knitnana: September 2009

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Startitis - Once Again...

This has been a busy week already - and there's still two more days...

I could not stand it. I had to put the City Tweed OTN. And it wasn't just the yarn...
It was the pattern (Textured Shawl Recipe). And the needles (Zephyr from KP). I've already ripped this out once about 20 rows in, but the original Textured Shawl Recipe from Orlane was a bit tough for me to decipher, and I had better luck looking at the notes from some of the other folks who have made it. As such, there's not a lot there. It's okay, I'll get it done. This will be a smallish shawl, as I have only 3 skeins.

I've not done another thing on the Buffalo Gold mitts. It's not the yarn or the pattern. It's me. I'm caught up in the City Tweed - but then, you all should know by now, I'm a "Tweed Gal."

I did join Weight Watchers last night and got to my first meeting. Today was my first day on the program, and so far, so good. I love having the online capability (yes, I took advantage of their free month with "etools" and I'm really glad I did). Today was also my second PT appointment. I'm not worse. Can't exactly say I'm better, but I think I might be heading that direction.

So - fingers crossed on both counts. I did see my lady primary care doc this morning and she was very positive about both WW and PT. So - I'm not ruffling anyone's feathers, which is very important in my world!

Oh. Well. I guess I did ruffle someone's feathers:

Flash Me Knot, Mom!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Start the Week Off With a Bang!

(and since this week's Ten on Tuesday is to list your 10 Favorite CURRENT Athletes - I'm not into that in any way shape or form and would be hard-pressed to come up with 10 of any day, let alone current ones - I'm skipping this week!)

I got word last week that I was one of the winners in Becky's Blogiversary Contest! I was delighted - I had a choice in prizes, and I chose this:

No surprise I would go for the STR, right? It's Goody-Goody colorway, a lovely pastel confection that is very candy-like. Thank you ever so much, Becky, I will knit something fun with this luscious colorway!

Then my Knitpicks order arrived. Due to some "technical difficulties" (mine) I ordered the wrong color for my sweater (yes) and it's being sent back for exchange. But I also ordered these:

I've been agonizing over the City Tweeds since they came out last April, and I'm very glad I had the sense to order the color cards for both weights. I also picked three skeins of DK City Tweed in Orca. Well, my monitor at work is pretty true to the colors out there, but I was pretty disappointed when this came. It shows silver gray on my monitor, but is a very strong dark gun-metal gray (or as someone in my office said, "yes, tarnished silver"). I'm keeping it, because it's fine, but it's a good thing I got the color cards and I'd advise you to do the same. The colors are very nice. But my monitor surely shows them differently than the cards do.

My plan is the Textured Shawl Recipe (Ravelry link) which doesn't use very much of the yarn, and this color will be fine...just not what I thought I was going to get...

I picked up some extra Harmony needles, and then a set of the Zephyr acrylic tips, too. I haven't tried them yet, but folks have mentioned on Ravelry that they're wonderful for knitting lace with dark yarns. You know I have to try that, right?

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Decadent Knit Just for Me

This is what I decided to start for Season's of Lace:

Anne's Spiraluscious Mitts in Buffalo Gold #3 from the Bailout program for Sock Summiteers.

Using my Signature needles, I think it will be one of the most decadent knits I've embarked upon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same!

Wow, today was pretty - sunny and breezy and in the mid-70s without humidity! This is the sort of weather I wish I could have all the time, because there's nothing to complain about - even the joints are happy.

But I do have some changes to report, in brief, at least for most of them. I'll start with the decision NOT to do the Atlanta International Cat Show in November. A hard one to make, let me tell you, but considering all involved, and especially with the news I got from the orthopedic doc last week, it just seems like the wisest one to make.

What did the orthopedic guy say, you ask? Well, I've finally gotten a diagosis on my back and it's not happy: severe degenerative disc disease. It's a witch to get old, is all I can say!

I start PT tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to it, hoping that it, combined with some dietary changes and new ways of working at the computer, the sewing machine and the cutting table will make such a vast difference that I won't have to consider surgery for some time (that's what he hopes, too, apparently). I liked this doctor, recommended by my boss, and he talks sense. (You know how some of them are so up in the clouds and short with you? He wasn't, and that, in my book is HUGE)

It took me a bit to find a physical therapist who could work with my schedule and was also covered by my insurance, but I did. And I'm considering joining Weight Watchers again (I did this years ago and was only moderately successful, but I didn't have the motivation I have now! heh heh).

The other changes are far more minor, I think. I'm hoping to spend some time making up the neat cat fabrics I've discovered in the past couple of weeks, as well as some others in stash, then do some sprucing up of my etsy shop, as well as the website - those are long overdue for some changes!

Then remember my commitment to do something each day towards organizing, cleaning, and decluttering my space? I gave myself permission not to do anything last night (tho' I did a little anyway - those putzy-ing little things that are hard to list, because once you do them you forget them? That's what I did! I forgot what they were!)

But today, after a wonderful brunch with Sis-in-law at IHOP (sort of a last swansong, you know?) and shopping for a few necessities for my closet project, I worked on the linen closets at the top of my staircase:
Here's the #1 closet - the one that truly stores everyday linen - in it's BEFORE status. When I moved out of the last apartment, I washed everything in the linen closet there and bagged it to protect it from the cigarette smoke emanating from the apartment below me...then stuffed those bags into this closet when I moved in here and did little else - a couple of bags had been opened and stuff "stuffed" on the shelves...but now?

Ta-Da! I even picked up a little bitty basket to toss my dried white roses into to scent the little space...I'm really pleased with how it turned out - and look! There's even room for a suitcase, do you recognize it? *wink* I may move the appliances out of there and put other suitcases in the bottom - keeping like together, you know? But for now, it will do...

