Friday, February 27, 2009

Wishes for another yarny year!!

I would have to say on a scale of 1 – 10 on the mood this week, I would give it an 8. In spite of everything that could be construed as negative, I have been doing a lot of self talk to stay on the positive front! After all… My birthday is Monday, so that is exciting, right?

On the business front, while things are not improving they are not declining either. And today, that is ok.

The Lenten season officially began this Wednesday so John and I have decided to forgo soda pop and candy. Someone actually asked me if I had given up yarn! I am not going to set myself up for complete failure here, people.

My yarn stash is actually doing quite the opposite of decreasing – it is growing at warp speed! Let’s do a recap, shall we?

I started off the year ‘testing’ our joint banking account and ordered 4 skeins of DIC. I then visited Detroit, and John was in such a great mood to be with his family that I seized the opportunity and purchased 5 skeins of Shepherd’s Wool. John bought me 5 skeins of Miss Babs’ for Valentine’s Day – and I bought myself 7 skeins of Lorna’s Lace Greenline Worsted. My dear friend Brooke sent me a gift card for Valentine’s Day to the yarn store where I purchased 3 skeins of Malabrigo and 4 skeins of 2nd time cotton. And here we are at my birthday – grandma sent me a check, The Backwards Loop had a sale, and that’s all she wrote! 8 skeins of Lorna’s Lace should be in route to Oklahoma. So far, we are at 36 skeins of yarn! Do you know how many sweaters that is? At least 6, right - Although I think the Malabrigo will go to the Hemlock Blanket KAL I am getting ready to start!? My boss gifted me a yarn store gift card for my birthday today – oh my! I think I am going to hold off for a bit because my next purchase will be 9 skeins of Cascade 220 in Black… For yet another sweater! (**Note to self: this is all for me. This does not include yarn purchased for John’s sweater vest).

This is turning out to be a very exciting yarn year! Oh, and on Monday, for my / your birthday viewing pleasure I will have modeled pics of the Textured Circle Shrug. Monogamous knitting is turning out to be a good thing… I can pop out a sweater in two weeks!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Am Practicing As A Monogamous, Reading Knitter

I am having an exceptional week this week! On Monday I called to upgrade the shipping for my Kindle and I received it last night! I just could not take the waiting any long; I really should get some patience, I already know! Kindle is all charged and in hand! The first book that I will be reading is The Reader.

When debating on whether or not to make this purchase John asked if I would really use Kindle. After all, how can one knit and read at the same time? This morning I was able to make it through the first four chapters! Yay! It also has this nice text to speech feature which will allow Kindle to read to you with or without headphones – male or female computerized voice. I tested the voice last night, and I honestly do not mind it.

The other feature that I believe will be useful is that you are allowed to read one chapter of a book before deciding to make the purchase. I firmly believe this will help me to weed out books that I will not finish. I think the instant access is the BEST part! You remember the ”p” word that I mentioned above. No need for that here. Order the book and you will have it in your hot little hands in 60 seconds or less. This is nice.

On the knitting front… For the past 11 days I have been acting as a monogamous knitter, and we all know that I am not :-/ I have been working on the Textured Circle Shrug from Stephanie Japel’s Glam Knits. I am 21 rows from completion! I hope to wear this beautiful shrug on Sunday while I am out to dinner with my hubby celebrating 27 years!

Happy Hump Day!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


"The Big Read answers a big need. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a 2004 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young. The concerned citizen in search of good news about American literary culture would study the pages of this report in vain. They say the average American has only read 6 of the following:"


1) Bold the books you have already read
2) Italicize the books you intend to read
3) Notes in parentheses next to note-worthy titles.

1) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2) The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
3) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
4) Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (the first book)
5) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
6) The Bible
7) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
8 ) Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
9) His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
10) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
11) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
12) Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
13) Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
14) Complete Works of Shakespeare
15) Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
16) The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
17) Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
18 ) Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
19) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
20) Middlemarch by George Eliot
21) Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
22) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
23) Bleak House by Charles Dickens
24) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
25) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
26) Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
27) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 ) Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
29) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
30) The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
31) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
32) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
33) Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
34) Emma by Jane Austen
35) Persuasion by Jane Austen
36) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis
37) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
38 ) Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
39) Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
40) Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
41) Animal Farm by George Orwell
42) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
43) One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44) A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving
45) The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
46) Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
47) Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
48 ) The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
49) Lord of the Flies by William Golding
50) Atonement by Ian McEwan
51) Life of Pi by Yann Martel
52) Dune by Frank Herbert
53) Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
54) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
55) A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
56) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57) A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
58 ) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
59) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
60) Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
62) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
63) The Secret History by Donna Tartt
64) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
65) Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
66) On The Road by Jack Kerouac
67) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
68 ) Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
69) Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
70) Moby Dick by Herman Melville
71) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
72) Dracula by Bram Stoker
73) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
74) Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson
75) Ulysses by James Joyce
76) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
77) Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
78 ) Germinal by Emile Zola
79) Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
80) Possession by AS Byatt
81) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
82) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
83) The Color Purple by Alice Walker
84) The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
85) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (This is one of my favorite reads of all time!)
86) A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
87) Charlotte's Web by EB White
88 ) The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
89) Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90) The Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton
91) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
92) The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93) The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
94) Watership Down by Richard Adams
95) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
96) A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
97) The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 ) Hamlet by William Shakespeare
99) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
100) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

I always thought that I was well read; maybe not so much! I hope that Kindle has a lot of these titles available. This may be a very busy reading year!

