Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve! Let's Celebrate with Cake!

Ok, why oh why didn't somebody tell me how much stinkin' fun I'd have with that ball winder and swift? Golly, all the fun has taken the pain out the pulled muscle I have in my neck, and made this New Year's Eve day a really enjoyable thing. I worked half a day, and then went to my LYS. I went looking for Addi's in US #13, but she had to order them for me. While there (I couldn't leave empty-handed), I also picked up some yarn for the Shedir hat, some cotton yarn from Sockina, and a bamboo size "I" crochet hook. As I was leaving, I took a last glance at the sock yarn that I may have been staring at for a long time while in the store. So, I did what any knitter would do when faced with this precarious situation (last hank left on the rack, no pressure added. Nope, none at all). I took the plunge and bought it. Hot Rod Red....definitely not my usual earthtone color choice, but it was calling to me, and it appears that I will try to knit it up for Valentine's day - perfect colors. It's a yarn I've never knit with before, and it comes from Lonesome Stone Yarns in Colorado. Yummy! I was so excited about it, I wound it up on my ball winder. Here it is!

Oh, by the way, the little yarn cake (I love that term) below is the first sock yarn I ever purchased, and it is the next on my needles. It's Autumn House Farm sock yarn in the "Sunfish" colorway. I love the colors, and it seems like it will cheer me up on the most cloudy of least I hope it will. And it's sport weight! YEAH!

Me, and my big mouth in the last post about no snow. We got some snow last night, but of course, I had to drive in it today for 1/2 day of work. FPS - I'm keeping my mouth shut, but it was like a winter wonderland on my way to work this am. I just don't always appreciate driving THROUGH the winter wonderland.

Lastly, I'm leaving you with a picture of the stacked yarn cakes - they are almost as nice as my wedding cake, and just as yummy! The top layer is "Killer Bees" in Yarn Pirate. My hubby has requested socks in this colorway. He has never requested knitwear before, so he's getting them. I'm going to knit them on the hot pink needles that came with the Booty Club.....hmmm, might be an interesting New Year's Eve after all.....

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Finished Object Alert!

Just a quick post with some pictures. It's amazing. Two posts in one day!
Here's a quick pic and stats for these great mitts!

Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes (Knitter's Review)
Free Pattern link here.
Yarn - Mountain Colors Handpainted Yarn (worsted).
Colorway: Chinook.
Purchased at Haus of Yarn in TN this October.
Started December 22, 2007
Ignored until December 27, 2007
Finished December 29, 2007
Size US 7 Addi Turbo Needles

This is a very simple project and pattern. The mitts practically knit themselves. I knit (or is "knitted" the correct term?) this pattern with the magic loop techique almost exclusively. The thumbs were the only things knitted on DPNs.

I knitted these puppies while watching a couple of movies that we acquired for Christmas gifts....
The Lord of the Rings - First Movie
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.

Ta-Da - mitts done. Ends woven in tonight. YEAH! Did I mention that I detest weaving in ends and sewing things together? I didn't? Well, I SO do.
So Happy Saturday night! And phew - I finished these before Adie went back to TN - these mitts are/were part of her Christmas gift. TTFN! Ta-Ta for now!

Three in a Row

Yes, that's right. Three days in a row of my incessant rambling. So that you will not think that we've been grinches in these parts, here's some pics of gifts that I received. Yes, I did my fair share of gift giving as well, but it's not polite to toot your own horn! Now, I don't think I need to discuss (again) my poor picture taking abilities, and the fact that I'm using a severly less superior camera than what my DH uses....

Up first, from my DH - a ball winder and swift. He bought them from my LYS, with a lot of hinting. Okay, I picked them out. Geez!

