Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Resolutions...

I've been trying to think about what resolutions I'd like to try to work on this next year. I've never been one to make any, (or take them seriously if I did), so I'm just going to make myself a list that I can relfect back on next year (hopefully) and see how I fared.

1) I'd like to try to exercise - do ANYthing- at least a few times a week. That's been a big issue for me with all the pain and sleep problems I've had this past year. Not that I was a big exerciser before that, but knowing I now have *something* that is actually causing my issues does make me more determined to try to fight back some. (I also hope that my Dr can pinpoint what those issues are!!!)

2) As you can see from my STASH KNIT DOWN Button on my blog, I want to finally take stock of what, and how much I have (for pete's sake!). I've been thinking of (and acting on) every excuse NOT to get down to business (because I fall in love with yarn at the drop of a hat). I just love colors. I love reading other blogs and saying "Man, that's AWESOME, I gotta get some!" It's like pirates treasure to me! Somehow I'll get it all onto Ravelry and use what I have this year instead of impulse buying (often). My goal is to not buy ANYthing, but you know how it is, maybe that exercising thing can be a goal I work towards and use yarn as a reward. I'll sort the details later. Finishing things isn't a problem for me. I usually don't have very many UFO's around. Right now there's just a couple I can think of so I'm okay in that department at least. **I will also work on new techniques (like blasted toe ups).

ETA: I WILL also keep track of what I knit this year!!! I'd like to have a nice long list of FO's on here someday!

3) Needless to say, trying to save money and pay down some bills is top on my list too. That's aways there, but being a single family income household, I really need to get control of the reins again. . That goes right along with the Stash Busting Year I'm going to have.

4) Tell my husband that I appreciate him more. He does so much. He works so hard. He's such a good father and provider. He NEVER complains when I buy yarn. Need I say more?

5) Teach my youngest how to knit, and also get the oldest back to her needles. Then they can help me use the stash and I can buy yarn again! Always gotta think ahead.

6) Try to stay ahead of all this cat hair and remember to check myself before I go out the door. Geez, I'm the crazy lady at the market with a black sweater on with white cat hair all over it! I swear I clean house often, it's just everywhere!! I had forgotten how that happens with my furry friends!

7) De-clutter and GET RID OF STUFF in every single room of this house. I literally take a van full of stuff to a local thrift shop a couple of times a year at least, but I never seem to make a dent. This year we've ALL resovled to seriously pare down the toys, books, linens (I'm a crazy pillow case collector), knick knacks and just stuff. When we do move someday we want it to be easier than it has been in the past, and a one level home is in my prayers for the future. I want to be ready.

8) I want to sleep like a normal person again. Sleep is so simple for some, I wish it was for me. Last night I stayed up all night (which really is the easy part for me) to do the "reset" thing. That's why I was up putting buttons on my blog, etc. By 9 am it was getting really HARD to stay awake! Lately that's been the time that I CAN sleep. I've been like a baby who has their days & nights mixed up. I did doze off from 12 until 2, it was unavoidable, I've never felt so dippy. I hope tonight that I CAN sleep! Figures I'd try this on NEW YEARS!! LOL!! I crack myself up! Oh well, I'm usually the one who's up past midnight and everyone else is sound asleep. Maybe this year I'll be the lucky one and be asleep.

And Now for your viewing pleasure:

This is some Woolly Boully Meanie in Neopolitan which I KNEW I HAD to have. I ordered it from The Yarn Grove - GREAT service, I was thrilled with the yarn, the fast shipping and packaging. This is so SOFT....yummmmmmmmmy

Here's some Dixie Chick Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I've gotten more from them recently but you'll see them someday on my Stash on Ravelry!! Yea Baby!!! Another example of: "I probably wouldn't have picked that out"- until I saw it on Yarn Harlot's blog knit up into some socks recently. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it. Luv it!!!

That's about all I can think of for now with no sleep and new yarn in my hands. Yes, I'm stocking up a bit BEFORE 2008! (Pretty obvious from past posts that's been my M.O!) LOL!

Here's to Happy Knitting,

Good Health, Family Ties

and Great Friends.

