Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend Ramblings

Since I sent these off a week ago to Susan, my Project Spectrum postcard pal for May, I think it must be safe to show them here. Green has always been one of my favorite colors - in clothes, fabric, fiber, papers - so I was surprised that I had some trouble working with the color this month. I was really still stuck on the orange of last month. It'll be interesting to see what I do with June - the upcoming month of blue.

My daughter and I traveled to New Jersey this long weekend to hang out with my mom and dad, my sister and her family. The kids had fun. I did too although I had planned to go to Cummington. To make up for it I did visit Modern Yarn and Stix-N-Stitches in Montclair. Unfortunately Stix-N-Stitches was closed for the long weekend and I just browsed at Modern Yarn. I guess my thoughts were up there in Cummington with the sheep, the fiber and the bloggers.

We did visit the Iris Gardens which were beautiful in full bloom.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Amazing Lace: Challenge #1

We interrupt this blog to inform you of a late breaking news story. Lisa and Birch, a team on the summer edition of The Amazing Lace, have been dissolved. This reporter has learned that Birch has deserted the team and joined The Biggest Loser instead. Sources close to the story heard Birch complaining about the amount of stitches that she has to lose. Apparently she has decided that she can do this better on her own, without the help of Lisa. Birch was overheard to say, “I have to go from 299 stitches down to 3. I’ve been with Lisa for more than half a year now and she has only helped me lose like 14 stitches. I think that joining The Biggest Loser is the way to go. Summer is coming and you know what that means – beach time, shorts and tank tops. I need to lose the stitches.” When asked if she had any regrets in dissolving the partnership, Birch said that she doesn’t want to burn any bridges, but that she has to look out for what is best for her. “Maybe Lisa and I can get back together in the future, but right now it is time for me to move on and see what I can do on my own.”

Lisa lost no time in choosing another partner, this stylish number that has been recently photographed on the cover of a popular magazine.

“I think that the publicity that is being given to my new partner is only going to help our relationship and that we will be a perfect fit for the summer of 2006 and this episode of The Amazing Lace.” Lisa went on to add that she has no hard feelings towards Birch and that she would consider “rejoining with her in the future. It’s not easy losing stitches and if it isn’t done properly, it can be a disaster. Let Birch try it on her own for a while. I’m not saying I know what’s best, but I think Birch will be back knocking on my door. And of course, I will let her in and help her in whatever way I can. I really love her and want the best for her.”

With this last minute substitution in a teammate, there has been a corresponding change in supplies. Lisa couldn't stop singing the praises of her supplier. "The staff at kpixie has been excellent in getting these supplies airlifted to us in a timely fashion. Now, I can't wait to start working with my new partner. We will soon be sitting down together and spending some time getting to know each other better - things like how tense or relaxed we can be will be discussed."

We will now rejoin your regularly scheduled blog, already in progress.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

One Skein Questionnaire

I received this questionnaire from my One Skein Secret Pal and thought I'd post the questions and my answers here.

1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)? Well, I'd say I was like a skein of a good basic yarn (think Cascade 220 or Lamb's Pride) with some handspun thrown in for individuality (you know, not too perfect, maybe lumpy in spots but unique).

2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with? I've always liked greens and fall colors. Right now I'm really loving oranges.

3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns? Yes and they keep me knitting because I always want to see what is coming next!

4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns? I like natural fibers - wools, alpaca, mohair. I've just ordered some of the bamboo yarn and am looking forward to playing with that.

5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn? Either - doesn't matter to me.

6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them? Yes, I tried some organic cotton and it was ok. Very soft. I think you need to be careful about the project you pair it with.

7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year? Let's see - socks of course, several wool cardigans (for myself, my daughter and my niece), baby sweaters and baby blanket (gifts), organic cotton tank top, a knitted Baby Bobbi bear, hats, mittens, scarves (some of the last three for charities and for gifts), knitted sock earrings, Charlotte's Web shawl - wow, that's more than I thought.

