Saturday, December 29, 2007

A good Saturday for me :o)

While I would love to post pictures here detailing my post, my boyfriend has my camera with him and he said its not working so well anyway so I'm not even sure it'll work when he gets home ... so I'll try and find links for the yarns I am describing :o)

I accomplished all that I wanted to today, my plan was to put air in the one tire I couldn't yesterday because of the way cars were parked at the service station I stopped at on Friday to add air to my tires, go to the yarn shop and spend my points and a gift card I received, stop at Jo Ann's with a gift card and see what I fancied, stop at CVS and pick up laundry detergent and the cat's medication, all done!

At the yarn store I sat for a while with the ladies and chatted and knitted. Then I got down and dirty shopping. I wanted to pick up sock yarn for my boyfriend's mom, she always comments on the self striping yarns and how cool they are. I saw Berroco Sox in a colorway similar to what I was looking for that I thought would suit her #1476. And of course I had to pick out a funky one for myself, so I chose #1474 (it was a real toss up between that and 1473).

Then the instructor/clerk there that I hang out with when I go there helped me pick out colors for a Faux Dr. Who Scarf for my boyfriend. I found a cool pattern in Odd Ball Knitting for "Ted's Scarf". I liked this more than any I've seen that are like Dr. Who Scarves because of the pattern stitch.

The parttern calls for Mission Falls 1824 and while I do LOVE that yarn I didn't want to spend $80 on a scarf. So instead I substituted Encore DK that I already had on hand, bought more Encore DK today along with Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light and Jo Sharp to make up enough colors.

The Plymouth Encore DK are colors: 1415, 1444, 389, 517, 999, 670, 658 (which I now realize looks a lot like 670 that I just bought, LOL) and 355. I also have two other Jo Sharp here that I might subsitute instead since 658 is so similar to another color! Jo Sharp I have Ruby #326, Tangerine #003, and Glade #908. The Ultra Alpaca Light is #4294 and 4275. Now I just have to make sure to assign letters so them so that I can follow the pattern with my substitutions!

I also picked up Knit Simple Winter 2007/08 and a sock pattern Monet's Twist Socks by Julia Sprague. Anita's Stitch Markers were pictured in this issue of Knit Simple! Check out her Etsy shop.

Now I wonder what I actually spent on the scarf, LOL!! Not counting the yarn I had at home, I spent $31 today and $25 of that was a redemption of loyalty points, so really I spent $6 ... what a bargain!! I intentionally waited until I had accumulated points to get the yarn for this scarf ... yeah let's not discuss how much I spent to accumulate points, hahaha! We knitters don't think that way!

Another cool thing that happened today was a woman stopped in and dropped off loads of old knitting magazines that she wanted to be rid of but didn't want to just throw away. So we got to go through them and take whatever we wanted. I grabbed several issues of Knit Simple and Creative Knitting from 2004 and 2005. Some of the mags were just too old, yellowed and the patterns really out of date. But I did get a few good ones with things I will actually knit in them.

Once I made all of my purchases and signed up for two classes - Continental Knitting and Seaming & Finishes, I was on my way to Jo Ann's. When I parked in the lot I looked over to get my purse and noticed I parked next to a woman who attends Stamp Club with me, LOL!! She owns a landscaping business so her business name is on the side of her SUV. As I was wondering what store she was in I hear "Angela!!!" and there she was. So we stopped for a hug and short chat. Speaking of which I better finish the challenge we had since Stamp Club is this coming Wednesday!

Off into Jo Ann's I picked up some wire and beads to make more stitch markers. I picked up letter beads to make sock stitch markers to follow Cat Bordhi's new book "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" and I also found some cool examples of stitch markers recently using alphabet beads like "WTF" "OOPS" "I -heart- KNITTING" etc. I also picked up bent nose pliers, I have a combo tool to make markers with but its difficult to bend the wire around the bottom of the loop so I think these will work better.

I finished my stitch markers for the Winter Exchange and will be mailing them out next week. Since I don't have my camera here I figured I would try scanning them and found it much easier than trying to photograph them!

And last, but definitely not least. I received my Winter Wonderland Swap package when I got home from my adventures today! Unfotunatley because I don't have a camera I cannot photo all the goodies, but I could get the yarn in my scanner, LOL!! And its was a fantastic choice, Christmasy for sure and I have been wanting to try Crystal Palace Panda Cotton, so its even cooler!

Kim also sent Seatle's Best in Hazelnut Cream (hazelnut is one of my favs!), Hot Cocoa Mix, a mug with Christmas lights pictures on in and wrapped in a knitted cozy, a knitted Christmas ball that looks like one I'd seen in a recent magazine using recycled plastic bags to fill it, an adorable cocoa mug ornament and really pretty green and red stitch markers. Thanks Kim!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's almost the new year!!

New Year’s Resolutions

I’m keeping this list fairly simple so that I can actually accomplish the things on it :o)

  1. I recently got a raise amounting in approximately $20 more per week. I am going to put this $20 in savings each week either for emergencies or towards moving (let’s not get into why I hate my neighbor or why I think there is a vortex of Evil situated only over my unit).
  2. Create a list of months and gifts to hand make (mostly knitting and cards) for the upcoming year.
  3. Clean up file cabinet and be more consistent with dealing with incoming mail and papers on a regular basis.
  4. Stretch, yoga and meditate regularly.

