Saturday, January 20, 2007


Well, the past few weeks have been hectic, exciting and depressing. I had an unexpected fling. Then became better friends with a new guy who is a computer geek and seems really sweet. How can you not love a guy who tries to help you with your finances? I've also come to a new plateau in my relationship with my ex husband, who tells me that he still loves me but just can't live with me. Amid all of this activity, I've not picked up a single knitting needle or crochet hook, and that's suiting me just fine for now. I've been online a lot, and also reading some great books. I ordered a bunch more from's $2 post-holiday sale. My trip to Vegas is coming up quick, and I might be leaving yarn behind and dragging along a few novels, my DS Lite, and my iPod instead. The main downside of the ipod is that it really needs it's battery replaced, and I won't have a car to charge it in. So maybe it'll be back to my discman? Oh, how I cringe!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resolution - Yarn Famine

My resolutions for 2007 are pretty mild and should be attainable for the most part. I decided to go with "wear makeup to work" as my #1, which of course I failed to do on Jan 2nd. My other goals are to work out 3x a week (instead of losing 50 pounds), pay my bills on time (instead of saving every penny), and spend more time with my kids (instead of making my world revolve around them). Finally, *No more Yarn* purchases for the year. Think I can do it? I think if I dedicate myself to this I can really do it. It's not like I'm giving up knitting or crocheting. I have a whole closet full of yarn in every weight and fiber. Just think how liberating it will be to avoid yarn sales, yarn sites, yarn stores... never having to make a decision between sale yarn or full price lovelies. For christmas I bought myself a box full from Smiley's to make 2 shrugs and 3 scarves. Before that I bought yarn to make socks. I got yarn to make my friend's new baby a blanket. I have plenty to keep me busy. Plus I've been online enjoying some new friendships and networking, so I haven't even had time to sit with idle hands lately.

Oh, and my trip to Vegas is in 38 days! Sock projects will probably win out on that one, since they're small, light weight and I can work on them without taking over the whole row in the airplane. If I get bored I have my Nintendo DS to keep me busy.

Oh, and I picked up some books online at B&N. I decided to look for a new planner, they were on sale so I picked up one for me and another daily one to use as a record of my kids' days so their father can read about what he's missing if he cares to. You get free shipping if you spend $25, so I picked out about 7 paperbacks for $2 each. I love books published by Red Dress Ink. That should keep me busy for a while.

I'm still waiting to hear from my lawyer to find out if my divorce is finalized yet, and if it was done by the end of the year. It would solve an argument we'll be having over how to file our taxes if it were. I can't wait to get back to my maiden name. The past 2 weeks I've made greater strides in getting my life back on track than I have in the past 11 months since my husband left. I hope to come back from my trip to Vegas in a better state of mind.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


As if I didn't have enough going on, this week I picked up a few more pastimes to waste away my hours. On Sunday I went to the store to pick up my supposed christmas gift to myself - a Nintendo DS Lite Coral pink video game system and a game called Brain Age. I had been upset to discover on Friday night that every online store was saying the system was sold out or backordered. My friends told me I'd eventually find one. Then on Saturday I came home from work to an email that said that Circuit City had them in stock again. I didn't order it for pickup - I figured, Hey, I'll just go on my lunch. I got there and when I found the endcap where they should be, there was only 1 system and it happened to be the pink one! I figured it was meant to be. I was slightly disappointed that they didn't have the game I wanted, but then I checked the newspaper and it was supposed to be free when you bought the system, they couldn't find me a copy so they put a note on my receipt and I can go back and get it later for no charge. I love the system - I suck at video games, but this thing is touch sensitive so you can manipulate it with a stylus and my Finding Nemo game actually has you blow into the microphone to give the baggies with fish in them a quick gust to push them forward faster. Mouth Powered! I can handle that! I plan to stock up on a few more games before my trip to Vegas so I can play them on the airplane. The trip is like 12 hours each way - knitting will be boring way before I get in the air after getting up and being at the airport by 4:30am!

