Monday, November 26, 2007

Sock Talk

I'm plugging along on the socks for my mom's birthday (December 2). She's already picked out the yarn, and the pattern, so she knows about the whole affair (she also reads this blog). I even tried the first sock on her foot on Thanksgiving day so that I could make sure it was a "custom-fit." My mother has always had on obsession with purple, so this colorway is the perfect one for her! It's one of my very favorite yarns too! Fiesta Boomerang. If you've never knit with it before, do try it! I'm not working for Fiesta, and I'm certainly not getting any free yarn here, but I must say that this stuff makes fabulous sport-weight socks. Yeah, yeah, the label reads worsted weight, but apparently, it's wrong. I couldn't possibly be wrong, the label is. I've knit socks in worsted weight yarn before (trying to prove my point here). They are much thicker than this sock knit with Fiesta. I would say though, that this yarn knits a pretty thick sport weight sock. But oh my, is it smooshy! I took it into my LYS on Friday, and the owner actually thought it was made out of something other than wool - it is that soft and squishy!

As almost all hand painted yarns, it sometimes pools a bit, but it also stripes as it pools - which makes no sense whatsoever in the knitting realm. I personally feel that this adds character and depth (no rationalization here, nope, nothing to see). I do really like how it stripes at the heel and toe. And when you knit the heel, different colors become more dominant on the heel flap where you S1, K1. The first sock had a dominant light blue/gray color, and the second sock has more mauve and purple dominance coming through on the heel flap. The whole dominance factor here could segue into a conversation about social class and rank, basically politics, etc. But that stuff is too heavy for a knitting blog.

Speaking of the heel of a sock, I am in love with the heel flap and turn (I just knit it tonight, so I'm still basking in the afterglow. It's a good thing I don't smoke). I think I read in one of the Yarn Harlot's books that she loves doing heel flaps and turns. The whole process makes her feel smart every time. I totally agree.
BUT, I must admit that I've never knit a short row heel. I've never knit a sock toe-up. I plan on these things for the new year.

Enough sock talk for one night. I'm on a mission to finish this pair this week, as well as my nephew's sweater. And then one 18 month sweater to knit, a scarf to begin (nad finish obviously), a second scarf to finish, and two small purses to knit in chunky yarn....Think I can make it? If not, please don't tell me! Or wait, yes, tell me. I love working in the face of adversity. I laugh at it - NOT!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Totally Unrelated Musings.....

Stick with me...this post is crazy. Maybe you'll find some enjoyment in my scattered and somewhat warped thoughts......

Did you shop today? Were you the first one at the store this morning, or maybe you "camped" at the local Everything-mart to get that one fabulous thing.....
Me, I did NOT! Well, I cannot tell a complete untruth. I did do some shopping, but not until at least 10:30 am. We stopped at my work to retrieve my coat that I left there on Wednesday (Note to self - it has gotten considerably colder, wear the coat FPS!). I picked up one gift at Wal-Mart for one of my many nephews, and headed to my LYS - where I purchased some yarn for my Dad's scarf, and needles, and more yarn for two more gifts that I have added to my Christmas gift-knitting list (say that phrase five time fast). Fear not, I have back-up, or perhaps, better known as "in-addition-to" gifts for everyone on the knit-list. I'm going to call the list - "Knitty Gifts from the Knit Wit." Not an original slogan, but it works. We then headed to the mall, where I managed to get some other gifts. I'm hoping to finish my shopping in the next week, so that I can buckle down and "knit like", yeah that's right - Knit Like Helga! Who, in my mind is a rather large German woman (no, not all German women are large), who also wields her knitting needles at the speed of light. I'm 75% German, so I can make this comment. I'm not rather large, but I am neither rather small, so I'll call myself medium. I digress, again. Sigh.....

Onto another topic - did you get one of these yet? I got mine, and I wore it today for the shopping expedition. Very cute! Very comfy for scouring the mall and such.
Please note - my shirt did not come with the wrinkles - I manufactured them myself. I only iron prn (in the medical field that means - "as needed"). PS - Today was not an a a prn ironing day.

Ever wonder how to display those little sample skeins that are so fab? Here's my choice for now.....I like it! Notice I'm trying hard to duck under the mirror so, as not to reveal how horrible I really look in the Ravelry shirt! :)

I did do my exercise routine this am - the first time in weeks. I've fallen into the big black hole of junk fooditis. Got to pick myself up again, and start getting in shape! :)

Knitting pics next time! For now, enjoy the holiday season. "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" I've been playing that song on the piano a lot lately. I have a great arrangement. Actually, my MIL and FIL gave me a great piano book of Christmas music a bit early, so that I could enjoy the music now. I've been playing from it for the past two weeks. I love Christmas music!

