Sunday, May 24, 2009


I have this theory on flu shots. See, I've never had one. And I never plan to get one. I've adopted what I call the "Herd Mentality." Look at it this way: Suppose a farmer has a huge herd of animals, hundreds even. He can't afford the time or money to inoculate them all against every possible disease. Sure, he hits the major ones but there will always be a new outbreak to protect against. The farmer, being a smart cookie, figures out the percentage of animals likely to catch the disease and vaccinates only this percentage of his herds. It saves him time and money. The other animals (without the vaccine) are, essentially, "protected" because the chances of the disease a)hitting their farm and b) then hitting an un-vaccinated animal are now small. I see myself as being part of a "herd" of people in my community. If the right proportion of people get the flu vaccine then I'm protected by them. The downside to this theory is that, occasionally, one of the un-vaccinated animals gets sick. Case in point: myself. Last Wednesday I came down with a nasty flu virus. Thankfully the worst of it lasted less than 36 hours but those first 12 or so were pretty bad. I'm still not getting the vaccine though. Medicine isn't always the answer.

Before I got sick on Wednesday night (before I knew I was sick) I mustered enough fortitude to go to a friend's house for knit night. She's part of the Noble Knitters that meets at the Barnes and Nobles each week but she wanted to thank everyone for their support through the years (I haven't been around for all that time but she and I have become friends).
Here's a few group shots of everyone gathering in the living room.
And yes, all these people have been known to converge at the same time on an unsuspecting Barnes and Nobles cafe. We pretty much take over the place.

I went in for half a day of work on Thursday (thank goodness there were no children) only so that I could talk to my boss, get the rest of the day off, and call my doctor. The doctor gave me magic pills which made me feel a whole lot better but my body still wanted to recover internally. So Friday after work I came home, puttered around, and fell dead asleep on the couch at 7:00. I woke up just long enough at 2:00 to drag myself into the bedroom where I promptly fell back asleep until 8:00 the next morning.

I woke up Saturday with a plan to get things done so I pulled out my other dye apron
and got to work.

I'll have a more thorough update once the yarn's finished drying and I can reskein it but here's a sneak peak of one of the new colorways that I had a lot of fun creating.

Once my fun with dyeing was done I spent the evening on the couch resting. I finished my Warm Woolies Big 10 test knit socks.
Started a new pair of socks for myself.
Rivulets socks by Wendy Johnson
Bugga! sock yarn in Acrobatic snail
US size 0s

Today I started a baby blanket for my cousin Britt who's due in July.
Oat Couture's Prairie Blanket

I'm done with the "getting started" part and now I'm on to the "repeat until x" long" part so I should be able to get into a groove with this and just keep trucking along.

I'm feeling a whole lot better now so I'm ready to tackle my last day at work on Tuesday and then start my summer. It's already looking to be a busy one-there are a lot of new job opportunities that I can't wait to talk about but need a final seal of approval before they are go for launch. Expect a lot more dyeing though!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Of Socks and Books

Before I get into the meat of my blog I wanted to show you a package I received in the mail last week. Inside was a pattern for a baby blanket.
If this is how my mail looks before the government starts going through it I hate to see what it will be like when they do. Hopefully yarn and patterns will not be considered terrorist level threats.

I have started the test knitting socks for Warm Woolies. This is how far you can get in one day.
Toe through the afterthought heel and onto the leg.

And the next day you just might have this:
I like this sock. 1. It's toe up. I love toe up. 2. It had an afterthought heel which I had never done before but fully enjoyed learning how to do (P.S. I think if you actually follow directions you will a) not run out of yarn on the heel and b) not have a super pointy heel like I did, though I'm holding out hope that it will block out a little.) 3. The heel and toe are knit on smaller needles making them sturdier. Simple. Genius.

These are actually a really nice fit for me in all except the toe where it's an inch too long. Which is good because my feet are exactly 9 inches long and these needed to be 10. Perfection. Except that pointy heel....blocking, my hope lies in thee.

On Sunday I went to Woodstock to hear a book reading by the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
Standing around pre-talk with all her books. Crazy to think they are all humor books on knitting. What a niche!
During her talk/reading.
Post talk getting goodies.

I would have liked to have gotten a chance to go by The Whole Nine Yarns (the LYS who was hosting the event) but I waited until the end of the line to go through and get my book signed and get a picture of this:
Stephanie with my current socks in progress, the Warm Woolies test socks (and proof that the second sock has indeed been started).

The Yarn Harlot is always great fun to have a visit from and she did a nice little talk and book reading. I'll hopefully get the chance to go out to The Whole Nine Yarns because it seemed lovely in the 10 minutes I was in there picking up my ticket and a bottled water. For now I'll be knitting on the socks, finishing a sweater, and starting a baby blanket. The light at the end of the tunnel is that tomorrow is my last day of teaching with students for this school year. My summer break will almost be here!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sweater Mania

I finished the Half and Half Sweater tonight. I think it turned out pretty well.
I love the hand dyed yarn. It was a lot of fun to work with. Plus so soft and cushy! And I'm not just saying that because it's my hand dyed yarn :) Tomorrow I'm going to try and write up the pattern. Then I'll have some people test knit it (any takers?) and try and decide if I want to offer this for free or for a little fee.

