Monday, August 30, 2004

Rainy days and Mondays

This Monday started pretty rainy and yucky but has steadily improved. It began with me finding my Corgi, Mavis, had an upset stomach last night. Poor baby. She was just laying on the floor when I found her and wouldn't get up. I thought that she was dead. But she just had a rough night. I had to clean her up and have been forcing her to drink water every 30 minutes or so in order to rehydrate her. I'm keeping my eye on her but she's also a pro at milking you for attention so its hard to tell if she's faking it or not. I gave her some bits of hamburger and rice (good for upset doggy stomachs) and she eagerly wolfed that down. We'll see how she's doing later this week. I hope that the rest of the week gets better for all of us.

Sorry that my blog post for Friday was late arriving. Blogger wouldn't cooperate with me. Nor would Knitter's Review. I'm starting to get a complex. I haven't been able to post to either for days because they wouldn't let me log in. Hmpf! I guess I'm nobody :(

On the knitting front, as you can see from the picture, I'm rolling through Rogue. The main body is almost finished and (deep breath) I'm going to start on the neck cables next. What you can't see in the picture is the frogging that was done on Rogue this weekend. Remember when I was whining about the boring rows of cabling? Well, I didn't really have to do them. The instructions in question appeared in section three (the pocket part and also an OPTIONAL section) AND were repeated in section four. Since I knit the optional section, I knit these rows twice. However when I measured the piece (with my new sheepie tape measure), it was way off. I went back through the Rogue-a-long archives and low and behold, others had experienced the same confusion. The good thing is, I thought that I was going to run out of yarn for my project before all of this frogging occured so now my mind is at ease :) Knit-a-longs are certainly a good thing.

So now I'm back on track with Rogue and I'm almost to the (gulp) neck cables. It seems from the RAL archives that some people had trouble with this area too so I'm going to make note of a frog back row just in case. I also plan to knit both of the sleeves at the same time as someone suggested so that I can be sure that they're the same length, etc. I'm looking forward to finishing this project though I'll be sad because its so much fun.

Also on the knitting front, I'm hoping to make a prayer shawl for the grandmother of our dear California friends. While they were vacationing with us back in July, they got word that their granddaddy had taken ill. When they returned home, they found out that he has a brain tumor and has less than two months to live :( I'm so sad for them. He is a wonderful and sweet person. He has lived a long 80+ years though and has an incredible family to show for it. I want to show my long distance support for the family but just don't know what to do. I've kept them in my prayers but truly feel that something like a prayer shawl might comfort Grandmommy in the days ahead. I've never knit one (and appreciate any guidance that anyone can provide)but am using this prayer shawl ministry website as a resource. I'm not a deeply religious person but I am a deeply spiritual person and feel that this might be the best way to offer my support and love for Grandmommy.

My California friend, Adri, has just taken up knitting and I'm hoping to spoil her with goodies in the near future. If anyone knows of knitting groups in Santa Clarita or San Fernando CA, please let me know so that I can hook her up. Well, back to work. TTFN

Two new sheepies to add to my collection - baaaaaa! Posted by Hello

Rogue body is close to the finish line... Posted by Hello

Friday, August 27, 2004

Keep Roguein Roguein Roguein - yeah!

Okay so I ripped off Limp Bizkit but its the song in my head while I'm knitting away on Rogue. I added the pocket last night - woo hoo! I really got excited thinking that I'd get to start on something different (I'm having fun with the more intricate cables)and that I'd get a repreave from the boring little cable rows that I've had to endure. But NO. I have 24 MORE Rows of these little cables before I get to move on. Sigh, maybe I'll get to the next part this weekend. I have nothing planned but to do some cleaning (yuck), watch the first Hokie football game of the season (and no doubt watch us get our asses handed to us) and enjoy the last week before the official end of summer. I get so melancholy during this time of year. I love sunny weather and cringe at the thought that winter is right around the corner. I can't wait until I grow up and can escape the cold somewhere like Key West or the Carribean. Bundling up is not my idea of a good time though Rogue is going to help me with that problem this year :)

I asked DH last night if he'd like me to knit him something this fall. And for the first time in two years, he said yes. Of course he wants me to knit him a Himalayan sweater. Now I need to find a pattern. Have a great weekend...

