Thursday, August 30, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Earlier I entered a couple on contests that folks are having on their blogs. Schrodinger is giving away a VERY VERY cool sock knitting bag, and I really want to win one to encourage me in my sock making endeavors. (Read about my sock issues later in this post.) And, This Kitten Knits is also having a fun contest. So, head on over and enter, and if you tell them I sent you I get an extra entry, so don't forget----tell 'em I sent ya! Both of them have really fun blogs, too, so you'll get a great read out of the deal, too!!
Back to my friend, who lives about 75 miles from here. It was a gathering of a few of us who are part of an artsy craftsy group that used to be very active, and is somewhat less active now. However, we still love getting together to visit and share what we've been doing. Hubby called me while I was there to warn me that the weather was looking kind of bleak. Long story short, we watched the weather radar for a while, and I waited until it looked like I could leave ahead of the storm that was heading toward where I was, and end up behind the one that was where I live.
All went well until I got about 25 miles from home. Then the rain hit so hard and fast that I feared I might careen into the ditch before I could turn on the windshield wipers. Finally had to pull over and wait, along with a lot of other travellers, because the rain was so heavy I couldn't see, and the car wanted to hydroplane. When at last I gingerly pulled out onto the interstate, along with my parade of fellow travellers, we managed a whopping 50 mph for a while before we were hit with phase II. This one was worse. EVERYTHING stopped--even the semis. There I sat, all alone in the middle of nowhere, rain and now hail, too, beating down on my car. The noise was incredible. Oh, and did I mention, lightening like I've never seen before in my life!! From the time I walked out my friend's door until I arrived home I know there wasn't a 5 second break in the lightening. Most of it was the large stuff that lights up the whole sky, but there were a few bolts that were absolutely blinding. They were so bright that I would keep "seeing" them over and over, just like when you look into the flash of a camera. By the time I got home my eyes were so tired that they actually hurt!
The hail and rain torrents slowed, and off I went again. This time I made it the rest of the way home, but I did have an exciting trip, if being in bad weather is exciting. However, it was a serious storm which produced some tornadoes. One small town, maybe 30 miles from where I live, suffered much damage and even the loss of a life. At an area where there were seven mobile homes, only one is left. Medical facilities and such had to be evacuated. Very tough for that little community.
Okay, it's time to talk about my very first, one and only sock. I do believe I may be headed toward the frog pond with it. To me it just looks floppy and sloppy, like something that's been worn hard and needs to be laundered. What do you all think??
See how loose the the heel is.... and how the ribbing wants to drop down over the rest of the sock?
I must confess, I'm not all that happy with it. I think this is why I've been knitting so many dishrags lately. It's sock avoidance. That's what it is. Oh, and check out the lovely hole by the gusset... I'm really likin' that. But the good news it, there's a matching one on the other side of the sock. WOO HOO!!! I've really had fun knitting this creature, but with the way it's coming together, I fear my sock knitting career may be in doubt.
*Note* I'm using size 1 needles, and my gauge is right at where it should be. Bah Humbug!
Are there yarns that work better than others? I'm using Regia Bamboo, and I love how it looks and it knits up nicely, but I'm certainly no yarn expert when it comes to socks. Actually, I'm no yarn expert, period. Any thoughts or recommendations????
2. Name one person in the swap who is not from the U.S. and tell us where they are from, and link to their blog. Cathy F. is from N. Vancouver, BC. , and you can find her blog, Drowning in a Sea of Yarn, here.
3. Find one person in the swap who has a dog, and let us know the name of their dog(s) and link to their blog. Heather has two labs named Sophie and Pierce. Here is where you can find her blog.
4. Find one person in the swap who has a child or grandchild and link to their blog. Over at Suzanne G.'s blog you will find pics of her darling granddaughter, Alia.
5. And finally, tell us if you like October or November more, and why! (Yea, I know part of September and November are technically fall, but for this question, only October and November matter!) I'm going to have to go with October because around here, sometimes it can get pretty wintery in November. I love the bright blue sky, the clear, crisp air, and the smell of fire pits and fire places.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I picked it up just a couple weeks ago at Michael's. They still had one more copy, so if anyone just has to have it, and can't find it where you are, I'm sure we could work something out, if ya know what I mean!! :o)
Monday, August 20, 2007
Meanwhile, I have some dishrags and yarny goodness for show and tell. For some reason, all I wanted to do this weekend was make dishrags, so I did. I'd been wanting to try a round one, and this pattern was fun and easy. I like the way it turned out. I will definitely make more of these.
