knitnana: January 2009

Please stop by my Etsy Shop if you're looking for Nana Sadie Rose items!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

And The Winners Are....(drumroll please...)

1. Elaine630
2. Becky
3. Brooke M who said "I like hearing a nice person talk about knitting and cats" and did not leave me a way to email her! :(
4. Kathy who said "I like knitting and sewing, so it's fun to see what you are working on. And I'm an animal lover, so I like seeing pics of the kitties. You are doing great! (And you keep us locals updated on events and happenings.) You have a great sense of humor, and a good heart!" - I don't know how to contact you, either, but I realize you must be from my neck of the woods!

Would Brooke M and Kathy please shoot me an email (my address is over in the sidebar there-----> and send me your address? Kathy, if you're in my area, perhaps we could meet up? Will you be at the next Roanoke Knitters and Spinners Meeting at the Salem library next Thursday?

Congrats to all the winners!!! I'm sending everyone sock yarn - I decided there wasn't any way to figure out who got the book and who got the magazine (a Piecework with an Orenburg shawl pattern in it, that I somehow got a duplicate of!) so I'll save them for another time...


And last night and today, in between running errands and washing fabrics I finished these:

And another shot that shows off the heels!

Yarn: Berroco Sox colorway 1476
And Mary? There wasn't a bit of yarn barf in the whole skein - THANK YOU!!! - If you all remember the 1477 colorway ended up in 5 pieces and Yarn Explosion (and Mary!) were kind enough to give me this ball to knit up...I had to get them done quickly to let them know that there wasn't a problem with this ball!
Needles: Knitpicks Options size 1.5, 2 circs
Pattern: You know the drill, right? Judy's Magic Cast On for toe-ups, plain vanilla stockinette, with picot edging and that wonderful sewn hem that doesn't require casting off and then sewing it down (the link to those instructions is over in my sidebar under the title: Things I want to find again)
Time to Knit: January 21 - 31, 2009

Tomorrow? I'll pick another bag from my Personal Sock Club 2009 and begin a new pair!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Don't Forget the Contest and Um...Yes, I Cast On

Tonight at midnight is the deadline for leaving a comment on my Fouth Blogiversary Contest post. In the morning, I'll draw four names from everyone who has posted. (I do think you'll like the prizes!)

To catch you up, otherwise, I phoned the dealership where I had my repairs done to ask if they still had the three tires that were replaced. They did! I'll be putting them on Craigslist, as they still have good tread (I hadn't had them all that long, and I drive very little, actually - in the month I had the rental car, I only put a little over 400 miles on it). I can't claim credit for the idea, as I didn't think of it myself, my co-worker, Mary, did and she went with me to pick them up. I'm pleased that perhaps there's a chance that I can earn back a little of the expense of the new tires, and maybe help someone in need, too, with good tires at a reduced cost. We'll see...

The economic news was dismal today, and with all the stress and frustration over the car this week? I had do something to combat it.

Ok. I'm a knitter, so what do you think I did?
If you said, wound up stash yarn and cast on a new project - ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!

You're correct! That's BMFA Socks that Rock in Valkyrie (my favorite of the Raven Series - and that's saying something because I LOVE the Raven series, and have 3 other colorways, with more on my wishlist).

What did I cast on, you ask?

Seraphim! (I apologize for the photo, I really do knit better than that shot indicates, but it's hard to hold such a small piece spread out and press the shutter button at the same time! *wink*)

From the moment I read the description of Valkyrie (Midwife of change. She will walk with you up to that door and be your witness as you walk through it), I knew I wanted to knit an enveloping comfort shawl, a shawl of warmth and strength, one that would herald a sort of "woman of a certain age" recognition of croneship. A few years ago, as I entered into my own midlife years, I discovered the work of Susun Weed, and read her Wise Woman Ways. I'd already spent many years studying feminist spirituality, being a gardener of the useful weeds and vegetables, and connecting with my own family's matrifocal lineage. Then I lost my mom, and the entire cycle of a woman's life and the family line through it's women somehow garnered a lot more meaning than it ever had before.

If you've done any reading in the "change" literature, you'll know that there's a lot of thought that the huge numbers of women in the Baby Boom generation approaching the age of change at about the same time (and at the time of the turn of the century and it's early years) signals a time of upheaval in the earth's development, as well as human development. Short of trying to teach the subject here (and I know I'd not begin to do it justice - I'm such a novice), I refer you to a wealth of information in the feminist spirituality and ecological movement. And a good place to start, especially for a knitter? Right here with none other than our "mother of the comprehensive knitting stitch dictionaries," Barbara G Walker. (She's written more, too...)

Nonetheless, because of all this prior study, this yarn spoke to me. And Mim's pattern did the same. Warm, yet with a touch of lace, the deep black/brown-purple-reds of the yarn are a trifle difficult to see on the Harmony's. I needed a short circular to start the shawl, as my Addi Lace needles are all 32 inches. I'll swap out to them soon, tho' as I'm now close to overwhelming the little 16-inch Harmony's. This project so far is scrumptious (I know, I say that a lot), but this is not a joke:

Seraphim will be a joyful, celebratory shawl.

And with all the negativity lately? It's exactly what I need!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Knitters Coffee Swap 4, etc...

In a weak moment (I've had a few lately!) I signed up for Knitters Coffee Swap 4 (you can see the button posted in the sidebar, but here it is, again, since I like it so much!)

