knitnana: January 2008

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eureka!


Can you spell R-E-L-I-E-F??????

Yes, it's Koolhaas. Finished. Completed. Done.

So.DONE.

You know, it wasn't too bad finally at the end...except that I did end up knitting the first 3 decrease rows at the top a couple of times each...

It's beautiful. It's warm. And that's a really good thing, because it's going to be in the teens tonight and we have an ice storm on it's way tomorrow night.

The Details?
Pattern: Koolhaas by Jared Flood from Holiday Interweave Knits 2007, size Small (you can buy it online now here).
Yarn: Merino Style by Knitpicks in black (yes, the infamous Steelers' Aibhlinn yarn - I guess I broke the bad mojo, huh?).
Needles: Size 6 and 8 Harmony 16-inch circulars, and Crystal Palace bamboo dpns size 8.
Time to complete: ALL of the month of January 2008.

Thoughts: I think this is a pattern that you cannot concentrate on much else and knit well. I did finally get to where I could listen to Jane Eyre and knit, but boy when I was really sick and trying to knit it - forget it.

I'll say this. I was using Cascade 220 for the Booga Bag and Merino Style for Koolhaas (both black) at the same time - and I'm pretty sure I can't tell the difference. But the price of the Knitpicks is right.
:)
Ok....I would really appreciate your comments on this knit!
(((hugs)))

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Knitting? Did Someone Say Knitting?

I do knit still. Promise. And I should let you know that I've been doing better on Koolhaas (tho' I'm a tad bit worried about announcing it for fear of jinxing it!).

I placed my first order from WEBS earlier in the month, and was delighted to find this Trekking XXL in colorway 66 - it's black and grey, purple and burgundy, wine and forest green tweed - and gorgeous...I couldn't wait to put it on the needles and since I spent about 3 days between the end of the Three Dancers sock and getting this one OTN, I have to tell you that was 3 days of withdrawal from sock knitting - not fun.

I neglected to get an early photo of the sock on Miss Muffin, so now it so big, she has to lie down to have a modeled shot! lolol

I started that sock on my Harmony circulars from Knitpicks using Judy's Magic Cast On. Unfortunately, my problem with SEEING the dark yarn against the dark needles returned and I had to switch to my Crystal Palace dpns (size 1, 2.5mm).
(sigh - PLEASE KPs, PLEASE??? Blonde Harmonys soon, okay???)

And my Booga Bag is done - I don't know what else to call it. It's partly a Booga Bag and partly something else (Amanda's Squatty Sidekick bag from Knitting Daily):

I made the bag according to the Booga Bag pattern (plus about 20 extra stitches distributed around the bag on all sides) using Cascade 220 in black, charcoal, and plum, striping as I went - the first plum stripe is about 12 rows, the gray stripes are 5 rows each, with a 2-rwo plum stripe in between, and the top plum strip is 8-10 rows. Then when I got to the last row of black, I calculated the middle stitches of the back of the bag, and knit the loop closure from the Squatty Sidekick bag. The strap is 5 feet of i-cord, knit at the cat show on Saturday! I felted last night and you see it here, dried while stuffed with those vile plastic grocery bags.

I'm going to all canvas shopping bags (oh, and string bags, too) so I'm saving one large sack full of these plastic bags for felting projects - our stores are "going green" and offering their own canvas bags with a 5 cents off your grocery order as incentive each time you use them...Hooray!

The button, I thought was just perfect! It's one that Rebecca sent me a couple of years ago as a RAOK - a little bag of vintage buttons she came upon. Well, I've held onto this one, because I so love the Tree of Life pattern. It's rustic enough that I thought it was perfect for this bag!

Oh...and on that WEBS order? I included enough Lambs Pride Bulky for this from Rowan 42. It's the Helsinki Hap Scarf. I couldn't afford the Rowan Cocoon, but the LP Bulky appears to be the same makeup and weight. And I adore knitting LP Bulky (I used it in the first Booga Bag!).

There was more in that WEBS order that I'll show you later (some is still on backorder), and I also have an order from my dear pal KarY - Peace Fleece for the TikkunTree project...but that's for another post.

This one is plenty long enough.

(Except to say thank you for all the reminders that I can't always have wonderful shows and that doesn't mean anything negative about me. In fact, I've gotten a couple more orders - one even from the cat show! - since that post. Thank you all! I'm taking this day to try to recover from the madness that is putting a vendor booth together ... trying to nurse myself thru a minor bug in the process.)

(Info on TikkunTree and Wear Red Day is available, on my Nana Sadie's Place blog...)

(((hugs)))

Monday, January 28, 2008

Wow! TWO Awards!?!

