Wednesday, December 26, 2007

WIP Wednesday

No pictures until I get home but I can give a quick update on my WIPs.

1. The knitting on Ariann is now finished and the underarm seams sewn. She has been blocked and is now in my closet awaiting the weaving in of ends and the selection of buttons.

2. The little sewn knitting bag is complete and given away along with a beautiful Fleece Artist mohair/blue face soft mitten kit. The color combination of this particular FA kit was absolutely gorgeous and extremely difficult to give away.

I did hit a little roadblock in the completion of my goals, but when that roadblock involves knitting, it really is not too much of a hardship. I did run out of time to sew up the pillowcases, but decided that those gifts could be moved to the birthday category which would give me extra time. The first roadblock was that I had forgotten that my daughter's teacher had asked me to knit some mittens for her one year old and while I had quickly completed the first pair, the second was still sitting as a ball of yarn in my bag. I decided that I wanted to complete that before school closed for vacation so I knit up another pair of tiny thumbless mittens - so cute.

The second roadblock was not any problem at all, but an unexpected surprise. An email conversation with anne led to her asking me if I could test knit a pattern for her. I felt very honored but was initially unsure of whether I would be able to complete the knitting in a timely fashion (and you know how quickly anne knits!!). But, since I really wanted to work with her and this was just fingerless mitts and all of my holiday knitting was complete (or so I thought), I decide to accept. And I was so glad I did. The pattern was so much fun and I completed one mitt in 2 days. One funny thought occurred to me after I accepted anne's offer - I was glad that I was able to knit one of her fingerless mitt patterns since I would never have been able to finish one of her beautiful shawl patterns in a decent amount of time. And since I loved the idea of working with her I was glad that it worked out like it did. Thank you anne and I hope you will ask me again when the opportunity arises.

So now I need some goals for this week which are somewhat limited by what I packed in my suitcase. I found out a week or so ago that I will be needing a baby gift come February so I will be starting my Tulip baby cardigan kit that I had ordered from Threadbear a while back. I also started knitting the test pattern from anne in a smaller size for my daughter and will work on those. I'll provide any important information back to anne. This seems like enough for a holiday week. Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WIP Wednesday

I love Anne's idea of a WIP Wednesday - there's even a button! Every week you list your goals for the week and update on your progress from last week. I believe Anne said that you should have no more than 3 goals - makes it easier to manage. I think I'll jump right in and I will try to update each week (but if it's not on a Wednesday, please don't hold that against me :)!)

First off is my Ariann sweater - so close to the end. I really have a goal to finish it by the end of the year. Currently I have about an inch and a half of the collar and then I need to weave in the ends, block it and find buttons. My goal will be to finish the collar by next week.

I also have some sewing to do - 2 pillowcases and one small bag (perfect for those mittens or that sock in progress). Since these are all Christmas presents, I really need to finish them for next week and I think I can.

I think those 2 goals are enough for this next week since there is also some other holiday stuff that needs to get done. Trying to wrap things up before the new year starts, I noticed that I have one last spot open for Pay It Forward (details here). Please let me know if you are interested. Also, I picked another winner for the monkey contest from a few months ago (I never heard from the other winner so I picked another name). So, a package will be going in the mail for anne and I couldn't be more pleased. Although, I am throwing her a curve and instead of sending yarn for her Monkey socks, I am sending some roving for her to spin up into yarn for Monkey socks. anne, you are one person who is always up for a challenge so I hope this package will be fun for you!

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Friday was our yearly lunch and shopping trip and as usual, the time went by too fast. But we savored every minute and had a wonderful time. Once again I'd like to thank these awesome women for being my friends - for accepting me the way I am, knowing when I need someone to just listen and not necessarily offer a solution, and for giving me a shoulder and a hug when I need them. This was a tough year for me and I am thankful that I have such strong women as friends.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pay it Forward

I kept going back and forth on whether or not I should join this - but, hey, I have a whole year to send out my gifts so I think I can handle that. Also, being able to sign up on Ina's blog was an extra bonus. You see, Ina and I share a very special bond. She lives in the town where I grew up and went to school, where I still go to visit my family. And that gave me the extra push to sign up.

If you haven't seen this yet, here's the deal.

