Sunday, December 30, 2007

Guilt vs Happiness

This week I have been thinking a lot about guilt. Guilt can hold us back, or it can really challenge us to move forward. Some guilt is trivial, some runs deep.

I experienced a little humorous trivial guilt this Christmas. I made socks for my mom, sis and niece and they were very well received. dad made it very clear that it wasn't fair that he hadn't been given any wool socks or slippers. I had no idea he even wanted a pair and I felt a little guilty. This was cause for action.

I immediately cast on for some felted slippers for him. Guilt no more!

Amy and I were discussing the guilt of stash. We are both feeling guilty over the size of our stashes. Mine is truly bad. I know there are many others out there who have tons more yarn than I do, but I know this is too much for ME to have. I am going to try very hard in the new year to buy very little yarn and work from the stash whenever possible. Dad's slippers were from stash yarn and I will be using more stashed wool very soon.

I will be making slippers for myself. I received these for Christmas last year and I have literally loved them to death. The holes are getting so big that I really have no choice but to make myself new slippers quickly. Michigan winters do not go well with holey slippers.

There are other things that make me feel guilty too, but I have been told by a very good friend that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. In 2008 I am going to stop putting so much pressure on myself, comparing myself to others and just be me. I am going to concentrate on the things and people that make me happy. I am not superwoman, nor do I want to be. I will never be the best designer, blogger (I'm not even going to apologize for not posting in 2 weeks), friend etc. in the world. I am just going to be myself.

I will leave you with a silly picture of Brodie. (I know he's not a cat, but some bloggers actually have cute dogs lol.) It looks like he is just staring aimlessly at the cupboard....

but actually, he is sitting directly in front of the heat vent and letting the hot air blow on him. What a silly dog.

Next time I will have to tell you about our crazy trip.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A little bit of everything

First.........remember this?

Well, now you can make one too! The pattern is available now and it's FREE!
You can get it here. I hope you enjoy it. Christmas knitting will be done in time. I only have a week, but I will make it. I will have lost of knitting time this week. Why you say?

Three........I am going on a cruise! I'm leaving in the morning for a week. The hubby and I are taking a little "us time". I just pray the plane can get out. We are supposed to get dumped on with a ton of snow tonight. Well, I had hoped for a bigger update, but I just plain ran out of time. I will definitely have things to show off when I get back though.

I hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Christmas Meme (apologies to those that hate them)

  • 1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate!
  • 2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? I wrap all the gifts and put them under the tree as I am done with them.
  • 3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Always all white.
  • 4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope never have. I don't want people randomly kissing me, thanks.
  • 5. When do you put up your decorations? As soon as possible after Thanksgiving. This year it's mostly just the tree. I am not going all out.
  • 6. What is your favorite holiday dish? There is no way I can pick just one. My favorite things are the appetizers and sweets that nobody bothers with during the year.
  • 7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Probably when I got my Ballerina Barbie. (dorky, I know)
  • 8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? It was so long ago, I can't remember.
  • 9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, we usually have a party that night.
  • 10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? With tons of ornaments, mostly white, gold, red, and rust.
  • 11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love it at Christmas time and for a couple weeks after that.Then it can leave!
  • 12. Can you ice skate? Yes, and I can even go backwards, really!
  • 13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Not really, I don't actually get many.
  • 14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Remembering the birth of Jesus and spending time with my family.
  • 15. What's is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Again, I'm not sure I can choose just 1.
  • 16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Baking tons of goodies and bringing them to all th parties I attend. Sadly, I won't get to do much of it this year.
  • 17. What tops your tree? A gold star this year.
  • 18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Definitely giving. I could really care less if I get anything. I like watching everyone else open their gifts.
  • 19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night
  • 20. Candy Canes?No, but I like the white chocolate bark with peppermint.
  • 21. Do you feel Christmas is too commercialized? Definitely.
  • 22. Real tree or artificial?I like both. We have a fake tree for ease and for allergies.
  • 23. Do you put lights up on the outside of your house? My wonderful hubby does, and he does a great job. No sloppy cheesey lights here.
  • 24. Do you do a Christmas Dinner or Supper and who cooks? Not really. Many years we are somewhere else on Christmas, but if we do, I cook.
  • 25. Is your family the everyone unwraps gifts at once sort or do you do it one gift at a time as the others watch? One at a time. I hate it when I miss something.
  • 26. Do your pets share in the festivities? Not really, we have never really given Brodie many gifts. He is in the room with us though.

