Tuesday, November 27, 2007

But wait! there's more . . .

More patterns, that is. I did get them photographed, finally, and posted for sale on my website. And so here there are . . .

Fashionista is a slip stitch pattern using three colors of bulky yarn and US size 13 (9.0 mm) needles. It's roomy and well balanced, and I love this bag!

Strike! is a trio of felted bowling bag style purses sized small, medium, and large with pockets on both front and back. It's also knit with bulky yarn and US size 13 (9.0 mm) needles. Knit them all . . . they'll bowl you over!

My Color Wheel Hexagonal Bag was originally designed as a gift for my Bag-a-holics swap partner and I decided to write up the pattern and include it in the collection as well. This is a good bag for using up worsted weight yarn remnants. It's knit with 2 strands of worsted weight yarn held together and a US size 11 (8.0 mm) needle.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pillars of Fire . . .

Well, perhaps you thought I'd deserted my blog, but here I am. It's been over two months since I last posted, and I've been furiously knitting various projects. It's been crazy busy around here since my last blog entry and doesn't show much sign of letting up any time soon.

Pattern and photos removed due to sale to a Sock Club.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Explosion of Flowers

I've had a productive week this week. I managed to learn how to install the html needed for a Paypal cart on the Shopping page of my website, and so now my book and the patterns I've been working on can be purchased directly from my site. Pretty neat! The Flambeau socks are there, as well as the What a Croc! scarf and my Thank You felted bag.

The newest member of the pattern family is the bag you see here, called Flowers Go Boom! since it's an explosion of colors, techniques, and shapes. The bag is knit in black and gray alternating stripes into a nice satchel shape. The flowers are crocheted and then felted. After blocking, they are beaded with some sparkly glass and metal beads, then sewn to the bag. I just LOVE this bag, and it's been getting some nice positive attention on Ravelry since I posted it there. I'm really excited to see if that attention converts into some pattern sales.

My Knit and Chat exchange partner, Tish, received the package I sent, and I'm so happy that she's thrilled with the Diamond Fantasy Shawl, the Margarita! bag, and the shawl pin. Wear them in good health, Tish!

I sold some of the Flambeau sock patterns this week to another Knit and Chatter, Carol, who owns a yarn shop called Never Enough Wool. thanks, Carol, for the order. I hope your group enjoys the pattern!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Long time, no blog . . .

It's been a flurry of activity around here the last 3 weeks. School started back the day after Labor Day. Duncan is starting on his first soccer team. And the kids and I all have the usual back to school cold and sniffles.

We moved the girls out of their cribs, finally, and into toddler beds and they're liking that a lot.

I'm getting lots of knitting projects done as well. I got my Knit and Chat Fall Exchange parcel mailed out and I'm waiting to hear that my partner has received it. I sent the shawl I was debating about earlier in the blog, as well as a bag I designed. And a nice little shawl pin I picked up from an Etsy shop. And one of my books and a kid's scarf pattern I designed.

Speaking of the scarf, here it is. With my beautiful son modeling it. It's a crocodile and the scarf will be for sale on my website soon. The pattern is called What a Croc! It's a fun way to drape a reptile around your neck. Raised stockinette stitch scales on a field of reverse stockinette stitch form the body and tail, with a crocheted edging all around. The eyes are actually little craft jingle bells sown into the eye sockets, and the nostrils are bobbles. there are even some fearsome teeth! There is a similar pattern by Morehouse Farm which appears to be a simple garter stitch alligator, and they sell their pattern as part of a kit, apparently, and in two sizes so check them out.

Another project design I completed is a gorgeous bag I'm giving a friend as a gift for treating us to such a lovely time in San Francisco during the summer. I was inspired by the design on a thank you card I picked up in a Papyrus store in Atlanta and decided to render it in wool, and many times larger. Here's a photo of what I've been calling the Thank You bag. I'm working on another one in a different colorway and I'm going to offer the pattern for sale on my website as well . . . as soon as I finish knitting
the second colorway.

Oh, and I completed my August sock of the month a couple of days into September, so not bad all things considered. I knitted the Carolina sock in Socks That Rock medium weight Sherbet. Here they are too.