The PIF pledge:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Since this has been going around for a while (and I don't really get all that many readers), I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get three comments from people who haven't signed up yet. And since sometimes I have problems getting email addresses through Blogger comments, if you are someone new to here and you don't think I have your email address, please email me at hoyerln [at] msn [dot] com because I will need to get your mailing address. Also, it's implicit that all participants have a blog (sorry, blogfree readers) since the reason behind this is to pay it forward through your own blog. Of course, if I don't get three people that I can send a gift too, I will promise to pay it forward in my community.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Here Comes Santa Claus

I'm the type of person who doesn't like to rush the holidays. For example, I refused to listen to one of the radio stations I usually listen to in the morning because they were playing Christmas songs before Thanksgiving. Please, let's just try to enjoy one holiday at a time.

However, we all know that it's a different story when it comes to making holiday gifts. Sometimes I have to start in January - or maybe that is just finishing up gifts I hadn't completed from the previous year (LOL)! When my daughter made these ornaments this past Saturday at Michael's, I knew they would be a fun project to make at home. Besides decorating the tree, they could also be nice package toppers and would make great little gifts for a child to give to a teacher. All you need are the red, white and black pony beads and some cord. We used the elastic beading cord but other types should work too. Just make sure you have enough cord - probably close to 2 yards. Fold the cord together, tying a knot on top leaving a loop for hanging.

As you can see in the picture, you string the beads on one side and then you need to poke the other cord through the beads in the opposite direction. I just did a search on pony bead patterns - check out this cute lamb one. There are tons of free patterns which will hopefully explain the directions better than I can. Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Go Forth and Knit Mittens

It's time again for Knit Unto Others and I've decided to make mittens. It'll be a great way to use some of my handspun that I'm not sure what to do with and some leftovers from other projects. Small mittens don't take a lot of yarn.
I started out using this pattern (without the stripe). That's the yellowish/pinkish mittens you see in the picture. The fiber is the wool blend from Amy and I think the name was something like Strawberry Lemonade. I had used this fiber to practice my Navajo plying.
Then I switched to the book by Ann Budd that you see in the picture. It's great when you want to just use some yarn you have in your stash. You simply find your gauge, decide what size you want to make and follow the charts in the book. Very easy and versatile. I'm now using the other yarn in the picture and I must admit that I did not enjoy this fiber as I was spinning it. It is slightly scratchy and as I started the mitten, I wondered how I could make the mitten feel softer. Then I remembered that, as a spinner, I have plenty of soft fiber in my stash and I could thrum the mittens. So, I pulled out some leftover Corriedale that I had used for my Diamond Fantasy Shawl and started adding it to the mitten. Much softer and much warmer!!

Friday, November 09, 2007


As some of you may remember, I join a local CSA each summer. We had our final pickup 2 weeks ago and I will have to wait until next spring when I can start picking up my share again. The first year was the most adventurous for me since I was introduced to many vegetables I had never tried. This past summer was my third year and I really look forward to seeing what I will get each week. Some people don't get the idea of the CSA and ask me why I can't pick out something else instead. As my daughter learned in preschool - "You get what you get and you don't get upset." And that is what makes it an adventure each week.

A few weeks in a row we got cabbage and I had a great idea to make something I had never made before - a boiled dinner. Specifically corned beef and cabbage since I remembered that my daughter, who can sometimes be a picky eater, had tried it when a friend made it and enjoyed eating the corned beef. So, let me present to you my first ever (and definitely not my last) boiled dinner:

Corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. Not only did it taste awesome, but the most amazing thing happened - the smell and the taste brought back memories I hadn't even remembered I had. Memories of being a little girl and going to my grandparents for Sunday dinner or having dinner at my aunt's house. I could remember my grandmother's kitchen and sitting at her table - things I haven't thought about in a very long time. It amazed me how vividly the smells and tastes of my dinner could bring back things I had long forgotten. The ties that bind us to past generations are always there in some form, coming back to us when we least expect it and maybe when we need it the most.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'll be there in spirit

No Rhinebeck for me this year. For personal reasons, it would just be a little too emotional for me to be there. But I will be thinking about it this weekend (hard not too) and wearing my 2006 Rhinebeck t-shirt. And wishing good weather and fun times for all of you there.

In the meantime, I offer you a nice fall picture:

and what our Brownie troop did with their pumpkins.

We won first prize at the harvest festival for our ghoul scout troop!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Working Through the WIPs

Finally, pictures of finished objects!

Keeping with the idea of finishing up a project and not starting a new one and given the fact that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Socktoberfest, I thought I'd work on these socks.