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Classic Elite Miracle (50% Alpaca/50% Tencel) in Cuban Sunset - deeeelish! Posted by Hello

Recent SEX purchases Posted by Hello

More progress on the body cables - like my ladybug and lighthouse stitch markers? Posted by Hello

Soooo Tired...(yawn)

I'm still pooped after my 16 hour work day on Tuesday. In addition, we lightly celebrated my baby's 8th birthday when I got home at 8 pm so I didn't get much sleep. Wednesday was rough and for some reason, today is even rougher. So, I'm lethargic and grumpy (pms isn't helping either). Less bitchie, more knittie.

On the knitting front, I'm making great progress on Rogue. I'm about to join the pocket to the body. I'm getting nervous about the neckline though. However, this pattern is so good that I think I'll be fine. Plus, I always have my KR buddies to help me out :) The more I knit with this Cascade tweed, the more I love it. It gets softer the more you handle it - especially if you frog it two or three times (nudge nudge wink wink say no more).

I'm going to start a couple of diets next week. One for my flabby body and one for my yarn addiction. I figure that I'll use the one to support the other. For everyday that I stick to my body diet, I'll contribute money to my yarn account; when I'm bad, I'll take money away. I have to do something. I can't go into a yarn store without coming away with something I really don't NEED but certainly WANT. And, I find myself munching on food I don't need but love to eat. I like rewards so maybe dangling a ball of yummy yarn in front of my face will get me motivated. I got a call yesterday from a client who is commissioning me to knit several felted totes for the fall (yippie) so she will help feed my yarn addiction. I guess I need to work them in while knitting little Rogue girl (boo hiss). Ooo that just gives me an idea to knit a little person Rogue - how cute would that be! I wonder how easy it would be to adjust the pattern? Hmmm....

I'm quite irritated with Blogger. I've decided to redesign my blog since they can't seem to tell me how to fix the code so that their stupid bar doesn't protrude from the top of my page. I'm looking for a new skin since I'm too lazy to design one.

I did a little shopping last week and Tuesday (as you can see from the picture). I found this nifty knitting book, a 2005 calendar and the best part - Classic Elite Miracle. If you haven't touched this yarn, you are missing out in a major way. It feels like pure heaven. Not to mention its exotic color name - Cuban Sunset. This is the yarn that made me realize that I need to go on a diet because I bought two skeins for no good reason. Do I have a project in mind? No, Classic Elite has crappy patterns. Did I buy enough to make anything in particular. No, because I didn't want to buy a bunch and commit to making anything. But it was so soft that I kept petting as it sat next to me on my long drive home Tuesday. I need help. Is there a yarnaholics anonymous out there?

My tired, grumpy butt is going back to work now. Yawn....

Monday, August 23, 2004

How about now? Posted by Hello

I'm a Rogue knitter

I just couldn't take it anymore. The beautiful cabled Rogue hood kept taunting me from the website. I bought the pattern last week, joined the Rogue-a-long and after nearly crying (it's 19 pages long), I took a deep breath and decided to knit a swatch and see how I'd do. The swatch was the sleeve and I knit it in Araucania Nature Wool in green. I somehow managed to get gauge but man was it itchy and heavy! Plus, the variegated colors don't do well with cables :( SO, what I learned is...
** Do your research BEFORE buying wool for a project (I scoured the Rogue-a-long pages and took heed of their warnings about certain yarns.)
** When in doubt, talk to the LYS (Bobbie, the owner of EweKnitKits, was SO helpful and talked me through the pros and cons of using certain yarns with Rogue) when you're trying to find the right yarn
** Knitting an actual piece of a project is very helpful (I would have loved a simple swatch but didn't love the sleeve)
** Don't knit cables in reduced lighting (I was knitting the sleeve swatch in the minivan at 10 pm and couldn't see a HUGE mistake that I made in a cable that I couldn't fix - boo hoo)
** Check your cables after the completion of each section to make sure that the stitches are going in the right direction (this gets easier as you move through the pattern and know what to expect)
** This pattern is exhilarating!!!

