Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Short And Quick Journey Into The World Of Beads...

I've always been a crafty person. I've always enjoyed various arts and crafts, but I just hadn't found the right medium before I found knitting.

Knitting feels like home to me. A place of comfort and belonging I've never found elsewhere.

Nothing brings this feeling home more than venturing into another crafting medium, be it sewing, painting, crochet, or, like today, beading.
I stand in a bead store and I have to remind myself that some people feel as strongly about beading as I feel about knitting. The reason I must remind myself of this is that I do not enjoy the bead store. It's not the place of inspiration and hope that I find in a yarn store. To me, it is cold and uninviting.

The staff may be nice and friendly, but the craft itself does not welcome me with the promise of warmth and comfort.

I've found my medium and realize that it is all I need. I have found home.

With that being said, I did find my way to a bead store today, but it was knitting related. Knitting will tempt you to try another craft, only because it knows you will always be back. I was in search of supplies to make some stitch markers for my Knitter's Tea Swap pal.

I'd never made stitch markers before, but they were fairly quick to assemble. The hard part was picking out the beads.I went with some glass pearls, a blue cracked glass bead, and a nice metal heart. I'm very pleased with how they turned out, and I really hope my pal will like them.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yummy Sock Yarn!

I found my order from Sunshine Yarns in my mailbox on Monday, but I haven't been well enough to post about it til now.The blue one is called Stormwatch, and the pink one is called The Cure. I got The Cure specifically to knit in October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I'm not sure which pattern I'm going to use yet though.

Sunshine Yarns is great. I'm currently drooling over this. If I hadn't just bought those other two skeins I definitely would have bought this.
I've managed to finish two pairs of socks for September for Sock-A-Month II, and I think I may end up finishing another pair.

These socks are from a Fleece Artist sock kit. They're for my brother. I gave him the first one last December for his B-Day, and he's been waiting since then for me to finish the second one.

All I've got left to do is the toe. I think they're going to need some serious blocking, because I think the ankles are significantly too tight, and the foot of one of them is wider than the other. I'd rip it down, and make it narrower, but I think that if it gets ripped down, I'll never finish this pair. I'd really like to give this pair of socks to my brother before this December.

Oh yeah, as of today, I am officially back to work. The vertigo is minutely less intense, and I couldn't spend another minute at home with the cats. They are so bad! You know it's time to go back to work when you're contemplating returning the cats to the SPCA.

Edited to add: As of 7:30pm tonight, I've finished the socks for my brother. That's 3 pairs for September!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Second Pair For September...

This pair of ankle socks marks my second pair of socks for October. This is yarn that I dyed and made the RPM socks out of earlier. Can you believe I still have yarn left over from these projects?

The heels look significantly more holey than they actually are.

I've been knitting with my eyes closed, because I still have really bad vertigo, and knitting aggravates it.

I am getting fairly good with knitting with my eyes closed.

I'm still off work because of the vertigo, but I'm really hoping it'll be a lot better in the next couple of days. I'm getting bored. The vertigo is also why I haven't really been blogging much lately.

Oh, I almost forgot. I got the yarn I ordered from Sunshine Yarns shop. It looks fabulous! This includes the yarn I got specifically for October. I promise to give a full update on this as soon as I'm feeling a bit better.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Argyle Obsession!

Look what Stu made for me last night!

It's a fully usable argyle chart. I had a really hard time finding one I liked online, so I found one that was close, and said, "Well I like this aspect, but then I want this, and this". He's my excel expert, so he went to it!

He also made me a plain chart template.

I'm going to try to put these on my sidebar, so anyone who wants to do a plain argyle pattern can access it. It might take a little fiddling for me though.

If you'd like to use it, just click it to enlarge, and print it. Notice that he even numbered it for me?

I have a really cool project in mind. It's going to involve black and white, and possibly hot pink. I'm going to try to make a pillow cover for one of our living room cushions.

I'll be starting it today, so as soon as it starts to materialize, I'll post some pics.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Questionnaire For My Knitter's Tea Swap Pal II

Here's the questionnaire my Tea Swap pal sent me. I figured I'd answer it here for all to see!

Before we began I must ask if there is anything you are allergic to or
that you just don't like much.

