Friday, December 29, 2006

Bye, Bye Birdie

Mitzi is home from her multi-city tour and I am thrilled. I did miss her and our KnitNite. When we've missed a few and finally get back together there is so much to catch up on that little knitting is actually accomplished. On a few occasions I think my needles have never even left their bag - gasp!

This also means that Birdie will be going home. I was a bit worried about Birdie because she had been laying eggs. I didn't want Mitzi to worry while she was away on vacation and elected to not post about it. Birdie has still eaten pretty well and I hope she is excited to see her Mom. I will miss her chirping greetings, but don't think I am ready to sign up to be a permanent bird mom yet.

Bugg is re-cooperating from having 3 wisdom teeth removed this morning. This is the first 'major' procedure she's had and it turns out that she has her mom's flair for the dramatic. She hyperventilated and caused all sorts of commotion in the office. They were able to sort everything out and she is resting peacefully in her mama's bed. I have experienced the very same reaction during work on my wrist as it was healing and this was the same Doctor that had to deal with my 'surgery bleeding incident' in September. All's well, though and I am, again, thankful that we have a Surgeon who is on his toes.

Waiting room translates to 'knitting time' and I took my Make Tracks Cardigan to work with. This is knitting up nicely and quickly and I will try to get it finished in the next few weeks before beginning the Briar Rose Fibers KAL

If you haven't joined the Briar Rose Fibers Knit Along yet, we would love to have you join us. There is no deadline so you have plenty of time to knit what you like. If you want to be included in the first yarn give-away, be sure to join soon as we will draw a name toward the end of January - I will post the date on that site as it nears. Chris has provided 3 incredible skeins of her Sonoma yarn and one of our fellow knitters will get it all for their own.

Knitting on this pattern also offered a much needed break from a rather intricate sock pattern that 'looked like a fun challenge'. I am knitting this from an incredible skein of Schaefer Anne on size 0 needles. Once I get 4 inches for the cuff it will become easier with the back stitches changing to stockinette stitch. I have no illusion that these babies will be finished anytime soon.

I completed a scarf for my knit pal, Kristy, from ISE3. She made an incredible scarf for me So Am I that is incredible. I really should take another photo of me wearing it as I was fresh out of major jaw surgery during the last one. Kristy keeps meaning to post the pattern on her blog so check back there on occasion to see if it is available. Anyway, Kristy had not received her scarf until last week and I wanted to make one for her. I am dying to post a photo of it, but am refraining until she receives it...which should be tomorrow according to Bugg who was nice enough to drop it by the post office for me.

This New Year's Eve promises to be a calm one. I like to keep my brood near to avoid interaction with the people who choose to endanger others during their celebration. We do have a little bubbly in the fridge and I will toast to you and your health and happiness for the upcoming year - Cheers!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Hey kid, you'll shoot your eye out!

Merry Christmas!(Happy Holidays!)

How can you turn on the TV without running across A Christmas Story? My hubby is sleeping, the kids are at their dad's until tomorrow Blue and the dogs don't realize it is Christmas. As for me, I've gotten an opportunity to look through recent photos and reflect a bit. I have knitting on the needles that begs me to pick it up...and I will, in a moment. I flipped on the TV and A Christmas Story was on right at the point that Ralphie visits Santa.

I Wrap, Therefore I Am

Thank goodness for my hubby (and Bugg)! I loathe wrapping all of those Christmas presents. The shopping, I can handle, paying the bills? not a problem. The wrapping just gets me. I believe these feelings have their foundation from The Wrapping of Christmas' Past. When the kids were little, I pretty much did all of the wrapping when I could find time when they were not under foot. This translates to: late at night after their bedtimes, after work, after...being the single mom for the day. It was exhausting and with three kids, it was another job. The result was always worth it - if you're a mom, you know what I mean - but until the moment came when they ripped (literally) through every piece of tape and paper that took hours upon hours to assemble in seconds flat - the payoff was difficult to imagine.

Fast forward 10 years (exactly where did that time go?) and things look dramatically different. Blocks and Big Wheels have been replaced with I-Pods and video games. "The" items to have" come with hefty price tags and usually need smaller pieces of wrapping paper. We're at the bunny pj scene, now We also have an easier time getting the kids to understand what we are truly celebrating. They take time to watch each other open their gifts and share a particular story or two about how or why they chose a special gift.