Now I've taken up work on the Warm Woolies Mystery Sweater #2 (a.k.a. the Calda Lana).
Why have I not been knitting on this? I don't even know. I'm just on the plain stockinette for the sleeves. For some reason I was thinking there was lot more to this than there really was. But now I'm back on track and I'm knitting away.

I've got a lot of things on my knitting list:
Baby blanket due by the middle of July
Test knit sweater due by the end of June
Warm Woolies test sock (no due date but need to be knit in a timely manner)
Another pair of socks for myself
A clapotis scarf
Other stuff that seems to be alluding me at the moment but will probably show up out of the blue on the blog

And...I've also been in talks with my LYS, Rare Purls, about teaching classes there this summer! Their store will open the first of June and hopefully I'll get the chance to help out a bit. I'm just excited about having an LYS in my area!

Only 4 more days of school with children and then 3 days of post planning (yeah, I have to be back the day after Memorial Day, total suck fest). The countdown to freedom is on.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Countdown has Begun

Only 369 more days until my brother gets married. Where will I be?
Not just standing up front but...
Standing beside my new sister! Tonight I went to dinner with Brandi and my brother and they asked me to be their maid of honor. I'm so, well, honored! I've never even been a bridesmaid before but I am so looking forward to this opportunity :) I'm soooo excited for them. It's going to be a fun filled, busy year for all of us.

I've also got some uber cute pictures for you so get ready :) First a little back story: My mom works at an animal hospital as a receptionist. To say she's got a soft spot is an understatement. I think it makes her perfect for her job. She rescued her cat L.C. from the woods beside the office one day. L.C. is lucky she has such an awesome momma because she's got some respiratory and kidney issues and a heart murmur but my mom takes care of her just like a child, because L.C. is family. Well, in the past year another cat, Siamese has taken up permanent residence on my parent's front porch. And just about 6 weeks ago a lady came into the animal hospital with one of her outdoor kitties. My mom knew this woman pretty well because she had been coming to the hospital for awhile. The lady was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and was trying to find a home for all her pets. She wanted to find a home for her cat, Suede, but Suede was pregnant and no one would take a pregnant kitty. Well, you can spay a cat and abort the babies but my mom just didn't have the heart to do it. My mom took in Suede and put her up in a little room in her basement until the kittens were born. I think we're all glad that she did because these are quite possibly the most adorable kittens ever. The Cuteness Meter is off the charts:
We had them out on Saturday in my parent's bathroom playing with them. My dad named them after each of his kids:
T.J., named after my brother even though he's a she (we figure it stands for Tammy Jo)
Brandi (my future SIL)

And Melissa, my namesake. I just love the crazy look in her eyes in this picture.

My mom has been very fortunate in finding homes for all the kittens but she's still looking for a home for momma cat Suede who is one of the sweetest animals I've ever met. Seriously, she never stops purring. I think she'd make a nice pet for my parents :) but they said no more inside cats. Don't worry though, another outside cat has begun sleeping on top of the transformer box in my parent's front yard. She's black and white so we're thinking her name will be Moo Moo.

And for the dog lovers here's Luke:
He wanted to check out the kittens when they came up from the basement. He's only 9 months old and already outweighs most fully grown adults in his breed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Breaking the Silence

So what have I been up to...?

1. Knitting
Warm Woolies Mystery Sweater KAL #2. This is a picture of the shoulder piece. I've actually joined for the first sleeve and knit a few rows. I think I may rip it out though, I recently learned how to pick up stitches and make it look nice (amazing how actually reading the directions in your beginning to knit book can help you).

2. A Wedding
Two of my close friends got married last weekend at Pensacola Beach in Florida. I'd never been to beach wedding before but it was beautiful and tons of fun.
Bye bye shoes!

My friends Kelly and Steve with Kelly's son Brayden during the sand ceremony. Lovely!
The McMansion (on the right) where the reception was held. Kelly's cousin lived there and it was basically on a private wharf/peninsula. He was a really nice guy and opened the whole house to the guests. The setting was amazing. I had a lovely time hanging out with friends all weekend and enjoying a mini vacation.

Last night I drug Albert to the Atlanta Knitting Guild meeting so he could help me with my table of hand dyes.
It was the first time I'd ever taken the yarns on a road trip but I really hope that there will be more chances for me to do so. It was so wonderful to hear all the nice things people had to say about my yarns. And seeing them all laid out was pretty awesome too since they normally live in a plastic container in my living room. It made me realize that I actually have been productive. And I actually sold some things! This picture was taken after several skeins of sock yarn had already been made off with :) My wheels are turning with new ideas that I can't wait to try. Thankfully summer is just around the corner which should mean more time to dye.

4. More knitting and a little designing
Sorry for the horribly frumpy picture. This is the half and half sweater sans one sleeve. Made from all hand dyed yarn. It's a youth medium so it's a little small on me but only in length so I'm on course with size I believe. I'll be writing up the pattern and offering it in some form here and on Ravelry, but that's a whole other set of tasks.

Penelope wanted you to know that she "helped out" when I was labeling all the skeins for Thursday's meeting. (I'd laid the blanket out to set the skeins on to keep them clean while I labeled each one)
Technically I'm not *on* the towel.