Monday, December 31, 2007

A blank slate

Every New Years is a time of excitement. Refreshment even. It is the one time where you take a good look at what you have achieved and (unfortunately) failed to do, and strive to do better with the coming of the new year. Your dusty slate is wiped clean over night, and a whole 365 days of working for (and ignoring) all of your new (or same) goals commences.

I have a whole sundry of goals that I have failed to do this year, mostly because I wasn't smart enough to write them down on something other than scratch paper and I forgot them all, except my foremost goal of the infamous "loose the flab" plea (which I didn't do). Between now and next year ('09) when I get hitched, I've got some time to diet, exercise, forget, curse at myself, get back on the horse, forget, and than finally get into the groove. Piece of cake, right?

I have just 3 major knitting goals I'd like to scratch onto my 2008 resolution list. I would like to start knitting more continental-style because, quite frankly, I'm sick of feeling like I'm a slow-poke-knitter. I'd also like to strap on a pair and officially do some intarsia or double-stranded work. If I'm feeling pretty bored, I'd also like to start knitting socks toe-up...just because it seems more practical. Who doesn't want to try on the sock while it's a WIP?
I promised a bountiful January on this blog, and I am sticking to that. I've got 24 skeins of fingering weight yarn (10 bamboo blend & 14 silk blend) and 4 skeins of lace weight yarn to dye up for my shop, and I have a couple of WIP's, one being two "secret" objects, and a sock.

But enough of all of this New Years chitter-chatter! Let's rewind a bit. I hope you all had a great holidays! I hope you enjoyed your family and relaxation. To me, it's always a little ironic that they consider the holiday season a "vacation"...because I felt stressed out and fatigued until only a few days ago. You've got the whole house to clean, food to cook, presents to buy and wrap, people to entertain and visit. Unfortunately Christmas wouldn't be the same if you eliminated any of those stressful factors out though. Oh well. Did anyone get anything exciting? My dad is handy at the workshop, and made me a set of 2.5 sockblockers (funny, really)! I've been waiting in anticipation for these puppies for months now! Now, my most satisfying present is from some gift returns and clever timing! I bought a knitting machine! I've never felt better at cheating!

The original price was a whopping $160... but I only payed $18! Here's the secret: 50% coupon, plus $30 returns and a $25 gift card. I couldn't have played that out better. It really does work well when you use it right...but it's the most temperamental machine I've ever laid my hands on, which frustrating because my dying computer works better than the knitting machine. Here's the thing. It likes to jam up and drop stitches. It's all about weight distribution and keeping the needles *perfectly* aligned at all times. But, on the bright side, *when* it works...it saves hours. I've already finished half of a sweater messing around with it.

This is what's on the needles right now--a belated Christmas gift for Joe's mother. Like I said, I'm a little slow (and procrastinate when I feel I have time). Well, time's up. This needs to be ready, pronto! Remember this skein? The colorway looks pretty neat. I'm sure she'll love it. I'm trying them two at a time, because I can guarantee that I'll get "second sock syndrome." The ugly matchy woody table and chair set is from the *new* Starbucks. What happened to their modernism? It's not like they have a fireplace like Caribou's.

Mais, j'aimerais du plus tea "passion fruit" a la Starbucks.

HAVE A GREAT NEW YEARS, EVERYONE! WE'LL MEET AGAIN IN 2008!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

LT Rib Socks (KUAS Original)

Note: This free pattern has been removed 10/17/12. It may or may not return, but if it does, it will be tweaked and pdf’ed and available for an inexpensive $1.99 price.

'Twas a few days before Christmas when all through the res house, not a creature was silent...I wish they were as loud as a mouse! Their coats were hung in their rooms with such care, in hopes that they can go out to the city bars quite bare. Come 3 in the morning, they stumble into their beds, with fuzzy visions of easy-earned A's on final exams in their heads....

As you can tell, the story is quite different on campus.


Fresh off the needle press. I finally finished my Grandma's LT rib socks. I think they look cute! Who would have known that she is an 8.5? I made them a little wider than I would wear. They are really stretchy! Plus, they are easy-schmeasy!

.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Archive: Books I've Finished Over the Years

The goal is to read as many "for pleasure" books as I can in one year. Here's what I've read:
*=denotes audiobook

Books read in 2015:

 

Books read in 2014:


7 books (or more?) read in 2014

Books read in 2013:

8 books (or more?) read in 2013
     
     

Books read in 2012

22 total books read in 2012


2011:
The Christmas Carol (Dickens)
Gingerbread Cookie Murder (Fluke)
The Peach Keeper (Allen)
Roast Mortem (Coyle)
What to expect the 1st year
Unraveled (Sefton)
Heaven is for Real
Spun by Sorcery
Buttercream Bumpoff
Ghost and the Dead Man's Library (Kimberly)
The Ghost and the Dead Deb (Kimberly)
Digital Fortress (Brown)
The Ghost and Mrs. Mcclure (Kimberly)
The Bad Beginning (Snicket)
The Giver (Lowry)
French Pressed (Coyle)
Holiday Grind (Coyle)
Colic Solved (Vartabedian)
Calming Your Fussy Baby (Brazelton)

19 books read in 2011



2010:
Decaffeinated Corpse (Coyle)
Candy Apple Dead (Carter)
Over Hexed (Thompson)
Sprinkled with Murder (McKinlay)
Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy
The Secret Garden (Burnett)
You having a baby (Dr. Oz)
Skein of the Crime (Sefton)
Murder Most Frothy (Coyle)
Still Life with Murder (Ryan)
Ice Land (Tobin)
The Girl Who Chased the Moon (Allen)
Are You there, Vodka? (Handler)
The Hunt for Atlantis (McDermott)
The Four Gospels
The Forgotten Garden (Morton)
Dead to the World (Harris)
The Lightning Thief (Riordan)
Shakespeare's Landlord (Harris)
Club Dead (Harris)