Lastly, in other news, I'm also thinking about posting a contest real soon - stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Be Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving! Ok - it's a day or two early, and this picture is really pretty corny. The title on the clip art is the "Macy's Turkey." I didn't knit a turkey, and I certainly didn't create this giant one that will float in the air, attached with ropes, and such. But I am going to cook one on Thursday morning - really early Thursday morning to be exact. About 4:30 am. I am stuffing that thing and then going back to bed, if I can sleep. I usually chop the onions and celery for the filling on Wednesday night, so that I just throw it all together and stuff the bird early on Thursday morning. Sorry, all you vegetarians and vegans. I like my Thanksgiving turkey! Really, the mashed potatoes and yams are my faves too!

I really don't mean to get all sappy and stuff, but hey, it's Thanksgiving and we ought to count our blessings, and truly be thankful.

I have a friend who is really sick with cancer - they label her terminal. In my nursing opinion, I know this to be true, but I also believe in miracles, and I'm still praying for one. Here's the thing. She's been a friend of mine for a long time. She lives within about a mile of my house. I can walk to her house and I have many times. We've shared many meals, laughter, thoughts on raising our children, bible study, girly talks, and late night swims in her pool (which she kept heated to 90 degrees F in the summer). Basically, I've known her for a long time. But the thing is, I've never told her that how much she means to me, until she got really sick. Now, each time I see her, I kiss her cheek or forehead, and I tell her that I love her. Why, or why do we wait for times like these to let the people who are important to us know just how much the mean to us? Are we afraid of people's reaction in this day and age? Are we too scared to admit that we need other people? Are we just plain embarrassed? What's the deal?

Well, I'm tired of it all. I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm telling people. You are important to me, I love you, and you'll have to get over any insecure feeling that you may have because I'm expressing my feelings!
So this Thanksgiving, I'm going to be thankful - and maybe just maybe, you'll hear about it......because everybody should be able to FEEL THE LOVE! :)

PS - no, I'm not suffering from an insane bout of PMS! And blog readers and lurkers, don't worry about me telling you prematurely that I love you, unless you bring me some Wollmeise or something like that....:)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Let It Snow!

Falling snow is a beautiful sight to behold, but really - on my new car? Isn't it enough that Fall was so prolonged, we didn't really experience it at all this year? It's my favorite season! Now it's 45 degrees here, and snowing - FPS! Whining complete, back to the car. We got it yesterday! I love it! Truly, I do. Even though they will make plenty of money on my trade-in. I love driving a manual car, and I forget how much I love it until I'm driving one again. Lucky for me, we live in a very rural setting, otherwise, well, I might be converted to an automatic I'm afraid to admit. Then again, maybe not.
And my photography skills of the car pic are excellent - you can see the snow on the camera lens - YIKES! Oh well, I can't be artsy with everything, now can I? The car stats - Mazda 6, 5-speed. I can't remember the exact color name (apparently, it's not yarn, or I would have the color memorized). Ok, enough about the car.....

Sweater progress - I'm on the final rows at the bottom before I bind off. I started this sweater last week, and it has been a fast knit. I'll put the yarn and details in when I finish it. I'll need to add sleeves (my least favorite part), and then the neck band. Again, I might add some backstitch design to add some visual interest (or not). Christmas and birthdays loom near. And my Dad just put in an order for a burgundy/maroon scarf. Last night. Hmmm...Now, this is my Dad, and I'm his only DD - so you know that I'll be trying to do this for him. His birthday is December 20th, and well, you know how many days from then until Christmas. I have to buy yarn for this scarf - can you imagine? I don't have anything suitable for this! A trip to my LYS will be in order. There's always a plausible excuse, is there not?

PS - I got a sock club shipment from Woolgirl - will post that in the future, and also, I got a "Click and Ship" notification from Yarn Pirate. Booty Club. I think that name is SO hilarious! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's Over!

