Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still Alive!!

Yes, still alive, but not kicking very much - not yet, anyway. GAH, have these last two months been horrible! First my Stepfather gets Pneumonia...Mom runs herself ragged caring for him. Mom then goes to the hospital by ambulance with Pneumonia. I run all over taking care of my Stepfather ("Pop"), ferrying my daughter & brother around, and would've gone insane were it not for my incredible husband and friends from church and the homeschooling community. People came by the hospital just to sit with my Mom & Pop - Pop has Alzheimer's, and this change in routine completely blasted him out of the water. If he could be with Mom, he was MUCH better off than if he were home, with my brother. Dear friends took care of my daughter when my husband was at you see what's coming next, right? Mom comes home from the hospital on a Saturday...

The following Thursday, I'm diagnosed with Bronchitis with Pneumonia. Yeah, swell. Sunday, (Mother's Day) my husband gets sick, as does my 5 & 3/4 yr old...he with Bronchitis, she with a nasty cold + fevers. I BELIEVE we've stopped the progression at this point; my brother & sister didn't get sick, nor did my stepbrother and his family, who did come visit...twice. Not going there now..NOT.

So. Knocked OUT of commission - I was so sick, I didn't want to/couldn't knit! I just went back to my Stitch & Bitch last night for the first time in close to a month, and while it was SO wonderful to see my friends (tho I did give one a hard time, so I'm not sure how happy she is that I'm back), I was exhausted by 9:30pm. However - I DID manage to finish a year-long project last night!! Presenting - Coppelia by Berroco:

It was to be a present for my daughter's birthday last year (!!!), but didn't happen. Luckily, I think - because when she tried it on Wednesday night, it fits WONDERFULLY, with a year at least to grow in it! Last year? Would've just been too big. WHEW!!

I'm very happy with it, and so is my daughter. She wanted to wear it to bed last night, but wasn't allowed to; then wore it all day today. She's thrilled! Nothing better, truly - she loved telling people I made it, too. :)

Then, tonite - I FINALLY finished the 2nd sock of a pair that I've made for my sister. The first was given to her on her birthday, Feb. 27. Yes, that's a bit of time in between - hush. ;) The important thing is, they're BOTH DONE!!

I used Sockotta (don't remember the colorway), and the "Classic socks for the Family" pattern by Yankee Knitter Design.

My schedule for the next month or two is insane, and I hope I don't get myself sick again...but I have MUCH to do: Daughter & Mother both have birthdays in June, mine is in July - Neice in June, Dear Friend in July, etc, etc, etc. Must get some warm weather knitting going, as I don't like working on woolens during the summer months. I think I'll crank out some more Ballband Dishcloths, and some cotton socks - perhaps another Tee or shell, or some such.

The bed is calling...I must succumb. Thanks for checking back, and I hope to be able to update more often now - BEGONE, Foul Germs!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sigh. Spring!

Well, I HAVE been knitting...but I've also been felled by Bronchitis and a "touch of" Pneumonia. :( It was inevitable, I hear; my Mother had it and was hospitalized two weeks ago, and my Stepfather had it two weeks prior to that. Who's been taking care of them? Me. Hopefully my husband Edwin won't get sick taking care of ME, now!! I will try to update here on my knitting projects in the next few days, since I'm to stay quiet and relaxed...I hope you're all having a good Spring, and TAKE CARE of yourselves! If you have a cold/allergies/flu that doesn't go away, GO TO THE DR...this is NO fun, whatsoever.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Spring Felted Bag Exchange Questionnaire

So, I've gone & Done it - I've joined an exchange - and it sounds like it'll be fun! The "Spring Felted Bag Exchange" - I love felting bags, and well, it seemed like the thing to do at the time. :)

Without further ado, my answers to the questionnaire!

1. How long have you been knitting or crochetting? How did you learn?

I have been knitting for two & a half years now, and just learning to crochet in the last year. I started by teaching myself from two books - "Knitting for Dummies" and "Stitch & Bitch", and then I joined a local SnB. It's rolled along from there!

2. What are your favorite yarns to knit\crochet felted bags with?

I honestly haven't tried too many yet; so far I've felted Cascade 220, and Paton's 100% wool. I'm trying a new one now, I can't remember the name - but I've liked what I've tried, and would love to try a bunch more!

3. What are your favorite needles to knit\crochet with?

My husband gave me a set of Rosewood needles two years ago for Christmas, and I've got to say, I LOVE using them. :) I've been using my Denise's mostly for the felted bags, tho I've also got a set of Addi's for that.

4. What are the last 3 bags you knitted\crochetted (include URL for Yahoo! or flickr album or your blog if you have them!)? You can also link to patterns if you don't have pictures of your finished objects!

Actually, so far I've only knit the Sophie bag from MagKnits...about 5 at present count. I think it's a very neat pattern!

5. Do you carry the bags that you make, give them as gifts, or both?

Haven't been able to make one for myself yet! :) I'm hoping to make myself a Lucy bag soon, tho.

