Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's eve!

My camera's dock has died with pictures of both my Saturday Sky and current WIP (knitting tote for Knit Mitt Kit Swap) in it. So I've diagnosed the problem (I hope) and ordered new parts. Pictures will follow eventually, but here's a recap: The sky was beautiful, lightly brushed with thin clouds and lots of sun... and I'm about halfway up the sides on my tote.

My SP gave me some Burt's Bees hand salve- this is fantastic stuff! Despite the warmer than usual weather, my hands have been painfully dry- and somewhat crone-y looking this year (to the point of the skin splitting- youch- NOT a good thing to discover when using purell). I've stopped using the purell, but I am taking all vitamins and am drinking as much water as a person can. No such luck. I'm actually starting to think that it is stress, because this is limited to my hands and usually, that's not the skin that dries out for me. (Excessive wringing of the hands during finals, perhaps?)

But the hand salve is absolutely wonderful!! Very moisturizing and the scents are so yummy. Thank you, SP! I'm going to look around today for my paraffin wax manicure set. We used to slather our hands with body butter and then dip them into the paraffin wax and let the warm wax help the cream penetrate the skin.

I'm hoping to get quite a bit of knitting done today before the champagne flows tonight. Mostly on this tote because I'm dying to try needlefelting on it. Happy New Years!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

One last splurge

I have a sister who is an engineer with Toyota, and as a result, she is often standing on her feet on hard cement in steel toe boots for very long periods of time. Her birthday is coming up mid-January, and I was hoping to send her some cozy slippers or socks to 'baby' her tootsies when she's not working. Especially since she sent me a decadent package from Knitpicks (including Knitpicks Options Set and a KIP bag!)... I wanted to do something personal for her.

So I splurged on some Austermann Step sock yarn which contains Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil in the colorway "jeans". (It was part of a great sale they are having at Yarn 4 Socks through January 1st... seriously, check it out!) /enabling mode

Since it was before the first of January *and* for someone else, I don't feel guilty. Especially at 30% off! It was by far the best price I've seen for this yarn and I've been really curious how it knits up. When I realized how perfect it would be for her with the Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil, it was a no-brainer. I'm very happy to have thought of this before the "Knit from Stash" begins. And the colors are perfect for her- she would be a bit surprised at some of the more... vibrant colorways that I love.

I joined a Sock KAL to help me work through this pair as well as my Sockret Pal pair.

I've thought about all other birthday/gift occasions that would happen during this Stash-busting and I'm happy to say, I think I'm covered.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Upcoming projects

Goals for 2007:
Learn to do basic crochet, entrelac, basic lace and move beyond a basic stockinette sock

  1. Bag for my KMKS pal out of a gorgeous turquoise Cascade 220 (the one I'm needlefelting)
  2. Socks for my Sockret Pal
  3. Finish my dishclothes
  4. Finish up scarves in progress
  5. Finish a couple of dye projects I've been kicking around in my head...

  1. Pair of felted slippers for my sister, with extra comfy soles (Lamb's Pride)
  2. Fetching with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
  3. Cabled Footies from One Skein Book for me out of Lorna's Laces Worsted
  4. Nakiska out of some Classic Elite Lush
  5. Cold Weather Corset out of some hand painted yarn
  6. Wristwarmers out of Lorna's Sport Yarn that I won
  7. Branching Out with Silky Wool
  8. Mrs. Beeton (I decided on these today... a pair for myself, and possible gifts for a friend or two) I ordered the yarn today, now I just need to find the beads
  9. Assorted Dulaan/Afghans for Afghans knits
And I have several skeins of sock yarn just waiting... the gorgeous Lorna's Laces Bittersweet from my SP, and some yummy Socks That Rock that my Sockret Pal gifted me with (both of these skeins I admit, I pet occasionally) and a really pretty CTH Superglitz that I picked up that may end up being wristwarmers too. I've been saving them for a prettier pattern than just plain stockinette... Jaywalkers for the Lorna's Laces, I think... not sure about the STR but someone just gave me a great resource for free two circular sock patterns. I'm not sure why but I love buying sock yarn a LOT. Now I just need to learn how to knit them, in pairs, quickly!

