Sunday, October 25, 2009

And let the shopping commence...

Yeah, yeah, it's nearly November and I'm just starting to Christmas shop. Okay, in all honesty, I did start last month... a little. I've picked up a couple of small items but today was my first non-stocking-stuffer-like purchase. My mom mentioned wanting a set of interchangeable circular needles so I offered to get them for her for Christmas (no surprise for her - didn't want her to go buy them!). Whew! I'd much rather buy someone something they want and might actually use (yes, I like things to be used not just collect dust on a shelf if I can help it) than try to figure out something they'd like (and don't already have). I looked at costlier sets, but my mother doesn't knit much so this should work well for her limited needs as well as take up very little storage space (if you'd ever seen the house, you'd understand that concern!).And I'll be able to afford a few other small items to go in the package too with the deal I got. Jo Ann's doesn't have these sets on sale right now, so I was able to use one of their online coupons (woo! 50% off!) and get these at a great deal. I do love finding good deals. =) Early this year, I found awesome deals on a ball winder and swift and saved my mom a ton since she got them for me for my birthday. I love everyone to get good deals. =) So... this officially begins my Christmas shopping ventures... and it was even knitting-related!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Undercover in Indiana

Last weekend (hey, we're almost current!), I was home... missing the New York Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck (*sigh*). I got so excited when I saw the signs up for the festival... until I realized it would coincide with my weekend home. Darn it. At least my weekend home also coincided with the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival in Indiana. I had a late flight back on Sunday so I took my mother down with me to the Mansfield festival. It was mostly just a big flea market with a ton of horrible (brick of fries, anyone?) food booths, but there's an old roller mill there that was a ton of fun to shoot. The light was perfect and warm, nicely showing off the antique machinery and wood. Here are just a few of the shots I got: Even caught one of the DNR guys grinding corn into meal. There really is more than corn in Indiana... but I bought a bag for a buck. =)As always, more pics in my flickr stream. It always cheers me up to get a great opportunity to play with my camera. =)
One of the booths did have some great leatherwork. I'm not a big fan of leather, but some of this stuff was pretty impressive.So, that was my morning. Then, back to New York for another two weeks...

A whole lotta water...

Yep, that's Niagara Falls! Two weeks ago (told ya I was behind), I headed out on a 5-hr trip across the state (in the rain the whole way, of course), ending up in Buffalo where a friend is working right now. We'd been planning this since we found out we were both headed to NY. =) We hit Niagara Falls on Saturday. Neither of us had ever been and I'd never really had a huge urge to go... but I gotta tell ya, it's incredible! Completely worth 10-hr car ride there and back It's like the Grand Canyon. You see pictures and think, yeah, that's pretty (and pretty huge), but you just don't realize how incredible it is... until you see it in person.That one (above) will take you to a video I shot of the Falls. I'm betting felting would be really quick there... if the water was warmer. =)
If you haven't been, go! Put it on the list. Amazing.
If you do go... get the Discovery Pass. You buy a booklet for $33 (for adults, not sure on the kid's price) and it covers admission to the observation deck, Maid of the Mist (boat), Cave of the Winds (the decks below the American Falls), the discovery center, the adventure theatre and the Aquarium of Niagara. Oh, and a one-day pass for the trolley that takes you to each spot. FYI - Park at the aquarium (free!) and take the trolley from there to avoid the $10 parking fee. They were letting people on without trolley passes and letting them purchase the passes at the stops next to the stands. Wish we'd known that! heh Also wish I had a passport (yeah, yeah, I know, I should have one by now... but I don't... yet).
We did the Cave of the Winds (awesome)
and the Maid of the Mist (awesome!) and went back on Sunday to see the aquarium (meh, the animals look bored out of their minds and are in too-small enclosures, I think). They do seem to take in some special needs animals though. All of the seals and some of the sea lions are vision-impaired either due to injury or cataracts so that's good. A lot of the fish were pets that outgrew either their tanks or their ownerss interest. I'm hoping the penguins are being rehabilitated too since so many of them looked pretty peaked. They just stood around staring at the rocks. =(
There were a few interesting characters in the mix. The camo crabs:Yeah, there is a crab under there!
I'm a turtle fan and this guy did not disappoint:Don't you just love that face? And he posed nicely for me too. =)
And always a favorite, the sea anemones:
Gotta love that!

Hand cozies... a couple new WIPs

So.far.behind. heh Yeah, I need to post more often... but I've been busy. =) Knitting, having fun, traveling (yeah, big shock there). So the knitting's first...

I finished my fingerless gloves. LOVE them! I made a couple alterations to the pattern (Ravelry link). I moved the cables down to the wrist so I'd have the stretch where it was needed and I left 6 (12 really) live stitches: so I could go back and add a real thumb:
And absolutely LOVE the results!
These have even come in handy already! I worked an office Monday that was super cold and ended up wearing my jacket and these gloves in the office! SO cozy...
I also started a couple new projects this week. There's my new capelet:
Wasn't completely sure I'd love the boucle, but I actually really like how this is knitting up. Love the color. Nice and cushy feel and seems like it'll be really toasty. Knitting on US sz10s, this should be a fairly quick knit... ya know, if I hadn't gotten distracted by these:

A friend has been hinting (well, more than hinting heh) that she'd like a pair of fingerless gloves too... and loves purple. haha What else could I do?! Found this great self-striping sock yarn in shades of purple and grey and off I went. I'm halfway through the second after an office cancellation in the middle of my day yesterday. Whew! Thank goodness I had these in my handbag or I'd have been really annoyed at the forced 2-hr lunch. Beautiful day to sit and knit for a couple hours. =) And I stumbled across a really nice little yarn shop just down the street from my next office. Anne's Yarn Shop. Nice surprise after the last place I checked out in the area. Friendly owner and a good selection on mid-priced yarns along with some free classes and a knit night open to all. So, if you're in the area, check her out! We have to keep the good shops around! (Yeah, I helped. heh Picked up a couple skeins of some alpaca/cotton blend in yummy colors.)

I know. Like I needed more yarn? Whatever. I have a very specific plan for those two!
Next up... catching up on non-yarny fun! Later! =)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I don't recommend it

Knitting with dark sport weight yarn on smallish (also kinda dark) needles on a less than well-lit plane, that is. heh Oh, and metal dpns on a plane - not good. Way too slick for comfort. I think it's time to go in search of a full set of (affordable) bamboo dpns...

I'm using the Swirling Gauntlets (Ravelry link) pattern with a couple mods. I'm making mine a bit longer, moving the cabling down to the wrist where I don't need as much stretch since cabling pulls in and adding on a thumb. I finished most of the first on my trip home Friday and cast-off at the airport - Indy, I think. haha It all just starts mushing together after awhile. Cast-on #2 on the tarmac - again, Indy... or possibly Cleveland. =) Loving how these are coming out!

It seems my time in New York is dwindling. I'm loving watching the seasons change here, but I've been in Albany since sometime mid-July (I think) and I'd love to be out before the snow hits! And the amount of work for us here has been, well, less than stellar. Way less. Excited to see what's next!