Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mail Call!

When I went on to Etsy to purchase my shawl pin a couple weeks ago I ended up spending some time looking at other stuff too. Etsy is so addictive! I somehow (heh) ended up finding someone who was destashing. (Squee!) And so I ordered one of her lots which was Brown Sheep Handpaint Originals Yarn. I picked up 4 skeins of Onyx, 2 skeins of Cranberry, and one skein of Chestnut.

I am a BIG fan of Brown Sheep yarn. I use it a lot. Love the feel of it, love the finished products I have made from them, and I really like the colors the yarn comes in. I used my flash on these pictures so the colors are bleached out here, but these are wonderful colors.

I have been enjoying thinking about what I want to make with this yarn. I originally thought a shawl would be very warm and wonderful, but I read that this yarn felts really well, so now I am toying with the idea of making a bag out of it. Not sure which way the wind will blow on this, but the thought process is a joy!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday in your face

Good Morning World. It's time for Insomniac Theater! Woke up at 1:00 this morning and could NOT get back to sleep. This always makes me so very happy. Nothing like starting out the week exhausted and crabby. **sigh**

I am pretty sure my neighbors don't appreciate my sleepless nights either. I put Emma out when I got out of bed at 2:12 this morning and she immediately ran to the very back of our yard and started barking like a mad dog. Nothing carries on a cold winter night like the sound of a dog barking. Then the sound of a tired woman in owl pajamas shivering in the doorway making kissing noises and whisper yelling "Emma!" and shaking the treat container. Yup. People know when I am up.

Then Emma curls up on her bed in the den while I amuse myself with the Internet, sighing a lot and getting excited for food every time I get up and go to the kitchen for more coffee. On a normal day when I wake up, it means the food will happen for the cat and the dog very soon. So when I wake up hours early - it's chaos. The cat has a timed feeder because she used to wake me up when she thought it was time to eat by standing on my sleeping form. Then the claws would come out when just walking on me didn't work. (ouch.) Then she figured out that I put my glasses on when I would get up, so she took to walking to my night stand and batting my glasses on the floor. That's when we decided to get a battery operated feeder.

 Here she is at 2:40 in the morning licking the empty bowl. She pretty much walks around glaring at me all morning because the food is not happening. Add to that I took her out of the bedroom where my husband is sleeping - so she can't go into that room. She will make the occasional walk to the bedroom door and claw frantically at it hoping she can get in. That makes for a fun game too. I will go and shush her away and when she hears me retreat and start typing again she will start back up.

Good times.

So that is what my Insomnia mornings look like. Add to that me wondering how early I can go into work for the day so I can leave early as I know I will be a wreck by around noon when I am up at this hour. I generally don't go in early on insomnia mornings - but I think I will today.

Insomnia days are just so hard. My brain is moosh. I can't generally knit much because I do bad things to patterns when I try. Any form of exercise is out. My diet takes a hit because I don't know when to eat and get confused about hunger and tired. (If I get up at 1:00 and eat breakfast at 4:00 do I eat lunch at 10:00 and and dinner at 3:00 and then second dinner at 7:00????) And if I go into work early THAT will throw everything off too. And if I go in early and come home early can I or should I take a nap or am I better off just going to bed early and trying to get a long sleep so I don't end up not being able to sleep a second night in a row? Meh. I know when I can't sleep it's going to be a long long day.

Wish me luck!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Award Winning! That's me!

The wonderful and awesome Nicky from the wonderful and awesome blog KnittingNix nominated me for a Liebster Blog award! This is my first Blog award!  WOOT! Thank you so much Nicky! Anyone who reads my blog and hasn't yet read Nicky's blog, I highly recommend it! Wonderful sense of humor and just a really nice person. One of those blog's where you just feel like you could call the person up and meet them for coffee and while away the hours chatting and knitting together.

Now here are the Liebster Blog award rules. It is really simple and in a nutshell, pass it forward. You link to the blog that nominated you. Then you choose 5 blogs of your choice to pass the award on to. These blogs have to have less than 200 followers to be eligible for the Liebster Blog Award. Share a link to your chosen blogs and lastly, but not least, display the Liebster Blog Award button on your blog.

