Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas was fantastic!!

We had Christmas here a little early - on the 23rd, because the kids love to go to my brother's house on Christmas eve and decorate the tree and then stay over night. We've done that for the last few years, because it makes it much nicer to stretch things out and enjoy family instead of cramming it all into one day. Everyone used to get cranky because they were tired. No more grumpy people :-)

This year, each child got exactly what they wanted. DD has wanted an American Doll for years, still wanting it this year - so we got it for her. When she opened the packaged she screamed and then cried. It was amazing!! DS got the larger Star Wars models he's been wanting and both children were told that the other part of their present was to go to winter camp (they've both really wanted to that as well). I also made DD "Johnny Depp as Captain Jack" and DS "Darth Vader"

My brother and his girlfriend went way overboard and bought the kids a bunch of stuff. Talk about being spoiled! :-) They had a great time and love every item they received!

As for me, well, I'm even more spoiled than the kids! :-) DD gave me a gold dragon treasure box that has a rose on it's side. DS gave me 2 snowmen refrigerator magnets and a Dimensions Creative Accents kit called Moonlight Play. DH gave me a House mouse tote filled with House mouse post-its, a house mouse 2006 calendar, 3 house mouse magnets, house mouse bookmarks, and 3 house mouse cross stitch kits, the Gloria & Pat Grab Box filled with so many goodies - 22 leaflets, 5 kits, 2 calendars (2005 & 2006), 5 kits, a pillow sham with a 9" square stitching area, large cut of 18ct. white aida, 7 cuts of linen, bunches of small frames, 4 buttons, 20 skeins of DMC and 6 skeins of Marlitte, and a thanksgiving Cherished Teddy completed model!!! Then he gave me a nice K's Creation Oak Lapstand, and a Daylight small clip on magnifier. PLUS.... a PDA to keep track of all my stash. See what I mean about being spoiled?!!! I've never got so much stash as gifts EVER!!

With all that being said, I hope everyone has as nice of a holiday as we did.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Looking Forward To the New Year

It's time to start thinking about the new year as well as a time to reflect what has been good and what needs changing or improved this past year. I've done lots of lists - goals, wishes, improvments, etc. and even though they are long, I'll be thrilled if I can cross some of them off the end of next year.

My Work In Progress list didn't have many things crossed off at all, but I'm coming down to finishing a few big projects at the beginning of next year, so I did have a few accomplishments in that respect - a nice amount of work done on them this year.

Here's my cross stitch WIP list as it stands right now.....

Aragorn - 65%
Art Ventures – Old Sentinel
Breast Cancer fund – From the Heart Needle Roll
Cross Stitch Crazy (UK) – Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn – 70%
Cross Stitch & Country Crafts – North Woods Stocking
Crossed Wing Collection – Hummingbird Garden – 35%
Curtis Boehringer – Needlewoman’s Murder Mystery
Diane Arthurs – Happy Everything – 50%
DMC – The White Bindweed Fairy
Drawn Thread – Miniature Reversible Sampler
Hearts Delight – Noah’s Ark Kit
Hillside Samplings – Letter Snow! Letter Snow! Letter Snow!
House Mouse – Apple Seeds
Just Cross Stitch 2001 Ornament Issue – Cinnamon Bear 70%
Just Nan – First Stitches
Just Nan – Last Stitches
Kustom Krafts – 4 Horses of Apocalypse
Kustom Krafts – Fire & Ice
Lanarte – Romantic Picnic -
Lavender & Lace – Angel Sampler – 85%
Lavender & Lace – Celtic Spring
Leisure Arts – Bunnies Galore
Leisure Arts – Noah’s Ark Baby Afghan 50%
Magazine pull out – Hearts & Flowers
Marquoir Mystery Sampler – freebie SAL – 12%
New Stitches – Dimensions – A Bird For All Seasons
Pamela Kellogg – Cupid’s Garden Mystery SAL
Pamela Kellogg –Winterlude Kit – 40%
Pat Rogers – Hearts & Lace Sampler – 70%
Paula Vaughan - May
Pegasus – Pekingese – Dogs V. 4
The Silver Lining – Aymar’s Amber Rose – 30%
Stefani Martin – Covered Bridge Spring 70%
Sue Lentz – Grandmother’s Garden
Sue Lentz – Soft Terra Cotta Pillow
Super Mario Party
Sweetheart Tree – Jan. Needle Roll
Sweetheart Tree – Teenie Tweenies – Spring Has Sprung
Teresa Wentzler – Stretch
Teresa Wentzler – Under the Evergreen
Towel from Elyse
Wizzers – Birdhouse Wind chimes – 50%

I'm joining a group of ladies that have decided to stitch from their stash only. I won't say that will be the only thing I stitch from, as I'd like to do the Cat series from Kats by Kelly. I own the first two leaflets of , but will purchase the others as I finish them. The same goes for the Bent Creek Snapperland and Snapperville series. They aren't my focus thought. I'll be focusing on the list above.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It's Been A Long Time...

I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted anything worthwhile. It seems like every day has been as busy as the last. I've been telling myself, I don't have time today, but tomorrow I'll have more time and I'll write. Yah - that sure worked, didn't it?!

I will be posting all my back finishes that haven't hit the page since my last real posting.

I finished the Feather & Fan Socks just in time for DD to wear for Halloween. She loves them, and the Palette yarn seems to be holding up so far. She says they are comfortable and wants me to make more. I am very pleased with how they turned out and even more pleased with the reception! Finished October 30th

Next up is a cross stitch finish. (Oct. 20th) This was from the April 2004 issue of Cross Country Stitching called Plain & Simple. I ordered the hanger from my LNS on Oct 21st, but found just found out just bit ago that it's not availabe any longer. Interesting that I can get it from JJ myself, but my shop can't get it. It was to be a gift for a friend, but it was a day before it was to be sent out when my LNS called and told me they couldn't get it. That could have been fixed, but she never ordered the buttons for it - until I told her to forget about it. Now they are supposed to be here in the next few days! Grumble...

As for the details, these Shaker girls were stitched on a pillow cut of Fireside Afghan in beige and cranberry. It was stitched using the recommended threads however I left the "floor" out that the girls were standing on.

I joined in on a SAL with a group from Dragonfly Stitches. A pattern for a very pretty ornament was offered, and it just called to me to do. It was a nice quick stitch! I stitched this on 14 ct. white aida and used Vikki Clayton 6-strand silks in Dragon Hoard and Purple and Mill Hill Glass Seed Beads in 00252. The beads were optional and I was very pleased with how they added just the right sparkle. Completed November 6th.

And now I have a great happy dance to report. It doesn't look like a whole lot, but it is the last of the Lizzie Kate Flip-It series. I have finally completed the whole set. I hang one a month above my kitchen sink - using only one frame and changing the piece each month. I got the idea from the bulletin board that was offered by Lizzie Kate (at least I think it was) where you changed the design each month on the board. It make storage so nice - because my stack of stitching doesn't take much room at all. Finished November 11th.

