Monday, January 28, 2008

More Contests!!

Tami is having a contest to celebrate her 100th post. Stop by to congratulate her and enter the contest!

And, Miss Me is celebrating her blogoversary, so go on over and say "hey" to her, as well! And don't forget to tell them I sent you!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Winter Doldrums Topic #2 ~~

There are many people who ADORE receiving hand-knit or crochet items; but there are just as many who have no appreciation whatever of how much love, work, and time goes into a hand-made item. Share a story of a hand-made gift you gave to someone and how it worked out - good, bad, or ugly!

I have three girlfriends with whom I get together for "girls night out". We go out whenever we can, but always make it a point to go for each of our birthdays. The last two birthday gifts I've given were felted bags, adorned with huge felted flowers. I intended them as tote bags they could use to schlep things around in, but both friends have been using the bags as purses ever since they got them. (May and June) Cracks me up, but they just love 'em! We were together today, and again they were raving about how many comments they get on their purses. Cathy thinks I should make some for her to carry around with her, and she'll sell them!

Next birthday is February 2, and my felted bag mojo seems to have left me, so I'm having big struggles putting one together for the final recipient. And you better believe, she's expecting one with great anticipation!!

It's really fun seeing friends get so much enjoyment out of something I've made for them.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Have A Wonderful Angel~~

I just received the nicest package from Donna, my angel for the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap! It was special from the moment I opened it... everything was neatly wrapped in glittery tissue and tied with silver ribbon.
Each item I opened was so fun, and obviously chosen especially for me. Just look at the yarn!! I'd read about the Lion Brand Organic Cotton and had been wanting to try some, but I couldn't find it around here. If you haven't seen it, it's SO soft... feels like it will be great fun to work with! I can't wait to try it, and have been wondering what I should make with it. The vanilla sugar soap is just right. Mmmmm. WOW, what yummy treats!! I love my coffee, and the nice, bold Sumatra will be great in the morning. (And again in the afternoon with one of the chocolates!!)Donna sent two beautiful dishcloths. They're fantastic designs that are different from anything I've made. The burgundy one looks okay in the pic, but the navy one is just too dark to photograph well. That's too bad, because it's such a neat design with lots of texture and dimension.It's one thing to put together a swap package for someone when you know there's another swapper out there (hopefully!) assembling a goodie box for you, too. It's different when the swap is over, and you put together a box for someone knowing you won't get anything in return. I received these gifts because Donna was willing to go above and beyond. A very kind gesture that meant a lot to me.
Thank you Donna!
Everything is just beautiful, and
will be enjoyed very much!!

TAG~~~ I'm It!

Wow! This is the first time I've ever been tagged ~~ Dorothy over at Mommy + Knitter "caught" me! Now let's see if I've got what it takes to follow all the steps!!

7 Random Facts Meme

Here are the rules, and they must be posted to your blog.
Link to the person’s blog who tagged you (see above).
List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog and also so they can look at your blog and not tag the same people all over again!

1. I wear Birkenstock shoes/sandals almost all the time, and have about 30 pair of them in all styles and colors. I'm not remotely, nor have I ever been, "hippy-ish" or " mother-earthy" - it's strictly a comfort thing. Once you get used to them, nothing else feels the same!!

2. I used to dislike dogs; even said I hated them. (I was scared horribly by one as a child.) Almost seven years ago now my son bargained with me to get one, and that hound (Flex) and his "sister" (Jayda-- who came along four months later), have totally transformed me! Now, not only do I love my own dogs, I just love dogs period!!

3. I started accompanying a church choir when I was is Jr. High School, and have been involved in music ministry pretty much full-time ever since. Hmm, that must be over 30 years!!

4. I would rather be at home by myself, knitting and drinking coffee, than out somewhere with a bunch of people. It doesn't take a lot of activity to make me happy!!

5. I'm not one who has "lots and lots" of friends. I have casual friends, and a small group of "best" friends who are priceless to me. I've known them for years, and we are there for each other no matter what.

6. I like fussing around with details. I can work for hours getting something I'm making to be just the way I want it. When I clean/organize, I don't like to just make things look better on the surface. I like every tidbit to be just where it should be. (This is not always a good thing!!)

7. I don't enjoy the mundane, at all! Cooking and cleaning drive me nuts, and I try to get out of them whenever I can. I prefer to be doing something, almost anything, with my hands. My mom tells me I've been this way ever since I was little. (Messy bedroom, beautiful coloring book!)