Here's my Sock Yarn Stash List:

1. (2) Knit Picks Essentials - Peacock Multi - Magic Loop
2. (2) Knit Picks Essentials - Meadow Multi
3. (2) Knit Picks Essentials - Pine - Vinnland
4. (2) Knit Picks Essentials - Dusk
5. (2) Knit Picks Memories - Uzume
6. (1) Opal - Jaywalkers
7. (1) Trekking XXL
8. (1) Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox - Fruit Salad - Purl & Lace Socks Knit 'N Style
9. (1) Socks that Rock - Fire on the Mountain - Eleanor
10. (1) Smooshy - Ruby River
11. (1) Art Yarns
12. (2) Regia - Horcrux Socks
13. (1) Sockotta
14. (1) Cherry Tree Hill - Maple Sugar - Fawkes
15. (1) TV Yarn - Meduim
16. (1) Tofutsies - Peppermint Twist
17. (1) On Your Toes
18. (1) Universal Yarn Wisdon Yarns Marathon New York
19. (1) TV Yarn - Bride of Frankenstein - Bellatrix
20. (1) Sunshine Yarns - Wildflower
21. (1) J. Knits - Kansas - Firestarter
22. (2) Knit Picks Pallette - Sky
23. (2) Knit Picks Essentials - Carbon Twist
24. (1) Knit Picks Essnetials Volcano Twist & (1) Black for Bucanneer Booty Socks
25. (1) Tofutsies

As we can clearly see I have more than enough skeins to knit not one, but TWO pairs of socks a month for the next year! Do you think this will stop me from buying more?!?! Nope :o)

I think I finally caught up on all of the TV shows that I had taped on Wednesday evenings while I was taking classes or attending stamp club! It was quite an accumulation considering there were three shows on that I was taping! I was watching Life, Bionic Woman and Pushing Daisies. I finished the tape of Pushing Daisies today and then caught one that I had missed taping on the ABC website. I love that many shows are available on the internet now! Really helps if you forget to set your VCR and don’t have TIVO or some other digital recorder.

Now I am patiently waiting for the shows to return. Prison Break comes back Jan. 14th following a new show Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles on Jan. 13th. Then Torchwood comes back on Jan 26th. Don’t forget Monk on Jan. 11th! I’m sure Psych is right after it as usual but I haven’t confirmed that yet. Not sure what is going on with 24 for the new season, if you have news please post a comment.

Knitting Gift List

January – Derek house socks.

February – Anthony size 1-year sweater.

May – Marion socks.

My friend in England sent me a magazine that I asked for “Simply Knitting” it’s a U.K. publication and I found in it (among other things) a great website with sock tutorials. I already know how to knit socks, but I love finding this information to pass on to other people or brush up my skills on different techniques. Silver’s Sock Classes

Monday, December 24, 2007

Never, ever again!

Yesterday it was nice to see family, but the weather and some other things really made for a bad day! My boyfriend goes up to his parents' house every winter to watch it and the critters while they go to Florida, so Saturday and Sunday he was a little frantic packing and getting ready to be away. So he's running around like a nut. It is a 2 1/2 hour drive to their house, so we usually check oil, etc. on our cars before this trip. I wanted to put air in my tires. We purchased a small compressor last year for just this thing, I figured I would use that rather than find out that the one at the gas station was out of order (as they frequently are), plus I could wash my hands here and not be covered in grease and road grime for the trip up.

So I go into the shed to get the compressor ... the roof is collapsed because of the snow. This shed was purchased (and painstakingly put together) by us only about 18 months ago, to REPLACE THE SHED THAT THE ROOF COLLAPSED ON BEFORE!!!!! So now I am NOT happy! I had to tromp through 2 feet of snow to get to the shed to find that out! OK I'll deal with that later (probably today I'll see if I can shovel it off and see if the aluminum will push back out. So I fill my tires, slipping and sliding on the ice, getting dirty, etc. Then we have to swap cars so that his is closer to the door so he can pack, there are snow banks on either side of the street and our driveway so its like an obstacle course, not a big deal but doesn't help our already aggravated state.

Get packed, get on the road, that all went fine. It was nice visiting with everyone. Now its time to leave (and its about 2 hours later than I planned). I have my dog and mother with me. Everyone must've been feeding the dog who knows what all day ... so she STUNK, that really disgusting reeking dog fart stink the entire way home. Oh and by the way its torrential downpours and fog banks of blindness the entire 2 1/2 hour ride home ... oh and did I forget to mention that the two times I went through tolls my window was sticking for whatever reason (yeah sometime else I'll deal with today) and didn't want to go down, then when I finally get it to respond it doesn't want to go up ... oh yeah remember the torrential downpours?!??! So now it is raining in my FACE and I am trying to get back up to speed in the middle of the highway and get the window back up (power window so nothing I can do but push a button and hope it complies). YIKES!!!

Don't think I'll forget this any time soon, so if this is the plan next year (its been at one of his sisters' houses before which are only 45 minutes away) I don't think I'll be making the trip. 5 hours in the car, especially with the bad weather was not pleasant to say the least!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Coffee Swap Topic #7

Please post what would be the perfect vacation during the Winter Season? Would rather you head to the beach, to escape all the cold weather or want to pack your ski's and head to the mountains. You tell us what vacation you prefer during the Winter Season.

