Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Extended Holidays

My family has this interesting ability of extending the holidays. Christmas doesn't just last until Christmas day and then poof! that's it, take down the tree and decorations... Oh no, Christmas in my family lasts for another week if not more. Generally every year I still have presents to open on New Year's Eve.

This year doesn't look like it's going to be any different. Christmas day was spent with my immediate family. I was the third one awake... this is shocking. I'm usually the one who's waking everyone up... yes, I am that annoying child who jumps on the bed to wake up mom and dad so we can open presents, but not this year it seems. My brother was already up playing Ratchet and Clank.... I wonder if he's going to beat that game before I even get halfway... I have to say this year was great. My brother gave me rosewood circular knitting needles in size 8 & 9. I tell you, there is nothing more breathtaking than a full needle case... My big present this year was a digital camera! I love it! I can take 300 pictures without downloading them onto my computer... it's a beautiful thing. My mom also got me this crystal figurine of a spinning wheel that was pretty cool. I really didn't get many knitty type things this year, but I'm definitely not disappointed! After the presents were all opened, everyone fiddled with what they got for awhile. Me with my digital camera, dad putting together his new table saw, mom with her drop spindle and roving (courtesy of me!) and my brother with his new Bart Simpson Chia Head. Of course, I couldn't fiddle too much longer. I knew that I had to finish my sister's mittens before my dad's side fo the family Christmas party. I swear I knitted like a madwoman! I was already finished with one mitten and to the thumb on the second one. In one day I finished the second one, blocked them, sewed in the ends and knit the linings (pictures to come as soon as I figure out how to get them out of my camera!). I'm still shocked at myself. They turned out great!

We had my dad's side of the family Christmas party on the day after Christmas. As predicted, it wasn't the most fun and heart-warming Christmas ever. I think this has something to do with the fact that I really don't know these people and they really don't know me. Every year we get together for this one obligatory afternoon. I see these people for five hours once a year. There's just something sad about that. It was also obvious to me while I sat there observing them (I tend to do this a lot, I'm an observer... what can I say?) that they know each other quite well, but my family is the odd one out it seems. Ever since we moved, and maybe even before we moved, we were never very involved with that side of the family. They're not bad people and we all get along fine, it's just that we're all so different. As evident by the fact that they don't know me well, I received a pair of earrings I may never wear. I'm not bitter. I'm just sad that every year we all have to put on a show instead of just enjoying the time we spend together. At least I got to spend more time with my sister and nephews. She loved the mittens by the way! And she had made me a beaded necklace in exchange for them!

On the other hand, my mom's side of the family is an absolute riot! I love hanging out with them. My cousins and I are really great friends and all of us love getting together. This year, they're all coming up here for our Christmas. There's no coming up, staying for a few hours and leaving with this bunch, oh no. They're coming up for a week! My grandmother decided that this year she was going to give my aunts and me appointments for massages and manicures (I'm the only girl grandchild who will be here so I was included in this little day of luxury!) The guys will probably go skiing if there is snow. I'm really excited because I found out my cousins will actually be able to make it this year. A lot of us are finding that with jobs or school we can't make it to our family vacations and it's really nice when everyone can.

So again, there might not be any posting going on for the next couple of days with my family here. I was going to post pictures of my digital camera to show you and then I thought it was awfully ironic to be taking pictures of a digital camera with a digital camera. Maybe I'll so you the glory that is my needle case instead!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Nephew # 1 knitting

Nephew # 2 knitting

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Phew, what a week it's been. And here I thought I'd be less busy with no more concerts or rehearsals to go to. Ha! Boy was I fooled. My sister and nephews left on Tuesday. It's so bittersweet. I hate seeing them go. But the good news is I'll be seeing them in a week when my family and I drive down to Maryland.

I have to say, I have become the ultimate enabler! Monday night I was sitting there doing my thing, knitting mittens for my sister, watching my middle nephew kick some butt on his video game, when my oldest nephew comes over to me and just starts watching me knit.

Nephew #1: Is that hard to do?

Me: Not really, do you want to learn?

He tentatively shakes his head 'yes' and I'm up out of my seat faster than you can say 'knit stitch.' I'm telling you the boy is a natural! Though watching him learn definitely took me back to some of my earlier attempts to knit... dropped stitches, holes, and carried yarn found throughout without specific purpose. Ah... memories. Not an hour into teaching him, my middle nephew comes up to me and asks if he can learn too. Woohoo! Absolutely! Nephew #1 is 10 years old, I'd say that's a great age for kids to learn if they're interested. Nephew #2 just turned 7. I was very surprised at how quickly he picked it up, though I must say he was definitely distracted at times.

I feel like the ultimate aunt now! Not only did I get to teach my nephews to knit, but they actually wanted to learn.... and they're boys! Look out ladies, we're gonna have some competition for master knitters in a few years. Ok, so I know that's very far fetched because they're probably going to become more interested in sports than in knitting, but hey, you can't say I didn't try.

I did take some pictures of them and I really wanted to post them, but like I said, it has been a very busy week. One of my friends from high school came home for Christmas and we got together the other night. I probably stayed up way to late chatting and catching up, but you know, I'm glad I did!

I will try to post some pictures soon, but I really can't make any promises. I haven't even wrapped any Christmas gifts yet and what's tomorrow??? Oh yeah, Christmas Eve!!! Then I'm going to be driving down to MD to visit relatives so there won't be any posting going on then. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays, but I really can't wait to get back into the regular swing of things!

I hope everyone is having an excellent holiday!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Thursday... what a great day...

I love Thursdays.... granted, I realize today is not Thursday, today is one of the most hated days of the week. But Thursday... that's a day to celebrate. There are several reasons why this Thursday was great.

1. Thursday is the day that comes before Friday and as we all know, Friday is a wonderful day.

2. The mail comes on Thursday and this past Thursday, the mail was very special. A couple of Christmas cards came from two of my college roommates...

What makes this even better is the fact that these are just some of the cutest cards I've seen all season!
Not only did I receive cute Christmas cards, but this also came....

I have been waiting for this game since I heard they were making a third one. That was approximately a year ago. I'd like to say that no knitting will be done because I will be obsessively playing this game... unfortunately that wasn't the case. The reason lies in something else that came on Thursday...

3. My nephews arrived on Thursday night....

Apparently being obsessed with video games runs in the family because they sat and watched me play my new game for about an hour, then they begged to start a game of their own. Being the wonderful aunt that I am, I let them. Little did I know at the time that I would have zero access to my game for the next several days. In fact, I haven't played it since Thursday. I'm not bitter or upset about this in any way. I feel time spent with nephews I only see two or three times a year is well worth giving up game time!

On to knitting news. My mom's sweater is coming along nicely. I have about three inches, maybe four finished on the first section of pattern. I'll try to post a picture of that later. We took a little trip to the yarn store on Sunday. You better believe I didn't walk away empty handed.... but you're not allowed to laugh at what I got....

If you guess that's yarn for more mittens, you're right... My sister asked me for a pair so I thought why not? It's been few weeks since I've made a pair, I'm due for another mitten fix now anyway. I tell you this is an obsession! I need counseling for my mitten addiction!

I have to go see my yarn shrink now, I hope everyone in blogland is having a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Finally something to show...

I promised you pictures did I not? Ok, here are a few of the things I've been working on recently. Remember way back when I went to Rhinebeck and started spinning that green roving? Well guess what? Two weekends ago I finally finished enough to ply it together. Doesn't it look great?

I know that looks like a lot, but it's actually only a very small hank. I haven't washed it yet, but as you all know I've been a tad bit busy.

I've also been working on that scarf for my coworker's sister. It's out of a mohair type yarn that I bought at A.C. Moore. I like the way it looks, sort of pepperminty.