Not quite sure what I've done to deserve such a wealth of riches, but Judy honored me at the end of last week with this very kind award,
Image


And then today, Lana declared mine an "excellent" blog (for which I am truly touched!)
Image


Both require that I nominate 10 bloggers who I either think are excellent or are ones that make my day - well...I have over 200 of those on my Bloglines. Picking and choosing is not an easy task...

Ok...First my "EXCELLENT" listing:
1. Birdsong
2. Margene
3. Meg
4. Carole
5. Chris
6. Chris, Chaos, & Mayhem
7 Suzann
8. Becky
9. Brenda
10. Roxy

Now...my "You Make My Day" list (which frankly is longer than 10 and has duplicates, because every single one of the above listed blogs is on this list, too):
1. Judy
2. Lana
3. Cary
4. Pam
5. Tan
6. Melanie
7. Jane D
8. Tanya
9. Rainy
10. Jocelyn

This is a very very hard thing to do. I've left off so many. But that's a quick attempt.

I love reading my bloglines - I adore all of you! Thanks for stopping by to listen to me...and to share in the ups and downs of my funky, funny life!
(((hugs)))

edited at 6:30 p.m. to be a bit more down to earth:
(I'm moving four of my originals to a "special mention category" - the four SuperStar Blogs...)

The four I'm moving are:
Wendy, Stephanie, Ann & Kay, and Anne.
(okay, it's 5 dynamite ladies, but 4 blogs!)

(end of edit explanation)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Happy Blogaversary to Me!

It's here. I kinda feel like I missed it, but it's here...(and this post is sort of lame, but I'm really tired so I apologize for that).

Why did I miss it? Because of this:

I'm barely standing at this point...it's been an exhausting weekend, this time more because it wasn't the best show. And I'm not sure quite why. Perhaps people are really feeling pinched, and are watching their pennies closely, maybe because I'm more of a luxury item? But it didn't seem to affect other vendors, so my question is this:

Am I passe? Behind the times? (sigh)

I surely hope not. (But just in case that's a possibility, I've got a couple of other designs on the drawing board, so stayed tuned next month...

Anyway, it's my blogaversary, so I apologize if I'm less than upbeat, but it's hard to put the effort into a show like that and have it not be successful.

But...it's my blogaversary! And I have 3 winners in my contest - one from each color category! If you look at sheer numbers, White had 19 votes, Petal had 15 votes, and Blush had 4.

1. In the Petal group: Pam! - I laughed till I cried over your reason for orange...there was no way I could ignore the most amusing comment - it had to win "first place!"

The other two winners were drawn randomly:
2. In the Blush group: Marsha and she gave me so much to think about with regard to Fauvist's (I didn't know that term before, so I learned much from the comment!) - I do adore Matisse tho...hmmmm

3. Representing the White group: Lana had a good suggestion for using white against my face ...it's always been a good color choice for me.

I'll be contacting each of the winners for their mailing addresses and thank you so much - everyone - for commenting and giving me your perspectives! I appreciate it. I don't know that I've EVER had comments from 38 people on one post before!

Now...what color am I going to use? well...I have to admit I haven't decided yet. I'm leaning toward white, tho' - I think...or maybe the Petal...or maybe...the Blush! *wink*

Someone is very glad to have me home - and even wanted to play with the camera strap!

I hope your week is a good one. I'm planning a little bit of rest in here somewhere...I feel like I really need it.
(((Hugs)))

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Amazing Story...

Today, during the first day of the cat show, an odd, unusual, and, I think, amazing story unfolded:

Almost 12 years ago, my mom died and we put her house on the market. This was the house I'd been born in, had lived in all my life except for the short period I was married. My daughter was raised there. I was torn to pieces when the family had to sell...but...

A lovely couple bought the house and moved in. It was their first house, he was blind and they were delighted that it was on the bus route so he could easily get to work each day. She loved cats and hoped that she could finally have one there in that house. She invited me to come back and visit, and it has just not been something I could handle. The years have slipped by.

Today, a woman came into the booth and my sister-in-law was helping her, but finally brought her over to me. She told me who she was - that she had bought my mother's house. And she ordered a bag from me (yes, it was odd writing down that well known address on the sales slip!).

That might not all seem so odd, until you hear a few more of the details.

She knew me on sight. She's a knitter who loves to knit socks. She loves cats. Her mother has the same physical illness my mother had (and that's an unusual thing, being an autoimmune disease that isn't all that common). Her husband has died, but she still lives in the house and loves it.

She's begun taking piano lessons. My mother was a piano teacher.

Ok. Maybe I'm making connections here that I shouldn't, maybe I'm too tired to see that all these things don't make a hill of beans. Maybe it's just a small town, after all...

