Monday, April 30, 2007

Monkey business

Monkey Pool

I'm not sure how I feel about my Monkey - I think it is too stripey or pooling for my taste - I think the contrasting colors may make this inevitable. So I started this sock and found it would probably turn out about the same. So now, I am stumped. Any ideas? I didn't go too far on the second sock because it seemed to be going down the same road as my Monkey - what do you think?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Meme-ish Interview with a Peaknit

Thank you Chicken Knits for hooking me up with the's fun to blow the cobwebs off and really think about things for a second...

1. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Are they all different or do you have a shoe "type"?

I have too many pairs to count - but many of them are oldies but goodies - I tend to wear my dansko clogs whenever possible. I have become less high maintenence with two kids - so the fancy shoes are collecting dust. Most of my more "professional" shoes are just a different version of black. I gravitate towards mary janes - fun but functional. I am all about comfort now - to heck with cute shoes that pinch my toes - I don't think so. Life is too short to be limping around in uncomfortable shoes.

2. What's your pet peeve? What really annoys you?

Sadly, a number of things annoy me...A guy at work has been annoying me lately like NO ONE ever has. He stands around when I am not talking to him and tries to weasel in on every conversation. He called me "Stace" - only people I really like get to be card carrying members of the "Stace" club. Serial lying also irks me - I have had some offenders who just hang on and hang on to a lie when I have them red handed - who are they really hurting? Themselves. Makes me wanna scream. Other annoyances, tapping fingers - seeing the fidgeting out of the corner of my eye makes me crazy. I also hate clutter - I'm so much nicer when my family pitches in and helps me clear the decks. If only they would just learn, right? I also get tired of complainers at the office...I think it has been a long week at work?!

3. What is one piece of advice that was one of the best you've ever received?
"Don't take work home with you." I try to visualize leaving it like a jacket at the end of the day - I take off my probation officer persona and I am me, a mom, a wife, a knitter. Bye work. Afterall, fretting about work stuff at night does not get anything done. I am very visual, and have even imagined kicking my micro-managing supervisor right out of my bed. Bye anal retentive boss. ahhhh...

4.If you had to pick one color to wear for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably pink - just because I love pink - it is a good color for my pale skin and it makes me feel giddy!

5. Do you have a "green thumb"?

Okay, I think I have a reasonably green thumb - I try to add more hardy perrennials every year so I don't have to slave in my flower beds - because I know I won't. Those damn annuals, I don't have the stick-to-it-tive-ness to keep up on them, keep them watered - I run out of gas and they wilt on me. I always plant a box of them thinking, it'll be different this year - they look so great at first...but then I get sick of the upkeep. Luckily I have a yard full of shade so I have lots of robust hostas, sedum and peonies.

Want to play? Here's the scoop:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me." (and
give me your email address if you can to make this
easier on me!)
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I
get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to
interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you
will ask them five questions.

we shall be monkeys




I wound a delightful ball of Yarntini in Vintage yesterday and then had a little impromtu photoshoot. Thinking about this yarn makes my mouth water - I can feel the spun sugar melting on my tongue. I am just starting to think about "how" to use my camera, how could I get a sharper image, each strand of yarn crisp and clear. I think I need a book to help me capitalize on all of the things it can do. Anyways, I started a Monkey sock last night. I am torn about how the colors seem to pool in the ribbing, though as the lace develops, I think it could ebb towards a more confetti cake look. Do want to lick the beaters?

My past Monkey. They are so wonderfully complicated looking - but such a cinch - the pattern is easy to remember and the repeats just flow.

Friday, April 27, 2007

FO!!!! and some STR swag - SPOILER!!


I finished my Bird of Paradise socks from The Petals Collection last night during The Office. "Beer me some strength" Any Office fans? My gosh, I nearly peed myself. As I have been trying to grow my hair out...I look a bit like Jim. Anyways, I used the pattern that was included with the yarn - a simple slipped rib pattern - I think it looks cool with this colorway.I really enjoyed the yarn and the pattern - I didn't modify a thing.

Well, I did not finish a minute too soon since I got my April installment of my Rockin' Sock Club with STR yesterday. It's a silk/ wool blend and funky twisted besides. I like it. I think it will be a gorgeous yarn cake, eh?


Go watch The Office. It's bananas..b-a-n-a-n-a-s...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Good Mail Day!

Yesterday I stepped out to get the mail and there was the mail lady - how is that for some skilled stalking? I got two packages from Sundara - one was the Cherry Blossom she offered for her one year dying anniversary. It is lovely - as if.


