Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - A Knit Odyssey

Wow!!! What a great year! I'm amazed how each year gets better and better. They're all good years, but somehow each new one tops the last! I owe this to Chris, he's taught me so much, and made me so very very happy (now I'm talking like I'm in a fairy tale, and who knows...maybe I am?)

My last official post of the year 2009 will be a year in review, an odyssey of sorts. So, in no particular order, the high (and low) lights of 2009:

Things Heard Around the House this Year
Pamela: "Chris do you want me to make dinner tonight, or do you want something good?"

Pamela: "Does water go bad?"

John: "Robert, what did you get the speeding ticket for?" (duh, illegal parking maybe?)

John: "I don't need to take sex ed in school, I already know all about General Herpes and the clapper!"

Wonderful Additions to Our Family
(in order of their arrival to us!)
Fleece - the best puppy in the loving and tolerant, we are so glad she picked us!

William - What a joy! I'm not biased at all, but truely suspect he is the worlds most charming baby, and also the most intelligent, and the cutest and....LOL

John A - What a wonderful surprise! I'm so proud of this young man and how much he cares for and loves his son!

Things that I've Learned
Never drink and knit

Winning an online argument is like outsmarting the dog, no real pride in it

We can live quite well on one income, the second is gravy (and yarn!)

You can never have too much yarn

I learned to knit!!!!

Ravelry is awesome!

Ravelry is a time suck!!!!! (how many exclamation points can fit on one line???)

2009 Finished Objects
(excludes any WIPs, they will have to count in the year completed)

I wonder how many miles of yarn this is? (and I should mention, this isn't ALL of the FOs, just the ones I have pics of...)

Speaking of miles of yarn....these are the yarns I've managed to collect and hoard for 2009 (and I've only been knitting since April!!)!

Happy New Year!!!! On to 2010!
Tomorrow: New Year's you suspect one of them might be about the blog??? LOL

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Haven't Forgotten

I haven't forgotten my blog, but I had this grandios vision of recording my adventures ripping out pamela's Adagio sweater and sharing. Having not worked out all the details, of affixing the recorder to my forehead, I've managed to avoid posting.

I am committing to posting tomorrow. I've finished a few things and am quite pleased with them. I did a hoodie for Chris, hoodless and pouchless at his request. It came out beautiful (er...I mean manly!) He loves it...I feel like a little kid at Christmas. It made me feel so good, that he likes it and wants to wear it. Happy Day.


I promise, tomorrow I'll write a full post, and at the least, I'll get a few still shots of the cutting of the sweater....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Some Smiles and Lots of Rippin!

I didn't work on many of my existing projects this week. Primarily, I focused on a hoodie for Willilam. It was a first for both of us. His first hoodie, and my first hoodie to make! I started it on Monday and it was done this afternoon. It was cold enough for him to wear tonight. Another nice suprise was that Christopher kept going on about how cute it was, in fact, he asked if it would scale up to his size. He doesn't want the camoflauge though. He actually spent time looking for colors he liked. He sent me three choices. Wow!!! Something I can make for him and he will wear it! Woooo Hooooo! Maybe I should make a matching one for the baby so they can abe twins?

I (almost) finished Pamela's off the shoulder cowl neck. It's designed to be a shorter type sweater, and that's what it is. Unfortunately, Pamela wants it to be longer. Arrrgggghhhhh! I'm posting it as finished for now. I haven't weaved the ends in yet, but until I rip it, it's kinda-sorta-almost done. LOL. That's going to be sooooo much ripping! Ribbit Ribbit!
Does anyone know a better way? I toyed with the idea of casting on more ribbing, but figured it would look pretty bad, and this is some very soft and luxurious yarn -- lama and silk Adaigo
So, I suppose, I do have a bit of a devious streak. To make myself feel better about having to rip back so much of this sweater, I thought I'd share a few pictures of Pamela from the past week.

