Thursday, November 23, 2006

Even more...

Happy Day!

This past two weeks have seemed verrrrrry looooong. Filled with dr. visits and worry and very little sleep. I had to take my DH to the emergency room before dawn last Thursday morning. The symptoms had started two days before, but DH is very stoic about pain. The only way you'll know if he has a headache for instance is that he'll be more quiet than usual. So when you find him on the floor asking you to please make the room stop spinning, you bundle him up and go. It was finally diagnosed as a viral inner ear infection and because it was viral there was nothing to do for it but let it run it's course. The symptoms included severe dizziness, nausea, and disorientation. They gave him a prescription to tone down the dizziness and another for the nausea. For the first few days he couldn't eat at all, had no desire to and the mere thought of food made him ill. He finally started on soft solids (I fed him applesauce, mashed bananas, soups, soft breads and the like). He's feeling about 90% better but still can't drive yet. Just being in the car for a ride to the drs. office yesterday wore him out. That Thursday after we got back home and I got him settled, I went to check the mail and of course, wouldn't you know it? There was a package from my SP:

A luxurious pair of socks that were not only hand knit, but hand dyed as well! The pictures don't do the colors justice, jewel toned blues and hints of greens barely there reds

A beautiful quilted pouch in steel blues, grays, golds and reds. I'm going to use it as my official sock project bag; I can put my working yarn in the pouch and knit from it while the bag's drawstring rests on my wrists. I'll even be able to knit while standing. Did you make the quilted pouch as well SP?! I especially love the knots at the end of the drawstrings, they remind me of bees.

...And a lovely card in blues, greens, grays, golds and white. This card also has a series of intricate knots. I want to learn how to make them.

Thank you, Thank you SP! They were just what I needed, just in time :-)

In the felting front, this is my sheep from last week's class, I finished it this past Sunday. So what you see is a before wooly coat application pic and an after wooly coat application pic. All done with needle felting, 100% wool, 99.9% enthusiasm & only .1% needle felting finger incident. I'm enjoying this class. The next session is in two weeks. We're going to do gnomes I believe.

Chris is taking the class as well. This is Chris' sheep and my sheep (they're buddies)

Here are just a few of the many people and events I'm grateful for EVERYDAY of my life, but especially today:

I'm grateful for my family & friends past, present and future. Mum, Papi I love you. Thank you for being who you are and for helping me to be who I am. Although I probably didn't say it then, thank you for being a pain when you needed to be

I'm grateful for all the sweet babies in the world (a.k.a. all babies, 'cause all babies are sweet babies). Their joy and wonder, their trust and love

I'm grateful for friends who leave messages on my voicemail about the particular sound pattern of rain falling on the rooftops that they were listening to. Pointing out that that exact sound pattern has never happened before and will never happen again. Letting me know they were thinking of me (just as I was thinking of them coincidently)

I'm grateful for that butterfly that captured my attention, causing me to stop what I was doing and follow it's path with my eyes until I couldn't see it anymore

I'm grateful for Baily White for writing the stories that made my DH laugh while I read out loud to him this past week

I'm grateful for the sound of my DH laughing out loud

I'm grateful for the two black furry alarm clocks that go off at o'dark thirty and won't shut off until they are fed ;-)

I'm grateful for the turkey that was running around the mall grounds while I was at job #2 the other day. I like to think he was an escapee. Hopefully no one got hurt while trying to avoid hitting him. Run Turkey, Run! Word of advice though, stay away from the traffic

I'm grateful for an SP that possess perfect timing, incredible talent and warm thoughtfulness (and for my SP's cat, who helped her make my treasures)

I'm grateful for artistic urge to create that exists in us all (yes, even those of you who think that you aren't artistic)

I'm grateful for the heart wrenching beauty in the changing colors of the leaves as they die

I'm grateful for the ability we have to feel all of our emotions and for the myriad experiences that bring them out

I'm grateful for the opportunity to experience life

Monday, November 13, 2006

No longer euphoric...