It's a swap where we KNOW who our partners are (I've had bad luck before with swaps, and have decided this is the only way to go!). Yesterday, I got an email from Corinne that we were partners, and we've already swapped the questionnaire, but I believe we're also supposed to post it on the blog, so here it is:
QUESTIONS:
1. Whole bean or ground? Ground for Auto-drip
2. Fully-loaded or decaf? either - I don't have a lot of decaf and that would be a nice touch!
3. Regular or flavored? I love hazelnut and I love chocolate raspberry!
4. How do you drink your coffee? both hot and iced; with either Equal or Sweet n Low - I love lattes but have sworn off them for the time being - too pricey!
5. Favorite coffee ever? Hmm....Starbucks I guess, but Panera's is pretty good, too.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? I mix my local brewer's choco raspberry with Maxwell House French Roast (half and half!) every morning - to save on the cost of the flavored! lololol
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? I adore biscotti - the almond with a chocolate iced bottom...shortbread, Dove or Godiva Dark Chocolate!
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? hmm...not that I can think of.
9. Yarn/fiber you love? merino wool, alpaca, llama, camel, mohair
10. Yarn/fiber you hate? acrylic (but if it's in a sock yarn - Opal, Reggia, Trekking - it's okay!) - but I also will use Caron Simply Soft for chemo hats
11. What's on your needles? socks and lace, chemo hats, and cables
12. Favorite colors? purple, pink, red, black, gray
13. Allergies? angora, cigarette smoke
14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest? hmm...I'm not a yellow/orange fan (and green isn't me at all). I adore Siamese cat trinkets and such...

I'm looking forward to this. Corinne and I have had a spirited email exchange the past couple of days - our decorating styles are similar (at least those that we WISH we could have!), and her blog has a lot of really neat photos that I enjoyed perusing.

On the car front? I think I lost the battle. I was "granted" the left tire to match the right paid for by the insurance company, but I was responsible for the "betterment" - I am an accountant and I do know what that means...But somehow, in translation between a "bottom line" from the dealership before the negotiation and today when I picked the car up? The cost went UP from the price of 3 tires at $XXX.XX to a cost of 2 tires, plus the betterments of the 2 the insurance company agreed to pay for less betterments, for $XXX.XX PLUS about $65. Hmmm...is it any wonder I feel a trifle violated?

The car was cleaned inside and out and detailed (at "no charge") and looks better than it did when I bought it (except that the NEW headlight is much cleaner than the old one on the other side - I'm assured I can clean it up with the proper materials from the auto supply store...)

Hmm.
I hope I don't hear that I have one light "brighter" than the other, because at this point? I'm not going to pay for the kit to clean it. Maybe DD and SIL would like to consider getting the kit and doing the work for my birthday in July (when the weather is warmer)...that's a thought.

I've been busily working on things for my Etsy store surprise/special promo on Sunday...It was better than watching the MSNBC lineup and getting even more depressed about the economy after spending more money on an accident I didn't cause and wasn't cited for. Grr. I thought sewing might do my blood pressure more good, what do you think?

Then...I decided to spend a few minutes getting a good shot of TM...she wanted to play with the camera strap and this was the best of the lot:


In light of the Knitters' Coffee Swap? Doesn't that sweetie look just like a wonderful cup of dark roast with cream?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Knit Red in Heart Month!

Did you SEE this???

It's just the very perfect thing to knit if you're a heart disease survivor and looking for something meaningful to knit for February - Heart Month!

National Wear Red Day is February 6, 2009 so don't forget to show your colors!!

(and Nana Sadie Rose's Etsy shop will have a special going on all month, too, details soon!)
(((Hugs)))

So Depressing...No! Wait! Not You-All...

I am just so touched by all your comments on yesterday's post for my blogiversary (and the contest continues till Friday at midnight EST, so keep posting on the January 27th entry, okay?).

But I'm so depressed, about a few other things:

1. First and foremost, because this really matters - We got NO SNOW. I did get a day off, which was a good thing. It was icy to start the day, but it warmed up (to 34 degrees!) and was just a cold rain the rest of the day...I really was looking forward to a little snow, as I love it - and we just don't get much of it these days...so that's the first depressing thing...Wah!

2. My replacement Options needles came - and they're just as yucky as the first ones. So...I'm mailing everything back to Knitpicks and asking them to exchange for a book. I hope the book will be all right. Truly you all know I love Knitpicks Harmony needles, but these Options have been like night and day between the ones I currently use for my socks and the ones I've gotten this time around. I'm really depressed about it, as I love, love, love Knitpicks.

3. Remember my car accident? My Subaru has been in the shop since New Year's Eve. Ok, the first few days were holidays, so I understand that. But it's been a LONG time to drive a rental car (a Kia) that I don't like. Yesterday, I heard that, in spite of the fact that this accident was not my fault, the insured's company is only going to pay to replace the tire that was damaged in the accident - NOT the other three. If you know anything about AWD cars, you know that in order to maintain stability of the car in bad weather conditions, you have to have tires that are worn evenly. In fact, the new tire will revolve at a slower speed than the other three. This is basic physics here: there is more thickness on the new tire than on the other three so it takes more time for a complete revolution of the new tire (ie, it spins slower). In other words? For safety sake, if you replace ONE tire, you replace all FOUR. The insurance company says that it's NOT an industry standard, but a Subaru standard (hmm...don't you think the manufacturer would KNOW what is necessary for their cars?) and so they don't have to meet it. Obviously, if I want four matching tires, I have to buy the other three myself. While I can afford to do that, the insurance company is NOT putting my car back it the condition it was before the accident (which they're supposed to do), not to mention that the vehicle is now worth less in a sale (should I sell it) because it's been in an accident. I'm still working on this one, as I haven't yet "settled" the claim, but mind you, I don't have a lot of time to fight if I don't want to start paying for the rental car myself. And I don't. Bah.

4. We had a lot of local layoffs announced yesterday - now most won't take effect till March or April, (and I'm hoping things will turn around) and while the companies involved are not located right IN this town, it will all affect the local economy. I know that this isn't a a huge deal - not when there are towns where the entire town is dependent on ONE industry and that is going under, shutting down, laying off - and I know we're a lot luckier than many areas. Still, it wasn't happy news.