I would much rather head out for warmer weather. I do not enjoy snow activities at all. I don't like being cold and wet or having the inside of my nose freeze. I don't mind it being cold out, but I don't like to stay outside for any length of time other than to get from point A to point B. I would not mind being in the mountains, I am sure they are lovely, but you would find me wrapped in a blanket by the fireplace, LOL!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Can you say snow?!?! We've got about 1 1/2 to 2 feet I think at this time. Here's apicture of our bird bath for an example ... I hope there's not a frozen birdie under there, LOL!

And here's where I guess the phrase "half in the bag" came from ... usually meaning drunk ... but hey who knows ...

We had our Christmas lunch at work today. I was surprised to find out one of the girls I work with every day had me in the swap ... though I thought it a little funny nobody in our area mentioned who they had, LOL!! Must've been trying to stay away from the subject all together. Another co-worker and I often discuss books and he bought me the first two Raymond Feist Magician novels, that was very sweet and a nice surprise. He also got very thoughtful (and funny) gifts for a few other people.

I did not finish the things I was making for Christmas gifts and I don't see it happening in the next 4 days! I was making a pair of socks for my boyfriend and a hooded scarf for my mom, neither of which are anywhere near completed. I also wanted to finish the socks I am making for a co-worker by today, but that didn't happen either. I am hoping to finish the second sock by next week anyway since I have 4 days off from work in a row.

Sunday we are going up to the White Mountains to celebrate Christmas with my boyfriend's family. I am brining my camera and hope to get some nice pictures of snow for my friend in England. She loves the stuff, but I keep telling her, yeah its pretty when its an inch or two ... but try shoveling a few times or sliding off the road in your car and you won't think its so great anymore. I tell ya the next time she's over here in winter, I am making her shovel my driveway and we'll see how much she likes snow after that!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What to do ...

This is what I've felt like a lot lately ... a Grinch. No Christmas spirit, blah, blah. I started cleaning out some old clothes in the closet and drawers today. I feel so claustrophobic in the winter. I feel a bit better now that there's less clutter in here, but not quite done yet. I still have a lot of paper clutter in my file cabinet and around my desk I need to deal with. I think that will help me not to feel so down and dreary through the winter months if I get rid of some physical clutter around here.

We went to the grocery store today just to pick up a few items for the ball game tomorrow ... again, just to pick up a few items ... well everyone else was there in a PANIC because there is a snow storm coming. It was so busy that the manager had to institute a line system where people waited in lines in the isles with employees present, letting people know when to go to the register a few at a time to make sure there wasn't too much confusion or blockage of traffic areas at the front of the store ... yikes! We made sure to only have 15 items so that we could go through the quick lane. It was actually quite funny, the manager was on the loud speaker, "Everyone please give me your attention, ma'am, ma'am that's not a line, please move ... everyone not in a line please listen so you know what to do, ma'am, please ma'am, please don't yell at me ma'am I'm trying to explain" it was C-R-A-Z-Y!!!

I saw a post on Cheryl's Blog about New Year's Knitting Resolutions and thought I would come up with some of my own.

  1. Speaking of CLUTTER one of my resolutions will be to finish some projects that I have yarn on hand for before buying more large quantities or yarn. Instead of buying larger tubs to keep my stash in, LOL!!
  2. Plan ahead for gift ideas for the year and start them well in advance so that I can give them to the recipient on time. I do pretty well for children and make sure I make a size larger than the timeframe that I make it for to ensure they get some wear out of the item.
  3. I have approximately 20 skeins of sock yarn in my stash give or take a few ... I should probably make socks out of those before buying any more, but I am such a sucker for sock yarn!
  4. Finish afghan started in Sept. 2006.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Topic #6

For many people, Winter is a time of cold weather and snow - and many fun outdoor activities that can only be enjoyed during those times! What's YOUR favorite activity in Winter, and is it even outdoors??

I am not a big fan of winter or really cold temperatures, however, there are some seasonal or HOT foods that I really enjoy. I love soup, especially chowder, and who wants to eat soup when its 90 degrees outside?! So far I have had soup twice this week and its only Tuesday, LOL! I also love hot apple cider, think I am averaging a 1/2 gallon a week right now. Hot chocolate is another one of my favorite beverages. So, though I don't enjoy being outside for winter activities, I'll use any excuse related to the chill outside that I can to eat or drink seasonal, hot things!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow ...

... will stop me from getting to the post office ... and I wasn't the only one, LOL! It was quite busy there today, tis the season. I did my Christmas cards this weekend and ran out of stamps, so I had to get to the post office to get more, also wanted to mail out the ornament to my friend so that she would get it by Christmas. We had very slippery conditions here this morning, but by the time I left work and ventured to the post office it wasn't too bad.

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Topic
Cheryl and I had a convo about short row heels and socks and I’ve been back to visit her since and see what she’s up to :o)

I found this great Article on Jogless Traveling Stripes - there have been a few projects, some socks that I have not tried tackling because I do not like the way the stripes line up with each other. Also I have found loose joins, etc to be a problem.

Ever wonder what those symbols on yarn bands are for? Some are self explanatory, but others not so much. I found a great link with pictures of the pictures (that make no sense to me on the yarn ball bands) and descriptions of what they mean!

Weird thought for the day, ever seen a "glitch in the matrix" in real life?? I mean when a car goes by at a stop light and the SAME EXACT make and model and color is right behind it?!? Talk about Deja Vu ... this freaks me out and makes me think about that scene in the movie where there is a glitch in the matrix ... makes you think doens't it?!?!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells ...