6. What is your favorite felted bag that you have made for yourself?

7. What are your favorite colors? Do you like bags in these colors or choose other colors?

My favorite color is Red - I also love Purple, Magenta and Deep green. I love basically Jewel-tones, no pastels. I think when I finally make myself a bag out of yarn I've CHOSEN, it'll be in some of those colors!

8. Chocolate: White, Milk, Dark, or not so much?

DARK Chocolate, please - Non-dairy Dark Chocolate. I'm severly lactose intolerant, so Milk and White are out. Usually Dark is non-dairy, but Godiva and Lindt kindly put cream or lactose in their stuff. GAH!!

9. Coffee, Tea, or Milk?

TEA TEA TEA TEA TEA TEA TEA TEA! I am married to a coffee addict, but I'm a Tea Girl all the WAY! My current favorite is Bigelow's Constant Comment, but I also love Scottish (PG Tips) and Irish (Lyons)...Basically, the only tea I don't like is Herbal tea. No Peppermint, Fruit, funky flavors (kiwi vanilla strawberry, etc.). :)

10. Do you prefer sweet or salty treats? What kinds?

It depends on my mood; as I said, I love Dark Chocolate. I also love Potato Chips, and OOOOH, Potato STICKS! :)

11. If you went into Bath and Body Works and could only come out with one item, what would it be and what would it smell like?

Ohhh, that's tough. I don't go in there too much, so I don't remember what's in there. Um - probably something Bath-related. Bubble Bath, or a soak, or bath bomb. The scent might be Vanilla, or Peach, or Sandalwood, or Melon. I don't like Chocolate-scented bath products, but I like other fruit scents.

12. Do you enjoy any other crafts or hobbies? Do you collect anything?

I LOVE Photography, and I do a lot of reading. I have lots of cats - and I foster cats - as for collecting, I collect PENGUINS. :) Mugs, Hats, if it's useful and has penguins on it, I LOVE IT! :)

13. Are there any bag patterns you have not yet knit, but hope to someday?

The Lucy Bag - which I own the pattern for and will knit it ASAP; and I kind of like the look of the Booga Bag.

14. What is currently OTN (on the needles) for you?

One entry back, I detailed the TON of projects I have OTN just now! :)

15. What is your most recent finished object before that?

Two Balaclavas, one for my husband and one for a friend in VT.

16. What's cutest: Puppies, Piggies or Pixies?

OOOOH...PENGUINS!! ;) Hey, it's another "P" word, it counts. :) Or...Piggish, Pixie Puppies?

17. Do you enjoy reading? Books, Magazines, or both?

I LOVE to read, and I'll read anything I can get my hands on. Books, Magazines, Cereal Boxes, Pamphlets, Brochures, Junk Mail...LOL. :)

18. Do you have any children? (kid-kind or pet-kind apply!)

I have one daughter, 5 & 1/2 yrs old - in my blogs, she goes by her nickname, "Boo". I also have 8 cats of my own, and 7 fosters. I do love my "kids"!

19. What are some of your favorite yarns for other projects?

I LOVELOVELOVE Malabrigo - Sigh. I like trying new yarns, too, and love Acrylics and Natural Fibers equally, for different things.

20. And for the final question, one I see debated all over: Novelty Yarn: Love it! Hate it! or It depends!

I DO love me some Novelty yarn. I wouldn't knit EVERYTHING with it, but it's a lot of fun for accents & the like!

Must. Start. Spring. Knitting!!

Or, perhaps that should be, "Must. Finish. Winter. Knitting..."?

Let's see, what's OTN right now...(On The Needles)

1 Balaclava. Status: Crown Decreases to finish, ends to weave in, to be mailed to Ohio.

1 sock. Status: 2nd sock of pair for my sister, finishing Cuff. Leg, Heel, Body & Toe still to be knit.

1 Entrelac Scarf. Status: Wearable as it stands now, but recipient would like it to be longer ("Knit it until you run out of that yarn"). Can be done.

1 Basketweave Shawl. Status: Mine. Worked on when I'm fed up with everything else. Finished when it's finished, and I'm cool with that.

To Knit: Lightweight scarf (yarn was an issue, is no longer). 2 pair socks (needles were an issue, are no longer).

To Finish: Dress for Boo. All pieces done, just need to be put together.

Commissioned yesterday: Felted Sophie Bag, ASAP. My ASAP isn't the recipient's ASAP, and she's okay with that. She's the one who forgot the birthday in the first place. ;)

Would like to knit: Socks. Socks for myself (warm weather socks). Socks for Boo. Socks. Socks!

ITCHING to knit:

Butterfly Top with Shrug Butterfly Top with Shrug

Toddler Summer Jumper Independence Top


Yeah, I know. I've got it bad. ;)

But it's SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

...pray for me?


Friday, March 23, 2007

The Yarn Harlot Takes New York

Long story short, I got an email late Wednesday night from another knitter friend saying, "Hey Claire, you still interested in going to NYC Thursday?". I responded that I had childcare lined up & $$ set aside, just couldn't get to the train. She doesn't live far from me, and said she could drive to the train - she wanted to go, and wanted company. WOOHOOO!! We finalized childcare Thursday morning - since Boo had gotten sick, I wasn't taking her to my Mom's, and Edwin very graciously offered to take a half-day at work so he could come home and care for Boo. :) I thanked him, and met up with my friend S - who I was really looking forward to spending time with & getting to know better, as she's an Unschooling mom, too.
We found ourselves in New Haven waiting for the 2:37pm train to Grand Central.

