Saturday, December 27, 2008

Waiting is the Hardest Thing...

I'm waiting for a Needlemaster set by Boye to come in. It's due to arrive on Monday. I'm also waiting for new yarn from WEBS to begin charity sweaters. Until then I'm working on a stealth project and waiting... Unfortunately every project I want to start needs the needles from the Needlemaster set or the yarn from WEBS. So...waiting...

Last night I went out with my family for my cousin Brianna's birthday. I made her a One Day Beret back in July. I think she liked it :)
She took the sophisticated route with sweet tea and Twilight.
And then my cousin Will wanted to try it on.
Brianna makes the beret look a lot better than I did.

Tonight I'm going to watch Batman and Robin (even though it's not the best Batman movie by far, I still have a huge love for Batman) and try and come up with something to eat for dinner. Do Oreos and milk count as a meal?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post Christmas Rehash

I hope everyone had a very lovely Christmas yesterday. I was hoping to post last night but I didn't get back home until 11:00 at night. Then I had to unload my car, feed the cat, and hook back up my computer. I figured it could wait until this morning.

Christmas Eve I went to stay with my parents.

The tree.
A small portion of my mom's nutcracker collection.
Nativity set.
My furry brother Luke. Even though my parents have had him for awhile I don't think I've ever gotten around to sharing pictures of Luke. He's still a baby (only 4or 5 months old) but look at how big he is! He's an English Springer Spaniel. My aunt and uncle bought a Springer Spaniel about 6 months ago not realizing she was pregnant. She had 8 puppies and Luke is one of them.
We had a big dinner with my extended family at my parents house that night. There was much gift giving and food eating. I can't even begin to describe the whirlwind that is my two little cousins (5 and 3) but I can show you a picture of their aftermath. This is my parents playroom and those little colored bits are Lego's.
My dad and my brother were on clean up duty for that room. It was a lot of fun and there was a lot of good food. That night I stayed at my parents with my brother and my Aunt Becky. It's a Christmas tradition for all of us to be at home on Christmas morning. That way we can open the presents Santa left! I realize that I'm 25 years old and, at this point, would normally have stopped receiving presents from Santa but I'm under the firm conviction that my belief in him keeps him coming back each year. That and I'm not married and don't have children and Christmas without Santa would be pretty sad.

I will spare you the "early" morning pictures of my family (and myself) looking half awake as we opened presents at the crack of 10 in the morning. Aunt Becky did receive her hand knit gift from me though, an Irish Hiking Scarf.
She loved it! I found this alpaca/wool blend yarn at Knitch months ago and knew it would be perfect shade of blue/grey for her. I think it turned out really well and was a breeze to make. All the details can be seen on my Ravelry page.

That morning we also taught Luke how to open presents. He was a very willing learner once he figured out that he could run off and shred the paper to bits.
Yesterday night me, my parents, my brother, and Brandi trekked over to my Aunt Janice's house on the other side of town for more food. There were also games! At her house we each bring a gift card and a small gift (a book, some sparklers, a cheap DVD, or, in my cousin's case, a Boston Creme pie...). Then we play a series of games and the person with the highest points at the end gets to choose their gift card first. I usually end up somewhere near the middle or end but I still got some hand soap and a Target gift card. The general uproar the games cause is where the real fun is at (I still maintain that a "dollar" is something that is know, "cold cash"? That's points for creativity right there!).

I came home last night and crashed, fully prepared to sleep until noon. My neighbor had different plans though, as I was awakened this morning at 10 to the gentle sounds of jackhammering (it was probably just drilling but it sounded worse from my side of the wall). I'm going to go sort through all my gifts to try and take the edge off.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Break Day 1

Today was the first official day that I did not have to go to work. I slept in and made a nice-ish lunch. I've got plans for tonight to go ice skating with some friends in Atlanta. A good start to the holidays I would say.

Last night we did our immediate family gift exchange (Mom, Dad, brother, and Brandi) so I can show you the gift that I made for my Mom.
She got this lovely set of dishcloths. My grandmother will get a matching set on Wednesday at our extended family gift exchange but since she and my grandfather aren't exactly internet savvy I think it's ok that I showed you these.

My gifts included a Vera Bradley bag and clutch from my brother and Brandi, socks, underwear, and shoes from my parents, and a gift card to Joann's from my parents. Last week I got 50% off coupons for Joann's so today I ordered a Needlemaster set of interchangeable needles, a row counter (since my other has been lost to the abyss), and some stitch holders. A great start to the gift giving/getting.

