Sunday, February 27, 2005

Quirky Bloggerbot

I have posted three of the eight pictures I have to post to my blog, but I can't get the other ones to transfer. I have tried several times, restarted the computer, etc, etc, but nothing is working. Guess I will just have to try later.

We got home last night around 12:45. Got depressed at the party we were at when someone pointed out that I was the oldest one there. (I'll be 33 on Tuesday.) All in all it wasn't too bad. Travis took Darren with him on a run to Halifax this afternoon. They should be back any minute. Logan slept most of the afternoon, so I did some knitting on the preemie sets order I have to complete.

Well, I will try the pictures again after supper. Must go finish my stew and watch the Nascar race.

Happy Knitting!

My scarf. Posted by Hello

Darren modelling the scarf I made out of the yarn sent to me by my Secret Pal! Posted by Hello

The boys eating chicken strips and watching monster trucks. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Gotta Love Good Buys!

I stopped into a store in town yesterday that is in the process of closing out (and supposedly reopening). They don't have much left for yarn, but I did pick up a ball of yellow Bernat Smarty Pants. It was originally $3.59, there was a clearance tag on it that said $2.55, but when she rang it in it was only $1.77 with the tax! I went back today and got the only other ball of it they had - pink. Couldn't pass that price up. So far I have made a twisted stocking stitch hat with the yellow, and I have started a mock cable ribbed hat in the pink, both for the Dulaan Project. There will be enough yarn leftover from both balls to make a two-tone hat as well. I am thinking one of those honeycomb-style hats with the ear flaps and tie under the chin. Now I have 5 finished items to send and another on the needles! I also have other things I need to finish soon as well. I also picked up two balls of Bernat Denimstyles today - one a rose/natural ragg and one a lilac/natural ragg. I plan on using them to make those hot water bottle covers mentioned in a post earlier this week, one for me and one for Ma.

Today is our 5th anniversary. We are going out later with some friends. I have my old faithful - Kahlua and milk! Hubby has his beer. He played volleyball most of the day, so I knit and made Lego things with the boys.

Well, soon time to get ready to go out - that doesn't happen very often!

Happy knitting!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Blizzard Warning, Heavy Snowfall, Light Snow, Make Up Your Mind!

First off yesterday there was a blizzard warning for today. Then a little later they downgraded it to a heavy snowfall warning. Then a little later again it was downgraded to two inches. Now it's back up to 4-6 inches, which we must have by now, and the snow is still falling. The school board knew that it was going to snow and blow hard this afternoon but did not cancel school -- that is until lunch time. The roads are a mess. I put my truck in 4 wheel drive so I wouldn't slide all over the place. Only have to work til 2 today, so I only have a little over an hour left.

I made a scarf out of the yarn that my Secret Pal sent me. I stayed up til almost midnight on Monday to finish it. I took pictures of it and will transfer them to the computer this weekend. It's really warm and cuddly. I have been wearing it every day!

Last night I took a run into Halifax with hubby in the Big Truck. I decided that I could not do his job (if I had a Class 1 license). I suffer from too much road rage. We had to go into the pier, so we had to get in the lineup, which wasn't too long. Then they let us inside the yard. And then we had to wait and wait and wait some more while a reefer repairman looked at one of the trucks up ahead of us. If they can't get a reading on the temperature gauge they won't let them unload it, as if whatever is inside spoils then the pier is responsible. (That's why the company that Travis works for won't haul refrigerated units.) Anyways, instead of pulling that truck off to the side and letting the rest of us in they left him in the lineup. Eventually we got inside. You have to wait for someone to come along and take your box off. Then you go somewhere else and wait for someone else to come and put your new box on. They drive towards you, then turn around and drive away, or keep going by. That happened to us last night, and the guy in the truck beside us laid on the air horn. That, naturally, really pisses them off, and they usually make you wait even longer. But thankfully that wasn't the case last night. Hubby spent the night in Bridgewater last night to get his 90-day inspection done. They found a few things needing repairs. He is currently sleeping at the garage (in his bunk in the truck, of course!) waiting for parts from Halifax to come so he can get his repairs done and come home.

