Thursday, January 31, 2008

Polling the Knitters

What's your favorite cast-on method for toe up socks? Thanks to Heather for the advice, i'm looking to find one that makes sense to me so I can get practicing and knit my next pair of socks from the toe up. Especially now that I have a new colorway of yarn i'm just dying to try out.

Mother Nature

Post in the comments please. Links also appreciated ... now that I have broadband and all. :)

Cat Nap

DSC02643

I just found Brody and Gizmo napping together like this. Isn't that just too freakin' adorable?!?!

Be Prepared to Waste Some Time

Flying Hamsters Game

Oh The Internets ... :)

We've had broadband for less than 24 hours and there have already been at least three times where I've had this great realization of something I can now do online where I go running to the computer with joy. Does that make me a dork? Some things I've already done:
- Flickr ... having a blast with this, just love seeing what everyone has been up to ... if you don't have a flickr account go get one ... NOW
- Knitting Podcasts!!! (wheeee!)
- Knitting Patterns ... i can browse knitty.com and other sites and not have to wait 10-15 minutes for a pattern to load
- Undyed Fiber/Yarn Shopping
- Blog Reading ... without having to wait forever and a day for blogs to load ... i used to pick two or three to check each day but now I can check tons of them ... i click and *poof* there they are like lightning! :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Broadband ... YAY!

I have finally joined the rest of the universe and have high speed internet. I also have a new email address and a Flickr Pro account. So look for my new email coming soon (to your email, not here for the world of spammers to take hold of) and look me up if you use Flickr.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Broadband!!!!!!!

Tomorrow, as long as UPS can locate our house (they somehow, sometimes can't find us) we will be the proud owners of a wireless broadband internet connection. I'm so excited I almost can't even stand it!!!! WHHhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

MOTHER EARTH



Another one I want to keep for myself but put it up in my Etsy shop. Gotta get that spinning wheel!

Fiber! Wool! Sheep! Yummy Yarn!!! :)

For some reason, I am totally in love with the smell of raw wool. Does this make me strange? :)

I've been carding my little butt off to the point that I actually have blisters on my hands. At spinning class last friday night I was thinking that hand carding raw wool to spin was kind of silly when there is perfectly prepared roving-a-plenty ... and then I went home and finished carding some raw wool and started to spin it up ... and that my friends, is when I fell in love.



Anyone that lives in this area that has an interest in learning to spin ... I would highly recommend the spinning class at Hanks Yarn & Fibers in Gainesville. I'm learning so much more than just how to spin yarn. Ginger is a great teacher and has taught us how to go all the way from a sheep in the back yard (oh if only .... but that's another story ... our next dog is gonna have to be long-haired) to some gorgeous hand spun yarn. Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!



I am totally in love with the wheel I have at home this week. It's a Louet and it is so nice to work with. So much easier for me than the Ashford I had at home last week. Ginger also brought her Ashford Traveler in for me to look at. That's one of the two I blogged about last week. It was nice but I think I have to go with the Louet. The treadle on the Traveler had a higher angle than the Louet and that doesn't go well with my bad ankle. And in more wheel news, my undyed yarn finally came in the mail yesterday. Time to get dyeing and sell some more yarn to to charge up my spinning wheel fund.



I have this dyed in the raw wool to finish carding and spinning as well as some unwashed wool and alpaca.



I also dyed and spun some roving yesterday.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Other Wheel ...


This is the Louet S10 double treadle model. The Ashford I blogged about earlier is also a double treadle. I like the double treadle idea because of my ankle issues. I treadle with my right foot which is also the one with tendinitis and arthritis so it would really take some stress off my ankle to be able to treadle with both feet. Other than that, I still need to learn more about the different types of wheels. One thing I really like about this Louet is that the wheel is down low so I can kick start it with my foot when I need to without having to let go of the fiber. I don't know if this will be as important as my spinning skills improve. I used an S10 in class last week and it was very handy to be able to give it a little spin with my left foot. I also like having everything right in front of me (verticially.... is this castle style?) instead of having the wheel over to the side of the yarn/fiber.

I want to figure out what wheel I really would like to have so I know what to keep my eye out for and what to save up for. Not sure if it will happen anytime soon, especially with the events of the past month (read the next paragraph), but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can really step up my yarn selling.