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas, blah, blah blah, blah, blaaahhhhhh ....

I finished my Christmas cards today. I completed 25 and I think that's enough, I always have some store bought ones around in case I need one in a pinch. Here's what my house looks like when my rubber stamping obsession overtakes all of the flat surfaces for drying, LOL!

There were many Christmas movies on TV today so it really helped get me motivated to finish the cards, it took from about noon until 9pm ... of course not the entire time ... stamping takes patience, things need to dry. However, this was good because my house also got cleaned in the process while I was waiting for different things to dry. Dishes and laundry got done too :o)

Here's a close up of a finished card. The Reindeer stamp is by Outlines Rubber Stamps. Merry Christmas is by Rubber Stamp Tapestry, but it fit this card very nicely since I didn't have the one from Outlines. This card uses bleach to get the desired effects .. smelly, but pretty once done!

Not much knitting got done today, I did work on my November Mystery Socks though and I was working on my boyfriends socks last night.

I found a really cool Knitting Pattern Advent Calendar from Drops Designs online! Check it out!

Friday, December 7, 2007


It sure is TGIF this Friday! I was super busy at work this week, with one person out and I am the only other on our shift qualified to complete certain jobs. So I am glad this week is over!! I am ready for some rest and relaxation and KNITTING! I also have to get my Christmas cards done this weekend, I had hoped I would be done by December 1st, but that date has come and gone.

Here's some of what I have been working on:

I am making some men's size house socks for my boyfriend in Patons Classic Wool, color Forest. I am using the Magic Loop method and the pattern that comes in the booklet from Fiber Trends.

Here's the progress on the socks I am making for a co-worker, one down and I started the second one. I got the cuff done and started the leg. I would really like to have these done by Christmas. I bought the yarn (which she paid for) back in July ... I didn't realize it was so long ago!! I took a few classes since then so I was busy knitting projects for those and put these on hold. Well I am sure she would like to enjoy her socks while it is still winter!

I would also really like to finish up the November Mystery Socks by December so that I can qualify for the prize drawing for the group on Ravelry. So far I have one sock past the heel and working on the gusset decreases. I am hoping the second goes much quicker now that I am familiar with the pattern.

I got one more ornament done so far. I was hoping to do several, they don't take too long, only about 4-5 hours each, in the knitting world that's not long at all! But with everything else I am trying to finish I'm not sure I will be able to get all the ones done that I wanted. This one is going to my friend in England who I chat with via email a few times a week:

To answer Charity's question, so it doesn't get lost in the comments:

"So here's a conversation starter - lets say you signed up for a swap and it didnt go well or what arrived in the swap was pretty BLAH "wwad" - what would Angela do?"

WWAD, LOL!!! That's a good topic for discussion. I have been pretty successful with swaps so far. Generally I would not hold a blah package or something I didn't care for against the swap itself, that's the individual who sent it and everyone has different tastes and likes. I would probably do the swap again if I liked the theme itself and the contests and such related to the swap.

Generally I am not displeased with anything that is a gift, unless it was something completely opposite or something I specifically mentioned I did not like on my blog, then that's just careless for the person sending stuff, they are not paying attention. I try really hard myself to read questionnaires and the person's blog itself for a few days of posts and make notes to keep in my purse when I am shopping so that I avoid unwanted stuff and keep to the things they like.

However, if the "not going well" part was due to the organization or lack thereof from the hosts, then I would not participate in that swap in the future. I know life gets in the way of these things sometimes, but if it happens more than once and/or there is no explanation or heads up, then I would steer clear of things involving those same people in the future.

And here's a question for you - I saw on your blog you were an extra in Young Guns ... I loved that movie. Was it the original in 1988 or the second movie? How did you get to be an extra? Details please!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Knitting & Unknitting ...

Its still chilly out there and feels like snow ... now why can't it snow during the weekend when we are home anyway instead of Monday?!?!

Anyway. I got another ornament started this weekend. I think I spent about 2 1/2 hours on it so far. I was doing it while watching TV so one hour I was only knitting during commercials, so I didn't count that, LOL! The instructions say to put the initial on with duplicate stitch after the seams are grafted, this doesn't make sense to me at all so I have been doing it once the front is completed then I continue with the shoulder seams and sleeves and finally graft the sleeves and side seams together. How can you do duplicate stitch on something so small once its seamed together?!?! The body of the sweater is only 2" wide!

And this is the un-knitting done today. I am making these socks on a simple 5 DPN pattern, but I am using Magic Loop. Most patterns say to leave 2" and begin the toe, so that's what I did here, though it didn't say. Then I noticed that this pattern was straight decrease rounds, so I figured it I did a knit round in between that would be OK ... then realized even with a knit round in between that I would only need 1" for the toe ... so I unknit the 6 or so rows that I did decreases and knit rounds to get back to 2" from the end, now I will knit 1" from the end and then do the decreases still with knit rounds in between and that should work out to the correct length. Geesh! Lesson learned!

I am still catching up on TV shows! Looks like Life is on twice this week ... Monday and Wednesday nights - so I will have to tape those episodes since I am just now up to 10/24. I am also going to check out the Sci-Fi channel mini series Tin Man, which looks like they are re-playing quite a bit this week and next weekend :o)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Upcoming Swap: "Mmmmm ... Hot Cocoa"

I found a new swap, just in time for the winter blahs and well after all of my other swap commitments and into a new budget! And it includes two of my favorite things, yarn and hot chocolate!! The swap will take place from January 1st to February 28th. Check out the link above to sign up and get more info!!

