Sunday, November 30, 2008

11.30.08 - Creativity

I attended a Creative Memories card party today. The object? To make 20 cards and 20 gift tags in 3 to 4 hours. Well... 20 cards got made. Only 3 or 4 gift tags were finished at the event. I made a few more when I got home. I have materials for a few more of everything! :)

There are long cards and short cards. Cute cards and elegant cards. There are five 'flat' cards with pockets for gift cards or cash.

I am so glad they have a 'planning sheet' with all the information on it. If I had to think of what to do myself, my creativity would run screaming out the back door! And I definitely would not have gotten 20 finished!

It was fun. I'm glad I went. Perhaps you'll get one of these lovely cards!

Until next time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

11.29.2008 - Almost December

... and I missed posting my Good For Friday post. :( We'll try good for Saturday instead.

I've finished a total of 10 hats, so far, for Deb and KnittyBe (see previous posts)... I'll do a few more and get them mailed next Saturday. Pictures before they get mailed. Promise! Fulfilled!

I'm hosting my younger son and a few of his friends for a snack attack party - alcohol-free. I believe a few will be leaving to find the 'alcohol-included' party somewhere else. None of them are old enough, so it won't be MY house!

Mom headed South with her youngest sister. Youngest Sister was here to celebrate Thanksgiving. Now, Mom is going to stay with the Middle Sister for two weeks, as Middle Sister recovers from knee surgery. It will be a nice break for us all, except for maybe Mom, but she is the Big Sister and said yes when asked to help.

Until next time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

11.27.08 -- Happy Thanksgiving

I know it's late. But I was in charge, which meant I was never far from the kitchen. Mom is heading to Florida to stay with her sister(s) tomorrow and there was a lot of last minute "where's this?" and "where's that?" to be figured out.

One of the things I did was print a bunch of pictures I had taken over the past year - weddings and graduations - that my aunts could not attend or at least one of them did not attend.

I also cajoled by sons into posing with us!

So here you have my Happy Thanksgiving photo:

Me, Older Son, Mom, Younger Son, Aunt/Godmother/Mom's Youngest Sister.
We are all standing. I am just shy of 5'8" tall.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

11.26.2008 - Wednesday, pre-Thanksgiving

After working part of the day and resting part of the afternoon, I ventured out to retrieve my son from work and to pick up the last few things for tomorrow's feast.

I had been shopping. Mom had been shopping. Things had been forgotten.

The craziness that is the grocery store the night before Thanksgiving must have happened earlier than my 7:10 PM arrival time. I walked through aisles fairly undisturbed. Only one aisle had more than two shoppers at any one time. The checkouts were well-manned and the lines were not long.

I try to avoid this Wednesday before Thanksgiving shopping trip.

I try to make sure all is remembered before this day arrives.

But, today wasn't too bad. I checked out with the groceries in my car at 7:38 PM - and I stopped in the liquor store too! Two stores, 28 minutes, $100.00! Phew!

Turns out, I didn't have to pick up my son. Mom ordered pizza which arrived at our home at the same time I returned. No cooking tonight because I'll be cooking all day tomorrow!

If you celebrate, I hope your Thanksgiving Day is fabulous.

Monday, November 24, 2008

11.25.08 - Shhhh, surprise knitting ahead

A gift in the making. Shhhh... be as quiet as new fallen snow.

11.24.2008 - The Lost Weekend

Wow, I missed posting the entire weekend. I thought about it. I took some pictures to post. After spending family time, I came upstairs, uploaded the pictures and decided I need to sleep. Hence, no weekend posting.

The weekend was lost to family and knitting and crocheting. I'll give a Monday's Quarterback recap.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have been making hats. The total count is up to 8, eight, ocho - wow! I've knit a few and crocheted a few and here they are as of yesterday:

I plan to complete at least two more so that Deb gets 5 and KnittyBe gets 5.


After I finished hat number 8, I returned to my Knotty Gloves (ravelry link). I'm really loving this pattern. It is working up nicely in the KnitPicks Gloss. The fingers will be long enough for my long digits because I am making them for me, me, me and measuring and trying on as I go!

I plan to finish this one tonight and cast on for the right hand. Perhaps I'll have a pair at the end of Thanksgiving weekend! Stay Tuned!

So, that was the knitting and crocheting that occupied my weekend.


The family? Well, my Aunt and Godmother came to visit for Thanksgiving. She drove up from Florida to spend most of the week with us. When she returns to Florida, Mom will be heading back with her for two weeks. Mom is the oldest sister. Visiting aunt is the youngest sister. The Aunt left behind in Florida, the middle sister, had knee surgery and Mom is going to go stay with her and help her out for a couple of weeks.