Or. Maybe. Not?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Quick Post...

to say I'm delighted with your responses so far on the contest entries - keep 'em coming and be sure to comment on yesterday's entry to be eligible to win!

You know, there has to be something to the idea that successful people are busy people and that busy-ness breeds success? Because I'm certainly that this week (busy) - at least I hope that going a tad overboard is going to not cause a "crash and burn" scenario...

The cat show is this weekend, I've got materials delayed that are hopefully going to get in tomorrow so I can make a few samples of the LynZel before the show...I've got a state site review going on in my day job, tomorrow is my client's payroll (after my regular job), and of course, I have...Koolhaas, Booga Bag, Catharina all OTN. So what do I do?

Cast on for Trekking XXL color 66 socks. Of course! What's one more thing crammed in there? Geesh the colorway is gorgeous. Not sure what cuff I'll do on these, but I was feeling so bereft without socks OTN...what, was it only 3 days or so since I finished Three Dancers?
lolol
No photos tonight, I'm really tired and need to get to sleep. But Wow. You're ideas for my first fair isle project? Well, I'm going to have a tough time deciding, because your reasons are all so good!
(((Hugs)))

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blogaversary Approaches!

Oh. My! I just happened to think of this today...so now of course there has to be a contest...I went back and read that first entry on January 27, 2005. I've come such a long way...knitting-wise, as well as in terms of friendships, and knowing who I am and what I want for myself! Three years is amazing that I'd have met all the truly fabulous people I've met, communicated with designers and writers, and some of the very best pals a gal could ask for...not to mention all those kitties out there!

Ok. Enough of that stuff...

A contest? Yes, I think so. I reserve the right to decide what to send as winnings, but I think yarn might be in the mix. Perhaps sock yarn, since I have the most of that, but don't hold me to it.

Now, here's what you have to do:

Remember this? My Fearless Knitting project? The Fair Isle hat from Holiday IK?

Remember the base colors of yarns? Palette from Knitpicks? Here are the main colors - that's black all the grays, the three shades of purples...

Now your choices...Option one: Petal (the coral/orange that was such a surprise when it arrived - petal should be a light pink in my mind, but here it is...ORANGE)

Or should it be Option two: Blush (the ballet pink I thought I'd ordered first, this is a pale pink with just enough color to not disappear into the heavier tones of the other yarns)

Or maybe I should cut my losses and take Option 3: White (always safe, certainly a choice that will allow the purples to spring forth and make their statements.

So...the rules: My blogaversary is January 27, 2008 (that's Sunday night). The cat show is ending that day, so I'll be a might busy and I have comment moderation posted so you won't be able to see everyone's suggestions and choices...but

1. Leave a comment on this post by 5p.m. on Sunday (New York City Time) the 27th (of this month!).
2. Tell me which option you think I should choose and why. (remember I have never knit fair isle)
3. The answer I like best will win...actually there'll probably be more than one winner...especially if the show turns out to be a good one, so I'm in a good mood!!
*wink*

I'd love to see how original your answers can be...intriguing ones, the kind that might make me laugh, the kind that might help me see things in a whole new light...

(There'll be no more than 3 winners, tho')

And hey - this is pretty important - IF your blogger signon does not allow me to see your email addy? Fix that, please? Because I have to have some way to contact you if you win.
You DO want the prizes, right?
lolol!


Mom, I think you should cut your losses and just knit shawls, socks, and hedgies rather than trying this new stuff...that black hat you're knitting is making CC and me cringe with fear every time you pick it up...psst - you really should hear some of the words that come out of my Mommie's mouth when she's knitting it! It's shameful! The Meezer

Monday, January 21, 2008

One Down...Still More To Do!

I'm relieved to say that with the five-day weekend I was blessed to have, I finished the year-end accounting and W-2s/1099s for my client, getting signatures, and mailing today (well, preparing to mail today, will GO in the mail tomorrow!).

(And I hope everyone had a few moments today to think about how far we've come in all these years, courtesy of Martin Luther King and so many others who devoted themselves to the Civil Rights Movement! This is just the start of a period that I hold dear every year - beginning with MLK day, into Black History Month, and on to Women's History Month. These two movements that worked so closely together to achieve equality - and no, we're not there, yet, but we have certainly come so very far!)

I also spent more time this weekend in the fashioning of additional Graces (one of these is spoken for, the other two for the show this weekend):


I started my Booga Bag (the second one) last night and started up the sides in the blackest of black...

Then proceeded to add in the plum striping and a charcoal gray, too...