So, for the yarn, I chose Cascade 220 Tweed in oatmeal brown. Jenna, the designer, cautioned against using blends such as silk/wool, cotton, or wool/cotton because the cables don't "pop off" the item as well when you use them. So, I had to stay away from some of Rowan's yummy yarns. I really wanted to knit it in alpaca (and may just add some to my stash for another Rogue) but it's a bit fluffy and sheds like crazy. That's okay. The tweed is perfect, will go with anything and does a great job of showing off the cables. What you see in the pictures is a view of one of the side panels. I'm about 1/3 of the way finished with the body. Rogue is knitting faster than I thought so I may finish this project in a couple of weeks (I'd planned for a month or more). What you DON'T see in this picture is the cable on the other side that underwent some surgery this morning. I didn't heed my own warning about knitting in the dark and in addition to dropping a stitch (in the body), I forgot to knit one of the cables. So, using some advice that I found in the Rogue-a-long, I frogged the five stitches that needed to be repaired (three rows worth), added the cable and knit them back up. Voila! Problem solved. I can't believe that I was able to do it. I was agonizing over frogging 600 stitches to get back to the error so what a saving grace. What you also don't see is the kangaroo pocket that had to be frogged and will need to be knit again SOON since I almost need to reconnect the body to it. I didn't do as Jenna suggested and highlight the size BEFORE I started to work the pattern. I finished the pocked and found out (after an hours worth of knitting) that it was off by one inch because I knit the wrong size :( That's okay too because I wasn't happy with my decreases and now know what was wrong. Everything happens for a reason. I'm nervous about the hood and the detail around the throat but I have a while before I start that. One step at a time.

Well, I didn't get much else done in the way of knitting. I didn't finish MondoCable but expect to by the weekend. No felting either :( But I did have a great night out at the beach with DH sans DSS so I was a VERY happy girl this weekend!

My baby boy turns eight tomorrow. I can't believe that so much time has passed. He's so wonderful. Both of my boys are :) And my biggest boy, DH, turns 35 next Tuesday. Age is creeping up on me. I'm next on the birthday list (Oct. 31). I'm not ready to be a mature adult yet - tee hee!

I'm out of town tomorrow so won't be bloggin again until Wed. Peaceful knitting all...

Secret project revealed! Can you guess what it is? Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 19, 2004

On the road again...

Headed to the beach for a three day weekend. I have a couple of meetings scheduled while I'm there but nothing nerve wracking. Eight hours total in the car (not driving either) make for a VERY happy knitter! The only downside is that I'll have to see the Monster In Law again. Too much face time in one month for this girl.

Anyhoo, what am I taking this time?

**MondoCable Saltwater Taffy (I want to finish her in time for a business meeting on Tuesday)
**My Noro goodies to start on my felted bag kit that my KRSP gave me (I haven't felted anything in almost two months)
**The Aline pattern from Knitty by Annie Modesitt to use up the rest of the Reynolds Morocco in my stash and make a quick matching bag for Taffy girl


**A surprise project. I'm swatching it over the weekend and if all goes well, I'll tell you more about it on Monday.

Well, that's all for now. Can't wait to read up on all of the Audreys and other tops that are on everyone's needles. Catch everyone on Monday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Invasion of the Cooking Tweens! Posted by Hello

The front of Saltwater Taffy is finally finished! Yippie! I'm lovin' that pink...  Posted by Hello

I love Saltwater Taffy

I love my MondoCable and the real candy kind of taffy. The only difference is that my tank won't stick to my teeth (chortle chortle snort). I finally finished the front (even though the directions say to start with the back but then again, I never follow directions verbatum). I cast on and am almost finished with the last of the pink for the bottom of the back. Then its boring off white for a bazillion rows. Since I always like to adjust a pattern to my tastes, I may add a cable to the back. Or maybe a lace pattern. Something small but different.