Then this is linen closet #2 - it's at right angles to the other one, and houses the essential cat stuff (including an currently unused litter box) as well as the large economy-sizes of paper products...There's room for much, still, so I think those electronics and a few others that don't really have a home will fit here.

On the next to the top shelf you'll see a plastic bin: it holds vintage linens as does the box under it, which is archival and houses the antique linens - a finer point, but the antique ones have acid-free tissue separating them. I try hard to take them out and refold them every 6 months or so, washing them and ironing them every couple of years - or when I use them, which is really pretty rare these days, my lifestyle has changed dramatically since I started collecting.

But I wanted to share with you one of my prized possessions:

My grandmother, who taught me embroidery and fostered my life-long love of all forms of needlework, was a prizewinning needlewoman. This cutwork cloth was one of many she made and the ribbons went with each cloth to the daughter or granddaughter who was gifted with those cloths. This particular one won the Cornish, NH Grange Fair - First place in the Luncheon Tablecloth category in 1975.

I wouldn't have this cloth if it weren't for my brother's first wife. My grandmother died before she could make one for me, but my first sis-in-law, now departed, gifted it back to our family when she insisted I take it. "She was your grandmother, and this should remain in your family." It was a generous thing to do.

So. Working on the future, in a way, circles back to my past. I've done some weeding out of things in those closets, and also started working a bit on the boxes of junk that followed me here. I'm becoming merciless on the junk. It's gone. There'll eventually be a yardsale, but for now it's toss toss toss - as much as possible.

Now in the staying the same category? I've just joined in with Seasons of Lace and while I've not figured out what lace project to do first this season, I can promise you it will be a small one. I'm a bit late to the party, and will have to rearrange my sewing schedule to accomodate the PT, so if I'm going to get it done by December 21, I've got to make it manageable...I'm thinking perhaps something smaller by Anne or perhaps something of Miriam, hmmm....or perhaps even something from Evelyn Clark?

Well, have to see, but obviously, this is a new start all the way around!
(((hugs)))

Saturday, September 26, 2009

NoSo 2009!

The weather here was awful. It's been raining (either very hard, or with such a heavy mist, I felt as if I'd moved to the Moors of Scotland!) all day. What a delight that we could spend this sort of a day here:
Roanoke's Annual Charity Knitting event - the NoSoKnit. (Believe me, there were no empty spaces once the event got started, these photos were taken early) This is to the right of our table and this
is to the left (and I can't seem to lighten it, I'm sorry).

Every year, we are handed yarn to knit a charity item (and since it's traditionally been an acrylic yarn, you know that's a huge challenge for me - this year? I finished something I'd been working on forever and didn't use the yarn in my bag - and the yarn they got this year for the charity projects next year is much much nicer on the hands, so Yippee).

There's a contest for the most imaginative use of the donated yarn:
This little guy won!
And this one was the runner-up (apparently the votes were so close they had to acknowledge him - which I think is only fitting...after all, I voted for this darling Red Hat Lady-colored Bunny!

The price of admission to the event includes one knitted item for charity. We're encouraged to knit premie and infant clothing for Carilion Hospital nursery, scarves for cancer patient's at our two area hospitals or something for battered women at The Turning Point (a local shelter). Donations of acrylic yarn, buttons, and needles are delivered to The Alderson Women's Prison Knitting Program in Alderson WV.
I assure you, this shot was taken early - the mountain of donations was staggering. Knitters Rock!

Everyone receives a door prize. Many of us donate them, but this year a lot of them came from our beloved Knitter's Knook owner, Becky, who now lives most of the year in China with her husband. She was so missed this year...and there were more than a few of us who mentioned how much we missed being able to visit Becky and sit and knit in her cozy shop!

Anyway, this was my door prize - there are 3 sks of each color in Lopi to make a felted bag:

There are always three vendors of yarn, one is a permanent fixture and the other two rotate each year. I was relatively good (and it wasn't easy) but coming off Sock Summit and my recent purchases (newly ordered, haven't arrived, promise I'll show you when they do!). From Orchardside, I picked up the missing size 0, 16-inch Addi circular. I now have a set, which is useful when you knit socks on two circs, ya know?
Yes, that's also Koigu. Gorgeous, no?

And then, I lucked out and picked up this skein of The Unplanned Peacock.
Natashia dyes lovely yarn (not just sock yarn, gals, she dyes it all!) and I snagged this skein of Lobelia. Somehow, I don't think this will be socks.

We knit and knit and laughed and talked. I had a great time, saw a lot of folks (like the Bedford gals), missed a few (like Sandra and my pal Lynette, who's blogless) and enjoyed seeing all the wonderful wares of the vendors. Lunch was great, as always.

What a day! If you're in the area and you'd like to join us next year, reserve the last Saturday of September on your calendar, and sign up for the notification on Ravelry (Ravelry link) and Yahoo. Oh. And start knitting your charity item - remember - only acrylic yarn!

*wink*

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, Progress Report

I told you I was going to be doing some "short" chores every night to work on getting my place organized, straightened, and well, I didn't admit it, but cleaning is also involved (because some day, I'd really love to have a cleaning service, but they can't see my house like this! Yes, I do sound like my Mother - and that's just fine with me).

So. I've spent time this week doing light chores at night and a little bit of organizing. Wednesday was our trash day (and recycling, too) so I spent a few minutes on Tuesday pulling catalogs - dear heaven there are so many, and I'm terrible for hanging onto them!) and getting them in the bin for collection. And I mentioned that Wednesday I sorted out the yarn for NoSoKnit (which gets those boxes out of my livingroom!). Last night, things were getting critical on the linen front - so I began the arduous task of washing sheets and towels (whenever the Nana Sadie Rose schedule gets tight, I just keep pulling sheets and towels out of the closet and not worrying about getting any of the stuff washed till later...ok, the day of reckoning arrived - there wasn't anything left to pull!!!)