This lovely kit was a gift sent to me from Despina. (Thank you my friend!) It is by CrossStitcher and came complete with printed card & envelope. It is stitched with 16ct. aida using the floss that was supplied with the kit. I love this card, as the cat looks just like ours, and is even more fitting because she's a great mouser.

Well, that's enough for tonight's postings. More to come!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Noble Princess

You are just and fair, a perfectionist with a
strong sense of proper decorum. You are very
attracted to chivalry, ceremony and dignity.
For the most part you are rather sensible, but
you are also very idealistic.

Role Models: Guinevere, Princess Fiona (of Shrek)

You are most likely to: Get kidnapped by a stray

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Last week the first frost, this week snow! How did that happen? :-) It was just gorgeous! The trees were heavy with snow and hanging really low because all the foliage hasn't fallen yet. We were a bit concerned about losing the utilities, but the snow turned to rain, and all we ended up with was a slushy mess. It did get colder last night so what little snow was left is still here. It all makes me want winter to get here even faster now!

Boy!! I'm so happy to have found the Paperback Swap . I have found knitting, crochet, and cross stitch books that I've had on my wish list for ages! Even though it says "paper back", all the books I have gotten have been hardbound so far. I'm so very, very pleased that I joined it! I just got notice yesterday that Barbara G. Walker's Knitting From the Top was listed and since it was on my wishlist there, I got first chance at it. I was so excited to finally have gotten it!!! Why didn't I join in the swap before?

Progress report:

I've been able to do some more stitching on Stefani Martin's Covered Bridge Spring .

I just turned the heel on the second Feather & Fan sock and picked up the gusset stitches. I'll need it just a bit quiet to do the decreases with the pattern repeats. I don't feel like frogging it. Today I'm just easily distracted for some reason. I guess I'll just blame it on the weather

We ordered oil today $2.16.9 a gallon. Ouch! It's more than doubled since last winter. Our outdoor boiler is on the fritz, so until that's fixed, we can't use it and are at the mercy of the oil company. I'm hoping it gets fixed soonly - I'm too tight to pay for my heat. Look at all that money that could have went to something useful like stash! :-)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Our Van is Totalled

DH called this morning from work and passed on the good news that he hit a deer while driving in. He didn't get hurt but he couldn't drive it. A man from the DOT was on his way to work when he saw DH and stopped and picked him up.

I spent the morning rushing the kids around to go get DH, drop him off, so he and my brother could pick up the van. It was sad seeing it on the side of the road, smashed with pieces of metal behind it. Sadder still was the poor deer. He was a large and beautiful buck, in his prime. He would have made beautiful offspring - probably was on his way to do so, when he met his doom. It's that time of the year when bucks have only one thing on their mind, making driving so dangerous now.

Also on the way down, we saw our second black bear dead on the side of the road. That's the second one in a little over a week! In my 40+ years here on earth - I've seen 4 dead black bears on the roadside - and 2 of them were just those that were recently hit! I wonder if that means our bear population has increased. It seems like we are seeing a lot more critters that I don't remember seeing hardly at all as a child. Bobcats and coyotes are much more abundant, and the rabbit population is showing it. You don't see many rabbits any more. My brother saw an unusual animal - one he's never seen before (could it be Bigfoot?!) He contacted the Game Commission, described it to them, and they sent him a link to see if it's what he saw. Sure enough, it was. He saw a Fisher. They have been reintroducing them into our area. He had to fill out a report for them. I take it that they've been extinct in our area since the time of the Depression because they were wiped out from pelt hunting (at least that's my understanding of it). I thought that was just so cool!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I Won! + WIPS

I went to check email this morning and found a wonderful note in my inbox stating I had won 2 charts that I had put my name in a drawing for!! I was so very happy and surprised, to say the least. As you can see, they are just so cute and adorable!!
I immediately sent my information, and hardly any time later, I received a note that said they are all packed up and ready to be sent. I can't wait to see them in person.

I must be on a lucky streak - these adorable charts this week and the Opal yarn a couple of weeks ago. Speaking of the Opal, it still hasn't arrived yet. I can't wait to see what color I'm getting, but it seems to be taking a long time getting from one coast to the other. I bet it's because there are so many knitters in the postal system, that they have to fondle it before it goes on :-)

This morning, I casted on DD's second F&F sock, and have finished 2 pattern repeats so far. Not a lot done, but some, all the same. Last night I sat and worked on a piece of XS that I had started some time ago and put aside. It's a small piece from Cross Country Stitching from their Shaker Afghan in the April 2004 issue called Plain & Simple. I'm doing just this one panel and making it into a wall hanging. I'm stitching it on the recommended Fireside Afghan - just the one square, and it is interesting to work on. So far, it is looking really nice.

We had our first frost overnight. It has been long overdue - by almost a month! No complaints though, as we got some of our garden in late, so everything made it. It was still sad to know that there will be no more fresh tomatoes until next year. The house has chilled down. It was 64 in here this morning, and I absolutely refused to turn the thermostat up. Instead, we made a nice hot breakfast of Apple Fritters and Hot Chocolate (from our homemade mix) and in no time everyone was nice and toasty. Tonight, we are having a nice smoked ham - so the oven is heating the house. As long as I keep cooking, we'll stay warm - until I break down and finally turn the heat on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Little Weathers - Chilly is finished!

What a cute little design this is. The kids have been teasing me that the reason I picked it was because that's how our home is going to be this year - chilly. You know how it is with those fuel prices and all. Aren't they just the sweetest things? LOL

The design was stitched on 14 ct. white aida using the recommended DMC colors but I changed the metallics to an unknown brand. It called for the DMC metallics, but I've had trouble with them tarnishing, so I used something I picked up at a sale a long time ago and they've held up wonderfully on everything I used them on (sure wish I knew what they were!). After stitching the igloo, I thought it looked just a bit too plain, so I did half cross stitches over top of the stitching with Kreinik BF 032. Then I back stitched - and it turned out just as I wanted it - sparkley enough to look like snow/ice. Now, just to sit down and finish it. I'm thinking about a tuck pillow, or maybe done like a large ornie to hang...

Monday, October 17, 2005

First Kool-Aid Sock Finished + Another Online Knitting Mag!!

The Kool-Aid Sock is finished and not looking half bad. The kids don't like it and tell me the yarn is UGLY, but all in all, I'm very pleased. I did a striping on the toe, as I wasn't sure if I'd have enough of the Kool-Aid dyed yarn, giving the sock 3 different looks. In the round, the yarn pooled, turning on the heel created striping, and the toe ended up with a softer more pastel look. I really had fun not knowing how it would turn out and this was more like playing than anything else. Who would have guessed that making socks would be so much fun! LOL

I was reading through one of my lists, and found that there is another free online knitting magazine. This one is called MenKnit and I was very excited to see it published! Finally, a magazine devoted to knitting for men that actually has some designs in it that the men in our family would wear! I have a couple of patterns already printed out - one that is very appealing is the For Better or Worsted Cable Topped Socks that I'd like to try next. With the guys doing all kinds of outdoor activities all winter long, we really need worsted socks for them. I'm always thrilled to find another pattern in this weight.