I shamelessly took this idea from another blog. I love reading about Christmas traditions, so if you feel like it, fill out your own.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Weekender Wrap

I am excited. My Weekender Wrap pattern is up at Crystal Palace. There are lots of other great patterns there too.

It is a free pattern! Yay!

I used the Panda Wool yarn (color hydrangea), which knits and blocks beautifully. This was the stole that I knit twice and I still love it. I can't say that about many patterns. I hope you enjoy it!

Pattern is here and you can link to it here on Ravelry.

I finished a pair of slippers for my daughter's boyfriend.
Obviously they have not been felted yet. They are HUGE!
Well I am off to do some Christmas shopping today. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A great weekend

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend. I know I did. I will admit to going out with the crazies early Friday morning trying to get the bargains. I didn't get everything I wanted, but I still did ok. I managed to pick up a few Christmas presents, had a great time with my sister and snagged myself a new toy.
Finally, I am the proud owner of a new laptop. I can now take my computer to my favorite knitting spot and multi-task more comfortably than ever. I am still getting used to it, but so far I just love it. Mom's sock has been keeping me company, and as you can see, I am almost done. I just need to kitchener the toe, and woo hoo, a gift is finished.

I have already started another gift too. Another pair of socks, and these will be for my sis.

I'm using a new yarn for me, Araucania Ranco. I picked a semi-solid in shades of gray for her (she usually doesn't like loud socks). I hope I like working with it. It has split a few times already, which really tends to bug me, but the color might win me over.

I almost used this..... see, I won this skein from Sharon's blog. I love the colors (Sharon dyed it), so I wasn't sure I could give it up. She sent it all the way from South Africa. My kids were so impressed. They think it is so cool that I know people all over the world. I am always talking about Arkansas, Texas or Hawaii because I have knitting friends in all those places. I've said it before, but I just love how knitting brings people together.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Since I've been gone....

Wow it's been two weeks since I posted! Yikes, sorry! In case you're interested (you 3 people who still read this), here's a little update since I posted last.
  • I attended at least 4 looooong musical practices and tweaked costumes.
  • I attended dress rehearsal and 3 performances, all of which were at least 3 hours.
  • I knitted half of mom's second sock.
  • I knitted a few rows on the prayer shawl.
  • I charted a new lace pattern for a stole for a friend.
  • I worked on the triangle shawl pattern a bit.
  • I bought a little bit of yarn and resisted some more.
  • I got sicker than a dog and looked horrible enough for people to comment on it.
  • I layed on the couch for two days doing nothing because I felt as rotten as I apparently looked. (I HATE being sick!)
  • I made my bed for the first time in about 4 days. (If you knew me well, you would know that I RARELY-as in almost NEVER- leave my bed unmade. That is how crazy busy and sick I was.)
  • I bought my first and only Christmas present this weekend. (Could I have an extension please?)
  • I now have to wash and sort some musical costume stuff so I still don't have time to take pics and write a better post.

I am so thankful I don't have to cook the turkey this week! I don't have the energy. I will try very hard to take some pics in the next couple of days so my blog doesn't look so boring. Sigh.

Oh, just to add a little excitement.......there might be a contest coming up..........stay tuned.

Monday, November 05, 2007

It's all about the progress

I have a confession to make. Last week I was feeling very overwhelmed. I wasn't getting as much done as I wanted, I had a rotten cold and I was struggling a bit with feeling depressed. Not really depressed, just blah. (It didn't help that none of you have been commenting lately either...sniff. Haha, just kidding. I know how busy ya all get!)
I knew that the next two weeks would be crazy with the musical and costumes, Christmas was less than 2 months away, and things were not going as well as I expected. So I didn't knit on much of anything. A few rows here and there, and that was it.