Well, it's occured to me that this weekend, I'm gonna have to wash all those sheets and towels and get them back in the closet, but before I do (or at least while they're washing) I'll pull all the rest of the stuff in that closet out and put everything back in - only more organized.

Yes. I will.

Oh. And then, since I want to dispose of a lot of "STUFF" in the office? I ordered this:

It's kinda old-fashioned, for those of you too young to remember? It's a 3.5 inch floppy drive with a USB connector. I haven't had a 3.5 drive for some time (since the desktop crashed for the last time). But I've got a ton of discs. Many with client information on them. I can't just trash them.

So I'm going to stack those puppies next to the computer and when I'm surfing? I'll also be reformatting them.

THEN I can trash them!

oh!oh!oh!oh!oh!!! And tomorrow is NoSoKnit!!! I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Middle of the Week Commentary...

(You know, for all that the weekends fly by? This week has been pretty speedy, too. Hope that continues!)

Today, I participated in a webinar on non-profit fundraising on the web, and discovered that I have just enabled myself into a huge addition to my job (be careful what you wish for?). At least it's job security, right?

I expect I'll be learning way more than I ever wanted to know about blogging, Facebook, and Twitter for non-profits! But, then again, it's the sort of knowledge that is valuable in the world we currently live in, so I'm not unhappy that I get to learn about it "on company time" as it were.

And you know, yesterday when I listed my ten things I plan for, I neglected to mention my latest plan: to work thru this townhouse and institute a considerable level of organization, in 20-30 minute increments each night. Tonight, I achieved the first day's allotment by going through 2 boxes and one grocery sack of donated yarn and a container of fun fur scarves in preparation for NoSoKnit on Saturday. We were given stringent requirements - only worsted weight yarn for the Aldersen Women's Prison. Apparently the women either do not, or can not use anything less for their charity projects, and so NoSoKnit organizers are limiting the donations this year. Certainly makes sense to me. Don't send them what they can't use.

After that, I tried on my new sock, and decided that yes, it was too wide on my foot. Mind you, I'd knit to the beginning of the first few rounds of blue. Frogged and reknit with 10 stitches on each needle to start the toe, and increased to 24 on each needle. Those 8 fewer stitches made 1 inch of difference and set the sock back on my foot properly, see:

And yes, I got past the blue stripe tonight, too.

When it was time to come upstairs to do this post and get ready for bed, The Meezer was nowhere around. I had a momentary panic, as I'd had the doors open to the outside to put the boxes of yarn in the car...my heart in my throat, I started back downstairs to see if I could find her, even tho' I know she's not likely to bolt for the doors, it's just that unusual that she wasn't right under my feet:

What do you mean, where am I? I'm right here, Mommie, keeping the sewing chair warm for you.

Little *sweetheart* scared me spitless....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ten On Tuesday

Ok...I'm late again, as usual. I saw Carole's this morning, and I'm afraid there'll be some duplicates here. This one is 10 things you plan for and let me tell you I can do this one with one hand tied behind my back (I'm a compulsive planner):

1. Retirement: Oh my yes. Well...I may not ever retire, so, there you go. And of course, we all have to rethink what our original plans were, right? Thank you, Economy!

2. Knitting projects: I plan and plan and plan and buy and buy and then change my plans and have to plan some more...

3. Annual Leave: I plan my vacation time around my shows for Nana Sadie Rose. Sometimes, I have leave scheduled 9 months or more in advance just to accomodate the days I need to be off work for things like cats shows out of town!

4. Major purchases: I told you back in the spring I set up a special savings account to save for Sock Summit. Well, it's now become my "big ticket items" savings account. I have quite a list. Right now, the most important thing is a new mattress and box springs.

5. My next 24 hours: Literally, without my Palm Tungsten I would not be able to function - I plan and set alarms from one day to the next, so I don't forget things like...getting to the post office, or payroll dates for my business client, or tonight's CSA share pickup, or even that it's trash day. When you're an accountant, you are never totally sure what date it is. Personally? I'm running at least 3 years: the calendar year, two or three grant years, and the agency fiscal year. I just finished August 2009 for my client, and it's currently the state's FY09/10, but for a few more days, it's still our FY08/09, but then after Oct 1? It'll still be FY08-09 till the audit is completed (and at the same time, I'll be doing real 2009/2010 stuff, too)... SEE? (there can be no surprise that I desperately need my electronic "keeper")

6. Doctor, Dentist, and lab appointments. Goes without sayin'

7. My blog posts: well, at least there's a framework in my head most of the time. I've always been a writer who could pretty much write final drafts (tho' that's getting harder as I get older and develop a bit of a drag on the keyboard...I proof several times, and still find mistakes after I hit "Publish"). I rarely put down on paper what I plan to do, but I've been known to email myself ideas from my office so I don't forget something good...

8. My Wardrobe: Well, what passes for one. I'm a "uniform" gal, so when I find something that works, I tend to buy multiples and stick with that. Accessories, however, I do plan...(see #2 above)

9. The stock I'll have available for my next Nana Sadie Rose show: at almost every show (with the exception of National Capital Cat Show, which is way too busy), I look over what's left on the rack, and then, while all the fabric is on display, I'll write up a list of what I'll make for the next show. I consider what's sold well, what folks have chosen from the unmade fabrics, and what I especially like. I carefully note what fabrics aren't selling, too. And I always over plan. And then get upset with myself because I didn't accomplish all I wanted. (sigh)

10. My playtime: I don't have a lot of it. I usually carefully set aside times that work best as downtime for me. And the last Saturday of September is inviolate - it's NoSoKnit. A huge charity knitting event held locally, I plan what I'll make to donate, and what I'll bring to knit (and be able to talk at the same time), and I save $$ to spend at the 3 vendors who are always there. Sometimes I even plan for the possibility that I might have interest in my bags (which requires a notepad, a sales receipt book, and business cards - I've been known to forget them all completely!) NoSoKnit is my favorite knitting event all year - and it's almost here!