I actually finished the knitting part last night. I still have to put the fringe on but that shouldn't take me too long. I liked working with this yarn, except of course for the fact that when I was finished I'd have a lap full of mohair fibers, but we all make sacrafices for the craft right? The best was when I was working on it before one of the concerts. We had a little down time so I decided to pull it out.... big mistake. Did I mention that our concert dress was all black? So there I was going on to sing with pink and cream fuzzys all over me! Oh well, I'm sure no one noticed.

On to the spinning I've been doing, I told you about that roving that looks grey, but has all those specks of colors in it right?

Unfortunately those specks don't show up so well with my camera. You're just going to have to imagine them there!

I started a sweater for my mom last night after I finished the scarf.... who said I had to do the fringe right then? I was in a non-fringe mood last night. I don't know what made me think starting a sweater who's first instruction was cast on 288 stitches on a size 2 needle would be easier than making some fringe, but oh well. I did the long tail cast on..... three times. Finally on my third time I had pulled out enough yarn to actually finish the cast on.

This is actually the first couple rows of garter stitch. At least they made that part easy. Then it came to the cast on four extra stitches and join part. What are those four extra stitches for you ask? Oh they're only for the cutting.... (insert cartoon pop-out eyes here) CUTTING?!?!?! Oh this should be fun. Well, I'm sure it will be months before I get even close to that part seeing as how the body is worked on threes. Yeah, it takes me a good half hour to knit one round. Longer if there's a pattern. Yeah, this is a marathon pattern....

And finally, because it was cute, I give you a picture of a couple of my kitties.

The one on the left is Daisy. She's our oldest cat, I think she's 8 and then there's Pippin who's trying to suck up to her. She's not buying it, by the way, because she know the minute she turns her head to look away he's gonna be up ready to pounce on her. I just happened to catch him in a non-stalking pose. He decided to be in the I'm-so-cute-you-have-nothing-to-worry-about pose. Ha! At least Daisy knew better. Me? I was suckered into taking the picture...

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Good, The Bad and the Cheesey

*Phew*..... That was me breathing a sigh of relief now that this week is over! I can't believe I made it through!

The concerts were, let's just say, really good and really bad. Friday night's concert was really bad. So bad, in fact, that the entire soprano section stopped singing for about a minute on a three minute song. How could it have gone so wrong? Well let me tell you! The organ that was playing our notes was in the back of the room, we were in the front of the room. There was about 100 feet between the organ and the choir and I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this before but sound carrys through the air relatively slowly. (That's why you see the jet in the sky before you hear it). Basically what happened was the choir and the organ were off. It was a disaster, but I will say that we sung quite well on our acappella songs!

Sunday's concert was fabulous, not only did we sing well, we totally rocked the song we completely messed up the concert before! I can definitely say that that concert was by far the best we've done on a lot of those songs.

So now I don't have practice again until next year! Ah, it feels so good to say that. I know next year is about three weeks away, but still, I get a certain satisfaction from saying 'next year'.

I'm very excited about this week. Why you ask? Well, Thursday my sister is driving up from Maryland with my nephews to spend the weekend with us! I haven't seen them since this summer and lets face it, having three kids in the house all ages 10 and under is going to be interesting.

It's my middle nephew's birthday on the 18th so we've decided to do something special for him. We're going to Chuck E. Cheese . That's right, it's that magical place "where a kid can be a kid" and where I'm afraid of the bodily fluids lerking in the ball pit. But hey, if the kids enjoy it, why not? After that fun filled lunch, we're going to take him and his brothers to see the new Lemony Snicket movie . That part I'm actually looking forward to. I read a couple of the books, they were ok, but the movie actually looks good.

On the knitting front, very little has actually been done, but I'm hoping to post some pictures tonight or tomorrow on some of my projects. And I'd love to post a picture of a certain package that arrived friday, unfortunate it's a Christmas present so it's just going to have to wait, but I assure you, it's soooo nice!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Directions and Space Bubbles....

In an attempt to keep my loyal readers coming back I'm going to post yet again! Amazing, I know, especially after I complained about how busy I was.

Last night was the first of two dress rehearsals this week. It was at LeMoyne College. After last night I am now thoroughly convinced that my directional skills are not nearly as highly developed as I was led to believe. I made it to the campus perfectly fine and in fact I was quite proud of myself having never been there before and not having the slightest idea of where it was located prior to going. Feeling a bit cocky now, I left my car armed with nothing but my music and a poorly printed map of the campus.

This map was not what you might call specific. It had a circle drawn around the parking lot with an arrow leading to the building we were supposed to sing at, said building was also marked with a circle. You would think that I'd be able to make my way from a parking lot to a building but apparently this concept alluded me. The problem is a campus looks much different in real life than a 2-dimensional representation.... who knew?

So imagine if you will, me walking around a completely unfamiliar campus, trying to hide my little map everytime a student walked by. For some unknown reason I felt the need to "blend in" and act like a student myself. Perhaps this had to do with the fact it was not so long ago when I myself was a student. Of course, I was trying to avoid acting like a student who had no idea where the heck she was going. Heaven forbid I ask someone..... I suppose my sense of pride was a bit of a deterant there. I now have a new respect and understanding for why guys generally don't ask for directions....

Finally after about 10 minutes of wandering (though I have to admit I made it look as though I wasn't wandering. I'd pick a spot about 100 feet ahead of me and walk there looking like that spot was exactly where I wanted to go and when I got there, I'd pick another spot....) I happen to notice another person in the chorale. Thank the lord in heaven because at that point I wasn't so sure I'd be able to find my car again!

The real trouble I think is not that the campus is laid out badly (or that I can't seem to find my way from a parking lot to a building using a straight arrow on a map) it was the fact that there really weren't any walking paths. Coming from a school that was almost over abundant with walking paths I found it a little strange that on more than on occasion in my wandering I was walking on a road or a grassy lawn.

So now, with the help of a fellow chorale member I made it to the chapel. Did I mention it was a chapel we were to sing in? Anyway, rehearsal was quite the experience. I'm not sure if you've ever sung with a large group before but in general everyone gets on risers and crams together for several hours, standing all the while. Being that most of the people in the chorale are over the age of 50, I was not entirely surprised at the amount of complaining going on. Granted, it just plain sucks to have to stand that long, period, but when you throw in the fact that the "personal space bubble" is nonexistant, people tend to get a little grouchy.

One older woman in particular, who I had the immense joy to be standing next to, sticks out in my mind. She talked every time the music stopped to complain about how she had no room. She moved around so much that she managed to smack the girl in front of her on the head with her music book, oh..., I'd say about 20 times. This girl was none to pleased, she had that look on her face that said "if this lady smacks me again, I swear I'm gonna push her off the riser!" This would be quite feasable seeing as how this woman was standing on the end. Disaster was averted when, having had enough of "no personal space bubble time," the woman stepped off the riser onto the floor for the rest of rehearsal. That was when I breathed a sigh of relief because I was about to start complaining about how much she was complaining.... ironic, I know.

The absolute best part.... I get to do it all over again tonight. I feel something like that greek in Hades who had to push a boulder up a hill all day just to find it at the bottom of the hill the very next day. Or something like that, I'm not very good with greek myths.

Wish me luck, hopefully I'll be able to find the place we're singing at tonight and I'll have the patience and tolerance of a saint to deal with the complainer!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Busy Week and Allergy Blues

Not much posting will be done this week and let me tell you why....

1) I have dress rehearsal for the concert I'm in Tuesday night and Wednesday night so two of my nights this week are shot. I'm going to be missing Lost on Wednesday which I'm slightly peeved about but as long as I can get someone to tape it, I'm sure it'll be fine.
2) The actual concert is on Friday night and another one on Sunday afternoon. There goes my social life for this weekend. "What about Saturday?" you ask.... well Saturday I'll be sleeping all day because I'll be wiped from this week!
3) Thursday night is Survivor night.... at least I'll be able to watch one of my shows and possible knit a little. I've been commissioned to make a scarf for a girl at work. She wants to give it to her sister for Christmas. It's turning out pretty well if I do say so myself!

