Monday, February 27, 2006

I, who also ran, did not finish in time...

A valiant effort was put forth... but a few more days were needed!

I had declared my goal to be 23 items (10 pairs of booties, three wound warmers).

I got involved with my family (teenage boy issues trump knitting/crocheting in my world).

I got side-tracked (with the baby blanket and, while the work may have equaled the 4 missing pairs of booties, it was not the plan. Sort of like Bode Miller didn't plan to get sidetracked by that basketball game!).

I fell short.

I have completed almost 6 pairs of booties (the 12th bootie is left on the loom, 1/2 done) and the 3 wound warmers.

I did learn a few new things - I learned to loom! I learned to turn a heel on a loom. I learned three different cast on/starting stitches. I learned the 1k/1p rib stitch. So, all was not lost!

I do have to finish the other 4 pairs of booties in the next day or so. I am making the booties to go with the 10 hats another member of the Hugs and Stitches Yahoo! Group is making. The current donation site is requesting Hat and Bootie sets, so we pooled our resources and she's making the 10 hats and I'm making the ten pair of booties to go with them. I will try to finish them this evening and be in the running for the prize for making the 2/28 mailing deadline, but as long as they are mailed this week, we are good to go! (I just can't win a new set of Kniffty Knitters if I mail after 2/28!) :)

As I said ~ A valiant attempt. I shall strive to win the next go round. Not sure the summer olympics will be the next go 'round. I tend to really slow down on yarn work in the summer...

We shall see...

Carry on...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

No broken backs or twisted ankles, but a slow down nonetheless!

As the weekend approaches, I must admit I have fallen behind in my quest for 23 crocheted or loomed items by the Closing Ceremonies in Torino!

( I hope that means the TELEVISED version and not the actual Closing Ceremonies... given the time difference and all! )

I have not given up hope... all is not lost! My son got free lift tickets to go to Ski Liberty with his friend on Sunday. Well, his friend got the free lift tickets provided I could provide transportation. Have bag of yarn, looms and hooks, will travel! I plan to crank out the rest of the booties and a couple of hats and slide to the finish in Golden Glory!

Now, while I have fallen behind in the Olympic event, I have been practicing my craft with a non-Olympic baby blanket. Unlike those athletic Olympic Team members that got injured by participating in non-Olympic sports and may be out of the running for medals - I was not injured and may be able to make up lost time. All for a good cause, too! My non-Olympic event is a simply lovely, delicate shell/trellis afghan for my friend's new baby girl. Had my friend had a boy, there would have been no sidetrack, at least not a very LONG sidetrack. I have a completed, except for border, turquoise shell afghan more appropriate for a boy child! Ah, well, her world is now a prettier place and the afghan will be finished tonight - or early tomorrow evening - then back to my Olympic event!

Other non-Olympic, non-Yarn activities took me away from my Olympic Dreams as well. My mom will be 70 this year. My sister and I are planning a party. My sister lives 800 miles from me. My mom lives in my house (except when she is a snowbird in FL, as she is right now). So, I have the addresses and contact information for all the family and friends. The invitations were mailed this morning. NO crocheting or looming was accomplished yesterday - except for the 1/2 an hour I waited for my younger son's bass guitar lessons to be finished - as I prepared said invitations. I have a few more to send tomorrow, but the bulk went out today. I now have a break in PARTY Planning until next week when the Clean-Up Countdown commences!

Sorry, no pictures today. Back to work!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Quizilla Knitting Quiz and My Results!

You are interchangeable.

Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning.

You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday Evening. Waiting for the Pizza Guy!

I've spent the day planning! Planning my mom's 70th Birthday Party invitation (party is planned, invitation is now ready, no paper to print it!). Planning a painting project for the stairwell (railing broke, made a hole in the wall, patching and painting needed before guests arrive on 3/18 for the 70th birthday party!). Planning the next items to be finished in my knitting / hooking / looming Olympics debut (see PAS, below). And, finally, re-planning my plans for the long President's Day weekend (see next paragraph).

