Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Book Report

Image hosting byPhotobucket Wow... what is with Blogger today??? It's acting all goofy. It won't let me arrange anything the way I want it. Anyhow, I finally bought the sock book at Barnes and Noble on Friday night. This is a great book. I love the patterns even though they are written for small feet and I know I'll have to add more pattern sequences for me and my family's big feet. Image hosting by Photobucket And I bought this too. I've been wanting this book FOREVER. I don' t know if I'll ever get around to actually knitting anything from this book but I sure love looking at the patterns. Those charts intimidate me but I guess it's probably like anything else... once you get started, it all falls into place. Now for the BEST. NEWS. EVER. My daughter and son-in-law are moving home!!! YAY! He got a great job here and they are thinking April...before the baby is born. I'm in grandma heaven. :-)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Wedding Cake???

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Look again. How about a DIAPER cake??? Is this too cute or what? What a great centerpiece, or gift, for a baby shower!

Blue Hydrangeas Diaper Cake

Kepler Sunday

I didn't knit on Saturday but I decided yesterday to take an "intarsia break" and I worked a little on Kepler. I have the first waist band almost complete. These bands do go quickly and the pattern is fun to work. I still have plans to wear this to my daughter's baby shower in March. The baby sweater may have to take a back seat for a while but that won't matter. She won't be into that sweater for another year at least.

I finished the Valentine's socks yesterday. You can see the little hearts now since I blocked them. They turned out cute in spite of the fact that I misread the pattern and they aren't really supposed to look like this at all. And I really liked the Paton's Kroy sock yarn with a little nylon in it for durability. Message to Cate: I'm sure you want these. Sorry Charlie. :-) Not this time.

I noticed the other day that the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival is on the same weekend that my husband and I were going to go to New York City. Lets see... NYC or MS&W... hmmn.... hmmn..... IT'S NO CONTEST! I'm going for the yarn!!! NYC can wait.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Completely and Totally Delusional

I have a confession to make. My stash report of last week was not quite accurate. In fact, it was WAY inaccurate. But in my defense, that's how I saw it in my mind. I didn't actually look at it to make that report. I thought of projects that I had yarn for. I think subconsciously I was blocking out what is reality.

Today, in an effort to get organized and clean up our spare room, I decided to reorganize the stash into tupperware bins. I'm still in shock. Let's suffice it to say the my previous report is about 1/4 of what I actually have.

I thought about taking a photo, but then decided not to. It's too shameful. But this was a good excercise for me today. I know now that I have to use this yarn before buying more. (except for Colin's stuff, of course) The thing is, I thought I could get rid of some of it on ebay or have a fun blog contest or something like that, but every skein in there is for a project that I really want to do. I bought all of it for a reason and I really haven't given up on any of those projects. And I have enough left over sock yarn to knit grandkids socks for the rest of their lives!

My husband was watching the re-organization project. All he could do was shake his head. He did mention something about being able to buy a new car with that money but we won't go there.

Friday, January 27, 2006



Y is for yellow lab. We got Irish in 1996. She will be 10 in July. Against my husband's wishes, my kids and I went to the pet store (yes, I know... you shouldn't do that but it's local and they only buy local puppies) after my son was discharged from the hospital from a particularly bad episode of asthma. (he is NOT allergic to dogs... cats are another story altogether) Anyhow, I had been wanting a dog for a long time and I thought that would cheer all of us up. My husband was not amused. After 10 years, ask me who in the family is more attached to the dog than anyone. Right. My husband.

She is without a doubt, the best dog ever. She loves us unconditionally. She goes nuts when the kids come home after being away. I knows she misses them. She sleeps in the hall outside their bedrooms doors every day just waiting for them to get up.

This past summer, my son and his girlfriend were fooling around and they pretended they were dead on the couch just to see what she would do (yes, terrible, what can I say?) After she tried to get a stir out of them to no avail, she went out in the kitchen, pushed open the kitchen storm door (which she has NEVER done in 10 years) and ran up on the front porch where my husband was sitting and reading. She started barking at him and he knew something was wrong. He went in the house and asked them what happened in there to cause the dog to act like that. When they told him what they did, we were all so amazed that she turned into "Lassie" the wonder dog.

When the kids start raising their voices to one another she positions herself between them just in case. She gets upset during Steeler games when the guys start yelling at the TV because she thinks they are yelling at each other.

We love this dog.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

First Project for Baby Colin

My very long search for the perfect first project for Colin has ended. This is it. How cute is this?? And easy too! The colors are perfect. The look is perfect. There is just one thing I wonder about. It calls for TLC Baby by Coats and Clark. I don't know. Normally I would not use that yarn but can I duplicate the look using something else? It just looks perfect the way it is. I'd like to use better yarn but I'd also like it to look exactly like it does. It's a dilemma.

