Sunday, June 27, 2004

Wonderful Weekend

What a wonderful weekend! I spent half of the time on the Lake, sipping margaritas and lounging in the sun with my girls, the other half with the family, laughing with good friends. Life is very good right now. I certainly can't complain. Blessings abound!

The big move is Wednesday. We did the walkthrough on the house Friday and everything is in order. I can't wait to get in. I'm finally getting excited. Jacuzzi tub, here I come!!!

Here's my little photo that I generated online (thanks for the link, Pixiestikz). Yup, that's a cup o'Joe permanently affixed to my hand, too.

  • Indigo Muse Photo

    Almost finished with "Le Bleu" while at the lake. Forgot to take pictures of him though. I guess I was too busy taking pics of my gurlz. I've already lost a couple of things that I bought for my secret pal - boo hiss! I know it will turn up, when is the question though. I want to get a package in the mail before I move or who knows when I'll get something out to her. Everyone seems to be having a good time with the KRSP program. Packages are starting to arrive and we all feel like little kids again. I find that I can't go into a store without looking for something for my pal. I want to spoil her rotten but also need to exercise control. That's so hard to do when you're having fun! Until tomorrow...

  • Friday, June 25, 2004

    Another LYS

    Okay so its not so local (about 30-40 miles away) but at least I now may have a choice. I've gotten into the habit of checking the internet for LYS whenever I go out of town on the off chance that there's one near where I'm going to visit. Hurrah! There's one out at Smith Mountain Lake. It's called Tapestry and when I called to get directions guess what I found that they carry? MANOS! Be still my beating heart and my throbing wallet. I may use up what's left of my self imposed yarn allowance before the end of the month. The good news is, payday is Wednesday :) I hope that I haven't set my sights too high. I tend to do that.

    Plus I got a package in the mail today with "mystery knitting stuff." I've decided not to talk about some of the new techinques and tools that I'm picking up in my blog because I plan to use them with my secret pal. I'll take pictures though and dump them all on everyone in September after the big reveal. I already tried one of the items out and it its so awesome. Well, waiting for hubby to get home so that I can head out. I'm looking forward to some fun this weekend!

    Thursday, June 24, 2004

    Frenchie Photos

    Well, I finally got around to posting Frenchie pics. This bag is growing on me. It is a big bag though expecially when I'm used to carrying a wristlet. Anyway, here are a few pics of my beau:

  • Jean Pierre - Fini
    Finished Jean Pierre

  • Unfelted Jean Pierre, lounging on the beach
    Jean Pierre (unfelted) lounging at the beach

  • Close up of JP's handles
    Close up of JP's handles

    And a snapshot of the beginnings of "Le Bleu" on the beach
  • Le Bleu

    Had to put Le Bleu on hold for a couple of days while I work on some secret pal projects. I spend some serious dollars this afternoon and I'm not finished yet. I'm so glad that people are starting to receive gifts from their pals. This so much fun. I got the sweetest ecard from my pal yesterday :) It does my heart good to see everyone having such a good time.

    I'm preparing for the big move. Time to pack everything for one last time. If it wasn't for this yummy stuff - Maggie Moo's Ice Cream
  • Maggie Moo's I'd be a huge ball of stress. However, I've gained probably 5 pounds in the last couple of weeks thanks to Maggie. Mmmmmm, Better Batter mixed with Oreos!

    I'm planning to be MIA for the next couple of days. I'm going to the Lake with some girlfriends Friday and Saturday to lounge in the sun and ride Jet Skis. And then Saturday night, I'm going to a supper club Luau with some of my other chick friends. Nothing to do but drink, knit and hang out. A great way to blow off some steam before I deal with uprooting the family again. I hope that the weather holds out...

  • Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Took my new beau out on the town today

    Had to run some errands this evening and thought that I'd take Jean Pierre with me. While he's much bigger than what I'm used to (there's a dirty joke in there somewhere), I decided that I wanted to see if I got the same reaction that I did to my Mango Salsa bag. Mango was my first ... felted bag that is and everytime I think that I want to retire her, I get rave reviews. So off I went with JP. First a quick trip to the LYS - partially because I wanted to check out the new yarns that they'd gotten in and because I need some validation from time to time on whether I'm doing it "right" when it comes to felting. I'm doing it "right" alright. The owners whisked JP away after I walked into the door and he was passed around the shop like a new born baby. I have to admit that I was proud and definitely think that I have a new beau :) Next a stop at Kroger. The checkout girl couldn't stop talking about it which drew attention from several others. JP is certainly a hit! With some minor adjustments in the pattern, I think that I'm going to like ze Frenchie after all.