I haven't even been knitting that much recently. I finished the mitten linings for my grandmother's mittens and then I was left with a bit of a problem. I had no other projects that I really felt inspired to start. So I started spinning some of the roving I got at Rhinebeck. It's gorgeous. I really love it. From a distance it looks like a purplely grey color but when you look closer you can see it also has green and pink and blue in it. I'll have to post a picture soon....(when I'm not busy....)

I have some very sad news. I went to the allergist last friday for the skin test. I shutter thinking about it. The scratch test wasn't so bad, but being pricked with about 22 needles was very bad. The nurse was very nice though. She tried to talked to me about my knitting to keep my mind of the fact that I was being jabbed so much. And the bad part is, in another week I have to go back for the other half of the needles.... that's right, they only pricked me with half of them!

So you think that's the bad part.... it's not. The bad part is we found out what I'm allergic to. I am allergic to dust mites. Ok fine, I can handle that, just get some allergen barriers for my bedding, and clean a little more often. If only that were the only thing I'm allergic to..... when they did the scratch test another thing came up itchy..... cats. I'm so unhappy about this. I'm keeping my cats though, I really can't bare to think of life without them. And besides the nasal spray they gave me seems to be working quite well. I've been feeling excellent actually.

Well, that's the news from my corner of the world. I'll try to post some picture soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I'm jumping on the wagon...

Since it seems these lists are inescapable (and I wanted to see if I actually could come up with that many things) here’s my list.

100 things about me

1. I was born in Annapolis, Maryland in1981
2. Green is my favorite color
3. I don’t wear a lot of green though
4. I’ve been in love twice
5. It didn’t work out either time
6. I’m not bitter about love.
7. I believe the right person for me is out there
8. I’m in no rush to find him
9. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in psychology
10. My minor was philosophy
11. Apparently I’m a thinker
12. My mom thinks the cartoony picture in my blog profile looks just like me.
13. I’ve been asked if I’m anorexic on many occasions
14. I’m bitter about being asked if I’m anorexic
15. My friends & family know I eat like a pig
16. I’ve never dyed my hair
17. When I was a kid I used to think I could make the wind blow
18. I have reoccurring dreams about vampires
19. I don’t watch scary movies because I get too into them and freak myself out
20. The book Conversations with God changed my life
21. I’ve worn either glasses or contacts since I was in the 4th grade (9 years old)
22. I won several competitions for singing
23. I was the lead in two musicals in high school
24. I’m excited to have kids someday
25. When I’m thinking I rub the tops of my fingernails out of habit
26. I’ve never had braces
27. I have no cavities in my teeth
28. I have three nephews
29. My birthday is on the same day as Mother Theresa (Aug 27th)
30. I don’t like gold jewelry
31. I make funny faces to myself in the mirror every morning
32. I have a highly overactive imagination at times
33. I’ve been to China with a children’s singing group
34. Every summer I go on a family vacation with my mom’s side of the family
35. That’s 17 people total in one house for a whole week
36. That’s my favorite week out of the year
37. I cry at movies and TV shows where animals get hurt
38. I’ve thought about going back to school for zoology
39. I want to someday go to Australia and volunteer for an animal conservation project
40. I have very little tolerance for TV commercials,
41. they make me angry
42. and they’re stupid
43. I’ve never broken any bones
44. I’ve had stitches though …. twice
45. I’ve been told I’m graceful
46. I think I’m clumsy
47. I dance around the house when no one is home
48. I have to be in a good mood though
49. I love wrapping Christmas presents
50. I sing to myself… a lot
51. but again, only if no one is around
52. I can sing in front of big crowds
53. I have issues with singing in front of one or two people
54. My kittens make me feel more like a mom than a pet owner
55. They’ve also shown me I have more patience than I thought I had
56. The first concert I went to was Live on their Throwing Copper tour
57. I was in 10th grade
58. The drunk people there scared me at the time
59. I’ve learned to deal with drunk people after 4 years of college
60. I love reading sci-fi/fantasy books
61. Sometimes I wish I lived in their worlds
62. My over active imagination makes it easy for me to wish that
63. Sometimes I feel like life is one big movie without a soundtrack
64. I love video games
65. I used to think I wouldn’t be good at them
66. Turns out I am
67. My mom’s my best friend
68. I tell her everything
69. Can’t really imagine life without her
70. I can’t believe I’ve made it to 70
71. I’m not afraid of dying
72. I’ve been told lots of times that I’m an “old soul”
73. I tend to believe that
74. I live with my parents
75. I’m not ashamed of that
76. I hope to move out next spring
77. I lived on my own last year
78. It was the best experience ever
79. I’m a very emotional person
80. I hide it well
81. I’m very grateful for the life I’ve had so far
82. Ready for a cliché? I’m spiritual, not religious
83. I’ve never been political
84. Until this last election that is….
85. I’ve been to Paris with the French club in high school
86. I got to put my feet in the Mediterranean in Nice
87. The Mona Lisa was a lot smaller in real life
88. People drive crazy in Europe
89. I used to love it when my dad made rice krispy treats
90. He doesn’t make them anymore
91. My favorite hot drinks are Chai Lattes
92. I can’t stand coffee
93. I like the smell of flavored coffee though
94. I’ve been knitting for 7 years
95. It’s the best thing I’ve ever gotten into
96. I tried quilting but it just didn’t stick with me
97. Children laughing is the best sound in the world
98. It sometimes makes me cry
99. Told you I’m emotional
100. Yeah I’m at 100!!!

I hope you enjoyed this because it wasn't very easy coming up with that many!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Being Sentimental.....

As promised in my last post, I will be showing you all the festive goodness that came out of this past four day weekend. Our old faithful Christmas tree was put up:

Mom has really gotten into these theme trees since my brother and I left. She doesn't feel the need to put up all the ornaments that held sentimental value anymore. Nope, instead everything is white lights and angels. Oh and a little red ribbon for pizzazz.

When it comes to the sentimental ornaments, my brother and I went through them and picked out the ones we couldn't live without. We even fought over one that has been our favorite since the beginning. It's this little elf working on a Christmas light. It really is the cutest thing. Unfortunately I can't show it to you because this year it's my brother's turn to have it. Originally we did a coin toss and I got it so I got to keep it, well, last year the spirit of giving overtook me so I ended up wrapping it up and giving it to my brother as a present for christmas. I'm just a good sister like that. I wasn't always mind you, but I feel like I need to make up for all those times he got in trouble and it was actually me who started it.

So, without further ado, I will show you some of my favorite sentimental Christmas ornaments that I have hanging on my pathetically small four-foot Christmas tree.

This is the Gingerbread man that I've loved since we've had it. I think it's his smile that puts me in such a good mood!

And here's the little mouse sleeping in a santa hat. The bottom of the hat has sparkles on it which because the flash on my computer is so blinding, you can't see. And there's Ramses playing with the lights. I'm feeling a National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation moment coming on so I quickly got him to stop playing with it.

And last but certainly not least:

Is that a Care Bear made of felt?

Why yes it is. I believe it's name was Sister Bear, but I could be wrong. You better believe we have the light blue Brother Bear as well. (I think it was one my brother couldn't part with). This ornament is actually as old as the original Care Bears cartoon. Yep, back in the day when Rainbow Bright and He-Man were new. And lets not forget the original My Little Ponies. Why are they bringing all of these cartoons back? Well, because they liked how our generation turned out and want to produce more of us of course.

I hope you've enjoyed this little trip down memory lane for me..... On to knitting news.

