Thursday, May 26, 2005

Bo Bice is My American Idol

We've been watching American Idol all season. It's the first time we've ever watched, and it has been interesting to say the least. I think the audition shows were the best--seeing all the crazies who are under the misguided impression that they have talent.

Bo and Carrie were my favorites since almost the beginning. However, I don't think Carrie really got any better throughout the entire time the show was on. She was actually pretty inconsistent from week to week both in her vocals and her comfort on stage. It was a bit of a surprise when Vonzelle (someone I've just NOT been able to like at all) was voted off instead of Carrie. Even though I hate the music she sang and couldn't warm up to her as a person, Vonzelle was the more talented yet Carrie stayed.

Bo has more talent in his little finger than any of the other singers on the show. Of course, I happen to be a fan of Southern Rock and Bo is a great rocker. I feel certain he has a recording contract already, so he didn't really need that from Idol. I'm anxiously waiting for his first CD to come out. Just before the winner was announced last night, I commented that win or lose, Bo had his piece of heaven by singing Sweet Home Alabama with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Talk about a dream come true for the guy! He was awesome, too.

Since this is a knitting blog, I guess I'd better talk a bit of knitting. Still working on the tank! I'm about half done with the back and hopefully will get that finished off tonight. I worked up to the bottom of the armholes in the round and have now switched to flat knitting. If this tank looks good finished, I'll re-write the patter for knitting totally in the round--or attempt to do so! I was a little intimidated with the arm hole shaping so didn't try that this time around.

We're heading to the beach tomorrow afternoon for the long weekend. I can't wait. I need some R and R!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

It's a Done Deal

We closed on the house today! Everything went smooth as silk. The couple we bought the house from are so nice. I think in addition to a wonderful new house, we've found ourselves some new friends. As is typical with most of our friends, they are a good bit older than us--in their mid 70s. I know it's hard for them to give up a home they built and have lived in for over 40 years, but I think they realize how much we are going to love and take care of the place. They are eager to show us how to manage things like the septic tank, the water softener unit, and other odds and ends and quirks about this house. We're even planning to pick blueberries together from the back yard patch when they start to come in.

It's still going to be a couple of weeks before we can get into the house to do our painting and cleaning. We should be able to move in mid to late June.

I treated myself to a new book today, Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I signed up for the Border's e-mail newsletter, and they send a discount coupon every few weeks. I got the book for 25% off the cover price which turned out to be just a few dollars more than I'd have paid by ordering on line. However, I saved myself shipping and the wait to receive my order. Sometimes instant gratification is the best! I bought the book specifically for the airy scarf pattern, but there are a lot of other neat looking items in it as well. The book is just beautiful to look at, so that's half the fun.

I continue working on the cotton tank for daughter. It is slow going in spite of knitting it in the round! The yarn (Knitpicks Crayon) is so thin! It is lovely yarn, but it sure takes a while to make any progress with it.

I know you are all photo starved, so I'll try to make some pictures of the WIPs and FOs before the weekend! We're planning to run away to the beach for our long weekend which should be glorious now that the weather is so warm.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Saturday S.E.X.

I went on a little S.E.X.pedition this morning and snagged 8 skeins of Cotton Ease, a Chibi (teal, because I have nothing to prove by flashing a pink one), and some odds and ends for my Knitty Secret Pal! The Cotton Ease will be a tank top for me.

I have some finished items to show you. First, here's a pre-felting picture of a catnip mouse I made last weekend for Mocha and Socks.

You can find the pattern at The yarn I used is hand dyed and handspun by me! I can't get the toy away from the cats long enough to make a post-felting photo. Daughter and I hand felted it, and really, we didn't do much except distort the stitch definition and bring out the fuzz in the yarn. The fabric firmed up quickly, and we were pleased with the results as are the lucky recipients.

Next, I got into a crochet mood last weekend, but didn't want to take on anything complex. Also, Daughter has outgrown last year's fuzzy flip flops, so there was a need!

The yarn is Bernatt Boa held double and crocheted with a size K hook.

Finally, here is a photo of my completed Market Squares Bag drying.

The yarn is Cascade 220. It felted easily, and the colors (I think) are fabulous!! I know that once my mom and mom-in-law see this, I'll have to make two more!! My bag is drying over the bucket of an electric ice cream churn. It isn't so "tube like" in appearance when you hold the bag by the handles. I'm debating whether or not to line my bag. I'll ponder that and will also give you another photo of this bag once it's dry.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Where Has the Week Gone?

This week has certainly sailed past. I meant to post sooner to thank you all for your comforting words and kind thoughts about our Rebecca. We still miss her very much. It just isn't the same around here without her. Only a pet person can understand how much a part of the family our furry friends become. I know we were blessed to have Rebecca to love even if it was for such a short time.

I have pictures in the camera to upload later this week. I've finished knitting the Market Squares Bag and one of the straps. I'm hoping to finish the second strap tonight and possibly felt by the weekend. This wasn't a hard project at all, but I got bored with it about half way through. I think I'm just moving into "garment" mode, because all I want to do lately is knit tank tops. I don't even wear tank tops, but daughter dear happily takes whatever I make for her.

