Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who can blog at a time like this?

No, really. Robert Goulet has died! Sir Lancelot! Such a voice. Gone. Double sigh. Okay, I always knew he was too old for me, and would probably never ride in on that white horse and swoop me away to Las Vegas or whatever luxurious place he was singing, but gee, I always loved to hear him sing. And I always got a giggle out of the nut commercial. It's sad news indeed.

So, I did get another hat started last night no pics yet, but in-between my post yesterday and starting the hat, I did this,
with this:

Now that slipper wearing weather has really started, my fuzzy white slippers desperately needed replacement and Hey! I had this really fuzzy acrylic and some old silver and white stuff that I had absolutely no idea what to do with... inspiration! Lo and behold, the Every Cloud has a Silver Lining slippers are born! (well, knitted). This slipper pattern is one of the easiest ever and it only takes about 3.5 to 4 hours to do an adult sized pair. (Evening TV watching - even if you sometimes stop knitting to pay attention during "House").
So even if there will never be a knight on a shining white horse... there are now new shiny white (fuzzy) slippers :)
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2 boxes of Kleenex later…Ambition!

Well, I am feeling slightly better than yesterday. I was able to sit up and drink coffee this morning. (ha, ha). Truly much more energy today though. And happily, the runny nose has stopped and the fever has left. I’m still hoarse and I think the cough will hang around a day or two more. I guess I’m in good company, my Mom and DD #2 were also sick last week/weekend. One of the joys of the changing of the season, I guess. Between allergies and fluctuating temps I can never seem to get thru fall or spring without some kind of cold or bout of sinusitis. Sigh. I did regain enough energy in the evening yesterday to finish the purse. It is just waiting to be felted, now. As the pattern promised it really is a quick knit. I’ll post a picture once it is felted. Next up, I’ll probably cast on for another 76-stitch hat with some more scrap yarn this afternoon and I think I better work on my Christmas stocking, just so I can get the silly thing done. Also, I’m thinking I want to work on either my vest kit or my mitered-T project. Beyond that, I’ll be evaluating my queue and project list to decide what gets added to my ‘to do’ list. November socks will probably be something mindless just so I can get them done. (I have 4 balls of SWS planned for socks and they knit up really quick, so that would be two pair for November if I can get both of them done, especially since they are going to be gifts). I made a pair for myself last year and wore them the other day when we went to see the alpaca’s and they were comfy and warm. Perfect for a fall outing. I guess with that said, I better get knitting!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Too sick to knit?

Almost. I don’t even want to drink coffee right now. Even though I was snuffly and feverish most of the weekend I did manage to get a little knitting in.

We even went out and saw some alpaca’s at the Alpaca Extravaganza . We saw lots of great animals and there was a very nice assortment of vendors. I couldn’t convince my hubby that we could make a little room for one in the guest room and walk it down to the park every day for grazing… hmmm (an alpaca that is, not a vendor). However, I did get these pictures,
a nice big skein (650 yds!) of charcoal grey alpaca to make hubby some socks, and a cute bag by Mango Moon (like I needed another one) for carrying my WIPs. I really like the wide strap and it's **purple**
I finished the Surf socks Friday night and boy I am glad they are finished! I then cast on for another PADs hat and the “Amanda’s Squatty Sidekick” felted purse. I finished the hat, and am still working on the purse. The purse pattern promises it will be a quick knit and I think I am actually about halfway finished.

I just don’t have the will to knit right now. Doing mundane household things like updating our checkbooks, making a few phone calls and updating the budget worksheet along with doing a couple of loads of laundry have used up most of my energy. This blog post might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I think when I get done I’ll probably just park myself in front of the TV and watch home decorating shows until I doze off or get ideas about redecorating.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Look what came in the mail today!

Yeah, my prize yarn from Jodi's contest has arrived! (Thank you again Jodi!) Isn’t it beautiful? I love these colors and anybody who knows me knows that the bulk of my winter wardrobe is red, navy, grey, purple and black. Now, just to find a nice sock pattern to bring out the best in these colors. Until then, I think I will keep it in my knitting basket so I can pet it.

An update on the list I posted Monday….

