Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Saltsman Christmas Tree

Aside from tearing apart other areas of our house lately, in preparation for the babe, we did manage to make it out to the Owasso Tree Farm and purchase our 2nd Christmas tree as a married couple! We thought we would take advantage of the 10 ft. ceilings in our living room, hence the 9 ft. tree. Spational relations have never been a strong point for me, so next year I may go for something a bit smaller :-) So, here it is, the Saltsman Christmas tree!

John and I spent Monday evening decking it out and we are both really happy with the end result! In other news, my craft room is fully and completely cleaning out and in process of being merged into a gue(studio). It is coming along better than expected, ignoring the piles of fabric in the hallways! The babe's room is all painted in a nice shade of orange sherbert! I hope to post pics soon - and maybe include some pics of my growing mid-section.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Knitting Spirit, Where Art Thou

As Christmas approaches, there is always much discussion about Holiday Knitting. There are even some people who share all of their finished Christmas gift items and parade them around Ravelry with photos to boot! (I'm not jealous...)

I am sad to say, holiday / gift knitting has never, ever been one of my strengths. If I want to doom a knit project to fail, set a deadline, and have someone in mind while knitting. Failure. It will not get done, and is likely still sitting in my endless basket of WIP’s.

Truth be told, I am not even one to make a big to do about Christmas shopping. The malls and super stores are no place for me during the holiday rush. I much prefer to do my shopping from the comfort of my home, dressed in my sweats sipping my cup of decaffeinated tea.

So for anyone who may worry or anticipate a knitted gift from me. Please, lay your worries to rest, I will do no such thing! And for those of you who are kind and proactive enough to knit for others, please pass some of that spirit onto me... Next year!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Well, did it work? I have been gone for, oh, two whole months now… And was scantily present prior to that. Let me explain.

In June, after being unemployed for 7 glorious months, I went back to work. It was a welcome change from my non-routine of lunching with friends, knitting, and sewing, but took me quite a long time to get back into the swing of things. I had quickly forgotten what it was like to manage a 7:30 – 5:00 work schedule, have a husband, sew, and try to maintain some kind of contact with friends and family. Notice there was no mention of house cleaning or cooking in that last statement, so imagine how many things have fallen by the wayside in our house! Knitting – why, yes, - I still made time for knitting.

Then came July… and August… I recently looked at some past posts in my Ravelry group and laughed as I had declared around on August 21st that my sewing mojo had returned and RoseKnits shop updates would once again be a regular occurrence. During this time, we had many visits from the good state of Detroit and in September, my sweet baby sister, Rita, paid us a visit and we were off to Springfield for a weekend family gathering.

The story goes uphill from this point with a little downhill swing :-) The uphill part. John and I found out on our way to Springfield that we will be welcoming Baby Saltsman #1 into our little two person family + one dog family next May! The downhill part. For the past 10 weeks I have done nothing but come to work, go home, eat, and go to sleep. Seriously. My weekends – spent primarily on the couch. Please do not ask me to do anything because the fatigue was nothing like anything I have ever before experienced!

As we jog into 13 weeks of pregnancy and the beginning of our 2nd trimester, I really do feel like a less tired person. I have started sewing again. Knitting again. And staying up past 8:00 p.m. I even mopped the floor last weekend! So, here’s to my return, regular shop updates, and renewed energy… At least for the next 13 weeks.

I will post pics this weekend of the home improvement projects that have been going on – thanks to John, not me. Unless choosing the paint colors count.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ain't Technology Grand

From Oklahoma to New Jersey, I was able to spend a few minutes with my baby sister on her 1st birthday!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Have or Have Not...

This subject has been a hot topic for me for as long as I can remember. I even recall an impromptu speech during my senior year speech class on the subject. Hair. My hair in particular.

I have childhood memories of dreading the sight of the brush and crying as my mom would try to drag the bristles through this wild mass of curls. Tight curls. No More Tears became my friend at a young age and made the task a bit more manageable. My hair was such a challenge for my parents, while my dad claims to not remember, one day he sat me on the butcher block in our kitchen and cut it. Cut. It. Off. Lucky for me I have my 1st grade photos to remind him where a white bow was placed on my head so not to be mistaken for a boy.

In the first grade, I became friendly with a black girl in my class – and her family introduced me to the perm. My mom would purchase the salon sized relaxer and blow dryers for the trade of them managing my hair. I remember stations being set in her grandmother’s kitchen. First station: relaxer; Second station: the comb through; Third station: the fan if the relaxer started to sting and had not been on your head an adequate amount of time; Fourth station: rinse and wash; Fifth station: blow dry and flat iron. We continued this process for many years… In the Seventh grade my god-mother, who owned a flower shop in a local shopping center, would trade flowers for my hair appointments. This situation carried me through to college where I became responsible for my hair appointment costs to today.