**note** the pattern is from a Coats and Clark booklet called "Tiny Tykes" Book 0142
I purchased it at JoAnn Fabrics

One Sleeve Down... One to Go

I finished the first sleeve last night but was too tired to bind it off. I can't wait to get this thing finished. I'm glad I chose to make the larger size because it's going to take a while. I'm beginning to think I should have made the "freshman in college" size. :-)

I am going to try the next sleeve without the bobbins using "manageable lengths" at the suggestion of Laurie. I believe that someone else (with a Pitt email address?) emailed me about that method as well. So, yes, I will try that next. This has been a great learning experience.

I'm going to try to talk my husband into a trip to State College tomorrow to Barnes and Noble. I like to drag him along sometimes. There are a few books I want to try to find. I need a good one for finishing techniques. I have always been sloppy about that. I never cared, I just wanted to get it done. I figured if it looks ok on the outside it's good enough for me. No more of that. I'm going to do it right from now on! This a year of improving skills and learning new techniques! Remember... I'm getting a grandchild to knit for!!! (so why was mediocre good enough for my own kids???)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yvonne's Contest...

Well here's my mom who is responsible for my knitting addiction. My nephew Clark (ski hat and scarf recipient) is walking her down the aisle at my niece's wedding in September in New York City. I've tried to talk my Mom into knitting again while she is at dialysis but she says she has no interest anymore. Anyhow, thanks Mom!


I've decided to join in on all the stash assessment that's been going on. Here's what I have:

Irish Aran Yarn for Rogue (purchased by my daughter in Ireland).... I will do that this year.

Lace weight (gorgeous wool) from Natasha to be used for a shawl... haven't decided on a pattern

Lace weight (lt. blue cotton) for Michaela... a shawl pattern that I WILL eventually conquer (maybe)

Bulky green wool for Kelly's big sweater (best yarn "score" ever at the LYS sale)

Lots of skeins of acrylic for a afghan I started and never finished

A few skeins of Kelly Green Wool Ease purchased to make head covers for golf clubs. (made one, he didn't like it)

sock yarn:

Hand dyed from Natasha (lovely)

Knit Picks colorway "Cape Cod"

Opal Petticoat

Magic Stripes by LionBrand (not sure why I bought that... I really don't want it)

Yarn for Felting:

Cascade 220 - probably about 6 skeins total with no particular project in mind

Lambs Pride Bulky - 2 skeins for a purse that never got made

I'm sure I have some that I'm forgetting about and I have tons and tons of left overs...especially sock yarn destined to be "remnant socks" which I LOVE to make but never have the time.

So, all in all, it could be worse. I'd love to say I won't buy more until I use some of this up but I know that will never happen because I want to buy baby blue and white DK for Colin James (my grandson to be born in May). I found a great pattern at JoAnn Fabrics for him. And I need to buy black and gold for Steeler Christmas socks. Those will be my next purchases.

I LOVE buying yarn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Corie progress report

I didn't get much accomplished last night because I had a Habitat For Humanity board meeting. But I did manage to get a few rows of the baby sleeve finished. I guess I'll just call this sweater Corie since it's for her. The middle section is kind of puckering. I'm not sure why. I don't think I knit particularly tightly but maybe I do.

The finished Valentine's sock. I should have made the cuff longer. That will drive me nuts. I SO messed up this pattern. But it wasn't worth ripping out for. It's just my "modified" version. I really like this Paton's Kroy sock yarn... wool and nylon blend. It's the first time I worked with it and I'll use it again. It feels good.

My son.. concentrating on the game on Sunday. I guess you can guess who his favorite player is!

Monday, January 23, 2006


Yay Steelers!!! How much fun is this going to be??? Even I am excited and while I always want the Steelers to win, I really never watch the games unless it gets to this level of excitement. My family says I'm not worthy to join in now since I'm such a fair weather fan. I may even go buy a jersey to wear for the Super Bowl.

I finished the large Erin bag and it will be on it's way to London this afternoon. I wish I could be on MY way to London this afternoon! As you can see, the handles are really too small for the bag but it was the best I could do. I hope the girl likes it.

I finished one red sock and made some progress on the second one. Then I put another few rows on the baby sweater sleeve. All in all it was a busy weekend and I really didn't knit as much as I would have liked. I intended to knit all day Sunday but work got in the way of that. Of course I was home in time for the Steeler game though.

Now that I have Steeler fever, I want to knit Steeler socks for everyone. Good thing I don't have time because I don't need to add any more projects to my already overloaded list. Sounds like a good Christmas idea for this year though.

I got my hair cut very short on Saturday. I feel like myself again. I'm not sure why I try to let it grow. It drives me crazy for a few months and then I just go and get it cut again. Anyhow I love it..... and I found out the girl who cuts my hair is pregnant and may not return to work after the baby is born. Yikes. She does such a great job. She's been cutting my hair for about 5 years.

