Monday, February 28, 2005

She's baaaaaccckkk!

I feel like I've slipped back into a pair of comfy sweat pants after wearing business clothes all day. It's good to be back in the functioning computer world after nearly a one month absence. This is the first Monday where I got back into my routine - wake up early and with coffee in hand, catch up on my favorite blog reads and then begin my real job.

Today was somewhat different considering Thing 2 (Thing 1 plotted with his best friend to stay at his house because they knew that they'd be out of school today) is home from school with me due to almost 10 inches of snow. Holy Shitake Mushrooms were we surprised to wake up to so much snow. And I thought that spring was almost here. I guess this is the last blast before the warm weather creeps in. I'm surrounded by snow fanatics who are loving this stuff. I, on the other hand, have been dreaming about palm trees and white sandy beaches and buff cabana boys.

Yes, there's been some knitting and spinning over the last couple of weeks. Yesterday, Zira was in a shot with the bobbin of merino/alpaca that I finished recently. Other than that, I haven't spun much. Here's a shot of the sheepy tote that I donated to the Fat Tuesday auction (the one that brought in $75)...

And here are some before and after shots of the felted strawberries...

A felted flower pin that's a RAOK for a special friend and the Corgigora flower...

And my favorite so far was this beauty - drumroll please...

Yes, my friends, that's a Latvian mitten from the Folk Knitting in Estonia book. I worked on it over the long holiday weekend and must say that I'm in love with stranded knitting. My tension needs help but I don't think that I did too bad considering I don't have anyone to watch (I'm a visual learner). I'm sure that I'll finish these right as Winter is over. I'll at least have something to look forward to wearing next season.

I had a busy Strawberry Festival planning weekend so I didn't get much knitting in. I was able to whip out a sweater for Zira using the top down pattern from Feb. 25th of the Knitting-A-Day calendar. The math was great and in a little over an hour I had a mini-sweater that fit perfect. The little critter in the picture with Zira is Maieka the new guinea pig.

I used some leftover bits of Noro Kureyon (keep in mind I don't like this yarn) to do some stash bustin'. It's not the most feminine looking sweater but it kept her warm while she was playing in the snow on the deck today.

Just so you know, Zira's legs are 8 inches long and the snow was up to her waist by 10 am. Yikes!

And for the Corgi fans, I have a couple of pictures of Mavis playing in the snow (she LOVES snow and will roll in it for hours).

Anyone on photo overload yet? I'm so glad that I could finally add some color to my blog. Enjoy the snow day for those of you on the East Coast in this storm and more from Zira tomorrow.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

No pictures = no Blog Love

Well, I get the hint. I get it loud and clear. You aren't interested in reading my blog unless I post pictures. I understand, I'm the same way as I'm a very visual person. Well you wanted pictures and pictures you shall have. I borrowed a camera - because I aim to please (and to be honest, I'm a comment Ho and miss hearing from you guys). Some of the pictures aren't the clearest because I don't know how to use all of the setting on this camera.

I'm pleased to present to you, the beautiful Zira...

Zira loves the camera and aspires to be a model some day. She also loves bananas...

Especially eating them!

I catch her climbing on Arwen quite frequently...

She assures me that she's not playing but just trying to sneek a peek of what I'm spinning. Today, its merino and alpaca.

Zira wanted to show off the hat that I made her even though it doesn't fit very well(she's so sweet to wear it anyway). I'm working on a custom fit sweater this weekend.

Zira tells me that she has a secret that she'll share with you all very, very soon. I wonder what that monkey is up to.

Zira began as this bunch of unfelted parts.

After felting her, I had to snip and restitch her hands and feet. It was a big mistake knitting that mohair at the tops of both. I wanted fluffy cuffs and ended up with Popeye arms and calves. I used my mitten and sock skills to make her hands and feet. I was so glad to use my newfound skills. I stitched her muzzle on and needle felted her face and ears. In my haste to finish her, I forgot to make a tail. I'll have to work on that over the weekend. Overall, I'm pleased with the results and only need to make minor changes to the pattern. I did some stash busting to make her so her colors aren't very monkey-like. I hope to work on a buddy for her soon. I "heart" Zira!