Brody went to daycare on Wednesday for the first time in two weeks and woke up Thursday morning with pink eye and an ear infection once again. So we paid for daycare for me to work one day and then go spend $150 the next day between the doc and meds and have to stay home with him the rest of the week. Sooooooo frustrating. This has happened for three or four weeks in a row now. Financially, it is not working. If I can't keep these boys healthy i'm going to have to find someone to come to the house to watch them and pull them out of daycare. I can only do this for so much longer. I'm not as young as I used to be and I hate pulling nights like last night where I stayed up and worked until 2:45am and then get up at 7:30am to start it all over again trying to get a little more done before Brody wakes up. That's the whole reason we opted to put the kids in daycare to begin with .. so I didn't have to do that anymore. Now i'm going to feel like crap all day. I'm back to working at night with the added expense of about $150/week at the doctor and $140/week for daycare. I wouldn't be sad about pulling Brody out of daycare but Houston is doing so well there. He has learned so much ... sings his ABC's, can count to 20, sings all kinds of songs and is just generally a little sponge looking for more knowledge. He eats that stuff up! It has also greatly improved his speech issues. The other option would be to find a homecare or nanny situation for Brody and go ahead and start Houston in the Montessori school that I plan on sending them to. They start taking kids at age 3 so Houston is plenty old enough. It would be more expensive than our current situation but it would probably allow me to work more so maybe the money would work itself out. Well speaking of work, I better get back to it!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rocket Yarn

New in my shop: RUSTIC SAGE



This is 880 yards of lace weight yarn. I am seriously in love with this colorway. If I were a lace knitter I would have to keep it for myself. I'm going to try to recreate it on some sock yarn when my undyed yarn gets here.


Monday, January 21, 2008

it might be love at first sight ..



Ashford Traveler Wheel

Some Fiber, Some Acid Dyes, A Spinning Wheel ....

I've had several requests to start dyeing roving ... so I did ... and here's what I ended up with. I think the next batch I dye will be given to a spinner or two that I know so I can see how it spins up with someone who really knows what they are doing.

I should have taken some pictures during the dyeing process but you'll just have to use your imagination for that. I started with white, superwash wool roving that I picked up from Hanks on Sunday and by the end of the day I had yarn! Whhheeeeeeeee! Honestly, I think I could sit and spin for hours and hours. It's the closest thing to meditation that I've come across. It's so relaxing. And while I'm no where close to spinning yarn good enough to knit with, I'm having a blast with it so i don't care. I've gotten a little better about having too much twist in the yarn, now I need to get better at having an even amount of yarn. I've got the thick and thin yarn thing going quite well. :) I still have to learn how to ply though so maybe if I ply together what I've spun then I'll end up with something I can knit some baby hats with.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Saturday, January 19, 2008

CAN'T .... STOP ..... SPINNING ....

HELP! Seriously ... I can't stop spinning. I learned how tonight and I just can't stop. I wish there was a place in Lake City to buy roving.

I so need to go to sleep!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Found a Great Price on Jacquard Acid Dyes

www.artsupply.com

I have lots of yarn blanks and new dye colors on the way. Can't wait to try out my new ideas!

Introducing ... EASTER EGGS






A little lighter and a bit crazier than my normal dyes but I had some partial bottles of dye stock (and a few requests for lighter colors) and decided to experiment a little. I was going to call this colorway CRAZY SOCKS (b/c they would definitely be wild) but when I saw the finished product I couldn't help but call it EASTER EGGS. This would definitely make some great Easter socks! Eight different colors with different repeat lengths. I'm almost tempted to take it down from my Etsy shop and knit it up just to see what it looks like.



Less than five hours until my first spinning class. SQUEEEE! :) And then dinner with the girls .... DOUBLE SQUEEEE! Can you tell I don't get out much?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hand Dyed Yarn Swap - Round 3

Round 3 of The Hand Dyed Yarn Swap is now open. This is going to be a fun one. Check the blog for details.

Well, Crap!

So Houston still is not any better. Poor thing has had a 103 degree fever for five days now. I called the doc and she is calling in a stronger antibiotic and we're going to give it 24 hours to kick in. If that doesn't work then it's back to the doctor to figure out what's going on. Which would mean so much for my weekend without kids, my night out with the girls friday night after spinning class (yarn not exercise), using my gift certificate I got for Christmas to get a manicure and pedicure saturday morning and dinner (kid-free) with my hubby on saturday evening. And let's not even mention my lack of hours (and therefore paycheck) at work over the past four weeks on top of all these doctor's bills. Why does the deductible have to kick in right in the middle of cold and flu season? I'm almost to the point of putting a running total of medical bills on the sidebar just for everyone's amusement. It's getting a bit ridiculous. And why does insurance have to be so complicated that nobody can accurately determine what you owe them? I have a stack of about 6 or 7 bills from doctors appointments we had at the end of last year on top of everything from this month. There just has to be a better way ...

Okay, that's my rant for the day. I'm heading back to the kitchen to dye some yarn. Wheee!

Rocket Yarn

I'm adding some different yarn weights to my store. I have some 100% wool yarns in both worsted and lace weights. I have one of each in my shop right now and will be adding more soon. Here's a pic of BLUE LAGOON that I just listed.