I also designed and knitted a dishcloth, my first experience in laying out an actual knit/purl design so that it makes a picture. The pattern is an angel, and it can be downloaded from free pattern page at my website. Here's the photo of the Dishcloth Relay Angel. The cloth was designed to go along with a dishcloth relay planned on my favorite knitting forum at Delphi -- Knit and Chat.

So, I guess that's all for now. Be watching the Shopping section of my webpage for the bag and scarf patterns to become available, and just follow the link in the right hand column to my free patterns to pick up a copy of the Angel dishcloth.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thanks, Alison, for the fun interview!

Alison Lee recently interviewed me for her Craftcast podcast, and I had such a great time talking to her. The podcast is up now and you can check it out. Please visit Alison's website where you can download the podcast, or check out (and even subscribe) her podcast at Itunes. She's interviewed some amazing crafters, and it is such an honor to be included among them.

Thanks, Alison! What fun it was chatting with you!

And for those who wonder how to find Knit and Chat at Delphi Forums . . . here's a link for that. Tell Carol Ann I sent you!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My interview . . .

Recently, I was very honored to be interviewed by Kim Stevens who has a podcast called Knit Therapy. We met at the Charlevoix Fiber Festival several weeks ago and recorded the interview, which is now available from Itunes and also from her podcast website. Kim also blogs, so check her out there as well.

Kim is a great person and another Michigander. The interview was fun and Kim made it easy to chat with her about my knitting and my book. I didn't come off looking like nearly the idiot I thought I might. Thanks, Kim, for being such a great interviewer!

I've also done another interview for a podcast called Craftcast, hosted by Alison Lee, and that was a lot of fun too. That one should be available soon as well, and I'll post information about it when it's out.

So, if you'd like to take a listen at me chatting about my knitting, visit Kim's podcast site and download the MP3 file or go check out the episode at Itunes.

Friday, August 17, 2007

School Bus Scarf, the pattern . . .

For those of you checking here as a result of my friend Jules's blog entry about the school bus scarf she knitted, here's the link to the pattern. I hope you'll enjoy knitting this for your little ones!

Just click here to go to my Free Patterns page, and then scroll down until you see the school bus scarf picture. Click the photo to download the .pdf file for the pattern.

Edit: The school bus scarf pattern has been removed from the free pattern page.

The end is in sight . . .

The end of my Knitting To Do List, that is. Well, at least the end of the immediate short range To Do list. I cast on last night for the last CPY project that is hanging fire. After it's knitted, felted, and finished, I can finalize all the photos and patterns and get this batch out to Susan. Then, I can regroup and think through what needs to be done next.

I'm excited about this current pattern for Crystal Palace. It's one they'll offer for free download. The pattern is done in two colorways -- a dressier one and a more casual one. I can't wait to show them to you when they are done. If you haven't done so yet, hop over there and take a look at my Margarita! bag that's been put up on the website recently. It's definitely a cool summer refresher.

Weather here is a bit cool today, but gorgeously sunny. This is the time of year in northeastern Michigan when you can just begin to feel autumn in the air, and see the first streakings of color in the maple leaves. School will start on Tuesday after Labor Day, and by then, it's definitely jacket weather here.

I love this time of year, with the bit of coolness in the air and the promise of the rush of summer slowing to a more manageable pace. The pull of that urge to pick up some soft squshy wool and just knit for hours grows stronger and stronger as the days become cooler.

My Montego Bay scarf is cast on and moving right along. I'm about a third of the way done with it. I've decided to incorporate some beads in the trim at each end. I think it'll be really pretty when it's done. I'm using Socka Colori Disco yarn, which has a bit of silver glitter in it. I haven't worked on the Moonlight Sonata Shawl in a few days, but I'll get back to it. I'm enjoying having a few projects to switch back and forth as I work on them.

I'm still deliberating about what to do with that Diamond Fantasy Shawl. Gift it? Or keep it and wear it myself and gift a different project? Or gift it along with another (more perfect) project as a sort of "sorry I'm human" apology gift? I think I'm leaning toward Option #3. What would you do?

Did I mention that I have two completely potty trained little girls? YAAAAAYY! Even through the night, both Abby and Emma are staying dry. It's big girl panties all around here at the Ross home! Or, as Abby and Emma call them, "pretty panties".

Now, that's cause to celebrate!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What do you do when . . .