5. Over the weekend I finally finished up Friday Night Knitting Club. I'm probably the last person to read this, and had to get it done before I started the sequel Knit Two. But - MAN. I liked the book okay (it wasn't the best, but not the worst) till all of a sudden the plot (out of left field) twisted so bad and to my mind when straight downhill fast. I'm not a gal who likes endings to be less than happy. This one was. I readily admit that life isn't about happy endings. But that's why I read - I want a little escapism. This didn't give it to me. So now I'm a bit worried about the sequel, but it was a gift so I feel I have to read it. If you've read it, and I need to be warned about a not-happy ending, please warn me, at least. Just don't spoil the ending, okay?

I know all of this is hitting me right after a less than happy weekend show, when I'm really tired (and I probably shouldn't admit that considering that yesterday, with the office closed I got a lot of extra sleep I hadn't expected to get).

(sigh)
Ok. Want some of the silver lining kinds of things? (I do this when I'm feeling down, and you should try it, too, because it really does help)

1. I can afford to pay for the tires if I have to. I don't think I should have to, but I CAN do it.

2. I can get Nancy Bush's Estonian Lace book, as at least right now anyway, Knitpicks has it in stock. Hopefully the exchange will work out.

3. I am almost finished with the purple/red/pink Berroco Sox and while I'm a tad bit sick of the patterning (after all, this is the FOURTH pair of socks of various colorways I've knit in this yarn) I can say that there's NOT been a single problem with broken yarn!! Whoohoo!

4. Yesterday, after it stopped sleeting and changed to rain, I went to Barnes & Noble for a 1/2 caf 1/2 decaf and this:
I'm madly in love with Jared's Almeara Gloves. I know. I said I'd probably not make another pair of gloves after Knotty Gloves, but ... I'm sorely tempted here. I also adore the cover scarf (but doubt I'd use a chunky yarn like that with my build), and Michele Rose Orne's felted bag on page 75 is just plain fun (but I'd change the colors to my purples, pinks and charcoal gray, I think). Some of the wintry whites are wonderful...I love fine cables - not the chunk-a-block ones. So there's a positive review (for the most part) to balance the negative one above.

5. When I got to sleep in yesterday? I had company. Naw, not THAT, get your mind outta de gutta! :)

I had a MEEZER curled up under the covers with me...
THAT is the very best possible silver lining!

Ah, Mommie!

(OH! And #6 - I got to read all your wonderful comments! See, the good things outweigh the bad...as usual!)
(((HUGS)))

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Snow Day to Celebrate Happy Blogiversary to Knitnana!

Can't believe I get to have a day off to do this, but we've got winter storm warnings for snow, sleet, and freezing rain, so the community college is closed, and that means my office is, too! I can use the day to play, but with ice? Well, I just hope the power stays on!

Now: It's been four years blogging at Knitnana! I began this thinking it was all a bit odd, but fascinating, and perhaps 3 or maybe as many as 5, if I counted a family member or two, would read it.

(I think some of the family DOES read me)

But wow, what a delightful ride it's been! I've learned some coding (but only some), how to post photos, and some of the photos have even been good, I think (tho' not great).

I'll never be as widely read as some of our knit bloggers (Margene, Wendy, or Stephanie to name a few), but I can say that I've corresponded with all three of them, and several hundred other of you who stop by and get something from your daily (more or less) dose of me, some commenting, some just lurking - I am so blessed by all of you.

Some friends from the first year are still hanging in there with me Ruinwen, Birdsong, Jane. Then there are the ones who appeared in the past year or so and have stayed as much because of common interests beyond knitting as for the knitting itself - Jocelyn, Carrie, and Norma. (What are the other things we three have in common? Oh. Well, language study, accounting, and gardening, respectively.)

I try to do a little research along the way to see who's lurking out there, not commenting - where you all are from geographically, how you might have stumbled upon me (in-clicks and out-clicks, thank you Sitemeter!). I'd love to know who it is visiting me from India and Turkey!

***

Ok. I'm going to have a contest: I want to hear what brings you back to my blog. Leave a comment to this post that lets me know what I'm doing right here (or for that matter, what I'm doing wrong! But gently please!). And let me know the general area of the world you're commenting from! :)

I'll put everyone's name into a hat and we'll draw for 4 prizes at the end of the week - so Friday at midnight EST, I'll call a halt to comments and announce winners on Saturday.

Prizes? Well, there's yarn. And perhaps a book. Maybe something from the Nana Sadie Rose line?

If you send someone here? Make sure they tell me you did - I'll put your name in the hat again for every time someone does.

But I do want comments of what's good (or bad) about Knitnana. (ok, let's not get personal, but the blog - even if I do feel as if it's an extension of me!)

How does that sound? Let the games begin?

And ... I can't wait to see where year 5 takes us!

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's MONDAY? How'd We Get HERE This Fast?

Time just flies whether you're having fun or not!

No, really, I do know that I lost yet another weekend by working. It was fun to see everyone, but I can say that attendance was down, both in the number of folks coming through the gate, and in the number of kitties participating in the event. I understand there was at least one other show last weekend, a Tonkinese show, as a good friend and Tonk breeder was unable to attend the Roanoke show because of it.

I did get to see Jeanie from Siamese Rescue and she brought her newest adoptee:
Sorry for the blurriness of the shot (he was moving fast!), but Jake had a grand time exploring the cat trees in the booth next to mine...
and taking Jeanie (who was on the other end of the leash) between the trees back and forth between the cat tree vendor's space and mine...which is where this photo was taken. He had to check out every single scent he came upon.

The today, I stopped by Carole's to see her wonderful photography...tulips and Mason. I just knew that The Meezer, when she saw his photo, would fall head over heels for this beautiful sealpoint boy.
Sorry, Mom, but frankly, I'd rather be with you than any fella.

Now isn't that sweet?

Stop in tomorrow for details of my blogiversary contest!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Star City Cat Show!

It's finally here, and while I'm tired from a day of meet 'n greet, I did want to show off our booth:
We're back in a location that we've had before, second in from the front door of the vendor room...and we're there from 10 until 4 tomorrow, so stop by if you're in the neighborhood?