20 books read in 2010


2009:
Casting Spells (Bretton)
Breaking Dawn (Meyer)
Dewey the Library Cat (Myron)
Bitten (Armstrong)
Wesley the Owl (O'Brien)
Eclipse (Meyer)
New Moon (Meyer)
Through the Grinder (Coyle)
Latte Trouble (Coyle)
Things I Learned From Knitting (Pearl-Mcphee)
Alex & Me (Pepperberg)
Julie & Julia (Powell)*
Yarn Harlot Casts Off (Pearl-McPhee)
Garlic & Sapphires (Reichl)*
Waiter Rant (Dublanca)*
Girl with a Pearl Earring (Chevalier)
Drop Dead Stitch (Sefton)
Free Range Knitter (Pearl-McPhee)
At Knit's End (Pearl-McPhee)
The Langoliers (King)
I Like You (Sedaris)*
Laced With Magic (Bretton)
New Moon (Meyers)
Dead Until Dark (Harris)
Dead in Dallas (Harris)


 25 books read in 2009


2008:
Twilight (S. Meyer)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J.K Rowling)*
The Charmed Sphere (C.Asaro)
Fleece Navidad (M.Stefton)
Dyer Consequences (M. Stefton)
The Ice Queen (A. Hoffman)
Some Like it Hot-Buttered (Cohen)
Black Ice (A. Stuart)
The Sugar Queen (S. Allen)
The Other Boleyn Girl (P.Gregory)
On What Grounds (C. Coyle)
At Bertram's Hotel (A. Christie)
Garden Spells (S. Allen)
The Nanny Diares (E. Mclaughlin)
Water for Elephants (S. Gruen)
The Secret Life of Bees (S. Kidd)
The Arrangement (S. Forster)
For One More Day (M. Albom)
5 People You Meet in Heaven (M. Albom)
Murder on the Orient Express (A. Christie)
The Choice (N. Sparks)
Forever in Blue (A. Brashares)*
The Notebook (N. Sparks)
At First Sight (N. Sparks)*
A Bend in the Road (N. Sparks)
Bucket of Ashes (P.B Ryan)

26 books read in 2008


2007:
Cam's Quest (Regan)
Odd Thomas (Koontz)
Enchanted (Card)
A Deadly Yarn (Stefton)
Chainfire (Goodkind)
Deception Point (Brown)
A Killer Stitch (Stefton)
Harry Potter and the Order of Pheonix (Rowling)
Tuesdays With Morrie (Albom)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Rowling)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Rowling)
C'est La Vie (Gershman)
Murder on Black Friday (Ryan)
Knitlit (too) (Wolf)
Without Sin
(Smithdeal)
Whiteout
(Follett)
Murder in a Mill Town (Ryan)
Died in the wool (Marsh)
The Morning After
(Forster)
Murder in the North End
(Ryan)
The Last Summer (of you & me)(Brashares)
Knit Fast, Die Young (Kruger)
The Cairo Diary
(Chattam)
The Rescue
(Sparks)
Death on Beacon Hill
(Ryan)
Still Life with Murder (Ryan)


26 books read in 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Final Results.

Here's the 3 winners that I pulled out of the hat (winners by order):
1st place (set of "Elves" stitch markers): Awesome Mom
2nd place (set of "Elves" stitch markers): Kate
3rd place (1 free Etsy pattern): Cindy

Congrats to the 3 winners, & many thanks to those who shared their wonderful stories!
Also, I give many thanks to those who wished me Happy Birthday! I had a very nice day at the mall, shopping, eating out and watching "The Golden Compass" with my FH.

***UPDATE: NEW WINTER STITCH MARKERS ARE UP ON MY ETSY SHOP.***


P.S-My friend Liz is also doing a contest. Hint Hint. It seems like there is an abundance of knitting contests around blogland. Lucky us knitters, huh?

...somehow I find this a little suspect:
cash advance

I know, I know. Where's the knitties? After X-MAS, I promise to stop boring you to tears!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

I can't wait until tomorrow! Yay! It looks like I'll have a snowy birthday afterall. :)
Today, classes were cancelled! So, instead of staying inside as advised, I went out on a photo-spree, taking nearly 80 photos of the most beautiful scenery I've seen in a long time!
Quite Narnia-like, isn't it!




...And 3 seconds before I walked under the tree...This snapped off from 20 feet in the air and landed by my feet! And to think that if I didn't slow down to take another picture...I would have definitely been in the hospital today. The sound of the snap before the pludge is unforgettable!
Please do not use these photos without my permission. Thanks!

Monday, December 10, 2007

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" [Last Contest]

Time really has a way of smudging together. We went from September, to barely October...and Slipped through November and half way through December already? Is someone stealing our time? By the time you wake up in the morning, you're halfway through another month...and another year older!

Nevertheless, It seemed like only a few months ago I turned 21. I'm already 2 days away from turning 22! However, 22 seems like a golden birthday for me. I've always loved the number 2. My FH asked me out on the 22nd, and the second dog in the second race has won me good money on my first time at the dog tracks. I'm telling you, the number two for me is a very "auspicious" number...and I'm not even superstitious. I plan to have a "quiet" Wednesday...shopping in the (chaotic) mall, eating dinner with the darling and watching a movie afterwards. That's how this college student plans to spend her birthday. I've been 21, I'm not "required" to have a crazy party and be intoxicated. I don't need a keg to have a good time. I'll just sip my pina colada or whatever at some Irish pub and move on.



As to the contest. I know I said I would do 4 weeks of contests in the light the Christmas spirit. However, this spirit has been a little fatigued by everything going on, and I feel that I only have it in me to do just one more. However, I don't want to bum you out... so I'll randomly pick 3 winners for this next contest.

The contest closes at: Thurs. Dec. 13th @ 7pm. Prizes mailed next day.
Be ready to supply your address THAT NIGHT if you want them before Xmas!