You get something all knitted up, finished, and start blocking it and then discover that the black yarn you used, all the same yarn from the same company was apparently from different dye lots? Last week, I finished the Diamond Fantasy Shawl by Sivia Harding. It's gorgeous! Of course, being black and having been knit mostly at night after the kids were asleep, I wasn't even thinking about there being the possibility of the last 2 inches being a more bluish black than the more brownish black that the rest of the shawl is. You can almost notice it in the photo, but you can definitely see it in person in full sunlight or under fluorescent lighting.

Disheartening, to say the least. I had planned this as a gift, but now, unless someone can tell me an easy way to overdye this so the black color evens out, I may have to just keep it for myself and go to Plan B for the gift. Draped in the right way, and particularly in less than full sunlight, the color difference isn't apparent, but still, I don't feel I can gift someone with less than perfection. Are any of you that way?

I finished some other projects since my last blog entry, and started some others. I got more bags done for Crystal Palace, but haven't got hardware, etc. installed yet. So I need to do that, photo them, and then get the patterns written up and the whole shebang mailed out. I have one more bag to knit and felt for them, which is an alternate colorway of one of the just completed ones.

I designed some Golf Club Covers for my father-in-law. They turned out well. I used 2 strands of some leftover Lion Brand Wool. And then as I was looking them over, discovered on the 5-wood cover, a purl in the ribbing where there should have been a knit. He won't care, probably won't even notice, and if he did wouldn't think anything about it, but I know. Dang, dang, dang! The most maddening part about these recent knitting boo-boos is that I don't usually do stuff like that. This must be a sign of having too much going on all at once, which is certainly the case around here these days.

Another project I got underway is the Moonlight Sonata Shawl by Shui Kuen Kozinski which I downloaded from Elann. This is going well in Briar Rose Sea Pearl. What a treat this yarn is -- merino and tencel. Gorgeous hand, lovely color, and great to knit up. Here's a photo of the work in progress. I've worked through three more pattern repeats since that photo, and have 5 more to go, for a total of 10 in all, unless I decide to make it longer.

I'm getting that itchy urge to cast on a pair of socks. I'm thinking about doing one of Gigi Silva's designs, either the Carolina, Last Queen of Naples or the Kaylee. Anyone made either of these? What do you think? And I'm also wanting to cast on for Amy Singer's Montego Bay Scarf from the Summer 2007 Interweave Knits.

Decisions, decisions, decisions! And much procrastination about finishing up those handbags!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Beautiful Fleece Artist Sea Wool!

Recently, I received some Fleece Artist Sea Wool in the Hercules colorway from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe. (Thanks, Sheri!) It is so beautiful, soft, and luscious! I just finished a pair of socks from that yarn. The colors are so gorgeous, I decided that just plain old stockinette was the way to go. Take a look for yourself!

I did something new with the toe. Rather than have the toe decreases placed one stitch in from each side, I decided (inspired by the way Colin did his toe increases on a recent pair of socks) to keep a set number of stitches in the middle of the toe and have my decreases slant toward them instead. Here is what the toe looks like when you do that.
Don't you just love having a newly finished pair of socks?
Now, I MUST get back to working on some purses!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Solstice Slip

Solstice Slip
Originally uploaded by
Just a quick note to show my completed July socks . . . . Rockin' Sock Club Solstice Slip.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Accidental -- the dishcloth that wanted to be a purse

Here is the link to my pink bag. The file is in PDF format and the purse is called Accidental. Just scroll down until you see it, then click the photo.

Happy knitting, and be sure to let me know if you knit it and where I can see YOUR version!

Every day brings a new surprise

Sometimes in knitting life, you have a happy accident. This week, I intended to knit a dishcloth. A pretty, pink little thing with some nubs on it that would make good scrubbers. And, I wanted to play around with knitting a square in the round. Yep. A square in the round.

Well, the idea was a good one. The technique is a good old tried and true method of casting on enough stitches for the perimeter of the square and then making double decreases at each corner until you get to the center, and then pull the remaining stitches tightly together. The happy accident happened when I chose to cast on too many stitches with a yarn that was too heavy. Twice as heavy, as a matter of fact. I used Peaches and Cream Double Weight Worsted Cotton yarn.

