Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Knitting Content and Healthy Food

Random post brought to you today by my complete running lateness.

This week's WWWdot WEDNESDAYdotCOM post is for the Honest Weight Food Co-op, which, if you live outside of Albany, probably doesn't concern you too much. I have orientation there on Saturday this week to become a member, and I am super excited. Only took me four months to do it, lol. I really think that co-ops are a great place to shop, even if you don't join them to get the discount. They are staffed with friendly and knowledgeable people who know how to help you eat better foods and take good care of yourself, not just some punk arse kids who need to work at Super Big Box Market to earn money to get their nails done or a new stereo in their car (go ahead, ask me if I am dissatisfied with the level of customer service at my local supermarket - ask me!!).

Even if you don't live near Smalbany, NY, you can just Google the word "co-op" and the name of your town, and I'm sure you'll get something good. I do believe I just wrote directions for how to Google something, perhaps my problem isn't that I am running late, perhaps the problem is that I never fully woke up this morning because who doesn't know how to Google??? Sigh.....

Continuing on, knitting content as promised. This is what the Giant Afghan 'o Doom looks like (it got fed a couple of skeins this weekend):

And these are pictures of my latest project. A very simple increasing triangle shawl, recipe 'a la Harlot.

Handsome New Boy (here on in to be referred to as HNB for reasons of my laziness), invited me to a wedding next month - yeah, I know - and seeing as there is the moratorium on buying new clothes, I figured a nice new shawl would jazz up one of my many black dresses and I would look lover-ly. I have started and ripped it out about five times so far because I tried to do an improvisational lace thing; I am not yet at the level of a knitter who should be doing anything improvisational with lace unless it involved throwing an impromptu dinner party on top of a lace tablecloth. Sigh, again....

And, just because he's random dog picture taken this weekend...gotta love the Mr. Kendall!

Happy knitting!

Friday, May 25, 2007

What a Wonderful Weekend!

This has been a fantastic week! Handsome New Boy and I introduced out dogs to each other, and things went pretty well - no extended growling or trips to the emergency vet, and Kendall didn't try to hump her (he is in fact neutered; he maintains however, a slightly frightening disposition towards humping things, even if they outweigh him by forty pounds) . I purchased the latest copy of Knit.1, and I am more than just a little in love with almost every pattern in there.

The good just keeps on coming, because my BFF Erika is coming to visit tonight! We are having an early celebration for my birthday, yeah!!!! We are going to go have fondue, both cheese and chocolate, Erika will drink wine, I will whine because I can't drink wine (not supposed to be drinking because of my belly, kinda forgot that rule last weekend - spent three days feeling like poo because of it). She will leave her kid behind with her mom in Syracuse, and I will leave Kendall trapped in the confines of the bedroom. We will go here, I will wear shoes that aren't named after an animal, and we will pretend we still live in Albany, are in college, have no children or real responsibilities and haven't started paying off our student loans.

Fantasy, such a sweet, wonderful far-away land.

I may even wear a skirt.

And as for the weekend to follow, I have a new client to see for Maya Abdominal Massage - very much looking forward to that. The rest of Saturday, I get to go to the craft store because Joann's is having a fantastic sale, and I have a coupon. The parent's Christmas afghan continues to need yarn fed to it, even though I have bought a great googly moogly amount of yarn already. I guess a six by eight foot *before* border blanket requires a lot of yarn. Makes sense.

Then Sunday, oh sweet Sunday... I will be taking Amy, the muggle I turned into a knitter, and we will go to the Massachusetts's Sheep and Wool Fair. It will be my first such gathering, and I am super excited. I also have an extra paycheck coming in next month, and birthday $$$ I can count on, so I think I may be doing a little "pre-birthday shopping." If I can have a pre-birthday dinner on Friday, why not pre-birthday shopping on Sunday, huh???