Pat and Chuck from The Cat's Closet are here at the show, as always...she has such wonderful stuff, I just wish I were made of money so I could buy bunches - that link shows another view of their booth that is much much better than my photo, as well as taking you to their website, but they have a storefront in Fredericksburg, VA, too, if you happen to be in their neighborhood. If you do stop by, you can tell them I told you to do so! (When it comes to cat-themed items, I'm sure you'll find everything you need there - oh, well, except for Nana Sadie Rose bags, of course! but not because Pat hasn't tried *wink*)

I don't think I've ever shared photos of the show rings before, but I snapped this one this morning when the Persians were in this particular ring - I didn't realize till I got home that you're seeing a mostly white Persian, on a white table, against the judge's white shirt (sigh). Please don't shoot me? I'm really a bag maker and accountant, not a photographer!

I saw my first European Burmese - he was red, like the kitties in the link I've included there, and his eyes were as gold as his coat. What a beauty! Since I'm a sucker for sweet little red boy kitties, one of these just might be the right choice for a companion for The Meezer one day...(oh, and yes, I've been hearing about how long, and lonely this day has been, believe me...sometimes, I wish Siamese weren't quite so vocal!!)

Tomorrow is another day, so I'd best finish this post.

But I do want to remind you about the upcoming blogiversary contest (Tuesday is THE day, so I'll try to come up with something more interesting than just leaving me a comment, okay?).

And then coming in February? My Etsy shop is going to be having a little promotion...so stay tuned!
(((hugs)))

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coming Up, Briefly, For Air...

...and going right back down again.

I'm alive. Sorta. Migraines are the pits - ocular and otherwise and I've had both this week. Then with our frigid weather, everything else (ie, joints and muscles, particularly) is acting up...so you can imagine that my fibro fog has kicked into high gear, too.

Tonight was Red Hats (after doing the vets payroll and working a full day!), and I felt I needed to go. I'm glad I did, as I think the glass of merlot might have been the best medicine of all.

And tomorrow night, thru Sunday? It's the Star City Cat Show. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by? I'd love to see you. Saturday and Sunday between 10 and 4. I've scaled back a bit on the preparations, and am hoping that's not a bad thing, but if I'd had to also sew bags and accessories this month? Well, I suspect you'd be visiting me in one of the state mental institutions...

Or perhaps the cardiac ward?
lol
(that really IS a joke!)

Anyway there will still be lots of stuff to see at the show, and of course, you're always welcome to place an order if you don't see something already made!

And...come back here during the weekend (I will try to at least showcase the booth!) - because next week?

It's my Blogiversary! And there's gonna be a contest!
:)
(((Hugs)))

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Banner Day

I can't suitably process my feelings about our achievements as a nation on this inauguration day. I've been feeling quite overwhelmed by an event I surely never thought I'd live to see. I'm eternally grateful that it came far sooner than I anticipated. And I am hopeful for our country, indeed for our world, today.

I think better minds than mine will write of the historical significance. But right now I'm feeling an enormous sense of relief...

All that said, in my own corner of the world, I'm battling a touch of sinus (and hoping it doesn't get any worse), and in general am just plain pooped. Both my employer's and my client's annual reporting is complete...but not until I'd lost a weekend, and many nights of decent sleep. I take this stuff too much to heart, I guess, but I am nothing if not a perfectionist!

All is in the mail, as they say. Thank goodness.

So I ran in the ends of these today, my first FO of 2009!
The blue and green Berroco Sox, my first month's edition of the Personal Sock Club. I had a few extra ends to run in - but I think I did a pretty good job of matching the stripes, don't you?

Details:
Pattern: My standard toe-up sock - Judy's Magic Cast On, stockinette...varied only by a 2x2 ribbed cuff.
Yarn: Berroco Sox 1477 colorway
Needles: Knitpicks Options size 1.5 US, 16-inch circulars
Time to complete: January 1-20, 2009

They feel pretty good, too...and can you see how well they match MSNBC's Inauguration coverage banners?

A "banner" day, indeed!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's Lame, But It's All I Got...

I've been meaning to show this off, and since knitting's not happening, other than a stitch here and there, and there's still year-end stuff keeping me from doing a decent job of blogging, here you go:
On Christmas Eve, I stopped into our Domestications/Company Store outlet. I'd never been in before, so it was just one of those, I wonder what they've got here?

Well, it was 40% off the price marked - and the price marked was .. ta-da .. $13.49!

Yes, that included the shams. $8 and tax for a rose-covered set that works beautifully with my rugs, drapes, and the bedskirt I already had - in fact? I think it's one of the nicest combinations I've had in my bedroom...

The Meezer agrees.
(((hugs)))

Saturday, January 17, 2009

NOT A Whole Lotta Knittin' Goin' On...

It's just as much of a slog to knit garter endlessly as it is to print ONE page of two W-2s at a time...but I've got a tinker-toy printer, and if I'm not careful? They either jam, or they feed two at a time, and the forms aren't inexpensive...


Now you might think that just printing them would allow a lot of time to knit in between, but the printer isn't slow, so I have only a few seconds between putting the commands in to print one page of two employees (and specifying which ones), and then pulling the page off and inserting the next page in...(and remember there are SIX copies per employee!)
(sigh)

Hardly enough time to take a stitch.

So...If I can finish these tonight, I'll get the year-end bookkeeping finished up tomorrow and delivered on Monday, and then perhaps, I'll have a little time to work on my second sock. Oh! And then think about getting organized for the Cat Show next weekend, too...

I did turn the heel of said second sock late last night, after taking Sis-in-law out for her birthday - we saw Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson and it was delightful!

(and then we came out of the theatre to 12 degrees...BRRRR!)

Ok. Enough of a break - back to the printer!
(((hugs)))

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good Customer Service...