Happy Dreams.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Catching Up

I hope everyone had a great holiday! For ours we were awake at 4 am due to the little ones having been up since 3 am (they confessed later) and had a nice Christmas Morning. We were very blessed in what we received this year and were very appreciative. I was amazed that I got a stereo for my van! That was my big surprise! We've only been talking about doing that for the past 7 (Yes, SEVEN) years! I think I was probably the only person left in the USA with a cassette player still in their vehicle! I was so surprised! Bless The Big Guy's heart, he totally got some special hugs for that one. It was just one of those things we always talked about doing but just never got around to!!
I also got $$$ (gift cards are so wonderful) but oh the decisions about WHAT to get! I've already bought some yarn online and went to a sale today that a LYS was having. I barely made it though - my stomach was acting up and I had to make one stop before we even got there (it's in another small town nearby), but NOTHING can keep me from a YARN sale I suppose.
It's funny, I didn't end up getting much after all that drama and discomfort. Just an addi turbo circ, one more DIC Classy and some Louet Gems sock yarn. I didn't make it to another LYS and it's a good thing, I just read on her blog that she was closed this weekend for inventory, I guess the sale was all this past week (Bummer!). It's all the way across town, so I'm glad I backed out. Trust me, I just wanted to get home! I think the stomach thing was due to my eating something with onions in it the night before. Oh, I LOVE them, but they don't love me back! Sometimes they really jack my tummy up! (I know that's more than you wanted to know! LOL!)
I've sort of been MIA this past week because I've been feeling icky-achey again. (Nothing new, you'll hear it all the time here. I apologize!) And the girlies are home on winter break so they've got me on my toes. They've also been hogging my computer some to download stuff onto their ipods. They sure love those things. Both the Big Guy and I want our own now too! I can see why people are so addicted to them. Again, I'm finally catching up to the rest of the world tech wise! **sigh** '
I've gotten a little knitting done, I did a couple of washcloths, one only took me three days. (Don't laugh) and I also finished this last week sometime: Here's another adventure into Hat World but The Big Guy said this is NOT masculine. After seeing him with it on (and laughing my head off) I decided he was right. It's one of those Irish Hiking patterns I found on someone's blog (it's modified from the Stitch N Bitch Nation book). I'm now working on hat #4 for my FIL with some Encore I picked up today. Since GM & GP didn't make it for Christmas day after all I gained some TIME and want to give the whole hat thing another go.
I'm also making some progress on my Girls Best Friend Socks. One is done and the top of the second one I finished up today. I like the pattern and I don't. The T1L and T1R weren't much fun. But luckily you don't have to do it very much. Hopefully I'll post a pic soon.
Okay, another night where I can't sleep so I'm off to go read everyone else's blogs!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas To All...

Well, it's 12:06 am and Santa has made his stop by our home! The cookies have been eaten and the milk drank so we know that for sure. I now have a few hours before the girls are wide awake and dragging us downstairs.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and mostly this for the new year:

Oh yeah, and some of this:


Friday, December 21, 2007

Last Knitted Christmas Items

I finished the Scarf Style "Campus Scarf" for my brother. I'm only a year late! It's ok. He's always late for things too, he'll understand! We've had a tough year thru and thru.

I used Simply Soft Heather by Caron in Denim. Okay, it's not wool, but my brother leads a super busy life right now - there's no time (zip, zero, zilch) to "hand wash" something, block it, etc. I think if I ever make this again I'd try a superwash wool though. I like the softness of this, but wish it would lay flatter. I almost want to keep it....

The last scarf I made was the Sage Vintage Velvet for my Mom back in August or September. I had forgotten how they can seem to go on (and on and on and on). I still like making scarves, I just wish I could knit a whole lot faster. That would help so MUCH!

Below is a hat I made for my FIL for Christmas. It's made out of some stash yarn (FINALLY!). I had some Bernat Denimstyle Grey and finally decided to work it up. I just used the pattern that Bernat has for this yarn on it's site. It's knit flat & seamed - but it isn't a particularly "pretty" seam. I just suck at seaming, no matter how hard I try. (You'll notice I don't show the seamed side! LOL!)

Next is the hat I made out of Cleckheaton Country 8 Ply.
I thought at first this would be too small for my FIL, I totally kept messing up left and right, thought I should've made the ribbing longer, should've done this or that, blah blah. So after I washed it I figured I'd just let it dry flat. Unbelieveably, it "mushroomed" out like nothing I've seen before!! Now it looked too BIG!!! I washed it again (twice) and put it in the dryer and wonder of wonders it seems almost normal again.

I won't ever use this again though. Price wise it's on the cheap side (I only got it for the color= Indiana for my FIL). It's nice to knit up, but it's way too fuzzy for my liking. It already looks years old and used and it hasn't even been worn yet. Not sure I'll be giving it after all. Maybe The Big Guy can use it when he's out in the yard raking leaves. I might have to head to Target tomorrow to find another one for him or maybe I'll give him and IOU for another one soon! Yea, that sounds good...

I let the girls open one present tonight. I know, what a big pushover. What can I say? They wore me down. My brother and I ALWAYS bugged my Mom for as long as I can remember. I give so much credit to my Mom. She did so much as a single parent that I just can't imagine not having some help with from The Big Guy. My Mom did it all. With two kids searching the house, she had a handful. She's my hero!!