    Worked a little bit on "Le Bleu" tonight. It's going to be a gift for one of the boyz teachers. As I'm knitting, I'm working on weaving in some good karma since this poor young woman has had a run of bad karma lately. I like her a lot and wish I could do more to help. Maybe the good karma bag will work its magic.

    So I mentioned to the LYS staff that it would be great to knit with people in my general age range 20's to late 40's. They have a knit in once a month but the store is so small, I can't imagine 10 or 20 people piled into it. I get claustrophobic when I make the mistake and stop in on a Saturday. 10 people looking at yarns is too many in this shop. Plus, a number of the knit in regulars are significantly older than me. Don't get me wrong, I know that I have much to learn from my elders but I crave interaction with people in my peer group from time to time. Anyway, they agree that a more open, cozy space with big comfy chairs and maybe even a cafe would be great. Nevermind that no such place exists around here. No Stitch N'Bitch, no guild meetings (no guild) - nada, zero, zilch. Of course they both said, "hey, that's a great idea. Why don't you put something together?" Now where have I heard that phrase before? It's the entrepreneur in me, I guess :) If I had the money and time, I'd build a cafe with lots of comfy chairs, great music, courteous staff and yummy desserts. In the meantime, I'm stuck wishing for such a thing and with nowhere to meet other young knitters - boo hiss. My mind is turning though and maybe I can work on this project in the fall.

    Monday, June 21, 2004

    Ah, the taste of a top shelf margarita

    Bribed my husband to make me a Cabo Waborita since I was ready to collapse after finishing the KR Secret Pals matching. The kids were a great help though the peni-3 seem to think that I've lost my mind. I agonized over matching everyone up all evening. While most of the selections were by slip ballots, there were a few that had to be more purposefully selected. It was fun but I'm glad that I can now get on to spoiling my secret pal. I can't wait. I'm having a hard time thinking of just the perfect thing to do to introduce myself to her. I can't wait to start seeing some of the others' gifts. I only wish that I had knitting buddies locally. I would love to have a knit in and other activities with like minded, fellow knitters. The only knitting groups that I'm aware of are for 70 somethings which isn't the end of the world but certainly not my peer group. I'm rambling. It's the 'rita :)

    This weekend was grand. Not only was the weather perfect and the beach relaxing but I finished Jean Pierre and started on number two "Le Bleu". I was kinda freaked by the size of that French Market bag. I looped it over my head and it would have made a great halter top - tee hee. However, like magic as usual, the washer shrank that sucker right on down. I'm so in love with it. I know for sure that I'll make it the next one deeper though I'm cringing at how much yarn it will suck up. I promise to have pictures up no later than the end of the week. I'm so behind on my photographs.

    Nine more days until move number 3 in 30 days. I'm dreading it but at least we won't be in this apartment anymore. Some ding dongs who live upstairs wake up at 4:30 every morning and walk all over my head. I'm not sure how much more I can take. I'm getting excited about our new house. I'm going to have my own space for my office and knitting. I've got so many ideas in my head. Not to mention, I'll finally have somewhere to escape the testosterone. I'm not a huge fan of pink but I'm thinking of decorating in lots of it, just to keep them from coming in :)

    Trying to get some projects in over the next week before we move since I know that knitting time will be hard to come by...

    Thursday, June 17, 2004

    Viva La France

    I'm plodding along with "Jean Pierre", the French Market bag. This was what he looked like a couple of days ago...

  • Jean Pierre, the French Market Bag
    We've spent so much time together over the past few days - a knit in at the LYS in the rain, the playground, waiting while the kids finish music camp for the day. What will I do when I'm finished with him? I guess I'll just have to make another one. If this bag turns out like I want it to, I might have to keep it for myself. I'm going to the beach this weekend and hope to start another one while there. I'm making the best of my time considering that in two weeks we'll be moving for the third time and final time and I won't get much knitting in since every spare moment will be spent unpacking. Jean Pierre is growing on me. I love the colors. Wait till ya see the handles - oo la la!

    The KR Secret Pals program starts Monday. I'm going to spend some of my travel time working on formatting the profiles and pulling out the monthly vs. quarterly profiles to make sure that everyone is matched up properly. I had a nightmare that I incorrectly matched everyone up. I think that I've just spent one too many evenings on this project. I will be glad once things get started. I found a couple of cute things for my pal while Father's Day shopping. So many ideas, so little time. I can't wait to get started. I'm going to have my kids be my delegate and pick my person for me so that I really want to be surprised. We'll gotta wrap up work for the day so that we can leave town tonight. Looking forward to some fun in the sun!

