Thursday, July 31, 2008

Early Birthday Fun!

So far I'm 50/50 when it comes to opening things before my birthday!!! My friend since elementary school, Rhonda, sent me my life's prescription: Chocolate! I opened this box early (ahem, I forgot my birthday was coming - getting old stinks). (That's me on the right - cause I know I never show myself on my blog! LOL!) Her box of goodies came with a card that has our picture inside! That was so cool! We took that one last summer when I was in CA. We have fun with our Birthdays because she's 6 days older than me, so I always have to rub that in... We're sticking to 39....I'm pretty sure from now on.

Here's a bigger pic of us from that day:
NOW>>> Miss Dawn sent me this box of goodies!

And I'm SAVING it (Cause The Big Guy bet me $5.00 that I wouldn't be able to wait until my birthday). I only cut open the taped part so far!! This is NOT easy for someone like me, who if there's a present with my name on it anywhere within a 50 mile radius, I'll open it ASAP. I've been that way since I was little (my Poor Mom). Well, He thinks he knows me so well....this time I'm gonna show him! Miss J (my oldest) was ready to bet me $200!!! Now if she only had that much money I'd sure show her! See how well they think they know me!??? I have SOME control for gosh sakes. Just because I have no control most of the time (especially when in a yarn store), when it comes to a bet...that changes everything!!

Yessirreee. I can do it. Now if I can just figure out what day today is.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Busy as a Bee

I finally got busy and managed to get a few things done around the house recently. Monday was major "house cleaning" day (boo) and we finally got The Girls "own" rooms set up last weekend. They've been sleeping in the same room since they were babies, but the 7th grader doesn't need to go to bed as early as my 4th grader now. Together they stay up wayyyy to late talking, laughing and giggling so it was time to seperate them. Of course ever since we set them up, they've still been wanting to sleep in the same room, they're calling it their "farewell tour!" Couple of nuts I have. Yep.

Yesterday The Girls and I "attacked" their closet to see what still fits them and what needed to go. Wow! It's a BIG job when you have two "pre-teen" girls begrudgingly helping you. Life is so hard for those poor children. They like getting new clothes but when it comes to cleaning out the closets...the attitude can get slightly unpleasant at times. We were all getting on each others nerves at the end! Oh well. It's DONE. We got a mountain of clothes out of there and we felt so much better when it was finished. That's one thing I DO NOT look forward to when school's going to start.

We also went thru all the school supplies that I've been picking up here and there, we can't beat getting stuff at Walmart so cheap this time of year. I stock up on as much paper, pens, pencils, etc. as I can afford to since the school asks for it all thru the school year. Plus, it gets them a "tiny" bit excited about school starting again. Wooo hooo School's starting soon!!! I know this Mom is excited!

On the knitting front I've been a slacker big time. My "sock-in-progress" is moving along at a snails pace. I'm just working up plain ol' socks in Lorna's Laces Purple Club. I have to say the way they're striping using a larger cast on than I normally use is pleasing me to no end. I think that's why I'm not rushing (besides being so busy doing other things). It's just been a pleasurable, leisurely knit. "Zen" if you will. I'll have to post a pic soon.

I also finally got around to over-dyeing that sock yarn I got off from an Etsy seller. After unraveling the hank and examining it I found it to be a dye job that wasn't up to my expectations at all. You can't see it very well from the pic but it wasn't something that I knew I could be happy with.

I just decided to turn it a darker purple so I overdyed it with GRAPE Koolaid yesterday and I'm very happy with the results. I don't know if she didn't soak her yarn well enough, dyed it dry, or what, but the dye she used didn't penetrate thru to a lot of the inside very well. I think that's why soaking is so important. It DID have a "varigated" look to it (and still does), but it looked "rushed" maybe, and not thoroughly done to me. Easy Peasy Fixable tho, so all is okay in my knitting universe after all. Oh Gosh, and it smells WONDERFUL!!!!!! I wish this was scratch & sniff. It's Absolutely Delicious!! Whatever base yarn she used is really nice and soft though. That's always a good thing.

And I made my first stitch marker ever.

Many more will follow as The Girls and I have a TON of beads. I got some of my supplies at Joann's last weekend (all beading stuff was 40% off) but still need a few more of the different findings. There are so many great tutorials on blogs, it's a fun project when you need some diversity in your crafting.