As you can see from the picture, my kitchen was invaded by tweens last night. Half a dozen of my oldest son's classmates and their teacher came over and I hosted an Italian themed cooking school. We made bite sized chicken parmesan, doctored (with healthy veges) marinara and linguine, garlic italian bread, salad and tiramisu for dessert. Yummy! The kids cooked the entire meal which was attended by their parents. I'm so proud of them :)

Needless to say that between work (how dare work interfere with my knitting) and hosting the cooking school, I had very little time to knit. I was up until 12:30 finishing up the front of Saltwater. I checked out the various 2004 Knit-A-Longs and decided that I may just venture off on my own for my next knitting adventure (in addition to the other UFOs on my needles). I love almost all of the new Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora patterns and still may get Viking Knits. So many choices, so little time.

I'm miffed with Blogger and Tag-Board. Blogger changed the code so that damned bar is protruding from the top of my blog and tag-board is down again. I don't have time for this technical crap. I just want to knit and post about it. Why can't blogging be simple?

Well, I'm back to work then need to pack for the beach. DH just informed me that we're headed there for the weekend Thursday night. The downside - I don't have much time to gather everything together quickly and I'll still have to work on Friday while the ocean taunts me. The upside - I get to visit EweKnit Kits and lavish myself with some yarn. Catch ya later...

Monday, August 16, 2004

Like I need another hole in my head...

Well, I have a new WIP - the lovely MondoCable courtesy of Bonne Marie. I cranked through most of the front of this over the weekend. I've been on a mission to find a project to use my stash of Reynolds Morocco and this pattern also included a giant cable (though I can't say that I got much cable experience using this pattern) in the center. I decided to knit the cable in a contrasting color to break the monotony of the offwhite. I say that like I knew what I was doing. I must say that I didn't have a clue if my idea would work or not. However, thanks to Ei's advice, I did not let this pattern outsmart me and as evidenced by the photo, it looks pretty darn good. Hopefully, I'll finish the armhole shaping tonight and then start the very boring backside tomorrow.

I didn't make it to the Knit In yesterday. We overslept and didn't even make it to church (oops) so I started the day easily two hours behind. I guess our bodies needed the rest as not a single one of us woke up before 10:30 am. Needless to say, there was too much to do around the house for me to justify leaving for three hours. However, I made up for the knitting time yesterday evening so all was right with the world.

I'm starting to plot out Christmas gifts. Scarves bore me now that I've learned various knitting techniques like YO, K2tog, lace patterns, increases and decreases, etc. Maybe a few bags/totes, some felted slippers, ponchos and a sweater or two for the special people in my life. What that means is that I need to focus on finishing the UFOs that I started for myself or they will go on hold until January. I just found out that a cousin-in-law just learned how to knit so I get to look forward to spoiling her with some yarn in the near future. MIL now thinks that she wants to get into knitting since everyone else is doing it - eck! Is nothing sacred?

Still haven't started painting yet. We will have company for the next two evenings so I may not get started until later this week. That's okay. I'm enjoying the solace of my little space and the fact that I can spread yarn everywhere that I want to without worrying about anything happening to it. I can't wait to organize my stash. I think I'm going to use transparent cubbies with drawers so that they're safe from bugs but so I can still see who's where. Speaking of my knitting salon, I came up with an idea and posted it on KR. I've called it the Pieces of Peace project. I want to surround myself with good Karma, peacefulness and the knitting of my friends from around the world. Since I don't have any local buddies, I decided to reach out to my virtual friends. The response has been good so far. In addition, for each piece that is donated, I will make a contribution to Knitter's Review. If you're interested in participating, send me an email (indigomuse at verizon dot net) and I'll send you the address and more information.

Well, back to work and enjoying yet another breezy, cool August day...

Look at those decreases. I can't believe I got them right :) Posted by Hello

My newest WIP - MondoCable "Saltwater Taffy" Posted by Hello

Friday, August 13, 2004

Photo of the felted fish kit that my KRSP gave me last month. Sorry that it took so long to post. Posted by Hello

Noro and Squiggle for a felted bucket bag - a HUGE thank you to my Secret Pal for taking such good care of me!!! :) Posted by Hello

Oh Happy Day!

