knitnana: October 2009

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

Friday, October 30, 2009

Whew! More FO's! Another Cast-On!

Monday night, after my first yoga class in 5 years, I came home to a baked sweet potato (let me tell you, that's the ticket - put the thing in the oven before you go off to a class and come back 2 hours later to dinner!!), and then catching up on world events and finishing this:

This is the Knit for Hope hat that I promised a member of my knitting group. Oddly enough I used my old standby pattern from Needle Beetle and I love making it, but somehow this time, I used DK weight (the pattern calls for worsted) but then I upsized the needles! By one size...

So the knit is a bit looser than I'd like. Oh well. It will still keep someone's head warm.

I also finished the Orca Textured Shawl, but I'm going to block it before I show it. Perhaps this weekend!

Now it's back to other stuff that's on the needles...oh, well I did cast on this:

I was at my new knitting group (new to me) on Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, and one of my pals had the neatest mittens! I asked for the pattern and was told:
"Mitered Mittens from Knitter's Almanac and I said, "I just bought that book!" I scurried around and realized that I had a lot of the BFL Sport in the Beached colorway (I know, you've seen this color before in shawl and socks) from Blue Moon remaining in stash (I do hope Tina brings back that colorway in the spring, I am going to need more of it, I think it's probably my favorite of all time). There's enough to do these mittens (I think) and so I cast on last night with my Addi Naturas size 2. I'd forgotten how much fun dpns are!

Still, I'm worried. I hand is small and this is a bit snug. I realize that after all, they do stretch a bit with wear, and I guess I could block them a tad larger, right? But I decided not to trust that, and upsized the needles to size 3s in mid-knit. I don't mind my cuffs being a touch snug and this way they will be!

I'm excited. I've never mitered anything before and this is fun. I was able to work on them during an online training session Thursday afternoon so I got a little bit of the first one done.

And don't you just love reading EZ? I feel like I'm talking to my mom and her sisters...

BTW...won't you stop by my good friend, Birdsong's blog, to give her a birthday shout-out and enter her contest? She's asking folks to relay their "life-changing experiences" as becoming a grammie has been one earth-shaking one for her! The deadline for the contest is being extended to November 6, because, she's kinda had her hands full (with a little bundle of joy!).

Now, be sure you have a great weekend, okay? Watch out for spooks and hobgoblins!
(((hugs)))

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Said At The Time....

that I believed that knitters would be the ones to do the "kick-start" of the economy - at Sock Summit - if our nuttiness over the event was anything to go by.

I believe we now have proof of the power of sock yarn (please note that they say consumers were the main reason?)...(and rather directly, the power of Stephanie and Tina).

My commentary on all this: To all you muggles out there who thought we were nuts to head to Portland, OR for 4 days of sock insanity?
"Oh, ye of little faith!"
:)
You may discuss amongst yourselves...or here, if you'd like!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

As Promised - A Pair of Violettes!

This past weekend, I finished up a pair of Violettes, the circular needle "book" that I created some months ago for knitters. At the time of the show, one of my new friends from Sock Summit ordered one, and a regular cat show customer (one of several who also knit) ordered another. The second gal asked me to coordinate with her Mavis bag and Rose straight needle case, and that was something of a miracle to pull off - but I still had enough of the fabrics to do it! (I really wasn't sure, at the cat show, if I'd be able to or not...had to come home and check the stash, doncha know?)

So without further ado:

Two Violettes!

The first, for my new Sock Summit pal is a neat retro-dots fabric:

I loved the orange and aqua dots on the brown fabric the second I saw it...making this one was a challenge - as those colors can be tough to match, but it was also one of the most fun projects I've had to date. I LOVE the way this one turned out!

Then, the cat show gal's African-inspired print:

Still a bit of a challenge, as I didn't have a lot of this fabric and coordinates left, but it turned out very nicely.

I hope both gals will be delighted with their new Nana Sadie Rose creations...let me know if I can whip up something equally wonderful for you, okay?
(((hugs)))

Please Take a Moment...

and check this information out: Morgan disappeared on October 17. She and her family are from my community. Her family and friends are distraught.

Morgan could be anywhere. Please take a moment and look at her picture, read about her. Pass the link on and ask others to keep a watch for this lovely young woman.

Anything you can do to help, is greatly appreciated. We just want to bring Morgan home to her family.
Thank you

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quick Drive-By...

To just point out that ticker up there? Tonight's weigh-in at Weight Watchers showed a 3.6 pound drop! Down a total of 6 pounds in the four weeks I've been on the program. (Yes, you all DID tell me to hang in, and you were right!)

I'm pumped! (And I took my knitting in with me tonight...KIP'g all the way...

Ten On Tuesday

This week's Ten on Tuesday list is EASY!
Ten Favorite Movie Moments!
1. "Nobody puts Baby in the corner" - Dirty Dancing (truly my favorite movie of all time, but mostly because of Patrick Swayze.)
2. "I'm Singin' & Dancin' in the Rain" - Singing in the Rain - Gene Kelly!
Okay - both of those two are because of the amazing dancing (I could probably also add An American in Paris on that score)

3. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a da**" - Gone With the Wind
I know, you thought I'd say that movie for some other reason? But frankly? Scarlett deserved what she got!