The hapless dishcloth turned out to be 17.5" square when finished. So, it quickly metamorphosized into a very cute, very pink, very nubbly envelope style shoulder bag. I lined it, gave it a cute button and crocheted button loop, and attached a nice long cross-the-body length shoulder strap. As soon as I get a minute to do it, I'll write up the pattern and post it on my free pattern page.

Here are some photos of this little cutie. Well, not so little. It's 12.5" wide and 11" tall.

The back of this bag has the center rosette I made just before binding off.

There's a cute flower design button, and the straps were put on simply by attaching the purse loops through the stitches at the top of the bag.
The lining is a double thickness of a floral printed organza.

So, there it is. I'm pretty happy with this happy accident!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Reveling in Ravelry

Everyone I know who has become part of the new Ravelry community is completely in love with it. Like thousands of others, I signed up for the beta version a couple of months ago when I first heard about it. And a few days ago, I received my invitation to join. I've spent lots of time over the last several days entering information into my little Ravelry cubby and making some acquaintances there.

What is Ravelry? For those who have not heard of it yet, it's an amazing new online community for knitters and crocheters. And more than a community, it's a wonderful collection of organizational helps like a place to inventory your fiber stash, needles and crochet hooks, and track and display finished objects and works in progress. You can also queue up projects and organize yourself into the future.

The creators of Ravelry are a couple, Jess and Casey, who birthed this fabulous new concept and then set about growing it to some maturity before setting it loose on the public at large. They are doing a great job of that, incorporating member suggestions for improvements daily, hourly, and sometimes almost minute to minute. They keep members informed in the Forum section of the community and solicit feedback for improvements there.

They've created an environment where beginning yarn crafters can rub elbows with more seasoned knitters and crocheters, and where designers can incubate projects and relationships. They are really making the best of what the 'net is all about -- networking.

I've noticed a personal impact for myself already. Just seeing the amazing works of others is motivating me to do more. And already I've made contacts with people whom I might not otherwise have the chance to know, including some of my favorite knitting podcasters.

One of those people is Sharon, who has the She-Knits podcast. If you aren't familiar with her podcast, you can check it out at either Itunes or her podcast site. You don't need an Ipod to listen, you can just download onto your computer and listen.

Sharon has a thing for felted bags, just like I do, and it's been great having a chance to get to know her a little bit, and I'm looking forward to knowing her better.

Aren't we living in an amazing time? A time when we can reach out across states and countries and meet other people who are more like us than we realize? And then to become friends with them, helping one another along the way? Just goes to show you that we are creatures that crave interaction. It's what we were built for, and even as our world becomes more and more modernized, mechanized, and computerized, we find ways to use all that to create and nurture relationships.

Anyway, check out Sharon and her podcast, and if you think you might be interested in Ravelry, check that out too. And when you get there, look me up. I'm always pretty easy to find.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Wave your Stars and Stripes!

You can fly your colors with my new bag design, and if you knit fast . . . even by the 4th!

Here's a bag I designed for the July bag of the month at the Yahoo Bag-a-holics group. The pattern is available for purchase at my website Shopping Page. The cost is $4 for the PDF version, which will be e-mailed to you upon payment.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Socks for Sale . . .

OK, so here's my very first ever for-sale-to-the-public sock pattern. It's called Flambeau, and I hope you'll like it. Here's a photo of the sock, knit in Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Cotton, a blend of bamboo, cotton, and elastic. The pattern requires 3 balls of Panda Cotton, or 390 yards of fingering weight yarn for a ladies size US 7.5 (ladies medium).

If you'd like to order the pattern, please visit the Shopping Page of my website. The pattern costs $5 and will be e-mailed to you in PDF format.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

What a Trip!

It's been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. It hasn't been because I didn't want to . . . it's just been. . . well . . . . frenetic.

June 20 through 25, we were in San Francisco where I had meetings with both Bare Escentuals and with Crystal Palace Yarns. You can read all about the Bare Escentuals part of the trip in my post at BE Addicts Forum in this posting. It was an amazing trip and we were treated like royalty.

The CPY part of the trip was just as productive. As many of you know, I've been designing projects for Crystal Palace since the spring of 2006. The week before we went out there, I found out about a huge new project for which they want me to design some bags. So, I got busy and ended up taking 12 completed projects out to Susan. Some of them are the regular projects for free download on their website, and the rest were for the new project. I'll tell more about that when there's more definite information on the final details.