I'd like to say that one can get a whole lot done on a four day weekend. These for example:

were started on Thursday night and finished Sunday morning. I can't even tell you how many different combinations I tried before I settled on this one. None of the others were quite right, hence the reason why I totally ripped out the blue and black ones. I think my grandmom's really going to like these.

I also started a booga bag out of some left over yarn I found in the stash. It's ready to be felted but I ran out of yarn for the strap so it may be a little short.... we'll see. I might have to do a little creative adding before I felt...

Friday, November 26, 2004

Twas the day After Thanksgiving....

Thanksgiving is now over. Funny how quickly the holidays come and go. This Thanksgiving isn’t going to go down as one of the most memorable in history, but it was wonderful all the same. The traditional fire in the fireplace was going, as was the football game on TV. We were particularly lucky this year to have snow.

As is tradition in our house, an over-abundance of food was cooked. My mom has a knack for making much more food than could possibly be eaten by seven people. I think one of the main reasons for this is the fact that she didn’t want anyone going home empty handed. Indeed I think that was an impossibility due to the fact that we not only had one turkey….. we had two.

That’s 26 pounds of turkey…..for seven people… of whom is vegetarian…..

Such are the holidays in my house. Another tradition has always been to put up the Christmas tree and decorations the day after thanksgiving.

Ah, there she is, old faithful, all tucked away. That is the 10-foot artificial tree we’ve had since I was ten. She has given us 13 years of service, dutifully allowing herself to be made and unmade year after year. Putting up with the cats who seem to be fascinated to no end by climbing through her branches. This year will be no different. In fact, she may see more climbing action due to the fact that there are now two new cats, still in kitten phase.

And then there are the various other Christmas decorations we’ve had packed away in the garage since last year…

And you thought your family had a lot of decorations. I’ll be sure to post pictures once there all up to show you just how festive a house can become!

As for knitting, I finished my Debbie Bliss cashmerino, cabled sweater in time to wear on Thanksgiving day. You should have seen me sewing in ends a couple hours before we were due to eat! I can tell you if there is anything I truly dislike about knitting, it’s sewing in ends. I, unlike most people I know, love to piece the sweater together. There’s just some underlying satisfaction I get from seeing those seams come together so perfectly. But the ends…..those I dread. But, I sucked it up and did them anyway and I was left with a wonderfully finished sweater….

If you’re wondering about the mittens….well….I frogged them. I wasn’t very satisfied with the way they were turning out and there was just something about them I didn’t like so….I ripped them out. It hurt, I know, but it had to be done. Today I’m going to be trying them again, in different colors and I think a different pattern. We’ll see if I like those better!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Weekend Update with ErLeCa

Allergy update: I am feeling much better! I am in love with this nose squirty stuff. I'm still a little stuffed up at times but man, the majority of the time I have been able to breathe! It's a lovely, lovely feeling. Unfortunately I have to stop using it on Friday because I have to be off all antihistamines, allergy meds, etc, seven days before my skin test.....bummer.

It has been an eventful yet relaxing weekend. I went to see The Incredibles Friday night. Excellent movie. I highly recommend it. Not only was it a great movie, but it had a great short film before it started. You know how Pixar always makes a short before all of it's movies. (My personal favorite is the one with the old man playing chess with himself!) This particular short involved a sheep and, if that wasn't already playing to the fiberholic in me, it also revovled around his beautiful fleece. I won't ruin the story for you, you'll just have to go see it.

Oh the knitting front, I will begin by saying I am the biggest hypocrite there is when it comes to knitting a particular item. We'll get to that in a sec. First, I have finished all the pieces of my wonderful, drool inducing, fibery goodness, Debbie Bliss cashmerino sweater. I started sewing it together last night.

I tried it on (because I'm that big of a dork that I have to try it on when only one side is sewn) and the sleeve is a tad bit tight so I think some blocking is in order. Other than that I LOVE IT! However, I'm slightly concerned about the amount of yarn I have left. I'm thinking the collar might not be as high as I want it to be. We'll have to see when I get there!

Now, on to why I'm the biggest hypocrite in the world. In a previous post I said I wasn't going to make any more mittens. Now I've made a liar of myself. But it's for a good cause. (I'm sure that's what all liars say, but I feel completely justified) My grandmom, who is 83 and still kicking, just found out that she has a heart arrythmia. This is the first major medical problem that she's had, which I'd say is pretty outstanding for an 83 year old who drives a Firebird. I kid you not, she has a Firebird in fire engine red. The real toping on the cake would be if it was a convertible, unfortunately she doesn't live that far on the edge! The women in my family are very long-lived. My great grandmother lived to be 95. And now my grandmom is getting up there, but I tell you she certainly doesn't act her age which I think is the secret to why she's so healthy! Anyway, I thought it would be really nice to make her a pair of mittens.

I wasn't sure I'd like the combination of light blue and black, but it's actually turning out really nice. I like how the light blue looks something like snowflakes. Now all you mitten addicts out there get to have another fix before I hang up my mitten needles for more than a few weeks! At this point, I can't guarantee I won't make another pair. Inspiration might strike and I may not be able to help myself.

By the way, I bought the best knitting book in the world this weekend: Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I've already made something out of it, but unfortunately I can't show you because it's a present for someone. Oh I'm so sneaky.

Hope everyone has a happy Day-Before-the-last-day-of-work-this-week day!

Friday, November 19, 2004

My Adventures in Allergy Town

First off, thank you to everyone for your well wishes on my allergies. I have to say, I have a brighter outlook on it. No longer do I feel there's nothing that can be done. No longer do I feel that breathing through my nose is an impossibility. Granted, breathing through my nose is still a distant memory of the past, but I feel it may yet be part of my future. And it's a glorious future, full of tissue-free days, breathable nights and frollicing in meadows. So maybe not the frollicing part, but you get my point. I won't be a mouth-breather anymore and you have no idea how happy that makes me!

I went to the allergist today for my consultation. Not only did I find hope in not having to suffer through allergies, but I also found fellow knitters. If I wasn't involved in knitting I'd probably think it was an epidemic. Hell, make that a pandemic! I was sitting in the waiting room..... waiting (duh) when the nurse called me in. The first thing out of her mouth was "you're a knitter!" I must say, she was very excited. That's a nice change from those who say "you're a knitter, isn't that granny?" or similar idiotic phrases. What struck me as funny was we talked more about knitting than we did about my allergies. It's a good thing the doctor who evaluated me couldn't have cared less about the state of my knitting or I may be no further in ridding myself of this curse.

After the nurse took a look through my pattern book, then the finished pieces of my sweater and then the sweater I was wearing which I happen to have made (I was asked in a comment if I wear my sweaters often and the answer is yes, every day that's cold enough) she left me to myself until the doctor arrived.

Thus began my consultation. First came 20 questions. 20 very hard to understand questions from a man who originated from difficulttounderstandsville and had the bushiest eyebrows I've ever seen. Ok, so maybe he actually originated from some eastern european nation but he would definitely benefit from a pair of scissors strategically used over those caterpillars he calls eyebrows.

Once that was over I was handed what basically amounts to a very large piece of paper which was supposed to double as a "gown". Whoever thought of these must be laughing at this point. Fannies across the nation are hanging out because the proper use of these
monstrosities requires you to put them on with the opening in back. Many a joke has been made in movies and television shows alluding to this fact and now I have become part of that joke by the sheer fact that I was wearing one.

On to the physical examination! This basically consisted of the checking of breathing, reflexes and my nose & throat. Apparently I have sluggish reflexes because it took him a couple of tries before my knee finally jerked. Personally I don't think he was hitting the right spot but that seems to be a common problem among men. Ok, get those minds out of the gutter! Then came the checking of the nose and throat. I already know this would not be a profession I would do well in. The thought of looking up someones nose just doesn't appeal to me. Especially noses that are malfunctioning and working overtime to produce some of the nasties stuff mankind has ever come across. Nope, it's certainly not for me.