8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year? Of course.

9. What is your favorite one skein project? Well, I love socks - they are great one skein projects. I haven't tried anything form the book yet but am eyeing those felted bowls and some of the bags (felted and unfelted).

10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it? Amount in stash - I'd rather not go there ... As far as storing it - I have 2 cedar chests that have a lot of yarn, also some large Rubbermaid containers, and my closet is like a black hole (I put stuff in there and then either forget about it or I can't find it...).

11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it? Some of my first handspun - actually I have knit with some of it but don't think I would ever give the finished objects away (it would have to be a VERY special person).

12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer? I don't knit less, but I may think about knitting summer tops instead of winter sweaters.

13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)? I have joined quite a few knitalongs (you can check my blog for buttons) and there are a group of us that meet at lunchtimes several times a week at work. It's difficult for me to belong to a group that meets at night because I need to be home for my daughter.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rain, Rain

Rain, rain go away.
Come again another day.

Rain, rain go away.
My friend {insert name} wants to play.

My daughter choose this as one of her piano pieces for her recital and I think the whole Northeast is singing this song. I saw a little bit of sun on Monday and even some this morning although the gray skies seem to be taking over again. Even though it's all wet out there, you can do a good deed by going over to Claudia's blog and donating towards her MS bike ride. 150 miles in 2 days. One of my best girlfriends did the 50 mile walk a few years ago and then this same bike ride in support of her mom who has MS. Go and donate - please. It's a good thing to do and it'll make you feel good as well. And let's keep our fingers crossed that the weather is good for the bike ride.

Next I present Ribby sleeves in progress - being done together.

I really like Bonne Marie's pattern. So much so that this seems to be the only thing I'm knitting. That's one thing I have never experienced - monogamy in knitting.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


My girlfriend and I went with our 6 year old daughters to see the movie, Akeelah and the Bee. I really enjoyed it although the girls did get a little antsy near the end. Of course the one part that my daughter thought was incredibly funny was when this one guy, who is watching the spelling bee on tv says "You kick his butt, Akeelah. B-u-t-t, butt." It was pretty funny.

Well, I can see the importance of blocking this knitted piece. The fronts of Ribby are just placed on either side of the back - it's not sewn or anything. There is a lot of curling going on and those ribbed sections pull in so much - can't wait to see what the sleeves look like. The color on the right will be the sleeves. It's kind of an eggplant color and I think the two colors will look great together.

I also have a finished t-shirt.

Too bad it's too cold to wear it yet!

Margene sent me the most beautiful cards. I told her that I will definitely be using them - after I steal a few of her design ideas. Thank you, Margene!

I've been signing up for a few things this summer - really need to edit the sidebar! Anyway, besides The Amazing Lace which I mentioned in the last post, I also signed up for the One Skein Secret Pal exchange. I love the book - it's full of some great ideas for using up some of those skeins in my stash. In the exchange, you will send one skein in June and one in July to a pal and then send them a knitted gift in August. We got our pals last week and I have to admit that I'm a little intimidated by mine. She has actually started her own yarn company. This company manufactures some pretty cool yarns and she (along with a team) somes up with the ideas for the new fibers and colors. I don't want to say too much even thought I doubt she reads this (of course, I thought there was no way my Secret Pal 7 read my blog and it turns out she had come across it). Anyway, it was a coincidence that I had just been thinking about ordering some of the yarn that her company makes - so after getting her name and checking out her blog, I figured I should try it out. It's on it's way along with the yarn for this and this. Geez, the internet makes it way too easy to shop!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Power of Words

I've been thinking about my last post and have decided that it is all in the wording. Language is so very powerful. You hear a word that ends in -aholic and you assume the person has a problem. So, instead of a stashaholic, I have decided that I am a collector. Collectors can be highly respected people - more so than a stashaholic. So I am a collector - a collector of fine yarns and fibers, exquisite fabrics and exotic papers and embellishments. And thanks to Margene's comment in the last post, I have added some beautiful Wild Asparagus papers to my collection. Thanks, Margene!