He also bought me the second book in the "One Skein Wonders" series - YEAH! My LYS Owner has a pattern in here - "Magic Loop Minis." Great patterns to use with your leftover sock yarn! I asked her to sign the book as well. This might be the time to insert that I need some blog help here - how do you make words and then cross them out and write in other ones. Like what you are really thinking is that I "made her" sign the book, and then after you cross out that phrase (while still being able to read it), you write that you "asked her" to sign you book. Is this making any sense? It's probably a little trick that is something you do in Blogging 101, but I seem to have flunked that class. Or maybe I never showed up for it. I just "jumped right in," might be the better choice of terminology in this instance.

Moving onward..........
My Aunt Adie gave me these gifts....please ignore the bluriness of the first pic (see first paragraph for pitiful explanation).

A great set of Leki hiking poles!

Crazy Aunt Purl's first book! It's a hoot! I've read it already, very easy reading, even amidst the holiday parties. It came already autographed by Laurie as well! :) Love me some autographs!

Lastly, but surely not least, my employees gave me this beautiful, thoughtful gift of a sock sack (complete with pocket storage for two separate balls of yarn, and little lobster claw clasps attached so that your yarn does not tangle whilst knitting from two different balls when doing socks toe-up, two at a time - WHEW! Now, before you start laughing at me, this is an advantage! It's a goal of mine to knit toe-up, as well as to knit two socks at a time. Stop laughing....I mean it. It is very possible! Anyway, back to the gift....they also gave me a gift certificate to my LYS. They are a thoughtful bunch, and I will miss them when I venture forward with my new job. That's another post in and of itself, entirely.

Enjoy the crappy pics - they match the weather around here lately. Gray and mundane. Not really even cold.....FPS - could we get a little snow here, especially when I don't have to drive in it? :)

PS, If I did not mention the gift that you personally gave me in the post, do not fear. There will be more gift posts, and your gift was not insignificant or unappreciated! :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to DH, and the 50th Post!

Happy Birthday to my's today! Here's a picture of us in New York, many years ago. We used to go on trips with his business, when the economy was better. New York, Cozumel, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands, Key West....etc. Now, we stay at home in the bitter, wintery season that is part of living in PA. But, you know, I love the changing of the seasons. Winter is definitely my least favorite season, because I crave the natural light, but I do get to spend more time knitting and wearing my knitwear (or giving all of it away, as I've been doing lately).
No, before anyone asks or thinks it.....I did not knit the hat I'm wearing in this picture. It was before my knitting days. I might have been crocheting on this particular trip, if I remember correctly. I may not have been. One never knows!
I also didn't dye my hair here yet either.....oh the days.....

On a side note - this is the 50th post for my blog! Exciting, and horrible at the same time, as it means that I've posted 50 rambling rants about mostly nothing. Hmm....

More nothing talk - we went on a trip yesterday to this place. Were we nuts? This was a madhouse, and why we thought we needed to visit it makes no sense whatsoever. We left at lunchtime and enjoyed a yummy Italian dinner here.
Lastly, we closed with a little shopping here and here.

And of course, we had to stop here for refreshments! *Please note that I'm trying to make up for lack of linkage on yesterday's post......

Coming soon to a blog near you - some gift posts, as I begin the process of putting them away, and conquering Mt. Laundrymore......

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Better Late Than Never.......

Merry Christmas to everyone! I know, I'm only two days late, but considering that this blog has been ignored for the past two weeks, well.....OK, I have no excuse, and I can't even hand over the chocolate, as I've pretty much eaten all of it to fuel the Christmas knitting....

No, I didn't finish everything I set out to make. My poor Auntie Adie didn't get her socks (she has 3/4 of one), and 1/2 of a fingerless mitt. But, we are taking a trip today (won't tell you where, so then I'll have to post about it tomorrow - you know, blog-pressure), and I'll have knitting time on the way there.

I finished my father's scarf in time for his December 20th Birthday! Hi Dad, Happy Birthday again! It promptly went from weaving in ends to his hands at breakfast! No pictures to see here....moving on......