Sunday, January 22, 2006



Friday, January 20, 2006

A Little Knitting Content

This is it. I've had it. I am totally washing my hands of the "rip-off" company once and for all. I had finally decided to buy the larger rattan handles that they suggested (against my better judgement) and I went to the site to order them and I found these (photo above). They were not on the site the day before. They are a little bigger than the ones I have so I went ahead and ordered them. They were $5.75 a piece. So $11.50. Add $6.00 shipping... so $17.50. When the box came yesterday, it didn't weigh anything. Really. It was just like there was nothing in the box. These things are like styrofoam. They're hard but .. hollow? I don't know. They don't weigh anything. They're crap. I guess you can do this when you have absolutely no competition. Anyone want to start a wooden handle business?

I finished the first Valentine Sock except for the kitchener. I just didn't feel like doing it. When I finished that I worked more on the intarsia baby sweater sleeve. While that is a pain in the butt I'm settling into a groove with it. I tend to put it off but once I get started it seems to go okay.

Real estate is picking up so I'll be working this weekend. Not much time to knit. :-( I guess you gotta take the bad with the good.

ZYX Along...sort of... "Z"


Z is for Zipforms. This is WAY boring to the general public but these things have revolutionized the way I do business. I can access all real estate forms (contracts, addendums, disclosure statements, etc.) online. I can fill them out online, I can make changes online, I can email them, etc. No more carboned copies, sloppy changes, illegible contracts... these things are great. With a user name and password you can access your files from any computer so it cuts down on running back to the office to look something up in the paper files. Technology is great. (sorry this is so dry but "Z" is tough!!!)

Tagged by Cheryl...whoops!...Heather!!!!

Okay... I love these things...

Four jobs you have had in your lifetime:

Chiropractic Assistant
Staffing Specialist
Real Estate Agent

Four movies you could watch over and over again:

French Kiss
Sound of Music
Sabrina (with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford)
You've Got Mail

Four TV shows you love to watch:

Law and Order (especially SVU)
Will and Grace

Four places you have lived:

Blair County, PA
Huntingdon County, PA
(that's it!)

Four places you have been on vacation:

Kiawah Island, SC
Sarasota, FL
Ocean City, NJ

Four websites you visit daily:

You Knit What??
Our Family Blog

Four of your favorite foods:

Prime rib
Coffee Ice Cream
Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips

Four places you would rather be right now:

On the green chair in my living room knitting
On a beach where it's warm and sunny
At The Sanctuary in Kiawah, SC

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Another Quiz

Ok forget the quiz. I tried to post it and it basically screwed up the entire blog. I don't know how that happens. Anyway, you're not missing much. It just said I know my English and Literature. Hey, I only post them when they're impressive. :-) You think I'm going to tell you how unorganized I am and how I'm in the top 90th percentile of sloth? I think not!

Parlez Vous Francais?

Isn't this sweater great? I just love it. It's so me. It is in the new Vogue Knitting. No instructions... just an ad for a yarn company. Of course I had to check out the website. www.bergeredefrance.com. As you might suspect, the website is in French. However, you can go to an English version. The problem is, the pattern book can only be found on the French version which more than likely means you can only get the pattern in French. I have enough trouble figuring them out in English. Drat.

No knitting last night. I spent the evening getting my parents set up with their new computer. My mother and father are both 78 years old. Up until a few years ago they were both in excellent health. I won't bore you with details but about 4 years ago, my mother nearly died when dye from a test she had done shut down her kidneys. It took her two years to regain some semblence of normal life. She did time in nursing homes, lots of hospitalizations, etc. only to have another set back and near death again 2 years ago after a surgical procedure. But she's like the energizer bunny... she's doing pretty well again (although dialysis 3 days a week) and my niece thought she needed a computer for Christmas. She had one (a slow, old one) before she got sick and she used to email and instant message all the kids and grandkids. When they moved out of their big house into a small apartment shortly after she got sick, (unfortunate, but necessary under the circumstances) we got rid of the old computer. We recently started a family blog where we all post photos and tell what's going with everyone and my niece felt my parents needed to be a part of it... hence the computer. I set them up with email, some favorite places that they can just click on, and now they're good to go. I sent Cate an email from Grandpap's new email address and she called me last night just so excited that she actually got email from Grandpap. I had to come clean and tell her that he's really not "there" yet.

Anyhow, that was my Wednesday evening. I WILL knit tonight. Back to intarsia hell.

And don't forget... if you're interested.... tomorrow is week 1 of the "zyx photo friday" along.. sort of... :-)


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ABC Along

I love the idea of the ABC Along that Jill is participating in. I'd like to join that one but as you might have noticed, I don't regularly join "alongs". Why you ask? Mostly because I can't get the darned buttons on my side bar. I had to have my niece in London add the "Pittsburgh Secret Pal" button for me because I just can't figure it out. And I wanted to join that one bad!!! Normally I wouldn't bother her to do it.

