Monday, November 23, 2009

feeling like hammered crap

It's official, Michael and I both are down with the swine flu.
Now we don't have to worry about getting the shot.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Arrival

We have a new member of the family.

Her name is Iris and she's a Pekingese. We adopted her from a rescue shelter and she's 2 years old. We have a second one on the way this weekend and Michael will probably pick her up on Saturday. I don't know what name he and David have decided on. I'll post a picture of her when she gets here.

So far Iris hasn't had an opportunity to "meet" the cats. I hope she and the cats will get along together. For the most part the dogs will be downstairs and the cats will be upstairs most of the time anyway.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Class with BrooklynTweed - Jared Flood

Today I took a class at the new Knitch location on aran sweater design and steeks with Jared Flood. It was a great class and there was so much great information presented that I had never encountered before. He talked about guage swatching for cables and adjusting for ease in the process of designing a sweater and how to use this information to make a sweater that fits your measurements. He also showed us how to do a crocheted steek. I've done a steek with machine stitching before cutting, but this was the first time I'd ever tried the crochet method. Great method and I look forward to using it in an upcoming cardigan.

Here are my swatch and steek samples from the class. This is a close up of the steeked edge on the back side.

He also showed us how to pick up and knit the button band. This is the same swatch after I knitted on the button band. It lays so nice a flat and the steek just folds right under and lays flat on the inside. This is the front side.

This is the back side of the sample. The steek flap had a little bit of a pucker to it, but he said this could be remedied by just using a smaller crochet hook to do the steek.

Of course I was a total knitting geek and asked Kim (the owner of Knitch) if I could keep one of the demo sheets from the class and she said I could if it was alright with Jared. I then asked Jared if he would autograph it. He probably thought I'm a nut, but he did sign if for me! :)

It was a fun class and he is an excellent instructor. If you have the chance, I can highly recommend the classes. Be warned... you better sign up quick. The classes were popular and filled quickly.

Monday, August 17, 2009

short post

I finished the Herbert Niebling Jesien blanket. It ended up about 60" in diameter.

A couple of new kitty pictures too

Blanche in the kitchen window ledge

Dear Daddy,
Thanks for the wonderful Socks That Rock yarn pillow.
Love, Bob

Friday, July 31, 2009

When you have a cat who won't be deterred

We have a container in the sink we use for throwing out cooking waste. It originally had a lid, but it broke off not long after we bought it. We had pork chops last night and I had thrown my pork chop bone in the container. As I did this, I thought for a brief moment that maybe I should put that bone in the regular trash can that has a lid and then foolishly and quickly dismissed it thinking he'd never stick his head in there.

Bob, my 17 pound red tabby cat, usually wakes me about 6:45 with his first morning plea for food. (He jumps on the bed right by my head to bounce me awake) This morning I thought he was sleeping in late since he didn't show up until about 7:45. (I feed them at 8:00.) This is what I was greeted with this morning...

It took me a minute to figure out what was going on. The scary thing is he could have really hurt himself. I actually considered letting him wear it for a while just as a lesson, but he couldn't drink water or go through the cat door to the litter box while he had it on. It wasn't tight around his neck, he just couldn't get his head back out without my help, but I also don't know how long it had been on there already. So I just took a picture, of course, and helped him get it off. Then found my pork chop bone picked clean in the middle of the kitchen floor. The power of the pork chop was just too much for him to resist! Hopefully he did learn a lesson and won't stick his head in there again in the future. Yeah... right... This reminds me of a cat my sister had named Tippin, he was a terror too and I often wonder if Bob is a descendant of the Tippin bloodline.

On to the knitting. I finished the AKG knit-a-long scarf. It turned out very nice.

I really like the beads that I chose for this scarf and the merino/tencel yarn from Webs worked out very nicely. The scarf is named after a character from Lord of the Rings. Galadriel the elf queen. That's a quarter in the blocking board next to it for scale. I also got lucky and won a prize in the completion drawing. It's hand dyed lace weight yarn. I haven't gotten it yet, but I'll post a pic when I do. Thanks Deborah!