~The Contest Question~
Describe your most memorable Christmas (or Hanukkah)? What was magical about it?
Ex: People, events, scenery, feelings, surprises, transformed experience, etc

Prizes: All 3 winners will be drawn from a hat. The order drawn from a hat is their prize placing.
1st place & 2nd place= (Set of 6) Santa's Elves stitch markers from my Etsy shop!
3rd place= 1 free pattern of your choosing from my Etsy shop.

This time, no double entries. No requirement to blog it. Just answer the question.
I do realize that this contest question is more religiously based, so if you are turned off by it, there will be another opportunity to participated in the future.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Queen of Scandals! [Contest #2 Results]


...And the winner is: MONICA!
-->Your prize is 2 free patterns from my Etsy shop!
Thanks to everyone who participated! I couldn't believe how many people confessed! Now that everyone has come clean, let's review! I tried my best to compile all of your answers, while keeping you anonymous! It looks like "hiding or lying about your stash" was by far the biggest category!

Who Needs to Swatch Anyways?:
--I never check gauge. What's more, sometimes I don't even use the correct weight of yarn for a project.
--I NEVER do a gauge swatch and I should because my gauge is generally a problem. And I have to confess even when I do make one I have no idea how to "read" it so I think that's why I don't make them. I should really do something about that.
--The only time I ever knit a gauge swatch is when I knit a sweater for my sister. I didn't bind it off and wash it like a good girl, I frogged it and used the yarn in the sweater.
--I don't check gauge.
--I never check my gauge...and have paid the price!
--I dislike swatches. I don't read them correctly anyway, so why do them. (I mostly knit socks, hats and dish clothes. I don't like scarfs because they are like a big swatch and are really boring, even the ones with patterns. I'd rather buy one on sale.
--I don't swatch.
--I rarely swatch. Seems like a waste of time.

Frogging:
--Although I usually rip out my work if I mess up, I don't take the time to do it if the knitting is not for me (i.e. a gift for someone). I usually think to myself that this person isn't going to notice because they don't knit AND I'm not going have to deal with the imperfections.
--Sometimes, when I'm knitting socks...or other things, I'll discover a hole in the knitting from loose stitches or picking up sts. When this happens, I'll (sometimes) either knit into the row below to hide it, wrap the loose st a few times around the needle then knit into it, or k2tog then m1. Basically anything that can be done (even if it's not some real knitting technique) just so I don't have to undo my work. If I don't do this it's usually because I spent a lot of money on the yarn...or because I'm being anal.
--I don't like to rip. If I can get away with it, I call it a design feature and go on about my business.
--I have found that I really prefer felting because it easily hides knitting mistakes. Tends to give you some bad habits though.
--I only occasionally fix mistakes.

Blocking:
--I rarely block anything
--I have never blocked one single thing in my life.

Weaving in Those Dang Threads:
--On my first knitting project, I put off the end-weaving for months, because my mother had drilled into me that it's an unpleasant task. Once I'd done it, however, I realized I disagreed. I find the task relaxing, and how can anyone not like finishing their project?
--I hate seams. I've never knitted a seam, but I hate it anyway. If a pattern has a seam and I can't figure out a way to do it without it, I won't do the pattern.
--I don't like to weave in ends. Seriously. I tend to just cut and tuck in the last 2-4 inches of yarn in a place no one will ever see it, like the inside of a hat. This, as you may imagine, does not always work.
--I hate weaving in ends. I don't trust the weaving. I tie knots (GASP!) which usually come undone in the wash.
--I hate weaving in ends. I wear socks where the end ends up wound around my toes and I have to pull them off in the middle of work just to restore circulation. I still don't weave them in.

Picking Up Stitches:
--I hate picking up stitches. Its my least favorite thing to do in any project particularly socks (and I've recently become obsessed with socks). I usually rush through it not taking the time to distribute the stitches evenly. Its a mess. I don't know why i hate it so much but I just do.
--I hate picking up neck stitches. Period.

Fear that Drives Away A Knitting Technique:
--I'm totally scared of knitting sweaters. I just think I'm going to mess them up so bad that there is no point in knitting them This is a fear I must get over.
--I hate to knit raglans. They never ever work out.


Lying, Tricking or Hiding the Evidence When it Comes to Hoarding Stash:
--I still continue to buy yarn, even when I tell myself I'm not going to. Sometimes I do it secretly and hide it from my boyfriend.
--I wouldn't exactly say that I lie about my yarn purchases, but I definitely downplay or 'forget' to mention them sometime ...
--I sometimes sneak new yarn into the house. My partner doesn't know this, but any, ANY spare change I find I put into a little "yarn fund." I use that money to buy yarn when I'm not supposed to (like when we've worked out a budget for the month and I've sworn myself to a yarn diet.) So I stick it in my purse or lunch box and wait till he goes to the bathroom to add it to the stash. This way I can still get on to him when he splurges on video games :)
--I lie about yarn purchases. Money is tight and I *really* shouldn't buy any more, but it's an addiction. I tell DF I got new yarn in a swap or something instead of saying I paid for it.
--The last few packages of yarn that arrived at my house I hid from my DH telling him that they were Christmas gifts. I know, I'm a bad person.
--We have had quite the expensive fall. Our car insurance was due, my sister got married, I got a $300 speeding ticket and we have Christmas shopping to do. I agreed to not visit a craft store or a yarn store for a few months to help us cut back on our expenses.I tried to be happy knitting up my modest stash. I was happy (kinds) until I knit up some beautiful and soft alpaca woo blend yarn. It was so heavenly I just had to have more. When I was in the area of my local yarn shop I went in an bought some. I hid it in the trunk, so my husband would not see it and waited until he went to bed so I could hide it from him. I got busted because I did not have enough cash on me to make the transaction untraceable and my husband is very obsessive about checking our bank account online.
--Last winter I told my daughter that I was going to join "Knit from Your Stash" for 2007. Thus, reducing the huge amount of yarn I have hidden in odd places. She still thinks I do even though I have been secretly buying yarn the whole year.
--Buying yarn and hiding it, both by paying cash so hubby does not see and / or hiding it in the back of the jeep under a blanket till Monday when i have off and hubby is at work before bringing it in the house.
--Buy items (needles and yarn) on line and if hubby is home when they get delivered tell him my mom ordered them for me as a gift ... she is in on this too!
--Another secret, if I need one skein of yarn, I almost always buy $60 worth in order to get my Webs discount. Then I guard the door to intercept the package arrival which is obviously too big for just one skein of yarn.
--I used to buy yarn and hide it in my car, only to sneak it inside if no one was home. I'd stash it under the bed, in the closet...anywhere I thought my husband wouldn't look!
--I sneak yarn *and* needles. I use any method I can to pay: cash at shops, swaps on Ravelry, even Paypal for pretty much anything! My little sister helps me catch all my mail packages before my mom gets home. I've got her sneaking them past my parents' bedroom (where Dad is), and stowing them safely in mine! On the plus side, she likes making me hunt for them, even though my room is only 8x10. And when parents see new yarn, or when they ask me where I got that yarn that I'm dyeing, I respond, "I won it in a blog contest." I have bought over eleven miles of yarn in the past two months. Somehow I've managed to hide it all under my desk!
--I opened a separate bank account that my husband doesn't know about. What is it for? YARN. NEEDLES. I hide my 2nd debit card in my wallet, and when I come home with new yarn, I stuff it in vases, boxes, and the glove compartment of the car. EEEP!

