Sunday, July 29, 2007

My final SAM3 entry is done!

I finished the pair of Breeze anklets this morning. They are pictured below, being modeled by Brittany since I knit them for her.

I'm gonna start a second pair for Amanda this afternoon. Not only do I love this pattern, but looky at how much yarn I had left over! All from one little 50 gram ball of KnitPicks Palette! Thought that was pretty cool.
Not a whole lot else going on around here this weekend. I'm looking forward to kickin' off the Do Something New KAL, which officially starts this coming Wednesday! Should be a ton of fun!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

'Dogs on Thursday' with Cowboy Capone

This is our Capone, all dressed up in his snazzy cowboy outfit. He is our little sweetheart! Just look at those big, brown puppy dog eyes and that adorable face!
When not being picked on by Maizy, his bossy girlfriend, Capone is the constant shadow to my three kids. When we have company, this little Boston Terrier usually steals their hearts. He is more calm than his other canine companions and just has a way of looking at you that makes people want to pick him up and give him a squeeze.
Capone's hobbies include chasing flashlight beams around the room, sleeping on the girls' bunk bed, ripping the stuffing out of cute little toys, fetching balls over and over and over, and pulling on tuggie toys.
If you would like find out more about him, check out Capone's page.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Announcing the Do Something New KAL!!

I decided to start a new Knit-A-Long. This will be my first time hosting one, but I think it will be a whole lot of fun!

The Do Something New KAL is perfect for all of you who have nice, long To Do lists full of knitting projects you've always wanted to try, especially those involving new styles or methods that you're just itching to learn. The main rules are that your projects must be either knitted or involve knitting in some way and that you have never successfully tried it before. Want to try knitting Continental, spinning or dying yarn, felting, intarsia, making your first pair of socks, Entralac, cables, using some of that weird-looking yarn you have in your stash but you're afraid of, or just want to take a crack at that one pattern that has been on your mind forever? Well, join up and give it a whirl. You even get credit if you mess it up beyond recognition so long as you do try something new and finish it!

It starts August 1st and last until January 31st. At first, I had planned to only do three months, but then I thought this would be fun to have going over the holidays, too, since a lot of us are on knitting overtime then. And it should go thru January because that's when we actually get time to use all those cool new knitting tools and toys we get as gifts!

If I still haven't convinced you to sign up or at least go take a look at the page about it, let me mention that there are going to be prizes! Oh yes, I'm dangling free stuff in front of you! Come on, it'll be fun!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter Book Release and Ball

Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere in Siberia you have to know that early in the wee hours of this morning - 12:01 am to be exact - the last and final book in the Harry Potter series was released. So, I loaded up the van with myself and the five goofy kids pictured above, drove an hour to the Borders in Evansville, and celebrated Pottermania literally all night long. First let me explain the photo: That's Brittany giving her brother Tyler the bunny ears; Amanda is in the black Tinkerbell shirt; Tyler - normally blonde, but he had Brittany spray paint his hair black to go with his costume - has replaced his normally smiley expression with the mean one in an attempt to look more dramatic; my niece Chanler is actually riding the authentic Nimbus 2000 - backwards, no less - which you can see if you look closely at her right hand;and my nephew Trevor decked out in his HP glasses. The wands they were waving at my camera seemed to have made the lighting go bad.

Everybody had a great time, except for the loooooooooooong wait in line. They had costume contests (since Tyler needs to straighten his room and couldn't find his HP glasses, he was Snape. Son, if you're reading this blog, GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM!!), a booth with an excellent and amazing palm reader who also let you try on the sorting hat, a Snape debate, door prizes, and all kinds of stuff. We were in that store from 9 pm until almost nearly 2am. At 11:45, they started lining us up according to the color of the wristband you got at the door. Tyler had reserved a copy and had a silver band and Trevor got a purple one; of course you know that meant I got to go through the freaking line twice . . . oh whoop-tee-doo for me. We did get to pass the time by talking to some really nice people in line, though, so it wasn't that bad. Finally we got our books and free posters, then went to Denny's for a 3am snack, then drove back to the house and got into bed about 5am. A few of the kids were hysterically sleepy in the restaurant, you know when they are laughing hysterically for no appearant reason, but that just made it more interesting. Seriously, we really did have fun! I think it's cool that we got to take part in something I think the kids will always remember. We're all sleepy as hell today, but we're happy!!