Once on the train, the photoblogging started in earnest - with the view from our seats.
S and her sweater,
I and my third balaclava,
...and both intrepid knitters, ready for our adventure:
We arrived in Grand Central Station in NYC with no complications, jumped on the shuttle to Times Square, then the train up to 27th. I think. Anyway, we then made our way up to The Fashion Institute of Technology, where
Stephanie Pearl McPhee was having her book launch for her latest book.

We knew we were in the right place when we saw knitters, and a big-ass poster:

The gentleman who so kindly took our picture turned out to be none other than Guido (2Skiens) Stein, author of the "It's a Purl, Man" blog & podcast (available on iTunes, natch). He interviewed both S and myself, and I'm hoping to hear us next week (month? I'm not sure how often his 'casts come out, as I'm new to his territory) - and we had our pic taken with him on his camera, which will most likely make it up on his site soon. Fun stuff, Knitting Celebs! Here's Guido interviewing S:

"Tell us exactly what happened when the Glowing Orbs landed, Ma'am..."


Then, since the doors opened at 5pm and it wasn't quite that yet, GAH - How will I make it??

we queued up like good little knitters.

I took photos like a...well, like a tourist...while S put the time to good use:

When we got inside, the Haft Auditorium (which seats 750) was just starting to fill. People who had "pre-boarded" had taken their seats,

so the rest of us could now filter in. We moseyed down, picked our spot, and found...GOODY BAGS!

They contained Boye Needles & Patons SWS Yarn, and instructions to make a square (7x9") for Warm Up America.

Then it was time for Stephanie to make her appearance and deliver pearls of wisdom...which she did, in spades - and had us laughing and cheering and gasping in horror & indignation - and reminding us how lucky & blessed we all were to be who and what we were: knitters in community with other knitters, all using our talents to show how we cared about our fellow humans - regardless of their fiber leanings, or lack of such.

As S and I were listening and knitting our squares,

My Square

S's square

I glanced around the room. There were knitters to the left of me -

knitters to the right of me...

and then S got up to take a picture of the almost-filled auditorium:

SEVEN HUNDRED+ knitters & crocheters.

Yeah, think about that for a minute.

750 seat auditorium, and there were only a handful of empty seats left.

All this by word of mouth, and a few blogs - no other advertising. :) Go, Us.

After a few hours went by, things were winding down. We listened to the Q & A session for a while, then decided to head back to GCS for supper before grabbing our train home. I loved the tile Station Signs in the subway, so I took a picture of one:

We had a QUICK supper, then caught the 9:37pm train home. We got into New Haven by 11:30p or so (maybe a bit later), and S kindly drove me home. I arrived here approx. 12:30p, and bedded down quickly after. Got up this morning at 7:30a for work, and I am now EXHAUSTED. It's almost 11pm, and I am planning on getting up at 7am again tomorrow, to take Boo to the pancake breakfast at our local nature part. They're serving pancakes with their own local maple syrup that they've actually collected and boiled down right there in the park, at their own sugar shack. Boo & I collected a pail of sap for the efforts ourselves! :) Then it's off to work to help my client take a bath - and then, who KNOWS what. Maybe...a nap?? One can hope. In the meantime, I'm heading to bed, hopefully to sleep. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007



Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Here's Himself modeling the finished balaclava:

I ran out of brown at the beginning of the crown, so I switched to black, in the same brand. I think the crown came out VERY well, and I'm quite pleased with it!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bitter Cold Monday

Here's Edwin's Balaclava:

The eye opening/slit wasn't quite lined up in this shot, but you get the general idea. :) I'm using my Denise needles for this, and here's what it looks like on the needles:

I'm at the point now where I'll start decreasing & shaping for the crown...and I'm supposed to have size 8 US Double-Pointed needles. I don't, tho - I only have 7's. I now have to figure out if I need to knit MORE rows/stitches, or what, to make it work. My brain seems muddled, so I'm having a hard time figuring it out before I start with the needles. Transferring it from circ's to DPN's won't be hard, and it's neccessary because the Circular needles are too big around to knit down through the decreases on the crown. I need to knit down to about 4 stitches, and then pull closed, like a drawstring bag closing...then I'll secure & weave in the yarn end. Can't get that small with a circular needle, you really need the dpn's. Eh, I'll figure it out somehow.
Time to go get my brother from Dialysis...then I guess I'll hit A.C. Moore - I wanted to do it the other way around, but between reading to my daughter and her refusing to get dressed, the time has drizzled away.
Later, y'all. :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Doesn't FEEL like Tuesday...

February 10, 2007 - Newest knitted cotton dishcloth:

February 11, 2007 - Typical Sunday Night Event - Laundry:

February 12, 2007 - Progress on my Entrelac Scarf: