Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm Late, I'm Late!

I'm late in blogging about Thanksgiving. If you follow me on Twitter you know I had a somewhat valid reason. I was in the happiest place on Earth, Disney World!

My mom and dad took me, my brother, and my future SIL Brandi for Thanksgiving since we didn't get another family vacation this year.

We stayed at the lovely Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa.
I think we all kind of wished we had been able to spend a little more down time in this awesome hotel room but our days were jam packed. We did all the quintessential Disney things:

And were there for every park opening except Epcot. And we usually stayed until after the evening fireworks/light shows.

This was my favorite part of the trip:
I'm a huge Muppets fan. I've even thought about trying to work for the Muppet Studios. When I was in high school I was even on the puppet team at church. I took it very seriously. I was a little sad that there were no Rizzo the Rat t-shirts. He's my favorite character.

The week was very busy so I actually had very little knitting time (even though I spent 130 minutes in line waiting for Soarin'...oops, big projects, not wanting to break needles riding rides...meant I was going nutters standing in line) but I did manage to finish one stealth Christmas project and got to the first sleeve on Harrison's Christmas sweater.
Hope you had an enjoyable holiday! I know I'm thankful that I got to spend it with family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vee Challenge! She is Done!

I finished the 10 for 10 challenge for Warm Woolies! Actually I finished it last night. I dropped the box off today at the post office and it should arrive by the end of the week. Here's a recap of what went inside.

I had this little sweater vest languishing in the "almost finished" pile. All it lacked was some sewn in ends and buttons.
Even though it won't help fulfill the 10 for 10 challenge I threw it in the box.

The big green blog got finished. I think it turned out pretty nice.
This is a picture of everything I sent in: 3 child sweaters (age 10-12), 3 teen/adult sweaters (age 16+), the little vest, 2 children's hats, 4 pairs of adult socks.
The hats won't help meet the challenge either but they needed a home so I threw them in as well.
Now my knitting will focus on Christmas gifts. Harrison's sweater is almost to the bottom cuff, Brandi's mom's scarf is finished (except for weaving in the ends and blocking), and I started in on another gift tonight. Then it's just one more baby sweater and a secret(-ish) gift. Am I ambitious in thinking I can finish everything? Only time will tell.

Today's cat picture is of Penelope getting cozy. She really likes fluffy blankets so she has gradually claimed the Slanket I got for my birthday. At first she just sat on the hem. Tonight she seems to have taken it all for herself.
Hopefully she'll start sharing with me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I went to knit night at Barnes and Noble. Quite a crowd had gathered in the Starbucks cafe.
Because we had a special guest! Author Terri Dulong came to talk to us and sign her new book that's about knitting.
I knew she was coming tonight but I wasn't prepared for being so drawn into the story.
Usually, chick lit can be a little hard for me to get into. And after I tried reading the Friday Night Knitting Club I haven't really been excited about a fiction knitting book. But Terri's book instantly drew me in as she described the story. Terri was also gave a really fun talk. It was an unexpectedly nice evening. Especially since I couldn't walk away with out a new book! And I got a lot of knitting done.
Finished the ribbing on the first sleeve and started the second. The big green blob grows! And it's actually looking like a sweater (unless you are Diana and then you say it looks like a dragon).

Monday, November 16, 2009

We Don't Need No Stinking Recession!

Last night I went through my blog and read a lot of my old posts. It got me in the mood for the holiday season and also for some colder weather (yes, seriously, colder weather. It seems more fitting to be knitting when it's actually a little nippy outside). November seems to be the kick off the real knitting months for me. The weather has already started to get cooler and holiday knitting is in full swing. After the holidays the real cold weather will settle in (maybe even snow!) and I can get revitalized for the upcoming year. Usually this is the time when I get excited again about all my charity knitting projects. Just last week I was wondering what the next contest for Warm Woolies was going to be. My plans have all been wrecked though. I found out this weekend that Warm Woolies, my favorite charity to knit for, will be ceasing operations at the end of this year. I'm so heartbroken. There isn't another organization like them, that I know of, out there. They sent items to the Native American Indian reservations out west and to orphanages in Eastern Europe and Russia. I think there are other groups that service the reservations that will pick up the slack but so few places are able or willing to send items to orphanages overseas. It's expensive and can be difficult with customs but I think it really needs to be done. I know there are lots of people in need here in the States that I could help support. I have a friend who runs Knits for Needs and I hope I'll able to donate to that cause in the future. I know I can also find other groups or contact orphanages directly but Warm Woolies was so convenient. Plus, it's just distressing that the economy has even started effecting charities. All this got me thinking about the upcoming holiday season and how so many families here will have to go without and that got me thinking about the people overseas who never even had to begin with's a vicious cycle...All this coming at the end of an already tough (in a personal sense) fall. Le sigh.

