Friday, May 18, 2007

there is a first time for everything

I LOVE MY WHEEL! *ahem* now that that's out of the way....Yesterday after 4 o'clock, I was left to my own devices (another long child-free weekend for me, Woo-hoo!) and decided I would try to handpaint roving. I decided to use the food coloring/microwave method because it seemed the easiest and fastest. I decided to only dye 1 ounce of roving in case something went horribly wrong and it ended up looking like ass or felting in the microwave. There are tons of great tutorials for this, just ask my friend Google, so I won't go into all the details, but I will say this, I did not measure anything. I used the glug-glug method of adding vinegar to both the dye and the water I soaked the yarn in. Start to finish I think the entire dying process took 30 minutes. I spun the roving, wound it into a center pull skein, then plied from each end. All told it ended up being 50 yds. I am pleased with the results and I will be doing this again! Back in December, The Gaming One asked me to knit a lil something for one of his co-workers that was expecting. This morning she sent me pictures of her little cutie modeling the knits! AWWWWW! Isn't she so cute!? It's enough to make my ovaries hurt!
Just look at those little feet!

Even with all the spinning and dying I still managed to knit my fish for "a Fish a day in May" bringing my grand total to 33- only 69 to go! I also knit 4 more rows on is amazing how much free time a SAHM has when there are no little people to take care of!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spinning and knitalongs and meme, Oh my!

My Kromski Prelude is finally here! I was shocked it only took 2 days to get to me considering the shipping was free. So if you are in the market for a new wheel, consider one from Copper Moose. I received emails from them from the time I placed my order, until it was on the truck to be delivered. I have lots of practice ahead of me, but I am in love. The Gaming One gets all the credit for this one- I never would have bought a spinning wheel for myself. He insisted and being the obedient wife I am (ha!) I picked the one I wanted. I love ya, Darlin' I can't thank you enough (You know you are the best ever)!

Next up knitting-wise is a KAL! As I mentioned before, Andrea and I are knitting the Lace Nightie together. There is a KAL posted on Craftster because I have too much going on to start a blog specifically for it. Here is the direct link to the KAL- Interweave Knits Lace Nightie KAL. Andrea even whipped up this button!
I have been tagged by both Andrea and Lara in the same day! So I am going to combine the meme in to one mega-meme...

Andrea's meme rules:
Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
Lara's meme rules:
Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

1. As long as I have written directions I think I can do anything. This is sadly not always the case.
2. If someone tells me I am not capable of completing a task I will do it even if I hate it, just to prove them wrong. (Sorry darlin' this does not apply to laundry or housework.)
3. I love reality tv. The more unreal the better! Favs that make The Gaming One roll his eyes and cringe include The Flavor of Love and both spinoffs I Love NY, Charm School. More palatable favs are Top Model, Top Chef, and Project Runway. These shows just make my own life seem so tame and comfortable.
4. When I was younger I wanted 4 or 5 kids. I thought it would be great to have a big family! After all, there were 4 kids in my family and even though we did not always get along we loved eachother and it was always great to have someone on your side no matter what the situation. After I had my second child I declared the baby factory closed! I joke with my family that I will put myself in a mental institution if I get pregnant again. That or hide behind the tv, clutching a fifth of vodka, rocking back and forth.
5. I tell my family that I should write a childcare manual titled The Self-Centered Woman's Guide to Childrearing. I even joke that the entire reason I homeschool is because I prefer to sleep late and I could not do that if two little people had to be on the bus by 7am.
6. I can't stand it when people leave cabinets, drawers or closet doors open.
7. My favorite flowers are daisies, roses and gardenias.
8. The only piece of jewelry I wear on a regular basis is my white gold wedding band. I will wear diamond stud earrings if the Gaming One and I go on a date.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Yesterday, as we all know, was Mother's Day here in the US, and I had the pleasure of spending the day with my mom and my sisters. My sister closest to my age (we are actually stepsisters born 12 days apart- but 'step' is considered a four letter word when referring to siblings in our family) had her first baby within the past year so she finally joined the ranks of mama! This made Mother's Day a bit special since we can now all officially share the bond of motherhood. Oddly enough both of my own kiddos were with others this special day, but I truly feel every day is mother's day in my house. I am blessed beyond words to have the wonderful children I have. Last night while snuggling down with my 5 year old son he informed me (in these exact words) "Mommy, you are the best mommy in the history of histories of all mommies! You are the best Mommy all the way to Pluto and you know that Pluto is the farthest planet in the solar system." You can't get a better present than that!
After the kiddo was snuggled into his bed and The Gaming One had finished gaming for the night he looked at me and said, "you should buy yourself one of those spinning things to make yarn. Would you like one of those for Mother's Day? I would have bought one for you but I was afraid I would pick out the wrong kind."