What I love about this is that it's a chance to reach out to bloggers that I enjoy the works of and let them know "Hey! I read all that stuff you write! I love it when you stick a barbie in a sock and take a picture of it! I love it when you take pictures of your dogs and share them!" etc... It's just a wonderful way to say - one blogger to another - I appreciate you sharing your world with me!

Even though KnittingNix is one of the blogs I read all the time - this is a Pay it forward thing - so I will spring from Nicky's kindness and will nominate these 5 Blogs:

1. HippyWitch Crafts I have only just started to get to know Lori, but I am really enjoying her blog! She makes the most awesome Toadstools and sells them in her Etsy shop. (My goal is to buy one some day. I just love them!) She is crafty and clever and I really enjoy her blog!

2. Zeal for Everything is another blog I read all the time. I have a crush on her two dogs Schrödinger and Isabelle and I just love the honesty of her blog. She puts stuff out there and she inspires me to be true to my own voice.

3. Kids and Capers is chicken soup for my soul. Her blog always has something that comforts me - be it some fresh baked muffins or some wonderful crochet project she is whipping up. She also has an amazing amount of blogs she follows - and I can spend many hours just jumping from blog to blog to blog. Excellent Blog-taste!

4. Another favorite is Knit Sew Hooked. She always has something fun on the needles! She has been a little quiet lately, but I really enjoy reading her blog and seeing what she is up to.

5. And last but not least PDX Princess. Her blog has so much going on! I love her blog posts but I am also always checking out her books (her taste runs Vampy like mine - so I scope out possible future reads) and I like seeing what she is watching on TV. She really broadcasts her life and makes full use of the media out there to do it. Plus she has awesome cat pictures and yarn p0rn. What's not to love?!?!

I read all the blogs I nominated and enjoy them very much. If you have a moment stop in and take a look at them - maybe you will find a new blog to love too!

A Better Standing Ovation

Back in December I knit the pattern Ovate which is a paid pattern on Ravelry. I loved the pattern except for one thing: The tacky closure. Maybe it was the toggles I chose? Maybe it was my lack of mad skill in the crochet department? Whatever the reason - it looked like crap. I found myself not wanting to wear my fancy Rasta shawl that I was so excited about. Sad face.

See how sad that looks? It didn't look much better with me in it, let me tell you. And honestly, I don't think it looked that great on other people's either. I feel like people really had to work to get it to look nice in their Ravelry pictures. Maybe it's just not my style. I can't pull off the belted sweater look either. **Shrugs**

Enter some serious Etsy browsing and the discovery of a shop called WireDreamsDesign. I found a wonderful shawl pin there that is pearl colored on one side and black on the other. It's made out of Polymer Clay and the "pin" is a recycled knitting needle. FABULOUS!

As you can see there is a pattern in the clay as well - making it just a little more special. I only took pictures of the pearl colored side, as I didn't think the black side would show up well in pictures.

I am soooooo happy with this purchase and think this is a wonderful upgrade to the shawl. I have added this shop to my favorites and suspect I will be getting more shawl pins from them in the future. Did I mention they are really affordable too?  Awesome!

Happy happy joy joy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Frustration - Indeed!

So this morning I was plodding through my e-mail and saw that there was a new post from a Blogger I enjoy Zeal for Everything entitled Frustration. This poor wonderful woman has been reading my Blog and trying to leave me comments - only to be denied! Argh! I feel like I turned on the lights and lit up the decorations for Trick or Treaters on Halloween and then locked the door and fell sound asleep.

I am touched that she would take the time to let me know A) That she has been reading my blog and enjoys it! and B) That she hasn't been able to comment! I know I have been frustrated with this on many a blog. Back in Blogtoberfest, I had many blogs I tried to comment on and found that I couldn't. FRUSTRATION! Sadly I didn't have the brains about me to send a note to most of those bloggers to let them know I tried to leave a comment and could not.

So here is the deal. I am not a techie gal. I would love to be savvy - but in truth - I am pretty plug and play. I have checked my comments settings in Blogger and made sure I had it set for anyone (including anonymous peeps) can leave a comment. I have the settings as friendly as I can get them.