Looking at my project list... I think I can handle the Knit from Stash without too many major withdrawals, at least for a while. Add in a few more pairs of socks and this may be my entire 2007 (I say that as if I don't get easily distracted and go tearing off on some tangent to try out something new with yarn from SPs and swaps).

My 'Knit From Your Stash 2007' guidelines

Knit From Your Stash 2007

(Kaylee Edition)

Knit From Your Stash 2007 Guidelines

1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.

2. I will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that I really and truly do not have the yarn for, I may buy yarn to knit that gift. However, I will look through the stash to see if I can find an acceptable alternative prior to buying the yarn.

2.b. If I am knitting something and run out of yarn, I may purchase only enough to complete the project.

2.c. I get two "Get Out of Jail Free" cards -- I am allowed to fall off the wagon two times. Purchases will be kept under $50 each time.

3. I am allowed to receive gifts of yarn, as well as participate with pre-existing stash swaps or secret pal exchanges. I cannot buy anything to enhance my own stash if I do participate in exchanges.

4. Dyeable yarn is exempt but only after I have dyed what I already have.

Here's the original guidelines

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

School's out!!!

I'm done- for two whole weeks!! I will still be working fulltime, but my evenings and weekends are free again! I have a mountain of things to do, including making my bag for my knit mitt kit swap partner and finalizing my own "Knit From Stash 2007" rules. And there's about ten different things I want to dye.

My needle felting kit arrived... I can't wait to knit the bag so I can try needle-felting.

But right now, I'm going to drink some champagne and zone out for the next two hours. And I am *not* checking out some of these awesome end of year yarn sales that are soooo tempting.

Is it bad that I don't remember a thing I wrote for the last two hours on the project I just turned in?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

After much anticipation, I opened up my package from my spoilee from Secret Pal 8

Inside were some awesome crocheted slippersocks in a gorgeous, vibrant blue wool, and two of the Ballband Washcloths. The slippersocks went on immediately, of course, and the washcloths are already hanging near my sink, waiting patiently for after Christmas dinner. Thank you! I was so touched by you taking the time to make these little beauties for me!

This weekend, I did a custom dye project for someone at work to gift to her sister who loves to crochet. She liked the color of one of my first dye projects so I tried to go with a foliage/redwood type color scheme. The colors came out really well... it's vibrant but not overly so, and very autumnal. I don't crochet but she should have 425 yards of worsted weight wool, so I'm hoping that gives her enough for a scarf.

We'll see on Wednesday how my co-worker likes it, once I get it labelled.

I also received a set of knitpicks options needles from my sister, along with some cape cod sock yarn and some Jacquard dyes and superwash Bare yarn! What a suprise... I can't wait to try it out.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday sky and yarn yumminess

I'm in the midst of putting together a final project (31 pages and counting!), so I'm stopping in long enough to post Saturday Sky and one of my final stash enhancements for quite some time (with the exception of swaps/exchanges/gifts). Yep, I'm committing to the 2007 Knit From Your Stash (idea courtesy of Wendy). My unique guidelines will be posted after class is over on the 26th.

But knowing I'd be limited in projects once 2007 started, I decided that in 2007, I wanted to try knitty's Cold Weather Corset as my first venture into making shaped garments. It's perfect for me... a thicker yarn for a quicker knit, simple shaping and something I can easily see myself wearing.

I couldn't locate the suggested yarn but I did find this beautiful yarn (Mediterranea bc) at Handpainted Yarns.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Knit From Your Stash 2007

This is what happens when I am surfing while trying not to do homework. I find all sorts of crazy ideas out there... ok, the idea is not crazy. I am crazy to consider it (especially since I was worried about doing Stashalong for three months). But here it is...

Knit From Your Stash 2007!

