Sunday, December 31, 2006

Twelve Days of Christmas...

It's a good thing that Christmas doesn't really end until January 6th, because I'm still finishing Christmas Presents! I finished putting the handle on a Booga Bag. I finished tying off one fleece, no-sew pillow. I finished tying off one fleece no-sew throw. Hat and scarf were completed several days ago. I have two more pillows to finish. Since I can't mail them until Wednesday and I get an extra day off, I decided I'd finish them tomorrow, take pictures on Tuesday and get them packaged to mail on Wednesday. Perhaps the recipients will receive them by the 6th and I'll still, technically, have delivered all the Christmas presents during Christmas!

I plan to do better next year. I think I got way too enthusiastic about making things to give away and didn't factor in sleeping during my sessions on planning how much I could get done by when! I also didn't factor in the cliché - 'life is what happens when you are making plans.'

A few events and happenings belonging to other people made my life a little less my own this past year. 2007 is starting out in a similar fashion. But, since I'm almost a year into the knitting scene and I am getting re-involved other crafty things I stopped doing, I can start planning next year's give-aways early enough to have some grab-and-go activity bags ready to just grab-and-go when I get the inevitable phone calls and then sit throught the interminable wait times for results that never seem satisfactory. A little vague I know, but the story is really not mine to tell on a public blog. I am merely a supporting player who hopes to retire by the Summer, God willing.

Pictures when the weather is nicer. Goals for 2007 another day. For now, I'll go back to lemon and honey to soothe the sore throat that keeps trying to bloom and maybe get some rest before Mom and I go to the neighbor's house to usher in 2007.

Happy New Year!
May 2007 be all you want it to be!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

On the Eve...

For my readers celebrating different holidays in different ways, the sentiment is the same - may you be blessed with Joy and Wonder!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Goodies from My Secret Pal!

I got a gift today, from my Secret Pal. It was well-wrapped and filled with sugar-y goodness! See?

When I opened the gift, by untying the delightful snowman ribbon, lovely, glittery bits fell out followed by three of the cutest little trees you ever did see! AND SEE's candy was there AND a TEAVANA Gift Card to help replenish my tea supply. AND some candy canes. AND, in honor of her holiday (Happy Hanukkah, Secret Pal!!), she included some gelt (the gold covered chocolate candy to the right).

Thank you, thank you -- it is all just wonderful!

We have an ornament we hang on our tree each year, as a remembrance of our Jewish friends. It was handmade by a friend of my father -- many, many years ago -- out of yarn and plastic canvas. This year, when I hang that ornament, depicting a Menorah, I'll remember you, too, Secret Pal, adding you to my friends that light a menorah while I light my Advent Wreath!

If your soul were a room....

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are very passionate and quite temperamental. While you can be moody, you always crave comfort.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you for how you are, not how you look. But deep down, you know that's not exactly true.

Your near future is in a very different place (both physically and mentally) from where you are right now.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Knitting, Oh My!

Knitting is done. Blocking and finishing? Not so much! These will be a little late, but they aren't the only gift, so all is good! :) Details later, after the recipients receive them! Colors are close to true. They are perhaps not quite so bright.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Down to the wire... but winging their way to OK!

I made a few hats and I bought two that were made by the Ladies of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. I finished the top knots and wove in all the ends this evening. They are packaged to be sent - via First Class mail - tomorrow to Oklahoma and the Soaring Eagles Project. I hope and pray they make it to OK by Saturday (even though Monday is the deadline, I prefer they arrive Saturday!)

This is what they look like - in my room with a flash going on and no natural light! The blue one (kind of hiding) in the upper left corner and the green scarf and hat at the bottom are the ones I bought from the Ladies. The rest were hand made by me. The two toned purple one (though it looks blue in this picture) was Knifty Knitted. Blue one has a seed stitch cuff and stockinette cap. The cream ones are made using this Dulaan Avalanche Hat pattern (link opens in PDF) using two strands of chunky super wash wool given to me to use for give away projects. My personal little avalanche! :) It worked out beautifully, though it was, perhaps, not quite as chunky as the Avalanche yarn. The first hat could be a little deeper. So, I added about 4 rows to the second one. A really good thing about hats -- different head sizes need different sizes of hats! :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas is all about Me Me - or is this Christmas Meme about me?

Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to know your friends"

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? For under the tree, it is mostly wrapping paper. For gifts to be delivered at Christmas social situations, mostly gift bags

2. Real tree or artificial? I used to always have a real tree. Since I’ve been the one in charge of putting them up and taking them down by myself, mostly, for the past 7 years, I decided three years ago to be artificial. Mom helped buy one and got a gi-normous tree and I really didn’t like putting it up or taking it down. We donated that one this year and got a smaller (4 ft) that can sit atop a table.

3. When do you put up the tree? Well, sort of when I feel like it… This year, I was supposed to put it up yesterday, but we went shopping instead. So, it’ll probably go up next weekend… but it has been as late as Christmas Eve.