Next I went to google and typed in "people aren't able to leave comments on my blog" and started looking for advice. The blogger help pages weren't too useful. ( I checked there too) But I did find this one page that I thought was interesting. There are some big words here that are a little over my head, but I tried to follow the best I could. The Site is called "The Real Blogger Status: What Blogger Won't Tell You" and because of the advice here I changed my comments from embedded to a pop up window. Not sure if this is going to do the trick or not? Not sure if I just screwed up my blog and now nobody can comment? That would be so Jenny. :)

So I am going to keep trying to get this right. If any of you wonderful bloggers out there have had this issue and have some advice for me I would love to hear it. And if you try and leave me a comment and cannot, give me a yell?

As for me, I am going to keep trying to learn more about blogging, about how to have a good blog (one where people can comment!) and I will let other bloggers know when I cannot leave a comment on their Blog! I will pay it forward! I will also be checking my Third Party Cookie status in my Internet Explorer settings. Just have to figure out where they are.....

Thank you again to the wonderful Zeal for Everything.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Under the weather and the weather isn't good

Actually the weather is just fine today - but it IS January in Minnesota - so it's all relative.

I have been feeling poorly for a few days now. Sleep and hot showers seem to be the prescription for relief. I just have one of those awful headaches that kill me. I know I just need to get that sinus pressure to release and all will be well - but waiting for it just stinks. **sigh** Or maybe I just need to get used to my new eyeglass prescription? New eyeglasses don't make your ears squishy though. Maybe both? Argh.

So I have been a slug most of this week. Eating pretty much anything that I happen across and trying to sleep as much as possible. I guess we all need those down times once in awhile. I am grateful I haven't had a bad illness this year. (knock on wood!) I had some pretty bad ick for the last couple of winters, so maybe this year I will escape with just a head cold here and there. I would be happy with that!

So yeah. Not real exciting stuff around here. I watched three episodes of a show on the History Channel yesterday called Modern Marvels. The show is kind of addictive! I watched an episode on Nuts, and episode on Cheese and part of an episode on Food Service for Large Groups. That last one showed how they handle feeding people on a submarine and at a football stadium! Pretty amazing stuff. I love shows like this where you get to learn stuff you never even thought about. Opens your eyes a little bit. And who knows - maybe someday I will win a trivia contest!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Burly Spun Mari 2: The Resurrection

I am continuing on with my effort to sort out my knit goods. My latest reclaiming was a hat I made in 2008 out of Burley Spun. I liked the hat - but again - top down construction made it kind of pointy and weird. Add to this that it's lime green - Totally rocked out an elf thing here.

I didn't take awesome pictures of this the first go around - but you can get a sense of the fit of this hat on my Roger Head. Keep in mind Roger does not have my insane big hair to tuck under this hat either - so you can imagine how high this sat on my head. Not exactly keeping the old ears warm.

This next shot shows a much more relaxed hat. The pointy top is pretty much gone and the length is much better. I did the Eucalin soak for about an hour and then rolled it in a towel to get most of the water out and then stretched it onto good old Roger here. It dried in a couple days.

And lastly - here is me wearing the hat. It fits over my giant crazy hair and is pretty much the perfect size now. So much more wearable!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Last Spring I took some left over Dream in Color Classy yarn and decided I would try the Fetching pattern on Ravelry. (I believe I got it when it was a free pattern on Knitty.) I was loving it until I bound off the upper edge (Which seemed to bloom out and roll down) and the thumb addition. I thought the construction was very clever - and written well enough. But my construction of this was really lacking. My thumb was really holey and sloppy. It just wasn't well made. **sigh**

I told myself I just needed to do some quality finish work on it and it would look wonderful. I told myself NOT to have single sock syndrome and to JUST KNIT THE 2ND ONE UP! You know how it is though. I paid no attention to my inner voice. I shoved the project bag in another project bag and through a bunch of yarn on top of it all. Go Away! I silently willed it. You make me sad!

Well this weekend I bit the bullet and cleaned out the storage cube ottoman thingy where this and many other knitting projects went to die. I finally had enough time away from knitting this to know it was time to let it go. Rip Rip Rip. Hopefully you will be reincarnated into something wonderful.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Checking in

I haven't been talking much about my weight loss goals and how things have been going. I am still working hard on my goals - but I have been struggling with the weight loss. When I weighed in yesterday (Zero loss/Zero gain) my weight watchers report told me I have lost 2.2 lbs in the last 4 weeks. Uffda. Something is not right here. They recently changed my daily weight watchers allowance from 29 points to 26. You wouldn't THINK three points a day would make that large of a difference, but it really has been throwing me for a loop. I used to have extra points every day, and now I am digging into my weekly allowance every day. Which has lead to me not wanting to track what I eat, which leads to only dropping 2.2 lbs this last month.

