Friday, September 23, 2005


I washed and blocked Branching Out last night and cursed the fact that I don't own a blocking board! The scarf turned out lovely in spite of that, but a blocking board is definitely on my wish list! Those nice grids would have made my work quicker. Also, wonderful husband commented that it would be a handy tool to have after spending so much time knitting a lacy item. I like the way that man thinks.

I also did some finishing on a gift for my Knitty Secret Pal. There will be no pictures until she posts them on her blog (and then you'll have to guess who it is!) so as not to spoil the surprise. I think/hope she'll like this gift.

I'm getting an early start to the weekend here and am contemplating a trip to Michael's. I have this nice 50% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket. I believe it will be used on a book....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Never One to Pass Up a Contest

I heard Sandy was having a contest. She wants to see pictures of our sky. That seems easy enough. Besides, I think my pictures should earn some sucking up points with Sandy given that they have something to do with her name! (Get of the beach. The beach is sandy.) Sandy, I give you photos of the lovely sky at Hilton Head Island, SC. These were taken last November. I can't think of a better time to be on the beach, actually. We have a condo at Hilton Head and find ourselves gravitating to it in the cooler months when the tourists have all gone home and we can just enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

This first picture shows my husband and daughter feeding the hungry sea gulls. Notice the hand knit hat on daughter's head!

Next, I give you a view of the ocean, the sky, and off in the distance, a couple of shrimp boats.

I think these are most deserving photos and that I should be awarded the prize! ;-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Amanda Got Me!

Amanda tagged me for this fun little meme. Here are the rules:
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

"I've never used this yarn before, but was attracted to it because of the high percentage of cotton to wool."

I'm talking about Plymouth Sockotta yarn, and you can get the details in this post from October 2004. The Sockotta wasn't bad all in all. The colors were great, and the resulting socks were a big hit with daughter who claimed them.

I think that I'll tag Carolyn, Kim, Amy, Monkee, and Drew just because we need a dude's perspective on this!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Yarn and Needle Snobs, Go Elsewhere!

I'm a self-proclaimed yarn and needle snob, so some of the material in today's post pains me! Let's start with the....I shudder to say this...acrylic yarn!

I give you Hallowig. I'm working it in Caron Simply Soft Brights in a lime color. I don't plan to switch from natural fibers any time soon, but this stuff isn't all that bad for recycled soda bottles. I actually like the colors, and the texture is soft as opposed to some acrylics. If I finish this project in time, it will be part of daughter's Halloween costume for the school Halloween parade. Please note that I am using good needles on this project--nice Inox straights.

As an attempt to redeem myself, take a look at this hat in progress. No, we are not a family with extraordinarily large heads; this is the pre-felted hat, or at least the brim of it!

The yarn is Cascade Pastaza (50/50 llama and wool) in an amethyst color. I'm using Fibertrends pattern AC-02 which is quite similar to this pattern. I got the yarn and pattern locally at Knit Together. (It feels so good to be able to buy decent things locally!)

Note the needles in the hat. Can you see them? They are from the Boye Needlemaster set I bought a few months ago. This is the first time I've used them, and I'm surprised that they are not half bad. They are not Addi by any stretch of the imagination, but they are WORLDS better than the plastic Denise needles, I think. I went for my Plymouth bamboo interchangeable set first (my absolute favorite needles) but alas, it stops at size 10 and I needed 10.5 for this project. That was excuse enough to crack the Boyes out of their plastic wrapping. I'm pleased with them and also pleased to know that this wasn't money down the drain.

Oh, for anyone who was wondering, we do have water once again. The well guy made it over about 8 AM yesterday. Husband has been forbidden from ever touching the electrical wiring on the pump again, particularly on the weekends when repair men are not available. :)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Knit Together

We're so lucky to have a new yarn shop in Augusta, GA. The shop, Knit Together, is located in Fury's Ferry Station at the corner of Fury's Ferry Road and Riverwatch Parkway, 229 Fury's Ferry Road Suite 115. Hours are Tuesday 10-8 and Wednesday through Saturday, 10-4. I'm thrilled they'll have an evening open for us working folks who can't always make it in during the daytime hours.

Knit Together is a cozy and welcoming little shop run by Selly Goodwin and Lynn Anderson. Upon walking into the shop, the things that caught my eye were two tables of lovely felted items. There are also lots of cozy chairs, a large work table with chairs around, and plenty of room to move around and see the selection of yarns, needles, notions, patterns and books. Knit Together also carries a variety of books, cards, photos, and gifts with a spiritual bent in addition to the knitting items. I noticed Addi and Plymouth needles, Blue Sky Alpaca, Plymouth and Cascade yarn, and several others that I can't remember! There was just so much to take in!

Selly and Lynn were very nice. We sat with them for a while and felt like we'd known them forever. I'm sure they have not seen the last of us! In fact, I may just run away tomorrow afternoon and spend a bit of time knitting and chatting.