This was mostly completed tonight..and I'm not that far from the point at which I begin the dreaded I-cord. Which I think I'll make up in charcoal. Oh all the yarn is Cascade 220 - I've not knit with it before. It I hadn't had Koolhaas sitting right there (no, I just couldn't bring myself to pick it up - I knit and then immediately tinked one row last night...so it's sitting again. But the Merino Style I'm using for Koolhaas feels so much like the Cascade 220! I don't have a clue how Knitpicks Merino Style felts, tho. Still, I love this Cascade 220...I'm just so impressed by the stitch definition! I might have to consider a sweater of this...*wink*

Oh...and on the table in that first Booga Bag shot? I'm listening to Jane Eyre on CD. I saw the film version on PBS a couple of weeks ago, and realized I don't believe I've ever actually read Jane Eyre! So that had to be rectified...

The Meezer often drops by wherever I'm knitting to check out the yarns I'm using and give her approval...She's particularly interested in Mohair and Merino...

Mommie says this is acrylic. What does an Acrylic look like? Does it have horns?It doesn't smell like a sheep or rabbit...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

No Snow Saturday!

They changed their minds about the snow we were supposed to get and they were right - none on this day, tho' the temps are dropping and it's going to be down to the single digits by tomorrow night! Brrr...The Meezer will no doubt burrow under the covers and help keep me warm, but still, 8 is downright cold (and that's the prediction without the windchill - and it's supposed to be windy, too!).

I've been busy again today, cutting 4 Graces (and finishing one):

This is a sweet kitty bag in preparation for next week's Star City Cat Show at the Holiday Inn on Ordway Drive here in Roanoke. If you're around, stop by!

I have a new accessory that will be debuting then. The LynZel (named for two of my mom's sisters). This is a neat little piece to coordinate with your choice of bag (please let me choose the fabric when you place your bag order, I'll make sure it works with the bag you choose, but most of the bag fabrics won't work on this little piece). What's it for, you ask?

It's a ponytail holder!

Rainbow Paws

Aqua Paws

Mini Kitties
(They're $3 apiece or 2 for $5)

And my pal Lynette stopped by for dinner - she brought salad, I made tuna noodle casserole - and then we knit the night away. Look what I finished!

That's the Three Dancers Socks from the Art Walk Sock Yarn Club. I love the 70 Merino/30 Sea Wool. It's so soft.

Specs: my standard plain sock with Judy's Magic Cast On (and Wendy's picot edging.
Needles: size 2.5 mm Harmony circs (2)

I started these before Christmas but the second sock was knit in 7 days! That's fast, even for me...

Hmmm...what to put on the needles next? I think I might make a Booga Bag - remember the Cascade 220 and Donegal Tweed from NoSo Knit back in September? Black, Charcoal, and Purple/Plum? I want something that knits up fast, and is easy as pie to knit. I think this is just the ticket! (and on second thought, that Donegal Tweed is going into my second Koolhaas hat - it's too pretty to felt, but will blend beautifully with the bag. Ok, yes, Lynette, I guess I will make another Koolhaas, once this first one is finished...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Another Day Off and...Pay It Backwards?

Another "Snow Day" which was funny to say the least. By 10 a.m. it was 45 degrees! No ice left, but there was still snow. The roads were clear, I ran errands, because at that point they were saying we were going to get more snow tomorrow! Now, that's just a "dusting" for us, but of course, all could change when you live in the wedge of the Blue Ridge! So because Monday is a holiday, I do indeed get a mini-vacation of 5 days off! I so need it...today was spent doing payroll reports for the year for my client, and W-2s are almost finished at both jobs. Not fully printed, but the worst of the verification and calculations are over. Whew. There might really be light at the end of the tunnel that isn't an oncoming train!

Now, I got this a couple of days ago, and no photo I took was decent. I read an instruction from someone on another blog and thought I'd try it - depress the button 1/2 way to focus, then hit it to take the photo. Here are the results! What do you think?

That's an odd twist on the Pay It Forward swap going around blogland. When I announced my participation, back in November, I did a random drawing and drew the name of Diana. When I let her know I'd be sending her something over the next 12 months, she announced she'd send ME something! And this is it! a box by Knitwhits to make 3 kitty toys!

We'll see what the girls think of this (when I get them made up!). Thank you Diana!

And news on the Koolhaas front. I'm doing a bit better with it. I'm about 1/2 way through the second repeat of the pattern, and what seems to be the biggest problem now is that I knit a crossed stitch (behind) and as I knit the stitch crossing in front the back stitch slips off the right needle. I don't even realize it's gone until I'm on the next round and run out of stitches before I'm out of pattern!

That's not happened to me before, so it doesn't bode well for the Helsinki Hat Scarf from Rowan 42. The yarn is on it's way, too. (Along with the remaining skeins of Kidsilk Haze I needed for the Earth Wrap from the same issue. Yes, My name is Knitnana and I'm a "yarnoholic!")