4. The very last scene in Flash Dance when she runs out of the building to find Michael Nouri and Grunt waiting for her with red roses to celebrate her having TRIED the thing she most feared to do! And the music plays "What a feeling!"
Oops - another one for the dancing! (and I should probably mention that the fact it was filmed in Pittsburgh - at a time when I spent a week there - just brings back a lot of memories?)

5. Pretty Woman - when Richard Gere comes riding down the street with the top down on the limo, roses in hand, and climbs up the fire escape to Julia Roberts.
(Pure romance, yes, I'm a sucker for it!)

6. Sally Field holding up the *UNION* sign in Norma Rae and the machines fall silent.
(Hooray for the underdogs!)

7. Steel Magnolias - Sally Field in the cemetery, "I'm supposed to go first."
(just one of the best movies about female friendship in the South that I know of)

8. Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson - Last Chance Harvey - when he finally shows up, late, after a health scare, and Emma realizes he's really, really interested. (how on earth she walks and walks all over London in those shoes is beyond me - she FINALLY takes them off in the end!)

9. Thelma and Louise as they clasp hands and gun the engine to drive over the cliff. Another story of female friendship, but also one about women standing up for themselves in bad situations...I think they were totally misguided, but I'm not sure, given the circumstances and the day, that there was another way out for them. Still I wished, with all my heart, that they hadn't felt they had to end it that way.

Okay, I realize that most of those are "chick flicks," and most of them are dated. Still, I'm not much into current movies...except:

10. The Red Violin. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite moment. This entire movie is so rich and complex, the music (by Josh Bell) is amazing, the filming stunning. I watch it repeatedly and can't find a favorite - the point at which you realize WHY the violin is red, perhaps? If you haven't seen it, rent it. And watch it at least twice. You might not catch everything the first time, but it will all come together - it's truly complex...much like Seven Pounds - where I was still making stunning realizations in the hallway outside the theatre on New Year's Eve, with my sis-in-law, and another pair of sisters who were doing exactly the same thing we were, so we compared notes.

Ok. I guess that counts as an extra one! *wink*

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fast Post - Finished Socks!

Last night, rather late, I finally finished the Personal Sock Club September edition:

Those are my old standby, plain vanilla pattern, this time with a 2x2 rib edging at the cuff, all toe-up socks. The yarn is Austermann Stepp in colors I'd have never bought if they hadn't been drastically reduced in Knitters' Knook's going out of business sale last year - because there is ORANGE in it. Guess what? I love, love, love these socks!

Knit them on my newest Knitpicks Harmony, 16-inch circulars, size 1.5. (I buy them periodically and these are so nice and smooth!) I started this edition of the sock club quite late, September 20. I had to frog the first one because for some reason, I was knitting them too small. So I've knit almost three socks in just over a month.

Now, I'm taking a bit of a break on socks. The original plan was to knit twelve pairs from stash over the 2009. I've already completed thirteen pairs, but two of them were new sock yarn bought this year. So I suppose I really only need to knit one more pair of stash yarn before the end of 2009, even tho' there are still three bags to open!

But you know what? I mentioned last week that my sock mojo is MIA. It is. I'm tired. I have a hat to finish for charity, the Spiralucious mitts, a large project or two already OTN, and a couple or six holiday gifts that I'd like to make. Not to mention a sweater, maybe. So we'll see...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Productive Weekend...

and you only get to see part of it tonight! There's enough to make a couple of posts, so be sure to check back later ...

First off, I had a first-time, brand new customer from the National Capital Cat Show who was so impressed by the large bags, that she placed a humongous order including these two bags:

I no longer have the leopard print fabric she wanted (and it's not readily available) but I was able to find this wonderful print that you've already seen in the accessories I posted about earlier in the week...more than half of this order was already-made bags from the show, but she was flying home from there and asked me to ship everything together, which I was happy to do:

Fortunately, I was able to locate a really big box - because I haven't found anything this size available through the post office! (If you didn't know, I seal every bag in it's own zip-lock to protect it even further in transit, which is why there's so much plastic in that photo!! lolol)

I also finished two orders for Violettes and I'll show them to you later in the week. One of the customers reads my blog, so she's been warned that if she doesn't want to be "spoiled" - the fabric was to be a surprise to her! - not to visit till after the package arrives, but you all will get to see it on Wednesday.

Helping me in the process of making these things was a new "toy" I discovered. Listen, if you've known about this for a bit, take pity on me, okay? I don't spend a lot of time checking out the latest sewing equipment - and for good reason, I'm compulsive - if I see a new Bernina I want? I'll probably buy it without thinking, and I really am happy with the one I've got, not to mention my retirement account needs more of the $$ than the Bernina dealership does...

No that's not a Bernina. Still, it's a nice little contraption that sits on the edge of my sewing table and winds bobbins whenever I need them. I can keep it set up with thread and not have to stop in process and rethread the machine! My needle-threader on the Bernie gave up the ghost months ago, and while they "fixed" it when it was in the shop for maintenance, it's broken again. I'm happy to thread the machine less often since I have to take my glasses off to facilitate that process, and crook my neck into a contortion. Yes, the Bernina will go back in the shop in February, and I'll ask them to fix it again. But, still it's really nice to have this little puppy right next to me...