Lying About How Long it Takes to Knit or When they Knit:
--My sister and I once had a race to knit the same sweater, and I would get up in the middle of the night and unravel a few rows on hers. She never caught on, and I won!
--I lie about when I spin/knit. I tell DF he can't come over because I need to study when I'm actually spinning or knitting! I know, bad me... a little white lie never hurt him... Well, now I feel guilty... I think spinning will make me feel better! ;-)
--I lie about how long it takes me to knit stuff. I started knitting because my older sister knits (I CAN DO ANYTHING BETTER THAN SHE, YES I CAN) well not really but I like to try. Anyway, my trying ultimately leads lying. I always shave a few days off a project so it seems I knit faster than she does.
--I lie about how long it takes me to finish things. I know, who cares, the knitting community is non-judgemental, right? And yet I still do. Part of it is pride, part of it is trying to cover up for the fact that I'm a super scatterbrain who gets distracted by something after knitting a mere 2 rows. Please forgive me!!!

Opinions or Feelings:
--I never criticize people for their work, but sometimes I see stuff that people make and think to myself "OMG that is the ugliest knitted thing I've ever seen." Sorry =(
--I think that my knit items are usually better than others in my family and close friends who try the same patterns. This is not always true, and many of us NEVER knit the same things. But I passed on my favorite purse pattern and have seen the results from a few other people.............. not as tight, not as sleek and not as well felted! ;)
-- The majority of my friends/acquaintances have no idea that I knit. I just hate the reaction I get from some people when they find out that I love to knit - they get all judgemental and say that they "never pegged me as a crazy cat lady"... why do all knitters have to be old crazy cat ladies? I'm 24! I have no cats! And... well, no.. I won't contest the crazy part.
--I really don't care for the writings of Elizabeth Zimmerman!
--I Admit to being a yarn snob!

Sorry, I only knit for "me, myself, and I":
--I absolutely hate the thought of knitting for anyone else. They don't appreciate anything about the process and therefore don't deserve my time and attention. At least, that's my thought process. My mom, who's a knitter (somewhat) wants a sweater, and I just can't bring myself to even start. I'm a selfish brat that way.
--I rarely knit for others and when I do I never feel motivated to finish like I do when I knit for myself. I'm still working on a simple garter stitch scarf for my boyfriend that I cast on in august. You'd think I'd have finished it by now but no it just sits in my knitting basket because well if it isn't for me I just don't feel the push to finish.
--I hate to knit for others cause they probably don't value the work as much as I do and they don't know how much time it takes to make a gift for them.
-- Even though i do knit for some friends..when i see a project that screams their name...otherwise i feel i am a fairly selfish knitter. And i do knit a lot for others...there are just so many things on my knit list to be knit!
--I'm not inspired to knit for other people.(I usually just knit for myself and my son. No body else appreciates the trouble you go to.)
--If someone doesn't show proper appreciation for a knit gift, they will not receive one again. I need to have some bit of appreciation and preening! Complex or not, I do want to hear how much they lover the ....... I knit them!
--The only people I knit for are me and people who pay me extremely large amounts of money. Gifts? I might give pieces I don't wear or use to other people, but it's mine, all mine, most of the time.
--I don't like to knit for other people (unless they're also knitters). They rarely appreciate or use the gift, and I require much adoration for my hard work.

Recipients get Chunky Knits:
--And I get the thing about people not appreciating how much time goes into a knitted garment, but I admit to exploiting the other side of it too. There are things that I can knit in just a few hours while I watch movies or ride in the car (a stockinette worsted-weight hat, for example). These make excellent gifts because the recipients often over-estimate how much work has gone into them. I don't feel the need to tell them how easy it was.

Knitting to Tick People Off:
--I knit presents for my nieces and nephew to annoy my brother-in-law. I know he'll hate that I didn't spend money on actual store bought toys for his children. I knit things instead, dolls, hats, headbands, scarves. That's all they will get from now on.

Sick of Knitting:
--Just to end on a nice multiple...I'm so sick of knitting right now. I hate it so much because it's all I've been doing lately. I think I'll go on hiatus in January, but I'll probably return.
--I'm pretty sick of knitting too. We all eventually crawl our way back though!

Acrylic Yarn:
--I really like acrylic yarns. They're pretty, they're washable, and they're cheap. I tend to "save" the good yarn for the someday that hasn't come yet, but I can use the acrylic without heartache. It's also available at the only LYS around, Wal-mart.
--Most of the yarn in my stash is acrylic. It's not that I really like it, or that I'm allergic to natural fibers, it's just...there.
--I don't like Acrylic yarn. And I don't know why. I just cant feel good about it. I have store bought sweaters that are %100 acrylic and I love them but I just cant get over this stigma I have against Acrylic yarn. I really would like to be cured of this because then I'd knit more things since the yarn would be cheaper. Oh dear!