4. When do you take the tree down? Generally after the Epiphany (though one year it was up until February – everything else was down, but I just wasn’t able to get myself together enough to take that old, dead tree out of the house by myself. Eventually I wrapped it in an old table cloth and tugged it out to the woods behind the house!)

5. Do you like eggnog? Not particularly, though my mom usually mixes up a batch from her father’s recipe and I’ll take taste.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I think my childhood was too long ago to remember! As a young teen (about 13), my favorite gift was the 8-track stereo with turntable to go in my very own room that I also got that year!! :) As an older teen (Junior Year in HS), my favorite gift was my very own Singer Sewing Machine.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Every year this is different, but usually because the gift I’d like to give someone is out of my budget, not because the person is hard to figure. I have had years where every other gift I see would be great for the same one person… I had to keep remembering that I already HAD their present!

9. Easiest person to buy for? My children – now 18 and 16 – because they tell me exactly what they want! :)

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I’m a difficult person to fit, clothes-wise, even as a child I wore the plus sizes. Plus sizes in the mid ‘60s meant clingy stretch pants that made chubby little girls look so much chubbier… those three years of polyester plus size ‘ski-style’ pants were the worst gifts… especially since I was a child and could not ‘re-gift’ or donate them and I HAD to wear them for the visits with the aunt that gave them…. So as much as I hate to grouse… while I love the giver, I really felt ‘ugly’ in those clothes.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Don’t e-mail and only mail as many as I get done – which generally means relatives that get pictures of the kids and friends that send them to me – at least that has been the pattern the last two years. I have the greatest intentions every year. I think – I’ll do a newsy letter and send it out to everyone, personalize the cards, etc. You know what they say about good intentions… I’m a great paver is all I can say!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Since I’m mostly finished, I’m thinking I never stop from one year to the next! :) If I see something unique and it’s July, I buy it and put it away. So far, I’ve remember all those pre-“buying season” gifts. I figure someday, I’ll be like my mom. Not a year has gone by that she didn’t leave a gift or two in the closet!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Hmmm… only in a “donate it to charity” way that I can remember. A couple of relatives that live away send us gifts and even though I suggest gift cards, they always have to send something. This gift is often clothes that are too small or too something – they’d be good for others, but not for us. These things have been given to the clothing drives at Church.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate chip cookies – toll house, made with real butter! Wwha-at? The question didn’t ask what my favorite Christmas MEAL was! Heheheheh.

This year our dinner will be filet mignon – bucking the traditional turkey and all the trimmings (Christmas has forever been a repeat of Thanksgiving). Just four or five us this year, so a steak and potato dinner sounded yummy!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored, clear and NOT BLINKING!

17. Favorite Christmas song? Peppermint Stick Parade by Bobby Vinton.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? This year we stay home. Sometimes we travel for dinner (a couple of hours), but mostly people have come here.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? You know, Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all… Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer…

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Used to be an angel and that was broken a few years ago. That same year, my older son was a teacher’s aid for the kindergarten religion classes and he made a fun foam nativity scene with the students. That has been our topper for the last few years. My mother must have forgotten because she told me she bought a star for our new tree this year… The tree isn’t up yet, so we’ll have to see what goes there.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Well, I found this meme at Got Gauge and, I must admit, I like Phyl’s answer. I was going to borrow it from her (since she borrowed it from her sister, I figured that would be okay), but really the thing that bothers me the MOST is the music and decorations that start before Thanksgiving and end the day after Christmas. (I even know a few people that take their tree down Christmas night!) I can understand if you have a live tree and you are traveling or something… but really, the season doesn’t end on December 25th – it’s just beginning!!

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year too!

To my readers that do not celebrate Christmas may your holidays be all you want them to be, whatever they are!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Of skies and bags and hats and things.

Saturday Sky - There is finally a slight chill in our air following two days of 70+ temps!

MeatHead KnitAlong - I finally mattress-stitched the two I completed and took pictures. Follow this link to Flickr to see all five photos of the two hats!

Booga Bag - pre-felted for posterity, felted picture to follow. It is a Christmas present for one of the ladies on my list. Since she doesn't know who she is, I feel safe in posting! Made of Noro Kureyon in colorway 134.

Knit Unto Others - two hats and two squares complete. I also have a pair of mittens in need of thumbs (not pictured), but the picture is due today and they may not be finished during sunlight hours.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Secret Pal 9 presents

I thought I had posted about the first package I received, sans photos... but I can't find such a post anywhere... my deepest apologies to my SP9 pal! :(

Here are two (I hope!) photos taken today of some of the first package and of the second package I have received from my SP9 pal.

Stitches, stitches and more stitches!! Plus lovely Katia Mexico yarn, that begged to be squares for warming blankets. I was going to make two for the Project Gracious Parcels, but the first came out too big. It'll go to the first hand-wash wool 8" square needed request!

This lovely Rowan Tapestry (70% WOOL, 30% SOYBEAN) arrived a couple of days ago!