Yes, there are a few other buttons there.... I sat one day and played and played and played until I got them on there. The next time I tried to do it, I couldn't. So, to save myself the frustration, I just don't even try anymore.

But I do love the idea of the ABC along so I am hereby declaring Fridays as the designated day of the week for my own ABC Along. Feel free to join me... without actually joining anything! Maybe I should call it something else.

How about the "Friday Photo ZYX Along". Yep, I'm going backwards.
Stay tuned.

Wow.... X?????

Lot's o'stuff

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This is the cover of my new Vogue Knitting magazine. It is also the cover that they advertise for this issue on their website. However, it is NOT the cover of the magazine I saw at Border's in the mall on Sunday. There was a blue sweater on the cover of that one. And yet, after looking through it, it is the same magazine. I'd love to know from a marketing standpoint why they do that. If it is truly to trick people into buying the same magazine twice that would be disturbing. I can't imagine that's it. But I'd like to know what "it" is.

There are a few patterns in this issue that jump out at me. This:

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Love it, love it, love it.

And this:

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Like it, like it, like it. (I'm not sure I'd bare my entire chest in it like she's doing though)

I also broke down and got a subscription to this ... mainly because I don't care if I see it on the newstand before I get my copy in the mail because it's just not ever that impressive...

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However, this issue has a really cute child's sweater in it that would be quick and easy for my niece in colorado... check it out:

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So cute, so easy. I like the little scalloped edges on the sleeves and bottom.

So here's the intarsia photo of the day:

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I started the sleeve next because it was going to be fast. Um, yeah. Right. I don't know how many times I've heard my friends at knitting night say that they do not like intarsia. They don't say it's difficult. They just say they don't like it. I get it. It's becoming clear. This is tedious knitting my friends. It is not difficult at all. It just drives you crazy. The back wasn't so bad because you could knit a lot more stitches before you had to change colors but this little sleeve is constant winding, unwinding, twisting, blah, blah, blah. Yes, I know it will be adorable when it's finished. But it sure sucks right now!!!!

I'll leave you with this:

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Everyone loves this little pin. I made it in a hour or so last football season. If you want to make one.. go here:Free Knitting Patterns: Miniature Hat Ornaments

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Busy Day!

This will be a very busy day so I'm sneaking this post in quickly!
Finished the back of the baby sweater last night.

I think I'll do sleeves next just because I tend to do that all the time. I don't know why. Maybe because they're quick and I like instant gratification.

I also made some good progress on the Valentine's day sock after I finished the back of the sweater.

I really had to laugh when I glanced down at the instructions after I turned the heel. It said, "Continue working in established rib stitch over middle needle." I guess I missed that part after I did those last three rows of garter stitch. I did not continue in a rib stitch. I did a stockinette stitch. So much for "mindless knitting". People with ADD should not try to knit and talk at the same time!!! Oh well, it really doesn't matter. These are for me and I sure don't care. It was just a stash busting project anyhow.

Thanks for all the nice comments yesterday. Nora is right, relationships are more important than painting walls. And if the walls have waited this long, they can wait a little longer.

The closing went off without a hitch which is good. Today I can relax and go about my normal routine which is going to keep me hopping but which is a lot less stressful.

Have a good Tuesday everyone!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend Knitting Frenzy

I'm not quite sure what happened to my resolve to knit less and concentrate on my house more. When one drives 100 miles just to knit, one should consider getting some kind of help. :-)
Anyway, it was so great to finally meet all of my Western Pennsylvania knitting blog friends! What a great group of people. I met Judy, Donna, Heather, Cheryl, Nora, Yvonne and Jane. Unfortunately Judy left before I thought to get the camera out. I missed seeing Laurie and Natasha... maybe next time???

After purchasing the yarn bobbins, the intarsia thing became clear. I'm glad I didn't give up because, in reality, it's pretty easy. I could not put this little sweater down last night. I was exhausted and vowed to go to bed early but I could not stop knitting on this. It just keeps getting cuter by the minute. That bathroom is never going to get painted at this rate.

I started these socks just so I'd have something semi-mindless to work on at Panara Bread on Sunday. They look a little funky. I think I'm bringing back slouch socks from the 80's. I was supposed to stop after that last garter stitch ridge but I don't like my socks that short so I added a few stockinette stitch rows. We'll see what happens. They will be my Valentine's Day socks.

So, in real estate news, today is the biggest closing of my career. I'm a nervous wreck. I know all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed but still it's just so nerve racking. And my boss is at Disney World with his family so if anything goes wrong, I'm on my own baby! No wonder I knit. You have to do something to maintain your sanity in this business.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Hey! We can go to Paris too!!