Okay, now for the hard part. It's going to be tough for me to tag seven people, as I have this silly fear of tagging someone who does not want to be tagged. (Maybe that's number 8!) But, this is a fun way to get to know each other a little better, and a couple of those I'm tagging I don't know very well, yet! So, here goes. I tag:

Alaina: http://www.idratherbknitting.blogspot.com/
Jessi: http://alabamafiberdreams.wordpress.com/
Donna: http://knitinggal.blogspot.com/
Nichole: http://www.lapdogcreations.com/
Rachel: http://timesweareliving.blogspot.com/
Ally: http://allybthatsme.blogspot.com/
Sue: http://knittingasfastasican.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Winter Doldrums Topic #1~~

Dishrag. Dishcloth. Face cloth. I've seen folks get all fired up in forums when someone refers to their knit or crocheted creation as a dishrag! What do you call them? Hmm... I'm sitting here, actually pondering the difference between a dishcloth and a dishrag. Anne, only you could get me to do this!! Funny thing is, I'm not sure what I call them. Probably more often a dishcloth, but I know I say dishrag, too. Dishcloth probably sounds more "sophisticated", but come on, we're cleaning the kitchen here, how sophisticated to we need to be.
Also, is there a difference between a dishrag and a dishcloth? Not that I'm aware of, unless dishcloths are new and spiffy, while dishrags are old and dingy. Or perhaps, dishcloths are the lovelies we knit and crochet, while dishrags are the store-bought creatures.
How bout a facecloth? Well, can't say as I've ever knit one of those, but I've thought about it. Maybe a facecloth is more open and lacy. More, shall we say, delicate, perhaps!?!
Are they all really the same thing? I'm thinkin' ya, they probably are.

Buy hey!! I knit me one this week! It's my first, FO of 2008. (I know, I'm a slacker.) It's a real purdy dishcloth. I mean dishrag. No, what I really mean is facecloth. Good grief, I don't know what it is!! Do you know what it is?
by Rhonda K. White
Yarn: Sugar & Cream Twist, blues/white
Needles: Size 7 Lantern Moon

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Do You See Me??.......

.....You should..... because I'm there.
Look again.... Harder...
I know you can see me, cause it's where I've been hangin' out...
...at the pond,....with the frogs....
You know... just me and them...
RIp-it, Rip-it, Rip-it.
Seems to be what I do best lately. Let's see... nice, almost seven foot long scarf (complete with fringes) for my son. Didn't like the way the edges curled, so... rrrip. Made it all over again with another pattern, which is okay (only okay, but my son likes it), but it's too long. So, off come the fringes (again) and off come eight inches of scarf. He likes it, but I'm still not satisfied. So....
I want to make him another scarf, a nicer one, so I decide the cross stitch scarf pattern in my new 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders book would look nice on a guy. Well, the directions for that "cross stitch" are lousy. There are several ways to interpret what they're saying, and I know I'm doing it wrong, but the other ways I try aren't so hot, either. Not to mention the fact that the shades of brown Noro Kureyon I'm using doesn't show up the stitch pattern at all. I guess it's time to ...rrrip.
But, being determined and tenacious, I forge ahead with another yarn from my stash that is sure to show up the stitch definition better. It does, but the cross stitch is a pain-in-the-neck to do, at least in my opinion, and it has a VERY definite back side to it, so forget that business... rrrip.
Next, I decide to try my hand at some mohair lace (mistake, that). I've been wanting to make something for the friend that gave me several boxes of yarn last summer, and a mohair lace scarf should be just the thing, right? WRONG!! Just didn't like the pattern at all. Those yo 4X really make BIG holes, so about 6 inches of mohair lace later...rrip.
I know!! I'll try another pattern! What a great idea! And this one has beads besides (very cool). Can't say much for the way this one shapes up--the beads make the bottom flare and ripple way more than any blocking will compensate for, so... rrrip. Forget the scarf. She loves jewelry, and I will make her a very cool bracelet. At least I know that will turn out.
Okay, now I need a knitting pick-me-up, so I'll make a dishcloth with some of the stripes cotton I've been anxious to try. Can't go wrong with a dishcloth--it's like falling off a log. I know... you're way ahead of me here... the pattern I choose just happens to be one that doesn't work well with the stripes yarn. All kinds of knit stitches on the right side and that does nothing for the look of the yarn. Once again, it's time. Rrrip.
So you see, the fact that I have no FO's doesn't necessarily mean that I haven't been knitting. And despite all my knitting angst, I did finish one scarf that I actually like. It's the One Row Handspun Scarf from Yarn Harlot. I used a skein of Mountain Colors that I received from my friend. Yes, same friend who will not be gettting a mohair scarf.
The stitch definition shows up better in person, and the little thread of white you see here and there is just the slightest dash of silk. It's nice and soft, and I think I'll break it in today when I go visit my mom.We've been having nice weather, but it's colder today. When I looked a while ago, my little weather pixie said it was only one degree. Could be worse, but that temperature does call for a nice, new scarf, no?
First, I'm going to whip up some Brown Sugar Chewies. Mom saw the recipe on the Food Network and thought they sounded fun, so I wanted to bring some with me today. Want the recipe? Here it is:
Brown Sugar Chewies
recipe from Paula Deen
1/4 cup butter
1cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup chopped pecans
powdered sugar for dusting
Melt butter. Turn off heat and add brown sugar. Stir til smooth. Stir in egg.
Stir together flour and baking powder and stir into brown sugar mixture.
Stir in vanilla and pecans
Pour into 8x8 sprayed pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
When cool, dust top with sifting of powdered sugar.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Defeat the Winter Doldrums Questionnaire~~

I just couldn't resist doing another dishcloth swap-- they're just too fun; so, here are the answers to my questions.