Surf Socks – only the toe left to go (should finish that tonight)
Book read, book club meeting attended, fully participated in discussion.
Office – 1 container purged and sorted; storage solution store reconnoitered.
Bathroom – hubby still patching and sanding; painting will commence Saturday or Sunday
Purse – Partial progress: bottom and side seams sewed (purse fabric and liner fabric); need to cut pieces for handles; sew handles and then pin whole mess together with lining, zipper and what not for final sewing

Have a happy, crafty weekend one and all!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Caught in the Act...

The attack:

The prey:
The guilty,(hiding behind thermos): (Who Me?)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two stories and an Update

So, it occurs to me that the last post I did about Zelda painted her as a “wild kitty” … which she is still slightly, but she has settled down a lot since we first got her. She has almost overcome my hubby’s angst over her acrobatic skills and has got him swayed. She regularly curls up in his lap for evening snooze now.
She is so funny sometimes. Her latest antics involve turning our things into playthings. Twice she has tried to make off with my watch while I was in the shower. Today she succeeded in knocking it into the wastebasket and if I had had enough foresight to bring the camera in the shower with me, I would have got the funniest picture of her half in the wastebasket trying to fish it back out. Silly me. Earlier (At 4 am) she was trying to make off with a piece of jewelry and wasn’t happy with me getting out of bed and taking it away. The funniest thing though is her fascination with the candy dish that I keep my chocolate in… she is constantly dipping her paw into it trying to fish out a piece and has succeeded on a couple of occasions, luckily I was able to get to the candy she flipped out before she could bat it under something. I guess I should admire her taste in treats!

I’m still making progress on the surf sock and have turned the heel and am headed to the foot via the gusset shaping. Woo, hoo!

I mentioned buying a CD yesterday. The book we are reading for our book club is “It’s All about Him” By Denise Jackson. She is the wife of Alan Jackson and it is her personal testimony. So far I’m enjoying the book. In the book she tells the story of how Alan came to record the Gospel Album Precious Memories I won’t spoil it in case you want to read the book yourself, and I highly recommend it. If you like biographies or personal stories, this is one to try. So, when I was at the retailer-represented-by-a-dog yesterday, I bought the CD. So me being me, I popped the thing out of its protective plastic wrap and into the CD player almost as soon as I got home. Boy what a treat! It’s Alan Jackson, its acoustic… and its old time hymns the way we used to sing them. Great flood of memories, great singing along music… and one great song, if you read the book, which I dare you not to tear up and get sniffly when it plays.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Photo's for the update

Here's the pics that were supposed to go with earlier post:
Progress on Surf Sock!

Fun new yarn holder :)

Quickie Update

There’s something to be said for project monogamy – well at least if you’re working on something with a deadline… The second surf sock is starting to take shape. I have been cruising along pretty much. Except for the 5 or so rows that I had to tink, reknit, tink again and finally decide to go with the pattern even though I still didn’t think it looked right. I compared the same section to 1st sock and it looked the same. Don’t know what it is with that section of the pattern, but when I’m in the cable row … it just doesn’t look right. So, I’m getting there. Progress on the office is: 1 container down, 1 file reorganized, 1 pile of shredding done. Just for a treat and a break, I went and visited a major retailer down the road and found this today. Don’t you think it makes a cute holder for a sock in progress? Yup, I checked… it’s the exact same size as my small yarntainer and guess what?! Yup, the lids are interchangeable… oh the possibilities. I didn’t get any reading done on the book club book, but I did also buy the CD that is part of the story…more on that later. I'm going on a care team visit with DH and I don't have much time to post this afternoon. crud... blogger won't let me post photos right now. I promise to add them as soon as we get home.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lack of motivation trying to find a purpose

Today is a coffee-swilling, newspaper reading; lay around like a cat kind of day. Cool and cloudy outside. No sort of day for going out. I decided it might be a good day to spend planning. My goals for this week:

1) sort and purge two containers of files from office (make that one as of post time!)
2) finish surf sock #2
3) sew purse that I cut out pieces for 3 weeks ago
4) help hubby finish bathroom redo (paint, mirror, towel racks)
5) Finish reading book club book before book club meeting

This cartoon clipping that I found in the files I went thru about sums up the day (my scanner isn't that great - you might have to click- it-to-make-it-bigger to read it).