I think I see Laurie.... :-)


Saturday Stuff

Off to my LYS to buy these today:

I'll take another crack at intarsia tonight. Thanks to Jane for sending me some good instructions. After seeing the baby yesterday, she sure is worth the effort!

So the plan for today is cleaning (yuck), working... about 1 1/2 hours I'm guessing, laundry and cooking... then it's all knitting, all evening.

Well Cate is gone and so is my Revlon foundation in the darker shade. Coincidence? I think not. Cate, you're a little make-up stealing, tanning towelette stealing girl and I'm going to find something of yours in your room to use while you're gone!!

I am SO looking forward to meeting the Pittsburgh Secret Pals tomorrow! (and maybe doing a little shopping too!)

Pet Peeve of the Day:
This has been bothering me for quite some time. I am on the computer all day at work. In the winter I have a lot of down time and if it wasn't for the internet, I'd go insane. I HATE it when there are headlines for a news story or an entertainment story that I want to read and when I click on it, it turns out to be a video that I have to WATCH to get the story. First of all, you have to wait forever for it to load, then there is usually an annoying commercial that you have to watch before the actual story, thirdly, you have to turn the sound up to hear it which I do not like to do. When I'm in my office, I don't particularly want my coworkers to know I'm listening to Queen Latifa tell how she keeps her skin so beautiful. I JUST WANT TO READ IT!!!!!!!

Sorry. Every now and then I just have to rant.

Friday, January 13, 2006

A Star Is Born

Presenting my grand niece.

Corie Noelani
8 hours old
7 lbs. 12 oz.
Look at the hair on that kid!
Yeah, I think she's worth learning intarsia for.

Catie and her new cousin. Cate looked much like her when she was born.

Boring Friday Update

Due to my recent tiff with intarsia, I put about 5 inches on the waist band of Kepler last night. I will tackle the baby sweater once again as soon as I buy the yarn bobbins and get better prepared for the effort. Corrie is due to arrive on the scene today by C-section at 10:00am so, yes, I need to get cracking on that thing.

As I was flipping through the channels last night I came upon the broadcast of the "Sheep to Shawl" contest at the farm show in Harrisburg. I have to say it was fascinating to watch. They have a few hours to shear the sheep, card the wool, spin the thread, and make (weave, not knit) a shawl. I only watched a little bit of it though because my husband just kept looking at me like I was crazy for watching it. It's not like we don't have two other televisions in the house. grrr... Anyhow, I'm not sure I'd enjoy working with that dirty wool. Apparently people bid on the shawls, buy them, and then the team who made them takes them home and cleans them and then sends the shawls back to them. The thing that really fascinates me is that they make spinning look so easy. I also didn't understand how they would dye the thread in that amount of time but I guess they are allowed to already have dyed threads set up in the looms and they just use the new wool in addition to those colored threads. It was really neat. I think I want to learn to spin! I never thought I'd ever say that.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I Get Knocked Down.....

But I get up again. Remember that song? It would appear that the score is: Intarsia 1, Holly 0.

This is the point in my previous knitting life that I would just throw in the towel and start a scarf with the yarn. But not this time. I'm determined to learn these new things now. I won't let it beat me. I have grandchildren coming to knit for!

The one thing I'm sure of, is that even though I get the idea, I need to read more about it and get some tips. And I need to buy those bobbins. I don't think you can do this working with big skeins of yarn like I was trying to do last night.

My husband said, "I can't believe you can't figure that out. I thought you knew everything."
Isn't that a riot? People have no idea how complicated this craft can be and how much there is to learn. Turn out one little baby aran and people think you're Alice Starmore. Ha!

It's so unseasonably warm here. I'm not complaining but it sure is weird. The birds are singing outside my window like it's Spring. They are in for a rude awakening when this little cold weather hiatus passes. It sure is great for the gas bills. This weather also gets the real estate market a little hotter too. People start thinking about it when the weather is mild. It's amazing how the phones ring in nice weather and they are dead when it is real winter weather. Oh well, I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Oh, while searching for Intarsia help I came upon this website. I think it's useful...
Wool Works: hints and tips for knitters

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Purse Handles

You have all heard me talk about the rip-off company. The fact is, they have quality stuff. The other fact is, even though it is quality stuff, it is still overpriced. The last fact is, that until I can find another company that offers quality stuff for a lot less, I will continue to purchase from the rip-off company.

In desperation, I emailed the customer service department the other day and asked them if they had brown, round, wooden purse handles in a 6" circumference even though they don't have it on their web site. I told them I have ordered the 4" handles and they are perfect.. I just need them bigger.

I got a return email telling me that they do indeed have 6" brown, wooden, round handles and that they are # 36241 (or something like that) and can be viewed on the website. I thought, how did I miss that? I looked at that site 100 times trying to find something that would work. So I go to the website and punch in the number and this is what comes up.

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Now, where I come from rattan is not to be confused with smooth, solid wood. The image above, and this image:

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are two entirely different things. She got me all excited for nothing.