(oh, and there's a new post over at Nana Sadie's Place on food...and nostalgia.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where'd the Weekend Go?

I know, I sound like a broken record, don't I?

They fly by, and I feel as if I've not gotten 1/4 of the stuff done I either wanted or needed to do. Pffft!

But I managed to finish the vet's books, get some laundry done, and get to my knitting group this afternoon - everyone is all excited about NoSoKnit next Saturday! And Rae is up to her eyeballs in alligators (so is Tere) in getting it planned. I thought I was doing so well taking my Red Scarf Project scarf with me to knit on, but you know that corrigator isn't all that easy to knit and talk with.

That doesn't bode well for next weekend! I need something easy-peasy. Well, you know what that means, don't you?

Yup. Personal Sock Club September edition (okay, I'm late opening the bag - 20 days late, to be exact!). Austermann Step in color 48. And peeking out from below the yarn are my Knitpicks Options. I'll get these OTN, and no, they won't get done before the end of the month, but I've already finished 12 pairs this year, even if 2 pairs were from new yarn and another was from stash not giftwrapped and included in the PSC at the beginning. I'm not all that worried - there are 3 more bags, and depending on whether we hit Atlanta in November, I could still get them all done by New Year's Eve!

Ok. Maybe not. *wink*

I got asked about my "football" interests in a comment on Friday's post: I'm not really a football fan. I am a graduate of VT, so I have this in my front yard for some of the fall (it vies with my Halloween Black Cat flag for pride of place in October!):


Once upon a time, I was involved with someone who was a Steeler's fan. He's not really a part of my life anymore, but I got in the habit of cheering them on. I didn't see the game today, but was a bit sad to see the score. I know that a certain someone is pretty ticked tonight, too.

But then, I won't lose sleep over it, and he just might!

I hope your week goes nicely - I'll be back soon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Field Trip! To Roanoke City's Farmer's Market

The plan for today's excursion was pretty basic: hit the City Farmer's Market for winter squash. I was pretty disappointed with my CSA share this past week - the one squash I got was spaghetti squash, and while that's fine, and I'll make spaghetti, I wanted the good stuff...

And since I was going to be there, I figured I might be able to pick up some bread from On The Rise (no, they don't have a website, darn it!), and maybe sightsee a bit and share that with you...(the details of the food are over on Nana Sadie's Place if you're interested)

Here's the historical marker for the Roanoke City Market:

I've gone to the Farmer's Market for years, and today was lucky to find a variety of vegies I'd been missing in the CSA share. It's really a large marketplace, with lots of crafters as well as the farmers.

And this is the Market Square building rebuilt in 1922:

You'll find artsy shops and a food court inside - lots of variety - and on the front of the building is one of my favorite little shops "Seeds of Light." Unusual clothing, books, beads - it's just a fun place to spend time (I'm not alone, the place is usually packed and today was no different).

One of my most favorite crafters on the market is Enchanted Forest Soaps:
Of course, I'm partial - Enchanted Forest belongs to my friend Lynette - her soaps are sold here and on the Salem Farmers Market, too, by her family members. She has a lot of lovely "flavors" but my favorite is a lavender lemongrass (she uses real French Lavender!!). I sent other flavors (Red Clover was one) to Margene in her contest prize package...You know? As sensitive to fragrances as I am, I have no problem with Enchanted Forest soaps.

Then another of my favorite places to stop is with artist Cheryl Dolby at Healing Woman:
I failed to get a decent shot of her BMW - it's totally bejeweled and goes by the name B Dazle! You can see photos at her blog linked above...just look for the car section - it's worth it! Her art extends from wall sculpture and sculpted jewelry to encaustic wax journals to boxes (there's one of those I'm eyeing) - she is truly a gifted artist of woman-centered art - angels, goddesses & crones.

She also writes. Today I picked up a copy of this:

Woman Within the Web is a novel that speaks to women in mid-life.

My own piece of Cheryl's art is Renaissance Woman, gifted to me by a special "second Mom" some years ago:

Do you think perhaps I adore Renaissance Woman more for her coloration (the amethyst?) or the fiber Cheryl used in her creation? :)

The day was beautiful, sunny and pleasant, but by the time I'd arrived home it began to look as if the clouds were moving back in. They're calling for showers tomorrow.
(sigh)

Friday, September 18, 2009

We Made it to Friday! And Autumn is Just Around the Corner!

Temps dropped a bit here this week, and rain moved in, do I have to tell you what happened to me between Wednesday night and thru this morning? Yup. My hip acted up again - I've been hobbling around and even had to take extra pain meds and add in the heated car seats. But then this afternoon it got sunny and warmed up a bit and so there was improvement as a result of all that.

Autumn's approaching (YAY!), and while my thoughts turn to knitting sweaters (will I finally try one?), watching a bit of football (have I really and truly picked up that interest? I guess so...go Steelers! go VT!), and whipping up soups to go with fresh-made bread (not mine, the local bakers, silly!), still the weather around here becomes erratic, and I pay the price of that with muscle and joint pain that makes this season less pleasant.

(sigh)
I realize I'm not alone, and I don't want to pretend it's otherwise! But I think I'm going to put in a special order for my "next time around!" I don't mind the getting older part, if the mechanics don't get rusty in the process (this goes along with my previous request to come back as the most pampered of pushycats! and yes, I meant that spelling).

Today, we had visitors from the Ukraine - learning about the establishment of Center's for Independent Living in this country and the history of our disability movement. For all that the topic was a good one, the one thing that caught my attention was totally off-topic: one of the young women's hairstyles.