This morning I started a small cross stitch freebie called Little Weathers - Chilly by Susan Aldrich from the Free Patterns section at CyberStitchers. Susan also has a yahoo group where you can find more of her designs and get some exclusive group freebies as well.

I'm planning on casting on the second Feather & Fan sock today and getting that finished up this week so that DD can have them to wear on Halloween. I also want to have it finished so I can start on the next sock in the Socks3KAL. I also would like to get started on the Mosaic Socks that they are working on in the 6 Sox KAL. Unfortunately, that one will be put on hold a bit while I get another pair of worsted weight socks done for DS. Hunting season is upon us, and one pair of socks just aren't enough.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Demand For Socks Keeps Coming!

Ahhhh - here it is, a beautiful Saturday morning. After a week of rain, the sun is shining on the flaming shades of autumn that covers our surrounding mountains. It's stunning to see and looks so crisp and bright after all those days of wet, dreary weather.

The house here is quiet - with only the sound of the pc humming and the clicking of the keys. The children have gone with DH hunting for the day. The stillness is wonderful but won't last much longer. As soon as neighbor-child gets out of bed, the peace will be broken with the sound of his "music" that he plays at such a volume, that no matter how loud one turns things up in here, you can still hear the base rumblings. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he had a very late night last night :-)

The first Feather & Fan Sock is finished. I had to redo the toe, as it was way too long and looked like it had been designed for an elf... grin... I went over and over the instructions to see if I made a mistake, but I couldn't find an error on my part. The only conclusion I have come up with is that even though my stitch gauge is on, the row gauge (which is not given in the directions) isn't. Instead of knitting 3 rows between decreases, I went down to 2 - and ended up with a much better looking sock that fit DD perfectly. I must cast the other one on and get busy so that I have them done, washed and ready to go for Halloween.

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Without flash to see lace

The Kool-aid dyed yarn is finally dried and balled up. I started my socks with it yesterday, and am getting an interesting pattern on the cuff of the first sock. I'm using the yarn for the cuffs, heels and toes and the undyed for the body of the sock.

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Hey - it's not that bad!

This morning, DS went to put his heavy socks from last year on, and they no longer fit! They did when we washed them and put them away this spring, however, he's grown like a weed, and I never gave it a second thought about outgrowning those that I made last year. So, now I need to do another pair for him. That makes 2 more pairs he needs done. I'll finish DD's first, and mine - as I need the needles mine are on to do DS's socks. Hmmmm... so who's bright idea was it to learn how to knit socks?! (grin)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Iowa Cruise FO, F & F Update + XS FO

Wahoo!!! DH's Iowa Cruise Socks are off the needles and all I need to do is weave in the ends today. They fit well and he likes the contrasting heel, toe, and stripes on the ribbing. I'm still amazed that he likes them enough to comment on the design. I didn't get the usual "they look like socks" comment.

DD's Feather & Fan Socks are coming along nicely. I'm very pleased with both the pattern and how well they are fitting DD. I have a little more to go before I do the toes and this one is finished and off the needles. She was so excited when she saw how far along the sock was - and asked if by some chance that they might be done by Halloween. :-)

I'm hoping that the Palette yarn will hold up to wear. It isn't as tightly spun as a regular sock yarn, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It knits up so nicely and the color is gorgeous plus it appears the cost of this sock will be knit for under $3 for the pair! That is comparable to Walmart's prices for acrylic socks!

October snuck up on me without being noticed. The calendars sat on September for quite a while before we noticed. Then I looked up above the sink where I keep my "gallery" of monthly pictures, and saw that there was no October! OOPS - forgot to get that one done, so I took some time to wip out the Lizzie Kate October Flip-it. I stitched it on an unknown color of a Fiddler's type 14-ct aida using the recommended threads. I don't like the hat - but I didn't want to take the time to fool with it - so just followed the chart instead of changing it. My intent was to remove the hat altogether and put something more fall-ish in it's place. So much for personalizing. :-)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday Musings

I can't believe it's already Monday. I've been offline fighting phlebitis in my leg, and having a lot of time on my hands to be able to knit and read - and read and knit.

Saturday my Knit Picks order came in, and I'm very pleased with the colors and quality of the yarns - especially for the cost!

My order consisted of 3 skeins of Palette in Apricot purchased to make some fall-ish looking socks with, 2 Skeins of Simple Socks in Sweet Tarts for DD's next pair of socks, 2 skeins of Shadow - one in Grape Jelly and one in Jewels to be used for scarves, directions and wool for the Alpaca Hat using Wool of the Andes, and a bottle of Kookaburra Woolwash to try. With all that said, I'll probably get 2-3 pairs of socks, 2 scarves, and a hat for just a bit over $30!

I just had to cast on the new Apricot Palette. It was just so pretty and much richer than I had expected. I'm working on Feathers & Fan from Socks, Socks, Socks. I only have 3-1/2" completed on the leg, but it's gorgeous and I love working the lace pattern. I would have had more, but I found that I cannot work with music - or a beat. Someon on one of my lists said that you develop a rythmn when knitting lace, and if music is playing, you are doomed to mess up. I had no problems working the pattern, and watched TV and had a discussion with DH, but yesterday, the neighbor's son had his music on, and although all one could hear was the base and drums, it was enough to totally mess me up. I worked, and ripped, and worked and ripped. Finally gave up, and after the teen went on his merry way, I picked it back up, and had no problems working it! So.... my conclusion is, this woman knows what she's talking about! LOL

I'm almost done with the second of DH's boot socks! I only have the toe to do, and it's done! Soon to be a FO today! :-) I had some leftover Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool from the socks, so I decided to experiment and try doing the Kool-Aid Dyeing in Socks, Socks, Socks. Each of us picked a color of Kool-Aid to try, and then picked where we wanted the color on the skein to go. I'll warn you - that not only is the result, ummmmm - interesting..... but the colors didn't turn out like we each had thought. I picked grape for a purple, and it came out about like I had thought it would, but the kids were disappointed. DD picked a red that turned out more orange than red, and DS picked out the Bluedinie color that didn't mix up blue at all, but green. Hey - it was fun!! Our kitchen smells like a wet sheep that was dipped in vinegar flavored Kool-aid, and we might just have the ugliest yarn around, but we all had a great time :-) I'll be knitting this up for a pair of socks for me.

Next finished item was a mouse for our kitten. I saw Wendy Knits had directions for one posted, so I had to make sure to knit one up for our little baby. Yes, it was a big hit, but for some reason he was more impressed with the tail. However, as you can see, DH couldn't take it away - as he let it be known that it was his toy and he was keeping it!!! He wasn't letting go no matter what!!!