Thank you, thank you! I hope you don't mind that the first yarn went into a Knit Unto Others project!

Faster than the speed of bloggers...

There is a Graduate student tracking bloggers. Let's help him out. Click into his post and read all about it:
Measuring The Speed of Meme: An Experiment in which You Will Participate, Or Else...

Basically, he asks us to link to his post in the name of science. And asks us to spread the word by asking others to do the same... so do the same, okay? He will be presenting his results during the "Meet the Bloggers" panel at MLA 2006. I'm not really sure what MLA 2006 is, but some of you probably do. So, help a fella out, 'kay?

Here's what he needs you to do:

1. Write a post linking to this one in which you explain the experiment. (All blogs count, be they TypePad, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, &c.)
2. Ask your readers to do the same. Beg them. Relate sob stories about poor graduate students in desperate circumstances. Imply I'm one of them. (Do whatever you have to. If that fails, try whatever it takes.)
3. Ping Technorati.

He is afraid that no one will participate in my experiment. Let's surprise him! Go out and speed on the meme!

Friday, November 24, 2006


Jumping on the One.Word bandwagon. Have seen it many places, most recently here. (I was going to do the My Life.My Blog one but was having a difficult time with some of the categories.



1. Yourself: tired
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): hypothetical
3. Your hair: thick
4. Your mother: aging
5. Your father: remembered
6. Your favorite item: computer
7. Your dream last night: scattered
8. Your favorite drink: diet
9. Your dream car: chauffeured
10. The room you are in: cluttered
11. Your ex: deceased
12. Your fear: poverty
13. What you want to be in 10 years? content
14. Who you hung out with last night? family
15. What you're not? thin
16. Muffins: sure
17. One of Your Wish List Items: kettle
18. Time: evening
19. The last thing you did: eat
20. What you are wearing: casual
21. Your favorite weather: Fall
22. Your favorite book: inspirational
23. The last thing you ate: shrimp
24. Your life: busy
25. Your mood: undetermined
26. Your best friend: Mike
27. What are you thinking about right now? lunch
28. Your car: Intrepid
29. What are you doing at the moment? thinking
30. Your summer: hot
31. Your relationship status: widowed
32. What is on your TV? nothing
33. What is the weather like? cool
34. When is the last time you laughed? last night Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Thankful Day

Turkey Day 2006:

Attendance: Aunt/Godmother and her two children (34 and 19); Aunt The Middle Child and her Husband and two of her three children (41 and 42) and one spouse and 4 children (15, 15, 11, 2.5 (cutest of the cute!)); My Sis and her three (14, 12, 11); me and my two (18 and 16); Nephew 24); two friends from the neighborhood (16 & 14) and Mom - 23 for dinner; 14 staying the night (some of them were here last night, some will be here tomorrow night too!)

23 lb Turkey, 7 lb ham, 5 lbs potatoes, 4 lbs yams (fresh from the Amish Farmers, made into an orange, pecan, yam casserole); steamed broccoli/cauliflower, stuffing from the bird and from StoveTop; Cheese sauce; three kinds of gravy; 3 doz dinner rolls; many, many, many desserts.!!!!!!!!!!! An amazingly amicable year.

There always has to be one low spot... in a house with 4 full baths, one gets the mega-use - it's commode ran over, and over, and over and amid tears and I'm sorries, it got all fixed up - by me, with help from my Aunt Margie and her daughter. But still NOT.ONE.ARGUMENT!!!

Life is good! :)

Hope your Turkey Days were delightful!


I have knitted (and need to seam) two meathead hats. I have not had time for anything else due to the Thanksgiving preparations... Fiber use resumes on Saturday - when all the company heads to their homes - in three different states - the closest being 8 hours away!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Some fiber content...

I want to do everything I see. I want to help every cause. Unfortunately, my want and my ability often fall short. So I've been trying to help in small ways. One square (maybe 2, but not 10) when squares are requested. Same with hats, mittens and such when there is a short deadline. There will definitely be more than one Dulaan hat - since I have six already.

I want to help Firefly (see side bar for Project Gracious Parcels). I have lovely autumn-y yarn sent to me by my SP9 Spoiler. Perfect for this project. So, I cast on, knit a couple of rows. All seemed good. Knit a couple more - it grew an inch! Rip out, start again, cast on few, measured, all seemed good, it is still 8 inches (though I think that first one would have been closer to 8.5 or 9, had I continued)! I'm going to finish it... actually, just five more rows and it'll be an 8" inch square ready to mail the next time an 8" square is needed. There will be enough yarn left for a 7" square, if I can figure out how many cast on stitches I need this time! I hope there will be enough for two. If not, I'll send the one and try for more later - I promised two by the beginning of December. (tried to show a picture of the square in progress - no blogger luck today)

I know I could get two done by December during normal times, but next week is Thanksgiving and the gathering of the clan... It is not 'normal times' -- Time has its own way of rocking through a family-filled week - goes slow then fast then slow then warp speed and not much actually gets accomplished except making food, cleaning kitchen, eating food, doing dishes! :) Oh, and visiting! ;)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Makes perfect sense

I was born in Philadelphia, raised in the DC Metro area by a Dad from NY, Mom from Philadelphia and grandparents living in those places but originally born in Ireland. My Aunt Margie has the perfect Philly accent, mine has twinges of other, but I got Philly for sure! :)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Philadelphia

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

The Midland
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Seven Inch Squares are needed

Stop by Firefly's Blog and read all about it!