Not really pink, but shades of red and pink. The first sock is finished and the second one is now almost at the heel. The pattern is the Cable Rib socks from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks and the yarn is Sleeping Dragon in the Candy Apple colorway. And although I really want to start something new, I need to work on these - they are a Christmas gift for my dad so they need to get done. Basic sock with ribbing on the leg in Duet yarn.
I also picked up my Ariann sweater and am working on that for me. So we are trying to finish some projects around here. But I am so itching to start a new pair of socks - maybe a really pink pair from this yarn or one in fall colors with this yarn. Oh the choices! What's a grrl to do??!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The pictures will be coming in the next post...

Is anyone else as shocked as I am when they look at the calendar and realize that it is October already??!! I can't believe how quickly the time goes. Remember when you were a kid and the days stretched out endlessly. And your parents would be complaining at how quickly the time was flying by and you thought that they had no clue what they were talking about. Well, it looks like they had more than a clue! Unless there is some truth to the idea that the time actually does pass faster as you get older - in which case, I'm in a load of trouble!!

By the way, Cassie's idea of project monogamy is a good one (which I had discussed previously) and works rather well. Since finishing the red scarf, I have finished my daughter's sweater which is the Child's Placket Pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (make sure you get the corrected version) and a pair of socks (my Trekking socks which I am ashamed to say I started last summer (2006) and just finished the second sock). The one major flaw to the plan is that while I might be able to ignore the callings of various other projects that are already on the needles or ones where the yarn is as yet untouched but sitting somewhere in my vicinity, I am totally unable to ignore the calls (or whining as a good friend of mine recently called it) of new yarn when I venture into a yarn shop. And maybe that's my fault in the first place - ever going into a yarn store at all. But then there is Internet shopping and even though I have my speakers turned off, those skeins call out my name. Let's face it - I'm doomed.

When I was visiting in New Jersey this past weekend, I was very lucky to get to visit a new to me yarn store. Knit Knacks in Maplewood has only been open since February (if I remember correctly what the owner said) and they have some really awesome fiber. Add to that some really nice owners and I will definitely be visiting it again when I can. And I think anyone in the area (hello Risa and Ina) would like to visit also. I had called the store in the morning to get directions and after a long day of doing stuff for the kids, I didn't think we would make it there. At 5:15, my oldest niece and my sister insisted that we would go and we ended up getting there about 5:45 - the store closed at 6. The owner was there and kept the store open while we shopped. She has some really nice lines and I personally took advantage of the Fleece Artist, the Dream in Color and the Lobster Pot. My sister picked up some beautiful Lorna's Laces worsted to make the Child's Placket Pullover for her daughter since she loved the one I had just finished. By the way, I will be writing some changes that I made to the pattern when I have a chance to visit Ravelry. One major change was increasing the sleeve length by like 4 inches (and it's not like my daughter has freakishly long arms or anything...).

By the way, my daughter put her sweater on even before all the ends were woven in and wore it that way until she went to sleep and I was able to get it off of her. She's worn it almost every day since except for the few days that it rained because, as she told me, she didn't want it to get wet. I love this child and will gladly keep making her knitted gifts while that attitude continues.

Now, one of the last posts showed the Norma elf and Carole was the only one who attempted to guess where the elf lived. Even though her initial guess was wrong, after some emails back and forth, she guessed correctly and will be receiving a prize in the mail. The elf is one of 26 alphabet elves and is part of a game/activity at Santa's Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire. For this game, each participant receives a card with each letter of the alphabet on it. You then must find each elf and punch your card with this punching tool that each elf holds (it punches out the corresponding letter for each elf). Norma was the elf for the letter N. When you have found all 26 elves, you can turn the card in for a prize.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Red Scarf Done!

I followed Cassie's advice from this post. When I first read it, I could really relate to everything she was saying as I was feeling pulled in all directions by the projects I was working on and the ones I wanted to work on. A few stitches on one and then a few stitches on another don't amount to much - especially if you want to actually finish something.
So, I pushed those other projects aside and worked solely on my red scarf - since that really has a deadline. It wasn't easy - some of those other projects tried to get me to look at them but I was strong. And now the red scarf is done. The yarn was from the stash and the pattern is the enjoyable rib. And it was pretty enjoyable and easy to remember (and fix if you mess up).
If anyone else would like to guess where the picture in the last post was taken, please do. There may be a skein of yarn in it for you if you are the lucky winner. And Lauren, if you see this, please contact me. You won the other monkey package but I don't know how to contact you and will have to pick another winner if I don't hear from you soon. Well, I'm off to work on the next project that pushes it's way to the front.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

For Norma and Red Scarves

This picture was taken on one of our trips this summer and as soon as I saw the name, I knew I had to take a picture for Norma. I had been thinking about taking my red scarf to work on that day but decided on the sock since it was smaller and easier to carry around. So this is for Norma - with a sock instead of a red scarf. If you think you know where this is, leave a comment and I'll put all the correct answers in the pot for some yarn. And here's a hint - this is an elf.