Waahooo its Chilly Out There!!

It is so cold out there today. The temp is in the low 20s and it was really windy out there today. I started out this morning by going to the yarn store with the intent of getting some knitting done, seeing the ladies and maybe picking up a skein of Encore DK to make more Harry Potter Weasely Sweater Ornaments.

I went to the yarn store, met a nice lady who is also addicted to socks, did some knitting on the socks I am trying to finish, picked up the Encore DK ... and some Jo Sharp DK on clearance (who can resist something for $5 that is usually $8?!?!) and some Eucalan because I hadn't seen it in a small bottle for $5 before so they must've restocked it. I will need it once I actually finish a pair of socks and get to wear them, LOL!

And my biggest confession ... a skein of J. Knits Superwash Me Sock yarn in "Kansas" ... oh what's that you say, "What happened to your self imposed yarn diet?" oh um ... I'm so naughty!! I just couldn't resist the yellows, purples, orange ... it was just too bright and cheery on this super cold day. So yet again, I have broken my self imposed yarn diet. I guess in order to actually not buy yarn ... I must not go to the yarn store, because as I already knew, I have absolutely no will power when it comes to this fetish, I mean addiction ... oh wait, its only a "hobby" right?!?!

So after that I was good and left when I was supposed to and went to work to get some overtime hours in. Then I came home and watched a movie that I rented, that I had seen previously ... duh!! It was pretty good though, I didn't remember seeing "Bean: The Movie" which is an older one, so I rented it, because I am a big fan of Mr. Bean ... and then realized that I had in fact seen it before!

I recently read "The Mist" by Stephen King, which is a short story that a recent movie was based on. It was very good. I also read a few others in Skeleton Crew which is a collection of several of his short stories.

Yesterday at Wal-Mart I picked up "His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman which is a trilogy compiled into one book and includes "The Golden Compass" which is also a movie coming out next week ... do you see a trend here?? I will always read a story or book before seeing the movie ... that is if I know before hand that something was based on a written work. Wal-Mart has some really good deals on books by the way! This book was listed on the cover as $21.99 and I got it for $12.97!

Well I am off to go knit more sweater ornaments so I can actually get them out to people for Christmas!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Swap Goodies!!

I got this Nature Spun Sport yarn in my first SP 11 package and it was the same gauge for a pattern I saw for socks. I made these socks for a friend's boy that I will send with her Christmas Card. They are child size 2-4 years and he'll be 2 this January so I hope he gets a lot of use out of them :o)

I received my Hogwart's Scarf Kit Swap from Mary today! She sent some cool yarn, a nice tote that she made, Ravenclaw colored pom poms, needles, some Harry Potter Trading Cards, stitch markers in a case that'll be great for holding notions, and some Harry Potter themed pins. Thanks Mary!

I also received my last SP 11 package today (imagine my excitement when I saw three packages on my porch today - I ordered some xmas gifts and those came today too!). I opened the card first and saw it was from another party I took a photo of the stuff as received so my pal could see, it was nicely wrapped and packaged :o)

I received the most gorgeous sock yarn from Sunshine Yarns, which I actually have bookmarked for a future purchase, which means I really liked the yarn I saw to begin with, LOL!!! And also and an awesome needle roll in my favorite color.

Here's the inside of the needle roll, can't wait to put my needles in it, it will certainly come in handy and its so pretty too!
Thank you Secret Pal!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Movies, Mail and Socks ...

We went to the movies today to see Beowulf, it was really good. Since it was available in Digital 3D, that's what I opted for ... why not?!?! It was 1 hr and 53 minutes and other than my butt getting numb from sitting still for so long, I would have never known that much time went by because the cinematography was excellent and this new Digital 3D is captivating. The story was quite good and I am intrigued to look up the epic poem.

I scrapped the toe up socks and started cuff down ones. I had my coworker try the one I had completed on and I could tell that the gussett wasn't going to last long. I had trouble with it anyway and the stitches were loose, I have come to really dislike short row heels. I should have enough yarn left in the skein to complete a pair, but if not I always have the short row heel sock that I can rip and reuse.

Here's our Christmas tree! Its hard to photograph because of the windows in the background, but here it is all decked out. I didn't even have to do anything, LOL!! My boyfriend did it while I was at work. This is really more his thing though, he loves putting up the tree every year.

How on Earth does mail get this backed up in only a few weeks?!?! Honestly I went through the mail about 2 weeks ago and tossed all the junk only to end up with more in 2 weeks time. The junk we get every day is ridiculous. I really should make this a daily habit to deal with, but its so easy to just toss it onto the pile and deal with when I am looking for bills that need to be paid.

Sunday Stuff ...

Not much going on here with the holiday, pretty quiet, so here's some cool stuff I found on the net recently.

I am paitently waiting for Sweeny Todd to come out in theaters. Two of my favorites - Tim Burton and Johnny Depp!

Check out Chan's blog for a contest and list your favorite charity.

I am almost done the child size 2-4 yr socks! I am hoping to finish them this week for the November socks for the Sock-a-Month KAL. I haven't completed a pair yet to qualify, even though I have about 5 on different patterns on the needles at the moment!

