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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Will be back....

I am going out of town for a few days, so I will not post for awhile. I did finish my Bob's Meadowlark Socks. I will be starting on some new ones on my trip. Have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Baby Blanket Pattern Update and Recipe Review

I made these Veda's Red Velvet Cupcakes for my Supper Club Cookie Exchange. I have a few pointers on these to make them better:


  • They tend to be on the oily side, so use aluminum foil cupcake cups.

  • Cook for less time, like 5 minutes less.

  • Fill cups till they are about a 1/2 inch to the edge of the cup.
  • Be sure that the baking soda and vinegar begin to react (alot of surface contact) and then gently fold it into the batter. This is to make the cupcakes lighter and fluffier.

  • Sprinkle top with crushed candy canes or other holiday sprinkles.

Oh crud. I think I may have discovered, on this rainy day, that our bathroom window is leaking. Please, everyone pray with me that it is not leaking. I do not need this right before Xmas, and days of rain in the forecast. You KNOW the builder is not going to send anyone out here to fix it.


Here is a pic of the progress on the Bob's Meadowlark Socks. Sorry the pic is so dark. Rainy day and sucky flash I guess.

The baby blanket pattern: I am trying to get it turned into a .pdf file. So it is done, just trying to get DH to convert it for me. :)

If I don't post again before the holiday, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Snikky, snikky, snikky....

So I have told you all that I have signed up for the Sockentine Swap on the Knitting Help Forum. Instead of using the Claudia Handpainted Santa Fe sock yarn, I have decided to order some Lisa Souza Sock! Merino in a special colorway for my swapee. It seems none of the sock yarns in my entire sock yarn stash will do. And no, I will not reveal my color choice here in case my swapee decides to visit my blog. The color is so specific to her preferences (I think) that she will know I am knitting the socks for her. So you all will just have to wait to find out!!!!!! I am excited, since I have not tried Lisa Souza yet. I will have to wait an extra few days because they need to dye the yarn since they have ran out of that color.

I am at the same time totally bummed that my Sundara Yarn Petals Collection has not arrived yet. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the situation. It is just that I am afraid someone may take any boxes that are delivered if I am out all day or travelling. My neighbor has not been the best at picking up my mail AND my packages, even when I warn her that I am expecting packages. Oh, well...just keep your fingers crossed. I have only just joined the club, so I am anxiously awaiting my first delivery of her gorgeous yarn!

And I need to finish writing up the pattern for Samantha's Baby Blanket. I kept the blanket a few extra days in order to try to figure out everything that I did (No, I did not keep copious notes for once! Shocker!) have all sorts of hideous scrawled notes on a piece of paper from trying to reconstruct the pattern. I will try to post it tomorrow after I write it up all nicely.

I have been having so much fun listening to knitting podcasts while driving around running errands. I really love Lime N Violet. They make me feel like I am back in NY or TX sitting around with some wacky best girlfriends, where no topic is off limits as long as it is treated to a huge dose of humor. Thanks ladies for making me feel at home away from home....

Speaking of Texas, I am totally geeking out over the washcloth pattern that my DH's coworker found for me. It is a Texas Longhorns one, so y'all know I am going to be searching for some dark orange Peaches N Cream for this one. Please, let me know if you have ever seen any Sugar N Cream or like brands in a burnt orange. I would love you forever for the help!!!! Maybe I just need to get off my butt and head over to Hobby Lobby and AC Moore to find some. But I honestly don't recall seeing any. I just searched on google and apparently there is a color called pumpkin, so I am going to have to look for it. Joann.com carries it, so if I am desperate, I can order it. But I would hate to order $5 worth of yarn just to incur $5 shipping or something. Yuck.

I have picked up work again on the Bob's Meadowlarks. Will post pics later.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Things are kinda crazy....

Definitely starting to feel less sick now that I am done with the course of antibiotics. I really hope I don't relapse.

DH and I went to Charlotte over the weekend where he bought me a new 80GB video iPod. Yippee! Keep in mind that it really is my only Christmas present, because with all of the accessories it rang up to a pretty steep price. I am one of those seemingly rare women who love to get technology gifts, and I even play with more gadgets than my husband who is an IT manager. Now I just need time to start subscribing to all of the knitting podcasts! And I can watch them while on the treadmill at the gym. YAYAYAYAY!!! With all of the iPod playing in the last 24 hours, I have not been doing quite as much knitting.

Another wacky thing is that I am 90% sure I will start learning Aikido. It is something I have wanted to do for at least 10 years, and now I have an opportunity to do it. I hope it really helps me in many ways.