Saturday, the poor thing had to be taken to the vet's office. I noticed he was losing his balance and then started walking with his head cocked to one side - the same side he would lose his footing on. Uh-oh! I called and told the vet I thought it was an inner ear infection, although I'd never seen one in a cat before. Sure enough, after 2 shots of antibiotics, he came home with a bottle of pills that he has to take once a day. Poor, poor thing! We were told he won't be feeling so great for a bit, and the balance issue won't be totally corrected by the time we finish the pills, but it will in time. I can just imagine how much it hurts, and he's such a trooper. If it wasn't for his balance and head cocked, you'd never know he was sick!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

In Memory of My Grandmother

1914 - 1988

Today my grandmother would have been 91 years old. She was an amazing woman, living on a farm alone with three children, in another state - while her husband worked in the family store. My Grandfather would come home on weekends to see his family, and then back to NJ he would go on Sunday night. It was rumored that they moved here from NJ because my aunt had rheumatic fever that cause problems and they had to move from the city. My aunt did have it a child - but I don't know if there was an urgency to leave the city or not. My grandmother never confirmed this story, so I really don't know if it is true.

Arriving here from Poland as a very small child, she learned to speak English - forgetting Polish, and then had to return to Poland with her mother and siblings to take care of the family business. She came back here a few years later - after learning Polish and forgetting English - having to again learn the language. This time, Polish was remembered and used many times while I was growing up to have adult conversations with my Grandfather and not worrying about us understanding a word.

My grandmother was a fantastic cook and a wonderful needleworker. She could do everything - and I mean everything!!! I don't know of a skill that she didn't know - lace net darning, huck embroidery, tatting, crochet, knitting, cross stitch, braided rug making, rug hooking, net making, and I could go on and on! And sew... Oh, she made beautiful clothes! She learned from her mother, and my great-grandmother was a fantastic seamstress. She said they would go to New York City and her mother would ask the kids what clothes they liked, and would come home and make them. Just by looking at them! My grandmother said they were always in fashion and the best dressed around. Sadly, the sewing skills were not passed on to me. :-(

She did pass many of the skills on to both my mother and me - but not all. Cooking was something that she was going to teach me, but became very ill and died before she could really teach me a lot. She took many of my favorite recipes with her - Spinach Soup, Potato Soup, and her Vegetable Soup as well. They were things she did with no recipe, and those were the things that weren't passed on as I was only learning. I do have a lot of her hand written recipes, but the things I remember most weren't written down.

My grandmother was a huge part of my life. I spent every weekend and every summer at the farm with her. We were pretty much inseparable until my later teens when I no longer had much time for hanging around there as I seemed to be dating all the time and doing teen-ager kinds of things. I will always regret that - because during that time, I could have been honing my skills in and learning so much more from her. I had assumed at that point that she would be around for many more years. She went to visit my uncle in another state, was diagnosed there with lung cancer, and she died before I could get there to say goodbye.

I miss you, Grandma.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Secret Pal Package, Finishes, and a Great Weekend!

I was gone Saturday and when I arrived home, I found a card in my mailbox stating that I had a registered piece of mail to pick up and sign for at the post office. That made for a very long weekend, as there was no information on who it was from or anything.... I had all sorts of thoughts going through my head. LOL

So, when I finally got to get to the PO - there was a wonderful package waiting for me from my Secret Pal!! Maybe it's a good thing I didn't know who it was from now, as it would have made the wait seem even longer.

Oh goodness! Let me tell you, my pal sure knows just how to spoil me! I received 2 charts: Blooms by San-Man Originals and Bent Creek's Holiday Snappers Happy Independence Day complete with the snaps! There was a large piece of a beautiful blue evenweave, 6 skeins of Needle Odyssey's Dip & Twist in 205, 076, 087, 096, 206, & 097 (clockwise in the picture starting at the top left hand corner). Also included were two of the most nice smelling candles in a decorated delicate blue drawstring bag.

Last but not least, were two of the most adorable buttons that I tried to photograph - but they just bleached out :-( They are white and pink strawberries with black seed dots, and green tops - very cute and will be a perfect addition to one of my spring designs that I have in my 2-do pile! How did you know, SP?!!! THANK YOU!!!

We had a great time this past weekend. We when to the Fort Freeland Heritage Days and as always it was FANTASTIC! Every year the Fort Freeland Heritage Society puts on a reenactment of the capture and destruction of the Fort as well as having a ton of demonstrations of crafts, cooking, butchering, and life in that time period. The actors dress and demonstrate "their lives" being totally in character - and using the words "I" and "we", making you almost believe you were transported back in time. I spent a LOT of time talking to the women demonstrating different textile skills. I learned so much, and couldn't believe that we spent the whole day there - and still could have seen more.

The kids and DH had as good of a time as I did, and they all came back with more knowledge than what we left here with. DH was fascinated with the cigar making and watching the blacksmith and the nail making. It is amazing that each nail that was used for building was made by hand! DD's favorite part was the magic show - which was much more than magic, but the history was woven into it. The presentation was wonderful!

I think the thing that makes the Heritage most appealing to me, is the passion that the things are presented with. These people LOVE what they do! This wasn't acting - but a true love of their crafts and wanting to share with others. The woman that made crochet rag rugs doesn't have any need for them any more, but will give them away to a child that falls in love with them and wants them in their room, or to someone else that could use them. She won't sell them. She spent all her time ripping and sewing the rags to get them ready for the presentation, only to just give them away!

So another year has gone by - and we will have to wait another whole year to be able to attend again. We've only missed a couple of years due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances, and each year it gets bigger and better. If you ever had a chance to get to one of these, please make the effort - you won't be disappointed!

After we got home from such a great day out, I relaxed for a bit then decided to check email. To my surprise (and DELIGHT!) I found an email from Soxie, stating that I had won in the Opal Chatters drawing! So now I have a mystery color skein of Opal flying here from the other coast! I still can't believe my luck!

Now, onto the personal side of crafting news. I finished the mate to the CIC sock, and DH's second sock has been started. I'm also fooling around with my own design - and trying to make DH a fingering weight sock out of 3-ply Kroy that he'll like. He wanted the ribbing to come down to the ankle to fit tightly and not sag. I did what he wanted, but he wasn't pleased, so I ripped it back, only to find I had a difficult time getting those little loops back on the needles at the time. The project was abandoned, and last week I found it, and fixed the dropped stitches and am now plugging away on it again. I think I will try taking the ribbing down across the top of the foot, and hopefully with doing that, it will preven the sag that he had before. DH is a tall man and has a big ankle/wide foot, so I'm working on 88 sts. It's a slow go, but I think I'll do it as an in-between project for now. That way I won't get bored with it.

I'm itching to get back to some cross stitching. I've got my LK's October Flip-It to get done yet. Here it is, October, and I still have my September pic up. I also have to get a box of small things out to Online Angels for their annual St. Jude's Children's Hospital Christmas party. I'll probably mail both that box and the CIC Vest and socks at the same time.

I placed an order at Knitpicks yesterday. I decided to try their yarns since I've heard so much about them, and they are considerably cheaper. I bought some Simple Stripes sock yarn in Sweet Tarts, Pallette fingering weight in Apricot, an Alpaca hat pattern and Wool of the Andes yarn to make it, some Shadow lace weight in both Jewels and Grape Jelly. One of the Shadows is for Knitpicks free pattern for a Scarf Cowl and the other will be used for a lace scarf I plan on doing as soon as my Sampler Scarf is finished.