I was so proud of myself for finishing all I'd set myself to do this weekend and in the process catching up considerably. I'm almost where I need to be, only 3-4 days behind right now, which is within the margin I give my customers, so I'm delighted. Over then next 10 days, I should be finished with the September cat show orders and on to the ones from locals again. Whew!

So I made a little side-trip to Barnes & Noble this afternoon:

Jocelyn blogged about picking up The Knitter yesterday and I thought - OH! That's on MY list of things to buy. I'd seen the magazine at B&N when I was there earlier in the week, and refrained. Today? No way, was I denying myself. As I left, Jocelyn emailed to say, "let me know if you see IK's Holiday Knitting." And it was there! So of course, you know I couldn't resist that, too? Especially after seeing the toys? No, no link, no info - go Ravel it, because my DD reads this blog and she doesn't need to know (1) what I'm thinking of knitting the boys, and (2) what might never make it to the FO pile...
*wink*

Then I ran by my post office box to find:

Rainy's stitch markers from the Basket of Shame KAL. They're beautiful, Rainy, thank you!

When I finally made it home, I fixed dinner early (I'd "missed" lunch) - another healthy combo for Weight Watchers (yup, I'm doing well, at least I think I am) and I topped it off with something that I've been craving - a baked apple!

Um. Well, there was a baked apple there! As you can see, I polished it off in a mad rush - it was soooooooo good: One honeycrisp apple from Michigan (YUM, all by itself!), two very elderly Vermont Maple Candies (in the shape of leaves) that I had in the cupboard. I didn't have any brown sugar, and I don't think I'll ever care about using that again! Those candies were fabulous, and 2 points total! I dusted the apple with cinnamon, and then topped it with fat-free Cool Whip. A four-point treat! And good for me...tho' next time I think one candy will be enough...

If any of my New England relatives are reading, I would love more maple sugar candy leaves...I can't think of a nicer Christmas gift!
(((hugs)))

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's FRIDAY!

I'm delighted to see the weekend begin!

Even tho' I'll be sewing most of it, catching up, I hope, with orders (and don't worry, I'll share!!)and trying to finish up my Personal Sock Club socks for September (I'm almost done, and accomplished quite a bit at lunch and during the news tonight), working some, I hope, on the Textured Shawl, doing some necessary housekeeping duties, and of course, trying to walk a little, and hanging in with Weight Watchers.

So it will be busy (and I bet your's will be, too!).

Last night, the Ravishing Reds of Roanoke met at the Bad Wolf BBQ for a buffet dinner. I was very careful, and even picking the highest point-values on WW for what I ate, I came in under my required points for the day! I enjoyed the food and the company, tho' was saddened that our long-time Queen Mum has decided it's just too much to continue in her post. She'll be stepping aside after December's meeting and moving on to other things. Her replacement(s) were agreed upon last night - there will be four, because with the size of our group, it's just too much for any ONE person to do. (Nope, not me. I just simply have enough on my plate!) I'm sure the four new Mums will be terrific!

Now, I've had a mini-spending spree for knitting stuff this week (not too much, but sometimes I just can't help myself, you know?) See:
Anne's Dovecoat Shawl (I'm thinking that lovely CTH Potluck yarn in Aubergine from Sock Summit?), and of course, Jared's book Made in Brooklyn, which is totally drool-worthy. I'm thinking of making several patterns here, but Jared's photos are so gorgeous, that if I don't get any of them on the needles for a bit, the book can be eye candy for the time being...Not showing, because they're still en route to me, is a new pair of Plymouth bamboo circulars. I have been working on another Seaman's Cap for charity and using my Plymouths for it. Working with them, I'm remembering how much I love these needles...so I ordered another set in size 8 for the upcoming charity knit Three Bags Full in Blacksburg in December.

Oh, and in the background of that photo? Yes!! It's my graduation certificate from physical therapy! I finished my 4 weeks of sessions, and I have to tell you that for all it put a large dent in my new mattress savings account? It was well worth it. I'm feeling loads better - I still have a long way to go, but I think I can manage it by myself now. I plan to start yoga classes again on Monday night (at the same location as my physical therapy!) and will continue all the stretching and strengthening exercises I've learned at PT. Along with slowly building up my walking time (ok, even if it's only a minute or two longer each week!), with a little luck, I can "facilitate healing" in my back, even tho' I know it will never be the way it used to be. You can't put those discs back when they're gone, ya' know?
;)
By the way, if you are a local to Roanoke and you ever need PT, I have to recommend the physical therapists at Back to Basics. They're skilled, they're caring, they're encouraging and supportive. Great folks to know (and you know the drill? NAYY, just a very pleased patient.)

It's going to rain tomorrow (has already started to move in tonight) so I'll probably be using some of those things they taught me to help me through the chill and damp.

