Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Things we do Every Day

Do you ever feel as if your life is like the movie Groundhog Day?  Every morning your alarm clock goes off, probably the same time everyday, and then you repeat a series of events that you just completed before you got into bed.  Oh sure, you might get to throw a little something extra, like a trip to the grocery store, in there for some excitement, but it just seems like the same old same old day after day.  Here are ten things that I do every day.

1. Brush my teeth, it's as essential as breathing for me.
2. Shower and dress
3. Pack lunches
4. Drive my youngest son somewhere, generally to school
5. Dishes.  Is it just me or do they breed and multiply at your house too when they're dirty?
6. Check email, facebook, and ravelry
7.Sweep the house. I have hardwood floors and 2 dogs, it's a necessity!
8. Exercise the dogs, so I don't lose my sanity.  A tired Neal is a good Neal :-)
9. Housework of some sort, there never seems to be a shortage of it.
10 Knit.  It may only be a few stitches some days, but I try to fit in at least a few minutes each day to knit.

Exciting life I live isn't it? LOL  And yet there never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that I would like to.

Carole always does a great job coming up with a topic for Tuesdays.  If you'd like to play along too you can sign up here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The First Pancake Never Comes Out the Best

I like to keep my projects nice and organized and my favorite way to do that is with Box Bags.  I have a few of them, but not enough for all my projects.  Some people, including my immediate family members, would say the best way to fix that problem is to finish some of the projects I have going.  I think the best way is to get more project bags :-)  Buying more bags though means I have less money for yarn :-(  So with my trusty friend Google I went looking for tutorials on the web to make some.  I thought that this tutorial was the best one, so I bookmarked it for when I was ready to sew.

Yesterday was finally the day that I dug out my sewing machine and stumbled my way through my first bag.  Tom was away, the boys were busy so I could spread out over the dining room. This morning Tom sees my first completed bag on the dining table and comments on it.  "Hey!  You made that project bag you wanted to.  Looks good!"  "Well, I don't think I should quit my day job for it"  I replied.  "Why?" he asks.  (At this point it's only fair to tell you that he was not wearing his glasses) "I'm not sure if it's more Dr. Seuss or Tim Burton-ish, but it is so not symmetrical it's kind of embarrassing."  To which he replied..."Well you know what they say.  The first pancake never comes out the best."  I think he's been waiting to use that phrase since he first heard it on Modern Family!

My first bag is taller on one end than the other, by almost 3/4 of an inch.
It's wider on one end than the other by 1/2 an inch.
And I managed not to attach the whole end of the handle on one side!
After examining my bag and reviewing the directions I was able to pick out a few areas that i should have paid more attention to and been more particular about, like pinning things in place and measuring :-)  Today I made my second bag and it came out much better than the first!  There are still a couple small areas to tweak, but I think I have the hang of it now.  I forgot to take pictures of the bag open, but the lining fabric is red with white polka dots.  I love this combo, it's so cheery.  I also like the red zipper better than the white.  I couldn't decide in the store, so I bought one of each.
I need to go back to JoAnn Fabrics to get more interfacing, but I already have fabric picked out for my next bags.
And with a little bit of math, I think I can adjust some measurements and make bags of different sizes.  The tutorial makes a bag that's great for small items, like socks or mittens, but I'd like a box bag big enough for a sweater too!

How do you like to organize your projects?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday & a Winner!

Thank you to everyone who read and commented yesterday!  I really do enjoy hearing from you.  I realized I forgot to pick an end time for comments on yesterday's post, so I made an executive decision to include everyone who commented by the time I was ready for my next post, which is today.  I put the names is my favorite pink bowl
and picked a name.  Congrats Peppermint Mocha Mama!  I've sent you an email, but just in case you don't get it, please send me your mailing address and I'll send a little something off to you!
I have a few things on the needles this week.  First is my car knitting.  It is the Poet Society Tam and I am using Malabrigo Rios.  This is progressing very slowly as I only seem to get 2 rows here and half a row there while waiting for Chandler after school.  He recently started driving though and I think he's ready to handle the drive home from school, so maybe it will get a little more love over the next week.  A little clicking of the needles may help soothe out my nerves :-)
I'm also making progress on my Twisted Flower socks.  This is the 2nd sock and I am 4 or 5 rows from working the heel flap.  I'm hoping to finish this over the weekend, or at least be well into the foot.
I started my Washington Square sweater.  I decided to mix it up a bit and start with the sleeves.  I'm hoping that when I'm working on the body and get to the point of adding the sleeves, that I won't lose momentum if the sleeves are already done.  We'll see, but I figured it was worth at least trying.  This is the first sleeve.  I have 12 inches done with about 5 more to go.
That's what's on my needles this week. What are you working on?  Or hoping to start?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

10 Headlines from the Year you were Born

I was going to tell you what year I was born, but I thought it would be more fun to have my first blog contest and ask you to guess!  I admit that I had to ask my good friend Google to help me with this week's list.  It was fun and enlightening to do the research.  Here are your clues!