In knitting news, I have finished the first of the petal pink Breeze ankle socks!

I'm LOVING this pattern! You have to pay attention while you knit this one, but it's really not hard to do. The one on the left is the right color. I don't know why the right picture turned out orangey, but you can see some of the detail.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dogs on Thursday, post taken over by Maizy

I'm Maizy, the pretty little Boston Terrier in the picture above, and I have taken over the posting today! I'm 7-years-old and pretty much rule the roost around here. Yep, I have all five humans wrapped around my little paw, especially my best buddy, Tina. I sleep in her bed, ride on her lap in the car, always get the best treats, and I help her boss her husband around. I have my own little cushion under her computer desk so I can help her with her blogging, and I'm always beside her when she's knitting or making things. The other dogs also think of me as the Queen of Wonderland, so I'm livin' the good life.

I'm awfully smart, as well as pretty! I am a whiz at Agility and Obedience, and I have my first leg towards a Rally title. Agility is the most fun, though, 'cuz I like running and jumping. . . and showing off! I'm even good at the weave poles.

I don't always cooperate. Like on this picture Tina tried to get. There was a stupid butterfly trying to get in the shot(to the left of my head on the chair arm), so I flat out refused to smile, and I closed my eyes to protest! See the indignation on my face!! So there, Queen Maizy shares the spotlight with no mere insect!

If you want to see more about me - and come on now, who wouldn't - you can check out Maizy's Webpage. My buddy signed us up for 'Dogs on Thursday' so I'm sure y'all will be seeing plenty of me and the Wonderland Gang.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Yarn in the Mailbox!

Look what was waiting in my mailbox this afternoon!! Yes, my maillady has finally came thru for me! Woo Hoo! Can you believe all this yarn only cost 20 bucks, and that was including the shipping and handling! Even though I'm very, very, very impatient when it comes to waiting for package to come, this only took six business days after I placed the order, which is pretty quick - of course, I would have preferred that they instantly beam it to me the second I placed it in my virtual cart, but hey, I guess I have to wait for technology to catch up!

I took the picture in natural light and it seems to have captured the actual colors of the yarn. I especially am impressed with how pretty the top two balls of Golden Heather look, 'cuz those are gonna be socks for little ole me. The two in the middle are Petal and Hyacinth. The skeins on the bottom row are destined to be turned into a Booga Bag; the colors are grass, chestnut, daffodil, cranberry, and pumpkin.
Now I can get started on my July socks for the SAM3.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Patio Furniture!

I'm having a pretty nice weekend, even though the mailman still hasn't shown up with my yarn package. We finally bought furniture for our previously empty patio! After making my family absolutely sick of shopping for it, we got this pretty white wicker furniture set (on sale for 25% off! I love a bargain!) with blue and white cushions that are surprisingly comfortable to sit on, and a table with 4 chairs and a funky striped umbrella, which is sitting crooked right now because we have yet to locate our stand. I still have my eye on a really cool chimnea that I want to get before fall, and I want to put some potted plants around, oh and red accent pillows. I'm not sure how well the goldfish pond shows up but there is a little man-made stream that flows down into the water, which I spent half of the morning rearranging the rocks for. Does anybody out there know of a pretty water plant that the ducks won't eat?? Or even an ugly one that tastes bad?? So far, our ducks come and gobble up anything green we stick in there.

Yesterday was really fun! First, we went to the grand opening of Ruby Moon Winery in Henderson, KY. This is the only vinyard in the area so I wanted to check it out. We took a tour of the grounds and happily took part in the wine tasting, no arm twisting necessary. My favorite is their Audubon Red (we bought two bottles), plus I really liked their Elderberry wine, and the Apple was also quite good. I wanted to try their Aububon White, too, but it was temporarily sold out, so I'll have to wait for next time on that one. We were really impressed and are probably gonna be very good customers!