I also finished my youngest nephew's sweater. It JUST fits him! I also gave my eldest niece (she is 2), a pink sweater that I've featured on the blog before. Don't know when I featured it, and for some reason, I can't be bothered to link to it (weeks away from a blog leave one pretty lazy).

And lastly, I did whip out this hat (my photo skills again are just great, and the hat is already gifted, so I cannot take another picture) in one day on the way to see "White Christmas." It was a very good production, but very different from the original movie. Both by Irving Berlin. The singing/choreography/dancing was really great for a small dinner theatre in PA....YEAH! Get out there and support live theatre people! :)

Lastly, I want to give a HUGE shout-out to Jen....she is friend from high school days, a blogging goddess, and a woman whose wit and humor just astound me. Jen if you want to chime in with your actual occupation here, go ahead! Check out Jen's blog and leave her some comment love, because she's down and out with a broken leg.....
PS - to tie this whole blog entry together, I do believe that I got to know Jen better while doing a high school musical production. Not "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL" that everyone is gaga over lately (DD's in my house).... but actual live theatre. "Oh the theatre, the theatre." I don't believe that I was knitting in public back then, and maybe not even knitting at all. Those were the garter stitch days....But I do give Jen the credit for introducing me to Tracy Chapman, her first album (dating myself)....and the show we did together was my first show on stage (I preferred playing in the pit to singing about the Midas touch).
Long story short - welcome Jen....comment anytime! Happy to hear from you! :) My best to your family - love that you sister does Sheep to Shawl! :) I'm trying desperately to get DH to let me raise sheep! :) Ha ha ha!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Sound of Silence

You'd think the title would mean that I would have a stack of FO's, wouldn't you?
No, no quite. Ahem.........
I do have one finished scarf for my Dad's birthday on Thursday.
I have one sweater on the way.....
Another scarf about 80 % done......
A half of a sock (the first one)........
Fingerless mitts (yet to be cast on)........
Something small (? Hat) for my youngest neice, since her sweater clearly won't be done by Christmas, but maybe a hat in the same yarn, and a sweater mailed in Feb?
And a Partridge in a Pear tree. :)

But I have single-handedly (mind you), helped my daughters make jewelry gifts for 5 of their friends, beaded 6 pair of earrings for various gifts (these are the easiest to do), re-strung a bracelet because someone gave me the wrong size initially......
And nursed a very sore muscle in my shoulder area, that I believe came from knitting under pressure. Hence the Sound of Silence.

What I have accomplished is much more important though, in the true spirit of Christmas. Church piano (and flute) playing, Christmas card writing, elementary concert attending (they all wore white sweatshirts with Rudolph on them - painted with their own hands and feet), Advent readings, Children's Christmas plays, shopping for anonymous childrens' gifts to give to our local Head Start families, and this week, some cookie baking for classroom parties/teachers, Christmas Eve rehearsals, Bible studies, Caroling, Christmas parties for work.... And amidst all this, I heard funny little things like, "Who is Santa's boss?" - You know I jumped all over that statement! I yelled, "MRS. CLAUS!" Hey, I felt the obligation to let her know. I also was asked by my youngest DD, if she could wrap her gifts herself.....hmmm...they are getting smarter these days....offering help when there is profit involved.

Next year I'm not subjecting myself to knitting deadlines. I will work on projects all year long for giving.....(I already do...ahem). I hardly own any of my own knitted socks. I DO own enough sock yarn to knit for all of the county though. Somebody stop me from this knitting promise now, because you know that next Thanksgiving, there will be a flurry of knitting activity, a mad dash to hunt through my knitting books for the perfect pattern, and more trips to the LYS for yarn (even though I clearly have enough to knit wool wallpaper for an entire room in my house). And then there will be deadlines and guilt. I will not have it, no I won't. But, I'll take the Partridge in the Pear Tree, and hey, maybe some chocolate!