This pretty stuff is the new Jitterbug sock yarn from Collinette. It's soft and feels like it will be great to work with. Now if I can just get this sock thing down. Right now I'm avoiding working on mine, and I don't know why. I think it's because I have this fear that they're going to be too big when I get done and I'll end up having to frog the whole sock. Other than that, I've been enjoying my little venture into sockdom.
Wow~~ I'd totally forgotten I had yarn on backorder from WEBS. I got an unexpected package (ALWAYS a fun surprise!!!) and opened it to find this:
I have no clue what I thought I'd make with it, and I don't do bright and neon colors, so why in the world did I order this??? Anyone??? Oh, well. Matters not. It's beauteous, and if I can't come up with an idea of how to use it, maybe you can. I'd love to hear your suggestions! It's SOO soft---after fondling it a bit, I buried my nose in it and inhaled deeply. Ahhh, good stuff!!!
And check out our litttle apple tree!! It's overloaded with apples, and we've already picked a bunch! I suppose if I was a good little 'happy homemaker' I'd be starting my 1000 quarts of applesause this morning, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Not in this lifetime, anyway. The guys will be lucky to get a couple of apple pies and cakes out of this gal!! (I know, I know, what kind of attitude is that?) So maybe I'll make an apple crisp,too.
In the knitting department, for some reason I was totally in a dishrag kind of mood. I put aside the sock I'd been toiling over and made dishrags. Guess I needed some instant gratification. I churned out several, and had great fun doing it! I'll get them blocked and take pics for later....
Thursday, August 16, 2007
What was your first felted object, and why did you decide to try felting? The tab top tote from the book Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas. It just looked like fun to me!
What are your favorite colors? Any you hate? I love rich, saturated colors; especially in shades that tend to be a little "off" from the true color. I love shades of teal, navy, and wine. Also neutrals such as mocha, gray, cream and black. I'm not fond of primary brights, neons, or pastels.
What are your favorite styles\types of bags? (Long straps? Short handles? Handbags? Totes? Embellished? Plain? Include links to patterns or photos if you’d like – give your pal an idea of what you enjoy!) I tend to like bags that are more structured rather than loose and floppy. I like to be able to organize my things and find them! I guess I tend to lean toward short handles, but also like long straps. My handbags tend to be meduim in size. As far as a tote goes, any size will do! I'm okay with tasteful, artsy embellishments. I don't do "Cute".
What handbag or bag are you carrying today? You're lookin' at it!!
What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs circs, bamboo vs aluminum) I'm still trying different needles as I add to my supply. I use both straights and circs. I like bamboo, and recently tried addi turbos and lenjoyed them very much.
What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make? I guess that would be the lace shawls that I mentioned earlier. The one I'm looking to do first is the Forest Canopy Shawl, which is written specifically for knitters just starting out in lace. Oh, I also want to learn to knit a mobius, and want to make a couple of mobius bowls.
What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with? Hand Maiden Sea Silk.
What other hobbies do you have? I bead--both stringing and beadweaving. Do you spin? No. Sew? I can, but rarely do. Just the occasional lining for one of my bags!! :o) Garden? Do planters on my patio count? I love having containers full of many types of foliage along with some flowers. As far as "in the ground", I don't do much of that anymore.
Besides yarn, do you collect anything? What makes you think I collect yarn?? Teehee! And beads!