Next we went to Ellis Park to bet on the ponies! After three hours, I still had all the gambling money I had brought with me, plus I was a whopping 20 cents on top!! I thought I did pretty well!

Then we had supper at our favorite place, RiRa's. I had a Golden mojito, we shared an order of mushrooms for an appetizer, and I chowed down on their Irish Vegetable Curry with a pint of Guinness. I was so full my belly was about to burst!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Still waiting . . .

Nearly a week has gone by and I'm still waiting on that dang mailperson to bring me my box full of yarn! All that watching out the window, tapping my foot, and cussing just has not seemed to help at all. Maybe tomorrow . . .

During the past week I worked on the Askew pattern for that tank top on Knitty. I'm really glad now that I used a cheaper yarn than the Noro silk garden because there is some sort of flaw in the pattern. Last night I excitedly tried it on just find that the front straps were under my armpits! Not working!! I rechecked the pattern but found nothing that I could have screwed up on. So this morning I got back on the net and looked at the pics of it, and A HA! The pattern says to attach the top of the back to the base of the straps, which I did, BUT the picture clearly shows that the back is attached down further, under the top bias stockinette section. So I unstitched and restitched it back together. It fit better but the the way the straps are made they still hit under my pits! Not comfortable or attractive, I'm afraid. Kinda like something Myrtle Erckel would have worn. I made the smaller of my girls' try it on and gave it to her. It hits under her pits, too, but , since she is tiny, it looks better on her, though she doesn't like the way it wears, either . So she can wear it around the house. It was either that or find a way to make it fit my dog! The pattern was really fun to knit, though.

Since my package has still yet to arrive, I started knitting on a dishcloth. I'm trying to use up some of my stash so this was perfect thing to keep me busy. This lacy leaf pattern is really pretty. I think I'll use it again with some solid sage green. Don't ya love the little sheep-topped needles! They are so cute I can't stand it! Those were a Xmas present from Mom & Pops.

Shelley is having contests going right now, ending the night of Friday 13th, so hussle you butts over there and enter. The prizes are some BEAUTIFUL stitch markers!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

My Weekend

It's been a pretty calm weekend around here. I decided to kick back and relax a few days. I'm gonna destress and take it easy for a change.

Yesterday, Barry and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in Evansville, IN, Ri Ra's. It's a cool Irish pub with the works: beautiful woodwork throughout the building, a big variety of delicious food, and the Guiness and spirits are always a-flowin'! Great Irish atmosphere and just the place I needed to pig out and relax. Oh, and they have a kick ass Golden Mojito that is making me thirsty for it as I type this!

My only accomplishment on my weekend 'off' is that I am finally done with the four pairs of Snow Mittens. I used my own pattern on these and made each pair a little different. (The first pair has a tiny imperfection in it, since I had to rip it back about 5 times, but it's not too noticable and hey, I can live with it.) I used Cascade 128 in Ruby and Charcoal; just two hanks of the red and one of the gray make almost all 8 mittens. The pair on the bottom right has red thumbs, you may notice, and that is because I ran out of the gray! Also on that pair, the thumb on one and the top part above the gray stripe on both were knitted in Cascade 220 (which I am lucky as crap to have found in my stash, get this, in the same Ruby color, different dye lot!), I just had to use two strands held together there, since that is the skinnier worsted weight and 128 is chunkier. I'm quite happy with how they turned out! I call them our Snow Mittens because I LOVE playing out in the snow probably more than my kids do and these should keep all of our hands nice and toasty warm and we pummel each other with snowballs. Now that they are all done, I'll just stick 'em in the closet for five or six months until cold weather gets here!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Oh, Mailman. . . . where are you?

Well, now I will be pestering my mailman until I get my package. Actually, I have a mailman part of the week and a maillady the majority of the time; why, I don't know, that is just how they split their shift, I guess.

I finally made an order from KnitPicks, though I've been looking at their catalog and stuff forever. For twenty bucks I'm getting yarn for a purse, two pairs of those cool Breeze footies from the Summer Knitty, and a pair of socks for myself that I have yet to decide which pattern to use. Woohoo! Can't wait for that dang mailman!