Next up is Port over Nectar - a skein for me and one for my Secret Pal, that is if I can pry it out of my own hands. It is so rich. I am planning to also include the Mona socks pattern - and I was thinking some chocolate cherries and some Mcintosh Yankee candles - keeping with this accidental red theme. I love symmetry.


After this round of Secret Pal, I'm thinking I should adopt Grumperina's idea to "be your own pal" - simply because I would like to receive my packages - this is where I should employ the old adage "it's better to give then receive"...but when you're talking about yarn - this is serious addiction we're toying with. But then (*wistful feelings*) my pal did leave me a comment that a package is on the way - weee! I do love a surprise - what was I thinking? Be my own pal? Who am I kidding. (certainly not you clever knitters! You guys rock!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I got the bug for stripes...

So, I got the bug after seeing Nell's start over at Chicken Knits - then Scout started...I got the idea I should start a Chevron Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. (I was so desperate in fact to join in this craze - I asked my friend, who I loaned this book to, if she could fax me the pattern - egads. But she did - beautiful girl, huh? Lovin' you Tina!!)

I am using two contrasting Koigu in purple...this was supposed to be part of the Charlotte's Web Shawl I was going to make - another story. BUT I don't think I like it. Look over at some of these most fabulous Chevrons...I think more color contrast-y and less match-y is the way to go. Stay tuned I suppose - if I can stave off Knitter's ADD long enough to start again. The only hang up, if you could call it that, I have with this scarf is it in not really reversible - so I would have to try to keep topside showing...right?

I am also patiently, or not so much, waiting for a shipment from Sundara and then sock clubs - ooh, they should be rolling in soon - Yarntini said her first club goodie box may be going out this week - I may swoon at the mailbox. But for now I think I am about to do a taboo thing...I may list my last STR yarn club yarn on Destash - just because I am not absolutely convinced I will use it - and I need to make room for more. Plus I have told myself, if I sell enough yarn to buy the Tatami Kimono kit from Sundara - it's a go. Oh the games we play. Seems good to be trading yarn I feel "meh" about to get a kit I am dying to try right? rationalization...

Lasty, I am just loving my camera - but not as much as I am loving this little profile...aint she sweet? Not that I am biased or whatever...
Tutti Pickles...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Go Fly a, really.

That's what we did today. Finally, Wisconsin welcomes spring, if only for a minute...
we went to the elementary school to enjoy the wide open spaces...
and the fun playground equipment...
ah, the crazy hair.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Saturday for us means soccer - for now. My seven-year-old is off for a game with her dad while I man the little one. I have been feeling under the weather with some virus that my husband graciously gave me - so I am glad to stay inside this morning.

I haven't really been doing any new knitting - just turned the heel on my second bird of paradise sock - I want to get this done before more installments come. I just love Sundara yarn - but I am sure I have said that before. I could be the the toe by the end of the weekend if I play my cards right.

I got this new camera yesterday. After searching the web for the best deal - my husband supported this purchase. See, he gets a new wetsuit for his triathalons and I get this toy. It is awes-inspiring. I have taken pictures of my girls on the swingset - but now I need to read the tome that came with it to figure out how to get pictures off (which is why I would take a picture of my new camera with my old camera...), there is a lot of homework with this bad boy.

I have seen pictures taken with a similar camera over at Superhero Journal and splityarn, I salivate. Just holding this fancy schmancy camera brings back memories of toting one around as a faux journalist for the highschool newpaper, pathetic attempts at developing my own pictures - the pungent smell of the darkroom - being 17 and in the darkroom... Anyways, I think taking pictures of odd nothings has became a quiet curiosity for me, especially since I started blogging - and now my pictures have a chance to look maybe a little less odd and whole lot less like nothing. However, for now the jury is out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Yarn score!

I stalked Sundara Yarn yesterday for her update and was able to get some gorgeous yarn, Port over Nectar...doesn't the name just want you to take a savored swig of that? The yarn is not in my greedy hands yet - but being involved in her Petals Collection sock club - I know it will be lickable. I was "smart" this time and got two skeins of the same sock yarn - one for me and one for my secret pal. (however, don't think I haven't already pondered keeping both to make a shawl - I think I have yarn attachment issues.) I am really hoping to knit her Tatami Kimono with one of her repeatable multi colors - so I think I will be posting some yarn today on Destash for Cash - what a handy site as my "priorities" change. (And I have seen Chicken Knits pick up some good stuff here!)