Enough going on already... I've got a neglected sock that's calling my name...AGAIN!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Anna's Contest

Hi All, I just wanted to mention that Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) is having a contest on her blog for a chance to win a copy of Phyllis Zimbler Miller's book: The Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel. This sounds like a really interesting book. I'm a big reader but am very picky about what I read, Anna's review of this book totally drew me in though-check out her blog. I have to read this one for sure so I'm excited to have a chance to win a copy. Head over there and enter too so if you win you can share it with me!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Socks Reflect My Self

I know I've had experiences where my knitting reflects my own health/issues/feelings at the time and these are an accurate picture of how things have been lately. Just the usual stuff really - but sometimes I can work around it better than others. This wasn't one of those times! This project really tested my love of sock knitting. Finally -I ended the misery - even though one is slightly smaller than the other, they seem to fit okay. A miracle after many mis-starts, wrong cast on's, dropped stitches, tinking back rows, and sheer frustration. I know, that's life in general. We all have those times. I just wish my brain would function like it used to "pre-fibro". When my doctor's nurse asked me for my phone number yesterday: I couldn't remember it. Not at all. Now that's pretty bad.

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Old Rose
Size 1 needles
C/O 68 sts - Picot Edge

I gotta say, Cherry Tree Hill turns out some SOFT socks in my opinion. They can get a little ratty and pilly if you wear them around the house like I do, but they're just so comfy I hate to take them off. If you've never tried this yarn, do so. You'll be pleased.

I found out today that my ANA-autoimmune blood test is still positive so I'll be sent to yet another Rhuematologist in the near future. I hope this time I'll find one that will believe me and help me figure out what this means. I tried Cymbalta recently (30 mg) and it really didn't agree with me. I know the beginning of any type of SSRI is tough (nausea, etc.) but this was terrible. I had anxiety, my throat felt like it was closing up, I couldn't sleep. I think this was what speed must be like, I was totally wired. I think it was too strong, 3 nights was all I could handle and I quit. The only good thing was that I had no pain while I was on it. I may try the 20 mg if my Doctor can get me samples though. It also helps with migraines so that would be a plus. I am a little freaked reading about people's experiences with stopping it though, it causes severe withdrawal symptoms for some people. Scary stuff. We'll see.

Back to the needles: I'm working on my other Gretel still and have wound up my Lorna's Laces Purple Club for yet more torture socks. Happy Knitting.

PS. What does your hubby do when the power goes out (read: he has nothing else to do) and you don't feel so hot??

Mine winds my yarn for me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's all Dawn's Fault :)

that my stash has increased ever so slightly. When she knit her purple socks, I just had to have some purple yarn myself. Why I didn't have any in my stash by now is beyond me, I have just about every other color. I ordered this from a seller on Etsy. It's called The Yo-Yo String & Fluff. The yarn is called "Not Called Amethyst". It feels very soft but it wasn't quite the purple I was after. Actually in real life it looks more brownish purple. Camera's sure do funny things to yarn, my camera picked up more purple too!

I also went to my old stand by- Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in Purple Club. I really liked the purple colorway that Sundara Yarns has but of course they're one of those sellers whose yarn is "not available" a lot of the time since people rush it like a riot. I guess they can't keep up right now. They were going to post more yarn on the 17th and people crashed their server. I'll probably never see that one so these will have to do.

The bottom one is a colorway called Raspberry that I saw on Ebay when I was getting my Purple Club. I was in the mood for more pink and after I got it remembered I had some Raspberry in my stash already!! I was so excited to see that they actually look like two different colorways though. The bottom is more of a bright pink mixture and the top has darker color variations. Way cool. Pink makes me happy-happy.

See, not so bad. A little yarn makes for much happiness. Now if I could just get my kitty to stop chewing up my Knitpicks Circs I'd be a super happy camper.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Helpful Self

Just an FYI if you were on the old Knitting Bloggers webring, or were trying to join around late March (like me!), they're NOW going thru "alt-webring"- so re-sign up if you have time.

Here's the link.

I managed to get The Yarn Addicts one set up before late March but tried to get into Knitting Bloggers and Southern Knitting Blogs right around the time that Ringsurf was updating their set up. (They just seem to have broken everything that was already set up). I never got any response about them because the ring gals were having their own problems. Things don't seem to work the way they used to when you click on the links on other blogs, and I guess they couldn't add people so it was smart for the Knitting Bloggers to move. Ringsurf really screwed things up. I don't know how many people actually "use" them but I love just browsing thru other knit & crochet blogs.

Okay, my PSA in done. Thank U for tuning in.

*Please bear with me on the changes to my blog (again). I'm just trying to make things fit and not be so squished. Questions or comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Knitters ADD

It's sure "catchy" but I guess we're all susceptible at times. I've been reading as much on other blogs so I know I'm not alone these days. The first Gretel I made went super FAST, this time I keep messing up all over the place and can't get the flow going smoothly. I've been fudging the stitches already and I'm only on Row 10. I do love this purple I'm using though, I think it's Red Heart Soft. This will be gifted for Christmas probably. Well... if it ever gets done.