The purse is going to be the ever famous and much lusted after Booga Bag! The pattern and the finished ones I've seen on blogs look SOOOO COOl! Mine is gonna be a mock Noro one (yep, I'm a knitter on a budget). I ordered 5 different colors of KnitPicks' Wool of the Andes - in daffodil, grass, pumpkin, chestnut, and cranberry - and plan to make the stripes by just switching the yarn every so often. This will be the first thing I've felted, so hopefully I won't screw it up!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th to everybody out there in Bloggerland! We're going to my Mom & Pops' house tonight for dinner and fireworks. I'm hungry and lookin'
forward to it!

I finished some necklaces today. Those cool donut shaped pendants are everywhere but I didn't want just a plain one, SO I whipped up three out of fimo clay. Detailed with an ivy design, they are hanging on black leather
cords. They were quick and fun to make. Pictured here are the two I put on etsy, and I made an extra one from the copper color that I'm keeping for myself.

And of all things to be knitting today, mittens! See, even this Barred Rock
couldn't believe I was goofy enough to be
knitting wool mittens in July!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Fun Quizzes and Meme

Following a link from Shelley's page, I just took a couple of fun quizzes which show that I am way too interested in drinking coffee and blogging! Try these out, they are fun!

70%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

So, I had to do the Wikipedia Meme, too, since it sounded like fun, so here it is. My birthday is March 10th.
Three events that have happened on that day:
1. in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful phone call.
2. in 1964, Ford produced the first Mustang
3. in 1814 Napolean I of France was defeated at the Battle of Laon
Two people born on my birthday:
1. Chuck Norris
2. Sharon Stone
3. Osama Bin Laden!!
One Holiday on my birthday:
1. Tibetian Uprising Day (Whatever in the heck that is!)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Movie Review

Since not much was going on here this weekend, I watched a couple of movies.

Freedom Writers with Hillary Swank gets a huge thumbs up. I really liked it. A true story about an awesome teacher and the inspirational methods she used to give hope to her class.

Pan's Labyrinth was . . . interesting. My 19-year-old Amanda - who is more into fantasy stuff like anime and manga - put it on our Blockbuster cue. The whole thing was in Spanish with subtitles (and I went thru the first hour of it waiting for them to change to English, but it didn't happen!) which was different, but no big deal. I enjoyed watching the creatures, like the fairies and the mandrake root, and the three tasks the girl was given were fun to watch. It is a dark movie and not for little kids, but it does have a pretty good story line and plot. I would have liked a slightly cheerier ending, but that probably wouldn't have matched the movie. Overall, it was a good movie.

On the creative front, I've been working on mittens this weekend, of all things to do in July! I had bought the yarn last winter for some snow mittens which I had pictured in my head. I wanted to make the tops, bottom of the cuff, and the entire thumb in dark gray and the rest in red. The gusset is being a pain in my butt!! I have ripped it back three times. I'm knitting this in the round, so on the first try I would bring the new color up from underneath each time it changed, making a nice little twist. It looked nice on the inside, but it sort of had the effect of closing up the inside part of the gusset. Rip, rip, rip. Next I tried absolutely not twisting anything, which, as I had kinda thought would happen, HOLES and weird strings in the back. So after much marathon froggin', I dug out some knitting books, and after studying on the matter, I think that to do this right I would need to either carry the yarn all the way around the mitten (which would waste too much, in my thrifty opinion) or cut the gray yarn on each round and work in the thosuand ends later, which also doesn't seem like a great way of doing it. Anyway, at about 10 pm I fought the urge to throw the stupid thing out into the yard and I just decided to do the gusset in red and the part of the thumb that actually sticks out in gray. Creative compromise, I guess. It should look okay, just not exactly like I had it pictured. I want to make four pairs of these things, so if anyone could enlighten me on a better way to make the whole gusset a different color without all the hassel, please do so!

I have some cool ideas I'm dying to try out for necklaces, so I'm hoping to have some time to work on these this afternoon.