And I have joined the Knitting Help Forum's Sockentine Swap. I am thinking of using my Claudia Handpainted for my partner, but it is not Superwash. Perhaps I will need to go yarn shopping in Atlanta while I am down that way next week just to get the right colors and Superwash merino for her. Oh, sockentine, I bet you wonder what you are going to get from me?! Bwahahaha!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Meme

I saw the Christmas Meme on this blog. Now it is my turn.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Egg nog, hot chocolate the rest of the year.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapped. The anticipation is half the fun.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Being a child born in the early 70s...color color and more color. The bigger the bulbs the better!
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually second week of December indoors, Thanksgiving outdoors (when the weather is better here). We don't take them down indoors until middle of January, because my mom used to recognize the Orthodox Calendar for Christmas, too.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sweet potato casserole.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Getting Christmas presents from my Baba.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Probably 7. Don't remember.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not until I was a teenager did my family do this.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Of course, the tacky ornaments we all make in childhood, gold garland, colored lights, glass balls, and various theme ornaments (like bears, or college teams). I love the trees that reflect the family's life.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I love it. Grew up in Alaska.
12. Can you ice skate? Yes, love it. I spent most of my weekends on the ice as a kid.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Can't remember one. Probably my bicycles.
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Slowing down and spending relaxing time with my family. I don't like to over schedule the holiday.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Any kind of cookie!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Traditional Polish food and cookies.
17. What tops your tree? A gold star, only because I can't find anything but tacky-looking angels the last few years. Maybe I will just make one!
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving. I tend to be a good gift giver, as a friend recently told me. :) Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. In fact, I usually tend to give at least one gift early, as I am too excited to wait to give gifts to others.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? I can't pick one...Silver bells, Little Drummer Boy, and Do You See What I See? I HATE Santa Baby and Jingle Bell Rock, and that Beatles song because they are overplayed here locally.
20. Candy canes? YES. Good in your tea.
21. Favorite Christmas movie? Charlie Brown Christmas (see child o' the 70s.)
22. What do you leave for Santa? Cookies and milk.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Put the baby to bed!

Tadaaaa! The baby blanket is finally done. It was one of those projects were I kept measuring and saying "...just a few more inches..." but it kept stretching and contracting and driving me a little nutz. This is because I couldn't quite stretch the blanket out to its true length horizontally because my circular needles were a little too short.




Samantha's Baby Blanket
Pattern: TBA
Yarn: Berocco Hush (Color #6303) and Lullaby (Color #4303)
Source: Yarns Forever
Needle: Size 13 Clover Bamboo 36" Circs
The blanket turned out maybe a little too heavy. I hope my best friend can at least use it as a throw or a floor blanket for the baby to play on if it is too heavy to use in the usual manner. :)
If enough people want it, I will publish a pattern.
I think the antibiotics are working a bit, but I still feel quite sickly.
Response to Rachel's Blog Questions:
1. What are you working on now? Just finished the baby blanket. Bob's meadowlark socks.
2. What is in your UFO (unfinished object) pile? One Morehouse Farm sweatervest, KPPM socks, dishcloths.
3. What is your favorite fiber? Any kind of mohair wool.
4. What is your favorite thing to make? Socks and sweaters.
5. What fiber do you absolutely hate? Fuzzy cheap acrylic that tries to imitate angora. UGH!
Jan 2007 Update: Please email me if you wish to have this pattern sent to you. Blogger does not support uploading files.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Power of the Z-pack

So I went to my new doctor today and she prescribed the Z-Pack o' lovely horsepill antibiotics. But if you have never taken these before, believe me they are worth it because it kills just about any infection you could have. She was amazed that I had been sick for 3 weeks and agreed that now that I have the cough and a bit of a sore throat, it is time to try some antibiotics. So lets all hope that the pills kill the germs and I can get on with things. Otherwise, they may not know what to do with me.



Tuesday morning I finished my mommy's Christmas present. Yes, I am 33 and am not too ashamed to say "mommy." :) Here it is:

Mohair Boucle Scarf
Pattern: My own (CO 24 stitches, K2P2 until desired length)
Yarn: Kid Mohair Boucle in "Lily Pond" Colorway ( Sport Wt, 250 Yards, One Skein)
Source: Koenig Farm & Spinnery, www.koenigfarm.com
Needle: Size 10 1/2 Clover Bamboo 24" Circs



I snapped the picture yesterday, and it is already in the mail on its way to Alaska. Now I need to finish the baby blanket. I have maybe 4 inches left on it to finish. Then weaving in everything.