To me, the subject of black ladies and their hair is funny. I have been relaxing my hair for 20 years – part habit, part afraid to see what it looks like natural. Would I feel as pretty with shorter, curly hair? I always had pretty hair – usually long – and even when acne or feeling too pudgy would get me down, I could spend a few hours in a beauty shop and walk out feeling prettier than I had when I entered.

Laziness paired with curiosity paired with impatience led me to the idea that I should grow out my natural hair. It has been 20 years so I do not feel I have ever had a proper introduction to the natural hair, nor any knowledge of whether or not it is manageable, etc. If you have ever attempted to grow out hair color or a hair perm, you can feel my pain!

After almost one year with no relaxer I said a prayer, confirmed with 12 people that I would be okay if I cut my hair, and made an appointment with Amber Lynn. (This is where I should insert a photo… Maybe later :-) )

I’m actually happy with it – and think it’s kind of fun. I am now proudly a Have Not and I am really glad that I did it!

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

This week has been a GREAT week for me! Three really positive things happened… I can share ONE as of this moment.

Officially I started RoseKnits November 2008. This was also the month of our wedding, because I’m smart and overly ambitious like that. Doesn’t every girl dream of starting an Etsy shop the same month that she is making the commitment of a lifetime, why not? RoseKnits was my answer to having lots of money to buy yarn! At some point, I started making more money than I could justify spending on yarn, consequently calling it a ‘business.’ As we approach our two year mark, I’ve happily produced and pedaled over 1000 bags! Last year I was acknowledged both the Vogue and Knit Simple holiday editions: Exciting! Well, yesterday, knitwear designer extraordinaire, Cecily Glowik MacDonald ordered a bag from ME! Tonight I plan to prepare her extra special package to slip in the mail on Saturday! If you have yet to scope out her designs, you should! She’s AWESOME! So awesome, she recently co-authored New England Knits with Melissa LaBarre.

I currently have Goodale on the needles, a design by Ms. Cecily, and I have many, many more in my queue! So, friends, that pretty much made my week! Tomorrow John and I are headed to Wichita to see DMB in concert – I’m sure Stefan has been missing me ;-)

Next week I hope to be able to share another piece of the happy pie and will at minimum show you what I’ve been knittin’ on and some new things in store for RoseKnits!

Have a fantastic weekend! I know I will!

Monday, August 9, 2010

And the Beat Goes On!

Well, hello, friends! It has been quite some time since our last visit. And, changes, well they’ve been happening. I returned to full-time employment towards the ends of June.

I am filling a temporary role within a benefits department located in downtown Tulsa. I am enjoying it, along with all of the ‘perks’ that come with working downtown. Earlier in the year John, who also works downtown, began taking the park and ride express bus – picks us up about one mile from our house and drops us at our downtown offices. This is fun to me because I figure it is as close to big city living as I will come in Tulsa, OK… And I’m sure every gal dreams about commuting with her husband  Increased together time! I get to work with my dear friend, Vonchelle, whom I became acquainted while working at my previous employer. Because I am hourly I truly only work 40 hours per week, which forces me to take a full hour lunch break each day and knit!

We’re quickly approaching the first year in our home, our second wedding anniversary, and our fourth year together – time really does pass quickly. On the house front, we have added front landscaping, painted all rooms but the bedrooms and we are almost fully furnished!

RoseKnits has been on the back burner during this training period, but I am hoping to have that rhythm back in September. I’ve had a few, large custom orders – so once those are done I should return to regularly updating the shop, as well as having some new offerings for the fall knitting season!

What have you all been up to since I’ve been gone?

Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm headed to Guthrie, Oh yes, I am!

Today is an exciting day... Some time last year my friend, Stef, and I enrolled in the annual Knit Out event held by SWAK in Guthrie. A few months later my other dear friend, Annie, decided to join in on the fun... Three girls, one hotel suite, lots of yarn - weekend with Jared - chocolate, wine, and cookies! Oh, how divine! If you know a knitter, you know that packing projects for travel seems to be more torturous than packing clothes. And - to add to the confusion - we have to bring supplies for our classes! My task was to pack 3 skeins of worsted weight wool. I know, I know, you think this must be easy since I am the owner of so many skeins... well, not so much. I buy most yarn in sweater quantities and I just hate breaking up a bunch! Plus, do I really want to use the good stuff for a mere dress rehearsal? I broke down and I chose 3.