On another note, I just began reading this:
the knitting cirlce

While this book will not have the epiphianic quality of Eat Pray Love, it is an enjoyable read so far. The lead character has lost her 5 year-old daughter to menegitis. First, she finds solace in knitting then ultimately a circle of knitters who all come with their own heart breaking story. As a mother, I ache for my children when I read of a mother's loss - fiction or not. Ann Hood, the author did suffer through the death of a child, so I am certain she will bring a rawness "any fiction writer U. S. A" could not.

If any one would like to read:knitting under the influence

I will mail it media mail to the first commenter who would like it...just leave me your e-mail so I can get your snail mail address. This was a fun, more fluffy read. I wouldn't say olive'd (bud dum bum) it, but it was a low commitment, entertaining read. There are also some good girly drink recipes in the back - can you say "Pink String Bikini"? I would love to pass this on to another knitter.

I was wandering at Border's last night and Eat Pray Love is their non-fiction pick - they offer a reading guide with discussion questions...just sayin. I grabbed two...

psst. secret pal 10, how are things going with the new baby? I just love the smell of baby noggins - mmmm...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Score! L n V pal rocks!


Check it out. I got a great pile of yarn from my Lime N Violet swap partner. Check out the Socks that Rock in Xmas Rock - the texture of the yarn is ooh so Koigu. Love it! And then Violet's Pink Ribbon from Lisa Souza - to commemorate Violet's current battle with breast cancer, I am wondering what this will be? Maybe part of a chevron scarf I am seeing all over, maybe some lickable socks? Then there was also two bulky pink softies - hmm, a scarf for me? Maybe my daughter? We'll have to wait and see. And then I got two skeins of Paperdolls from Knitpicks, some Confetti sock yarn with blues, greys and purple (yay!) and candy - lots of it, I ate some before it could make the photo shoot. I'm quite content here admiring my new stash enhancement and nibbling on goodies. Thank you L n V pal!!

rocking x-mas str

Probably the best thing about this package was it came on a day when I was a real grumpus, nothing could go right, 7" of snow in April - so it was a serious mood booster - thank you.

This day...
note our spring flag...
3 days later it is entirely melted and we'll be biking on the trail today - only in Wisconsin.

Friday, April 13, 2007

unexpected delights


I'm guilty - playing hooky from work, well kinda. My daughter was up most of the night with an ear ache - so I was up too. I went off to work extra early today to clear my schedule so I that could take her to the doc. Sure enough - ear infection. But she felt well enough to go back to school, and I am blessed that she actually wants to go... I on the other hand am one of those people. When I've decided to take the day off, it's off - no turning back for me - you could say I am all about commitment. Or you could say I was a loser, playing hooky - you say tomato - I say tomaato...

So off to the Mad City I went. I started with State Street - a pedestrian mall-ish street right near campus to go to a candy store that my sister and I recently found closed on a Saturday. We were so forlorn peering in at the lonely candies. But I think any store charming enough to call itself Twee and Luliloo is worth further investigation. So back I went and I got myself some chocolate for lunch because I am all about making concessions. And I also happened upon these little gummy bears dipped in non-pariels (?), little ball shaped jimmies. They were so colorful. Little did I know they would become my muse. When I got home and looked over my loot - I realized I have yarn to match the little bears. Two more skeins of Cascade for my ripple-icious afgan, Interlacements Tiny Toes (for Pomatamus?) and a skein of bright turquoise Cherry Tree Hill for this pattern. Isn't Cookie a freaking artist?

After yarn whoring, I went to Movin Shoes - they are serious about their shoes. And since finishing Runagogo, I have "owed" myself a new pair of skids - with the help of a generous gift certificate - thank you dh. I upgraded to some fancy scmancy Saucony's that are ridiculously comfortable and if I had the nerve to show them you would see they too must have been inspired by the gummies...think green metallic - ridiculous.

Plus here is my ripple-iciousness - a quick peek.


Please know that I was crocheting away (or so I thought) at the lunch table yesterday when my friend from over at Gramknits got this puzzled look on her face. Well, let's just say I apparently invented my own stitch - surely slower and putzier than your usual double crochet. But have no fear I stand corrected. Thankfully corrected.

p.s. I am so excited about the comments on the last post about Eat Pray Love - that people are going to check it out, I am so not exaggerating about how poignant this book was for me - it was like a meditation wrapped in the most delicious story - life is good. I hope to hear what you all think of it. Thanks knitters!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Eat Pray Love - a fine manual for life

eat pray love

This is the most delightful book I have read in sometime. I found myself dog-earing pages and thinking "I have to buy more copies". This is a book where I truly want to buy a box and hand them out to my dearest friends and new acquaintances. I just love Elizabeth Gilbert's style, I could feel her, I could taste the decadent Italian cuisine she described (I had to go right to the antipasto bar at Sentry Hilldale), I could empathize with her initial frustrations of meditation (just try sitting still in an icky seated position even for 5 minutes - ugh.) and then I could rejoice in her ultimate peace and joy. As silly as it may sound, I found myself feeling good emotionally as she found spiritual clarity.

