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.