Thus concluded my consultation. I was given samples of some sort of nose spray. My basic thought is I'm trying to stop things from coming out of my nose, putting stuff up there seems counterproductive to me, but they're the experts. Once I shed myself of the paper tent and re-dressed I headed out to the front desk only to be bombared by nurses who wanted to see my knitting. Apparently the nurse I first met was not the only knitter. I felt somewhat like a celebrity...... a very minor, z-list celebrity, but that just made my visit that much better.

I'm due back in a couple of weeks for the (insert scary music here) skin test so hopefully we can identify the culprit. Till then, I will be knitting and enjoying my Thanksgiving break, which as I mentioned before is only a week (less than actually) away!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I'm Not Jinxed!

I broke the curse! I said I was going to chorale and I went! Though I have to admit I almost didn't go. My allergies were terrible yesterday. If you've never experience allergies where you can't breath all day long and you end up using about 50 tissues in the course of 8 hours, well, you're one lucky person. I kid you not, my tissue box was almost full when I started work yesterday and now it's half empty! I won't get into details because basically it's gross and none of you want to hear about it. Ok, so I can't resist, if I didn't have those tissues I'd probably look like this.

I have to admit when I almost decided to not go last night I thought "but now the blogging jinx will really come true!" I realize that there is no such thing as a blogging jinx and the fact that I was motivated to go because I thought that if I didn't I would just be perpetuating a blogging jinx that won't go away, is, well, let's face it.... ridiculous and not a little humorous. So if you can imagine, there I was singing, completely stuffed up and probably sounding quite horrible all because I was stubborn and wanted to get rid of a make-believe jinx. I'm sure my over-abundant sense of responsibility had something to do with it as well but I choose not to take that into account at this point.

My stubbornness is partially responsible for me feeling as horrid I did yesterday. I kept convincing myself that these allergies will go away. 'I'll feel better tomorrow' was a common re-occuring thought. I kept thinking that after the frost comes I'll feel better. Hmmm, let's think back, it's snowed already, I'd say that's a hard frost. Well, it's time to face reality sweetheart. It's time for me to say to myself "Erin, you have a problem. Maybe you should get your stubborn butt into the allergist's so you can finally breath again." So I broke down yesterday and called them. I'm dreading the skin test, but what has be done, has to be done. I'm a big girl, I can take it! And you better believe I'll be sitting in that office knitting because who knows how long I'm going to have to be there for!

On a lighter and much happier note, next week is Thanksgiving! I only have a three day work week! I'm trying to decide which I'm most happy about: Stuffing my face with Thanksgiving goodness, or having a four-day weekend.... hmmm, that's a tough one.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Someday Binghamton.... someday.

So my plans to go down to Binghamton have been thwarted yet again! Apprently whatever higher power there is, it doesn't want me to go down there any time soon. We were going to do this big family thing with my brother and my parents but my mom ended up coming down with a cold so we thought we'd better let her rest. I'm thinking next time I have plans to go down there I'm not going to write about them here until I've actually done them. (I think there's some sort of weird blogging jinx where if you write about a future event it won't come true, especially a future event involving Binghamton..... creepy)

So what did I do instead? Well, I knit (that's a given) on the front of my oh-so-yummy Debbie Bliss Cashmerino sweater. I'm to the armhole shapings now. I did laundry, not nearly as glamorous as knitting on oh-so-yummy sweaters, but it was a necessity. I moved things out of my room because we have the carpet steamer guys coming today. This is all in an attempt to rid my room of whatever allergens are making me crazy. I watched TV. Pretty much there wasn't anything good on so I flipped the channels and randomly landed on a horrid reality TV show that I will never watch again. Luckily it was one of those reality shows that's a one episode at a time kind and not the suck-you-in-and-not-let-you-stop-watching-it-till-it's-over kind. And (to the delight of many of my readers) I took pictures!

Yes that is one of the kittens chewing on a knitting needle. I can assure you that as soon as this picture was taken I shooed him away. I'm glad he's so interested in my work, but seriously, leaving little puncture marks in my needles in not ok.

They're not always little monsters either. See.......

They can be sweet little angels too. The first one is Ramses laying on one of my sweaters. The second is Pippin, laying on my lap while I was knitting. Luckily I happened to have my camera nearby so I didn't miss the moment.

Tonight I have Chorale practice. Barring some disaster I'm pretty sure I'm going to make it. (call this testing my blogging jinx!)

Weekend Activities

This weekend didn't exactly turn out how I had planned, but I really don't have anything to complain about. Saturday I went to the coffeeshop to knit with my meetup ladies. Ahhh, I love that. We had a really great time. I finished the mitten linings while I was there. So I've turned out yet another pair of mittens. (I'm thinking that's all for awhile, though I could be completely wrong, who knows? I may find someone else who's just dying for a pair!) I'll have pictures for you soon.
I went home and was waiting for the people who I was going to go to the concert with to call, but they never did. To be perfectly honest, I'm not at all disappointed. In fact, I'm sort of glad they didn't call. I really wasn't in the mood to drive all the way down there and back that night. What I really wanted to do was sit and knit. (Plus my allergies were getting me down so I wasn't feeling up for it that way either) So I sat and watched movies and knit (of course). I started the front of the Debbie Bliss sweater I was working on. I'm about halfway through with that. I love how quickly it goes. I really can't believe it. I wonder if I'm going to have a hard time going back to sweaters on normal needle sizes. I think I might resent the fact that after working on them for several hours they only grow a couple of centimeters. I know that's how it's gonna be on my mom's sweater which I may start soon. It's on size 3's. Am I crazy?!?!? Yeah, crazy for going from an 11 to a 3. That would pretty much send anyone to the looney bin.
Sunday was actually great too. I went to see the new Bridget Jones movie. Seriously funny. If you liked the first one you'll love the second one. It was campy in parts, but that just made it better. There were also a lot of really good previews for new movies. Isn't it bad when you're watching previews and you want to see the preview more than the movie you actually went to see? Or you forget which movie you went to see because there were so many previews? Yeah, that's about what it was like yesterday.
It looks like I'm going down to Binghamton tonight. My brother wants us to go down for another one of those trivia nights he goes to. Should be fun. We'll see if I can answer any questions this time!
I promise I'll upload some pictures soon! I would hate for you all to get bored cause there's nothing to look at!

Friday, November 12, 2004

No knitting here....

Let me apologize in advance that there are no pictures in this post. Call me a slacker, call me what you will, but I just don't think you all want to see the makings of mitten linings.....again..... So instead, I will talk about my last couple of days. Mainly they were spent sitting on the couch, watching my favorite TV shows of which I only have two. LOSTand Survivor. Apparently I like shows on islands. Who knew? Anyway, I was never a big Survivor fan, but like all reality shows, there you are, minding your own business, flipping through channels and nothing good is on so you think, why not, there's nothing better on. You didn't intend to watch it, but now that you have, you're just sunk. They've hooked you and now they're reeling you in. Damn television producers and their reality TV. LOST is my other favorite show. I feel like I've talked about it already so I won't get into it now.

Something interesting happened to me on the way to work the other day. I was driving along and wasn't really paying any attention to the cars in front of me until I looked at the license plate of one of them. You know what it said? GOT2KNIT. Now I was both ecstatic and disappointed at the same time. Ecstatic because it was really cool to see a license plate like that and disappointed because now that one is taken. What was really funny was when I looked into the car to see if it was anyone I knew. I can most assuredly say no. It was an old guy, who may or may not knit. I really don't know, but it wasn't what I was expecting to see.