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How To Relax....

I did so need this snow day (and look! you get two posts from me in one day - tee hee!)

The day has been moderately productive: walk and driveway shoveled, car cleaned off, and I also managed to assist in a Siamese Rescue - not something I do that often anymore and it was only a minor role I played, but it still makes me feel good.

And then I've knit on my second sock. I thought mindless would be better and last night I'd turned the heel, so I knit up the gussets today and on up the cuff. When I looked down and saw...yup. Split stitch. (I think I remember doing this on the first Three Dancer's sock...guess that meant it had to happen on the second one, too, huh?)

So...I debated about 3 seconds and came up to the computer for a good, strong light. And in the process of trying to record this for you, I also figured out how to manually focus this new camera of mine (I think two of these photos are much better than my norm these days - one still isn't quite there, but I'm learning!)

How do I relax? Well, like any good yoga practitioner...I tie myself in knots! In short, total focus on something. Here I've dropped the stitch down the approximately 3 inches to the split stitch...

Then fixed the stitch in question and slowly worked my way back up, picking up stitches with my mom's antique bone crochet hook:

And here at the end? Almost can't tell there was anything done...

I do stretch the fabric a bit to let the stitches "snug up" a bit afterwards and you really can't tell I did this now...

And - what do you know? I feel much calmer.

We've had quite a bit of fine freezing rain this afternoon and I think we're going to be looking at a nice glaze of ice in the morning.
(sigh)
It'd be such a shame to have another snow day tomorrow. After all, with MLK Day on Monday that would mean a 5 day weekend.

Dare I hold my breath?
(((hugs)))

1st Snow Day of 2008!

At 5:30 a.m. there wasn't a flake in the air, but our Community College shut down in anticipation of what the forecasters said would be a real storm. So I turned off the snooze alarm, and went back to sleep. When I woke up three hours later, this is what greeted me out my front door!

I love love love snow.
I love snow days even more.

A rare treat for me, a bacon, eggs, and biscuits breakfast, is the tradition on snow days, and then? So far, it's been knitting and coffee. I'll have to do some work later today, but I'm easing into it. If I don't work a little today, I'll pay for it down the road.
(And, of course, I've already shoveled the walk, for the sake of the mail carrier!)
(((hugs)))

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Progress!

Thanks for the good thoughts sent my way lately! I'm slowly making some progress. Where there's a will, you know, there IS a way! (and the only way is through, too!)

Still a whole lot left to do before I can say that 2007 is behind me, and today's news included more stressful stuff to come in the next month, so I'm not out of the woods at work at all. But. There is progress. And for that I'm grateful.

Packages have arrived again today, so I'm remiss in showcasing the spoils of my Christmas bounty (I think I'm almost set in the Harmony needles department - just a few more to order (and a couple that arrived which have to be replaced as they have minor flaws, but stuff that would snag delicate yarns, so hopefully when I call, I'll have my normal good luck with Knitpicks customer service!)

Below, you can see that Koolhaas is back on the needles. The Harmony needles. Last night I found that these were making a difference (as I'd hoped!). The needles are helping me stay on track in the pattern, but I also discovered that this pattern, at least for me, must be done without TV. As with knitting lace, Mozart is fine. But I have to focus and it's too easy to be distracted with the TV on. Fortunately, these days, there's not enough interesting on TV. I'll happily keep it turned off.


Speaking of TV, I'm seriously considering that when next February (2009) rolls around that there will no longer be any in this house (except for watching movies on DVD or video). I have an ancient set that I truly don't watch that much. I dislike being forced into purchasing a new set (and no, the box option through cable isn't an option on this set...it's at least 15 years old, and perhaps older.

Anyone else thinking that maybe the TV will go the way of the dinosaur? Do you use your computers to watch DVDs?

Just curious....

OH...and in my "can anything else go wrong" department...I was knitting away on Koolhaas last night when my 27 watt full spectrum bulb blew with a *POP!* and startled the dickens out of me. No. No one locally has one. I'll have to order it. (sigh)

Ok. Here's the Harmony needles stash - I'm absolutely in love!

I cannot say a deep enough thank you to - Big Sis and Ruinwen for allowing me the means to achieve this glorious set of needles! I am going to knit happy for many years to come!
(oh...but what IS it with the nasty plastic smell of that Interchangeables organizer bag???)

And I promised you this! The shot of the Palette Petal and Blush. (Petal's on the left). The color I thought Petal was is Blush. Does anyone remember "ballet pink?" The color of Danskin's leotards somewhere around 40 years ago? That's the color of Blush! I hope this photo conveys the difference, because it's just striking....

