Monday, April 27, 2009

We have visuals...

Woo hoo! My new camera showed up today. I stopped at the front desk to fax in my daily log and asked about a package. Nada. While we were chatting to Sarah (one of the most awesome front desk clerks), the UPS guy walked in with my new camera! So, we now have visuals! =)

Here's the cotton/linen market bag I knit up at the airport and on the plane to Phoenix. I used this pattern. Simple and quick to knit and very handy! I use it daily to tote my lunch and misc items back and forth to the office and in the evenings/weekends to go shopping. =) I have yarn to make a second bag and plan to shorten the handles on that one a bit.

And here's my sweater! It's getting close! Just another inch on the bottom ribbing, then I can knit the sleeves the button band and it's all done! LOVE this sweater already. It's so soft and cozy. =)

That's what's left of skein #3 sitting there. There's enough left of that one to finish the bottom ribbing at least. Should be able to finish the sleeves (not full-length) and the button band out of #4.

Oh, and I started the first block of my afghan! =)

No Arizona pics yet. It was dark by the time my battery was charged...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No visual evidence

Ah, packing is so much easier without a 5-week break. Completely unpacking suitcases between trips means something (or somethings) will inevitably be forgotten, not to be discovered until they're 1700 miles away, completely out of reach. This trip? Toothpaste (yay for hotels that rescue you!), my vitamins and... the card reader for my camera. *sigh* I refuse to buy another when I have a perfectly good one at home. So, no pics for another two weeks! I did order a new p&s camera today though with some of my hotel points - replacing the one that bit the dust in Seattle. (BTW - The card reader that will work with this new camera totally made it into the bag! Of course. heh) I love my Canon 20D, but sometimes it's nice to have a tiny camera that will slip easily into a pocket and this one has gotten great reviews... and it's free. =) Should have it in a week! It even does video! =)

I started a net shopping bag at the airport in Indy waiting for my plane. I worked on that most of the way to Phoenix and finished it the next morning since the view from the plane finally won out over knitting. =) Works great for toting things back and forth to offices! It's in a nice cotton/linen so it should hold up fairly well. I have more of this yarn to make another couple bags, but I'll definitely be getting my hands on some circs for those. Dpns in sz11 are just too heavy and pull too much at the joins to keep it even. All the circs I have... and I don't have the ones I need!

Haven't yet started my first block for my afghan, but at only 12", it shouldn't take too long. Haven't decided yet which block I'll start with though. I still can't believe I'm knitting an afghan...

I did work on my sweater this weekend! I'm now about 3" below the armpits. Transferring those sleeve stitches to stitch holders really makes things move along more quickly! haha Up to that point, it just kept getting bigger and bigger every other row. Looks like I may be able to finish this with only 4 skeins, rather than the 5 I have. I'll be able to combine that 5th one with some of the variegated blue or brown I purchased at the same time. I can't even express how much I love this yarn so far! It's so soft and cozy. (Rhapsody by Dark Horse Yarns) Might be a bit less hilarious knitting it if I wasn't sitting in an air-conditioned hotel room in the middle of the desert knitting pure wool when it was 90+ degrees outside! It's supposed too be 97 here in Tucson tomorrow!! Whew. Good thing the maintenance guys pulled out the umbrellas for the picnic tables at the office! =) BTW - had to go off and buy a set of dpns for the sleeves since, again, I have a ton of dpns on every size from 0 to 11... every size except the one size I need for this project! haha I think I'm covered now though. =)

I've decided I need to learn to knit faster... or stop looking at patterns that will surely temp me! I have so many projects I want to knit now. haha If only someone would pay me to just knit!

So, there's my update! Check back in a week or so for pics... and possibly something that looks an awful lot like a sweater. =)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fiber and Friendly Felting!

I made the short drive south to Greencastle, IN, today for The Fiber Event. This was the first fiber festival I'd been to and I was not disappointed! The weather was not ideal (some rain, too much wind) but it was so much fun browsing all the booths and checking out the fuzzy (expensive!) bunnies and alpacas. This festival is truly a spinner's paradise - tons of roving and fleece, lots of wheels. I even got to try my hand at spinning (badly)! Great fun! When I felt the roving at one booth, the ladies started giving me lots of info about what they had for sale. When I said I didn't spin, they asked if I'd like to give it a try on their wheel... as if I'd say no. haha It's definitely something that would take a good bit of practice to get acceptable results. heh Apparently, I didn't completely suck, but I definitely wasn't a natural. hahaha I could see it being a ton of fun to learn though! One of the ladies even gave me two balls of roving, each bigger than my head, to get me started. Can we say enabler? They suck you in and hope you come back next year for the good stuff! =)
It's beautiful stuff, but I'm told I won't want to wear it after it's spun (way itchy). It would make a great felted purse/bag though! And I picked up a little bit of dyed roving to try my hand at needle felting some flowers on a felted bag or hat too. It won't be anything compared to this: All I can say is... WOW. These are just a couple of the needle felted animals made by Linda Martin of Martin's Magical Menagerie. She does amazing needle felting! These are solid wool, no forms involved. That camel is so adorable! Reminds me of the characters in the Serendipity books.
The faces of her needle felted animals are amazing. The larger animals are well over a foot tall - probably closer to 2'. So much work. Such fun critters.
Amazingly, I left with NO YARN. haha I'll admit I was tempted by the watermelon yarn - knits up in thick stripes (dk green lightens to white and then darkens to red) but the $25 price tag held me off. Great idea though! =)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sucked in by an afghan