Anyways, I did knit a hat for The Dulaan Project on the journey. I didn't follow a pattern. I just cast on 70 sts with worsted weight yarn and knit til it looked long enough. It has a ribbed turned-up brim, and the rest is just plain stocking stitch. Then I started shaping the top. I did it on two needles -- it's just too hard trying to knit in the dark bouncing around in an 18-wheeler on dpns. I sewed the seam this morning and tried it on my two-year-old. It fit him perfectly! Now I have 4 items ready to go, 16 more to reach my personal goal. I separated the yarn I have for the project yesterday and figure I have enough to make 3 pairs of mittens and 3 pairs of socks, possibly more.

Well, must go make myself useful for the next 45 minutes. Nice day to go home, make lasagna, and knit.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Sad Day but Some Excitement is Possibly Lurking!

Well, I just ran into the LYS for a sec -- seems they are closing for good the end of March. Here is how the story goes...

This shop has been in town for as long as I can remember - I am going to be 33 on March 1st, so its been here awhile. Anyways, the lady that owns it is in her 70s, and her husband has alzheimers. She was in a spot on Main Street which the owner decided to put up for sale last year. Also, being along in life, she did not want to sign a 5-year lease, which is what he wanted her to do (plus he said he had to sell because she wouldn't sign) . So back then she thought they would be closed in the fall, then it got changed to right before Christmas. What they ended up doing was moving to a different spot on the other side of the street and are only opened part-time. (They carried a ton of stuff in the old spot - cross stitch stuff, some painting supplies, general craft supplies, material, and mostly yarn and knitting stuff/finsihed items. Now it's mostly knitting stuff with a sale room of sewing notions and odds & ends.) Now it seems this building is sold, but it's just too much for her to deal with, so she's closing for good.

No LYS. Nearest place now to buy decent yarn is Bridgewater, 1/2 hour away, or on-line or by catalog. We have a department-type store that is also in the process of closing but are supposedly re-opening, and the only thing they carry is Bernat and some Astra. Anyone wanting nice quality, nature fibres is poop-outta-luck.

But, lo and behold, a tiny ray of hopes may shine in the distance...

I would love to be able to open my own shop, but I currently am in no position to do so, and I don't really see any place in town that would be the kind of spot I would want. Besides, having two small children makes it difficult as well. I would have to work the store myself. I would not be able to hire anyone, at least not for the first year or so. But...

Back when word was the store was closing the first time, the owners of the place where I work thought that would be a great thing for us. I love knitting, and I would be able to manage that section of stuff. Of course, there was no money, blah, blah, blah, but I don't think they really realized how inexpensive it would be - to start off anyways. Only carry yarn, needles, pattern books, etc., and not bother with the other stuff (there's a sewing shop up the street from us). We can make space in the store for it. They don't have to jump in up to their necks, just start off smaller and see where it goes. The assistant manager and I talked about it today, even went around the store to see what we could do. The owners went to Halifax today, and I am off the next two days. I think he may say something to her tomorrow and see what she thinks. And just today before they left she said we need to think of something to do or bring in here to boost sales (a new Walmart opened last month in Bridgewater, and we have definitely been affected by it).

So I will leave here today with a small glimmer of hope. I'm sure if they don't do something someone else will - this is the perfect opportunity for them to do it first. But I'm sure there will be 100 reasons to do it, but probably 101 reasons not to.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The heart box my Secret Pal painted for me! You can see one of the little perfumes she sent me inside! Posted by Hello

The yarn and candle that my Secret Pal sent me! Posted by Hello

Darren playing with his LiteBrite cube. Posted by Hello

Finally Secret Pal 4 Gift Pictures

Here are some pictures of the stuff my Secret Pal sent me. Of course, the chocolates and biscuit cookies she sent are long gone! I have not put the Spongebob poster up yet. It's really big, and I will probably have to move a few things around first.