I am about half way through the heel flap for the November Mystery Sock. The last clue was given out this past Thursday so I hope to finish this one up soon, then I will have to cast on for its mate.

I watched the Battlestar Galactica Special "Razor" last night which answered some questions and brought up some more. There was a commercial advertising the next season which starts in March and looked really exciting!

I got some more Christmas cards done yesterday. I have 12 complete that only need the back stamped with my "Stamped by" stamp. I stamped out 19 more images that I will need to bleach, cut out, etc. I wanted to have them all done by December 1st ... so if I have time today and then spend a good chunk of time next weekend I might be able to get them done. It helps that we put the tree up this weekend, that's motivation to get the cards done, LOL!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Topic #4

What is the ideal setting for enjoying the perfect cup of coffee? Who would be there - or would you be alone? Inside or out? Morning or night? With food or just the steaming cup of joe?

My favorite time to have coffee is Sat and Sunday morning (when I can actually sit and enjoy it). I usually get up, feed and let the dog out (while she's eating I start the coffee) then I sit with my mug in front of the computer browsing the internet with cartoons on in the background - usually Spongebob Squarepants ... yeah that's my mentality ... hey much better than depressing news!!

Now if I could I would prefer sitting on a porch with a mountain or ocean view with my boyfriend enjoying the scenery and wildlife ... but the only wildlife around here are my crazy and rude neighbors ... so only in my dreams do I get a real "ideal" cup!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cats and Christmas Trees

Cats love Christmas Trees, however, they do not appreciate a camera flash to the face, LOL!! Most of them won't look at the camera because of the flash or they make a nasty face because I am blinding them.

Each year we put the Christmas Tree up the day after Thanksgiving. We purchased a fake tree because of the cats, I thought they would be too enticed to climb a real one ... or try to climb it. Every time we bring the tree "guts" out they are fascinated by it.

They all come into the living room ... yeah like they weren't there with us already. They like to investigate the branches, run around, try and kill each other by ambush. Regular stuff.

The first year we got the tree Peanut (above) and Ollie (below) were so funny. They took turns hiding in the box and freaking the other one out by sticking their paws through the hand holds cut out of the box, it was so funny to watch. One would be in the box making scratching noises, so the other one would investigate and POW get wacked upside the head by the paw through the hole.

Nanuk is lazy and likes to just supervise :o) Either that or he is trying to figure out why the heck we are playing with a tree in the living room.

I ventured out on this Black Friday to do some shopping for my Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Pal (stuff not pictured here - all I have left is to pick out some coffee) and I couldn't help myself since I had a coupon and gift certificate, so I picked up this stuff. I had my eye on the Interweave Knits Holiday Issue since there are some sock patterns and a nice fingerless glove pattern in there, also I found a nice hat pattern that goes for about $8.00 online to purchase, well its in this mag and the magazine costs $7.99 so I thought it worth it just for that.
I also picked up some Patons Classic Wool, I want to make myself a pair of house socks too. I'm not even sure if I need two skeins since I usually do not do cuffs as long as patterns suggest, so if I only need one then I will use the other one to make a pair of socks as a gift for someone.
And believe it or not, I had a skein of Sassy Stripes in my stash for about a year with no mate ... I found the same dye lot at the store where I bought it today ... so I couldn't pass that up!! Now I can make a pair of socks with it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Round and Round

I finally get it, LOL!! I was having trouble on this sock pattern ... most likely because its a mystery sock, so therefore without seeing that you are supposed to come up with, it makes it a little more difficult. Especially so when the pattern has several K2tog, SSK, and yarn overs up the whazoo!

November Mystery Sock, Sock Knitters Anonymous Group - Ravelry, Smooshy Sock Yarn in "Ruby River"

Above is what I had as of Sunday morning. I am not sure yet if I will do the 4 repeats for the leg or only 3 (photo shows 2 repeats). I will wait until I finish the third to decide.

Today I went to the movies with mom to see "Fred Claus" ... gotta love Vince Vaughn he is so hot! The movie was pretty funny and not too cheesy for the genre.

I am getting caught up on my taped shows. I am currently watching Pushing Daisies, Bionic Woman and Life on Wednesday nights. Since I was taking knitting classes on Wed nights I am way behind on these shows! I just caught up to 10/17 today.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cuffs, cuffs everywhere and not a single toe ...

Well one toe, LOL!! I am up to my eyeballs in socks at the moment! I have so many sock projects going because I just love socks! The yarn, the possibilities ... its endless! Here's what I am working on at the moment:

The November Mystery Sock for the Ravelry Group by Mona. This is the third time I have cast on this sock, but I am determined to do it! The first time I started on the recommended size 0 needles for the ribbing and the small size ... why I did this I am not sure. For all other garments I am a small ... but I wear a size 8 shoe ... duh that's not small. So after seeing how small the cuff was coming out I frogged it and went to the size medium ... still on size 0 though. After making a mistake or not (I am still not sure if I did make a mistake) but after frogging back and not being able to get the stitches back on the needles, it didn't matter if I had made a mistake or not.

So I had to start over yet again. This time I did on size 1 needles and with metal ones. There are a lot of K2tog and SSK and I am a tight knitter so I was getting worried when I saw my bamboo needles flexing and bending, LOL! I am on bamboo size 2 now and those feel comfortable. The gauge is 7.5 on the larger needles and I am usually more around 8 on size 2, so I am glad I moved up in size from 0, 1.5 to 1, 2 respectively. This is a terrible picture and doesn't do the pattern or yarn justice, but I will take a better one once I have more of the sock done.