My darling, graceful, elegant daughter, has trouble walking sometimes. Something about her feet must confuse her. Well, quite a commotion last week in the living room...John came running in my room, desperate to get ahold of my camera. I gave it to him, mildly curious as to what all the excitement was. I've posted the pics below...It seems my daughter tripped and landed in the laundry basket. Yes, she made a full basket. Then to add insult to injury, she couldn't get out...I'm not sure why, but no one was in a hurry to help her. Go figure....
And, guaranteed to make you smile...I want this to be my new ringtone!

Adorable, eh?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What an Awesome Day!

You know, sometimes you take things for granted, we all do. It's all part of the hectic, crazy, busy lives that we all lead. Then there are the times when it hits you, I mean really HITS you, just how fortunate we are. I had one of those days today.

It rained again today. That's been the status quo now for 2 weeks. The basement has not dried out completely, but there does not appear to be any new flooding (yes, it was underwater last week, after one downpour dumped 2" in less than an hour). When I woke up this morning, I could smell the mildew-y air from downstairs as soon as I entered the living room. Three fans, a dehumidifier, and cleaning the carpets, still had not erradicated it.

That said, today was, in fact, terrific!

I started my day by lighting a lavendar candle in the living room, and then proceeded to knit. I've started the cowl neck on Pamela's Adagio Sweater. I just have to knit the cowl ribbing for 5 more inches, then weave in the few loose ends on the neck, then it's ready to go!
Caities shrug is about 2/3 of the way through the ribbing around the collar.

Only thing left on my little black jacket is the buttonhole band and the button band.
Three projects, so near completion! Yippee!

I took a break from knitting, and did my Pilates. Yup, I actually got some exercise in. Since Chris and I started our daily walks, we've had rain everyday, so they have been suspended. Figured, it was time to get some exercise (does tinking count?) so fired up the wii and did some Daisy Fuentes Pilates. Not bad, I recognized, and was able to do, all of the exercises. Great Day!

Then I started some of my famous homemade split pea soup. Yum. It's been so long since I made it, I was informed that they don't call them "ham hocks" any longer, now they are called "pork hocks" this some type of pc thing? Were the hams offended? Did the pork feel slighted? Not sure, but no problem, Chris hunted them down and they made it into the pot shortly after lunch time.

I walked by William, sitting in his swing, as I went to blow out the lavendar candle (afterall, we had homemade split pea soup simmering for the day!!!! Can't buy a candle that smells that good!) William had been fussing, and as I walked by, he arched his back all the way back and reached out for me...

I melted. He stopped fussing the minute he saw me and was straining to get to Grandma. Oh come on!!! Now, if I could bottle that feeling, I'd make Bill Gates look like a pauper! Just the thought that your mere presence makes someone so happy, that they want to spend time with you... and that doing so will make their

Just got me to thinking how darned lucky I am. Pamela gets upset because she thinks William likes to play with me more than her sometimes (I explain it's because all I have to do with him is play, she has to take care of him....). He is always so happy to see me. Then there's Chris. Anyone who knows Chris, knows that he is a stern, rather serious looking man. He has that 'no nonsense' Marine look to him. But everytime he looks at me, he smiles. After all these years, he still gives me the sheepish, playful smile. Wow. Then there's Fleece. Heck, she is so happy to see me, she won't stop licking me after I come in the door. LOL. There are times I think I need to towel off, if I can get someone to pull her off of me. Three important members of my family, all so happy, just to see ME.

Honestely, what more do we need?

I was playing "super william" with the baby, when he spit up an extrordinary amount. I had him over my face, flying, as I saw the erruption. I got him down safely, but not before my hair, my shoulder, my back, the bed, my pillow, and poor baby William had all been covered with second-hand milk.

Who cares? Pamela cleaned up the baby. Laundry started early (heck, I've got a washing machine, not like I had to go to the stream and beat it on a rock) and then I got the luxury of an extra bubble bath and hair washing today. I mean really.....what's to be upset about....I got an extra bubble bath out of it! I put this in the win column.

