Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bits and Pieces

I don’t have much excitement going on today. I worked on my Army file organization project some. I’m getting there. All that is left to do is integrate the smaller (formerly larger) stack of files into the ones in the black folders and eliminate the duplicate documents, then whew! All evidence of my Army career will be contained in one place.

Of course, now I have this pile of shredding to deal with. (hee!)

Earlier, I got so inspired and excited by Becca’s entry about these socks that I wanted to jump right in my car and head to the nearest LYS to buy more Noro sock yarn, fortunately (or unfortunately), it’s starting to snow (again), so I think the afternoon will be better spent working on something I’ve actually started knitting; probably the ILG sock.

While I was checking out blogs, I also saw this contest on a link from Deb’s blog and decided to share the news… heck the rules even encourage it. Go ahead; take a few minutes to check it out… I’ll wait.

I don’t want to fall into the trap that the Yarn Harlot did yesterday and spend the whole afternoon on the computer, so since that’s about everything I can think of to write about today I’ll leave you to go and do whatever you do when you’re not wasting, um... spending time online.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gone, But Not Forgotten

So my only knitting news is that I frogged the Tie-Dyed Boxes Mitered T project. I just couldn’t go on with it anymore. The final straw was when DH commented that the dark rectangle in the middle would just make it look like I was cut in half… since that was the suspicion sneaking up on me as I worked it all along… that was that. I really liked both of the yarns I was using (nay, I lurv the Colinette), just not so much together and not at all with the pattern. Snif…. I really like the pattern.
Both pattern and yarns will eventually be paired up with better yarn / patterns and come out beautiful like I expected them to initially with this project. I didn’t work much on the sock since I was trying to get far enough along with the mitered T to make a decision. I did work on a charity hat during the ‘State of the Union’ speech. I probably won’t be posting pictures of all of these on the blog but I’ve done 3 out of the 4 targeted for Jan, so if I get that one done, I’ll meet my goal. (Maybe a group shot at end of month… hmmmm) I may post a ticker at some point… we’ll see. Today I had other things to tend to such as calling the newspaper office to get compensated for a ripped-to-shreds-soaking-wet edition that was delivered by our so-called-care-ier, so everything else got put on hold. Okay, hmpf; so it really only took like 3 minutes, but it put me in a bad mood most of the morning, and you can guess what said bad mood does to motivation.
Okay… well there was also updating ravelry (and lollygagging around in forums and such) and a pair of pants to hem and well, really there are so many other things around the house that need my attention. Lest you think all I ever do is knit and complain. (Hee, mood is getting better already!) Now, I have some gratuitous yarn eye-candy to show off. Paula from Koffe Klatch spun this up and gave us some last week to play with. I think the blue one is going to get combined with the handspun I bought at the (Wisconsin State) fair last summer for a hat (for me) or scarf…. haven’t exactly decided yet.


But in the meantime, isn’t it pretty?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Options Update

I spent the weekend nursing a very sore arm, but I paced myself and managed to do a little bit of work on each of the projects I mentioned in my last post:

I completed one repeat of the pattern on the ILG Sock (sorry about the pic, too late in the day I guess):

I worked on the Tie-Dyed boxes (mitered-Tee) top:

I swatched for my February socks project, but didn’t take a pic… I just needed to know if the pattern was going to work for the yarn I was using, so there will be pics when the real project gets underway.

I even got thru some of the paperwork I needed to sort :
The black folders are already mostly organized, it's really just the purple ones and the other pile that I need to do something with. I'll get there :)
Ever the optimist, I did finally get a file cabinet to put it in when the sorting is done!

I finished the shredding and even managed to do most of my regular stuff, too! My arm is still a little sore and the bruise on my hip will last another week or so, but it’s already starting to be less sore.
Saucey wanted to model, but the angle wasn't very flattering to the project. Maybe when the sock is done....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Multiple Choice

Options…. I have them. This afternoon/evening I can:

Knit…. Work on the ILG sock or the Mitered T … or even a swatch for an upcoming project

Organize …. these rascally Army files (Major procrastination going on with this)

Shred stuff…. Oops … made a mess emptying the shredder basket… better add vacuuming to the options.