I'm not allergic to anything. I don't really like the flavor of black licorice though. Oh, and I HATE white tea. Hate it!

Bagged or Loose? Either is good.

What do you like to knit? Socks, socks, and more socks. I do other things too, I just can't think of any right now.

What do you do for fun that has NOTHING to do with tea or knitting? Hmmm...Coffee? I don't really do anything that doesn't have something to do with knitting. Geez, now I feel like a dork :P

Are you excited that it's Autumn? How do you feel about Halloween? I love Autumn! I'm kinda "meh" about Halloween. Did I mention I love Autumn? I love it. It's my favorite season!

During the last month what was the most interesting and pleasing thing
you smelled? (if not the last month then anytime in general). This is going to sound lame, but I got a car air freshener last weekend, and it's my favorite smell ever. It smells like coconut.

What do you like to do on Saturdays? Knit. Listen to podcasts. Coffee with friends. Blog.

Do you work? What hours will you generally be online? Yes I work. I can be found online from Mon-Fri between 6:15-6:20am, and 5:15pm onwards.

How often do you update your blog? If I poke you to update more would
it annoy you? I try to update it ever day or two. I've been sick for the last week though, so it's been a bit scarce. If you poked me to update more, it wouldn't annoy me, but it might annoy my boss and bf.

What colors do you find pleasing? Almost all of them. I'm not really that into florescent orange/yellow, but other than that I like 'em all. Reds, blues, greens.

If you had a perfect day where everything was just as you like it what
would it be like? I'd be rested at 5am, I'd listen to good podcasts, knit, have breakfast with a significant other who was up and functional at breakfast time, and then I'd just do what ever I felt like. Oh, and the cat's would not be annoying. I'm not really a planner. I'm much better at winging it.

What is your favorite yarn brand? I don't really have a favorite. I just asked Stu what he'd say if someone asked him what my favorite yarn was, and without hesitation or uncertainty, he replied, "Koigu".

What is the thing you like to knit most? Socks.

If you were a yummy treat what would you be and what would you say? I doughnut. "Mmmm...Doughnuts....aaaauuuuugggg.

What floats your boat? Stu says, "Hard to say", I concur.

If your boat was sinking what would you grab to take off with you when
you jumped off? If it's the normal stuff I usually end up with in a boat, The Cat, my blankie, and a life jacket.

Do you have a sense of humor? Yes.

Got any fun plans coming up? No. Not at this point. I'm going to knit something argyle. Does that count? Did I mention I'm obsessed with argyle right now?

Are there too many questions here? :P Um...

Progress---On Almost Everything

I'm feeling a bit better. Not perfect, but I'm definitely on the mend. Thank you to everyone's kind words.
I went to the Doctor on Thursday, and I was expecting her to tell me to go back to work on Friday, but she said I had the flu and vertigo, and I should spend the rest of the week, and the weekend in bed. Oh man!

I'd entered the worst part of being sick yesterday--when you're too sick to do anything, but you're too bored to do nothing. My big adventure yesterday was going down to get the mail. Yeah,I know, really exciting.Anyhoo, I managed to finish my Whitby socks from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. This is the first project I've completed from it, and it was easy. The stitch pattern was really easy to read on the actual sock, so I was able to knit them without looking at the pattern. This is a big thing for me, because I haven't been able to do this in the past.

This is also my first time making a top down pattern into a toe-up pattern. I was a little concerned about getting the cables right when I made it toe-up, but I figured it out, and it looks exactly like it's supposed to.Here's something interesting---I knit almost both socks with one skein of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport (the color is Periwinkle). I had no idea that this yarn would go so far! I reason I knit these socks toe-up, was that I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough yarn, and I wanted to make them as long as possible. I realize now that I was worrying for nothing!

I used 3mm Addis for the magic loop. I think I could have gone up to a 3.25 fairly comfortably, but by the time I realized that, I'd already knit enough that I didn't want to start over with bigger needles.

The final verdict on the Whitby sock? Go knit this pattern. It's both fun and easy. What more could a knitter ask for?
I got my matches for two separate swaps I'm taking part in---The Knitter's Tea Swap II, and the Chocolate swap!