So you're saying, why not just use those? Here are my thoughts and you can give me your opinion. These Erin bags are wool and they have a definite "winter" accessory appearance. To me, rattan, is sort of a summer thing. I associate rattan with summer. Summer porch furniture, sandals, etc. I don't think they would look good on these bags. Unless of course it would be cotton yarn. Then it would be perfection! Am I crazy?

Ok... I lied.

I did knit last night. I got home from dinner at 9:30pm and what else is a person going to do while watching re-runs of Law and Order? It was certainly too late to get into anything else so I started Corrie's sweater. She will be born by C-Section on Friday so it's time to get my butt in gear on this one.

I chose acrylic yarn because the colors sucked me in, it's easy care for baby, and I justified it by telling myself it was high quality "yarn shop" acrylic. Well, I'm not a fan. High quality or not.
The whole time I'm knitting I'm telling myself how much better this would be in wool. I don't like the look of it. I don't like the feel of it. Holy Heck!!!!!!! I AM a yarn snob!! On the positive side, I like how the pattern is written. Unlike the Phildar patterns I've worked with, (which I'm convinced get lost in translation from French to English) this Sirdar pattern is written very well, and easy to follow. I'm a little nervous about the intarsia that's coming up but I feel like it's going to be more of a pain in the neck than difficult.

So how about Laurie getting to go to Paris? I'm beside myself with jealousy. :-) You go girl!
I want a full report upon your return. I want to know if the food is good and if the French are as rude as my sister says they are. (she travels a lot) Bring me back a photo of the Eiffel Tower I can use for my desktop background!

Well, since I'm going to be contributing to the financial well being of the Pennsylvania state college system in a BIG way this week in the book stores of both Slippery Rock University and the Pennsylvania State University, I better go try to sell some real estate.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Not much knitting news.....

I did work on Kepler last night. I finished the second sleeve band and started the first waist band. I found a few mistakes in the knitting but no one but me would ever know they are there, and since I'm NOT a total perfectionist (unlike most Virgos), they're stayin there.

I printed out my Mapquest directions to Pittsburgh Mills today. It's exactly 100 miles and should take 2 hours. I'll leave way early and check out the Galleria. Cate has decided to go back to Slippery Rock a day early so her Dad will take her Saturday and I won't be combining that chore with this trip. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good weather.

My iron died this morning so I'm a little wrinkly today. We have the bad habit of "ironing as you go" instead of doing ironing in combination with the laundry. I hang everything up out of the dryer but I don't iron it first. I remember my mother standing for hours on the weekends ironing. No way Jose. A good 5 minutes every morning and I'm good to go. Unless the iron breaks... like it did this morning. I was sure we had a spare. I'm looking everywhere and never did find it. But my husband was in a lot worse shape than me. He had an important meeting and nothing to wear that even remotely resembled a pressed appearance. I got out of there before I had to watch him walk out the door in that condition. Some wife I am. I guess I'll be making a stop at K-Mart or Target at lunch time. (Sorry... won't do WalMart. Just shoot me.)

No knitting tonight... dinner with my sister and a friend. It's always a good time. This is my way of warning you that tomorrow's post in the knitting blog is going to be just as boring as today's.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Weekend Progress

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Clapotis III finished
Yarn: 80% Wool 20% Mohair Hand spun and Hand dyed
Purchased from: The Good Shephard
at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Totally the wrong yarn for the project but I knew that going in.
The best thing about the Clapotis pattern is the "spring" in it if you use the correct yarn.
This was not the correct yarn. The finished fabric is somewhat limp and lifeless. But I was obsessed with the yarn and the pattern and I wasn't going to be happy until I did it. First of all, it's a "casual" yarn and not meant to ever dress anything up when used as a wrap. My intention for it has always been for it to be used as more of a scarf with my camel dress coat and it is fine for that. Also, the mohair content in the yarn complicated the running of the dropped stitches much more than I thought it would. I had to painstakingly make those rows run by untangling the fibers with my fingers and sometimes with scissors.
All in all, it's what I thought it would be and I'm happy with it. I just wouldn't advise using a yarn like this for this pattern to anyone else.
My Clapotis I, using the green rayon yarn is probably my favorite thing I ever made for myself. I will make more of these in the future.

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I finished the knitting and lining for the big Erin Bag. I tried it with the handles I have and I didn't like it. They are too small and it just looked stupid. I tried it with some other non-wooden handles and didn't like it. I NEED larger, round, brown, smooth, good-quality handles for this. I can't find them. It just doesn't look right with anything else.

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I made some progress on the Kepler sleeve bands. You make the sleeve and waist bands first, block them, and then pick up the stitches for the sleeves and body. This is fun knitting. It goes quickly too since there are only 32 stitches worked on the pattern. My goal is to wear this to my daughter's baby shower on March 18th.