I've also been working on a lap blanket using one of Herbert Niebling's patterns Jesien. I'm using up the leftover yarn from my chicken and Lou's vest. I had to buy more of the purple that I used in Lou's vest to have enough to finish. This is the so called "boiled-ass" phase as Janice of GA calls it. The center looks like a Jello mold to me. Hopefully I should get it finished this weekend.

This is the back side taken without a flash so the colors are a little off.

The next project is another Niebling pattern I'm making for Nancy in blue silk. Nancy found the yarn on Ebay and I think it's the perfect thing for a shawl. She picked out the pattern from the book Knitted Lace Designs by Herbert Niebling.

I'm off to Rusan's at lunchtime to meet up with some of my knitting buddies for sushi buffet! Mmmmm...

Monday, June 29, 2009

part 1 of AKG KAL

I finished part 1 of the Atlanta Knitting Guild's knit-a-long last night. This isn't the best picture shot on the blocking table covered in gingham. I need to take pix with a solid background.

Now I have to find something else to knit on until the next clue comes out on Friday. I'll keep posting my progress until we finish the wrap.
I bought a couple of Herbet Niebling's lace patterns a couple of months ago and I think I'm going to try one of those using worsted weight and make a throw blanket for the bed. A couple of my friends are making the Girasole blanket. I plan on making that too someday. Thanks for the inspiration Jared (BrooklynTweed).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New FO (finished object)

I finished the Double Border scarf from Victorian Lace Today on Monday. It is about 48 inches long and 16 inches wide.

I really enjoyed this pattern and the way it is knit. You only get one border pattern chart and you alternate the pattern so when knitting an even row on one edge, you then knit an odd row on the other with a small reversible pattern in the middle. It's a little tricky getting the hang of it at first, but once you understand the way it's working it becomes very easy to follow.

I knit this using the handspun I made from the Lisa Souza roving I bought at Stitches South in April. I ended up with about 450 yards and used almost all of it on this scarf.

Next on the needles will be the knit-a-long mystery scarf designed by Deborah Fillmer aka the Nautical Knitter for the Atlanta Knitting Guild. It's totally supa-exclusive. We are so ready to get going on this!! I've done one swatch and I'm working on another with different yarn and beads. The first clue will be released this Friday. Here is the first swatch I made.

The first clue was originally slated to be released on the 19th and I was ready. I kept checking and checking and checking and I was about ready to send an email to the group asking what's going on. Then Lou told me, "Don't you remember, she moved it back a week to give everyone time to get their yarn and beads." I had read it and totally forgotten about it. I was just so pumped and ready to get started on it. Just 2 more days.

We had a birthday celebration at Knitch last Friday for our three June honorees Diana, Lou and Brett.

We had ice cream birthday cake and chocolate chip cookies to get our blood sugar going for all the great conversation and knitting. We always have a great time on Friday evenings, but it's always made better with sweets and libations! :) Here is Diana doing the honors and cutting the birthday cake. It was yummy!!

and now, a little rant...

Unfortunately, on the job front I am facing a pay reduction in the form of a one day furlough per pay period which translates to a 10% pay cut. We just got a 10% cost of living raise a couple of years ago because they were discontinuing all merit raises. Now it seems they are taking the cost of living raise back too. Of course they say it will only last as long as the economy is depressed, but I can assure you that will mean the entire 2009-10 fiscal year. At least it didn't come in the form of layoffs and we all still have a job. I was anticipating we would lose one of our part-time positions at our branch. Instead, all the part-time employees are retaining their job and all of their hours. Only the full-time employees are being furloughed. Harumpf. I know it's not the part-timers fault, but I feel like the middle man in this situation is being singled out. The management positions are paid by the State of Georgia, so of course they aren't getting furloughed either and retaining ALL of their hours. The County Commissioner doesn't want to raise property taxes in the county because it would mean a possible $150-$300 per year increase for each household in the county. Um, this is a whole he!! of a lot less of an impact as opposed to giving every full-time county employee a 10% pay cut of about 10 times that value isn't it! Why shouldn't the COUNTY RESIDENTS help to defray the COUNTY COSTS instead of just the employees!?! We are the ones providing the services to THEM! On top of that, our library positions are among the lowest paid in the Atlanta area already. They tell us that our salaries are competitive with other libraries in our area, but I have a feeling they are excluding Atlanta. Consider that our former branch manager at my library left to take a job in Atlanta, Gwinnett County (which is primarily the same job I have now) and got a $16,000 pay raise to boot. She was already making about $5,000 a year more than I was. I know I could probably get another job, but I have 15 years in on this one and I don't want to lose all that time in towards my retirement. I could take the money with me to another job, but I can't take the time and would be basically starting over. There is absolutely no value in job loyalty in this country any more.