PS - Did I mention that I'm adopting the wrap-as-you-go policy again this year? You know, wrap the gifts you need for the particular party in question 10 minutes before you leave. It certainly adds to the holiday cheer! :)

Colinette's Jitterbug on the left in "Kingfisher" and Duet sock yarn in "Icicles" on the right. Purchased from The Loopy Ewe!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Beading Mojo

This late afternoon was spent getting groovy with my beading mojo back and all.....
Actually, I needed to bead some bracelets for some orders that are soon due, so the beading mojo had to be back for at least a couple of hours. I do have a small jewelry business, and it's advertised mostly by word-of-mouth. This time of year, I usually get requests for name bracelets with birthstone crystals. They are for Mothers, Grandmothers, etc. I had three bracelets to do today, and they are finished, and off my list. YEAH! All are made with sterling silver, swarovski crytals, and Bali beads. The letter blocks are sterling silver as well. Also off my list, a pair of earrings for my daughter's teacher for a Christmas gift. They are also made in sterling, shell, and swarovski crystals.

And I made a jewelry set for myself, because I'm always looking for something nice to wear with black. This set is made of swarovski crystals, seed beads, Bali beads, and sterling silver findings. I really like it, and will try to coordinate my outfit to wear to work tomorrow so that I can wear this set with it. Pitiful, I know.

Now try to imagine cooridnating your handknit socks and your handcrafted jewelry to match your outfits.....yeah, I know, it's Christmas time, and no one wants to think that hard! :)

Have a great week!

BTW - sorry for the terrible pictures, I'm not great at photographing my jewelry. Have to beg DH for a lightbox soon.....

Friday, December 7, 2007

And the "White Christmas" Winner is.....

The movie/musical in question was "White Christmas!" You were all correct! Great entries! This Christmas movie stars Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Danny Kaye, and Bing Crosby! IMHO, nobody sings "White Christmas" quite like Bing!

Now, to the part that you've all been waiting for..............
The random generator chose.........

NELL! Nell, I think you are on Ravelry - I'm KnittingKris there as well - PM me your address, and I'll get your package in the mail! Thank you all for participating!

May your days be merry and bright. And may all your Christmas's be white!

The luck of the draw.....

It's Friday folks! The contest finale! Who will be the winner? I'd say you all have pretty good chances, as of this morning, there are only 13 comments...and one of them was my accidental deleted entry. Hmmm....
I just want to thank all of you for participating, and I'll be back to post a winner later today!

BTW - here's knitting to's a scarf for my dad's birthday, and it is knitting up pretty quickly, although I'm distracted several times a night by other projects. Knitting ADD! And IMHO, I think yarn should be the treatment for it! HA HA!

Here's a close-up of the knitted cables. They are a bit dark in this picture, but the natural light leaves early these days, even before I get home from work. And I know, I know....patterns are sometimes lost on dark yarns. The yarn used is Lamb's pride, worsted. I think we sometimes overlook the Brown Sheep company. They have nice yarns, and they are American made! :) This particular yarn has a splash of mohair (15%) to it, and it gives the yarn a nice sheen.

Off to work! Bah Humbug!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Contest FYI

Just an FYI - there is a deleted comment in the section on the Contest Post. No, I will not delete your entries (unless you leave some babble that is inappropriate for human consumption). Here's why the deletion occurred! Blogger never works on my home computer for some reason. I can create the blog, etc, but when I am ready to "Publish" the blog, I get kicked out of Internet Explorer (I know, we have a virus - we're sooo over it). I usually call my mom, and she posts, or rather publishes for me. Well, long story short, she published the blog entry for me last night, because I wanted to get the contest started. She forgot to sign out before she posted a comment in my blog (hey - she wants to enter the contest - she's a crochet queen). So, anyway......she posted her answer under my name, because she forgot to sign out of my blog.....this meant that the first comment looked like it was left by me! YIKES - I don't want to enter my own contest......