Okay, off to work on my Girls Best Friend sock, yes, just one. They got pushed to the end of the list as the rest of the holiday knitting was getting done. It's never taken me so long to finish just one sock!

I wonder if I have enough of that Simply Soft for another hat........

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Special People, Special Things!

Don't cha wish you could have one of these???? They're simply HEAVENLY! My New Great Awesome Knitting Buddy Dawn sent me a treasure that I can't get where I live now but grew up with in CA. These persimmon cookies are special for me around the holidays because not only do they taste (and smell) absolutely wonderful, they bring back lots of loving memories of my Grandparents . Dawn sent me luv in a container!

I bow to your greatness you Betty Crocker you!!! I'm eating one right now.....

Dawn and I have a lot of fun comparing ourselves. I'm scared to tell her but I totally got the better end of the bargain because she CAN COOK!!! Ya Baby!!!!

As it happens I got my crown cemented back on at the Dentist today so I'm trying to take it easy on that side of my mouth for a few hours...these are PERFECT for that! Yummmmmmmm Dawn saved my life today. I would've starved if it wasn't for her!!!

I also got some goodies from her that I have to hide from Little Miss C. (My youngest) She's *almost* a bigger choc-o-holic than I am and these would be gone like yesterday if she saw them. Gotta pace things, that's how we have to do it around here.

See my new yarn? I can't wait to knit it up. Dawn said it looks like all the different colors of M & M's! (No doubt Lil Miss C will want these socks too!!!) Well, I'm the BaD KnittinG Buddy because I have a box for her but am VERY late in getting it out (as in it's still here). I told the Big Buy that I just KNEW she'd send something and I had to get on it. Last week was tough with the headaches (Ick I still have one, think it's the whole dentist thing today). My Big Brother's stuff is still here too. Who the heck pushed Christmas up so far???? I totally am running out of time! Ba Humbug!

I gotta go eat another cookie so I won't pass out before dinner time.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dark, Cold, Windy, Rainy..No sleep here.

Yep, I'm unable to sleep so here I am blogging this late at night. I already flickr'd and ravelried so I might as well let everyone know we're having some crazy weather tonight. We really need the rain, it's the wind I'd be happy without. It sounds like the top floor of my house is going to blow right off! I just went downstairs and brought our dog into the garage to sleep, the poor baby was all wet (she's happier outside, even when it's storming) but I want her to get some rest!

Finally I can post pictures of some of the knitted items I finished for Christmas presents. There's two pairs of socks for my Best Friend Julie in CA. I sure hope they fit, I tend to knit socks on the small size. LET ME KNOW JULIE!!

Below are Lesley's Socks, really the first lace sock pattern that I've done. I loved working them up, they were a fast and fun knit. I shortened the leg part because I like my socks to just go to the ankle or so. Any longer and I can't wear them so I only make them that one way! LOL! These are made out of Lorna's Laces Red Rover (which really isn't RED, more like "hot pink red". ) I should've gotten Poppy or Tulip....

Next are just basic St st socks done in Austermann Step yarn. I liked the colors for her since her favorite color is Red, and she's a February B/D gal so the purple and pink totally fit in there. I really messed up on the toe's though (can you see?). I didn't even notice that one had more Red on top than the other until I had already fastened off. Boy do I suck sometimes. **That's why I made her the Lesley's too, they were my "see, I'm not a total dork" socks! She's a rock-n-roller though, I think she'll wear them even with the toes not matching up "exactly"! That's why I sent them to her anyway!

Below are some more Lesley's that I just finished up this weekend for my MIL for Christmas. I hope she doesn't read my blog and see them ahead of time!! She has small feet, so I hope I did okay. I love the lacy part of these, it just makes me happy happy. To be honest, some of the patterned socks that I see out there are just so funky. They remind me of elephant legs or something, just not very attractive! Like some skin disease! ewwww. These are just right. Elegant and stylish.

These are done in Dream in Color's Smooshy. I had blue dye on my fingers as I knit these, so I hope they don't lose too much color after washing. I didn't have any trouble at all with the Classy (worsted weight) so I hope these stay like they are, they're just the most gorgeous color.

More knitting is under way. I did a lot this weekend even with a migraine and other health issues. I was already cutting it close and then I added a scarf for my brother to the list.