An update to my last post...

1) Baby Dress for Rita - COMPLETE! I just need to sew up some matching bloomers and get this in the mail to her...
2) Emmaline
3) Creature Comforts Cardigan - COMPLETE! Going in the mail next week...
4) Ribbed Baby Jacket for Loops - COMPLETE! Well, I do need to sew on a button, but there is no more knitting required!
5) Whisper Cardigan
6) Cable T - RIPPED! I decided I no longer like this garment and have decided to salvage the yarn for the Moch Cardi by Gudrun Johnston.
7) Socks for John - MAKING PROGRESS! I knit a few inches on the sock at the baseball game last weekend! I love stitch 'n pitch!
8) Lacy Pullover
9) Springtime Bandit
10) Pinwheel Baby Blanket
11) 28Thirty Cardigan
12) Classic Elite Dolman Tunic

I have an exciting prosepct on the job front - I hope to have happy news to share in the next few weeks... I think I should download some HR / Healthcare related literature to my kindle and get caught up on what has been going on in the HR world. I also need to submit to have my PHR certification renewed - it expires in June and Lord knows I don't want to take that test again!

See you guys next week with some FO pics and more updates! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Confessions - Be Careful, This Gets Messy

This may be embarassing, but it must be done. Most of you know, I like to knit. I collect yarn, knitting patterns, knitting books and interchangeable knitting needles. I even collect UFO's - some people call these WIP's - but we'll just flat out call mine UFO's. Well, folks, here they all are - list style. I am doing this because every single time I log onto Ravelry I find something else that I think I must knit. The problem is people / companies are producing yarns and writing patterns quicker than my little hands can start and finish an item!

What is a girl to do? Well this girl, even if only for a day, is going to a come to her senses meeting with you and write down every unfinished object. Here it goes!

1) Baby Dress for Rita
2) Emmaline
3) Creature Comforts Cardigan
4) Ribbed Baby Jacket for Loops
5) Whisper Cardigan
6) Cable T
7) Socks for John
8) Lacy Pullover
9) Springtime Bandit
10) Pinwheel Baby Blanket
11) 28Thirty Cardigan
12) Classic Elite Dolman Tunic

Ok, I think this about sums it up. Good news is... 50% of these projects have hope! I'll see if I can finish one, or two, or three before I cast on for another! I better get busy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another FO - Sewing & Knitting

I really don't know what the deal is lately, but I am actually able to start and finish knitting projects... It's amazing, truly. Last year when I was feeling a bit more adventurous I started on the Provence Marl Empire Waist Cardigan from Classic Elite. This was adventurous by my own standards because typically if the pattern does not start with the words "top down", I'm out. I'm a lazy knitter. I know. Sleeves are my enemy. I know that, too. I was really making great progress on this until I reached the skirt portion. And then that's where the project died. 300 stitches - stockinette - can life suck any more? I retired the sweater to a bag in the bag of my closet. I pulled it out last week determined to finish, and here she is!

I am truly thrilled with the results - now if only I can get the yarn to stop shedding. This stuff is getting everywhere - but I'll keep wearing it! The vacuum will be my friend once I take it off...

On the RoseKnits front - I'm seriously addicted to sewing the zippered bag buddies lately. I think it is because they are the perfect compliment to my new knitting bucket find. The Reisenthel Loops Shopper... This is one of those times where I am glad that my husband is a little less than observant. The zippered bag buddies separate my projects perfectly for tossing in the shopper... I wanted to make sure that I was prepared for our field trip to SWAK Knit Out on April 30 --- more on that later... I leave you with the bag buddies - pick one up today. They're perfect, for - well... Everything!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Green's Queen Around Here

As I stroll through the open spaces at my local yarn shop I continually hear chatters of green, green, green... I will leave 'stylish' opinions and such to people other than myself - because they are definitely much more stylish. Much. So, why not some green for the babes?

For a quickie project I cast on for Debbie Bliss' Ribbed Baby Jacket. It's a free pattern, so feel free to cast on. It calls for 4 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran - although I will be very surprised if this takes four balls. I am almost finished with the back and ready to cast on for the sleeves after only 30 minutes of Law & Order.

I will be sure to keep you all updated as I anticipate finishing this little sweetie jacket and my empire waist sweater right around the same time.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Knitting FO Ahead!

Watch out people! I guess the enthusiasm that I felt for the baby socks really helped fire up the 'ole knitting mojo. Who says that knitting is reserved for the winter months? I finished my Tea Leaves sweater with a few minor adjustments... Given the time of year and my hatred for knitting sleeves, I opted to make Tea Leaves a short sleeved pullover instead of a long sleeved cardigan.