I hope your weekend is a good one. Touch base back here, if you get a chance. I'll share what I've been working on!
(((Hugs)))

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Slow Sewing

or "Slow Going..." depending on your perspective.

I'm still behind on the National Capital Cat Show orders, which is making me nothing short of crazy. Last night I spent the evening cutting and creating these accessories for a Sadie bag I hope to get completed this weekend. The order is a big one and includes a Mavis bag, as well. I'll be grateful to get both of those bags complete and in the mail by Tuesday next week, when they're promised.

Thank you all for your encouragement yesterday. I'm better. I have Red Hat's tonight, which means another dinner out, and I'll just have to accept that I can't expect to lose much when I have such events. I'm not eliminating the few occasions I go out to eat, because, let's face it, that's my lifestyle! I either make the food plan work with the lifestyle or give it all up, because I'm quite happy with my life!
:)
Now, I did try too hard in the exercise category. It's not that my heart won't handle a 10 minute walk, because it does, just fine. But my back is overstressed again from trying two of those short walks in less than 24 hours. TWO TEN MINUTE WALKS?

(sigh)
I miss the days (what? maybe four years ago?) of 45 minutes on the treadmill at 3.8 miles an hour (remember, I have short legs, so that's almost a trot). Don't know if I'll ever see that again, but my PT says I will...in fact, sweet young thing that she is? She's trying to convince me that I'll have "ABS of STEEL" just by doing these few back strengthening exercises!!

Ah youth. I should be so lucky!
lololol

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Harrummphf!

No. I'm not really upset.

Well, perhaps a tad.

I do understand that such things are possible.

They just don't happen to me.

To say I'm irritated is probably an understatement.

Will I get over it?

Probably.

By NEXT week's weigh-in.

(umm...why no I didn't lose any weight this week - not.even.one.single.solitary.OUNCE -
which is why the ticker above is stationary - and yes, I was very careful in measuring, counting and being smart in my choices - even out to dinner at Olive Garden, where, had I known what would happen this week at weigh-in? I'd have had THIS instead of the single serving of Pasta e Fagioli soup and salad with fat-free dressing on the side and 1, just one, breadstick, with my single glass of merlot!)

At that restaurant meal I went over exactly 3 points on the day's totals - which is perfectly acceptible - since I'm allowed 35 "extra" points every week.

{grump...grump...grumble...harrrummmphf!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ten on Tuesday...

This week's topic is Ten Guilty Pleasures:
1. Romance novels, especially "long skirts."
2. Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook (I'm not very good, but it's addictive as heck)
3. Blissfully staying up late and then sleeping late on any day off - except that there's always payment in a pound of lost time! With two businesses from home, sleeping in can sometimes feel like a "dodge" of my responsbilities...
4. Top notch knitting needles. Truly, I do have enough of them, but I still buy - always looking for perfection.
5. Before Weight Watchers, Chocolate - especially Godiva Dark.
6. Cheetos. (But I'm going to try WW's version)
7. Buying anything when I don't have an immediate design or intention for it's use. (Voluntary Simplicity is something I profess to believe in and adhere to, but uncluttering isn't my strong suit.)
8. Knitting when I should be uncluttering!
9. Coffee - the sort from a good coffee house - when it's much less expensive (and better for me, 'cause I don't make it with all the additives) to brew my own.
10. Meatloaf and whipped potatoes - especially Ukrops. One more week, and they'll be gone. I will miss them terribly. I suspect I'll blow all my extra points this week on one last Ukrops "Comfort Meal!"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Boy Who Broke My Heart


Here he is...

But he won't be mine.

We are not "hitting it off..."

Perhaps it's his take-charge cattitude? :)

No. He's really a kitty who's very set in his ways. He's not warming up to me (probably I'm not Momma) at all. I spent quite awhile with him tonight and he just doesn't seem to want to be around me at all.

And then there is that attitude.

He'll find a good home, of that, I'm sure. In fact, my vet already has a family in mind for him.
(But he's one hunk, don't you agree?)

The Meezer and I realize we have all the time in the world - after we say good-bye to CC.

And with a little luck, that won't happen too soon...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What I'm Doing Instead of Being At Rhinebeck!

Nope I didn't go to Rhinebeck (I have never been to Rhinebeck, but I'd love to go!)

Still this weather this weekend, makes me think I'd much rather be here. It's cold, it's gloomy, there's a threat of snow (ok, in the mountains, but it surely smelled like snow yesterday afternoon!). The house can't seem to get warm, and I'm determined not to raise the heat above 66.

I spent a large part of my day working on this order from National Capital Cat Show (since I'm running about a week late, thanks to physical therapy cutting into my available sewing time, I'm glad I got this one done!):

I love this fabric, but I bet that doesn't surprise you...

I finally got a photo of the finished Corrugator Scarf for the Red Scarf Project. I've got to write a care label for it, and get it ready to mail:
Next time? I won't knit into the back of the first stitch on each row - I was having a lot of trouble slipping the first stitch for some reason, so I read on Ravelry that someone had done this, and I tried it. No more trouble at the beginning of each row, but I'm not in love with the edge it created, either! The yarn is from stash, Encore DK in a lovely cranberry tweed. I've still got more of this, and I think I'm going to use it for the hat I promised one of our members as a contribution to Knitting for Hope and I understand that red/black combos work well...I've got to get on this, as the next group meeting of our Roanoke Valley Spinners & Knitters is the first Thursday of November and I'd like to turn it in then!