I really have to step up my yarn sales if i'm going to have any craft money this year. We're starting Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University in February which means we're back on very strict spending until we get out of non-mortgage debt. We've been doing good but i've definitely let things slip a bit over the past two months. We did good over Christmas though and didn't use credit for anything which is probably the first time we've ever done that. I think we only used our credit card twice last year actually. And then I went and signed up for a spinning class ... just what I need ... another hobby! I just couldn't help myself though. It's absolutely mesmerizing to me to watch other people spin yarn. I just HAVE TO LEARN! And so now I need money for a spinning wheel (anyone have a used one they want to sell?) and roving ... which is why I REALLY need to step up my yarn sales. Wish me luck ya'll! :-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back to the Knitting

Here are a few of my current works-in-progress ... well most of them anyway. I seem to have some serious knitting ADD and therefore tend to have at least five different projects going at all times.

Chicago Socks
I bought this great yarn from Loopy Yarns in Chicago when we were there over the Christmas holiday. I cast on during the drive home. I've really been itching to make some Baby Cable Rib Socks from the Sensational Knitted Socks book and so that's what I chose for this yarn. I had planned on using a semi-solid yarn that I had dyed (Stardust). Well being the impatient knitter that I am I decided to use this yarn with that pattern. I think i'm going to rip it out and do some stockinette socks with this yarn ... the yarn is crazy enough as is and the pattern gets lost a little bit. Although the picture makes it look like you can hardly even see the pattern at all ... it's not as bad in person. I'm letting these rest for a while so I can decide what I want to do. I probably should rip them out and do stockinette and use my Stardust yarn for the baby cable rib as I originally intended. One of these days i'll start listening to that little knitter voice in my head instead of charging on for hours on something I know i'm going to end up ripping out. Oh well!




Log Cabin Baby Blanket (pattern here)
Note to self ... 36 garter ridges = 72 garter rows ... DUH! Now that I have that figured out and have ripped out and restarted three times after getting this far .... i'm finally on a roll with this blanket. Although i'm not sure I like how my corners are lining up but i'm so NOT ripping this thing out again. I think I have an idea for the next block to keep that from happening ... we'll see how it goes. I'm sure the baby this is for won't mind. The yarn is a super soft acrylic/nylon blend that I bought at Hanks in Gainesville. Dark Horse Yarns Fantasy in four different purples. You can see three of them here. The next one is even darker than the last. Perfect yarn for baby items and i'm really enjoying working with it which is more than I can say for most acrylics.


Callie Cardi
This is my first sweater for myself, modeled by the boys. I don't work on it all that often so it's going slow but I am making progress an i'm really liking it so far. It's knit all in one piece which is great. Yarn is an organic wool/cotton blend called O-Wool Balance from Vermont Organic Fiber Company. I found a shop online called Lavendar & Peonies that has it at a great price. Pattern is available for purchase from Cosmic Pluto Knits.

Little man looks rough, huh? I took this last week when he had an ear and eye infection.
And since we're looking at big man ... took him to the doc yesterday and he has an ear infection and an upper respiratory infection. So now they are both on antibiotics. Brett also finally took himself to the doctor yesterday. He has an ear infection as well and is also on antibiotics. I've been taking Zicam and Airborne and hoping that I don't get it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

oh jeez!

just looking over the blog ... what a bunch of yucky posts. i think it's time for some happy knitting posts. stay tuned for those. maybe i'll get lucky and get both boys to take a nap today so i can take and post some pictures of what i have on the needles. i snuck away to SnB yesterday and discovered what i was doing wrong with the baby blanket that i have restarted three times already after several hours of knitting each time. good thing because i was about to give up on the cool log cabin thing and turn it into stripes!

another one bites the dust ...

and today i'm off to the doctor with Houston who has had a 103 degree fever all weekend. fun stuff i tell you. got me out of my physical therapy and endodonstist appointments which i really don't mind too much. i've spent so much time in medical appointments over the past two weeks that i'm really getting sick of it. ha ha ... no pun intended.

Friday, January 11, 2008

and now for something completely different ...