She's putting together 7x7 7" squares to create a gift of warmth for families helped through Habitat for Humanity in her area. Drop by and see if you can spare a square to help her out.

More later... maybe.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What? No Pictures?!?!

I have been a poor blogger - no pictures to show of my knitting accomplishments!

I have sent 3 hats to the Soaring Eagles project.
I have sent a square (the only one I could get to be 8"!!!) to Grandmother Purl's project.
I have sent off my SP9 package.
I have finished 6 Dulaan hats. (you saw five on a previous post!)
and finished knitting a booga bag - that now needs felting.

And not one picture was taken!!! (I will take a Booga Bag picture - before and after - this weekend)

Suffice to say I have been busy and it's been too dark when I get home from work to use natural light and I'm just lazy! :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Calendar Girl - November Thankfulness

"I love my, love my, love my Calendar Girl... each and every day of the year".

This is a possible contest/meme post for Chappysmom who has asked us to post our November calendar pages, searching for the beautiful scenes of November. Here's to the birthday, calendar girl - enjoy the cone! :)

There is something wrong with this picture!

30 degrees at 8:20-something on November 3rd. There is just something wrong with that!! :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

First Five Hats for Dulaan

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

More to come... but first I'll make some for The Soaring Eagles Project.

Have a Great weekend!

Monday, October 23, 2006

My retreat

I really needed a "get away from it all" weekend and, for the most part, that is what I got this weekend. I joined about 45 other women for a weekend of prayer, meditation, singing and socialization! Our retreat was held at The Washington Retreat House (the second one listed on the link).

This house is run by a fabulous group of Franciscan Sisters of Atonement. It is located next to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, just off the campus of Catholic University. The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is a short walk (and a shorter drive for we drove to accommodate the frail and/or elderly among us) down the street.

Not much knitting was accomplished, but I experienced a beautiful weekend. Here are some images (hover to read the ALT tag and see what you are seeing!):

Sunrising over Pope John Paul II Cultural Center

Christ in Majesty mosaic - no matter where you stand it seems that these eyes are looking right at you

Stained Glass image of Christ and His disciples in the boat

Noah's Ark Mosaic
view from the drive of the Shrine, peering up at a Sunday Sky

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Retreating this weekend...

I leave from work on Friday through the afternoon on Sunday. No. This isn't a retreat to Rhinebeck. Perhaps I can squeeze that in next year! (or not.)

This is the annual retreat for the Catholic women of our County and I really need it -- both the spiritual aspects and the actual retreating aspects. Life has been quite stressful over the last two weeks and this escape retreat comes at the right time!

There will be free time and group discussion time and some social hours interspersed with quiet reflection and seminar-style presentations on various topics. At least, I think so as that is how all the others I have attended were structured. So, I'm taking a few smaller knitting projects with me to work on during the 'down' times and perhaps some of the social times. I'm bringing: a Christmas present that needs an inordinate amount of I-cord to be knitted before the felting and putting together of it; newborn/preemie hat patterns, yarn and appropriate knitting needles and crochet hooks; multidirectional scarf (1/2 way done - hope to finish for Christmas!); and the new Transitions skeins I purchased to make myself that hat. I probably won't touch half of this but I'd rather bring it all and not knit, than leave it home and want to work on something!

I hope by bringing a variety of WIPs it will be easier to have something to work on because certain fibers are just too hard for me to work with when it is hot. Temps are expected in the low 60s. That was what was supposed to happen during the last retreat, but it got VERY warm in the house, even with mild temps outside. So, I brought some warmer weather fibers/projects and the really wooly ones - what gets knitted depends on the weather! and I'm really hoping there will be time to work on the things I bring.

I can sing and knit (if I know the song). I can pray and knit - I do it all the time. In fact, knitting relaxes me so I can pray sometimes. There is such a cacaphony of voices and issues and thoughts and problems crowding my brain that I often knit, pray and think to quiet them all. So, knitting would be good for me, but I don't want to appear rude or disrespectful. I'll have to play it by ear.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Am I Blue?

What Color is Your Brain?


At work or in school: I like to be with people, sharing with them, inspiring them, and helping them. I work and learn best when I can take into consideration people and the human element. I flourish in an atmosphere of cooperation.
With friends: I always look for perfect love. I am very romantic, and I enjoy doing thoughtful things for others. I am affectionate, supportive and a good listener.
With family: I like to be happy and loving. I am very sensitive to rejection from my family and to family conflicts. I really like to be well thought of and need frequent reassurance. I love intimate talks and warm feelings.
Take this quiz!