While we were there, we got a chance to go to Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39. We took the kids to the aquarium there and they got to pet some fish. They had a great time, and we also got to see some sea lions, ride the carousel, and just enjoy the fantastic weather.

It was a hectic 5 days, but the travel went as well as it can when you are traveling with 3 kids (2 of whom are smack in the middle of potty training). We're glad to be home, and I'm still trying to catch up and make the house look like the luggage didn't throw up all over it.

On my knitting needles, or should I say just off the needles, is a new sock design that I think I'm going to offer for sale. Be watching for more particulars about how to order either a download or a hard copy of my new design called "Flambeau" using Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Cotton sock yarn.

Next for the needles? I'm not sure yet. I'm waiting for a box of yarn to arrive from CPY, and that'll give me all the raw materials I need to do several more bag projects for them. I guess I'd better get myself down to business sketching them out, huh?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What a week . . .

Man alive, what a week! The small church we've attended since it started up 3 years ago imploded. What a mess. We chose to remove ourselves from the fray and asked to have our names erased from the member roster. On to something new now and hopefully less volatile.

Duncan's kindergarten graduation was on Tuesday. Look how handsome he is in his little cap and gown!

And then I got a lot of work done on my Crystal Palace projects. I finished up the third of three and it's blocking dry, and all that is left to do on the projects is the finishing work. I also worked up another that's in the machine felting right now. It's part of a special new project I'm doing with CPY that'll launch this fall. More about that when I have more details and can release the information.

Book sales seemed to pick up a bit this month so far, maybe as a result of TNNA in Columbus. CPY took several of my bags with them to display in their booth, and they also are promoting my books. They have them available to sell to local yarn shops and online stores that purchase their yarns, and so they give the books a great boost whenever they set up a booth at one of these conventions.

CPY has some luscious new colors coming out in their Fjord and Iceland yarns, and a new bulky weight yarn called Kaya which is like their Taos yarn, only double in weight. I'm working up something with it now in a gorgeous colorway.

It's good to be back in the CPY saddle again after having several months off while I was getting my book launched and getting some other things caught up. I think having my yarns and stuff organized, visible, and easy to access has been a big motivator for me to start designing some new things to make with all those yarns.

So, here we are at the beginning of a new week. It has to be calmer than last week . . . . right?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I've been busy, oh so busy . . .

It's been a busy couple of days since my last blog entry. Yesterday was Abby's birthday, and so we celebrated last night with cake and presents, just the five of us at home. Here's birthday girl blowing out her candles. She was having a "Shirt Optional" kind of day.

The last several days, I've been working on getting my new yarn studio in shape, and I'm almost done with that. There are still a few of Art's things in there, but they are slowly but surely being moved down to his shop in the basement. I still need to put another couple of smaller shelving units in the room (after he gets his stuff out), put the stuff on them and then I'll be done.

I've been spending time reorganizing my yarn and stuff as well. Here are a few photos of the work in progress. This photo shows 8 feet of shelving along one of the walls. The yarn supplies are there, as well as some laser paper, envelopes, and other miscellaneous office and mailing supplies. I totally love these mesh baskets. I just can't get enough of them. Also, I'd love to find just the right size bookcase so I could put it in the room as well to hold my collection of knitting books.

The next photo shows the view as you enter the area. The desk, computer,and printers will stay, but you can see I've commandeered the file cabinets and drawer storage for my knitting goods. The former owners used this room as a guest bedroom, and it has an attached half bath. We've always used this room as a home office. The space is about 12' x 12'.

This shot shows the cedar closet. At first, I thought I'd use it for yarn storage, but I decided I'd rather have my yarn in plain sight than any more office supplies.

Next, you see how I've sorted and labeled my yarns. If you can't see it clearly, this tag, which I tied onto the mesh with yarn (appropriately enough) says, "CPY" in the blue section, with "Fjord" in the top orange block and "Solid and Print" in the bottom orange block. Aren't those yarn balls pretty?

Here's another shot of some miscellaneous felting wools.

So, I'm pleased with how this is all shaping up.

On my needles, I'm an inch or so away from beginning the heel on my newest sock design, which is toe up. Still working on the Candle Flame shawl as well.