"L-B mentioned to me that she was thinking about attempting to knit from her stash exclusively in 2007. I, of course, laughed at her initially, but started thinking that attempting to knit from my stash exclusively was not a bad idea. Both L-B and I have stashes of epic proportions. L-B had suggested a period of 9 months of knitting from the stash, so that we could go to Stitches East next October and buy yarn there.

So, in a phone call, we sketched out our guidelines.

Knit From Your Stash 2007: Guidelines for L-B and Wendy

1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.

2. We will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone?

2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn to knit that gift.

2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.

2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.

3. We are allowed to receive gifts of yarn.

4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

Anyone else who would like to join us in this is welcome to do so! Feel free to link to this page or to post the guidelines on your own blog. You may also alter the guidelines to suit your own situation."

I'm seriously thinking about it. I just need to figure out how to adapt the guidelines to me since I don't spin and I like to buy yarn for swaps/exchanges. But I do have the yarn to last that long (it helps I don't have a lot of knitting time) and it would help me save for a potential move upon graduation.

Any takers?

Too busy for words... (and 6 wierd things)

Or Saturday Sky pictures, apparently. I'll take two next time around. I'm lucky even to be posting this right now.

Work's busier than ever- you'd think that there would be a down time at some point but it seems that we save even more 'big projects' to do during the slow season so that the slow season is busier than the hectic season. (huh?) Add that to everyone else taking vacation and me trying to get everything done before they take off... and it's a lot of stress. I would not mind so much if I could just knit during my lunch hour but lately I've either worked through those or did homework.

School: I'm hitting the home stretch- it's all over on December 26th and I can finally take a breath. However, there's a final project due for one class and a not-exactly-minor project due for the other on that day so I am going to be burning the midnight oil so that I don't have to spend my holiday typing up media plans. They were interesting classes. I'm just ready for them to be done. now. I'll have a two week break before the next two start up again. It's a killer schedule but I'm thrilled to say I will have completed 9 grad classes in 2006 (out of 13) with (hopefully) a 3.9.

I did get a break this weekend and saw Charlotte's Web, which I loved. (yes, that was me sniffling in the backrow at the end). It was very well done. It was so funny to watch the previews for children's movies. I saw a preview for some strange Nancy Drew movie which made me feel unexpectedly sad, and every year of 35... it was not at all what I would have expected (think Clueless meets Mean Girls).

Which is a strange segway to the 6 Wierd Things Meme that's been making the rounds...
  1. I love children's books and still read them often when I'm in the mood for a touch of comfort. Favorites include Little Women, Anne of Green Gables series, Narnia Chronicles, Velveteen Rabbit.
  2. I always remove the jackets from my hardcover books and store them separately. I do not like reading a book with a jacket on at all.
  3. The time in my life when I felt the most beautiful when I shaved my head a few years ago. It's since grown back but I sometimes miss being bald.
  4. I always pick the magazine or book that is behind the front one. Especially magazines. The first ones are the ones people flip through and I prefer to have a brand new one instead of a 'used' one. Unfortunately, I am also a flipper so I realize this is a hypocritical quirk because I will readily flip through the front book/magazine, and then put it back and select a nice new one to buy.
  5. I love doing math by hand. I used to doodle, now I just calculate figures in meetings (which is very impressive to whoever is glancing over to see if I am taking notes and sees a page full of math instead my horrendous doodles).
  6. I have a terrible short term memory but I have an insane amount of useless 80s pop culture trivia (particularly music) stored in my head.
You're tagged.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday Sky and some knitting progress

Taken this morning, looking out at the dawn from my back porch... As much of a night owl that I am, watching the sun rise is my absolute favorite time of day. It takes my breath away and gives me a sense of being vibrantly alive.

In knitting news, I told a friend I have not done much lately, but then I looked at the only project I'm working on at the moment, and it grew quite a bit while I watched Amadeus.

2 x 2 Rib Scarf using Patons SWS Yarn in the Natural Pink color (on second skein now) I like the yarn, soft, beautiful colors and very smooth to work with.