Speaking of red scarves, I received a nice email from the Orphan Foundation thanking me for a donation to the Red Scarf Fund for Foster Youth. Don't know what I'm talking about? You can read about it here. And maybe make a donation too. Or you can knit a red scarf - here is the information that was in my email:

Scarves can be sent between now and October 15th, 2007 to:

Orphan Foundation of America

The Red Scarf Project

21351 Gentry Drive, Suite 130

Sterling, VA 20166

This information was also included in the emails:

Please tell your friends and colleagues to visit The Red Scarf Project Page for details, guidelines, and a host of suggested scarf patterns. Because of the overwhelming response to last year's program, we are asking participants to limit their submissions to a maximum of five scarves per donor.
So, what are you waiting for - go knit a red scarf for a good cause! I'm working on mine.
On a different note, Karen's package is just about ready to be mailed out from the last contest, but I have not heard back from Lauren. Lauren, if you see this, please get in touch or if anyone knows Lauren, please let her know or let me know how to contact her. Once again Blogger has left me with no way to contact her.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Dreams and Winners

So, I had a knitting dream last night. I was visiting Carole and she loaned me a car so that I could go and check out some yarn shops in the area. The first one I went to was owned by my hairdresser and I saw these beautiful sweaters that had labels on them telling me they were knit with Dale Baby Ull. I'm glad I woke up before I bought anything. Where do these dreams come from anyway??

I came home to 15 comments for the Monkey contest and those names got put into a hat. I decided to pull out two names since I seem to have collected more than a few Monkey items and the winners are

Congratulations to the two winners. I can email Karen, but I don't have Lauren's email or know your blog. Please get in touch. If both of you would like to let me know your color preferences, I can try to match those with some appropriate Monkey yarn in my stash. When I finally get my vacation pictures on the computer, I have another contest in mind so check back. Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Playing with Ravelry

Wow! I've finally been able to spend some time on Ravelry and I can see that it is a really great resource. My username is knittingbythesea if you'd like to add me as a friend or check out my area. I'm still learning about it and haven't been able to load pictures since I'm not at my computer although I wonder if I can get pictures from here and use them. Like I said, there is a lot for me to learn. I have added some projects and put some in my queue. It's neat the way there is so much already in the database and it's all linked together. I also don't have a Flickr account and wonder if I need to sign up for one of those?

Also, don't forget to leave a comment for the contest in the last post. Thanks to those who have already entered - I've been looking around for some other fun monkey stuff to include in the package. While I have been in NJ, I was able to stop by some knitting stores - Stix-n-Stitches had a sign up offering a discount on red yarn purchased for use in the Red Scarf Project. It's great to see the support of such a worthy program. I have already started my scarf using some yarn from my stash (yeah for me!!) and this fun pattern.

So, go cast on for a red scarf and leave a comment for the Monkey contest. And have fun!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Memory is not so Good

Bonne Marie really made my day (maybe even my week) when I received an email from her telling me that I had won some STR in Alina from a random drawing on her blog. Actually, to let you know how bad my memory is, the email was titled something like "Chicknits Sock Yarn" and my first thought was "I didn't know she was coming out with sock yarn. I better go and check this out." I was so happy when I saw that I had won. Thank you Bonne Marie!!

I had been thinking that it was time to give something away on this blog also - so here is the contest. Since it is the Summer of Socks and I (along with everyone else in blogland) enjoyed knitting up my Monkey socks soooo much, I am going to give away a Monkey package. Some sock yarn from the stash along with some monkey paraphernalia. Sounds good? What do you have to do to win such a prize? All you have to do is leave me a comment letting me know why you would like to knit Monkey socks - this can be the first pair you knit or the fourth. It's open to anyone that wants to knit Monkeys. I will pick a winner sometime around Labor Day weekend. I will be in and out a lot over the next few weeks so I may not be able to reply to comments or even post too often, but rest assured that if I receive your comment, you will be entered (even if I can't reply).