No I haven't decided which I'm going to use with my hat, tho'. I also got white and I may just use it. But Barbara-Kay suggested that the Petal just might be the "punch" that Fair Isle needed and I think she might be right!
lolol

We're supposed to be getting "weather" overnight and tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath, but if the Community College closes, it's a snow day for me!
(((hugs)))

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hanging On By My Fingernails...

breathing in (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8)
hold 1-2
breathing out (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8)


lather - rinse - repeat

Nothing New Here - May I RANT?

Just forewarned...if you don't want to hear? I give you permission to leave now, and I'll be happy to see you another day.

I HATE JANUARY!

I hate being exhausted from the holidays, I hate the dull dreary gray and chill weather. But most of all?

I HATE W-2s!!!!!

And unlike most organization's bookkeeping staff, I have two companies to be responsible for.

Now, most of you who have an inkling of what is involved here, probably think, "What's her beef? She's got software that does the bulk of it."

Um. Yeah.
NOT.
It has to be verified and double-checked. And then? There's the blasted "Third Party Payments."

For the uninformed? In my case that means Short-term disability payments.

You know, it's not even that it's all that complex to understand. It's that no matter what I do to the software, it doesn't seem to recognize that 1) I did not really pay this to an employee, but I AM responsible for paying the employer taxes related to it. The "fixes" to get this into the system confound me. (Intellectually, I understand it, but from a machine standpoint, nada - I just can't "think" the way the software does, apparently) and 2) the IRS instructions regarding this type of "payment" are equally confounding. No less confusing than trying to find your way around Montreal with a Mexico City map. (And I usually can READ the IRS verbage without trouble...)

Ok. No one enjoys reading about the IRS. (Least of all, ME!)

So...I guess it's obvious that I have a lot on my plate. Oh. And just a pesky aside, can you imagine doing all this with a malfunctioning printer? Hopefully help is on the way there, at least...

And don't EVEN get me started on Koolhaas! Yes, I'm now convinced that the yarn is jinxed. Either that or I'm totally incapable of understanding a simple chart. Yeah. I've knit lace, so it's the yarn.

*End of rant*

Come back later in the week. I'll have pretty pictures of Knitpicks needles, and some yarn that hopefully will be more forgiving of my stress levels...Maybe another Grace or two...ok. Maybe not that till the weekend. (But surely a Meezer shot!)

(And ... if you've gotten this far? Thanks for listening!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Where'd My Weekend Go?

Oh. Wait. I know. 10 loads of laundry (yes, it was the holidays...and then a couple weeks of being sick). Three Graces:

(You've seen a couple of these in earlier editions...remember every Nana Sadie Rose bag is just different enough that you'll not see yourself "coming and going" as you do with some people's bags...(and these three beauties are spoken for, but still there's always something fun to make one your own special bag!)

And then, of course, it's a mad dash trying to get financial stuff accomplished in January for my client whose year end is Dec 31. Which means worrying about the W-2s and such, too. Nope, can't say I got everything done, either (sob!).

But I can tell you that someone very special in my house is NOT very helpful when it comes to this...

My mouse pad is The Meezer's butt rug. Just TRY and pry her off it when I'm trying to work...ain't gonna happen.

It keeps my Bunny Thumpers warm, Mommie!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bunny Thumpers?

Wow. What a challenge...Ruby wants to know who has the biggest, or the daintiest, Bunny Thumper (on a kitty of course...)

The challenge is to get a photo of your kitty's foot. And then measure it. Actually the measuring is the easiest part...The Meezer thought I'd lost my mind! (Her's measures at 5 inches)

But the Calico Curmudgeon wasn't having any of part of anything at all, which is really sad, b/c at less than 6 pounds, she's probably got the daintiest, and perhaps even the oldest, true Bunny Thumper - you see, CC has bunny FUR.
(that's 4.5 inches of the softest angora bunny fur you could ask for). CC didn't mind me measuring once I picked her up and held her...in fact there was a decided smirk on her face as she glared at The Meezer. You could almost hear her saying, "You see? I'm STILL the Queen Bee of this roost...Mommie picks ME up!"

You can see, however, that The Meezer was in fine "tearstrip" form tonight!

Please note...The Meezer has walrus paws? (she has a walrus belly, too, but don't tell her I said so...Her auntie Lynette calls her "Walrus" all the time...)