I ask "Are you talking about a spinning wheel? They are kinda expensive." (I am such a Taurus and am most comfortable when the bank account has a bit of extra padding.)

He replied, "Well, if you want it, buy it. You are totally worth it." Notice he did not even ask how much they were...I love this man!

So today, after looking and thinking and questioning whether I thought I was worthy (I decided I was), I took the plunge an purchased a Kromski Prelude. I didn't want to spend too much on a hobby that I might not love as much as I do knitting, but really wanted a Saxony type wheel because I think they are beautiful, so the Prelude seemed like a good choice. I have to say I can't wait until it gets here! I am very excited!

Knitting not so new news:
I am still meeting my fish a day goal.
I have finished another square for the Psychedelic Squares blanket. I figure I will need 48 to finish a baby sized blanket. So perhaps June's goal will be a square a day for me.
I am half finished with the third chart on my Icarus shawl. Then one chart to go! Woo Hoo!
As soon as it is off my hot little needles I am casting on for this in cashmere. Andrea, My new found blogfriend, and I are planning a little KAL for this so if anyone wants to join us get ready and stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Birthday Goodies part 2

I got the last of my birthday goodies in the mail yesterday! Here are two that I have been wanting for ages now- a ball winder and cashmere yarn. However, I now realize why ball winders are often sold with swifts... I made such a tangled mess of of my first skein of cashmere it took over two hours to untangle it all. The only thing that saved the cashmere tangle from being thrown in the trash was well, it's cashmere! and softer than any baby's bottom I ever felt (and it smells better). I did get a great deal from PlumKnit on the two 4 ply skeins (200yds each) and they even came with a 20% off coupon on my next order. Cynthia was very nice, the shipping was super quick and I will definitly buy from her again. I think this cashmere is destined to become something a little lacy meant to be worn next to the skin- a sexy little camisole more than likely. Perhaps another little something meant for publication.

I adore the pretty little yarn cakes the ball winder makes and I gave it another try on some KnitPicks Superwash wool that I bought for a baby blanket for my ex SIL ( I still love my ex's family like my own). It is so odd that both my best friend from high school and my ex SIL got pregnant at about the same time and are due within a month of eachother...That means there will be lots of baby knitting here as I have to knit for 3 very special babies. I picked out the Psychedelic Squares Afghan to make for ex SIL in shades of blue and green. I knocked out one square last night and love the results...I love the pictures across the web from Mason Dixon Knitting and even entertained the idea of buying the book, however I have found that the patterns I like the most can be found free on the web or figured out just by looking at a picture (such as the log cabin and Moderne blankets) must be great to get famous for publishing a book of patterns that have been around for ages...sorry, not to sound like sour grapes or anything...I am sure those ladies are very nice and the book must have something to offer (clever writing perhaps) to be so popular.

Rounding out the birthday goodies is 10 skeins of Knitpicks Ambrosia (80% alpaca, 20% cashmere) in color Mulled Wine. (sorry for the lack of link...I have already lost this post two times when I navigate to another page- IE just shuts down and my window closes- and I have not the time to type it all again.)

In A fish a day in May news: I am meeting my goal so far...7 days, 7 fish bringing my grand total to 25 fish!

I have also managed to knit 6 dishcloths for my dishcloth for every day of the week project. (Actually, I knit 7 but my sister took one home with her after helping me with the dishes one night while the family was visiting. She agrees they are the best for washing up!)

That is all for now, Have a great week!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rusted Root and an interview meme of sorts...

Pattern: Rusted Root, size small
Yarn:Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, 3 skeins (with most of the third skein left over) color:Harvest

Mods: I followed the pattern as written except I changed the waist shaping. I did 3 pairs of decreases 1 inch apart instead of the single decreases 3 rows apart. I also added 4 rows of ribbing to the bottom hem, I am considering taking out my BO edge and adding another 10 rows or so (I wear low rise jeans and prefer my tops to cover the waistband of my jeans and what might peek out when I sit).
My opinion: I really picked this top for the puffy sleeves, and alas, mine are not puffy, so I can't say I am 100% satisfied, but all in all this is a cute top and very wearable. The Cotton Fleece bled a lot while washing and I really do not see myself knitting with it again (I prefer KnitPicks Shine). While wool usually does not bother me, the cotton fleece is a bit itchy to me.