I think I am going to go lay down now with a cup of tea. Time to dig out that new box of Organic Passion Plum that I love so much. It tastes like blueberries, plums and cinnamon to me. Maybe if I get perky later in the week I will share my reviews of some cookie and cupcake recipes.

Oh, I almost forgot...in response to the questions in the comments:
  • Yes, I have tried Chicken Soup, and regrettably, it is just not enough. I think I have been living mostly on soup these last few weeks. :)
  • The Guild Xmas Party was fun. The food was catered the same as last year, so it was delicious. But, I missed the gift exchange. I would have still donated money and knitted gear to charity AND done the gift exchange. Oh well.

Also, I have requested to join Sockentine's exchange on the Knitting Help forum. Hopefully I will be accepted and maybe I can get around to knitting some lovely beaded socks or something for that.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I am sick of being sick!

Here it is, 3 weeks later and I am still sick. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can kill this never ending head cold? Taking Airborne, vitamins and fluids is not enough. I would appreciate it. I am starting with a new doctor on Thursday, so if it is not gone by then I am going to ask for intervention.



Tonight is our SC Knitting Guild Christmas Party. I knitted two preemie hats on Saturday morning for the charity hat admission fee. With being sick, I am not as perky to do anything, let alone knit or set up Christmas trees or write Christmas cards. I tried to rest this weekend to beat this cold, but it did not seem to help.



I decided to have my little teddy bear, Snowball, model one of the hats for us. :)

I forgot to say, if you are stopping by my blog, please take time to leave a comment! I would love to read it, as I am a new blogger.

Friday, December 08, 2006

In support of poor graduate students...

Having been one myself, I am going to help participate in another blogger's research.

Read this link here. And help out if you are another blogger.

Philosopher's Wool = Super Nice

(Can't be an engineer without a few equations every now and then.)

To my dismay, two days ago my Philosopher's Wool birthday present arrived with a big slash in the soft mailer package. Two skeins were slashed! So I wrote an email to Philosopher's Wool and Ann Bourgeois called me this morning and asked me to send samples of the two damaged skeins so that they could match colors and replace them! She was really, really nice. It is so nice to find people in the yarn industry that provide good customer service in replacing damaged goods. It is so refreshing.

I will start on the Philosopher's Wool Tradition Sweater in the Peacock Colorway after I finish a fair isle hat. I want to get in some easy practice before I take the big plunge...maybe at the end of January or so.

Meanwhile, I know you all are wondering what I am doing as I have not posted pictures of knitting content. I am still working on my mom's Christmas scarf and then THE BLOB, aka, baby blanket, for my most bestest friend....

Mohair Boucle Scarf
Pattern: My own (CO 24 stitches, K2P2 until desired length)
Yarn: Kid Mohair Boucle in "Lily Pond" Colorway ( Sport Wt, 250 Yards, One Skein)
Source: Koenig Farm & Spinnery, www.koenigfarm.com
Needle: Size 10 1/2 Clover Bamboo 24" Circs


Samantha's Baby Blanket
Pattern: TBA
Yarn: Berocco Hush (Color #6303) and Lullaby (Color #4303)
Source: Yarns Forever

Needle: Size 13 Clover Bamboo 36" Circs

I promise, promise, promise to post a nice picture of the blob when it is finished with the ribbon woven around the sides of it. I just wanted to take a picture that did not give away TOO much, as my friend checks out my blog and I only want to assure her it is getting done yet not ruin the surprise! The baby blanket is of my own pattern. Maybe I will post that when I am done! It uses Berocco Hush and Lullaby.

Oh, and I forgot to say her baby was born one month early (last friday) so now I am behind! AHHHHH! I thought I was doing fine on Christmas and baby knitting until that day. :) Oh well, you can only plan life so much.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Go UF! and Atlanta Yarn Shop Reviews

We have returned victorious from Atlanta! The Gators won (by some lucky plays) against Arkansas. I swear that the special teams and defense constantly bail out the Gators this season. But I am no football expert so I will just stop there. My DH is ecstatic that they have made the National Championship.

I stopped by 3 knitting stores in Atlanta. I had to limit the visits because we did not get going on this part of the trip until noon on Sunday. Bless all of those that are open on Sundays!

Why Knot Knit - A yarn shop in Buckhead. They were fairly friendly, and had a good selection of Cascade 220, Manos Del Urguay, Mission Falls, Mountain Colors, Debble Bliss and other yarns. Check out there website for a complete list. Very beautiful shop. I will keep them in mind the next time I am in the area and finally get around to purchasing some Manos for a Knitty pattern.