Then I managed to work a BUNCH on my shawl pattern. I am finally close to finishing it. YAY! That helped me to feel better. That pattern was hanging over my head and I had no desire to work on it. I'm so glad I finally buckled down and did it. I feel so much better now that I have made a lot of progress.

I also got a fair amount done on the prayer shawl for my friend. My hands paid for it, ouch, but I have over a foot of knitting done.

Remember these socks?

Well, I hate them. Plain and simple. My girls think they are really cute, but I don't like them at all. I was going to knit my niece socks for Christmas, and she would really love these. They are totally her colors. However, she is only 8. These would be way too long. So, I made an executive decision to rip the toe off and shorten the foot to her size. That way I am 1/2 done with a gift, I won't have to feel bad that these just aren't me and everyone is happy! :)

Sock #1 is finished for mom too. I was beginning to think I might have to give her the Sedona Socks after all. (Many thanks by the way to those of you who have purchased the pattern already! I really appreciate it!)

I really like these! I will definitely make this pattern again. Maybe even for my sister for Christmas. I am pretty sure I have yarn in the stash for them and still plenty of time to make them.

So.....I am just excited that I have made some progress, and I don't even care that nothing is finished. I'm getting there, and that's what counts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Feeling thankful

Today I am feeling very thankful for my knitting. My friend Sal and I were having lunch today and I was showing her my new sock.
This one!
A total stranger (not a scary one at all children) walks up and starts asking questions about the Magic Loop method. She had been using 2 circulars and was really curious about using just one. I showed her how it was done and she is going to try it. She probably would never have said a word to me if I hadn't had that sock going.

Well, this lady kept talking to us off and on and asked if we knew each other before knitting. Well actually Sal and I met because our daughters sang in the same choir. However, KNITTING was what got us together. One night at a concert I was knitting a sock before the singing actually started. Well Sal walked right up to me and started talking socks and yarn and needles. We have been great friends ever since. I don't know what I would do without her.

Knitting equals friends to me. There are many great people in my life that I never would have met if it wasn't for KNITTING! Some of my best friends I have never actually met. It doesn't matter.....we love each other.....we love knitting.....we click. Non knitters do not understand this pneomenon. Belive me, I know. I told someone this a week or two ago and she looked at me like I had a knitting needle sticking right out of my head. Oh well, I don't care if they get it or not. I know they are true friends and they know how much they mean to me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sedona Socks

The pattern is ready! Yay!

3 page pattern including chart. Available for download now.


Monday, October 22, 2007

I am not dead

Sorry if it seemed that I would never post again. I was determined not to post until I had finished the second Sedona sock, well, little did I know it would take me this long to finish the doggone thing.


I love them and I am not sure I can give them away! I may have to make another pair for my mom for Christmas because these really need to stay with me I think.

One more?

I have already cast on for another pair that I charted out earlier this week. Hopefully they will look good too. I get knitting and then an idea pops in my head, so I quickly try to get it on paper, but then I get distracted by 5 other can see why these took so long. I'm still putting the finishing touches on the pattern (another thing that takes forever!), but hopefully it will be available here at the blog soon.

In family news........

The Musical One had her senior pictures taken last week. We think they turned out really well. This green shirt really made her blue eyes pop (no colored contacts involved). Now we just have to decide which ones to choose (there are over 20 that we love), what prints to have made and where to get them done. Gah! Senior year is busy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wrap it up!

Or wrap me up...IT'S COLD HERE!!!!!! I asked for it. I got it. Today was about 50 degrees. This week our temps varied by 40 degrees. Oh well, I am ready for fall aaaaaaand.........
I do have this to throw on.....