Disclaimer: No, I'm not affiliated in any way with Lynn and Selly or the shop. I'm just thrilled to pieces to have a great yarn shop within a 15 minute drive of my house!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

SP Goodies

Everyone at Knitty thinks she has the best Secret Pal. I'm really sorry to tell them all that they are mistaken. You see, I am the one who has the best Secret Pal. She's sweet and thoughtful, sends me little notes and e-cards, and yesterday, a box of heaven arrived on my front step.

My pal knows me well. There is a pattern for Edgar tucked safely inside a sheet protector; two skeins of Noro Silk Garden in color 211 with which to make Edgar; a skein of Knitpicks dye your own yarn in sock weight; a copy of Knitting on the Road; a really pretty postcard showing a view of the NYC skyline (with the Twin Towers) taken from Liberty Island; the most gorgeous little floral bag I've ever seen (wonder if SP sewed this herself?); and not pictured is a yummy chocolate bar. The chocolate was a little overcome by the SC heat, and it's now resting comfortably in my fridge. I feel sure that I'll have to put it out of its misery sometime within the next day or so. Thank you so much, SP, for the wonderful goodies! You know me well, it seems.

I received some fiber from Danielle at NoNoKitty to test spin back in June (just around the time we moved) and have finally gotten around to it!! Boy, was that fun. Danielle sent me two colors to test out, a blue/purple mix and a green mix. They are 85% wool and 15% mohair blends, and are they ever soft! I've not yet plied the singles and am contemplating plying them together. Danielle has a very good eye for color. Check out her web site for some more of the things she's done.

We were going to have a family dye day today, but SOMEBODY broke the water pump last night. We're on well water, and if the pump doesn't work, we have no water in the house. Our pump guy is trying to find us a part, but it is now almost 1 PM, and I have a bad feeling we're going to be out of water until tomorrow. I won't say anything else about this, because I can think of nothing positive to say.

Just so that I won't end on a bitchy note, I'll share with you that we have a new yarn shop in Augusta, GA! It's fabulous!! I'll give a review tomorrow. The shop is called Knit Together, and we enjoyed a nice visit with the two wonderful shop owners yesterday.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Stealing the Meme

No one tagged me for this meme, but I like it enough to just steal it! :)

Ten years ago: I was mom to a 2 ½ year old daughter. I worked as a research study coordinator at the local hospital.

Five years ago: I lost my dad way too soon in life. He was only 57 years old and lost a year long battle with cancer. It was a very low point in my life.

One year ago: I was asked to take on a huge and very visible task at work—planning our departmental meeting. I had not a clue what I was getting myself into!

Five snacks: Crunch ‘n Munch, almost anything chocolate, Blue Bell ice cream, fresh blueberries (in season), kettle cooked potato chips.

Five songs I know all the words to: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, You are My Sunshine, If You’re Happy and You Know It, Jesus Love the Little Children, The Hokey Pokey

Five things I would do with $100 million:
1) Pay off our house and beach place
2) Pay our daughter’s private school tuition through 12th grade
3) Pay her college tuition
4) Give a nice chunk to my mom, brother, grandmothers, and parents-in-law
5) Buy a Lendrum Saxony spinning wheel

Five places to run away to: Hilton Head Island, SC; Asheville, NC; Edisto Beach, SC; almost anywhere in the mountains of NC; Niagara Falls, Canada

Five things I would never wear: Bikini, Mini Skirt, Loud printed clothing, knit pants, anything uncomfortable

Five favorite TV shows: American Idol, CSI (Las Vegas), CSI: Miami, House Hunters, Two and a Half Men

Five biggest joys: my daughter, watching my daughter’s team play volleyball, my husband and our marriage, having achieved what I consider to be success in my career and personal life, finally owning our dream home.

Five favorite toys: my Schacht spinning wheel, my knitting things, our new kitchen, my digital camera, my adorable husband.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

To Dye For

We came home with three skeins of lovely hand dyed yarn after the group Dye Day Sunday. I have two photos to share with you, both skeins that husband made.

He hand painted this skein of worsted weight wool using blue, red, and yellow dyes. I think they were Gaywool dyes. Here's the result.

This is a skein of dip and dribble dyed (yes, technical terms!) sock yarn. He started by immersing a center pull ball into a vat of natural dye, coreopsis, I think. The result was nasty looking, so he added in drips and dribbles of commercial dyes. This delightful yarn resulted.

I don't have a photo of the yarn daughter dyed. I'll try to post that later in the week.

This yarn was a tremendous hit at the meeting on Sunday:

This is Manos del Uruguay in the colorway Bramble. I'm using it to make this scarf.

Here's detail of the stitch pattern.

I found the instructions on line somewhere. It's very simple. Cast on a number divisible by three. Row 1 is knit one, slip one purlwise, knit one. Knit into the back of the slipped stitch, then pass the slipped stitch over. Row 2 is purl two together then purl one in the first of those purled stitches before dropping the two stitches off the needles. You just repeat those two rows. Easy and gorgeous! I like how this simple pattern shows off the beautiful color and texture in the yarn.