Oh. Knitting? I frogged and restarted knitting the Second Sock of the Three Dancers yarn (I was almost to the heel bed when I realized that I'd cast on the toe sized for my Big Sis's foot, instead of my own!). And I have frogged the Koolhaas Hat again. I believe I'm getting off on my count when I feel the yarn slipping thru my fingers and I hurry to grasp stitches, losing my concentration...I think I'm going to wait for my first Knitpicks order (yes, there are two on their way) - which has my size 6 & 8 Harmony circulars in 16-inch size. My thought is that the points are sharper (than the Plymouth metal circulars I'm using) and the laminated wood not quite so slippery. I hope. I hope... and I hope they'll be here on Monday...

By then, perhaps my brain will be rid of this cotton wool...(I'm truly sorry for any snuffling you hear on that video - I'm better, just not quite there, yet!) I think knitting and I just aren't meant for each other right now! (GASP!)
(((hugs)))

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Knocked on My Keester!

Yup. Remind me next time not to wait so long to go to the doctor? I know better. Last night I was ceremoniously informed that I have a "serious sinus infection." (No Joke! I hadn't noticed!)

Antibiotics and a sinister-sounding medication called guifenison (I think I've spelled it correctly) prescribed as I can't take decongestants. I'd been emptying boxes of tissues rapidly for two days and last night that stopped cold. I had a blocked up head the size of ... well, something huge. Sleep? What's that? I was begging to breathe.

Another day off work as a result - and frankly, last week's Wednesday, and 1/2 of Friday were a piece of cake compared to today. I've not been able to pick up a needle, barely able to open a can of soup, which I finally made myself do. Suddenly now, I'm UP. Still clogged. Whatcha think? Turning a corner? Maybe not...I think I want another lie-down spell...(sigh)


I'm pulling a Stephanie here - "Pet the yarn."

That's December's Selection of the Art Walk Sock Yarn Club, Black Iris (inspired by the painting by Georgia O'Keefe) all neatly caked in there amonst - yes - Roxanne's Purple Royale worsted weight that I bought at least 2 years ago for Clapotis. When I pulled the sock yarn out of the package (Roxie held onto a skein for me from last month and sent it along with this month's selection, which I can't show you yet) I about dropped my teeth. I think it's a perfect match! Hmmmm Clapotis and Socks?

Mommie's been really sick. I don't know when she's stayed in bed all day

But whenever she gets up, I sneak into her spot on the bed - I'm just keeping it warm for her, you know

Yes, sure, Meeze. That's why you snipe angrily at me when I make you move...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Got Nothin'

Another yucky day... but I'm hoping tomorrow will be better...

I promised you photos of some of the Christmas knitting as soon as I could get them from my Big Sis, and then when they got here, I promptly forgot to do it!

So...these nutty looking folks are some of my family:

And there are three hats I made - the green one now belongs to my Big Sis, as BIL said he really doesn't care for stocking caps - do you think perhaps he's worried about "hat head?" (Do men worry about such things?) Anyway, she's tickled to have the hat!

And here are Big Sis's Fleece Artist Socks...Mind you, they are the same size. You can see she tried them on over black tights. And since her feet hurt her a lot, it was hard to try to pull them on evenly without causing her pain. (Which isn't the way to spend Christmas - imagine, hurting your Big Sis when you thought you were making her something to feel better?)

Anyway, I think she likes them.

I've gotten some yarn (my Art Walk Sock Yarn Club for January came and it's lovely, but I can't spoil it...so the photos will wait a day or so...) and Rowan Plaid Collection, tho' I have no idea what I'll make - I can't wear these heavy sweaters as much as I love them!

I did go to work today, and it was a productive day...there's a lot to be said for that when your head is full of cotton-wool...!
(((hugs)))

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Feeling Lousy Sunday

The cold seems to have turned into a sinus infection. I've not been able to do much all weekend, so I'm now suffering from enormous guilt. There's a lot to do...

I've tried very hard to work on the Koolhaas Hat that I started Friday night. I've now ripped it out to the ribbing twice. But that's not before I'd spent hours tinking stitch by stitch trying to figure out what I'd done wrong. You name it? I've probably done it. Ending with one stitch too few, one too many, dropping stitches, and then the proverbial "How the heck did I end up on row 5 when I just did row 6, and oh, yes, I do know how to read a chart?"

I'm back here again - at the ribbing. The stitch count is correct. I'll try again, but not today...you don't suppose that the yarn is cursed? That's the Knitpicks Merino Style I used to knit the doomed Steeler's Aibhlinn.

I must admit that I took enormous pleasure last night in knitting away on this hat while the Steelers LOST to the Jaguars! (Yeah!)

(sorry Steelers' fans - nothing personal - except where one Steelers' fan is concerned)

And yes, I guess that might surprise some folks to learn that Knitnana has just a touch of a petty, vindictive streak...(ok...if that's the worst of it, I suspect you'll all allow it)

Anyway...I gave up on the Koolhaas for now, and finished this:

One more to go. I just love Roxanne's yarn (70 merino, 30 sea silk). My toes do, too!