So I am heading back to the grindstone here. I have been exercising consistantly, but I am going to work harder on the food input and tracking. I am also going back to exploring recipies so I am eating some fresher foods that are more satisfying. As good as the frozen lunches I eat have been, they are still frozen meals.

I will also be taking a que from my Cat Izzi and trying to get more sleep!

January and February are always a hard time in Minnesota. It's cold. It's gray. There is no light. You feel like you are constantly bundled up and running from one warm area to another. We have actually had a very mild winter here this year, but it's still winter and it's still long, dark and cold. I know that affects my spirit. I am trying to not let stuff get me down, to take deep breaths, to slow down.

There will always be stressers in life. Always. So I need to learn how to shake them off and roll with the rough times. Something I have been trying to improve for awhile. It's not easy! But I am learning.

How is everyone else doing this winter? You all hanging in there? I know it's not winter everywhere, it's sunny and warm and awesome somewhere right now. I think New Zealand and Australia are in high summer now. Oh to be a Kiwi!

Maybe it's time to make an appointment to get a hair cut and throw some color on my toes. A little make-over might go a long way toward some much needed lifted spirits!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pretty Crafty Home Indeed!

I recently (thanks to Lucy 'InTheSky'!) Discovered Cherry Heart's blog and her Pretty Crafty Home Project and had to join in. Here is the nutshell of this project taken directly from the wonderful Miss Sandra's blog:

If you're doing something crafty to improve your home, make it a more pleasurable environment to be in and look at then, it qualifies. If you can thrift and recycle your way there - so much the better!

Hopefully she doesn't mind me taking the quote directly from her blog - she just states it so well! Since this completely meshes with the way I am trying to move in this world I joined in immediately. I just wanted to give a shout out about it so if anyone else is interested in this they can go have a look and see if it's for them too.

In the spirit of the group, I recently started going through some of my knit items and asking myself if I wear them - and if not why? Can I "fix" the item so it moves into the "wearable" circle? Does the item need to be repurposed? Donated? My first item was a hat I made a couple of years ago that I rarely wear because the hat is a little too pointy on top and a little to short on the sides. (Top down construction.)

Here is a picture from just after I made it. You can see it sits just a LITTLE too high on my head and there is just a little too much pointy going on up top. Not terrible - but enough where I didn't really want to wear it too often. (Sad.)

So recently I gave it a good soak and then stretched it over my mannequin head to dry for a few days. End result? Less pointy on top and I gained about a half inch in length. Suddenly it's REALLY wearable!

Please excuse the bad mirror pick. I have not yet trained Emma (the awesome Dog) to take pictures of me. I wore this hat all day today and it was comfortable and I did not feel like a gnome! Sweet! I intend to go through all my knit items with the same viewpoint and will hopefully end up with a more useable hoard of knit goods!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January - Thy name is ORGINIZATION!

I am slowly trying to dig myself out of all my stuff. Have I watched too many episodes of hoarders? Maybe. Regardless of the reason, I find getting organized an exciting endeavor. Especially when I get to fondle my yarn in the process.

Recently I started collecting my WIPs and all my bags of FO's that I abandoned once the project was done, and cleaned them up. Needles were reclaimed. Stitch holders. Small scissors. I found a bag with a scarf I started years ago that I had completely forgot about - and finished it. I found three wash clothes I knit this summer and had never wove in the ends. (Done now!) And I organized my scraps. I have three bins of "left overs" that were pretty disorganized. I think my original intent was to organize by weight. Now I have decided I would rather separate by content. So now I have a bin of cotton, a bin of wool and a bin of acrylic. 

I have fantasies of making crazy afghans out of my scraps. My cotton bin is attracting my attention in particular. I keep thinking how wonderful it would be to use all my scraps to make a blanket for our camper as it would be machine washable and kind of awesomely ugly.

I am a little amazed and appalled at how many wips I have found wandering around the house. Knitting materials seem to just wander about. Free ranging yarn? Hmmm.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Never Beret-ed

My first hat of 2012 is complete!