Today has been a sort of productive day. Just watching the Daytona 500 right now. They just had the first accident. (I am a Michael Waltrip fan, but honestly I like to see people win the 500 who have never won before.) I made a batch of baked beans today and did a little bit of housework. I also finished a scarf for the Dulaan Project out of a bit of Bernat Denimstyles yarn I had leftover from another project. Just plain garter stitch on 9mm needles. I was looking through my stash last night and figure I have enough odds and ends to probably make three pairs of mittens and some socks. I want to sent my package to them by June 1. Anything they receive after July 1 goes in next year's shipment. So far I have two scarves and a hat finished.

Think I'll go back out to watch the race and make some more booties for my preemie sets order.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

More Stuff For Me!

I have decided that I am going to start making more stuff for myself and family. I don't knit much stuff to keep at all really. I make some stuff for gifts, but mostly it seems I am knitting baby sets that I end up selling, or stuff for birthday gifts for some of my boys' friends. Once the order is done that I am working on now I am determined to finish the sweater I started for myself last summer. I have been surfing webrings today (absolutely pitifully boring at work here today, can't wait til 4 so I can go home) and just love looking at what others are making. I want to knit some sweaters for the boys as well. Logan wore one yesterday that I had knit for Darren when he was that size. The patterns starts at size 4 and goes up to adult x-large. I have always wanted to make one for Darren and one for myself as well. Yesterday was the first time I tried that sweater on Logan, and there wasn't a lot of extra room. May have to make him the next size up.

I have added a link on the sidebar call "How to Unravel a Sweater". I have never recycled yarn before. I think I will check the local Frenchy's out and see what I can find. Nice yarns can get expensive, and I don't want to spend a fortune, especially on yarn to knit up for the boys. Can't see me spending $75 on yarn to knit a sweater for a 2 or 5 year old. When it comes right down to it I guess I am a cheapskate! But too, at their ages they don't think about Mommy spending all that money and taking all that time to make them a nice, warm handknit sweater. They don't care if they upset food all over it, get if full of mud, wipe their noses on the sleeves - you know, typical kid stuff. And my boys are cavemen! Wild, rough and tumble, and not very graceful and are always in a mess! That is too why I stick to acrylic so I can machine wash and dry them.

Check this out this neat little item I saw on one of the blogs today:

Thought that was a neat little idea. My mother uses a hot water bottle a lot, so maybe I will make one for her.

Well, only two more hours to go. Think I will soon mop the floor and continue my surfing.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Possible Projects

Here are some pictures of some possible future projects I may tackle. Right now I am doing an order for six preemie sets for my best customer. When that is finished I have to knit Shane's scarf that he has been ever-so patiently waiting for (sweetheart that he is!). He said he was in no hurry for it, but it would be nice if he got to use it at least once before next winter! I also want to use up a bunch of the baby yarn I have in my stash. I must have enough to make at least 8 sets, maybe more. All I may need is ribbon and some buttons. (I like nice buttons.) All to make money to buy more yarn! And I also want to use up some odds and ends to make some more stuff for the Dulaan Project (check out the link on the sidebar).

I took some pictures of the loot that my wonderful Secret Pal sent me, but my batteries died and have to be recharged before I can transfer the pictures to the computer. I'll try to get that done over the weekend. I am also anxious to use the yarn she sent me (still thinking what I want to do with it!). I have also been planning my Secret Pal's next gift, which I will be sending mid-March so she can get it for Easter.

In my profile and in my Secret Pal questionnaire I said I was a basically self-taught knitter. I also had a good friend who helped me out a lot when I needed it. She taught me cables and helped me learn to pick up stitches and work yokes. She passed away last Saturday at 64. Thanks, Charlotte, for all you taught me. She hadn't knit much in the past few years, as it bothered her shoulders. I have a ton of patterns in my collection that I copied out of her books. She knit me a gorgeous dark green chenille cabled sweater years ago (before I was experienced enough in the cabled sweaters department, and I'd never used chenille before). She also made a gorgeous dusty rose sweater with leaf panels and cables that I absolutely loved. I have the pattern and will make it some day. She also made the most gorgeous cross stitches! It was funny - she belonged to a group that used to exchange Christmas ornaments, so she picked up a kit of cross stitched tree ornaments (little Victorian houses) one time to make for the Christmas party exchange. I went over to her house to teach her how to cross stitch. After spending the afternoon with her she basically knew what she was doing. Then she called one day to ask me to make the little wreaths for on the ornaments. Can't remember how exactly they went, but each ornament had a little green wreath made out of floss and red holly berries. They were a pain to make but looked really nice. Anyways... she didn't really like making the kit - "never going to do that again". Well, I don't think she ever did anything small again. Her next project was an absolutely gorgeous large (probably 11x14ish) piece that had two separate narrow pieces to frame for either side! And the frame she picked out was beautiful. Cross stich basically replaced knitting for her, and knitting basically replaced cross stitch for me! After that all she did was big pieces like that, very detailed, flawless, beautiful works of art. I know she's stitching up a storm up there in heaven! Miss ya, Char!

