Monday, January 30, 2006

Completed Projects

At long last, I have photos for you of a couple of finished items.

First, here is Gioia, pattern by the lovely Wendy of The Garter Belt. The scarf is in need of blocking, but that didn't stop me from wearing it last week! Either I made a goof or the Noro Silk Garden did. See how the stripes on either side don't quite match up? I'm not too worried about that. If I wanted symetrical, I'd have bought a machine made item. I love Gioia just the way she is and already have plans to make another.

Next, we have the Bow-knot Scarf. This little scarf worked up in no time flat. The pattern was easy and straightforward though not very exciting. The end product is quite nice, though, I think. Next time, I'll make this in nicer yarn. I'm not thrilled with the Patons wool that I used.

I'm not posting a progress picture of Tubey. How exciting is a wide expanse of garter stitch? Not very! I'm actually considering ripping out a portion of my Tubey progress, because I'm not happy with how the section looks where I joined the second ball of yarn. You know how that goes....if it's bugging me enough now that I'm considering frogging, it is only going to bug me worse if I let it be! The sign of a seasoned knitter is that she's not afraid to rip it! I'm not afraid, so that must make me seasoned. :-) I want a sweater that makes me truly happy and does justice to the nice yarn I'm using.

I missed a whole week of Curves last week due to being sick and then having a two day business trip (while still sick). It was nice to get back today. Our leader is such a nice, supportive person. She really does add to the fun factor. My goal for the week is to make four workouts. That was my goal last week, too, but the creeping crud kept me from it.

Speaking of workouts, I really need to start my Olympic training! I have to find the yarn and pattern for Clapotis and wind the yarn into balls. I probably should swatch, too, but I don't think that gauge is a big issue with something like Clapotis.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

She's Back

Wow. Ten days since my last update. Where to begin? First, daughter and I have been sick, but I think we are on the mend now. I'm counting down until the day husband gets sick. With the two of us hacking and sneezing all over the place, I'd be surprised if he avoids it--thrilled to bits, but surprised!

I was out of town two days last week on business--yep, a business trip while sick. That was some fun. At least it was a driving trip and not one where I'd have to deal with the airlines.

I'm working on Tubey, and boy is it boring! I just have an aversion to knitting expanses of stockinette stitch, and that's just what I have to do in the beginning stages of this sweater. If I can muddle through, I believe it will get more exciting.

I finished up Gioia, and it is delightful. If I find the camera, I'll post a picture. That pattern is so much fun to knit! Thanks, Wendy! I'm already planning my next Gioia--in cranberry colored angora blend yarn.

I whipped out a Bow Knot scarf this afternoon. I had a ball of Patons merino to try out and used that. I loved the pattern but am feeling sort of indifferent about the yarn. It was a thrill to see Michael's finally have a natural fiber in stock (other than dishcloth cotton), but I'm not impressed by the Patons yarn. It costs about the same as Naturespun, has less yardage, and it fuzzes. I like a smoother textured wool, and this one looks "used." Oh well. If I need an emergency wool fix when the LYS is closed, at least I can keep this in mind.

Daughter took the SAT yesterday. She's part of a talented and gifted program through Duke University, and part of the program is that the 7th and 8th graders can take the SAT if they want. The test is the exact one that the high school students take, and in fact, there were a lot of high schoolers at the test center yesterday. It will be interesting to see what daughter's score is. The test has changed quite a bit since her dad and I took it back in the dark ages.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Knitting Olympics

Let's start with the good! Daughter has made it to the finals round for the spelling bee at her school. Yay! I've lost 3.5 pounds in the past week. Yay! I ran the washing machine last night and there were no leaks. Yay!