Lookie what I got in the mail from my secret pal - yummy Noro and Squiggle for a felted bucket bag pattern that includes charms (one that I've never seen before and I thought that I'd seen them all). I haven't had time to felt anything in over a month so I'm looking forward to the two felting projects (note that I'm finally posting a picture of the fish kit that my pal gave me last month) that my KRSP has indulged me with. Thank you so very much secret pal. You absolutely spoil me rotten which is apparently hard to do since I've been deemed a princess...

I still have yet to find a celtic trinity knot pattern anywhere out in cyberspace. I've got the bug pretty bad. The closest that I've found was an Elsebeth Lavold pattern in her Viking Knits book. I also found this new cutie from Fiber Trends which has nothing to do with cables but DOES include the cutest needle felted sheep.

As far as MondoCable, I think I may try it. Bonne Marie suggested that I swatch first since the gauge is for the chunky yarn is close to the Morocco. I'm not sure that the linen will handle the cable very well since it has absolutely no give at all. Must learn to knit cables, must eventually knit Rogue. I'm a princess on a mission...

No knitting for like three days. However, I'm strangely content. I think because I'm trying to get ready to paint my knitting salon this weekend. Taping the carpet, corners, etc. I know that DH is going to hate the color but then again he doesn't want the walls to be anything but white. I even found these great crystals to add to the paint to give it a subtle sparkle. He's really going to hate those. Oh well, I like the sparkles, I like the paint and its my room - so there!

I had an idea that I posted at KR in order to decorate my little room (check it out here). We'll see what the response is and whether it will fly or not. I may break down and go to the local knit in on Sunday. I hate taking time away from the fam on weekends but I'd really like to hook up with other knitters in the area. Since I've had absolutely no luck with other venues, I might as well try this one (since its the ONLY one). I'm really starting to feel like a pariah.

Unrelated to knitting, the cooking world (my other passion) lost a great today - the story is here. Julia Child's went to that big gourmet kitchen in the sky. I must say that while her voice was too funny at times, she was one helluva chef. I tip my hat to the great Ms. Childs and thank her for inspiring me to cook.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Finished baby sweater and booties Posted by Hello

Close up of my first cables (sorry they are so dark but the flash made the cables disappear in the original picures) Posted by Hello

My morocco stash Posted by Hello

A call from Darth Vader

Okay, so it was James Earl Jones. Yes, really, I got a call from James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader. Now before you think I've completely lost it (and you could considering the amount of high anxiety mental I suffered over the last five long days), let me clarify - it was a recorded message from James Earl Jones on behalf of Verizon letting me know that my DSL was installed and ready for me to hook up! I tried to remain calm because I've heard this song and dance from good ole Verizon before. However, I was inclined to believe that the third time was a charm since "Jimmy" himself gave me a call. I plugged the modem in, rebooted the laptop and VOILA, I'm back on the high speed internet highway! No more waiting for 5 minutes to check emails or load Knitter Review or update my blog. Click and zap and I'm there. You don't know what you've got until its gone. I am one happy techno queen right now. I truly hope that this is the end of my long internet journey that began at the end of May. Now if only I can get the billing straight...

I came to the realization several months ago that I must be of Celtic descent or at least was Celtic in a past life. I don't just love all things Irish, I feel ONE with them. Celtic music moves me to tears for no apparent reason. I can feel it in my heart and the very depths of my soul. I say this because I couldn't figure out why I have had this drive for a several months to get over my fear of cables. I really want to master them and mold the yarn into those beautiful interlocked patterns. I went back to the girl from Auntie website to pine for Rogue again (Heather first led me to this pattern some time ago). It states that its an advanced cable pattern. Heavy sigh. I need to practice more before I tackle this one. Sometimes, it seems like something so desired is so far away. So, I'm combing the internet for a good beginner celtic knot project. Bonnie Marie has a new pattern called Mondo Cable that I may try. I could use my Morocco, practice cables and have a nice new tank to boot. I've emailed her to see if Morocco would work for this pattern. I also found a great cable pattern for a bag in Folk Knits. I'd love to find a hat or something small to cable before jumping to larger projects.