I'd heard about the Knitter's Tea Swap just after sign ups closed for the first one, and I made sure I got on board for this one.

The Chocolate Swap? That's just a darn good idea! Thanks Abigail for coming up with it.

Everything for my Chocolate Swap pal is almost done. I just have to get the yarn. While I was out yesterday finding a few more goodies for my Chocolate Swap pal, I also grabbed a few little things for my tea pal.

Oh I almost forgot. The Chocolate Swap isn't a secret swap, so I can tell you who I'm sending stuff too, and who's sending me stuff. Her name is Lori, and she lives in Alaska. Just up the coast, right? Hehe. She seems like a fabulous gal, so go check out her blog.

So here's the challenge I'm giving myself---Remember the yarn I dyed a while ago with the reds, and blues, and greens? The stuff I made my RPMs out of. I have a ton of it left, and I love this yarn so much that I want to make another pair of socks with it. They're going to be ankle socks, and I want to get them finished by the end of the weekend, or at least by the end of the month. There's my challenge! We'll see what happens!

I know it's late and we all want to get back to our families, but I have to mention one last thing---

I am obsessed with argyle right now. I don't know why. It's never happened before. Last night Stu and I were driving, and he was showing me one of the places he was working, and it just happened to be on Argyle Street. This spawned a half-an-hour monologue about how much I like argyle, and why I like it, where I've seen it lately, etc.

If he didn't already know I was nuts, he'd definitely think I was nuts.

I've even got that argyle skull and cross bones button image as my desktop background.

If anybody needs me, I'll be in therapy!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I've been sick since Sunday afternoon, and I am ready to be well again. I worked Monday, only because I was the only person from my team scheduled to be there. I was off Tuesday, and yesterday (Wednesday), and by mid-day yesterday I was starting to feel a bit better. I was really hoping I'd be well enough to work today.

I got up this morning, and nope, not well enough. My sinuses still hurt, I still have a fever, my head still hurts, and my lymph nodes are still swollen. I'm still sick.

I hate having to call my manager and leave a message saying, "I don't feel well still. Hopefully I'll be better tomorrow." I hate those calls!

I've been taking Neo Citran, which helps for about half-an-hour after I take it, but considering that you're only supposed to take it ever 4 hours, it doesn't really provide that much relief. I'm also finding that I am pretty much unable to be functional on it. It leaves me a bit out of it.

I am determined. I will go to work tomorrow. Hey, it'll be Friday, how bad can it be?

I think I'm really messing with Stu, because I keep saying that I'm going to work the next day, only to realize that I need to stay home. He always has a confused look when he sees me in the morning.

Knitting Progress---

First, sorry about the lack of pictures. They will be coming as soon as I feel a bit better.

I've finished the first Whitby sock, and I actually started the second one yesterday morning. I'm about half way up the foot (it's toe-up).

Usually this sort of quick knitting would be cause for celebration, but I remember that on the last one the foot went really quickly, and the leg seemed to take an eternity to knit.

I figure that even if I'm sick, I should try to be a little productive.

I'm contemplating a visit to the doctor today. Technically, if I'm away from the office for three days, I need a Dr's note.

I hope everyone else in Blogland is healthy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hi Guys! Remember Me?

Sorry it's been a while. I have an insanely bad cold, which has left me with zero energy. I'm going to try to finish my first Whitby sock tonight. I'm onto the ribbing (I'm doing it toe up).

I've figured some things out in the last couple of weeks about sock patterns, and toe-up vs. top down.

If a sock pattern is made for top down construction, and you want to do it toe up, read the chart from top to bottom, instead of bottom to top (this is what I've done with Whitby).

If you want to knit a regular stitch pattern from something like the Vogue Stitchonary, and you want to do it top down, read the chart from top to bottom.

If you want to do it toe up, read the chart from bottom to top.

I think this makes sense. I hope so anyway.

The weather has turned here, and we've got grey clouds, and rain. I thought the picture would be a nice reminder of summer.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This Is Why I Haven't Been Blogging...

This is the Whitby sock from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. I'm knitting it in Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport, on 3mm needles.

This is the first time I've been able to knit without the pattern. I haven't even been taking it with me when I knit. It's super easy.