I knit this following the free pattern on ravelry called: Super-simple fast and easy chunky hand-knit beret! by Laurie Perry. (You might know her from her blog or her books: Crazy Aunt Purl!) The yarn is Hitsuji by Noro. I knit this in four hours including the time it took to eat dinner. (So probably 3 to 3.5 hours of knitting would get you a hat.)

I was a little freaked out at first since it seemed to grow quite a bit after the bath and air dry. The ribbed brim is really loose around my head. That being said - this is the only hat I have made that I can take off my head without having that lovely ribbing line show up on my forehead - also I can wear it without fear of smooshed wool hat hair appearing after I take it off. It's sloppy and arty farty and I think I am kind of in love!

Here is a side view. Love the colors in here. Turquoise, Mustard, Hot Pink. I don't know who does the color work for Noro but I am always amazed at what they come up with.

What I don't love about Noro is the breaks in the yarn. See that hot pink stitch on the lower edge of the picture? It goes from VERY pink to gray here because they did a yarn join here and they just tied it on with gray rather than matching a pink. I have found something like that in almost every Noro I have used. VERY irritating. I would love Noro so much more if it didn't pull that crap. Grrrrrrr.

Now that THAT is out of my system - I am still darn happy with the results here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day Off + Eye Dr. = Yarn!

I have been getting a lot of headaches at work lately. FINALLY figured out that it was probably my eyes. So today I took a day off from work and went to the eye Dr. and got my peepers looked at. I am getting new glasses and will order new contacts next week if the new prescription is working. (I am trying out a lower prescription on my contacts - so we will see if this works out.) If the new contacts don't work - We head to bifocals. Uffda.  Honestly I didn't know you could get a bi-focal in contacts. I find that amazing! Apparently they are rather spendy though - so the longer I can put them off the better for my pocket book!

So after my eye Dr. appointment I went next door to the yarn store and had fun blowing money on a few things. I am proud to say that I went in with two projects in mind and got all the supplies I need to make both of them. And I only bought two things that were not on my list.

The first was this Lotion Bar. I have been wanting to try one of these for quite some time and when I saw this on the counter I had to grab it. The company is Milk & Honey and I am loving this product! I already wish I had bought more than one bar.

 My other splurge was this ball of Noro Hitsuji. I went back to it over and over and then I just said "Screw it! YOU are coming home with me!" I really had no choice.

On my list of things to get was the yarn for a vest I found on Ravelry called George Sand. It is a $3.00 pattern and I knew I wanted to make it the minute I saw it. The Cascade 220 will be the main color and then I will work the pattern in the Noro Silk Garden. I ended up going with really bold Noro because I really want the pattern to pop out of the dark grey yarn. It will be my first vest so I am excited and nervous. I have the pattern, needles and yarn - so I just have to ball the yarn and then cast on! WOOT!

And finally I bought the yarn to make a little afghan to replace the one I use in the bedroom. Since I am always frozen I have a couple of blankets I throw on top of me every night in addition to our other blankets. One of them is an afghan that my mom crocheted in acrylic in the early 70's or maybe even the 60's? The colors are Hot pink, neon green, yellow.... it's just LOUD. Add to that it's scratchy as hell. My hubby calls it the Luffa blanket because it's so scratchy it can take the calluses off your feet. (Ouch!) So I decided I should probably knit a replacement.

This past spring I knit a baby blanket for our neighbors I called And the Bee goes Buzzzz and loved it so much I had a hard time giving it away. The pattern was simple and you just hold two strands of worsted together. It goes pretty fast and the yarn I used softened up a lot after a wash and dry. I found some blue and gray yarn (to go with the colors of our bedroom) and will soon be knitting my new blanket. The pattern can be found in a wonderful book called Plymouth Yarn 636, The Encore 8-Hour Baby Blanket...Revisited and although I have only made one blanket from it so far I have to say I see myself keeping this book forever. Perfect go-to for baby blanket gifts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday night pig out

I have been hungry lately. I mean HUNGRY. Hard to stop eating - pacing around like a tiger in a cage hungry. It sucks. I think it's holiday hangover - but regardless of the reason its my current reality. So in an effort to slap the hungry girl down a bit, I have been trying to branch out in my veggie eating. I have seen a lot on spaghetti squash lately - so I picked one up this weekend.

