A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Shopping and hiking and pumpkins (and some knitting stuff, too)

It was another crazy-busy (but fun) weekend... It started on Friday, when Barbara and I hit the mall to visit our brand new (just opened at noon on Friday) H&M. It's my favorite store in the whole wide world (I've been to H&M stores in several countries...). We had one in our mall back in New England, and it was devastating to leave it behind. But now I don't have to worry -- there's an H&M at one of my many malls here now, too! Yea!

On Saturday, we slept in (my favorite thing to do on a Saturday...). Then we got up and raked the back yard before I had to run out to a disastrous eye doctor appointment. At night, we ended up driving around for an eternity in an attempt to find an Indian restaurant (the address of which landed it in the middle of an industrial area), and then we gave up and went to CiCi's instead, where we ate all the pizza we could possibly stuff ourselves with. Mmmm...I love CiCi's (though there's a new pizza buffet that's going to be opening next to our favorite Cheap Theater, so I may have a new favorite place soon...).

After dinner, we came home and watched a movie. During the movie, I whipped out two little pouches. My sister-in-law once asked if I could make Tooth Fairy pouches for the little ones -- so I decided to go with a little felted pouch, on which I could needle-felt a tooth. So on Saturday, I decided to play around with the concept for a while.

Yesterday, we decided that it was the perfect day for a walk, so we went to the park and did the four-mile hike. Whew! It was gorgeous, though. I just love fall (even if I'm highly allergic to fall here in Ohio). After a quick trip to the grocery store so Paul could buy more candy for his trick-or-treating co-workers (yes, they dress up at Paul's office -- today, Paul decided to dress up as a...manager), we headed home and got right to work.

While Paul worked on this:

Not just any old pumpkin at our house...nosiree! Posted by Picasa

I worked on this:

Mmm...cotton... Posted by Picasa

That's a big tub of cotton, in case you were wondering. It was my first attempt at cotton, and I'm pretty excited about how it turned out. I also did another hank of wool that didn't turn out as planned -- though I think I'll like it anyway.

It was an exhausting afternoon, actually. I kept running from my wool dye to my cotton dye...then downstairs to the laundry room, where I was doing laundry and felting a bag and two little pouches. Pictures of those are coming soon. But I do have a picture of Paul's finished pumpkin...

Paul's spooky creation Posted by Picasa

After our crazy weekend, we definitely slept well last night.

I'm looking forward to tonight. It's our first Halloween in a real house in a real neighborhood, where kids actually show up at the door. It should be fun (and I'm hoping we don't get too many kids because I'm hoping for lots of left-over candy...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dying to Dye

I've been building up to another big dyeing day for a while now... I've been stocking up on all kinds of random dyeing fibers -- from wool to cotton -- and I've been buying more and more dyes. Last night, I got out a contraption that my dad built for me when I was trying to measure/hank the wool that I'd recycled from a thrift store sweater, and I used it to measure/hank some of the cotton from the giant cone I bought. So far I have two 200-yd. hanks, and I think I have two to go. So the yarn is hanked. The dyes are waiting. Now, of course, I don't have time to do anything about it, so the hanks of undyed yarn and the box of dyes will continue to taunt me until I'm once again allowed to have a day to myself (which doesn't seem to be an option any time in the near future, since I'm apparently expected to work every Saturday, unless I happen to be either (1) out of the country or (2) on my deathbed -- though I have a feeling that I'd be expected to work even then).

Today, I'm taking some time to unwind with my pal Barbara. I haven't seen her in an eternity -- thank goodness for email! We figured that a little yarn shopping and coffee drinking were in order for today. We've both been working too much lately, and we deserve a break. I can't wait! I may have to bring some of my latest wares to show off. If it weren't so cold here, I'd even wear my new lace poncho -- but I guess I'll just have to save that for another, slightly less frigid, day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I've been busy!

Every once in a while, it's so very easy for a knitter to get caught up in wanting to do everything. That's me right now. I wanted to do my capelet in hand-dyes, though it meant tossing a Christmas present aside (one that I think I've been working on since August). Speaking of which, I think I may need to reblock it and stretch out the collar a bit. I didn't expect it to be that tight...

Then I went to work and decided that I needed to make Barbara's poncho. So I did. I started on Thursday, and I finished on Monday night. Now I just need to block, and it's ready to wear. Maybe I'll wear it to work on Friday...