The cats just did this:




Watch out Saucey, Zelda's gaining on you!

Friday, October 19, 2007

My bathroom exploded...

Or, a cautionary tale about leaving your man home alone…

I went out this morning to do my volunteer office work at church; and came home to find this:

Actually, I knew this was going to happen. My husband has wanted to tackle this job for some time and finally took a day off work to do it.

The plan:
1) replace vanity for one with more storage
2) replace sink top to go with new vanity (old sink will replace damaged one in bathroom #2 – on another day)
3) put in new faucet to match updated lights and (eventually) towel racks
4) Eventually (not today, they have to be custom ordered) replace shower doors

The reality:
1) take out old vanity
2) discover new vanity is slightly taller than old one
3) Take mirror off wall; decide to replace it. (woo hoo! I never liked it any way, now I get a new one!)
4) Make huge mess all over the place
5) Chase cat out of bathroom repeatedly
6) Install new vanity
7) Realize plumbing will have to be adjusted to fit properly
8) Make several trips to home improvement center for plumbing parts, advice, new tools; to return other parts, more parts, etc
9) Install faucet and re-hook plumbing
10) Develop new plan to replace mirror, paint and install new towel racks (on another day and with several more trips to HIC of course).

I will eventually have a very nice bathroom. It might take a few more days and trips to the store...

Is there some secret that I don’t know about these hardware/home improvement centers that puts them up there with yarn shop addiction?

Anyhow, I’ve developed a mini-case of startitis and now have 3 separate projects OTN:

Surf sock (still)(sorry the paltry progress is not even picture worthy);
heart sachet (new);

Christmas stocking (off list, on needles)

I think I’ll blame the startitis on knitting daily’s poll about UFO’s (I seem to be lacking in this department – I could only come up with 1.5 projects besides my WIP). (Oh, and the free sachet pattern didn't help much either).

And of course there is still plenty more yarn for knitting hats for charity.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Here's what's on my mind today...

Wow, I mailed my HSS Pal’s box on Monday and she got it yesterday and has already posted to her blog about it! The USPS outdid itself. I’ve been happily working away on mushroom cap #2 and it should be finished before knit night tonight. The Surf socks are still moving slowly, but I think I can still finish them in time to count as my October SAM4 socks. I’ll probably just be one of the late posters this month is all.

Right now, I’m looking at a ridiculously blue sky with pretty (if a little measly) puffy white clouds out my window. Why is this relevant? Well, last night on the news, the lead story was the weather forecaster who was all gloom and doom talking of large Hail and possible Tornado’s… okay those clouds just don’t look like they could produce hail, tornado’s or even actual rain for that matter. Maybe there’s something coming in from somewhere else, but really, weather people – did we need all the drama?? Couldn’t you have just let the anchor guy spend another 5 minutes talking about taxation of the unfortunates in Cook County? I went out earlier today and the most vicious aspect of any weather between here and Racine was the wind – typical for this time of year I might add.

Dang; just checked in with Vicki Howell and Knitty Gritty is yet another repeat I’ve seen several times… hurry up with that new season woman!

On a completely different topic, if you remember my rant from September about DFAS and their barely sufficient customer service, I just wanted to note that I finally got the rest of my pay today. Can you believe that? 46 days to resolve a pay issue! I suppose I should be grateful that it only took 46 days, count my blessings that it could have been worse, so on and so forth, so forgive me but, I’m still feeling slightly miffed and outraged at the thought that this agency thinks this is an acceptable level of customer service!!!

Okay enough yakking…. Here’s a pretty fall-like fruit arrangement for your viewing and my dining pleasure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Time Management ha, ha

After finishing up a few household chores and other things today; I have been totally immersed in ravelry. Bad, I know. Okay not really bad, but time consuming for sure. I played around looking at patterns, added a few things to my notebook and updated more stash. I now have 75% or so of my stash entered. Really, just 3 bins of wool and one of um, acrylic fun yarn left to input.

I also got my to do list re-written as the majority of entries have been crossed off. I generally have a week or two of projects on my list at any given time.