I'll be updating again soon!

Does your cat sleep like this? Mine does. He was like this for over an hour the other day.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dishcloth Obsession, And Some Raw Chicken...

I finished off my third Garterlac dishcloth this morning. I've put the link to it in my sidebar under "Free Patter Gems". These dishcloths are like drugs.

I've switched over to Bernat Handicrafter Cotton. My local Michaels doesn't carry Sugar n' Cream. There's one lys that sells it, but they don't have very many colors. There's another one a bit farther out, but they sell it for like $4.50 a ball! They must be on drugs if they think people will pay that much for Sugar 'n Cream.

Anyway, the Bernat will do just fine for now, until I get my butt in gear and order S & C off the internet. The only real difference between the two yarns is that the Bernat only has 60 something yards, so it's not enough for 2 cloths like the S & C. I do end up with some left over, so I'm experimenting with doing a smaller plain garter stitch rectangle. I think this will make a good washcloth. I just cast on for this this morning, so I'll let you know how it works.

Here's something weird --- I ended up eating raw chicken last night. Not purposely, but I still felt like an idiot. Don't worry. I think I'm fine.

I was starving when I got home, and I didn't want to eat right away, because I wasn't sure what time Stu would be home, so I put off eating for a while.

By the time I found out he was going to be pretty late, I was starving. I rifled through the freezer, and found some Chicken Florentine. It said it could be microwaved, so I was like Sweet! I'll be eating in no time. I followed the directions exactly.

It was starting to get dark at this point, and I didn't have any lights on yet. I was eating by the light of the TV. The chicken was piping hot, and was actually pretty good.

Half way through the chicken breast, the TV got brighter, and as I took a bite, I realized that the chicken wasn't white like normal cooked chicken, it was closer to the raw chicken color.

I jumped up and flipped the light on, at which point I realized that all of the chicken was still raw! Needless to say, I'd pretty much lost my appetite at this point.

I knew I would be facing some ribbing from Stu, since he's the one who normally cooks dinner. I was right. He said, "Geez, I leave you alone to fend for yourself for dinner for ONE night, and you almost kill yourself with raw chicken!"

I'll leave you with some kitty love---

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Are You Ready?

Alright. Here's the awesome stuff my pal sent me!

Again, a pretty ribbon on the box---

Look how well coordinated everything is---

The paper on the card, the box, and the tags all match! I love these little tags my pal makes. They will be perfect for gifts.

Look at these goodies!
The flowery looking stuff at the top is for the bath. I'm glad I read the instructions, or I probably would have tried to drink it!

You put the stuff in the baggies into the linen bag, and put that in the tub, and you can rub the bag on your skin to make it soft, and smell super nice.

I'm not going to tell you what's in the box yet, cuz it's really cool, and just happens to be the last thing I opened.

My pal also included some treats. This is funny, because I was in 7 Eleven when I picked up my package, and I wanted some sour candy, but couldn't find any that appealed to me. I was also looking at the candy necklaces. My pal seems to be a mind reader ;)

And what you've all been waiting for! The yarn---

She sent me some fabulous Knit Picks lace yarn in three different colors, and different patterns for all three. These patterns look great. They really spell everything out. You can see them behind the yarn. I can't wait to start!

Now for what was in the little box---

These are some very pretty stitch markers. The beads are beautiful. I love the colors. Super pretty! They're about an inch or so long. These are perfect since I didn't have any pretty beaded stitch markers that I could use on larger needles.

Are you ready to see who my secret pal is??

She goes by "S", and here blog is Knitting Battlemaidens. Go check her out. She is an amazing crafter.

Thank you so much secret pal for making SP8 fabulous for me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rescued Package!

I grabbed my package from the post office after work today. I think my pal must be the craftiest, most talented woman ever!

Everything is always beautifully wrapped, and super co-ordinated. Just amazing!

I really want to use pics to illustrate how amazing the stuff she sent is, but Blogger isn't cooperating, and won't let me post pics (I've tried about 15 times now).

I'm going to wait til tomorrow for the details and pics.