  • Monday, June 14, 2004

    To market, to market

    Well, I had a "Martha Stewart" weekend. No, I'm not on the brink of doing jail time - I guess I was more the classic Martha. I stayed up late to finish baking the Sculpey tops for my knitting needles. While I'm not nuts about the colors that I chose, they sure are cute! (pictures coming soon). I dove into finishing the Fresa wrap/scarf/thingy (pictures are coming) and made a pact with myself that I wouldn't start anything else until I finished it. Took it to the salon and finished it - yahoo! Now I could start my French Market bag. I chose a heathery blue and violet in Cascade 220. Right as I was starting it, this woman in the chair next to me started in with "how to market your bags to local boutiques" 101. I was a sales rep for 7 years and went to college for marketing and PR - I know how to market myself and products. She just kept on while I was trying to count my cast on stitches. Now I'm working this on my Denise needles but it sure did look awfully long. I kept knitting anyway just so that I didn't have to listen to her keep going on and on and on. Well, got home, found my ruler and guess what? The damn thing measured almost 18 inches and should have been 11" - hmmm, what did I do wrong? I checked the pattern again and oops, didn't notice that there actually was a needle size (never had to use one before and have always knit with 13 - 17 needles when felting projects). I'd been knitting on 15s!A dilemma: plod ahead have a bag big enough to carry one of the kids in, run out of yarn and knit this thing forever OR frog it? I gave in and frogged the whole thing - something I can say I've never done. I switched to size 10s (I flat out refuse to go to a size 7 which what was recommended) and I stayed up till 1 am on a mission to get back to where I was when I got home from the salon. Lucky for me, it was only the bottom of the bag but I was still heartbroken :(

    After a yummy breakfast on Sunday, I worked on Frenchie some more. I hate small needles. I'll never ever ever make a pair of socks. There's just no way. I finally got to switch colors which made me realize that I have a long way to go - heavy sigh. Decided to make some cute stitch markers and plan for some other projects to wrap up the weekend. I haven't given up but I may need to make some adjustments to this pattern once I've seen how it turns out. I hope to have it finished by Thurs. or Friday. Overall, it was a good weekend for knitting :)

    Saturday, June 12, 2004

    Wild Hare

    Not just what's on my head but the kind that makes you crazy until you tame it. I cleaned like a fiend last night after the kids' program so that nothing could stand in my way this weekend for my little knitfest. I swear I feel like I have knitting ADD. I keep jumping from one thing to the next like I won't have time in life to sample all of these new techniques and styles. I decided that I HAD to make knitting needles. Seemed like good ole crafty fun. Some dowels rods, a pencil sharpener, sandpaper and Sculpey and nothing can stop me. Well after work, I finished my first set of needles and am working on the second batch tomorrow. I bought some Sculpey to make the tops for them. They came out okay. But not great. What's wonderful is that if I get tired of them, I can pry them loose and make some more. I can't wait to give them a try though I bet that my kids grab them first. Mom, can't have nothin.'

    Got some more knitting done tonight on my shawl while the fam and I waited at the Mexican restaurant for 25 minutes. I should finish it tomorrow. Got loads of stares mixed with some nice comments. I used to care but don't anymore. The only type of person who warrants any kind of response from me is a fellow knitter :)

    I also admired a young girl's store bought, non-knitted tote yesterday and realized - gasp - that its pretty much a french market bag. I purposely stayed away from this bag and the booga because I hate following the crowd (and I'm also not one to follow patterns). However, after seeing how cute it could be, I've decided to join the ranks and make one. I may even buckle down and join the knit-a-long. Yes,I've even shocked myself.

    So, while I'm getting my hair permed (and tamed tomorrow)at the salon, I may start myself a french market bag (or maybe buckle down and finish my WIPs - like how much fun would that be). Let the knitorama begin...

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    What does knitting have to do with the last day of school?

    So its the last day of school for my boyz. Which means that they get to stay home with me ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT for the next three months. Okay, so at this point, I'm not exactly thrilled with the prospect just because we're in such close quarters but once we move, it should be kinda nice. Considering that this is the first summer that I'm working from home, having them here all summer will be challenging to say the least. I did teach them to knit a couple of weeks ago and they've both started on projects for the summer so hopefully their hands will stay busy.

