Tuesday, November 28, 2006

See what I mean? So cool!

Just when I finally go around to talking about my PRGE pals I got another package from Suzi at Darkside of Knitting! Look at all the great stuff I got! First- the purple and black tube-shaped thing is a sock tote with some very pretty sock yarn inside. I really, really like the sock yarn. It's kind of purple and blue and tan, the colors are great and it's really soft. And I like the sock tote idea because I do work on them on-the-go quite a bit and with the cat factor at home it's always good to keep the knitting zipped up. Then the white thing with the red beads is a jug cover which is very neat, it's supposed to keep bugs out of a jug, which is great because we do bbq a lot in the summer and always have a pitcher of lemonade or something, and there's nothing worse than having to watch a fly do the backstroke in there. And then there's a mousepad with a picture of Cradle Mountain on it and it says Tasmania. This is so coming into work with me. The mousepad I have there is boring and black and crusty (ick) and way overdue for a replacement and let me just tell you, people will be very impressed that I know someone from Tasmania! Seriously Grace and Suzi- do you know what a different and exotic place Tasmania seems like to us? It's just about as far away from here as you can get without getting on a space shuttle and we know so little about it. Anyway moving on there are also some delicious Australian candies, a really neat Australian food magazine, a funny postcard about summer in Tasmania, the cutest kitty card and another fun toy for Mr. Allister!

Anyway, all very great stuff, I'm sure to have fun with. Thanks again Suzi!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stuffing, the weekend after Thanksgiving

Sorry for the pun, but this is some of what I worked on today. I started and finished stuffing the Baby Bobbi Bear. I also finished knitting the bear. But no finished photo? Well, the knitting part is done, I still have to sew on the ears and do some duplicate stitch and embroider on his little face. Which is somewhat intimidating to me. I'm afraid I'm going to get an ear crooked or one eye lower than the other and he will end up being a little lopsided bear. So in the typical procrastinator fashion I've put that stuff off until next weekend when is the next time I'll have some more quiet, natural daylight time to hopefully do it properly and take a finished photo for you.

In other news I've waited way too long to update on how things are going over at the Punk Rock Gift Exchange. We had the big reveal there a couple of weeks ago and I learned that my secret pal has been Suzi over at Darkside of Knitting. Also all along I've always known that the person I was buying for was Grace at Black Crow Knitting. It's been so cool hanging with these chicks and doing the whole fun exchange thing. They are both from outside the U.S. which I now think just really makes the whole process even more fun. And the girls are both extremely talented and punk rock, so you should definitely check out their blogs and say hi! I'm a fan and will be hopefully be posting lots of comments and keeping in touch for a while to come.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


First and foremost, I'm thankful for my health. I'm thankful that most of the time I'm able to move about freely without thinking twice and without pain or discomfort. It gets me where I need to be.

I'm thankful for my family and friends. They crack me up. They hug and kiss me. They give me tissues when I need them. They put up with my crap. They tell me when they're tired of my crap. 'Nuff said.

I'm thankful for my husband. He washed a lot of dishes today and cut his finger on a glass and never complained and just went on washing. He even ate turkey which he doesn't like all that much and still said it was really good. He puts up with a fair amount of crap also.

I'm thankful for my freedom and that I can pretty much go where I want when I want. I can read the books I want to read. I can speak my mind and be safe knowing I have this freedom and it should be valued.

I'm thankful for the roof over my head and the food in my belly. A lot of people in this world live way too often without enough of either. We can never give back too much.

And of course -I'm thankful for my knitting. It helps me steady the course. It helps me stay sane. It will be a great way to end a yummy, happy, thankful day.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Of crises and casting them off

"Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crisis." -Elizabeth Zimmmerman

Stacey from Sheep in the City mentioned this quote on her blog the other day. I'm sure I've read it somewhere else before, but for some reason this week it was just particularly good to be reminded of. Stacey's dad is going through some rough stuff right now and I really hope everything goes ok. I really hope that her and her family can get some peace and strength while they go through their current trials. Her mom is a knitter too, so hopefully there's lots of good knitting vibes all around them. While it's nothing like what Stacey's going through I've had a few crises here and there lately. Not horrible stuff, but still, the words of EZ have been very comforting.