There is no more bad than Simon Cowell! Yes, American Idol is back, and Simon is his usual delightfully bad self. The man makes this show! I love that he tells it like it is. There's a lot to be said for brutal honesty. I haven't been too impressed with any of the auditions this year either good or bad. Last night's Zachary (was that his name) was a puzzle. This is the guy who looked like a girl, talked like a girl, dressed like a girl, then cried because they said he looked like a girl. There's only one thing that would have proved otherwise in my book, but I don't think contestants are allowed to drop their pants on national television.

Finally, let's talk about the ugly. Fox had a program on following Idol last night called Skating with Celebrities. I'm no skating fan in the first place. I find it boring. However, we watched. A more appropriate title for this show would have been Skating with Has-Beens. What a complete waste of an hour! The premise of the show is that a "skating star" is paired with a run of the mill celebrity to learn a skating routine. Six pairs compete against each other. They are judged by 3 equally has-been judges. The judging panel is eerily similar in composition to the Idol judges--a Simon wannabe, a Paula wannabe (Dorothy Hamill), and a Randy wannabe. The old fart playing the Simon role (brutally honest, doesn't like anything) was such a pain in the ass! He didn't have the charisma to pull off the sarcasm.

In knitting news, I've ordered yarn for my Klaralund. Husband ran into some women we know at the Augusta LYS and was talking to them about the Columbia LYS. One of the ladies had just been to Columbia and told him that just about everything Silk Garden was sold out. Rather than drive up there to be disappointed, I found a good deal for the yarn on line. I ordered color 232. After adding shipping, the yarn ended up costing me a bit less than $20 more than I'd have paid locally. If you figure in gas money, the time to drive to Columbia and back home, and a bite of lunch along the way, I saved money. Also, I was assured of getting exactly the yarn I wanted by ordering it rather than having to settle for what was left. The yarn is coming from Canada (British Columbia to be exact) and surface shipping takes 1 1/2 to 3 weeks. That's fine with me, as I have PLENTY of other projects to keep me busy for now!

Beverly commented about her experience with Silk Garden and knots. So far, I've not found many knots in the yarn I've used for other projects. Hopefully that will be true for my sweater yarn. I was very anal about matching my Kureyon for Wavy, but I've already promised myself I'll be go with the flow for Klaralund! The Kureyon was so bold that it was easy to see when the colors shifted incorrectly. I think the Silk Garden is subtle enough that it will be OK. We shall see!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The "Guests" Have Left

Finally, the plumbers have gone. They were only here until about lunch time. It seems that all is well for our drain lines now, and DH (Dear Husband this time) is out of the dog house. If you read the comments, you'll see that he does have a sense of humor. However, I suddenly feel the need to install padlocks on my yarn closet! ;) We just need to get the downstairs kitchen where the washer lives back in order now. And yes, by "We" of course I mean husband needs to do this. I swept and mopped the floor, so that just leaves returning a few items to their storage space in the cabinet below the sink and replacing that cabinet door.

Did you see that Harlot is having an Olympic Knitalong? I've joined and will be working on Clapotis. After all, I'm the last knitter in the universe who has not made Clapotis.

My knitting slump may be ending. Last night, I worked on Gioia successfully. I must have ripped this thing out a dozen times over the last week, but finally, it is all coming together! It's a beginner level pattern, for goodness sake. What was my problem? This is such a fun pattern and easy, believe it or not! Hurry yourself on over to The Garter Belt and buy your copy. I'm making my Gioia out of Noro Silk Garden. I had two skeins my last Knitty SP had given me to do Edgar, but I've not been in an Edgar mood. The yarn looks perfect in Gioia, but it hit me last night that I will need to match the striping down either side of my scarf. That should not be too hard to do. Keep that in mind if you make this pattern with a yarn that stripes. I'll try to get photos of my progress later in the week. It's kind of like someone said on another blog, progress photos usually are not that attractive!