I haven't managed to knit very much the last couple of days. But I did manage to get a glorious nap in this afternoon. Art took all the kids out today for several hours, and so I hunkered down for a 2 hour nap. After that, I plugged into my Ipod for some knitting podcasts and worked some more on my knitting studio organization. It was a great and productive day.

To cap off the day, I fried up a bunch of chicken . . . some for us for dinner, and some for tomorrow for a wedding shower/potluck luncheon for a friend. Art picked up breasts and thighs while he was out (both boneless). Very, very tasty!

So, that's the news from here. Stay tuned for more adventures!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I guess I wasn't running fast enough . . .

Because Jules tagged me and I'm it! OK, here are 8 random facts about myself that you may not know (depending upon, of course, from which context you know me)!

  1. I'm the oldest of five siblings, married to the oldest of five siblings. We each have 3 sisters and 1 brother.
  2. In 1974, I and my four sisters turned our birthdate age on our birthdays. I was 18 on January 18. Annette was 9 on July 9. Sissel was 7 on November 7. Kim was 3 on May 3.
  3. I didn't knit for 40 years after I taught myself to do it. Then I took it up and started designing stuff.
  4. I used to teach puppy kindergarten.
  5. I used to be a part time court reporter in a law firm.
  6. I once shared a table in a Japanese restaurant with the now deceased actor, Jim Varney. I once sat on an airplane next to actress Gina Hecht. I waited at a Chicago street corner once for a light change next to David Morse and his dog.
  7. I can't stand yard sales. They give me the creeps.
  8. My family are 3-generation funeral directors. My mother and grandmother are both licensed directors, as is my brother, and as were my father and grandfather.

So there!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Socks and School and Sneezy Noses

Thank you to everyone who has written to me to say how much you like my Bella Catena Italiana socks. I'm already working on a new sock design, a toe up pair which I've cast on already. I've charted it out, swatched to see how the design plays, and now I'm just getting into it to see if it emerges from the needles as I see it in my head. This is definitely a challenge.

I really admire those who can design socks in a way that seems so effortless, and which result in such beautiful work. And then write a pattern that is coherent, correct, and also covers a multitude of feet. My socks are off to all you talented designers! I'm SOOOOOO not worthy! Oh sure, I kind of know my way around a felted purse, but socks! That's a different knitting skill set altogether.

School is quickly winding down here in northeast Michigan. Duncan has tomorrow, then a field trip on Thursday, another day in class on Friday, then Monday will be another field trip, followed up by kindergarten graduation on Tuesday. Quiet knitting time may become quite an elusive thing around here after that.

The girls have had some allergy symptoms the last several days. The pollen count here has been really high this spring, and it seems like allergies have been at an all-time record worst. We're going through tissues at a rate which would certainly please the makers of Puffs Plus.

Abby is having her third birthday on Friday, and so I need to get geared up for a birthday cake and a couple of gifts for her. She's been going around telling me "It's not my bir-day yet. My bir-day Goon fust."

Which rapidly approaches.

Well, back to those toe ups!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Bella Catena Italiana

Just a quick note to let you know that the sock pattern is now ready for download. Here is the PDF pattern for Bella Catena Italiana.


Pretty, pretty socks . . .

Well, I've just finished my latest pair of socks using the Italian Chain Rib stitch. So pretty and feminine, and the lacy rib is so stretchy. I did a plain stockinette stitch heel flap so there would be nothing to distract from the beauty of the stitch pattern. Here's a photo of the completed socks. I'll work up the pattern and post a note about it here in a day or two letting you know where you can download it, if you like.

Now, it's on to work on the Candle Flame Shawl from my sock yarn remnants.

We're having a lazy Memorial Day holiday here. Art and Duncan just got back from a little tennis game, and the girls are just about ready for naptime. My next adventure involves working a bit more on the "clean out the office closet" project. I'd like to get that done today. Maybe.

Happy Memorial Day to all!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Squirrel Cuisine

If I'm going to get a blog entry done today at all, I need to do it now, don't I? It was a good day today, and a busy one.

I met some friends for lunch today. What a good time. I met two new ladies who came along, and so we were 6 all together. Lots of laughing, lots of other talking of things of more import. And sweet potato fries. What fun! I'm always amazed when you get a few women together and begin hearing about their dreams, experiences, and talents. It always strikes me that women together, combining their gifts, become a power with which to be reckoned.