Knitch - A new store near Druid Hills. Okay, this store has an amazing selection of Cascade 220 in oodles of colors. It also has alot of high quality yarns and some local or artisan yarns. The clientele and staff were very nice. They even serve a special coffee blend created for their store. Plenty of room to sit and knit. I will go back. I purchased some Claudia Hand Painted Sock Yarn in the Santa Fe Colorway.



Nease's Needlework - They were closed, so I did not get to go in.

Dear "Knitting Blogs Group Two"

I am not able to add the ringsurf code to my blog. It appears that many bloggers have not been able to post new html code for a few days now on Blogger Beta. I am not sure when this will clear up, but please don't remove me from the ringsurf group.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oi! So behind and the bestest day in my world...

So I am at least a week out of date. Oh no make that two weeks! Where has time gone?! I have been under the weather with that nasty cold that is going around...it stays in your head and clings on for at least 2 weeks. Argh. I fought it off with Airborne for a week and finally succumbed. Caught it from my DH. Reminds me of all of the birthdays I spent as a child sick with the flu. Yes, every year. :P

Today is the bestest day in the world because it is my birthday! I can say this because I do not have any kids yet (and their birthdays would supercede mine), and I get presents! Yeeeeee!

So far, my knitting-related presents are:
- 3 books of Fair Isle Knitting (Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified, The Art of Fair Isle Knitting, Traditional Fair Isle Knitting)
- 1 Philosopher's Wool Kit: Tradition in Peacock Colorway (has not arrived yet)

My husband does go overboard, but he loves to spoil me. All of these books were recommended by Beth Walker, my fair isle instructor at Stitches, and so far I am really enjoying The Art of Fair Isle Knitting.

I have finished two pairs of fetching gloves. Haven't blocked them yet. One pair is for someone special....can you guess who you are?





Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK, Color 1280
Source: Yarns Forever
Needle: Size 6 Bamboo DPNs

I changed the fetching pattern by adding an extra 5 rows and cable round at the finger tips, and an extra five rows at the thumb. I also did not do the picot bind off because I did not like how it really belled out from my fingers with the soft alpaca yarn. So I just did a plain bind off in pattern, ensuring to try to keep it a little tight so that the finished fabric would stay closer to the hand.


I have started on my mom's Christmas scarf, which is going to be just like the one I knit earlier for my MIL, except it will be in a different colorway. I will post pics later....time to go out for a Birthday Dinner!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My first toe-ups KAL

I finally picked out the sock pattern I am going to use for my first toe-ups!

Pattern: Widdershins, http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTwiddershins.html
Yarn: Brown Sheep Company Wildfoote Sock Yarn, Colorway Symphony (SY-600)
Source: Yarns Forever
Needle: Size 1 Clover Bamboo DPNs

And I will start on the sockamaniac socks as well (soon), in an Aran Twist pattern by Deby Lake.

Meanwhile, this morning, I casted on for another pair of Fetching, as a Christmas present for a friend.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How I spent my weekend....

Hey y'all! So happy to report I am now done with ONE Christmas present! Yayayayayay.....and here I was stressing out over not having done any yet. Here it is....


Mohair Boucle Scarf
Pattern: My own (CO 24 stitches, K2P2 until desired length)
Yarn: Kid Mohair Boucle in "Confetti" Colorway ( Sport Wt, 250 Yards, One Skein)
Source: Koenig Farm & Spinnery, www.koenigfarm.com
Needle: Size 10 1/2 Clover Bamboo 24" Circs

I need to do one more of these in a different colorway for my mom, and a few other presents I should not mention here lest one of my friends sees what her Christmas present is....

Now I just need to get going on some other presents, a toe up sock for the KAL, and some charity squares. I think I need another cup of coffee.
That reminds me, try adding a little ground cinnamon to your coffee grounds before you brew your morning coffee. It is very delicious!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Time for some project pics

I realize that I need to provide some pictures to go along with the projects I am working on. I will be sure to add more of these in time. I finished ONE of my Mountain Colors Bearfoot socks yesterday. So I will have to get started on the other one soon. But I REALLY need to start on some of those Christmas gifts now that Stitches is over.


Bob's Meadlowlark Socks

Pattern: Bob's Meadlowlark

Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Sunburst colorway

Source: Mountain Colors purchased at Yarns Forever

Needle: Size 2 Clover Bamboo DPNs


I also made a pair of these socks this summer in the Lupine colorway. They were so easy and beautiful, I decided to start another pair to work on during lulls in Stitches activity.
I promise to take better pictures later....