As for Monday, this is the most Delicious day of all. I will have nothing to do. No clients to see, no office job to go to. No Handsome New Boy to play with (he's going away this weekend), just a Chuck Palahniuk book to read and yarn to put away! Perhaps some laundry to fold, but other than that, zip. zero. zilch. nada.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have fondue to eat and large quantities of yarn to fondle. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Things You Don't See

This week's WWWdotWEDNESDAYdotCOM if brought to you by MSF/DWB (for those of you who do not read the Harlot, and therefore do not know about her wonderful work on this cause, this stands for Doctor's Without Borders, one of my favorite charities).

The link this week is the their annual Top 10 Most Under-reported News Stories for 2006. If you stop to think about how connected the world is, and the speed with which information can get to us and allow us to make changes and help people in need, you have to wonder why these are stories we don't often get to hear about. I will not get up on my soap box right now, because this blog was never intended to be a forum for that, but I do, on a very deep and personal level, question the news media and the stories they report, and the reasons why they report what the do when they do.

That's why I think the MSF/DWB is such a wonderful charity, and why all my tips from my massage therapy practice are getting donated there this year. Check it out, and if they tickle your fancy too, maybe you could donate a few dollars...everyone always gives around the Holidays, and for a lot of charities the Summer months are lean ones in the way of donations, so get on out there and help a kid grow into a healthy adult, where else can you help make a change like that for just a couple bucks??

And speaking of things you don't see, there is a sorrowful lack of knitting around here. Yesterday, I am almost ashamed to admit, I was in too terrible of a mood to want to knit, and therefor, -shudder at the thought- I cross stitched. That promptly turned more annoying than what was bothering me in the first place, and so I got over my problems. Aversion therapy is a wonderful thing, isn't it? Knitting content to follow promptly, promise!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Oh, Its a Good Reason Why I've Been Gone

But it doesn't involve yarn.

Well, not really. Its not like I've been knitting or anything.

Gently blog readers, I met a boy.

Take a minute, all of those who know me personally to let this information wash slowly over you as you realize the enormity of the situation. I met a boy, and we went out on not one, not two, but three dates this week.

For those of you who don't know me personally, please take a moment to try and understand that while I have been on more dates in the last sixteen months than I ever thought would be humanly possible, none of them have moved beyond the second date. Well, one of them did but he told me he didn't want to see me anymore the evening of the third date (ironically, this was right after I went to buy yarn to make him a hat with for Christmas...coincidence, I think not). And it has been almost two years since I have been in a relationship.

This is cause for merriment, and apparently a good excuse to not blog.

I will not give details, but suffice it to say, he is very smart, and cute and funny and he has a dog that is just as over attached to him as Kendall is to me. PLUS...I don't know if you are ready for this...He knows how to knit! He doesn't do it obsessively or reflexively like I do, which is good since that means I wont have to fight him for yarn (I'd probably lose, he's a lot bigger than me), but he didn't freak out about all the yarn lying around the house, and, you probably aren't ready for this one. Ladies, prepare yourselves....

He offered to take me yarn shopping at a farm near his parent's house.

Does the happiness just emanate from this blog post? I hope so. Try not to be too jealous, if it ever gets to the point where I need to knit for him, I'm screwed - he's rather tall, and it isn't like I could whip out the measuring tape on our 1st, 2nd, 3rd date to measure his chest (that would be weird and perhaps cause him to not want to go on a 4th date), but something tells me I'd be knitting for a looooong time to make a sweater for that boy.

Something also tells me, I might not mind.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You Know What Day It Is

Its Wednesday, HOORAY!!

This weeks' link was actually in the blog yesterday, but since they have changed the submission dates for the scarves, I wanted to also do this as this weeks' WWWdotWEDNESDAYdotCOM.... so, without further ado.... Red Scarf Project 2008!

As you can see, (because I know you all clicked on that link, right??!!), the submission date is not the end of January like it was last year, they have moved it to the fall of this year, and while this will interfere with my holiday knitting, I will give generously of my time and stash to knit scarves for people who really need them. Of all the charities that you can knit for, I think this may be my favorite. It's very close to my heart because I know how hard it can be putting yourself through school with no help financially, but even in my situation, I did have my family for emotional support and laundry services. These kids are doing a great thing by standing up, pretty much on their own, and getting an education, and I think the least we can do is knit a scarf (or two or three or a hundred) to show them that someone cares enough to do that for them, right?