Here's sock #2 in progress and it's driving me absolutely crazy. I've started over 3 blasted times. The first time was because I was visiting with my inlaws and cast on too many sts, the second time was because I dropped a stitch and it was a mess due to the k2 tog, yo's. So, try number three here has just begun again. At least the one sock I've finished so far DOES fit me! There is hope.
My Undulating Waves Scarf is in limbo land permanently. I can't decide whether I want to take all those beads off and over-dye this yarn. Now is the time to really consider it since I don't know if dyeing it AFTER it's all done will work with the beads on there. I wouldn't want any of the beads to crack or discolor. It seems safer to do the yarn all alone I would think. I rinsed this Schaefer Heather yarn before beginning my scarf and it bled out a lot (not unusual with this yarn brand). It's a lot duller now and washed-out looking. I think a quick burgundy over-dye job just might help it perk back up. What do you think??

Actually in the picture it looks more colorful than it is in real life. Trust me, it looks washed out.
I've been on Rav a lot lately, too much as a matter of fact. I've printed out several more patterns of "this & that". My "someday" list is not achievable in this lifetime but it's sure fun to dream!

Oh! And I bought more yarn....I'll save that for the next post tho! Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Natives Are Home

And things are back to normal. We laid low today, relaxed, and didn't even get out of our jammies. Maybe I stayed so busy so I wouldn't miss them so much?! That week of cleaning wore me out for sure, I need some serious rest now. I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, hopefully I'll be functional by then.

My inlaws brought the girls home, stayed the night, then left today. Unfortunately, a 2 hour drive home for them turned into almost 6 hours due to a tanker spill/accident on I-40. I had seen something on the news last night but still don't know my "counties" around here so I had no idea it was on their way home! I feel so bad!! I wish I could've told them to hold off or spend the night again. Anyway, they're finally home safe and sound - and we're all back together so things are as they should be.

I finished one sock out of some Cherry Tree Hill but can't remember how many stitches I cast on for it. I always do that, I think my memory is "dependable"! That's so funny (translate: I'm such a dork!) And later I'm always mad at myself for being lazy and not writing things down! I'm too tired to count them so I'm just going to go with 68 for the next one. I do remember that I was going a bit bigger because lately my socks have been a little too tight for me so they end up going to either my Mom or my girls. Finally a pair for me. No pictures yet as it was rainy most of today and frankly I hardly even moved. A rock, that's me. Night.

OOOh! I see my weather pixie is back!! I'm glad I didn't give up on her!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bath Puff - DONE!

I found this the other day in one of my many knitting bags. I'm not sure when I started it but I think it's been in there for quite awhile. I'm pretty sure that I just had the last edge row to do but I just gave up and ended it because I was too lazy to finish it. Mine doesn't seem as round and full as others on Rav but it's still pretty to look at. After I bought a bunch of cotton, I read about how stinky these can get with use. People have just tossed theirs because of the smell. I rinse my dishcloths in cold water, dry them and they don't stink, but this is so bunched up....seems ripe for smelli-ness to me. (There's even a SUPER bunchy pattern!) Has anyone used one of these and not had it smell?? I may try it once to see, I don't have anything to lose but $1.oo worth of yarn!

Pattern: Bath Puff
Sugar N Cream -Pink
Crochet Hook "H"

About yesterday's post. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my camera. It's funny, I'm rounding up Panasonic products like a collector. We realized last night that we have quite a few and we've been happy with them over time. The camera costs as much as that bike, and since I already have a bike (I'm too short for it- but it's usable) I'll just hold off on that. That would be fun if all of us would use ours at the same time!! Okay, I'd fib about using it and you all would be skinny minny's. I liked that other bike because it's a good fit for me (so comfy - and it's compact). The Big Guy picked up the last one without me so basically it's just taking up room. It's not easy to exercise when you feel like you're sliding down the whole time you're trying to pedal. It's tough to be petite sometimes!

The girls come home tomorrow. I think they've missed us some, I sure hope they have because we've missed them. I've been a lady with her butt on fire doing some major house cleaning while they've been gone though. My knitting has gone by the wayside and I miss it. I just finished cleaning the oven so my arms are shaky and ready to fall off. No knitting today but at least my oven sparkles!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

I thought I wanted one of these:

And then I found this:
I had to ask myself :
1) Which one will I USE the most?
2) Which one will fit better in the master bedroom?
and 3) Which one will I get the most benefit from?

Most importantly, which one makes me squeal with glee???? Yes, that's right folks:

Door #2. The camera.