I really don't want to go into all of it now (maybe some other time) but I do have to tell you how my Thursday night went this week when we lost power. We had really bad weather here, this was the storm where all the tornados hit down south and did a lot of damage there. It was all windy and rainy and yucky. So when of course did we lose power? Well, I had just gotten home from the gym and was in the shower of course, with a head full of shampoo. Has this every happened to anyone? Well, it's kind of scary, really. Everything goes out and the water is still pouring down and all I could think was "Oh crap." So I just tried to get my bearings, listened really close to make sure Freddy/Jason/Michael Meyers weren't in the shower with me, rinsed my hair (I think) turned the shower off, managed to get out of the shower without falling on my tuckus, got a towel and of course the power went right back on then. Of course. So the husband comes home a little while after that and tells me that there was a transformer on fire just down the street. Just as he's finishing saying the word 'street' of course the power went back out.

I hadn't had dinner yet and was starving, so with no power we lit a bunch of candles, and I fumbled around in the fridge and made myself a modified version of Nigella Lawson's Hungarian Sandwich. Mine was whole wheat and strawberry jam, but still pretty good. Kind of like a cheese & fruit danish if you think about it.

With no power, no tv, no computer husband took off his shoes and promptly fell asleep on the couch at 7:30. (So that's what they do when they're unplugged!) I on the other hand chose to light more candles and sit down with my knitting, specifically the Baby Bobbi Bear I've been working on for my niece.

It's getting there, slowly but surely. I think my low-light knitting came out ok. It's funny how just 2 days before I had told Tracy at knitting that when I work on this I need to work on this and this alone. No tv, no podcasts, just me and Bobbi, counting and knitting and counting and knitting. So it was ideal for the no tv knitting caused by the power outage.

Because the no power night hasn't been the only crisis this week lately when I come home at night I feel like by the time I get to sit down and knit for a minute the brain pretty much resembles jelly at that point. I don't want to count, or follow a chart or even instructions, all I want to do is get some sticks and string in the hands and watch either a) Emmet Smith shake his booty b) someone cooking something (anything) or c) any one of my favorite shows chock full of animated characters and sass. The result of said jelly brain is my current sock

These are going to be a Christmas gift for my dad. They're Louet Gems yarn I purchased at Stitches East. The pattern is a garter rib pattern from the Sensational Knitted Socks book. Nice easy going 4 stitch pattern. Perfect for jelly brain knitting.

But things really aren't so bad. Just stressful. And there's a short work week this week, followed by my favorite holiday of all time, the throwdown food event of the year- THANKSGIVING!!! I love Thanksgiving. This year I get to cook and I love it. My spreadsheets and recipes and schedules are all ready to go. I really, really hope everyone has a great one this year and that you all get to totally enjoy the day. Eat lots of food, settle in, watch the parade or football or both, kiss your family/your friends/your dog/cat, and forget all your crises at least for one day.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The rest of the Stitches stash arrived!

It's pouring out, I have a lovely cup of tea, the husband is praying in the front of the tv in the living room (the NY Jets have a particularly difficult row to hoe this afternoon, a snarky, sarcastic wife might have said impossible... who moi?) and I have the computer all to myself.

In the comments from the last post, Jodi at A Caffeinated Yarn asked some really good questions about colors and yarn of the Main St. pullover from WEBS, specifically "How did they look in real life? Do you think the texture would be OK for Fair Isle?" Knitting minds must think alike. When I first saw this sweater in their catalog my concerns were exactly the same!

I really became drawn to this pattern after seeing all the gorgeous patterned yoke sweaters on the Zimmermaniacs blog. Oh my goodness have you looked over there? It's like it's difficult for them to make something that's not nice, I really like so much of that stuff. It's inspired me to re-read Knitting Without Tears and I'm so glad I did. I get more out of it everytime I read it. If I was a true Zimmermaniac I would have sharpened my pencil and done some math and tried to come up with my own Zimmerman sweater. I might eventually some day but for now, I'm still a Zimmermaniac poser and will just try to start out with my little Main St. sweater and see how I do.