Okay, that's my soapbox minute.

Back to the knitting... at least it helps with the anxiety. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

long overdue update post, with lots of pix

Since the last time I blogged, the beginning of May... a lot has been going on. It's been so long, I hope I still have some readers out there.

I've been really busy at work getting ready for our summer reading program for the kids. The theme this year is "Be Creative" and we've been having fun. I had a great time putting up the phrase on the wall in the children's area using whatever I could find in the library.

I used free AOL cd's that we have saved for craft projects for the "B" and post-its for the "E".
The "C" and "R" are origami that I've made over the years and foam flowers from the craft closet.

"E" and "A" are paper towel tubes and rubber bands. The "A" took the longest as there are about 400 rubber bands up there.

The "A" shot from below. I taped the rubber bands on the wall starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top.

The "T" is comprised of paper flowers we made for the spring.

the "I" is made of books cover scraps and the "V" is made from the leftover hair braid from a Rapunzel display I did.

The last "E" is made from the cores of our receipt paper and cellophane tape.

It hasn't been as busy this year which is a little disappointing. It just means less kids reading fewer books.

I started a little garden outside out apartment door. My friend Regan gave me a tomato and basil seedling which are doing great!

We even have blooms on the tomato plant already. I don't know whether I got red cherry or yellow pear tomatoes. It's going to be a surprise.

I also bought some thyme and rosemary to plant with the basil, but I ended up putting the rosemary in a separate pot since it likes sandy soil. The other pot is morning glories. We had them all down the stair railing outside a few years ago and I had saved all the seeds and kept them in the fridge in a ziplock baggie. I wasn't sure they would be viable any more, but I think every seed germinated and I still have a lot of seeds left for later. I won't know what color they will be until they start blooming since I had a mix when I originally planted them.

Now, as far as the knitting goes... I finished a shawl for my sister-in-law a couple of weeks ago. It's the Shetland Garden Shawl by Sivia Harding. (modeled here by my friend Meg)

I used Alpaca Cloud from Knitpicks in the color tide pool heather. It's incredibly soft and I have a few more skeins to make something else. It was really nice to knit with.
Here's a picture I took when it was being blocked.. The color in the picture above is a better representation of the color.

I've also been working on a knitted chicken for a contest at Knitch to benefit Egleston Children's Hospital. All the chickens will be donated to the hospital for kids, but the other part of the contest ($25 gift card each month for a year ) is probably more of a selfish motivator than knitting for kids. There, I said it. Win or lose, it's a great contest for a very worthy cause and I've had a blast creating my entry.

Yes, it's Babs from Chicken Run, but I decided to change her name to protect the innocent and call her Dorothy 'Lay'more since it might get me in hot water if I used her 'real' name. I knit most of her with Shepherds Wool and then felted her. The eyes and teeth I needle felted and I also needle felted the flowers on her knitting bag. The nest is also felted, but I used Galway and it doesn't felt as well as the Shepherd's Wool. I left all the loose ends and even added some scraps of the yarn to make it look more like a nest. That's Blanche in the background supervising the photo shoot.

I've started a lace scarf using my hand spun that I made using the roving I bought at Stitches South from Lisa Souza. I haven't taken any pictures yet, but will have some when I get a little further along.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stitches 2009

Stitches 2009 has come and gone. It was a fun filled fiber weekend for me. I spent the day on Friday in the market with Brett shopping and sitting at the Atlanta Knitting Guild table for a while. I actually only bought one thing on Friday. I got 7 ounces of baby camel and tussah silk in colorway blue jeans from Spirit Trail Fiber Works. It's incredibly soft and hard to put down. I'm hoping to spin a lace weight yarn with this.