Well, the bike would be a big benefit IF I would use it!! That's one heck of a of big "IF"! On the other hand, I just about take pictures EVERY SINGLE DAY! This camera was just too cool to pass up. My daughter seems to have possibly broken my Sony, so the timing just worked out. What would you have picked?

PS. I may get the bike for Christmas, I'm hoping the price goes down even more by then. They come in handy to hang clothes on....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fire codes?

I took this shot right out of the upstairs window on the 4th (no zoom, nothing special). My southern neighbors here did the BIG, GIANT Fireworks right in their own back yards (and front yards). Let me tell you....ah, scary. So many were right over our house. I mean "RIGHT OVER MY ROOF". Yikes. This is the first year they've ever done them so close! I guess I lived in CA too long (in the city), so with all our "drought" problems people couldn't do this. Ever. We went to the fairgrounds or water parks to see these biggies. They're so pretty, but oh so stressful. You gotta weigh "free" over "will this burn my house down?"

I was naughty again. I sure hope everyone got their email from Interweave Knits about the "Hurt Book Sale" so I won't be the only one who went kind of crazy. I immediately bought 6 books since last year they were so swamped that I couldn't get through at all. I think I did enough damage this go around - and I had already ordered two others from Knit Picks big sale. Bad Girl. I love reading though, and knitting books make me very, very happy. Can't wait until next year!

On the parent-less front, The Big Guy is hanging in there - barely. He's so funny, he hadn't even finished dinner last night and he had to call them to check in. He's always been like that though, my family still laughs about how when they were babies they could only hold "his" girls for so long before he came and scooped them away to go change a diaper or something. He's just a very hand's-on Daddy. I'm actually enjoying the quiet now! And I'm really glad they're spending time with Gm & Gp. I was at my GParents a LOT when I was young since my Mom was a single parent so I know how special that relationship can be.

We're going to go scope out Sam's Club and get some dinner. Happy Knitting. (Which I haven't been doing much of...)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Less than 24 hours...

that the girls have been away from me & The Big Guy. I keep expecting them to come in and bug me. It's so darn "quiet" that I'm going nuts. On those days when they're fighting like crazy, have a tangy tongue when they answer me back, or can't keep their hands to themselves, I just want to be left alone.

Then I drop them off with their Grandparents for a week. And the quiet is almost too much. I miss my crazy kids like crazy.

Last summer I was without them for two whole months but I was so preoccupied with my Mom's health that time just flew by. It's different being "home" without them. Since moving here when they were small, we never had family around to dump them on, so we're one "tight knit family unit" by circumstance. It's just weird to be on our own. Two parents who don't have anybody to boss around. Just weird. Well, there are the cats...if we could find them.

Of course when the girls get back I'll be wishing I could drop them off for another week (or two).

I love the drive to Gm & Gp's house. I stopped by The Yarn Patch of course and found out I missed their big sale on Saturday! :( So I had to buy a couple of things to cheer me up. The good news is they're getting ready for lots of new yarns soon...

It's funny, the news says that people are slowing down with gas prices so high, but I saw license plates from over half the states of this great land on I-40. Trust me, with that traffic - not too many people are "staying home". That's the most out-of-towners I've ever counted. (Just a thing I do to make time pass by). I got really home sick seeing a trucker from Selma, CA, which is one of my old town's neighbors. boohoohoo. CA people I see on the road must think Tennesseans are totally batty because I get so excited to see a CA plate that I wave everytime. (They don't always see me do it! I'm not that weird!)

On a happier note, Miss Dawn's Birthday is tomorrow and she got my little package in time so I'm jazzed about that. As rotten as I feel these days, I never thought I'd make it on time! That was truly a miracle! Wishing you a Super Awesome Birthday Dawn!!!
Here's a little something I knit for her and I hope it doesn't fall apart:

I thought it came out pretty and I even worked my first provisional cast on. I AM the fearless knitter this year.

I used: Dale of Norway "Stork" which is a fine mercerized cotton. It's really soft, a little thicker than I had wanted, but it's perfect for a washcloth. The pattern is from Fiber Trends Bathing Beauties. I love these patterns, they're very delicate and feminine.

I'm off to enjoy a piece of Chocolate Silk Pie in honor of Dawn's birthday. I just love celebrations!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

*~*Happy 4th Of July*~*

I almost slept the whole day away due to a nasty migraine that's been hanging on for way too long now. We're expecting rain but I hope it holds off so we can see some fireworks from our upstairs windows. It's nice not to have to leave home, it's icky humid out there right now.

I wish everyone a peaceful day with people they care about.

God Bless our troops, and our country.

*Off to knit on my Undulating Waves Scarf, I've got one repeat done. Only 18 more to go.