It was a very easy knit and a well written pattern (except for the waist shaping and the sleeves).

uberstrickenfrau interviewed me! Check out her interview!
1. What would your perfect day be like, (with no time restraints and money and places were no object.)
This perfect day would begin the night before, as I would make sure my kids were in the loving care of their Grandparents- so I would not worry about them all day nor would I be responsible for them.) I would start the day late (sleeping after noon is a luxury in itself) and have coffee delivered to my bedside. After coffee, I would have a massage on a shady beach. I would then spend hours in bed (revisiting the early days of our relationship) with The Gaming One complete with a pitcher of margaritas on the bedside table. I would then take a long hot bath while sushi was delivered. After sushi, The Gaming One would 'game' and I would sit outside and knit while a gentle breeze swayed the treetops. Just for giggles I would invite over some old friends and we would share a bag of shrooms (don't worry, I don't do this in real life, but it was fun a loooong time ago!) and watch the sunset. I am sure the rest of the evening would be very interesting.

2. What three people –dead or alive- would you like to have over for coffee& conversation and why?
First and foremost, my great grandmother Lela Brunson. She passed away when I was still a child and was partially deaf most of her life that I knew her. She was a very strong, independent woman. I blogged about her here. She was the craftiest person I have ever known and I would love just to have a chance to sit down and really talk to her about her life. I also would like her to know that her crafty gene had been passed along. If she had lived longer I am sure I would be a sewer instead of a knitter.
Second, Emily Dickinson. I just think she would be a cool woman to talk to.
Third, since I am a knitter- Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She is amazing and funny to boot.

3. What knitting pattern or technique is the most intimidating and you’ve avoided doing it?
Hands down, Fair Isle. Something about stranded tension really makes me think that my knits would end up puckered and ugly. That being said I would love to knit Venezia, especially after seeing this one (scroll to middle of page) on Craftster.

4. What superpower ( flying, invisibility ,etc) would you like to have and why?
I would love to be invisible so I could spy on people. I am kinda nosy and love to see how people act when they think no one is watching.

5. What do you know to be true?
I know when all is said and done, telling the truth, no matter how painful at the moment, is always less painful than telling a lie.

Want to play? Here’s the scoop:
1. Leave me a comment saying ”Interview me” and give me your e-mail address so you can make it easier on me.
2. I will respond by e-mailing you five questions, I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Birthday goodies (part 1)

First of all I ordered A Gathering of Lace. It just arrived this morning so I have not had time to really do more than flip through it. Although I won't be knitting every pattern in this book there are quite a few that I am lusting after. It seems to be very informative and the pictures are beautiful! Those big balls are one pound of roving from The Sheep Shed Studio -the most awesome place ever to buy roving. It took less than a week to be shipped and came with some bonus black fiber. It is white wool (I have no idea what kind- I am still very new to this spinning thing) with a strip of mohair running through it. I gave it a test spin and it was a bit trickier to spin than the (unknown) fiber that came with my spindle as it was very slippery and had a staple length of more than 6 inches. It is so soft though and after I get the hang of it I am sure I will love it. So far I just want to pet it. After The Gaming One saw it he told me he hoped he also bought me a machine to spin it on, so there may also be a spinning wheel in my near future...
On the knitting front: I finally finished Rusted Root last night. Although The Gaming One really likes it, I am not thrilled. The puffy sleeves were my favorite aspect of the top, but I guess I must have wider shoulders than the model cause my sleeves, they have no poof. Pics to come after it is dry and finished blocking.
As for A Fish a Day in May, I am right on track! Three days down, three fish knit.
Have a great weekend y'all!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Onward and upward

now that I finally emailed my Magknits submission there is nothing to do but wait and wonder...
Now that the sent button has been pushed, I am left wondering if I made any mistakes, if it will all seem gibberish to the editor, if people will even like it when it comes out. But it is out of my hands and I must admit I am a bit relieved.

Edited to add: I just heard back from Kerrie and my design will be published in the July issue! Woo Hoo!

Speaking of Magknits...their new issue is up y'all should check out Andrea's design Diamond Girl! I am loving those sleeves! Congratulations Andrea and thanks for all your advice and support!

I have also set "A Fish a Day in May" goal with fellow blogger Knitty McPurlypants in the hopes that I will get closer to finishing the little fishes afghan.

I just have to BO and knit the sleeve and neckline of Rusted Root and I will have another FO to share with y'all!