I've loved having long hair, but it does cause problems and since I'm not much into "fixing" my hair with hot rollers, hairspray, and fussing, I am constantly on the lookout for something that's pretty and simple. Anyway, I asked my colleague if she could decipher the young woman's 'do as it was beginning to boggle my mind. Her answer surprised me, and for a bit, I wrestled with the idea, studying the young woman from the back, and finally began to see that my colleague was right, this really wasn't so difficult - perhaps I really could do this myself:

(please pardon the bathroom curtain in the photo, this was the best of the bunch)

I really like it! (now please don't disillusion me and tell me you've all known how to do this for years, okay? Let me stay in the dark, as I'd never have come up with the simplicity of this on my own.)
*wink*

When the day was finally over - once the visitors left it really did seem to drag on - I ran a couple of errands and finally stopped at Barnes & Noble for a treat.

Birdsong told me to pick up this issue of Spin Off, and she'll be telling you why in her next blog post, so I won't blow that for her, but it's certainly a first for me, buying a spinning magazine! The Vogue Knitting has an article by Jared so you know I had to have it, but there are also a couple of hats, a pair of mitts, and, um...yes, a sweater (!) I liked.

And in that photo above is my Corrugator Scarf for the Red Scarf Project (and the Ravelry and Yahoo groups Knit Red for Women's Heart Disease, too - I always get a two-fer when I do my Red Scarf contribution...)

Hmmm...looking up at the photos in this post, I seem to be in a "Rosey State of Mind" tonight, huh?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Few Moments of Downtime!

Last night was all about unpacking and putting things away...tonight? I have vegetated and finished these:

The Socks That Rock plain vanilla socks in Beached colorway. I used my Addi Lace circulars (size 1.5) and finished them off with a picot edging. They didn't take all that long to do, when you consider I had a cat show in there - I think I started these on August 29 (the second time, as the Addis are a tiny bit larger than my Harmonys so I had to restart with fewer toe stitches...)

I love this colorway (and it matches my Shawl That Jazz).

It occured to me that I didn't share with you my purchases from the weekend at the cat show:

These are personal purchases, of course, and not the tons of fabrics I picked up for the business! I had to get my Siamese Rescue Calendar for 2010, and that cute cat amongst the yarn up there in the left corner? It's one of a pack of 10 cards (all different) from my favorite cat caricature artist, J. S. Perry.

Today, I've picked up a few more cat fabrics (hmm...sounds like I'm preparing for Atlanta, doesn't it?) and have a few more that I want to get. It's a never-ending process of stocking up for future shows!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

National Capital Cat Show 2009 in Review

I promised an update of the show this past weekend, and probably I'm a bit more rested now (hehe)...

When we checked in on Friday we discovered that due to some vendor changes, we'd been given a corner booth (surprise!) right next to the space we'd always had. This was a cool upgrade, but at the same time, it meant totally rethinking the booth setup as now there were two entrances, instead of one. After much discussion, and realizing that two entrances meant we really had LESS space, we did away with one table and a lot of fabrics (anything that wasn't a cat was repacked and stayed in the car in the parking lot - available if someone could be spared to run out to get something, which did happen, tho' not a lot)...

Here I am in the booth right before opening on Saturday morning:

And Big Sis, getting a short rest before the onslaught!

The traffic was brisk. We remember looking at the clock at 11:20 a.m. and thinking it was almost time to get our lunch, but it was after 2 before we broke out the sandwiches! It was really busy! Judging ran until almost 6:30 on Saturday night (and while no one was allowed into the hall after 5, there were still lots of folks in the building waiting for the judging to end, so we were busy right up till then...

On Sunday, we decided enough stock had found new homes, that we could do away with one of the racks, and reorganized the booth to allow a bit more walking space. Whew! It was really appreciated....

In this shot, you see both Sis-in-law and Big Sis working with customers and the new shape of the space sans second rack! Sunday was as busy (I guess really it was busier!) that Saturday...Amazing.

We were late getting out again on Sunday night as judging ran late again. Vendors aren't allowed to pack up until judging is complete. But once it was, we headed back into Old Towne (Alexandria) for dinner again. Saturday was our regular La Madeleine's and Sunday's was Cosi - a new spot for SIL and me. We loved them both...and Cosi is a block from my favorite DC knitting store (which, of course, was closed both times we were nearby)

Still I got a shot of their window:

From the street, I thought perhaps the wedding dress was knitted, but no, just the lovely shawl. The photo is lousy, I'm sorry, as it was after dark (yes, way after dark).

So there you have it the show in a nutshell...and yes, it was a good show!
:)

10 on Tuesday - Yay!

Ten on Tuesday - this time it's a fun one, not negative at all!

10 things you think are cool:

1. cell phones with Bluetooth headsets (I could not have processed credit card transactions this past weekend without mine).

2. That you can still find a local bank willing to provide the sort of customer service that used to be available … including great people to assist (I have two of them, oh, well one is a credit union!)

3. Surbaru Foresters – the small workhorse SUV. I could not do what I do without mine!

4. the internet knit-blogging community and Ravelry! I had folks appear at my booth over the weekend, asking me if I were there and what my ravatar was. I’m delighted to have this venue for meeting new friends!

5. my Birkenstocks – after last year when I could barely hobble 5 feet, where my PF was constantly making life in a vendor space far from the ladies’ room an absolute adventure in agony, this year? Bliss. I walked and walked and walked and walked – and might even have been seen skipping once or twice – my Birks are a dream (now, I wonder if I can take some of the cost as a business expense? *Wink*)

6. my sister and sister-in-law. These two ladies are beyond cool. And I’m truly and well-blessed to have them in my corner…

7. the new Fall Knitty because, while it has nothing to do with the rest of this discussion, it's cool, and there are a few things I like to knit from it - and it has a new look - did you see?

8. my daughter, who is up for helping us do the Atlanta International Cat Show in November … this is still only a “possibility” but I’d surely love to try it!

9. Old Towne Alexandria…one of my favorite places around.

10. all my friends who accept that shows like this usually make me totally crazy for weeks before and then sappy as can be, after!