It was a truly perfect day.

The split pea soup was wonderful. I got to chat with Cassandra at length today. Chris made a surprise dessert. Yum. I got to do more knitting! I got the color of Linus that I wanted when it went on sale this a.m. Turned on the t.v. and '2001 A Space Odyssey' was on.

Today was a typical day, and you know what, I take them for granted all too often. I know I like my life, and I know that I'm lucky, but today was one of those days where I could really feal it. I plan to have all my days like this.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hi, my name is Debbie...

and I'm a wip-aholic...

It started off innocent enough. First I only had two wips (works-in-progress) going at a time, but I handled it so well. What could one more hurt?

Then I got a new yarn and pattern I just couldn't wait to try. I had it under control, and I knew what I was doing. I wasn't just recklessly slipping another project into the wip category. I'd have projects, spaced apart so that they were all in different stages of completion, and it wouldn't be long before one of them was finished, so this last one wouldn't really count...

The plan was great. No one could really tell. My "working basket" next to my bed was over-flowing, but it was hidden from sight, no one would see it unless they went looking.

But, then, before I could get one of the now 4 wips completed, I found myself actively seeking another project to start. This time, I didn't add it to my project lists on Ravelry (I'm TinkingDeb there) right away. I kept it hidden away to myself. Sneaking time to work on it. Stealing time from the other projects ahead of it.

I'm not hurting anyone, I like the variety. I am a social knitter. I don't have a problem. I choose to have more than one wip at a time. I know what I'm doing! I do not have a problem! I simply enjoy being able to switch yarns and stitch patterns frequently. Keeps me from getting bored.

Then a friend looked at my projects page. She about fell out. I really believed that I had things under control, and then she went and commented on my 6 wips. Six???!!! How did it get to be six? After all, I wasn't adding all the new ones to the wips page. How could I have lost count?? How many wips do I have? I have so many that now I don't even know for sure...

Maybe this is something that might, someday, become a problem. Surely, now that I'm aware of it, I'll be able to get a handle on it. I'm stronger than my need to constantly start new projects. When the voices tell me, "Must try new yarn.....need to make this pattern now!....The size 4 needles are lonely, pick them up and start something..." I will be rational. I will not surrender to these urgings, these cravings. It's mind over matter.

I don't intend to wait so long before my next blog post. I've started catching up on things around the house, and writing in the blog will keep me busy, away from the you-know-whats.

Have to run now. I got this really soft mohair today, I'm going to cast on for a cute little tunic top for Pam now. I know it will knit up like a charm....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Knitting Instructional Article: How to do a Knit an I-Cord

I'm knitting my first I-cord. This and the buttons is all that is left to complete the gentle lace cardigan for Grandma's Birthday. I found a great tutorial. I thought I'd share it. Also, a note about the pattern instructions, they say to use the smaller circular needles, but the video indicates that you MUST use double points. The video is from Jimmy Beans Wool.

Knitting Instructional Article: How to do a Knit an I-Cord

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Have I Been Doing?

I really planned to be good with maintaining my blog, but I got side-tracked. I finally got around to checking out my Ravelry site...

Wow!!! All the things I was working on putting together myself, for my own personal use, is already there, and a million times more!! It's wonderful. So, I had to get records of all my yarn, and pictures, then there are the projects (notice that my works in progress {wip} are on the right side of my page!!!), and my library...all that money I wasted getting John to scan some of my favorite patterns...They're already there!!! Yippeee!

So, now that I'm about caught up on my rav site (I'm TinkingDeb BTW) it's time to come back here!

I'll be posting more at length tomorrow, but wanted to explain where I'd disappeared to.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Favorite Online Shops and Bargains

I’ve never really paid attention to blogs in the past, but a recent search for a pattern to make a blanket with the Alabama Tide logo on it landed me onto a very inviting blog. It got me thinking that maybe I should give it a try. I don’t have much to say, and definitely have no clue where to start, so I decided I would share my favorite online yarn sites.