    So anyway, their liberal art, fun loving hippie, earth mother school (yup, we used to follow the Dead) has a wonderful celebration program at the end of each school year where the kids reflect on the theme for the year. Considering that this program runs about two plus hours, I was kinda dreading it. Before I hopped into the shower, I peeked at my ever growing stash just to say "hello." My new Uruguayan yarn purchase smiled up at me out of the huge Rubbermaid container and whispered "touch me, caress me, KNIT me." I'd forgotten how rich the colors were and that I have SO many new skeins of Manos type yarn to play with. But it was a cute handpainted wool boucle skein that whispered to me. It is a fine boucle with yummy tinges of rust, amber and squash colors running throughout. I've never knit with such a yarn and decided to pull her out and give her another look. I HAD to bring it with me and quickly decided to abandon another boucle wool in favor of this one to make a shawl. Ah, it was so nice to have a little project to work on while the kids waxed poetic about their experiences at the school. AND to my surprise, several others including the music teacher, had brought knitting with them too! I'm sooooo glad that I didn't miss the opportunity to run some wool through my fingers. What did I do to pass the time during Celebration in the past? Last day of school RULZ!

    Wednesday, June 09, 2004

    Is this intarsia? The one on the right is the outside, the one on the left is the inside. I just started playing with the yarn after a discussion at KR on colorwork and think I figured it out. Any experts out there? I plan to felt it to see how it turns out (its Cascade 220). Posted by Hello

    Here are the photos of my hokie pokie and pinkie pokie that I felted this weekend. Don't they look like a little married couple? You can barely tell that they were felted. They're wonderfully soft and fluffy like a muppet :) Posted by Hello

    Things I hate about living in an apartment...

    Day nine in a corporate apartment. Two boys, a husband (who has been out of town seven of the nine days), two guinea pigs, a corgi and me. Did I mention that I'm the only gurl in the mix - testosterone fest 2004! Why subject myself to this to begin with? Because the end result is a big beautiful new house that we'll move into on the 30th. In the meantime, you don't know what you've got till its gone.

    Oh yeah, back to the things that I hate...

    ***The teeny tiny stacked washer and dryer combo that you have to connect to the faucet in the kitchen to use. For one person or maybe two, its cute as hell. For four, its sheer hell. Throw in a pair jeans (the big oversized jeans that the kids wear now-a-days) and a couple of thong underwear and you have yourself a load. I did laundry this weekend for four hours just to get a handful of clothes clean. And oh yeah, you can't really felt knitted projects in this washer because it barely agitates. It took four washings to mildly felt my two pokie bags :( Did I mention that I knit and felt totebags? I guess I'll either learn the joy of hand felting (yeah, right) or I'm screwed until we move. Whirlpool, how do I love thee? When you're out of storage, I'll count the ways...

    ***The fact we're all on one floor. At least with an upstairs and downstairs we could escape from each other every now and then (okay, I would escape, everyone else would lounge). But here, we're all up each other's butts. Don't get me wrong, I love my boys but man, I need some space. Calgon, take me away...

    ***That I can't just let the dog run out into the yard for as long as she wants, whenever she wants. Yes, I now have the joy of voyeuristically watching the dog find the perfect spot to take a crap every morning. Not my idea of starting the day off right...

    ***That I have dial up and not DSL for a month. My youngest son found this out the hard way today while waiting 20 minutes for a game to load on I'm not sure that any of us have the patience to endure the next three weeks.

    Can you tell that I'm tense? I know that things could be worse but considering what we went through to pack, shlep our stuff to storage and deal with the end of the year stuff for school, I'm not a happy camper. Lucky for me, I AM getting some knitting done and hope to crank out some projects this weekend. However, felting them will be another story.

    Countin' down the days...

    Tuesday, June 08, 2004

    Busy day

    I've been busy setting up our Secret Pals program. So far, things are going well with just a few glitches. Considering I've never managed one of these things before, I'm impressed that we've had so few problems.

    I quickly figured out the blog template thing and changed mine today. I screwed up a couple of links on the side though under the menu section. I hope to figure out the goof by this weekend. Many thanks to Indigirl and Eris for the great code. Please visit their blogs. They're fun to read!

    I've neglected knitting to set up the KR pals program. I did finish a couple of fun projects though that have kept me pacified. One is what I call a Hokie Pokie (named after my college - VA Tech). Its a fun fuzzy felted tote. I also felted a pink one that remains unnamed. I'll post pictures here tomorrow.

    I'm off to finish a small bag that I'm felting to test my newly acquired intarsia technique...

    Sunday, June 06, 2004

    Hello All

    So glad to have ventured into the world of blogging. Bear with me as I'm getting started. I hope to eventually post pictures of my felted projects here in addition to information on our newly started Secret Pals Program. I'd love to know how to add links to other blogs, buttons, etc. Help me make my blog look decent! Thanks.


    Name that sheep! Help me come up with a name for my blog's mascot. Contest ends June 25th. The winner will receive a felted surprise! Posted by Hello