I had very little clue about how to eat this thing or cook it for that matter. Yay for Google! I found this wonderful tutorial on Food.com and decided to try the boil in a pot method. (Mostly because I didn't have a nice poking device for ... well.... poking it with. I know I have a metal skewer somewhere....)

So I filled a pot with water. The pot had to be big enough to cover the squash. Being inexperienced in this I had concerns. Is it supposed to float? How will it cook evenly? Turns out the squash sort of rolled in the boiling water - which was really neat! The downside to boiling a squash is you kind of have to hang out in the kitchen while it cooks. They said up to a half hour (I gave it 45 minutes) to get your squash cooked, so I grabbed a magazine and a glass of wine!

I have to say I didn't have high hopes for the February Knit 'n Style based on the cover sweater. (Didn't I wear this in 1993?) But I actually found quite a few things of interest in this magazine. If you click here you can see the Gallery of the items featured in the magazine. I really love the knit Bulky Cabled Vest by Melissa Leapman. I have been aching to knit myself a vest for about a year now - and this one is so interesting. A bit of peek-a-boo with the cables so your shirt under the vest shows. Really like this! (Wonder how it would look on my size rather than a model though?)

I also really liked the shaping of the Kaleidoscope sweater. Not thrilled with the pattern of the yarn - but the shaping of the sweater itself is nice. I think this would be nice in a solid or ombre yarn. Maybe even kettle dyed.

The Lattice Pullover with Peplum was neat too. Reminds me of the Jane Austin Knits magazine that was all the rage in the last few months.

I also really liked the Nordic Ice sweater. Pretty basic Nordic design - but I am really geeking out on Nordic Sweaters right now. I kind of want to knit a giant Lopi Sweater.

So I enjoyed my flip through the magazine and the wine was pretty nice too. :) Before I knew it my squash was done. (I stuck a fork in it and it went in easy - that's how you know it's cooked.) So I dumped it out in the sink and let it cool for a minute while I washed the pan. Then I cut it in half.

It was still quite hot at this point. You can see the seeds in there a little bit. I had to get those out - so I grabbed a spoon and started scooping away the seeds and attached squash. (This was kind of like scooping seeds out of a pumpkin - but a lot warmer. Boiling a squash for 45 minutes REALLY makes it warm. Just saying.)

Once the seeds were out I grabbed a fork and started pulling the squash out. Wow. You get a LOT Of squash! The outer skin sort of peels off and a half squash filled this plate up and then some. I ended up taking one cup of Wee Willy's Pasta Sauce and just a shake of reduced fat Parmesan cheese on top. It was really good and SO filling! I could have halved the amount I ate easily. As it was, I pigged out and got really full and did it guilt free. A very healthy dinner and I am quite pleased.

AND I have a nice bunch of leftovers for lunch tomorrow too! Yay!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nimbus Cowl

I came home tonight and my Nimbus Cowl was done blocking! Yay! Another finished object!

This cowl is a free pattern on Ravelry called the Stacked Eyelet Cowl. I knit this out of Zitron Nimbus (you see now where I got the name, yeah?) and I used about 1.75 skeins of yarn. The pattern was very easy and the eyelet rows keep you from snoring. Love how it blocked out.

Here you see Emma modeling it. It looks really good on her - but she would just destroy the heck out of this - so..... I guess I will just have to keep it for me!

This is actually really perfect for wearing with my black pea coat. It covers up that open neck perfectly - giving just a really nice pop of color. Another happy project!

More detailed notes on my Nimbus Cowl can be found in my Ravelry Project Page.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ladybug Picnic

My first finished object of 2012! WOOT! I started working on this WAY back in July of last summer, a simple project I started for a family picnic. The pattern is a free one on Ravely called Scrunchable Scarf and it's a pretty popular pattern. Wonderful use of a single skein and an easy pattern to memorize.

All that being said it was boring boring boring and I had to force myself to work on it. Which is why it took me about 6 months to finish a simple scarf.

The yarn is by Pagewood Farms and is called Kissi. 210 yards of 100% merino wool - it reminds me a lot of Malabrigo but more expensive. The colors in this and the squish of the yarn were so amazing that I had to have it.