My weekend is pretty full. Tomorrow morning I'm going to the knitting meetup with all of those ladies (can't wait because I missed last weekend) . Tomorrow night I am going down to Binghamton to see an acapella group sing. I know one of the guys in it from high school. He was in 8th grade when I was a senior! So now he's singing in this group at his college and me and his parents are going down to see their concert. How do I know his parents you ask. Well, for one, I live in a really small town and everyone knows everyone, and two, they're in the chorale that I sing in and we carpool, so last Tuesday they asked me if I wanted to go with them to this concert. It sounds like it'll be fun and besides, I'm not doing anything else Saturday night.
The rest of the weekend will be spent cleaning because I finally can't handle these indoor allergies I have so I will be cleaning like a maniac. Hope it works..... there's no way I'm getting rid of my pets!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Thanks for the laugh!

I know exactly what you're thinking...

'Wait a minute, didn't you post just the first one on your last blog entry?'

Why yes, yes I did.

'How is it that you can finish two mittens in a week?'

Funny you should ask. I never would have been able to do it without a interesting little power outage we had today. So there I was, minding my own business, doing my work when my computer, the lights and everything else turned off. Guess how long the power was out for? Oh, just about four hours.....did anyone tell us we could go home? Nope. So after my coworker and I finished all the filing there was to do we sat in our office and the dark....while the building became increasingly colder from lack of electricity to run the heater. Ah, you gotta love the company I work for. They'd rather pay us for sitting on our asses, doing nothing that benefits them in the off chance that the power just might come back on in time for us to do some work than send us home and not pay us..... Hmmm, it says something about their budgeting department doesn't it? Oh yeah, I forgot we don't have a budgeting department! (Can you tell I would have rather gone home today?)

Anyway, there you have it, two finished mittens. Ok, so they're not finished, they don't have linings, they haven't been blocked and the ends haven't been woven in, but they're mostly finished. (I was going to make a stupid Princess Bride reference here about 'dead' and 'mostly dead' but I'll spare you!)

So I read the funniest description of my mittens today. Michelle posted a comment that said my mittens remind her of little cakes. Mitten cakes to be exact. They look so good you could eat 'em. I almost peed my pants. Seriously, I haven't got a clue as to why I found this to be so amusing, but I really did. Even thinking about it now makes me laugh. Mitten cakes......teeheee..... I know I'm going to be that person who starts laughing about it because it popped into my mind at a completely inappropriate time. Does that ever happen to you? You think of something that made you laugh hours, days, maybe weeks before and it makes you laugh again? (And inevitably the people who are around you give you looks because they think you're insane for laughing at nothing in particular!) Oh yeah, that'll be me!

Mitten cakes..........HA!

Monday, November 08, 2004


When I woke up this morning I found a surprise waiting for me outside. Yep, that's snow..... It's begun. I drove through two lake effect bands on my way to work. *sigh* I don't like driving through it, but I do like snow. This really wasn't anything more than a dusting, but it definitely was pretty to watch it come down.

So I'm almost finished with the first mitten. I decided to go for a plain look on the band. It's just k1, p1 rib and I think I'm going to put a stripe in it. I really wasn't feeling the more fancy cuffs.

Sorry this post isn't more exciting. I'm still pretty worn out from the weekend!


Just a quick update for you. Thank you to everyone concerning my finger. It's doing well, doesn't hurt (thank god!) I don't really like to look at it though. I don't think you've ever seen anyone change a bandaid as fast as I do!

Not a lot of knitting went on this weekend because I drove about three and a half hours out to Albany (Lake George to be specific) for a wedding reception. One of my roommate's from college got married..... I can't believe it. Anyway, I had an excellent time. It really was just one big college reunion. Me and two of my other roommates drove out there. We met up with a ton of other people we knew in college which was fabulous. I can tell you, I was hurting the next day, not because of drinking mind you (I only had three drinks in 6 or 7 hours) but because I danced so much! I'm telling you they had the best band I've ever seen at a wedding. They didn't play any cheezy music, just oldies but goodies and even a couple of newer songs. It was great. While they were taking their brakes they used their little iPod to play some great dance songs. The photographers were great too. I only know this because they went around taking a bunch of candid shots of everyone talking, or dancing, etc with their excellent digital cameras then put them up on a screen in a slide show. It was so awesome. I'm telling you that's exactly what I want for my wedding (which won't be anytime soon seeing as how I'm not with anyone!).

All-in-all I had an excellent time. It really made me miss the times I shared with all of my friends from college. We spent most of the evening remenicing (did I spell that right?) of all the things that went on at school, the good and the bad! It was bittersweet. But, I'm not sad, I have new memories to make!

I'll probably post a couple of pictures (not wedding reception pictures but general knitting, etc pictures) tonight, so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Tale of the Eventful Day

Today has been....eventful. That would definitely be the word to describe it. It seems I can now add another thing to the list of stupid things I've done. It's a really good one too, even the doctor laughed about it. Yes, before you ask, it did involve a trip to the doctors office. This morning I was opening a can of cat food......(this pause is to allow you to imagine all the things one can do with a can of cat food which later involves a doctor) my hand slipped and I cut my finger on the metal disc of death. Why do they even make lids like that? I swear they are a hazard and they should be outlawed!

Anyway, this oh so smart thing happened at around 7 in the morning..... four hours, three stitches and one tetanus shot later, I am a new woman.......with an incredibly huge bandage wrapped not only around the offending finger, but also around the wrist which only accentuates my clumsy mistake. But I'm not bitter. Things like this happen right? I only wish it could have been a bit more glamorous, for instance, my incredibly wonderful (yet, sadly imaginary) boyfriend decided to propose and when he was trying to slip the ring on my finger unfortunately it was a size too small so in his zeal to try to make the ring fit, the incredibly huge diamond cut my finger....the cut's on my pinkie, it's possible! No, no, instead when I relate the story it has to be.....I cut my finger on a can of cat food.... It's alright to laugh, I do! Seriously, you have to laugh about things like this!

So, as you can imagine knitting is somewhat off a challenge! However, I did finish the back of my sweater!

That surely brightened my mood, even if it was incredibly awkward to hold the needles and yarn with this huge mass of a bandaged finger! I imagine watching this sort of thing must be awfully funny. My pinkie is stuck in this permanent position of sheer snobbery (imagine holding a tea cup with the pinkie lifted.....yep, that's how it looks) And trying to negotiate the needle around the yarn and vice versa was something of a challenge..... So what did I do?

I started another pair of mittens of course!

Remember me saying my mom wanted me to make a pair for her friend for Christmas? Well, here's the beginning of that. She finally got around to buying the yarn so, sadly, I have to put down my "heaven in a skein" project to work on some mittens....actually it's not that sad, it just means I get to go back to my dreamy yarn once I'm finished with these mittens. (And as you all know, I love mittens so really, there's nothing to be sad about!)

And with that I leave you and hope your day was less *eventful* than mine.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Random Musings....

Basically I am disappointed about the election outcome, but I don't want to go into it here. This is my blog for happy stuff. Not for depressing election stuff.

Chorale practice last night was fun. We really didn't get a lot done because it was sectional rehearsals and the woman leading wasn't all that great at keeping us focused. Anything was better than sitting at home watching the election results. We have our concert in 5 weeks. I can't believe it. Where the heck has time gone? Did I turn my head or close my eyes and all of a sudden time decided to pass me by? It felt like August was yesterday and already fall is over. Is it over for anyone else? We have snow in the forcast for next week....SNOW! I suppose it's right, it generally snows here in November. I just feels like time has flown.

In knitting related news, I will probably be finished with the back of my sweater tonight. Shock is pretty much my feeling on it. I can't believe I'm almost finished with the back and I really haven't worked on it very much! I'm having a love/hate relationship with it now. I love that it's going fast, but I hate that it will be over soon.

In random news, the third Ratchet and Clank game for PS2 has come out! It's called Up Your Arsenal! How awesome is that? I am in love with these games. My love for them began when I beat the first game. I quickly moved on to the second game (Going Commando) and beat it after non-stop playing for a month! I was ecstatic when I found out there was going to be a third and have less-than-patiently been waiting for it to come out. I know it's strange, I am a knitter who is obsessed with video games. I must say that these are conflicting interests because there's only so much time in a day and I can only be doing one or the other. If there ever came to be a way where I could play video games and knit at the same time I would be all over that!