Monday, September 14, 2009

We're Home!

We're back safe and sound...everything's unloaded and sitting in various spots of the house (mostly the living room!) before being unpacked (definitely NOT happening tonight).

It was a lovely show, many new faces, and lots of "old" friends, too (you're not old, you're just long-time pals by now!).

The show was busy, busy, busy, and yes, a good one. We're very pleased. I'll show you more of the booth and my trip, but for tonight, I'll leave you with a cute pic of the little guy who was stationed across from our booth -

Doesn't he look grumpy? He's not...he's about to head home, in a rolling "stroller" that housed him and 4 of his siblings - they were all about 4 months old and all placed well in the show (many ribbons!). He's a brown mackaral tabby - American Shorthair and their faces are quite "stubby" compared to the domestic shorthairs most of us are used to. The stroller has 1/2 of it covered with that awning stripe and the other half an open mesh - it's really a neat method of transporting multiple kitties at once.

But then, you know I adore the cat shows for more than just being a vendor, right? It's really all about the kitties!
*wink*
And a certain someone has already forgiven me. And now I must go spend a few minutes with her tearstrip to assure her I'm really back.
:)

Friday, September 11, 2009

We're Here!

And set up. Tired...but excited! See you soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

See You In DC!!!

We're off! The Forester is packed to the gills, we have some wonderful new bags to showcase. The "Sister Act" - Big Sis, SIL, and me - will be in the same booth as always, at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA this Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to closing (5 on Saturday, 4 on Sunday)...just look for our pink shirts and listen for the laughter!

I can't wait to see all our old friends, and meet many new ones. Please stop by the National Capital Cat Show website - there's a link there to a money-saving coupon on the entrance fee, so don't forget to print it before you head out this weekend!

I'll touch base again when I get back...and remember that Margene would appreciate any and all good thoughts and prayers heading her way, especially tomorrow.

I'm sending her, and all of you, many many ...
(((((hugs)))))

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Would You Mind...?

Saying a quick and special prayer, or spending a moment in quiet repose, wishing the best for my friend (and yours) Margene today, as she faces a health challenge?

Thank you!
eta: I've just learned that Margene's surgery is rescheduled to Friday - thoughts and prayers are still very appreciated, and I'll try to keep you posted. But with my show this weekend, it might be better if you also check with Carole for the latest...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ten On Tuesday - 10 Bad Habits...

And just what is it, Carole, with the negatives on this "blog fodder" thing lately? I'm participating....but this probably won't surprise anyone...

1. I’m a “piler” – I stack things on tables, in corners, by the bed…Guess when something gets done about it? Yup, when the stack or pile topples. Well, eventually something gets done with it…
2. I’m a hermit. Left to m y own devices, I will happily stay behind the doors of my place for days on end…the most recent was this past weekend when I didn’t leave the house for 3 days.
3. When I get involved in an activity – whether it be actively doing something (knitting or sewing), or just learning about it (ie reading or surfing the net), I am totally focused on that “whatever it may be” to the exclusion of everything else. Of course, it probably goes without saying that it has to be something I’m really interested in…something someone else WANTS me to be interested in doesn’t count, unless I like it, too…
4. I’m a chocoholic. Truly. And I’m not a snob about it either. Tho’ my preference is for dark chocolate with either raspberry or almond or hazelnut, I like it all, Godiva, Cadbury, Nestles, and Hersheys…I’m not terribly picky. Once upon a time, one Dove Dark was enough….not anymore, now it’s the more the better.
5. I don’t exercise. Part of that is that if I have me-time, it’s knitting time. Part of it is that I loathe exercise. Part of it is that my lower spine grinds so when I walk that it makes it painful to do much. (Yoga used to do if for me, but the studio I went to was located up a painful flight of stairs. I haven’t found one on ground level yet.)
6. I like my Diet Coke. A lot. I keep telling myself to switch to iced tea, and I even have done that a time or two…but Diet Coke goes so well with: pizza, Mexican, burgers and fries…(nope, I’m not a beer drinker)
7. I am a crab (the Cancer sort) and so, if I feel as if my feelings have been hurt, or I’ve overstepped my boundaries (or yours) and hurt your feelings, I will retreat into my shell and stay there. Way way too long, probably. I’ve tried to work on this, but then I feel like I just become overbearing…so I retreat back into my shell.
8. Kinda related to number 1 and number 3…the piling and the stacking and the collecting books (and yarn and fabric, and CDs and … and… and…) affects my ability and interest in the concept of housekeeping. I also have two cats – one an overgroomer. I stop just short of being in a position where they’d come and close me down, but I admit that Martha Stewart would have a field day in my house. (I believe in the rule, “Dust is a protective coating for furniture”) Still, I’ve promised myself that if I can get the basics taken care of once, I can pay for a housekeeper every 2 weeks. It’s time to acknowledge that I hate to do housework. I can afford to have someone in to do the important stuff. But first, I gotta get things cleaned up (where the heck did that come from? Oh, I know, my mom…You can’t let anyone see how bad it gets, not even the housecleaner!) The only thing that’s stopped me in the past is knowing that what $ I spend on a housekeeper could be spent on yarn. Well, I now know that I don’t need more yarn. But I do need a clean house.
9. I am not interested in cooking, so if you are in my house you would tend to find the same basic menus (5-6). While variety might well be the spice of life, when it comes to cooking I do mostly a few simple things that qualify as “fast food” – like black bean burgers (frozen), a grilled chicken from Ukrops, salad bar veggies and fruits, pasta and sauce from a jar with “Morning-Star Farms” non-beef burger, but then I also love NY Strip steak. Yogurt, peanut butter and jelly (or honey) on whole wheat bread, and cheese omelets – that’s my maintenance food. Not interested in too much experimentation. I do like to do the restaurant thing…and variety there is terrific!
10. Oh. And my favorite junk food? Cheetos. Yeah, that’s usually in the cupboard, too…I’m telling myself that I can be like Susan Gordon Lydon and put yarn in my kitchen cabinets. But I don’t want Cheetos dust on it…Wonder if I can give up the Cheetos for the yarn?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day!