Enough ramblings for one night, I guess. Have to work in the morning.

Happy Knitting!

Love these cabled patterns! Posted by Hello

Like 'em but don't know if I will actually make them. Posted by Hello

One for me and one for Logie! Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day! First SP4 Parcel Arrived!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there. Today I received my first Secret Pal package! I was so excited, it was just like Christmas! I still don't know her name, but now I know that she is in France! Cool or what? And it only took 7 days for her package to get here. I will take a picture of what she sent me to post, but I didn't have time yet. She sent me:

1. a huge movie poster of the SpongeBob Squarepants movie (in French, bien sur!)
2. a heart candle (which I had burning tonight)
3. a heart box she painted a dusty rose color and had 2 perfume samples in it
4. Lindor chocolates (to die for)
5. heart shaped cookies with caramel and chocolate
6. 2 balls of yarn dark grey and light grey (acrylic & wool blend)
7. a kitty postcard (which I am going to get framed)

I think that's it - awesome! I have been thinking about what to make for myself out of the yarn she sent. Not sure yet but I have some ideas. Thank you so much, Secret Pal! So glad I signed up for this!

Well, I must get going. Happy knitting everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Rain, Rain (At least it isn't snow!)

It's been absolutely beautiful the past few days. It was +8 or 9 Celsius yesterday, so when Darren was in playgroup in the afternoon Logan and I went for a walk. Of course, we were no sooner out in the fresh air and he was asleep. We were gone for almost two hours, and he didn't wake up til we were coming up our street to get the truck to go get Darren. Tonight it is pouring out, but I think it is supposed to stop through the night (at least it isn't snow!).

Finally got the baby blanket set finished. I will get a shipping price from the post office tomorrow so I can send the PayPal invoice. I also got an order from my best customer (a dollmaker in Idaho) for six cable cardigan preemie sets. She has bought them from me before. They are really small -- made to fit 2-3 lb babies. I lucked out and have the cream-colored yarn she wants in my stash already. They don't require ribbon, and I should have enough buttons as well (although I may buy some different ones if I don't care for what I have). I also have a new design set that she wanted as well, but I was waiting til I had more to send her so she can save on shipping charges. I am off this weekend and hope to get at least half of them done.

Well, must go get the young 'uns ready for bed.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A friend gave Travis a Red Sox shirt for Darren the other night (Travis is a big Sox fan). Logan decided he wanted to try it on. Kinda looks like a dress. Anyways, he fell asleep with it on. These pictures were taken in the morning. As you can see, he put the shirt on backwards! Posted by Hello

Rear view of Logan with Pumba. Posted by Hello

Finished one house sock! I made it a little shorter than the pattern called for. I can also roll the top down if I want. I had a pair of these before in the same color and totally wore them out. I have a sweater I knit years ago out of the same color yarn. Posted by Hello

Little bag I made for myself out of Clara novelty yarn that I got on eBay. Made another one just about identical to it as well. It's just big enough to carry my cell phone and keys, little else. It's not designed to carry anything heavy. I used my sewing machine to sew in a velcro closure. I don't carry big purses, so this is a good size for me. Posted by Hello

One Sock Joe

I finished one house sock today. There is a picture of it above. The one thing I cannot do in all my years of knitting and of all the different things I have knit is grafting. I just cannot seem to get it. I haven't really knit a lot of things that require grafting, but every time I try it I end up with a garter stitch seam. I tried to graft the toe this morning and gave up and ended up turning the sock inside out and did a three-needle bind off. I don't really care where it's for me, but if I make a pair of socks for someone I want to do it "right". I guess I will have to surf the net and look for some video clip tutorials on grafting. I only once ever did it right on a preemie set I made. Never could get it right after that so I just stuck with the good old 3NBO!