What kind of goodies do you enjoy? When it comes to goodies, I'm easy to please! Sweets? Oh, yes! I like most sweets. Just not fond of really sour and/or fruity things. I like chocolate (milk and white), gummies, Jelly Bellys, etc. Salty? Salty is great, too! Love almonds and cashews. Anything you hate or are allergic to? No. Do you have any kiddos? (Furry kind count!) My husband and I have three grown sons, ages 25, 21, and 20. (The two youngest are exactly 2 weeks apart in age. One just turned 21 and the other one will in 9 days! Can you figure that one out?!?) We're fortunate to have one of the boys still living at home! What kind of project best personifies you and why? Hmmm. . . I guess I'm going to go with a felted handbag. (Imagine that!!) One that's unique and has artsy details. Why? Because I like unique things, and I tend to be artsy and pay attention to detail. I have no problem with fussing over something to get it to turn out the way I want it to. That being said, I'm also practical (like a handbag needs to be!) and I like to be organized (like a handbag needs to be!!) What is your favorite part of autumn? You can also share a special Autumn memory if you'd prefer! I like the crispness in the air and the vivid colors. My grandma used the phrase "October's Bright Blue Weather" to refer to the intense blue of the sky that we sometimes see in the fall. Each year when I see that bright blue sky, it reminds me of grandma!!
Tell us 3 things you would do if you won 10 million dollars in the lottery.
1. I'd pay off the house, the boys' educations, and the rest of our bills.
2. I'd get new vehicles for hubby and myself. (Though he'd probably opt to keep the one he has.)
3. I'd share with my church, several charities, and also individuals who have needs.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
However, amid all the excitement, there is that moment of disbelieving hilarity when I realize just how foolish my sock-to-be actually LOOKS!!
Yes?!? Ya know what I mean?!?
(I know you do, Cass!)
Today I will add the gussets, and that will surely help! Turning the heel went well; fun actually! If making the gussets goes equally well, I'll feel just grand about my little sock-making venture. I keep telling myself I need to finish at least one sock before I cast on a new project, but I've got several things I'm itching to start, and I don't want to wait.
Found a fun contest this morning on Jean's blog. You should check it out--she's giving away some absolutely wonderful swag! And if you do, PLEEZE tell her I sent you so I get another entry!! I'm lovin' all the contests--I think I'm going to have one soon. All I have to do is come up with a "reason", and that shouldn't be so hard.
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood here today. While I was out in the yard snapping pics of my sock, my son was out there playing "Pole" with the dogs. They get the biggest kick out of chasing and jumping after that goofy pole. Flex actually picks it up and drags it to you (it's about 8 feet long!) as an invitation to play!
I'm enjoying my planters so much this year. Hardly planted any flowers, but went with a variety of foliage plants instead, and I really like all the leaf colors and shapes. Beauteous . . . .
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Well, at least Jayda has good taste--handmade items are some of the best. And I have a good friend--letting my hound lay all over her bag when she brought it over so I could help her work on it!!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Hmmn.... guess I don't have a great needle storage system. I have one drawer that I keep them in, but somehow they manage to find their way into all sorts of other places!
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? My grandma taught me to knit when I was little--probably about 5 or 6, but I began knitting "for real" about 2-1/2 years ago. For some reason I never forgot how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off, so that was enough to get me started. First it was a novelty yarn scarf (oh, no!!), then Iprogressed to felted bags, and now I'm a fanatic!! I would consider myself an intermediate level knitter.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No.
5. What's your favorite scent? I like clean, fresh scents such as rain, cotton, linen, and sea scents. I also enjoy some 'food' scents such as vanilla, hazelnut, and coffee/latte.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Oh, ya!! Real bad sweet tooth! I like both white and milk chocolate. Even "regular" candies like Snickers, Milk Duds and Almond M&M's. When it comes to treats, I'm easy to please.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I also like to bead. No, I don't spin.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like gospel music, and things like piano or instrumental that are nice in the background.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I like rich colors such as shades of teal, hunter, wine, and navy. Also, neutrals. I don't like bright primary or neon colors, particularily not orange or pure yellow. I like most colors if it's an "off shade" of that color!!
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am married and have three grown sons, with only one left living at home. (He turns 21 today!!) We have two dogs (Boxers) named Flex and Jayda.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves; sometimes with my winter coat. Hats; only when it's colder than a bugger and I have to clean off my car. (I think I have a big head, so it's hard to find a hat that looks decent on me!) Mittens; no, usually gloves, as they're easier to drive with. Ponchos; no, I fear I'm not built to be seen in public in a poncho! Small children would be frightened!!!! I do want to knit a shawl/wrap (or two, or three!!) one day soon, though.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Handbags and totes. Dishcloths and fun little accessory items.