Sorry to make everyone wait.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Look what I found in my mailbox when I got home from work ---
My last package from my secret pal came, and the post office won't give it to me until after 1pm tomorrow! So I won't be getting it until after work tomorrow night. And yes. To me, that it torture.

I have good news to though. I'm almost finished my second Garterlac dishcloth. I love the colors of this. It reminds me of sailing. Which is funny, because I don't sail.

I'm going to get it done tonight.

By the way....Those doughnuts were so good. Mmmmm....Doughnuts....

PS. I'll be back to tell you about my secret pal package when I get it.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Dishcloths to Doughnuts...

I just had the most amazing experience. Actually, it's kind of weird. I used one of my knit dishcloths for the first time. It was the Garterlac one. It was amazing. The texture of the cloth in my hand actually made the experience enjoyable.

My first thought after using this cloth was "Must---Make---More!!". I can't believe I was afraid to use them before.

I've cast on for another Garterlac dishcloth, and I'm going to get started right away.

If you've never made (and used) a knit dishcloth, do it now. Don't wait. Run to your kitchen cotton and cast on. Use it right away. Don't be afraid.

That's doughnut dough behind the yarn.

I found the doughnut idea at the Not Martha Blog on the "How to make stuff" page. They're mini doughnuts! I thought they looked so perfect when she made them, so I have to make them.

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm not expecting great results, since my yeast is over a year old, and the sponge did not sit overnight. It sat for about 15 minutes.

Back to the dishcloth knitting!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sometimes Life Gets In The Way...

It's been a busy week at our house. Okay, not really that busy, but it has been tiring. Wednesday night, after I went to bed, Stu was in the living room and the cats were outside on the deck. He hears a scratching noise, and goes outside to investigate, and doesn't really see anything out of the ordinary. The cat is just sitting on his favorite chair. For some random reason, he looked over the side of our balcony, and he saw our kitten, Redd, on the ground below.

This wouldn't be such a big deal, but we live on the second floor, and the entrance to the parking garage runs under our deck, so it's more like being three floors up, and it's concrete, not grass, below.

Stu ran downstairs (which involves a maze through the building), and managed to grab Redd. He was walking, but he looked so pathetic (he was limping pretty bad). When he brought Redd back in, he woke me up, and I was worried, so I didn't sleep well.

Anyways, Redd looks like he's going to be okay. No broken bones, teeth, tail, or internal damage. His left back leg is still a bit sore (because of the slope, he hit the ground with the left side of his body first).


The rail around our balcony is about a foot wide, so around the outside of it, Stu has put up a lattice fence.

The pictures show the fence, as well as the drop.

The cat's are not actively trying to escape, they just slip. No one had ever fallen before.


I have been knitting, and crocheting a little bit. I put a cream colored border around the crocheted baby blanked, so other than one tiny end, it's done.

I also started Hedera from I'm using the pale blue and green yarn that I dyed. I love the yarn, but I don't like the pattern. Actually, that's not true, I only dislike the first round. Unfortunately, when it's a 4 round repeat, you end up doing that first row a lot.

It is going super fast. I'm part way down the foot. And I've only put a couple of hours into it so far. I did a short row heel from the knitty tutorial I talked about a few posts ago, and there are no holes in my heels. Really, not even a little one. It's amazing.

I was lurking on Grumperina's blog earlier, and saw her progress on the Whitby sock from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. It looks amazing. To be honest, this sock hadn't appealed to me before, but now I have to make it.

I went by Three Bags Full (my new absolute favorite LYS!), and picked up some Lorna's Laces Shepard Sport in Periwinkle. Beeeeuuutiful! I think I'll start those tonight.

The yardage is a bit less on the Sport, so I'm going to adapt the pattern to be toe-up. I haven't done this before, but I think I've got it figured out. It's a really symmetrical pattern, so I just need to switch around the directions of the cables.

Speaking of cables---

I started the Central Park Hoodie from the Fall 2006 KnitScene. Really, I only got the ribbing done on the first sleeve, so it's not all that interesting. I continue to fly by the seat of my pants, without doing a gauge swatch. Mwah haha. Someday it'll bite me in the ass. I'm expecting it.

I will blog tomorrow. I will blog tomorrow. I will blog tomorrow.