Closing is next week, and everything is falling into place just right for that. Our anticipated date to actually take posession of the house is June 12. We will get in then and do the cleaning and any painting we want to do.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Rest in Peace, Rebecca

It is a sad day for our family. Our dear kitty Rebecca passed away this morning. Becky came to us about a year ago as a stray who wandered into the yard and took a liking to us. The feeling was mutual. Becky and I spent a lot of time together since it was just the two of us home during the weekdays. She was a timid and easily frightened girl, but she was coming to trust us to love her and take care of her. This morning, I found her dead in the living room. I think she had a heart attack.

We have no idea how old Becky was, but I believe she had a very old soul. There was such depth and knowledge in those beautiful golden eyes. I felt as if I'd known Becky before.

We laid our Becky to rest this afternoon in the backyard. Rebecca, we loved you well, and there is an empty place in our hearts and lives without you.

Sharing a catnip mouse with Mocha

Monday, May 09, 2005

Athena Book Shop

Three cheers to Susan aka Rams at Athena Book Shop in Kalamazoo, MI for helping me obtain a signed copy of At Knit's End! (Check Stephanie's blog for a summary of her advantures in Kalamazoo.) What a dream come true. You want to know how wonderful this lady is? She's agreed to mail me the book at the same time I'm mailing her the check! Trust in your fellow human apparently is not dead, thank goodness. Rams, the check will be in the mail first thing in the morning.

I started knitting the Knitpicks Crayon last night. I'm making a simple boxy tank top from the Yarns to Dye For book. I don't have the pattern in front of me, but I think it calls for Mission Falls 1824 cotton. The bottom edge of the tank is done in seed stitch as are the edgings of the arm and neck openings. The Crayon looks similar (in photos) to the Mission Falls, but I don't believe it really is the same. My seed stitch is not discernable at all (and yes, I did it right) with the Crayon, but it's very clear in the sample top photo. I do love the feel of the Crayon. It is very soft and makes a nice fabric. I got gauge the first try with my brand new size 7 rosewood needles. Progress photo coming as soon as my camera starts behaving. I think it needs a charge.

They started building at the lot next door. I am so thankful that we'll be moving in another approximately 5 weeks! The builders put up wood "corners" and ran a bunch of string lines today. (I know nothing about building, in case you didn't notice. I just know it seemed to take them a lot of time to do hardly anything.) The corners are almost in our yard on one side and the neighbor's yard on the other side. Husband walked in this evening and made some remark about the "wall to wall house on the lot next door."

~*~ 15 Days Until Closing ~*~

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I Have the Best Secret Pal!

I'm participating in SP4 at Knitty, and my first gift arrived this weekend. Boy, does my pal ever know what I love! She sent me 4 skeins of Brown Sheep Wildefoot sock yarn, a set of Clover bamboo DPNs, and a lovely card (for which no trees were harmed in the making!). Aren't these colors lovely?

I have finally finished the Little Shell Socks! I made them using Twinkletoes Sock Yarn from e-bay seller lottusblossum. It was so long ago that I started these socks, I cannot remember the name of the color. I'm very pleased with the look of the socks. Most importantly, the lucky recipient (daughter) is in love with them. She put them on the second I finished grafting the toe last night.

I had started myself a plain (stockinette) sock in this same yarn, but I was not pleased with it. I made it with 2X2 ribbing, and I think a 1X1 will look better. So, ribbit, ribbit.

I'm not sure what I want to knit next. I have some funky lime green Microspun for a tank top for daughter. Then there's the dreamy Silky Wool waiting to become Spring Fling for me. Decisions, decisions.

Happy Mother's Day to those who mother. I'm not big into "holidays" like this (I love my mother 365 days a year and don't need one day on the calendar to tell me to do it.), but daughter is into it. She made me breakfast this morning, gave me three pictures and certificates (for best mom) that she made herself) and got me two pairs of lovely rosewood needles. The girl knows what Mom likes! I tell you, there is nothing in the world I'd rather be than her mom.

~*~ Sixteen days until closing! ~*~

Friday, May 06, 2005

Tag, I'm It....Again??

I've been tagged by Kim for this interesting and creative meme! Wow. Two in one week, and Rachel tried to tag me again for the book meme.

Here's how this one works, and pay attention in case you are next! Pick 5 of the following and then complete the sentences. Then pass this little meme on to 3 more of your blog friends! No tag backs, OK?

If I could be a scientist…
If I could be a farmer…
If I could be a musician…
If I could be a doctor…
If I could be a painter…
If I could be a gardener…
If I could be a missionary…
If I could be a chef…
If I could be an architect…
If I could be a linguist…
If I could be a psychologist…
If I could be a librarian…
If I could be an athlete…
If I could be a lawyer…
If I could be an inn-keeper…
If I could be a professor…
If I could be a writer…
If I could be a llama-rider…
If I could be a bonnie pirate…
If I could be an astronaut…
If I could be a world famous blogger…
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…
If I could be married to any current famous political figure…

If I could be a scientist, I'd find the cure for cancer.

If I could be a painter, I'd be the kind who paints houses and doesn't mind it.