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Somewhere, Across the Sea

Emma filled a box - just for me!!!

Images of the box on the porch and my first look inside! Notice the SheepPooPaper card in the "opened box" photo! :)

Now for the truly revealing portion of this post - Total Swag!

I received a Sock Kit with fabulous DPNs, beautiful "forget-me-not" sock yarn and SIMPLE!!! instructions! (the yarn is actually very Spring like with pinks and yellows and several hues of blues - photography is not so good - yarn is marvelous!)

Emma sent some soft, jewel-toned Mohair and suggested a shawl pattern. The colourway is Lapiz and it is more beautiful in person than my photo conveys. I will want to do it justice, so the hunt for the ultimate shawl pattern will wait until my holiday handcrafts are complete.

And last but not least - one of the main purposes of the Knitters' Tea Swap: THE TEA! From FairTrade: Steenbergs Organic English Tea - Organic Single Estate Earl Grey; Equal Exchange Darjeeling Tea; and Clipper Classics Organic English Breakfast tea. To accompany my first cup or two, Emma included Traidcraft Organic Brazilian Nut Cookies - yummy! (I'm afraid the first few cookies went down with Diet Pepsi!!)

Stop by and visit Emma . You'll find the visit worth your time!

A little too masculine...

I always thought my face looked a little too masculine. I always asked my hair dressers to leave a little wispy hair on the neck line - because I didn't want to look too masculine. They always responded - you don't look masculine. begs to differ. The collage below shows 8 of the 11 celebrity images that matched the scan of the picture of me. I could select 8 images. I selected all 4 of the available female pictures! Sheesh!

MyHeritage - family trees and photo albums

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday - A Sky (finally!) and an FO

It is Saturday, now late in the day, but Saturday adventures won over stopping to post! Here are two delightful Saturday Sky Pictures - clear sky, some color on the trees, brisk as Fall should be!

My mother joined me for a trip to Crazy for Ewe, a lovely yarn shop in Leonardtown, MD. I needed to buy some Noro Transitions to make the hat in Wendy Knits!

You see, I made that hat - a 3x3 ribbed hat - for me out of a Noro Transitions skein I bought a couple of months ago. The pattern calls for one skein. I made a lovely hat! See?

Alas, I have a GI-NORMOUS head and this hat, this Bee-oo-ti-ful Hat, looks as if I am trying to wear a child's hat. It looks great on my Mom and on my 16 yo, 6'3" son, but on me? Ack, it looks horrible!! Or, rather, I look horrible wearing it! Now, the lovely hat will be given to a special someone on my Christmas Gift Giving list. She will enjoy it as much as I would have enjoyed it! ;)

But, wait! I am still hatless! So, off to the store we went to purchase TWO skeins of Noro Transitions - a truly lovely yarn - to make the most expensive hat I will ever wear. Pictures when complete. For now, I have two Christmas presents to finish and several more to start.

Also on the list for the yarn shop was Noro Kureyon in Color 134 Lot A. And they had it! I have been unable to find it on-line after I bought the only one my other LYS had. I bought the lone skein because I fell in love with this beautiful bit of bright turquoise yarn in it. The other colors almost didn't matter, this turquoise was so beautiful. Well, it must have been a fluke bit of turquoise because not one of the five skeins I found (three of which I bought) had that bright turquoise showing. There was a turquoise and brown mixed area which was in about the same place as my pretty turquoise, but no bright turquoise.

The skein I fell in love with looks almost totally different than the others. But it really isn't. All the other colors are the same (when you look at the side where you can see them wound together). I plan to make a Booga Bag for a family member for Christmas. Before I start the bag, I'm going to take pictures of the skeins in natural light - so you can all see the difference!

Ah, and I bought some soft, soft, soft baby alpaca silk to make Fetching for moi!

I really should not be let loose in a yarn store - ever!!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

SP9 Hostess with the Mostest requests...

my first finished object(s) or those that make me most proud. Well, ALL my finished objects make me proud. Having only been knitting since February (and not really jumping in with both feet until a month or two after that), everything that gets finished makes the 'proud' list. All the techniques, except the basic knit and purl rows, are new to me, and each project, with the exception of the hats, is selected because it has some new technique I haven't tried yet, like cables and short rows and thumb gussets and heel turning and such.

However, in keeping with the Hostess's request, my first finished objects post can be found in my May 2006 archives. I linked to the entire month because Trace Adkins makes some durn pretty eye candy during the Month of May and deserves another look-see!! :)

Friday, October 06, 2006


You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire answers

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

There aren’t too many yarns I’ve tried and not liked. I’ve been doing hats and gloves and have fallen in love with Debbie Bliss Chunky Merino and I’ve enjoyed the Wool of the Woods that I am using for my Multidirectional Scarf. I tried to knit a sock with "Lane Cervinia" a 100% wool yarn from Italy and it was marvelous, but my sock knitting was not! :) The Cascade 220/Mohair combo for the Dulaan Hat was great too.

