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.