The other fascination I've come back to is tatting. Needle tatting I've done before - several years back. I could never get the hang of shuttle tatting, and of course now that I'm trying to do it, everyone is scaling back their supplies at the craft stores. I found a great site for instructions, but my work isn't coming out like the pictures. I'm not giving up yet, though, because I've sunk almost $20 into it this week for shuttles, thread, and books. I'd like to make at least 1 christmas ornament if I can.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Something for me

Well, after spending all week with my sick kids, watching the same movies over & over (Doogal, Cars, Monsters Inc, Bug's Life), I do have a little knitting to show for it. I started a felted bag a week or two ago... just a shape I came up with myself that will hopefully turn into a useable bag post-felting. I just have to finish the cord handle and it'll be ready for the washer. I worked for a short while on my Mega sock for my dad. I've gotta hustle if I'm going to get even one sock done for each person!!! :)

This Christmas we've decided to skip our traditional "Screw your Neighbor" game and go with "this is what I bought myself for christmas" instead. No spending limit - just buy yourself what you want and wrap it up. Everyone will expect me to buy myself yarn or yarn supplies. I think I might buy myself a Nintendo DS Lite (coral pink, of course.) There is a new generation of games coming out that I think I might be interested in. My Gameboy Advance SP (red was the most me I could get at the time) is missing - my ex says he "doesn't think" he has it, which means he probably does. So if I'm going to buy a new console, it's going to be this new one with a touch screen that I can play brain teasers, sudoku, and kids games on. I have 2 girls who are almost old enough to play this stuff. I got a Leapster for Jo for Christmas. Their father is a gaming addict (at least he was until he decided to wander out of our marriage), so I think/hope some of that got transfered to them... there are a lot of learning games out there if you can figure out how to work the machines that run them.

Tonight I'm having a jewelery party - I have to get my room presentable enough so my mom can give a quick tour, which is nearly impossible. Thank god for Armoirs for computers and tvs!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Work Sux

Let me please vent for just a moment about my job. I work with 500+ people in my department, many of them are dumber than rocks, some are just plain annoying, and a handful are nice but naive. I seem to keep running into annoying dumb people. I had a customer gushing to me how great it was that I found a mistake that the previous 7 reps this past month had missed on her account! SEVEN! If we extrapolate that, only 12.5% of us have a freakin clue! In reality it's closer to about 7% by my experience... the other 93% I'm having to apologize for. Apparently, I'm grating on the nerves of some of these folks because I'm constantly interrupting them to tell them the right answers. Well, if you learned from your mistakes or from what I told you the last 3 times you asked, I wouldn't have to correct you mid-sentence, would I?! This situation is further proof that I must have ADD/ADHD. In one of the books I've read about it, they describe people with ADD as operating with their "gates wide open," which is exactly how I am... a sponge for everything I see, hear and do, who also squeezes out the information whenever I see a use for it to be given to someone else. One of my friends said that I'm pissing people off. Well, one girl I knew was pissed off at me, I was likewise ticked off at her for being dumb. Then I asked my friend who else was upset with me and she told me the girl that sits next to her, which is ironic because she's asking me for help all the time. Guess what, I'm no longer an open book... you want to know the answer, you look it up. My mom asks why I stay at this thankless job, and my answer is that "I'm good at it." I might not handle the calls the best, especially when I should be feeling sorry and falling all over them to make them feel better, because I don't care and I can't fake it. Shit happens, deal with it. But I know what I'm doing and I try to learn as much as I can and teach as much as I can to my peers, some of whom have been there a lot longer than me, but as I said, are as dumb as rocks.

Ok, I'll get off the soapbox now... I feel better... thank you...

On to knitting. I'm working on a Kuryeon bag which I will felt. I also have 3 socks for men in the works, all in shades of blue. I'm dying to start a pair for myself in a lighter color, but let's face it - I don't have time! I've also playing around with needle felting the potholder I started out of pumpkin colored wool this past weekend. That's a lot of fun, seeing it merge into one piece of fabric from a double-knit piece still on the needles. I want to crochet a baby blanket for my friend's girlfriend's baby, who isn't due until March. I got the yarn and cast on, but I think it's going to be too loose and sloppy, so now I'm contemplating crochet. So much yarn... so little time....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Tonight I decided to look up some more info on felted potholders and came across something that I'd vaguely thought about - needle felting. Off I went to get the tools for this new endeavor. I pulled out my felting wool and chose a rainbow spectrum of Cascade 220 that will work well for felt that will reside near food (ie - no fuzzy mohair blend, which I'd prefer not to find in my scrambled eggs). Now the trick will be figuring out how to knit the correct size swatch, and which stitch to use to create a thick potholder, then come up with some simple designs to punch into them with contrasting yarn. Sayings, pictures, initials? The tools are sort of expensive to get started, but since I love knitting felted bags, I know that I'll be using these tools enough to make it worthwhile.