I was so excited to wear a hand knit - and a little disgusted with myself due to my inability complete projects - I pulled out a Classic Elite - empire waist cardi that I started last year... Yes, I did say last year as in 2009... Maybe even early 2009 if I dare think about it. There are close to 300 stitches on the skirt of this cardi - so it takes me FOREVER to knit a row... I'm finishing off the collar and hope to finish off the skirt this week, too! Keep your fingers crossed. If all goes well, I could have another adult FO by the weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Knitting Socks

I must admit - although I've been knitting for close to three years now, I am very intimidated by knitting socks... Something about "turning the heel" and doing the kitchener stitch is all too much for me... While working at Loops on Tuesday evening, on of my co-workers had the cutest baby sock pattern using worsted weight yarn. I thought, surely I can handle a baby sock with worsted weight yarn.

I came home that evening - logged on to Ravelry to find an easy baby sock patttern - cuff down - and we now have baby socks! I even used fingering weight yarn - from stash! It has been awhile since I have actually finished a project, so I have a feeling these will become addicting since they are an easy finish. Pair them with a baby hat, and I've also got a great shower gift! I'm not sure if these really get to count at my first socks, but it has at least made the process seem manageable.

Here's the first pair - using Koigu KPPPM from stash. This morning I've cast on with some 3IG and using a ribbed sock pattern... The next pair may have to be toe up. We shall see...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hey, I'm Back!

Well... Kind of. I know the consistency of my blogging leaves a lot to be desired... but life has been busy. Trust. Me. I would never imagine that I would be so busy with no full-time job... Ah, well! It is what it is.

Added a few new zipper pouches to the shop today - with a "bonus"... A swivel hook so you can easily hook to your keys or to another bag! There'll be more to come - just wanted to check in and say, "What up!"

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Please pardon the delay

If you watch the news we are now considered to be 'recovering' from the horrible winter storms of 2010. Sure. Whatever. We had a bit of ice and snow last Thursday and Friday, but all-in-all, not bad. I did update the shop pretty well on Thursday - Friday I developed cabin fever and cast on a new project (the current projects just weren't gettin' it for me) and Saturday I spent the day pedaling yarn at Loops. Others must have been feeling cabin fever as well, because we had significant amount of traffic, under the circumstances.

A dear friend of mine gave birth to a darling baby boy on Saturday - and another dear friend of mine learned that her cancer is terminal - and is expected to be sent home from the hospital with hospice in tow. If you know me, you know I have an intimate relationship with cancer, and like many others, I hate it. I've not had cancer, but my mom did (pretty severely) my senior year in high school, my step-father died with cancer a few years ago, and my uncle currently has cancer. Cancer certainly sucks. Today is a great day to be nice to those you love, to sneak in a few extra hugs and kisses and i love you's, and just be thankful that you have the moment together.

Today John and I are headed over to help the new parents, who also have an 18-month-old. Talk about having your hands full! Life is ironic to say the least... And I'm now praying more than ever to be at peace with His plan rather than my own. It's times like these where one can easily lose faith if one does not turn it ALL over.

Stay tuned for sporatic shop updates throughout the week... I leave you with the buttons and dumpling bag, that for some odd reason, are reason enough to smirk right now!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Husband Diaries

Today - like most days - I'm completely and intensely studying all of the latest FO's on Ravelry while doing a mental check on my current yarn stash and what I could possibly make... Lots! Let's just say I could make 15 sweaters from that stash and then some... But - I asked my husband for some words of encouragement to sew and not play around on Ravelry... This is what I got:

Positive motivation: You are doing so great at making bags...I'm so proud of you! You do a great job and should be proud of the work you do! With the money you are making you can buy more fabric! :-)

Negative motivation: Get to work or I'll stop cooking you dinner!

John wins motivation: Get to work or I'll buy a 60 inch TV this weekend!

Motivation that is usually meant for a kid:
Get to work or I'll take away your Nintendo!

I forgot one....

The do something nice for your husband motivation: Get to work so your husband can have a bigger computer monitor at work and he'll be a better employee!

Gotta love him, right?

I know, I'm a great hubby! XOXO

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Friday - Again!

I hope that I am not creating a pattern of only blogging on Friday's - I guess if I do, though, that will still be more consistent than what I've been in the past...