My older son was part of the family distraction as well. He has a couple of part-time jobs with changeable hours. He doesn't have his driver's license and, if he did, he doesn't have a car, so he can't get himself to these jobs. We live in a fairly rural area and public transportation is close to non-existent.

Because I want him to have his driver's license and I want him to get a car sooner rather than later, I drive him to his jobs. He tries to get a ride home, but I am regularly pressed into pick up as well. Mom helps out during the week when his work hours coincide with my work hours. I'm hoping he gets something worked out for the two weeks she is in Florida!

His farther away job required chauffeur service on Saturday and Sunday. Hope and pray with me that he saves the money and passes the test and gets a car on the road before year's end! There will be times early in the year that neither my mother nor I am available for chauffeur services.

Until next time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

11.21.08 - A good Friday Post

Good - our predicted snow flurries did not materialize. They all apparently descended on Philadelphia, whose predicted snow flurries turned into 4 inches of snow before the sun came out and melted the 'flurries.'

Good (I hope!) - my aunt is coming to visit for about six days. She arrives sometime tomorrow and will be here through Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving, she and Mom will head down to Florida together. It will be a good visit and a good departure. That's how those things generally go!

Good - based on the responses to my very unscientific survey, I've decided to knit and crochet hats at various sizes, but the circumference will not be less than 19 inches. It'll all be good.

Hat pictures --

Kosovo hats - (almost) five so far

Hats for KnittyBe - two so far

Thursday, November 20, 2008

11.20.08 - another missed day

You know how it is - once you mess up, you tend not to try so hard. The goal was not achieved, so what the hey? Actually, I just forgot to post yesterday. I went shopping after work and went to bed really early. I was barely on the computer. I remembered this morning that I did not post.

Now, it'll be short and sweet because I am tired and it's late and I need to catch some shut-eye!

I've been making hats. Trying to determine the proper 'child' size for 5 - 11 yo school children. I'm failing miserably. Not at making them. I finished two more besides those pictured in my last post and have only some decrease rounds to go on the third. Bringing the hat total since last Friday to 6. 4 for Kosovo, 2 for KnittyBe and more to come.

But, I'm stymied on the sizing. Most hat patterns I find are either baby sized or adult sized and the adult sizes seem too big, and the baby sizes are way too small. I tried to adjust the adult sizes. I think they'll be okay. People have a variety of sizes on their noggins, and it depends on where you measure what size you say you wear.

I did a brief survey on the CPaAG group on Ravelry and it seems that the children referenced by the responders have 'small adult' sized heads. So, I'm going with that in the hopes that what I send is useful!

Okay - off to bed.

Until next time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

11.18.08 - Peektures

As promised, a peek into what I've been doing lately. I mailed off some things, squares mostly, before I could take pictures of them. But mailing was more important!

First up, hats for Kosovo. A school of 125 children is in need of warmth and Deb of Deb's Crafts has put out a call for hats and scarves and mittens. There is a short deadline as her friend is coming home for a visit in December before he returns to complete his tour of duty. That means she needs them SOON, so her friend can bring them with him.

I do hats faster than mittens or scarves, so hats are being made. I've completed three and am working on the fourth. The completed multi-colored hat was done before she announced her need. The two green ones were completed between Friday morning's commute and lunch today. I started the brown one, in progress, on the commute home tonight.


Another cause close to my heart is Macuwita sni (check out the link on my side bar for more information). The current challenge for this group is to make 75 shawls or lapghans for the elders by February. This is my first and I'm trying to knit it. I will finish this one and probably crochet the next one. Crochet moves much faster for me on big projects like this AND, being a thicker fabric, may be warmer for the recipient.


KnittyBe (ravelry link) is also collecting hats (and scarves and mittens) for some children in her area. I'll have more information later. These need to be machine-washable, so I'll be going with crochet and my Encore stash! Only a week or so for this project. Hope to get a bunch done ... and then turn back to the Kosovo hats.


Something to ponder:

I wonder how many is a bunch?

Monday, November 17, 2008

11.17.08 - Monday, Monday

I've been working hard today.

I've been a good employee and good mom.

Now, I want to rest, but now I have to be a good fiscal manager. Today was Pay Day and there are bill payments that need to be scheduled and checks that need to be written.

I'd rather sit and knit.

And I forgot to take pictures of my WIPs and FOs. I was a good employee, a good mom and an okay fiscal manager; but a bad blogger.

'til next time, when I hope to have some pretties to show.

11.16.08 - very late, really after midnight...

and again a FAIL on the NaBloPoMo...