Yarn Store Lurkers, or Almost:
--When I absolutely can't buy yarn, I go to the LYS or Michael's or even Wal-Mart and look at yarn. I pick it up, pick out which ones I would buy if I could. I literally spend a half hour + doing this.
--I often go to the yarn store just to touch the yarn, with no intention of buying anything.
--I am very touchy-feely with my yarn. I don't care how much it costs. I'm squeezing the "Charmin" yarn and if it doesn't measure up to the touch test, it stays in the store!

Teachless knitters:
--I don't want to teach anyone else to knit, because it's my thing and I don't want anyone "stealing my thunder".Wow, I'm just a brat all around.
--I know what you mean about not wanting to teach anyone how to knit. I HATE TEACHING PEOPLE TO KNIT! I tried teaching my mom, she just couldn't get it and kept messing up. I got tired of helping her so I just kept saying "just practice," but didn't offer to help her.This girl in my dorm wanted to learn, and she couldn't even cast on. I didn't want to teach her in the first place, so I really didn't even attempt to help her.I also taught my boyfriend to knit, and he caught on VERY fast. He's knitting a scarf and I told him he better not like knitting enough to pursue it because it's MY thing.
--Even if someone begs, I won't teach knitting to anyone....ack.

Mistake? What Mistake?!? That's Supposed to Be there!
--I told my mother in law that the big honking hole in the blanket I knit for my son was NOT a mistake but part of the pattern. I said it was the "Hole in the Wall" pattern. It was there for the dog to breathe while my son and the dog took a nap together. She believed it.

Socks:
--The only thing I have ever knit for myself is socks.
--I don't like knitting socks. I like looking at sock yarn in the skein, but the finished product isn't worth it to me. Maybe if I lived in a colder environment I'd have a change of heart.
--Another thing...I taught my daughter how to knit socks and told her I'd never knit a pair myself... since that day I am a sock knitting addict
--I have never knit adult socks.

Sweaters:
--I don't think I will EVER knit an adult sweater.
-- The only sweater I've ever knit that has fit properly was the first. Everything since then - since I started working gauge and blocking - hasn't.

Fiber Makes for Great Sleeping Buddies:
--Sometimes, I take a particularly squishy skein of yarn to bed with me (like, oh, my Mondial Giada). It's like my knitter's version of a stuffed animal! I promise, I just hold it in my hands to pet as I fall asleep. XD
--I sleep with a 6-foot-long giant knit squid, but I consider that a lifestyle choice rather than a knitting scandal. ;)

Patterns:
--I don't buy a pattern unless a really stuck on something. I didn't know how to read patterns until 3 years ago and well I have been knitting for something like 19 years.
--I've never bought a pattern. Ever. I just guess or use free patterns from the Internet.

Random, but Interesting:
--I design and knit many bags but carry a plain black store bought one myself.
--Learned to knit at first on the looms but did not tell anyone. They thought i was a needle whiz!
--I sometimes am knitting and a person comes up to admire it. In the course of conversation, they mention it's their birthday (or anniversary or something) and I kind of shyly say, "Oh, yeah. You caught me. I'm knitting this scarf (or shawl) for you!
--All the money I should be spending on booze and hookers goes to yarn and art supplies. I'm a horrible excuse for a college student, I guess. I have not yet spent food money on yarn, but I have considered it.
--I knit when I should be doing homework, like writing 4-page papers for English class, or finishing a painting for my art class. Like tonight.
--The doctor tried to forbid me to continue knitting as I have carpal tunnel syndrome. He'd be furious to find out that I am doing pretty well; the pain disappeared the day I went back to knitting. Have to make sure that my hand is warm, isn't it? Wristwarmers are my rescue.
--I catalog my knitting purchases and sales obsessively. I have created a three-page Excel spreadsheet on which I record who I buy or sell yarn/needles from; where they live (remember, I buy and swap on Ravelry); the type and yardage/length of yarn/needle; cost; dates purchased, shipped, and received; etc. I do everything I can to mess with the numbers, for interesting stats. The file name? I hide it as "PChem Lab Tabulations #6", so that it sounds boring enough to never want to see. The worst part? I haven't even *taken* PChem lab yet!
--At night, I often brush my teeth, take my vitamins, and say goodnight. I turn off my light, close my door... and switch on the laptop. What am I doing? I'm browsing Ravelry. UNTIL 3:00 AM. OMG, I'm so addicted.
-- In addition to a knitter and chemist, I am also a photographer. This leads to me being completely unable to post ugly P&S photos of yarn or FOs (just take a peek at my Ravelry stash and projects pages to see what I mean)! I will divert myself from Ravelry on some of those late nights to take secret photos of my stash and projects (and photoshop them to perfection) because everyone thinks I'm weird when they see me photographing yarn!
--I link to KAL's that are WAY over my head or KAL's that are too expensive...even though I don't have any intention of starting/finishing them.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Let it snow.

Oh the weather outside is frightful. But my dear... it's so...delightful! As long as you knit me so...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

It's snowing! Yay! Snow just makes me soo happy! I was nearly skipping (or slipping) all the way to class.


I have an awesome new sock idea bubbling in my head...and I can't wait to start it in January, when the holiday business ends. Uh! It's going to kill me! You all will love it! And I plan to put this pattern on Etsy, as well as the same hand-dyed yarn that I used. Hint: It's lacey, girly, and maybe has a European element to the title...
...Speaking of scandals.

I shouldn't be knitting this right now.
I shouldn't be knitting this right now. I shouldn't be knitting this right now. I shouldn't be knitting this right now.

There, better. Let's show that little voice who's boss!

You probably recognize this colorway from the yarn I dyed a couple weeks back called "Gypsy." Looks nice, huh?