The work week is finally over! YEAH! I survived it. I handed in my resignation, and of course accepted the new job. Reverse order, but you get the idea. This will be my first change in five years. It's a little hard leaving my friends at my current job. I'm also moving from a supervisor/management job to being a "worker-bee" of sorts. And that's ok, because there is still a lot of independence with the new job!
To cap the week off (no pun intended), I chipped a tooth on Thursday night. One of the front ones...Uh huh - that's right. Now you really couldn't see much, but half of the back part of the tooth was missing. I was afraid I would have lost the rest of the tooth, but less than 1/2 hour in the dentist chair yesterday fixed it right up. Thank heavens. I may live in small town, PA, but I don't want to look as if I do! When I first moved back to the area following college, my insurance agent, ever the sarcastic person that she is stated, "Good luck finding a man with a full set of teeth!" Ha ha! I actually wasn't looking for a man at the time, and was in no mood, but I did find my DH - and really, he has a full set of teeth and is just great! :) PS - I wasn't even doing anything fun, like eating candy when I chipped the tooth. AND I visit the dentist regularly every 6 months for my routine check-up and cleanings! YIKES!
Oh - BTW - the dealership called, they FOUND more money - can you believe it, Yeah, well I can - silly boys (we don't use the word, "stupid" in my house, but if we would, it definitely applies here). They wasted more of my gas and time. But, I'm picking up my new car today.....goodbye domestic, and hello MAZDA (again)! Hello 5-speed - I love standard! It's terrible to say, but I love buying American made products, just not from the auto industry. We'll leave it at that.

On the knitting front - because I should talk about that, shoudn't I? A bit of progress on the first sock for my mom, really doing well on the second sweater for my nephew. Anxious to cast on the socks for my aunt - it's Shibui Knits, and I've never knit with that yarn before, and it's a lovely color of aqua (I have two skeins of it myself, if it doesn't become a chevron scarf). Lastly, I received a skein of Wollmeise this week (yes, just one, because I have totally got to stop buying yarn for awhile). It's in the much coveted color - Spice Market. I love it! Maybe after Christmas I'll knit with it FPS! :)
Off to Christmas Play practice and some shopping. Laundry a bit today, and all the cleaning is done - so more time for knittng! :)
PS - after Christmas, I'm looking forward to knitting some socks for me!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Post, New Job, One FO!

New Post...two in one week. Aren't you amazed? I am. But lately it doesn't take a lot to astonish me. It's been quite a week so far, and it's only Wednesday.
First off, I almost bought a car last night, but wasted precious time and gas (Hello, it's $3.09/gallon here)to deal with lying salesmen who don't do their homework. Believe me, I do mine. I like to think I'm a bit of a haggler (and I can crunch numbers better than most people). I whip out my own calculator in these circumstances. I'm sure I'm not fooling anyone, but I feel better! I hate buying cars, and I need to get a more fuel economic car.....and I secretly want my 5 speed back......because - I GOT A NEW JOB! Can you tell that I'm excited! They finally called to confirm yesterday, and in January I'll be starting a new job. I'm both nervous and excited. Change is change you know! I gave them my unofficial notice yesterday, and I'm handing in the written one today. It is with mixed emotion that I do this, but I know that I need to make a change.

On the knitting news front, One sweater for my darling niece is now a FO (except to weave in the ends). I may, if time permits, backstitch some flowers on the front to add visual interest. It's a super easy pattern, and I knit this in the 2-4 size. I think it will be a little big for her, but the gauge is correct. I'm knitting one like it for her brother - it's on the needles now, and it's navy blue. Her younger sister gets a smaller version in Victorian Pink. It is not on the needles.

Yesterday, the Yarn Harlot just had to mention that there were only 43 knitting days 'til Christmas! That means 42 today! AGH! Do we need more pressure? I am collecting other gifts to give, just in case. But I do like Dorie recommends in "Nemo" - "Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting...." Actually, she was swimming, but you get the picture! :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Shamefully Neglectful

Yes, it's been almost a whole week since I've posted! Life gets in the way sometimes....I'm embarrassed, shamed, ok....not really that upset. Sorry!

Knitting has been happening, and so have parent-teacher conferences (all good - thank heavens)...the start of winter sports for my eldest DD....WORK.....the end of fall sports for the youngest DD....Bible study groups for the kids.....WORK......Knitting (trying desparately to get this Christmas knitting under control).....WORK.....Sleep.....laundry.....more WORK.

The big project today was to get the stash under control - it was taking over my living room. Happily, I can say, that all my stash is under control now (well, it's at least organized). Here's a picture of some of the bins (you really didn't expect me to show you all the bins, did you?), and my new Dansko Mary Janes. I love, love, love, them! Back to the storage/organization project. I even have my Christmas projects all in a little bin to keep me inspired (actually, to add pressure - who am I kidding). And I gave three bags of yarn to my mom tonight. Destash - what a beautiful word!