I finally finished the re-knit of my stole. I am calling it the Weekender Wrap. I'm thinking I could easily wear this out to dinner and church on the weekends. I think it would look great over a fine-gauge sweater and slacks or a blouse and jeans.

I used my new blocking wires to block it out, and wow, did that make a difference! It was so much easier to get straight lines! If you don't have them, run like the wind to your computer and order yourself some! They will save you MEGA TIME!!!! (and sanity hehe)

Not much other news here, so I will leave you with Brodie begging for a belly scratch. He's such a dork.
Oh, and wish me luck. Tomorrow for my committee we are making between 1500-1600 apple pies. Yeah, really. That many. Yikes.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday and socks

It's Sunday, a full week into October, and the temperature is over 80 degrees again. It's humid. It's hot. It's uncomfortable. I am enjoying knitting and charting in the cool of my air-conditioned house. Not a good day to be outside, but watching football and knitting is great for a Sunday, so I'm not disappointed. The Lions are behind, (sigh) I hope they get it together soon. Maybe I will watch a little Nascar too.

I'm still working on my Mama Llama socks. They are so pretty, I absolutely love them. One down, one to go.

They fit great too!

Now to finish the other one and get the pattern down on paper. If only that was as fun as the knitting!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A new season

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Maybe even my favorite. I have always been one of those people who couldn't completely decide on a favorite season. There are things I like about all of them. I do know that winter is NOT my favorite. I like snow and Christmas, but winter is just too long and nasty in Michigan. Spring is so wonderful with everything coming back to life, and summer is vacations, beaches, warm weather and camping. But fall.....all those colors, that crisp smell, the welcome cooler temperatures, warm cozy sweaters....mmm....I think it might be my favorite.
This week the hubby brought me a last hurrah of summer from a friend's garden. They are just beautiful!
The colors are just starting to change here. The grass is still green but the leaves are on their way. Hopefully you can see it a little bit on this picture, it was very foggy here this morning. The weather here has been a little odd. We have had really warm temps. It's going to be in the 80's again this weekend. Oh well. The cool temps will come.
Speaking of friend Cath sent me this gorgeous hank of Bella bamboo sock yarn this week. I LOVE these colors!!!!!!!

I wasted no time and wound it into this lovely cake. I should have enjoyed it just like that for a while, but I couldn't stand it. I needed to cast on.

So far so good. I love this yarn! I love the colors! I love this pattern! Thanks Cath!
Have a beautiful fall day everyone!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Do you ever have those days when you just feel like babbling? Random thoughts just pop into your head and you just want to talk about them? This has been happening to me all morning.

-I love Rascal Flats.

-I hate grey hair - why do they have to be so squiggly and out of control?

-Why do I have zits and wrinkles at the same time?

-Why the heck was it over 90 degrees here yesterday? It's almost the end of September! I am ready for cooler weather than that!

-Why is it that the patterns you are dying to make do not match the yarns in your stash most of the time?

Ok, enough of that, want some pictures?

The never ending stole is close to ending! Ok, finally I am sick of it! I love the pattern but after knitting it twice, I am ready to be done. Plus I hate my sucky photos of this thing. They never look good until they're finished.

This pic of the other shawl is a little better I hope!

And this one?
Until now, I have been so faithful to the stole, but I may decide to cheat on it a little. I can only be a one project gal for so long right?
The cover sweater in this little booklet is really calling to me. A little cheating won't hurt right?
P.S. I have been missing my regular commenters. You know who you are hehe!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Make some noise

This here blog has been way too quiet! I need to make some noise I think. Don't tell my kids. Lately I have been telling them to be more quiet all the time. As I get older the less tolerant I become of unnecessary noise. How about you? Is this normal? Good thing lace isn't noisy.

Soft maybe. Delicate.

Too bad light lavendar lace doesn't photograph better on light colored carpet. I will have to take some more pics later on my dark brown comforter. That should provide some good contrast!

This shawl was so fun to make, but I am glad to have it finished. Maybe I will have the Sporty One model it for me later today.