As much as I mourned the loss of our Knitter's Knook when it closed, I still had high hopes that the newest LYS in town, Yarn Explosion would be successful (and opening during this economy, frankly didn't bode well, I knew).

But I want to tell you something. Yarn Explosion really understands customer service and that's half the battle in business today! So I've got my fingers crossed - the store is delightfully bright and sunny - not just lots of windows, it's beautifully decorated, with lots and lots of yarn...lots of yarn! And a friendly, knowledgeable staff, too!

I phoned them this morning to tell them about the Berroco Sox problem from yesterday. They told me to bring it in.

Well, I hesitated...then I said, "I've finished one sock. I am NOT returning this yarn, because it's fine, I can work out the striping, and, well - I've finished ONE sock! But I will bring it in to show you." (Where socks are concerned, I'm a PRODUCT knitter, I was not giving up my half-completed pair! lolol!)

But I did phone, because Jocelyn pushed me a bit with "They need to know if they've got a bad batch, they've got to be able to tell Berroco..."

And she was right.

By the time I got there at lunch? Mary was waiting. She'd seen my blog post. I handed over my sock, the 5 "barf balls" and the toe of the second sock OTN.
She returned in what seemed like seconds - I was standing there drooling over all the new sock yarn they've gotten in since I was last there in November. I was trying to keep myself under control ("Sallee, remember your Personal Sock Club, you're knitting from stash...") - but oh, my they have the Regia Kaffe Fassett colors, and I have to tell you it was almost more than I could bear...

"Pick out a ball to replace this," Mary said.

"OH! Really? Well...okay, I will, if you insist!" (Now you understand my post title, right?)

So I got another ball of the Berroco Sox - in color 1476 which, frankly, is RED HAT colors - ok...there's a little pink with the purples and reds, but that works for me. (And yes, I also bought two balls of Mission Falls 1824 wool in black for my Log Cabin that I'm making steady progress on these days...it's great to have draped over me as I knit with the thermostat turned down! lol)
My promise to Mary? That I will knit this up straight away (as soon as I finish the greens and blues) so I can tell her if I have any trouble with THIS ball...

But you know? I'd already knit two pairs of socks of Berroco Sox - one for me, one for Big Sis - and there was nothing wrong with either of those, so maybe the green/blue ball was a fluke? I surely hope so. Because I really DO love Berroco Sox socks...

You can bet that customer service is alive and well in our little corner of the world - at least at Yarn Explosion!

Now if I could just work out my schedule to clear Saturday mornings to join Mary and all for their sock group...maybe in February?
(((hugs)))

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Maybe I Should Have Stayed in Bed Today?

I did get my office's W-2s done, tho'
(Oh NO! I shouldn't have said that...fingers crossed that there are no problems...OK...KNOCKING WOOD HARD!)

Tonight, working on my Berroco sock again...watching our wonderful governor's State of the Commonwealth address and the yarn skein had come apart in 3 balls (in addition to the one from this a.m.), so, because I thought they were connected, I decided to wind from the bottom, as I could see one end...(you can click on any of these photos to embiggen)
Um. Yeah. You ARE seeing that right. Berroco BARF. I've used this yarn for two other pairs of socks...and they were just fine. What on earth?

Jocelyn said quietly in an email that I might want to check for ... shhh ... moths but I didn't see anything that looks like it. (Fingers crossed!)

And then this Christmas, I was the very grateful recipient of a Knitpicks gift certificate, and since I've been loving my size one Options (see above in that sock photo) for the dark yarns...I ordered three sizes of 16 inch circulars for Man Chemo hats (since they usually get knit in dark yarns, and it's hard to see the dark yarns on my Harmonys...) and the order came today:
Can you see the mess on those needles? All three of them. It's as if they're tarnished...but there's a "stickiness" on the cables, too - and I'm not meaning a stickiness that you can wipe off, because you can't.

I've always had the BEST of luck with Knitpicks Customer Service (okay, I've only had a problem twice and I've ordered from them a lot). Well, tonight? Not so good. I was told I'd have to return the needles, and pay the shipping, but the cost of the shipping would be credited back to me. HUH? I was having a bit of a problem with that. It took her about 15 minutes to understand that this was obviously a flaw in this particular batch of needles because it happened to ALL THREE of the individual needles I ordered. I assured her I love Knitpicks needles, I have the Harmony interchangeables, all of the Harmony 16-inch fixed circulars, several longer fixed circulars, and now (in this order) two pair of 10-inch straights - see below...
(Sizes 5 and 7 10-inch straights and are they purty! I checked them, while I was on the phone with Customer Service...no problem.)

And then I mentioned that I was a member of the Knitpicks Lovers group on Ravelry. Of course the little gal on the other end of the phone (who swears she's a knitter) finally admitted she didn't know what Ravelry was...she'd have to talk to her supervisor, did I mind holding on? It turns out the supervisor probably knew about Ravelry.

They're sending me new 16-inch circulars. Ravelry. It's just such POWER in a simple word...

Just in case you can't see in the Berroco Barf photo above? Here's a closeup of my OLD Options from over a year ago...have been used a bit, and they're bright and shiny as the day I first got them...(in fact, they reflect light so well, I have to be careful about them triggering my ocular migraines...)


I did get 3 skeins of Gloss in black and 2 in Woodland Sage for mitts and such...and then I also was swayed into ordering this kit by Judy
I am such a lemming...

I also gave up and started the other Man Chemo hat on my Harmonys:
(It's one of those cheap acrylics I had in stash - but it's soft!)

So maybe I should have stayed in bed today? Naw...I wouldn't have finished my W-2s!
lolol

Surprise!

Knitting along on the Berroco Sox 1477 this morning as I watched the news and drank a cup of coffee before leaving for work:
Suddenly I had two balls of yarn in my hands. The one down in the bottom right corner? was INSIDE the larger one above...it almost looks as if the larger one "birthed" the smaller one....

And there's no connecting thread, no "umbilical cord," so to speak.