Come join the fun and leave a comment! Good luck!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Feelin' the Love

You know that certain feeling you get - when the yarn and the pattern just come together. You just feel the love for the whole project. I felt that way about the Monkey socks and didn't quite feel it with the two socks that are on the needles now. One sock is almost ready to start the toe and the other is close to starting the heel. This means they both need to be tried on every couple of rows to know just when to start the change. Yesterday I had to fly down to DC for the day (work stuff) and I just wasn't comfortable trying on the sock while I was in the airport or on the plane. This meant I needed to bring something else and instead of bringing something already on the needles, I started a new pair of socks. And the yarn/pattern combination is perfect - I can feel the love.

Dream in Color Smooshy yarn in Beach Fog that I purchased from Twisted. And the pattern is Loksins from Too Much Wool. I love this pattern - it moves along quickly and is fun to knit. And the yarn - well - it's fabulous. The feel, the color and look how it shows off those stitches. Thank you to Emily and Shannon at Twisted for their great online service - I've ordered several things from them already and they are always so helpful. They just opened their store in Portland and I wish I lived closer so I could visit. And thank you to Cassie for this great pattern!

Monday, July 30, 2007


One thing that can definitely make you feel better is a get together with your grrlfriends. Throw in some good food, cosmopolitans and knitting (or whatever craft you wish) and it's guaranteed to be a great time. I had to start a new sock - the above combination called for a mindless stockinette, although the day after this lunch, I discovered where I had split a stitch and had ended up with an extra stitch, so I ripped out about two inches - so much for mindless.
Here is Bandit showing off my two socks in progress. This heat has really decreased my energy level and there has not been much knitting going on but the cable sock is almost ready for a toe.

One last shot of the grrls. We really need to do this more often!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Today is my Mom's birthday. Maybe I should say it would have been or it was her birthday, but I will always think of today as her birthday. Mom, I love you and miss you.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Eye Candy For You

Eye candy and mouth candy for me. One thing I am so glad I did was to plant blueberry bushes when we moved into the house. It's great to be able to step out into the backyard and pick fresh blueberries.
Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Gift Tutorial

I meant to write this at the end of the school year to show the last minute gifts I made for my daughter's teachers, but since these gifts would be appropriate for many others besides teachers, I'm giving it to you now. I needed something nice and easy and this is what I came up with:

1. Order some wonderful soap from here. When you open the package, you will be amazed at the awesome smells and the beautiful soaps. Make sure you order some for yourself, because it will be hard to give them all away.

2. Go through your stash and find some cotton appropriate for washcloths.

3. Knit up a washcloth. I chose the Mason Dixon Washcloth from Mason Dixon Knitting.

4. Thread a ribbon through the eyelets and place the soap inside.

5. Wrap the gift in tissue and present to the deserving recipient.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Promised Monkey Photo

Here are the finished Monkeys. I usually do a plain foot because I feel it fits better inside my shoe, but I decided to continue the pattern down the foot. I haven't tried the new socks with shoes yet - it's way too hot so it will probably be a while. But I do love the way they look and feel on my feet.

The new pair of socks is a little farther along than these pictures show - I just turned the heel on the first one, but I thought I'd show the pictures of the new sock enjoying the beach. Nice waves (not too huge and just right to play in) and beautiful sand. The new sock is the Cable Rib sock from Favorite Socks and the yarn is Candy Apple Sleeping Dragon yarn.
I did join the Tour de Fleece but somehow totally forgot I'd be away for the start and I wasn't prepared. But now that I am home I am hoping to finish up the fiber that is on my wheel - some Border Leicester that I am not all that fond of for some reason. But I still need to just finish it up and go on to something more fun!
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 06, 2007

11 Days!!

Well, it's a new record for me although I know that there are many out there that routinely make a pair of socks in this amount of time or less. 11 days to finish my Monkey socks - I'm really happy with them. I'm writing this from someone else's computer so there are no pictures but I promise I will share them when I can.