I need to get started on knitting Christmas gifts. I guess I'll start with my list and then go through my stash to see what I have to start with. Before you know it, December will be here. I can't wait :) The promised pictures are above. Til tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Something wicked this way comes

Warning - rant of a frustrated woman approaching. The monster-in-law is STILL here. Yes, she was supposed to be leaving Monday morning(at least that's what DH told me) but I find out after she arrived on Saturday that she's here until Wednesday ~ gasp, choke, cough! Now, I can manage a grit-your-teeth permagrin for two days but five is downright painful. The worst part is that her sister and her DH dropped her off so I can't even insist that she leave early. I ran out of southern hospitality yesterday. I can no longer stand being in the same room with her. I can feel the karma of my house beginning to take on a dark palor. I'm praying to civilly get through the next 24 hours without saying or doing something I will regret but I'm not sure that I can make it.

Knitting has kept me somewhat sane though it gives M.I.L. an entre into my personal space. Imagine a voice that's a cross between "The Nanny"'s Fran Dresser and Marge Simpson asking "Whatcha making? How do you do that? That looks so complicated, blah, blah, blah." I would prefer that she simply pretend that I'm not here rather than carry on a conversation with me. I know you think that I'm the meanest person on the planet for feeling the way that I do but there really is a long and horrible long story behind all of these feelings. I'm not going to go into any details right now just because the memories are too painful. One day I'll bore you with them. I'm actually thinking about spiritual counseling to get past this because it has been eating me alive for a VERY long time.

Anyway, as far as knitting goes, I finished the baby sweater (photos after MIL leaves)and booties. They came out very sweet and tiny and the mom loved them (the shower was yesterday afternoon).
Lessons learned with this project:
**I CAN knit with needles smaller than size 10
**Acrylic is not so bad once you get used to it
**I CAN handle knitting a sweater (yippie!)
**Once I put my mind to it, complicated patterns are not as hard as they look
**I LOVE learning new techniques and should make an effort to try more instead of telling myself that I CAN'T do something

As far as the last statement, I decided last night to try my hand at knitting cables. I've been intimidated but have been told by everyone that they look more complicated than they really are. Well, they were right! (pictures after MIL leaves)I'm proud to say that I finished my first stab at a plaited cable and a couple of four stitch (right and left leaning)cables. The yarn that I used was Cascade 128 Tweed that has languished in my stash for months. I slept with the swatch on the nightstand by my bed last night. I could have sworn that it whispered to me. Something about "Rogue" and alpaca. Maybe I need to look into what this all means...

I went to the LYS today in order to escape MIL. I needed to be ONE with my yarn friends. I admit that it did help. I fondled some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino (I need to find a project that I like for this one), some Mango Moon recycled sari silk (its so soft and colorful), and some new Artful Yarns wool. Alas, none of them begged to come home with me so I escaped with a tiny three pack of cable needles and nothing more. You know that I'm upset about MIL when I can't even force myself to buy yarn. I'm a little veclempt so talk amongst yourselves for a minute. I think I'm just going to soak the stress of the day away in the Jacuzzi tub. Tomorrow is another day...

Friday, August 06, 2004

Amazing Weather for August

Wow! It was almost 70 degrees in the house when I woke up this morning - brrr! AND they're calling for the low 50s tonight. Am I the only one who thinks that it might be crazy to have to use the heat in AUGUST ?!?! What strange weather we're having this summer. I just wonder what the fall will be like.

I had a blast with my girls last night. They were so sweet and gave me and DH a house warming gift - a gift certificate to my favorite gourmet cooking store and a chinese box of dish towels. I love the colors! We had a yummy three course meal that started with the cutest amuse-bouche served in champagne glasses - tiny bits of strawberry, blueberry, mango and watermelon floating in a lemongrass and ginger reduction- mmmmmm. Since we're all trying to be health conscience, no one ordered dessert - we were so good :)

I cleaned my knitting room and put all of my stuff in the closet. I also planned the entire room online right down to my little Corgi Mavis (to view it, click the link below and click the launch button).
My little Ashram
DH will be out of town Wed and Thurs next week so I'm thinking that will be a good time to paint :)

Baby sweater is due Monday so the race is on to the finish. Wish me luck...

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Girls Nite Out

Tonight is "Suppa Club." We took the summer off from hosting and cooking and have been visiting some of the restaurants around the area. I'm looking forward to a great big chocolate martini from Metro! and enjoying great food with my girlfriends.