If I could be an athlete, I'd not have an ounce of fat on my body, and I'd be gorgeous! I'd also play volleyball.

If I could be a world famous blogger, I'd be Yarn Harlot, but I'd insist on living in the southeast USA.

If I could be a bonnie pirate, I'd sail the Carribean and spend my free time cavorting about a deserted island.

Hmmmm....who shall I tag?? I think Monkee will be first, because she is one of the most creative blog friends I have. I'm interested in seeing what Pam has to say on this, too, so she's next. Finally, I'm tagging Amanda, because I owe her one!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

One Step Closer to Our Dream Home

We have moved one step closer to our dream home. The home inspector was there today, and we went along as well. The inspector found hardly anything--a gutter that needs to be nailed up, a couple of small cracks in the brick mortar, and a bit of chipped paint. All of that is easy to fix (and the sellers will make the repairs before we close) and not "major" at all. Whew! What a relief that this is done. Our closing date has been set for May 24--less than three weeks away. The current owners should move out on June 11, and we'll get into the house to clean and paint a bit. We're planning our move in date for June 18. I simply cannot believe that beautiful house is going to be ours. It is truly a dream come true for all of us.

We met the current home owners and enjoyed visiting with them. They told us a lot about the history of the house and the land. We traded phone numbers and e-mail addresses and plan to keep in touch. They will likely want to come back to dig some shrubbery or take cuttings to move to their new home. When you have 3 acres of land, there is shrubbery enough to share! They also want to come back and pick blueberries with us this summer. When you have 6 or more bushes, there are blueberries enough for everyone! They have a stray kitty who wandered up 10 years ago and has been living with them (mostly outdoors) since then. They are concerned about moving her to their new neighborhood since she's so used to having all that land to wander. We are just fine with them letting her stay with us. What's one more cat?

The mail lady brought a box of heaven today--our Knitpicks order. Husband is divding some hanks of Wool of the Andes and preparing for the dyeing class he's teaching this coming weekend. The yarn is so nice and soft! My Crayon is also very soft and the loveliest amethyst purple color. I am about to go dive into The Opinionated Knitter.

In knitting news, the Little Shell sock #2 is coming along well. I've completed down to the gusset stitch pickups. I should be able to finish the sock by the weekend. It is looking lovely. I just hope this pair of socks still fits daughter!! She's growing like a weed, but I think I left a bit of room in the length.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Tag! I'm It

Clothesknit tagged me for a book meme so here you go:
1. Total Number of Books in Your House:
Far too many to count! All three of us love books. In fact, some of my earliest childhood memories involve going to the library and participating in the summer reading programs.

2. The Last Book You Bought Was:
Yarn Harlot's book At Knit's End was the last book I bought in an actual store! I also have The Opinionated Knitter and Yarns to Dye For coming from Knitpicks.

4. Write down 5 (or 6) books you often read, or that mean a lot to you.
I am a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon of the Outlander books, and I’ve read all 5 of them numerous times. I also absolutely love the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. They aren’t just for kids! I’ve read each of them at least twice and am anxiously waiting for the new one this summer. No, I will not be attending any midnight releases of the book! I’m not that crazy. As for knitting books, I like the Stitch ‘n Bitch books a lot and Knitting for Dummies.

5. Who are you going to pass the stick to (three people) and why?
I will pass this to Carolyn, Vera and Ali. I’m passing it to them, because they are good Georgia or Carolina girls!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Happy May Day

How in the world did it get to be May already?? I'm not really complaining, mind you. If time will go quickly, that just means we get to move into our new house faster!! Ha ha!! I just cannot believe that the school year is almost over. It ends June 3. We're already making plans for daughter for the summer. She'll attend a couple of volleyball camps, possibly a drawing or other art class, and maybe a sewing class. I don't want her to sit home bored all summer long, and I doubt she'd like the kind of "entertainment" that I can offer--cleaning and such.

Daughter went to see a live performance of The Sound of Music last night with her middle school chorus. The kids were so cute all dressed up in their "going out" clothes. I think they all had a wonderful time, too. Daughter was most thrilled to meet and get an autograph from Kym Karath who played Gretl von Trapp in the 1965 movie.

There are no knitting progress photos to share, because I don't really have any projects going at the moment. Can you believe it? I did cast on last night for the second of the Little Shells socks for daughter. I finished the first so long ago now! It is an adjustment to get used to US size 2 needles and sock yarn after working with worsted weight and bigger for the past few months. The Market Squares bag is just sitting for the moment. I'm just not in the mood for it right now, so it will have to wait a bit for me to regain interest. I have a lot of money invested in that one, and I will definitely finish it!

We are thinking of some sewing projects for daughter, and in fact, we picked up supplies yesterday. One project is turning a pair of jeans into a purse. Another is making a sun dress for her. We purchased an easy pattern and material yesterday. I thought today would be sewing day, but instead, daughter is outside working in the yards with her dad.

Daughter found some little residents in our back yard today--a box turtle and some sort of land snail with a large brown shell. We have all sorts of critters around here, and I'm glad she found these nice things rather than the snakes that I know are here. I hope we have nice critters at our new place.