As soon as I finished the Monkeys, I cast on for another pair of socks - Cable Rib socks from Favorite Socks in Candy Apple Sleeping Dragon yarn. It's taken me a while to decide if I like the pattern/yarn combination. I do seem to have a hard time keeping track of when to do the cable. I finally put in a marker on the row where I make the cable so that it is a bit easier to know where to make the next cable. This new sock has been photographed already - it travelled by ferry to Fire Island and sat on the beach looking at the ocean. Fire Island is a really nice place and I loved the fact that cars are not allowed from April to October. The beach was really beautiful. The next day it travelled into New York City to see the American Ballet Theatre performance of Cinderella at Lincoln Center. Today it may go horseback riding, but there is a better chance that it just may watch. I hope everyone is enjoying their Summer of Socks - I know I am!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Monkeying Around

A few shots of a Monkey hanging out with the flowers. Like everyone else, I absolutely love this pattern. The first sock is done and the second is nearing the heel. The only changes I made to the pattern was to add another repeat in the leg so that it would be slightly longer and I did a short row heel because they really fit me better. I brought the finished sock to work and some of the girls in our lunch time knitting group are interested in knitting Monkeys too. By the way, this is my first time knitting with Brooklyn Handspun and it's fantastic. The color, the feel - all work together with this pattern for a great sock. Now to decide what sock to work on next for the Summer of Socks.

The other big thing I started this week is all thanks to Kathy and the link to this that I found on her blog. I started this week and after only one week, I can really feel a difference. I have more energy and feel so much better. I have to take the dog for a walk in the morning anyway and with school being out, the only good time to go is early morning. So, I set my alarm clock for 5:30 and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I followed the first week's plan. On Tuesday and Thursday I just walk with Bandit. She seems to like the jogging plan too. I took Cheryl's advice and found a stopwatch - it really makes the whole thing so much easier than having to check out the second hand on my watch.

And go and check out the rug Cheryl's is planning on making - it's gorgeous. I think I'll have to check out that book.

Friday, June 22, 2007

To Whom It may Concern

Help... the monkeys are holding me hostage. All I have to defend myself are 5 sharp pointed sticks and some sort of string. They have been making me stay up and play with the sticks and string - I finally convinced them that I needed some sleep. But as soon as I woke up this morning, they shoved the sticks and string back in my hands. I think the monkeys are from some royal family - the sticks are from the Crystal Palace (at least that is what they have printed on them) and I think it may be located in some place called Brooklyn. I found a label from the string that said "Brooklyn Handspun".

All of this started yesterday and I was very afraid, but I think the monkeys may be responsible for some sort of brainwashing because I have become quite obsessed with playing with the sticks and string. I am perfectly happy just sitting in the corner by myself with my 5 pointed sticks and my string from the land of Brooklyn. So, please don't look for me yet. If I need help, I will try to get another note out by these means. And if I am lucky, I will try to take a picture of my captives.

That's all for now. Just remember to beware of the monkeys.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Weird or Random Things Meme?

Well, the little amount of time I have for sitting at the home computer has been taken over by a little pink poodle - one of these to be exact. My daughter received her first Webkinz and we have all been spending some time at their website. Actually the games are a lot of fun and some are even educational, but as with all computer things, it can be quite time consuming. I'm sure the novelty will wear off and I will have some of my computer time back.
I've been tagged twice for the 7 weird/random things meme. I can't remember if they are supposed to be random or weird so I'm doing a mixture of both.

1. I can't throw away a plastic bag without tying a knot in it. Don't really know why. I think it may have something to do with the whole plastic bag/danger of suffocation thing.

2. I usually put things off until the last minute. Sometimes I wish I could get things done way in advance of the due date, but that just doesn't happen. I think I work better under pressure.

3. When I was younger, I used to think all my toys, books and things had feelings. This made it very hard for me to share anything. I was afraid someone wouldn't take as good care of my things as I would and then my toy, book, whatever would be so very sad.

4. I love getting pedicures, but hate touching other people's feet. The only feet (besides my own) that I don't mind touching are my daughters'.

5. I can get so embarrassed when I have to talk in front of people. I can feel my face getting red and then that makes it even worse. One time I was on a phone meeting - I was in my office alone, no one could see me - and I had to say something. Even then I could feel my face getting red.

These last two are knitting related:
6. When I was younger, I think I may have been in middle school, my Mom and I spent the day in New York. We went to the United Nations and went on one of the tours. At the end, we visited the restroom and I guess I was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. A woman came barreling through the door and forcefully pushed the bag I was carrying into my leg. This wouldn't have been a problem except guess what I had in that bag. Yes, my knitting. With large metal needles. One of the points went straight into my knee. I remember some bleeding and a lot of discomfort. But after cleaning it up (I'm assuming we visited First Aid - that part is not very clear), my Mom and I continued our day - going out to dinner and a movie before returning home.