Of course, it's not like you can just up and run out the door when you are an old woman with young children. It's a logistical exercise of military proportions just planning how to get bathed and then made up. I did manage to shower and wash my hair before the girls got up this morning. And then after their breakfast, I plunked them in my bathtub while I put on my face and clothes. Even so, it took from 7 this morning to 10:30 to get the three of us in shape to exit the house and drive the 45 minutes to (first) Grandma's for a drop off and then to the place where we met for lunch.

I did manage to squeeze in a trip to Wal-mart to stock up on some summer clothes for the girls before I needed to pick them up and head back north to get Duncan from Kindergarten.

It was a beautiful day today. After yesterday's heat, today was a breath of cool, fresh air. Sunny and in the 60s mostly.

I got a few more rounds done on my socks today, but nothing to write home about. My June TSV from BE arrived today. Cute, cute, cute bag. I can't wait to get a chance to try out the colors in the kit.

Tonight at dinner, Abby told me that big girls don't eat squirrels. Emma told me that she DOES, in fact, eat squirrels. And Emma also says that squirrels eat lady bugs. Duncan asked me what squirrels taste like. I told him, "Chicken."

I've got to keep a closer eye on those three!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Italian Chain Rib Sock Update

I thought I'd take just a minute to pop in and post a photo of my socks. The heels are turned and I'm headed down the foot through the gusset decreases. This photo illustrates how stretchy the stitch pattern is. These socks are being knit with #1 needles on 60 stitches from Opal solid sock yarn. I'm getting about 12 rpi and 10 spi for gauge in stockinette in the round.

More later!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Quiet time . . .

All the kids in bed, and finally asleep. Quiet. A glass of wine. Time to catch up on some DVR'd programs which have gone unwatched until this chance.


It was a pretty productive day. Lots of laundry is fresh and clean and put away. I got a chance to make some progress on my socks -- I'm ready to turn the heels. And I was able to begin culling through some things in our home office to donate to Duncan's school. Office supplies that seemed like a good thing at the time, but have gone unused. The school will be able to use them.

The home office is one that we've used for our business since we moved in here twelve years ago. Art fixed himself up a place in one of the basement rooms a few months back -- computer work benches and all the gizmos he needs for the business (it looks like the console of the USS Enterprise down there. I think it actually glows in the dark.) -- and moved some of his stuff down there. And said the home office would make a great knitting studio for me. And he'd be moved out of it by December. And it will make a great space for my knitting/book stuff if I can ever get the rest of his stuff evicted. Today was the first attempt at that.

In that room is a large cedar closet the former owners built and used for storing winter clothing and I think some furs. We had floor to ceiling shelves built into it when we decided to turn that former guest room into an office, and so once I can get them cleared of the things that are in there, it'll make great yarn storage. I'm excited at the prospect.

So, tomorrow is the day the housecleaner comes. After a year, I still have mixed feelings about it. Love, love, love the clean house at the end of the day. Guilt, guilt, guilt over not doing it myself. Note to self: get over it. And on Friday, a nice lunch planned with some friends while the girls visit Grandma for a bit. I'm looking forward to that.

I also got a chance today to do a little online yarn shopping, amid all the other stuff. I picked up some things from The Loopy Ewe. Some Claudia Handpainted, some Schaefer Anne, and some Louet. I've never knit with any of those three, or even seen them in person, so I'm eager to get my hands on them. And, I ordered a few patterns from Cookie A's site. What a pleasure to be able to order them, download them, and get that instant gratification. I really enjoy knitting Cookie's patterns. She's a gifted sock designer. I've done her Monkey socks, the Baudelaires, and the pattern she did for one of the Socks That Rock monthly club installments last year.

I can't even imagine being able to design socks like hers.

And on that thought . . . back to the peace and quiet at the end of the day. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Heroes . . .

Did you catch the season finale of Heroes on NBC last night? What a phenomenal way to end the season. I thought it was a great blend of resolving the immediate issue of the explosion while leaving so many open possibilities for future season episodes. My thoughts about this turn to questions that are just tickling my brain with anticipation for next fall's new episode.