I checked the National Endowment for the Arts and below is their current list.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town by Thornton Wilder
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
Old School by Tobias Wolff
The Poetry of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Poetry of Robinson Jeffers by Robinson Jeffers
The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick
The Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
Sun, Stone, and Shadows by Jorge F. Hernández (editor)
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Thief and the Dogs by Naguib Mahfouz
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (I tried this and it was just too horrific)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Washington Square by Henry James
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Today is Fabulous Friday...

I should have known today was going to be a great day. I woke up and actually flat ironed my hair - this rarely happens because I never know when I am going to be summoned to plunk a hard hat on my head and walk out in the mill. In addition to the flat ironed effect, I also put on make up. Again, never happens. Not really a need to be glamorous in this environment (I should take photos sometime so you will all understand). I wore khaki's - some of you may now be scoffing at me - khaki's - well, when you wear jeans everyday khaki's are a sweet treat!

You can imagine my amazement when I sent a text to my husband asking if it were okay to purchase a Kindle 2 today. I always ask to buy a lot of things and I always anticipate, "no" or "not today" to be the answer. It is not that John controls our purchases, but I really would purchase unnecessary things on a daily basis if it were agreed upon, and sometimes not agreed upon by hubby. Today he said, "yes" to which I responded in complete confusion, "Are you serious?!?!?" He said yes again and I ordered it! On February 24 the new Kindle will be released and hopefully soon after I will receive mine!!! Yay for Friday's!!! And especially Friday's where you get to buy Kindles which I am sure is going to make me smarter...

Have a good one!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend In Review

This weekend proved to be very uneventful (which is a good thing!) Friday evening John and I actually went OUT - on something that resembled a date, which we have not done in awhile! We dined at Senor Tequila's, then being the fabulous husband that he is he rushed me right over to JoAnn's to purchase the latest edition of Debbie Bliss knitting magazine (he really is a keeper, isn't he??). While we were there I picked up two skirt patterns since they were only $1 each!

Saturday we exchanged Valentine's (since when is Valentine's a gift day??) John bought me some really great Miss Babs superwash merino - I'm going to make the Textured Shrug from Stephanie Japel's Glam Knits. I purchased a Bobby Flay grill book for him... Which he used Saturday night to make our Valentine dinner... I also went pattern shopping, again, with my mom and picked up some doggy bone cookie cutters that I used on Sunday to make Chandler Mason doggy treats!

Our Valentine's dinner consisted of: Calamari, Grilled Shrimp and Lobster, steamed broccoli and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert!

Sunday - well, we rolled out of bed and went to the corner diner for some breakfast :-) Great way to spend a Sunday with your hubby! And I sewed quite a bit while John relaxed and watched television... Oh, and read up on potty training grown animals. Chan and John seem to have their own pissing contest going on right in our house!

I leave you with photos of the beautiful yarn!! More tomorrow...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day on a Budget

I think I have mentioned before that John is an accountant – and accountants tend to see things in black and white – and are typically budget conscious. I think he is most of those things sin budget conscious when it comes to golf. He tries to act budget conscious and hum haw around and then I make him feel better about whatever the overpriced purchase is and we all go about our day (I am fairly certain that this is an act that he has perfected since the beginning of our courtship).

Originally we were going to make dinner reservations and go out for Valentine’s Day, but in an effort to be creative and spend what discretionary income we do have on things much more fun than food (i.e. yarn **which reminds me… today The Backwards Loop is having a sale and I scored some Lorna’s Lace for $10 / skein & to top it off I received the Spring Interweave Knits magazine in the mail yesterday!!!** and a new wedge club for him), we are going to cook at home! As of this moment, we have yet to plan our menu; I am sure tomorrow will be spent scurrying about the grocery stores searching for bargains and something that looks appetizing!

The challenge: Valentine’s Day Dinner at home on $50. Some of you may be laughing at me and my classifying this as a ‘challenge’ but the drinks, dinner, and dessert all have to fit into the $50 budget… Do you think we can do it?? I will keep you posted on what we come up with!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hope and Inspiration

Hope and inspiration are two things that people need right now. They can take you a long way when there is not much to look forward to. Given the dire state of our economy, which you cannot help but focus on because every time you turn on the tv, look at the stock market, or receive a 401k statement in the mail you cannot help but be filled with overwhelming trepidation of what is next.