And Carole was correct - the UFO in my last post is indeed Birch. For the summer of 2006, I have joined The Amazing Lace so hopefully this will give me the push I need to work on Birch. Ribby is still pushing all the other knitting out of the way.

I have some unfinished business from April Project Spectrum - I never showed the neat "postcard" from my April pal.

Check it out - it's woven. I thought that maybe she had used a weavette, but Denyse said that she did this without a loom. She also included a fragrant candle tart and some beautiful ribbons. Thanks so much, Denyse.

This must have been the weekend for parades. The one we went to was close to home - within walking distance from our house. And it really was the perfect day to just bring a blanket and some snacks and hang out.

There were bands from all over the northeast.

And lots of other entertainment. The fish was blowing bubbles. Cool!

Hi. My name is Lisa and I'm a stashaholic.

Or maybe a craftaholic. Or a crafty stashaholic. Anyway, isn't that the first step, admitting you have a problem. There are just too many things that I am interested in doing and too many temptations along the way. Take Tuesday for instance. In one of my last posts I wrote about my sewing machine. I used to do a lot more sewing - making clothes and quilts. Even though I haven't been doing a lot of quilting, I still love looking at all those beautiful fabrics - the colors, the feel of the cottons is just wonderful. And of course I usually buy something. Here is a picture of some recent purchases. The Oriental fabrics are gorgeous. Notice my orange fabric - I think I've become an orange convert (but that's another story).

I'd like to start doing some more sewing again - maybe make a quilt for my daughter's bed. There are also these neat fabric bowls that you can make and I'd like to try that also. So, I decided I should probably get my machine looked at since it has been a while. Carole set me up with a place to get my sewing machine tuned up so I called and the staff at Saftler's were very helpful. Since it's not exactly close by, I needed to have the machine serviced while I waited and they were very accommodating. I ended up browsing around the store for about 2 hours. Here was the first temptation. I haven't done a lot of embroidery on the sewing machine recently, but I do have that option. And of course I saw some new designs that I would just love to have. But I also need to upgrade my embroidery software since I am having problems getting the program (one step above DOS) to run on our new computer. Anyway, I resisted Temptation #1 and just picked up some small handwork items and paid for the tune up.

On the way back I had first thought I'd stop at a yarn shop, but I had noticed a scrapbook store on my way to Saftler's and I figured I could swing by and check that out. I didn't need anything so I'd just look. Yes, those famous words. I am a closet scrapper. I love all the papers and embellishments and of course I take a lot of pictures, but that is usually as far as it goes. I'm better at making cards - you get to play with all the beautiful papers and fun stuff but it's on a much smaller (and manageable) scale. Well if anyone is in the neighborhood and they like this sort of stuff, I recommend you visit Scrapbook Cupboard. They have so much in that store. Needless to say I did not do too well with Temptation #2. I fell hard - didn't you hear the big bump as I fell off that wagon?

Check out these colorful papers and the cool embellishments. A whole page of farm rub ons - check out the llama on the right. These will be great for a layout using some of my "festibal" pictures. Needless to say, I really NEED to start doing some scrapping and soon.

For those of you knitters that have read this far, I do have some knitting to talk about. Ribby is coming along nicely. The back is done and I have started the fronts. After a minor setback, the fronts are started, both at the same time, on a circular needle. I like doing them together so that the shaping occurs at the same spots. Sleeves work well this way too. No pictures, but Ribby has seemed to muscle all the other knitting out of the way. Since it seems to have such powerful mojo, I'll think of Mr. Etherknitter while knitting on Ribby and send good vibes his way. Read about the powerful knitting vibes that are needed on this post at Obsession du Jour.

I had wanted to get back to this for my Project Spectrum May knitting. This had been started a while back and I'd like to get back to it - and it is green. But it is definitely not mindless knitting!!

Does anyone have a guess of what this is going to grow up to be? One hint - it's a Rowan project.