I also have the stole re-knit almost 1/2 way completed. I thought I would be so grumpy about it, but really I am not. I enjoy the pattern a lot and the Panda Wool is really nice to work with, so suprisingly I don't mind knitting it a bit. Too bad it just makes for boring-haven't-we-already-seen-that blog posts.
It's growing though! Yay!

In GREAT FAMILY NEWS, the Musical One tried out for the musical at our high school last week. They are doing Carousel. She got one of the lead parts!!!!!!! WOO and HOO! She will be playing Carrie, which is a great part with lots of solos! Yay again!

Well I will try not to be so quiet here. I am getting into the swing of my fall schedule, so hopefully it will be better now. Oh and speaking of fall, it was very very frosty here this morning. Not sure I am quite ready for that yet.

Friday, September 07, 2007

1/2 Post

Today you are getting what I consider a 1/2 post. In other words, no pictures. Boring, I know. But life is just getting in the way of my blogging.

I have been making progress on the Kid Merino shawl. But you know lace, it just looks like a big blob until you block it, so I won't bore you with another blob picture. Just last night Opal and I were discussing this. Lace is just like magic when you pin it out, before that it is just "eh".

I finished the little cardi for my daughter. It fits great, but I still need a button for it. I am going to look for one today and I will post a pic when I have the button sewn on.

The designing is still coming along, but I am stuck on the charting. I really need an mentor lol. A great pattern writing, charting genius mentor. I have finally figured out some great things about Excel, but I still have so much to learn. I am thinking about getting a charting program, but they are a little pricey, so I may have to wait a bit.

Well I have like 1252 errands to run today so I better scoot. That committee I'm in charge of is just sucking the life out of me. I will make an excuse to stop at Barnes and Noble today though, because I heard they have some knitting books for 50% off. Gotta love a bargain!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lessons learned

I have learned a some lessons over the years, and even a few this week. Good lessons, bad lessons, funny lessons, duh-I-am-an-idiot lessons....they all have their value.

One silly lesson I learned lately is that if you like to knit with fuzzy yarn, as in a laceweight mohair blend, DO NOT buy a red couch. The project might be beautiful, lacey, yummy....

You might be in love with it. But then, you look where you were sitting, your inner clean self gasps in horror, you question your ability to stay sane when you are only 1/3 of the way through this project, because you see....

THIS! All over the couch. I see many hours of lint brushing in my future. I will press on, I will finish the shawl, I will get over the fact that my couch is going to look like do-do in the process. Ah well, that is a small enough price to pay for a beautiful knitted object, no?

Another lesson, gauge. You know where this is going don't you? This is my I-am-an-idiot lesson. I started a cardi for my daughter. It was looking so cute. It was looking small. It was a raglan. I could just keep increasing right? Um, no.

My daughter does not have a neck the size of a doll!!! Rip! Stupid, stupid, stupid. Soooo, now I have started over with my yarn doubled and it is looking much much better. Yay!

I should have this done sometime today, so she can wear it to school. My girls are obsessed with tank tops. They have MANY cute tank tops. They attend a school with a dress code that forbids anything sleeveless. We figured she could put this little cardi over them and stretch her wardrobe well into fall, saving me mucho bucks. Woo hoo!

A lesson on time management. Well frankly, lately I suck at it. This week has been the back to school transition week. This kids have a short week due to the holiday on Monday. It is good to have them back in school, but my busyness has not really improved much so far. Don't you think that there are just so many wonderful things to use our time on? Knitting, spinning, blogging, ravelry......I think I need about 2 more hours in my day. Speaking of ravelry, at first I thought I would never use it, now it usually wins out over blogging time. How do you all decide what to give your time to?

I may have learned a hard friendship lesson this week too. It is very disheartening to find that people you thought cared about you really might not. I'm sitting back and waiting to see what happens with this situation. Sad, just sad. I either need a hug or a fiber fix.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Next week

I am SOOOO looking forward to next week. I have been home from camping since Sat and life has been pure chaos since then. The kids go back to school on Tuesday (can you say ahhhh?), so we have been buying a few last minute school supplies, getting organized and trying to enjoy these last few days of our summer.