Your moment of zen.....

Sometimes, you are so busy going about your day that you forget to stop and enjoy life. So here is your chance to stop and enjoy how beautiful fall is.




Now go make a cuppa tea and take a few deep breaths!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stitches East Review

Just returned from a 5 day trip for Stitches East 2006, where I was helping a friend run her yarn store's booth. This post is a little late as I am still catching up on sleep and have just started blogging today! It was a great experience, and wanted to share my thoughts with you all on a few things. I am not a vendor, nor do I work in a yarn store. Just a fellow yarnaholic.

Classes:
I took three classes while there.

  • Learn to Love Intarsia with Sally Melville - A+ Class. Sally is friendly, personable and teaches many useful techniques in a short amount of time. These techniques are useful for intarsia as well as other types of projects. This would be a good class to supplement your reading of her third book, The Knitting Experience: Book 3: Color (The Knitting Experience), before you have tried to tackle any of the projects in it. Those in the class who had already done some of her projects in the book STILL learned how to better accomplish the techniques. This was my best class at Stitches.

  • Fair Isle Knitting with Beth Walker-O'Brien - A Class. Beth was great, made you feel like you were being taught by a friend. She is also friendly, personable and made sure that she moved all around the classroom to help everyone. She demonstrated techniques from many locations in the classroom, as well as to small groups. Everyone in the class had practiced knitting in the hand they are not used to knitting in well before the class, so we were able to move at a fast clip. (I highly recommend doing this by knitting a few washcloths, like the "Back to School" free patterns on Knitty.com using inexpensive Sugar N' Cream yarn. You will be respected and much liked by your classmates for being prepared AND you will get more out of the class by already mastering this.) She shared her contact info with everyone, so that we could email her at anytime with questions. Be advised that she is getting divorced, so that you can find her under her maiden name Beth Walker at future Stitches events.
  • Intarsia without Fear with Edie Eckman - B Class. I thought this was a good class until I took Sally Melville's. Edie will teach you a few traditional techniques with humor and patience, while Sally Melville will teach you many more techniques.
I feel that The Market could have been run a bit better than it did for the vendors, from my observations. It seemed there wasn't enough communication with the vendors on the procedures for setting up and breaking down. You could tell that no one with real logistics or planning experience was put in charge of that operation. :) I hope they can fix this in future Stitches East. It will make it easier for the vendors to participate. Also, vendors did not receive doorprize entry forms for the customers, nor were they giving them out with every purchase when they did! As a result, many people did not get to enter into the drawings as much as they should have. So be sure to ask for these next year!
Food - Either plan on eating great french fries and greasy food at the concession stand, eat at the great pubs across the street, or pack your own lunch. I did the latter two choices. Also, Starbucks is located on the third floor, so be sure to hit that for caffeine-assisted learning!

This is obvious, but budget plenty o money for your purchases, and bring a list of what you wish to see and buy. The Market is a great opportunity for you to see all of those cool yarns and gadgets you have heard about but can't find locally. The list also helps you stay on budget! I found extra yarn money by cashing in my coin jar before the trip. (Don't laugh, it works!$60 worth! Thats 3 skeins of sock yarn!)
My Stitches East purchases:

  • Socks That Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts - I bought 4 colorways of the lightweight 100% Superwash Merino Sock Yarn: Lucy, Fred Flinstone, Metamorphic, Blue Brick Wall (a gift for a friend). I also bought one colorway of their Seduction Sock Yarn, which is 50% Merino and 50% Tencel, in Nodding Violet. I also bought three of their sock patterns: Central Air, Cedar Creek Socks, and Lavender and Lace. If anyone has worked any of these patterns, please let me know your thoughts.

  • Tiny Toes by Interlacements - I bought one colorway #402 Taiga. It is a variegated green colorway.



Super Socks & Baby by Tess Yarns - I bought a colorway with greens, blues and purples, but since it did not come with a label, I do not know what it is called. I am guessing that it is the Rainforest colorway.


Sunflower Kit by Decadent Fibers - this is a needle felting "recipe" for me to make sunflowers to decorate my house.


A "K2TOG" magnet from ModernYarn - I find this romantic, like my husband and I knitting our two lives together....okay a touch of gooshiness, sorry. Moving on....

Even though this is my birthday month and had a birthday present budget set for Stitches from my DH, I had to limit my purchases, as I had gone to SAFF the weekend before and spent way too much there. I will share my purchases from that in a separate post!