Speaking of my mom - she made this gorgeous shawl for my grandmother for her birthday....I'm taking a photo of it to post here someday. It's absolutely beautiful. My mother is an awesome crochet queen. She rocks! I'm thinking I'm going to crochet one too! Obviously, not until after Christmas. I know, it's like moving to the dark side, me wanting to crochet, but will it help if I say that I still love knitting more? Does that mean redemption, maybe even a little bit? But all preferences aside, I still have to admit, she whipped this thing out in less than a week, people! That's the great thing about crocheting - it's quick! Maybe it's because I've been crocheting since I've been little. Knitting for really less than 2 years.

Lastly, because you know my thoughts on posts with pictures in them, a shot of of the bins with my newest purse on top (they are pretty small bins you know, not the huge ones at Walmart, but the $4.96 ones - just giving you perspective, not in any way trying to assuage my yarn guilt). Notice I haven't used this purse yet. Too busy organizing (sounds better than cleaning) to switch from my latest one......

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Awww....Sometimes they just make you right proud!

You know, sometimes it just warms your heart to think that you just might, once in awhile, be getting the whole parenting thing right. Tonight, my oldest, DD came home from her visit with her dad, and she had brought me two scented hand soaps (pump version), in scents that she picked out personally for me. You know, for little old me! The scents - PB & J, and Creme Brulee! Very thoughtful! You can find them here. I asked her why she brought them home, and where she got them (see therapy sessions below - the inquisition method applied here).....well, it seems as though her step-mother had a home party, and she bought them there to cheer me up, because she knew I was sad about my friend with cancer! AWWWWWW....shucks. She made me tear up, and stuff.
Most times, I'm wondering how many years of therapy I'll be paying for (for them), trying to raise my children. I'm an average mom of sorts, but sometimes, you know, we all make mistates. I probably make more than my fair share, but I must be doing something right - huh? The most important thing, is that I love them so very dearly. They are my rays of sunshine!

Ok - totally off the subject, and just because every post is better with a snap in it, here's a pretty picture of a farm in our area. Photo credits to my DH!

PS - knitting progress is just that - in progress. I am slowly finishing the sweater for my eldest niece. Only two more child-sized sweaters, three pair of socks, one pair fingerless mitts, a scarf, and socks for my DH, if I can work them in. Did I mention maybe a hat or two? Do you think I might be able to sleep between now and Christmas?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Some Knitting Pictures at Long Last!

Posts have been a bit sparse this week, with the federal review happening on the work front. It was terribly grueling, and not much knitting was done this week because of it. I would get home from work after at least 10 hour days of defending why our program is spectacular, how we do have systems in place, yada, yada.....and look at my husband. He would take one look at me, and tell me to go relax. He was deftly making steak-ums, chicken nuggets, and ham and cheese sandwiches, night after night. He even threw in some lima beans to add something nutritious! :) Seriously, he was wonderful. On Tuesday night, I just came home, climbed in my PJ's and went upstairs. He handled the kids so well! I am blessed! Last night, I had to summon the energy to trick or treat. I threw on a witches cap (purchased for 44 cents), a black sweater (not knit by me), and my black overcoat, and away we went. Chase Utley, Wonder Woman, and Me. DH was the official chauffeur. Tons of calories later, we arrived home, and sadly enough, just went to bed! I still love to do this with my children, and even though I was tired,we had a good time! :)

Just a little shout out to my youngest nephew in Pittsburgh, who turned four years old yesterday. I miss you, and I'll see you in a couple of weeks! Love ya buddy! :)
Visit his Daddy's blog here.

Ok - back to knitting content. First up - The Bleeding Scarf. It's coming along nicely. I'm knitting on it every so often, and the pattern is very easy, SS with a shifting purl stitch every 5 knit stitches on RS rows, and it alternates with WS purl rows. It's mindless, and the recipient wanted something that was rather flat. The yarn is Lobster Pot yarns, purchased at Woolgirl. I think this pattern really shows off the hand-dyed yarn! Too bad the stuff lingers on my hands. Still could use some advice about that. Any takers?

Next up - the first sock for my mom! She's already picked out the colors and pattern, so the sock is no surprise to her. I really haven't spent that much time knitting this thing, as evidenced by its length. But, it knits up pretty fast. I have two more repeats of the lace pattern before I start the heel, and everyone knows that socks seem to fly faster after that heel turn is complete! Magic every time! I mean it! The yarn is one of my favorites - Fiesta Boomerang in the Glacier Mist colorway. YUM!

Tomorrow night, I'm going to sleep over to take care of my very dear friend who has cancer. I'm giving her DH a break, so that he can have a restful night (at least I hope). I'm wearing my new PJ's (pink with black puppies on them), and will curl up on their couch for the duration. PS - I'm taking my knitting!