I know Travis wants to watch the Superbowl tonight. I will have to concentrate on my knitting or vacate to the bedroom. I hate football. He likes pretty much all sports, but I think he wants to see the commercials as much as anything else. He has to get up like 3:30 in the morning to go to work, so he shouldn't stay up much past 10. (I hear the national anthem.) I might like it better if I understood it better, but to me it makes no sense. Grab the ball, run a few feet, get jumped on, do it all over again. I dunno, I just was never into sports anyways.

I have added a couple of links on the sidebar. One is for The Dulaan Project. Check this out. It is a really good cause, and I'm sure all you knitters out there have odds and ends that you could whip up some mitts, hats, or scarves to send to the children of Mongolia. I have a hat and a scarf that I made and had no one to give them to right now, so they are set aside to send away. I also added a link to the place where I work. There is a picture of me (yuck! - hate having my picture taken) on there that was taken about four years ago. One guy is missing. Shane started last fall and mostly deals with the Rogers cell phones, but he helps out with other things as well.

Time to go make up hubby's lunchbox, get the boys in their pj's, take a bath, then suffer through the Superbowl!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Secret Pals 4 Contact!

I heard back from the person who's name I have last night. She sounds really nice. We have a lot in common. She's only a few years older than me, and our kids are around the same ages. Can't wait til I can tell her about myself and give her my blog address! I want to mail her first gift out on Tuesday. I will include some Valentine stuff. Next month I'll theme it on Easter. April is the last month. Got some ideas of what to do for that but nothing concrete.

I found it really chilly today, even though it's warmer than it has been -- even had a few showers this evening! I did a few more rounds on my house socks. I have the heel almost finished. I switched over to the infamous baby blanket again and will continue to work on that this evening. It's nearly finished. I have until next Friday. I think I will work on a little gift for my Secret Pal this weekend. I made a bag for myself out of one of the balls of Clara chenille that I got on eBay last night, but it isn't assembled yet. It's big enough for my cell phone and keys. I will take a picture of it when it is finished. It didn't take that long to make. I used 5.5mm needles, so it knit up quickly (plus it's only 20 stitches wide, and the strap only 3 stitches wide).

Must go back out with the boys. They are watching their Spongebob DVD (again). Back to the blanket!

Happy Knitting!


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Up close of Nala. Posted by Hello

This is Nala, the only other female in our household. She takes no crap off the other two at all. Don't mess with her -- she'll put you in your place! Posted by Hello

This is Simba. He has FUS, so I have to buy special food for him. He has a stubby little tail, like his sister. They were in a litter of 5, but they were the only two bobtails. They will be 9 in April.  Posted by Hello

This is the Fat Cat - no tail at all, weighs about 16lbs. His name is Pumba. He is short and squat and very "rotund". He is the baby steals my pillow pretty much every night. He's my sookie baby! He was 7 last October. Posted by Hello

Secret Pal

I got my secret pal's name on Monday. So far I have e-mailed her three times but have not received any response from her. She doesn't have a blog, so I asked her to tell me a bit about herself so I could send her a little something next week. I will give it until this Monday, then I will contact the organizer of the exchange and see if I should send something anyways or if they will give me a new name. I know sometimes people drop out for varying reasons, and there is a list of "angels" to fill in when needed. For now I will wait and see... (I did hear from the person that got my name, though!)

For the past few days I have just been working on finishing the baby blanket. Yesterday was a write-off. I worked all day, and after supper we went on a family trip in the Big Truck. Logan fell asleep about ten minutes outside of town, but he woke up again when we were almost to Halifax. They are making the highway twin, so they were working last night. The boys got to see the rock crusher and other heavy equipment. Of course, Logan fell asleep again on the way home and woke up near town again. Darren curled up in the bunk and went to sleep about an hour from home.

Must go do some housework. Oh, and here are some pictures of the kitties, too!

Happy knitting!