Anyway, back to the desire to wrap has greatly diminished. I do enjoy seeing everything under the tree adorned in bright colors and ribbons. Thankfully, my family jumps in to bail me out year after year. He just shot his eye out! Bugg wrapped nearly everything that wasn't from Santa (yes, he still brings presents to our house on Christmas Eve). The items that she didn't have time to do were stuck in a bag, slapped with a name tag, and placed under the tree. Santa dropped off the Christmas Eve presents unwrapped this year and hubby helped. These are the items that the kids couldn't help wrap even if they were home. So, we prepared a glass of Christmas cheer (Bloody Mary) and dug in until it was complete. We were then rewarded with a couple of The Sopranos episodes from the fifth season. That is addictive!

The Knitting

Due to giftability, I can't post much about my current project. I can say that I am nearing completion and it is a scarf for Kristy. Kristy was my scarf pal from International Scarf Exchange 3 who made my beautiful scarf, but never received hers from her assigned knitter. I've been working hard to complete it in the hope that she will be able to use it this year (maybe if she visits my neck of the woods). The pattern is interesting and I am enjoying the knit.

Photos of the finished Christmas gifts along with a completed UFO photo will come soon. With that, I am off to have some coffee and enjoy a few minutes of solitude.

Happy holidays, my friends. May your day be peaceful and your travels be safe.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Is the Christmas Knitting over with yet?

I am tired of knitting Christmas gifts. I want to knit for me - literally for me. I want new socks, a sweater, a hat, and the calm that eases my spirit when I knit what I want when I want. I am tired of knitting Christmas gifts.

There! I just needed to vent and now it's almost better. Truthfully, I could finish the other thrummed mitten (and maybe I will) and that would be the end of my Christmas knitting OR I could just give a different hand made knitted gift that is already finished and just sitting on the shelf sans owner(and maybe I will). Truth be told, the mitten didn't take that long to make, it was the thrums that took so long. They are borrrriiing!

Sometime ago I made a hat which called for an I-cord bind off. I have used this method to bind off felted bags and thought it was pretty cool. I think it made the edging a little floppy in this case and I considered taking it off and just binding it in normal fashion. Then my youngest son tried it on and it fit looked it remained. This hat will go into a box headed for ____. What? You thought I'd slip and give the secret away?

The Rockin' Sock Club will be starting up soon and I am geeked up. An article in one of my current knitting magazines said it filled up wicked-fast and had a loooong waiting list*note - actual facts unavailable due to inability to actually find the article. I'm in - I signed up very early.

As if the sock club wasn't enough? I have doubled my pleasure with beginning the Briar Rose Knit-Along. Talk about being geeked up, I have been so excited that I can hardly contain myself. The only real rule is, you need to use a Briar Rose fiber! You can choose any pattern and it would be lovely to see your posted photos. No deadline, no pressure, just good clean knitting fun. And, if that didn't grab your attention, get this...Chris has decided to have periodic yarn give aways. My jaw dropped and my mouth watered when I saw the picture she posted a few days ago...3 skeins of Sonoma? Oh, be still my heart! I want that yarn! Actually, I am not eligible to win it so, that means another knitter who chooses to knit-along will get 3 whole skeins of Sonoma. I will enjoy it vicariously through the winner. We aren't actually beginning until mid-January, so you still have time to join up and cast-on. Who knows, you may be the recipient of that fabulous yarn.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Join the Briar Rose Knit-along

A Knit-along you don't want to miss!

There is a Briar Rose Fiber waiting for you! Use the Briar Rose Yarn already in your stash or order your yarn from Chris at Briar Rose Fibers and get ready to cast-on in January. While everyone else is exercising and breaking their New Year's Resolutions, we will be warm and cozy with one (or more) of Briar Rose's fabulous fibers. Just e-mail me at and we'll put you in 'the join'.

I am very happy to organize this knit-along and Chris has offered to sponsor periodic yarn give aways - what more could you want? A chance at FREE yarn? I am so there!

My First Briar Rose Fiber...

I had the most incredible knitting experience today...ok, I've said this before, but it is true - honest - yarn heaven!

Brenda Dayne's Cast-On Season 4 is sponsored by Briar Rose Fibers. I've been listening to Brenda's podcast from early on and was intrigued when she chose sponsors. I browsed the Briar Rose website stalking the fibers and longing to feel the yarn slide through my fingers on their way to becoming some fabulous garment that made me feel wonderful every time I wore it.