1. The Voting Rights Act becomes law

2. Malcolm X is assassinated in Harlem

3. The Great Archway in St. Louis is completed

4. LBJ stops bombing and offers peace

5. Winston Churchill dies

6. Watts Riots leave 34 dead

7. LA Dodgers beat the Minnesota Twins to win the World Series

8. The Beatles visit Elvis Presley at his home in LA

9. Diet Pepsi is now available!

10. The Sound of Music wins the Academy Award for Best Picture

Leave your guess as to what year I was born in the comments.  If there is more than 1 correct guess, I'll put those names in bowl and draw a winner!  Good luck!  I'm off to toss the stash and come up with something good :-)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Did I blog that?

I finished a pair of socks this weekend. After taking a picture of them, all finished and on my sock blockers, I took them to my room and added them to my little stash of stuff I've knitted over the summer.  Ohhh, how I love to admire and fondle all the projects I've finished and set aside until the cooler weather comes :-)  A couple things jumped out at me and made me wonder if I've shown them to you?  After checking the blog I realized that I hadn't!  SO let's catch up!

First is a hat.  It's the Smocked Slouch.  I bought both the pattern and the yarn at The Plucky Knitter booth at Sock Summit.  Let me just say that I love love love this yarn! It is so soft, has a nice twist, and yet is still lofty, and it just slides along the needle like a dream.  I enjoyed knitting this hat too.  I was a little concerned about the smocking stitch.  I wanted it to be tight enough to really show off the smocking, but not too tight so that it would have plenty of give when you put it on.  I also worried that if I was too generous with the smocking that the stitch would be sloppy looking.  Overall I'm happy with the outcome, but if I make this pattern again I will be a little firmer with my smocking stitches.

These Summer Lovin Socks are the socks I just finished Friday night.  I made this pattern a couple years ago and really enjoyed it.  The sock were a bit on the loose side though so I gifted them to someone I knew would love them.  I used the same yarn in a different color but went down a needle size this time. They fit great this time!  The yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan sock in the colorway Belle.

This last pair I finished just before leaving for Sock Summit, which is probably why they found their way into the FO pile without a proper photo shoot and blog unveiling.  These are from the June Cookie A Sock Club shipment.  The pattern is Orange Pekoe and the yarn for the June shipment is also Hazel Knits Artisan sock yarn.  This color is called Oh My Darling, which is think is clever because I think of clementines every time I look at this color!  The left and right socks are mirror images of each other which was very fun to knit!
I think I'm caught up now on finished projects.  I have a few fun things on the needles now. I'm looking forward to sharing them with you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

10 on Tuesday

10 Things I Buy Each Week

This is going to be a tough one this week because we're not supposed to include groceries.  I think that I'm a creature of habit, but I'm not sure that there are 10 things I buy every week, other than specific grocery items.  I'm going to give it a try though.....

1. Dunkin Donuts Coffee.  I treat myself at least once a week to this.
2.  Gas.  DS3 is attending a Catholic High School this year and it is 46 miles round trip to school.  Twice a day.
3.  Audiobook.  I really enjoy listening to books.  Between Audible and NH Downloadable, I probably average 1 book a week, although it may only be 3 books a month.
4. Take-out Dinner.  Usually Pizza, because they deliver, but sometimes Chinese.  It seems that there's usually 1 night each weekend that I just don't feel like cooking!
5. Lunch.  I try to limit it to once a week.

Now I'm stumped, so I think I'll try to finish the list with things I wished I bought once a week.
6. Sunday Paper.  I dream of enjoying the paper on Sunday morning with a cup of tea or coffee.
7. Movie.  Whether it's a trip to the theater or a DVD at home.
8. Yarn.  Nice yarn.  I think you all know what I mean :-)
9. Flowers.  They make the house so cheery, but I seldom treat myself.
10. Music.  Whether it's a new CD or just a song I like that I heard on the radio.  I have some great music but I haven't bought anything new in a while.  Maybe I should try to change that.

That was tough!  What about you?  What types of things do you buy each week?

Friday, September 9, 2011

A little shopping

I got a package from The Sanguine Gryphon this week with a skein of Skinny Bugga in Dragonfly Tattoo, which is a summer colorway that is getting ready to retire.  It was one of a couple colorways from this summer's collection, that I loved, that I was not able to pic up at Sock Summit.  Every time I went by their booth, this color was sold out. I was happy to be able to score some during their sale a couple weeks ago.
Pretty, isn't it?  It has a little bit of every color in it.

So, as I was taking a picture of it to add it to my stash on Ravelry, I realized that I never did show you all the fabulous yarn I picked up at Sock Summit!  So I'm going to show you today.  Here it all is, in all it's glory!
It looks like more than it really is.  It all fits in my Sock Summit tote bag.  Spread out though, it looks substantial!