At work, I wanted to make a clutch, from my latest pattern -- so I've been working on that during my Mondays with the kids. It's almost done, but I was working on it on Monday night, at our monthly potluck, and I realized that I needed a few stitch holders, which I didn't have on me. So I started a mohair scarf out of Kid Silk Night in black (which, incidentally, is absolutely spectacular).

But that's only the beginning. I'm also working on the previously mentioned Christmas present, as well as a scarf for my aunt. I have a list a mile long of Christmas presents I'm supposed to make. And I really want a vest for myself now. And I want a mohair shawl. And I have the yarn for a lace shawl, too. And then there are the felted Christmas stockings...and the Christmas ornaments (I've finished three so far). And now I'm trying to find the extra time to play with dyes, too. There just aren't enough hours in the day to work and do all my fiber projects...

Friday, October 21, 2005


I finished my capelet last night! I had to play with the colors a bit to keep from running out of yarn (and I still almost ran out!), but I finished it! Now I just need to do some blocking and sew on some sort of hook-y thing, and it'll be ready to wear. I'm hoping to wear it to work on Monday...

The second I finished my capelet, I started casting on for my new poncho. I'm a total copy-cat -- it's just like the one Barbara has -- but I couldn't help myself. I just had to have it. Forget Christmas presents. I want a poncho.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

AlterKnits Review!

I just published my review of Leigh Radford's AlterKnits!

In other knitting-related news, I've been knitting like a crazywoman on the capelet. I've found more boo-boos in the pattern (some that weren't even listed in the book's errata), but I've made it through. I ran out of the green that was supposed to get me through eight more rows of collar -- and since I used all hand-dyes, there's no way of getting more -- so I switched back to orange. Who's to say that the orange will survive all eight rows. But if it doesn't, I'll just bind off early. I'm not picky.

I worked on my aunt's scarf at hockey last night, and I was approached by a woman whose daughter just learned to knit. She (the mom) was so excited about the scarf. And she's going to bring her daughter to the store for my kids' group on Mondays. They were so cute -- I hope they show up.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Which green?

So here's my dilemma...

My capelet is going to have three colors. Purple, orange, and green. But which green? Originally, the brighter green looked too bright. So I did the Willow. But now I'm thinking that the Willow makes the orange look too bright. So which green should I use? Or should I scrap it all and do something in a nice pink? ;)

Which green? Posted by Picasa


Yesterday was One of Those Days. I can come up with no logical reason why I should be in such a funk, but I was. I was in such a funk that I didn't go to the S&B in Delaware, as I'd hoped. I didn't even go to Paul's hockey game. I did, however, take myself out of the house in the afternoon. I went to Joann's, where I bought myself some dyes with my 40% off coupon. I also went to Big Lots, where I bought myself some shoe-box-sized storage containers for a buck each. Then I came home and rearranged my stash a bit.

In my storage containers, I now have novelty yarns, sock yarns (well, most of them, anyway), dishcloth cotton, and dyeing materials. It felt good to clean things up again. I got all of my Cotton-Ease out of the bags that had been thrown in the closet, and I even found that other hank of wool that I knew I had somewhere.

Paul had a late hockey game last night, so we went for a walk after dinner. Then we watched some TV while I worked on my capelet. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough of the first color, but I now have one row to go, and it appears as though I'll just *just* enough. What a relief! Now I just need to figure out the rest of the colors... While Paul was playing hockey (he got a goal and an assist, and his team won 6-3), I got out the dyes and dyed my long-lost hank in Willow Green. So now I have the deep purple and the rich orange. And I need to choose between bright green and willow. Oh, the decisions...

I have to admit, though, that dyeing really helped to bring me out of my funk. I love dyeing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Totally unrelated to knitting...

...but I just thought I'd reveal what it's like to be me.

Today, I stepped out the door for my daily walk to the mailbox (which is down the street and around the corner, so it counts as a "walk"), and there were three packages by my door. One contained a DVD to review. One contained two games to review. And the other contained a book for review. The book wasn't supposed to come to me, which is a mixed blessing. It's a good thing because I have a stack of books to read right now. Well, three. But that's a lot when you've got deadlines. But it's a bad thing because it means a trip to the post office, where I'll have to pay actual money to ship it to the actual reviewer. Fortunately, I caught it in time, since I have another book for the same reviewer that had accidentally been delivered to my house instead of hers. So now I can send the two together.

On top of that, I sent out requests for November's reviews this week. That means that I should have another four books to cover soon.