Now, just to wait all that time until my new goodies arrive..... :-)

Friday, September 30, 2005

Two Socks Down, Two to Go

This week had me down on my back in bed, so I took advantage of it by knitting. I'll say that it was a godsend - keeping me sane. I hate staying in bed, so it kept the boredom from creeping in. I finished the first of DH's socks and he loves it! He is still blown away by the fact that wool really doesn't itch. I remember when I made his first pair, he flat out refused to put them on next to bare skin. LOL!! This sock went on with no hesitation and he kept commenting on how much he liked it and how good it felt. This is a good thing, but at the same time, not great, because it makes me that much further from knitting my own socks!

I did enjoy doing the different color heel and toe plus DH thought they were "Cool". Another first has been recorded for me! (actually 2 firsts - DH really seemed to like them! LOL) He's not so sure about the heel I used - I did a "boot" type heel - the sl 1, k1 on right side, sl 1 p across on the wrong side. It made a very cushy heel that I think will wear much better in his hunting boots.

While down, I also worked on a pair of CIC socks. I finished the first one, and have cast on the second one. I took them along with me yesterday when I took the kids to their classes, and my friend, Dawn stopped by to chat while we were waiting for the kids, and she was really amazed and impressed with the socks. I'm hoping to recruit her to become a sock knitter. I warned her once she gets bitten by the bug, there's no turning back!

I'm using the Fiber Gypsy's "Custom Fit Socks" pattern and Regia wool. I love the colorway - it's so bright and cheerful. I hope the little tots that wear these will like them as much as I do. DD came into the room when I started them and asked who they were for - sound very disappointed when she found out she wasn't getting them. She loves the colors as well. I guess I'll have to order some for her someday. :-)

An update on my Sampler Scarf - it's just so much fun to work on, but certainly not looking very impressive. If you view it - you must promise not to laugh - do you swear? :-) Yah, I'm sure you'll be able to pick out a mistake or 10, but it's a learning piece, and I'm also learning how to pick up different types of stitches when I rip or even tinking back, there's been a few challenges. Who knew that it would be so difficult to undo some things?! I am really loving the learning process, though. I think it will look ok when it has been washed and blocked. (well, ok enough for me to wear, anyhow - I hope!)

I've started my 4th pattern and I can see a change in my knitting. I'm sure that the choice of yarn may have been a bit of a hinderance (hey - gotta blame something here!) but it's what I had on hand at the time. All in all, I'm pleased - because I see myself getting better as I go..

Maybe, one day, I'll be good enough to make a lace shawl!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Another Iowa Cruise Sock

DH's sock is on the needles, and I'm almost ready to start the heel flap.

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Surprisingly, DH loves the stripes and appears to be interested in what it will look like with the heel and toe done in the turquoise as well. Could it be that he is beginning to appreciate hand knitted socks afterall? This it the man that said he would NOT wear wool and after the last pair I made, he asked for more. Now, just to convert him to a lighter weight sock. I wonder if it could happen. :-)

The kids have already put "orders" in for more socks - thick, thin, inbetween.... it doesn't matter. They love them all! After DH's pair is finished, I'll work on an Opal sock and my Einstein Coat as well. Right now, I'm focusing on the heavy socks for hunting season. They go next month, so they are needed soonly.

I stopped at JoAnn's Fabric and picked up another skein of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. Whatever is left from DH's socks will be dyed and put away for my next pair of worsted weight socks. I'm looking forward to fooling around with the Kool-aid method, however, if it turns out well, one of the children may want yet another pair made with that yarn. LOL

Sunday, September 25, 2005

New LYS!!!

I have been going through withdrawls since the LYS closed. It wasn't like it was a great store - as it was dark and dingy and it seemed like everything I wanted wasn't there, but in the sister store - which ment that it would be ordered in and would be there sometime - but not when I wanted it. And sock yarn? HA! The shelf had just a couple of brands, and even less in different colors, and she wasn't getting any in. So, it really was no surprise when the store disappeared.

Well, Saturday, I got an idea and did a search on our nearest large town and found a listing for another store!!! Could it really be possible? I did more searching and found that the store had outgrown it's location and opened a new shop! I became so hopeful that I took down the new address and made sure we stopped before going to DH's father's for their cookout.

OMG! I was in heaven!!!! The store was not only easy to access, but it was bright and cheerful and was owned by a very nice woman and her help was just as nice!! Not only nice, but HELPFUL!! And inventory..... I was swooning! There was all types of yarn from high end to something that would fit my budget. I spent 45 minutes just fingering and petting the yarns as well as talking about knitting - and not just any knitting, but SOCK knitting! I was sure someone would come through that door and shake me just to wake me up from such a sweet dream. It has been so long since I was in a real yarn shop - one with great customer service and someone that knows my love for socks. Oh yes, it gets better - the one woman is a fellow Socknitter! Can it really get any better than this? :-) Yes, it does! There's even a Sock Knit-In on Tuesday nights! Hopefully I'll be able to make a couple - just such a trip with gas prices - but if I have something else to do on a Tuesday, I'm certainly going!!!!!

The only downside to the visit to the LYS was my budget. I did treat myself to a skein of Opal Magic 1036.


Friday, September 23, 2005

It's Hard Turning Down A Stitching Job

My LNS contacted me this morning asking if I would like to do a stitching job. She said a lady came in and brought a Thomas Kinkade embellishment kit of Lamplight Bridge that she wants stitched by the middle of next month. I am one that is known to do emergency stitching on tight deadlines, so they contacted me to see if I could do it. Oh man - the embellishment kits are said to be murder as the charts don't match the printed design. I really could use the extra cash though, but is it really worth it? We are doing a tight homeschool schedule, plus a day a week away while the kids take classes elsewhere. I could give a high quote and see if the lady still wants it stitched. That seems quite unfair though. I'm going to have a look at it tomorrow. It's already started (which means that I may have more problems there - fixing mistakes and all). It is so difficult to turn down a job - as the extra money is always nice and can certainly be used. At the same time, I'm really enjoying just knitting (with a little crochet project every now and then) and I don't know if I really want to put the enjoyment away for something I'm not going to relish doing.

Now about that enjoyment...

I finished DD's Iowa Cruise Socks this morning. I really enjoy doing socks and this makes the 10th pair I've finished. Certainly not enough to claim I know how to knit them yet, but enough to make my understanding of the construction better :-)

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Right after pulling these off the needle, I went back to the dwindling 4ply stash and looked for something appropriate for DH. I found some nice Bartlett Yarn, but it didn't knit to gauge. I needed 5-1/2 sts. to the inch and got 4. Tighter just didn't make the fabric I wanted for the socks. So DH is now getting a pair made out of Lion Brand Fisherman's wool (a cream color) and some Plymouth Galway in turquoise. I'm going to do 2 turquoise stripes in the ribbing as well as contrasting heel and toe. Yes, this will be my first time with color changes on the socks. Every sock I've knitted so far has been either a solid or self striping.