Now if I can just get myself around to consider going back to work tomorrow.
(sigh)
Please pass the tissues?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Fearless Knitting? Yup.

I am Knitting Daily

I've mentioned it before, shown you the yarn, but I forgot to mention my "Fearless Knitting" project for 2008 in my plans and resolutions post down below!

I'm gonna knit my first Fair Isle! Remember the Knitpicks Palette yarn in Petal? That wasn't pink? That I bought for this:

I just ordered the Blush and the White colorways. I'll decide which of the three colors goes best with the purples, grays, and blacks I ordered first (and love!)...

OH. I also ordered my Harmony Interchangeables and 3 hat-sized fixed circulars, too. I had to use up gift certificates and cash from Christmas - most of which I earmarked right at Knitpicks!

I realize it is going to take a bit to get everything...but once they get here?

I'm going to be a Fearless Knitter
*wink*

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Under the Weather...

I missed Knit Night tonight.
(sigh)
But I think they'll be happy that I didn't bring them my germs. I'll see you gals next month! (I hope)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What Would We Do Without The Internet?

I have heard from a family member of the woman who spun & dyed the yellow/green yarn my sis-in-law brought me from Switzerland! I'm so excited to hear from him (he could write to me in English and so was charged with the reply).

So I'm reproducing some of the email here:

Hope, I can stop now your curiosity which may kills you (according to the blog you wrote ;-) ). The yarn is made of 35% linen and 65% silk. A company in the inner part of Switzerland makes the raw material which comes from China (silk) and Ireland (linen). (She) sells the product in 100 gramms portion which is approx. 250 meters
The color is a 50%/50% product of organic and synthetic origin therefore the color goes mostly into the silk and so you get the special structure and you will not smell the silk (as it is covered with color) but the linen.


Many, many thanks for the information! I now know I have approximately 275 yards to work with, and that I've truly learned much in the three years since beginning again to knit - I guessed there was linen in this yarn, and I could not smell the silk, tho' I didn't know why! But you realize when I started knitting again, folks, that the "best" yarn I'd worked with was - gasp! - Lion Homespun! And I couldn't even begin to identify quality yarns at all...

The internet is a miraculous place. I know it has it's pitfalls, but in this new year, so full, now, of promise, I'm so grateful to see how quickly information can travel, how small, really the world is. And how considerate people are!

We're very lucky to know each other, all of us in the blogland world, you know?

edited to add In the post down below, where I show the tag that came with the yarn, you might notice an email address written vertically up the middle? Tan suggested I email, and I did. This all came as a reply to that email - Sorry, Dave! I guess it's not quite as amazing as it might seem at first glance!
((((hugs))))

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!

It's Deja vu "All over again!"

I spent last night here:

Using very specific instructions given me by Myrna Stahman, herself, I carefully inserted a smaller Addi Lace needle along the bottom edge of Catharina, picking up what I hoped would be all the live stitches to which I'd incorrectly attached the edging (please note, my partner in this was none other than Mandy Patinkin? His soothing voice made the edginess I felt a bit more bearable!)

Above you see the process, once those live stitches are corralled, of frogging off the edging (sorry it's a bit blurry...I was feeling that way, too, and I hadn't had a drop to drink, honest - oh well, there was that glass of merlot with dinner, but it had been at least 3 hours earlier).

I'm happy to report that I dropped nary a stitch, all the edging has been removed and I'm happily knitting away, lifeline in place, putting on another repeat of the hearts on this shawl. I would love to have it finished by Valentine's Day and on it's way to my dear sister. She swears she's not putting any pressure on me, but wants to know when I'm going to begin the 3-Button Wrap she gave me for Christmas!

What's on my plate for 2008? I'm trying hard not to pile too much on.
1. Finish Catharina Faroese-Style shawl (I'd like not to be here again in 2009!)
2. Start the 3-Button Wrap
3. Knit for Peace
4. Design new accessories over at Nana Sadie Rose
5. Spend a weekend with Myrna Stahman, learning firsthand from the expert, about Faroese-Style shawls.
6. Keep up to date on my many, many blog-friends knitting lives. I constantly run about 200 in my bloglines. I'd like to try to visit a bit more often.
7. And then the usual "resolutions" - you know, eat better, exercise more, sleep more, get organized...all the things I wish I could do, and seldom accomplish. Will I this year? (sigh)
8. Accept that I'm not super-human!

Did you notice she didn't mention me? mphfhmph

Namaste

I honor the place in you,

which is of love, truth, light, and peace.

When you are centered in that place in you,

and I am centered in that place in me,

we are one.

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