This does not bode well for matchy-matchy socks.

(Or maybe it won't matter....we'll just have to see!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Once More, Ravelry Knitter to the Rescue

You hear about it often, but this is the first time it's happened to me. Ravelry saves the day...

K made the most lovely Spiralucious and I'd admired it and commented and favorited it...

You guessed it, right? She made it of STR Mustang Sally? And had approximately 1/2 a skein left. She's sending it on to me....

She's not feeling well today - please go visit and wish her good health?

And K???
Thank you so very, very much! I'm so relieved I don't have to break my pledge.

(altho' I'm kinda thinking Tina would have like it a lot, as I already had 2 colorways in my cart...I'll bet she even would have kept it a secret for me, too.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dear Yarn Goddesses...Hear My Plea?

I've reached the point of angst. I am not certain. I am afraid to knit forward, I'm afraid to rip back...Of the three folks I've contacted on Ravelry, there are no available bits of Mustang Sally STR lightweight to be had...and I only have:
less than 15 yards left in which to knit the edging of Spiralucious.

Yes. I could email Tina and say, "Oh please? I'm breaking a promise to myself by buying this one skein of BMFA STR, oh please, Tina, keep my secret, don't tell a soul that 12 days into my pledge to knit from stash, I'm breaking down...begging for one measely little skein of Mustang Sally. Please, Tina?"

Oh I could rationalize. I was using up stash and didn't have enough. So if I frog it, it stays in stash, if I buy another skein, I can use up what I had and make the most of another skein available for something like ... oh! Maybe for SOCKS! (except that I've got all twelve months of the year planned out in socks, and no, frankly I do not need a 13th pair...) Or even, perhaps buy a second skein in Stormy Weather and use the two to make a Chevron Scarf? What a gorgeous combo that would be...

Nope! Not yet, anyway....

I'm going to give it one more try, instead:

If you happen to have some leftovers of this lovely Mustang Sally Lightweight STR from BMFA and would like to help me keep my pledge to knit from stash (and wouldn't mind the bribe of a Nana Sadie Rose cell phone case in trade...) please let me know?

Because otherwise, I might just have to make myself frog this lovely little neckwarmer. It doesn't seem right.
And somehow, this Claudia Chocolate Cherry, while absolutely lovely, just doesn't quite work against that Mustang Sally, now does it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Finis!


Are they cute?

And my order list is empty!

Wow.

I've got a few things on my plate upcoming, tho' - including a couple new ideas for Nana Sadie Rose...so stay tuned...

The Meezer seems fine. But she's pretty ticked at me for moving the aloe plant. She couldn't have gotten addicted that fast, could she? In a little over a day or so?

OH. And I think I don't have enough Mustang Sally to do the edging on my Spiralucious...I'm heading over to Ravelry to see if anyone has a few yards (maybe 50?) they'd be willing to sell me...I figure that if I don't do any of the edging at all, till I get some additional STR lightweight, that perhaps the change in dyelot won't look all that odd - if the entire edging is done in a different one, not started in mine and ended in another one?

What do you think?
(sigh)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not Sure I've Been Here Before...

This weekend is a full-out push to finish orders before other pressing obligations and their deadlines approach. But you know what? When I finish these orders? I won't just be "caught up."

I'll be done.

As in ... they are my last orders. Gasp!

Here's the first of two that are to be completed this weekend:
The fabrics are pretty scarce these days, but that's Knit Pirate in brown and pink from Michael Miller, and it's coordinate, long out of print in that colorway at least, Knitmare on Elm Street. It's a cute set, made up in a Mavis knitting bag and a Glady interchangeables case. This will be shipping out the first of the week to it's new owner...

But really. Since I started this business, I've had orders ahead. Always. With the last order to be completed tomorrow, I'm officially orderless (is that a word?).

Of course, there's the cat show the end of the month, and I have things to make for that, although I'm in fairly good shape for this one (another thing that doesn't happen often, I usually feel I have to make far more bags and accessories than there's ever time to make them.

Anyway, you do know what this means? If you've always wanted to order, but hated to wait the 4-6 weeks to get a custom bag? This might be the time to jump!

lolol

(My brain keeps saying, be careful...you had thought this time might be used well for designing a couple of new items, updating the Etsy shop of ready-made items, and then doing a general straightening and reorganizing of the sewing room....so perhaps I should keep my mouth shut? And it's not like I don't have tons of things to knit, and books to read, and such. I am thinking a nice little break is well-deserved... Still, it's a little unsettling to think there are no orders waiting in the wings?)

All week, I've been working slowly, and in spare moments, on my Mustang Sally Spiralucious...
and it's almost to the point of knitting on the edging. Just a few more rows. I'm fighting the urge to knit faster...because I'm not sure how much yarn I have left. Not sure there'll be enough for the edging (which will really upset me, you know?). I can't unknit any of the Knotty Gloves to find more, either. I LIKE the Knotty Gloves! lol

The Meezer has been a bit of a trial all day - going into different sections of the house and climbing the walls as far as she could, and crying, and crying...I have no idea what is up, tho' at one point, I realized she was eating the aloe plant. That's never happened before and the aloe has been in the same spot, with access, for almost two years. Things have been rearranged so that she can't get to the aloe anymore...

Then tonight, when I finally came upstairs to edit the photos and create this post, I discovered my office chair confiscated by that certain furrperson...

And she made me move! Harrrumph!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

I Interrupt My Regularly Scheduled Blogging...

to pass along another tidbit to Elizabeth that I forgot to mention tonight.

Elizabeth and I are in the same knitting group. She was hoping I would show up tonight, neither of us having been for several months (except that I did make it to the Christmas party...but I digress). Elizabeth is a regular visitor here at Knitnana, and had watched with interest as I detailed my experience with Plantars Fasciitis earlier in the fall...(yes, I do still have trouble, but am doing much better with stretching, sometimes hot packs, and wearing my real Birkenstocks every single day, with only a change to my cushiony soft Nothinz in the evenings when I get home...)