One of the first quotes I marked was "Americans work harder and longer and more stresful hours than anyone in the world today...Of course, we inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating straight out of the cereal box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure)." When I read that I looked around - was Elizabeth Gilbert talking to ME? Raise your hand if she was talking to you. Life gets so busy sometimes, this book really helped me live vicariously through her spiritual adventure and slow down. I signed up for yoga again after too many weekends in a "coma", I started thinking about what she was "saying". Now can one book change your life? Maybe not - but it served as a great mirror - it asked me "look at our life, do you like what you see?" As for family and friends, I usually love what I see. But the chaos? The too much time worrying about work, being impatient with my children and burying my head from the noise - not so much. I think this is a book in which I could find a new message each time I read it - but for now - run get yourself a copy:)

On the yarn front...I have two rows of my ripple-icious done - I won't show it until at least 4:) I am afraid to jinx myself, but I am starting to get it - so I am feeling good about that. I knit 4 inches of the cuff on my second Bird of Paradise sock yesterday. And look at this...I would love to try this kimono, it seems to be knit in one piece and to possibly use the same dropped stitch technique as the imfamous Clapotis by Kate Gilbert. Another Gilbert girl!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Third time is a charm...and bad things do come in three...I hope

Well, my ripple afghan is making some progress at last and I mean progress as in one color just about done. It took me three tries, but I think I know how to double crochet now. So 1 ripple, 50 to go? Maybe 100? egads...

The week has also been challenging to the pocketbook. First my vehicle needed some work - okay, maintenence but still. Then my husband's "check engine" light went on - well, what does that really mean anyways? Then the icing is that our basement water pump burned out and my craft room got partially flooded. Waaa. But I am truly seeing the bright side as in new paint and maybe new carpet? I have been daydreaming a lot lately about my home workspace as I see studios like this and this and my gosh, this one. Okay, nothing so fabulous as that but a couple of purty throw rugs aught to bring some life into my basement hideaway right? And for now my whole room has been hurled into the main living space, so what better time to purge and reorganize. It's just amazing what you find when you are forced to run look. I choose think it's karma.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hello Yarn! And ghosts of crafts past...

First a quick peek at the yarn I purchased for my Secret Pal - I love it - this is already a bad sign I won't be able to send it - but no, I'm strong. Now I'll just have to stalk Hello Yarn's updates...I hope I did not take my SP's suggestion that she loves brown and blue too literally - but isn't it vibrant? It reminds me of Koigu. HY also has roving and sells spindles to encourage the novice give it a whirl - literally. Tempting. The packaging was so nice and I love her calling card. Go on over and check it out.

hello yarn

Then, since I stalled out quickly on my Ripple Afghan...wait, first let me tell you what happened. I started my first ripple with an eggplant colored yarn - and as a spanking new crocheter - bad idea. I could not read my stitches, so the ripple was wonkier than it should have been. I'm planning to restart with some lighter yarn so I can "see" what I am doing while I learn. I should probably not watch the Amazing Race while learning either...more on my progress later.

In the meantime, I was thinking I would chat my "crafts of the past". I present Theodore...


His pattern is based on the original teddy bear. I used to make these bears, they are mohair and jointed - they are so wonderful if not ridiculously putzy and expensive - yowza, another justification to switch up to knitting. But I love him. I loved watching their personalities emerge as I would pull the eyes in just so and embroider on the facial features. I have more memories to come, fun to reminisce... like an old boyfriend, I grew tired of these crafts but now have fond memories - and am damn glad I didn't marry them.

psst...Superhero Designs is selling her bobbles for a limited time. I saw a necklace over at Scout J - and I think she has some serious class:) Just sayin.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

...and a hat too!


I finished a hat to match the little baby bolero. This is Baby's First Hat from Blue Sky Alpaca. I made both pieces from BSA Organic Cotton, just sounds so baby friendly - so pure. I just love the simple lines of the hat, the clear stitch definition of cotton (though it still could use some blocking) and the little "marley's" on the top - just little braids. The colorways in this yarn or so subdued and relaxing - perfect for a "baby's first hat"! It fits our babydoll pretty well, so it should be perfect for Jenn's teeny baby.