As we enter into this holiday season I think I can take one of two stances: I can wallow in pity and allow things to overwhelm me or I can be eternally grateful for what I do have and more determined to help where I can. I'm choosing to do the latter. I read a great poem yesterday on the Craftivisim blog (you can find it here) that was really eye opening. It was great for me to read. The last thing I should do it throw in the towel. Now I've found the fire again for helping others and seeing the good in life, no matter how small it may seem. In light of all that I've made a list...

Things that Make Me Happy in Tough Times (a.k.a. My Plan to Recession Happiness):
1. Knitting- In the words of the late, great Elizabeth Zimmerman, "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises." Knitting makes me happy, therefore, I will do it more.

2. My cat- I guess this means I will keep feeding her and giving her treats. Even at 6:00 in the morning on a Saturday.
3. My family- No one makes me laugh harder or feel better.
4. A meal with good friends- Screw the diet.
5. My religion- It's comforting to know there is someone greater looking out for me.
6. Chocolate- I will eat more of this. Screw the diet.

7. Reading knitting blogs, magazines, and books- I try and do this daily.
8. Dyeing yarn- It's labor intensive and time consuming but it's still awesome.

9. Doing something for someone else- Pay it forward dudes.

I know that you probably have your own list of things that you do. I hope that over the next couple of months that you'll think about what you are thankful for and then go do #9, pay it forward. Don't worry how big or small your contribution may seem. You do what you can and be thankful that you can give anything at all. God bless! And dudes...keep knitting :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where Have All the Pharmacies Gone?

I went on a little excursion tonight in search of some medicine. My trip kind of got me thinking, what happened to all the pharmacies? I tried to think of any that were in the vicinity of my apartment and could only come up with one. Which is, thankfully all I need. They gladly fill all my prescriptions for me. I guess people are getting their medicines filled at their local grocery store or mega mart and don't have a need for the stand alone pharmacy any more. I was looking for some motion sickness medicine as I've had some bad bouts of vertigo lately. About 4 or 5 years ago I went to see my doctor because I was having vertigo so bad the only "cure" was to lie on my side until the feeling passed (sometimes a few hours later). He told me I probably had calcium deposits in my ear (a.k.a. Benign Positional Vertigo). I've had about an episode a year since then. The problem is that there isn't really a way to get rid of them. You have to wait for your body to absorb them or for them to get knocked out. Unfortunately, that can take up to 10 weeks. Thanks, but no thanks. I did read that ginger can help dizziness. Which pretty much gives me free range to eat as many gingerbread cookies as I can during the upcoming holiday season.

Bet you didn't know you were getting a medical lesson tonight did you?

Before I came home to rest to my swimming head I did hang out with my friend Heidi and we carded the destroyed superwash roving.

Yum...batts in a box.

They turned out really well. These will probably be going in the shop soon as a OOK (one of a kind) product. Since I don't own a drum carder (and I do not need one...) there is little chance there will be batts on a regular basis. It was still fun to get to play with fiber.
Penelope thinks they turned out nicely.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Now With Real Actual Knittng Content!

There are some things finished, and some things that are still languishing. But there is progress being made. I finished the sweater for my cousin Jake.
Now I just have to make one for his brother Harrison and then one for my other cousin Britt. Thankfully this is a really quick knit. The pattern is the Sailor's Rib Sweater from Interweave's Weekend Knits.

I'm still working on this sweater for Warm Woolies.
I think I'm going to rename this the Great Green Blob. The body is so bulky looking. And I misread the directions and ended the sleeves a little early. I should have reduced down to 32 stitches but I only reduced down to 35. Oh well. I have until the end of this month to finish this sweater. Then I'll be able to send in my 10 items for this years challenge (scroll to the bottom to see the 10 for 10 by 2010 project). I tried to go back and see if I could find when I started this but I can't even find a picture from when I cast on.

I've also started another Christmas present.
This is a scarf for my future SIL Brandi's mom. I'm glad scarves are quick projects. I've already gotten through 2 repeats and I just started this Saturday. Which, when I say it out loud, doesn't really sound like much. This seems to have edged out the Warm Woolies sweater as t.v. knitting though so there should be good progress made.

This week is going to be a bit hectic with half days of teaching on Wednesday and Thursday and conferences all week (including 3 early morning ones tomorrow) but I'm making time to go check out my friend Heidi's drum carder. We're going to try and salvage my first superwash dye job that fell apart because I soaked it too long.