DSL update: the idiots at Verizon have yet again screwed up my order. It has been cancelled again. This is the third time in 6 weeks. If it wasn't for the fact that I have so much registered with my email and website, I would have dropped them like a hot potato a long time ago. I'm not sure how much longer I can take dial up.

I came to the realization earlier this week that working at home has lots of pros but the biggest con is that I crave human interaction. I miss even the most trivial conversations that I used to have in the workplace. I DONT miss the office politics and my insane CEO though. I guess that's why I would love a knitting buddy. Someone to call when I'm stuck on a pattern or someone to sit and knit with over a cup of coffee. I haven't given up. I'm polling my Junior League to see if any of them knit and would be interested in getting together. I also found a knitting meetup website so maybe I'll get lucky. There ARE other knitters in the area. I'm just not looking in the right places.

I finally found the cord for my digital camera and was able to upload the pictures of the baby sweater and the finished booties. I still have to get the ribbon for the booties and block them. The sweater is flying now that I don't have to count the increases and slip slip stitches. It's going to be too cute :) I hope to have a picture of the little guy in his new sweater sometime this fall.

I may go back to the LYS and get more Morocco in contrasting colors. I'm worried that 600 yards isn't enough to make anything significant. I'm still searching for a pattern. I took a gander at Elann (thanks for the suggestion, Heather) for patterns. This place is SO dangerous to visit. I always find something that I like. Pure peruvian alpaca is featured there in the most beautiful colors for only $3.75 a skein. Do I need more yarn? No. Do I WANT more yarn? YES! Time to breathe deep and avert thine eyes...

Baby Sweater and Bootie WIP Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Now and Zen

I'm feeling a bit giddy today. I was plugging along with the baby sweater last night (whilst watching 25th hour with DH - what a blah ending and an equally blah movie) and hit a small bump in the road. I needed stitch holders for the sleeves. I had a simple solution get your trusty Denise Needles. I opened the case and screamed in horror. Not a single cord was left! Not to mention half of the needles are gone. I have UFO (Unfinished Object) syndrome in a bad way. I have got to get some of these projects off my needles. But never fear (this is why I'm so giddy), I simply jaunted to the LYS and bought some stitch holders. It gets better. The LYS was having a sidewalk sale!!! So many great yarns to choose from - Katia Ola, summer tweed, silk, and my find - some beautiful Reynolds Morocco in natural

I bought the last six skeins that they had and saved $20! What a bargain! Now I need to find a pattern for this gorgeous linen/cotton blend. Any ideas? I'm having trouble finding any patterns that use this yarn.

Plodding along with my plans for my knitting Ashram (as my good friend Cheryl has deemed it). I found some color cards for paint and am leaning toward either a wheatgrass beige, windrift green or burnished copper. I've been surfing the Ikea, and websites for ideas. I found an online Feng Shui website I need five elements in the room in order to maintain balance (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). For wood and earth, I'm going to include several plants (I love plants and have plenty to use). For fire I get to use another of my favorites - candles. Still working on something for metal but for water, I'm thinking of either a fountain or a mini pond with koi. Light and circles are also supposed to be good so the half moon window that I was going to cover will remain naked. As far as decorations, a KR member gave me the idea to frame some knit art and include needles. I like this idea though I won't get to this for a while. Check out these other goodies:

Neat bamboo sliding window shades

Floating wall shelves

Love the table, the rug - everything!

I admit that I'm a bit OCD about this room now that I've gotten started. I promised DH that I'd at least have everything put in the closet by the time the monster-in-law came so I need to get moving on that tonight. Enough of a break, back to work I go...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Knitting Feng Shui

I'm working hard on coming up with a design for my knitting sanctuary. I'm reading up on feng shui for the home and have received some input on Pantone colors to use to create positive energy. I hope to do some painting and other decorating of my little space this weekend. The Monster-In-Law is coming to see the new house and I hope to make myself scarce so as not to interact with her during her stay (another story for another time). I hear that Ikea now has home delivery (though I haven't confirmed this yet) so I might be able to get some furniture that fits my theme sooner than later. I'm planning on making space in my sanctuary for this beauty...