Here's the one toe mentioned above! I finished one of the child 2-4 years sock. It came out really good and I really like the pattern. The pattern was in the Oct. 2007 issue of Knit 'N Style magazine. It did not call for this yarn, but I subsituted Nature Spun Sport 100% Wool since it had the same gauge and I had some in my stash! The pattern is on 4 DPNs but I am doing it on Magic Loop instead. I hope to have time to make a few more child sizes and adult for Christmas gifts.

Here's my Jaywalker sock that is actually starting to look like a Jaywalker! I really like this pattern, but these have been on the back burner since I have so many other socks going and some I want to finish as gifts. The yarn is Opal.

This is my first sock on two circulars and the yarn is Tofutsies. I really like this yarn, the color and texture is just fantastic. Its a little tricky if you split it on the needles, but it doesn't happen too much if you are paying attention well :o) These are also on the back burner due to all of the other socks I am working on at the moment.

Here is some yarn I picked up the other day to make house socks for my boyfriend. I thought this color was very "guy" like, LOL!! I am going to make him some socks on size 5 needles using Magic Loop. I have not used Patons Classic Wool for anything in the past, but it feels pretty good, comes in a range of colors and is affordable :o) So I will see how it works out for socks. I also thought this color would make excellent hunting socks for my good friend ... but um hunting season is NOW and he's out there NOW. Why do we think of presents at the TIME they are needed and not before, isn't that always the way?!?!

And these beauties are my "Bride of Frankenstein" tvyarn by White Oak Studios for Bellatrix socks. I so LOVE the green in this yarn, combined with the orange, black and purple it feels so Halloween to me and I love Halloween and the colors associated with it! I wanted to do Bellatrix socks, but just didn't know what colors to use and I think this yarn will fit that pattern perfectly!

And now on to my non knitting life :o) Today I caught up on movies ... that I have had since February and May ... OMG!! I just looked up the dates on my Netflix account. Yikes! Anyway, I watched Permanent Record with Keanu Reeves, a very old 80's movie. It was actually very good. I like Keanu, especially his older stuff and this one was good. I also watched Radio with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris and it was excellent! What a tear jerker ... for good feelings and sad. I loved it.

So all and all I had a good Saturday. It sure is chilly outside, I think the high was 37 degrees. It was nice and sunny though. I sat around the house in sweats all day watching movies and knitting in between. I have come to find that if I am not knitting, its a good movie, LOL!! If I start knitting ... well its a boring movie.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Topic #3

The Thursday upcoming is Thanksgiving in the U.S., so let's all - American and not alike! - just share a post with what it is we're thankful for. A wonderful thing to do any time of year, I thought it'd be a nice thing to share for this week with the group!

I am thankful that I live with a wonderful man who puts up with me and my pets ... though he drives us crazy sometimes too, LOL!! I have a good job and really enjoy the people I work with. I have some wonderful fuzzy critters that make me smile every day. I am thankful that I can laugh at silly things that some people get upset by ... why waste the time getting mad?!?! I know there's a lot more, but that's what I can think of at the moment.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Regarding Socks and Methods (for Charity)

Socks on two circulars is a great method, especially since it automatically separates the instep and heel stitches easily since those are usually broken up in half in order to turn the heel, so half the stitches are already on each needle. I do have Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles, but I have not used any of her patterns in there ... yet! I started one sock from the December 2007 Issue of Knit 'n Style, which I am not sure a beginner would want to start with since it has cables and twisted stitches :o)

Socks on two circulars is probably easier than on Double Pointed Needles since you are only working one needle set at a time and the yarn is joined in the round between the needles to produce a round piece at the end, just like any other sock. Cat Bordhi has several little videos on You Tube showing different techniques including Knitting On Two Circular Needles.

I also like Magic Loop, but from my experience I would think that 2 circs would be easier for someone that hasn't knit socks before. Especially since I have seen people in classes knit backwards on the wrong needle on this method, when you have two separate needles you are less likely to do that as long as you pay attention to which needle set you should be working from.

Here is a helpful tutorial on Knitting with Two Circular Needles. Here is another good tutorial for Socks on Two Circulars.

I learned to knit my first sock from a Knitty Gritty Episode entitled "Sock it to Me" the sock pattern and videos are on DIY. This is for DPNs, but it it with a thicker weight yarn so really easy for a beginner to pick up the techniqies. I DO NOT recommend starting socks with sock weight yarn, there are just too many things you are trying to learn at the same time, its much easier to work with and see stitches on thicker yarn and makes for much more fun!! Then of course you can move on to all the wonderful sock yarn there is out there!!

Now I am off to knit some of my socks :o)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Magic Loop I Love You!!

I have taken a few sock knitting classes and have read lots of material on the internet and have learned how to knit socks toe up, cuff down, on Double Pointed Needles, on Two Circular Needles and on One Circular Needle (aka Magic Loop). I have recently found that I really do like the Magic Loop method!

The baby sock below is the first sock that I got far enough on to turn the heel on the Magic Loop method, not having done it before, I did not know if it would be harder than on DPNs or what. I found it worked just fine and I knew exactly where I was in relation to the pattern that I had that was based on 3-DPNs.