Once I get the charity knitting group up and running, I will take the donations of knitters in the Albany, NY area, and mail them in with the scarves that we will be sending from the group. Any questions, drop a comment or email me (check out the new email address listed on the right!). So start knitting happy knitters!

And for my non-knitting friends and blog readers, you can always donate money to buy yarn or yarn itself if you can't do the knitting, although if you want to learn to do the knitting, all you have to do is ask. All I'm saying is, buy a man a fish, teach him to fish...One of these days I will turn you all into knitters, hahahaha (maniacal laughing there, good way to end the post).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thankful Tuesday

Remember when I told you how special Amy is and how I would tell you why in a later post?

Guess what kids, its later!

Amy used to be just an ordinary woman working at the insurance company with me, adjusting claims at a breakneck speed that would make most mere mortals quiver with awe (trust me - I am a mere mortal and I quiver). Then, her cube got moved and she came over to sit in the Corner of Cool with Lee, Kristin and myself...Lets just say the conversations make the guy on the other side of the cube aisle blush. The four of us have a wonderful time talking between calls and it is one of the most socially satisfying jobs I've ever had.

Well, you all know that I think of work at the insurance company as an excuse to knit mitre squares for the 'rents afghan, and I think it was the second day after her cube got moved that Amy asked if I could teach her to knit too. Then Lee asked. Then Kristin.
Lee got her needles and yarn, gave the knitting a shot, and promptly decided she is a crocheter. I try, really I try to not hold that against her ; )

Kristin has a super busy schedule, but I showed her how to do the knit stitch, and she sits happily at her cube garter-stitching up her 20 stitch lavender swatch. She makes me smile.

But Amy, Oh Amy! Amy took the knitting and ran with it. She had her first baby hat done in a matter of two days, done in knit 2 purl 2 ribbing, complete with knit two togethers and sewn up with yarn ends woven in - I was so impressed! (If you are Amy's husband, you may want to stop reading this post).
She spent almost $200 buying yarn, books and notions her first week, and quickly progressed from ack!-rylic to merino from the yarn shop.

Amy is my hero!

Then, to top it off (after letting me read her new book and promising to let me borrow it so I could knit all the patterns from there that I want), Amy did this:

A Thank You card for showing her how to knit - how hard does Amy rock???

And her thank you made me remember that in the dark days of the blog (when there was no camera), this came in the mail and I forgot to tell you about it...

Its a thank you card from the Red Scarf Project for all the knitted goodness from back in February. Who would have expected that, but it certainly was nice to get. I'm still in the process of trying to join the co-op, but as soon as I do, you can expect that I'll be working hard to try and get a charity knitting group started.

You all know that Tuesdays make me king of sad, but last week's Shield episode was so good, I think that it will keep me going until the new episode is up on Amazon for download. At any rate, happy Tuesday and remember to tell someone today that you are thankful for them or what they have done for you - it'll make both of you feel good!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Mr. Kendall!

Today, my sweet pup turns four, or 28, but whichever way you do the math, he really isn't a baby anymore. I can still remember the day I went to the farm to pick him up. I had his carrier all set and strapped in with a seat belt, I placed him in there with a few of his new toys and some soft blankets. We made it about a mile down the road before the pathetic and incessant whining prompted me to take him out of his carrier and let him ride home on my lap.

Its been kind of downhill ever since!

He is very spoiled and some might say a little over-attached, but its always just been the two of us. That dog just loves his momma, and sleeping in bed with me under the covers and sleeping in the knitting chair with his farting dog butt aimed at my face...good times!