The pattern for baby Corrie's sweater came. After reading it, I realize it's going to be a stretch for me but I need to learn new things and expand my knowledge of knitting techniques so I'm going to jump in when I'm finished with Kepler. There is intarsia involved. I've never done that.

And as for the fruitcake, I don't know about the dog. I saw the one my mother bought over the weekend. It's wrapped in an air-tight, vacuum packed plastic film and inside a cardboard box. I don't think my dog would have touched that. So I'm back to square one on the case of the missing fruitcake!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

OMG! The Dog... Yes, The Dog!!!

Thank you Laurie. Why didn't I think of that? I bet that dog did eat that fruitcake. Come to think of it, on Christmas morning the dog didn't eat her food. The kids said people were feeding her ham so I didn't think much of it. She probably ate that fruitcake while we were at midnight mass. Usually when she does stuff like that I find remnants and wrappings. I guess I'll have to tell my mother that she should ask her if it was any good. I guess we'll just have to run with this theory. There doesn't seem to be any other explanation and that dog IS the biggest sneak on the face of the earth!

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Mystery of the Missing Fruitcake


Mother: How did you like the fruitcake?
Me: What fruitcake?
Mother: The fruitcake I gave you on Christmas Eve.
Me: You didn't give me a fruitcake on Christmas Eve.
Mother: Yes I did.
Me: No, you didn't.
Mother: Yes I did.
Me: When?
Mother: When I walked in the door I handed it to you.
Me: I don't remember that.
Mother: You sat it down on the kitchen table.
Me: I never saw it there, even after the party.
Mother: It was there. I saw it there.
Me: Well, I'll ask everyone else if they saw it.
Mother: Well, it was there.


Me: Hi Kelly. Do you remember seeing a fruitcake in our house while you were home?
Kelly: No
Me: Not on Christmas Eve? Not ever?
Kelly: No
Me: Well, Grandma says she brought us one and I never saw it.
Kelly: I did see a fruitcake on Grandma's table when we went to say goodbye to her and I commented on it and she said she bought two of them, from a monastary, one for her and one for you. She said she gave it to you on Christmas Eve.
Me: So she says.


Me: Have you seen a fruitcake around here anywhere?
Cate: No
Me: Not ever? Not on Christmas Eve?
Cate: No, I never saw a fruitcake


Me: Hi. This is going to sound weird, but did you see a fruitcake in our house at any time on or around Christmas Eve?
Husband: No, I didn't. And I like fruitcake. I think I'm the only person on earth who likes fruitcake. I would have noticed a fruitcake.
Me: Well Mom says she brought a fruitcake on Christmas Eve.
Husband: I never saw a fruitcake.
Me: Do you think we could have accidently thrown it out?
Husband: You accidently throw gift certificates out that are in bags because they don't weigh anything and you don't know they are in there. You don't accidently throw fruitcakes out.
Me: Well what could have happened to it?
Husband: Are we 100% sure she really brought it?
Me: I think so, she told Kelly she gave it to us two days after the fact.
Husband: Well, whatever.

Me: Did you see a fruitcake around here anywhere?
Son: What's a fruitcake?
Me: Nevermind

Weekend Knitting Goals

1. Assemble large Erin Bag.

2. Finish Clapotis III

3. Make some sort of progress on Kepler Sleeve

4. Read over directions for baby Corrie's sweater (if they come today or tomorrow)

Hmmmn..... Can I do it??

Must do office floor time Saturday morning 9 to 12.
Must pick mother up at dialysis at 1:30pm
Must shop for luggage on sale - Late Christmas present from my parents. (why did I ask for that? I don't go anywhere)
Must go to fabric store for purse lining and fabric glue
Must start laundry
Must cook Dinner
Must go to brother's house to collect check for candy (service organization fund raiser)

Must go to Church
Must clean house
Must paint bathroom
Must finish laundry
Must cook dinner
Must find lost fruitcake (long story)

My guess is that we're looking at a 4 hour window of opportunity to get all those knitting goals accomplished.

If you are a betting person, what will get finished.... and what won't???

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Not. Going. Well.


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My husband is an insomniac. Always has been. I have never had trouble sleeping until recently. I worry. My back hurts. I stress. My back hurts. I can't shut my thought process down. And my back hurts. Did I say my back hurts? Anyhow, for anyone out there in the same boat, I have just one word. (well, almost two words. ok, one word and two letters) Tylenol PM.
Awesome, awesome stuff. And why is it being sold over the counter? That's the question. One of these little babies turns out the lights almost immediately and you're sleeping sister, let me tell ya. Groggy in the morning? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. And the really good news is that you can still function in the middle of the night if you have to. You'll still hear the kids and the phone and be able to deal with whatever may come up. It's great stuff. I should do a commercial.

Knitting you ask? All Clapotis all the time. Still hacking away at it.