On Sunday the hubby and I snuck out for a couple of hours to the Michigan Fiber Festival. I really didn't think I would get there this year, because technically (hehe) I didn't NEED anything. I do like to go and look around and I am very glad I did! I got to meet an internet friend! Maple and I have been commenting on each other's blogs for a while now, and I finally got to meet her in person. I also bought this from her:

I got 8 oz of this delicious alpaca. It's such a beautiful color. I just love all the natural colors! Aren't her labels cute? They have the picture and name of the actual animal that the fiber comes from. I think that is so great! I am anxious for school to start so I can get back to my spinning.

In other stash enhancement news, I recently entered a contest on the Loopy Ewe's blog. I happened to be chosen as one of the winners! YAY! This is what Sheri sent:

3 skeins of sock yarn! I have never tried any of these before either, so I was really excited to open this package. I will have lots of socks to knit this winter. Or maybe I will branch out and make one of those beautiful scarves out of two colors of sock yarn. Oh the possibilities!

Hopefully life will be back to a good schedule soon, and the blogging won't suffer quite so much. Thanks to all who stuck with me despite my lack of good content this summer.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Holy flower batman!

Check this out! My niece gave me this giant flower. It is the craziest thing ever.

It's a giant cockscomb. That is ONE flower. ONE! Look at that stem! It is bigger than my hand. The top is fuzzy and slightly "brainish" looking. Pretty cool huh?

In the not-so-cool category, I finished my stole, but I think I will have to knit the entire thing again. I think I chose the wrong yarn for it. I blocked it out and it is gorgeous, but it doesn't retain it's shape. There is some elastic in it, which would be wonderful for other projects, but not for this one. I will probably do it again in a wool yarn.

I really love the looks of it, so I will definitely redo it if I can't use this one.

Well, we are off today for another week of camping at the beach. Last vacation of the summer....ahhhhh.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mist scarf

Lace anyone? Free pattern? It seems all over blogland, people have been bitten by the lace bug. I know I have. In case you have not been bitten yet, could I tempt you with a little project? I designed a lace scarf for Crystal Palace and the pattern is up! Yay!

The free pattern is available here. It's an easy repeat that would be great for beginning lace knitters. It's also a great take along project and stash buster, using only one ball (240 yds) of their Kid Merino.

Mine will be a Christmas gift for.....well I don't think I will tell, in case she stumbles on the blog. You could whip this up in no time for a gift for any occasion.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Happy feet

If you were hoping for penguins, sorry. Only happily-clad-by-handknits feet here. Yay! I felted the slippers from Knit 2 Together. They turned out really cute.

This pattern is so fast. Literally you can knit a pair in a couple of hours. The embellishing is another story. I am not kidding, it took me longer to put those silly lines on than it did to knit the slippers. I kept pulling it out because they were not straight enough, or not spaced properly, etc. If you are a perfectionist, for the sake of your sanity, pick a different embellishment! I definitely have plans for more of these. If you haven't already, buy the book! It's well worth the money, I mean, can you believe that price? Too cute to pass up!

I also finished a footie. Off the foot, these look freakishly long, but they do fit my daughter's size 8 1/2 foot quite well.

She doesn't have elf feet, really! They remind me of jelly beans. Fun colors, woot!

In other news, I have been sucked in to the giant hole of time spent, otherwise known as Ravelry. You can get lost in there for days! DAYS! I have finally managed to get a few of my projects listed (few, few). If I had always been a regular Flickr user it might not be taking me this long, but I have to upload everything there first. I am not fast at this. Not fast at all. Then all the labeling, getting distracted by other projects, looking for forgotten info about said projects, getting distracted by yarn, waiting for the bookshelf to load, finding friends. EEEEK! Time suck I tell ya, GIANT TIME SUCK! (I'm under "yenforyarn", look me up!)