WIP Updates: I finished the first mushroom cap and have cast on for another. This one is in the reverse colors and will be smaller. I finished the HSS sock and mailed the box to my pal yesterday. The first Surf sock is ready for the heel shaping (flap is underway).

I had to fight Saucey for the chair again today, but as you can tell by the longer post, I won… he, he.

So in addition to spending way too much time in ravelry I also had to photograph stash yarn; while I was at it, I took some pictures of what I am fondly referring to as Pre-Ravelry Knitting or pRK.
Here’s a quick peek:

Red Boot Socks (I think this is the first pair I ever knit around 1997 or so, either that or these) Purple striped socks … and some warm gear … My mushroom hat (purple and black circa 1998) and my grey and blue mittens (circa 1996)…
Some more pRK pictures are all out on my flickr site, but I haven’t decided whether I want to waste, ahem, spend time putting them all in Ravelry.

Yikes! I just realized I totally forgot to eat lunch today... now that is bad. I guess the hunger should have been a clue...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Not just another to do list

So didya ever have a day where you wrote what you did on your “to do” list just so you could cross something off? Well today sorta qualified for that. I did get two of the original things done, but so much else just needed doing and I did that instead of what I thought I should be doing. Yeah, like that…

Oh, but I did win a contest! Many thanks to Jodi. I stumbled onto her blog awhile back and check it now and then, I checked it one day last week and she just happened to be doing a contest… so, what the heck I entered on the theory that you can’t win if you don’t enter - and won a skein of sock yarn. Yeah!

Right now the cat is totally hogging the desk chair, so I’m trying to type while sitting on the very edge of the seat. I don’t think this arrangement is going to work very much longer.

Saucey Says:

I’m not giving up the chair... if you don’t write about me you can’t blog today.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Out of the Cave

No, I did not go into hibernation when the temperatures dropped. I just got a little lazy, but, now… Whew! I finally got a chance to take pictures of the finished objects:

1. The felted purse; with cherry print lining.

2. The HSS sock – now to get it in the mail!
Also, newest project OTN:
Mushroom Cap from the book Homespun, Hand knit; this is a hat for a project I’m doing at church to collect handmade hats and scarves for the clients of PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). This is an area initiative that ensures overnight shelter is available for homeless citizens. Our church used to be a PADS site, but due to renovations we are not hosting this year, however, our church members are still acting as volunteers at another location. The PADS outreach is an important ministry to our church and this is one way I can help.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Finished Objects but no pictures

I was so focused on taking pictures of my stash to update in ravelry when; Oops! I forgot to take a picture of my finished objects to update. The HSS sock is finished. I just have to put the finishing touches on the package and get everything in the mail. The felted purse just needs to be lined… I’m getting there - I’ll go take those pictures now so I don’t forget and will get them posted soon, I promise!

Before my stash pictures, I did take this picture of Saucey helping me with my knitting by holding the tape measure. She takes her work very seriously.

Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Joy of being Nana

Last night I got to experience one of the pure joys of having grandchildren. I was talking to my daughter on the phone and she told me about how my grandson has been going around the house singing his favorite song. Then she actually coaxed him into singing it for me. First of course she had to start the CD because he is shy and needed backup singers. So for a few precious moments, I got to enjoy my grandson’s rendition of “Open the Eyes of My Heart” which is actually one of my favorite praise and worship songs. It would be cliché to say that it was angelic, but I did feel that I had been visited by an angel and filled to the brim with sweetness and light. Yay, for the delight of grandkids! That, and my daughter’s report and excitement over her trip as a birthday treat to the Fall TKGA Conference, got me perked up enough to get back going on the HSS sock. Much good progress was made and I was able to knit back to the frog-point last night and am almost to the toe shaping after Koffe Klatch this morning. Saucey has declared (by sitting on the mouse pad) that my computer time is almost up, so I think I need to end this post here. Hopefully tomorrow I will have pictures to post.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Trivial Tuesday

A while back I mentioned decorating the house for fall. Just for fun, this is a picture of one of my favorite Fall decorations. The pattern is from a magazine called Knitting World that I bought in 1990. It's called Pumpkin Top by Leslie Calaway. It's sort of a sleeve that is supposed to go over a coffee can or cookie cannister.