  1. Molly mentioned a person who she didn't know how to find. She said he wasn't like the bogeyman, but that he could see her. Who is this person?
  2. Could that person be Charles, who could see Peter when he went back to re-visit his first day on the job with him and saw his mother speaking with Charles?
  3. Charles spoke of the importance of love, and of course in the end we see it was Nathan and Peter's love for each other that brought about the solution to the explosion issue. Does Charles know something about Peter's background and history that we don't know yet and which explains more about the Peter/Sylar issue?
  4. Such as, my favorite pet theory, that Peter and Sylar are fraternal twins separated at birth, and epitomize good and evil in the world?
  5. Notice how Charles told Peter as he was wheeling him into the apartment, "Call me Charles"? and how Mr. Bennet told him toward the end of the show, "Call me Noah"?
  6. Is there a spiritual/biblical analogy to be drawn by the Noah reference, as in Noah Bennet is the modern day Noah who brings the heroes through worldwide destruction in order to cleanse the world of evil and start fresh?
  7. And what is up with Mama Petrelli? What an evil old crone she's turning out to be . . . or is she?
  8. Is Sylar really well and truly dead? What was with all the stuff flashing in his eyes as he expired?
  9. And what about the explosion in the sky? Peter can regenerate. Nathan can fly. Could Nathan have take Peter up far enough, then flown away to a safe distance before the explosion? I believe we'll be seeing them again. Do you?
  10. And last but not least . . . Hiro in 1600's Japan, the one army gathered to one side, the lone samurai on the other, the solar eclipse . . . are we about to learn that his father, Mr. Nakamura, is the ancient samurai Kensei?

What a lot to ponder, huh?

So, I didn't get a whole lot of knitting done yesterday. I did a bit more on the shawl, maybe another pattern repeat or two, and did a solitary round on my socks. Maybe today will be a better knitting day.

Duncan has only 9 more days of school, and then summer vacation begins. That brings a whole new dynamic back into the household. The girls are accustomed to having things go their way and according to their schedule, and they have gotten to like it that way. With Duncan home all day, I'm curious to see what that does to their little routine.

Speaking of the girls, Emma has discovered the ability to poop for M&Ms. What a breakthrough! Two of those tiny little M&M minis is sufficient motivation for her to "go big stinky" in the potty. Hallelujah, since two year old poop just isn't cute any more!

It's another pretty day here, with sunshine and clear skies and temperatures that will probably be in the 70s. That's a warm day in northern Michigan. Summer is that few days in mid-July when the temperature may reach into the 90s. Other than that, it's pretty much like this. Of course, we have been known to need the gas logs running on July 4th before. You just never know.

I noticed this morning that sonny-boy is out of clean socks, so I see a load of laundry in my future, probably several loads of laundry. Abby just zinged through here clutching some Bob the Builder goggles, with Emma hot on her tail screaming, "Mine! Mine!" Yet another opportunity in the never ending instruction that if you want something, "Ask her politely to give it to you."

Where is that Hero with the power to impart peace and calm when you need him?

Monday, May 21, 2007

And so it begins . . .

both my day and my blog. I'm an old woman with young children and the start of this day pretty well sums that up. It's Boniva day. Got to protect my aging bones. And then there's potty training the girls -- our two 2 year olds -- Abby and Emma. Well, Abby is going to be 3 in a couple of weeks. Emma won't turn 3 until November.

Boniva and potty training. The parentheses around the rest of my day today.

I'm not sure what the day, or this blog will bring. My life has been unpredictable in its entirety so far. I'm going to do some knitting. I'm going to eat breakfast as soon as my "wait an hour after Boniva" sentence is up. I'm going to pick up our son Duncan at kindergarten this afternoon. Oooh, the Schwan's guy comes today . . . time to stock up the freezer.

So for knitting, I have a couple of things going right now, and a few more things I really need to be doing for Crystal Palace Yarns. I cast on some socks for myself. I love knitting socks. I love wearing handknit socks. After the first pair I made for myself a bit less than two years ago, I started designing my own. This particular pair is based on the Italian Chain Stitch from one of Barbara Walker's books. The shawl is the Candle Flame Shawl that I'm knitting from my sock yarn remnants. I love my sock yarns so much I can't bear to part with even the remnants, and so I decided to knit a shawl for myself using up what I've got from the many pair I've done. I'll probably have enough to make more than one project from these pretty little odds and ends.

OK, time's up and off for breakfast.