This week has been busy and productive. I finally feel like I am getting the shop restocked after the busy holiday and I'm finishing off some pending orders... I also feel like we've accomplished something on the house front this week; not sure if I mentioned it, but it seemed that as of December we were kind of on a stand still with the house. No additional furniture had been purchased - no additional boxes unpacked. Stand. Still. My front living area happens to be a cluster of no longer used dining room chairs, etc. Well... this week I ordered two chairs and an ottoman for the front room to match our new couch that will hopefully be headed our way soon! Once all the furniture is in I plan to start my hunt for the perfect coffee tables, pillows (go Pier One!), and art work. I came across this wreatch today at made of felt and colorful thread and feel like I must make it with coordinating furniture colors! I've already printed off the template and will head to JoAnn's this weekend for some natural colored felt. I usually do not attempt to make such things to be on display in the house, but this seems pretty and doable - and will not be the focal point, so why not? I think I will also make a few coordinating fabric buckets to set under the end tables to keep WIP's available but somewhat hidden from visitors...

So I guess that's all for us right now in the land of Broken Arrow! I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend as well!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Week in Review

Happy Friday everyone! This week we will count as a success ~ I have managed to finish the sleeves on the Oatmeal Pullover and wear it once... My photographer was absent so I will try to throw it on again this weekend for some modeled shots... One more sweater lacking sleeves! Yay! My bmom made me the 'Tess' sweater... I blocked it and will likely wear it today or tomorrow. Once blocked it grew a little, but I moved the buttons over for a more asymmetrical fit and all was well with the world!

I'm happy to report that I've cooked THREE times this week! Yes, three. Whole. Times. That means, we did not eat out one meal - for dinner, that is. I am uber excited about going to WW tomorrow to weigh in! I definitely feel a bit more svelte this week (and I cheated and stepped on the scale), but it has kept me motivated, right?

I've spent time with two great friends this week and am going to lunch and knit with a third! One friend is my complete inspiration for the new bag design that will be in the shop this week... The prototype is photographed below.

Tonight we're having friends over - and I have my pork in the crock pot cooking away for carnitas! YUM! Tomorrow is kind of a free day except John has to work - he has to work a Saturday each quarter... So I'm thinking we may need to dine out tomorrow. And Sunday (I think we'll go to mass) and then we're heading out to visit our friends, the Thummels... They have a fairly new baby boy and a precious toddler girl running around - so we're going to take a meal over there and feast with friends and enjoy the kiddos...

I hope you have had a great week - have a more enjoyable weekend - and enjoy the bag pics below! If you're interested in a bag prior to their being placed in the shop simply leave me a message and we can work up a custom order for you!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The girl who can't do everything still tries

Ok, January 4th! New week in a new year! I'll acknowledge that I cannot possibly do everything, but I'm still going to try! Today I start a part-time job at a doctor's office... funny how I used to work a full-time job and sew and now the proposition of working 20 hours a week and sewing seems overwhelming. What gives? At any rate, I've enlisted the help of my friend Jessica to organize my schedule! Sometimes looking from the outside one can see opportunities that the other cannot.

I need time to 1) Sew, 2) Study for the Real Estate Exam, 3) Work my 20 total hours per week split between the yarn shop and doctors office, 4) Knit (of course)! Oh, and I also need to spend time with my husband, cook, house chores... Luckily spending time with John is easily facilitated by simply living in the same household.

What's on your agenda? How are you organizing your new year? I eventually need to work in some exercise time, but figure exercise can occur concurrently with studying for the real estate exam. I study well on the elliptical!

I've updated the fortune cookies in the shop today... Stop on by if you feel so inclined! Happy Monday and have a magnificent week!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

I opened blogger to reply to a blog and feel like I should stop and say something... "Happy New Year?" Maybe? I would like to THANK EVERYONE for their patronage of RoseKnits in 2009. I distributed around 550 bags in 2009!!! That is amazing for something I was doing on the side... I am excited and anxious to see what 2010 will bring in that regard! So, again, thank you so much.

On the life front... Life has been hectic, hectic, hectic. For some reason I had almost convinced myself that when the day job stopped on 12/4, life would almost instantly become this relaxing place where I lived. Not so much. It seems I have the ability to turn any relaxing situation into a hectic one - and I also have the ability to stress myself out entirely on my own without anyones help! I booked a week of travel to NJ to hang out with my little one - home for six days - then headed off to Detroit to spend Christmas with the "other" side of my family.

Since we've been back we've tried to catch up with friends - and more family. I have high hopes for this year - and I still hope for something that resembles relaxation. I have quite figured out how to incorporate the relaxation part into my schedule, but surely I'll get it one day!

I wish for you all a very happy 2010 filled with inspirational and relaxing experiences :-) (Got the experience part from my "sister" Annie - to hell with resolutions!)