Enough monkey business. For those who've inquired (thanks for asking), my laptop is about 80% back to normal. It has crashed a couple of times since I got it back so I hesitate saying that its "fixed." However, its a huge improvement over the other computer so I'm not going to complain (plus, I get the feeling that everyone is tired of hearing me whine). I'll have a regular knitting/spinning post on Monday. I've been a busy little bee. Take care...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

(((((Heavy Sigh)))))

That sigh is me giving in to the negative energy that has surrounded my tech toys. I have some bad computer karma right now. I took my poor sick laptop into the office and it was "fixed". Needless to say, after I got back home (which is almost 200 miles away from the office), I found that it was missing software, all of my files and I didn't have administrator rights so I can't edit any of the settings. I'm going to have to ship it to the office and pray that it comes back to me in one piece. I haven't had a real computer since Jan. 24th. I'm dying here. I barely have contact with the outside world. I miss you guys and visiting your blogs. Its lonely without my high speed internet connection. Wahhhhhhhhhh!

Thanks for letting me whine, I feel better already. I still don't have a camera but I've decided to just go buy one rather than try to get the Nikon fixed. However, the kid's computer has a hard time with photo uploads so even if I did have one, I wouldn't be able to show you pictures. I feel like my blog is so naked without some show and tell. Please bear with me. I hope to be back to normal soon.

On the home front, I buckled and got another guinea pig for Thing 2. Her name is Maika (a name that he made up and I really like) but we call her Mai for short. She's so tiny compared to Booger who's three. She's so quiet and docile. She has yet to bite (something that Newt would rarely do but most certainly would if she was done playing) and is wonderfully sweet and snuggly. I think getting another was a good move and has helped us all cope with Newt's passing. Thanks for all of the suggestions and thoughts so many of you shared with me. I'll post photos of her soon (I hope).

On the knitting front, nothing since this time last week which was when I finished the Corgigora flower. I was out of town the latter part of the week and found that I lacked all energy this weekend. I guess I'm in a slump :( I am pleased to announce that my felted tote fetched $75 at the Fat Tuesday auction last week! I was so flattered! Several people are interested in placing orders so we'll see how busy I am this spring.

On the spinning front, I attended my first group spin in Thursday night! I'm still jumping up and down. There were four of us (one was a mom from the boys' school and neither of us knew that the other of us spun) and we spun together for over two hours. I'm still working on a couple of ounces of merino/alpaca. We already have another date planned for March. The ladies deemed me an alien because my spinning is so good for a beginner. I honestly just do what feels right especially since I've had no one to watch until now. I have so much to learn and can't wait to meet more of this group. We're going to have Jen (The Spirit Trail) come out in the Spring for a trunk show and invite people to come in and demo techniques such as needle felting. I can't wait! I finally feel a sense of belonging.

Well, I need to make an attempt to work. Without my files, I'm somewhat lost. I just want to hibernate for a couple of weeks. By then, I'll have my computer back and spring will be right around the corner...

Friday, February 04, 2005

Tomorrow is another day...

Well, my computer isn't dead but its certainly on life support. I'm going to have to get IS to reload windows which means I'll have to reinstall of the programs that are currently installed on my computer. Am I bitter or grumpy? No, of course not, I'm 100% certifiable super bitch, that's all. *Sigh* I'm reminded that tomorrow is another day. I'll pray that I live to see it and that it doesn't start like last Saturday (with a dead guinea pig placed only inches from my face at 7 am).

So those of you mumbling to me right now "it could be worse", yes, it could and is. I awoke at 1 am with a wonderful case of Montezuma's revenge courtesy of a local Mexican restaurant chimichanga. Yup, today is a craptacular end to the week. Goodbye first week of February. I will NOT miss you.

I'm blogging today from the worlds oldest computer since my laptop will barely come on now. I'm starting to wonder if this is an evil plot staged by the boys in hopes that we'll buy them a new computer. DH has given me carte blanc to buy whatever I want. Lots of HD space, huge monitor, a new digital camera, snazzy printer - a techie gurl's dream! I'm so tempted. Anyhoo, I hope to get my baby back soon since I sprout gray hairs everytime I try to visit any of my buddy'd blogs. Plus, I can't even think of uploading photos with out crashing the computer.