Can't believe it! I did it. I've made it through the entire Labor Day without touching the sewing machine, tho' I must admit, I had a moment or two of "I could make..."

I didn't give in to it.

Instead, I knit - finished the fringe on the Homespun Prayer Shawl so that is number three of my Basket of Shame items completed - and I can't tell you how happy I am to cut it out of the "In Progress" items on my sidebar and paste it into the 2009 Completed list!!

I also finished the first plain vanilla STR Beached sock, and put the second OTN. And knit a little on the Corrugator Scarf for Red Scarf Project.

And then, I picked this up tonight...

The Diamond Fantasy Shawl in Schaffer Andrea silk. I'm listening to Laura Nyro's Greatest Hits, but I probably should be listening to Renata Tiebaldi, since that's the Andrea colorway I'm knitting...still, I won't be knitting it long, as I have that wine sitting there, sipping on it. Lace and wine don't mix, even if the pattern is an easy one.

The Meezer hasn't known what to do today - tho' she kept her station, and kept the sewing chair warm:

What? No flash, Mommie? Well, okay, I'll let you show my eyes, then...

It's back to work tomorrow - hope your week goes well...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Knitnana's Got A Brand New Mavis Bag!

For those of you who've been around awhile, you know that I'm always the last person to get a new Nana Sadie Rose bag - I usually end up inheriting something because it doesn't sell.

I broke that trend this summer, when I made the Kerri & Grand Mera bags that I carried to Sock Summit. And I've already shown you the Violette (circular needle book), Oressa (doublepoint needle case) and Posy Too (shoulder strap sock bag) that began the process to making myself a "set."

Today? I made myself a new Mavis bag. For those of you who don't know, Mavis is my large bucket-style tote for knitters - with 10 different pockets (including straight needle sleeves, pattern pocket, and other odd sizes) to hold everything anyone can think of in the knitting supplies department. (You may click the photo to enlarge it)

This fabric is similar to the Kerri and Grand Mera I made earlier in the summer - it's that wonderful Japanese dobby cloth, but this time in a plum, black, brown, taupe colorway.

I love it. As with everything else in the photo above, they'll make lovely samples at the cat show next weekend...and are available for custom order, should my enabling prove too much for you to withstand! *wink*

And with that, my preparation for stocking the booth is finished. The rest of this week, till we leave, will be devoted to resting (I've not had a Labor Day OFF from laboring for the past four years, since we started going up to the National Capital Cat Show, and I'm kinda thinking I might just deserve one), and packing and making sure everything is ready.

Hope your Labor Day tomorrow is full of fun and sunshine! I'm going to begin mine by sleeping IN!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Fall is in the Air...

Anne is harvesting winter squash along with her tomatoes and zuccini and eggplants and that always gets me to thinking about fall...I adore winter squash, and then I always think about butternut squash soup, which makes me think it's time for the leaves to turn, and the A/C to be turned off...

But I think it's a little early for that yet, even if it is Labor Day Weekend. Over at Nana Sadie's Place I'm telling the tale of one large 'mater...but I thought I'd share a glimpse of it here, too. My lunch today:

Once I finished that, I had the strength the finish these three additional bags for the cat show next weekend:

None of those fabrics is new...you've seen them before I think.

And when I'd done as much as I could stand at the cutting table and sewing machine, I allowed my fall wistfulness to take hold, and I brought out:

The yarn to make my Corrugator Red Scarf. This is Encore DK. I couldn't make my Harmony size 5s work with this dark yarn, so I went to the only size 6s I had - a circular - but it's bamboo, so I'm seeing the stitches better! I'm going to try Norma's trick of 5x readers if I can locate some, because when I make a mistake these days? I cannot see them, even with my tri-focals. (sigh)

I don't know if Jocelyn has decided to admit out loud (other than to me) that we're going to be buddies and try to keep each other in check when it comes to buying new yarn this fall. With her university cutting across the board with a 10% furlough, that's tough, and we're not 100% sure what the state here is going to do this fall, tho' there's been discussion of our creating budgets for 7% and 10% reductions. I'm thinking that even without that, I'd like to reduce my spending down about 10%, partly because I'd like to save for a special event in the spring to attend, and partly because I think it wouldn't hurt to have that extra savings in the bank, either...

So, completely without Jocelyn's agreement, and totally using something that's been on my blog for a couple of years, thanks to Becky who made the blog button back then, without further ado, I hope I'm going to adopt a bit of a "make-do" mindset around here for a bit...



In fall, I want to dig into stash anyway, and see what's been pushed to the back, what I've forgotten about...You know, I get into "use it up" mode...

And then, this is when I really start to feel that fall is in the air:

I got a couple pairs of Birks this week from QVC - they had a really good deal on them - but the larger box sat on the sofa for a few days, because it was a good size and I was thinking surely I could pack some things up for the yard sale my sis-in-law and I keep saying we're going to have. Today I discovered that CC had decided that I must have arranged for her to have a new nest. Once I realized she'd appropriated the box for her purposes, I tossed in one of her towels...

And ever since? The Meezer has been determined to make it HER box, to much hissing and spitting on CC's part...yet another sign of cooler temps to come...they become "waallooween" cats (as Lynette is fond of saying) and begin their skittering around the place, tearing up and down the stairs and across the furniture...

Children!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Pinch Me! I'm Dreaming!

Way back 5 years or more ago, I stopped mass-producing fun fur scarves to sell at my craft show booths (because it's much easier to knit something while we sit than it is to bring along the sewing machine - and just what else do you DO with 100 fun fur scarves?) I started knitting Prayer Shawls. The first one turned out okay (but I'd decided early on that I would keep it because I wasn't that great a knitter and I needed to make the first one for myself so as not to embarrass myself. (Lots of mistakes in that shawl, too.)