At any rate, yesterday was the first Mother's Day in eleven or twelve years that I haven't had to work in a restaurant. It was also the first Mother's Day that Kendall hasn't left me a Mother's Day present of some fresh poo on the kitchen floor (something tells me the two are related). We had a lovely mommy/puppy weekend, and it also marked the end of two weeks with no puppy messes in the house. We were almost there about two weeks ago, but Kendall got excited when we got to my friend Erika's house, and had a tiny tinkle on her floor. So even though it wasn't my floor he tinkled one, I still counted it.

Now, we have a good routine, the days that I am gone for longer than eight hours, I put him in the kitchen with a wee-wee pad, but he still doesn't use it, he just holds it. It wasn't like he just peed and pooed all over the house before, it was just that he would miss the wee-wee pad or if he was mad at me he would occasionally poo someplace in the apartment that he wasn't supposed to. It was my fault for not watching him, and I accept responsibility for that.

At any rate, not an issue any more! Now, I just need to rent a carpet steamer and deep-clean my carpet, lol. Have a lovely day, and if you see a special doggy, give them a little extra love today!
Feliz cumpleanos al perro malo!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mother's Day Mania

Why do I always wait until the last minute?

At any rate, whether I was staying up late last night/getting up early today to attempt to download and watch The Shield, or just finishing up my Mother's Day presents, it doesn't really matter. Either way, I didn't get much sleep, this week's episode is still not available for download yet, but I do have all my Mom's presents finished, sort of...

I tried making something else for her, but it isn't done yet, can't send it in the mail, so it waits, sitting on my kitchen counter top and still drying. For someone who loves to plan, I sure do suck it royally sometimes with the gift deadlines. Its the darn baby sweater from yesterday's post, jut totally took over all my crafty time. Yeah, that's it, blame it on the baby sweater...

At any rate, huge props to my girl Amy for commenting yesterday - more on why Amy rocks in a later post. For now, I have to go get ready for work, make my lunch and go to the post office to get this Mother's Day goodness in the mail. Peace!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Yeah for Babies

One of my very good friends from college is having a baby. I wont mention any names, but her due date is sometime in October.

Needless to say I went to the yarn shop the weekend after I heard and bought a large quantity of cashmerino/silk blend yarn, and stopped working on everything else I had on the needles. The yarn became, in rather short order, the following...

Pattern can be found here, and a picture of what it looks like all finished and blocked out with pretty buttons sewn on is here . For the most part, I think they look the same, please don't burst my knitterly bubble by telling me they don't.

I realize I didn't do the kitchener stitch on the underarms yet, but I finished this yesterday while at work and I felt that kitchenering while working may not have been the best thing for me or the sweater. Other than that, just need to securely sew on some buttons and block the heck out of it (Oh, and knit some matching socks/booties...still looking for a pattern for that).

Close up of the neck:

And, here is a close-up of the super cute I-cord topped hat that I made, without a pattern! Thanks be to Harlot for writing the book that taught me how to do that. Also, this was the first time I made I-cord...kind of fell in love with it (for my non-knitter friends, I-cord is the stuff at the top of the hat that is tied into a little knot and sticking up, looking all cute and whatnot).Kinda makes a girl want a baby, or at least to find her baby daddy if you know what I mean. You just can't knit baby hats for dogs, not even Mr. Kendall.

Today, there will be more mitre squares, because I have been doing a whack of knitting, just not that type of knitting. Let me tell you, it is hard to go from knitting cotton, to cashmerino/silk, to LionBrand Homespun...LOTS of different textures right there, but Hey, I'm adaptable.

Now, for this weeks WWWdotWEDNEDSAYdotCOM...I bring you GreenDimes. They work for a fee to get you off all the mailing lists you don't want to be on, while giving you the option of being on the ones that you do, AND they plant a tree for you every month. This would make an excellent gift for so many people I know, and as soon as I get paid next week, I myself will be signing up. Good for the environment, good to keep your identity your own (less random junk mail, less chance of a bad person getting a hold of personal information), and dudes, they plant trees!!! It doesn't get any better than that. Check 'em out when you get a chance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Knitting Without a Pattern, Why Tuesdays Make Me Sad

Well, I usually am not a fan of knitting things without a pattern, however, I managed to make this soap cozy below with only the dimensions of my bar of soap to guide me. I made no plans, I wrote nothing down, I simply knitted with my DPNs and some cotton yarn and made a Mother's Day present.