Another quick finish was a hat design by Dot Matthews called Ugly But Warm Hat or otherwise know as the UBW Hat. I used Red Heart in both black and camouflage. DS and his camouflage - I swear he'd have a whole wardrobe of it - oh and anything with Star Wars on it - so the perfect clothing item would be made of Star Wars camouflage :-)

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And here's DS in his "mug" shot. Yes - his sense of humor.......

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Something New For The Kitchen

Yesterday was one of those days that made me start thinking. The seasons are getting ready to change, and I needed a little change myself. So, I spent quite a long time reading blogs and newsletters and found just what I needed! I craved a bit of brain food, so I decided to learn a new crochet stitch and make some new things for the kitchen.

The HeartStrings Newsletter led me to Needlecraft University where I looked at all the new classes that were listed. The Polish Star class intrigued me, but I really didn't want to take a class to learn just a stitch. Instead, I searched the web to see what I could find on the Polish Star stitch and came up with a free pattern for Polish Star Potholders from Within a couple of hours, I had learned a new stitch and made a useful potholder. (Isn't the net a wonderful place?!!) I do like the stitch, but have decided for certain, that at this time I wouldn't want to make anything large out of it. (at least not yet anyhow....)

I did find what I would call an error - or at least something I decided to change. First, when you insert the loops, the directions have you skip the first and last one on the bottom row. Then when they do get inserted , I found I ended up with a pretty large hole and my dc's split apart. Then next time I do this pattern, I will twist the loop before inserting through another. I also did the the following on the row securing the end loops:

Ch1, *sc in next sc, sc in next sc along with the loop, then sc in the next 5 sc, sc in next sc along with the loop * across, ending with a sc in the last stitch.

I hope that's easy to understand - writing what I did isn't as easy as it looks :-)

Then I decided that I had one new thing for the kitchen, I certainly had to have a couple of dishcloths, so the search was on again. I remembered that I saw a couple of free patterns for dishcloths on The Crochet Dude's blog, so I scurried back there to have another look. Wonderful! Just what I wanted. First I made the Sunshine Dishcloth using an orange, yellow, off white varigated out of my stash - it screamed "sunny and warm" to me. I found it to be both an easy and quick project to do and a joy to work on.
While I was looking at all the lovely freebies there, I saw another dishcloth pattern called Pentagon Dishcloth. Another must do - and again, another quick and easy cloth that finished up nicely.

Drew's directions are well written and easy to understand. I was very pleased with the quality and each row had a stitch count at the end. Imagine going to all that work on just a freebie! I've been looking at the patterns he has for sale, and I have added some to my wishlist. As soon as I'm off my pattern diet, I'm buying a few! Sadly, right now I'm down to necessary yarn purchases, and that's it.

I'm very pleased with my new additions to the kitchen. They certainly seem to brighten things up a bit. (And who says one can't get satisfaction from a quickie?!)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It's Official! We've Been Adopted!!

Our vet bill runs as much or more than our Dr. bill, so when this adorable little kitten showed up on our doorstep, I said, "Nope - Ain't gonna happen! We have 3 cats, that's enough!!!" End of story - or it should have been. :-)

We did all we could to find the owners - the kids did the trip all over town and looked, and we found the owner. So, I caught the little bugger once, and was repaid by 4 nice deep teethmarks in my finger. I worked as a vet assistant for years, so I do know how to handle these guys - but when your back-up team disappears all of a sudden, you get in a position that can be unpredictable. That should have been my first hint they didn't want this little guy go. Well, the kitten got freedom and I got a nice sore finger that had to be used modelstitching - deadlines are deadlines with a sore finger or not.

After a while, we got the guy tamed down, and he was sick - terribly sick with a skinned up back and all nasty looking. The kids took him to the owner, who then claimed that he wasn't hers (probably because of his health), so back they came with him. Now what was I supposed to do with a sick baby? Yup - we nursed him all back to health, and our "unwanted" guest became ours - like it or not. :-) DH said under no circumstances would we keep him. We get him well and off he goes to the shelter. HA! HA! HA! DH puts on such a tough exterior, but he's such a softie underneath. I watched him play with the little guy and I watched that little guy charm the pants off DH. He wasn't named right away, since he was so sick, I there was the discussion he might not make it. Especially if it was FIP. That runs in the cat population here - and with him a stray, who knows what he was exposed to. Antibiotics, good food, and love got him back on his feet, and he's a totally different animal now. It appears he just wasn't old enough to be away from mom yet.

He has run of the house, plus the yard and he has a great time wherever he is. And play?! He never wears out. He stalks us, and attacks us, and never stops. The other day I was out shaking out the pink duster, and this thing comes flying through the air out of nowhere and attacks the duster. We finally gave him a name - Frisky. Should be more like ADHD as he never is still! :-) So tell me, how did we live this long without such a bundle of love? And energy? He never stops - so you can just imagine how difficult it is to photograph him. Thank heavens for digital cameras!!

This past week was terribly busy. We had 2 full days to homeschool, and the rest was running. Thursday, the kids had a 2 hour literature class, so I took my knitting along to get a good quite 2 hours worth of work done. Didn't happen. A good friend of mine had 2 of her children in the Chemistry class, so all we did was sit and gab, and walk and gab and just played catch-up for those 2 hours. Then we ate our lunch, visited my Dad at the home he's at, and on to swimming lessons. Surely I could get a good hour of knitting done there. Nope! That place was like a sauna. UGH - we were dripping with sweat (oops - nice ladies don't sweat do they!) by the time we left. Was no way I could keep a nice tension with wet hands.

Friday was an ortho appt. and library run. No knitting at either of these places either. But, one good thing about the library was I got a LOT of knitting books to read. One that I'm really enjoying is "Knit Lit: Sweaters and Their Stories... and Other Writing About Knitting" compiled by Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf. What a fantastic book! I must search the web and see if Kim Brody Salazar has posted her chain mail items she made for her daughter. I would love to see them. If you haven't seen this book, it's a must read! I also picked up "At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Yarn Harlot) and am loving it as well. Another one to add to the library here.

Saturday, we took a long trip out of state to go get a propane heater that looks like a woodstove. It has a glass door with ceramic logs. I know propane is expensive, but it will work nicely as a back-up when we lose electricity - plus the price was right... free!!! It works well, but needs a bit of cosmetic work. Outside of that, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I took the Granny Square Rainbow Blanket and worked on it on the way. Man, one round is taking forever to crochet now. It's is over 4 feet square, and I'm on the blue. I still need to add the indigo, violet and black for the edging. I was going to do a row of black dc, then a row of sc of each color then finishe off with the black, bt I'm not sure now. Will wing it, and decide when I get there.

Last week I finished the first of DD's socks. It's just a bit loose, but since it should go over another sock, it should be fine. I love the pattern, but I don't like how it just specifies as women's small, med. large, etc. However, if I hadn't been so lazy, I could have figured out what the sock size would have been with the gauge.