13. What are you knitting right now? I'm almost done with Mandy's Candy Bag, and am working on my first ever pair of socks. Also the Knitting Tote (in Suede) from the Berroco website, and of course a dishcloth.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, they're wonderful!
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I use both straight and circular needles. I do like bamboo, and also have a pair of rosewoods I make dishcloths on that are very nice to use. I only recently got my first pairs of addi circs, and I fear I am going to be wanting more of those!
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes, both.
17. How old is your oldest UFO? All the projects on my needles are quite current. However, I do have several bags that have been waiting around for several months to have their linings and handles installed!
18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas.
19. Is there anything that you collect? Not really.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I've heard that The Knit Stitch, The Purl Stitch, and her most recent book on color are all very good. Of course I'd love some more addi turbos, and I love "different" needles such as Lantern Moon and others that have a unique look. No subscriptions.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I want to knit lace, and plan to start with the Forest Canopy Shawl.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I'm right now working on my first pair of socks. I started a KAL for new sock knitters, so I'm learning along with some friends. Foot measurements: Well, I wear a size 8-1/2 - 9 shoe; my foot is 9-3/4 inches long, and the circumference is 9 inches. From what I've seen, that sounds like a large circumference, but my foot is really quite average.
23. When is your birthday? April 25.
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? No, but there are only 8082 people ahead of me in line!! :o)
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The pattern is from the One Skein book, and I made it with natural colored silk yarn. I made a couple of slight alterations to the pattern: My drawstring is a twisted cord instead of a crocheted chain; and, I added a little scalloped edge to the top. Just for fun!
Now for the contest!! Cass is having one over at her blog to celebrate her 222nd post. Go on over and enter, and if you do, tell her I sent you, cause then I get a bonus entry! PLEEEEEZE!! She's giving away some REALLY COOL swag!!
I got several dishcloths blocked today while I was packing my Dog Days package. These patterns turned out kinda nice! (I know, I know. The picture is sideways---don't ask!)
Below is a close-up of the stitches on that one - it has a very nice texture, but is oh-so-easy to do! I got the pattern out of one of the Leisure Arts discloth books.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)? I really don't have much background in the tea deparrtment. I enjoy Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Constant Comment. I like a good quality, flavorful tea and am open to trying new things. I saw mentioned a vanilla tea in someone's questionnaire, and that is something I would love to try!!
Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white) (keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up). I know I like black, so that's probably a safe choice for me. (Though I'd be open to trying green or white!)
Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind? Sad to say, but I usually just heat my water in the microwave. Sometimes I do, however, pour it from another container into the cup containing my teabag!
What tea accessories would you like but have never purchases for yourself? I must not be very "in the know" here, as I'm not even sure what fun tea accessories I should be coveting! I do have a cute ceramic teapot that used to be my grandma's, and a tea cozy that she crocheted, but other than that, I'm here to learn!
How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc). There's nothing like a yummy treat in my book! However, I do like to keep my toes looking good (no chipped or worn polish), because I wear sandals every day of the year that there's less than a foot of snow on the ground. I have a thing about keeping my toes polished when I've got them out there for the world to see! Silly, I know!! :o)
If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why? I'm probably supposed to choose a type of fiber here, but I fear I must deviate from that path. I would want to be a a yarn that was handpainted or dyed. It could be sock yarn, wool (for a felted bag, perhaps!), or a cotton/cotton blend. Why? Because I love color and the various ways it is used. I tend to be a bit artsy, and whenever I make something, I put a lot of time and thought into my choice of colors. My friends tease me about my color "issues", and have a couple of goofy but appropriate names they call me.
If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why? Baby booties. Don't care for fun fur, and fair isle is not the real me. That leaves booties, which resemble socks, which I'm in the process of learning (working on my first pair) right now. Besides, I might be a grandma someday, right??
What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?) "Girls Night Out" with three of the greatest friends anyone ever had. We don't get to go out as often as we'd like, but when we do, Look Out!! And all we ever drink is coffee, tea, and Coke!
What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?) Oh, my..... of course there must be sweets. I'm seeing a pretty tiered tray with a number of delights on it! Traditional crustless sandwiches should be on the bottom tier. In the middle, perhaps some small scones. And the top would be piled with tiny, sinfully sweet treats!