Am I panicking? Not at all. Because I knit. I take all of that out on my scarves.

Monday, October 10, 2005

What a weekend!

I left work early on Friday. It was best that way. I was no good to anyone anyway. I was too excited. Because on Friday night, we witnessed the return of hockey. Roger and Julie got us tickets to the Blue Jackets home opener. Unfortunately, the Jackets lost, but hey. That happens. We had a blast anyway. And I even did some knitting (though not a lot -- I was too into the game...and my fries).

On Saturday, Paul and I pretty much crashed for most of the day. He played on his computer. I knitted another Christmas ornament -- and a mitten for my niece. And then we went out for a nice, romantic dinner at a very expensive restaurant (one that we never would have visited had we not had a $150 gift card, which covered dinner, sans dessert) for our four-year anniversary, which was on Thursday. I brought my clutch (which still doesn't have a snap, since I can't seem to find one), in case you were wondering.

Yesterday, Barbara and I met up with Julie and her daughter Emily to meet Lily Chin. Here's proof:

We had to bend down because Lily said we were too tall... Posted by Picasa

We didn't stick around for long. After that, we were off to Target to help Emily shop for a dress for an upcoming wedding's rehearsal dinner. And after Julie and Em headed elsewhere, Barbara and I hit Starbuck's, where we drank coffee and settled into some nice, comfy chairs to knit and chat. I started a capelet using my hand-dyed yarns. I love it already, and I'm only 7 rows in!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Handknit Holidays review

Head on over to NightsAndWeekends.com for my review of Melanie Falick's new book, Handknit Holidays.

I just got another knitting book in the mail on Wednesday...review coming soon!

Paul's flight was scheduled to arrive at around 9 on Wednesday, so I went over to hang out with Julie and the girls (who were Roger-less). Julie and I drank near-beer while knitting and flipping through books and watching Cinderella. It just doesn't get much better than that...

...well, except for tonight, when we'll be bringing our knitting bags to the Club section of Nationwide Arena for the home opener of the Blue Jackets season.

It definitely doesn't get much better than *that*.

On Wednesday, I vowed that I wouldn't start any more projects (like the shawl I'm going to make out of the cotton I just got from Elann) until I finished at least two (since I'd totally run out of Denise cables to knit with). So last night I finished the scarf for my aunt (well, mostly...I just have to weave in the ends). And I'm almost finished with that other thing for my mom... So I think I'll be starting that shawl soon... :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

New stuff!

I'm posting this picture a bit belatedly. My Fiesta Yarns came the end of last week -- and I'm finally getting around to posting the picture. But they're the two skeins I won through the Give a Little blog. I was so excited when they arrived -- I ripped open the package before I even got back to the house. Jen even included a few bay leaves in the package, and it smelled wonderful! Thanks, Jen!

Aren't they pretty? Posted by Picasa

So what am I going to do with my gorgeous new yarn? I have no idea. I love them so much, I think I may just walk around with them and feel them for a while.

In other news...I finished my felted tote:

All felted and ready to go Posted by Picasa

Now I have to make one for my sister-in-law for Christmas.

It's been a quiet week with Paul in Chicago and me home alone. On Monday, I did a little more dyeing. Then I sat around and knitted a Christmas ornament (the pattern's in the Handknit Holidays book -- I'll post a link to the review on Friday). Last night, I took myself to a movie. All by myself. Just me and my knitting. It was weird -- but it was fun. And I got a lot of work done on my aunt's scarf. I came home and started another Christmas gift for my mom (I currently have three of those on the needles -- you'd think I'd finish one sooner or later).

At work on Monday, I also started a store sample of the new felted clutch. The girls in my kids' group picked out the colors for me -- orange and sapphire. It's going to be so cool!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dyeing with the girls

Yesterday, Julie and Barbara came over for some fun with dyes. Julie, the expert dyer, hung out on the deck and knit on some gorgeous hand-dyed socks while Barbara and I experimented and generally made a mess. Julie took way more pictures than I did, so I'll post more once I get them. But here's what I've got:

Hanks hanging up to dry Posted by Picasa

These are the six hanks that I dyed. Two were Kool-Aid dyes (the blue and the orange). The rest were candy dyes. I have one more hank of Knit Picks yarn to dye -- and three more balls of the other stuff. I think I'm going to have to do another hank tonight after I get home. Barbara says I need purple to go with the orange and green in a capelet that I've got my eye on...

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