The length after I soaked it in Eucalin (See bottom picture for a look at the dye that came out of this puppy!) was just over Six feet! I was surprised by how long it got. This made blocking a bit interesting. I was worried about laying my blocking blocks on the floor with oodles of pins sticking out. Our cat has never pulled out my pins - but I don't want to tempt her. So I folded the scarf in half and used a rolled towel to pull the scarf taut. I then pinned the towel and it worked just perfect!

The finished scarf is quite pretty and I am very pleased with it! Love the colors in it - I suspect it will "go with" almost anything since there is a ton of colors in there. It's quite soft and squishy still. And the length ended up making it versatile in how I can wrap it around my neck. I am very pleased!

And here is the "bath water" to demonstrate how much dye came out of this yarn after a soak. As usual, blocking made a huge difference in this project. I am more and more a fan of blocking even though it delays my gratification.

More specific project notes can be found on my project page on Ravelry.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

100 Posts Strong!

My 100th post! WOOT! I went to google images and typed in "100" and this was the image that smoked to me. Errr. Spoke to me. (Yeah - I miss smoking thank you very much.)

My hubby and I tease each other that when we get to be a zillion we will take up all the habits we quit. The healthier I get the more I realize I don't want to go back to my eating like a pig and smoking like a chimney ways.

I wish smoking was healthy. **sigh** Alas, it's very not healthy. Pity that. And I wish eating at Red Lobster made your heart stronger and gave you an instant orgasm. Sadly.... that too would be a no.

So I celebrate being "100" today, even if it's only in Blog post form. And while I am at it, I will send out a whisper to the universe that I might see 100 years as well. :)

Thank you for being here with me.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Where you at?!?

Time management is a bugger sometimes. I want to blog on a close to daily basis. Like 5-7 times a week. Lately I can barely squeak a weekly post in. I thought once the holidays were over I would settle down, but I don't feel like I can find a rhythm lately. It's tough.

I have been continuing to work on my health goals. I am proud to say I lost weight every single week of the holiday season and am now over the 40 lb loss for my overall weight loss and over the 25 lb mark on weight watchers. I often think about how much that weight is and try to savor it NOT being on my body anymore. So when I pick something up (like the 25 pound box of cat litter this weekend) and I am grunting away trying to get it into the grocery cart, I try and stop and say "this is how much you were walking around with on your body last August - and you dropped 15 pounds more to boot!" It's so easy to just see yourself as the same weight when you are slowly melting it off a pound or two a week. So I think it's good to step back and appreciate the enormity of the accomplishments.

Over the last couple of weeks I changed my work out routine and I now set a goal of 6 days a week. I do three days of tread milling for an hour session and three days of Zumba on the Wii (45 minute session.) I still love Zumba. Still smile while I am sweating my butt off. Love it.

And just so this post isn't all about me sweating my bum off, here are a few gratuitous pet photos.

 Emma is our dog and she is looking at me like I am a nutball for snapping her picture. You can see the curtain is parted - she loves to scope the front yard for raccoons and paper carriers in the mornings. (Not much else going on at this hour of the morning - you can see it's still dark out....) Izzi, our cat, is curled up in the heated cat bed and just happy to doze.

This is a day or two later. I think it was pretty cold out this morning. They were both curled up together in here when I came out for my coffee refill. (Please excuse the ghost eyes - it was dark in here and I had to use a flash.) My girls are just too cute.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


2012! WOOT! I have decided (and therefore it shall be so) that 2012 will be an awesome and wonderful year. Boom. I said it. I am putting it out there. I said it out loud AND typed it in my blog - so it's in Real Life AND virtual.

My goals for 2012:
 - I want to continue surprising myself with how healthy and fit I feel. I want to surpass my expectations.
 - I want to ride my bike this spring/summer/fall and have a taste of what it was like as a child and not this horrible thing it has become as an adult - A very sore butt and a lesson in how old and out of shape I am.
- I want to resolve some health issues. (Personal crap.)
- I want to knit my first sweater for me! (Only one sweater knit so far - it was for a baby and the recipients were ungrateful bastards.... boo. I need sweater gratification!)
 - I want to continue working on mending my soul.
 - Job?!?! Issues galore. Work. It. Out.

AND I want to continue to reduce what I own and go from being a little in debt to being the queen of saving.

Is that too much to ask?!?! I think not. Go baby go!

Happy New Year all who read this. I wish you good fortune, good health and good fiber. May at least one of your dreams come true this year. Make it so!

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