Saturday we were back in force. Lou and I went together and got there soon after it opened. We had been there about an hour when Steve met us. We ran into so many familiar faces, even a few Rubberhoars. Unfortunately no pictures from the market. I didn't take my camera with me and was told we couldn't take photos in the market. Several other people did, so I wish I had taken my camera anyway. It got to be sort of a joke that we'd walk 5 feet to shop and see someone who we knew and talk for a bit... walk 5 more feet to another booth, see someone we now and yak, and so on, and so on... Saw a lot of familiar SAFF faces too.

Saturday I hit the market hard. I still haven't even attempted to look at my credit card bill. It's always more than you remember spending.

I had one yarn in particular that I wanted to find and when I saw WEBS I figured they would be the best place to start. I wanted some Kauni yarn. When I asked the salesperson, he said they had some but forgot to bring it! crap! I asked a few other vendors and still no luck. Oh well, there's lots of other yarn to tempt me to spend money around.

The first thing I bought on Saturday was at Sanguine Gryphon. I had ogled and fondled the Bugga sock yarn twice and just couldn't decide which to buy. So I decided to come back later. We went to get coffee and sit and knit for while then we headed back to the market. I told Steve I'm only gonna get two skeins.... I got 5. I just couldn't decide so I bought them all and I'm glad I did since I later found out this yarn is usually only available at shows and was also the current hot dramaz yarn. Who knew. I also blame Alma as she had to show me the skeins she bought before we returned to the booth.

Here's what I got.

From top to bottom
Twice Stabbed Lady Beetle
Polka Dot Wasp Moth

On the left - Blue Morpho
On the right - White Tipped Black Moth (which is actually more blue than lavender)

I also bought a ball of the Schoppel Wolle Zauberball. It's sock yarn with very long color changes. Each colorway of 3 only appears twice in a sock. This color goes from black to grey to white.

I also bought a 1700 yard cone of alpaca silk from WEBS. The color is Sienna. I bought the pattern for the shawl they had there on display with this yarn as well.

There were a lot more incredible temptations. It was getting close to the time for Lou and I to leave and we were walking around with Rob, Michael, Nancy, Steve and Stuart. We were walking past a booth we had already passed a couple of times and guess what I spied!?! KAUNI!! I think the guy thought I was just a little nuts. I ended up buying 4 balls to make a sweater.

I guess the guy in the booth was happy I found it since Steve and Stuart bought some too. We are going to have our own little Kauni knit-a-long when we find the patterns we want to use.

Saturday evening we met a few of our closest knitting friends for an intimate dinner for 100 at Scalinni's hosted by Brittany and Wayne of KnitWitch. The food was great and we had such a great time. I had an incredibly yummy alfredo with scallops and shrimp. I know Michael and I will be going back there for dinner again. Brittany's dad, who is the owner of the restaurant, had a great time entertaining us and helping with the raffle prize drawings. I'm already looking forward to the dinner next year. I think it will probably be a little larger next year when the word gets around how much fun we had this year.

I thought I was done with my purchases, but actually I HAD to buy one more thing on Sunday when I went back for the Grand Prize Drawing. (which I didn't win, but a member of the guild did). I had heard someone else talking about Lisa Souza's booth and thought I'd take a look and see for myself. I found some beautiful roving of bombyx silk and merino in the colorway mother of pearl. It's mostly white with light touches of pink, blue, lavender throughout. I can't wait to see what it will look like spun up.

I finished the day at Knitch for the Sunday afternoon knit-in. I stayed a few hours and then headed home, wiped out and ready for a nap.

I'm glad to hear that Stitches South was a success and will be back again next year. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. There is only one thing I would like to see change. XRX, please spring for the carpet for the hall next year! Walking and shopping on concrete all day will diminish even the heartiest of shoppers. With carpet, the shoppers will hang around a lot longer. Just sayin...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

music video created with knitting

This French music video was posted to a Ravelry group I belong to by gogodavitron. I just wanted to share this wonderful creation. I'm amazed at how much work went into this. There are about 720 different "frames" of knitting.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

spinning and blooms

I spent the day at Needle Nook today with Steve for the ovarian cancer fund raiser. We were there as demo spinners. We had lots of people asking questions and showing interest in the wheels. I'm still trying to find a home for the unfinished wheel I have. We stayed for about 3 hours until we both were getting just a little too hot sitting in the sun. It was a little cloudy when we first sat down, but the clouds disappeared after an hour or so. There was a nice breeze, but I have a feeling we will both have red necks tomorrow since we sat with the sun at our backs.

