Thursday, November 29, 2007

Of Squares and Roundness

Thank goodness I keep seeing the squares rolling in to M&D. Otherwise, I'd just plum forget to send mine in! Here are my lonely squares waiting to help raise money for Oliver's wheelchair.See that little square hiding on the bottom left? It's a wonderfully square square. Unfortunately, it's too big! It came in at a perfect 4.5 inches. I sent it along anyway. The yellow and blue stripe is left over from socks, obviously. And it wasn't quite enough for two squares. I love the teeny contrasting corner.

Ravelry is the answer of course! Oh, what was the question? Well, what yarn to use for the Sunrise Circle cardigan, naturally. I received my Ravelry invite awhile ago, and just haven't taken the time to register and get going there. Work has been tremendously busy and I just haven't had the time to spare. I have a brand new laptop computer still in the box, for goodness sakes!
Recently, more and more of the blogs I read have been focusing on health issues. In a very positive way. Which has reinforced the thinking I've been doing. Before I got divorced, I was under a lot of strain. I didn't feel safe in my home. I slept in my clothes - with my purse, shoes and keys by my side. So eating was not a common thing in my life right then. I was exercising a lot as stress relief and got really skinny. Since then, I've been much more relaxed. And have eaten my way to plumpness. While I don't want to be that skinny again (size 6's were too big but I didn't shop for anything smaller) I do need to lose weight. I don't have hardly any clothes that fit - and I have a lot that I can't wear. So I am declaring to the world my intentions to start exercising again on a regular basis. Like everyone else, when I do exercise regularly, I feel better, look better, have more energy - and my clothes will start fitting again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All Scarves, All the Time!

At least in the hand wash basin that is! I am in International Scarf Exchange 5. And used Shafer Anne to crochet the Boteh scarf from Interweave Crochet. Fun scarf. Especially after I quit making bone-head mistakes. Well, the yarn is made up of wool with a small percentage of mohair. And mohair usually makes me itch. Taking the advice of others, I washed the scarf with shampoo. By the third rinse, the dye was still coloring the rinse water something awful, so I added a healthy glug (scientific measurement, dont'cha know!) of white vinegar. And no more dye run - yippee. Worked some cream rinse into the scarf, and rinsed well again.

Well, that baby is as soft as.....well, a baby! I have another skein of Anne that I wasn't happy with any sock pattern I tried. I just might try another Boteh scarf for myself. And how on earth
do other people manage to take good pictures of a scarf??? Here is the classic headless shot in the bathroom mirror. And I am currently wearing a red shirt. Since I was too lazy to change clothes, I grabbed my aran cardigan (still buttonless - shame on me!) You can't tell in the picture, but the scarf is completely wrapped around my neck. And not an itch around.

The rules for ISE state that the value of your package should be $20. Well, I spent that much on the yarn, but don't want to send only a scarf. The yarn shop I was in tonight didn't have any sock yarn that called out to me (and I don't know if my pal knits socks anyway). Maybe one of those Clover yarn cutters? That's available at several local stores. And a small tote bag or a little zipper pouch for knitting notions. That would round out a package nicely, I think.

And I bought yarn tonight! My "LYS" is just over an hour away. But she's terribly nice and does have a growing variety of yarns. The yarn I bought is actually 55% mohair and 45% wool. But I snuggled the yarn up around my neck for a bit before deciding it wasn't a scratchy one. This is a line that she personally hand dyes. Oh! And the pattern is Mr. Greenjeans from the Fall Knitty. The yarn actually has more blues than show up in the picture. And that is the beginning of my swatch there in my hand! I have no idea what I was actually thinking though. The gauge is 18 stitches per 4". So I cast on 4 edge stitches each side, and 18 stitches. Doh! I have changed my
edge stitch count to two hoping that will help. The gauge sure isn't big, but this is all of the yarn in this colorway that she has. I feel like I'm tempting fate enough as it is. to knit a swatch. I'd also like to knit the Sunrise Circle jacket. After seeing the picture of Stephanie in her's, I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't want to knit that sweater! I just found out today that there is a knitalong blog for the Sunrise Circle - which is closed to new people. They have very kindly opened up the info for the general puplic to have access. But it still didn't help me pick a yarn! Mr. Greenjeans, here I come!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Survived!

Black Friday, that is. I was (notice the past tense!) in the market for a laptop. We had been discussing it for awhile. With the traveling we do, it sure would come in handy. And I (mistakenly) thought the after Thanksgiving sales would be the best/least expensive way to go.

HA! This year, the stores were handing out pre-opening vouchers for the limited quantity offers. Which actually meant that they were sold out before they opened. So I struck out on the sales there, but did manage to get the external hard drive and a zip drive. Stopped for a coffee and I was on my way back home.

We're boxing up all the orders from Quilt Market. So I put in the info for the first shipping label, and lo and behold! The printer is dead. Several error messages on the printer, etc. So BACK into town I go. Purchased a new printer and got info on laptops that two other stores actually had in stock since they weren't a deep discount.
Back into town later that night to drop off the orders we had boxed. And managed to purchase the last computer of that model in the store. I think I'll be happy with it. Time will tell, since I haven't even taken it out of the box yet. I spent more money on it than originally intended. And I have no idea what time you had to be in line at the store to get the vouchers. The one young lady I was talking to while in line to get the external hard drives told me that out of curiosity, she had driven by the store at 11 pm on Thanksgiving night. And at that time, there was already a very long line.