OH. This, too.
Elizabeth this is the most amazing thing.

You're supposed to roll your foot (in exercise fashion) over a rounded ice bottle - at least something round, and I did for a long time use one of those purchased water bottles we're not supposed to drink from anymore because of the "b-something" that's chemically present...however I think it's fine to freeze water in those bottles and rub your painful foot over them....

Then...one evening in September, while in Washington DC for the cat show, I stayed in a hotel with a marble bathroom floor. The A/C was on of course, as it was hot weather still. I jumped up in the middle of the night to "visit the ladies" as they say, and the second my aching foot hit that cold, cold marble?

INSTANT PAIN RELIEF.

So ... I considered buying a marble cheese board, but never got around to it.

And finally, at Christmas, when I was busy buying the tiles for the grandchildren's Christmas Day activity? Well, there I was in the home remodeling store and I thought - OH! Pretty!! Pink! Marble.

A 12x12 inch tile cost only a couple of dollars and they cut it down for me...in fact, there was enough left to make 3 marble coasters, so I had those cut, too, and am using them around the house. I did pick up a few of those felted feet to put under the tiles...(not just the coasters, but the bigger one, too.) I set the 12x9 tile on the floor in my bedroom. It's pretty cold there most of the time. And I make sure I stand on that tile for awhile every night...it helps the PF, too.

lolol
And now? Now I've gotten a blog entry out of something oddly fascinating to some people. If you're not one of them? It's okay...come back another time, there'll be more...

But Elizabeth? Try the tile! And I hope it works for you!
(((Hugs)))

Monday, January 05, 2009

Diversions...

A couple of little things...since I worked all day, and then came home and donned my Nana Sadie Rose hat and sewed all evening...(nothing you haven't seen before, so I won't reproduce it here)

I cast on last night for something for ME - my own Spiralucious this time ...
in left-over STR Mustang Sally to match my Knotty Gloves in the same yarn...(I'm hoping I have enough to make it through as I haven't weighed or even measured the leftover yardage)

And the other thing I'm trying to do is finish this:

I had no idea what to expect when I ordered this, but what a delight this read has been! I like Barbara's work anyway, and to have a magickal love story, knitting, and Vermont all in one? Well...what fun!

I was gifted with Knit Two for Christmas, but then realized I hadn't read the The Friday Night Knitting Club yet, so ordered it from the library. We have our monthly meeting of the Roanoke Valley Knitters and Spinners at the library on Thursday night, so I'll pick that up then...

Wow. A wealth of little diversions. In a month when I really shouldn't indulge in them at all...
*wink*

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Oh! Back to WORK? (sigh)

I always am exhausted after the two weeks of holidays (and no, I didn't have the full two weeks off work, unfortunately). I think ahead of time that I'm going to get a lot done, and get some rest, and heading back will be okay...

I need at least another week. Think we could arrange that?
(not)

Well...since I can't how about a rundown of where I stand currently?

Remember the Personal Sock Club "goal" (since I don't DO resolutions)?

Here's where I stand on the January pair:
I started on January 1. I've been rather busy with other things so this is as far as I've gotten. I've also been working on the Log Cabin Blanket, and I may be nearing completion of it - Wow! That would be a nice first FO for 2009, now wouldn't it?

As to another of my 2009 Goals? Creating the knitting room I've always wanted? Well, today, DD and Son-in-law, and the boys arrived late-day to help with some moving issues - as in, I have not been happy with the huge overstuffed chair that goes with my living room furniture. The living room isn't that small, but while I have the loveseat and the two wing chairs in there, it's the arrangement of the windows that creates a problem, that and the floor grate that can't be covered over for the HVAC system. Positioning the furniture to accomodate all that makes the room seem small to me. As a result, I've toyed with the idea of moving that huge chair into the upstairs knitting room for a long, long time, then moving the blue velvet "French" chair downstairs. Today? We did that.

Over the weekend I bought, built, and installed an additional 6-foot bookcase for the sewing room and moved a smaller bookcase up to the knitting room to expand storage in that room.

At present? My world is topsy turvy! I did take all the slipcovers off and wash and dry them and then return them to the furniture. I have lap quilts and tablecloths in the dryer now...

There's a lot left to do, and I have to watch myself, I do have a few orders to take care of and of course...

This is January. The bookkeeper's least favorite month all year - it's W-2 season! (sigh) I'm bound and determined to get them done sooner rather than later this year...(ok, a goal I didn't mention in my annual post, but still high on my list)

IF I can get the rooms put back together in a way that isn't embarrassing? I'll share photos with you! Right now? No way. Too much mess.

DD and I are thinking of adding in some of her stitch markers and row counters to my etsy store...if we can get the particulars worked out, this is the sort of thing you'll see...
These were part of my Christmas gift from her - row counters with pink leaping cats on them!

Cute, no?

Have a wonderful week...and let me hear from you, okay?
((((Hugs))))

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Finally Christmas is Over!! I Can Show You...

First? The Christmas gifts that were "top-secret!"
Ice Blue Spiralucious from Anne's wonderful pattern. I used a 146 yard skein of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk in icy blue for this one...

And then another:
made with a wonderful oatmeal tweed alpaca from Misti Alpaca (also a 146 yard skein).

These made up in short order, and make delightful gifts. If you can only afford a pricey yarn in a small amount? This is the gift to create with it...appreciated by everyone and if I do say so myself? Beautifully modeled by my sis and sis-in-law.
(nope won't tell you who is who)

:)
Then, because I could, I asked Dear Daughter to model Star of Evening for me...
She showed up in that wonderfully coordinated teal sweater all by herself and had no idea I was going to put this on her. (Sometimes things happen the best way when we don't plan, you know?)
And the money shot!
(as Anne would say)

I guess it appears to the casual observer that I'm enamoured of Anne Hanson's designs?

That would be correct.
(((hugs)))

Star of Evening...