I just love this picture. It looks soo serene. I'm glad I brought my camera with me.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Knitting Scandals. [CONTEST #2]

It's true, every knitter has a deep, dark and dirty knitting secret. Some of these secrets may be so dark that you try to stash them away, stealthfully hiding what normal knitters would gawk at, or run at you with sharp metal double pointed needles if they ever found out!
I know I have a few secrets.

So it's time to open a can of worms and confess! Maybe you'll realize that you're not so alone in these little petpeeves, or dislikes about knitting techniques or materials that we hold so deep in the back of our minds.

I'll start first.
Here's the little secret of mine that's common to people : I loathe knitting cuffs. I'd like knitting socks a whole lot more if someone would just knit the dang 1 1/2 inch cuff for me. It annoys me that cuffs take so long for something so short. Imagine how much more you could knit if you aren't switching back and forth continually.

Here's a shocker: I rather buy store-bought scarves than make them. *GASP!* In my defense, I'm not talking garter stitch scarves though! I'm ok with buying knitted scarves when I know that it would take me dozens of hours to knit up those cables on tiny needles, and would take more money buying high quality yarn for a durable and soft scarf.

But for the real scandal: I'D RATHER BUY AND WEAR THIN CLOTH SCARVES LIKE IN THE PICTURE ABOVE INSTEAD OF KNIT SCARVES. I'd be ok if I never knit scarves again. Now if that isn't knitting scandal, I don't know what is! I just like how the cloth is guaranteed softness, and is so thin that you can double it up under your coat on a really stormy day. If you ever see me knitting scarves, you could probably bet that it's either chunky, or some loved one really really wanted one.

___________________________________________________________________
The contest closes at: Saturday, Dec. 8th @3pm.
This week, the winner gets a (non-expiring) coupon for any 2 free patterns from my Etsy shop! Two additional new patterns will be added into the shop in January.

Examples of scandals: Loathing/boycotting/hiring people to do common techniques, cheating-buying something knit and saying you did it!, hoarding things like squirrels, buying sheep only for their milk... you catch my drift.
Special note: This contest is for fun, and will not "judge you" in any sort of ethical way.


~"Knitting Scandal" Contest~
1. State your "big" knitting scandal. Make sure to explain yourself. (= 1 name in the hat.)
2. Extra Credit: Stating one more big scandal gets you another name in the hat. It's got to be important though... (not "I don't like 2x2 ribbing" or similar complaints. Barely anyone likes it.) You can state as many as you want, really... but for practical purposes, it only gets you one more entry. But confess away!
3. The winner: the coolest, or well-thought out scandal. This person gets another hat entry.
4. Posting this contest on your blog gets you another name in the hat. You must mention it to me on the comment page though, so I don't have to chase down everyone's blog to see if you need another name in the hat. ______________________________________________________________________

.....Let the litany of scandals begin!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Don't forget to cover your cheeks too, kids!

Oh the weather outside is frightful...
Burrr! It's a little frigid out there, don't you think? We had another one of those ice storms in our city...and you can't help but bundle up from head to toe while walking outside.

...Jack Frost nipping at your nose.

But, that's the beauty of winter. It makes for great photography and excuse to get a piping hot cup of hot cocoa!

The holiday season is approaching steadfast. Almost a little too quickly. I still have no idea how I'm going to finish all of my holiday gifts by Christmas.

I plan to knit Joe's gift for his birthday in Early January, instead of Christmas...and I might have to give his mother her gift a few days late too. I'm not too worried, it will all work out. I have to prioritize my academics, and finish up my sockclub sock first that's due in a couple of days. I had to pull a "Code Frog" last night. I think this new design is much better for the yarn I'm working with.

Fun Fact: did you know that most nuts aren't actually nuts? They are fruit. And tomatoes are indeed fruit...they fall under the "berry" category.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...

Friday, November 30, 2007

We've got a Winner! (Contest Wk 1 Results!)


Congrats, Ames!
You are the winner of the "Shopping Spree Fantasy" contest! Please email me your address, so I can send you your prize!

She's the first to receive the new "Splash" of my "Marble Collection. I've got more for my Esty shop that I'll add in later. However, I'm debating if I should keep them sets of 5, like the others.
Gosh, I'm soo addicted to making these suckers!!!
What will be the prize for the next contest, you might ask... well, hold on to your hats! I've already made them! But you've got to wait until I announce the winner! Mwa ha ha ha... (OK, I'm a nerd.)

I was really pleased with all of your answers! I give my thanks to everyone who answered. It was really hard to choose the top answer (I had to do two best answers). :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

...Check!

1. Completing my last semester of college course registration online...check.
2. Going to Graduate Analysis department and switching the department codes to get back 6 S.H on two "non-countable" courses AND making sure that all I have to do now is fill out my degree application in February and finish up this year's classes...check.
3. Updating my Etsy shop, swifting skeins, and mailing them out the next day...check.
4. Finishing book 1 of 2 for another 10+ paper due in a week...check.
5. Beginning to study for my Botany lab exam on Weds...check.
6. Knitting a few more inches of my sock for the club...check.
7. Being a dummy and missing Project runway, despite me being in my room...check.
8. Shaving my legs, slipping, sliding across gross public shower floor, cutting up my elbow deeply and probably fracturing the tip of the bone...check.

LAST CALL FOR THE CONTEST!!
It looks like those few people are going to have a really easy chance to win....
Tomorrow afternoon/evening, I call the winner for a free set of my new stitch markers.


See post below for more details.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stitch markers...Hello addiction! And a CONTEST??

Because I'm all excited about updating my Etsy shop, and finally getting more than 2 items in it...I'm going give away a FREE set of stitch markers from my "marble collection"that hasn't been "released" yet!