I was packing packages. Getting the mail and the customs forms and such ready to go and just now realized it was after midnight. Missed it by five minutes! Ah, well.

Hat #2 is finished for Deb to send to Kosovo. To be fair in my reporting, I must admit that Hat #1 was done before she needed it, so I've only finished one since Friday.

I have finished two skeins of a four (possibly five) skein shawl for Macuwita Sni. You can check it out on the sidebar. (Macuwita sni, not the shawl!) One of the packages I was getting ready contains five pairs of mittens that should have been mailed weeks ago, but I never got to the Post Office. I'm going tomorrow!

I am trying to finish some long, languishing WIPs, but I find myself itching to cast on for new things!

Must finish the WIPs. Must Finish the WIPs!

I've promised myself a new cast on when I finish one of the two scarves and the stole. The stole is almost done. There are 100 rows left, but they get smaller after the next 20. One scarf is a little over 1/3 complete. The other is a little over 1/2 done. I think I can get 'r done by Friday, then I can start something NEW!

Pictures soon, I promise!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

11.15.08 - Rainbows and Rain

I was driving my son home from college. The sky was spotty. It looked like the long-predicted thunderstorms were on the way. We pulled over at Chik-Fil-A for lunch. We were going to drive through and then drive home. I parked for a moment to get myself situated and then heavens opened up. Wind and rain lashed at the car. It looked like little bits of hail too.

We sat it out. The rain let up about the same time we finished our chicken. The dark clouds were still behind us as we continued down the road. Ahead of us, there was still a light rain, but the sun was shining through the clouds.

It was rainbow weather! I was wishing I had my camera. I would have stopped to take a picture of the biggest, brightest rainbow I ever remember seeing. I didn't have my camera and I didn't stop, but my son captured an image out the back window with is camera phone.

This picture does not do justice to the bright colors and the width of the rainbow in my rear view mirror, but it's pretty good nonetheless!

Friday, November 14, 2008

11.14.08 -- It's good

I have spent the evening with friends, catching up on all the goings on in our families. Tomorrow, my friend and I will head to the HAP Put-Together event and design and pin a few afghans that will be sent out for assemblage.

It's good.

I left work a little early, got home about the same time. Traffic was spotty with the dribbly rain and the foggy roads. I got a lovely rest on the bus. My body knows when the regular trip is almost over and I awoke to find myself still 1/2 an hour from my stop. So, I continued knitting on a hat I am making to send to Deb, who will send it to her friend to distribute at a school in Kosovo.

It's good.

Oh, and you might want to check it out if you like to knit or crochet. Hats and scarves are needed.

After the put-together tomorrow, I'll be picking up my younger son from College for a visit at home.

It's good.

Good night!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

11.13.08 - NaBloPoMo FAIL

I tried... I made it to day 11. Day 12? Not so much.

It could be because I went to sleep at 9:30 PM and missed my normal blogging time of post 10 PM. Or it could be because I was just exhausted, and forgot about it until this morning.

I'll be picking up where I left off, but I missed 11/12! :(

I'm still tired today, but not quite as bad as yesterday. I'm not sure if it is the time change; the weather change; the dead and dying leaves and their concomitant mold causing an allergy uprising; or something else entirely. But I'm dragging and yawning and having a hard time keeping awake.

If it persists beyond this weekend... I'll seek some help!

I'm trying to get the last of the Put-together afghans I signed out put together for the Handmade Afghan Project (see the side bar). I don't think I'll finish before the Saturday Put-Together event. From my last pick up of rectangle sets, I have turned in two and have two here ready to return on Saturday. That will leave me with this one. Next week for sure. I have the side-to-side rows, the border, then weaving in the ends. I should be able to finish early next week during Monday's Dancing with the Stars and Tuesday's Results Show.

Next I'll turn my hand to using the leftover border yarn to make rectangles for the next put-together event. If you haven't checked out the project, you should give it click. The group has delivered more the 1600 afghans to wounded service personnel over the past 4 years. That's just awesome.

Until next time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11.11.08 - Stitches East Loot

SE All
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

Here is a photo of the things I brought back from Stitches East 08. I can't show you the knowledge I gained, or the great conversations, or the experience of the days... but I can show you the loot! :)

I won some prizes and bought a number of things. If you click through the picture to my Flickr page, you'll see notes on this picture, plus you'll have access to the Stitches East set that has individual pictures of each item and a bit of an explanation.

Enjoy. I know I will! ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

11.10.08 - Monday, Monday

I took some time to clean up today and that left me no time to take pictures until it was too dark to do so. Tomorrow. I hope!