The other thing I really like about Magic Loop is that all the places on DPNs where there were usually loose stitches are gone in this method, all of the portions of this sock are smooth and the stitches are equal and there are no gaps or loose spots.

I have been working on this Toe Up sock since October, I don't like working on it. My forearm muscles start to hurt shortly after I start working on this on Size 2, 5" DPNs. I transferred this sock today to the Magic Loop method and after only a few stitches could tell that I was not feeling the same discomfort. I thought it was the yarn because it is really fine (even for sock yarn) but I think it was the method combined with this really fine yarn. I have made other things on DPNs and have not had this problem. Either way I will be doing the second sock on Magic Loop!

These socks are for a co-worker and I really just want to be done with them so I can move on! I don't think I will be informing people in the future when I am making something for them, there's just too much pressure to get them done - self imposed of course, every time I see her at work I think of these socks! She purchased the yarn, so I really feel pressure to get them done asap!

Here's my silly boy in his hoop. This is supposed to be some sort of grooming thing, but he just likes to sit in it. One time my grandmother had one for her cat and her cat didn't like it, so she gave it to me. Oliver immediately claimed it as his "thing". Well this hoop was "used" so much that it fell apart on him. I found another in a mail order catalog and as you can see, it was worth it, LOL!!

I have been checking out my pal's blog for the Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap and think I have enough information to get stuff for a great package :o)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yarny Goodness :o)

My Knit Picks order came today :o) Mind you I bought this stuff BEFORE my self imposed yarn diet :o) I ordered Palette in Sky - hopefully for socks that I am designing, we'll see how that goes. Then Essentials in Volcano Twist and Black and Palette in White for Buccaneers Booty Socks!

I also ordered Essentials in Carbon Twist because it looked so nice and I am happy with it now that I see it in person. I think I will be ordering more colors in twist once my yarn diet is under control :o) In addition I have been wanting to try CotLin, so I ordered a skein of that in Royal Plum. Then I got some Harmony Wood Needles in size 1 (2.5mm) 32" circular, size 5 DPN and the set of Cable Needles. I also ordered some mini stitch holders for the Charmed Knits Weasley Sweater Ornaments that I plan on making.

This Encore DK is for more Weasley Sweater Ornaments, I have shades of purple, brown and blue heather. I am hoping I can whip up several of these before the holidays. I completed one so far that I posted about here.

Today at the yarn store I picked up some size 5 Addi Turbo needles to make some socks for gifts. The sock pattern is in the October 2007 Issue of Knit 'N Style magazine. I started this light blue sock on the suggested DPNs but since this is a child size sock the DPNs were becoming cumbersome, so I wanted to try Magic Loop and am really happy that I did!! The sock is working up nicely now and is much easier to deal with. I also have some other colors to make some more children and adult socks as time permits. I really like this Nature Spun Wool, it comes in many colors and it nice to work with and its only $3.75 a skein!

I was originally going to try and get size 5 regular circulars at a chain craft store, but then thought better of it. Its worth spending the extra $10 or so for the Addi Turbo that are meant for this kind of thing. Regular circular needles do not have the flexibility in the cable and don't work well for this method.

This Patons Shetland Chunky is for a Hoodie Scarf in the 2006 Holiday issue of Knit Simple Magazine, the pattern called for another yarn, but this is the same gauge and its priced reasonably. This will be a gift for my mom.

After all of my crafty shopping my BF and I then went to Home Depot to get a tarp and some bricks to cover the section of the roof that is leaking for the winter. Its too cold out now to try and figure out where this repetitive leak is coming from now, we had fixed it last year or the year before, but its back again. So at least if we get the roof covered it should be OK through the winter. Yeesh!! Too bad I can't knit it to fix it, LOL!!!

I got something stamped up for Thanksgiving Cards today :o) Here's Tom Turkey!

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Topic #2

I love the holidays, it turning colder here, and I love coffee. As the cold of winter approaches, do you change the projects you work on? Do you work on gifts for others or do you continue working on projects for yourself? Can't wait to see all the replies. Nice meeting each and everyone of you.

I do change some of the projects I am working on, for example, I have really lost motivation to complete the Ribbon V-Neck Tank Top, LOL!! I tend to lean more towards seasonal items and gifts. This Christmas I am not planning to finish much, I am making a scarf for my mom which I picked up the yarn for today and I want to make Weasly Sweater Ornaments and socks for some people, time permitting.

I knit socks no matter what season, but in winter I tend to do more sweaters and afgahns, things that I don't want hanging over me while its how out :o)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Secret Pal Goodies Received :o)

I received a package from my Secret Pal when I got home today :o) It was PACKED FULL of stuff! Thank you Secret Pal, lots of great stuff!!

Here's a rundown of what was in the package: 3 skeins of an acrylic/wool/mohair blend yarn; 2 skeins of an acrylic/angora blend (which is so soft); 2 skeins Regia sock yarn; a sock sohe size conversion chart; 2 kinds of tea; a brew in cup (really cool, now I can get loose teas); an Autumn dish cloth; a copy of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off (which I can now take off my wish list :o); some mini handmade soaps and some candy!

And here's a photo of my boys from the other day. I was doing laundry and washing the bed sheets so the blankets were piled up there and I was folding clothes. I took a break to go on the computer and turned around to this ... notice they are only sitting on MY CLOTHES when they have the entire bed!!!

Well I am off to go read my new book :o) And then I will pop on over to Ravelry to find the next clue for the November Mystery Socks.