I will announce the winner of the contest on Friday evening! Good luck! :)

The rules: first, answer the question. This puts your name in my hat. If you post this contest & your answer on your own blog, you get another entry in the hat!...But, you must link the post to your blog, because I'm (unfortunately) not a mind-reader. Shame.
I will pick one name out of a woolen hat on Friday. The question has a two-part answer. The best shopping spree answer gets on extra entry in the hat (so "technically," you could get a whopping total of 3 entries all together in the hat if all of the circumstances are right).

The "Shopping Spree Fantasy" Contest closes at 7 pm Friday (11/30). Stay tuned.

~The Contest Question~
If you had (free) $200 to blow on knitting stuff (yarn, knitting accessories, etc), A.) how exactly would you spend it? (maybe name brands, or stores) and B.)Is your buying pattern (not knitting instructions...I mean "tendencies") on this shopping spree "smart" (as in a huge pile of cheaper yarn), or "luxurious" (meaning, buying maybe several expensive yarn you wouldn't normally buy)?

Note: keep in mind the general monetary value of the things you would buy to help you answer the question.

I'm really curious to see what you all have to say! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Indulgence.

The holidays is a time for indulgence, don't you think? After what seem like months of working on my research project, and studying for another Botany exam, and working diligently on my holidays knits, it is time for a little "R & R" and succulent dyed fibers.

I dub the left one "Safari," and the right one "Gypsy." I experimented with water-painting, starting with a base color and adding new ones to the pot, and voila! Something exciting and filled with an abundance of colors within colors. If you were to hold these skeins in person, you would see many different colors of green, violet, blue,...you get the picture. I can't wait to knit these skeins up!

What else have I been up to?
Well, I finished reading The Rescue, by Nicolas Sparks. It was a great read-definitely a "chick choice." The plot was a little predictable, but it lived up to the page-turner type. I recommend this to anyone who likes romance, chick-flick movies, heart-string pullers, and just plain 'ol good writing. I also just finished another book today while sipping coffee at Caribou Coffee (read out-of-order in my series like the other two books): Death on Beacon Hill, by P.B Ryan. It's a really good series, if you are interested in 19th century Boston storylines that has a slowly flourishing romance between two of the main characters. Uh! I know "Will" is just a character, but man is he hot! (and rich! But that shouldn't matter.)

I started knitting the pattern I just designed for the "Winter" installment of our sockclub. It's interesting, fun to knit up, and simple on the noggin'. You can't get better than that. Plus, I think that the pattern really compliments the colorway Liz dyed up. I'm about 3 inches through the leg.


This year, I have devised a system for maximum good-eats:
1. If you've been standing by the snack-food for over 15 minutes, you are already in trouble. If you ate a whole plate's worth of snack-food...you better save yourself some effort and loosen your belt right now.
2. First scour out the important "must have" food items that you couldn't live without. Put a nice portion of each item on your plate. BUT WAIT! Don't put too much. If your plate is completely full at this time...you were a little zealous in your "hot-item" endeavours.
3. Take less mashed potatoes. They fill you up way too much. Place a small heap on your plate and move on! If you still want more, eat the leftovers.
4. Corn... Corn??? In my house, it's cooked so long that there aren't even nutrients left in the darn golden things. Take a very small serving. And not too many greenbeens either. (Same problem.)
5. ONE roll. I repeat... ONE ROLL. Two will do you in. Rookie mistake.
6. Eat slower. Do some quality talking with your family and let your stomach tell you when it's full. That way, you can still eat dessert before midnight.
7. If you are drinking milk with dinner, you better loose the mashies.
8. If you need two regular plates for dinner, you know you aren't going to have room for dessert.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!
I'm in charge of cranberries (simmered in Red wine & sugar) and my "mini pumpkin cakes" for dessert.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The long & the short of things.

Boy do I have some more eye-candy for you all today! I really feel like I'm back to expressing my blog title for a change. You'll have to excuse the lovely and highly original "bed poses." It's just too late for further creativity. I've been knitting so much today (and lately), that I'm quite shocked that my hands aren't bleeding right now. No joke.


"Coiled Cables & Ribs"
This patten was released for our fall sockclub...and I'm excited that enough time has passed by where I can finally show you the sock! I have the new exclusive Winter colorway in my room, and am waiting for the brain to kick in, to create a whole new sassy pattern.




As you can see, I finally finished my first sock, and have plunged into the second one. I can't wait until I can finally wear my "Quidditch" socks.

Above is my chunky horseshoe scarf that I started a few days ago. I only have two more small skeins left, so I'll be cutting it close to what actually qualifies a rectangle as a scarf. If I happen to find another skein, I'll add the finishing touches to the two ends of the scarf.

What is this?!? Oh, it's me actually working on Christmas gifts in NOVEMBER! That's an idea, huh? I realized that I still had a couple more people that I needed to add to my Xmas knit-list, so if I don't start it now, it ain't going to get done.


This blue & white sock is for my Grandma. Sadly, the picture doesn't do the LT ribbing justice. This really knits up twice as fast as the other pair. When I switched back and forth, the Lorna Laces felt like I was knitting with thread, for Pete's sake. There's no bet on which sock will reach the finish line first. That's for sure.
Above is my FMIL's pair of socks, in Lorna laces. I still am waiting for the FH to find out her shoe size. He's really no help when it comes to family questions. I asked him what color she likes. He says, "I don't know." I ask him what shoe size she is. He says, "I don't know." I ask him what his dad would wear (knit-wise). He says, "Probably nothing."

Ok, it's time to soak the poor hands, *sigh.*
Maybe "attempt" more "school work" tomorrow, perhaps?

Friday, November 09, 2007

The glass is half full.

I won!!
The new colorway is called "Seven Nation Army"
The Lotus Knitter is awesome, and started a monthly yarn contest! Here's her question this month:
"You can see by my project details above that I don't always pay that much attention to gauge. How often do you knit a gauge swatch? Be honest now. Every time you plan a project? Do you wash and block too? Maybe you check your gauge on the fly. Cast on, knit for a while, then check and see how close you are, and rip out when you're way off. Or are you a 'fly by the seat of your pants' kind of knitter who never checks gauge. It will fit someone right?"
Check out her Etsy Shop! She has some gorgeous colorways going on! I'm always drooling over them!