When buying yarn for a project how do you choose - do you buy the one called for or do you substitute? I do both, but more often than not I tend to substitute. Unless I start a project right away, I often change my mind about what I want to do or how I want to do it anyway. Could this possibly be part of the reason for my mounting stash??
What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go? I've got several felted bags that I love to schlep things around in. For me, half the fun is having my stuff in a cool bag, so if not a bag I've made, then some other nice tote. I just got the cutest little "pouch" to use for small projects. It has one short handle that fits over the wrist and just hangs there while I knit. Sweet!
Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting? I'm not a huge TV/movie person, but just recently a friend and I got together and knit while we watched Miss Potter, and that was really fun. Another time we watched old episodes of I Love Lucy, and that was a good time, too. Probably something not too intense, or then I'll get too involved in the story and forget to knit!!
Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Do you care if they match? I like mugs, but my favorite ones are the tall, slim, bone china ones made in England. For me, that's the best of both worlds!! No, they don't have to match, but it is fun to have some that "sort of go together".
Favorite childhood birthday party? I remember one when there was an early spring (my birthday is in April) so we were able to be outside. All the little girls (this was probably about third grade) wore cute dresses, and we played jumprope and hopscotch. And of course, my mom had put together all sorts of wonderful birthday eats.
Favorite type of scone and jam? We have a locally owned coffee shop here that roasts its own beans (heavenly smells!!) and also has someone who comes in early in the morning to bake special treats. She makes an orange scone that is simply wonderful, which they serve with an orange butter that is just delish!!
If you use candles, what is your favorite scent? I love candles. I enjoy clean, fresh scents such as "weather" and "nature" fragrances, or linen and cotton. I also like some of the warmer fragrances like vanilla and hazlenut. Oh, and the coffee, latte, and cappuccino scents are great, too.
If you could choose 3 people to have 'tea' with, who would they be and why? (famous or not, living or dead). My three girlfriends that I do "Girl's Night Out" with, because I never have more fun or laugh harder than when I'm with them. We can be serious or silly; we can laugh or cry. We've been friends for many years, and they prove the old adage: "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, but the other gold".
You've been invited to a tea party, what 'props' will you wear (formal or casual)? If this truly is a "Tea Party", then I feel I must dress up!! I'll wear a dress, nice sandals (sorry, no pantyhose, but my toes will look good!!), and yes, I'll wear a hat. (Though I'll have to shop for that last item!!) I might even spring for gloves and don them as well! And, the work-horse felted bag that I carry around with me every day is going to have to sit this one out!! I think if I dig deep enough I can come up with a cute beaded "pocketbook" of some sort! Oh, and pearls! I must wear pearls!! Around my neck, wrists, and on my ears!
Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to? None
Anything we missed that you want your pal to know? This isn't info, just a fun little story. I actually did go to a tea party once. It was a women's event at our church, and it was done "by the book". Someone had done their research, and we had all the proper sandwiches and sweet treats you can imagine. Even the decorating was perfect: doilies, old vases and beautiful flowers. We did dress up, and were asked to wear a hat. For those who didn't have one and didn't want to invest, there was a box of hats at the door from which to choose. Being there just made me feel like I had stepped back in time. It was SO fun!
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Another contest asks me to mention the Fall Felted Bag Exchange. Sign-ups begin on August 15, so if you think you might be interested, pop on over and check it out. It looks like great fun, and I'm looking forward to it!!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
First of all, I received not one, but TWO hand made dishcloths. Totally different, and both lots of fun. I especially love that checkerboard pattern on the cream one with colored flecks.
Then, there were so many other goodies that I couldn't believe my eyes! Delicious candy in both milk and white chocolate, three flavors of coffee, a lavender candle in a tin, a HUGE bottle of vanilla hand soap as well as three shower gels from Bath and Body Works, sock shaped point protectors for my knitting needles, a summery skein of Peaches and Cream yarn, and a dishcloth pattern.
It's very obvious that Debbie, my spoiler, hand picked these items just for me. They fit so well with what I like and what I am working on. All I can say is, "WOW"!!!