I haven't ever been out shopping on Black Friday before. And it seems to me that the most important thing to have with you is a sense of humor and patience. I was at the second electronics store by 5:30 (they opened at 5) and asked the employee at the door about the laptops. They very politely told me they were sold out. So while making my way back out, a lady came storming through the door. Yelling obscenities at the top of her lungs at the employees at the door. The guys just smiled and said "have a nice day!" which probably only fueled her anger. Everyone around just laughed. If you're going to get that upset shopping, why go out - especially on that day?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How do they do that?

I can't manage to get into the habit of regular posting. Let alone those participating in the daily posting challenge through the month of November. I keep meaning to post. But like every other new thing, an effort needs to be made for this to become habit.

Galveston....oh, my goodness. A year ago when we went to Houston, we spent our day off between Market and Festival on Galveston. And fell in love. So obviously, we went back this year. Cruised around looking for potential homes for sale that would fit our needs. As luck would have it, we did actually find one! Five blocks from the ocean, people. Talk about nirvana. The person selling the home actually purchased it three months ago - and we know how much she paid for it. She has replaced a door knob - and doubled the price. She says she is needs to sell because she has been transferred. Which may be true. But it's our opinion that she wants to sell because she found out just how much it would cost to fix up the place. Now, it's a nice doorknob, don't get me wrong. I just don't happen to think it is worth quite that much money. If she will agree to sell the house at the price we are willing to pay, we plan on gutting the whole thing and starting over. There is a very nice size back yard. We talked with the zoning officer to get building regs. So we know we could build a wood shop in the backyard to suit our needs.

So I need to talk to my current mortgage holder and get information from them, and then we can decide which way to proceed. We haven't put an offer on the house yet. I am waiting to get more mortgage info before proceeding.

And in the meantime, I paid the registration fees for two shows next year. It actually looks like we will have back to back shows in two months next year. International Quilt Festival Chicago ends on a Sunday. We will get home Mon evening, wash clothes and repack Tuesday and leave for New Hampshire to set up for a show that opens Thurs (I think). And then in May, we have a show in Salt Lake City which ends on a Sat, and then the very next Thurs, we open at Quilt Market in Portland. We are gonna be very busy people!

Any recommendations for great books on cd? I own all the Harry Potter books on cd (and print). But we will sure will need some variety!

If I can remember to take a picture, my next post should be about my wonderfully warm aran cardigan - that is still missing buttons!

Monday, November 12, 2007

At the top of my list, is my healing finger. I knit for the first time yesterday. I had one button band left for my Aran cardigan, and it's getting cold here! The finger is healing beautifully, thankfully. with a casual glance, one would never know there was anything wrong with any of them. Give it several more weeks, and I don't even know if I'll be left with a scar. The finger tip is still very sore. And it is amazing how much of my middle finger I use when knitting. But with care and attention, I did manage that button band!

The sweater had all the ends woven in, has been washed, and is now laying out to dry. Then just sew the buttons on, and I have a beautiful new sweater. I only have one complaint, and I suppose it could have been handled several ways. The directions have you knit the sweater on size 7 needles, switching to 4's for the bands. And since the bands are in ribbing and on smaller needles, they do pull in a bit. I have that pinned out on the drying board so the edges are straight. But I suppose if there is a next time, I could either pick up a whole lot more stitches, or just knit the ribbing with the size 7 needles. Since I am happy with the amount of stitches I picked up (the pick up edge looks good to me), then the same size needle seems to be my answer. I need to remember to mark the pattern just in case I knit this sweater again.

Houston was fantastic! We worked in our own booth for International Quilt Market. For Quilt Festival, we worked for someone else in their booth that purchases from us wholesale. Quilt Market and Festival are a lot of fun, the workmanship is totally inspirational, and the sheer amount of people staggering. While in one of the booths with yarn, I heard a woman ask if there were similar festivals for knitters. Well, I gave her some basic information that I could think of off the top of my head, but just suggested that she read through knitting magazines for all the information. These are the only pictures that I took that I'll put up on the blog. The picture on the left is of the shopping area! Shopping for as far as the eye can see. The picture on the right is of the quilt display area. Some truly stunning works of art were displayed.

I took some pictures of quilts of course. But since the work isn't mine, I sure don't want to put those pictures up here. Some inspiring work, that's for certain.
Tomorrow....hopefully Galveston!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fall into Autumn Package

If I had been asked, I would have been absolutely positive that I had sent an email to the Fall into Autumn hostess letting them know I would be gone for several weeks. I have no idea who I actually sent that email to, but it wasn't to them.

My generous, wonderful pal for the Fall into Autumn dishcloth swap thought the package was unappreciated and her efforts were being ignored. And I feel horrid for that. Because Yvette sent a fantastic package. That is one stuffed package! Everything came in a zipper bag from the LYS she actually gets to work in! It's from Knit and Stitch = Bliss in Bethesda, MD. I haven't had time to check out the website yet, but be sure that I will! And the contents..... are absolutely fantastic! Yvette knit not just one, but two wonderful washcloths. She included lots of yarn that is just yummy. The variegated is a skein of Peaches and Cream in double worsted - which I hadn't seen before. Notice the ghiradalli chocolate in the background, some Bee & Flower Ginseng soap (the fantastic wrapper will find its way into a collage!), a hand made card, and the best magnet! My boyfriend did agree the sentiment did apply to me: "I am fairly certain that given a Cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world." Yvette, thank you for a wonderful package. And I sincerely apologise for making you think this was unappreciated.
Tomorrow updates on Houston, Galveston, and the cut finger. I shall be eternally grateful that I still have that finger!