I still haven't received the baby sweater pattern in the mail that I ordered. Probably because of the holiday. I need to get started on that. That baby will be here any day now. I can't wait to meet her!

I'm going to preview a house for my daughter today. She and her husband have expressed the desire to move back home. Funny how impending parenthood changes your priorities. Hopefully they will be able to work that out. This Grandma, for one, would be very happy.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ha!! It figures!!! (my favorite!)

You are Cashmere.
You are Cashmere.You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be
found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with
the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful
people and you don't let anyone forget it!

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by

Ice scrapers and other random stuff....

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If I thought this would really work, i'd actually try it. If I buy one more ice scraper that doesn't work I'm going to scream. You buy these things with about a 3 or 4 inch scraper and put it on the windshield and it scrapes off about a quarter inch of ice at a time. At that rate you'll be scraping until Spring.

So I hate ice scrapers.
Okay, I got that out of my system.

I worked for hours on Clapotis III last night and finally got to the decrease rows where you drop the stitch at the beginning AND end of every 12th row. So there is light at the end of the ... dropped stitches. I'm happy. I'm going to absolutely love it. It's heavy. It's pretty. It will be warm.

Did I mention that I'm dieting? Again. One of these days I'm going to learn to eat right so I don't have to keep doing this. I keep getting stuff in the mail from Weight Watchers. They want me back. You would think that they'd give up on me, but no. They continually hold out hope. Actually, I'm sure they love people like me. People who need to keep coming back.... with checks. I decided I'm going to do it on my own this time. No more paying to get on the scales. My gosh.. have a little self discipline already! I can do this! 15 lbs. by May 1st is my goal.

I'm sad about the miners. And even more sad that their families had to go through that roller coaster of misinformation. How terrible.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First 2006 FO!

It's a pattern from "Learn to Knit Socks": http://www.carylldesigns.com/books/LA_learn_to_knit_socks.jpg

(oh, and by the way, I totally learned to knit socks using this book. If anyone out there wants to learn, and thinks it may be difficult, this is the book for you. It has directions for every short row and decrease row... it doesn't ASSUME that you know what you're doing. It's great)

A DK weight cashmere blend on size 3 needles.

They will be good for work. One of the few pairs of socks I ever made that I can actually wear with dress pants. So hopefully my feet will be a little warmer.

More on New Year's Resolutions regarding knitting:

I want to learn to use the drop spindle my Pittsburgh Secret Pal sent me and I want to learn to do socks on two circular needles.

In reality, I've decided that I need to knit a little less this year. My house needs some attention in the way of interior painting and decorating so I have to try to concentrate on that. I put that off long enough because I hate it. But it's time now. With the new grandchild coming, I just need to get some things in order. I need to try to prioritize. I really don't have that much free time as it is. I think if I get a few larger knitting projects completed this year it will be a good year.

Monday, January 02, 2006

2005 Finished Projects

I've been reading knitting blogs today and my thought has been.... I can't believe these people finished so much stuff in one year. So, I went back through my blog to see what all I did and this is what I REALLY can't believe.

In 2005 I knit:

9 pairs of socks

7 scarves

7 hats

6 purses

3 tank tops

2 aran baby sweaters

2 clapotis's

1 little bunny

1 big bulky sweater

and a little tiny Steeler Hat pin.

Wow... no one is more surprised than me!

OPPS!! Forgot Clark's hat and scarf... make that 8 scarves and 8 hats!!!!

Luck O' The Irish

Actually, I have always thought that people misinterpret this phrase. Who has any worse luck than the Irish? I have always thought that the Luck O' The Irish refers to bad luck but yesterday was certainly an exception to that. Because... look what I got at the big yarn sale for
$1.50 a skein!!!!!!!

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I got 9 skeins of this .. enough to make Kelly's big bulky sweater for a fraction of the price I thought it would cost me. Yay! It was in a clearance bin. 80% merino wool and 20% alpaca.

I also got this for Corrie's sweater:

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I have an off white to go with it so as soon as the pattern comes, that will be ready to start.

Lastly, I got this to do the sock pattern in the new Interweave Knits... It's a leafy pattern. I forget the name of it.

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So, the yarn sale was a big success in my opinion.

I blocked the big Erin Bag last night. After I got it all pinned out, I realized that it's not long enough. This bag could end up being mine. Which wouldn't be all bad. I can be happy with less than perfect. I just don't want to GIVE less than perfect!

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And, yes, I do have some knitting New Year's Resolutions. Here they are:

1. Give socks a rest for a while and finish big projects.
2. Knit a lace shawl for myself.
3. Start Rogue with the Irish Yarn.
4. Make a hat and mittens for my little niece in Colorado.
5. Do a Fair Isles project. (maybe the hat and mittens!)
6. Learn Intarsia and Entrelac.

That should keep me busy for a while.