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!