Just a little explanation.....Sorry for the inconvenience, and the number generator will run from comment #2 on - so go ahead and submit an answer all you lurkers! :)
It can't hurt, and you might win!
Oh, I forgot - a picture! Here's some Sundara Yarn that I purchased this summer. It is NOT a prize for the contest. It is for your viewing pleasure only.....
You know my motto - Every post is better with a picture.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Contest!

Before we get to the contest, here's some knitting for your viewing pleasure. Presenting the socks for my Mom's birthday present - finished.
Fiesta Boomerang Yarn in the "Glacier Mist" colorway. Purchased at The Loopy Ewe.
Needle size - US #3, Addi Turbo
Method - Magic Loop
Pattern - Wool Girl's Waterfall from the first sock club installment.
Started - sometime in November 2007
Finished - 11/29/07

Here's picture of the one of the socks on her foot! They fit her perfectly! Yeah! Happy Birthday, Mom!

We also indulged in a little bit of Birthday Cake (and ice cream, of course).
Chocolate Fudge cake
Peanut Butter Icing
Red/Green Sugared Sprinkles, added by DD #2.
Baked fresh, late this am, by little old me.
Served with Vanilla/Chocolate Ice Cream. YUM! YUM!

The part you've been waiting for.......THE CONTEST!
Your part - just submit your answers to the Christmas trivia questions, and if you submit the correct answers, you'll be entered to win the prize. Don't start sweating, they are pretty easy questions, and Google can help you! I've even given some hints. What's the prize, you ask - A $25 gift certificate to......

Wait for it......................

THE LOOPY EWE! And some other small goodies - who knows what will be added. To enter, please please post your answer to the two questions listed below. I'm asking that you enter only once, please! Correct answers will be entered into a drawing. I'll select the lucky winner using a random number generator. You will have until this Friday, December 7th at 12:00pm EST to enter! Good luck, and Happy Holidays!

We are traveling a small distance (in the very near future) to see a live performance of my favorite Christmas movie. It's actually considered to be a musical. Critics sometimes complain that it's got a very predictable plot, but I love it just the same. The name of the movie/musical is also a popular Christmas song - made famous by one of the four stars in the movie. Question #1 - Name the movie!
Question #2 - Name the four stars of the original movie (in any order).
Hint - The title of the movie contains 2 words, and the first word is a color.....

That's all I'm saying..........Good luck!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

She's going to kill me.....but here's a snap of Mom today. We were doing the Annual Christmas tree search today (terrible weather predicted for tomorrow, so that's why we chose today). We go to a local Christmas tree farm (family owned), and pick our tree. There is no taking one that's already been cut. You might be shunned from the family if you do. We drive over hill and dale, and hike around admiring the trees, (quietly so that the trees don't hear us, and shake off their needles in rebellion) and dispute the faults/beauty of the various trees. This takes about an hour, and I have to admit that I was the last one to decide on a tree today. I can't believe it! Well, yes, I can, but moving on...... We managed to get the tree home (brother has a new truck), put it in the tree stand (DH gets all that credit), and we added the lights tonight. Ornaments and such tomorrow. No tinsel here - it kinda reminds me of acrylic yarn....and we're not going there. It would be important to add that we did not once mention the word "divorce" during this process, everyone's limbs are still intact (I almost lost a thumb involving a drill and some outside decorations one year), and not once did we argue or fight. I think we're getting better at these things! :)

It's Mom's birthday tomorrow, and she'll really kill me for posting the picture of her on the blog. But hey - my mother is a saint. She's always thinking of other people. She's kind, caring, compassionate, Christian, and is always sort quietly working in the background, etc. Well today, she's the highlight of my blog. If I am half the mother that she is to me, my children will be richly blessed!
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you! Sorry for the horrible exposure on the picture. It must have been the light....but you shine brightly! :)

PS - Contest details tomorrow - I can't wait to start! I've got a great prize! :)