I got my new glasses on Thursday. It will take me a little while to get use to the bifocals. These have bigger lenses than the last few pairs I have had and feel a little big on my face, but I do like them. They are incredibly light compared to my last pair. My friend Alma told me to trust me feet and not my eyes when encountering stairs. It has been very good advice. Thanks Alma! The sunglass clips aren't as dark as I would like, but I can still wear my old pair as sunglasses.

The Dogwood Festival is back in Piedmont Park this year! Yay! We are going tomorrow afternoon. It was in the parking lot of Lennox Mall last year and it just wasn't the same at all.

The clematis in the front of the house is really happy this year. I guess all the rain we have gotten lately has helped a lot.

There are a ton of buds on the vines. The pink ones seem to have more intense color this year too.

The bloom on this white one is 7.5 inches across!

Monday, April 13, 2009

cool music video

I am not often surprised by a new music video. This one is amazing and I really enjoy seeing something so unique.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm still here

It's been a while since I've posted and a lot has been going on. I joined a knitting group at my church to do charity knitting. My first project was a vest for my friend Lou who just had surgery for a kidney stone yesterday. I haven't heard yet on the outcome. I'm hoping everything went well and he won't need to have additional surgery. The vest I made for him is the Entrelac Tuxedo Vest from Oat Couture. This is the photo from the pattern.

I haven't taken a picture yet of the one I made. I thought I'd wait and take of picture of it on Lou. I used Shepherd's Wool in a dark lavender as the main color with a Noro Yuzen in fall colors.

I've also made a couple more of the Log Cabin Socks that I made for my dad last year. I like to wear them in the house as slippers to keep my feet warm. It also means there will be some wicked static electricity, which doesn't thrill the kitties. I made all three pairs with Cascade Pastaza. The second pair is turqouise blue and the third is a heather grey. They knit up very fast. One sock was about two evenings of work. I also changed up the cables a little in the third pair. No pictures of those either but I do have a picture of the pair I made for my dad.

I got the new sock book by Cookie A entitled Sock Innovation last week. It has inspired me to knit socks again lately. I plan to do some stash diving through the sock yarn this weekend to start a pair. Lots of great patterns in this book.

I will soon be in the land of bifocals. I ordered them this past Tuesday and had to leave a limb behind to pay for them. I really would like to know what the markup is on frames. The lenses I can understand being a little pricey, but the money they want for a pair of RIMLESS frames just seems to be a little much. This is not fine jewelry guys, although you seem to think they are!

I ordered them with a saddle bridge which doesn't have the nose pads. I got the progressive no line lenses. Wish me luck in getting use to them. At least they were having a so called sale when I got them. They were advertising buy one, get the next pair free. What they were really offering was buy one, get the next pair free (up to a $200 value). I think this was a bait and switch deal. What glasses do you know of that are $200 or less!?! Unless you want to look like you bought your glasses off the back of a truck in an alley. Anyway, since I couldn't afford another complete pair of glasses, I talked them into giving me the sunglass clips that go with my glasses for free. Those weren't cheap either by themselves. I still think they made a nice profit in the deal.

I'm now dealing with my third abdominal hernia in the last ten years. This one isn't as bad as the last two, but does hurt on occasion (especially when I overeat). At least it's good incentive to not eat too much. I've been loosing some weight by eating a better diet and that has helped curtail the pain a lot. I talked to the doctor a couple of weeks ago and had originally planned to have the surgery in mid April. The last time I had this surgery they put in a mesh to cover the hernia and the new one is now popping out just above the mesh. This means bigger mesh and bigger scar. bleh.. Since I needed to get my glasses, I couldn't do both right now. I'm going to save a little money before having the surgey done so I can pay a good chunk of my part outright. Even with my insurance it's going to be pricey.

The pollen at our house has been so bad lately it looks like I have a yellow car in the morning when I leave for work. I'll be glad when it's over and so will my sinuses and eyes. Check out this picture and it will show you how bad it's been.