On a different note, a few weeks ago I was online looking at the information for Cascade Magnum (remember I received some in a swap?) when I saw that it was sold at a store listed here in Duluth. Well, I did some investigating and never could find said store. I did manage to find a website though. So, I sent an email to the owner. She got back to me and told me that, unfortunately, things with their builder had not gone as planned so the physical store was not in existence yet. She did offer to help me track down any yarn I needed and told me she had a large selection of yarns stored at her house. Well, I thanked her and told her I would let her know if I needed anything and that I would meet her at Stitches South (where she would have a booth). This morning I woke up to a delightful email from Kay (the store owner) telling me all about several meeting groups and inviting me to come to the Atlanta Knitting Guild with her as a guest! How nice is that? I mean, she could have just put me on the back burner until I meet her in April but she went out of her way to invite me into her community and make me feel welcome. Despite the fact that unknown social interactions (even of the knitting kind) give me a panic attack I want to go and brave the unknown. I want to meet these people who have been lurking just down the road and I never even knew it. The first meetings aren't until January so I maybe I'll be able to find some Valium before then...

In addition to all these fantastical happenings my favorite charity, Warm Woolies, just announced in their newsletter a new contest for 2009! It's called "10 for 10 by 2010" and knitters are asked to knit socks and sweaters for children ages 10-16. My personal goal is to knit at least on sweater in a size 10, 12, 14, and 16. I would love to knit two in each size, one for a girl and one for a boy, but I know sweaters can take a fair amount of time. Plus I have a sweater I want to make for myself! And a hat. Have you ever heard of a knitter without a decent hand knit hat of her own? Sad.

Well, I'm off to enjoy the rest of the afternoon before I venture out into the cold for some ice skating!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Spirit

The gift bags for the students have been assembled.
The cookies for decorating have been baked.
And to kick off the gift giving, Godmoma's package from a swap I did on Ravelry arrived earlier this week.
This yarn rocks! It's Cascade Magnum, which I had never heard of.
Super bulky, super soft. I can't wait to make something with it. Godmoma sent a pattern with it for a Christmas stocking. Since all I have is 2 tiny little stockings stuck on the fire screen this seems like a great project to under take. She also sent a candle and a little pouch.
And, a bonus "gift"...

I hooked up my DTV digital converter to my antenna. I've never really seen a point in investing in cable, especially when it's an extra $100 every month, so for the past 3.5 years I've put up with sketchy antenna reception. With this little beauty perched on my TV though I get excellent reception of all my favorite non-cable stations. Right now I'm enjoying a Rick Steves special on Christmas. I love Rick Steves! This show is making me want to move to England.

Unfortunately with all this merriment I seem to have come down with some sort of colossal head/chest cold. I can hardly speak. This does not bode well for teaching first graders. I'm hanging on for just a few more days and then, hopefully, I'll hit a doctor's office before the weekend. Otherwise I might have some very silent nights.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


On Friday night my friend BK came over. We watched In the Name of the King and made cookies. I also taught her how to knit. Can I just say, she's a natural. First, she picked out a great skein to learn with: Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm bulky weight cormo in Avocado. Then, I only had to show her twice before she picked up on the knit stitch. Before I knew it I looked over and she had completed 2 rows...and they looked good! When we finished watching the movie she had done about 12 rows. Sure there were a few more stitches on the needle than she started with and there was one little yarn over near the edge but BK was well on her way to making a scarf. The best part was when she looked at me and said, "I like knitting! It's so relaxing!" I know exactly how she feels. Welcome BK to the world of Knitting :)

My current projects on the needles are as follows:
1. The final bit of Christmas knitting.
2. A charity vest I started on Friday while BK learned to knit.
3. A little project that I started for a friend that is turning into a major learning experience.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nights in Morocco

Nights in Morocco is the theme of the Christmas party they are having on The Office. Hilarious.

One of my Christmas knitting projects is done. I can't show you it yet but I can show you what was left of the yarn:
I had to snap this picture really quickly before Penelope caught on to what was happening. Waking her up is one thing but making her aware of the situation is by far worse.

I'm thinking that the Burnished Tunic will be my next project but I don't have the needles I need.
In fact I don't have needles for about a dozen other projects I want to start. How do I end up with 24 sets of needles and not one set that I need for any of the 60 or so projects I have queued (ok, I don't really want to make all 60 of those projects right now but you know what I mean...).

So instead of starting anything else, I finished up this pair of socks!
Yeah for Jaywalkers!

They need to be blocked (which means I need to get some sock blockers) but they look good and I'm pleased as punch with them.
These socks continue to grow my love for hand knit items, especially socks :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

'Tis the Season

...for putting the flannels on the bed and thermals under everything I wear. I swear as I get older I get more and more cold-natured.

It's also the season for Stitches South!!!

I'm so excited about going to my first major knitting show. I've already signed up for two classes: You Don't Need a Pattern for That! and Celtic Cables. I would like to sign up for another class but I'm waiting until after Christmas to see if I have a little extra spending money. Plus I have to save for the market! I would almost rather buy 3 more skeins of yarn than go to another class but at the same time there are some really interesting classes being held. And since I will be taking Friday off from work to go it would be nice to have a full day of things to attend :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I wrote another post that I was originally intending to put up but I just felt like it was too sappy. Maybe I'm just afraid of being too personal on the blog.