I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of yarns… and really haven’t found any objectionable, even my Red Heart is okay! ;) (I know, I know... purists are appalled. But, I have a TON of acrylic that I have been using forever for my crochet projects and I haven’t parted with it all yet and probably won’t. I still like to crochet with the acrylics, especially for blankets and throws and things I want to be able to throw in the wash!)

Basically, I am very open in this category!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have a zippered Hook case that holds the smaller size hooks (US C through K); I have a crock with straight needles, dpns and larger hooks – sort of like an oversized pencil cup; the circs that I own live in the packages they came in – so I won’t get them confused. Some of the packages are small enough for the crock. Some sit on the shelf next to the crock. BTW, both storage areas are full!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I knit two things when I was a young teen and then turned to crochet. (no one in my family knit anything – granny was a whiz bang crocheter including gorgeous doilies with no pattern and the smallest needles and threads! I did not pursue the thread crochet much, but have crocheted with worsted weight and baby stuff for years and years)

I picked knitting back up again during the Knitting Olympics and did what I do with most things, jumped in completely -- no toe-testing the water for me! -- and have been acquiring all the ‘stuff’ that knitters acquire and knitting whatever turns my head.

I would say I am an Advanced Beginner leading toward intermediate, who isn't afraid to try anything, despite what you might occasionally read on my Blog! (as soon as I say I don't want to test myself, I go out and get the materials to force this issue! Sweater yarn is on order now for my first 'set-in' sleeve, buttonband, and more!)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes - My Knitting Wish List

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

Vanilla, Hazelnut, Cucumber Melon – but no candles – I don’t do candles.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Not particularly. My favorite ‘sweet’ is a toss up between Walker’s Shortbread cookies and Pepperidge Farms Tahoe (white chocolate/macadamia) cookies.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I crochet. I scrapbook. I cook.

I do not spin and, while that has been looking pretty cool as I surf the Blog World, I know that I cannot afford another obsession right now. So, I’ll just let the spinner’s spin. I’ll let the dyers dye. I’ll just buy what they make! ;)

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like Country music and soundtracks from Movies and Broadway musicals (but not the newer ones, like Rent; more the classic ones like Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof.)

Computer can play MP3s and I think my car can.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I used to always answer “Blue” to this question, but I don’t really have much blue in my life anymore. I seem to have graduated to Burgundy/cranberry/deep rose colors. I can't say I really have a favorite and there are not many that I can’t stand, except perhaps really bright neon shades.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I am a widow, a single mother of two teenage boys (18 and 16). My mother shares our home. We have no pets and will not be getting any either!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

All of the above, except ponchos. As a fairly heavy person, I find Ponchos only accentuate the negative of that situation.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Ah… for ‘fast’ knitting, hats. I like everything I’ve tried, so I can’t say there is a favorite.

13. What are you knitting right now

On needles, three four scarves of varying complexity and two hats, one I need about 5 grams more of a chunky merino to finish. And one I need to tink back or frog back several rows too see where I got off kilter. In the planning stages, hat to go with one of the scarves and mittens to go with that hat! (Christmas gifts!)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes, of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Hmm… I find that I like the circular needles A LOT, because I knit on my commute and they are easier to handle on the bus. I love my 10 ½ bamboo dpns and my Susan Bates Quicksilver 10 ½ circulars. (mittens and hats have been speeding off these!) I am using a Susan Bates aluminum circ size 7 for one of the scarves and that is just okay. However, I don’t care the larger ones. I have several different types of wooden needles – birch, bamboo, and something from SWTC that was “Crafted from the Lal Khola Tree in India" (these are beautiful, marvelous needles!) – and I like all of the wooden needles (except the US#2 birch dpns. But I think the problem is me and my fumbly fingers on such small sticks rather than the sticks themselves!)

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes, both. I had a 50% off coupon for AC Moore and so did mom. She bought the winder and I bought the Swift, and the price for both ended up being just a couple dollars more than the regular price of the Yarn Winder!

I was gifted with some donated wool, much of which came in hanks and I have been buying little bits from on-line vendors. So I indulged myself, rather than carting the wool to my LYS, where the owner said I could bring in that yarn and wind it. I am guess I'm still feeding my obsession. Now, I really should get down to work and use all the things I bought!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

My oldest Knitting UFO only dates back to February 2006. My oldest yarn-related UFO is probably five or six years old? I don’t know. I have too many to count and probably wouldn't admit the true age if I knew it! ;)

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Just about any holiday that gives me a three day weekend! ;) Not really. I used to love Christmas and then it got so crazy. This year, I am looking forward to our American Thanksgiving, because the clan is gathering and most of my maternal family will be together. Long term, I guess Christmas is still my favorite – I just wish I had help getting it all together AND putting it all away!