Okay, enough of the pity party, right? Thanks for the sweet sentiments regarding Newt. We're doing better now and she'll always have a special place in our hearts. Thing 2 is begging for another GP and I'm so tempted to comply. The other GP affectionately named "Booger" is very lonesome and we don't want her to die of a broken heart. DH thinks I'm crazy and maybe he's right.

While the spinning front stalled this week, I'm looking forward to my spinning activities next week. The librarian finally set a date for the beginnings of our spinning group - Thursday, Feb. 10th! Yippie! I can't wait. I won't have to be lonesome in my addiction anymore.

The knitting front has been wonderfully busy with small instant gratification projects. I finished the felted bag that's destined for the Fat Tuesday auction next week. It started as a comissioned french market tote (the woman never returned my call) and then morphed into a handbag. It's knit from my favorite yarn - Cascade 220 - with a black base, tan body and brown/black/tan Manos top and handles. I added a pocket and needle felted a sheepie on it. For fun, I made a matching key fob. It's one of my favorite bags so far. This auction is sort of my community debut. I'm so excited! Over 300 people attended last year so I should get some good exposure. I also knit the Corgigora yarn into a pretty flower pin as my display piece for a second auction entry. I'm auctioning off the opportunity to spin someone's pet's fur into yarn. I'm very interested to see if people like the idea. Finally, I finished the gift exchange felted strawberries sachets by filling them with lavendar flowers. They are MIGHTY fragrant but too damn cute for words. I'm going to put them in an actual produce container to give the full effect. I hope the gift recipient likes them.

No snow forecast for the weekend so we should be able to get out and about for the first time in a while. I'm going to work on my attitude before I blog again. Oh, by the way, I am still tracking my weight loss. I'm down 5 pounds total since the beginning of the year and I've spent $20 on yarn and fiber (so there's $30 in the till for those weak moments I may have in the future). AND, I've done some stash bustin' so I'm behaving myself. Catch ya later...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Drive by blog post

Yes, things are still on the fly here at the house that IM built. I'm hanging in there though only by the tips of my nails. Here's quickie on how last week went:

*** Trip to NC was good. It was nice to have some me time. I was in workshops all day and businesses dinners and lunches but the evenings were all mine. I spun and knit my life away. Right before I left. The library got Knitting in Estonia in for me. Yes, that meant LATVIAN MITTENS - oh happy day! I did a test knit mini mitten with the tiny bit of borderline sportweight yarn I had in my stash and hated the results. Alas, it was too thick. So I have two choices: buy some sportweight yarn or spin some. Decisions, decisions. I can say that I love making those braids. I knit and reknit one several times just to have the satisfaction of seeing it develop. Thanks for helping me catch the bug, Sandy :)

*** Internet access in NC was not to be had in my hotel room as planned. Thus, no blogging and no blog reading :( So I spun up some merino and shetland and plied it into a barbershop pole colored skein. It looks too cool. I bought some cashgora locks and soysilk from the spinning place in Greensboro. The shop - which will remain nameless to protect the innocent - was "eh". The cashgora is a dream to spin with and was a steal at only $6 for 4 oz. The soysilk - lets just say that I have to practice more before I try this one again.

*** Dear sweet Thing 1 and a couple of his testosterone blind buddies singlehandedly toasted my computer on Friday in just 30 minutes. It has tons o' spyware and at least one trojan on it. I couldn't get it to work very well until today. A friend of mine is going to clean the drive up for me tonight. Pray that my computer comes back to me in one piece. If it doesn't my name is mud.

*** Tragedy struck on Saturday when we awoke to find one of our sweet guinea pigs - Newt - didn't make it through the night. She was out of her cage (a big no-no) with Thing 2 and crawled into his pillow to sleep. We think she smothered. We're better now but Sat. and Sun. were rough. Lots of talk about the great beyond, theology and a higher power. And of course, lots of tears. Thing 2 asked me to spin some of her fur into a keepsake for him. I started last night and hope to have something to show for it soon.

I have lots of photos to share but can't do anything complicated like upload them with this testy computer until it gets cleaned up. I've completed a couple of charity knits and other misc. objects. I've missed catching up with my buds and look forward to some blogging this weekend if not before then.