It's an IJOY chair from Brookstone. I'm convinced that there's a little person embedded in this chair that chops, kneads, and massages you into blissful submission. It's Nirvana and it will be mine for my birthday (Oct. 31). Let the countdown begin :)

Still working on the baby sweater. I'm almost through all of the increases, slip stitches and buttonholes. I might be able to wrap it up and block it Thursday. I'm impressed with how its turning out so far. I hope that once I start the sleeves, I'll still be as enthusiastic. My Berry Lacy poncho is whispering to me from its little project bag. Maybe I can sneak some rows in this weekend.

Off topic, school doesn't start for the boys until Sept. 7th. I love my boys but having them home and working from home all summer has been quite a challenge. I'm looking forward to being able to focus again and get work done without a barrage of interruptions. Not to mention that it has been hard to have any semblance of a schedule. Once they start school, I can actually focus on them when they come home in the afternoon from school instead of feeling so guilty about having to work wacky hours just to cram everything into the day. Balancing work and family this summer has been quite a juggling act. Speaking of work, its time for me to get back to it...TTFN

Monday, August 02, 2004

C is for Cashmere, not cookie

You are Cashmere.
You are Cashmere.You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be
found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with
the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful
people and you don't let anyone forget it!

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I do LOVE Cashmere. However, with a MUCH larger mortgage starting this month, my hopes of owning any in the near future are on hold. I'm more of a Cashmere wanna be these days though my friends have recently dubbed me a "princess." At first I was appalled by this designation. I'm a save the world kinda girl. A child advocate, hurt not the earth, don't like bugs but don't kill them either kind girl. I like pizza but not with thin crust and please don't put mushrooms, olives or peppers on it, roll up the windows in the car and turn on the air conditioning in the summer kinda girl. Generally hate acrylic, give me some kid mohair, silk, or cashmere kinda girl - yeah, I'm an in denial, princess kinda girl. What a scary revelation! I've polled several close friends and they've all said the same thing - yes, you're a princess but not the bitchy kind (whatever that means). As you can see, I'm still easing into accepting my title. However, I've decided to enjoy it rather than shirk it all together (I can't change who I am). Starting this week, I'll be including more about "princesshood" in my blog and specifically how it applies to my knitting world.

Princess stuff all aside, the week has started very nicely. I'm taking a break from dialing into the office. I'm on the floor with my laptop and a cuppa Joe, listening to new age music surrounded by the sensual fragrance of a new Illuminations candle in Patchouli and Cedarwood. The birds are quietly chirping and the rain has stopped for now leaving a mist on everything outside and it looks like the sun is going to come out soon. Life is full of peace and serenity :) Since I'm on this topic, I've decided to decorate my office/knitting salon with this theme in mind - a little zen room. I'm thinking of either a misty blue or buttercream color for the walls, pillows on the floor, natural lighting, candles, etc. I need help taking full advantage of this space. Has anyone created such a space in their home? What elements should I incorporate into it? I'm going to post a picture of it here and give its dimensions so that you can see what I have to work with. Any thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated...

Screech!!! On the knitting front, that's the sound of the abrupt halt of my berry lacy poncho. I needed to whip up a baby shower gift by Monday, August 9th and started this weekend on a set of baby booties. Were they easy? Not the first one but the second was a breeze. They are way too cute. They didn't knit up as quickly as I wanted them to but I'm very pleased with the results. I refused to buy tiny dpns so I used the magic loop method using my Denise needles. Worked like a charm - Denise needles rule! I need to get some blue ribbon to weave through the eyelets and will post pictures once I'm finished. I might try socks this fall now that I've proven to myself that I can knit with needles smaller than 10's and survive. Who knows?

Call me crazy but I want to try my hand at a sweater. I decided to knit a baby sweater to match the little booties. I've finished the yoke and am starting the front. So far so good but this sweater involves a good amount of counting stitches. I'm getting better at more mindful knitting. Perhaps I can try more complicated patterns in the future after all.

I finally made myself a button this weekend.

Please feel free to add it to your blog but please respect bandwidth and save it in your files.

TTFN, back to work...