Knitting is coming along. I've very excited that I can actually see the end of all the Christmas knitting. I'm really glad I scaled back on the number of gifts I decided to make (note to self: start Christmas knitting in June next year). When I finish I think I'm going to crank out a hat for myself since I realized the other day that I have exactly zero practical hats that I can wear to work. I have some silly hats with tassels and crazy colors and slogans on them but nothing that's just beautiful in a plain way and looks nice enough to wear around the playground with the little ones. Then I'm thinking some fingerless mitts. And of course I have that sweater I wanted to do... even have the yarn ready to begin it...

For the last 3 weeks I've been battling a runny nose and head congestion thanks to the chill that has settled in. It's making me tired and ready for a vacation. Only 2 more weeks until we have Christmas break! Then maybe I can nurse my cold.

The run up to Christmas is proving to be a tough one so I'm trying to revive some old hobbies like ARMA and composing music to help me keep the holiday blues away. It helped that I went out with some friends last night to celebrate my friend BK's birthday. It was nice to be around people that love me and make me laugh. Hopefully more of that will help combat the holiday yucks too.

For now, it's off to knit some more and listen to a snoring cat.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

An Actually Conversation

Just a little light hearted moment I thought I would share...

An actually conversation from my 1st grade classroom today.

Me: J (little boy) your desk is a mess!
J: I know! When you tell us to clear our desk I just throw everything inside like this...(throws a pencil inside and a piece of paper and book fall out).
Me: :::sigh::: start to walk away
A (little girl who sits next to J): leans over and looks in J's desk Ms. Brown! J has a sock in his desk!
Me: A sock!?!?
J: triumphantly pulls out a sock

This will totally be my child some day. I can see it now...

Ring! Ring!
Me: Hello?
Lady: Mrs. So-and-so (My last name will not really be So-and-so, nor will it be Brown. By this point I'm married of course. Probably to Billy Corgan or Prince William. Whoever gets to me first.)? I'm Mrs. O'Malley from the prestigious private Scottish primary school you send your son to (Because at this point I will of course be living in a mansion/castle on the Scottish moors. Surrounded by fog, wind, and maybe sheep. Depends on whether my rock star or future king of England husband will feel like hiring someone else to look after said sheep. Otherwise, no dice.).
Me: Of course! What can I help you with Mrs. O'Malley.
Lady: Well, I hate to call in the middle of the day (Of course this doesn't matte because I don't work. Thanks to my rock star or future king of England husband) and bother you but we found a sock, a clean pair of underpants, and a men's silk tie in your son Phoenix's (Because that is actually what I plan on naming my first son) desk today. It just seemed a little odd.
Me: Well, thank you for letting me know. I'll have a talk with him tonight once he gets over the moat. Now I have to go let my rock star or future king of England husband know we found his good tie.

Edited to add: Remember that blogiversary goodness continues at the store! Just type in "blogiversary" to get 15% off your total order. Sale ends Saturday.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Blogiversary!

One year ago today I started this blog. Happy Blogiversary to me! And to you...if you go to my store (Vivid Creation Fibers) you can use the code "blogiversary" to receive 15% off your order. The sale ends this Saturday so hurry in! Now for a recap...

My dad and my brother's girlfriend Brandi ran the half marathon held every year in Atlanta.
I can't even imagine walking 13.1 miles, much less running it, so major props to them.

On the way home from picking them up I was able to find a new place to get my hair did.
Welcome to Atlanta.

My family had our full on Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's house on Friday (Thursday I had tacos with my parents which was a fun twist on the traditional meal).

My Uncle Mark fried a turkey in the backyard.
And we had all the traditional side dishes like mac and cheese, dressing (that's Southern for stuffing), broccoli and cheese casserole, and loads more yummy stuff.

P.S. If you have never had a deep fried turkey, run, do not walk, RUN and make one. Do it. I'll wait. The turkeys are on sale now too. A word of caution though: keep them a safe distance from the house. Vinyl siding and 350 degree hot oil apparently do not mix well.

This is my cousin Jake who, when he saw me knitting away on a sock after dinner, wanted his picture made with it.
And then he wanted to take a picture of me with the sock.
Currently I'm pretty hung up on this second Jaywalker sock (Rav link). I've got to dig in the stash and see if I can come up with teensy amount of yarn I had left from the first sock to try and finish the toe of this second sock. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it I can make it on one skein but it's not looking too promising.

I put up my Christmas tree yesterday to get me ready for the upcoming holiday season.
It's not decorated yet but it's still festive. Especially when I light the mistletoe candle :)

Today I received my gift from Warm Woolies. This is the book I got.
I think I can get into this. There are some pretty nice designs. Some are a little more glitzy than I would go for but then there are some that I think would be a nice little challenge for me.

I also got some size 9 DPNs which are nice because I don't have any of those and 5 skeins of this:
Rowan 4-ply cotton in a buttercream yellow. I have no clue what to make with this. Socks? But isn't cotton super non-stretchy? I found a cute top (Rav link) but I'm not sure that pale yellow would look very good with my amazingly Irish skin. Any suggestions are welcome.

Otherwise Christmas knitting continues as planned...except for having lost a tiny little slip of paper that tells me what row I'm to figure out that mess now...