" - double jointed like - grosses out my husband!

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Wisconsin

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? No one, I copied it from the Purple Sheep because she left me a kind comment leading me to her blog...thank you!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

What a weekend!!

I had a yarnific weekend - okay that's a little cheesy - but the weekend was full of dee-licious knitting spoils. First I went with a couple of friends to several shops in Illinois - first The Fold in Marengo...for the infamous Socks that Rock - which unfortunately was with the owner in Lake Tahoe at a spinning social, waaaa - so no STR for me, though I did find a skein of richly colored Mountain Colors. But the crown piece was Wool and Company in Geneva. Geneva was a darling and seemingly sophisticated town, it had enough funky little shops to keep me entertained for a whole day - only we didn't have that long. But the shop will be put to the top of my "favorite places" list. I scored some gorgeous and uber-soft Malbrigo that I think could make a fine "My So-Called Scarf", some Blue Sky Alpaca for some fingerless mitts I am trying to figure out and some Koigu for my Hot Socks partner - that is if I can part with it. We also had a nice lunch at a steak house though one of my co-conspirators suggested a place along the way that offered jello-wrestling on the marquis - not this trip!!

After the successful yarn crawl I came home to my Secret Pal 9 goodie box - hurray! I got the new book YarnPlay - Scout J has been pimping it (so it has to be good right?) Well, it is! Beautiful pictures and many funky projects. I need to really sit down and spend some time pouring over it. I also got several candy bars and a truffle from Godiva - decadence - and the cutest little lamb that my 18-month-old wanted so badly I had to hide it - so it didn't make the picture. But many thanks Secret Pal!! (I have already devoured one candy bar...I'm trying so very hard to linger and savor them!! Practice makes perfect...)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Knit Mitt Kit Swap Questionnaire...KSKS XOXO

The Questionnaire:

What are your favorite colors?
purple and pink - girly

Are you a new mitt knitter? How long have you been knitting mittens?
I have only knit one pair of felted mittens - I covet them, they are so wonderful. But I have knit lots of socks and they share a lot of the same techniques.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?
It really depends on the pattern for me - but I like the simplicity of solids and the added art of the variegated.

What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn?
probably wool - either to felt or a superwash

Where do you usually knit mittens? I knit part of my only pair at my desk on the day after Thanksgiving...shhhh, don't tell.

How do you usually carry/store small projects?
In ziplocks bags, pathetic - but I also have a couple of felted bags I lug around with my baggies tucked in them.

What are your favorite mitten patterns?Gosh, I'm game for most anything. Cables frighten me a bit, but I'd like to try them. I am getting into doing fingerless mitts for holiday gifts this year.

What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques?
Again, I'm kind of a newbie - so any?

What new techniques would you like to try?
I am not sure - I feel like I am useless for information on mittens:)

What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens?
I love to use double points, fun, fun!!

What are some of your favorite yarns?
Yarntini for socks, I like Lamb's Pride or Noro for felting, and Cashoft or something comparably soft for scarves or things next to the skin.

What yarn do you totally covet?
Yarntini...I'm thinking I will be coverting Socks that Rock soon, anything soft but not fun fur.

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
A sweater coat from some cozy yarn like cashmerino or the Clapotis from something decadent.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
I like bamboo or other natural material. I like circulars or dpns

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
I'd like to be Yarntini - vibrant and full of personality - but I'm probably more like a superwash wool - reliable but nonassuming and a teeny bit introverted:)

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
Chocolate, milk chocolate - mmmmm

What’s your favorite animal?
Probably cats, because I just love my boys - a pair of 12-year-old orange Tomcats

Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts?
I live in Wisconsin - so both could be very useful!

If you were a color what color would you be?

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?
Water, rivers, an ocean - the sound of waves, the foam, the smell.

Do you have a wishlist?
Not really - well, I'd like a Toyota Rav4 or new Nissan Pathfinder to replace my old but good SUV, but neither would fit in a mailing envelope:)

I have a new hero!

Her name is Kay - and bless her, she is a masseuse!! When I felt the weight of the world coming I decided it was time to cash in on my birthday gift certificate for a massage - it only took my 5 months, but the timing was perfect. I felt a little drunk after...yikes, I was hoping no deer planned to jump out on my drive home as the reaction time surely would not be up to par. So after another stressful day with a grouchy-ass boss where I could feel my muscles crawling up to my shoulders... this was a perfect finale. Now if I could just get my butt back to some yoga - I'll settle for knitting for now.

Thank you blogging pals for the kind comments - nice to know that everyone feels a little verklempt from time to time. If we could all just say what was on our minds, maybe the the world would be a better place, but then I would probably be out of a job. I don't think living on the streets would suit me though I do like beans straight out of the can in a pinch and fingerless gloves aren't so bad either (particularly if they are as cool as the ones my buddy over at Gramknits got from her secret pal 9 - I'd like to steal them - hear that?? - hide them!)

And a big thank you to Sandra, she has been so sweet and funny AND she has made me a scarf - I'm speechless and so grateful. I can barely wait to flash it around, yup, I know knitters, damn I'm lucky! I am excited about our private exchange of goodies from one continent to another. I will try very hard not to eat the new chocolate I have gotten for you dear blogging friend!

And one more victory - both halves of my Backyard Leaves scarf are blocking- finished just before I started hating it. So the week has a silver lining I would say - funny, cyber hugs really gave me the warm fuzzy I needed! Tomorrow is another day...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mama said there'd be days like this...but so many?

I know I am not alone - I'm a very high strung, nervous and anxious person. Highly valuable qualities for um...nothing? I am wallowing a little today - as I think I need to every once in awhile. As they say, sh*t rolls down hill, I'm seemingly at the bottom lately - being a visual soul, I swear I can feel the pressure. Can't really put a finger on it, but my cluttered drawers are pissing me off no end today when last week, I could chuckle thinking how disorganized we are - silly family. Is being a woman part of this equation - sometimes I think so, kids or not, I just feel responsible for everything and everyone in my house - even if that is not entirely real. Now mind you, I'm not looking for a bit of sympathy, my days will go on, I'll hear a giggle from one of my girls and that will take the edge off and I feel fortunate to have faith in the big guy upstairs. It's just a fact though, isn't it? I think most humans walk around with a big bag of responsibilities weighing on them but we say "fine" when people ask us how we are because, well, we know they don't really want to know and they probably have their can a worms YOU don't want to know about right? I was just imagining this literally as I stumbled around Target today - each person with this heavy bag slung over their shoulder... a bag of responsibility, of sadness, of whatever they are dealing with. On a different day I know I could imagine these same people carrying a boquet of helium balloons because I would be on top of the world. It ebbs and flows - tomorrow may just be "the best day ever" - to quote my 6-year-old, perhaps she knows something I don't.

Truth is, I know I shouldn't complain. An acquaintance lost their adult son in a fiery car accident two nights ago. I think the mere thought is overwhelming, imagine that reality? So I think "there's perspective" and as my brother-in-law put more succinctly last night - it's unfortunate that perspective only lasts a day or two and then we're more concerned about our own stuff again. Gosh, reality bites sometimes. So the age old question - how can we treat our neighbors as ourselves?

Wait. Isn't this a blog about knitting? I seriously thought today I should take my new Yarn Pirate fiber to work just to pet it when I needed a little "oooomph" or maybe I could tuck a little swatch in my bra to help me relax and get by. Medication works for some, a ball of yarn for others right??

**I feel better just having ranted...ahhh