Today, I filled 25 small bags with a variety of hand lotion, hand cleaner, lip balm, nail kits, mini-make-up, flavor packs for water bottles, body wipes, shower gel, and other goodies to be sent to a group of female soldiers serving our country. It is part of Soldiers Angels (link in my side bar) called Ladies of Liberty. A group of Soldiers Angels is given a list of female troops to pamper a bit with little luxuries, words of encouragement, or just a postcard to let them know someone cares.

The packages are ready for labels and customs forms. I have run out of both! I had hoped to get these in the mail today. It looks like next Monday. In the meantime, I'll send some notes.

I did get several other things ready to go and they'll be dropped in a box on my way to work on Wednesday, tomorrow being a Federal Holiday.

I'll be spending my Holiday - finishing my laundry, finishing the crocheting of a HAP afghan, writing notes, take pictures of my goodies from Stitches. How will you be spending yours -- if you have one?

Until tomorrow. With pictures. I hope!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

11.09.08 - Home Again on Sunday

I had a fun, fiber-filled frenzied weekend. I learned a lot. Walked a lot. SPENT a lot. Enjoyed the heck out of myself, mostly. I am so glad that I decided to go and take a bunch of classes at Stitches East '08.

Stitches East '09 is a bit farther afield, and not near a Federal holiday weekend, so I may not make it there.

I found a new wool that is superwash-y fabulous - Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash. DK weight. (go to their website Missions Falls and check it out!) Knits like a dream. Cushy. Great stitch definition. I even get good row gauge with it (I'm fairly notoriously bad at evenly knit rows on knit a row, purl a row patterns). I'm hooked, or cabled, or intarsia'd or something! :)

Now I'm headed for my beauty sleep. I'll try to get pictures and a complete run-down of all my doings over the next two days. I took Monday off and Tuesday is a Federal holiday - Veteran's Day, so I'll be doing a lot of cleaning up.

Cleaning up my house, my laundry, my stash, my boxes, my mail (if I promised to send you something, you'll see it this week! I hope to mail everything Monday, Nov. 10)

See you later.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

11.9.08 -- Stitches on Saturday

Had a nice lie-in this morning... got up at 9:20! :)

Today's class didn't start until 1:30 PM. So, I hung around the hotel and got a few things together and headed over at about 11 AM. Walked through the market again. Bought a few little things, then headed to Celtic Cables with Melissa Leapman. A fabulous class. A marvelous teacher. A great desire to buy her books. All the vendors that had them were sold out.

I'll have to put them on my wish list.

Amazon Links:

Cables Untangled and the new one Continuous Cables

More later...

Friday, November 07, 2008

11.8.08 - Celtic THUNDER!

Today was my second day at Stitches East.

I'll have to recap later because tonight my GOOD FOR FRIDAY! is a special thank you to Shelly at This Eclectic Life.

Shelly ran a contest for free tickets to see

Celtic Thunder

My mother and I had a lovely, lovely evening listening to the fabulous voices of Celtic Thunder! It was phenomenal. I am so glad I won and that I was able to bring my Mom to see this marvelous show!

Thank you, Shelly.

P.S. One medicine bag made; one in idea land and will be done next week!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

11.6.08 - Stitches Day One

I've returned to my hotel room from a fun, fiber-filled, fabulous day. Exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.

It began today at about 9 AM when I arrived at the Baltimore Convention Center to pick up my registration package. I walked right up and got it... no line. Yay! Of course that meant I had a bit of time to kill knit before my 10 AM conference event.

At 10 AM, I entered my first event. Beyond Sox -- Five designers were given the task by XRX to use sock yarn and create something other than socks! Since I have decided that I am undecided on whether I like handknit socks, it fit my current knitting conundrum (lots of sock yarn, not quite enjoying the socks, what shall I do with my yarn stash? Well, according to the designs presented, I can make jewelry - a lovely beaded cowl or wrist warmers. Or I can make a hat with sock and other yarns carried together; a lovely bag or two or three; a gorgeous tam, though that was the reject design, or an asymmetrical stole with squiggles! :) Entrelac was also featured. Beautiful designs. Wonderful use of the yarn. Knitter's Magazine will be publishing the patterns in an upcoming edition. You should check it out!

Then lunch and a go at a smaller version of the Wall of Yarn (yarn companies send samples of their yarns. You get a list, pull a piece of each yarn and tape it to the paper so you know what you saw and what the yarn was like). The full yarn is in the Market. I filled both papers! :)

First class 1:30 - 4:30: Superb Seams. So informative. I might be ready for my first sweater!