7. At one time in my knitting life I actually uttered the words "Why would anyone want to knit socks?!"
And with that, I will show you my latest pair of socks: Neopolitan Vesper done on Size 0 needles. My first picot picot edge done with Wendy's method since the socks were done toe up. I needed to get these finished since this Thursday is the start of the Summer of Socks.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Some Walking and Some Knitting

Last Sunday we participated in one of the annual fundraising events for our local animal shelter. As most of you know, we adopted a wonderful dog at the end of last year so this year was the first time we were able to actually walk a dog in the annual Walk for the Animals. Bandit is a little wary around other dogs so we kind of hung back at the end of the pack. It was a great day and we went well over our goal for what we thought we would raise. Thanks to everyone who helped us out by donating, our family, Team Bandito, was able to raise $350 for a great organization.
Now, on to some knitting content. Every year I make a sweater for my daughter. This year she picked out some Cascade 220 at our last visit to Purl for this sweater. And she wants the cardigan version but with a zipper instead of buttons. So here's a question for you steekers out there - or even those that haven't steeked but have an opinion. Can I do the cardigan in the round and add a few stitches in the front so I can do machine sewn steeks? I'm assuming that I add the extra stitches (6 or so?), sew the two lines when the sweater is done, then cut between the lines, pick up stitches along the front edge and knit some sort of edging before inserting the zipper. Would I knit the neckline edging before cutting or after? Is this doable? I would definitely enjoy not having to purl every other row so this is quite tempting, but I've never done steeks so I need some advice. Thanks!!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Eye Candy Friday

A little late in the day, but it's still Friday. Here are some of my favorite flowers. I love the colors of these poppies. The only problem I have every year is that a few days after they open, there always seems to be a horrific rainstorm. The poppies just don't hold up well and end up looking like crap. Hopefully it will be different this year and they will last a little longer!

Another favorite flower - Clematis:

Have a colorful and sweet smelling weekend!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Short but Sweet

Have you sent any squares into Laura at Sugar Bunny Boulevard? They are for Rebuilding Greensburg - you can read about it here. The squares are being made into afghans for the families from Greensburg, Kansas.
I've sent my squares into Laura and now need to work on getting a package together for Dulaan. I've been wanting to try out this hat with some of my handspun.
And if you don't want to knit, but still want to donate - here is a very worthy cause to donate to: Claudia's annual MS ride. Not only do you feel good about contributing to a worthy cause, but you get the chance to win some fabulous prizes. And Anne is running a matching gift campaign for her readers that donate to Claudia's ride. And she has some really awesome prizes also. Read about her campaign here. And even if you don't win a prize, you can still know that you have done a good thing by donating. Although those prizes are really fantastic!!
And I just found out about Michelle's Run for the Cure. I did a Walk for the Cure with my sister and my niece when we were on the cruise in February. I guess it is something Holland American Lines have started doing on all their ships. Anyway, it's another worthy cause and if that's not a good enough reason, there are some great prizes. Check it out.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Did you see the blind spinners?

Well, as usual, I am late in posting. You have probably read all about the Massachusetts festival so I won't go into great detail. I would like to thank Cate for being such an awesome hostess. She opened up her home to us both nights and it was great fun. This was the first time I have been able to take advantage of getting together with the amazing people that attend these festivals and it was just so much fun to be surrounded by people that "get it". Thank you to all the wonderful women and children we went to dinner with on Friday - it was a fun time seeing friends and meeting new ones. And the party on Saturday was a chance to socialize with more great people. I feel very lucky to be a part of it. Oh, and yes, I apologize for being a lightweight/slacker on Saturday night, but the two martinis at dinner on Friday had done me in.
I did get some fiber and my daughter and I bought a couple of t-shirts. My favorite is the "Fleece on Earth" one. But this is one of my best purchases - I finally got my sheepy mug from Amy. I'm drinking my coffee in it as I type this.
When I got back from the festival, I decided it was time to clean out/organize the closet. When my daughter was born, the spare room/craft room became her room and a lot of my stuff went into Rubbermaid containers and my closet. And when I get something new - yes, it gets stuffed into my closet. It was time to clean and I wish I had taken a picture. Not to be gross, but it looked like the closet had thrown up all over my room. It was amazing to me that so much stuff had fit in there. I started pulling everything out on Monday and today is Friday and there are still a few things I need to find spots for. I bought several more containers and at least it should be easier to find things now.
I don't recall seeing these pictures on anyone's post but since I wasn't able to even get to my home computer for almost a week, it is quite possible I missed it. This was one of the funniest things I saw on Saturday and I almost missed it. Some man told us to check out the blind spinning contest so we did. It was going on right across from Amy's booth and it was exactly what he had said - blind spinning. Some people were moving right along but it looked to be quite difficult to regain your fiber if you lost hold of it. Maybe I should try this out at home so I can enter next year.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Babies at a Fiber Festival