But...then I also realize that I've taken far, far longer than normal on my Personal Sock Club socks from September. It's already been a month and at my longest, I'm finished a pair in a month:

So today I finished the first one and cast on for the second.

I'm not sure, but Margene has found her missing Sock Mojo (and it was missing a long time), and mine seems to have gone missing as a result. Hope mine doesn't stay away as long as hers did!

I was sitting with heat on my neck (I woke yesterday with a crick and it won't go away) and working on my sock this afternoon, The Meezer moved off the chair arm, and onto the ottoman where my feet were...

You see, I'd positioned a space heater there. The little beast wormed her rear between the heater and my feet! And complained about my feet being in the way the entire time!! The nerve of the furball...

But she's been heat-seeking for a couple of days. Last night I piled into bed and started working on the Log Cabin blanket again (it's cold, so now I can stand having it on my lap!). Suddenly, I noticed someone making biscuits on the wool:

She finally circled and settled...and then resettled...and then resettled again:

Until finally she seemed satisfied.

I think blanket is no longer mine!

And on the third cat front - and yes Diana I do have two cats already - I'm totally on the fence. I adore this shaded silver Persian, but:
1. I have said, after the BB passed to the Rainbow Bridge, that there would never again be a long-haired cat in my home. I'm still finding her fur, some two years plus later (an while that might in some respects be a commentary on my housekeeping, it's really more about how a Persian's fur gets into everything and takes hold!).
2. I have a lease that says 2 cats only.
3. I currently have two cats.
4. Neither of them appears to be going anywhere anytime soon.
5. The Persian is a bit older than I thought he was - he's 10!
6. I think The Meezer might get along fine with him, but I know CC will blow a gusset, and I've once before caused an elderly, ailing cat to pine away dejectedly over being "replaced" by a "new addition" - and it just so happens that the "new addition" at the time, was CC! I'm not sure I want to repeat that. It's very unpleasant to realize that an action of mine sent a kitty to the Rainbow Bridge, possibly ahead of his or her time.
7. I obviously would have to clear a third cat with the landlord. I'm not looking forward to that discussion.
8. I've had as many as four cats before. It's a challenge. And I'm really looking at having fewer challenges in my life these days.

But he's such a sweetie. All of that list might just have to go by the board. We'll see.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Never Thought I Could Fall In Love Again...

But then I went to do the vet's payroll tonight and a young man sauntered towards me and that was all she wrote.

I'm in LOVE.

If you can imagine such a thing, he was abandoned. Apparently has no "issues," and is just as sweet as can be...the photo above is obviously not him, but very close to his markings.

I'm not sure, but I think we might have a new housemate (and don't ask me how I'm going to do this...I haven't figured it all out yet).

(It's almost always hard to walk in there and see the ones looking for homes, but it was almost impossible to walk OUT of there alone tonight!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ten Things I LOVE About Getting Older

I'm not sure why the Ten Things on Tuesday list is so negative...but I refuse to go on and on about the bad stuff about getting older.

I've got a few good things, I'll mention tho' - and perhaps they'll be odds and ends you've heard me say before, but maybe it's here again because it bears repeating!!

1. The rules you live by tend to come back to haunt you, so make them good ones.
2. No one has all the answers. Remember when we thought we REALLY knew it all? Now, I know how much I don't know. It doesn't pay to be cocky!
3. Tomorrow is another day. And if we didn't get things right today, we can work on them again tomorrow.
4. By the same token, tomorrows are fewer than they used to be, so make the best and the most of your todays.
5. I might be someone's grandmother, but I'm still one sexy broad (even with a few extra pounds, a couple of extra wrinkles and a gray hair or 10). Whew!
6. You can't take it with you, but then again, you want to make sure you're not someone who's dependent on her children. So spend a little, and save more.
7. Give of yourself, and give of your funds. It will come back, in ways you can't even begin to imagine. Support causes worthy of your time and energy.
8. You're worth a treat now and again: Chocolate, tickets to a show, a nice glass of merlot (don't save calories, money, or face - it's not worth it! Said by someone on Weight Watchers).
9. The Girl Scouts got it right - Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other IS gold - if you have a strain in the relationship - fix it. Right off. (But go easy on those cookies)
10. Find a hobby you love and spend much time on it - it keeps your brain and fingers nimble, and keeps you out of too much trouble!

And on that note? This came today:

It's for Three Sisters by Cheryl Oberle and yes, I'm going to cast on very soon. This is my first sweater. I will need ALL my friends assistance - TIA!

The yarn is extra yummy...the color a bit darker than the photo on Knitpicks website, but a perfect shade for me. If you love Jo Sharp's Silkroad DK Tweed in Boheme you will love this yarn.

Oh...and did you notice anything else? Um...yes, the ticker is counting down - 1.6 pounds this week! And the PT is making a big difference in the way my back feels!
WHOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sad to See The Weekend End...