Has anyone out there ever bought perfume that didn't suite them? Well I bought Calvin Klein's Euphoria last year about this time and I was thrilled because it smelled soooooo good. I tried it for a day first and everything, still loved it. I didn't wear it again for several weeks since my signature scent for years has been Happy (I know...Happy, Euphoria, pure coincidence though) so it took quite a few months for me to come to the realization that although I loved the scent on others, it smelled like ass on me. Okay, ass is an exaggeration, but it was as if my body chemicals and this perfume wanted nothing to do with each other. They didn't interact at all. Nadda. Zilch. They each stayed in their own separate corners. Whereas Happy and my body chems mingle, laugh and flirt with each other. At which point I went through my own mini "I-just-bought-something-that's-completely-useless-to-me" grieving process. Denial, anger, and yes, even bargaining was in there. Last month, I finally found peace with acceptance. Two weeks ago when driving to a knit together with Chris & Jane, I caught a whiff of Jane's perfume and asked what she was wearing. Yup, you guessed it, she was wearing Euphoria and it smelled absolutely glorious on her (the way perfume is meant to). I told her I would bring in my perfume and lotion set for her since it was completely wasted on me what good is it doing anyone in my closet? Well this past Friday, Chris and I stopped off at the Yarn Garden after a quick trip to Webs in Northampton, Mass and look what was waiting for me!

WOW! I couldn't believe it, that was so sweet of her, especially since 1) she didn't have to and 2) I had already used the perfume and lotion (remember the denial stage) so we're not talking new off the perfume counter here.

But wait, there's more!

...and would you belive still more!?

Yum! Many, many skeins of alpaca and wool goodness in royal purples & lilacs and the most adorable bag ever!

Thank you again Jane for your thoughtfulness! I'm happy with Happy and euphoric over my goodies :-)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Montessori Mommies

For all you Montessori Mommies referring to my blog for material ideas, the "Martha Stewart Holiday Handmade Gifts" magazine that is currently floating around has a pattern for stuffed crocheting balls that you can make for your little pumpkins. They're especially wonderful for 4-7 month olds who are tummy crawling. Make sure you don't overstuff them though, you want to stuff enough so that it rolls, but leave enough room so that it will give when they grasp it with their fingers. That will enable them to hold onto it easily. They would also make great gifts for anyone who recently had a little one.

Project Update

With all my electric & electronic woes of the past few weeks, I've been unable to blog. But I think everything is fixed now and since I finally found my camera...

This is the Counterpane Carpetbag from Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays. I stopped there because I was unsure how I wanted to decrease because I was tempted to change the handles but I then realized that the recepient would prefer the one's shown in the book. I'm working on the other side now. I got this yarn 2yrs ago from Ebay. The colorway is called "Barks" from The pattern is easy-peasy once you get used to it. Incidently, I received an email from Melanie in response to an email I had sent her in desperation, I was tragically stuck on the over-the-knee-socks (yeah, remember those) anyway she responded quickly and cleared up my confusion so I will continue on those after the holidays since they're for me and therefore can wait.

and my first hat! I made it in half a day on one of the days we had no electricity for miles due to the storm. It's Misti Alpaca Chunky (I've never worked in chunky, my it goes fast!) the colorway is "Charteruse Melange" and it is sooooooooo soft and sooooooo light. Pattern is Saucer Hat I got from Knotty Girl a while back.

I had picked up a wool sweater at the Salvation Army the other day to try my hand at felting. Not bad so far. I like it because you have to sort of go with whatever the sweater dictates. I'm trying to use up the whole thing. Here are pics of the bits and pieces. The main part is a surprise. Shhh!

Needle Felting

I made this in the first of a series of needle felting classes I'm taking:

My very own Magic-8 Ball. For those of you who don't know, the Magic-8 Ball (brainchild of Abe Bookman) was a toy used to gaze into the future or unearth the truth of the past or present. You ask a question and turn the Magic-8 Ball over to reveal GASP! The Answer! Mine is made of wool.

Let's take it out for a test spin by asking the proper questions, shall we?

"Oh, magic 8 ball, do I have 2 cats?"

Hmm, not bad. Could be a lucky guess though.

Let's pose a medical question that I'm sure variations of which are constantly running across the minds of all humans who are servants, uhm, I mean roomates to cats.

"Oh, magic 8 ball, I'm truly concerned about the health of my sweet-overworked roomates. Maybe it's me, but honestly 23hrs. just doesn't seem to be enough R&R. Are my cats getting adequate amounts of sleep?"

My goodness, well that's a relief! You heard that Booboo? Scoozie? You guys are getting enough sleep, you can cancel that call to your union rep! Guys? Helloooo? Oh, never mind.

Okay, third times a charm. I'm going for the big question.

"Oh, magic 8 ball, would my DH encourage...NAY! INSIST that I purchase yarn and deep down, does he consider my seemingly uncontrollable fiber addiction an endearing, quirky part of my personality?"

OMG! I don't know about you folks, but I'm convinced.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Forget Secret...