Inside is a bar of lavender soap...
...there will also be lavender bath salts and a lavender scented eye pillow made, also, with just my imagination. There will need to be a pattern created for that, just so I can know how to cut the pieces out, but really, there is flying by the seat of my pants going on over here in large portions.
Also, today is Tuesday, which means that I wake up knowing The Shied is on tonight and that I have to wait until at least tomorrow to be able to download it off Amazon. Kind of makes me happy and sad at the same time.
Patience is a virtue, catch it if you can..seldom in a woman, never in a man.
Ain't that the truth.
Oh, you may have noticed, there are pictures on the blog again. Camera fairies came and fixed my camera, seriously. I didn't use it for about a month, picked it up one day just to see what was going on, it took focused pictures AND the picture downloading software is working again on my computer - I take this as a sign that the Universe is awarding my not spending $$ for a new camera, aka my super cheapness. Either way, long live the FinePix. Long may she take nice pictures of pretty knitting. Tomorrow, baby sweater pictures!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Prepare to be Dazzled!

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but in my sickness, I have been doing some righteous knitting. I can get at least a mitre square done a day while at work (I can hear how jealous you are all right now), and because of that, please take a look at these:

Holy mitre squares Batman! I have decided to not do random squares, because, as any of you who know me will attest to, I am not a fan of not planning. There is a drawing on loose leaf paper that is covered with different pen and highlighter colors that maps out the whole project. This picture above, is Big Square 1, and all the stripes are done in dark brown.
This is Big Square 3, all of the stripes are done in green:

The green yarn (Meadow, Lionbrand Homespun) is variegated, which got me thinking, why bother making rows if the yarn will do it on it's own? So I came up with the idea of doing two Big Squares using the same color yarn. Here is Big Square #6 (only two squares done):

Kind of hard to tell on my crap ass dog pee colored apartment carpet, but the colors are really gentle and lovely.
Finally, we have "the scragllers," Big Squares where I only have one square done:

We have another brown stripe square, the single green self variegating square and the light tan stripe square. Man - o - man, I loves me some mitres!!!!

Not to let you think that I have been obsessed (who, me??), I also bring you pictures of socks in progress, guarded by Mr. Kendall:

These were supposed to be for my mom for mother's day, but then I stopped and thought: You know Karen, wool socks as a gift in May might not be the most practical gift. They are being worked on slowly but steadily, and will be for Christmas instead of Mother's Day. Look how Kendall appears to be guarding them with his very life!! Have you ever seen such dogged determination (chuckle, chuckle, snort - I love bad puns!). Seriously, how cute is that dog?! I realize the look on his face says "My mother is a nut-case who makes me take pictures with hand-knit socks on sunny May Sunday mornings instead of taking me for a nice long walk," but Kendall and I have been together for almost four years, he knows the drill.

And finally, speaking of sun, here is some Opal in the Sunshine #1075, thinking about making this one my screen saver, lol.

I was seduced by this at Trumpet Hill while my parents were visiting for Easter. I got the leg done, the heel turned and about half the foot done on the first sock before the mitre madness took over and the almost mono began. Sadly, I have not worked on them in quite some time, but I love just looking at the yarn and the way it works up.

I am going to spend the rest of this morning in bed finishing a book I have to finish reading today. Then, its off to the library to pick up some more books, I have a Chili Cook Off/Housewarming party to go to, then AC Moore is having a midnight madness sale, so I must go. 25% off everything, kinda makes a girl's head spin, 'ya know. I have to pick up a few more skeins for the afghan, some stuff for my mom's Mother's Day present,and I might even get a treat or two for me, who knows. The day is young, I finally feel better and the sun is shining, the options are endless!