I'm not planning on buying it until after Christmas because I'm afraid I won't get my Christmas knitting done. *sigh* I really want to buy it, but I have to be strong! Wish me luck!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Happy November Everyone!

I'd first off like to say thank you to everyone who's visited my blog and left comments (that also goes for those of you who've visited and haven't left comments!) I really appreciate that you've stopped by! I'd also like to answer a couple of questions that some of you have asked and forgive me if I've already answered them for you on your blog. Well, the questions centered around the mittens (go figure, that's all I've made recently!) First, the mitten pattern(s) can be found in the Magnificent Mittens book by Anna Zilboorg. This book came out a few years ago. I've had it since it came out and I've made lots of mittens from it (duh). Second, was a question about the lining. Basically you are making two mittens. You first make the outer mitten, then you fold over the cuff so that the inside of the cuff is facing out, then you pick up stitches and basically make a second mitten to fit inside the first. This can be done to any mitten and let me tell you it really helps on those super cold days! You're hands hardly know it's 20 degrees below zero! If anyone has any other questions about them let me know, I'd be happy to answer! Thanks again.

Ok, so call me crazy, but the minute I finished the mittens I cast on for a new project. Did I mention I had a lot of time on my hands this weekend? I've worked on it for a total of about 4 hours and this is what I have so far:

I know, it shocked me too! It seems like I'm flying on this project but it's all in my perception I think. In truth, I'm working on size 11 needles. Almost anything you worked on before size 11's seems like it took a lifetime compared to the speed at which you can work on this size. I almost don't want it to go so quickly because I really want to savor this yarn. It's Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky! It's heaven in a skein! I definitely splurged on this one and let me tell you it is the most I've ever spent on a single project and that's with getting 30% off the yarn! Expensive, but sooooo worth it. If you've ever touched this stuff you'll know what I'm talking about. Anyway, the pattern is a Rowan pattern out of book 32 I think. I've loved this pattern forever but I just didn't really like the yarn they used for it...too tweedy. Then Cashmerino Chunky came into my life and well.... the rest is history.

P.S. For those of you who were wonder what the answer is to the trivia question I posed last week: Jimmy Hoffa's middle name was Riddle. Weird huh?

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Picture Day

It's picture day here on Skein Street. Aren't you excited? I went a little nuts with the digital camera this weekend so bare with me. First off I finished my brother's mittens. I'm not just going to show you a finished picture of them, oh no, I'm going to do much more than that!
Here is the second mitten, pre-lining. This is how it looks right after it's been blocked.

And then of course comes the lining.

Notice the little kitten foot in the corner. Someone was curious about the bright seafoam green thing on the floor.
After the lining is finish..... You have finished mittens.

Don't be fooled here. This did take me almost all weekend to finish. These pictures are very deceiving! There were definitely several hours (I'm thinking somewhere in the vicinity of about 3) between the blocking of the mitten and the finished product.
Now here's a picture, just to give you an idea of just how large my brother's hands are.

Keep in mind, I really don't have small hands. Ok, they're small but my fingers are very long, so you can imagine just how long my brothers fingers are. Why you'd want to imagine that, I really don't know, I just thought it was an interesting picture!

I wasn't just working on mittens you know. I felt obligated to finish the teddy bear that I was working on a week ago. He was almost finished after all so what's another hour to completely finish him off?

He may look a little bit scrunched, but that's because he's sitting down. I was trying to be artisty and pose him for the photo. Not only that but I was trying to pick a nice backdrop for the scene. I'm such a geek. Anyway, he's finished. He's cute, he's ready for his new owner. Who is that you ask? Well, I just haven't decided yet. We'll just have to wait and see.

Ok, so the teddy is cute, but I have a picture that is the embodiment of cuteness.

Now who can resist two kittens curled up sleeping together? I know I can't. I think I may have become slightly obsessed with taking pictures of these kittens. Let me see, I count that I took about ten pictures of them this weekend. Ten pictures doesn't sounds so bad, but the fact of the matter is, they're all of them curled up together. Some of them are on different chairs, some are with them in different positions of cuteness, but they're all basically of them sleeping. Perhaps that also has something to do with the fact that this is the only time that I can get them to sit still for a picture! When they're not sleeping they're running all over the house, sliding into walls, knocking over plants and causing general mayhem.

I hope you've enjoyed this picture day! I'm sure there will be another in the near future and I promise to save you from kitten pictures next time!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I'm loving the USPS

I'll be the first to tell you I'm not one to write two posts in one day. It's an overload on my blog-writing abilities. Too much of it might suck my creative juices dry and then where would we be? However, something arrived in the mail today that I just had to show you!
This was waiting for me when I walked in the door....

I know that this is almost too exciting for words. An unopened box of yarn! Yes, my order from has come! I have to say that I am truly shocked at how quickly it got here. I ordered it on Monday! The USPS can work miracles! Now imagine this, my mom called me at work to tell me that it was here. Oh lord, how was I supposed to get any work done now? Just knowing that fibery goodness was waiting for me at home was enough to make my brain go numb. So I had to work through about three hours with thoughts of angora running through my mind. And then there was the half hour drive home. I kept my lead foot in check the entire way, though it was itching to slam the accelerator down to the floor. Screw the cop that catches me, you don't mess with a fiberholic when there's new yarn at home!
So I've kept you in suspence long enough....

My angora!!!!!!

Isn't it great? Ok, so maybe the color is borderline sixty's seafoam and I would never wear it out in public, but you have to admit that it's great. It will be lining many mittens (go figure) so I didn't exactly care about the color. (sidenote: green is my favorite color..... just not this green)

This will probably be my last yarn purchase for awhile. I have a stash that is threatening to take over my closet and it must be dealt with. I have to show it who's boss, if I don't it will just walk all over me!

All Things Trivial

So I've finished one of the mittens for my brother. I contribute this solely to the fact that I went to trivia night on Monday at a cafe close to where my brother lives. It's quite an interesting group that goes to trivia night. One group's name was 'The Zillionaires' mostly made up of Dungeons and Dragons players, probably still in there teens or early twenties, desperately trying to grow facial hair. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, I'm simply describing how they appeared to me. Then there was 'The Unusual Suspects', diehard trivia night fans as evident by the fact that one of them had been in the hospital the week before but that wasn't going to stop him from coming. Apparently they win almost every night. And because my brother and his friends really like to hear the host of trivia night say it, our wonderful name was 'Would You Please Stop Touching Me.' Very creative.

Well, trivia night lasted for several hours and while that was going on I worked on his mittens. Bringing these mittens actually turned out to be a very good thing because I was able to have DB try them on. Apparently DB's hands are quite a bit bigger than the author of this book thought mens hands were. I had to add about five or six more rows to the length. Had I not brought them I can just picture it on Christmas day, he tries them on..... and they're about an inch or two short. Thanks for all the hard work, sis, but these just don't fit.

But this....

will fit just fine.

Sorry for this picture being so dark. I even brightened it before I uploaded it! When both of them are finished I promise I'll post a brighter picture.

So I discovered the best website there is for discount yarn.
Oh it's fabulous. Not that I need any yarn right now but I did need angora for these mittens. I found the best price for angora that I've ever seen just about anywhere! And I, like a child on christmas day, will rip into that package when it arrives!

I will leave you with a trivia question that was asked on Monday night. It will be answered in a following post. If you think you know the answer post a comment!