Here are some finished socks, neither pair blocked yet. The first pair belongs to daughter, and yes, they are too big for her. They are made from Regia.

These were not bad to knit, and they are not so bad to look at now that they are finished. I was concerned while knitting them, though, as they didn't look all that great. Daughter is thrilled with them and put them on the second I finished the toe grafts!

The second pair belongs to husband. I hated every minute of working with this yarn. It is Wildfoote by Brown Sheep. This particular yarn split like mad. Husband used a similar yarn for some socks and found the same problem. I have other of this brand of yarn in my stash, and it looks like it is tighter spun. Maybe it's just this barber pole-like yarn that has a tendency to split.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Something Good

I'm tired of reading about tragedy and anniversaries of tragedy everywhere I turn. The computer and blogs are my escape from reality, so I fully intend to do my part to help my readers escape from reality here. Today's entire post will be about "something good."

My first something good is that we should have a contract on our house by tomorrow. We've only had it on the market for a week. Wish us luck that this is indeed the right buyer and that the sale goes off without a hitch!

Next, my mail woman has been delivering goodies! Here are photos of the contents of my Cherry Tree Hill grab bag.

First we have a collection of possum merino wool, and second are two skeins of worsted weight potluck yarn.

Our family attended a Dye Day with the local fiber guild yesterday. It was fun. I've never seen anyone do fiber dyeing in an electric skillet before. I actually think that looks like a better method than the stock pots we are using. I'll be hitting Goodwill in search of an old electric skillet! Here are photos of some of the results of the dyeing adventures.

First we have skeins and roving dyed with commercial dyes (Gaywool, I think.) The second skein from the left is Daughter's. Isn't it pretty? Next are some naturally dyed skeins that were spun and dyed by a lady in the group. I'm not sure what all the dyes are that she used, but the purple is my favorite!

Final "something good" for the day is that there is a new yarn shop opening here!! I can't wait to check the place out. It will likely be a small shop from the looks of the building. We cruised by the strip mall where it will be. Small shop is better than none! Small shops can grow, too! The shop should open within the next week or so.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

We Have Furniture

Our living room furniture has finally arrived. It only took about 6 weeks which isn't too long for a special order, I don't think.

Here's one of the chairs. We have two identical chairs. Believe it or not, these are recliners! I love the ball and claw foot.

Here's our sofa. We ordered this based only on a picture on the internet, and it's exactly what we wanted. We chose the fabric to coordinate with a burgandy in the chair fabric. The gold pattern also goes well with our drapes and the gold tones in the hardwood floors. I'm going to need to trim up the no slip pads on the legs of the sofa so that they won't show!

We found this bed in the clearance room at the furniture store and could not pass it up!

This is our guest room. I found the quilt at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We still need to paint this room, buy a chest of drawers to match the bed, and replace the window treatments. By the way, the teddy on the bed was a gift from my husband (then boy friend!) when we were just 19 years old. She's wearing a baby outfit that was mine.

In fibery news, I've almost completed a pair of socks for husband in Wildefoot. This particular yarn is not tightly spun and is sort of a barber pole effect yarn. I hate it!!! It splits like mad. I'll be glad to finish off these socks. My SP4 sent me some Wildefoot that is much better looking and seems to be spun tighter. I think it will be wonderful yarn.

I've received the Queen Kahuna Crazy Toes and Heels book but have not had time to try her methods. Hopefully this weekend will bring some free time.

I have some blocking to do--an airy scarf from Scarf Style and my Branching Out from Knitty. I'm not sure when I'll get around to that. I'd thought briefly of entering Branching Out in the fair, but I really don't think it's worth the trouble.

Friday, September 02, 2005

For Sale

We listed our old house last night, and the realtor put the sign in the yard today! Wish us luck. We signed a 90 day listing contract with our realtor and hope that she'll sell it in that time. She's very good, so we're hopeful.

Husband and I spent part of the day today working on the inside of the house. In fact, he's gone back over this afternoon to do more yard work and wait for the flooring guy to come install the new kitchen flooring. We were surprised we could find someone to do the installation so quickly, as we were only expecting to get an estimate today. It seems the man from the flooring shop knows our realtor, so maybe that played in our favor. The little house looks fabulous with all the fix ups....maybe a newlywed couple or an older couple looking to down size will like it.

In knitting news, I've finished Branching Out. It is a lovely pattern and an excellent beginner lace pattern. If you're new to lace, work the pattern in the Silky Wool first. It's easier to tink than the kidsilk would be.

I'm also working on another pair of socks. I'm just doing a K2P2 ribbed top and plain garter stitch foot. I finished the first cuff last night. I'm using Wildefoot in cadet blue which is a blue and gray barber pole looking yarn.

Pictures later this weekend!