I finally bit the bullet and ordered the Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton book with the Klaralund pattern in it. Valerie inspired me to do so by whispering those words "out of print." I don't know when this book will go out of print, but I couldn't risk not getting the pattern. I've been lusting over Klaralund since the day I saw her. Carodan Farms seems to have the best price on the book even after you add in shipping. My enabler husband says we should go to the LYS this weekend to buy yarn for the sweater. That was going to be on next year's yarn list! However, since the LYS has Noro on sale 40% off, and he's given me the green light to spend....I guess I'd better do it! I'm thinking something in blues and greens perhaps.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Why is it that many times when DH (and that could possibly stand for Dear Husband, or it could possibly stand for something else; read the rest of the post and you decide!) attempts a home repair project, we end up entertaining? This summer, he tried to work on the pump, and we ended up entertaining the well digging guy. Today, he tried to fix the drain line that my washing machine attaches to, and we're entertaining the plumber. I'm not letting him anywhere near the electrical improvements we want to do! What is is they say about the pavement on the pathway to Hell? Something about good intentions. I feel certain that DH had good intentions, but I think he really needs to stick to his artistic endeavors and leave the Home Improvement alone (unless, of course, it is watching the program Home Improvement).

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I finished the awful mohair shawl last night! Yay! I still don't much like it, but I like that it's finished. The shawl will probably look much better once it is blocked. We went out today to do a couple of errands including buying t-pins and some blocking board material. We did everything except buy the blocking things! I forgot about it, and after doing battle with Publix and Wal Mart today, I just didn't care.

I'm not sure what to knit next.....I do want to make Tubey. I also want to get daughter started on her Booga Bag (which she thought I was going to knit for her. Yeah, right!). Decisions, decisions.

I'll soon have myself a teenager.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Psst....Wanna Know a Secret?

I've been trying to convince myself for 10 months now that I was going to start exercising. I used to be quite fit and trim and did aerobics at least an hour a day 5 days a week if not more. Somewhere along the line, I got older and busier and let the workouts slip to the wayside. I finally decided to do something about it last week and joined Curves. It's affordable; the center is a 5 minute drive from my house; it only takes 30 minutes per workout; and it fits my schedule. The workout may not be intense enough for some incredibly fit person, but for me, it's the perfect place to start. I've been twice already and love it. The people are supportive and friendly. I know a lot of people complain about Curves because the corporate outlook is Christianity, right to life, etc. Those are all things that I don't particularly buy into, and I don't have to address them at the local workout center. I'm paying for a service, and that's what I'm getting.

I've sort of sub-consciously made a small step in the right direction in terms of food. At the grocery store today, instead of heading to the chips and candy aisle for a snack, I loaded up on some fresh fruit, low fat puddings, and whole wheat bagles. Of course, we are having ham and vegetable soup for dinner, but every little bit helps, right??

Speaking of eating and food, husband has this horrendous concoction growing in our kitchen. Yes, I said growing. The concoction is called Kefir. I sniffed it expecting a nice alcohol sweetness like you'd find with sour dough bread, and the darned thing just about took off my head it was so foul. It smells like milk that has gone terribly bad and should be thrown away immediately. I swear I would starve to death before any of that stuff goes in my mouth. If husband suddenly turns up dead, I'll know it was bad bugs in his concoction! :)

I've hit a knitting block. I just cannot get down to a project. Husband is pestering me to finish the shawl, but that's just because he wants the needles for his own project. *sigh* What is a girl to do.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I Need a New Project

I'm currently knitting a shawl for a friend and am using Plymouth Outback Wool. I really am not enjoying the yarn. I'm sure it is perfectly wonderful yarn, but it's bulkier than what I wanted. I also am quite tired of the colors--blue, teal, and some purple. *sigh* You'll notice the lack of progress photos?? That's how much I'm not enjoying this knit. I believe the shawl will be just fine once it is completed and blocked, and my friend will love it. She's the one who is always trying to steal my shawls when we have business meetings!