I get myself into one frame of mind and when I get going good? It's time to switch gears...
;)
I finished a couple more bags today:

And got everything ready to ship:

Tho' I must admit that I'm not looking forward to hitting the PO at lunch tomorrow.

Speaking of lunch:

That's a vegetable curry there (and yes, it's in the crockpot). Cauliflower, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, and then all the seasonings. This house smells divine.

I hope your weekend was delightful, if it was a long one like mine, and if not? I hope your Monday was a good one. (I get mine tomorrow, ya know?)

I'm off to knit and read a bit, and then do my PT exercises before hitting the sack. Have a great week!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Three Day Weekend

Wow. Two days of a three day are already in the can!
:)
I got an email from someone wondering what was up that I was so quiet, I must be busy. True. I am, have been, and will be...Wanna see?

Friday of course was PT. And then I finished an order to ship. Saturday morning was taken up by a certain meezerly sort who developed the "delicate condition" which remains nameless because it's highly embarrassing to Her Royal Highness. So off we sped to the vet. En route I was treated to a crying baby, but once I opened the door in the parking lot, I was suddenly faced with a cussing, angry feline. Do you think she knew what was up? I dropped her off, then ran to the PO to ship a few orders and picked up coffee, phoning back to the vet to hear, "Yes, she's ready." We hurried home, and I pulled out all the stops to complete, start to finish, this lovely:

Yes, you've seen the fabric before, but of course, the interior is all different.

I also prepared three Knitnanas for sewing today. I was very tired when I finished, so I chilled out a bit last night with my favorite new compulsion: Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. I managed to hit over 150,000 for the first time (Carole has accumulated a score over 350,000. I'm in awe of Carole's abilities (in more ways than one).

This morning, I pulled out the brand new Slow Cooker and created a vegetable beef noodle soup that was very Weight Watchers friendly. The only modification I'd make in future, is to reduce the hot peppers, as I tossed in two and it was very very spicy. But it was really nice to have dinner tonight that was only 6 points. (What did I do? Stew beef, baby carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, cabbage, a cup of egg noodles, various seasonings besides the peppers, bouillion, worchestershire sauce)

I've had a love-hate relationship with crock pots ever since I had my original 1970s Rival. But whether the quality has gone downhill, or the design, or perhaps, just that in general things 'aint made the way they used to be, I've had rotten luck with Rival lately. I broke down and invested in a brand I knew I liked. And I'm very pleased. It's a bit bigger than most singles need, but I figure I might have to prepare something for three growing boys someday. Hmm...maybe even for three teens. Maybe I really should have bought the bigger one!

Today, I'd agreed to take my mom's dearest friend (who's a very young 91) to the grocery store to "stock up." She and I have a lot of fun together, and a year ago, she decided that 90 was the right age to give up her driver's license. I promised I'd always help her when needed for getting to the places she needed to go. Today, I reminded her that it also means, where she just WANTS to go. Because let's face it, you might not really need it? But life is too short to deny oneself! :)

We had a good time and it was great to visit. Sometimes I almost feel as if my mom will walk in the room when I'm with MC.

Before I met up with her, I ran by the fabric shop. I needed a couple of fabrics:

I ended up with the ones I needed (the two on top of the stack and the one on the bottom). The ones in the middle called my name. LOUDLY. *wink*

Once home, I finished these and got them all ready to ship on Tuesday:

(again, you've seen these fabrics, tho' perhaps not in this style of bag)

I always search through my buttons as I complete each bag, I usually don't have the closure in mind in advance. This summer I've stocked up in the various places I've gotten myself to, and even picked up a good-sized bag of vintage buttons - that's different from antique, ya' know!

In that group of vintagey ones, I discovered these three. I think they'll be nice for my February Lady's Sweater, if I ever get it on the needles.

Lest you think my weekend is all work and no play (!) I did manage a bit of knitting:

I've used almost 1 skein of the Orca City Tweed here. I'm pleased with the results, and I did go back to the Addi Naturas. It's a little slower going, but at least I've stopped dropping stitches!

Someone is feeling a lot better today, btw...

I've just resigned myself to closing my eyes whenever that camera is around, she's gonna take the pictures anyway. And no, we don't talk about the indignity I suffered yesterday. I've forgiven her, but don't tell her, okay?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Progressing by Inches

Today, feeling totally overwhelmed as I do in the season of "audit" I began a list of what I had to do (at home, away from the office). Partly it's because all the things going on in my world, medical appointments, bag orders to fill, commitments to customers, to business client, to employer, the cats, my house, my charity knitting, myself? That's a load.

So today I had the last doctor appointment. I have a fasting lab tomorrow and then I'll just have PT for a bit - which swallows up time, itself, but fortunately, I see it as improving the available time once PT is finished...I still will feel as if I'm running 6 ways to Sunday, but at least I won't be ducking out of the office for an afternoon or a morning...

Most of these appointments have to do with maintenance stuff. The trick is to get them spaced out just right and when I think I have that done, someone has to change - usually the one I saw today. He has young children, and he's always surprised by the number of holidays they have...or they get sick, or there's a snow day, or whatever.