I think I'm nuts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Random Wednesday

Still knitting things I can't show so I'll introduce our newest additions. Sasha & Sophie. After we got back from CA this past summer we finally got what we'd been promising the girls for a couple of years. We got them on August 2nd and they were about 5 or 6 weeks old I think. Now... they're HUGE.
These are different kinds of cats. We were told they were literally born in a barn and are probably part siamese, part tabby - but their body shape and spots (YES! Spots, on their backs and tummies!) are different than what I've seen before. I actually thought they might be part racoon, their tails are stripped like a lemur.
My youngest kept calling them something, then she showed us a picture the other day and we were blown away. They look related to something called an Egyptian Mau. That even explains the extra flab of skin before their hind legs. How funny huh? We thought so.
I had wanted to "cop car" kitties (black & white) but these are proving to be loving and sweet and tearing up the house just the same. We luv our Sasha & Sophie.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wow, is it warm!

I don't know if my knitted items will come in handy for some that I'm knitting for! Yowza! We're in the low 70's today! I turned on my car's a/c when I went to the library and to pick up my daughter from school! One day the heater, the next day the a/c. Crazy weather!! Santa's gonna have some bermuda shorts on when he goes thru here! LOL!

Finished my FIL's hat and boy did it get bigger after washing! (**Just an FYI for those who ever use Cleckheaton Country 8 ply!) Prior to washing it I was worried, it just seemed that it would be too small. (Actually I had doubts the whole time about my choice of pattern and had re-started this hat too many times.) I was so crazed thinking about when I could get across town to the LYS for more of this color, but miracle of miracles, it worked out!

I started on my MIL's present this weekend and The Big Guy accidently pulled out one of the bamboo needles yesterday....putting it back was out of the question. It's dark yarn, size 1.5 needles, lacy pattern - you get the idea. So, I just started over and now I'm glad I did. Things happen for a reason and I think they would've turned out too big had that not happened (I went down a needle size). Now we're back on track and giving each other happiness. (Me & My Yarn, already forgave The Big Guy!)

Okay, back to knitting! Pictures will be posted after gifts are rec'd.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Half asleep over here....

I had forgotten to post my last present to myself . I got these a few days ago and have already started using my size 6 circular to redo my FIL's hat. I gotta say, these 16" circs have some VERY. SHARP. tips!! I sometimes use my right index finger as a stopper when I'm pushing the yarn up on the left side as I knit. I'm glad my nail is long right now, that helps to avoid the flesh! Ouch! My options haven't stabbed me this bad, these suckers are dangerous! I still love the smoothness though so I must persevere. I was using my old Susan Bates circ and the drag was driving me crazy (that's partly why I ordered these). It's funny how our tastes adjust when it comes to needles. It's always fun to try new ones though and I'm sure I'll figure something out to avoid the pain.

I've been really tired this week but I did get things done as far as getting cards sent out, packages mailed to family, and bills paid. I just feel like I'm sleepy no matter how much rest I'm able to get. I'm still not sure if this is from Fibromyalgia, but when I hurt (as my legs and arms have been lately) it's just not easy to feel good at all.

I got two magazines in the mail last week sometime and have yet to turn one cover. This is totally out of the norm for me, I can devour a knitting magazine in no time once I pull it out of that mailbox! I think it's partly that I'm feeling bad, partly that I'm a bit stressed due to the holidays, and partly that I'm just getting tired of knitting lately! Wait!! Did I say that??? Well, I think it's just the pain thing that's making it tough. I WANT to do more, but my body says "owww, do we gotta?" instead.

I always love to read, but I've really been a reading machine these past few weeks, it's just been a sanity saver for me since the knitting sometimes hurts (although I just figured out right this second that that could be WHY I'm hurting since it's hard to put a good book down and I sometimes don't get enough sleep). Still, being able to get lost in a good book is amazing. I just finished one on Edward II and Queen Isabella, (can't remember the name right now) and also one on the Plague of London. I have another Queen Elizabeth I mystery that I'm ready to start tonight.

Reading Goal: I better start trying to pace myself and know when it's quitting time, I'm my own worst enemy.

Knitting Goal: I'm hoping to finish my FIL's hat, AND work on something for my MIL before the holidays are here! I'm almost sure I can maybe somehow unbelieveably pull this off. Oh and I still owe my Big Brother a scarf from last year (which Totally rang a bell once my Mom reminded me of it just the other night)...I don't think that one's gonna happen until after Christmas but i have ideas which is a great start.

Here's to some marathon knitting! (I can always hope!!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Random Wednesday

Well, since no knitting is getting done and I feel kind of like I could sleep for days - I thought I'd do a random day like a lot of other bloggers.

At first I thought, "that's not me! I'm not competitive!" Then I remember how I always look out the window at what the neighbors are putting up (I drive my husband crazy!). I'm a Leo, total Bossy pants and have to be in control. This totally does fit me! But I love Clark so I'm happy!