No matter how many people I try to cut out of gift giving, I still seem to have a ton of them. Mom, Dad, Sibs & sibs-in-law, mom-in-law, grandfather-in-law, nephews and niece, aunts. Cousins - sorry, you're being cut off this year... I can't do it anymore. Dad is getting socks. Mom-in-law is getting either socks or a scarf. Everyone else is up in the air. I got 2 balls of manly colored sock yarn today, so at least one other male will be getting socks. I had a vague thought of making a pair for a guy I have a crush on, but you know the saying about knitting for a boyfriend, I figure even male friends are in the danger zone there. Men have big feet - it's too much of a risk. The second issue with knitting people gifts is that they don't know the true value of what you're giving. I'm having a hard time finding a good reference for commission pricing, but I know I saw pricing on Jackie E-S's website years back when she still had an online store (oh, how I miss it!) and told people that if they wanted me to knit a pair of socks it would cost them about $60 a pair with no frills. And that was back when you could knit a pair of Lorna's Laces Shepard Socks for $16... now it's more than $20! I have found a wonderful sock knitting reference - Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. It's got all the info for different sizes so you only need to ask someone's shoe size to make them socks. I had to use a coupon for this one too... shame on me for needing my own copy instead of continuing to pay late fees at the library.

Excuses, Excuses?

Is it fair to justify yarn binges on gift giving? Like, I know I have a lot of relatives to buy for, especially now that I'm almost divorced but still have his family to buy for... but can't I just while away the hours knitting for people? Last night while trying to catch up on some of my blog reading, I came across for not the first time the Sock Wars posts. Now, the idea intrigues me, but since I am a procrastinator, I'm pretty much seeing that it would get me a pair of hand knit socks and someone to finish the pair I started. Win-Win for me, but if you're the one who rushes to get your pair finished, you send them off and get someone else's mess to finish? That sounds like punishment, not reward. Anywho, it got me to thinking more seriously about sock knitting. And that translated to a trip to the LYS, who was also having a large sale on Debbie Bliss and Noro yarns like the store I trekked to a couple weeks back. But the sale yarn couldn't persuade me, it was the sock yarns that I loved. I got 2 balls of trekking, which I've never used before, another skein of stretchy boot yarn (brand escapes me at the moment), and 2 skeins of Lang Jawoll jacquard that were on clearance. I also got a Box of Scarves II for 1/2 price.

A sign at the checkout caught my eye in regards to people shopping at Joanns and other discounters. While the idea that we should frequent our most prized stores, there is also a time & place for discount shopping, and here's my point. I have a yarn addiction... and I mean addiction. I sometimes can't stop myself from buying stuff, and I also horde - if you saw my yarn closet, you would understand how this can be a problem. I sold & gave away about 5 large garbage bags of yarn this summer that I knew I wouldn't use, most of it still in lots that were enough for afghans or sweaters. Now, think of how poor I would be if I allowed myself to amass quality yarn in that manner. When it comes down to it, an alcoholic will drink anything that will get them drunk, even if it's cough syrup or another toxic substance. I will buy stuff I can't really afford wherever and whenever I can. My parents grew up poor and my dad never throws anything out, and I am getting to be the same way. Once I get some crap acrylic or chintzy tools, I'm too afraid to get rid of it in case I need it some day. You'd think I lived thru the depression, the way I hang on to everything. Of course the small store owners would rather have me spending all my money in their stores, but the fact of the matter is that I'd rather get my fix with coupons at AC Moore when the urge strikes for Speed Stix on a Monday night when the yarn shops are closed, than to go buy a single ball of something that will just sit in my salad bowl on display because it's all I could afford and not enough to do anything with. If I'm going to pay the shot for something, I always go to the yarn shops first. Perfect example, the light up needles I got at the LYS the firs time, figured they were cool but I could never afford to buy all of them from the yarn shop. Instead I got them at a percentage off and could buy needles with Pig Heads on them at the yarn shop! To me that was a much better way to spend the money. The fact of the matter is that artisans will do whatever it takes to continue on with their craft. If anything, it's the poor selection and rude service that's to blame when stores go down the tubes. Where I live there are at least 6 shops that I've been to. One is on the outrageously rude side - the old lady watches you and keeps asking you if you need help as if you're going to start releasing skeins and tangling up the store. Another one is in a tough spot to shop due to non-existant parking and a very small selection of yarns. Honestly I've only been there once and didn't see the need to go back since nothing she had was unique from the other shops. Then there's a shop downtown which is probably tied for my favorite because they have a little of everything and a huge selection of books. They've been in business long enough to have a great selection and also some good clearance deals that I can afford. It's a good fondling store, if you know what I mean. There is another smallish shop that's the most out-of-the-way, at least a 30 minute drive from home and not spectacular in any way, but if you're bored with the other shops, it's nice to take a look around. The shop closest to my job is also on the narrow-minded-older-women-fun-fur-scarves side, and everything in the store is arranged by color as if you're only looking to combine 3 yarns together to create a gaudy xyz. They tried to talk me into mixing clearance Karabella Gossamer for $7/skein (which was normally $22+) with 2 other yarns that were $12 each... uh, not my idea of an inexpensive project. They did have a needle I was looking for that no one else carried at the time. I only go there in dire yarn attacks. But the shop I go to most often (and would more if they were open later on weekends) is also the closest to me. It has friendly staff and have built up a great selection of yarns, books & tools. Now if I could just find a job that paid more, I'd be able to take trips there more often.