Yes, I've finally succumbed to an afghan pattern. I have commitment issues with large projects, but lately sweater and blanket patterns have been calling out to me. Why have I committed to knitting 25 square feet of blanket? Well, for one, I don't have to do all 25 blocks. Knitting one block at a time, it's really not that big of a commitment to any one pattern... not to mention really easy to take along on the plane, one skein at a time. =) I can stop whenever I want and make whatever size afghan I want. Each block is different (and some should be a bit of a challenge) so I shouldn't get bored either. I'll probably use some of the suggested colors and sub in some of my own choices, sticking to an autumn color scheme. I bought the first few skeins and wound them into cakes today. (BTW - LOVE my ball winder and swift! So much quicker than winding by hand.) My goal is to finish one block each trip out of town. Should satisfy my need for quick results also while I work on sweaters and socks. =) And, hey, I'll have my own handknit afghan in, oh, a year. hahaha

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Is there anything better?

Is there anything better than coming home to a package of brand new yarn?! =) Oh, that's right, a package full of yarn that was all 75% off! haha Got my order from DBNY - cotton, linen, rayon - great for spring/summer knitting! I was taking my chances ordering yarn I'd never layed hands on before, but I read reviews on Ravelry and searched out better photos online (the photos on that site leave a lot to be desired!), clicked buy and hoped for the best. I wasn't disappointed! I ordered some cotton/linen/rayon in wild iris to make a couple market bags that will easily squish into my purse (unlike the reusable bags I now have that fold up like paper sacks).

And some in sage to make the Aleita shell from Interweave Knits.

And some really pretty cotton/rayon that I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with, but it was just too pretty (and cheap) to pass up. These were a very pleasant surprise. The colorways are even nicer than I'd hoped. =) This is Caribou Creek and looked much more subdued online.

I think I like this better than the mellower colors I thought I was getting. =) This one's Silver Streak.

I'd expected those blues to be more grey. I suppose I was thrown off by the name. heh Love the blue-greys though so it's all good. This one screams out Fall!

It'll be great for something (sweater, perhaps) for cool, fall days before it gets too chilly. I'm definitely yarn rich these days! Too much time at home with too much time to browse and find really good deals. haha Good thing I don't usually get this much time off!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mmm, biscuits & gravy...

This is one of my favorite breakfasts - biscuits and gravy! Yum! I had a half-gallon of soy milk in the fridge I need to use up so I made a batch today. =) I tried the cornmeal version of the baking powder biscuit recipe I normally use. So good! I didn't make two separate recipes of the gravy - one veg and one not - so these didn't pass my mother's high standards (keep in mind she usually eats premade crap nuked in the microwave or chips or cookies for every meal). Not saying she didn't eat a nice, big plate of it (really, it was that bad?), but apparently it's not as good as my sister's. I'd guess the big difference is that my sister uses pork sausage and I... don't. I told her to go to my sister's and have her make it then. Any wonder why I normally cook while she's at work? haha

Still making progress on my sweater and I've decided what's making the trip to AZ with me (I've got a week to change my mind).It's been pouring down icy rain all day and they're calling for SNOW tomorrow. Hard to believe I'll actually be HOT in a week! More than ready to head back out. This has been an expensive month at home! The car got new tags, new brakes, a new battery and Friday, a new starter. *sigh* Still needs a new windshield this week before I leave. And I need to go get my new IN license as well. Get me out of here before I go broke!! =)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Is Spring yet?

Finally took my stash photos today of the yarn I ordered from Little Knits. I keep waiting for more color to show up in the yard, but it's slow progress. We have the mini daffodils and a few regular-sized ones now and a flat of pansies... and some budding trees. Not quite Spring here yet.
Had to shoot these soon though. Found out I'll be heading west again in a week. =) Arizona this time. Should be a great time to be there - not too awful hot yet, but warmer than here! haha Been home a month already so I'm just itching to get back on the road. Apparently, I was supposed to be flying out this Sunday, but as usual, there were some delays so I'll head out next weekend instead. Gives me a little warning though and a week to finish getting things done around here... and decide what projects to pack! Just excited to be heading out west again soon!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pearly Whites

So many things are getting done while I'm home. The boys both went in today for a teeth cleaning. Reilly's weren't too bad, Mugsy's were worse. Here's the difference between a just over 2-yr-old and an almost 13-yr-old after anesthesia. Reillly's a little droopy still, but poor Mugsy is completely wiped out.

I got these chews at the vet's. They have enzymes on them that are supposed to deter plaque now that they once again have pearly whites.

There's also something that you can put in their drinking water every day and some wipes for their teeth with the enzymes. I opted for the chews to give them 1-2 times a week. I was warned they stink to high heaven though. Good thing I can't smell... =)

In between dropping off and picking up the boys, I had to get out of this house (and away from a certain irritating woman who cannot speak in normal voice even when I'm 2' away - I hate yellers!) so I ran down to the new fabric/yarn/vacuum shop that is now the only place to get decent yarn (Red Heart at Wal-mart doesn't count) without a 2-hr round trip. They just started carrying Cascade yarns and have really good prices (complete surprise for this little town!). They know their customer base and priced accordingly. =) People around here aren't going to pay a ton for yarn. Their prices are actually about the same as the non-profit sold it for out in Seattle and less than pretty much anywhere I've seen it, including online shops when not on good sales. Not bad! I'll definitely be checking them out should I need a skein or two. Not foreseeing that need in the near future after my recent yarny deals... but you never know. I was very tempted by a sampler afghan they had there. It's knitted in blocks, then stitched together - several very cool blocks in that pattern! I did make sure to tell all the ladies at lunch today that the yarn is in and that the prices are good! =)