Taryn, a young lady who I went to high school with and coincidentally was reconnected with thanks to Ravelry, is onto something. She seems to find a way to make horrific moments funny and sad moments inspirational! If you ever need a laugh, definitely check out her blog A Peine for Your Thoughts. Her most recent post... Unless you love your job, she will make you want to be on the receiving end of a pink slip!

Here was my little bit of hope last night... The circus is always fun, right? This is my little bit of self-promotion for the day...




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Someone Hearts Me

The title, a bit misleading... When I say someone hearts me, I mean someone hearts some of the stuff that I have made in my shop!!! Some of you may know, or you may not, but last November I opened a shop on Etsy ( I love fabric and bags and all things fiber so I thought if there was a way that I could support my habit with another habit, why not!

I have had a few sales, which is always encouraging - and as I was looking at some of my items today people heart my items! If nothing else it caused my heart to swell up just enough to go home and sew some more!

If you have not checked out my shop, please do! It is fun to look at, and maybe buy something too ;-)

XO everyone!

Monday, February 9, 2009

FO - Garter Yoke Cardi

First, I would like to say please excuse the very sloppy photos. This was taken on a Monday morning, and maybe fortunate for me, my husband thinks that I am cute even at my worst!

I finished the GYC in about 1.5 weeks which is a record for me! I love the cardi - think that pattern is fabulous, and I may make more later! The only thing... I may need to reinforce the neckband as it stretched a bit as the day went on. I may be able to attribute this to the yarn, though, because this yarn has started many items... And it finally made it to the finish line!

The other photo is of a vest that I am making for John. This will not be finished in time for him to wear, but will be ready for the fall!! I am using Sublime and Noro Silk Garden... It's so lucious I'm beginning to think I should have used this yarn for something for me (I'm selfish, I already know!) This relieves the pressure for me, no doubt!

Happy Tuesday everyone... See you tomorrow!




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Friday, February 6, 2009

Garter Yoke Cardi

Last Thursday when we were in route to Detroit, frustrated with Ingenue, I cast on for the Garter Yoke Cardi! Last night I finished off the 2nd sleeve. We have a high in Tulsa today and tomorrow of 70 degrees. This may have influenced the elbow length sleeves. I would like to wear this one a bit this spring... The shaping is actually perfecto! I attribute this to putting it on waste yarn to try it on (thanks Robin!). It really only took 15 minutes to do and helped me to make a few alterations on the shaping.

RobinM - such a dear - gave me some good pointers on Ingenue - and pullovers in general. I really like the neck of Ingenue, so I think I may take another crack at it after I finish John's vest...

I will post modeled pics of the GYC on Monday - I will have to sew on 10 buttons this weekend!

Happy, sunny Friday everyone! Definitely enjoy your day!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Family Ties and Trees

For some people, when doing a family / relation activity and they draw their family tree, if the family is seemingly "normal" (whatever this means) then they have a fairly normal tree. I've not seen many family drawings that look this way, although I bet my husband could draw one up in a jiffy! It may be large family drawing - but it would still resemble a tree. They have not been heavily exposed to things such as divorce and / or remarriage, etc.

If I were to make my family drawing, I believe it would resemble a bush. It would be cluttered with a lot of people, some related, some not, but everyone of importance would have a space on my family bush. Oh, and unlike my husbands family, my family has been heavily exposed to divorces, remarriages, etc. I like to describe them as hopeless romantics, never really giving up on love... Not even the third time around :-) I hope to give my children, a more tree like structure.

I am working on something here at work today, and the family drawings that exist within this plant do not resemble trees or bushes even, but their drawing goes straight up and down :-) Take that for what it is worth... If you think you have got it bad, there is always someone out there who has it worse...

Have a happy day people! And I am going to try to post photos tomorrow - even if they are only of my disgraceful inability to change the wreath on our front door - which would make one assume that it is still Fall and Thanksgiving :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Beginning

You are special. You were chosen. Special. Chosen. Was I chosen or abandoned? For an adopted person chosen and abandoned are separated by a very fine line. Chosen sounds god like, doesn’t it? It sounds superior. I was not flung onto someone, they picked me. Didn’t they? They wanted me, but on the other side of that very fine line someone didn’t want me. Someone gave me away. I grew up with a subconscious of never being good enough - and as much as I tried to address it and as much as I tried to muster some resemblance of self-esteem, I could never really get there. On the outside, I seem fairly normal. On the inside, well, that’s another story.

I think to most I seem like a fairly well adjusted person. I have a college degree – two, even. This would imply that I am smart. Am I? I am married to a wonderful man. I have a lot of family – double or triple the family that most people have. I am a home owner. I wear decent clothes. I drive a decent car. I have been described as bubbly. I am beautiful – that is what he said – that is what they all said. Growing up, though, something always felt different. As normal as everyone tried to make it, I was different. I could not identify why or how or where the differences were, but I was different.

This post is for RS And DR. Thanks for all of the encouragement!