... ha ha, jokes on me. nothing different ... just more yucky sickness. i took brody to the doctor yesterday because he's had a lingering cough from the sickness we all got over christmas. turns out he has an ear infection and eye infection from the upper respiratory thing we all had. then i went to the dentist for a cleaning and to ask about a tooth that's been bothering me. seems nothing is really wrong with my tooth except that i have a tooth colored filling on a molar which can lead to sensitivity which the dentist wants to replace with an amalgum (or however it's spelled). but wait, there's more ... as there tends to be these days. seems two former root canals are now showing absesses. he said this is really rare, especially to have two of them do this so now i have to go to an endodontist on monday to see if i need two new root canals. YIKES!!!!!!!! i'm really hoping there is a less invasive option.

the whole lupus/rheumatoid arthritis thing has been bothering me. it apparently runs in my family and both attack connective tissue of the body and that seems to be where most of my issues are lately. i have another two months before my next set of lupus/ra tests so i guess i just have to wait and see what happens. i'm going to start taking a bromelain/turmeric compound and astragalus along with everything else so i hope that helps. i also found this which i am going to start giving brody and houston.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

pain is my middle name ...

... lately anyway. i finally decided to do something about my constantly increasing ankle pain last month since it apparently was not going to heal on its own. i've been trying to ignore it for over a year now. so several doctors appointments, xrays, an MRI, a diagnosis of "mildly accelerated arthritis", serious tendinitis, a coalition (birth defect in wich my ankle joint is fused together with cartilage), a script for physical therapy, a funky ankle brace, mention of surgery and steroid shots under xray, and a suggestion of seeing a rheumatologist later ... here i sit. excuse me but i thought i was only 31 years old. at which point did i reach the status of "old woman falling apart"???? well the brace being on one side and not the other caused me to walk differently which threw my pelvis out of alignment once again (has a habit of doing that) causing me to have severe hip and sciatic pain for the past four days. so yesterday i went to physical therapy for my ankles during which they decided i need a brace for the other ankle as well and then headed to gainesville to my chiropractor to realign my pelvis for me. seems i now also have a severely flared up muscle in my hip area due to the misalignment of my pelvis. what the hell!?!?!?!?! oh yeah ... and the funky blood rash that i don't think i've blogged about yet (or have i?) is still alive and well and popping up just about every day. an MD and a hematologist and oncologist have all looked at me like i have the plaque, have done a ton of tests (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, lukemia, and various other autoimmune diseases and genetic testing) and have come up with nothing. they tell me they've never seen anything like it yet my labs say i'm perfectly healthy. hah! ha ha! is this a joke? again i say ... what the hell!?!?!!? what the hell is wrong with me????? i'm tired of funky rashes and i'm tired of being in pain all the time. i know it can't be good to take this much ibuprofen on a daily basis. it doesn't even take all the pain away anyhow ... it just dulls it a little bit. ridiculous ... absolutely ridiculous. why am i such a mess??? and how in the heck am i supposed to lose this extra weight if i'm in so much pain that i can't stand to excercise? my orthopedic surgeon said to swim ... splendid ... i'll just tell brett we need to put in a pool. yeah right.

okay ... just needed to vent. i'll go back to sitting at work trying to concentrate on designing a storm water system while my hip and ankles continue to throb and burn with pain. thanks for listening.

oh yeah ... and then there's the tooth. so tomorrow i go to physical therapy and the dentist and am taking brody to the doctor for the bronchitis he's been fighting for months now that refuses to go away. exactly how am i supposed to fit enough work hours in to cover all my medical expenses i haven't quite figured out yet. looks like i may be working weekends for a while. good grief! at least i have a job that pays well and allows me to work on my own time. i've never been so thankful of my engineering degree as i am right now.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chicago

I have many more pics to share but here's a teaser for you .... this is me and the boys outside of Uno's Pizza in Chicago.

Photobucket

Too Cool Not To Share

Comic Elements

My Resolutions

1. Take better care of myself. For the first time in a long time (four years to be exact) I feel like I can actually focus a little more on myself. I'm not pregnant ... or nursing ... or both. It's time to get myself healthy again so I feel better and can take better care of my family. This includes exercising more, remembering to take my vitamins every day, drinking more water, eating more raw foods, keeping the good sleeping schedule I have going and going back to acupuncture. And I'm going to start it all off by doing a detox. Still working on the plan though. I would love to do a week long detox but I don't know if I can handle that with kids and work. May just have to do a weekend juice detox.
2. Update this blog ... get rid of the once preferred, now overbearingly yucky pink
3. Knit more. :)
4. Study for the FE exam. This is my professional development resolution. I thought it would be a good way to freshen up on all I learned in college ... now that i'm back to using it.
5. Get organized.
Every time we go off on vacation somewhere (which doesn't happen very often) I come home with new eyes. I see all the clutter and chaos that is our house. We got home saturday afternoon after driving straight through from Indiana and even though I planned on sleeping when I got home I found myself in a frenzy of sweeping and mopping and cleaning. I've actually done a lot over that past couple of years. I hope to continue the trend and get even more organized this year and hope to have less "stuff" this time next year.
6. Learn to spin. Yeah .. like I need another hobby ... I will fit it in somewhere though.

Those are my resolutions .... what's yours???