This totally cheered me up, because I just received her "you won" email after being rejected by Red Cross for donating blood, since I get anxiety over needles, and my heart-rate wouldn't come down low enough to be safe. I felt like such a failure. I really wanted to donate...
This really made my day! :) Thanks again!

KNITTING UPDATE: pictures & more ramblings coming soon! I've been soo busy lately... finishing up my Senior's research paper and final presentation. The whole thing is my only grade in the class, and the professor is a little tough on grading papers, as I noted after he marked up comments everywhere on my rough draft I sent him to look at. All of the stress from everything is really starting to take it's toll. I mean, I've invested so much work into this dang paper, and I still don't feel completely satisfied with it. I already have another big Botany exam (on plant metabolism, DNA, etc.) coming up next week, plus having all of my Senior's stuff due on the same day. Breath in, breath out. Breath in, breath out. Two major breaks are coming up...*sigh*
...And I still need to buy some yarn to knit up these gifts. *sigh.* I need a car, a jet, a train....or something, to get to the LYS.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Christmas Knit-Along & My To-Do List

Are you knitting for Christmas? Wanna be part of the knitting elf crew??
Ladies & gentleman, fire up your needles. There's a whole 'lot of holiday knitting to do!

Hey everyone! My list isn't complete, but here's what's on the list right now:

1. Fionce- I CAN'T SAY HERE, he'll see. But I need to finish something from a long time ago that you all saw, and maybe add another knitted gift. It depends on how good he is to me... lol. j/k.
2. Grandma- knit something with a specific flower on it (that she saw in the book "Knitting over the Edge")--maybe on white socks.
3. Grandpa- Knit Henry.
4. Find something to knit for my mom & maybe dad (he's not too interested, besides wanting a "truck cover"--yeah right). Maybe i'll find a lot of black Red Heart yarn & size 50 needles and knit the dang thing. It will be table talk for months.
5. Maybe knit my uncles a scarf. They've been asked for one for a couple of years. I'll say that the uncles get the knitted stuff this year, and the Aunts will get something next year.
6. Knit my FMIL a pair of socks, or a new yoga bag with a "tree pose" cable.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Anna's Mini Pumpkin Cakes

Recipe by Anna Peck
http://www.knitting-up-a-storm.blogspot.com/

This is a great recipe for an additional holiday desert. Feel free to make them even smaller, to pop in your mouth. It is best served warm, as it is soft and deliciously moist.

If you love white cupcakes & pumpkin pie...be prepared to be addicted!

Recipe yields about 18 medium-sized cupcakes
Skill: easy

Ingredients:
1 box of Betty Crocker's white (vanilla) cake mix.
1 can of pumpkin pie filling
1 tsp each of Cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger
A dash of clover (no more than 1/2 tsp)
1/8 cup of white sugar
4 eggs
A little more than 1/3 cups of canola oil

Pumkpin Cupcake Directions:
Beat the eggs, pour the oil in, and slowly add all of the dry ingredients together. Beat until completely smooth. Pour evenly into your cupcake pan, and bake for 17-18 minutes at 350 degrees(F) per 12 cupcakes. Do not over-bake.

(Optional) Frosting Ingredients:
1 brick of softened creamcheese
1-2 cups of powered sugar
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
A couple drops of orange food coloring

Frosting Directions:
Place 1 brick of soft creamcheese in a good size bowl, add 1 tsp of vanilla & about 1-2 cups of sifted powdered sugar, and blend all together with a mixer until creamy. Add a couple drops of orange food coloring, and blend for a couple seconds more. Smother the frosting on the top of all of the cupcakes. Refrigerate the leftovers, if you're luck enough to have any left.

Roasted Red Pepper, Onion & Garlic Hummus

Recipe by Anna Peck
http://www.knitting-up-a-storm.blogspot.com/

This recipe yields about a full bowl of hummus. This would be great for parties. Feel free to divide the recipe in half for smaller portions.

Ingredients:
1 can of chick-peas (24-26oz can)
1 lemon
1/2 red pepper
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 (or less) cup of water
3 tbs light olive oil (and extra to coat the flat bakesheet)
1-2 tsp of salt (depends on how salty you like it) & a dash of pepper
White or wheat pita bread for dipping

Directions:
Cut up the 1/2 red pepper & 1/2 onion into strips, and remove the skin of 2 cloves of garlic. Pour some olive oil on the flat bakesheet, and put the veggies on top of the oil. Sprinkle about a tsp of salt and pepper on top. Bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees (F).

After the veggies have cooled, add the can of chickpeas, 1 lemon (the juice), 1/4 cups of water, 1 tsp of salt & pepper, 3 tbs of olive oil and the veggies, and blend it until completely smooth.

Simply dip your pita bread in, or enjoy on a turkey sandwich.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BOO! Happy Halloween!!


Although I was quite depressed that I didn't/couldn't dye up orange & black sockyarn, I decided to start my Gryffindor "Quidditch" sock while watching Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban.



The best of all worlds:


We ate pumpkin icecream from Whiteys after my Botany labratory exam, and carved pumpkins!


Here's mine:

Joe's pumkpin is on the left:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I need your opinion! Mischief Managed!

Has anyone done the "Invisibility Shawl" yet?
Here's the deal-io. I'm using lace-weight in darker colors, because I like the idea of the shawl having the dark colorwork like in the movies.

I'm knitting on size 7 needles, as requested in the book. However, um, it looks too loose! I should just call it the "visibility shawl."
I've been stretching it this way, and that way, pretending to block it, but I really think the needles are too big to hold the integrity of the stockinette patches surrounding the Yo's.

What do YOU think?
Can blocking really salvage something this loose? Or should I just frog it and start on smaller needles? I'd rather it be a faster project...and not with smaller needles, but if it won't look good even after being blocked..it's frogito territory.