19. Is there anything that you collect?

I’m not sure I have any true collections. I love books, but I’m not a collector per se. I stock up when I find a new topic I love or want to learn about and rarely give books away or sell or trade them. When I give a book away, I tend to rebuy it for myself or I buy a new one to give! So, I guess books, but I couldn’t mention a certain kind and be definitive. The ones I am currently yearning for are on my Amazon list(s) (Non-crafty & Crafty).

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I have no knitting magazine subscriptions. I’ve been reading about Elizabeth Zimmerman and would to see what she has to say. Other than that, everything is kind of new to me. I only have a few books: All three Yarn Harlot books, Wendy Knits!; Vogue Knitting, Quick Reference; Mason-Dixon Knitting; First Knits; Knitting Vintage Socks (I have yet to really read this one!); and Knitting in Plain English (which has too many words and not enough pictures! :)).

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I’m in the process of learning about socks. I would love to know more. I would like to try Fair Isle and Intarsia. I’ve tried a simple cable and am doing okay with it (Irish Hiking Scarf), but I’d like to read/see the various methods people use to cable.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I have only knit one pair of little socks. I have several patterns that I am going to attempt -- when I finish this last hat that I need to send and buy the proper needles for the yarn I have… So, I am not yet a sock knitter, but I plan to become one!

Not sure how to measure my foot for this question – but I wear a size 11 W US woman’s size shoe. I took a picture (see it at the end of the questions) and have marked where I measured my length = 11" 10.5" - toe to heal; my widest part (big toe knuckle sticks out) = 9", ankle = 9.25". Then I read where Cat Bordhi asked MDK Ann to have us all measure our feet and send Cat the measurements. Cat's form and my responses are included here. Hence, the strikeout on the 11" foot. Seems my tape measure measures a bit bigger on a foot then the ruler! :) So, help a girl out and send your measurements to Cat too!

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)


(note: questionnaire edited several times as I noticed errors in both information and typing, and as I remembered other things I wanted to say! last update: 10/3/2006; 1:13 PM Eastern)

My Right Foot
Cat's Form - send an e-mail!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Almost Forgot to FLASH MY STASH!

I joined the Knitters Tea Swap 2. I've been contacted by my spoiler and have contacted my spoilee. However, I forgot to FLASH MY STASH of tea! Here it is.

About a year and 1/2 ago, a co-worker got a bunch of us hooked on tea. She had found TEAVANA and wanted to share the experience! She had some taste testing going on. She'd find a new kind she liked and would call us all in for a taste in the afternoon. It was good.

Upon her recommendation, I took the plunge and bought the 'Gift Set.' The set included four loose leaf teas in small tins, the "Perfect Teaspoon" to measure the tea into the "Perfect Tea Maker" and German Rock Sugar for sweetening. I liked two of the four teas (I loved the Rooibos Tropica; Maté Vana is okay for a black tea and best served with Milk; the Holiday Blend has a wonderful aroma, but I don't really care for the taste; and Empress of China was just too strong). I liked a few others she had us sample. I stocked up (as you can see in my picture!).

The business apparently began in Georgia (at least their headquarters are in the Atlanta area). My MIL lives outside of Atlanta. On a visit to her home, I was able to stop at the actual store (I had ordered my set online) and pick up some teas and a couple of pretty tea canisters (I'd show you, but I bought them as gifts and have one left to give to my spoilee ... don't want to ruin the surprise!) and was able to taste test and get some pointers from the friendly, helpful staff! (One tip: they put the German Rock Sugar in with the tea leaves and let it sweeten and steep at the same time!)

I believe a store is located at a Mall in my state and I know there is one in the neighboring state (my co-worker shops at that store), but both of these stores are more than an hour away. Some day I'll take a road trip and scout out LYS and the tea store in those areas. For now, I shop on-line!

My stash includes: (day) Rooibos Tropica, Rooibos Chai, Honey Bush Vanilla, Green Tea Heaven; (night) Floral Sunset, Night Night, Egyptian Chamomile; (morning only, with milk) Maté Vana; and (occasionally, but mostly I offer these to tea drinking company) Empress of China, Holiday Blend, and Casablanca Spice.

My maternal Granny drank tea all day long - Tetley Tea bags, two per cup, steeped forever, then sugar and milk. I didn't care for this brew and generally preferred Diet Pepsi over a cuppa with granny! Her dog liked it. Shu-Shu always got a saucerful!

In college, I drank iced tea made in five gallon buckets with industrial-sized tea bags. (I never drank it when it got near the bottom though - boy, was that strong!) I poured it over a 32 oz. glass of ice then added Sweet and Low.