I won't get weird. I think it's admirable he's doing that duty! Insert my mother's voice here "Isn't that his wife's job?" Obviously we've come a long way...

So, dilated beyond belief (as usual) I came home with two pairs of sunglasses on, to gather the kitties towels and run a load of laundry, cooked dinner (which you can see over on Nana Sadie's Place, knitted on the Corrugator Red Scarf during the news, began working on another order from the cat show and...

vacuumed the upstairs.

I suddenly thought - wow. Lots to cross off my list!

And I'll be crossing a lot of things off the list this weekend - it's Columbus Day on Monday and that means I have 3 days in a row OFF.
:)
I hope to sew a lot!
Have a Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Serious Drool Factor Ahead - Caution!

Thank you all for your encouragement over my first week's less than exciting outcome at the weigh-in last night! I know you're right.

After PT tonight (it just never ends, ya know?) I headed to a grocery I don't normally frequent (tho' I guess I will be more often now that my dearest, favorit-est Ukrops is closing (SOB!!!) and picked up these:

I dare you. (to try them, but not to say what that photo appears to be - it's almonds!)

They're Emerald's Cocoa Roasted Almonds. I adore almonds. And these are wonderful. For 3 points. With protein. And all the good stuff almonds just naturally have.

I think I've died and gone to heaven...

OK. There's more. I saved the best for last. If you're a knitter that is.

Art Walk Sock Yarn Club's September 2009 edition (I got the October edition, too, and it's yummy, but I can't share that yet, or I'll be a spoiler. Everyone's already gotten September. When I saw it? I asked Roxie if she had any left.

I know you know why, right? Black, purple/plum, and a bright royal blue. Oh I can't decide. Will these be plain vanilla (which shows off the sock yarn itself the best) or will I go ahead and do Feather and Fan on the cuff? The nice part? I don't have to decide till I've turned the heel!

I know. You've gone for tissue to wipe off the drool, now haven't you? (Ask me how I know?) hahahahaha!
*wink*

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Second Tuesday Post - Aren't You Lucky?

Weight Watchers weigh-in tonight.
Yup. It's up there. I did lose. But you think I might have made that an even pound over the week? The first week?

Ok. I'm done with the pity-party.

After all, I DID lose.
:)
And I'm in this for the long haul, not the short "lose it and rebound" of all the times before...
Right?

Ten On Tuesday - Ten Things You Want but Can't Afford

Before I start this post, I'll comment that last night's Roanoke Symphony Season Opener was amazingly good. Right On, Maestro! (You had to be there, especially at the end of the concert!)

Moving right along:

It's that time again...the 10 on Tuesday list. I skipped last week, so I guess I'll do this one. But I'm making it a wishlist, some of which is beyond the possible - It would be easy to get depressed by this particular week's assignment, if one wanted to go that route - but how about turning it around to focus on the dreams we have but can't afford? (Of course, I could always win the lottery)

We should always dream - and not lose that aspect of life...and dreams aren't always about adding more "stuff" to our world (although I've done a pretty good job of that, down below *wink*)

1. That mattress set? It was fairly close to reality until I had to have a chunk of the funding redirected to PT and Weight Watchers! Which are going well, thank you for asking! (and I'm grateful that I can afford it right now...hope to be able to continue to without winning the lottery!!)
2. New living room furniture. I've had this on the back burner of my mind for some time - everything I have is at least second hand...and I can tell you, after 20 years (and a couple of reupholsterings, it's not as easy to sit upon as it once was. I guess you can tell I'm into comfort these days, huh? Primarily, I'd like a petite recliner - something that I can be well-supported in, but still knit, and that won't take over the entire room! (No, I haven't found it yet...)
3. Boots. Yes. Since going to the Birkenstock family of shoes, I'm discovering that there's a problem finding boots that have the support my feet need (high arch support) without paying $300. I did find a pair of Keens yesterday, but now have to find where they are sold locally and try them on. They're not as expensive as the Birks, but they're still pricey.
4. A full set of Signature needles (ok...only when they come out with the circulars!) or for that matter, I'll take the first set of Addi Lace Clicks when they decide to make them.
5. I'd love to upgrade my Bernina sewing machine and get a Bernina serger and coverstitch machine. I keep telling myself that the last two are not all that important for what I do. Then I remind myself that once I retire, I really won't be able to afford them, so I should get them before that. After all, I think I'll be doing more than making bags on my various sewing implements when I have more time and one needs the right tools!
6. A condo. With sunlight - LOTS of sunlight. Privacy. And no smoking in the building. A gated community. That allows pets. (Yes, there is one not far from where I live - not sure about the smoking policies - but no, I can't even begin to dream of affording it - short of winning the lottery)
7. Travel - to Scotland and France.
8. While I'm at this end of the spectrum I might as well add that I'd love to be able to fund a building for my non-profit that will be down in an area of town where there is public transportation, but is only a few blocks from my "dream condo" so I can walk to work (or take the trolley, myself). It would be a dream come true to win enough lottery funds to take care of a real need that my organization deserves to have fulfilled...(isn't this what dreams are for?) - I'll add to all this that of course, there'd also be enough $$ for funding the other nonprofit loves in my world...(goes without sayin' right?)
9. Full funding of educational accounts for my three grandsons (ok, I can put pennies aside, but it will never approach all the money they'll need)
10. A real retirement for myself.
Ok. Back to reality - Enuf said. I'd better go buy a lottery ticket if I ever hope to have this all happen!!
:)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Knitting Update - Monday!