(That’s as far as I got with this post before I had a forced change in plans)

Here’s what happened. There’s a light snow falling. I went out to get the mail. Since the mail box is right at the end of the driveway, I just slipped on a pair of clogs. I got the mail and scurried back inside. I stepped in and off the mat; set one foot on the tile floor and; clogs+ snow+ tile = bam … I fell … hard. Man! (graceful as a swan I am) I’m going to have one nasty bruise on my hip (yes Mom, the bad one) and another on my elbow… oh and my wrist isn’t too happy right now, either. (No big worries, it’s nothing a lot of Advil or Tylenol won’t fix).

Soooo… methinks a little of nothing might just be the ticket.

Well, there is some reading I need to catch up on. . .

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nuttin' Honey

Today was one of those days where staying in was the best option. I had to go out for a bit early in the morning and the highest my car thermometer got was 1 degree. Yeesh. So I did just that. I got some knitting done; I photographed the Jaywalker socks
and worked a little on the second I Love Gansey Sock (from the Harvest Sock Swap). But mostly, I watched TV, I zoned in front of the internet a bit (yeah for blogs and Ravelry) and just had a completely laid back stay-indoors kind of day. How about you? Staying warm?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Crazy Hard

I love the colors and the striping I’m getting, but this yarn is crazy-hard to photograph. It snowed overnight, but the sky was a little brighter today so I attempted to get an outside shot. Here is what I got outdoors on the deck (too cold and snowy out to try going anywhere else):

Here’s another shot taken inside:

See?!?

The flash really washes it out. The color is actually somewhere in-between the darkness outside and the brightness inside. Trust me. I really can’t capture how pretty these are going to be when they are done, which will be very soon.

On a random note, I signed up for a new class today. It’s just a two hour finishing workshop, but hopefully I’ll learn a thing or two.

Speaking of learning new things, Zelda learned a new game this weekend. DH and I were enjoying a friendly game of Texas Hold ‘Em and Zelda decided to join in. I use the phrase “join in” very loosely. What she was actually doing was stealing chips. Every time we started a new round, after we put the “ante” in, Zelda felt the need to help herself to a chip or two. This went on for quite a while until we got tired of having to retrieve the chips from under the loveseat. Saucey came over once to see what all the fuss was about, but didn’t care one way or another.

You think we would learn not to use the ottoman for game playing….?

Oh, and guess who won?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Missed Opportunity

Yesterday was very cold outside, but the sun was out and we had a really bright day. Too bad I didn’t think about taking my Jaywalker sock (s) out and getting a decent picture of the colors…. I am now making great progress on these, despite lack of photographic evidence otherwise. Today is back to grey and overcast, with light snow and more forecast tonight (sigh... ).

So, instead, I give you a more current picture of the birthday boy himself… (reading his new book from Nana and Papa)
Eli, now 4:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Rambles……

Four years ago today, I had the privelege of being with my daughter when my first grandson was born! Wasn’t he a cutie…? Ahem, still is! (Happy Birthday Big Boy Eli!) Time sure flies.....

The Jaywalker socks are progressing slower than hoped, but striping very nicely. I had to do a few adjustments to make the pattern work for my size. (That ol’ gauge thang again don’cha know)

(The color in this pic clearly doesn't do this yarn justice). Hopefully I'll get one bright day before I finish them.

The Mitered T is also showing signs of progress. This one has been hanging around for a little bit, but my goal is to complete it in Jan. I have the base for the front and the back done and now need to pick up the stitches that form the sides and knit those up (and around). Here’s what they look like so far. I love the Colinette yarn. Part of me hopes there’ll be enough left over for matching socks (Tee, Hee).

Oh and if you live anywhere in the path of the extreme cold being forecast, stay warm. (Just another good excuse to stay in and knit!)