Then the Market -- overwhelming! So much to see. It was the preview - so I was able to walk around - a lot. I think I saw every booth once. Ran into friend and directed them to booths I thought they'd like. I only bought one thing... A book - Knit One Below. The author, Elise Duvekot, was one of the five women from the 10 AM presentation. I liked her technique... and she was signing them! :)

I saw a number of things that drew me in, but haven't been hooked yet. I didn't buy because I really didn't plan projects I might make and, therefore, I have no plan for the yarns available.

I wanted a spindle. But I didn't see any there. So, I'll use the teacher's student spindles in the morning. If I like it, I'll order one from an etsy shop or on-line somewhere... or maybe not.

Good Night! I'll be checking in tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

11.5.08 - a break is near

Yesterday was an historic day. Both of my sons voted in their first presidential election - though getting my younger son to the polling place was an exercise in frustration!

I left work at 3 PM to drive to his school to pick him up (he's a freshman, no car on campus, almot 60 miles from home). It usually takes about an hour from my work to his college, then about an hour and fifteen minutes to home.

Not yesterday. The forces of nature were battling with rubber tires and wary drivers causing multiple fender benders to slow my way as well as two full roadway accident stops (all lanes on 295 N at 100 were blocked, I finally baled into 100 and took a 7 mile detour; then all lanes on Route 4 S were blocked. We were stuck there until they opened one lane).

Left the office at 3 PM; arrived at the polling place at 7:23 PM - two extra hours beyond the time I thought it should/would take.

But we made it. And he cast his first votes ever.

I, however, did not make it home for good until McCain's Concession Speech had already begun. Left work at 3 PM; arrived home for the day at 11:15 PM or so and the only thing I did besides drive here, there and everywhere, was vote, stop at K-Mart, get gas, drive through KFC. It was not a good day.


Today I get to go to Baltimore and begin my Stitches East adventure! I booked my room for tonight so I can be on hand first thing on Thursday to get started... I'm at classes; at the market; at the show(s); or meeting people, my people, knitting people, ravelry people... Fun for me for a while!

I brought the computer so I can keep going with NaBloPoMo '08! We'll have to see how that goes!

Do you think I'm excited? Do you think I could use any more exclamation points? Hehehehehehehe

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

11.4.08 - VOTE!

Don't forget to

V O T E !!

Not that you could forget with the constant barrage of political advertising from all areas - from signs lining the road to billboards to radio ads to tv ads to phone calls to fliers in the mail and on your car and handed to you as you pass by the supermarket, the metro, the bus stop...

Tomorrow will be a lovely ad-free day. Of course, we'll begin hearing non-stop how the President-elect will have to do this and that and the other thing and how he plans to do this and that and the other thing. However, that message of transition will reside mostly on the news shows themselves and NOT through advertising blitzes. We can then vote with our clicker and turn them off and on as desire -- to make it stop or to listen, if we so choose.

Me? I'll have the news clicked off for a while -- I'll be at Stitches East enjoying a lovely fiber-filled vacation -- meeting new people, catching up with friends, putting faces to some of the pixels I've been chatting with on Ravelry. I'll be learning new things, honing my craft, and having a good time strolling The Market.

Just what the doctor ordered (well, it would have been had he known about it!)

Monday, November 03, 2008

11.3.08 - Art

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy


On a completely different note: I love this post at Persistent Illusion. I wish I had the right tools to start one too!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

11.2.08 - Shopping

Today, the intrepid hunters silently crept through the great outdoors* to the special entrance that lead to -- THE MALL!

Younger son needed warm clothing. His natural tendency is shorts and t-shirts year round. But it got pretty chilly these last two weeks and he had a lot more outdoor time on the college campus than he ever had going to high school.

He found five long sleeve shirts and/or sweaters that he liked. Some will be fine by themselves and some will need layering.

He has not found a brand of pants - jeans or otherwise - that he feels comfortable wearing.

So to promote warmth, he got a hat instead, at the Burlington Coat Factory. A black wool hat similar to the Carrimac Cap -- but not that pricy!

We hit the supermarket to stock up on goodies for his dorm and other necessities and made our way back to unload the car.

It was a good day.

* I don't think I have ever been to the Bass Pro Outdoor World store before - it is indeed the great outdoors brought in. A rock wall, moose and bear and fish and geese and ducks and guns and fishing poles and clothes and ATVs and kayaks and wow - totally overwhelming.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaBloPoMo 08

National Blog Posting Month 08 - though it seems that EVERY month is NaBloPoMo! :)

I've seen it pop up every now and again and decided to try it for November.

Then I remembered - "Hey, You are going to Stitches and weren't going to bring your computer."

Guess I'm going to bring my computer! :)

Once a day for 30 days. I think I can do that!