I think the S in SP stands for Sensational! My SP was faithful about getting in touch with me immediately and sent me an email hinting at goodies in store for moi! I think I may even be getting a pair of handmade socks! ME! HANDMADE SOCKS!! I've never owned a pair of handmade socks before. Haha, how spoiled am I going to be! Now I can't wait to find the perfect pattern to use for this:


Found a surpise in my mailbox. The colorway is "Green Parrot", operative word here being absolute favorite color. 430 luscious yds of 100% merino wool in fingering weight. YUM! And now SP I have a secret to tell you! No one has ever bought me yarn before. Can you believe it?! You would think it would be an almost constant occurence. Ahhh, now I have yarn that someone had thoughtfully chosen with me in mind. How sweet it is. Thank you SP, smooches!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Q&A

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? My fav yarns to knit with are wool or part wool content yarns, but I'll also knit with acrylics. I do have an incredible aversion to most fun fur though, I think it makes people look like they've had a run in with a muppet--and lost

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Anything that stays still long enough. No....really

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? I've been knitting for almost 3yrs. I'm mostly self-taught, with a little help from my friends :-) Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I consider myself somewhere between beginner and intermediate

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yep, but it's farshluggineh. It was used as my book collection database before I discovered LibraryThing and I haven't updated it since, so the books I own and the books I want are all thrown in there

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) Plumeria, gardenia, pine, or anything clean & citrus-y

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? No. Favorite candy? Nope

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I crochet, quilt, sew, embroider and I also make miniature topiaries. I'm beginning to seriously consider getting interested the art of rubber stamp making (I know that sounds odd, to "seriously consider getting interested in something", but you know how it is when you get so all consumed with creating. I want to make sure I have time for everything I want to do 'cause something will always go on the back burner). Do you spin? No, I don't spin and although I do have a drop spindle-- I'm nowhere near proficient with it

8. What kind of music do you like? Eclectic, World Music (see profile). Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Yes

9. What's your favorite color(s)? My favorite color is green, closely followed by blue. Any colors you just can't stand? No. I prefer earth/forest/ocean tones to pastels, but don't have a color I can't stand

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Married, no kids, 2 cats

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes to all except ponchos, I'm totally not a poncho person...and under no circumstances would I wear any of those items in fun fur (see muppet attack above)

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Actually, I'm not sure yet

13. What are you knitting right now? 2 bags, 3 socks, 1 scarf, 1 wrap & 1 sweater(like) object

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Circs. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Bamboo. Having said that, I have an insane amount of circular bamboo aluminum is the next frontier

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes & Yes

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Knit wise, less than a year. Quilt wise, almost a year and a half

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? I mostly collect fabric & yarn and bags to hold my goodies in; books about yarn and fabric; and buttons, I love old buttons. Oh, and sometimes my projects themselves like to collect things (dust for instance) but only as hobby ;-)

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? The Nicky Epstein book when it comes out (Knitting Beyond the Edge), lace or sock yarn, really long circs., "French Girl Knits" patterns. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have Interweave Knits & Vogue Knitting

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Knitting 2 socks on 2 circs, Intarsia & Knitting backwards

22. Are you a sock knitter? I'm trying to become one. What are your foot measurements? Wear size 9 woman's U.S.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) December 25th

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Did You Hear?!?!

We interrupt the seemingly non-ending, non-knitting content of this "knitting" blog to bring you breaking knitting related news. Yes, I realize it's 3:00 in the a.m. but I'm still suffering from jetlag. Plus I'm too excited to sleep! There's a new podcast out there in pod world- a knitting podcast and get this--it's a video podcast! Would that be called a videocast? Not sure. Well anyway, isn't that thrilling! I got the heads up while looking on Julie's blog, Boogaj, in it she mentions the new kid on the block entitled,"Let's Knit2gether". In her first episode, Cat, the host demonstrates casting on for socks using the two socks on two circular needle approach! Some of you may know that this is a technique that I've been wanting to learn because I'm always on the lookout for new ways to start a project (not finish mind you, just start) and I've been keen on learning this method for months and I'm very much a visual learner. Yay Cat! Keep them coming on.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Somethings I love about Japan

That you can leave your bikes unlocked for the most part

Even the garbage trucks are clean, small and ultra cute. I missed getting the shot of the really cute one- it was powder blue and mint green with an cartoon elephant, the garbage men wore crisp clean matching uniforms. Some of the trucks play music a la ice cream truck ...I kid you not.

The ramps in the middle of the staircase on the overpass near the Shibuya train station in Tokyo, it just makes so much sense!

Am I dreaming?!?

I had to pinch myself for this one, then I dove right in.