My plan for the weekend included having my two sons help me (1) clean up the boxes, cartons, plastic containers of Christmas stuff and organize them in the storage area; (2) clean the 3 baths/1 kitchen from top to bottom; and (3) vacuum all the downstairs area. Well, the items in No. 1 are all piled up - but not in the storage area and certainly not organized. No. 2 is about 1/5 the way finished and No. 3 can't happen until No. 1 is accomplished. So, what happened to unplan my plans? A free trip to Ski Liberty for younger son and, given the decided lack of really cold weather and snow around here this winter, I couldn't, in good conscience, say "No!" to a free trip to the small mountain. Having younger son back out put a damper on getting older son to step up to the cleaning arena.

Hence, re-planning took place and Nos. 1 through 3 will be accomplished tomorrow! (I hope, I pray, I really, really want!)

I accomplished the 1/5 that was done on No. 2 of today's foiled plan; hit the Ace Hardware 20% off sale for paint and supplies to fix up the stairwell; sorted laundry into four loads and have one in the washer/one in the dryer; stopped by WalMart for TurboTax software and paper to print Mom's invitation - got TurboTax, still need to get the paper; now I'm waiting for the Pizza guy so I don't mess up the kitchen counters and stove that I cleaned in my 1/5th accomplishment!

Oh, and I did finish the second overly large baby sock. There is now a pair of overly large baby socks for an as-yet-unknown large footed babe. I also crocheted a few rows on a baby blanket I am making for a co-worker. I fed my PAS (Pattern Acquisition Syndrome) by finding some new patterns for hats and blankets and by buying the Knifty Knitter II booklet of patterns at WalMart. $.97 + tax at WalMart; $4.99 + $5 shipping with some eBay seller last week. {note to self: ALWAYS check local stores before buying on eBay! }

No pictures today... all that planning didn't lend itself to the photographic arts. I did finish one thing today - my son's tax return. He'll be so excited. He'll be $100+ richer for a few minutes in a few weeks! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A new look for a new day!

I wanted to try a new background with a larger space to display the pictures and things... hope you like the new look. It is, after all, a new day! Well, it is a new NIGHT anyway!

Last night, as I tried to sleep and couldn't, I decided to try out my new 'preemie' loom. I have preemie in quotes because this little sock thing is NOT preemie!! Let us compare:

A Newborn Sock/Bootie, crocheted!
I crocheted a newborn bootie from a pattern that was coming out too large for some of my friends and this is what I got. Notice that the foot is about 3.5 inches long.

Then, I got my Preemie looms from CinDWoodsCrafts and made a 'preemie' sock, followed the pattern almost exactly - I say almost because the pattern called for 20 rows from the heel to the toe and I stopped at 15!

A Preemie Sock/Bootie, loom knitted!

Some of you may recognize this measuring tool... it is a knitting needle guide that I won,
ironically, as the fastest crocheter at my local Michael's store! :)

The inch measurements are harder to see on this white rule (the old brown ruler grew legs and walked away from my desk!) but they go up to five inches. Now, from the toe to the bend in the heel, this 'preemie' sock is 4 inches and probably a bit more when actually on a foot as this stuff stretches! So, had I gone the whole pattern, my little 5" measure would not have been enough and if this is a preemie sock, I am a little green Martian... and, while I trace my roots back to the green, green grass of Ireland, I am neither green nor small!

So, I shall make another sock this same size and some large footed babe will benefit. Then, I will have to experiment with lighter weight yarn to see if I can't bring this down to size!

Monday, February 13, 2006

My "Knitting" Olympic Project(s)

Just before the Opening Ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics, I discovered the Knitting Olympics - a knitting challenge to commence during the Opening Ceremonies and to come to an end at the Closing Ceremonies ~~ celebrating the drive, the determination, the dexterity, the - what other D words described athletes? oh, yes! ~ the determination (oh, what a minute, I already used that one. Well, it is a good one! :)) of world class athletes sent to test their mettle in Torino, Italy.

I didn't officially sign up on any team. See, I don't officially knit! I guess I would be considered an exhibitionist! (No, silly, not THAT kind of exhibitionist! Sheesh!) You know, an exhibition sport. One that gets showcased at the Olympic games but hasn't found an 'official' spot/sponsor/support system!