This is a merino/tencel blend from the Knitted Wit. There was a Marrowstone Shawl knit up in this in her booth and it was just absolutely lovely, really soft and fluid.  I need one of my own.
Kollage yarns had a nice presence in the Paradise Fibers booth.  I picked up some Riveting and the My Kind of Saturday pattern for it.  It's an interesting yarn.  I'm anxious to knit this up and wash it to see how it feels.
I also got a skein of Sock-a-licious.  I can't believe I only bought one!  It's really soft.
I also bought a skein of Djinni Sock from Dragonfly Fibers.  This color is Artic Pearl.  They were giving away samples too which I'll use to swatch.
I also went by the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth. A lot.  I did buy these 3 skeins of STR, although a sweaters worth of BFL Sport and Woobu were in and out of my cart many, many times.  These colors are Mmm, Mmm Good in MW, Sockgate DHD in LW, and Rare Gem Water in MW
I finally got to see The Plucky Knitter's yarns in person for the first time.  Wow! Sarah has some really nice yarns and her colors are fabulous!  I picked up 2 skeins of Primo Worsted in Bubblegum Flower and Barn Door.  I also got 2 skeins of Primo fingering in One Hit Wonders.
Next stop was Hazel Knits where I was delighted to be able to meet Wendee in person.  I've been in her club for about 2 years and was tickled that she recognized my name and remembered what part of the country I  was from!  What a way to make a girl feel special and that her business is truly appreciated!  I got a skein of the new Piquant Lite to try in Blueberry, and 3 skeins of Artisan in Plum Glace, Chocoberry, and Lochness, which were all colors that were on my wish list.
Last, but certainly not least, is Miss Babs.  I bought a sweaters worth of Yowza in the color Nori.  This is my birthday gift from my in-laws :-) I'll have more to tell you about this yarn later :-)  I also got a skein of Windsor sock yarn in Catherine.
So that was all the shopping I did in the Marketplace.  I flirted with some Signature needles too, but decided to spend my money on yarn instead that I wanted to pick out myself.  Signature Needle Arts has a nice Wish List feature, so I figured I could fill that out and send it to DH for future gift giving occasions :-)

Have a great weekend!  I hope to get lots of knitting time!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

10 Fall/Winter Knits

It is good to get back to Ten on Tuesday!  I have really missed it, but couldn't' quite seem to get my act together over the summer to participate.  Thank you Carole for keeping this going.  You truly do a great job coming up with new ideas! I don't know about all of you but I am glad to have the kids back to school so I can get back on a dependable schedule!

This week's topic is 10 Things I'd Like to Knit this Fall/Winter.  Um.... only 10?  This is the hard part for me.  I made a quick list of the things that quickly came to mind and it is way more than 10.  I took out the projects for the Knit-a-Longs and Clubs that I regularly participate in and I was able to get the list down to 10.  Here they are:

1. Washington Square - I bought the yarn for this at Sock Summit with Birthday Money from my wonderful MIL.  I swatched this weekend and am ready to cast on!
2. Vodka Gimlet - This is a new release by Baby Cocktails and I looove it! I have a sweater's quantity of Cascade 220 in the stash that I bought for something else, but I think I'm going to reallocate it to this project.
3. Dark & Stormy - This has been in my queue for a while.  My LYS had a special on Madelinetosh this past July that I took advantage of.  I ordered some Vintage in Composition Book Grey.  It should arrive around Novemberish and will be a great late fall/early winter knit
4. Karren - The 2nd installment of the Sweater for all Seasons Club and I have the yarn for it already, Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport in Tanzanite.
5. Poet Society Tam - I'm making this with Malabrigo Rios.  I have cast on, but that's about it.
6. Koolhass - I know, I'm late to the party because I haven't made this yet.  Soon, very soon.  This will make a great Christmas gift for one of the many men in my life :-)
7. Marrowstone Shawl - Super pretty and an interesting construction.  I bought a gorgeous Merino/Tencel blend yarn from Knitted Wit at Sock Summit for this shawl.
8. Hazel Knits September/October Mystery Sock - I wasn't going to participate even though the designer is VeryBusyMonkey and I love her designs, but the 1st clue has been released and it is fabulous!  I can't resist.
9. A Noble Cowl - Simple pattern and doesn't require much yarn, and I really like the motif.
10. Winter Wonder - I just can't decide if I want to do the small version or the infinity version.  I may have to do both!

These are a few of the projects on my queue.  What are you planning to knit this fall?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fun in the 'Hood

I love where I live and it is simply because of the 30 amazing families in my neighborhood.  There aren't many places left where everyone looks out for everybody's kids, supports each other, and knows how to have fun together.  For the 5th year in a row, this is how we end our summer.  It begins with a parade, followed by plenty of food & drinks and plenty of music and dancing! 

I hope you had a great weekend too filled with friends and family!  It's good to remember that Life is Good and we really do have so much to be thankful for!

Now that the summer is over and we are returning to our regular schedules, I hope to resume regular blogging too.  Tomorrow's topic for Ten on Tuesday is a good one, be sure to come back and join the fun :-)