1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both? I can do both, but for the last while I've only been knitting.

2. What types of needles do you enjoy using for making dishcloths? I just love my size 7 Lantern Moon Rosewood needles, and when I need size 8 I use Brittany Birch. Really like them and want to add more sizes of both to my stash.

3. What types of cotton do you enjoy using for making dishcloths? I like both Sugar & Cream and Peaches & Creme. Is there any that you've been wanting to try? I've not seen them, but have thought maybe I'd like to try Lion Brand Organic Cotton or Bernat Handicrafters. I enjoy trying new things, so am open to pretty much anything.

4. What color(s) are your kitchen and bath decorated in (if any)? My kitchen is mainly a soft teal green, with accents of other soft, neutral colors. The "guys" bathroom is taupe and teal green, and my bathroom is just kind of soft colored and blah--white, hints of soft rose, beige.

5. What are your favorite colors for yarns? I like rich, saturated colors: hunter and teal greens, wine shades, navy, jewel tones, woodsy colors. Least favorite? I'm not fond of primarys, pastels, and neons. Also don't care for novelty yarns.

6. Do you like Winter, or do you count the days until it ends? I like it for a while, but then I start to get antsy for spring, and here in North Dakota the winters are cold and long! Snow I don't mind, but the bitter cold is awful. There's nothing "cozy" about walking out of school in the afternoon to a temperature of 23 degrees below zero. (Love that remote car starter--Thanks Hubby!!)

7. What's your favorite way to brighten your day when you're down in the dumps? I've got so many interests that I don't tend to get dumpsy very often, but if I do, working with my hands is the best cure. Knitting, beading, even paper work. Add a good cup of coffee, a scented candle, and I'm all set.

8. What is your favorite treat to indulge in and when your down in the dumps? I enjoy so many things, how do I decide? A Starbucks Coffee, maybe a good home made cookie. And chocolate-- you can never go wrong with chocolate... Snickers, Milk Duds, the list goes on and on.

9. Do you drink coffee? Do I drink coffee??? yes... Yes... YES!! It gets me going in the morning, and I sip on it throughout the day. Tea? Recently I've gotten into the habit of having tea in the evening, and I really enjoy it. Actually, the tea swap that got me started doing this, and it's become something I really look forward to. There really are some delicious teas out there! Cocoa? Yup, but it's not something I drink often.

10. If you could take a vacation starting tomorrow and go anywhere for one week and money were no object, where would you go and what would you do? I'm debating between New York City and the English countryside. I might change my mind by tomorrow, but tonight I'm gonna go with New York. I would shop--not so much the big department stores, but the small shops. Yarn shops, for sure! Quaint shops with things for the kitchen and fun gifts. I'd eat in fun cafes and restaurants, see some exhibits, perhaps take in a Broadway show.

11. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should be aware of? Nope.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Blogiversary And A Contest!

Anne and Martina are having a blogiversary, and to celebrate they're having a contest. Stop by and enter, and please, Please, PLEEEEASE tell them I sent you. It will lift my spirits on this blustery winter night.

I don't know what's going on outside, and I don't want to look, but the wind has come up and things are banging and rattling out there, and usually we don't hear stuff like that inside the house. Of course, hubby and only-son-living-at-home have gone off to the Twin Cities, so I'm here all by my lonesome. I'm really hoping we don't get some vicious snow during the night, 'cause shoveling the white stuff just isn't my cup of tea. Breaks my back. (Speaking of tea, I'm enjoying a cup of French Vanilla that I got from my tea swap pal, and it's delish!!)

I REALLY want my doggies to sleep with me tonight, but I know they won't. I can coax and beg, but they want to be on their cushions, which just happen to be on my leather family room sofa. (Spoiled brats!) If we're hit by a nasty "nor-easter", are dumped with several feet of snow, and the electricity goes out, they'll be cuddled up on their pillows, while I'm all alone in my huge bed, turning blue as the indoor temperature begins to dip below the freezing point. Just thinking about it makes me feel queasy.

Must head off to bed, cause I've gotta be up early for school tomorrow. Ya, today was back to school for me. Boo hoo :o( Maybe I'll I sneek just the teeniest peek outside as I pad my way to the bedroom.

How About a Swap to Cheer You!

It's cold, snowy, and windy. The days are short and the blue skies are few and far between. Anyone else feeling the dead of winter bogging them down? If so, how about a dishcloth swap? It's fun, it's easy, and you just might make a friend or two! Just hop on over to "Defeat the Winter Doldrums" Dishcloth Swap for more info, and then go back on January 11 to sign up!