Zelda tried it on just for fun.

I finished organizing the closet in the guest bedroom and have 4 boxes plus 1 bag of stuff to go to charity tomorrow. I also got 1 bin of yarn entered in Ravelry. Knitting will just have to wait for later tonight.
PS I think our heat wave is about over.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Tale of Two Socks

This weekend was a little bit of a whirlwind travel weekend. My hubby has been promising his family a visit, so since he had today off for Columbus Day, he decided we should drive to Des Moines, IA on Saturday. Fine, great, 6 hour drive, lots of knitting time! Well I did actually get some knitting accomplished.

Since we left just after the morning paper arrived, 1st there was that to read. Then I did settle into a good knitting groove. I was making excellent progress on the HSS sock and we were almost to Des Moines when I did the thing where you smooth and stretch your work out to admire it and then…. Uh, oh! There it was a big mistake – right at the end of the pattern rows.... grrr…4 ½ hours of knitting … wasted.

So I did the only logical thing; put it in impound and got out the other sock OTN to work on. That’s the surf sock which is kind of slow going right now because I’m stopping every other row to make note of what I’m doing. I want to get the charting done while I’m working on it so I can write up the pattern. The good news is my SIL took me to one of the local yarn shops near where she lives. It is a very nice shop and I found a couple of goodies for my HSS pal. So once the sock is done, the box will be quick to put together. We also went to JoAnne to look for fabric to slipcover an ottoman she wants to update. I found the fabric I needed to line the felted purse, so that project is very near completion.

On Sunday, we left a lot later than we thought we would, so the knitting didn’t progress too much further (it had to be called on account of darkness).

Today was more about laundry and errands and keeping DH company, so I only got a few rounds done while waiting for him to get a hair cut. That went like this: knit 1 round, begin second round, knit across needle 1 and partway across two; notice mistake, fiddle with stitches to fix “mistake” knit to next needle, recognize mistake was not a mistake, because it was on the needle not knit yet… tink back two rounds, update chart, knit 1 round. Put sock back in bag, go grocery shopping.

Next up: frogging the HSS sock and trying to finish it.

Mostly, I have had some sort of sinus-allergy-traveling related doozy of a headache all weekend. Do you think this is why I’m making all of these silly mistakes in my knitting?

Friday, October 5, 2007

What did you do before Ravelry? (warning: picture heavy post)

I may be telling you TMI here, but I wanted to talk about how you manage your projects stash, etc. Old School vs. Ravelry. Here’s what I’ve been using up ‘til I got my ravelry invite.

1. Just plain notebook with lined and graph paper (9x6 binder). I prefer a binder style so I can add and remove pages as I need to. Also I have some great little document protectors that I picked up at a craft store that are just the right size for my notebook. This goes everywhere my knitting goes.

2. Blank book for saving labels, small swatches and other notes about finished projects; this one is a composition notebook which is smaller, but gives ample space for pasting labels, etc.

3. Binders or document organizers to keep copies and notes about patterns I’d like to make, patterns I’ve made and other tips and techniques.

I also have several satellites to the 3 general books above. A small spiral notebook that also doubles as my all around list book (which replaced my formal planner after I retired); another 3 ring notebook that houses all of the pattern notes and things from the notebook I carry around with me once a project is complete, this one also has some older projects and pictures of really ancient projects from the BC (before computer) years; and A basket that holds all the magazines with patterns I’m thinking about.

Of course for those of you who have been invited and initiated into the wonderful world of ravelry (WWR), you know that ravelry has all the same features and so much more.
I don't think I'll immediately abandon my notebooks system, because I'm a tactile person and I like to be able to jot notes as I think of them and also sketch things out when I get ideas - also as my family can attest to; I have a slight paper addiction.

So, lest you think I haven't been knitting, here are two project updates:

The felted bag knitting is done, it just needs to go in the wash machine and then finish the closure on the front flap.

the HSS sock is prgressing nicely; I got additional measurements from my pal so I can move confidently forward and hopefully finish it this weekend.

And finally, since this is what goes on around here every day about this time, here are what the cats are up to: (hint think kitchen floor sharks... )

Rough translation: "FEED ME"