Anyway -- one day, I was strolling -- drooling, really -- through the yarn aisles at my local Michael's store. I came across these really nifty gadgets. I had read about them on some of the charity crafting groups at Yahoo! Goups - like bevs-charity-challenge - but I had never seen them. Then - I heard about others, like the ones CinDWoods sells. There were patterns to be found - to feed my PAS (pattern acquisition syndrome). There were yarns to be KNITTED! But not on the traditional pointed sticks that often frustrated me in the past - these were round. These were pegged. These were Knifty Knitters!!

Knifty Knitters are plastic. They are sold individually or in sets (that's what I bought - a set of four different sizes - the third largest is in the picture!). The finished Knifty Knitted product is thick, warm, and KNITTED! CinDWood's looms are wooden with acrylic pegs, and the most comfortable yarn pick available! They are beautiful and versatile and I can't wait to get started on the booties I can make with them....

Oh, that brings me back to my exhibition sport... you see, I really crochet. That's what I do best. Sort of like Tigger and his bouncing... crocheting is what I do best... BUT - the object of the knitting olympics is to do something Challenging ~~ in Knit. Something that will take you 16 days to do. Something Different ~~ in Knit. So, my CHALLENGE is to Knifty Knit (or really Knit - I bought two sets of needles and some yarn for a scarf!) five wound warmers to send to Soldiers Angels; 6 booties and 6 hats to send to local Maryland Hospitals ~~ a total of 23 Items ~~ using different techniques (so I can really LEARN the art of Knifty Knitting) !

To date, I have completed 2.5 wound warmers (the sand/variegated ones shown above and another) on my Knifty Knitters. Though I must confess - while waiting for the little CinDWoods looms, i.e. preemie set, I ordered, I crocheted three sets of booties... So, I still have 2.5 wound warmers to complete and all 6 set of booties and hats left to Knit before the closing Ceremonies - 23 items total - I can do it!

If Shaun White can come from the back of the pack and win Olympic Gold... If Hannah Teter can bring home the Gold after missing the Opening Ceremonies because of cortisone treatments to treat her knee injuries -- then I can accomplish 23 items in my exhibitionist knitting debut!

I have learned the basics of Knifty Knitting (challenge #1). I have learned the 1 knit/1 purl rib stitch (challenge #2). I have learned the chunky braid brim (challenge #3)... and I have many more challenges to face - like the heel of a baby bootie! My goal is challenging for me, but it does not fit the rules of the games - one challenging item, like a sweater with alpine design made with mohair or a pair of cable knit socks using dpns and sock yarn with silk and alpaca - knit on during Opening Ceremonies; knit off by Closing Ceremonies! Heck, I finished the pictured wound warmer DURING the Opening Ceremonies telecast -- cast on and off in one night - so where's the challenge in that!! I couldn't figure out how to officially sign up anyway! So - I am an exhibitionist - an exhibitionist Knifty Knitter, that is!

I will go for quality as well as quantity. My scale is small - no big ticket items... just a great number of small things! My yarn will by 100% acrylic (mostly) and worsted weight (mostly) or Lion Brand(R) machine washable Wool-Ease® (if I can find some more, reasonably priced and local!!!) I shall learn. I shall strive. I shall try to move on to "real" knitting. Maybe. But then again. May be knot! :)

GO Croch.., um, Knifty Knitting!! GO USA!!!!

May the best knitter win!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Our First Snow... 2006

We had our first snow storm... Weather guys predicted 12 inches for my little neck of the woods. Thankfully, they were wrong!

We did get a fair amount, about five inches, of that good, thick, heavy, snowman-making snow. The kind that sticks to the trees and makes a picture-perfect, winter wonderland landscape - frosted with clean, white, glistening snow...

Our landscape is slightly marred by a this poor dying pine tree. Though, I think this is a pretty cool picture of it! This is a pre-plowed picture, taking in the pristine beauty of snow unsullied by foot prints, huges trucks or snow angels!

Brian wants to go snowboarding - not quite enough for that here and no way am I driving to the areas that might have enough because they got more than the 12 inches we were supposed to get!!! Both of my guys are hoping that school is cancelled for Monday - and it probably will be!

Well, best get to cleaning... and finding the snow rugs... and baking up some Toll House cookies (a snow day tradition)... so I can settle in with my knitting and crocheting when the Prime-Time Olympics coverage starts!