Since yesterday was all about the weekend's work, I'll show you the little bit of knitting I accomplished over the weekend, beginning with the progress on the Textured Shawl in Orca City Tweed:

I've changed needles three times on this. The Zephyrs? I hate to complain yet again about Knitpicks needles, especially since I adore my Harmonys, but I had to stop trying to use the acrylics. They are clear. You CAN see dark yarn on them. But you can see straight through to the other side of the stitch, and that's not just distracting as all get out, it's also problematic for my vision - I have no clue what I'm seeing half the time.

I switched to the Addi Naturas (which I've always adored) and that was so much better, but unfortunately? The finish on my size 9s is worn down badly. Knitting was slowing to a turtle's pace, and I'm already slow enough. So I switched to my Addi Turbos, the only other size 9 I had. Everything is slipping all over creation and the tips are just so blunt! 0h, come to think of it, I also have a Susan Bates Quicksilver the same length I could try, but that means boiling some water to unkink the cord...
(sigh)

If anyone is listening, this is my wish list: Knitpicks Harmonys in blonde wood (I know, you've heard it before) OR Addi LACE Clicks!

I'm also sitting here thinking that we're terribly spoiled these days. My mom never dreamed of circular needles, much less the types and styles and perks of what's available today. But then again? That may be why she didn't knit all that much!

I have to tell you, I'm loving the Textured Shawl. The City Tweed is soft - much softer than most tweeds, but that's not a bad thing (hmm..except that may be why things are slipping all over the place - at least in part).

My second new project is the Spiraluscious Mitt for my Autumn Lace KAL.

I've made progress. However, those of you who cautioned me about the strong varigation in the Claudia are correct, and I may not really see the lace in these. Still, it's the red fingering yarn I have in stash and so, unless I'm really unhappy when I get a bit more on here, it's here to stay.
;)
Tonight is the opening concert of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra's new season, so you know where I'll be.
(((Hugs)))

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Warning: If You Love Fairies, This Post Could Be Hazardous to Your Fiscal Health!

Ok. You've been warned.

I got an inquiry in July (yes, back before Sock Summit!) about a series of fabrics and making a set of knitting items out of them. There's a reason, of course, that I hadn't seen these fabrics before. I'm really not into fairies, as it were. I'm into cats, and knitting, and even occasionally Asian fabrics, so unless I'm browsing in a fabric store, or one of my customers (and occasionally a supplier) sends me something else, that's pretty much what I "see."

The inquiry was about a series of fabrics by Cicely Mary Barker for Michael Miller. Some were in stock, but a few specific ones were on order from the manufacturer with a delivery day in early September. The order was negotiated, finalized, and I placed my order for these fabrics. The idea was that the ones that weren't "in" yet, would come in right before the National Capital Cat Show and then be shipped to me, arriving soon after I returned from DC.

That's the way it was supposed to happen, and of course, you know it didn't happen that way at all...delays are common, but this one scared me - 45 days? The fabrics were delayed until mid-October! I worried, but the customer agreed it was a bit long to wait. We discussed and decided to change fabrics, with the customer leaving the decision of which ones up to me, as long as they were in this group by C.M. Barker.

And just before the fabrics were sent to me last week? The delayed ones arrived! I was gleeful and this weekend has been terribly productive in getting this lovely set completed. When I was done? I simply couldn't stop taking photos. And I had to share them with you:

Above is the complete set.
And here are the accessories in the Blossom Fairies:

checkbook, sundry case, and three ponytail holders.

The coordinating fabrics are wonderful, too.

The customer is a knitter:

And so, using the Periwinkle Fairies I created a Glady Interchangeable Needle Case.

There were two fabrics available in this colorway, and I couldn't resist, so the Glady is lined with the other one.

The Rose Straight Needlecase is made in the Magical Garden Fairies:

Isn't she lovely?

Please note the buttons?

A Knitnana with file folder pocket for knitting patterns in the Magical Evening Fairies (you know I'd have to love this fabric, right? *wink*)

What did I say about the buttons? They're like Pink Ice Diamonds, with a backing of silvering that plays up the silver glitter all over these fabrics.

Inside I used Miller's Garden Magic Flowers and more of the Magical Garden Fairies. I was able to find lovely coordinates locally to blend (which I needed for the flannels in the needlecases!)...This set has opened my eyes to fairies! I'll see them from now on. I'm completely blown away by this series.

This Knitter will KIP in style, don't you think?

Oh. The Knitter in question? She's a special lady in my book - she's given me my very first international order. I've had orders shipped overseas before, but they were gifts bought by North American customers. This is my very first customer who lives abroad!
See? Special!

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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