And if you are having a long weekend like my DH, I hope it is a free-to-knit (or whatever other activity you enjoy) weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Stand and Wind

Yeah! Another payoff of getting the office done and all my knitting stuff together in one place is that I don’t have to use the winder on the coffee table (which meant getting down on my knees) anymore. I can use the sewing table so I can stand up while I wind a ball of yarn now! This makes me exceptionally happy.
See:

Yarn being wound is Fleece Artist Basic Merino Socks in Blackberry (prize yarn from Jodi's contest). I think I’ll finally try the Jaywalker pattern using this yarn, but will switch patterns if the striping doesn’t come out right. If I don’t get bogged down working on these this pair will be the first socks I do for the Sock-a-Month 5 Knit Along (SAM 5) that is the follow on to SAM4. I really enjoy having the KAL as motivation to get socks knit… especially since I really have a lot of sock yarn (hee, hee). Just one drawer full....... (I didn’t say “too much,” just “a lot”) I don’t really think there could be such a thing as “too much;” do you?

Anyway, getting back to my original train of thought: Since tackling this office redo; I realized that I have a terrible tendency to under- or over-estimate the size of a project. ‘Little’ projects turn out to be major undertakings and big projects take far less time than I had anticipated. I always get the feeling that there is this giant grey cloud hanging over my head when I have a project I need to start. Sometimes it works that way with knitting too. It has been that way with this office redo. It was on the to do list for so very long that the more I thought about it, the bigger that cloud got and the less motivation I felt to get started. Also, not doing that project led to me not doing other things (large and small) that needed to be done as well. (Like using this yarn to knit with because it needed winding) That is a terrible cycle to get caught up in. So, the good news is that I feel like I’m near the end of my projects around the house. Today, I reorganized the books on the shelves that were moved into the family room and have a few more odds and ends to finish up there. Next I have Christmas Decorations to take down (yes, I’ve been distracted); and some paperwork to organize (those blasted Army records). Just being able to see a light at the end of the tunnel is an enormous motivator. Think of all the knitting and reading I’ll be able to get done once everything is finished!
I think I’ll go do a little happy dance now….

Monday, January 14, 2008

The End Result

Well, the hard work to get the office done is paying off already. Here’s a little video tour of the finished office:
video(Forgive the shaky camera and soft voice). I guess I need more practice shooting video. Anyhoo, the room looks so much better and getting to the stuff we need is significantly easier than it used to be. Especially having my knitting supplies and yarn near where I knit is a huge improvement. We’ll be doing a few more tweeks as the need arises, but overall are satisfied with the result.

Oh, and speaking of results; here are the finished gloves:

Pattern: Winter Gem from Fall “Cast On”
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK
Size 1 needles (2 needle circular technique)
Started 12/27; finished 1/9

Next up is going to be the Mitered T; the ILG socks have to simmer awhile while I contemplate the pattern charts.

Friday, January 11, 2008

There's something funny afoot...

Saucey here,
I decided not to let mommy blog today. She has been doing the most annoying things. She mad a big mess in two different rooms and put things in boxes and moved the furniture around. I mean really! All the good sleeping spots are really hard to get to. Then she put her blog post all about Zelda yesterday. Can you believe the nerve? I try to tell her that Zelda is just a trouble maker, but does she listen to me...? Well, frankly, I think the Alpaca got what was coming to it. It's been so grey and icky outside the last couple of days. My sun spots have all been hidden. Mommy's been so busy that she didn't even remember to turn the heat thing on for me. I've had such a hard time staying warm. She won't even sit still for me to sit in her lap. So when I saw the computer was on, well, you know, I just felt like I needed to put in my opinions. Mommy did sort of clean up most the mess yesterday, but I heard her and daddy talking that they have to do more work before everything is done. I sure hope that it's soon. I don't know what all this funny business is, but there better not be a big truck and funny smelling men coming to our house. Well, I just heard the garage door open, that must mean daddy is home. Maybe he'll give me a snack....


Laters


S

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Caught in the Act

There was nearly an alpaca abduction at chez nana last night:
Save me!
Fortunately the rustler was routed and the alpaca was spared further abuse and terrorizing ...
The office redo continues, but is not photoworthy just yet.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Underway….