I wish I've done more but these holidays are catching up on me much faster than I expected. I have resolved, however, to join Stashalong and only work on yarn from my stash or through gifts/swaps/exchanges (starting January 1). I'm starting with one month at a time, and will see how that goes. In the meantime, I'll be making a list to see what projects are must-do's, and if there's anything I need to get before then.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Knit Unto Others

For Knit Unto Others...

I finished two Caps for the Capital (out of Knitpicks Shine Worsted, just like my first one) and my Mother Bear Project Bear (out of assorted washable yarns)

Saturday Sky

Saturday Sky...
A welcome change from all the grey thunderstorms and wind yesterday... we went from 75 degrees to 45 degrees in a matter of hours.

A BIG Thank You to my Sockret Pal, who sent me a lovely box of goodies this week- a skein of pretty Noro Kureyon, daily S&B Calendar, a fragrant candle, some yummy snacks and a book about olive oil which has some really interesting recipes. I've marked a couple of the recipes to try in the upcoming weeks. I've not been online enough to post a thank you to my pal to the blog... but it is very much appreciated.

Also, I got another surprise yesterday... I recieved my first holiday package from a dear friend whom I spoiled this summer. Two wrapped, delightfully squishy packages were inside and I immediately had to go hide them because I am really bad about opening up gifts right away. I have been so curious, though! I had her package ready to mail but we got to the post office after it closed yesterday. Thank you!!!

Gypsy will keep an eye on me, make sure that the packages stay intact till the 25th.

The person I am spoiling for Secret Pal will find out who I am sooner than usual because she will be moving overseas and she mentioned that customs is not kind to packages in that country. So she's already received her two major packages and her final little reveal one will also go out this week. It seems so strange to be this accelerated. She's been a very sweet person to get to know... I have lucked out each time they match me up for Secret Pal.

Holiday Meme

A fun little Christmas themed meme from Fuzzy Britches

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot Chocolate... or hot cider.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrap... although there was a time when he left tiny presents in my shoes on the hearth

3. Fake tree or real tree? Real.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? When we decorate and if we can find real mistletoe, yes.

5. When do you put up your decorations? It really depends on our schedules.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I'm not sure I have one that is associated with the holidays. We do a nice dinner for Christmas Day, though.

7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child? Sneaking out at 5:30 am to check my stocking.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? When I kept asking Santa for his autograph (I lived in the Netherlands at the time. They had a friend at work write me notes in German from 'Sinter Klaus'... he left me a German-English dictionary in my shoes to translate my notes... confused me quite a bit since the writing was different and my parents don't speak German)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? I like having a coordinated tree. White and gold ornaments, wine velvet bows and white lights. I love [real] wreaths/garland and candles, but am not a big fan of large plastic/blow-up lawn ornaments or faux plants.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I love it, but I don't like to drive in it. But watching it come down is so peaceful, especially with hot cider and a log fire going...

12. Can you ice skate? I'm originally a southern girl. I can wobble around upright on skates but the little kids zooming around at breakneck speed makes me a bit nervous.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Most have some special meaning at the time I receive them.

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? Being with loved ones.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? I honestly don't think I have one. Christmas Creme Brulee?

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? In Texas, we would open presents with lots of pictures, then relax for a bit and then head over to our closest family friends' house and do a second gift exchange, play board games and have dinner. I also enjoy caroling parties.

17. What tops your tree? I'm not sure... I think we have to buy something this year. I'll know next week when we decorate.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I loving giving... from planning it out depending on the person to watching their face when they open it. Sometimes I start planning in the summer. I enjoy receiving, especially when it's been thoughtfully selected.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Please Come Home for Christmas. Or when caroling... God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Although I'd really like to get the new Sarah McLaughlin Christmas CD... her voice is so angelic.

I do get burned out on a lot of Christmas Music, though, because the malls start playing it in mid November.

20. Do you like Candy Canes? Sometimes?