I still have it, it's draped on the back of my office chair and in the winter, with the thermostat turned down to keep the electric bill down, it's quite nice to pull it over my shoulders (yes, I'll be working on something nicer than this Lion Brand Homespun that squeaks when I knit it and will replace this shawl.) After I finished that one, I started another with a plan to gift it to a charity.

Only I couldn't stand it. Somehow I'd gotten ahold of an even nastier batch of Homespun, splitty crackly stuff that made my skin crawl to knit. (The color is Blue Ridge, which had a bit of redeeming value, at least...)

Every so often over the years, I'll pull it out and knit a few rows. And tonight I finished it.

I still need to make the fringe and weave in the ends, but the knitting is done. It will be donated to NoSoKnit at the end of the month. And that then will free up my charity knitting time to make a Red Scarf for Norma's pet project. I have a lovely Encore black/red tweed, unless I run out for some true red Paton's...and probably a Corrugator Scarf to send...and you can contribute to the special fund that knitters have set up to assist these young college-going orphans in times of emergencies...stop by here or drop by Norma's for more info.

Anyway, here's the unfinished shawl - ends to be woven in, fringe to be cut, formed, and attached. Hope I can do it in a few days...I'd love not to think about it again when I head for DC next week - to know it's FINISHED!!!

This was one of the 4 items I wanted to complete in Rainy's Basket o' Doom! I think I've done three now...

Along with the sewing I accomplished tonight, and the pasta, pesto, & chopped fresh tomato dinner I had, I'm feeling quite in control of my own destiny tonight - it's nice to feel as if you can manage to cook, clean, produce food, make clothing and items to sustain your livelihood and such...!

Doncha know?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Personal Sock Club More or Less on Track!

They're done! I'm delighted...I knew I was coming close at lunch, and then took them in to a webinar training this afternoon and finished them before it was over (with nothing to take their place - oh my that was a very, very, long, slow 15 minutes with nothing to knit...)

Specs:
Yarn: Trekking XXL #173 (and yes, tho' it's not as obvious while on these sock blockers, they're matchy-matchy!)
Needles: Knitpicks Options 2 circs size 1.5 (I love these needles, and wish I could get another pair in the same beautiful finish!)
Time to Knit: I realized I never entered this on Ravelry, which is why I'm glad I still blog - I pulled these out to begin them on August 3. I ripped them out on August 22, and finished them today, Sept 3.
Pattern? Well, it's the basic toe-up, plain vanilla this time with a bit taller 2x2 rib on it. It works, it's fast. I really wanted to knit up lighter yarns to go with my khaki jeans. When I finished these? I realized that they'll be perfect with the jeans, but I don't have a single coral top to wear. Hmmm. Guess I'll have to go shopping, huh?
:)
I'm on track with the Personal Sock Club - I've knit 11 pairs of socks so far this year, and have the twelveth OTN - two pair are not "stash" yarn...but yarn I bought this year...but I'm still one month ahead. I may try to only put one pair of socks OTN at a time for a bit...perhaps knit on a shawl or something for awhile?

Tonight was the vet's payroll (which I finished fairly quickly for some reason) and then home to sew the bags I cut out last night:

Do make sure to click the photos to make them larger (or embiggen, as they say) - both of these fabrics are out of print, that I'm aware of. But the one with the very realistic kitties is one I was very lucky to find this week. A 1997 Alexander Henry print, I've loved this one for the watercolor brushstrokes that form such a natural kitty print. Sometimes I can get my hands on vintage fabrics, and others? Well, not so much.

If you're heading out of town for Labor Day weekend, have a wonderful, safe trip. I'll be right here, working on stock for the show, and sharing those photos with you as I come up for air!

(((hugs)))

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mid-Week Report...

I know I'm supposed to be sewing, right? Well...there's one thing that puts sewing on the back-burner right now (and no, it's not knitting!).

It's my CSA weekly half-share. When the veggies are in, you have to do something with them, you can't put it off (should I tell you what happens when you do? Ewwww...). If you click on that link, you'll discover that I spent last night in the kitchen up to my eyeballs in boiling water, wielding a paring knife, and putting food by! I know, it will be very welcome this winter, but remind me next year that if I go to the Farmer's Market? I can PLAN my seasonal storage of food.

*wink*

Don't get me wrong - I'm grateful I could participate in this, and I've learned a great deal about it. I won't do CSA next year, as it's really too much food for one person (even the 1/2 share!), especially an older one with, hmm, how shall I put it? Well, let's just say, "gastronomic challenges!" I think the Farmer's Market will suit my needs better.

However, when I made the trip over to the Co-op last night to pick up my paper grocery sack, I took a few minutes to stop by the used bookstore - this particular one has been there for years, but I haven't ever been in. A member of my local knitting group had announced a few days ago on Ravelry that this particular bookstore had a bunch of knitting books out on a table for sale. I'd read that one I would have been interested in was already scooped up (and of course, Diana got some of the others before she even told us about it, too), so I wasn't too hopeful that there'd be many I'd want.

I think it's a good thing for my pocketbook that I didn't go when Diana first told us! I did get those three books, and I've already scanned all of them, but the Compassionate Knitting is one I'd been really interested in getting. Of course, my queue at Ravelry is about to expand exponentially, thanks to these...Turns out our bestest LYS owner (former owner) Becky had cleared out her bookshelves and taken these in! I know we're all happy to have given them new homes for her.

I have been sewing and finished these up Monday night (except for the buttons - did that tonight)

They're both Meras - and in fabrics you've probably seen before. The combo of interior fabrics are different, of course.

And The Meezer has been doing a good job of keeping the sewing seat warm.

When I'm not on it, of course!

Happy Wednesday!

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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