These may well be sites that others already know about, but I do feel quite fortunate to have found them. There are several factors that I take into account when determining if I like doing business at a site. Price is the most obvious factor that people consider, and it does make a difference. After all, who wants to overpay for something?

To me there are two factors more important that price though.
  1. Security. I always consider security of the site. I want to be confident that I will be the only one using my debit card online. If the information is not secure, you are opening yourself up to fraudulent charges on your credit card at the very least, and at most, identity theft.
  2. Customer Service. The next consideration, and arguably as important to me as security, is customer service. I’ll pay a higher price to do business with people that seem to want to do business with me, that acknowledge that I’ve chosen to do business with them, and take that as a privilege. It should be treated as an opportunity to foster a loyal customer/merchant relationship that will continue. Word of mouth is still quite important to the success of a business.
  3. Selection. Not as important as the other two, but duh, if they don’t have anything you want, all the other points are mute.

These are my favorite sites and my observations/experiences with them.

Black Sheep Wools This spot has some great sales. For example, right now Sublime Angora Merino DK & Sublime Kid Mohair is £1.99 for a 50g ball. Now, here we need a bit of explanation, as it took me a bit to figure it out. The price displayed is Euros, but the price is converted in your cart to British Pounds (they estimate the exchange rate – this is explained on their site). So the £1.99 in Euros is becomes 1.73 British Pounds. They are a UK business; I can understand charging in their currency, so no big deal converting. Ultimately, the important thing, the one you want to know, is that that ball of Sublime will be costing you $2.84. You will find a free, efficient and accurate currency converter here to keep an eye on what you are spending while you shop/browse their site:

They have numerous other items on sale at all times. Lot’s of Debbie Bliss, Rowan and Sirdar. This is just an example of a sale that’s been going on for well over a month now. I’ve bought quite a few to stock up. As well as pattern books, also at much less than anywhere else that I’ve found. Their customer service is excellent. The only negatives that I can think of are international shipping and broken links on the site. The international shipping does not cost a lot, nor does it take that long. I get everything in under 2 weeks. But, if you are in a hurry, then this might be too long to wait. They are friendly, package your items up safely, and write you little notes thanking you for your business on your order. The broken links never last long, I suspect it happens when they are updating their site, as they are 6 hours ahead of Central Time zone here in US. The times they have been broken are typically the hours of day that updates would be made. I highly recommend them.

Jimmy Beans Wool I just love these people and their wonderful yarn shop. They are a very customer oriented business. They have good prices, although they may not be the lowest all the time (especially when competing with a certain company in the UK – but Jimmy Beans has a far greater selection of items as well) but they still get a majority of my business. Why? Because, this is a company that deserves to stay in business, they truly like their customers and treat you as if they are fortunate to have the opportunity to have you as a customer. Sorry, but something so simple that has been missing in our society today.

I always get my order quickly and efficiently. In fact there was one time, over a holiday weekend, that it didn’t get here as lightening quick as usual, and they were upset (not me) and put a $5 credit in my account. There are times I’ve had questions and called them up and they’ve always sounded genuinely interested in helping me. Not just paying lip service. And I’m not unique in this area, read their customer testimonials. If you want to ask about a yarn you are thinking of substituting, call them, they’ll work with you. They give quarterly rewards based on 5% of what you purchased during that time, in the manner of cash back on a purchase of your choosing. They have ‘How To” tutorials and videos on their website as well as product reviews. They advertise that they are “your local yarn store, online” and that is just what they are.

Since this post has become o-sooooo long, I’ll stop for now. There is one more site that I want to write about. Unfortunately, it’s like a Milo’s burger to me, I can’t figure out if I like it or hate it, so I keep eating to see if I can decide once-and-for-all. The experiences, along with the more than $600 I’ve spent there in the past 4-5 months deserves to be fully explained.