"Can you believe the mess she is making downstairs??"


I just got back from my visit to the container store and here’s what my car looked like:I didn’t take pictures of the mess this stuff made inside. (In my already messed up family room/staging area). I think the cats are getting a little worried....
Hopefully over the next couple of days it will sort itself out into the lovely workstations and storage pieces I designed. Then I’ll take nice pictures of my pretty new office (hee, hee, heee). But really, I’m feeling like things are getting accomplished with this project so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

Oh, and a funny thing happened on the way home from the container store. (Don’t tell my hubby). I found a yarn shop! Whee! It was right where it always was, I just never made the connection that the two stores were actually in the same town and not very far apart. (I won’t go into my geography issues here, but it happens!) Thanks to my good old shop finder (that I keep in the car); I found it and was able to stop in for a few minutes. I was a good girl though, considering that I just spent a fair amount for the office, I only bought 2 skeins of yarn. One skein for a WIP as a just-in-case I need more, and one for a planned project that I needed a specific color for. But it’s nice to get to see what they have and get on the mailing list.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Time Has Come….

...to finally organize the office.

Today is a get’r done (started) day! I decided I could not put off getting the office organized much longer. It is in a constant state of disarray and I can’t live with it anymore. I’ve been avoiding it too long. So today I am taking the first step. Getting the book shelves moved to the family room. This has been sort of a back and forth decision. In order to move the shelves, all the books have to come off. I have a LOT of books. If all the books come off, not all of them go back on. Purging is a must. It’s just such a hard thing to do. Thus the procrastination! I love books. I love all my books, but alas, know I have some that I really won’t read again. So today, I dug in. Here’s the stack of books that will be going bye-bye. Hopefully they can find better homes with people interested in the subject matter. Whew! That was hard to do, but much better now that it is done. Next up, relocating the book cases; this means disassembly. (And reassembly) Once the books are moved, the next step will be taking a really good look at how we want the room to function. I’ve had several ideas, but the one most dominant is that we both want to be able to use the room practically and have at least two work surfaces. There must be one area for the computer and another for all other tasks. For me this is a place to play with ideas for knitting projects and to organize my knitting projects. For DH, it’s just a place to spread out when he needs to do any written type work. The upside of getting the office done means I get to relocate my stash and knitting related stuff upstairs so I can clean up the mess surrounding my favorite (knitting) chair in the living room. (With my arthritis, it gets hard to go up and down the stairs too often). But this means another consideration for organizing the office. We need to make a decision on moving the giant cabinet (currently housing my yarn and supplies) upstairs. If we don't, there still needs to be adequate storage to hold my knitting stuff (about 13 bins of STASH)
so it looks neat and orderly – I definitely don’t want to go from one type of clutter to another. Of course the best part, is once the decisions are made and the design created, I get to go out to the container store to buy what I need.... yipee! (Elfa Sale, yeah!)
So, there is still much more to do today and since Saucey has claimed the chair by the computer and I can't get it done while I'm playing around with the blog, I'll end here. More updates as events unfold!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 is upon us!

Greetings and happiness in the New Year!

I had a nice Christmas visit with two of my Brothers, my parents, my brothers wives and kids and a (probably soon to be family member) friend of one of my nieces. We started off in central Illinois at my younger brother’s house for a Christmas day celebration and then headed west the next day to beautiful Galena, IL for skiing, shopping and general family time. We were joined by my brother’s in-laws who are actually a part of the extended family because our families have been friends for so long. This was the first time I tried skiing so I honestly have to say that being with my brothers was fun…. I did more of this... than this... Maybe cross-country skiing would be more compatible with my style….

Did I mention shopping? That was fun. I, mom, SIL Bonnie and (not pictured) my Dad and niece Debbie hit downtown Galena when everybody else went back to the slopes. There were many fun shops and lots to see, oh- and of course a Yarn Shop. (Fiber Wild!) If you get out that way, it’s a must stop.
Mostly it was a relaxing trip and lots of fun family time.

I knit a little too. I got a start on these – Winter Gem (from Cast On fall issue). Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK First project for 2008!