All that said, I need a new project and a break from the shawl. I'm only half done with it, but I need to start something new. I'm not quite sure what....Zib sent me a pattern she's trying to work the kinks out of, so I really should cast that on tonight. It's a shawl/scarf thingy (quite pretty) and it should not take too long to knit. I picked out yarn last night--two skeins of Noro Kureyon originally intended for an Edgar scarf. But what next?? Do I move on to a Booga Bag or is it time for Tubey? I'm leaning toward Tubey so that maybe I can get it done and wear it before spring gets here.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Lovely Saturday

This day started beautifully--I was the first to wake up and got to enjoy some quiet time with the bunnies, cats, and a cup of coffee before the rest of the family arose. We had a back yard full of playful squirrels and all types of birds to enjoy this morning, too. We're keeping track of the birds we see in our yard, and so far, we have recorded between 28 and 30 different types. Some special treats this morning were a pair of yellow shafted flickers and a downy woodpecker. We also had what we think were pine warblers as well as blue birds, house finches, tit mice, chickadees, chipping sparrows, house sparrows, robins, carolina wrens and I can't remember what else. That was just this morning! The squirrels were also enjoying the crisp, cool morning by playing tag all over the yard, up and down and round and round the trees.

Carolina Wren

Playful Squirrel

After watching "back yard-o-vision" for a while, we got ourselves together and headed to Columbia for Hook 'n Needle's annual sale--at least 25% off everything in the store! I'd already planned my big projects for 2006 and had my yarn needs documented in my PDA, so this was very organized yarn shopping. Here's what I got:

The Debbie Bliss was 40% off, so I got two bags of Cashmerino Aran to make Tubey. I decided that stripes were not my thing so went for a solid rose color instead. The two bags of white yarn are Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in DK weight. I'm planning to make another Cozy with this.

Here we have the Mountain Colors collection. The red mohair belongs to husband, and he's planning a shawl. Beside that are three skeins of 4/8's wool that I'm going to use for Clapotis.

Noro was also 40% off, and I stocked up on enough Kureyon for two Booga Bags and two skeins of Silk Garden for an Edgar scarf.

I want to make a Branching Out for my mom, so I picked up a skein of teal Silky Wool. With a 25% off sale, these lovely Colonial rosewood needles managed to follow me home, too. I had sizes 7 and 8 so added a 9 and a 10 to my collection.

We made a stop by The Needler in Lexington. This isn't a store I'm terribly fond of, because they have such a small selection of yarn and most of that is novelty type. Also, they arrange by color which is not a fun way for me to shop. However, I found some deals. The Crystal Palace straight needles seemed to be a bargain, so we got some. I also spotted a discount bin and picked up the two best things in it: a skein of Silky Wool and one of Rowan Summer Tweed both marked $2 each.

I really could not have asked for a better day! If you are in the Columbia area, Hook 'n Needle's sale will be going on for the next 3 1/2 weeks. The store is only open Thursday through Saturday from 11 AM to 3 PM. You won't be disappointed by stopping in for a look see!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006--How'd That Happen?

Happy New Year! I cannot believe that another year has passed....I really can't believe that it's already 2006. Seems like only yesterday we were just entering the 21st century.

Yesterday afternoon, we met up with a friend of daughter's and his mom and little brother. The kids wanted to help out the local pet adoption agency, but the adoptions were not being held yesterday. We salvaged the afternoon by going to a Mexican place to munch on nachos and chat. A good time was had by all but the 4 year old!

We did our usual stay home and see in the new year routine last night. We've only been out on New Year's Eve once in our life time. That was way back in 1986 to celebrate our engagement. Neither of us is the party type, and we can't stand the stench of cigarette smoke. That's good enough reason for me to stay home.

Here we are over 8 hours into 2006, and I've not done a fibery thing. Instead, I've spent the day playing with my PDA, loading on photos and MP3s. I'm just at a loss as to what to knit or spin next. I looked for Hip Knit Hats at Borders yesterday but could not find it. Vera's hats are so great looking that I must have a copy of that book!