My newly acquired tea fancy comes on the heals of over 25 years of not drinking much tea at all. I was glad to acquire the new taste, and I'm looking forward to seeing and tasting whatever my spoiler picks out for me!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday Skies on a 16th Birthday

Today my baby is 16! To celebrate, he wanted to attend Virgin Festival ("virgin" as in Virgin Records and Virgin Mobile so you can just stop, okay? :))

Virgin Festival

I did not want to attend and was going to drive him and his friend there, hang out at Columbia Mall, pick up some tea at the Teavana store there. Then I'd wander over to Ellicott City and pick up some fiber at the Celtic Knot and maybe have lunch or dinner with a friend that lives up that way - ending my day at the beginning by picking the boys up at Pimlico. Turns out the friend's whole family was going, so my son got to ride along with them and I got to sleep in!
As you can see by my Saturday Sky pics - it was a perfect day for sleeping in... I still want to go to the tea store and the Celtic Knot, but I can now do that as the sole destination rather that as a 'fill your day' maneuver!

I hope it stays cloudy and breezy and holds off on the dumping of the water and the possible thunder and lightening until they are home.

Let me present our Saturday Sky!

edited several times because I can't seem to get my act together today! :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Size Matters!

It is hard to believe these two pairs of mittens have the same number of stitches!

The Charcoal Grey/Brown mittens - made for Bitchin' Mittens - were made with Chunky Merino and size 10.5US dpns. The blue mittens were made using Patons Classic Wool, Worsted Weight, with size 7US dpns. Same exact pattern - Plaid Mittens. Same cast on, same increases and decreases. The only thing that may not be exactly the same is the number of rows on the hand, because the pattern suggests you keep trying the mitten on and stop when the mitten reaches a certain place on your hand. Since the hands that will be wearing these little blue ones were not available to try them on - the little blue ones are destined for The Six Pair Challenge - I had to guestimate the size of the hand. I just made sure I did the second mitten with the same number of rows as the first!

And because I always like to try a new technique, new approach, different patterns, I made the pink/white mittens from Bev's Two Needle Mitten pattern. These mittens were made from Froya Narvik wool, which is 100% pure new wool that 'knits to standard d.k.' and, surprisingly, is machine washable. I can't remember if I used size 7 or 8 needles, but they turned out about the same size as the blue ones.

I'm satisfied with the results, the time it took to make them and the patterns. I think I'll do matching hats and mittens for Dulaan. A few sets anyway. Dulaan knitting will start after Christmas I think... except for the "October sign up and commit to five items" drive. I finished these two pairs of mittens (and several triangles on my shawl) this week. I'll be able to do more than five Dulaan items!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Nothing to say, really...

I missed Saturday Sky - it was dull, grey, misty, rainy. Decided that wouldn't add much color to the Saturday Blog World, so I skipped it.

Mom and I ventured out into the misty day and did a little browsing, a little lot of shopping and ate out instead of making dinner. Our first stop was a Home Party Show at a local church. Twenty-five companies were represented from The Pampered Chef(r) (unfortunately, not me - some other consultant got there first) to Tupperware to Linen World (which was new to me, buy quilts and pillows and throws at a party, in your home - odd). A local vendor was there as well... she isn't a home party company (direct sales), but she has a business out of her home. It isn't a craft business, so she can't be in the November craft show, so they fit her in here. It was interesting.

Next, we went to Tia's Tex-Mex Restaurant for lunch/dinner (whatever you call a meal you eat at 3:30 PM! :)) Mom had received a gift certificate for her birthday last March and wanted to spend it.

Then we went to Macy's (formerly Hecht's) where Estee Lauder was giving away a free gift with purchase (Mom uses their make-up and needed some and she only ever buys it when EL is giving away goodies). Macy's was also having an American Heart Association Fundraiser - for a $5.00 donation you got a 10 - 20% off certificate to use for shopping that day. So, we donated and browsed and I found clothes that fit (YEA!) and soft towels and a soft throw and feather pillows -- and I donated to Macy's as well! :) (Oh, and some of my finds were CHRISTMAS presents!)

I've also been knitting - mittens - Dave started something with his Bitchin' Mittens contest!

I ran across a blog message that sent me here Six Pair Challenge. The challenge was issued in June for six pairs of mittens to be knitted and sent along by October 1. Well, I only discovered it on 9/16 - so I doubt I'll have six pair by the deadline, but I cast on for a pair Saturday night and got about 3/4 through mitten number 1 using one of Bev's patterns. It means I have to seam... not really my cup of tea. But the mitten is coming along nicely.

  Click for larger image

I was heading to a picnic today and the pink and white mitten needed too much attention so I decided to try the Plaid Mitten (my Bitchin' Mitten entry) pattern with smaller yarn (Worsted Weight instead of Chunky) and smaller dpns (US7 instead of US10.5) and see how it would turn out. Waiting for the food to be served at the picnic, I cast on for smaller mittens - knitting in public. Lots of questions, little progress! But it got me going. I hope to have at least these two pairs ready to send off for the October 1 deadline.

  Click for larger image

Thursday, September 14, 2006

What Kind of Knitter are you? - A Quiz(illa)

I was called a "communications guru" and the "training guru" at work by a couple of people... now this Quiz(illa) says I'm a "knitting guru". I'm not sure how I attained the 'guru' level when I've only been knitting since February. But there you have it!

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
Take this quiz!

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