Friday, October 06, 2006

2 Down!

Well, Hallowig hasn't been touched, but I did manage to knit the skein of Burly Spun into a hat & scarf! No left overs! Yeah! The scarf is short and will probably turn out wobbly when it dries, right now it's blocking on my bedroom rug. I've decided that I'm going to try to wear scarves as long as possible before I need to wear a winter coat again. I want to make a cabled light weight scarf from the Cash Iroha I got this week... I need to come up with a pattern for the cable stitches, though.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Today I had a chance to go to the yarn shop I don't get to often because it's a hassle to get to, being downtown where you have to park in a ramp garage a block away and walk thru deserted buildings to get there. But they have an incredible selection of yarns, so I brave it about every 6 weeks or so.

Well, I went for a skein of Brown Sheep Burly Spun yarn to make the Valery hat from Hip Knit Hats by Cathy Carron. I ended up browsing the clearance section in the back of the store first, since I knew exactly what I wanted & where it was, I wasn't in a rush for the Burly Spun. What I found in the clearance section floored me. All their Noro was like half price, and a lot of the Debbie Bliss was more than 50% off. I picked up 4 skeins of bright Kuryeon ($4.50) to make a new felted bag, 3 skeins of Cash Iroha ($5.50)in a denimy blue color to make a cabled scarf, I got 2 balls of Debbie Bliss alpaca silk ($4) to make fingerless gloves, and 6 balls Sirdar Denim Tweed DK ($3.25) in a purple & white colorway to make a child's sweater (not sure which of my girls - I'm thinking I should make a size 6-8 so that at least if it takes me a year or two to finish it (being realistic here), the little one might still be able to wear it . And of course I got the Burly Spun in Lotus Pink, which is a color I've used before for my fuzzy feet slipper cuffs.

I got home and immediately started the Valery Hat and realized that I didn't have size 11 dpns. I thought I could make due with some 10.5's and 9's (for some reason I didn't have a full set of either) but it became obvious fairly soon that I really needed bigger needles for this project, so I ran out to Joann's and got a set of size 11 plastic dpns that I love, only problem is that I really need a set of 5 and only got a set of 4, but for $2.58, how could I complain? While I was at Joann's I came across a new yarn they had just a couple boxes of... Rainbow Classic - huge 11 oz brushed yarn balls packaged similar to Rainbow Boucle. It's a little expensive for me today, after spending so much at the yarn store, so I didn't buy any but I plan to get some - it's got to knit up pretty quickly for a baby afghan. I'm determined to make one eventually! My kids are 2 & 4 and are still waiting! But right now I'm feeling the need to pamper myself, so my hat, purse, scarf and mitts are coming first.

I re-started my Hallowig, speaking of things for me. This time I'm using some bright green yarn I hijacked from my 4 year old. Can I just say ribbing is SO boring! I need to go wash a king size quilt at the laundromat tomorrow, so I might bring that since it's indestructible Red Heart yarn. I can't believe Halloween is almost here! My mom went and bought a gift for my brother to give his wife for Christmas today! HUH? It's like months away! Who can even think of Christmas at a time like this, when there are so many yarn deals! :)

I keep saying I want to make all these socks for people, but I never seem to get going on them. My Easter socks are in my car, being neglected. Courtney's socks are in my bag with the library books I've been poring over to get ideas for new projects. I have been borrowing a lot of knitting books from the library lately, just to get some ideas. I am so glad that I didn't buy them. The only one of the 10 I've borrowed this past month that I still would consider buying is Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Church. The rest were so-so. The second best one is Hip Knit Hats, but for the 14 day loan from the library, I can probably make the hats I really like without buying it for my own collection. I used to just buy books without even checking them out - just went to B& and went based on the descriptions. Well, the genre has diversified and some books aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Or maybe my standards are just too high. The bottom line is that I want to either learn something new or get a project that is either easier than I would have come up with, or something I never would have considered.

My ex is starting to take my kids on Friday nights, so at least I get a few hours to myself, and this week I will devote my time to working on these projects. I can't wait to get them done and add them to my wardrobe. I recently got new glasses unlike anything I've had before, and I wanted to create a real "style" for myself - I've never had one before. I want to have a funky accessory wardrobe - hats, scarves, shawls, bags - Just a lot of fun stuff...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Courtney's first day of preschool

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