I've started the second sock, and if all works out well, I should be done with it in a few days. Then it will be on to DH's socks. His are a whole lot larger with a long leg and wide foot. I've considered making a different color heel and toe for his - as I've wanted to try doing it for a while. The kids didn't want any like that, and DH doesn't care. He says they'll be in his boots, so I can do what I like - no one will see. No one will see? Geeze - makes you really want to make something nice for him, eh? LOL

I also finished the What's In My Pocket Vest for CIC. I'm pleased with the way it turned out - and I've done my first pocket. That's something I've always avoided, as I've never been totally sure how to attatch the pocket. I'm still not all the way satisfied, but it doesn't look bad. The picture is wild though - that red really had a field day with the camera. It really isn't that bright, but more of a country red and it is the same weight as the other yarn, although it looks puffy in the pic.

I had a bunch of those electronic games that came with McD's Happy Meals to send with the vest - and I've read on the CIC website they don't want those kinds of things. My BIL loves Happy Meals, so he saved all the games for me - and now I don't have a home for them. Sigh.... Wonder if they would take them for the children that were victims of the hurricane. They are far from a necessity, so it seems kind of silly to think of sending them. However, it would be something that would keep the kids a little busy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tuesday- It's show and tell time...

Here it is, Tuesday already. Time just seems to keep going by so fast, and I'm not getting nearly as much done as I'd like. The house insists that it needs attention, as does the laundry, the kids, the schoolwork.... and the list just seems to go on and on. I thank the good Lord for my hobbies, as they keep me sane. They are the only things I do that don't get undone unless I rip them out. DH thinks I'm nuts when I tell him that, but he does appreciate how much will calm me when I've had a bad day :-)

When I get time, I read the lists I'm on and visit some of my favorite blogs, and just am stunned by how much people get done! My projects take a lot longer, and I don't get many big ones done. I have them in my rotation though, but they seem to take forever - sometimes even longer.

With that being said, I'm working on a vest for CIC with some wool that someone sent me. I didn't get gauge, so I ran a strand of fingering yarn with it, and it's coming out surprisingly nice. I'm not one that can put colors together and make something look good, so I'm very pleased with the progress on this one!! I took the pic a few nights ago, so I've had some progress since then. I now have the front done, and will soon be finishing up the back. I'm using the What's in My Pocket Vest pattern that Countrywool designed specifically for CIC. The CIC Knit group is doing a challenge for vests and sweaters and are trying to reach a goal. As far as I know the goal is at 300. I think that this goal will be reached and surpassed. The group members are so generous. Their needles just keep clicking out socks and whatever else is needed for the orphans in Russia.

DD's sock is coming along nicely - and much more quickly than DS's! I'm almost down to the toe shaping and am just too tired tonight to keep knitting, or I'd probably be able to make it to the grafting. I love the color of the yarn - the pic makes it a bit too purple, but you can't see the flecks of red, blue, green and yellow that are in it. The whitish dots that look like fuzz on the socks are a couple of the yellow flecks.

DD requested that I not make the sock as tall as what the directions called for. We decided to make them about an inch above where her hunting boots come on her leg. I told her she will probably want them even taller - especially out in the cold early mornings of December, but she wouldn't hear of it. She doesn't like her socks that high. We'll see if she changes her mind after this season.

I picked up a skein of Lion Brand's Fisherman's wool at JoAnn's yesterday. I used my 40% off coupon and it made it a very reasonable purchase! I should have enough for a pair of socks and then some!!! I promised myself that whatever is left will get dyed with Kool Aid.

I'm again on a stash diet. I just dumped a nice tidy sum of money in DS's microscope and lab equipment that he needs for this year. I knew it was coming, but was a bit more than I planned on. Plus DD needed some things for her science labs. Then the swimming lessons that are usually in the spring are being held this fall instead - so that was another surprise. It's enough to force me to only buy wool that is necessary for socks when the supply runs down, or when it's at a ridiculously low price, that I'd need my head examined not to buy it. I can't complain - it's not a huge sacrifice on my part, and the kids are always such a joy to watch when they are learning something new. But at the same time, it's so hard to go by all the neat yarns on the store shelf and not take just one home to play with it. Oh the sacrifices we make for the kids! LOL

I finally got my glasses back on Friday. It's only taken 7 weeks for them to get so I could wear them. Every time I'd wash the new ones off, the lenses would fracture! The store finally sent the frames to the lens manufacture and had them put them in. The lenses aren't getting cracks now, but they are 2 different colors. One has a green tint and the other a purple. So I went back yet again and asked why they were different - was there a problem with my vision that I didn't know about? Nope - it's just that the lenses must have been done out of 2 different lots. And I'd have to deal with it. They informed me that since it was just asthetic, they wouldn't send them back. So, I've paid almost $300 for glasses that took 7 weeks to get right, and now they don't crack, but I look like a dork - but only when one looks at me in certain ways (as the lady at the counter told me). At this point I'm just tired of messing around with them and will just look like a dork. Let me tell you though - I think I can now understand how someone can get to that point to make them go "postal" :-)

So on that note - a good night from the dork with the 2 color lenses. LOL

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Never Forget....

For all those that lost their lives 4 years ago today, and all those that lost someone near and dear to them...

A moment of silence

Friday, September 09, 2005

Iowa Cruise Socks are finished

And DS just loves them!!! He says they fit perfectly and is very pleased with how they turned out. Such music to a mother's ears :-) Let me tell you though, that boy has big feet so it takes some time to whip up socks for him. He's almost 6' tall with size 12 feet. The ribbing ended up being 8" and the total height of the sock measured about 13" from bottom of heel to top of ribbing.

Now it's on to a pair for DD. She's insisting I do the same type for her, but in a purple heather color. We'll be making them out of Plymouth Galway Colornep. I'm looking foward to these going much faster, since she's only 5'2".

The Sampler scarf is coming along nicely, now that I figured out what I was doing wrong on the lace pattern. I'm almost ready to move on to the next pattern. I want to do another repeat of the pattern I'm working on first.

My supply of worsted-weight wool for winter socks is getting low. I'm going to have to restock soon. I'm eyeballing the LB Fisherman's wool, as I've never tried it. Plus, I hear it's great to use for Kool-aid dying. I've never tried it with wool, but I've done some aida with it, and it came out nicely.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

2 FO's and 2 WIP's

For "hump day" I have 2 small XS FO's to post pics of. First is Lizzie Kate's "September Flip-It" from her first series. I stitched it on an unknown color of 28ct. evenweave using all the recommended threads. I've decided to leave the charm off, as it's just a bit too busy for my taste. I only have 2 more to do of this series.

Next is another Lizzie Kate design called "Land That I Love" that was done on 28ct. Sandcastle Jobelan. I used the recommended threads and used a dark country green star button instead of the sterling silver charm. Sorry, but that charm is just too much $$ for a design add-on. I really thought the sheep turned out sooooo cute - all fuzzy with the Rainbow Gallery Wisper.