What was Jimmy Hoffa's middle name?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Mitten Obsession....Very Sad

Well, here is a picture of the (almost) completed teddy bear that I had originally planned on giving to my brother until I realized that I have made or bought him the most Christmas presents out of my entire family. I'm beginning to think that I'm making him all these presents because in truth I really just want to knit and I need someone to knit for..... 'Who should I knit this for?' I ask myself.....'DB! He doesn't have any of these' When the fact of the matter is I just wanted to knit....mittens for instance. I'm obsessed with mittens and I'll show you why in a second.

All this bear needs is a couple of eyes, a nose and a lot of stuffing. They really have the cutest buttons (not that I find buttons particularly cute). They have buttons that are shaped like teddy bear noses and the very best part is you don't have to sew them on! They're sort of snap on buttons. It's great. I loath sewing buttons anyway so this really is the best invention.

Now, on to why I'm just a tad bit obsessive with this mitten thing. I really have no idea why but all I want to do is make mittens..... lots and lots of mittens. Is it perhaps that I'm dreading the fact that winter is coming and I can't stand the thought of chilly fingers? Probably not concidering they're not my chilly fingers I'm worried about (I made myself a pair of these mittens a couple years ago!) No, it has nothing to do with that I fear. In fact I think it's something more sinister. I think it's because I'm obsessed with fair isle projects that go quickly. (Perhaps not quickly.... I think it's the illusion of speed because all I do is knit on them. I almost literally don't do anything else.)

Example? I started these mittens on Saturday afternoon. Probably around 4 o'clock. By Sunday afternoon, they looked like this:

Is that a thumb already?!?!? Yes, *sigh* it is. Is this a sickness that I have? I really don't know because I just can't think of a cure to this particular sickness. And the worst part is, my mother has asked me to make a pair for her friend for Christmas and I'm truly excited about it. I dread thinking about when that is over....who do I make mittens for then? (My extended family comes to mind.....hmmm, seventeen of them on one side alone...... I feel mitten burnout coming on....)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Here is a bit of an update for the weekend. I finished the mittens and started a teddy which I think I told you about in my last post. Here are the mittens:

I like how the closeup shows the actual color of the dark yarn. In all the other photos it just looks black but it's actually purple, green and a brownish color. Very cool.

The bear I'm pretty much finished with but I only have a picture of him headless.

Ramses didn't seem to mind that he had no head. In fact I think he was quite enjoying it. I will say one thing about this bear. I am just not a fan of novelty yarn at this point. If you drop a stitch in this pattern you pretty much have to kiss your work goodbye. Nothing you can do but frog. Luckily I didn't have to do that but I just wasn't enjoying the yarn. It doesn't slide very easily on the needle...aggravating....grrr. Alright, I'll now stop complaining about novelty yarn.

My dog wanted to join in while I was taking these picture so I just have to include a cute picture of her.

I don't know about you, but I have never seen a happier dog!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Does anyone have a tissue?

You may wonder why I haven't posted for a few days... well, aside from the fact that I have been incredibly busy with all sorts of things (practices, meetup, classes, etc.) I found out yesterday that I have a sinus infection and probably have had it for awhile and didn't know it. This is my first sinus infection ever! Isn't that exciting?!? (Note the sarcasm....) So, needless to say, I haven't been feeling my best. Who knew it wasn't normal to feel like you have a head cold for three to four weeks straight? I was also unaware that I could go through an entire box of tissue in one week. Hmmmm, perhaps that should have been an indication.

I wanted to post pictures of my now-finished mittens (yaayyy!) and perhaps post a picture of my newest project, a teddy bear made out of novelty yarn, but the minute I got home all I wanted to do was go to bed! Thankfully, it is the weekend in, oh let's see, two hours! Plus, I'm so doped up on medicine that I should be feeling well enough to take a few pictures. Not that I like taking all this medicine. I'm the type of person who will live with it until it becomes obvious that I just can't handle it anymore i.e. when I wake up one morning and find that I'm incredibly dizzy and the room is spinning....maybe it's just about time to see the doctor.

On a side note, there is an alpaca show at the fairgrounds this weekend. Depending on how I feel I just might make an appearance. If I don't end up buying anything (HA! like that's gonna happen!), at least I get to see the alpacas and listen to them make they're noises. My friend discribed it as 'the noise that ET makes' Well, I just might be surrounded by hundreds of ET's this weekend, we'll have to see.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Fifty Dollars?

My mittens are so nearly finished! I haven't had an incredible amount of time to work on them, as indicated by the fact that the liner only takes about an hour to do and I started it on Monday! I do have a bit of a confession... I spent most of monday night spinning! I knew this would happen! I knew I would neglect my knitting!

I will say this though, spinning is a lot of fun, but I'm still totally in love with knitting. I think knitting will always be what I prefer. Sure I'll be tempted away now and then, but it will always welcome me back.

Last night I knit about ten rows of the liner while I was waiting for Chorale practice to start. I swear it's as if these ladies have never seen anyone knit before. This, I found, works to my advantage. One said lady asked me if I would be willing to make a pair for her. Name the price she said. Hmmmm, well, lets see. Now I have to think of a price for a pair of mittens. Materials alone could cost me about $25, especially if she wants it lined in angora! I may find some bargains online so I could get the cost down a little bit. Fifty dollars immediatly springs to my mind as the good amount to charge. They are, after all, hand made.

Is it wrong to feel guilty about charging that much? I think there is something ingrained in our heads that makes us feel guilty about getting money for something we love to do. I don't feel burdened to knit something for someone (like most jobs can make a person feel) and I'm getting paid for it! Blasphamy!

I think I'm going to have to think on this one.... and do a little research. See what kind of prices I can get on certain yarns for these mittens. Definitely something to ponder.

Monday, October 18, 2004


I made the trek to Rhinebeck this past Saturday! Being a fiber festival virgin I only had a slight idea of what to expect. It surpassed even my wildest dreams! We arrived at just before 11am on Saturday morning. My heart was aflutter as we neared the gate. What should my eyes first see but a sign saying children under $8 were free!

What a wondrous place indeed if children are given price tags!

When we entered it was a wonderland for fiberholics. Barn after barn of items to tempt even the most frugal of fiberholics. I took my time, I wandered and absorbed the atmosphere. It was wonderful. I tried to be smart. I gave myself a budget knowing that I really couldn't go crazy with my money. So I went through all the barns, all the tents, all the buildings, everything, before I decided on my purchases. As a knitter, you would think that I would have walked away from that festival with miles of yarn for projects unknown, but no, this was not the case. I did not buy an inch of yarn. Instead, I doomed myself to make purchases for another hobby! But I ask you, how can you resist when this is staring you in the face:

Roving, beautifully dyed. The promise of gorgeous yarns echo from it's fibers! The temptation became even more great when I was given a demonstration of drop spindling.

How could I resist this wonderful craft? How could I resist the idea of spinning my very own yarn? So I walked away from Rhinebeck with many bunches of dyed roving and a gorgeous drop spindle. My excitement to try spinning for the very first time was through the roof, unfortunately I had a three hour car ride between me and my first spin. Once home, I rushed through the door and immediately sat down to try it. My very first attempt was with a merino/tencel blend:

I actually don't think that it came out too badly. I'm now thinking of things I can knit with this amount! Probably a hat.
I moved on to try my hand at just merino wool in the most gorgeous green you've ever seen. (I wasn't intending to rhyme that, these things just happen)

In an attempt not to neglect my first love, I worked on the mittens and finished both of them. (After all, I had to pass the time in the car somehow and I needed to vent my excitement!) Sunday I started making the liner for the mittens out of left over gray alpaca from the apalca sweater I wore to Rhinebeck..... coincidence?

This is the work-in-progress picture but I actually finished the liner of one mitten. It only took me about an hour.... I decided to knit the liner right off of the cuff to save myself sewing it in later.

All-in-all, I had a fabulous weekend. And I must say I think my time in Rhinebeck was amazing, this rainbow we saw while leaving says it all.....