Another busy day of organizing, moving things from one room to the next...hoping to be able to mark one plan off my list right off - the switch to the upstairs knitting room/office! I bought another 6 foot bookcase for the sewing room which freed up a shorter one to bring upstairs...I put that bookcase together and put it up against the wall by myself. But now I've got to find shims...they're around here somewhere!

Things also started moving in the office, too, so hopefully in a couple of days I can show that off a bit more...

But today the biggest thing was to try to get Star of Evening blocked:
And I finally did. After soaking in Eucalan Lavender for over an hour, I squeezed out the water and combined my cutting board with the cardboard box from the shelf unit I bought...to have enough length to stretch this lace...

By the time it dried, I had a helper...
Isn't it great the way the yarn is so beautifully dyed to match her fur and eyes?

I brought Star in for her glamour shot on the velvet French chair, and the Meezer even had to muscle in on the shot!
What could be more lovely than me, Mommie?

Well she's right of course...
But this surely does come close!

Specs:
Pattern: Star of Evening by Anne Hanson
Yarn: 100% merino fingering weight custom dyed by Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden.
Needles: Addi Lace size 3
Time to knit: began May 17, 2008 and completed Dec. 31, 2008.

A truly lovely pattern, I can't think of a thing I'd change, but I did add two repeats to the shawl. I had 1760 yards of yarn in two sks, and barely cracked the second one. (Yes, I plan a pair of socks...or maybe mitts?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!!! Whew, We Made It!

I almost feel as if I've climbed to the top of the mountain and can finally descend the other side! What was it that made 2008 such a nightmare? I think, besides the fact that I never, ever thought the election would END (that campaign was the longest in history), it was the nearly constant, day-in-and-out, depressing economic news. Fall is always a challenging time for me, with the light fading (I only have a touch of SAD, but it's enough to set me lower in my enthusiasm and energy levels...with all the rest of this stuff this past fall? It's been a real challenge to stay positive).

But you know what? I LOVE New Years. It's all about hope. It's all about new beginnings. And while I'm not a complete Pollyanna (I hear you in the back of the room, shhhhh...I'm not! *wink*) and I recognize that we've a long way to go to dig out of this mess, I have a lot of hope that things are going to start getting better - and smarter.

I heard someone this morning being interviewed on MSNBC - on the subject of just what the comedians were going to do with the lack of material now that the election is over (was it just me, or was it appallingly stupid stuff going on there?) - but the interviewee said, "I think it's going to be smarter, if only because we have a president-elect who can speak English."

Amen.

(Who knows? Intelligence may just come back into vogue?)

Ok...enough of the political stuff...

I have made some PLANS (remember, I do not do resolutions) for 2009. And as to the knitting ones, I'll detail them here. Over on Nana Sadie's Place, you'll be finding a new "A-long" - give me a few hours to get that post up, okay? - not related directly to knitting so it's not a KAL. It's a SAL. (haha) It's a Save-A-Long.

My knitting plans start with this really cool new concept from Ravelry's Stash Knit-Down group:
1. Participate in the Personal Sock Club 2009
2. Participate in the Personal Lace Club 2009
3. Complete Boing!, complete Diamond Fantasy Shawl (Ravelry link), and I promised my sis-in-law a Faroese shawl...in pink. I have the patterns to choose from, and the yarn, so that might be the extent of my lace this year, we'll have to see.
4. Do a bit more charity knitting. I didn't do a lot last year. I'm hoping to use the charity yarn we got at NoSo to make a Baby Surprise Jacket (my first), I want to finish the prayer shawl in Blue Ridge Homespun that I've been fighting with for 3 years, more chemo caps, and dishcloths.
5. Finish the Log Cabin blanket. I'm getting there. It doesn't have to be huge (and since I really don't want to buy a lot more of the black Mission Falls, that means it'll be finished soon).

Otherwise, the biggest and most important knitting goal/plan I have? To finally, once and for all, get the office/knitting room organized and set up for business. I won't show you photos, because it's such a disaster I don't want to even own up to it. I've got help coming (when I call, supposedly) in the form of my son-in-law, to swap out chairs (from the living room) and to help move bookshelves and storage around. I was hoping for this weekend...but

I had a little accident. And you know what? You gals were right...I'm sore today. So I'm taking it easy.

Today? I managed to complete these three Kerri bags:


So here's the start of the New Year's Plans - the Personal Sock Club, all wrapped up identically - 12 months of stash sock yarn, for me to pick on the first of the month and knit to my heart's content. Most folks are adding in sock patterns. I didn't. Partly because many of the yarns are self-striping and I'll just do stockinette (there's a sanity-inspiring factor there, too - I prefer a plain vanilla sock most of the time, and it's the one thing I can carry anywhere without worrying about keeping my place in the pattern!). But then, you can see that ticker up there, right? I'm reserving the right to knit ANYTHING I want from Wendy's new Toe-up sock book when it's published. So there's NO restrictions on my pattern choices:

I've already opened January 2009's edition of the club:
I have to admit, I kinda cheated on this one. The 12 purple lunch bags I bought at Micheals? The very first one had been faded by the sunlight streaming in the window and I didn't catch it when I bought them. I knew that if I left another skein of yarn in this, I'd know which one it was, and I'd be picking it (or not) all year, but there would be no surprise there. And I knew that I really really wanted to knit up this Berroco Sox yarn, as the two pair I've already knit in this yarn are very soft and warm. It's January. I need warm. I put the two together, photoed them in the first picture, then opened this one. It's going to be my plain vanilla pattern! Okay, I owned up to my "cheat" and I hope you can forgive me for it...?

Now. Because I'm a bit sore, and achy today, after I finished sewing the bags, and then wrapping up the bags (teehee!), I realized a certain Meezer was very very interested in spending some quality time with me....
yes, that's her tearstrip...
Oh! Goody, Mommie! We can Play!!!
...The Meezer.

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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