Sock report: I'm on to the last inch of the second foot of the Iowa Cruise Socks I'm doing for DS. Not very much to go now. Maybe I'll finish them tonight if I'm not toooo tired :-)

I've finally taken a pic of my start on the Einstein Coat. I don't have a lot done, but I won't be progressing until I have DS, DD, and DH's socks done. They are getting first priority - as hunting season is just about upon us! I like the White Buffalo - it's such a nice yarn to work with. Sure wish that it hadn't been discontinued! I like how thick the fabric is, and I'm hoping for a nice warm coat.

And for my last pic, I've started Jackie E-S's Lace Sampler Scarf using Paton's Kroy in a very light pink, that I purchased from Smiley's Yarns a while back. I'm on the 3rd pattern and after ripping it, I've finally gotten it right. I still haven't learned how to pick up YO's correctly, but should be really good at it after this Sampler lesson!!! The scarf is going to be a really pretty piece when it's finished (even with my mistakes! LOL) I wanted to start a smaller practice lace project before I start my first lace shawl. I certainly didn't want to jump in with both feet and get discouraged. I'm between one of the two that were in the fall issue of Vogue Knitting, Jackie E-S's Triangles within Triangles or Fiber Trends Pacific Northwest Shawl. I have the materials for the last two, so I'm leaning towards one of them.

I've been debating on a knitting magazine for a while now. I've been trying out different magazines - using my 40% off coupon from JoAnn's to purchase them every once in a while. Nothing has been "moving" me enough to subscribe. That is, until I got the Premier issue of INKnitter's. I really was impressed with the first issue - so impressed that I decided to purchase the back issue package that was offered online. I want to subscribe as well, but after spending a huge amount of money on the kids' microscope, biology kit, disection kit, general science kit, and other odds and ends, I figured the CC smoked enough this month. Maybe next month.... Until then, I'll have a lot of good reading.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Death & Greed

Today we saw our family friend (M.) and DS's best friend's father buried. It still is a shock and such a tragedy. I just still can't believe it has happened.

Thurs. evening my brother just arrived home from work when he received a call from M.'s neighbor that M. was having difficulty breathing. My brother rushed right over and took him to the Dr.'s office. The Dr. said M. had pneumonia and wanted to admit him to the hospital. My brother stayed and M's family arrived not long after. Just a few short hours later, M. died. The Dr. found that M. had lung cancer as well as a few other complications. Looking back, I now wonder if M. knew he had it - things just seem to fall into place now with what had gone on in the last few months.

M. was a very well known and liked farmer that raised his son alone along with his aunt. The boy's mother has not had any contact with him in 5 years. Well, the son has inherited a beautiful farm and wants to run it and keep it going just like when his father was alive. He's about old enough, and with the right help and guidance, he's going to suceed very well!!

Not 5 minutes after M. died, there became a family discussion of liquidation of the farm - who's going to get the child and what should happen to everything. The boy's mother appears after 5 years and now there's an issue of guardianship - everyone wants him because he's worth $$ and is sitting on a goldmine. I sat back in horror as we have seen how greedy that family is! The only one that doesn't care about the money is the aunt that helped raise M's son, and one of the named guardians - who according to the lawyer (also a member of the family) was never named guardian. M told this guardian not long before he died that he had named him guardian if anything were to happen. He knew that this person would never take advantage of the child or his money, because the named guardian loved the child like one of his own.

Oh what an evil web that has been spun - and all over money. My heart breaks watching this going on in front of the boy. Yes, he's almost a man - 16 - but there's no reason why anyone should be doing this.

Lesson of the day - NEVER take legal matters to a lawyer that is related to you. NEVER!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Has It Really Been A Week?

This past week has been a busy one - between DD's birthday and putting up veggies, I haven't had time to blog. I tried catching up on email yesterday and today it is time to report the news and all my fo's this week :-)

DD's birthday went well! I finished her Lion's Brand Hooded Sweater Friday night after she went to bed, and got things wrapped up and ready for a very early birthday party. She loved the sweater - which was good since she said she wasn't into pink any more. After she opened her presents, we got ready and left for Knoebels. My brother's girlfriend went with us - and boy was she a blessing to have along! When we were too pooped to ride with the kids - she did.

DS (our big time history buff) begged to go to the Coal Museum, so we went and had a nice look around at all the displays. They even had lamenated pages from a record book telling of accidents and deaths in the mines. What an interesting read! From there, we bought a bag of gem laden dirt so DS could try his hand at prospecting. LOL!! He had a blast and spent a good hour digging through all the pebbles. He came home with a nice assortment of gems and minerals. He's now after us to take him to do some real panning!! uh-oh We brought a souvieneer from the museum home with us - a coal train on a railroad spike. I photographed it on Melissa's Norwegian Heritage Knitted Dishcloth that I finished up on Sunday. I love Melissa's patterns - she has so many fun ones on her website!

I had almost a skein of pink and about half on a skein of purple Homespun left from DD's sweater, so I dug through my patterns to see if I could find something to to make to try to use it up. DD zeroed in on the Crochet Bucket Hat pattern, and asked that I make it to match her sweater. So, I sat down and did some on Sunday night, but ended up with a hat that I thought was shorter than it should be. I waited to try it on DD on Monday, and we decided to add 3 more rows on the sides to make it long enough for her liking. This turned out to be a really cute hat and so quick to crochet.

Finally with all that out of the way, came some time to start another new project. To celebrate the new Harry Potter book (yes, I know I'm a bit late in reading it - but needed to wait my turn here! LOL), I got out the DMC Perle cotton and made Laura's Harry Potter Bookscarf. It was a nice fun and quick knit. Since it was small, I decided to fool around with it and try Meg Swansen's joggless color change to see how it would turn out. I think I did pretty well with it, and I can't wait to try it on a bigger item now!

I've been slowly plugging away at the Iowa Cruise Socks from Cottage Creations. I really love the pattern, and love Carole's chattiness thoughout the instructions. It's like having an old friend over for coffee. I'm considering getting more of her patterns just because of the style - and the instructions are just about fool-proof. Even for me!!!!

I've really slowed down on the socks because of the needles. I purchased some Swallow brand needles and don't like how blunt they are. I've been wrestling with them to give them a fair chance, but so far, I'm not thrilled. My ribbing on the socks is not even - but after trying to fix it a few times, I said the heck with it - they'll still wear the same, and kept pluggin' on. I only have to Kitchener the toe now, and the first sock is done. If I still don't like the needles by the second sock - I'm not using them on the next pair, but will buy another brand to try. I did like how warm the needles were when using them, but they have a terrible smell, and don't you dare put one in your mouth for any reason because they are "bloody wicked!" tasting. ick! Ewwwwwh! yuck! Pooey! BLAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

And for the last piece of interesting news.... one of the 2 boxes of White Buffalo yarn arrived yesterday!!! Ohhhhhh! Such neat stuff! I wound the first wheel into a ball and swatched for the Einstien Coat. The six strands were just too heavy and stiff, so I removed one, and am now on gauge but am not sure if it will still be too stiff or not. I've decided to knit a bit to see how it comes out. I just can't tell much with a 4" swatch. Oh to be like those knitters that can just whip it up and visualize......