Anyway, when I first saw this in the catalog, I was particularly concerned about the main color which is called "Grape Jelly." Being a bigger girl, I'm always a little self conscious about the purple. I love purple, but purple is also the color of Barney the Dinosaur and Grimace from McDonalds (for you old school folks) and this usually makes me hesitant to wear something called "Grape Jelly." So yesterday, when the weather was better I took the yarn out to my porch which is wear the light is usually the best and tried to capture a really accurate picture of these colors

I'll be the first to admit my photographic shortcomings, but I promise you I think this photo is pretty accurate, I think may be more accurate than the WEBS photo above. Now that I've seen the sweater completed at Stitches and have the yarn here I know the name is a complete misnomer and I adore the color. I suppose there are some purple tones there, maybe it is a bit of a purplish-red but it's definitely no "Grape Jelly." If it were up to me it would have been a Merlot, I'd like that a lot better. As far as texture goes I agree this is definitely not the normal wooly-texture I would expect from a fair isle sweater. The gauge is 5 sts. to the inch and the yarn is way, way softer and actually a lot more light weight than I would have expected. But I kind of like that and hopefully when I'm knitting it and have it done I still will. We shall see as time progresses I hope to start this one soon (the holiday knitting must end eventually after all) so I will have some more color & progress photos then.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The State of the Stash

The stash has grown considerably. Thanks to the fiber-related event of the weekend...

That's the lovely but blogless Amy, me in the middle and Tracy of LeftiesK2 posing mid-spree at the Market at Stitches East yesterday. I go to Stitches every year. You can take classes, but I don't, I usually just go and shop and that's about all the bank account can take. But that's ok. Stitches used to be in Atlantic City for us, which was closer of course. This year it was in Baltimore which is further, but still ok, because this year it was much, much bigger. So of course you know I just had to buy that much more...

See, I'm already trying to pack it up and get it in the closet to hide the evidence! I purchased a few different patterns. Buying patterns is always a good strategy, you can always buy yarn later, and if you're not going to knit it right away it takes much less room in your stash! The silvery thing in the upper left is one of those silky little sock-knitting sized bags from Lantern Moon I've always wanted (I totally adore it and don't know why I didn't order it sooner.) Tracy got mad because she had picked this one up before I saw it and then realized it was the color I wanted when it was in her hand. Bad timing I guess, but she didn't want to buy one so hey! Gimmie!Anyway, I also got the new book from Stitchy McYarnpants which is hilarious! And it was nice that we also got to meet Stitchy and she signed our books! She was very, very sweet and down to earth (aren't most knitters?) and I gushed that I've been reading her blog way before the book was even mentioned. Definitely check it out if you've never read it, it always cracks me up. I got a nice sweater kit from Shelridge farms that I can't wait to make (more on that when it gets knitted.) And then there was the down fall I purchased.

10 skeins.

10 skeins of sock yarn.

I spent a good part of the next day after the big spree shaking my head and muttering that to myself over and over. There are a couple missing from the picture- one is a gifty skein for a friend, and also one of the skeins of the Louet Gems has already been cast on and is being swatched. I have to start these socks for my dad soon! But still, 10 skeins? Where did I lose my head? I set out to get some more 'masculine' sock yarn colors because I have a few men I realize I could be knitting socks for as gifts yet had no manly sock yarn in the stash to speak of. So I guess it's ok, I did purchase mostly along those lines. And the lavendar is probably going to be for my mom later in the year for some birthday socks.

And then I finally purchased this much needed item.

It's a doubled pointed needle case from Crippenworks. I've been stalking this website for awhile but never saw an available fabric that really spoke to me. So it was a great opportunity to see her booth at the show, because she had a ton of cases available in a bunch of different fabrics. This case is so professional and well made I just can't get over it. And my double points totally deserve it, they've been riding around in a pitiful ziploc bag for way too long. It was almost a tragedy.

Oh and did you think I should have bought more? Ok cause I did. I also bought a bunch of yarn from WEBS to make their new Main Street pullover pattern. They had sold out of the yarn for it though, so I bought it and it will be shipped to me later this week. So there is stash that has been added that has not even yet to be seen. So I think I did good. I like what I got. And the more I think about it, the more I'm thinking I'd kind of rather be knitting right now:) Toodles all...