After missing every summer fiber event (and my chance to touch the coveted fiber), I was thrilled to find out that Briar Rose would participate in an open house very near my home. I planned it all out, downloaded the map to my PDA and was off...

...It wasn't difficult to find and I was giddy with anticipation when I asked for the fiber before even getting in the door (patience isn't a virtue I was blessed with).

Chris travels to fiber festivals and open houses to bring her incredible fiber to people like us. She spent a lot time talking with me and sharing our Christmas knitting lists - She is a very gracious person and I enjoyed talking with her. I felt like I had known Chris forever and am thankful that something that I love and am passionate about presents opportunities to meet such nice people.

Did I BUY anything?

On to the haul - you want to know what I bought, don't you? Let's begin with Earth Song - a yummy alpaca with incredible color. I chose hanks with green which moves into a grey-ish blue with tan, brown and a speck of plum-ish color. After seeing the Lacy Cable Shrug, I couldn't resist.
I had been eyeing the After Hours Shawl - have I mentioned my desire to knit lace? All the time, any time, I want to knit lace...anyway, this shawl is very striking in person and I chose an incredible skein of Sea Pearl.

The Tilly's Garden Shawl pattern had be tops on my list, but Chris couldn't bring EVERYTHING. I will be ordering Legend as a reward to myself when I finish my Christmas knitting (sigh)

No, thats not all. Would I leave without sock yarn? Grandma's Blessing 'accidentially' fell into my pile and I fell in love with the skein of olive, navy, and browns.

This yarn will become an incredible pair of socks for everyone in my family to fight over (sigh, sigh).

So, I began thinking - is it right to keep all of this fiber-y goodness to myself? Shouldn't I share with all of my friends? You know I don't share well when it comes to my yarn. How about I start a Briar Rose Fibers Knit-A-Long and we can all enjoy that hand painted heaven together?

Now, I know we're all down to the last minute on our Christmas projects so let's start in January. I will work on putting up a site and you work on getting your friends interested in joining. I only have to decide what the project will to the knitting board!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas Knitting aka Thrummed Mittens

This is my first shot at thrummed anything and I know the fleece looks uneven. I think it can be manipulated a bit more and the result will be alright. The fleece loops inside feel wonderful and will felt together as the mittens are worn.

Making the thrums is a drag, though. The pattern recommended making all of them (over 200) at one time, but my attention span would never handle THAT! I decided to make them as I go and it is working out perfectly fine.

For certain - these mittens will be warm!

After making my list and checking it twice, it was painfully obvious that my Christmas knitting was going to be short a few items this year. I had picked up a sock blocker keychain and dug that out. It was really cute made up and I'm going to try and sneak away to the yarn store again to pick-up a couple more. I've already made an extra sock - they are super quick! This picture is blurry, but you will get the idea.
I've thought of making these little socks twice the size and connecting them as garland for my Christmas tree...(wistfully)someday.

Much of our shopping is finished, but there are still a few things I need to get accomplished. American Eagle really ticked me off! I ordered a coat that Bugg wanted (but didn't need) and it was backordered for just a couple of days. I checked the mail and it didn't arrive....and didn't arrive. I checked my e-mail...nothing. Finally, I checked my account at AE on-line and they listed the item as cancelled. I didn't cancel it, so I e-mailed to inquire to which they responded that 'my backordered items are no longer available and have been cancelled". Ok, I get it, but couldn't they have notified me? Hello...where are the customer service specialists of the world? Doesn't anyone care anymore?

On a brighter note, Briar Rose Fibers is going to have a road trip near my home. I have wanted to try their fibers since hearing Brenda Dayne of Cast-On fame rave about their products. I will post photos of whatever I procure.

I feel my tiredness creeping through my fingertips, through the keyboard, and into these words. Returning to work has been good, but difficult in the rest aspect. The things I am working on are diverse and challenging, but I am still looking forward to the weekend (sigh). It is dark in the morning when I go to work and dark most of the time when I get home Sad

I worried today because I thought it felt warmer outside...and it was 36 degrees! I need a warmer climate.

Mitzi's Birdie has been here for one week and I suppose it is time for a Birdie Note: BirdieBirdie is doing well. I leave the radio on for her during the day so she isn't lonely. And the light on so she isn't in the dark if I get home late. She will sometimes sit on my finger or shoulder, but it freaks me out when she pecks at my earrings.