I apologize for not giving a report of last week's Rhode Island wool festival. Work has kept me extra busy this week and then we also had a Brownie meeting yesterday which needed to be planned. You would think that I would be better prepared for Brownies since we have 2 weeks in between meetings, but no - I always wait till the last minute. Anyway, I thought I would share with you some of the babies at the fiber festival.

3 1/2 week old Pygora goats:

3 week old Angora bunnies:

If you look closely, you will see that my daughter is holding one of the baby bunnies. This was what she did most of the afternoon. Yes, Carole, we ended up staying till almost 4:00. I couldn't get her away from those bunnies. I was grateful that they were too young to be taken away from their mama since I kept getting asked "Can we please take one home??!!".

This weekend we are off to Cummington.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Eye Candy Friday and Some Exciting News!!

This was one of our stops on the cruise we took in February. As I look out my window and see the rain coming down, it's nice to remember the warmth of the Caribbean.

I found out the most exciting news yesterday. This Saturday, May 19th, will be RI's first annual Sheep and Wool festival. It may be a soggy day, but I can't wait to go. The event will take place at Coggeshall Farm in Bristol. I've never been here but the website says it is a living historical farm and heirloom breeds of cattle, pigs, sheep and chickens roam the grounds. The wool festival will have demonstrations, contests (like sheep to shawl, spinning), hands on events for the kids, cute fiber animals, vendors and more. I'm so excited - it's going to be hard to sleep tonight!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Our Walk for the Animals

Spring seems to be a time for fund raising events such as walks and bicycle rides. Claudia is doing her annual bicycle ride for MS and it is a great cause. I first found out about the ride when a good friend of mine participated in it. She had done a 50 mile MS walk a year or so before and then did the ride another year in support of her Mom who has MS. I was happy to support her and now I can support Claudia. I just found out that Anne also raises funds in memory of her Dad and pledges the money to Claudia. There are great prizes and it's all for an excellent cause.

Our yearly walk supports our local animal shelter. It is a great resource for our area and also aids animals from around the country - helping out other shelters or aiding in emergencies when needed. We started doing this walk when my daughter was about 3 years old. It is one of the ways that I hope to teach her the importance of helping others in need. My Mom taught me that lesson by her examples and the way she lived her life and I hope that I can pass that on. This is the first year I have attempted to create an online donation page and it seems to be going well. Please check it out here and donate if you wish. We really appreciate it and I know the animals do too. Maybe I can even come up with some fibery prizes.

This year the walk means even more since we adopted our dog Bandit from the shelter about 6 months ago. She is really a wonderful addition to our family.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Socks For Me!!

I just love getting packages in the mail. Especially when it is a package from my Bloomin' Feet pal. I know you want to see what's inside so let's take a little peek. First there's candy - chocolates, some really cool looking sushi candy, oh, there is some soft peanut toffee drizzled with chocolate, but that got opened already and is now in the refrigerator so it missed out on the picture taking. There is also the most wonderful smelling soap - Black Tea Jasmine (my whole room smells great) and some body lotion. A great little journal and some blank notecards which I will be able to embellish to my heart's delight (did my pal know that I make cards?).

Then we have a beautiful pattern for a Seashell Wrap, size 6 needles (just the size needed in the pattern) and some beautiful rovings. One is dyed by my pal (merino, silk and alpaca - yum!!) and the other is from Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio (funny thing, I just heard of her today and then I get this in the mail). Both of the rovings are the perfect colors for me.

Oh wait, you really came here for the socks. Well, let me tell you that my pal is awesome. She actually dyed and spun the BFL for my socks. It's hard enough for me to believe that someone made me socks - but they also dyed and spun the fiber. Wow!! And the fit is perfect. See...

I'm wearing them to work tomorrow and showing all the girls at knitting group. Thank you, Sheree, for making this swap so special. And for making me feel so special!